Patterico's Pontifications


Obamacare Arguments: Supreme Court Seems Likely to Decide the Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:28 pm

I am listening to the audio now, but it’s hard to get too interested tonight, because today’s arguments (the first day of three days of argument) were mostly about whether the Justices are going to decide the case — and just about everyone seems to agree that they will.

But down in the weeds, the argument was over whether the individual mandate is a tax (the federal government says it is), and that has some relevance to the statute’s constitutionality.

Ilya Somin has the rundown, saving me the grief:

Today’s Supreme Court oral argument transcript suggests that many of the justices, including at least three of the liberals, are skeptical of claims that the individual mandate is a tax. This is important not only for today’s argument about the applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act (which probably does not apply if the mandate penalty is not a tax), but to tomorrow’s argument about the constitutionality of the mandate. The federal government has argued that the mandate is constitutional because it is an exercise of Congress’ power under the Tax Clause. Lower courts have almost uniformly rejected this constitutional tax argument, and today’s questioning suggests that the Supreme Court is unlikely to accept it either.

Things should get interesting tomorrow.

Report: Trayvon Martin Was the Aggressor, According to the Evidence

Filed under: General,Obama,Race — Patterico @ 6:24 pm

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered, law-enforcement authorities told the Orlando Sentinel.

That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say.

The newspaper elaborates on Zimmerman’s story:

Trayvon was visiting his father’s fiancée, who lived there. He had been suspended from school in Miami after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.

. . . .

Zimmerman told them he lost sight of Trayvon and was walking back to his SUV when Trayvon approached him from the left rear, and they exchanged words.

Trayvon asked Zimmerman if he had a problem. Zimmerman said no and reached for his cell phone, he told police. Trayvon then said, “Well, you do now” or something similar and punched Zimmerman in the nose, according to the account he gave police.

Zimmerman fell to the ground and Trayvon got on top of him and began slamming his head into the sidewalk, he told police.

Zimmerman began yelling for help.

As well as the available corroborating evidence:

Several witnesses heard those cries, and there has been a dispute about whether they came from Zimmerman or Trayvon.

Lawyers for Trayvon’s family say it was Trayvon, but police say their evidence indicates it was Zimmerman.

One witness, who has since talked to local television news reporters, told police he saw Zimmerman on the ground with Trayvon on top, pounding him — and was unequivocal that it was Zimmerman who was crying for help.

Zimmerman then shot Trayvon once in the chest at very close range, according to authorities.

When police arrived less than two minutes later, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody lacerations to the back of his head.

I, for one, will not tolerate facts getting in the way of my narrative. I demand that the facts be changed to conform to my pre-determined beliefs.

BY THE WAY: Remember: Obama told us, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

OK. Would he act like him?

I remember the last time Obama waded into a racially charged public controversy. It turned out that the facts were not quite the way they had been initially portrayed.

He may end looking stupid . . . again.

Maybe one of these days he’ll learn to keep his mouth shut and let the facts in a criminal case come out?

Nah . . .

Another Deadly Result of Obama’s Opposition to Gitmo?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

From the New York Post:

The Muslim fanatic who killed seven people in France was so proud of his unspeakably evil work that he uploaded sickening video to the Internet showing him executing a helpless, terrified 8-year-old girl, officials said.

Mohammed Merah is seen yanking Myriam Monsenego by her hair — then firing a bullet into her head while he holds her.

Officials believe Merah strapped on a camera before each murder and posted the videos on jihadi Web sites, where he believed they would inspire other al Qaeda wannabes.

Sounds like a prince of a guy.

By the way, we had him in our clutches. He was captured in Afghanistan, and turned over to American custody. And we essentially let him go — by turning him over to France, which released him:

Meanwhile, new details emerged about Merah’s 2010 capture in Afghanistan — and the failure of both French and American officials to detain him.

Merah was grabbed by Afghan security forces in Kandahar and turned over to the US Army. The United States “put him on the first plane to France,’’ Molins said.

Pentagon spokesman Lt Col. Todd Breasseale said: “The Kandahari police picked him up a matter of years ago. They detained him. The mechanics by which he was returned to France, we are continuing to investigate.”

. . . .

Upon his return to France, he was interviewed by intelligence officials, who released him.

Wasn’t there a place where we used to send enemy combatants? So they wouldn’t be released and end up killing people?

It’s on the tip of my tongue. Bitmo, Jitmo. Something mo.

The one thing I do remember: the president who had the policy of detaining terrorists and enemy combatants was one George W. Bush. And he was a baaaaaad man. A very baaaaaaad man.

Three cheers for the new guy. And R.I.P. Myriam Monsenego, and the other victims of the Jewish school shooting.

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