The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2004

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) (Pub.L. 109-8, 119 Stat. 23, enacted April 20, 2005), is a legislative act that made several significant changes to the United States Bankruptcy Code. Referred to colloquially as the “New Bankruptcy Law”, the Act of Congress attempts to, among other things, make it more difficult for some consumers to file bankruptcy under Chapter 7; some of these consumers may instead utilize Chapter 13. Voting record of S. 256 [1].
It was passed by the 109th United States Congress on April 14, 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush on April 20, 2005. Most provisions of the act apply to cases filed on or after October 17, 2005. It was hailed at the time as the banking lobby’s greatest all-time victory.

Lyndon Baines Johnson

Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States (1961–1963). He is one of only four people[1] who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President.[2] Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, served as a United States Representative from 1937–1949 and as a Senator from 1949–1961, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.
Johnson succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, completed Kennedy’s term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 election. Johnson was greatly supported by the Democratic Party and as President, he was responsible for designing the “Great Society” legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his “War on Poverty.” Johnson was renowned for his domineering personality and the “Johnson treatment,” his coercion of powerful politicians in order to advance legislation.
Meanwhile, Johnson escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War, from 16,000 American advisors/soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 combat troops in early 1968, as American casualties soared and the peace process bogged down. The involvement stimulated a large angry antiwar movement based especially on university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.[3] Summer riots broke out in most major cities after 1965, and crime rates soared, as his opponents raised demands for “law and order” policies. The Democratic Party split in multiple feuding factions, and after Johnson did poorly in the 1968 New Hampshire primary, he ended his bid for reelection. Republican Richard Nixon was elected to succeed him. Historians argue that Johnson’s presidency marked the peak of modern liberalism in the United States after the New Deal era. However, Johnson is ranked favorably by some historians because of his domestic policies.[4][5]

Hay and Hell and Booligal by Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson

Hay and Hell and Booligal
by Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson

“You come and see me, boys,” he said;
“You’ll find a welcome and a bed
And whisky any time you call;
Although our township hasn’t got
The name of quite a lively spot —
You see, I live in Booligal.
“And people have an awful down
Upon the district and the town —
Which worse than hell itself the call;
In fact, the saying far and wide
Along the Riverina side
Is ‘Hay and Hell and Booligal’.

“No doubt it suits ’em very well
To say it’s worse than Hay or Hell,
But don’t you heed their talk at all;
Of course, there’s heat — no one denies —
And sand and dust and stacks of flies,
And rabbits, too, at Booligal.

“But such a pleasant, quiet place —
You never see a stranger’s face;
They hardly ever care to call;
The drovers mostly pass it by —
They reckon that they’d rather die
Than spend the night in Booligal.

“The big mosquitoes frighten some —
You’ll lie awake to hear ’em hum —
And snakes about the township crawl;
But shearers, when they get their cheque,
They never come along and wreck
The blessed town of Booligal.

“But down to Hay the shearers come
And fill themselves with fighting-rum,
And chase blue devils up the wall,
And fight the snaggers every day,
Until there is the deuce to pay —
There’s none of that in Booligal.

“Of course, there isn’t much to see —
The billiard-table used to be
The great attraction for us all,
Until some careless, drunken curs
Got sleeping on it in their spurs,
And ruined it, in Booligal.

“Just now there is a howling drought
That pretty near has starved us out —
It never seems to rain at all;
But, if there should come any rain,
You couldn’t cross the black-soil plain —
You’d have to stop in Booligal.”

“We’d have to stop!” With bated breath
We prayed that both in life and death
Our fate in other lines might fall;
“Oh, send us to our just reward
In Hay or Hell, but, gracious Lord,
Deliver us from Booligal!”

FBI asked to probe Obama “vote-changing” machines

 

WND EXCLUSIVE

FBI ASKED TO PROBE OBAMA ‘VOTE-CHANGING’ MACHINES

State lawmaker says she has concerns over election tampering

author-imageby BOB UNRUHEmail Archive

Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓
obama_tight-lipped

A state lawmaker in Maryland has asked the FBI to impound two voting machines used in the 2012 election to determine whether there was a malfunction or something nefarious going on.

