- EphBlog - http://ephblog.com -

Local Politics

Last month Eph Vermont Rep Steven B. Maier and others in the Green Mountain State’s General Assembly voted for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. This month, Vermonters are raising the bar; a joint resolution calling for Bush’s impeachment continues to grow. 37 towns have now voted for impeachment, including Maier’s hometown of Middlebury. Joint House Resolution J.R.H. 15 calling for the Impeachment of the President, is scheduled for a vote early next month.

“Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principles that they are laboring to dethrone: but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.” Ethan Allen

Comments Disabled (Open | Close)

Comments Disabled To "Local Politics"

#1 Comment By Loweeel On March 7, 2007 @ 5:05 pm

Aren’t empty gestures fun? That’s the nice thing about Federalism — this is all just a huge waste of time and effort. Shouldn’t the VT representatives be trying to develop a semblance of an economy in their socialist backwater rather than spending their time making disapproving noises with no legal effect whatsoever?

I bet the VT hippies are regretting having passed that nasty old 17th Amendment, which precludes their state legislator from having any real sway over the VT senators. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t really help with impeachment, given that articles of impeachment have to be drafted by the House.

#2 Comment By Loweeel On March 7, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

I encourage people to take a look at this laughable resolution. A good number of them demonstrates how legally ignorant the Vermont legislature is, because many of the allegedly illegal actions have longstanding support and tradition in the executive branch.

(2) Appending “signing statements” to legislation asserting his purported right to ignore laws as he alone sees fit, and I hate to break it to those laboring under the cloud of pot smoke in Vermont, but every president since WWI has issued a number of signing statements. There’s nothing inherently objectionable about signing statements. I wonder why they didn’t bring this up against Carter or Clinton? hmmm

(2) Designated American citizens as “enemy combatants” in violation of due process guarantees and Presidential authority, and Wow. This is just breathtakingly ignorant. Citizenship has NOTHING to do with whether one can or cannot be categorized as an enemy combatant. I really suggest that these people actually look at a treatise on executive power, and should pay particular attention to Eisentrager, In re Territo, and Ex parte Quirin. Enemy combatants are those who fight unlawfully, and cannot be categorized as prisoners of war because they fight outside the bounds of a legally-declared war and not on behalf of a combatant nation.

Whereas, George W. Bush has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention without access to legal counsel, without charge, or opportunity to appear before a judge to challenge their detention based solely on a discretionary designation by the President as “enemy combatants,” all in derogation and subversion of the law, and Interestingly, the Geneva Conventions PREVENT trials of prisoners of war and enemy combatants, because they are not to be punished as criminals. They also authorize holding of POWs and Enemy Combatants for the duration of hostilities so that they may not return to their side and continue fighting. Detention is lawfully authorized as long as the conflict continues. This would not change if they were designated POWs instead of enemy combatants — they still would not have access to civilian courts on either the offensive or defensive side.

Whereas, George W. Bush has violated his oath of office by invading Iraq illegally without just cause or reason, in contravention of his constitutional obligation that the laws be executed faithfully Funny, I seem to remember a Congressional authorization. I guess all that pot smoke up in Vermont is affecting the legislators’ memories.

Moreover, even “failing to prosecute torturers” is not an impeachable offense. It’s part of prosecutorial discretion, and courts will not question a decision not to prosecute.

This document is clearly the work of people wildly ignorant of the recent events and the law and legal precedent. It’s something I’d expect out of Dennis Kucinich, who proposed a bill to ban mind control weapons in outer space and received an endorsement from Father Time and the woodland creatures.

#3 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On March 7, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

A, L: “Rule 603” and Hinds Precedents. Looks like New Jersey will be the first to transmit charges here, but (looking from inside) the assumption is that the states that have introduced resolutions will follow: California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont and Washington, to quote.

The Judiciary Committee then has the authority to investigate and draft Articles, (or ignore the charges). It’s a heck of a ball to be thrown in the current situation.

S. 604 could and likely will also be mined for ambiguity re: privilege, though I think it is relatively clear.

#4 Comment By frank uible On March 7, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

Ignorant or no, they don’t care.

#5 Comment By Anonymous On March 7, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

Frank- Actually, I think they do care. They just don’t care what anyone attempts to label them as. That is the beautiful thing about Vermont.

