Regarding Jumping Sharks…

Justice Roberts has officially drunk the kool-aid. No doubt he’ll now be invited to all the correct dinner parties in D.C.

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78 thoughts on “Regarding Jumping Sharks…

  1. Count d'Haricots June 28, 2012 / 11:35 am

    I need to read the opinion first. The “News” is all over the place; Allahpundit called it yesterday and I feared his logic was correct. Obama can take a victory lap, but shouldn’t expect the fans to be cheering.

    • Retired Spook June 28, 2012 / 11:45 am

      Count,

      It’s one thing to tax products or services that government deems unhealthy, like cigarettes and alcohol. It’s an entirely different dynamic to tax someone who “fails” to purchase something. Unless this is reversed by Congress, historians will record it as the single biggest expansion of federal power in our history.

      • Victory4America! June 28, 2012 / 2:44 pm

        What about mandatory auto insurance?

      • Cluster June 28, 2012 / 3:26 pm

        It’s not mandatory if you don’t have a car

      • Retired Spook June 28, 2012 / 4:34 pm

        What about mandatory auto insurance?

        I’m not sure if it’s the same in all states, but in Indiana it’s only liability insurance that’s mandatory, and that’s only to protect someone else if you hit them. Apples and oranges.

      • Victory4America! June 29, 2012 / 10:35 am

        Doesn’t everyone use the health care system? Who isn’t born in the hospital? Who doesn’t die in the hospital? Who refuses to go to the emergency room? Show me one American who never uses the medical system and I would agree that that person should not have to buy insurance. Just like non drivers don’t have to buy insurance. But just because I’ve never been in a car accident and would rather pay accident costs out of pocket doesn’t mean I’m exempt from buying mandatory auto insurance.

        Your argument doesn’t wash.

      • Retired Spook June 29, 2012 / 11:51 am

        Your argument doesn’t wash.

        No, it’s just your comprehension of it that is lacking. Mandatory auto liability insurance is to protect the other guy in the event that you do harm to him/her. If you can explain how my getting sick and going to the ER but not being able to pay does physical harm to you, then you might have a case. And if your argument is that my inability to pay does financial harm to you, then ObamaCare doesn’t solve that problem. It just shifts the cost of providing for those who can’t afford medical care from paying for their care to paying for their insurance.

        Want to try again?

  2. Retired Spook June 28, 2012 / 11:53 am

    MarketWatch has a summary of the decision.

    CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Part III–C, concluding that the individual mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power under the Taxing Clause. Pp. 33–44.

    (a) The Affordable Care Act describes the “[s]hared responsibility payment” as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. It does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’s power to tax. In answering that constitutional question, this Court follows a functional approach,“[d]isregarding the designation of the exaction, and viewing its substance and application.” United States v. Constantine, 296 U. S. 287, 294. Pp. 33–35.

    (b) Such an analysis suggests that the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax. The payment is not so high that there is really no choice but to buy health insurance; the payment is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are; and the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation. Cf. Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., 259 U. S. 20, 36–37. None of this is to say that payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance. But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS. And Congress’s choice of language—stating that individuals “shall” obtain insurance or pay a “penalty”—does not require reading §5000A as punishing unlawful conduct. It may also be read as imposing a tax on those who go without insurance. See New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 169–174. Pp. 35–40.

    • Amazona June 28, 2012 / 12:33 pm

      the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation.

      Isn’t this a weasel-word effort to redefine the payment as taxation merely by having it collected by the IRS? I find this very offensive. Start off by defining it as a tax, call it a tax, have it voted on as a tax, declare it from the get-go as a tax, and THEN have it collected by the IRS. But having a penalty fee collected by the IRS and then doing reverse engineering to say that well, since it is collected by the IRS it must BE a tax, reeks of dishonesty.

      None of this is to say that payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance. But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS.

      Oh, come ON, now! …payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance… ?????? Are you kidding? How do you avoid having to make this coyly describe “payment”? BY BUYING HEALTH INSURANCE !!!!!!!!!

      Paying a penalty for failing to follow a law is not a negative legal consequence? Oh, I see—-there is no “legal consequence” beyond that of being fined. Yippeee. The Court has decreed that being forced to pay a penalty is NOT a “legal consequence” for failing to do what one is told.

      Then what is it? If it is not a “legal consequence” then how can it be enforced? Other than through the already Gestapo-like powers of the IRS, that is, the only agency in the United States which is already free of such silly restrictions as laws against search and seizure, etc.

      This is the most bizarre, convoluted, feeble effort to excuse the inexcusable I have seen for a long time. I think I would have a little more respect for Roberts if he had just stood up and said “I think Americans should be forced by the government to do what the government says they should do, and that’s all there is to it” than trying to weasel around this obvious opinion of his with such strange and weird phrasing.

      Congress’s choice of language—stating that individuals “shall” obtain insurance or pay a “penalty”—does not require reading §5000A as punishing unlawful conduct. It may also be read as imposing a tax on those who go without insurance

      Oh, give me a break! What crap! The penalty is not punishment? Oh, you can just read it as a “tax” instead of a “penalty”.

      Great. First we got the Thought Police, changing the law to accommodate what the criminal is allegedly THINKING while committing a crime, and now we will have the Behavior Police, “taxing” us for doing the wrong thing while simultaneously lecturing us that this “tax” is not a “legal consequence” for doing the wrong thing.

      Time to tune up the WayBack Machine to go give Orwell a big medal for his prophetic genius.

      • Victory4America! June 29, 2012 / 10:37 am

        I’m sure there’s no penalty or tax if I’m found driving without auto insurance. Apparently mandatory auto insurance was the beginning of the end for freedom.

  3. doug June 28, 2012 / 12:03 pm

    John Boehner’s first vote next week should be to require all American’s to purchase a handgun by the year 2014 or face an escalating ‘tax’ if they don’t.

    • Retired Spook June 28, 2012 / 12:07 pm

      Doug,

      I think that’s a marvelous idea. I know lots of people who would NEVER purchase a firearm under ANY circumstances. We could balance the federal budget with the revenue such a law would provide, and, as I already own several firearms, I wouldn’t owe anything. And as it would disproportionately tax anti-gun Liberals, it would be a win/win.

  4. Cluster June 28, 2012 / 12:07 pm

    Obama has just raised taxes on every single person in America, with more to come. Enjoy.

    • Retired Spook June 28, 2012 / 12:09 pm

      Cluster,

      As Romney noted in his response, it amounts to a tax increase of a half trillion dollars and and cuts in Medicare of an additional half trillion. If that doesn’t motivate Conservatives on November 6th, then I don’t know what will.

    • Victory4America! June 29, 2012 / 10:40 am

      Your insurance costs about about to go down because insurance companies will have to pay out 80% of premium payments to actually providing health care (they had been paying about 35-40%). Your kids can remain on your policy until they are 26. You cannot be dropped when you get sick and you cannot be denied coverage for pre existing conditions.

      You are against all of these things?

      • Concerned Dad June 29, 2012 / 11:08 am

        Victory,
        I think you missed the point.
        How are you going to pay for all that?
        Increased premiums or go on the public system.
        If I lose my coverage at work because my company can not afford the increase, how do I get to keep my coverage I currently have?
        Thus, when the President says if I like my current coverage, I can keep it, he is not being completely honest. I think Obamacare is more about control of the people than it is about health care.
        Just my 2 cents

      • Amazona June 29, 2012 / 3:15 pm

        But….but…but….Dad, IT’S FREE!!!!

