Wednesday, March 27, 2013

John Roberts is really becoming troubling and the Huff Post has picked it up, too.

Dismissive is a good word, but, another word is glib. When I heard his statements today the word 'Glib' entered by mind and there was one other time recently that occurred and it was when the Justices were discussing voting rights.
The Right Wing Justices are taking on a very troubling 'attitude' about their decisions. It goes beyond entertaining the audience of the court, it is condescending and seeks to minimize the importance of the case.
...Roberts has in the past been dismissive (click here) of the need for voting rights protections or affirmative action, viewing the world as without the sort of racism that might require such remedies. "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race," he offered in one case about school segregation, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1.
"It's a sordid business, this divvying us up by race," Roberts said in a voting rights case, League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.
“Things have changed in the South,” Roberts wrote four years ago in nearly striking down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act in the Namudno case....

There was also the comment by Mr. Clemente to Justice Kagan. He stated her statements about the House record of DOMA is not her 'usual.' The constitutional attorneys pride themselves on what they understand about the thinking of the Justices, so the idea Justice Kagan surprised him speaks to that, but, to have the gall to state to Justice Kagan this wasn't her usual is extremely condescending. I believe the statement by Clemente was intended to intimidate a female justice as if there is something radically wrong to her thinking.

Rather, there is something wrong in Mr. Clemente's thinking to be so disrespectful.

The glibness of the Robert's Court is more than troubling. I also believe it brings out more assertive postures by the other Justices. We never heard from Justice Clarence on this issue, I take it. But, according to him that is his style. I suppose that means 'silence' is 'the place' where he belongs to be accepted by the court jesters of constitutional lawyers. Forbid any Justice step out his or her suit of armor.

The problem manifesting with Chief Justice Roberts' is the real focus on politics and how that plays out in his decisions. Today he basically told those challenging DOMA that they were making their way through the political jungle to arrive at the Supreme Court and deserve its attention. 

So, what? That is suppose to have brevity in a decision regarding the integrity of the USA Constitution? 

Justice Roberts is toying with court decisions and whether to make the decision matter or not matter based on political activity in the country. That is not the place of the Supreme Court. It is the place of the Supreme Court to 'decide' based on the law. 

Roberts' is seeking to turn the nation into political playgrounds before the law carries brevity. That is malpractice. Why do I find myself stating 'that is malpractice' to these Justices. Could it be they don't care about the brevity of the problems before them and see defeat of the Right Wing rhetoric in the political sphere of the USA?

Roberts likes the circus. He is stating the politics of the day is far more important than the law. That is nonsense. There are always upticks in political discourse surrounding laws to be challenged at the level of the Supreme Court.

See, the Right Wing counts on corruption of the courts in order to insure their rhetorical victories. These rhetorical decisions based in 'so called' strict construction exist and they exist frequently enough. The idea behind putting Justices into the courts and why the Right Wing is desperate to obstruct them when an intelligent President seeks 'real' decisions from his appointees; is to insure the political Right Wing dogma is safe from falling out of favor with their 'base.' Their base invests a lot and they want what they want. Roberts knows at the basis of his nomination to Justice and then Chief Justice was not necessarily 'the best choice' but one put forward with favored status of The Heritage Foundation.

As there are more and more decisions focused on politically delicate topics, The Roberts Court is attempting in the worst way possible to steer around them. Roberts was going to make his point today regardless of its appropriate nature. Why? Because it was a clear sign to the Right Wing this ain't going well. He is attempting to relieve himself of the correct decision and imploring constitutional attorneys to do the same to support his desperate agenda with the court.

Roberts is attempting to circumvent the responsibilities of the Supreme Court to act. He is attempting to throw the decisions back to the politics and if defeated in the political arena then so be it and that is the will of the people.

The Burger Court focused on 'the individual' to recognize the most important aspect of Constitutional Law. Now, if you can imagine a Justice that would be completely the oppose and remove the importance of the individual it would be Justice Roberts.

Chief Justice Burger looked past the POPULOUS aspect of the laws of the USA and realized the impact of the laws sometimes caused diminished rights to individuals. The individual is about the smallest minority one can find. By upholding 'the individual' as the focus of Supreme Court decisions the smallest group of citizens were always served well by the USA Constitution and the laws of the land. Roberts is trying to DECONSTRUCT the individual as a worthy component to Supreme Court decisions.

Now. He is a younger in age Justice. Either we take on the challenge of recognizing malpractice or we don't.