Vermont: Gay unions, no gun law. Put that into a talking point.

Complexity really bothers people who do not use reason.

#6 Comment By Loweeel On March 7, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

You want a talking point?

#7 Comment By PTC On March 7, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

Loweel- Dude that is funny. Of course, being a Vermonter, I believe that all people have the right to carry a firearm. Vermont is the only state in the Union where a person can legally carry a handgun concealed without a permit.
Something to think about.
I tended Bar in Burlington for a year, at a dive called JPs right off of the Church St. I often checked guns behind the bar (there is a law against having a concealed weapon at a bar). Normally, it was a purse with a .38 in it. Not sure if the guys were packing as much as the gals…. Perhaps they just kept it on them? Anyhow, there were several occasions when I told the ladies to come back the following day for the gun, depending on the atmosphere. Ah Vermont, how I do miss it so.

Something else to think about.

“On a per capita basis, states with mostly rural populations have suffered the highest casualties in Iraq. Vermont, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Delaware, Montana, Louisiana and Oregon top the list, the AP found.
There’s a “basic unfairness” about the number of troops dying in Iraq who are from rural areas, said William O’Hare, senior visiting fellow at the University of New Hampshire’s Carsey Institute, which examines rural issues.”

So perhaps, this is more than about being “VT hippies”.

#8 Comment By frank uible On March 7, 2007 @ 6:24 pm

Point of clarification – they don’t care whether or not they are called ignorant.

#9 Comment By Loweeel On March 7, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

I’m not arguing about whether people from Vermont are dying disproportionately. If they are, it’s tragic, and people are right to be concerned about it. I’m not critiquing the point of view or the motivation — I’m critiquing this terrible bill, full of mischaracterizations and flat-out incorrect legal assertions. They’re saying that long-standing bi-partisan executive branch conduct is somehow not just illegal, but constitutes impeachable offenses as “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

Moral certitude (even if correct) does not alone make solid arguments. That’s the “hippie” mistake of the VT legislature — forgetting actual facts, ignoring legal precedent, and trying to “do something” that does nothing, supported by “reasoning” that they *really really really* want to be solid, though it’s not.

#10 Comment By frank uible On March 7, 2007 @ 9:35 pm

And “facts” which, if they aren’t true, are okay to cite as if true because they ought to be.

#11 Comment By PTC On March 8, 2007 @ 12:09 am

Loweeel- Calling Vermonters hippies would tend to lend itself to a notion that the state is full of no load reality addled draft card burning types who see reality through the glass of a bong. Nothing could be further from the truth. Vermont is a small, rugged, rural state with a huge history of service in our nation’s wars.

Impeachment needs to be grounded in legal arguments (“High Crimes”) but is a political exercise. It does not matter what the legal precedent is. Clinton got impeached for the charge of lying in Court. Bush could get impeached for a “violation” of anything that the congress deems as a reason. They are not stating these things as bold facts; they are charging the President with these “high crimes” to be heard in a political arena, not a court of law. If the public is mad enough about domestic spying or any of the other “charges”, Bush could get impeached. You get 30 or so states doing what Vermont is doing and an approval rating stuck in the high 20s low 30s, it may not be enough to get the numbers in the Senate to convict, but it is going to keep what many deem as a destructive executive in check. These efforts may not be as futile as you suggest.
At any rate, it is the voice of the people being spoken in a political forum. This is an exercise of individual and states rights. The people of Vermont are mad enough to charge the president with impeachable offenses, and ask the federal congress for relief. It’s a big deal.

#12 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 12:50 am

No, the legislature of Vermont is mad enough to make a statement that the President is bad. It’s not a charge of anything, just a pointless statement of anger with no legal effect whatsoever.

You are correct that during the 70’s, Gerald Ford remarked that, “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers (it) to be at a given moment in history.” Still, I doubt that this will even get out of the House, regardless of what the nutroots are doing.

It’s not a matter of legal precedent, it’s a matter of executive precedent. Neither the designation of enemy combatants, nor their holding without access to the courts, nor the use of presidential signing statements is new or novel. Clinton got impeached for exactly what Scooter Libby was convicted of — lying under oath in a predicate proceeding unrelated to the underlying charge. Perjury is perjury, even when it’s trumped up, ala Clinton and Libby.

