29 March, 2012

Intemperate Thought of the Day #2

President Barack Obama (D-USA), you once called me your “enemy”. It made me pretty mad at the time, as I recall.

Well, maybe I was wrong. Maybe you and I are enemies. I’m the enemy of anyone who is the enemy of the First Amendment, and that clearly describes both you and the rest of the Democrat party.

Keep your hands off my free speech.

Intemperate Thought of the Day

Ok, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum supporters, this one is directed at you.

What thing has happened in the last three years that makes you think having a legislator with no executive experience in the White House is a good idea?

Sorry. I’m not going to be elected President of the Mitt Romney fan club any time soon, but supporting anyone else at this point suggests mental health issues.

28 March, 2012

March 29, 1886

Coke. It’s the real thing.

Coca-cola is invented by Dr. John Pemberton on this day, and people have been burping ever since.

SCOTUS to Uphold ObamaCare Because It’s Messy?

That’s the meme that’s going around today. Apparently, the SCOTUS tea leaf readers think that since there was quite a bit about the problems of severing the mandate from the rest of the law, that SCOTUS might just decide to uphold the whole law after all.

Ummm…in a word…no.

The Supreme Court Justices understand the word “precedent” better than just about anyone in America. They know that every action they make, every opinion they give, even dissenting ones, sets a precedent.

If they decide that the individual mandate is unconstitutional but separating it from the rest is impractical, and therefore they uphold the law, it will set a very loud precedent.

It will tell Congress that anytime they’re worried about the constitutionality of a given bill, just boost the baby up to about 3,000 pages and turn it into a tangled mess. Let me assure you that there is not one single justice on the Supreme Court that wants to send that message to Congress.

Sorry, but it ain’t gonna happen. The end result of today, if you want to go reading tea leaves (and I advise strongly against it), is that the Supremes may be leaning towards chucking the whole law. But they won’t uphold the law, just to avoid a “mess”.

Trayvon Martin: What We DON’T Know


I really don’t want to talk about this case. As I said previously, we can’t let Team Obama distract us from the real issues. However, since there’s so much speculation, and flat out wrong information out there, I thought I’d clear things up a bit. Or make things worse. We’ll see.

We don’t know: that racism had anything to do with the situation. In fact, we have no real reason to speculate that racism played any part, other than the fact that the two parties were of different races. By all accounts, Zimmerman had no personal issues with blacks, and got along well with them.

We don’t know: that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law even plays any part in the discussion. From Zimmerman’s 911 call, it appears that at some point he began pursuit of Martin. I’m no FL criminal law expert, but it appears to me that SYG would no longer apply to Zimmerman at that point, and he’d be unable to use it in his defense. However, it is possible that at that point, SYG would apply to Martin. Not that it really matters. It’s also possible that if Zimmerman broke off pursuit and then Martin attacked him that SYG would again apply to Zimmerman. As I said, I’m not a FL criminal law expert, and unless you are, you probably don’t know the answers to these questions either. And we don’t know that this last situation occurred, in any case. Or that it didn’t.

We don’t know: how this whole thing started. We have Zimmerman’s statement, but all other witnesses (that we know of at this point), saw or heard things after the problems began.

We don’t know: that Zimmerman was told by the police not to pursue Martin. In fact, at this point, the opposite appears to be true. The 911 operator said “we don’t need you to do that”. First, as I understand it, she’s not a police officer, and second, saying “we don’t need you to do that” is quite a bit different than saying “don’t do that”

We don’t know: that Zimmerman’s life was ever in danger or that he had reason to think that it might be. Witness statements and 911 calls appear to indicate that he was screaming for help and was in a fight with Martin. However, we can’t know that means his life was in danger.

We don’t know: that Zimmerman was ever even attacked by Martin; We know he sustained injuries. We know from two witnesses that he and Martin were on the ground and that Martin was on top. But Zimmerman could have attacked Martin, and they started rolling around. Or it could’ve gone the other way. We have no idea at this point.

