First up today is the health care ruling, and its far far more deep and complex than initially seen.
See the articles below and decide (all of these articles are somewhat long and complex; I'll try to present the 'bottom line' with each):
Chief Justice John Roberts has handed a remarkable victory to American conservatives by threading the judicial needle with perfect precision. The initial disappointment collectively felt by Americans who had hoped for a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Obamacare soon will be replaced, upon further reflection, by the excitement that will come with a fuller appreciation of what the Chief Justice has wrought.
Chief Justice voted with his four conservative colleagues in drawing an unprecedented red line against Washington wielding the Constitution's Commerce Clause in the future to justify federal intrusion into the personal lives of Americans. This decision will restrict American Presidents and future Congresses for a generation and more.
...with Chief Justice Roberts almost surreptitiously joining with Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy in ruling that ObamaCare is barred by the federal Commerce Clause, a new era has begun in Commerce Clause jurisprudence.
There is now a formal United States Supreme Court opinion on the books, overdue by nearly a century, holding that the federal government may not wield the Commerce Clause to impose on American citizens the obligation to buy health insurance or anything else we do not want.
So Congress has a massive new mess awaiting it, all as voters prepare to vote for a new Congress and for 33 Unite States Senate seats, 23 now held by Democrats and their two "independent" allies. House Republicans solidly will vote symbolically to overturn the legislative monstrosity, and they will find endangered House Democrats breaking ranks with their leadership to vote with them. Senate Democrats facing reelection will be caught in a vise. Harry Reid will be trying desperately to prevent a vote on ObamaCare repeal from reaching the Senate floor, even as national news coverage focuses on the two national parties' conventions. Obama's staff may be renting Greek or Roman columns, but the Republicans will be toppling the pillars of the failed Obama Presidency
This is going to be OK, even fun. Just wait and see. The Chief Justice done us good.
First, the Roberts Court put real limits on what the government can and cannot do. For starters, it restricted the limits of the Commerce Clause, which does not give the government the power to create activity for the purpose of regulating it. This is a huge victory for those of us who believe that the Constitution is a document which offers a limited grant of power.
Second, the Roberts Court also threw out a portion of the Medicaid expansion. States have the option of withdrawing from the program without risk of losing their funds. This is another major victory for conservatives who cherish our system of dual sovereignty.
The Democrats were at pains not to call this a tax because it is inherently regressive: the wealthy overwhelmingly have health insurance so have no fear of the mandate. But now that it is legally a tax, Republicans can and will declare that Obama has slapped the single biggest tax on the middle class in history, after promising not to do that.
Every Democrat running in November will be forced to defend what amounts to the biggest tax increase-about $400 billion dollars-in American history, a tax largely levied against the young and the middle class who don't normally carry health insurance.
I have said repeatedly that Obama would be worse off if Obamacare were upheld, but what I'm really seeing is how bad it is for him with the mandate declared a tax.
Remember the Democrats got the statute passed by insisting it was not a tax. Now, we learn it is only constitutional because it is a tax.
In the end Republicans have a sharp new limitation on the expansion of federal power, a very good political platform to run against the President and the Democrats , and as Erick Erickson notes we have both Justice Roberts and the terminally squishy, retiring Olympia Snow to thank for this:
It seems very, very clear to me in reviewing John Roberts' decision that he is playing a much longer game than us and can afford to with a life tenure. And he probably just handed Mitt Romney the White House.
Just the highlights below:
#5. It made taxation the panacea for constitutional questions
No, really, hear us out. The fact that Obamacare‘s mandate has been arguably rewritten as a simple tax provision actually means something very positive at the political level for those who don’t want excessive government overreach to get carte blanche. Prior to this case, regulation of industries or people was always justified under the framework of interstate commerce (we’ll revisit this later).
This means that Roberts has just sent every future mandate to clear the desk of anti-tax giants like Grover Norquist before it can get become law. All we can say is good luck with that.
#4. The liberal judges inadvertently brought Federalism back
States are allowed to opt out of the Medicaid expansion without any retaliation in terms of existing funding from the Federal Government. In effect, this meant that the expansion was completely toothless, and states would only undertake it if they thought that additional money offered by the Federal government was worth it. The idea that states can opt out of anything is a huge jump towards state sovereignty.
#3. Roberts got the liberals to actually set up a limit on the Commerce Clause
This is similar to the situation above, except even bigger. One of the signature judicial “achievements” of the Left has been the erosion of individual liberty using Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce.
This is the brightest line in the sand ever drawn on the question of where the interstate commerce power ends, and again, Roberts got his liberal colleagues to agree to it. The excuse of the taxing power is, as we’ve pointed out above, a trap for the Left.
