frankilin roosevelt

It's not about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.

Check out my old  Voice of the People page.

Gino Napoli
San Francisco, California
High School Math Teacher

Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.

a middle-aged
George Washington

1197 POSTS

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Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 14h 38m 29s

Ruled by 180 year old court decisions

''We are now arrived at the inquiry--'' continued the Chief Justice, ''What is this power? It is the power to regulate; that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in congress, is complete in itself, may be exercised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations, other than are prescribed in the constitution . . . If, as has always been understood, the sovereignty of congress, though lim ited to specified objects, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, is vested in congress as absolutely as it would be in a single government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States.''

-- Chief Justice John Marshall, Gibbons vs. Ogden (1824)

Saturday, 17 September 2005 at 14h 31m 50s

The commerce clause

From Wikipedia

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, empowers the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

Courts and commentators have tended to discuss each of these three areas as a separate power granted to Congress. It is therefore common to see references to the Foreign Commerce Clause, the Interstate Commerce Clause, and the Indian Commerce Clause, each of which refers to the power granted to Congress in this section.

The use of the Commerce Clause by Congress to justify its legislative power over citizens has been the subject of long, intense political controversy. Interpretation of the sixteen words of the Commerce Clause has helped define the balance of power between the federal government and individual states. As such, it has a direct impact on the lives of US citizens.

According to the Tenth Amendment, the federal government of the United States only has the power to regulate matters specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Other powers are reserved to the States, or to the people. The Commerce Clause is one of those few powers specifically delegated to the federal government and thus its interpretation is very important in determining the scope of federal legislative power.


Early years 1824-1935

In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), Justice John Marshall ruled that the power to regulate interstate commerce also included the power to regulate interstate navigation: "Commerce, undoubtedly is traffic, but it is something more—it is intercourse ... [A] power to regulate navigation is as expressly granted, as if that term had been added to the word 'commerce' ... [T]he power of Congress does not stop at the jurisdictional lines of the several states. It would be a very useless power if it could not pass those lines."

In Swift v. United States (1905), the Court ruled that the clause covered meatpackers; although their activity was geographically "local," they had an important effect on the "current of commerce" and thus could be regulated under the commerce curve. The Court's decision halted price fixing. Stafford v. Wallace (1922) upheld a federal law regulating the Chicago meatpacking industry, because the industry was part of the interstate commerce of beef from ranchers to dinner tables. The stockyards "are but a throat through which the current [of commerce] flows," Justice Taft wrote, referring to the stockyards as "great national public utilities."

New Deal

The clause was the subject of conflict between the U.S. Supreme Court and the Administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935-37 when the Court struck down several of the President's "New Deal" measures on the grounds that they encroached upon intrastate matters. After winning the 1936 election by a landslide, FDR proposed a plan to appoint an additional justice for each unretired Justice over 70. Given the age of the current justices this permitted a court population of up to 15. Roosevelt claimed that this was not to change the rulings of the Court, but to lessen the load on the older Justices, who he claimed were slowing the Court down.

There was widespread opposition to this "court packing" plan, but in the end the New Deal did not need it to succeed. In what became known as "the switch in time that saved nine," Justice Owen Josephus Roberts and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes switched sides in 1937 and upheld the National Labor Relations Act, which gave the National Labor Relations Board extensive power over unions across the country.

In 1941 the Court upheld the Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated the production of goods shipped across state lines. In Wickard v. Filburn, (1942) the Court upheld the Agricultural Adjustment Act, stating that the act of growing wheat on one's own land, for one's own consumption, affected interstate commerce, and therefore under the Commerce Clause was subject to federal regulation.

Civil rights

The wide interpretation of the scope of the commerce clause continued following the passing of the Civil Rights Act, which aimed to prevent business from discriminating against black customers. In Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964), the Court ruled that Congress could regulate a business that served mostly interstate travelers; in Katzenbach v. McClung (1964) the Court ruled that the government could regulate Ollie's Barbecue, which served mostly local clientele but sold food that had previously moved across state lines; and in Daniel v. Paul (1969), the Court ruled that the government could regulate a recreational facility because three out of the four items sold at its snack bar were purchased from outside the state.

