Patterico's Pontifications

7/1/2012

Jan Crawford: Sources Tell Me Roberts Switched His Vote

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:25 am

It sure looked that way, but it’s good to have some confirmation:

The Obamacare Supreme Court ruling seemed strange. Chief Justice John Roberts’ reasoning was incoherent. The conservative’s dissent read like it was originally meant to be a majority opinion. Now, we know why. According to Jan Crawford of CBS News, John Roberts switched sides in May, withstanding a “one-month campaign” from his conservative colleagues to change his mind.

“I have sources that say Roberts initially sided with conservatives to strike down the individual mandate,” said Crawford on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Roberts, I’m told by my sources, switched sides. There was a one-month campaign to bring Roberts back into the conservative fold, led, ironically, by Anthony Kennedy.”

This, I believe, is why the conservatives’ dissent was not harshly critical of Roberts: they were trying to win him back over.

Interesting. And crackerjack work by Jan Crawford, as always.

311 Responses to “Jan Crawford: Sources Tell Me Roberts Switched His Vote”

  1. The big question, still, is: why?

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. This makes sense. It explains the ruling. I wondered what Roberts’ “long game” consisted of as it apparently had nothing to do with writing a reasoned opinion or remaining true to either the Constitution or a plausible reading of an unambiguous law.

    I am convinced that he’s an intelligent man. But intelligent men, and women, convinced of their own intellectual powers can be too clever by half and do some dumb things.

    Which led me to speculate about his integrity and his brains, which some thought were untoward but based upon his shoddy, contorted decision I thought such speculation was not only justified but required:

    It wasn’t meant to be brave, daleyrocks. Let me ask you, do you think he actually believes his own ruling?

    I don’t think he does. I know he’s a very smart man.

    So if he doesn’t, I do think it calls his integrity into question (and if he does believe his own ruling I’d have to rethink the idiot part).

    As far as “questioning his brains” go, what interests of the court do you think he advanced with this hash of a ruling? I can think of several candidates he may have intended to advance, but this ruling is counterproductive to achieving the goal.

    You’ll notice there are certain objectives we normally expect a supreme court justice to have foremost in mind whenever a law of questionable constitutionality comes before him and his colleagues that I’ve skipped right over as too ridiculous to contemplate in this case.

    It also would explain why Obama feels free to lie about the substance of the ruling going forward. I realize Roberts himself couldn’t contradict the president in a political campaign. Not personally. But if this ruling is a result of Roberts caving in to pressure, then we can’t really expect anyone to defend the court’s decision on any substantive basis.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  3. I didn’t follow the link above. The same story is up at The Volokh Conspiracy.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  4. Because he knows what a ridiculous result the dissent was aiming at, and probably has had enough.

    spointer (77ac66)

  5. Just looked at the above link. It’s based upon Crawford’s work, but it’s not exactly the same story. From the story quoted at Volokh:

    Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending (and avoid some publications altogether, such as The New York Times). They’ve explained that they don’t want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.

    But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public.

    …It was around this time that it also became clear to the conservative justices that Roberts was, as one put it, “wobbly,” the sources said.

    It is not known why Roberts changed his view on the mandate and decided to uphold the law. At least one conservative justice tried to get him to explain it, but was unsatisfied with the response, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.

    …Roberts then engaged in his own lobbying effort – trying to persuade at least Justice Kennedy to join his decision so the Court would appear more united in the case. There was a fair amount of give-and-take with Kennedy and other justices, the sources said. One justice, a source said, described it as “arm-twisting.”

    …But despite Roberts’ strong language on the Commerce Clause, the conservatives would have none of it, the two sources said, even though there was no significant difference in their reasoning on that issue.

    Indeed, since the four conservatives agreed the mandate went beyond the commerce power, the Court now has five Justices who would constrain what Congress can do going forward – imposing significant limits on federal power.

    …The fact that the joint dissent doesn’t mention Roberts’ majority was not a sign of sloppiness, the sources said, but instead was a signal the conservatives no longer wished to engage in debate with him.

    The language in the dissent was sweeping, arguing the Court was overreaching in the name of restraint and ignoring key structural protections in the Constitution. There are clear elements of Scalia – and then, there is Justice Kennedy.

    “The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our government is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty in peril,” the dissent said. “Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth; instead our judgment today has disregarded it.”

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  6. 4. Because he knows what a ridiculous result the dissent was aiming at, and probably has had enough.

    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 11:51 am

    Yeah, an intellecually honest result would seem ridiculous to an Obamabot.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  7. spointer belongs to that group of people who think that the idea that our Constitution actually has any meaning at all is “ridiculous”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  8. Did you see scalia’s behavior at the oral argument? You think it’s intellectually honest for the key proponent of textualism to invalidate acts of congress without even reading them?

    spointer (77ac66)

  9. spointer, since you think its intellectually honest to misrepresent Scalia’s statements and writings, why not?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. The fundamental problem with “reading the bill” is that it is incomprehensible. The authors of Obamacare used long segments of Hillarycare to draft it but avoided the principle error of Hillarycare. It was clear in its intentions. People could read that bill, less than 1400 pages, and understand it. They didn’t like it and that was fatal.

    This bill is designed to be implemented by administrative action by the same people who wrote it. They didn’t want us to understand it because that would ensure defeat. Nancy was right.

    Mike K (326cba)

  11. “The fundamental problem with “reading the bill” is that it is incomprehensible.”

    The only people who think that are people that think the bill has death panels.

    spointer (77ac66)

  12. Ahh, now I know exactly what portion of the oral arguments spointer is misrepresenting.

    Take all the rope you want, spointer.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  13. Note spointer is not citing a source.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  14. Right spointer. The bill doesn’t had a death panel. It has a Payment Advisory Commission. Same thing.

    foxbat (6ef50f)

  15. Did you see scalia’s behavior at the oral argument? You think it’s intellectually honest for the key proponent of textualism to invalidate acts of congress without even reading them?

    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 11:59 am

    When that Congress doesn’t care how intellectually dishonest it is (much like you) and passes a 2,700 page bill without reading it so, to paraphrase Pelosi, we can find out what’s in it, yeah, that’s exactly the intellectually honest position to take.

    Your position is that the SCOTUS should read a bill Congress couldn’t be bothered to read.

    Natch.

    But all this is besides the point. The rope is free, He said to the red wolf. Take all you want.

    Then pay for it.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  16. It sounds like Roberts was concerned about the legacy of the “Roberts Court.” How ironic that he sacrificed this decision to save his leadership.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  17. And Ezekiel Emmanuel’s quibbles with the hippocratic method, and the ‘Complete Lives’
    System and the testimony of Krugman and Singer
    to use too examples.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  18. DRJ, I think it’s more accurate to say he confused the reviews with his court’s legacy.

    Any performer will tell you that you can’t focus on your reviews. Those who do, don’t wind up with legacies worth remembering.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  19. No one read the bill. Still haven’t. There could be pages in there that outlaw abortion or give everyone a free puppy for all anyone knows.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  20. Earl Warren, Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, John Roberts….

    This is now the Roberts legacy. Just one more jurist who used the Consitution as his personal play toy.

    foxbat (6ef50f)

  21. DFTT. He want to derail the conversion to something other than “Why did Roberts change his vote?”

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  22. “The bill doesn’t had a death panel. It has a Payment Advisory Commission. Same thing.”

    This is what I mean when I say “teanut.”

    “Your position is that the SCOTUS should read a bill Congress couldn’t be bothered to read.”

    Yes I think judges should read laws that took years (or decades, if you count the pedigrees of the PPACA) of legislating to pass before striking them down. I think this is a rather restrained view of separation of powers, but then again, I’m not an eminent conservative jurist.

    spointer (77ac66)

  23. By the way, after this decision if anyone suggests that the Court is “one vote away” from overturning Roe Casey, they’re lying to you. No way Roberts is going to do that. Since Kennedy wrote Casey, he’s not a likely vote, so you have, maybe, Thomas, Scalia and Alito, and I’m not sure about any of them — it may now be too late.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  24. Now ya’ see, you’re just flat wrong when ya’ say, “I think.”

    You clearly don’t.

    ya’ ain’t even good at readin’ or ‘memberin.’

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  25. #24 was aimed at spointer, if that wasn’t clear from the context.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  26. After looking at this for a few days, I think I understand Robert’s change. It is clear that ALL the justices would accept that a tax-based healthcare system is constitutional. Even though the ACA did not actually call for such a tax, the mechanism could be viewed as one (as per Roberts’ opinion).

    After some reflection, Roberts probably just thought that the technicality wasn’t worth the trouble, and that he had other things that he’d rather stir up trouble over. Especially since he could simultaneously limit the Commerce Clause.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  27. BTW, in all fairness:

    The conservative argument was that this was about the vast expansion of the Commerce Clause and a defense of limited government in the face of an assertion of plenary power.

    The liberals claimed that the “mandate” argument was just window dressing, this was pure politics to overturn a hated reform and hit Obama where it hurt.

    We got the first and not the second, and we are upset. Does this prove the liberals’ argument right? If it were purely about the mandate and limiting federal power, didn’t we win?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  28. #27

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  29. #27 I don’t see any way that we won. The law was upheld. The court handed the liberals an argument and methodology that allows them to mandate any activity they want and a president to declare it constitutional. No, we did not win. We lost possibly the last major battle for our constitutional republic.

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  30. I don’t understand how Roberts’ dicta, which he labeled as his singular belief, somehow creates a precedent limiting the Commerce Clause. Only Thomas alluded to this via his brief concurrence.

    I absolutely love the political dynamic Roberts has forced and that he used the Left’s disingenuous approach to jurisprudence to get there. But, this is an abomination of a decision.

    Ed from SFV (68921e)

  31. This point was also made today on Fox News Sunday by Liz Marlantes (late of the Christian Science Monitor, soon to be seen at ABC-TV) in the panel discussion with Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, Shannon Breem (all of FoxNews) and Charles Lane (WaPo).

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  32. more….
    Charles Lane seems to think of this opinion as “battlefield preparation” by CJ Roberts for next season’s Voting Rights Act case and others where the scope of Federal powers will possibly face another “haircut”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  33. Comment by Ed from SFV — 7/1/2012 @ 1:26 pm

    Only if the leadership of the GOP is incapable of rising to the occasion – but they don’t call it The Stupid Party for nothing.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  34. heartbreaking

    MayBee (5e4ceb)

  35. ________________________________________

    The big question, still, is: why?

    There were some lower-court jurists in the federal judiciary and generally are of the right, or at least who were chosen by Republican presidents, who also sided with Obamacare. And, of course, Romney didn’t mind the government (at least at the state level) forcing an insurance mandate on citizens.

    I know you’ve said previously that you don’t mind the idea of same-sex marriage, and various other folks on the right (eg, Dick Cheney) apparently feel the same way.

    I don’t agree in the slightest with such sentiments, but they’re out there. And they’ve been steam rolling their way through the industrialized world, and parts of the Third World, with a strange variation of the same evident in the Middle East (eg, Hussein’s Iraq incorporated the word “Socialist” into its manifesto). The latter (ie, Western-hating Islamicists) is possibly destined to meet head-on in the future with a purer version of such leftism in the First World.

    Personally, I see this as an ongoing dumbing down of socio-political trends and standards in general, and it will be interesting if it results in even less respect for our institutions, particularly the IRS. After all, the head of that agency, Tim Geithner, is a known tax cheat, and so all of this ongoing bilge triggered by modern-day liberals has, in a way, come full circle.

    Mark (90205b)

  36. 26. ..Roberts probably just thought that the technicality wasn’t worth the trouble, and that he had other things that he’d rather stir up trouble over. Especially since he could simultaneously limit the Commerce Clause.

    Comment by Kevin M — 7/1/2012 @ 12:56 pm

    Except of course he didn’t limit the Commerce Clause. He could have limited the Commerce Clause, had he not folded and done the expedient thing. He had four justices who would have joined him in issuing a majority opinion of the court.

    But, if this report is accurate and it appears it is, the other four justices simply would not join him in his intellectually dishonest descent into, as the dissent put it “the forbidden forest of the sophists.”

    So, no, he didn’t accomplish anything except sell his integrity for absolutely nothing:

    But Hughes sacrificed fidelity to the Constitution’s original meaning in order to repel an attack on the court. Like Justice Roberts, Hughes blessed the modern welfare state’s expansive powers and unaccountable bureaucracies—the very foundations for ObamaCare.

    Hughes’s great constitutional mistake was made for nothing. While many historians and constitutional scholars have referred to his abrupt and unprincipled about-face as “the switch in time that saved nine,” the court-packing plan was wildly unpopular right from the start. It went nowhere in the heavily Democratic Congress. Moreover, further New Deal initiatives stalled in Congress after the congressional elections in 1938.

    Justice Roberts too may have sacrificed the Constitution’s last remaining limits on federal power for very little—a little peace and quiet from attacks during a presidential election year.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  37. But interesting.

    Soon after the case was heard, there were all kinds of stories about how the mandate was going down and the vote and leaked.

    And then, stories started to appear about how striking it down would undermine the legitimacy of the court.

    It’s as if there were sources in the court, telling the press what was happening, how to pressure Roberts, and when the pressure was working.

    MayBee (5e4ceb)

  38. “We lost possibly the last major battle for our constitutional republic.”

    Not at all. Congress can still take years to pass laws to solve economic problems. And it has the range necessary to address these problems in various ways. For example, instead of passing single payer, we can go for a health care system that instead has a mandate and private insurance companies — one that is more libertarian than pure government system. None of these things are problems for a constitutional republic.

    spointer (77ac66)

  39. Steve–

    There are 5 justices who said outright that the mandate failed the (new) limits on the Commerce and Necessary & Proper clauses. Some say this is dicta, but it is dicta only if the Court says it is, and they spent an awful lot of pages developing this.

    BTW, it is the liberals who want it to be dicta, but I for one would rather have such favoring my position than opposing it. Why help their case?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  40. @37, I would suggest that if there’s a source inside the SCOTUS we not look to the clerks or reporters to find it.

    They have futures to worry about. They have law licenses to keep, reputations for being able to keep a secret that will lead to 6 figure job offers and assured careers. And they don’t have lifetime appointments.

    I suspect the mole will not share Abe Foxman’s fate.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  41. Actually, I think that the ACA system is more bureaucratic and less “libertarian” (assuming that you can describe a choice of statist horrors that way) than single-payer in that single-payer has fewer government minders.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  42. If there’s a source inside the Court, it is likely a back-stabbed Justice.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  43. ACA, isn’t designed to succeed, like the vampire or the voordalak, (Russian versions) it destroys.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  44. Yes, we have five justices in two separate opinions, that did not join or concur in any part, that agreed this power grab exceeded Congress’ authority to regulate per the Commerce Clause.

    Can you point me to some majority opinion that a future court won’t be able to simply ignore if the question comes up again?

    I see an opportunity squandered, Kevin, nothing more. I don’t see myself as helping my case by not facing these facts.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  45. Abe Foxman

    I clearly meant Abe Fortas.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  46. liberals came up with such things as the Baldus study, to deny the legitimacy of the death penalty, similarly Den Beaux’s Seton Hall reports on Gitmo, have the same function,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  47. Steve–

    Lots of decisions that have multiple opinions still carry the weight of precedent. Here, everywhere Roberts agrees with the conservative’s opinion, it is 5-4 and will be treated as precedent, at least by those 5. Sure, the liberals will ignore it, but then they’ve also ignored Lopez and Morrison and everything else they don’t like.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  48. It was a 1-4-4 decision, with five members concurring that the Mandate exceeded Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause, and five members concurring that they could do what they wanted under their taxing power, with the Chief Justice joining both groups, but Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito posted a very large NO TRESPASSING sign on Capital Hill at the start of the “interstate” system.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  49. #38
    Essentially, there are no longer any limits on what Government can mandate. Since there is effectively no longer a system of checks and balances, our system of government is not long for this world. I only hope you live for a good long time to “enjoy” that which you seem so desperately to want.

    Personally, I think Costa Rica sounds nice, if they will still allow Americans to emigrate. Wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t. Look what a cock-up we have made of our own country.

    Jay H Curtis (804124)

  50. BTW, I am still not happy with the decision, but I am LOTS LESS UNHAPPY than I would have been had Ginsberg’s opinion carried the day.

    All I’m saying is that we, the Conservatives, said that Obamacare overreached several of Congress’s powers. We got most of the loaf, except we missed out on savaging the President’s agenda. The Dems say that was our main goal. While it would have been nice, it wasn’t the most important.

    I would be far more unhappy if the Court had agreed all this was in Congress’s power but struck the law down on some technicality.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  51. Jay,

    If Obama wins re-election I may join you, although I’d prefer something closer to home like the Texas or Alaska Free States.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  52. Essentially, there are no longer any limits on what Government can mandate.

    I agree, Jay. Essentially, whatever limits we may wish to believe Roberts separately and the four justices in their joint dissent placed upon the government, when Roberts joined the four liberal justices in the majority opinion that Congress can use the tax code to accomplish what it may not (or may, per Ginsberg et al) accomplish via regulation he gave away the farm.

    If Costa Rica isn’t an option Belize still remains.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  53. “Essentially, there are no longer any limits on what Government can mandate.”

    There are the ones we’ve always had — the political ones and the ones from the liberty protecting clauses of the constitution.

    spointer (77ac66)

  54. Comment by Steve57 — 7/1/2012 @ 2:07 pm

    Where they DO speak, read, and write English!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  55. Ahh, yes. The former British Honduras. The Brits still conduct exercises and training there.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  56. “Essentially, there are no longer any limits on what Government can mandate.”

    There are the ones we’ve always had — the political ones and the ones from the liberty protecting clauses of the constitution.

    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 2:08 pm”

    Completely false. The Constitution was not interpreted as allowing the scope of regulation we see in Obamacare for nearly a century and a half. Eight decades is not even a majority of the timespan of the Constitution, much less “always”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. Yes and we used to have slavery and segregation too. But what are you worried about being mandated that you think can’t be stopped by the political process or the liberty clauses?

    spointer (77ac66)

  58. spointer, so you go from “always” to “but, but, but slavery!”

