Patterico's Pontifications

11/15/2013

The Tough Solution to Obama’s Lawlessness in Rewriting Statutes — Hint: It Ain’t Lawsuits

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am



John Fund asks if Obama is violating the Constitution with impunity:

At last night’s annual Federalist Society dinner in Washington there was general agreement that Obama had violated the Constitution. “A president has discretion to prioritize which lawbreakers to prosecute in federal court, but there is no ‘enforcement discretion’ to determine which laws on the books he will enforce,” constitutional scholar Ken Klukowski told me.

But the problem is that anyone wanting to challenge President Obama’s extra-constitutional action would have to show standing in court — some injury that would allow litigation to go forward. “He’s been clever about this,” Utah Senator Mike Lee told me. “If you are simply reducing legal burdens on people rather than curbing their behavior, it’s hard to prove an injury. It’s a dangerous precedent because it could give presidents a path to ignore laws they don’t like.”

Everyone seems to think that these matters can only be resolved by lawsuits. But standing is famously difficult to establish in these situations. Justice Scalia once wrote to attempt to dispel the notion that the courts were the place to resolve a political branch’s overreaching:

Our system is designed for confrontation. That is what “[a]mbition . . . counteract[ing] ambition,” The Federalist, No. 51, at 322 (J. Madison), is all about. If majorities in both Houses of Congress care enough about the matter, they have available innumerable ways to compel executive action without a lawsuit —- from refusing to confirm Presidential appointees to the elimination of funding. (Nothing says “enforce the Act” quite like “. . . or you will have money for little else.”) But the condition is crucial; Congress must care enough to act against the President itself, not merely enough to instruct its lawyers to ask us to do so. Placing the Constitution’s entirely anticipated political arm wrestling into permanent judicial receivership does not do the system a favor. And by the way, if the President loses the lawsuit but does not faithfully implement the Court’s decree, just as he did not faithfully implement Congress’s statute, what then? Only Congress can bring him to heel by . . . what do you think? Yes: a direct confrontation with the President.

If I recall correctly, this passage was about whether Congress could force the President to defend a statute in court — but it could apply to Obama rewriting statutes to change effective dates of provisions, to conform to his electoral comfort. “[T]hey have available innumerable ways to compel executive action without a lawsuit —- from refusing to confirm Presidential appointees to the elimination of funding” — and if things get bad enough, they have . . . impeachment.

There. I said it.

Any way you slice it, we need to talk about Obama’s lawlessness. Nothing will happen if we don’t.

181 Responses to “The Tough Solution to Obama’s Lawlessness in Rewriting Statutes — Hint: It Ain’t Lawsuits”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. between the chinless kentuckyslut and boehnerpoofter

    Obama’s in pretty good shape here I’d guess

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. Let’s see. Obama promises that you can violate the law without being prosecuted. Are the insurance companies going to trust his word enough to stick out their necks? I doubt it.

    AZ Bob (ade845)

  4. Obama is playing the insurance companies. Now as things go south, he can blame the insurance companies for failing to cooperate. Politics as usual. This unilateral delay is nothing more than a set up to blame insurance companies.

    AZ Bob (ade845)

  5. Impeachment is a meaningless waste of energy, until at least Jan of 2015.

    If we impeach while the progs hold the Senate, then it will be a Clintonian, rather than a Nixonian impeachment.

    Obama won’t leave just because the House impeaches him. He’ll have to be convicted by the Senate, and for that we need to get the Senate filled with R’s next November.

    Which we might need anyway, if we’re going to stand a chance of repealing Obamacare. Unless it causes enough pain to get the Senate progs to go along with repeal. That is probably a pipe dream, though.

    Steve (ddadf8)

  6. Nothing new under the Sun

    Colonel Haiku (1a103d)

  7. In a rational world , President Obama would have already been impeached. In this world,there is literally nothing he could do that would convince the democrats to impeach him.

    gahrie (90844b)

  8. It’s the Chicago Way. Until someone can convince the health insurance, pharmaceutical and medical providers they’re better off in a free market rather than a “guaranteed” Washington-managed market the public will continue to be trapped in the political and economic crossfire. Unfortunately they’re more afraid of freedom than they are of tyranny.

    crazy (d60cb0)

  9. He blameshiftin’ ba da bop bop
    He blameshiftin’ ba da bop bop

    Colonel Haiku (1a103d)

  10. There’s some lawlessness that is pretty universally liked, as with marijuana (and with outlawed health insurance policies.)

    http://www.mpp.org/assets/pdfs/library/Federal-Enforcement-Policy-De-Prioritizing-Medical-Marijuana.pdf

    Although federal criminal law does not have an exception for the medical use of marijuana, several statements made by Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, and their spokespeople in 2008, 2009, and 2010 reflected that the enforcement of federal criminal laws against those complying with state medical marijuana laws would not be an enforcement priority….

    In both cases, it seems to be a way of having Congress avoid repealing or amending laws, since you could get the votes to do so pretty easily.

    There’s actually a proposed law to do the same thing with marijuana that Obama seems more or elss to have done:

    http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th/house-bill/1523

    Amends the Controlled Substances Act to provide that provisions of such Act related to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with state laws relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of marihuana.

    Some people just simply can’t get out of the habit of endorsing changes in law, rather than relying on the president:

    http://www.theweedblog.com/naacp-supports-federal-legislation-calling-for-respect-for-state-marijuana-laws/

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  11. [T]hey have available innumerable ways to compel executive action without a lawsuit —- from refusing to confirm Presidential appointees to the elimination of funding” — and if things get bad enough, they have . . . impeachment.

    A[n]y way you slice it, we need to talk about Obama’s lawlessness.

    I totally agree with this post, except that “need to” and “have the courage and leadership to” are entirely different things.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  12. Ay way you slice it, we need to talk about Obama’s lawlessness. Nothing will happen if we don’t.

    #1: “ANY way you slice…”
    #2. Questioning Ear Leader’s action’s is racist. i denounce you all for reading/writting this.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  13. At some point, if the President’s actions are lawless, Congress may have to think beyond the impeachment process if Democrats in the Senate are not willing to, at all, consider voting in a trial based on the facts of the matter.

    But I don’t think there’s any chance leadership exists to do this, so it is a pipe dream in essence. The US slips in to lawlessness, at least whenever a Democrat is elected, and remember they not only bend laws but also corrupt the democrat process more directly.

    All this while the power of the surveillance police state is growing.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  14. *democratic process

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  15. Nothing should compel a party to take action against their own president for circumventing and abrogating Congress more than the fear that failure to do so will establish precedent for a president from the opposing party to employ the same tactics.

    But ever since the Dems circled the wagons around Clinton, they have steadfastly refused to consider the long term implications, and dangers, that such countenance allows.

