US Constitution 101

There is lots of talk about what the Constitution can and cannot do…..impeachment comes to mind…seems there are some pundits that are defining parts of the Constitution…..and they are WRONG!

It Illustrates just how badly this country needs a good civics program in our schools.  personally I think that a civics test should be given before they are allowed to graduate.

Enough bitchin’…… onward……

Trump has said that some Dems are guilty of treason and should be impeached……

President Trump is continuing to fight back against the impeachment inquiry by calling for his critics to be impeached. After calling for Mitt Romney’s impeachment on Saturday—and continuing to hammer him Sunday—the president called for the impeachment of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday night, accusing her of treason. “She knew of all of the many Shifty Adam Schiff lies and massive frauds perpetrated upon Congress and the American people,” Trump tweeted. “This makes Nervous Nancy every bit as guilty as Liddle’ Adam Schiff for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and even Treason. I guess that means that they, along with all of those that evilly ‘Colluded’ with them, must all be immediately Impeached!”

Then Trump thinks Mitt should also be impeached….

President Trump is calling for U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney’s impeachment — turning the tables on one of his chief Republican critics the day after the Bay State ex-pat slammed Trump’s calls for foreign countries to investigate presidential rival Joe Biden and his family as “appalling.”

“I’m hearing that the Great People of Utah are considering their vote for their Pompous Senator, Mitt Romney, to be a big mistake. I agree! He is a fool who is playing right into the hands of the Do Nothing Democrats!” Trump tweeted Saturday. “#IMPEACHMITTROMNEY.”

For a party that hugs the Constitution every election one would think that they would know what the document says about a couple of things.

First of all…….Member of Congress can’t be impeached, but they can be expelled with a two-thirds vote in the House or Senate.

Let me help the morons out here…..Article One Section 5……Section 5 says that Congress must have a minimum number of members present in order to meet, and that it may set fines for members who do not show up. It says that members may be expelled, that each house must keep a journal to record proceedings and votes, and that neither house can adjourn without the permission of the other.

Then there is the accusations by Trump that Dems are committing treason by their actions…..allow me to help these feckless tools out once again…..

Article 3 Section 3……Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Once again I write about the ignorance of your president on how the Constitution works.

It seems that they have this list of terms and they pick one to use for the day……yesterday it was “Kangaroo Court”……

Now we either hold to the concept our Founders put down on paper or we throw it in the trash can and let the whims of some deluded dictator wannabe become the law of the land.

Which shall it be?

The one accurate thing said by a GOPer yesterday…he called it a “Clown Show”….a great term to describe the American political process.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

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Constitution Day–17 September

We celebrate the founding of our country on Independence Day on 04 July….but all most people know is they have the day off and BBQ and drink beer.

Image result for constitution day images

Personally, I think the day we should celebrate is 17 September, Constitution Day, because it was when it became official….the US became a republic.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the third Sunday in May for the public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship. The designation for this day was “I Am An American Day.”

In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States.” The day was still designated as “Citizenship Day” and retained its original purpose of recognizing all those who had attained American citizenship. This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.”

In 2004 under Senator Byrd’s urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” and added two new requirements in the commemoration of this Day. The first is that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution on September 17th. The second is that each educational institution which receives Federal funds should hold a program for students every September 17th.

https://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/constitution-day.php

Image result for constitution day images

This day is far more indicative of the nation that we were to become than the laundry list of grievances against England……

Then there is another document we should be celebrating……

The year was 1789.

And it was a very good year.

A writing of a document that is overshadowed by another document and is part of that document, the Constitution….that document would become known as the Bill of Rights…..

A list of the amendments that would define the society in which we now reside…..but is it as it should be today?

It’s been 230 years since James Madison drafted the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—as a means of protecting the people against government tyranny, and what do we have to show for it?

Nothing good.

In America today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.

We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document, but the reality of life in the American police state tells a different story.

“We the people” have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance by a government that cares nothing for our lives or our liberties.

The Bill of Rights Turns 230: What Do We Have to Show for It? Nothing Good

Sometimes I feel as if these “Rights” are just words written two centuries ago that mean little today.

These are used as political props more than a blueprint for a society and its people.

Take some time and educate yourself on this document……too many people give it lip service without knowing the first thing about the document.

Learn about the Constitution……https://constitution.org/

Learn as much as you can about the US Constitution…..https://constitutioncenter.org/

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–13Jun19

These days we hear a lot of back and forth in the media about the Constitution especially the “Emoluments Clause”…..

Are you aware of what the “Emoluments Clause” has to say?

