A FEDERAL JUDGE IN FLORIDA STRUCK DOWN PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S LANDMARK HEALTHCARE OVERHAUL AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL on Monday in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/31/us-usa-healthcare-ruling-idUSTRE70U6RY20110131?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the reform law's so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.
"BECAUSE THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND NOT SEVERABLE, THE ENTIRE ACT MUST BE DECLARED VOID," he wrote, "This has been a difficult decision to reach and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications."
Referring to a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Vinson sided with governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans, in declaring the Obama healthcare reform unconstitutional…..
This is a big deal. For the second time a federal judge has declared the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and specifically the individual mandate unconstitutional.
Judge cites Obama’s own words in striking down the law
“I note that IN 2008, THEN-SENATOR OBAMA SUPPORTED A HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSAL THAT DID NOT INCLUDE AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE BECAUSE HE WAS AT THAT TIME STRONGLY OPPOSED TO THE IDEA, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.
Actually I’m surprised Obama hasn’t thought again of this. With housing pulling down the economy, requiring the homeless to buy a house would give the economy a big boost.
The Media, Reagan and Obama
As we approach the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, he has been in the news once again. One way he has been used is to boost the image of Barack Obama.
Some presidents have been used to degrade the image of others. Herbert Hoover was a convenient whipping boy to tar various Republicans through the years. Nixon was the epitome of evil in the White House. The fate of Ronald Reagan has been a curious one. The punditry that savaged him before, during, and after his years in office are now trying to burnish Barack Obama's image by comparing the two Presidents.
A good article on Ronald Reagan reviewing the left’s savaging of him (with quotes) and what Reagan actually did. The irony is the person who was compared to FDR is now being touted by the left wing media as a new Ronald Reagan, the man who reversed the course set by FDR.
Everybody Loves Reagan
The arrival of Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday will be accompanied by a chorus of fond reminiscences and misty-eyed appreciations.
In fact, THE TRIBUTES ARE ALREADY UNDERWAY. And, they are not just coming from Dutch's ideological descendants. President Barack Obama, writing in USA Today, gushed about the 40th president's fondness for change and compromise.
There was a time when a love letter from a liberal leader to Reagan would be surprising. No longer. DEATH, THE HINDSIGHT OF HISTORY, A SYMPATHETIC PUBLIC, AND A HANDFUL OF DEDICATED HISTORIANS AND OPPORTUNISTIC POLITICIANS HAVE TURNED THIS ONCE DIVISIVE AND CONTROVERSIAL LEADER INTO A BIPARTISAN REMINDER OF OUR BETTER ANGELS.
This has to just chaff the true believers of the left. Reagan did so much damage to them and their dreams of political dominance. Even today, 42% of the population identifies themselves as conservative while only 20% identify themselves as liberals.
What the numbers say about 2012
....FINALLY, WHAT ABOUT THE PORTENTS FOR THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL RACE? Well, start off with the fact that Democrats won the House popular vote in only two of the 17 states that do not have Senate elections next cycle. The other 15 went Republican.
Overall, DEMOCRATS CARRIED THE POPULAR VOTE FOR THE HOUSE IN 15 STATES WITH 182 ELECTORAL VOTES in 2012; add three more for the District of Columbia. DEMOCRATS WERE WITHIN 5 PERCENT OF REPUBLICANS IN HOUSE ELECTIONS IN FIVE MORE STATES WITH 52 ELECTORAL VOTES.
THAT GETS DEMOCRATS UP TO 237 ELECTORAL VOTES, 33 VOTES SHY OF THE 270-VOTE MAJORITY and 128 short of the 365 electoral votes Obama won in 2008.
Opinion can change, as it did in 2009 and 2010. But these are not favorable numbers for Obama or his party.
This is a must read article. There are people who are saying Obama will be reelected and those who say he’s toast. But this is looking at what the numbers from 2010 say, and it doesn’t look good for BHO.
Laughter in Liberal land
THE NEW TONE OF CIVILITY THE LIBERALS ARE PURSUING APPARENTLY INCLUDES WISHING VIOLENT DEATH ON SARAH PALIN. Recently in Missoula, Montana, an otherwise high quality performance OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN'S MIKADO BY THE MISSOULA CHILDREN'S THEATER HAD THE SCRIPT ALTERED WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE MCT DIRECTOR CURT OLDS TO CALL FOR THE BEHEADING OF SARAH PALIN in the tune "As some Day it May Happen (I've Got a Little List)" and thus singing about her "not being missed," as the Wall St. Journal informs us.
