Schadenfreude

Monday, October 7, AD 2013

 

I really do think that the average Obama voter really did believe that Obamacare would lead to lower health insurance prices, except for mean rich Republicans perhaps.  Many of them are now learning just how wrong they were:

 

 

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.

Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.

Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.

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But people with no pre-existing conditions like Vinson, a 60-year-old retired teacher, and Waschura, a 52-year-old self-employed engineer, are making up the difference.

“I was laughing at Boehner — until the mail came today,”

 “I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family’s pocket each year, that’s otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy.”

Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level — the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn’t realize they would rise so much.

“Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

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8 Responses to Schadenfreude

  • Stupidity amazes me:

    Of course, I want people to have health care,” Vinson said. “I just didn’t realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally.”

    Well who else would be paying for it?

  • Two possibilities:

    1. They evidently thought some other constituency would be stuck with the bill (and no doubt the man who joked about siccing the IRS on his enemies in 2009 would have preferred that); or

    2. Like Barbara Ehrenreich, lapsed professor of biochemistry, they actually believe the vast bulk of the country’s income is received and hoarded by some tiny elite who just have to clip their pecuniary fingernails and we all get all the medical care (and anything else) we ‘need’.

  • But….you mean…Obama doesn’t just have cash to throw around??

  • I had to spend time with some of my godless, Obama-worshiping relations.

    They kept saying, ‘The only reason you people hate Barack is because he’s black.”

    So it goes.

    I don’t hate the sinner. I hate the sin.

  • All part of the plan to bring about single-payer health insurance. Like they have in Europe.

    So it’s not Obama’s black half that I despise –it’s is white Euro-weenie socialist half.

  • Ha ha ha . . . finally realizing the free lunch was not free! Better late than never!

  • After Obamacare passed, my insurance more than doubled– we had to switch over to TriCare through TrueBlue’s reserve service, which is notoriously a bad idea. (Like many other former military members, I do not care for gov’t healthcare. I know how much it sucks.)

    Even before that, with insurance, we had thousands in debt to pay off because of all the “helpful” laws that make it easy to cheat the hospital.

  • I listened to part of the news conference just now made me think of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. Trickery snared the true believer Obama voter and re-voters; and it goes on/
    In “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham of course the wolf characterizes himself as having a big heart but the wolf says “I’m gonna keep my sheep suit on
    Until I’m sure that you’ve been shown
    That I can be trusted walking with you alone
    Owoooooooo

Various & Sundry, 9/2/13

Monday, September 2, AD 2013

On the Obligation to Fast 

Pope Francis has declared Saturday, September 7 to be a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. Ed Peters tackles the question of whether we are canonically obligated to fast.

In short, a Catholic who does not observe a fast on Sept 7 does not violate canon law. What such disregard for the pope’s unusual request might indicate about one’s desire to act with the Successor of Peter is another question.

Bwahahahahahaha

Excuse me while I gather myself.

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

No. Seriously. I’m cool.

In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation.

English Compositionism as Fraud and Failure

A senior lecturer at Santa Clara University takes a look at college level writing instruction and finds it wanting.

Compositionists today are laughingstocks on and off campus, notorious for babbling about “borderlands narratology” and “sustainable digitalized hyper-rhetoric” when students cannot write a coherent paragraph or even use an apostrophe correctly. I can think of no other field, academic or otherwise, in which the uninformed, “amateur” public has such a decisive advantage over guild-certified experts. A three-step program of professional reform follows: (1) dissociate composition teaching from literature teaching, (2) dissociate composition teaching from composition studies and composition theory, and (3) put writing instruction in the hands of practitioners—of whateveracademic training and political leaning—whose only job is to guide student-writers toward proficiency at the level traditionally associated with “higher” education.

And he’s just getting started.

Washington Post Writer Argues that Statutory Rape Ain’t So Bad

No. Really. That’s basically her argument.

To quote Bob Grant, “They’re sick and getting sicker.”

Prettiest Picture of the Day

Courtesy of Creative Minority Report, a wonderful image to close out the day.

 

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8 Responses to Various & Sundry, 9/2/13

  • OH man, for a second there I thought your “Bwahahahaha” was aimed at Ed Peters.

  • I take it college writing centers are now a disaster, just like the English department, the American history faculty, the constitutional law faculty, the Sociology department, and the divinity schools (and the student affairs apparat, while we are at it). I have an uncomplicated idea about how to fix academe: blow it up.

  • There is always the essential elimination of journal assignments from English Dept. teachers in all secondary school grades to be replaced with grammar book series. Quiz on Wednesdays, Test on Fridays. Rare allowance of the personal pronoun, “I” (except for fun, extra credit composition assignments). English teachers are neither sociologists nor psychologists.

  • In re: Bwahahahahahaha.

    When I saw this, it struck me that here was the most novel side-effect of Obama(don’t)care yet: Union busting, which in the Demo(n)crat universe is a solely Republican(‘t) enterprise.

    On second thought, though, it’s not all that surprising, since just about everything that ends with an “-ism” finally destroys what it claims to value most: In this case, “socialism” destroys “society,” both at large and in detail.

  • Not an obligation under church law but a loving response. As Fr. Z said,

    “And why not make it, voluntarily, a day of fasting and abstinence like to Good Friday?

    So, no, I don’t think we would sin by not participating in this in a concrete way. However, when the Holy Father makes an appeal like this, then we should respond.

    And I will add this: Those of you of the traditional stripe, by the first to take the initiative and help with whatever might be organized. Get out there.”

  • Apparently, they’re leaving the AFL-CIO because the AFL-CIO isn’t liberal enough.
    If you look at their statement, they want a single-payer healthcare system and shorter waiting periods for citizenship. I was a little less excited when I saw that.

  • A three-step program of professional reform follows: (1) dissociate composition teaching from literature teaching…

    I hate the fact that writing is always taught in the service of literary analysis in high school. It is killing my teen boys who are required to analyze literature while struggling to form coherent paragraphs. I would rather they could take a journalism class for a year, or a speech/debate class for a year, to get English credits. But no dice.

  • The ILWU was kicked out of the CIO (prior to its merger with the AF of L) for being too left wing. Under Lane Kirkland’s policy of “all sinners belong in the church”, it was re-admitted the the AFL-CIO. The west coast longshoremen are the second most left wing union in the USA, the UE taking the prize.

Various and Sundry, 8/16/13

Friday, August 16, AD 2013

Egyptian Christians Under Assault

So a religious minority is being systematically attacked, and the news is greeted with crickets by the mainstream American press. But at least Al Jazeera (!) is there to report on it.

Security forces moved to violently disperse two protest camps by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on Wednesday morning, setting in motion a day of deadly violence that left at least 525 people dead in clashes across the country.

Amid the violence, alleged Morsi supporters carried out on dozens of attacks on churches and Christian-owned properties throughout the country.

Mina Thabet, an activist with Christian rights group the Maspero Youth Union, told Al Jazeera on Friday that at least 32 churches had been “completely destroyed, burned or looted” in eight different governorates over the previous two days. The group also recorded dozens of other attacks on Christian-owned shops, businesses and schools around the country.

Obamacare Pushing Americans into Part-Time Work

Wow, who could have predicted this development? Well, other than pretty much everyone who opposed Obamacare and said this would happen.

The Affordable Care Act requires mid-sized and large employers to sponsor health insurance for all full-time employees, which it defines as those who work 30 hours a week or more. Big labor unions, which had been in favor of the new law, are now sounding the alarm against it. They argue the sticker shock from the premium hikes is leading businesses to offset the impact by capping hours on employees, despite a recently announced one-year delay in that insurance mandate. If workers don’t clock 30 hours a week, the reasoning goes, employers won’t have to offer health insurance.

So the big labor unions who paid thousands to pretend to be pushed their grassroots activists to actively demonstrate their support for the bill are only now realizing that this will hurt their members?

NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times

I am not as strongly opposed to the NSA surveillance program as most of you, but this is more than a bit worrisome.

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

Oddly enough, the typographical errors worry me more, because it signifies how easily your rights can be violated by a mammoth bureaucracy that has little accountability.

As Though TSA Agents Needed Another Excuse

Al-Qaeda’s chief bomb-maker Ibrahim al-Asiri is thought to have developed explosives that can be concealed in implants or bodily cavities and escape detection from airport scanners, according to The Mirror.

One staff member said: “There are genuine fears over this.

“We have been told to pay particular attention to females who may have concealed hidden explosives in their breasts.

Pamela Anderson has jumped to the top of the terrorist watch list.

How the Hobbit Should Have Ended

An alternative vision.

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Oh Goodie! ObamaCare Won’t Hurt Members of Congress or Their Staffers

Friday, August 2, AD 2013

 

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.

George Orwell, Animal Farm

 

 

One law for the lords and one for the peasants.  That basically sums up this development on Capitol Hill:

 

 

Lawmakers and staff can breathe easy — their health care tab is not going to  soar next year.

The Office of Personnel Management, under heavy pressure from Capitol Hill,  will issue a ruling that says the government can continue to make a contribution  to the health care premiums of members of Congress and their aides, according to  several Hill sources.

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The problem was rooted in the original text of the Affordable Care Act. Sen.  Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) inserted a provision which said members of Congress and  their aides must be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an  exchange.” Until now, OPM had not said if the Federal Employee Health Benefits  Program could contribute premium payments toward plans on the exchange. If  payments stopped, lawmakers and aides would have faced thousands of dollars in  additional premium payments each year. Under the old system, the government  contributed nearly 75 percent of premium payments.

Obama’s involvement in solving this impasse was unusual, to say the least.  But it came after serious griping from both sides of the aisle about the  potential of a “brain drain.” The fear, as told by sources in both parties, was  that aides would head for more lucrative jobs, spooked by the potential for  spiking health premiums.

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18 Responses to Oh Goodie! ObamaCare Won’t Hurt Members of Congress or Their Staffers

  • I guess I don’t understand. Congressional staffers are the only employees of a big business that are being forced onto the exchanges…just like “the peasants”, as you call them. And like any other employees of someone who has more than 49 full time staffers, the “employer” (government) is supposed to subsidize it, right? So how are these staffers being treated differently? They are supposed to be employees of a large corporation, be the only large corporation forced on exchanges, and then not have their employer subsidize them? Sounds like your definition of “fair” is for them to have it worse off than the “peasants” they are already on par with.

  • The government is not a corporation. ObamaCare was passed with a provision expressly providing that members of Congress and staffers would have to be covered by it. What this “fix” does is to make certain that the members of Congress and their staffers will continue to receive their current 75% subsidy of their health insurance premiums by the taxpayers. This is being done at the same time that Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums to skyrocket and more and more businesses are finding ways, including by transforming their employees from full time to part time, to escape paying for employee health care under ObamaCare. The essential unfairness of this is obvious and damning.

  • This was debated earlier in Congress, but they couldn’t come to an agreement. However, it seems this Executive Branch is all too willing to intrude on the responsibilities of the other two branches and even sidestep and ignore the checks and balances. We are witnessing the collapse of our constitutional republic, we are being left to accept an all-powerful executive branch.

  • This is the second time that Congress has escaped the fate of the ordinary American: the first time was when they excluded themselves from the bonds of Social Security! Can you guess how many Representatives and Senators gained their wealth AFTER election to Congress?

  • So the policy wonks on Capitol Hill, including the GOP ones, really are not gripping about the quality of Obamacare. They just want to keep their present level of employer contribution. Okay. Not very suprising.

  • One can be against both Kurt. I think it fascinating that Democrats, and only Democrats voted for this monstrosity, who voted for it do not want to take the financial hit that Obamacare will mean for so many of their constituents.

  • One can be against both Kurt.

    In the abstract, maybe. The financial hit that congressional staff would take if the OPM regulation went the other way is one that no one else would take under Obamacare — prohibition of an employer continuing its contribution to its employees’ health care.

    And I’ve looked at the plans on the DC Health Care Exchange that most congressional staff would have and its the same plans and the same doctors and the same hospitals they have now under FEHBP.

    Don, whatever legitimate gripes any may have about Obamacare, the complaints here are simply a crock of hooey.

  • “The financial hit that congressional staff would take if the OPM regulation went the other way is one that no one else would take under Obamacare — prohibition of an employer continuing its contribution to its employees’ health care.”

    The law was written precisely so that staffers and their Congressional bosses would feel the full bite of Obamacare. There are precious few private sector employees who have their employers pick up 75% of the cost of their healthcare, which is the deal that staffers and members of Congress have. Of course this money doesn’t magically appear. Every cent of it comes from taxpayers, the same taxpayers who find themselves increasingly being shunted to part time status so their employers do not have to pay healthcare at the extortionate rates caused by Obamacare. One of my clients, a small businessman, is closing up shop because his healthcare premium is going up 150% thanks to Obamacare.

  • Don,

    The provision for congressional staffers was not written precisely at all. It was a poorly and quickly drafted rhetortical slam. Nevertheless, I’m content that we can narrow the disucssion to issues of costs and can set aside any claims of inferior quality.

    I’m on the board of a small business. Thanks to Obamacare, our employee health insurance costs are being cut in half.

  • “I’m on the board of a small business. Thanks to Obamacare, our employee health insurance costs are being cut in half.”

    Then your experience Kurt directly contradicts that of businesses like Olive Garden that are moving their workers to temporary status to avoid ObamaCare. I know of no business owner that is celebrating the advent of Obamacare.
    http://hotair.com/archives/2013/08/08/ap-small-businesses-look-at-axing-family-coverage-when-obamacare-hits/

    “Nevertheless, I’m content that we can narrow the disucssion to issues of costs and can set aside any claims of inferior quality.”

    How can we discuss inferior care Kurt until Obamacare is fully implemented? The experiences of families on Medicaid does not make me sanguine for the forthcoming victims of GovMed.

  • How can we discuss inferior care Kurt until Obamacare is fully implemented?

    Well, it has not stopped some of the loud mouths in the TEA Party and the GOP, but I’m glad two committed Christian like us can agree that there is no current reason to say this is a fact.

    Then your experience Kurt directly contradicts that of businesses like Olive Garden

    Maybe, in response to an inquiry on my part, Oliver Garden/Darden Enterprises wrote back to me and substantial backed down from previous claims that had been reported in the press. (BTW, Olive Garden is not a small business but a large enterprise

    I know of no business owner that is celebrating the advent of Obamacare.

    I’m hurt you think you do not know me. We are thrilled with the oportunities Obamacare offers and the reduction it will have on our health care costs, as well as giving our employees more selection for health care providers.

  • “Maybe, in response to an inquiry on my part, Oliver Garden/Darden Enterprises wrote back to me and substantial backed down from previous claims that had been reported in the press. (BTW, Olive Garden is not a small business but a large enterprise”

    Olive Garden took a lot of flak from Obama cultists over its decision Kurt and made like a dog on its back in the surrender pose. Judging from the story linked below however I do not think their policy has changed.

    http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/olive-garden-doesnt-like-the-taste-of-obamacare.html/?a=viewall

    “but I’m glad two committed Christian like us can agree that there is no current reason to say this is a fact.”

    I don’t discount the possibility that a pig will fly Kurt until I see the porcine go splat. The signs do not look good for Obamacare being a boon to anyone other than the hordes of bureaucrats who will be hired to oversee it.

    “I’m hurt you think you do not know me.”

    Like all people I encounter over the internet Kurt who I have not met in the flesh, you are an electronic phantom to me. The only story that I have seen about any groups being enthused about Obamacare are municipalities that are seeking to dump their retirees on to Obamacare. The retirees have not been enthusiastic:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-02/troubled-cities-see-exchanges-as-way-to-unload-retirees.html

  • Don & Kurt: Shallow of me but your dialogue makes me think, the phantom strikes again. I mean you, Kurt. No anecdotal evidence here, I’m a retired person who has seen his insurance cost go up two grand per year since this thing was passed. My greatest fear is that Obamacare paves the way to the totalitarian state our country is becoming.

  • William,

    Ok. You have fears and your policy has gone up. I understand that. But can you explain the connection to Obamacare? You’re retired, so are you speaking of a Medigap policy?

    Again, my firm is getting a great reduction in our costs from Obamacare. For us, it is a godsend.

  • Kurt,

    I am loath to put too much personal business out in the wide impersonal cyber world but no, it is more of a Medicare Advantage plan through my previous employer. It is quite beside the point of my greater concern. That is, the aggrandizement of the state with its ever growing control of our private lives and disregard of matters of religious conscience.

    Bill

  • Mr. Walsh,

    No offensive and I’m sorry for your increased health care costs, but I consider Medicare Advantage to be a giveaway of taxpayer dollars so I’m not too upset that the taxpayer funding has been cut back. I’m also not happy that the way Bush wrote the Medicare Advantage law that it allows abortion coverage.

    But I understand your big picture concerns. For me, I’ve never had much private control over my health insurance so I’m not in the same place you are.

Full Obamacare Implementation Delayed. Again.

Wednesday, July 3, AD 2013

When the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) passed it was touted as one of the most significant pieces of legislation in American history. This was going to make health care affordable to every living person in this country. It was of such monumental importance that left-wing Catholics assured us all that it was worth throwing over the unborn in order to continue supporting President Obama. This was the stuff that was gonna help stop the oceans from rising and help create a new Heaven and a new Earth.

In the words of our Catholic Vice President, it was a big effin deal.

Yeah, about that big effin deal:

The Obama administration will delay a crucial provision of its signature health-care law, giving businesses an extra year to comply with a requirement that they provide their workers with insurance.

 

The government will postpone enforcement of the so-called employer mandate until 2015, after the congressional elections, the administration said yesterday. Under the provision, companies with 50 or more workers face a fine of as much as $3,000 per employee if they don’t offer affordable insurance.

 

It’s the latest setback for a health-care law that has met resistance from Republicans, who have sought to make the plan a symbol of government overreach. Republican-controlled legislatures and governors in several states have refused funding to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor and declined to set up exchanges where individuals can buy insurance, leaving the job to the federal government.

 

The delay in the employer mandate addresses complaints from business groups to President Barack Obama’s administration about the burden of the law’s reporting requirements.

 

“The administration has finally recognized the obvious — employers need more time and clarification of the rules of the road before implementing the employer mandate,” Randy Johnson, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s largest business lobby, said in an e-mail.

 

Valerie Jarrett, a senior Obama adviser, said in a blog post announcing the move that the administration decided on the delay so officials could simplify reporting requirements and give employers a chance to adjust their health-care coverage.

It’s such a ground-breaking, vitally important law that full implementation keeps getting pushed back further and further in the future. The original provisions largely weren’t even slated to take effect for four years after initial passage. On top of the number of institutions that have requested – and were granted – waivers, this latest news hints at the fact that this law might not be the signature achievement of the human race after all.

