Roundup compiled by Blogger Jenny Hatch. Five of the best political stories on the web this past week!
Natural Family Blog
1. I read several pundits who saw the ruling the same as Mike Flynn. He said it best, so I gave him the top spot today:
“Yes, Obama and the Democrats are entitled to a bit of a victory lap today, after Chief Justice Roberts searched deeply within his political self and found a path to uphold ObamaCare. Sure, the individual mandate was unconstitutional on the two arguments made by the Obama Administration. But, on the argument they expressly didn’t make–that the mandate was really a tax–the Court decided that Congress was well within its power to enact the provision. So, its still the law of the land. But, today’s ruling will probably go down in history as the most effective GOP voter turnout operation ever. There is only one way to repeal ObamaCare and that is through the ballot box. It will happen.
During the debates over ObamaCare, the President and Democrats strained themselves to argue that the individual mandate wasn’t a tax. Obama himself had campaigned on a promise to never raise taxes on any families earning less than $250,000 a year. Today, the Court called the mandate for what it is…a tax. In doing so, it acknowledged that, not only did Obama break his campaign promise, but he and his leftist allies have ushered in the largest tax hike in history. They will go with that record into the voting booth in November.
From a nakedly partisan viewpoint, today’s ruling is the best case scenario for the GOP. ObamaCare is still deeply unpopula,r and now the only way to undo it is to sweep Obama and dozens of Democrats out of office. The GOP base will speed up its rallying to Romney, because it is their only chance to repeal this monstrosity. Independents, who have been peppered with silly social issue memes from the media, will put all of that aside to ensure that ObamaCare is repealed.”
2. With his ironic style Fund outlines the fact that the Unions have blown their wad with overreach and hubris:
National Review Online – Twilight of the Unions by John Fund
“Los Angeles — Since 2008, we’ve seen the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Unlike 75 years ago, however, unions and the Left have this time largely failed to build a rigorous movement of economic populism to further their goals: Witness the now largely disbanded Occupy movement. Indeed, as members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees gathered here last week, the mood was pessimistic.
“Our success or failure will mark a turning point not only for our union but for the entire labor movement,” Lee Saunders, the new AFSCME president, told his members. Attendees noted how few changes in labor law they had been able to get through Congress since President Obama’s election. Union members in San Diego and San Jose, two cities that voted heavily for Obama in 2008, mourned the overwhelming passage this month of ballot measures in those cities curbing public-sector pension benefits: In both, two-thirds of voters approved the measures. Hanging over the crowd was the crushing loss unions experienced in Wisconsin three weeks ago, when GOP governor Scott Walker won 38 percent of the votes of union members and apparently carried a majority of private-sector-union members.
But even as AFSCME delegates convened in Los Angeles, they received word of yet another blow. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case out of California that if a union wants to make a special demand from members for political activity in addition to its regular fees, it must give them ample notice so they can ask for their money back. But the court, in an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, went further and indicated the union must also make its fee assessment opt-in instead of opt-out. That means the union would get no money unless workers affirmatively agreed to pay it, instead of the workers’ getting to keep their money only if they specifically asked for it back…
…This time, key initiative supporter Frank Baxter, a retired banker, says he expects a much more level playing field. “The fiscal situation in California, voter anger at excessive pensions, and the Wisconsin example will mean we will have enough money to get our message out. I’m optimistic.”
No wonder the mood was so gloomy at the AFSCME conclave in Los Angeles this month. After 50 years of unchecked growth of the public-sector unions, the political abuse of the system and a resulting voter revolt is now threatening to catch up with them.”
3. This factual report by Dave Boyer lays out the ruling on Obamacare:
“The Supreme Court handed President Obama a major political victory on his signature health care issue Thursday, but the justices also provided Republicans with a sharper campaign issue by defining the law’s individual mandate as a tax.
The ruling allows Mr. Obama to engage in a four-month-long victory lap as he campaigns for re-election. It also validates the president’s decision to devote so much time and energy to getting the legislation passed in 2009 while the economy was in free fall — a divisive vote that contributed to the Democrats’ loss of House control in 2010.
Democrats didn’t try to hide their “I-told-you-so” reaction to the decision, although Mr. Obama and some others tried to downplay the political benefits…
…The ruling also promised to boost campaign fundraising.
The Romney campaign reported raising about $1 million in the first three hours after the decision was announced. Shortly after 9 p.m., Romneycampaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul tweeted that Mr. Romney’s website had “raised $3.2 million online & counting!”
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina sent out a fundraising email to supporters 90 minutes before the ruling was made public, telling potential donors that Thursday was “an important day to have Barack Obama’s back.”
