First, as you’re probably already aware, the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional, and that the individual mandate is also constitutional, but not as how it was argued in Congress, but rather as a tax. So instead of the extremely dangerous Commerce Clause (which is really, really badly written) we have it surviving under Congress’ taxing power.
This is really just as bad. Although now technically, they can’t “force” us to buy things with Commerce power, the federal government now has absolutely no limits on taxing us. This is going to be 1775 all over again, except we can’t say “No Taxation Without Representation!” (unless we live in DC.)
The one silver lining that some are bringing up is that, because Obama campaigned hard on Obamacare and the mandate not being a tax, and now with SCOTUS saying “it’s a tax,” he’s going to be royally screwed come November. I have to agree with the results; I’ll defer to one of my friends who has this down:
— George Scoville (@stackiii) June 28, 2012
That is pretty much going to ruin Obama’s chances of reelection, especially with so many already up in arms over this (something like 55-60% wanted this law overturned?)
However, as another friend of mine points out, this is no silver lining at all:
I haven’t heard yet that SCOTUS has ruled on Obamacare, but in a bit of good news, the Federal Communications Commission can no longer fine broadcasters for obscenities and nudity:
The US Supreme Court has prohibited the FCC from imposing fines and sanctions for spoken obscenities and nudity on television in a ruling today. While the court didn’t tackle the constitutional validity of the FCC’s authority to set indecency rules, its decision shows that it has begun to back away from policies that were implemented prior to the ubiquity of media over the internet. Broadcast networks work under a set of indecency rules no internet outlet is required to consider because they use scarce public spectrum, and prior to today’s ruling, they faced severe penalties for airing curse words or nudity that violated the FCC’s policy.
This doesn’t mean that broadcasters will start worshipping at the feat of St. Carlin and drop f-bombs left and right, After all, they still have an audience to maintain, and many audiences frown on vulgarities and nudity (or at least, its inappropriate for said audience. Like many of my fellow United Liberty contributors. [Stop picking on Doug. - Editor]
Even so, despite whatever the hell Middleborough, Massachusetts thinks, there is absolutely no role for government to keep our mouths clean. Free speech, after all, is free speech, even if you don’t like it. And besides, when you consider that most youth can easily get porn and whatever on the Internet for free—yeah, your “parental controls” don’t really mean anything, because your kid knows about about hacking then you know about word processing, in all likelihood—the fines are sort of irrelevant.
If there’s one thing that can be said for the national GOP leadership, it wouldn’t be that it has fully considered the long-term ramifications of its current predicament. Consider the “presumed” nominee this election cycle, one Willard “Mitt” Romney. Formerly a liberal Republican when it suited him in Massachusetts, the wily politician is hoping that eight years in absentia from holding office and growing distrust of our current President will propel him to the highest office; all without having to stand tall on any conservative meat and potato issue.
The last time a Republican won with this strategy, it was a squeaker of an election. Eight years of Clinton fatigue made even some democrats weary (a mathematical necessity if any Republican can expect to win the Presidency)..
Consider that Dubya in 2000 at least threw a bone to anti-war liberals and conservatives by claiming he would institute a humble foreign policy and eschew the nation-building that had ended so tragically for our former allies in Serbia ( ironically the US sided with extremist Muslim groups tied to Osama bin Laden ) and our troops in Somalia. In fact, it was this particular stand that may have solidified conservative support for Bush and some moderate anti-war liberals.
To add a bit of intrigue into the mix, Ralph Nader decided to run on the Green Party ticket splitting some of the anti-war left away from Gore and Bush resulting in a nail-biting affair that left most astute watchers with a bad taste in their mouth. It was not pretty watching weeks of hanging chad on TV and ugly legal challenges to election results that left the real outcome in doubt.
For a group of people who follow the veritable patron saint of Austrian economics on Capitol Hill, the fans of Ron Paul don’t seem to understand the Austrian concept of “malinvestment” very well. Malinvestment, as described by the Mises Wiki, is:
Malinvestment is an investment in wrong lines of production, which inevitably lead to wasted capital and economic losses, subsequently requiring the reallocation of resources to more productive uses. “Wrong” in this sense means “incorrect” or “mistaken” from the point of view of the real long-term needs and demands of the economy, if those needs and demands were expressed with the correct price signals in the free market.
Of course, the concept applies more to commercial dealings than with efforts in the political sphere, but I think it works here too, especially when you regard recent messages from the Ron Paul faithful:
Ok so the Rand endorsement let us all down a lot along with all of the discouraging emails and videos directly from the campaign. I think for the most part we are over the hump if you know what im saying.
Now think… before all of these shenanigans how much did you believe Ron Paul could win! And remember when we realized all the delegates are unbound?! That was amazing and at that point it was the cream of the crop. We were gonna win hands down, romney has no chance in hell.
You remember all those fuzzy feelings right?
And good lessons at that. No, seriously. Sweden—the country that is usually held up as an example on the left—actually shows that cutting spending is the way to go. From Investors’ Business Daily:
Sweden has a reputation as the prototypical cradle-to-grave socialist European nation, and the political left has long yearned for America to be more like the Scandinavian nation.