    GOP Presidents are much less likely to treat the constitutionally separated powers with such disrespect, which may be a factor in the Dem’s calculations, but the opportunity for doing so is greatly enhanced by a refusal to stand up a Dem president. I, for one, can see a President Christie using this technique, and his election is not so far off the table as was a junior Senator’s from Illinois in 2008.

    Besides, the whole notion of law binding all men, president or no, was to escape the tyranny of power. Eroding this for short term political gain is a slow poison to our democracy.

    NeoCon_1 (c4b0a4)

  16. “Nothing should compel a party to take action against their own president for circumventing and abrogating Congress more than the fear that failure to do so will establish precedent for a president from the opposing party to employ the same tactics.”

    But, philosophically, Republican Presidents are not inclined to do this and they know it. They take advantage of it.

    Whereas, leftist collectivists are quite inclined to do this, and if we can read history, we should understand this.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  17. Why do you think Nixon was forced to resign and Clinton wasn’t?

    Ponder that.

    It has everything to do with the different philosophies of the parties as they’re constituted now. I.e., Republican senators would, in fact, convict a corrupt unlawful Republican President in an impeachment trial.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  18. The President who as a Senator and Presidential candidate raised such a prissy little ruckus about his predecessor’s use of signing statements now unilaterally decides to enforce laws to the degree that he sees fit.

    NeoCon_1 is right: Democrats better understand that Obama has expanded the boundaries of legitimate behavior for future chief executives. What is to stop President Christie from deciding that going through the process for repealing ObamaCare is too divisive, so just ordering the IRS and the Justice Department to make prosecuting those who violate HCA statutes an extremely low priority? What will Democrats say then?

    JVW (7af523)

  19. Why do you think Nixon was forced to resign and Clinton wasn’t?

    Your explanation of the GOP being principled enough to turn on their leader in a way that Dems would never fathom is certainly a huge part of it. The other major factor is that by the time Watergate happened, the liberal establishment that dominates Washington and the national media had already hated Nixon for a quarter century. In contrast, they actually loved Clinton, so they were extremely willing to collude with him to make his crimes seem quaint and unrelated to his duties.

    JVW (7af523)

  20. “Your explanation of the GOP being principled ….”

    Even if the politicians wouldn’t, much of the base would. The Democrat base? Not to much.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  21. I so agree. We need to stop this blizzard of “fixes” and talk about the real issue: presidential lawlessness.

    Boehner needs to make a sober intellectual speech about why this bill needs to be repealed and not “fixed,” how the damage to the republic will be irreparable if we continue this Ceasarian slide into despotism via “fixing.”

    Patricia (be0117)

  22. What we’re seeing here is Presidential nullification of laws, (although not positive legislation.)

    But it is not just de facto nullification, which may have happened before, but it comes with all sorts of legislative type parameters, i.e., just these cases and not other cases, and only if certain conditions are met and so on. Like it was a one page bill.

    And this is happening not just when the president (or even maybe a large section of the public) wants to abolish or amend some provisions of law, except that it would be difficult to get the legislation through Congress, but even when it would be relatively easy to get Congress to change the law, and actually in an attempt to avoid having Congress do so.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  23. “And this is happening not just when the president (or even maybe a large section of the public) wants to abolish or amend some provisions of law, except that it would be difficult to get the legislation through Congress, but even when it would be relatively easy to get Congress to change the law, and actually in an attempt to avoid having Congress do so.”

    Sammy – Is this a signal that you are finally willing to acknowledge what the presidents has been doing his entire time in office, along with the cover ups and stonewalling of oversight?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 11/15/2013 @ 11:21 am

    Sammy – Is this a signal that you are finally willing to acknowledge what the presidents has been doing his entire time in office, along with the cover ups and stonewalling of oversight?

    Well, it’s becoming a little bit clear this nullification is becoming a general policy. He has to do it a number of times till you can say that, and the instances are probably increasing.

    I never said he wasn’t covering up things and stonewalling oversight.

    I just thought, and still do, that it wasn’t always, or even maybe often, the way people said.

    I always thought, and still do, that Fast and Furious was something that originated at a lower level and really reflected bribery of BATF agents, and was not done for the purposes of creating an argument for gun control. The bribed people made that argument to their political level superiors.

    And top level aides were really misled themselves about Benghazi around September 14-16, 2013. Hillary Clinton, of course, knew there hsd been no demonstration, but she wasn’t going to interfere.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  25. Impeachment is a meaningless waste of energy, until at least Jan of 2015.
    If we impeach while the progs hold the Senate, then it will be a Clintonian, rather than a Nixonian impeachment.

    and

    It has everything to do with the different philosophies of the parties as they’re constituted now. I.e., Republican senators would, in fact, convict a corrupt unlawful Republican President in an impeachment trial.

    Disagree with both of these, for the same reason.

    Nixon might well have been convicted, even though there were 42 Republican and 1 Conservative Party Senator. This has much more to do with the repercussions of voting to acquit than it does with principal. Look at what Ford’s pardon did to his re-election chances (and he nearly did not get nominated).

    An Obama on trial in the Senate, given charges as grave and as proven as they were in Watergate, would present the Democrat Senators with severe problems. A vote to acquit would be seen as pure politics and trash their image with all but their base. OTOH, a vote to convict, and especially an actual conviction, would utterly sunder the special relationship between blacks and the Democrat Party.

    I can see a scenario, not unlike Nixon’s, where articles of Impeachment are proposed, Obama’s political support is in the toilet, and instead of Goldwater leading a delegation to see Nixon, Cory Booker would lead one to see Obama. And he would resign.

    Although it is possible he’d be too effing stupid. There’s always that.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  26. On the question of “Standing”….

    Why cannot the Congress write a rule on standing that allows citizens-at-large to challenge legislation and/or executive actions in the District Courts under the umbrella that what is being challenged is “harmful to the Republic”; after all, those courts are the creation of the Congress?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  27. Also, it has to be mentioned, Nixon had almost no support from Conservatives. Goldwater despised him. The Libertarian Party was created in reaction to him. Nixon was the guy who made the Great Society hum. And, lest we forget, wage and price controls.

    As Nixon explained as he resigned, he was doing so because his political base had collapsed and he could no longer govern effectively.

    He might have been acquitted, but there was no longer much of a point. Unlike Clinton, he had no chance at recovery.

    Obama is a lot closer to Nixon right now than he is to Clinton.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  28. If nk is around, he should be informed that Greece is currently playing Romania in a World Cup qualifier. Greece is ahead 2-1, halfway thru the first half.

    This is the first game of the two game playoff. Each team hosts a game and the winner is decided by total goals. (The next tiebreaker if the teams have the same number of goals is “number of goals scored as the visiting team.”)

