As NFIB v. Sebelius heads to the SCOTUS (in Off-topic)


QBRanger March 20 2012 12:47 PM EDT

This ia an excellent article on the case before the court.

Yes, it is from a right leaning site, but I believe (and I could be biased) that it is a well written article detailing the case in the best possible terms.

For those interested in learning more about the case and its implications for the future:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/without-precedent_633999.html?page=1

Basically it boils down to where is Congress' ability to regulate too much? Do they have unlimited regulator power or is there a line over while personal freedom exists.

It is a heavy read, lots of lawyer stuff.

QBsutekh137 March 21 2012 4:43 PM EDT

Interesting article (I didn't find it to be slanted much at all, if any).

The lack of precedent is intriguing. I am certainly afraid of any ruling that could establish more invasive gov't mandates in the future, though in that regard I figure that the laws would still need to get made. I suppose that's still scary.

But as far as mandates go, I am still back to a simple scenario: laws that force people to clear their sidewalks. If I want to take the risk of getting sued by someone when they fall (an "unforeseeable expense", much like medical care), isn't that my right? Why is the gov't allowed to mandate that if I am willing to take the risk? No, I don't have to live in a house, and that is different from just living in the US, but come on. At some point one has to say, what is more important, "public good" or personal liberty.

Then again, I'm not sure a case about snow shoveling mandates has ever made it to the SCOTUS. *smile* Probably no precedent there either.

Lots of good food for thought on the article, thanks for the link, Ranger.

QBRanger March 21 2012 4:49 PM EDT

You are welcome. I think at the end there was a bit of bias towards restricting governments power, however, the author, IMO, did a great job of discussing both points of view and clearly explained the implications for this upcoming ruling.

As far as your sidewalk analogy, you choose to own a house. And with it comes some degree of responsibility. As a home owner myself, until 3 months ago, there were a lot of rules one had to follow in order to be able to own a home.

With respect to health care, that is inactivity. I will be, as quite a few others, to see if the Supremes finally answer the question of "is there a limit as to what the government can order us to do as individuals?".

As the article stated, there have been very conflicting rulings leading to extreme confusion. Will the Supremes state that if Congress enacts it, it is ok or will they draw that line in the sand.

Interesting times indeed.

I am glad you found the article to be fairly unbiased, that was a goal of mine in quoting it for CB.

Lochnivar March 21 2012 4:59 PM EDT

It also does a great job of illustrating the 'law making' role of a top court in a common law system. I don't know if some people are fully aware of the fact.

Catch 22 I suppose. The common law approach is very adaptive and responsive but some of the end results aren't readily predictable (or even what people necessarily want).

Good article, well presented.

QBsutekh137 March 21 2012 5:01 PM EDT

Maybe there was some bias toward restricting gov't power, but when it comes to that particular slipper slope, I suppose I don't really see it as a bias -- it is an imperative to balance liberty with "common good", so that facet of critical thinking should ALWAYS be in the table, even if one thinks, "Well, of course they will stop there!" WE do have the advantage of the people being the gov't, so there is more implicit trust there (as opposed to, say, a dictator who says, "Come on, you can trust me!") Still, all erosion must be watched for.

I understand home ownership is a choice, but like I said: at some point a choice isn't really a choice. I should be able to to own a house without losing liberty. I'm not sure what rules you speak of, other than various regulations, but owning a house is a pretty open deal for me -- I don't feel my liberty lessened. I can do whatever I want as long as it isn't harming anyone else, and most of the burdens are financial -- between me and my bank. That's entirely acceptable, consider that is a separate money transaction. If the house were paid off, my only financial burden would be taxes, which we all have to pay (and the gov't has clear authority for). I don't even have to keep the house in good repair if I don't want to, so, like I said, I am not sure what things you are talking about needing to do with owning a house (gov't related, not financial).

QBRanger March 21 2012 6:18 PM EDT

I owned a house inside a gated community. As part of the CCR I had to make sure the sidewalk in front of my house was clear and the trees trimmed. It was my respnsibility as per the rules of the community.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 12:05 AM EDT

I think you would have to admit there's a difference between "owning a house" and "owning a house in a gated community" in terms of choice. You made a WHOLE different choice than I did, all on you. Those two things aren't even close in terms of stupid crap you have to do to stay in the "association". You're talking about something entirely different, and, I must say, it makes it hard to identify as a "normal" homeowner. I've NEVER had to do the inane things that callow folk make one do for aesthetic, bordered, "image" purposes. Frankly, I figured you to be WAAAAYY too independent to put up with that sort of garbage, but hey, that's why I stopped assuming a LOOONG time ago.

In summary, you (personally) are comparing living in a _gated_ community and having to follow those rules to the individual health insurance mandate? I'm not sure those lines of thought ever truly intersect. If your first house was in a gated community, are you sure you know what "liberty" really is?

You ever live in a house that you bought outside of the gates? Did anyone tell you what to do there? I'll reiterate -- no one has EVER told me what I can or cannot do in my home or on my land, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else (except for the sidewalk thing where I'm not allowed to "go it alone" in terms of snow risk...an individual mandate that no one seems to have a problem with).

I understand a little more, though. I appreciate you responding and helping with that understanding.

Wise March 22 2012 1:25 AM EDT

Thanks for the link, Ranger, I read it and I understand the arguments.

I believe the court will rule that the mandate is a tax (or at least is allowed by the taxing power) and uphold the law on that basis. Obama will take a political hit because he insists it's not a tax, but that will blow over in a few months.

I hope I am wrong, but that's what I believe will happen.

QBRanger March 22 2012 2:08 AM EDT

You ever live in a house that you bought outside of the gates? Did anyone tell you what to do there?

Yes, my first home.

And when I wanted to fence in my backyard, I still had to go to the city to get a variance to do so.

The rules are much laxer and less than in a non-gated community, however, there still are city rules one has to abide by.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 9:00 AM EDT

Needing to get a permit for the fence falls under "affects others", that's why I've no problem with it -- it's not an unnecessary invasion of my rights because it could affect someone else's rights.

Not so with shoveling snow. Nothing has happened yet (just like with medical insurance). Something COULD happen, something catastrophic (just like in health care), but if I want to take the risk and responsibility for my own property, I should be able to. Damn government! It's UNConstitutional!

Except, I don't think the Shovel Mandate is a bad thing, and as far as I know, it hasn't been a slippery slope for a bunch of other mandates concerning my home.

Of course, this all is immaterial in light of Ranger's (and others) point -- owning a house is a choice, living in the US is not. I don't see those things as being so different, that's why I keep harping on the snow example. I do understand the point, though, and understand this is tricky stuff.

AdminTitan March 22 2012 9:33 AM EDT

Wait, how does a fence on your property affect others?

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 10:21 AM EDT

The reason for the permit is usually manifold:

-- Make sure the line is accurate. If you are actually building on the neighbor's property, that is infringing on their rights.
-- Make sure the construction is unobtrusive. If you are digging post holes and you put dirt all over the neighbor's lawn, kill grass, etc, you are harming that neighbor.
-- Make sure no utility lines get damaged. Gas lines, sewer lines, and electrical wiring can affect other people. You have to make sure you don't do that.

Contrast this with simply digging a hole right in the middle of my back lawn. As far as I know, I can do that. I can build a fire pit (if fires are allowed -- again, in some places they aren't, because it can affect others) or do whatever. If I leave a huge hole and someone stumbles onto my property and falls and hurts themselves, I _could_ still get sued -- but that's my own risk, no mandate to force me to protect against it.

Besides, building a fence (or anything requiring a permit) is much more a secondary choice than owning the home in the first place. Yes, I could be sure to buy a house with no sidewalks in front to avoid the shovel mandate. Like I said, I understand that these various house scenarios are more "choicey" than just existing in the United States, but I still see similarities when we get to something as large and standard as home ownership. That goes right along with basic family values like wanting to have and raise kids. Is that a choice? Yes, it is still a choice. But I don't consider the desire to have a family as being close to the choice to build a fence or not. Because if we were to consider them close, then I guess I would say you can leave the country if you don't want to pay for insurance, right?

