Government Spending

The Deficit That Obama Didn't Quite Inherit But Will Almost Certainly Vastly Expand

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Last night, President Barack Obama underscored that, despite being in the Senate for the past few years and his party being in charge of Congress since 2006, he's just mopping up for the bungler in chief who preceded him. I yield to no ink-stained wretch in my vast and bottomless dislike of George W. Bush but let's hold Obama's feet to the fire here: He has consistently pledged to, you know, stop spending right after well, you know, he and Congress stop spending.

Seriously, we're really going to knuckle down and cut some "eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs" costing $2 trillion over the next decade. Spoiler alert: That comes to a whopping 5 percent or so of baseline projected spending over the next decade. Break out the champagne, 'cause happy days are here again!

If Obama is serious about restoring trust and confidence in the government's ability to live within its gargantuan means (and he should be), he should start by rewriting the $410 billion Omnibus Spending Bill that the Democrats have just dropped like a big, wet, steaming, stinking pile of…pork barbecue.

The "omnibus" spending package unveiled today by House Democrats would combine nine annual appropriations bills left over from last year that are needed to fund programs such as NASA and the national parks through September, the end of the fiscal year. Total spending on the programs would grow by $32 billion, or about 8.5 percent, from last year.

Democrats postponed work on the appropriations bills last year after they were unable to reach an agreement with former President George W. Bush on how much to spend on domestic programs. Bush had demanded lawmakers freeze most domestic spending.

Sure, the bill, which will fund expenditures for the rest of this fiscal year is about five months late and it should have been properly been executed under King George II, but it wasn't. It's in Obama's lap. It's on his watch.

Among other things, the bill would loosen restrictions on travel and trade with Cuba (that's good, but what took you so freaking long?), screw over Mexican trucks (because they are foreign trucks, taking American trucks' jobs, and besides, they don't speaka da English!), and jack up all sorts of mostly useless regulatory regimes. But mostly, it would jack up spending (see above). That's all on top of the record-breaking FY2009 deficit projections that have already been announced (and revised upwards, downwards, sideways).

Obama has gotten his (or more precisely, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi's) stimulus bill. He's getting the ability to spend tons of dough on rewriting mortgages (because he doesn't have enough to do). He's reinvigorated the war in Afghanistan with an open-ended commitment there.

And he really, really cares about not leaving our kids burdened with debt. If he's serious at all about cutting the federal deficit in half by the time he leaves office (or wins re-election to a second term!), he's got a perfect opportunity to just say no right now. On his watch.

NEXT: The Indefinite Future of Indefinite Detention

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  1. Here I am, holding my breath.

  2. Nick, how dare you! I am really angry about your gratuitous attack.

    Pork barbecue never, never stinks.

  3. His left arm is missing.

  4. It’s in your wallet.

  5. Obama would be such a refreshing change from W if only he didn’t have to follow W.

  6. Why blame Bush for the omnibus bill? Congress wouldn’t send it to him because they knew he would veto it.

    I don’t like to see money wasted at all, but if your going to waste it, I would rather it be wasted on the military. At least a good chunk of that money is going to people who are actually sacrificing something for this country. Most of the Dems spending is going to people who haven’t done a dam thing for this country, their communities, or states. Most of them could disappear tomorrow and no one would notice.

  7. FIVE Fucking Percent.

    They guy doesn’t have the balls to make a big lie. Why not ten or fifteen? If you’re going to lie in my face, at least make it worth your breath.

  8. “Sure, the bill, which will fund expenditures for the rest of this fiscal year is about five months late and it should have been properly been executed under King George II, but it wasn’t.”

    Why do you say that Nick? It looks to me like Bush did the right thing not signing this piece of crap bill.

  9. Anyone else see the smug look on Chuck Schumer’s face when the democrats got up to clap about Obama’s comment about the problems they inherited? I swear, I was so furious. Like, rage.

  10. On the plus side, I did enjoy watching Nancy Pelosi bounce up and down like a crazed
    Jack-in-the-box at the applause lines.

  11. I did enjoy watching Nancy Pelosi bounce up and down like a crazed Jack-in-the-box at the applause lines.

    That’s not why she kept getting up.

  12. I must agree with my fellow North Carolinian John Hood. Pork Barbecue never, never stinks. If it does, it’s not barbecue. I’m having some today (from Willard’s, a quite acceptable place in northern VA.)

    And certainly while it’s reasonable to mock GWB for only wanting to restrain spending once the Democrats had a majority (and it’s also a good argument for divided government), surely you could ease up on the hatred for one second over his refusal to agree to this sack of crap when President? (Just like it was shameful that he signed the first farm bill on his watch, but at least vetoed the second.)

  13. I think I’m gonna challenge Schumer. He’s running uncontested in 2010 because everyone wants to tackle Gillibrand instead, thinking they have a batter shot. They are probably right, but I would have absolutely nothing to lose, so I could go after him saying everything and anything I want.

  14. batter = better

    Damnit.

  15. Obama is going to cut the deficit that he is doubling in half. He should be a laughing stock for saying that. Also our errudite, genius President might want to get on the phone with the people at the Deutsch Museum and Muinich and tell them that that car they have that some guy named Benz invented that they claim to be the first one ever, is a fake. We all know Americans invented the car, just like they invented Pizza and French Fries. How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?

  16. Nick –
    I have never seen anyone profess to speak for as many people as Schumer does. I hate him with a firey passioin, and I suggest that you campaign on the platform that he’s a giant turd

  17. I would think that you could run against people like Schumer and Dodd with the message “Why not try an honest man this time?” and do pretty well. But perhaps I am naive.

  18. How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?

    “Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaacist!”

  19. Obama also said the Transcontinental Railroad was built during the civil war. What is sad is that not only does he not know any better, apparently his speech writers and the no doubt hundre sets of eyes who looked at his speech don’t know any better. I guess Obama was too busy getting his hate studies degree at Columbia to be bothered with history.

  20. How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?

    But he is articulate…

  21. “How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?”

    “But he is articulate…”

    and clean.

  22. John –
    I don’t suspect he actually believed the crap he was spewing about how he didn’t think that the country who invented the automobile should abandon it. It didn’t sound passionate – just like he was reading something.

    This is not to his credit, understand. It was just such a huge pander it was unbelievable even to my obama-supporter friends. (although to their credit, they’re sincere in their beliefs, not partisan types)

  23. “How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?

    But he is articulate…”

    Again, if he were President of the speech and debate club, that would be a good thing. Sadly for us, he is not.

  24. “How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?”

    “But he is articulate…”

    and clean.

    If that’s the qualifications, I can round up a pack of bright 10 year olds anyone of which can do just as good a job.

  25. Reinimoose,

    The thing is that he could have made the point and actually told the truth and not pandered. He could have said something like “America invented the modern automobile industry. America still produces millions of cars for companies all over the world. America doesn’t have to lose its automobile industry. America can still be a leader. It will just take a commitment on everyone’s part, management, government and unions to make sure that it doesn’t happen.” Why couldn’t he have said that?

