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If you could vote in the upcoming US elections, who would you vote for?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. If you could vote in the upcoming US elections, who would you vote for?

    • John McCain
      8
    • Hillary Clinton
      2
    • Barrack Obama
      14
    • Some left-wing candidate with no chance of winning
      4
    • Some right-wing candidate with no chance of winning
      1


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None. That's the point. I said that already. Maybe I read you wrong, but...

You said: if the states were to legislate marriage on their own, that would be an inherent violation of the Constitution.

I say: actually, since the Constitution devolves power to the states to legislate and enforce laws (mainly in Article IV), criminal laws, but also including, say, those that have to do with marriage, that--in fact--were the states to legislate marriage on their own that would be... um, exactly what they're supposed to do, according to the Constitution?

Hence... as I said before: "enshrining" any legal definition of marraige would constitute a violation of the First Amendment--since the churches get to define marriage. Even though the state may recognize it, because our government guarantees religious institutions these freedoms, they get to have the final say. The Fourteenth Amendment says that states cannot deprive people of "life, liberty, or property without due process of law." No mention of marriage, but then there is that equal protection of the law clause... this means that, whatever laws the states come up with, they have to be equally protected. A state can't define marriage in such a way so as to exclude some groups but not others. However, that doesn't mean the state has to define marriage: or, to even call it marriage whatsoever. What you're arguing against here is the Constitutionality of civil unions. But, that's a debate for another day.

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""enshrining" any legal definition of marraige would constitute a violation of the First Amendment"

Agreed.

"Even though the state may recognize it,"

Wait, in what way is 'recognising' an institution and giving it special tax status not 'enshrining' it?

Ah, don't worry. I think we're actually largely arguing over constitutional semantics. Which I love, don't get me wrong, but it's missing the point in a big way.

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You're totally right that it's a semantic argument, but when it comes to interpreting legal texts, semantics becomes just as important as substantive material. I love arguing over it as well, so forgive me if I get a little too feisty--it's in my nature.

However, I think there is an important distinction between drafting legislation that recognizes marriage and drafting legislation that contains an explicit definition of what marriage is. The former is, as I've said, more or less what the states were intended to do, and the latter is problematic because it might inherently violate the intents and principles of the First Amendment. Obviously, this begs the question, how do you draft legislation that recognizes, yet fails to define, implicitly or otherwise, that which you wish to legislate? Quite a tricky problem--we aren't in the 1700s or 1800s anymore when everyone assumed that everyone else knew intuitively what marriage meant, and it was true.

However, now we're in a bind, as the very nature of the discourse regarding "gay rights" now has to do with redefining instituations that, despite the ongoing presence of a well-known and intellectually active homosexual community (from Socrates to Oscar Wilde), were the domain of heterosexuals. Indeed, this is largely because homosexual identity itself has changed substantially over time. In ancient Greece, it was what boys did to other boys before they grew up and got married. In Victorian England, it was a vice of the upper class. Now, homosexuals want to raise nuclear families. But there remains the legal problem of drafting legislation that refers to X without defining X, and I digress...

Many states, in my view, get around this problem by drafting legislation that refers consistently to the term "civil marriage" over "marriage" in and of itself. This implies that it is, somehow, something "different" than traditional notions of marriage--which are safely in the jurisdiction of each church to define, and shall forever be so. And, to be honest, it is. States knew--intuitively or self-consciously--that to draft laws that referred to simple marriage would be a potential violation of the First Amendment.

So, what's the problem? Legal marriage--"civil marriage"--isn't the same as "marriage," legally speaking. The problem is that the rhetoric of both sides in this debate ignore this point. Certainly, there's an argument to be made that any inclusion of the word "marriage" in government regulation, regardless of the preceeding distinctive phrasing, constitutes an infringement of First A. Already, in a sense, they are the dreaded "civil unions" that people make so much of a fuss about. However, if tensions regarding this issue escalate, we might see the states go back and revise their statutes to make the separation of legal, "civil marriage" more apparent from traditional marriage--they might all be called "civil unions," now on, for everyone. This is more likely than forcing the government to assume eminent domainship, if you will, over the right of defintion for the word marriage. However, I wouldn't even rule out the latter option as a possibility.