It is fitting that this announcement should come on the anniversary of the date in which the Continental Congress voted to declare the thirteen colonies’ independence from Great Britain and King George. After all, imagine the horrors of living under the rule of an administration that could, for example, decide which laws of the United States to defend in Court, or could decide when laws passed by Congress actually took effect.

(By the way, speaking of our establishment of self-rule, Bloomberg should be chided for using the term “fees” above. Chief Justice John Roberts would be very displeased to see such language in reference to Obamacare.)

If nothing else, perhaps this latest development will caution us against passing behemoth-sized legislation that no one has read and that we are urged to pass in order to know what’s in it.

On an unrelated note, the House will take up the Senate’s immigration bill after the recess.

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6 Responses to Full Obamacare Implementation Delayed. Again.

  • Note also that the administration can willy-nilly decide that a law simply will not go into effect. That would send the Founding Fathers whirling. George III was a piker compared to modern Presidents with much more than regal powers. It will be amusing to visit Leftist sites to see how they take the news that Obama wants to hold off on this key provision of ObamaCare until after the 2014 elections. Most will simply engage in the type of make believe fantasies that are essential for American Leftists to get through the day, but a few will begin to realize that Obama’s grand accomplishment does not even have Potemkin substance.

  • This is evidence that the gangsters are not complete idiots.

    Raising taxes in the midst of the Great Recession . . .

  • I am sure, Don, that we will shortly hear from a certain alliteratively nicknamed Catholic blogger from the left who will absolutely scour the administration for potentially denying access to health care for millions of poor Americans.

    As for me, right now I have to go wait for the imminent arrival of my friend M. Godot.

  • Investor’s Business Daily by-line: “Obamacare Success Depends on the Young Being Stupid.”

  • Pingback: Who's afraid of the Latin Mass? - BigPulpit.com
  • If the Affordable Care Act was so good for America, as those who drafted it and supported its passage repeatedly told us, why is the very administration that touted it now delaying aspects of its implementation?

    The reality of the bill’s inevitable, negative effects on our economy, among its other negative effects, have finally begun to influence even those who promoted and passed it.

IRS Scandal: You Are Going to Love Obamacare!

Friday, May 17, AD 2013

36 Responses to IRS Scandal: You Are Going to Love Obamacare!

  • uh oh. “t’ain’t funny McGee!” I just had my 65 birthday. Born in 1948- I am on the problem…
    I will tell you what the IRS already knows about me- I am a cancer survivor ( 14 years) and a heart attack survivor (2.5 years). As a matter of fact I have survived a lot of stuff – (raising 5 kids) but, given that record,it might be my biggest challenge to survive this culture of death as my birthdays continue. I am already known to be a catechist of the Catholic Church for crying out loud! I also am the owner of one “Santorum” vest and have a pro-life bumper sticker on my car.
    O am not entirely a “useless eater” yet… I volunteer in lots of places… teach bible study–…oh wait. did I say that outloud? I mean..

  • “No stent for you.” Rick Santelli.

    Not to worry.

    The sooner we get to Heaven the better.

  • Her position is at least 3 levels in the org chart above the Determinations Unit in Cincinnati where most of the nefarious deeds were done. If you read the IG report, the remarkable thing about the timeline of events in the appendix is how little this senior level of management was involved in this matter. I know that everyone wants to claim that the scandal was somehow orchestrated by the Obama Administration, but from all appearances, it wasn’t even orchestrated by the senior leadership of the IRS!

    Now, you can claim mismanagement or the top brass being asleep at the wheel, but that’s a very different thing (with a different burden of proof) than saying there was some sort of criminality malfeasance involved on the part of higher-ups. In fact, again looking at the timeline of events in the IG report, the one thing that jumps out is that as soon as these inappropriate criteria were briefed to senior leaders, the subordinates were ordered to stop it immediately.

    If you wonder why government bureaucracy is so… bureaucratic, one reason is political theater like this. I have no doubt that certain individuals within the IRS, because of personal bias, felt that they could get away with some conservative-hating because of this growth in 501c4 organizations. The result of all this will just be to have the government double down on its inefficient, risk-averse culture of having everything approved through 8 layers of management.

    The truth of this scandal may be more troubling than conservatives wish to contemplate: it doesn’t take the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, or even Deputy Commissioners of the IRS to lead this sort of inappropriate activity. Clearly, from the IG report, it can go on for a long time under the radar before it finally blows up.

  • “Now, you can claim mismanagement or the top brass being asleep at the wheel, but that’s a very different thing (with a different burden of proof) than saying there was some sort of criminality malfeasance involved on the part of higher-ups.”

    Yet the top leadership seems to be lying about it. If they were just asleep at the wheel, why would they lie?

    http://philanthropy.com/article/IRS-Rationale-for-Tea-Party/139277/

  • Also, if you listen to the report Don originally linked, there were requests by Senators to target conservative groups. These requests were shredded. Why? By whom? Was it just low level types that decided to shred the evidence?

  • Throw into this that the recently “fired” acting head of the IRS, Steven Miller, was involved in politically tainted IRS investigations during the Clinton Administration:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/deja-vu-irs-boss-of-tea-party-probes-targeted-anti-clinton-group-in-1990s/article/2529533

  • “The truth of this scandal may be more troubling than conservatives wish to contemplate: it doesn’t take the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, or even Deputy Commissioners of the IRS to lead this sort of inappropriate activity. Clearly, from the IG report, it can go on for a long time under the radar before it finally blows up.”

    Couldn’t disagree more. I think this goes right to the top of the IRS and the White House. I do not think that bureaucrats would have engaged in this wide spread discrimination against conservatives without orders from on high. In past examples of political uses of the IRS the White House has always been deeply involved. A perfect example:

    “The Kennedy Administration launched the “Ideological Special Organizations Project” at the IRS after it was attacked by right-wing groups due to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, among other issues, putting their personal friend Carmine Bellino in charge of audits of tax-exempt conservative groups. The IRS then audited more than 10,000 groups, mostly right-wing oriented — but the IRS also audited the group Lee Harvey Oswald pamphleteered for, the “Fair Play for Cuba” committee. The audits continued under the Johnson Administration, but were then terminated.”

    Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/government/2013/05/13/what-taxpayers-deserve-to-know-in-irs-nonprofit-controversy/#ixzz2TYWybScM

  • The president and the WH set the tone. This could not have occurred without WH involvement.

    Them bureaucrats precisely know what they can and can’t do. Every agency has specific sets (hundreds of pages of jibberish) of delegated authoity for each and every act.

    Why do you think the Internal Revenue Code is (what?) 147,000 pages long.

    They would not try such criiminal activiitiy if they thought anyone would question it.

  • : ) you are right T Shaw- I know I should be able to say with St Paul that to live is Christ and to die is gain– but I’d rather apply Augustine from another subject – “not yet!”

    “it doesn’t take the President, the Secretary of the Treasury, or even Deputy Commissioners of the IRS to lead this sort of inappropriate activity” BUT the president definitely creates the climate for such things- “‘if they bring a knife we bring a gun.” someone on the news yesterday- I think Olson, the solicitor general under Reagan- brought up the quote from the king of England- “who will rid me of this meddlesome priest” that brought about the murder of Thomas a Becket.

    also, I agree with Philip that the senators who requested targeting should be hauled up

  • “This could not have occurred without WH involvement.”

    Not true. Tone- and climate-setting aside, it most certainly could’ve been done without direction from the WH. And everything that isn’t hearsay at this point (i.e., the IG report) indicates that it was done without mgmt approval. Until such time that we find evidence to the contrary, the simplest explanation is the one that reigns.

  • J. Christian -are you serious? there is involvement even if it is not formal. how can you set aside tone and climate setting? What is the simple explanation that reigns now? that some low level employees went rogue?
    I’m simple but not a simpleton

  • Anzlyne, are you serious? Did you read something in the IG report that I didn’t? Just because Obama hates the Tea Party does not mean he directed the IRS to harass them. You can say “he sets the tone,” but that’s not the same thing as demonstrating evidence of a conspiracy.

  • Analyze-

    Set the tone indeed!
    2008 commencement address @ N.D.
    ( …a reasonable conscience clause. Enter HHS mandate.)

    This Ship of Fools has a rotton to the core Capt.

  • Kevin Williamson says it well:

    I myself doubt very much that the president or any of his immediate circle had a hand in this — it is in the nature of the Left (and in the nature of political power itself) that no marching orders from the top are necessary. University presidents do not tell hiring committees to discriminate against conservative academics, they just do it. No president or Treasury secretary had to tell the IRS to do this.

    In some ways, the received version of events is worse than would be a top-directed cabal of rogue IRS agents acting on orders from political superiors. A corrupt element within an agency can be rooted out, and a criminal conspiracy can be unraveled. When the agency is the criminal conspiracy, then the challenge of reform becomes that much greater.

  • Some of the metrics that have been offered in recent days on campaign contributions would indicate that the Cincinnati office is actually quite a bit different than the IRS as a whole – rather like a cancer cluster. I will bet quite a number of those working there are in the market segment which buys books like The Politics of Truth or What’s the Matter with Kansas or collections of Robin Welles’ columns under her husband’s byline.

    I have been in an online discussion in recent days and one of the participants offered that the IRS agents may have been inspired to give extra scrutiny to these applications by the suicide of a disgruntled taxpayer in February 2010 (the man flew a plane into the IRS headquarters in Austin, Tx). This surmise is perfectly non sequitur, but he offered it as if it were self-evident. The lefty mind seems to work that way – everything they find disagreeable is treated as a function of the same social process. So, Sarah Palin is somehow responsible for the acts of a schizophrenic in Phoenix who had not had a coherent thought in years and a Republican housewife attempting to organize a political action committee in Boise is properly identified with a suicidal man in Austin, Tx who was not involved in local politics. In some other social matrix, there would have been a critical mass of people who said ‘whiskey-tango-foxtrot’. I will wager you the Cincy IRS office is not that matrix (and neither are any but a few arts-and-sciences faculties).

  • RE: setting the tone. Ob “joked” in 2009 about using the IRS against his enemies. All heads of US agencies are political appointees. They set the tone they recieve from on high.

    NYT never printed anything like Nixon didn’t know what the boys were doing that night . . .

    The US is no longer a free country. The free American people have been overwhelmed by armies of blood-sucking, academic and bureaucrat leeches and 50,000,000 people that vote for their livelihoods.

    Anzlyne: Nor am I in any hurry. And I am not doing anything (except cigars, don’t tell my lung doc) to hasten the date. I’m 62+ years, had cancer and was healed. Can’t run anymore. That’s ok. I hated it.

    Queen Mary said, “My end is my beginning.”

  • yah- I don’t know what matrix they might be. but I get your point. people hang around people who think like them.. part of our narcissism I guess.
    The media helps with the climate control too- reinforcing all things Left right now, it seems.
    But I can’t think the office in Cincinnati is that isolated from rest of Left onslaught led by Obama. Just a malignant Tumor, which if dealt with, we could have once again a good prognosis. No I don’t think so. I think it is a part of the trending polarization and animosity for American life as we know it.
    There’s clusters everywhere- what about the malignant department of education in California? How about the Department of Ag? The Pentagon? State department? DOJ?

  • “I myself doubt very much that the president or any of his immediate circle had a hand in this”

    In which case it would be unusual in regard to using the IRS against political enemies, since in the past the instigation usually came from the White House.

  • Mr McClarey.

    Be very very careful.
    We have your name, address, occupation, your political leanings, your anti-choice activism, your religious discriminatory inclinations, your family –
    You are a targetted majority.
    signed: IRS Special Investigations Branch. 🙂

  • I am heartened to note that thew outgoing commissioner has already received his due punishment. He got grilled by Charlie Rangel, one of the most notarious tax cheats in American history. If that is not justice what is?

  • What do you call an IRS office in Cincinnati who uses Communist like tactics to harass private citizens? The Cincinnati Reds of course.

  • “Mr McClarey.

    Be very very careful.”

    Oh, it is much too late for that Don! 🙂

    I can treat it as a joke because I could defend myself with lawsuits that would be memorable. However, one of my clients came to my office almost in tears this week because she was concerned that her fairly minor and mild statements against Obama would come back to haunt her with the IRS. I reassured her and she left content. After I talked to her I did get angry for a few minutes. Having law abiding folk like my client fearful because she has disagreed with the government is not what the Founding Fathers intended, and is precisely the type of tyranny they rebelled against. Ill fares the land.

  • Seen on Facebook:

    Obama could be caught on video-tape beating to death a little, old lady with a puppy-dog and the Obama-worshiping imbeciles would whine, “What difference does it make?”.

    No stent for you, Mac.

    You are being taxed to death and overwhelmed by overly-empowered bureaucrats/regulators and people that vote for a living.

    What can you do?

    Implement “Irish democracy.” See James C. Scott, Two Cheers for Anarchism.

  • “This is almost getting farcial.” I don’t think there is anything farcial about it. The Democratic party has truly become the Communist party, and they are slamming the hammer of Communism down upon this country. I do not think anything short of the intervention of God Himself will slow the Communist steamroller.

  • I disagree on two grounds. First off it would take a heart of stone not to laugh at the bold faced effrontery of the Obama administration in having the same bureaucrat in charge of discriminating against conservative groups in charge of ObamaCare enforcement. Watch her to be gone by this time next week. Second, Obama and his minions are not Communists and it merely makes his critics seem nutty when such comparisons are drawn. Obama is a fairly typical product of Chicago Democrat politics, and he has brought the corruption and thuggishness that are the predominant characteristics of those politics onto the national scene.

  • ” Having law abiding folk like my client fearful because she has disagreed with the government is not what the Founding Fathers intended, and is precisely the type of tyranny they rebelled against. Ill fares the land. ”

    There are so many agencies, Departments of …, courts, and schools in local, regional, state, and federal jurisdictions and societies that insure the fear.

  • James, I think you are correct. Everyone of us who still believes needs to be on our knees(if they will hold, you old geezers can sit in a chair) and continue to do what Our Lady has said to do. She can intercede to her Son. We need them as we have never needed them before. And to the lady who is terrified about her subversive involvement in social issues etc, you will be ok. Many years ago when I felt I was being “harassed” by rs I pulled back because of my kids and grandkids. Then one day I just looked at the crucifix and said, “Lord, you put me here with this big mouth and I’m not going to be silenced. You are in control and I trust You with my life and the kids life and the farms life.” Still here, still farming, still have family intact. Easy no! Scary yes(especially when you keep getting condoms in your mailbox and you have to keep replacing your yard signs because of the buckshot ruining it) I turned to saving babies “under cover” teaching 9th grade CCD for over 18 years with the mantra of ” Boys and Girls, When on the last day you meet the Lord you cannot say that “no one ever told me that was wrong” because you will see my big fat face right in front of you” I have continued. As I have said before “Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a US citizen more than registered tax audit notices. Lived through three so far and what doesn’t kill you makes you tougher. Think my gram said that.

  • Obama is a fairly typical product of Chicago Democrat politics, and he has brought the corruption and thuggishness that are the predominant characteristics of those politics onto the national scene.

    Must disagree. Obama has little patience for or interest in the precinct captain’s work. He is a performer, not a patronage broker, and shows little evidence of caring about much going on outside his skin. People in a position to know have said that the Cuomos – father and son – are thugs at heart; Rahm Emmanuel’s appalling character is well known; it is difficult to believe that Obama has that level of emotional engagement with much of anything. He is not Chicago; he is the modal professional-managerial type you can find in large numbers in any metropolis or any college-town outside the South; he is the NPR target audience. That’s the problem.

  • “He is not Chicago;”

    Nope Art he is all Chicago in his political tactics. It is no accident that Obama chose Emmanuel to be his Chief of Staff and Enforcer prior to Emmanauel’s current incarnation as Mayor of Chicago.

  • Actually, Art and Don, I think you are both partially right. I’m reminded of an old joke in which Albert Einstein, or another famous scientist or intellectual, meets Marilyn Monroe or another woman known primarily for her looks rather than her intellect. The woman speculates about what it would be like if the two had a child together with her beauty and his brains. To which he responds “Yes, Madam, but what if she has MY beauty and YOUR brains?”

    Obama really isn’t a traditional Chicago pol of the Mayor Daley (senior and junior) mold. He wasn’t born and raised there, nor does he regard local office as a higher calling than state or federal office. He did not, as Art notes, adopt any of the “constitutent service” aspects of Chicago politics such as walking precincts, going to wakes and rubber chicken dinners, making sure people in your ward get their garbage picked up and their streets plowed of snow in a timely fashion, etc. He did, however, adopt their “they bring a knife, you bring a gun” approach to dealing with your opposition.

    Likewise, he seems to have picked up the arrogance and detachment of the academic world without too much of the serious intellectual work. In an ideal world, I suppose, Obama could have combined the best aspects of academia with the know-your-constituents street-smarts of Chicago politics; instead he seems to have combined the worst of both worlds.

  • Very insightful Elaine. I think you nailed it. Another aspect of Chicago politics that Obama has learned is using government to reward friends and punish enemies. The Einstein/Marilyn Monroe analogy was priceless.

  • Handing out goodies to your clientele has been the modus operandi of every Democratic member of Congress not named “Andrew Jacobs Jr”. Not specific to Chicago. Other offenders: farm belt Republicans and the gelatinous character who currently runs the House Appropriations Committee.

  • You simply do not get it Art. This is not simply rewarding friends. The Chicago method is precisely what was done in regard to the IRS, which is why I think there is strong White House involvement in that scandal.

    John Kass, the only writer worth reading in the Chicago Tribune, understands the mode of operation in Chicago and why the use of the IRS fits right into traditional politics of intimidation as practiced in the Windy City:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-met-kass-0519-20130519,0,1395725.column?page=1

  • Oh, could be. The thing is, the political culture being what it is, I doubt that would be necessary. You recall Mark Steyn’s assessment of the relationship between the President and the CIA ca. 2004 – that it seemed similar to the relationship between Gen. Musharraf and the Pakistani ISI – applies here. You have crudniks like Joseph C. Wilson and Valerie Plame hiding in the Foreign Service and the intelligence services; I cannot imagine they do not have their equivalents in the IRS – just that the IRS characters are trained in accounting and do not lie with the brazen facility that Ambassador Wilson and his trophy wife manage. If her behavior over the past week is a guide, Mrs. Lerner has not one-tenth the chutzpah necessary to put her byline on a book with a title like The Politics of Truth.

  • Thanks Don! Another good analogy for Obama’s blending of academia and Chicago politics would be the rabage — a hybrid of radishes and cabbage developed back in the 1920s by a hapless Soviet botanist. His goal was to produce a vegetable with the sturdy leaves of a cabbage and the plump, edible root of a radish. What he got was — you guessed it — radish leaves and cabbage roots, neither of which are remotely palatable.

