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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Obama Puts Out Figurative Bounty on Supreme Court

Rush Limbaugh
RUSH: Obama and his attack on the Supreme Court yesterday. It happened toward the end of the program in the last half hour and it was happening on the fly. I didn't really have enough time to listen in detail to what Obama said, and thus I didn't have a chance to, in detail, reply. I've now listened to what Obama said. I've got three sound bites here.

When I got home yesterday at about six o'clock last night I got a flash encrypted message from a friend who says, "You know, somebody in the court leaked to Obama. That's why he went out there and did this today. Somebody called him. He lost the vote, the preliminary vote on Friday. He lost it, and somebody leaked it." And that became an active theory that began to be bandied about amongst a lot of people that I know. Because people were saying, "Why go out," as Obama did yesterday...? It was in the form of a question. We must remember that he was asked a question about this. He didn't launch into this on his own, but once he got the question, it was, "Katie, bar the door," and he was off to the races.

And the question everybody was asking is: "Why do this? Why attack the court? Why intimidate them, why threaten them if they had voted to uphold the mandate?" And I have an answer for that. See, I know these people. I know liberals. I don't want that statement to sound bombastic. You people here -- new listeners to the program -- that's not a braggadocios statement. It's not bombastic. It's not outrage or any attempt to shock. I just know them, and so when somebody asks me, "Why would Obama say that if he didn't have to? If he had been told that the preliminary vote on Friday was in his favor, why take the attitude that he took?" There is an answer to that. I don't know if it's right, but there is an answer.

He's a thug.

The Imperial President: Obama Wages War on SCOTUS, Congress

President Obama’s favorite word, as we’ve learned repeatedly, is “I.” He uses it on a constant basis. He uses it to claim credit and to assign blame. He uses it to cajole and to threaten. He uses it to plead and to prod.

But he doesn’t use the word “I” purely out of ego. He does it because for President Obama, “I” represents the executive branch. And the executive branch, in Obama’s view, is the ruling branch of American government.

President Obama’s latest attack on the Supreme Court is just the latest evidence of his deep-rooted disdain not just for the Constitution, but for the system of checks and balances it represents. Prior to his election, Obama told Americans that we were just days away from “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” He didn’t mean that simply in terms of policy, although he certainly wanted redistributionist policy to take center stage. He meant it in terms of governmental structure.

President Obama has made it his mission to wield the club against the other two branches of government in a manner unprecedented in American history. Yesterday, Obama, rejecting the heart of judicial review for purposes of his own power, stated, “I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.” That, of course, is precisely what the Supreme Court does on a daily basis: it reviews acts of a democratically-elected Congress. The reason the justices are unelected is that they are supposed to be free of outside influences in defending and protecting the Constitution.

But for Obama, the Supreme Court is an obstacle to his own power. And so he goes to war with the Supreme Court. As I noted yesterday, this is nothing new for President Obama – in his 2010 State of the Union Address, he lied about the Supreme Court and attacked them as judicial activists for striking down campaign finance laws that violated the First Amendment. That prompted Justice Alito to mouth the words, “Not true.” But undercutting the authority of the Supreme Court in a setting where the justices had to sit and take it was just the beginning, apparently.

Firestorm Over Obama's Comments about Supreme Court

This President is doing his best to intimidate the Supreme Court of the United States so he can get the result he seeks. Thank God some judges on the 5th Circuit have the courage to do something about it! - Reggie

A federal appeals court is striking back after President Obama cautioned the Supreme Court against overturning the health care overhaul and warned that such an act would be "unprecedented."

A three-judge panel for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ordered the Justice Department to explain by Thursday whether the administration believes judges have the power to strike down a federal law.

A source inside the courtroom, who did not want to be identified, confirmed the incident to Fox News. The testy exchange played out during a hearing over a separate challenge to the health care law. It was apparent, however, that the justice who questioned the government attorney present was referring to Obama's recent comments about the Supreme Court's review of that law.

And there is this...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ann Coulter’s “novelty candidate” Swipe at Sarah Palin

I have noticed since Ann Coulter has started supporting and pushing liberal Republicans (Christie, Romney, etc.) she has taken a turn toward the left, herself. After the election in November she may find she has alienated untold numbers of fans and friends. - Reggie

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 2, 2012

Mitt Romney supporter Ann Coulter appeared on the ABC News Sunday show, “This Week,” hosted by former Clintonite George Stephanopoulos. Asked about Romney’s potential vice presidential picks, she said this (while seated at a table with former green jobs czar Van Jones, who served under the Biggest Novelty Candidate of Them All, Barack Obama):

Ann Coulter:
You can’t have a novelty candidate, I think. That would ring too much like Sarah Palin. I agree with George Will that it be good to have little tea party excitement, and the odds-on favorite, I mean, certainly the betting is on Marco Rubio, I think that would be a mistake.” But Coulter, who is a firm Mitt Romney supporter, said the GOP frontrunner needs a running mate who is tried and tested, she suggested Romney pick someone like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.”He’s been tested, he’s steady, he’s not frightening. He could certainly step into the job” Coulter said of Kyl.

Unbelievably, Coulter is under the continued delusion that Sarah Palin was the problem with the 2008 ticket and not McCain. Later in the show, when Van Jones floated former Bush Secretary of State Condoleezza Rices name for VP, Coulter snorted again: “Too much like Palin.”

Say what?

Like her love object Chris Christie, Coulter has been taking many open shots at Palin lately. Florida’s great Shark Tank blog and the Daily Caller noted a few weeks ago that Coulter took nasty swipes at Palin at a Lincoln Day Dinner event:

Coulter, who was asked about the prospects of a brokered Republican convention, hinted — as she has done in the past – that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is promoting the idea because she would like to be considered for the GOP nomination should a brokered convention occur. Coulter warned that selecting a candidate that way would void the vetting process that has weeded out inferior candidates.

