These People Are Idiots

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So the measure to give House of Representatives voting rights to DC failed. Why, Jim Abrams of the Associated Press?

Legislation to give the District of Columbia voting representation in the House stalled short of passage Thursday when Republicans unexpectedly injected the volatile issue of gun control into the debate.

Apparently fearful they might lose control of the proceedings, Democrats decided to postpone action on the voting rights measure, which had appeared to be moving methodically toward passage.

Republicans protested futilely, seeking a quick vote on their attempt to repeal the capital city's ban on handguns.

To recap—a measure to give D.C. a vote, which opponents claim would violate the Constitution, is killed after Republicans demand that D.C. not violate the Constitution. Says the DCist:

Well, it seems that the Republicans may have played a brilliant game of politics.

Uh, brilliant? Republicans have been on that horse for years and years now. The Democrats just refused to grow up and recognize it.

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  1. I’ve been busy lately but did I miss the H&R coverage on the flame war between Limbaugh and the Governator of Californicate?

  2. Weigal am shilling for Republicans. Me no like when he criticize Democrats.

  3. See, in Bizarro Wold, John can spell.

    (Like I’m one to taok.)

  4. Sorry to preach heresy, but I’d bump the issue of whether or not I can vote; that is, whether I even have a representative who can kick around the gun issue on my behalf in the first place at least slightly ahead of gun control, if not miles ahead.

    And this right to vote should be all that’s on the docket. I hear the collective wail of gun fetishists building as I type this, but the dems should gird their loins and make DC voting rights a higher priority. Handgun policy can come after the rep and senators have been elected. Those who know more about Congressional procedure can hammer out the details, but WTF? What’s to debate?

    I guess it’s really about the potential outcome–one donkey rep and two donkey senators. Well, ain’t democracy a bitch?

  5. but even Bizarro John can’t spell David Weigel’s name correctly

  6. Well, ain’t democracy a bitch?

    Yeah, for pretty much everyone *except* the residents of Washington, DC. Which is why I don’t feel too sorry for them going without a Congressional delegation.

  7. Aw, Nancy, come on! You’re going to give up on DC voting rights to preserve a law that’s going to be ruled unconstitutional anyway?

    I suspect the popularity of the DC gun ban in the District has more to do with self-determination than support for gun control.

    Ain’t no rednecks from Texas gonna tell me what stupid laws to repeal!

  8. I guess it’s really about the potential outcome–one donkey rep and two donkey senators. Well, ain’t democracy a bitch?

    Sorry to be pedantic here, but the bill would only have awarded a House seat to DC. Since it’s not a state, it can’t have any senators (except the baseball type).

  9. pinko: D.C. should have representation in Congress, but this can only be done legally by a) constitutional amendment; b) making the district a state; c) giving the district back to Maryland. A statute giving the district representation in Congress while it remains a district is clearly unconstitutional.

  10. pardon me for being ignorant, but every headline on this talks about a utah seat. what utah seat? how’s that got anything to do with it.

    damned if any of the “journalists” covering this bothers to mention it in the piece.

    oh, and “Republicans unexpectedly injected the volatile issue of gun control into the debate.”

    really? how about that? did they propose an amendment? i’d like to know.

    screw it. i’ll continue in my ignorance, safe in the knowledge that i ain’t the only one uninformed.

  11. The bill would have created an additional new representative in addition to the D.C. seat. The next state in line for additional seat happens to be Republican Utah, so this is also an attempt at compromise with the Republicans.

  12. Here’s the language:

    Art. I, sec. 8:

    To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And

  13. rox,

    When House seats were being reassigned after the 2000 Census*, Utah and North Carolina were in a virtual tie for the final seat, and both states mounted massive campaigns about undercounts. North Carolina won, but given the inexactitude of the Census**, it’s tough to argue that either one really was entitled to it over the other.

    *the only decent time to do redistricting, as all decent Americand realize

    **an inexactitude enforced by Congressional Republicans, who insisted that the Census bureau not use the statistical techniques recommended by the statistical community to make up for undercounts when calculating House seats.

  14. pardon me for being ignorant, but every headline on this talks about a utah seat. what utah seat? how’s that got anything to do with it.

    It’s because Utah got jobbed out of a fourth congressional district in the 2000 census. Basically the census officials refused to count LDS missionaries who were abroad at the time but whose official residences were in Utah. We ended up losing the seat to North Carolina by some 900 persons.