QBRanger March 22 2012 11:52 AM EDT

Because if we were to consider them close, then I guess I would say you can leave the country if you don't want to pay for insurance, right

That of course, would be the most extreme example. However, it is the extreme example and nobody would suggest that. You can decide not to drive, not to buy a house, not to buy brussel sprouts, not to exercise.

But leaving America, while possible is the extreme.

On a note of civil liberty the US just bitch slapped the EPA in its ruling yesterday striking a huge blow to overreaching government.
While it does not overturn Kelo, it hopefully is a step towards limiting the governments overreach.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 12:04 PM EDT

That of course, would be the most extreme example. However, it is the extreme example and nobody would suggest that. You can decide not to drive, not to buy a house, not to buy brussel sprouts, not to exercise.

I agree, it is the extreme case.

But consider this. We ARE Constitutionally guaranteed "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness." It's doesn't say anything about choice. I mean, if choice is what it is all about, what was wrong with Jim Crow laws? A black person didn't NEED to ride the bus, they could walk. They didn't NEED to go to a restaurant and be segregated -- just stay home.

If I choose to have a very large family, are you saying that a house isn't a de facto necessity? I'm supposed to spend a fortune on rent, with no equity to show for it? But yeah, I chose to have kids. Because that was my "pursuit of happiness".

At what point does "choice" become "no other way"? We've already talked about fluoride in the water -- I don't want F in my water, but I've no choice in the matter -- it's mandated. You're answer was that I could drink bottled water -- at expense to myself! Your definition of "choice" is already fast and loose, so yeah, I'm going to go extreme and say then you can leave the United States if you don't like the mandate. Heck, it isn't even that bad. Just pay your tax penalty. If I have to pay for bottled water against the F mandate), you can pay your penalty to remain free of the health mandate.

What's the difference?

QBRanger March 22 2012 12:16 PM EDT

Again, we in the realm of activity vs inactivity.

Yes, we have laws we have to follow. Fluoride in the water, zoning laws for houses etc.. But none of these examples makes you do something for just being alive in the US. Even in your flouride example, you can live in an area that uses well water.

Now if Congress made the mandate a tax, a specific tax like Medicare, then this would not be an issue. However, for obvious political reasons they did not classify it as a tax. Laws, as we both know, are bound by political realities. If Congress decided to call the mandate a tax, there is no way it would have passed. So they punted and called it a mandate or a penalty. The end cannot justify the means.

Therefore, it is, IMO, illegal. If they wish to redo the law and make it a tax, let them try.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 12:31 PM EDT

If I can simply live in an area that uses well water, you can simply live across the border then? Or just pay the penalty. It all comes down to money and quality of life, either way. Just for existing (because I need water to exist).

Drinking water is something one must do to survive, so it is an "exist" mandate. To say I can go find my own non-fluorinated water, thereby forcing me to move, perhaps change jobs, or have a longer commute is the same expense as having to buy bottled water. So, like I said: I'll pay for bottled water (because I need it to live), and you can pay the tax penalty and avoid needing health insurance. Just a choice, it's just money.

Speaking of, you are right about the tax thing. In that regard, let me ask you this... If you are afraid the individual mandate could turn into things like an Exercise Mandate or a Brussel Sprout Mandate, then shouldn't you already be afraid? The gov't CAN already tax-law us in any direction it chooses, and the SCOTUS can't do thing one about it (from the article, it might even force a case about it to be summarily dismissed). The gov't is already de facto controlling cigarette smoking, for example -- they could simply make cigarettes and all tobacco-related products have an 8000% "sin" tax. How is that fair? They are curtailing my choice, my liberty, and I couldn't even get a federal court to hear the case if I wanted to (because it's a tax, and the gov't has clear right and precedent to do that).

So, why aren't you already deathly afraid of the tax-angle slippery slope? The individual mandate doesn't create any more horrific doors than are already open.

QBRanger March 22 2012 12:52 PM EDT

Sut,

Excellent points.

However, I would like to concentrate on the tax aspect.

Laws still have to be made by Congress. Which is somewhate but not entirely subject to public approval. There have been studies showing voting for Obamacare caused at least 25 Congresspeople to lose their elections.

While Congress can tax anything it wants, and the SCOTUS upholds Congress' power to tax, they still have to pass a law taxing.

In the whole debate about the healthcare reforms, the Democrats explicity stated there would be no new taxes on those making under 250k a year. We can debate whether they were truthful or not and you know on what side I fall.

If they would have called the mandate a tax, the public uproar would have been too much to pass the bill into a law. Just like if Congress wants to raise taxes to 50% across the board. They can of course legally, but could never do so politically.

Congress had to "game the system" and the people to pass Obamacare. They had to deceive people into believing taxes would not go up, costs would go down and everything would be revenue neutral.

So yes, Congress could have made the mandate a tax and SCOTUS could do nothing about it. But it is not how Congress approached the law. They tried to backdoor a tax of sorts and are being called out on it.

I think out of all the reasons the article gives for the SCOTUS to uphold the law, the tax is the least of any possibilites they will do so. As the Obama administration has admitted time and time again when the law was being forumulated, it was not a tax. It is not written as a tax in the law.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 22 2012 1:04 PM EDT

There have been studies showing voting for Obamacare caused at least 25 Congresspeople to lose their elections.
This one line was like a giant mole on the face of your argument.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 1:08 PM EDT

Focusing on the tax aspect is fine.

You are right, the whole tax-not-a-tax fiasco is nutso, and I would have to agree the Dems, initially, are most to blame for that. (I say "initially" because I think both sides of the aisle play tricks with taxes, subsidies, etc. and the compromises made by each side turn the process into a mess).

I also understand that taxes require passing a law. However, I assumed we were already only talking about laws, since the SCOTUS is reviewing a law. Are you saying that if they approve this not-a-tax individual mandate that it opens the door for NON-laws telling me what to do? I don't see how that is possible. How does one compel a citizen without making something a law?

So, unless I missed something, I still don't see the difference between the tax stick or the plain mandate stick. We can go ahead and say the mandate should have been written as tax, Dems suck, whatever -- doesn't change a thing at this point. That's all just semantics in regard to how the bill may or may not be overturned.

In that sense, I'd like to move AWAY from the tax talk and go back to discussing liberty. If the gov't can already effectively make folks do whatever they want via taxation, then why all this sudden uproar about how terribly ominous this individual mandate is? Just because they didn't call it a tax? Like I said, that's semantics.

If you are afraid now, then everyone should have already been just as afraid for the last 200+ years. Laws get passed and we have to abide, and they can be created as tax code or as non-tax code. If anything, the tax-based laws are MORE potentially dangerous because they can't even be heard by the federal courts in some scenarios due to the Anti-Injunction Act.

What am I missing here?

QBRanger March 22 2012 1:17 PM EDT

This one line was like a giant mole on the face of your argument.

Gun you are a troll of the most trollish type. Sut and I are trying to have a basic conversation and you chime in with utter disrepect and garbage.

If you disagreed with that statement, then say so, but a snide remark is typical Gun.

Here, from the Wash Post is an article backing up my statement:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/study-shows-health-care-bill-may-have-cost-democrats-the-house/2012/03/09/gIQAc5fL1R_blog.html?wprss=rss_politics

Now, it is pertinent to the conversation as I was stating that Congress is limited to a degree on making new taxes by politics, and members trying to keep their jobs.

So just stop this petty crap you pull on each of my posts. Stay of of the thread unless you have something intelligent to say.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 1:26 PM EDT

(oops, forgot to click the last "Post" and I see Ranger has already responded...)

This one line was like a giant mole on the face of your argument.