“I just feel it is my duty to try to get to the bottom of this,” state Delegate Kathryn Afzali told WND today.“We’re not making any accusations. The Board of Elections are good people. They have checks and balances … but we want to make sure everything is fair

She said a number of people contacted her after the Nov. 6 election to report that they pressed a touch-screen button for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, but the vote registered for Barack Obama.

WND has reported a number of first-hand accounts of similar anomalies during the election. One touch-screen technician reported that voters in another state were getting error messages on their touch-screens when they tried to vote for Romney.

Also, suspiciously, a number of precincts reported a 100-percent vote for Obama, and some even reported beyond 100 percent.

“My request [to the FBI] is … I want them to take these machines. Let an FBI computer expert analyze them,” she said.

She said that among those who contacted her with concerns were two  officials, including a state lawmaker who personally experienced a vote machine changing his vote three times to the party whose agenda he opposed.

The lawmaker told her that his computer background left him confident that the problem was beyond a technical glitch, and he insisted that the election judge take the machine out of service and lock it up.

Another concern was raised by Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild. who said it’s critical that the machines be analyzed properly to determine what happened.

“We need to freeze them in their current state, not wipe out data,” he said.

He said his constituent reported the same scenario as has been reported: hitting the touch-screen button for Romney but finding that that it registered for Obama.

Rothschild said it’s a major problem that has to be addressed in order for Americans to continue trusting their election system.

He said the constituent noticed the vote changes on the summary screen.

“It showed Obama as being selected,” Rothschild told WND, even though his constituent reported voting for the GOP ticket.

“After talking with a few other people, this concern seems to be increasing,” Rothschild told WND. “There are just two possible answers. Either he made a mistake, or something caused that machine to switch the vote.”

He said given that his constituent has experience with computers, the contention that he didn’t know how to use the machine seems a stretch.

“I know how easy it would be to introduce a single spurious line of code,” Rothschild told WND, noting a programmer could easily instruct the machine to change the vote periodically, so a routine test wouldn’t reveal any problems.

He said he was told the county had no jurisdiction over the issue and that it would be up to the state, which is why he discussed the concerns with Afzali.

“It’s very scary,” Rothschild told WND. “It creates a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.”

That, in turn, he said, results in people feeling desperate about their failure to impact government.

“If American people feel they cannot trust their voting system, there’s the possibility of more desperate action,” he said. “There are a number of possibilities [for reaction] in nullifications, secession, including throwing off such governments.

“If people think their voting processes do not work, [if] they conclude they are not being afforded constitutional protections, they may conclude their only option is to throw off such government,” he said.

He said the forensics of voting machine examination would be very important, but a good investigatory review could provide a lot of answers.

“We have all seen little pieces of the problem,” he said.

But to determine what is a problem, he said some sort of overview perspective would be needed.

Not only do authorities need to do a review, future elections need to be done so that every voter is given a printed copy of his or her own vote. The copies could be compiled by clerks to provide a point of reference if questions arise, he said.

Afzali told WND that because she’s on the state elections committee, a number of people came directly to her with their complaints.

She said the two machines that were identified now are locked up with all the other equipment, but she’s asked the FBI step in and take custody of them.

WND previously reported in U.S. Rep. Allen West’s re-election fight in Florida, a surge of thousands of votes went to his opponent late in the evening.

“If we do not have integrity in our election process then we don’ t have the exceptionalism as a constitutional republic, we don’t have a rule of law,” West said.

US National Debt Clock

U.S. NATIONAL DEBT CLOCKThe Outstanding Public Debt as of 27 Nov 2012 at 06:18:05 PM GMT is:

$ 1 6 , 3 2 2 , 3 9 8 , 3 2 9 , 3 3 8 . 0 8

The estimated population of the United States is 313,948,645
so each citizen’s share of this debt is $51,990.66.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of
$3.88 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
Concerned? Then tell Congress and the White House!


