Balkinization  

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why Raul Labrador Is Right to Oppose Paul Ryan's Wish for Dictatorial Powers

Sandy Levinson



Paul Ryan is apparently demanding that the House change its rule, dating back to Thomas Jefferson’s initial drafting of the rules for the House, that allows any member of the House to move at any time that the Speakership be “vacated.”  It was, apparently, the threat of such a motion by members of the Freedom Caucus that led Speaker John Boehner to quit.  Idaho Representative Raul Labrador has suggested that what was good enough for Thomas Jefferson should continue to be good enough for the House today.  He is correct.

One might envision the House as a mini-parliamentary system composed of a number of factions within the larger two-party system.  Just as in any parliament, the majority coalition of individual factions elects a leader (the Speaker of the House) who has gained (and can keep) the confidence of a majority of its membership.  So the Speaker is like the Prime Minister.  In parliamentary systems, prime ministers serve at the pleasure of the parliament.  A vote of no-confidence can be called at any time.  In some systems, a vote of no-confidence causes the government to fall and new elections to be held (or, at the very least, it will generate a process of negotiation among the various coalitions within the parliament over organizing a new government).  In Israel and Germany, those who wish to displace a sitting Chancellor must indicate in the vote whom they want as a replacement.  (This is a so-called “constructive vote” of no-confidence, designed to prevent the unseemly lack of a functioning government during a process of negotiations among coalition partners.)  

What Ryan wants is presumably what all prime ministers would love to have, tenure in office.  But this House does not, and should not, work that way.  I am no great fan of fixed terms for Presidents, which, alas, is written into the Constitution.  Perhaps there is a good reason, in the 21st century, for fixed term presidencies, though I remain to be convinced that we would not be better off with a no-confidence mechanism that would allow us to remove presidents in whom, say, 2/3 of the voting members of Congress had truly lost confidence.  But there is, I think, no good reason for fixed-term Speakers, assuming, of course, that Speakers exercise genuine power with regard, say, to bringing bills to the floor for a vote.  Paul Ryan wishes in effect to be able to dictate to the House the terms under which it will operate at least until January, 2017.  He ought not be granted his wish.  The fact that Labrador is an oft-quoted member of the Tea Party—and Gail Collins loves to have fun with his name—does not mean that those of us who do not share his general political orientation should fail to recognize that he is absolutely correct in trying to fend off this power play by Rep. Ryan.  I am no originalist, and I do not believe, therefore, that we should mindlessly follow the guidance of Thomas Jefferson or any other founder, unless we believe, on independent groups, that they in fact got it right in the first place.  Jefferson did get it right in the first place, and it is right for us today.  

UPDATE:  One of the comments notes that Ryan, should he become Speaker, will now be second in line for presidential succession behind Biden and suggested that the Succession Act could, in the future, promote a certain kind of strategic game playing if, for example, there were no VP.  That's an interesting point.  I agree with Akhil and Vik Amar that the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 is not only extremely unwise but quite likely unconstitutional (though, as a practical matter, there is no way of adjudicating the point).  One of the reasons for the unwisdom is that the skill set required of an effective Speaker is almost certainly different from the skill set one looks for in a president, especially in traumatic times likely to exist in case of succession. Perhaps the House should ask who among its members is best equipped to take the reins of the Oval Office when selecting a Speaker.  No thoughtful person would have thought that John Boehner was the asnwer; undoubtedly, some Republicans think very differently about Paul Ryan.  But I think that no sane person could believe that Daniel Webster, who I believe is still running, would make an acceptable president.
And, of course, there is the independent problem that the Speaker, as in this case, is of a very different political party from the president to whose office he would be succeeding.  That is a possibility that deserves full airing at the constitutional convention I still strongly support.  Is it a feature or a bug that Nancy Pelosi could have succeeded George Bush or Dick Cheney or that John Boehner or Paul Ryan could take over from Barack Obama or Joe Biden?



Comments:

The Presidential Succession process involving the Speaker is a significant change from the days of Thomas Jefferson. Can Jefferson's House rule result in possible gaming of the system of succession? While we have yet to have a situation where the Speaker would succeed, we should have concerns with manipulations via the Jefferson rule.
 

The realistic effect of this power is unclear.

A motion can be made but a majority has to vote to remove the speaker. If a majority is willing to so vote, they would likely find a way even if the rule granting the right to bring the motion wasn't there. If nothing else, why couldn't they just change the rule?

Ryan's apparent demand does come off as extreme. He could ask his own caucus to agree to not challenging him w/o changing the rules of the House. And, if some Democrat brings up such a motion, the Republican majority can block it. This would be the case even if a few isolated Republicans join every single Democrat, who very likely might not get every vote themselves with a few conservative Dems or those concerned about precedent.
 

1) As of this writing there's a typo in the title of the post, ""Why Raul Labrador Is Rightr..."; 2) Rather than talking about Ryan's attempt to expand his power if given the job, let us attend to the thuggery of the teabaggers, on which said attempted expansion is predicated. The frame is not, "How does Ryan protect himself from the teabaggers?" but "How much longer do any of us have to put up with these jerks?" 3) There is no room for civil discourse in the face of repeated obstructionism from the teabaggers (same for the overt GOP); they don't play nice, we needn't mince words.
 

I recall the original succession act (1792) that had today's rules (which doesn't mean it's constitutional by definition or something -- see Alien and Sedition Act) was supposedly set up that way to avoid Jefferson being third in line give the Federalists controlled Congress at the time. They should set it up so Secretary of State is third in line and if it occurs too early that a special election is held.

Don't know how Tea Leoni (secretary of state in the t.v. show) wound up being sworn in as President (Morgan Freeman played the Chief Justice swearing her in) but that's best.
 

I think Madam Secretary story lines might be more spicy if Tea's ex played her husband, more of a Tea party.
 

The NYTimes' Kevin Quealy and Carl Hulse's "Paul Ryan as Speaker: A Preview of the Fights He Will Face, in Plain English" analyzes the Freedom Caucus' "Questions [21] for Speaker Candidates." This is a lengthy read.p
I understand that apparent SPeaker-to-Be Ryan has back-tradcked on his condition of eliminating the Jefferson rule in advance, and addressing it and other matters of concern to the Freedom Caucus until after his election.

So perhaps Sandy has been successful with this post for now and can re-visit it after Ryan becomes Speaker. In the meantime, Ryan might ponder the "plain English" offered by Quealy and Hulse to see if he really wants to be Speaker, with the tail (Freedom Caucus) flogging the dog (Speaker). Why, Ryan just might shrug.
 

Ok, serious question: How can it be remotely accurate to characterize Ryan's desire to be free from motions to vacate the chair as a desire for "dictatorial power", and NOT accurate to characterize the President's categorical refusal to enforce laws he doesn't like, and affirmatively acting in violation of other laws, as dictatorial?

Can we have a uniform standard here for what's dictatorial?
 

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Brett, to really get serious, consider the dictatorial power of the House NOT to increase the debt limit and/or shut down the government and/or insufficiently funding for existing laws that the House might not like? And let's include the Senate's dictatorial power NOT to consider judicial nominations for the many, many empty positions, thus delaying those seeking justice?

 

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I think Prof. Levinson has had some overheated rhetoric but he has also voiced his concerns about Presidents having dictatorial like powers as well. So, especially (I find your phrasing a lot of editorializing but I'll not deal with that here) since the President here has already been repeated checked by a single judge -- not quite "dictatorial" -- while Ryan would avoid removal via a vote that would at least require a majority of the House, think uniformity can be shown.
 

I don't see how Ryan's proposed rule change makes much practical difference.

Has the Jefferson rule been successfully exercised during our lifetimes? At any time? The recent conservative attempt to remove Boehner went nowhere.

The Speaker already has the shortest term of any federal government office. Each congress is only two years long and the House holds an election for Speaker after every election.
 

" consider the dictatorial power of the House"

The House is a legislature, consisting of many people. As such, it can not be "dictatorial", regardless of how much you dislike its democratic choices.

Furthermore, it is officially, constitutionally, invested with the power to refuse to go along with raising the debt limit. While the President isn't constitutionally entitled to leave laws he likes unenforced, and act in contravention of other laws. In fact, he swears an oath to see the law faithfully executed.
 

Brett's:

"In fact, he [the President] swears an oath to see the law faithfully executed."

doesn't mean that if Congress fails to provide funding for enacted laws that he is to use his own funds. Available funds may have to be allocated in a manner that the President determines. Congress takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, including the supremacy clause. If the Congress, and in particular the House, fails to provide adequate funding for enacted laws, it can prevent the President from executing such laws in the exact manner prescribed by acts of Congress that have been enacted into laws pursuant to the Constitution. The President's obligation to execute is qualified by "faithfully." That can't mean to the letter under circumstances of underfunding by Congress. Yes, the Constitution permits the House to be dictatorial in the manner I previously indicated.
 

Prosecutorial discretion is not unconstitutional, especially when it is practicably impossible to enforce every single law. Presidents have to weigh everything into consideration and determine what s/he thinks is warranted by good public policy in that fashion, is "entitled" to do this. They cannot simply do what they "like" and in various ways enforce laws that they disagree with on the merits.

Also, "act in contravention of other laws" doesn't quite mean "what Brett thinks" as seen by how the courts have decided in various cases. While dealing with a range of often competing matters with no really good solution (see, e.g., the debt ceiling trilemma discussed over at Dorf on Law), the best option at times might be the least wrong. And, given the thousands of decisions, and the fact there is repeatedly reasonable doubt, presidents at times will break a law as understood by the courts and other parties. Said parties provides checks, one reason they don't really act like dictators.

Ryan is one person & "dictatorial" also can mean a sort of unchecked power that more than one person can practice. Finally, the 14A debt provision is part of "the law" and Congress has an obligation to respect it. Raising the debt limit practicably might be required there even if it wants to default on the debts.
 

(to forestall confusion, "good public policy" here assumes "within the barriers of the law" noting like Justice Robert Jackson and others there are points of "twilight" in hard cases, hard cases even if some think the points obvious)
 

Brett: "Can we have a uniform standard here for what's dictatorial?"

A dictator is an executive who rules by decree.

