Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The First Post of 2011

New year.  Warm day. Sunny. Rainbow. A good beginning. on TwitpicWelcome to the new year!  The pic to the right was one I snapped as we stepped outside on January 1.  The day was warm, it was sunny, and a light rain was falling.  It was a good way to begin the new year.

So I'm kind of treating this post as a new beginning.  This is especially since I pretty much crapped out in December, and was lucky to get a post or two a week up.  I'm going to shoot for something better starting now (as in at least 2-3 posts).  I may, over the next few weeks, also start re-tweaking the site, because, after a few years, I think it's in need of an overhaul.

Speaking of overhauls, the overhaul of Washington has begun.  The GOP has already begun this with their (pretty much symbolic) rejection of earmarks, as well as introducing a bill, beautifully entitled as the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." It's 2 pages (although a couple pages reforming health insurance in a good way would be a good addition).  Compare that with the 2000 plus pages that made up the Obamacare monstrosity.  Alas, it's also a largely symbolic move, as it faces certain death in the Senate, and the White House if it somehow squeaked through the Senate.

The real battle of health care will be fought with funding and regulation.  As in the administration will continue to push forward with setting up the monolith of Obamacare, and the GOP in the House hold the purse strings, and can choke off much of the bill's provisions by not funding them.  And since the key to fixing the debt disaster is cutting spending, it's a two-fer here.

And then there's the reading of the Constitution.  This is symbolism with a purpose.  Because the very job description of the 435 Representatives gathered there is contained in Article I, as well as the stated limits on their power.  The purpose comes if the GOP follows the Constitution in proposing laws, and more importantly, choosing how they spend the money that comes pouring into Washington.

We've been politically kicked in the teeth enough that I'm not jumping up and down and ready to hand over the reigns to the GOP though.

So this brings us to the plans of the Obama administration.  And that, with the GOP cock-blocking his agenda, is to use the power of unelected bureaucrats to continue advancing his agenda.  The EPA for environmental things, including cap-and-tax regulation and hawking the religion of MMGWH (that's Man-Made Global Warming Hysteria).  The FCC to get control of the Internet (or turn it into an oligopoly with the big ISPs in control).  And so on and so forth, with each chunk of the regulatory alphabet soup grabbing some more power and adding to its regulation.  I'm sure there will be more examples that I can find (just not now, because I'm feeling lazy (yeah, I can hear the collective (sarcastic) gasp)).

Ok, enough about the politics, back to me:

I'm also finding I'm spending more time producing the weekly 3x2cast than I expected.  And we're going to touch on politics there as well (just with less depth) there as well, so come on over.  new posts should be going up every Saturday (although last week's post went up just before it was Sunday, and the actual podcast was not done uploading until after that).

So with that, I'm going to close out this first post of 2011 with the hope that we can have some fun discussing some things in a good political off year.  And that the country begins its crawl out of the financial and employment crapper.


Toad734 said...

I think the Republicans only want to read the Constitution (well, because they never have before) is to figure out which pesky amendments and rights they want to abolish.

Patrick M said...

Yeah, Toad, that makes all kinds of sense....

I'm just curious what "rights" you think they're out to kill. Because you could cut probably half the government out of existence (not something I'm currently advocating) and not even come near touching the Constitution.

So we'll see, and if they start attacking actual rights, I'll join you in ripping them a new one. But if they start cutting government and start killing pseudo-rights that were invented by congressional fiat, then we'll have some fun discussion on that.

dmarks said...

Toad has no idea what he's talking about.

One has to look no further than the Citizens United case, in which conservatives/Republicans sided with protecting First Amendment free speech rights, and the liberals/Democrats favored an intepretation where the First Amendment is only allowed when deemed convenient by government.


By the way, Toad, on your blog, you said that Clinton reduced the debt. Care to tell us how much the national debt went down during his terms?

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: RE: Toad and the Clinton deficit.

Are you still obsessing over the specifics of that? Especially when that was 2 presidents ago. And we have to chew the more liberal commenters for their obsessive repetition of "it's Bush's fault" four years after the Dems took control of the purse strings and 2 years post-Bush.

Seriously man, unless we're looking at history, live in the now....

Dave Miller said...

Patrick, perhaps one of the rights conservatives would want to kill are protections against discrimination against women, historically understood, at least recently anyways, to be enshrined in the 14th Amendment.

But according to Justice Scalia, there is nothing in the Constitution protecting women from discrimination.

Is this the modern conservatism we have been hearing about as DC prepares for a new Congress?

dmarks said...

Patrick: Actually, Clinton's fault is not at issue. Just pointing out when Toad rewrites history by claiming that the debt went down under Clinton. Placing blame is one thing, telling fibs about the economic record is another. But point taken.

Patrick M said...

Dave: Reading Amendment 14 right now. Scalia is right. Mostly.

It applies specifically to acts by states, outlawing discrimination against any citizen, which is defined by "all persons [regardless of race (the intent)] born or naturalizes in the United states." Sex is not specifically mentioned, or the likely intent, although "all persons" can be interpreted as such. The only specific mention would be in the 19th amendment, which resulted in women's suffrage (at which point the country started going to hell (kidding (not really))).

Now, just because it's not in the Constitution does not mean that Congress is barred from making laws. Constitutionality may or may not apply on a law like this; as well, it may be an issue that should fall to states.

But that's for a whole post on the Constitution (which is what I plan to write later).

Nevertheless, I haven't seen a specific action by the GOP to roll back women's rights. At least not the ones that are defined in the Amendments.

Dmarks: I had to give you shit about something. Otherwise, you'd think I didn't care. I don't but that's beside the point.

dmarks said...

Hahahaha. Toad has a habit of making stuff up just because it sounds good, and then defending it as he careeens away from any sort of verifyable source.

He reminds me of the letter writers in papers whom I even saw last year that claimed that not only did Clinton reduce the accumulated national debt, he eliminated it entirely