Day by Day

Monday, October 22, 2012

Wasted Effort - Abolishing Corporate Personhood


Don Quixote tilting at windmills makes more sense than Measure F “to amend the Constitution to clarify that a corporation is not a person and money is not speech.” In a previous letter I highlighted facts that corporations do not have the rights of persons, only the rights granted other groups of individuals. The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling was in no way based on corporation “personhood.”

However, there is a simpler more basic reason (beyond the fact that Measure F is only advisory) that it is a waste of time. To amend the Constitution requires: in the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate approve by a two-thirds supermajority vote, a joint resolution amending the Constitution. Amendments so approved are sent directly to the states to be ratified by approval of three-fourths of state legislatures. Passage in the House would require 290 votes, certainly all of which would have to be Democrats, so Democrats need to pick up at least 96 more. In the Senate Democrats would need 14 more now, or 18 or more after this election.

Ratification by 75% of state legislatures is not a slam dunk either, since Republicans effectively control 30 and 38 are needed. Of course, two-thirds of the state legislatures could ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments, and then ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states could approve it. In this scenario California’s Liberal hordes will have the same number of votes as Wyoming: 1.

Since Romney is heavily favored to win the popular vote, the “grassroots-driven movement” to amend the Constitution has already lost whatever traction its supporters thought it had. Measure F is a foolish and futile effort, as delusional as Don Quixote’s “Impossible Dream” without its innocent charm.
 E

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Smug Leadership


The Obama administration contends that there is no evidence that more security would have thwarted the Libyan Consulate attack. However, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a stalwart Democrat and head of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, said “there is no reason for us to operate an embassy or consulate without adequate protection…” So what is the story here? Isn’t Feinstein’s statement evidence that she thinks more security can thwart attacks?

Obama’s position is eerily reminiscent of Vice President Biden’s debate argument on Iranian nuclear weapons, that there is no evidence that when Iran has enough enriched uranium to build bombs, that they will have the means to make and deliver them. But doesn’t North Korea provide ample evidence that even the most sanctioned nation on Earth can build a nuclear bomb, and that they are well along in the development of a ballistic missile delivery system? Joe Biden should ask Israel, South Korea, and Japan if they share his smug confidence.

Candy Crowley, The Fly in the Debate Ointment


The Town Hall presidential debate moderator, Candy Crowley, inappropriately “fact checked” falsely about President Obama calling the fatal attack on our Benghazi Consulate an act of terrorism. That was news to competent journalists, since the Obama Administration and its spokespersons spent two weeks after the attack flooding news shows with statements that it was a reaction to a crude video, and not terrorism. However, an inept journalist attempted to rescue an inept President, and Obama was grateful even though he knew she was wrong.

Feminists and Candy Crowley got their wish: Ms. Crowley was not a “fly on the wall.” She was a fly in the ointment.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Obama Wants to Lead Us in the Worst Way


Obama's promises to American voters reminds me of the guy who told his girlfriend that he "wanted to make love to her in the worst way," and then he did.

Just like the girlfriend, voters shouldn't give Obama a second chance either.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Corporate Personhood is Not


Last month at the Gualala Municipal Advisory Council (GMAC), I demonstrated that natural climate change has existed for the Earth’s 4.54 billion-year life. GMAC was largely unmoved by the facts, but I considered it my civic duty to update GMAC on this topic of interest. At their last meeting I documented the lack of rapid sea level rise. The 158-year San Francisco tide gauge record shows average sea level rising 3.5 inches per century, about one-quarter of the lowest estimate of global warming alarmists.

However, GMAC was impatient to address other consequential matters, such as supporting the Mendocino County Measure F advisory-only vote to abolish so-called corporate personhood.  I sensed eagerness to endorse Measure F immediately, but GMAC reluctantly placed it on their November agenda.

Measure F is nonsensical political posturing. The Supreme Court Citizens United ruling was not based on corporate personhood, but on First and Fourteenth Amendment individual rights; corporations do not forfeit rights enjoyed by other organizations.

“Corporate personhood is the legal concept that a corporation may sue and be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons. This doctrine in turn forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution. The doctrine does not hold that corporations are ‘people’ in the most common usage of the word, nor does it grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens.”

Corporations can enter into contracts, be taxed and regulated, hire and fire employees, buy and dispose of property, etc., but corporations cannot claim constitutional protections not otherwise available to persons acting as a group.

These inconvenient facts should prevent the irrational Measure F from passing. Unfortunately, facts always lose to uninformed opinions in Mendocino County. 

Fact checking Liberal fact checkers is a full-time job.

A local writer's letter to our local newspaper, the ICO, and Joe Biden’s debate performance provided enough malarkey for a book, let alone an ICO letter. The writer said that only three of 36 green companies, not half, that received stimulus funds had failed. However, Romney only cited the seven funded in 2009 and 2010, four of which have already failed (over half). It’s too early to judge the ones funded in 2011, although eight more have filed for bankruptcy, and the rest seem shaky.

The writer also wrote that Obama didn’t cut Medicare $716 billion, although Medicare actuaries say he did. Without reinstatement, Medicare reimbursement to hospitals and providers will have to be reduced to below the Medicaid rate, meaning that many providers will stop taking Medicare patients.

Also not mentioned was that Romney’s tax cut will be far less than $5 trillion after some deductions are cut or reduced, and he overlooked that Democrats ran Congress after January 4, 2007 and passed budgets that began the trillion dollar deficits that increased federal debt $7.8 trillion, or almost half (47%) of the current $16.5 trillion total.

Biden malarkey included that the Obama administration didn’t know: the late Libyan ambassador wanted more security; that the Republican budget didn’t specify cutting embassy security; al Qaeda hasn’t been “decimated”; taxes would be raised on families and small businesses making less than $1,000,000 per year (and for some under $200,000); Syria is not five times the size of Libya (it’s one-tenth); Obama hasn’t ordered all American troops from Afghanistan by 2014 (30,000 stay); Catholic institutions are forced to cover contraception; and Joe voted for the second Iraq war and war in Afghanistan, and the prescription drug benefit under Medicare Part D.

Joe was a buffoon lying through his smiling teeth.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Where Were You, President Obama?


President Obama's debate points boiled down to "I inherited a mess four years ago, and I'll fix it when I'm reelected."

Mr. President, so what were you doing to earn your pay the past four years?