        Don’t you GET that? It doesn’t cost ANYTHING !!!! The government pays for it. Or the insurance companies pay for it. Whatever. Someone else pays for it, and that’s all that matters.

        Eveyone knows it is just logical to get more without it costing more. Remember when you wanted the upgraded sound system in your new car? There was no additional cost, right? Remember when you wanted an airplane ticket that let you pick your own seat and take checked luggage at no additional cost? The upgrade was gratis, wasn’t it?

        How silly to think that keeping additional people on your insurance policy will add to the cost! And get over that stupid idea that being forced to insure people who are already sick will make everyone’s premiums go up!

        Honestly, Dad, you need to spend some more time in Krugmanland, with the other PL lemmings, You are sooooo out of touch.

      • Cluster June 29, 2012 / 3:42 pm

        Victory is a good example the either/or aspect of liberalism. If you oppose Obamacare, then you are against insuring preexisting conditions. I don’t think victory has even had a second thought as to some other better ways to accomplish that.

      • Amazona June 29, 2012 / 3:50 pm

        Victory is a typical PL dupe—ignorant of the ideology he supports by attacking its opposition but vocal as hell in his ignorance, and never thinking farther than, regarding any problem, the government is the answer.

        The only answer.

      • tiredoflibbs June 29, 2012 / 3:55 pm

        “victory” regurgitated the same dumbed down talking points little Davey Bowman did.

        Interesting…..

        Spook, obamacare depletes Medicare more than any proposal by the GOP would have and the proggies went nuts at those proposals.

      • tiredoflibbs June 29, 2012 / 4:01 pm

        But, but, but, obamacare passed!!! Why is obAMATEUR raising costs to soldiers, vets and their families????

        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.

        “The Administration is disappointed that the Congress did not incorporate the requested TRICARE fee initiatives into either the appropriation or authorization legislation,” the White House wrote in an official policy statement expressing opposition to the bill, which the House approved in May.

        President Obama’s most recent budget proposal includes billions of dollars in higher fees for members of TRICARE, the military health care system, and is part of the administration’s plan to cut nearly $500 billion from the Pentagon’s budget.

        http://freebeacon.com/obama-to-soldiers-pay-up/

        He is not too concerned about raising healthcare costs (now add on a huge tax increase) for military families.

        I thought that obAMACARE was to lower costs, isn’t that right victory? Why are theirs going up?

  5. Amazona June 28, 2012 / 12:41 pm

    Erik Erickson, of RedState.com has an interesting take on the Roberts aspect of this ruling.

    As you have no doubt heard by now, the Supreme Court largely upheld Obamacare with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority 5 to 4 decision. Even Justice Kennedy called for the whole law to be thrown out, but John Roberts saved it.

    Having gone through the opinion, I am not going to beat up on John Roberts. I am disappointed, but I want to make a few points. John Roberts is playing at a different game than the rest of us. We’re on poker. He’s on chess.

    First, I get the strong sense from a few anecdotal stories about Roberts over the past few months and the way he has written this opinion that he very, very much was concerned about keeping the Supreme Court above the partisan fray and damaging the reputation of the Court long term. It seems to me the left was smart to make a full frontal assault on the Court as it persuaded Roberts.

    Second, in writing his opinion, Roberts forces everyone to deal with the issue as a political, not a legal issue. In the past twenty years, Republicans have punted a number of issues to the Supreme Court asking the Court to save us from ourselves. They can’t do that with Roberts. They tried with McCain-Feingold, which was originally upheld. This case is a timely reminder to the GOP that five votes are not a sure thing.

    Third, while Roberts has expanded the taxation power, which I don’t really think is a massive expansion from what it was, Roberts has curtailed the commerce clause as an avenue for Congressional overreach. In so doing, he has affirmed the Democrats are massive taxers. In fact, I would argue that this may prevent future mandates in that no one is going to go around campaigning on new massive tax increases. On the upside, I guess we can tax the hell out of abortion now. Likewise, in a 7 to 2 decision, the Court shows a strong majority still recognize the concept of federalism and the restrains of Congress in forcing states to adhere to the whims of the federal government.

    Fourth, in forcing us to deal with this politically, the Democrats are going to have a hard time running to November claiming the American people need to vote for them to preserve Obamacare. It remains deeply, deeply unpopular with the American people. If they want to make a vote for them a vote for keeping a massive tax increase, let them try.

    Fifth, the decision totally removes a growing left-wing talking point that suddenly they must vote for Obama because of judges. The Supreme Court as a November issue for the left is gone. For the right? That sound you hear is the marching of libertarians into Camp Romney, with noses held, knowing that the libertarian and conservative coalitions must unite to defeat Obama and Obamacare.

    Finally, while I am not down on John Roberts like many of you are today, i will be very down on Congressional Republicans if they do not now try to shut down the individual mandate. Force the Democrats on the record about the mandate. Defund Obamacare. This now, by necessity, is a political fight and the GOP sure as hell should fight.

    60% of Americans agree with them on the issue. And guess what? The Democrats have been saying for a while that individual pieces of Obamacare are quite popular. With John Roberts’ opinion, the repeal fight takes place on GOP turf, not Democrat turf. The all or nothing repeal has always been better ground for the GOP and now John Roberts has forced everyone onto that ground.

    It seems very, very clear to me in reviewing John Roberts’ decision that he is playing a much longer game than us and can afford to with a life tenure. And he probably just handed Mitt Romney the White House.

    *A friend points out one other thing — go back to 2009. Olympia Snowe was the deciding vote to get Obamacare out of the Senate Committee. Had she voted no, we’d not be here now.

    Not sure I agree, but it is a good start for discussion, perhaps….

    • Cluster June 28, 2012 / 1:28 pm

      I think Erik has it about right. In retrospect, I think this will energize conservatives and libertarians, and will be a call to action to all independent, rational Americans to stop this nanny state, elite assault on behalf of liberals.

    • Retired Spook June 28, 2012 / 2:37 pm

      Megan Kelly on Fox made a similar argument, the strongest part of which was NO FEDERAL EXPANSION OF THE COMMERCE CLAUSE. I like the fact that it has become a political issue that favors Conservatives rather than Liberals in the upcoming election.

      On the upside, I guess we can tax the hell out of abortion now.

      On the downside, when the Left is in power they can tax people who choose life instead of death. The ramifications of this decision are so far reaching it’s almost impossible to imagine.

    • Mark Noonan June 28, 2012 / 8:19 pm

      After the decision was announced I swiftly realized that the only reason I wanted ObamaCare killed by the Court is so that I could gloat – an unChristian and pointless exercise. In practical terms the only way to kill ObamaCare – to really drive a stake in it – is to repeal it. Always has been the answer. If we can’t muster enough political power in the 2012 elections to repeal ObamaCare then even if the Court had struck it down, it just would have come back in different forms (if, indeed, it wasn’t just slowly imposed by regulatory fiat). Furthermore, if we can’t win, now, then we can’t win at all.