The Speaker of the House is not a dictator if the members of the House do not have the power to remove him or her except during regularly scheduled elections.

The House of Representatives is not dictatorial because the Constitution grants it the power of the purse.

The Senate is not dictatorial because it declines to approve a President's nominee.

A president or a bureaucracy who unconstitutionally rewrites the laws of Congress by decree is most definitely dictatorial, not exercising prosecutorial discretion.
 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) attempt at a prolonged "sillygism" should be evaluated by measuring the dick-'tater-heads Bush/Cheney Administration on its invasion of Iraq based on lies with many deaths resulting, many injuries resulting, creating a bigger Mess-o-potamia than ever (or at least for many centuries).

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], our own MRO walked in lockstep with the Bush/Cheney Administration until very close to its end when, like rats on a sinking, he took tail on flimsy grounds, immediately focusing on spewing his vileness on President-elect Obama (despite John McCain's poll numbers).

Further by the Bybee [expletives still deleted], our MRO's:

"A president or a bureaucracy who unconstitutionally rewrites the laws of Congress by decree is most definitely dictatorial, not exercising prosecutorial discretion."

ignores the Administrative State that has come about because of acts of Congress enacted into law. While our own MRO believes the Administrative State is unconstitutional, SCOTUS has not so "decreed." In fact, though, SCOTUS has from time to time "decreed" that Presidents have exceeded the bounds of the Administrative State.

Also, while "dictator" and "dictatorial" have common roots, there are differences. The Freedom Caucus is dictatorial directly with respect to the GOP House, thereby impacting the functioning of the entire House while controlled by the the GOP majority which is turn is dictated to by the few in the Freedom Caucus. See: The NYTimes' Kevin Quealy and Carl Hulse's "Paul Ryan as Speaker: A Preview of the Fights He Will Face, in Plain English" analyzes the Freedom Caucus' "Questions [21] for Speaker Candidates."

So our Dynamic Dyslexic Duo, Brat and Bert, can continue their dick-'tater-heads rants aimed at Obama while I feast on a "dis" of Hillary Panned Gowdy.
 

Shag:

Put aside Congress's unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the executive bureaucracy to write regulations. I am referring to the bureaucracy rewriting the enabling statutes themselves by decree.

A faction of Congress declining to vote with their party leadership is hardly dictatorial.
 

Our own MRO's:

"A faction of Congress declining to vote with their party leadership is hardly dictatorial."

suggests that the Freedom Caucus' 21 Qs will not be the tail that wags the Speaker? (I'm not assuming that our own MRO has actually read the 21 Qs or Quealy and Hulse's "plain English" version thereof.)

As to our own MRO's:

"I am referring to the bureaucracy rewriting the enabling statutes themselves by decree."

suggests that SCOTUS, despite control by the conservative 5, is in the bag on this. Regulations promulgated by the "bureaucracy" follow the "decrees" of Congress in its acts that are enacted into law. And the judiciary has a role when the regulations are challenged by a case or controversy by someone with standing.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], proposed regulations by the bureaucracy undergo a public comment process that at times can be quite lengthy and contentious.

 

BD: "I am referring to the bureaucracy rewriting the enabling statutes themselves by decree."

Shag: suggests that SCOTUS, despite control by the conservative 5, is in the bag on this.


Suggests? I have flat out indicted Roberts and now Kennedy for rubber stamping utterly illegal acts to avoid undermining the failing Obamacare program.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], proposed regulations by the bureaucracy undergo a public comment process that at times can be quite lengthy and contentious.

Petitioners before a dictator.
 

So our MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) is accusing SCOTUS of being in the bag. For "equivalency," does that apply to SCOTUS in Citizens United, Shelby County, and other 5-4 decisions with no dissenting by the conservative 5?

As for our MRO's:

"Petitioners before a dictator."

is this like the House's select Benghazi Committee?

But getting back to proposed regulations, appeals to the judiciary are available to objectors with standing.

 

Shag: But getting back to proposed regulations, appeals to the judiciary are available to objectors with standing.

Under ideal conditions, this would be similar to relying upon the King's courts to police the King's decrees.

Our progressive regulatory state is far worse.

The target of regulatory enforcement generally must go through the unconstitutional administrative judicial process before having access to Article III courts. Then, with the occasional libertarian/conservative exception, progressive courts generally defer to the interpretations of the bureaucracy concerning its own power to impose and the need for a regulation.
 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless one):

"Our progressive regulatory state is far worse."

if I were polite, demonstrates naivete. But it's beyond that. It's a dumb statement. He compares the Administrative State and the judiciary's role as " ... similar to relying upon the King's courts to police the King's decrees." Once again, our MRO is relying on mis-history. A reminder: our own MRO believes the late 19th century's The Gilded Age were America's best days.

Over at the NYTimes at its "Room for Debate" feature, the topic is "Paul Ryan, the 'Hastern Rule' and Democracy on the Hill" with four (4) contributions. Only Newt Gingrich is in favor of "hands off" the Hastert Rule. Our own MRO keeps on talking about dictator and dictatorial, but not democracy. (The history of ex Speakers, primarily on the GOP side, leaves a lot to be desired.)

 

Shag:

How the majority we elected to Congress decides to cast its votes for legislation is democracy at work, not in any way a dictatorship.

Progressives have their own 1984-style newspeak turning basic political terms on their head.
 

Like "Freedom Fries"? Perhaps our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) could provide examples of progressives' " ... own 1984-style newspeak turning basic political terms on their head."

So our own MRO believes the Hastert rule is democratic, even though a significant percentage* of House Republicans would vote for a bill that the Hastert Rule forbids being brought forth for a floor vote that could pass with the support of House Democrats.

*One (1) less than a majority of House Republicans.

But what if the Freedom Caucus gets its way with its 21Qs in connection with electing a new Speaker? That's a small minority of House Republicans that could act dictatorial by "democratic" means via House rules permitted by the Constitution. Maybe if members of the House Republicans had a "hands off each other" rule this Speaker brouhaha would not have surfaced.

Let me go back to our own MRO's dumb statement I addressed in my preceding comment. The American Revolution came about because of King George III as spelled out in the Declaration. Does our own MRO's declaration "Our progressive regulatory state is far worse." suggest his call for a revolution - or something worse? Or is he simple-mindedly reverting once again to hyperbole?

 

OFF TOPIC:

The NYTimes Editorial "The Law School Debt Crisis" should not be ignored at blogs of legal academics. Maybe Brian T. will come up with a post at this Blog.
 

The early Polish democratic constitution was rendered ineffective by a similar provision in their constitution that allowed any member of their congress to claim “I object” which would stop any bill from proceeding. These two words made the government Impotent much like our present situation.
 

Brett,

I think Professor Levinson used the term 'dictatorial' in relation to nothing more than the House itself, but even there I'd be happy to say it strikes me as hyperbolic. A quick google of the word dictator gains the following definition: "a ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force." Ryan would be far from that, if his party lost the very next elections he would actually cease to be Speaker. Some total power that.

Ditto for Obama. Conservatives wonderfully brag that he's been smacked down more by the courts than any other recent president and the next day call him a dictator. Incredible.


 

"courts generally defer to the interpretations of the bureaucracy concerning its own power to impose and the need for a regulation."

Of course they do, and should, considering the bureaucracy is the result of our democratically elected representatives (who could, at any time, overrule the bureaucracy).
 

As to the substance of Professor Levinson's argument, I agree. If I were in the Freedom Caucus I wouldn't accede to Ryan's demands. They've fought hard for less procedural power for the Speaker, why would they surrender that now?
 

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Mr. W:

What is the effective difference in your mind between an executive ruling by decree who seizes power by force and one who receives its power by delegation from the legislature? The Romans who coined the term "dictator" took the latter path.

Why should a court grant a bureaucracy any discretion in determining the scope of its own power when they do not grant the elected branches this discretion? Indeed, given that the bureaucracy is an unelected dictatorship without any basis in the Constitution, shouldn't the courts be applying the strictest scrutiny of the bureaucracy's decrees?
 

I think the current succession process raises various consequences but since it was around since 1792 or thereabouts, don't know about saying it is "unconstitutional" except to the degree we apply current day judgments on constitutional principles. Which is fine.

I think there is a somewhat sensible argument for the current rules since the speaker of the house in effect is the leader of the people's house, providing some degree of popular support that might not be present to the v.p. Note too that originally the v.p. was the runner-up, which makes the possibility of difference in policy a lot less of a problem going by original understanding. OTOH, the speaker of the house is chosen for reasons quite different than the President or even v.p., multiple recent ones quite credible back-up options.

So, bottom line, we should change the rules, the current rules just an accident waiting to happen. Meanwhile, on Landmark Cases on CSPAN tomorrow night -- Locher v. NY, Shag's favorite ruling other than D.C. v. Heller. The series has been pretty interesting so far and each episode plus some extras (some past segments related to each case already on the website) not shown can be accessed online after they air.

http://landmarkcases.c-span.org/

I am interested in the "dissent" book Shag referenced; also on the list, a new book on the Windsor case (Then Comes Marriage) and a book on the Notorious RBG (coming out this week).
 

"What is the effective difference in your mind between an executive ruling by decree who seizes power by force and one who receives its power by delegation from the legislature?"

You can't see the obvious difference? That's incredible. One is open to an easy political solution.

A legislature saying 'X is forbidden because it produces harm Y' is hardly a dictatorship. A legislature saying 'agency Z will determine what produces harm Y and can prohibit it' and the agency saying 'we've determined X is harmful and therefore prohibited' is likewise hardly a dictatorship. At any time the legislature can override, or a new legislature could be elected to do so.

Contrariwise, the executive who rules by force is a situation not open to an easy political solution.

"Why should a court grant a bureaucracy any discretion in determining the scope of its own power when they do not grant the elected branches this discretion?"

The Constitution grants the elected branches certain powers, the courts rightly police exercises of such power to make sure they are within that grant. But questions about agency decisions are different: they are already within the above grant, the question is instead statutory (does the agency decision comply with the statute empowering it or comply with the intelligible principle of the legislature has charged them with). So of course they defer in the second instance.

"the bureaucracy is an unelected dictatorship"

This is ridiculous hyperbole. At any time any Congress and President (in many cases just the President) could curb any federal agency policy. Some dictatorship that.


