Friday Talking Points [205] -- Obama Attacks! Everybody Run!

[ Posted Friday, April 6th, 2012 – 16:09 UTC ]

Let's see, where to begin?

We'll get to that provocative title in the Talking Points section, never fear. I felt the need for a sort of a rant this week, as well as a little humor to open it up with. Truth be told, I've been in a humorous mood all week, as evidenced by my column casting the Republican primary race so far as a climb up the polling mountain range. I think it's the spring weather or something. Since we're on the subject, though, Republican candidates seem like a good place to start today.

Newt Gingrich's health care think tank just filed for bankruptcy. Gingrich has reportedly now taken to charging fifty bucks for a photo with Newtie, which seems like scraping the barrel, when it comes to strategies for boosting campaign finances. But, as we've always believed, when you scrape the bottom of many Washington barrels, there you'll find Newt, deep in the gunk at the bottom. So to speak.

Newt wants everyone to know that he's not giving up the race yet, but unfortunately for him not only his donors have deserted him like rats leaving a sinking ship, but the media has also stopped paying attention to Newt. Unless you count late-night comedians joking about the $50 photo-ops, which isn't exactly the media coverage candidates dream of (to put it mildly).

The chairman of the Republican National Committee now thinks women voters are "caterpillars"... or something... it's hard to tell what any RNC chair thinks, if truth be told. It's hard enough just to spell the guy's name right (and this is coming from a person who knows all about the trouble "ei" and "ie" cause in names, I should mention). When asked whether he agreed that the Republicans were waging a "War on Women" or whether the whole thing was made up, Reince Priebus replied: "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars. It's a fiction."

Um, OK, Reince. We'll remind you of this in the fall, when all those fictional caterpillar-women burst out of their cocoons and become the beautiful butterflies of Democratic votes, just in case you've forgotten your metaphor.

One wonders what George W. Bush would think, since his favorite book to read to children was reportedly The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ahem.

Seriously, though, the Republicans do seem to be having a bit of a problem these days with the ladies. Poll after poll shows women voters abandoning the Republican Party to support Democrats. President Obama's poll numbers are up significantly because of this, as he's opened up double-digit leads among women over Romney -- in key battleground states, no less. But Republicans should indeed go right on convincing themselves that there is absolutely no correlation between the laws they're attempting to pass whose sole result is to shame and degrade women and the exodus of women voters from their party. That's right, guys, the two things have nothing to do with each other -- please (Please!) just keep telling yourselves that, for the next few months.


Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

In non-caterpillar news, one Democratic woman was honored... if that's the right word... this week by having a heavenly phenomenon named after her. Senator Barbara Mikulski received the singular honor of having a supernova named for her. This sounds awfully impressive, until you start to think about it. What is a supernova, after all? It's a star exploding. It is a violent outburst of hot gasses which flare brightly in the night sky, expand rapidly, and then fade from view (never to be seen again), leaving behind only thin tendrils of nebulous matter.

I'm not trying to be disrespectful, here, since I'm not the one naming supernovae after politicians. Would I want a supernova named after me? Um, maybe not. A comet might be nice, or perhaps even an asteroid. But a supernova? I'd really have to think twice.

Kidding aside, nothing but respect was intended (a science archive was also named for Mikulski at the same time, which seems a slightly more permanent honor), so we think Barbara Mikulski deserves at least an Honorable Mention this week from us, as well.

But the coveted Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award this week goes to Senator Charles Schumer, who is tossing the gauntlet down at the Republicans' feet over the so-called "Buffett Rule" in the Senate. The Buffett Rule would mandate that people making over a million bucks a year pay their fair share of income taxes. This could be a central issue in the campaign season this year, because (as Schumer points out) of the likely Republican candidate's own tax returns: "Romney, particularly in his situation where he has benefited from a lower tax rate because of his high income, I believe, will be forced to move to the middle and urge those in the House and Senate [to vote for the Buffett Rule legislation]." While Schumer is publicly optimistic about the chances for passage, the chances that Republicans will suddenly agree to this change appears to be a big fat zero, from where we sit. Republicans, as Senator Sheldon Whitehouse helpfully points out, are much more interested in defending the tax provision that means "the hedge fund billionaire should pay a lower tax rate than a Rhode Island truck driver."

