Politics: June 2012 Archives

Yes, it's true: Chief Justice Roberts ruled in a 5-4 decision that the Supreme Court has essentially no limits when it's exercising its taxing authority. He did say that the Affordable Care Act was wrong to say that its power to require us to have insurance, or else be penalized, is justified under the interstate commerce power; but he also said that when the law says it is requiring us to have insurance, or else be penalized, it was really just saying it's optional to have insurance, and you can be taxed arbitrarily.

This means, of course, that the federal government can write a law that says, "Everyone shall have a Chevy Volt, or be taxed $10,000." The Democrats and Obama want the federal government to have this power. They fought for that power, and won. And make no mistake: if they win the elections this year, they will continue to use that power in new and creative ways.

We never should have been trusting the Supreme Court to do our work for us. We need to secure our own liberty against such tyranny as a government that would create for itself the power to force us to do whatever it wishes.

Shankar Narayan of the ACLU of Washington this week had a press conference to say that saying that Arizona's law establishes "racial profiling."

By now, we all know that's a lie. The law expressly prohibits racial profiling, and further says that all reasonable suspicion must be based on existing state and federal laws, which already prohibit it. Narayan said, "We know that you simply cannot enforce a law like SB 1070ís Section 2(B) without engaging in racial profiling, because people will inevitably be targeted based on how they look or sound." That's simply a lie. We know no such thing.

For example, maybe they will only use the law based on a combination of factors that have nothing to do with how someone (in terms of ethnicity) "looks or sounds." If someone is blond and white, and is going 75 in a 55, and gets pulled over and has no ID and can't speak English (only German), then that's certainly reasonable suspicion, without resorting to any racial profiling at all. Of course, what's more likely in Arizona is that it won't be a blond white German, but that's beside the point.

Narayan and his ACLU of Washington are lying, pure and simple. And there's a reason why: they dislike the law, and so they want it defeated, but they cannot do that unless they convince people it facially violates the Constitution; so they invent lies about how it cannot be enforced without resorting to racial profiling. And now they and their friends are going to look to manufacture evidence of racial profiling for an as-applied challenge.

I am not saying I like this law (I think it's probably a waste of resources, and will likely cause harm to people who should be very low law enforcement priorities, if not legalized); and I am not saying that if the law is violated, the state and its agents shouldn't be held accountable.

But clearly, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with using your head to reasonably suspect that someone isn't here legally, without resorting to racial profiling, and instead of engaging in a witchhunt over it, they should focus their efforts on inventing a time machine so they can go back to 2009 when Obama and Democratic majorities and actually could have passed immigration reform and made it law.

I believe there's an excellent chance the health insurance act will be shot down, either in significant part, or in its entirety. If that does happen, President Obama and the Democrats will attack conservative Attorneys General, conservatives in Congress, and conservatives in the Supreme Court. They will leverage this into even more divisiveness. Obama has been pitting Us vs. Them since his inaugural address, and he's not going to stop now.

Just remember one thing, though: many of us, including myself, said the mandate was obviously unconstitutional before the bill was passed by either house of Congress. If I believed that, and many other conservatives believed that, then surely Obama and the Democrats knew it was very possible -- if not likely -- that five Supreme Court justices would believe that.

But they rammed this through Congress anyway, marking the first time since Reconstruction that major social program changes became law with the backing of only one political party, against what almost all polls say was against the will of a majority of Americans. This was obviously going to be challenged in court, where we all knew there was a good chance it would get overturned.

And Obama himself said very clearly that an individual mandate was a problem -- because it forced everyone to buy insurance -- when he was running for the Democratic nomination back in 2008 against other top candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, who both favored a mandate.

So they spent over a year of deliberations in Congress to get an unpopular, single-party policy into law, that Obama himself had opposed just a year earlier, that they knew had a good chance of being overturned by the Supreme Court, and that didn't have any clear way to accomplish severability.

They literally, knowingly, and intentionally set themselves up for this. I don't know if it was some bizarre Machiavellian scheme to get overturned and cast blame elsewhere, or if it was just a vain hope they could pull it off, against the odds. But they knew a very likely outcome was a challenge and overturn. And yet they'll still have the gall to blame conservatives and Republicans. Harry Reid said just yesterday that the Supreme Court knocking down some of the Arizona immigration law "proves" that the law was unconstitutional. Will he be singing the same song after his health insurance act is ruled unconstitutional?

