Posted: 26 Nov 2008 01:06 PM CST
Crossposted from Stop the ACLU
From Marc Ambinder:
Pete Williams of NBC raised the question on MSNBC this afternoon: Is Hillary Clinton barred by the Constitution from accepting the post of secretary of state?
I have no idea if this means she can't take the office because salary for cabinet positions was increased last year while Clinton was a Senator. I doubt anyone will seriously challenge this position on these grounds, but it may make Obama and Clinton think twice. Any constitutional scholars or lawyers out there want to weigh in on this one?
One commenter at Say Anything says this has happened before:
This is not the first time this Article has stood in the way of a cabinet appointment. In 1973, at the height of Watergate, President Richard Nixon nominated William Saxbe (R) to be Attorney General and the issue was raised because Saxbe was in the Senate in 1969 when the Attorney General's pay was raised.
I'm sure this precedent will proceed, however it doesn't satisfy all constitutional scholars:
The usual workaround is for Congress to lower the salary of the job back to what it was so that the nominee can take it without receiving the benefit of the pay increase that was approved while the nominee was in Congress. This maneuver, which has come to be known as "the Saxbe fix," addresses the clear intent of the Constitution, to prevent self-dealing.
Quite an interesting puzzle.
Others: Ed Morrissey
Robert Stacey McCain
Posted: 26 Nov 2008 11:06 AM CST
Each Holiday season we hear reports of increased security due to intelligence gathered which hints at an attack of some kind or other.
While this latest intelligence is unsubstantiated, there is no choice but to remain vigilant and for our government to make sure they increase security, which is what is being done during the holiday season on New York subways, according to an Associated Press report:
Federal authorities are warning law enforcement personnel of a possible terror plot against the New York City subway and train systems during the holiday season, and police are beefing up security in preparation.
Better safe than sorry. It is when this type of activity and threats, substantiated or not, is ignored, that we are in the most danger.
Posted: 25 Nov 2008 09:34 PM CST
Today was not a good day.
In the past two weeks, four people--four very dear people--have become seriously ill. Two are family members, one is a former family member and the fourth is a blogging family member.
The youngest is my grandson. He just turned 3 months old. He was losing weight and there was no explanation why. So he was hospitalized for testing. After much prodding and poking, reviewing feeding procedures with my daughter, seeing how well this child ate, they finally came to a preliminary diagnosis. Cerebral Palsy. A very mild form, will not affect him in his mental development, is not expected to become worse over time and will only mildly hamper his motor development.
Next is my nephew. He just turned 15. A Texas boy. A star athlete and always in trouble with his mischief. Last Tuesday, he was playing basketball and hurt his leg in the game. It was still hurting so my sister took him to the doctor. I found out today he has osteosarcoma-bone cancer. My sister is in extreme denial, thinking the surgery next week will be simple and non-invasive. After doing some research tonight, I know it's probably going to be exploratory to determine the size and features of the tumor (calcium malignant, attached at the site) and treatment options. There is a very good chance he will lose part of his leg--if not his life. The exploratory is prior to chemo starting as well.
Then my ex father-in-law. Frankly, I would dance on the graves of my ex and his family. But not him. Out of the entire clan, he was the only one who was ever decent to me. He is in his late 70's and is suffering from heart failure. He's been very ill for quite some time, but he has given up. He has been brought home from the hospital to die, and makes no bones to the grandkids he will be spending Christmas with Santa Clause. He isn't expected to live past Thursday. This once robust, hearty man is a mere shell of himself and it's heartwrenching to see. He's worked his whole life for a family full of ingrates, who always put him down because he wasn't a "book learned" man--although he found a way to put four children through private schools, supported a wife from hell who expected him to cater to her (she refused to even drive a car) while all she could do was denigrate him. He did it quietly, with dignity. When he was out of work from the mines, he worked side jobs and always paid the bills--in cash. He loved his grandchildren, each as they came along. He was the only one in the family to welcome me when I married into it and for that I will always be grateful. While the hellspawn of his family can take a long walk off a high cliff, I do not wish a holiday death on anyone. Having lost both of my parents, it's hard and it will only hit them just how special this man is after he is gone. And it will be too late for them to say a simple "thank you".
Last, but by no means least, is our friend Roger Gardner from Radarsite. He is also fighting for his life, but better bloggers than I have addressed Roger and his trials. However, we have good news on Roger--his prognosis is getting better and better each time we hear from him, and we thank God for that.
Two weeks from hell. Four very dear people, ranging in age from 3 months to early 80's. Obama wants to talk Main Street. I got your Main Street right here. And mine is real--it's not a fantasyland concocted in the wild dreams of a meglomaniac.
Sorry, Stinky--my priorities are far and away more important than your fantasies.
You will just have to wait until you royally screw up--and then you will most definitely hear from me on your so-called change which is nothing more than recycled Clinton. Yeah--you're "green"--green from the stench of decay.
I have my family and friends to worry about. Maybe you should get in touch with real Main Street Americans and what is on our minds--not your ice cream dreams and lollipop sundaes.
Two weeks from hell.
Posted: 25 Nov 2008 05:34 PM CST
The rumor mill has been working over time lately and one rumor that has had the far left "progressives" howling at the moon was the news that Barack Obama was going to ask Robert Gates to retain his position as Defense Secretary.