    Clown show. That’s all we are getting from you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  59. No, that would Belize, I really wouldn’t recommend going there.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  60. True we didn’t have liberty protections before the 20th century.

    spointer (77ac66)

  61. cowardly hyper-entitled harvard trash is cowardly and hyper-entitled

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  62. I take it that you are not a Hahvaad man, Mr. Feets?

    elissa (e4b0df)

  63. And then, stories started to appear about how striking it down would undermine the legitimacy of the court.

    what’s super-fun about this whole dealiom, at least from a kicky game-theory perspective, is that at least one of the sources for these stories is itself government-subsidized – and by the exact same kind of federal “tax” money you’ll pay when you start paying your obamacare tax! I give you National Soros Radio from a week before the decision…

    The decision could also have a big impact on the court’s legacy. If it strikes down the mandate as exceeding Congress’ powers under the Constitution, this would be the first time since the New Deal that the court has invalidated a major piece of regulatory legislation.

    Already, the case has exposed a major shift in conservative legal thinking. For the last half-century, conservatives, and particularly congressional Republicans, have championed the idea of judicial restraint, arguing that the courts should usually defer to the elected branches. But now, conservatives are explicitly calling for judicial activism. Conservative columnist George Will, for example, wrote this week that “judicial deference to elected representatives can be dereliction of judicial duty.”

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  64. no elissa not a Harvard man my hobbies are include pining for lost freedom and making kitschy borderline-obscene papier mâché objet d’art from old copies of America’s whimsical constitution also I enjoy long walks on the non-smoking beach

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  65. oh. that should just be *dealio*

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  66. dealiom … dealio … what’s the difference?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  67. right you are Mr. SPQR.

    the long and short of it is that this Chief Justice John Roberts douchebag needs to resign before he can further undermine confidence in America’s fascist freedom-hating retirement home for homely Harvard trash

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  68. Don’t you just love the way the Left redefines everything to fit the narrative.
    When a decision from the New Deal, which abbrogated 150-years of settled law is overturned, that is decried as Judicial Activism, which is what they said about the New Deal SCOTUS when they caved to FDR.
    But it would be restraint, and respect for Stare Decisus to leave in place matters of settled, if not wrongfully decided law (like Wickard, and Slaughterhouse).

    You just got to love the Left:

    What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine!

    Orwell is so proud of them.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  69. It’s the Brezhnev or the Vader doctrine,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  70. “But what are you worried about being mandated that you think can’t be stopped by the political process or the liberty clauses?”

    I think I have an answer here. It seems possible that the Roberts opinion would hold unconstitutional right wing attempts to reform social security — it might be unconstitutional to change it from a tax to a mandating contributions to private accounts — to regulating the
    “inactivity” of people who don’t make retirement contributions.

    If only the right wing would quit trying to play gotcha with singular political achievements of Obama over a technicality, they might see the havoc nearly created here.

    spointer (77ac66)

  71. “Automatically enrolled” is not “mandatory.” It’s an opt-out.

    spointer (77ac66)

  72. Bush’s social security plan was an opt-out as well

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  73. you could stay in the bankrupt federal government social security plan if you really wanted to

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  74. Our “new” sophist is so cute.

    JD (ad6f40)

  75. 72. Obama pushes for mandatory retirement savings plans

    Comment by happyfeet — 7/1/2012 @ 3:34 pm

    “The most transparent administration in History!”

    How true. Just not the way they mean.

    This way, Obama and his fellow imps of Satan will know where the money is when they need to raid into those accounts and “redistribute” it to their cronies. Err, that’d be “make up for government budget shortfalls.”

    But don’t worry folks, you’ll get a nice, safe government IOU, just like in your social security lockbox.

    European nations begin seizing private pensions

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  76. In light of the news that Chief Justice Roberts changed his vote, it’s easy to imagine that President Obama’s April 2012 Rose Garden statement might have something to do with it:

    “I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress,” President Obama said at a White House event in the Rose Garden today.

    “I just remind conservative commentators that for years we have heard the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint. That an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example and I am pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step,” Obama said to the White House press.

    “As I said, we are confident this will be over — this will be upheld. I am confident this will be upheld because it should be upheld. And again, that is not just my opinion. That is the opinion of a whole lot of constitutional law professors and academics and judges and lawyers who have examined this law, even if they’re not particularly sympathetic to this piece of legislation or my presidency,” he said.

    It’s also easy to imagine someone inside the Court — perhaps someone close to the Obama Administration — suggesting what President Obama should say.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  77. But the comedy of calling something that had to be passed via reconciliation rules because the Democrats had lost their “strong majority” in the Senate …

    SPQR (26be8b)

  78. “It’s also easy to imagine someone inside the Court — perhaps someone close to the Obama Administration — suggesting what President Obama should say.”

    Why would this suggestion be necessary? What’s the paranoia behind this idea?

    spointer (77ac66)

  79. Well it’s a floorwax.dessert topping.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  80. I believe what DRJ is positing is that info concerning internal (supposedly private) supreme court conversations and negotiations may have been leaked to the white house to show where current vulnerabilities in the various justices lay. That info may have been crafted into the president’s rose garden rhetoric.

    elissa (e4b0df)

  81. Elissa – it is not asking in good faith.

    JD (318f81)

  82. I’m just not seeing why there’s paranoiac explanation for Obama calling it like it is.

    spointer (77ac66)

  83. Probably, what we do know is he gave the sword to Katherine Sebelius, why doesn’t really matter.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  84. Yes, happs and DRJ. Someone knew which way the wind needed to blow.

    I remember Kagan was chosen because Obama thought she would know how to talk to Kennedy. I’m guessing instead she figured out how to talk to Roberts. And who to talk to about Roberts.

    MayBee (5e4ceb)

  85. MayBee – it is still remarkable she did not recuse herself.

    JD (ad6f40)

  86. Presidents are not supposed to interject their “thinking” publicly in a presser during the period of closed Supreme Court negotiations. Before arguments start, maybe yes. After a ruling comes down the president often expresses pleasure or pain with the ruling. But while the case is being discussed within the court, and the majority and minority opinions are being formulated, it is highly unusual and wholly improper for the president to try to influence the ruling either publicly or privately. That’s exactly what he did in the rose garden and it is not being “paranoid” for people to mention it. Watchers can reasonably dispute whether the rose garden speech had anything to do with Roberts’ final position, but there can be no dispute that President Obama was trying (improperly) to send a message to the court.

    elissa (e4b0df)

  87. “Presidents are not supposed to interject their “thinking” publicly in a presser during the period of closed Supreme Court negotiations.”

    Since when? Are other people supposed to shut up too? Can other parties to the case give press conferences and talk?

    spointer (77ac66)

  88. As you darn well know we are not talking about “other parties” and “other people” spinny. We have been talking about the president of the united states and supreme court justices. Moving the goal line when you’re losing the game will not work here.

    elissa (e4b0df)

  89. True we didn’t have liberty protections before the 20th century.

    You have it backwards. “Liberty” died in the 20th Century. It was replaced by “security.”

    (And don’t bother me with slavery (it ended, abruptly, in 1865 with a war and 3 amendments). The problem of segregation was not the constitution’s, it was a Court than decided the Constitution didn’t mean what it said. Go back and read the 14th Amendment and tell me that segregation was allowed. Read, for example, John Marshall Harlan’s dissent to Plessy.)

    We are, btw, still ignoring the first half of the 14th Amendment. The ONLY person who still cares about it seems to be Clarence Thomas, who views it as a necessary defense of minorities. But your lot has killed that protection, replacing it with “trust us.”

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  90. 87- the conservative judges have set the dangerous precedent of not recusing themselves when the case clearly called for it…

    tye (ca7ef7)

  91. “We have been talking about the president of the united states and supreme court justices. Moving the goal line when you’re losing the game will not work here.”

    Goal line? You said the president has to shut up. Which is nonsense. And to show it, I’m asking whether you think the other parties to the litigation have to shut up too.

    “You have it backwards. “Liberty” died in the 20th Century. It was replaced by “security.” ”

    Yes and the GOP thought social security and medicare were unconstitutional too.

    spointer (77ac66)

  92. We have another Moronic Convergence approaching.

    JD (318f81)

  93. What clause of the Constitution will the Left use to justify the confiscation of private savings and retirement accounts ala Argentina’s Kirchner?
    Will it be because it will be “necessary and proper” for the maintanance of SoSec/Medicare?

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  94. “I am confident the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected congress,”

    Thirty more Congressfolks voted for Holder’s Contempt motion that voted for Obamacare. You would think he’d resign after that SUPER-strong majority blah blah blah

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  95. ‘crossing the streams’ JD.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  96. “pointer” & ‘ty(k)e” – is this a new-for-summer comedy show?

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  97. Fortunately, Liberty protections are still in-place, thanks to J Scalia, and Heller and McDonald.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  98. LBJ put Abe Fortas on the Court mainly to be his spy. Turned out poorly for Fortas.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  99. Umm, and the Democrats thought slavery and segregation were the best things since sliced bread, being big supporters of both (and the original sponsors of the KKK).

    Don’t throw rocks when you don’t have all the big ones.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  100. that last was to #93, and spoindexter.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  101. 95. What clause of the Constitution will the Left use to justify the confiscation of private savings and retirement accounts ala Argentina’s Kirchner?
    Will it be because it will be “necessary and proper” for the maintanance of SoSec/Medicare?

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 7/1/2012 @ 5:06 pm

    Dunno, AD. Which one did FDR use to confiscate Gold?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  102. C’mon Kevin, every good little Prog knows that the KKK was founded by the Koch Bros (you do know that there are 3 of them, don’t you?).

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  103. Steve57, I believe it was an EO!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  104. What clause of the Constitution will the Left use to justify the confiscation of private savings and retirement accounts ala Argentina’s Kirchner?
    Will it be because it will be “necessary and proper” for the maintanance of SoSec/Medicare?

    Won’t happen. They’ll take it to cover the public employee pensions first. Public employees don’t usually contribute to Social Security and Medicare.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  105. Besides, FDR didn’t confiscate the gold. He paid $20/oz for it. Never mind the gunpoint part.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  106. Then I believe turned around and sold it for something like $35/oz, correct Kevin?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  107. Well, when that day comes, I’ll just have to decide which Protection of Liberty device I’ll use.
    But, as Col. Cooper used to say (or should have):
    There are few suitable rifles with a caliber that doesn’t begin with a “3”, and damn few suitable pistols with a caliber that doesn’t begin with “4”!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  108. _____________________________________________

    it’s easy to imagine that President Obama’s April 2012 Rose Garden statement might have something to do with it:

    Apparently, it’s probably due more to a “progressive” justice from several decades ago.

    bostonherald.com:

    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. considers it an insult when he hears it said that he and the justices are playing politics. He has always insisted his sole duty was to decide the law, not to pick the political winners.

    Those who were surprised [with his decision] might have taken note of the man Roberts describes as one of his heroes — Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes, a progressive Republican who was chief justice in the 1930s when President Franklin Roosevelt and the court clashed over the New Deal.

    When the Supreme Court and the Roosevelt administration seemed headed for a constitutional showdown, Hughes persuaded one wavering justice to switch sides and vote to uphold a minimum-wage law and a collective bargaining measure. The “switch in time that saved the nine” defused FDR’s plan to load up the Supreme Court with additional justices appointed by him. The court-packing plan died in the Senate. The deft leadership by Hughes preserved the court as an independent institution.

    For his part, the chief justice said he was glad to leave Washington for a summer teaching trip to Malta. It’s “an impregnable island fortress,” he told a group of judges Friday, tongue in cheek. “It seemed like a good idea.”

    The other thing that irks me a lot about Obamacare is that those taxpayers who have been rather happily and comfortably enrolled in various health insurance plans for years — meaning a good percentage of the public — and who also sense that lacking such insurance in the future will never be a likely problem, won’t perceive all the new mandates and taxes of this Obama slop-fest as directly hitting them. So such people will be much easier to treat like suckers and patsies by various politicians — certainly those on the left — in the next few years.

    That’s why I’m not being too glib when I say that the Tim-Geitner approach to dealing with one’s tax forms, certainly as filled in and filed by younger people who prefer alternatives to health insurance, may become an increasingly tempting option.

    Mark (90205b)

  109. Anyway, as I was saying, Roberts changed his mind because he figured no matter what he did, “Obamacare” was dead meat anyway and he’d rather have his pounds of flesh and avoid all the bother.

    Ironically, it was just what the left was saying, a 5-4 decision, based on politics. Just not obvious politics.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  110. Besides, when they confiscate the cash out of the retirement funds they won’t even force you to liquidate at a discount. Those IOUs will be for the full value of the funds, friend!

    You can bank on it!

    Of course it’ll have to be a Greek bank as those IOUs will be denominated in the new Drachma.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  111. Steve,

    There were a number of SC cases over that, notably from gold mining companies, and the price was raised to $35 to make it seem fairer.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  112. 109. There are few suitable rifles with a caliber that doesn’t begin with a “3″, and damn few suitable pistols with a caliber that doesn’t begin with “4″!

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS! — 7/1/2012 @ 5:23 pm

    .416 Barret.

    Because you should have a suitable rifle that begins with “4” to go with your pistol.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  113. The Gold Reserve Act of 1934, changed the value of Gold from $20.67 to the troy ounce to $35 per troy once, and Nationalized all private (including those stocks held by the Federal Reserve) holdings of Gold.
    I would imagine that the authority is Art-I, Sec-8 (4) …
    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures…

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  114. BTW, is God punishing DC for this decision? As in “I can’t bear to look at you clowns right now, let’s turn out the lights.”

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  115. Comment by Steve57 — 7/1/2012 @ 5:28 pm

    Well, it is one fine piece of equipment, though a bit large, bulky, and heavy.

    But, you know us old timers, we do quite well co-existing with the old .44WCF – it’s a two-way friend.
    For more intense labors, I find either the ’06, or .308 is quite compatible with the .45acp.

    YMMV!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  116. BTW, a 4-page Jan Crawford story is out on the CBS site.

    Apparently, Roberts and the 4 conservative justices are at loggerheads. The reason the conservative dissent doesn’t discuss Robert’s opinion is that the didn’t deign to. They ignored it and him, they were so pissed off. Roberts apparently has a gulf between him and ALL the other justices.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  117. Ah, Comity.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  118. It’s definitely a 4-1-4 court now, isn’t it?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  119. Apparently, Roberts and the 4 conservative justices are at loggerheads. The reason the conservative dissent doesn’t discuss Robert’s opinion is that the didn’t deign to. They ignored it and him, they were so pissed off. Roberts apparently has a gulf between him and ALL the other justices.

    Naw. Couldn’t be. I’m sure it’s all part of the “long game” the gang over at The National Topsider kept trying to tell me Roberts was playing.

    Roberts is a master chess player who deployed solomonic wisdom to restore the Constitutional order and return the PPACA to the political sphere and make the Democrats OWN the tax hike.

    Err, penalty.

    Oh, whatever that thingy is they won’t own up to.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  120. Well, the Chief doesn’t have to worry about being invited for Bridge.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  121. Roberts apparently has a gulf between him and ALL the other justices.

    Anyway, Kevin, I guess the end of session BBQ and picnic is going to be kind of awkward.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  122. Two bridge games, as per AD, and an umpire.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  123. (Scalia was heard to say “Finesse!” over and over in a sarcastic voice every time a King was trapped)

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  124. BTW, the NY Times has rewarded Roberts in an editorial worthy of fisking:

    The Radical Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act was a deft turn by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who voted with the court’s four moderate liberals for the first time in a 5-to-4 ruling. Yet, while they upheld the law’s mandate for individuals to buy insurance under Congress’s taxing power, the chief justice joined the four other conservatives to reject that provision under the Constitution’s commerce clause.

    That rejection underscores the aggressiveness of the majority’s conservatism and marks a stunning departure from the long-established legal consensus that Congress has broad power to regulate the economy.

    The court’s conservatism calls to mind the defiance of the court in the 1930s when it regularly struck down New Deal statutes during the Great Depression. But there are important differences. The 1930s court saw itself as preserving established precedents and principles. The Roberts majority does not have that conservative role….

    It plods onwards from there.

    I particularly like the left-statist wing of the court described as “moderate liberals.” God help us if we got justices the Times REALLY liked.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  125. From Kevin M’s linked CBS 4-page article above, it’s interesting to note this on page 2 and see that the reputation of the court was likely of concern to Roberts.

    Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending (and avoid some publications altogether, such as The New York Times). They’ve explained that they don’t want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.

    But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public.

    There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court – and to Roberts’ reputation – if the Court were to strike down the mandate. Leading politicians, including the President himself, had expressed confidence the mandate would be upheld.

    Some even suggested that if Roberts struck down the mandate, it would prove he had been deceitful during his confirmation hearings, when he explained a philosophy of judicial restraint.

    This was apparently when he started to become a bit “wobbly” in his decision making.

    Dana (292dcf)

  126. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding the Affordable Care Act was a deft turn by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who voted with the court’s four moderate liberals for the first time in a 5-to-4 ruling.

    Kevin, there’s really nothing the Old Grey Moscow Streetwalker can’t do. AD dug up an posted this excerpt from a 2007 editorial on the Eric Holder – Contemptuous thread:

    “The House Judiciary Committee did its duty yesterday, voting to cite Harriet Miers, the former White House counsel, and Joshua Bolten, the White House chief of staff, for contempt. The Bush administration has been acting lawlessly in refusing to hand over information that Congress needs to carry out its responsibility to oversee the executive branch and investigate its actions when needed. If the White House continues its obstruction, Congress should use all of the contempt powers at its disposal.”–editorial, New York Times, July 26, 2007

    Who knew? Who knew the Constitution assigns the legislative branch the responsibility to oversee the executive branch?

    Priceless. I wrote for the school paper back when I was in junior college and I couldn’t have gotten that past the sports editor. But at the NYT that passes as part of “all the news that’s fit to print.”

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  127. I think Roberts just lost his nerve. He looked down the road to the Voting Rights Act case and others and said…I can’t be known as that wingnut chief justice.

    How else to explain the convoluted reasoning of his decision, which has shocked everyone and guaranteed a decade more of confusion and litigation over health care.

    Obama will not waste any time the next four months “taxing” anything that moves. It’s a sad day.

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  128. Kevin, most public employees pay into SS nowadays. I did when I worked for the state.