  26. Well, one thing we all know for sure now is that Obama talks a good talk, thats about ALL he does, Talk. Main Street America still continues to SUFFER.

    RT
    http://www.be-anonymous.us.tc

  27. Obama also said the Transcontinental Railroad was built during the civil war. What is sad is that not only does he not know any better, apparently his speech writers and the no doubt hundre sets of eyes who looked at his speech don’t know any better. I guess Obama was too busy getting his hate studies degree at Columbia to be bothered with history.

    What was the context of the statement? I didn’t watch the speech, but wasn’t the transcontinental railroad started (and partly built) during the civil war?

  28. Sulla,

    The railroad was started in July 1865. The authorization was passed during the war but the railroad was built afterwards.

  29. What got us into this mess is banks loaning out money recklessly and people buying houses they can’t afford. So to get out of this we are going to give these people loans. And we have to balance the budget, and provide tax cuts for the middle class, so if you make under 160000 post tax you’re screwed because you already don’t pay enough, but if you make less than that feel free to enjoy those 52 extra quarters in your paycheck, pay down the principle on your credit card that you used to buy cigarettes since I raised taxes on them again. Wait wait…here comes my confident whisper technique, “We can do better and we must.” The country that invented the car and efficient means to mass produce cars shouldn’t give up on the car. I am sure we can also invent inefficient means to produce cars perpetually, look at our biofuel program, all the starving people due to corn prices are a testament to that. Here comes the confident whisper again, “Hope…Change…etc.” I just like watching that real time poll graph bump up when I do that.

  30. I wonder how long Andrew Sullivan can hold out before he finally, honestly admits that the Community Organiser is not quite what the US needs?

  31. It would really suck if they knocked off Gillibrand who is halfway decent and left Chuckie untouched.

  32. “I don’t like to see money wasted at all, but if your going to waste it, I would rather it be wasted on the military”

    Yes and at least it is nominally related to something that is actually a legitimate delegated power of the federal government unlike all the social welfare and entitlement programs.

  33. How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?

    Just wait until he realizes how far in over his head he is, and panics. It’ll be Jimmy Carter on steroids. Popcorn anyone?

  34. “I wonder how long Andrew Sullivan can hold out before he finally, honestly admits that the Community Organiser is not quite what the US needs?”

    Forever. Sullivan is derranged. Obama could start putting people in ovens and Sully would find a way to justify it or blame the whole thing on Bush.

  35. Sullivan just goes whichever way the wind blows. He was an obnoxious blowhard when he was a warmonger, he is an obnoxious blowhard now that he’s an O-bot.

  36. I know this is really off-topic, and I’m not at all an expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. (J/K)

    On the other hand, I did have a subscription to one of those history books series in middle school and I remember reading about the race between the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific. The Central Pacific had a head start because they operated during the Civil War using Chinese labor. The Union Pacific didn’t start building tracks until after the Civil War and employed many veterans of the war.

  37. “Sullivan just goes whichever way the wind blows. He was an obnoxious blowhard when he was a warmonger, he is an obnoxious blowhard now that he’s an O-bot.”

    That is true. Sullivan never has had any principled objection to Iraq. All of the reasons he supported it are still valid today. He just changed his tune because the war got hard and unpopular. I despise Sullivan more than the worst pro AQ peace protestor. At least those people are consistent. Sullivan supported a war until it dind’t suit his purposes anymore and then turned against it and wanted to lose. That is really dispicable.

  38. I think I’m gonna challenge Schumer.

    Please tell me it’s to a duel to the death or a trip to the Thunderdome.

    I, like the moose, hate Schumer with a fiery passion. I think I hate him more than Spitzer.

  39. Sulla,

    You are right. The Central Pacific built up the Sacrmento valley starting in 1863. It was the union pacific that started in 1865. I had forgotten that. The mad race that is the bulk of the story began in 1865. I stand corrected.

  40. The railroad was started in July 1865. The authorization was passed during the war but the railroad was built afterwards.

    Its worse than that. The railroad was delayed because of the war. It didn’t “just happen” to be built after the war. Were that the case, the two events would be almost unrelated. Maybe Schlock’s notes read “transcontinental railroad” and “civil war” and he just adlibed the rest.

  41. Thus concludes Obama’s first State of the Union speech in front of the American Politburo.

    Can’t wait for the next one.

  42. You use (and I mean use) far too many parentheticals (which distract from your main points).

  43. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to have a commemorative plate, putting you in the same league as Elvis and Mr. Spock?

  44. well, at least it is pork barbeque, and not that awful brisket crap they try to foist off around here.

  45. As a public service I am providing the following link to the Obama administration for use before every speech:

    http://en.wikipedia.org

  46. I’m going to get so plastered during the real SOTUA.

    I, like the moose, hate Schumer with a fiery passion. I think I hate him more than Spitzer.

    Oh, I definitely hate him more than Spitzer. I would like nothing more than to have seen Schumer in a cage match with that 200 pound ape. You could have given Schumer sufficient weaponry to kill the ape, but then, right as he was about to strike, put a camera in his face and ask him about some current event, and he would have been able to resist the urge to play to the camera, giving the ape the opportunity to strike.

    Ok, maybe I’m thinking about this too much

  47. It would really suck if they knocked off Gillibrand who is halfway decent and left Chuckie untouched.

    This is true, but also to my advantage. All the GOP contenders will battle each other to battle her and she will also be challenged from liberal Democrat rivals. It will be a bloody mess. If I can get the GOP to support me at all against Schumer with the proviso that I call him out on everything which is the point anyway, it will be enough for me to do it. I never changed my registration back to L after voting for Paul in the primary so I’m still an R, so for all they know my heart is in the right place for them. Ssshh.

  48. *would = wouldn’t

  49. The “Civil War” wasn’t actually a civil war in the first place.

    It wasn’t two factions fighting for control of one national government.

    The southern states didn’t want to rule the north – they just didn’t want the north ruling them.

  50. Episiarch,

    How can you hate Spitzer? Sometimes, I think you are him. You seem to have a similar lifestyle, after all.

    Personally, I love the guy since he left office, because he’s given me fodder for no less than seven Urkobold postings. I’m a little man, I’m a little man, he’s. . .he’s a great man. I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas. . . .

    Parentheticles,

    I have that problem as well (no, I don’t (well, maybe)).

  51. Gilbert,

    Nor was that war very civil. Frankly, if the South secedes now and adopts a limited government/free market game plan, I’m in.

  52. Ok, maybe I’m thinking about this too much

    Moose, I like your ideas. But I was thinking more of a Carl/Aqua Teen solution for Chuckles:

    Meatwad: And the blood’s just gonna keep flowing, unless ?.

    Cybernetic Ghost: Unless Carl pays tribute to the Elfin Elders in space.

    Carl: I’ll do it. What do I do?

    Cybernetic Ghost: You must give of yourself to the Great Red Ape.

    Carl: Okay ? how much?

    Cybernetic Ghost: Sexually.

    Carl: ? wonderful.