“One of the ones promoting that [a brokered convention] is Sarah Palin, who has suggested herself as the choice,” Coulter said. “I think as long as it’s between us girls — I’ve been observing something about her. I don’t think it’s likely to happen. I don’t know what these people are cheering for. As I wrote in a column a few weeks back, who is this dream candidate we’re hoping to get from the convention, because Rick Perry used to be the dream candidate. Can we see them in a debate first?”

…Coulter said that might be a weakness in the Republican Party as a whole — that certain individuals become celebrities and are allowed to profit off that status and yet still interfere in GOP politics, which Democrats have been able to avoid.

“And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.”

...“The one pledge I support and I think I’m going to draft it up is for all Republican nominees for president — I want them to sign a pledge saying, ‘If I lose the nomination I pledge I will not take a gig with Fox News or write a book.’

Statism Goes to Court

Andrew McCarthy
Health care should not be a federal concern at all.

‘Well, I can’t imagine that that — that the Commerce Clause would — would forbid Congress from taking into account this deeply embedded social norm.”

This was Solicitor General Donald Verrilli on Day Two of the great Obamacare case. At issue was Affordable Care Act’s most controversial aspect: the “individual mandate” — the requirement that Americans purchase health insurance as a condition of living in their country. The SG was being pummeled by Justice Antonin Scalia.

Pummeling was the order of the day for Verrilli. From the moment he rose to deliver the most important argument of his professional life, he seemed tongue-tied; he could barely get through “May it please the Court” without sputtering. It is hard, even for a lawyer as fine as Verrilli, to defend the indefensible. Yet, as he argued with Scalia, the SG grabbed on to a hidden truth: He and his fellow progressives are already way, way ahead. They may not win this skirmish over the individual mandate. But there is the battle, and then there is the war. For statism, the war is still going very well.

The “deeply embedded social norm” to which the SG referred was another government mandate: The 1986 law demanding that hospitals, without compensation, treat emergency patients who lack insurance or the capacity to pay. It was a telling moment: The hullaballoo over the individual mandate is a case of noticing the barn door open about a quarter-century after the horse has galloped away.

So who are “the uninsured”? They sort into two categories, alternatively emphasized, depending on what the Left is trying to accomplish that day. If the aim is to achieve “social justice” (i.e., the redistribution of wealth from the producers to the takers), they are “the poor.” If the aim is to manufacture social injustice, they are the “free riders” — “free,” once our coveted condition, is now an epithet. The “free riders” rationally choose not to insure themselves, figuring that they are young, healthy, not likely to need much medical attention, and able to get treatment in the event of an emergency.

There are no free lunches, though. The central planners want to co-opt the aged and the poor, but they cannot afford to seduce them with “free” health care unless they soak the free riders. Meantime, hospitals cannot afford to treat and bear the malpractice risks of non-paying patients unless they recoup by over-charging the paying customers. Since people generally pay by insurance, this drives up the private insurers’ costs. That, in turn, drives up the costs of premiums, which responsible people choose to pay in order to insure themselves against the skyrocketing prices bred by this vicious cycle of coercion.

Thus, Verrilli contended, Congress can force free riders either to buy government-approved insurance or to pony up a government-dictated fine. As he put it, you must “pay for what you get” because you are “getting the health care service anyway as a result of the social norms . . . to which we’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care.”

Well, no, Justice Scalia countered. There’s a much easier answer: “Don’t obligate yourself” in the first place. After all, if you didn’t coerce the hospitals and the insurers, you wouldn’t need to coerce the citizens.

Heaven forefend! Why, government coercion is the beating heart of our “free” society. It is — all together now — a “deeply embedded social norm.”

Wisconsin Teachers' Unions Trained by Well-Funded Alinsky Group has learned that teachers in Wisconsin have been attending routine training workshops with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), a radical organization founded by Saul Alinsky in 1940.

In a video produced by the MacIver Institute, organizers are seen arriving at a March 17 training session with the Wisconsin Education Association Council, Wisconsin's state teachers union.

Teachers' unions led last year's protests in Wisconsin against collective bargaining reforms, and are now heavily involved in the effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker. In addition to Alinskyite groups, the recall effort has attracted the support of radicals such as unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

In a little-known speech to Wisconsin teachers last September, Ayers spoke of the need for "a new kind of education for a new kind of citizens that can make a new kind of society” (part 1 is here; part 2 is here).

The training tactics of the IAF were detailed in a 1994 book by Jim Rooney called Organizing the South Bronx, which was praised by Ayers as on the back cover as "an outstanding book."

Progressive Puling About the Obamacare Hearings

Obamacare advocates blame its legal troubles on everything but flaws in the actual law.

When Obamacare's passage two years ago produced the constitutional challenges that eventually led to last week's oral arguments before the Supreme Court, our friends on the left sneered. They told us the lawsuits were frivolous publicity stunts doomed to be laughed out of the lower courts and that the justices of the highest court in the land would never stoop to hear them. The progressive pundits were wrong, of course, largely because very few of them actually listened to and comprehended the basic arguments. Now that the defense of Obamacare has turned out to be a "train wreck," as CNN's Jeffrey Toobin described it, the usual suspects are blaming the disaster on the incompetence of the Solicitor General, the biases of the Court's conservative justices, and even the diffidence of the liberal justices. Predictably, our lefty friends are wrong again.

