Amid the horrific destruction of the tornados yesterday, CBS Evening News captured one of the most touching moments. While interviewing an injured elderly woman, Barbara Garcia, a noise was heard in the rubble just a few feet from where she was standing. It was her dog, which survived the devastation. She had just lamented how she lost her beloved pet.
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I have previously testified and written about President Barack Obama’s use of recess appointments, which I viewed as flagrantly unconstitutional. Recently, the D.C. Circuit agreed with that view and found that the Obama Administration had violated the recess appointment powers. Now a second appellate court has joined that view, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. I have two law review articles coming out on these appointments and more broadly the abuse of recess appointment powers in modern presidencies. See Jonathan Turley, Recess Appointments in the Age of Regulation, 93 Boston University Law Review ___ (2013) and Jonathan Turley, Constitutional Adverse Possession: Recess Appointments and the Role of Historical Practice in Constitutional Interpretation, 2103 Wisconsin Law Review ___ (2013)
New York Assemblyman Resigns In the Midst Of Sexual Harassment Scandal . . . And Promptly Announces City Council BidPublished 1, May 20, 2013 Bizarre , Politics 13 Comments
New York Democratic Assemblyman Vito Lopez is the latest politician to resign in a scandal, but Lopez has a curious twist. He will now run for a new office. With Antony Weiner now committed to running for mayor, it is the new version of political responsibility. You resign and then run again as a new man.
McDysentery: Study Finds Fast-Food Ice Dirtier Than Toilet Water . . . Researcher Is 12-Year-Old GirlPublished 1, May 20, 2013 Uncategorized 20 Comments
Florida student Jasmine Roberts, 12, has secured the top science prize at her science fair . . . and the disgust (and gratitude) of every adult. Roberts decided to test the cleanliness of ice at fast food restaurants and compared those findings with the toilet water in the same restaurant. She found the toilet water was cleaner.
We have been discussing the tax policies of President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government — a record that I have criticized as ruinous from an economic standpoint. A recent report indicates that for some high-earning families — more than 8,000 — the Hollande policies impose a 100% tax. It is the ultimate “eat the rich” policy. Even for those families facing a 75% rate, it is unclear why they would continue to work in the country. Many are not. France is experiencing a flight of both high earners and companies.
By Mike Appleton, Guest Blogger
“Be what you would seem to be-or, if you’d like it put more simply-Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.”
-Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
The late Paul Weyrich is generally regarded as the principal architect of the new conservative coalition that emerged with the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan. He was a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation. He even created the phrase “moral majority” for Pat Robertson. But his most important creation was the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 1973. In the course of 30 years that body has become the most powerful force in state legislative bodies throughout the country.
Weyrich was not a fan of voting rights. “I don’t want everybody to vote,” he said in 1980. “Elections are not won by a majority of the people. They never have from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” Weyrich understood that voters are problematic for two reasons. First, they are fickle and unpredictable. Second, they cannot be held accountable for their decisions. In short, they cannot be controlled, making democracy an uncertain endeavor.
But Weyrich also understood that lobbying is not an effective antidote to an independent electorate. It is expensive and subject to restrictions and regulations that vary from state to state. ALEC operates in a manner that enables it to surmount those problems. Powerful corporate interests provide the funding necessary to research and draft model bills serving their interests. The approximately 2,000 state legislator members of ALEC sponsor those model bills in their respective states. And the electorate? Well, anyone is free to join and have his or her voice heard by paying an annual membership fee ranging from $7,000.00 to $25,000.00.
As you will see, ALEC’s ability to get its way in spite of the voting public is indeed a wonder to behold. Continue reading ‘ALEC in Wonderland, An Act In Two Plays (Part 1)’