Trump Is Biting The Hand That Feeds Him

I don’t remember if it was during the second or third debate that Donald Trump gloated that he was spending a lot less on his campaign than Hillary Clinton. But he was correct…and it’s because he has been able to manipulate the media and keep on the top lead of every media outlet by continuing to upstage himself with the next outlandish statement or stunt.

And the media just keeps eating it up and giving him the ink and airtime. I don’t remember what the last estimate was for the amount of free press he’s gotten but it’s in the billions of dollars.

But of course as the campaign winds down toward November 8th, he needs to rouse his core supporters by renewing the assault on his ‘liberal mainstream media’. So we hear him call the press following his campaign as the ‘worst people’ and continue to deride them in his rallies. And it’s gotten to the point that attendees are ignoring Mr. Trump and are heckling the press corps instead.

So Mr. Trump continues to attack the very constitution he pretends to revere. This doesn’t bode well whether he wins or loses.

Campaign 16: Taking The Oath on the Constitution, Not A Bible

Way back during President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration, I waxed poetic about discarding the practice of using a Bible and suggested that the proper protocol would to be take the oath of office with your hand resting on a copy of the US Constitution…the very document that you are swearing to uphold.

If elected, I will do so…and I will support legislation that requires using the Constitution and prevents the use of any religious book or text.

Campaign 16: We The People!

Sometime between the inauguration speech and the first ball, I would start pressuring Congress to replace the current motto, ‘In God We Trust’ with ‘We The People’!

Originally I thought this was just going to be a trivial add on to my thoughts on Campaign 16 and I would throw it out here during a peak time when there wasn’t much time to write. But then I got busy with real life and haven’t had the time to spend writing and researching…and some of the big issues I want to address just haven’t got to the Blogging Blue yet.

Then I realized that the concept to change the motto is the perfect starting point to the campaign. Because ‘We The People’ perfectly describes the difference between how I interpret government’s role in America and the ‘professed’ beliefs of most all of the other candidates.

‘We The People’ represents the entire Constitution as the guiding principle to protect and support ALL of the people of the United States. The principle that we all have the rights outlined in the document, that we all have the protections outlined in the document and that we all share the responsibilities inherent in those rights and protections. The actions of the government need to be directed to benefit the common good…the entire common good…not a select few…not a particular class…not a particular race. It implies a proactive nature, a proactive stance…where a love of nation is exhibited in a love of our fellow man…not in flag waving patriotic zealotry…where jobs provide the means of life…where education provides the means to jobs…and where the national goal is to build the greatest nation to live in…not the greatest military might on earth.

I am not going to go to great lengths to dis ‘In God We Trust’ on first amendment grounds nor that it doesn’t reflect the diversity that is the United States. But it just doesn’t suit the vision and promise that should be the United States.

What’s been missing in the ” singalong ” debate.

Federal Judge William Conley’s ruling. That’s what’s been missing from the back and forth about whether or not the solidarity singalong should be required to get a permit to protest in the capitol four days a week from noon to 1:00 pm.

To my knowledge the only blogger, until now,  to post a link to the ruling is Lisa Mux over at Waukesha Wonk in a post titled  ” Federal judge’s ruling hailed as “a huge victory for free speech” in Wisconsin “.

I read most of the ruling a few weeks back and my understanding of the relevant aspects is this: Judge Conley found portions of the DOA permit policy unconstitutional, namely, that requiring four or more people to apply for a permit was unreasonable and that the policy actually favored political speech. Conley ruled that political speech cannot be exalted above any other form.

So judge Conley, an Obama appointee,  struck down  those particular portions of the permit policy and left the rest intact.  I would note at this point that Senator Chris Larson’s statement that he feels the singers should get a permit is, from my understanding, entirely in line with Conley’s ruling.

A trial is set for January, 2014, in a case challenging the constitutionality of the entire permit policy, brought forth by the  ACLU of Wisconsin on behalf of plaintiff Michael Kissick . It’s worth noting that in his ruling Conley wrote that he found little merit in some of the plaintiff’s more sweeping constitutional claims, which leads me to believe that there’s very little chance Conley will agree with those who claim that the constitution is the only permit the singers need to protest in the capitol.

So my question is, why is there no outcry against Conley? Isn’t he aiding Walker/Huebsch/Erwin in their crackdown on free speech by leaving the  bulk of the permit policy intact? Why no demonstrations on the steps of the federal courthouse?

