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Category: Politics

Waxman cancels witch hunt after being reminded of the Constitution

Posted by – 4/14/10

You read that title right. Apparently after a gentle reminder of the people’s right to free speech by Rep. Barton, Waxman canceled his intimidation hearings for next week.

As surprising as it was to find out that Waxman wanted to investigate companies merely for following the laws Congress itself had passed, this comes as an even bigger surprise. I’m actually stunned. Am I awake? Is this real life?

Surprise! We discover they didn't read the bill after all

Posted by – 4/13/10

So this…

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

…makes this all the sweeter:

As Allahpundit puts it on HotAir, “In other words, theoretically the law kicks them out of the federal health plan now in order to force them to join insurance exchanges … that don’t exist yet.”

It’s just so delicious to hear the Democrats enthusiastically lie about reading a bill that was not only humanly impossible to have read by that time but would so soon after provide them with a swift kick in the teeth. The unintended consequences of government meddling, indeed!

At some point, supporters of big government are going to have to get tired of being wrong. All. The. Time.

Where do you fall politically?

Posted by – 4/5/10

It’s always an interesting thing to see the disparity between how people label themselves and how they’d be measured against the real definitions of those various labels. (Words have real meanings, you know. Quit being so post-modern, you hippy!)

So how do you measure up? Take a quick 10 question quiz to find out! Then give your result in the poll below.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

My New Facebook Page

Posted by – 3/24/10

I’ve been hesitant to connect this blog to my personal Facebook profile because I’ve always seen Facebook as something personal (despite swarms of evidence to the contrary, I know). It was very different from MySpace in that way: I never would accept people as friends unless I’d actually gotten to know them in real life.

Then I started gaining some public traction in the world of politics, and I began to see a huge increase in the number of people who wanted to friend me on Facebook just to connect with me politically. (And to be honest, the number of event invitations, group invitations, and page invitations I receive now is absurd.) Well, this weekend I made sure that followers of my writing can follow me on Facebook and I can keep my Facebook profile separate and personal. Does that mean I’ll never post something political to my personal profile again? Of course not. But the majority of the dialogue (and I really do want it to be a dialogue) on current events, politics, philosophy, religion, etc., will take place on my new Facebook Page.

The Heartless Compassion of Big Government

Posted by – 3/21/10

Those of us on the liberty-loving side of things are often confused with the uncharitable, the enemy of those in need. It’s not so much that we hate the poor, though, as we’re disgusted by those who, against the clear advice of history, advocate passionately for the sake of their own conscience that someone else’s money should be confiscated and shoved through the gauntlet of wildly inefficient government bureaucracies with only a tiny portion left at the end for the truly needy. The poor deserve so much more than the heartless compassion of big government.

Democracy versus Republicanism

Posted by – 2/17/10

“…democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which ‘all’ decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, ‘all,’ who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom.”

- Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace.

The Tea Party and Corporate Personhood

Posted by – 2/1/10

Whoa.

Late into this morning (which was really only just a few hours ago), a friend and I were discussing the recent Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC which brought us to the topic of Corporate Personhood. “But Kevin,” you ask. “How could you even go to sleep after something that exciting?” I know. But it gets even better.

The thrust of our conversation ended in an agreement that the tradition of Corporate Personhood in America was patently ridiculous, extra-Constitutional, and destructive. It wasn’t that corporations should enjoy no protections, we concluded. We both felt that the idea of a corporation being treated like a human person, though, afforded a corporation undue advantages over individuals and even smaller companies. Besides, the legal precedent for it was shaky at best.

Then I wake up to this: Post Politics: Tea partiers should reject ‘corporate personhood’

It was actually a court reporter who, in an attempt to summarize the case Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad, coined the term. Author Thom Hartmann explains in Common Dreams: “In writing up the case’s headnote — a commentary that has no precedential status — the Court’s reporter, a former railroad president named J.C. Bancroft Davis, opened the headnote with the sentence: ‘The defendant corporations are persons within the intent of the clause in section 1 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which forbids a state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’ ”

[...]

No one is saying corporations should have no expectations of legal protection, but to assert they deserve the rights of human beings is absurd.

A corporation cannot long for a woman or love his children. A corporation cannot feel pain or remorse and doesn’t have to die. Corporations clearly are not persons in any sense of the word. If we are all truly “endowed by our Creator” with certain rights, there can be no rights for corporations.

[...]

Corporations don’t seek to influence the government to promote a libertarian utopia. They get involved with government to gain a competitive edge, either through regulation or subsidy. All the corporate money in our politics does not go to secure a free market, despite what some on the anti-corporate left will tell you. The very last thing big corporations want is a fair or free market. Big Business plays politics to secure its position and keep the little guy out.

Like I said, whoa.

I’ve never even had a discussion on Corporate Personhood before last night. I’m at this very moment checking my home for Kleinheider’s bugs.

He makes a great point in that last paragraph. A distrust in Big Government can, if one is unprincipled, lead to an inordinate trust in Big Business. Yet Big Business does not seek to play fair. It seeks to win, and will do so using whatever advantage it can get that increases the bottom line. I’ll write to expand on this later, but considering a corporation to be a person brings with it a whole slew of issues, among them that it puts corporations in a position to crowd out smaller competition and buy politicians from the local sheriff to the President himself.