The Rehnquist Court

In 1995, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, delivered the opinion of the Court in United States v. Lopez (later clarified by United States v. Morrison). There, the Court ruled that Congress only had the power to regulate: the channels of commerce, the instrumentalities of commerce, and action that substantially affects interstate commerce. Thus the government did not have the power to regulate relatively unrelated things such as the possession of firearms near schools, as in the Lopez case. This was the first time in 60 years, since the conflict with President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936-37, that the Court had overturned a putative regulation on interstate commerce because it exceeded Congress's commerce power. Justice Clarence Thomas argued that allowing Congress to regulate intrastate, noncommercial activity under the Commerce Clause would confer on Congress a general “police power” over the Nation.

The Court found in Seminole Tribe v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996) that, unlike the Fourteenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause does not give the federal government the power to abrogate the sovereign immunity of the states.

Many described the Rehnquist Court's commerce clause cases as a doctrine of "new federalism". The outer limits of that doctrine were delineated by Gonzales v. Raich (2005), in which Justices Scalia and Kennedy departed from their previous positions as parts of the Lopez and Morrison majorities to uphold a federal law regarding marijuana. The court found the federal law valid, although the marijuana in question had been grown and consumed within a single state, and had never entered interstate commerce.

You can visit here if you are interested in more details about the landmark court cases surrounding the commerce clause in the US constitution.

Friday, 16 September 2005 at 20h 8m 25s

A cruel facade he calls leadership

This is from Brian Williams (thanks Atrios.)

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

Friday, 16 September 2005 at 19h 44m 0s

Your kidding, right?

This story came out the day before the "big speech" -- give me a break.

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 - President Bush is to pledge in an address to the nation from New Orleans on Thursday night that the federal government will provide housing assistance to victims of Hurricane Katrina and also help reimburse the states for costs they have absorbed in taking in evacuees, a White House official said Wednesday.

The commitments are part of a series of initiatives that the president is expected to announce as he tries to recover from the political fallout over the government's handling of the storm.

. . .

White House officials also played down the notion that Mr. Bush would offer a "Marshall Plan" for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, as the Senate Republican leadership called for in a letter to the president on Wednesday. "We stand ready to work with you to lay out a comprehensive approach to the coordination of relief and development efforts through a 'Marshall Plan' for the Gulf Coast as soon as possible," said the letter, signed by Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, and others.

Instead, administration officials and a Republican close to the White House said Mr. Bush would offer some general principles about "building a better New Orleans" with stricter construction standards to try to avoid a replay of the recent catastrophe. Republicans said Mr. Bush would not mention a price tag, in large part because of budget and political pressures from House Republicans and other supporters angry about administration spending.

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.

Who is in charge of the reconstruction effort ?

I'll let Ed Kilgore speak for me on this one.[SOURCE ]

After all, Karl Rove is (a) the man most responsible for the entire strategy of partisan and ideological polarization that has poisoned the atmosphere of American politics, and (b) a consistent practitioner of a form of politics that relentlessly focuses on the conjunction of money, ideology, and (in his mind, at least) purchasable voter blocs, and (c) the potential object of a federal indictment for violating national security policies, and his own security clearance, by "outing" an undercover CIA agent to punish her politically inconvenient husband.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005 at 22h 1m 1s


Do you remember?

Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger makes copies of federal documents and stuffs the copies in his pocket so he can remember the documents, and Dennis Hastert orders a full fledge investigation (during the heat of the 2004 election -- coincidence???) which comes out and quietly says that no documents were taken, and no wrong doing was found.

Just like the whitewater hoax. No wrongdoing ever occurred.

Oh but the roar of false indignation.

Back to 2005.

Two lawyers representing the Bush administration go into the Federal documents of recent Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and remove 2 federal documents -- ie, they are gone, vanished, no longer in existence -- and ...

There is no investigation??? Not a word.