Why do you say that, Fawkes? Just because it is uncited? I'm sure Ranger can find some links.

There IS furor over this. Of that there can be no doubt, so I am not sure what the "mole" comment might mean.

QBRanger March 22 2012 1:36 PM EDT

What am I missing here?

I think I am not fully explaining my point well enough.

If Congress stated that the mandate was a tax, specifically in the law, then it would be entirely constitutional.

However, due to politics they did not.

What is to prevent Congress from making a law raising taxes to 70% for everyone? Nothing but political implications.

The reason they did not call it a tax was to make it seem like they were not raising taxes on people making less than 250k a year. They certainly did raise taxes on those over that number in Obamacare. They also raised taxes indirectly on everyone in the form of a tanning bed tax (for the Jersey Shore cast at least), a tax on medical devices etc..

But they specificaly did not call the mandate a tax just to make it look good to the Amercian public.

While the semantics may possibly could be the same, it is a key point in how they were able to pass the law with the minimum amount of votes necessary and through a back door procedural event. Of which I will admit, while despicable to the eye, was fully legal.

In addition a tax is something you pay when you do something or earn something. The way the mandate is structured, it is a penalty on inactivity and the slippery slope discussion scares the hell out of me.

There were other ways to get people to buy insurance other than a penalty, but they chose this way due to politics. Including having to pass the exact Senate bill before it could go to a committee for fine tuning.

It was such a cluster fark they even forgot to put in a severability clause. But that is for another discussion about how bad the law was made.

Yes, I will admit there is a healthcare problem in the US and something likely needed to be done. However, in this case, the end does not justify the means considering there are many other ways to go about fixing the healthcare system.

QBRanger March 22 2012 1:40 PM EDT

Now, imagine how many more seats the Democrats may have lost if they put the mandate as a tax?

They may have lost control of the Senate as well.

I do not have a statistical analysis, however, it is something to consider in reasoning why they called it a mandate and not a tax.

BTW,

TYVM for that post on Gun's comment.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 1:45 PM EDT

TYVM for that post on Gun's comment.

Yeah, no problem. If only I'd remember to click that last post. Do you know how many times I've forgotten to do that? Geesh.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 2:10 PM EDT

I think I am not fully explaining my point well enough.

I think you've done it here, so I appreciate you continuing to try. *smile*

If Congress stated that the mandate was a tax, specifically in the law, then it would be entirely constitutional.
However, due to politics they did not.
What is to prevent Congress from making a law raising taxes to 70% for everyone? Nothing but political implications.

Yes, I see your point, and it was was a bit specious of me to gloss over things entirely with "semantics".

But I guess that in the same way I see a law as a law, I see political fallout as political fallout. Whether someone "votes the bums out" due to tax laws or "votes the bums out" due to some other unpopular legislation, the people have spoken and the bums are out. Was it pure political trickery to simply keep the word "tax" out of it. Yes. Would the magnitude of discontent have been substantially different whether "tax" was used or not? I don't think so. All it means is that instead of the far, far right drumming up talking points like "death panels" they would have ratcheted up the "tax and spend" rhetoric. Same end result. Folks against the bill are against the bill, whether it be because of an individual mandate, a tax, or anything. From what I read and see here quite often, just the simple fact that it is health care for everyone has people screaming "socialism!" No matter how it had been implemented, those folks would still be shouting, and the political fallout would be the same (all just my opinion, that's why I glossed over it previously).

The reason they did not call it a tax was to make it seem like they were not raising taxes on people making less than 250k a year. They certainly did raise taxes on those over that number in Obamacare. They also raised taxes indirectly on everyone in the form of a tanning bed tax (for the Jersey Shore cast at least), a tax on medical devices etc..
But they specificaly did not call the mandate a tax just to make it look good to the Amercian public.

Yes, this mixture of mandates, and taxes made the thing very complicated at the same time folks were trying to save political face. Kind of goes back to that whole thread about term limits, problems with a two party system, and our ineffectual non-runoff voting system. All of that makes "politics as usual" pretty ugly.

While the semantics may possibly could be the same, it is a key point in how they were able to pass the law with the minimum amount of votes necessary and through a back door procedural event. Of which I will admit, while despicable to the eye, was fully legal.

Fully legal, and something we both know both parties have done plenty of over the years. Doesn't make it any less despise-worthy, though.

In addition a tax is something you pay when you do something or earn something. The way the mandate is structured, it is a penalty on inactivity and the slippery slope discussion scares the hell out of me.

I call this one tomayto-tomahto. Whether one uses sticks or anti-carrots, behavior can be controlled. Like I said, tax laws are even more potentially dangerous due to Anti-Injunction, something I didn't really understand until I read the article. That's why while I respect your freedom to have the "hell scared out of you", I don't understand why the individual mandate is so much more terrible that such a reaction feels sensible to me.

There were other ways to get people to buy insurance other than a penalty, but they chose this way due to politics. Including having to pass the exact Senate bill before it could go to a committee for fine tuning.

I've no doubt a simple "got to get this done, damn the methods" attitude made this all worse than it had to be. But I don't know all the other theories and ideas on the table. All I know is that this health care stuff has been tried before, and it never even really got close before. I also know that, at the time, Republicans were saying a lot of things like, "No, we don't like that, and instead of working with you on it, we want you trash it all and start over from scratch. *snicker* *snicker*" Same thing happened later with the needless fiasco concerning the debt ceiling. Wrong time and wrong place for partisan posturing. Both sides were then, and are now, playing plenty of self-defeating games where we're the loser.

It was such a cluster fark they even forgot to put in a severability clause. But that is for another discussion about how bad the law was made.

I'd have to get a better understanding of what a GOOD law looks like. *smile* Aren't they all pretty ugly?

Yes, I will admit there is a healthcare problem in the US and something likely needed to be done. However, in this case, the end does not justify the means considering there are many other ways to go about fixing the healthcare system.

I appreciate the sentiment and fall back on history -- lots of healthcare fixes have been tried before, and none ever even got close. Meanwhile, costs continue to skyrocket. You are undoubtedly right that there are better ideas and theories out there, but it is kind of like taking a picture. You can have the most awesome camera in the world, but if it is sitting at home, you end up taking a pic with the crappy little 2-megapixel camera on your phone. That's how I see it: flawed picture vs. no picture.

Do you think a GOP president and a GOP-majority Congress would have ever gotten that picture taken? Considering their best efforts to stymie what got passed, I'm a little bit doubtful.

QBRanger March 22 2012 2:47 PM EDT

No, we don't like that, and instead of working with you on it, we want you trash it all and start over from scratch

That unfortunately is liberal propaganda.

Republicans tried and tried to be a part of the process. For this I do not fully blame Obama but instead blame Pelosi, Reid and the other bigwigs in Congress.

Obama basically outsourced healthcare to Congress instead of being involved from the beginning.

As the Democrats controlled both sides of Congress in 09-10, they controlled the committees. Every single Republican amendment to the law was stuck down on party lines.

It was so partisan that a Republican amendment to have Congress be subject to Obamacare was voted down.

The Democrats went it alone as at the time they had a supermajority in the Senate and controlled the House.

I know this as I was involved in the Republican party in Florida at the time and knew quite a lot of the inside workings of Congress during those years.

Do you think a GOP president and a GOP-majority Congress would have ever gotten that picture taken? Considering their best efforts to stymie what got passed, I'm a little bit doubtful.

No, because they, if they had Congress and the Presidency at the time, would have focused on jobs and the economy. Not used valuable time pushing a controversial law that did not even go through normal channels in its creation. At the same time, 85% of Americans had healthcare. Most of the remaining 15% were either illegals, people who could afford it but did not want to pay and people who were eligible for Medicaid but had not applied.

Obama saw a chance to hit the holy grail of universal healthcare and took it. Now we are finally finding out what really is in the bill and paying the price throught countless court battles to see if it is even legal. All the while, if the Democrats really would have worked with Republicans, we would have a law both sides would have stomached.

