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  • Morning Bell: D.C.'s Mayor Arrested for Not Understanding the Constitution

    The federal government might not have shut down on Monday, but rush hour traffic stopped in our nation’s capital when the mayor of Washington, D.C., Vince Gray, already serving under a cloud of corruption, was arrested while protesting Congress’ budget agreement. Gray, city council members and more than 200 protesters blocked Constitution Avenue and diverted police resources, shouting, “Free D.C.” and “We can’t take it no more,” all in response to new restrictions on spending that Congress placed on the District of Columbia. But they should have been protesting outside Constitution Hall, not the Capitol, because that is where the Framers created the role for our nation’s capital that Gray is complaining about today.

    Chief among Gray’s grievances are Congress’ funding of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program–which provides vouchers for low-income students to attend their school of choice, rather than be stuck in the District’s failing school system–and the prohibition against the use of government funds for abortion services. During the protest Gray said, “This is an absolute travesty. D.C. deserves to be free. All we want to do is spend our own money.” Well, actually, all Gray wants is to have his cake, eat it too, and let the federal government pay for it. Oh, and he also wants the District of Columbia to become the 51st state.

    Gray’s idea isn’t a novel one. He’s not the first to protest, complain and call for statehood; the movement dates back decades. President Bill Clinton was a supporter, Jesse Jackson, a.k.a. the District’s “Shadow Senator,” was arrested in a pro-statehood protest, and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s non-voting representative in the House, routinely introduces a statehood bill. And legislation has been offered time and time again seeking to grant the District a vote in Congress. In 2009, the U.S. Senate passed a bill to grant the District the same vote as a state in Congress; it was never brought for a vote in the House and thus didn’t become law.

    Even though Gray might not like to admit it, the District of Columbia is a city unlike any other, given unique treatment in the Constitution and under federal law. Attorney R. Hewitt Pate writes:

    As most of us learned in grade school, the District was created in 1790 from ten square miles of land ceded to the federal government by Maryland and Virginia. The purpose of the District is stated in Federalist No. 43. The Framers of the Constitution believed that the federal government needed to have control over the seat of government – over the place where it was to conduct its business so that it would not find itself beholden to a particular state government for its day-to-day needs. The states, after all, are (or at least were then) independent sovereigns jealously guarding their political power against federal intrusion from Washington.

    The Framers indeed had a plan, and that plan was not to grant the District of Columbia statehood. It was, instead, to create a “federal town” designed to serve the needs of the federal government, as all Members of Congress would share the responsibility of protecting a city they live and work in. Want proof? Just look at the Constitution. Article I, Section 2 states that “Representatives…shall be apportioned among the several States.” Had the Framers wanted to give the District a vote, it could have done so. And Article I, Section 8 grants Congress the power to “exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over the District.” Congress’ power and the District’s role are clear.

    And though Mayor Gray might claim otherwise, the District of Columbia’s status is not without benefits. In the 19th Century, Congress funded the development of the city. In the 20th Century, it developed the National Mall and beautified the city. Today it funds more than 20% of the city’s operating budget and provides substantial funding for local amenities, including the subway. What’s more, in 2005, the city received $5.50 in federal spending for every dollar paid in federal taxes; more than double what any actual state receives. And remember the stimulus? Norton brags that the District received billions in federal funds, more than many states.

    But despite all that, the complaints keep coming. Following Congress’ budget agreement with the White House, Norton declared, “Senate Democrats were willing to let the House Republicans treat them as second-class citizens” and that, ”District residents and detainees at Guantanamo Bay were the only groups singled out in the bill, and the symbolism of the pairing and the contempt it shows for our city is not lost on our residents.” Second class citizens on par with Gitmo detainees? That’s a lot of hyperbole for one press release, especially when the facts and the law tell a wholly different story.

    The angry rhetoric can flow, protests can go on, and the mayor can be arrested for blocking traffic. But the fact remains that the District of Columbia is how it is for a reason, as envisioned by the Framers and set forth in the Constitution.

    Quick Hits

    • Japanese authorities on Tuesday raised the severity rating of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to the highest level.
    • Pakistan has demanded that the CIA halt drone strikes against militants in its territory, including al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • Congress revealed details of the 2011 spending cuts early Tuesday morning. Among them are $1.6 billion in cuts to the EPA, a 16 percent reduction.
    • France says NATO is not doing enough to protect civilians in Libya and must do more to destroy Qadhafi’s military capabilities.
    • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is sitting on millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Click here to find out what the story is all about.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    72 Responses to Morning Bell: D.C.'s Mayor Arrested for Not Understanding the Constitution

    1. Steve Cafaro Fort My says:

      I wonder if the framers of the Constitution ever imagined that Washington, DC would become the center of impasse, corruption and decay that it has become?

