The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Speaker of the House (Tea Party Hostage)

Boehner
The speaker of the House of Representatives is third in line in ascendancy to the United States Presidency. The position follows the Vice-President and is a powerful non-Executive Branch position. I should say the Speaker of the House should be a powerful position that is critical to the nation. If tragedy strikes the president and vice-president the Speaker becomes president.

The Speaker of the House has a compensation level of $223,500 per year; $50,000 more than other members of Congress ($174,000) and $30,000 more than House and Senate Majority leader positions ($193,400). While, not a matter of discussion, nor an issue we actually care to posit on in this screed,the position probably carries a wealth (excuse the pun) of opportunity for other remuneration.  It is a position the in which the current Speaker is both failing miserably and a position he may dread the thought of losing.

The framers of the Constitution, unfortunately, developed a system of federal governance that carried the right of ascendancy to the speaker position as a reward (my colloquialism)  for holding a party majority in the House of Representatives.

Of course, each speaker has a history of party lean and loyalty. However, history also has archived Speakers who did the right thing, when time came to step out of party ideology and lock-step with outside influences (money-backers).

Re-Blog from .......... Playthell  G. Benjamin

COMMENTARIES ON THE TIMES

The Worst House Speaker Ever?

John Boehnoer
A Reckless Charlatan
 Boehner’s Name will live in Infamy!
Based on the most recent polls the Congress of the United States has a 10% approval rating from the public.  This is the lowest rating on record!  And that was before the Republicans shut down the federal government in a fit of rage, much like a spoiled child who throws a temper tantrum when they can’t get their way.  Only much more is at stake in this tantrum, for the fate of the nation hangs in the balance.

The path the GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – is taking could well cost lives among the population for whom government benefits are a lifeline.  People such as a mother in Utah – a white American mind you – who explained on MSNBC today that without a special formula her twin babies could die, because it would cost her $750.00 to get it otherwise….and she can’t afford it!


These kinds of stories abound.  There are, for instance, nearly a million civil service workers, people who provide vital services to the American people, that have been locked out of their jobs.  And what is worse several Republican members of the House, the scoundrels who caused this crisis, are now saying that they are not sure whether they will vote to pay these workers for their forced layoff!   This is not only reckless and stupid, it is amoral and evil.   The path the Republicans have chosen is a classic example of folly…in fact it is not too much to say it is criminal folly.


In this instance I am not employing the term “folly” in the usual sense, which the dictionary defines as “a thoughtless or reckless act,” although it certainly meets this definition, but in the seas passing a budget to fund the lawful activities of the of the federal government, and raising the debt ceiling, to re-litigate policy issues that they failed to achieve through the normal process.  In other words, since they were not able to achieve their policy objectives by electing like-minded people they are now trying to force their will on the nation by shutting down our national government altogether.

As is often the case when governments engage in folly it eventually leads to tragedy.  And that is where we are presently headed at break neck speed.  Already poor children who depend upon food stamps, surplus government foods, hot meals at school, and community food pantry’s are going hungry as I write.  And needless to say, while this crisis affects millions of Americans of all races the victims of this Republican folly are disproportionately black…especially women and children.

It is critically important that working and middle class Americans understand what is happening here, because the Tea Party Republicans who are driving the GOP’s legislative agenda are full blown anti-government fanatics who feel that they are on a mission to drastically reduce the federal budget by any means necessary, and they are supported by the voters in their specially designed right-wing Congressional Districts.  There is nothing more dangerous than a group of self-righteous fanatics on a mission.

The extent of their fanaticism is such that these people not only refuse to compromise, they are so reckless they cannot even accept partial victories.   Like all fanatics, whether motivated by sacred or secular ideologies, they want all or nothing and appear quite willing to cut off their nose to spite their face.

President’s original budget request for 2014 was over one trillion dollars, but the Senate Democrats, with the President’s consent have reduced it to almost half that sum in the present budget to a little over 900 billion dollars in an attempt to compromise with the House Republicans in order to pass a budget and fund the government.  The figure they agreed to is actually close to the numbers in the budget proposed by Paul Ryan, which President Obama ran against and won!