  53. Wars of secession are a type of Civil War. Ex., the Yugoslav Civil War.

    Quit OD’ing on Lew Rockwell, Gilbert.

  54. “…and besides, they don’t speaka da English!”

    I work with a guy who speaks English as a second language. It is not easy to work together when a large proportion of what we say back and forth needs to be repeated and explained. I know that forcing us to speak Spanish is important to some politicians, but it would be a lot cheaper to allow English in the workplace. President Obama just doesn’t seem to care about fiscal responsibility like he said he did.

  55. How can you hate Spitzer? Sometimes, I think you are him. You seem to have a similar lifestyle, after all.

    I take offense at this. I am not a fucking steamroller. I’m a fucking asshole.

  56. “The southern states didn’t want to rule the north – they just didn’t want the north ruling them.”

    No, they just wanted to enforce slavery on the North and West. After Dred Scott, a southerner could bring his slave to a free state and the slave remained a slave. That meant universal slavery. There was nothing to stop Southerners from buying property in the north and taking their slaves up there to work them. As long as they remained southern citizens, their slaves remained slaves.

    The hardcore Southerns also envisioned an imperialistic slave empire that stretched over Mexico and the Carribean as well as the American west. On top of that, they went crazy and started shooting and caused the worst tragedy in American history. They were evil fucks who got exactly what they deserved. Just because they got to write history, doesn’t make them right.

  57. Since it hasn’t been explicitly said yet, yo, fuck Barack Obama.

  58. No, you are a fucking steamroller. It’s a subtle distinction, I’ll grant.

  59. “The hardcore Southerns also envisioned an imperialistic slave empire that stretched over Mexico and the Carribean as well as the American west.”

    Everyone forgets this. That’s why they basically subverted the War Department during Buchanan’s administration to covertly ship arms to the South. They were planning secession followed by conquest for the expansion of slavery for a long time.

  60. To tie it back to the thread. If it wasn’t for the South and Slavery and Jim Crow, we wouldn’t have had to gut the Constitution to enforce civil rights in the South and white people wouldn’t feel so guilty and a semi-literate shuck and jive artist wouldn’t have been able to get himself elected President on bullshit. I blame the entire Obama disaster on Southerners and their sympathizers.

  61. John, I also blame the North for abandoning radical reconstruction (which was needed). That basically set race relations back so far to the point where black people were being assaulted by firehoses right up into the 1960s for daring to vote.

  62. Just wait until he realizes how far in over his head he is, and panics.

    Obama has way too much confidence in himself to panic. He has clearly studied past presidencies (and Hollywood liberal wet dream presidents). In the speech, everything was urgent and needed to be done right away, even when it was solving a long term problem. “Fixing” health care need to be done right now and without thought? Removing dependence on foreign oil, a problem he says is 40 years old, needs legislation this month?

    Now is his one chance to get things done. He knows the role he is playing.

  63. Furthermore, there were certainly many residents of Southern states who wanted to stay in the Union and who fought for unified control of the national government, not to mention slaves who certainly had no interest in living in a separate slave-holding nation.

  64. The plans for the socialist, crony capitalist transcontinental railroad were made during the civil war. There is a reason why ole Dishonest Abe purchased land in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

  65. “John, I also blame the North for abandoning radical reconstruction (which was needed). That basically set race relations back so far to the point where black people were being assaulted by firehoses right up into the 1960s for daring to vote.”

    Yeah but why did the North do that? Because the election was deadlocked in 1876 and the South demanded an end to reconstruction as the price for ending it. Had the North not agreed, we might not have had a President. Further, the North was beat down and tired of policing the South. They had fought what amounted to a low level insurgency against the KKK for 10 years at the end of a brutal war. The North just got tired and went home. Yeah, that is not great but it is not like they didn’t try and ultimately it is the South that is to blame for refusing to accept the result of the war and refusing to accept blacks as citizens.

  66. “libertymike | February 25, 2009, 10:07am | #
    The plans for the socialist, crony capitalist transcontinental railroad were made during the civil war.”

    They were made before. There was disagreement over which route they would take–from New Orleans to California*, or from Chicago to California. When the South basically denied themselves a say in this by seceeding, guess who got the route?

    *This is why when the South controlled the federal government they purchased what is now southern Arizona and southern New Mexico.

  67. Oh man, 1876. That election makes 2000 and 1800 look like a picnic.

  68. How long before we can admit that truth that Obama is not very bright?

    He’s bright enough. But his editorial staff seem to be winging it. Sadly, most American viewers of the non-SOU-address have the historical literacy of a 12-year-old. They recall with pride how Henry Ford invented the automobile, the transcontinental railroad was a great success, and FDR Got Us Out Of The Depression??. We’re ripe for the butt-fucking we’re getting.

  69. Holy cow! Ron Paul speaks, and they leave the camera on. Much of what he said wasn’t particularly relevant (or surprising(paper money bad!))* but he managed to say, clearly and explicitly, “We can’t fix the problem by reinflating the bubble.”

    *Take that! Parentheticles.

  70. “He’s bright enough. But his editorial staff seem to be winging it. Sadly, most American viewers of the non-SOU-address have the historical literacy of a 12-year-old. They recall with pride how Henry Ford invented the automobile, the transcontinental railroad was a great success, and FDR Got Us Out Of The Depression??. We’re ripe for the butt-fucking we’re getting.”

    I think Obama thinks all of those things. His ignorance is nothing but a representation of America’s larger ignorance. We don’t teach history anymore. We teach hate studies under the guise of history. I doubt Obama has ever read a legitimate history book or anything about American history that wasn’t a Howard Zinn cartoon.

  71. All this shows is that English majors, not history majors, become speechwriters.

  72. I see this has degenerated into another Civil War thread.

    Paging Astroglide!

    Paging Astroglide!

    Call for Mister Astroglide.

  73. galt says:”I’m not talking about someone that has lost their job through no fault of their own.”

    I realize that it isn’t someones fault that they have low intelligence and I realize I have led a priveldged life(my parents fed me, housed me and made sure I had a decent education as a youth)…but am I the only person who thinks people should take into account the stability of their industry when making career choices?

    At some point isn’t the lack of caring about your income stream unsustainable? People have to think or they will die…it is not pleasant but at some point jezus christ!

    When I had no kids I was trying to get into hedge funds…as I started having children I backed away from hedge fund opportunities(with higher upside) and chose to further my career in a utility-linked, energy related business….something much more stable. When looking at potential jobs I always look at the clients they serve and the likeliehood that those clients will continue paying for the services they buy.

    we are so fucked…this country is really, really ending. I would rather just hear them say “we are tearing up the constitution and starting over…america didn’t work”.What they are doing now is just deception for the pod people…we don’t fit in. Like a sheep that knows what is at the end of the shute. Maybe we can jump that fence or keep our jobs at the slaughterhouse, but those are the only other options.

  74. I’m sorry, P Brooks, but the notion of a libertarian backing a semi-feudal slave holding aristocracy over a capitalist free-labor republic boggles my mind.

