Liberal Dan Radio 12/23/2015: The Year in Review

On the final Liberal Dan Radio episode of 2015 I will be discussing some of the big issues from the past year.

I will also be discussing some more recent subjects including (but not limited to) the primaries, the so called Sanders “data breach”, the recent Ted Cruz children political cartoon, and Trump’s supposed “vulgarity”.

This will lead us to a discussion on fauxtroversies, made up controversies. Are people too quick to anger? Are people just that much more offensive these days? Is it a little of both.

Those issues and my annual night before the war on Xmas at 9pm central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio 4/23/2015: Libertarian Problems and also ACA subsidies

On the April 23, 2015 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Yesterday was Earth Day. To celebrate it I had shared a picture on my facebook wall saying “Happy Libertarian Earth Day” with a picture of a sunken ship and pollution everywhere. This caused a big debate that I will discuss here. On many issues I do believe Libertarians have it right (mostly because they agree with liberals on those issues). However, in some areas their line of reasoning is flawed and even damaging. Can the invisible hand effectively stop pollution? Does the non aggression principal allow for government regulation? I will be going into these issues in the first half of the hour.

In the second half of the hour I will be discussing King V Burwell. Arguments were made back in March and the Supreme Court will be making a decision. I will have on as a guest Todd Haley, an individual who was able to get affordable health coverage under the ACA and whose case was brought up by Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Public Policy. Mr. Haley would lose affordable coverage and would be adversely effected by a ruling against subsidies on exchanges that are federally run. I will also discuss the ridiculous nature of the arguments made against these subsidies.

Those topics, headlines, tweet of the week, and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right at 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

Remember, you can always support the show by contributing to the Liberal Dan Radio Go Fund Me page.

Why SCOTUS is wrong on HEIEN V. North Carolina

The Supreme Court ruled on Heien V North Carolina on Monday and the ruling to me is ridiculous by itself and also goes against stare decisis.

You can read the details of the case in the link. Basically a police officer stopped a car for having a broken brake light. However, had that police officer understood the law he was pulling the individual over on, he would have known that North Carolina only requires a car to have a singular working tail light. The only legal way for that officer to pull the car over would have been for both brake lights to be out. After the officer illegally pulled over the vehicle he determined that something was fishy and decided to conduct a search on the car. A passenger of the car had cocaine yet Heien was charged with attempted drug trafficking. Heien tried to suppress items found in the search because the search was not a legal search. A later court agreed but the Supreme Court reversed that decision and said that the search was reasonable.

So why is this ridiculous on its face? Well, clearly had the officer followed the law the vehicle would not have been pulled over and as such no search would have been conducted on the vehicle. The law should act as if no search was conducted since officer took actions that were not in compliance with the law. But the Supreme Court stated otherwise and in that decision stated:

And neither the Fourth Amendment’s text nor this Court’s precedents offer any reason why that result should not be acceptable when reached by a reasonable
mistake of law

SCOTUS, meet Arizona v Gant, a ruling  you made in 2009. Rodney Gant was detained and handcuffed in the back of a squad car. Police then searched his vehicle and found cocaine in the back seat in a jacket pocket. Now, the law allows for a search of a vehicle if an individual is not detained for reasons of officer safety and to protect the scene of any evidence they feel someone might try to discard. However, since Gant was already detained, there was no threat to the officers or any potential evidence and as such a warrant should have been required to search the car. So why did the officers search the car anyway? Well, according to one of the officers at the scene (Officer Griffith) “Because the law says we can do it.”

Under the ruling in Heier, it would seem to be such an argument would be valid because they are not supposed to be perfect, right? He believed the law allows for such searches and as such anything found by such a search should be admissible. But that was not the case in Gant. The Gant ruling talks about stare decisis and privacy rights. The Gant ruling talks about the dangers of how a law could be too broad and be harmful to the public good. Yet SCOTUS could find no precedent why the search in Heier was not acceptable? Really? Do they have short-term memory loss?

So what is the problem here? Some have said to me that if you don’t want the police to search your car and find drugs, don’t have drugs in your car. That may very well be a smart practice but it doesn’t deal with the main problem here and that is individuals dealing with a police force that is given more and more powers by government and by courts to take actions that should be considered unconstitutional against persons in this country.

