It’s Official — Fox News Just Hit Rock Bottom. Hard And Repeatedly

by Rollie Williams, on Upworthy

I’m not sure which show makes more sense to be on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart is a pretty funny dude, but smart money says the real comedic geniuses are working at Fox News (buried deep inside the subconsciouses of the Fox anchors).

Stewart

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-24-2013/weak-constitution

For reference, the first 10 amendments are:
  1. Protects freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government.
  2. Protects a militia’s and an individual’s right to bear arms.
  3. Prohibits the forced quartering of soldiers during peacetime.
  4. Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause.
  5. Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.
  6. Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel.
  7. Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law.
  8. Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
  9. Protects rights not enumerated in the Constitution.
  10. Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution.
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The Week Ahead in DC

The Week Ahead for the Senate

The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act (HR 152)
The House has already passed this bill, and the Senate seems ready to pass it this week. It lets the government spend $50.7 billion on various programs to help New York, New Jersey and Connecticut recover from Sandy. The Senate will vote on an Republican amendment to offset the cost of the bill with spending cuts.

The No Budget, No Pay Act (HR 325) … yes … that would be Sen. Heller’s “unconstitutional” bill which attempts to alter Congressional pay in direct violation of the 27th amendment to the United States Constitution …

AMENDMENT XXVII

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

To get folks to overlook the unconstitutionality of the bill, they attached this little thing to it about the debt ceiling.  HR325 will suspend the debt ceiling until the middle of May.  But, it also requires the House and Senate to pass a budget by mid-April, under threat of withholding the pay of Members of Congress (that threat part, that’s the unconstitutional part). According to Hill Sources, Senate Democrats seem to favor this bill as a short-term way to avoid a debt ceiling fight. Democrats say they will pass the House bill and the Obama administration has indicated it would sign the bill. The Senate has not set a date for a vote on this bill as of the weekend, but debate and a vote could happen by the end of the week.  So, if and when this bill passes, both houses of Congress and President Obama are all complicit in passing into law, an unconstitutional bill.  Thus, I never again want to hear another Republican mouthing off about the U.S. Constitution and how each and every bill must cite the “constitutional authority” for being able to consider such a bill.


Find bills related to the debt ceiling and federal budget in PopVox’s Issue Spotlight

The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization (S 47)
In the last Congress, both the House and Senate approved different versions of this bill, which were never reconciled into something that could pass both Houses and be signed into law by the President. According to our Hill Sources, Democrats have indicated they want to get to this bill in the near future, to ensure VAWA is reauthorized.

The Top Bills from Last Week: Jan. 18 – 24
Firearms and gun control continue to be on the top of POPVOX users’ minds. Not surprisingly, Congress keeps introducing new bills related to guns. (See the full list on PopVox.)  Here’s a quick look at the bills that POPVOX users prioritized last week.

The SAFER Streets Act (HR 226): To allow a credit against tax for surrendering to authorities certain assault weapons.
The Buyback Our Safety Act (HR 227):
To establish a gun buyback grant program. 
The Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act (HR 238):
To restrict the ability of a person whose Federal license to import, manufacture, or deal in firearms has been revoked, whose application to renew such a license has been denied, or who has received a license revocation or renewal denial notice, to transfer business inventory firearms.
The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act (HR 138):
To prohibit the transfer or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. –
The Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act (HR 142): To require face to face purchases of ammunition, to require licensing of ammunition dealers, and to require reporting regarding bulk purchases of ammunition. 

—Mayors Against Illegal Guns—Demand A Plan

Demand a Plan

— Stephen Barton, Mayors Against Illegal Guns

I was honored to be in the room when President Obama announced his plan to fix our broken gun laws. As I sat with other survivors and the families of victims of gun violence, I heard the president strongly endorse the common-sense reforms we’ve long been advocating for.

It was an incredible moment — for me, for my fellow survivors, and for our country. And it wouldn’t have happened without you.

Please take a minute to watch this short clip of the president’s speech and thank him for his leadership.

Watch and Thank the President

I never imagined gun violence would play a role in my life. But last summer I was in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado when a gunman opened fire and shot 70 people, including my friend and me.

Then, just a few months later and ten minutes from where I grew up, another mass shooting claimed 26 lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
I joined Mayors Against Illegal Guns to do what I could to prevent tragedies like these from happening to other people.

I want to thank you for being part of this important work. If it weren’t for the coalition’s mayors and supporters like you, the president would never have been able to announce such an important plan to save lives.

But it’s going to take all of us working together to make that plan a reality.

Watch this short video of the president’s plan, and thank him for listening to our voices and responding with such strong leadership:

http://DemandAPlan.org/thankyou

Who Appointed Sheriff Kilgore “King” of Humboldt County?

