January 20, 2009
Civil Liberties to be Lost

Yesterday I celebrated "Civil Liberties Day." I consider this a preferable alternative to a day devoted to Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of the side effects of this change is that while many people note that the first black President is inaugurated the day after MLK Jr. Day, I get to note that one of the most anti-liberty Presidents is inaugurated the day after Civil Liberties Day.

It's well-understood that Obama is at least as hostile to our Tenth Amendment liberties as any President before him. He also has declared himself, time and again, completely hostile toward the Second Amendment (despite his dishonest rhetorical claims that he believes gun ownership is an "individual right").

So, now that we are about to have this new President, I want to start keeping a list of liberties he or his Congress is trying to take from us. Please restrict your answers to those that Obama or Biden or a prominent member of Congress has specifically advocated, within the last year, such as the Obama-Biden promise to bring back the Assault Weapons Ban. And provide a reliable source.

I think this will be quite instructive, and more than a bit depressing. I can only hope Obama doesn't fulfill many of his promises, for whatever reason. He's already signalled he is backing off many of his radical proposals, such as to increase taxes and immediately close Gitmo and pull out of Iraq. So, we don't know what will happen. We only can know what has been proposed and what has happened.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at January 20, 2009 08:41 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Are you going to provide a thread for people to share what liberties he will restore, as well? :)

Posted by: Andrew Brown on January 20, 2009 08:47 AM
2. How about the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", in which he and the democrats will try to kill free speech? That's likely to be on their assault list. Also, what form of Obama's "Truth Squad" will we see at the national level?

Posted by: Michele on January 20, 2009 08:47 AM
3. Also, I hope that when the Democrats that actually support his views offer their irrational rationalizations of support for these anti liberty policies, that all of you conservatives will pause for a moment and remember when you did the same for President Bush.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on January 20, 2009 08:51 AM
4. Andrew Brown: oh, you mean like when I came out immediately after the announcement of the "warrantless wiretapping" and I said that, from what we knew of it, it seemed illegal to me?

And in the recent discussion about Gitmo, you may not have caught it, but I said -- again, at the time -- that I had a big problem with the MCA of 2006: while (contrary to your claims) it does provide due process, it has a big flaw in that your statutory habeas corpus rights are suspended DURING your status determination as an AUEC, not merely after such a determination has been reached.

I was in favor of several of the Supreme Court decisions against Bush.

I have been quite fair in my analysis of Bush and his policies.

Further, I have had this discussion with you before, more than once. "All of you conservatives" is less-than-honest here.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 08:57 AM
5. Yes, Michele, that is a very good example. Despite protestations from the left that this is a red herring, in fact, several top Democratic legislators, including Feinstein and Schumer, have advocated bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 08:59 AM
6. pudge, it was honestly not directed at you, although I've seen you guilty of it as well (and I have as well).

As you well know, some of the other members of SP can be far more... liberal... with their rationalizations of this sort of thing.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on January 20, 2009 08:59 AM
7. Andrew: no, I don't think you've seen me guilty of it at all. If you have, I'd like to see it, for the benefit of my own self-improvement.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 09:01 AM
8. Congressional Dimocrats advocate the reimposition of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", whereby news media would be forced to offer countering opinions to political commentary.

One of the major problems in such legislation is the party in power is allowed to determine what is considered to be "fair and balanced", meaning the heavily biased "mainstream media" will retain its right to spew Dimocrat talking points unchallenged.

As a result, any emphasis on imposing "fairness" will be directed towards talk radio, Fox News and internet news sources.

And as a result, it will be goodbye, First Amendment.

Posted by: Saltherring on January 20, 2009 09:11 AM
9. Didn't mean to parrot Michele's posting, I fielded a 20-minute phone call in the middle of composing my post.

And, to Andrew Brown, who states in #1, "Are you going to provide a thread for people to share what liberties he will restore, as well?"

Well Andrew, why don't you begin by speculating what "liberties" President Obama will "restore".

Posted by: Saltherring on January 20, 2009 09:18 AM
10. He's going to make it easier for union thugs to intimidate prospective members by eliminating the secret ballot. That takes away the individual's right to privacy in casting their ballot on whether to unionize.

Posted by: Palouse on January 20, 2009 10:43 AM
11. Pudge,
Sad. So, sad!

For this is level you have to stoop, states alot about your cynical life-view.

Here is an idea, instead of wasting time creating a list, why don't you actually spend time servicing your fellow man. Now, is not the time to sit back and complain. With the state of our nation, now is a time to get to work. You could best get to work, by instead of sitting and complaining, to get busy and write about what it will take to get this country moving economically and what it will take to heal this country from the torn state it has become. Instead, you want to continue to tear-down the Nation.

Here is an idea for you, if you are so clear in your opinions, then why don't you go to Whitehouse.gov and share them. Now that we have the previous secret adminstration gone, there is a new Whitehouse.gov in place. It has a blog. It will post every proclamation and signing order. It will post pending legislation for public review. It has details on all current intiatives. It also, for you, has a direct way to provide feedback. So you don't like what Obama proposes. Well, get off your duff and provide feedback. A new government has arrived and it is time to get busy. No more sitting back and complaining, and this goes for both sides (i.e., lefties included). Use today's technology and provide your input. Be heard.

