Ice Crystals on Glass wallpaper

Ice Crystals on Glass wallpaper

This is nothing to freak-out about and is a plus for the Affordable Care Act, Democrats and a more populist view of the Constitution in the long run – Federal Judge Rules That Health Law Violates Constitution

A second federal judge ruled on Monday that it was unconstitutional for Congress to enact a health care law that required Americans to obtain commercial insurance, evening the score at 2 to 2 in the lower courts as conflicting opinions begin their path to the Supreme Court.

Vinson used almost word for word the tea smoker’s line that someone choosing not to participate, thus not buy insurance, does not fall under the legal precedents of the commerce clause. If we were taking about requiring people to buy tree insurance he might have a point. If a tree gets sick or injured it does not have to participate in our health care system. People, not being trees, will most assuredly participate in the health care system at some point. We all get sick or injured eventfully and when that time comes, if you do not have health insurance you are a  burden on the entire system. I’m not crazy about the mandate, but that isn’t the point. Vinson has out done himself on the judicial activism. Frank Pasquale at Balkinization has the best take down of Vinson’s legal reasoning,

5.  There is no coherent basis for declaring a purchase mandate to be constitutionally “improper,” and a categorical ban on regulating inactivity would contradict the implicit reasoning underlying several other established precedents — such as those upholding the draft and the Congressional subpoena power.   Also, federal eminent domain allows compelled transactions justified in part by the Necessary and Proper clause’s expansion of the commerce power, when applied, for instance, to citizen’s refusal to sell land for use in constructing highways, bridges, and canals.

9.  Counteracting imaginary slippery slope concerns about absurd hypothetical laws are the legitimate concerns about insurmountable barriers that a prohibition of purchase mandates would erect.  Forbidding Congress from any purchase mandate could cripple necessary efforts, for instance, to require preventive measures in the face of a massive pandemic that threatened tens of millions of lives.

The other points many of you may have already read in other articles, but they are all worth reading. I used these two because they illustrate a larger point about government compelling people to perform certain actions under certain conditions. If you buy a home the bank will force you to buy at least a basic fire policy( some loans also require flood and/or wind storm insurance). The federal government is not compelling the homeowner directly, but indirectly through the bank. If the home burns down the bank would be stuck with the loss of the loan without the insurance. Since the feds regulate the amount of assets the bank must have in relation to its loans they are indirectly and sometimes directly backing your loan. Some people call this government coercion and others call it government paternalism. Its forcing people to do the right thing for their own good. As Balkin notes the mandate in this context is not a slippery slope. State, local and the federal government require us to do a hand full of things related to insurance for cars, property, liability and so forth. Otherwise we could not run an advanced industrialized society. Most of us, politics aside, have an aversion to having too many of these mandates and for that reason there are relatively few and they are concentrated around insurance and bonding for liability. We know Wall St likes insurance because that is what derivatives are. Unlike the fairy tale capitalism that many still speak of as though it were real – the kind where you take risks and if things do not pan out you move to a cardboard box under a bridge, we have insurance that pays off if you take a risk and lose.

Republican Nut-jobs Reported To FBI By Planned Parenthood Turned Out To Be Hoaxers, Like Planned Parenthood Suspected

Last week, it was revealed that several Planned Parenthood offices had been visited by persons who willingly identified themselves as being the head of an “interstate sex trafficking ring that involves minors and illegal immigrants.” Those offices coordinated their information with Planned Parenthood’s national organization, who reported the activity to the FBI, despite the lingering notion that they were actually being set up for a James O’Keefe-style “sting.”

As it turns out, their instincts were right, right down to the identity of the hoaxers: Lila Rose’s Live Action, who on Tuesday posted their heavily-edited video encounter with a Planned Parenthood staffer.

