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Event

 
Countdown to unconstitutional rule _ code name:  Doomsday Plan


Congress passes 'doomsday' plan- ethics rule changes were diversion


WASHINGTON - With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a
controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of
lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster
killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.

"I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways - first, I
think it's unconstitutional,'' said Norm Ornstein, a counselor to the
independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan panel
created to study the issue. ``It's a very foolish thing to do, I
believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish.''

But supporters say the rule provides a stopgap measure to allow the
government to continue functioning at a time of national crisis.

GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules
package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes,
most of which were dropped.

Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress -
are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or
declaring war.

But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer
will be needed to do business under "catastrophic circumstances.''

Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the House
would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen lawmakers or
less.

The House speaker would announce the number after a report by the
House Sergeant at Arms. Any lawmaker unable to make it to the chamber
would effectively not be counted as a congressman.

The circumstances include "natural disaster, attack, contagion or
similar calamity rendering Representatives incapable of attending the
proceedings of the House.''

The House could be run by a small number of lawmakers for months,
because House vacancies must be filled by special elections. Governors
can make temporary appointments to the Senate.

Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), one of few lawmakers active on the issue,
argued the rule change contradicts the U.S. Constitution, which states
that ``a majority of each (House) shall constitute a quorum to do
business.

"Changing what constitutes a quorum in this way would allow less than
a dozen lawmakers to declare war on another nation,'' Baird said.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/january2005/100105doomsdayplan.htm

by : Boston Herald
Tuesday 11th January 2005
http://bellaciao.org/en/article.php3?id_article=5016

_______


Doomsday Provision and the Death of the U.S. Constitution

by Kurt Nimmo
published by Another Day in the Empire 
Doomsday Provision and the Death of the U.S. Constitution
I wasn't fazed after I read this, nor was I surprised that I was not
fazed, or did I get angry because—well, because it is predictable and
wholly in keeping with the personality and character of the plutocrats
who claim to represent us—most of them whores and shameless hucksters
for multinational corporations and so-called "special interests," in
other words a small number of mega-rich people—here in America: 

"With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday
provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a
terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large
numbers of congressmen," the Boston Herald reports. "The circumstances
include `natural disaster, attack, contagion or similar calamity
rendering Representatives incapable of attending the proceedings of
the House' … Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), one of few lawmakers active
on the issue, argued the rule change contradicts the U.S.
Constitution, which states that `a majority of each (House) shall
constitute a quorum to do business' … `Changing what constitutes a
quorum in this way would allow less than a dozen lawmakers to declare
war on another nation,' Baird said." 

Baird needs to get on Paxil, and right quick. Obviously, the
Constitution is now entirely irrelevant. Most Americans don't even
think about the Constitution on a regular basis, except maybe on the
Fourth of July and only after it is mentioned on the soma tube.
Moreover, the American people—essentially a mass of consumers and
consumption requires not any exalted principles or philosophy and
operates most effectively if consumers are irrational and
impulsive—are incapable of appreciating or basically understanding
constitutional government. Constitutional government, of course, is a
set of rules designed to make sure our "elected" rulers don't abuse
their power and obey the law. Constitutional government supposedly
protects the rights of the individual. 

Does that sound like a description of America? 

I had to chuckle—if slightly and with an attendant degree of cynicism,
per usual—after reading Baird's assertion that the "doomsday
provision… would allow less than a dozen lawmakers to declare war on
another nation." 

Get real, Brian. Bush started a war (or, rather, an invasion) all on
his lonesome—with a small cluster of incestuous Strausscon
intellectuals—and Congress had nothing to say about it, all they had
to do was sign off, and if they didn't they would have been accused of
lacking "patriotism" (i.e., having the cahones, or ruthlessness, to
kill thousands of innocent people) and thus singled out by Bush's
fellow travelers in Congress and earmarked for political extinction, a
nightmare for any self-serving politician, as most of them are (those
who are not egomaniacal, perfidious, unconscionable sociopaths—for
instance, Paul Wellstone or Cynthia McKinney—are either purged from
"public office" or killed). For as I have said now for thirty years,
in general the largest, most malodorous pieces of shit rise to the top
of the cesspool—and Congress fits the dictionary definition of a
cesspool, a "filthy, disgusting, or morally corrupt place." It is not
a place Madison, Hamilton, or any of those who signed and ratified the
Constitution would likely recognize. 

Interestingly, although predictably, a Google news search of "doomsday
plan Congress" and "doomsday provision Congress" returns but a single
news article—the one quoted above. It is simply not a story the
corporate media considers worthy of ink or electrons. 

As I said at the outset, I am not fazed the corporate media does not
find this story important or even worthy of passing mention. We no
longer have a representative government—and have not for some time—in
this country and that "less than a dozen lawmakers" may run Congress
after "a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated
large numbers of congressmen" is almost completely irrelevant
(presumably only Democrats would fall victim to this "doomsday"
scenario for, as I recall, only Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy received
letters in September, 2001, containing Ames strain anthrax developed
by the U.S. military at Fort Detrick). 

So, this is a big yawner as a story. Far more important, of course,
are death threats made after the broadcast of Jerry Springer: The
Opera. Since those threats were issued—possibly by Muslims—against
corporate media executives working for the BBC, the story is far more
important (Google returns 239 related news items) and presumed to be
of more interest to both Americans and Brits than the fact that
another bite-size chunk was chewed off the Constitution last week.
Since the Constitution is a cadaverous bit of history—colorfully
invoked during the Fourth of July—the "doomsday provision" is a
basically a non-starter as a news story. 

Now, please, let's hear more about the phone sex between Brad Pitt and
Angelina Jolie (Google News search returns 513 stories).


http://progressivetrail.org/articles/050110Nimmo.shtml

______

Congress Passes 'Doomsday' Plan
    By Noelle Straub
    The Boston Herald

    Sunday 09 January 2005

    Washington - With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a
controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of
lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster
killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.

    "I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways -
first, I think it's unconstitutional," said Norm Ornstein, a counselor
to the independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan
panel created to study the issue. "It's a very foolish thing to do, I
believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish."

    But supporters say the rule provides a stopgap measure to allow
the government to continue functioning at a time of national crisis.

    GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules
package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes,
most of which were dropped.

    Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress
- are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or
declaring war.

    But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer
will be needed to do business under "catastrophic circumstances."

    Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the
House would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen
lawmakers or less.

    The House speaker would announce the number after a report by the
House Sergeant at Arms. Any lawmaker unable to make it to the chamber
would effectively not be counted as a congressman.

    The circumstances include "natural disaster, attack, contagion or
similar calamity rendering Representatives incapable of attending the
proceedings of the House."

    The House could be run by a small number of lawmakers for months,
because House vacancies must be filled by special elections. Governors
can make temporary appointments to the Senate.

    Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), one of few lawmakers active on the
issue, argued the rule change contradicts the U.S. Constitution, which
states that "a majority of each (House) shall constitute a quorum to
do business.

    "Changing what constitutes a quorum in this way would allow less
than a dozen lawmakers to declare war on another nation," Baird said.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_05/011005E.shtml
 
 
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