Posts Tagged: Debate


19
Dec 10

Chile: Prison Fire Sparks Debate on Social Networking Sites

A fire in a prison in San Miguel in Santiago, Chile, which killed more than 80 prisoners after one of its towers caught fire, caused mixed reactions on social networks. The fire has opened the debate on human rights of prisoners and the media coverage of events like these.
Global Voices in English


17
Dec 10

CNN and Tea Party Express to host first-of-its-kind Tea Party presidential primary debate

Washington (CNN) – CNN is teaming up with the Tea Party Express for a first-of-its-kind presidential primary debate, both organizations…
CNN Political Ticker


17
Dec 10

Senators debate nuclear weapons treaty; no vote slated yet

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Senate began formal debate Thursday on a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia, a top presidential…
CNN Political Ticker


16
Dec 10

Bundestag Debate on Eurozone

Quentin Peel has an excellent report in the FT on a recent Bundestag debate that shows the shifting sands inside the German political elite: German unwillingness to bolster the size of the €440bn eurozone stabilisation fund, or contemplate the issue of jointly-guaranteed eurozone bonds, was in danger of turning the European Central Bank into a […]
Yglesias


16
Dec 10

Tax Deal Debate A Preview Of Race For GOP Nomination

The internal debate in the Republican Party over the tax cut extension deal with President Obama is serving as a preview of some of the battles that may erupt during the race for the party’s nomination in 2012.
Outside the Beltway


15
Dec 10

The Individual Mandate And America’s Ongoing Debate Over The Role Of Government

The conflict over the Afforable Care Act’s individual insurance mandate, which played itself out most recently in the decision issued by Judge Henry Hudson is really just the latest round in a battle that stretches back to the beginning of the Republic itself:

“We are against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program,” said one prominent critic of the new health care law. It is socialized medicine, he argued. If it stands, he said, “one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

The health care law in question was Medicare, and the critic was Ronald Reagan. He made the leap from actor to political activist, almost 50 years ago, in part by opposing government-run health insurance for the elderly.

Today, the supposed threat to free enterprise is a law that’s broader, if less radical, than Medicare: the bill Congress passed this year to create a system of privately run health insurance for everyone. On Monday, a federal judge ruled part of the law to be unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court will probably need to settle the matter in the end.

We’ve lived through a version of this story before, and not just with Medicare. Nearly every time this country has expanded its social safety net or tried to guarantee civil rights, passionate opposition has followed.

The opposition stems from the tension between two competing traditions in the American economy. One is the laissez-faire tradition that celebrates individuality and risk-taking. The other is the progressive tradition that says people have a right to a minimum standard of living — time off from work, education and the like.

Both traditions have been crucial to creating the most prosperous economy and the largest middle class the world has ever known. Laissez-faire conservatism has helped make the United States a nation of entrepreneurs, while progressivism has helped make prosperity a mass-market phenomenon.

Yet the two traditions have never quite reconciled themselves. In particular, conservatives have often viewed any expansion of government protections as a threat to capitalism.

In many respects, it’s a debate that started more than 200 years ago around George Washington’s first cabinet table as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton squared off in debates over the proper role of the new Federal Government. Though he was not involved int he 1787 Convention, Jefferson quickly became an advocate of what we would today call a strict constructionist, most importantly with respect to the limited power that had been granted to the Federal Government. Hamilton, on the other hand, believed in a strong and energetic central government. He believed that Congressional power was not necessarily limited to the powers expressly stated in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, which was an interesting change for him since he had argued along with Madison and Jay in The Federalist Papers that the Constitution created a government of strictly limited powers.

The history of the Hamiltonian-Jeffersonian debate, and the history of the early years of the Republic, tends to put the lie to the simplistic view that America prior to 1914 or 1932 was a paradise of laissez-faire government and strict adherence by the Federal Government to confines of the Constitution. In 1791, for example, President Washington proposed on Hamilton’s recommendation the creation of what ultimately became the First Bank Of The United States. Jefferson and his allies in the cabinet objected to the bill on the ground that there is no authority granted in the Constitution for Congress to charter a bank. Hamilton and his allies argued that the powers of Congress expanded beyond the mere specific grants of authority in the Constitution and included “attainment of the ends…which are not precluded by restrictions & exceptions specified in the constitution.” Washington sided with Hamilton, the Bank bill passed through Congress easily, and within the first two years of the new government’s existence the strict constructionist view of the Constitution had suffered a significant, some might say intellectually fatal, defeat.