Posted by: tc on January 20, 2009 10:58 AM
12. tc:

For this is level you have to stoop, states alot about your cynical life-view.

"Stoop"? How sad that you think that talking about the fact that Obama and the Congress want to take away some of our liberties is "sad" or "cynical." It's neither. I defy you to explain otherwise.


Here is an idea, instead of wasting time creating a list, why don't you actually spend time servicing your fellow man.

Protecting liberty IS servicing my fellow man. It's sad that I have to explain this to you.


Now, is not the time to sit back and complain. With the state of our nation, now is a time to get to work.

Um, I am not complaining, I am stating facts. And this statement of facts IS getting to work.


You could best get to work, by instead of sitting and complaining, to get busy and write about what it will take to get this country moving economically and what it will take to heal this country from the torn state it has become.

I am talking about it will take to heal this country: protect and defend liberty.


Instead, you want to continue to tear-down the Nation.

You're a liar.


Here is an idea for you, if you are so clear in your opinions, then why don't you go to Whitehouse.gov and share them.

Because I am not stupid enough to think anyone there will care what I have to say. Sad that you are.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 11:09 AM
13. Well, I'll share what I think with them whether they care or not.

But to each their own.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on January 20, 2009 11:18 AM
14. Andrew: yes, to each his own. I won't waste my time.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 11:22 AM
15. "Here is an idea, instead of wasting time creating a list, why don't you actually spend time servicing your fellow man."

You filthy Democrats are al about the Lewinsky aren't you?

Posted by: pbj on January 20, 2009 11:40 AM
16. tc, you could use this reminder:

As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.
Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 11:48 AM
17. Pudge,
Regarding your first response: I guess how can I expect a change. Instead, it is more of the same character assassination of those who disagree with you and call you to task. I see you haven't put the "your a liar" bit to rest.

Maybe you should take your second response to heart. It appears that you are the one who has a problem with disagreement. I have no problem with difference of opinion. I enjoy a lively debate. You, on the other hand, when called to task, you stoop to "you are a liar" bit. How sad.

Posted by: tc on January 20, 2009 12:55 PM
18. Pudge,
No, via my last post, I got "that" off my mind. In regards to your Civil Liberties Lost watch. Fire away, but when it actually occurs. It seems to me that you are way premature in your post.

Do you actually think that the issues you brought up are even a concern at the current moment for our nation?

I will go out on a limb and predict that we won't see these issues even approached at least until next election cycle. Even then, they will be brought up because your side will have to come up with something to complain about.

Seriously, the economic crisis is a heck of alot more important and on everyone's plate right now than some meaningless change to infringe on your Second or Tenth amendment rights. Get real.

The crisis is Gaza is a lot more real, and dealing with Afghanistan is a lot more real than some petty contrived, made-up concern like what you brought up. He has just been sworn in, and all you can think about is that he is going to take away my guns. What, no concern about the economy? What, no concern about the state of foreign affairs?

No, like I stated earlier, these are idiotic charades that you bring up. If you want to bring up a valid point, then argue about stimulus or no stimulus. Argue about the TARP. Argue about the initial Executive Orders Obama is expected to sign dealing with closing of Gitmo. Those are legitimate points that I am sure you could easily put forth a valid counterpoint to what Obama has proposed. No, instead you make up some hypothetical, non-issue to discuss on day one.

Posted by: tc on January 20, 2009 01:04 PM
19. tc:

it is more of the same character assassination of those who disagree with you and call you to task

I defy you to give a single example. I am talking about facts about Obama and Congress. No character assassinations. I did call you a liar, but that is only because of the fact that you lied when you said I want to tear down this nation (which itself was a character assassination by you, against me, which makes you a hypocrite).


I see you haven't put the "your a liar" bit to rest.

I see you haven't stopped lying.


Maybe you should take your second response to heart.

I have. Now it's your turn.


It appears that you are the one who has a problem with disagreement.

No, it does not appear that way at all. You're lying. Look at my discussion with Andrew Brown, who disagrees with me in significant ways.


I have no problem with difference of opinion.

You're lying. Everyone can see your first comment here: you were telling me I should not express my opinion, and instead just follow along with what YOU want me to do.


In regards to your Civil Liberties Lost watch. Fire away, but when it actually occurs. It seems to me that you are way premature in your post.

Um. So when the President or a prominent member of the controlling party of Congress SAYS they will take away our liberty, I should not mention it until they actually DO take away our liberty? Riiiiiiiight.


Do you actually think that the issues you brought up are even a concern at the current moment for our nation?

If our liberty ever becomes a non-issue then we have lost our greatness.


some meaningless change to infringe on your Second or Tenth amendment rights

There is NO SUCH THING as a "meaningless change" to our civil liberties.


The crisis is Gaza is a lot more real, and dealing with Afghanistan is a lot more real than some petty contrived, made-up concern like what you brought up.

You're lying. Every concern I "brought up" was promoted by Obama, Biden, or a prominent member of the controlling party of Congress.