And more here, Republican con-artist Lila Rose sounds like a female James O’Keefe because she is, Earned Her Video Sting Stripes With James O’Keefe At UCLA

Rose And O’Keefe “Received Criticism” For Their Deceptive Tactics, Which O’Keefe Called “Justified.” The Los Angeles Times reported:

O’Keefe, 24, said he and Rose have received criticism from some of their associates for using deception. “It’s a pretty complicated ethical issue,” he said, “but we believe there is a genocide and nobody cares, and you can use these tactics and it’s justified.” Rose and O’Keefe visited their first clinic — UCLA’s Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center — in 2006. They videotaped an employee telling them “some pretty bad things,” said O’Keefe, including that the fetus is a collection of cells. “That’s what set us in motion.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/26/09]

Your average modern wing-nut conservatives honestly believes a lot of weird, i.e. Leading Neoconservative Frank Gaffney Argues Muslim Brotherhood Has ‘Infiltrated’ The U.S. Federal Government. On the other hand they project a lot of hyperbole into their beliefs. So much so they seem to take on an inner life of their own – a permanent political LSD trip. In this little fairyland they live in things like bearing false witness, sometimes murder, doctoring video tape, going on long deranged rants without a shred of truth is all justified for what their disturbed minds feel is the greater good. Let’s all be civil and have a nice high brow debate about the issues? That is never going to happen with most of the Right because it is the violent language, the violent imagery, the con-artist video tape, the wild accusations and the bizarro conspiracy theories that fuel the right-wing zeitgeist. Just after the Tucson murders some reasonably asked if the constant use of violent language and imagery might be a contributing factor. Many reasonable people thought is was worth seriously looking at how this language might not be best for the culture in general. Yes words like target, campaign and opponent are all part and parcel of politispeak, but maybe some folks could take it down just a notch. Right-wing conservative Don Surber replied, I do not want civil discourse

The left suddenly wants civil discourse.

Bite me.

The left wants to play games of semantics.

Bite me.

The left wants us to be civil — after being so uncivil for a decade.

Bite me.

Don’s clearly sado-masochistic fantasies about liberal doing things to him aside, he does us all a service by his honesty. I’ve been listening to, viewing and reading right-wing hate mongering since the early 90s. As much as I do not like to write anyone off as a loss cause it is a mistake, much like having a toxic relationship with an unrepentant alcoholic, to think after years of abuse of themselves and others that they are ever going to change despite your best efforts – they have to want to change. Want to get on a conservative’s last nerve in a debate on-line or in person, be relaxed and civil. They have always hated civility. Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh are good examples. If they started being civil and truthful tomorrow they wouldn’t have any angry genuflecting followers. If Michelle Bachmann, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin had everything they planned to say fact checked first they’d be reduced to a few grunts and rolling their eyes.

Two slightly different takes on the same WSJ article. Barry Ritholtz takes up for some of that high end compensation, Wall Street Pay Hits Record Highs (and . . . ?) and a different view at naked capitalism, Croesus Watch: Banker Pay Levitates to New Highs

Oh, I need a new round of black humor as a coping device to deal with the predictable but nevertheless disheartening news that banksters are getting record pay for 2010, after having gotten record pay for 2009…after having wrecked the global economy.

If this isn’t incentivizing destructive behavior, I’d like you to suggest how we could make this picture worse. A newspaper ad for the swaps salesman that tanked the most municipalities? Ticker tape parades for the deal structurer that was best at pulling most fees out of clients in ways they wouldn’t detect? (Oh wait, you’d have to include pretty much every derivative salesman) Honorable mention for the banker with the biggest expense account charges in the industry? (Oh wait, that’s not the right metric, we learned in Inside Job that the drugs and hookers get charged to research budgets. Damn).

One point I would like to make is that if Barack Obama, Harry Reid D-NV) and Democrats are turning the country into a Marxist paradise they are doing an absolutely suckass job at it. Wall St is back to the status quo and corporate profits are soaring. Conservatives will ignore this rational empirical evidence and continue to sling their monkey pooh without pause.

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