 

Commentary: More fun with secession and states rights

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012

Commentary: More fun with secession and states rights

Glenn Garvin – The Miami Herald

Trying to lend one of his 2008 campaign speeches a little literary heft, Barack Obama borrowed a phrase from William Faulkner: “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” Four years later, the president may be considering himself, however ruefully, a prophet. For it looks like much of his second term may be framed by one of America’s oldest, most persistent political debates — the one over states’ rights.

The most direct, most publicized and least likely to succeed challenge to federal authority is, amusingly, the result of a White House public-relations misfire. The Obama administration, in a fit of populist preening, set up a website called We the People that encourages Americans to exercise “the right to petition your government” and promises an official response to any petition that gets 25,000 signatures.

The result: petitions to secede from the union filed from all 50 states. By early this week, seven had reached the White House’s 25,000-signature threshold, including Florida’s. Imagine the thrill of a referendum in which Florida’s statehood was on the ballot! Between hanging chads, butterfly ballots and ballot brokers, we’d probably wind up accidentally voting ourselves into Czechoslovakia, even though it doesn’t exist anymore, or maybe especially because it doesn’t exist anymore.

Video from around the world

The secession petitions have several hundred thousand signatures, which sounds like a lot until you consider that about 118 million people turned out for the election a couple of weeks ago. Nonetheless, the petitions have provoked frenzied accusations of racism and even treason from progressives, who’ve conveniently forgotten that they were the ones talking about leaving the union after John Kerry’s decisive defeat in 2004.

Redrawn maps of America ricocheted around the Internet, showing Democratic strongholds on the coasts joined in something called The “United States of Canada” while those that went for George W. Bush were consigned to “Jesusland” or “Redneckistan.” In a distraught television appearance, Lawrence O’Donnell (who soon after would get his own show on MSNBC), predicted “a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years” because “the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.” (Now you know where Mitt Romney got the idea for his famous “47 percent” rap.)

Curiously, nobody called O’Donnell’s statement treasonous. That’s because it wasn’t. The Constitution doesn’t contain a single word about secession, one way or the other. But many of the Founding Fathers (including James Madison and John Marshall, whose opinions as chief justice created the foundation of constitutional law) believed it a right. Even Abraham Lincoln, who went to war to block Southern secession in 1861, was of two minds on the subject; he applauded the decision of a substantial portion of Virginians to break away from their own state and spearheaded their entry into the union as West Virginia.

Ultimately, just as its liberal counterpart did a decade ago, the conservative movement for secession will fizzle out, even in Texas where it’s strongest. (If Texans really want to mess with Obama, they have a much more potent tool. The 1845 agreement by which Texas gave up its status as an independent nation to join the United States contains a provision giving Texans the unilateral right to divide themselves into up to five states. Add eight Republicans to the U.S. Senate and the president’s entire second-term agenda is dead on arrival.) But there are more serious states’ rights threats to the White House lurking out there, and not all of them come from the right.

Voters in four states — Alabama, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming — approved referendums blocking enforcement of various provisions of Obama’s healthcare law. If their state officials honor voters’ wishes, they can delay Obamacare’s implementation for years with legal wrangling and foot-dragging. And the more successful they are, the more company they’re likely to have; despite the Democratic triumphalism, Republicans still control the governor’s office in 30 states and the legislature in 27.

Even more potentially threatening are the votes in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana. Obama has been a relentless foe of any challenge to harsh federal drug laws, authorizing scores of Justice Department raids on medical-marijuana dispensaries in states that have approved them. But the voters in Washington and Colorado (and their governors, who’ve pledged their support for the laws) are basically his own supporters.