Is this the same reason why the Bush administration redacted , what was it, 36 pages of the 9-11 commission report which detailed the Saudi involvement?

Or why when it was discovered that Republican operatives were hacking into Democratic computers from the offices of Robert Frist ... suddenly an envelope with the poison Rincin arrives at Frist's office, and the investigation of Frist's computers comes to a halt.

Can you say Anthrax in envelopes to Congress?

Can you say Medicare bills signed at 3:30 in the morning after Hastert bribed congressmen on the floor of Congress -- for a bill that is a sop to the Insurance industry that pays the politicians well.

And what about Jack Abramof and Tom Delay scamming by diverting funds from cheritable non- profits and use front organizations and fake businesses to funnel cash into political slush funds? What about the way Ohio Republicans used the State Worker Retirement fund as a conduit to raising huge amounts of cash under the disguise of investing in the same investments of the trust fund?

How many cost-plus contracts will Halliburton and Bechtel get at the expense of the tax payers?

Will Ken Lay ever serve time, or will all his suggested appointments to the Federal bureaucracy ensure that Enron-onomics will be with us for an uncomfortably long time -- that means you Patrick Wood III.

Of course Bush doesn't flout the Geneva Conventions in Guantanamo, thats why Bush refused to join the World Criminal Court and why the ABM treaty was ended, and why longtime Bush lawyer Gonzales wrote a legal memo stating that the Geneva Conventions were "cute" and non-applicable.

Why is Tom Delay soon going to be criminally indited, and why did the Republicans all gather together and change their rules about prohibiting a majority leader who is indited for a federal crime?

How about gerrymandering Texas after it was legally redistricted, so that you create 5 seats for Republicans by deftly slicing the Democratic areas to shreds?

Need I say more?

Now I forget, what was it that Clinton did?

Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 13h 16m 15s

Other FEMA appointed officials

There is a list provided by David Allen here.

Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 14h 23m 42s

The media double standard

From the Rolling Stone : [LINK]

. . . The press also went into a tizzy over Gore's casual comment during that first debate that he had traveled with James Lee Witt, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to Texas during a spate of wildfires. As vice president, Gore had traveled with Witt seventeen different times, but not on the date in question. Gore corrected the record the next morning, but the press treated his slip of the tongue as wildly important.

. . . During the debates, though, Bush made a handful of blunders regarding military operations in the Balkans and Haiti, about the facts surrounding Texas' most celebrated hate-crime trial and about his own tax plan. Bush was free to botch facts about central policy issues and the press wouldn't question his intelligence. But if Gore were to misstate nonessential details, such as how long a student had to stand in a crowded Sarasota classroom, he was tagged a liar who couldn't be trusted.

Few journalists saw anything wrong with this double standard. In fact, some found it amusing. "You can actually disprove some of what Bush is saying if you really get in the weeds and get out your calculator, or you look at his record in Texas," Time magazine columnist Margaret Carlson told radio morning man Don Imus at the height of the campaign. "But it's really easy, and it's fun, to disprove Gore. As sport, and as our enterprise, Gore coming up with another whopper is greatly entertaining to us."

Who decided that covering presidential politics was supposed to be "entertaining" and "fun" for journalists?

Answer: the corporate exec's and proprietors who got the word out : make Dubya look like an easy-going honest man of integrity, and make Gore look like a stiff, humorless, slick bureaucrat. Those who heeded the call got the big spots and the promotions.


Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 12h 12m 31s

Can you tell the difference?

Thanks to Billmon.

Organizers of the Pentagon's 9/11 memorial Freedom Walk on Sunday are taking extraordinary measures to control participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with police and the event closed to anyone who does not register online by 4:30 p.m. today. The march, sponsored by the Department of Defense, will wend its way from the Pentagon to the Mall along a route that has not been specified but will be lined with four-foot-high snow fencing to keep it closed and "sterile," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense.

The event, the America Supports You Freedom Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks and a show of support for those serving in the military, topped off with a concert by country singer Clint Black, known for his pro-troops anthem, "Iraq and Roll."

Organizers said they expect 3,000 to 10,000 participants.

