The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Politics]
2014-10-18 07:53 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 319 references
 

Oh, good lord, what sort of dolt do we have here?

Senior Republicans on Capitol Hill Friday criticized Ron Klain, President Obama’s choice to be “Ebola czar,” as a figurehead with no health background.

“Given the mounting failings in the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak, it is right that the president has sought to task a single individual to coordinate its response, “said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “But I have to ask why the president didn’t pick an individual with a noteworthy infectious disease or public health background?”

Uh, yeah.

And this points out a few things -- first, that the entire "czar" system is stupid to begin with, since it does not carry Senate confirmation requirements.  Second, they're virtually all figureheads, if not all.

These are pure patronage jobs, and in this sort of context that's dangerous.

Who cares if he's a good manager?  I don't.  What I want is for people with cabinet-style access and control to be cabinet members and subject to Senate confirmation.

There is a check and balance system in our government for a reason -- it is specifically to prevent any one person or party from appointing to powerful positions individuals that have no need to pass through the gauntlet of public approval via some means.  We don't get to vote for the Secretary of Defense, but the Senate does.

The compartmentalization and limited power structures in our federal government are the work of genius that makes the United States unique.  We have massively damaged that structure over the last 30 years, and this Russian-dictator-style "czar" system is just the latest insult.

It is well past the time to dismantle all of these, starting with the so-called "czars."

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Obama has been notably "teflon" beyond all over Presidents; a large part of this is undoubtedly his race, which I'm sure will get my flamed to a crisp, but facts are facts.  You simply can't criticize the man without being called a racist, which is horsecrap -- but there you have it in our ridiculously politically-correct world of today where you must ask (verbally) whether a woman at a California college that has just torn your shirt and pants off, has pinned you (with your consent of course) willingly to the bed and has climbed on top "Do you wish to have sex now?" and get an explicit "Yes" in response to avoid being charged with rape!

But this one is different.

The father of a White House advance team member connected to the Secret Service prostitution scandal was refunded a hefty Obama campaign donation, records show, around the same time additional details about that possible link were made public.

The $20,000 donation was made by Leslie Dach -- whose son Jonathan has been linked to the scandal -- on Sept. 19, 2012, to the Obama Victory Fund.

Washington corruption scandals are never about the act itself; it is always the coverup that gets you.  The problem with this scandal is that it specifically goes to the Secret Service's protective detail, the Inspector General's office overseeing it and the intentional obfuscation and delaying of a report (if the allegations are true) for explicitly political purpose right before an election.

The White House has denied that any member of their team was involved in inappropriate behavior and said previously that the volunteer was wrongly implicated based on inaccurate hotel records. The White House on Thursday stood by those claims. Sauber also said the allegations in the Post were “utterly and completely false.”

Uh huh.  The NY Post has been running a series of stories on Prostitutiongate and unlike all the other corruption scandals this one is easy to understand.  Prostitutes in the hotel rooms of Secret Service agents on an overnight basis, which means that said agent would be sleeping at some part of the time -- and thus said callgirl would have access to everything that agent has with him.  That would be bad, and the American people, despite being often-called (and with good reason) Boobus Americanus can get their arms around this one.

There's also no way to evade reality with it either; Fast-n-Furious could be explained as a "mistake"; after all, they were (at least allegedly) trying to capture drug lords running guns.  IRSgate actually appeals to people on the left; after all, anyone right-wing is a nutjob and deserves to get reamed, right?  Benghazi is just too damn complicated; guns and the CIA and rogue regimes and besides, the muzzies did attack the place, yes?

But this one is different.  There is no nuance, no excuse that can be made, and no "legitimate" function being covered.  Nope, this is simple whoring around and many Americans have had it happen to them in their intimate relationships and had their lives (and sometimes bank accounts) destroyed by it.  Clinton got a pass because he never paid Lewinski; if there had been money involved (that is, prostitution rather than sex) he would have been not only impeached but convicted instantly.

This one bears watching.

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I keep getting asked about this and people keep advocating it, so let's talk about it.

The issue is a Constitutional Convention, with the expressed intent being to return the United States to its Constitutional Roots.

Sounds like a good idea, yes?

Well, it quite arguably is, if you'd like to see the government return to its Constitutional boundaries.

The problem is that this "remedy" isn't a remedy and if it comes to pass what you want won't happen.  

I know this for a fact and, if you think about it, so do you.

I know what you're going to say: How can you be so sure?

It's simple: There is nothing wrong with the Constitution as it sits now.  The problem is that it's not followed.

Let's just take one example: The Fourth Amendment

It reads:

Amendment IV
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.

