The Watering Hole, Monday, July 9th, 2012: What’s Iraq Got That We Ain’t Got?

This past weekend, while catching up on a few websites, I ran across this link to a 2005 article in the Washington Post. A commenter at TP, Christopher Buttner, posted it on Friday, with the following comment, on the “5 Consequences of the GOP’s Bill to Repeal Obamacare“:

“Please share this – Republicans started the Iraq War to oust a dictator and install Democracy. Republicans wrote and approved the Iraq Constitution which includes Universal Health Care. Over 4300 AMERICAN MILITARY PERSONNEL WERE KILLED so that Republicans could give ALL Iraqi Citizens Health Care; but Republicans don’t believe that 30 million American Citizens deserve Health Care?
Article 31: “Every citizen has the right to health care. The state takes care of public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and medical institutions”

When I was reading the WaPo article, I noticed that a friend of TheZoo (under her real name) had also linked to the article, so I knew that I had to look into it further.

According to Wikipedia, the Iraq Constitution was drafted by the Iraq Constitution Drafting Committee, whose members were appointed by the Transitional National Assembly, and was adopted on October 15th, 2005, “in a referendum of the people.”

Although the WaPo piece highlights several different Articles in the Iraq Constitution (including several which I list below*, as taken from the full version here,) I picked out a few others that I thought would be good ideas here in the United States:

Article 8: Iraq shall observe the principles of good neighborliness, adhere to the principle of noninterference
in the internal affairs of other states, seek to settle disputes by peaceful means, establish relations on the basis of mutual interests and reciprocity, and respect its international obligations.

Article 9: B The formation of military militias outside the framework of the armed forces is prohibited.

Second: Economic, Social and Cultural Liberties
*Article 22:
First: Work is a right for all Iraqis in a way that guarantees a dignified life for them.
Second: The law shall regulate the relationship between employees and employers on economic bases and while observing the rules of social justice.
Third: The State shall guarantee the right to form and join unions and professional associations, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 28: Second: Low income earners shall be exempted from taxes in a way that guarantees the preservation of the minimum income required for living. This shall be regulated by law.

Article 30:
First: The State shall guarantee to the individual and the family – especially children and women – social and health security, the basic requirements for living a free and decent life, and shall secure for them suitable income and appropriate housing.
Second: The State shall guarantee social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphanhood, or unemployment, shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty, and shall provide them housing and special programs of care and rehabilitation, and this shall be regulated by law.

*Article 31:
First: Every citizen has the right to health care. The State shall maintain public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and health institutions.

Article 32:
The State shall care for the handicapped and those with special needs, and shall ensure their rehabilitation in order to reintegrate them into society, and this shall be regulated by law.

Article 33:
First: Every individual has the right to live in safe environmental conditions.
Second: The State shall undertake the protection and preservation of the
environment and its biological diversity.

*Article 34:
First: Education is a fundamental factor for the progress of society and is a right guaranteed by the state. Primary education is mandatory and the state guarantees that it shall combat illiteracy.
Second: Free education in all its stages is a right for all Iraqis.
Third: The State shall encourage scientific research for peaceful purposes that serve humanity and shall support excellence, creativity, invention, and different aspects of ingenuity.
Fourth: Private and public education shall be guaranteed, and this shall be regulated by law.

Of course, the Preamble to the Iraq Constitution begins with “In the name of God, the Most merciful, the Most compassionate” (and doesn’t stray far from religion after that), and the first clause under “Fundamental Principles”, Article 2, states “Islam is the official religion of the State and is a foundation source of legislation”, but still…

…wouldn’t it be nice if the U.S. government guaranteed some of those rights to our citizens?

This is our daily open thread — what do YOU think?

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76 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, July 9th, 2012: What’s Iraq Got That We Ain’t Got?

  1. According to Republics and teabaggers, the only guaranteed right of Americans is to carry guns, lots of guns, lots of big, big guns. To them, the rest of the Constitution is nothing but words on paper.

  2. It’s all part of a global conspiracy to turn Iraq into a failed socialist state.

    That way, we can bomb it back to the stone age again.

  3. Sandra Steingraber puts fracking in perspective:

    “In 2009, the last year for which data are available, 6.5 million tons of U.S. sand were mined, washed, processed, loaded onto trucks and trains, carried to wellheads, and shot into the center of the earth. Six and a half million tons is the approximate weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza. According to commodities analysts, that figure probably doubled in 2010 and likely doubled again last year. … Generations from now, long after the fracked wells are exhausted of oil and gas, the zombie sand will go on, eternally holding open geological passageways. The question remains: what manner of subterranean stuff—methane, benzene, toluene, radon—will thereby find escape routes?”

    http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/6811

  4. The battle over the Bush Tax Cuts is heating up again. Obama apparently mulling over an extension of the middle class cuts, and letting the cuts on the rich expire. Of course presuming that Congress passes anything; which lets all the cuts die on the vine.

