Congress moves to overturn numerous Obama regulations


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Using a 1990s law that allows Congress to overturn regulations with simple majorities, Congress has this week passed a slew of bills doing exactly that.

The article provides a detailed list. What is significant here is that this is only the first week. With a Republican Congress and a Republican President, there is little to prevent the passage of numerous such bills in the coming months. As much as conservatives have fretted in recent years about the cowardice of the Republican leadership, now that they have some control over the situation it appears they are moving to do something concrete and conservative with that control.

Hang on. It is going to be an interesting next few years.

18 comments

  • Des

    Does this make you feel safer? House strikes regulation to keep mentally ill from buying guns
    http://www.pennlive.com/news/2017/02/house_votes_guns_bill_mentally.html

  • LocalFluff

    Unbama. His changes were only skin deep. The left’s idea to promote politicians based on race and gender instead of competence caused them a total loss. The good thing in life is that evil and stupid goes together and fails because it doesn’t understand reality and logic.

    @Des The mentally ill too have a right to defend themselves. To the degree that a disability makes someone more vulnerable, they actually have more need of a gun. I think that you and I both agree that violent criminals should be killed. All countries have laws that says that anyone has the right to kill a violent assaulter. The only difference is whether murderers should be allowed to massacre unstopped until some government employee arrives to kill him, or if people should be allowed to carry guns to kill the murderer immediately and save many lives. No one that I know of argues that murderers should not be killed, so this is not a moral discussion but a practical one. And it is most practical to let people carry guns. People have always been armed, it is a natural and sound instinct to carry a weapon.

  • Steve Earle

    Des: That regulation was deeply flawed. It’s a convenient talking point for the Left (and apparently for you..) to claim that the “Mentally Ill” should be banned from having a gun, but please think about what you are saying.

    What EXACTLY is the definition of “Mentally Ill”??

    Who EXACTLY decides that you are “Mentally Ill”??

    Who EXACTLY maintains such a list of the “Mentally Ill”??

    Who EXACTLY is authorized to add or subtract names from the list of “Mentally Ill”??

    For proof that such lists sound great in theory, but suck in practice, look no further than the “No Fly List”….

    If anyone’s Constitutional Rights are to be denied I want it to be done in the form of a Law that is debated and voted on by the House and Senate and then signed by the President, not a Regulation authored by some partisan hack and signed by no one who is accountable for their actions….

  • wayne

    Des–
    I’ll weigh in on the “mentally ill and guns.” I’ve Petitioned dozens of people in my career and only a small fraction involved guns in any way shape or form. And I used to be in a position where I could divert people out of jail who had been arrested, into the mental health system. And trust me on this, almost everyone in Jail claims they are mentally ill at some point.)
    From the article you reference:
    (apparently, a tweet from the NRA)
    -“You cannot take away a Constitutional right without providing due process. Period.”

    That is exactly as it should be.
    In order to restrict someone’s access to guns, they must be adjudicated (due-process) “mentally-ill” in a Court of law, and that must happen on a case by case basis and not as part of determining a whole Class of people are “mentally ill” and therefore not entitled to a Constitutional right.
    (1/2 the Country qualifies as being “mentally-ill” under the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual version-5 (“DSM-5”)) [There is a diagnostic code & associated insurance-billing code, for almost “everything.”]
    -Broadly, “mental illness” is composed of a Thought, Mood, or Anxiety-disorder(s), (or any combination thereof.) All of which are defined as being a mental-illnesses.
    The incidence of violence in general & specifically gun-crimes, among folks with mental illness, is lower than the Population at large.
    >We just do not have a problem with the “mentally-ill & guns.” It’s pure contrived controversy and attempted show-voting. Any such enlarged restrictions would be un-constitutional & do nothing for “gun crime.”

    Court-ordered treatment for mental illness is incredibly intrusive and not to be taken lightly, and those situations are only a small subset of the entire mental-illness realm.

    In general, what happens: someone is “acting crazy” and/or comes to the attention of the police or social-welfare folks. The person is interviewed by someone like me and a provisional diagnosis is made. If and only if the person is determined to be a “threat to themselves or others,” at the time, can they be brought before a Judge, where both sides present their facts. (maximum of a 72 hour “psychiatric hold” –best time to petition anyone is on a Friday afternoon at 4:50pm., of a 3-day weekend– buys you another day of observation.)
    –Doing or saying “crazy stuff” is not a crime, only when you threaten yourself or others, does it enter the realm of the judicial and mental-health system.
    If the Judge is satisfied there is sufficient psychiatric evidence of a potential threat, a person can be ordered to take medication, (temporarily) surrender any weapons they own, and “cooperate with all treatment recommendation’s.” (generally– “no drugs, alcohol, and must go to all scheduled appointments .)
    The most common Treatment Order, is a “7/30.” That is, the person may be hospitalized in a locked-facility, against his will, for up to 7 days, and must cooperate with treatment for a minimum of 30 days. These type of Orders are time-limited and the longest one is generally a “30/360.” (maximum of 30 days in-patient, and 12 months out-patient treatment.)
    In most States, having any Treatment Order in effect, is grounds to prevent a gun purchase and/or trigger a temporary surrendering of any guns they may already own.

