• My Tweats

    • Flickr Photos

    How to Avoid a Possible Tie in Future US Presidential Elections Without Amending the Constitution

    There is no need to amend the Constitution. The next Congress can just increase the size of the House by one from 435 to 436 to begin with the next next Congress.
    BTW, I like the electoral college. I don’t want it abolished by amendment.  I would suggest this change:

    Presidential Election Adjustment Amendment

    What

    • Replace Electoral College, but keep state electoral votes.
    • States must bind electoral votes to a President/Vice-President candidate pair among only those on the legal state ballot or that were written in sufficient quantity to win the state-wide contest automatically as the election result is certified.
    • The above is true, even if one or both candidates on a ticket have died.
    • If a an electoral vote is certified to a presidential candidate that has passed away, the new vice-president shall assume the presidency at the beginning of the term under normal succession rules, and nominate a new VP per normal vacancy replacement procedures.
    • If an electoral vote is certified to a vice-presidential candidate that has passed away, the president shall nominate a new VP per normal vacancy replacement procedures after the term begins.
    • If both candidates have passed away, normal rules of presidential succession apply, beginning with the speaker of the house upon the term beginning.
    • Explicitly state that the “Acting President” cannot appoint a Vice-President or Acting Vice-President.

    Why

    The electoral collage changes are just for the sake of efficiency and to avoid a potential constitutional crisis in the form of faithless electors. The sections involving death of a candidate who wins are introduced to avoid a potential constitutional crisis by defining the solution ahead of time.

     

    The Recess Appointment is a Flaw in The Constitution

    Triggered by this, let me assert that  “Recess Appointments” are a flaw in the US Constitution.

    The US should adopt a constitutional amendment that:

    1) Negates recess appointments
    2) Add automatic approval of any presidential appointment after say 4 months  if the nominee has not been rejected by the Senate.  Queued up appointments expire with the end of a presidential term.

    This gets rid of recess appointment gaming/trickery/abuse, and forces the Senate to act up presidential nominees. It WIN-WIN for the US.

    Balanced Budget Amendment?

    When I was younger and just becoming political aware, I was against the idea of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution. After all, congress can balance the budget when they need to….or so I thought.

    Since then, I have come to realize that congress has acted irresponsibly during my entire adulthood. It can not be trusted to balance the budget. It has not the skill. It has not the wisdom. It has not the will. Bottom line: Congress is filled with Assholes beholden to public choice economic effects.

    As Americans, we should not continue to reply upon a broken system to get the results we want  after decades of failure.

    It is time for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution.

    Here is the outlines of a possible version from Orrin Hatch:

    1. Its mandates that total budgetary outlays for any fiscal year not exceed total revenues unless you have a two thirds vote to overturn it.
    2. It caps federal spending at 20% of GDP.
    3. It requires the President to submit a balanced budget to Congress every fiscal year.
    4. It prohibits revenue raising measures (like increasing taxes) that are not approved by two thirds of both the House and Senate.
    5. Provisions can be waived if there is a formal declaration of war or if the US is engaged in a military conflict constituting a threat to national security or if two thirds of both the House and the Senate approve.

    The above works for me.

    The time is now for this sort of thing!

    Come on Tea-Partyers, make this happen!!! Demand pledges from candidates for this any other related measures!!!

    Continue reading

    Here is my understanding of the Tea-Party(ish) Principles

    I need to write these down and think some more about these. I am essentially in agreement with the principles.

    – Public Policies must be at their core fiscally responsible/conservative

    – Ruthlessly end corruption/cronyism/ethic-less-ness in GOV

    – Preference for Individuals and Markets over Central Planning

    – Yes for Free Markets and Entrepreneurial Capitalism; no for Crony Capitalism

    – Federalism…more please.

    – Reduced complexity and quantity of GOV laws, regulation, and programs.

    – America doesn’t need to apologize or be ashamed for being America

    – Remember and follow the principles in US Constitution, e.g:

    Government of the people, by the people, for the people”
    […]
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
    […]
    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
    […]
    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    […]
    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
    […]

    – Rollback  (not just reduce the speed toward) the march to a Nanny-State/Proto-State-Capitalism|Neo-Socialist state. [updated/added 9/26/2010]

    Constitutional Amendment Idea: The Congress Is Not Beyond The Law Amendment

    Lexington Green has some ideas on a new Contract with America and suggests a constitutional amendment:

    Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and Congress shall make no law that applies to either Senators or Representatives or both that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States. Any law enacted in violation of this Amendment shall be void and of no force and effect at any time.

