The First Step

Virginia was my home for 28 years, and I still have a great fondness for it. So when good news hails from that state, I rejoice. In this case, it’s very good news for the nation.

The Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, sued in court to overturn the mandate in the healthcare law Congress passed earlier this year that forces people to buy health insurance or be penalized for failing to do so.

Yesterday, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the individual mandate provision of the Obamacare law is unconstitutional. The law, the judge explained, “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power” as well as the right of Congress “to compel individuals to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce.”

What this means is that the federal government has no authority to make anyone buy health insurance. As with many lower court decisions, this one will undoubtedly be appealed. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is asking that the appeals court be left out of this process in order for the United States Supreme Court to settle the matter earlier rather than later.

This is an important first step in overturning an unconstitutional law, but it is just that—a first step. While we can be glad the judge ruled in favor of constitutionality, limited government, and plain old common sense, the battle isn’t over. Other states, such as Florida, are also suing. Hopefully, this precedent will help. We have to wait and see what happens next.

This ruling is a blow to the Obama administration, one of many lately.

Prophetic?

The New D-Day

The term D-Day, which we now use for June 6, 1944, simply meant “decision day.” Based on that, I can say we now have reached another D-Day for the nation. After today, the Congress may look very different. After today, the Obama agenda may be endangered—and rightly so.

Have you noticed that very few Democrats are running on that agenda? How many are touting their vote for the healthcare bill, for instance? They’ve been running away from it as fast as they can. For some, it won’t be fast enough:

I’ve often commented that our president seems to be living in a fantasy world. To what extent, I wonder?

In the midst of great change, though, one thing will not change:

What can the Democrats count on for sure on this new D-Day? What can they depend upon?

Perhaps 2012 can change even that.

Lessons on How to Self-Destruct

This election season is turning into a nightmare for Democrats. They were promised that if they jumped on board the healthcare express, their reelection was assured. All of America would be rejoicing over the wonder of this legislation. Well, it hasn’t materialized; in fact, the opposite has happened. So what’s an incumbent Democrat supposed to do?

While commentators like to debate the affiliation of the Tea Party with Republicans and anticipate how that link is going to hurt Republican chances, they don’t spend nearly as much time meditating on the Democrats’ dilemma, which is far more noticeable:

Instead of voting to extend the Bush tax cuts, they seem more focused on something else:

Of course, Republicans won’t mind if Democrats choose to self-destruct. We saw some of that in the Congress just last week:

Brave New World?

So a homosexual judge has decided that seven million Californians are heterosexual bigots. That’s the essence of the decision handed down the other day in the Prop 8 case. One judge with a desire to normalize homosexuality and destroy the concept of marriage has precedence over the actual vote of the citizenry of the state. Vaughn Walker, the judge [the term is a loose one], in his decision devoted a lot of space to undermining traditional marriage and only a nod toward constitutionalism. That nod was not even constitutional. National Review has the details here if you can stand to read them.

His decision is already being appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but everyone knows how that’s going to turn out. That court is a mirror image of Judge Walker. Then it’s going to go to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it will be decided by a 5-4 vote, but no one really knows which side the vote will favor. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a supposed believer in judicial restraint, doesn’t always rule that way.

The Court that will hear this case will now include Elena Kagan, confirmed by the Senate yesterday by a vote of 63-37. Five Republicans voted in favor of confirmation; one Democrat voted no. So the woman who was rubber-stamped through the Senate will now become a faithful rubber stamp for the “living Constitution.” The only saving grace is that she’s replacing an ideological twin, so the Court’s balance remains the same.

The bright side is that these developments will energize conservative opposition even more—and that energy is already apparent. The primaries on Tuesday revealed a Republican base that is eager to see change and a Democratic base that is dampened in enthusiasm. One of the most startling votes took place in Missouri where 71% of the voters marked ballots in favor of repealing the provision in Obamacare that requires everyone to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. This also will go to the courts; even if it loses, it will push more voters into the polls in November.

Republicans in the Congress have come up with a chart that shows what the bureaucracy of Obamacare entails:

Good luck figuring out that one. Maybe this one will be easier to understand:

Brave new world or the nation’s worst nightmare?

Congress Was a Good Idea

The Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention had a good idea—setting up a national Congress with two houses: one to act as representatives of the people directly; the other to answer to state legislatures. Neither one seems to be working the way the Founders originally intended.

The Senate lost its representative nature in 1913 with the passage of the 17th Amendment. No longer were the senators chosen by state legislatures; now the people would choose them directly. This sounded good to the progressives of the era, but it upended the reason for the Senate in the first place. It was to serve as the voice of state legislatures in the federal system. Senators now don’t care what their state legislatures want, since they appeal to the people for reelection. States have lost their representation.

The House continues to be the representative of the people in the states, but how often do these representatives actually listen to those people? Now, I don’t buy into the belief that representatives simply must do whatever the majority of the electorate tells them; I do believe they are to exercise independent judgment and then let the people decide whether or not to return them to office. However, in the case of the recent healthcare bill and other initiatives, it seems as if they don’t even care what the electorate wants. That can happen when one’s office becomes a mini-kingdom ruled by a mini-dictator.

The current majority in Congress has an air of superiority about it—what do the pygmies in “flyover country” really understand? We will tell them what to think. And if they don’t like it?