  • wayne

    Steve Earle–
    Good stuff.
    (These posts are crossing in the ‘net.)

    In my State, all Treatment Orders are transmitted to the LEIN System and if the Police should encounter these people, they are aware.

    Also, tangentially– The local Secret Service Office checks on all Treatment Orders in-effect, for any place the President visits. Any time Obama was in Michigan, we would get a call from the SS, requesting the “physical whereabouts and current mental state” of 2 of our clients.
    >They were harmless (and patriots at heart) but they had been “adjudicated mentally-ill” and were both on lengthy Treatment orders.

    Incidentally– we do have long-acting anti-psychotic medications that are commonly used for folks who do not like to take their oral meds every day. One injected dose, can last up to 4 weeks. (That is highly intrusive and can only be ordered by a Judge.)

    I would proffer:
    It’s not the “mentally ill” we have to be worried about, it’s all these rioters and other inherently anti-American nuts.

  • Steve Earle

    Wayne, my turn to say: Good Stuff! :-)

    You clearly know the system with all of it’s good points and all of it’s flaws.

    When I was a brand new State Trooper, still wet behind the ears, I had the authority to “Pink Slip” anyone I came across in the course of my duties. This entailed dropping them off at one of our State Mental Hospitals for a 24-48 hour observation period (at the discretion of the facility). That would be followed by discharge or a petition to the court for a further hold on the subject. (and we also took advantage of the “Friday afternoon rule” to keep someone off the street for a few extra hours…LOL)

    Then a few years later our then-new Governor Bill Weld (the same who just ran for Libertarian VP) decided to close all the State run Hospitals and “Privatize” the treatment and housing of the mentally ill here in Mass.

    The result was that the MSP lost our ability to “Pink Slip” since the private facilities didn’t want the unnecessary liability of taking anyone not under a court order and also anyone they might not get paid for right away….

    And a further result was that many mentally ill were discharged back to their families when the large hospitals closed and ended up on the streets when the families couldn’t handle them.

    It’s been a huge mess in every respect.

  • wayne

    Steve– was hoping you would weigh in on this more! (I only dealt with the folks, after they had been arrested. The Police were primarily concerned with safety and not intentionally violating anyone’s rights. If they had any doubt on someone, they would call whomever was assigned from Mental Health, to do an evaluation24/7/365)

    Personally, I fully agree the “de-hospitalization” movement of the 70’s was a bad (bad) idea.
    The discovery of (1st-generation) anti-psychotic medications in the late 50’s was a god send to folks who suffered debilitating mental illness, but you just can’t hand someone a pill bottle and send them on their way, especially if they lack basic survival skills out in the real-world.
    Some folks (a tiny percentage in actuality) NEED to be in locked facilities, and primarily for their own safety, but not because they are an inherent threat to the public at large.

    There are also huge economic factors in-play;
    — in Michigan an inpatient psychiatric-bed will cost the “Responsible County,” roughly $500 day. (If you have no insurance, the County where you live is billed for services, which translate to “all of us pay for it.”) Residential treatment runs $75-$150/day, Outpatient treatment is on the order of $50-100 day, and antipsychotics can run about $25-50 a day.
    (That is why Mental Health relies heavily on pharmaceuticals. 20% of the public Mental Health clients, consume 80% of all resources available. If you can stabilize someone for $25 a day, you save the System $475/day. Nobody will publicly admit that economics drives a bit of public mental health, but it is a huge consideration.) ((I would get yelled at, if I hospitalized “too many people.”))

  • Garry

    Wayne, thank you for informing us; I was hoping you would speak up.

    I’ve leafed through the DSM-V, and was struck by how subjective some of the criteria are. It could be easy to “diagnose” just about anybody with just about anything. I can see even disciplined professionals talking rationalizing diagnoses.

    Of course, those who are severely detached from reality and present a danger to themselves and others should not have access to firearms. But I’m under the impression that these are much more rare than most people think.

    I’ve often said that very few people are completely crazy; even the delusional have their own internal logic, yet that’s the image that many have of the mentally ill. I have met people who were disturbed but posed as being completely crazy, because they liked the power that came with it.

