(Posting may be flaky for the next few days, by the way.)
1) More Old Gray Lady pundit wankery today from Matt Bai here, on the matter of those zany teabaggers and their efforts to repeal the 17th Amendment (which would mean that U.S. Senators would no longer be voted into office by citizens but instead voted by state legislatures – nope, that ain’t happenin’ either)…
It is an odd stance, to be sure. (If you really want to start repealing amendments, why not go after the Third Amendment, the one that outlaws the forcible quartering of soldiers in peacetime? Would anyone really mind letting a few cadets stay the night?)
Maybe Bai ought to read about Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer 343 U.S. 579, 644 (1952), in which Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson's concurring opinion cites the Third Amendment as providing evidence of the Framer's intent to constrain executive power even during wartime: "[t]hat military powers of the Commander in Chief were not to supersede representative government of internal affairs seems obvious from the Constitution and from elementary American history. Time out of mind, and even now in many parts of the world, a military commander can seize private housing to shelter his troops. Not so, however, in the United States, for the Third Amendment says...[E]ven in war time, his seizure of needed military housing must be authorized by Congress."
Also, Justice William O. Douglas ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 484 (1965) that the amendment implied a belief that an individual's home should be free from agents of the state. Both of these rulings and other memoranda concerning the Amendment are noted here.
Wikipedia also tells us here that the amendment (which isn’t cited much – I’ll grant Bai that point anyway) was written to prevent the recurrence of soldiers being quartered in private property as was done in Colonial America by the British military under the Quartering Act before the American Revolution (1775–1776).
For anyone who thinks this amendment is irrelevant, let me ask you this; we just got finished in January of ’09 at long last with a head of state who believed he was a “unitary executive” endowed with all kinds of extra-constitutional powers since we were at wartime. Without the Third Amendment, maybe Dubya would’ve tried to seize people’s homes and property in the war against Terra! Terra! Terra! (I mean, it’s not like we can assume he would’ve stopped with spying on us…fortunately, my hypothesis will never be put to the test).
Leave it to an utter corporate media shill like Bai to joke so cravenly about giving up a precious, hard-earned right fought for with such bravery and dedication by those who came before us unto the present day.
2) Also, Ruben Navarrette, Jr. has been singing the praises of Bobby (“Don’t Call Me Piyush”) Jindal (here)…
For the last few years, Republicans have wondered if Bobby Jindal was their answer to Barack Obama. After the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it's awfully clear that Democrats should start trying to come up with an answer to Jindal.
Too funny – as noted here…
Louisiana state Rep. Juan LaFonta, a New Orleans Democrat running for Congress and a frequent Jindal critic, complains Jindal was too slow to declare a state of emergency. The declaration came nine days after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded. Early estimates of how much oil was leaking were much lower than the current 200,000-plus gallons a day.
"Because of Gov. Jindal's slow response, we are now behind the curve," LaFonta said. He added: "You're talking to a veteran of Katrina. I saw what a lackluster response did last time."
And as noted here…
Some Republicans favor the more laidback approach of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman, who has stood up for the oil industry and suggested that liberal environmentalists are exploiting the catastrophe to curtail deep sea drilling.
“Haley has actually taken the smarter approach, from a national perspective,” said a GOP operative close to both politicians. “Haley doesn’t have oil on his beaches. ... But he has taken the long view, that this shouldn’t kill an important source of energy. Bobby has been a little frantic, running around, much more concerned about how he’ll look on tonight’s TV news.”
(By the way, I'll give Barbour a pass for now on the "liberal environmentalists" remark.)
Also, this tells us that “Kenneth The Page” once rejected $100 million in “stim” unemployment funds for his state, and this tells us of his jokes about funding for volcano monitoring, which was particularly dumb because soon after he “cracked wise” on the subject, Mount Redoubt erupted.
Besides, based on this, I would say that Jindal needs to mend fences in his own political backyard first before he can call out the commander in chief in a way Navarrette would like (which, in and of itself, would actually pretty funny if Jindal were to try).
Update 6/25/10: Navarrette Jr. ought to read about what a great job Jindal is supposedly doing here (meant to add this also).
Update 6/26/10: The linked NY Times story from this post has a funny pic of Jindal looking like he's getting ready to perform another exorcism, by the way.
3) Finally, I give you Ted Nugent here (speaking of “spill, baby, spill”)…
With the possible exception of the tobacco industry, no industry is held in more contempt and scorn than big oil. This is strangely foolish in that tobacco has been proved to cause cancer and has no beneficial use whatsoever, whereas oil literally fuels the American dream. Another clear example of the disconnect that brought us President Barack Hussein Obama.
This clueless condition is a direct result of woefully ignorant Americans with hypocritical attitudes. Surely the unprecedented quality of life in the United States has spoiled too many Americans, who insist on driving gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and also demand to fill them up with cheap gas. Similarly, some other irresponsible Americans eat massive quantities of junk food, refuse to exercise, poison their once-sacred temples at every opportunity and then demand that someone else pay for their health care. Maybe the band Green Day had it right with its song "American Idiot." Takes one to know one.
I realize there are all kinds of directions I can go here, such as pointing out that, among other problems, burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming that ultimately leads to an increased risk of breathing problems in older adults and asthma in children. I could also point out Nugent’s idiotic opposition to anything approximating a government (Fedzilla?) role in health care, particularly since the U.S. now ranks 38th among industrialized nations in life expectancy (here).
I could also point out that Nugent himself is a draft-dodging hypocrite (here) who had a chance to serve this country when he was of age in Vietnam but instead did not do so; that by itself doesn’t permanently impugn someone as far as I’m yours truly is concerned, but I definitely have an issue with someone who cherishes his own blood but has no problem cheering on the spillage of it from others.
But it truly takes a singular type of moron to dump on fellow musicians, particularly when we’re talking about a group as talented as Green Day (at least they’ve had a hit more recently than the Reagan Administration, Ted).
Oh, and please spare me the lecture about Americans “poison(ing) their once-sacred temples” in lieu of taking care of our bodies. This from a guy who wrote a song called “Journey To The Center Of The Mind” (which, of course, had nothing whatsoever to do with drugs…nothing at all, I’m sure).