The Supreme Court’s Dismal ObamaCare Decision

How conservative legal philosophy helped create the health care ruling

Amid all of Chief Justice John Roberts’s scholastic hairsplitting over whether ObamaCare imposes a tax or a penalty for failing to buy medical insurance, one passage should matter most to advocates of liberty:

Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not buy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax. [Emphasis added.]

We thus are “free” either to become customers of a government-licensed insurance company or to pay a special tax. But we are not free to opt out of this artificially constructed “choice” entirely.

There is much of the case against ObamaCare: It denies us the freedom to opt out. This will be defended as necessary for the operation of the health insurance market or for some other conception of the greater good. But the end does not justify the means. The politicians’ first resort is force. That makes them different from the rest of us.

All-Embracing Power

With few exceptions (and getting fewer), the Constitution does not stand in their way. Courts have long held that Congress may do most anything through its taxing power, even regulating conduct it may not regulate directly. If anyone has doubts about how wide-ranging the taxing power is in the courts’ view, I refer her to Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the income tax in 1916.

As I pointed out previously:

Here the Court embraced the broadest possible interpretation of the federal taxing power—a power that, the Court said, predates the Sixteenth Amendment. The Court said: “That the authority conferred upon Congress by [section] 8 of article 1 ‘to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises’ is exhaustive and embraces every conceivable power of taxation has never been questioned. . . . And it has also never been questioned from the foundation . . . that there was authority given, as the part was included in the whole, to lay and collect income taxes. . . .” The Court went on to acknowledge: “the conceded complete and all-embracing taxing power”; “the complete and perfect delegation of the power to tax”; “the complete and all-embracing authority to tax”; and “the plenary power [to tax]” (emphasis added).

That was just in one paragraph!

Later in the opinion we find this: “[T]he all-embracing taxing authority possessed by Congress, including necessarily therein the power to impose income taxes. . . ” (emphasis added).

So it would appear that Congress has the constitutional authority to tax someone who does not buy insurance—Chief Justice Roberts and four other justices certainly think so. And under the rules of the game, the Constitution means what a Supreme Court majority says it means. To say something is constitutional, of course, is not to say that it is right. People often forget that. We must beware the dangerous temptation to read our own values into the Constitution and to assume that anything we think good is in there somewhere and anything we think is bad is forbidden. It ain’t necessarily so.

Plausible Dissent

Now it is true that the dissent, apparently written by Justice Kennedy, makes plausible arguments against the constitutionality of using the taxing power to get us to buy insurance. But that’s how laws and constitutions are: The text always has some Rorschach quality to it. As libertarian legal scholar Randy Barnett put it, “While I do not share [the] view of law as radically indeterminate, I sure think it is . . . underdeterminate . . . .” In other words, human interpretation is inevitable. There’s no getting around this, no computer to be programmed to yield perfect decisions. (For more on this, see my “Where Is the Constitution.” )

Constitutional though it may be, ObamacCre is an act of aggression against Americans: Buy insurance (to state-dictated specifications) or some of your money will be taken from you, by force—even lethal force—if necessary. (Of course the pre-ObamaCare system was riddled with coercion. There was no free market.)

Brought to You By . . . Conservative Jurisprudence

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Let's see - the NAACP is going to hear speeches from Romney and Biden - but not Bush.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/hou.....naacp.html

    NPR is just discussing how his schedule doesn't allow him to appear at the NAACP.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I mean, not from Obama.

    Why did I confuse him with Bush?

  • ||

    Why did I confuse him with Bush?

    Given that we're all here because we understand that there's no functional difference between this administration and the preceding one, your typo is perfectly understandable.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Bush skipping the NAACP would have a different meaning from Obama skipping.

    In Bush's case, it would mean he refuses to engage with other people because he's a Texan and doesn't care about other points of view.

    In Obama's case, it means he figures they're whores who will s*** his d*** whether he remembers their birthday or not.

  • John||

    Bush would be ignoring America's most prestigious civil rights group and proving he hates black people.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Bush would be ignoring America's most prestigious civil rights group

    Lies. Bush would have never ignored the Anti-Defamation League.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If only Sammy David Jr. has established his own group, that would have been the most powerful civil rights group in the whole fucking world.

  • John||

    I would imagine he doesn't want the embarrassment of being booed over the gay marriage decision. Black people are generally not happy over that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I imagine that's already water under the bridge, John. To think that the majority of the black voting bloc is going to do anything but forgive and forget is madness. To think that not every single one who voted for Obama in 08 will do it again is foolishness.

  • John||

    Harry: Shel? Sheldon? No, no, you didn't have great sex with ... Sheldon.

    Sally: I did too.

    Harry: No you didn't. A Sheldon can do your income taxes. If you need a root canal Sheldon's your man, but humping and pumping is not Sheldon's strong suit. It's the name. Do it to me 'Sheldon', you're an animal 'Sheldon', ride me big 'Sheldon'. Doesn't work.

  • Mainer2||

    That's exactly what pops into my head anytime I see the name Sheldon.

  • Pi Guy||

    The elected and unelected elite political class have one thing in common: that they're out of touch with ordinary, every-day Americans.

  • DJF||

    But to them its not a bug, its a feature. They don’t want to rub shoulders with the rif raf. They are the ones who think most of the country is “fly over country”.

  • ||

    The Constitution grants very narrow powers to the government.

    It grants no rights to the citizens, the rights are are inherent in the people.

    That was one of the criticisms of the Bill of Rights: People will say if the rights are not specifically enumerated they don't exist. Cf the Right to bear arms, the right to free speech.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why do you hate brown people, cmace?

    /leftist stoopidity

  • T o n y||

    And the enumeration of those rights would be understood and agreed upon by all?