  • Elaine and Donald-
    Thanks. Two great analogies.

    At Holy Mass this morning I’m reminded of my huge inability to forgive. Barack and my forgiveness to him is a bridge under construction, and reading your analysis of the current events and it helps.
    Thank you and pardon my sophomoric rants.

Congress Seeking to Exempt Itself From ObamaCare

Thursday, April 25, AD 2013

10 Responses to Congress Seeking to Exempt Itself From ObamaCare

ObamaCare: What a Deal!

Friday, February 1, AD 2013

 

According to the IRS, the cheapest ObamaCare health care plan for a family of four in 2016 will be $20,000.00 per year.  Penalties for not having health insurance could cost you over two grand.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare–after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a “penalty” (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a “tax”) of $2,400 in 2016.

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7 Responses to ObamaCare: What a Deal!

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  • The “Penalty” for not carrying Obamacare is against the Eighth Amendment against cruel and usual punishment. The penalty in any crime must fit the crime. The fit penalty for not subscribing to Obamacare is no insurance.
    The tax being levied and collected by the IRS for not carrying Obamacare is taxation without representation. Taxes are set and passed by Congress not by Obamacare. The HHS Mandate which was added by an unelected official after the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed by Congress violates informed consent of the people, common citizens and politicians, even those exempt from Obamacare. Those citizens exempt from Obamacare were not informed nor were they asked to give informed consent to the constrictions of the Act.
    The solution may lie in non-profit organizations, like the Catholic Church and Charities separating and dividing its organizations into 49 person pods. Even naming these newly created groups with holy virtues. Or making these non-profit organizations into consulting groups of 49 individual persons. But now I am digressing. Obama gave us a year to figure out how to violate our conscience. Obama did not figure on us succeeding.

  • Alinski is part of Oh’bomba’s makeup.
    That is why flies love him and find him so attractive. Flies find a great breading zone on Oh’liars face.

    Lord of the flies.

    That is the nature of your President.
    When your gamebook is Alinski rules you can not help the stench that accompanies the application of said rules.

    Dig in supporters of Oh’zombie. Your cake is waiting.

  • @Philip: At least Alinsky believed in the devil. The devil would not have free reign if the Person of God had not been removed from the public square. Return the Person of God. The state; government has no authority over the public square, as the public square belongs to each and every person in joint and common tenancy. The state has even less authority over how sovereign persons perceive and acknowledge our Creator, since the state has not created man, nor has the state endowed man but with citizenship, which is the only right the community of persons endows to the individual born.

  • What is your opinion of the video, Don? I’m not sure that it represents the subject rightly. Take, for example the suggestion that, if consumers shopped around, medical insurance would charge less. Beyond accepting generics permitted under policy, what choices do consumers really have? I suppose we could forego medical care altogether such as refusing to have a knee replaced. The marketplace for medical care isn’t anything like the banana market.

  • One of many problems with the medical marketplace is the lack of transparency to use a common buzzword. All hospitals and medical care givers should be required to post a price list: one for people without insurance and the discounts given to insurance companies. One reason that people do not shop around is that they have absolutely no idea what anything costs when it comes to medical treatment. Just having the prices available to the public would have a big impact on pricing decisions.

    Another major problem is third party payors. I completely agree with the video that when third parties pay consumers are less choosey. I know I am. Once my deductible is met, my concern about the price of treatment drops like a stone.

    The medical marketplace is vastly distorted due to government interventions over the past five decades. Any meaningful reform has to eliminate much of this distortion.

  • Paying more for fewer choices and worse care.

    The utopians will never stop messing things up.

At Least the SS had Snazzier Uniforms

Wednesday, December 19, AD 2012

 

 

 

 

The Nazis began their death march across Europe by killing mentally handicapped Germans in an euthanasia campaign that caused the Lion of Munster, Bishop Von Galen, to preach a sermon which may be read here, and in which he made this statement:

For the past several months it has been reported that, on instructions from Berlin, patients who have been suffering for a long time from apparently incurable diseases have been forcibly removed from homes and clinics. Their relatives are later informed that the patient has died, that the body has been cremated and that the ashes may be claimed. There is little doubt that these numerous cases of unexpected death in the case of the insane are not natural, but often deliberately caused, and result from the belief that it is lawful to take away life which is unworthy of being lived.

This ghastly doctrine tries to justify the murder of blameless men and would seek to give legal sanction to the forcible killing of invalids, cripples, the incurable and the incapacitated. I have discovered that the practice here in Westphalia is to compile lists of such patients who are to be removed elsewhere as ‘unproductive citizens,’ and after a period of time put to death. This very week, the first group of these patients has been sent from the clinic of Marienthal, near Münster.

Hitler and his gang of murderers were stopped at an enormous cost, but Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so often in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, tells us at Midwest Conservative Journal that the ideas of Der Fuehrer are all the rage in Europe today:

Europe descends further toward the abyss:

Belgium is considering a significant change to its decade-old euthanasia law that would allow minors and Alzheimer’s sufferers to seek permission to die.

The proposed changes to the law were submitted to parliament Tuesday by the Socialist party and are likely to be approved by other parties, although no date has yet been put forward for a parliamentary debate.

“The idea is to update the law to take better account of dramatic situations and extremely harrowing cases we must find a response to,” party leader Thierry Giet said.

The draft legislation calls for “the law to be extended to minors if they are capable of discernment or affected by an incurable illness or suffering that we cannot alleviate.”

Belgium was the second country in the world after the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia in 2002 but it applies only to people over the age of 18.

Socialist Senator Philippe Mahoux, who helped draft the proposed changes, said there had been cases of adolescents who “had the capacity to decide” their future.

He said parliamentarians would also consider extended mercy-killing to people suffering from Alzheiner’s-type illnesses.

No possibility of abuse there.  Meanwhile, the French would like their dying population to snap it up.

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14 Responses to At Least the SS had Snazzier Uniforms

  • Mercy killing? Mercy for whom?
    For the ones who can only equate life / money.

    Memories of Terri Schiavo, and her dear family struggling to gain access to be merciful. Starving Terri was much more merciful however.

    On Terri’s website, terrisfight.org a simple sentence; “Where there is Life there is Hope.”

  • Does anyone remember the name of the doctor(s) who wrote in German in the early 1900s, recommending the elimination of the handicapped, aged, and other “unfit”?

  • Donald,

    I might have known you would know. Have you read it?

    –Jonathan

  • No Jonathan I have not. I am unaware as to whether it has been translated into English.

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  • Our Pope has been steadfastly opposed to this evil. Of course, the Holy Father
    objects because euthanasia violates the basic tenets of the Faith. However, not
    many people are aware that our Pope also has a personal experience of the
    state’s tender mercies.

    By 1941, the nazis had made it illegal for families to care for their disabled at
    home. Government ‘therapists’ came to the home of our future Pope’s aunt and
    forcibly removed his young cousin, who had Down’s Syndrome. Shortly after
    his removal, the young man was euthanized by his ‘caretakers’, as government
    policy decreed.

  • Just got hit by a different shape to this horror….

    Notice the phrasing, that people can apply for permission to end their lives?

    That implies that the government has more of a right to the lives of those involved than the people themselves.

    That is… a very scary mindset. At least laws against suicide, as much as they annoy many folks, are consistent in the theme of protecting life as a sacred thing.

  • Minor chidren and the mentally and the physically disabled do not have freely formed, informed consent to give. Thereby making the law a mockery of civil rights. Assisted suicide is one murderer and one dependent victim.

  • Deep thought #6419 Those supporting assisted suicide must do it first. See how they like it.

  • I’ve yet to see a proponent of assisted suicide address what studies have shown:
    that in families where one member has committed suicide, the remaining family
    are exponentially more likely to also attempt/commit suicide at some point in
    their lives.

  • Thanks for this post and the video clips. We need to be reminded.

  • Socialists ruled in the USSR and another brand of socialists were in charge in Germany. Both were power-crazy and ruthless. The present socialists in the West are a combination of both. Evil times are ahead.

  • Mal: Truth – “Evil times are ahead.”

    Up until the moment of the Flood (Genesis), people were feastng, marrying, sowing, reaping, etc.

Socialism and Death Panels

Monday, December 3, AD 2012

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Sarah Palin after the Supreme Court ruling upholding ObamaCare

As the above video indicates, back in 2009 when Sarah Palin predicted that ObamaCare would end up in death panels for the elderly and for “defective” children like her son Trig, she was widely derided by the unpaid Obama press agents the Mainstream Media.  News from Great Britain tells us just how prescient Palin was.

Sick children are being discharged from NHS  hospitals to die at home or in hospices on controversial ‘death  pathways’.

Until now, end of life regime the Liverpool  Care Pathway was thought to have involved only elderly and terminally-ill  adults.

But the Mail can reveal the practice of  withdrawing food and fluid by tube is being used on young patients as well as  severely disabled newborn babies.

One doctor has admitted starving and  dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.

Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician  revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a  baby  becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.

The LCP – on which 130,000 elderly and  terminally-ill adult patients die each year – is now the subject of an  independent inquiry ordered by ministers.

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6 Responses to Socialism and Death Panels

  • This is not surprising, but it is horrifying. I just watched the movie Abraham Lincoln with a lady friend last night. I was again reminded how the Democrats continue to be on the wrong side of history, and how utterly evil they are. My date agreed.

  • Liberal Catholics like to talk about “structures of sin.” Of course this usually is meant by them as any social situation they want to call “unjust” and correct with liberal prescriptions. The Church of course correctly notes that such sinful structures are the result of numerous, personal sins.

    We’re seeing a structure of sin being erected here in the US. Too many of the personal sins are sins of greed, pride and the need for power.

  • I slightly disagree with Philip. But only slightly.

    I see America as currently being a competition between Libertine elites. Fiscal Libertines and Sexual Libertines are competing to gain power by promoting Greed and Lust.

    The real communists aren’t in Washington DC, they’re on Wall Street, and they now have a choke hold on the capital we all need to raise families and run small businesses. The result is a culture of death, where the “Least of These”, the unwanted and unplanned and the poor, are killed outright for the convenience of the rich.

  • In a Marxist dream state that is true. In real life not.

  • Only the dead have seen the end of progressive evil.

  • Ted Seeber

    “The real communists aren’t in Washington DC, they’re on Wall Street, and they now have a choke hold on the capital we all need to raise families and run small businesses. The result is a culture of death, where the ‘Least of These’, the unwanted and unplanned and the poor, are killed outright for the convenience of the rich.”

    How did you ever come up with this statement from reading this article and the policies of the pro-death, Democrat Party presidential election victory (thanks to the 50% of the Catholic vote)?

Obama’s Psychotic Statements on the HHS Mandate

Friday, August 10, AD 2012

The Catholic News Agency published some remarks made by President Obama in Denver yesterday (Aug. 9) regarding the HHS contraception mandate that are so deluded and irrational that it becomes difficult to imagine how this country can possibly continue forward. We are dealing now with a level of dishonesty that is so open and aggressive that reasonable discourse, upon which social peace ultimately rests, is fast becoming impossible.

This is what Obama said about Mitt Romney’s opposition to the mandate:

“It would be up to the employer to decide. Your boss, telling you what’s best for your health, your safety,” the president said.

“I don’t think your boss should get to control the health care that you get. I don’t think that insurance companies should control the care that you get. I don’t think politicians should control the care that you get.”

This is Barack Obama speaking. The man whose healthcare vision is about to be foisted on the American people, in which they will be forced to buy health insurance (by politicians, from insurance companies) or face official penalties, just said that he doesn’t think politicians and insurance companies should control the care that we get.

Some statements are so at odds with reality – in this case, a reality established by Obama himself – that they can only be described as psychotic. The psychosis continues with the idea that without the HHS mandate, employers would, and indeed, have been, deciding what is best for their employee’s health. It never entered Obama’s psychotic mind that a desire not to cover what HHS mandates could, and almost always does, revolve around the employer’s desire to avoid something he finds morally objectionable, in which case it has absolutely nothing to do with dictating employee’s health. No, when a man in a position of relative power, the employer, decides what he will and will not pay for his employees to have, it is necessarily an aggressive and unjust exercise of power by the master over the subordinate in the psychotic mind of the president.

It doesn’t matter that on every corner of every major street of every town and city in the United States is a CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid or local drug store that is brimming with contraceptives that are legal for anyone to purchase. It doesn’t matter that there are clinics that provide abortions and sterilizations for those who want them. It doesn’t matter that there isn’t a single employer in the nation that can legally force people to work for them and thus deny them the opportunity to work for someone who is willing to offer a plan that covers such things. All of these conditions, which collectively taken together, any sane man would recognize as a condition of freedom (at least relatively) as far as health and reproductive choices are concerned, mean nothing to Obama. They mean nothing to the hordes of bleating drones who have dutifully towed the party line on this issue either.

The layers of insanity go even deeper. Obama himself has created the conditions under which businesses with 50 or more employees must eventually provide health insurance (by 2014). He has forced this responsibility onto the employers of America. He then proceeds not only to insult them with his “you didn’t build that” remarks (some potential business owners won’t be building anything thanks to Obamacare), but to prohibit them from exercising their preferences, moral or otherwise, in how they go about doing it. And yet to hear Obama speak, one might think that employers themselves demanded Obamacare just so they could have power over their employees that they didn’t have before, and that the HHS mandate had to exist for this reason. This isn’t just a false picture of reality, but a deranged one.

Finally, Obama speaks as if employers making decisions about what they will cover or not cover in their health plans is something new, as opposed to the way it has been since health plans came into existence. All this time, apparently, bosses have been dictating to workers what is best for their health by not paying for their condoms and vasectomies. Obama has now freed us from the tyranny of having to pay for certain things we want with our own money. People who view reality this way can’t be reasoned with by people who don’t.

Looking at Obama’s recent rhetoric, a phrase keeps emerging. He keeps referring to America as “one American family”, especially when there is a tragedy in the news. Some commentators are even beginning to see him as a father figure (try not to wretch if you watch the clip). There is no doubt in my mind that he seems himself as the father of the nation, laying down rules for some of his more stubborn children, insisting that they share their toys with one another. That is how he sees the businessmen of America. And as for the religious conservatives, they are the cranky old uncle who is grudgingly tolerated but also increasingly despised by the more content members of Barack’s family. In neither case is there respect for what they do or what they represent. There is no respect for them as autonomous, rational beings with their own convictions. They’re just stubborn children or senile geriatrics, they aren’t mature and rational like Obama and his friends. He isn’t even a politician, not in his own psychotic mind. He is self-excluded from that list of people who want to “control what healthcare we get.” He isn’t controlling us; knowing us better than we know ourselves, he is guiding us, in spite of ourselves. He is our father.

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25 Responses to Obama’s Psychotic Statements on the HHS Mandate

  • “hordes of bleating drones”

    Win.

  • “you didn’t build that”. If one of my tax dollars built that, I built that… road, bridge, public school. Obama is taking away from the sovereign person his identity: “I AM”. I built, I have. I am in reality a human being, who is created by “their Creator”, not by Obama’s fiat, acknowledgement or recognition, but by the existence and name given to me by God; “I AM”.

  • This is posted anywhere and everywhere any one will read it, because it is what it is. One very important clarification: The Affordable Health Care Act is written so that Sebelius has complete power to rewrite any portion or clause. If President Obama were to give the whole Catholic population an accommodation, for conscience, for freedom of religion, for any value system, the accommodation can be withdrawn or redrawn the day after election. That is the way the contract for the Affordable Healthcare Act was written. No informed consent from any citizen. No ballot, no will of the people. Only dictatorship from Obama.

    The day after his inauguration in 2009, Obama did this with the Mexico City policy which had prevented American tax dollars to be used to abort Mexican people.

  • “The layers of insanity go even deeper. ….. Obama himself has created the conditions under which businesses with 50 or more employees must eventually provide health insurance (by 2014). He has forced this responsibility onto the employers of America. … He then proceeds not only to insult them with his “you didn’t build that” remarks (some potential business owners won’t be building anything thanks to Obamacare), but … to prohibit them from exercising their preferences, moral or otherwise, in how they go about doing it. … And yet to hear Obama speak, one might think that employers themselves demanded Obamacare just so they could have power over their employees that they didn’t have before, … and that the HHS mandate had to exist for this reason. ….. This isn’t just a false picture of reality, but a deranged one.”

    From bookkeeping experience, thankfully past, I saw that the first priority of an operating budget with integrity was payroll which included health insurance and federal/state taxes.

    Where will the HHS braintrust be when Affordable Care reveals its nature to those who will begin to be denied coverage for this or that, when copays etc. are raised and changed? Affordable to the government, the employer, or the employee?

    Just looking at the national debt ticker tape in the light of bailouts and money blown on privileges already, that the government can’t afford this is plain to see.

    Employers have access to state and federal programs which benefit them to employ those already receiving free medical from government social programs.

    Employees have choices from employers which ACA will end.

    And the nitpicking enforcement of the whole reproductive issue is laughable because the offerings are already in place and have been. No issue.

    The filling of a tooth cavity may not be so. I know a caring elderly dentist who has special prices for this necessity for patients denied coverage by Medi…. .

    Speaking of these symptoms of psychosis, which appears to be contagious, a growing contagion, the empty talk about helping the poor is pretty empty.

    A food pantry/soup kitchen is looking for funding from churches, businesses, and organizations this year. Because –
    Federal Government: 10/08 to 9/09 gave $22,200
    10/09 to 9/10 gave $12, 000
    10/10 to 9/11 had No Offer to help with 2012

    Catholic Charities: from $17,000 to $15,000 for 2012.

    Where does admin get off talking about helping the poor while slamming the Catholic Church?

    (Many of the people fed were misusers of food stamps but that money went into the economy intensive care unit – so good.)

  • Here I paraphrase Alabama Football Coach Bear Bryant. It ain’t psychotic if it’s a lie.

    Each day It becomes more apparent. Liberals are stupid.

  • I like a good generalization, T. Shaw, but ‘liberals are stupid’ doesn’t work for me. How about, liberals are tree-hugging morons? How about, liberals are a stupid-spreading virus that’s turning America into a retard-state? Put some punch and exaggeration into your generalization, and it’ll work a lot better. Trust me, I have experience.

    I guess I could be serious for a moment, and recall that both democrats and republicans are (generally) liberals, in the Pre-Vatican II Catholic lexicon. And Liberalism, at heart, is the religion of the Age of so-called Reason, by which God became either non-existent or non-important. Liberals are, unfortunately, quite clever and thoughtful, and wise in a worldly sense. It has allowed them to make TVs and rocket ships, as well as condoms and nukes. We poor Catholic who are born into this Liberal Utopia-project are mesmerized by its technological idols. We even rant against it with their most faithless creation — the computer.