What, no concern about the economy? What, no concern about the state of foreign affairs?

Only a fool thinks that just because I don't mention something that I don't think it is important. So color me unsurprised that you express that opinion.


No, like I stated earlier, these are idiotic charades that you bring up.

Again, you're lying. They are not charades: they are claims by the President, Vice President, or prominent and powerful members of Congress.


No, instead you make up some hypothetical, non-issue

Again, you're lying.

Repeating your lie won't make it the truth.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 01:19 PM
20. @18: tc

Don't bother trying to have a conversation with Pudge. He is an egotist with a personality disorder. Even when I prove him wrong (he runs and hides like a little baby, he will call me a liar. Pudge is just a juvenile fool who can't back up a damn thing he writes. Try to pretend you are arguing with a third grader, who takes apart each sentence and calls you a liar in between - that is the level of discourse you get with Pudge. Facts be damned - the important thing is Pudge's personal opinion.

Posted by: correctnotright on January 20, 2009 02:14 PM
21. Yawn:

I note for the record that you did not address any of my points, and that your entire comment was an argumentum ad hominem. And no one is surprised.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 02:37 PM
22. Incorrectnotright:

Funny, with reference to pudge, I dont recall you "proving him wrong"...or proving anyone else wrong for that matter. In fact, your arrogant, vain babbling usually lacks any direct link to reality.

Posted by: Saltherring on January 20, 2009 03:02 PM
23. Pudge regarding post @19:
I defy you to give a single example. I am talking about facts about Obama and Congress. No character assassinations. I did call you a liar, but that is only because of the fact that you lied when you said I want to tear down this nation (which itself was a character assassination by you, against me, which makes you a hypocrite).
Point 1: What is your definition of lying? Obviously, it must be different than other people. I stated my opinion that I believe you continually want to tear down Obama and ergo, the nation. While it may be an exaggeration (e.g., use of the always, never, etc., case implied in the statement), it is nevertheless an opinion, which cannot be a lie (in my book). To be a lying, I would have to knowingly believe the opposite about you and still state the opinion that I did. I don't not believe the opposite. I believe by your past conduct and comments, that you have no good will towards Obama. You continue to distort his proposals, like this post. You are entitled to your opinion, which is what it is, and I am entitled to mine.

I see you haven't stopped lying.
What in my post was a lie? Where did I state a fact that was false. I didn't because my post was an opinion. It can't be false. You may not disagree, but it doesn't make it my opinion.

I have. Now it's your turn.
I sure don't see it in your response. Yes, you responded, but you still mistakenly used the "your lying" bit at the end. Again, how can an opinion be a lie? Facts can be lies. Stating something opposite of what one believes could be a lie. Are you stating that I don't believe what I write? Is that what you are stating? Again, how can an opinion be a lie?

Um. So when the President or a prominent member of the controlling party of Congress SAYS they will take away our liberty, I should not mention it until they actually DO take away our liberty? Riiiiiiiight.
Such a cynical viewpoint on the world. Are you a narcissist? I may be always a bit on the naive side, but I will take it any day to your gloom and doom outlook on life. Do you really believe what you just wrote? If so, you really do need to seek counseling :-)

If our liberty ever becomes a non-issue then we have lost our greatness.
And we came pretty darn close under GW and Cheney. Cheney doesn't even understand how far he and the administration strayed from the constitution. You have no argument from me for speaking up if the new administration starts running rough-shod over the constitution like the last. Lots of luck to you to find any examples. My guess is you will have to fabricate them, especially given the President and VP's background is constitutional law.

There is NO SUCH THING as a "meaningless change" to our civil liberties.
Again, I will call you to task as other have here. Where was your uproar while Bush and Cheney were conducting their disassembly of the Constitution? Yea, you spoke up about a couple of things, but there were several other incidents that you were quiet.

Do you believe President Bush's recent statement in exit interviews that the torture conducted was legal because he had his staff draft legal opinions stating such?
Under this model, anything is then legal as long as one has their AG draft an opinion stating such. Even before Bush's recent statement, Cheney has on numerous occasions repeated this line of reasoning that basically states the President, in a time of war, is free to do whatever he deems necessary. Given the fact that the war in question is defined as perpetual war, this gives the President unchecked powers.

Or how about Cheney's opinion that the Vice President is neither a member of the legislative branch, nor the Executive Branch?
Funny for Dick, the cumbersome fact that the constitution defines the office in one of the sections. Nevermind that fact, Cheney saw himself as immune from any checks or balance (e.g., not under the regulations of the Executive Branch, nor the Legislative Branch)

Where is your "outrage" on these issues?
No, instead you want to make up some hypothetical case that Obama will throw out the 2nd amendment, even though he stated the opposite in the campaign, and if you go to the new Whitehouse site, under the Other Issues area, you will see reiteration of what he stated during the campaign. No, you want to believe the NRA propoganda. Nevermind the fact, that other gun associations, like the Sportsmen, backed Obama and called "hogwash" on the NRA's blatant lies.

