“It’s the law!” is not actually an adequate defense of a law

The moment the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance under Obamacare, the primary defense of the law became “It’s the law!” Since talk began of a budget impasse over defunding this particular law, that refrain has become ubiquitous. There’s just one problem: It’s a tautology that doesn’t actually make an argument.

Every law began as a bill that was “passed by Congress, signed by the President, and approved by the Supreme Court.” Laws, once written into code, do not become inviolably permanent. Even such duly-enacted laws can be repealed or defunded by Congress (with the President’s permission or by overriding his veto). Democrats in 2007 tried to defund the Iraq war, even though it was legally authorized by Congress, i.e. “the law”.

Surprisingly (except not at all), Democrats aren’t consistent sticklers for maintaining the status quo of the law in all cases. I will list a few examples, though it should be self-evident that the “progressive” party would be generally in favor of changing the law over time.

Illinois becomes the 50th state to enact concealed carry


For gun rights advocates, it’s proof that miracles really do happen…or else hell has apparently frozen over in July.  Illinois has now shed its title as the only state with no concealed carry.

The state legislature overturned Governor Pat Quinn’s veto by a margin of 41-17 in the senate and 77-31 in the House, a veto Quinn used to push for changes he felt were necessary such as prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to just one firearm at a time, despite there being no demonstrative advantages in either of these proposals.

For gun rights advocates in Illinois, the fight is sure to continue due to the structure of the concealed carry law:

The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours — longest of any state — to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150.

Training is a sore point for many in the Second Amendment crowd, and for good reason.  A training requirement can easily be used to artificially limit the number of people who are allowed to carry a firearm by making the requirement an difficult as possible.

However, many Second Amendment rights observers are sure to be surprised by the law’s “Shall Issue” slant, something not expected in such a progressive stronghold state.  While the training requirement may be used to limit, there is no language in the law that permits law enforcement officials to have an arbitrary determination over who is permitted to carry and who isn’t.

Despite the training requirement though, the law isn’t all that bad.  For example, what if Quinn had gotten his way?:

Podcast: Discussing Prominent Issues Facing The Nation With Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson

Welcome Instapundit readers!

In a special podcast, Jason and Brett interview former governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson to discuss the Our America Initiative political advocacy committee, as well as the issues facing our nation, and what he sees as solutions.

Earlier this year, former Governor Johnson embarked on two new journeys, writing The Seven Principles of Good Government and serving as the honorary chairman of the Our America Initiative.  In the interview, Johnson discusses the economy, health care, civil liberties, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the environment, and his ample use of the veto pen.

We would like to once again thank Governor Johnson, as well Sue Winchester, the Media Relations Representative for the Our America Initiative.

You can download the podcast here (35 minutes/32 MB). The always lovely Aimee Allen graces us with “Silence is Violence” in the music that opens the interview.

Obama’s disastrous EPA rules could mean that he’s already conceded that Democrats will lose the Senate

Politico published a long piece on Sunday that shed some light on President Barack Obama’s state of mind now that he’s realized that his time in the White House is running out. The story is full of interesting insights from people close to or with knowledge of how the White House functions and reacts to the headaches that have arisen over the last year.

One of the more telling parts of the story was a comment President Obama made in November during a meeting with vulnerable Senate Democrats amid the disastrous rollout of the federal Obamacare exchange, (emphasis added):

According to several participants, [Alaska Sen. Mark] Begich and his colleagues demanded to know how committed Obama was to fighting for the Senate majority. Obama was known as a fierce competitor when his name was on the ballot, not so much when it was not.

“I don’t really care to be president without the Senate,’’ Obama said, according to attendees, signaling that he knew the health care debacle created resentment among Democrats and that he wanted to make amends.

CBO: Individual mandate delay to save taxpayers $9 billion

A proposal passed this afternoon by the House of Representatives this week would save taxpayers $9 billion over the next decade, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

H.R. 4118 — Suspending the Individual Mandate Penalty Law Equals Fairness (SIMPLE Fairness) Act — would suspend the controversial individual mandate tax for one-year. The measure is House Republicans’ response to the Obama administration’s most recent delay of the employer mandate.

“CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting H.R. 4118 would reduce federal deficits by roughly $10 billion over the 2014-2019 period and by roughly $9 billion over the 2014-2024 period,” the nonpartisan fiscal agency reported. “Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues.”