You want to reinvigorate the Republicans? Go ahead with your impeachment efforts. It will only backfire harder than the Clinton impeachment did. I, for one, welcome our new President, Rudolph Giuliani, and look forward to the Holy One, Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, blessed be She.

#13 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 12:52 am

Vermont may be a small rugged state with a history of service, but it’s also a small rugged state with an economy of a suburb in New Jersey.

It used to have the second smallest economy in the country, but I recall reading somewhere that it was finally passed by North Dakota last year or the year before to end up dead last.

#14 Comment By Anonymous On March 8, 2007 @ 1:03 am

Loweel- These are not my impeachment efforts.

As far as Giuliani goes, I will be surprised if he wins the primary. Too many marriages.

#15 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 1:03 am

You’ll enjoy the surprise. Rudy is awesome.

#16 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On March 8, 2007 @ 2:17 am

Unfortunately or fortunately, the via politica in its ultimate moments is rarely dominated by the concerns and definitions of rationality expressed above. More often just the opposite.

And there are more forces and interests– and candidates– at play here, than we have scraped the surface of here. (Google News for “American Airlines” and “President…”).

This one may turn out to be very interesting, indeed.

#17 Comment By frank uible On March 8, 2007 @ 3:42 am

All this is enough to make one consider resignation from the human race.

#18 Comment By Anonymous On March 8, 2007 @ 6:29 am

Frank- That, or moving to Vermont.

#19 Comment By Jeff Z. On March 8, 2007 @ 7:56 am

“Rudy is awesome.” Good one, Lowell. I don’t care what the polls say now … the more the hard-core Christian voters who dominate the primaries learn about Giuliani, the less they are gonna like: even as (like McCain, apparently unsuccessfully) he panders to them more and more every day, he’ll still be a gay-toleratin’, abortion-lovin’, cross-dressing, twice-divorced New York lawyer whose own kids don’t like him to them. Wonkette sums up his candidacy best: a man “famous for standing around after terrorists crashed planes into New York buildings.” (Much like the man he’s trying to replace, until that guy became even more famous for being the worst President of the last century).

If the Dems don’t nominate Obama next year, and he doesn’t win the general election, I pretty much just give up …

And as for Vermont, why not? Maybe if every single state passed similar resolution the Dems would get the message, grow a sack, and do something a little more radical to try to end this disaster.

#20 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 10:37 am

Jeff, I look forward to your giving up! Obama’s a complete lightweight, a complete empty suit who’s sum total experience has been a few years as a frickin state senator, and 3 months in the US Senate.

Annoint him all you want, but the man is completely unqualified to be President. I, for one, welcome our new Italian-American overlord.

#21 Comment By (d)HTK On March 8, 2007 @ 10:45 am

“3 months” for Obama in the Senate? That must refer to dog years.

#22 Comment By Jeff Z. On March 8, 2007 @ 10:46 am

Hmmm, Obama is hell of a lot more of a heavyweight than Bush was when he was elected (not a very high standard, I know), and in any event I’d rather have an intellectual heavyweight (president of Harvard Law Review, professor at Chicago Law) with a wide range of interesting experience at all levels of government (eight years state government, four years in the US Senate, not a “few months” or “a few years” like you say), plus tremendous experience in local politics / activism, than someone who has been around for more years but doesn’t have the brains, character, or charisma of Barack. I’d say twelve years of experience, four in the federal gov’t, is nothing to sneeze at for anyone, but given how smart and fast a learner Barack is, that’s like 24 years of experience for the average candidate. By the way, how many years of experience does your boy Giuliani have at the federal level? How about at the state leadership level? Oh yeah, zero.

#23 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 12:27 pm

By the way, how many years of experience does your boy Giuliani have at the federal level? How about at the state leadership level? Oh yeah, zero.

Jeff, I hate to bring this up, but as a Jersey boy like me, which do you think is more difficult and provides better experience — running New York City for 8 years or running Arkansas for 8 years? I’d say that there are maybe only 10 states, if that, whose governor does more work and has more experience running a large, complicated entity and dealing with more political groups and foreign entities than the Mayor of NYC. Arkansas is definitely not one of them. On the other hand, running the 2nd most populous state in the country just might be. The level on which Giuliani has experience isn’t as important as the fact that he has non-trivial executive experience — he ran the biggest city in the country, and one of the biggest in the world, for 8 years. Other than Harvard Law Review (which he won in an 18-way election), what has Obama run? Absolutely nothing.