So is California Gov. Jerry Brown, who — anticipating a similar vote soon in his state — last week said Obama and his Justice Department minions must “recognize the sovereignty of the states” and stop trying to “nullify a reasonable state regulation.” A speech on nullification from a governor of California in 2012! The past isn’t dead, it doesn’t even need Viagra.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/11/27/2528636/commentary-more-fun-with-secession.html#.ULTUIofLTng#storylink=cpy

 

The Palm Sunday Compromise

The Palm Sunday Compromise, formally known as the Act for the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo, is an Act of Congress passed on March 21, 2005, to allow the case of Terri Schiavo to be moved into a federal court. The name “Palm Sunday Compromise” was coined by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, referring to it having been passed on Palm Sunday.
All of the federal petitions and appeals of Terri Schiavo’s parents to maintain her life support were denied, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari. In addition to this specific United States federal legislation, there was extensive other government involvement in the Terri Schiavo case at the Florida state and federal levels, none of which ultimately prevented the removal of her feeding tube.

Criticisms

The act was criticized on several grounds.
The law did not pass the Senate before Bush signed it. A majority of Senators (i.e., 51 of the 100) is required to obtain a quorum, and only three senators out of 100 were present when the bill was voted upon. However, the Senate (and the House) conduct their respective businesses under the presumption that a quorum is always present, unless or until a completed quorum call or roll-call vote demonstrates otherwise (e.g., a roll-call vote or quorum call in the Senate failing to get 51 total votes or replies).
The law applied to only one individual. Comparisons were drawn with bills of attainder, which are specifically prohibited by the United States Constitution. While some saw this as a legally flawed analysis since bills of attainder take away individual rights rather than bestow them, the rights of Michael Schiavo, as Terri’s guardian, to make decisions on her behalf were stripped away. Additionally, some argued that creating laws tailored for specific individuals is bad legislative practice as it means that other people in similar situations do not get relief, thus denying them equal protection. However, private bills—bills specifically directed at a particular person or persons—were extremely common in the U.S. Congress, such that Rule XV of the Rules of the House of Representatives establishes a calendar that provides for the consideration of private bills on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.[1]
The law was a violation of the separation of powers. Many commentators argued that Congress had exceeded its powers by substituting its judgment for that of the courts and directing the courts on how to proceed. This argument was addressed by Judge Stanley Francis Birch in a highly critical concurrence to the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, given on March 30, 2005. Judge Birch, a jurist, declared that:
If the Act only provided for jurisdiction consistent with Article III, the Act would not be in violation of the principles of separation of powers. The Act, however, goes further. Section 2 of the Act provides that the district court: (1) shall engage in “de novo” review of Mrs. Schiavo’s constitutional and federal claims; (2) shall not consider whether these claims were previously “raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings”; (3) shall not engage in “abstention in favor of State court proceedings”; and (4) shall not decide the case on the basis of “whether remedies available in the State courts have been exhausted.” Because these provisions constitute legislative dictation of how a federal court should exercise its judicial functions (known as a “rule of decision”), the Act invades the province of the judiciary and violates the separation of powers principle.
An act of Congress violates separation of powers if it requires federal courts to exercise their Article III power “in a manner repugnant to the text, structure, and traditions of Article III.” By setting a particular standard of review in the district court, Section 2 of the Act purports to direct a federal court in an area traditionally left to the federal court to decide. In fact, the establishment of a standard of review often dictates the rule of decision in a case, which is beyond Congress’s constitutional power. [1]
The law failed to create any substantive rights. The law enacted by Congress only obliged the federal courts to review the rulings of the Florida state courts to determine if procedural due process had been afforded. However, there was no serious argument that the Florida courts had violated any constitutionally mandated procedural requirements. Congress could have specified in the statute that the bill sought to enforce a substantive due process right to life, enacted pursuant to section five of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, the social conservatives who championed the legislation have been reluctant to rely on the rights created under this provision, as it has also been interpreted by the Supreme Court as providing the underpinning for the right to abortion and for refusal to receive life-saving medical assistance.
Barack Obama, while on the campaign trail to the Presidency, twice expressed regret for having allowed the Senate to adjourn by unanimous consent, which then made it possible for a handful of senators to introduce the bill. In the Democratic primary debate on April 26, 2007, he characterized his failure to object to the Senate’s adjournment as his biggest professional mistake and that the Senate deliberations “left the Senate with a bill that allowed Congress to intrude where it shouldn’t have.”[2]

