Obamacare: An Unconstitutional Misadventure: Richard Epstein [Defining Ideas]
This week, the United States Supreme Court has on its plate the defining legal issue of our time—the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which I have already commented on from a doctrinal and historical perspective. In this column, I will show how fatal defects in Obamacare’s structure undermine the constitutional case for key provisions found in Title I of the law (“Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans”), which regulates the private insurance market.
For openers, the ACA is subject to the law of unintended consequences. The law may proclaim that it protects patients when it in fact it restricts the health-care options of those it’s intended to protect. The ACA says that it will increase access to affordable care when in fact its endless mandates will drive up the cost of care. The false advertising of the ACA’s title conceals a wealth of difficulties with its internal design, which make its scheme unsustainable in the long run... Read the Rest
The War on Women That Isn't - Jennifer Braceras [Boston Herald]
Let’s be clear: In the year 2012, nobody wants to ban birth control.
And nobody wants to see employers meddling in the personal health care choices of their employees.
The question at the heart of the U.S. Health and Human Services mandate debate is not whether contraception is permissible — it’s who must pay for it... Read the RestObama's Demagoguery - Victor Davis Hanson [National Review Online]
The atrocity at first seemed undeniable: A white vigilante, with a Germanic name no less, hunted down and then executed a tiny black youth — who, from his published grammar-school photos, seemed about twelve — while he was walking innocently and eating candy in an exclusive gated community in northern Florida. The gunman had used a racial slur, as supposedly heard on a 911 tape, and ignored the dispatcher’s urging him to back off.
The apparently racist, or at least insensitive, white police chief and district attorney then covered up the murder. Understandable outrage followed in the black community, but the killing also brought out the usual demagogues. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, and the New Black Panther Party all alleged that the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was an indictment of a systematically racist white society. They demanded justice, and the Black Panthers announced a $10,000 bounty on the supposed killer. Even Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter got into the act, dubbing the shooting an “assassination.”... Read the RestThe Trayvon Martin Tragedies - Juan Williams [Wall Street Journal]
The shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida has sparked national outrage, with civil rights leaders from San Francisco to Baltimore leading protests calling for a new investigation and the arrest of the shooter.
But what about all the other young black murder victims? Nationally, nearly half of all murder victims are black. And the overwhelming majority of those black people are killed by other black people. Where is the march for them?
Where is the march against the drug dealers who prey on young black people? Where is the march against bad schools, with their 50% dropout rate for black teenaged boys? Those failed schools are certainly guilty of creating the shameful 40% unemployment rate for black teens... Read the RestJob Killers - John Stossel [Real Clear Politics]
Politicians say they "create jobs." In fact, only the private sector generates the information needed to create real, productive jobs.
Since this current post-recession job recovery is the slowest in 80 years, you'd think that even know-it-all politicians would want to sweep away the labyrinth of government regulations that hinders job creation. Successful job creators like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Staples founder Tom Stemberg tell me there are so many new rules and taxes today that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to create the thousands of jobs they once made... Read the Rest
We're Not France, Yet - Daniel Henninger [Wall Street Journal]
Maybe the United States dodged a bullet this week. Make that a deep-penetration bunker buster into the original idea of America. On Tuesday, the justices of the Supreme Court sounded, on balance, to be disposed against affirming the Obama health-care law's mandate.
The Obama administration's lawyers argued that the mandate to purchase health insurance is a routine extension of the Commerce Clause, which in the 1930s became the most potent sentence in the U.S. Constitution. It is not a certainty that Tuesday's discussion of the ObamaCare mandate means it will be overturned. It's still worth thinking about the implications if the court affirms the law's individual mandate.
Should that happen in June, two things would follow: The Commerce Clause's authority would be unfettered. Big as that is, the implication of an unfettered Commerce Clause is larger: That will be the day the United States becomes France... Read the Rest
The EPA Triples Down On 'None of the Above' Energy Policy - James Taylor [Forbes]
Anti-energy crusaders are in a celebratory mood this week as the EPA effectively banned the construction of coal-fired power plants, and thus completed the federal government’s trifecta beat-down on affordable energy.
First, new obstacles to energy production resulted in oil production on federal lands dropping 11% in Fiscal Year 2011 vs. 2010. Second, President Obama announced earlier this year that his administration was blocking construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver large quantities of valuable oil from neighboring Canada. Third, the EPA announced this week its severe global warming restrictions on power plants.
For all the talk of an “all of the above” federal energy policy, this administration is imposing “none of the above,” unless we choose to celebrate our imminent burning of dung for fuel, like they do in the utopian economic powerhouse of Bangladesh... Read the RestStill the Alinsky Playbook - John fund [National Review]
Forty years after his death, Saul Alinsky — the father of the community-organizing model that inspired both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — is more politically relevant than ever.
Leading conservatives attempt to tie the Obama administration to Alinsky’s radicalism, with Newt Gingrich declaring that Obama draws his “understanding of America” from “Saul Alinsky, radical left-wingers, and people who don’t like the classical America.” For their part, liberals have scrambled to minimize Obama’s affinity for Alinsky and to sand over Alinsky’s sharp edges. A blogger at Britain’s Guardian newspaper claims that Alinsky was merely “what passes for a left-wing radical in American politics, agitating for better living conditions for the poor.” (Liberals have also largely ignored the fact that the subtitle of Hillary Clinton’s honors thesis at Wellesley was “An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”)
Somewhere between Gingrich’s exaggerations and the Left’s whitewash of Alinsky is an explanation of why so many followers of Barack Obama — along with the president himself — draw inspiration from a long-dead radical... Read the RestNot-So-Smooth Operator - Peggy Noonan [Wall Street Journal]
Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.
It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.
What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault... Read the RestThe Cabbie Who Is Driving For Liberty - George Will [Jewish World Review]
Ali Bokhari, now 39, emigrated from Pakistan in 2000 and eventually settled here as a taxi driver. He soon experienced a quintessentially American itch, a nagging sense that “I cannot grow.” But he had an idea: “I can build a better business model for something Nashville has been missing.” He built it and now knows that no good deed goes unpunished by today’s political model — collusion between entrenched businesses and compliant government.
Bokhari bought a black Lincoln sedan and began offering cut-rate rides — an average of $25 — to and from the airport, around downtown and in neighborhoods not well served by taxis. After one year he had 12 cars. Now he has 20, and 15 independent contractors with their own cars, and a Web site, and lots of customers. He also has some enemies, including the established taxi and sedan companies and a city government that is, as interventionist governments generally are, devoted to regulations that protect the strong by preserving the status quo... Read the RestThe Funniest Thing I Saw This Week