Saturday, June 30, 2012

op ed review 7/1

The Supreme Court handed President Obama a major political victory on Obamacare Thursday, but the justices also provided Republicans with a sharper campaign issue by defining the law’s individual mandate as a tax. “It will be a short-lived celebration in the White House,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “Obama now goes into the fall campaign defending a law that most Americans think will increase their health care costs, their premiums, their taxes and the deficit. He also has to defend raising taxes on all Americans, which he pledged not to do.”

Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Alito and Thomas joined together in dissent….“What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power -- upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon the sovereign States,”

With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, the issue now shifts to the elected branches of government and raises this question: Will the intense opposition dissipate or will it lead to a fervent new effort to repeal the liberal health care law? Polls show that opposition to Obamacare has increased since it was passed in 2010.

A new KING 5 poll finds most Washington state residents don’t like the provision in the health care reform bill that would require them to carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

From March 2010 through a poll released this morning, Rasmussen has conducted 98 polls of likely voters. All 98 times, support for repeal of Obamacare  has outpaced opposition to repeal. Across 98 contests, Obamacare has gone 0 and 98.

Limbaugh:  “Obamacare is the Largest Tax Increase in the History of the World”

Conservatives upset by the Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the 2010 health care law are furiously cutting checks to Mitt Romney's campaign. Less than 12 hours after the high court's ruling, the GOP nominee's spokeswoman Andrea Saul tweeted that the campaign had received more than $3 million in donations in the wake of the decision.

Mitt Romney reacted to the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision by saying that, "if we want to get rid of Obamacare, we're going to have to replace President Obama."

The House cited Attorney General Eric Holder for contempt of Congress.  The House voted 255-67 to hold him in criminal contempt. 17 Democrats joined the GOP
But the Department of Justice quickly wrote a letter to House Speaker Boehner informing him that they will not prosecute their boss for withholding documents.

Another U.S. solar manufacturer that was awarded a $400 million U.S. loan guarantee, is closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy.

The Supreme Court also ruled on four provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law. The results were mixed. The Court struck down three of the four provisions it considered, siding with the Obama administration in a 5-3 vote, but by 8-0 upheld the "heart" of the bill, which is the authority for law enforcement to verify the immigration status of individuals at a traffic stop or under arrest.

Within hours of the Supreme Court's decision on the Arizona immigration law the Obama administration said it would no longer cooperate with Arizona on immigration enforcement and set up a hotline for Hispanics to report “profiling”.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio said that the Supreme Court decision won’t change day-to-day enforcement efforts, but he called the Obama administration’s plan to ignore calls from Arizona state police “arrogant.”

A federal judge rebuffed the Department of Justice’s attempt to stop Florida from removing people who are not American citizens from its voter registration rolls.

The Pentagon saluted open gays in the ranks, with a civilian lawyer calling on fellow homosexuals to “stretch a little” and become more visible inside the military in the drive for benefits for same-sex couples.

The Obama administration on Friday threatened to veto a defense appropriations bill in part because it does not include higher health care fees for members of the military.

Listing the reasons why Americans should vote for him, President Obama told an audience at a high school in New Hampshire that failure to subsidize abortions and contraception is the same as “restricting access” to those services.

Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna's gubernatorial campaign got a $5,000 boost this month from business executive Jeff Brotman and his wife Susan.  In the past, they have been among the state's most generous benefactors for Democrats.

Larry Brinkin, the gay activist who led the fight to get San Francisco to recognize domestic partnerships, was arrested for child pornography.

Dov Fisher, The American Thinker,  6/27

Chief Justice John Roberts has handed a remarkable victory to American conservatives by threading the judicial needle with perfect precision.  The initial disappointment collectively felt by Americans who had hoped for a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Obamacare soon will be replaced, upon further reflection, by the excitement that will come with a fuller appreciation of what the Chief Justice has wrought.

Almost completely unnoticed, the Chief Justice voted with his four conservative colleagues in drawing an unprecedented red line against Washington wielding the Constitution's Commerce Clause in the future to justify federal intrusion into the personal lives of Americans. This decision will restrict American Presidents and future Congresses for a generation and more.

Until Thursday's decision, for more than 70 years, virtually every leading Supreme Court decision on the reach of the Commerce Clause has sided with federal intrusion.

There is now a formal United States Supreme Court opinion on the books, overdue by nearly a century, holding that the federal government may not wield the Commerce Clause to impose on American citizens the obligation to buy health insurance or anything else we do not want.  An American cannot be compelled by federal mandate to eat or even to buy a proverbial stalk of broccoli. As a kosher consumer, the federal government cannot wield that clause to impose on me an obligation to purchase non-kosher food supplements. The rules guiding lower-court wrestling matches over federal power to invade Americans' private lives now have been reset remarkably by Chief Justice Roberts.  Few today notice what he has done.  Long after many of us are gone, this 5-4 opinion finally setting limits on the reach of the Commerce Clause will continue to affect American lives and protect private citizens from Washington's intrusions.