      The bottom line is that America is at the crossroads – one path leads to increased socialism (with ObamaCare as a mere mile stone on the road) and the death of the United States, the other path leads to freedom and the revival of the United States. The American people will choose – 10,000 Court decisions don’t matter in the least: it always matters what the people will decide (because, in the end, both by legislative and Amendment efforts we can pretty much undo any Court decision we don’t like). Personally, I think the people in a broad majority are turning towards liberty – towards honor and core, American ideals. We’ll find out if I’m right on November 6th.

      Let the liberals spike the ball for a day – now they get the “victory” of having to carry an upheld and unrepealed ObamaCare in to November. Congratulations, liberals; you got what you wanted. Now, how does it taste?

      • Leo Pusateri June 28, 2012 / 8:31 pm

        My entire problem with Roberts’ decision is that he opens the door for the legitimization of any congressional or other action if said action is housed under the auspices of the tax code. That is the larger and more dangerous issue, even if Obamacare is turned on its ear- we will forever be held hostage to this decision in terms of it being used for precedence when other liberties are compromised down the road.

      • Mark Noonan June 29, 2012 / 11:45 am

        Leo,

        But that has been implied since we allowed Uncle Sam to start collecting income taxes. The answer to that is to write a new amendment stating what, exactly, cannot be taxed by government.

    • Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.] June 29, 2012 / 11:32 am

      Fredrick your blatant racism and efforts to smear another poster have you permanently banned and your fellow Brimstone posters removed from the blog for a couple of weeks. Every time you or any of them ignore this the time out period for the rest is extended. They can thank you for this situation and the extended period where they can not post. // Moderator

      • Mark Noonan June 29, 2012 / 11:47 am

        If that is the case, then so be it – if a majority of Americans vote for the death of America, then America will die…slowly, painfully and over a 50 year period (which means I’ll be in the hereafter before a foreign flag is raised over Washington, DC). I don’t think they will – I think the American people have awakened to the threat of socialism once and for all and we’ll route Obama and his Democrats this November.

      • Count d'Haricots June 29, 2012 / 1:17 pm

        “Survey USA conducted three statewide polls overnight of likely voters on the Supreme Court decision to see if it would move the needle. So far, the results look pretty poor for Obama.

        California – In one of the liberal bastions of Obama’s support, 45% disagreed with the Court ruling that ObamaCare is constitutional, with 44% agreeing. Nearly three-quarters expect their health care to get worse (38%) or stay the same (34%), as opposed to just 23% who expect it to improve now that ObamaCare will be implemented. And this is thebest results of the three states.
        Kansas – Romney’s going to win Kansas anyway, but the numbers here are still bad news for Obama’s hopes in the Midwest. 52% disagree with the court, as opposed to only 38% who agree, with 48% expecting their health care to get worse as a result. Only 16% think it will improve.
        Florida – This state actually matters, and it looks bad for Obama here, too. Voters disagree with the court 50/39, 47% expect their health care to get worse while only 20% expect it to improve, and 51% think it will get more expensive, too. Only 6% of Florida seniors expect health-care costs to decline, while 44% expect costs to rise.”

  6. tiredoflibbs June 28, 2012 / 12:42 pm

    obAMATEUR has finally revealed himself to be the TAX AND SPEND PROGGY we have always known!!!

    He certainly had the SPENDING part down pat! – $5 trillion in new debt!

    Here come the confiscatory taxes!!! Oh, wait, it was not a tax….now it is….but it wasn’t….but it is….. so much contradiction!!

    So let’s see how much of the debt and deficit will be reduced since he, piglosi and reid stated that helath care will reduce both.

  7. tiredoflibbs June 28, 2012 / 3:14 pm

    More lies from the obAMATEUR:
    “Health Care Should ‘Never Be Purchased With Tax Increases On Middle Class Families’…”

    hey proggies, we could see through his LIES why are you so blind????

    Largest tax increase on ALL CLASSES since the beginning of this country! Also, largest deficits in the history of this country!!!!

    No wonder you proggies and drones have to resort to racial politics and class warfare!!!!
    No positive record to run on!

    • Mark Noonan June 28, 2012 / 8:21 pm

      Any GOP ad man with any sense at all is already crafting ads saying “Democrat Congressman X voted for the largest tax increase on the middle class in history”…because one thing Roberts did give us was the gift of clearly revealing the mandate as nothing more than a gigantic tax on the middle class.

  8. Leo Pusateri June 28, 2012 / 4:38 pm

    The Constitution today, more so than any other day up to this point, has been rendered meaningless. Justice Roberts (along with the other justices who upheld Obamacare today), was supposed to be the guard dog in protecting our Constitutional liberties from the over-reaching of government; instead, he has not only showed the burglars a way around the locked door and through an open window, but has gone so far out of his way as to tell them the combination to the safe.

    I don’t buy that it was a game of chess. IMO, Roberts threw his lot in with the rest of the activist justices on the Court.

    There was a time when we as citizens could rely on the Constitution to shield us from tyranny. Those days, sadly, have passed. Hell…it’s not even a speed bump anymore.

    • James June 28, 2012 / 4:42 pm

      Your personal attacks on another blog poster mean that from that point on every one of your posts will be deleted in full. //Moderator

      • Leo Pusateri June 28, 2012 / 4:45 pm

        James, maybe you ought to pack your bags and head over to a “worker’s paradise” like China, Cuba or Venezuela, where they don’t have to worry about such trivialities as a Constitution, and where government holds absolute power.

        BTW– so classy and tolerant of you to go after my ethnicity.

      • doug June 28, 2012 / 4:50 pm

        Unless this law is changed there won’t be insurance as you know it. There will only be medicaid and a medicaid that will make VA healthcare look like CEO goldstandard types.

        Tens of millions of people will begin to lose employer covered health insurance. They will then find out that they don’t qualify for medicaid and have to find insurance on their own – which will cost double what it does now. They won’t be able to afford it, so will pay the tax or opt for a govt. exchange insurance that will provide next to nothing in quality.

        Dems will have to move up the medicaid to 250%, then 300%+ of the poverty level because of the vast numbers of folks not covered by insurance.

        By the way, the mandate is still in question, as the first collection of the tax penalty will be deemed a bill of attainder.

    • Count d'Haricots June 28, 2012 / 6:47 pm

      Roberts threw his lot in with the rest of the activist justices on the Court.

      Leo,

      In my considered opinion, Roberts is the opposite of activism; he intentionally let the law stand therefore not writing new law or finding new rights within the Constitution. He put the Commerce Clause back in a Constitutional context, and he put the onus back on Congress to right the legislative wrong they created.

      The Peoples’ anger at Obamacare should be directed at Congress, not the Court.

      • bardolf June 28, 2012 / 6:54 pm

        Well said!

      • Cluster June 28, 2012 / 7:31 pm

        Spot on Count,

        Roberts simply ruled what we all knew to be true from the beginning, and somehting of which democrats ran from, and that is that the mandate is a tax. Now Obama must defend raising taxes on every single American.

    • Mark Noonan June 28, 2012 / 8:28 pm

      Leo,

      The Constitution is our defense, but not the courts. Remember the Courts not only gave us this decision, today, but also gave us Roe v Wade, Dredd Scott and Plessy v Ferguson. Don’t be too hard on Roberts – our normal pain in the rear, Kennedy, came through with flying colors…meaning there is a great deal of confusion in the courts these days. At any rate, it has been very unfair of all parties to essentially punt all issues to the courts and ask them to referee. My developing view is that we shouldn’t even have filed suit – certainly not until it came in to full force in 2014 and, meanwhile, concentrated all our efforts on gaining the power to repeal before 2014.

