No One Could Have Predicted This

And, just as expected, the WSJ has rediscovered the Constitution:

What’s a little matter like the Constitution among friends? That’s a question a few legal eagles are asking as they note that Hillary Clinton can’t become Secretary of State thanks to something called the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Under that clause of Article I, a Member of Congress who has been in office while a pay raise was passed for a federal job may not then be appointed to the job at the higher salary. Mrs. Clinton was a Senator this January when President Bush passed an executive order increasing the Secretary of State’s pay to $191,300 from $186,600. As a legal matter, that should disqualify her.

***

To our knowledge, Senator Clinton played no role in the salary raise, and she clearly had grander ambitions than Secretary of State when the law was signed. But while the issue will strike some as trivial, it is no small matter to ignore the Constitution’s direct words. Giving Mrs. Clinton a pay cut is a minimum gesture of deference required to the document that Mr. Obama will soon swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend.

Up next, the WSj rediscovers limited government. Personally, the matter is above my pay grade, but if the Saxbe fix has been used before, I assume it is fine. Having said that, someone could have a lot of fun reviewing the WSJ’s opinions on detainees and Gitmo and the like the past seven years.

In other legal related news, the SCOTUS will address the zombie birth certificate issue:

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider Friday whether to take up a lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship, a continuation of a New Jersey case embraced by some opponents of Obama’s election.

The meeting of justices will coincide with a vigil by the filer’s supporters in Washington on the steps of the nation’s highest court.

The craziest thing about the birth certificate issue is that it is mostly pushed by the same folk who, for years, have believed in the Clinton death list and spread rumors that the Clinton family offed Vince Foster. In short, they think Bill and Hillary killed dozens of people, but don’t think they were ruthless enough to exploit the birth certificate issue during the primary. C’mon, conspiracy nuts! If there was a there there, wouldn’t the murderous Clinton clan have gone there?

*** Update ***

An excellent idea that would satisfy the WSJ editorial board:

Obama could simply declare Hillary to be an enemy combatant. That way the constitution won’t apply to her. Or he could issue a signing statement. If all else fails, he could ask John Yoo to write a memo.

I like it.






85 replies
  1. 1
    over_educated says:

    I love this case, and I honestly hope the Supreme Court grants cert so we can show the country just how bat-shit insane most "mainstream" conservatives really are.

  2. 2
    cervantes says:

    No need to worry about the SCOTUS review – dorkface Clarence Thomas put it on the list for consideration for certiorari (review) but that’s just a formality. They’ll announce, without comment, that it will not be reviewed, probably on Monday.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    I’d comment, but I can’t read anything. Someone fixed your site and now all the graphics and columns intermix. I guess I have to try Chrome now, since Exploder, Opera and Firefox don’t work.

  4. 4
    Laura W says:

    That was freaky…the Invasion of the PJTV Site Snatchers!

  5. 5
    Tymannosourus says:

    Oh, we’re using that "Constitution" thing again?

  6. 6
    That One - Cain says:

    No need to worry about the SCOTUS review – dorkface Clarence Thomas put it on the list for consideration for certiorari (review) but that’s just a formality. They’ll announce, without comment, that it will not be reviewed, probably on Monday.

    I don’t think SCOTUS will want to touch that with a 1 mile pole. Getting involved in presidential politics.. AGAIN would set off something nasty in this country.

    cain

  7. 7
    Vincent says:

    The Supreme Court reviews questions of law, not fact. So how would this case even reach them?

  8. 8
    Fencedude says:

    I’m sure that the loss of the extra $4700 per year will be just devastating to Clinton’s quality of life.

  9. 9
    demimondian says:

    @srv: Yeah, Chrome won’t help either.

  10. 10
    cleek says:

    @srv: firefox is working fine for me.

    about Clinton… just give her the old pay rate. it’s 2.6% BFD.

  11. 11
    demimondian says:

    @Vincent: Yes — the issue in question is whether the dismissal of the suit by the original District Court Judge was permissible.

    Of course, it was, but that’s fine; this jerk is just trying to gins up noise about for his tax -evasion- consulting buisness.

  12. 12
    Incertus says:

    Someone–can’t remember who–pointed out a couple of weeks ago that Clinton is far from the first sitting Senator to make the jump to the Cabinet, and so wouldn’t be the first for whom the Emoluments clause–assuming it applies in the first place–was ignored. I do hope some jackass Republican Senator decides to make a big deal of this, because I imagine it will do for Hillary what nothing else has managed–make her look sympathetic to Republicans.