These talking points are not merely incorrect, however. They offer a revealing glimpse into the cynicism of the left. The first instinct of the Democrats and their media lickspittles is to assassinate the character of anyone, including lifelong liberals, who disagree with them or simply fail to live up to their unrealistic expectations. This latter crime was committed by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli last Tuesday, when he had to stand before the United States Supreme Court and attempt to defend the individual mandate. Like any honest man forced to make a fundamentally dishonest argument, he had trouble making the sale. He stumbled, coughed, and often seemed at a loss for words. And for this sin, he has been relentlessly criticized and even ridiculed by people who he probably thought were on his team.

A typically despicable attack was leveled at Verrilli by the eminent legal scholars at Mother Jones: "Sounding less like a world-class lawyer and more like a teenager giving an oral presentation for the first time, Verrilli delivered a rambling, apprehensive legal defense of liberalism's biggest domestic accomplishment since the 1960s -- and one that may well have doubled as its eulogy." Some of the left's Monday morning quarterbacks actually had the audacity to give him advice on how he should have argued the case. Yale law professor Akhil Reed Amar, writing in Slate, imagines himself standing in Verrilli's shoes and knocking every question from the Supremes out of the park: "Solicitor General Donald Verrilli was grilled by the Supreme Court's conservatives. Here is what he should have said …"

Amar, like most of Verrilli's other progressive critics, has been warming the bench in academia while the Solicitor General has actually been playing in the big leagues. Having graduated from Columbia Law, Verrilli clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Brennan and went on to become a senior litigator at one of the country's most prestigious law firms. In government, he has served as Deputy Counsel to the President, Associate United States Deputy Attorney General and eventually rose to his current post after it was vacated by Elena Kagan. Verrilli has also argued seventeen previous cases before the Supreme Court. So, Obamacare's bad week in Court was not caused by an inexperienced or incompetent Solicitor General. It was caused by the law itself. It is an obviously unconstitutional statute that simply cannot be honestly defended.

Dirty Harry’s Little Secret

ObamaCare would face challenges from within Democratic Senate

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) is refusing to bring a budget resolution to the floor in order to protect Senate Democrats from having to cast a series of difficult election-year votes on amendments to the unpopular health care bill.

More than 1,000 days have passed since Senate Democrats last introduced a budget resolution, something Republicans have repeatedly criticized.

“Why is [Reid] prepared to take the grief of not proposing a budget?” asked Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee and one of Reid’s most outspoken critics. “Because the problems of not having one are worse than the grief he would take on health care, spending, taxes, if we ever had to vote on them.”

Other leading Republicans agree.

“Leader Reid has made it pretty clear he’s not going to bring up a budget because he doesn’t want his incumbents running for reelection to cast hard votes,” Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) told the Washington Free Beacon. “My understanding is that’s why we got elected.”

“The Senate Budget Committee should be doing something,” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) said. “The question is: why won’t they? We would have to take tough votes, and it’s an election year.”

The health care law, Sessions notes, would be a central focus of the debate that would ensue if Reid allowed a budget resolution to be brought to the Senate floor.

Pursuing a budget resolution would trigger an open amendment process—often called a “vote-a-rama”—comprising 50 hours of debate and dozens of votes on individual amendments offered by Senators.

That would allow Republicans to force simple majority votes, not subject to the standard 60-vote requirement, on individual aspects of the health care law as well as a measure to partially defund the new federal apparatus it created.

That would put Obamacare in serious jeopardy. The House of Representatives has already repealed the unpopular bill, and the Supreme Court may do the same to Obamacare’s key components.

“With the Supreme Court decision at hand, Obamacare is back in the news again, and it’s still unpopular,” one GOP Senate aide told the Free Beacon. “How many Democrats in swing states want to run, essentially, on voting multiple times to support it?”

Sarah Palin Interviewed by Today Show Hosts

Naturally, they managed to dig at Palin during this tease. - Reggie

This Man

This ad is so true! Wake up, Republicans. Romney should be rejected by the primary voters because he will be rejected in the general election. - Reggie

Also, Romney supporters should look at two websites run by the Democratic National Committee (here and here) and consider the scorched earth campaign Obama will be running. Romney will be slaughtered.

Assailing the Supreme Court

The legal left echoes Newt Gingrich on judicial power.

After last week's Supreme Court argument on ObamaCare, the political left seems to be suffering a nervous breakdown. Only a week ago, the liberal consensus was that the federal mandate to buy insurance couldn't possibly be overturned. Now as panic sets in, the left has taken to mau-mauing the Justices by saying that if they overturn the mandate they'll be acting like political partisans. The High Court's very "legitimacy" will be in question, as one editorial put it—a view repeated across the liberal commentariat.

This criticism is itself political lobbying, as is clear from the fact that it mostly spares Anthony Kennedy, the likeliest swing vote. Liberals still hope Justice Kennedy will uphold all of the law, even as they audition the mauling he'll get if he joins Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas in the ninth level of judicial hell. Chief Justice John Roberts is also being lectured that the case will "define" his career, though in six years he has already established a record as a careful consensus builder on the Court.

Overturn any part of the law, the Justices are being told, and your reputations will be trashed. The invitations from Harvard and other precincts of the liberal establishment will dry up. And, by the way, you'll show you hate sick people—as if the Court's job is to determine health-care policy.

This is the left's echo of Newt Gingrich's threat earlier in the primary season to haul judges before Congress when it dislikes their rulings. Remember the political outrage over that one?

No doubt the Justices will ignore this transparent attempt at political intimidation, but someone should defend them against the claim that overturning the law would be "judicial activism." It's more accurate to say that failing to overturn the mandate would be dodging their duty to uphold core constitutional principles.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

William A. Jacobson Talks SCOTUS Oral Arguments on ObamaCare

YouTube description: William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection Blog talking with Mark Carbonaro of KION 1460 AM about the Supreme Court health care oral argument.

