Friday, June 29, 2012

Ed Burns explains ideological drift

As I mull over the phenomenon of "textualist/originalist" jurists drifting to the left (and/or upward, for MB's benefit), it occurs to me that Ed Burns explained it perfectly in the Brothers McMullen

After her first tryst with the married Jack McMullen, temptress Ann asks him if he's ever cheated on Molly before.  "No," he replies.  Ann: "You won't find it so hard next time."  

Yes, John, you will be feted by the Washington Post, the President, and the Ivory Tower crowd today.  It will stroke your ego to ecstasy.

You won't find it so hard next time.

Mitt tries to make hay with Court's declaration that "Obamacare is a tax"

Strong ad or not?  What say you, contributors?

Roberts has "gone native," liberal accolades are everywhere

Liberal legal writers and MSM outlets are out in force today.   Hailing Roberts the Great.  Roberts the Wise.  Roberts who Saved the Court.

Other left-wing/statist Illuminati who have offered congratulations for Roberts "coming of age":

Laurence Tribe
Bill Press
Jeffery Rosen

Holder in Contempt of Congress

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but this whole business of withholding documents and executive privilege smells like a trap to me.  I can see the documents getting released in October with little or nothing of importance in them to make the GOP house look foolish.  I'm just saying...

The Senate Race is the New Front Line

A strong GOP nominee for POTUS would be a slam-dunk winner, but I think even Romney has a very good chance of winning now.  The Senate is where the GOP needs to concentrate now. Here's the picture.

OccObs awarded!

OK, so this blog didn't win an award, per se, but our very own Strawberry Girl did place in a writing contest over at WordPress.   On her own blog.

Why she no write here ever?

Why this blog always ignored in contests?

Congrats L&L!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The dissent holds the key

The final word on this flawed decision, and it comes from the dissenting Justices.  The final nail in the coffin of CJ John Roberts as unmoored and unreliable:

Chief Justice John Roberts held in his majority opinion today that Obamacare's individual mandate may be considered a constitutional tax rather than an unconstitutional mandate. 
Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito forcefully disagree with Roberts in their dissent:
"[W]e cannot rewrite the statute to be what it is not," the four Justices write. "[W]e have never—never—treated as a tax an exaction which faces up to the critical difference between a tax and a penalty, and explicitly denominates the exaction a 'penalty.' Eighteen times in §5000A itself and elsewhere throughout the Act, Congress called the exaction in §5000A(b) a 'penalty.'" 
The dissenting Justices also argue that "judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling," since the Constitution requires tax bills to originate in the House of Representatives, "the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at their next election, which is never more than two years off."

Krauthamer on Roberts

I always feel like I am on firm ground when my political read of a situation lines up with Krauthamer's, and in this case it does, almost completely.  While he's more measured and understanding of the CJ's predicament than I am, he sees the same tension between his judicial philosophy and insitutional prerogatives (fears?).

But in the end, he agrees it was a welch, a cop-out, a bad choice, or in CK's language, "a dodge":
Law upheld, Supreme Court’s reputation for neutrality maintained. Commerce clause contained, constitutional principle of enumerated powers reaffirmed.
That’s not how I would have ruled. I think the “mandate is merely a tax” argument is a dodge, and a flimsy one at that. (The “tax” is obviously punitive, regulatory and intended to compel.) Perhaps that’s not how Roberts would have ruled had he been just an associate justice and not the chief. But that’s how he did rule.
Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is saying: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you.

Chief Justice Souter

While I thought it more likely than not that the Supreme Court would overturn the Individual Mandate in PPACA, I was hardly confident. Arriving at work this morning, my boss told me not to worry. Either the Court would throw out the mandate, he told me, or they would invalidate the whole bill. I told I was far less confident. I remember, all too well, Casey v Planned Parenthod.  Kennedy switching his vote at the 11th hour, welching on conservatives. Conservative justices always seem to flinch when all the chips are down. Liberal justices never do.

SCOTUSblog breaks down the PPACA decision

From their liveblog of this morning's events:

10:32 Amy Howe:
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
Monday, June 25, 2012

Fortuno gets some love from NR

While I still can't imagine him as the veep pick (only b/c of the more trivial aspects of our political system--he's certainly worthy), I know he's ManBeast's favorite dark horse, and his name keeps popping up. Here's the link.
Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stewart rips on everyone w/r/t Executive Privelege defense/apologies

The whole segment is pretty much devoted to showing how the Dems arguments supporting Obama's use of Executive Privilege are no different than those used by the GOP in 2007.  The same arguments Dems pilloried back then.  But he closes with the point that the outrage shown by GOP now is contradictory with the apologies offered back then.

Now the two situations may not be equivalent on the legal merits.  But Stewart is on to something here. The accusation-counter accusation dynamic in Washington is so canned, so pre-scripted, that it has almost zero credibility in the eyes of most citizens.   As a lib, Stewart is inclined to more deeply skewer the Executive Branch's desire to hide info.  As a conservative, I (and many others) find ourselves in the paradoxical position of defending executive privilege while trying to draw a fine line that it doesn't apply in this case.

