Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 the money

What’s New Today
Story #1 tells of how Democrats are worrying about money.  #2 looking healthcare and you wonder how Obamacare will do.  Look at the schools and see how they’ve done.  #3 has Obama’s strategy as kill Romney.  #4 is an article defending John Roberts.  Was he crazy like a fox?  #5 looks at Scalia’s dissent in the Arizona Immigration Law and wonders are the state still sovereign?  

Today’s Thoughts

Oliver Stone has a new series coming out on Showtime where he claims Hitler and Stalin were misunderstood. 

A new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.  I think they’ve seen too many Oliver Stone movies.

“But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” Andrew Jackson’s farewell 
 message.  I guess Homeland Security would consider him a terrorist.

It appears the Marine Corp Band is anticipating November.  They struck up one of Mitt Romney's walkout songs while President Obama was greeting visitors at the White House Independence Day celebration.

A recent Rasmussen poll shows that 47% of voters see Obama as extreme and 31% see Romney that way. 

 1.  Democrats start to worry about money

As second quarter fundraising reports start to trickle in, the Obama campaign is already warning that it may have lost its edge in the campaign money wars.

Publicly, the campaign has tried to turn its fundraising disadvantage into a political opportunity, raising the reliable specters of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers to scare liberal donors into forking over more cash. On Friday, the President, basking in the glow of his Obamacare win, called some of his top 2008 donors from Air Force One to beg for more money. 

"I’m asking you to meet or exceed what you did in 2008,” Obama said, according to the Daily Beast.  “Because we’re going to have to deal with these super PACs in a serious way. And if we don’t, frankly I think the political [scene] is going to be changed permanently. Because the special interests that are financing my opponent’s campaign are just going to consolidate themselves. They’re gonna run Congress and the White House.”

But even beyond the scare tactics, Democratic strategists and money men privately told Business Insider that they are increasingly concerned about whether their candidate can compete with outside conservative groups, who are expected to raise a combined $1 billion in their push to take back the White House….

Money only seems to be a problem in politics from the left’s point of view if the right is getting more of it.  In 2008, Obama raised and spend over twice as much as McCain but that was simply an exercise in good government as the people rallied to Obama.

2.  The Education Blob

Since progressives want government to run health care, let’s look at what government management did to K-12 education. While most every other service in life has gotten better and cheaper, American education remains stagnant.

Spending has tripled! Why no improvement? Because K-12 education is a virtual government monopoly — and monopolies don’t improve.

In every other sector of the economy, market competition forces providers to improve constantly. It’s why most things get better — often cheaper, too (except when government interferes, as in health care).
Politicians claim that education and health care are different — too important to leave to market competition. Patients and parents aren’t real consumers because they don’t have the expertise to know which hospital or school is best. That’s why they must be centrally planned by government “experts.”

Those experts have been in charge for years. School reformers call them the “Blob.” Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform says that attempts to improve the government monopoly have run “smack into federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, herds, flocks and convoys that make up the education industrial complex, or the Blob. Taken individually, they were frustrating enough, each with its own bureaucracy, but taken as a whole they were (and are) maddening in their resistance to change. Not really a wall — they always talk about change — but more like quicksand, or a tar pit where ideas slowly sink.”

The Blob claims teachers are underpaid. But today American teachers average more than $50,000 a year. Teachers’ hourly wages exceed what most architects, accountants and nurses make.

The Blob constantly demands more money, but tripling spending and vastly increasing the ratio of staff to student have brought no improvement. When the Blob is in control, waste and indifference live on and on.
The Blob claims that public education is “the great equalizer.” Rich and poor and different races mix and learn together. It’s a beautiful concept. But it is a lie. Rich parents buy homes in neighborhoods with better schools.

As a result, public — I mean, governmentschools are now more racially segregated than private schools. One survey found that public schools were significantly more likely to be almost entirely white or entirely minority. Another found that at private schools, students of different races were more likely to sit together….

If you want another example of what happens when government takes over, look at TSA.  The cost of this function has tripled in the past 10 years and do you really feel any safer with the aggressive pat downs most of us have been subjected to?  And if you know anything about statistics you realize how extra random screening is a joke. 

3.  Democrats Strategy: “Let’s Kill this Guy”

On a mission to shatter the image of her husband as rigid and unrelatable, Ann Romney told CBS News she worries that President Obama's entire campaign strategy is "kill Romney."

"I feel like all he's doing is saying, 'Let's kill this guy," she said, seated next to her husband, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in an exclusive interview with CBS News chief political correspondent Jan Crawford. "And I feel like that's not really a very good campaign policy.

"I feel like Mitt's got the answers to turn this country around," she continued. "He's the one that's got to bring back hope for this country, which is what they ran on last time. But the truth is, this is the one that has the hope for the - for America."

In August, some Democratic strategists let leak to the press that Obama's top aides were looking at a massive character takedown of Romney in light of a deterring economy; "kill Romney" was a phrase used by one. "That was their memo that came out from their campaign," Ann Romney said. "And it's like, 'not when I'm next to him you better not." …

I think what you hear is “Don’t look at the man behind the curtain.”  Obama can’t afford to defend his record, but that is a loser for him for sure. 

4.  Roberts—crazy like a fox

I have a headache. I imagine you do too, if you have been trying to interpret the legalese employed by those legal sages who have pronounced on Thursday's Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. I would rather read the lyrics of a thousand rap composers than the anfractuous language of one legal sage.