    You can say the North sucked in 1860 if you want, but the South sucked more.

  75. Everyone knows that the South seceded so that they could marry their cousins, and Jebediah Springfield stopped them. Can we stop arguing about it now?

  76. I’m with Warty. I’d much rather talk about banging your cousin or The Simpsons. And by “your cousin”, I mean yours.

  77. Gabe,

    Hardcore leftists have been running our education system for 40 years now. That is I am sad to say starting to have an effect. Most people in this country have no idea what is happening.

  78. “I’m with Warty. I’d much rather talk about banging your cousin or The Simpsons. And by “your cousin”, I mean yours.”

    You have obviously never met my cousins.

  79. All this shows is that English majors, not history majors, become speechwriters

    I majored in both. This qualifies me to comment on H&R. In my underwear.

  80. You have obviously never met my cousins.

    Obviously. And now I know not to.

  81. Eh, it’s not as total as you think. I had two pretty right wing history teachers in high schools.

  82. A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man

  83. My cousins are all skanks with ankle tattoos. You’d like them, Epi.

  84. Obama reminds me of the German Army marching on Moscow. He really thinks that he can cram through universal healthcare, drastic cuts in standards of living through “green technology”, a radical reshaping of the tax structure and every other radical progressive dream list all in the midst of a potential depression and all the while not owning the depression as his own.

    Maybe he can. But the bailout is very unpopular. His approval ratings are starting to come down and are only average for a President at this stage of his presidency and his unfavorables are quite high. Just like the German army marching on Moscow started to feel a chill in early October but pushed on to win the whole thing by Christmas, Obama is doing the same thing.

    Obama thinks the economy doesn’t matter because he can blame it on Bush like FDR did Hoover. But that just shows how little he knows. First, this is not 1932. The news cycle is a lot faster. Even then, the Dems took a huge beating in 1938 and FDR was not popular. He only won in 1940 because he agreed to back off the New Deal and people wanted a devil they could trust heading into the war. FDR himself admitted that he was not elected in 1940 as “Dr. New Deal” but a known leader. At some point the table is going to start to turn on BO. It is just a matter of time.

  85. Pix and phone numberz plz Warty thx

    Tramp stamps? Piercings? Drug habits? Asphyxiation fetishes? Tell me more.

  86. ankle tattoos are better than tramp stamps, aka “targets”

  87. Hire me, oh chosen one. I’ll be the axe that prunes wasteful spending. Shall we start?

    Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    Department of Commerce (DOC)
    Department of Defense (DOD)
    Department of Education (ED)
    Department of Energy (DOE)
    Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
    Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
    Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
    Department of Justice (DOJ)
    Department of Labor (DOL)
    Department of State (DOS)
    Department of the Interior (DOI)
    Department of the Treasury
    Department of Transportation (DOT)
    Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

  88. J Sub, you’re a vet and you’re axing the VA?

  89. Nick,

    Good luck man, I wish the best.

  90. Anybody else read Deadspin? I like it as much as the next guy for killing time at work, but sometimes the echo chamber in the comments really gets to me. Check out the righteous indignation in this comment thread when someone has the temerity to challenge conventional Keynesian wisdom.

    Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I like the guys who just start naming famous economists to prove they have taken an econ class before.

  91. well, at least it is pork barbeque, and not that awful brisket crap they try to foist off around here.

    Pork, brisket, its all good.

    Can’t we all just get along?

  92. J sub D,

    You have to keep DHS, that is where CBP and ICE, USSS are. That is a legitimate function of the State, protecting the borders and the currency. It also makes sense to have all of the border cops in one place. What you do is abolish the ATF and move the FBI to DHS. When you do that you also abolish all of FBI’s functions except corruption and counter terrorism. There is no reason for them to be doing anything else.

    It is kind of funny that Libertarians hate DHS so much when 90% of their functions are actually functions (border and currency protection, and customs enforcement) are functions that anyone but an anarchist would admit the Feds should be doing. You could reinstate Lockner tomorow and DHS would come out more intact than nearly any other agency.

  93. A few of them were tweakers for a while, so you know they’re fun.

  94. I truly can’t believe remarks coming from Obama, Frank, Dodd and the very people that caused the sub prime mortgage crisis…which lead to the bank problems. Obama has the nerve to make statement about the Bush economy when he and his robbers in the Senate and Congress are the ones responsible!!! Obama and his crowd would have their feet to the fire if we had an honest media.Obama, is up to his ears TO HIS EARS IN WHAT CAUSED THE FINANCIAL CRISIS!!!!

    Our politicians would start thinking about what is good for the country and the right thing to do vs voting party lines and protecting their own jobs.

    Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial mess:

    Click here: YouTube – Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial mess

  95. Click here: YouTube – Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial mess:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM

  96. Schumer has a very punchable face.

    Can’t we all just get along?

    Really. Meat + Smoke = Awesome. Although, I will admit that badly done beef brisket is pretty fucking bad.

  97. A few of them were tweakers for a while, so you know they’re fun.

    Skinny and hyper, awesome. But how are the teeth? Still ok?

  98. R C Dean,

    You Texans and your beef. Next time the South secedes, you aren’t invited. It’s all about the pork, man!

    John,

    Those agencies had a home before DHS. It gets the axe in my opinion, too.

  99. I’m fairly certain that Obama is smarter than Bush was, but it’s very likely he’s going to have as many or more mind-numbingly stupid quotes when all is said and done. The main difference is that Bush knew his limits and avoided speeches and press conferences like the plague, whereas BHO seems drawn to national TV like a moth to flame.

  100. “John,

    Those agencies had a home before DHS. It gets the axe in my opinion, too.”

    But their homes were in fucked up places and they hated each other and wouldn’t work with each other. You know why Atta and crew were not deported even though the FBI had real reason to believe they were terrorists and they had all over stayed their visas? Because the FBI didn’t consider the INS to be law enforcement and wouldn’t share thier intel with them and would never have shared the intel with CBP which was in Commerce. It was a completely disfunctional situation. Returning them to their homes would be a seriously dumb assed decision.

  101. The idea of having a CIA to begin with creeps me out. Why not have the army do intelligence instead of having a totally independent agency?

  102. Pro,

    I generally like you so I will forgive your herasy about Texas barbeque. You clearly know not what you do.

  103. J Sub, you’re a vet and you’re axing the VA?

    I’m not killing the VA hospitals (right away anyway), I’m just killing the department. Veterans are, after all, a special interest group. When organized they fight for a place at the teat like all other special interests. Giving the a department facilitates that effort. See DOE and NEA for a further example. There are agencies in most some of the doomed departments that would have to be relocated to another (Coast Guard, Customs) but these functions aren’t enough to justify a department.

  104. We elected a bullshit artist who thinks the solution to our problems is more bullshit. I’m starting to think we should assume attorneys are bad choices for presidents and only elect them if they overcome our negative presumption with overwhelming evidence. The fact is, our profession is simply too fond of fudging facts and spinning away from the truth.

    John,

    Find new homes, then. Maybe Interior?