    So, in an act of unconstitutional but far too common political horse-trading the Republicans and Democrats came together to give each other a new “safe seat”: In exchange for giving DC a representative — something the Dems have long lusted after — they agreed to give Utah the extra House seat it was supposed to get in 2000. One that would be in a bright red district, of course.

    Glad it’s dead. Although I would have loved to see the Blue Dogs fight with the Dem leadership over the gun issue if it ever came to a roll-call vote.

  15. “We ended up losing the seat to North Carolina by some 900 persons.”

    I’m confused. When did seat apportionment become a zero-sum game? I.e. — why was there only “one seat” to give? Is apportionment not based on a given state’s population?

  16. Here’s one:

    What is the official name of the US Capital city?

    District of Columbia? Washington City? Washington, DC?

    inquiring minds!!!

  17. I’m confused. When did seat apportionment become a zero-sum game? I.e. — why was there only “one seat” to give? Is apportionment not based on a given state’s population?

    It’s roughly based on population. But for some reason — probably due to earlier Congressional backroom trading — the total number of voting House seats is capped at 435.

    Which means that every census those states that have had negative or slow growth in population lose House seats to those states which have grown faster.

  18. joe,

    Well, to be fair, the Supreme Court was involved in that.

  19. Business as usual in the CONgress of the US. So, Mr Weigel, if you are referring to Congress as idiots, I’m with you. If you are singling out the Repubs for ridicule for doing something that is par for the course, I’m not.

    There are thousands of bills every year with riders attached that have no bearing on the main question. It’s crap, but it’s normal.

    Pink, I don’t care one way or another if DC has representation in the CONgress.

  20. “Ain’t no rednecks from Texas gonna tell me what stupid laws to repeal!”

    This must be an example of that philosophy of open-mindedness and toleration that I hear is so popular on the left.

  21. Uh, no, it’s a comment on the persnickety insistence on self-determination, the reflexive opposition to being ruled by people from far away who don’t know or care about you and your community, that characterizes Americans across the political spectrum.

    Why you gotta make everything so partisan, JKP?

  22. From the DCist:
    “. . . the city’s stringent, yet overwhelmingly popular gun laws.”

    Hmm, . . . kind of like institutionalized racism in the South. It was popular so that made it okay.

  23. **an inexactitude enforced by Congressional Republicans, who insisted that the Census bureau not use the statistical techniques recommended by the statistical community to make up for undercounts when calculating House seats.

    Why you gotta make everything so partisan, JKP?

    Pot, kettle.

    Anyway, I’m sure that if, say, Texas decided that they didn’t want gun control being imposed on them from Washington DC, joe’s spin on it would be a whole lot different.

    But at least he supports the second amendment!

  24. Apparently to maintain your libertarian cred around here you must make an obligatory rip on conservatives if you rip on liberals and vice versa.

    Otherwise, your true colors are on display.

  25. Apparently to maintain your libertarian cred around here you must make an obligatory rip on conservatives if you rip on liberals and vice versa.

    Otherwise, your true colors are on display.

    There is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

    They’re both as stupid, evil, greedy, and corrupt as the Republicans.

  26. Thanks for all of the comments about all of the procedural details involved in addressing DC’s lack of representation.

    I just want to repeat…I am not complaining about under-representation, but a total fucking lack of representation. So horse trading and douchebaggery don’t really apply.

    Just a fucking vote.

    I’m glad that no on took up the gun-rights gauntlet, so kudos for that.

    I want two senators, given that there are more people in DC than in several states.

    And a rep would be nice. That’s all.

    Should be a huge winner for Libertarians…notwithstanding onerous procedures. But somehow it doesn’t seem to get too many people exercised around here.

  27. I want two senators, given that there are more people in DC than in several states.

    Acutally, DC only outranks Wyoming in terms of population: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_US_states_by_population.

  28. Look, if you give DC guns, it is inevitable that they will get the right to vote as well – But if they have no guns, then their place in the world is to shut up and do what we tell them. Political freedom only exists for those who can demand it. Since DC has no oil or critical foodstuff or some vital economic resource they can withhold from us, and since they think the 2nd Amemendment is just an anacronism, they are pretty much screwed when it comes to making any demands.

  29. I think it’s pretty clear that the only constitutional way that DC can have senators or representatives is if it becomes a state, or the territory is ceded back to Maryland.

    -jcr

  30. I ‘spose we oughtta give them Portoh Ricans some representation in Congress as well. Wait, NY does have reps and two Senators.