What has this ruling done? Well, at its worst this ruling has basically said that as long as the officer is reasonable in his misunderstanding of the law that his searches can be considered reasonable. But since this search was actually an unreasonable search because it never should have happened, who is to say at what level is an officers understanding of the law is reasonable or not? In 2008 there were just under 800,000 police officers in this country. This ruling basically means that people living in the united states are subject to 800,000 interpretations of the law, regardless of how correct those interpretations are, as long as those interpretations are deemed “reasonable”. Instead of persons living here having to deal with 1 set of laws and their actual meaning, we have to deal with the 800,000 interpretations of them. And even if their actions are taken outside of the law, that doesn’t matter to SCOTUS. To them, the ends justify the means. And if a search that should not have been done was done, so be it. This is a horrible ruling and another slicing away at our freedoms and liberties. Or as SCOTUS put it in Heier:

Whether an officer is reasonably mistaken about the one or the other, the result is the same: the facts are outside the scope of the law.

Indeed. We should all be terrified.

Liberal Dan Radio 7/9/2014: Stephen VanderGast from Move the Middle

On the July 9, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Two weeks ago I was the guest of Steven VanderGast, host of Move the Middle on Blog Talk Radio. We had a really good discussion on several issues. This week I welcome him on my podcast for more of the same conversation. Any topic is fair game, so join the discussion.

I will also have headlines, tweet of the week, and more at 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio 7/2/2014: Hobby Lobby and Freagle

On the July 2, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The horrible ruling by the Supreme Court came down pertaining to Hobby Lobby and the mandate for employer based coverage to provide oral contraception. I will go into why this ruling was terrible. (Check out liberaldan.com and @liberaldanradio on Twitter to see some of my initial criticisms).

Then, in the second half hour of the show, I will have on Niki Papazoglakis, founder of Freagle, the virtual town square. We will discuss why she started this venture, what her plans for it are, and how you can help get it off the ground.

Those stories, headlines, tweet of the week, and more Wednesday and 8pm Central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Some brief points on the oral contraception madate ruling

A) It ignores science. Science has not shown any evidence that oral contraception is an abortifacient (even in the extremely wrong definition of abortion that includes preventing implantation)

B) I don’t want ANYBODY’S religious freedoms trampled on but if one makes a claim that a pill causes an abortion as part of their legal filings they should be required to prove that before it is accepted as an argument before the court. If you say “x harms me and as such I shouldn’t be required to do x” shouldn’t you have to prove the harm done by x? Or are we now allowing people to claim harm when none exists?

C) It doesn’t matter how many kinds of pills Hobby Lobby provides. Other companies take an even more restrictive stance and would ban all oral contraception. This ruling allows that.

D) the decision of what pill a patient should use should be up to her and her doctor only. Hobby Lobby (and other employers) should have no say.

E) The birth control, and any other benefit obtained in lieu of pay, should all be considered paid, IN FULL, by that employees labor and that employees labor alone.

F) This is not about religious freedom. Had an Islamic group complained under the RFRA Conservatives would not have come out in support of them. This is about forcing Christian beliefs on others using government.

G) Previously the way that we dealt with a bad ruling (Lily Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire) we elected a Democratic Congress to support this President and enable him to deliver on a change to the law via the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It is time to rally the troops and do this again. If we edit the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and require persons claiming harm to establish that harm is actually happening before requiring government to prove why the actions causing the harm are necessary then we can return the law back to where it should be.

Hobby Lobby and The Food Babe share a “brain”.

I have A LOT of thoughts on the horrible Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the oral contraception mandate. This is just one of many posts on it.

In the past I have discussed my issues with the “Food Babe” and her stances that she takes on food. One of the most egregious items was when she said that Subway sandwiches should eliminate a certain chemical from their bread because that same chemical is found in yoga mats and who wants to eat yoga mats? Seriously, she is that stupid. Well, her argument unfortunately worked and Subway caved.