No, you also want to believe the lies that somehow Obama will establish a single-payer, National Health Plan, and then force it on everyone. Get real Pudge. This is not what he has stated throughout the campaign. It isn't what is no the new website. Obama has been consistent on this issue, but you continue to believe the falsehood because it fits your conspiracy theory that Obama will do away with the 10th Amendment. Nothing is further from the truth. You are entitled to your view of the 10th Amendment, but it doesn't make it fact. As far as I know, you are not one of the Supreme Court Justices. Therefore, it is just your opinion, just as I may have my own opinion that is more central and not as far right-wing as yours. I am sure in this case, Obama's opinion/interpretation is probably farther left (politically). I don't lose sleep over this. It why we have three branches of government. You must have a very low opinion of a right-oriented Supreme Court (in 10th Amendment cases, I believe Kennedy would side with the right of the court and not the left). Do you really mistrust the Supreme Court?

The bottom line Pudge is you seem to be worrying about trivia and silent over most the known trampling the previous administration did to the constitution. It would be one thing if you were as outspoken about Bush and Cheney as you are about Obama, but the fact is you weren't. This is how I see it. It is my opinion. You may not agree one bit, but it doesn't make me "lying" about what my opinion is.

Posted by: tc on January 20, 2009 04:07 PM
24. tc:

What is your definition of lying?

Saying something you know is false, or with a reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of the claim, with the intent to deceive or mislead. You have not the slightest reason in anything I've ever said or done that I want to tear down this nation, and yet you said that I want to do that. It's false, and whether you knew it was false, you had no reason to believe it was true. Even if it is your opinion, it's still false, still has no basis for truth, and is therefore a lie.


I stated my opinion that I believe you continually want to tear down Obama and ergo, the nation.

You're lying: you said no such thing. You said the nation. Obama and the nation are not the same thing. If you had said "Obama" then I would have stated the fact that you were wrong, instead of that you were lying.


it is nevertheless an opinion, which cannot be a lie (in my book)

You're quite wrong. A stated opinion about someone else's views, their beliefs, and so on, absolutely can be a lie, if it is without any foundation of truth, as yours was.


I believe by your past conduct and comments, that you have no good will towards Obama. You continue to distort his proposals, like this post.

Your judgment is, obviously, flawed, so your opinion is disregarded. Note the fact that you have never successfully identified any such distortion that I can recall, and certainly not in this post, or the other one of today.


I sure don't see it in your response.

Um. You have it backward. You would need to SEE SOMETHING, not NOT SEE SOMETHING. A recap: I was attacking the notion of trying to quell dissent, which is what you did, and what Obama did. You said I should take that notion to heart. But I in no way tried to quell dissent. So ... you have it backward.


Such a cynical viewpoint on the world.

How is it cynical to note the fact that Obama said he wants to take away our liberty? That's not cynical, it's reporting facts. Do you know what "cynical" means? It is a fact that Obama and members of Congress said they want to take away various liberties. It is a fact that they COULD do it: after all, both cited examples (assault weapons ban, fairness doctrine) are actual enacted legislation that have expired.


Are you a narcissist?

Not remotely. Do you know what "narcissist" means? It has nothing even to do with this discussion.


I may be always a bit on the naive side, but I will take it any day to your gloom and doom outlook on life.

Again: I simply reported facts. We have them saying they want to do something they could do, that would take away our liberty. These are facts.


Do you really believe what you just wrote?

Um. They are facts.


If so, you really do need to seek counseling :-)

For ... reporting facts?


And we came pretty darn close under GW and Cheney.

Irrelevant. I am not here defending specific acts of Bush and Cheney.


Cheney doesn't even understand how far he and the administration strayed from the constitution.

Then you and he have something in common.


You have no argument from me for speaking up if the new administration starts running rough-shod over the constitution like the last. Lots of luck to you to find any examples. My guess is you will have to fabricate them, especially given the President and VP's background is constitutional law.

You really have drunk the Kool-Aid, haven't you?


Again, I will call you to task as other have here. Where was your uproar while Bush and Cheney were conducting their disassembly of the Constitution?

No one else has taken me to task on this. Andrew Brown appeared to be doing so, but then backed off.


Yea, you spoke up about a couple of things, but there were several other incidents that you were quiet.

Only a fool takes silence to be agreement.


Do you believe President Bush's recent statement in exit interviews that the torture conducted was legal because he had his staff draft legal opinions stating such?

I never heard him say that, and I don't believe he did. What I did hear him say is that he believed the actions were legal at the time, and in the absence of a Court decision contradicting him, it is his right and obligation to act as he believes is right and legal. And if the Court says he can't do that, then he stops. He did not say, that I heard, that they were legal BECAUSE his administration said so. I would like to see you quote him backing up your claim.


Cheney has on numerous occasions repeated this line of reasoning that basically states the President, in a time of war, is free to do whatever he deems necessary

And I disagree with Cheney, and have disagreed with him, in public, in the past on this point.


Or how about Cheney's opinion that the Vice President is neither a member of the legislative branch, nor the Executive Branch?

Again, he didn't say that. What he said is that the VP is in BOTH branches, serving function for both. And it's actually true. The question is whether it matters in the context of the Presidential Records Act.