If you're angry about not getting more government control over health insurance, please do blame conservatives and Republicans. I'll gladly accept some of that blame, because I believe we should have less government control over health insurance, because I believe this is better for our individual freedom, and that it will result in lower costs for everyone.

But if you're angry at all the wasted time and energy to pass a law that only got overturned, setting us back to Square One -- but behind four years from where we were before -- the blame lies with the Democrats, not with the people who stood up against an unconstitutional law and got it overturned.

Arizona Immigration Case

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I fully expected and was glad to see that the Supreme Court today upheld that the AZ definition of reasonable suspicion is perfectly constitutional, and that any challenges to it being applied improperly would need to be as-applied challenges (how the law is applied), not facial challenges (what the law says).

I agree in principle with the rest of the decision: that the states cannot interfere with government enforcement of immigration law. My question has always been whether or not the AZ law actually does so.

So there are three remaining sections. As per the Syllabus: "Section 3 makes failure to comply with federal alien-registration requirements a state misdemeanor; §5(C) makes it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized alien to seek or engage in work in the State; §6 authorizes state and local officers to arrest without a warrant a person 'the officer has probable cause to believe ... has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.'"

After reading the three separate dissents a bit, I am in full agreement with the dissenters that §5(C) is perfectly lawful. I can find no justification for saying it conflicts with any federal law or exercise thereof. It certainly doesn't follow federal "priorities" or "goals," but I find no power granted to the federal government to prohibit such actions by the state.

Scalia and Thomas dissented on §3, but Alito agreed with the majority. I tend to agree with Alito here, largely the previous Court decision "seems to require" pre-emption in this case as well. Scalia's argument is that §3 does not add to the existing federal requirements, but wholly rests on them. My question here lies with whether the prohibition in the previous decision, disallowing the state the ability to "complement" that system, or "enforce additional or auxiliary regulations," means they cannot add additional penalties for an existing federal system. I remain unconvinced either way.

With §6, the three dissenters make a strong case that there is no conflict in the plain meaning of the Arizona law with the federal law. But this is where the law and practice of it come into significance: federal law limits federal law enforcement from making certain arrests of removable aliens, but, the dissenters say, this does not prevent states from doing so, and then federal law enforcement from prosecuting based upon that state detention. While I might be willing to say that this Arizona law is not unconstitutional, it sure seems kinda silly. Further, §6 is more inclusive of who may be arrested, beyond just these particular people here illegally, and thus the entire law should not be stricken down, but merely (if anything) interpreted to not apply to a certain class of offenders.

So I'd probably be closest to Alito on this case overall.

Reardon Investigated by PDC

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The Public Disclosure Commission announced it is investigating Aaron Reardon. I predict a pretty hefty fine coming this year. The evidence is strong.

The Herald reports that no charges will be filed against Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon for misuse of public funds regarding his extramarital affair, while also noting that Reardon "engag[ed] in ... campaign-related conduct using public resources," including having "a junior member of his staff, Kevin Hulten, commingling time he spent on the job with efforts to dig up dirt on Reardon's general election opponent, state Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens."

County Democrat chair Bill Phillips, and Reardon's attorney John Wolfe, say Reardon has been exonerated. Maybe of criminal wrongdoing in regard to misuse of funds around his affair, but that's about it.

Because recall of Reardon is difficult, it's unlikely to happen; however, his very public affair and his campaigning on the public's dime should be enough to shame anyone into resigning. But Reardon isn't anyone.

Whose Spending?

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I missed this infographic before. In a word: yes.

Obama and the Democrats have been extremely dishonest in discussion of the budget and deficits and debt. They blame Bush for FY2009 spending that the Democrat majorities in Congress passed, Bush rejected, and Obama signed into law. They then take credit for the economic improvements over the same time period.

And don't even get me started on the fact that even FY2008 -- which was also a huge increase in spending over previous budgets, one of the greatest single-year non-war spending increases ever -- was the first Democrat budget in more than a decade.

We can debate whether the spending was good or bad. But the fact is that when the Democrats came into office in 2006, with their first budget, spending skyrocketed, and when Obama came into office, it went much, much, higher.

