Thursday, June 28, 2012

Milos Forman shows future of US healthcare

When a something is run by centralized government, there is a priority placed on following the rules.
Hat tip: Dana

16th Amendment and unintended consequences

The 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in 1913. In its entirety, it reads:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
Did anyone who voted for it at the time think that it would permit, as per today's ruling, a Federal takeover of the entire healthcare system?

Obamacare decision: Blame Bush?

In a Volockh post entitled "The Perils of Shortsightedness," George Mason Univ. Law Prof. David Bernstein writes:
As I noted several times on this blog, the Bush Administration had one primary criterion for its judicial nominees: whether a nominee was likely to vote in favor of the government in War on Terror cases.
He argues that Pres. Bush's nominations of Miers and Roberts were consistent with this rather than with any conservative philosophy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sympathies to Nora Ephron and her family

Playwright and director Nora Ephron, 71,  is reportedly gravely ill with leukemia and her family is planning her funeral.  Films that she has written, such as "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "You've Got Mail," are well-known.  Sympathies to her and her family.

PREVIOUSLY on Ms. Nora Ephron:
Nora Ephron says the 2008 Democratic primaries will be about "white males" and their "hate"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Congressmen get rich

The Washington Post reports on how Congressmen can profit from the legislation that they vote on:
One-hundred-thirty members of Congress or their families have traded stocks collectively worth hundreds of millions of dollars in companies lobbying on bills that came before their committees, a practice that is permitted under current ethics rules, a Washington Post analysis has found.

The lawmakers bought and sold a total of between $85 million and $218 million in 323 companies registered to lobby on legislation that appeared before them, according to an examination of all 45,000 individual congressional stock transactions contained in computerized financial disclosure data from 2007 to 2010.

Almost one in every eight trades — 5,531 — intersected with legislation. The 130 lawmakers traded stocks or bonds in companies as bills passed through their committees or while Congress was still considering the legislation. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, 68 to 62.

The Post also reports on the clear hypocrisy:
Congress forbids top administration officials, for instance, from trading stocks in industries they oversee and can influence. The lawmakers, by contrast, can still invest in firms even as they create laws that can affect the bottom line of the companies.
An old Chinese proverb says "become a government official, get rich." Our Congress shows that that is still true.

PREVIOUSLY on government officials getting rich:
Kickbacks and the LA Coliseum
How to buy a congressman
How to buy a judge
Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein: how their husbands benefit from government contracts

Is Yale University overrated?

In Today's Washington Post, Peter Wallsten writes:
To defend the health-care mandate, for instance, the government could have cited past measures such as a 1792 law signed by President George Washington requiring able-bodied men 18 or older to purchase a musket and ammunition. Several scholars, even former president Bill Clinton, have cited the 18th-century law as an example of an individual mandate that happened to be imposed by a president with impeccable originalist bona fides.

“It was an ace in the hole,” said Akhil Amar, a Yale University constitutional law scholar. “You’ve got George Washington signing a bill that helps you. Why wouldn’t you use it?” [Emph. added]

The reason, of course, is that that 1792 law regulates the militia, a power that the constitution clearly grants to the Federal government.  No one is claiming any military basis for Obamacare.  Akhil Amar, the Sterling Professor of Law at Yale Law School, should know better.

Friday, June 22, 2012

What is the purpose of government regulations?

Mayor David Silva and two city Councilman, Osvaldo Conde and Angel Perales, of the City of Cudahy, California, were arrested today and charged with soliciting bribes "in exchange for their support of a permit for a medical marijuana dispensary."

To answer the question in the title, the purpose of regulations is to enrich government officials.

Neither the Public Radio (KPCC) story on this nor the LA Times story on this mention the party affiliation of those arrested.  BestPlaces, however, reports that Democrats outnumber Republicans in Cudahy by 69% to 29%.  File this under "name that party."

RELATED: The Washington Examiner reported last month on another case of purchasing influence.  This one was about a Democrat fundraiser indicted in Connecticut:
Robert Braddock, Jr., finance director for the leading Democrat in Connecticut's 5th congressional district primary, was indicted by the Department of Justice for conspiracy charges relating to campaign donations allegedly designed to influence legislation in the general assembly.

Reality vs. liberals

IN 2003, when CBS was going to air a docudrama that would smear Ronald Reagan as a homophobe, Rock Hudson's ex-lover, Marc Christian, responded with a letter to CBS President Leslie Moonves:
"The notion that President Reagan was a homophobe strikes me as silly beyond belief. Not only did he have several gay men on his staff when he was Governor of California, he called my lover, Rock Hudson when he was on his deathbed just weeks before he died of AIDS and wished him well and voiced his and Nancy's concern and prayers." 
In a rare fit of honesty and decency, CBS decided not to broadcast the show.