  31. O – H !!

  32. I – O !!

  33. Did that state university in Athens do something tonight?

    Kevin

  34. It’s roughly based on population. But for some reason — probably due to earlier Congressional backroom trading — the total number of voting House seats is capped at 435.

    The number of House Members used to expand as the population expanded, but in 1913, 435 became the set number for Members. There are two Senators for each state.

    And, no there was a quite practical reason for the cap. More gaggle made more mess.

  35. Wow, never heard THAT one before…

  36. I’ve got Ohio going to the final four; until Georgetown whips them. 😉

  37. The reflexive opposition to being ruled by people from far away who don’t know or care about you and your community, that characterizes Americans across the political spectrum.

    Precisely why so many of us despise being micro-managed by crooks and mediocrities in Washington D.C.

    We’ll make a libertarian of you yet, joe!

  38. R C,
    Unfortunately, yet predictably, joe was poking fun at that sentiment, not endorsing it. You could sooner make a carpenter out of a newt, than you could a libertarian out of joe.

  39. Joe –

    “Ain’t no rednecks from Texas gonna tell me what stupid laws to repeal!”

    If YOU weren’t trying to “make everything so partisan” you would have said…

    “Ain’t no rednecks from ARKANSAS or TEXAS gonna tell me what stupid laws to repeal!”

    CB

  40. I’m confused. When did seat apportionment become a zero-sum game? I.e. — why was there only “one seat” to give? Is apportionment not based on a given state’s population?

    Because the size of the House of Representatives is fixed by law at 435. Up until the 1920 census, the size of the House used to increase as the size of the population increased. Then Congress realized that, the way things were going, the House of Representatives would come to be of an unwieldy (if you prefer, more unwieldy) size, so they froze the size at what it was then, and provided that in the future, each state would be given one House seat (in accordance with Article I, section 3, clause 3 of the Constitution (“each State shall have at Least one Representative”), and the remaining 335 seats would be shuffled around to reflect the relative sizes of the states’ populations. IOW, yes, it’s a zero-sum game.

  41. Where is the anti-income tax guy talking about Ohio?

  42. Hmm, . . . kind of like institutionalized racism in the South. It was popular so that made it okay.

    Ray G, do you think institutionalized racism used to be popular with the large number of black people who lived in the South when it was enshrined in law? Or are you just forgetting to include them in your calculations of what was popular?

  43. I see Guy Montag already answered Alpha’s question. He also got the date right–the size was fixed in 1913, not 1920. The 1920 date isn’t irrelevant, however, IIRC; after the 1920 Census results came out, Congress had such trouble figuring out the way to reapportion seats in the House that they finally threw up their hands and didn’t reapportion until after the 1930 Census. In 1941, they adopted the current forumula for apportioning seats: http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/apportionment/computing.html

  44. “Since DC has no oil or critical foodstuff or some vital economic resource…”

    …the Republicans aren’t interested in spreading democracy there. Tap tap tap, is this thing on?

    jcr,

    Another option would be if the Constitution was amended to specify representation for the District.

    RC, at least you and I get to send our own crooks and mediocrities to DC.

    Warren, actually, I was just noting it without comment.

  45. but even Bizarro John can’t spell David Weigel’s name correctly

    The Wygel whose name can be spelled is not the true Weigul.

  46. I’m Weigel, and my wife is, too.

  47. Weigels will wobble but they won’t fall down.

  48. I AM SPARTACUS! Oh shit, wrong movie.

    I AM WEIGEL!

  49. RC, at least you and I get to send our own crooks and mediocrities to DC.

    The fact that I get to vote for (or against) a small handful of Our Masters in D.C. does nothing to mitigate the fact that I am
    “being ruled by people from far away who don’t know or care about [me] and [my] community”.

  50. OT: British Sailors have been captured by Iran.

    Think they will be impressed into service for Iran?

  51. The presence of your crooks and mediocrities in the system forces them to both know (in the sense of having insiders with specific local knowledge of your community involved in the governing process) and care about (in the sense of having an interest in) you and your community.

  52. …as opposed to DC residents, who are not represented in the government that rules them. Literally every single legislator who has the authority to govern CD is an outsider, who neither comes from that community, nor depends on support from that community for his political future.

    Seriously, RC, you do realize it’s better to be represented in the government than not, right? Taxation without representation is tyranny, and all that, right?

