Saturday, December 26, 2009

What if President Obama Succeeds?

The following was posted on The Huffington Post on 12/24/09. Before you read it? This is what Benjamin Franklin had to offer us regarding his dear friend John Adams:

"He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise man, but sometimes and in some things, absolutely out of his senses." -- Ben Franklin, 1783, about John Adams (in a letter to Robert Livingston)

Without knowing Dr. Breggin it is difficult to say if he means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise man, or how many hours each day he spends watching FOX "News", but, please, read on.

Comments regarding Dr. Breggin's thoughts will be found in bold text.

What if President Obama Succeeds?

Dr. Peter Breggin

Posted: December 24, 2009 10:41 AM

What if President Obama succeeds in giving enemy combatants -- terrorists -- the same rights as American citizens? Will terrorists be won over by our superior values? To the contrary, terrorists demean our values as weak and ungodly. They will, if anything, feel empowered by our weakness. Instead of dying in Afghanistan or Iraq to get to all those virgins in heaven, they will be motivated to come to America to enjoy the protections of our Constitution. Actually, our decision to treat them like U. S. citizens will probably have little or no effect on terrorists, other than to make it harder to seize them, hold them, and render them harmless through incarceration.

Any rights afforded to terrorists by the Obama administration are intended to communicate to this nation and to the international community that the United States has once again become a nation of laws and that torture, rendition and secret prisons have been abolished.

What if President Obama gets to put the Guantanamo terrorists on trial in an American court in New York City while imprisoning others in American jails in places like Illinois? Will the terrorists come to respect our system of justice, as Obama supporters claim? Don't be naïve. They hate our system of justice and plan to replace it with their own atavistic system of Sharia Law. But the terrorists do yearn for high profile soft targets -- and we're busy creating them on our own soil. We're placing giant "kick me" signs on our own behinds.

Putting the terrorists charged with the 9/11 attacks on trial in New York, where the attacks took place, out of the jurisdiction of the United States Military ( } was a decision made by the Attorney General, not by President Obama, contrary to FOX "News" and Dr. Breggin.

It can also be argued that, since the attacks of 9/11 took place prior to Congress authorizing President Bush to conduct war on a concept rather than on another nation, treating the 9/11 suspects as military combatants by having their cases heard before a Military Tribunal would occur ex post facto and that such action would violate Article 1 Section 9 of The Constitution.

What if President Obama succeeds in reducing the power of our military, including our capacity to fight conventional wars with superior army, navy and air power and superior atomic weaponry? Sure, Afghanistan and Iraq are different kinds of war. But have Russia and China gone away? Will they make equal reductions in their military capacity to fight a large-scale war? To the contrary, China is building submarines and aircraft carriers, and a huge conventional army. Do we imagine they will not take advantage of their coming military superiority?

It is safe to assume that President Obama and the Joint Chiefs can all see Russia and China from Dr. Breggin's front yard. What is debatable is whether China has any intention of launching a ground war against the United States with submarines and aircraft carriers. Stay tuned to FOX "News" for more of this sort of inflammatory rhetoric.

What if President Obama succeeds in passing cap-and-trade or, as he currently plans, what if he succeeds in directly imposing new bureaucratic regulations on emissions such as CO2 without even troubling Congress? Will it save the planet? Hardly. China, India, Brazil, Russia and the lesser emerging nations will soon outdo our entire history of potentially toxic emissions with no end in sight. Will they be moved by our moral example to inhibit their own industrialization? Hardly. Much like promising the terrorists that we will be nice to them, our self-inflicted economic wounds will only make the emerging nations realize how weak we have become. The Chinese will celebrate the acceleration of their economic eventual triumph over us.

Not to mention the Canadians.

What if President Obama is allowed to continue to run America through dozens of henchmen aptly called "czars" -- leftist political enforcers accountable only to him? Political enforcers whose job descriptions are left to the imagination and whose salaries are often kept secret. Since the inception of this nation, Congress has prized and exercised its constitutional authority over the selection and monitoring of cabinet members. Huge battles have been fought between the Senate and the president over these presidential appointments. Without firing a gun, our president has won a revolution that has successfully undermined the U. S. Constitution and shifted power dramatically to the Executive Branch, essentially obliterating the treasured checks and balances created by our Founders.

Henchmen. Who are called "czars". Leftist "czars" who are henchmen.

According to Dr. Breggin the President of the United States has won a revolution without firing a gun. By appointing advisers, like every other President.

The Senate continues to advise and consent regarding cabinet appointments. Just like in the days of our Founders.