  13. 13

    I guess I have to try Chrome now, since Exploder, Opera and Firefox don’t work.

    Funny, true, and …. frustrating.

  14. 14
    Laura W says:

    Someone probably mentioned this elsewhere but Plouffe writing book on the campaign!
    Just the guy I want to support with my bucks and just the guy I want to learn the inside story from.
    Fabulous.

  15. 15
    AhabTRuler says:

    The above quote uses the language "was passed" while later stating that the raise was issued through Executive order. Since EO’s aren’t law, and (despite what the quote says) aren’t "passed" by anyone, does the clause even apply?

  16. 16
    South of I-10 says:

    These people are just batshit insane. Has he not already produced a certified copy, which is all that is required of anyone? They will apparently not be satisfied until each wingnut flies to Hawaii and views the original birth certificate personally.

    Obama’s parents were so clever to place that fake birth announcement in the paper back when he was born. Now the whole evil plan is coming together . . .

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    @srv: Oh fer chrissakes the melodrama. I closed a blockquote with /div, and it is all better now.

    You people.

  18. 18
    Dustin says:

    Looks fine in Opera Mini on my Blackberry…

    Just sayin’.

    And for the Clinton thing: Anyone have a five-spot we can give the repugs so they’ll leave us alone? It works for nitpicking kids, might work for them too.

  19. 19
    Brian J says:

    If there was some sort of amendment to the Constitution that made income taxes illegal enacted in the next session of congress, you can bet your ass that the editorial page writers of The WSJ would be dancing through the streets of Manhattan.

  20. 20
    ksmiami says:

    Crazy – I think I am going to need extra vodka and the waitresses and the kinks to get me through this holiday season and up to the inauguration!

  21. 21
    Brachiator says:

    The craziest thing about the birth certificate issue is that it is mostly pushed by the same folk who, for years, have believed in the Clinton death list and spread rumors that the Clinton family offed Vince Foster. In short, they think Bill and Hillary killed dozens of people, but don’t think they were ruthless enough to exploit the birth certificate issue during the primary.

    Actually, I think this is the last gasp of those boneheads who cannot imagine a black man as president. They have to invent all kinds of reasons why he is not actually legitimate. This intersects with the Clinton haters, but these people are batshit crazy in their own special way.

    By the by, the Clintons could never have exploited this during the primary. They could trout out the inexperience card and the "commander-in-chief" threshold nonsense, but would risk tremendous backlash within the party if they tried to get into this or the Obama is too exotic BS.

  22. 22
    Mike says:

    Look at the WSJ comments: predictably, several of them say "So what’s new? The dirty fucking hippies and their foreigner president have already crapped all over the Constitution."

  23. 23
    Tymannosourus says:

    @John Cole:

    What do you mean "you people?!"

  24. 24
    jenniebee says:

    Did the WSJ run this screed right next to the piece about how CEO pay is determined by sacrosanct free market principles that are unerring in their determination that it’s worth $10,000,000 to a company to get a big name to drive it into the ground?

    The Founders wrote the Emoluments Clause to prevent Members from enriching themselves by setting up plum assignments and then maneuvering into the jobs. If Congress is able to ignore language expressly written to curtail its power, the clause is effectively a dead letter.

    If there’s anybody at the WSJ who can keep a straight face while claiming that doing the Sec. State job at under $200K p/a is a "plum assignment"; or that raising the Sec State pay less than 3% is "setting up" a juicy desk job that anybody with the math skills of a third-grader would be after for the money, my hat is off to him, and I want whatever he’s smoking.

  25. 25
    David Robinson says:

    I got banned from a website where the only topic is the birth certificate/citizenship issue when I asked:

    "Why did the Republican Party spend $millions and $millions on a campaign when the Democratic opponent doesn’t fill one of the two criteria for being president?"

    "Why did John McCain concede?"

  26. 26
    Trollhattan says:

    @ Mike

    You looked at WSJ comments?!? You must now clense your eyes with battery acid and pray for recovery.

    Murdoch has really improved things over there, fer sure.

  27. 27
    Librarian says:

    Why won’t Hillary just work for nothing, or for a dollar a year? I believe she’s well off enough to do that, right? She’s not in politics for the money.

  28. 28
    ppcli says:

    John Cole: In short, they think Bill and Hillary killed dozens of people, but don’t think they were ruthless enough to exploit the birth certificate issue during the primary. C’mon, conspiracy nuts! If there was a there there, wouldn’t the murderous Clinton clan have gone there?