    • I don’t see how he can do this. Congress has to put in place legislation that will continue the MC tax cuts while allowing the rest to expire. I doubt if the Republicans are going to do this.

      • The Republicans won’t pass a bill with just the MC cuts in place. So Obama campaigns to the middle class that the Republicans wouldn’t keep their taxes lower.

        Republicans will pass (in the House only of course) a bill to extend all cuts. It will die in the House. They’ll run on “Obama is the biggest tax hiker in history.”

        Both sides get what they want for the campaign. In the mean time all the Bush cuts expire.

        Unless… Congressional Dems get all panicky like last time and go along with the Republicans.

    • I’d rather he just let all of the Bush tax cuts expire — do nothing, and let them die.

      Then the Dems can introduce a bill to give the middle class a tax cut, and the repiggies can vote against it.

  5. Krugman lays it out on Romney…

    Mitt’s Gray Areas – NYTimes.com

    Once upon a time a rich man named Romney ran for president. He could claim, with considerable justice, that his wealth was well-earned, that he had in fact done a lot to create good jobs for American workers. Nonetheless, the public understandably wanted to know both how he had grown so rich and what he had done with his wealth; he obliged by releasing extensive information about his financial history.

    But that was 44 years ago. And the contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt — a contrast both in their business careers and in their willingness to come clean about their financial affairs — dramatically illustrates how America has changed.

  6. The Silence on Global Warming.

    Excerpt. John Kerry says it all:

    Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, gave a major speech on the Senate floor on June 19 lamenting the failure of the U.S. political system to address the global-warming crisis but the speech got little play.

    Kerry said, “As a matter of conscience and common sense, we should be compelled to fight today’s insidious conspiracy of silence on climate change — a silence that empowers misinformation and mythology to grow where science and truth should prevail. It is a conspiracy that has not just stalled, but demonized any constructive effort to put America in a position to lead the world on this issue. …

    “In the United States, a calculated campaign of disinformation has steadily beaten back the consensus momentum for action on climate change and replaced it with timidity by proponents in the face of millions of dollars of phony, contrived ‘talking points,’ illogical and wholly unscientific propositions and a general scorn for the truth wrapped in false threats about job loss and taxes.

    “Yet today, the naysayers escape all accountability to the truth. The media hardly murmurs when a candidate for President of the United States in 2012 [a reference to Mitt Romney] can walk away from previously held positions to announce that the evidence is not yet there about the impact of greenhouse gases on climate.

    “The truth is, scientists have known since the 1800s that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere. With the right amount of these gases, the Earth is a hospitable place for us to live. But if you add too much, which is what we’re doing right now, at a record pace, temperatures inevitably rise to record-setting levels. It’s not rocket science.

    “Every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real. … Facts that beg for an unprecedented public response are met with unsubstantiated, even totally contradicted denial. And those who deny have never, ever met their de minimus responsibility to provide some scientific answer to what, if not human behavior, is causing the increase in greenhouse gas particulates and how, if not by curbing greenhouse gases, we will address this crisis.

    “The level of dissembling — of outright falsifying of information, of greedy appeal to fear tactics that has stalled meaningful action now for 20 years — is hard to wrap one’s mind around. It is so far removed from legitimate analysis that it confounds for its devilishly simple appeal to the lowest common denominator of disinformation.

    “In the face of a massive and growing body of scientific evidence that says catastrophic climate change is knocking at our door, the naysayers just happily tell us climate change doesn’t exist. In the face of melting glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctica, they say we need to ‘warm up to the truth.’ And in the face of animals disappearing at alarming rates, they would have us adopt an ‘ostrich’ policy and simply bury our heads in the sand. …

    “Al Gore spoke of the ‘assault on reason.’ Well, Exhibit A is staring us in the face: Coalitions of politicians and special interests that peddle science fiction over science fact. A paid-for, multi-million dollar effort that twists and turns the evidence until it’s gnarled beyond recognition.

    “And tidal waves of cash that back a status quo of recklessness and inaction over responsibility and change. In short, it’s a story of disgraceful denial, back-pedaling and delay that has brought us perilously close to a climate change catastrophe. …

    “What’s worse, we’ve stood by and let it all happen — we’ve treated falsehood with complacence and allowed a conspiracy of silence on climate change to infiltrate our politics. …

    “The conspiracy of silence that now characterizes Washington’s handling of the climate issue is dangerous. Climate change is one of two or three of the most serious threats our country now faces, if not the most serious, and the silence that has enveloped a once robust debate is staggering for its irresponsibility.