The other huge entitlements such as Medicare, Social Security etc.. have all be passed with huge bipartisan support. Until now.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 3:39 PM EDT

I'll maybe need a little more to go on (in terms of what Republicans did or didn't) try than solely your word. Because at the time, I heard Republicans saying things about needing to throw it all out. From their mouths. Unless the "liberal elite media" did a severe edit, like making a kidnap letter out of magazine clippings, I think recalcitrance was a large part of it. And it isn't that hard to believe, considering we saw the same thing later on during debt-ceiling time. How far did Obama and the Dems come toward what Republicans wanted? Like 4 trillion out of five trillion? But the response was largely: "not enough", "not quick enough", etc. And we ended up with nothing except the idea of a "super congress" and black eyes from various treasury-rating folks. Talk about shooting down every opposing idea.

I'm curious -- do you think the Republicans, any of them, have made any mis-steps in the last three years? You're quick to name names on the Democrat crap-list: Obama, Reid, Pelosi... Could it be true that _none_ of this was caused by _any_ GOP stubbornness or pettiness? The reason I ask is not to start a flame war with you, but because I want to get a feel for where you are in terms of some of the terrible, terrible comments I see other conservatives making on right-slanted sites, calling Obama names, nothing _ever_ being good enough:

Libya: Either should have gotten involved sooner or not at all. Oh, it turned out pretty well without loss of American life? Oh who cares. Obama sucks!

bin Laden: Well, um, about time, probably was able to do that because of plans Bush put into action. And maybe we didn't get him -- we'd like to see Obama's birth certificate, by the way!

Auto industry: Should never have bailed them out, but wait, we also want unemployment to go down, and, um, well, glad GM is doing better now and they have paid off most of their debt, but we still shouldn't have bailed them out, and, and, Obama sucks!

Economy starting to recover: Not fast enough. Obama spells H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E bumper stickers abound.

Iraq: We're leaving in disgrace, what a fiasco, but, oh yeah, INVADE IRAN! For some reason maybe this time applying imperialist force will actually work!

I'll grant you that if I could have my way, especially now with hindsight, I'd rather Obama didn't waste his time and political capital on pushing through healthcare. But to hear it told by Tea Party hard-liners (and even the not so hard-lined), Obama hasn't done one single thing correctly. What's your take on that? Don't you think there has to be at least _some_ bias there, that no matter what Obama has done or does now, it will be considered flat-out, 100% wrong?

We've agreed before on saying that ram-rodding health care through was not ideal, but then so was what Walker did in terms of ram-rodding through the dismantling of union rights in WI even after they agreed to huge cuts in order to get the budget in line. And an even bigger difference there: at least we knew Obama was going to shoot for health care all along... Walker didn't say a word about his plans until he got into office and dropped a deuce all over state. Hell, some Democrat hopefuls in the recall election are running on nothing more than, "Hey, at least I'll tell you what I believe in and then follow through with it" for their platform. I don't personally consider that a a strong move for a candidate (I still need some substance and am not going to vote for someone just because they are "not Walker"), but it's illustrative of how damaging Walker's methods have been.

Since we are sort of getting to the point of agreeable disagreement as far as the SCOTUS case (and even some agreeable AGREEment), I just wanted to check in on these other issues...

QBRanger March 22 2012 4:10 PM EDT

The last 3 years basically Obama and Pelosi/Reid had control over Congress.

Before that, yeppers, the Republicans made many a mistep. Medicare drug benefit is one huge wrong.

Walker didn't say a word about his plans until he got into office and dropped a deuce all over state.

That is very debateable but yes, no different then how Democrats got healthcare through. A difference is now we are seeing saving to school districts from Walker's plan. We are seeing costs increase in Obamacare. Does it make it right in the end, no. Just pointing to a difference. But I will note Obama did campaign of a fundamental change to the US, which he is trying to do.

Libya, we should have never gotten involved. And if Libya, why not Syria?

Auto Industry: The meme on the left is that Republicans wanted the auto industry in America to go away. That is just propaganda. Republicans wanted an orderly bankruptcy. As what has happened in the airline industry. Reorganization to a better comapny. One in which the unions did not get preferrential treatment over bond holders which is against the current Chapter 11 laws.

Osama: Obama certainly used Bush's intelligence gathering methods, including enchanced techniques to find him. And made the only call in going after him.

Economy revoery: It can be debated that Reagan took over a worse economy in some aspects than Obama. Unemployment and inflation were in the double digits or very close. And growth during his 1st term was 6-8% per quarter vs 2-3% now. One can make the case that the economy is growing in spite of Obama's actions rather than due to them.

Iraq: We left far too early. And at the time we went it, intelligence had proof of WMD. Afghanistan is another story. We should have went it, took out the terrorists and left. Rinse and repeat as needed.

Obama's birth certificate: I don't farking care. He is elected. I would love for him to show it as well as show his medical records and college transcripts. He is the president and should be an open book. However, I do not think he is Muslim. I think he is a secular Christian. Christian beliefs just not very strong ones. More towards athiesm. I say this by his actions.

Obama hasn't done one single thing correctly.

I have stated a couple things in this thread and in the past.

1) Osama
2) Continuing the drone strikes.
3) Playing tons of golf, more time on the golf course = less time to mess up the country. :)
4) TARP. Partly. While it likely saved us from a huge depression, how it was done was crap. Too big to fail still exists and is worse with the consolidation of the banking industry in 08-9.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 4:55 PM EDT

I don't think that Repubs think the auto-industry should go away, so that's not a meme I ascribe anything to.

But I do think the bail out worked reasonably well, and now any bashing of how it happened is double-speak. What gets irritating is that Obama gets bashed for everything that goes wrong, and for things that go right, well, Republicans would have done it more awesomer, dude! The auto industry is back, and we saved all those jobs at the time (not saying clean bankruptcy wouldn't have worked, but I don't have a time machine to check), but Obama sucks because he didn't disband Unions at the same time. I get it: you don't like Unions. That doesn't mean the right move is to always and immediately disband them. That's a whole 'nother thing -- your hatred of Unions approaches an irrational state as far as I can tell, as if an organized voice is always, _always_ a bad thing. Just don't get it, but I don't suppose I ever will.

As far as Walker, well, you can think what you like, I suppose. Not sure where or what you're reading or who you know, but a couple things are sort of silly about the whole thing. Walker is running ads up here about how "it's working". And some things are. But one of the BIG things his ads tout is, "My taxes are down! Thanks, Scott Walker!" It's so silly it's stupid: of course my taxes went down -- my assessed property value went down! On income tax, I got the same refund I got last year from the State of Wisconsin on similar (proportional) take-home pay. To take credit for the fact that home values are naturally going down and property tax falls concomitantly is asinine.

And there was no reason to believe taxes would have went up, anyway, when Walker got into office because the BUDGET WAS BALANCED. He IMbalanced it with his "open for business" tax cuts, then used that deficit to ram-rod his (theretofore unmentioned) plans. We are finally seeing some nice job gains in 2012 (I think we might have even outpaced the nation in January), but for a while in 2011, there were a great deal of job losses. So I can't even say Walker's "open for business" breaks had anything to do with anything. Like you said about Obama, it's just as likely we're rebounding DESPITE his efforts. There's certainly no proof to say otherwise.

The school issue is the same. Of course schools are seeing "savings" -- they are spending less. There were cuts (including lay-offs). How is that considered good newsm taken by itself? I'm not against cost control, but to state just the one side of it: "schools are spending less than ever! Think of the savings!" doesn't make sense. What is the quality of education? What have these cuts affected? Do we know? I have a great idea on how to make school districts save a LOT more money -- close all the schools, have parents teach at home. Think of the savings! Needless to say, I'm not buying any of it.