    As for beef, well, it’s no pork. Might as well barbecue chicken.

  105. As far as I know, Epi, all the teeth are there. You’ll want some leashes and muzzles to keep their kids occupied while you bad things with my cousins, however.

  106. Pro,

    Interior are land managers. They wouldn’t know what to do with them. It makes sense to have all of the border and customs stuff in one department. I would also put all the federal counter terrorism stuff in the same department since so much of that directly relates to border protection. Call it something else if you like. But that concept, sans FEMA and all of that bullshit, makes sense.

  107. Hypothetical: If we end up with socialized medicine, would vets have a different standard of care than regular folk? If not, then couldn’t the VA die-off? Yes, there would still be specialized facilities for the care of combat injuries, but would they need an VA to administer them?

  108. If not, then couldn’t the VA die-off?

    Lulz

  109. Pro,

    You are right about attorneys. The problem with Obama is that he believes his own bullshit. The guy has never been a governor or held any position of responsibility. He actually believes that leftist ideology is right and that after he crams these sollutions down the country’s throat he will be a hero. The complexity of reality and the idea that perhaps your opponents occasionally have a point and that you are not infallable never enter his mind. Obama is everything, arrogant, partisian, pig headed, that the press claimed to hate Bush for being.

  110. You’ll want some leashes and muzzles to keep their kids occupied while you bad things with my cousins, however.

    Way to kill the fun, Warty. Out of sight, out of mind.

  111. Eh, it’s not as total as you think. I had two pretty right wing history teachers in high schools.

    BDB, football coaches are the exception.

  112. SugarFree,

    We still have a seperate unemployment/disability/retirement system for rail workers, primarily because they got it before everyone else did in the New Deal.

    There’s a different one for federal employees, too, but that almost makes sense given the organization of the program as a State program with optional federal subsidies/bailouts.

  113. “…football coaches are the exception.”
    Witness the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at (The) Ohio State University.

  114. “BDB, football coaches are the exception.”

    Actually, IIRC it was a baseball coach and a football coach. But yeah, baseball coaches probably count too.

  115. I think there may also be an Eisenhower Chair of 4-3 Defensive Alignment Studies.

  116. I thought Atta got through because he hated our freedom?

    Seriously, any department with the name “homeland” or that has a position in it named “something-czar” needs to be completely burned to the ground, with every single person fired. Simple as that.

  117. Nick standing up to Obama is starting to warm my heart. It’s a few months too late, but still an encouraging sign. I’m wearing a black tee-hirt and leather jacket today in solidarity.

  118. Gabe,

    the name needs to go. I hate it. but that doesn’t change the fact that we do need to defend our borders.

    WTF are are you talking about Atta got through because he hated our freedom? If you are going to troll at least try to speak in complete sentences or if you can’t do that try and be funny.

  119. “The hardcore Southerns also envisioned an imperialistic slave empire that stretched over Mexico and the Carribean as well as the American west.”

    I’ve never heard of that one.

    Most of the men who fought for the south were not slave owners and I doubt they could have been persuaded to fight for that.

    It’s one thing to fight against being invaded and ruled by the North and something else entirely to fight for creating some new expansive empire.

  120. “I yield to no ink-stained wretch in my vast and bottomless dislike of George W. Bush…”

    You’re a schmuck. A total schmuck.

    Grow up loser.

  121. Let’s not forget that Lincoln was a racist & a statist. The south had the right to secede, and if they really were imperialist.. why did they build their capital spitting distance to the border?

    The civil war wasn’t about slavery, anyone who tells you that is lying to you. The civil war was about economic control of the nation and the solidarity of the federal government.

    Can we put the myths to rest?

  122. John,
    DHS is what, six years old? It’s a layer of bureaucracy on top of other layers od bureaucracy. The CIA and FDI and DIS still don’t fucking talk to each other. Custnms and Coast Guard go to Trasury, Immigration goes to State, the fuckwads making people at the airport remove shoes go to hell.

  123. “Most of the men who fought for the south were not slave owners and I doubt they could have been persuaded to fight for that.”

    Yes. It was a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight. The Southern aristocracy sent people to fight and die for a system that didn’t even benefit them. The Southern society was everything America was not supposed to be, a super rich aristocracy ruling a country with almost no middle class and a huge population of subsistance farmers and enslaved blacks.

    Consider an alternative history for a moment. Suppose the south had been allowed to leave? Would it in any way be the great place it is today? Hell no. How long would have slavery lasted. You mean to tell me that you could have had a slave holding country in 1920 or 1960? No way. It would have either turned into a South Africa like police state or there would have been a successful slave rebellion and the place would have ended up like Haiti.

    I loved living in the South and would go back. But I like living in the South circa 2003, not 1863 or even 1963. Every Sourtherner ought to wake up every day, look around at the great place they live in and thank God the North saved them from themselves.

  124. “John,
    DHS is what, six years old? It’s a layer of bureaucracy on top of other layers od bureaucracy. The CIA and FDI and DIS still don’t fucking talk to each other. Custnms and Coast Guard go to Trasury, Immigration goes to State, the fuckwads making people at the airport remove shoes go to hell.”

    It is a long project. And they do talk to each other more than they did before DHS. If you don’t put them in the same department, they really won’t talk to each other. You think putting them in different departments will make it better? Further, what the fuck does State know about Immigration? They issue VISAs and nothing more and do nothing inside the US. Only someone who has never dealt with State would think that is a good idea.

    You just want to send them back to random departments because you don’t like DHS. You don’t know why you don’t like it, but you don’t. You dont’ like the name and that is good enough. You want to get rid of TSA and FEMA, you have my support. And even TSA is not a bad idea, it has just been poorly executed. But if you want to start talking about real border and immigration control, you can’t just put them random ass departments. That is just being stupid and unreasonable.

  125. Most of the men who fought for the south were not slave owners and I doubt they could have been persuaded to fight for that.

    It’s one thing to fight against being invaded and ruled by the North and something else entirely to fight for creating some new expansive empire.

    Well, one could join the army in Oct 2001 to fight terrorism and wind up going to Iraq in 2003.

    One could join the army to fight commies in the 80’s and wind up going to Iraq in 1990.

    One could join the army in the 19th century seeking a better life from being a slave, and wind up killing Indians for the benefit of railroads owned by New York financiers.

    Misson creep is why the boys in Philly weren’t too keen on a standing army.

    One generation removed from Manfiest Destiny? Damned straight the Confederacy would have got into the empire business. *Everyone* in the late 19th century was getting in on the empire business.

  126. One other thing Nobody, once the North and South split, how was the South going to keep slaves from escaping to the North? Further, what happens when the North and South had a land disupute over states in the West?

    As fare as them not being “imperialistic”, my home state of Kansas has a different view. They tried to have an election about statehood and were invaded by Southern terrorists bent on fixing the election. Southerners went into Lawrence, Kansas and murdered every man in the town. Fuck the antebellum South. There was nothing noble or rightous about them.

  127. “Consider an alternative history for a moment. Suppose the south had been allowed to leave? Would it in any way be the great place it is today? Hell no.”