 

A reminder to our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) regarding his:

"The Romans who coined the term 'dictator' took the latter path."

of the expression "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." We are not in Rome (although our MRO may have ethnic connections thereto). Perhaps our own MRO is getting even more retrograde, going back many, many centuries prior to the 19th century's The Gilded Age (America's best days according to our own MRO). Now how democratically did things work out back in those Roman days on its path?
 

BD: "What is the effective difference in your mind between an executive ruling by decree who seizes power by force and one who receives its power by delegation from the legislature?"

Mr. W: You can't see the obvious difference? That's incredible. One is open to an easy political solution...At any time the legislature can override, or a new legislature could be elected to do so.


What would that solution be?

When the Roman Senate delegated its powers to a dictator, they set a time limit of generally 6 months because the delegation was considered a clear and present danger to the Republic. Congress places no limits on the longevity of the bureaucracy and it has been in place for over a century now.

The congressional leadership likes the bureaucracy because it does not have to vote on contested issues.

Big business captures the bureaucracy to give itself a substantial competitive advantage over small and medium business competition.

Even if Congress desired to act to reverse a regulation or even eliminate a department, progressives use the Constitution's checks and balances as well as the filibuster to protect their creation.

The only remaining remedies I can see are for the states to call a convention to amend the Constitution and bypass Congress or an armed revolution.

A legislature saying 'X is forbidden because it produces harm Y' is hardly a dictatorship.

This is known as enacting statutes and is the definition of representative democracy.

A legislature saying 'agency Z will determine what produces harm Y and can prohibit it' and the agency saying 'we've determined X is harmful and therefore prohibited' is likewise hardly a dictatorship.

An executive imposing law by decree is the definition of a dictatorship.

This is no different from the Roman Senate appointing general Z as dictator and giving him the power to do whatever is necessary to address harm Y. Except, once again, the Roman appointments were originally temporary while a bureaucracy is damn near immortal.

Contrariwise, the executive who rules by force is a situation not open to an easy political solution.

Often, a dictatorship taken by force only lasts so long as that dictator lives.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) with this:

"The only remaining remedies I can see are for the states to call a convention to amend the Constitution and bypass Congress or an armed revolution."

goes back to his Chicken Little "The sky is falling, ...." chaos mood. The convention route seems unrealistic so that leaves, for him, the latter - armed revolution. Imagine,, an armed revolution to get rid of the FDA and certain other agencies that provide public common good. A counter to that might be to revive the militia and reinstate the true meaning of the 2nd A to challenge such an armed revolution.

In reality, what this may mean is that our own MRO deep down knows the Administrative State is here to stay, not for a year, but ever and a day .... But he's got to get his hyperbole out there, relying more on the Roman days of late. (And what did Machiavelli have to say about the good old Roman days?)

 

Shag:

The progressive bureaucracy is a substantial reason why every single progressive political economy in the OECD is grinding to a halt. 170,000+ pages of federal regulations plus at least that many state and local regulations is in no manner a public common good, but rather costs the economy somewhere north of a trillion dollars wasted in compliance costs rather than expanding business, jobs and wages.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) once again displays his ignorance (inter alia) of current events, history and economics with his defense of armed revolution to eliminate the Administrative State, apparently not only in America but expanding it to "progressive" OECD nations: a world-wide armed revolution!

Indeed, the Administrative State has expanded "business, jobs and wages" and increased the health, longevity and well-being of the people. Our own MRO merely bloviates ("north of a trillion dollars wasted") with no factoring of cost/benefit analysis. This from a guy who probably has difficulty reconciling his checking account. Rather than focusing on "progressives" and his "Stop the world, I want to get off" hyperbole, he should worry more about that Glock in his jock accidentally discharging his manhood.
 

Shag: "Indeed, the Administrative State has expanded "business, jobs and wages" and increased the health, longevity and well-being of the people."

Where?

US GDP growth has slowed in cycles over the progressive era until it is crawling now in what progressives themselves are calling "secular stagnation."

The regulations which actually have a measurable effect on health are a minuscule fraction of the total mass of regulations. One of the fundamental flaws of a bureaucratic dictatorship is that the bureaucracy keeps churning out rules decades after the initial problems was solved.
 

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Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) asserts:

"One of the fundamental flaws of a bureaucratic dictatorship is that the bureaucracy keeps churning out rules decades after the initial problems [were] solved."

Solved? The Pure Food and Drug Law was enacted in 1906 and amended from time to time. Have the FDA concerns all been solved? Experience informs us that they have not. Situations arise that Congress did not specifically anticipate, leaving it to the bureaucracy to address within designated guidelines. And when guidelines did not suffice, the law was amended by Congress.

The same is true of other agencies and issues they must face on a timely basis that Congress cannot accomplish on a timely basis.

Our own MRO's "fundamental flaw" is suffering from "libertarian stagnation." Oh how he yearns for the pre-progressive late 19th century The Gilded Age, his version of America's best days, when many diseases could not be conquered or effectively controlled.


 

Shag: "Situations arise that Congress did not specifically anticipate, leaving it to the bureaucracy to address within designated guidelines. The same is true of other agencies and issues they must face on a timely basis that Congress cannot accomplish on a timely basis."

Are you really arguing that one of the advantages of the bureaucracy is speed? It takes years to enact a regulation. Congress can enact a law in weeks.

The far better alternative would be for the Congress to create bureaucracies to study problems and recommend solutions and for Congress to retain its legislative power to determine what solutions (if any) are needed.

Medicine advanced rapidly during our first century as a free market republic and we lead the world in new drug patents.
 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) confidence:

"Congress can enact a law in weeks."

ignores Congress' political dysfunction with Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate in recent years. And his:

"The far better alternative would be for the Congress to create bureaucracies to study problems and recommend solutions and for Congress to retain its legislative power to determine what solutions (if any) are needed."

is an idea that Congress hasn't really tried as an alternative. I wonder why? Might it be that partisan wrangling might be the reactions to such "recommended solutions"? Or the 2-year turnover for the entire House and 1/3rd of the Senate? Or the impact on the limited time Congressmen have to actually legislate what with spending so much time raising campaign funds for their next elections?

As to our own MRO's:

"Medicine advanced rapidly during our first century as a free market republic and we lead the world in new drug patents."

those free market advances proliferated with patent medicines and it took the FDA Act of 1906 (and amendments) as a result of progressives to get rid of many patent medicines (despite Sen. Hatch) and with progressives' stress on government research to give America its world lead in new drug patents. Our own MRO's lauding of the free market success during America's fist century is laughable.





 

"A patent (/ˈpætənt/ or /ˈpeɪtənt/) is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. An invention is a solution to a specific technological problem and is a product or a process."

Patents are things found in regulatory states like ours processed by a bureaucracy.
 

Shag:

Congress never would have enacted the vast majority of current regulations no matter what party was in the majority. See the Senate almost unanimously voting down Kyoto, but the Obama EPA imposing its requirements through regulaton. Progressives expressly created the bureaucratic dictatorship to bypass the democratic process and the People to impose their preferred policies by decree.

You should read the original writings of our progressive founding fathers, most especially Woodrow Wilson gushing about Prussian authoritarianism and demanding the Constitution give way to the Prussian "administrative state." Progressives back then were far more honest than today about their means and goals back around the turn of the last century.
 

Joe:

All government executives use a bureaucracy to administer and enforce the law. The question is whether we should grant an unelected bureaucracy the power to legislate by decree.
 

I see movie potential.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_by_Decree
 

We all know too well our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) failures , consistently, to predict the past. With this assertion:

"Congress never would have enacted the vast majority of current regulations no matter what party was in the majority.?

our own MRO attempts to prove a negative. The short answer is that Congress lacks the time and particularly the expertise, as well as other reasons I mentioned in an earlier comment, to promulgate meaningful regulations. Congress itself recognized this with its acts that became law leading to the Administrative State.

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], Republican Teddy Roosevelt was a well recognized progressive at the turn of the turn of the last century. Teddy honest, even blunt, about his goals to remedy the oligarchy of the late 19th century's The Gilded Age. Time and space limit the ability to properly review in context Germany's history in the late 19th century that Wilson wrote about before his Presidency. Suffice to say, that Germany was not like Hitler's Germany.
 

Congress definitely lacks the time to enact and rework 170,000+ pages of regulations and this is a good thing.

The government - legilslators and bureaucrats alike - lack the "expertise" to direct the economy and the result of their efforts have universally crippled OECD economies around the world. For example, progressives argue that destroying our current oil, gas and coal energy industry in favor of sharply more expensive solar and wind energy will expand economic growth and job creation. This is the broken window fallacy on steroids. Spain went further than any other OECD nation to implement this plan and the result was the most expensive power in the EU, fleeing industry and mass unemloyment. While anyone with a lick of common sense could foresee this result, the so called "experts" in the bureaucracy could not.

Bismarck's Germany was an authoritarian state and his "state socialism" that Wilson & Co. imported and renamed "progressivism" was meant to allow the government to more efficiently direct the economy and to make the citiznery dependent upon the state. During this period, the United States' free market republic was the most efficient economy in the world (passing the UK and long before passing Germany) paying the highest wages. Germans voted with their feet and fled the Vaterland for America. This is when the German branch of my family emigrated.
 

Re Joe's movie potential:

"SELF-DEFEnSE BY DECREE" might serve as a title. Instead of Sherlock and Dr. Watson, I propose a team, similar to our own Dynamic Dyslexic Duo, Brat & Bert, on a mission similar to that In "The Blues Brothers," not from God but decreed by the Bill of Rights' 2nd A, with the Duo's belief that the main purpose of the 2nd A was to empower citizens, avail them, and others, of arms to combat a misguided runaway unconstitutional government, such as one fostering the Administrative State. (An alternative title might be "HELL'R HIGH WATER" with more of a biblical motif.) The adventures of the Duo would begin in America and extend to other OECD nations. Along the way, our Duo would attract 2nd A absolutist advocates seeking to bring down such a government.

Wait a minute! Wasn't this done before in Cervantes' novel "Don Quixote" featuring a then dynamic duo of Don Quixote and his friend Sancho with their tilting (jousting) at windmills.