John F. Kennedy

John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy pronunciation (help·info) (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
After military service as commander of the Motor Torpedo Boats PT-109 and PT-59 during World War II in the South Pacific, Kennedy represented Massachusetts’ 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1960. Kennedy defeated Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election. He was the youngest elected to the office, at the age of 43,[2][a] the second-youngest President (after Theodore Roosevelt), and the first person born in the 20th century to serve as president.[3] Kennedy is the only Catholic president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize.[4] Events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and early stages of the Vietnam War.
Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Although Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later, before a trial could take place. The FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. However, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded that those investigations were flawed and that Kennedy was probably assassinated as the result of a conspiracy.[5] Kennedy continues to rank highly in public opinion ratings of U.S. presidents.[6]

The Man from Iron Bark by Andrew Barton Paterson

The Man from Iron Bark
by Andrew Barton Paterson

It was the man from Ironbark who struck the Sydney town,
He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down.
He loitered here he loitered there, till he was like to drop,
Until at last in sheer despair he sought a barber’s shop.
‘Ere! shave my beard and whiskers off, I’ll be a man of mark,
I’ll go and do the Sydney toff up home in Ironbark.’
The barber man was small and flash, as barbers mostly are,
He wore a strike-your-fancy sash he smoked a huge cigar;
He was a humorist of note and keen at repartee,
He laid the odds and kept a ‘tote’, whatever that may be,
And when he saw our friend arrive, he whispered, ‘Here’s a lark!
Just watch me catch him all alive, this man from Ironbark.’

There were some gilded youths that sat along the barber’s wall.
Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all;
To them the barber passed the wink his dexter eyelid shut,
‘I’ll make this bloomin’ yokel think his bloomin’ throat is cut.’
And as he soaped and rubbed it in he made a rude remark:
‘I s’pose the flats is pretty green up there in Ironbark.’

A grunt was all reply he got; he shaved the bushman’s chin,
Then made the water boiling hot and dipped the razor in.
He raised his hand, his brow grew black, he paused awhile to gloat,
Then slashed the red-hot razor-back across his victim’s throat;
Upon the newly-shaven skin it made a livid mark –
No doubt it fairly took him in – the man from Ironbark.

He fetched a wild up-country yell might wake the dead to hear,
And though his throat, he knew full well, was cut from ear to ear,
He struggled gamely to his feet, and faced the murd’rous foe:
‘You’ve done for me! you dog, I’m beat! one hit before I go!
I only wish I had a knife, you blessed murdering shark!
But you’ll remember all your life the man from Ironbark.’

He lifted up his hairy paw, with one tremendous clout
He landed on the barber’s jaw, and knocked the barber out.
He set to work with nail and tooth, he made the place a wreck;
He grabbed the nearest gilded youth, and tried to break his neck.
And all the while his throat he held to save his vital spark,
And ‘Murder! Bloody murder!’ yelled the man from Ironbark.

A peeler man who heard the din came in to see the show;
He tried to run the bushman in, but he refused to go.
And when at last the barber spoke, and said ”Twas all in fun’
Twas just a little harmless joke, a trifle overdone.’
‘A joke!’ he cried, ‘By George, that’s fine; a lively sort of lark;
I’d like to catch that murdering swine some night in Ironbark.’

And now while round the shearing floor the list’ning shearers gape,
He tells the story o’er and o’er, and brags of his escape.
‘Them barber chaps what keeps a tote, By George, I’ve had enough,
One tried to cut my bloomin’ throat, but thank the Lord it’s tough.’
And whether he’s believed or no, there’s one thing to remark,
That flowing beards are all the go way up in Ironbark.