Grab Bag – Wednesday

  • O”Donnell questions the separation of church and state, one of our founding principles.
  • The Texas Rangers smacked the unbeatable NY Yankees 10 – 3 last night. For some reason, the Yankees couldn’t take advantage of mediocre pitching from the Rangers. The Rangers took a 3 -1 lead in the best of 7 series. Eliminating the Yankees for long=suffering Ranger fans would be a dream come true.  Game 5 tonight in New York.
  • CIA cites failures which lead to deaths.
  • In one of the strangest stories that I have read in a very long time, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife called Anita Hill and left a voice message on her answering machine.  She reportedly was reaching out with an olive branch. What? Ms. Thomas wants an apology. Yep. That’s going to happen.  19 years after the fact.
  • US Senate candidate Joe Miller’s guards handcuff a private citizen. Is this legal?

More from Political Animal:

  • China rattles global investors: “China’s central bank unexpectedly announced Tuesday that it would raise interest rates for the first time in nearly three years, apparently in the hopes of dampening inflation and cooling off this country’s hot property market.”
  • Violence at the Chechen Parliament: “Heavily armed gunmen burst into the Parliament of Chechnya in southern Russia on Tuesday morning, killing at least three people and wounding more than a dozen others before they were killed by police or by their own explosives, officials said.”
  • Someone shot at the Pentagon shortly before 5 a.m. this morning, possibly using a high-powered rifle. No one was injured, and for now, authorities are considering this “a random event.”
  • As of this afternoon, U.S. military recruiters are required to accept the applications of gays and lesbians who wish to join the military. Those same recruiters will have to inform those joining, however, that DADT may be re-imposed fairly soon.
  • A far-right group hoping to deliberately suppress the Hispanic vote in Nevada will not be able to purchase airtime on Univision.
  • With undisclosed millions poised to deliver huge gains for Republicans, there’s a reason Karl Rove and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are laughing at their critics.
  • Extremist Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) thinks terrorists have entered the U.S. through Canada. That’s completely wrong, and Canadian officials aren’t happy about Angle’s ignorance.
  • Repealing health care reform really isn’t as easy as the right might think.
  • Students with cerebral disabilities are enrolling in colleges in greater numbers, and even if they don’t get a degree, the education will help these young people be more competitive in the job market.
  • Juan Williams is afraid of Muslims on airplanes. He seemed unembarrassed about saying this on national television.

What’s on your mind this morning?

0 Responses

  1. I dont think that there are many on the right who believe that repealing the unconstitutional mandates of Obama's “reform” bill will be easy, since Obama still has veto power.

    Just that it's necessary.

    Obama put the IRS in charge of forcing citizens to pay money to a private company, and penalizing them including jail time, if they don't.

    What part of 'unconstitutional' do you not understand, Doctor?

  2. How about the part where Congress shall regulate commerce?

    I'm pretty sick of the right leaning on the Constitution when they like it, but ignore or want it changed when they don't. No Mosques, no gay rights in the military, and soon to back rooms near you, no citizenship for babies if we don't like the parents.

  3. Yes, Congress can regulate interstate (between two or more states) commerce.

    What interstate commerce is someone engaging in when they simply do not buy a product?

    Is 'not buying vegetables' also engaging in interstate commerce?

    Can Congress force us all to purchase vegetables on the basis that “it's good for you and it's in the country's interest to make you healthy” ?

  4. Reducing it to a discussion of veggies misses the point. We have laws that say you can't drive drunk because it may hurt others. We have laws that say you must have a minimum level of car insurance to pay for your errors. You also have to wear clothes in public or you will be arrested for indecent exposure.

    So you can't not have health insurance because when you get sick it will hurt others who have to pay for it. You have previously said well I'll ljust be self insured. Very few can realistically do that should a significant health issue arise.

  5. Agnes, in a nutshell, once the laws fully implemented regular, everyday people, should be able to go to healthcare exchanges and purchase healthcare cheaper and easier than they can now. Unfortunately, this is not available yet. It should come online soon.