    And yet our rants reveal the problem: we aren’t thinking anymore. We are venting, and mostly to (or against) one another. We play their game nicely by pretending that one side or the other is wrong, when in fact the game is rigged: both ‘sides’ are liberal.

    Traditional Catholicism (which includes the Catholic Worker movement), offers a powerful critique of the doomed modern project. The summary is simple but astounding: we are all on the Titanic, folks. This ship is going down, regardless of who captains it.

    Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King. ‘Flee to the Fields’ has been the Traditional Catholic teaching since Chesterton and Pius and Dorothy Day. Spend your angry energy not on painting up Obama as the psychotic problem, but on the psychotic iceberg called Liberalism: an iceberg that has already ripped an unfixable hole in Western Civilization. All we can hope for is to get enough people to the lifeboats, and to teach people why it all went down.

    I recommend Spe Salvi and Peter Maurin’s Easy Essays.

  • Nate,

    Thanks!

    All generalizations are wrong including this one.

    Only two corrections for your post:

    One, I am thinking. I am wracking my weak brains to come up with means for my children and grandchildren to survive the impending economic and societal cllapse.

    Two, I ain’t smart enough to understand all that essay stuff.

    Here’s a generalized (remember: all gener . . . ) statement for how we got where we are: “The general causes of the great recession (I don’t tink it’s so great!) are depraved US government fiscal/monetary policies and similar profligacy in the private sector.”

  • I like a good generalization,

    Clearly you do, because you then write:

    I guess I could be serious for a moment, and recall that both democrats and republicans are (generally) liberals, in the Pre-Vatican II Catholic lexicon. And Liberalism, at heart, is the religion of the Age of so-called Reason, by which God became either non-existent or non-important.

    This is manifestly false, or at least it is false if you are referring to the classical liberals of a certain stripe. This is certainly not true of the classical liberals from the British Enlightenment camp, and for the majority of the classical liberals that made up America’s founding fathers. It is true of the French school and those that followed them, including Jefferson. (Sorry, David Barton, whose book is no longer even being published, by the way).

    We are venting, and mostly to (or against) one another. We play their game nicely by pretending that one side or the other is wrong, when in fact the game is rigged: both ‘sides’ are liberal.

    I think you spent a bit too much time co-blogging with Morning’s Minion. Anyway, this is another generalization that doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

    Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King.

    This is certainly true. That being said, to ignore the realities of electoral politics is naive at best, potentially poisonous at worst. I’ll have a bit more on the “a pox on both their houses” mentality when I return to blogging next week.

  • I’ll vote for the man who doesn’t mock the builder of the lifeboats.

  • “Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King.”

    The religious liberty of Catholics in this country I think has a great deal riding on the outcome of this election. Catholics ignore secular politics at their peril.

  • “Catholics ignore secular politics at their peril.” American citizens ought not have to fight to have the Affordable Heathcare Act, same sex marriage and prayer in public school on the referendum. They ought not have to fight to have crosses in cemeteries and American flags in public places, school and construction sites. The builders of the bridge they were building over Rt. 1 in North Brunswick, N. J. had beautiful American Flags hanging from their cranes. They were ordered to take the American flags down…then 9/11 happened and they were left alone to have our flag. WHO makes the call to atrophy our liberty if all men are created equal?

  • “Spend your angry energy not on painting up Obama as the psychotic problem, but on the psychotic iceberg called Liberalism: an iceberg that has already ripped an unfixable hole in Western Civilization.”

    Another facile generalization. Liberalism has many aspects some of which are positive. For example, John Paul II (not entralled with philosophical liberalism) in Memory and Identity discussed the positive aspects of Liberalism particularly in its recognition of individual rights. He went on to note the positive effects of this aspect of Liberalism on Church thinking in regards to the legitimate place of individual rights.

  • We are dealing now with a level of dishonesty that is so open and aggressive that reasonable discourse, upon which social peace ultimately rests, is fast becoming impossible.

    You nailed it, and it’s really quite frightening thinking of where all this is leading.

  • vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic and its right wing crazies. I hardly recognize the church of social justice and democracy I grew up in. Frightening? Yes, but not because Barack Obama and other moral leaders are still able to stand up for the poor and the powerless against religious hypocrites like you and yours.

  • I concur with the post whole heartedly. We really are a nation divided against itself at this point. There is only one way to resolve this…. When in the course of human events….

  • Other political discourse developments: Obama’s favorite journalist suspended for plagiarism. Forward!

    Factchecker reports a first: pro-Obama ads’ so totally dishonest, they don’t know where to start.

    And, Obama zombie-women promise to send the GOP National Convention snapshots of their private parts. Yes We Can!

    You may forgive the stupidity, not the evil.

  • 3 . . . 2. . . 1 . . . Paul Ryan is worse than Hitler!!!!!!

  • What dishonesty? What hypocrisy?

    I don’t want to engage in either. Help me grow by pointing out exactly what I said that was dishonest and/or hypocritical.

    Otherwise, you’re just hurling nonsense.

  • Nate,

    “I guess I could be serious for a moment, and recall that both democrats and republicans are (generally) liberals, in the Pre-Vatican II Catholic lexicon.”

    We’re all liberals to some extent. We live in a world shaped by liberalism.

    “And Liberalism, at heart, is the religion of the Age of so-called Reason, by which God became either non-existent or non-important.”

    Some aspects of liberalism are continuations of the Christian natural law tradition. Liberalism often ends up at the negation of God, but certain liberal insights are worth acknowledging.

    “Liberals are, unfortunately, quite clever and thoughtful, and wise in a worldly sense. It has allowed them to make TVs and rocket ships, as well as condoms and nukes.”

    Technological innovation predates modern liberalism and is not synonymous with it. The Church certainly does not oppose technological development.

    “We poor Catholic who are born into this Liberal Utopia-project are mesmerized by its technological idols. We even rant against it with their most faithless creation — the computer.”

    Unless you are proposing that we do away with electronic communication, what’s the point of this?

    “And yet our rants reveal the problem: we aren’t thinking anymore. We are venting, and mostly to (or against) one another. We play their game nicely by pretending that one side or the other is wrong, when in fact the game is rigged: both ‘sides’ are liberal.”

    I didn’t even mention the word liberalism, or condemn Obama on the grounds that I believe he is a liberal, or make this a partisan issue. So I hope this doesn’t apply to my post. I certainly don’t think that liberalism necessarily entails the psychotic delusions Obama has indulged in. Those are a product of his ego and myopia.

    “Traditional Catholicism (which includes the Catholic Worker movement), offers a powerful critique of the doomed modern project.”

    When the Catholic Worker movement is truly anarchist, it does. When it is just a cover for radical left-wing politics, which are technocratic and coercive, then it is nothing but a department of the “modern project.”

    “The summary is simple but astounding: we are all on the Titanic, folks. This ship is going down, regardless of who captains it.”

    Maybe so. But the people on the Titanic went down with relative dignity. Had they been the sort of people who blindly support Obama, they would have killed each other before the icy water did them in.

    “Whether Obama or Romney is elected matters less than whether we maintain our faith to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and to Christ its King.”

    Yes. A platitude, but true enough.

    “‘Flee to the Fields’ has been the Traditional Catholic teaching since Chesterton and Pius and Dorothy Day.”

    You and Chesterton can flee to the fields. Christianity grew in the crucible of urban civilization, in the streets of the Greek city-states, in the catacombs of imperial Rome. Where do you think one finds the poorest people, in terms of material and spiritual goods? A Christian who “flees to the fields” is like a doctor who flees to a sterile environment. The sinners are in the cities.

    “Spend your angry energy not on painting up Obama as the psychotic problem, but on the psychotic iceberg called Liberalism: an iceberg that has already ripped an unfixable hole in Western Civilization. All we can hope for is to get enough people to the lifeboats, and to teach people why it all went down.”

    Obama’s actions affect us all. We need to be clear on what they are and the extent to which they are detached from a rational view of reality.

    Whether or not it is all doomed to collapse is known only to God. I can only address the problems I can assess.

  • “Otherwise, you’re just hurling nonsense.”

    “vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic…”

    It starts with this first phrase. r eastburg, what are your trying to say there?

  • Eastburg: more proof that liberals are stupid.

    That would be “porcine”, genius.

    If your point is that everybody that isn’t a idiotic, liberal loser is a hypocrite, a liar, or a pig . . .

    You’ve got nothing!

    Again, more proof that using the words “idiot” and “liberal” in the same sentence is repetitive.

  • r eastburg says:
    Friday, August 10, 2012 A.D. at 8:34pm
    vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic and its right wing crazies. I hardly recognize the church of social justice and democracy I grew up in. Frightening? Yes, but not because Barack Obama and other moral leaders are still able to stand up for the poor and the powerless against religious hypocrites like you and yours.

    There is no such thing as “the church of democracy” In fact, there is no such thing as “the church of social Justice” without the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, which are the virtue of charity, a free will offering to God, the free exercise of free will, conscience and the response to the gift of Faith from God. Now tell me, your eastburg, where is the Supreme Sovereign Being and the sovereignty of each and every citizen in the Affordable Healtcare Act, same sex marriage, abortion, prayer ban. Where is the Person of God? When the Person of God may be ostracized, who is the next peson to be persecuted? all free men.

  • r eastburg
    You mean the ‘moral leaders’ who are
    the ones who point fingers to harass and intimidate and insult?
    the ones who can’t get the facts straight?
    the ones who tell people want they ‘want to hear’?
    the ones whom the truth hurts ?
    the ones who bailout their big business campaign donaters with money they don’t have?
    the ones who are so into legalizing infanticide and indiscriminate sex acts?
    the ones who fly in the face of the US Constitution?
    the ones who make sure they are protected from the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who mock the Catholic religion relentlessly?
    the ones who won’t have dinner with the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who can’t check or prepare budgets to see whether they can keep promises to the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who end up making fools of their ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who have lavishly partied without inviting the ‘poor and powerless’?
    the ones who can’t explain their personal wealth – but want that of others?
    the ones who don’t qualify for what they aren’t doing?
    the ones who cheapen and degrade their Catholic identity?

    ” vThe dishonesty and hypocrisy are all the procince of American Catholic and its right wing crazies. I hardly recognize the church of social justice and democracy I grew up in. Frightening? Yes, but not because Barack Obama and other moral leaders are still able to stand up for the poor and the powerless against religious hypocrites like you and yours. ” – r eastburg

    You have to stop, look, and listen. In and out of church.
    Romney and Ryan do care about the USA and all its people. They will make sense.

  • I think r.eastburg means to say…

    “….the PROVINCE of American Catholic”

    Anyway, he’s wrong.

  • Pingback: Barack Obama: Enemy of the Catholic Church? : IgnitumToday

ObamaCare and Abortion

Wednesday, July 11, AD 2012

Below is an analysis of ObamaCare and abortion that I have written for the summer newsletter of the crisis pregnancy center of which I am Chairman of the Board.  Regular readers will detect a more restrained and “just the facts” presentation than I normally use in my blog posts.  I thought that the change of pace style might be of interest to our faithful readers so I did not modify the analysis for this post.  (Fear not, I will not inflict on the readers of this blog any of my professional scribblings in the law mines, which would be of utility only for readers suffering the pangs of insomnia!)

 

Now that the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote, courtesy of Chief Justice Roberts switching his vote, has upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, universally better known as ObamaCare, pro-lifers should understand what ObamaCare means in regard to abortion.

 

1.  Abortion surcharge-The Act provides that if an individual is enrolled in an insurance policy that covers elective abortions, each participant in that insurance plan must pay a separate surcharge for the elective abortion coverage.  There is no opt out provision for individuals.  So if a pro-lifer works for a business that provides such an insurance policy, the pro-life employee would have no choice but to pay the abortion surcharge.  The Act forbids insurance companies from advertising that an abortion surcharge is required under the Plan.

2.  Federal Subsidies to Insurance Plans That Provide Abortion  The Act provides for federal subsidies to health insurance plans, including plans that provide coverage for elective abortions,  set up health insurance exchanges created by the states.  The policies provided under the health insurance exchanges may include elective abortion coverage unless a state bans such coverage.  Thus far the following states have banned such coverage:   Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,  Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.

3.  ObamaCare and Abortifacients The HHS mandate  requiring “free” coverage for all contraceptive devices, see number 5 below, in virtually all health insurance plans, includes those devices and drugs thought to act as abortifacients.

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13 Responses to ObamaCare and Abortion

  • Hello, sir.

    Some points on which I might ask for some clarity, what with my yet-early-morning, pre-coffee fog in full swing:

    “The Act provides that if an individual is enrolled in an insurance policy that covers elective abortions, each participant in that insurance plan must pay a separate surcharge for the elective abortion coverage.”

    Since my wife is fully menopausal, there is a small handful of reasons that we will never be pregnant again. So, therefore, since we will never (and would not ever have anyway) seek an abortion, is this surcharge something I will ever have to pay? It is bad enough that my employer will offer that option, but is there need for me to fret?

    I don’t quite understand this sentence: “The Act provides for federal subsidies to health insurance plans, including plans that provide coverage for elective abortions, set up health insurance exchanges created by the states.”

    “The HHS mandate requiring “free” coverage for all contraceptive devices, see number 6 below . . .” There is no number 6 below.

    Thanks!

  • “something I will ever have to pay?”

    Yep, as the rules currently stand. There is no individual opt out for a policy that covers elective abortion.

    “There is no number 6 below.”

    Ah, the perils of early morning editing! Corrected, and thanks for pointing that out.

  • And to imagine Obama was a perfect candidate to be aborted since his young mother had been cheated by the philandering Obama Senior that he was single, only to land in this my beloved country, Kenya to find there were THREE wives ahead of her…..now if you, Americans re-elect this Infant Butcher what will be the future of your Country’s Population Demography? Oh, God, hear our prayers. Do not permit this High Priest of Satan to be re-elected.

  • Amen, [email protected]

    Liberals, please stop reading now. You will not understand any of it.

    Read: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/10/the-ballot-box-is-not-the-only-way-to-stop-obamacare/#ixzz20JjrvzBf

    States may “nullify” Obamacare.

    By a 7-2 vote, SCOTUS decided that the gangsters in DC can’t punish states that refuse to increase Medicaid costs.

    The scheme assumed most uninsured would get health from state Medicaid. Sweet! The states would pay most of the bills.

    But, a few states are (GASP!) balancing their budgets. States can’t print money like Obama/Bernanke/Geithner. It makes no sense for states to expand Medicaid costs.

    By choosing to not expand Medicaid costs, they place an obstacle to implementing Obamacare. The population originally planned for placement into Medicaid will have to get coverage from Obamacare exchanges. This is the second part of the nullification option.

    According to Obamacare, the federal government sets up health insurance exchanges in states that choose not to create state exchanges. It is through these exchanges that people will obtain their government-approved health insurance. The state would get nothing for creating an exchange, but must implement all federal directives in operating and implementing the exchange: states would have no autonomy. All it does is make the state act as proxy for the federal government in operating its exchange.

    The wording in the so-called Affordable Care Act states the federal government will create the exchanges. But, residents of those states will not receive federal subsidies to help them purchase expensive, government-designed, government-mandated health insurance. Without those subsidies, few people would want to purchase these expensive policies.

    It even gets better. If the federal government creates the exchanges, small businesses are exempt from the onerous employer mandates. This rescues small businesses from the huge financial burden Obamacare places upon them. It will enable them to expand and add jobs without fear of financial insolvency from health insurance mandates.

    The imbeciles passed the bill. Five morons found it mostly “constitutional.” Now, we know what’s in the bill.

  • [email protected] “Infant Butcher” says it best.

  • In other words, Obama can fund Planned Parenthood even if there are no abortions, or fund Planned Parenthood to whatever they want. Speaking of Medicare fraud, Obamacare just legalized it.

  • The scariest part is #5. Who is to say what outrageous scheme is waiting for the day after Election Day in November?

  • We can not let this man be re elected. Everything he stands for is EVIL. I pray to GOD that this health care bill will be put to death and never raise it’s head again.

  • The abortion surcharge just seems to be making explicit a participation that was always there. Is there any real offene to conscience — any real forced payment for abortion?

    Also, does any one know what the motivation was behind stipulating the abortion surcharge?

  • TAXING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
    Every person baptized is baptized into the Body of Christ as priest, prophet and king, servant of God, servant of the people of God and sovereign. Every person with a baptismal certificate can prove that as a member of the priesthood of the laity, his vocation is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making of him a preacher of the Gospel, as well as recognizing his sovereignty as a child of God. Obama cannot restrict vocations or tax the kingdom of God.
    I was stunned when I learned that priests had to pay taxes. Nuns and priests were given professional courtesy in my day. Doctors, dentists and the state revered the calling to holiness. As late as 1984, individuals were purchasing “preacher” and “minister” certificates for fifteen dollars online or by mail that would exempt them from all taxation. Some of these were actually decent, honest men who did preach, in the work place and or everywhere. If you are called by God to be priest, prophet and king, in the priesthood of the laity, you are called to your vocation and have the Baptismal certificate to prove it or can get a baptismal certificate to prove it. As a child of God, in the priesthood of the laity, Obama can send his HHS mandate to God our Father, in heaven for payment of tax or penalty or surcharge.
    The Muslims are a sovereign nation within a nation, as are the Native American Indians. The Amish have no structured hierarchy. The Mormons have some hierarchy but none that underpins all the souls in their care. Pastoral care of soulS is not part and parcel of their duties.
    The pastoral care of all souls in purgatory and on earth falls into the heart and realm of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI has the enlisted help of all souls in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary and God. Obama cannot send the tax, penalty or surcharge of the HHS mandate to Pope Benedict XVI because like the Muslim nation, the Vatican City is sovereign unto itself.
    If the baptized children become the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, the baptized may claim the sovereignty and immunity of the Catholic Church for protection from an unjust law and or taxation. Obama can send the HHS mandate tax, penalty and surcharge to our Father in heaven, and HOPE and pray that he does not incur the wrath of God.

  • God Bless you, Mary De Voe for your Comment. Obama must be resisted, consistently and without relenting. I continue to plead with you, Americans, do not re-elect this Satanic Man.

A Ravenclaw, not a Gryffindor (Updated)

Monday, July 2, AD 2012

For those conservatives tenaciously clinging to the idea that Chief Justice John Roberts is playing some masterful game of chess that will end only with the liberals on the Court, in Congress, and in the White House brought to their knees in humiliating defeat, well, I’m not even sure the Chief is up for a rousing game of checkers. According to Jan Crawford’s piece, Roberts’ change of heart was motivated in large part to concerns over media pressure. So, the Chief Justice of the United States, according to this report, was cowed into upholding Obamacare because he was afraid of how the Court – and especially he – would look.