    I think in retrospect the BoR is considered to have been a good idea. What would stop government from unlawful searches and seizures, e.g., without it?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But the BoR is part of the Constitution, and no one wants to pay too much attention to that ol' rag. It's, like, over a hundred years old and stuff.

  • Mainer2||

    ..and the guys who wrote it talked like fags.

  • ||

    "What would stop government from unlawful searches and seizures, e.g., without it?"

    Tony, Where is the government granted the power to search? Other than in the BoR?

    If the rights are not in the BoR enumerated they don't exist at least by the statist view of the constitution .

    That's the point of what I'm saying.

  • ||

    That was one of the criticisms of the Bill of Rights: People will say if the rights are not specifically enumerated they don't exist. Cf the Right to bear arms, the right to free speech.

    The problem was the Bill of Rights was too short. 1,000 articles rather than 10 would have made the meaning clearer:

    678: The government, at any level, may not tell you what kind of food you can eat, or what kind of spices, or what you drink or smoke, or for that matter anything whatsoever you chose to ingest in any matter whatsoever.

    679: The government, at any level, may not tell you what kind of clothes you wear, or choose not to wear.

    680: The government, at any level, may not ...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    681: Because Fuck You, That's Why.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oops, that would be the leftist version of 1,000 articles.

  • Deep Space||

    Obomination Care Is Class Warfare That Will Ignite A Mass TAX REVOLT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrcOnGqx_xg

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Impeach John Roberts!

  • ||

  • VG Zaytsev||

    When Hess began trying to film the encounter, things got ugly, Stern said.
    “We brought out the camera, and that’s when they called backup,” she said. “That’s when eight ninja cops came from out of nowhere.”
    Hess was allegedly tackled to the platform floor, and cuffs were slapped on both of them.

    Cameras are dangerous weapons to pigs cops.

  • sloopyinca||

    The comments are (mostly) against the NYPD jailing people because they dance on subway platforms. I'm shocked.

  • John||

    Of course they would never do anything about it. They could vote libertarian and put a stop to this. But they would never do anything but vote for nanny Bloomberg. So they kind of get the government they deserve.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yeah, but there are a lot of people in that city and state that get an oppressive government they don't deserve.

    I am truly saddened that there is not a strong libertarian movement in NYC. If there's a more oppressed place full of rent-seekers, obsessive nannies, destroyers of private-property rights and an above-the-law police force in America, then I don't know where it is.

  • John||

    The lack of a libertarian movement in NYC shows what a fantasy the whole "liberaltarian" thing is. IF liberals just hate SOCONs, then New York, where liberal leaders are often the most corrupt and oppressive, ought to be a place where Libertarians can thrive. Hell, if liberaltarianism were possible, there would be a two party structure in NYC between liberals and libertarians. Instead, it is a single party oligarchy.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Oh, for fuck's sake! Why does everyone gloss over the fact that from 2001 on, Bloomberg has campaigned as a "law 'n order" Republican? His whole shtick is that he's Giuliani 2.0! (Yes, now he's just a law 'n order independent, but that's because the GOP had issues with him extending term limits so he could pull a Chavez.)

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It goes beyond that now, John. Libertarians have been branded at this point, and are seen, necessarily, as racist, fascist, authoritarians who are just right wingers who want legalized pot. The strawman is built.

  • ||

    Thanks. Didn't think I could get more spun up this morning.

    Fuck it! I'm moving to the wilds of Patagonia.

  • John||

    http://city-journal.com/2012/eon0705tg.html

    The possibility of Obama winning the popular vote and Romney winning the electoral college.

  • sloopyinca||

    Interesting story, John. But can one really trust a man named "Tim Groseclose"?

  • John||

    True. But the polls are what they are. And considering that New York and California have yet to reach peak retard, it is entirely possible that Obama wins huge majorities in those states and then loses closely in say Penn, VA, Florida, Ohio and Michigan and thus the election.

  • Teaching Student||

    What do you mean have yet to reach peak retard? California just voted to fund the High Speed Rail... while begging us to increase the taxes on ourselves so we can fund education. "Proud" California Subject I am.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Citizen of the Bear Republic, here. But I agree with you that we may very well have achieved peak retard in the past day or so. It is breathtakingly unbelievable.

  • sloopyinca||

    We will not have reached peak retard out here until the legislature passes a law that makes the state purchase foreclosed on mortgages so people can stay in their homes. We took the first step in that direction last week. It should be complete by the end of the next term.

    Only when the state forces taxpayers to pay for the bad decisions of others on a scale that large will we have reached peak retard.

  • ||

    Peak retard will only occur when things are so fucked up that what pass for moderate liberals vote against the majority party because they realize that disaster will continue until those idiots leave office.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Like I've been asking leftists: Who will clean up Obama's mess?

  • ||

    Just watched Robert Gibbs on CNN State of the Union.

    Dear God, what a fucking tool! Literally said "we need to tax the rich" and then complained "jobs are going overseas" in consecutive sentences.

    *screaming at TV, dogs hiding downstairs*

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Gibbs has the brain damage, Francisco. It's kinda mean to be like that to the poor li'l guy.

  • WWNGD?||

    Today was the first time you realized Gibbs was a tool?

  • ||

    Um.....no.

    Just needed to vent.

  • Brutus||

    Clearly we need a law outlawing jobs from going overseas, or even from employers cutting jobs. Wasn't there a book that had this common-sense approach to job creation in it?

  • John||

    http://fullcomment.nationalpos.....ft-behind/

    Oprah paying the price for hitching her wagon to Obama.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Oprah paying the price for hitching her wagon to Obama.

    Did you catch this?