That's all beside the point, anyway. I know Scott Walker is Republican, and I know what that means in terms of policy (especially with a Republican congress backing him up. That's not the reason he is a poor leader. He is a poor leader because he said one thing and did another (what do people say when Obama does that, Ranger?). He is a poor leader because he doesn't work with people, he only works with people who think like him. Sorry, Scott, you're here to represent Wisconsin, even the 48% of folks who voted for the other guy. He's a terrible leader because even when the other side was willing to work with him and do their "fair share", he not only said "no", he didn't even entertain the notion of sitting at the table with them (and yes, he had time to do so). Essentially, he treated civil, willing people like some sort of terrorists that couldn't be negotiated with. Hyperbolic? I don't think so.

Nice way to treat your constituents? If you think so, then all I can say is that I hope a ram-rodding, non-communicating radical Democrat become Governor in whatever state you live. I'll be sure to read the news from afar and tell you how great they're doing, no matter what your experience on the home-front. *smile*

So, to bring this all back around with something we were discussing on another thread, let's talk double standards. You dislike Obama as a leader because he has ram-rodded, not listened to the other side, and implemented policies that are only just now starting to bear some fruit. The same exact thing can be said about Scott Walker, except he didn't have the decency to even tell us how radically he wished to change the landscape of the state.

You dislike Obama based on these meta-issues of leadership. Walker shares the same habits. Do you like dislike Scott Walker? Or is he OK simply because he's a conservative?

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 4:58 PM EDT

And about Syria... At this point Obama is firmly entrenched between a rock and a hard place. If he "pulls a Libya" with Syria, the Republican's will accuse him of getting us involved in something else when we should be concentrating on jobs. If he doesn't do anything, they'll point to Libya and say, "Hypocrite!"

Doesn't matter what he does, it will be "wrong", because he's just wrong.

QBRanger March 22 2012 5:25 PM EDT

But I do think the bail out worked reasonably well, and now any bashing of how it happened is double-speak.

O no, I do not think it went well at all. We lost tens of billions of dollars on the bailout and the same corporate structure is there. A bankruptcy was needed with a reorganization. And I persaonally lost money from the bonds I had with GM to give the unions a preferential place in line.

As to Walker, the fact that the school districts are not now being forced to negotiate only with WEA is saving a lot of money. Money used to keep and in most cases hire new teachers.

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/07/wisconsin-school-districts-are-switching-health-care-providersplans-to-create-savings-in-2011/

You dislike Obama based on these meta-issues of leadership. Walker shares the same habits. Do you like dislike Scott Walker? Or is he OK simply because he's a conservative?

Walker is the governor of Wisconsin. I live in AZ. He does not effect me. Obama does.

Walker has no control over foreign affairs. Obama does and is wrecking our relationship with Israel.

People in Wisconsin can recall Walker. We cannot recall Obama until his 4 years are up.

He is a poor leader because he said one thing and did another (what do people say when Obama does that, Ranger?).

Obama stated exactly what he wanted to, fundamentally change the country. And he is doing it.

There is a huge difference between what a president and a governor can do.

And what Walker did was constituational in Wisconcin. What Obama did was not according to my views on the consitution and its limitations.

How they passed Obamacare was entirely constituational. Just very devious.

One can look at all the governors throughout history. How many state they will increase taxes before they do? Not many.

As to Syria and Libya. As I stated, we should not have gone into the Libya war. Obama is stuck between a rock and a hard place due to his decision to go into Libya. I have no pity for him there.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 6:02 PM EDT

School savings: so because a requirement list was removed, the process was made smarter and there are some savings. You're telling me the _only_ way that could have happened was by disbanding public unions? That's preposterous. We have no idea what common ground could have been found (leading to the same end result) had Walker talked with union leaders back in February 2011.

You're giving Walker credit for something that is in no way necessarily related to union-busting. That's because you assume unions can only do wrong in each and every scenario, even in scenarios (like this one) where they were willing to take the cuts and willing to further negotiate to help with the budget issues (that Walker created in the first place -- you never really respond to that part...) Walker didn't take "yes" for an answer, and now any savings, anywhere is said to be because of his steadfastness. It's completely ridiculous.

And what Walker did was constituational in Wisconcin. What Obama did was not according to my views on the consitution and its limitations.

I never said Walker behaved unconstitutionally, so I have no idea what you think that has to do with anything. I said he was a bad leader with several points, none of which you specifically address.

And we don't know yet how SCOTUS will rule on the mandate (sorry, but your opinion on its constitutionality is very much irrelevant -- you're not even a lawyer).

If you don't want to weigh in more on Walker because you aren't in his state, fine. Seems convenient, though. You have no problem telling me how it is up here when I bring it up, reading from afar, but when I ask you for your full opinion on it I get: "Not my State, so I don't care." I suppose I can just bank that as a double-standard right there. If you don't feel invested, then don't tell me how things are going up here -- you don't know and you don't care.

As for the auto industry, yeah, like I said, I get it. Until the unions are entirely dissolved, you'll consider any scenario a failure. There's really not any more to discuss on that. You hate Unions in all ways and in every scenario. You've made that very clear. I wish I had a time machine to offer you so you could go back to when they didn't exist, it sounds like you'd be happy there (and that you assume none of those conditions would return should Unions now be entirely dismantled -- at least, I haven't heard any alternate plan from you on how you would balance worker's rights without any sort of collective voice being in effect).

Libya, I don't know. I think it was the right choice and it was done cleanly without an occupation afterwards. Not getting involved at all would have been fine with me too, but that's only because now I'm getting sick of folks calling Obama a hypocrite for not getting involved in every single fire planet-wide. But by that reasoning, we should go Ron Paul on this and stay out of everything (INCLUDING aid to Israel).

QBRanger March 22 2012 6:39 PM EDT

School savings: so because a requirement list was removed, the process was made smarter and there are some savings. You're telling me the _only_ way that could have happened was by disbanding public unions? That's preposterous. We have no idea what common ground could have been found (leading to the same end result) had Walker talked with union leaders back in February 2011.

Yes, it was the only way as the WEA is union owned and makes the unions tons of money. At least it is what I read and my Wisconsin friends tell me. Short of an act of god, which the Walker reforms were, there was no way the unions were going to give up that golden cow.

And we don't know yet how SCOTUS will rule on the mandate (sorry, but your opinion on its constitutionality is very much irrelevant -- you're not even a lawyer).

Yes, which I why I staed in my opinion.

If you don't want to weigh in more on Walker because you aren't in his state, fine.

Whoa there Sut. I have weighed in on Walker. If you read my posts carefully I stated that the leadership qualities of Walker do not effect me due to the fact I do not live there. I like the results of what Walker has accomplished as I am very anti-union. However, you are right in his heavy handedness was wrong.

But on the other hand, the unions did not come to the bargining table until the very end, until the writing was on the wall that the reforms were going to happen anyway. Only then did they agree to any concessions.

As for the auto industry, yeah, like I said, I get it. Until the unions are entirely dissolved, you'll consider any scenario a failure. There's really not any more to discuss on that. You hate Unions in all ways and in every scenario. You've made that very clear. I wish I had a time machine to offer you so you could go back to when they didn't exist, it sounds like you'd be happy there (and that you assume none of those conditions would return should Unions now be entirely dismantled -- at least, I haven't heard any alternate plan from you on how you would balance worker's rights without any sort of collective voice being in effect).

We certainly will disagee on this. And nice use of two strawmen!!!

Let me count them:

1) Until the unions are completely dissolved. I never stated that. I stated the unions got in front of the line ahead of bond owners like myself in the bailout. Contrary to normal bankruptcy law. They got a share of GM and Chrysler while I got hosed on my bonds. And if they went through a structured bankruptcy the unions would not have been changed. Their deals with GM and Chyrsler would likely have been, but the structure of the unions would not be.

