Well, it’s September. I haven’t posted in a while because there’s been nothing going on. August was hot. Congress wasn’t in session. The Tigers’ season has been over for a while now. And I’ve been waiting for football to start.
But NOW, we’re officially into football and election season. WOO-HOO! While I could talk about football forever, this is not a football blog, and I’m not starting one now. This is primarily a political blog, and it’s a political time of year. And I can’t remember an election cycle that has been potentially more important than this one. Let’s review:
The economy still sucks. In fact, it’s worse then it was the last time I posted. Unemployment is up to 9.6%; we’ve lost another 54,000 jobs; and Christina Romer, one of Barry’s chief economic “experts” who is leaving the administration, has recently let all of us know that they’ve had absolutely no idea what they’ve been doing re: the economy.
She had no idea how bad the economic collapse would be. She still doesn’t understand exactly why it was so bad. The response to the collapse was inadequate. And she doesn’t have much of an idea about how to fix things.
That’s disheartening…and also completely obvious. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has taken to authoring op-eds in the USA Today to try and convince America that the Democrat’s handling of the economy doesn’t resemble a monkey with a rubic’s cube.
The Recovery Act saved millions of American jobs — keeping health care providers in hospitals, teachers in classrooms, and police and firefighters on the beat. But the benefits weren’t just in the public sector. During the past eight months, the economy has averaged 95,000 new private sector jobs.
While I’d love to see her support for that last sentence, it doesn’t really matter. Unemployment will continue to go up until new jobs exceed 120,000/month (population increase). More importantly, there is no doubt that the economy is slowly getting worse.
The “summer of recovery” is followed by the “autumn of reality.” Let’s face it: if the Dems had any idea what to do about the economy, they would have done it by now.
B.O. has recently begun getting rid of the “drove it into a ditch” meme, and replaced it with “it’s taken us 10 years to get into this mess, so it’s unreasonable to think we could get out of the mess in 18 months” nonsense. Did it take us 10 years to get into this? I don’t know. I suppose one could reasonably argue it took one year, or even thirty-three years (the Community Reinvestment Act, which gave birth to the housing boom and bust, was enacted in 1977). I also don’t care how long it took us to get here. What I do care about is what is the current Administration doing about it? Well, it’s been 18 months and the answer is: spent a lot of money for nothing. Things haven’t improved, and the Dems are out of ideas.
So what should be done? Well, first and foremost, vote against the Dems in November. I know, I know…you don’t like the republicans either! O.k. Then go vote for the Green Party and pat yourself on the back for being “principled.” After that you can have your juice box and sandwich with the crusts cut off and take a nap. For the rest of us adults, we’ll choose a candidate with a chance of winning.
Simply put, there is job-creating capital out there waiting to be invested. It’s not being invested because no one has any idea what’s coming from this administration. For example, if you were a business owner with money, would you be spending it to reinvest or hire new employees if you thought your taxes were going to go up in January? Of course not. Doing something as simple as throwing the Dems out of the House would improve the fragile psyche of the economy.
But simply voting Republican isn’t enough. Pressure needs to be applied to those we vote for to do things like extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone. Other taxes need to be cut…payroll and capital gains, for example. Enact legislation which gives people the option to opt out of the slush fund that is Social Security. Limit Medicare to those that need it; not simply those that are old enough to get it. Significantly amend Obamacare and gut Fannie and Freddie.
Until we get the economy back on-track, nothing else matters. And there’s a lot going on that needs to be addressed beyond the economy…like why we’re ignoring Iran’s getting all nuclear and stuff.
It’s September…the kids are back in school, I get to drink new seasonal beer, and I get to watch football. More important, however, is the election coming up. We need to vote the Dems out…and then get ready for 2012, when we can vote out the guy who looks silly riding his bike. And don’t worry…I’ll be posting a lot more than I did in August in an effort to get you through these tough times.
What is marriage? That’s the question of utmost importance that was completely ignored by the District Court of Northern California judge when he ruled on whether Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Quick recap: Prop 8 was passed in California as an amendment to the California constitution. The essence of it was to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, thereby not allowing gays to marry. The California Supreme Court found it to comply with the California constitution because, well, it was a part of the California constitution. So, some gay people who wanted to get married filed suit in federal court, arguing that the amendment violated the federal Constitution. Got it? Good.
In a 132 page opinion, the judge ruled that the amendment violated the federal Constitution because it denied gay people the fundamental right to get married without a good reason. For many, this was a “no duh” ruling. It apparently was for the presiding judge as well. The problem with the judge’s ruling, which ultimately will be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court, is that he utterly failed to determine what constitutes “marriage. ” In fact, he didn’t even give it the old college try.