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  29. Why cannot the Congress write a rule on standing that allows citizens-at-large to challenge legislation and/or executive actions in the District Courts under the umbrella that what is being challenged is “harmful to the Republic”; after all, those courts are the creation of the Congress?

    Sure, they could, but are you thinking this through? There is a point to limiting standing. They opened up environmental laws something like this and you can’t install a public drinking fountain without a lawsuit anymore.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  30. Obama is in danger of going into political freefall, not legal freefall. Not yet, but there are people who understand the coming “surprises” so you could anticipate it.

    Various Republicans actually are in worse shape in public opinion than Obama.

    There’s nobody in Washington who polls at a higher job approval rating than Obama, who is at 39%.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  31. Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 11/15/2013 @ 12:13 pm

    Your “worst case scenario” seems to already exist, so just what are we avoiding?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  32. There’s nobody in Washington who polls at a higher job approval rating than Obama, who is at 39%.
    —————

    Sammy, that’s simply not true.
    There are a ton of Congressmen and Senators who poll approval ratings much higher than 39%.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  33. worst-er case?

    I would actually remove a lot of the environmental standing laws and maybe even preempt state ones, as they have become tactical means for a tiny minority to undermine due process.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  34. There’s nobody in Washington who polls at a higher job approval rating than Obama, who is at 39%.

    And the Supreme Court (46% recently). And the Armed Forces (76% in 2010)

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  35. Thanks, Elephant Stone. I remember the last time Greece played in the World Cup. It was a game against Poland. A train came by and blew its whistle, the Polish team thought the game was over, and walked off the field. Fifteen minutes later, the Greek team scored a goal.

    nk (dbc370)

  36. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 11/15/2013 @ 12:24 pm

    There are a ton of Congressmen and Senators who poll approval ratings much higher than 39%.

    I read about Voehner and s =o on, and those are national polls.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  37. 27. Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 11/15/2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Obama is a lot closer to Nixon right now than he is to Clinton.

    Like LBJ maybe, or even worse, or Jimmy Carter.

    He may be heading there. He’s not there yet. It depends on how he mismanages Obamacare.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  38. There’s nobody in Washington who polls at a higher job approval rating than Obama, who is at 39%.

    If your insurance has just been cancelled and you now face the choice between paying more for coverage, possibly unable to keep your current doctor due to the narrowing of the provider network, or just going without due to affordability, wtf do you care who’s poll numbers are higher.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  39. 36. Boehner.

    Congress as a whole is at 6% approval, heading, as Gail Collins joked, into negative numbers.

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/11/raleigh-nc-when-ppp-last-polled-the-american-electorate-in-early-october-at-the-beginning-of-the-shutdown-republ.html#more

    This was a poll taken in late October that still had Obama at 46%.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  40. It has everything to do with the different philosophies of the parties as they’re constituted now. I.e., Republican senators would, in fact, convict a corrupt unlawful Republican President in an impeachment trial.

    Disagree with both of these, for the same reason.

    Nixon might well have been convicted, even though there were 42 Republican and 1 Conservative Party Senator. This has much more to do with the repercussions of voting to acquit than it does with principal. Look at what Ford’s pardon did to his re-election chances (and he nearly did not get nominated).

    I was talking about the philosophies of the parties, not the senators, who I take it for granted are mostly sociopaths or narcissists.

    Your explanation of the GOP being principled ….

    Even if the politicians wouldn’t, much of the base would. The Democrat base? Not to much.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  41. Wake up and smell teh cat food, Sammy.

    Colonel Haiku (2bcc2f)

  42. Sammy, I imagine Nancy Pelosi currently polls at 70-something percent approval in her Congressional District. And the people who disapprove of her think she’s not left wing enough. Ha, ha.

    John Thune is such a popular Senator in South Dakota that the Democrats didn’t even run against him in 2010. I imagine he’s got an approval rating in the 60s.

    I was not a math major, but last time I checked, those numbers are higher than Obama’s 39.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  43. nk, Greece is now ahead, 3-1.
    Live streaming

    http://espn.go.com/watchespn/player/_/id/1216132/size/condensed/

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  44. Sammy, Congress’s poll numbers are never very good.

    Disregarding the 9/11 spike, 40% is an excellent number for them. Unless both houses are controlled by the same party, partisans of both sides despise them collectively. The highest recent numbers (over 50%) start in 1995 after the Gingrich takeover and extend through the early Oughts. The divided Congress that followed was back down to 20%, up again to 40% when the Dems had both sides, and now back in the toilet.

    It is probably worse than usual now given that Obama and the press (but I repeat myself) keeps attacking the House.

    Individuals, of course, seldom suffer negatives from both parties’ partisans, so they will always be over 30% at the minimum, disregarding “Don’t know”.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  45. Jesus, that’s stupid. Pollsters ask people what they think about Congress as an institution. It means very little towards voters’ opinions of their own congresscritters. “They’re all bums, except my guy.”

    radar (257ad5)

  46. Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 11/15/2013 @ 12:28 pm

    Congress can cut the legs out from under the NIMBY’s on a lot of issues by just inserting the following four words in legislation:

    “Notwithstanding any other law”.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  47. lie after lie falls
    on increasingly deaf ears
    He has no standing

    Colonel Haiku (42710d)

  48. So 0 is struck by an errant golf ball and Joe takes over, decides to go back to obeying the law as written.

    They think we’re fools, and they’re right.

    (to the tune of “Mickey Mouse Club”)
    I M P
    E A C
    H him now.
    Lawless Barry,
    Lawless Barry,
    Forever let us hold our banner high!
    I M P
    E A C
    H him now!

    htom (412a17)

  49. when death does claim Him
    one thing that will not be said
    “His word was His bond”

    Colonel Haiku (9a1c93)

  50. looks into mirror
    gives Himself smile and a wink
    Teh Great Deceiver

    Colonel Haiku (6b7e88)

  51. #15: “I, for one, can see a President Christie using this technique…”

    you’d still be talking about a demonrat president in this scenario.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  52. 45.Jesus, that’s stupid. Pollsters ask people what they think about Congress as an institution. It means very little towards voters’ opinions of their own congresscritters. “They’re all bums, except my guy.”

    It means even less to those affected by 404Care. BTW, the administrative fix does nothing to make the old policies “legal”, the zipster just isn’t going to enforce the law—sorta kinda like our immigration laws. I don’t see any insurance company opening themselves up to a possible lawsuit.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  53. Why, despite the courts’ reluctance to get into political disputes, couldn’t an individual sue an insurance company that was renewing old policies against the law? That has nothing to do with any politics — the law is or it is not.