My apologies for misremembering Obama’s election date to the US Senate. If he took office in early January ’05, when the Senate is seated after the ’04 elections, how much experience does he have now? (hint — it’s a number of months between 25 and 27)

I didn’t say that Obama was an INTELLECTUAL lightweight, and I wouldn’t, because I’m familiar with his education. But experentially? 8 years as a state senator and less than one term in the US Senate is insufficient experience to be president, in my opinion.

The Democrats are also ill-served because none of their front-runners have executive experience, and historically, voters almost always seem to require experience in an executive branch somewhere, which is why vice presidents and governors typically win elections, and senators typically get destroyed. We have to go back to the 1960 election to find a victor without prior executive experience.

#24 Comment By rory On March 8, 2007 @ 12:54 pm

and the texas governor’s seat is one of the least powerful in the nation, and that’s all the experience bush had (not that he’s a good comparison…)

there’s no real preparation for the presidency, except, perhaps for being VP (or maybe first lady/sir. but we’ve never tried that). The experience factor should be much less of an issue. Obama’s clearly got the intellect to understand the job, the charisma to move the country’s population. Let’s actually argue policies and leadership capabilities, not 26 months or 3 months or 4 years in the senate.

#25 Comment By frank uible On March 8, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

My uncle can beat up your uncle!

#26 Comment By PTC On March 8, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

Giuliani has been married three times.
Giuliani is pro choice.
Giuliani has a record of strict gun control.
Giuliani dresses in drag and lets Donald Trump kiss his fake boobs.

Somehow, I doubt the right is going to annoint him as their candidate. When was the last time the Republicans had an actual primary anyhow, and not an annointed candidate for President?

Even if he wins the primary, I do not see the base getting fired up to vote for him, unless Hillary is running. Then they will come out just to vote against her.

#27 Comment By Anonymous On March 8, 2007 @ 5:26 pm

Having had my home state of Vermonts honor called into question in this thread by a fellow American from New Jersey, I must point out this interesting factoid.

Pot smoking hippies in Vermont, are we?

Death rate in Iraq:

Vermont- #1 2.88 per 100,000

New Jersey- # 49 0.64 per 100,000

The gods of the hills are not the gods of the valley, if you will accompany me back to the hills of Bennington, the sense will be made clear.” Ethan Allen

#28 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

PTC, if you click on the link I posted above (under the text “the surprise”), or look at any of the other polls (e.g., NY Post story today here) that have come out lately, Rudy enjoys extremely strong support among not just the right, but more Americans than any other candidate right now.

It’s funny, people on the left keep saying that those on the right hate gays, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, it’s some on the left who, despite claiming to believe in a right to privacy, a right of sexual autonomy, take a hypocritically shrill delight in “outing” those on the right who are not yet open about their homosexual orientation.

As for Giuliani’s personal pro-choice orientation (which I support and agree with), it will be fine. Most of those on the right are sophisticated enough to understand that opposing Roe does not mean banning abortion, but merely returning it to the states and the political branches to deal with, as it should have been. Most of the left outside of the legal field seem unable, unwilling, or too uninformed to make the distinction or admit that Roe is a terribly-reasoned decision.

As for gun control, Giuliani was a subordinate executive of New York, and legally required to enforce New York State’s infamously restrictive gun laws. Blame Pataki and the legislature, if you want, but the legally-educated Giuliani knows what his duties of office are, unlike, say, Gavin Newsome. Godforbid we have a mayor who follows the laws!

As for divorces, most of us don’t care about that. I doubt you’ll find anybody on the right critical of the last divorced Republican nominee, who was the first divorcee to become President.

This might bother some people on the FAR right, but there will be a lot fewer of them lost than moderates gained. Just look at how Giuliani polls in the mid-Atlantic, winning PA, NJ, and CT against Hillary and Obama (though I haven’t seen recent stats on NY State). Giuliani will also play quite well in the Southwest.

Obama, supporting the coercive union bill allowing intimidation in certification elections by barring secret ballots, which Bush better veto, might pick up Ohio against Giuliani. But that won’t be enough.