Yet although President Obama was reelected on his platform the Republicans in the House, most of whom represent gerrymandered districts – which is to say “safe” Republican districts created by election commissions appointed by the Republican governors in those states, many of whom were elected because they pledged to fight President Obama’s policies.   So they are insulated from the wrath of the national electorate.

This bit of political chicanery has resulted in a situation where the radical far right-wing minority in the Grand Obstructionists Party can blow up the federal government and plunge the nation into one crisis after another without fear of retribution at the polls.   But as their folly in shutting down the Federal government begins to inconvenience citizens who are on holiday in Washington and find national monuments – like the World War II veterans who made a pilgrimage to that sacred shrine honoring their sacrifice and found it closed.

This is why the Republican iconoclasts are attempting to restore funding to select parts of the government to avoid enraging the public; but President Obama will not play that game, he knows that it is folly to try and finance government operations on an ala carte basis.  The Republicans – shameless charlatans that they are – are now running around posing for pictures with the vets and declaring themselves the true friends of the armed forces, although they have recently cut millions in funding for veteran’s benefits from the federal budget.

With all of the chaos the government shutdown is causing, which is damaging to the nation and might fatally injure the Republican Party’s chances at winning the Presidency, the question all thoughtful people are asking is: Why doesn’t Boehner just pit the budget resolution on the floor for a vote by the entire House and end the crisis the members of his caucus created.

The answer alas, is that Boehner is a man who privileges personal ambition over the stability of the nation, because he knows that should he put the bill up and it

er: Johnny and Nancy
John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi
Contemplating their place in History?
************************

Playthell  G. Benjamin
October 3, 2013
Harlem, New York
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Addictinginfo, Stephen D. Foster, and The US Confderacy

Re-posted from Addictinginfo.org.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

A piece that echoes the reality of a continuing confederacy in the United States. A confederacy that is the tool of plutocrats and greedy politicians, the tadpole pool of the gullible and an anvil for the nation.


How Southern States Are Harming America And What We Can Do About It

Author July 5, 2013 4:27 am

south2
There are currently two versions of America operating in this nation. One comprises the states in the North, the other, the states in the South. At first glance, the average visitor wouldn’t notice much of a difference. After all, we nearly all speak the same language, eat the same kinds of foods, share common histories, customs, religions, wear similar clothing, and enjoy the same sports. The only thing that seems to be dividing us is politics and how we view government. In the South, conservatives are in control. Fear and hatred of the federal governments run rampant, which leads to the election of those who want to dismantle it. In the North, liberals are the majority. Government is generally viewed as a bastion for the common good, which leads to the election of those who seek change to advance the country and solve its problems. The question is, can these two visions of governing co-exist or do we have a problem that only separation of the union can solve?

In an article published on Alternet, an argument is made explaining why allowing Southern states to secede would be good for America as a whole. But is this a viable option, or just a fantasy of what a perfect world would look like?