I’m with Kleinheider on this, and it’s definitely an issue that crosses political lines (though that alone is never reason enough to earn my support). Tea Parties should reject the long-standing tradition of corporate personhood.

Watch this Convention: "You shall know them by their fruits."

Posted by – 1/31/10

Brooks Bayne writes a scathing review of the National Tea Party Convention scandal. He’s quite right in noting how there are no known and respected Tea Party activists involved with this convention.

The problem is, as I’ve stated many times on Twitter, the Tea Party wasn’t involved with this convention. There may have been a couple local Tea Party folks participating, but none of the real players in the movement were involved. If you’re asking how I have the inside skinny on all this, then you haven’t been paying attention to the movement over the last year.

This “convention” was about one guy, attorney Judson Phillips, and, in my opinion, his attempt at personal gain. What was he thinking? Just because Phillips was the guy who reviewed Michael Leahy’s ridiculous lawsuit filing (not ridiculous that it was filed, it needed to be. much of the substance of it, however, was ridiculous. I question Phillips’ capacity as an attorney if he greenlit that filing) against some Internet trolls last year, he’s suddenly part of the movement? Uh…I don’t think so.

He ends his post with this:

“You shall know them by their fruits.”

I suppose that’s the best way to approach this convention at this point– focus extra scrutiny on what comes out of this convention and where the money goes afterward.

Is the convention still going to happen? I certainly hope so. A lot of good, well-meaning people paid a lot of money just to hear Palin speak. I personally think that’s a giant waste of $549 plus travel expenses, but regardless, it would be much worse if this whole thing shut down and left the Phillipses walking away with a cool $300,000 in non-refundable ticket sales.

Mostly, I expect we’ll see a lot of really underwhelmed convention goers. And since I’ve personally experienced Judson’s ineptitude in event planning — for a man who merely showed up at the eleventh hour to the Tax Day Tea Party rallies in Nashville and Franklin last year, he sure has some C.O. Jones to take credit for it all — I wouldn’t be surprised if we start seeing complaints coming from convention goers themselves once this weekend gets started.

Another blow to the National Tea Party Convention

Posted by – 1/29/10

In another blow to the National Tea Party Convention, The Tea Party Express has now announced that they will no longer support the event. This comes after several waves of event sponsors and speakers pulled their support.

Phillips still claims the event is planned to provide training, networking, and inspirational speeches, but the ability to make good on that promise appears less and less likely with several speakers pulling out along with two of the sponsors who were to provide training dropping their support.

On a personal note, I should mention this: while Mr. Phillips has claimed that the press isn’t asking him for comment, absolutely every single one of the reporters I’ve spoken to has expressed frustration in their inability to get in contact with Mr. Phillips despite repeated attempts.

Judson can continue to use his tried excuse of “blame the liberals” all he wants, but he’s brought this debacle on himself. His zeal for personal gain unchecked by prudence has led him to all sorts of negligence, not the least of which includes an egregious violation of labor laws.

I suppose we’ll continue to watch this implosion to see how it all shakes down. His choices may well prove detrimental to the tea party movement, though I pray Americans see this for what it is: a movement with the purest of intentions attempting to oust the cancer that resides within. Perhaps Mr. Phillips will think about the gravity of his actions next time he attempts to assume the helm of something so much larger than himself.

Reps Blackburn and Bachmann pull out of the TPN Convention

Posted by – 1/28/10

From Post Politics, Blackburn’s out! Claude Chafin, her spokesman, released this statement:

After consulting with the Committee on Standards, Congressman Blackburn has decided not to participate in the Tea Party Nation Convention next week. Standards advised Congressman Blackburn not to participate in the event due to uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used. Convention organizers have not been clear about how those funds will be put to use. We have every indication that any profit could be put to work to advance grass roots causes and some of those uses could make the Congressman’s participation improper after the fact.

And Blackburn herself had this to say:

“I spoke to Judson Phillips this morning and let him know that I could not participate in the convention. I told him frankly that Tea Party Nation’s for-profit status has put many of his speakers in an awkward position. I remain encouraged by the outpouring of energy from constitutionally minded grassroots organizations in Tennessee and around America. These groups are not made up of Republicans or Democrats but everyday Americans who are concerned about their freedom. They know that out-of-control spending and the expansion of government ultimately limits that freedom. I share their concerns and look forward to working with them in the future.”

Only a short time later, news broke that Rep. Bachmann pulled out for the same reasons:

Due to conflicting advice on whether Congresswoman Bachmann’s participation in the upcoming Tea Party Nation Convention would be in line with the Committee on Standards, Congresswoman Bachmann has decided not to participate in the event. There is uncertainty about how any proceeds from the event may be used, and we must err on the side of caution. Some will want to portray her withdrawal as a repudiation of the Tea Party Movement, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Congresswoman Bachmann remains encouraged by all Americans, regardless of political party, who are concerned about this nation’s future and dwindling prosperity, and continues to be inspired their passion.

As of now, Palin is still scheduled to speak. For a quick background on this story, see this post at Post Politics.