    All I can tell you about healthcare is currently a lot of money is going to health insurance companies. They are adding nothing to the equation. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being wasted because it is being sucked up by these behemoths. If we could remove them from the equation the health-care system should become more efficient. My two cents.

    Thanks for your two cents.

  6. this is the old slippery slope argument. Pete Stark believes this but has absolutely no basis in his belief. He doesn’t actually answer that in the post. As I showed you earlier, it’s not non-activity versus activity. Because of the implied agreement with the American people, everybody is in.

    Btw, how does healthcare reform allow the government to tell you to buy an iPad or a Camaro? It doesn’t. There is no slope. Healthcare ain’t the same as anything else.

  7. No, you said the point was that Congress had the power to regulate interstate commerce.

    So tell us what interstate commerce is one engaged in when they DON'T purchase something from a private company.

    Backup your statement with some logic, or something. Don't just pretend you didn't actually say it.

    If the feds can force you to buy insurance, why cant they force you to buy veggies? A car? A house? These decisions to not purchase surely affect others and their livelihood, there's no denying.

    Explain to us where you find the Founders of our nation discussing the government's right to dictate what a citizen MUST buy from a private company.

  8. I said regulate commerce. You said interstate commerce. I see how you like to argue putting words that don't exist in other people statements. Congress regulates ALL COMMERCE – period. If you don't like it, you may leave.

    Standing by a veggies argument seems pretty silly to me. Health insurance is a serious issue. But for the right its just a means to whine and complain. Now that is something you are very good at.

  9. Congress is empowered to regulate and protect the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, or persons or things in Interstate Commerce, even though the threat may come only from intrastate activities. Its from the Rehnquist Court.

    Failure to have healrh insurance negatively impacts the entire country's solvency. But the right does not understand that you can't have a sustainable program that includes only the unhealthy.

  10. I don't know. Maybe the part where you explain why it's unconstitutional. I have posted why I think it is within Congress' power to take the actions that they did. I have quoted legal scholars. You have done nothing. You have simply repeated the same thing. You believe that it ain't right. You have given no supporting data or links. Just that you believe it isn't within Congress' power. I'm sorry. When did you get Supreme knowledge. If you don't support your thoughts with data, I dismiss them.

  11. Jeff wrote:

    “I said regulate commerce. You said interstate commerce. I see how you like to argue putting words that don't exist in other people statements. Congress regulates ALL COMMERCE – period. If you don't like it, you may leave. “

    Actually the Constitution says : “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes”

    Maybe you should have read it before your ridiculous rant.

    Jeff wrote:

    “Congress is empowered to regulate and protect the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, or persons or things in Interstate Commerce, even though the threat may come only from intrastate activities.”

    So how is doing nothing defined as 'an activity' ? If a person isnt engaging in a transaction, he's not 'an instrumentality' of any interstate commerce (or any other commerce, for that matter).

    And if you really believe that Congress has unlimited power over activity and non-activity (Congress regulates ALL COMMERCE – period. ) then explain to us how Congress can force us to buy any item at any time, if it wishes to do so. And how this is perfectly consistent with American liberty under the Constitution.

    Democratic Congressman Pete Stark believes this. http://blog.heritage.org/2010/08/02/the-stark-truth-if-obamacare-is-legal-then-government-has-no-limits/

    Don't you?

  12. Unlike houses or cars or fruit, Americans expect that hospitals will treat them when they get sick no matter what their insurance status is. There is no expectation that you should have a car if you can't pay for it. No one will give you a car up front. It is because of this expectation that everyone in the US participates in healthcare. Now, if you want to change that rule and allow hospitals to refuse to treat patients in need then you can talk about no purchasing this or that. Until then you aren't looking at the whole equation.

    Thanks for your comments.