Nevermind that fact, Cheney saw himself as immune from any checks or balance (e.g., not under the regulations of the Executive Branch, nor the Legislative Branch)

Nope, that never happened. It was only specific regulations he saw himself as immune from. And it's a reasonable argument on its face: the Presidential Records Act governs records under the authority of the President, which is everything in the Executive branch, basically. But some of the VP's records pertain to the Legislative Branch, in his function as the President of the Senate. The President has no legal authority over that function of the Vice President.

Now, I don't know how such a thing should play out in the end, and I do fully agree that Cheney took this justification too far and used it as a cover to keep far more than just legislative documents secret. But let's not pretend the argument has no merit. It does.


No, instead you want to make up some hypothetical case that Obama will throw out the 2nd amendment

First, I never said he WILL do anything. I am talking about what he SAID he would do. You're lying.

Second, I never talked about throwing out the Second Amendment, I talked about his proposal to limit our rights UNDER the Second Amendment, which HE HIMSELF SAID HE WOULD DO. You're lying when you say it is hypothetical.


even though he stated the opposite in the campaign

Kool-Aid again. During the campaign he said he supported the DC gun ban ... which was later found to be unconstitutional. And he never said he was wrong to support the DC gun ban, and never voiced opposition to that support for the DC gun ban.


No, you want to believe the NRA propoganda. Nevermind the fact, that other gun associations, like the Sportsmen, backed Obama and called "hogwash" on the NRA's blatant lies.

First, all I am doing is providing facts. He supported the DC gun ban. He said, both before and after he was elected, that he wants to bring back the AWB. He supports many restrictions on guns, and wants to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which protects the privacy of gun owners. All of that is fact.

Second, that "Sportsmen" group -- The American Hunters and Shooters Association -- that backed Obama is a front group for anti-gunners. Its founder contributed a lot of money to the Brady Campaign; another director is the founder of Stop Handgun Violence; another runs a company that works closely with the Brady Center and has worked in lawsuits against firearm dealers; etc.

I don't doubt that many of the people in the group actually hunt and shoot, but they also want to ban handguns ... which is unconstitutional. Indeed, AHSA exists IN ORDER TO have a group that looks like they support shooters, that also opposes pro-gun candidates and endorses anti-gun candidates. That they endorsed Obama is evidence AGAINST Obama's credentials on gun rights.


No, you also want to believe the lies that somehow Obama will establish a single-payer, National Health Plan, and then force it on everyone.

I believe that is his ultimate goal, yes. It's not part of any plan he's discussed, and I've never said that it was.


Obama has been consistent on this issue, but you continue to believe the falsehood because it fits your conspiracy theory that Obama will do away with the 10th Amendment.

Um. He doesn't propose single-payer universal health care, but his existing plan IS a very clear violation of the Tenth Amendment.


You must have a very low opinion of a right-oriented Supreme Court (in 10th Amendment cases, I believe Kennedy would side with the right of the court and not the left). Do you really mistrust the Supreme Court?

Once again, you do not understand the law well. The Supreme Court, however it is constructed, tends to side on the position of popular will on such issues, regardless of the Constitution. That is the history of it. Yes, I do not trust the Supreme Court to throw it out, because they typically don't. Oh, I'm sure Thomas would rule against it, and perhaps some of the other three conservatives. But it is unlikely to be overturned, because that is not how the Court typically works.

And no, Kennedy is not normally "with the right" on Tenth Amendment cases. He is far more like O'Connor.


It would be one thing if you were as outspoken about Bush and Cheney as you are about Obama, but the fact is you weren't.

First, Bush and Cheney were far friendlier to the Constitution than Obama has signalled he will be (and more than he has been as a Senator). Further, I tend to say things other people are NOT saying, if I can. Else I am just wasting time. And as you well know, Bush was widely pilloried for his transgressions.

So yes, I will be more outspoken against Obama, unless, of course, his transgressions get as much play as Bush's ... then I'll devote my time to other things.


This is how I see it. It is my opinion. You may not agree one bit, but it doesn't make me "lying" about what my opinion is.

When you said I want to tear this nation apart, you were lying. Deal.

Posted by: pudge on January 20, 2009 04:56 PM
25. At least we won't be hearing as much from the BDS (Bush derangment syndrome) crowd.

Posted by: redneck on January 20, 2009 11:10 PM
26. A very dark day (no pun intended)was initiated on Tuesday. Should be title Black Tuesday.

Posted by: Bill on January 21, 2009 06:51 AM
27. Pudge,
I will not try to reiterate the litany of distortions you make on my statements and falsehoods you spread. I will cut to the two specific issues of your post, the 2nd and 10th amendments.