It is understandable that most Americans, who are not law school graduates, do not think in these terms, nor do most pundits outside the legal community who interpret news.  However, attorneys and certainly law professors get it.  We know what happened on Thursday.  It was subtle and below the radar, like a tsunami beginning in the middle of an ocean, still days away from the shore. Only the trained insiders know what that rumbling will cause in the future.  This was a tsunami, finally giving us our first Supreme Court precedential holding in nearly a century that reins in the federal government's unbridled abuse of the Constitution's Commerce Clause.  And the liberals, excited as they understandably are by the temporary survival of ObamaCare, do not even realize what has happened to a pillar of their enterprise….

The Chief Justice has shifted the spotlight back onto Congress, primarily focusing its glare on the Democrat-run U.S. Senate, only four months before the elections.  Congress has a massive new mess awaiting it, all as voters prepare to vote for a new Congress and for 33 United States Senate seats, 23 now held by Democrats and their two "independent" allies.  House Republicans solidly will vote symbolically to overturn the legislative monstrosity, and they will find endangered House Democrats breaking ranks with their leadership to vote with them.  Senate Democrats facing reelection will be caught in a vise.  Harry Reid will be trying desperately to prevent a vote on ObamaCare repeal from reaching the Senate floor, even as national news coverage focuses on the two national parties' conventions.  Obama's staff may be renting Greek or Roman columns, but the Republicans will be toppling the pillars of the failed Obama Presidency.  This is going to be OK, even fun.  Just wait and see.  The Chief Justice done us good.

Edited from a longer article, read it here:

A different opinion:
“Conservatives who are trying to salvage a little “hope and change” from Chief Justice John Roberts’s disastrous ruling in the Obamacare case yesterday argue that the limits the Court placed on the Commerce Clause and the power of the federal government vis à vis the states are victories for conservatives in the long run. But in this case, the short run is the long run: Obamacare will change our society forever--and not for the better.”

“Well, it could have been worse. Much, much worse. A quick overview of the good news in the decision after some quick skimming: The mandate is upheld as a tax, using the coercive — but not unlimited — power that Congress has always possessed. This is a distinction with a very big difference. Had Obamacare been upheld under the Commerce Clause, then our Constitution would have been a dead letter without limits on congressional power. We still have our Constitution.”
                   -Michael Barton

“Mitt Romney set the order of battle with the eloquence of simplicity: “What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day, if elected president of the United States.” His promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare is abundantly clear, and as unequivocal as if he had invited one and all to “read my lips.” The pith and pulp of the promise – “repeal and replace” – should be the mantra of the Republicans this year. It’s a word shorter and just as persuasive as Bill Clinton’s famous reminder that “it’s the economy, stupid.”…The Supreme Court gave Barack Obama his law and his “legacy,” such as it may be, but they gave Mitt Romney and the Republicans a cause beyond price. Running against the tax collector and the biggest tax increase in history should be so easy even a cave man could do it.”
                   -Wes Pruden

“There were two battles being fought in the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts—and Justice Anthony Kennedy—delivered victory to the right in the one that mattered.…Roberts' genius was in pushing this health care decision through without attaching it to the coattails of an ugly, narrow partisan victory. Obama wins on policy, this time. And Roberts rewrites Congress' power to regulate, opening the door for countless future challenges. In the long term, supporters of curtailing the federal government should be glad to have made that trade.”
                    -Tom Scocca

“Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is saying: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you.”
                  -Charles Krauthammer

Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time - and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all.

Photographs were circulating last week showing gay-rights activists, guests of President Obama, making obscene gestures at the portrait of President Reagan during a gay-pride reception at the White House last week. One of the two activists involved is national director of public engagement at Solutions for Progress – funded in part by George Soros.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had the following initial reaction to the [Obamacare] decision: “This is a dark day for the American people, the Constitution, and the rule of law. This is a dark day for American liberty….”

