Politics: December 2007 Archives

Latest New Jersey Insanity

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New Jersey passed a law mandating that all pregnant women are tested for HIV. If the mother refuses, then the infant will be tested upon birth, even if against the mother's will.

Where is NOW and its mantra "keep your laws off my body" when you need them? slashdot.org

PCO Training for Snohomish County

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Because of the upcoming precinct caucus in February, many new PCOs have signed up recently, and so now is a great time for PCO training. Every Republican PCO in Snohomish County -- old and new -- should come to PCO training next Saturday, January 5, at 1 p.m. at the PUD building in Edmonds.

RSVP to the county office at 360-653-1100 by January 3.

Also, there will be caucus training about a month from now for the caucuses on February 9, so stay tuned for an announcement. Sound Politics

Benazir Bhutto R.I.P.

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Benazir Bhutto was a politician. She wasn't perfect. But she wanted to bring more liberty and prosperity to her people, she devoted -- and knowingly sacrificed -- her life to that goal. She knew that her chosen path was quite likely to bring her death, and she walked down that path anyway.

I can only assume she believed her death, if it happened, would help bring about the change she desired, and I hope it does. slashdot.org

From The McLaughlin Group 12/07/2007.




Presidential Authority

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Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse is whining about the President's view of his authority.

But every statement of authority he is complaining about is absolutely true.

1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.
This is absolutely true. Executive orders, explicitly or otherwise, are not in the Constitution. As far as the Constitution is concerned, an "executive order" is just one of many ways a President can give orders to the rest of the executive branch, and is in no way binding on the President himself. An "executive order" has no more constitutional standing than a verbal order. Heck, or a nonverbal order. A wink, a nod, a finger pointing.

None of them is elevated above any other, and none of them is binding on the President, because executive authority is vested in the President, and the President alone (so sayeth Article II of the Constitution). His orders have any power only because they come from him, and any order, in any form, he gives later has more power than any executive order before it because it comes from the same authority, but is more recent.

This is not only how it works, this is how it must work. To have it work any other way is to say that there is an executive authority above the President.

2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President's authority under Article II.
Yep. Absolutely true. What are the alternatives? There's only three: give Congress the new authority to dictate constitutional interpretation to the President, violating separation of powers; give the Court new authority to interpret law without an actionable case in front of them; or give someone in the executive branch power to dictate interpretion of the law to the President, violating the first sentence of Article II of the Constitution.

If you don't like what the President does, you can question him, and use politics to combat him. If it gets bad enough, you can take him to the Supreme Court (which has been done, with Bush usually, but not always, winning), or you can impeach him.

This is not only how it works, this is how it must work. To have it work any other way is to say that there is an executive authority above the President.

3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President's legal determinations.
This was dispensed with above. All executive power is vested in the President, including all of the Department of Justice.

This is not only how it works, this is how it must work. To have it work any other way is to say that there is an executive authority above the President.

The problem here appears to be simply that Democrats don't like executive authority being vested in the President ... at least, not when the President isn't their guy.

You may disagree with the choices the President has made. You may think some of his views, and acts, are unconstitutional. But it is entirely clear that he is not legally bound by any executive order or legal interpretation (other than Supreme Court decisions). slashdot.org

United Bassists of America has come out with its endorsement for President in this campaign ad, and it is not who you might think!


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OK, I just want to get this straight.

The Iraq NIE basically backed the case for war with Iraq. Many antiwar folks dismissed its claims that Iraq had largely rebuilt its missile and biological weapon facilities, and expanded its chemical and biological weapons programs, and so on.

The Iran NIE says that Iran stopped its work on nuclear weapons a few years back. Many antiwar folks simply accept that as true.

Call me crazy, but the only consistency I see here is that the antiwar folks believe whatever happens to be said that is less likely to lead to armed conflict.

They don't care about truth. They care about not having war, regardless of the truth.

Me? I care about truth. It's why I didn't believe the claims of WMD on the eve of the Iraq invasion, and it's why I don't believe Iran isn't working on nuclear weapons now. I don't know. I can't know. And neither can you. And when you believe something just because you WANT it to be true, you lose credibility.

Cheers. slashdot.org


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Rep. Brian Baird is a Democrat from Washington, who has opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, and who has been to Iraq several times since the war began, a few months ago switched to being in favor of keeping troops in Iraq.

He is still against us having gone in, but now that we are there and he has had a chance to see what is going on firsthand, he thinks moving forward the best course is to remain in Iraq for now.

Of course, this made many Democrats go nuts.

But what struck me was this line in an August article about it:

"We don't care what your convictions are," said Jan Lustig of Vancouver. "You're here to represent us."

Lustig added, "You're not representing us with this stance."

To that, Baird quietly replied, "I understand."

I understand too. I understand his emotion and I understand his view.

However, that's not to say I think it is rational. I think representative democracy cannot work as Mr. Lustig wants it to. It never has worked that way, and there's no way it can, and even if it could, we shouldn't want it to.

How is Baird even to know whether or not he is representing his constituents? Hold an ... election? Yep, we do that, every two years. Other than that, he can't really know for sure.

But more importantly, he shouldn't really care. He should want to know what they think, but at the end of the day, no, a thousand times no, he must follow his own convictions. As Edmund Burke said, "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion." Burke wasn't trying to say "representatives are smarter or better than you are." He was saying that you voted for him not just because you agreed with him, but because you trusted his judgment, and further, that he has spent a lot more time and thought and study on the issues than the overwhelming majority of his constituents: this is his job, after all. It's why we HAVE representatives.

If you want a representative to just slavishly follow what you think he should do, then run for office yourself. That's not the system we've got going here.

Now Playing: Paul Winter - Triumph

Same thing as the previous video I uploaded, except this one is a little longer and looks better.

Me/CNN/YouTube Debate Wrapup

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Thanks for all the kind words about my song at the debate. In case you missed it, here's a snippet of the debate showing my song, the candidates reaction to it, and me in the audience.

There were front-page (below the fold!) stories in the local Everett Herald and Seattle Times, along with mentions by Rush Limbaugh and others. And I was interviewed by Melissa Long on CNN Live. That video is in my YouTube playlist covering the debate and my trip.

I also have some reaction videos at the end of the playlist, where I talk a bit about my thoughts on the whole thing, especially the reaction to my song, and about General Kerr ("the Gay General").

Speaking of my videos and General Kerr, I think I have the very first video of him after it came out that he was related to the campaign. I asked him in the spin room right after my interview on CNN Live whether he was a "plant" of the Hillary campaign. It's there in the playlist too. slashdot.org

Debate Thoughts, Part II

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My thoughts about the YouTube debate, wherein I discuss reactions to my song, reactions to the debate, General Kerr, and vitriol.

Debate Thoughts, Part III

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My thoughts about the YouTube debate, wherein I discuss some of the people I met.

Debate Thoughts, Part I

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My thoughts about the YouTube debate, wherein I discuss my song, how it came about, and so on.

Me on CNN, Opening the Debate

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Me on CNN Live Post-Debate

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Melissa Long interviews me for CNN Live.


<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from December 2007.

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