Since, however, some smears are too good to let go of,  gay activists visiting the White House last Friday took turns flipping the finger at a portrait of Ronald Reagan:
At the Obama White House, apparently, there is no adult supervision.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Obama supporters explain why you should vote Obama in 2012. From the streets of San Francisco!

This video was taken during Obama's last two visits to the SF Bay Area. The SF Tea Party was at both to protest (see here and here). The highlight of the video though has to be the Obama supporters trying to explain what Obama's greatest accomplishments are:
PREVIOUSLY on recent SF Bay Area events:
In the streets of San Francisco: a protest against Obama!
Obama visits the San Francisco Peninsula and a Tea Party breaks out
Global warming provokes laughter, even in the San Francisco Bay Area
OccupyFail: the "general strike" that wasn't
San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party
San Francisco: inmates run asylum
SF Churches rally: has a second front opened in the war for freedom?
Reluctant California bureaucrats are shamed into saying the Pledge of Allegiance

The horrors of Guantanamo

The (UK) Daily Mail reports:
Prisoners at Guantanemo Bay prison are being treated to cable television, a new sports center, painting 'life enrichment' classes, and extensive library with a wide selection of DVDs, newspapers, and best-selling books like Harry Potter in a number of languages.
With 169 residents, the facility costs $140 million per year to run.

Attorney Obama profited while client went bankrupt

The Obama campaign is busy making unfair and uninformed attacks on Romney's work in the private sector. If turnabout is fair play, then read today's Daily Caller story about Obama's legal career and his profiting from lawsuits that helped cause the housing bubble:
One striking example comes from the president’s 1995 housing-discrimination class action lawsuit: It provided him with legal fees, greased his political donations and boosted his role in Chicago politics.

While he made personal gains, his lead African-American client, Selma Buycks-Roberson, declared bankruptcy in 2001 — and again in 2008 as she received a home foreclosure notice, according to unpublicized federal and city records obtained by The Daily Caller.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

At 3am, Obama's phone did not ring

In the Wall Street Journal, Mark Moyer writes:
Earlier this week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki needed outside help in handling recalcitrant political opponents. He didn't wake Mr. Obama with a phone call at 3 a.m. Instead, he dialed the Iranians.

Obamacare fractures the Democrat coalition. Former supporters vow to defy the law

The Catholic Church, which should have known better than to make a deal with the devil, supported Obamacare.  Now that it is law, Obama says that they will be required to pay for what, in their view, is the murder of innocent children. The mistake that Obama made is that this is not an issue on which the religious faithful, even if they are otherwise 'good' Democrats, can compromise.  Here in San Francisco, people representing many denominations gathered today in the shadow of the regional HHS headquarters to express their outrage and their determination, if necessary, to defy the law:

To this crowd, the issue is one of personhood.  SF rally organizer, Pastor Walter Hoye, explained that the issue of personhood resonates especially deeply not just with him but with all Blacks who can remember the pain of being denied personhood. The denial of personhood to an unborn child is consequently a viscerally understood outrage:
Pastor Hoye's passion for this issue was awakened with the premature (6 months, 2.1 lbs.) birth of his son which taught him that "the fetus is a person, a living, breathing human being."

Standing outside the HHS building, speakers led the crowd in chants of "We will not, we cannot, and we must not" stand for this HHS mandate.    Civil disobedience was widely discussed.  This woman below may be smiling,  but the crowd takes the message very seriously:

This was the second in a series of three nationwide rallies to Stand Up for Religious Freedom.  The group responsible for it in San Francisco is the California Civil Rights Foundation.

The speakers were impressive.  This is Gwen Patrick, currently a candidate for State Assembly in the 52nd district:
Pastor Antoine Miller spoke with passion about Obama's general assault on religious liberty:
Using rich historical detail, Rochelle Conner put this battle into the context of American tradition:
The crowd was enthusiastic:

Nuns were represented too:
This sign reads "Respect the first amendment":
Some in the crowd understood that religious freedom is one of many constitutional rights that are under attack by the Obama administration.  Others were perfectly happy having the government control their lives just as long as these particular HHS mandates were repealed.  In either case, they now understand that Obama is an enemy of religious conscience.

Has a second front opened in the war for freedom?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

San Franciscans protest against Obama

Barack Obama, America's Fundraiser-in-Chief, visited San Francisco today in search of still more campaign cash. Because San Francisco, home to Nancy Pelosi, has a reputation as America's most liberal city, one might think that The One would be safe from criticism here. It is not so. As he arrived for lunch at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in the historic Merchants Exchange Building on California Street, the San Francisco Tea Party was there to greet him (click on any photo to enlarge):

Just a couple years ago, the local SF news media ignored tea parties. Now, they will take a few pictures of tea parties and sometimes their reports are even accurate. Below, KRON interviews Sally Zelikovsky, the founder of the Bay Area Patriots:
After the rally, Sally commented that the media interest in the Tea Party seemed to be at an all-time high. Could it be that the Wisconsin results have finally convinced them that the Tea Party is not going away? [Update: Fund47 has more on the press coverage. Sally writes on the press coverage here.]