Why does this matter? Well, everyone agrees that marriage is a fundamental right. Thus, the proponents of Prop 8 will need to make some factual showing that the government of California has a compelling state interest in keeping gays from getting hitched, which will never happen. However, what is marriage? Does any two people wanting to get married constitute marriage? What if I want to marry my sister? We’re both consenting adults. What if I want to have multiple wives? We’re all consenting adults. Using the court’s reasoning, the government would need to have a compelling reason to keep me from doing either of the above. And since the District Court expressly stated procreation doesn’t have any impact on who can marry, the possibility of having a baby that looks like Chunk’s friend in the Goonies shouldn’t stop me from making my sister the ol’ ball n chain.
The fact is, “marriage” actually has a definition in the history of both this nation and others, and it isn’t just two people who want to get “married.” I have to imagine the Supreme Court will want to determine what marriage is, before determining whether it’s unconstitutional to keep two homosexuals from walking down the aisle.
Well, what comes next? The case will be appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which will most certainly affirm the District Court’s ruling. Why? Because the Ninth Circuit is without question the most liberal circuit in the country, and it would probably allow me to marry my cat while lighting up a joint next to the church I accidentally lit on fire because my lighter wasn’t sufficiently cat-proof. After that, it will go the Supreme Court, where I expect it will likely be affirmed again. Then I will file my lawsuit asking the court to recognize my right to marry a mail order bride from every country in eastern europe.
Why would the White House, if it was so certain about its position on the constitutionality of the healthcare bill, have Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President for Special Projects (huh?) blog about the ruling in Virginia that I wrote about here yesterday? I’m not sure, but reading Ms. Cutter’s post is similar to listening to progressive talk radio; it’s full of over-generalized statements of certainty with no underlying support.
Having failed in the legislative arena, opponents of reform are now turning to the courts in an attempt to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government.
That’s the Obama Administration’s shout-out to those annoying courts. How dare they function as the third branch of government? Who do they think they are evaluating legislation for its constitutionality? Stupid Constitution.
Today’s decision merely said that the Virginia Attorney General has standing to challenge the lawsuit – which means that the court has jurisdiction to hear further arguments.
The assertion that the court merely ruled that the Virginia Attorney General has standing to challenge the legislation (not the lawsuit, as Cutter incorrectly states) is what we, in the fancy, smarty-pants legal world refer to as a lie. Standing was only one basis for the government’s motion to dismiss Virginia’s complaint. A second, and far more important reason, was the government’s assertion that Virginia didn’t state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted. In other words, the federal government argued that Virginia’s complaint failed, as a matter of law, because Congress could clearly do what it was trying to do. The court, rightfully so, said it isn’t clear that Congress can do what it is trying to do, i.e., force citizens to purchase a product on the private market or face a penalty.
The fact is, all of this liberal meme about how the healthcare law being supported by long-standing and well-established legal precedents is complete garbage. Ask any person making this assertion to provide one such example of Supreme Court precedent and you know what you’ll get? Crickets. That’s because there isn’t any.
Now that this preliminary stage has ended, the government fully expects to prevail on the merits. The Affordable Care Act falls well within Congress’s power to regulate under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause. As President Reagan’s Solicitor General Charles Fried recently wrote, ‘the health care law’s enemies have no ally in the Constitution.’
Sigh. Well if a Reagan Solicitor General who is a Harvard law professor thinks so then it must be true! Look, contrary to what many like to say nowadays, Reagan was not some conservative god. Yes, he was better than our last four presidents (and certainly the mental midget that came immediately before him), but is that really saying much? Simply put, Charles Fried is an unabashed Obama supporter, and the arguments he sets forth in his Boston Globe Op-Ed make me think I could be a professor at Harvard. Fried’s absolutely certain that Congress can force people to buy health insurance because it can regulate interstate commerce. Unfortunately, he jumps right over the fact that telling someone that they can’t sell something is a lot different then forcing them to buy something. It must be his Harvard intelligence.
After all, over 70 years of settled law is on the side of the Affordable Care Act.
Where? Can anyone tell me where? Look, I’m aware that the Supreme Court has rarely limited Congress’s authority under the commerce clause. But all of those cases share one thing in common: they involve Congress regulating an economic activity, not compelling people to take part in an economic activity. The Supreme Court may go along with the Obama Administration on this one, but it’ll have to use some serious White-Out on Webster’s dictionary to do it.
The remaining portion of the White House blog doesn’t analyze the law. It explains why the mandatory buy-in is necessary for the healthcare law to work. That’s mostly window dressing as far as the case goes. The central issue is whether Congress has the constitutional authority under the commerce clause to compel people to purchase insurance, and if they don’t, to penalize them. That’s it. Considering the fact that the current Administration and its cohorts believe the healthcare law is so clearly constitutional, it’s more than a little disingenuous to call the Virginia court’s denial of their motion to dismiss due to a lack of such clarity just a procedural step.
And Stephanie Cutter should stick to Special Projects.