Thanks, however, to Professor E. Donald Elliott of the Yale Law School I had a translator at my side, and I shall now hand down my judgment of the Court's decision on Obamacare, which all sensible Americans have abstained from reading in its entirety including B. H. Obama and the vast majority of denizens of Capitol Hill, including N. Pelosi. Some of these worthies even admitted as much. It fell to nine heroic souls garbed in black actually to read the law and to Chief Justice Roberts to write the decision for the exhausted majority.

As a result of his prestidigitation with prior precedents and with the famously vague English language, critics cannot dismiss Chief Justice Roberts as hyper-partisan. His fellow conservatives are highly agitated by his decision. His usual opponents, the Liberals, celebrate him. The Chief Justice dodged the bullet. I think you can call him crafty, as Chief Justice John Marshall was crafty all those years ago when he wrote the decision for Marbury v. Madison. Roberts' decision, the decision of the majority of the court, accomplished three things.

Firstly, it reiterated two earlier holdings of the Court that ended the expansion of the commerce clause. The expansion of the federal government's reach under the commerce clause is no longer a grave threat to limited government. This offends certain Liberals such as our friends at the New York Times. Well, you win some and lose some, indignados.

Secondly, for the first time since the New Deal the Court rejected a law for exceeding the spending power of Congress. The Court invalidated the part of Obamacare that gave the federal government the power to coerce state governments to spend money on Medicaid.

Thirdly, the Congress can now tax us for not doing something, but this power is not nearly so dangerous as the power that the Court limited, namely, the commerce power. Laws passed under Congress's power to tax and spend may only take our money. Our recourse against this tax is the same recourse we have been employing since 2009, to wit, mobilizing and going to the polls. In 2010 it led to a historic sweep at the state and federal level. In 2012 the sweep will continue, landing Mitt Romney in the White House where he says he will make repealing and replacing Obamacare his preeminent priority. He can also refuse to enforce the tax by executive order. The next Congress can repeal it, using reconciliation to avoid a Senate filibuster if necessary…

I’m not sure where I stand on this decision by the court.  I’m in a wait and see mode.  It could go either way, but it definitely will go this way in the short term as Romney wins in November and the Republicans take the Senate. 

5.  Scalia Dissent on Arizona Law

The American Civil War put a brutal end to such speculation, although apologists for the Southern cause, such as Alexander H. Stephens, would write long, learned volumes asserting that the right to secession was an essential aspect of state sovereignty as originally conceived by the Founding Fathers. Along the way, the states would also lose their right to establish state churches, to decide who could vote and who couldn’t, to outlaw abortion, and to criminalize sodomy, among various other now-obsolete state rights.

Few today regret the erosion of state sovereignty in such matters. Many will regard it as synonymous with progress. But for those who accept the principle of federalism, there is a worrisome question: If the individual states have “elements of sovereignty” that the national government is “bound to respect,” as Justice Kennedy asserts, what exactly do these elements of sovereignty consist of?  Or, to put it another way, is there some element of state sovereignty that the national government cannot usurp without destroying the very basic principles of American federalism? After all, if the national government is the sole sovereign, there is simply no limit to its legitimate exercise of power—a position that none of the nine justices could possibly countenance, even those who are most interested in promoting an activist and even interfering federal government. Are we willing to go that far?

Here again most of us will say no, but we will argue about where exactly to draw the constitutional line in the sand. In his dissent on the Arizona immigration law, however, Justice Scalia is in effect 
attempting an end run around the vexed question of where to draw this line. He does not address the murky issue of where state sovereignty ends and that of the federal government takes over. His argument, in effect, is that if the states are to possess any sovereignty at all, they must possess “what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there.” For the federal government to take away this power is not to diminish or attenuate the sovereignty of a state, but to abolish it altogether. The power to exclude is not merely an element of sovereignty that the federal government is “bound to respect,” it is the very foundation of having any claim to sovereignty at all. Take this away, and there is simply no state sovereignty left—and no federalism either.

Justice Scalia wants to make it clear that this is not merely his own quirky idea of sovereignty. By citing Vattel and Pufendorf, Scalia demonstrates that the power to exclude has long been recognized as an essential attribute of sovereignty. As Vattel put it, “The sovereign may forbid the entrance of his territory either to foreigners in general, or in particular cases, or to certain persons, or for certain particular purposes, according as he may think it advantageous to the state.” This principle is still recognized in international law, which is why the most wretched and pitiful nations in the world still retain the right to forbid unwanted immigrants—a right that has for all practical purposes been denied to the “sovereign” state of Arizona by a Supreme Court supposedly dedicated to preserving “the constitutional design” of federalism.
Critics of Justice Scalia’s dissent have lambasted him for his reference to Obama and have mocked his admission that his mind was “boggled” by the government’s arguments. Yet none has addressed the heart of his quite powerful argument. If federalism is to mean anything, it must grant to the states what has long been held as an absolute prerequisite of sovereignty—“the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there.” If the states no longer have this power, then we can agree to go on calling them “sovereign” states, but only in the way that we agree to call Colonel Sanders a colonel—as a polite and quaint honorific, redolent of days long past, but which no one actually takes seriously.

Scalia is probably the smartest person on the Supreme Court and you have to admit that even if you don’t agree with his philosophy. 

No comments:

Post a Comment