    Come on, John. Don’t you get it? They *knew* about the birth certificate all along, but they kept it as a backup plan in case Hillary [or should I say, speaking in character: “Hitlery”, or perhaps “the Hildebeeste”] didn’t win the nomination: once Hillary becomes Secretary of State, then in quick succession Biden "will have another aneurism", Pelosi and Robert Byrd will die in traffic accidents, and all of a sudden the "Certificate of Moslem Birth in Kenya" will be revealed. And voila! Hillary will be president at last.
    .
    It’s so obvious, really, if you’re paying attention. But this is clearly such a sooper-sekret plan that even Rush is scared to talk about it.

  29. 29
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Different town, different day. The Circus goes on.

  30. 30
    zzyzx says:

    @David Robinson: What site is that? I could use a good laugh or two today.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    If there’s anybody at the WSJ who can keep a straight face while claiming that doing the Sec. State job at under $200K p/a is a "plum assignment"; or that raising the Sec State pay less than 3% is "setting up" a juicy desk job that anybody with the math skills of a third-grader would be after for the money, my hat is off to him, and I want whatever he’s smoking.

    You’d think that there would be some kind of loophole for when the executive branch changes hands, but our Constitution unfortunately tried to avoid party politics, as with the original plan where the runner-up for the presidency became the VP. (Can you imagine McCain as Obama’s VP?) So, since the idea of political parties was pretty much kept out of the Constitution, I can understand where you would run afoul of a situation that the Founders didn’t foresee.

    Is it worth an amendment?

  32. 32
  33. 33
    kay says:

    @David Robinson:

    I’m rattled by the birth certificate thing. I know it’s silly. I know it won’t get far.

    I’m rattled by it because I’m old enough to remember when there would have been broad agreement on one thing: the accuser has the burden of backing accusations with proof, not the accused.

    I’m not talking about lawyers talking to lawyers. I’m talking about laypeople. We used to agree on that. I can assert any crazy accusation I care to. What I can’t do is insist others DISPROVE my wild accusations.

    That’s never mentioned, not anywhere. Instead, it’s now perfectly acceptable to demand: "why won’t Obama disprove these accusations?"

    I think it’s a variant of "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

    When did this insane notion become widely accepted?

  34. 34
    JasonF says:

    Of course the right wing has "rediscovered" the Constitutional limits on governmental power. They are also going to "rediscover" fiscal conservatism, by which I mean they will fight every bit of spending the Democrats propose and claim they are doing it on principle.

  35. 35
    kay says:

    I’d even go a step further. I think it comes from the Right. Andrew Sullivan indulges in it, and apparently believes it.

    He says Trig Palin is not Sarah Palin’s baby? Well, it’s up to Sarah Palin to disprove that! Since when? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Sullivan had to SHOW something, or shut the hell up.

    FOX News says, sans proof, that Chris Dodd got a sweet quid pro quo on a mortgage? It’s up to Dodd to provide the note for review! Unless he does, they’re just going to assume it’s fact! Again, since when? When did this become acceptable?

  36. 36
    cynickal says:

    Let them waste their money.

  37. 37
    Brachiator says:

    @JasonF:

    Of course the right wing has "rediscovered" the Constitutional limits on governmental power. They are also going to "rediscover" fiscal conservatism, by which I mean they will fight every bit of spending the Democrats propose and claim they are doing it on principle.

    Someone somewhere should have an archive of every conservative pundit’s column which argued during the Bush Administration that deficits don’t really matter because we’re fighting the war on terror and deficits as a percentage of GDP is within an acceptable range, etc.

    And every Republican who voted for the $700 billion Wall Street Bailout has given the Democrats a STFU Card.

  38. 38
    Brian J says:

    @kay:

    I absolutely agree with you, but I think you’re missing part of the point. A big part of the strategy is to create a certain image. Claims don’t necessarily have to be proven true in order to sow the seeds of doubt about Obama’s record or his background. They simply have to gain enough traction by enough people to contribute to the idea that an overall description might be true.

  39. 39
    zzyzx says:

    Oh damn, thought it was a site I didn’t already know about.

    I love how one of the things they’re demanding is Obama’s college records. If Obama has a valid BC, how can his B- in Sociology his junior year effect anything?

  40. 40
    Balconesfault says:

    @Brachiator:

    deficits don’t really matter because we’re fighting the war on terror and deficits as a percentage of GDP is within an acceptable range

    Ahh – falling into their trap, I see! The last part of their nefarious plan was to destroy the GDP so now deficits DO matter!

