The Watering Hole, Monday September 17, 2012 – Happy Constitution Day, Happy 225th USA v. 2.0

The Declaration of Independence was adopted in Congress on July 4, 1776, and for this reason it is generally considered that July 4 is our nation’s birthday. Actually, that was the birth of the United States of America Version 1.0. The first version of the United States was governed under something called The Articles of Confederation. The Articles were a States’ Rights person’s dream. Under the Articles, “Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.” The Articles required that the thirteen colonies (now called “States”) would “severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.” In Congress, each State would have one vote, regardless of the number of delegates it sent there. There was one small problem. The Articles of Confederation didn’t work.

So, in May of 1787, a Constitutional Convention was convened. The delegates to the convention, many of them the same as those who adopted the Articles, recognized that things had changed and that their country would have to undergo some changes in order to adapt. Through the summer, they came up with a Constitution that had some significant differences with the Articles of Confederation. One of the most significant of these differences is that under the constitution, there would be a strong central government rather than a weak one. I believe this is the part most States’ Rights advocates do not wish to accept.

On September 17, 1787, the Congress passed the Constitution put forth by the convention. It was ratified on June 21, 1788 and when into effect March 4, 1789. Today marks the 225th Anniversary of the birth of what is, for all intents and purposes, the United States of America version 2.0. It’s not the same country founded in 1776, and is not based on the same principles as the first one. And no matter how religious the country and states were under Version 1.0, we have a Secular government under version 2.0. People may not be aware of this, nor be able to appreciate the marvel of it, but for the first time in history, a nation was founded with no official religion. In all other countries, the official religion was whatever religion the ruler of that country practiced, and most citizens were expected to support and practice that religion, also. Along came this upstart of a republic called the United States of America, and it had the crazy, unheard of idea that people could practice whichever religion they preferred, no matter what religion the President practiced. Personally, I would have preferred that the Constitution also specify that no person’s religious beliefs would be the basis of any Law in the United States. And I would have liked the gun thing clarified a bit more.

This is our open thread. Discuss the Constitution or any other topic you wish.

Cross-posted at Pick Wayne’s Brain

131 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday September 17, 2012 – Happy Constitution Day, Happy 225th USA v. 2.0

  1. The Articles of Confederation were a disaster. States were making their own currency and some were in a major financial bind. Then there were the treaties with other nations that states were signing. It was chaos. Thankfully, Madison and Hamilton had the courage to do something to change this.

    If you visit Philadelphia, stop by the Constitution Center. Admission is FREE on September 17 🙂

  2. I have long thought that the 2nd amendment did not include two separate parts, but the right to bear arms was fundamentally about maintaining a well regulated militia.

    • Exactly! I would love to see an amendment to the 2nd Amendment that goes something like…

      “Those who bear arms shall present themselves and said arms for periodic inspection and training to establish that they are physically, mentally, and morally fit to serve as members of said militia.”

      • Funny, I’m not having trouble with that at TP. I tried both the left arrow at upper left screen, as well as Alt-left arrow, and it works both ways. I’m using Chrome.

    • That was Peter King of NY, not Steve King of Iowa. While Steve is perhaps one of the craziest mo-fos to be ever be sworn in as a US Representative, Peter King is no stranger to controversy and, at times, has shown his own patented brand of Islamophobia.

  3. Joe “I have no idea why a healthy young woman dropped dead in my office” Scarborough went totally wingnut again. I still say it’s a disgrace that MSNBC continues to employ him. They should issue an apology and disavow his Islamaphobia at the very least. It should run on every show for the rest of the month. Scarboy is spreading the precise brand of hate that has resulted in so much conflict with the Muslim world.

    • So his purpose was to get on the air and prove that any young person who supported Obama and now supports Romney is a brainless twit?

      • I have no idea what his intentions were but if that had happened at a real news network someone would never be allowed to book another guest if they didn’t get fired on the spot. Although, I suppose it’s possible that he took a bunch of speed to perk himself up so early in the morning. Sigh…

        We are talking about the same outfit that gives Victoria Jackson a platform so it’s probably safest to assume the worst.

