Court Whacks Obamacare

Judge strikes down healthcare reform law

The 26 state suit against B.O.’s version of a National Health Service prevails in it’s initial court test presumably on the way to a SCOTUS hearing (sooner or later).

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.

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.

What makes this even sweeter is the fact that the decision was based to some extent on B.O.’s own comments. Hoist on his own petard!

Judge uses Obama’s words against him

In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

“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.

Once the principle of forcing behavior (whether buying health insurance, or anything else) is established, there is, of necessity no remaining legal restraint on the power of the state to compel ANY behavior in any other areas that attract the attention of our would-be progressive masters.  Perhaps, for example, to satisfy the 1st Lady’s concern for proper nutrition there could be a federal law mandating that everyone eat their vegetables, or that pedestrians must wear crash-helmets for their own safety, or whatever else the nanny-state advocates can dream up to protect us from ourselves.

This sort of crap is NOT the proper role of  our Constitutional government.

Truth or Consequences

Just last week didn’t we have assurance from Harry Reid that everything is fine with Social Security. Really.

Now, a few days later we get this:

Social Security now seen to run permanent deficits+

Sick and getting sicker, Social Security will run at a deficit this year and keep on running in the red until its trust funds are drained by about 2037, congressional budget experts said Wednesday in bleaker-than-previous estimates.

The massive retirement program has been suffering from the effects of the struggling economy for several years. It first went into deficit last year but had been projected to post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into the red in 2016

This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in retirement, disability and survivors’ benefits than it collects in payroll taxes, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said.

The most charitable thing to conclude is that Reid has a severe case of poor situational awareness. More realistically, he’s finally and irrevocably moved beyond any bounds of truth, and is not worthy of any credibility.

Administration Targets Jobs

It becomes more clear just how the administration is focusing on jobs: jobs are in the cross-hairs and are targeted for destruction, to say nothing about reducing energy availability at the same time, thus killing two birds with one stone.

New rules would cut thousands of coal jobs

The Obama administration’s own experts estimate their proposal for protecting streams from coal mining would eliminate thousands of jobs and slash production across much of the country, according to a government document obtained by the Associated Press.

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement document says the agency’s preferred rules would impose standards for water quality and restrictions on mining methods that would affect the quality or quantity of streams near coal mines. The rules are supposed to replace George W. Bush-era regulations that set up buffer zones around streams and were aimed chiefly at mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia….

OSM’s proposal — part of a draft environmental impact statement — would affect coal mines from Louisiana to Alaska.

The office, a branch of the Interior Department, estimated that the protections would trim coal production to the point that an estimated 7,000 of the nation’s 80,600 coal-mining jobs would be lost. Production would decrease or stay flat in 22 states…

To add a bit of additional perspective, half of the US supply of electricity is coal based. Sort of hard to recharge the new Chevy Volt autos if there’s less electricity available! Regulators working at cross-purposes? According to the lib-progs isn’t government supposed to be MORE efficient at management? Never mind….if we’re rational, we already know the answer to THAT…and “it ain’t that pretty at all”…but I digress.

The National Mining Association blasted the proposal, saying OSM is vastly underestimating the economic impact.

“OSM’s preferred alternative will destroy tens of thousands of coal-related jobs across the country from Appalachia to Alaska and Illinois to Texas with no demonstrated benefit to the environment,” the trade group said. “OSM’s own analysis provides a very conservative estimate of jobs that will be eliminated, incomes that will be lost and state revenues that will be foregone at both surface and underground coal mining operations.”

OK, you know the envirowackos say that’s just the big corporations trying to defend their turf…the impact won’t REALLY be that bad, would it? But wait, the states aren’t too thrilled with D.O.I./OSM either:

They blasted the proposal as “nonsensical and difficult to follow” in a Nov. 26 letter to OSM Director Joe Pizarchik. The letter was signed by officials from Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

“Neither the environmental impact statement nor the administrative record that OSM has developed over 30-plus years of regulation … justify the sweeping changes that they’re proposing to make,” West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection official Thomas Clarke told AP on Wednesday.

As your electric rates continue to increase, due to the inexorable operation of supply (decreasing) and demand (increasing), give thanks to the administration for it’s energy and employment reduction plans.

SOTU Snapshot Reaction

A part of  John von Neumann‘s diverse contributions to knowledge is the proposition that information is significant to the extent that it is unusual.

