Marco Simons on Originalism and Daimler v. Bauman

At Concurring Opinions, Marco Simons (EarthRights International) has this post on the Daimler v. Bauman case (argued at the Supreme Court 10/15):  Is There a Constitutional Right to Corporate Separateness?  Mr. Simons and I have been on opposite sides of some cases in the past, but I think there is something to his originalist argument here: The Ninth Circuit…

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Fusion Centers: Big Brother’s Infiltration Into Your Communities

Fusion CenterIn the midst of the never-ending NSA spying revelations, it is easy to lose track of all of the unconstitutional acts committed by the so-called intelligence community – and the ways that NSA spying, and mentality behind it, permeates law enforcement at all levels.

One  troubling aspect recently revealed is the fact that the feds give warrantless, illegally-collected information to local law-enforcement agencies for their investigations. This is done through something called “Special Operations Division,” and through Fusion Centers.

The Fusion Centers act as a conduit for Big Brother – they’re a place to simply receive data collected, with or without a warrant, by federal agencies like the NSA.  That information is passed on to local law enforcement and often used in day-to-day criminal investigations.

SET UP

Fusion Centers were set-up under the Bush Administration to “help keep America safe” after 9/11. The Patriot Act removed barriers that prevented the feds from sharing intelligence information with local law enforcement. This was meant to facilitate communication between agencies so decisions could be made quickly in order to “prevent another terrorist attack.”  At least that’s how it was sold. Unfortunately, this practice has been abused and focused on the whole American population – not just terror suspects.

Given the penchant the feds have for using their power to harass political opponents, these spying programs have a pernicious chilling effect on the First Amendment of the Constitution..

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Not raising the debt limit = balancing the budget

Not raising the debt limit is simply running a balanced budget.

Yes, that’s right: The President and Congress may have to balance the federal budget in the next few days! Horrors!

Let’s get some clarity here. When the federal government hits the debt limit it does NOT mean that it can’t borrow or that it can’t pay existing debts. It just means it cannot continue to run a deficit. Spending becomes limited by revenue, and existing debt may be replaced by new debt. The government just can’t add MORE debt.

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