#2. This deflates Occupy Wall Street’s biggest cause
Law upheld, Supreme Court’s reputation for neutrality maintained. Commerce clause contained, constitutional principle of enumerated powers reaffirmed.
1. Mitt Romney now will have a much easier time defeating Barack Obama
How else to put it? Romney has been handed an issue where 60 percent of the voting public agree with him and told to run with it. The reaction of many people who previously were skeptical of Romney shows just how powerful this is – he has transformed from the problematic standard bearer of a party that might potentially have to face thorny questions on health care to the anti-Obamacare candidate: Anti-mandate, anti-massive tax on the middle class, and pro-liberty.
Do these reasons presuppose a massive gamble on Roberts’ part? Absolutely. Could things go ruinously wrong if the makeup of the Court shifts to the Left after this decision? Yes. Could things go ruinously wrong if Mitt Romney doesn’t win in November? Obviously. But this decision could still turn out to be the nail in the coffin of the Obama Presidency. Or, perhaps more appropriately, this Court could be the death panel that decides it‘s time for Obama’s administration to end its life.
You can almost always count on the Supreme Court to do the wrong thing. In fact, just about every major decision by the U.S. Supreme Court over the last 40 years has been bad for America. Many were hoping that the Supreme Court would strike down Obamacare, but the truth is that we all should have known better than to expect them to get something right. So now America is headed for a complete and total disaster as Obamacare is fully implemented over the next several years. Obamacare is going to absolutely shred the infrastructure of our medical system, it is going to send health insurance premiums soaring, it is going to dramatically expand the size and the scope of government, it is going to fundamentally alter the relationships between doctors and their patients and it is one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history.
#1 According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal government has the power to force you to buy private goods and services. Now that this door has been opened, what else will we be forced to buy in the future?
#2 Obamacare is another step away from individual liberty and another step toward a "nanny state" where the government dominates our lives from the cradle to the grave. #3 The IRS is now going to be given the task of hunting down and penalizing millions of Americans that do not have any health insurance.
#4 Obamacare imposes more than 20 new taxes on the American people.
#5 In an attempt to "control costs" and "promote efficiency", Obamacare limits the treatment options that doctors and patients can consider.
#7 Obamacare is going to send health insurance premiums soaring. #8 Many small businesses are going to be absolutely crushed by the provisions in Obamacare #9 Obamacare is going to make the emerging doctor shortage in America a lot worse. #10 Obamacare has already forced the cancellation of dozens of doctor-owned hospitals.
#11 Obamacare is going to result in a much bigger federal government.
#12 Thanks to Obamacare, you are going to have to wait much longer to see a doctor.
#13 Obamacare contains all kinds of insidious little provisions that most people don't even know about.
#14 As if the U.S. government was not facing enough of a crisis with entitlement spending, it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#15 The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Obamacare will add more than a trillion dollars to government spending over the next decade.
So are there specific reasons why we should be extremely concerned about what is coming this year? Yes, there are. The ingredients for a "perfect storm" are slowly coming together, and in the months ahead we could very well see the next wave of the economic collapse strike. Sadly, we have never even come close to recovering from the last recession, and this next crisis might end up being even more painful than the last one.
When people lose everything, they tend to get desperate. And desperate people do desperate things - especially when they are angry.
A whole host of recent opinion polls have shown that anger and frustration in the United States are rising to unprecedented levels. The ingredients are certainly there for an explosion. Someone just needs to come along and light the fuse. We truly do live in frightening times.
Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.
In order to do away with the true argument that the Congressional ruling establishing ObamaCare would be charged as a fee for being born and living in the USA, Roberts changed ObamaCare to a tax–which Obama had argued previously and intensely stated was not a tax–in order to mollify and please his true leader.
However, during the oral arguments, Obama’s lawyers ruled it is a tax. In what I view as an act of brazen disregard for the US Constitution, Roberts sided with the Marxists on the US Supreme Court in ruling that Americans can be controlled by the (now) totalitarian government and be forced to pay it for simply being born.
We are in trouble as never before, folks, and I suspect that many more (who are able) will renounce their citizenship and leave this once-blessed country. Under now-openly totalitarian CJ Roberts, SCOTUS has now joined the Executive and Legislative branches. Apparently, this is what he planned all along. With Roberts assistance, the enslavement of the American people appears to now be complete.
Obama is already nullifying the Tenth Amendment–as well as the rest of the Bill of Rights. The States need to fight this as a large combined group. This will be our last hope for survival. If we don’t…we finished and the end will be oppression worse than Josef Stalin’s USSR and Hitler’s Germany.
