Friday, July 31, 2009

'Cash For Clunkers' Broke After Just One Week?

So says FoxNews:

WASHINGTON -- The White House said Thursday it was reviewing what has turned out to be a wildly popular "cash for clunkers" program amid concerns the $1 billion budget for rebates for new auto purchases may have been exhausted in only a week.

Transportation Department officials called lawmakers' offices earlier Thursday to alert them of plans to suspend the program as early as Friday. But a White House official said later the program had not been suspended and officials there were assessing their options.

"We are working tonight to assess the situation facing what is obviously an incredibly popular program," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said of the Car Allowance Rebate System.

"Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid CARS transactions that have taken place to date will be honored."

Gibbs said the administration was "evaluating all options" to keep the program funded.

Gee imagine that!!! When you give taxpayer freebies away, people take advantage of it. So what we now have is that people who are in better financial straits and would typically buy new cars every couple of years are now faced with their tax dollars paying to replace piece of shit cars for people who otherwise couldn't have afforded them. Of course the people that are replacing their piece of shit cars for the most part don't pay taxes so why would they care how much money this program costs the tax payers?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Perspective On The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Amendment

All over the nation, on both the internet and the news channels, a lot is being made of the Thune amendment that would have required states to recognize the concealed carry permits of other states. Now the amendment has failed and quite frankly, I expected that. Realistically, even the contents of the amendment don't matter a whole lot, I do not believe that it was meant to actually pass.

If you want to read it, you can do so here.

There are however some things about this that are very important.

One, we now have an established list of who does and does not vote for gun rights issues. Combine this with the coming voting record on the Sotomayor confirmation and we will have a very clear picture of where each senator stands so that we can make a good choice in 2010. So let us look at the list of votes.

YEAs ---58
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagan (D-NC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)

NAYs ---39
Akaka (D-HI)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting - 3
Byrd (D-WV)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Mikulski (D-MD)

Ok, first there is no surprise that Kennedy didn't vote, I am amazed that he is still actually considered a sitting senator. The other two that didn't vote would have voted 'no' so they wouldnt have mattered much either.

The names marked in light blue above are ones that are no surprise either. They all either come from states that are heavy on gun control, or they are outspoken advocates of gun control.

Two of the 'no' votes are a bit interesting. Gillenbrad was supposed to be a huge change for NY, apparently she isn't. Frankin is the new boy on the block, so I am not very surprised that he voted the way his party wanted him to.

The real kickers are the 'yes' votes I highlighted in dark green. First Hagan, I know for a fact that she is no supporter of the second amendment. Same with Martinez, Feingold, Reid, Landrieu and Bayh. My guess is that the Democrats on that list are the ones that have the most to loose by voting against a pro-gun issue. Martinez is the most odd one on the list to me. I would bet good money that if we looked at the time frame of the vote, we would see that these names were all people that voted late, after they already knew that the bill wouldn't pass.


Now let us talk about another issue that needs to be addressed.

Is this bill an overstepping of federal bounds?

In the past week I have heard much discussion from both sides about how this bill is not appropriate or that it creates a slippery slope.

What has to be looked at is whether or not the federal government has the authority or legal grounds to regulate what has traditionally been held to be a state issue, the issuance and recognition of concealed carry permits.

For reference it is necessary to cite several things:

The Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Fourteenth Amendment:
Section One:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

And Section Five:

The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

These are the relevant parts of the Constitution to this issue.

First let us talk about the Second Amendment. Several court cases, most recently the Heller case, have established that "The People" refers to an individual right. The case law on this issue is hardly settled law, but I suspect that the case for Incorporation will be ruled on within the next two years. Most likely the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment will be used to do so.

Now, whether or not the carrying of concealed arms is the bearing of arms as referenced in the Second Amendment is a discussion for another day. Personally I feel that the history of case law ruling that concealed carry is a privilege instead of an aspect of bearing arms is wrong.

Next we should talk about the Tenth Amendment. My argument here is that the Tenth Amendment specifically establishes that since the Second Amendment is a right granted "the people", the states have no grounds to reserve any authority to it. The fact that the Second Amendment is specifically enumerated as applying to the people makes it so that the states do not have authority over it.