  41. 41
    [delurk]...[/delurk] says:

    Firefox works for me. I know that because I have to switch to Firefox (which I hate) for this site and this site alone.

    This new, even more virulent plague of Flash will cause Safari to bomb unless I hit the "stop loading" button at the exact right moment, after the text has loaded, and before the misbegotten Flash ads start infecting the page.

    Even the previous worst site, nasa.gov, would load the first time: I had to forget where I was and hit the "back" button instead of digging back in the history to have Safari hang.

    Seriously: Die, Flash, Die! Die, Adobe, Die!

  42. 42
    Balconesfault says:

    @zzyzx:

    I love how one of the things they’re demanding are Obama’s college records.

    Even better is teh stupid embodied in the cry and hue for Obama’s nonexistent senior thesis.

    Clearly, there were many people in on this from the beginning, if Columbia University waited until Obama’s matriculation to create a thesis requirement.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    n other legal related news, the SCOTUS will address the zombie birth certificate issue:

    Uncle Thomas has one last middle finger to give America.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    Having said that, someone could have a lot of fun reviewing the WSJ’s opinions on detainees and Gitmo and the like the past seven years.

    More likely to raise one’s blood pressure reviewing it.

    Their editors need to be hanged in job lots for being a threat to simple human decency.

  45. 45
    Nylund says:

    Obama could simply declare Hillary to be an enemy combatant. That way the constitution won’t apply to her. Or he could issue a signing statement. If all else fails, he could ask John Yoo to write a memo.

    All in all, Bush created a very strong legal legacy towards giving the White House the ability to ignore the constitution as it pleases.

  46. 46
    Stooleo says:

    That td blog is new to me..ugh.. On another note I truly wish that this were true.

  47. 47
    ThymeZone says:

    "You people"

    Yeah, so far today, several complete lockups, post-edit not working, slow as death loads, and this, from the page I am posting to right now, which is so common now that I don’t pay attention to it any more:

    Database error: Lock wait timeout exceeded; try restarting transaction
    SQL: UPDATE wp_firestats_urls SET site_id = 1 WHERE id = 148525

    And that is just a typical, better than average day on this site.

    Absolute THE WORST website out there in terms of tractability and usability. The fact that people actually put up with this and still hang here should tell you that you should get over yourself and keep working to make this thing technically viable.

  48. 48
    Ecostar says:

    The craziest thing about the birth certificate issue is that it is mostly pushed by the same folk who, for years, have believed in the Clinton death list and spread rumors that the Clinton family offed Vince Foster.

    And these same nut-jobs are likely among those saying Obama offed his Grandmother before the election to generate sympathy.

    Have these people no shame. I think not!

  49. 49
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kay:

    Consider the 2004 SBVT slimefest.

    They could not prove a single substantive claim they made about Kerry’s military service. Not a single one.

    Their response? It’s Kerry’s fault for not releasing his military records.

    Never mind that Kerry posted his military records on his website, and allowed reporters to see his medical records, before he was even the official nominee.

    Never mind that Kerry had not only released his full records to his biographer, Douglas Brinkley, in 2003, and signed three different SF 180s releasing his full records to three news organizations in 2005 – and all of them said they were basically the same as the records he posted at his website.

    Never mind that they have yet to show what records are missing from those Kerry made public, much less which ones would prove any claim SBVT made.

    It’s enough to claim it’s all his fault.

  50. 50
    Calouste says:

    Good to see the WSJ and the right wing up in arms against a supposedly unconstitutional practice that was invented under one Republican President (Taft) and is commonly named after a case under another Republican President (Nixon).

    Hypocrisy thy name is GOP.

  51. 51
    Calouste says:

    @Brian J:

    You’re right. It’s all about spreading rumors and creating an image. The right-wing is still trying to create their own reality, and get the suckers to buy into it.

  52. 52
    That One - Cain says:

    @Brachiator:

    Someone somewhere should have an archive of every conservative pundit’s column which argued during the Bush Administration that deficits don’t really matter because we’re fighting the war on terror and deficits as a percentage of GDP is within an acceptable range, etc.

    Now if we could somehow fight their columns with reprints of their bush era columns that would be golden.

    sri

  53. 53
    lutton says:

    The above quote uses the language "was passed" while later stating that the raise was issued through Executive order. Since EO’s aren’t law, and (despite what the quote says) aren’t "passed" by anyone, does the clause even apply?

    exactly…nice try by the WSJ, but they just show how little respect they intend to show the Obama admin.