  53. “Seriously, RC, you do realize it’s better to be represented in the government than not, right? Taxation without representation is tyranny, and all that, right?” – joe

    You do realize that all DC citizens currently have the right to vote, right?

    joe, the idea that it’s actually a good thing to have “crooks and mediocrities in the system” because it “them to both know … and care about … you and your community” is certainly a novel excuse for criminals and incompetents but that doesn’t have much bearing on the actual discussion, IMO.

    Frankly, I think giving DC its own representative seems pretty lop-sided and weird considering that DC residents can already vote, but I actually don’t have a dog in that fight and tend to lean to the idea that it’s a pretty good idea – even if they carve up the voting along state lines.

    Best summation of two positions that I’ve seen on this subject somes from the Wiki:

    “The justification against statehood for the District is explained in the Federalist No. 43, where it is noted that the federal government needs to ensure a level of stability in order to perform its duties that could not be guaranteed by a reliance upon any state. The necessity of this provision is borne out by the riots outside the Pennsylvania hall that Congress met in before the District was established.[citation needed] Any organization has reasonable expectation that it control the rules governing how it conducts its business. Whether or not this implies that the residents of the District should not have representation in Congress or the Electoral College is debatable. Also debatable is whether this requires that Congress needs the same absolute control “in all cases whatsoever” as asserted by the British Parliament in the Declaratory Act of 1766, or whether the same result could be achieved with some lesser degree of control, while respecting the principles that power derives from the people, and that just power flows from the consent of the governed. DC residents would argue, with James Madison, that “EQUAL LAWS PROTECTING EQUAL RIGHTS ARE THE BEST GUARANTEE OF LOYALTY & LOVE OF COUNTRY.” (Madison to Jacob de la Motta, August, 1820).

    In 1961, the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, allowing District residents to vote for president and vice president. This right has been exercised by D.C. citizens since the election of 1964.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_voting_rights

  54. Speaking of what strikes me as a fairly novel idea – that it’s actually a good thing to have “crooks and mediocrities in the system” because it forces “them to both know … and care about … you and your community,” I wonder if this is the sort of “feature that appears to be a bug” that actually helps democracies function…

  55. rob,

    “You do realize that all DC citizens currently have the right to vote, right?”

    Yes, just not for Congress – the subject of the this thread, remenmber? Representation in Congress.

    Put it this way – American colonist had exactly the same role in choosing the Chief Executive as residents of England, but did not have any role in choosing Parliament. How did that go over?

    Now statehood, that brings in a whole other question. There is a national interest in how Washington DC operates, because it is the capital, that simply doesn’t exist for Baltimore. This certainly implies that a greater role for the federal government is appropriate.

    BTW, I was just using R C’s language “crooks and mediocrities,” not actually arguing in favor of crookedness and mediocrity in legislators. I really didn’t expect that anyone would be confused about that.

  56. The presence of your crooks and mediocrities in the system forces them to both know (in the sense of having insiders with specific local knowledge of your community involved in the governing process) and care about (in the sense of having an interest in) you and your community.

    Well, no. It means that:

    (a) the vast majority of Our Masters in D.C. will certainly know nothing and care less about me and my community, and it is the vast majority that actually rules; and

    (b) it is certainly no guarantee that those of Our Masters that I actually get to vote for (or against) know or care about me and mine. If they do, its probably because I wrote them a fat campaign check, or gave their cousin a job.

  57. These People Are Idiots

    Reason’s commentary on politics can often be reduced to “we wish human nature was not as it is”.

  58. RC,

    Then you think there would be no difference if your state had no representation in Congress?

  59. 500,000 of voters who pay tax and can’t vote, no wonder our license plates read: TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION

    We should bring democracy to our nation’s capital before trying to force it down the throats of people who are obviously not interested.

    The Republicans know that a vote for DC in Congress would mean a Black vote, a Democrat vote, a vote that they would miss dearly. Maybe once racism disappears from our country or at least from the GOP, DC will have a vote…

    The least the government could if they don’t want to give us a vote, is to give us tax-exemption. It would do quite well for now.

  60. Actually, DC only outranks Wyoming in terms of population
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_US_states_by_population

    Thanks for the link, and according to the site, Puerto Rico ranks 27th. They’re not crying. Why? Because they currently don’t pay federal income taxes. I’d gladly do without representation here in DC if Congress would stop asking me to pay income tax.

  61. Marcos beat me to the point.

  62. Then you think there would be no difference if your state had no representation in Congress?

    To perfectly honest, not much. Still, I’m mostly yanking your chain on this one, joe.