If I’ve got any of this wrong I’m happy to be corrected. But I do think that any further discussion/debate about this issue should include mention of  Conley’s ruling.

President To Take Oath of Office on MLK and Lincoln Bibles But WHY?

First of all I don’t understand why he needs two bibles…but then on the other hand I don’t understand why we are using bibles at all…the President and every elected and appointed official who has to take an oath of office should be using a copy of the US Constitution…it is after all the document that they are actually swearing to uphold.

One of my resolutions this year will be to provide the Library of Congress and the White House with a formal nicely bound copy of the US Constitution for future use!

Throw Out the Bible

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

There it is, big as life and twice as mean. The oath of office that the new President of the United States recites at his/her inauguration. The exact text is specified in Article Two of The Constitution of the United States of America!

Over the past several weeks there has been considerable discussion across the world wide web: if elected would Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney take this oath with his hand on a Bible or a Book of Mormon. BTW: not every president has used a bible in the past, Teddy Roosevelt being a prime example!

But this shouldn’t even be a question…THROW OUT THE BIBLE! The oath of office for the President and every other federal official should be administered with the office holders hand planted firmly on a copy of THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

The Constitution of the United States of America…the very document that they are swearing to protect and defend. Why would we ever consider anything else?

Lee Camp: “Life, Liberty, & Indefinite Detention Without A Trial” (VIDEO)

Yesterday I wrote about the dangerous provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, provisions that would expressly empower the President — with regard to anyone who “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” – to detain those individuals “without trial until the end of the hostilities.”

Put plainly, the National Defense Authorization Act would give the President the power to imprison anyone – including U.S. citizens – indefinitely without a trial or any of the legal protections afforded to U.S. citizens by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

In his latest Moment of Clarity, comedian Lee Camp talks about “Life, Liberty, & Indefinite Detention Without A Trial.”

The fact that our government is all too willing to give the president the ability to order U.S. citizens detained without a trial or any other Constitutionally-protected civil rights is truly frightening, and I’m shocked more people aren’t outraged at this drastic step in the opposite direction of our Constitution.

Can we expect to see the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial or Constitutional protections?

To say that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 contains some troubling provisions would be an understatement. Among them is a set of provisions that expressly empowers the President — with regard to anyone who “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” – to detain those individuals “without trial until the end of the hostilities.”

Put plainly, the National Defense Authorization Act would give the President the power to imprison anyone – including U.S. citizens – indefinitely without a trial or any of the legal protections afforded to U.S. citizens by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Over at the Huffington Post, Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota wrote an excellent editorial explaining why he voted against the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

With this defense authorization act, Congress will, for the first time in 60 years, authorize the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial, according to its advocates. This would be the first time that Congress has deviated from President Nixon’s Non-Detention Act. And what we are talking about here is that Americans could be subjected to life imprisonment without ever being charged, tried, or convicted of a crime, without ever having an opportunity to prove their innocence to a judge or a jury of their peers. And without the government ever having to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I think that denigrates the very foundations of this country. It denigrates the Bill of Rights. It denigrates what our Founders intended when they created a civilian, non-military justice system for trying and punishing people for crimes committed on U.S. soil. Our Founders were fearful of the military–and they purposely created a system of checks and balances to ensure we did not become a country under military rule. This bill undermines that core principle, which is why I could not support it.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and this wasn’t the way to mark its birthday.

And for more reading on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, check out Glenn Greenwald’s piece over at Salon.com, where he debunks three myths about the NDAA.

It’s worth noting that the NDAA passed a vote in the House of Representatives with a vast majority of “freedom loving, anti-government intrusion” Republicans supporting the measure, so for all their talk about how they want to limit government intrusion into the lives of our nation’s citizens, those Republicans who voted for the NDAA have clearly and unambiguously demonstrated that they support government intrusion into our lives (and government violating our Constitutionally-protected rights) when it’s politically expedient.

Oh, and shame on those Democrats (Wisconsin’s Rep. Ron Kind, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz among them) who voted to allow some of the most basic principles upon which our nation was founded to be forfeited in the name of “national security.”