NOTE: Unfortunately, I have no control over the commercials in this audio. - Reggie

Palin to Couric: 'Game On'

Below is the complete, exclusive report from Breitbart about this Tuesday's early morning show wars:

When news broke that Katie Couric will be filling in for Robin Roberts next week on ABC's "Good Morning America," the country yawned.  Or, at least we did, until we learned that NBC plans to pit "The Rogue Warrior" against "The Perky One": Sarah Palin will be guest-hosting "Today" this Tuesday.

NBC's decision to seat the former Alaska Governor-turned-multimedia star in their anchor chair will likely prove to be a fruitful one. Since coming onto the national scene in 2008, Palin has become one of the most charismatic figures in conservative America and will likely bring "Today" an entirely different demographic of viewers.

"I see this as a good opportunity to bring an independent, common-sense conservative perspective to NBC. We’re 'going rogue' and infiltrating some turf for a day,” Palin told Breitbart News.

Palin and Couric will be squaring off, in a sense, for the first time since their controversial interview on the 2008 campaign trail.

When Breitbart News asked for a comment about the fact that she will be competing with Couric, Gov. Palin responded simply: "Game on."


It’s Not Just the Mandate: ObamaCare’s Other Infringements

The bill seizes liberty from doctors and insurance firms, too.

ObamaCare supporters were hit with more bad news recently when the Congressional Budget Office announced that the health care law would cost nearly twice the original estimates: $1.76 trillion over ten years rather than $940 billion. Of course, such “unexpected” cost overruns are nothing new for government programs. When Medicare was passed in 1965, it was predicted to cost $12 billion by 1990. In reality, it cost a whopping $110 billion, almost 10 times more than predicted.

But the escalating economic costs of ObamaCare will pale in comparison to the escalating losses of freedom.

The infringement of personal freedom receiving the most attention lately has been the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to purchase health insurance. This issue is at the heart of the current legal challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court. But ObamaCare imposes numerous other mandates and controls, including the following:

  • Insurance companies must offer numerous “free” benefits, including various preventive health services, birth control, and coverage of “children” up to age 26.
  • An Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) of unelected bureaucrats will set prices for Medicare services that will lead to de facto rationing.

The administrative costs associated with complying with these regulations will accelerate the trend of doctors leaving traditional private practice. Instead, doctors will increasingly work for large Accountable Care Organizations where they’ll practice according to government protocols, with their compliance monitored by the mandatory electronic medical records.

As Dr. Donald Berwick (President Obama’s former head of Medicare) once noted:
The primary function of regulation in health care, especially as it affects the quality of medical care, is to constrain decentralized, individualized decision making.
In other words, restricting physicians’ freedom to practice is not some “unintended consequence” of ObamaCare, but rather an explicitly desired goal.

Simultaneously, ObamaCare will also squeeze private insurers out of business. In a recent Forbes article, Sally Pipes notes:
ObamaCare effectively forces insurers to pay out more generous benefits but limits their ability to raise the revenue needed to do so. Consequently, many firms will go out of business.
The decline has already started. Aetna has pulled out of the individual insurance market in Colorado and Indiana and out of the small-group market in Michigan. The Iowa-based Principal Financial Group stopped selling health insurance entirely, leaving 840,000 people without coverage. And Unicare has stopped selling policies in Virginia.
Once the private insurance market has been destroyed, Americans will be forced to buy their health insurance on government-run “exchanges” where the government decides which health services should or should not be covered.

Don't blame Verrilli: Hard to defend the indefensible

So last week's Supreme Court arguments over Obamacare weren't exactly a smashing success for the Obama administration. How bad was it? Bad enough that Jeffrey Toobin called the event "a train wreck," Mother Jones called it a "disaster," and constitutional law professor Ann Althouse, amid terrible reviews of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's performance, wondered if Verrilli had taken a dive, deliberately throwing the argument so that the Obama administration would no longer be tied to the increasingly unpopular health care bill.

But I think that people are being too hard on Verrilli. He may have coughed and stammered a bit, but his real problem wasn't about performance. His real problem was that he was tasked with defending the indefensible.

The Constitution of the United States was supposed to create a federal government limited to the comparatively few powers specifically enumerated therein, mostly in Article I, Section 8. The idea was that the federal government would address subjects that really needed to be handled on a national level. The states would do the rest, or people would take care of matters on their own.

As James Madison wrote in the Federalist No. 45, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

To underscore this arrangement, the Tenth Amendment provided that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

This division of powers was intended to protect freedom by limiting the scope of the powerful national government. It was also intended to reduce the extent of corruption in the federal government. The powers most likely to encourage corruption were left to the states.

This worked pretty well -- it wasn't until late in the 20th century that the federal government started to catch up with state governments in the corruption department. The subjects entrusted to the federal government by the Constitution -- those largely "external" powers -- simply don't lend themselves to corruption. On the other hand, when the government lays a heavy regulatory hand on almost every business and industry, the temptation for those regulated to buy off the regulators -- or to simply buy "protection" from them -- becomes much greater. That has increasingly been the pattern in recent decades, even as, not so coincidentally, the public's trust in the national government has steadily declined. As P.J. O'Rourke famously said, when buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold will be legislators.

The Left's Orwellian Censorship Campaign

Liberal theologian William Ellery Channing once observed, “The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated.”

War has indeed been declared. Channing’s contemporary liberal counterparts have declared a war for our culture. But while Channing presumably held to the oft-bandied supposition that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism,” today’s secular-progressive has no choice but to endeavor that “all opposition should be hushed.”

Liberals recognize that when arguing on the merits, they cannot prevail. Not only are their morally relative, redistributionist philosophies untenable and utopian, but they read the same polls demonstrating that reasonable people reject their ideas outright. In fact, Americans identify as conservative over liberal by a two-to-one margin. Even those who call themselves “moderate” lean conservative.