Washington Post
Tight Constraints on Pentagon's Freedom Walk
September 9, 2005


Pyongyang, North Korea -- Organizers of the Democratic People's Republic's memorial Slavery Walk are taking extraordinary measures to encourage participation in the march and concert, with the route fenced off and lined with secret police, and the event closed to anyone who does not have the slogan "Long Live Dear Leader, Glorious Light of the Proletarian Masses" tattooed on his or her forehead by 4:30 p.m. today. The march, sponsored by the Ministry of Defense, will wend its way from People's Tractor Factory No. 438 to the People's Palace of Democratic Torture along a route that is classified as a state secret and will be lined with 16- foot concrete walls topped with broken glass and razor wire to keep it "ideologically pure," Dear Leader Kim Jong-il said.

The event, the We Will Gladly Lay Down our Insignificant Lives for Dear Leader Slavery Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of imperialist aggression and a show of support for those serving in the People's Army, topped off with a concert by folk singer Klint Black-il, known for his pro-government anthem, "Without Your Brilliant Dialetical Thought, Our Petty Lives Are Empty and Meaningless, O Wonderous Dear Leader."

Organizers said they expect 30 million to 100 million participants.

Pyonyang Post
Unprecedented Freedom Allowed For This Year's Slavery Walk
All Hail Dear Leader!
September 9, 2005

Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 20h 28m 53s

President Gore acts like a president

... while presidential thief Dubya pretends he has a clue, and pats his lick-spittles on the back, mangling his speech in between cocktails at Ptomkin villages created by the crack white house spin machine, a real man gives an example of how to be a leader -- and doesn't request any spotlight.

From CNN : [LINK]

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Al Gore helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging of a doctor who saved the life of the former vice president's son....

On September 1, three days after Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, [Greg] Simon, [ president of the Washington-based activist group FasterCures,] learned that Dr. David Kline, a neurosurgeon who operated on Gore's son, Albert, after a life-threatening auto accident in 1989, was trying to get in touch with Gore. Kline was stranded with patients at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

"The situation was dire and becoming worse by the minute -- food and water running out, no power, 4 feet of water surrounding the hospital and ... corpses outside," Simon wrote.

Gore responded immediately, telephoning Kline and agreeing to underwrite the $50,000 each for the two flights, although Larry Flax, founder of California Pizza Kitchens, later pledged to pay for one of them.

"None of the airlines involved required a contract or any written guarantee of payment before sending their planes and volunteer crews," Simon wrote of the American Airlines flights. "One official said if Gore promised to pay, that was good enough for them."

He also recruited two doctors, Spickard and Gore's cousin, retired Col. Dar LaFon, a specialist in internal medicine who once ran the military hospital in Baghdad.

Most critically, Gore worked to cut through government red tape, personally calling Gov. Phil Bredesen to get Tennessee's support and U.S. Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta to secure landing rights in New Orleans.

The country wanted Gore to be President in 2000, but Dubya had to be a big baby and steal it. And now 5 years later, the country is a mess.

Saturday, 10 September 2005 at 23h 26m 43s

Clinton did something

Clinton explains why he decided to stop appointing political hacks to FEMA.

"... I went to Florida [after Hurricane Andrew in 1992] a few days after President [George H.W.] Bush did to observe the damage from Hurricane Andrew. I had dealt with a lot of natural disasters as governor, including floods, droughts, and tornadoes, but I had never seen anything like this. I was surprised to hear complaints from both local officials and residents about how the Federal Emergency Management Agency was handling the aftermath of the hurricane. Traditionally, the job of FEMA director was given to a political supporter of the President who wanted some plum position but who had no experience with emergencies. I made a mental note to avoid that mistake if I won. Voters don't chose a President based on how he'll handle disasters, but if they're faced with one themselves, it quickly becomes the most important issue in their lives."

-- Bill Clinton, My Life (p. 428)

Keep in mind, that this was written before Hurricane Katrina occurred, and so must be considered a sincere reflecion upon an event that Mr. Clinton himself observed.