I Don’t Think the 8th Amendment Means What You Think It Means

Posts on Supreme Court cases will likely be few and far between here as 1) I’m not a lawyer; and 2) I can only bullshit so much. But the ruling this morning had me pretty frazzled.

In the case of Kennedy vs. Louisiana, the Supreme Court ruled that the rape of a child should never require the death penalty. Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion limits the death penalty to crimes involving acts that intend to cause death and in fact do so. He uses the 8th amendment as a means to support his argument, stating that in this case, the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.

But constitutionally speaking, did Kennedy and the majority get it right?

Simple answer. No.

The fact of the matter is that the 8th amendment speaks only to the punishment, not the crime. As in, is the punishment itself cruel and unusual? Now if the question was to whether Louisiana had started using stoning, quartering or death by laxative overdose as a means of punishment, Kennedy may have a point. But it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, we’re once again stuck with a Supreme Court who feels the need to encourage messing with the intent of the Founders. Justice Kennedy, let the United States be what it was intended to be, a nation based on federalism. Let the states decide how to respond to the crimes committed within their borders.

And please, stop working outside your job description.

Eeeny meeny miney mo!

As talk of potential Vice Presidents continues to increase, we are going to find more and more public vetting taking place. This may include names being leaked by the campaign to gauge public reaction, independent or conservative journalists/ organizations reviewing the record of the potential nominees or simple news stories that make ya go hmmm.

Two of the big names currently being talked about are Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and former DHS Secretary and PA Gov., Tom Ridge. Pawlenty has been the favorite of late, and that means plenty of record dissection.

Methinks the Club for Growth and online blog communities like HotAir.com aren’t going to be too happy with Pawlenty after this analysis of his record by Cato:

Pawlenty, who reportedly coined the term “Sam’s Club conservative” to describe his political philosophy, has been an economic populist and big-spender generally. Among other things, he:

1) Supported government subsidized health care for all children as the first step toward universal health insurance, and opposed President Bush’s veto of a Democratic bill that would have expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance program (SCHIP) to families earning as much as $83,000 per year;

2) Supports Massachusetts-style health care reform, including a “health care exchange” and an individual mandate;

3) Has called for banning all prescription drug advertizing, and seeks government imposed price controls for drugs offered through Medicare;

4) Proposed a $4000 per child preschool program for low-income children;

5) Pushed a statewide smoking ban smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars;

6) Increased the state’s minimum wage;

7) Imposed some of the most aggressive and expensive renewable energy mandates in the country;

8) Was an ardent supporter of the farm bill;

9) Received only a “C” ranking on Cato’s 2006 Governor’s Report Card, finishing below such Democrats as Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and tied with Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

If there is one thing Mike Huckabee learned in the primary season, it’s that it is VERY hard to get rid of the ‘big government Republican’ label. If Club for Growth jumps on this anti-Pawlenty bandwagon it will be very hard for McCain to pick the mulleted one.

Then we came across this little gem from Roll Call today.

Ridge Files Very Late for Albania
By Anna Palmer
Roll Call Staff
June 24, 2008
For almost two years former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge failed to register a nearly half-million-dollar lobbying contract that he had with the government of Albania.

(hat tip to Marc Ambinder)

Wellllllll that won’t help Mr. Ridge very much either.

So, who is left? Charlie Crist? Mitt “I spent $90 million and all I got was a lousy 11 states” Romney? Bobby Jindal? Or my personal favorite, Sarah Palin?

"Um. Ok. I’ll sit down and shut up now."

Jake Tapper’s political blog ran an amusing story detailing the happenings of a McCain campaign energy forum today. Clearly, advance didn’t properly vet the panelists and this guy snuck through.

The report:

During a roundtable discussion on energy security at Santa Barbara’s Natural History Museum, one of the panelists invited by the McCain campaign to sit onstage beside the candidate — disagreed with the Arizona senator’s energy plans and lambasted his nuclear energy proposal.

“I’m a little bit bemused that I ended up on this panel,” said Michael Feeney, chair of the Santa Barbara Land Trust, a non-profit conservation group.

He excoriated a proposal McCain outlined last Wednesday to build 45 new nuclear plants in the United States by 2030 and another 55 in later years.

“I don’t understand how it’s not compromising our environmental standards to propose a crash program to build more nuclear power plants when the industry has not complied with the federal law that requires there to be safe disposal for the radioactive waste,” Feeney said.

McCain responded by citing the example of nuclear technology in Europe and Navy ships powered by nuclear energy.

“My friend, the technology is there. The Europeans do it. I mean it’s safe. It’s being done. So, to think that that is going to require some pain on the American people economically when the Europeans– 80 percent of the French electricity is generated by nuclear power. They are doing fine,” McCain said to applause from the audience.