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      4 – 12 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      RUTH SC on April 11th, 2011 at 10:42am said:

      *** Thanks, Ruth SC for the message.

      To Ken Jarvis—- Make family planning only for birth control, not abortions, there are family health centers for women to go to for a nominal fee for breast exams,

      *** Nominal for WHO?

      Women NEED HCare, but the GOP wants to turn

      their back on them.


      and the best chance network did the tests for ages, at little or no cost to women. Too much money goes into pockets of those who cheat the system, and has for decades.

      *** Who cheats?

      NONE of that $$$ gets in a Medicare Recipients pockets. Not one red cent.


      Jeanne Stotler,Woodbridge, Va on April 11th, 2011 at 11:42am said:

      I agree with J. Frykman, Soc. SEc. and Medicare ARE NOT entitlements, we paid into these with every paycheck,

      ***Jeanne Stotler – Thanks

      Of course, Middle Class workers pay in on every cent they earn. But, there is a pay-in Cap that should be removed.

      Also, Investment income doesn't pay into Soc Sec.


      Medicaid on the oher hand is a program for the poor, both Medicaid and Medicare are full of fraud and this needs to be shut down, trouble it’s never done with any serious outcome.

      *** Who is doing the Fraud?

      SUPPLIERS – Not patients.


      One step to balancing the budget would be to nulify the raises given to the Supreme Ct., Congress and the WH, including the staffs.

      *** Congress should be paid – Minimum Wage.


      Norm LA on April 11th, 2011 at 12:39pm said:

      This little dust up is just another campaign trip for the president. He was Not Present until the speech where he tried to show he compromised, which is not the real Obama. To know that, I listened to Plough’s interview on that far right perpetrator; Fox News, then to ABC. He gave away their strategy [if you listened to the words]

      *** Thanks Norm.

      " listen to the words"???

      How else?



      KC – New Mexico on April 11th, 2011 at 12:54pm said:

      I can’t believe Ken J comment – Tax the Rich,

      they have the $$$.

      Just remember the song – you can tax the rich until there are not more. Then what?

      *** KC – Thanks

      I don't remember the song.

      The RICH have the $$$.


      The real answer is to revamp IRS and generate a flat tax process where everyone pays based on income

      *** A National Sales Tax – NSTx

      where all taxes are paid, when a purchase is made.


      George Colgrove VA on April 11th, 2011 at 1:09pm said:


      Listen you libs, set down and listen carefully,


      Goverment solutions have failed and are driving us into the grave. Wake up man!

      *** George – YOU have my Email address.

      When you get to be 65,

      let me know where you will get Private Sector Insurance.

      I can't find any.


      Ben C., Ann Arbor, MI on April 11th, 2011 at 1:35pm said:

      Ken Jarvis – you are right about using it – but use is mandated by federal law. No choice. I am not in favor of dictated federal dependency – are you?

      *** Ben C – ALL people NEED HCare

      how would YOU provide it?


      John Arizona on April 11th, 2011 at 1:43pm said:

      To the liberals who say, “Tax the rich!” Do you realize what percent of taxes paid are paid by the so-called “rich”?

      Who defines “rich”? Is it Obama – anyone making $250,000 – oops, he missed that mark. Is it Ken Jarvis? He wouldn’t be happy until there are no more rich, but everyone has the same income – does that smell anything like socialism? Thanks for your thoughts, Ken, but we’d be better off if you kept those thoughts to yourself, or share them at the next meeting of the Sol Alinsky/Bernie Sanders “We’re Goofy” meeting.

      *** John – Come on – Socialism –

      YOU can do better than that.


      Why? Socialist believe in Wealth Distribution – GREAT

      When Does it Start?

      and WHERE do I sign up?

    3. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      With all the problems facing the nation at this time Why is this News? It comes under the expression "Slow news day".

    4. Myra, FL says:

      Great article…which makes my comment seem all the more petty. Never-the-less, if you're going to use it, the term is "eat his cake and have it, too." The point, of course, is that once one has eaten the cake he can not longer "have" it…it's gone.

      (Note: I thought I had posted this, but it disappeared leaving just my name and email address. Hope this isn't a duplication.)

    5. The Atomic Mom, New says:

      If these people feel trapped in DC, they are free to move to Virginia or Maryland, both are minutes away and have the full benefits of statehood.

    6. JD Kingston, Prescot says:

      . Attorney R. Hewitt Pate writes: "As most of us learned in grade school, the District was created in 1790 from ten square miles of land ceded to the federal government by Maryland and Virginia." Wrong Mr. Attorney. The constitution atates "10 miles square, (100 square miles)" not "ten square miles.