It has been rightly pointed out that Crawford relied on two anonymous sources, and therefore this story should be taken with some fine grains of salt. It’s certainly a plausible story, but an unconfirmable one.

Fine. It is possible that the Chief Justice wasn’t cowed by media or executive pressure. But even if the Chief Justice was not particularly pressured to decide in favor of Obamacare, it’s not beyond reason to suggest that he was still concerned about the institutional prestige of the Court, as well as a respect for the other two branches of government. Thus he concocted a rather far-fetched legal argument in order to justify declaring as constitutional a statute he knew at heart was not constitutional. So the more charitable interpretation of Roberts’ behavior is not that he’s a coward, but rather an activist who decided to rewrite a statute from the bench in order to avoid embroiling the Court in a partisan political battle.

There is a third option: John Roberts legitimately believed in the argument he made about the statute’s constitutionality.

Which is the option in which the Chief Justice looks like a chess playing genius again?

The title of the post, by the way, comes from my wife’s suggestion that President Bush nominated a Ravenclaw when he should have nominated a Gryffindor. It’s certainly more logical than anything I heard the Chief Justice say last week.

Update: It occurs to me that there is a fourth avenue of “defense,” and that is Roberts made a brilliant political calculation by forcing Obama to defend the health care law as a tax. Put aside the question of whether or not that would be an astute political maneuver. If that were indeed Roberts’ intention, than that hardly speaks well as to his character as Chief Justice. If he decided to uphold the law only to enable its use as a partisan club against the president, then the Chief Justice would have engaged in behavior that would justify his removal from the bench. So his defenders might want to think twice about that line of attack, at least insofar as they posit that he willfully engaged in such politicking.

By the way, if you’re still unsure of what to think of John Roberts’ thought process, look who was helping him along and now has his back.

Kmiec, a rare conservative supporter of Obama in 2008 who served as his ambassador to Malta, said he thinks Roberts sought out Justice Anthony Kennedy’s vote but didn’t spend much time trying to sway Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Alito. Roberts, he said, probably didn’t worry about being punished by the conservatives.

“Roberts is a bigger man than that,” Kmiec said. “He might smile and recognize that was what they were doing, but he’d also just appreciate that was their way of making a statement. But he’d not chase the tail of the dog to try to turn it around.”

Kmiec, who served a resource to Roberts as he lined up his current two-week teaching trip to Malta, said he thinks Roberts would prefer that the story of the court’s internal deliberations get out “rather than keeping it so secret that it’d have caused some hard feelings among the chambers.”

“I think he knows in his heart that he’s reached a good decision for the well-being of the court and I don’t think he’s earned any long-term enmity of the conservatives,” Kmiec said. “If anything, this will give him more bargaining ability for years to come on both sides.”

Well if he’s got Doug Kmiec on his side, what more can a man ask for than that?

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30 Responses to A Ravenclaw, not a Gryffindor (Updated)

  • I think Bush’s main flaw is that he’s a Hufflepuff, like me…and agree that he went for a Ravenclaw.

  • (Full disclosure: married a Ravenclaw-through-will; a lot of the classification is based on choice.)

  • There’s no sense in this checker game. What’s the payoff for Roberts by limiting the Commerce Clause when he knows that no future liberal Court will pay attention to the Constitution let alone judicial precedent? Roberts is not a befuddled justice without intellectual integrity. Is something more sinister afoot?

  • I’ve read an incredible amount of hoo-ha and wishful thinking by conservatives in the past few days – Roberts is a super-genius playing chess while every else is playing checkers(some libs follow this line of thought as well); his epilepsy meds damaged his judgement; he is secretly gay and the Obama administration is blackmailing him; and, my personal fav, the Chicago mob threatened him and his family. (As if the Chief Justice of the United States is on the same level as some obscure Cook County judge. As if a Supreme Court Justice would be helpless in the face of physicial threats. As if nobody would be suspicious if a SC Justice or a member of his family disappeared and were found swimming with the fishes in the Potomac.)

    Many people do not want to face the apparent fact that Roberts did what he did because he succumbed to the desire to be loved by the Right People (i.e., his neighbors in Chevy Chase, the NY Times editorial board, Georgetown hostesses). The opinions of such declasse individuals as the Tea Partiers and us little fly-over types – bah, who cares what such trash thinks? As if it is utterly unheard of, an incredibly rare thing to have a GOP appointment to the SC sell us out.

    I think people don’t want to think they were wrong about the man. I supported his appointment and was happy when he was confirmed because he would be a firm defender of our rights. I am willing to admit I was wrong.

    Klavan on the Culture nails it:
    http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2012/07/02/happy-dependence-day/

    Do many Americans even understand what “independence” means these days? We are in a mad rush to copy ourselves after the Europeans – just as Europe fails.

  • I don’t think we are headed toward totalitarianism. That costs money – we don’t have it! No, I think we are headed toward chaos- and, since I am a middle-aged single woman, that frightens me almost as deeply as totalitarianism!

    If we can be taxed for breathing, I predict a huge growth in black market activities and under-the-table payments. I worked “under the table” as a barmaid in the U.K. in 1980 because when I got over there I found my Jimmy Carter dollars were worth next to nothng. A London pub owner offered me a part-time job and since I was low on cash, I accpeted.I never felt I was taking a job away from anybody, since most of the young Brit guys I met were on the dole. You think that’s not going to happen here? Obama will send the IRS out in force and many Americans will do anything they can to avoid the IRS.

  • Oh, and need I point out that the UK’s economy at that point was still dreadful? Thatcher’s reforms had not yet kicked in. I saw anti-Thatcher signs every where I looked.

    Paul, some commenter at Ace made the perfect analogy (and one I am sure you will appreciate since you are a fellow baseball fan). He said Roberts had described his job as being an ump, calling balls and strikes. In this case, a perfect strike went right over the plate and Roberts said, if the plate was over there, it would have been a ball. Therefore, I’m calling it a ball.

  • I think that Kmiec is confirming that Roberts was concerned about how he would look in the media.

  • “Kmiec, who served a resource to Roberts as he lined up his current two-week teaching trip to Malta, said he thinks Roberts would prefer that the story of the court’s internal deliberations get out “rather than keeping it so secret that it’d have caused some hard feelings among the chambers.”

    “I think he knows in his heart that he’s reached a good decision for the well-being of the court and I don’t think he’s earned any long-term enmity of the conservatives,” Kmiec said. “If anything, this will give him more bargaining ability for years to come on both sides.””

    I was wondering about a Kmiec-Roberts connection when I heard that Kmiec was going to Malta of all places to teach law during the summer. Roberts is now reaping Kmiec’s reward for his support of Obama in 2008: scorn. I wonder if Roberts understands yet the fire that his decision has lit among conservatives in this country? Perhaps he will not fully comprehend it until election day when he may begin to understand that he sought to appease powers that be that will no longer be powers in the future.

  • Hmmm, look at this truly fatuous piece that Kmiec had run in the Jesuit rag America just prior to the Supreme Court ruling:

    http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?entry_id=5204

    It is aimed at Justice Kennedy. Was this part of a last ditch effort to convince Kennedy to join Roberts in flipping? I doubt it, but it is interesting, especially the outright prediction that the Court would uphold ObamaCare.

  • That Kmiec asserts such knowledge about the inner-workings of the Court is troubling.

    There is great in silence. Opening the process to scrutiny opens the institution to exterior influences. The Court’s secrecy has been a shield. Secrecy allows the justices to fight honestly – a rare thing for lawyers. Without that candor, they cannot do their work.

    We see the same problem cropping up at the Vatican. There too, we have “leaks” that expose the messy world of making policy. We are not served by cardinals hiding their true views out of fear that they will be exposed.

    If, as Kmiec suggests, CJ Roberts is intentionally leaking the details of their work under some misguided attempt at transparency, that is a serious problem.

  • What everyone (at least among conservatives) seems to be assuming is that Roberts’ decision was based on ulterior motives. Could it even be remotely possible that his ruling was in accord with what he thought was . . . right? The commerce clause was never considered to be a slam dunk argument, and the possibility that the individual mandate could be viewed as a tax, was always acknowledged. People were only surprised at the outcome because they allowed themselves to overestimate the strength of the one argument, and to underestimate the strength of the other, not because the outcome was intrinsically obvious.

    As a conservative, I don’t find the individual mandate to be remotely disturbing. I am tired of paying for other people’s healthcare – they need to behave responsibly, and banking on charitable write-offs from hospitals (trust me – you are paying for this) is not responsible behavior. At the same time, coverage for individual policies is out of reach for most – one of the key levers we have is to broaden the risk pool, drawing down premium prices. From an economic perspective, I’m also in favor of reducing structural impediments to workforce mobility. To the extent that people have a disincentive to take risks and start new businesses or pursue new job opportunities because they are “afraid to lose their benefits,” we are inhibiting growth and innovation. Untaxed healthcare benefits are part of the collusion between government and big business, and are used as a means of increasing individual dependence on big corporate benefits. Time to crack this baby open and kill off this vestige of WWII-era social engineering.

    What Obamacare doesn’t address is one of the root causes of healthcare inflation – individual responsibility. Premiums are as high as they are because people spend as much as other people will give them. When there is little to no individual sensitivity to cost, consumption will continue to rise, and prices will go unchecked. There are no normal consumer dynamics at work, here. We are wasting the highest % of GDP of any nation in the world on something that is one of the most economically unproductive sectors, rather than anything that will produce future returns.

    That is one of my biggest concerns about Obamacare – it promises what it can’t deliver, is a huge waste of taxpayer money, and entails financial commitments (e.g. expansion of Medicaid) that will never be covered by cost offsets. Small example – look at Archives of Internal Medicine, March ’12 issue. The Value Based Purchasing incentive payments/penalties to hospitals is based partly on patient satisfaction. But as it turns out, patient satisfaction is INVERSELY correlated to mortality and inpatient service utilization and cost. Patients are happy when they feel that more “stuff” is being done. WHOOPS! I expect we will see that many of the clinical process measures defined in each stage of the Obamacare rollout will have similar results – because they were never tied to science, just to wishful thinking. “Oh, you’re concerned about the cost to cover an additional 40mm people? Don’t worry – we’ve got that covered.” I don’t think so. The biggest concern, of course, is that it is being used as a no-limit hunting license by HHS to impose whatever rules they deem “in the interest of public health,” (e.g. contraceptive coverage) without any Congressional oversight. This is all part of the hubris of the Obama administration – to take matters OUT of the public square and to let matters be decided by “the experts.”

    As for the individual mandate – it was originally proposed by conservatives who were looking for a way to leverage the private sector to address the real damaging consequences to productivity that result from a large uncovered population. It’s a perfectly reasonable proposal, and I see no need to try to generate conspiracy theories to explain how Roberts could conceivably have interpreted it as within the powers of Congress granted by the Constitution.

  • “Could it even be remotely possible that his ruling was in accord with what he thought was . . . right?”

    I truly hope not. His job wasn’t to determine whether ObamaCare wasn’t good public policy but whether it was constitutional. The very idea that ObamaCare could exist within the framework of the limited Federal government as set up by the Framers I find risible. The individual mandate was only one of many obviously unconstitutional features of this 2700 page monstrosity. Now that the Supreme Court has failed to do its job, it is time for the voters to do theirs on election day.

  • Could it even be remotely possible that his ruling was in accord with what he thought was . . . right?

    If you mean constitutionally right, I did raise that possibility. As I said, if so, it doesn’t really speak well for his judgment either.

    As for the amount of leakage on the internal Court happenings, it is very unusual. If it’s coming from one of the four anti-Obamacare votes, then it is in indication of just how furious they are with the Chief Justice.

  • “As a conservative, I don’t find the individual mandate to be remotely disturbing.”

    Let’s examine.

    A. “Premiums are as high as they are because people spend as much as other people will give them.” True, and this will not change under the proposed system. In fact, it will expand.

    B. “What Obamacare doesn’t address is one of the root causes of healthcare inflation – individual responsibility.” I’d have added “lack of” after the hyphen but essentially also true.

    Therefore, as a conservative, you find undisturbing a law or ruling that forces people into the current system, which directly contradicts the conservative principle of personal responsibility.

    Quo errat demonstrator.

  • I find it undisturbing on the grounds that it doesn’t patently exceed the Constitutional boundaries of Congressional authority. Possibly, but not patently. Reasonable arguments could be advanced from both perspectives. We can’t argue that something violates clear and evident first principles simply on the basis that we feel passionately about them. This just leads to circular reasoning, in which the only possible conclusion is that the adversary is denying the obvious because of some sort of willfulness or moral turpitude. That’s a severe charge, and at other times and places would have called for pistols at high noon, although I would be surprised if Justice Roberts chose to resort to such measures. It would be fun to watch, but he might be handicapped by his judicial robes. It seems like everyone is rushing to draw some sort of conclusion like that in this case – some sort of conspiratorial calculus on the part of Justice Roberts. Or, the other possibility is just that it’s not an immediately evident conclusion, in which case it would be reasonable to defer to Congress, even if Roberts disagrees with the approach as a matter of policy. And so, my hair refuses to stand on end, and I think this is probably a matter for journalists to attempt to froth up public sentiment so they can write more articles about how outraged the public is. As a case of perversion of justice, it fails to outrage.

    In terms of outrage on the part of the other conservative justices, we are basing this on what, exactly? A report from CBS quoting “anonymous sources?” I’m surprised that conservatives are being taken in by this kind of journalistic titillation, especially from an organization like CBS. Please.

  • Perhaps the term “Conservative” is the bump in the road. I know many liberals who believe just as adamantly that the mandate is well within the bounds of Congressional mandate.

    The ability to tax inactivity seems antithetical to a small-government, Constitutionally constructionist point of view, but I neglected to take into consideration the Social aspect.

    Seeing how most Conservatives believe that it’s perfectly fine for government to channel and shepherd behavior towards an acceptable (to them) moral standard, perhaps this is a welcome development if one resides on that segment of the spectrum.

    Mea Culpa.

  • *Congressional authority.

  • “Perhaps the term “Conservative” is the bump in the road. I know many liberals who believe just as adamantly that the mandate is well within the bounds of Congressional mandate.”
    If this is so, then the mandate needs to be put on the ballot to be fairly given informed consent, except that nobody knows what is in it and Obama is not about to tell. The mandate can change itself and morph into anything the unelected wants it to moroph into. A pig in a poke is a good simile, or a bridge in Brooklyn, or a pie in the sky, or the bottomless pit. Can anyone imagine falling into the bottomless pit FOREVER and forever. Why it is like homosexual behavior, doing that sin forever and forever. It has got to get boring, boring, boring. Somebody’s got to say: “Hey. that is boring.

  • “I’m surprised that conservatives are being taken in by this kind of journalistic titillation, especially from an organization like CBS. Please.”

    Rubbish. The CBS reporter Jan Crawford authored an evenhanded history of the modern Court, Supreme Conflict, and is trusted by judicial conservatives as a result. I think it highly likely that her sources are two of the Conservative justices, or two clerks of the conservative justices. Trying to raise the CBS bogeyman as a shield for Roberts is a poor tactic in this case. The more I study his decision the worse it looks, and the more likely in my mind that the considerations guiding him had little to do with the law, especially since reports are suracing that he authored most of the dissent as a majority opinion prior to his flip:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/03/salon-roberts-wrote-most-of-the-conservative-dissent-in-the-obamacare-case-too/

    After this debacle few people, left or right, are going to trust Roberts, or any decisions that he authors, to be ever be anything other than an ongoing exercise in Roberts’ expediency.

  • The fact of the matter is that Obamacare cannot be put on the ballot. It does not fulfill the requirements for the definition of a law. It does not inform the voter to gain consent. Obamacare relegates to unelected officials prerogatives that are the domain of the individual person, unauthorized use of prerogatives taken from the citizen as to their care and other unauthorized prerogatives not yet written out in the insurance contract. Therefore, Obamacare cannot be put on the ballot as a law, as Obamacare excludes informed consent and does not express the will of the people. Obamacare had to be railroaded through Congress by empty promises that can be changed after it is funded, and bullied through the Supreme Court as law. A penalty will acknowledge Obamacare as law. A tax will acknowledge Obamacare as law. Obamacare does not meet the criterion of a law. Abuse of the individual’s unalienable right to informed consent, denial of the citizen’s sovereign conscience, Obamacare cannot pass muster to be tried under the Commerce Clause, nor to be enacted as law, nor to be the basis for a tax or a penalty under the law that it is not.

  • Donald: you have a habit of saying “rubbish” in your prolific responses, and I’m not sure to what end. A statement of your conviction in your own opinion is meaningless to the other party, and obviously meaningless as a means to reinforce your own self-opinion. But perhaps that’s the dialectic standard of a blogger. I’m not sure if the goal is ever to persuade the other, or just to attract the attention of like-minded individuals.

    Everyone is aware that Jan wrote the article, as well as her past work, but a credulity is being granted to this rather preliminary piece of gossip that would not normally have been the reaction to the work, considered on its own merits. I’m sure there was friction and frustration within the court, as I am sure most contentious rulings are passionately debated. But that’s as far as it probably goes – a big “so what?” In other words, it’s making a mountain out of a molehill from the passion of the moment, and probably the indiscrete grumblings of a couple of clerks. No conspiratorial calculus, no permanent rift in trust or collegiality between the members of the Court, and probably not even an effect for the remainder of this session. By next session, this won’t even be a story. What strikes me as far more evident, beyond the rather hyperbolic overreactions, is that people have embraced the image of Machiavellian contortions on the part of Roberts with the same fervor and certitude that they embraced the applicability of the commerce clause to the individual mandate for precisely the same reason – because it suited their purposes and preconceptions, not as either stand on their own merits. They have some merit, some potential, but reasonable and less dramatic alternatives hold just as much merit. The fact that they “explain appearances,” to steal a phrase from Ptolemy, in a way that accords with our own political dispositions adds nothing to their merit or strength, independently considered. In other words, they do not become more true because we want them to be so.

    I would rather that Conservatives expend their energy not on conspiratorial outrage from such meager scraps, but on developing a truly compelling vision and strategy that returns us to economic prosperity, creates opportunities for all in a new global economy, protects individual liberty and conscience, and protects the family and religion, the basis of character and virtue, from the intrusion of the state. This other stuff is just bringing a pea-shooter to the fight.

  • “Donald: you have a habit of saying “rubbish” in your prolific responses, and I’m not sure to what end.”

    To accurately describe for my readers what is being conveyed by the other party.

    “Everyone is aware that Jan wrote the article”

    Rubbish. I doubt if you did until I pointed it out, and if you did you were being mendacious in attempting to raise the CBS bogeyman to discredit the story in the eyes of conservatives by a Pavlovian response.

