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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

On The Argument Before The Supreme Court

It is truly mind-boggling to me to hear the United States government argue before the Court that the Constitution permits it to force Americans to buy health insurance.  Yeah, yeah.  The Commerce Clause and all that.

But, one wonders, how did we get to the point that this government considers it its obligation to punish American citizens  - and ObamaCare does, unarguably, punish those individuals who refuse to buy insurance (even though, if those individuals were male, single, and under forty, the purchase would be unwise) - for something so innocuous?

Want to know how?

It's been a long time coming.

Think cigarettes.

Think alcohol.

Think SUV's.

Think obesity.

ObamaCare is just the latest milepost on the long road to serfdom.

One can argue legitimately that obesity is bad for the individual.  As are cigarettes and, depending on its use, alcohol.

But the perfectly wise and logical decision to forgo the expenditure of income on something that is not needed?

(If this were a tax, it could be explained, but it's not.  It's a law that requires one to go out and buy something.)

The government of the United States of America is in the business of punishing American citizens for that?

Gimme that Of the People, By the People, For the People bullshit again?

On Those Who Represent Us In The Court

This is embarrassing.  And painful to listen to.

Yesterday the Solicitor General of the United States - that would be your Solicitor General - came before the Supreme Court and tried to explain how ObamaCare is unique to our way of life.  So unique as to require that people who choose not to participate in a commercial endeavor, because they are, in fact, participating in that commercial endeavor by the very act - or non-act -  of not participating in that commercial endeavor, should be forced to participate in that commercial endeavor.

Sound kinda strange? *

Well, this poor guy - Donald Verrilli - was the poor schmuck who had to make sense of it. And will forever be remembered for failing miserably.

The painful exchange between Verrilli and Justice Samuel Alito:
JUSTICE ALITO: Do you think there is a, a market for burial services?

GENERAL VERRILLI: For burial services?


GENERAL VERRILLI: Yes, Justice Alito, I think there is.

JUSTICE ALITO: All right, suppose that you and I walked around downtown Washington at lunch hour and we found a couple of healthy young people and we stopped them and we said, "You know what you're doing? You are financing your burial services right now because eventually you're going to die, and somebody is going to have to pay for it, and if you don't have burial insurance and you haven't saved money for it, you're going to shift the cost to somebody else." Isn't that a very artificial way of talking about what somebody is doing?


JUSTICE ALITO: And if that's true, why isn't it equally artificial to say that somebody who is doing absolutely nothing about health care is financing health care services?

GENERAL VERRILLI: It's, I think it's completely different. The -- and the reason is that the, the burial example is not -- the difference is here we are regulating the method by which you are paying for something else -- health care -- and the insurance requirement -- I think the key thing here is my friends on the other side acknowledge that it is within the authority of Congress under Article I under the commerce power to impose guaranteed-issue and community rating forms, to end -- to impose a minimum coverage provision. Their argument is just that it has to occur at the point of sale, and -

JUSTICE ALITO: I don't see the difference. You can get burial insurance. You can get health insurance. Most people are going to need health care. Almost everybody. Everybody is going to be buried or cremated at some point. What's the difference?

GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, one big difference, one big difference, Justice Alito, is the -- you don't have the cost shifting to other market participants. Here -

JUSTICE ALITO: Sure you do, because if you don't have money then the State is going to pay for it. Or some -

GENERAL VERRILLI: That's different." [source]
That's different.

How is that different?

Well, it just is.

My God.

* Justice Elena Kagan, during the proceedings, actually made the attempt to justify the bizarre notion that non-participation is participation.  I knew she was (a) not up to the task of sitting on the nation's highest court intellectually and (b) a shill for the Obama administration.

Judge a Man By The Friends He Keeps

One can argue about whether Mitt Romney is right when he calls Russia "our number one geopolitical foe.”*

But, if I were Barack Obama, I wouldn't want a Russian on my side arguing against the notion.

But such is the case.

Dmitry Medvedev, it appears, is big on Obama. But not so much on the presumptive GOP nominee in the upcoming presidential election.

One assumes it's because Obama is more than willing to give him what he wants.

I don't know. I read the oath of office and I can't find anything that says Obama is to preserve, protect or defend the Roosskies.

Yet there he is ...

* I personally disagree with Romney on this. I see Russia as being a shell of its former self and not much to concern ourselves with.

Your Gov't At Work

The United States Department of Justice and another triumph of politics over the law.

Not to mention illegality.

A Good Argument To Abolish The Ed. Dept.

And it comes from the head of the Ed. Dept.:

Ed Secretary: ‘We’ve Seen As Much, If Not More, Reform in States That Didn’t Get a Nickel From Us'

If you understand that (a) the federal Department of Education has never educated one student in its thirty-two year history, and (b) is in place only to transfer tax dollars from individuals living in the various states to the federal government and back to the various states (something those states are fully equipped to do themselves) (with a sizable chunk skimmed off the top to pay the 5,000 employees it warehouses), and if you understand, as our Education Secretary asserts, that the money coming to the states from Washington has no impact on the quality of education, then ...

... why do we have a Department of Education?


Obama Keeps His Promise

He said he was going to bankrupt the coal industry.  And make energy more expensive.  He's doing just that:
EPA's War On Energy, Americans Continues
Investor's Business Daily editorial

The Obama administration is pushing the first rules ever to cut carbon dioxide emissions in new U.S. power plants. It's a move that's sure to make energy a lot more expensive for everyone.

Everyone, of course, likes cleaner air. But the new rules are so draconian that they will lead to an end of the construction of any power plant that uses coal.

The rules will force new power plants to put expensive new equipment to capture and bury emissions underground. If it sounds easy, it isn't. In fact, the equipment doesn't even exist yet.

Despite this, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is going ahead with the energy-unfriendly plan.

We wonder, what happened to the Obama administration's "all of the above" strategy? Why aren't we using all of our resources — including coal?

As has been noted before on these pages, the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of coal. We have nearly 500 billion short tons of coal reserves in the U.S. — far more than any other country. It's enough to power U.S. energy needs for decades to come.

The White House claims that the new rules will impact only new plants. But in fact, in the past three years, the Obama administration has hit the utility industry with new regulations on mercury emissions and cross-border pollution as well.

This is all part of a pattern — a regulatory siege on energy providers intended to favor so-called "green" alternative energy sources, at the cost of traditional suppliers of electricity. The "goal," if it can be called that, is to reduce global warming — though even the EPA's Jackson admits the latest rules won't do that. [link]
Some say that Obama is not an ideologue. That he's just not up to the task of being president and is, therefore, making poorly thought-through decisions.

In fact, the decisions are calculated. And radical. And destructive.

It's no accident.

Our president declared his intention to make energy more expensive. He's doing as promised.

How fulfilled he and his supporters must feel.

Don't You Hate It When This Happens?

The pilot of your cross-country commercial flight comes out of the cockpit and starts screaming and running down the aisle of the plane, deliriously ranting about bombs and death?

What is it about planes and people freaking out?