      • ThomNJ says:


        And I think there is an easy way to give the residents od DC statehood – so to speak – let's just cede all the residential areas back to Maryland and keep only the federal buildings as DC. After all, if we gerrymandered DC the way that some states do their congressional districts, this should not pose a problem at all!

    7. Kathy, Wheaton, IL says:

      Very good story. Lots of actual detail and research ~ Thank you. It clearly details the mentaility of elected officials who swear to up hold our Constitution, yet somehow think they know better and should be able to adjust IT to suit their wants! Shameful.

    8. Alton Drew says:

      DC offers nothing to the Commonwealth. No mining. No agriculture. No livestock. For this reason alone it should not be admitted to the Union.

      The city council needs to be converted into a federal agency charged with the city's day-to-day operations including the management of the school system. This would make it truly a federal city; thus allowing us to avoid hearing all this rhetorical whining from Mayor Gray and everyone else.

      If the current political leadership and its citizens want to be treated like other municipalities, they each should go across the river to Arlington, head northwest to Montgomery County, or east to Prince Georges.

      Your column today is right on point. Unfortunately the residents in DC have been sold a facade; made to believe that their status should be like every other citizen in every other city or state. Read the Constitution.

    9. SouthernPatriot, the says:

      It seems the entitled mentality has its greatest showplace in D.C. It is a shame. They receive more money and more assistance, but do not provide more for what they receive. Oh, I forgot…Congress is in charge of the money.

    10. allan allen says:

      congress should systemically tear down the apartments, other dwellings…make it a no-habitat zone

    11. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      It's past time to clean out this swamp; the only people that should be allowed to live in Washington DC ought to be the Federal Governing, the Federal Court judges, and the Diplomats from other countries, the rest of the area ought to be maintained as a park. The houses for the Senators and Representatives ought to be built by the people they represent in a manner so as to reflect the way people in that district live, not above, not below.

      Washington DC has for the most part been given over to a parasitical segment of the population, it is a blight on America!!!!

    12. Norbert Stager, Ohio says:

      An investigation must be made into where does or did all the money go. Especially since they brag they got more money than some states.

    13. Jim Patterson, Dulut says:

      I agree with AtomicMom. Just move a couple of miles to VA or MD and you can vote. Oh wait, that is just toooo simple a solution for those folks.

    14. Jorge Mata says:

      regardless of the content, the headline is good. I had a good laugh!

    15. Searcher, Virginia says:

      The Constitution contains the remedy for such "injustice": the Amendment process. DC had best get cracking to convince legitimate States to support the modification.

    16. mike hutchings says:

      if d.c. becomes a state….a rootless….soilless….sandless….creature with no art in it's soul….save that of the handout… will achieve just enough footing to jump into the back pocket of who ever pays them the most….would that be much different than what it is now?….d.c. doesnt need statehood…the same way we do not need the dictates of public sector….ballot box stuffing…unions….federal power can only be checked by the consent of the governed…..not subjects at the whim of an eternal balancing act to make the washington culture appear reasonable…to those in the rear….trailing the lead dogs….back here…the view never changes…but…where its easier to see things spew from an increasingly unaccountable federal mindset…d.c statehood is a political gamblers wild card….thats not so wild…. as much as it is dedicated to being the center of power…that the framers wanted to avoid….they should cool off and have a nice tall glass of texas tea….at their next statehood party.

    17. Frank, Baltimore says:

      OK, the folks in DC shud demonstrate at Constitution Hall .. would that be beofre or after the Charlie Sheen Road Show or the Paul Simon Concert .. you see, the document wasn't written in Constitution Hall .. that's a large arena type hall for events .. like concerts, mass meetings.. etc .. and u

    18. STEVE says:

      Thans Heritage, it's been a while since you printed something non partisian.

    19. Dave says:

      What an unbelievably senseless argument. Throwing money at the city excuses the fact that 600,000 U.S. citizens cannot vote for the congressmen that represent them and control their city? It doesn't matter if they get $10 for every tax dollar; money will never supplant voting rights–something I assure you is also in the constitution. The framers may have had a plan, but that doesn't make it right. And you can feel better about it by telling 600,000 people to move, but that's an absurdly un-american suggestion. Consider all the people it takes to make the seat of our government function. Their choice should be either give up their rights as citizens or not live in the city they support?

    20. Ruth Williamston SC says:

      And thus it should be. The men that framed the Constituiton were far more thorough in thought about what would keep this nation free and strong than any politician (a few exceptions) serving in Congress. I only wish they would have seen that there are some men and women that think being elected to office is their God given right and not a privilege. These people currently serving would not be able to maintain a job in the private sector. What the modern Congress needs to do is set term limits on both Senators and Congressmen. It was forced to do this to the Presidency because of FDR and it should have been done then with Senators and Congressmen. A new broom sweeps cleaner and that is what the 87 newly elected Congressment are doing now. It is time to sweep out the old.