      From what I’ve gathered on Roberts’ judicial ideals is that he’s going to assume that any law passed is constitutional and there will have to be a gigantically high bar before he’ll strike it down – with the good news here that any State laws which don’t clearly violate a federal constitutional provision will be upheld…so, to work with a will in the State legislative and initiative process to undo liberalism at the State level, knowing that we’ve got an ally in Roberts.

      The ultimate sanction of our liberties is us – we, the people, at election time. We allowed Obama to win and come in to office with people like Pelosi and Reid running Congress. We got what we deserved. Now we have a chance to correct our mistake and if we can do what we must and repeal ObamaCare then this Roberts decision will just be an interesting footnote kids read about in Trivial Pursuit games 50 years from now.

      • Leo Pusateri June 28, 2012 / 8:34 pm

        Yes, we have to continue to make lemonade out of lemons; but that doesn’t mean you have to like the taste.

    • Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.] June 29, 2012 / 11:35 am

      Fredrick your blatant racism and efforts to smear another poster have you permanently banned and your fellow Brimstone posters removed from the blog for a couple of weeks. Every time you or any of them ignore this the time out period for the rest is extended. They can thank you for this situation and the extended period where they can not post. // Moderator

  9. Leo Pusateri June 28, 2012 / 4:48 pm

    BTW, James, I didn’t edit your comment. In a way I wish it would have been left up, as a testimony to your arrogance and ignorance.

    • neocon1 June 28, 2012 / 5:35 pm

      time for the states to tell the fed govt where to put ubama and his marxist minions.

      • Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.] June 29, 2012 / 11:36 am

        Fredrick your blatant racism and efforts to smear another poster have you permanently banned and your fellow Brimstone posters removed from the blog for a couple of weeks. Every time you or any of them ignore this the time out period for the rest is extended. They can thank you for this situation and the extended period where they can not post. // Moderator

  10. bloodypenquinstump June 28, 2012 / 5:46 pm

    Nelson Munce points at you all and says HA HA.

  11. Cluster June 28, 2012 / 5:51 pm

    Good article:

    In so doing, Justice Roberts has just busted Campaign 2012 wide open. The high court’s ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases costing nearly $700 billion. Of those taxes, 12 would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year.

    Keep in mind that Obama promised not to raise taxes, especially for those earning less than $250,000/yr, bit don’t expect that to be mentioned by him or his adoring fans in the media.

    http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jun/28/curl-roberts-to-the-rescue-for-romney/

  12. bardolf June 28, 2012 / 6:42 pm

    Italy 2 Germany 1!

    In other news, the GOP has a shot to demonstrate its bona fides as fiscal conservatives in the upcoming election. If Romney, of Romneycare fame, runs on the larger issue of getting rid of market distortions at all levels, e.g. getting rid of the fed and giveaway interest rates for bankers/speculators, he has a chance. If he only goes after Obamacare he loses in November.

    Fun to watch MSNBC whiners stuck in their tracks and do an about face wrt to SC’s integrity. Robert’s giveth with citizens united and taketh away.

    Forza Azzurri!

    • Count d'Haricots June 28, 2012 / 8:44 pm

      If he only goes after Obamacare he loses in November.

      Disagree, we’ve seen how this issue can energize the base.

      The expansive “middle” (those that can’t be bothered to take a side or even educate themselves sufficiently to form an opinion, you know … ricorun) will jump in front of the bandwagon at the last minute so they don’t feel like they missed the boat.

      (Folks that mix metaphors aren’t batting with a full deck)

      The TEA Party needs to be excited, motivated and turn out the troops this summer; let no heart that feels the pain of betrayal will allow this obscenity to stand.

      Let the halcyon call of somber thought echo until it is like a trumpet upon the ears.

      Let the People call out they that would fight for Our rights and force them to engage as to battle.

      None shall hide, none shall be overlooked.

      They that would be elected must take a side; you’re either with the People, or you shall be driven from our sight!

      Pitchforks at the ready my brethren, we storm the castle in November!

      • Ricorun June 29, 2012 / 2:09 pm

        My ears were burning, now I know why — the Counter mentioned my name! Sure, it was with a distinctly desultory tone, but hey… And why is it the case my name gets mentioned so often (even in situations where I haven’t said anything at all — and get jumped on at length when I do) if, in fact, I’m really so full of poo? That’s not logical.

        Anyway, if you look way back in the archives to 2008 I said then that I liked McCain’s approach to the health care issue much more than I did Obama’s. The bastard child of the latter, the thing we now call Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, is even worse than the original formulation. That’s my opinion. 🙂 The pithy version of it, anyway. I could go on (at great length of course, but I won’t)

        I am also gobsmacked that the SC largely upheld it, and even more so that it was Justice Roberts who provided the swing vote. And after reading his opinion (well, most of it) I also think there is considerable merit in the metaphor that Roberts is playing chess while everyone else is playing poker (actually, it’s probably more appropriate to say Go Fish). In it, Roberts made several mentions of the concept that it’s not the SC’s job to save Congress from themselves, just to determine whether whatever claptrap they offer up is in fact constitutional (even when they screw up the language, lol!).

        But I don’t agree that the ruling is some kind of gift from heaven for Romney. After all, he signed “Romneycare” into law. Regardless of how vociferous he’s more recently been in trying to renege on that fact, it remains on his record. Either he tries to run on his record or he doesn’t. Either way, it’s a big, huge bullet in Obama’s quiver. (Folks that mix metaphors aren’t batting with a full deck)

      • Cluster June 29, 2012 / 3:18 pm

        Rico,

        First of all, state vs federal, let’s see if you can connect the dots on that one. Secondly, Roberts did more than just tweak the language, he damn near rewrote the entire bill. Removing the commerce clause and reframing the mandate as a tax, is the epitome of judicial activism and is not even close to the original intent of the bill, or how the bill was sold. But now, democrats have to run on a record of enacting the largest tax increases and amassing the largest deficits of any administration in the history of our country. That ought to be fun to watch.

      • Count d'Haricots June 29, 2012 / 6:30 pm

        No Cluster, the Administration did argue that the mandate was a tax; Roberts didn’t invent that.

        Recall that the first series of (poorly argued) lines was that the case before the Court was premature because of the Anti-Injunction Act? The Act in question forbids lawsuits from proceeding until the tax goes into effect.

        Roberts addresses this in his Opinion stating that the Bill (ObamaCare) was the question.

        The Court has ruled many times that laws using clever language to avoid calling something a TAX were actually restricted to the nature of the collection. In California the 9th Circuit ruled a few years back that calling a tax a “fee” doesn’t change the nature of the tax only the title. “Fees” like taxes require special legislation in California and it was tried to sneak new taxes through by calling them fees. Get it? We did.

      • Count d'Haricots June 29, 2012 / 8:01 pm

        “In making the judgment that he did, Chief Justice Roberts deprived American advocates of a European-style social state of one of their most precious conceits, that right-leaning justices on the Court will stop at nothing to prevent the country’s health-care system from rising to the level of, say, Cuba’s, a system which, as Hugo Chávez can testify, is smokin’.