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  129. Patricia,

    I know some do, now. But I’m pretty sure it’s a state/local option. I’ve heard others say they still do not.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  130. I’m a state worker in Cali and I pay into SS, too. Local as in county or city, Kevin M?

    Dana (292dcf)

  131. Just how bad can this get for Roberts? The anger is increasing. People are particularly upset at the taxing roadmap Roberts created for welfare state expansion.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  132. …or union?

    Dana (292dcf)

  133. But that wasn’t really the point of my snark, quite.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  134. Where did sphincter/Sheldon/iamadimwit go?

    JD (318f81)

  135. I am increasingly convinced these people get assigned certain hours, identities, and blogs to troll JD.

    elissa (0f7006)

  136. Then how do we getmthe same ones over and over and over and over and over and over?

    JD (318f81)

  137. Maybe they love it here so much they come back on their own time.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  138. He probably had to go do his homework. Fractions can be difficult.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  139. All I know is that things would be a whole lot more pleasant around here if FDR had not installed Wi-Fi hotspots under all those New Deal bridges.

    elissa (0f7006)

  140. ___________________________________________

    Just how bad can this get for Roberts? The anger is increasing.

    But, at the same time, the pathetically evenly divided reaction out there among the public at large, per below, is why I’ve been musing to a greater degree that more and more people (certainly those who prefer using their personal income for health-related matters as they — and not the government — see fit) may have to go the route of the current Secretary of the Treasury, who also, therefore, is the current head of the IRS. Namely, to treat their tax return with the same casualness and apparent sleigh-of-hand that Tim Geithner did with his own IRS forms.

    If any of us have until now been rather bothered by — attitudinally, if not in actual practice — the idea of fudging — oh, hell, cheating — on our taxes, then we should start honing in on the concept of “If it’s good enough for Geithner, it’s good enough for me.”

    I recall several years ago a former neighbor of mine being kind of derisive towards the notion that it wasn’t a principled thing to play fast and loose with one’s documents to the IRS, and my being bothered by his reaction. I now find myself not feeling quite that same way any longer.

    washingtonexaminer.com: Gallup found that Americans are split down the middle — 46 percent to 46 percent — on the question of whether they agree or disagree with the Court. But when asked what should happen next, significant differences emerged. Sixty-five percent of Democrats said they want to see the law kept in place and the government’s role in health care expanded. But 85 percent of Republicans said they want to see Obamacare repealed either in whole or in part.

    Mark (90205b)

  141. But when asked what should happen next, significant differences emerged. Sixty-five percent of Democrats said they want to see the law kept in place and the government’s role in health care expanded. But 85 percent of Republicans said they want to see Obamacare repealed either in whole or in part

    And if we take over the Senate and expand control over the House, how much does anyone want to bet the McCain/Roberts wing of the GOP insists they please the Democrats?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  142. Scathing comment said in puzzled confusion as to which end is up:

    Who knew that the Roberts’ court was going to be like a TV game show, “Is that your final answer?”

    Feel free to strike that from the record if you think it is over the top. Considering the the consequences of one’s actions is a good thing, but as someone said above, one can overthink it, especially when the imagined consequences depend on other’s opinions.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  143. There’s a guy who worked at the World Bank with Geithner and did the exact same thing on his taxes (did not report income). In tax court he tried the “Geithner did it too!” defense. The IRS reamed him.

    What people don’t realize is that Geithner didn’t just fudge his taxes or make a dubious deduction, he did one of the few things that can land you in prison: he did not report income. And they gave him a pass so eager were they to get his expertise on righting the economy (which was “spend trillions you don’t have”).

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  144. “Alice in Wonderland” comedy-
    The local radio stations in Philly have ads from BlueCross/BlueShiled (I think that’s who is behind them) that says you can visit their web page and have the implications of the SCOTUS ruling on “health care reform” explained for you- as if this is a known and certain thing and they have the right answers.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  145. one can overthink it

    Roberts overthought it about as badly as Vizinni did.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  146. Which is funny because the other guy WAS “the Dread Pirate Roberts.”

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  147. he did not report income.
    Comment by Kevin M — 7/1/2012 @ 7:54 pm

    Maybe that’s how he plans to balance the federal budget and improve the economy, inject print some unreported income to add to the treasury.

    Trillion dollar deficit? We don’t have a trillion dollar deficit, look at that huge stack of neat clean new bills….

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  148. An odd thought. The Ginsberg opinion and the unsigned conservative opinion pretty much ignore the Chief Justice’s opinion. Could it be that the 4-4 opinions are a true statement of the conflict in the law, and the rationale behind Roberts’ opinion just dicta, even though it happens to decide the case? It is almost like neither side wants to give the CJ much credit here.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  149. Kevin, do you think CJRo’s opinion deserves any?

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  150. Like I said, there were worse ways to uphold the thing. What I mostly dislike is Roberts using this as a personal statement. “Look! I’m independent!” My response is “Look, I’m less free. Again.” But it could have been worse, he could have gone full Souter.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  151. Kevin, he still might.

    Here’s a blast from the past: July 20, 2005:

    SOUTER IN ROBERT’S CLOTHING

    So all we know about him for sure is that he can’t dance and he probably doesn’t know who Jay-Z is. Other than that, he is a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Big zippo. Nada. Oh, yeah … We also know he’s argued cases before the Supreme Court. Big deal; so has Larry Flynt’s attorney.

    But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  152. But it could have been worse…

    You could be right, we’ll see, but that’s hardly the glittering conservative silver lining Roberts’ apologists tried to convince all of us this ruling constitutes, is it.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  153. _______________________________________________

    In tax court he tried the “Geithner did it too!” defense. The IRS reamed him.

    Assuming I’m not too different from most people, I know that prior to the scandal back in the late 1990s of Bill Clinton and a White House office intern, I would have been far more bothered by the reality of such a scenario than I am today. So I’ve become dumbed down along with probably most of the rest of the populace.

    Similarly, I recall a movie from the early 1990s, “The American President,” that has a scene where the main female character says to the president that the American public would never accept it if he had a girlfriend. Over 15 years later, the idea of that assumption seems quaint and old-fashioned.

    Several years ago, a relative of mine went to a tax accountant referred to her by a good friend. That accountant was a stickler about following all the rules and regulations of the IRS. His recommendations would have cost her much more money than what she later found she’d be able to get with the work of another accountant, a woman who was far more pliable, if you will, about following tax code.

    I remember being uneasy about the discrepancy between the two accountants, not so much because it heightened the risk of an audit from the IRS, but mainly because of the greater ethics of one person clashing with the come-see-come-saw attitude of his counterpart.

    In 2012, I now admit that my sense of disquiet or guilt over aspects of the particular dishonesty illustrated by one of those two people has dropped way, way down.

    If the US is headed in the direction of becoming the world’s biggest Banana Republic — or sort of a cross between Greece, France, Argentina and Venezuela — then I have to say my own changing attitudes may be one sign of why that will occur. And certainly if Obama manages to officially remain in the White House after 2012, the motto of this era in American history should be: “Don’t cry for us, Argentina.”

    Mark (90205b)

  154. Again I applaud Roberts for deciding a case based on law and not on politics.

    tye (ca7ef7)

  155. Thanks, tye, for commenting on two of the foremost things you know nothing about. Not that I’m sure there aren’t others. Those just happen to be the ones you most frequently embarrass yourself discussing around here.

    But, on the bright side, if there was any doubt that Roberts ruling was a big, twisted pile of excrement I’d say that endorsement removes it.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  156. spointer spittled:
    we can go for a health care system that instead has a mandate and private insurance companies — one that is more libertarian than pure government system.
    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 1:41 pm

    — Anyone that uses the words “mandate” and “libertarian” in the same sentence must be referring to the “Win a man-date on the down low with President Obama” contest on his 2012 election website.

    I think I have an answer here. It seems possible that the Roberts opinion would hold unconstitutional right wing attempts to reform social security — it might be unconstitutional to change it from a tax to a mandating contributions to private accounts
    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 3:30 pm

    — I think you’re having a brain-fart here. Link(s) please to ANY “right wing” plan (from the 21st century) to reform Social Security that mandates “contributions to private accounts”. GO!

    “Automatically enrolled” is not “mandatory.” It’s an opt-out.
    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 3:35 pm

    — Your Libertarian bona fides are confirmed. Congratulations.

    I’m just not seeing why there’s paranoiac explanation for Obama calling it like it is.
    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 4:25 pm

    — If you think that Obama is “calling it like it is” then it’s time to check your back for pods.

    the conservative judges have set the dangerous precedent of not recusing themselves when the case clearly called for it…
    Comment by tye — 7/1/2012 @ 5:02 pm

    — Yet another ad hom. Boringly predictable.
    [Sorry, but sometimes it’s hard to know where one idiot ends and another begins. Call it sixty-nine degrees of separation.]

    Yes and the GOP thought social security and medicare were unconstitutional too.
    Comment by spointer — 7/1/2012 @ 5:03 pm

    — Nope. Just bad ideas poorly implemented and ineptly run. That’s all.

    Again I applaud Roberts for deciding a case based on law and not on politics.
    Comment by tye — 7/1/2012 @ 8:55 pm

    — Well, of course you do. Never mind that he decided it WRONG “based on law”. Ends justify means; just avert your eyes from the collateral damage, sweet thing.

    Icy (c18630)

  157. While there is some hope that the Court will come to its senses given some changes, as it did with McCain-Feingold, I’m reminded of the Psalm that goes “Put not your trust in princes.”

    The Republicans get one more try with Romney. If he gets elected and cannot get rid of this thing, I expect 2014 will be a very interesting year.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  158. Things I believe:

    1. Roberts is truly a brilliant man
    2. Roberts does believe in the reasoning and logic behind his decision, even if he had to talk himself into them
    3. Roberts is not interested in his legacy, but instead is concerned about the supreme court as an institution being seen by the people as illegitimate. The aftermath of the Citizens United decision must have spooked him.
    4. The Obama white house and the press worked him in an unseemly way. Obama and the press have no concern for their own institutions. They just want what they want.
    5. This is not the decision I wanted
    6.Obama care is an unworkable mishmash
    7. Things are going to be all right except
    8. Obama being reelected would be way worse than anything that can come from this decision.

    MayBee (5e4ceb)

  159. Trying to overcome an opponent’s dishonesty with your own slight of hand seems like an ill-devised proposition, destined for a Vizinni-like outcome as kevin referenced.

    So, Roberts thought he could redeem the court’s reputation by making a political decision that was supposed to be more honorable than his real decision that would have been called a political decision, even though it wouldn’t have been?

    For Roberts’ trouble he’s got everybody telling him he is wrong, including the Obama admin who is the big winner of his decision.

    I wish there was some way (other than a voice from heaven, which we have no control over), to say to Obama, “Look, you can call it a tax and keep it, or keep saying it’s not a tax and lose the decision.” I don’t imagine there is a way to challenge the ruling on the basis of the admin’s claims.

    My current understanding, FWIW, is that the 4-1-4 ruling really doesn’t have any precedent power in regards to the Commerce Clause, as their really wasn’t a 5 person opinion on it, but a 4 person opinion and a 1 person opinion that shared some aspects, but nothing “binding” (although it seems that nothing is “binding” if you can get away with it).

    Would a Republican Congress and President dare to pass a law mandating that everyone buys and eats 4 pounds of broccoli a year just to send a law to the SCOTUS that seems it would need to limit the fed govt? Maybe they would need to monitor the eating habits of the justices first, especially to make sure they pick a veggie that Roberts doesn’t like.

    So sad and frustrating, people thought that Bush had selected a solid justice.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  160. “Link(s) please to ANY “right wing” plan (from the 21st century) to reform Social Security that mandates “contributions to private accounts”. GO! ”

    Bush proposed private accounts. For one.

    spointer (77ac66)

  161. It sounds like Roberts succumbed to pressure from the left. If so, the answer isn’t more conservative justices; it’s more courageous justices. In today’s world, the most courageous conservatives are the ones who stay strong despite continous attacks. Next time, maybe conservative women and conservative minorities should go to the top of the list.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  162. Perhaps it’s a comprehension problem. Let’s try it again:
    Link(s) please to ANY “right wing” plan (from the 21st century) to reform Social Security that MANDATES “contributions to private accounts”. GO!

    Icy (c18630)

  163. The holding is binding on the lower courts, to the extent they can decipher it. The opinion is not self-executing. More or less specific orders are issued in the mandate, which bears the White House letterhead. The Supreme Court is not bound by its own precedents, it can change them anytime. 4-1-1 is still law on the lower courts — the discussion is meaningless, it is the holding that controls.

    nk (875f57)

  164. The Kennedy decision, on SB 1070, was marginally more coherent, but it suffered from the piece meal
    approach to it.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  165. You don’t remember the bush plan from his 2005 state of the union? You pay social security or you pay into private accounts. About as mandate as requiring you to pay for health insurance or taxing you.

    spointer (77ac66)

  166. Really, spointer? Really? Having health insurance relieves me from contributing to Medicare and Medicaid?

    nk (875f57)

  167. Know a lot of poor doctors? Poor health care administrators? It’a a racket, and this law just makes it easier to collect the vigorish.

    nk (875f57)

  168. More recently, Herman Cain during his joke of a campaign touted the Chilean model. That one also includes mandatory retirement contributions.

    “Really, spointer? Really? Having health insurance relieves me from contributing to Medicare and Medicaid?”

    No it relieves you from paying the PPACA penalty/tax.

    Just wait till a democrat proposes it. Then he’ll be worse than Hitler. Worked with health care mandates!

    spointer (77ac66)

  169. They are not confident the scam will continue;

    http://www.latimes.com/health/la-na-healthlaw-obstacles-20120701,0,6499632.story

    narciso (ee31f1)

  170. You don’t remember the bush plan from his 2005 state of the union?

    The Bush plan: “Up to four percent of taxable wages, up to a maximum of $1000, could be diverted from FICA and voluntarily placed by workers into private accounts for investment.”

    — Where is the mandate, spointer?

    Icy (6e2ac4)

  171. About as mandate as requiring you to pay for health insurance or taxing you.

    Not the same thing. You know it’s not the same thing, but you are trying to pass this off as similar.

    Health insurance isn’t an asset, it’s a service. It has no equity, no place on a balance sheet, and does not count toward your net worth. A retirement account, though, is an asset.

    If you don’t (or won’t) understand the difference between owning an asset and paying for a service, there is no point in talking to you.

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  172. The roots of the left’s triumph is their Borking of Bork.

    Any solid conservative we actually understand will trigger an enormous fight, so the GOP President tries to pick a conservative who can fly under the radar and satisfy the left’s definition of ‘unbiased’, which means upholding any liberal precedent, no matter how flagrantly unconstitutional.

    So we wind up with these people we’ve never heard of, and it’s always a huge gamble.

    Dustin (330eed)

  173. Its unbelieveable that clowns like spointer are back to flogging arguments that were debunked years ago.

    But mostly they demonstrate the most basic ignorance of the basic structure of our republic. Over and over.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  174. That’s not unique to Supreme Court nominees, Dustin.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  175. True, narciso. It is most painful with them, but pretty much the way of things.

    Their fierce moral urgency compared with decades of taking the short term easy path because there is a looming more important issue it leverages against has led to a Court that I think reaches absurd results.

    Dustin (330eed)

  176. The attack on the Chamber of Commerce, the suggestion that Thomas recuse himself, from the usual suspects was all part of this.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  177. “The Bush plan: “Up to four percent of taxable wages, up to a maximum of $1000, could be diverted from FICA and voluntarily placed by workers into private accounts for investment.””

    That’s the mandate. You pay the FICA tax or you pay into the retirement account.

    spointer (77ac66)

  178. The health care crisis could be easily solved if we just refused reimbursement for treatment, of any kind, whether privately paid or publicly paid, to STD sufferers or addicts, for any direct or indirect consequence to themselves of their bad habits. Play around, lose your life.

    nk (875f57)

  179. Wow. The LA Times article (which narciso linked above) about the implementation obstacles Obamatax faces on many fronts is surprisingly factual and even realistic coming from them.

    elissa (25876b)

  180. Gotta a point, there, spointer. The Shrub did not have whatever it takes to eliminate FICA altogether. But, then, he did not have much of anything. (He signed McCain-Feingold and let the Supreme Court sort it out.)

    Too many losers in the White House, these days.

    nk (875f57)

  181. That’s the mandate. You pay the FICA tax or you pay into the retirement account.

    Not quite a mandate. Since the FICA tax already existed, you had the option of lowering an existing tax by maintaining a separate asset.

    With ACA, you have the option of paying for a service or paying a tax that had never existed before.

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  182. This, in the link, was the main point of the exercise;

    http://minx.cc/?post=330646

    narciso (ee31f1)

  183. “Not quite a mandate. Since the FICA tax already existed, you had the option of lowering an existing tax by maintaining a separate asset.”

    That doens’t make much sense since taxes can go up or down on their own. But most certainly shouldn’t make a constitutional distinction if its from an already existing or a new tax.

    spointer (77ac66)

  184. Since the HMO bill and ERISA through EMTALA and Kennedy/Kassebaum, every ‘fix’ makes the problem worse.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  185. “The Bush plan: “Up to four percent of taxable wages, up to a maximum of $1000, could be diverted from FICA and voluntarily placed by workers into private accounts for investment.””

    Voluntarily

    Sheldon/spointer/ianadimwit is nothing if not tiresome.

    JD (ad6f40)

  186. Life simply is not as complicated as our government, law, Supreme Court has made it. (This decision over 190 pgs; U.S. v. Arizona over 125.) The purpose of the Constitution was to limit, tie down, the federal government, (establish a Rule of Law, that provided clarity and a large degree of certainty, to get justice; and provide representation – why the legislature, particularly the House [the supposed pulse, life blood of the country, was placed 1st and has a 2 yr term]).

    The federal government is anything/everything, but LIMITED (and this bastardized decision is the straw [no bales of hay] that broke the camel’s back, legs, heart, spleen, humps and bladder; but with the dastardly & despicable doctrine of absolute judicial immunity, we were long down that path, see Stump v. Sparkman, 435 US 349 (1978), In re Neagle, 135 US 1 (1890), Idaho [Boundry County – Ruby Ridge] v. Horiuchi, 253 F.3d 359 (9th Cir. 2001) and U.S. v. Edwin P. Wilson, 289 F.Supp.2d 801 (USDC-SD,TX, 2003)) and any thing but ACCOUNTABLE. So all this is just quibbling over the crumbs.