But then again, we might turn our drama into a comedy with our Duo encountering a wind farm in battle.

That's as far as I can go for now. Wanna-be screenwriters should feel free to use, as commons, this pitch as they see fit, royalty-free.
 

Bart, I think you're missing what should be rather obvious here.

Sure, a delegation of unchecked power would be a bad thing. But of course a non-delegated exercise of unchecked power is a bad thing. A legislature that can make anything it wants illegal, totally unchecked by democratic or constitutional checks is as bad as an agency that has been authorized by a legislature to do the same. It's not the delegation that makes it bad, it's that it's unchecked.

And here is where you falter, because you've even conceded to me in the past, as you must, that if the Congress and President wanted to they could totally check each and every agency tomorrow. The fact that they don't do what you want is no indicator of dictatorship.
 

Mr. W:

Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

I deal with the world as it is.

For the reasons I noted above, the system is rigged so Congress does not reverse the bureaucracy and has not for over a century now.
 

Our own MRO's:

"I deal with the world as it is."

calls, screams for a cue to BB.
 

Take a peek at Eric Posner's Slate column "Is America Heading Toward Dictatorship?" A link is available at Eric Posner's blog. We know what our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) believes is the answer. And since he he deals "with the world as it is" sees this resolved only by armed revolution as Congress is rigged, making the alternative of a constitutional convention unreal.
 

Shag:

Posner offers a poor argument - because the executive has increasingly ruled by decree over the past century and because democracy had not completely vanished, we cannot call current decrees a dictatorship.

My response:

A dictator is simply an executive who imposes law by decree and the President and the bureaucracy now issue most law by decree.

The United States first imposed a dictatorship by creating an unelected bureaucracy issuing regulations by decree. The bureaucracy now imposes the vast majority of federal law and the Federal Register of regulations dwarfs the US Code of laws of Congress.

The dictatorship expanded again when President Clinton vetoed an appropriations bill because it did not spend as much money as he preferred and unconstitutionally spent unappropriated money on the programs he pleased, effectively seizing Congress's power of the purse.

The dictatorship recently expanded to a new extreme when the courts rubber stamped the president and the bureaucracy rewriting laws of Congress by decree - Obamacare, the immigration laws and the Clean Air Act being the most noteworthy examples.

Yes, Mr. Posner, the United States federal government is partially and arguably mostly a dictatorship.

 

Can we expect our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) to start his armed revolution soon? He concludes:

"Yes, Mr. Posner, the United States federal government is partially and arguably mostly a dictatorship."

which seems to include some hedging. Note that our own MRO specifically mentions Presidents Clinton and Obama, skipping over the disastrous 8 years of the Bush/Cheney Administration that included, inter alia, outright lies to justify invading Iraq, a truly dictatorial act. (Likewise, our own MRO overlooked Saint Ronnie Reagan's Iran/Contra misdeeds.) So it's obviously all political with our own MRO.

Meantime, did Speaker Bo(eh)ner just save Speaker-to-be-or-not-to-be R/AYN so that the latter can just shrug to the Freedom Caucus?

 

Shag:

The Democrats have introduced all the new forms of progressive dictatorship. The GOP governments are generally status quo, sometimes slightly slowing (Reagan) and sometimes slightly expanding (Nixon & Bush 43) the bureaucracy.

BTW, the Bushes are the only ones to obtain declarations of war from Congress since FDR. There are far better examples of GOP expansions of executive dictatorship like Nixon teaming up with the Democrats to give us the EPA.
 

What I find interesting is how much Bart seems to have in common with Far Left thinkers such as Marxists. They often argue that while 'technically' this or that could happen, the fact that it doesn't isn't just a rejection of their preferences for how society should be ordered, no, it is instead evidence of some deeply rooted, sub-structural, institutional webs that bind our society. Likewise Bart has to admit that what he calls a 'dictatorship' of federal agencies is one which could be totally reversed tomorrow morning if the people's regularly elected representatives, the President and Congress, wanted to, but the fact that it doesn't happen is not proof to Bart that he's just out of step with what Americans want, it's proof of deeply rooted, sub-structural, institutional webs that bind our society.
 

"The Democrats have introduced all the new forms of progressive dictatorship. "

How recent are you talking about? You're not counting T.R., Eisenhower, Nixon?

"ometimes slightly slowing (Reagan) "

And is the DOD not a bureaucracy? It's the largest employer of federal employees.



As far as quite recently, does the DHS not count? What about the NSA spying program?
 

Mr. W,

You are confusing our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) with actual FACTS while he deals in "friction." But you didn't mention FEMA and newly-to-be-procalimed Saint George W.'s "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job" after Katrina.

Query: But for Watergate, would Nixon have achieved Republican Sainthood?
 

Mr. W: "Bart has to admit that what he calls a 'dictatorship' of federal agencies is one which could be totally reversed tomorrow morning if the people's regularly elected representatives, the President and Congress, wanted to"

Your argument that the elected branches could reverse the bureaucratic dictatorship if they wanted does not change the present reality of that dictatorship. Until the elected branches reverse the bureaucratic dictatorship, by definition, it continues to exist.

When EPA decreed regulations capping CO2 emissions by power plants, the fact that the President and Congress could reverse this decree if they wanted to does not change the reality of this decree costing billions of dollars in capital and rate costs to consumers and destroying thousands of coal jobs.

The Roman Senate nominally had the power to stop the Caesars, but never used it, and the Roman Republic turned into the Roman Empire.

BD: "The Democrats have introduced all the new forms of progressive dictatorship."

Mr. W: "How recent are you talking about? You're not counting T.R., Eisenhower, Nixon?"


There was some railroad rate regulation before, but the regulatory bureaucracy was primarily imposed by Wilson and especially FDR.

Clinton seized a measure of the power of the purse with the tactic of vetoing Congress's appropriations and then spending tax revenues on the programs he preferred.

Initially, the bureaucracy worked within Congress's general delegations of its legislative power. Obama and his bureaucracy broke new ground by rewriting the enabling laws of Congress to appropriate money (extending Obamacare subsidies to the federal exchange and providing welfare state benefits to illegal aliens) and to change requirements and deadlines of the law.

GOP presidents would sometimes slow or expand the bureaucracy, but they never broke new ground in seizing additional powers of Congress.

BD: "sometimes slightly slowing (Reagan) "

Mr. W: And is the DOD not a bureaucracy? As far as quite recently, does the DHS not count? What about the NSA spying program?


We are discussing the regulatory bureaucracy decreeing law, not the bureaucracy operating the departments of national security. DoD does not decree law.




 

"Your argument that the elected branches could reverse the bureaucratic dictatorship if they wanted does not change the present reality of that dictatorship. Until the elected branches reverse the bureaucratic dictatorship, by definition, it continues to exist."

That's laughable. The bureaucracy is powerless before the people's representatives, but until or unless the people's representatives do to the bureaucracy what Bart DePalma wants done to it, it demonstrates thee bureaucracy is a dictatorship. Nothing more clearly shows that it's you that's dictatorially inclined. The people's representatives could reverse the entire bureaucracy tomorrow if they wanted, the fact that they don't want to doesn't prove anything about the power of the bureaucracy.
 

"There was some railroad rate regulation before, but the regulatory bureaucracy was primarily imposed by Wilson and especially FDR. "

I could have sworn the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act, to think of two off my head, were signed by T.R.

"Obama and his bureaucracy broke new ground by rewriting the enabling laws"

There's a long history of President's agencies 're-interpreting' provisions of laws in ways different than their predecessors, and a long history of courts sometimes finding that such 're-interpretations' are reasonably within the general delegations and sometimes finding they are not and striking them down. I remember the previous administration's fairly sorry record before the courts in attempting to 're-interpret' environmental laws. Nothing new here.
 

Mr. W: "The bureaucracy is powerless before the people's representatives"

The Roman dictators were nominally powerless before the Roman Senate.

Hitler was nominally powerless before the German Reichstag.

Napoleon was nominally powerless before the French Directory.

Etc, etc.

When the legislature cedes its powers to an executive, that executive is far closer to all powerful than powerless.

This is how republics turn into dictatorships.


 

Mr. W for some time engaged with BP but recently some line was crossed and finds him "laughable" repeatedly. Lose Mr. W. is like losing a swing justice. Having him repeatedly finding you laughable is like losing someone on your "side" on the Court.
 

Joe:

Swing justices are invariably those who seek to change the law (or in the case of Mr. W, reality) to suit their personal preferences. See O'Connor, Kennedy and now Roberts. This is not a compliment.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) with this:

"The Roman dictators ....

"Hitler ....

"Napoleon ....

"Etc, etc."

seems to have learned techniques from GOP candidate Ben Carson's campaign, and they both are laughable.
 

Notice that under Bart's thinking about this there would no way to distinguish between the people and their representatives keeping bureaucracies in action because that's what they both wanted and a situation where the former were really 'unable' to do otherwise. Both are really dictatorships to Bart, because both involve the government doing something Bart doesn't like, and that's his criteria of dictatorship.

 

another problematic flag is when what one "doesn't like" is deemed to be the true determinative of one's position (often used in constitutional debates) not an objective application of some principle
 

Query: Prior to the Reconstruction Amendments, at least in the slave states, were slaves subjects of an American dictatorship? And even after such Amendments, were former slaves and their progeny subject s of an American dictatorship in the enforcement of Jim Crow laws?
 

Shaq, it appears that it's not tyranny (in the sense of oppressive rule) that bothers Bart, it's simply delegation. What he seems to think was wrong with Roman dictators was not their unaccountability, not their unchecked powers, not their tendency later to go beyond their mandate, but the fact that they were delegated. After all, the bureaucracy that he equates them to is not unaccountable or unchecked, just the recipient of delegated powers.

It's pretty incredible. Imagine a body elected by the people, but which is not accountable afterwards in any way (let's say it's a lifetime election) and which has no checks, such as constitutional, on it's powers. It goes on to make laws about X, Y, Z, whatever floats its fancy. That wouldn't seem to bother Bart given his discussion here. On the other hand, if there were a group of regularly accountable legislators who delegated the exercise of their power to an executive, while retaining the power to take back or alter the delegation, and in which the exercise was subject to constitutional checks enforced by the courts, it is *that* which Bart would decry as dictatorship. As my example illustrates, it's not the mere delegation, by itself, that is meaningful in any way. It's the unaccountable and unchecked exercise of power, whatever form that may take, whether it was established by initial election, by force or delegation, that is bad.
 