What if President Obama's Congress manages to pass health care "reform" legislation? Will it expand coverage of currently uninsured people? Of course it will. But it will do so by government force, spreading thin existing resources and leading to rationing. Will it save money? Don't be ridiculous; it's the government. Think Post Office. Think Medicare. Think Welfare. Will the costs be contained? That's never happened in the history of government. Will it improve medical care? No, it will reduce innovation, making American medicine more like British or Indian medicine. The whole world will be deprived of our pioneering research and medical science. The ongoing rush to approve health care coverage sight unseen has only one real intention behind it -- plunging America deeper into socialism. In that it will surely succeed.

Insurance companies ration care today. And insurance companies kill Americans. But, according to Dr. Breggin, if all Americans become eligible to receive affordable Health Care, America will be unable to continue to provide Health Care to those who deserve it.

Dr. Breggin doesn't mention that all Americans today are eligible to receive unaffordable health care. At the expense of those Americans who have Health Care Insurance and who pay their bills. Anyone without Health Care Insurance or the means to see a doctor can walk, stagger or be delivered by ambulance to any Emergency Room and receive expensive life sustaining medical care that would not have been necessary if everyone could afford less expensive well care.

The Founders provided for the Postal Service and for Post Roads. They provided for no rights whatsoever for Native Americans, Blacks, women or the unborn. The Founders were not perfect, they never had any idea how our population would grow, or how medical costs incurred by the poor and the uninsured would burden the population of the United States in 2009. Imperfect Disinterested Liberal Gentlemen founded this nation. They did the best that they could. However, it is up to Americans who live in this century to use the living document they created to care of our citizens and not abandon them because of the selfish, the ignorant or the invested.

The Preamble to The Constitution of the United States establishes that, among other things, we the people, will promote the general welfare.

While the Founders may not have intended for the least among us to benefit from those words, perhaps they should have. There is no reason that we today can not rise above the intentions of the Founders as past generations have.

What if...? It's already happening. We are in the midst of one of the most threatening assaults ever on our most cherished Founding institutions and values including the U. S. Constitution and our basic political and personal freedoms. All of us most mobilize.

A majority of Americans mobilized in November of 2008 when they elected Barack Obama. It was time for change. That change is taking place today. In spite of an obstructionist Republican Party, the ignorance and fear of the lunatic fringe and FOX "News".

Dr. Breggin's posts on The Huffington Post are closed for comments. That is understandable.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bart and Ben and a Woman's Right to Choose

Why are Bart Stupak and Ben Nelson so concerned with the reproductive rights of American women? How can men seriously claim to have any right to voice an opinion with regard to women's bodies and the choices that women have a right to make?

Unless the answer is that women are chattel, the property of their fathers, husbands, boyfriends, or society in general, what answer is there? Are women the birthing machines of the nation or the individual states? Do we require women to produce offspring so that consumer spending and the tax rolls can be maintained?

Is the abortion issue a religious issue, a moral issue, a matter of law, or of The Constitution? All of the above.

All of the above, and a bit more, perhaps. Is the abortion issue and the controversy over federal funding for abortion one of the last attempts on the part of the men of America to control women and their bodies?

Everyone who reads a paper or watches the news has heard of Roe v. Wade. Not many people have ever taken the opportunity to read it. Like so many topics of discussion, it pays to do some homework before voicing an opinion or having an opinion that is ill-informed.

After a read of the Supreme Court decision, take a look at The Constitution of the United States.

There are very few people in our society who don't have an opinion when it comes to abortion. The real question, though, is how many people have a right to have an opinion about a woman's right to choose.

If a woman and her doctor agree that an abortion is necessary who else really has a right to know about the procedure or offer advice or demand to be a party to the discussion or the decision?

If the denial of federal funding for abortions that aren't necessary to save a woman's life or preserve her health, or for abortions that aren't performed due to rape or incest are considered elective medical procedures, and federal funds aren't available for any elective medical procedures, then there would seem to be at least one rational argument for the denial of federal funding for those services.

That isn't the argument that is generally heard, though. Generally those who support the Hyde Amendment, the amendment passed that denies federal funding for elective abortions, say that they don't want 'their' tax dollars to go to fund abortions. Or they say that Americans, the majority of Americans, don't want their tax dollars spent on abortions. And those who oppose abortions in general usually say that abortion is murder and that abortion is wrong and that God is in opposition to Roe v. Wade and that Pro Choice is really Pro Abortion. The argument against a woman's right to choose isn't usually a rational, legal or constitutional one.

The Hyde Amendment is discriminatory if it denies federal funding for elective abortions but not all other elective medical procedures.