    I would alter it slightly to:

    Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives including their staffs; and Congress shall make no law that applies to either Senators or Representatives including their staffs or both that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States. Any law enacted in violation of this Amendment shall be void and of no force and effect at any time.

    While writing this, I realized I had already noted something like this before…with the same Tagline even:

    Not Above the Law Amendment

    What

    No officer of the government of the United States, or of any of the various States shall be held immune from any generally applicable law. Any law written so as to be generally applicable except to select officers of the Federal or State governments shall be null and void.

    Source: Creative Destruction Blog

    Update: Here is the original Source

    Fakery: “Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. Paul Ryan officially unveiled their proposal for a line-item veto…”

    From JSOnline.com:

    Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. Paul Ryan officially unveiled their proposal for a line-item veto that would allow the president to trim earmarks from spending bills.

    How brave and courageous of them…except, its a fake out.

    A line-item veto is not constitutional.

    Authority for a President to have a line-item veto can only come from by way of a Constitutional Amendment (I support the line-item veto concept, and have my own variant, BTW).

    So that is what Wisconsin’s Senator Feingold and Rep. Ryan must be proposing a Constitutional Amendment, right?

    No:

    Feingold and Ryan said they believe the proposed legislation would stand any constitutional challenges because Congress would vote on the president’s proposed package of earmarks. If either chamber votes against the package by a simple majority, it will not be enacted, making the proposed legislation different from the line-item veto struck down in 1998 by the Supreme Court, which said Congress wasn’t authorized to give the president that power.

    Feingold said Congress would not be allowed to amend the president’s line-item veto package and, since it would be under a strict time limit for action, there would be no filibusters.

    Though line-item vetoes have been proposed in the past, Feingold and Ryan are hopeful the dire state of the U.S. economy will motivate lawmakers to pass the legislation.
    […]
    The legislation requires the president to submit earmark deletions to Congress within 30 calendar days of signing a bill into law. It would sunset by the end of 2014 to allow Congress to decide whether to renew it.

    Here are my two takeaways:

    1) The don’t really respect the US Constitution that they are sworn to uphold. If they did, they would have submitted a resolution for Constitution Amendement (Feingold is on the Judiciary committee). The will never get my vote for anything (Ryan has been having a bad streak with me)

    2) They don’t really want the president to have line-item veto authority – this is just for show.

    This is why I have little respect for congress.

    One other thing, you usually hear regarding the line-item veto, that it takes too long to get an amendment passed. Just remember it took just under four months to pass and ratify (starting 10 March 1971, ending 5 July 1971) the 26th Amendment.

    The 4th Amendment, The meaning of “Unreasonable” and the so-called Civil Libertarian Left

    On Tech Dirt, I saw this – “FBI Asks Congress To Ignore The Whole ‘Probable Cause’ Part Of The 4th Amendment” :

    So, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the text of the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution reads:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Pretty straightforward and reasonable, right? Except we’ve seen an awful lot of erosion of that recently, what with Congress’s decision to allow warrantless wiretaps and the Department of Homeland Security insisting that probable cause isn’t needed to search your laptops at the border. Well, if it’s not needed at the border, why is it needed at all?

    At least that seems to be the theory being pushed by the Attorney General, who is asking Congress to approve a plan that would let the FBI begin an investigation and surveillance on someone without probable cause — actually “without any reasonable basis” at all. That would seem to be in direct violation of the 4th Amendment, but apparently, ignoring the 4th Amendment is all the rage in Washington DC these days.

    This is just bullshit in so many ways.

    I commented:

    This is really a debate over what the word “unreasonable” means in this context.

    Obviously, from the comments on this post, most people are ignore or skimming past that word, or implicitly believing that no search is reasonable, and therefore all searched require warrants.

    I for one don’t have a problem with with the Feds listening on overseas calls that only “enter” the US by a quirk of technology. When I hear people call that “domestic spying” I generally ignore anything they else they say or write and mostly likely to be further nonsense.

    Anyways, surveillance (public observation) is not covered by the 4tgh amendment. Starting an investigation is not covered by the 4th amendment.

    While the author of the post says the 4th amendment is “Pretty straightforward and reasonable” he sure seems to be confused by it.