When the re-chartering of the Bank of the United States finally made it’s way to the Supreme Court in 1819, the Court essentially adopted Hamiton’s view and utilized the Necessary and Proper Clause to expand the powers of Congress beyond those strictly set forth in Section 8:

We admit, as all must admit, that the powers of the Government are limited, and that its limits are not to be transcended. But we think the sound construction of the Constitution must allow to the national legislature that discretion with respect to the means by which the powers it confers are to be carried into execution which will enable that body to perform the high duties assigned to it in the manner most beneficial to the people. Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are Constitutional.

Similarly, with respect to the Commerce Clause, which plays a central role in the debate over the individual mandate, the seeds for the massive expansion of Federal power were laid very early in America’s history. In 1824, the Supreme Court defined Congressional power under this clause as:

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………….0The wisdom and the discretion of Congress, their identity with the people, and the influence which their constituents possess at elections, are, in this, as in many other instances, as that, for example, of declaring war, the sole restraints on which they have relied, to secure them from its abuse. They are the restraints on which the people must often they solely, in all representative governments.

So, within thirty-five years after the first government elected under the Constitution took office, the ground work had been laid for the massive expansion of the power of Congress. All that was necessary were the right circumstances, and when the Progressive Era and Great Depression came around, those circumstances came around. Even before then, though, the Federal Government often acted outside the strict confines of the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson acquired 828,000 square miles of land from France without a specific grant of authority to do so, for  example. And much of the history of the government before the Civil War included efforts to obtain benefits for private industry in the name of economic expansion. The point is that the idea of a government that lives only with the strictly construed confines of Article I, Section 8 is something that has only really existed on paper, it has never really existed in the history of the United States.

This didn’t happen because of some vast Wilsonian conspiracy as the Glenn Becks of the world might postulate. It happened, mostly, because the American people wanted it to happen. The New Deal, the Great Society, yes even ObamaCare all passed with substantial public support, or with a demand from the public that the government do something about a problem. Concerns about Constitutional limitations rarely enter the public mind and, when they do, they’re often informed by a view of the Constitution and history that has little to do with reality. More importantly, when the public wants something arguments that the government can’t do it are rarely persuasive.  It all brings to mind this story:

At the close of the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

That is really the place we find ourselves in today. We have a massive Federal Government that clearly does more than just act within the strict confines of the Constitution mostly because that’s what the American people wanted. In that sense, Alexander Hamilton has, for the moment, won the debate that started in a cabinet meeting in New York in 1789. The debate will go on, however, as it has from the beginning.




Outside the Beltway


15
Dec 10

One day after CNN, WMUR & Union Leader announce first 2012 N.H. presidential primary debate, Fox News follows suit

Washington (CNN) – One day after CNN announced it is co-producing the first 2012 Republican Presidential Primary debate in New Hampshire, Fox News followed a similar plan.

On Tuesday, CNN announced it will partner with the Granite State’s WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union leader for a debate scheduled for June 7, 2011.

On Wednesday, Fox News and the South Carolina Republican Party announced, in a press release, they will co-host two presidential debates. One is scheduled for May 5, 2011 in Greenville, South Carolina. The second debate “will be held in 2012 prior to the South Carolina primary at a location to be determined,” the statement said.

The CNN event will be especially noteworthy because of New Hampshire’s unique role in picking presidential candidates: the state traditionally holds the first presidential primary. The winner earns a mass of media and public attention. And political observers often see the victor as having critical momentum leading into other key primaries.

South Carolina’s presidential primary is traditionally the first in the U.S. south.


CNN Political Ticker


15
Dec 10

DeMint Says More Time Needed to Debate START; Administration Points Out He Missed 7 of 12 Foreign Relations Hearings on Subject

Frustrated with Sen. Jim DeMint’s support for a move to require an oral reading of the START nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia – a move that could take as long as 12-15 hours in these waning lame duck days — an Obama administration official notes that DeMint only attended five of the 12 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on START, nor was he present for the final vote to order the treaty reported on the 16th.