    Even those cases sometimes find a way; for example, the shooter in Sandy Hook, CT didn’t own the weapons he used; they officially belonged to his mother, who for some reason thought it a good idea to buy them for him and let him shoot; I don’t know why she was foolish enough to buy those kinds of weapons and keep them in such a way that he was able to get them.

    I have to say that target shooting, when done correctly, builds a certain type of discipline and allows one to “get in the zone” and focus to the extent that is hard to come by. But I would never think of enabling somebody that unstable to shoot.

  • wayne

    Garry-
    Good stuff.
    (I could tell you some horror stories…. but I’ll spare everyone.)

    In actuality– suicide-risk is the paramount issue with mental-illness and guns. (White Males, in their 50’s, with access to guns, kill themselves at alarming rate.) Folks impulsively and lethally shoot themselves during a “momentary lapse of reason.”

    Tangent:
    Highly recommend a book by Mark Vonnegut, “The Eden Express.” (Yes, the son of Kurt Vonnegut.)
    He developed early onset schizophrenia right after College, in the early 70’s, and promptly went “nuts” while living in a commune in British Columbia.
    Fantastic story and well written.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eden_Express

  • Garry

    Wayne, thanks for the reply.

    I’ve read the Eden Express; pretty scary stuff. My takeaway was that the key to Mark’s recovery was multiple people realizing that he had a real problem, and the hippie approach (insanity is a sane response to an insane world / your illness came from an incident that was poetic, so the cure has to be something poetic) was working, and he needed help.

    Mental illness has a huge stigma, and often it comes from a biochemical problem, many of which can be controlled. It’s up to family and others to help the mentally ill stay safe and find a means to stability. Too often, families are not even aware, and if they are, they hide it.

  • wayne

    Garry-
    good deal!
    -I think you meant to type.. “the hippie approach was not working..”

    It is all “very poetic,” (the “hippie approach,”) but, largely bunk.

  • Steve Earle

    The Left is always talking about the “Chilling Effect” that enforcing immigration laws will have on all immigrants and how they won’t want to talk to the Police…

    In this instance there would be a true chilling effect on those who would be reluctant to seek counseling and/or treatment for fear of being branded “Mentally Ill” for the rest of their lives. Not only would they lose the right to own a gun, but they would also be on one or more Government Lists as being somehow unstable.

    Funny how the chilling effect argument is only used when it’s politically convenient for the Left.

  • LocalFluff

    Germany declares war on the USA. Again! As if the previous couple of attempts were a role model (a “paragon” in Greek I think). Look at Der Spiegel paper cover or listen to their Kanzlerin. How stupid can they get?

    Thank God at least the Japanese seem to have some brain power in their government.

  • Garry

    Wayne, you’re absolutely right; I forgot a “not.” I can proofread/edit anyone’s writing other than my own.

  • wayne

    Steve E–
    excellent point.

    Anyone take Xanax (or any of the dozen benzodiazepines in common use) for anxiety, Ambien (or any hypnotic) for sleep, give their children amphetamines (Adderall,) ever take any antidepressant, ever in your life?

    You are all “mentally ill,” (or the parents thereof) and you do not want the Federal Government deciding if one of your Constitutional rights is up for grabs, just because they say so, in advance.

    –That’s why you get a Hearing before a Judge– you don’t have to prove you are not “mentally ill,” the onerous is on the “authorities” to demonstrate you are an imminent “danger to yourself or others.”

    That is a fairly high bar to reach in practical application, and must be demonstrated by overt words or actions.

  • wayne

    Garry–
    I hear you! (on the writing ‘thing.)
    -You do an excellent job, here. Always well reasoned & presented, no matter what the topic, even if we differ. I tend to ramble & call for nuclear-strikes, at the drop of a hat, but I can’t do that with my real work, or they make me re-write it all.)

    LocalFluff– what are those whacky Germans, up-to, today??

  • Edward

    Of course, not allowing the mentally ill to have guns is not guarantee that they will follow the law. It is like making it illegal for any criminal to have a gun, if he is a criminal intent on murder, he isn’t likely to be deterred by a more minor law than the one he is intent on breaking.

    Our most infamous mentally ill mass murderer, in Newtown CT, killed someone in order to get the guns he used to kill unarmed, unprotected, students and teachers. But hey, when seconds count, it is comforting to know that the police are only minutes away.

  • I was out somewhere and saw a CNN story reporting ” Many Americans think President Trump working ‘too fast'”.

    Huh. As an American President once said:

    “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country’s about.”

    Yeah. That guy.

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