  4. I’ve long pondered the intricacies of the origin and ‘life’ of nations — spent a lifetime looking for those lamps, if you will, those little bursts of illume that tend to exposee and ultimately reveal the details behind every nation’s means of passage through each of its strengths, its weaknesses, its mythologies, and of course those ubiquitous moments of darkness which typically bring about its ultimate (and predictable) demise. I always wind up returning to a poet’s “classroom” for the most able summation available. Here is, e.g., Emily Dickinson ‘instructing’ the matter in her (typical) complexly/simple fashion:

    Finding is the first Act
    The second, loss,
    Third, Expedition for
    The “Golden Fleece”

    Fourth, no Discovery –
    Fifth, no Crew –
    Finally, no Golden Fleece –
    Jason – sham – too.

    Sham: “Something false or empty that is purported to be genuine; The quality of deceitfulness; empty pretense.”

    I’ve long been taught, also hopeful, that yes, the US Constitution was primarily a purposeful effort to overwhelm the “sham” corner of human existence, of human societal structure and practice. And true enough, there was some success … not total by any means, but at least some. But until the means are uncovered of forever burying human’s inborn/inbred and invariably ignoble greed — his quest for power, for dominion over all else — the species’ defining word will remain: Futility.

    I do agree unequivocally with your premise “… that no person’s religious beliefs would be the basis of any Law in the United States. And I would have liked the gun thing clarified a bit more.” God and guns are, after all, invariably steps one and two on the quest for power march — at least by those who are born feeble-minded (today, read: Republicans). It would be nice to also mandate the eternal banishment of irrational fear and hatred/bigotry, but I suppose that would be asking for too much. We are ‘human’, after all.

    • It’s not uncommon when entering a Google search of someone’s name, that one of the suggestions imply they are dead or dying.

    • Hmmmmm. I think I’ll go with the theory that Mittens will say anything to anyone in the hopes of getting a vote and that makes him sound as stupid as Bible Spice when he can’t remember the last lie he told on a given subject.

      Was he lying then or is he lying now? There is no third option.

    • Has anyone told Mr. Vick that Mittens has a mancrush on him?
      Apparently they’re trying to make Willard the best flipflopper ever!

    • I think the foreign press deserves a fond “thank you” from all thinking Americans. Our “librul media” has been much more critical of Mittens in light of the treatment, well deserved treatment, he received when he went bumbling around the world.

      • Gotta wonder if he’ll be invited to join the Monty Python reunion?
        He’s a shoo in for the silly walking and stiff as a board standing skits.

        • I was thinking more along the lines of “Upper Class Twit of the Year”. He hasn’t quite managed to put a bullet through his brain but he seems to shoot himself in the foot on an hourly basis and has run himself over more than once.

      • Here are some numbers from European allies:

        Forty-seven percent of UK respondents said a Romney victory would make them feel less favourable towards the US, and only 3% would make them feel more favourable. That sentiment was mirrored in Germany and France, where only 4% and 5% respectively said that he would make them feel more favourable towards the US. In Germany, 48% said it would make them feel less favourable and in France 38%.

  5. Here you go, TerrytTurtle. I will also add that King’s whining about a “logical reading” falls flat because most of the people Obama was addressing don’t speak English so their impressions would depend on translators. Unless he can produce a translation that asserts President Obama apologized he’s just pissing into the wind. Of course, my own opinion is that we owe much more than apologies to the Arab world and Muslims in general. Even the Shrub who invaded the wrong effing country called our policy towards Muslims a “crusade”. Crusades are very similar to certain little corporal’s “final solution”.

    BTW. I’m using Firefox and the “back button” works just fine at TP.

    • A few-hundred-thousand dead innocent Iraqis can’t help either. Children yet unborn will be paying for Bushco’s follies with their blood. The drone strikes just add more enemies to the very long list.