    As I think more about this, this really isn’t a constitutional issue. This is part of an on-going fight by one part of American Society against the rest that is in this case attacking the legal system in order to weaken the parts of it used to investigate and pursue criminal actors and anti-security actors (e.g. foreign agents, terrorist).

    The author isn’t dumb. He clearly misspeaks on the constitution (quoting a section about searches, then applying it to something different) hoping to riles up the masses. Given that only 3 of 56 commentators do not seemed fooled, he was successful.

    BTW, here is the dictionary.com definition of unreasonable:

    1. not reasonable or rational; acting at variance with or contrary to reason; not guided by reason or sound judgment; irrational: an unreasonable person.
    2. not in accordance with practical realities, as attitude or behavior; inappropriate: His Bohemianism was an unreasonable way of life for one so rich.
    3. excessive, immoderate, or exorbitant; unconscionable: an unreasonable price; unreasonable demands.
    4. not having the faculty of reason.
    [Origin: 1300–50; ME unresonabel. See un-1, reasonable]
    […]
    —Synonyms 1, 2. senseless, foolish, silly. 2. preposterous, absurd, stupid, nonsensical. 3. extravagant.

    Of course, the Fourth Amendment is quiet on Surveillance or on criteria for starting an investigation.

    Fun: Independence Day Quiz

    The online quiz is here – http://games.toast.net/independence/ .

    I got 28 out of 30.

    How To Have the USGOV Make Better Laws

    I promoted my reply up from a new comment/rant on an old post.

    Congress passes many bills which are clearly unconstitutional. I wish the president would veto those. If the executive branch declares an intent to not follow something unconstitutional I am ok with that (the exec branch took an oath to uphold the constitution, not the whims of congress). The legislative branch can sue and the courts can settle the matter. If congress really felt the president was acting unconstitutional they would try to impeach him (only a few nuts job like Kosinich have gone that far)

    Going to court is ugly and reduces confidence on the governing process by citizens.

    A better set of controls would be:

    1) have congress un-bundle bills that have separate and unrelated components into separate bills (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort). This makes it harder for congress to hide unconstitutional activity and easier for the president to veto unconstitutional bills.

    2) Each bill should explicitly state the legal/constitutional authority upon which it based (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort). This makes it harder for congress to hide unconstitutional activity and easier for the president to veto unconstitutional bills.

    3) Bills reported out of committee – especially spending bills – should have a reasonable period of time for members of congress, citizens, the press, and the executive branch to exam and note flaw, objections, and trojan horses (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort). This will make it harder for bad law to be implemented.

    4) Bills expanding the federal government or imposing new regulations should have a sunset clause – to force periodic renewal – and sunshine clauses – what will it cost and how will it be paid for (by internal rules or constitutional amendment as a last resort).This will make it harder for bad law to be implemented.

    5) Congress should alter the judicial system so any remaining legislative/executive branch constitutional disagreements are fast-tracked.

    Any other suggestions?

    Update: I left out…the president should veto anything that doesn’t follow/conform to points 1,2 or 3 from above.

    Constitutional Amendment Barring Courts From Relying On Foreign Law? Yes. Please.

    I spotted a link to this at Instapundit:

    Rosencranz makes several points (and my summary us unlikely to do justice to his remarks). The Constitution, he notes, draws its legitimacy from the consent of the governed and the American Revolution was motivated, in part, in opposition to the imposition of foreign rule on the colonies. Thus it would be quite incongruous for the meaning of the Constitution to be dependent upon the decisions and views of foreign governments or international institutions, rather than the considered views of the American people. Changing the meaning of the Constitution, Rosencranz notes, is to be done through constitutional amendment, not the changing conceptions of justice embraced by foreign governments and international organizations. [Link Volokh.com]

    Makes sense to me.

    I am all for his idea:

    The most interesting part of Rosencranz’s remarks is a proposal for a constitutional amendment declaring that foreign and international law should not be relied upon to interpret or construe the U.S.

    So make this Number 36.

    Bad Ideas and Distractions: US Secession Movements

    Zenpundit has a post on modern US Secession movements with links.

    It was interesting following the links. They are all bad ideas.

    I found a roundup at wikipedia. That is were I came across the People’s Republic of the North Star.

    Zen rightly notes that this was settled with the Civil War. There is no legal Secession.