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Sarah Palin Turkey Incident: Does TV Interview While Turkeys Are Slaughtered In The Background (VIDEO)

Warning: In the background about 20 feet away from palin turkeys are being killed.

I was lost about what she was talking about.

It's funny because she went there to pardon a Turkey. And in a tv interview there are turkeys being slaughtered behind her. Kind of silly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As to whether Clinton will make a better or worse Secretary of State than Rice remains to be seen.  However, what most people are completely unaware of is that according to Article I, section 6 of the Constitution, Clinton is ineligible to serve in that position.  Basically the clause states that no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that received a salary increase during the time the member was serving.  According to an executive order signed by Bush in January of 2008, the Secretary of State's salary was increased from $186,600 to $191,300.  Obviously, this order was signed during Clinton

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Anyone who did vote for 'historical significance' probably needs their head examined. The question of who determines the course of a country should be determined by thought on who would make the best decisions, not who breaks the most records. There may be disagreements on who the best candidate is, but that should be the only question. Which would be the best.

Whether or not Obama or Clinton are eligible to serve does seem a bit desperate though. Surely what's important is who was chosen to lead. If a law suggests that a democratically elected individual should be barred from office then perhaps there's something wrong with the law.

I couldn't find any updated sources on the story, so perhaps a decision hasn't been made yet. Regardless, it's unlikely to amount to anything. Though I did come across an aumsing aside that suggested John McCain would have similar difficulties as he was "born in the Panama Canal Zone."

So if neither candidate is eligible, even putting aside the last two years as a hilarious waste of time and money, who steps up? Edwards? Nader? The most likely outcome would be another election, but it would still be funny.

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As to whether Clinton will make a better or worse Secretary of State than Rice remains to be seen.  However, what most people are completely unaware of is that according to Article I, section 6 of the Constitution, Clinton is ineligible to serve in that position.  Basically the clause states that no member of Congress can be appointed to an office that received a salary increase during the time the member was serving.  According to an executive order signed by Bush in January of 2008, the Secretary of State's salary was increased from $186,600 to $191,300.  Obviously, this order was signed during Clinton
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I believe that the spirit of the "Emolument Clause" was to prevent congressmen from creating new useless offices and to prevent congressmen from increasing compensation for existing offices that they are seeking to occupy.

Both Democrats and Republicans have successfully circumvented the prohibition by enacting legislation to reduce the compensation of the office back down to what it was prior to the increase, this is known as the

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With respect to what Obama stands for, I would have to go with option A.  Being that I am decidedly a conservative Republican, I obviously do not support a liberal Democratic platform.

That's more or less the problem with the situation. Bitter republicans attempting to twist the letter of a law that nobody really cares about so that their anathema doesn't serve as president, nevermind that they lost the election. The same kind of thing is (was?) going on in Canada, if I've interpreted the situation correctly. In that case bitter Liberals attempting to use the Governor General to oust the conservative Stephen Harper.

Nobody seems to quite realise that the whole point of government is to put aside one's personal agenda in favour of what is good for the country.

But of course if that were to actually happen, world politics would be a very different game indeed.

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I may be a conservative Republican, but I am by no means bitter about the presidential elections results.  Contrary to what you stated, if I voted my personal feelings (immense pride at seeing a fellow African-American win the election) I would have voted for Obama.  But it was my desire to stick to my principles concerning what

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''being that I am decidedly a conservative Republican''

Hmmm. Most here probably consider ''conservative'' and ''Repulbilican'' (at least by themselves, the same probably goes for ''consertaive replubican'' though that is probably a bit less vague) to be sufficiently vague in policy that it doesn't really much to label oneself as such.