George Will:  “By persuading the court to reject a Commerce Clause rationale for a president’s signature act, the conservative legal insurgency against Obamacare has won a huge victory for the long haul……When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), asked where the Constitution authorized the mandate, exclaimed, “Are you serious? Are you serious?,” she was utterly ingenuous. People steeped in Congress’s culture of unbridled power find it incomprehensible that the Framers fashioned the Constitution as a bridle. Now, Thursday’s episode in the continuing debate about the mandate will reverberate to conservatism’s advantage…”

Conservative talker Mark Levin, attacked conservative columnist George Will for calling the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling “a substantial victory.” Levin called the article “the dumbest George Will article…..that I have ever read”

“OK, it’s hard to admit but my initial reaction to this morning’s Obamacare decision…was embarrassingly hasty. After reading and stewing about it all day, I’ve concluded that what Roberts has done is fundamentally shift the constitutional debate away from the liberal assumption since the Woodrow Wilson era that an Imperial Presidency and supine Congress can pretty much do as they please so long as it’s covered by at least one of those fig leaves known as the General Welfare, Necessary and Proper or Commerce clauses of the Constitution…”

“Justice Roberts's opinion provides a constitutional road map for architects of the next great expansion of the welfare state. Congress may not be able to directly force us to buy electric cars, eat organic kale, or replace oil heaters with solar panels. But if it enforces the mandates with a financial penalty then suddenly, thanks to Justice Roberts's tortured reasoning in Sebelius, the mandate is transformed into a constitutional exercise of Congress's power to tax.”

"The incredible irony here is that in upholding Obamacare, Roberts et. al. have formally also declared Obama to be a monumental liar…..And in the most bizarre twist of them all, they upheld the lie by declaring this to be a tax…Conservatives -- Republicans -- can now campaign on the line of attack that a) this is the greatest expansion of power in history; b) this is the greatest tax increase in history; and c) this is the greatest presidential deception in history.  From now til Election Day the GOP should simply run clips of Obama insisting this wasn't a tax."

In response to the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama's health care law, Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, announced plans on Friday to spend $9 million on a campaign against the law.

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare, the principal choice now facing Americans on November 6 will be whether to keep Obamacare or to repeal it. The question is a binary one, and the answer — expressed almost entirely through their presidential vote — will go a long way toward determining the future course of this great nation. Yes, the economy is extremely important; and, yes, Obamacare is hurting the economy. But the reason why this election is the most important since the Civil War is…..because we are about to decide whether to put what will soon be one-fifth of our economy under the control of the federal government; whether to funnel previously unthinkable amounts of power and money to Washington; and whether this nation conceived in liberty will continue to prioritize liberty.

Apparently tiring of US soil as a source of campaign dollars, the Obama campaign is headed overseas -- with its celebrity friends in tow. The European Obama campaign starts next week in Paris on July 4 with a reception organized by various fundraising heavy-hitters.  George Clooney will headline a fundraiser in Geneva, with 150 tickets going for $20,000 per piece.

List of Democrats Skipping the Party’s National Convention Continues to Grow

The day the Supreme Court ruled in favor of ObamaCare, a friend called me. He's an extremely dedicated, much-loved surgeon, and he was frustrated and livid in equal measure. "I've actually had a lot of experience working in all different types of environments," he began. "I've worked in a government-run socialized medical care system, and I saw the waste and inefficiency. The longer people worked in that system, the less work they wanted to do, because the more you wanted to do, the more they dumped on you. So after a while you stop doing it, because they're not paying you to do more. Why should you do a difficult case, a difficult surgery that will take you hours and hours to do?.....after a while, you just run out of energy, because there's no incentive. You'd have to be a superhuman being to continue to work in that system and not be worn down by it……Because nobody wanted to work, it would take an hour to turn over the surgical room. In my private practice now, it takes ten minutes….And I saw tremendous waste: closets of stuff that never got used. Nobody cared…”

Former MSNBC TV Producer says: ‘I’m Done’ denying Liberal Bias.  “I’m tired. Truly. I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable……You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you….”

The government is not making much headway reducing poverty despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars…“[S]ince President Obama took office, federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent….Federal welfare spending this year now totals $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains stubbornly high at nearly 15 percent – roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty. “The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable – giving poor people more food, better shelter, health care, and so forth – rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”

What it takes to be a member of the Marine Corps band.

Interesting photo.

Leno:  According to a poll by National Geographic, 65 percent of Americans said President Obama would better handle an invasion by space aliens than Mitt Romney. Well sure, once the aliens landed they'd see there's no jobs and they'd go home…… While talking about the economy, Joe Biden said it's a depression for millions of Americans. He used the word "depression" to describe the economy. I don't know if Mitt Romney has picked a running mate yet, but Joe Biden sounds like he'd be perfect … Gas prices are expected to drop to around $3 a gallon by this fall. The price drop is the result of a complicated system. It's called the election. ……..Analysts say the weak economy is causing less energy use, resulting in falling oil prices. So basically the worse the economy is, the lower the price of oil. Do you know what that means? If Obama gets re-elected, gas could be free.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
       -Ronald Reagan


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