    George Clooney, for example, is hosting a fund-raising dinner for Obama in Switzerland. This might be the new definition of a real celebrity: If you can hold a fundraiser for the president of the United States on a continent that is not the one in which he is running, you are a real star.

    In light of what's happened to Oprah, it looks more like the new definition of trying to put distance between your political actions and your audience.

  • John||

    Yup. When is the last time Clooney had a big hit?

  • Bam!||

    Looking over his IMDB, pretty much never, save for Batman film he was in and the Ocean's trilogy.

  • sloopyinca||

    Oh, come on. Intolerable Cruelty? O Brother: Where Art Thou?? Burn After Reading? Those were all great films.

    Now if you want to talk about commercially successful: Up In The Air, Michael Clayton and Syriana were all pretty recent.

    Personally, I think his best work was in The Facts Of Life. Was Natalie a lesbian in that show? If so, why did she spend so much time with Tootie and so little time with Jo?

  • fish_remote||

    He is the pater familias!

  • Killazontherun||

    I'll admit to watching episodes in the first season because I had a crush on Molly,
    who, btw, was born exactly one day after me.

  • Rasilio||

    Actually Oh Brother was a rather large commercial success. Sure not on the level of the Harry Potter movies, but it only cost $26 million to make and earned $71 million in domestic box office and it sparked somewhat of a revival in the popularity of bluegrass music for a few years.

  • ||

    When is the last time Clooney had a big hit?

    "Up in the Air", in 2009, was really good. Haven't seen his three latest movies, so can't speak for them.

  • Brutus||

    I liked it, too, and a bunch of it was filmed in St. Looie, too.

  • Longtorso||

    We thus are “free” either to become customers of a government-licensed insurance company or to pay a special tax. But we are not free to opt out of this artificially constructed “choice” entirely.

    Thank you, Evangelical Christian Bush supporters.

  • John||

    Of course the liberals who wanted the law badly and got the other four justices appointed bear no responsibility what so ever.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Those are only half the problem, LT. The other half are leftists.

    And right now, they have most of the power.

  • John||

    Other than get Ashcroft to prosecute a few pornographers, I have yet to figure out just what the evangelicals have ever accomplished that affects me. I am sure people would love to cry "war", but last I looked a lot more than them, including many leftists, support the wars too.

  • Longtorso||

    No, "the liberals" responsible, too. Evangelicals who claim to oppose this sort of thing but then act in such ways as to have us end up with it deserve special condemnation for stupidity and gullibility.

    Bush was their Manly Evangelical Leader. Evangelicals, being little David Brooks types, were good little followers.

  • John||

    A lot of people besides evangelicals supported Roberts. For your theory to be true, they would have had to have know Roberts was some kind of secret big government guy. Since everyone was shocked by this and thought Kennedy was going to be the sellout, I doubt that.

    Lay off the culture war dude.

  • Longtorso||

    Evangelicals were the bedrock of Bush support. Without them, Bush would have never been President.

    Bush begat Obama (by being a failure).
    Bush appointed Roberts.

    You can't deny that.

  • John||

    So what? For Bush to be responsible, he would have had to have known Roberts would do this. And no one did. Hell, Reason never had a problem with Roberts' nomination.

    Roberts is responsible for this. You are just playing the culture war and not even being interesting about it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    LT, the Dems came that close to nominating Hillary, but Obama managed to pull a coup with help from shady Democrat power-brokers.

    Bush sucked, but give it a rest. Concentrate on the suck of the here-and-now.

  • Longtorso||

    The suck of the here and now won't end until at least one party throws off blind obedience to a "higher power", whether it be liberals and govt or conservatives and jeebus.

  • Longtorso||

    We need conservatives to maintain their Obama-era distrust of govt power even when the people wielding it say jeebus is their "favorite political philosopher", and not immediately orgasm and throw that distrust out the window when that sort of lip service is paid to their beliefs.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'd much rather have someone that says Jesus is their favorite political philosopher than someone saying the same about Chairman Mao.

  • Longtorso||

    I'd much rather have someone that says Jesus is their favorite political philosopher than someone saying the same about Chairman Mao.

    Why do I have to choose between just those two? Can't I reject both, and ask conservatives and liberals to reject the one of those two they currently accept?

  • sloopyinca||

    Of course you can, but your rabid anti-Christian statements will get you nowhere fast when the basis of western culture was founded on the tenets of early Christianity. It is ingrained in the American people of the left and right, and it is inescapable.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Well, if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone, anyhow.

  • Longtorso||

    Bush, your Manly Evangelical Leader who deserves Submission and Obedience due to his Manliness nominated a squish, then fucked up badly enough to hand the liberals a temporary supermajority to give said squish something to uphold.

    THAT is what you get when you Submit to Manly Evangelical Leaders.

    Before becoming an athiest, I attended Second Baptist in Houston (they showed me what God was all about - hence my atheism). My opinion of religious conservatives is earned. I saw you guys in action during the Bush years. I know how y'all thought because I heard y'all talking to each other.

    Bush was to Be Submitted To, not held accountable.

  • Longtorso||

    For Bush to be responsible, he would have had to have known Roberts would do this.

    ETA: No, you can be responsible for being an idiot, not just because you planned a negative outcome. You can be blamed for being either or both stupid and evil.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dude, you're starting to sound like shrike.

  • Longtorso||

    Dude, you're starting to sound like shrike.

    For holding Republicans equally responsible for the state we're in?

  • sloopyinca||

    For holding Republicans equally responsible for the state we're in?

    No, for holding Republicans collectively guilty for the decision of one man (Roberts). That would be akin to holding all liberals guilty for the KKK.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, for going all "religion sucks" and blaming Bush, who DID suck but is not in office.