The source of this news was an attendee at the play named Rory Page who poignantly states in a letter to the theater director:
"As a professional you should be ashamed of yourself, the audience should be ashamed of themselves and I AM ASHAMED OF MYSELF FOR NOT STANDING UP AND LEAVING AT THAT VERY MOMENT. I would like to see an apology from you not because I want to hinder free-speech but for the hypocrisy this so clearly shows."
Apparently this is what our Bill Ayers-influenced children's educators now believe is the proper subject to teach youngsters to sing along to, not the contemplation of the beheading of some nineteenth century caricatures, but a very real twenty-first century conservative politician. Until Mr. Page took offense, the performance evidently was acceptable in the liberal enclave of Missoula. All this days after the Tucson massacre and not that long after the Virginia Tech shootings -- or the Columbine shootings, for that matter
Perhaps Curt Olds should pursue his livelihood somewhere else.
What’s triggering the unrest in Egypt?
THE SURGE IN GLOBAL FOOD PRICES SINCE THE SUMMER – SINCE BEN BERNANKE SIGNALLED A FRESH DOLLAR BLITZ, AS IT HAPPENS – is not the underlying cause of Arab revolt, any more than bad harvests in 1788 were the cause of the French Revolution. Yet THEY ARE THE TRIGGER, AND HAVE SET OFF A VICIOUS CIRCLE. Vulnerable governments are scrambling to lock up world supplies of grain while they can. Algeria bought 800,000 tonnes of wheat last week, and Indonesia has ordered 800,000 tonnes of rice, both greatly exceeding their normal pace of purchases. Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Bangladesh, are trying to secure extra grain supplies.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said ITS GLOBAL FOOD INDEX HAS SURPASSED THE ALL-TIME HIGH OF 2008, both in nominal and real terms. The cereals index has risen 39pc in the last year, the oil and fats index 55pc. The FAO implored goverments to avoid panic responses that “aggravate the situation”. If you are Hosni Mubarak hanging on in Cairo’s presidential palace, do care about such niceties?
France’s Nicolas Sarkozy blames the commodity spike on hedge funds, speculators, and the derivatives market (largely in London). He vowed to use his G20 presidency to smash the racket, but then Mr Sarkozy has a penchant for witchhunts against easy targets.
The European Commission has been hunting for proof to support his claims, without success. Its draft report – to be released last Wednesday, but withdrawn under pressure from Paris – reached exactly the same conclusion as investigators from the IMF, and US and British regulators
The law of unintended consequences strikes again. It is time to abandon bio-fuels and let those products on the world markets to ease the inflation in food prices.
….“Our current system is wrong. Competition is the bedrock of America, and it’s time that education reaches the market economy,” Hastert asserted, prompting nods of agreement from his co-panelists. “It come down to a core American value: equal opportunity,” Medved added. “Conservatives don’t believe in equal outcomes. BUT FROM THE TIME OF FOUNDING, PART OF WHAT THIS COUNTRY IS ABOUT IS EVERYBODY GETS A SHOT. That’s what we’re affirming here tonight,” he said. Morris suggested that by injecting greater competition into the system, individual schools and districts could serve as educational laboratories. “We’ve tried testing, standards, and funding increases. The only remaining option is opening up the status quo to experiments,” he said, arguing that outcomes should dictate future priorities. “LET’S FIND OUT WHAT WORKS, AND LET THE MONEY GO WITH THE KIDS. AT THAT POINT, WHEN PEOPLE ASK WHICH SCHOOLS TO CLOSE, THE ANSWER IS THE EMPTY ONES.”http://townhall.com/columnists/GuyBenson/2011/01/31/school_reform_advocates_champion_choice
During the wide-ranging discussion, the panel explored a number of potential experimental programs, from inner city public boarding schools, to significantly shortening summer break, to reinstituting trade schools as a viable and respected option for students…..
This is one of those issues where the left is the one that fights tooth and nail against change and the right is looking to try new things.