This is a winning issue for Democrats. Huge majorities of voters think the ultra-wealthy should be paying their fair share in taxes -- majorities of Democrats, Independents, and even Republican voters agree with the concept. The more Republican politicians are put on the defensive on this issue, the better it is for Democrats. They can scream "class warfare" until they are blue in the face, but the electorate (note: even the Republican electorate) agrees with the Democrats on this one.

Chuck Schumer's stated intent of using this as a legislative battering ram all year is an excellent idea, and for getting out in front of the issue and pushing hard, Schumer wins our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award.

[Congratulate Senator Charles Schumer on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

There was a lot of disappointing things going on, most of them under the radar, in recent days. One that was definitely not under the radar is the spat between Keith Olbermann and Al Gore's Current TV, but we have no way of knowing exactly who is to blame here, so we're going to take a pass on that one.

An Obama "bundler" was accused of fraud this week, which is mighty disappointing, and rises at least to the level of a (Dis-)Honorable Mention (as always, we'll rescind the award if the bundler is exonerated in court later).

Leon Panetta is apparently costing the Pentagon a pretty penny to commute home (to California) every weekend. Due to his job, he must fly on military aircraft (with secure communications links), but even discounting for that, the phrase which stuck out was "every weekend" -- which just seems rather excessive to us. So Panetta earns a (Dis-)Honorable Mention of his own this week.

Eric Holder's Justice Department was busy in an Oakland school this Monday, but it's not the one you saw on the news. Federal agents raided Oaksterdam University, where classes are taught on how to set up legal medical marijuana operations in California. The founder of the University spent a million dollars on a ballot initiative a few years ago which would have outright legalized marijuana in the state for every adult (which subsequently failed with the voters). The Obama Justice Department is continuing its policy of leaning the hardest on those who exercise their political right to speak out on the issue, and it is not only disappointing, it is downright disgusting to think that Obama's Justice Department is now harsher than any Republican administration on the subject. For conducting this raid -- while a horrific school shooting was happening elsewhere in Oakland on the same day -- really shows how screwed up our law enforcement priorities are, as a society. So, a (Dis-)Honorable Mention for Attorney General Eric Holder (and Obama, to boot, for allowing this sort of thing to keep right on happening).

Even with all of that, the worst news of the week came from the General Services Administration. They apparently had a big party in Las Vegas on the taxpayers' dime, which is downright obscene when you consider that they are the federal agency in charge of all the nuts-and-bolts and bean-counting of the drudgery of keeping the government running. They should know better, in other words, than to go on a taxpayer-funded junket and even make videos about how they'll never get caught doing so (the video in question "won top prize" in a "talent contest" at the event, which speaks volumes, right there).

Sheesh. Talk about having no shame. The head of the GSA, Martha Johnson, immediately stepped down when this whole story broke, but that is not going to stop us from handing her a Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week on her way out the door.

We're assuming she's a Democrat (a political appointee, in other words), but if it turns out she's a non-partisan civil servant, then we'll think about changing our minds. Until then, enjoy your MDDOTW award, Martha.

[Since GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has left her public position, we have no public contact information for her, sorry.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 205 (4/6/12)

In a stunning news development this week, President Barack Obama attacked the Supreme Court. He did so singlehandedly, his Rambo-esque body draped with guns and explosives, which he deployed with abandon as he stormed the Supreme Court building. The Secret Service agents with him at the time were caught completely off-guard, and while they did take up defensive positions outside the building, they all refused to back up the president in his guns-blazing attack. "We didn't fire a single weapon" a Secret Service agent at the scene later swore, shaking his head in amazement, "all that stupendous explosive firepower was at the hands of the president himself." Obama, who reportedly laid down a barrage of grenades when he first entered the building, quickly subdued all resistance, and went hunting for the conservative wing of the Court. The subsequent unearthly and painful howls of Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito were so loud they were actually heard outside the building. As was, at one point, the president himself, who was clearly heard yelling: "How do you like your 'enhanced interrogation' now, you sons of...."