    Who knows?

    One can play what if games all day long at various turning points in history.

    However, the federal government did not have any legitimate Constitutional authority to compel the southern states to remain in the union. The 10th Amendment confines the federal government to ennumerated powers and there is no ennumerated power in there that states it can compel states to remain in the union. There were several states, including Virginia, that explicitly stated at the time they voted to ratify the Constitution and join the union that they reserved the right to seccede.

  128. John, yes I was trying to be funny with the frist sentence. Only a moron could say “they hated our freedom” and be serious….unless he was talking about our own rulers.

    Isn’t the Department of DEFENSE supposed to protect our borders?

  129. Gilbert,

    You are right in many ways, which is why I hate the antebellum South so much. We had a great Constitutional system before the civil war. Had the South not had slaves, it would have gone on. Without slaves, their never would have been a need for leaving. Without Jim Crow, there would never have been a need to destroy limited government in the civil rights era. Yeah, I guess you could blame the North for not wanting to let the South be, but I would prefer to place the blame on the slave holders. Slavery is the one real mark against this country. It fucked up this country good and for like 300 years now.

  130. “Isn’t the Department of DEFENSE supposed to protect our borders?”

    From armies. Do you really want DOD out enforcing customs and stopping people at the border?

  131. If he wants to eliminate wasteful spending, he should start with the stimulus bill.

  132. “If that’s the qualifications, I can round up a pack of bright 10 year olds anyone of which can do just as good a job.”

    Clean 10-year-olds? No fuckin’ way.

  133. “???”

    Ran generous at the expense of cool?

  134. Only a moron could say “they hated our freedom” and be serious….unless he was talking about our own rulers.

    Sayyid Qutb did say that he hated out freedom and was serious… but he was a moron, so I guess you’re right.

    The man was seriously disturbed by the raw sexuality and mixing of the sexes (and love of jazz “created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires”) found at church socials in Colorado.

    That said, sure, I don’t think that his insane reasons of hating our freedom would have been enough to acquire as many followers as he did by themselves, but at least one prominent terrorists and terrorist theorist was indeed directly motivated by hating our freedom that he experienced while in the USA. He also hated our haircuts, too, so yeah, he was a nutball. An influential one, though.

  135. It is kind of funny that Libertarians hate DHS so much when 90% of their functions are actually functions (border and currency protection, and customs enforcement) are functions that anyone but an anarchist would admit the Feds should be doing.

    I’m fine with that – but if that’s what DHS is for, then what does the Department of Defense do? One witty pundit suggested renaming it the Department of Invasion. I think he was on to something.

  136. “There were several states, including Virginia, that explicitly stated at the time they voted to ratify the Constitution and join the union that they reserved the right to seccede.”

    Please cite from a scholarly source (no, LRC doesn’t count).

  137. Try “Department of Offense.”

  138. “Most of the men who fought for the south were not slave owners and I doubt they could have been persuaded to fight for that.”

    Yes they could. As long as there were slaves, poor whites wouldn’t be at the bottom of the totem pole.

  139. Read the ordianences of secession, Gilbert. The people who organized secession made it crystal clear it was all about slavery.

  140. “I see this has degenerated into another Civil War thread.

    Paging Astroglide!

    Paging Astroglide!

    Call for Mister Astroglide.”

    Huh?

  141. Here’s just one of many “gems” from secession convention speeches.

    http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/Alabama_secession_Speech.htm

    Lots of talk about “African slavery” and “the negro” but nothing about tarrifs or railroads or states rights or whatever myth the neo-Confederates believe in.

  142. BDB,

    Actually, I think that’s correct. I recall reading that in law school. I believe New York was one of the states reserving the right to secede, as well. Rather than a scholarly article, you should ask for direct source material. It should exist.

    As for the causes of the war, slavery was the proximate cause, but, of course, like with most wars, other factors played a role. Economics was a huge part of the whole mess, with a tariff war going on before the shooting even began. Ugly business all around, and the fact of that war helped doom us to a much more centralized federal government.

    One additional negative, tied into the secession issue above, is that the idea that states could secede if things got rough was pretty much tossed into the waste basket. All the way up to the Civil War, it was generally acknowledged that states had the right to secede. After all, what was the whole point of the Declaration of Independence, which was, in large part, a legal brief on why we were justified in breaking away from Great Britain, if states couldn’t secede?

    I wonder what the federal government would do today if a state or states attempted secession?

  143. “. After all, what was the whole point of the Declaration of Independence, which was, in large part, a legal brief on why we were justified in breaking away from Great Britain, if states couldn’t secede?”

    The colonies had a right to secede because they did not have any representation in the British government. The South, at the time of the Civil War, had full Constitutional representation in the federal government. None of their rights, under the Constitution, had been violated. It’s not like the North was refusing to sit their Senators or something like that.

  144. “You have obviously never met my cousins.”

    That reminds me of a massive family reunion I attended about 15 years ago. Two hundred people and all of them (except for me) were as homely as fuck. All of them!

  145. “Economics was a huge part of the whole mess, with a tariff war going on before the shooting even began. ”

    Funny, the word “tariff” never came up in the secession convention speeches and documents.

  146. “Please cite from a scholarly source (no, LRC doesn’t count).”

    What is LRC?

    Anyway, try this:

    “The Virginia delegates looked on the new Constitution with great skepticism, fearing that it would become a tool for the federal government to crush the states. To placate opponents such as Patrick Henry, the leaders of the pro-ratification forces, who included Governor Edmund Randolph, the proposer of the nationalist Virginia Plan at Philadelphia, had to make a concession. They had to agree that the powers of the new Congress were limited to those “expressly delegated” in the Constitution. The delegates repudiated in advance any move by the new authorities to expand their powers beyond this. Further, they wrote into their ratification statement the right to withdraw from the new government, if it exceeded its proper powers.”

    That’s from the book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution”

    http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2008/11/17/the-constitution-a-politically-incorrect-guide/

  147. I see the Confederate-lovers (yes, LM and Martin, that would be you) have no concept or historical understanding of the concept of “Perpetual Union”.

    It was in your beloved Articles of Confederation. Feel free to look it up. Google is your friend.

  148. BDB,

    That oversimplifies the matter. Think about it this way: If sovereignty ultimately resides in the people, then can’t some portion of those people take their sovereignty elsewhere? That could get tricky if individual suburbs started seceding, but looking at it from a state level, I don’t see how anyone can morally state that the citizens of that state are compelled to remain in the union. By what right should they be forced to remain if they don’t want to? Representation in Congress doesn’t address that point at all.

    If you read any history of the Civil War, you’ll learn exactly how much economics played a role in it getting to a shooting war in the first place. I’m not saying slavery wasn’t the core issue that led to the conflict, but without the economics, the shooting probably never happened. In my mind, what the Union should’ve done was invaded the South, made it free the slaves, then left and said “good luck.”