    Howsabout an argument that I hear a lot of when someone’s rights are being denied:

    Nobody forces them to live in D.C. Its their choice to do so – they could easily move a few miles and vote for anyone and everyone.

  63. R C,

    I find that argument unconvincing, for obvious reasons, when we’re talking about rights.

    When we’re talking about policy preferences, on the other hand, it sounds ok.

    Personally, I consider having representation in the government to be a right.

  64. I find that argument unconvincing, for obvious reasons, when we’re talking about rights.

    When we’re talking about policy preferences, on the other hand, it sounds ok.

    Of course, all too often your policy preference is my denial of rights.

    So, for example, if D.C. were to ban the ownership of firearms, would your response be that’s OK, its not a denial of anyone’s rights, its just a policy preference and if you don’t like it move to Virginia?

  65. I’d be up for either of these:

    1.) Establish Washington City as a district-wide “enterprise zone,” whose residents aren’t repped in the Congress, but don’t have to pay income tax.

    2.) Shrink the size of D.C. to the Capitol, a Federal “Office campus” and various historic sites and monuments. Move the residential and commercial properties back into Maryland, the way Arlington went back to Virginia.

    I don’t see either alternative getting much support.

    Kevin

  66. Yes, just not for Congress – the subject of the this thread, remenmber? Representation in Congress.

    Put it this way – American colonist had exactly the same role in choosing the Chief Executive as residents of England, but did not have any role in choosing Parliament. How did that go over?

    Now statehood, that brings in a whole other question. There is a national interest in how Washington DC operates, because it is the capital, that simply doesn’t exist for Baltimore. This certainly implies that a greater role for the federal government is appropriate.

    BTW, I was just using R C’s language “crooks and mediocrities,” not actually arguing in favor of crookedness and mediocrity in legislators. I really didn’t expect that anyone would be confused about that.

    “Put it this way – American colonist had exactly the same role in choosing the Chief Executive as residents of England, but did not have any role in choosing Parliament. How did that go over?” – joe

    I didn’t know you believed that the King of England was elected…

    Now statehood, that brings in a whole other question. There is a national interest in how Washington DC operates, because it is the capital, that simply doesn’t exist for Baltimore. This certainly implies that a greater role for the federal government is appropriate.

    BTW, I was just using R C’s language “crooks and mediocrities,” not actually arguing in favor of crookedness and mediocrity in legislators. I really didn’t expect that anyone would be confused about that.

  67. R C,

    “So, for example, if D.C. were to ban the ownership of firearms, would your response be that’s OK, its not a denial of anyone’s rights, its just a policy preference and if you don’t like it move to Virginia?”

    No. The D.C. gun ban went too far, and amounted to 2nd Amendment violation. It made it impossible to exercise the personal defense/home defense right that is part of the right to bear arms.

  68. Gah! I have no idea how I ended up posting as you, joe! I sincerely apologize for that and the bat cut and paste job I did with my response. It should have read:

    “Yes, just not for Congress – the subject of the this thread, remenmber? Representation in Congress.” – joe

    All I’m saying is that it makes more sense for them, IMO, to vote as part of a state. The way, say, residents of NYC do.

    “Put it this way – American colonist had exactly the same role in choosing the Chief Executive as residents of England, but did not have any role in choosing Parliament. How did that go over?” – joe

    I didn’t know you believed that the King of England was elected…

    “Now statehood, that brings in a whole other question. There is a national interest in how Washington DC operates, because it is the capital, that simply doesn’t exist for Baltimore. This certainly implies that a greater role for the federal government is appropriate.” – joe

    I don’t think I agree with that line of thought at all, really. Just because you do business with the Federal gov’t or are the State Capitol, it doesn’t seem you should get even more representation than the rest of the country. Although having less is certainly wrong, as well!

    “BTW, I was just using R C’s language ‘crooks and mediocrities,’ not actually arguing in favor of crookedness and mediocrity in legislators. I really didn’t expect that anyone would be confused about that.” – joe

    I apologize for attributing a novel idea to you, and not sharing the credit for it with RC Dean.

  69. That’s what I get for never hitting the “Remember Me” box…

  70. dellammo@yahoo.com,

    1. Stop posting under my name. Are you the dipshit who’s been hijacking my handle?

    2. “I didn’t know you believed that the King of England was elected…” Learn to read. I didn’t say they did. I wrote that they had exactly the same role in his selection.