    Executive Orders aren’t passed, they are issued. Idiots.

    Passing an executive order sounds like a medical issue to me.

  54. 54
    marchmoon says:

    Kay and Brian J:

    You guys are absolutely right. The SCOTUS review isn’t about Obama, but whether the petitioner has standing.

    So, it is about the accuser showing proof…

  55. 55
    sierra117 says:

    @Tymannosourus

    What do YOU mean by "you people"? ;)

  56. 56
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Damn, this week is full of surprises. First Bush sells his Crawford pig/brush farm, and now this from the WSJ.

  57. 57
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    Passing an executive order sounds like a medical issue to me.

    Considering that the WSJ editorial board has been passing gas for years it’s an understandable mistake.

  58. 58
    kay says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals:

    I was volunteering for Kerry, my first political campaign, sort of reluctantly, but RESOLUTELY, in horror and mild desperation at the alternative, when Swift Boat hit.

    I followed it, and (stupidly) thought: "well, that’s disproved, so there will be an inane "discussion" and then we’ll move on".

    Nope. It BECAME "TRUE". It’s an alternate reality, and crazytown is a scary place to live.

    It’s appalling, this new standard. I’m convinced it came at us from the Right. It fits the standard MO, doesn’t it? Both stupid and scary, at the same time?

  59. 59
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kay:

    Yes. And I think it set a new standard for whack-a-mole sleaze tactics.

  60. 60
    Dustin says:

    @47

    The worst? Hardly. Though if you think you can do better on a shoestring budget go right ahead, make a better site.

  61. 61
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @[delurk]…[/delurk],

    open a terminal window
    cd /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/

    rm AdobePDFViewer.plugin
    rm flashplayer.xpt

    Or just navigate there in the finder from the top of the HD. Or better yet, move the files elsewhere so you can change your mind when you realize your banking site requires one of them.

  62. 62
    C says:

    "When did this insane notion become widely accepted?"

    The Truthers and the John Bircher conspiracists come from two sides of the same loooooong-standing idiot coin. They’ve been around forever.

    Our reality tv-obsessed media is shiteous to the point where we’re actually giving airtime to both.

  63. 63
    Cyrus says:

    @kay:

    I’m rattled by it because I’m old enough to remember when there would have been broad agreement on one thing: the accuser has the burden of backing accusations with proof, not the accused.

    Meh, I don’t think this is much of a change from the real old days, as opposed to the imaginary ones generated by nostalgia. A lot of people took Joe McCarthy seriously when he was in the middle of his witchhunts, didn’t they? A lot of people didn’t take him seriously too, but then, a lot of people aren’t taking the birth certificate truthers seriously either. And red-baiting began long before McCarthy’s career. It’s not just about communism, either. To Kill a Mockingbird was at least partly based on a true story – there are racial issues there too, but still the same mentality of "guilty until proven innocent."

    I agree with you that people suck. Your mistake is the assumption that they ever didn’t.

  64. 64
    binzinerator says:

    @kay:

    Bothers me too. I also remember another little thing we once had a broad agreement on as a necessity against injustice, a little something called habeas corpus.

    When did this insane notion become widely accepted?

    About the same time the Geneva Convention was declared ‘quaint’. About the same time Bush and Cheney set up a network of secret prisons. About the same time these same people began to insist torture was merely harsh interrogation techniques. Which gave a certain born-again christian all the rationalization he needed to go before the nation and keep a straight face while telling us we don’t torture. And most of the nation either believed him or didn’t believe him but didn’t care. That was the sign.

    The republican party and its followers have done more to undermine western civilization in general and democracy in particular than any group of terrorists ever could. I am being dead serious when I say that. What kay is talking about and habeas corpus were fundamentals. Unless of course one thinks life under Louis XIV was the apogee.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @Cyrus:

    I was lobbying my own lawyer, a conservative, but no longer a Republican, AB (After Bush) to support John Kerry. Lobbying in a half-ass way, really, but once he showed a leaning it became wildly important to convince him.

    He was on board, until he saw the Swift Boat deluge, and he told me he found it… "POWERFUL". No amount of proof to the contrary would convince him.

    I thought: "they got Marty".

    Marty who is rational and fair-minded and loathes gossip. Abducted into Crazytown.

    Maybe you’re right.