Much has been said in the past two weeks comparing this amendment to things like drivers license and marriage license reciprocity. Those comparisons are invalid because the privilege of driving and the right* to marry are not specifically reserved to the people or the federal government in the Constitution and under the guidelines of the Tenth Amendment and therefore are reserved to the states. In my eyes, states rights should only apply in matters that are not specifically enumerated by the Constitution. In this case, the bearing of arms is a federally protected right and should be vigorously protected by the federal government in all states and for all citizens.

Finally we should talk more about the Fourteenth Amendment. The privileges and immunities clause and the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment makes it clear that all citizens should be treated equally under the law. Since the right to keep and bear arms is a specifically enumerated right in the Constitution, the laws regulating the bearing of arms should be universal across all states. Realistically, almost all of the gun laws in this nation probably violate the Second Amendment, but courts have seen things differently and decided that some restrictions are not "infringements."

Now the reality of the nation we live in probably would not allow for there to be only federal laws for guns and I am not all that sure that I would want that in the first place. So I am willing to concede that something like the amendment that was voted on today is probably more appropriate. Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment does allow for legislation such as this.

In conclusion, I firmly believe that this is a proper use of federal power to enforce protections of the right to keep and bear arms. Though I still believe that the amendment was poorly constructed and implemented. As I said before, I don't believe that the intent of the bill was that it get passed anyways.

* I do believe that marriage is a right, even though it is not specifically enumerated by the constitution. That is a discussion for another time.

EDIT: The first commenter brings up the full faith and credit clause, one that I had overlooked. That just makes the case even stronger though I believe that the case is strong enough even with my oversight.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Orleans To Count Former Residnets In Census

Gotta love corrupt politics:

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is calling on former residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to claim their old city addresses in next year's census, drawing criticism for trying to circumvent rules for winning federal funds.

The mayor -- encouraged that New Orleans has thrown off its post-Katrina malaise to become the U.S.'s fastest-growing big city by percentage -- wants the U.S. Census Bureau to grant an exception for its former residents, currently living elsewhere, who want to rebuild homes in New Orleans.

There's one problem: The mayor's plan is illegal, according to the Census Bureau. Federal law requires the Census Bureau to count all U.S. residents where they reside as of April 1, 2010, when the nationwide tally will begin.

"Any individual who does something like that is going to hurt the place where they are living, and hurt New Orleans," said Katherine Smith, a Census Bureau spokeswoman.

Does anyone seriously believe that Nagin gives a damn about the residents of New Orleans?

This is the same man that let hundreds of school busses sit in parking lots while the city residents were struggling to evacuate ahead of Katrina.

Good thing they keep electing him.

Obama Health Plan to Cover 12 Million Illegals

So says Newsmax:

On Friday, Democrats moved one step closer to giving free health insurance to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens when they successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized health care under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Barack Obama.

The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines, and followed this action by passing the 1,018-page bill early Friday morning by a 23-to-18 margin, with three Democrats voting against the plan.

The Democratic plan will embrace Obama’s vision of bringing free government medical care to more than 45 million uninsured people in America – a significant portion of whom are illegal aliens.

And you see, this is how the Democratic party gains 12+ million votes for the next ten elections.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Terror Watch List Being Used To Deny Loans

It is according to this:

A guy of middle-eastern decent (born in Afghanistan) wants to buy a car. We agree on the price, he fills out a credit-ap and we run it. Rock Star, as we say in the biz, 815 FICO score with 92% of his current credit available. Well employed at a famous medical school for the last ten years. Should be “No Problem” getting him financed, right?

Wrong. His name brings up a flag on the American Patriot Act “terrorist watch list.” Well, his name is similar to other names on the list, so, banks are not allowed to loan money to him. It means he can’t get the car and I can’t get the sale.

Now, we all know that that list has over a million names on it. You remember, Sen. Frank Lautenberg wanted to prevent anyone whose name appeared on that list from being able to purchase a firearm even though the vast majority of those people have never been accused or convicted of anything. That’s one reason I oppose Lautenberg’s bill.

My own feeling is, the guy is well employed, here in this country legally. If he’s suspect, they should investigate. Otherwise, why can’t he do what other free residents are able to do? Like, buy a car? Either he is or he isn’t. In-between leaves him in limbo and that is not fair to him.

Remember, this is the same list that has had several senators on it.

The Creepiest Biden Picture Ever

I really dont think it could get any creepier.


I wont try to explain my hiatus, I'm just lazy.