This is going to be some of the outcomes of the Affordable Care Act.

Better participation in volunteer medical research will lead to better outcomes for people. It is important to understand the illnesses the American people face and how to prevent and treat them. Longevity. The ACA will have a direct impact on longevity in the USA.
Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:03pm EDT

...The bumper haul of 74 gene (click here) changes that can increase risks for the three hormone-related cancers, announced by scientists on Wednesday, is the result of the largest ever study of its kind.

It follows an international project to analyze the DNA of more than 200,000 people - half of them with cancer and half from the general population - to find alterations that are more common in individuals with the disease.

Although each gene variation increases cancer risk by only a small amount, scientists calculate that the 1 percent of men carrying lots of the alterations could have a 50 percent increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Women with multiple variants could see their risk of breast cancer increase by 30 percent....

Justice Kennedy

I liked what he said. He believes DOMA is government overreach. He's right.

I hope the Justices are brave enough to eliminate the laws from further abuse.

Louisiana hasn't legalized prostitution yet?

I don't know why not considering the history of Senator Vitter and the performance of the former Minerals and Mining Management. It would fit right into the economic scheme in Louisiana. It might even raise enough money to better fund Medicaid at that state level. I mean since a tax on the petroleum industry is out of the question.

There is a backlash though, it is called women's rights.
Human rights lawyer Dianne Post and writer and filmmaker Bishakha Datta go head-to-head.
Legalized prostitution (click here) cannot exist alongside the true equality of women. The idea that one group of women should be available for men’s sexual access is founded on structural inequality by gender, class and race. Moreover, it is a violation of international law. In fact, failure to challenge legalized prostitution undermines every human rights norm mandating the dignity of the person and equality for all. As Melissa Farley says, ‘Decriminalizing or legalizing prostitution would normalize and regulate practices which are human rights violations, and which in any other context would be legally actionable (sexual harassment, physical assault, rape, captivity, economic coercion or emotionally damaging verbal abuse).’...

I think Thomas Perez will bring a much needed focus as Labor Secretary.

March 20, 2013
Just as they did when Thomas E. Perez (click here) was nominated to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, Republicans are seeking to hold up his confirmation to head the U.S. Department of Labor, using any excuse they can think up, no matter how flimsy....
There is disproportionate statistics with labor in the USA. It is not just enough to bring down the unemployment rate; there has to be more equity in that number.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama criticized Mr. Perez, a former Montgomery County councilman and Maryland labor secretary, for his one-time service on the board of CASA de Maryland.... 

CASA de Maryland strongly supports Mr. Perez

...”His story reminds us of this country’s promise, (click here) that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, what your last name is, you can make it if you try,” Obama said. “Tom’s made protecting that promise for everybody the cause of his life.”
Perez thanked Obama in both English and Spanish.
“Over my career, I’ve learned that true progress is possible if you keep an open mind, listen to all sides and focus on results,” he said....

...But organized labor groups praised the pick.
“At a time when our politics tilts so heavily toward corporations and the very wealthy, our country needs leaders like Tom Perez to champion the cause of ordinary working people,” said AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. “And working families need and deserve a strong advocate as their Secretary of Labor — one who will vigorously enforce job safety standards, wage laws, and anti-discrimination rules, and who will speak out forcefully for working families and their workplace rights, including their right to join together to improve their lives and working conditions....

This is the man that took on Joe Arpaio and the Arizona laws that actually put people in danger on their own streets because of their ethnicity. He also assisted in the fight against draconian Voter ID laws, including the Pennsylvania law that was to guarantee the election of Mr. Romney.
...Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa complained that the president had nominated Mr. Perez for a cabinet post despite a congressional investigation into the Civil Rights Division and questions about whether he engineered a quid pro quo with the city of St. Paul, Minn....

He is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School. He is 51 years old and was probably well acquainted with President Obama even in his early years. It is safe to say much of the minority leadership of this administration knew of each other and the careers they lead to improve the circumstances of minorities in the USA. My hat is off to them. Don't stop now.

To put it into a cliche' - "They know the head winds."

The issue with the complaint by Grassley and Sessions with the St. Paul, Minnesota is irrelevant. It was a complaint that a Whistleblower found fraud in government spending. In other words, funding was misused. Initially, Mr. Perez was going to join the lawsuit but as time went on it became obvious the Justice Department would not prevail. 

