Category Archives: Politics

“Obama Hates Israel” Suuuuuuuuuuure

From the statement of State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner:
“We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence.  There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel’s right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties.”  (For more, see here)
Also, the Jerusalem Post is reporting (confirmed by IDF) that Iron Dome intercepted 25 rockets (as of this writing) today that were heading for major population centers.  Iron Dome was funded in large part by the US.
So, yeah, Obama is terrible for Israel.  Really hates Israel.  We’re in major trouble.
/sarcasm
Also, in case you missed it, today was an EPIC BADASS day for the IDF.  First, the official twitter feed of the IDF Spokersperson (@IDFSpokesperson) tweeted a video of the strike that killed Ahmed Jabari (Hamas’s military leader and a terrorist “mastermind” – read up about him here).
Then they tweeted this awesome threat: “We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.” BAD. ASS!
So, to recap. Hamas starts raining missiles down on Israel.  Israel decides that’s enough, starts an intensive attack on Hamas in Gaza designed to take out as much terrorist infrastructure as it can.  Despite targeted attackes and killing, there were unfortunate, unintentional collateral deaths.  And yet, even so, the Obama administration unequivocally denounces the terrorism and voices clear support for Israel and today’s actions.
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Has The Time for Federalism Ended?

[Cross-posted]

As a response to a link I tweeted (this) comparing “Obamacare” to “Romneycare” (which was designed to show the striking similarities, and hilight the inconsistency in Romney’s position against the ACA), Adam responded:

“Not fair comparison, bec one was fed law and one was state law. Always was (was) arg that states can do what feds can’t.”

Now, setting aside that that still makes Romney a hypocrite, because he’d have Federal legislation banning gay marriage (supporting DOMA) but yet would preserve states right w/r/t health care.  Eh?

Anyway, that got me thinking about something that’s been brewing in my mind for quite a while: has the Federalist system of government in America run its course?

I understand the need or benefit of having local government run local concerns.  And I understand the benefit of having easily distinguishable units for the purposes of deciding representation in national government.

Yet…the idea that states are separate and independent governing bodies makes no sense in today’s world.  Things have changed drastically since the founding of the country.  Forget travel across state lines (Pennoyer v. Neff, anyone?) and interstate commerce…I can cross a DOZEN state lines the course of a few hours, not to mention communicate instantly with multiple people in every state at the SAME TIME without moving (TV, Radio, Twitter, etc.).  It’s not just that the rules have changed…it’s a completely different game now.

Should the person living in Hoboken, who commutes into NYC for work every day, really need to be governed by two separate state governments?  Is that genuinely the interest being protected.  That person is as much a New Yorker as a New Jerseyan, affected by NY law in a real way…yet he can’t vote for NY policy or governance.  I understand there are going to be cases in any system where people aren’t properly accounted for.  But in a system of regional governance that isn’t determined by random state lines, it’s less likely.

But even more so: we have the federal government, which, because we’re so close and connected, pretty much governs most things.  There shouldn’t be a fight over who gets to legislate marriage or health care.  Is the idea of marriage or health care different for me than it is for people living in New Jersey?  Should there be separate rules for the two of us?  We’re both American.

And I understand, yes, the consitution reserves rights for the states and you have to respect that.  First of all, I don’t respect the governance of dead men over the living.  A document written hundreds of years ought not control my life today.  That’s why I’m a Jeffersonian and believe in a living constitution.  But that’s a red herring.  Because for the purposes of this post it’s irrelevant.  I’m talking about what’s legal or in the Constitution, I’m trying to have a philisophical thought experiment here.  Has the reality that made Federalism a viable government model passed?  I think so.

If You’re Going To Waste Time In Congress, This Is How You Do It!

California state Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, … in June introduced H.R. 6209, otherwise known as the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act.  The bill would require the Federal Communications Commission to “prescribe a standard to preclude commercials from being broadcast at louder volumes than the program they accompany.”

Yes!!!  I hate that!!!!  It’s so annoying to constantly have to up and down with the volume because of the damn commercials.

I remember a few years ago, I think it was Magnavox that came out with a TV that automatically reduced the volume on commercials.  That was brilliant.  The product apparently didn’t catch on, but the idea was fantastic.

See, Corrine Brown, this is how you spend your time in Congress if you aren’t going to do anything about the economy, the war in Iraq or the housing crisis!

 

[Via Warming Glow]

Standards?!