Well, no. None of that actually happened. I made the whole thing up. The preceding paragraph was a complete fantasy. But you certainly wouldn't know it by listening to Republicans this week, would you?

Because this hoop-te-do is likely going to be on all politicians' lips during the upcoming weekend of political chat shows, we've elected to (sigh...) pay attention to this meaningless squabble instead of doing what we would much prefer to be doing, which is attacking Paul Ryan's budget (President Obama actually did a damn fine job of ripping the Ryan budget to shreds this week, but it got lost in the fray).

Now, there are others out there making similar points. A Salon column did an admirable job this week of pointing out just how silly this entire sideshow is. The only omission in this article is the author's apparent lack of historical knowledge older than F.D.R., so we are moved to supplement it with a quote from one of our feistiest early presidents (for better or worse), Andrew Jackson. Jackson's battles with his own Supreme Court were legendary, and he took direct aim at them in one of his most famous veto messages. You want to hear what a direct attack on the Court's power sounds like? Try this on for size:

If the opinion of the Supreme Court covered the whole ground of this act, it ought not to control the coordinate authorities of this government. The Congress, the executive, and the court must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer who takes an oath to support the Constitution swears that he will support it as he understands it and not as it is understood by others. It is as much the duty of the House of Representatives, of the Senate, and of the President to decide upon the constitutionality of any bill or resolution which may be presented to them for passage or approval as it is of the supreme judges when it may be brought before them for judicial decision. The opinion of the judges has no more authority over Congress than the opinion of Congress has over the judges, and on that point the President is independent of both. The authority of the Supreme Court must not, therefore, be permitted to control the Congress or the executive when acting in their legislative capacities, but to have only such influence as the force of their reasoning may deserve.

That is what a real power struggle between the branches sounds like, folks. I put this up front, to show the obvious comparison to the inane tempest the Republicans are ginning up over what Obama said this week.

As is common in such fracases (fracasii?), the media immediately got distracted by the shiny, shiny object of "Hey, look, there's a fight happening!" and then completely ignored what was actually said, in favor of reporting the secondhand conflict among politicos. The president's words were so edited (soundbited?) that the president's original meaning was utterly lost in the smoke and noise.

Here is the passage that caused all the faux outrage from Righties. President Obama was asked a single question, during a press appearance on Monday with two foreign leaders, about what he would do if the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against the individual mandate portion of his health care reform law. Obama responded with (note: the only thing cut from this transcript are a few paragraphs of boosterism from Obama about the benefits of the law itself):

PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to health care, I'm actually -- continue to be confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law. And the reason is because, in accordance with precedent out there, it's constitutional. That's not just my opinion, by the way; that's the opinion of legal experts across the ideological spectrum, including two very conservative appellate court justices that said this wasn't even a close case.

I think it's important -- because I watched some of the commentary last week -- to remind people that this is not an abstract argument. People's lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care, the inaffordability of health care, their inability to get health care because of pre-existing conditions.

[... three paragraphs cut ...]

And I think it's important, and I think the American people understand, and the I think the justices should understand, that in the absence of an individual mandate, you cannot have a mechanism to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions can actually get health care. So there's not only a economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there's a human element to this. And I hope that's not forgotten in this political debate.

Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I'm pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.

Q: You say it's not an abstract conversation. Do you have contingency plans?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm sorry. As I said, we are confident that this will be over -- that this will be upheld. I'm confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld. And, again, that's not just my opinion; that's the opinion of a whole lot of constitutional law professors and academics and judges and lawyers who have examined this law, even if they're not particularly sympathetic to this particular piece of legislation or my presidency.