  6. These are the kind of people propping up Batscat Bachmann. I couldn’t make it through more than a few seconds of the videos because I feel bad when i find myself wanting to smack the crap out of women even if they are dangerously stupid and partisan. I do, however, find it amusing that they seem to say that Bradlee Dean won his suit against Rachel Maddow when, in fact, it was dismissed and he is on the hook for accrued legal fees.

  7. Shoving history down the memory hole; one terrorist attack at a time.

    Here in the sane universe:

    The Green Zone was frequently shelled by insurgents with mortars and rockets, though these attacks caused few casualties. In October 2004 it was hit by two suicide bombings, which destroyed the bazaar and the Green Zone Cafe. On April 12, 2007, a bomb went off in the Iraqi Parliament cafeteria, killing Mohammed Awad (a member of the Sunni National Dialogue Front) and injuring 22, including one of the vice presidents. The Green Zone was shelled with rocket and mortar fire almost daily from Easter 2008 until May 5, 2008, causing numerous civilian and military casualties; As stated in a USA Today Article ” A high percentage of the rocket and mortar fire originated in Sadr City. On April 6, 2008, two U.S. soldiers were killed and 17 more wounded when a rocket or mortar attack struck inside the Green Zone

  8. Much has been made by Obama’s “appeasement and apologies” by the wingnuts. Of course he’s done no such thing, merely at times acknowledging US mistakes (like torturing prisoners against clear prohibitions in domestic and international law) alongside its strengths (like being one of the the most stable and benign democracies in history). Democracies can admit when they have screwed up; dictatorships cannot.

    Wingnuts would like to scrub Dubya from the history books which may be why they conveniently have forgotten Bush’s apologies:

    After some US troops were found using the Koran for target practice, Bush apologized to the prime minister of Iraq:

    “He apologized for that in the sense that he said that we take it very seriously,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “We are concerned about the reaction. We wanted them to know that the president knew that this was wrong.”

    Bush apologized for Japanese-American internment in WWII. That seems like really going out of your way to make an apology:

    Here’s Bush on Africa on the legacy of slavery:

    “Human beings delivered, sorted, weighed, branded with marks of commercial enterprises and loaded as cargo on a voyage without return,” Mr. Bush said. “One of the largest migrations in history was also one of the greatest crimes of history.” The president recited a litany of Africans and African Americans who made contributions to American society, from the arts to politics: abolitionist Frederick Douglass, slave-poet Phillis Wheatley and Martin Luther King Jr.

    “The stolen sons and daughters of Africa helped to awaken the conscience of America,” he said. Mr. Bush did not apologize for slavery but noted Americans throughout history “clearly saw this sin and called it by name.”

    You’d think at least Bush neocon Dan Senor could remind Willard of how Bush was an apologist.

  9. I walk a lot. Brisk pace, usually. And almost always, out there in the silence, the back of my mind starts playing a tune or two, something that goes with the ‘beat’ of my walking pace. Like a march, usually. Last weekend we watched the ’57 movie classic The Bridge on the River Kwai, so this morning, naturally, the beat and melody of the Colonel Bogey March started ‘dancing’ in my head about halfway through my 8 mile stroll. After the melody and the beat came the words, the ones made ‘popular’ by British soldiers during WWII which go approximately like this:

    Hitler, has only got one ball
    Goering has two, but they are small;
    Himmler, has something similar,
    But Dr. Goebbels has no balls at all.

    I changed it a little – made it past tense – then added a verse:

    Hitler, he only had one ball
    Goering had two, but they were small
    Himmler, had something similar,
    But Dr. Goebbels had no balls at all.


    ROMNEY, who only has one ball,
    And RYAN with two, but both quite small,
    For SARAH PALIN who has no balls at all!

    Bingo. The 2012 GOP perfectly described and defined!