Most, if not all, of the people I hear saying that Giuliani has no chance are on the left. I don’t blame them — if I were a Democrat, I wouldn’t want to run against him either.

#29 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

Where did I say that those in Iraq were pot-smoking hippies? Vermont is pretty well known for having a large supply of (and demand for!) marijuana, which may be the explanation for Bernie Sanders.

I only implied that the cloud of smoke was affecting the legislators. But congratulations, you’ve defeated the straw man!

#30 Comment By Anonymous On March 8, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

Actually Loweel, you called Vermont a “socialist backwater” that passes the laws of “VT hippies”. You also stated that the Vermont legislature was “legally ignorant”. No implication in any of this. You stated it. You want to talk trash about a state, then expect to be called on it.

It’s funny, people on the left keep saying that those on the right hate gays, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.


Perhaps a gay conservative who was there may have some credibility?

Frank- My State can beat upyour State!

#31 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

Sullivan hasn’t been anything close to conservative in about 5 years. Care to try again? The article I linked refers to a fellow Columbia non-leftie, who was actually at the conference, and was gleefully outed by some scumbag leftie. If you’d like to read more right-of-center gay bloggers, I highly recommend GayPatriot, co-hosted by Williams alum Dan Blatt (aka GayPatriotWest).

Vermont is socialist (see Bernie Sanders), is a backwater (look at this size of its “economy”). You can disagree with how correct those are, but they’re certainly reasonable characterizations.

By “the VT Hippies” I was pretty clearly referring to the legislature, given the reference to the 17th Amendment. If you weren’t ignorant of the text or import of that Amendment, you would have been more likely to parse my statement correctly. Look the Amendment and read it, and then try parsing my statement again, based on that knowledge.

The VT legislature’s claims of “impeachable offenses” are, as I’ve argued (to no rebuttal) legally ignorant.

The implication was about the pot-smoke, as was clear from my previous post and from the first post. You really should read more carefully.

#32 Comment By Jeff Z. On March 8, 2007 @ 7:48 pm

Lowell, I know the libertarian / federalist law circles you run in have no problem with gays, but if you really think demonizing gays hasn’t played an instrumental role in getting out the GOP christian conservative base, we’re living on a different planet. There is a reason the GOP has pushed so hard for anti-gay-marriage ballot amendments in every swing state, and it’s not because the GOP is just in favor of free love and opposed to the institution of marriage.

You can cite all the polls you want, but it is very, very, very early. Let’s see what kind of effect two years of Brownback and Romney hammering away at Giuliani’s social conservative street cred have before blindly relying on the polls. Right now, folks outside of NYC remember Giuliani first and foremost as the September 11th dude. And I’ll say I have no real problems with Giuliani, in fact I’d much prefer him to any of the other GOP candidates, notwithstanding some concerns about his temperment and all his recent pandering and flip-flopping. I just think his support is going to erode over the next few years among the most motivated GOP voters. I guess time will tell who is right.

As for Barack, who gives a damn about executive experience. We’ve had lots of recent awful presidents (see, e.g., Jimmy Carter and the shrub) with executive experience. To me, it’s meaningless. It’s not like you want a President to be a micromanager in any event, especially if you’re a purported conservative. What I look for in a candidate are a variety of traits Barack exemplifies: intelligence, an ability to inspire confidence, an ability to connect with a wide range of people (the common man as well as foreign diplomats and leaders), judgment, integrity, dedication to public service, a proven ability to succeed in past endeavors of any stripe, good values, trustworthiness, humility, communication skills, even-temperdness / grace under pressure, work ethic, charisma — on almost any metric I care about, Barack is miles and miles ahead of any GOP or Democratic candidate, in my view. Although Giuliani has some of these traits, in many others he falls far, far short of Barack and several other candidates as well.

#33 Comment By PTC On March 8, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

Back peddling is a beautiful thing! Your argument about Vermont being a “socialist backwater” is based on a single elected official??? You want to tell me about straw men? Nice try. Vermont is no such thing. The governor is a Republican, and Republicans controlled the house of representatives until very recently. You do not know a damn thing about Vermont, and have an opinion based on bogus talking points. Admit it, and move on.