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Political Punch


15
Dec 10

Tax cut compromise becoming first debate of GOP presidential campaign?

Washington (CNN) – Add Rep. Mike Pence to the list of possible 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls who are coming out against the tax cut compromise between President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders.

Pence may take to the floor of the House Wednesday to spell out his opposition. He is also co-sponsoring amendment to make the Bush-era tax cuts permanent for all Americans.

“At the end of the day, I’ve just come to the conclusion: the American people did not vote for more stimulus,” Pence said Tuesday on conservative Sean Hannity’s radio program. “Therefore, I will not vote for this tax deal when it comes to the floor of the House of Representatives.”

The Republican congressman from Indiana’s 6th Congressional District easily won re-election last month, beating his Democratic challenger by more than a two to one margin.

The third ranking House Republican then announced that he would step down at the end of the year from his leadership role as Republican Conference Chairman, sparking more speculation that Pence might be gearing up for a White House bid or a run for Indiana governor.

Pence joins 2008 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as possible 2012 White House contenders who have voiced opposition to the deal, which includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans. Without congressional action, those tax cut rates are set to expire December 31.

The compromise would also extend unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by two percentage points for a year, raise the estate tax exemption to up to $ 5 million, with a 35 percent tax rate for inheritances above that level, and continue a series of other tax breaks.

Palin criticized the plan last week on her Twitter account, while Romney Tuesday came out with an op-ed in the USA Today that spelled out his opposition. Hours later, Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who is also weighing a presidential bid, took to the Senate floor to defend the agreement and used his speech to take a veiled shot at potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination who have criticized the deal.

According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this week, 62 percent of Republicans say they approve of the tax cut compromise.

– CNN Senior Political Editor Mark Preston contributed to this report


CNN Political Ticker


15
Dec 10

CNN, WMUR and Union Leader to produce the first New Hampshire GOP debate

Washington (CNN) – CNN is joining with WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader to produce the first 2012 Republican Presidential Primary debate in the “First in the Nation” primary state, the media organizations announced Tuesday. It is scheduled to take place on June 7, 2011.

As the first state to hold a primary, New Hampshire has played a historic role in helping determine each party’s presidential nominees. In 2008, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, won the New Hampshire primary and went on to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

“It is clear that New Hampshire will once again play a critical role with its first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary,” said Joseph W. McQuaid, president and publisher of the Union Leader. “The Union Leader and UnionLeader.com are happy to team up with CNN and WMUR-TV to present voters with an early look at what promises to be an interesting field of Republican candidates.”

WMUR, CNN and the Union Leader have a long history of working together to host presidential debates, most recently the historic back-to-back events that were held in June 2007.

“WMUR is proud of its long tradition of producing Presidential Primary Debates as a public service to inform our viewers,” said Jeff Bartlett, president and general manager of WMUR. “We are excited to partner with CNN and the Union Leader to continue our tradition in 2011.”

Sam Feist, CNN’s vice president of Washington programming, said the network was “thrilled to again be working with the Union Leader and WMUR” to produce this event.

“New Hampshire’s unique role in the presidential nominating process will make this first New Hampshire debate a critical event of the 2012 presidential campaign,” said Feist, who also serves as CNN’s political director.

WMUR, CNN and the Union Leader said additional details regarding the debate will be released at a later date.


CNN Political Ticker


14
Dec 10

Second presidential debate announced

CNN and the New Hampshire Union Leader will host a presidential debate in June 2011:

CNN is joining with WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader to produce the first 2012 Republican Presidential Primary debate in the "First in the Nation" primary state, the media organizations announced Tuesday. It is scheduled to take place on June 7, 2011.

As the first state to hold a primary, New Hampshire has played a historic role in helping determine each party’s presidential nominees. In 2008, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, won the New Hampshire primary and went on to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

POLITICO and NBC are also hosting a presidential debate, to be held in the spring of 2011.





