taking away half our justice system, spring desert wallpaper

The Coming Civil War Between Corporatists and Constitutionalists

Does the U.S. Constitution guarantee a right to a civil jury trial?

It does. Very clearly – in the Seventh Amendment.

But Andy Cochran believes that most Americans don’t have a clue.

“I know the vast majority of Americans don’t know that the right to a jury trial for civil lawsuits is in the Constitution,” Cochran told Corporate Crime Reporter last week.

Is that from polling, or just a guess?

“No, that’s a guess,” Cochran says. “I should do polling. But I know from my mail, my e-mail, the blank stares I get. I’m very confidant that the majority of Americans don’t recognize that as a Constitutional right.”

[  ]…“Moses, for example, specified punitive damages if you take your neighbor’s property,” Cochran said last week.

And then he fast forwards to 1215 to the Magna Carta.

“Article 39 of the Magna Carta protects the right to a jury trial for civil and criminal cases,” Cochran says.

Cochran admits that those Constitutionalists within the Republican Party have lost the 30 year battle to the Corporatists.

He says the Corporatists have hijacked the issue. But now he sees the possibility of a civil war within the Republican Party.

“That is very possible,” Cochran says when the question is raised during the interview. “Go back to a Tim Carney column in August 2010 from the Washington Examiner. It’s titled – ‘K Street vs. Main Street Republicans.?’”

“I am pro business. I love the business side. I want to see low taxes. I don’t want a big FDA. The whole bit.”

“The point of disagreement is when state courts are pre-empted on everything from financial services, to drug and device regulation – across the board.”

“Republicans have bought into pre-emption too much and too often. And by the way, they should realize that the final frontier of pre-emption is international pre-emption of all American law. They should fear that the Chinese or other economic powers will demand pre-emption of American law.”

“A civil war is possible over a number of issues, including this one.”

The corporatist Right recently has a big SCOTUS win that curtailed class-action lawsuits. Their on going crusade against tort law and civil suits is part of the big picture. In our society and in most western democracies criminal law is only part of the legal structure that protects us. Criminal law protects us against murder, rape and armed robberies. If criminal laws do bring about justice, victims may sue for justice – The People versus your assailant. If some one robs you with a spread sheet and a calculator that might violate criminal law,  but frequently you must seek other legal remedies. Civil law is the only avenue – short of grabbing the shotgun and getting some frontier justice – to get legal relief for your losses. Is tort law abused. Anything a human invents can be abused. The pencil is a writing instrument , but people can and have stabbed others with one. For Republicans to say that we need to severely cripple civil legal suits is strange in light of their frequent defense of personal gun ownership. The U.S. has a very high gun related crime rate, yet they sate that just because some people abuse guns that does not mean their Constitutional rights should be taken away. I generally agree, but would extend the same argument to legal suits. Just because some people abuse their right to sue hardly means that the road blocks to seeking compensation for a civil infraction should be so high as to make it nearly impossible for the average person to use or the  compensation so limited that it does not fully compensate the victim.

spring desert wallpaper

Seaports need a plan for weathering climate change, say Stanford researchers

A warming planet means rising oceans, but seaports are not prepared for the expensive construction they will need to protect themselves, according a global survey of ports conducted by Stanford researchers. But the researchers have created a computer model that will help ports with their planning.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.). Neither of whom have any scientific training have decided they know more about climate science than the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. So no seaport planning required just go about your business.

partial black and white urban wall

I won’t bore you with my thoughts about aging and death. I will say that one of my biggest fears about getting old in America is the kind of health care or assisted living I might get. Caring for the elderly is not exactly most people’s first career choice. Most, though not all, of those who do go into it from my experience, is because of the desire to help people. They do need to make a living though, Nursing Homes Seek Exemptions From Health Law

It is an oddity of American health care: Many nursing homes and home care agencies do not provide health insurance to their workers, or they pay wages so low that employees cannot afford the coverage that is offered.

The numbers are stark. Among workers who provide hands-on care to nursing home residents, one in four has no health insurance. Among those who provide care to people living at home, one in three is uninsured.

The new health care law is supposed to fix the problem by guaranteeing access to affordable coverage for all. But many nursing homes and home care agencies, alarmed at the cost of providing health insurance to hundreds of thousands of health care workers, have started a lobbying effort seeking some kind of exemption or special treatment.

If someone making as little as $10 an hour has to pay upwards of several hundred dollars or more health care insurance they usually are going to try to do without it. The new health care reform law – Obamacare or the ACA might be able to help nursing home workers since they frequently do receive such low compensation,

Supporters of the law say several provisions will help low-wage workers who are uninsured or have bare-bones coverage. The law will expand Medicaid to cover people under 65 with income less than 133 percent of the federal poverty level, and it will offer subsidies to make insurance more affordable to those with incomes from 133 percent to 400 percent of the poverty level ($24,645 to $74,120 a year for a family of three).

“This assistance could significantly increase coverage among direct-care workers because 80 percent of them have income less than 400 percent of the poverty level,” said Dorie K. Seavey, director of policy research at the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute.

Just as Medicare has required some tweaks over the years we’ll likely see some tweaks to the ACA so that it does indeed work for everyone. Though if it were up to me I’d give low-income workers a Medicare opt in at any age. That cuts the middleman cost by about 6%. But, you know, that would be the socialistic antichrist thing to do.