  10. Dodging the ‘Klown Kansas’ moniker, momentarily:

    A board of three elected Republican officials decided to allow President Barack Obama to remain on the Kansas ballot during a brief meeting on Monday, despite the protest of California lawyer/dentist Orly Taitz, arguably the nation’s most infamous “birther.”

  11. QOTD:

    “Romney is in a very bad place. He’s got the Republican intelligentsia second-guessing him, publicly and privately. The party base has never trusted him and thinks that everything bad it ever thought about him is being borne out now. And he’s got the media believing that he can’t win. He’s right on the edge of a self-­fulfilling downward spiral,” – a “senior Republican strategist” to John Heilemann.

    • Spot on. America is seeing what happens when Rmoney turns sideways and disappears. Cardboard cutout dancing for the Koch brothers.

    • David Corn published an article today in Mother Jones, so it’s come around again. Never hurts to remind people what a scummy person Romney is.

      • Romney, despite blathering he wasn’t born into privilege, from the video:

        “Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, “Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.” Contending that he is a self-made millionaire who earned his own fortune, Romney insisted, “I have inherited nothing.” He remarked, “There is a perception, ‘Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.’ Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America.”

        And here is his formula for economic growth: just electing him will be enough:

        ” My own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see — without actually doing anything — we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.”

    • Clearly the people are attempting to assit the Ambassador. Under very difficult circumstances with flashlights as the only means of illumination…


      The commenters see it in an entirely different vein. The filthy, vile thoughts on that are disgusting.

  12. LOS ANGELES — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has received his first regular intelligence briefing from the Obama administration during a stop in Los Angeles.

    Romney spokesman Rick Gorka says the former Massachusetts governor met Monday with members of the intelligence community at a federal building. Romney’s briefing lasted 2 hours.

    – – I bet Romney still makes incoherent, provocative and reckless statements on foreign policy — because he’s an idiot.

      • I’m curious to hear what Romney says now about Obama’s foreign policy, now that he has a better, more accurate assessment of the day-to-day threats we face each day. Is he going to be so quick to criticize? There’s shit going on out there that you and I never hear about, and you have to pick out which small percentage of it is credible and which probably isn’t (though can you really be 100% sure?)

        • He’ll take the easy route, and fall back on the “apology tour” bullshit, and yes, he’ll be very quick to criticize. Why would he gain any integrity now that he’s getting security briefings?

          • If he continues to lie, I’ll think you’ll hear “anonymous” leaks from the WH to the effect that, because National Security secrets are involved they can’t go into specifics, but Romney is lying and he knows it.

    • Or healthcare or shelter.

      Maybe it’s the socialist in me, but it’s my belief that if one is born into this world, one has basic human rights that include all of the above.

    • His family hates the government because of their Mormon beliefs. The Romneys went to Mexico so grandpa could boink his five wives without reproach or death by shame. Both at the state and federal level the Mormon cult has been reviled, and slaughtered since its birth of ignorance visited these United States. Of course they hate government and we need to remain aware of that fact.

  13. I don’t need to take anything back. I need to stand in protection of what we have, and by proxy and tacit agreement continue in my way to act in progressive political and personal matters towards what I know to be right.

    • Agreed. We don’t need to take anything back, we need to stand in solidarity to keep the hard won civil rights and responsibilities we have.

  14. Matt Yglesias flags the below chart from the Tax Policy Center:

    “As we can see, it is true that 47 percent of the population pays no net federal income tax. Many of those people do pay federal payroll taxes on their income, however. Of those who pay neither income nor payroll taxes, most are elderly. That’s because elderly people generally don’t have jobs. Make of this what you will, but in terms of partisan politics it seems very likely that a large share of these elderly freeloaders are actually Romney voters. ”

    Ezra Klein points out that the GOP is largely responsible for so few households paying income taxes:

    “Part of the reason so many Americans don’t pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts that wiped out the income-tax liability for many Americans. That’s why, when you look at graphs of the percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, you see huge jumps after Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform and George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. So whenever you hear that half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes, remember: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush helped build that.”

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