Capitol Notebook's blog

Publisher puts warning label on the Constitution

As hard as it may be to believe (or perhaps not), a US publisher has put a warning label on a recently released book comprised of a copy of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers and other works written by America's Founding Fathers.

What's next, a warning label at the front door of the US National Archives?

(Via Fox News)

Wilder Publications warns readers of its reprints of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, the Articles of Confederation, and the Federalist Papers, among others, that “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”

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New study shows liberals just don't get economics

A new study was just concluded that took a look at how well people understood basic facts of economics, then asked them about their politics.  When the results of the economics quiz were cross-referenced with the politics of the respondents, the results seemed to bear out what conservatives have said about liberals for years - they just don't understand economics.

But now we have some researchers backing up our intuitions and
observations who hail from a place that's overwhelmed
with liberal thought - academia.

(via the Washington Times)

Americans describing themselves as conservative, very conservative and libertarian "do reasonably well" when asked about basic economic questions involving supply, demand and the effects of regulation, concluded Mr. Klein, an economics professor at George Mason University, and Ms. Buturovic, an associate researcher with the polling firm Zogby International.

"But the left has trouble squaring economic thinking with their political psychology, morals and aesthetics," the two write.

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2010 elections: a local or national election?

In most elections, the outcome will boil down to local issues...even elections for national office.  Whether it's fixing potholes, or the guy who can go to Washington and raid the national piggy bank and send back home more of what the voters sent there to begin with, as former Democrat House Speaker Tip O'Neal once said, "all politics is local".

But not always.

As with about everything in politics (and life), there are exceptions.  Meaning, sometimes, elections will revolve around national issues and themes.  And 2010 is shaping up to be just such a year.   Why?  Because people are growing more concerned about issues like terrorism, spending and the national debt than they are about more goodies from the government.  And whereas usually people had a low opinion of Congress, but a high opinion of their own congressman, even that opinion isn't so high anymore.

Gallup's new poll takes a look at voters' issue concerns and finds the following:

Super Tuesday winners and losers

By now you know most of the "who won, who lost" as far as the candidates are concerned in the mega-round of primaries held in 11 states this Tuesday.  (If not, you can catch up here).  But what we're more interested in is the bigger picture.  Who are the big "winners and losers" based on how things turned out?

The Winners

Sarah Palin: Palin had a really good night.  In South Carolina's GOP gubernatorial primary, the candidate she backed, three-term state representative Nikki Haley came from fourth place to first (and within one point of winning a four-way primary without a runoff) in the little more than two weeks since Palin's endorsement.  And in Nevada, Palin endorsed another state representative Sharon Angle...who was also in last place...and also went on to finish first.  She also backed Carly Fiorina in California who won that state GOP's senate nomination.

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IRS moving to give homosexuals the "married" treatment

Despite the existence of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, the IRS is moving to treat homosexual couples to some of the same tax benefits of legally married couples under a new ruling that overturns a previous ruling on the same subject during the Bush Administration.  (via WSJ)

The Internal Revenue Service has ruled that same-sex couples must be treated the same as heterosexual couples under a feature of California tax law. Advocates for the change say it is the first time the agency has acknowledged gay couples as a unit for tax purposes.

The change reverses a 2006 IRS ruling and opens a tax benefit to many same-sex couples that wasn't available before. It may affect couples in Nevada and Washington state, as well.

Specifically, the agency said nearly 58,000 couples who are registered as domestic partners in California must combine their income and each report half
of it on their separate tax returns. Same-sex couples account for an
estimated 95% of the state's domestic partnerships; partnership status
is also available to heterosexual couples in which one partner is over
age 62. ...

Another ObamaCare surprise: new regulations could end insurance for over one million people

As the weeks and months have passed since ObamaCare was signed into law, Nancy Pelosi's comment that "we have to pass it so we can find out what's in it" comment makes her out to be more of a prophet every day.  The devil truly is in the details, as they say.

