by Gene Wisdom
by Jack Hunter
It is heartening and refreshing to see conservative activist speak out against the bithers and Birchers. The last thing the conservative movement needs is to have the movement defined by the nut fringe. In the late 60's,Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley, Jr. had to step forward and denounce the John Birch Society. It is time for Republican statesmen to again denounce the JBS and other nut fringe groups who bring discredit to the cause of limited government and liberty.Most in the constitutional conservative or libertarian movements do not subscribe to conspiracy theories, just like most conventional right-wingers don't subscribe to Birtherism, but the small minority who do continue to embarrass and hinder everyone's efforts. Playing into our enemies' worst stereotypes is not an asset. (read more)
By Cory Allen Heidelberger, South Dakota Magazine, Jun 27, 2012
Do you recycle your milk jugs and compost your kitchen scraps? Do you support using conservation easements to protect wetlands, shelterbelts, and the ongoing productivity of South Dakota farmland?
If so, you're a Marxist dupe.
At least, that's what one might read in a resolution passed by the South Dakota Republican Party last weekend.(read more)
"It is intensely disappointing that this court failed to recognize what constitutionalists and conservatives know deep in their hearts: A federal government which can coerce its people to buy a product is a government unrestrained and out of control. Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen called Obamacare the 'mother of all unfunded mandates' and stated it will cost Tennesseans 1.1 billion dollars in the next few years. However, the fight does not end here. The court may have made its decision today but the people have yet to speak. When they do, Mitt Romney will be elected president and I will do all I can to aid him as he fulfills his solemn promise to repeal this insidious law."
“Getting rid of ObamaCare is now in the hands of the American people, and we can accomplish that by electing Mitt Romney President in November. Today’s Supreme Court decision will increase the determination of Tennessee Republicans to defeat President Obama and put an end to his reckless policies that have failed to address the economy and are only making things worse.”
In this case, the financial "inducement" Congress has chosen is much more than "relatively mild encouragement"—it is a gun to the head.The conservative justices on the bench (Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito) would have thrown out Obamacare in its entirety solely on this issue. But the Chief Justice, along with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, merely severed the part of Obamacare that threatens withholding current funds to states that do not agree to expansion.
Here's the full text (pdf) of the 193-page Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act.
Below are some excerpts:
The Court rejects the Commerce Clause argument:
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS concluded in Part III–A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. Pp. 16–30.The Court upholds Obamacare on the Tax argument:
Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. They gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited andenumerated powers. The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.” Pp. 16–27.
The most straightforward reading of the individual mandate is that it commands individuals to purchase insurance. But, for the reasons explained, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power. It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.”
Section 1396c gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to penalize States that choose not to participate inthe Medicaid expansion by taking away their existing Medicaid funding. 42 U. S. C. §1396c. The threatened loss of over 10 percent of a State’s overall budget is economic dragooning that leaves the States with no real option but to acquiesce in the Medicaid expansion. The Government claims that the expansion is properly viewed as only a modification of the existing program, and that this modification impermissible because Congress reserved the “right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision” of Medicaid. §1304. But the expansion accomplishes a shift in kind, not merely degree. The original program was designed to cover medical services for particular categories of vulnerable individuals. Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid is transformed into a program to meet the health care needs of the entire nonelderly population with income below 133 percent of the poverty level. A State could hardly anticipate that Congress’s reservation of the right to “alter” or “amend” the Medicaid program included the power to transform it so dramatically. The Medicaid expansion thus violates the Constitution by threatening States with the loss of their existing Medicaid funding if they decline to comply with the expansion. Pp. 51–55.
That §5000A imposes not a simple tax but a mandate to which a penalty is attached is demonstrated by the fact that some are exempt from the tax who are not exempt from the mandate—a distinction that would make no sense if the mandate were not a mandate. Section 5000A(d) exempts three classes of people from the definition of “applicable individual” subject to the minimum coverage requirement: Those with religious objections or who participate in a “health care sharing ministry,”§5000A(d)(2); those who are “not lawfully present” in the United States, §5000A(d)(3); and those who are incarcerated, §5000A(d)(4). Section 5000A(e) then creates a separate set of exemptions, excusing from liability for the penalty certain individuals who are subject to the minimum coverage requirement: Those who cannot afford coverage, §5000A(e)(1); who earn too little income to require filing a tax return, §5000A(e)(2); who are members of an Indian tribe, §5000A(e)(3); who experience only short gaps in coverage, §5000A(e)(4); and who, in the judgment of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, “have suffered a hardship with respect to the capability to obtain coverage,” §5000A(e)(5). If §5000A were a tax, these two classes of exemption would make no sense; there being no requirement, all the exemptions would attach to the penalty (renamed tax) alone.