Guantanamo: Ben Wittes’ “Detention and Denial”
……But one striking thing to my mind about the somewhat sidelined debate over Guantanamo and detention policy is the extent to which it FEELS LIKE THE DEBATE IS LESS ABOUT FIGURING OUT WHAT, REALISTICALLY, TO DO GOING FORWARD, THAN PEOPLE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE ADMINISTRATION LOOKING TO “POSITION” THEMSELVES — what they said before and the policies they are responsible for now, what they said about the Bush administration and what they say about the Obama administration, and how to avoid charges of inconsistency if not hypocrisy.http://volokh.com/2011/01/28/ben-wittes-detention-and-denial/
I understand that and certainly would be doing it myself if in a position in which anyone cared what I thought then or now. Reputation and consistency matter, partly for oneself, but also for the important reason that administrations change, and at some point there might well be a Republican administration that also has to deal with Guantanamo and detention. IT IS IMPORTANT TO HOLD PEOPLE TO CONSISTENT POSITIONS IF ONLY SO THAT POLICIES ACCEPTED TODAY BECAUSE IT IS OBAMA DO NOT SOMEHOW TRANSMUTE INTO GROUNDS FOR EXCORIATION WHEN IT IS THE PRESIDENT ANDERSON (Republican, frmr gov. State of Vulcan) administration. The positioning is part of that, and it has an important purpose. As in so many areas of the war on terror since 9/11 — detention and Guantanamo, targeted killing and drone warfare, etc. — WE STAND IN DEEP NEED OF “INSTITUTIONAL SETTLEMENT.” Sauce for the goose is a vital part of that. Also, I should add, I don’t mean by this that people can’t or shouldn’t change their minds: of course they should as they think correct. It’s that if one does, one has to admit to it and, to the extent one can, explain why.
But preoccupation with positioning onself in relation to one’s views in other times and settings is only one issue. Too much attention to it makes it hard to look pragmatically at forward looking institutional settlement. This is the vital role played by Ben Wittes, in his institutional work at Brookings and especially the deep databases of information on Guantanamo that his office has developed over the last couple of years, but also in his several books on the topic. THE CENTRAL THEME OF ALL THAT WORK IS CENTRIST AND PRAGMATIC: FIRST, THAT THE ISSUES OF DETENTION ARE NOT GOING AWAY, because there are people in US government hands that will not be released, nor will they be (successfully) tried. We would have more of them, but because their intelligence value is now outweighed by the problems of holding and interrogating them, we have instead chosen against detaining people any more. That is not quite the same as saying that we have a policy preference for targeted killing; the accurate statement is to say that we have a policy against detention.
SECOND, INSTITUTIONAL SETTLEMENT LOOKING FOWARD HAS TO INVOLVE CONGRESS AND THE EXECUTIVE, AS THE TWO POLITICAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT, COMING TOGETHER. This is a constant theme for Ben, Jack Goldsmith, Bobby Chesney, and lots of other people (including me, in a short New York Times magazine piece in 2006, “It’s Congress’s War, Too,” which says it all). One of Ben’s lessons is that the current situation looks stable, but it’s not. IT’S JUST A STALEMATE. A stalemate in which there is not enough at stake for players in the administration or Congress to spend political capital dealing with things. THINGS APPARENTLY SIT; IT IS MORE ACCURATE TO SAY THAT THEY DRIFT….
This is one article you will want to read and then read the comments. I’m sure one will be where you are coming from.
Why Is Jim Wallis Polishing the Windows on His Glass House?
Jim Wallis of Sojourners co-wrote, with Charles Colson, a piece in Christianity Today titled “Conviction and Civility.” According to Wallis and Colson, “when we disagree, especially when we strongly disagree, WE SHOULD HAVE ROBUST DEBATE BUT NOT RESORT TO PERSONAL ATTACK, FALSELY IMPUGNING OTHERS’ MOTIVES, ASSAULTING THEIR CHARACTER, questioning their faith, or doubting their patriotism.”
“DEMONIZING OUR OPPONENTS POISONS THE PUBLIC SQUARE,” the twosome inform us.
Agreed. But what is worth noting, I think, is that Wallis (as opposed to Colson) has repeatedly violated his commitment to civility. …..
…More recently, WALLIS STRONGLY IMPLIED THAT THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT WAS ANIMATED BY RACISM. Is this the kind of thing Wallis has in mind when he cautions us against “demonizing our opponents,” which in turn “poisons the public square”?
These episodes are not isolated ones. Wallis recently accused World magazine’s Marvin Olasky of being a liar — a claim Wallis had to retract after Olasky provided indisputable evidence that it was Olasky, not Wallis, who was telling the truth…..
…..Perhaps the deeper thing to take away from this is that CIVILITY IS DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE UNLESS WE GAIN SOME MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL DISTANCE FROM POLITICAL DISPUTES. People on both sides of the divide employ double standards to advance their cause. WHAT A REASONABLE PERSON WOULD CONSIDER AN AD HOMINEM ATTACK IS, FOR AN IDEOLOGUE, CONSIDERED A SELF-EVIDENT TRUTH. IF YOU’RE A PERSON ON THE HARD LEFT, AS WALLIS IS, ACCUSING RUMSFELD, CHENEY, A CONSERVATIVE JOURNALIST AND THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT OF BEING LIARS, CORRUPT, WAR CRIMINALS, AND RACISTS IS GIVING EXPRESSION TO WHAT YOU CONSIDER TO BE A SELF-EVIDENT TRUTH. Wallis even goes so far as to portray himself as a force moving us to a “kinder and gentler public square.” This is self-deception of a high order….