  66. 66
    JasonF says:

    Don’t get too hung up on the use of the word "passed" by the WSJ. That’s just sloppy paraphrasing on their part. The full text of the clause (second clause of Art. I, Sec. 6) is as follows:

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

    The Saxbe fix — named after William Saxbe, who went from the Senate to the Attorney General’s office — is to simply roll back the compensation to what it was at the begining of the Senator’s term (in this case, Secretary of State Clinton would be paid whatever was the salary for the Secretary of State’s office as of the begining of her current term in January 2007).

    As Calouste points out in post 50, the Saxbe fix was pioneered when President Taft nominated Senator Philander Knox as Secretary of State, was named after a Nixon appointee, and was used when President Carter nominated Edmund Muskie to Secretary of State in 1980. In 1992, President Clinton announced his intention to nominate Senator Bentsen to head the Department of Treasury and the first President Bush approved a Saxbe fix to enable it to happen.

    On the other hand, when Senator Hatch was on President Reagan’s short list for the Supreme Court to fill the seat left open by Justice Powell’s retirement, there was some concern over the constitutionality of the Saxbe fix, at least among the press. The argument against the Saxbe fix is that even if you lower the salary, the emoulements were raised during the Senatorial term. You can undo the increase, but you obviously can’t make it so the increase never occurred.

  67. 67
    Tsulagi says:

    Obama could simply declare Hillary to be an enemy combatant. That way the constitution won’t apply to her. Or he could issue a signing statement. If all else fails, he could ask John Yoo to write a memo.

    Sounds like good ole Bush conservative reasoning to me. Given the frequency used, there’s got to be a shitload of blank executive order and signing statement pads in the WH used to write prescriptions for the Constitution and claim federal law didn’t apply to a wartime Decider’s decidings. New Decider Obama could follow in those enlightened post-9/11 footsteps.

    Wasn’t questioning that practice supposed to be unpatriotic and rooting for the terrorists to win? Why does the WSJ hate America?

    OT, but it’s fun to point and laugh. What does a wingnut do if he finds another wingnut trying to peak for possible dirt on his countertops? Why of course he (Erick at RS) writes a front page post complete with little flashing siren exposing it and questioning motives. Hey, if you’re not guilty of something, what do you have to hide?

  68. 68
    passerby says:

    @[delurk]…[/delurk]:

    Seriously: Die, Flash, Die! Die, Adobe, Die!

    In total agreement.

    Glad I’m not alone. I’m using firefox. Does flash do better on Safari?

    I have to switch over to IE (the world’s worst) to open my hotmail email.

  69. 69
    Tonal Crow says:

    The birth-certificate issue is from the same GOPping hypocrites who derisively dismissed a similar challenge to McCain’s native-born status, and who think Bush v. Gore was the apotheosis of judicial legitimacy.

    Humbug!

  70. 70
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I’m using firefox. Does flash do better on Safari?

    I don’t know, but Firefox does have AdBlock.

  71. 71
    Montysano says:

    From Texas Darlin’:

    I don’t know of a more intelligent, hard-working, ethical anti-Obama blogger than Atlas Shrugs.

    Yeah….

    Sometimes Teh Stupid is funny, but when it’s not funny, it’s just plain ol’ stupid.

  72. 72
    binzinerator says:

    I agree with you that people suck. Your mistake is the assumption that they ever didn’t.

    If this is true can you tell me of the time when the suck was in so many ways simultaneously and with such a broad and open degree of government complicity?

    Joe McCarthy didn’t go witchhunting AND have the government kidnap people AND implement a program of government-sanctioned torture AND imprison people for years without charges AND try those who were tortured into confessions in kangaroo courts AND decide which laws to ignore — and do it all at the same time.

    And Joe was just a senator, just one man who controlled no branch of government. Even if he had Eisenhower’s job he would not have had the executive powers Bush and Cheney have.

    We still don’t know how many people were murdered in BushCo’s secret gulags, but there have been at least hundreds.

    And there’s something else in what kay wrote that I think you may have overlooked: the ‘broad agreement’ part. Guilty until proven innocent may have held sway under certain conditions, or in certain regions, or for certain groups of people. But there never was broad agreement that that was how our legal system should work. In the last 8 years, it seems that agreement become narrower.

    This observation hints that something has changed:

    The number of scenes of torture on TV shows is significantly higher than it was five years ago and the characters who torture have changed. It used to be that only villains on television tortured. Today, “good guy” and heroic American characters torture — and this torture is depicted as necessary, effective and even patriotic.

