The Weiner Component V.2 #47 – Modernizing the Constitution of the United States

The Constitution of the United States was written during the period of May 25 through September 1787 at the Philadelphia Legislative Building. The State Legislature had taken their summer vacation and the building was available through the summer.


This was toward the end of the 18th Century, when ships moved in the oceans through the use of current, wind power blowing against sails, or muscle power being pulled in a becalmed sea by one or more large row boats.  Communication was very slow and most people spent their lives within a few miles from where they were born.  It was a time totally different from the 21st Century where national and world communication is almost instantaneous and people fly in jets across the oceans in hours.


The Constitution is the basic Document of Government in the United States from which all laws and powers are derived.  It consists of a statement of purpose or authorization by the then male, property owning population of the new country.  It consists of 7 Articles, the names of the founders, and, at present, 27 Amendments, the first 10 being the Bill of Rights, most of the rest made basic changes to the Constitution to meet the needs of the times.  This document was written in 1787 and was voted into existence shortly thereafter.  With  changes through the amendment process this Constitution is still the basis of the Federal Government of the United States.


It is past time to edit this document, to take out the remaining sections that still pertain to the preindustrial world of the 18th Century and those areas which limit the functioning of a true democracy.  In content the basic document is as pertinent today as it was then.  Those sections no longer pertinent today could be easily edited out making the document shorter and more precise.  Other issues such as the unfairness of the bicameral legislative body and gerrymandering which tend to make the document undemocratic could also be adjusted.


Article 1 deals with the legislature:

It authorized that the laws be made by a bicameral Congress.  The legislative bodies meet regularly because the changing conditions within the country require a continuing flow of legislation to meet the ever-changing needs of the country.  The Congress’s major job is to meet the ever-changing needs of the nation with new needed legislation.


The reason for the bicameral houses of Congress was because there were both large and small states among the original 13.  In the Senate every states is equally represented by two Senators elected by each of the State Legislatures while in the House of Representatives each state is represented by legislators elected directly by the people; their number being based upon the population of the state.  In order to be elected to the Senate for a six year term one has to be 30 years of age or older while to be elected to the House for a two year term one has to be 25 or older.  People then generally did not live as long as they do today.


The Electoral College is a group of elected officials chosen every four year to elect the President of the United States.  The number of Electors for the Electoral College that each state has is based upon the number of their representatives in both Houses of Congress.  This measure is now out of date and can allow, as it did in Trump’s case, a candidate who does not have the majority vote of the people the ability to achieve the presidency.  As the independence of each state, large and small, is no longer dependent upon their independence the Electoral College by an Amendment to the Constitution should be done away with and the choice of the new President should be directly dependent upon the majority of votes by the voting population of the United States.  This would be much fairer than the current system.


In point of fact people in the actual election vote for their candidate.  The political parties choose the electors who will then vote for their candidate.  Doing away with the Electoral College will just allow the initial votes to count directly for the choice of the Presidential candidate.


Originally the Founding Fathers never visualized political parties.  Instead they believed the “wisest,” best educated men would make up the two Houses of Congress.  The State Legislators chose the two most mature men in the State for their Senators and the male, property owning citizens chose from the best of the younger well educated men or man within the voting District or State for the House of Representatives..


In 1913 the 17th Amendment to the Constitution changed the Election of Senators, making the people within the states responsible for them, direct election of Senators by the citizens of each state.  The reason this came about was the rise of the corporations and monopolies from the post-Civil War on.  The new super-rich executives were able to bribe the state legislatures into appointing their lawyers to the Senate, which. In turn, became a body representing the monopolies rather than the states.  The 17th Amendment was a part of the Progressive Movement that was a reaction against the rise of the monopolies.


Even though a minimum number of people is needed for each Representative in the House at least one Representative is chosen from each state regardless of how small the population of that state is.  Eight states have so low a population that they have only one member in the House of Representatives while California has so large a population that it has 53 members there.  Originally and still the Senate gives each state equal representation in the Congress regardless of the population of that state while the House of Representatives is based upon population.  The representation in the House is adjusted every ten years when a census is taken of the entire population.


Is it reasonable for the states with very small populations to have the representation they have in the Congress?  As a group their votes count more than those in the larger states in the choice of the President.  It might make more sense at this time to limit them to one Senator.


