Friday, January 25, 2013

Last Call

And the nullification nonsense continues as Republicans keep trying to pick a fight with 235 years of US history.

A pair of Republican lawmakers in Mississippi have proposed a bill to keep the federal government in its place, and laying out a plan to create a Joint Legislative Committee on the Neutralization of Federal Law, which would — well maybe you can already start to guess what the committee would do.

The bill, known as the Mississippi Balance of Powers Act, was authored by state Rep. Gary Chism (R), chairman of the House Insurance Committee, and Rep. Jeff Smith (R), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Earlier this week, the bill was referred to the House Constitution Committee. 

This is pretty much a direct, open challenge to the Supremacy Clause in the Constitution, something wingers have been trying to get rid of for generations.

The neutralization committee called for in the bill would enforce “a constitutional balance of powers,” and would be made up of the lieutenant governor, six members of the state Senate appointed by the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the state House of Representatives or his designee and six members of the House of Representatives appointed by the speaker. The committee will be allowed to review “any and all existing federal statutes, mandates and executive orders for the purpose of determining their constitutionality.” Any measure that is found to be “beyond the scope and power assigned to the federal government under Article 1 of the United States Constitution or in direct violation of the Mississippi Constitution of 1890” may be recommended for neutralization by the simple majority vote of each house of the Mississippi State Legislature.

“If the Mississippi State Legislature votes by simple majority to neutralize any federal statute, mandate or executive order on the grounds of its lack of proper constitutionality, then the state and its citizens shall not recognize or be obligated to live under the statute, mandate or executive order,” the bill reads.

"Nope, we don't want to follow the rules of your federal government, and we've decided that we're just not going to enforce the bits we don't like.  Do something about it.  We dare you."

Like I keep saying, South Carolina tried this about 175 years ago.  Didn't work out so great for them or the country, either.

Please proceed, Mississippi.

Benjamin Netanya-Skew

Josh Marshall discovers that Bibi's pollsters had been taking a page from the Romney Reality Bubble playbook.

Much like with Mitt Romney, it seems that Benjamin Netanyahu had no idea of the electoral drubbing headed his way, despite the fact that independent pollsters very much did see it coming. Yes, you guessed it: Netanyahu’s pollsters were apparently skewing his poll data.

Haaretz has the details on some familiar-sounding confused pollsters...

On Sunday Netanyahu was still convinced his party would obtain 36-37 Knesset seats. While most of the experienced pollsters like Camil Fuchs, Dr. Mina Tzemach and Rafi Smith discerned Likud-Beiteinu’s slide toward 30 seats, Netanyahu and his partner Avigdor Lieberman were intoxicated by groundless figures with at best a flimsy connection to reality.

Team Bibi got 31 of 60 Knesset seats, just barely a majority...if they can keep it together.  What goes around, comes around, man.  Can't say I'm surprised, after all, Bibi thought it would be a good idea to back Mitt Romney...

Manchin On The Hill

To my surprise, WV Dem Sen. Joe Manchin is doing a lot more than just playing ball on universal background checks for firearms sales:  he's co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are collaborating on legislation to expand requirements on background checks to purchase firearms.

"We are working together to find an amenable background-check proposal," a Kirk staffer told The Hill on Thursday afternoon.

Proposals to increase background checks are widely popular with the public, according to polls, and are the least controversial of a number of gun-control measures proposed by President Obama. But gun-control legislation has gotten off to a rocky start because of resistance from Republicans and some red-state Democrats.

Kirk and Manchin, close friends who represent states that normally elect members from their opposite parties, could be crucial to any gun-control debate. Kirk has long backed an assault-weapons ban and is one of the most pro-gun control Republican senators. Manchin, a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, has also emerged as a key player in the current gun-control debate. He's called for a wide-ranging discussion on how to cut down on gun violence, including new firearm restrictions, and on Thursday morning came out in favor of increased background checks.

Could we actually be seeing reasonable, actual, bipartisan legislation as intended?  Don't get your hopes up.  Republicans will still look to block the measure in the Senate, and I doubt any gun control measures will again, even get a vote in the House.  It's a definite way for Kirk and Manchin to get bipartisan cred without anything actually having to happen.

We'll see where this bill goes.


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