    And it’s arguably not even the same mentality of ‘guilty until proven innocent’. Orwell has said the object of torture is torture. The suck that the goopers began doing — the lawless things, the torture, the secret violence — these things are done for power’s sake. They do it because they can.

    And that is a different mentality at work from guilty until proven innocent.

    But it’s both the scale of it and the pervasiveness of it — it’s become policy and it’s gone mainstream — that argues there has been a change. A big one.

    @C:

    The Truthers and the John Bircher conspiracists come from two sides of the same loooooong-standing idiot coin. They’ve been around forever.

    I’d agree with that. But idiot coins are now being accepted as legal tender.

  73. 73
    BC says:

    Anybody here remember the true Constitutional dodge that should have been like a big red light to all of us – when Cheney, who had been living in Texas forever, went to WY to register to vote, then announced that he would run as Bush’s VP. There’s a specific prohibition against two people from same state being elected president and v-president. Cheney was really and truly from Texas and not from WY – and we let it happen. WSJ let it happen, even probably applauded it. So, Constitution was undermined by Bush and Cheney before they were even elected and we foolish few just stood by and said nothing – no pitchforks, no riots, just acquiescence. So if Obama wants Clinton to be his SOS, then she can be it, emoluments or whatever be damned. We have other ways of keeping people from increasing the salary of an office and then getting appointed to it, so we can be true to the intent if not to the letter of the Constitution. But fie on those on the right who dare utter anything like this as being contra the Constitution – they already shredded that document, so they have no standing to complain.

  74. 74
    binzinerator says:

    Well, it’s up to Sarah Palin to disprove that! Since when?

    I gotta disagree with that. Because that changed when she was nominated VP, whose first and foremost duty is to be a backup President. I want to know more about such a person than I would an ordinary citizen.

    I don’t care about who’s baby it is, I do care that she never released any sort of medical history information, even after promising publicly she would. That right there is reason to press that issue. (Her whole consistent pattern of deception even when it was obvious she would be found out and her seeming disregard for the consequences of it was reason enough for me to wonder about her mental history, and more than enough reason for any rational person to want to keep her the hell away from power).

    If you think knowing the history of health and mental stability of someone who will have the power of the presidency is important, how will you get that information? That is not something you or anyone else can prove by other means. The records are the proof and the candidate is the only one who can provide it.

    I’d say the needs of the state and safety of its citizens make that expectation reasonable.

  75. 75
    kay says:

    @binzinerator:

    In 2006, I canvassed for Sherrod Brown. He won. He’s the Senator from Ohio. By 2006, I had expanded my "activism" to shilling for really any candidate who seemed sane.

    I wrote him an email, thanking him, when he introduced a bill in the Senate to essentially reinstate habeas corpus. He had promised to do so were he elected. The legislation failed.

    He wrote me a letter in response, thanking ME for thanking HIM. The Senate stationary is really nice. It has a Senate seal.

    At that point, the complete and utter lunacy of this whole exchange started to sink in, and it just made me sad.

  76. 76
    Mike says:

    There’s a specific prohibition against two people from same state being elected president and v-president.

    To be precise, it’s a prohibition against an elector from state X voting for presidential and vice-presidential candidates both from X. Bush and Cheney were legally able to run together so long as they didn’t mind forfeiting Texas’s electoral votes.

  77. 77
    binzinerator says:

    Clarification: When I said ‘I gotta disagree with that.’ I meant disagree with the idea that Palin shouldn’t have to prove her medical history, not the baby thing.

    Trig, schmig. But the nut of it is, releasing her records to prove her physical and mental fitness would of course prove (or disprove) the whole Trig thing.

    Sullivan repeatedly asked on his blog for all the candidates to release their medical records. That’s the consistent thing he kept harping on. The only one who never gave out anything was Palin. Her refusal and her pretending as if she already had, and her later-retracted statement she would release them only lent fuel to the Trig truthers.

    I do think she was hiding something. The woman had a shitload of things she lied about or tried to keep hidden (her own bizarre pregnancy, her knocked up unwed teen daughter, her misuse of office in vendetta against former brother-in-law, etc).

    I am inclined to think there is another political bombshell in those records she wanted to hide, and I don’t think Trig is it. And yup I got nuttin’ to back that up with. And the only one in the world who can prove or disprove any of that — legit questions or truther theories — ain’t ever gonna let anyone take a peek now.

