Posts Tagged ‘election’

Monopoly Get Out Of Jail Free Card by dysamoria

The United State’s debt crisis, caused by the legally enforceable maximum “debt ceiling” in the United States is reaching a point where the USA could default on it’s national debt. An unimaginable situation. Financial Armageddon would probably ensue.

The failure by Congressional Democrats and Republicans to reach a deal on cutting discretionary spending and raising the debt ceiling means that President Obama may be placed in a position where he has to envoke the antiquated Section 4 of the 14th Amendment.

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment (ratified on the 9th July 1868) to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

The 14th Amendment would therefore allow, by virtue of the words “validity of the United States public debt….shall not be questioned” President Obama to raise the debt ceiling of his own doing, without Congressional approval.

To do so would be a bold step.

Steny Hoyer and James Clyburn, the second and third highest ranking Democrats in the House, and John Larson and Xavier Becerra, the chairman and co-chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, have said they would support Obama if he uses the amendment to avoid a default.

Senator John F. Kerry and Bill Clinton, the former president, have also supported the idea, with Clinton saying he would use the amendment “without hesitation and force the courts to stop me.’’

International debt holders, in particular China ($1tn +) who are the largest holders of US National Debt have expressed concern at the political crisis which has engulfed Washington.

To invoke the 14th Amendment, and therefore bypass Congress would be a drastic measure which would deviate from a longstanding constitutional convention whereby the debt ceiling of the United States is raised by vote of both Houses of Congress.

The 14th Amendment, ratified during the Reconstruction to ensure that the North could overcome Southern opposition to paying down Union war debts, has never been invoked by a president and has rarely been tested in court.

As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.

The 14th Amendment provides President Obama with a 143 year old “get out of jail free” card. Will he bold enough to use it?

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Will Sarah Palin run for President?

Maybe. She has been on tour across America for the past week, without telling reporters of her intended destiantions along the way, keeping a 15 bus trail of reporters frantically trying to keep up with her tour bus as she travels America’s freeways. She has been focusing on the important early primary states under the guise of touring America’s “historic sites”. She has met Donald Trump, who has been suggested as a possible running mate for her in 2012, in New York City and she has gatecrashed Mitt Romney’s announcement speech in New Hampshire by arriving on the same day. She says that it is “a pure coincidence”.

I’m not so sure.

Whatever her intentions, her tour of America is smart. As Steve Duprey, New Hampshire RNC committeeman and former McCain campaign honcho said:

With Trump and other potential candidates dominating the media for the past four months, Governor Palin has not been in the news. Not being in the news is like denying her oxygen. If she decides not to run for office, this tour will have, at a minimum, put her back in the news and will have reminded the republican party and her television show viewers that she is a force in the party and will shape the debate whether in or out.

Palin has retained her position with Fox News, which could suggest that she is not ready to run. Yet. Even if she chooses not to run this time around, by bringing herself into the Republican frame, she can influence the result. It is unlikely that whoever wins the nomination will beat Obama next year; Palin’s credentials as a foreign policy hawk suddenly look less solid when you consider that President Obama will take the credit for the capture of public enemy number one – Osama bin Laden.

Despite the state of the economy, Obama is a skilled campaigner, a great orator, and, more importantly, an excellent fundraiser. His 2012 bid is set to be the first US campaign to raise more than $1bn.

That all makes Obama a very tough opponent. Even is she chooses not to run, the tour provides an ample opportunity for her to see what a Presidential campingn would be like first hand, and if the polls do not look favorably upon her, she will be able to step down, and return for the 2016 campaign.

Matt Littman writes for the Huffington Post that:

She’s certainly not someone whose brilliance we aspire to. She’s not well-traveled, not well-read, not well-versed on the issues. Just like President Bush. So we can sit here and say, no way, she has no chance to be the Republican nominee. But she does have a chance. And it makes me want to throw up on my computer.

One thing is for certain. If it looks like she can win the nomination and beat Obama, she will run. 

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