    3. Learn how to copy, paste, quote, and hit submit.

  71. rob,

    “All I’m saying is that it makes more sense for them, IMO, to vote as part of a state. The way, say, residents of NYC do.” Ah, that wasn’t clear. I thought you were saying that, since they could vote for President, Mayor, City Council, and dogcatcher, they had no right to complain about having no Congressional representation.

    I’ve answered you second point.

    “I don’t think I agree with that line of thought at all, really. Just because you do business with the Federal gov’t or are the State Capitol, it doesn’t seem you should get even more representation than the rest of the country.” I’m not clear how you got from my comment to this. What I was saying is that the entire nation has a greater interest in what happens in Washington – security, mostly – than in Reno, so it makes sense for the federal government to have a hand in running the city.

  72. Will the sequel feature David Horowitz leading Persian exiles from LA to the slaughter of ex-Spartacist diehards on the steps of Freedom House ?

  73. “1. Stop posting under my name. Are you the dipshit who’s been hijacking my handle?” – joe

    1A: I apologized, and I told you it was an accident.

    1B: No.

    1C: But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you’d think so. I think that kind of crap is reprehensible. But I also think that you’re more than a bit paranoid and that you kind of like the attention.

    2. “Learn to read. I didn’t say they did. I wrote that they had exactly the same role in his selection.” – joe

    2A: I can’t imagine how I could have made that mistake. Pardon the hell out of me for reading that opaque comment in a way you didn’t mean it to be read.

    “3. Learn how to copy, paste, quote, and hit submit.”

    3A: Learn how to accept an apology with a little grace and a lot less paranoia.

  74. “I’m not clear how you got from my comment to this. What I was saying is that the entire nation has a greater interest in what happens in Washington – security, mostly – than in Reno, so it makes sense for the federal government to have a hand in running the city.” – joe

    I’m saying that I don’t think that just because the federal gov’t holds its meetings in DC it necessarily gives the federal gov’t more of a right to muck about in DC. Any more than the fact that the UN is HQ’d in NYC gives it a right to muck about with the way NYC is run.

  75. If the reason blog system simply created a hash from the ip address of posters, and listed it next to the name, then it would be possible to garantee people anonymity while at the same time eliminating people stealing other people’s names. It would take about 20 minutes of coding.

  76. “Nah, it’s just the risk you take when you have the stones to discuss politics in a community where you’re the minority.” – joe

    Stones? Dude, a guy with stones doesn’t base his manhood on anonymous internet arguments.

    “Some people cannot tolerate anything more intellectually challenging than a mutual admiration society. Sad, really.” – joe

    That would be sad, if it were true of most of the regular posters here. It’s obviously not.

    But equally sad is the kind of guy who spends his time gadflying for negative attention and talking tough on message boards about his “stones.” I thought you were at least more grown-up than that…

  77. Dammit, wrong thread. I’m just going to call it day now…

    Rex Rhino – That would be awesome!

  78. rob,

    My comment posted before your apology. And as far as “more than a bit paranod,” maybe you haven’t noticed, but somebody actually has been posting as “joe” and giving my email.

    “Pardon the hell out of me for reading that opaque comment in a way you didn’t mean it to be read.” OK. Mumble mumble. Go and sin no more.

    “Learn how to accept an apology with a little grace and a lot less paranoia.” See above, timing issue.

  79. “I’m saying that I don’t think that just because the federal gov’t holds its meetings in DC it necessarily gives the federal gov’t more of a right to muck about in DC. Any more than the fact that the UN is HQ’d in NYC gives it a right to muck about with the way NYC is run.”

    Come, now. The American government is the legitimate, soverign power in the District of Columbia, while the UN is not the sovereign power over New York.

  80. “My comment posted before your apology. And as far as ‘more than a bit paranod,’ maybe you haven’t noticed, but somebody actually has been posting as ‘joe’ and giving my email.” – joe

    I meant that you thinking I was the guy doing it – because we argue a lot on these boards – is paranoid. I think that the guy or guys (hell, it could be the Duke LaCrosse team, now that I think about it in the proper paranoid light) posting as you is actually a far bigger jack-ass than you’ve been on your very worst day.

    “OK. Mumble mumble. Go and sin no more.” – joe

    Cool. I appreciate that.

    “Come, now. The American government is the legitimate, soverign power in the District of Columbia, while the UN is not the sovereign power over New York.” – joe

    True. But the impact of those two organizations on the citizens living there is analogous, right? Neither of those organizations has the right to control the workings of DC as a city than the state governments have the right to control the workings of their state capitols…

  81. rob,

    I thought you were the guy posting under my name because…drum roll…you posted under my name.