But it’s looking through a smudged window. With little notice, Sweden has changed.
The turnaround has been driven in no small part by the election of Fredrik Reinfeldt as prime minister in 2006. He took office in October of that year and by January of 2007, tax-cutting had begun. The Reinfeldt government also cut welfare spending — a form of austerity — and began to deregulate the economy.
That doesn’t sound like the Sweden that American Democrats hold up as the standard.
But as Finance Minister Anders Borg told the Spectator, the Reinfeldt government was simply continuing the last 20 years of reform.
Far from hurting Sweden’s economy, the changes have improved it. And they’ll likely help to protect it from the 0.3% economic decline now forecast for the euro zone in 2012.
That’s right—Sweden, of all places, is cutting spending and shrinking government, and has so far kept itself out of the economic downturn (or day I say disaster?) that has befallen Europe.
Well, at least a part of it. From the Associated Press (via Newsday):
A judge on Wednesday struck down a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists, saying it left journalists, scholars and political activists facing the prospect of indefinite detention for exercising First Amendment rights.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights.” She cited testimony by journalists that they feared their association with certain individuals overseas could result in their arrest because a provision of the law subjects to indefinite detention anyone who “substantially” or “directly” provides “support” to forces such as al-Qaida or the Taliban. She said the wording was too vague and encouraged Congress to change it.
“An individual could run the risk of substantially supporting or directly supporting an associated force without even being aware that he or she was doing so,” the judge said.
She said the law also gave the government authority to move against individuals who engage in political speech with views that “may be extreme and unpopular as measured against views of an average individual.
“That, however, is precisely what the First Amendment protects,” Forrest wrote.
In the words of our forefathers, Hallelujah.
Visual media is a powerful way to spread a message. In the modern era of the Internet, we’ve learned this quite well—there are entire websites devoted to silly images that absorb you entirely. In the spirit of the 21st century, then, I want to offer some images that I feel sum up our modern age. Let me know if you agree, and add your own suggestions in the comments.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is your world in pictures. And this is why those of us out here who can see this decide to fight.
How can you not see the madness?
With the conservative sphere beginning to finally coalesce around Mitt Romney, like a soap opera that has just gone on way too long, the conservatives are now going into full defense mode of the Mitt and his hairdo. He may not be the best choice, but as far as they’re concerned, he’s the only choice.
Which leads to idiotic tweets like this:
If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. That means if you’re not for Mitt Romney, you’re for Barack Obama.
— Kevin Eder (@keder) May 7, 2012
At this point, not voting for Romney is like being in a plane w/ no working engines but not jumping bc you don’t trust parachutes. cc @keder
— Will Antonin (@Will_Antonin) May 12, 2012
Or maybe even this:
Hardcore libertarians should vote for Romney because he’ll at least give you something and Obama would take everything @kesgardner
— Adam D Seidel (@AdamDSeidel) May 13, 2012
No doubt these tweets are emerging because of fear that disgruntled Republicans may vote for Ron Paul or, heaven forbid, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, instead for the GOP’s presumptive nominee.
Andrew Sullivan posted this fascinating memo over the weekend from a top Republican pollster to Republican party officials and candidates about same-sex marriage. In short, here are its conclusions:
Recommendation: A statement reflecting recent developments on this issue along the following lines:
“People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law. People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.”
That’s right, folks: the GOP should embrace same-sex marriage.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the GOP needs to drop the social conservatism angle if it intends to survive as a viable party.
By all means, if it wants to become the Constitution Party, it may continue to demonize gays and lesbians and agitate against people who desire abortions. But the longer it does that, the less and less support it will get from the general public.
Gradually, Americans have realized that gays and lesbians are people too, and deserve to be treated equally under the law. While I still don’t like having the government stick its hand into marriages, as long as it does, homosexuals and bisexuals should receive equal treatment as heterosexuals do.
President Obama has been playing games over the past week, after Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that he was “comfortable” with gay marriage and the administration has rushed out to say that he’s not marking a change in government policy or any such thing. There’s even been talk that Biden’s comment was deliberate, an attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too.
Meanwhile, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson had this to say in a press release:
Libertarian nominee for President and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson today called for the Obama Administration to “make up its mind” when it comes to supporting marriage equality for all Americans, citing Vice-President Biden’s weekend comments appearing to support gay marriage and White House efforts since to clarify those comments.
Johnson, who supports gay marriage equality, received the Libertarian Party nomination for President Saturday, and will be on the ballot in all 50 states. “The President is playing cruel, cynical politics with a deeply personal issue for many Americans,” said Johnson. “He should quit trying to have it both ways and take a stand.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Johnson said, “Gay marriage equality is not a trick question, and we shouldn’t be getting trick answers from the President of the United States. Gay Americans deserve better than a President who winks and nods and tries to convince them that he will protect their rights, but refuses to emerge from the closet and support one of the most basic rights – the right to equal access to marriage. And frankly, even opponents of gay marriage deserve the truth from the White House. Is the President for it or against it? Right now, the Administration is trying to have it both ways”