Rock Paper Scissors Robot

Oh terrific, now we are teaching robots to cheat.

Randy Barnett Chimes in on the ObamaCare Ruling

Phillip Klein has a great interview and analysis with Randy Barnett, one of the key opponents of ObamaCare.  Barnett had written as far back as 2010 about the taxation arguments eventually used by Roberts in making the historical decision this week.  Part of that interview finds Barnett confirming what I have been saying for the past couple of days.

This is big. And it’s only the stinging disappointment of not being able to take down Obamacare that conceals how big this was. Every one of our arguments got accepted by five justices. Every one.

Now that the legal battle over the mandate is over, it will have to be up to the people to repeal the law through the electoral process.

It still means we have a fight on our hands to return our economy to health and protect our freedoms.

Another Reason Why DHS Needs to be Disbanded

The fact that this policy ever made its way to the light of day is yet another reason why it is time to reboot and eliminate the Department of Homeland Security.

ActiveShooter.JPG

H/T Jawa Report

Roberts’ Rules of Order

Well, perhaps Robert’s Rules of Order is too cute a title for a post on one of the most significant SCOTUS rulings of my lifetime, but then part of my point is that conservatives are having a hard time coming to grips with this ruling.

There are those that feel that Roberts sold out his beliefs in exchange for his legacy (a serious breach of faith, almost unforgivable), and there are others that tend to respect the office of Chief Justice, and are looking for both the silver lining and what they missed in this ruling.

Some of my heroes, Rush and The Great One, for instance, fall heavily into the first group, viewing Robert’s decision to side with the liberals on ObamaCare as basically unconstitutional and unforgivable.  However, I tend to fall more into the latter group, along with other respected thinkers, who feel that we, as voters, are responsible for the results of our votes, and that we cannot ask the Supreme Court to fix every mistake we make.

I admit, this gets tricky in this case.

Roberts’ ruling (I’m going to constantly refer to it thusly, because this much is obvious: Roberts directed this outcome) basically allowed the Obama Administration to argue both sides of this case, that ObamaCare was not a tax, and also that ObamaCare was a tax. However, in allowing that, Roberts was able to close off Federal abuse of the Commerce Clause.  What is more in question, and where my faith in Roberts resides, is that in doing so, he also allowed for the possibility (and assuming the law remains in place after November) that ObamaCare could be challenged a second time all the way to the Supreme Court based on taxation as an issue.

In the background, it is important to note that since 1867 the Supreme Court has held that you cannot challenge a tax until you have actually paid that tax.  In other words, the challenge to ObamaCare (had it been based on taxation) should have been thrown out by the Supreme Court for now.  At least until 2014 when penalties (taxes) actually would be imposed. 

The Supreme Court, on the first day of oral arguments for ObamaCare, instead allowed the Obama administration to argue it was not a tax.  This was done knowing that the following day the administration would likewise argue it was a tax, in order to cover their bases – because all knowledgeable parties understood that the Commerce Clause was being stretched beyond recognition for political purposes and the likelihood of SCOTUS agreeing to such and abuse of power was actually far fetched.  The technical term, humorously enough, is whether the case was ripe enough for the court.

That this was important was obvious, in hindsight, because the Court took the time to appoint Robert Long as a friend of the court specifically to argue whether the case was ripe for the court.  The controversy is that all the major litigants, on both sides, wanted a decision NOW (more on this in a minute), so no one seriously argued in favor of treating the case as not ripe.  Onward ho! 

Frankly, on the first day of arguments,at that very moment, all of the court-watching pundits missed the significance of the court appointing Robert Long to make his arguments.  The entirety of the eventual decision was already laid out at that moment.  Hindsight is 20/20, and coverage at the time explained Long’s testimony:

The Anti-Injunction Act imposes a pay first, litigate later rule that is central to federal tax assessment and collection," Long argued.

He later explained that under the act, not only does the taxpayer have to wait until he pays the tax, but he has to try all the means possible to resolve it by pushing for a refund and waiting six months. If the Anti-Injunction Act doesn't apply in this case, he said it would allow taxpayers to rush to court and the "taxpayer will be able to go to court at any time without exhausting administrative remedies..."

Justice Antonin Scalia pushed back against Long: "(W)hat's going to happen is you are going to have an intelligent federal court deciding whether you are going to make an exception,". To laughter, he added: "And there will be no parade of horribles because all federal courts are intelligent."

Robert Long was selected by the Roberts’ court to argue a point the court wanted to hear, but that, equally apparently, Roberts had already made up his mind on.  As a result, Long argued that the Anti-Injunction Act should apply (in agreement with the  Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals).  However, the court agreed to look at the case anyway.  Hence, this mess.

Is it possible that Roberts knew what the eventual outcome would be when he scheduled Robert Long to testify?  Well, duh (my opinion).