    Don’t Play Loose With the Constitution: Cheney Apparently is a Dick

    So, Dick Cheney thinks he is part of the Legislative branch when it suits him.

    The VP is part of the executive Branch. He is not part of the legislative branch because one of his duties is to preside over the Senate.

    The Supreme Court Chief Justice is not a member of the legislative branch because he may also preside over the senate in some circumstances.

    I don’t like people fucking with the constitution.

    I don’t like the money this is going to cost the taxpayers.

    I am now officially okay with Congress impeaching Dick Cheney purely on this issue.

    Also, The loophole over the VP presiding over his own impeachment trial must be closed (yeah, I know this will take a few years).

    Constitutional Oops: The Vice President Would Preside At His Own Impeachment Trial

    Instapundit points out:

    The Senate has the sole power to try impeachments. The Vice President is the President of the Senate. He presides. The Constitution provides for only one exception in cases of impeachment: “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” That’s because of the obvious conflict-of-interest of having the VP preside when the President is tried. But there’s no similar provision for having someone else preside if the Vice President is impeached.

    That is certainly a flaw.

    Congress should start the process to add another amendment to the US Constitution to provide that the Supreme Court Chief Justice shall preside at the impeachment trial of Vice-President.

    It might be a good idea to extend that to the impeachment trial of any member of the executive branch.

    This is my 36th suggested amendment to the US constitution.

    Why the Proposed DC Vote in the House is Not Constitutional

    The House has gone ahead and passed a bill giving DC voting representation in the House.

    This is an unconstitutional measure alot of time and money is going to wasted on this.

    This is being discussed on REDDIT.

    Here is my contribution showing exactly why it is not constitutional:

    Representatives can only come from states and must be a resident of the state they represent:

    From the US Constitution Article 1 Section 2
    “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.

    No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.”

    The District of Columbia is not a state:

    Article One
    Section 8
    […]
    To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authorityover all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of thestate in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines,arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And
    […]

    Be very clear…DC is not a state (“if it were a state”):

    Amendment XXIII
    Section 1.
    The District constituting the seat of government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

    A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the
    whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a state, but in no event more than the least populous state; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the states, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed by a state; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
    […]

    What could congress do to give voting representation to people in the district?

    Method One: Return or hand over most of the lands in the district back to the the surrounding states.

    Method Two: Make the district or large parts of it a separate state (Article Four, Section 3). When I was a kid their was a DC Statehood movement called I think”New Columbia” or something like that.

    Method Three: Work through the amendment process and grant the residents of the seat of government one representative in the house.

    Model Constitution

    My Mom emailed me this joke:

    (2 ) Our Constitution “They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don’t we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, and it’s worked for over 200 years. And, we’re not using it anymore.”

    Funniness (or lack of funniness) of the joke aside, I always thought it would be a good idea for the US to draft a model constitution based on the US Constitution that could be easily used by and extended by other nations.

    DC Vote in the House: Clearly Unconstitutional

    In the Washington Post:

    The research arm of Congress says that legislation to give the District a vote in the House of Representatives is probably unconstitutional, a finding that could jeopardize its chances of passage, officials and analysts said yesterday.

    Duh.

    What are they talking about?

    The D.C. vote bill seeks to gain bipartisan support by increasing the size of the House from 435 to 437 seats. One new seat would go to the District, which is overwhelmingly Democratic; the other would go to Utah, the state next in line to increase its delegation according to Census returns and a Republican stronghold.

    If this passed the house and the senate, the president should veto it to protect the constitution and save the court costs.

    Constitutional Amendment Needed To Close Loophole On Presidential and Vice-Presidential Eligibility

    An article was posted to REDDIT suggesting that by means of a loophole, how Bill Clinton could become President again:

    On its face, that seems to suggest that Clinton could be vice president because he is only barred from being elected president a third time, not from serving as president.

    I thought it was more silliness/stupidness from REDDIT.

    Here are the US Constitution sections dealing with it:

    Article II. – The Executive Branch
    …”No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”…

    Amendment XXII – Presidential Term Limits.

    …”1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”…

    Amendment XII – Choosing the President, Vice-President
    …”But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”…

    Oh-oh.

    I concede there is a loophole, or at least, the language is something that someone could try to exploit in the future.