    I, personally, don't give a shit if a politician has religious beliefs as long as said politician refrains from using those beliefs to make laws. Once they do that, they are beneath contempt... but they have to actually do it, first.

    BTW, where I live, I see quite a few "Because of my religion, I vote Democrat" stickers on various kinds of automobiles. Team Red doesn't have a lock on that particular kind of stupidity.

  • sloopyinca||

    Before becoming an athiest, I attended Second Baptist in Houston (they showed me what God was all about - hence my atheism). My opinion of religious conservatives is earned. I saw you guys in action during the Bush years. I know how y'all thought because I heard y'all talking to each other.

    Isn't one church a pretty small sample set to determine "what God was all about"?

    And I'm sorry, but lumping all religious conservatives in with the Bush supporters takes a pretty big leap of faith (no pun intended).

  • Longtorso||

    2nd Baptist wasn't the only conservative church I dealt with, and it's big enough (and typical enough - I don't see other conservatives distancing themselves from 2nd for being some sort of outlier).

  • sloopyinca||

    You do realize that most conservative Christians in America have never attended, or even heard of, 2nd Baptist church in Houston, don't you?

  • Longtorso||

    2nd is a typical conservative church. We're not talking about some Fred Phelps type outlier.

  • sloopyinca||

    2nd is a typical conservative church. We're not talking about some Fred Phelps type outlier.

    And you base this on your extensive interactions and research into many sects of Christianity and the different churches and teaching methods of various preachers?

  • Longtorso||

    I was raised in the church and attended several at one point or another, in different parts of the country, so yes, I do have the personal experience to say 2nd isn't anything unusual among conservative churches.

  • sloopyinca||

    I've been a member at various churches of varying denominations throughout the country as well. And my perception is very different than yours, so I'm gonna have to discount your comments as just one man's jaded opinion because he had a bad experience with "the church".*

    *The church actually being a disjointed and unaffiliated group of churches with similar belief systems that believe in the same higher authority but has no structured hierarchy or overt political organization.

  • Longtorso||

    Ah, yes. No experience with the church = your opinion doesn't count. Bad experience w/ the church = you're jaded and bitter, so your experience doesn't count. Only experience useful to the church counts. Thank you, church.

    I was in liberal churches when Clinton was president. I was in conservative churches when Reagan/Bush/Bush was president. This was a 20+ year period over multiple cities and states.

    The one constant? "We must overlook the misbehavior of those in political office, because jeebus supports the laws they're passing. Praise jeebus."

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The one constant? "We must overlook the misbehavior of those in political office, because jeebus supports the laws they're passing. Praise jeebus."

    Anyone that says that is:

    a) an idiot.

    b) a non christian.

  • Cavpitalist||

    What percentage of America's Baptist churches would you say you've been in? 25%? 35%? Over 50%?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Just trying to help, LT. If I were you, I'd blame Team Blue just a bit more, but do what you gotta do, man.

  • sloopyinca||

    It looks like he doesn't want to blame Team Red or Team Blue as much as he wants to blame Jesus Christ...a man that has been dead for approx 2000 years!...for the political idiocy in America.

    Atheists vote. As do Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Gaia worshipers and myriad other believers alike, and for both teams, I might add. But for some reason, you want to blame one religion for all the problems facing America.

    Dude, seriously, you're letting bad memories cloud your logic here.

  • Longtorso||

    No, for going all "religion sucks" and blaming Bush, who DID suck but is not in office.

    Evangelicals will repeat the same mistakes in the future that they made during the Bush years unless they, like puppies who wet the carpet, are hit across the nose w/ a rolled up newspaper and firmly told 'no'. Animals need training.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dude, there are religious-minded Democrats. Hell, some of 'em are Catholics and Jews.

    Blaming one stripe of God-worshipers misses the point.

  • Longtorso||

    Blaming one stripe of God-worshipers misses the point.

    Yes, but you can't defend "you can't blame religion for Obamacare" when your counterexample is religious voters who directly voted for it because they wanted it, instead of those who were turned into useful idiots for state power by their desire for Leadership and Authority.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Leadership and Authority are also hallmarks of rabid leftists, LT.

    Both Teams rely heavily on those scare-tactics.

  • Longtorso||

    Leadership and Authority are also hallmarks of rabid leftists, LT.

    And I said that above. I just wish to point out that this behavior, on the part of people who oppose ObamaCare, led to ObamaCare. Telling Obama supporters their Obama support led to ObamaCare probably wouldn't change their stupidity in the future.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    How did religion lead to Obamacare? The religion of the state, perhaps, but not religion in and of itself.

  • Longtorso||

    Religion has always been, and will always be, a tool of the state. Worship leads to state power. All religion gets hijacked, so don't bother pointing out some minor powerless sect or the first few powerless decades of a major religion before the state found that religion useful.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wow... what happened to you? It's like you got the shit beat out of you by religion, dude.

    Ease back on the throttle, you're going to give yourself a heart attack.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    BTW, I'm sure you're old enough to remember the old Soviet regime, which forbade virtually all religious practices.

    Are you going to say the Soviet regime was the result of religion?

  • sloopyinca||

    And didn't the church help many Eastern Bloc countries maintain the faith and create undergrounds to help rid the world of the horribly oppressive communist (and atheist, btw) regimes?*

    *I'm not blaming atheism for them, I'm just pointing out how flawed LT is for blaming religion when blaming atheism is just as easy in this case.

  • Longtorso||

    Communism == worship. Worship of the state, worship of Stalin and Lenin or Mao, whatever.

    Atheists (in the sense of not believing there is a supernatural god), thanks to communism, are the world champion mass murderers. I just don't see the lack of a religious impulse among communists - that was just them going after rival religions like Christianity.