  13. Are the new hc mandates basically just going to be an extension of medicaid/medicare? I only know of a few things of how us “regular people” (whatever that means) will be affected, but it seems like the new regs have more to do with the insurance industries themselves. How will this help people without insurance to get insurance, is it a good thing to have everyone subsidized by the government (ie; the taxpayers) for an infinite period of time, and how will this affect the people who actually provide the services as far as cost passed onto the consumers and quality of care?
    Thanks!

  14. • “this is the old slippery slope argument. Pete Stark believes this but has absolutely no basis in his belief. He doesn’t actually answer that in the post. As I showed you earlier, it’s not non-activity versus activity. Because of the implied agreement with the American people, everybody is in.

    Btw, how does healthcare reform allow the government to tell you to buy an iPad or a Camaro? It doesn’t. There is no slope. Healthcare ain’t the same as anything else. “

    Sure it’s a slippery slope argument but that doesn’t mean that the argument is wrong. In order to refute a slippery slope argument one must describe the difference between the next step.

    You and Jeff and the Judge assert that the Commerce Clause allows the Congress to force citizens to buy products from certain private vendors. Why? Because the economic survival of the US is at stake.

    Your argument seems to be: If the economy is threatened then the government can force citizens to engage in economic activity.

    Today, it’s health insurance. Tomorrow it could be GM (Cameros)or Apple( Ipad).

    So, what are the limits of the Commerce Clause? What step on the slippery slope becomes a barrier?

  15. • “Extremist Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) thinks terrorists have entered the U.S. through Canada. That’s completely wrong, and Canadian officials aren’t happy about Angle’s ignorance.”

    Not completely wrong. You missed this update

    UPDATE: Readers note that while there have been no successful attacks through Canada, there have been serious attempts, and federal officials have flagged the border as a concern.

    On Dec. 14, 1999, a 32-year-old Algerian named Ahmed Ressam — traveling as Benni Antoine Noris on a false Canadian passport — was arrested in Port Angeles, Wash., with more than 100 pounds of powerful explosives in the trunk of his car. He had just crossed the U.S.-Canadian border and was headed for Los Angeles International Airport, where he planned to blow up a terminal on New Year’s Eve.

  16. Dr Thompson wrote:

    “Btw, how does healthcare reform allow the government to tell you to buy an iPad or a Camaro? It doesn’t. There is no slope. Healthcare ain’t the same as anything else”

    Healthcare isn’t as important as food.

    Everyone needs food every day.

    Not everyone needs a doctor every day.

    Why could Congress not force us all to purchase vegetables?

  17. Medicare loses more money in fraud than the profits of the top 10 health insurors combined.

  18. I would think that before you had adopted such a blind faith in support of single payer that you would’ve researched an issue like this. Do you really have no clue regarding the money Medicare wastes each year? Might I suggest http://www.google.com ?

  19. I am aghast that anyone would criticize the U.S. Chamber of CommerceAccording to its official website, the chamber’s “overarching mission” is “strengthening the competitiveness of the U.S. economy to increase opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.” Consider these four ways the chamber works to do that:

    • By vehemently opposing single-payer health care, we make this country more competitive with those countries that subsidize their businesses with government-run health care.

    • By not subsidizing our own manufacturing base, we make ourselves more competitive with the Chinese who heavily subsidize their manufacturing base, like China’s dastardly support of green technologies that make it dominate that emerging market.

    • By denying a path to citizenship for migrant farm workers, the chamber increases prosperity of Americans by keeping labor costs down, sort of like slavery, which the 1787 U.S. Constitution, trumpeted by our beloved tea party, authorized.

    • By supporting the oil and gas industries in opposing any meaningful carbon tax, we prosper with lower fuel prices that allow us to drive gas-guzzlers and sit in the freeway parking lot during rush hours

  20. The part that didn’t get copied was this was written and posted in the opinion column of my newspaper. I don’t want credit for what I believe is true but not able to write myself.

  21. Thanks E,
    How will this affect the providers-docs, dentists, orthodontists, etc etc etc? Will it make their costs go up or down? Will the costs be passed onto the consumers? If so many docs are dropping from medicare because of how difficult it is to get reimbursed, will more levels of beauracracy actually help?

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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