It makes sense. The “progressive” movement wars against natural law, pushes perpetually failed secular-socialist policies and places — above constitutionally safeguarded individual liberty — thickheaded tenets of postmodern political correctness. Liberal elites demand tolerance for all things perverse and find intolerable all things righteous.

And so, the final, desperate act of the left-wing, lemon-hocking charlatan is to marginalize, smear and ultimately shut down the competition. As a result, liberals obfuscate, propagandize and strive to silence all dissent. They no longer even try to hide it.

The evidence of this calculated assault on free speech is overwhelming, but the most recent and high-profile examples include carefully orchestrated campaigns by three well-funded, interconnected, George Soros-linked organizations: Media Matters for America (MMFA); the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC); and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

After years of trying to censor the conservative voice of Rush Limbaugh, for instance, the George Soros-funded Media Matters recently pulled out all the stops to get him booted from the airwaves.

A Black Conservative's View of American History

I stumbled upon a fascinating video through a New Zeal tweet this morning. The history and common sense of the video can not be denied. If Americans want to live free from tyranny, we must all see the Democrat party for what it is and the agenda it has to completely control us. Time is running out. - Reggie

Swingin’ Kennedy

Mark Steyn
The liberties of more than 300 million people hinge on just one man.

Since the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, Swingin’ Anthony Kennedy has been the swingingest swinger on the Supreme Court, the big Numero Cinco on all those 5–4 white-knuckle nail-biting final scores. So naturally Court observers have been paying close attention to his interventions in the Obamacare oral arguments. So far he doesn’t sound terribly persuaded by the administration’s line:

“The government is saying that the federal government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases, and that changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way.” As John Hinderaker wrote at the Powerline blog, “In that last observation, Kennedy seems to be channeling Mark Steyn.” Which is true. As I wrote in National Review only two or three issues back, “I’ve argued for years in these pages that governmentalized health care fundamentally transforms the relationship between citizen and state in ways that” — and here’s the bit Justice Kennedy isn’t quite on board with yet — “make it all but impossible to have genuinely conservative government ever again.” So I’m naturally heartened to hear him meeting me halfway. This was one of the highlights of a week that a shell-shocked Jeffrey Toobin, crawling out from under the rubble of the solicitor general’s presentation, told CNN viewers was “a train wreck” for the government’s case.

And yet, and yet . . . If you incline to the view that Obamacare is a transformative act, isn’t there something slightly pitiful about the fact that the liberties of over 300 million people hinge on the somewhat whimsical leanings of just one man? I mean, Kennedy seems a cheery enough cove, but who died and made him the all-powerful Sultan of Swing? “It is a decision of the Supreme Court,” explained Nancy Pelosi a few years back in more congenial times for the Democrats. “So this is almost as if God has spoken.”

That’s not how earlier Americans saw it: “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court,” wrote Abraham Lincoln, “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.”

Which they have. Or it would not have come to this.

In February, George Jonas wrote up north that Canadians enjoyed more rights and freedoms in the days before all their rights and freedoms got written down in a big ol’ “Charter of Rights and Freedoms” (1982). At this point, many readers will object that the constitutional documents of some effete pansy ninny monarchy like Canada are entirely irrelevant to a strapping butch manly self-reliant republic like America. Three words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Finding herself with a bit of time on her hands, Justice Ginsburg swung by Cairo last month to help out the lads from the Muslim Brotherhood building the new Egypt: “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she advised them. Instead, she recommended the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights. That’s why the fate of the republic will come down to a 5–4 vote. Because four-ninths of the constitutional court think the American constitutional order is as déclassé as a 2006 BlackBerry.

“There seems to be an inverse relationship between written instruments of freedom, such as a Charter, and freedom itself,” mused George Jonas. “It’s as if freedom were too fragile to be put into words: If you write down your rights and freedoms, you lose them.” That was generally the view of the Britannic part of the English-speaking world until the late 20th century: What’s unwritten is as important as, if not more so than, what is. The constitution of Australia, for example, makes no mention of the office of prime minister. The job exists only through custom and convention understood from the United Kingdom, where likewise it existed only through custom and convention: “statutory recognition” in London didn’t come till 1937 — or over two centuries after dozens of blokes had been doing the job.

By contrast, on the Continent, where many constitutions date all the way back to the disco era (Greece, 1975; Portugal, 1976; Spain, 1978), if the establishment wants to invent a new “right” — i.e., yet another intrusion by government — it goes ahead and does so. If it happens to conflict with this year’s constitution, they rewrite it. The United States is the only Western nation in which our rulers invoke the Constitution for the purpose of overriding it — or, at any rate, torturing its language beyond repair. Thus, in this week’s debate on whether Obamacare is merely the latest harmless evolution of the interstate-commerce clause, the most learned and highly remunerated jurists in the land chewed over the matter of whether a person, simply by virtue of being born, was participating in a “market.” Had George III shown up at the Constitutional Convention to advance that argument with a straight face, the framers would have tossed aside the quill feathers and reached for their muskets.

Progressives Simply Do Not Like The United States

Ever heard of Dahlia Lithwick? No? Don’t feel bad. I hadn’t either until I read her piece of … something or other … on Slate about the Supreme Court hearing this week on Obamacare.

A quick Google search turned up her Wikipedia entry, which tells me she’s a Canadian and contributing editor at Newsweek and senior editor at Slate. In other words, a committed leftist.

This morning in America’s highest court, freedom seems to be less about the absence of constraint than about the absence of shared responsibility, community, or real concern for those who don’t want anything so much as healthy children, or to be cared for when they are old.

It’s difficult to tell whether Ms. Lithwick is simply making this up or just dumb. The end result is the same either way. She wants cradle-to-grave government care for everyone. It makes you wonder why she no longer lives in Canada, where they have it, or why so many ungrateful cancer and critical care patients leave the utopia north of the border to come to the United States to receive life-saving treatment.