In other words, we know very little. In fact, here’s what we DO know.

We do know: that at some point Zimmerman made a mistake, and as a result of that mistake, Trayvon Martin is dead. But what was the mistake? Was it pursuing him because of racism? Was it that he pursued him after there was no longer a threat? Was it standing his ground when he should have run? Was it thinking his life was in danger when it wasn’t? Was it just not waiting long enough for help to arrive? Was it not waiting for the police?

We don’t yet know the answers to any of these questions, and ultimately these are the questions that will determine Zimmerman’s fate. These questions are the difference between murder in the second degree, and potentially not even being charged with any crime. Or being charged with some crime at some level below 2nd degree murder.

So, next time you spout off about Zimmerman’s guilt, or even his innocence, or about the Stand Your Ground law, stop, and reflect upon what it is exactly that you do know. Unless you have better sources of information than I do (and you may), the answer is likely “very little”.

BTW, that last paragraph is specifically directed at President Barack Obama (D-USA), MSM pundits, Al Sharpton, Blank Panthers, and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). And many others. All of you have weighed in and given your opinion, once again, without being in full possession of the facts. Please stop before someone else gets killed.

ObamaCare: What Happens Next?

I’ve been giving this some thought the last couple of days and I wanted to put it down. I’ve even moved it ahead of some of my backlog on blog posts, but don’t worry, I’ll get to the others.

As I’m sure you’re aware of by now, the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing oral arguments on the constitutionality of ObamaCare this week. Since they’re doing this, it’s worth a minute to consider what happens next in the various scenarios. The first scenario is that SCOTUS might punt on the issue altogether because the states don’t have standing to take up the case against a tax that hasn’t been levied yet. Since this doesn’t appear at all likely, I’m going to ignore that option.

So, here are the others.

SCOTUS upholds the law in its entirety.

I still consider this the most likely option. I’ll say there’s a 45% chance of this happening. Obviously, if this happens, our efforts must turn to repeal. Having former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) on the Presidential ticket will not make that any easier, but the bigger hurdle will be the stamp of approval by SCOTUS. In fact, Romney has gotten pretty good at making the case that what he did in MA is entirely different than what the President has done. Still, if this happens, we must take control of Congress and the White House. November becomes a harder climb, but an extremely necessary one.

SCOTUS finds just the individual mandate unconstitutional.

This is the second most likely option, at about 40%. In the past, many have pointed out that Congress neglected to add the “severability clause” to the health care bill. Congress puts that in laws to protect themselves from SCOTUS overreach, by saying that if SCOTUS finds one part of a law unconstitutional, that the rest of the law is still valid. So, one of the theories has been that since Congress left this out of the bill, that the whole law goes down in flames if SCOTUS finds any part of it unconstitutional. However, that does not appear to be the case. SCOTUS has generally taken the severability clause as implied lately, and it’s likely they will do so again, in this case. However, the court may decide (correctly in my view) that the mandate is the cornerstone of the law, and that the law can not stand without it. I’ll cover that one later.

Assuming they decide to break up the law, it’s going to be left in shambles. The CBO will be forced to rescore the law, and the new score will not be pretty. Supporters of the mandate, citizen and company, will be screaming to have this addressed. The next Congress and the next President will have to rewrite the law from scratch. November now becomes absolutely huge. For both sides. This might be just the thing to motivate Dems to get out and vote in November. And don’t think that if the GOP can hold the House while the Dems hold the Senate and White House that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-08) will be able to do much. He’s not going to be able to direct his caucus to just vote no on everything. The law will have to be rewritten. Doing nothing in this case is possibly worse than doing something. This is the ugliest of all possible scenarios. Welcome back to summer of 2009!

SCOTUS finds other pieces, such as the Medicaid Mandate, unconstitutional.