        There is a larger point. If the only way Americans can defend their liberties is to hide behind the verbiage of a Supreme Court opinion, it’s already too late for freedom here.

        My guess is that the chief justice doesn’t think it’s too late. He knows, as we all do, that the remedy — a remedy far more potent
        than any judicial decision — is at hand.” Michael Knox Beran

        Don’t I jus’ said that?

      • Cluster June 30, 2012 / 8:40 am

        Count,

        My point was that when the bill was written, Pelosi and the democrats were adamant that this was not a tax and in a couple of interviews, Obama himself made a point that this was not a tax. And because of that, he could them claim he wasn’t raising taxes on families earning less than $250K/yr.

      • Ricorun July 1, 2012 / 2:36 pm

        Cluster: First of all, state vs federal, let’s see if you can connect the dots on that one.

        It doesn’t matter whether I can, the essential question is whether Romney can. That’s the point there. And the Counter already answered your second issue — quite well, I might add.

        Revisiting the first issue in the broader context of health care: it seems to me the overriding question is what to do about those folks (and their dependents) who have costly medical issues but don’t have health insurance. I presume the classical libertarian (and perhaps “conservative”?) response is: “if they can’t pay, let them (and their dependents) die”. If that’s not the proper characterization, then what is? I’m not trying to pin this question on you, per se — it’s a question for anyone who feels little to no obligation to the less fortunate in society. And I’m not necessarily criticizing that POV either. Likewise, I’m not criticizing the other extreme POV — that everyone, no matter how much of a freeloader they are, is entitled to health care. Rather, I’m arguing that most folks agree that neither extreme position is tenable, either morally or politically. In other words, the question is not so “black and white” as your typical ideologue would argue, be they hippies, lawyers, ranchers, brokers, or whatever.

        Thus, it becomes encumbent on Romney to not only divorce himself from what has become known as “Romneycare” in MA (not just Obamacare in the nation at large, which looks very similar), but to also offer an alternative that most folks (not only ideologues) can both understand and get behind. I suspect that’s going to be some very tough up-hill sledding. So no, I don’t think the SC ruling is some kind of gift from heaven for Romney. He might get a temporary bump, but between now and the election Obama can pound on his every past word (both in and out of context) and make him seem even more duplicitous than Obama himself.

      • Cluster July 1, 2012 / 3:46 pm

        it seems to me the overriding question is what to do about those folks (and their dependents) who have costly medical issues but don’t have health insurance. I presume the classical libertarian (and perhaps “conservative”?) response is: “if they can’t pay, let them (and their dependents) die”

        Well thank you Rico for clearly demonstrating my point. Not only do liberals like yourself embrace a solution that involves everyone, regardless of how small the problem is, but you then ridicule those who oppose such measures. Well done.

        Those you have identified do exist of course, but represent a very small percentage and could easily be handled at the state level with high risk pools, many of which are already in place and through local charities, and discounts from their doctors and local care providers. It hardly requires a national solution, but thank you so much for assuming that I just want those people to die. This is what I mean by fa fifth grade mentality.

      • Amazona July 1, 2012 / 5:00 pm

        “I presume the classical libertarian (and perhaps “conservative”?) response is: “if they can’t pay, let them (and their dependents) die”. If that’s not the proper characterization, then what is? ”

        It’s not even a characterization but a grotesque misstatement of both libertarianism and conservatism, and it’s a pathetic and infantile effort to slime legitimate political viewpoints.

        For shame. But at least you managed to blow your carefully constructed self-image of a rational and praaaaagmaaaaaatic thinker out of the water in one simple and simpleminded statement.

        As well as any pretense of being anything BUT a Lefty, as you have just laid out, in your own words, a government-or-nothing paradigm.

        And reinforced your Leftist credentials by showing us how easily you slip into demonization of opposition and vicious attacks in place of rational discourse.

      • Ricorun July 1, 2012 / 7:10 pm

        Cluster: Well thank you Rico for clearly demonstrating my point. Not only do liberals like yourself embrace a solution that involves everyone, regardless of how small the problem is, but you then ridicule those who oppose such measures. Well done.

        Let me break your response down: (1) Not only do liberals like yourself embrace a solution that involves everyone, regardless of how small the problem is…

        Small problem? Are you freakin’ kidding me??!! For starters, It involves several millions of people nationwide, and considerably increases the premiums of those who actually pay for health insurance. In short, It is NOT a “small problem”. To say so is just nonsense. Rather, it appears to be a clear example of how ideological purists try to change the facts to fit their beliefs. I feel weird saying that, because I never characterized you, Cluster, to be an ideological purist. But the facts stand.

        Secondly, if you really believe it’s a “small problem”, then what was the point to Romneycare to begin with, even in MA? And why is Romney repeatedly on record saying that 3 out of 4 people in the state are still in favor of the bill? That’s rather problematic for Romney, don’t you think? Finally, to the extent that he reneges on any or all of those statements, how is the populace across the nation going to fail to recognize that such regegging it is just another example of a politician going against his/her word for political favor?

        You can deride me personally all you want (I’m used to it, and long ago came to expect it), and you can presume all you want about my “personal ideology” — or lack thereof, if it suits you — because I think basic logic dictates a more reasonable, more effective course. More to the point, I don’t believe EITHER party is serving the needs of the people who count the most for an effective democracy/republic (which is to say, a strong middle class). Moreover, I particularly resent the idea that because I don’t subscribe to either one of the currently established “21st century” dominant ideologies of Liberal (large L) or Conservative (large C) I am somehow “uncommitted”, “hopelessly lost in thought”, a “pseudo-intellectual”, or otherwise “wishy-washy. I call BS on that.

  13. Cluster June 30, 2012 / 8:52 am

    Here’s the point that I tried to make and butchered so badly – hey it’s early!

    In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that ObamCare is constitutional as a tax, a number of media outlets played the now-embarrassing clip of Barack Obama insisting the law isn’t a tax. Despite the footage coming from a 2009 nterview on This Week, ABC’s journalists studiously avoided highlighting their own footage.

    • Cluster June 30, 2012 / 10:10 am

      Health care insurance does not equate to health care, and what just happened is that in the name of “compassion”, misguided as it is, democrats have completely ruined the health care system by identifying a need of the minority and designing a solution that adversely impacts the majority. How in the world will health care improve when we lower the pay and increase the costs of the providers?

      • Amazona June 30, 2012 / 10:30 am

        Cluster, I think you have hit on the Achilles heel of Leftist endeavors. Instead of addressing a single element, they tend to think in sweeping terms of overall change, which is what happens if your approach is to turn it over to government.

        It’s not just health care. We can go back to the Community Reinvestment Act to see that a legitimate issue, which could have and should have been addressed at the local level and through private enterprise, was turned over to the government where its efforts were then hijacked by radical political activists, and we can look back at the past four or five decades to see the path of problem upon problem upon problem that piled onto this first decision to make government the “answer”.

        Ditto for the “War on Poverty”. And so on.