  149. “Further, they wrote into their ratification statement the right to withdraw from the new government, if it exceeded its proper powers.””

    http://www.usconstitution.net/rat_va.html

    Nothing in there about secession or “withdraw”. Just recommendation of a Bill of Rights (which was largely adopted).

    If secession was so important to them, you think they would have advocated it as a part of the Bill of Rights, no?

  150. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution”

    Big shock you using those texts. The Politically Incorrect Guides to “X” are written by Rockwellians. (The PIG to History was written by Thomas Woods). This tome GM mentions is written by Kevin Gutzman…also a Rockwellian.

    Just stop. No one takes you seriously.

  151. The Constitution can be dissolved at anytime, Pro L, by an amendment to it dissolving the Union, or by the states calling a new Constitutional convention that could do the same thing.

    That isn’t what the South did.

  152. “Read the ordianences of secession, Gilbert. The people who organized secession made it crystal clear it was all about slavery.”

    I never said it wasn’t.

    All I said was I doubt the rank and file southerners could be persuaded to fight the kind of expanionist empire building war that John was talking about.

    And I said that the states had a Constitutional right to seccede – which they did and still do according to the original understanding of the ratifiers of the Constitution.

    Whether the purpose of seccession was slavery or anything else is irrelevant to that point.

  153. Step right up, ladies and gents, and see Kevin Gutzman pummel made-up strawman after made-up strawman!!

    And I said that the states had a Constitutional right to seccede – which they did and still do according to the original understanding of the ratifiers of the Constitution.

    Again, no. Please, go to wikipedia and type in “perpetual union” and ask yourself why the Gettysburg Address talks about a “more perfect union”.

  154. If the Founders intended the for the right of a single state to secede at any time for whatever reason, I think they would have put it in the Constitution or at least the Bill of Rights.

  155. TAO, I really don’t give a flip who you consider to be authoritative or not about this or anything else.

  156. Gil – of course you don’t, because you’re losing the argument.

    Did you look up “PERPETUAL UNION” yet?

  157. “If the Founders intended the for the right of a single state to secede at any time for whatever reason, I think they would have put it in the Constitution or at least the Bill of Rights.”

    It’s already there in the 10th Amendment. Since any powers not delegated to the federal government by ennumeration are reserved to the states or the people, the only way the federal government WOULD have any power to prevent secession of a state would be if it had been explicitly written into the text as such.

  158. You don’t get to say you’re leaving an electoral form of government unless you maintain that form for your own people. Given that there’s no way an actual majority of adults (recalling the strong correlation between black population and secessionist sentiment) in any state in the South would have voted for disunion, there’s little to defend Confederate secession on.

  159. “Gil – of course you don’t, because you’re losing the argument.”

    I’ll never lose anything on your say so boy.

  160. “Charles | February 25, 2009, 3:39pm | #
    You don’t get to say you’re leaving an electoral form of government unless you maintain that form for your own people.”

    And certainly not for a reason so flimsy as “the party our state voted for lost the Presidency”. If you allow that small-r republican government will not function.

  161. Believe what you like. Because you have not squarely addressed the legal and historical precedent of “perpetual union” and what it meant then and what it means today, I will assume you have not done so because you know it undercuts your entire argument.

    The Articles were called “The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union”. Given that the Constiution was seen as an improvement over the Articles and as empowering the Federal Government more, it is nonsense to state that Perpetual Union went away as a concept.

    Hence, “more perfect union”.

  162. “And certainly not for a reason so flimsy as “the party our state voted for lost the Presidency”. If you allow that small-r republican government will not function.”

    Exactly. When you agree to democracy, you can’t just start rejecting electoral results all willy-nilly.

  163. The only “right” of the South the federal government had “violated” before secession was prohibiting the institution of slavery in certain federal territories, which isn’t a “right” at all since the federal government can do whatever the hell it pleases in the territories!

  164. BDB,

    Again, if you think it through, why would they bother? Read the Federalist Papers and recall that the Declaration was 13 years old at the time–I think the Founders clearly viewed secession as an inherent right of the people. And the Constitution is silent on boatloads of issues–it doesn’t list all of the rights that people have, for instance. And lots of features of government aren’t defined within the four walls of the Constitution, even though the document refers to those features.

    The most important point, of course, is the nature of the Constitution. It is strictly and entirely a document defining the powers of the federal government and expressly limiting some of the powers that were particularly feared. However, if you read it, you’ll notice that any powers not granted to the federal government are not the federal government’s powers. Since the document doesn’t give the federal government any right to prevent secession of a state, just where do you suppose the Union had the Constitutional authority to prevent any state from seceding?

    Like I said, I think the federal government was on firm ground using force to stop slavery. That’s reasonable under the Constitution (despite the slavery language in it) and morally. What wasn’t legal or right was the whole Union Forever crap.

  165. “Exactly. When you agree to democracy, you can’t just start rejecting electoral results all willy-nilly.”

    While I’m not one of the Confederacy-defenders here, they never agreed to “democracy”. They agreed to a “republican form of government”, which meant something different at the time United States was formed.

  166. “Since the document doesn’t give the federal government any right to prevent secession of a state,”

    The Constitution says Congress has the power to:

    “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”

  167. the only way the federal government WOULD have any power to prevent secession of a state would be if it had been explicitly written into the text as such.

    Ho-kay:

    Article I, Sec 10: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;

    Article I, Sec 8: The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion

    Sounds like they have authority to me.

    just where do you suppose the Union had the Constitutional authority to prevent any state from seceding?

    My goodness, my Guiness, didn’t I just talk about Perpetual Union like, eight times?

  168. With references like “suppress insurrections” and “in cases of rebellion” etc., and the lack of an explicit right to secede, if the Founders believed in the right of a state to secede they did a really lousy job saying so in the document they wrote!

  169. Can we please ban the anonimity guy?

  170. BDB – I get the sense that either our mikes aren’t turned on or telling the truth just isn’t what Gil wants to hear.

  171. “While I’m not one of the Confederacy-defenders here, they never agreed to “democracy”. They agreed to a “republican form of government”, which meant something different at the time United States was formed.”

    I should be a bit more specific, of course. But I don’t think that changes the thrust of my point — self-government can only function when you stick to the rules. One of those rules is, “When you lose an election, you still have to abide by it.”

  172. “The plans for the socialist, crony capitalist transcontinental railroad were made during the civil war. There is a reason why ole Dishonest Abe purchased land in Council Bluffs, Iowa.”

    Okay, this is the kind of thing that makes relatively intelligent and reasonable people sound like psychos. THE SOUTHERN STATES SECEDED TO PROTECT SLAVERY. THAT’S WHAT THE SECESSION DEBATES IN THE STATE LEGISLATURES CENTERED ON. Everything else was peripheral.

  173. TAO the only thing I’ve got from you is proclaimations of what source is or isn’t credible – which means nothing to me.

    What I can do is read the literal text of the 10th Amendment for myself. And it says ANY power not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the states is reserved to the states or the people respectively.

    Therefore, in order for the federal government to have the power to prevent succession, there would have to literally be an explicit statement in the text of the Constitution that the federal government has the power to prevent succession or that the states are prevented from succeeding from the union.