It is clear that there are major differences between the North and the South. The South is anti-union while the North is largely pro-union. The South is anti-choice while the North is pro-choice. The South is anti-gay while the North is rapidly expanding gay rights. Religious fundamentalism is more prevalent in the South than it is in the North. The South is still fighting the Civil War while the North has moved on. Furthermore, Southern states oppose gun regulations, government health care, increased voting rights, lower taxes, do not fund public education as much as they should, and are profoundly more racist. To be sure, lower taxes appeal to just about every American, but when the nation has a debt problem, it is the liberal North that generally supports raising taxes as part of the solution to debt issues. And even though all Americans support Second Amendment rights, the liberal North realizes that common sense regulations can prevent gun violence without infringing on gun rights. And there is no doubt that racism can be found in every state in the nation. It’s just that the South has a deep-seated history of it. 
The main argument for allowing the Southern states to secede is that the South is dragging the nation down. Because the South is anti-union and anti-worker’s rights, they offer foreign nations cheap labor which brings in jobs at the expense of Northern industry. Cheaper labor leads to cheaper products, which means Southern businesses will rake in more demand. The core example used to show this is the American auto industry which is based in Michigan. Since the South is able to offer cheap labor to foreign auto-makers, they can sell cheaper cars to the American public resulting in less American made cars being purchased by consumers. This is a major problem if you support worker’s rights and strong American industry. How can we have strong protections for workers and revive American industry if Southerners are constantly willing to work for far less money and fewer protections? As Alternet notes, by voting for conservative politicians and conservative policies, Southerners are voting against their own interests and as a result, “also have “inferior health and pension plans, less job security, higher risk of being fired for trivial reasons, and diminished safety precautions. …” But the question is, wouldn’t the cheap labor policies still hurt the North even if separation occurs? I assume foreign countries and businesses will still prefer the cheap labor of the South and unless tariffs are enacted, I’m betting Northerners will still buy the cheap goods produced by Southern industry. 
Another argument for separation involves the amount of taxpayer dollars that go to red states (the South) versus blue states (the North). According to Alternet, the South, “home to nine of the nation’s 10 poorest states, is rabidly against government spending, yet all of its states get far more in government subsidies than they give back in taxes.” In short, conservative states are welfare states that benefit from the tax paying blue states. As it turns out, liberals have been supporting conservatives financially this whole time and not the other way around. That means conservative states are parasites even while they accuse liberal states of being lazy. 
The argument concludes that if separation were to become a reality, both sides would be happier and everyone would prosper in their own way. Blue states could keep their policies and tax dollars and red states can keep screwing over their uneducated populace and maintain their conservative policies. 
So would separating into two different countries solve our problems? The answer is, no. Yes, the North and South are divided along political, economic, and social lines. But that will not make both sides happier. The problem with this argument is that there are conservatives in the North, and there are liberals in the South. Is the South going to transfer political opponents to the North and vise versa? Certainly not. What would more than likely occur is that the South will likely oppress liberals, African-Americans, Latinos, and women in worse ways than they do now. The only thing stopping them from doing so currently is federal law and the judicial system. Sure, the Supreme Court wrongly gutted the Voting Rights Act, which will allow Southern states to suppress the vote of those they hate even more than in the last 40 years. But remedies still remain to challenge oppression and suppression. It’s wrong to abandon half of the nation’s citizenry simply because we disagree. 
Another point to make is that if we allow separation to occur, the blood spilled by 600,000 Americans during the Civil War would mean nothing, especially Northern soldiers. Should we really invalidate a hard won victory for civil rights and Union by allowing the South to leave 150 years later? Wouldn’t that allow the South to go full on state’s rights and return back to the kind of way of life (segregation, Jim Crow, etc…) that contradicts the Constitution in every way? The Civil War was fought for a damn good reason. It settled the question of slavery and so-called state’s rights for good. The South needs to get over it and move on. 
Another reality to consider is that conservatives currently control state governments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Maine, Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Indiana. These are Northern states. So even if North and South separated, it wouldn’t render conservatives and conservative policies extinct, including the economic policies that are dragging the nation down. In fact, it is more likely that the same destructive conservative policies would continue and anti-voting policies combined with ridiculous redistricting maps could result in Northern states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to turn red and continue to cause the same divisions in Congress and could even place a Republican in the White House. What then? Do we merge back with the South? Or do we transfer those new red states to the South as well? The whole idea of separation sounds very messy now. It can also be dangerous. 