The Constitutional Provisions The Constitution mentions emoluments in three provisions, each sometimes referred to as the “Emoluments Clause”:The Foreign Emoluments Clause(art. I, § 9, cl. 8):“[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”The Domestic Emoluments Clause(a.k.a.the Presidential Emoluments Clause) (art. II, § 1, cl.7): “The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”The Ineligibility Clause(art. I, § 6, cl. 2): “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments where of shall have been encreased during such time;and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Now what does the term “emolument” mean?

Black’s Law Dictionary defines an “emolument” as an “advantage, profit, or gain received as a result of one’s employment or one’s holding of office.” There is significant debate as to precisely what constitutes an “emolument” within the meaning of the Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses, particularly as to whether it includes private, arm’s-length market transactions.The only two courts to decide this issue adopted a broad definition of “emolument” that includes profits from private transactions not arising from an office or employ.

Have you got all that?

Good!

I asked in an earlier post if we were having a Constitutional Crisis….and this goes along with that question in search of an answer.

Now the news that started this post…..as usual it was something the “Mouth on the Potomac” had to say…..

President Trump made what his opponents called a stunning admission during an ABC interview Wednesday: He said he would consider accepting damaging information on his 2020 rivals from foreign governments. “I think I’d take it,” the president told George Stephanopoulos. “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump said. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘We have information on your opponent’—oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” He rejected the suggestion that the information would be “interference” and said he would “maybe” go to the FBI if he thought there was “something wrong.” But “when you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is,” Trump claimed. “It’s called oppo research.”

When Stephanopoulos told him that FBI Director Chris Wray had said the bureau should be contacted in such a case, Trump said: “The FBI director is wrong, because frankly it doesn’t happen like that in real life.” Trump’s remarks were swiftly condemned by potential 2020 rivals including Joe Biden, the BBC reports. Trump “is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections,” he tweeted. “This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security.” Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein tells Politico that Americans involved in elections have a “fundamental responsibility” to report contacts with foreign agents.

The FBI director is wrong? Seriously?

Now put any political affiliation aside…is this a violation of the Constitution?  Or should we just ignore the Constitution when it confronts our favorite politician?

Is This A Constitutional Crisis?

We hear a lot about the Congress and the president and the antics by each. My thought is there is a reason for a Committee called “oversight”…..and any time anyone interferes with the operation of that principle then they should be smacked down….matters not if it is a WH attorney, a child, the AG or the president himself…..we either live by the checks and balances or we start an imperial presidency.

I remember the calls for the impeachment of a president that got his wanker licked and those that called for such are now overlooking their “oversight” duties to massage the ego of a mental midget……

The conservative media is totally ignoring the crisis brewing and even are helping it destroy the democratic scheme we had before…..

As legal experts, historians, and Democratic lawmakers have sounded the alarm over President Donald Trump’s blanket obstruction of congressional oversight of his presidency — suggesting we have reached or are approaching a constitutional crisis — Trump’s conservative media allies are brazenly misrepresenting the arguments and suggesting everything boils down to a fight over the Mueller report, claiming Trump’s obstruction is normal, and ridiculing Democrats for speaking out.

https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2019/05/14/conservative-media-downplay-trump-administrations-unprecedented-stonewalling-congressional-oversight/223698

The media reports, if we may call it that, but it is sensationalism not anything but entertainment…..

So are we in a Constitutional crisis? Yes or No or what?

It is probably safe to say that this is not how we imagined America’s little fling with representative democracy would end. But on Wednesday morning, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler described the battle unfolding between the Trump White House and Congress thusly: “The ongoing clash between congressional Democrats and President Trump over the Mueller report has turned into a full-blown constitutional crisis.” On Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the same turn of phrase, warning that the nation is now in a “constitutional crisis.”

In the totality of Trump scandals, this week’s is rather boring and technical. The problem at hand: The House Judiciary Committee seeks to interview William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, on the subject of the Mueller report. When he refused to show up, they voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for doing so. Meanwhile, the president has opted to assert seemingly boundless executive privilege in an attempt to shield the unredacted Mueller report from congressional scrutiny. The question at hand is basically: What happens in this standoff between Congress and the president? The stalemate, and immovable positioning, is certainly making it feel as though we are hurtling at high speeds toward a new precipice.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/trump-barr-constitutional-crisis-yes-no-or-wrong-question.html

To help you with the question…..there a 4 types of Constitutional crises……

People have been talking about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” since before President Trump’s election. And in the wake of Trump’s executive order restricting the ability of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations to travel to the U.S., we’re once again hearing that term a lot. Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, used the phrase to describe reports of Customs and Border Protection officials snubbing members of Congress and refusing to abide by a judge’s ruling delaying the enforcement of the order. And the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake investigated whether Trump’s disparaging remarks about a federal judge who ruled against the administration could be considered a constitutional crisis.