Regardless of whether you agree with the fundamentals of Obamacare, the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has now ruled the federal government has the power to tax Americans into mandatory purchases of private industry products means an end to economic freedom in America. Why? Because it hands the federal government the power to force the American people to buy anything the government wants or face tax penalties for refusing to do so. It is the equivalent of announcing a federal monopoly over all private purchasing decisions.
The ObamaCare mandate was enacted as a penalty flowing from Congress’s Commerce Clause power. It has been upheld as a tax flowing from Congress’s power to tax-and-spend under the General Welfare Clause. As the dissent sharply demonstrates, the contention that the mandate could have been enacted as a tax is frivolous. Meanwhile our country, trillions of dollars in debt and rapidly sinking further, desperately needs a debate about the limits of Congress’s power to tax and spend for the general welfare.
Had ObamaCare been honestly presented as a tax, or had the Court acted properly by striking it down as an illegitimate use of the commerce power and telling Congress that if it wanted to pass the bill as a tax it would have to pass the bill as a tax, our dire financial straits might have forced this much needed debate about the limits of congressional welfare power.
We have now lost that opportunity through fraud: fraud in the legislative action, and fraud in the judicial review. Due process would not allow this to be done to a criminal, but the Supreme Court has decided that Americans will have to live with it.
And below we see what could be very very bad. This story may be more significant than all of the above and its barely noticed in the media. This development is worth following closely:
While the entire country was riveted to the news that Obamacare—the most expensive and freedom robbing tax bill in U.S. history—was upheld by the Supreme Court, the President was busy driving in the last nail in the coffin of liberty.
We were so preoccupied with the looming health care insurance premium...that we overlooked the national emergency declared by President Obama.
President Obama sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President of the Senate on June 25, 2012, announcing his declaration of national emergency.
The ramifications of this national emergency are quite complex, given the fragile state of the global economy, the unstable Middle East, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the weak dollar, our huge national debt as the number one threat to national security, the 257 Foreign Trade Zones in the U.S., the insolvency of the euro crisis born by the socialist welfare states in the euro zone, huge unemployment across Europe, bank bailouts and insolvencies, military posturing by Iran, China, Russia, and Korea, the touted Arab Spring/Winter, and the subsequent takeover of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt’s recent election. We can speculate but we will certainly be accused of wearing a tinfoil hat since only progressives and Democrats are opinion makers and the arbiters of truth. Any possible theory advanced by other Americans would be met with incredulity and derision. At a minimum, it would be seen as hate speech or racism.
Syrians in the besieged city of Douma wrapped mangled and bloodied corpses in white burial shrouds early on Friday, according to video posted online, after 190 people were killed in one of the deadliest days of Syria's 16-month-old uprising.
"This is another massacre of the massacres by Assad and his secret police," he said. "This is another massacre of the massacres by the international community, of all the great nations that have conspired against our people."
Douma has been under siege for weeks by security forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"We are in preparations for the possibility of war and in the midst of deployment with the situation in Syria in mind," a top IDF officer said Thursday, in a tour of the northern border with journalists.
The greatest challenge facing Division 36, which is placed in the Golan, is the possibility of facing a surprise attack, said the officer, Brig. Gen. Tamir Heiman, Commander of Division 36. "The biggest concern is a combined terror attack and we are preparing for this in the Golan area."
Turkey deployed anti-aircraft guns, rocket launchers and other weapons along its border with Syria on Thursday, a military buildup that came as world powers showed new urgency to resolve the crisis before it ignites the region.
A bomb exploded in central Damascus near a busy market and the country’s main justice complex, wounding at least three people, damaging cars in a parking lot and sending a black cloud rising above the Syrian capital. It was not clear who was behind the bombing.
But rebel fighters are launching increasingly deadly attacks on regime targets, and several massive suicide attacks this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the fray.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow will not endorse a call for Assad to give up power.
“We are not supporting and will not support any external meddling,” he said. “External players must not dictate… to Syrians, but, first of all, must commit to influencing all the sides in Syria to stop the violence.”
The IDF is preparing for the possibility that global Jihad terrorists will launch attacks from Syria in case President BasharAssad's regime will fall, Ynet reported Thursday.
Army officials are not ruling a situation whereby terrorists will take advantage of the chaos that may follow a regime change in Damascus to seize control of the border region, as was the case in the Sinai Peninsula after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarakwas overthrown.
Over the past few months the 36th Armored Division (Ga'ash), which is in charge of security along the border, has been gearing for a number of possible scenarios, including a cross-border attack by global jihad, which is operating in Syria against Assad's regime.
The IDF fears the Horan region, near the border with Israel, will become a "no man's land" and a hotbed of terrorism. Military officials are not ruling out the possibility of rocket fire from Syria and attempts to kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.