    Say, for example, a 50yo alcoholic type II diabetic smoker who had just scored a nearly free exchange plan with all the subsidy trimmings sued their insurance company, claiming that by illegally undermining the law’s economic base the plaintiff’s access to insurance and therefore their health was being endangered.

    Surely there would be hundreds of progressive public-interest law firms scrambling to take such an appealing case.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  54. I note that Obama has said a) that he will ignore the law and allow insurance companies to extend plans through 2014, and b) he will veto the Upton plan which gives him the legal authority to do so.

    A suggestion: That if he does both those things a single Article of Impeachment ought to be adopted, and let the Senate decide if Presidents can ignore the law like that.

    And be plain that this will be considered a precedent, if so. If you are going to have a Constitutional Crisis, then don’t dick around with it.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  55. He is so totally betting on black – begging he’s begging to be impeached….

    F@cker

    epwj (6140f6)

  56. For Dustin…

    PUTTING THE BOOT IN: Mitt Romney on CBS: ‘The Real Problem the President Has’ Isn’t a Website, ‘It’s Dishonesty.’http://www.mediaite.com/tv/mitt-romney-on-cbs-the-real-problem-the-president-has-isnt-a-website-its-dishonesty/

    Related: Romney’s Uncanny Predictions About Obama’s Second Term Make Him Look Like He Had Psychic Superpowers. http://www.ijreview.com/2013/11/94342-mitt-romney-made-predictions-prior-obamas-second-term-p-s-right/

    Colonel Haiku (425909)

  57. You might as well put a sock in all that impeachment talk. A hint of real action on impeachment and every big city (and college campus) in the country turns into a war zone. The time for congress to assert itself was probably 40 years ago.

    glenn (647d76)

  58. I would think about voting for Mitt again, but he would have to fire Ferhnstrom and the rest of the N.E. handlers.

    mg (31009b)

  59. I actually think Romney should run again.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  60. every big city (and college campus) in the country turns into a war zone.

    Many of us are prepared for such an eventuality!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  61. “You might as well put a sock in all that impeachment talk. A hint of real action on impeachment and every big city (and college campus) in the country turns into a war zone. The time for congress to assert itself was probably 40 years ago.”

    And that’s worse than slipping uncontested into tyranny how?

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  62. Comment by Former Conservative (6e026c) — 11/15/2013 @ 4:12 pm

    Next time he’ll run as a Dem.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  63. I actually think Romney should run again.

    We could do worse. And have (Dole, McCain, Nixon, Ford and at least one Bush).

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  64. askeptic, you really have to be at the right edge of the reservation to think Romney is a liberal.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  65. Nixon ran more than once to get into office, Kevin M, and Romney isn’t corrupt. If anything, I think he ran an honorable campaign.

    Is Romney my first choice? Never was. That would have been Gingrich from the available pool last time – and no, I don’t think he should run. People will be looking for honesty, being so personally abused by its opposite.

    Lots of good options, but I don’t think it would be unreasonable for Romney to throw his hat in the ring again.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  66. Since “Former Conservative” is neither, my point is a sarcastic dig towards a smart-a$$.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  67. You might as well put a sock in all that impeachment talk. A hint of real action on impeachment and every big city (and college campus) in the country turns into a war zone. The time for congress to assert itself was probably 40 years ago.

    Let me get this straight. We can’t try to enforce the Constitution and the limits to power because the usurper’s minions will start killing people? Seems more like we’re in a hurry.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  68. Since “Former Conservative” is neither

    Honestly, why do you say that? What definition of “Conservative” does he fail to once have been?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  69. The time for congress to assert itself was probably 40 years ago.

    Forty years ago, they passed the War Powers Act, which Obama has ignored several times now. Forty years ago they we all set to impeach Nixon for pretty much doing what Obama is doing.

    What should they have done that they did not do?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  70. One wonders what would have happened if Nixon had won in ’60, if Reagan had won in ’76,

    narciso (3fec35)

  71. They nearly impeached W, even though he dotted the I’s asked the congress for approval et al,

    narciso (3fec35)

  72. A hint of real action on impeachment and every big city (and college campus) in the country turns into a war zone

    we should be so lucky…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  73. They never would have passed an impeachment of W — his defense would have been to point out the truth. It was far better to impeach him in the press where he couldn’t fight back.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  74. Honestly, why do you say that? What definition of “Conservative” does he fail to once have been?

    Not that I’m particularly important to the thread, but I’ll point out that people identify as “conservatives” are not the sum total of those who oppose a slide into leftist tyranny.

    If you must know, I’m pretty socially liberal, support a small (or no if that could happen) (which it probably couldn’t due to national defense reasons) government. Basically, I’m somewhere on the libertarian/anarcho-capitalism axis, with a lot more nuance than that because I recognize certain biological realities of our species lead us naturally toward some collective action, especially in war.

    Anyway, I despise material lying, so don’t like Obama on that basis. Plus, Obamacare isn’t even a competent national healthcare plan. If one is going to have one, it is a disaster and a nonstarter.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  75. I actually think Romney should run again.

    good idea: he and the Jersey Whale can clog up the Demonrat primaries, where their useless RINO bleating will fit right in, and the GOP can put forth a conservative candidate.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  76. I actually think Romney should run again.

    Captain Ahab is screwing his wooden leg on and will be floating in any minute now…

    Colonel Haiku (425909)

  77. I will add that there’s no need for Romney to run again. The field should have lots of suitable alternatives.

    However, the fact that Romney was so right about Obamacare could, depending on how things turn out, be a major plus for him in the general election.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  78. FC,

    I wasn’t aware that one had to be a Social Conservative to be a Conservative, and I always thought that’s why the modifier “social” was used.

    Me, I’m for a small government, but not no government, and find the libertarians flawed in their social aloofness. But I vary from neutral (abortion) to none-of-my-business (gays) on social issues. And, as I’ve said before, I find the insistence that Republican candidates pass socon litmus tests the main reason for Romney’s loss and long-term losses on the West Coast.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  79. Actually, as with Whitman, there is no excuse really, it’s like Raccoon City,

    narciso (3fec35)

  80. “I wasn’t aware that one had to be a Social Conservative to be a Conservative, and I always thought that’s why the modifier “social” was used.”

    Conservatives believe in maintaining traditions. I believe in finding truths.

    I don’t know all the truths, so I go with libertarian and let people live their lives as they wish provided they aren’t using force against me. I include governments in this analysis, and object to their frequent and increasing use of force and intimidation.

    In the last 35 years, for example, the prison population has increased by about five times. That’s insane. If that’s conservatism, count me out.