Alexander Hamilton organized the Federalist Party.  Hamilton saw the mercantile class, the businessmen, as the growing group and these people were the major beneficiaries of his policy. The first President was George Washington.  His Secretary of the Treasury was Alexander Hamilton while the second Secretary of State from 1790 to 1793 was Thomas Jefferson whose vision of the new United States was different from that of Hamilton. He favored the small yeoman farmer. While Washington was apolitical he did tend to favor Hamilton’s policy.


Washington served as president from 1789 to the beginning of 1797, two terms.  The second president was John Adams who served for one term.  By 1800 Thomas Jefferson had organized a second political party, the Democratic-Republican Party and, in a dramatic election, won the presidency in 1800.  His policy would change the focus of the new government.  In fact he believed that the purchase of the Louisiana Territory would supply land for the small farmers for the next one hundred years.  The Federalists were never able to mount a successful Presidential Election again.  They went out of existence after the War of 1812.


On April 40, 1789, the first inauguration of George Washington occurred.

On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the 13th state to join the Union.  It was voted in by only three percent of the population.

In 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution was ratified.  James Madison wrote Twelve Amendments, of which ten were passed.


In terms of editing the Constitution:

Article 1 pertains to the legislature, Section 2, Third paragraph: “counting slaves as 3/5s of a person for reasons of representation or taxation” can be excluded.

Section 9, Paragraph 1: Pertains to importation and taxation of slaves.

Article 2 deals with the Executive, Section 1, Second, Third, and Fourth paragraphs deal with the Electoral College.  If the Electoral College were to be done away with by having the people directly elect the President these paragraphs can be dropped.

Article 3 has to do with the Judicial System of the Country.

Article 4 details State rights.

Article 5 explains the process by which the Constitution can be amended.

Article 6 deals with prior debts, laws, and a required Oath or Affirmation to support the Constitution by all it officers.

Article 7 pertains to the ratification of the Constitution.

The second paragraph can be omitted.

This is followed by the names of the signers and the Amendments to the Constitution.


We are now in the 21st Century.  Do we really need the extraneous material that was included in a preindustrial document?


While major changes to the Constitution are difficult to do at one time it is past time to do away with the Electoral College.  In 1876 the Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, won the election with the majority of the popular vote going to the Democrat, Samuel J. Tilden.  In 2000 the Republican, George W. Bush, won the Presidential Election with the Democrat, Al Gore, getting the majority of the popular vote.  If Gore had won there would have been no unnecessary war against Iraq and the probability is that the Middle East would not have become as disrupted as it became and is still today.  In the Election of 2016 Hillary Clinton had three million more popular votes than Donald J. Trump but Trump won the Electoral College vote and became President.  So far his Presidency has been a disaster disrupting conditions in both the United States and the world.  For the first time since the Cold War and the Missile Crisis under John F. Kennedy the U.S. is facing the possibility of an atomic war with North Korea.  It seems that both countries have thin-skinned egomaniacs as leaders.


It is certainly time to get rid of the Electoral College.


The Weiner Component #125 – The Bush Presidencies

George H. W. Bush

Cover of George H. W. Bush

Barbara Bush stated, when her son Jeb said publically that he was going to run for the Presidency of the United States, that the country didn’t need another Bush president.


George H.W. Bush (Daddy Bush) joined the Air Force as an 18 year old during World War II and served for the duration of the war. Shortly after he formed his own oil company and then became a Republican Congressman in the House of Representatives.  President Gerald Ford later appointed him as CIA Director on January 30, 1976.  He served in that office until January 20, 1977.  He became President Ronald Reagan’s Vice President on January 20, 1981 and remained in that position for eight years.  Toward the end of his term he ran for President of the United States and was elected.  He would serve one term as President and then be defeated by the Democratic candidate, William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton.

As Vice President, Bush would be involved in the Iran-Contra Affair that flaunted the Constitution of the United States.  Ronald Reagan was convinced that the Contras, a group of terrorists operating in Nicaragua, were really Freedom Fighters trying to free Nicaragua from its elected Socialist government.  Congress refused to fund this enterprise.  Reagan and his assorted Secretaries then decided to get the money needed to fund this operation by illegally selling arms to Iran.  Vice President George H.W. Bush was clearly involved in this enterprise.  He served as a courier for Reagan; the evidence clearly exists.  When Dan Rather, the CBS lead reporter in a televised interview tried to trap him into admitting this fact, President Bush refused to answer the question and Dan Rather was later fired.