The Constitution of the United States, ironically the document that Conservatives and Tea Baggers and the right wing activists and bombers of abortion clinics and assassins of those who work to perform abortions waive at Tea Parties, doesn't provide for the life or the rights of the unborn.

The Constitution, as originally framed by The Founding Fathers provided no protections for anyone other than white men. Native Americans, Blacks and women enjoyed no protection under The Constitution or the Bill of Rights. The white men who cobbled together The Constitution made no provision for abortion. If The Founding Fathers gave abortion any thought at all, they apparently assumed that since white women were chattel and most black women were property, that the white men who controlled them would decide if abortions would be performed or were necessary.

There has been much talk about how government should not come between a patient and their doctor during the Health Care Reform debate. The Hyde Amendment does that.

Abortion, like any other medical procedure, is a matter for a patient and a doctor. Women have been granted the right to choose and they should be allowed to choose without the interference of someone else's God, moral code, personal opinion or legislation. Government should not be involved. And judgmental hypocrites and religious fanatics should spend more time examining issues that concern them and less time trying to manage American women.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Filibuster

Real Health Care Reform isn't going to pass because it was hijacked by Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson? Joe Lieberman isn't the problem. Neither is Ben Nelson.

The real problem is the filibuster.

Here's a bit of light reading: See More... See More

If Harry Reid takes away Joe's hammer the Democrats can get a lot of real work done up until 2010. Maybe enough to make a difference.

Senator Tom Harkin (D - IA) tried to change the filibuster procedure in 1995. His co-sponsor? Naturally. Joe Lieberman (I -CT). Senator Harkin is considering making another attempt.

"I think, if anything, this health care debate is showing the dangers of unlimited filibuster," Harkin said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. "I think there's a reason for slowing things down ... and getting the public aware of what's happening and maybe even to change public sentiment, but not to just absolutely stop something."

"Today, in the age of instant news and Internet and rapid travel -- you can get from anywhere to here within a day or a few hours -- the initial reasons for the filibuster kind of fall by the wayside, and now it's got into an abusive situation," Harkin said.

He and the constitutional scholars agree that the intention was never to hold up legislation entirely. To keep the spirit of slowing down legislation, though, Harkin's proposal back in 1995 would have kept the 60-vote rule for the first vote but lessening the number required in subsequent votes. He said for instance if 60 senators could not agree to end debate, it would carry on for another week or so and then the number of votes required to end debate would drop by three. Harkin said it would carry on this way until it reached a simple majority of 51 votes. (Burlington Hawk Eye)

"You could hold something up for maybe a month, but then, finally you'd come down to 51 votes and a majority would be able to pass," Harkin said. "I may revive that. I pushed it very hard at one time and then things kind of got a little better."

If Senator Harkin's attempt at a rules change is defeated, if he's unable to get 67 Senators to vote in favor, the Democrats introduce a bill, any bill: it's certain the Republicans would filibuster. If cloture, 60 votes in favor of moving the legislation to the floor for debate can't be achieved, a Democratic Senator could raise a point of order arguing that the requirement of 60 votes to end the filibuster is unconstitutional.

The President (or presiding officer) could submit the question to the Senate for a vote. Under Standing Rules that vote would be subject to a filibuster, but, the presiding officer could simply declare that it isn't. After another vote, a tabling motion, a simple majority vote could declare Rule 22 unconstitutional. It's unlikely that the Supreme Court would ever hear the case since both Houses of Congress have the constitutional authority to set their own rules.

The end result would allow a simple majority to vote to end filibusters and advance legislation.

What's stopping the Democrats? They, like Republicans, understand that they are generally never more than one election away from being in the minority.

The filibuster, though, has never been as abused as it is being abused today.

What began as a Senator's right to speak without restriction because no restrictions were part of the Senate's foundation has become a ploy of obstructionists and a tool for those more intent on extortion than on respecting the precedents and history of the United States Senate.

The minority party has used the filibuster to overpower the majority and to block judicial confirmations in the past. Now the minority party is using the filibuster to attempt to ignore the election of 2008 and stop all Senate business. Worse, members of the majority party, and those who caucus with them and enjoy the benefits of being members of that very caucus are ignoring long standing precedent, that Senators vote with their caucus on matters of procedure, like cloture, to prevent legislation from coming to the floor until they can rewrite or veto legislation by a committee of one or demand concessions to which they are not entitled. If precedent can be ignored by members of a caucus then the filibuster has become too dangerous and too costly to be allowed under current rules.

