Saturday, November 18, 2006

Looking Ahead

"Don't insult drunken sailors. They spend their own money, not yours and mine."--Steve Forbes, in response to the statement that Republicans have spent funds like drunken sailors.
I would like to see Steve Forbes run as the Libertarian candidate for President in 2008. It is time for him to do so, as people should be completely disenfranchised from the Demopublicans by then. I can't see the new majority in Congress as being any more competent than the old majority.
It doesn't seem to me as though the new Congressional majority faction is all that interested in "integrity, civility, and bi-partisanship." The new leadership designate has already indicated that indicated that it will not confirm John Bolton as Ambassedor to the United Nations. There is no reason for this except as a show to flex muscles, in retaliation against the former majority faction.
Success should not be a partisan issue. If the new majority is interested in leadership, it should be interested in what has been successful. Bolton has accomplished what no other official in his position has done before--get a viable UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. He also got the Security Council to agree on sanctions of North Korea, which also persuaded China to put pressure on that country to abandon its nuclear arms program. We obviously need someone like Bolton in that position to get the UN to take action in the Darfur region of Sudan, to get aid to the refugees and prevent human rights atrocities up to and including genocide.
But it doesn't seem to be in the interest of the Democratic faction to meet with success, especially if it was initiated by the Republican faction. They will make the same mistakes that the Republicans did--to do nothing that could be construed as agreement with the opposition. The only successes we can anticipate from the new Congress would be a minimum wage hike, with safeguards for small businesses, and a guest worker program dealing with undocumented immigrants. Otherwise, politics-as-usual will continue to ignore reality, and Congress will be just as ineffective as it was under Republican leadership. The only practical new direction "we, the People," can take is to reject the Demopublicans completely.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One Moment Please

I'm really trying to make this page the way I want it. Blogflux has dissapeared, and since I'm changing my template, I've lost some of my toys. I only have about an hour a day to go online, so please stand by while I go through the tedious process of finding what I need.
Now for the mandantory cat photo.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Guess What I got for my Birthday!

Well, one way to keep me from ranting is to give me a digital camera. A big surprise when I opened the package yesterday. Naturally I wanted to try everything at once. This is my first submission to You Tube, and it isn't good, but I think I'll get better with practice. Can't get worse:

Monday, November 13, 2006

What is Oversight?

Nancy Pelosi, along with several Democratic Party strategists and Congresspersons elect, believe that it is the job of the Legislative branch to conduct oversight of the Executve branch. Let's perform a quick check:

The eighteen specific and enumerated limited powers of Congress granted by the Constitution:

1. "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States , but all Duties, Imposts, and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."
2. "To borrow Money on the credit of the United States; Congress may borrow money by issuing bonds or by other means."
3. " To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."
4. "To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Law on the subject of Bnruptcies throughout the United States."
5. "To coin Money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the
Standard of Weights and Measures."
6."To provide for the punishmentof counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States."
7. "To establish Post Offices and Post Roads.
8. "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
9. "To Constitute Tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court."
10. "To define and punish Piracies and Felonies commited on the High Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations."
11."To declare War, grant Letters of Marquee and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.
12. "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two years."
13. "To provide and maintain a Navy."
14. "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces."
15. "To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions."
16. "To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may e employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the disclipine prescribed byCongress."
17. "To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings."
18. "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

Nope, don't see it.
There are three branches of the Federal Government, each with its own powers, rights and responsibilities. There is what is known as the "Separation of Powers," which prevents oversight of one branch over the other. Oversight is not part of the constitutional checks and balances.
The checks and balances are spelled out clearly in the Constitution. The Executive and the Judicial Branches can't write or enact legislation--that is the duty of the Legislative branch. Neither the Legislative, nor the Judicial Branch is enpowered to execute the laws. The Congress carries "into Execution" laws--that is it passes or refects the laws but does not have the means to enforce them. Nor may the Legislative or Judicial Branches dictate the movement of military troops. Congress has the duty to call the military into action, by enacting law to do so, but the actual deployment and movement of such troops is determined by the Executive Branch, with the President as Commander-in-Chief. Finally, It is the duty of the Judicial Branch, not of the other two branches of Federal government, to determine the constitutionality of an enacted and executed law. This, perhaps, is the most powerful of the separate powers, as it determines the limits to which the other two branches may act.
Oversight, as percieved by those in Congress, is a myth and a misconception. To interfere with the duties of the Executive Branch or the Judicial Branch as proposed by the new Congressional leadership designate, through subpoenae and investigation, is to overstep the boundaries set by Separation of Powers. Congress may obtain what information it needs to perform its legislative duties, but it may not control or participate in the execution or enforcement of those laws it passes.