I thought the last paragraph that I’ve posted is very telling. I find that frequently ideologues will accuse the other side of sins they are committing. Recently I saw an exchange regarding gay marriage where the proponents of it were calling those opposed to it ‘bigots.’ As I wrote if you check the definition of bigot in the dictionary you find it is someone who “is intolerant of ANY opinions differing from his own.” The person who accused those against gay marriage they were bigoted then responded that being bigoted against bigotry isn’t bigotry.
Global Warming latest lies: The warmest year ever
BOTH NOAA AND NASA THIS MONTH ANNOUNCED THAT 2010 WAS TIED FOR THE WARMEST YEAR. The UK Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University proclaimed 2010 the second warmest year since 1850.http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/6440/Is-It-Really-The-Warmest-Ever
But after the incredibly cold and snowy winters in 2008/09 and 2009/10 and so far in 2010/11, THOSE CLAIMS ARE FALLING ON INCREASINGLY DEAF EARS. The public doubt about global warming has been increasing given the CLIMATEGATE DISCLOSURES SUGGESTING SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN ‘COOKING THE BOOKS’, ESPECIALLY WHEN EARLIER PROMISES OF WARM, SNOWLESS MID-LATITUDE WINTERS FAILED MISERABLY.
BACK ON MARCH 20, 2000, The Independent, a British newspaper, reported DR. DAVID VINER’S OF THE UK'S CLIMATE RESEARCH UNIT WARNING THAT WITHIN A FEW YEARS SNOWFALL WILL BECOME “A VERY RARE AND EXCITING EVENT.” Indeed, Viner opined, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”
Similarly, David Parker, at the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, said that eventually British children could have only “virtual” experience of snow via movies and the Internet.
THE LAST THREE WINTERS IN THE UK WERE FORECAST BY THE UK MET OFFICE TO BE MILD AND SNOWLESS. Instead, brutal cold and snow in the UK has the UK Met Office on their heels. Indeed THE COLD AND SNOW WAS A THROWBACK TO THE AGE OF DICKENS in the early 1800s. UK MPs called for Official Parliamentary Probe into whether the UKMO reliance on their ideology and CO2 models had biased their predictions.
In the United States, NOAA ECHOING THE UN IPCC, CLAIMED SNOW WOULD RETREAT NORTH WITH THE STORM TRACKS AND MAJOR CITIES WOULD GET MORE RAIN AND MILD WINTERS. The UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS SAID IN 2004 SCIENTISTS CLAIM WINTERS WERE BECOMING WARMER AND LESS SNOWY. In 2008, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. bemoaned that children would be robbed of the childhood joys of sledding and skiing in the DC area due to global warming. A year later, the area set a new seasonal snowfall record with 5 to 6 feet of snow and sleds and skis were the only way to get around.
THE WINTER OF 2009/10 WAS THE COLDEST EVER IN PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST, and in parts of Siberia and the coldest since 1977/78 or 1962/63 in many parts of the United States, Europe and Asia……
Reluctantly, alarmists and their cheerleaders in the media changed their tune and THE PROMISE OF WARM AND SNOWLESS WINTERS WITH ‘GLOBAL WARMING’ MORPHED INTO GLOBAL WARMING MEANS COLD AND SNOWY Winters. ABC News even said cold and snowy winters would be the new norm because of global warming. Non sequiturs like that have sadly become ‘the new norm’ in the wacky world of the mainstream media.
In fact environmentalists and alarmist scientists have reinvented global warming and now attribute all weather to global warming – cold, warm, drought and flood. They call it ‘climate disruption’…..
The mark of a solid scientific theory is that it can predict what will happen. Global Warming has warped into something that predicts everything. As such, it has become a laughing stock.
Meanwhile Argo shows Ocean’s are cooling
The 'Argo' ocean buoy real-time reporting system is the most advanced technology that scientists possess for measuring ocean temperatures at varying levels. Recently, NASA SCIENTISTS AT ITS JET PROPULSION LAB REPORTED THAT THE ARGO DATA WAS SHOWING A SLIGHT OCEAN COOLING TREND SINCE 2003, which was recently confirmed by another peer-reviewed paper.
This ocean cooling has proven to be a major source of embarrassment to AGW scientists as it is THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY AND THE IPCC CLIMATE MODELS PREDICTED.
To paraphrase an old Wendy’s commercial, “Where’s the Heat?”