Or, if all else fails, bribe the people.

The Founders had the right idea. I like the concept of a Congress. Maybe if we change its makeup . . .

More Non-News News

While most of the world is entranced by the travails of Lindsay Lohan and other high-profile stories, I’ve been following the non-news news—you know, the real news that is considered non-news by most of the mainstream media. Let me give some examples.

First: Remember that executive order President Obama signed saying that his healthcare bill wouldn’t fund abortions? The one that brought all the supposedly pro-life Democrats on board? The one that I and many others said at the time was entirely bogus because he would never keep his word?

Here’s the latest on that: we are now told that Health and Human Services will be giving $160 million to Pennsylvania to cover the cost of any abortions legal in the state. Apparently, New Mexico also will be receiving funds for the same purpose. These may be just the first two of many. Republican minority leader John Boehner sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius in May asking how her department was going to ensure that Obama’s executive order will be carried out. He has never received a response. Well, not officially. We’ve all been notified now that the executive order is a dead letter.

Second: How many have heard about the administration’s crusade to convince the nation of Kenya [home of Obama’s family on his father’s side] to ratify a pro-abortion, pro-Sharia law constitution? The Sharia law part would divide Kenyan society in half legally; the abortion part is self-explanatory. Vice President Biden visited Kenya last month, pushing for it. That’s bad enough, but to make it even worse, American taxpayers are paying for this to the tune of more than $600,000. Some of that money went to the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance. Is this really how you want your tax money spent?

This relates back to another of those non-news news stories from before the 2008 election: how Obama went to Kenya to campaign on behalf of the radical socialist candidate in its presidential election. Don’t remember that? I’m not surprised.

Third:  This one is non-news news for another non-news news story. Sometimes they pile on top of each other. When the NASA administrator announced that one of NASA’s priorities was to develop relations with the Muslim world and make them feel better about themselves, the administration said he had been given no such mandate—another example of an inconvenient individual being symbolically thrown under the bus, which happens often with Obama. Well, a congressman has come forward with testimony affirming what the NASA director said. Rep. Pete Olson, ranking Republican on the committee that oversees NASA, says that administrator Bolden told him last month that he definitely had a directive from the White House to be an arm of outreach to Muslims.

Maybe instead of being thrown under the bus, Bolden was thrown under the Space Shuttle—an inventive twist on an old policy.

Fourth: Donald Berwick, the man assigned to direct Medicare and Medicaid [placed there by recess appointment without the approval of Congress], who advocates healthcare rationing and who loves the British healthcare system, apparently doesn’t have to worry about his healthcare. The board of directors for the Institute for Health Care Improvement has given Mr. Berwick lifetime coverage. Mr. Berwick started the organization and serves as its chief executive officer. Nice to know he won’t have to enter the same system that he loves so much.

Now you’re caught up on some of the news that the media has declared non-news. Why does anyone with any sense continue to watch the major news networks [besides Fox, that is]?

Losing Touch with Reality

I was watching  a news program last evening in which the economist made a rather bold pronouncement: President Obama has lost touch with reality when it comes to economics, he said. The president has no understanding at all of how the economy works. I’ve believed that all along, but it was rather refreshing to hear someone say it out loud to a few million viewers.

What sparked that comment was the recently ended G8/G20 Summit of industrialized nations. As all the leaders gathered, the consensus was that they needed to stop the spending sprees because they were all going under financially. It was time to face reality and cut back on the burgeoning welfare states they were creating or they would all end up like Greece.

I say it was the consensus—with one slight disagreement. President Obama was the only one urging them all to create a worldwide “stimulus” to create prosperity. His plea for continued suicide spending was ignored. He was the Lone Ranger on this one.

What’s particularly galling is that this lowers the prestige of the United States more than ever. This was the president who said he was going to “rescue” our image in the world after President Bush supposedly destroyed it. The rest of the world is now looking at our “leader” and coming to the conclusion that he might be on a planet of his own, a place where massive spending makes us wealthy.

How different from the days when President Reagan explained to the European leaders just how America had pulled out of its doldrums of the 1970s by reducing government interference in the economy and allowing individuals to keep more of their own earnings. Those were the days when the world looked to the U.S. for leadership.

Those days are now gone.

Meanwhile, back at the oil spill, the president still refuses to use all the skimmers to clean things up and the oil spreads along even more of the Gulf Coast. He didn’t cause the spill, but he is certainly guilty of sloppy handling of the cleanup. He has been effective, though, at stopping one type of flow.

While he’s been out of the country, his allies in Congress cobbled together a so-called financial reform package. All you have to know about this piece of legislation is that the prime architects for it are Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the gentlemen who gave us the Fannie and Freddie fiasco.

What will this legislation do if it passes the Congress? Sen. Dodd has already told us.

That’s exactly what he said. Now, where have we heard that before? Oh, yes, the healthcare bill. And guess what? This bill is just as long and just as unread as the former one. But by now we’ve learned that Democrats don’t need to read bills—they vote for them anyway because their leadership says to do so. A couple things we do know about it are that it creates another government bureaucracy and it exempts Fannie and Freddie from any oversight. Wonderful.

A president and a Congress both out of touch with reality. This is no way to run a country.