It has to be said the Whistleblower was in for a significant reward for finding waste and fraud within spending. The monies spent to stimulate the economy has an oversight provision that will pay the average person to be a Whistleblower if there is fraud and abuse. There is a lot of incentive and possibly more incentive to report than improve the economic purpose of the spending for Whistleblowers. The Obama Administration has gone out of their way to put power in the hands of the people to stop fraud and abuse. This is one of THOSE cases.

As the St. Paul case was pursued by the US Justice Department and the facts were more obvious the Justice Department decided to put the power in the hands of the city to reform the problem than to criminalize it. It was viewed by those involved as a bribe to the city. The US Justice Department saw it as an opportunity to do things differently because the criminal case would not proceed well or to an expected outcome.

It is a common strategy to eliminate record keeping where federal funds are involved. Much of the oversight of federal funding relies on record keeping. This was one of those instances. There was an absence of records. It could be argued that an absence of records is as prosecutable as the presence of them when wrong doing is discovered, however, that isn't how it would play out in court even if that stipulation was made in the law. A judge and jury would see that as entrapment more or less.

So, the idea was to create an incentive to drop the case and provide guidance that would insure the monies be distributed properly which is what should have been done in the first place. It is notable there has been a record $3.3 billion through lawsuits filed by whistle-blowers in the 2012 fiscal year. There is a lot of incentive for reporting. The question with St. Paul is what does the administration do with all the information provided and how do they make sure it will be straightened out rather than prosecuted in the face of a sabotaged law. That is what occurs when there is no record keeping. The oversight is sabotaged and the cities know it.

The only thing that can really be done in these instances is to eliminate St. Paul from future federal funding and that is a real incentive to follow the rules. But, for one term elected officials conducting themselves questionably by refusing to carry out oversight standards it is less of an incentive than one realizes. The punitive nature of oversight in such instances hurts the PEOPLE of the city and the city itself, but, NOT THE PERSON refusing to conduct the record keeping.

These incidents are not a straight forward path. It is corruption, it goes on and it exists.

Was that a failing by Mr. Perez? No. It was his responsibility to determine there was no clear path to a successful legal case and that is what he did. What he also did rather than dropping the lawsuit, which probably can still go forward, he decided to provide the city with an opportunity to turn the ship around. It was a matter of the focus of the outcome. Did the city benefit or was this going to be a higher risk of prosecution than should be pursued with 'the people's money.' The purpose of the integrity of the original law that provided the funding entered the circumstances and the law own.

And Sen.David Vitter of Louisiana said he will block Mr. Perez's nomination over complaints about politically motivated enforcement of voting rights laws.

Yes, indeed, the man that played sex games with prostitutes gets to be a star performer at the Perez hearings. In Florida, the state wanted to reduce the welfare rolls while providing reasons to prosecute recipients based in urine tests thus removing their voting rights and in Louisiana the welfare recipients were going to be made to lose their voting rights, too.

...Perez’ department’s lawsuit (click here) against the state of Louisiana for essentially running out of welfare recipients it could register to vote has given Sen. David Vitter a chance to make headlines in blocking his nomination, and Vitter’s been looking for other state officials to join the charge...

The federal law requires public service agencies to have contact with the opportunity to vote. Louisiana didn't want to comply. I think everyone understands why.

Louisiana is in noncompliance. Boo, who. Not bob,boo; not Honey Boo Boo, just plain Boo, who.

So now, Vitter plays politics at the hearing of a very aggressive advocate for CIVIL RIGHTS. The country beware. Seriously. These folks are no joke. They intend to route out the corruption and proceed to make it a plus for the nation. It is a good thing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The U.S. Justice Department is suing Louisiana, (click here) claiming its public assistance offices don't offer adequate voter registration services for people who get food stamps, disability payments and Medicaid.
The suit alleges that the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Children and Family Services have failed to meet requirements of the National Voter Registration Act.
That 1993 law requires all state offices offering public assistance to be designated as voter registration agencies. The Justice Department says those offices handled millions of applications and renewals for Medicaid and food stamps over the past four years,but only 14,725 voter registrations.
It contends those numbers show the state is not in compliance with the registration law.
The two state departments say they haven't seen details of the lawsuit, but they claim they are complying with the spirit and the letter of the law.

Thomas Perez knows his responsibilities and the Right Wing extremists know it. He does his job well and he leads. It is his ability that is so threatening to understand the trials of daily living of our minorities and bring about support for their rights.