So how is Hobby Lobby like the “Food Babe”? Well, in their argument they are saying that they are opposed to “their money”* being spent on abortifacients. They then claim that these oral contraceptive measures cause abortions. They provide no proof of this. They offer no scientific evidence that these pills cause abortions, They just believe it to be so, much like the Food Babe believes it to be so that you are eating yoga mats when you ate a Subway Sandwich. Just as the Food Babe didn’t provide evidence that the ingredient in the bread was harmful and instead used beliefs to push her agenda, Hobby Lobby never provided evidence that coverage of these pills harms them under their freedom of religion since they never proved abortions are caused by these pills.

These kinds of nitwit arguments are dumbing down our country and they need to stop.

Bad Supreme Court Rulings P2, Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones

I have A LOT to say about the Supreme Court ruling against the oral contraception mandate that was made today and expect many posts to come about that issue in the days to come and as half of the podcast on Wednesday. But I didn’t want to overlook the horrible ruling the Supreme Court made the other day about buffer zones.

A lot has been said about this already. My main argument is this. The court seems to believe that people have the right to give counsel to others on the sidewalk. I disagree. The people should have the right to OFFER counsel to those who wish to hear them. People should also be free to not listen. You do not have the right to have me as a captive audience. If I am trying to get from point A to point B you should not be free to impede my way nor should you be free to force the words that you want me to hear into my ears. Your offer of counsel can be provided at a distance with a big sign that says :”if you want to talk to me about your choice to have an abortion, please come over here”. Individuals seeking an abortion would then be free to walk over to the person and engage in a conversation if they so choose. If they do not choose, then they can just walk into the clinic for whatever business they wish to conduct.

Bad Supreme Court Rulings Pt 1, Recess Appointments

The Supreme Court made a good ruling this week and I discussed it on my show. It required that law enforcement obtain a warrant before searching a cell phone and that it was not the same as searching a wallet. That was a good ruling. But we had two bad rulings. One was the ruling that President Obama violated the Constitution by his appointing three people to the National Labor Relations Board during what he believed was a Congressional recess. The other ruling struck down a buffer zone law that required people protesting abortions to stay back a certain number of feet even if they were on public property (like a sidewalk). I will deal with that second ruling in another post.

In the ruling of the non-recess appointments the Supreme Court had ruled that a 3 day recess was not a long enough recess to justify a recess appointment. Arbitrarily Justice Breyer said that a recess less than 10 days would be too short. I am not exactly sure where that figure comes from, since no where does the Constitution place a requirement on the number of days a recess might be. There has been a tradition of Presidents not making such appointments during breaks less than 10 days. That tradition is not found in any law. However, I guess a line has to be drawn somewhere so that isn’t my issue with the ruling.

My issue with the ruling is the trampling or even usurpation of the Presidential authority to make recess appointments by making bogus “pro-forma” sessions in order to block such appointments. What happened in this case is that the House required the Senate to have meetings called “pro forma” sessions of the Senate every third day in order to keep the President from saying that the Senate was actually in recess. What happened during these sessions? One Senator came in and banged a gavel. That’s it. No business was conducted. So how on earth can the Supreme Court justify calling such meetings an interruption of a recess? It is just absurd.

The ruling could have been worse. According to the minority opinion they believed that recess appointments should only happen if the vacancy starts during the recess. This is the wording of the Constitution on the matter:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

It seems to me that all that the Constitution requires is for the vacancy to exist during the Recess of the Senate (i.e. it must be happening during the recess). It doesn’t require the vacancy to start in that vacancy. But saying it could have been worse does not make me feel better about a bad ruling. The idea that one person banging a gavel in the Senate because the House requires it is enough to call it no longer a recess is a trampling of a constitutional authority of the President and that the court couldn’t see that disturbs me greatly.

Liberal Dan Radio 3/26/2014: Hobby Lobby and Birth Control

On the March 26, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

I will discuss Hobby Lobby and their views on birth control. That is it. The entire hour will be devoted to the problems and flaws that the Hobby Lobby case has and the arguments made before the Supreme Court. See the previous blog post for more information on where I will be coming from on the podcast.

So tune in at 8pm Central and/or download the podcast afterwards.