There’s maybe a 10% chance of this happening. I really think that if the court gets to here that they toss the whole law. I don’t think it’s possible that they uphold the individual mandate and yet toss the Medicaid mandate. I also don’t see how the law can stand if both are gone. Politically, this scenario isn’t all that different from the one above. While I think it’s easier to rewrite the law without the Medicaid mandate than without the individual one, the effects of this are felt everywhere. This situation might help Romney a bit because it goes to his strength in this argument, states rights and economics. The Medicaid mandate really puts a huge financial burden on the states. I think losing this one would be an emotional blow to the liberals, rather than a cause to rally behind.

SCOTUS tosses the whole law out.

I give about a 5% chance of this happening. Now, it may happen in a multitude of different ways. The court may decide that the whole law is an overreach and needs to go away. They might just decide that the individual mandate is the problem, and punish Congress for neglecting the severability clause. Or they might decide that even though it’s just the individual mandate, that the law crumbles to pieces if it’s removed. They might make a similar argument about the Medicaid mandate. If both are found unconstitutional, they might look at the law and say “what else is there?” None of these options are at all likely, but all together the odds might be up around 5%, and worth discussing. Obviously, this is the best case scenario for ObamaCare opponents. The law’s destroyed, and it’s not going to be brought back by the next Congress, no matter who’s in charge. It’ll be dead for a generation. It’s good for Romney because he’ll be able to campaign and not worry about RomneyCare. And it’s almost certainly going to leave the Democrat base dispirited. The only question is whether the Republican base would be motivated, or whether they’d feel like they’d earned a rest after that.

So, 45% chance SCOTUS does nothing and 55% chance they knock down the law, at least in part.

If you were thinking that you might sit out November’s elections, expunge that thought. Your vote is definitely going to be needed.

UPDATE: I meant to mention earlier why I believe a complete overturn is unlikely. This court seems to prefer to make its rulings as narrow as possible. A broad ruling that the entire law should be thrown out does not fit the profile. Also, the Supremes are very much aware of their role in the three branches of government. And very much aware that a complete overturn of this law would likely be seen as equivalent to a declaration of war on the Legislative and Executive branches. Not saying it’s impossible. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

26 March, 2012

Obama’s Solicitor General Is an Idiot

No, I am not trying to be insulting. I’m not trying to be edgy, or just call him stupid because I disagree with his ideas. I seriously wonder if the man has greater than a 60 IQ.

Today, President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) supreme “achievement”, ObamaCare, goes before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Neal Katyal, acting US Solicitor General, the man who has been in charge of ObamaCare’s defense,  had this to say in an interview with AFP.

The challengers are saying that this law is unconstitutional, which means even if 95 percent of Americans want this law, they can't have it. And that's a really profound thing for an unelected court to say.

First, the 95%  number is ridiculous. Every single poll shows support for the law at less than 50%. But even if it were accurate, does the man not understand the U.S. Constitution at all? There are approximately 300,000,000 people in the United States. It doesn’t matter if 285,000,000 (95%), or even 297,000,000 (99%), or even 299,700,00 (99.9%), or hell, even 299,970,000 (99.99%) of them want a law. If it is found to violate the U.S. Constitution, they can’t have it. Period. If it’s got that kind of support, though, passing an Amendment to the Constitution should be trivial. Of course, ObamaCare doesn’t have that kind of support, and hopefully he knows that. Although based upon the rest of his statement, I’m unconvinced that he’s even aware that the sun rises in the east, so I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Also, several times in the interview he makes the point that the Supreme Court is an “unelected court”. He clearly does not hold these nine Justices or their Court in high regard. Just as clearly, he does not see them as a rightful co-equal branch of government, but merely as a group trying to exceed their authority. From my understanding, he will not be the one making arguments today. That he did so in the lower courts. However, if his attitude is indicative of those who will make the arguments before the court, then they should be prepared for a serious smackdown from all nine Justices, even those that may support the rest of their defense.

Someone get this man a tiddlywinks game. He’s clearly incapable of anything more advanced.