I’ll address the “shared responsibility” insanity in minute, but first let’s think about the rest of what’s there.

Community. To progressives, “community” means whatever they need it to mean that day. The “black community,” the “Hispanic community,” the “gay community,” the “white community,” the “Italian community,” the “whatever sub-set they need to highlight for victimization or demonization community.” You’d think they were all math majors with all the division they foist on us so they can play various groups against one another to advance their agenda.

Backers of the multi-cultural agenda seek to remove the melting pot that made this country great from the heat that fueled it. Instead, they want to create a coagulated mess that they can mold how they see fit. They don’t want us thinking of ourselves as Americans. All kinds of craziness, such as patriotism and true community spirit, could break out. Instead, they need to foster division to keep people in various Lego-shaped blocks they can stick together and snap apart when it suits them. Look how they’ve pitted the “black community” against the “Hispanic community” in the Trayvon Martin case before any investigation is concluded.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Did White House leak Israel's plan for Iran attack?

Fox News national security analyst K.T. McFarland reacts

Stunning Finding: President's Health Law Creates $17 Trillion In Unfunded Financial Obligations

If the Supreme Court allows any part of ObamaCare to stand, America will be destroyed. - Reggie

YouTube description: WASHINGTON, March 29--On the Senate floor today, Ranking Member Sessions announced that a new Budget Committee analysis has found that the long-term, unfunded liabilities associated with President Obama's health care law will reach $17 trillion. The Committee's analysis is based on the Obama Administration's own numbers as well as those from the Congressional Budget Office. It is a modest, conservative estimate and yet is still more than double that of Social Security.

At a "bipartisan fiscal responsibility summit" in 2009, President Obama's then-OMB Director, Peter Orszag, stated: "To my fellow budget hawks in this room and in the rest of the country, let me be very clear: Health care reform is entitlement reform. The path to fiscal responsibility must run directly through health care." But despite this emphatic statement, the nation's unfunded liabilities--money we must spend but for which there is no source of funds set aside--increased from $65 trillion to $82 trillion since the health law was passed.

To view a graph depicting the increase in unfunded obligations brought on by the law, please click here:

Obamacare's Preemptive Regulatory Strike

An administration that equates its taste for coercion and tyranny with benevolence.

The alleged constitutional justification for Obamacare's individual insurance coverage mandate can be summarized in one sentence: The federal government has the authority to preemptively regulate your economic activity.

President Obama, famous denouncer of preemptive war, declares that he has not only the power but the constitutional authority to regulate every American's economic behavior before it happens in the interest of making the market function the way he would like it to function. It's like Minority Report come to life, but with economic transactions, not crime, as the activity the state intervenes to alter before it occurs.

Arguing before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asserted that "the system does not work" for Americans who do not have health insurance, therefore Washington has an interest in "regulating the means by which health care is purchased," which he said was all the individual mandate does.

Justice Anthony Kennedy stopped him right there and asked, "Can you create commerce in order to regulate it?"

Verrilli had a ready response. "That's not what's going on here, Justice Kennedy." He explained, "What is being regulated is the method of financing the purchase of health care. That itself is interstate commerce."

(Never mind that one cannot purchase a health insurance policy across state lines.)

Were Verrilli correct that all the mandate regulates is the method of purchasing health care, then the law would state that individuals must purchase health care through an insurance provider when they purchase any health care service. But it doesn't say that. It says that individuals must purchase insurance regardless of whether they ever consume a health care service.

"This is market regulation," Verrilli asserted. He told the justices that everyone agrees Washington has the power "to impose the minimum coverage provision. Their [the opponents'] argument is just that it has to occur at the point of sale."

Well, yes, regulating a transaction as it takes place would be a "market regulation." Compelling people to enter into a market they otherwise would not enter is not market regulation, but coercion. But that is not how the Obama administration sees it.

"We think this is regulation of people's participation in the health care market," Verrilli said. "All this minimum coverage provision does is say that instead of requiring insurance at the point of sale, that Congress has the authority under the commerce power and the necessary and proper power to ensure that people have insurance in advance of the point of sale because of the unique nature of this market."

By acknowledging that the mandate regulates a sale "in advance of the point of sale," Verrilli admits that the law creates a commercial transaction. He defends that tyrannical act by asserting that everyone will consume health care at some point so the government is merely regulating a transaction that is going to happen eventually.

At that point, Justice Scalia noted that everybody has to eat, so why couldn't the government regulate the food market by mandating that people eat broccoli. Verrilli thought he had a solid rebuttal, but in fact he gave up the game with it.

The food market, he said, "is not a market in which your participation is often unpredictable and often involuntary. It is not a market in which you often don't know before you go in what you need, and it is not a market in which, if you go in and seek to obtain a product or service you will get it even if you cannot pay."

It isn't? The left claims that the food market is exactly the kind of market Verrilli said it was not. Have you ever heard of food deserts? Those are places where, liberals say, people cannot access healthy food. Rural areas and inner cities are examples of places where the left claims government needs to intervene to ensure access to healthy food. That's why Los Angeles banned new fast food restaurants in some low-income neighborhoods. If the type of food you consume is determined entirely by what nearby commercial vendors offer, then your participation in the food market is by definition "often unpredictable and often involuntary."

Why do we have government nutrition guidelines and government-mandated postings of nutritional information (including, in some places, nutritional info printed on menus) if the food market is not one in which "you often don't know before you go in what you need?"