As President, Bush sent a roving female ambassador-at-large or a plenipotentiary with very general instructions to Saddam Hussein, in Iraq.  Bush was obviously striking a blow for Women’s Rights.  In the Middle East, particularly at that time, women were considered second-class citizens that would never be entrusted with anything really important.  By sending a female Hussein understood that his forthcoming invasion of Kuwait was of low priority to the United States and he consequently invaded that country.  This resulted in Operation Desert Storm, the liberation of Kuwait by the United States and some of its allies.  Bush was smart enough to end the war at the border of Iraq.

To Hussein, George Bush had given a clear message and he reneged on it.  Impotently he threatened to have President George H.W. Bush assassinated.  Bush’s son, George W. Bush, would react to this threat later on when he went to war with Iraq.

The Kuwait rescue war called Operation Desert Storm would never have happened if President George H.W. Bush, who should have known better, had sent a male diplomat with clear authority to negotiate with Saddam Hussein.  He, Saddam, would have known that any Iraqi invasion would result in the U.S. and other Western Powers getting involved if Iraq invaded Kuwait or any other country.  Bush’s inability to properly handle this situation brought about a totally unnecessary war.

So much for the Presidency of George Herbert Walker Bush, a president we could have done without.


In the entire history of the United States there were two men who became president with the majority of the population voting for the other candidate

The first was the Election of 1876 where the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes received 4,034,311 popular votes but ended up with 185 electoral votes to Samuel J. Tilden who received 4,288,546 popular votes and 184 electoral votes.  What happened was that 20 electoral votes were contested.  Several states had two sets of electors, one set of Democratic Electors and one set of Republican Electors.  Both groups claimed to have been directly elected by the public. The debate continued on until the night before the new President was to be sworn-in.   A compromise was reached literally hours before the new President was to take office. The Republicans wanted the presidency; the Democrats wanted to formally end Civil War Reconstruction.  Each political party got what they most desired: a Republican became President and the army was withdrawn from the Southern States.

The second instance was the election of George W. Bush in November of 2000.  He had 50,456,002 popular votes to Al Gore’s 50,999,897 popular votes.  The problem there was the State of Florida whose governor was George W. Bush’s baby brother, Jeb Bush.  The person in charge of that election was a staunch Republican.  Either Jeb Bush instigated or knew about a highly flawed voter purge of the voter registry, just prior to the 2000 Election that removed mainly registered Democrats from the voter lists in the state.  These were mostly minorities who would probably vote the Democratic ticket. The faulty purge was touted as removing felons from the list of registered voters.

In addition a number of election ballots came up faulty because of the way they were set up.  One had to punch out the candidate of his or her choice and the instructions were vague.  A goodly number of ballots were incorrectly or partially punched.  These had to be individually examined and the choices determined individually; a long, tedious process, which was terminated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William D. Rehnquist.  The majority of those ballots were never counted giving the electoral votes for the State of Florida to Bush, and giving him 271 electoral votes to Gore’s 266.  Thus George Walker Bush became the President of the United States.  Did his baby brother, Jeb help him get elected?  Certainly.

Since this was the second time this had happened, that the will of the majority had been thwarted there should have been a Constitutional Amendment doing away with the Electoral College and having the President named by the direct vote of the people.  After all the concept of the Electoral College was created in post-colonial times when communication was very difficult.  It is no longer needed.  And there also have been times when Electors voted for people for whom they had not been chosen to elect.  We seem to hang on to some tenants of government that are totally obsolete.

Will Rogers, the comic philosopher of the 1920s, among other things, said that the members of Congress are like children with hammers who have been let into a China Shop.   They make messes but don’t do much damage.  About Calvin Coolidge, who was President at the time, he said that it wasn’t that he did nothing, it was that he did it better than anyone else.  In George W. Bush’s case he did something and it was worse than anything else he could have done.  Without realizing what his actions would bring about he destabilized the Middle East and we are still attempting, not too successfully, to deal with this problem today.  Bush, in a manner of speaking, opened up a Pandora’s Box; and its reverberations have created ISIS and other functioning terrorist groups throughout the Middle East.

Through ignorance or naivety Bush destabilized the Balance of Power that existed throughout the Middle East.  He indirectly caused numerous deaths, both of American soldiers and Iraqis, and the mayhem which still exists.  Apparently he thought that the people of Iraq would be thankful to the United States if he got rid of Saddam Hussein. With no glimmer of understanding of the Middle East he invaded Iraq supposedly looking for weapons of mass destruction.