    This decision shows once again that the Rule of Law is trumped by politics (and maybe corruption). Clearly, the Obama/Dem claim that it was a PENALTY was a fraud, which Roberts then RATIFIED.

    Finally, we simply have no representation. When the House was capped at 435 reps in 1911, we were 125-million. We are now over 315-million. Since 1911 we have had ever diminishing representation (thus killing our true political pulse, life blood); further, we now have over twice as many federal judges as reps, the judiciary has clearly leapfrogged over the legislature (and similarly, the executive branch has exponentially expanded and also jumped over the legislature).

    It looks grim, as the premise of our Constitution, WE THE PEOPLE are no longer sovereign, and its purposes, limited government, Rule of Law and repesentation no longer exist.

    gzerman (a7474a)

  187. “Voluntarily”

    Under Romneycare, you can pay the tax, or you can voluntarily purchase insurance.

    spointer (77ac66)

  188. How many names do you plan on using?

    JD (ad6f40)

  189. That doens’t make much sense since taxes can go up or down on their own. But most certainly shouldn’t make a constitutional distinction if its from an already existing or a new tax.

    Actually, it does make a difference. You just refuse to see it that way, because it doesn’t fit into your narrative. Just as you refuse to distinguish between an asset and a service.

    Under Romneycare, you can pay the tax, or you can voluntarily purchase insurance.

    Romneycare is not a federal program. The several states have some powers that the federal government does not. Another red herring.

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  190. you can pay the tax, or you can voluntarily purchase insurance.

    It’s a tax? Obama promised it wasn’t a tax. Is Obama not as good as his word?

    Of course, if Obama is an honest man and Obamacare is not the largest tax increase in American history, then it’s unconstitutional. Didn’t Obama swear to uphold the constitution?

    Regardless, telling someone they have a choice between A and B when they want neither is not an honest choice.

    Dustin (330eed)

  191. Alternatively, saying people must pick A or be penalized is not really a choice either.

    Dustin (330eed)

  192. Chuck – this troll posted links to pictures of Patterico’s house. His mendacity is legend. Save your breath.

    JD (ad6f40)

  193. ==Finally, we simply have no representation……
    It looks grim, as the premise of our Constitution, WE THE PEOPLE are no longer sovereign, and its purposes, limited government, Rule of Law and repesentation no longer exist.==

    So, you’re giving up then? Have you decided which country are you relocating to?

    Or, like some of us do you think the patient (USA) is still worth fighting to save?

    elissa (25876b)

  194. #

    “The Bush plan: “Up to four percent of taxable wages, up to a maximum of $1000, could be diverted from FICA and voluntarily placed by workers into private accounts for investment.””

    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 7:27 am

    That’s the mandate. You pay the FICA tax or you pay into the retirement account.

    Which is perfectly legal, according to Chief Justice Roberts, and the only problems Scalia had with the mandate (that he acknowledged) were:

    1) While Congress might have enacted a law that worked according to the principles Roberts outlined Congress in fact had not. And while there was some obligation or ability to interpret a law so as to save it, to say the penalty was a tax was going a bridge too far (my words)

    And furthermore, to avoid the Anti-Injunction act, that is, uphold the penalty now, instead of leaving the question of whether or not the tax penalty was a constitutional tax for a later lawsuit that could only be filed after the tax penalty had been paid – to reach that question, Roberts had also said that for purposes of statutory construction, the penalty was not a tax, using the very same words in the bill that he used to classify it, for purposes of constitutional interpretation, as a tax that stood on its own!

    And that that was carrying verbal wizardry too far deep into the forbidden land of the sophists.

    2) It was far from established that the tax that was labeled a penalty was (or would be) a constitutional tax, because the meaning of the Direct Tax Clause in the constitution was famously unclear, and there had hardly been any argument about it from the government – no mention at all in their opening brief, and just 21 lines in the reply brief and 50 words in oral argument, in other words, just lick-and-a-promise fly by night briefings, and a case of first impression like this deserved more thoughtful consideration from the Court.

    What I don’t understand is if there was some hidden (not mentioned in the opinions) reason Roberts did not classify the penalty as an income tax, but instead called it a tax on NOT having health insurance.

    If he couldn’t classify it as an income tax, he should have just ruled it to be unconstitutional tax.

    And it could be that that, actually, was his original intention. But I’d like to know the reasoning.

    The dissenting opinion also has a lot on severability – I think Scalia would have thrown out the entire law if the only thing they had found unconstitutional was the Medicaid expansion, but Breyer and Kagan (and Roberts) weren’t going along with that. Breyer and Kagan had signed on to Ginsberg’s opinion, which allowed the mandate under the Commerce clause, and did not depend upon the penalty being a tax, but they had voided the same thing Roberts did.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  195. I have a question. Could a President Romney demote Roberts and elevate another justice like Scalia or Thomas to Chief Justice?

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  196. The decision was actually 4-1-2-2.

    Four (Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Kennedy) to void both the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion, and then throw out the entire rest of the bill, even quite separate provisions, on the grounds that either they undermined the key provision of the bill, or they never would have passed into law without the key provision of the bill. Thomas felt impelled to note again, for the record, his opposition to Commerce clause precedents.

    One (Chief Justice Roberts) to uphold the individual mandate as a factor that determined whether or not you paid a tax, but to void the Medicaid expansion as coercive, and remedy that by making it a voluntary program

    Two (Breyer and Kagan) to uphold the individual mandate under the Commerce clause, but to void the Medicaid expansion as coercive, and remedy that by making it a voluntary program.

    Two (Ginsberg and Sotomayor) to uphold the entire law as constitutional, both the mandate and the Medicaid expansion.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  197. “It’s a tax? Obama promised it wasn’t a tax. Is Obama not as good as his word?”

    You cut out the part where I said Romneycare and then ask about Obama? tsk tsk tsk.

    “Obamacare is not the largest tax increase in American history, then it’s unconstitutional. ”

    How much revenue do you expect the mandate to raise?

    “Alternatively, saying people must pick A or be penalized is not really a choice either.”

    This is how I get off calling the Bush/Cain model for social security privatization a “mandate.”

    spointer (77ac66)

  198. You cut out the part where I said Romneycare and then ask about Obama? tsk tsk tsk.

    No. You’re just dishonestly changing the subject.

    I asked if Obama was honest about saying Obamacare was not a tax. You say it’s a tax and Obama is lying.

    How much revenue do you expect the mandate to raise?

    Right. Democrats spend more than they tax. This doesn’t mean taxes aren’t high. Obamacare is both the largest tax increase in history AND will increase the deficit because of the spending it requires.

    If the government forces people to spend $16k per household on a government program that loses money, that is a hell of a bad fiscal policy.

    And it’s also a huge loser for employers, which is why Obama will not be reelected. This is the reason the economy didn’t recover.

    Dustin (330eed)

  199. And for the record, I have never attempted to carry water for Romneycare. It’s not a US Constitutional issue, obviously, but it’s a bad policy.

    Dustin (330eed)

  200. Democrats can change the subject by simply not mentioning this in newspapers and TV, but in a real discussion, how do they avoid this problem?

    Either Obamacare is a tax, and Obama a liar, or Obamacare is unconstitutional. Obama’s even sworn to uphold the Constitution, so if he contends it’s not a tax, he is saying the President shouldn’t enforce it, a la Obama’s behavior on immigration law.

    The best thing for him would be to peel the bandaid off quickly and justify the massive tax hike as best as he can, but because Obamacare increases the price of healthcare and insurance, I don’t actually think there’s a justification other than paving the way to single payer via misery.

    Dustin (330eed)

  201. ______________________________________________

    That’s the mandate. You pay the FICA tax or you pay into the retirement account.

    Or you do what the current head of the IRS did before being selected by Obama to his administration. You simply ignore such requirements or edicts on your tax forms.

    Better yet, if sanity prevails in the upcoming months, the mandate will be either deleted in its entirety or the penalty for not conforming to it will be dropped to zero.

    I guess there’s the option of Americans declaring they’re in this country illegally, which then will trigger the heartstrings of people like Barry Soetero and his ilk, who’ll then look the other way when the system is glommed onto, if not outright scammed.

    Mark (90205b)

  202. spointer is still demonstrating his utter ignorance of how our republic is structured.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  203. SPQR–IOW

    Never trust content from spointer.

    elissa (25876b)

  204. “Either Obamacare is a tax, and Obama a liar, or Obamacare is unconstitutional”

    The problem is this is a dichotomy only because of the Roberts opinion. There’s no reason why our political debate needs to be confined to the contortions that Justice Roberts felt he needed to make given the opposition of the teanut wing of the court to the court taking a sensible approach.

    “Better yet, if sanity prevails in the upcoming months, the mandate will be either deleted in its entirety or the penalty for not conforming to it will be dropped to zero.”

    “Sanity” is not how I would describe the resulting free-rider problem.

    spointer (77ac66)

  205. “Either Obamacare is a tax, and Obama a liar, or Obamacare is unconstitutional”

    Nah. All three are possible, and true. It is a tax, 0 lies, and the still-unread bill is unconstitutional.

    A proper verdict would have been 9-0 to overturn not because of its contents but because it had not been read.

    htom (412a17)

  206. “teanut” – another attempt to ridicule people who hold the outrageous belief that government ought to spend within its means and not dole out public moneys to corrupt cronies.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  207. ““Sanity” is not how I would describe the resulting free-rider problem.”

    spointer – Not everybody electing not to purchasing insurance is a “free rider” nimrod. That is pure deceptive administration spin. There are those who have the ability and willingness to pay their own way, which is not in any way, shape or form, free riding.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  208. Nah. All three are possible, and true. It is a tax, 0 lies, and the still-unread bill is unconstitutional.

    I stand corrected!

    Dustin (330eed)

  209. spointer = yet another unthinking regurgitard.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  210. A better name for spointer would be sphincter.

    peedoffamerican (606d27)

  211. _______________________________________________

    “teanut” – another attempt to ridicule people

    I guess a version of that is “libtard,” which seems to apply perfectly to all those who don’t mind mandates when it comes to taxes, but balk at even a tiny restriction on, say, those seeking an abortion (“How dare you even require that patients, before they make their choice, view a film on the human fetus!!”).

    Or forcing people to pay money to the big ol’ insurance industry, which liberals also like to cast as the heavy in the debate on healthcare. But then those on the left will yell, “we therefore need single-payer and for everything to be managed by the government!” But they’ll turn around and behave like the classic “limousine liberal” when it comes to the preferences and choices they make for their own healthcare, possibly including a strategy similar to that of Timothy Geithner. Or treating government edicts from the IRS the same way that many people treat speed limits on the freeway.

    Mark (90205b)

  212. “Not everybody electing not to purchasing insurance is a “free rider” nimrod.”

    It doesn’t have to be everybody in order for there to be a free-rider problem. It’s quite rational to not purchase insurance until you need it, though I don’t doubt that there are irrational people out there.

    “There are those who have the ability and willingness to pay their own way, which is not in any way, shape or form, free riding.”

    Didn’t one of the PPACA plaintiffs describe themselves like this, only to later find themselves needing insurance? Bitter taste of irony.

    ““teanut” – another attempt to ridicule people”

    It got real: right wing feelings got hurt.

    spointer (77ac66)

  213. Actually, Obamacare creates freeriders, the older people whose healthcare insurance costs are subsidized by forcing younger people to buy healthcare insurance at a price greater than their actual costs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  214. spointer, my feelings are not “hurt” by the namecalling of people without rational argument like yourself. Namecalling aimed at people with greater character than yourself. Nor by people who engage in “arguments” that consist of intentionally ignoring the structure of our republic.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  215. The problem is this is a dichotomy only because of the Roberts opinion. There’s no reason why our political debate needs to be confined to the contortions that Justice Roberts felt he needed to make given the opposition of the teanut wing of the court to the court taking a sensible approach.

    spointer, the above shows you are insane. The only sensible approach was taken by the dissent. The only reason the ObamaTaxaFinaIRSfullEmploymentPalooza act stands is because Roberts united the warring clans of those who believe the Constitution is a dead letter with those who’d say anything to avoid having the combined editorial boards of the WaPo/NYT be mean to him.

    The following shows beyond a shadow of a doubt you are dishonest.

    “Sanity” is not how I would describe the resulting free-rider problem.

    The free-rider problem existed long before the ObamaTaxaFinaIRSfullEmploymentPalooza act ever was dreamt up. In fact, the ObamaTaxaFinaIRSfullEmploymentPalooza act is the liberal attempt to deal with the free-rider problem they created.

    Deliberately.

    By mandating cost-shifting in the health care market place. And now that they’ve run out of people who will voluntarily allow the government to shift the cost of paying for others by buying inflated insurance policies designed to do exactly that the government has to now coerce people who up until now refused to be used in tha manner into the payment collective (I’ve linked to articles in the past showing that insured patients pay expensive monthly premiums for services and still wind up paying more out of pocket than cash customers who get discounts, but won’t because what’s the point of evidence here).

    Who does the government call “free-riders?” Not the people the government has mandated hospitals treat for free. They call such people “the democratic base.”

    No, it’s the people who haven’t allowed the government to fleece them like sheep.

    “free-rider” is a verbal trojan horse. Nothing more. Anyone who uses it to advance this policy self-identifies as a liar. Just like Obama’s mouthpiece insisted that where ever the word “penalty” appeared on the written page it actually said tax, Obama’s apologists and facilitators insist that where ever the words “shared responsibility payment” appears on the written page it actually says what it does not; “individual responsibility payment.”

    If people aren’t going to be suckers and buy the insurance policies that pay for the cost shifting, then they have to be PENALIZED for not SHARING the RESPONSIBILITY of subsidizing the cost of treating the free-rider class that Congress created decades ago.

    As an aside, I won’t confuse the issue by commenting that the layers of Roberts gullibility are many. So I won’t start peeling the onion that is his sucker-hood and say what a farce this is that he refuses to admit that just because this penalty isn’t so onerous now he can claim it was implemented as a tax. Suffice to say, this “shared responsibility payment” was designed with the same purpose in mind as drug dealers have when giving away free samples. What Congress and drug dealers sell gets really expensive after you’re hooked.

    So getting back to your first lie, spointer, yes, our political discourse has to be confined to the fact that this entire mess was sold with lies, and being defended with lies.

    The ObamaTaxaFinaIRSfullEmploymentPalooza act would not have passed Congress without those lies, it would not have been declared Constitutional without those lies, and it can’t be defended in public without even more lies.

    Like the ones you’re peddling. Not that I expect you (or the other trolls) to ever acknowledge them. You’ve been hammered before on your various and pathetic false equivalences and deliberate obfuscations, like pretending an asset and a service are the same thing. You have to continue, just like Obama has to continue, lying to the American people.

    Or else the whole house of cards collapses.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  216. Financial writers as diverse as Dave Ramsey, Jane Bryant Quinn, Terry Savage and Suze Orman have repeatedly cautioned that there is a dearth of practical financial knowledge within the American public. This has been powerfully demonstrated by such things as the bad decisions related to credit card debt, wing-and-a-prayer zero% down mortgages, crazy HELOCs, and unrealistic student loan debt. Additionally, the debate over “health care” has certainly shown how many people have no clue about the types of insurance, or even how insurance works. You just have to shake your head, sometimes.

    elissa (25876b)

  217. The real comedy of the offensive tripe that comes from spointer’s troll mouth is that Obamacare is already a failure. Its not covering those who it was supposed to bring coverage to, its not reducing costs – to the contrary its driving them up, and its headed toward becoming a large part of a complete budgetary collapse of the Federal government.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  218. “Actually, Obamacare creates freeriders, the older people whose healthcare insurance costs are subsidized by forcing younger people to buy healthcare insurance at a price greater than their actual costs.”

    Young people who in turn will one day be old, and won’t get to free-ride by waiting to only buy insurance then.

    But I’m not sure you understand what is meant by a free-rider problem.

    spointer (77ac66)

  219. In reply to #196, elissa, replying to #189 stating the situation is grim. You wrote in part:

    … So, you’re giving up then? Have you decided which country are you relocating to? [P] Or, like some of us do you think the patient (USA) is still worth fighting to save?

    I said it was grim. I did not say I was giving up. Love the country, can’t stand the government. But because of the government, the country is leaving me.

    So who is us? And other than thinking the USA is still worth fighting to save, what in fact are you doing (fighting) to save America?

    Did you disagree with any of the statements (reality) that I wrote? Did you, or have you read any of the cases I cited?

    Here’ a primer re Stump, Horiuchi and Wilson.

    The book “THE SUPREME COURT: From Taft to Warren” by Alpheus Thomas Mason (1958) Louisiana State University Press is a very frank book that does a good job of debunking the myth that the judiciary is “apolitical” and exposing how political the high Court and its justices have been in some cases. The Forward of the book starts:

    “With disarming candor Justice John Marshal Harlan (grandfather of the present Justice Harlan) told a class of law students: ‘I want to say to you young gentlemen that if we don’t like an act of Congress, we don’t have much trouble to find grounds for declaring it unconstitutional.’” (bold added.)

    Further, in a feat of startling irony, Professor Mason later in the Foreword wrote:

    “… No good purpose can be served by trying to perpetuate the fiction that judges operate in a nonpolitical vacuum, above any personal considerations, and beyond political influences. [P] Why should the Court be shrouded in mystery and enjoy, in addition to relief from the exacting demands of the electoral process, relative immunity from the searching scrutiny to which President and Congress are exposed?” (bold added.)

    Unfortunately, a different type immunity; and not the immunity from suit by citizen litigants wronged by judges, that Bradley and progeny summarily defeat. But Professor Mason is correct that the false claims of “independence” and “nonpolitical” by the judiciary have perpetrated and perpetuated the myth, and kept the Courts unexposed – “immune” – from clearly needed scrutiny, and therefore also clearly needed accountability.

    As Thomas Jefferson stated: “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” Again, the ObamaCare decision is over 190 pgs, and U.S. v. Arizona is over 125 pgs.

    To be cont’d re Stump, Horiuchi and Wilson.

    gzerman (d3720e)

  220. spointer, again, it is you who do not understand freeriders. But Obamacare is worse than merely a freerider, transfering wealth from the young to the old is worse than mere free riding, given that the older population is wealthier than the young.