It does not say:

a) Except when a police officer wants to stop and frisk you.

b) Except when the government thinks you might be a terrorist.

c) Except when someone else has your "papers" because you had to let them have same as an essential part of buying a service from them (e.g. your cell phone "tower" records.)

d) Except when you're driving while black.

e) Except when you're driving anywhere, at all, and the government thinks you might have drug money in the car but has no probable cause to believe so.

And on and on and on.

It says shall not be violated, and it further mandates that a warrant may only issue predicated on probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation (not the unsworn word of an unnamed "confidential informant" nor can a dog "swear an oath") and that the particular place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized must be named.  That latter requirement is there so the cops can't go on fishing expeditions.

Let's try another one:

Amendment II
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

It does not say:

a) Except for guns that fire more than one bullet with a single pull of the trigger, unless they were made before a certain date and you pay a license fee.

b) Except for guns that have more than some number of rounds of ammunition in the magazine.

c) Except for guns that have some undesirable physical characteristic, such as looking scary, rifles or shotguns with a barrel shorter than some dimension, or similar.

d) Except for guns that fire a projectile larger than (X), or having characteristics of (X) (e.g. armor-piercing ammo, etc)

e) Except for guns that have been made quieter by the addition of a sound-suppressing device, unless you pay a license fee for same and the local sheriff thinks you're nice.

f) Except if you don't have a permit to (buy|carry openly|carry concealed) or otherwise "bear" same.

g) Except if you'd like to buy and take it with you right now (e.g. "waiting period" laws.)

h) Except for rocket launchers.

i) Except for surface-to-air missiles.

j) Except for nuclear arms.

Now wait a second, you say!  Those last three are bullcrap in private hands!

Maybe.  But if so there is a way to make them unlawful within the Constitution -- pass an Amendment.  Absent that, ownership of any of the above and the carrying of any of the above, without any sort of permit, is lawful.

Unwise?  Maybe.  And immaterial.  It's lawful and any law that says otherwise is unconstitutional.

Don't even get me started on the Tenth Amendment.

I further challenge you to find anywhere in the Constitution where the United States Supreme Court, or any court for that matter, is empowered to re-write or as they like to say, interpret the plain language of said Constitution.  

This is the sum total of what is said on same in The Constitution:

Section 1.
The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Section 2.
The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

So where in there do you find there the power to rip up and rewrite said Constitution?

It's not there, and it never was.

Where there is legitimate debate over statutory construction let's have it, and let's have it there in the Supreme Court.  But there is no debate of legitimacy over construction of the 2nd or 4th Amendments.  There are excuses for adding clauses that never existed and still don't, but they're flatly unlawful irrespective of who pronounces otherwise.  Those who claim that technology or other changes in life have made the world a different place have a means to address their concern: Pass an Amendment.

Instead what has happened in the "real world" we live in is that the government will find some thing they wish to do.  They know it's unconstitutional but they do it anyway.  Someone sues, after 5 or 10 years it makes its way to the Supreme Court and the government has in the meantime done its level best to stack the court with judges that will rule as it wishes.  There is no law if the courts simply ignore what's in front of them, as occurred with Obamacare where the majority opinion ruled that a statute that was explicitly constructed not to be a tax was in fact a tax but the imposition of such a direct tax is barred from the Federal Government except in proportion to population.  In other words you can be (directly) taxed but not in a different amount than someone else.  This is why the 16th Amendment was necessary; to lay a tax on someone's work in proportion to what they made was unconstitutional.

All of this game-playing in the judiciary rests on the thinnest of foundation; so-called judicial comity and stare decisis.  That is, the premise that once a decision is made even if blatantly unconstitutional, it is thereafter the foundation of everything that follows and reciprocity and recognition is owed against that (blatantly unlawful) decision.

You can't fix this with a ConCon or with "more Amendments" because they are subject to the same "interpretation" as has been all of the previous; the only solution is to unwind the previous violence done to the Constitution and then, if appropriate, pass Amendments that further constrain the rights protected by and powers delegated therein.

Those who argue otherwise are fools, and those who refuse to take up the underlying issue and address it head-on are playing with you and are attempting to get you to expend your resources on a false premise to thereby consume your efforts rather than solving the problem.

You can interest me in a ConCon when the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments are enforced as written -- not one second before.

The right place to enforce this is in fact the States.  If the States will not do so, then the people have to decide whether we are 50 states or factually one state with 50 names.

You choose but don't blow smoke up my ass with this garbage about a "ConCon" fixing anything because it won't.

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