Mr. Perez wants to see an increase in the minimum wage which would reduce the Wall Street Tax on the people of the USA. But, the beauty of that idea is that an increase in the minimum wage will actually bring about greater market share and the profits will return to Wall Street after they experience an increase in operating expenses for a few weeks.

That's all, just a few weeks. Ah, oh, there goes the CEO bonus this quarter.

I wish Mr. Perez success as our new Labor Secretary and look forward to his administration. It is unfortunate it is taking this long. But, when Congress has more days off than working days it becomes a burden to the nation when this is the effect.

The Blue Dog Democrat from Kentucky

Own it.

Be the new voice of the Kentucky Democrats. She needs to introduce herself. She has to define whom she is to the citizens of Kentucky AND the Democratic Party within Kentucky.

She has to seek out an Establishment Democrat in Kentucky and ask to introduce her to the rest of the state's party members. 

People don't know her and she her as competition within the party. The Kentucky Democratic Party need to understand that she is not going to split the ticket if she is not nominated for the State Senate Election. She needs to attend their activities and support their agenda. She has to lead and bring the party to prominence in a way that works for Kentucky. She has her own ideas and she has to prove her ideas will lead Kentucky in a better direction.

Leading is not a passive process, it requires challenging the ideas and agenda that have cost the Democrats elections in the past in Kentucky. She has to worry about her dissonance. Her voice. She has to be heard by the people to bring about a common ground for her insight and her new Democratic agenda.

She can do this. She can overcome hurdles with the Democratic establishment and the electorate of Kentucky. She is great. She always been great. She has acted in political circles to save lives and improve quality of life by ending Mountain Top Mining. She did that. She saw a happier and safer people and a better tourism economy. If she can see a better life for the people of Kentucky, she can make it happen.
Why would the Health Care Public Option work?

Are you serious?

Come on now, everyone knows this.


Would everyone like a 15% reduction in their health care premiums?

If the administration structure were left in place but the 15% profit were removed from insurance premiums what would that mean? Jobs without the additional Wall Street Tax.

The Wall Street Tax is never guaranteed to grow the USA economy; quite the contrary.

There should never be privatization of Medicare. None.

The citizens receiving Medicare coverage should have a reliable cost and that won't happen if it is privatized. As a matter of fact privatizing health care for the elderly will place them outside any reasonable market costs. They will be charged three times the rate of someone much younger. No way. They are left alone. If they want to supplement Medicare with a private insurance plan they can do that, but, the Medicare market is fixed and serviced by the federal government. 

I don't like what Sebelius is doing. At all. She is not administering this correctly. The waivers were for mini-medical plans. Those plans are very poor plans and should never have been encouraged to remain as an option to the American Health Care Landscape. I really oppose her lax ability to institute the Affordable Care Act AS WRITTEN.

If she didn't provide all those waivers, the mini-market would be reduced and the current private insurance enrollment would have received some more enrollments and changed the market costs. So, as far as I am concerned, she hasn't got a clue. 

There are ways of effecting a capitalism market and then there are ways that don't work. The ways mapped out in The Affordable Care Act were deliberately done for a reason. Does she actually think when the House wrote that law over two decades they didn't look at the mini-medical insurance markets. They addressed the ERISA laws very clearly. ERISA has been hugely problematic across the spectrum and until the ACA there was no way of bring about justice to people. ERISA was and to some extent until 2014 is still the problem.

WED SEP 16, 2009 AT 10:55 PM PDT
The outrageous scam of employment-based insurance: ERISA and its malignant effects (click here)
by Richard Johnston

So as far as I am concerned Sebilius had no standing to hand out waivers. Congress and the President passed this law for a reason and Sebelius took it on herself to negate it. The Mini-Market Health Insurance Market is a joke. People unable to qualify for Medicaid purchase those policies and receive virtually no value for their monies. There have been movies made about the deaths they cause.

Medicare is not up for grabs for the private industry. Absolutely not!

That said:

..."If you only focus on Medicare, (click here) you shift the costs," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, adding that Medicare and Medicaid are not the reason health costs are going up. Costs in these programs are increasing at a slower pace than private-sector health care costs, she said. "You don't do anything about the trajectory the U.S. is on unless you concentrate on the underlying costs."...

Any estimated costs to the health care market will be effected by the pool of participants. That is fairly fixed and there is absolutely no way of looking into a crystal ball either. There is no accurate model 'out there' that accurately reflects the health care pools as of 2014.