    “The costs of inaction get more and more expensive the longer we wait—and the longer we wait, the less likely we are to avoid the worst and leave future generations with a sustainable planet.”

    So what was the reaction to Kerry’s address? It got some notice on blogs, especially those dedicated to climate-change issues, but received almost no attention from the mainstream news media.

    Ten days after Kerry’s speech, the Washington area was struck by a “derecho,” a weather event virtually unknown to the people of the region. This straight line of fierce thunderstorms uprooted trees and knocked down power lines leaving much of the sweltering capital area in the dark and without air conditioning.

    The devastation – along with forest fires in Colorado and 100-degree heat over much of the country – got lots of attention from the news media. But there was almost no discussion of the why.

    [snipped]

  7. Because, it’s about the money.

    Maybe we should just do it this way. Give each candidate 30 days (prior to the election) to raise money. Whoever raises the most gets to be president. Surely that’s the kind of system we should have now.

    Obama Campaign Raises $71 Million In June But Lags Behind Romney Camp

    The campaign to reelect President Barack Obama announced on Monday that it had raised $35 million less than the Mitt Romney campaign in June and has cited that gap in an email to supporters as a vehicle to request more donations. The campaign said it had raised $71 million in June — its best monthly total to date — to Romney’s $106 million.

    • I’d rather they just cut out the middle man and simply give me the money they are going to spend trying to sway my vote (shush – don’t tell them I don’t have one, I just want the handout – its the American dream)

        • I’m with EV, Split my share. Wait…. how much are we talking about? :wink:

          • I think about $42 each (120,000 voters – $5B expected spend) – I could have an evening at Red Robin with my family for about that….

            • For that amount of cash, I could make nearly 100 cups of my not-yet-famous multi-bean salad! Pure heaven, and nutritious too!

              That many cups, too, quickly can (and usually do) turn into gas, no fracking necessary. I recommend, therefore, that we spend the entire five billion on my bean salad and save both the bedrock and the water supply in the process. Plus eliminate all the political … umm … hot air and BS?

  8. Revisiting the Constitution: We Need Term Limits for Federal Judges – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

    Term Limits for Federal Judges

    There are better paths to judicial independence. Germany and France use fixed terms of office for their high courts. Countries like Australia, Canada and Israel have mandatory retirement ages. A recent proposal by Professors Steven Calabresi and James Lindgren to replace the current system of Supreme Court appointments with nonrenewable 18-year terms, with one new justice every odd numbered year, is worth serious consideration.

    Eighteen years would mean that a justice’s tenure would be long enough to ensure independence from political patronage. As important, it would be short enough to ensure that we remain a country of laws and not of men.

  9. Everyone, including the very wealthy, would receive the same tax break on their first $250K in income if The so-called middle class tax break were retained. What could be fairer?

    • What really needs to happen is for the capital gains tax to be returned to parity with regular declared income. That would raise a lot of stink I know, but also tons of cash if it were implemented. Why should M(o)Ronmey only pay 14% on 25 million in income? He and everyone else making more than, say, 5 or 10 million per year — by ANY MEANS — should be paying no less than 50%, which would leave Mittens “only” 12.5 million with which to play, to buy car elevators and build new homes in La Jolla, shit like that.

      I know we’d all be heartsick for the poor fellow(s), but you know, for the good of the country, all that shit justifies

      • Exactly. Why invest in a company and make a product to pay 35 percent, when playing the Wall Street casino means only paying 15? That’s a perverse incentive.

  10. …Second: The State shall guarantee social and health security to Iraqis in cases of old age, sickness, employment disability, homelessness, orphanhood, or unemployment, shall work to protect them from ignorance, fear and poverty,…

    So they outlawed Faux Snooze in Iraq?

  11. People shouldn’t be sad. They should rejoice. This is a victory for gun rights. Hail the NRA!

    Police: Detroit officer’s gun kills woman in midst of embrace; incident under investigation | City of Detroit | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    If you’re at a party, she asked, “why do you need a weapon with a round in the chamber?”Police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said officers have the option of carrying a gun off-duty, but there is no requirement for them to be armed.A departmental i

      • Too bad he didn’t have it stuffed behind his belt buckle, business end pointed down. BANG! Accidental discharge, he becomes Dickless Tracy. She’d be safer on multiple fronts, and still alive; his voice might be an octave higher, but who cares about the little things? No worries.

    • She’d be alive today if only she’d packed to that party ….. er…

      • The “off duty” cop failed to maintain control of his firearm.
        It’s his fault.
        No debate.
        No administartive desk job.
        You are now a suspect in a murder.

