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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

We Win Either Way

The Roanoke Times suggests this morning that we quit bellyaching about Obama's plan that is now set in place to destroy our health care delivery system.  It's the law of the land, so shut up:
It's still the economy, stupid
editorial

Likely voters in the upcoming congressional elections, regardless of political allegiances, are fixated on one central issue, and it isn't health care reform -- despite Republican efforts to keep beating that dead horse.

Nope, it's still the economy. [link]
Health care is a dead horse.  I guess we're only allowed one apocalypse at a time to discuss.

Which is odd since, just the other day, the same Roanoke Times was bitching about gun rights.  Is the standard now to only write editorials on the subject of jobs?

Well.  Okay then.  I can go for that.  Shall I provide the Times with a list of adjectives and adverbs that can be used to describe Barack Obama and his miserable (there's the first) effort to bring jobs to this tortured land?  He has, with diligent (a second) effort, managed to take the rate of unemployment from 5.2% to 9.5%.

We can most certainly stay on that theme.  Till the cows come home.

If you're interested in some creative wordsmith, call me.  You've got my number.

Making The Case For An Activist Court

A conservative activist court.*

I wonder how long the left in this country will cheer those who sit in judgment of the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress and make it up as they go along if those justices are reading from a Robert Bork playbook.

Ramesh Ponnuru makes a plausible case for it, in "A Weak Case for Kagan":
Intelligence and an ability to stay cool are indeed necessary conditions to be on the Court, but are they sufficient? If the "mainstream" of American jurisprudence is unhealthy--as I and many other conservatives believe--then being part of it is not a point in a nominee's favor. When justices routinely exercise a degree of policymaking authority that would have been unthinkable for much of American history, the traditional case for senatorial deference collapses.

For reasons both good and bad, there are few real checks on wayward judges.  They have lifetime tenure, their constitutional decisions typically require a nearly-impossible-to-achieve amendment to undo, and impeachment is generally considered to be warranted only in cases of corruption. To say that senators are obligated to vote for any nominee who presents well and is within the mainstream is to call for weakening one of the few remaining checks on the courts.

Senators should instead decide whether they believe Kagan will be good or bad for the direction of the courts, and for American government, and vote accordingly.
Admirable.  But bad.

As much as I'd like to see the Supreme Court decree** a required balanced budget, a limit to taxation, and the end to a whole host of federal intrusions into our lives, starting with the EPA, I know the downside to such an opportunity.  For every Jim Demint that might sit on the Court, there'd be another Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  Just who gets to decide "what's good or bad"?

Personally, I'll stick to the principle that those who sit in judgment should bedrock their decisions in the original intent of those who manufactured the Constitution and those who modified it with the various amendments to it.  The principle that all decisions made by the Court should pass one test: Does the Constitution allow the government to do this?

Otherwise we'll have chaos.  And a judicial system that is as political as Congress is.


* I know.  "Conservative activist" is an impossibility of an oxymoron.  But in modern usage, it's appropriate.
** Keep in mind, that's what a Supreme Court decision is.  A decree.  No "will of the people."  No representative vote.

Expect Your Electric Bill To Go Up. Again.

You say you can't pay the bill now?  Well, at least be comforted by the fact that your government is "preventing 14,000 to 36,000 premature deaths, 23,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 21,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 240,000 cases of aggravated asthma and 1.9 million missed school and work days."  (Which is preposterous, by the way, but the kind of silliness that our government has become famous for).

The news:
New Rules Issued on Coal Air Pollution
By John M. Broder, New York Times

Washington — Acting under federal court order, the Obama administration proposed new air-quality rules on Tuesday for coal-burning power plants that officials said would bring major reductions in soot and smog from Texas to the Eastern Seaboard.

The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing the rules to replace a plan from the administration of President George W. Bush that a federal judge threw out in 2008, citing numerous flaws in the calculation of air-quality effects.

Gina McCarthy, head of the E.P.A.’s air and radiation office, said the new rules would reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides by hundreds of thousands of tons a year and bring $120 billion in annual health benefits. Those benefits, Ms. McCarthy said, include preventing 14,000 to 36,000 premature deaths, 23,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 21,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 240,000 cases of aggravated asthma and 1.9 million missed school and work days.

The cost of compliance to utilities and other operators of smog-belching power plants would be $2.8 billion a year, according to E.P.A. estimates. [link] [emphasis mine]
Don't think for a minute that your electric company is going to pay that $2.8 billion.  You are.  Your rates are going up again.

But feel happy.  You get to sit in the ice-cold discomfort of your living room this winter knowing that your government is there to protect you from smog, and asthma, and non-fatal heart attacks, and ...

Priorities.  Priorities.

Trying To Control The Uncontrollable

The USA.  Soon:
The Massachusetts Health-Care 'Train Wreck'
The future of ObamaCare is unfolding here: runaway spending, price controls, even limits on care and medical licensing.
By Joseph Rago, Wall Street Journal

President Obama said earlier this year that the health-care bill that Congress passed three months ago is "essentially identical" to the Massachusetts universal coverage plan that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law in 2006. No one but Mr. Romney disagrees.

As events are now unfolding, the Massachusetts plan couldn't be a more damning indictment of ObamaCare. The state's universal health-care prototype is growing more dysfunctional by the day, which is the inevitable result of a health system dominated by politics.

The deeper problem is that price controls seem to be the only way the political class can salvage a program that was supposed to reduce spending and manifestly has not. Massachusetts now has the highest average premiums in the nation.

In a new paper, Stanford economists John Cogan and Dan Kessler and Glenn Hubbard of Columbia find that the Massachusetts plan increased private employer-sponsored premiums by about 6%. Another study released last week by the state found that the number of people gaming the "individual mandate"—buying insurance only when they are about to incur major medical costs, then dumping coverage—has quadrupled since 2006. [link]
The frightening thing is, many of those Democrats (and Romney) who pushed this monstrosity through, probably knew that it would fail.  But it was popular amongst those who wanted "free" shit from the government, so ...

Well, Someone Finally Got Obama's Attention

He's decided to bring law and order to Arizona.

Not by sending guards to the border and stopping the flood of illegal immigrants that cross there every day.  But by going after those most victimized by the thieves and murderers who are entering Arizona unlawfully and wreaking havoc on that sorely pressed state.

Talk about screwed up priorities:
Justice Department sues over Arizona immigration law
By Josh Gerstein, Politico

The federal government filed a lawsuit Tuesday aimed at blocking a controversial Arizona law that requires local police and sheriffs to question and arrest anyone whom they suspect is in the country illegally.

The Justice Department lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Phoenix against the state government and Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.), argues that the new state law violates the Constitution by claiming authority over immigration policy, which has historically been the jurisdiction of the federal government.

“Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration” and the federal government should address those concerns, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “But diverting federal resources away from dangerous aliens such as terrorism suspects and aliens with criminal records will impact the entire country’s safety.” [link]
"The federal government should address those concerns"?  So who represents the federal government, you nitwit?  Who's the federal government's chief law enforcement officer?  Looked in a mirror lately?

My God.  Lawlessness reigns in the Arizona desert and Obama brings the hammer down on those innocents living there in fear for their lives.

Obama and his bunch have got to go.