        As you put it so well, the problem is in identifying a need of the minority and designing a solution that adversely impacts the majority

      • Cluster June 30, 2012 / 10:49 am

        And the mind numbing, annoying aspect of the current national dialogue, is that if you oppose the left’s agenda, then you don’t care for the needy. There are so many better solutions to providing insurance and care to the minority of people who need it, but those options and ideas never get traction because of the loud shrieking voices on the left that drown out any sensible dialogue.

      • Amazona June 30, 2012 / 11:44 am

        Cluster, remember the clever setup of the Left when Clinton, in his last hours as President, signed off on drastically reducing the allowable limit of arsenic in drinking water?

        This was a brilliant ploy. Of course, Clinton and his minions never thought the allowable arsenic level was dangerous for 8 years, but suddenly the decision was made, by presidential fiat, to slash that limit.

        He knew that there is absolutely no science to say that the allowable limit posed the slightest danger to anyone. He knew that there are very few places in the Unites States where even that small amount exists in drinking water. He knew that this edict would force large and small water treatment plants across the nation to engage in expensive and even prohibitively expensive retrofits to meet his arbitrary new “standard” even if they didn’t have enough arsenic in their water to meet the old standard. He knew that this one signature would, if left to stand, create so much chaos, so much needless expense, so much damage, that any reasonable successor would have to repeal it.

        And this is why he did it. He set up a situation by which the RRL could then bay at the moon with their howls of BUSH DOESN’T CARE IF PEOPLE DIE !!!!!!!!!!

        REPUBLICANS WANT POISONED WATER !!!

        It’s what they do.

      • Amazona June 30, 2012 / 11:51 am

        Not long after this a goofball Lib showed up at my door asking me to sign a petition to force Bush to allow people to have safe drinking water.

        I took the clipboard, looked at the wording on the petition, and asked if this was related to the repeal of the new arsenic levels, and he earnestly said yes, Bush just didn’t care if people were poisoned.

        I was very careful to not come across as confrontational, and mildly asked what the previous levels had been.

        He didn’t know.

        I asked if they had been shown to be unsafe or toxic.

        He didn’t know.

        I asked where I could find data supporting the need to lower those levels.

        He didn’t know.

        I asked if he had ever seen such studies.

        No.

        I asked what the safe level should be.

        He didn’t know.

        Then he turned around and headed toward the road.

        “Wait!!” I called after him. “You left your papers!!”

        He kept beatin’ feet toward the road.

        “You do realize I am just going to throw these away!” I called.

        He kept going.

        “I DON’T RECYCLE !! ” I called.

        He was gone. Not to do research, I am sure, but just to find some sheeple who could be sucked into the lies.

      • Cluster June 30, 2012 / 2:29 pm

        “I DON’T RECYCLE !! ” I called.

        Hilarious!

      • Ricorun July 1, 2012 / 3:13 pm

        Amazona: I think you have hit on the Achilles heel of Leftist endeavors. Instead of addressing a single element, they tend to think in sweeping terms of overall change…

        Now wait just a freakin’ minute… wasn’t it YOU that argued, and very specifically on a recent thread, that ideology SHOULD be all-encompassing, and NOT address a single element??!!

        For the record, I agree with your previous formulation — that putting ideology first IS all-encompassing, and therefore DOES NOT address single elements well. After all, to put ideology first requires one to fit the facts to one’s beliefs as opposed to fitting one’s beliefs to the facts. That is the essential difference.

        Also for the record, I’m not arguing that ideology doesn’t play a role in one’s belief system (and everyone has a belief system) — I am only arguing that that role should not be primary — and certainly NOT an exclusive role. The PRIMARY role should be pragmatism.

      • Amazona July 1, 2012 / 6:01 pm

        “Now wait just a freakin’ minute… wasn’t it YOU that argued, and very specifically on a recent thread, that ideology SHOULD be all-encompassing, and NOT address a single element??!!”

        ?????????????

        Well, if by “all-encompassing” you mean restricted to a belief in a system for governance, maybe, but that doesn’t sound like anything I would say. It DOES sound like what might emerge from a coherent comment after it went through the mixmaster of your praaaagmaaaatic thought processes and the various filters that modify everything into ricospeak.

        Or are you conflating “single element” with “single issue”?

        I am the one complaining about the application of words like Conservative and Liberal and even Progressive to things not related to the best way to govern the United States.

        I am the one who is so insistent on sticking to the political definitions of those terms when talking about politics.

        I am the one who points out that issues come and go, and can be hijacked by the other side for political gain. For example, one voting for Clinton solely on the issue of welfare reform, after he took credit for it, would also be voting in a collectivist political system based on large and powerful central control.

        This is why ideology trumps issues. Did that confuse you?

        I also insist that, in my opinion, people should first determine their ideological conviction about the best way to govern our nation, and then vote accordingly, not based on emotional attraction toward one candidate or dislike for another, not on events or scandals or personality, not even on political identity, but solely on ideology——do you believe we are best governed by our Constitutional political model of small central government severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with most of the authority kept at state and local levels, or do you think a large central bureaucracy with great if not unlimited power and authority is better, and limiting local and state powers?

        And I find your self-congratulatory preening over your alleged “pragmatism” to be nothing more than an elaborate and self-serving way for you to excuse your inability to commit to an objective political philosophy. It just excuses infinite vacillation, as you can claim a “praaagmaaatic” vote for a candidate regardless of the political system represented by that candidate.

        Of course, ideological commitment is the ultimate form of political pragmatism—-it is an analysis of our competing governmental styles and results of the two, regardless of emotion, and indifferent to superficialities such as demagoguery, emotional appeal to specific issues, and so on.

      • Ricorun July 1, 2012 / 8:28 pm

        In turns Amazona said: Well, if by “all-encompassing” you mean restricted to a belief in a system for governance, maybe, but that doesn’t sound like anything I would say.
        Then she said, (verbatim)…
        I also insist that, in my opinion, people should first determine their ideological conviction about the best way to govern our nation, and then vote accordingly…

        Is it just me or do others also realize that the first statement contradicts the second?

      • Amazona July 2, 2012 / 12:19 am

        It’s just you.

        No one else “realizes” this (clever effort to imply a shared delusion) because it isn’t there to realize.

        I keep saying we need a sarcasm font.

        You claimed that I said something, and I sarcastically said well, yeah, if by what you said you meant the complete opposite. The comment that your claim doesn’t sound like anything I would say is based on the fact that it doesn’t sound like anything I would say—you seem to find that quite confusing as well.

        And then I explained why. Which evidently also bumfuddled you.

        I notice you edited out the part that I said I would not say, which is “…that ideology SHOULD be all-encompassing, and NOT address a single element..” I wouldn’t say it because it is such a stupid thing to say. Ideology is the philosophy of the best way to govern a nation, and the very idea that it could be, much less should be, “all-encompassing” is just ridiculous. Ideology IS restricted to a single element–how to govern. Once you settle on that, you can go into detail about how you think certain aspects of that philosophy can or should be accomplished, but those are not the ideology itself.

        And then I went on to explain what I think, and true to form, by the time it went through the rico scrambler and the rico filters and got translated into ricospeak you couldn’t possibly follow it.

        Go back, read what I said, and see if you can work it out. I made it pretty easy, broke it down into short sentences, and did all I could to help you sort through it.