    21. Mike Grandy, Virgini says:

      Since it's suipposed to be a Federal Town, the government oought to kick everybody but federal employees and agencies out and let federal agencies outside of the district move in, concentrating everything there. Then, when the balloon goes up, one nuclear bomb will take out the entire mess and we can start over.

    22. Chris, DC says:

      I agree that something needs to be done about the apparent corruption that has been rampant in the DC government for ages. As a dc resident, i'd like to know where that money is going, because it does not seem to be going to roads, schools, and other visible projects.

      HOWEVER, unlike this article says, DC is just like many other large cities across the US. And contrary to the comment by Atomic Mom, many families are tied to where they live for a multitude of reasons and can not just up and move. Many of those working for the government jobs don't even live in DC. 600k people live in DC, while the day time population is closer to 2 mill. So, DC is much more than the federal town originally intended. DC does not need to be the 51st state, but the people living there do deserve to be represented and treated as any other citizens of the United States, but Republicans would never allow any such measures to pass due to the fear of additional Blue seats in congress.

      Also, according to the Washington Post,President Obama said to House Speaker John Boehner, "John, I will give you D.C. abortion" partly in exchange for Boehner agreeing to drop a GOP provision that would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood. DC is not the President's to give. Why is it that because of where we live, we do not have the same rights guaranteed to every other citizen?

      It's all politics, except to those who live there.

    23. Doc Hilliard, SoCal says:

      When D.C. was created out of the swamps and other "worthless" land it was rather centrally located. It is time D.C. be moved. Perhaps Lincoln Nebraska will fit the bill.

    24. Tim, Virginia says:

      Your first mistake is blindly sticking to what a few white guys wrote 223 years ago. The Constitution is a living document. It can change, and has. The Federalist Papers were not legislation and have never been.

      At first blush, it makes sense for the federal government to have complete control over the territory where it does its business. But in the last 223 years, things have changed quite a bit. Has Virginia overthrown the Environmental Protection Agency, headquartered in Arlington? Has Maryland overthrown the National Institutes of Health, headquartered in Bethesda? Has Georgia overthrown the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, headquartered in Atlanta? No, no and no. The federal government exercises its power of eminent domain to establish certain operations in states and it controls those operations. No need to declare a 100-square-mile territory around each of these campuses and exercise complete control over such territory.

      As for the "benefits" DC gets, it's really just the federal government paying DC back for the money it deserves. After you account for federal government buildings and all of the non-profits (such as the Heritage Foundation), DC has a huge amount of untaxable property. Combine that with the fact that Congress has prevented DC from taxing income earned in the district by non-residents (a right that every state has). These are just two of the reasons that DC cannot collect the taxes it needs to provide basic services. So the federal government is making up for that.

      As Federal #43 explains, the purpose of a federal district is so the federal government can go about its affairs with interference from a state. How do school vouchers and preventing the city from using its own money for abortion assistance ensure the smooth operation of the federal government? They don't. Congress just likes exerting its power, for fun.

      Oh, and as for the "you can move out" argument (The Atomic Mom), it's funny that no one said that when the federal government changed DC's gun control laws. Don't like DC's gun control laws? Move to Maryland or Virginia! Er … nope, let the federal government step in and tell you how to run your city.

    25. harley spoon says:

      Your article is ironic in that I, among many others, have been under the impression that so-called "conservatives" who are really "reactionaries"–along with the Mayor of Washington, DC–have been in favor of private and parochial school "vouchers" as part of their war against 'public schools"…Am I wrong…I mean, everytime I see a Republican/Teapublican on a talk show regarding the US public education system(s), I hear them tout "vouchers" paid for by taxpayers and aimed at making private and parochial schools rich as they attempt to break the public schools…

      I am very conservative when it comes to how the government(s)–local, state and federal–spend my tax money. I, as a Presbyterian, do no want my tax money to be spent on other church or based schools/enterprises. If I want to support parochial or private schools, I will make a donation in that regard on my own volition. And that seems to be a "strict constructionist" Constitutional position, to me.