So what exactly is a constitutional crisis? We should be clear about what does — and, more importantly, does not — merit this description. It’s possible to have a major political crisis even if the Constitution is crystal clear on the remedy, or to have a constitutional crisis that doesn’t ruffle many feathers.

Political and legal observers generally divide constitutional crises into four categories:

The 4 Types Of Constitutional Crises

Are we in crisis?  Is the Constitution still the law of the land?

As it is today I am not so sure any more.

This simple cartoon can answer the question better than I can…..

Against Bicameralism

We hear all the time about the Congress and how the two houses are dysfunctional……there is an answer to this chaos……

I wrote many years ago that I thought that my state should go to a unicameral system of representation…..it would save money and loosen up the legislative process from the standstill it suffers from every session.

As distinct from bicameral or even tricameral legislatures, unicameral legislatures meet and vote in a single chamber. The traditional justification of unicameralism is that it is cheaper, more efficient, and more responsive than bicameralism. The appeal of a single-chamber legislature increases in periods of legislative gridlock, making unicameralism a relevant alternative to bicameral representation, which excels at representing different social classes or geographic areas. Below, the fit between unicameral representation and responsive government is explored, first, by assessing the use of unicameralism in 2016, and then by outlining the basic merits and demerits of unicameral legislatures. The Anglo-American tradition of unicameralism is then surveyed. The discussion concludes with a brief overview of Nebraska’s single-chamber legislature.

For the lazy……

My regulars know that I am  history buff and that I try to educate my visitors on this country as well as other subjects….and in the beginning during the fight for the Constitution that were people that did not agree with Madison on the need for a bicameral system of representation.

James Madison famously wrote in Federalist 51 that “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” Madison discussed the separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the additional division of the legislative branch into two chambers, and how their design can create a political invisible hand by which “the private interest of every individual may be a centinel over the public rights.”

I don’t know whether Madison employed the word “centinel” in this sentence to jab at the Antifederalist writer Centinel, who several months before lambasted the idea that separation-of-power systems can be designed to generate public virtue from the interaction of self-interested politicians. Perhaps. Contrary to Madison’s argument, however, for Centinel, only engaged and attentive citizens can keep politicians in line, not institutional designs that ostensibly create self-enforcing constitutional systems. There is no invisible hand for Centinel, at least not in politics.

https://www.lawliberty.org/2018/12/07/centinels-argument-against-bicameralism/

In my case the attempt that I tried to have a bill on the change from bicameral to unicameral was a non-starter…..I never thought I would be successful but at least I was hoping for some discussion…the “good old boys” shot me down and shot me down hard.

I still believe my state and the country would be better off with a unicameral system….

Thoughts?

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

DOJ: Don’t Do It!

Closing Thought–15Feb19

New CR is a deal and if Trump signs it he stated that he will also issue an emergency declaration….but DoJ does not think that is such a good Idea…..

President Trump says he will sign an emergency declaration to secure funding for a border wall—but he has been warned that the move is likely to encounter a wall of lawsuits from Democrats, immigration advocates, and environmentalists, among others. Sources tell ABC News that the Justice Department has told Trump that the declaration of a national emergency is extremely likely to be blocked by the courts before it can come into effect. Analysts say legal challenges could delay the project for years, though White House officials say they expect to eventually win on appeal. Trump is expected to declare the emergency Friday morning after signing a budget deal that would avert another government shutdown. More:

  • “There is no national emergency.” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is expected to challenge the move in court, said Thursday that any border crisis is of “Trump’s own making,” the Washington Post reports. “There is no national emergency. If Trump oversteps his authority and abandons negotiations with Congress by declaring a fabricated national emergency, we won’t only call his bluff, we will do what we must to hold him accountable,” he said. “No one is above the law.”