Wississippi Might be too Generous

The latest “special jobs session” where the Governor promised a “laser focus on jobs” which ended last night produced a total of 0.0 bills pertaining to jobs. Instead they took up such important bills as these:

* Students Test Scores can now be used to fire and discipline teachers.

* Approved a bill prohibiting the use of race in college grants.

* Passed the \"castle doctrine\" allowing people to shoot first and skip the questions. Which will now add a new twist to “trick or treating”. I wonder if the UPS drivers now qualify for combat pay?

* Dismantled the previous comprehensive sex ed bill & replaced it with mandatory abstinence only education. Which we know always works as planned! As Glenn Grothman says(and who does not want Grothman in charge of our children’s sex education?):

“We are trying to back away from the bill passed last year that we feel mandated sex ed that was too nonjudgmental, too explicit and at too young an age,” said Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend.

* Prohibited communities from placing any limits whatsoever on landlords. RIP local control!!

* In those same lines, made it practically impossible for a tenant to sue a landlord when they are wronged or put in danger.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The list is extensive and not a single jobs was created during these sessions. Of course the no jobs bills session was strictly done by the republicans alone as the democrats pleaded repeatedly to bring jobs bills to the floor. As Minority leader Peter Barca wrote:

On Tuesday Democrats in the Assembly and Senate unveiled a package of nine bills, focused on training workers for jobs that are immediately available to bridge the gap between open jobs and unemployed workers. Rather than agreeing to work together on job training, Republicans wrongly tried to demean and downplay these important bills that were developed with businesspeople and representatives from technical schools as a “stunt.”

During Thursday’s session, Democrats pleaded with Republicans to move forward on five jobs bills, including a bill to promote angel investments, one that would help small businesses secure capital and another that would help promote Wisconsin manufacturers. Republicans thwarted passage of these bills, despite the fact one was authored by a Republican and others were bills Gov. Walker included as part of the special session.

Let’s be fair though, it is not like the Assembly Republicans have not been doing important work. They have allowed guns on the floor of the assembly while banning cameras and signs from the gallery. The new take a picture – get arrested policy in the Capitol says all you need to know about the current batch of Wisconsin republicans.

Of course the constituents, citizens, and taxpayers who show up at the Capitol are always trying to push the limit. The “leaders” in Fitzwalkerstan have refused to back down and stand firm in their assault on the Wisconsin and US Constitution. As Mark Pocan pointed out:

“Tonight alone people have been arrested for holding pictures of an apple pie, Ronald Reagan, Jesus, the American flag, Mother Theresa, and a 12 year old little girl had her notebook taken away with flower doodles. Now I know those are all highly revolutionary, and they could cause problems, but that’s what’s happened so far tonight.” – Mark Pocan 11/4/11


* a quick aside here if the tea party, who pretends to hold our Founders on a pedestal do not say anything regarding this assault on free speech it pretty much diminishes their cause and shows their true colors.

Is there a group in this country that are more petty, ridiculous, childish, archaic and ignorant than the Wisconsin Assembly Republicans?

That Pesky First Amendment (Redux)

We covered the incredible video the other day, where in blatant disregard to the First Amendment, people were being arrested in the gallery of the legislature for holding a sign. A quick refresher:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Which brings us to last night in the assembly. Representative Mark Pocan introduced a resolution supporting the free speech rights of the public in the Assembly gallery.

He was backed up by Representative Gary Hebl(who represents me in the assembly), with a great speech telling the Republicans they do not have to vote in lockstep every single time, they can have an independent thought. – Baaaaaaaaa

While the Republicans for the most part were quiet, Representative Sinicki even accused them of snickering and not paying attention(we already know that Robin Vos has no interest in being there). Then freshman representative Dean Knudson decided to speak(unfortunately for him). He prefaces it by saying he is not a lawyer, then speaks and removes any doubt about that.

Rep Knudson, after making wild accusations, says there is a time and place to limit “the time, the place and the manor” of speech. I guess, while reading the Constitution, he got bored at the word Congress, but had he read a little further he would see it clearly stated “Congress shall make NO law….”

I guess the first teacher we need to hold accountable in this state would be Representative Knudson’s reading teacher(but I digress).

Then the unnecessary free speech resolution was voted down on party lines. The republicans voted lockstep no, the democrats all supported the First Amendment and the Constitution and the people of Wisconsin lost. The Tea party will be pissed when they find out!

H/T Nick Nice for the videos!