2) Go back to when they did not exist. Unions at one time were essential to workers rights. However there are many laws that protect workers. Including the ADA, child labor laws and federal labor laws. The only unions which should not exist are public sector unions. Something even FDR agreed with. Private sector unions?
Well that is between the business and its employees. All I can do is avoid unioiized companies. Like my last 2 cars. I refused to buy a GM or Chrysler product as do a lot of my friends, who are obviously Republicans.

My plan is that there are already laws on the book protecting workers rights. Less than 10% of the workers in the private sector are not unionized. Do you really want to tell me that they have no rights?

But to try to compare Walker to Obama is not really realistic as one is just a governor and the other the most powerful man in the world. Who is supposed to be president of us all.

You hate Unions in all ways and in every scenario.

So would it be right of me to say the following: You love unions and wish every business would be uniniized to give workers more rights than the company owners?

Of course not, and for someone who loves to use the Strawman arguement when discussing things with me, you sure put up a few nice ones yourself.

QBRanger March 22 2012 7:58 PM EDT

Sut,

Let me ask you a question.

What if Congress made a law stating everyone has to buy a gun for the "safety" of America and take a gun course to learn how to use it. Just like in Obamacare you have to contract with a private business.

Would that be ok with you? And if you do not, you are forced to pay a fine.

Since, if the individual mandate is upheld by the SCOTUS, this is a scenario that may be in the future. Or ones very similar.

One can argue that healthcare is unique, however, so is national security.

Lochnivar March 22 2012 8:57 PM EDT

What if Congress made a law stating everyone has to buy a gun for the "safety" of America and take a gun course to learn how to use it. Just like in Obamacare you have to contract with a private business.

Two things:

1) That is an excellent example of the extension of a concept under common law. Common law is very duck-standard-of-proof-ish. In theory they cite a conflicting law and state that it has precedence, but the mandatory gun ownership is not far fetched depending on how they rule on this issue (they being SCOTUS of course).


2) Don't you people already *all* have guns? :-P

Lochnivar March 22 2012 8:58 PM EDT

they *could* site... oh for lack of an edit button

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 22 2012 8:58 PM EDT

Gun you are a troll of the most trollish type. Sut and I are trying to have a basic conversation and you chime in with utter disrepect and garbage.
Mission accomplished?
If you disagreed with that statement, then say so, but a snide remark is typical Gun.
Didn't say I disagreed. Didn't say you were lying. Didn't attack you period. Didn't defend Obamacare. Didn't appear to be anything more than a stoic citation of one short line.....
Needed that link indeed. Came off as unrelated stat on the whole. The subtle statement(s) within detracted from what you were saying in the lines that followed. As it was kind of the runt in the telling. Revealed a policy bias, we don't have to get on that, but also gave a sense that you were ignoring the tea party movement which won those seats in favor to attack Obamacare. Saying studies without citing could have been an excuse for slander if I were to say something similar. Pretty much wasn't an effective bridge and did stand out just as said. Was giving my opinion of one line in an otherwise good post. How you took so few words of opinion to one line is of your own volition as I tried not to troll you. Perhaps a better, be it lengthy, approach to our own statements is in order.
I hope this excuse was worthy of the thread's ongoing intellectual trend. Now. Quit with the inflammatory insults.

QBRanger March 22 2012 9:09 PM EDT

2) Don't you people already *all* have guns? :-P

You would be surprised how many conservatives do not own a gun. In my FL poker game, 6/8 of us were conservatives. I was the only gun owner. I however had enough guns for everyone :)

I hope this excuse was worthy of the thread's ongoing intellectual trend. Now. Quit with the inflammatory insults.

Nope, not even close. And your statement about a mole was derogatory to say the least. Best stay out of threads unless you have something intellectual to say pertinent to the thread itself.

If you have a question, then ask it nice instead of making a snide remark. Perhaps then you will not get an inflammatory insult in retort.

DERPA [Red Permanent Assurance] March 22 2012 9:23 PM EDT

Still have me on ignore so my options are limited.

QBRanger March 22 2012 9:45 PM EDT

Still have me on ignore so my options are limited.

Yeppers. But that does not prevent you from asking a question properly in the thread without getting snide and nasty.

Instead of making a remark with no qualification as to why it was made.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 10:36 PM EDT

I'll start back to front, and split some things out, but start by saying I still appreciate you hanging with me on all this, Ranger. Your gun example is very, very good. I'll try to address it.

If that law were made, initially I would pay the penalty out of a form of resistance. Because first of all, that law is quite different in physical form: enforceability. How could the gov't know if I had a gun short of breaking all kinds of other Constitution-based rules to check? Yes, turns out the health mandate is easier to check, and it will all be registered (and it does make me appreciate your point about passivity -- "let me check your PAPERS!") I get it, I really do.

I would then proceed to get the law changed through the other means available to me: court loopholes (it isn't a tax, so at least it can be tried!), getting people who could overturn it into office (this isn't an Amendment, the right group on Capitol Hill could get this overturned), and finally, referendum. If the people _really_ did hate this, and really did want to get it changed, it could get changed. Maybe I am reading the wrong sites, but has the Tea Party tried a straight-up referendum to get Obamacare overturned? If so, how many signatures did they get? Here in WI, we got over a million people (that's almost half the number of TOTAL people who vote in an average general election here!) to sign a recall petition, and that was just in something like six weeks! *smile* Short of all that, I'd apply for financial aid to buy a gun and buy one, or buy the cheapest one out there (they'd be cheap, I reckon, because there would have to be high availability for this program to work). It would rust in a safe somewhere -- who cares?

Scenario for you: Gov't charges a tax on locks, all forms. You are heavily fined if you try to build your own locking mechanism (part of the tax, that's totally legal). A HUGE one. I can't even afford to put a lock on my front door, in fact. Federal courts can't try the case, because of Anti-Injunction. There's a clause in the tax code, though -- if I buy a gun, the tax is waived. Funny, that.

Same thing. Only it can't even be TRIED. An entire third of checks and balances are removed from the equation. It's actually even harder, in that case, for me to get the lock tax overturned.

Why couldn't that happen?

Why aren't you incredibly scared about that?

You can't think of any scenario that I can't think of an equivalent tax-based scenario. Everything has an opposite, and behavior in the opposing direction can be generated by taxing that opposite.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 11:00 PM EDT

Yes, it was the only way as the WEA is union owned and makes the unions tons of money. At least it is what I read and my Wisconsin friends tell me. Short of an act of god, which the Walker reforms were, there was no way the unions were going to give up that golden cow.

I know. It MUST have been the only way. This could surely NEVER have happened:

Walker: Welcome to the table, let's talk.
Union: We'll take the cuts, OK.
Walker: Need more leeway.
Union: Like what?
Walker: More choice in Healthcare? To stay competitive?
Union: Not a bad idea. We were going to just eat babies and act stupid today, but you've really shown us you are an all right guy.
Walker: So, we can change the list? Deal?
Union: DEAL!

Wow, that was brutal. You're probably right. The only way to get that one, cost-saving concession was to gut the whole works.

But on the other hand, the unions did not come to the bargaining table until the very end, until the writing was on the wall that the reforms were going to happen anyway. Only then did they agree to any concessions.

OK, now I really don't know what you are reading.

The protesting union folks caved on the salary/benefit issues and wanted to talk more, like, two days into it. "The very end?" The very end came WEEKS later. Your words are just not factual. I want to say the union said they were willing to make concessions and talk BEFORE the Democrats even fled to IL! This is where I admit I can't find a link to that effect (but of you can concerning the timeline, I'm all ears), but is why I take a bit of umbrage to the fact that I am up here, first-hand, while you are reading pundit reduxes from a time-zone away. I know how this happened.

I'm not saying some brinkmanship wasn't in play, but maybe that is the beauty of Unions. The nuclear weapons don't need to fire in order for people to come together and let cooler heads prevail. Is that wrong, in your eyes?