    “In other words, it’s making a mountain out of a molehill from the passion of the moment, and probably the indiscrete grumblings of a couple of clerks.”

    No, an unsigned dissent is rare, and the passion and obvious anger with which Kennedy read the dissent is highly unusual. The firestorm being unleashed against Roberts is unprecedented in the contemporary history of the Court.

    “By next session, this won’t even be a story”

    That is delusional. This decision will haunt Roberts to his grave and beyond. Like Taney’s Dred Scott decision, this is the decision by which Roberts will go down in history.

    “What strikes me as far more evident, beyond the rather hyperbolic overreactions, is that people have embraced the image of Machiavellian contortions on the part of Roberts with the same fervor and certitude that they embraced the applicability of the commerce clause to the individual mandate for precisely the same reason – because it suited their purposes and preconceptions, not as either stand on their own merits.”

    Obviously wrong on both counts.

    “I would rather that Conservatives expend their energy not on conspiratorial outrage from such meager scraps, but on developing a truly compelling vision and strategy that returns us to economic prosperity, creates opportunities for all in a new global economy, protects individual liberty and conscience, and protects the family and religion, the basis of character and virtue, from the intrusion of the state.”

    Beating Obama in November is a start, and no longer appointing spineless cravens like Roberts to the Federal bench would be another. Conservatives this year need to concentrate on winning in November and not waste their time in defending a fraud like Roberts from the justified outrage that his self-serving betrayal of the Constitution has roused.

  • Again, “rubbish.” You are become predictable, Donald.

    As a matter of fact, when CBS first came out with the story, I did notice who the author was, and I was aware of the seriousness of her previous work. I also felt that, even with those factors, this was pandering to our baser instincts, and was more about initial spastic reactions to a surprising verdict than anything else. You seem to think that you are the only one who does their homework, and are pretty quick to 1)assume your conclusions are the only reasonable ones, and 2)the other party in the debate is suffering from the effects of some sort of psychotropic drug. Rather than argue about hypotheticals, let’s just take a look at this time next session and see if your apocalyptic predictions come true. The answer will be evident soon enough. In the meantime, I would propose that beating Obama in November will probably require a different tack – something a little more . . . weighty.

  • You are become predictable, Donald.

    Want predictable, how about folks changing the subject to the person they’re disagreeing with….

  • “Again, “rubbish.” You are become predictable, Donald.”

    And I will be utterly predictable in regard to your comments as long as you seek to push rubbish in the com boxes.

    “I did notice who the author was, and I was aware of the seriousness of her previous work. I also felt that, even with those factors, this was pandering to our baser instincts, and was more about initial spastic reactions to a surprising verdict than anything else.”

    Than you were being mendacious in attempting to raise the CBS bogeyman when you knew there were good reasons why conservatives should grant her story credibility.

    “You seem to think that you are the only one who does their homework”

    I judge by the content of the comment.

    “is suffering from the effects of some sort of psychotropic drug.”

    No, slip shod thinking is more frequently the culprit.

    “let’s just take a look at this time next session and see if your apocalyptic predictions come true.”
    Nothing apocalyptic at all in my prediction. I merely contend that Roberts has shredded his credibility and that no one is ever going to forget that.

    “I would propose that beating Obama in November will probably require a different tack ”

    Actually it has been my position prior to the decision being released, that the final nail in the coffin of the Obama re-election bid would be if the Court upheld ObamaCare. A fatal victory for Obama.

  • Well, the great thing about your position, Donald, is we can test it over the next year. Either public outrage builds and builds, and Obama and the Democrats are swept out of office with that (Obamacare) as a prevailing theme in the polls, or it all dies down and people move on to some other issue. Either the tension in the Supreme Court continues to build, or they move on. Either way, I hope the GOP wins in November, but I think any sustained momentum will require a different focus. Temper tantrums and intrigue are good for a month, and then people come back to the basic question . . . “how does this affect me?” The people who are affected by the individual mandate are primarily 1)young voters with low current (expected) healthcare expenditures, and 2)low-income individuals who cannot afford insurance through their employers (the unemployed are largely on Medicaid). Care to guess which party those two demographic groups tend to support? I can’t seem them rushing into our arms, saying “thank you so much for your advocacy on my behalf! How could I have been so blind?”

    So, outrage at a principle, in my estimation, will not trump people voting their (perceived) interests. The GOP base, and independents who can swing to support the GOP, are not primarily the ones who will be forced to buy insurance. And those who are forced to buy insurance as a result of the individual mandate are probably not going to move in any significant way on the argument that their Constitutional rights have been violated. They have too much of a vested interest in tax-and-spend policies for that to be a meaningful argument. It’s clear you want this to be a major issue, and are more than happy to endorse people who support that position. Whether it is a major issue will probably not be decided by our wanting it to be so, but we’ll find out soon enough. Let’s revisit this in November. Whether this decision “haunts Roberts to his grave and beyond,” well, I guess that will probably take a little longer than November to test.

    And Foxfier – I doubt Donald will whither under my brutal ad hominem attack. He seems rather resilient. See, he said “rubbish” again, undaunted and undeterred.

  • “with that (Obamacare) as a prevailing theme in the polls,”

    The lousy economy is the primary factor. The importance of Obamacare is that it invigorates conservatives for the election, especially adherents of the Tea Party. It also ensures that Romney will fight this election on at least equal terms with Obama when it comes to donations.

    “how does this affect me?”
    As the HHS Mandate indicates, broad portions of the American people are impacted by ObamaCare. Reportedly the Feds have been busy writing 13000 plus pages of regs to implement this monstrosity. You underestimate the depth of feeling among opponents to ObamaCare.

    “The GOP base, and independents who can swing to support the GOP, are not primarily the ones who will be forced to buy insurance.”

    The mandates in regard to insurance coverage are rapidly increasing their insurance rates. More and more private employers are being forced to abandon the provision of insurance due to these increasing rates. It is the rare person in this country who is not being directly impacted by Obamacare.

    “Whether this decision “haunts Roberts to his grave and beyond,” well, I guess that will probably take a little longer than November to test.”

    Indeed. I cannnot imagine anything that Roberts does in the future where I will not mention his Obamacare decision on this blog, and there will be many, many like me in tens of thousands of blogs.

  • And Foxfier – I doubt Donald will whither under my brutal ad hominem attack. He seems rather resilient. See, he said “rubbish” again, undaunted and undeterred.

    And that has what to do with the predictability of the your response?

  • Chief Justice Roberts approves RomneyCare as a tax, but all we get is middle-age white boys whining-whining-whining-whining-whining….

    Ain’t they got no self respect ???

  • He interpreted ObamaCare as a tax. Foxfier is neither middle-aged nor a boy. Donna, Ginny and Mary are not boys. Paul, the author of the post, is white and young. I am beyond middle age, unless I am going to live to 110. I guess I am white if Cherokee ancestors do not eliminate me from that category. Of course I was not whining but analyzing the ruling.

The Majority Opinion that Became a Dissent

Thursday, June 28, AD 2012

If you had told me before the day started that John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy would have penned differing opinions on the Obamacare case, and that I’d be siding with the latter’s opinion, I would have said that you were nuts. Alas, it appears that John Roberts is the new Anthony Kennedy.

Ed Whelan has speculated that Chief Justice Roberts changed his vote at the last minute, and therefore the dissenting opinion was originally the majority opinion. He has a follow-up post that posits another theory supporting that notion, which also explains how that could be logistically possible. Having now fully digested the dissenting opinion, I am just about 99 percent certain that John Roberts did indeed change his vote, and that the dissenting opinion was the majority opinion until the Chief Justice changed his mind.

Frankly, the dissent just doesn’t read like a dissent at all. As Whelan points out, the dissenting opinion repeatedly alludes to Justice Ginsburg’s opinion as the dissent. In fact, the dissenters barely alludes to the Chief Justice’s opinion at all until the very end. The final couple of pages are a scathing attack on the majority’s opinion, heretofore unmentioned. It certainly seems like the dissenting Justices felt jilted by the Chief Justice, thus the unusually harsh rhetoric of the final few paragraphs of the dissent. Another sign that the dissenters were in the majority comes on the second page:

Continue reading...

36 Responses to The Majority Opinion that Became a Dissent

  • I wonder if Chief Justice Roberts believes that he has secured peace in our time with his decision.

  • This is a brilliant and thoughtful post and I love it. But I couldn’t help but not the double meaning at the spelling here-

    “left at the alter by the Chief Justice”

  • I meant to write NOTE the double meaning!

  • Ha! Good catch anzlyne. That was unintentional, thus I edited the post.

  • Chief Justice Roberts = Neville Chamberlain
    Barack Hussein Obama = Adolf Hitler

    Nothing could be clearer.

  • Oh, but Paul Z., “alter” is perhaps MORE correct.

    😉

  • If Roberts is such a spineless jellyfish, he should not serve on any court, anywhere.

    Honestly, I feel hatred toward the man. And yes, I recognize that that is a terrible sin, and I am praying for the hate to go away. But at the moment, it is difficult for me to feel any other emotion for the man who shoved a knife into the back of the USA today. And when I think that he is a young man and will be Chief Justice until he dies or retires, I feel utter despair for our future (and yes, I know despair is also a sin). It’s funny – I frequently feel anger toward and contempt for Obama, but I don’t hate him. I recognize that he is following his own principles, twisted though they may be. But Roberts – a man who has apparently caved because he couldn’t stand the heat? His legacy? His rightful place will be next to Justices Taney (Dred Scott) and Holmes(the government has a right to sterilize the mentally handicapped because “3 generations of imbeciles are enough.”

    But, hey, on the upside, I’m sure Roberts will get lots of invitations to chi-chi G-town parties now!

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  • On the other hand, by returning the issue to the political sphere, Roberts has put it back where it belongs. Sure, I wanted the mandate struck down so I could spike the ball and gloat…but the reality is that if the mandate had been found unconstitutional then the liberals just would have brought it back under different guises at a later date. Heck, even if struck down you have to figure Obama would continue to implement it by regulatory fiat (DREAM Act, anyone?). Upon reflection, I wish we hadn’t even brought it to the courts – the proper place for this battle is in the court of public opinion. Either we can convince a majority to repeal ObamaCare, or we can’t. If we can, then we’ve won the war – if we can’t, then striking down this particular law would do no long term good.

    Take this, my friends, as a blessing – we are not challenged to work with a will and, with our trust given to God, do what we know is the right thing.

  • Think, for a moment, just how dead gun control is – sure, some court decisions were helpful but, at the end of the day, it was an awakened American people determined to preserve their right to bear arms which made the issue politically toxic…and now the Courts follow the people on the matter. That is how not just Obama Care but all manifestations of socialism must be defeated…

  • I am reminded of the story about a bird that did not fly south for the winter. Stuck in a barnyard, nearly frozen to the ground, accepting fate that nothing was worse and it would die. A cow walked by and dropped a load of “out-put” on the hapless bird. But the dung was warm and there were undigested seeds. The bird was warmed, ate and then started to sing. That was when a barn cat came along and started to dig. Happy to be free the bird sang and stretched. And was promptly killed and consumed by the cat.

    Moral of the story, not everyone that craps on you is your enemy, not everyone that gets you out of s@#% is your friend, and if you are buried and happy, keep quiet about it.

    I do not believe that Chief Justice Roberts is our “enemy” nor do I think he is another Chamberlain. It was left to the voters to remedy the action of this Act of Congress. Otherwise from now until the end of the USA there will be the constant court battles to undo what was done by a prior administration.

    It can be done, through the ballot box and our elected Representatives, not from appointed judges that many of whom owe more allegiance to a political ideology than to justice.

  • Ah, yours is the calmer, wiser take on things, Mr. Noonan. I was so bitterly angry today and felt so betrayed….I pray you are right.

    I am a Burkean conservative, and as such, am frequently disgusted with Republicans professing to hate big government and yet voting for big government as soon as they get nice offices in DC. I hope for and fully expect Romney and a GOP Congress to strike down Obamacare. If they don’t, well, I will be done with the GOP. We will end our days as slaves to the Almighty State and there is nothing the little people like me can do about it.

    A few months ago, in confession, a priest reminded me to put not my trust in kings – or politicians, or hopped up lawyers (which is what Roberts is)….Yes, he was right.

  • BTW, it takes a full 10 minutes before I can download TAC and probably another 5 before I can access the comments section. I have showered and blown-dried my hair in the morning- and then I return to my computer and find TAC is still not downloaded. I find it the slowest site in the Christian world 🙂 It is the number one reason why I rarely comment here- does anybody else have similiar difficulties?

  • I did worry about Roberts as I’ve been reading how he doesn’t want his court to look too political but I didn’t think he would actually go this far. It was like he was reaching for something to uphold this law & he found it in taxes. I’ve lost total respect for this man. We need healthcare reform but not this one. I’m a moderate conservative but I was very angry & I’m totally disliking Roberts right now as he changed America as we see it. Obama is changing this country & I won’t even recognize it if he remains president. I’m just sad.

  • Mark, it isn’t up to the Court to decide issues based on the politics of the situation. Roberts’ attempt to play John Marshall and get the Court out of a political jam was unnecessary. What exactly would have been the fallout if the Court struck down Obamacare? President Obama and the Democrats would have complained. So what? A majority of the population would have supported the outcome, and even if a majority did not that is irrelevant. As the dissenters correctly pointed out, the Chief Justice’s attempt to the get the Court out of politics only entangled it further. In the end, the Court made law. How is that an example of the Court returning the issue back to the political sphere. With this decision the Court became part of the political sphere.

    All that being said, I agree with what others have said in terms of dialing back our emotions. We are not in Nazi Germany, and the tanks aren’t going to start rolling into our Churches. This is a terrible defeat for the rule of law, and I think also a worrying sign that we’re still two votes away from repealing Roe. But we need to take it down a notch.

  • Donna, I don’t have any problems, but you are not the only person to notice that. We’ll look into it.

  • Indeed. Additionally I view this as a Pyrrhric victory for Obama, as this decision will be a millstone around his neck during the remainder of the campaign. Too many conservatives become disheartened too easily when there is every reason to think that this decision is a Godsend politically.

  • Don, you’re ever the optimist, which I admire. Of course, I always see a half-full glass. The rosy reaction is like finding good news in a recession by reading a headline: “Mafia forced to lay off 6 judges”

  • Another thing that irks me about the rationalization of this decision, as seen in Charles Krautahammer’s column:

    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.

    This is akin to George Bush avoiding the question of the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold and letting the Courts decide. All three branches of the government have the equal authority and obligation to decide upon the constitutionality of legislation before them. It is an abrogation of duty, not a sign of political pragmatism, to simply punt the matter away.

  • I try not to be a pessimist or an optimist when it comes to politics Joe but to call ’em like I see ’em. Many conservatives were saying that the game was up when Obama got elected in 2008. 2010 demonstrated how out of touch that view was. American political history is a series of reactions and counter-reactions. Obama went too far to the Left, and he reaped a political whirlwind in 2010 and the same is in store this November.

  • I agree with Donald. The President has just been made a liar, at least on the subject of a tax increase (which was a large part of the objection to the ACA in the first place…who is going to bear the cost?). I saw an ABC News blog link this morning to the interview I which he absolutely rejected the notion that the individual mandate was a tax. Guess Mr. Constitutional Law missed that class.

    No, I think we need to give this a few days to unfold. The analyses I’ve read aside, I believe Justice Roberts may have given those who oppose the law exactly what they need to fit it… He avoided giving the President. White martyrdom on the subject, and he exposed the law for what it is: a massive tax increase on those least able to afford it.

  • TAC does load slowly – probably a side-effect of the litany of links on the side.

    Dick Morris is saying the same thing Krauthammer says, which will probably be the theme of many variations in weeks to come. The November’s gonna be a slugfest. Hopefully Holder’s out of the SecState chair so we don’t have Black Panther goon squads threatening polling places.

    Question – Supposing a GOP quash and concomitant numerical ability, what’s the chance/point/P&L for an attempted Constitutional amendment expressly forbidding Congress to tax non-activity? I would not know how to word it properly, but, could or should such a thing be considered?

  • Good article from Jonah Goldberg today. Ignore the misleading headline – he really takes Roberts to the woodshed.

    what’s the chance/point/P&L for an attempted Constitutional amendment expressly forbidding Congress to tax non-activity?

    Somewhere between slim and none. The GOP will almost certainly have legislative majorities in both Houses of Congress, but not enough to get such an amendment through.

  • “Politics and Culture from a Catholic Perspective?” I don’t think so. I am Catholic, but this blog ‘s authors and commenters certainly do not speak for me or, I suspect, for a majority of Catholics. Alhough I would have preferred a single-payer system, I agree with the purpose and intent of the ACA, and applaud the Supreme Court’s action. There will be no tax assessed against anyone if people who have enough income to pay federal income taxes do the individually and socially responsible thing and buy health insurance. The tax is imposed only on those who do not, and for whose healthcare either health providers or the rest of us end up paying.

  • Paul:

    If yesterday you were “just about 99 percent certain that John Roberts did indeed change his vote,” the following excerpts from yesterday’s dissents should make you just about 100 percent certain. Make note of the reference to “Chief Justice Roberts” in Justice Ginsburg’s dissent and “we” in the joint dissent:

    From Justice Ginsburg’s dissent:

    In failing to explain why the individual mandate threatens our constitutional order, THE CHIEF JUSTICE disserves future courts.

    From the joint dissent:

    The dissent claims that we “fai[l] to explain why the individual mandate threatens our constitutional order.” Ante, at 35. But we have done so. It threatens that order because it gives such an expansive meaning to the Commerce Clause that all private conduct (including failure to act) becomes subject to federal control, effectively destroying
    the Constitution’s division of governmental powers. Thus the dissent, on the theories proposed for the validity of the Mandate, would alter the accepted constitutional relation between the individual and the National Government.

    For what it’s worth, I’m 100% certain the Chief Justice switched sides at the last minute, and I’m substantially certain he did so on the misplaced belief he was preserving the integrity of the Court by protecting it against further attacks of politicizing the judicial process. By switching at the last minute, he also gave insufficient time to what became the joint dissent to dismantle his holding that “commerce clause regulation of inactivity is unconstitutional but regulation by taxation of inactivity is constitutional” or his similarly contradictory position that, on the one hand, the penalty-for-inaction “tax” is not a direct tax because it is not akin to a Capitation which is easily susceptible to apportionment or a tax on personal property or real estate, but, on the other hand, we shouldn’t be worried that the government has just now been given the power to tax inactivity because the power to tax inactivity has been around from the founding as evidenced by . . . of course, the Capitation or poll tax which applies merely for being a citizen. I imagine with a little advance notice Justice Scalia could have put a few more barbs into the joint dissent or dissented separately.