Ah checks and balances. Like many states throughout this nation, Virginia filed an action challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare. Specifically, the action challenged whether the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance was appropriate. The federal government recently filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, basically arguing that the mandate constituted a tax, and therefore, could be levied by Congress. This argument made sense…if you’re either retarded or a lawyer. Anyone with a little bit of common sense and a fifth grade grasp of the english language recognizes the difference between a tax and a mandate to purchase a product on the private market. Well, I’m glad to say that a Virginia judge proved he’s neither retarded nor a lawyer.
‘The congressional enactment under review — the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision — literally forges new ground and extends (the U.S. Constitution’s) Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high watermark,’ [Judge] Hudson said in a 32-page ruling.
I’m not going to lie; I feel a little vindicated here. I know, I know, it’s just one judge and the matter still needs to go to trial, but at least Judge Hudson agrees with me that Obamacare’s mandate is unprecedented. I’ve heard from some people for months that it’s just another tax or it’s clearly within Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause. Well, it appears as though I’m not the only one who thinks Congress has ventured into uncharted waters here.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the ruling rejecting the Obama administration’s motion to dismiss the case was a procedural step and that the passage of the healthcare reform law has ‘full constitutional backing.’
“Full constitutional backing?” Well that’s a relief. And no Ms. Sebelius, the denial wasn’t simply a procedural step. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it means the Virginia court will deem the law unconstitutional. That’s just my gut talking though, so we’ll see. In any event, I’ll be shocked if this issue is not ultimately taken up by the Supreme Court at some point.
Now, why does this matter? It’s only one provision you say? Well, it matters because without the mandate, Obamacare is dead. Without everyone being required to purchase insurance, Obamacare will be even more expensive than it is now (yes it is possible), which wouldn’t fly with a Congress that was barely able to pass the monstrosity in its current form and is looking likely to move a lot more to the right come November.
Sherman’s March to the Sea? It appears that the Dems may attempt the legislative equivalent on their way out of Washington. Many are predicting the Dems will lose the House in this November’s election, which would rid us all of Nancy “I represent the views of .001% of America but dictate national policy” Pelosi and force the president’s move to the center, much like Clinton had to do after the 1994 mid-term elections (no, he wasn’t always a moderate).
But the Wall Street Journal reports that a dastardly plan is being hatched: pushing through legislation that the Dems don’t have the guts to push now, during the “lame-duck” period between the actual election and the transfer of power (a few months). Card-check, new taxes, additional environmental regulations? Would the House Dems really work so hard to force policies down the throats of Americans who don’t want them? Of course they would! See, for example, the healthcare bill.
Now, should we all panic like some are doing? I don’t think so. This “lame duck” session strategy really only applies to the House, because as we all know, any law requires ratification by both houses of Congress (see below). As long as the Republicans in the Senate remain committed to using the filibuster, as they have been so far, all of the unpopular laws passed by the House will die in the Senate. So, instead of taking Pelosi’s threats as a bad thing, remember that the only reason the lame-duck route is being thrown out there is because she’s very concerned about losing her majority in November.
United States District Judge Martin Feldman has blocked the President’s Gulf Offshore oil moratorium.
Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.
That’s right Judge. Obama’s reasoning behind the moratorium was completely illogical and unjustified.
Likely more on this later, as the liberals scream about activist judges.
Apparently a group of evangelical leaders are in Washington D.C. meeting with Nancy Pelosi to discuss a position they share: amnesty for illegals. Some are confused about the pro-amnesty position of so-called “conservative” evangelicals, including one of my favorite bloggers Allahpundit at Hot Air. He states,
I’m fascinated by the prospect of this blowing up into a running doctrinal debate among prominent Christian conservatives, with border enforcers on one side and holier-than-thou amnesty shills on the other trying to the answer the WWJD question.
Except … are there any prominent Christian conservative pols who oppose a “path to citizenship”?
Well A.P., while I may not be prominent (yet), I am a Christian conservative who is against amnesty. There is some confusion out there about why Evangelicals would be pro-amnesty. I have two potential answers. First, the confusion can be found in the over-use of the term “Evangelical.” It has come to describe far too many Christian denominations. Second (and this answer/opinion will likely offend some) modern evangelicals are more interested in getting butts in the pews then they are delivering actual doctrine (that may offend someone). It’s no coincidence that the mega-church movement has largely marched in lock-step with the rise of modern evangelicals. Also, while evangelicals may be conservative politically, they are not necessarily conservative doctrinally.
Simply put, the Bible teaches us to follow the law of the person whom God has placed in a position of authority (with some obvious exceptions). While I really don’t like playing the “W.W.J.D.” game, I’m willing to bet a nickel on non-citizens obeying the law and having to stand in line. In any event, at the end of the day, Leith Anderson, president of the National Evangelical Association, has the same interest in the illegals that the politicians do: they constitute numbers.