Not sure this is evidence of a healthy government or polity.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nancy Pelosi... she's pretty cool...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Physician Explains the Problem with Obamacare

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


ht:  Drudge
I'm stunned that Obama would wait until the 11th hour to assert Executive Privelege and deny the House GOP access to Holder's Fast & Furious documents.

I'm not clear if a President has ever done this for a cabinet head, who has been reviewed and approved by the Senate.  But even if so, the timing of this will hurt.

This action by the President is what it appears to be: a crass attempt to circumvent legitimate fact-finding.  What state secrets could Obama protecting, here?  Was there an intentional policy to destabilize Mexico at an existential level, or something like that?

Doubtful.  More likely, he's trying to save his ass.  Was this part of a direct effort to undermine gun rights and the 2nd amendment?   Did the President directly authorize the program?  

It will take court action to force release of the docs, at this point.  Which gets back to the issue of timing.  Maybe Obama figures he can weather the PR storm now, and with the Supreme Court adjourning for the summer, there won't be time for the judiciary to act on this matter until after the election.  Too cute by half, IMO.

As I tweeted earlier, Darrell Issa has won Mitt the election.

Pawlenty rumors gain traction

Now being repeated by the WSJ and Politico--see here.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Longest Wait

She was married for 6 weeks.  And faithful for 7 decades.

Kudos to CBS News.

Romney-Pawlenty '12?

So says the "insider" over at Race 4 '12. Maybe he knows something, maybe he's floating a trial balloon, maybe he's using faulty logic. Who knows. But he certainly offers a very detailed explanation of why he thinks it's Pawlenty. I'll try and distill his argument as concisely as possible:

1) There's noise coming from the outer ring of T-Paw guys that Pawlenty's the pick. T-Paw's inner circle is remaining tight lipped.

2) "The Eagle" has heard there was an agreement that Mitt wouldn't drag T-Paw into the national spotlight as a short-list guy, only for Tim to fall short (again).  T-Paw went through it with McCain, and only agreed to be vetted by Mitt if he'd get an "easy landing"--e.g., some other spot in the administration, and dumped from consideration early in the process before the press heated up. It's too late for that soft landing now.

3) People close to the Pawlenty's have been watching Mary Pawlenty as an indicator. The Pawlentys need cash and Mary could be a high earner, but continues to avoid getting tied into a job that could impact Tim's being picked, or be difficult to get out of quickly.

4) Romney is doing all his campaigning in the Midwest, in rural/exurban districts that were light blue last time around. These are the kinds of districts where T-Paw helps the most, and Mitt's internal polling must be indicating he can make hay there.

5) T-Paw buys him as much a pass as Mitt can get with evangelical leadership.

You grab my junk...

I'll grab your gunt ... and go to jail.
Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm glad I'm not Ronan Farrow

b/c if I was, Father's Day would really suck.
Friday, June 15, 2012

The Veep is full of #win

Can't believe POTUS would player hate like dat.
Thursday, June 14, 2012

A helpful chart

contrasting Romney's First 100 Days with Obama's Next 100 Days, below the fold:

National Bourbon Day


Kindegarten Graduation... Palestine Style

No cake & cookies?
Friday, June 08, 2012

The Daily Show on WI recall

Pretty damn funny, Mr. Stewart.

Why do unions do all the intimidating?

The AFL-CIO, UAW, AFSCME, SEIU, NEA / AFT, et al. have been dumping bazillions of dollars into our elections for decades.  They have consistently advocated for candidates who are directly responsible for our nation's current fiscal crisis and stagnant economy.  These groups, as far as I'm concerned, are bad for the country.

But bankrolling Dem campaigns is just the beginning of how they operate.  These organizations base their operational effectiveness on intimidation and the subversion of independent thinking.   How else does one describe a picket line?  Will picketing workers respect the conscience of a co-worker who decides to cross the line?  Sort of.  If by respect you mean ongoing harrassment and shooting up her house.

That's the power of bacon

The New Yorker has a fun little article up showing some of the more interesting brunch cocktails that are served up in NYC-area establishments.   Scroll down to the last one, and you'll see what captured my attention:

The New Bacon Cocktail
Bacon and Eggs, $12 at Fatta Cuckoo (63 Clinton St., nr. Rivington St.; 212-353-0570) is the liquid equivalent of Michael Fassbender. (Just look at it: Have you ever seen a more masculine concoction?) Fashioned with bacon-infused bourbon, frothy egg whites, bittersweet Aperol, and bright lemon, and topped with a salty-sweet strip of maple-glazed bacon, it’s creamy and savory and hits all the right carnivorous notes, not to mention a few boozy ones.
Thursday, June 07, 2012