Conservatives are very fearful and paranoid, especially of liberals. That’s because they’ve been brainwashed by Republican politicians to see liberals and Democrats as the greatest enemy of freedom on the homefront. That being said, it is likely that eventually the South will strongly consider going to war against their liberal neighbors in the future to protect what they call freedom. There is not an ocean separating the North and South. We are landlocked, and thus would be right next to each other the same way Israel is with Palestine. So it’s not out of the question to see war breaking out, because once we are separated, the differences will only become greater, leading to guaranteed conflict. As Alternet points out, there is no other subject that Southerners express their patriotism more than on war and the military. Combined with rampant religious fanaticism, that kind of patriotism will lead to bloodshed the likes of which this nation hasn’t witnessed since the Civil War. What will we do to prevent that? Turn states like Kentucky and Tennessee into a no-man’s land? 
Separation is not the solution to our nation’s ills. The only real solution to our problems is the American people themselves. We have the power to settle these political battles between liberals and conservatives. Not only do we need to start voting more intelligently and in greater numbers, we need to wage a movement to change people’s minds. One ideology is wrong. That much is clear considering the conditions in the South due to extreme conservative policies. Southern voters have the power to change these policies, but that starts with education, either by school or by life experience. By life experience, I mean the federal government could strip benefits from Southern states and show the people of that region what a hell hole their elected officials have turned their states into. The results of losing all government funding would be disastrous to the South. And when people start to lose things, they get angry at who represents them. Conservatives in Southern states have been able to use government funding to hide what their policies have actually done. That should end. And when it does, the fireworks will begin. 
But separation is a bad idea for another reason. In states across the South, demographics are constantly changing. The old guard is dying off, while the idealistic youth are becoming more powerful politically. Not only that, women are waking up to how their state governments are trying to legislate their bodies and African-Americans are mad as hell about more restrictive voting rights. On top of that, demographics are changing because of increased Latino populations. For example, the Latino population is growing so rapidly in Texas that it is believed that Texas will turn blue as early as a decade from now, maybe earlier. Even Florida is turning a deeper shade of blue. That change has resulted in Florida flipping to the Democratic column in the last two Presidential elections despite voter suppression efforts by the conservative controlled state government. A liberal Texas would tip the scales on the electoral map and if you add Florida, Republicans may never again occupy the White House unless they change their policies or stoop to illegal means to win it. Why give up on America now when the long-term looks so promising? 
The relationship between North and South is a long and complicated one. Although both have many things in common, the differences between the two haven’t been so fever pitched since the Civil War and Civil Rights eras. But change does and will happen. It always does. At one time, the South voted Democratic and hated Republicans. Then Democrats changed their positions and the result was a nation transformed by liberal policies. Out of that, we got the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, Title IX, the Environmental Protection Agency, several landmark Supreme Court rulings such as Roe v. Wade and Brown v Board of Education, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and a whole host of other pieces of legislation that has shaped the America in which we live. 
Republicans, divided as they are now, morphed into a party of conservatives and have grown in strength over the last 60 years. But once again, change is on the horizon. It’s going to take a grassroots movement to combat conservative bad ideas, and a changing demographic will only aid that movement. Conservatives will either change their policies, or they face certain political doom, and the new liberal majorities in southern states will drag them kicking and screaming into a new American era. During the most divisive time in American history when Southern conservatives and Northern liberals couldn’t be more different, Abraham Lincoln once said that “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” That adage holds true today. Conservative politicians are fooling the good citizens of the South, and it’s up to liberals across the country to convince them to open their eyes. America should be one nation as our Founding Fathers intended. We cannot separate and pretend to be one nation dedicated to liberty and freedom while our southern brothers and sisters are oppressed in their new separate nation. It just won’t work and considering it amounts to giving up on America. 
Read more from Addictinginfo  
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