      You people at the Heritage Foundation need to get consistent….Do you or do you not want the state and the church to commingle? Do you want the state to be the church and the church to be the state, or not? You right wing ideologues can't have it both ways. Which denomination will rule? Will it be the Roman Catholic Church (the biggest of the US churches? Will it be the Southern Baptists? Will it be the Methodists? If it is not my church, the Presbyterian Church, I might have to declare a "Holy War"….The real issue is not that Christianity is under attack in the US. It is that the charismatics have declared war on the denominations and, therefore, Christians are fighting each other for control of the nation. But they better all get out of the way because the "soul-less" & "God-less" corporations who worship only the bottom line will be the ultimate victors; the churches and denominations "be damned"!!!! And that is the real goal of the Heritage Foundation, the Hudsons and other such "patriotic" cadres!

      Here is how you really think and act. Your party (the Republican/Teapublican Party only run to win, not govern. When your party attempts to govern, it does so on behalf of those who don't need government–the oligarchs, plutocrats and global corporatists–at the expense of those who do need government–the too old, the too young, the too sick, the too poor, the air, water, flora and fauna…

      In other words, you and your party are pawns, goons and stooges for the perpetrators of the Corporate State…i.e., the domestic and global corporatist fascists!!! Patronizing the churches is just one more way of duping Americans of faith that you really care about their faith when, in reality, all you care about are your "bosses" in the corporate boardrooms in the US and all over the world.

    26. LinnieLou, Indiana says:

      Mayor Gray must have the same problems that former D.C. Mayor Marion Berry had!! He says he wants to be free to spend his own money! He is paid by tax payers money, and D.C. is funded almost totally by tax payers money? He is owned by the people who elected him, and so is his city! Where do they come up with these people who run for offices in these cities?? Bottom of the barrel, I guess!

    27. Sargon Armstrong - D says:

      i hope there's a special place in hell for all these people who break bread over the backs of poor and middle class american citizens

    28. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Message for Adrian Fenty: Next time, READ THE CONSTITUTION!

    29. Brian, Michigan says:

      Rezone the entire District of Columbia to "non-Residential".

      Problem solved.

    30. harley spoon says:

      Thomas Jefferson said:

      Panel Four at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC:

      "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

    31. Michael, New Orleans says:

      How about this? Take the area bounded by Rock Creek and Potomac Pkwy to the west, the Potomac River to the southwest, the Anacoastia River to the southeast, and the northern boundary would be roughly Florida Avenue and P,Q, or R Street. This is the area that most Americans consider to be the “real” Washington DC. Make this area the new District and give the rest of the District back to either Maryland or Virginia.

    32. Ken Allison, Tyler says:

      So, exactly who is it in DC paying any attention at all to the Constitution- much less upholding their oaths to "support and defend" it?

      So this is news that a "chocolate" city accustomed to sucking at the teat flowing with tax money from all of the 50 States, which elects- and reelects- known felonious drug users as their mayor, is- gasp- ignorant of the Constitutional reasons why DC is not a State?

      So, what's the probabiity that citizens will wake up in time to save the Republic? Zero. Rebuild from the ashes? Maybe.

    33. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      Here we go again, D.C. becoming the laughing stock of not only our nation but the world. The fact that Barry continues to sit on the council is bad enough now we get another mayor who puts his ego in front and is known to associate with criminals, already looks like some hanky panky got him elected, D.C. can vote in their own elections for City Council and they can vote in the Pres. election, that is better than it was in the 30's,40's and 50's. It is not a state and NEVER was intended to be a state, if they want state rights, give the land back to Maryland, they gave Virgiia's back when the city was formed.

    34. harley spoon says:

      B Eric, the FOUNDRY is not a news outlet….and the topic is worthy of discussion…

      The only reason Republicans/Teapublicans fear making THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA a state is that the Dems will more than likely get the DC electoral votes; otherwise, it wouldn't be an issue. And that is why the Republicans/Teapublicans are re-instating the Poll Tax in most of our states under the guise of VOTER ID. They say that it takes picture ID to buy alcohol, drive, go to a prono movie, cash a check. that is true..but none of those are Constitutional rights or priveleges. VOTING IS!!!

      Anything the Repubs/Teapubs can do to make voting difficult or impossible or costly for Americans who may want to vote for Democrats is a tact the Repubs/Teapubs will take…The Repubs/Teapubs and Lou Dobbs exclaim that Mexicans come to the US to vote for Democrats and give us Leprosy. Such malarkey! They come here to work; do jobs "citizens" think they are too good to do for less pay than "citizens' will accept.

    35. J. Guidry, Battlefie says:

      Norbert, we don't need an investigation to find the money that went to D.C. Its in the pockets of the politicians like Gray and his city council. That would be my wild ass guess, probably true. Just like any other government entity in that town. Glad he got arrested, even if just for a minor offense. Get him used to the idea he is not above the law.