Mista Whiskas said...Notice that under Bart's thinking about this there would no way to distinguish between the people and their representatives keeping bureaucracies in action because that's what they both wanted and a situation where the former were really 'unable' to do otherwise.

Really?!? Find me a single poll where the electorate wants to help keep the bureaucracies in action.

A supermajority of the people distrust the government.

http://www.people-press.org/2014/11/13/public-trust-in-government/

Only 17% of likely voters believe that the government operates with the consent of the governed.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/august_2011/new_low_17_say_u_s_government_has_consent_of_the_governed

A near majority believe the government is an immediate threat to their freedom and the leading reason for that belief is that the government imposes too many laws.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/185720/half-continue-say-gov-immediate-threat.aspx

Democrat pollster Pat Cadell described the polling numbers concerning the government over the past few years as "pre-revolutionary."

That "pre-revolutionary" sentiment caused voters to fire over 1,000 Democrats and replace them with Republicans who universally campaigned against the bureaucracy and welfare state. This is the biggest voter repudiation of a party and their ideology since 1930-1932.

So what is preventing the new Congress and the old President from acting to reverse the expansion of government as the voters are demanding?

While Bill Clinton tacked right with the prevailing electoral winds after losing Congress in 1994, Obama is an authoritarian, does not give a damn what you think and does not have to face the voters again. The check of Obama's veto alone is enough to keep Congress reversing the increasingly lawless decrees of the bureaucracy.

The congressional leadership/establishment of both parties are more than content to avoid have votes on controversial issue by delegating their authority and responsibility to a faceless bureaucracy which never has to run for re-election. This bipartisan establishment will hold show votes for the voters at home and then proceed to fully fund our progressive bureaucracy and welfare state. When a majority of the GOP caucus insists on acting in some way to reverse progressive government as their constituents are demanding, a GOP establishment minority will team up with the Democrat minority to protect the status quo.

The big businesses who fund the parties generally have no problem with the bureaucracy because they capture it, carve out exceptions for themselves and then enjoy a competitive advantage as this burden full falls on and increasingly destroys smaller competitors and potential market entrants.

https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/The%20Impact%20of%20Regulatory%20Costs%20on%20Small%20Firms%20(Full).pdf

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390444184704577588872840133362

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-small-business/wp/2015/02/12/the-decline-of-american-entrepreneurship-in-five-charts/

In short, a corrupt alliance of the party establishments and big business are abusing the Constitution's checks and balances to thwart the will of the voters.
 

This from the closing paragraph of Posner's Slate column:

"The real source of anxiety is the inability of an even very powerful president to solve any of these problems. But since it’s easier to blame someone than to acknowledge that some problems are insoluble, anxiety about the state of the world has been transmuted into anxiety about the institutional structure of government. This may be why people complain about presidential power when their party does not hold the presidency but do nothing to curtail it when given the chance."

Posner's column is basically non-political. (The column is photoshopped with a picture of George W. and Obama H. dressed as dictators.) Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) read it, if he actually did read it in its entirety, in a strictly partisan way, as demonstrated by his comments.

 

"Find me a single poll where the electorate wants to help keep the bureaucracies in action. "

No, you show us a single poll that says that the electorate wants to end the major administrative agencies of which you complain. Not a poll where people say they don't like or trust "government." Not even a poll where people say they want this or that specific action by an agency curbed or limited. Where is this desire to end the administrative state manifested? Is there a single poll to this effect?

I don't see any will for this electorally either. Has the GOP run on this nationally, ever? The last GOP Presidential nominee said "Regulation is essential." Ronald Reagan famously said he wanted to undo the Great Society, but not the New Deal. There was no "universal campaigning against the bureaucracy and welfare state" as you put it, there was, at the most conservative edges, some talk about getting rid of several federal Departments, curbing some federal bureaucracy, but certainly no statements about ending federal delegated agency authority by even a majority of GOP candidates that I can think of.

"That "pre-revolutionary" sentiment caused voters to fire over 1,000 Democrats and replace them with Republicans who universally campaigned against the bureaucracy and welfare state. "

And then two years later re-elected President Obama!

"When a majority of the GOP caucus insists on acting in some way to reverse progressive government as their constituents are demanding, a GOP establishment minority will team up with the Democrat minority to protect the status quo."

And there you have it: you don't get your way not because of a dictatorial bureaucracy, but because it's a minority view among our duly elected representatives. And of course, as you've said here several times, we weren't talking about ending federal bureaucracy, just cutting government down to the size it was a decade or two ago (which was still huge).


 

Mr. W: No, you show us a single poll that says that the electorate wants to end the major administrative agencies of which you complain.

The Democrat media does not poll the elimination of federal agencies because they cannot even conceive of such a policy.

In any case, the existence of the bureaucracy is not at issue, but rather Congress's delegation of legislative and judicial power to the bureaucracy. The remedy for our bureaucratic dictatorship is to reverse the delegations and limit the bureaucracy to recommending regulation to Congress and enforcing what Congress enacts.

I don't see any will for this electorally either. Has the GOP run on this nationally, ever?

You need to actually follow GOP campaigns. The GOP continuously runs against the generic bureaucracy and has been running hard specifically against the Obamacare and EPA bureaucracies. Out here in the Rocky Mountain west where the government owns half or more of the land, they also run against Interior and BLM.

BD: "That "pre-revolutionary" sentiment caused voters to fire over 1,000 Democrats and replace them with Republicans who universally campaigned against the bureaucracy and welfare state. "

Mr. W: And then two years later re-elected President Obama!


The GOP ran a progressive hedge fund manager who signed off on the dry run for Obamacare in MA. The white working class who fired the Democrats at every other level of government stayed home by the millions rather than vote for either Obama or Romney. Even then, Obama won by turning out the vote in a minority of congressional districts and lost everywhere else.

In the context of the bureaucracy, the Democrats very intentionally delayed the imposition of Obamacare and tens of thousands of pages of new regulations until after the 2012 election and Obama continued to comprehensively lie about Obamacare and his coming regulatory tidal wave. If a business had done this selling a service to consumers, the CEO would be in prison for consumer fraud (unless, of course, he paid Team Obama for a get out of jail free card with Justice).

 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) scattershots miss relevant targets. He must be having trouble with his Glock in his jock.

He closes his last comment with:

" ... the CEO would be in prison for consumer fraud (unless, of course, he paid Team Obama for a get out of jail free card with Justice)."

This goes beyond innuendo and our own MRO as a lawyer should know better than to suggest this.

Then he shows, once again, his true colors, with this:

"The white working class who fired the Democrats at every other level of government stayed home by the millions rather than vote for either Obama or Romney."

Is he suggesting that class couldn't tell the difference between these candidates? Was it Romney's 47% that turned off this class? Is our own MRO suggesting that Obama's re-election was brought about by the failure of this class to vote?

And then there's this:

"The Democrat media does not poll the elimination of federal agencies because they cannot even conceive of such a policy."

Don't the Republicans have pollsters? As to the media, what about the WSJ polling?

Look what happened to GOP candidate Rick Perry in 2012 about shutting dow 3 agencies, one of which he couldn't remember. Maybe he didn't have his glasses on.

But I do note that our own MRO has calmed down a bit in his exchanges with Mr. W by not referring to his earlier "armed revolution" solution.

And note this from our own MRO's close of his penultimate [still my favorite word] comment:

"In short, a corrupt alliance of the party establishments and big business are abusing the Constitution's checks and balances to thwart the will of the voters."

Does this include the Koch Bros. and the rest of the 158 families providing the bulk of campaign funds presently? I agree that there is constitutional abuse - Citizens United - benefitting such campaign funding.

Now that's a little of my own scattershot that hits some bulls eyes unlike our own MRO scattershot bulls**t.



 

"The Democrat media does not poll the elimination of federal agencies because they cannot even conceive of such a policy."

There are GOP friendly pollsters (Rasmussen) and media (Fox), so that doesn't wash. You just cannot provide a poll to support your claim. Noted.

"n any case, the existence of the bureaucracy is not at issue, but rather Congress's delegation of legislative and judicial power to the bureaucracy."

You cannot provide a poll showing a majority of Americans believe this.

"The GOP continuously runs against the generic bureaucracy and has been running hard specifically against the Obamacare and EPA bureaucracies."

Again, I asked you for evidence that a majority of GOP candidates run against what you claim is the problem: delegation to federal executive agencies. Not generic weighing in against 'bureaucracy' or a handful of federal agencies. It would seem that the 'the elimination of federal agencies' to use your words is inconceivable to most of them as well.

"The GOP ran a progressive hedge fund manager who signed off on the dry run for Obamacare in MA" yada, yada, yada

This is your attempt to handwave away the critical fact that smack dab in the middle of the time period in which you claim most Americans reject bureaucracy and federal agency power a majority of Americans chose as President the very person you yourself claim is the most enthusiastic proponent of the same. What's worse, your own party nominated someone who said famously 'regulation is essential.' Again, these are Titanic sized holes in the ship of your theory that a majority of Americans want the elimination of these federal agencies and their power. It seems not even a majority of your GOP voters felt this way!

"Obama won by turning out the vote in a minority of congressional districts and lost everywhere else."

This is the most hilarious way of spinning 'the side I claimed was more popular had less people in it!' I've ever seen.

But it does get at something. IF one were predisposed to engage in hyperbole about dictators and tyrants, about governments ruling contrary to the majority, one might note, with much more support than your baseless and unsupported contentions, that in 2012 and 2014 more people cast their votes for a Democrat for Congress than for a Republican. It was due to gerrymandering that Congress remained GOP. The will of the people is not being thwarted by federal agencies, but by the drawing of district lines to produce results inconsistent with the foundational principle of democracy, majority rule.
 