“It’s not a technological breakthrough that needs to be taken,” McCain said, “It’s a not-in-my-backyard problem, we have got to have the guts and courage, to go ahead and do what other countries are doing and they are reducing the pollution to our environment rather dramatically without any huge pain to anybody,” McCain said.

“And I’d like to have you respond but the United States Navy has sailed ships around the world for 60 years with nuclear power plants on them, we have never had an accident, we have never had a problem. And I think the world is safer, the world is safer due to the presence of the United States navy with nuclear power ships on them,” McCain said.

After this beatdown the panelist proceeded to sit down, cry and shit himself.

Do you like choices in private health care? Oh well.

No matter that the #1 constituent issue in some districts is keeping Medicare advantage plans available…

The House Majority tied cuts in the Republican medicare reform baby to the “Doc Fix” bill that postpones cuts in medicare payments to doctors. The bill passed as many republicans couldnt convince voters of the Democrat trickery.

So by placating Physician organizations, we take benefits away from many of their patients, so their patients cannot afford to go to said doctors…

Someone help me here, even I cannot spin this.

We started with your savings, now we’ll take over oil. Thank you.

This past week many House Democrats have called to nationalize American energy production. If Congress thinks it is a wise move to socialize our energy supply, look no further than Hugo Chavez. This proposal is clearly wrong and goes against every principle of freedom and democracy that has defined our nation.

“Greenies” want us to use less energy. They get excited when gas goes up in price because less people drive. However, this won’t solve anything. The good news is that we’re working on it, without nationalizing, overtaxing or being completely stupid.

Also on Capitol Hill today I saw protesters for the mortgage bailout bill. A sign read “Housing is a human right” or something similar. Really?

It’s a right for me when I work and save money (not buying expensive shoes or Skinimax) and pay my rent. I then have a right to live in my house. But is it a right for those who knowingly take bad mortgages in an inflated market to complain when they can’t afford their payments less than a year later?

I’m sorry, ma’am, you can’t afford that house, but the government will pay it off for you!


Live where you can afford to live and work harder or smarter to be able to afford your dream home, don’t rely on the government dole. When this passes I’m going to a formerly forclosed home and letting my dog run around in their backyard. When they ask me what I’m doing, I’ll let them know since my taxes paid for their house, I’ll be using the backyard every once in awhile. Thanks.

Side sarcastic note: Is it a right for those in Africa who build their own houses in villages out of sticks and mud? Or the miles and miles of refugee camps? I don’t think they have any say in the matter. We should ship the protestors to Africa…

Dogs and Cats living together. Mass hysteria!

Or something like that.

The standard bearer of the mainstream media, the Associated Press, published an article today detailing the deterioration of the world as we know it into a mish mash ball of goo.

“Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country’s sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.”

First off, how is this even news? Second, how does an organization let something like this get published? The answer?

Sympathetic left-wing writers are setting the context for the candidate who provides us the HOPE and CHANGE, we so despertately need.

Or so they’d like to tell us.

Wait a second? They give us some context? Do tell!

“American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.

“All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored,” he said. “Of course, that doesn’t mean it will happen again.”

Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.”

Oh, ok. Well that makes more sense. I feel a lot better now that we’re getting the whole story behi…….wait a second. Um. What was that last part?

“Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.”

Ya know, AP, you can at least try to be subtle.

Meanwhile, I think there likely are some members of The Greatest Generation that want to kick the living crap out of these writers.

Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up…

Here comes Hillary’s audition:

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro
Once fierce rivals for their party’s nomination, Obama and Clinton will make their most public display of unity to date next Friday.

The two Democrats will campaign together then, the Obama campaign announced. No word yet as to where they will do it or how.

The e-mail release simply stated, “Further details to be announced soon.”

Rumors of the demise of ‘VP Hillary’ have been greatly exaggerated.

After she dropped out, there was much talk of Hillary ‘forcing’ herself onto the ticket. Clearly, as long as that story was running, Obama couldn’t choose her as his running mate.

But now? The arm twisting story is gone and instead here comes the ‘unity’ audition.

I can picture it now….

(scene: Obama Campaign rally. Thousands screaming Hillary’s name)

Hillary: And now I’d like to introduce the next President of the United States!!!

:Hillary’s head explodes:

Drill. Now.

A message from Newt.

Just this week, President George Bush, Senator John McCain, and Florida Governor Charlie Crist all called for lifting the federal ban on offshore drilling. And U.S. Representative Lynn Westmoreland has started a pledge in the U.S. House in support of American oil production that has been signed by 126 members of Congress.

Now, we need your help to reach our next goal: 3 million signatures by the Democratic and Republican national conventions this fall. I hope you will add your name to this list by signing the petition at www.AmericanSolutions.com/DrillNow

I signed. So should you.

Boom Goes the Dynamite

I always thought something like this would have been fun back when I worked in the Cannon House Office Building.

Ya know, Cannon vs. Longworth vs. Rayburn.

Longworth would get its butt kicked.