History tells us that the House used to allow the filibuster and that the procedure was eliminated in order to make the House function more efficiently.

CSPAN shows us that the Senate no longer functions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Three Party System (reprint from 10/26/08)

I think we've already entered the era of the third party. The independent voter seems to have the attention of both parties. And who are the crossover voters, either those Republicans too liberal, too moderate, or too ethical to support or reward the RNC for Palin's mouthings or the Hillary supporters, too sexist or angry to support Senator Obama, if not defacto independents?

Pundits are claiming that Palin ticked up McCain's numbers because she was a fresh face and attractive. I disagree. I believe that Palin attracted the far right Republicans who were unwilling to support the Maverick. And McCain, while he's able to hold those supporters as long as Palin spews attacks, is losing, one percentage point at a time, the Independents, right leaning Democrats, liberal Republicans, and moderate Republicans who originally supported him. I suspect that, vitriol aside, when it comes down to actually pulling the lever, even the loudest of Hillary's supporters will be unable to forget that McCain and Palin refer to anyone who is Pro-Choice as Pro-Abortion, and will cast their votes for Obama.

On November 5th we are going to learn just how unimportant exit poles are. Hillary supporters will vote for Obama and claim that they didn't. Some will remember the last nasty ad they saw and push back the only way they can. Some will be unable to pull the lever for a black man. And even more will pull that lever because they do believe that the content of a man's character is more important than the color of his skin. Or who he served on a board with. Just as some are able to forget who John McCain vacationed with back in the days before The Keating Five became so infamous.

We will be left with a Republican Party populated by those who support proponents of what the elder Bush called Vodoo Economics and are Anti everything and everyone else. Anti-Abortion, Anti-Communist, Anti-Gun Control, and Anti-Obama. 30 to 40 percent of the electorate. It may be impossible for the RNC to ever reconcile the right wing of it's party with those who were too moderate to support the McCain campaign.

Democrats have finally defined themselves as supporters of Trickle Up Economics. It remains to be seen if the plan to follow George W's example and pump money into the Middle Class will help with the economic recovery. Will the Democratic Party escape the label Socialist Party that the McCain/Palen/RNC ads are working hard to attach to it? Possibly not. We aren't long past the days when Commie and Pinko were popular labels for those that some disagreed with.

At the end of the day the Independent Party may attract the moderate and liberal Republicans who supported Obama's call for change, but, who simply won't become Democrats. It may draw those like NOW if it panders to their need for a woman, any woman, candidate. The right leaning Democrats may join in. As well as those Independents who aren't too independent to refuse to affiliate themselves with any organization.

A three party system certainly would make things interesting. It might be just the Change we need. At least it would give Joe Lieberman a chance to switch parties one more time.

Newest United States Political Party Formed


A member of the United States Congress representing the Health Insurance Lobby rather than any political party.

In the 2009 Health Care Reform debate, Senator Joe Lieberman, (former Independent CT), caucusing with the Democrats threatened to withhold cloture unless the Democrats withdrew a Public Option from the proposed legislation. As the Senator representing Insurance Companies based in Hartford CT, Senator Lieberman ignored his constituents and abandoned the cause of real Health Care Reform by becoming an Insuracrat.

Breaking News:
Other members of the Insuracrat Party are Senators Ben Nelson (NE), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Mary Landrieu (LA), Evan Bayh (IN), Kent Conrad (ND).

All of the Senators named, including Senator Joe Lieberman, have worked tirelessly with Republicans to strip Health Care Reform of a Public Option and provide Insurance Companies with their three goals:

1. A Federal Mandate requiring all Americans to purchase private Health Care Insurance.

2. Freedom to move their businesses to states with no private Health Care Insurance regulations and operate across state lines.

3. Tort Reform. Limiting malpractice lawsuits to minimum payouts for the most heinous abuses in order to save Health Care Insurance Companies hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

All six Insuracrats, after accomplishing most of the goals of Senate Republicans and the Insurance Lobby, and blackmailing Democratic Leadership by demanding huge payouts or credits for their states or pet programs have agreed to vote with Senate Democrats to pass Health Care Reform and move it along to Conference with the House. It is hoped that during Conference all remaining reforms can be stripped from the bill so that at least 20 Republicans in the Senate and an equal percentage of Republicans in the House can vote in favor of bi-partisan Health Care Reform.

Representative Bart Stupak (D MI) is rumored to be planning to lead House opposition to passage of Health Care Reform legislation unless Roe v. Wade and the 19th Amendment are immediately overturned, stripping women of the right to an abortion as well as the right to vote, own property and refuse to smile at Representative Stupak.