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Scholars warn of effects of Constitutional Convention

Georgia is now the 21st state to call for a constitutional convention, the first this country has seen since its founding.
 
At issue: calls for a balanced budget amendment that would force the federal government to end deficit spending.
 
“It takes 34 states to call for such a meeting,” said WSB legal expert Ron Carlson. “Twenty-one are already on board.” Another 11 could vote to support a constitutional convention this year, he said.
 
But Carlson and other scholars warn a Constitutional Convention could be a legislative Pandora’s Box that could lead to other proposed amendments. For instance, amendments could be offered that would change the way this country legislates abortion, gay marriage or a host of other issues. But to make any amendments law, three-fourths of the states would have to ratify them.
 
The last time the constitution was changed was in 1992, with the Twenty-Seventh Amendment. Initially proposed in 1789, it prohibits any law that changes the salary of congressional lawmakers from going into effect until the next Congress convenes.

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News

  • A pilot suffered minor injuries Wednesday morning while ejecting from an F-16 Fighting Falcon jet that crashed during takeoff at southeast Houston’s Ellington Airport. >> Read more trending news The pilot, who was not identified, was being evaluated at a hospital after the crash around 10:30 a.m. local time, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The pilot was conducting a training flight as part of a detachment of the 138th Fighter Wing, stationed at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston, according to NORAD. The Houston Fire Department said the crash prompted officials to evacuate people within a 4,000-square-foot radius of Ellington Airport. The evacuation was expected to last about six hours. A spokesman for the Texas Air National Guard 147th Reconnaissance Wing told KPRC that the F-16 had ammunition on board when it crashed. Officials with the 147th Attack Wing told Houston officials that no residents were in danger due to the crash.
  • That notice that you got right now, throw it in the trash.'  Those words, that every Fulton County homeowner wants to hear, come from Commission Vice-Chairman Bob Elis concerning the 2017 tax assessments.  The county commission, in a unanimous vote, approved a measure that corrects the 2017 tax assessments by using the 2016 tax rates.  The decision by the board does not affect commercial properties and homeowners who have made improvements to their homes will also see an increase.  The corrective measure was sponsored by Commissioners Ellis, John Eaves and Liz Hausmann.  'The system is broken,' Hausmann says. 'It's inherently broken.'  Commissioner Emma Darnell says in addition to fixing a problem, the vote also shows that the Fulton County government is willing to listen.  The new tax assessments will be completed within a few weeks and then be sent out to homeowners by August. Those homeowners can still appeal the assessment, if they so choose.   'You can still appeal,' Ellis says, 'but, as for the new digest, you'll probably like it a whole lot better than what you have right now.”
  • It was a rather pleasant spring and now the first summer month too has been cooler than normal. Hot weather has not lasted more than a couple or few days so far this year. It sure saves the lawn and bushes a lot of stress and saves the watering bill and the A/C bill, so I like it. But I am sure sun tanning fans are not thrilled. It still looks like from today past the 4th of July real hot weather will continue to be hard to come by. Then odds of some heat go up if the new Weekly European Model Ensemble run is right. 1-15 Day GFS Ensemble average temperature departure from normal: End of June-early July rainfall amounts GFS Ensemble and Euro Ensemble: Hope for some drying beyond the current wet spell:      European Model the week ending July 7th: Then the model suggests more upper-level ridging which would bring warmer and drier if correct. The week ending July 14th: The model projects not dry weather in Georgia but less wet to open the new month, as the bigger rains are projected to shift north of here. None-the-less, it looks like odds for rain will be above-normal right into the start of August. So no drought and no extreme heat here. Week ending July 21st: Week ending July 28th: FOLLOW me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB
  • Car seat and stroller manufacturer Britax announced this week that it is recalling more than 200,000 car seats after customers reported that seats’ chest clips can break, posing a choking hazard for young children. >> Read more trending news The recall includes some models of the company’s B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Travel Systems, B-Safe 35 Elite, B-Safe 35 Elite Travel Systems and BOB B-Safe rear-facing infant child safety seats manufactured between Nov. 1, 2015 and May 31, 2017, according to a recall report from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. >> See the affected model numbers  Britax reported that it started seeing an increase in warranty claims due to chest clip damage in October 2016, one year after the company changed the material it used to make the clips in response to complaints that they were too easily opened. Since February, three customers have reported finding broken chest clips in children’s mouths. Britax said no choking injuries have been reported. In a notice to retailers, the company noted that the car seats remain safe to use, so long as consumers remove the faulty chest clip. “The chest clip is not a required safety device: it is added to the harness system to help position the shoulder straps,” the notice said. The company is providing replacement chest clips to consumers.
  • President Donald Trump questions why the Obama administration didn't try to stop Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president's tweet Thursday appears to cast doubt on the assessment of 17 intelligence agencies that blame Russia for election meddling. The president tweeted: 'By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn't they stop them?' Trump also claimed former Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson 'is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia.' However, Johnson didn't say that in testimony Wednesday before the House intelligence committee; Johnson said was he wasn't aware of efforts by Trump or his campaign to collude with Russia beyond what the intelligence community already knows.
  • Poland's media say the son of European Council head Donald Tusk did him a disservice with a statement he made before a special commission in Poland that is investigating a major financial scam. But Donald Tusk said Thursday that he is 'proud' of his son. Michal Tusk told Poland's special parliamentary commission Wednesday that he and his father, who was Poland's prime minister at the time, knew the Amber Gold institution posing as a bank was 'not genuine.' The commission is investigating why the government failed to stop it. But many say it is aiming to undermine Donald Tusk, a political foe of the ruling party, and is looking for any potentially harmful information. Michal Tusk worked for a private airline, a subsidiary of Amber Gold. He was questioned as a witness.