Like most observers, I was expected Obamacare to be overturned. It was upheld. The individual mandate was ruled constitutional, not based on the Commerce clause however but on the taxing authority of the federal government. Now what?
Words of wisdom from B.J. Zeagler
There are less than 7 months until election day when the people will decide who will be the next President of the United States . The person elected will be the president of all Americans, not just the Democrats or the Republicans. It's time that we all need to come together, Democrats and Republicans alike in a bi-partisan effort for America :
If you will support Mitt Romney, please drive with your headlights ON during the day.
If you support Barack Obama, please drive with your headlights OFF at night.
Together, we can make it happen. Thank you!
An editorial appearing today's Asheville Citizens Times, Agenda 21 is the Stuff of Paranoid Delusions, exposes some of the paranoia and silliness associatied with the John Birch Society led anti-Agenda 21 campaign. I am glad to see someone exposing the radial fringe and having a little fun in the process.
It is unfortunate that the Republican Party has allowed the JBS to become the puppet master and they dance to their tune. This Agenda 21 stuff makes me embarrassed to say I am a Republican at times. It certainly makes me embarrassed to say I am part of the Tea Party movement. How did the Republican Party become the party of the nut-case fringe instead of the party of responsible adults?
To read the full article, click here. Below are some excepts.
I’m battening down the hatches on my third of an acre as we speak.
Hey, the threat is real. Just recently, according to news release from the City of Asheville’s Office of Sustainability, “sustainability directors from 22 cities across four southeastern states met in Asheville on June 14 and 15 to share notes and strategies for creating greener and environmentally sound organizations. The Southeast Sustainability Directors Network kicked off its first conference with a series of workshops and sessions designed to spotlight energy and waste reduction techniques that work across southern cities.”
Aha! Allow me to translate that fancy leftist prose: “They’re spotlighting ways to steal your land!”
I bet all these sustainability warriors flew here in black helicopters and are secret members of the Tri-Lateral Commission.
The Agenda 21 paranoia has even touched quasi-governmental agencies not even in the sustainability business, groups such as the nefarious Southwestern Commission, a regional agency that offers planning support for the mountains’ seven westernmost counties and is funded by those counties. Tea Party folks and members of the 9/12 Project, another conservative group, have asked Cherokee County commissioners to stop funding the commission because of fears it’s promoting Agenda 21 mandates.Another excerpt:
In all seriousness, Gibson said his organization gets no funding or directives from the UN.
“It’s just patently untrue,” Gibson said. “I won’t use the word ‘preposterous,’ but it’s just not true. It’s false. We were created by local governments to be servants of local governments.”
Gibson said he’s fairly conservative, but he’s skeptical of Agenda 21 theorists because he hasn’t seen any empirical evidence — numbers-based facts — that the UN or any other international organization is trying to take land or make sweeping mandates.
When it comes to Agenda 21, the paranoia and conspiracy theorists just muddy the waters on sustainability, which basically is an effort to develop responsibly while maintaining the world’s beauty, which we’ve got plenty of here in the mountains.
“As a friend said to me, ‘if not sustainability, do you want unsustainability?’ If not ‘smart growth,’ do you want the opposite?” Gibson said.
This anti Agenda 21 campaign has turned into something of a witch hunt. There is almost a competition to see who can spot Agenda 21 in action. Anything, someone does not like is being labeled part of Agenda 21 including traffic roundabouts, wide shady sidewalks, traffic calming, bike lanes, annexation, green ways, high rise residential developments, and mass transit. It is ridiculous. I am embarrassed that our Republican dominated state legislature joined the silliness by passing a meaningless Anti-Agenda 21 Joint House Resolution. I am proud of Governor Bill Haslam for not signing it.
Clearly, he’s a commie. (read more)
Message from Lou Ann Zelenilk