    My goal isn't to create atheists. My goal is to get people to stop w/ worship, which will always be hijacked by the state.

  • sloopyinca||

    Religion has always been, and will always be, a tool of the state

    Tell that to the Romans that occupied Judea around, oh I don't know, 2000 years ago.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Either we elect a Mormon, or we elect someone who spent two decades being screamed at by a racist scumbag preacher.

    Maybe he does have a point about religion.

  • Longtorso||

    Tell that to the Romans that occupied Judea around, oh I don't know, 2000 years ago.

    You mean the same Romans who eventually found one of those religions politically useful and made it the official state religion?

    And didn't the church help many Eastern Bloc countries maintain the faith

    Before or after covering up the rape of 8 year olds?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dude, if you threw the term "Christ-fag" in there, you'd sound pretty much like shrike.

    You sure you want to emulate that?

  • Longtorso||

    Shrike just wants you to worship his/her/its god in Washington. Shrike is an Evangelical Christian who gave up on believing in god but didn't change any other personality defects, like all progressives are.

  • sloopyinca||

    Did you just call belief in God a personality defect?

    I'll concur with FIFY, all you need is a Christ-fag or two and the transformation will be complete.

  • Longtorso||

    Did you just call belief in God a personality defect?

    Actually, I meant the smug, self righteous, controlling mindset evangelicals and progressives share is a personality defect.

  • sloopyinca||

    Then you might want to work on your sentence structure next time, because what you wrote and what you meant are two dramatically different things.

  • Cavpitalist||

    I can tell how much you dislike smug and self-righteous behavior.

  • sloopyinca||

    Aw, come the fuck on. There are outliers in any religion. You just hate Christians because you had a bad experience when you were a kid.

    Christian charity feeds more people in Africa than all the world's governments and the UN combined. You can cherry pick some bad out of any group, but overall it seems to me that Christian people are typically caring, charitable and want to be left alone to live life the way they see fit and want to extend the same courtesy to others. There are some church leaders that are busybody assholes, but the same can be said of any belief system, be it religious, political or otherwise.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Don't see many Jehovah's Witnesses in politics... gotta admire them for that.

  • Longtorso||

    You just hate Christians because you had a bad experience when you were a kid.

    I've clearly stated my experience covered 20+ years, multiple locations, and several presidential administrations. That's not "when you were a kid" - sorry church, I was an adult when I saw what you were really all about.

  • Longtorso||

    And why do you keep insisting any church I dealt with was an outlier? You can't accept that I ever attended any 'normal' liberal or conservative church? Negative opinions can only come out of dealing with atypical churches?

  • sloopyinca||

    There are between 300,000 and 400,000 Christian churches in the United States. There are in excess of 1,500 different faith groups (denominations, community churches, etc), and the number of people identified in America as Christian comes in at over 250 Million people. I hardly think your sample set is indicative of Christianity in general, and there aren't that many people that share your views toward it, be they Christians, former Christians, lifelong atheists or members of other religions.

    That's why I say you're an outlier.

  • Longtorso||

    That's why I say you're an outlier.

    The outliers are the kids raped in the Catholic church, and not even that seems to be all that rare, unless you now wish to give me a Dunphy-esque "and nothing else happened" listing of all priest/pastor/child interactions that lack penetration.

    Compared to the worst that happens, my experience was nothing. I'm the face of the people sleeping in on Sunday, regardless of what we tell pollsters about our beliefs.

  • Longtorso||

    That's why I say you're an outlier.

    Hold on sloop, you switched from claiming that the churches I dealt with were outliers to I personally am one.

    Do you concede that you have no reason to assert that all of the churches I dealt with over that 20+ period would be considered atypical churches?

  • sloopyinca||

    When and where did I claim that the churches you interacted with were outliers? I merely said your sample set was awfully small to use as a condemnation of Christianity in general.

    You are casting a wide net on Christianity with only a small interaction with various churches. That can be a dangerous thing to do. It would be the same as me saying atheists are evil, state-worshiping people that want to force me to adhere to their strict earth-first belief system because the atheists I have personally interacted with are by and large adherents to those beliefs, even though the number of atheists I have interacted with represents a miniscule percentage of the atheist population.

  • sloopyinca||

    The outliers are the kids raped in the Catholic church

    Yeah, and the outliers of atheism are the mass murdering despots of the Soviet Union and China. What's your point? Are we to base our thoughts on religious or atheist people in general on the actions of a few followers of those movements that committed horrible acts? That's fucking crazy.

  • Longtorso||

    What's your point?

    That Evangelical fear of holding Bush accountable because that might help Satan (i.e. the Dems) led directly to a result they claim to oppose. I do this in the hopes that next time the GOP has power, Evangelicals react with something other than Submission and Obedience and actually try to think.

    Religious (and irreligious) Dem support of Obama led to ObamaCare also, but pointing that out isn't likely to make Dems change their minds.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Atheist and Statist blind support for Clinton in the late 90s led directly to Bush which led directly to Obama.

    So Atheists are really to blame for Obamacare and John Roberts.

  • Longtorso||

    Except, as Evangelicals are so fond of pointing out, atheists are a tiny minority, and thus can't swing anything to anyone.

  • ||

    Don't see many Jehovah's Witnesses in politics... gotta admire them for that.

    You don't see ANY JWs in politics -- an article of their faith that they must not get involved in politics at all.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I said "not many" because, occasionally, they are involved in legal disputes - a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, perhaps, but just a touch.

  • ||

    People are mad at Roberts, not at the more recent appointees Sotomayor or Kagan, because it was a given that any Obama appointees would be awful on this issue.