The last Bush / GOP Congress deficit (FY2007) was $160.7B. Spending was $2.73T, 19.7% of GDP. The last budget Bush signed (FY2008, one year later), with Democrat majorities in both houses, was a deficit of $458B, and $2.98T (20.8% GDP) in spending. We're currently at an estimated FY2012 deficit of $1.33T, on $3.8T (24.3% GDP) in spending.

Even if you take the spending Bush proposed in FY2009 as Obama's baseline ($3.11T), it was still far, far lower than what Obama and the Democrats actually spent that year.

And to top it all off, the recent slight decreases in spending a. were probably inevitable given how high Obama and the Democrats had pushed spending in the first place, and b. further inevitable because the Republicans took control of the House.

To say Obama has not dramatically increased spending as President, or -- worse -- that the Democrats are not the ones who have actually massively increased spending since taking Congress in 2006, is just insane.

Really.

Again, we can argue about whether the spending was good or bad. But to say Bush or the Republicans are more to blame for the increase is just lying. Facts are stubborn things.

Sally Kohn and Incivility

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I frankly don't think that conservatives have been as bad on civility as progressives in recent years, but I do fully agree that both sides have been pretty awful. I would take exception with some of this list, though.

First, it's incivil to spell Herman Cain's name as "Hermann," because that implies he's a Nazi. OK, it could just be an error.

But that brings me to Donald Trump, whose offense against civility is that he said President Obama was "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia." I believe Trump believes that, and that Trump is just in error, about the Kenya part. It's not like I think Trump is too smart to be so clearly wrong. And Obama was, in part, raised in Indonesia, right? We have school records, pictures (kinda like we have birth records, newspaper clippings that show he was born in Hawaii). Nothing wrong with growing up in Indonesia, last I checked, but I don't see how it's necessarily uncivil to state a fact.

I agree most of the stuff on there is pretty uncivil, though. Then again, I've claimed that Obama hates the rule of law. I think that's true, and can back it up -- my point being that he has no problems bending and ignoring any law that he thinks would serve his purposes, such as ignoring due process because it gets in the way of what he thinks is the Greater Good -- but I wonder what Sally Kohn would say about that.

Anyway, I don't want to get hung up on left vs. right here. The point is that we should be civil, but just because I am making a strong criticism that sounds pretty bad doesn't mean I am being uncivil. I know of no other good way to say that Obama hates the rule of law than to say that he hates the rule of law. And if you really believe Obama wasn't born in the U.S., there's no other way to say it than to ... say it.

Of course, in the latter case, you shouldn't believe it in the first place. Come on, people. The evidence is really clear. Donald, pull your head out, already.

John Koster Owns 1st CD Poll

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The funny part about the SurveyUSA/KING5 poll of voters in the newly redrawn Washington's First Congressional District is not that Republican John Koster is winning with 46 percent; it's not that the five Democats crack just 34 percent combined; it's not that the numbers don't change much in any of the head-to-head matchup; it's not that party favorite Susan DelBene at 4 percent is way behind Darcy Burner at 19 percent, or that DelBene's behind 17 points head-to-head with Koster, whereas Burner's down only 9 percent.

No, the funny part to me is that the candidate who just might have the best chance against Koster is moderate, "roadkill Democrat," Steve Hobbs. His margin is actually better than DelBene's and Laura Rudeman's, because while he is more unknown and got fewer votes than them head to head (with a larger undecided pool), he also cut into Koster's vote more than any of the others.

This is a district that has 50% selecting a no-name Republican (22% undecided), 45% picking Romney over 44% Obama, and 52% McKenna over 38% Inslee. If a candidate with such massive popularity among leftists like Darcy Burner is to win the election, she has to tack way to the middle, and I just don't think she can do it. Hobbs is the only one of the five, I think, with a realistic shot at it.

Of course, this is a brand new district, and it is well within the realm of possibility that the numbers are completely off. We'll see what future polls, and then the primary, look like. But if these numbers hold up -- especially if Hobbs doesn't win the nomination -- it's nearly impossible to see how Washington state doesn't become a split delegation of five Democrats and five Republicans to the House next year.

The odds of a Republican governor winning the state this year are excellent, and the Senate delegation could split, too.

I don't think Obama is sweating the election of the presidential electors in this state, though.

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from June 2012.

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