There are those on both sides of this debate trying to position Roberts as either brilliant or a stupid sell-out to the constitution. 

My take on this is that he knew exactly where this was going before the arguments had even started.  Why wouldn’t he?  That is what we pay him for.  God help me, I have to deal with relatively smart people all the time that still fail to understand there are other competent people out there.  Roberts’ job was to anticipate all of this.  Duh.  Now, figure out if you think that makes him smart or stupid.  A great analysis of this can be found at Reason:

“The text of a statute can sometimes have more than one possible meaning,” Roberts wrote, before proceeding to embrace the only possible meaning that would allow the statute to survive. “The Government asks us to interpret the mandate as imposing a tax, if it would otherwise violate the Constitution,” he continued.“Granting the Act the full measure of deference owed to federal statutes, it can be so read.”

And so judicial restraint reared its head. In fact, as an authority for his deferential maneuvering, Roberts turned to none other than Justice Holmes, citing the famous jurist’s concurring opinion in the 1928 case of Blodgett v. Holden, which declared, “between two possible interpretations of a statute, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid, our plain duty is to adopt that which will save the Act.”

In other words, the tie goes to the government.

Mark Levin, the Great One, is fit to be tied over Robert’s ruling.  In one of the few times I disagree with a man far more educated, intelligent, and experienced than I, I have chosen to disagree.  In my opinion, Levin is too focused on the battle, this decision, and his desire that the Supreme Court ends the war though this battle, than he is focused on the reality: that liberalism/socialism is a disease that will not go away just because of one Supreme Court decision.  Even if we had won this battle, there is still a War on. 

I know he is influencing Rush on this issue, but I remain of a different opinion.

I am not trying to make a glass is half-full analogy, I merely observe that liberals are intent on polluting the glass, so half-full or half-empty really does not matter.  I think Roberts is in this for the the long War, and he chose his battle carefully.  He knows that the left is not satisfied until the federal government had enough power to ignore the constitution.  Further, that they remain in control of such a government.  War.

So, I lay my hopes on Plan B and Plan C.

Basically, this is a war, and the good guys have to win.

The Smoking Gun of Fast and Furious

Apparently, there were wiretaps requested by the DOJ as part of their Fast and Furious fiasco.  Contained within the content of those applications is a smoking gun that proves that the DOJ knew far more about the Fast and Furious program than they have admitted to. 

Darrell Issa has clearly had enough lies out of Holder and the DOJ, and he placed details of these applications into the Congressional Record today.  The purpose was to establish public record for information otherwise considered confidential, and while it was an aggressive move on Issa’s part it was legal.  Enough is enough.

With all of the analysis time I spent on the Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare yesterday, I did not have time to get to the contempt vote in any great detail.  There will be more analysis on both of these major events forthcoming. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, it is now obvious that Darrell Issa has the goods on Eric Holder, according to Roll Call:

The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.

According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.

This is a smoking gun.  There is no way for Holder or anyone involved to deny knowledge with such information included within their own request for the judicial action of approving a wiretap.

Therefore, it is no longer a question of is there a scandal, but more of a who knew what and when – it is often the cover-up that takes these people down, not the crime.

Supreme Court Guts the Commerce Clause

Lost in the shuffle this morning is perhaps the most significant decision of the high court in decades, gutting the Commerce Clause.

Keep in mind that every single person who predicted that the Supreme Court would uphold Obama Care was wrong, because each and every one of them assumed that such a ruling would be an approval by the court that the Commerce Clause could be expanded.  Instead, the court ruled that the Commerce Clause should not be used an an excuse for Federal power grabs. 

So, every person who said that ObamaCare was constitutional was wrong.  Their reasoning was flawed, and the real ruling today was that the Commerce Clause is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for Congress to delve into people’s lives.  It is unconstitutional.

In other words, Congress can regulate but not compel. 

Here is Robert’s opinion (the italics are his, please note):Justice Roberts.

Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.”

This is important, so if you have a minute check out what Randy Barnett, one of the principal opponents of ObamaCare, has to say about today’s ruling:

Every one of the arguments that I made was accepted by the court today. I didn’t say that much about the tax power going along, except for the fact that you’d have to rewrite the bill to get there, but every argument I made about the commerce clause was affirmed by Chief Justice Roberts in his opinion for the majority today. So that’s the reason why they say this kind of like “kissing your sister” or something; I’m not sure what the right metaphor. To win all your arguments and then lose on the outcome is a very strange result. It is a big day for the Obama administration, there’s no question about that, but its also a big day for limited government. It is now the law of the land that the individual mandate is outside the power of Congress to enact under the commerce clause.

Of course, as important as it is to see that the Commerce Clause was reigned in, the extension of that analysis is that the Supreme Court upheld the power of the Federal Government to do almost anything using tax code. 