The latest surprise is the fact that about one million low-income Americans could lose their health insurance coverage by September because some of its provisions will make it illegal (or at least impossible) to offer some limited benefits plans to the public.  (via Politico)

Part of the health care overhaul due to kick in this
September could strip more than 1 million people of their insurance coverage, violating a key goal of President Barack Obama’s reforms.

Under the provision, insurance companies will no longer be able to apply broad annual caps on the amount of money they pay out on health policies. Employer groups say the ban could essentially wipe out a niche insurance market that many part-time workers and retail and restaurant employees have come to rely on.

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Obama's deficit commission is running out of money

From the long list of ironies when it comes to our government and how it operates, comes the news that Obama's bipartisan deficit commission is about to run out of operating funds.

If you remember, this was the commission that Obama created by executive order back in April because he didn't want to go along with a congressional version being pushed by Republicans that would have taken tax increases off the table in terms of recommendations that the commission could make (and force to a vote in Congress).

From the Fiscal Times:

The 18-member commission faces the daunting challenge of coming up with proposals by Dec. 1 to tame the federal government’s trillion-dollar budget deficit.  But the panel’s own budget is only $500,000, barely enough to cover office rent and the salaries of four staff members.

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Confirmed: Kagan's a liberal (suprise!)

Newly released memos from her days as a law clerk confirm what conservatives have suggested all along - that Elena Kagan is a political liberal whose views are outside of the mainstream in America.  And they are a stark reminder for all Americans that elections have consequences.

Just when poll after poll confirms that Americans are becoming more conservative as well as more pro-life, we're faced with a potential lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of someone who would likely use the power of the court to interpret and apply the Constitution in such a way as to move the country in the opposite direction.

Via CBS:

...while working as a law clerk to the late Justice Thurgood
Marshall - made her positions clear on some of the nation's most contentious social issues.

The documents, buried in Marshall's papers in the Library of Congress, show Kagan standing
shoulder-to-shoulder with the liberal left,
at a time when the
Rehnquist Supreme Court was moving to the conservative right...

The Marshall documents are legal memos summarizing cases the Court
had been asked to consider. They cover the spectrum of hot-button
social issues: abortion, civil rights, gun rights, prisoners' rights
and the constitutional underpinnings for recognizing gay marriage...

Military chiefs at odds with White House over gays in the military

It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration has moved forward in pushing Congress to overturn the existing ban on open homosexuality in the military despite the objections of leading generals and admirals.  In fact, each of the heads of the services, who collectively comprise the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have opposed the plan.

Previously, Secretary of Defense Gates had put in place a review of military policy on the matter and its impact on military readiness that will not be concluded until December. It was thought that Congress and the White House would wait until after the study was complete to think about making any changes.

Not hardly.

The fact that the study won't be complete until December is EXACTLY why they want to move ahead now.  Because that means there will be a new (more Republican, more conservative) Congress in place by the time the issue is addressed - and they want to change it while they can.  Not to mention make the radical, gay rights lobby happy in the process.  All part of the strategy of trying to excite the base before the election.

This tells you a little bit about how this administration feels about our military leaders:

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ObamaCare Update: Yes, it's getting worse

It's beginning to seem like one could write a book (or at least fill a number of pages comparable to the length of the original bill) with reports of how ObamaCare doesn't do what Democrats said it would, how it does do what opponents said it would, and how it's going to result in other consequences that weren't predicted (which, itself, was predicted).  Got it?

Well, here's the latest:

The true cost of ObamaCare (the details they left out)

Remember how a big part of Obama and the Democrats sales job for their health care bill was that it would save money?  Well, guess what...  They were wrong.  Of course pretty much everyone who took a realistic look at their plan said the same thing, but that didn't stop them from marching forward.  Well a few days ago the Director of the Congressional Budget Office took to his blog and posted the following:

The central challenge is straightforward and stark: The rising costs of health care will put tremendous pressure on the federal budget during the next few decades and beyond.

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