1. 2nd Amendment. I flat out disagree with you on this. Your stance appears to be that public safety has no place at the table when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. I disagree. I believe one can uphold the second amendment and address public safety. Obama stated after the recent 2nd Amendment court ruling that he did agree with it that the 2nd amendment speaks to personal ownership and not just a state or local militia ownership. So, he is on record as supporting personal ownership of firearms. He is also on record as stating it is within local community rights to limit the use of that right when it intersects with public safety. I agree with this. What I have not seen is your argument as to why Public Safety can not be considered in the equation. Is there any conditions, in your mind, where public safety outweighs not placing any restrictions on how individuals' right for ownership. What in your mind is reasonable public safety, and what isn't? That should be the debate, and yet the NRA's stance is that any restriction is an abolition of the 2nd amendment. It is an extremist position. Do you take this same extremist viewpoint and with what justication? I do not. I believe in a middle-ground where the right can be upheld and public safety can also be addressed. I also believe in what Obama has stated repeatedly, that this is also his position.

10th Amendment. I disagree with you the the proposals Obama is putting forth on Health Care are against the 10th Amendment, especially given the well-established Commerce clause established as a precedent in several court cases. You speak of fear and innuendo here. What specifically in his actual proposals conflicts with the 10th amendment? What he proposes is available on the Whitehouse.gov website. Don't bother with he fear and falsehoolds spread by the right. Address the proposals. Which items of what is stated on the website conflict with the 10th amendment and why? Also, if they do conflict, make sure to address why the Commerce clause doesn't allow the action.

Posted by: tc on January 21, 2009 07:56 AM
28. TC,

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

I don't see where "public safety" is addressed AT ALL in that simple phrase. "Gun Control" as you Slavers want it to be is directly opposed to the 2nd Amendment.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Constitution does not delegate to the United States anything about education, or health care, or environmental laws. Yet the Federal Government rides rough-shod over all those arenas, clearly outside the 10th Amendment.

The Marxist Messiah's calls for nationalized health care, increased Federal intrusion in education, and massive interference with environmental rules are all clearly against the 10th Amendment.

Go to and look at his proposals regarding guns, education, health care, and environmental rules.

Oh, and the sad thing is that so many now accept Congress' and the President's corruption of the Commerce Clause. How my local grade school operates has ZERO impact on interstate Commerce except by the most tortured and tenuous of strings of faulty logic.

And in fact, by the same twisted path you Slavers love to trod with the Commerce Clause your use of the toilet could be Federally regulated - you shall excrete when and where told to, at the beck and call of your Federal masters!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on January 21, 2009 08:46 AM
29. I see pudge is just like me. I didn't celebrate MLK day either. Yet I am a racist. Funny how we are so alike!

Posted by: Truth In Words on January 21, 2009 11:34 AM
30. tc:

I will not try to reiterate the litany of distortions you make on my statements and falsehoods you spread

You would have to iterate them in order to re-iterate them, you know. You have not done so.


2nd Amendment. I flat out disagree with you on this.

Shrug. You're wrong.


Your stance appears to be that public safety has no place at the table when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.

You're lying. I never implied that in any way. What I said -- what Barack Obama did not understand, when his policy (also the policy of Holder and Emanuel) was slapped down in DC v. Heller -- is that a TOTAL GUN BAN is not Constitutional, yes, REGARDLESS of your so-called "public safety" claims.

That doesn't mean public safety cannot be a part of the picture, but just like we can regulate, but not effectively ban, SPEECH because of concerns about the public, we also can regulate, but not effectively ban, guns.


I believe one can uphold the second amendment and address public safety.

Yes, but Obama's policy, as implemented in DC v. Heller, did not do the former (or the latter, but that's another discussion).


Obama stated after the recent 2nd Amendment court ruling that he did agree with it that the 2nd amendment speaks to personal ownership and not just a state or local militia ownership. So, he is on record as supporting personal ownership of firearms.

Sorry, tc, but we don't drink the Kool-Aid here. The ONLY REASON WHY the DC gun ban was shot down was BECAUSE it completely stripped an individual's right to keep and bear arms. And yet Obama said he SUPPORTED that very DC gun ban. His words on this are lies.


He is also on record as stating it is within local community rights to limit the use of that right when it intersects with public safety.

Not where that "limit" becomes an effective BAN, no. Flatly unconstitutional. And Obama is on record, many many times, supporting such unconstitutional bans.

What I have not seen is your argument as to why Public Safety can not be considered in the equation.

Because I never made such an argument.


That should be the debate, and yet the NRA's stance is that any restriction is an abolition of the 2nd amendment.

You're a liar. The NRA has backed many sensible restrictions, including background checks etc.


I believe in a middle-ground where the right can be upheld and public safety can also be addressed. I also believe in what Obama has stated repeatedly, that this is also his position.

You've been fooled: Obama's position, for many years, is that outright bans are constitutional.


I disagree with you the the proposals Obama is putting forth on Health Care are against the 10th Amendment

You're wrong.


especially given the well-established Commerce clause established as a precedent in several court cases

Regulating commerce is not the same as taking over the business.


What specifically in his actual proposals conflicts with the 10th amendment?

Government paying for the health care of private individuals, obviously.

Posted by: pudge on January 21, 2009 01:05 PM
31. I agree with you Pudge regarding Obama's national healthcare initiative and the 10th Amendment, however, what do you think is to stop them from just using a "General Welfare" excuse?