The third GOP 2016 presidential Clown Limo debate is scheduled tonight in Boulder, in the Mile High State (of mind) where our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) resides. I don't know if he'll he attending this "mile deep" debate but he might like to see the issue of the Administrative State with the President as dictator addressed. For example, under the Constitution the Executive is to "faithfully execute" the laws. Federal laws impose significant criminal penalties involving Ganja, which contributes to the Mile High State's revenues with its approval via federalism for its recreational use. But the Obama Administration is not enforcing such federal laws in the Mile High (and getting Higher) State. Is Obama acting as a dictator in not enforcing such federal anti-Ganja laws, keeping in mind the Constitution's Supremacy Clause? Now I understand our own MRO may have a "cornflake of interest" (H/T Walt Kelly's Pogo) in connection with his law practice DUI specialty. But this could be the high point of the debate and revive this thread.
 

Mr. W:

Polls

Pollsters do not poll causation (congressional delegation of legislative power), they poll approval/disapproval of results from general questions about trust and whether the government implements the will of the people to specifics like Obamacare. Pluralities to supermajorities voice disapproval of our bureaucratic dictatorship. You have not offered a contrary poll because none exist. The very word bureaucracy is an epithet to most Americans.

Elections as Referendums

Once again, from 2008 to 2012, Obama comprehensively lied about EVERY important element of what his bureaucracy would unleash on the American people starting in 2013. Romney is a progressive and did not call Obama on his lies concerning the bureaucracy. As the man who signed off on Obamacare senior in MA, Romney was hardly in a position to take Obama to task on this monstrosity even if he wanted. Thus, you can hardly call the 2012 election a referendum on our bureaucratic dictatorship.

The first election following the unleashing of Obamacare and the tidal wave of other regulations was 2014. The voters fired the Democrat Senate, fired even more Democrat House members and fired about 400 state level Democrats.

If you Democrats nominate Sanders and my Republicans nominate Cruz, we might have our first honest presidential debate on the subject.


 

These poll numbers are GREAT news for John McCain!!!
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) provides a "Dah?" moment with his:

"Pollsters do not poll causation .... "

perhaps for reasons discussed in Wesleyan U.'s "Causality" available at:

http://govthesis.site.wesleyan.edu/research/causality/

Causality determinations required considered thought and analysis in an objective manner, skills that our own MRO lacks. Polls are fine with our own MRO if he agrees with them, even when wrong, as BB is kind enough to remind us from time to time.

And is our own MRO's reference to Cruz in his close a tad of a tic of his favorite Clown?
 

"You have not offered a contrary poll because none exist."

No, you have not offered a single poll to back up your assertion that most Americans oppose having federal agencies with delegated powers from Congress. Not one. You yourself have noted in this very conversation that 'bureaucracy' and what we are talking about are not the same thing. So polls about that don't fit the bill. And polls denouncing 'government' don't. And polls about a specific exercise of delegated powers or even a specific agency don't. You haven't offered any evidence for your assertion.

But on the other hand we have good reason to doubt it. Our system is designed to slowly respond to supermajority will, but it is designed to respond. And yet not only has there been no significant rollback or rebuke of this practice, both candidates of the major parties made statements affirming how the exercise of this power is, in the words of one, essential.
 

Environmentally, the GOP presidential Clown Limo debate in Boulder, CO raised the CO2 levels beyond the Mile High State (of mind) levels from recreational Ganja.

Query: Did anyone note any debate discussion of "dictator" President Obama's failure to "faithfully execute" federal anti-Ganja laws in CO with its recreational use law? Or did that issue go up in smoke?
 

The Legal History Blog has a post on "The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945–1975," by Michael Schudson, Let's hear the applause for progressives.
 

Shag: "Query: Did anyone note any debate discussion of "dictator" President Obama's failure to "faithfully execute" federal anti-Ganja laws in CO with its recreational use law? Or did that issue go up in smoke?"

Despite Scalia's career worst opinion to the contrary, the Constitution does not grant the federal government the power to the regulate instate marijuana trade.

In any case, the Feds are enforcing federal prohibitions on marijuana on federal lands here in CO, which is a large part of our state.

As for the debate, the clown car of Democrat moderators from CNBC playing gotchya games provided the perfect foil for Cruz and Rubio. You could almost call their cringe worthy effort an in kind donation to the Cruz campaign.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/10/28/luntz_focus_group_cruzs_dont_trust_the_media_line_went_through_the_roof_cnbc_should_be_ashamed.html
 

Our own MRO's (Nacro 'Rhoidless One):

"In any case, the Feds are enforcing federal prohibitions on marijuana on federal lands here in CO, which is a large part of our state."

seems to suggest that in his view residents of the Mile High State (of mind) are limited significantly as to where they can enjoy recreational Ganja. What a hardship.

Our own MRO's first sentence about Scalia needs clarification. I'll be attending the liberal lunch (some progressives) today and look forward to clarification upon my return later this afternoon. Also, I can then address the weaselly non-responses of Ted and "Macro."
 

Shag:

The Scalia concurrence in Raich. Awful.
 

As for the debate, the clown car of Democrat moderators from CNBC playing gotchya games provided the perfect foil for Cruz and Rubio. You could almost call their cringe worthy effort an in kind donation to the Cruz campaign.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:32 AM


The GOP candidates appear to believe that their supporters are imbeciles.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/123280/gops-grotesque-festival-lies

Sadly, they also appear to be correct.
 

Do liberal lunches have broccoli on the menu?


 

BB:

The current tax code is so progressively punitive, with the top 20% of earners paying about 70% of federal taxes (far in excess of their share of national income) and the middle 60% of earners paying about 28% of the taxes (an amount far lower than their share of income), that any sort of equitable tax reform is going to disproportionately return money to the top 20%.

What the GOP candidates need to do to counter Democrat class warfare is to sell their plans on their own equitable merits.

Cruz is doing this well by noting that, under his fault tax plan, you pay no taxes on your basic living expenses and everyone pays the same share of their disposable income. Playing off the Obama lie that Romney paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, Cruz is arguing that his plan will prevent this from happening.
 

Joe said...Do liberal lunches have broccoli on the menu?.

Government dietary rules, like the rest of the law, are for the little people.
 

The current tax code is so progressively punitive
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 3:16 PM


It's so progressively punitive that wealth inequality in the US is the worst of any of the developed countries. And you want to make it worse still.
 

I note Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) clarification of Raich/Scalia. Apparently our own MRO suffers, as does Brett, from chronic "Wickburn." Randy Barnell, arch libertarian/conservative/New Originalist, thought he would be cured of his chronic case of "Wickburn." Sadly , the original originalist on the Court (post-CH Taney) decline to provide salve for Barnett. Since then Barnet seems to be a "before" picture for Pepto-Bismal..

If the broccoli were offered, I would gladly imbibe in "tribute" to George H. W. Bush for spawning upon us Bumbro (with the aid of SCOTUS) and now the flailing Dumberbro. The later's campaign seeks to revise history for the Bush/Cheney Administration. As to our own MRO, perhaps if he followed these dietary rules he would have lead in his pencil (and someone to write to).

As to our own MRO's tax analysis, note he avoids the percentage of net income paid in taxes.

Our own MRO seems to have his favorite dynamic dyslexic duo among the 2016 GOP presidential candidates: ""Macho & Macro" or vice versa.
 

Shag:

I previously provided you with a link to the CBO's analysis of 2011 federal tax burden. Here it is again.

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/49440

I would note that the federal tax code became even more progressively punitive after 2011 when Obama's half millionaire and Obamacare taxes went into effect. CBO has not done a similar analysis since these new tax increases.
 

Randy Barnett, who argued for the losing side in Raich, was one of the two people discussing Lochner v. NY on C-SPAN this week: http://landmarkcases.c-span.org/Case/4/Lochner-v-New-York

Raich was a somewhat reassuring case - the primary authors of the majority/dissenting opinions in effect voted against their policy choices. Stevens at least is on record thinking the law bad & recall O'Connor at least leaning the other way.

Various liberals agree with Stevens there & me personally think it is at least a hard sell given the role interstate and international marijuana market. Medicinal marijuana is a major business and has clear interstate effects. I think the liberty interest in health stronger but at this point it is probably a matter of policy discretion. The one opening there is that the current law allows agency review on the dangers of marijuana and currently scheduling is probably arbitrary there.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) thinks he is clever with this:


"I would note that the federal tax code became even more progressively punitive after 2011 when Obama's half millionaire and Obamacare taxes went into effect. CBO has not done a similar analysis since these new tax increases."

Alas, he seems to have forgotten about the two Bush/Cheny tax cuts, the first in 2001 shortly after SCOTUS (5-4) "elected" them, wasting the Clinton surplus and then increasing the deficit with 2 unapaid wars, deregulation, etc, etc resulting in the Bush/Cheney 2007-8 Great Recession dumped on President Obama. Only a bit of these tax cuts were increased by Obama, most of the Bush/Cheney tax cuts being renewed. The appropriate comparison would be the tax rates pre-Bush/Cheney tax cuts and who got the primary benefits of the Bush/Cheney tax cuts. Consider the net after tax of the wealthy by percentage to compare with the middle class and the poor. The Bush/Cheney tax cuts favored unearned income over earned income. So our own MRO's use of "progressively punitive after 2011" is misleading as it ignores the Bush/Cheney two tax cuts.

 

Shag:

The Clinton/Gingrich surplus disappeared with the 2000-2001 near recession.

The 2001 Bush "rebates" (micro-welfare payments) were not tax rate cuts. I agree with you that they were a complete waste of money just like the 2009 Obama "rebates." However, that was all the Democrats would agree to at the time.

I also agree that Bush never should have enacted Medicare Part D.

Bush did not deregulate a thing. In fact, he signed of on the Democrat Sarbanes Oxley bill INCREASING regulation of the banks and imposing the moronic mark to market accounting rule which helped plunge the financial system into a panic during the Summer of 2008.

This is what you get when you elect a progressive establishment Republican.

Bush partly redeemed himself with the 2003 tax rate cuts, which caused the economy to take off, employment to go up and tax revenues to surge by double digits. Those additional revenues more than paid for the Afghan and Iraq Wars.

The Bush tax rate cuts were across the board and did not make the tax code more progressively punitive.
 

Fact-checkers exposed many of the GOP presidential Clown Limo debaters as liars, some as barefaced liars, in the course of yesterday's debate. Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless) One) with his last comment runs that gamut.