Today we see news reports claiming it is a done deal and Gates has accepted the position and the far left base of the Democratic party were not happy at all when it was rumor and that is an understatement from some of the reactions previously seen.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has agreed to stay on under President-elect Barack Obama, according to officials in both parties. Obama plans to announce a national-security team early next week that includes Gates at the Pentagon and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of state, officials said.
The most important appointment decision Obama will make during the transition, bar none, is who becomes, or remains, Secretary of Defense. As I have noted in the past, the Department of Defense oversees the expenditure of 52% of all discretionary spending, rendering it literally impossible for any other cabinet Secretary to oversee as much federal money. Further, keeping Gates on would only worsen Democratic image problems on national security, as he would be the second consecutive non-Democratic Secretary of Defense nominated by a Democratic President. The message would be clear: even Democrats agree that Democrats can't run the military.
TPM agrees with Open Left:
For instance, as Chris Bowers argues persuasively, keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates is inherently a bad idea, because it keeps the same leadership in charge of half the Federal budget and, worse, sends the message that Republicans are needed to manage national security.
Daily Kos previously made the case against keeping Gates on (like Obama bothers listening to them?)
The Public Record:
The retention of Bob Gates at the Department of Defense for any length of time would signal Obama's support for policies he has publically questioned in the past and indicate that he lacks confidence in his own ultimate choice to be Secretary of Defense. Gates has been an enthusiastic supporter of such Bush Administration policies as the deployment of a ballistic missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic; the rush to bring Ukraine and Georgia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; continued spending on a National Missile Defense (currently the most expensive weapons system in the Pentagon's inflated budget); and the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. These policies have weakened the international regime for non-proliferation and the arms control process with Russia and should be reversed by the new Obama Administration.
Some may think Gates is acceptable but I don't. First. Gates supports increasing U.S. forces in Afghanistan. As I written here on several occasions, Afghanistan is the black hole for foreign forces. Not since Alexander the Great has a foreign army successfully invaded and occupied and conquered the Afghan people. Since then Afghanistan has chewed up and spit out foreign invaders. The same thing lies ahead for the Americans.
That one is also annoyed about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State:
As for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Obama seems to have forgotten what Clinton said about the Iranians, how she would "obliterate" them in the event of a war with Israel. If you were Iranian, I am sure you would judge Clinton to be another crazed militaristic American intent on conquering the world through bombs and missiles and tanks. Someone who even considers obliterating another people or another nation is not suited to be the chief diplomat of the United States.
That is representative of what is being seen already as reaction from the far left to the news about Gates staying on for at least one year as Defense Secretary.
The stomach continues to churn as the "progressives" howl, piss and moan and basically continue to whine about everything Obama is already doing before he even takes office.
Those people are incapable of being happy for more than a day or two before finding something to stay angry about huh?
Previously written under the "As The Stomach Churns" Label:
"Obama's White House- As The Stomach Churns"
Posted: 25 Nov 2008 04:10 PM CST
Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook
The Liberal think tank, Center for American Progress, has issued a 36-page report explaining why and how talk radio must be, and easily can be, regulated by a Fairness Doctrine - but not regulated in the way we conventionally think of a Fairness Doctrine.
This is a simple and doable plan for Democrats. The Fairness Doctrine will happen this way: All stations will be required to issue many new licenses to minorities - ethnic and women, which is known as "localism." Licenses will be up for review, and reissue, every three years rather than the current eight years. Programming will be basically local.
Moreover, the original Communications Act of 1934 still authorizes the FCC to require "reasonable access to or to permit purchase of reasonable amounts of time" by a legally qualified candidate for federal elective office, and equal opportunities must be afforded all their candidates for that office....
These obligations come from the same set of concerns from which the Fairness Doctrine arose. And Section 315 of the Communications Act still requires commercial broadcasters "to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance."...
Thus, the public obligations inherent in the Fairness Doctrine are still in existence and operative, at least on paper.The Center for American Progress says that the original Fairness Doctrine's real value was not in the "fair discussion of important issues," but in the way licenses could be issued:
...limited license terms to three years [from eight, I think], subjected broadcasters to license challenges through comparative hearings, required notice to the local community that licenses were going to expire, and empowered the local community through a process of interviewing a variety of local leaders.Perhaps the plan is to scrap the Telecommunications Act of 1996, mandated by Congress, which increased the number of radio stations that "one entity could own in the same market." However, doing so may not be necessary to bring achieve a plethora of Liberal programming and deny Conservative content.
The death of syndicated programming (nation shows like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity) is imminent if Democrats have their way, to be replaced with local programming. In public, Democrats will say this has little to do with providing opposing viewpoints, but as this study finds, the new licensees will be decidedly Liberal.
...of all 10,506 licensed commercial radio stations in the country suggests that stations owned by racial or ethnic minorities are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows and more likely to air progressive hosts or shows....This is an issue Barack Obama and Congress need not direct. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can accomplish all of the above without a word from Congress or the President.
A question for readers: Any opinions about advertisers and the enormous income to stations from successful programming, supported by advertising dollars? How will the money be replaced? Does it matter if stations are smaller, local and not in need of big money?
To Fairness Doctrine Naysayers: Support from RINO's
The Fairness Doctrine: What You May Not Know
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