    Former Conservative (6e026c)

  81. All I know is I shoulda been a Secret Service Agent. Dayuum!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  82. There will be NO impeachment!! The roaches on both sides of the aisle are firmly entrenched. They had the chance and reason to put the brakes on on numerous occasions since his ascension, and stood idly by while he raped the nation. Recall- NBB voter intimidation, F & F, Benghazi, and on and on, ad nauseum. The Constitution is so twisted up in knots it will never be repaired, thanks to bench warmers who are more concerned with re-election than the rule of law. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (paraphrase) Only God could help us, but we’ve thrown Him out of everything–government, schools, and most churches in Amerika!!

    Mike Pickering (a7d009)

  83. we should still do the impeachment dance I think Mr. Pickering

    put yo hands up

    put yo hands up

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  84. The problem with what Obama is doing is that he makes lawmaking nearly impossible. How on earth can legislators hammer out compromises when the executive is going to ignore everything his side had to give up?

    Patterico and others are right in saying that the courts are unwilling to sort out the direct dispute between branches, but historically they ahve sorted out these same disputes when third parties have been harmed.

    Case in point: executive impounding of appropriated funds (Train v New York 1975). Congress passed a law in 1974 saying that the executive had to spend all appropriated funds. Up to then, Presidents had felt able to impound funds they did not think necessary to spend. Nixon had vetoed a clean water bill and been overridden, and decided that he would order the EPA not to spend the money anyway. The City of New York, which expected to get some of the funds sued and the Supremes said that the money had to be spent.

    So, while the Court won’t step in between the other two branches directly, once the problem metastasizes they don’t have much choice.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  85. Safe for work. http://i.imgur.com/eauVGGV.png If you’re a conservative, you’ll laugh. If you’re a liberal … I don’t know what you’ll do.

    nk (dbc370)

  86. Obama has the will to not enforce the law, however that doesn’t change the law and companies which sell banned policies are still breaking the law. The next person to work out of the oval office can as easily decide to punish companies which violate the law as the current occupant is deciding not to. Is it really good sense for an insurance company to risk that the next president will be willing to overlook the law when a violation will effectively put the companies out of business (one of the penalties is being banned from the exchanges)?

    max (131bc0)

  87. The problem with what Obama is doing is that he makes lawmaking nearly impossible.

    Would that that were the case.

    The problem is it leads to capricious arbitrary rule and tyranny at the hands of the growing surveillance police state.

    Former Conservative (7f232e)

  88. And to think, they made such a fuss over W’s use of signing statements,

    narciso (3fec35)

  89. The problem with President Obama is he thought running a country would be the same as advancing through an urban Democratic machine.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  90. Ace nails it:

    Oprah claims the contempt directed at Obama is due to racism. Nonsense– the love directed towards him is due to race.

    The contempt is due to his actual performance. To judge him by any other standard than his dismal performance is racial condescension.

    Diffus (4a5ca6)

  91. 84. Well then its high time we admit we’re a banana republic and host a military coup(the ‘p’ is silent Choomster).

    Six states have already told Hagel is orders are nullified re: their National Guard contingents.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  92. “we need to talk about Obama’s lawlessness. Nothing will happen if we don’t.”

    And nothing will happen if you do.

    Blarg, blarg, blarg.

    Useless putzes.

    Act.

    The left does. Always.

    That’s why they win.

    Fred Z (80a49d)

  93. The Obama Administration wants to pay more money to insurers to compensate them for “unexpected costs” of cancelling and reissuing policies. They love spending our money and it’s the answer to every problem.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. 87-nk- dollars to donuts, on the bumper is a Kerry/Edwards sticker.

    mg (31009b)

  95. It’s New Jersey plates, mg, so I think you’re right.

    nk (dbc370)

  96. “Deeply naïve”!!!

    http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/ben-stein-obama-jews/2013/11/14/id/536759?promo_code=EB8D-1&utm_source=National_Review&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1

    Seriously, where do these dipsh*t Republicans get this crap?

    Mengele was deeply naïve and his altruism misguided.

    Crack Whore O’Mengele, might have to create a hotkey for that one.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  97. If this administration doesn’t have a metal plate in its collective head, it needs one. The same holds true for Democrats in general.

    Colonel Haiku (43f373)

  98. gary, worry when Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz do. This is a “wag the dog” as far as I’m concerned — a fake problem created to waste the energies of Obama’s opponents and to make him look good when he comes up with a “solution”.

    nk (dbc370)

  99. Eighty four days ’til the Debt Ceiling is o’r topped.

    http://www.conservativehq.com/node/15473?

    Mr. Boehner, your move.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  100. 100. Unclear on your referent for ‘fake problem’.

    Especially so because of an intimated ‘solution’.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  101. 102, Cont. Der Fuhrer supposed, wrongly, that the pliant Anglosphere would take the Jews off his hands.

    Hence the ‘Final Solution’.

    But they leaked into Israel.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  102. And morbidly obese:

    http://victorygirlsblog.com/?p=15688

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  103. Fake problem: OMG, if we loosen up already pretty much meaningless economic sanctions which only effect the standard of living of Iran’s civilian population and do not seem in any way to degrade its military capabilities, Iran will blow up Israel!

    Fake solution: Crack Nobel Prize winning diplomacy made an enemy into a friend and brought peace in our time you Chimp-S*itler-Halliburton chickenhawks.

    But I’ll ask you, straight out. Do you think you care more about Israel and Jews in general than Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz do? If they’re letting Obama/Kerry do this, I think I’m right that there is no real problem.

    nk (dbc370)

  104. In any case, it’s a free country and what you worry about is your business. I shouldn’t tell you what to do.

    nk (dbc370)

  105. 106. Well, Iran has at least a couple working nuclear devices, Israel has a very few hundred.

    Saudi Arabia is getting theirs. Israel is at most 50 miles wide and the Persian gulf not a lot wider. Iran does not actually need a missile to deliver the package.

    Egypt is realigning with the Russkies.

    And the whole region is in economic freefall headed into winter.

    Call me Chicken Little but WWIII is one piddling Holy Place outrage away.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  106. 107. Cont. The Syrian Kurds just declared autonomy, may as well have stolen Erdogan’s daughters.

    Do any of these factions believe there are hyperpower consequences for their actions?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  107. ==Call me Chicken Little but WWIII is one piddling Holy Place outrage away.==

    I don’t think anyone’s necessarily exactly calling you Chicken Little–the world is clearly in a dangerous place. I think it’s more a case that some of us think you worry and stew an awful lot about things you have no control over (like nuclear war and the primacy of the dollar). Gary, in your dread of the future, please just don’t miss the joys of the here and now with your precious little daughter.