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Ben Smith’s Blog


14
Dec 10

TRENDING: CNN, WMUR and Union Leader to produce the first New Hampshire GOP debate

Washington (CNN) – CNN is joining with WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader to produce the first 2012 Republican Presidential Primary debate in the “First in the Nation” primary state, the media organizations announced Tuesday. It is scheduled to take place on June 7, 2011.

As the first state to hold a primary, New Hampshire has played a historic role in helping determine each party’s presidential nominees. In 2008, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, won the New Hampshire primary and went on to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

“It is clear that New Hampshire will once again play a critical role with its first-in-the-nation Presidential Primary,” said Joseph W. McQuaid, president and publisher of the Union Leader. “The Union Leader and UnionLeader.com are happy to team up with CNN and WMUR-TV to present voters with an early look at what promises to be an interesting field of Republican candidates.”

WMUR, CNN and the Union Leader have a long history of working together to host presidential debates, most recently the historic back-to-back events that were held in June 2007.

“WMUR is proud of its long tradition of producing Presidential Primary Debates as a public service to inform our viewers,” said Jeff Bartlett, president and general manager of WMUR. “We are excited to partner with CNN and the Union Leader to continue our tradition in 2011.”

Sam Feist, CNN’s vice president of Washington programming, said the network was “thrilled to again be working with the Union Leader and WMUR” to produce this event.

“New Hampshire’s unique role in the presidential nominating process will make this first New Hampshire debate a critical event of the 2012 presidential campaign,” said Feist, who also serves as CNN’s political director.

WMUR, CNN and the Union Leader said additional details regarding the debate will be released at a later date.


CNN Political Ticker


13
Dec 10

New York Times Room for Debate Blog Forum on Today’s Individual Mandate Decision

(Ilya Somin)

The New York Times Room for Debate blog has a forum where various scholars weigh in on today’s district court decision striking down the individual mandate. It includes contributions by co-blogger Randy Barnett and myself. My piece briefly discusses the Commerce Clause and Tax Clause aspects of the ruling:

Judge Henry Hudson’s decision today struck down as unconstitutional the “individual mandate” included in the health care bill enacted earlier this year; the mandate requires most Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance plans by 2014. The most powerful parts of Judge Hudson’s ruling reject the federal government’s arguments claiming that the mandate is justified by Congress’ powers to impose taxes and regulate interstate commerce…..

The federal government claims that forcing people to purchase health insurance regulates economic activity because everyone eventually uses health care in some form. But as Judge Hudson points out, “the same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing, or nutritional decisions. This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation.” The same reasoning would give Congress the power to force everyone to purchase a car because everyone eventually uses some form of “transportation.”

Judge Hudson is equally persuasive in rejecting the argument that the mandate is authorized by Congress’ power to impose taxes. As he notes, it is actually a financial penalty for refusing to comply with a regulation. In September 2009, President Obama himself stated that “to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.” He was right. If the mandate qualifies as a tax merely because it punishes violators with a fine, then Congress could require Americans to do almost anything on pain of having to pay a fine if they refuse.




The Volokh Conspiracy


13
Dec 10

Metrodome roof collapse spurs debate for new stadium – Washington Times


Chicago Breaking Sports – Tribune
Metrodome roof collapse spurs debate for new stadium
Washington Times
Snow falls into the field from a hole in the collapsed roof of the Metrodome in Minneapolis Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010. The inflatable roof of the Metrodome collapsed Sunday after a snowstorm that dumped 17 inches (43 cms) on Minneapolis. No one was hurt,
Metrodome Owners May Know Tonight If Stadium Can Host Vikings-Bears GameBloomberg
Crew coming to inspect fallen Dome roofMinneapolis Star Tribune
Owner of a local dome weighs in on Metrodome collapseWXXA
UPI.com –Sportsrageous –WKTV
all 417 news articles »

Sports – Google News


13
Dec 10

Senate set to debate tax plan compromise

Washington (CNN) – Senators are expected to open debate on the tax compromise reached by President Barack Obama and Republicans Monday, but House Democrats will likely try to change the deal, one of their leaders said.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters that the package will get a vote in the House despite a threat by House Democrats last week to prevent it from reaching the floor.
FULL STORY


CNN Political Ticker


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