By that standard, B.O.’s second SOTU address has very little real significance, except to serve as a political stalking horse  for multiple factions that both oppose and support him.

Apparently the Chief’s evaluation is shared to some extent, by MSNBC !?

Personally, I much preferred the answer from Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.

MO Assassination Attempt in the News…or not!

You no doubt saw all the lead stories on this assassination attempt last year, but somehow the Chief missed it. Must be that the perp didn’t come in the “right” category to attract the attention of the “responsible” media…apparently at any level outside of the immediate local area.

Left wing climate of hate and assassination

Successful propaganda is composed of equal parts deception and suppression, and the apparatchiks in the mainstream media are much better at the latter.

They may have erred in pushing the Arizona assassination attempt beyond its ideological limits last week, but they succeeded brilliantly a few months earlier in suppressing news of a nearly lethal attempt by a genuine leftist.

The attempt was directed at the Governor of Missouri:

In September 2010 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was scheduled to speak at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City.

At some point, wearing black clothes and a bullet-proof vest, 22 year-old Casey Brezik bolted out of a classroom, knife in hand, and slashed the throat of a dean. As he would later admit, he confused the dean with Nixon.

At least this chucklehead was clearly operating with dead sparkplugs in his mental engine…to the extent that he was too impaired to figure out how to operate a knife.

Hmmmm….he used a knife. that’s probably at least part reason why there was no coverage…no gun involved to use to flog the gun control dead horse yet again, but to make it even less interesting to the alleged journalists, the perp was a self-demonstrated anarcho-lefty radical, demonstrated by both his words and actions.

…Brezik seems to have inhaled just about every noxious vapor in the left-wing miasma: environmental extremism, radical Islam, anti-capitalism, anti-Zionism and Christophobia, among others.

In his “About Me” box on Facebook, Brezik listed as his favorite quotation one from progressive poster boy, Che Guevara. The quote begins “Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism” and gets more belligerent from there.

On his wall postings, Brezik ranted, “How are we the radical(s) (left) to confront the NEW RIGHT, if we avoid confrontation all together?”

As good as his word, Brezik’s marched on Toronto in June 2010 to protest the G20 Summit, where he was arrested, charged, and deported. “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” he boasted.

Not exactly a tea-party conservative, and hence not worth journalistic notice: nothing to see here folks…move along and go back home…American Idol is about to come on again anyway.

Donks: Shut Up or Put Up!

Here’s a thought for Dusty Harry and the rest of the Senate Donks:

House GOP dares Senate to vote on a bill to repeal ‘Obamacare’

House Republicans already are looking past Wednesday’s expected vote to repeal Democrats’ health care law, going so far as to dare Senate Democrats to bring the bill up for a vote in their chamber.

“If Harry Reid is so confident that the repeal vote should die in the Senate then he should bring it up for a vote if he’s so confident he’s got the votes,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters, laying down a challenge to Mr. Reid, the Nevada Democrat who controls the Senate schedule.

Uf the Senate votes it down, c’est la vie…that’s politics…but one starts to wonder whether or not Reid is really confident that his own partisans, especially those up for election in 2012 will hang tough. Either way, the outcome of a Senate vote would be instructive on one level or another.

Made in the USA

Well, at any rate, made with American technology!

China used downed U.S. fighter to develop first stealth jet

China was able to build its first stealth bomber using technology gleaned from a downed U.S. fighter, it has been claimed. Beijing unveiled its state-of-the-art jet – the Chengdu J-20 – earlier this month. Military officials say it is likely the Chinese were able to develop the stealth technology from parts of an American F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999.

I know that imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery…but in this case it would be better if that honor could have been avoided.

The PRC is the new USSR as far as the US is concerned.

BLOGNOTE

Blogging has been a bit sparse lately.

Frankly much of what’s going on has seemed to be a case of the same old same old, with the usual suspects….but eventually the level of idiocy out there becomes so inflated that the Chief is once again driven to contribute to puncturing it to some small extent at least.

So, into the breach once more….

Death and Taxes…

Family charged ‘death tax’ for baby who lived one hour

…an application of on aphorism about the inevitability of death and taxes. In this case only living one hour is not an excuse for dodging the taxman.

Olivia Clark lived for only one hour. Doctors didn’t even expect her to survive birth. Now her family has a hard time understanding why the King County Medical Examiner has to review her death and charge $50.