      • Amazona July 2, 2012 / 12:23 am

        rico, perhaps you should stop your petty pissy sniping and efforts at gotchas and just answer the question. Here it is, (verbatim)

        do you believe we are best governed by our Constitutional political model of small central government severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with most of the authority kept at state and local levels, or do you think a large central bureaucracy with great if not unlimited power and authority is better, and limiting local and state powers ?

      • Ricorun July 5, 2012 / 7:41 pm

        As written, Amazona, you are asking me to choose in favor of an unworkable confederate system on the one hand, and a federal system run amok on the other — leaving all other alternatives out. Given that simple dichotomy, I choose neither.

        I will say this, though… I would feel more comfortable with the confederate model if huge, vertically integrated, multinational corporations didn’t exist. Likewise, I would feel more comfortable with the federal model if government worked more effectively as a counterpoint (rather than a partner) to those huge, vertically integrated, multinational corporations. I’m a big fan of checks and balances, I just don’t think it applies only to government.

        Unfortunately, our founding fathers had very little experience with huge, vertically integrated, multinational corporations. That’s too bad, because I would have loved to hear their take on them. But it is as it is, so we’ll have to muddle through. And I suspect the “muddling through” part is what separates us to a very large extent because, you see, I think that until we effectively deal with the hegemony represented by those huge, vertically integrated, multinational corporations (which largely include, but are not necessarily limited to, companies that are “too big to fail” — I find that concept particularly appalling), the very WORST thing we could do is eliminate the only possible counterpoint to them. Rather, I think it is a much better idea to INSIST that our elected officials do, in fact, act as a collective counterpoint. Most of the logic, and the data, support that contention. The big problem with that idea is that NEITHER major party is particularly interested in it. I am thus not committed to either party, nor to any major “ideology”. I will thus CONTINUE to vote for individuals rather than for party.

        But there is some hope (albeit a small one): on the one hand, the Tea Party movement has been making noises on the “big government is bad” front. Likewise, the Occupy Wall Street movement has been making noises on the “big business is bad” front. Actually, the latter could be more accurately characterized as infantile screaming. But if that front eventually matures the two could lead to a coalescence that actually makes sense. In the mean time I will continue to vote for individuals rather than for party.

      • Amazona July 6, 2012 / 1:31 am

        More excuses for being unable to define and commit to a political ideology? MORE ??????

        You start with a false dichotomy, a completely bogus either/or. You can claim all you want that one of our competing political systems is what you call “…an unworkable confederate system … but I find that argument silly and specious.

        It doesn’t even make sense.

        We have a system that worked, and worked brilliantly, when it was employed, and which is less effective in direct ratio to how much it has been corrupted. It’s ridiculous to blame loss of effectiveness on the system itself instead of on the effects of corrupting and weakening the system.

        “….confederate system…” ???????

        As for the “….federal system run amok…” a federal system expanding in size, scope and power (“running amok”) is the very DEFINITION of the other political model.

        While you clearly love the taste of the phrase >i> “…huge, vertically integrated, multinational corporations…” enough to keep repeating it, it simply has nothing to do with which political system, one of a federal government severely limited as to size, scope and power, or one of large and powerful central authority with little control left in the hands of the states or the people, provides the best blueprint for how to govern the country.

        And it is this choice which you dodge, duck, evade and avoid with such intensity. And it is this lack of clarity that allows you to declare with such pride that “In the mean time I will continue to vote for individuals rather than for party.” Because this way you can vote one way one time and the exact opposite way the next time and pretend that you have not just taken two diametrically opposite positions, vacillating wildly between them because you simply understand neither and are incapable of making enough of a commitment to even know what they are much less choose one.

      • Amazona July 6, 2012 / 1:36 am

        And rico, what exactly IS this “confederate model” of which you speak? And what do you mean by a “federal model”?

        Even your terms are muddled and incoherent.

      • Ricorun July 7, 2012 / 1:06 am

        Amazona: You can claim all you want that one of our competing political systems is what you call “…an unworkable confederate system … but I find that argument silly and specious.

        It doesn’t even make sense.

        Actually, it does make sense. Immediately after the Revolutionary War our nation was governed by the Articles of Confederation. That style of government very closely fits the one to which you apparently aspire: i.e., “a small central government severely restricted as to size, scope and power, with most of the authority kept at state and local levels.” It took less than a decade for our “founding fathers” to realize that formulation was unworkable, and what was needed was a stronger federal government. There have been other systems of government along the same confederate model, but it would be hard to point to more than one which worked out very well for any length of time. So no, it’s not a silly, specious argument. It was actually tried, and it didn’t work.

        Our “founding fathers” had the good sense to realize that a more powerful central government was needed. The result was the Constitution, along with an amendment system to keep it current. It hasn’t always worked “brilliantly” (most pointedly, its initial failure to deal effectively with slavery resulted in the Civil War), but it has survived and thrived. And I think one of the best features of our particular federal system of government is that it has proven itself to be self-correcting without too many instances of too much strife.

        Of course, the confederate system and the federalist system are not the only choices, even when it comes to organizing a democracy. There is also the unitary model, examples of which exist in the UK and most other European countries, where virtually all of the power rests in the hands of a central government. Relative to the confederate model, the unitary model has been much more successful. But I don’t think most of us here think it superior to our own, more or less middle-of-the-road federal model. Those three models of “democratic” governmental organization — the confederate model, the federal model, and the unitary model, are essentially mutually exclusive regions on the same continuum. Whatever the decision in that regard, it is also largely independent of the choices made on at least two other planes which affect the overall operation of government: (1) whether the government has an independently elected executive branch (the presidential model) or whether the executive branch is appointed by the legislative branch (the parliamentary model), and (2) whether all (or most) decisions are determined by direct popular vote (the truly democratic model) or whether all (or most) decisions are determined by representatives of the people (the republic model).

        In other words, there is no one “other political model”. There are many. And no, I am not “hopelessly lost in thought”. Rather, I am joyfully immersed in it. Sadly, it appears you’re still stuck on a one-dimensional dichotomy. Even worse, you’re having to defend your definitions to the likes of the venerable Mark Noonan. Boy, that’s gotta hurt. Anyway, IMO, even a gray-scale conception of ideology (much less a dichotomous view) doesn’t go far in an increasingly technicolor world. Face it, black and white is dead. It’s as black and white as that. LOL!

        Entering ever more into the increasingly technicolor world are the huge, vertically integrated, multinational corporations. They aren’t exactly new (the fore-runner, the Dutch East India Trading Company, existed in our forefather’s time), but they are certainly becoming more pervasive. Apparently it’s your view that they should be of no concern to anyone, and certainly not anyone in government. Because, after all, “Ideology IS restricted to a single element–how to govern.” LOL! Govern what, exactly? I honestly don’t know what that entails — and what it doesn’t. Could you be more specific? And could you also better explain your comment, “It’s ridiculous to blame loss of effectiveness on the system itself instead of on the effects of corrupting and weakening the system”. Aren’t you specifically advocating “weakening the system” instead of eliminating the corruption in it? It very much sounds like that to me. Your response is very important to me because, you see, I’m far more interested in eliminating the corruption in the system than I am in weakening it.

      • Amazona July 7, 2012 / 1:11 pm

        rico, pull yourself together, man. You might find your thought processes less muddled and convoluted if you could pick a century and stay in it.

