You mention that the founders conceded the need for a standing army on the frontier. In today's world there is no frontier. Technology and tactics have advanced.
I also disagree with the assessment that having the tools of aggression inevitably leads to aggression. I was raised around guns and taught at a very early age how to handle them. I've never felt the need to use them on another human being.
I am not entirely convinced that authorship of these memos rises to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor. I realize these memos were relied upon by other officials but they weren't legally binding orders. My understanding is that they are glorified opinions, and I have reservations about impeaching a judge because of a good-faith legal interpretation he made prior to taking the bench. I disagree with the reasoning, but there has been a slim number of SCOTUS cases with a unanimous decision, proving that even the best legal minds in our country routinely disagree on what the law says and how it should be read.
I just resent people making generalizations and implying that "liberal" and "Texan" are contradictions. I'm sure homosexual men resent implications that they are all effiminate. I'm sure French people resent implications they are all cowards.
Thank you, at least someone left the hyperbole and generalizations at home. I thought part of being a liberal meant you didn't refer to an entire demographic as stupid ("they ain't too bright down there"). While dismissing an entire demographic as intellectually inferior might score you some cheap points in an echo chamber or make you feel better about yourself, it poisons the well of discourse.
I'm a native Texan, and I'm very proud of my Texas heritage. I'm also very proud of my country. While I no longer live in Texas, I am pretty sure that secessionists do not speak for the majority of Texans.
I'll give the author some points in regards to saying that seceding would be a stupid course of action. Texas needs the United States more than the United States needs Texas, but the same can be said of ANY state in the union. The blatant superiority complex vis a vis us "ignert rednecks" is however appalling.
Like so many things, I think the biggest problem is with the superiors and the office environment they create. I interviewed with the prosecutor's office in my city, and half of my interview consisted of very hostile questions regarding my involvement with my law school's criminal defense clinic. Whereas I figured my courtroom experience and ability to see both sides of a case would be a boon, they saw it as evidence of a lack of commitment on my part to convict convict convict. Pressed on my motivation to be a prosecutor, I stated openly that I respect criminal defense attorneys, that I believe their work is necessary to ensure justice is done, but as a matter of personal conscience I would have trouble defending people if I wasn't convinced of their innocence. The lady interviewing me held up a hand and simply replied "Oh, they're all guilty." I didn't just leave the interview knowing I didn't get the job, but with the impression that the office actively cultivates a corps of prosecutors that hate the people they are prosecuting, that take an almost sadistic pleasure in seeing them punished. Not because it's what justice demands, but because they hate criminals and enjoy seeing them get their come-uppance.
Add such a base line attitude to an office environment that rewards performance in the win/loss ratio and you create a place where conviction takes precedence to justice. I don't want to attack individual prosecutors that are just doing their job, and I've met several that are very beholden to their professional ethics, but rather indicting the system that places overwhelming pressure on them to win at all costs. The law and the code of ethics say that prosecutors are the ones with discretion to pursue a particular case, and yet some junior prosecutors are handed a case file the morning of trial and told to go in and win. Case loads are case loads, so I don't know what a practical alternative is, but I think it's naive to expect the prosecutor actually presenting argument in many cases to be the individual with sole discretion to determine the vigor with which a case is prosecuted.
Again, none of this is to defend the system as it is currently in place, merely to illustrate that the problems seem more top-down than emanating from individual prosecutors.
I'm a little confused by your comment that the military surge includes a development aspect. Are the soldiers the ones building wells and schools? If so are there plans to turn this activity over to non-military organs like USAID?
I was recently at a law symposium where several generals were discussing the how soldiers in Iraq are increasingly acting like a police force: gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, photographing crime scenes. While it is a testament to the flexibility and composure of our men and women in uniform, it seems so at odds with what they are traditionally trained for. Is this hybridization of police and military into a catch-all security force positive evolution in military thought, or are we depending on our servicemen and women to do too much?
Obviously the health care insurance industry has a vested interest in a lack of reform, but every other industry would benefit from gov't health care. Taking the cost of health care for employees off their books helps their bottom line.
Glad to see someone finally going right at conservatives on the idea of a gov't plan competing with the private sector. If the conservatives are right that the private sector trumps all, then the private sector has nothing to worry about because they will inevitably produce a better product. We'll finally get proof.
What I want to see more of is an outline of how this actually helps American businesses by freeing the cost of health from their balance sheets. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the yearly output for health care by the Big 3 automakers more than the money they came begging for in the auto-bailout? Nevermind the fact that American workers are competing in wages against workers in countries that provide socialized medicine, which is an unfair advantage to those companies. Not only does this need to be shouted from the mountain tops by Dem politicians, but they need to recruit non-partisan business leaders to speak on its behalf to further undercut the notion that it's bad for the economy.
But I thought the whole point of the free market is that it's supposed to produce a better product for less money. If that's true, then there should be no problem with the government "competing" in the same market. The government's product will be more expensive, of lesser quality, or both, which will cause people to choose the private firms' superior/cheaper product. At the very least, the government's competition should force the private sector to innovate and create better product. Unless, of course, there is something wrong with your model that government by definition can not adequately compete. Am I missing something here?
I say we all set up piggy banks. Every time Reid lets a vote get torpedoed by a threat of filibuster without an ACTUAL filibuster, put $1, or $5, in there. In 2010 donate the money to Reid's primary challenger. Email Reid's office to say that you are doing this. Email him again every time you put money in there to let his office know the running total and keep pressure on.
And/or do this for your state senator(s) as well.
Anyone web proficient to maybe set up an online piggy bank for web donations of this sort with an attached online petition?