  • sloopyinca||

    Why can't debates in America be more like the ones in Jordan?

  • sloopyinca||

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Sweet. Hell, I'd watch C-SPAN exclusively if that happened in Congress.

  • John||

    i want to see the Reid Boehner knife fight.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Different age brackets, but it would still be fun to watch.

  • John||

    Reid is old, but he fights dirty. Age and corruption usually beats youth and vitality.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good factors. Hadn't thought of that.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    See Pilosi, Nancy vs Paul, Rand.

  • sloopyinca||

    Story related to the youtube video.

    WARNING: Comments are cringe-worthy examples of Israel-haters and Israel-apologists alike.

  • sloopyinca||

    Story related to youtube video. I fucked up above.

  • sloopyinca||

    Cop falsifies records, bilks the taxpayers out of $6,000 and is terminated.

    Will not face charges.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Did he ever get to shoot a dog, though? If not, his career was a hollow mockery of itself.

  • John||

    He is going to have to go work for another department now. Isn't that punishment enough? You cop hating monster.

  • sloopyinca||

    Kern County Deputy arrested for spousal abuse for second time.

    But the real knee-slapper in the article is this: Swanson made headlines before, when he was involved in a crash that killed Deputy James Throne in 2008.
    Both deputies were responding to the same call in Lamont when their patrol cars collided at an intersection and killed Throne.

    I never knew the Keystone Kops was a tragedy instead of a comedy. And if so, why am I still laughing?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    In the civilian world, a man arrested for spousal abuse wouldn't be able to own a gun.

  • ||

    Yep, as I recall when that was made into law, the cops had a shit-fit and got themselves exempted. They argued that if they are forbidden from having a gun they cant work. What they didnt say is that huge numbers of cops abuse their wives, much more so than the general population.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    In some cases, just an *allegation* of abuse will negate gun-ownership rights.

    But women never lie about abuse in divorce proceedings. /snark

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "No woman has ever lied"

    There, that sounds better. Like people who lie about racial attacks or child abuse, women who lie about abuse ranks right up there... it waters down the plight of women who ARE abused.

  • ||

    In the civilian world, a man arrested for spousal abuse wouldn't be able to own a gun.

    Is that arrested or convicted? The former violates several provisions of the Bill of Rights.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I think, depending on the state, if a man is merely accused of spousal abuse, he gives up his gun-ownership.

    Even if the charge is bullshit.

  • John||

    It is bad, but I find that really funny. They really are just baboons. And the fact that he kept is job is just astounding. Just me but I think being able to get to a call quickly and safely is kind of an essential basic skill for a cop.

  • sloopyinca||

    Cop charged with shooting and killing man over stolen pizza.

    It only took 4 years to indict him and his girlfriend (also a cop) for the killing even though there were plenty of witnesses. Then again, it's Philly. We ought to be happy they didn't storm the Grand Jury room or drop a bomb on it.

  • John||

    Both officers were off-duty on November 17, 2008 when they drove around in search of a local teen who had stolen a pizza from the couple’s two sons.

    They found the suspect on the 1900 block of Renovo Street in front of Lawrence Allen’s home.

    Williams says when Ellison drew his gun, Allen stepped in and tried to be a peacemaker.

    “He actually said to Sgt. Ellison, ‘why do you have a gun out? All this over a pizza? I will give you money for the pizza. Let’s just calm all this down’.”

    But witnesses told the grand jury that Ellison, who was egged on by his enraged girlfriend, shot Allen once in the back. The victim died nearly three months later.

    Intentionally shooting someone in the back. I am sure a civilian would be charged for manslaughter not murder for that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Waitaminit... these cops are black! No way they're guilty! This whole trial is about raaaaaacism!!!one!e1leventy!!!1

    /leftist snark

  • Cyto||

    Holy crap. Shot him in the back and the best they could do was "Involuntary Manslaughter". Where the heck do you get anything at all involuntary about hunting someone down and then - after a lengthy discussion - shooting them in the back and killing them?

    4 years to come up with that crap?!? The prosecutor should have been drawn and quartered if he had merely considered a plea-bargain to involuntary manslaughter... but to only charge that? What do we have that is worse than drawing and quartering!?!? Whatever it is, there's a prosecutor up in PA that needs it desperately.

  • sloopyinca||

    Woman tells PO she will miss appointment due to doctor's appointment. Nevertheless, she is jailed for a parole violation for pot and goes into labor three months early. Her cries are ignored for three hours and the baby dies in her cell. Cops come to cell after the baby is born into the toilet, but claim that care was adequate. The charges against her were dropped.

    I guess the kid has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the youngest victim in the American drug war.

  • John||

    That was on the other day in the morning links. Just fucking awful. The Atlanta jail kills two or three people a year.

  • Cyto||

    Luckily the douche who violated her despite being notified that she was in the hospital at the time of her PO appointment enjoys immunity. As do the jail staff who let her scream for help as she was miscarrying her child, only showing up in time to call 911 for body disposal.

    At least we are all being kept safe from the scourge that is mary-jane. Great job, Brownie!

  • sloopyinca||

    If you're an Oklahoma cop, you are free to use "unreasonable and unnecessary force," but not "excessive force." You are also free to not follow policy IRT recording incidents when you are beating a drunk senseless.

    FTA: An internal investigation revealed that "some or all of the force applied" by Denton during the arrest of Bryan Scott Spradlin of Collinsville on June 30, 2011, could be ruled excessive, documents indicate.

    The investigation also showed that Denton failed to record with audio and video the entire arrest and escort/booking of Spradlin, as required by department policy.
    -and-
    The arbitrator found that Denton stepped on Spradlin's head while carrying him up the ramp, records indicate. Valverde also determined that Denton pulled Spradlin's handcuffed arms above and beyond his head as he was lying in the lobby and struck Spradlin's face three times with an elbow in the sally port, documents indicate.