    So, an amendment is need to close the loophole and re-state the intent:

    Presidential and Vice-Presidential Eligibility Amendment:

    Section One: Eligibility for the Office of President shall be as follows:

    • Be a natural born and native born US citizen
    • Shall achieved a minimum age of 35 Years at the time that term begins
    • Shall not have prior service as president to exceed two elected terms
    • Shall not have prior service as president to exceed one elected term, and have held the office of President or acted as President for more than two years cumulatively of a term or terms to which some other person initially served
    • Shall not have held the office of President or acted as President for more than two years cumulatively of a term or terms to which some other person initially served
    • Shall not have been removed from the office of President or office of Vice President by impeachment

    Section Two: Eligibility for the Office of Vice-President shall be as follows [update – see change from 9/26/2009 below]:

    • Be a natural born and native born US citizen
    • Shall achieved a minimum age of 35 Years at the time that term begins
    • Shall not have prior service as president to exceed two elected terms
    • Shall not have prior service as president to exceed one elected term, and have held the office of President or acted as President for more than two years cumulatively of a term or terms to which some other person initially served
    • Shall not have acted as President for more than two years cumulatively of a term or terms to which some other person initially served
    • Shall not have prior service as Vice-President to exceed two elected terms
    • Shall not have prior service as Vice-President to exceed one elected term, and have held the office of Vice-President or acted as Vice-President for more than two years cumulatively of a term or terms to which some other person initially served
    • Shall not have acted as Vice-President for more than two years cumulatively of a term or terms to which some other person initially served
    • Shall not have been removed from the office of President or office of Vice President by impeachment

    Note: Lawyers can clean it up a bit.

    My recommended amendments now number 34.

    Updated VP eligibility idea from 9/26/2009 into a simpler form (which is what everybody assume the constitution means anyways – even though it doesn’t):

    A person who is constitutionally eligible to serve as President is then also eligible to be Vice-President. A person who is not constitutionally eligible to serve as President is then also not eligible to be Vice-President

    Expel Disgraced Congressman Ney

    If the House membership had any sense of honor and public stewardship (ha!), they would expel per the US Constitution disgraced Representative Bob Ney.

    What are they waiting for? Cowards.

    Creating A Better 4GW Legal Framework

    Arnold Kling writes in TCSDaily:

    If we are going to describe people as enemy agents or traitors in a time of war, then we need a procedure for identifying the enemy. We do not want the decision of who is a spy or who is a traitor left entirely to the discretion of the President and his appointees.

    One way to identify the enemy would be with a formal declaration of war. Unfortunately, because the enemy is not a sovereign state, a formal declaration of war is inappropriate. When America declares war, we expect our armed forces to engage in large-scale, brutal assaults until the opposing government surrenders. We cannot defeat terrorist enemies simply by declaring war on a sovereign government and overthrowing that government.

    I have been thinking for awhile that the US Constitution needs updating for proper State 4GW:

    Constitutional Amendment to update federal declarative war powers for the 21st century and for 3rd/4th/5th Generation War – details TBD in a Future PurpleSlog post.

    FuturePurpleSlog is way behind on posts. So, I am going to crib some from Kling to get this started. He writes:

    An alternative approach could be to designate specific terrorist groups as enemies. Clearly, Al Qaeda belongs in that category. However, other groups, such as the Tamil separatists or Basque terrorists, might be appropriately designated as terrorists, but not as enemies of the United States.

    and

    Because the designation of a terrorist group as an enemy is somewhat akin to a declaration of war, such a designation should come from Congress. It should not be left to the State Department in particular or to the Executive branch in general. Moreover, judicial review might be appropriate. One would not want to see Congress abuse its power and start declaring any troublemaking organization an enemy of America.

    Ok, this brings Congress into it, is flexible (real “war” against non-state actors) and might help focus U.S. public attention, and will send 4GW messages to our designated enemy (we are coming for you).

    Kling writes:

    Where the Executive would have some latitude, although with careful oversight by Congress, would be in declaring other terrorist groups to be affiliates of groups that have been named as enemies. In my view, an affiliate ought to be a group that has considerable overlap of membership and infrastructure with the Congressionally designated enemy.

    The 4GW messages sent by the US executive to potential allies and fence sitters of the enemy: We are going to destroy our enemy, do really want some of this hurt coming on you?”