    36. harley spoon says:

      It is clear that you only allow comments that comply with your narrow political and ideological scope…and you talk about the Constitution…Such hypocrisy…Ignorance is bliss and will be the downfall of our Republic. The most important aspect of a democratic-republic is the principle of the "consent of the governed"…The Heritage Foundation fosters and promotes ignorance and intolerance of the ideas and viewpoints of those who don't walk in lock-step with the corporate "bosses" of the Heritage Foundation!!!

    37. stevekoko cleveland says:

      Mayor of Washington, D.C., Vince Gray. What more would you expect from???

    38. Cindy, Laurel, MD says:

      Reminds me of the book "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie…".

      DC can increase their own revenues by changing welfare recipients into employed persons.

    39. John Worden Inkster, says:

      It seems the Washington, D.C. electorate gets what they ask for, politicians who pander rather than lift. As long as the electorate elects politicians who cry poverty rather than honesty they'll continue to get officials who think stopping traffic is the way to solve their problems.

    40. Van Peski, Deming, N says:

      Ten square miles, not large enough as a national septic tank, ( which it appears to be ), obviously not large enough to be a state.

    41. Mazz, Massachusetts says:

      B. Eric…The Mayor of our Nations Capitol gets arrested and you don't think that's news?

    42. Citizen, DC says:

      Fine. Understood. But the 16th Amendment states, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on income, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

      So, should District residents not be exempt from federal income taxation?

      Or is it you, dear poster, that does not understand the constitution?

    43. Joe Bernard, The Woo says:

      Mr. Pate is incorrect in stating that the District is 10 square miles. It was originally ten miles on a side which equates to 100 square miles. In 1846 the 26 acres of land on the other side of the Potomac River was retroceded to the state of Virginia and became what is now Arlington County. Perhaps he meant to state "10 miles square". Regardless of size, the District was never intended to be a state, so as the young folks are wont to say: "Deal with it!"

    44. jerry black, bakersv says:

      Actually Virginia pulled out of the land deal

    45. John, Colorado says:

      I think Gray is a perfect example of why most Democrats get into government, and to a much lesser degree some Republicans. It's all about graft and corruption. It's not just handing out goodies to special interest and minority groups in exchange for votes. It's mostly about getting money for one's self, in as many ways as possible. It's an extension of the welfare state, for 'leaders'.

    46. R.Lee Smith Gates,N. says:

      I live 200 miles from D.C. and still feel the consistent rumbling, waiting for the tsunami. I love The District Of Columbia, I'm not so enthralled by many of the inhabitants. It's actually easy to see the arguments on both sides, but I agree with the writer. It is what it is and there was good reason given by the framers.

      Some truths never die.

    47. Richard Fornoff, Ill says:

      In your article you so eloquently point out that:

      Article I, Section 8 grants Congress the power to "exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over the District." Congress' power and the District's role are clear.

      In statutory construction, to explicitly include something in the law serves to exclude EVERYTHING else. So, if here we have the definitive jurisdiction of congressional legislative power defined as only for this district, then why does anyone care what congress is doing as they have no other jurisdictional authority than that which was granted and assigned to them in law?

      Meaning that they have zero authority to legislate a single thing outside of the District of Colombia.

      It's all an illegitimate sham perpetrated by ignorance.


      Thank you for reminder on how and why Washington D.C. came tobe. Where does it get their money for Transportation road upkeep, sewer, water,?And all of the other basic needs of a city?

      We sure get some interesting people, elected into office.

      Keep up the good work Heritage Foundation without your hard work we would sure be in the dark for information.

      God Bless from Maggie

    49. Keith Palmer, Grand says:

      Just more members to "Idiots R Us". Sad state of affairs. D.C. is a microcasm of politics in America. It's about greed and power.

    50. DocHunter, Bardstown says:

      Typical liberal, ignorant of the Constitution. DC already gets more freedom from Congressional oversight and representation in Congress than the Founders ever intended.

    51. Stanton Park, DC says:

      This is childish and beneath the Heritage Foundation. Whining about people to divert attention from their legitimate grievances simply highlights your intellectual immaturity. Worse than that, somehow you manage to miss the entire point. It is Congress, not the Constitution, that is the problem.

      The Constitution gives Congress a great deal of leeway. That is not to say everything Congress does, or fails to do, is well thought out or even a good idea. Congress has used its authority over the District to grant a significant amount of home rule. Under that framework, does it still make sense that if the federal government shuts down, the trash is not collected in the city at the heart of the 5th largest metro area in the US? Does it make sense that Congress has granted the Mayor and Council the authority to levy taxes in the District but not the authority to spend the taxes they have raised? Should Congress abolish home rule and be responsible for trash collection itself?

      Instead of using sloppy, sophomoric rhetoric and taking cheap shots, what about acknowledging that the situation in DC is unworkable and an embarrassment to the democratic ideals this country stands for and try to figure out a way Congress could fix the problem? Are HR 345, HR 884, and HR 980 the best way to go, or is there another, better way?

