Friday, January 30, 2009

Should Hillary be Removed as Secretary of State?

Constitutionally, maybe... consider this: A US diplomat has filed a lawsuit charging that Hillary Clinton's appointment as secretary of state is unconstitutional, a watchdog group representing him said Thursday.

The lawsuit filed by David Rodearmel argues that Clinton is "ineligible" for the job because the Senate approved, while she was a senator, a salary raise for her predecessor Condoleezza, Judicial Watch said in a statement.

According to article one, section six of the US constitution: "No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time."

In the lawsuit filed in a Washington court, Rodearmel wrote that "for almost a century, administrators of both parties have used various legal maneuvers to avoid complying with the constitution's emoluments clause."

He added: "I am bringing suit to finally resolve this issue and to seek compliance with the manifest tenor of the constitution."

The constitutional problem posed by the salary increase granted to Rice in January 2007 was raised last month when Barack Obama announced his intention to name Clinton his secretary of state.

In order to circumvent the problem, Congress decided that Clinton's annual salary would be reduced 4,700 dollars from Rice's at the end of her term, to 186,600 dollars -- the amount Rice earned before January 2007, when Clinton began her second Senate term.

Rodearmel said he was not pursuing "a partisan, political or personal issue."

He added: "To detach ourselves from the text of the constitution is a true slippery slope that would negate the rule of law. If the constitution needs to be changed, it should be done by the means the constitution provides."

What do you think? Does reducing her salary to the pre-vote level make this consitutional point moot? Or should we stick to a strict interpretation and remove her? Personally, I think trying to oust her is a bit crazy. That is, the intent of the emolumnets clause is not in jeopardy here... do you really think Hillary Clinton voted for that $4700 raise just so she could get that money if at some future point she became Secretary of State?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Seasteading? I hope they get ransacked by pirates!

...former Google software engineer, (Patri) Friedman is 32 but comes off much younger, with close-cropped hair and a slightly nasal voice. He is executive director of the Seasteading Institute, the nonprofit he founded in April 2008..."This isn't enough to create a whole new civilization," Friedman says. "But this is a seed."

This story is about people who want to build platforms in the ocean and create their own little nations on them. Hey, if that's what you want, go for it. But these people seem like rich brats intent on getting their own way all the time. Fuck them, I hope their "seasteads" get invaded, raided, and destroyed...