    But Democrats think that “Yah! Its my turn to be given free shit!” is “equality”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  221. That’s the mandate. You pay the FICA tax or you pay into the retirement account.
    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 7:27 am

    — The keyword being “or”. That’s NOT a mandate; it’s an option.

    Under Romneycare, you can pay the tax, or you can voluntarily purchase insurance.
    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 8:18 am

    — Uh, did anyone ASK you to move the goal posts?

    Dustin:“Alternatively, saying people must pick A or be penalized is not really a choice either.”
    This is how I get off calling the Bush/Cain model for social security privatization a “mandate.”
    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 8:42 am

    — Yeah, well, color us unshocked that you “get off” on lying. Under “the Bush/Cain model” NO ONE would be ‘penalized’ for not choosing the private investment option.

    The problem is this is a dichotomy only because of the Roberts opinion. There’s no reason why our political debate needs to be confined to the contortions that Justice Roberts felt he needed to make given the opposition of the teanut wing of the court to the court taking a sensible approach.
    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 9:21 am

    — I think what he means here is that Obama didn’t lie about it being a tax; CJ Roberts lied, but he did it in pursuit of a good cause, so that makes it all right. IOW, spointer is accusing Roberts of being a typical liberal.

    Icy (6e2ac4)

  222. #222 cont’d – re Stump, Horiuchi, Wilson.

    Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349 (1978). There, Judge Harold Stump was sued by Linda Kay (Spitler) Sparkman, because as a fifteen-year-old without her knowledge or consent she was sterilized, after Judge Stump granted a “PETITION TO HAVE TUBAL LIGATION PERFORMED ON MINOR AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT” brought by the mother-Ora Spitler McFarlin’s attorney and signed an order for the sterilization. The “petition” claimed she Linda was “somewhat retarded.” Linda Spitler never appeared in court, never had counsel, never had a chance to appeal, and never even knew what happened – as she was falsely told she was going to the hospital – to have her appendix removed.
    Justice Byron White (joined by Chief Justice Burger & Justices Blackmun, Renquist and Stevens) wrote Stump v. Sparkman, which reversed the appellate court’s denial, and upheld the federal trial court’s grant of absolute judicial immunity for Judge Stump. Justice White’s decision is absent of any Constitutional authority for the immunity.
    How can one have respect for any “judge” who could support and write such an obscene decision, upholding such perverse imperial judicial power, while sanctioning the desecration of the fundamental Constitutional rights of citizens? These judges did not protect the Constitution – they trashed it.These judges did not protect Linda (Spitler) Sparkman’s rights – they trashed them. This is the dark legacy of Bradley v. Fisher.
    To their credit, Justice Stewart (joined by Justices Marshall and Powell) dissented. At p.365 Justice Stewart wrote:
    “… and I think that what Judge Stump did on July 9, 1971, was beyond the pale of anything that could sensibly be called a judicial act.” [continued at 369:] “The petitioners’ brief speaks of ‘an aura of deism which surrounds the bench …’ Though the rhetoric may be overblown, I do not quarrel with it. But if aura there be, it is hardly protected by exonerating from liability such lawless conduct as took place here. And if intimidation would serve to deter its recurrence, that would surely be in the public interest. (ftnt.9 omitted.)”
    Aura of deism? Such lawless conduct?
    The underlying appellate decision Sparkman v. McFarlin, 552 F.2d 172 (7th Cir. 1977), a 3/0 opinion by Judges Swygert (joined by Judges Wood and East), held Judge Stump did not have immunity and did not have jurisdiction to sterilize young Linda Spitler. At p.174 Judge Swygert wrote:
    “…Although this grant of judicial power is broad, we cannot accept the assertion that it cloaks an Indiana Circuit Court judge with blanket immunity. He may not arbitrarily order or approve anything presented to him in the form of an affidavit or petition.”
    At p.176 Judge Swygert held that to order sterilization under the circumstances here:
    “…we would be sanctioning tyranny from the bench. There are actions of purported judicial character that a judge, even when exercising general jurisdiction, is not empowered to take.(ftnt, 7 – omitted). … [P] Finally, the petition and order were never filed in court. This kind of purported justice does not fall within the categories of cases at law or in equity.”
    Never filed in Court? We would be sanctioning tyranny from the bench? Tyranny – that is exactly what the Supreme Court justices committed in Stump v. Sparkman when they reversed Judges Swygert, Wood and East, giving immunity to Judge Stump.
    The total federal judge vote on the case was 6/6 – so judicial immunity is/was not so ABSOLUTE.

    To understand partly how we got here, see Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927), which states in part: “Carrie Buck is a feeble minded white woman who was committed to the State Colony above mentioned in due form. She is the daughter of a feeble minded mother in the same institution, and the mother of an illegitimate feeble minded child.” In affirming the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck, Justice Holmes concluded: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” (at 207.)

    to be cont’d re Horiuchi, Wilson.

    gzerman (c3f8a8)

  223. ==Did you disagree with any of the statements (reality) that I wrote? Did you, or have you read any of the cases I cited?==

    gzerman–Knowing what led us to this place is important. But stewing in juice, complaining, pining, wallowing, whining, feeling sorry for ourselves, and re-fighting old lost battles gets us absolutely nowhere. That was the only point I was trying to make earlier. Sorry if I was not clear enough.

    elissa (25876b)

  224. 162. …So, Roberts thought he could redeem the court’s reputation by making a political decision that was supposed to be more honorable than his real decision that would have been called a political decision, even though it wouldn’t have been?

    For Roberts’ trouble he’s got everybody telling him he is wrong, including the Obama admin who is the big winner of his decision.

    …My current understanding, FWIW, is that the 4-1-4 ruling really doesn’t have any precedent power in regards to the Commerce Clause, as their really wasn’t a 5 person opinion on it, but a 4 person opinion and a 1 person opinion that shared some aspects, but nothing “binding” (although it seems that nothing is “binding” if you can get away with it).

    …So sad and frustrating, people thought that Bush had selected a solid justice.

    Comment by MD in Philly — 7/2/2012 @ 5:22 am

    MD, I suggest that from here on out, any discussions of “denial with a conscious component” we may have belong on this thread instead of the one about Sandusky. I think that accurately describes the mental state of those who are scouring Roberts’ surrender proclamation looking for some hidden victory.

    As well as that of Roberts himself if he can convince himself that he cooked up some sort of grand compromise that enhanced either his own or his court’s reputation for anything except perhaps “malleable.”

    As to your last point, not everyone thought Bush had selected a solid justice. I realize Ann Coulter is controversial, but I believe being controversial goes to the heart of the matter here (Roberts will avoid it at all cost) which makes her a subject matter expert.

    SOUTER IN ROBERTS’ CLOTHING

    July 20, 2005

    But unfortunately, other than that that, we don’t know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever.

    Since the announcement, court-watchers have been like the old Kremlinologists from Soviet days looking for clues as to what kind of justice Roberts will be.

    It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:

    “In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as Deputy Solicitor General for a portion of the 1992-’93 term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States.”

    This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.’s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying: “Hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job.”

    …From the theater of the absurd category, the Republican National Committee’s “talking points” on Roberts provide this little tidbit:

    “In the 1995 case of Barry v. Little, Judge Roberts argued � free of charge � before the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of a class of the neediest welfare recipients, challenging a termination of benefits under the District’s Public Assistance Act of 1982.”

    I’m glad to hear the man has a steady work record, but how did this make it to the top of his resume?

    Bill Clinton goes around bragging that he passed welfare reform, which was, admittedly, the one public policy success of his entire administration (passed by the Republican Congress). But now apparently Republicans want to pretend we’re the party of welfare queens! Soon the RNC will be boasting that Republicans want to raise your taxes and surrender in the war on terrorism, too.

    Finally, let’s ponder the fact that Roberts has gone through 50 years on this planet without ever saying anything controversial. That’s just unnatural.

    He had a work record that suggested conservatism, but on the other hand he was also a cipher with some decidedly troubling tendencies. (Perhaps he really sees a kindred spirit in Obama in those latter characteristics?)

    164. …the answer isn’t more conservative justices; it’s more courageous justices. In today’s world, the most courageous conservatives are the ones who stay strong despite continous attacks. Next time, maybe conservative women and conservative minorities should go to the top of the list.

    Comment by DRJ — 7/2/2012 @ 6:44 am

    Or at least a judge who wasn’t simply assumed to be a conservative despite his silence but based solely on who he worked for.

    A judge who has publicly taken a controversial conservative stand, defended it, and is willing to defend it during confirmation hearings.

    But I agree in the future we need justices who’ve demonstrated the courage of their convictions. With Roberts no one could prove he had either. And now we know.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  225. Young people who in turn will one day be old, and won’t get to free-ride by waiting to only buy insurance then.

    But I’m not sure you understand what is meant by a free-rider problem.

    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 10:31 am

    You clearly don’t understand it. Which is beside the point. It isn’t the hallmark of an honest man to suggest a ponzi scheme as a solution to a problem.

    Although I have to admit there’s a certain symmetry to suggesting a ponzi scheme as the solution to the problems the cost-shifting scheme Congress imposed upon us has created.

    Wealth redistribution by any other name would still stink as much.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  226. _______________________________________________

    I read the following and have to snicker, because Greece for quite awhile has been ideologically not too different from blue-state America, or urban America (eg, DC, Chicago, Detroit), or Obama’s America. And with policies like Obamacare doing just the opposite of what’s recommended below, on top of the US being more similar to Greece than ever before because it “spends more than it takes in,” the corrupting nature of leftism probably won’t result in a happy ending.

    moneylife.in, July 2012:

    [T]ax evasion is rampant in Greece. The Greek government’s tax revenue is about 52 billion euros a year. It is estimated that they lose up to 45 billion euros a year due to tax evasion.

    Greece definitely collects less than the other members of the Eurozone. The average tax revenue for Eurozone members is about 40% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Greece collects only 33.2%. But it is just below the Czech Republic at 33.8% and Poland at 34.8% and well ahead of Switzerland at 29.4%. None of those countries seem to have a financial crisis. The reason Greece has troubles is that it spends more than it takes in. The gap is 13%. Interestingly the US is in a similar position. Its tax take is only 27% while it spends 40% of its GDP, the same amount as Greece.

    Why can’t Greece collect taxes? Social scientists love to ascribe cultural aspects as reasons for poor tax collection. The Greeks have low “tax morale”. The Greeks view their society and government as corrupt. So they do not feel any moral obligation to support it with taxes. The act of breaking the law by not paying taxes is simply doing what everyone else in their society is doing.

    Still I find the idea that the Greeks are somehow culturally doomed to be tax evaders rather simplistic…. Tax evasion is defined as using illegal means to avoid taxes. This usually involves some sort of misrepresentation or outright fraud. But a complex tax code with high marginal rates and a myriad of exemptions is one of the best ways to provide the legal means and the economic incentive to avoid the tax.

    In Japan tax rates are rather low and only 1% of wealth is held offshore. In Europe with high marginal rates the number is over 10%.

    Ideally good tax laws have three goals: Equity, competitiveness and the generation of sufficient public revenue. They rarely achieve any of these goals because they are designed by politicians often to satisfy special interests. These provisions once enacted are almost impossible to get rid of no matter how foolish. In China small-to-medium sized companies have a gross profit margin near 10%, but the VAT (value-added tax) was 17%. If the companies actually complied, 90% would go out of business, so instead they all avoid the tax.

    The size of tax evasion is directly correlated to the size of the underground economy. In Greece the underground economy is estimated to be about 27%, which means a lot of the commerce goes untaxed. The problems in Greece pale compared to Russia where the shadow economy is over 43%.

    The best solution to the problem of tax evasion is to simplify both the tax and the regulatory environment. A system free of special deductions, credits, and exemptions is easier to use and enforce. Simplified regulations encourage firms to do business in the regular economy.

    ^ And with liberals being big pushovers when it comes to matters like illegal immigration — where in their mind, if Mexico can’t come to the US, then the US will come to Mexico — and with the dynamics of an underground economy therefore becoming more pervasive, they’re creating the perfect storm.

    Mark (90205b)

  227. It doesn’t have to be everybody in order for there to be a free-rider problem. It’s quite rational to not purchase insurance until you need it, though I don’t doubt that there are irrational people out there.
    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 10:08 am

    — Alternatively, one COULD wish oneself out of existence.

    Young people who in turn will one day be old, and won’t get to free-ride by waiting to only buy insurance then.
    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 10:31 am

    — Thank you for acknowledging how Obamacare robs people of their liberty. And thanks double for contradicting your own statement (above ^^^) from 23 minutes earlier. Special.

    Icy (6e2ac4)

  228. _______________________________________________

    Young people who in turn will one day be old, and won’t get to free-ride by waiting to only buy insurance then.

    Yep, and I’m sure many of them have similar confidence in and happiness about their setting aside monies for social security, because they’re sure that will result in wonderful benefits for them, beautifully hovering in the distance like a rainbow, in the future. And I don’t say that with sarcasm, because far too many people, particularly those who are younger than not (and more likely to be wedded to liberalism), are among the most gullible and foolish when it comes to the Rube-Goldberg-contraption promises of liberals/Democrats.

    Mark (90205b)

  229. Steve57- yes, i don’t pay much attention to Ann Coulter. hewitt I know said he knew Roberts from working around him in the reagan administration and thought he was solid

    as far as denial issues go, i guess one could say that some conservatives are desperate to believe that Roberts did not sell them out…but other than that, lets not go there

    I heard someone make the point that they thought Roberts must have made a brilliant decisions so they wanted to be brilliant too and explain it- sort of emperor’s new clothes argument

    I don’t know, except it doesn’t seem good.

    I still liike my gameshow idea,
    “Is that your final ruling?”

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  230. “– The keyword being “or”. That’s NOT a mandate; it’s an option. ”

    And the PPACA gives you a similar option.

    “CJ Roberts lied, but he did it in pursuit of a good cause, so that makes it all right. IOW, spointer is accusing Roberts of being a typical liberal.”

    If Roberts was a typical liberal he would have sensibly sided with the typical liberals and let congress set about solving national economic problems rather than invalidating major political acts due to a technicality.

    “The free-rider problem existed long before the ObamaTaxaFinaIRSfullEmploymentPalooza act ever was dreamt up”

    Perhaps — the free-rider problem was solved by the Heritage foundation with its mandate idea. But it seems like you don’t know this is because of the pre-existing condition coverage, and instead think it is about something else.

    spointer (77ac66)

  231. It occurs to me that Chief Justice Roberts may really think this is like a game of baseball because he clearly isn’t worried about batting 1000. Apparently he’s satisfied with .300 or so.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  232. Its the usual dishonesty of a namecalling troll.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  233. Mark, that’s less the case now than it was in 2008 and Obama was just magical happy horses**t.

    Now we know he’s just standard, agricultural grade horses**t. A lot of young people who will vote in 2012 saw how Obama burned people in 2008.

    Young people by definition lack experience. Which can be a sword that cuts both ways. If you turned 18 in 2005 or later, you’ve got just one election under your belt. And “Teh One” you participated in resulted in a candidate that promised you unicorns and skittles, and delivered only on an expanded and more powerful IRS that will give them the income tax version of a proctological exam they’ll never forget. With a sandpaper glove.

    If they ever find one of the few remaining jobs Obama hasn’t yet destroyed.

    Future concerns, no doubt, much like growing old itself, as they live at home mowing lawns to pay off their student debt wondering what they’re going to do in the future.

    This isn’t projection. Obama has performed a valuable service in one regard. He taught the formerly idealistic the true nature of politicians.

    Good and hard.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  234. spointer–if you think hard can you come up with any other situations where there is a “free rider problem” as you like to call it? Whatever shall we do about those?

    elissa (25876b)

  235. Perhaps — the free-rider problem was solved by the Heritage foundation with its mandate idea. But it seems like you don’t know this is because of the pre-existing condition coverage, and instead think it is about something else.

    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 11:05 am

    And the Heritage Foundation proposal was never adopted, numbnuts, as conservatives rejected it out of hand.

    It was unconstitutional when HillaryCare! was being floated and it’s unconstitutional now.

    But this is typical of your dishonesty; trying to pass off some unconstitutional idea that conservatives didn’t implement 20 years ago as somehow having some bearing on all the dishonesty you’re wallowing in now.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  236. And the PPACA gives you a similar option.
    — Actually, by definition, an “individual mandate” means that you have no option. Therefore, there is NOTHING “similar” about it.

    If Roberts was a typical liberal he would have sensibly sided with the typical liberals and let congress set about solving national economic problems rather than invalidating major political acts due to a technicality.
    — Thank you for acknowledging that typical liberals view a violation of The Constitution of the United States as being a mere “technicality”. That was a bit of refreshing honesty on your part.

    Icy (6e2ac4)

  237. There is no free rider problem. Forcing people to take insurance costs money to the system as compared to just taking care of emergencies.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  238. 235. spointer–if you think hard can you come up with any other situations where there is a “free rider problem” as you like to call it? Whatever shall we do about those?

    Comment by elissa — 7/2/2012 @ 11:20 am

    Clearly we need to force people who don’t own cars to by uninsured motorist insurance to cover the costs of people who drive without insurance.

    We’ll call all the bicyclists who balk at buying car insurance “free riders,” instead of all the illegal aliens who are causing the accidents and can’t cover the costs.

    Mom given bill to clean street after son killed by illegal immigrant driving drunk

    Robinson told the judge she has been unable to work due to the emotional impact of her son’s death, and can’t pay the bills she keeps receiving from the accident even though her son was not at fault, WYFF reports.

    “I had to pay to have the vehicle towed,” she said according to WYFF. “I had to pay for the vehicle removed and to clean up the street from Justin’s blood on the ground.”

    Robinson said the $50 bill to clean the street stung the most.

    Clearly the problem is all those “free riders” who don’t drive and thus don’t buy the insurance that would have spared this poor mom of the trauma of having to pay for street cleaning.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  239. Actually, come to think of it, maybe this Justin character was a “free-rider” himself. Maybe he didn’t have adequate uninsured motorist coverage.

    And that’s why his mom got the bill instead of insurance paying for it.

    Inconsiderate bastard. Getting himself killed by an unlicensed, uninsured illegal alien while skimping on his insurance.