    52. Bobbie says:

      see what the democrat train of thinking does to the human mind? This man represents the District, as mayor of all things.. What an embarrassment. The only decent thing for him to do is step down. How unfortunate for the people.

      For America, there are too many in position that fail to know what's going on or where their boundaries are.

      There should be an investigation of where the money is going. Sounds like government union thug connection to me?

    53. Stanton Park, DC says:

      Message for Blair Franconia: Next time, READ THE ARTICLE!

      Vincent Gray is the Mayor of Washington, not Adrian Fenty.

    54. Stanton Park, DC says:

      Can I assume all of you people who are criticizing the Mayor of DC are similarly criticizing your governments when they defy Congress? Do you all object when your governors and legislatures try to "nullify" laws passed by Congress? Do you respect the authority of Congress to regulate and control all the lands it OWNS in the western states and Alaska? I thought not.

    55. Norbert Stager, Ohio says:

      J Guidry: The purpose of an investigation is to find enough evidence to prosecute and punish those who have broken the law. Nobody should be above the law or immune from prosecution.

    56. Dr. Jim Miller, Gray says:

      This is well written and factual. It is too bad this type of information is not taught in high school. The people, who came to this country to leave the problems of Europe, knew what they did not want to happen here. Unfortunately, socialists of today believe that the Euopean model is best and people with the power of a dictator are best to rule people. Why do Mexicans and others from South of the border try so hard to come here? Do they have a dream of a better life when they come here as illegals? We have the president of Mexico coming here point out our faults. Is a mirror needed? People in our government run all over the world to visit. Do other countries care about us or our tax dollars? One can learn from history or repeat the pain. We are close to learning the hard way again.

    57. Mike, Chicago says:

      DC shouldn't be a state.

    58. Federal City says:

      This is the most ludicrous thing I ever read. The idea that the framers of the Constitution would want to withhold voting rights from 600,000 American citizens is beyond belief. The dear founding fathers didn't make specific provisions for women and blacks to vote, either, so I suppose that we should retract those amendments to the Constitution.

      I love how Republicans are all about self-determination and reducing the power of the Federal government as long as it suits their purposes. However, when it come time to dictate to DC how it should spend its locally raised funds, they are all about Federal control and big, fat government. Why don't you go after the 17 other states that use locally raised funds for abortion services?

      The founding fathers would spin in their graves to see this travesty.

    59. David Bess, Carson C says:

      Hardly worth commenting on. D.C. is a unique area in the American landscape and that's as it should be. It is known for having leaders that are slightly off center, but in their defence look at the political environment they live in.

      Heck, half of congress and the whole white house have no idea what the constitution says and really don't give a damn what it says.

      In the crisis that we are in one uninformed and disilusioned mayor is not even NOTE WORTHY. Our great country gives us the right of free speech. No matter how stupidly we use it, it is still our right to do so.

      If had he not been arrested then we would not have heard a wisper about him or the protest. Protestors need to violate the law to get the voice for their cause to be heard. It is a common practice dating back to the anti-war movement of the sixties.

    60. It's past time for retrocession! Go Rep. Gohmert!

    61. Michael L Morgan,D.S says:

      Interestingly, when the "new" congress convened, they began with an historic reading of "the constitution"; what they read was "as amended", which as ever, failed to take into account the creeping communism(a rose by any name!)that had been added, in result, substracted from the original form! What Joe McCarthy & JFK understood is that (as General Washington wrote his French understudy & aide-de-camp, Lafayette) when we were given a bimattalic monetary system, it was superior to anythat had ever been! It's vurtues became known with immediacy, as the many disagreements and dissonances of the early days of the Republic vanished, those arguing & disputing over trifles, embarrassed beyond words at their short-sightedness! How the Fed, and its cronies, have been able to fool so many of us for so long, is beyond amazing…but a "dollar", so often mentioned, but seldom defined, is still by analtered law, defined as(though expressed in grains, for the assayor's measures)one ounce of silver, OR one-20th ounce of gold…which is why we had a 1-oz. coin that was a "silver dollar', and a slightly smaller 1-oz. coin that was a "20-dollar gold piece"! These were not "adjustable" by remore command, nor were or are they trackable by anoyone not handling them! In memory of the sacrificial efforts of JFK, and far too many of our service-members to count, we must remove this blight, and its completely phony debt(and the crisis-after-crisis that goes with them)from our history, while we still may record its passing! (All other discussions are absurd, without this recognition abbreviating their verbiage!)Some ask, "Where has the money gone?", when it was taken from us, long ago, and all about what goes on today is a complete fiction!!)