A long time ago, I labeled myself a conservative... only to find that that was just a really silly misunderstanding and there likely is or never was anything conservative about me. I don't support anything just because it is new or is ''change'' but also don't support anything because it is old or already in place. It doesn't seem that those things could have any reasonable importance.

''Contrary to what you stated, if I voted my personal feelings (immense pride at seeing a fellow African-American win the election) I would have voted for Obama''

Well, it is at least good that you did not vote on those lines. According to wikipedia, 95% of the African-American population votes for Obama. However, I think I must have misunderstood the document, because that is ridiculous. However, I must say that I don't see much real reason to feel any pride (from this)... unless this happening now makes you think that even YOU could become president (where you previously didn't think this was the case) and that this is some kind of proof that blacks can match whites and therefore proof of you're own possible capability. However, such a notion is absurd as you surely already considered blacks to be equal to whites in the first place so I really wouldn't want to patronize you by suggesting that you might hold this view... I do mention it though because there seems to be little reason (from this) for the pride.

''The same kind of thing is (was?) going on in Canada''

What would be interesting would be if another election were held with the coalition party as a contender. If it received the majority vote, then could complaints still be held regarding the legitimacy of the party as the ruling party?

''the Obama presidency will be Bill Clinton's third term''.

I don't know much about Clinton's term but it will definitely be another year of corporatist government. It is said that the people he is appointing will help ensure that workers are more thoroughly raped than ever before.

Are these ''bail-outs'' issued by the government just free cash handed out to companies or repayment or something expected. One can't but imagine that there is better use for the money.

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Did Obama promise changes regarding less war activity (pulling out of Iraq at least) and more taxes for the rich (among other socialistic reforms) or was all of this just assumed from him speaking about ''change''?

If it was the former, then this is a good example of the absurdity of democracy that is so indirect to such an extent...

Hey, let's choose a ruler that said he will do good stuff and just hope he keeps his word...

Election is over...

Oh no. He lied and is now proceeding to make good use of our rectums.

Judging on the Bush terms, it seems that impeachment in America is obviously very unlikely for whatever reason.

If ''democracy'' must be carried through such ridiculously indirect and vague exertion of power (choosing a ruling party, instead of choosing actions taken by government) then at least impeachment and new selection should be an option that can be taken at any time. It may be disruptive, but having an option does not mean you have to use it.

In the case of America, impeachment could have meant a few years less of Bush. On the other hand, since both parties suck @$$, one would imagine that replacing him with his successor might not be worth the disruption.

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There's no requirement for presidential candidates to be born on US soil. There is a requirement for them to be natural born US citizens; i.e. not naturalized foreigners. McCain is natural born and as far as I'm aware, so is Obama.

Judging on the Bush terms, it seems that impeachment in America is obviously very unlikely for whatever reason.

If ''democracy'' must be carried through such ridiculously indirect and vague exertion of power (choosing a ruling party, instead of choosing actions taken by government) then at least impeachment and new selection should be an option that can be taken at any time. It may be disruptive, but having an option does not mean you have to use it.

In the case of America, impeachment could have meant a few years less of Bush. On the other hand, since both parties suck @$$, one would imagine that replacing him with his successor might not be worth the disruption.

You can dislike Bush as much as you want (I know I do) but for him to be impeached he'd have to commit treason or some other serious crime in office first. The only two instances of an impeachment procedure in the USA were Nixon (who resigned voluntarily before he could get convicted) and Clinton (where it didn't fly in the end, good thing to because the whole business was a load of BS)

Some people like the idea of a federal Recall option because of all this.

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Really, I'm more concerned about the corruption that appears to be rampant in the Democratic Party at the moment. Even (perhaps especially?) the Clintons have been less-than-forthcoming about a lot of their activities, re. the entire Peter Paul issue. I mean, say what you will about the Republicans--but there is a distinct difference between mindlessly pursuing an objective, legally, because of some bizare ideology and ruthlessly pursuing nothing more than your personal gain, illegally.

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