    Kling list two other advantages:

    It constrains the focus of anti-terrorism efforts, especially surveillance. The goal of domestic surveillance would be limited to finding agents of designated enemies. There would be no mandate for the Department of Homeland Security to go on a fishing expedition…

    and

    It draws a line that can be used to distinguish dissidents from traitors.

    Ok, this is a start. Any other suggestions or ideas?

    Our Lucky Constitution and Entrepreneurialism

    I was reading this at an Althouse post:

    The writer makes a connection between our old Constitution and our willingness to fight wars. Do you see that connection?

    Some thoughts offhand:

    • Could the same things that lead to stable constitutional rule set lead to a greater willingness to be bold?
    • Is war-fighting willingness to change and shape the world to make it a better place, to not be cowed under, another expression of American
    • What is the essence of entrepreneurialism anyways: risk-taking for a better relative and absolute group and personal future (powerful incentives, optimizing forces).

    Fixing a Loophole: US Constitutional Amendment to Require the Speaker of the House to Be a Full Member

    So, I followed some link to link to link and ended up on the wikipedia page for the US Speaker of the House of Representatives. Much to my surprise this is what I read:

    Likewise, there is no Constitutional requirement that the Speaker even be an elected representative in the Congress.

    What was that?

    Article One of the United States Constitution provides, “The House of Representatives shall chuse [sic] their Speaker and other Officers…” Every Speaker to date has been a member of the House of Representatives, although the Constitution does not explicitly require it.

    That is a loophole just waiting to be exploited by one political party or another. I could see a party putting it presidential candidate-in-waiting or National Party Leader in as Speaker to give him/her a National Bully Pulpit.

    Before this situation occurs, it would be a good idea to start the process to amend the constitution to require the Speaker to be a regular member of the House. It would best to do this now when it is non-controversial.

    So, I will be adding one more suggestion to my list.

    The Wikipedia Article on the Electoral College Is Excellent

    You should read it.

    Suggested 26 US Constitution Amendments (Part 9 of 8): A Few More

    This PurpleSlog post is the last entry in US Constitutional Amendment series.

    This post: A Few More Ideas

    Continue reading

    Suggested 26 US Constitution Amendments (Part 8 of 8): Bad Ideas

    This PurpleSlog series will suggest 26 amendments, (plus 2 “stretch” amendments). Additionally I will note 9 common amendment ideas that I think should be passed on.

    This post: Common Amendment ideas I think are a bad idea.

    Continue reading

    More on the Supreme Courts Geneva Accords Ruling

    Mark Steyn (always a good read) writes:

    Ah, but you’re not a Supreme Court justice. The reason why this was an ”armed conflict not of an international character” is that al-Qaida is not a nation. So an article designed to cover internal local conflicts in signatory states within a convention designed to exclude unlawful combatants has been extended to cover non-signatory unlawful combatants in a global jihad taking place on every continent — and, in effect, read into U.S. law. Congratulations! Why not throw in a complimentary gay marriage for Osama and Mullah Omar while you’re at it? Justice Stevens and his pals have now upgraded every terrorist to the rank of field marshal. Wherever you’re picked up by the United States anywhere on the planet, chances are it’s the ”territory of one of the High Contracting Parties” — Afghanistan, Brazil, Singapore, the world’s your oyster — and therefore, as you’re a member of al-Qaida, by definition it’s an “armed conflict not of an international character.”’

    and

    The immediate consequence of this is that America’s friends in India, Australia, Singapore, Denmark and elsewhere will conclude that this country is simply not serious and its descent into moral narcissism too advanced. The long-term consequence will be the opposite of what the justices intended — the sidelining and eventual discarding of Geneva, at least by nations that wish to survive the depredations of the jihad.

    Pulling outof the Geneva Accord would be a big deal – the US reputation would take a hit and the anti-anti-islamofascist would be frothing at the mouth.

    The US would need to do something like:

    1. Write the principles of the Geneva Convention as we had known them regarding uniformed personnel into US law.
    2. Write into US law procedures and processes for handling non-uniformed/terrorist/4GW/whatever fighters. Essentially, a Counter-Terror/4GW legal system would need to written into law.
    3. Announce that the US has withdrawn from the Geneva Accords after #1 and #2 above have occurred.
    4. Attempt to get Counter-Terrorist International Law made at the UN
    5. The US an like minded states should sign-on to an international compact that reflect the principles in #1 and #2 if possible.
    6. Implement the United States Law Supremacy Amendment to the US Constitution