    62. Elmer Singer says:

      With respect to attorney Pate’s description of the size of the district of Columbia, it would be nice if an ostensible expert would be more accurate. The Constitution sets the authorized size of the seat of government at 10 miles square (100 square miles). Even after the retrocession in 1847 of Virginia’s 31 square miles, the District today still covers some 69 square miles.

      A little more care concerning language precision makes a more compelling case.

    63. Eric, armed forces E says:

      221 years ago the government created a small area of our country to be the working area of the federal government so that it would not be beholden directly to any particular state. I also think it is safe to say that anyone actually living in the Distict of Columbia is not a serf tied to the land, they live where they have chosen to live, this is not some new law that just came up. I am in the armed forces and when I joined I understood that I was suborning some of my own rights when doing so, I.E. absentie balots dont count (except maybe, just maybe in a tie). Nationaly set laws and regulations are very dangerous, there should be no department of education or other simular governmental entities things should be handled at the lowest level possible. When the DOE was created the US was number 1 in educational achievment worldwide. Now after spending more than 3 times the amount per student of any other country in the world we rank 17th. The people of Massachusetts decided that they wanted governmental regulated health care the state created Romney care (sorta of a blueprint for Obama care) and were mostly happy about it those who were not happy about it could leave the state if they choose or really try to get the rest of the state behind changing it again (much easier to do on a state level by the way) voting with your feet is what its called.

    64. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      What do you expect, we have a person calling himself the President of the United States who does not understand the Constitution, from Chicago, where they don't care about the Constitution. Barry O. has come to power by using 3rd world style community organizing thugs, protests, shouts and a bias media to get his way, with help from Pelosi, and Reid who lead the way with additional community SEIU thugs to push our country to socialism.

      All this with our Republican lifers in Congress protecting their life-style, just to get elected. This financial problem did not just happen with Barry O. the very Republicians not telling us it is a crisis…helped create it. And, by the way, Heritage supported our great Republicans all the way. Go back and read the nonsense of 38.5 billion cuts we were fooled to believe we just won. Smoke & mirrors…and Heritage believed it.

    65. Stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      Let me guess that the mayor is a liberal democrat.. If this is the case then I'm sure their is no requirement to understand or abide by the constitution from his party. The Constitution is just a piece of paper that Democrats trot out when it benefits their agenda.

    66. Daisysue says:

      The reason Social Security is going broke is because the Gov. for years has used it as their private saving account and made constant withdrawals when ever they wanted for pet projects and never repaid what they took out.

      I worked since I was 14 yrs old till I retired at 61 for medical reasons. I am 70 yrs old. I don't feel it is an entitlement as money was taken from every pay check I recieved.

      Medicaid would also not be in such bad shape if it was only used for the poor LEGAL CITIZENS of this country.

      The National Budget could be made healthly if the Gov, stopped trying to support the WORLD. BILLIONS are given to aide foreign countries every year on a regular baises. Country's that are against America. To name a few Cuba, Russia, Iran AND CHINA. Amazing we are in debt to China and yet we GIVE THEM MILLIONS IN AIDE. THAT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL.

    67. Joyce Paul says:

      The Framers of the Constitution wrote it, however that's why we have amendments, when it makes citizen unequal and lacking of full citizenship.

      The Federal Enclave can remain, but over 1/2 million citizens should have a voice and votes in the House and Senate. Otherwise, stop using trillions of taxpayer dollars to promote democracy all over the world and look like hypocrites in the USA.

    68. Joyce Paul says:

      How old is the Constitution, that's why amendments are made. All men and women are created equal, including the District residents(1/2 million or more). Stop finding excuses to treat human being unequal. We pay our taxes and should be represented in the House and Senate with voting representatives…

    69. Under Colonial Rule says:

      DC now has a population greater than that of Wyoming. You can bet your boots that the Heritage Foundation would go berserk if the entire population of Wyoming was denied representation. To say this isn't an issue of race and politics and try to kick it back to the FF is a bald-faced lie.

      The Founding Fathers knew that they were disenfranchising the property owners (the white men, of course) who owned land in the ceded areas of Maryland and Virginia, but agreed to table the problem of addressing their voting rights. Unfortunately, the problem still has not been addressed. Read your history, people, in addition to the Constitution.

    70. Jason Alexander, Ric says:

      Mr. Pate and I must not have gone to the same school. We learned that DC, at the beginning, was 10 miles square (100 square miles), not 10 square miles. I learned later that VA got its part back in 1847, leaving DC at its current size of 63 square miles.

    71. constantly i used to read smaller content that also clear their motive, and

      that is also happening with this paragraph which I am

      reading here.

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