    None of the three instances rose to the level of excessive force, and no clear evidence was presented that Denton injured Spradlin in any of the incidents, Valverde found.

    The arbitrator that reached these conclusions is the man that had him reinstated, by the way.

  • ceanf||

    lets play a game!

    "Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo chevrolet cars and pay higher taxes, or buy chevrolet cars and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not buy chevrolet cars and not pay the resulting tax."

  • ceanf||

    Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo electric cars and pay higher taxes, or buy electric cars and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not buy electric cars and not pay the resulting tax."

  • ceanf||

    Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo solar panels and pay higher taxes, or buy solar panels and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not buy solar panels and not pay the resulting tax."

  • sloopyinca||

    Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo joining a union and pay higher taxes, or join a union and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not join a union and not pay the resulting tax."

  • ||

    Those women subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo being subjected to the droit de seigneur by their congressman on their wedding night, or may submit to this legal rape and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not get raped on their wedding night and not pay the resulting tax.

  • ||

    New fantasy material, thanks.

  • sloopyinca||

    Rain Delay at Wimbledon but they're not closing the roof?

    I guess the officials realize closing the roof means entering the Fed Zone, so there's no way they're gonna do it.

  • T o n y||

    Well this article has certainly brought out the intellectual heavyweights. Someone rouse me when the mudpit belly flops and/or armpit serenades begin.

  • sloopyinca||

    Such thoughtful commentary coming from you, Tony.

    No, seriously. This is the most thoughtful post I've seen out of you in a long time. Nice work.

  • T o n y||

    Thank you. Your judgment is deservedly esteemed, what with your rigorous study at Glenn Beck U, which is the only place one could have learned that liberals and the KKK have something to do with each other.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    God, but you're a snooty bitch, Tony.

    Go look down your nose at someone else, somewhere else. Or, die in a fire.

  • T o n y||

    At least it's fire and not AIDS today.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, so you get a pass on that one particular cause of death. I forgot you're special.

    Actually, I think you have me confused with someone else on the "death by AIDS" thing, but whatever makes you feel special.

    You get what you give, by the way. Your hands are not clean.

  • T o n y||

    I don't flap a dictionary in people's faces to prove I'm not a bigot. I am bigoted. I have negative prejudices against straight people, women, fat people, and children. It's something I'm working on. Now will you kindly stop bullshitting me and admit that you have similar feelings about racial minorities and gays? It was just the other day you said it would be good for the world for me to die from AIDS. I'd never wish that even on fat children.

  • Taco||

    Person 1: A caused B
    Person 2: Saying A caused B is equally ridiculous to saying that C caused D
    T o n y: How dare you imply that C caused D!

    I'm new here. Is tony really this dense?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Dense doesn't even begin to describe TONY.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    “[E]very reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality.”

    But is the transformation of a unconstitutional mandate/penalty scheme into a constitutional tax a "reasonable construction" when it allows "aggression" (Richman's word) against the people?

    I think it is important that we understand where the line between reasonable and unreasonable must be drawn. I think that the line lies between the place where the government employs violence to defend the liberties and safety of the people, and the place where the government employs violence in aggression against the people.

  • T o n y||

    Presumably you include among the violence allowed the arresting, incarcerating, and even perhaps executing criminals. But what of the criminal's liberty and safety? Those are violated in order to preserve the "common good." And you, presumably, are perfectly fine with it.

    The justification for the mandate's penalty is that those who don't require subsidy but don't self-insure inevitably impose a cost on others. You may be in favor of free riding but it's not immediately an unreasonable imposition. But that doesn't bear on the point, which is about deference to the political branch. It's reasonable to construe it as a tax, thus it's constitutional.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You'll say anything to justify this, won't you? This victimless crime of not buying a product - in this case, an insurance policy?

    What's next on your Things Americans Must Be Forced to Do?

  • T o n y||

    It's not a crime but it's not victimless either--free riding is estimated to cost the average family $1000 per year. It's not unreasonable for policymakers to attempt to square that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, you're in favor of punishing people for victimless acts.

    It IS victimless, by the way. I don't expect collectivists with superiority complexes to get that, though - especially those who can't read dictionary entries in plain English and comprehend same.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Nope. He's in favor of punishing the victims.

    For being unlucky enough to be the victims of health care freeloaders who "cost the average family $1000 per year", by his own reasoning, the government should make sure they buy something, in this case health insurance that is in excess of $1000 per year, or pay a "tax" to make up for it.

  • ||

    It's not a crime but it's not victimless either--free riding is estimated to cost the average family $1000 per year.

    Unlike the free-riding by people with pre-existing conditions, which will cost every healthy young person who is forced to purchase insurance at "community rated" prices much more than that.

  • #||

    The mandate is NOT about people imposing costs on others. It's about getting young people to pay above market price to subsidize others.

  • ||

    Precisely. Healthy yong people without insurance are not free-riders.
    They are untapped milch cows.

  • Rasilio||

    Except there is a HUGE hole in this logic.

    That is it isn't true. Not even in the aggregate. Sure some individuals who choose not to get insurance for some period of their life will experience an unepxected catastrophic event that will force them to "freeride" on the backs of everyone else for their care.

    For the overwhelming majority of people however they will not, they will go uninsured and use little to no health care resources paying for what they do use out of pocket and then at some point later in their lives add insurance when the risk/cost ratio makes it a better purchase for them.