    If only we had some sort of mandate, all would be right with the world, right spointer?

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  240. Young people who in turn will one day be old, and won’t get to free-ride by waiting to only buy insurance then.

    But I’m not sure you understand what is meant by a free-rider problem.

    I’m not sure you understand what a “free-rider” is. A person who does not need a particular service, and thus refuses to pay for it, is not a free-rider. That’s just someone exercising good fiscal sense.

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  241. 241….A person who does not need a particular service, and thus refuses to pay for it, is not a free-rider. That’s just someone exercising good fiscal sense.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski — 7/2/2012 @ 11:46 am

    As is a person who refuses to buy an insurance policy to cover that unwanted service, knowing full well the government is trying to intimidate them to pay via their premiums for the services the government insists be provided to others.

    That’s not just demonstrating good fiscal sense but also sanity, despite your promiscuous and dishonest abuse of the term “free rider,” spointer.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  242. Its unbelieveable that clowns like spointer are back to flogging arguments that were debunked years ago.

    But mostly they demonstrate the most basic ignorance of the basic structure of our republic. Over and over.

    Actually, spoindexter shows a lot of knowledge when it serves him, and resorts to naive cynicism, gross distortion or obtuseness when the facts don’t work. Pretty much the mark of a troll.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  243. That’s the mandate. You pay the FICA tax or you pay into the retirement account.

    It’s still FDR’s mandate, not Bush’s and certainly not from the 21st Century. Considering it was Bismark’s idea, not from the 20th either.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  244. #222 cont’d re Horiuchi, Wilson:

    Peter Irons, in “A People’s History of the SUPREME COURT” (1999) Penguin Books, discussed the Buck v. Bell case at 252 stating:
    “… His [Holmes] opinion reeked of the arrogance of aristocracy, and could easily have been written by Herbert Spencer. ‘It is better for all the world,’ Holmes pontificated, ‘if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.’ [P] Five decades later, a journalist who tracked down Carrie Buck and dug into old records discovered that she had been committed to Virginia’s ‘State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded’ only because she had been raped by the eminent doctor who employed her as a housekeeper. Her daughter, Emma, was a perfectly normal child, and the ‘eugenic expert’ who recommended her sterilization was later honored by the German Nazi regime for helping draft its ‘Race Hygiene’ law, which laid the tracks that ended in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other death camps. Holmes knew nothing about the scientific fallacies of the ‘eugenic’ movement; more important, he did not feel any duty to look behind the fabricated record in the Buck case.”
    Immunity allowed Justice Holmes to act with impunity while he disregarded basic rights due Carrie Buck. Clearly, judicial power must be curbed and held accountable.

    In re Neagle, 135 US 1 (1890), later was asserted by the government to claim immunity for the killing of Vicki Weaver, in the 1992 calamity infamously known as “Ruby Ridge.” The State of Idaho brought criminal charges against Lon T. Horiuchi (FBI Special Agent – Sniper) who fired the shot from his rifle with a high powered scope into the Weaver cabin, that struck Vicki Weaver in the head and killed her, while she was holding her infant daughter.
    The case was based on the fact that Horiuchi claimed the “Rules of Engagement” had been changed to allow him and his team to shoot any armed adult male in the vicinity of the Weaver cabin, even if they did not present an immediate deadly threat. This change was clearly unconstitutional, in essence the government was declaring war on citizens. Yet no FBI personnel voiced objection when it was made, nor was it ever determined who changed the “Rules” and Horiuchi claimed that he shot at Kevin Harris as he was fleeing to the cabin, but “mistakenly” hit Vicki Weaver. Harris v. Roderick, 126 F.3d 1189 (9th Cir. 1997).
    Horiuchi removed Idaho’s case to federal district court, and moved to dismiss on grounds of Supremacy Clause immunity – Neagle. Without even conducting an evidentiary hearing, the district court granted the dismissal. Idaho appealed, and the Court of Appeal in a 2/1 decision by Judge Shubb (joined by Circuit Judge Fernandez) affirmed; Justice Kozinski dissented. Idaho v. Horiuchi, 215 F.3d 986 (9th Cir. 2000). Idaho then petitioned for an en banc hearing before the 9th Circuit, which was granted.
    On June 5, 2001, the Court of Appeals reversed, in a 6/5 en banc decision written by Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski. Idaho v. Horiuchi, 253 F.3d 359 (9th Cir. 2001) The majority found six (6) instances of unresolved material facts concerning Horiuchi’s conduct and cited several instances where his testimony was inconsistent and contradictory (as well as other involved government actors) and therefore legally insufficient to warrant immunity. Justice Kosinski wrote in the majority decision at 362:
    “… When federal officers violate the Constitution, either through malice or excessive zeal, they can be held accountable for violating the state’s criminal laws.”
    * * *
    [at 365] “… Neagle addressed only whether the deputy marshal acted in a way that was generally authorized by federal law. Though Deputy Neagle killed a man who did not pose a deadly threat to Justice Field. see n.7 [The deputy turned out to be mistaken; the suspect was unarmed. See Neagle, 135 U.S. at 53] supra, the Supreme Court appeared convinced that Neagle acted reasonably in light of what he knew. See Neagle, 135 U.S. at 53-54. Neagle therefore had no ocassion to address the more difficult question of whether a federal agent will lose his immunity if he carries out his responsibilities in an unreasonable manner.
    * * *
    [concluding at 377] “In keeping with the constitutional allocation of powers between the federal government and the states, federal agents enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution That immunity has limits. When an agent acts in an objectively unreasonable manner, those limits are exceeded, and a state may bring a criminal prosecution. [P] After carefully examining the record, we cannot agree with the district court that Agent Horiuchi’s use of deadly force against Harris, and, by extension, Mrs. Weaver, was objectively reasonable as a matter of law. Accordingly, Agent Horiuchi is not entitled to dismissal on the ground of Supremacy Clause immunity at this stage in the proceeding. On remand, the district court may conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the evidence supports Agent Horiuchi’s entitlement to immunity under the legal principle’s applicable to the use of deadly force. We therefore REVERSE and REMAND with directions that the district court reinstate the criminal complaint and information and for further proceedings with this opinion.”
    In dissent, Circuit Judge Michael Hawkins (joined by Schroder, Rymer, Slverman and Graber) wrote in part at page 380:
    “Despite the majority’s protestations, there are no disputed issues of material fact in this case, and the majority’s insistence on sending this case back for still more proceedings frustrates the clear intent of the law that Horiuchi and other federal officers be free from the harassing threat of state criminal prosecution for honest mistakes of judgment they might make when carrying out their duties.”
    Free from the harassing threat of state criminal prosecution? We the People are supposed to be sovereign and the government our servants. Why is it that WE are subject to state criminal prosecution and government actors think they are not? No where in the Constitution is government given immunity. The purpose of the Constitution was to limit the power of government.
    Judge Hawkins concludes his dissent at 402, claiming that denying “Supremacy Clause immunity to federal officers” will have a “chilling” effect on FBI agents:
    [and at 403] “… We seriously delude ourselves if we think we serve the cause of liberty by throwing shackles on those agents and hauling them to the dock of a state criminal court when they make such mistake, … The clear mandate of over a hundred years of Supremacy Clause jurisprudence forbids the state of Idaho from prosecuting Horiuchi for his mistaken judgment in this regrettable incident. Because I cannot agree with the majority’s attempt to thwart that law, I respectfully dissent.”
    Chilling effect? That was the same feeble justification that Justice Field put forth in Bradley (and thereafter its progeny) for why judges need immunity, but was succinctly shot down by Justice Douglas in Pierson. Regrettable incident? Majority’s attempt to thwart the law? Forbids Idaho from prosecuting Horiuchi? If the “Rules of Engagement” had not been illegally changed, Vicki Weaver would not have been killed and there would be no regret, nor need for prosecution. If Attorney General Reno would have simply done her job, upheld the law, the Constitution and prosecuted Horiuchi, Idaho would not have had to.
    This was after the Department of Justice (DOJ) had completed its investigation of the incident and issued a press release “announcing that that a case of willfulness, or knowing, intentional use of unreasonable force cannot be made out against FBI Agent Lon Horiuchi.” Footnote 5, from Judge Kozinski’s majority decision and states in part:

    “The investigation was conducted by a task force of the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which issued a lengthy report. That report was released to the public, but later withdrawn. Report of Ruby Ridge Task Force…(June 10, 1994). … The Department of Justice apparently, did not endorse the views of the OPR Task Force, which had concluded that ‘[Horiuchi’s] second shot violated the Constitution. We recommend that the circumstances surrounding the second shot be reviewed by the appropriate component of the Department of Justice for prosecutive merit.’ Id. Section IV.F4.”

    Recommend for prosecution? Yet Attorney General Reno instead withdraws the report, issues a bogus press release – and favors and protects Horiuchi and the FBI – over her constitutional duty to represent and protect the People. Another demonstration of how immunity corrupts.

    The majority did not attempt to thwart the law, as Judge Kozinski’s majority opinion answered Judge Hawkins, in part in footnote 10:
    “The dissent reads previous Supremacy Clause immunity cases as suggesting that so long as an officer is not on a ‘frolic and detour,’ courts may deny the immunity claim where the officer acted without deliberate malice or other criminal intent. … Closer to home, an officer may not raise a Nuremberg Defense and claim that he shot a suspect who posed no threat because he believed his duty required him to follow orders. [P] The dissent suggests that denying immunity where the officer acted in the scope of his official duties and without deliberate malice would be unprecedented. … What’s unprecedented about this case is that the taking of human life was planned. … Horiuchi commanded his squad under orders to shoot any armed males he saw, regardless of whether they posed any danger. He testified that the issue of danger had already been decided by his superiors before his men ascended the hill. …”
    What’s unprecedented about this case is that the taking of human life was planned. Any liberty loving person should – no must – read Idaho v. Horiuchi, 253 F.3d 359, and decide – judge for themselves – whether the conduct of FBI Special Agent Horiuchi should escape prosecution. (The conduct of the other involved government actors there should also be scrutinized.)
    On June 15, 2001 Boundry County, Idaho Prosecutor Brett Benson issued a press release stating his office would not continue the prosecution of Horiuchi. He gave no reason. (On January 7, 2001, Benson replaced Denise Woodbury, who on August 22, 1997 filed the involuntary manslaughter case against Horiuchi, two days after then Attorney General Janet Reno announced no charges would be filed against Horuuchi, or any of his superiors. Woodbury, who had an attorney staff of one, appointed Los Angeles attorney Stephen Yagman, who specialized in police misconduct cases, as a special prosecutor to assist in the case; he accepted the assignment pro bono publico.) On July 10, 2001 Yagman’s piece “Out of Reach – federal Law Enforcement Officers Should Be Subject to State Criminal Laws” was published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, p.6. There Yagman’s final paragraph reads:

    “The public interest requires a final resolution of this important national issue because a true republican democracy requires that federal law enforcement be subject to the states’ criminal laws or else the feds will continue to be both lawless and beyond the reach of the law.”

    The feds will continue to be both lawless? Yes. And beyond the reach of the law? Yes. Why did Attorney General Reno let Horiuchi and his superiors off scot free? Because government has been elevated – over and above the sovereignty and rights of the People. The sovereignty of the People has been inverted. The Constitution rendered meaningless. The government wins, the People lose.

    This failure by Reno was tyranny. Only to be followed up by the federal district court dismissing Idaho’s case. Followed then by the 9th Circuit affirming the dismissal. (To his credit Justice Kozinski dissented.) Then Idaho appealed, with the 6/5 en banc majority decision by Judge Kozinsi, reversing and remanding. That was 8 judges, favoring government over the People here, on irrefutable violations of the constitution.

    An LA Times June 6, 2001 front page article “Agent Can be Tried in Ruby Ridge Death” reported in part:

    “A U.S. Senate subcommittee that reviewed the Ruby Ridge standoff said in 1995 that it had ‘helped weaken the bond of trust that must exist between ordinary Americans and our law enforcement agencies.’”

    Weaken the bond of trust? No it shattered the bond of trust. Beyond the illegal killing and tragic death of Vicki Weaver, her 14-year-old son, Sammy was also killed from a shot in the back, husband-father Randy Weaver and family friend Kevin Harris were each shot and critically wounded. U.S. Deputy Marshal William Degan also died in the incident. The incident started when Degan and fellow Marshals Cooper and Roderick, were discovered on the Weaver property and apparently Roderick shot and killed the Weaver dog, striker. Further, Weaver and Harris each brought civil rights cases against the government, settled respectively for $3.1 million and $380,000 (plus attorneys fees on each case) – which we citizens and taxpayers got the bill for, not the involved government actors. This is what happens – this is the product – of absolute immunity.

    cont’d re Wilson.

    gzerman (56e144)

  245. “Actually, by definition, an “individual mandate” means that you have no option. Therefore, there is NOTHING “similar” about it. ”

    You’re mandated to either have insurance or pay up. Similarly with the Bush/Cain model for private accounts.

    “A person who does not need a particular service, and thus refuses to pay for it, is not a free-rider. That’s just someone exercising good fiscal sense.”

    Free-riders are acting rationally. The free rider problem with health care is with people who only purchase insurance once they have have a pre-existing condition.

    spointer (77ac66)

  246. It is incorrect to argue that the mandate is necessary for the desired reforms.

    In order to get to a “community-pricing” (group rate), must-issue system, you do have to prevent people from waiting until they are sick to “insure.” But there are other ways to do this besides a mandate, which has a basic flaw in that it is not backwards-looking.

    Under Obamacare, ALL the current free-riders are allowed to sign up at group rates no matter what their health is. Further, all people who really only need catastrophic care policies (e.g. 21-eyar-olds) are forced to buy prepaid care they will never use, at prices normed to those few 21-year-olds who actually NEED prepaid care. All to support low prices for middle-aged people like me.

    A better, fairer regime would be to have community-priced must-issue policies for those that have had health insurance in force for, say, 3 out of the last 5 years, up to the levels previously covered. You want to get into the system, or add to the policy scope, you pay a newbie premium for a few years. People under xx years of age escape the premium and maybe the government has some subsidies for the transition.

    This does not reward current freeloaders (Obama’s core constituency) much, and future freeloaders not at all, encourages people to get insured young and to stay insured. All without any kind of a mandate. But this doesn’t fly with statists, for whom force and control are part of the attraction.

    Hopefully, the forthcoming Republican replacement will have some of these features.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  247. ==Free-riders are acting rationally. The free rider problem with health care is with people who only purchase insurance once they have have a pre-existing condition.==

    And tis is the federal government’s business becauuuuse????

    elissa (25876b)

  248. And tis is the federal government’s business becauuuuse????

    Comment by elissa — 7/2/2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Because they’ve set up a cafeteria where people have to be served regardless of their ability to pay. No problem, the government has decreed that the paying customers will make up the cost.

    Now they have too many diners eating for free, and not enough paying customers to make up the shortfall.

    Do they see the problem as something inherent in their “business model?”

    Hell no! The problem is with those who aren’t eating at their damned cafeteria. Why, there autta be a mandate…

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  249. cont’d re 222 (and 246) re U.S. v. Wilson.

    For those still having any doubt what government is capable of, one shoul read U.S. v. Edwin P. Wilson, 289 F.Supp.2d 801, (USDC-SD, Texas, 2003), by district Judge Lynn Hughes, that reversed and vacated the 1983 conviction of Wilson (after he served 17-years, 10 in solitary), based on massive prosecutorial and other government agency misconduct, including perjured testimony, manufactured evidence and the withholding of evidence. There Judge Hughes wrote in part starting at page 802:
    “Twenty years ago the government tried a former central intelligence officer for exporting explosives to Libya. His defense was simple. He said he was still working for the Company. The government refused to disclose records of his continues association with the agency. When he presented witnesses to his contacts after the end of his formal employment, the government convinced the judge to admit an affidavit from a principal CIA official to the effect that there were, with one minor exception, none—zero. There were, in fact, over 80 contacts, including actions parallel to those in the charges.
    “[P] … Because the government knowingly used false evidence against him and suppressed favorable evidence, his conviction will be vacated. [P] This opinion refers only to the part of the record that the government has reluctantly agreed may be made public. It does not attempt to recount even that limited range of data in its entirety; the governmental deceit mentioned here is illustrative—not exhaustive.
    * * *
    [at 809] “Honesty comes hard to the government. It describes its non-disclosure as ‘information allegedly concealed by the Briggs declaration.’ (Gov’t Answer at 64.) This is a semantic game—the information was not allegedly concealed; it was actively concealed…” [P] “The investigation is a dodge; there was no need to investigate: it knew the affidavit was false before it offered it. …”
    * * *
    [at 811] “The government says that its use of the false affidavit was an innocent error. … In this case, however, the falsity comes from high public officials with access to voluminous records—not some high school dropout street-level drug dealer with a memory of one sale. … [P] … The evidence, now, shows that the hierarchies of both the Justice Department and CIA were as knowledgeable as was the individual talking to the judge and jury. … The court has identified about two dozen government lawyers who actively participated in the origninal non-disclosure to the defense, the false rebuttal testimony, and the refusal to correct it. …”
    * * *
    [at 815] ”In the course of American justice, one would have to work hard to conceive of a more fundamentally unfair process with a consequently unreliable result than the fabrication of false data by the government, under oath by a government official, presented knowingly by the prosecutor in the court room with the express approval of his superiors in Washington.”
    * * *
    [at 816] “This sort of behavior is among the reasons that the Constitution allows an accused to confront the witnesses against him. Instead of a witness who Wilson could examine before the jury, in his Texas trial Wilson was contradicted by a dishonest agency issued from a bunker in Virginia.”
    Judge Hughes is to be commended for doing his duty here, defending the constitution, upholding the law, holding government to some degree of accountability, and attempting to right the extreme wrong done Mr. Wilson. Then again, this simply is his job and – he took an oath to defend the constitution. Judge Hughes though, goes rather light on the trial judge – Ross Sterling (barely mentioning him), who ignored Wilson’s objection to the Briggs affidavit, the Constitution-6th Amendment, wrongly favored government, wrongly allowed the Briggs’ affidavit and therefore failed in his gate-keeping function and helped cause the bogus conviction of Mr. Wilson. The same is true of the appellate circuit judges, Politz, Gee and Johnson, who unanimously affirmed Wilson’s conviction, as Judge Huges does not even mention their names. U.S. v. Wilson, 732 F.2d 404 (5th Cir. 1984). There Judge Politz wrote in part at page 413:
    “The affidavit [Briggs] was not inadmissible hearsay. … It was executed by the third highest official in the CIA whose duties include overall management, and it is attested to by the General Counsel of the CIA, the custodian seal of the CIA. [P] Wilson argues that introduction of the affidavit violated his right to confrontation of witnesses. The claim is not devoid of merit but it is not sufficient to render the affidavit inadmissible as a matter of law. Most exceptions to the hearsay rule necessarily implicate an interruption of the right of confrontation. That fact alone does not bar use of otherwise relevant, material evidence which satisfies sufficient guarantees of trustworthiness and reliability.
    * * *
    “Appellant claims a Brady violation, suggesting that the government had information about association of certain people with the CIA which would have materially aided Wilson/s defense. Our review of the record, with particular emphasis on the classified filings, briefs and oral arguments, satisfies us beyond peradventure that no Brady violation occurred.”
    Satisfies sufficient guarantees of trustworthiness and reliability? Wrong. But once again here is government – judges – siding with, favoring government, instead of upholding the constitution and protecting the rights of the People. Satisfies us beyond peradventure that no Brady violation occurred? Wrong again.
    It must be pointed out, several of the intimately involved federal attorneys/officials in the Wilson case had their careers greatly enhanced by the conviction and “went on to become some of the most prominent men in legal circles today” including becoming federal judges. (See April 28, 2005 ABC Nightline expose “The Most Dangerous Man in American–Conviction of former CIA Agent Overturned on False Affidavit” at http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/print?id=708779.) Will anything happen to those involved federal officials who lied, deceived and manufactured evidence? Or will they have they government protect them? The matter provides a test case whether we have a Rule of Law? A meaningful Constitution? Or tyranny?