The legal part… well, what Bush has done with Domestic spying, and the rest, has been argued by so many prominent attorneys (of which, this townie is not one!) that it makes me wonder what you are trying to prove by stating that the legal ground the President is on is not in question. It very plainly is. Even by members of his own party. We could link multiple judges and attorneys that have both sides of this legal argument covered…to what point? It is a viable argument. That means the current Joint Resolution is not as “legally ignorant”, as you say.

#34 Comment By rory On March 8, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

this is some terrible argumentation:

In the milions of gay people in the US, I found one who hates on the left and claims to be a conservative!
look, in the millions of gay people, I found one who hated coulter’s comment and claims to be a conservative!

anecdotes mean naught. btw, the gannon incident was a scandal not because he was gay, but because he got press credentials and preferential treatment in press conferences because he was not actually a journalist, but rather a plant. that blog post misses the entire meat of the issue for the bizarre dressing of it.

but, if you want to see conservative hatred for gays and are using blogs…look at the comments defending coulter. Look at the very idea that gay people should go to counseling to de-gay themselves. not all conservatives believe these things, and libertarians are very progressive on sexuality issues, but there’s an ugly wing in the conservative tent in terms of anti-gay attitudes. i shouldn’t really have to go into more depth on that.

I don’t support impeaching bush because that means cheney takes over. take cheney out of office first:)

to continue: legislators are not supposed to be legal experts, especially not constitutional ones (i mean, pick your state–democracies elect stupid people a lot!). what is telling is that this war has been such a bad idea from the beginning, poorly executed, and based on misleading and potentially outrightly false reasons that it has led at least one state legislature to vote for impeachment. regardless of the intricacies of their legal reasonings, that’s the real take-away message.

As for your first post, while its level of “correctness” is debatable, it is clearly belittling a state just to be mean.

and the 17th amendment was passed so long before hippies existed that the bad attempt (in my opinion) of satire only got more mean-spirited.

Finally, before we start bashing Vermont for its economy (as though vermont alone can be faulted for its economy) and laugh at lefties wasting their time, one has to wonder why South Dakota’s legislature is wasting taxpayer time writing abortion bills just to get them challenges on purpose? Shouldn’t they be fixing their stillwater economy?!?

Unsurprisingly, the comment about FISA in the bill withstood your assault…might they have had a point there? in fact, in general, the reason your post has not been criticized is that the distance between your interpretation and, say, mine is so great, its not worth trying to bridge.

as for impeachment, how about ramsey clark? I don’t agree with some of his points, but you have to admit, the guy isn’t legally ignorant. he wants bush impeached too…

#35 Comment By PTC On March 8, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

Rory- Vermont has a good economy. Not everyone needs a life that is about wealth. I grew up in a place where at 13 we drove dirt bikes, shot deer, trapped, and still hung out in New York City when we wanted to. I have been to the Jersey Shore several times, and every time I have been, it has been kickass. Loweels attempts to label my state are as laughable as my attempts to label his.

Loweel my brother, If you ever want to meet me for a drink let me know. I am buying. I’ll be in the city later this month with friends.

#36 Comment By Anonymous On March 8, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

this is some terrible argumentation:

In the milions of gay people in the US, I found one who hates on the left and claims to be a conservative!
look, in the millions of gay people, I found one who hated coulter’s comment and claims to be a conservative!

I agree Rory. The argumentation is bogus. Still, if you read what I linked, it is the best response to Coulter I have read. Read it, and tell me what you think.

#37 Comment By frank uible On March 8, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

My State is currently and for the foreseeable future MA. Beat away!

#38 Comment By rory On March 8, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

PTC-in responding to Lowell’s word choices, I didn’t decide to question the truth of them, just the necessity of them. I actually just went to a presentation on why Vermont has succeeded in crafting a successful state image and attracted some pretty successful businesses compared to New Hampshire (not to criticize New Hampshire here).

Ironically, among the things Lowell and I share is our homestate :)

non named individual–I’ve read Sullivan’s piece, I actually generally agree with him, which is odd cuz normally he frustrates me.

#39 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

PTC — by what measure (other than anecdotes) does Vermont have a successful economy by state standards?

#40 Comment By Loweeel On March 8, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

Rory: to continue: legislators are not supposed to be legal experts, especially not constitutional ones

So I take it that the Oath of Office of Vermont elected officials means that they’re sworn to uphold whatever they feel like upholding?