The "Founding Fathers", The Pauls, The US Constitution



Eric Smith has a page on the TPI

We are posting this here for a few days prior to posting on "Eric Smith' Comments and Screed" Page.  I must address the phraseology "Grounding Fathers' prior to the Eric Smith read.  If you have visited here and read other pieces related the Constitutional Convention,  you know the TPI does not use the phraseology "Founding Fathers". The words are commonly accepted and easily understood, so use of the phrase is a personal aversion when I write. We more often refer to the the Continental Congress and its 79 actual crafters of the US Constitution as "Crafters of the US Constitution". Some prefer to refer to the "Crafters" as "Framers". It should be noted one of the nation's worse presidents prior to ascension while serving as a US Senator is responsible for the words "Founding Fathers". Warren Harding coined the phrase as Keynote Speaker for the 1916 Republican National Convention. 

Why does the developer of the TPI not used the phrase?  No civilized father would sanction human  bondage (the 3/5s persons) nor would such a man practice slavery.  The Constitutional Convention was comprised of 70 state and territory representatives, 55 were active in the Convention, 39 actually signed the US Constitution. 

Sixteen owned slaves,
Twelve presidents were slave owners,
Eight owned human beings while serving as president,

Thus my contempt for the phrase "Founding Fathers". 
  ______________________________

Re- Posted from Eric Smith's Notes

Eric SmithThe Founding Fathers as Frauds or the Great Libertarian Lie. By Eric Smith  

by Eric Smith (Notes) on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 1:42pm
There is a great lie being told to the America these days.  In fact, this lie is one of the whoppers of all time.  It is a lie being told by Ron Paul and his son Rand.  The lie they're telling us is that the Libertarian Party is for Liberty.  It is not  for  the "Liberty" that the Libertarian Party is speaking of is the "Liberty" of White Supremacy; it is the "freedom" of a Master Race to do with all other races & peoples as it see's fit; their individual freedoms be damned.

The Libertarians say they want to return America to the days  immediately following the  American Revolution; to have our national Constitution interpreted as our Founding Fathers interpreted it.  I've got news for you, when it comes to Liberty, our Founding Fathers were frauds.  They didn't believe in freedom so much as wanting to be  free of being oppressed by the British government.  They objected to being treated by King George III the same way they treated everyone else who was not white, Protestant, or male.

Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, came about because the white males in the American colonies wanted freedom for themselves and only for themselves.  If it were otherwise then the words "All men are created equal" would have read "All people are created equal" instead.  If creating a Land of Liberty had been our Founding Fathers true intent, then the slaves would have been immediately emancipated and all the former slaves and women of voting age would have been given the right to vote.

If our Founding Fathers had not been frauds; if they had been what they said they were, then subsequent Amendments to our Constitution freeing the slaves and making the elective franchise universal for all people regardless of race or gender would not have been necessary for they would have been included in our original Bill of Rights.  If the Founding Fathers had not been frauds and been what they said they were then the United States would never have needed to fight a Civil War.  There would never have been a need for a Woman's Suffrage Movement or a Civil Rights Movement.

Why, because these issues would have been settled when this nation was originally founded.  They would have been settled if our Founding Fathers had not been frauds.  They would have been settled if, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the night of April 3rd, 1968 America had been what "it says it is on paper."  We can say we are for anything but our words  mean nothing if our rhetoric is not equal to our reality.

If you are for Liberty then you are going to do whatever is necessary to ensure that everyone is free; even if it means denying the freedom of some to deny freedom to others for the only ones who are unworthy to be free are those who feel that others are not as worthy of being as free as they are.

The Pauls and the Libertarians argue that they are for Liberty and that they believe that people should have the right to deny those very Liberties they say they are in favor of to others because of their race, their gender, their religion, and their sexual orientation.  How else can we take their argument that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of Federal authority and that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a "racial entitlement" other than proof positive that Ron & Rand Paul and the Libertarian Party are the very same thing those Founding Fathers of ours they so revere were; frauds?

Don't repeat this nonsense that our Founding Fathers were merely acting in the spirit of their times.  The full humanity of people of color and women was just as "self evident" in their time as it is in ours.  They, like the Libertarians of today, simply chose to ignore that reality because that reality did not jibe with their feelings of racial and gender superiority.  If these people really believed in Liberty; if they really felt that women and people of color were not their inferiors, would they have denied them their human rights?  No, because they would have rightly seen these denials as a direct contradiction of that Liberty  they said they were for.

Constructing our Constitution in such a manner so as to make it possible that these rights they were denying to people of color and women could be given to them at some future time through Constitutional Amendments was a tacit admission by our Founding Fathers that they were frauds; that they were wrong not to include  these  universal rights in our nation's founding documents.  What's more they were smart enough to realize that if they did not include in our founding documents mechanisms to give those rights they were then denying to people of color and women, that everyone around the world would see right through their lies and recognize the fraud they were perpetrating upon the globe.

The many freedoms our nation now enjoys came about not because of our Founding Fathers but in spite of them.  They came about because if they had not made it possible for future  generations of  America's  oppressed to be made free then they themselves would never have been freed from the yoke of British tyranny; the French would never have fought on our side and the American Revolution would have been crushed before it even really began.  The Founding Fathers proclaimed Liberty for All but they did so with the fingers of one hand crossed behind their backs because they knew that that was the only way they could secure Liberty for themselves.