President Obama, quite obviously, either misspoke or overstated his own case with his use of "unprecedented." He should have left it at "extraordinary," although this likely wouldn't have quelled the storm of criticism, merely redirected it. Perhaps at the almost-gaffe when Obama started to say he was confident that the law "will be overturned" but then stopped himself in time and substituted "will be upheld," who knows?

The following day, he was asked to clarify what he meant, and he did so. Again, the only thing cut from this transcript are a few paragraphs touting the good aspects of the law (which, while true, are irrelevant to this debate).

Q: Mr. President, you said yesterday that it would be unprecedented for a Supreme Court to overturn laws passed by an elected Congress. But that is exactly what the Court has done during its entire existence. If the Court were to overturn individual mandate, what would you do, or propose to do, for the 30 million people who wouldn't have health care after that ruling?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, first of all, let me be very specific. We have not seen a Court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on a economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce -- a law like that has not been overturned at least since Lochner. Right? So we're going back to the '30s, pre-New Deal.

And the point I was making is that the Supreme Court is the final say on our Constitution and our laws, and all of us have to respect it, but it's precisely because of that extraordinary power that the Court has traditionally exercised significant restraint and deference to our duly elected legislature, our Congress. And so the burden is on those who would overturn a law like this.

Now, as I said, I expect the Supreme Court actually to recognize that and to abide by well-established precedence out there. I have enormous confidence that in looking at this law, not only is it constitutional, but that the Court is going to exercise its jurisprudence carefully because of the profound power that our Supreme Court has. As a consequence, we're not spending a whole bunch of time planning for contingencies.

What I did emphasize yesterday is there is a human element to this that everybody has to remember. This is not an abstract exercise.

[... four paragraphs cut ...]

So I don't anticipate the Court striking this down. I think they take their responsibilities very seriously. But I think what's more important is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to recognize that in a country like ours -- the wealthiest, most powerful country on Earth -- we shouldn't have a system in which millions of people are at risk of bankruptcy because they get sick, or end up waiting until they do get sick and then go to the emergency room, which involves all of us paying for it.

To paraphrase his response: "You're right -- I should have said 'since Lochner,' and not 'unprecedented' -- but my main point still stands."

Quite simply, there was no "attack" on the Supreme Court, or any of its justices. There was no "attempt at coercion" in any way shape or form. There might have been an attempt at "persuasion," but as far as I know that is not an illegal thing for any American to attempt when it comes to the Supreme Court -- right up to and including the president himself.

The most ironic thing about this incident is that the president was actually making the same case Republicans have been making for decades, just with his own spin on this particular case.

Let's review the statement after the "unprecedented" gaffe, shall we?

And I'd just remind conservative commentators that for years what we've heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example.

Obama is restating the conservative case against judicial activism here. He quite plainly says so, as a preamble. Allow me to paraphrase Obama's words, in case anyone missed their meaning: "Conservative commentators have for years been screaming that the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint -- that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, in this particular case, I agree with that conservative argument."

Conservatives, ever since Obama spoke on Monday, have been clutching at their metaphorical handkerchiefs and swooning in Victorian anguish over Obama's words. Which is downright hilarious. Seriously, I expect some Hollywood maven to soon announce: "....and the Oscar for 'performance requiring smelling salts afterwards' goes to...."

This has happened over and over again, both to this president and (to a lesser extent) to President Bill Clinton, back in the day. A Democratic president adopts a Republican position or talking point, and the entire lockstep Right-wing-o-sphere immediately decries such a position as worse than Communism or Devil-worship. Anyone doubting this need look no further back than the debate over the payroll tax holiday last December (and this February). Obama pushes a tax cut, and then Republicans in Congress vow to fight that tax cut as if their life depended on it -- even though they've never met any other single tax cut they didn't love in their entire lives... right up until a Democrat suggested one.

