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The Constitutional Convention Concept Is A Republican Con Job.

The GOP's Con Con.

American democracy is headed for peril. A quiet campaign to legally overwrite the Constitution of the United States of America, with the ostensible purpose of proposing a balanced-budget amendment, has been silently building steam.

The process is known as a Constitutional Convention, a legal apparatus by which the contents of our Constitution can be altered.

Prominent extremist Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have supported it, and the Koch brothers‘ libertarian network has long placed its financial power behind their push.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to amend the Constitution by a two-thirds vote. It gives the states the power to call for a convention to amend the Constitution if two-thirds of the states can muster support for the measure.

Having the radical right wing rewrite our Constitution would be an unparalleled disaster for the American people, not to mention the rest of the world.  The Center on Budget and Priority Policies understates the case beautifully by telling us that it’s got “serious risks”. That’s a soothing way of telling us our entire global economy will be wrenched.

David Super of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “It would also drastically reduce America’s standing in world affairs,. far more than handing the presidency to an incoherent, shop-worn reality TV star.”

Conservatives have been after what is best called the “Con Con” for years. The Constitution is a nuisance to them because it stops them from completely disenfranchising everyone who’s not in the good ol’ boys club.

Although the same people who brought you “Medicare for All” and the Free College plan are able somehow to convince themselves otherwise, it is virtually certain that conservatives would dominate a convention held today.

They have control of the White House, Congress, and 32 state legislatures. They’ve also got all the money. They would clearly have marked influence over every provision in the project.

The right has also retained control of the Supreme Court, thanks to Republican refusal to vote in the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s candidate Merrick Garland. This too would obviously give conservatives the upper hand in any litigation arising out of the convention.
Whether the delegates run for election in heavily gerrymandered districts or are appointed by state leaders, the result would be the same. A convention with a heavily right-wing bent.
If the Tea Party or the alt-right of Richard Spencer and Sebastian Gorka, were to write us a new Constitution, it hardly requires speculation to imagine a lack of improvement.

The things on their agenda read like a grocery list of bad ideas, but then again, that’s the Republican way.

They will make English the official language of the US.

They intend to “define life at conception“, which is a polite euphemism for criminalizing abortion and perhaps even contraception.

They will also include corporations as people with every constitutional right, clarifying the matter legally in favor and confirmation of the horrendous Citizens’ United ruling.

They will reverse gay marriage, as former Alabama judge and alleged molester Roy Moore proposed by way of a Con Con in 2014.

They will codify in the 1st Amendment their right to impose Christian faith and values on everybody in the whole country.

They will change the 2nd Amendment to forbid regulation. All hope of reasonable gun control would thus disappear.

The big thing they’re emphasizing now, the balanced budget amendment, might even involve the doing away of the income tax and the Federal Reserve altogether. This would leave the American poor to scrabble for a living like beggars in the sewers of Calcutta- in the richest country in the world.

Once a constitutional convention is called, all bets are off. “Regardless of why a convention is called, there is nothing to stop it from becoming a runaway convention that could ultimately overhaul the U.S. Constitution completely,” said Scott Swenson, the vice president of communications for Common Cause, to Salon Magazine.

The Constitution and the foresight of the Founding Fathers in making it so hard to alter are all that has saved us from Donald Trump and the other Republicans, who have been trying to get around it for years. Overhauling it would be an atrocity.

The only thing that has prevented it from happening already is the Democratic Party, which is now doing its best to stave off completely unnecessary threats from the far, radical left. Unbelievably, they are for this too.

Organizations such as Justice Democrats founder Cenk Uygur’s Wolf-PAC have been fighting for this as hard as the Tea Party has.

“It’s got to be an amendment,” said Wolf-PAC’s Texas state director, Todd Jagger.

That someone on the left could actually believe this defies the limits of human understanding.

Concluding, the big takeaway from this article, is that an Article V convention call is a terrible danger to American democracy.

If the Republicans manage to pull this off, we will all be rendered helpless. They could do anything they wanted. The states would lose all control.

We’ll be flat on our backs for the rest of our lives.

We have to get the word out about this, and we’ve got to do it now, or we may very well see the very foundations of the United States – the rights we hold so dearly as Americans – shake or disappear.

The best way to stop them is by electing Democrats to state legislatures, and everywhere else. Our professionals are tough. They will shut this thing down across the board. The Blue Wave is the first step. We must all make sure we vote.

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NO MORE MASSACRES! Regulate Guns and Protect Our Children!