    Chief Justice Roberts, in both the ObamaCare decision, and in the earlier U.S. v. Arizona case, showed anyone paying attention what his true colors were. He is there (like most in government) to protect government, and bigger government, damn the Constitution and his oath to uphold it.

    That’s what government (and government) employees tend to do. And that’s just what scorpions do, said the scorpion to the frog.

    There is no one left to blame – but the judges/judiciary.

    Liberty & Truth require constant vigilance.

    gzerman (56e144)

  250. Comment by elissa — 7/2/2012 @ 11:20 am

    spointer–if you think hard can you come up with any other situations where there is a “free rider problem” as you like to call it? Whatever shall we do about those?

    People who send their children to public schools without paying for it.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  251. “And tis is the federal government’s business becauuuuse????”

    Indeed over the years conservatives have turned against the idea of universal health care. But that’s hardly a constitutional problem.

    spointer (77ac66)

  252. “I have sources that say Roberts initially sided with conservatives to strike down the individual mandate,” said Crawford on CBS’ Face the Nation. “Roberts, I’m told by my sources, switched sides. There was a one-month campaign to bring Roberts back into the conservative fold, led, ironically, by Anthony Kennedy.”

    I caught a bit of that in Sunday, and I might have nentioned it if I didn’t see you had a full post. Rush Klimbaugh opene dhuis monologue with it today and said this news hadn’t appeared any where else (in the mainstream media)

    I remember one more thing. I think Jan Crawford asked some member of the court how often a justicve changes his vote (after the initial that would be)

    It happens about in one case a term she was told. But on a more or less random basis.

    I thought Roberts didn’t want to do anything too significant. But I did think he would throw it out in the end. What he wouldn’t do is throw out the remainder of the law because of it, and certainly not the whole law.

    The dissenting opinion doesn’t entirely ignore Roberts. There is a little bit of back and firth on a few issues.

    But the dissent never mentions Roberts opinion by name, I think yes.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  253. 251. Comment by elissa — 7/2/2012 @ 11:20 am

    spointer–if you think hard can you come up with any other situations where there is a “free rider problem” as you like to call it? Whatever shall we do about those?

    People who send their children to public schools without paying for it.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman — 7/2/2012 @ 12:38 pm

    Sammy, in Kali the people who send their children to public schools without paying for it, the teachers union membership riding the public employee gravy train, the bureaucracy in Sacramento, and the Democratic establishment figured out who the “free riders” are in that case decades ago.

    Elderly home-owners who voted for Proposition 13 because their property taxes were going up so precipitously the couldn’t afford to keep their houses, or they were eating dog food in order to do so.

    Selfish bastards! Don’t they know the children are their future? As in, in the future these kids will be breaking and entering, stealing them blind, and beating them to an inch of their lives for their greed.

    And getting away with it since to make up for the shortfalls caused by these misers refusing to pay their fair share the cities have cut back on the kind of crimes they’ll send the cops out for if you call 911. After these oldsters pick themselves off the floor they can fill out an on-line form. Serves ’em right, the scrooges.

    It’s the kind of “shared sacrifice” we demand of these irresponsible citizens in order to ensure the sanctity of the public employee pension program is not violated.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  254. 252. “And tis is the federal government’s business becauuuuse????”

    Indeed over the years conservatives have turned against the idea of universal health care. But that’s hardly a constitutional problem.

    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Horrors! Over the years conservatives have turned against the idea that a bunch of selfish lay-abouts can’t vote themselves items on their Christmas wish list at some third party’s expense?

    Why there autta be a mandate…

    By the way, when did conservatives embrace the idea that if a bunch of people want a good or service bad enough, they should band together and vote that someone else pay for it?

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  255. You’re mandated to either have insurance or pay up. Similarly with the Bush/Cain model for private accounts.

    No, it’s not similar, and you keep ignoring the difference.

    Insurance is a service, a private account is an asset. In the first instance, the government is requiring you to incur an expense; in the second, you have the option of owning an asset or continuing to pay an existing tax.

    Let me ask you this question: were you in favor of Bush’s proposal for private accounts? If not, why not?

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  256. reply re #225.

    You did not reply to this part:

    So who is us? And other than thinking the USA is still worth fighting to save, what in fact are you doing (fighting) to save America?

    Yet you wrote:

    ==Did you disagree with any of the statements (reality) that I wrote? Did you, or have you read any of the cases I cited?==

    gzerman–Knowing what led us to this place is important. But stewing in juice, complaining, pining, wallowing, whining, feeling sorry for ourselves, and re-fighting old lost battles gets us absolutely nowhere. That was the only point I was trying to make earlier. Sorry if I was not clear enough.
    _____________________

    Beyond your stating the obvious re the importance what led us here … (yet we continue to ignore the obvious, let government grow, continue to oppress us, and ignore us and the Constitution), was the stewing in juice, complaining,… meant for me, the blog or yourself?

    And again, re your initial post (#196) comments, which I replied to you (#222) and asked you:

    So who is us? And other than thinking the USA is still worth fighting to save, what in fact are you doing (fighting) to save America?
    ______________________

    You have failed to answer; could you please answer and tell us?

    gzerman (56e144)

  257. No, it’s not similar, and you keep ignoring the difference.

    Chuck, what do you expect someone who would obviously characterize someone who could afford to but refused to pay put money in someone else’s IRA a “free rider?”

    The truth?

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  258. what do you expect from someone…

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  259. “In the first instance, the government is requiring you to incur an expense; in the second, you have the option of owning an asset or continuing to pay an existing tax.”

    I get that this is a difference but not why it makes it not a mandate.

    “Let me ask you this question: were you in favor of Bush’s proposal for private accounts? If not, why not?”

    I’m against it because it takes away funding from social security, and that is the main, if not only threat to social security — that it will be defunded.

    spointer (77ac66)

  260. RToberts mentions the joint dissent but the joint dissent does not mention his opinion

    Chief Justice Roberts: (pages 34-35)

    (“In passing on the constitutionality of a tax law, we are concerned only with its practical operation, not its definition or the precise form of descriptive words which may be applied to it” (internal quotation marks omitted)); United States v. Sotelo, 436 U. S. 268, 275 (1978)

    (“That the funds due are referred to as a ‘penalty’….does not alter their essential character as taxes”).7

    Footnote:

    7 Sotelo, in particular, would seem to refute the joint dissent’s contention that we have “never” treated an exaction as a tax if it was denominated a penalty. Post, at 20. We are not persuaded by the dissent’s attempt to distinguish Sotelo as a statutory construction case from the bankruptcy context. Post, at 17, n. 5. The dissent itself treats the question here as one of statutory interpretation, and indeed also relieson a statutory interpretation case from the bankruptcy context. Post, at 23 (citing United States v. Reorganized CF&I Fabricators of Utah, Inc., 518 U. S. 213, 224 (1996)).

    Scalia’s dissent page 17: (which comes down hard on the Solicitor General as well as the “the court”)

    The Government contends, however, as expressed in the caption to Part II of its brief, that “THE MINIMUM COVERAGE PROVISION IS INDEPENDENTLY AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS’S TAXING POWER.” Petitioners’ Minimum Coverage Brief 52. The phrase “independently authorized” suggests the existence of a creature never hitherto seen in the United States Reports: A penalty for constitutional purposes that is also a tax for constitutional purposes. In all our cases the two are mutually exclusive. The provision challenged under the Constitution is either a penalty or else a tax. Of course in many cases what was a regulatory mandate enforced by a penalty could have been imposed as a tax upon permissible action; or what was im- posed as a tax upon permissible action could have been a regulatory mandate enforced by a penalty. But we know of no case, and the Government cites none, in which the imposition was, for constitutional purposes, both.5 The two are mutually exclusive. Thus, what the Government’s caption should have read was “ALTERNATIVELY, THE MINIMUM COVERAGE PROVISION IS NOT A MANDATE-WITH-PENALTY BUT A TAX.”

    Footnote 5 goes:

    5 Of course it can be both for statutory purposes, since Congress can define “tax” and “penalty” in its enactments any way it wishes. That is why United States v. Sotelo, 436 U. S. 268 (1978), does not disprove our statement. That case held that a “penalty” for willful failure to pay one’s taxes was included among the “taxes” made non-dischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code. 436 U. S., at 273–275.

    Whether the “penalty” was a “tax” within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Code had absolutely no bearing on whether it escaped the constitutional limitations on penalties.

    The main text cointinues:

    It is important to bear this in mind in evaluating the tax argument of the Government and of those who support it: The issue is not whether Congress had the power to frame the minimum-coverage provision as a tax, but whether it did so.

    In answering that question we must if “fairly possible,” Crowell v. Benson, 285 U. S. 22, 62 (1932), construe the provision to be a tax rather than a mandate-with-penalty, since that would render it constitutional rather than un- constitutional (ut res magis valeat quam pereat). But we cannot rewrite the statute to be what it is not. “‘“[A]l- though this Court will often strain to construe legis- lation so as to save it against constitutional attack, it must not and will not carry this to the point of perverting the purpose of a statute . . .” or judicially rewriting it.’” Commodity Futures Trading Comm’n v. Schor, 478 U. S. 833, 841 (1986) (quoting Aptheker v. Secretary of State, 378 U. S. 500, 515 (1964), in turn quoting Scales v. United States, 367 U. S. 203, 211 (1961)). In this case, there is simply no way, “without doing violence to the fair meaning of the words used,” Grenada County Supervisors v. Brogden, 112 U. S. 261, 269 (1884), to escape what Congress enacted: a mandate that individuals maintain minimum essential coverage, enforced by a penalty.
    Our cases establish a clear line between a tax and a penalty: “‘[A] tax is an enforced contribution to provide forthe support of government; a penalty . . . is an exaction imposed by statute as punishment for an unlawful act.’” United States v. Reorganized CF&I Fabricators of Utah, Inc., 518 U. S. 213, 224 (1996) (quoting United States v. La Franca, 282 U. S. 568, 572 (1931)). In a few cases, this Court has held that a “tax” imposed upon private conduct was so onerous as to be in effect a penalty. But we have never held—never—that a penalty imposed for violation of the law was so trivial as to be in effect a tax. We have never held that any exaction imposed for violation of the law is an exercise of Congress’ taxing power—evenwhen the statute calls it a tax, much less when (as here)the statute repeatedly calls it a penalty.

    Roberts, page 33:

    It is of course true that the Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” But while that label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act, supra, at 12–13, it does not determine whether the payment may be viewed as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power. It is up to Congress whether to apply the Anti-Injunction Act to any particular statute, so it makes sense to be guided by Congress’s choice of label on that question. That choice does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  261. Scalia on the remedy for the Medicaid expansion being unconstitutional: (page 46ff)

    Seven Members of the Court agree that the Medicaid Expansion, as enacted by Congress, is unconstitutional. See Part IV–A to IV–E, supra; Part IV–A, ante, at 45–55 (opinion of ROBERTS, C. J., joined by BREYER and KAGAN, JJ.).

    Because the Medicaid Expansion is unconstitutional, the question of remedy arises.

    The most natural remedy would be to invalidate the Medicaid Expansion. However, the Government proposes—in two cursory sentences atthe very end of its brief—preserving the Expansion. Under its proposal, States would receive the additional Medicaid funds if they expand eligibility, but States would keep their pre-existing Medicaid funds if they do notexpand eligibility. We cannot accept the Government’s suggestion.

    The reality that States were given no real choice but toexpand Medicaid was not an accident. Congress assumed States would have no choice, and the ACA depends onStates’ having no choice, because its Mandate requires low-income individuals to obtain insurance many of them can afford only through the Medicaid Expansion.

    Furthermore, a State’s withdrawal might subject everyone inthe State to much higher insurance premiums. That is because the Medicaid Expansion will no longer offset the cost to the insurance industry imposed by the ACA’s insurance regulations and taxes, a point that is explained in more detail in the severability section below.

    To make the Medicaid Expansion optional despite the ACA’s structureand design “‘would be to make a new law, not to enforce an old one. This is no part of our duty.’” Trade-Mark Cases, 100 U. S. 82, 99 (1879).

    Worse, the Government’s proposed remedy introduces a new dynamic: States must choose between expanding Medicaid or paying huge tax sums to the federal fisc for the sole benefit of expanding Medicaid in other States. If this divisive dynamic between and among States can be introduced at all, it should be by conscious congressional choice, not by Court-invented interpretation. We do not doubt that States are capable of making decisions when put in a tight spot. We do doubt the authority of this Court to put them there.

    The Government cites a severability clause codified with Medicaid in Chapter 7 of the United States Code stating that if “any provision of this chapter, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter, and the application of suchprovision to other persons or circumstances shall not beaffected thereby.” 42 U. S. C. §1303 (2006 ed.). But that clause tells us only that other provisions in Chapter 7should not be invalidated if §1396c, the authorization for the cut-off of all Medicaid funds, is unconstitutional. It does not tell us that §1396c can be judicially revised, to say what it does not say. Such a judicial power would not be called the doctrine of severability but perhapsthe doctrine of amendatory invalidation—similar to the amendatory veto that permits the Governors of some States to reduce the amounts appropriated in legislation. The proof that such a power does not exist is the fact that it would not preserve other congressional dispositions, but would leave it up to the Court what the “validated” legislation will contain.

    The Court today opts for permitting the cut-off of only incremental Medicaid funding, but it might just as well have permitted, say, the cut-off of funds that represent no more than x percent of the State’s budget. The Court severs nothing, but simply revises §1396c toread as the Court would desire.

    We should not accept the Government’s invitation to attempt to solve a constitutional problem by rewriting the Medicaid Expansion so as to allow States that reject it to retain their pre-existing Medicaid funds. Worse, the Government’s remedy, now adopted by the Court, takes the ACA and this Nation in a new direction and charts a course for federalism that the Court, not the Congress, has chosen; but under the Constitution, that power and authority do not rest with this Court.

    V
    Severability

    The Affordable Care Act seeks to achieve “near
    universal” health insurance coverage. §18091(2)(D) (2006 ed., Supp. IV). The two pillars of the Act are the Individ- ual Mandate and the expansion of coverage under Medicaid.In our view, both these central provisions of the Act—theIndividual Mandate and Medicaid Expansion—are invalid. It follows, as some of the parties urge, that all other provisions of the Act must fall as well. The following section explains the severability principles that require this conclusion. This analysis also shows how closely interrelated the Act is, and this is all the more reason why it is judicial usurpation to impose an entirely new mechanism for withdrawal of Medicaid funding, see Part IV–F, supra, which is one of many examples of how rewriting the Act alters its dynamics.

    While they don’t explicitly say so, I think Scalia would argue that the whole law has to go even if the only thing unconstitutional was the Medicaid expansion.

    Because the Medicaid should be totally abolished, according to Scalia, not just made voluntary, and then the rest doesn’t work as intended, I think he would say the whole law has to go becaue of that alone.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  262. 262. Page not found

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  263. 260. I’m against it because it takes away funding from social security, and that is the main, if not only threat to social security — that it will be defunded.

    Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 1:00 pm

    You see, there we go. We mustn’t let people fund their own retirement at the expense of the ponzi scheme which funds other people’s retirement.

    Sold to the public under the false premist that individuals with their “contributions” are funding their own retirements.

    Once again, the miracle of “cost shifting” saves the day! Known as a pyramid scheme if anyone else except the government was perpetrating the fraud.

    Thanks for clearing that up, spointer. Not that it was necessary.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  264. Mark, r.e. the earlier discussion about the youth vote, the NYT (yes, yes, I know) has an article about 18-24yo voters in 2012 that backs up my claims:

    Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade

    You can visit the site if you’d like, but the gist is that Obama is not embraced by first or second time voters like he is among the slightly older “youth” vote.

    They’ve been bitten by reality. And it left a mark (no pun intended, Mark).

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  265. I get that this is a difference but not why it makes it not a mandate.
    — Perhaps ’cause thou art thick as a brick? I have asked you several times to provide a link to ANY “right-wing” plan to mandate the deposit of Social Security funds into private accounts; to date, you have provided no such link, whatsoever. It is now time for you to man up and admit that no such plan has been put forth. GO!

    I’m against it because it takes away funding from social security, and that is the main, if not only threat to social security — that it will be defunded.
    — On the contrary, it does not take away a single thing; so come up with a better reason.

    Icy (6e2ac4)

  266. A link to the PDF of the decision (all opinions included, each numbered separately)

    I think it will be different in U.S. Reports

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  267. “have asked you several times to provide a link to ANY “right-wing” plan to mandate the deposit of Social Security funds into private accounts; to date, you have provided no such link, whatsoever.”