The choosing of Bush as President had done irrevocable damage to the world stage by creating what seems to be an unsolvable problem.  If Al Gore had been President, as he should have been, the U.S. would never have gone into Iraq.  At the time of the U.S. preemptive invasion the United Nations was sending inspectors to that country checking for weapons of mass destruction.  In fact, they asked the U.S. for more time in order to continue their inspections looking for evidence of weapons of mass destruction.  With Al Gore as president sanity would have prevailed.  There would have been no Iraqi war. The stability of the Middle East would have prevailed.  It seems Will Rogers was wrong about elected government officials; they can, at times, do irrevocable harm to their country and the rest of the world.

How will the current Middle East problem be solved?  That’s an interesting question to which nobody seems to have a real answer.  In essence the Republicans who are interested in running for the presidency in 2016 are talking about getting tough in the Middle East, whatever that means.  In essence George Bush junior and his cohorts screwed up a situation by going to war with Iraq with no real comprehension of what they were doing.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, his Vice President, and Donald Rumsfeld, his Secretary of Defense apparently conceived of war with Iraq as a win, win situation.  They thought the people of Iraq would welcome the U.S. with open arms for freeing them from the Dictator, Saddam Hussein.  They visualized that they could set up a democracy similar to that of the U.S.  In essence they visualized how they would behave if they were Iraqis and the U.S. invaded their country; but they aren’t Iraqis and the Iraqis had an entirely different psyche.  What they ended up bringing about was a situation that existed between the two major Islamic sects: the Sunni and the Shia.  What resulted in Iraq was a government we created but couldn’t control, where the Sunni majority actually persecuted the Shia minority.  It was a situation where the tail wagged the dog.  We created a government but couldn’t control it.  In fact it was similar to the situation that had existed in Vietnam.  Somehow this country never learns from its past mistakes.


George Walker Bush had been born on July 6, 1946. He was 54 years old when he was elected to the presidency.  As a businessman he had not done too well in the oil business.  In fact he might have been known as “Dry Hole Bush,” as he was responsible for drilling many of them.  The Bush family was well to do having made lots of money in oil.  George W. became Texas governor in 1994 and was elected president in 2000. Eight months into his first term, September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City and Bush responded by launching the War on Terror.

It was during this period of the War on Terror that the Afghanistan War against Al-Qaeda, who had destroyed the Twin Towers, began and was followed by the preemptive attack against Iraq, whose leader, Saddam Hussein, had threatened to have Bush’s “Daddy” assassinated that he inaugurated a major tax cut, mostly for the well-to-do.  Bush also inaugurated “enhanced interrogation” of prisoners (torture, usually water boarding), which apparently never really worked.  This type of treatment, with the exception of the last phase of the Spanish American War at the tail end of the 19th Century, had never existed before or since his administration in the history of the United States.

Water boarding is a process of taking the prisoner to the point of drowning.  Some prisoners were water boarded well over a hundred times.

To be fair Bush also inaugurated Medicare prescription benefits for seniors.  He also added funding for the Aids program.  Basically with his wars and everything he spent a lot more money, some wastefully, than the government took in in taxes, massively increasing the National Debt.


When I look at a certain print hanging in a corner of my living room I think of George W. Bush’s 2004 political campaign when he ran against the Democratic senator, John Kerry.  The print was done by a 19th Century Spanish satiric artist, Francisco Goya.  It depicts a monkey painting a jackass white and is entitled “Neither more nor less.”  That is what happened in the 2004 Presidential Election.  John Kerry, a Vietnam War hero, who is currently Secretary of State, ran against George W. Bush.  Karl Rove, Bush’s senior advisor and deputy chief of staff ran the campaign for Bush.  He painted Kerry as a villain, ignoring his true military record and presented Bush as a military hero, even though Bush had never left Texas as a member of the state’s National Guard and had been AWOL a number of times.  In addition he had tested poorly for the flying school and had only been accepted because his father was in Congress.  It was an interesting version of painting a jackass white and a hero black.

In essence it would seem that George Walker Bush visualized himself as the sheriff who symbolically came to Iraq with his army, got rid of the bad guys, and allowed the so-called good guys to run the country.  He never left the U.S. during his presidency, and passed the problem of his wars on to his successor.  Also he never accepted responsibility for his actions.  He left a mess which can still take decades or longer to clean up.


Since the beginning of the year of 2015 Jeb Bush has been vigorously campaigning for the presidency of the U.S. and avidly raising money for his super pact.  Since it is illegal for a candidate to be connected in any way with his super pact Bush had not announced that he is formally a candidate.  He didl not formally make up his mind until June 15, 2015, that is a little over six months into his presidential campaign.  From what I understand his goal was to raise 100 million dollars in his super pact before he made his announcement.