Mark Levin had this to say on Facebook:

There's nothing about the Obamacare decision that is redeeming.  Nothing.  I will talk about it at length on my show tonight - 6 PM eastern.  There are lawyers and political operatives spinning this decision, but don't buy any of it.

The power to tax is unlimited?  That is a horrible, awful realization.  Which means, it is time for a Tea Party in November, so that Washington understands with great power comes greater responsibility.  No one thinks Washington is being responsible, so it is time to throw Obama and the tax-and-spend crowd out of office.

Supreme Court Rules Obama is a Liar

Democrats are celebrating the news this morning that the Supreme Court has ruled that President Obama is a liar.  While it is hardly news that Obama has always been a liar of historical proportions, he is now in very rarified strata.  What use is a Nobel Prize when the Supreme Court has ruled you are a liar.

So, what does the court ruling mean for those of us trying to run our lives making an honest living?

It means that, faced with (in his words) the worst economy since the Great Depression, Obama’s game plan was to increase the national debt more than $6 trillion dollars and implement the largest tax increase in history. At the same time scheduling and additional huge tax increase, Taxmageddon, to hit as soon as he is reelected.

And yet he wonders why the economy still sucks.

We have a liar as President.  The Supreme Court has ruled.

Obama Still Firmly in Control (of State Run Media Such as the Washington Post)

I am astounded that there are still people who disbelieve we actually did land on the moon, or that disbelieve that there is a tangible media bias against conservatives.  So much for intelligence on the left.

Informed.  Intelligent.  Liberal.  Pick two.

H/T Breitbart

New Brain Scan (EEG) Test Detects Autism

imageThis is a big step in trying to assist parents and medical experts in wrapping their heads around all the issues raised by raising kids with Autism.

H/T Instapundit 

One of the biggest issues we all face, especially as parents, is trying to find an explanation for why something happens.  Sometimes, there simply is not an answer.  Tests like this will at least allow us to better define what it is we are dealing with.

To quote Glenn, faster, please.

Immigration Glass is Half Full

Like most conservatives, I wanted the Supreme Court to uphold all of Arizona’s immigration law.  The core of the Arizona law simply enforced existing Federal law.  Of course, liberals believe existing Federal immigration law is racist and inhumane.  The fact that the President is one red star away from full frontal socialism does not deter them from calling the enforcement of Federal law racist, after all it is Bush’s fault, and Obama is simply not able to overcome all the obstacles Bush has thrown in his way.  I digress.  The Arizona law was controversial, to both sides, only because it took the Federal Government at their word.

We do not currently enjoy the privilege of living in a society wherein our government actually follows through on the promises made in the heat of passionate electioneering.  Instead, we live in a country wherein everyone hates Congress, but reelects their own representative reliably; where the fault of the economy can be laid at the feet of the guy who had control taken away from him four full years earlier, and not with the guy who wasted over $2 trillion dollars claiming it would fix the problem.

So, why should anyone be surprised that our President would choose not to enforce Federal laws?  In his world, he is above this sort of muttering from the peasants.

Now, for my surprising (to some) analysis: That is within his power.  Whether you love the SCOTUS decision, or hate it, the vast majority of all analysis you will see on this issue deals with immigration policy, and not the Constitutional powers of the President, States, and the Congress.  In other words, everyone is focused on policy, when the SCOTUS decision was solely (as it should be) focused on the Constitution.

The fact that Obama is abusing his power was not in front of them for opinion.  Perhaps in the ObamaCare decision they will deal with this issue.  In front of them was the question of delegation of duties.  The Executive Branch, headed by the President, is responsible for enforcement.  Part of the power of the President is to choose not to enforce a law.

Don’t like that answer?  Then choose a different President.  Now is the time.

Don’t like immigration laws?  Then choose a different representative to congress.  Now is the time.

Basically, we all get the government we deserve.  As with Carter, we got Obama because the left got their messaging straight and we sent a mixed message (Ford or McCain, you pick).  It is our fault for forgetting how horrid a true believer in leftist policies can be.  Shame on us for forgetting.  Now, hitch up our big boy pants and fix the problem.

The interesting thing will be to see how the State power / Federal Power battle evolves.  Because States have their own Executive Branch, and as brilliantly summarized by Antonin Scalia:

The issue is a stark one: Are the sovereign states at the mercy of the federal executive’s refusal to enforce the nation’s immigration laws? A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the states conceivably have entered into the union if the Constitution itself contained the court’s holding?” Scalia asked. “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state.

If a state can’t secure its territory, why call it a sovereign state?  So, what will the Feds do to Sheriff Joe?  My guess is, not much.  Because THAT battle could (should) yield a SCOTUS decision that would make the left truly scared.

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