Culturalism

The Power of Chant Warfare

While in college, I wrote a piece about the futility of “respectable discourse” in the modern age. I pointed out that those who practice such behavior are made out as suckers and left to drown in the popular swill of rage.

To be quite sullen, I think I was correct. We have already long witnessed the analysis of “post-truth politics”, although this descriptor implies a nostalgic longing for some better time, which probably never existed. You can cycle back and study the 1800 election for good measure.

The better general term to use is “Chant Warfare.” Whenever someone attempts to inject reality into a discussion, the normal response is to hoot and holler until they cannot be heard.

Think back to Occupy Atlanta and their “agenda.”

Consider being a representative supporting Obamacare, or one desiring to replace it. The advanced human species will ensure you have a reasoned discussion.

Best of all, try presenting facts to the caravan of paranoid Del Spooners who want a paycheck. The floodgates will gush.

The danger lies with how these “Scream first, listen after ten years” attitudes will play out in November. If their guy, gal, or someone in the trans community fails to make the Oval, what happens next?

Culturalism

The Impoundment Act Is Unconstitutional

Trump broke the law.

That’s the shrill new screech echoing in the footsteps of the GAO report, which claims his administration was a bit naughty when it withheld foreign aid to the government of Ukraine. According to the GAO, this constitutes a violation of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.

Of course this output presents a critical question: how has the federal law on impoundment not been ruled unconstitutional?

As a bit of background, the legislation was passed under the administration of President Nixon to curtail congressional rage over his “setting aside” of money he did not believe in spending. To be clear, Nixon was not vetoing the spending, but simply declining to release it for specific programs.

The Act simply represented another attempt by Congress to keep the coffers flowing and hamstring the president into agreeing to “all or nothing.” We see the consequences regularly today with Trump signing massive spending bills because there is no way to pick and choose based on practicality or need.

Supporters of impoundment restrictions will point to the alleged supremacy of the legislature, but history undermines them sharply if we assume the branches are co-equal.

For instance, Congress passed the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, giving the president power to pick and choose what he would accept from appropriations. Bill Clinton used this mechanism 82 times to help bring the budget under control, but the legislation was struck down by a liberal-conservative SCOTUS majority in Clinton v. City of New York, which concluded that the president must to accept all or nothing with spending bills.

In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer noted:

“does not violate any specific textual constitutional command, nor does it violate any implicit Separation of Powers principle.”

Now, if we stick with the court’s majority opinion that Congress’ power to spend cannot be moderated or limited save on a “take it or leave it” basis without a constitutional amendment, then how exactly is it permissible for them to turn around and restrict the president’s power to release funds using only a legislative act?

It’s time to challenge the Impoundment Act before the Supreme Court.

Culturalism · Personal Finance

The Broken Male

I tend to avoid aimless social meandering, but sometimes an image rolls by that says everything without speaking a word. Let’s take a look:

What makes it odd? Well, this is a campaign promo pic, typically meant to showcase the warmth and nonthreatening Americanism embodied by the office-seeker. Instead, we have an unsmiling man forced into the process, perhaps to “keep the peace” at home.

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Maybe it’s a cheap shot, but does the tight-lipped Mr. Jayapal look even remotely happy? The expression signals passivity and resignation to the dominion of another person. He looks scared and restless, as if he wants nothing more than to escape the setting and play a few hours of Railroad Tycoon III, but only with the wife’s permission.

As you can see, his hands aren’t around the wife’s back, or clasping hers, suggesting a coldness or distance between them. Affectionate couples usually strive to showoff their union in public, particularly in politics. Case in point:

Trump firmly clasps his wife’s arms, and doesn’t lean away from her when posing. Whether you believe there relationship is sincere or not, it looks like one bathed in affection and admiration.

Mr. Jayapal on the other hand seems to be a prisoner of the sanctified institution known as marriage.