Note it was the "Clinton/Gingrich surplus." Was Newt still around after being caughtdoing what Republican Speakers did in the 1990s?

And George W. was a progressive?

And our own MRO seems to be attempting to show thatdeficits did not grow during the 8 years of Bush/Cheney and even a hint that the 2007-8 Bush/Cheney Great Recession was not their fault.

Of course our own MRO's hysterical revisionism results from his having walked in lockstep with the Bush/Cheney Administration over its 8 years. (Just go back into the Archives of this Blog for his comments during those 8 years.) Our own MRO is a "hair-faced" prevaricator.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag: And George W. was a progressive?

Let me list the ways...Adopted the Democrat rebate idea, Medicare Part D, NCLB with Teddy Kennedy, increased spending from 19% to 21% of GDP, signed off on Sarbanes Oxley, and TARP (which he passed with Democrat votes).

Just like his daddy, Bush governed to the left of 1994-2000 Clinton.

The 2003 tax reform was Bush's only non-progressive and successful domestic policy.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) is obviously backtracking from his former lockstep dance with the BushCheney Administration over its 8 years. Perhaps he may go back into the Archives of this Blog to delete the heavy evidence of his lockstepping. It seems obvious that our own MrO is not enamored with JEB!?, looking perhaps to Cruz ("Macho") and Rubio ("Macro"), both products of the Tea Party. So he feels compelled to come up with prevarications of George W. after 8 years of fawning. Deforesration of our own MRO's CO would result from awarding him all those Pinocchios for his continuing prevarications.
 

Shag:

Our debates here during the Bush administration largely concerned foreign policy, the President's powers as CiC and the statutory definition of torture.

On that subject, I found amusing Deborah Pearlstein's recent tiptoeing around the subject of separation of powers and the decision where to detain enemy combatants. After the professors here argued continuously that Congress could override Bush's Article II CiC power, Pearlstein attempts to square that belief with her desire for Mr. Obama to import the Gitmo detainees and ends up suggesting that Obama simply violate the law (again) because Congress won't do anything to enforce the law anyway.

The far better argument than to recommend continued Obama lawlessness is to recognize that the President exercises plenary CiC power under Article II apart from the powers expressly granted to Congress by Article I and deciding where to detain enemy combatants is a plenary presidential power.
 

Our "debates" here during the Bush/Cheney years went beyond foreign policy. But how successful was the Bush/Cheney foreign policy that our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) lockstepped into? Our own MRO's amusement with a recent post makes it apear that our own MRO is doubling down on the Bush/Cheney foreign policy that has created the mess in Mess-o-potamia that continues today..

But back to the recent 2016 GOP presidential Clown Limo de-bait, David Brooks in his NYTimes column today elevates Macro Rubio brushing aside the impacts of his tax and other policy proposals relying upon Macro's character.

Paul Krugman to the rescue at his NYTimes Blog post in response with "Policy and Character" as a must read anti-acid remedy.
 

Shag:

Bush routed al Qaeda in Iraq and won the Iraq War. Obama himself claimed Bush's victory in Iraq. Instead of securing that victory, Obama pulled out as quickly as possible. AQI reconstituted as ISIS and reinvaded Iraq.

Furthermore, Bush left Obama an Afghanistan where the elected government controlled every town and city. Obama apparently learned his lesson from losing a third of Iraq to ISIS and is keeping a residual force in Afghanistan.

During the Obama administration, al Qaeda exploited the Arab Spring to spread across North Africa and the Middle East. Obama actually helped them in Libya and did nothing for years in places like Syria and Iraq. The Russians have now moved in militarily and leaders across the Middle East are going to Moscow instead of Washington.

When asked to choose between the Bush and Obama/Clinton foreign policies, the results speak for themselves.

 

Bush routed al Qaeda in Iraq and won the Iraq War.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:54 AM


Only on planet Nutcase. Here on planet Earth Bush invited Al Qaeda into Iraq and started the path towards the disaster that we're currently seeing.
 

The Russians have now moved in militarily and leaders across the Middle East are going to Moscow instead of Washington.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 9:54 AM


Which worked out so very well for the Russians in Afghanistan. What could possibly go wrong?
 

And of course our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) continues to ignore the Bush/Cheney WMD and other lies used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. How many deaths/injuries resulted from such lies? And look at the mess left by Bush/Cheney in Mess-o-potamia that continues today. Our MRO's prevarications torture the truth. Does our own MRO buy into JEB!?'s "My bro kept us safe" claim?
 

BB:

Al Qaeda was in Iraq before the war under the name Ansar al Islam recruiting for al Qaeda units in Afghanistan. A joint SF/Kurd operation during opening weeks of the war, routed AAI out of its base. The enemy fell back into the Sunni areas of Iraq and reformed as al Qaeda in Iraq.

https://thecitizenpamphleteer.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/partners-in-the-business-of-terror-saddam-and-al-qaeda/
 

Shag:

What lies? A lie is making a false statement knowing that it is false.

For example, when Hillary Clinton emailed her daughter to report that an al Qaeda group had attacked Benghazi and killed the ambassador to Libya and some of his staff, then tells the outside world that this was a spontaneous demonstration caused by a video, the latter statement is a lie. The evidence shows that Clinton knew that her story about a spontaneous demonstration caused by a video was false when she made the statement repeatedly over the next few weeks.

Mistaken intelligence is not a lie.
 

Al Qaeda was in Iraq before the war under the name Ansar al Islam recruiting for al Qaeda units in Afghanistan. A joint SF/Kurd operation during opening weeks of the war, routed AAI out of its base. The enemy fell back into the Sunni areas of Iraq and reformed as al Qaeda in Iraq.

# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 11:56 AM


Dumbfuck, declaring MISSION ACCOMPLISHED didn't really work so well for your morons the last time it was done. Do you really think there is anyone buying that bullshit now?
 

The enemy fell back into the Sunni areas of Iraq and reformed as al Qaeda in Iraq.

If the enemy returned, that it wasn't really "destroyed", was it?
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) channels Seingeld's George Costanza's:

"It's not a lie if you believe it."

Now what did Colin Powell say about the "intelligence" he had been furnished by the Bush/Cheney Administration for his UN presentation? And what about those "slam dunks"?

Our own MRO with his "pants on fire" is a "hot s**t!"
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Shag: "It's not a lie if you believe it."

That is basically true. You may want to (re)acquaint yourself with perjury and fraud law.

And what about those "slam dunks"?

An opinion is not a statement of fact and cannot be true or false.

Let's say Powell said the Iraqis had an ICBM program based on a CIA report from some source in the Iraqi military.

Then Powell said this report is a "slam dunk" because it sounded convincing to him.

Afterward, Powell finds out that the report was disinformation and not true.

Neither of Powell's statements are lies.


 

It's funny that lunatics like Blankshot are critical of Clinton for trying to parse the definition of the word "is".
 

BB:

Another good example of a lie.

Bill Clinton's intern gave him a hand job.

Clinton later tells two courts and the American people he did not have sex or sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinski.

The intern's blue dress turns up with his bodily fluids on it from the sex act.

In order to prove a case of perjury like that against Bill Clinton, you need evidence that the perp knew the statement at issue was false when he or she made it.

This is what you Democrats lack when you claim that Bush lied about he causus belli for the Iraq War.
 

Blankshot, we know that people like Cheney were feeding false information to the media that was directly contradicted by credible sources. Whether or not Cheney believed the bullshit that he was spewing, he had access to plenty of credible information that exposed it as bullshit. The only way to pretend that that isn't lying is to try to parse the meaning of the word "is", which is no more credible when lunatics like you do it than it was when Clinton was doing it. Of course Clinton didn't get anyone killed, while lying scum like Cheney and Bush got lots of people killed.
 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless One) responses regarding George Costanza and Colin Powell suggest that he accepts stupidity over beyond a doubt outright lies. Alas, this is not a court of law forum. The evidence is over whelming of stupidity and/or lies by the Bush/Cheney Administration in the court of public opinion. It should be pointed out that our own MRO's "standards" with his comments over the years at this Blog wouldn't come close to passing the smell test of court of law standards. He must have been a whiz at grade school debating.
 

Shag: Alas, this is not a court of law forum. The evidence is over whelming of stupidity and/or lies by the Bush/Cheney Administration in the court of public opinion.

In other words, you have no actual evidence that would be accepted in a court of law, but that will not stop you from repeatedly lying to sway the ignorant and stupid?

This is SOP for progressives and socialists.
 

Oh, there is plenty of evidence in the court of public opinion on the many failings of the 8 years of the Bush/Cheney Administration, much of which could also serve as evidence in courts of law. But challenging the executive in courts of law is not a simple task, whether the executive is a Democrat or a Republican. But this is a Blog, not a court of law. And this Blog is only a small part of the court of public opinion. Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) trolls this Blog with his opinions which are quite often vile in his self-imposed role of attempting to knock down progressives and socialists (but not liberals?). All this from a retrograde who looks fondly back to the late 19th century's The Gilded Age as America's best days and who from time to time "suggests" armed revolution as a possible solution to the progressives' (Republicans as well as Democrats) Administrative State in America. What a MAROON!

Perhaps there's a slump in our own MRO's DUI legal practice what with the joys of recreational Ganja in his Mile Hight State (of mind) giving him more trolling time at this Blog. (By the Bybee [expletives deleted], I've got plenty of time on my hands as a progressive in semi-retirement from the practice of law.) In any event, our own MRO's long response delay ignored this from my earlier comment:

"It should be pointed out that our own MRO's "standards" with his comments over the years at this Blog wouldn't come close to passing the smell test of court of law standards."

There is no judge here other than those who deign to scroll through the comment threads, especially when comments get off topic (to which I plead nolo). But back on topic, Paul R-AYN is now the Speaker. There's a rumor that he chose to be sworn in with "Atlas Shrugged." Maybe we can all shrug, although the Tea Party faction in the House may raise their hackles with any dictatorial actions by the new Speaker.

Not to be sexist, but is it time for "the Fat Lady to Sing"? Ping pong (and pictures accompanying comments) can get boring.

Happy Halloween. And don't forget before you go to bed tonight to get back to standard times after first looking under your beds for progressives and socialists.
 