The Founding Fathers were frauds, period.  They lied to the world and the world fell for it.  We just lucked out in that Dr. King was right when he said "truth crushed to Earth shall rise again for no lie can live forever", that lie of course being that Liberty can exist where some some people are more free than others.  It can't, no matter what Ron & Rand Paul and their Libertarian Liars would have us believe.  There is simply  no such thing as Freedom for the Few.  Freedom can only Freedom can only exist where there is Freedom for All.  It is as simple as that.

Eric Smith also publishes on We Demand That Democrats Fight Back and Bag The GOP Facebook pages
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Saturday, April 2, 2011

With all due Respect.....

(Repost from the progressive website www.leftake.com)
..and done with a degree of jest commenter.  (reference to a debate on the LEFTAKE.COM)
I submit the following. 
I will readily admit that I am inclined to buy-into the article as posted on The Zoo.  The essence of the article directly relates to my thoughts that President Obama consulted with Congress in accordance with established law.  I will not argue the point of cost as the nation is suffering through a recovery induced by the 'YOU KNOW WHO' Administration and it is a fact. Points related to fixing 'our on house' are really dead-on in an ideal world; we do not live in such a world. If the President took no action in Libya, the long term implications could have been formidable. Let's just get the intervention done. I think we can all agree to that.   
Libya, Obama, and the Relevance of the War Powers Act April 2, 2011
http://tpzoo.wordpress.com/201...
Due to the recent controversy over whether or not President Obama needed Congressional approval to take action in Libya, our bloggy friend, 5thstate, recently took an in-depth look at what the War Powers Act of 1973 actually says and what it requires of the President.

What he found might be surprising to most laymen and Congresspeople...

In a Huffington Post opinion piece of March 29th, 2011, Representative Mike Honda, the co-chairperson of the Congressional Progressive Caucus's Peace and Security Taskforce, took issue with the President's use of US military forces with regard to the month-old Libyan uprising that, after three weeks of popular, political and geographic momentum had not only stalled in its progress but was under threat of total destruction by Moammar Ghaddafi's resource-rich, formally-trained, and overwhelmingly better-equipped forces.

   The key concern remains the lack of Congressional involvement and oversight. The War Powers Act of 1973, created after the Vietnam War to ensure legislative checks and balances before and during wartime situations, limits the president's ability to commit armed forces to conditions that are not met in this case.
   If the U.S. wants to lead and inspire the world in setting the standard for good governance, getting this executive-legislative relationship right is critical.

   Mike Honda, Democrat
The thrust of Representative Honda's complaint is shared by several other Democratic Party members and by many Republicans too, representing a rare (these days) shared bipartisan concern over not only policy but also legal and constitutional issues - which would be encouraging if the expressed concerns from both sides of the political aisle shared the same motivation for complaint, and even if, regardless of motivation, they were based on direct knowledge rather than vague interpretation and practical fact rather than conjectural fantasy.

Rep. Mike Honda:
   The War Powers Act of 1973, created after the Vietnam War to ensure legislative checks and balances before and during wartime situations, limits the president's ability to commit armed forces...

Wrong - and for so many reasons!

1973 War Powers Act:
   Sec. 4. (a) In the absence of a declaration of war, in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced-
   (1) into hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances;
   (2) into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces; or
   (3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation; the President shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth-
   (A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces;
   (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and
   (C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement.
   [Sec. 4](b) The President shall provide such other information as the Congress may request in the fulfillment of its constitutional responsibilities with respect to committing the Nation to war and to the use of United States Armed Forces abroad. (Emphasis added)

First of all; the constitutionality of any Act or general action is decided by a given, sitting, Supreme Court; the War Powers Act was not established as being constitutional by the 1973 Supreme Court and has never been ratified or struck-down by the SCOTUS since, because it has never been placed on the Supreme Court's docket-the invocation of "constitutional responsibilities" in the War Powers Act verbiage is a rhetorical argument only, not a matter of legal fact, but never mind that; theoretically any Act passed by Congress is both legal and constitutional until tested and proven otherwise, thus the War Powers Act is actually legal, absent a specific test of constitutionality.