The proof of this is quite easy to find, although I haven't bothered to find it myself, since it is likely already out there now on many a Lefty blog. It's quite easy to prove that Obama is exactly right in what he said on judicial activism. The same exact terminology -- right down to the "unelected judges" complaint -- has been used over and over and over again in the past thirty years by conservative Republicans. In fact, it likely was used back in the 1950s and 1960s, as the courts waded into the Civil Rights fray. Do a web search on the phrase "Impeach Earl Warren" to see how vicious the anti-judicial language was, a half-century ago. Or, more recently, do a web search on the name of any Republican now complaining about Obama's remarks, together with the phrase "judicial activism" and you'll likely be rewarded with a plethora of quotes that match up to Obama's paraphrasing, almost word-for-word.

So, yes. Obama misspoke a single word. Even in his fuller definition, it is not "unprecedented" for the Supreme Court to strike down any law. Since Marbury v. Madison that is what they do (side note: it is absolutely hilarious to see conservatives sanctimoniously citing Marbury v. Madison these days, from the Wall Street Journal on down, as this is usually the Democratic counterargument to the "activist judges" conservative noise). But since the days of Lochner (Jamie Raskin helpfully explains what this means over at the Huffington Post), the Supreme Court hasn't done so in such a major way, which is the better-defined argument Obama made the next day.

But President Obama didn't do anything previous presidents have done, either. His remarks were in no way "unprecedented." Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson are merely the most egregious examples (but by far the only ones) of presidential anti-Supreme Court statements which prove this.

Nor were Obama's remarks either an attack or coercion, in any way shape or form. To call his words anything of this magnitude shows at least some degree of "Obama Derangement Syndrome," because the suggestion is absolutely laughable on its face. Republicans used to be more politically-savvy and less about being fervently against whatever Democrats are for. Republicans used to absolutely crow whenever a Democratic leader started using their terminology, about how "finally, he has come over to our way of thinking." Such days are gone, it seems, even thought that would have been a much more intelligent position to take: "We're glad President Obama finally realizes the dangers of judicial activism, but because he's new to this sort of thing, we hasten to point out how wrong he is in applying such terminology to the Supreme Court quite obviously upholding the Constitution in this particular case." See? It isn't that hard to do.

The biggest irony here isn't even the Republicans' faulty memories (of their own position and rhetoric), or of the fact that the media has also forgotten pretty much the preceding three decades (if not five or six), distracted by the shiny, shiny object of politicians disagreeing. The biggest irony, to me at least, is that "judicial activism" is in the eye of the beholder. I wrote a lengthy column (what else?) on the definitions of "constitutional" and "judicial activism" yesterday, and I ended it with:

Here's my definition for judicial activism: "A judge or court decided something I didn't like, and don't agree with." Judicial restraint is defined as: "A judge or court decided something that I approve of and agree with." Nothing more, nothing less.

This holds true no matter what political party the person or persons using the terms belongs to -- because even uttering the term is, and always must remain, completely and utterly subjective.

Everyone's got an opinion on what is and what is not constitutional. Everybody thinks judges should rule the way that they think. That is indeed everyone's right (including even the president), but the only thing which determines constitutionality is which way a majority of the Supreme Court rules. We'd all do well to remember this in the next few months.

-- Chris Weigant


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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post


16 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [205] -- Obama Attacks! Everybody Run!”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Buffett Rule would mandate that people making over a million bucks a year pay their fair share of income taxes.

    Rather ironic, since Buffet's companies owe over a BILLION dollars in back taxes..

    I think that ANYTHING that mentions the Buffett Rule would be a bad thing for Democrats...

    I don't have time to get to the rest yet... Like I said, this weekend's gonna be a bumper weekend for me. :D

    Just let me say that, with regards to Obama's bonehead statement challenging the authority of the Judiciary...

    It doesn't matter what you or I think as to whether or not Obama attacked the courts and "un-elected" judges..

    It only matters what the judges who make up the Judiciary think..

    Apparently, they feel that the Obama administration was playing fast and loose with the facts. As evidenced by the pee-pee whack that the 5th Circuit Appeals gave the Obama Administration.

    More later.. :D


  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    More later.. :D

    Take your time. :)

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Actually, I think all that COULD be said about Obama's blatant attack on the SCOTUS has been said..