Those interested in the history of common law should check out this new website:

https://nylegalhistory.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/emergence-of-the-common-law-part-1-the-anglo-saxon-dooms-601-1020-ad/

"Emergence of the Common Law Part 1: The Anglo-Saxon Dooms, 601-1020 AD." A direct link is available at the Legal History Blog's Weekend Update feature.

There may be no Federal common law, but .... As this series progresses, we'll find out more.
 

As to the allege ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda we were fed by proponents of the war, it's always good to refer back to the Senate Report on this issue, where I'll note that Senators from both parties agreed the reports of such ties were unreliable (though there was some disagreement on who should be blamed, some dissenting Republicans argued it was more the fault of the CIA than the Bush administration).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_Report_on_Pre-war_Intelligence_on_Iraq#Iraq.27s_alleged_links_to_al-Qaeda

As to the whining of the GOP candidates about the questioning of the CNBC moderators, I found this Slate article to be close to the mark.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/10/republican_national_committee_chairman_pulls_out_of_nbc_s_february_debate.html
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 


Good links from Shag and Mr. W.

Fall back -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br0NW9ufUUw

Ayn Rand -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8m8cQI4DgM
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Mr. W:

Slate is repeating the standard Democrat media reaction to the condemnation of CNBC's gotchya exercise posing as a debate - Rubio avoided answering a class warfare question about his tax plan by noting that the questioner had previously misrepresented another part of his tax plan, and besides those Republicans don't have any substantive proposals anyway.

The fact is that a half dozen GOP candidates have proposed detailed tax plans while Sanders and Clinton just offer vague propaganda about making the rich pay their "fair share" of taxes.

A substantive question on the issue which might actually provide the voters with useful information is to ask each candidate whether they have a tax reform proposal, give them 2 minutes to describe it and then ask them how it will affect tax revenues and the economy. Then allow the other candidates to pose questions concerning the plan. THAT would quickly separate those offering serious reform from the chaff.

Indeed, a substantive debate schedule would dedicate an entire debate to each major subject area - taxes & borrowing, spending, regulation, foreign policy and social issues.
 

Mr. W:

You will notice that the Democrat Senate report did not allege that the Bush folks lied. Rather, the Congress critters who looked at the same intelligence before the war and then supported the AUMF offered a great deal of slanted 20/20 hindsight.

Typical hypocrisy.
 

Joe, your links, especially on Ayn Rand, will inspire me all weekend. I assume Oliver was off last Sunday, as were the Daily Show and the Nightly this past week, but will be back tomorrow and Monday to reflect on events during hiatus time.

As to Fall Back late tonight, frankly I have to rely upon one of my sons to attend to this, except for my computer which automatically does this. I can't even handle my Timex in this regard. And I'm accused of being - horrors! - a progressive? As a Luddite, perhaps I should rethink the "virtues" of The Gilded Age. Nah.

Query: What percentage of libertarians are Ayn Randians? It seems she was more of a libertine.

Query: What percentage of libertines are conservative or liberal?

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], I overbought candies for trick or treaters so I expect to suffer from sugar highs over the next few days.
 

Our own MRO's (Macro 'Rhoidless ON) response to Mr. W:

"You will notice that the Democrat Senate report did not allege that the Bush folks lied."

fails to note the politeness of Democrat Senators in comparison to the likes of Republican Sen. Cruz ("Macho) who called his own Majority Leader a liar. There are certain protocols of civility observed by Senators of both parties. But the one can read between the lines of the report that either Bush/Cheney engaged in stupidity or fibbed a tad. Whether stupidity or fibs, many deaths and injuries resulted, with the price for such still being paid.
 

From the first link:

"This was a bi-partisan majority report (10-5) and "details inappropriate, sensitive intelligence activities conducted by the DoD’s Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, without the knowledge of the Intelligence Community or the State Department." It concludes that the US Administration "repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.” These included President Bush's statements of a partnership between Iraq and Al Qa'ida, that Saddam Hussein was preparing to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups, and Iraq's capability to produce chemical weapons."

As to the CNBC debate, it seems eminently fair to ask a candidate who is touting his desire to help the middle class how much his tax plan will help them relative to the upper classes.
 

Facts are pesky things.
 

Shag:

McConnell never denied Cruz's allegations that the majority leader lied to his own caucus about that vote.

Protocol be damned. It is long past time that members of both parties call out their corrupt and lying establishments.

The difference between you and I is that you will defend your leaders to ridiculous extremes for lying to us, while I have no problem calling out leaders of my own party as well as yours.

The leaders of the House and Senate of both parties have been lying routinely for years now. I hope that Ryan will not follow suit.
 

Apparently our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) believes that if someone is accused of being a liar that he must deny it; otherwise it's an admission that the accusation is true? Why dignify an a**hole like Cruz by responding? (If our own MRO paid attention to libel law and how suing because of a defamatory remark might just spread the remark and expand its impact. But Cruz had the "courage" of a constitutional free "get out of jail" card in making his accusation. Keep in mind that Cruz is the most hated man in the Senate even on the majority Republican side.

Our own MRO damns protocol in his comments at this Blog. Imagine, a lawyer taking an oath regarding the Constitution suggests as a possible solution to the Administrative State "armed revolution" as the Article V process is not practical.

No, I do not defend "my leaders," as I have no leaders. Rather, I counter your asinine and vile defenses (inter alia) of Bush/Cheney. No, our own MRO lacks objectivity, considering his readiness to attack Obama even before his inauguration. He now attacks leaders of both parties in the House and Senate, keeping his fingers crossed about newly elected Speaker R-AYN, as a Tea Party acolyte. And I suggest our own MRO keep in mind certain exceptions to group libel laws with this accusation:

"The leaders of the House and Senate of both parties have been lying routinely for years now."

Query: Does the Bar in the Mile High State (of mind) have a code of ethics that might address such statements by an attorney?

I've suggested twice that our own MRO should change his practice from DUI to collections' attorney for which he has the personality.
 

Shag:

Let's wrap this up.

1) Most of the GOP caucus was present when McConnell made his promise and none dispute Cruz's account.

2) My statement was that there are only two viable long term remedies to the progressive political economy - amending the Constitution or armed revolution. I never stated that we cannot reverse progressivism through the amendment process and must resort to armed revolution. Indeed, my current book project lays out how to reverse the progressive error through a constitutional convention called by the states.

3) As to my statement of fact that Reid, Pelosi, McConnell and Boehner lied repeatedly to the voters over the past few years, here are but a few examples:

Reid and Pelosi repeatedly lied that Obamacare would allow you to keep your insurance, would not constitute a government takeover of the insurance industry and would lower all of our insurance premiums.

Reid gets special mention for his lie that an unidentified person told him that Romney did not pay any taxes.

McDonnell and Boehner lied that they intended to cut taxes, borrowing and spending, while reversing Obamacare. Instead, they have taken a minority of the GOP Congress to unite with the Democrat minority to increase taxes (fees), borrowing and spending while fully funding Obamacare.

You could fill a small book with all of their lies to the voters, which is on reason why a vast majority of the voters do not believe that their government enacts their will and why just under half see the government as an immediate threat to their freedom.
 

Our own MRO (Macro 'Rhoidless One) is now a "wrapper"? It would take a lot of "wrapping" for the garbage he continues to spew. He seems to have been stewing and 'net searching for his "wrap" for a 24 hour period (taking into consideration fall back to standard time). Of course, I don't give a "wrap" regarding our channeler of Chicken Little.
 

Let's wrap this up.

# posted by Blogger Shag from Brookline : 4:58 PM


LOL You've been getting your ass kicked for more than 10 years now on this forum and other forums. It's pretty obvious that you won't be accepting reality any time soon.
 

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I realize this is late in the game what with this post now in the Archives of this Blog. But today (11/6/15) over at TPM the lead is "Oath Keepers Founder in Danger of Being Disbarred" available at:

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/stewart-rhodes-montana-disbarred-possible

A word to the unwise is once again in order.
 

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Đăng ký gói 3G 3 tháng Mobifone sẽ giúp quý khách sử dụng 3G dài ngày mà không cần lo lắng về việc gia hạn gói cước
2. Gói 3M70 Mobifone
Cú pháp đăng ký: DKV 3M70 gửi 9084
– Cước phí đăng ký: 210.000 đ.
– Chu kỳ sử dụng: 3 tháng tính từ lúc gói cước được đăng ký thành công.
– Ưu đãi data: Miễn phí 1,8 GB tốc độ cao mỗi tháng (không trọn gói). Ưu đãi hơn data nhận được từ gói cước m70 mobifone
– Cước phát sinh: Không tính cước phát sinh, tuy nhiên hệ thống sẽ ngắt kết nối khi hết dung lượng.
Để tiếp tục sử dụng gói 3M70 cho đến hết chu kỳ quý khách có thể chọn và đăng ký gói mua thêm 3G Mobifone.
Thông tin lưu ý về gói 3G Mobifone 3 tháng:
Sau khi đăng ký thành công gói cước, thuê bao của quý khách sẽ được cộng lần lượt dung lượng đã quy định theo từng tháng. Giờ đây, bạn đã không còn phải băn khoăn suy nghĩ về việc gia hạn hàng tháng hoặc vì quên gia hạn mà bị trừ cước khá cao, sẽ gây thiệt hại cho tài khoản của thuê bao nữa nhé. Trong suốt quá trình sử dụng gói cước, hãy thường xuyên soạn tin kiểm tra dung lượng 3G Mobifone theo mẫu KT DATA gửi 999 để kiểm soát mức độ dùng 3G của mình quý khách nhé.
Đối với gói 3M70, khi hết dung lượng mà vẫn muốn tiếp tục sử dụng internet tốc độ cao, quý khách có thể đăng ký mua thêm dung lượng 3G Mobifone để dùng cho đến hết chu kỳ.
Chúc quý khách đăng ký thành công gói cước và có những phút vui chơi, giải trí thoải mái trong mùa hè này nhé.
 

Thông tin dự án Vinhomes Phạm Hùng đẳng cấp hấp dẫn |
Giới thiệu  chung cư Vinhomes Phạm Hùng cao cấp nhất

 

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