  • I am Catholic, but this blog ‘s authors and commenters certainly do not speak for me or, I suspect, for a majority of Catholics.

    While I’m sure you have your finger on the pulse of the Catholic community at large, we’ll continue to express our opinions as our Catholic faith informs us to do.

    There will be no tax assessed against anyone if people who have enough income to pay federal income taxes do the individually and socially responsible thing and buy health insurance.

    Ah, the compassionate left in action. Nobody will be punished so long as everybody does what we demand that they do in the name of social justice. There is nothing particularly “Catholic” about such an attitude, but I’m sure you will go on believing that you are more Catholic than the rest.

    Fine then.

  • Hank: Good catch, and more evidence that Roberts did indeed change his mind, and fairly late in the game at that. And I agree fully with your take. Clearly Scalia and the rest were caught off guard, as evidenced by the the relative lack of attention the dissent paid to the Chief Justice’s opinion until the very end of the dissent. I’m sure Scalia would have torn into Roberts more than he did for his double-talk on the tax had he had sufficient time – note he only addresses the government as being sophists, and not the majority of the Court.

  • Paul,

    Good points but now there are two things:

    1. Obama and the Democrats have to run with this horrendously unpopular law still the law of the land.

    2. Obama and the Democrats can’t point to the Evil, Wicked, Nasty, Republican Supreme Court as the source of blame for what went wrong.

    Obama carries the ObamaCare millstone around his neck in to November and the Courts are out of the political fray. I actually kind of like this outcome.

  • Donna,

    A great calmness came over me as I took in the decision – all is well and its all going to be for the best. And, yes, TAC does load slowly.

  • yes mark of norwich “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well”

  • W F Aiken

    Would you regard a levy, confined to uncultivated land, as a tax or a penalty?

  • Would you regard a levy, confined to uncultivated land, as a tax or a penalty?

    At least that levy would be attached to property ownership; not to nothing, not to non-action. I am not saying it is a good thing, but at least there might be some reason behind it.

  • I don’t think the levy you mentioned is just.

  • “I don’t think the levy you mentioned is just.”

    Nor do I, but would it be a tax or a penalty?

  • God did not want His Chosen People to be governed by a king. God wanted the Israelite nation to be a nation of sovereign persons, ruled and governed by the Supreme Sovereign Being, disciplined by LOVE. Still, Israel insisted. God relented and gave them Saul, then David.
    George Washington had served two terms as President of the United States. When Washington refused a third term as president, the people wanted to crown him king. Washington absolutely refused. George Washington was truly disciplined by LOVE, a sovereign. As a sovereign, George Washington exemplified the true meaning of sovereignty for each and every person and our nation.
    Justice is predicated on intent. As the personification of Divine Justice, the perfect Justice of God, The Supreme Court for the United States of America is empowered by Divine Justice, to root out all corruption, all falsehood, all malevolence, any evil that would threaten the Liberty and the common good of each and every individual person, every citizen, every state and nation, for whom the Justices have taken an oath to preserve FREEDOM, through the United States Constitution.
    CJ John Roberts statement that it is not the Supreme Court’s job to correct our mistakes and /or crimes is simply Roberts reneging on his oath. Swallowed by atheism and secular humanism, Roberts aids and abets the establishment of these disordered aberrations as religion through which the FREEDOM of religion might be practiced by the sovereign persons who happen to be citizens, in spite of the fact that these aberrations have been thrown off by the plaintiffs, violate the Ninth Amendment, (the Ninth Amendment states that persons have rights not enumerated in the Constitution) and deny the freedom of conscience, the human being’s immortal soul, the human being’s rational soul. Without a rational soul man becomes a beast, a rapacious beast or a subject, a member of a herd to be driven and corralled. Man has already witnessed the violence and been subjected to inhumanities un-thought of several decades ago. To this John Roberts adds his imprimatur. “It’s not my job”
    Obamacare cannot be dealt with because it is not a law. Obamacare is tyranny, coercion and fraud, the establishment of a God-less society. Obamacare will have no new generation, only a new generation of flatliners.

  • Mary De Voe

    There is an inscription in the Chapelle Expiatoire in Paris, built by the Catholic community as an act of reparation for the murder of the Royal Family “in diebus illis non erat rex in Israhel sed unusquisque quod sibi rectum videbatur hoc faciebat.” – In those days, there was no king in Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6)

    In fact, the phrase, “there was no king in Israel” recurs four times in Judges(17:6, 18:1, 19:1 & 21:25) and each time it goes on to describe some disaster or act of wickedness.

The Chief Justice’s Ruling: A Gross Expansion of Federal Power

Thursday, June 28, AD 2012

Conservatives looking for some kind of victory in today’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. (the Obamacare case) are pointing to two aspects of Chief Justice John Roberts’s rulings. First, a majority of the Court ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under the commerce clause. Second, the Court ruled that the Federal Government could not force the states to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, the Court narrowed the scope of Congressional power in two different arenas.

Indeed, 44 pages of Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion are absolutely constitutionally sound. During the course of the opinion the Chief Justice made the same argument that many individual mandate opponents have been making for months: you cannot create an economic activity in order to regulate it under the commerce clause. “The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. If the power to ‘regulate’ something included the power to create it, many of the provisions in the Constitution would be superfluous.” The Chief Justice latter adds that the individual mandate “does not regulate an existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce.” Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.” Furthermore, “[a]llowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and – under the Government’s theory – empower Congress to make those decisions for him.”

Roberts further tears into the logic of those defending the mandate on commerce clause grounds by pointing out that other activity – such as people not eating a healthy diet – does far more to raise health care costs than does failure to have health insurance. Therefore, under the government’s logic, “Congress could address the diet problem by ordering everyone to buy vegetables.” Therefore, the government’s arguments with regards to the commerce clause are ultimately unsupportable.

The problem with those taking the rosy view; however, is that the Chief Justice’s opinion is 59 pages. The Chief takes a detour roughly halfway through the opinion that is so unfathomable, it almost reads as if an entirely different person wrote the opinion.

Chief Justice Roberts holds that despite the statutory language, the penalty for failure to buy health insurance can more accurately described as a tax. This, despite what the language of the bill actually says, and what President Obama himself even said. And that’s also in contradiction of what had just been argued when discussing the anti-Injunction act. As Carrie Severino puts it:

The main holding of the case is that the mandate is upheld as a proper exercise of the taxing power. This is a decidedly awkward result, as the first section of the result explains that the mandate is not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. During the oral argument the courtroom erupted in laughter when the solicitor general was asked how he could argue that the mandate was not a tax on Monday but was on Tuesday. In the end, the court chose that implausible — even laughable — result in a fairly explicit attempt to hold the mandate constitutional.

Jeff Goldstein also mocks this bit of legal jujitsu. Intentionalism is a concept that he blogs about frequently, and he rightfully calls out the Chief Justice for his violation of the concept.

According to the CJ, a penalty is indeed a tax when it can be viewed as a tax for purposes of a ruling.  Meaning, a penalty is a tax when a Justice decides to rewrite the law to turn a penalty into a tax.  Which he justifies because the way the penalty looks to him suggests that “reasonable”  people (or philosopher kings) can, if they squint — and if they ignore the intent that turned the law into law in the first place, and turned a set of marks into a set of signs, into language — see a tax.  How that is “reasonable” is anyone’s guess:   we know in no uncertain terms that Obama and the Dems who passed the law didn’t devise the mandate as a tax (despite what they later argued); for one to conclude that it is reasonably possible to “read” a penalty as a tax,  therefore, what c0mes to count as “reasonable” must be redefined as “ignoring what we know to be true”.  And that seems antithetical to “reason.”

Roberts has chosen to see a tax where a penalty was intended — thereby rewriting the law and turning it into a new text, one which he intends, though he incoherently and disingenuously suggests that he is finding meaning in the text that can “reasonably” be ascribed to it.

Roberts justifies this change in terminology by noting that the amount of the penalty that would be levied would not be punitive – in fact the cost of paying the penalty would often be less than the cost of buying health insurance. And since the so-called penalty would not be burdensome, it’s not really penalizing behavior.

Yeah.

But the most egregious aspect of this decision, and one which an astounding number of commentators seem to be missing, is that the Chief Justice has massively expanded the use of the taxing power. Roberts asserts that “taxes that seek to influence conduct are nothing new.” He then rattles off a list of things that are taxed heavily in order to change behavior, including cigarettes. The problem with this is that people have to buy cigarettes in order to be taxed. This “tax” is applied to people who don’t make a purchase. In other words, the federal government is taxing non-activity. It is the same exact logic that the government used to justify the mandate under the commerce clause. All Roberts has done is shift the authority under the Constitution which justifies government intervention.

Then Roberts makes the astounding claim, also amazingly echoed approvingly in certain quarters, that “While the individual mandate clearly aims to induce the purchase of health insurance, it need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS.” (emphasis mine)

I’m actually embarrassed for the Chief Justice here. Surely he is not as incapable of making a logical progression as this statement suggests he is. But let’s make this crystal clear. If you do not purchase health insurance, you will be penalized, err, “taxed.” If you fail to pay that tax at the end of the year, what do you suppose happens to you? Does the IRS send you a series of letters pleading with you to “please, pretty please, with a cherry on top, please pay your tax?” Do they put little frowny faces at the bottom of these letters? Does the Commissioner of the IRS stand outside your window with a boom box blaring “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, the rain pelting him as he cries out “Please, just pay this tax which, by the way, should in no way be construed as a penalty?”

Oh, that’s right, you go to jail. So you totally have the right to not buy health insurance, and there’s absolutely no punishment for failure to pay the tax. This assumes, of course, you always wanted to share a very small space with a drug dealer named Zeke. Just think of this as a government-funded vacation where you may, or may not, have discomfort walking towards the end of the vacation. You see – what a bargain!

The Chief Justice makes several more spurious claims. He notes that “tax incentives already promote, for example, purchasing homes and professional education.” But tax incentives are reductions in the level of taxation for making certain purchases. Your taxes are not increased when you decide to rent a house instead of purchase one.

Roberts observes that the “Constitution does not guarantee that individuals may avoid taxation through inactivity. A capitation, after all, is a tax that everyone must pay simply for existing, and capitations are expressly contemplated in the Constitution.” Really? The income tax was made allowable only through the 16th Amendment, but it’s not a tax merely for existing. It’s a tax that only applies if you earn money – in other words, it’s a tax that applies only when you engage in the activity of earning your daily bread. It’s not a “mere existence” tax, and it’s certainly not a taxation of non-activity.

According to Article I of the Constitution, Congress has the ability to issue direct taxes apportioned among the several States, but the Chief Justice himself declares that this is not a direct tax.

Section 8 of Article I states:

Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Again, I fail to see how that justifies taxation of non-activity. The idea that this kind of tax would have been countenanced by the same people (by and large) who fought the War of Independence is laughable on its face.

Attempts to sugarcoat this opinion are wrongheaded. In many ways, Roberts’ basing his decision on the tax power is worse than if he had relied on the Commerce Clause, for he has actually expanded the reach of the federal government in a way heretofore unseen. It’s true that Roberts and the four dissenters limit the reach of the commerce clause, but in reality they haven’t done much more than what the Rehnquist Court did in the mid-90s in the Lopez and Morrison cases in limiting the scope of the Commerce Clause. No new ground has been broken, and no old precedents were over-ridden. Much the same can be said with respect to the Medicaid ruling. On the other hand, the Chief Justice has broadened the taxing power so that it can now be applied to non-activity. Long story short, the federal government has more power today than it did yesterday. That is the most chilling aspect of this decision.

I believe that the commenter cthemfly25 has it right in the comments on my previous post:

Congress can always use taxing authority to undermine the constitution.  And if a tax can be used to undermine the constitution and modulate and control social behavior, then the all powerful central government can use its unmitigated taxing power to regulate religion (there is no way applying Roberts’ logic that the religious mandate could be struck down), regulate home schooling or private schooling (“taxed” for not teaching homosexual curriculum), regulate the size of families (taxed for having more than two kids), regulate food or beverage consumption (taxed based on calorie intake), regulate fuel consumption (“taxed” for excessive fuel consumption), regulate choice of consumer goods such as vehicles (“taxed” for not purchasing a “green” car),—–regulate from a central authority any human or civic activity under the rubric of “taxation”.

Perhaps the Anti-Federalist Brutus was right, after all, about the taxing power under the Constitution.

This power, exercised without limitation, will introduce itself into every comer of the city, and country — It will wait upon the ladies at their toilett, and will not leave them in any of their domestic concerns; it will accompany them to the ball, the play, and the assembly; it will go with them when they visit, and will, on all occasions, sit beside them in their carriages, nor will it desert them even at church; it will enter the house of every gentleman, watch over his cellar, wait upon his cook in the kitchen, follow the servants into the parlour, preside over the table, and note down all he eats or drinks; it will attend him to his bed-chamber, and watch him while he sleeps; it will take cognizance of the professional man in his office, or his study; it will watch the merchant in the counting-house, or in his store; it will follow the mechanic to his shop, and in his work, and will haunt him in his family, and in his bed; it will be a constant companion of the industrious farmer in all his labour, it will be with him in the house, and in the field, observe the toil of his hands, and the sweat of his brow; it will penetrate into the most obscure cottage; and finally, it will light upon the head of every person in the United States. To all these different classes of people, and in all these circumstances, in which it will attend them, the language in which it will address them, will be GIVE! GIVE!

 

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10 Responses to The Chief Justice’s Ruling: A Gross Expansion of Federal Power

  • “Long story short, the federal government has more power today than it did yesterday. That is the most chilling aspect of this decision.”

    Is this necessarily a problem that Catholics have to deal with or just Republicans, Libertarians, etc?

    I am still waiting for Mr. McClarey to lead the way now that his desire became reality. I think Mr. McClarey overestimates the number or Catholics or Christians who care in the least about this ruling.

  • Thank you, Paul Z. As I just commented on Don’s post, you, he, Bonchamps and the others here at TAC are voices of sanity in an insane world.

  • Bar prep prevents me from reading the opinions in good conscience, but my guess is that the states made a major misstep in stating that it would obviously be permissible for Congress to tax everyone and then give a tax break for everyone who purchased insurance. By admitting that there was essentially another justification to do basically the same thing, the states opened themselves up for an interpretation that desperately was seeking a peg to save the bill. That doesn’t excuse Roberts though.

  • The state now has the power to control every aspect of human life in America.
    Resist and you will be taxed. Resist the tax and you will go to jail and lose
    all of your assets, including your income.

    The state can also demand all Catholics to renounce their Catholic faith or face financial
    ruin via a tax. The state can prohibit certain categories of human beings from procreation or face financial ruin via a tax.

    Further, the state can control the population of the U.S. through the use of abortion and euthanasia of ObamaCare.

  • Pingback: Supreme Court Religous Freedom Religous Liberty Health Care | Big Pulpit
  • As I think more about this Supreme Court decision, I think it might be a good thing. I know for sure that God can bring good from it.
    The decision in fact focuses our attention on the truth of what we need to do to protect our liberties, defining more clearly what is meant and what is allowed by our allowing the government to tax.
    We always thought the government could tax– and thought that there were a few defined direct objects at the end of that sentence. Now we see to the contrary, the the authority we have given over to the government ican be construed not just to tax Something, income or property or something, but simply the authority to tax… .

    Roberts has just pointed out that the penalty acts in effect like a tax and could be construed that way, and what are we voters going to do about it?

    The courts should not be activist; the people should be activists. We look at what we need to do to protect our selves and our national interest, and do it. We define more closely what is given in that authority to tax. If the umpire continually calls a ball a strike, the batter is out, the umpire becomes meaningless and the game is over– so we need to insist on clarity concerning our constitution… enough of this mish mash about it being so old we don’t know what it means. We do too.

  • Unless government acknowledges the rational, immortal soul of the human being with its conscience, and especially the human being’s conscience, Obamacare is taxation without representation, enslavement as brute animals to a force of ‘superior” brute animals. The Planet of the Apes was especially poignant as the Statue of Liberty is seen submerged in the ocean.

  • It must be added that taxation is to “secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity” from the Preamble to the Constitution for The United States of America. Since our tax monies have been abused to exile The Supreme Sovereign Being, the Giver of LIfe and the Endower of all unalienable rights to man, FREEDOM, conscience, speech, peaceable assembly, our taxes are being pirated to kill our constitutional posterity in the womb, to inflict pornography, assault and battery on our virginity, innocence and civil rights to be secure in our foundational and human liberties, our taxes are being swindled into deforming the TRUTH, embracing perjury, and treason, it may not be said, cannot be said, that the monies extorted from conscientious citizens is called tax, but taxation without representation.

  • “so we need to insist on clarity concerning our constitution… enough of this mish mash about it being so old we don’t know what it means. We do too.”
    All future presidents must be given a literacy test, a comprehension test, and a reading test. Are public schools so bad that presidents and politicians can graduate without being able to read? Swearing an oath to uphold a Constitution the President cannot read demands school vouchers for private schools, until the public school start teaching reading, writing and arithmetic.

  • “The courts should not be activist”

    Exactly. That is why the ruling is horribly wrong. Four of the justices recognized that pretending ‘Obamacare’ was constitutional is an activist position. Roberts took an activist position.

ObamaCare Ruling Watch

Wednesday, June 27, AD 2012

 

 

When the decision of the Supreme Court is released tomorrow at 9:00 AM Central Time I will do my best to link to the decision and have some commentary, work permitting in the law mines.  Now of course we can only guess what will happen.  Few things are more futile than attempting to guess what a court will do, but it is fun!  I share in the conventional wisdom that the Court will likely strike down the mandate but uphold the rest.  From a political standpoint, although it would be a travesty under the Constitution, I would prefer that the Court uphold the whole thing, since I think it would ignite a firestorm among conservatives and lead to a devastating defeat for Obama in the fall.  Well, we will see what happens tomorrow.

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Paul Ryan & Subsidiarity

Thursday, April 12, AD 2012

Ever since Congressman Paul Ryan announced his budget plan, claiming that it was inspired by his understanding of Catholic social teaching (CST) in general and subsidiarity in particular, old debates about the meaning of CST have flared up once again. Michael Sean Winters of NCR blasted Ryan’s conception of “subsidiarity”; then Stephen White of Catholic Vote critiqued some of Winter’s own oversimplifications. Since everyone and their aunt in the Catholic blogosphere will weigh in on this at some point, I’ll get it over with and throw in my two-cents now.

First: I do believe that some of Ryan’s statements are oversimplifications. For instance, he claimed that subsidiarity and federalism were more or less synonyms for one another. They are not. Stephen White pointed out that these concepts are complimentary, however, and they are.