  174. Well, I recommend reading some of the source material. They all certainly thought secession was a right (not just of states, incidentally) and there are numerous examples of states and cities in the north and the south threatening to secede over various issues before the war.

    Secession, incidentally, isn’t rebellion or insurrection. If Quebec had seceded from Canada, it would’ve just changed the map. No shooting is necessary.

  175. “Secession, incidentally, isn’t rebellion or insurrection. ”

    What do you call shooting at a naval ship bringing food to an army Fort on federal land?

  176. “When you lose an election, you still have to abide by it.”

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t see that as a hard-and-fast rule. If a particular candidate, for example, got elected over my opposition, and proceeded to require that all gold be sold to the federal government below the market price, I would say “fuck it” and hide my gold. In that case, I would not be “abiding by the election” in any meaningful sense of the term.

    Democracy should never be seen as an end in and of itself.

  177. “What do you call shooting at a naval ship bringing food to an army Fort on federal land?”

    A little horsplay.

  178. I agree, but Lincoln never said he was going to do anything that was unconstitutional in the 1860 election. He even said that slavery would be left alone in the states where it existed. He simply wanted to prohibit it in the federal territories, which Congress had the full power to do since Congress makes laws for federal territories.

  179. I consider arguments over whether or not secession is legal rather fruitless. If I think that the government has become so severely oppressive that it would be better if its authority was cast off, I’ll be supporting the revolution, legality be damned. That said, we’re still at that awkward stage where it would be foolish to fight, but we can’t really work within the system either.

  180. BDB,

    I’m not talking about the Civil War, just secession in general, though I think there’s some question about whether Lincoln actively provoked the South to start shooting. Whether or not that’s the case, that specific war doesn’t change the issue in legal terms, though it had the practical effect of taking secession off the table. I imagine that a state could secede today–the legal right never really went away, and there’s no hot-button issue like slavery involved in any likely modern secession.

    I predict California goes first ?

  181. What I can do is read the literal text of the 10th Amendment for myself.

    And what I DID was provide you with an explicit statement from Art. I Sec 10 that says “No State shall” join a confederacy.

    So stuff it, boy-o, you’ve been acting like a twit since this started.

  182. Montana has a clause in its original state constitution (which had to be approved by Congress for Montana to become a state) reserving the right to secede if the federal government violated the Constitution.

    Fun facts and all.

  183. “So stuff it, boy-o, you’ve been acting like a twit since this started.”

    Don’t get so worked up, TAO. Most of the Confederacy-defenders here aren’t insane or evil or even willfully obnoxious. They just have a blind spot on this issue, in part because many (myself included) would love to have the ability to tell the feds to screw off.

  184. “And what I DID was provide you with an explicit statement from Art. I Sec 10 that says “No State shall” join a confederacy.”

    If a state secceeds, it’s no longer a state and can join anything it wants.

    “So stuff it, boy-o, you’ve been acting like a twit since this started.”

    Right back at ya, punk.

  185. If a state secceeds[sic], it’s no longer a state and can join anything it wants.

    Captain Circular Logic Strikes Again.

    Don’t get so worked up, TAO. Most of the Confederacy-defenders here aren’t insane or evil or even willfully obnoxious

    I just don’t believe that. I don’t know how many more times I have to ask one of the neo-Confederates to explain “Perpetual Union”…I’ve said like, fucking fifteen times now.

  186. “Most of the Confederacy-defenders here aren’t insane or evil or even willfully obnoxious. They just have a blind spot on this issue, in part because many (myself included) would love to have the ability to tell the feds to screw off.”

    It’s not a matter of defending the Confederacy. It’s a question of whether a generic right of states to seccede exists or not. The Confederacy wasn’t the first time that the issue of seccession came up. Other states had considered or threatened to do so before. South Carolina threatened to do so during Andrew Jackson’s presidency.

  187. TAO,
    Like I said, they really want to believe in secession, because (and let’s be an honest) which on of us wouldn’t like to tell the feds to go to hell right now? I just don’t kid myself into thinking that it’s written into the constitution.

  188. I’m not defending the Confederacy. Most of what’s being cited in opposition is flat-out wrong. Article I isn’t addressing secession at all, positively or negatively. Honestly, if this was so cut-and-dried and settled at the time of ratification, why did many Founders and, later on, the states think that secession was a legal possibility?

    There is, incidentally, a post-Civil War SCOTUS opinion that said the secession acts were void, but that was in 1869 and was really aimed at undoing the Civil War.

    Most of the secondary materials I’ve read on Constitutional law and my Con. Law professors (in Illinois, for the record) seem to view secession as an unsettled issue, but as a right that seems legally necessary given the Declaration and the structure of the United States. Guess we could test it. Didn’t Key West secede?

  189. Democracy should never be seen as an end in and of itself.

    Meaning what, exactly? If you do something illegal, such as hoard gold in your hypothetical example, the state has a right to arrest you if they find out about it. Not that such a law would be just. Laws should be just, and if they aren’t, people should have reasonable means to petition the government to change them.

    I realize that democracy doesn’t tend to, and probably will never, produce the kind of society libertarians long for. But the only alternative is to impose it by tyranny, which a lot of people here seem to not totally reject. The absurdity of that position is, of course, obvious.

  190. Well, I oppose tyranny. But that also means that I oppose tyranny when it comes from the majority. Our system was designed to check all sorts of power, including the power of the majority, all in the interest of protecting individual liberty.

  191. What’s all this talk of democracy? I don’t understand. The United States of America is a constitution based federal republic with a strong democratic tradition. The constitution guarantees the states a republican form of government. Somehow massaging that to say “a democracy” is to commit an etymological fallacy.

    I grow so tired of revisionism.

    Also, if Lincoln meant what he said he would have believed that “Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right…..” -January 12 1848

  192. “Captain Circular Logic Strikes Again”

    Not in the least.

    I keep pointing out that the Constitition doesn’t explicitly say that states cannot secede from the union and you keep offering up examples of where it says something other than that and trying to claim it equates to the same thing.

    It doesn’t.

    Suppose that for whatever reason, the state of Florida decided tomorrow that it was going to secede from the union and become an independent nation unto itself. A prohibition against “joining a confederacy” would have absolutely nothing to do with that.

    They would just be out there on their own.

    Then once they’re out, they can do anything they want. If Cuba overthrows communisim five years down the road and the independent nation of Florida then decided it wanted to join up with Cuba, it would be perfectly free to do that.

  193. Astroglide | February 25, 2009, 3:12pm | #
    “I see this has degenerated into another Civil War thread.

    Paging Astroglide!

    Paging Astroglide!

    Call for Mister Astroglide.”

    Huh?

    Nothing personal- a circle jerk needs lube.

  194. But the only alternative is to impose it by tyranny, which a lot of people here seem to not totally reject.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what you call minding your own business: tyranny. I’m sure glad you’re understanding how to talk like a fellow traveler.

  195. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

  196. Get some real facts and stop watching so much TV!

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