Read the rest of the article

Friday, March 30, 2012

Michelle Malkin: Ginsburg Coached Pro-Obamacare Lawyer

from yesterday morning

Conservative Interpretations

Jonah Goldberg
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act and other ingredients of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka "ObamaCare." Why, she asked toward the end of three days of hearings, shouldn't the court keep the good stuff in ObamaCare and just dump the unconstitutional bits?

The court, she explained, is presented with "a choice between a wrecking operation ... or a salvage job. And the more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything."

"Conservative" is a funny word. It can mean lots of different things. It reminds me of that line from G.K. Chesterton about the word "good." "The word 'good' has many meanings," he observed. "For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man."

Conservative can mean cautious in temperament -- a man who wears belts and suspenders. Similarly, it sometimes suggests someone who's averse to change. It can also refer to the political ideology or philosophy founded by Edmund Burke and popularized and Americanized by people like Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley and George Will. It can mean someone who is averse to change.

Things can get complicated because these different meanings can overlap. Many strident liberals can have conservative temperaments, and many philosophical conservatives can have private lives that make a brothel during Fleet Week seem like a retirement-home chess club. Conservatives in America love the free market, which is the greatest source of change in human history. Liberals, alleged lovers of change and "progress," often champion an agenda dedicated to preserving the past. Just consider how much of the Democratic Party's rhetoric is dedicated to preserving a policy regime implemented by Franklin Roosevelt nearly 80 years ago.

You can also be conservative with respect to a given institution while being un-conservative in every other respect. The most ardent Communists in the Chinese or Cuban politburos are often described as "conservatives." The same holds true for every left-wing institution in America: Someone has to be the "conservative" at PETA or Planned Parenthood -- i.e., the person who is risk-averse when it comes to scarce resources or the group's reputation.

Anyway, sometimes people like to play games with the indeterminacy of the word "conservative" in order to sell a liberal agenda (and in fairness, conservatives often do the same thing with "progressive").

He is Dumbfounded and Saddened that Romney may be GOP Nominee

Rush Limbaugh shares a letter from a friend that "is dumbfounded and saddened that it appears Romney will be the Republican nominee."

I know how Rush's friend feels. - Reggie

Obama Kills Coal - as Promised

A promise kept. - Reggie

Higher electricity prices will most affect those who can least afford them

“If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” -Candidate Barack Obama, 2008.

Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned. This week, the unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency released a set of proposed rules designed to target greenhouse gas emissions. If enacted, these rules would virtually destroy the coal industry - just as President Obama once promised he would do.

Under the proposed rules, new power plants will be required to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity; coal plants average 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt. As Jordan Weissmann writes for theAtlantic, “Natural gas plants already meet this requirement. But if a utility wants to burn coal for electricity, it will need to install carbon capture technology - and that’s really expensive.”

Carbon capture and storage technology allows carbon-dioxide emissions to be stored in the ground instead of being released into the atmosphere. But the technology is, for many coal-energy producers, prohibitively pricey. Even assuming new coal plants are actually built under this regulatory regime, to whom do you think those new expenses will be passed on to? That’s right - energy consumers.

Rich people will be able to pay those extra costs, though they may gripe about it. But middle-class households will see a rise in their energy bills that will put them in even greater financial distress than they already are under in this abysmal “recovery.” Poor and working-class people will be especially hurt, of course, as is almost always the case when wealthy pencil-pushers hatch a brilliant plan to “save the planet.” Among the pencil-pushers is EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who crowed: “Today we’re taking a common-sense step to reduce pollution in our air, protect the planet for our children, and move us into a new era of American energy.”

Democrats in Disarray

A good week for the good guys – finally

Hoping to spend the week sliming Paul Ryan and screeching about the mythical Republican “war on women,” the Democrats instead have been set back as the news cycle spun out of their control. Foreign policy, health care, and energy have forced them into a defensive crouch. No wonder I’m in such a good mood.

David Axelrod most likely is not. He must have wished he could go back to bed on the morning of Mar. 26, when news broke of President Obama’s “hot mic” moment at the security summit in South Korea. ABC News had caught the president telling Putin stooge Dmitri Medvedev that he needed the Russian dictator to give him “space” on issues such as missile defense until after “my last election,” at which time he will have “more flexibility.” Medvedev nodded sympathetically throughout the conversation and said, in his best General Orlov imitation, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” All that was missing from the ridiculous exchange were fulminations over “moose and squirrel.”

The president embarrassed himself. Not only did Obama give us a glimpse of his backwards statesmanship, in which “diplomacy” involves telling a corrupt strongman that electoral concerns prevent him from further accommodation. He also reminded Republicans and independents of the high stakes in 2012. What would be the results, not a few conservatives wonder, if the president had all the “flexibility” he desires?

As it happened, the hot microphone mess was the least of the president’s troubles. The gaffe was still in the news when oral arguments over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act began at the Supreme Court. The first day of proceedings concerned whether the Court could rule on the law at all since the individual mandate will not be enforced until 2014. But even those arguments went poorly for the administration and its hapless solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., who was unable to explain how the mandate could be a “penalty” one day and a “tax” the next day.

Yet the liberal panic did not truly begin until Mar. 27, when the Court heard arguments over the mandate’s constitutionality and even the president’s most hardened supporters had to acknowledge his signature policy was in trouble. No sooner had the proceedings concluded than a hysterical Jeffrey Toobin fled the courtroom, screaming that Obamacare was in “grave, grave” condition. The flimsiness of the administration’s arguments had transformed Toobin into a Henny Penny in drag, running around Capitol Hill and warning his fellow liberals that the Court could overrule Obamacare in “one big package” and that at the very least the mandate is “doomed.”

The administration and its friends in the media found themselves in a truly helpless position. If Toobin is proven right and the Court overrules Obamacare in part or in whole, Republicans will pounce, the president will look like a loser, and Democrats will be both demoralized and radicalized (not a winning combination). If Toobin is proven wrong, however, he will look like an idiot, Republicans and Tea Party activists will mobilize for the fall, and Democrats still will have to defend an unpopular law whose consequences grow worse with each passing minute.