Bush is made a mockery of the current election system in this country.  He had been actively campaigning for over six months, with one careless exception, as a potential candidate who had not formally made up his mind.  In essence he has pushed the envelope to the extreme limit on the election laws.  What does this tell us about his integrity if he were to be elected president?


Jeb (John Ellis) Bush is the second son of George H.W. and Barbara Bush.  He was elected Governor of Florida in 1999 and served two terms, eight years.  He was the first governor to serve two terms in that state.

On December 16, 2014 he announced that he would explore the possibility of running for President in 2016.  Since that time he had been energetically raising money for his presidential campaign of which he did not officially become a candidate until June 15, 2015.  That is six and ½ months after beginning his campaign.

Politically Jeb Bush is a Conservative Republican who envisions some movement to the Left by his party.  In April 2013 he authored an article for Newsweek Magazine in which he urged Conservatives to be a party of “growth and opportunity.”  He warned that America’s entitlement system risked collapse unless there was a correction in public policy.  Bush recommended a six point plan for the Conservative Movement.  This included tax reform, education reform, a welcoming immigration system, regulatory reform, and pro-family policies.  In October of 2013 he called for immigration reform. Obviously a lot of this did not go down with the Tea Party.

As Governor of Florida Bush was a proponent of school vouchers and charter schools, particularly in the areas of failing schools.  He firmly refused to raise taxes for schools. He obviously didn’t want to solve problems by throwing money at them.

In fact JED reduced taxes over his tenure by $19 billion, eliminated civil service protection to over 16,000 state jobs, issued an executive order that removed racial preference in state contracts, supporting over a dozen new protections for gun owners, led the first state in 2005 to pass stand your ground laws, and was opposed to abortion.

He was directly involved in the Terri Schiavo case.  This woman had massive brain damage and was on a feeding tube for over fifteen years.  Her husband and legal guardian wished to remove the tube.  Her parents were opposed to this move.  The governor signed a law, “Terri’s law,” that authorized him to keep Schiavo on life support. The case was appealed in the Federal Courts.  After the law was declared unconstitutional in the Florida Supreme Court the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case.  By then Terri Schiavo had died.

Jeb Bush seems to be a progressive conservative Republican.  He has played games with the election laws which has allowed him to raise about 100 million dollars for his super pack.   He gave up control of that entity when he directly announced that he is running for the presidency.

Jeb has been touted as being the smartest of the Bush children.  During his pre-election campaign, which ended in the middle of June 2015, he emerged as a highly opinionated, righteous individual whose spoken word should always be taken as sacrosanct.  He seems to believe that it’s his turn to be President.  Fortunately a good percentage of registered Republicans do not agree with him.  He is not the frontrunner of the party.  In fact the number of possible Republican presidential candidates is overwhelming.  It seems to be open season for Republicans who want to be the next President of the United States.

Currently Jeb Bush’s advisors are the same individuals who advised his brother.  From his speeches and other remarks on foreign affairs he appeared to be not too cognizant of the rest of the world.  His experts are the same people who helped his brother George decide on invading Iraq.  This group could easily get us into another war in the Middle East, this time with Iran.  The U.S. fighting three different wars at the same time (Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran) could bring back the draft and lead to oncoming and other disasters.

By his current actions one has to question Bush’s integrity.  Why play games with the election laws?  His actions just prior to the 2000 Election, both purging the registered voter list and the faulty ballots seem to be what got his brother elected to the presidency.  Would he act the same way if he were elected?

On Monday, June 15 2015, months after JEB officially announced to the world, surrounded by avid supporters, that he would run for the Presidency of the United States.  And all this after he had collected approximately $100 million dollars for his super-pact.  He stated that he was running because the country needs a competent President.

To my mind he didn’t mention the Terri Schiavo incident where he got the state to force her family to essentially keep a brain dead woman alive.  And no mention was made of the faulty purge of registered voters shortly before his brother’s election in 2000 under the guise that they were clearing the registration rolls of convicted felons.   Of course in his mind it is possible that all Democrats are potential felons and the real legal voters are or should be all Republican.

Do we need another Bush in the White House?  Is his mother, Barbara Bush, correct in her initial statement?  Do we need another Bush as President?  Haven’t we had enough unnecessary wars so far?  Do we need another Bush as President of the United States




Al Gore

Cover of Al Gore