Next, I'm not sure you know what a strawman is. In light of your response, my points weren't strawmen, they were just flat-out wrong. It's OK to tell me when I'm just wrong -- I'm not trying to play games here. *smile* I misread your attitude on unions (best I can figure, I misread it in much the same way you misread Lord Bob as a socialist, but something tells me you don't want to hear that honest assessment...)

OK, you don't think unions are all THAT bad. I'm curious as to what type of car you drive... Must be a Ford, then? Ford really isn't unionized? Didn't know that.

Anyway, I don't disagree there are more laws on the books now to protect workers. But do you think laws are some sort of etched-in-stone, immutable forces? That they don't need maintenance, like roads need the snow cleared and bridges need repairing? I know you aren't that naive, so what gives? Remove the unions, and how do those laws remain strong? Who supports workman's comp rules? Who makes sure child labor laws are enforced? Work-hour limits?

You want to (mostly) disband unions, and I assume you agree with the GOP candidates who would like to dismantle "unnecessary" gov't departments. So, get rid of all or most unions, and dismantle various and sundry labor departments. Then I will ask you again -- who maintains worker-protection laws from being eroded over time? They aren't Amendments. With one bill passage they could be erased, and could the SCOTUS do anything? Depending on their leanings at the time?

I'm very curious about your thoughts on that (in addition to what brand of car you drive. I drive a Subaru Imreaza WRX. It is very old and starting to rust. I love it.)

QBRanger March 22 2012 11:01 PM EDT

How could the gov't know if I had a gun short of breaking all kinds of other Constitution-based rules to check?

Simple, they would require you to submit your gun registration with your income tax return or pay a penalty.

If the people _really_ did hate this, and really did want to get it changed, it could get changed.

The problem is that once an entitlement get engrained it is impossible to reverse. One has to take it out now, before 2014.

However, if it is unconstitutional, would you not want it to go through the courts? Again, where would Congress' power end if it is judged to be legal.

Here in WI, we got over a million people (that's almost half the number of TOTAL people who vote in an average general election here!) to sign a recall petition, and that was just in something like six weeks!

Yes, I even heard one guy signed it 80 times and the courts stated that was fine :) http://www.wisn.com/r/29958007/detail.html

Scenario for you: Gov't charges a tax on locks, all forms. You are heavily fined if you try to build your own locking mechanism (part of the tax, that's totally legal). A HUGE one. I can't even afford to put a lock on my front door, in fact. Federal courts can't try the case, because of Anti-Injunction. There's a clause in the tax code, though -- if I buy a gun, the tax is waived. Funny, that.

I do not know law that well and certainly am not versed on the Anti-Injunction laws. So I cannot comment on that. I would think the government making a law and then making themselves immune to court challenges would be highly illegal.

Again, I have no idea why or how Congress can make a law that cannot be challenged. If they could, why did they not do so with Obamacare or infact any other law they make.

Something does not make sense in your scenario there that I do not understand.

I do not mean that in a nasty way, I really have no idea.

QBRanger March 22 2012 11:16 PM EDT

We had the Walker chat a while ago. No need to get all upset (both of us) rehashing it.

I drive a M3, 6-speed. Lease is up in 8 months and I do not know what I will get next.

The reason I do not buy American is they are crap. I had a Pontiac GTP and after 2 years the interior was falling apart.

Then I will ask you again -- who maintains worker-protection laws from being eroded over time? They aren't Amendments.

Congress, that due to political processes and backlash for unpopular laws will never repeal the worker protection laws. And we will disagree on whether the "right" to collectively bargain is a real worker protection law. This is something we will certainly disagree on.

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 11:19 PM EDT

Simple, they would require you to submit your gun registration with your income tax return or pay a penalty.

Good point, that is why I mentioned my realization about "papers", and agreed it was certainly haunting.

The problem is that once an entitlement get engrained it is impossible to reverse. One has to take it out now, before 2014.

How would this EVER be construed as an "entitlement"? Entitlements are things people LIKE and want to KEEP. No one is very going to consider the individual mandate an "entitlement". If you are talking about basic law inertia, that goes for every law, and so is therefore a moot point -- as we are both talking about laws.

However, if it is unconstitutional, would you not want it to go through the courts? Again, where would Congress' power end if it is judged to be legal.

It could go through, since it isn't a tax (more on that later). Even if one precedent is established, that doesn't mean things can't change. Abortion used to be illegal, remember? Roe vs. Wade changed that. How? If all rulings before that point kept abortion illegal, how did Roe vs. Wade ever change the landscape?

I do not know law that well and certainly am not versed on the Anti-Injunction laws. So I cannot comment on that. I would think the government making a law and then making themselves immune to court challenges would be highly illegal.

I'm confused. Did you read the article you posted? This is directly from it (and I've been quoting "Anti-Injunction" for days now):

=========
Finally, the Court must decide whether a separate federal statute precludes the Court from hearing the case at all. The Anti-Injunction Act bars federal courts from hearing cases filed モfor the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.ヤ Dating back to the Reconstruction Era, this law ensures that federal tax disputes are routed to one of the specially designated courts: the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or a U.S. District Court, and only after the I.R.S. levies the tax on the taxpayer.
=========

Furthermore, the above doctrine was used by some lesser judges to dismiss similar cases, and/or forgo offering their own dissenting rulings.

Again, I have no idea why or how Congress can make a law that cannot be challenged. If they could, why did they not do so with Obamacare or in fact any other law they make.

See above. Why do you think I appreciated your link so much. It was fascinating! *smile*

Something does not make sense in your scenario there that I do not understand.

You have ample understanding, you just are maybe not accounting for laws written back in the Reconstruction Era almost 175 years ago! Talk about precedent!

I do not mean that in a nasty way, I really have no idea.

Nothing nasty about it. Downright civil, in fact. You were right about that article being DAMN long, especially page three where the above excerpt resides.

That's why I have been droning on and on about the power of tax law all this time. You must have thought I was just nuts, but that's likely par for the course. *smile*

QBsutekh137 March 22 2012 11:30 PM EDT

I agree that I had trouble with GM cars in the past, but I really do think there is more parity now. As good as an M3? Nah. But still. *smile*

Congress, that due to political processes and backlash for unpopular laws will never repeal the worker protection laws. And we will disagree on whether the "right" to collectively bargain is a real worker protection law. This is something we will certainly disagree on.

I didn't mean to say I think collective bargaining is or should be a law. It just like Wilford Brimley's oatmeal: it's the right thing to do.

Look, you I like to talk and find common ground. I get frustrated when it doesn't happen. You know it's true because I keep trying it with you. I doubt I'll ever stop. I prefer organic, compassionate communication to "on the books" hard laws and "hard-nosed politics". I want to solve problems in the one way they can _really_ work -- where both sides truly agree rather than each side just thinking they have enough to pull the dagger away from their own neck. Carrot vs. stick. Positive reinforcement vs. negative. I'm not saying you think otherwise, but I have the feeling you are much more a Hobbes (life is "brutish and short") while I am more a Rousseau ("...the world of imagination is boundless") Both very brilliant men with very smart sentiments.

But very different. *smile*

QBRanger March 22 2012 11:33 PM EDT

Ah, with respect to tax law. I quickly dismissed that with respect to Obamacare as it is plainly not a tax. The Obama administration stated numerous times it was not a tax.

Only now, when it goes to the SCOTUS they try to backtrack. That of all the reasons to keep the law, saying it is a tax, is the weakest discussion by far.

However, with respect to your lock analogy, one could certainly sue the government once the tax comes into effect. Federal courts cannot be involved in tax law UNTIL the tax comes into effect. It does not state one cannot ever not sue. At least how I read it.

"Finally, the Court must decide whether a separate federal statute precludes the Court from hearing the case at all. The Anti-Injunction Act bars federal courts from hearing cases filed モfor the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.ヤ Dating back to the Reconstruction Era, this law ensures that federal tax disputes are routed to one of the specially designated courts: the U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, or a U.S. District Court, and only after the I.R.S. levies the tax on the taxpayer."