It's truly amazing how close we came in the Heller case to losing a fundamental Constitutional right. One vote. That's all it was. And given the chance, Obama's going to appoint more people that voted on the wrong side of that case. Scary.

Posted by: Palouse on January 21, 2009 01:26 PM
32. "And given the chance, Obama's going to appoint more people that voted on the wrong side of that case. Scary."


The people who voted on that case were the justices of the supreme court. All of the people who voted on that case have already been appointed by previous presidents. He would, of course, only be able to appoint people who had not voted on that case.

Posted by: Alan on January 21, 2009 01:39 PM
33. Of course Alan. There's a 'like' missing there. Jebus.

Posted by: Palouse on January 21, 2009 01:44 PM
34. Palouse:

what do you think is to stop them from just using a "General Welfare" excuse?

In a sane world, it would be the fact that General Welfare is not an enumerated power, but a DESCRIPTION OF the enumerated powers to follow. Madison has some great quotes on this subject, such as:

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.

Oops, there I go, quoting our forebears. Oh wait, Obama said I could! Neat!

As to Heller, I am not completely unconcerned, but I would be shocked if the Supreme Court, even with a one-vote switch toward rule-of-man liberalism, would overturn Heller. Indeed, I think that even such a switch would still give us incorporation of the Second Amendment.

It's for the same reason that a conservative court won't toss out Social Security or Roe v. Wade any time soon: the Court sticks by precedents, especially when so many millions of Americans rely on a particular precedent, even if they disagree with it.

Posted by: pudge on January 21, 2009 01:51 PM
35. Incorporation of the second ammendment would make it applicable to state and local laws, but I think that this is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Going back to the late nineteenth century the court has "incorporated" all of the other guaranteed constitutional rights into the scope of the 14th amendment, making them applicable to state and local laws. The Supreme Couort has not however reconsidered the 1886 decision in Presser v. Illinois that said the 2nd ammendment is not binding on the states. The Heller case could not bring up this issue because DC is not a state, although it is treated as though it were one for other purposes. In the Heller case the DC circuit court ruled that the 2nd amendment does apply to DC because it "is a federal district, ultimately controlled by congress...The Supreme Court has unambiguously held that the constitution and bill of rights are in effect in the district."

That part of the ruling raises some potential issues; is DC, as the seat of the national government, not a "free state" of the kind mentioned in the 2nd amendment such that the amendments guarantee of access to arms for a state "militia" does not even apply or is it a state like all of the other states and thus because of the Presser decision the 2nd amendment wouldn't apply, or is it a federal enclave that, like the rest of the federal government, does have to obey the 2nd amendment. The supreme courts decision in Heller skirted these issues, thus we'll have to wait for future decisions for clarification. I would not expect the court to be too anxious to get into that territory for the same reason that they were unwilling, even with a conservative majority, to be more explicit in their reasoning on these issues.

Posted by: Alan on January 21, 2009 02:20 PM
36. I'm also in agreement with the Madison interpretation, but for the sake of argument, Harry Reid will counter with Hamilton:

It is therefore of necessity left to the discretion of the National Legislature, to pronounce, upon the objects, which concern the general Welfare, and for which under that description, an appropriation of money is requisite and proper.

And SCOTUS for the most part, has deferred to Congress as to what is defined as "general welfare". It's why we have a Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, etc, etc.

Posted by: Palouse on January 21, 2009 02:28 PM
37. Alan:

I think incorporation will happen in the next four years. There's several cases winding through, such as from Chicago. And Heller creates an obvious path for both sides to appeal, not because it calls incorporation into question, but because now that the Second Amendment is ruled an individual right, people want it to apply equally in the states.

I think what you're missing is that selective incorporation has fallen out of disfavor with pretty much everyone. It was a completely irrational policy to begin with, and no one on the right or the left likes it. Only people who have specific interests protected by selective incoroporation like it.

The point is, this country will not stand for people in Washington DC having Second Amendment rights, and people in the states not. The Supreme Court will hear this, and it will incorporate ... even if the liberals gain control of the Court.

Posted by: pudge on January 21, 2009 02:38 PM
38. Shanghai Dan @28
I have read his proposals. I have read them thoroughly. I have quoted them many times here. It is you that appears to not have cared a dime to actually look at them and believe the right-wing lies and spin. Go to Whitehouse.gov. His proposals are right there. There is no proposal regarding gun restrictions. The health care proposals do not come even close to 10th amendment related issues. Go read them for yourself and stop being lazy.

Posted by: tc on January 21, 2009 04:15 PM
39. Pudge @30
You are really getting quite humorous, there Pudge. To start out with, you stated that I am wrong about disagreeing with you. That is what you wrote. Here is the text verbatim from @30:

2nd Amendment. I flat out disagree with you on this.

Shrug. You're wrong.

The first line was your quoting what I wrote. The second was your response. Gee, I guess, by your words, I must agree with you on the Second Amendment. Funny, I didn't go on and write as such. What I wrote disagrees with your stance. Therefore, your "Shrug. You're wrong." response is false.

