November 29, 2008

Couldn’t Help But Comment ….. (112908, Morning)

Our Founding Documents can be a real pain in the butt but must be heeded (or amended), Part 1. This makes whether Hillary Clinton can be permitted to be Secretary of State relevant:

So, “Is Hillary Clinton Unconstitutional?” In a word, Yes — or, to be more precise, a Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be unconstitutional.

The Emoluments Clause of Article I, section 6 provides “No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time.” As I understand it, President Bush’s executive order from earlier this year “encreased” the “Emoluments” (salary) of the office of Secretary of State. Last I checked, Hillary Clinton was an elected Senator from New York at the time. Were she to be appointed to the civil Office of Secretary of State, she would be being appointed to an office for which “the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased” during the time for which she was elected to serve as Senator. The plain language of the Emoluments Clause would thus appear to bar her appointment … if the Constitution is taken seriously (which it more than occasionally isn’t on these matters, of course).

I think the fact that the salary increase at State was meant to be only a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), something Eugene Volokh mentioned in a previous post at his place, is helpful but not decisive. The key, in my opinion, is whether the COLA was or wasn’t greater than the actual cost of living during the period since the last increase. You could probably parse it down to metro DC cost of living if necessary. But if the increase is still greater than national and local inflation, there’s a problem. Conscientious politicians, and the constitutional professor lecturer who is now president-elect, should be paying attention to this. Unfortunately, this interesting civics lesson will more than likely be ignored.

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Our Founding Documents can be a real pain in the butt but must be heeded (or amended), Part 2. I wish it weren’t so, but that makes the Obama supposedly-dead-but-not-really birth certificate controversy relevant.

It’s easily curable, but:

Obama has refused to disclose (i.e., show us — Ed.) the vault copy of his Hawaiian birth certificate. This raises the question whether he himself has established that he is eligible to be President. To date, no state or federal election official, nor any government authority, has verified that he ever established conclusively that he meets the eligibility standard under the Constitution.

The question not being asked by the holders of power, who dismiss this as a rightwing conspiracy, is what’s the downside of disclosing? This is a legitimate issue of inquiry because Barack Obama has turned it into one. The growing number of people who demand an answer in conformance with the Constitution are doing their work; the people’s watchdogs aren’t.

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The November 26 edition of the Carnival of Ohio Politics, assembled by Lisa Renee of Glass City Jungle, is here.

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Let’s hope this end of the run isn’t permanent. I think the Keeler & Kyle show would be the perfect answer to a resurrection of Wide Open, with maybe more emphasis on statewide matters …. but that probably makes too much sense.

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This should mark the permanent end of Michael Vick’s football career (WARNING: disturbing verbiage follows)

More Michael Vick Barbarism Bared
USDA report details how football star killed pit bulls, lied to FBI

“In the most disturbing account yet of Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation, a federal investigative report details how the disgraced athlete killed pit bulls by hanging them from a nylon cord nailed to a tree and drowned others in a five gallon bucket of water.”

…. “government informant told investigators that Vick twice placed family pets into the ring with pit bulls because he and his cohorts “thought it was funny to watch the pit bulls…injure or kill the other dogs.’”

….. “After Vick agreed last year to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge, he was interviewed by federal agents and claimed that he “never actually killed a dog,” though he admitted watching his friends hang, shoot, and electrocute pit bulls. But after failing an October 2007 FBI polygraph test “as it related to the killings of the dogs,” Vick recanted his denial and ‘admitted taking part in the actual hanging of the dogs.’”

Vick had his shot to come clean and totally failed. If he had, and had done so with legitimate remorse, I think most people would have forgiven him. As it is, I can’t type what I think of this guy and stay within this blog’s standards. I don’t see any justification for an NFL team taking on this kind of baggage. Yes, I know he’s filed for bankruptcy. So?

Positivity: We’re doing some things just right.

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:58 am

From Iraq (the snark doesn’t change the overall positivity of the post):

Us Mercenary Bastid War Profiteer Contractor Parasites got a break from teaching Iraqi kaydets how to stay alive after slipping the surly bonds of earth at about noon today. I stopped to chat with two of the Kurdish kaydets in Class 70. One’s best bud is a Sunni and the other has a pal who’s Shi’a.

As I was walking to the DFAC, I stopped to exchange pleasantries with a couple of the Turkish Ell-Tees who are here as Liaison Officers — the pilots of the Iraqi 3rd Squadron had invited them to be their guests at lunch.

….. Every Iraqi soldier I saw this morning wished me a Happy Thanksgiving.

I’d like to pass those wishes along to you guys…

Go here for the full post and comments.