    • I don’t blame the family for being suspicious. There were three different versions of what happened in that one news story alone. First the gun went off when she hugged the cop from behind; then the gun went off when they had a face-to-face embrace; then it went off when she tugged at his waistband from behind.

      • The part I find worrisome is why would a police officer carry a gun with a round in the chamber with the piece cocked while at a party? Or at any time while in a holster. Carrying a ready to fire sidearm is just plain stupid.

  12. I wonder if Thom Hartmann has noticed that every time he begins his show with a rightwing/libertarian whackjob, I turn off his program?

  13. Says it all:

    CNN:”Obama calls for Bush tax cut extensions for those making less than $250,000″

    Fox News: “President Obama calls for tax hike on Americans earning more than $250,000 a year”. Fair AND Balanced!!

    • I’m shocked that Faux didn’t bury the lead under the real story…Obama makes googly eyes at white women!

    • Actually, that is a great way to explain Obama’s tax plan. Fox viewers don’t make near $250,000.00 so Fox just told their viewers that they will NOT be getting a tax hike.

  14. Lots of pros and cons on the President but I really admire the man. He exhibits more class in 1 minute than the entire Republican party has totally. But my favorite thing about him is his cool. He can make the piggies squeal like spanked 3rd graders in just a sentence or two. They just hate he makes them all look bad without even trying.

    • Well that’s a relief. Now when I go outside and have difficulty catching my breath because of the high heat and high humidity, I’ll know that it really isn’t that hot and humid. I’ll send Obama an email asking him to lower the numbers. That should do it.

    • And it is no big deal thousands of high temp records have been broken in the past couple of weeks. After all, almost all of them are at least a year old.

  15. The Hairdo says Texas won’t use ‘Obamacare.’

    “One in four Texans are uninsured, the highest rate of any state. The Medicaid expansion would cover 49.4 percent of uninsured Texans by 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The program is broadened to cover Americans within 133 percent of the poverty line — currently the eligibility for a working Texan parent cuts off at 27 percent. The federal government will cover the full cost of the first three years and pay 90 percent thereafter.”

    We get the politicians we deserve.

    • And a large percentage of Texans without health care coverage will yell “Yee haw!!!” and vote for that asshat next time he runs.

      • “Hey look grammaw, I done lost another one o’ ma’ big teeth !”
        “Git used to it honey… did you go to school today?”
        “No, paw sez I din need tew cause they teach that evolyoution stuff.”

  16. I’m watching Rachel, and she quotes one of the Romney supporters, a former chief of Shearson Lehman Brothers, as having said, ‘I think he’s a plain talking guy’.

    Wayne, there’s a song parody in that quote, done to the Chiffons’ Sweet Talking Guy.

  17. Gawd I’ve missed so much…
    A banner of the latest earth altering events, courtesy of CBS News includes:

    Ga. banker missing – and so is $17 million
    …there’s lots of money missing from a lot of bankers who aren’t…
    Lance Armstrong suit over doping charges fails
    ….phuck off and die Lance…
    Socialite Denise Rich renounces U.S. citizenship
    … Who?…
    For Syrian rebels, Assad draws line in the sand
    … feels like the wind is picking up…
    Al Qaeda leader freed in Mauritania
    …at last report was seen heading for Lusitania…
    Woman’s deadly hug with cop a “freak accident”
    … hug a cop? Why? With all those strange nondescript black objects festooned upon them it’s best to give a wide berth……
    Watch: Great white sharks stalk kayakers
    … no comment, touchy subject…
    Watch: Parents brawl at Little League game
    … “My kid will kick your kid’s ass”…
    Truck drives over tent in N.D., 2 kids die
    … tires were too big, driver could not see through all the deer antler decals on windshield…
    Holmes, Cruise reach divorce settlement
    … Finally, some good news…

    More Headlines » | Most Popular »

  18. House, I was reading, with interest:

    AJ Allmendinger fails drug test

    Then I see

    …issued a written request to have his “B” sample tested in hopes that it will give a different result than the initial “A” sample that came back positive for a banned substance…

    None of the articles mention the “banned substance” by name.
    What sort of substances is the racing circuit strict about drivers taking?

    • Not to butt in, but my guess would be Viagra.
      Grabbing the wrong gear shift lever could be hazardous.

        • Not to butt in on the buttintor, at risk of being a buttinski, butt I suspect ol’ AJ was looking for some extra “speed” his car couldn’t muster

    • They never say officially. If his ‘B’ sample passes, he’s ok. If it fails, then he’s suspended. I would expect the duration depends on what he tested positive for.

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