However, an Obama for America spokeswoman said later that the campaign does not give out specifics on fundraising except at filing time.”
4. The smartest Blogger on the web. Jeff Goldstein stands up and shouts:
Protein Wisdom – I freakin’ told you so. [updated x2] by Jeff Goldstein
“Over. And over. And over and over and over and over and over. And over and over and over.
Intentionalism just is. But because we can’t concern ourselves with what we believe we’re doing when we claim to be interpreting, we’ve ended up institutionalizing a tyrannical form of “interpretation” that is linguistically incoherent. Thus, behold:
The Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. Section 5000A would therefore be unconstitutional if read as a command. The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax.
I won’t have to unpack that for longtime readers of this site, but do allow me to unpack it — as I’ve done with similar linguistically incoherent statements in the past — for those who will spend today bemoaning a ruling that, when viewed from their own intepretative perspective (rather than their policy desires), they can’t honestly fault.
To wit: “Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax.””
5. Krauthammer chimes in with this analysis of why Roberts did what he did:
National Review Online – Why Roberts did it by Charles Krauthammer
“It’s the judiciary’s Nixon-to-China: Chief Justice John Roberts joins the liberal wing of the Supreme Court and upholds the constitutionality of Obamacare. How? By pulling off one of the great constitutional finesses of all time. He managed to uphold the central conservative argument against Obamacare, while at the same time finding a narrow definitional dodge to uphold the law — and thus prevented the Court from being seen as having overturned, presumably on political grounds, the signature legislation of this administration.
Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the Court’s legitimacy, reputation, and stature.
As a conservative, he is as appalled as his conservative colleagues by the administration’s central argument that Obamacare’s individual mandate is a proper exercise of its authority to regulate commerce.
That makes congressional power effectively unlimited. Mr. Jones is not a purchaser of health insurance. Mr. Jones has therefore manifestly not entered into any commerce. Yet Congress tells him he must buy health insurance — on the grounds that it is regulating commerce. If government can do that under the Commerce Clause, what can it not do?
“The Framers . . . gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it,” writes Roberts. Otherwise you “undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers.”
That’s Roberts, philosophical conservative. But he lives in uneasy coexistence with Roberts, custodian of the Court, acutely aware that the judiciary’s arrogation of power has eroded the esteem in which it was once held. Most of this arrogation occurred under the liberal Warren and Burger Courts, most egregiously with Roe v. Wade, which willfully struck down the duly passed abortion laws of 46 states. The result has been four decades of popular protest and resistance to an act of judicial arrogance that, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “deferred stable settlement of the issue” by the normal electoral/legislative process….
…That’s not how I would have ruled. I think the “mandate is merely a tax” argument is a dodge, and a flimsy one at that. (The “tax” is obviously punitive, regulatory, and intended to compel.) Perhaps that’s not how Roberts would have ruled had he been just an associate justice, and not the chief. But that’s how he did rule.
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.”
6. Beck had several guests on his TV show this past week talking about Agenda 21: (This is the main reason I use the UN flag as a doormat)
“While liberal journalists continue to claim that Agenda 21 is just a “conspiracy theory” being advanced by right-wing crackpots, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Council for Environmental Law (ICEL) have released their fourth Draft of the International Covenant on Environment and Development. This document was designed from the beginning to convert the “soft-law” non-binding Agenda 21 into firmly binding global law – enforceable through the International Criminal Court and/or the dispute resolution features of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Few people understand that it is standard operating procedure for the U.N. to issue a massive non-binding policy document to test the water and make adjustments to its plans before introducing the real, legally binding treaty. For example, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a “soft-law” instrument, was the precursor to the two 1966 U.N. Covenants on Human Rights. The 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change called for “voluntary” compliance. But at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, the group agreed to create a Kyoto Protocol to the Convention that would set legally-binding targets for all member nations.
Noah M. Sachs, a University of Richmond law professor and environmental expert, said: “Agenda 21 has been a dead letter for 20 years; its recommendations have not been implemented by most governments, and the U.S. has largely ignored it.”
Mr. Sachs is either ignorant of the facts, or is deliberately trying to mislead his readers. President Clinton’s President’s Council on Sustainable Development operated between 1993 and 1999 expressly for the purpose of implementing the recommendations in Agenda 21. At the 11th meeting of the PCSD, Ron Brown, then-secretary of commerce, said that his department could implement 67 percent of the recommendations under his jurisdiction by rule, without the need for new legislation.
The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) was created at the behest of the U.N. expressly for the purpose of advancing Agenda 21 around the world. They claim more than 1,200 cities around the globe have joined their organization for assistance in implementing “sustainable development” – defined to be the recommendations contained in Agenda 21. More than 600 of these cities are in the United States.”
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