    Here’s how I cope: I am planning our Christmas Eve dinner party, I just re-upped our White Sox tickets for next year, I have a theater subscription series for next season, and put down money on a pretty big trip next fall right before the election. I’m just going to plan on being here and able to do all or most of those things.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  108. I’ll grant you that the only diplomacy Turks know, they brought down from the steppes a thousand years ago. I’m not exactly sure I know all of it but “leave no eye open to weep” is somewhere in there. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  109. Siberian steppes, not to be confused with the Ukrainian steppes.

    nk (dbc370)

  110. Or the basement steppes.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  111. or the candy crowley propaganda slut locksteppes

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  112. I think gary’s concern is understanding and preparing for the future, not dreading it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  113. Because he has a young child, where we’re going as a country is even more of a concern.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  114. a fake problem created to waste the energies of Obama’s opponents and to make him look good when he comes up with a “solution”.

    nk, I think this aptly sums up this administration’s M.O. in general. They are very skilled illusionists and with a brain-dead gullible base, they succeed in making it appear as if the President has skillfully and artfully found resolution to the vexing problem.

    Unfortunately, the world being what it is and the tenuous state of international concerns (as noted above) give these practitioners a lot to work with: Never underestimate the power of hysteria.

    Dana (45070c)

  115. OK, two issues:

    A—————–

    to the elimination of funding

    Isn’t this what the shutdown was all about?

    Oh, wait, that was just the GOP being “partisan”.

    Right
    *Never Mind*.

    B—————–

    there is no ‘enforcement discretion’ to determine which laws on the books he will enforce,

    Hmmm. Could you not nominally claim this is an extension of the executive power of pardon? Just thinking perversely how a lunatic Democrat would argue it…

    Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (006437)

  116. pestilence is where we’re going

    when you flood a horde of hacking oozing foodstampers into the healthcare system

    unemployed losers who have nothing better to do all day than enjoy the free air conditioning at the free doctor’s offices

    they’re going to pass each other all their nasty tuberculosises and hepatitises and MRSAs and take them home to their nasty foodstamper friends and family

    and then they’re going to spread their filthy diseases hither and yon

    no, stupid fascist momo children

    cholera does not usher in a time of love

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  117. Call me Chicken Little but WWIII is one piddling Holy Place outrage away.

    This admittedly is a strange, uneasy time in modern history. There are social and political trends that make me think we’re witnessing either a house of cards (eg, countries throughout the world being managed by variations of Obama or, even worse, Venezuela’s president) or a house of mirrors (eg, the stock market continues to defy conventional wisdom).

    It’s like a performance where a juggler has to keep several balls in the air, or plates spinning, at the same moment. And the effort never gets any easier, but instead harder and harder. Or, on various occasions, it feels like I’m watching a big car crash in slow motion, occurring on a road that runs parallel to the one the US last got stuck on back in the 1930s, 1940s.

    Mark (58ea35)

  118. 109- ellisa- who are some of your white-sox favorite players?

    mg (31009b)

  119. now or ever, mg?

    elissa (2d9d78)

  120. Shoeless Joe Jackson. 😉

    nk (dbc370)

  121. Ever, elissa.

    mg (31009b)

  122. mg,

    Ha, ha, you’re cleverly referring to the time that President Skittles was being interviewed in the pressbox at a game where he threw out the first pitch (in his famous mom jeans !), and after Obama stated that he was a longtime fan of the White Sox, the broadcaster politely asked Ear Leader to name some of his favorite White Sox players of the past.
    He literally couldn’t think of any, so he hemmed and hawed and stumbled and said something like, “Just because I root for the White Sox doesn’t mean I don’t like some of the Cubs, too. And besides, I grew up in Hawaii, so I was actually an Oakland A’s fan.”

    http://www.iviewtube.com/v/139020/obama-is-a-fraud-white-sox-fan

    That was also the interview where Ear Leader referred to Comiskey Park as “Cominskey.”

    That would be comparable to claiming you were a longtime fan of Frank Sinatra, so then someone asks you to name of your favorite tunes by Frank, and unable to name any, you simply reply, “Well, just because I like Frank doesn’t mean I don’t also like Dean Martin. And besides, I really grew up as a big fan of Dick Haymes.”

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  123. E-Stone- I did not realize that was also the debut of mom jeans.
    Special.

    mg (31009b)

  124. “Black” as in bad, narciso. White Sox players who played to lose in a World Serious. I don’t care enough to look up the details. Arnold Rothstein, the gambler who fixed it, was immortalized by Damon Runyon, and played by Glenn Ford in the one movie I can think of and like. He was also mentioned in Godfather II. There was another movie with Hollywood pretty-boys about the players.

    nk (dbc370)

  125. “Eight Men Out,” which was directed by John Sayles.
    Charlie Sheen, John Cusack, D.B. Sweeney, et al.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  126. He was also Meyer Wolfsheim in the Great Gatsby, I stand corrected.

    narciso (3fec35)

  127. Well, from the age of classic baseball it would have to be Nellie Fox and Little Luis Aparicio. They were terrific players and personalities in their own right but to be a tag team at shortstop and second base together all those years was magic. I also think Minnie Minoso was great and does not get his proper due as a pioneer.

    I especially liked Pudge Fisk behind the plate and Joe Crede at third. Frank Thomas was a powerhitter’s powerhitter albeit with some, um, issues We were there at the Park that used to be called Comiskey the day his number was retired.

    Oh God, I went into mourning when A.J. Pierzinski was traded and was not in a White Sox uniform last season. I hold out hope that he’ll return to us one day as manager. I guess I tend to gravitate to the catchers and infielders because they have to be quite smart in addition to being great athletes. A.J. is off the charts smart. I am in love with him.

    By the end of last season I would have put every single player on the darn team on the block except Chris Sale. I do still like Gordon Beckham- who’s a real class act, and he’s still new but I think Avasail Garcia may become a favorite of mine.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  128. What about Dick Allen, Tommy Agee, Wilbur Wood, Hoyt Wilhelm, Jay Johnstone and Tommy John? Those guys used to kill the Twins.

    mg (31009b)

  129. Obama probably abandoned his love for the White Sox once he heard about their infamous “Disco Records Night.”

    We all know that Barry was a Donna Summer kind of guy.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  130. E.S.– Barack Obama claimed to be Sox fan and Rod Blagojevich proudly said he was a Cubs fan (which was slightly more likely.) Rod wore his ball cap more and more often the more trouble he got into in a “Jes one of da guys here, folks” move. I think the diehard fans of both Chicago teams just rolled their eyes and sorta wished these pols/faux fans would go away.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  131. Sheila Jackson Lee strikes again! Thanks, Texas.

    Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, told National Review Online today that instead of sending out cancellation letters, insurance companies should have told their customers that their coverage was about to get better.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/364065/democrat-rep-insurance-cancellation-letters-should-have-just-said-things-are-getting

    elissa (2d9d78)

  132. He had an East Coast strut
    that gave teh people gases
    but what really made ’em mad
    were His incorrect promises
    Oh Yeah!
    Oh Yeah!