Remember when I said that maybe there should be some sort of IQ test to get into the Senate?

Well, maybe we should have a literacy test to get into the House?  Nah, you’re probably right, there’s no reason to have a grasp of English to legislate in this country.

I’m ashamed that this woman is allowed to govern my country.

Some hilites (and I’m not getting into the Robe, or the stilted speech that clearly evidences her lack of familiarity with punctuation, reading or English in general):

:09 – “Thank you Mr. Speaker.”  I may be nitpicking, but isn’t our Speaker of the House a woman?  Don’t you think Congresspeople should have at least a working knowledge of the legislative body of which they form a part?

:20 – Yeah, College Football’s Championship system is totally BS.  I agree with her on that.

:25 – The first of several times that she calls the team The Gator.

:27 – “I want to grajalate.”  I’m sure you do, but maybe not on the floor of the House?

:43 – It’s very important to have “Sportminchip.”  It’s actually a very yummy flavor of a new athletic product: PowerIceCreamAde.

1:11 – “Corch Irvin Meyers” – I think she means this guy.

1:39 and 1:42 – Reka.

1:43 – Tim TiVo.  That guy really watched a lot of tape.

2:20 “It is matters the most.”  It is.  It really is.

3:15 – “The Gators are superb to any other school with the conferences that we play in.”  …………………….. Whoa, I’m sorry, my eyes just crossed for a second.

3:30 – Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

 

[via WithLeather]

Someone Screwed Up

Query why Chief Justice Roberts decided to alter the text of the Presidential Oath of Office, and clearly throw President Obama for a loop (update, better video):

Actual text:

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Off the top of my head, moving faithfully to after “United States” is a grammatical mistake, and also goes against the established text, so I don’t know why he would do it.  What’s funny is the smile President Obama has, knowing that (1) that’s now how he practiced it and (2) he can’t do it right, after Roberts led him wrong, so he just takes a second, makes Roberts repeat himself (at which point Roberts realized what he did, and tried to correct it), and then copies the mistake.

Also, you think maybe they could have rehearsed?  Maybe Roberts could have told Obama where he was going to pause the first time.  Way out of sync, there.

I think it’s still binding, though, so no Republicans stammering about invalidating the Presidency, please.

The IDF YouTube Channel

Check it out here.

Some selections that I liked:

Background to the Confrontation:

Next time Hamas or anyone complains that the IDF hit a school and injured children, ask why that school was being used as a base to fire weapons:

Or a Mosque, supposedly a holy site:

 

Hattip: Zoo Torah

Fixing Medical Malpractice

My demanding audience, at it again.

So while I mentioned in my previous post that any substantive ideas for change would be the subject of another post, I still get snarky comments.  Anyway, this is that post.

I’ve always favored a Worker’s Comp type system for med-mal.  Instead of paying malpractice insurance premiums, doctors either (1) pay into a shared fund or (2) buy med mal recovery insurance.  Then, in the event there’s a medicaly related injury, the person makes a claim to a central claims administrator, which can be a panel or whatever, who adminsters the money, and allocates the payouts based on the extent of the injury, the amount of negligence involved, etc.

For me, and this is generally where I lose my father when we have these discussions, the place to start is injury.  At it’s very core, with all other judgments aside, medical malpractice law is tort law.  It starts because someone was hurt in some way.  The question, for me, for society, for everyone, is then who bears the cost of that injury?  Should it be the injured party?  Should it be the doctor?  Should it be the government/society?  Or should it be some combination of the three?

There has to be balance between accepting that complications happen and often aren’t the fault of the doctor with the fact that medical error does exist, and there are injuries that are avoidable and are caused by the doctor’s negligence.

Getting back to the WC-type regime, then.  If the claims administration determines that the injury was not avoidable, the complication beyond the reasonable expectation of the doctor, and the doctor’s actions perfectly in line with the standard of care, then the adminstrator could decide that the doctor should make no additional contribution to the injured party, but that the extent of the injury is serious enough to warrant a pay-out to the injured party from the central fund.

On the other hand, if the doctor is found to be negligent, and the injuries otherwise avoidable, the doctor can be made to pay some amount to the injured party, commensurate with the injuries and the doctor’s ability to pay.

Obviously, this is a very rough sketch of a possible system, and details could be worked out.  But that’s the general concept.  That’s the way I think is best to balance the injured party’s right to seek recompense, with the more likely scenario that the doctor did nothing wrong.