    And since I’m just throwing shit out there and demanding others to prove it, I’ll just note that given the rightwing’s addiction to projection (you can always tell what they’re up to by what they accuse the other side of) and what with their obsession with the birth history of Obama, I’d say there’s a possibility there’s a birth history that has something to do with Sarah Palin, their up-and-coming hope to win the White House in 2012, that they’re anxious to not have examined too closely.

  78. 78
    norristownrules says:

    If you liked Texas Darlin you will love Rosetta Sister.

  79. 79
    NonWonderDog says:

    @kay:

    I’d even go a step further. I think it comes from the Right. Andrew Sullivan indulges in it, and apparently believes it.
     
    He says Trig Palin is not Sarah Palin’s baby? Well, it’s up to Sarah Palin to disprove that! Since when? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Sullivan had to SHOW something, or shut the hell up.

    To be fair to Sully (shudder), the official story of Trig’s birth is every bit as batshit crazy. Sullivan has tried (occasionally) to say he just wants proof of the official story, and not disproof of the conspiracy theory. The official story, as reported in the Alaskan press: Sarah Palin’s water broke in Texas at 3 AM, she called her doctor in Wasilla but then went back to bed, she gave a speech at a governor’s conference in the morning, she stayed for the panel discussion until after noon, she drove to the airport, she boarded a plane and flew to Seattle (during which nobody noticed that she was 8 months pregnant), she waited for a connecting flight, she boarded another plane and flew to Anchorage (during which nobody noticed that she was 8 months pregnant), she waited for her husband to pick her up, she drove to a tiny little podunk hospital in Wasilla, and she gave birth two hours later–about 26 hours after her water broke in Austin.

    This is supposed to be an inspiring story about how dedicated Alaska’s Governor is, but it’s not much more credible than the conspiracy theory. The best explanation is that it was Palin’s father who said her water broke in Austin, and he didn’t actually know what the fuck he was talking about–Sarah Palin just played along because it made her sound "tough." But now, I really just don’t give a shit about her anymore except to mock her. Sullivan apparently still does care.

  80. 80
    [delurk]...[/delurk] says:

    @ Comrade Darkness:

    I’d tried removing the Flash Player and it didn’t help. I didn’t realize I had to throw out the PDF Reader plugin, too. Thanks!

    @ Passerby:

    No, Flash is the worst on Safari. It’s all part of Adobe’s vendetta against Apple, after Apple made them what they are. It’s one of the most egregious cases of ingratitude I know of.

    Sorry I didn’t answer earlier, but I couldn’t get to this site for hours.

  81. 81
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @kay:

    Well, you could ask Marty to name a single claim they made that was proven true. Give him all the time he needs.

    Michael Kinsley made a good point about swift-boating:

    Swift-boating’s essence is a particular kind of dishonesty, or rather a particular combination of shadowy dishonesties. It usually involves a complex web of facts, many of which may even be true. It exploits its own complexity and the reluctance of the media to adjudicate factual disputes. No matter how thoroughly a charge may be discredited, enough taint remains to support an argument. The fundamental dishonesty is the suggestion that the issue, whatever it is, really matters. This is how swift-boating differs from its cousin McCarthyism, which deals in totally baseless charges that would be deeply serious if true. Swift-boating is McCarthyism lite.

    To Swift-Boat or Not

  82. 82
    passerby says:

    @[delurk]…[/delurk]:

    No, Flash is the worst on Safari. It’s all part of Adobe’s vendetta against Apple, after Apple made them what they are. It’s one of the most egregious cases of ingratitude I know of.

    Sorry I didn’t answer earlier, but I couldn’t get to this site for hours.

    thanks. I got tired of waiting for my pages to load here so I was off doing laundry.

    night all.

  83. 83
    Joe says:

    Don’t forget, Dick Cheney had to change his official residence back to Wyoming to meet the President-VP can’t be from the same state provision of the Constitution, which was the second-to-last time he followed said document (swearing in)

  84. 84
    Edly says:

    @passerby

    I have to switch over to IE (the world’s worst) to open my hotmail email.

    I’m sure I’m not telling you something you don’t already know, but that’s because Hotmail was absorbed by the Borg bought by MicroSoft a while ago. And as you know "Windows ain’t done until Lotus doesn’t run" used to be their unofficial motto.

  85. 85
    mmc says:

    I don’t remember the WSJ crying foul when Cheney switched his residency from Dallas (where he’d lived since leaving government eight years earlier) to Jackson Hole a couple days before Bush announced him as running mate to avoid the whole constitutional prohibition about the president and VP being from the same state,

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