To begin, no one knows the level of participation in the year 2014. There will be folks deliberately trying to effect the costs of premiums in one way or another for personal convictions based on political standing. That is a given. It is my estimation there will be mischief for at least two years. When 2016 rolls around there will finally be a national participation and I expect nothing short of that.

As far as premiums, there will be proof that Joe Lieberman did his job for his health care insurance companies by obstructing the Public Option. There will be trials of different strategies in the State Pools for a few years to reduce costs to all citizens. There will be scrutiny of which pools provide effective cost containment and those that don't. There will be methods sought to bring about effective strategies under the heavy wet blanket of a privatized market for a year or two and then we'll see.

The ACA provides for ONLY 15% profit by any health insurance company. The PERFORMANCE of the State Pools will improve in time, but, the initial years will have lassitude until more information is known about the general health of the American people.

The ACA is a paradigm shift. People will live where they died before. These changes don't happen overnight, but, I guarantee you there will be improved quality of life as the nation pulls itself together and seeks better health.

This is not an experiment that can be dissolved with the elections of 2014 or 2016. It is a better standard of living for the American people. No one can predict the outcome of the ACA and if they try they don't know the resolve of this nation of people to solve their problems with compassion and a clear understanding of a happier life.

Think of it this way.

Michael Phelps eats over 10,000 calories per day when he is training. Now translate into an economy where a 'FIT NATION' participates in recreation and fun. There will be less and less focus on food and calories as a nation of people move away from screens and seek physical activity as improvement to their quality of life. I sincerely believe there will be less sedentary lifestyles once the people of this nation actually 'feel better.' 

Look, if a person is going to be popular in a social setting they need to be ABLE to dance. Okay? We need to go forward with this. There will be economic growth when the nation is healthier. It is just going to happen. Local economies will benefit from healthier folks in them.

The healthier the country, the lower the premiums. The ACA is designed for that outcome.

Is there a constitutional right to marry? No.

Marriage grew out of property rights. It falls under contract law.

Women until the 1960s were considered chattel. A man literally married his property within the bounds of spiritual purity. So, there are NO DIRECT connections between marriage and the USA Constitution.

The contract between two people is recorded in the records of a city or county. It is recognition of a 'responsible' relationship between two people. "I am responsible to you and for you and you are responsible for me and to me."

Contract law is why divorces exist. Breaking up the contract can be simple, but, it also involves other lives, namely children. So, divorce is a measure to be sure all parties are served well by the dissolution of the contract.

There is no Article of the USA Constitution that guarantees marriage. It has always been under the direction of a contract. Even under Puritan understandings back in the day of. So, the idea that the USA Constitution was ever suppose to legislate marriage was never a promise to anyone. If it was ever considered that vital to democracy the founding documents had plenty of time to incorporate that cornerstone. That is not the case. Freedom is not about binding a man to a woman; that limits freedom. There were LGBT people in 1776, too. They were probably the witches of Salem, Massachusetts.

It can get interesting to discuss, but, marriage is a contract. It is best defined as a contract. The contract can be modified through the ages to reflect changes in society. If marriage were a cornerstone of the USA Constitution it would complicate life immensely. It could be debated that if marriage was mandatory under the USA Constitution it would demand citizens to change behaviors and dictate a religious paradigm. Believe me the founding documents were written with distinct separation of church and state.

Powerful churches have an oppressive force on a populous. They even limit economies and choice. So, the folks in 1776 knew what they were doing.

Where the entire concept departs from 'reasonal' legal standard are the demands for a Marriage Amendment but the refusal of Sharia Law as a dictate in the USA. Right from the start the Marriage Amendment wants to dictate a specific religious standard. There are a lot of problems when ANY privacy issue is dictated with constitutional authority. These privacy issues cause oppression when dictated as a constitutional standard. It is not reasonable to pursue the demands to control the behaviors of an entire country.

I am not going to engage the thought, but, when a country carries a religious standard for it's government it ONLY requires an additional costume to the daily lives of its citizens. The most extreme example are the Taliban. If one is not wearing the costume life becomes dangerous.

In current USA history, was the stark shift in personal fashion, primarily of women, after Bush #43 took office. It was startling to realize what was occurring in the USA. It definitely was a new costume for the country and it was oppressive. Definitely. That occurred as soon as the change in office took place and before September 11th.