    “Neither of those organizations has the right to control the workings of DC as a city than the state governments have the right to control the workings of their state capitols…”

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say “control the workings of.” I’m sympathetic to your point about self-determination, but I think there’s a balancing act to be done.

    Think about a hypothetical situation in which the White House and Capitol sit in a town in Mississippi during Eisenhower’s term. You don’t think there might be a problem if local and state police in Mississippi are the police forces charged with keeping outraged Mississippians from storming the Capitol after Ike orders troops to enforce desegregation at Ole Miss?

  82. Tobycat seems to believe that Puerto Ricans do not pay income tax…I disagree. He may have posted on a similar thread that that the citizens of the territories do not pay income tax…

    Here is copied from the web. Last night I also looked up Guam and the US Virgin Islands. The territories are where the income tax IS paid by compulsion.

    It is in the 50 states where for the most part it is legally voluntary.

    About Puerto Rico:
    Income taxes

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    HOME CONTENTS SEARCH RECIPES IMAGES SEND US EMAIL TELL YOUR FRIENDS

    Who must file a return?

    (1) Every individual resident of Puerto Rico, single or married and not living with his (her) spouse, who earned a gross income greater than $3,300

    (2) Every individual resident of Puerto Rico, married and living with his (her) spouse, who earned a gross income, singly or jointly, in excess of $6,000

    (3) Every individual not a resident of Puerto Rico, American citizen, single or married and not living with his (her) spouse, who earned a gross income greater than $1,300, unless the corresponding income taxes were withheld and paid in full at the source

    (4) Every individual not resident of Puerto, American citizen, married and living with his (her) spouse, who earned a gross income, singly or jointly, greater than $3,000, unless the corresponding income taxes were withheld and paid in full at the source

    (5) Every individual who is an alien non resident of Puerto Rico who earned any gross income from sources within Puerto Rico, unless the corresponding income taxes were withheld and paid in full at the source.

    When should the income tax return be filed?
    Individuals who do not keep accounting books should file the corresponding income tax return by April 15th of the next calendar year. The date is moved forward when April 15th falls on a weekend or holiday. For calendar year 2003, the deadline for filing individual income tax returns is April 15, 2004.

    To file a personal income tax return online
    Visit the following website:
    http://www.hacienda.gobierno.pr/pel03_eng.asp

  83. I’d bump the issue of whether or not I can vote; that is, whether I even have a representative who can kick around the gun issue on my behalf in the first place at least slightly ahead of gun control, if not miles ahead.

    Actually the two issues are linked. In the D.C. gun case “Judge Karen Henderson dissented, writing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state.

  84. It is in the 50 states where for the most part it is legally voluntary.

    Can you expand on that a bit?

  85. Judge Karen Henderson dissented, writing that the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state.

    Thus proving that we have high quality people passing the bar and being appointed to the bench. Wonder how that would work in a free speech case or an abortion rights case. Sorry, you can’t have an abortion because a woman’s right to privacy only exists in a STATE.

  86. The Constitution is a compact between the States of the Union and the National government. Washington DC is not a state, so the Constitution does not apply. It is a democracy of sorts, not a Republic. TheCongress exercises “exclusive legislation in all Cases whatsoever…” (ART 1) and has the “power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States…(ART IV).

    So if the people of Washington DC are to have abortion rights, it is because the Congress allows it, by statute or benign neglect. Same with all those other rights mentioned.

    Hello!! Congressman Bob Barr (when he was an evil Republican) ordered the election officials of DC to not report the count in a medical marijuana election (with the approval of Congress)…what more proof do you want?

    Washington DC is the new Rome. You come there to make money, or to try and keep the Pro Consuls from raping you. Must wealthy lobbyist live in Virginia anyway. The ordinary inhabitants are plebs. They can vote in the DC mayor and council, but ultimately, it is the Congress that everyone else votes in that has the power.

  87. Can you expand on that a bit? Guy Montag

    Not in this short space. OK, I will try.

    The US power to tax is in ART 1. It states that all direct taxes have to be apportioned first among the states. Any tax that is not a direct tax has to be an excise, duty or impost and has to be uniform among the states.