        No, it did NOT “take a decade” to figure out that the original Articles of Confederation” would not be sufficient to govern a large and growing nation. The Articles were always a stopgap measure to deal with the immediate need for an interim solution.

        And insisting on calling a Constitutional model a “confederate model” is unnecessarily complicating and confusing the issue. So is calling the Leftist model “federalist”. When the definitions and explanations and defenses of the new proposed Constitution were called the Federalist Papers, when the original debates included the Federalist position, discarding the term Federalist for the Constitutional model and slapping it onto the Leftist system is silly and confusing and quite frankly incoherent.

        So stop trying to impress with your semantic hijinks and your pseudo-intellectual drivel and your praaaaagmaaaaaaaaaaaaatic posturing and stick to basics.

        There is one basic approach to government which is based upon a central government severely restricted as to size, scope and power,and this is detailed and formalized in our Constitution.

        There is another which is based upon a large and extremely powerful central government with great scope and authority, and this is reflected in Leftist ideology.

        Your comment “Ideology IS restricted to a single element–how to govern.” LOL! Govern what, exactly?” is typical of your insistence on trying to nitpick the discussion.

        “Govern what exactly?” Duh. Govern the nation. The Constitution is specifically designed and written to NOT micromanage government, but to provide a specific framework for government, beyond which the federal government cannot stray but within which the state and local governments have great leeway to address contemporary issues.

        ” I honestly don’t know what that entails — and what it doesn’t.”

        This is made clear every time you post. By the time you drag in Socrates and the Civil War and the original colonists’ efforts to start work on a comprehensive and permanent form of government, and play semantic games in which you redefine terms and mix them up to your own satisfaction, I can see how you have created so much mental chaos that you CAN’T understand this basic concept.

        “Could you be more specific?”

        See explanation of framework, above.

        The Leftist model, which is NOT “federalist” except in your own cluttered lexicon, is one in which there is really no limiting framework of the central government, but one in which the central government can expand at will, to any extent.

        You seem to take great pleasure in lecturing us with statements about the “unitary model,” blah blah blah, but all this is just noise to try to disguise the fact that you refuse to take a stand on whether you choose the system that limits the central government and keeps power closer to the people or the one that puts no restraints on the size and scope of the central government.

        And in spite of all blathering about “technicolor” and so on, the approach to every single issue depends on which of these two basic systems you choose.

        If you have chosen the Constitutional model, then when a problem arises you first look to the Constitution to see which approaches to the problem might be allowed to the federal government.

        If you have chosen the Leftist model, you are not constrained by restrictions on central power and authority.

        What gets you and people like you so bumfuddled is the inability to recognize this first, basic, step. You get so hung up on the complexity of the problems with which a large and complicated nation has to deal that you think this complexity means there has to be a nearly infinite number of government models to deal with them.

        Wrong. There are two models. One is that of severely limited central power and authority, which shuttles most problems to state and/or local government, or to “the People” such as churches, foundations, etc. and the other is one in which the central government has the power and authority to address the problems at that level.

        Then, and only then, does the complexity of the issues come into play.

        It is like governmental triage. A problem presents itself and under one system it is evaluated as to the ability to deal with at the federal level and under the other system there is no such concern because anything can be dealt with at the federal level.

        So the question before the American people is, which of these two opposing systems do they prefer? Which do they want to be the manner in which our nation is governed?

        This question is complicated by the fact that now, at this time, in this place, there is only one LEGAL political model, and that is the Constitutional, limited-federal-power, system. So a legal shift to the large federal power system would require official abandonment of our Constitution or some really major overhaul via the amendment process.

        It is not that complicated, at this level.

        The complexity lies in how to address specific problems, once the rules are established. The decision made at the electoral level is not how to address specific issues, but which rule book to follow.

        And this is where we run into trouble. We have the pseudo-intellectual ditherers like you who want to show off alleged knowledge by dragging in Greek philosophers and muddled accounts of American history from one or two centuries past, and we have the Pseudo Left who support and defend the Leftist system only because they hate what they think is the Right, and we have the hard-core Leftist ideologues who fully understand the rejection their system would encounter if they were to be honest about it and present it to the people as it really is, so there is opposition on many fronts to simply asking the American voter to pick which rule book he thinks the nation should follow when it has to deal with complex issues and problems.

        And on the other side we have Constitutional Conservatives who do understand the choice, and who have chosen the Constitutional model, and who understand that choice and are not ignorant of it, ashamed of it, or confused by it.

        Glad to see you having such a good time with this, though, LOL this and LOL that, but perhaps if you could quit your self-congratulatory and condescending chortling and step out of your bubble of self-defined intellectual superiority, you could see that you are focusing on the curtains and the wallpaper of the house while I am emphasizing the design and foundation.

  14. Cluster June 30, 2012 / 9:03 am

    The following excerpt from a letter written by a physician pretty much says it all:

    “You know, doctors are people, and we’re being hammered on all sides here.
    It’s the paperwork; it’s insurance; it’s transitioning to electronic medical records, so the government can get their mitts into your practice.  It’s lawsuits; it’s rising overhead and decreasing compensation; it’s stress upon stress upon stress.

    “And a lot of doctors are going to say, ‘Forget it.  I don’t want to do this anymore.’ Guys that are 5 or 10 years older than me are just going to give up and walk away.

    “Why should I be a slave to the government? You know, it used to be that doctors would do charity work at a charity hospital.  Nobody wants to do it anymore, because we’re too overwhelmed.

    “I work 60 to 70 hours a week, so how am I supposed to fight back against this?  Most doctors don’t have the time to lobby their congressman or go to Washington.  If you’re a doctor in the trenches, you’ve got a stressful job; you’ve got a family.  You’re seeing the same number of patients and making half the income you used to make.  People are litigious these days, so you’ve got to worry about lawsuits.  When are you going to find time to lobby a politician?

    “And the American Medical Association threw us all under the bus, even though only 18% of doctors belong to it.  These people are ivory-tower academics, and they’re liberals.  Most of them are in academic medicine; they get a salary with some sort of incentive bonus.  They show up to work and go home.  They’re not in the trenches like me, figuring out how to compete with other doctors and pay for malpractice insurance and how to hire four people I need to implement the electronic medical records and two people I need to deal with insurance.

    “And as a doctor, I get it handed to me both ways.  My taxes are raised, and my fees are lowered.

    • Amazona June 30, 2012 / 10:24 am

      Cluster, two things in this letter jumped out at me.

      One was the belief that the transition to electronic records is to enable the government to have access to our medical records, and one is the comment on the staff needed to handle insurance claims and the electronic recording.

      Sure, it’s nice to “create jobs” but not at the expense of our medical personnel, particularly in this era of rising medical costs and that rise being used to promote a massive government power grab.

      It’s interesting that the theme is “government intervention in health care is essential because health care costs so much” at the same time health care costs are skyrocketing because of government intervention. Since the demands for electronic records came first, it does appear that the government first set up a scenario in which medical costs would have to rise to meet its demands, and THEN used that hike to justify its further inroads into health care.

      Hmmmm

      It reminds me of the self-righteous claim that “OF COURSE we are not trying to limit gun ownership” while at the same time putting controls on the materials used to make ammunition.

      They’re a sneaky bunch, and we always have to peek behind the curtain to see what they are really up to.

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