As for Ramsey Clark? Anybody founding and working for a Stalinist front like A.N.S.W.E.R. is no longer credible, and their arguments do not need to be treated anymore seriously than those of the KKK or the American Nazi Party.

As for FISA, I didn’t comment because I am insufficiently familiar with 4th Amendment Jurisprudence, having never taken anything on the 4th Amendment. It’s not an acceptance of the claim — in fact, I’m sure it’s wrong, I just lack the knowledge and legal basis on which to refute it, and I’m not one to feign knowledge where I don’t have it.

South Dakota’s economy is quite a bit larger than Vermont’s, and without the benefit of skiiers, to boot. Yes, SD should not be wasting time challenging the current, albeit incorrect, federal right to abortion, but at least their law has SOME legal effect, in that it can be challenged. VT’s impeachment resolution has no effect whatsoever. It’s a meaningless gesture, which is part of my point.

Jeff — I’m glad to see that you admit that Jimmy Carter was a terrible president. I personally agree with the Simpsons’ assessment that he’s “history’s greatest monster” and even before his recent anti-semitic screed. However, I fail to see what opposing judicially-imposed gay marriage has to do with being personally hostile to gays. I certainly don’t believe that the New Jersey decision was anything more than naked politics (expecially because the NJ constitution LACKS an equal protection clause), and no matter the policy merits of civil unions, opposing judicially-mandated gay marriage has at most a miniscule correlation with personal hostilities to gays, just as there are many (including me, and a majority of th elegal left) who think that Roe was incorrect who nonetheless support abortion as a policy, but not a constitutional, matter. Personally, I think the problem with the left is that it focuses solely on ends and all else be damnded, while ignoring that the means it uses creates much of the opposition to those ends.

PTC — Bernie Sanders isn’t just “one elected official”. He’s an official for FEDERAL office elected by state majority vote. Before he was one of 2 Senators, he was the ONLY Representative. He’s not just a far-left democrat, ala Cynthia McKinney or Sheila Jackson Lee — he’s an admitted, outspoken, and self-declared socialist. Please show me one, JUST one, state-wide elected official anywhere in the country, who is a socialist and ran as a socialist (and not as a socialist in donkey’s clothing). His continued reelection, despite his outspoken socialist ideas, is at least as relevant as your recent nominally Republican governor, especially given that there is no other state-wide elected official, anywhere else in the country, who is an out-and-out socialist.

Regarding Coulter, she was clearly and unequivocally wrong to say it, but she’s correct in defending herself. She clearly has a point, because “faggot” also has a meaning that is tangential to homosexuality. It’s not just two commentators, anymore than Kos is just a single voice on the left. However, nobody has responded to shrill eagerness of those on the left to “out” Sanchez (as I linked to) or the claims of Mehlman being gay. It seems like those on the left are giddy at the idea of exposing homosexuality on the right, which seems hypocritical on multiple levels.

#41 Comment By Ben Fleming On March 8, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

Until this year, maple sugar. Still got microbrewing, overpriced icy skiing and certain types of artisinal cheeses locked down!

#42 Comment By PTC On March 9, 2007 @ 12:25 am

Question- PTC — by what measure (other than anecdotes) does Vermont have a successful economy by state standards?

Answer- Who cares.

Loweel- My father owns a 400 acre farm in Vermont that he works everyday. He owns his animals, he works his hay, he works for himself… how much money does he make compared to you? He a makes about 20K a year loweel….. How much do you make?
My brother owns hundreds of acres of woods in Vermont and Mass. that he works in logging everyday. He sweats everyday, and works for himself. He has several partners that work with him, not for him. He owns his own equipment, works on what he wants when he wants. What do you suppose his income is, compared to yours? Where does that fit into the per capita income in this “VT v NJ dumbshit debate?”… Vermonters do not care.
Wealth is about anecdotes. Vermont may have a lower per capita income than New Jersey, but do you really believe that the people are poorer? Man, I have been to Trenton, I doubt it. CT is one of the richest states in the Union… ever been to Bridgeport? Wealth is not as simple as numbers on a page.
I am gald you are doing well, living in a “well to do” state. I hope you buy a ton of gold, drive a really boss car, if that is what you are into. As for my part, visit Vermont, and compare it to New Jersey, then tell me, which state is richer? I have had some really good times in the garden state, but compared to Vermont… hey, not my scene. Me, I’d live in Vermont, or the Berkshires, if I had a choice.
If you do not think wealth is all about anecdotes then you do not understand wealth, at least as I define it. So what is the point of this debate?