 

  • “No bets are safe.” Analysts say it would be very unusual for courts to block a president’s declaration of an emergency—but Trump is a very unusual president. “Normally, any other time, you’d say it’s a no-brainer that the president wins,” University of Texas law professor Bobby Chesney tells Politico. “But with this particular president, no bets are safe in assuming the courts will completely defer to him.” Some 58 emergencies have been declared since the National Emergencies Act, 31 of which are still in effect.
  • The price tag. Sources tell the AP that Trump will announce he will spend $8 billion on border barriers after sidestepping Congress—including the $1.4 billion the latest spending bill provides. Most of the rest is expected to come from military funds earmarked for construction and antidrug efforts.
  • Stopping the move in Congress. It is possible, but highly unlikely, for the move to be blocked by Congress, the BBC reports. It would require both houses of Congress to pass a resolution against it, which Trump could veto unless opponents can build a supermajority
  • Republicans speak out. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has done a U-turn and announced that he will support an emergency declaration, but several other Republican senators have spoken out against the move, the Hill reports. Sen. Susan Collins said Thursday that she believes the decision is of “dubious constitutionality.” “I don’t believe that the National Emergencies Act contemplated a president repurposing billions of dollars outside of the normal appropriations process,” she said.
  • “A Democratic president can declare emergencies as well.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the move a “lawless act” and warned Trump that he was creating a precedent that could lead to a Democratic president declaring a national emergency on guns, CNBC reports. “If the president can declare an emergency on something he has created as an emergency, an illusion that he wants to convey, just think about what a president with different values can present to the American people,” she said.
  • The Cruz solution. Sen. Ted Cruz says he has a way to build the wall without taxpayers paying a dime. The Republican writes in the Washington Post that he has reintroduced the “Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act” to use funds seized from Joaquin Guzman and other drug lords to build a border wall.

Is he so ignorant that he will not read the Constitution?  The emergency is not real only in his tiny mind from NYC….a made up crisis not an actually crisis like a hurricane……

Did you hear his speech in the Rose Garden today?

OMG!  He relived the 2016 election and talked about the situation on the border that was NOTHING accurate and choked full of LIES…..and the bobble-heads rejoiced!

Please someone take him aside for about a half hour and read the and explain the Constitution to this drooling toad….please!

Its That Darn Pesky Constitution

There has been an uproar toward something Our Dear Supreme Leader has made….14th amendment has been in the news and there has been a wealth of  opinions if he can actually change the Constitution with and Executive Order (EO)…..

My opinion is NO he cannot…..(but that has not stopped those from foaming at the mouth to end some of our protections)….and like always there are those opinions in contrary to the EO thing……

President Trump said this week that he is preparing an executive order to try to take away the citizenship guarantee in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which says that people born in the United States are United States citizens. On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham announced that he would introduce legislation with the same aim.

But the president cannot repeal part of the Constitution by executive order. And Congress cannot repeal it by simply passing a new bill. Amending the Constitution would require a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate, and also ratification by three-quarters of the states. The effort to erase the citizenship guarantee will never clear those hurdles — for very good reasons.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/31/no-mr-president-you-cant-change-constitution-executive-order

This below is an open letter sent to our Troops by veterans……

To All Active Duty Soldiers:

Your Commander-in-chief is lying to you. You should refuse his orders to deploy to the southern U.S. border should you be called to do so. Despite what Trump and his administration are saying, the migrants moving North towards the U.S. are not a threat. These small numbers of people are escaping intense violence. In fact, much of the reason these men and women—with families just like yours and ours—are fleeing their homes is because of the US meddling in their country’s elections. Look no further than Honduras, where the Obama administration supported the overthrow of a democratically elected president who was then replaced by a repressive dictator.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/11/01/your-commander-chief-lying-you-veterans-issue-open-letter-active-duty-us-soldiers

Not to worry like always there is more……

“The Trump administration asked, and the Pentagon said no—to using troops on the southern border for law-enforcement purposes, CNN reports. Two defense officials say the Department of Homeland Security wanted US troops to provide “crowd and traffic control” and protect Customs and Border Protection officers from the so-called “caravan” of Central American migrants heading for the US border. But on Oct. 26, the Pentagon denied that request, while agreeing to provide engineers, medical personnel, and air and logistics support. Why the refusal? Because the Department of Defense apparently argued that active-duty troops don’t have the authority.

Indeed, the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits US troops from enforcing domestic law unless authorized by Congress or the US Constitution. “Limiting military involvement in civilian affairs is basic to our system of government and the protection of individual constitutional rights,” the 1878 act reads. A DHS official denied that Trump’s request constituted “law enforcement activities,” while military analysts said Trump could just use US Marshals, ICE, or the National Guard for such activities. Meanwhile, Trump is easing off his remark that US troops can “consider it a rifle” if migrants throw rocks, per Fox 13 Now. If soldiers or agents “are going to be hit in the face with rocks, we’re going to arrest those people,” he said Friday. “That doesn’t mean shoot them.

I realize the hard core Righties do not want to here it and they may soon have a chance to change things…..

But not to worry there are those that are working for a convention to change things….maybe just not the things that you have in mind.

Stay tuned!