    If ya'all think that Obama's follow-up back-pedaling smoothed things over sufficiently, then this begs the question....


    No matter HOW ya'all try to spin it, the simple fact is, Obama got caught playing fast and loose with the facts...

    I don't expect ya'all to admit it.. I'll just let the Fifth Circuit's wee-wee whack and Obama's (et al) Fast & Furious back-pedaling AND all the Politi-Fact and Fact-Check and Pinocchio-Test Websites speak for itself...

    Obama tried to lie, got caught and got slapped down by the Judiciary..

    Anything else is just spin..

    What I WOULD like to comment on, and comment HEAVILY on, is who SHOULD be getting the MDDsOTW Award..

    Before I do, let me lay out exactly what I am going to discuss...

    As everyone knows (unless they have been on Mars), a shooting occurred in Sanford, FL a month and a week ago..

    THAT incident has been beat down to death and I really don't (I mean that, I REALLY don't) want to discuss it anymore.. Anything that COULD possibly be said about it, HAS been said..

    No, what I would like to put forth is the Left Wing MSM and the Democratic Party colluding and conspiring to attack a PRIVATE CITIZEN, a hispanic DEMOCRAT no less, and make it LOOK like he is a racist...

    Democrats in Congress, with absolutely NO EVIDENCE whatsoever, passed a resolution that, for all intents and purposes, stated that a private American citizen was a racist..

    Let me repeat that for the cheap seats...

    A PRIVATE US Citizen was labeled a racist, via public proclamation of a Congressional Resolution without ANY evidence whatsoever to support such a resolution...

    This effort by Democrats was shameful enough and deserves a THOUSAND MDDsOTW awards...

    But, that isn't even the worst of it...

    A MSM Network colluded and conspired with Democrats to ALTER the physical evidence of this incident in order to provide Democrats with a rationale that fueled their attack, their "resolution" on a private American citizen...

    Now I know what ya'all are thinking..

    "Michale, there is no evidence to support the claim that NBC and the Democrats colluded"...

    POPPYCOCK!!! I say again.. POPPYCOCK!!!

    NBC's agenda and the Democrats agenda was identical.. Create a racial incident were none existed and blame it on a hispanic Democrat...

    This is the lowest of the low. This is COMPLETELY and UTTERLY despicable... Creating a racial incident where none exists is WORSE than racism itself!!

    From ALL accounts, George Zimmerman is a decent and hard-working Democrat who had a MINOR infraction over 7 years ago.. (If ANYONE brings up his speeding ticket from 3 years ago, I will certainly whack their pee-pee!!)

    Because of the actions of Democrats and the MSM, George Zimmerman AND his entire EXTENDED family are in hiding ** AFRAID FOR THEIR LIVES **

    And NBC has the unmitigated GALL to cover this up???

    I can't believe that ANYONE would let NBC and the Democrats in Congress get away with this completely blatant and totally baseless attack on a private citizen. A hispanic Democrat no less!

    All the Democrats in Congress who voted for this shameful and utterly contrived attack on a private citizen deserve the Most Disappointing HUMAN BEING Of The Century award...

    It's so disgusting, it's sickening...


  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    And just for the record...

    'Long Live Zimmerman’ Spray Painted On Ohio State’s Black Cultural Center

    THAT kind of crap is as bad as what Democrats have done....


  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Historical Interruption

    Sorry folks, this has absolutely nothing to do with this article, but I was so impressed that I had to toss it out there. I'm thinking of working the following passage into one of my "About" pages here, because it is so incredibly perfect an ideal to shoot for in my writing that I have to share it.

    This is the closing passage from a pamphlet titled (you think I'm long-winded? try this on for size): The Nature and Extent Of Parliamentary Power Considered, In some Remarks upon Mr. Pitt's Speech in the House of Commons, previous to the Repeal of the Stamp-Act, With an Introduction. Applicable to the present situation of the Colonies. which was published anonymously by "A Citizen" but is now known to be from the pen of William Hicks. It was originally published in sections, in the Pennsylvania Journal from January 21 through February 25, 1768.