    Due to the “flaw” in the Constitution (as some have called it, actually I think there are several major flaws) giving the Congress exclusive legistative power over the Capitol and the Territories and Possessions and ceded areas, the taxing clause does not apply to Washington DC, and said territores and possessions.

    Washington DC is the premier territory. In fact, Congress Assembled can be used in a legal sense as the “United States”. Quoting Black’s Law Dictionary, which quotes “Hooven & Allison Co. vs Evatt”, US Ohio, 324 US 652…[United States] may designate territory over which sovereignty of the United States extends, or it may be collective name of the states …united”

    Congress has exclusive legislative authority over Washington DC, the territories and possessions, and lands ceded by the states for “forts, dockyards, and other needful buildings (federal courthouses)…

    Now, do the math:: the taxing clauses do not pertain to the territories. Washington DC is the premier territory, and can be called the United State in statutes. If Washington DC is the United States for legal purposes, then what are Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Marietta Islands, etc…

    The states of (meaning belonging to) the United States!

    And income taxes can be levied without apportionment!

    This is only part of the fraud. For more info, one must dig deeper. Start with the wethepeople.org meeting in Arlington VA this coming weekend.
    By the way, I am more of an anarcho-capitalist than a constitutionalist. If the feds can get away with this crap at least since WWII, then the Constitution doesn’t matter. But, we have to try!

  88. The New York headquarters of the United Nations Organization is technically not part of New York City, New York State nor the United States. Just as the embassy grounds of a foreign state are treated as sovereign territory, outside the authority of the host state, so too is the UN’s enclave. Shrinking DC to a Federal Enclave within Maryland would be an analogous situation. People who live in the Turtle Bay neighborhood where the “world capital” was sited are represented at Albany and Washington.

    BTW, the idea that the Constitution is a mere compact between the states is not the reigning theory among political philosophers (aka political “scientists”.) The dominant explanation is that both the several states and the national government draw their legitimacy from the people. Google up “dual sovereignty.” That state conventions, rather than the existing state legislatures, were designated the instruments of ratification is pointed to as evidence for this theory.

    Kevin

  89. As for this…

    I didn’t know you believed that the King of England was elected… – joe

    … one could argue that, ever since The Glorious Revolution, Britain has had elected monarchs. Who can wear the crown is certainly restricted by the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, which Parliament could amend, if it so desired. No presumptive heir to the British throne’s claim is safe as long as Parliament reserves the right to change the rules of eligibility and/or succession.

    Kevin

  90. “I thought you were the guy posting under my name because…drum roll…you posted under my name.” – joe

    And posted immediately taking responsibility and pointing out that it was a mistake. Sheesh.

    “I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘control the workings of.’ I’m sympathetic to your point about self-determination, but I think there’s a balancing act to be done.” – joe

    I guess we just disagree on that, but I’d argue DC should be run the same way state capitols are generally run: as a city in a state county/parish, etc. The fact that the seat of gov’t is there doesn’t really weigh into that and it works well that way. I think part of DC’s problems is that it traditionally has been run as separate from the states it is actually part of. (Though I’d say they should simply make it part of one of those states – maybe by drawing straws…)

    “Think about a hypothetical situation in which the White House and Capitol sit in a town in Mississippi during Eisenhower’s term. You don’t think there might be a problem if local and state police in Mississippi are the police forces charged with keeping outraged Mississippians from storming the Capitol after Ike orders troops to enforce desegregation at Ole Miss?” – joe

    Nope. I don’t think it’s a problem. The Secret Service, FBI, Homeland Security, DEA, ATF, and all those other badge-and-gun-carrying alphabet-soup gov’t outfits – and ultimately the Dept of Defense with its troops that are capable of desegregating Ole Miss, can certainly protect the Federal gov’t. You don’t have to put the Feds in charge of running the city. In fact, the more the Feds are put in charge, the worse it becomes for the locals. The Feds need protection from the locals the way I needed protection from a physical assault by Christopher Reeve (may he rest in peace).

  91. “… one could argue that, ever since The Glorious Revolution, Britain has had elected monarchs. Who can wear the crown is certainly restricted by the Bill of Rights and the Act of Settlement, which Parliament could amend, if it so desired. No presumptive heir to the British throne’s claim is safe as long as Parliament reserves the right to change the rules of eligibility and/or succession.” – kevrob

    I’ll start agreeing with you when they keep Bonnie Prince Charlie from assuming the throne under those rules. Considering its never been used, it’s a loophole not a democracy.

  92. The Constitution is a compact between the States of the Union and the National government.

    Not.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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