Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Indivdual Mandates

Some, though not all, of the health plans floating around Washington feature what is called an "individual mandate". The basic idea is to require every person to carry some form of health insurance. Without an individual mandate, some of the other "reforms" being proposed such as requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions simply won't work. (If no one was required to carry insurance, and insurers had to cover preexisting conditions, why would any one have insurance coverage before they got sick?) Individual mandates were a big issue in the early stages of the Democratic presidential primaries last year. Strangely, Hillary was for them and the President was against them. Things have changed.

One question that isn't asked much, is this "Would an individual mandate be constitutional?" So far as I know, this idea is actually completely unprecedented. Never in the history of this country, has the government required, by law, that every citizen buy a particular type of product. Auto insurance comes closest, but I have two adult siblings who don't have auto insurance. One is a life-long pedestrian and the other lives in New York City and doesn't have a car.

The only possible place in the Constitution that would give Congress this authority is the Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce. Now, the Supreme Court has stretched to Commerce Clause so much that growing wheat or marijuana for your own personal use constitutes engaging in interstate commerce and therefore subject to regulation by Congress. The Court, however, has also ruled that the Commerce Clause is not infinitely elastic, ruling that a federal law mandating gun-free zones around schools could not come under the Commerce Clause. So the question is, Does refusing to engage in an economic activity - that is, refusing to buy health insurance - constitute engaging in interstate commerce?. I would argue that, quite obviously, it doesn't, and that Congress does not have the authority to order me to do so.

It is also obvious that if this is found to be constitutional, it will not be the last "individual mandate" to come out of Washington.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Trivia question: Who has won the most Nobel Peace

Answer: Iam Notbush.

Carter was faintly plausible, Gore was an obvious slap, Obama was just silly.

It seems that nominations for the Nobel close on Feb 1. 10 days after THE ONE was inaugurated. I don't know when final voting was.

I predict an Emmy for his role as himself at one his many press conferences.

Nobel Effort?

I’m not going to make any long rants about the Nobel committee being taken over by the far left loons. Too easy. Nor will I comment on how the Nobel committee is more committed to influencing the simple minded rather than honoring achievement. After Carter I thought the Nobel committee had fallen a step or two. Honoring a noble (pardon the pun), yet failed effort. There is no doubt they had definitely over reached in the Gore episode.

But Obama? What has this man done? What has he achieved other than not being named Bush or Clinton? This is like giving out the Heisman Trophy at the end of August workouts. The promise is there, but promise is what gets you beat in November.

How do I view this “award”? This is the Nobel version on the NOW / Paula Corbin Jones affair. A group that started with high ideals and genuine purpose has descended into parody and any destroyed their own credibility. So bent on political ideology they have completely lost sight of the founding mission. In three years the Nobel committee will wonder why their prestige is down and people are ignoring them. I just wonder how they are going to blame it all on Bush.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Acorn, Peanuts, and Pecans

I have heard on at least two TV shows, three radio programs, and numerous blogs that Acorn is dead. That the undercover reporting and evidence of corruption and malfeasance have finally force Congress to move and funding will be cut. Conservatives are jumping with joy, laughing, and back-slapping; reveling in the failure of Acorn and acting as if a major victory has been achieved.

Has a major blow been dealt? The Acorn is dead, long live the oak. How many people are part of the Acorn structure? 1000? 5000? 10,000? Doesn’t matter. The entire downfall will affect only about 15-25 people. All these people were hired and given titular titles, chosen for their loyalty and dedication to the cause. The intelligence and power of the organization do not appear on org charts or show up at the offices. The rest of the group, the rank and file worker bees, will remain anonymous and unindicted.

What will happen in the end? Simple, the power will start Seeding, Pecan, or Hopychange; complete with a title to fit the acronym, and the rank worker bees will be hired and resume the same duties in roughly the same buildings and all will continue as it always has.
This is a pyrrhic victory for conservatives.

There is one way to change this nothing into a small win. Snatch a tie from the jaws of stupidity. The only way is to leverage all the current public sentiment into stopping Federal funding of ALL these type of sham do-gooder groups. No Federal money, no corruption. The people who will then actually have to work to raise the funds will make practical and reasonable efforts to ensure that it goes to the purported ends. The true believers: left, right, and center, will still work to achieve their political ends. That is fine with me. I just don’t see why it is up to Congress to continue funding these types of organizations.