“With Olivia, there was so much love in that room and we knew it was going to be such a short time,” says her grandmother, Diana Clark. “That was probably the most joyous hour that I’ve experienced.”

Her grandparents say Olivia was polycystic and, as a result, her lungs never developed. So, her short life was a miracle….

“There was a little line on there near the bottom of the bill that said ‘King county death tax: $50.’ And we looked at that, and looked at that and looked at each other and said ‘what is that?’ Couldn’t believe that a little girl that lived for an hour has to pay a $50 tax,” said Larry.

Brings to mind a bit of old Beatles music:

Don’t ask me what I want it for,
If you don’t want to pay some more.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

Now my advice for those who die,
Declare the pennies on your eyes.
‘Cause I’m the taxman,
Yeah, I’m the taxman.

— George Harrison

Enviro Believe it or Not

One would be much safer following the latter of the two possibilities noted above:

Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts

1. Within a few years “children just aren’t going to know what snow is.” Snowfall will be “a very rare and exciting event.” Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.

Hmmm. Just finished shoveling some of the “very rare and exciting event”. According to the local forecast I’ll get a chance to do so on Thursday, and again the following Sunday. OK. I know that Viner is a Brit…but wait…they’ve been getting hammered with snow the last few years over there too.

2. “[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots…[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers.” Michael Oppenheimer, published in “Dead Heat,” St. Martin’s Press, 1990.

Was down at Fremont, NE on the Platte river last summer. Seemed to be a fair amount of boating going on. Haven’t seen a new dust bowl either.

3. “Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000.” Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 1972.

Somebody must have forgot to tell the “Ice Road Truckers

4. “Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees by 2010.” Associated Press, May 15, 1989.

Not by a long shot…try 0.7 deg F

5. “By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” Life magazine, January 1970.

Would you believe 3-5% then, less now since air quality has been greatly improved.

6. “If present trends continue, the world will be … eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age.” Kenneth E.F. Watt, in “Earth Day,” 1970.

More believable for January in South Dakota, but doesn’t this sort of clash with some of the other predictions about polar ice, etc?

7. “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.” Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.

Good thing for Erlich he isn’t a gambler!

8. “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.” Ehrlich, speech during Earth Day, 1970

Someone forgot to tell the fish.

Meanwhile, these same folks are STILL predicting disasters that, like the object of the cryptozoological search programs, never quite live up to their objectives…and they are STILL believed?  Who’d have thunk it!

Rumors of war…

Thought this was instructive, even though the Chief reserves the right to take other content on this site with a grain of salt:
Next Year’s Wars
The 16 brewing conflicts to watch for in 2011:

• Cote d’Ivoire
• Colombia
• Zimbabwe
• Iraq
• Venezuela
• Sudan
• Mexico
• Guatemala
• Haiti
• Tajikistan
• Pakistan
• Somalia
• Lebanon
• Nigeria
• Guinea
• Democratic Republic of the Congo

See the linked article for the gory or potentially gory details.

Uh…where’s North Korea?

Enough Already!

With the inevitable and welcome distractions of the Christmas-New Year’s season, and the same-old same-old political tactics of the Donkey Party’s Lame Ruptured Duck session, it’s been hard to generate enthusiasm for posting about the recent run-of-the-mill political news.

Finally, the most recent Sunday Day-by-Day webtoon strip concisely and thoroughly summed up my attitude, starting with the observation of one of the characters that

“…I’m really, REALLY TIRED OF BEING LECTURED TO BY:
• racists like Sharpton on racism
• thieves like Sherrie Sherrod on what is fair
• communists like Van Jones on “power to the people”
• liars like Bill Clinton on honesty
• the MSM and ‘Journolist’ pundits on journalism
• spenders like Obama on having ‘skin in the game’ as he blows millions on his personal vacations
• illegal aliens on American citizenship
• spend-crazy Keynesians on economic growth
• academics on real-world scenarios
• snobs in the beltway on civility
• idealogues like Eric Holder on ‘justice’
• the Democratic Party on American values
• feminists on what men should be
• Pat Robertson and religious activists on what/should be
• incompetents like Obama on, frankly, ANY subject other than redistribution of our wealth
• power-mad billionaires like Soros on anything to do with the word ‘freedom’
• RINOs on outreach and compromise [RINO = Republicans In Name Only]
• people who twist language to mean everything and nothing
• incompetents like 99% of this administration and congress on competency

Hear, hear! Couldn’t agree more!