Secondly; Mike Honda claims that the War Powers Act was written "to ensure legislative checks and balancesbefore and during wartime situations, limits the president's ability to commit armed forces..."

The War Power Act does no such thing:
   [Sec. 4 (a) ] (3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation; the President shall submit within 48 hours to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate a report, in writing, setting forth-
   (A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces;
   (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place;

The President is only required by the War Powers Act to explain such a commitment after the fact, and NOT "before" it.
Furthermore, the President is only required to deliver a written justification within 48 hours after the use of military force to "the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President pro tempore of the Senate," NOT to the entirety of the Congress or even just the House of Representatives. It is up to those two official leaders of their respective Houses as to how (and whether) they communicate that report to their colleagues.

There's more to 1973 War Powers Act than I've excerpted here, but mercifully not a lot more. It is an impressively brief piece of legislation and arguably as a result of that brevity it is inherently (and by design and/or accident) nowhere near as specific as its format might suggest and to me anyway, appears to be far less practical than was perhaps originally intended.  (Here's the War power Act in the original).

Here's some background and context:
The 1973 War Powers Act was written and passed in belated response to the manner in which the USA embroiled itself in (or rather co-created) the Vietnam War, which ended in ignominious  fashion in 1975. Nixon vetoed the Act but was overridden by Congress.
During the 1980s when Iran, under the rule of Ayatollah Khomeni, began interfering with international shipping in the Persian Gulf, President Reagan deployed significant US Navy forces in the region to which he gave express authority to engage not only in self-defense but also attack, whereupon several armed exchanges took place between US and Iranian air and naval forces. Congress, fearing escalation into outright war, made noises invoking the War Powers Act at least twice. Reagan responded by deeming the War Powers Act unconstitutional and told the Congress to STFU, which Congress agreed to do.
As I understand it (having actually read the thing pursuant to formulating my opinion) the 1973 War Powers Act:
a) Has no definitive constitutional status, only ordinary legal status by virtue of it being an Act of Congress, so it can't be used as a definitive imperative to contest the constitutionality of a President's ostensibly unapproved use of military force and in so doing prevent such action by the President.
b) It actually allows the President to commit any and all branches of the American military in service of a cause of the President's choosing and/or demanded by circumstance without prior consent not only of the whole Congress, but even of the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate.
c) The President is only obliged to provide a written report with 48 hours AFTER the commitment of forces, to only the Speaker of the House and Senate President Pro Tempore, a justification for the use of military force-the extent of detail in such a report is not particularly specific.
d) The President is further permitted to maintain and even escalate the commitment of forces for up to 90 days without a formal majority approval by Congress.
e) The specific application of the terms of the Act is entirely up to Congress-its invocation is meaningless if a majority of Congress doesn't or won't enforce its terms on the President's actions (in other words, if the Congress doesn't or won't withhold funds to finance the specific use of military force and/or hold a vote regarding approval of the action.
f) By not holding a specific vote of approval and or/by not voting on the withholding of funds, the Congress by default approves of the military action taken in its original or escalated forms.
Representative Honda and his like-minded colleagues in both political parties should actually read and comprehend the actual content and caveats of the War Powers Act before invoking it as the basis of some complaint regarding the balance Congressional, Executive, and Constitutional powers, and maybe direct their complaints towards the details of the Act itself, rather than towards the President's current actions concerning Libya - by precedence, practice and in its particulars - the War Powers Act has been and is irrelevant, in this case and every case in which it has been invoked, by virtue of its nebulous and toothless content.

Either the War Powers Act should be rewritten to ACTUALLY secure some restraint on a President's power to commit military forces, or those invoking should at least read it first an acknowledge its irrelevance and stop wasting everyone's time posturing and mewling about something they can't and won't, actually do anything about.

Two final points....I recognize that the research could be flawed (as matter of disclaimer). The article is why I subscribe to the The Zoo on my web site. 

But then, I am biased towards intervention.
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