Protect Our Children.

How do we interpret the Second Amendment in a way that makes any sense?

This is the controversy that is ripping through America today.

Earlier this week, a maniac Trump supporter murdered seventeen of his fellow Americans in Parkland, Florida. This person was a scumbag, who doesn’t deserve to get his name in print. He was photographed proudly on Instagram wearing his stupid red Make America Great Again cap, and was obsessed with racism and violence.

In Florida, victim Scott Beigel’s funeral is still going on, but not before the NRA had already held a gun show. This revoltingly insensitive spectacle of misplaced values is the same show the NRA puts on every time, as Michael Moore showed us in Bowling for Columbine.

The 2nd, like most other Amendments, is a failsafe written into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers designed to defend America against a centralized tyranny of the type they were suffering under King George, while also avoiding the type of populist nightmare that led to the Reign of Terror in France.

It is the opinion of this Millennial Democrats contributor that most people respect the Second Amendment, but more than anything, they want little kids to stop getting shot when they go to school. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

Undoubtedly, the right to bear arms is an important and fundamental American tradition. Once it was critical. It was not granted us by the British, who did not respect us as equals. They labelled us rebels and traitors and treated us as though we had no rights at all. We had to fight for our rights, by forming citizen militias called Minutemen, heroes who beat back the oppression of the British soldiers in the area to mistreat and abuse them and set our country forever free during the Revolutionary War.

These sections of American history are an important part of the heritage of victory we all hold dear.

That is what makes it all the more tragic, when slovenly packs of rednecks like Cliven Bundy get together, misappropriate these terms for their own insane and unnecessary purposes and drag them through the mud.

The kinds of people who call themselves Minutemen these days are not heroic at all. What they are, is a problem.

The gun culture in this country has gotten out of control. It’s just that simple. When 11,000 people in the country are shot dead every year, you’ve got a problem that is out of control.

In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, CBS News found that 36 percent of U.S. adults either own a firearm personally, or live with someone who does. Furthermore, that huge number is the lowest gun ownership rate in nearly 40 years.

There are more guns in America then there are human beings. And 3% of our population controls 50% of them.

In 2016, there were a total of 384 mass shootings. That’s better than one a day.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, a total of 346 mass shooting incidents occurred in 2017, which is a slight decrease than last year. But in terms of the numbers of dead, it was the deadliest year in American history.

On October 1, 2017, 64-year old Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 people at a country music festival from his hotel suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas strip. The attack, which left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured, marked the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The death toll surpassed the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre, which took the lives of 49 people in June of 2016.

Paddock had an arsenal with him that defies belief.

Authorities eventually discovered that he owned 47 guns. At least 12 of those in the hotel room were outfitted with bump stocks, which allowed the semi-automatic weapons to mimic the gunfire of automatic ones, according to Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the ATF’s San Francisco field division.

Under federal law, gun stores are required to report multiple handgun purchases to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives but not multiple rifle purchases.

The lack of notification for multiple rifle purchases creates a loophole where people can stockpile assault weapons, similar in design to those used by the military and police SWAT teams, with little federal detection, said David Chipman, a former ATF special agent and senior policy adviser at Americans for Responsible Solutions, which advocates for stricter gun regulation.

This problem is not going away. People are going off the rails like this because the tension in our society has been rising like a pressure cooker for years. Now that Trump is in office, it’s likely to get much worse.

When it does, we can certainly expect even more people to reach their breaking point. When they get there, there will be plenty of guns, and that is the crux of the problem.

In nearly every case of a mass-shooting, easy access to a firearm at the time the perpetrator felt most aggrieved was what tipped the situation into violence.

Sooner or later, something’s got to give. We aren’t advocating for the government to kick doors down and forcefully snatch people’s guns away, but we can’t sell AR-15’s out of vending machines either. This country is in desperate need of a reasonable and far-sighted set of gun regulations. Until it gets one, the body count will just keep piling up.

Our hearts and best wishes are with the town of Parkland, Florida, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They have vowed that theirs will be the last mass shooting. Godspeed, you guys. Good for you.

R.I.P. Alyssa Alhadeff, Nicholas Dworet, Scott Beigel, Aaron Feis, Jamie Guttenberg, Meadow Pollack, Christopher Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Carmen Schentrup, Gina Montalto, Alex Schachter, Peter Wang, Alaina Petty, Martin Duque Antiano, Helena Ramsey, Joaquin Oliver, Cara Loughran, and all the others. You are not forgotten.

 

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