    But it spoke to me across the centuries, as the gold standard of political commentary ethics. See what you folks think -- should this be a new part of the credo?

    While I relate matters of fact, from the best evidence which I am capable of receiving, if I have misrepresented them, I lie open to contradiction; and, when I recapitulate the principles from which I have drawn my train of reasoning, I am not so obstinately attached to my own opinion as to be proof against conviction. If I am guilty of any errors in the course of this unconnected performance, they must be attributed to my not having received sufficient information, or to my want of ability in using the materials which I had acquired. I have never wilfully misrepresented a fact, not designedly drawn from it a falacious consequence. I have not laboured to establish any favourite system, and, with the vanity of a projector, supported it at the expence of my veracity.

    But however trifling this performance may appear, both my head and my heart have co-operated in its production, and I really sat down "to write what I thought, not to think what I should write."

    Let me know your thoughts.


  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    That was beautiful.

    I think that it is already an unwritten credo of and that you are the gold standard, personified, of political commentary and of the ethics thereof.

    I think it wouldn't hurt to encourage all who would comment here to take on the same challenge in their writing, also.

    You really are the very best!

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:


    See what you folks think -- should this be a new part of the credo?

    It's so apropos, it's downright scary....


    I think it wouldn't hurt to encourage all who would comment here to take on the same challenge in their writing, also.

    Seconded. Very heartily so..


  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apropos of absolutely nothing.

    This Friday is Friday The 13th...

    There are three Friday The 13ths this year.....

    Each of them are exactly 13 weeks apart....


    "Brian! Look!! My Alpha-Bits are talking to me!! They're saying, 'OOOOOOOOooooooooo'!! "
    "Those are Cheerios, Peter."

    -Family Guy



  9. [9] 
    Hawk Owl wrote:

    The local paper headline read "Gingrich's Think Tank Files For Bankruptcy" . . . I've wondered if I'm the only one who needed a while to realize that it referred to monetary bankruptcy . . . Rather than the intellectual kind? Hawkowl

  10. [10] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I've wondered if I'm the only one who needed a while to realize that it referred to monetary bankruptcy

    Heheh. It does indeed appear that Money ... errr ... Romney ... will be the nominee.

    Any day now the Obama assault will begin. I wonder what it's going to be this year. Bill Ayers? Reverend Wright? His Muslim past? His "phony birth certificate"? Early attempts at blaming him for the price of gas don't seem to be working. Maybe because people have heard too much about how markets determine price.

    I wonder what it will be. We'll likely know pretty soon as K. Rove and his boyeez have a couple hundred million to throw around on anti-Obama ads.

    This year could bring some new groundbreaking lows :)!


  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    I wonder what it will be.

    Would you like a list?? :D

    Considering how many of Obama's past quotes are coming back to bite him on the ass, it would appear that Senator Obama is going to be the HARDEST person President Obama will be running against.. :D


  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    This year could bring some new groundbreaking lows :)!

    Of which I am sure that the Democratic Party will be a willful and enthusiastic participant.. :D


  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    We'll likely know pretty soon as K. Rove and his boyeez have a couple hundred million to throw around on anti-Obama ads.

    And Obama is shootin' to have a billion to throw around on anti-Romney ads...

    Gods know he won't use any of that money to tout his own record, which is pretty dismal.... :D


  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    We could always talk about Voter Fraud and how Voter ID legislation is "not necessary"... :D

    Ya gotta admit, it's hilarious that a guy could have voted as Eric Holder... :D


  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have noticed something of late...

    Everyone here only wants to talk about what REPUBLICANS are doing wrong...

    NO ONE wants to talk about what Democrats are doing wrong....

    Maybe no one wants to be seen agreeing with me.. :D

    But it's interesting, nonetheless...


  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    And on THAT note...

    I just got marching orders, so I'll be off the grid for a couple weeks...

    Try not to miss me too much.. :D

    Peggy: "Did you miss me??"
    Al: "With every shot so far."

    -Married With Children



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