Those who fail to purchase health insurance by March 31, 2014 will face a tax of $95 or 1% of their gross taxable income, whichever is greater. The individual mandate tax will increase to $695 or 2.5% of gross income by 2016. The SIMPLE Fairness Act would set the tax for 2014 to $0.

The White House pledged to veto the SIMPLE Fairness Act in a statement of administration policy addressed to the House Rules Committee. The measure passed the House of Representatives in a 250 to 160 vote. Twenty-seven Democrats backed the legislation.

Obama tacitly approves of proposed IRS regulations with veto threat

The White House has threatened to veto a measure that would temporarily delay proposed regulations under consideration by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that would ostensibly legitimatize and institutionalize its targeting of conservative groups.

The Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act (H.R. 3865), proposed last month by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), would halt the IRS from implementing the guidance for one year. The measure has the support of more than 55 conservative groups — including Americans for Tax Reform, Campaign for Liberty, Heritage Action, and the National Taxpayers Union.

Through a policy statement released on Monday, the White House relied its threat to veto the measure, laying the path for the IRS to do as it pleases.

“The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3865, which would prohibit the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from clarifying the standards that organizations must satisfy to qualify for tax-exempt status,” the White House wrote in the statement. “Under current law, organizations qualify as tax-exempt organizations ‘operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare’ if they are primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people.”

House passes legislation to delay ObamaCare mandates

Despite a veto threat from the White House, the House of Representatives yesterday approved legislation to delay ObamaCare’s employer mandate and individual mandate.

The Treasury Department announced earlier this month that it would delay employer mandate penalties and reporting requirements until 2015. House Republicans have seized on this because it is an admission by the administration that the ObamaCare’s mandates are unworkable for businesses.

They also, however, note that any delay would have to be approved by Congress because the statutory effective date for the mandate is January 1, 2014. Basically, it’s illegal for the Obama Administration to unilaterally delay the mandate. But instead of acknowleding that congressional action is necessary, House Democrats spent the entire debate criticizing Republicans.

The Authority for Mandate Delay Act, sponsored by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR), passed by a vote of 264 to 161. Thirty-five Democrats voted in favor of the measure while only one Republican voted against it.

Moments later, the House approved the Fairness for American Families Act, sponsored by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN). This legislation would, for one year, delay the individual mandate, which is one of the most controversial parts of ObamaCare.

Obama was for the sequester before he was against it

Barack Obama

During a press conference yesterday in Washington, President Barack Obama claimed that spending cuts — known as “sequestration” or the “sequester” — that are scheduled to take effect on March 1st would hurt the economy and slow down response times for emergency personnel.

“[I]f Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research,” claimed President Obama as emergency responders stood behind him. He added, “[T]hese cuts are not smart.  They are not fair.  They will hurt our economy.  They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls.”

While he has laid on thick the aggression toward Republicans for the sequester, this is ultimately something that President Obama created. Oddly enough, President Obama admitted that the goal of having automatic spending cuts “was to make them so unattractive and unappealing” that Congress would make some cuts and raise taxes. Keep in mind that no legislation that clears Congress can become law without a president’s signature. As Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) recently told White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, this is “Being President 101.”

Moreover, it was President Obama who once threatened to veto “any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.” Take a listen to President Obama in his own words in this video from the Washington Examiner:

Boehner promises to press forward on “Plan B”

John Boehner

Despite the White House issuing a veto threat against the so-called “Plan B,” Speaker John Boehner called on President Barack Obama to “get serious” in the discussion on the “fiscal cliff” during a press conference today and insisted that the House of Representatives will pass his latest proposal:

Boehner’s “Plan B” would raise tax rates on individuals earning over $1 million, raise the debt ceiling for one year, and cut entitlement programs. While some conservatives are unhappy with House Republicans over the negotiations, Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, has given Boehner’s plan a stamp of approval. Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks, has also had a positive reaction to the plan.

Gary Johnson releases first ad as a Libertarian

Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico (1995-2003) and 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee, has dropped his first ad of the general election campaign.

The ad, which has no narration, only captions, notes that Johnson vetoed 750 bills during his eight years in office, has the best record of job creation of any candidate running in the fall, including Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and left New Mexico with a $1 billion budget surplus at the end of his last term. The end of ad notes that the Libertarian Party isn’t just a party, rather it encompasses the “People,” urging voters to “participate in [their] freedom”:

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