#43 Comment By LSU On March 9, 2007 @ 1:05 am

For what it is worth (not much, I know) I have lived in both states. I lived in a relatively nice part of NJ and worked in a terrible part (Hightstown and Trenton). I lived and worked in an average part of Vermont (Saxtons River…no stop lights). If forced to go back to either state, I would choose Vermont as would the rest of my family. New Jersey could not compare with everything Vermont had to offer. While Vermont might have lacked the more spohisticated entertainment available in NYC, it made up in outdoor activities. And I do miss the cheeses…my favorite is the Grafton Maple Smoked Cheddar. I currently live in San Jose, CA to dispel any notion about being a crunchy Vermonter. Just one opinion…..

#44 Comment By Loweeel On March 9, 2007 @ 1:32 am

PTC, I am always impressed at your ability to ignore my points while moving the goalposts. Who brought up wealth? You, not me. I know I shouldn’t expect such “high-level” “sophisticated” econ 101-level knowleedge of somebody who supports an economic illiterate like Jim Webb, but PERSONAL WEALTH is very different from a STATE’s ECONOMY. The two have only the most miniscule correlation.

The role of Trenton in the economy of NEW JERSEY as a whole, like the role of Bridgeport in the economy of Connecticut as a whole, is just as irrelevant (i.e., almost completely) as the role of your father and brother in Vermont’s economy. The plural of “anecdote” is not “data” — which is my personal income is similarly irrelevant.

There’s quite a bit that Vermont is missing, and it’s called “business”. I know you guys aren’t really fans of business, and your laws are pretty damn hostile to anybody trying to make a buck, but it takes more than maple syrup, cheddar vastly inferior to that produced in NY, a few ski towns (one of which is trying to, and I hope will successfully, secede to NH, in protest at VT’s socialist-level property taxes), and a Ben & Jerry’s factory to make an economy.

And PTC, what makes you think I’m currently living in NJ? I’m FROM there, originally, but I haven’t lived there in 8 years. In fact, it’s pretty obvious from numerous other references I’ve made on here (as well as my IP address) where I’m living. But once again, “when you assume, you make an ass out of you and…” no, just yourself.

Rory, you also fundamentally missed my point with the 17th Amendment. If state legislators want to have a direct influence on Senatorial action or on any federal legislative action, they should repeal it. If not, they can either (a) be active in the next election (b) make persuasive, well-reasoned arguments unlike this baseless screed, or (c) STFU.

#45 Comment By PTC On March 9, 2007 @ 6:27 am

Loweel- I made my point. Wealth is relative. You asked me what made my state rich, and I answered it using personal anecdotes comparing my state to your home state of NJ. NJ, on paper, is much richer than Vermont. I could care less if you live in NJ now; it served me well for my Anecdote. To you, I am sure NJ is much richer. That is fine. I have no problem with that. I am not going to call you names just because that is your belief, either.

Vermont is only “hostile towards business” under your definition loweel. The whole thing is relative. For guys like my dad and my brother, Vermont is a great place to run a business.

I have never claimed to know much about economics. But I believe that PERSONAL WEALTH is NOT very different from a STATE’s ECONOMY. If you have a zillion people living in a state making a zillion dollars, that are living in a trashed wasteland, I do not consider them to be rich. You and I have different metrics on wealth. Like I said, you and I arguing about which state is richer is a pointless argument because we do not have the same definition of wealth. By your standard, Vermont is poor, by mine, it is rich.

I do not need a “high-level” “sophisticated” above econ 101-level knowledge to understand wealth better than you do Loweel. The only thing you are proving is that you are an elitist snob who believes that your reality supersedes mine because of your education. Big deal. You think you have been more places in life than me, seen more? I seriously doubt it. Does that me more sophisticated because I have a broader range of life experience than you do…. Dude- WHO CARES.

Lastly- Jim Webb is a great American. He is a hero. A hero in war. I value that in my elected officials. I also value his position on the economy.