    That’s the Bush/Cain model for the reform.

    “– On the contrary, it does not take away a single thing; so come up with a better reason.”

    Sure it does — it diverts money from the FICA tax — which funds social security benefits, into private accounts, which do not fund social security benefits.

    spointer (77ac66)

  268. the government – especially an embarrassingly cowardly useless bloated suicidal whorestate like our one – shouldn’t be able to force me to buy stuff

    it’s that simple, which is very simple indeed, and if a highly educated piece of Harvard trash like the simpering John Roberts doesn’t understand that, I harbor serious doubts that a highly educated piece of Harvard trash like Mitt Romney has any real understanding of it either

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  269. Good Allah!

    narciso (ee31f1)

  270. gzerman–I have reviewed our interactions on this thread. Hours ago when you posted your first wall of words I innocently and rather broadly (and in retrospect, stupidly) inquired whether you thought America was salvageable and still worth saving because you sounded so, I don’t know–resigned? depressed? hopeless? Later, you quite specifically asked what I was doing to save America. Then, after the third wall of words you sort of demanded that I respond to you beyond what I had already said @224 when I really was trying to take it all down a notch.

    I am a nobody. I’m just an American citizen–an individual– who occasionally posts comments on this blog. Why you think that it is necessary for me to divulge publicly what I am personally doing to try to save America, or frankly why you think it is any of your business, is beyond me. I only hope your lengthy posts on this thread have somehow been cathartic for you. Have a nice day.

    elissa (25876b)

  271. Spointer – do you admit to commenting under various names? Sheldon? Imdw? Etc…

    JD (65d1c1)

  272. Did I miss the announcement of the “Wall of Text” competition?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  273. “have asked you several times to provide a link to ANY “right-wing” plan to mandate the deposit of Social Security funds into private accounts; to date, you have provided no such link, whatsoever.”

    That’s the Bush/Cain model for the reform.

    It’s a choice in Bush’s proposal. I’m not familiar with Cain’s.

    it diverts money from the FICA tax — which funds social security benefits, into private accounts, which do not fund social security benefits.

    What do you think of Obama cutting the FICA tax, which looks like it’s going to be permanent?

    Gerald A (e4f300)

  274. It’s right after ‘the Summarizing Proust’ competition

    narciso (ee31f1)

  275. Painted Jaguar: The only people who need to know, already know all they need to know about what elissa is doing in the fight to save the country. So if you don’t already know, you don’t need to know, you know?

    Painted Jaguar (A Sockpuppet) (3d3f72)

  276. The Justice who, unfortunately, looks most to me like not following his reading of the constitution, is Scalia. Some of the things he says, do not look law based, or look contrived.

    It looks contrived to knock out everything unless that’s a general principle. Roberts probably has the better of it said to the Anti-Injunction Act.

    If he does not that means the dissent should say Roberts should have said a challenge to the penalty awaits its implementation. Of course nobody wanted to do things that way.

    Maybe the anti-injunction act should apply, but Scalia can’t just rule out that it is a tax.

    Scalia says that because Congress didn’t call it a tax, it’s not a tax. He says there is a difference between what Congress could do and what it did do, but it could be that the only difference is classification and labeling, and their practice, as he admits, is to try to salvage laws or interpret them to do only what is constitutional. (and even if it goes over the line, to bring it back into line)

    He says that since the law has both exemptions from the mandate and separate exemptions from the tax penalty, the penalty can’t be a tax. He doesn’t have a good argument there. Sometimes you get two different lists that do the same thing. That’s not enough to throw out a law. He says the claim there is no violation of law in opting to pay the penalty rather than abide by the mandate is a self-serving litigation tactic and therefore has no weight. But weight or not, is that right or wrong or should the law be read to make it that way even if it doesn’t actually say so. Does Scalia treat every law this way?

    I do think Roberts just passes over something. He writes there is a difference between a mandate you are supposed to comply with (even without specific teeth) and tax you can avoid by doing something. He mentions immigration and child custody cases. I can imagine other things, like what kind of legal or accounting advice it would be considered proper to give. People could get sued over this, or be brought upon ethics charges maybe. Roberts just takes the government’s assertion as fact that there is no legal obligation of any kind to comply with the mandate without either attempting to analyze the law to show that it is so, or to wipe such an interpretation away as one they don’t have to take and by not taking avoid making the bill unconstitutional or to strike such implications on the grounds that removing them is minor and is enough to fix the bill.

    Scalia is right about the position of the Solicitor General in court – it should be ALTERNATIVELY it is a tax. He may also be right this is being decided too casually. So Roberts even according to his own opinion, should have held over the case, or supporting holding over the case over for reargument, over the question of whether or not the penalty was a constitutional tax.

    Here I find something curious, not mentioned in any opinion.

    Why did Chief Justice Roberts not hold that the penalty was an income tax? Why did he instead saythiswas a tax on not having health insurance?

    And what is the point of Roberts saying a capitation tax is contemplated by the constitution and this is surely not as harsh on some people as a capitation tax would be? That doesn’t answer the question of whether this tax is a permissible tax. That doesn’t make it NOT a direct tax.

    Scalia said the Direct Tax clause is famously unclear and a case of first impresession and it deserves more thoughtful consideration. Well, it does although he just wanted to avoid the issue.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  277. Comment by happyfeet — 7/2/2012 @ 1:57 pm

    the government – especially an embarrassingly cowardly useless bloated suicidal whorestate like our one – shouldn’t be able to force me to buy stuff

    Chief Justice Roberts agrees with that. He just says the government can tax the fact that you dd=id not buy X, Y, or Z. At least so long as the tax is not so high that it virtually forces you to do so, and he also noted that government contemplated (per the CBO) that a lot of people would pay the tax (which White House Press Secretary Carney and the Obama administration dismiss as a mere 1% of the population)

    I harbor serious doubts that a highly educated piece of Harvard trash like Mitt Romney has any real understanding of it either

    Oh Romney. He might zero out the tax penalty, and the business credits and taxes but be content to leave the rest of the bill alone, particularly guaranteed issue and community rating. Maybe even veto a bill that raised taxes or spending as part of a plan to create a viable health insurance or payments system because all he sees is budget figures.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  278. Is Sammy el Fink Man trying to blow up this blog with bloated bloviation ?

    Alasdair (46e8d1)

  279. Can’t wait for President Romney to issue the Executive Order announcing that henceforth, the IRS will no longer collect the Capital Gains Tax, nor the “Death Duty”, or any taxes on Gifts or Dividends.
    That would be legal would it not as there is a precedence, since President Obama has announced that there are many laws that he has directed the Justice Department not do defend/enforce?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  280. “Is Sammy el Fink Man trying to blow up this blog with bloated bloviation ?”

    Alasdair – It takes a lot of words to get the full 360 degrees of Sammy.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  281. Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 1:46 pm
    That’s the Bush/Cain model for the reform.
    — We’ll accept your endless repetitions of the same lame talking point as tacit admission that you’ve got nuthin’. You are a lying liar who lies, and you flat-out lied when you said that “right wing” plans to overhaul Social Security involve mandatory contributions into private accounts. M’kay?

    Sure it does — it diverts money from the FICA tax — which funds social security benefits, into private accounts, which do not fund social security benefits.
    — Each and every one of those private accounts would fund a social security benefit; namely, the benefit of the persons whose hard-earned money had funded those accounts to begin with! I know it’s hard for you, with your collectivist “everyone should pay into a common pool so that those that live longer can be taken care of by those that don’t” mindset to grasp this concept . . . it’s called Liberty.

    Icy (6e2ac4)

  282. 245. Comment by gzerman — 7/2/2012 @ 12:10 pm

    Why did Attorney General Reno let Horiuchi and his superiors off scot free?

    Not because of any general desire to justify anything “government” did, but because
    Lon T Horiuchi was a member of the FBI’s misnamed “Hotage Rescue Team” and on April 19, 1993, the Hostage Rescue Team shot at the Branch Davidians with special secret illegal instructions to kill a few crucial Branch Davidian witnessses to the Feb 28 raid, like David Koresh, and then set the fire. (my conclusion)

    And Larry Potts, one of Horiuchi’s superiors, was involved in both Ruby Ridge and Waco. Clinton later made him head of the Criminal Division and deputy director of the FBI but with his last promotion, he attracted too much attention and opposition and he had to be removed. You say Freeh made these appointments? Who appointed Freeh? Who fired the previous FBI Director on trumped up ethics charges? Clinton. It was these charges that gave Clinton the only legal grounds to fire him. He never mentioned that in his public announcement and he had been trying to get William Sessions to resign, but he wouldn’t.

    The fire was started by injecting CS tear gas at a high concentration. At somewhat lower concentrations, it would spontaneously combust in the presence of a flame and there were plenty of flames there because the electricity had been shut off and the Davidians were using kerosene lanterns. So the fire burst out in separate locations.

    Janet Reno was instrumental in starting the Waco fire because of the instructions she gave. She reversed a decision in the middle of the weekend.

    She quietly signed orders on the weekend of Friday April 16, 1993 to Monday April 19, 1993
    which were very cleverly drafted to remove responsibility from EVERYONE.

    They did not say that the siege should be brought to an immediately, although you might think so from what was broadcast on the public address system at Waco that the reporters there all heard. No, her statement later “This was not supposed to be D-Day” was quite correct – on paper.

    The orders said the perimeter (the boundaries of the area where the Davidians were)should be shrunk, but if there was shooting, which there wasn’t but they claimed there was, they could fire back, which they claimed they had not done.

    OR they could accelerate the tear gassing. This was written like it was almost an afterthought.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  283. 284. Comment by spointer — 7/2/2012 @ 1:46 pm
    That’s the Bush/Cain model for the reform.
    – We’ll accept your endless repetitions of the same lame talking point as tacit admission that you’ve got nuthin’. You are a lying liar who lies, and you flat-out lied when you said that “right wing” plans to overhaul Social Security involve mandatory contributions into private accounts. M’kay?

    Sure it does — it diverts money from the FICA tax — which funds social security benefits, into private accounts, which do not fund social security benefits.
    – Each and every one of those private accounts would fund a social security benefit; namely, the benefit of the persons whose hard-earned money had funded those accounts to begin with! I know it’s hard for you, with your collectivist “everyone should pay into a common pool so that those that live longer can be taken care of by those that don’t” mindset to grasp this concept . . . it’s called Liberty.

    Comment by Icy — 7/2/2012 @ 4:38 pm

    Icy, I agree entirely with your first point; he can’t provide a link and spointer will lamely pipsqueek “Bush/Cain plan” as if by doing that repeatedly no one will notice he can’t link to anything remotely supporting what he claims.

    But you’re giving the Bolshevik collectivist too much credit on the second point:

    I know it’s hard for you, with your collectivist “everyone should pay into a common pool so that those that live longer can be taken care of by those that don’t…”

    This isn’t about “taking care” of anyone. The reds are upset because if people fund their own retirements privately they can’t (or rather they haven’t been yet able to) access the money and spend it.

    The social security tax money just gets spent like any other tax money. If you live long enough to access your “lock box” you’ll just find old, dusty, worthless IOUs in it. Also known as very, very special treasury notes that are only used for social security purposes; same difference.

    Spoindexter is upset because if the money goes into an individual account that’s taking money away from the spendaholics in Congress. Nothing more. They could give a rat’s behind about grandma and cliffs and all; but if people are stupid enough to give up their money if the use the imagery, then granny will do as a prop.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  284. Similarly, the history of the Supreme Court appointments is a litany of error in predicting how justices will vote once on the court. They don’t all surprise us, but a lot of them do.

    So, in terms of imminent events, can we predict anything at all? No. You need only look at what was said days before the Berlin Wall came down, to see nobody can predict even a few hours ahead. People said all sorts of silly things about the Communist empire just hours before its collapse….

    NOBODY KNOWS THE FUTURE.

    Michael Crichton
    http://www.wbsi.org/ilfdigest/commentaries_mar_04.htm

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  285. The reports are saying that Chief Justice Roberts reads the papers and is concerned about how the press views his Court. He probably doesn’t like what he’s reading today.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  286. DRJ, I read one quip, though I don’t know where, that one of the many reasons Judges shouldn’t try to play politics is that they won’t be any good at it.

    Dustin (330eed)

  287. That depends on what papers and other media he reads, DRJ. He’s the darling of the NYT, and on the cover of Time.

    For all we know he may be basking in the sense that he’s truly restored the reputation of the court in the public eye. I.e. the only echo chamber he knows.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  288. 289. DRJ, I read one quip, though I don’t know where, that one of the many reasons Judges shouldn’t try to play politics is that they won’t be any good at it.

    Comment by Dustin — 7/2/2012 @ 7:59 pm

    Not only will they be lousy at the politics, Dustin, but the moment they try to play that game they become lousy at being judges as well.

    Steve57 (9fe8ab)

  289. the moment they try to play that game they become lousy at being judges

    Yes, of course. That’s the more serious issue.

    Dustin (330eed)

  290. Sammy may want to use links for long quotes, instead of cut and paste. But otherwise, leave him alone. He does not insult gratuitously, he does not make fun of people’s names, and nobody is under obligation to read his comments.

    nk (875f57)

  291. There was a fuller article on this, linked at #118. While Chief Justice Roberts sought out media coverage and what their perceptions were, the other conservative justices wisely kept themselves sequestered from it. It’s just so dismaying to think that concern of what others might think influenced such an enormous decision. I expect that from every day people, being what people are, but I don’t expect that from the highest court in our land.

    Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending (and avoid some publications altogether, such as The New York Times). They’ve explained that they don’t want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.

    But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public.

    He should have known from the get-go, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

    Dana (292dcf)

  292. He is a briliant lawyer. He should have stayed one.

    nk (875f57)

  293. _______________________________________________

    Stung by Recession, Young Voters Shed Image as Obama Brigade

    You can visit the site if you’d like, but the gist is that Obama is not embraced by first or second time voters like he is among the slightly older “youth” vote.

    Steve57, I know someone in my workplace who’s in his late 20s, who recently went to get some basic medical tests at a local clinic. He said the cost of that service was a few hundred dollars, but less than what he’d have to dole out for a year’s worth of health insurance. I mentioned that under Obamacare, he’ll soon be forced to pay up to nearly $700 per year—and that’s just for starters. He didn’t look too happy about that.

    I’ve previously avoided talking about politics with him, but my sense is he’s nominally liberal or philosophically very pliable. I was tempted to ask him how he’ll vote this November, but, again, because I’m fully aware of the phrase — often applied to family get-togethers — that in order to ensure tranquility it’s best to bypass the topics of religion and politics, I let the conversation drop.

    With people in general, there’s plenty of foolish left-leaning sentiment out there, infecting, if you will, a good portion of the public. And since this is Patterico.com, it bears mentioning that the owner of this blog says his wife is a liberal—and she consequently cancels out his vote.

    Regrettably, left-leaning bias is very pervasive and profound, and many of those who adhere to such a reaction can be toyed with — by tricky liberal politicians in particular — like a bunch of saps and suckers. A ton of bricks can fall on quite a few of those on the left, and — given the examples of blue-state America, urban America (eg, the city of Detroit), lazy-socialist Europe, leftist Mexico or Argentina — they won’t flinch one iota, their idiotic liberal voting patterns perfectly intact.

    It’s hard to overestimate the gullibility, laziness and idiocy — and, interesting enough, greed and sense of boozy (or delirious) self-entitlement — that often is an intrinsic part of left-leaning biases in humans.

    Mark (90205b)

  294. “Each and every one of those private accounts would fund a social security benefit; namely, the benefit of the persons whose hard-earned money had funded those accounts to begin with!”

    That’s not how social security is funded. Also, private accounts don’t fund much if the market collapses.

    “I know it’s hard for you, with your collectivist “everyone should pay into a common pool so that those that live longer can be taken care of by those that don’t” mindset to grasp this concept . . . it’s called Liberty.”

    It’s a simple model — those who work take care of those who can’t either due to disability or retirement. It’s incredibly popular, works well, and the right wing has been angry about all of these facts ever since.

    spointer (77ac66)

  295. “You are a lying liar who lies, and you flat-out lied when you said that “right wing” plans to overhaul Social Security involve mandatory contributions into private accounts.”

    It really is that simple — the plans would mandate either a tax or a contribution. Like the PPACA mandate. Cain, though he ran a joke campaign, explicitly mentioned Chile. That place has a mandate. You want to run around and change the definition of mandates all you want.

    Now if you really want to blow your mind…find out if the Paul Ryan plan to overhaul medicare would include a mandate.

    spointer (77ac66)

  296. Good Allah, you don’t know the difference between an option and a mandate, or even care,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  297. Its a troll, narciso. It has no interest in anything approaching intellectual honesty or integrity.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  298. This one is worse than the average troll SPQR. Sheldon/spointer/imdw is on about it’s 20th identity, and posted pics of Patterico’s house.

    JD (2c0b70)

  299. “Good Allah, you don’t know the difference between an option and a mandate, or even care,”

    Under the PPACA, you have the option of paying the tax or getting insurance. The Roberts opinion describes this as a “choice.” One is not a lawbreaker because one makes that choice to pay the tax. This is similar to the treatment of FICA and the private accounts under Bush’s proposal.

    spointer (77ac66)

  300. spointer, Nancy Pelosi and the White House say its a “penalty” so that one is a lawbreaker.

    But then, you don’t really pay any attention to the actual news, do you?

    Is there a reason you still infest these threads with your lame ass trolling?

    SPQR (348739)

  301. If any employee elects to take the policy, ther is a 2,000 penalty or tax.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  302. A little reminder of how perverse is,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  303. narciso, Obamacare could not be worse in its job killing effects if the Democrats had actually intended for it to be a job killer.

    SPQR (348739)

  304. Comment by narciso — 7/3/2012 @ 8:00 am

    If any employee elects to take the policy, ther is a 2,000 penalty or tax.

    Rush Limbaugh said this only applies for people who get a policy through a state-run exchange, because there is no subsidy on policies acquired thriuygh a federal exschange.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  305. As Benjy Sarlin quipped on Twitter: “He writes the opinion AND the dissent. He is….the most interesting man in the world.”

    SPQR (26be8b)


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