KilgoreHumboldt County Sheriff Ed Kilgore sent a letter, on official letterhead of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, last Friday, to the Vice President of the United States deriding his audacity to propose fire arms regulations following “an emotional tragedy.”  From the tone and tenor of the letter, it appears he believes he’s been elected “President” of Humboldt County … or that he’s the equivalent of “Judge Roy Bean” and that he alone can decide which if any laws of our great nation he may or may not support or enforce.

Kilgore

“You are on notice …???” ” … my constituents and I” ?   Wait just one minute!  Mr. Kilgore needs to understand that he was elected to the office of Sheriff and not “King.”  He may have a personal opinion about any given subject, but that opinon needs to stop at the door of your office and once on the other side of the door, like it or not, YOU swore an oath to enforce the laws of our County, our State AND our Nation.  I am a resident of Humboldt County Nevada and while I may be served the Sheriff’s office, I certainly do NOT agree that YOU are King of Humboldt County nor that YOU have the sole discretion as to which laws he chooses to support or not support, enforce or not enforce.

Oath in State Constitution
Article 15, Miscellaneous Provisions, Section 2.  Oath of office.

Members of the Legislature, and all officers, executive, judicial and ministerial, shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe to the following oath:

I, ……………., do solemly [solemnly] swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the constitution and government of the United States, and the constitution and government of the State of Nevada, against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same, any ordinance, resolution or law of any state notwithstanding, and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office of ……………., on which I am about to enter; (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury.  (Nevada Constitutional Debates and Proceedings, pp. 104-107, 609, 610, 662, 744, 809, 847.) [Amended in 1914:   proposed and passed by the 1911 Legislature, agreed to and passed by the 1913 Legislature, and approved and ratified by the people at the 1914 General Election. See: Statutes of Nevada 1911, p. 458; Journal of the Assembly, 26th Session, p. 20 and Journal of the Senate, 26th Session, p. 37.]

I own guns and I’m a veteran.  And despite what you believe Mr. Kilgore, I believe that assault weapons should be banned along with 50- and 100-round clips, that guns should be licensed and that no one should be able to purchase or own a gun without first undergoing a thorough background check. And I’m not alone in that thinking:

  • “I do not believe i the general promiscuous toting of guns.  I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” — NRA President, Karl Frederic, 1934
  • “I do not believe in taking away the right of citizens for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense.  But, I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon, or needed for defense of a home.”  — Ronald Reagan  in a speech at his 78th birthday celebration in Los Angeles on February 6, 1989.
  • “Certain forms of ammunition have no legitimate sporting, recreational, or self-defense use and thus should be prohibited.”  — Ronald Reagan, August 28, 1986 in his signing statement on a bill that banned the production and importation of armor-piercing bullets.
  • “With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases.” — Ronald Reagan, speech at George Washington University in a on March 29, 1991.
  • “I support background checks at gun shows …. I would sign a bill that mandated trigger locks with the sale of guns …. The federal government ought to be involved is it’s the federal government that issues licenses to gun dealers and therefore has the access to the computer to determine whether or not a citizen is eligible or not eligible to purchase a weapon.”  — George W. Bush in an interview with Jim Lehrer on April 27, 2000

We’ve all heard the common phrase, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”  Well, they certainly do with the help of a gun.  They don’t just stand there and go “bang!” and watch the other person drop dead.  Well, cars kill people too, and we have to jump through a considerable number of hoops to be able to license and drive a car.  After all, the Second Amendment does speak to “a WELL-REGULATED militia.”

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. — U. S. Constitution, “Amendment II”

So, as part of that “well-regulated,” maybe we should have to jump through at least as many hoops to demonstrate our ability and responsibility to own and operate a gun as we do to be able to own and operate a car.  For example, let’s start with having to undergo universal background check and by having to take a written test on gun safety covering the proper means of carrying, loading and unloading that weapon, how to turn the safety on and off, BEFORE we’re allowed to get a gun owner’s permit. In addition, just like we have to physically “drive” the car before we get our license, potential gun owners should be required to  actually shoot and properly clean it before a licensed evaluator.  Then, after an appropriate waiting period, potential gun owners should take an actual test involving everything from loading and unloading, proper locked storage, even shooting proficiency. Plus, each gun should be registered in each state in which it is to be carried or used. And lastly, each gun owner should submit to an annual inspection for their weapon, and each gun purchase should come with mandatory liability insurance.

You would do well to remember that it’s covered by the 2nd amendment, not the 1st.  Thus, while you might argue that those items I’ve proposed as a means of “well-regulation” infringe upon your right to own and shoot your gun … nevertheless, your second amendment rights should NEVER infringe on anyone’s 1st amendment rights:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”