Even though one can sue after the tax takes effect, precedent has shown Congress can tax. And tax and tax and tax. The limiting factor in Congress not making a stupid tax such as in your example would be the politics of politics. Like how the public options was not in the final Obamacare bill.

QBRanger March 22 2012 11:42 PM EDT

I do have an Enclave as the family SUV. It is an outstanding SUV. I bought it before the bailouts. Would I buy one now? No. If I needed a new SUV, I would look at Ford (they did not get a bailout) or a foreign automobile.

One reason I hate unions is my dad was in a union. Worked for Disney in Orlando. The union did nothing but take his money and when he needed their help they abandoned him. When his supervisor (union shop head) harassed him due to his religion, the union turned their back. However, they still kept taking his money. Eventually he got fed up on stopped paying dues as FL is a right to work state which made things worse. The harassment increased. Eventually he sued Disney and got a small settlement, and lost his job/benefits.

My cousin lived in Detroit and saw first hand how the UAW destroyed the US auto industry and left Detroit in shambles. Then took a bailout and still has the same problems they had before.

So my closest interactions with unions, through family members has been quite horrific.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2012 12:05 AM EDT

I don't discount your experiences, and I do thank you for sharing. I hope you believe that. That is a terrible experience, and living through it... The word "horrific" probably doesn't do it justice. It's a disloyalty, an injustice, a loss of innocence all going on right while you feel the rug being pulled from under you. I've experience that (few haven't, I suppose), in different ways.

Me, I give Unions the benefit of the doubt because I don't know much about them, have a vast appreciation for history, and have chirpy-optimism about how people could work things out, if they just tried. My dad hates unions (he's a farmer, now retired), though he doesn't know a thing about them. He's a farmer. He hates unions because his dad hated unions. He hates unions because they don't live like he does, and he perceives them as being drones (yet powerful). And he hates them because he thinks they don't work nearly as hard as he does. That's probably true. My dad was and is a hard, frugal worker. To the point that even though he now is clearly a multi-millionaire (land) with a maximum of 20 years left to live and enough land to cash rent each year for a take far beyond most American's salaries (that's on top of Soc. Sec, etc.), he still clips coupons and doesn't understand why everyone else doesn't do the same. Religiously.

Oh, and he also thinks he knows everything about Wisconsin, what with all he reads about it in the Omaha World-Herald. He's a downright Scott Walker expert. *smile*

ANYWAY, my thoughts on unions do come from a lack of direct knowledge; while yours, perhaps, come from a knowledge too close? I agree that a huge, stubborn union is unworkable. That was why I was so hopeful when I heard in WI, just one day or two into protests, that the unions said yes to Walker's concessions and wanted to talk. That was the exact OPPOSITE of what my dad had told me unions do. That wasn't enough, though. It was all or nothing for young Scooter. I thought that sucked, and still do.

You know why unions are reviled? Because they can't even act in good faith now if they want to. I think that's a shame, because I see nothing wrong with a collective voice. But I understand why you do. Again, I appreciate your openness.

QBRanger March 23 2012 12:13 AM EDT

What I remember in WI before Walker took the hammer down was article after article like this one:

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/07/kenosha-like-milwaukee-chooses-teacher-layoffs-instead-of-teacher-contributions/

In fact, the teacher of the year in 2010 was laid off due to the unions refusal to negotiate.

They only said yes to paying some of their benefits when their backs were against the wall.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2012 12:23 AM EDT

They only said yes to paying some of their benefits when their backs were against the wall.

Right. Brinkmanship, like I said. Something needed to be done, and I could applaud Scott Walker for doing it -- except when he continued his hidden agenda even after quickly getting the opportunity to talk.

Ranger, if they had sat down after that second day of protests and the unions had not budged, I'd have an "I Support Scott Walker" sign in my yard right now. But he didn't talk, so we'll never know what new relationships could have been forged. The unions were dumb for a long time, yeah, but the recession woke up a LOT of folks, and the union knew they had to pull in together. Walker wasn't interested in talking to that newly-awake body of people.

That's bad leadership, to not even talk to your workers, to not even talk to people paid by the constituents you were (barely) voted in to represent.

We might as well just agree to disagree there. I'm not sure what you think you know from sunny AZ, but apparently you do. Apparently all the folks who signed the recall petition and everyone with a bumper sticker and sign in their yard are just blind sheep. I could tell you about people who have voted Republican for thirty years but who are now sick to death of Walker, people I know. But why should I bother? They must be wrong. Doesn't matter. Your eyes are sharper than mine from thousands of miles away. Good on ya.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2012 12:27 AM EDT

I do have an Enclave as the family SUV. It is an outstanding SUV. I bought it before the bailouts. Would I buy one now? No. If I needed a new SUV, I would look at Ford (they did not get a bailout) or a foreign automobile.

Two words: Ford Flex. Friend of mind drove his up several months ago and I have to say it was sweet. A little bit cruiser, a little bit hauler, and tons of space. I think the limited edition (the silvery embossed one) looks nice, too. Ford doesn't push 'em much though, my buddy had to nearly drag it out of them. Odd. I guess it is a bit of a niche vehicle between the new Explorer and the Escape. I think it looks entirely unique, and it almost fit the massive bookshelf I had bought inside (7 feet tall, 3.5 feet wide). Back door was only open by a few inches...).

QBRanger March 23 2012 1:01 AM EDT

Sut,

All I know is what I hear from my friends in WI and what I read.

So far it appears Walker's approval rating is equal to the disapproval rating of 47%. Quite the chasm and what the country as a whole is. Seems we are on different sides of an equal divide.

Yes, I heard the Flex as a really nice vehicle. Everyone I know who has one likes or loves it.

QBsutekh137 March 23 2012 9:07 AM EDT

In Iowa, where my friend bought his Flex, he said it was downright difficult to even have the Ford sales-folk tell him about it. They didn't really know how to push its strengths, and a lot of customers confuse "Flex" with the whole "flex fuel" ethanol option. So, not the nest marketing there.

My buddy just finally said, let me drive the damn thing (and I think they even let him have it for a full afternoon). They were sold. I thought they were a little pricey until I realized how large they are and that the chassis is basically an Explorer's (but I like the form factors and features on the Flex better than the more-standard, full-on "SUV" style.

QBRanger March 26 2012 1:19 PM EDT

The first day of oral discussion over Obamacare is now over. The court today focused on whether the mandate is a tax.

Seems from the questions, the court is heavily leaning towards it not being a tax and therefore the Anti-Injunction act should not apply if most people who were there are correct in their assessment.

Also, if the judges believe it is a tax, why would they "waste" 5-6 more hours hearing discussion on the mandate if the AI law applies?

QBRanger March 27 2012 1:11 PM EDT

Day 2 discussions is over.

And it seems the Obama Admiinstration got slapped upside the head:

http://www.businessinsider.com/people-are-saying-that-obamas-healthcare-law-got-massacred-in-the-supreme-court-today-2012-3

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] March 27 2012 8:14 PM EDT


Oh, Dahlia how I love thee:

"One thing was clear after the two hour session at the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act: The outcome of President Obama's signature legislative achievement probably rests on the shoulders of two menラChief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy. Or, to put it differently, everyone else seems to have staked a clear position. The court's four liberals appear poised to uphold the law. Justices Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia appear ready to strike it down. Justice Clarence Thomas was always assumed to be a vote against the Affordable Care Act and didn't speak today.

"So, we are left to guess about Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy, who based on their questions appear to be someplace in the middle. The betting on the steps of the court afterward split among those who suspected the final vote will be 5-4 to strike it down, or 6-3 to uphold it. I didn't hear anyone taking bets on anything in between."
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003Hnm">As NFIB v. Sebelius heads to the SCOTUS</a>