    Colonel Haiku (7bd2ca)

  133. Why not start small and sting Obama in his ego? Deny him the House of Representatives for the State of the Union speech strictly on the grounds that his lawlessness disrespects the institution of Congress and so he can make his report from elsewhere.

    TMLutas (0876a3)

  134. Deny him the House of Representatives for the State of the Union speech strictly on the grounds that his lawlessness disrespects the institution of Congress and so he can make his report from elsewhere.

    So he can play the victim™ again? The media is just waiting for any reason to call the GOP racists, and you’d give them a chance by being able to say that no other president had to suffer this type of humiliation. Brilliant!

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba)

  135. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, told National Review Online today that instead of sending out cancellation letters, insurance companies should have told their customers that their coverage was about to get better.

    Tell me, tell me, tell me incorrect promises
    Tell me sweet little incorrect promises
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiGjxxytLy8
    (Man, Stevie looks weird on that album cover. When was that look in style?)

    nk (dbc370)

  136. “Lies” works a lot better in that classic song I think.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  137. elissa,

    Texas has some crazy politicians but we also have some colorful high school and college coaches, kind of like your Mike Dikta, so we have that in common.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  138. MIke Ditka almost ran against Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate. Many influential people on IL tried to convince him to run. I believe Coach Ditka would have won, too. After watching how things have evolved Ditka recently said that deciding not to run for that seat is the greatest regret of his life.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  139. ==we also have some colorful high school and college coaches,==

    Ozzie Guillen might be a more apt comparison than Ditka in the colorful and crazee coach sweepstakes. (Which unfortunately cycles us back to the White Sox’ recent troubles again.)

    elissa (2d9d78)

  140. The Wall Street Journal has an article in the Saturday/Sunday November 16-17, 2013 paper about the legality of what Obama did.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303559504579200372544785290

    Obama’s Fix for a Political Problem Stirs Legal Question

    Administration lawyers, the article says, point to Heckler v. Chaney 470 U.S. 821 (1985)

    http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/470/821

    or for the full opinion, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=470&invol=821

    Now what this had to with was convicted criminals condemned to death suing the FDA claiming that to sell drugs to be used for lethal injection was misbranding unless the FDA approved had approved that label, which they had not, and they must take action against this illegality.

    (very recently death penalty opponents have found another way to do the same thing, basically pressuring drug companies not to sell drugs used for lethal injections, possibly maybe using the law of the EU. And the idea is to turn around and claim cruel and unusual punishement. They are also claiming that any co-operation with an execution is a violation of medical ethics and should be cause for a medical professional to lose their license)

    See:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704754304576095980790129692 (Hospira planned to shift production to Italy and wads forced to stop making it available)
    http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2102266,00.html

    See http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/15/justice/states-lethal-injection-drugs/

    But this hadn’t yet happened 30 years ago and they were trying to use U.S. law.

    This was a case where “libereal” judges were disposed to find as way to sop executions, and the Court of Appeals had upheld the claim.

    The Supreme Court said that the Administrative Procedure Act under § 701(a)(2), there was no judicial review if there was no standard to judge an agency’s discretion to institute or not institute investigative or enforcement proceedings.

    Now the first thing here, is that this refusal to prevent the marketing of drugs for use in letha injections is basically a one time thing – it is not an announced abrogation of the law.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  141. I remember wanting him to run at the time, but I’m not sure why he decided not to. Do you know why he didn’t run, elissa?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  142. What’s the saying you and JD like? That applies here, I think.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  143. I thought Mike Singletary should have ran.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  144. The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that Ditka would have to several business interests, including “a lucrative contract as football analyst for ESPN,” and he was leery of the scrutiny he would come under. Given what happened to Ryan, that seems like a reasonable concern.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  145. –What’s the saying you and JD like? That applies here, I think.–

    Yeah, I think so too. :) But it’s interesting when a public figure expresses regret for something they did NOT do. It’s almost always the reverse.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  146. I like Singletary.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  147. The road not taken.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  148. There might have been a DUI somewhere back in the woods too. Although for IL pols that’s a pretty tame fault to have to defend.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  149. The Wall Street Journal noted anotehr case, without giving its name, were the Bush II Administration was ordered to do something.

    This was the case that ordered the EPS to treat carbon dioxide as an air pollutant.

    Massachusetts v EPA 415 F. 3d 50 549 U.S. 497 (2007)

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-1120.ZS.html

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf

    A related subsequent case will be an important case in the current Suypreme Court term.

    Of course the whole idea of the EPA regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant is ridiculous.

    If this is to be considered a pollutant, it is worldwide problem, not a local problem, and also any changes resulting from an EPA regulation are not only infinitesimal, but possibly in some ases counteracted and even amplified by what might happen in other countries as a result of EPA rules (for instance coal might be exported Aand burned less cleanly instead of burned in the United States.)

    In this case however, Congress had specdifically given people standing to sue and Massachusetts had a sovereign interest in the matter.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  150. The Wall Street Journal article furthe quotes someone as saying there’s a long history of agencies delaying implementation when there practical difficulties in implementing certain statutes and sometimes when they just don’t like the law.

    This has happened in Republican Administrations, he says, with regard to the Endangered Species Act and some other environmental laws.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  151. There’s Texas and then there’s Sheila Jackson-Lee Texas, I’m thinking. Racist and offensive, you’ve been warned. http://i.imgur.com/zr3fgGo.jpg

    nk (dbc370)

  152. Comment by elissa (2d9d78) — 11/16/2013 @ 5:26 pm

    After watching how things have evolved Ditka recently said that deciding not to run for that seat is the greatest regret of his life </i.

    But if he had run, and won, would he know that he had prevented the presidency of Barack Obama?

    And maybe there would have been a worse Democrat elected?

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  153. I don’t blame Ditka for not running. That’s the kind of decision everyone has to make for themselves, but it does present an interesting lesson in trying and unintended consequences.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  154. How would Ditka know what he had prevented?

    Can you name any people who in real life stopped the political career of a bad president so they never became president? There could be a few.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  155. Some bad presidents suffereed a setback, and then became presdident later. (Nixon, Clinton)

    Some possible bad presidents never came close to getting elected to the lower office they ran for. (Locke in Texas, 1968)

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  156. Sammy, at that time Ditka was a god in Illinois. Obama was not very well known and had already lost one election. Republicans had a hard time getting a candidate to run against him for senate that year (or one that was able to stay in the race after Axe got through with them.) But it was not that Barack Obama was seen as invincible in the early days of the race.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  157. Indeed Barry has only ever won by cheating. Or releasing supposedly sealed documents.