    Eve if they do not add insurance at some point in their lives before they experience a catastrophic event this argument ignores the fact that a fairly large number of people die without ever incurring large medical bills. Finally it ignores those with significant assets who can easily pay for whatever care they need out of pocket with no need for insurance whatsoever.

    So what you are really saying is that because some percentage of people who lack insurance may at some point in the future impose an unknown cost on the rest of society it is acceptable to compel everybody who is not insured to pay a tax to make up for it and somehow that eliminates the "freeloader" problem?

    Oh one final question, how is someone who is not currently using any health care resources a freeloader when someone who is using them completely paid for on the taxpayer dime (aka medicaid) not a freeloader?

  • ||

    It is saying "these people are imposing a $1 risk on the rest of us. So let's charge them $20, and use the extra $19 to subsidize other people's health care. "

  • Nick Shaw||

    Is it just me or is this just like the law of another political group, the muslims? Is not the jizya tax of Shariah law a penalty for not being muslim?
    Great. They can't make us like them so they want us to be like them?

  • PhillyGuard||

    In the long list of SCOTUS decisions that have eroded the Constitution and expanded federal power, this one's way up there...right next to Wickard v Filburn. http://libertymcg.com/2012/07/.....companion/

  • Auric Demonocles||

    I've said it a lot lately, but I'll say it again:

    "My fellow Earthicans we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted in and if we don't want to pay our taxes why we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster."

  • ||

    And under the rules of the game, the Constitution means what a Supreme Court majority says it means.

    No, the Constitution means what it says. If SCOTUS passes a bad ruling like the one this article is about, and abdicates its role to reign in the other two branches, then it is up to the other two branches, or the voters, or well-armed and pissed-off citizenry, to remove the offending justices from office.

  • T o n y||

    So the constitution says whatever easily excited gun-toting internet revolutionaries say it means? Where in the constitution does it say that, by the way?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why the fuck do you care, Tony? That ratty ol' piece of paper just gets in the way of your Team implementing its Fuck You, That's Why Domestic Policy, anyway.

  • #||

    Isn't it like 100 years old or something?

  • bopomtXQ||

    Learn how to make money using Google. You can monetize your searching skills and earn up to $375 per hour working for this billion dollar company. You choose your working hours. Details can be found here xurl.es/dyp7n

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So... how are homeless people going to be penalized, if they can't pony up the tax/fine for Obamacare?

  • sloopyinca||

    Easy. We turn them into Soylent Green and feed them to each other!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    D'oh. You always make the complex understandable, sloop.

  • ||

    ow it is true that the dissent, apparently written by Justice Kennedy, makes plausible arguments http://www.maillotfr.com/maill.....22_29.html against the constitutionality of using the taxing power to get us to buy insurance. But that’s how laws and constitutions are: The text always has some Rorschach quality to it.

  • ||

    What do mens underpants have to do with this?

  • real estate agent||

    I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks

  • Joseph C. Moore (USN Ret.||

    The administration, the courts, houses of congress have ALL abdicated their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution is NOT written in an arcane language, it is quite straightforward and intelligible to even the common man. Why is there so much convoluted reading being done to it, to the great detriment of our REPUBLIC? Is everyone in government a part of the design for WORLD GOVERNMENT?

  • Nike air max womens||

    President Obama's top economic advisor Larry Summers laid out ground rules for how stimulus dollars should be spent: The funds must be "targeted" at resources idled by the recession, the interventions must be "temporary," and they needed to "timely," or injected quickly into the economy.

  • ||

    There is a twist to Roberts ruling that might open the door to let the court revisit the issue.

    He says that the mandate is permissible as a tax because taxes are not coercive in the same way that a regulatory mandate is. But then says that "at some point" taxes COULD become coercive, say if you made the penalty $1,000,000 then it would be coercive.

    But the key purpose of the mandate IS to coerce behavior - to get people to buy insurance. If it doesn't, you will get the insurance death spiral. Hence Congress MUST increase the penalty until everyone buys insurance, or face a collapse of the insurance market.

    Since there's a good possibility that due to community rating purchasing insurance iwll be a bad deal for most healthy people. There's a pretty decent chance that the penalty ($800-$2000 vs perhaps $5,000 per year for insurance under community rating) will not be sufficient.

    That lays the groundwork for an as applied challenge that the tax imposed is coercive and therefore unconstitutional.

  • NihilistZerO||

    It is doomed to failure as it is unenforceable and the new buyers will not offset the new insureds with pre existing conditions. It's a total cluster F that will ultimately break the insurance system as we know it. Rates will be raised on the currently insured and that will have ripple effects throughout the economy. The only question is will the meltdown be used to enforce a true single payer system or will a true free market for insurance arise. Hopefully we can get the latter. Either way it's gonna be ugly in the meantime.

  • Federale||

    Sorry, the Obamacare decision is not conservative in any manner. You libertarians need to do this pox on both your houses routine to maintain your alleged viability on a few nutty issues like marijuana and homosexual marriage.

    Our Founders would support neither, nor would they support Obamacare or any Federal regulation of intra-State commerce.

    It appears that this was not a decision in any way based on a judicial philosphy, conservative or liberal, but based on Roberts' cowardice in face of potential criticism from the radical left, whom most libertarians cozy up to quite often, so long as you get your marijuana and gay marriage.

    Let's face facts. Neither were legal or tolerated at the Founding or at the time of the 14th Amendment's ratification.

    Neither issue is of any importance for liberty, but Obamacare and the New Deal decisions are.

    Come down from your marijuana high and deal with the real world. The New Deal is the root of all constitutional evil, not traditional marriage. We had economic liberty long before marijuana and gay marriage were issues.

  • Law Firm in San Diego||

    You may be in favor of free riding but it's not immediately an unreasonable imposition.

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