Breitbart was here also and celebrating the victory in Wisconsin:
More people with messages:

The sign below reads "POTUS: we hope the winds of change blow you away!!":
There is always a lot of security for the President but, in my observation, this was a first: to protect The One, dump trucks were used to block off the streets:
Naturally, this prompted the crowd to burst out in a chorus of "Dump Obama."

At another moment, a dog was seen being walked toward the Merchants Exchange Building. Concerned that Obama might think it appetizing, the crowd shouted chants of "poor little pup" and "save the dog."

The number of vehicles requires to protect the President is always impressive. Here is an array of San Francisco Police motorcycles that arrived as part of the Presidential protection detail:
Does this make the SFPD California's largest biker gang? Regardless, the use of so many vehicles, replicated along every step of the way, shows just a small piece of how carbon-intensive Obama's travel really is.

The left also appeared. Apparently in sympathy with polar bears (but not with consumers), this crowd wanted to stop arctic drilling:
There was also a contingent of left-wing anti-war protesters such as this woman:
It was just four years ago that there was much Hope for all the Change that America's new messiah would bring. It must be very disappointing to the left that Gitmo is still open and that they still need their venerable "peace" signs. Reality is tough.

Larry from SF was at today's rally. Expect to see more tea party photos at his blog, Fund47. [Update: the permalink to Larry's photos is here.]

UPDATE: Zombie followed Obama every step along the way yesterday and has photos.

WELCOME to readers of Instapundit, FoxNews, GatewayPundit, Memeorandum, Fund47, Moonbattery, Zombie, AmericanThinker, The Examiner, BeforeItsNews, MyMyMy, IOwnTheWorld, PatDollard, AllPatriotsMedia, FreeNorthCarolina, WhatBubbaKnows, and NoMossHere.

PREVIOUSLY on recent SF Bay Area events:
Obama visits the San Francisco Peninsula and a Tea Party breaks out
Global warming provokes laughter, even in the San Francisco Bay Area
OccupyFail: the "general strike" that wasn't
San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party
San Francisco: inmates run asylum
SF Churches rally: has a second front opened in the war for freedom?
Reluctant California bureaucrats are shamed into saying the Pledge of Allegiance


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker appears to have defeated Barrett by a larger margin (57% to 42% with 60% counted) than he did in 2010 (52% to 46%). This is a victory for the rights of taxpayers and it happened in a state that Obama won by 14 points. Celebrate.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Centuries pass but liberalism is unchanged

In 1790, Edmund Burke wrote about the French Revolution (full text here).  As you may remember, the French Revolution, in contrast to the American one, was quite unsuccessful: it led to extreme violence and decades of tyranny.  I was struck by the similarities between Burke's description of the revolutionary Jacobins then and Obama and his ilk today.  Consider how Burke described the Jacobin approach to public policy:
[T]hey abandon the dearest interests of the public to those loose theories to which none of them would choose to trust the slightest of his private concerns.
In his private life, would a liberal advocate that a person facing bankruptcy solve his problems by increasing spending?  Certainly not.  But the Stimulus bill is just that on the public stage and was based on nothing more than the "loose theory" of Keynesianism and was pursued over the objections of economists from Monetarist and Rational Expectations schools of thought.  Obamacare and "green energy" are likewise supported only by the loosest of theories.

Burke continues:
The public interests, because about them they have no real solicitude, they abandon wholly to chance: I say to chance, because their schemes have nothing in experience to prove their tendency beneficial.
In other words, liberal policy prescriptions are so poorly thought out because liberals don't really care about them.  They just don't care that previous experiences with economic stimulus or government medicine or whatever don't support their current plans.

So, what do the Jacobins care about?  On that point, Burke is emphatic: their goal is raw power:
They proceed exactly as their ancestors of ambition have done before them. Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences, you can find nothing at all that is new. They follow precedents and examples with the punctilious exactness of a pleader. They never depart an iota from the authentic formulas of tyranny and usurpation. . . . [I]n their desire of obtaining and securing power they are thoroughly in earnest.
Whether it is Dan Rather and his fake documents, or union thugs beating Kenneth Gladney, or Eric Holder's assistance to the New Black Panthers and their mission of carrying billy clubs in front of polling stations, the liberal use of "artifices, frauds, and violences" continues.

In sum, issues are unimportant to Jacobins; it is power that is important.  To use New Left phraseology, Burke is saying that, for Jacobins, "the issue is never the issue, the issue is the revolution."

My friend, The Gunslinger, tells me that liberals now are more dangerous than ever and that society may have fallen too far to save.  I say that the threat from liberals/progressives/Jacobins has always been around.  That is why now, as ever, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

Support your local Tea Party.

Hat tip: Instapundit and TheOtherMcCain.
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