    Gazzer (e6ddf8)

  158. Perhaps it is possible to block Obamacare at this point with an “as applied” suit.

    Previously, one could argue that the assignment of current individual policyholders to the exchange pool was directed by law and regulation and was in no way arbitrary or capricious. Now however, with Obama announcing that companies can do whatever they want, that “arbitrary and capricious” claim may be valid.

    Considering that those who are forced into this exchange “marketplace” are bearing a disproportionate burden in defraying the cost of millions of high-risk and/or previously undoctored patients.

    People who have medical plans other than in the current individual market, or who have plans that are being continued under the law/regulations/Presidential decrees make at best a minimal contribution to this group (and many of them have been exempted entirely).

    It would seem that this would have 14th Amendment issues as it is being applied. IANAL, so I could be totally wrong here, but I have heard worse claims of this sort that worked.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  159. And besides, someone should sue just because.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  160. Ditka… da Bearz… Ditka… brats… Ditka… da Bullz…

    Colonel Haiku (e75072)

  161. Here’s a very interesting blog post about Justice Clarence Thomas at the Federalist Society National Lawyers’ Convention.

    http://abovethelaw.com/2013/11/justice-clarence-thomas-speaks-and-oh-what-a-speech/

    This man does not get the respect and appreciation he deserves, but it appears he brought down the house at this convention. Good for him.

    elissa (2d9d78)

  162. Thomas grew up speaking the Gullah dialect before he would learn English, and look how far he advanced,

    narciso (3fec35)

  163. I bet you Chief Roberts isn’t doing a lot of appearances right about now. The first line of his obituary is already written, and it isn’t good.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  164. Sammy said:

    (Locke in Texas, 1968)

    “Eugene Locke should be governor of Texas, governor of Texas should be Eugene Locke.”

    I was 10. I still can’t get that stupid tune out of my head.

    LBJ made him Ambassador to Pakistan and deputy Ambassador to Vietnam. He was a good Democrat.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  165. 160. Comment by elissa (2d9d78) — 11/16/2013 @ 6:14 pm

    Sammy, at that time Ditka was a god in Illinois. Obama was not very well known and had already lost one election.

    For Congress, in the year 2000, in a black majority (23% white, 70.3% black) and heavily Democratic (Gore got 87% of the vote there) in a March primary against medium term incumbent (elected 1992) former Black Panther Bobby Rush.

    Bobby Rush had himself, after a redistricting, beaten an incumbent member of Congress who was caught up in the House banking scandal, Charles Hayes, who had succeeded Harold Washington in a special election held in August, 1983. Harold Washington had first been elected to Congress in 1980.

    Bobby Rush’s mother by the way, had been a Republican precinct captain (blacks used to be Republicans till about 1934, and the first black Congressman from the north was from there, Oscar DePriest, elected in 1928 as a Republican. He was beaten by a black Democrat in 1934.)

    Barack Obama had thought he would have the help of the machine because Bobby Rush had run for mayor against Mayor Richard Daley II in 1999. I think Bobby Rush is still in Congress.

    Obama was not very well known

    Which is why, if Ditka had run and won, he probably would not suspect what he’d prevented from happening.

    However, Obama was already being touted for president in a future year at the Democratic National convention in 2004.

    Sammy Finkelman (d7b491)

  166. Short sammy: Fate is fickle.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  167. It’s interesting how Remnick’s murder of innocent trees, the Bridge, ignores both this instance and the one in 96, when all of Obama’s rivals, were disqualified.

    narciso (3fec35)

  168. Can you name any people who in real life stopped the political career of a bad president so they never became president? There could be a few.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d7b491) — 11/16/2013 @ 6:04 pm

    There’s an unsubstantiated story, from an untrustworthy source, that Nixon was turned down for a job as an FBI agent, and went into politics instead.

    And I would not have voted for Ditka. National Felon League fans may worship him, but he is a parody of a Chicago Bohunk. Obama is an empty suit but he is a well-tailored, clean and pressed empty suit. Ditka is a bowling shirt with a Polish sausage in one hand and a beer can in the other.

    nk (dbc370)

  169. I will gladly take the guy with a bowling shirt and a beer, rather than a guy with a bong in one hand and someone else’s penis in the other.

    mg (31009b)

  170. For reals, mg, Ditka is no Republican besides being no Senate material. He appeared in ads for Quinn, the Democrat, in the 2010 Illinois governor’s race. He would be good as a Machine alderman from one of the Northwest Side wards, I’ll admit that.

    That he is even talked about as a candidate in 2004 only shows what a horrific mess the Illinois GOP was back then, under Judy Baar-Topinka (whose daddy was was one of Ditka’s coaches in the good old days). And how, maybe, Jack Ryan may not have been more than the scrapings of the barrel himself, Seven of Nine or no.

    nk (dbc370)

  171. Really, why would you think that, Ryan was a successful investment banker, who chose public service, instead of a pirate like Corzine or Rubin, only a disreputable rumor issued by Jeri’s attys
    that was never meant to see the light of day, gave the party vapors.

    narciso (3fec35)

  172. disreputable rumor issued by Jeri’s attys
    that was never meant to see the light of day, gave the party vapors

    That statement suggests you think it wasn’t true, but only a rumor. Is there factual evidence for that, other than the fact that in a divorce case a person is often tempted to make their about-to-be-former-spouse look as bad as possible?
    I never had a clue whether there was any truth there or not, but I did guess that comments in divorce filings that were sealed were not exactly the same thing as testimony on the witness stand in a criminal trial .

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  173. It wasn’t a rumor, it was an affidavit or otherwise attested to court filing. It was nice of Ryan not to call the mother of his child a perjurer, I’ll give him that.

    Ryan’s public service was thin, but let’s leave that slide. He had no political experience, no background in government, no political cadre of his own, and no constituency. Getting elected president of the neighborhood school PTA requires more than he brought. (I know, I was and officer in the PTA until the President asked me to resign. ;))

    nk (dbc370)

  174. However thin Ryan’s public service was, I bet he was more competent than Obama at most things.
    Of course, being competent and getting elected, we have learned, often have little in common.

    Did you call the President of the PTA a liar in the midst of a state of the school address?
    Or embezzling funds to go to Rio?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  175. R.I.P. Doris Lessing, Nobel Prize-winning author — some of whose work could be classified as Science Fiction or Fantasy

    Icy (24e8ca)

  176. King Armslength Fubar Blameshifter I

    Colonel Haiku (d414d8)

  177. Did you call the President of the PTA a liar in the midst of a state of the school address?
    Or embezzling funds to go to Rio?

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 11/17/2013 @ 7:27 am

    Took the side against her in a hair-pulling contest. There was a beautiful divorcee with a small son involved, though. But no sex scandal. Darn it!

    nk (dbc370)


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