I created this duplicate blog so I could post a few stories on Facebook, which had blocked Democurmudgeon due to a corrupt widget way back when. Since that ban has lifted, I no longer need to copy everything here. See you back at the home site.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Feeling free now to be as activist as he wants, Justice Antonin Scalia stepped out into Constitutional fantasy land again, this time imagining its implied religious "tradition." And not one peep out of tea party pocket constitutional Republicans?
Republicans have always pushed the theme that "tradition" is the essence of our founding document, a kind of see what you want to see flexibility built in to push their agenda.
Except now, we're talking about a Supreme Court Justice strolling around in crazy land. A strict constitutionalist, really? Remember this:
In December he came under fire for comments he made during an affirmative action case, questioning whether some black students would benefit from going to a "slower-track school" instead of Texas' flagship campus in Austin.
Big surprise he voted against the Voting Rights Act.
Scalia now sees religion, specifically God, as an American "tradition" that gives the Constitution its true meaning:
AP: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was speaking at a Catholic high school said Saturday the idea of religious neutrality is not grounded in the country's constitutional traditions and that God has been good to the U.S. exactly because Americans honor him ... that there is "no place" in the country's constitutional traditions for the idea that the state must be neutral between religion and its absence.
"To tell you the truth there is no place for that in our constitutional tradition. Where did that come from? To be sure, you can't favor one denomination over another but can't favor religion over non-religion? God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways. There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that."
Friday, January 1, 2016
Isn’t it about time Democrats counter the Republican agenda with laws that make life incredibly uncomfortable for them.
So, let’s talk GUNS!!!
So, let’s talk GUNS!!!
The GOP roadblock agenda has been overwhelming; voter regulatory hoops, abortion restrictions, testing for food stamps and tighter unemployment qualifications. It's time Democratic answer that challenge with their own set of roadblocks. Virginia has stepped up to the plate, and it's genius:
Virginia last week. Attorney General Mark Herring announced that he would unilaterally repeal agreements with 25 other states for reciprocal recognition of carry permits by February 1st, claiming that he found their standards for issuing carry permits too low. Herring argued that Virginia residents could apply for and receive carry permits in other states when they couldn’t qualify within their own state and therefore evade the restrictions imposed by Virginia law.Yes, yes, yes. And that includes Wisconsin of course, where almost anything goes now.
And yet, one of the oddest reactions to Virginia's effort was this editorial response in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
But stopping reciprocity agreements with 25 states will do nothing to deter crime here in Virginia. The question that should be asked of Herring is this: Why target CHP holders if they aren’t committing the majority of crimes?Oh, so CC owners aren't "committing the majority of crimes," just a few of them?
Elections Matter, except when they don't: CC advocates are also making the argument that the Democrats lost in the recent elections...except when they won:
Since Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Herring, and Democrats lost big-time in electoral contests last month — despite millions of dollars from their billionaire benefactor Michael Bloomberg — they are now using tyrannical means to impose more gun control as retribution for their losses.
What’s the takeaway from all of this? Elections can have very deleterious consequences. Virginians knew very well that McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, and Herring were going to enact gun control by any means possible, but they chose to elect them over good men like former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and state Sen. Mark Obenshain.
Why are they needed in the first place? Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution states, “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.” The inclusion of that clause clearly intended to prevent these kind of legal traps for law-abiding citizens by forcing other states to recognize the licenses and permits of other states, and its placement in the original articles shows that this takes precedence over the 10th Amendment recognition of state sovereignty.Yes, earlier parts of the Constitution are more constitutional than the latter parts. Love the concept, since that included the 2nd Amendment.
The Fox News Debate: The Accountability Project's Nomiki Konst is the best I've seen arguing against irresponsible gun laws. Townhall's Guy Benson on the other hand, doesn't like it when a "Democrat" AG does what he legally can do...by supposed "fiat:"
Guy Benson: "They failed to regain the state senate...Now that they've lost, now that they've had a failed attempt to convince voters, what are they doing, they're having the state's attorney general - a Democrat - impose this agenda by fiat. Now apparently its within his legal right and authority to do so..."
(Side Note: I'm fascinated by the right wings campaign to make Democratic lawmaking an unthinkable act of villainous conduct. It's a 5 year theme that has taken hold and radicalized the right, making one party authoritarian rule now, the winner by default.)
Not Safer - CC Raising Violent Crime: Forcing through lenient gun laws for the minority of gun toting Wisconsinites who don't represent the majority of us who feel less secure with armed strangers prancing around now have the numbers to back up what we've been saying all along:
Political Heat: In fact, according to FBI statistics that have studied active-shooter situations (PDF), a person without a gun is more likely to stop a shooter than someone with a gun. Thirteen percent of active-shooter situations studied by the FBI ended with someone using means besides a gun to end the situation. Conversely, in only three percent of all active-shooter situations did a “good guy with a gun” actually stop a “bad guy” with a gun.
According to FBI crime stats since concealed carry was implemented in the state, violent crime has gone up in Wisconsin by 22 percent. That’s not to say that concealed carry was responsible for that rise in crime -- but it has failed to make us safer, as proponents like Gov. Scott Walker promised it would in 2011.