Secondly: Winters, and he is not alone in this, repeats Vatican statements about “access” to health care as if they were an exact equivalent with Obamacare or other types of government-run healthcare schemes. As White pointed out, Winters presents his leftist policy preferences as non-negotiable points of CST.

Third: I think the entire framework of this discussion needs a serious overhaul.

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27 Responses to Paul Ryan & Subsidiarity

  • Very good, you added to excellent White’ piece.

  • As well, Rights being naturally endowed unto us by God, their exercise cannot entail any kind of need to obtain the service or labor of others, except in their mutual defense. If Health Care (or housing, or food, or any other lefty favorite) is a natural right, then this entails the enslavement of those who provide it, as rights cannot be purchased, but only exercised.

    How this quiet little piece of logic goes unshouted by the establishment GOP is, or at least used to be, beyond me.

  • generally I agree with you, but here ( in your “on one level” paragraph) something sticks:
    to me “precedes” the State does not just mean preceding in time, but precedes in another way– a ranking — now that we are technologically capable, for instance, of feeding and hydrating T Schiavo, charity calls us to that–
    we are not called to live like we are BC era,; I think we are called to work with what we have.. natural law does not take us back to some primitive state-but applies here and now with what “wherewithal” we have… that’s why “precedes” does not necessarily mean “precedes in time”
    once again I am more than willing to be corrected as needed!
    I think you are saying extraordinary measures are not a human right — like heart transplant etc–

  • Anzlyne,
    I suspect that you and WK are not in agreement. WK is making the fairly time-honored case in favor of the proposition that rights are negative rather than positive. Libertarians point out, quite correctly, that the trouble with affirmative or positive rights is that they logically require the functional enslavement of others. This position has never been accepted by the Church, and in fact has been pretty directly criticized. That said, my sense is that the Church’s view and that of libertarians in this limited respect are not necessarily contradictory insomuch as libertarians are criticizing affirmative “rights” that are enforceable by government whereas the Church is affirming the importance of such rights vis-a-vis society, and government and society are not synonymous. More specifically, the Church is saying that society must be ordered in a way so that its members rights to basic needs are satisfied; liberarians do not oppose that as such, as long as the term right does not mean a legal right that can be enforced against others via government coercion. The Church does not oppose the latter, but does not require it either.
    All that said, I like the fact that Ryan seems to take his Catholicity seriously. I worry that he also takes Ayn Rand seriously, and while Rand had her insights her “philosophy” is ultimately not remotely compatable with Roman Catholicism.

  • All good points here. Consider that Mortimer Adler in his book “10 Philosophical Mistakes” makes the point that a human right to something doesn’t mean that a person must have that thing provided by either the government or his neighbors if he can’t get it for himself. It means that no one, whether government or anyone else can morally PREVENT the person from fulfilling that right. Often fulfilling that right is based on good fortune and circumstance. We see that in the right to bear arms. The government or anyone else doesn’t have the resposnsible to buy you a gun if you can’t afford one.

  • I think I am not in opposition to WK Aiken’s post– I do think that our rights precede the state, that they are not “posited” by the state… they are negative in that they are not imposed but are natural– I apologize that I wasn’t very clear who I was responding to– it was Bonchamps paragraph:

    ” On one level, something that has only been available for roughly a century or so cannot possibly be a “basic human right.” Rerum Novarum establishes that the natural rights that belong to each individual precede the state; this
    categorically excludes something as specific and dependent upon a high level of technological development as a lifetime of health services. Such goods and services can only be “accessed” to the extent that a technologically advanced society can produce them, and this capability in turn depends upon on a level of economic freedom that cannot be attained with purchasing mandates, excessive tax burdens, and bureaucratic control.’

    And I do agree with Bonchamps about all of this generally –at the end of the paragraph
    I agree we have to recognize that economic ability/ freedom to act which describes the level of burden to provide access to advanced health care. I agree that none of this burden (brother’s keeper) can be coerced by the state, but is social construct of individuals within families/ communities.
    my only question to Bonchamps was about our social burdens/responsibilities in his words since “roughly a century ago” — it sounds like our rights are defined a bit by the technical ability to intervene..
    so I say we do have the rights and mutual responsibilities and some of those responsibilities depend upon our “wherewithal” what we can and should do here and now is different than what would have been morally required back then or over there : )

    once people didn’t know how to read, but an education I think is a basic human right– provided first and foremost by the parents

  • I think I am not in opposition to WK Aiken’s post– I do think that our rights precede the state, that they are not “posited” by the state… they are negative in that they are not imposed but are natural– I apologize that I wasn’t very clear who I was responding to– it was Bonchamps paragraph:

    ” On one level, something that has only been available for roughly a century or so cannot possibly be a “basic human right.” Rerum Novarum establishes that the natural rights that belong to each individual precede the state; this
    categorically excludes something as specific and dependent upon a high level of technological development as a lifetime of health services. Such goods and services can only be “accessed” to the extent that a technologically advanced society can produce them, and this capability in turn depends upon on a level of economic freedom that cannot be attained with purchasing mandates, excessive tax burdens, and bureaucratic control.’

    And I do agree with Bonchamps about all of this generally –at the end of the paragraph
    I agree we have to recognize that economic ability/ freedom to act which describes the level of burden to provide access to advanced health care. I agree that none of this burden (brother’s keeper) can be coerced by the state, but is social construct of individuals within families/ communities.
    my only question to Bonchamps was about our social burdens/responsibilities in his words since “roughly a century ago” — it sounds like our rights are defined a bit by the technical ability to intervene..
    so I say we do have the rights and mutual responsibilities and some of those responsibilities depend upon our “wherewithal” what we can and should do here and now is different than what would have been morally required back then or over there : )

    once people didn’t know how to read, but an education I think is a basic human right– provided first and foremost by the parents

  • Throughout 2009 during the purported “health care debate”, the version of CST as has been corrupted by modernity, legal positivism (as nicely mentioned by MP), liberation theology, etc., was manifest in ways not herebefore many Catholics had known with the exception of the flick in time CHD scandal. I can leave to others the root causes of that corruption but the domestic policy people at the USCCB and many bishops contributed greatly to the present day impoverished notions of what constitutes CST. I haven’t done this in a while as it’s simply too depressing but over the years one could witness first hand how the USCCB gave the Democratic Party platform its “theological” approval as it promoted higher taxes, cap and trade, mortgage bailouts, the Fannie/Freddi debacle, and many other statist oriented laws. Subsidiarity gets nothing but lip service. Free enterprise receives nothing but disdain.

    I like what George Weigal said in a lecture, From Centesimus Annus to Deus Caritas Est, The Free and Virtuous Society of the 21st Century, about subsidiarity and federalism:
    “The principle of susidiarity teaches us that decision-making in society should be left at the lowest possible level (i.e., the level closest to those most effected by the decision), commensurate with the common good. American ‘federalism’ is one empirical example of the principle of subsidiarity at work in actual political life. Articulated under the lengthening shadow of the totalitarian project in the first third of the twentieth century, the principle of subsidiarity remains today as a counter-statist principle in Catholic social thinking. It directs us to look first to private sector solutions, or to a private sector/public sector mix of solutions, rather than to the state, in dealing with urgent social issues such as education, health care, and social welfare.”

    As I’ve stated before, our constitutional federalism offers us the template for the reality of subsidiarity, which we should cherish.

    Finally as to any “worry” that Paul Ryan takes Rand’s “philosophy” seriously, I find that not being helpful to the discussion inasmuch that it is a random perjorative. Ryan, like many of us, have read Rand and particularly Atlas Shrugged. I would hope most college students do read it. Rand, as Ryan read it and as most of us have, provides keen insight into the simple understanding that economics, at its heart, is a behavioral ‘science.’ Where Ryan and any Catholic reading Rand depart radically from her is with her depressing notions of glorifying human depravity, egoism, selfishness and objectiveism…..but then that is the flip side of the coin known as freedom….the same coin which gives us the choice to obey Him, to live out authentic Charity and not the faux charity of government coercion, confiscation, dependency, etc. And when you really think about Rand’s depressing view of human nature, it’s not much different than the ideological ingredient found in socialism, or statism.

  • Paul Ryan speaks the truth regarding destructive, massive government spending and sky-rocketing debt that will enslave your children.

    The truth damages Obama’s narrative.

    Paul Ryan must be destroyed.

    Left-wing gangsters cloaking themselves in their version of CST politicize the Gospels to smooth the way for socialist serfdom.

  • Anzlyne,

    Thanks for the comments. By “precedes”, I actually think that Rerum Novarum – other natural rights doctrines too, in fact – really means “morally precedes.” It is a way of stating that man’s rights are not derived from the state, they do not depend upon the state, and the state can’t have some obligation to actually provide things for people; the state is instituted for a very specific purpose, which is to safeguard natural rights.

    “my only question to Bonchamps was about our social burdens/responsibilities in his words since “roughly a century ago” — it sounds like our rights are defined a bit by the technical ability to intervene..”

    That’s now how I would have it. I don’t think our rights should depend on technology. I don’t think new technologies that make the mass production of goods and services possible can create new rights to those goods and services. If something was not recognized as an entitlement 1000 years ago mainly because of reasons of scarcity, it can’t be recognized as an entitlement today, because we still have scarcity – just less of it. It is still impossible for everyone to get everything they want.

    The main reason people are agitated and clamoring for egalitarian “social justice” is precisely because the system they despise, capitalism, has made so many people so much better off that the presence of a marginalized underclass really sticks out like a sore thumb. But even this underclass, at least in the Western world, lives better than much of the rest of the world today and most of humanity throughout history. So there is a lot of impatience.

    More people die each year in auto accidents in this country than die from a want of health insurance. I would say that there’s just as little we can efficiently and justly do at the federal/bureaucratic level to prevent all auto accidents as there is all deaths related to a lack of health insurance. The amazing thing is that this rules out nothing for people whose imaginations can possibly operate outside of federal bureaucracies. But you’d have to be uninterested in controlling and plundering your neighbor for that, and I guess that’s too much to ask from fallen man.

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  • Hi Bonchamps
    so we agree on what “precedes” means– that it is a moral ranking so to speak –
    your reference to our rights as related to time ( last century) and the development of technology threw me. I think you said that the ability to offer these things only for less than a century means we cannot see the application of technology as something that could be coerced by the state– ok
    I have no probem understanding negative or natural rights given by God preceding the state– but our real choices change a bit because we
    live now

  • Anzlyne,

    My point is to warn against the illusion that things have changed so much that we can declare specific goods and services “rights”, as if they existed in super-abundance and only some sort of irrational prejudice was preventing an unlimited supply to meet an unlimited demand.

  • Yes. Good point. Thank you. Also BPS point is well taken.

  • First among the many things I like about Paul Ryan is that he sees the need to take the CST narrative away from the left (which unfortunately includes the USCCB when it comes to issues like this) and proceeds to do just that.

  • If it’s Socialist to have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicade, than count me as a Socialist! What we need now is Socialized Healthcare. Healthcare for PROFIT no longer works! 50% of the population can no longer afford Healthcare! And 50% of the Country lives at or below the POVERTY LINE! Remember, the early Christians were Socialists! They held everything in Common! Don’t tell me that there is no money for these programs-that is pure BS! Stop giving BILLIONS of dollars away every year as “Foreign Aid”! Stop trying to police the world and cut back on the more than 1000 military bases we have around the world! Tax the RICH! Vote Democratic! Let Obama lead-not the Rich Republicans!

  • The notion of subsidiarity has captivated my attention for years, and I’m hoping that this concept soaks in to the public mind. As stated by others here, subsidiarity can be applied more broadly than rule-making. Specifically, charity needs to happen in person to person contact rather than through the organs of the State. State-run charity, welfare, had the promise to be more efficient than churches operating through disorganized but well-meaning individuals, but the state operates as would a machine between the donor and recipient. Without contact between the donor (taxpayer) and recipient (poor) there is no sense of charity and thankfulness, but only their opposites. A machine cannot convey love.

    In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the first two passers-by likely wished that someone else would help.

  • Richard,

    Use your inside voice.

    The “poverty line” is an arbitrary line. To be at the American “poverty line” today is to be wealthier than at least half of the people in the world, if not many more than that.

    I do agree that we should stop policing the world and slash the military budget significantly. But that money ought to be returned to the taxpayer, not siphoned into an inefficient bureaucratic monstrosity.

    I also think it is pretty absurd to cite such concerns and then scream about voting for Obama and the Democrats. Obama went into Lybia and is threatening Syria and Iran. And in case you’ve forgotten, Bill Clinton went into the Balkans, twice, and LBJ gave us the Vietnam War. If you want to go even further back, it was FDR who got us into WWII and Wilson who got us into WWI. I’ll leave aside the value judgments of these military adventures. The point is that Democrats get us into more wars than Republicans do, because they have always been more idealistic and willing to believe that ideas can be spread and imposed by force. It is nothing but an extension of their socialistic philosophy, which imposes ideas by force domestically. Republican war-idealism is a new thing (hence why we call those who promote it NEOconservatives).

    Obama is a warmonger. And unlike Bush, his war in Lybia had no Congressional approval.

  • Richard you are a thinking person and I invite you to read about the “Light to the Nations” Pope Leo XVII. That would be a good start.

  • Anzlyne,

    You mean Pope Leo XIII, right?

  • hahaha
    sorry sometimes I type too fast! ha– I do mean Thirteenth! and I see that I also wrote light to the nations! Lumen gentium! what a goofy post– I meant Light in the Heavens! ( remember St. malachy called him that)– Thanks Bonchamps

  • CAPS ON!!! EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! NO ARGUMENT!!!!

  • yes I know very well he didn’t write that– I was just saying that in my gooofy post I meant to write” Light in the Heavens” but my brain slipped to that other familiar phrase– which is the title (taken from the first sentence) of the Dogmatic Constitution–

  • I really don’t follow the argument that a service that has become highly technical cannot be a right.

    Whether we have a right to healthcare, or to access to healthcare, depends on the fundamental nature of the service (that is, the removal of suffering and the preservation of life), not the cost or sophistication of the technology. People are not to be left to die on the street, because they have a right to life. If, for example, someone passes out in my house, it is my obligation to apply CPR. This is my level of knowledge. CPR was unknown in prior generations, but I have the knowledge, and I am duty bound to apply it. If someone was shot on the battlefield during the Civil War, there was an obligation to perform an amputation or apply a tourniquet.

    It seems to me you are saying that, if someone is ill, they are entitled to whatever care one could naturally give them without technology – bed rest, dressing a wound, etc., but otherwise it is moral to let them die. This seems so ludicrous that I can’t imagine that is your position.

  • “I really don’t follow the argument that a service that has become highly technical cannot be a right.”

    I don’t know why you would try, since that isn’t my argument at all. My argument is that something that hasn’t been a “basic human right” throughout most of human history cannot possibly be a basic human right today because it suddenly looks like we might have the wealth and resources for everyone to have it (we don’t). Scarcity isn’t an “injustice”; its just a natural condition that all of the ideological temper-tantrums in the world can’t make go away.

    “Whether we have a right to healthcare, or to access to healthcare, depends on the fundamental nature of the service (that is, the removal of suffering and the preservation of life), not the cost or sophistication of the technology. ”

    My point is that you can declare whatever you want a “right”; if reality prevents it from being produced and distributed for all who might need it, then such declarations are not only meaningless, but potentially harmful to society.

    ” If, for example, someone passes out in my house, it is my obligation to apply CPR.”

    That’s not “healthcare.” That’s charity. And it isn’t your legal obligation to apply CPR, but the advocates of universal healthcare want to force us all to pay into a healthcare system to satisfy their social ideals.

    “This is my level of knowledge. CPR was unknown in prior generations, but I have the knowledge, and I am duty bound to apply it. If someone was shot on the battlefield during the Civil War, there was an obligation to perform an amputation or apply a tourniquet.”

    Yeah, I don’t know what this has to do with anything. I mean, if in your battlefield there are more injured people then there are tourinquets, no one is going to say it is a situation of profound injustice that some people will simply bleed to death. The reality of scarcity was understood by all. There isn’t always enough to go around. If and when there is enough, then YES, of course charity obliges us to provide what we can for those who need. My argument is against those who think they can overcome the realities of scarcity with government edicts and philosophical pronouncements of new rights.

    “It seems to me you are saying that, if someone is ill, they are entitled to whatever care one could naturally give them without technology – bed rest, dressing a wound, etc., but otherwise it is moral to let them die. This seems so ludicrous that I can’t imagine that is your position.”

    I certainly never said that. If you think I said that, maybe you could copy and paste what I said that gave you such an impression.

  • You in fact said:

    “On one level, something that has only been available for roughly a century or so cannot possibly be a “basic human right.” ”

    Now, you pretend you didn’t say any such thing, and that you were only talking about “scarcity.” It’s quite plain where I got the idea that I considered your argument to be based on modern technology – because there is no other way to intepret the sentence quoted above. So much for intellectual honesty.

  • I can see why your comments are put on moderation. It doesn’t occur to you that there might be a miscommunication here: you jump right to the uncharitable accusation of dishonesty.

    This is how you cast my position: “if someone is ill, they are entitled to whatever care one could naturally give them without technology – bed rest, dressing a wound, etc., but otherwise it is moral to let them die.”

    First, I never said anyone was entitled to anything. No one has ever been entitled to any of these things. People have had individual moral obligations to provide what they can, when they can, for those in need.

    Secondly, what I said has only been available for a century or so has been cradle-to-grave healthcare. This is what is demanded by those who classify “healthcare” as such as a “basic human right”, and who believe that this “right” obliges governments to provide it.

    And yet this thing they demand as a right, has only been available for about 100 years. So how can it be something that people have always been entitled to? No one in the past insisted that cradle-to-grave healthcare was a “basic human right” because it would have been impossible to provide it for every single person. Such a thing couldn’t even be imagined. No one said, “we live under a regime of injustice because we can’t snap our fingers and make the resources to provide everyone with this basic human right appear before us.” It was just a fact of life. There was no “right” to that which couldn’t exist.

    My argument is that it still doesn’t exist today. It just so happens that our level of technological advancement has made it so that SOME people, and in fact, a significant majority of people, can afford it, while others cannot. And this strikes people as unfair. And so they imagine that what some people have, everyone ought to have in order for fairness to be achieved. And they then insist that the government has an obligation to make it fair. And they clothe these presumptions in the language of “rights” in order to strike a chord in our hearts.

    You accuse me of saying that it is MORAL to “let people die.” I am not proposing that it is some positive act of morality to say to a person, “we’re not going to give you what you need because you can’t afford it.” But I would say that you can’t classify a situation of scarcity itself as a state of injustice or immorality, because that is simply the way the world is. Nor can you overcome such a state by saying that the thing which cannot be made available to all is a “basic human right” that governments MUST make available to all.