This is a product that needed to be made

Hornady was already my ammunition producer of choice, but this is just spectacular:

Wednesday, June 06, 2012


Gentlemen of caliber on par with my own
(Those that know me may claim there are none)
May seem uncouth, wretched or slovenly to some
But I will describe without farce, satire or pun
The perception of those who insult with “elite”
Especially those who propose suckling the teat
Of government programs created to assist
The least among us, when ought to persist
The notions of Hayek, Rand, von Mises and Smith

If you’ve not read then you may have missed
That when men are given freedom to pursue
Life, liberty and happiness, soon will ensue
Hard work, innovation and the prosperity of few
Which then spreads to the management, partners and crew
Of the companies they create to offer fair trade
Of value for value for the products they’ve made

Through risk and reward, supply and demand
The winners made plain by invisible hand
Not picked by the President or his servile minions
By the unions or protests or media opinions
“Too big to fail” is not in our vocabulary
The forces enforced not by constabulary
But by consumers, in whom we trust
As better arbiters of boom or of bust
Than regulations designed to defend
The weak (or the earth) but in the end
Contradict the goals they purport
And harm those they wish to support

My Jeb mancrush compels me to link this

He is just so easy to like.

I grow weary of labor unions

for so many reasons:

1) their insistence on bullying people into paying dues (and their insistence that workers in union shops have no choice to opt out),
2) their constant bankrolling of leftist politicians (which support an agenda that goes far beyond issues directly involving the unions),
3) the cultural divisiveness they foster via the institutionalization of class warfare (e.g. recruiting and training people into a culture of class envy and hatred),
4) the nonsensical "rule generation" that abounds with unions and stifles economic activity,
5) the way they lead to higher unemployment, less growth, and a less dynamic U.S. economy,
6) the way they aid competing economies to grow more quickly and gain in relative wealth and power (which ties into why, IMO, the labor movement has always considered itself "global" and not American)

Unions in this day and age are counterproductive--period.  I wish them a quick death.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012

An Economic Argument for the Traditional Family

In an op-ed piece from, of all places, the LA Times, Kay Hymowitz makes a stats-based economic case for getting married before having kids.  Much of it is due to self-selection - unskilled, low-earning women are more likely to be single mothers in the first place, but her citation of a Ron Haskins of the Pew Center is very telling:

"If young people do three things — graduate from high school, get a job and get married and wait until they're 21 before having a baby — they have an almost 75% chance of making it into the middle class."

There's a reason the traditional family came to be - it was evolutionarily advantageous despite males' biological imperative to reproduce with as many females as possible.

DOJ to monitor WI recall election

Which should really help.  I'd hate if it partisans were responsible for policing the election and announcing who is "cheating."
Monday, June 04, 2012

A great explanation of why the Fed is f*cking you

This blog post is a few months old, but on point.  Here's the money shot:
The primary purpose of ZIRP was (and is) a backdoor bailout for banks......not to help consumers with lower interest rates as advertised. Anyone still under the illusion that it had to do with encouraging lending might want to find out why the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 included a provision for the Fed to pay interest to banks on reserves (which they never did before).
Obviously paying banks NOT to lend money isn't going to encourage lending. It shouldn't come as a surprise that excess reserves shot up after this was enacted...
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis makes it quite clear:
"By keeping short-term interest rates low, the Fed helps recapitalize the banking system by helping to raise the industry’s net interest margin (NIM), which boosts its retained earnings and, thus, its capital."

More Veepstakes rumors

For those who clicked on the last link I offered to Race 4 '12 and the "inside information" being blogged there, you probably saw the blogger's contact is code-named "The Eagle."   Well, the Eagle allowed for an interview, subject to a bunch of his own rule, and offered up some more juicy tidbits.  The short version is that, in his opinion, the shortlist will be down to 3 names in the near future, and those names will be Portman, Jindal, and Pawlenty.  But the whole interview is worth a read and available below the fold.

The man who should have been President

in 2000, but for Lauton Chiles.  Or 2012, but for Dubya. Alas, the fates have kept Jeb from running, and that is a real loss for all of us.

In any event, I lucked out this weekend, and flipped on C-Span (which I usually don't, b/c it's not in my HD channel range) and happened to come across the hearing below.   It's a bit of a long session, but I found it totally engrossing, because it addressed THE issue that should be consuming our federal government: "What should be the role of government in our economy?"

Friday, June 01, 2012

Blogger bash!

So I had an idea...

How's about we try and get all contributors and friends of this blog together for a little par-tee?

I had the notion that we might try to return to Foxwoods which would be convenient for our NY (7), Boston (3), and Connecticut (1) bloggers.  If we go 4 to a room, prolly be pretty cheap too.

Little bit of a trip for D.C., but I think we could make it worth his while.  If you know what I mean.

At the other end of the experiential spectrum, we could go up to Ehrhardt's for their Halloween party.
* whistling *

Summer?  Fall?  What all y'all think?


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