Andrew Napolitano: Supreme Court Will Throw Out Entire Statute

I pray Napolitano is right! - Reggie

FNC senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Supreme Court’s hearings on the health-care law and why the Justices will likely throw out the entire health-care law.

Report: Israel Given Access to Bases Near Iran Border

Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton reacts

The Nation's Top 50 Progressives… and Socialists and Communists

Absolutely amazing! Yes, boys and girls, "Progressive" is code for Socialist/Communist and they have finally admitted it. So, whenever a Republican (Mitt Romney) or Democrat (Barack Obama) claim to be a Progressive we know the truth about them. Socialist. Marxist. Communist. Our fight has just begun. - Reggie

Did Katrina vanden Heuvel think no one would notice her magazine's affinity with friends of Joseph Stalin?

The left-wing magazine The Nation has published what it deems America's all-time, most influential top 50 progressives. The list is very revealing. I will not mention all 50 names, which you can review for yourself, but a few are especially interesting.

For starters, it's fascinating that The Nation leads with Eugene Debs at number 1. Debs was a socialist -- a capital "s" "Socialist." Fittingly, it was 100 years ago this year, in 1912, that Debs ran for president on the Socialist Party ticket, placing fourth in a contest dominated by a progressive Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, and a progressive Republican, Teddy Roosevelt. Today's progressives get annoyed if you call them socialists. Well, then, why is a pure socialist the no. 1 "progressive" on The Nation's list?

Of course, progressives really get annoyed if you suggest they bear any sympathies to communism. That being the case, two other "progressives" on The Nation's list are quite intriguing: Paul Robeson and I. F. Stone.

Paul Robeson was a communist and gushing admirer of Stalin's Soviet Union, a proud recipient of the Kremlin's "Stalin Prize." Even the New York Times could not help but admit that Robeson was "an outspoken admirer of the Soviet Union." When Robeson in 1934 returned from his initial pilgrimage to the Motherland, the Daily Worker thrust a microphone in his face, and Robeson glowed about the new world he had discovered. The Daily Worker rushed its Robeson interview into print, running it in the January 15, 1935 issue under the headline, "'I Am at Home,' Says Robeson At Reception in Soviet Union."

The Bolsheviks, explained Robeson, were new men, unshackled by the glories of Stalinism. When he got there, Robeson said he had not been "prepared for the happiness I see on every face in Moscow." He had been "aware that there was no starvation" in Russia, but was bowled over by the "bounding life," "endless friendliness," and "feeling of safety and abundance and freedom" he found "wherever I turn."

Paul Robeson had discovered sheer equality under Joseph Stalin. When asked about Stalin's purges, which the Daily Worker's faithful comrades characterized as warranted executions of a "number of counter-revolutionary terrorists," Robeson retorted: "From what I have already seen of the workings of the Soviet Government, I can only say that anybody who lifts his hand against it ought to be shot!"

Paul Robeson was deadly serious. To shoot such malefactors, said Robeson emphatically, was "the government's duty." How dare anyone oppose "this really free society" run by Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lavrenti Beria, the NKVD, the GRU, and regulated by the vast Gulag archipelago? Any such villain, by Robeson's estimation, ought to be "put down… with a firm hand." Robeson hoped that "they [Soviet authorities] will always do it" -- that is, always employ such just executions.

Robeson told the Daily Worker that he felt a "kinship" with the Soviet Union. It was "a home to me." So much so, in fact, that Robeson moved his family there.

It would take almost a half century more, after Robeson's death, for Communist Party USA to publicly concede the obvious: Paul Robeson had been a longtime secret member. In May 1998, the centennial of Robeson's birth, longtime CPUSA head Gus Hall finally, proudly revealed the truth.

In this birthday tribute to "Comrade Paul," Hall and CPUSA came bearing gifts. "We have a birthday present for Paul that no one else can give," said Hall, "the full truth and nothing but the truth." And what's that truth? "Paul was a proud member of the Communist Party USA," stated Hall unequivocally. Paul had been a man of communist "conviction." This was "an indelible fact of Paul's life," in "every way, every day of his adult life." He "never forgot he was a Communist." A teary-eyed Hall recalled that his "own most precious moments with Paul were when I met with him to accept his dues and renew his yearly membership in the CPUSA."

None of this, naturally, is mentioned in The Nation profile, which blasts anyone who dared consider Robeson a communist. Such people, of course, are pure retrograde, Neanderthal McCarthyites.

Instead, The Nation insists that "comrade Paul" was a "progressive." That is particularly remarkable for another reason: a frustrated Gus Hall had warned about progressives trying to portray Robeson as one of their own. A vigilant Hall said that communists "cannot allow … liberal, progressive" forces "to turn Robeson into a liberal. The real Robeson was a revolutionary, a Communist…. Paul Robeson was one of ours -- a Communist leader, a beloved comrade."

Nonetheless, modern progressives continue to do just that. Such are the witting depths of their self-delusion. They believe what they want to believe.

And that brings me to I. F. Stone.

Stone is listed at number 26 on The Nation's list. Likewise, there is no mention of words like "communist" or "Soviet Union" anywhere in his profile. That's no surprise. Stone has been hailed by liberals for decades as the literal "conscience" of journalism. The Los Angeles Times dubbed him the "conscience of investigative journalism," and CNN's Larry King called him a "hero." When Stone died, an Oliphant cartoon showed him outside the Pearly Gates, with Saint Peter telephoning God, "Yes, THAT I. F. Stone, Sir. He says he doesn't want to come in -- he'd rather hang around out here, and keep things honest."