You go on to state that Obama's policy was "slapped" down. Incorrect. It was the DC Policy. Obama didn't write it, nor have any input into it. Obama may have agreed with most, or even all of it, but that doesn't make it his policy, as you stated. It still is the DC policy. Just for giggles and grins, however, where exactly did Obama state such a claim that he was in 100% agreement with the DC ban?

For example, in the April 16th Debate with Hillary, Obama was asked by Chalie Gibson about the DC Ban. Here is a link to the transcript. The question and response is towards the end. I have read it and I find it stating what I had previously stated (i.e., that Obama agrees that gun ownership is a personal right and that there is room in the 2nd Amendment for communities to control the usage of said right). The DC Court decision did through out DC's specific law, but did it address the general question in the second part. It has allowed certain restrictions to remain. So for you, what restrictions can be proposed and what are out of bounds, in your mind? For example, can community's ban possession of a handgun in a public facility or on public property?

You state that Obama is no the record many, many times for supporting out right bans. I don't believe you on this statement. You will need to prove this to me. You see, you want to read into Obama's statements thoughts and words that are not there. Obama is and has always been nuanced in responses. This is why you just don't get him, nor his responses. You don't appear to see gray. You seem to be an either/or person. Obama is not. Obama is a concensus maker and pragmatist. If you actually looked at his history, he tries to find the middle ground that satisfies the most common goals of both sides. It did not surpise me one bit when he picks a mostly Centralist cabinet. Obama is not an idealog (sp?) that you and others make him out to be.

Regarding the Health Care part of your response, you didn't answer my question. You stated I was wrong about no impact on the 10th amendment, but never offered any evidence to back this statement up. You go onto talk about allow regulation of commerce, but then blow it by stating that Obama wants to "take over" the Health Care industry. On this point, you are flat out 100% wrong. I have stated this over and over to you, you thick-headed numbskill. Go to Whitehouse.gov. Obama has the specific proposals listed. Nowhere, I mean nowhere, does it state any government take over of the health care industry. He never stated this in the primaries, nor general election. It has never been his plan for day one. If you would bother reading what is actually written, instead of making stuff up, then you may gain an ounce of credibility on this topic. I thought this is what you were referring to in regards to the 10th Amendment and you are flat out wrong. Let me repeat. OBAMA's PLAN DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: tc on January 21, 2009 04:41 PM
40. TC,

I have read his proposals. I have read them thoroughly. I have quoted them many times here. It is you that appears to not have cared a dime to actually look at them and believe the right-wing lies and spin. Go to Whitehouse.gov. His proposals are right there. There is no proposal regarding gun restrictions.

I guess you really don't have much reading comprehension then...

From Whitehouse.gov:

Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

The Federal AWB was unconstitutional; the fact it expired was one of the good things to come from the Bush administration.

Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and open your eyes.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on January 21, 2009 05:09 PM
41. tc: I have read his proposals. I have read them thoroughly. I have quoted them many times here. It is you that appears to not have cared a dime to actually look at them and believe the right-wing lies and spin. Go to Whitehouse.gov. His proposals are right there. There is no proposal regarding gun restrictions.

No specific proposal, but a very clear desire. For example, on Obama's "change.gov" page, before it was taken down, it read "Obama and Biden ... support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent."


The health care proposals do not come even close to 10th amendment related issues.

Um. Federally paid health care for private citizens IS a violation of the Tenth Amendment.

you stated that I am wrong about disagreeing with you

Don't be an idiot. Obviously, I was saying that your disagreement is incorrect, not that you don't disagree.

You go on to state that Obama's policy was "slapped" down. Incorrect. It was the DC Policy. Obama didn't write it, nor have any input into it.

I was using shorthand. He vocally supported it, defended it as Constitutional, and his attorney general nominee wrote a memo for the Supreme Court defending it.


Just for giggles and grins, however, where exactly did Obama state such a claim that he was in 100% agreement with the DC ban?

He said MANY times he supported it, and never gave any caveats of any kind. Here is one example. If you can find any example of him providing any caveats for his support, let me know.


The DC Court decision did through out DC's specific law, but did it address the general question in the second part.

Irrelevant. We are talking about the fact that Obama said a COMPLETE BAN ON GUNS was Constitutional. This is a fact. You can talk about balance in the community all you want, but what Obama supported was a COMPLETE BAN ON GUNS. BTW, he also wanted to ban all gun stored from all urban, and most suburban, areas in Illinois (he pushed to ban them within five miles of a school or park).


You state that Obama is no the record many, many times for supporting out right bans. I don't believe you on this statement.

I don't see how you have a problem figuring this out.

FACT: the DC gun ban was an outright ban on guns.
FACT: Obama supported the DC gun ban.


Obama is and has always been nuanced in responses. This is why you just don't get him, nor his responses. You don't appear to see gray. You seem to be an either/or person. Obama is not.

No, in the case of guns, Obama is a liar, flat-out. You cannot believe that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms in the Constitution, and then believe a ban on guns is constitutional.


Regarding the Health Care part of your response, you didn't answer my question.

Yes, I did.


You stated I was wrong about no impact on the 10th amendment, but never offered any evidence to back this statement up.

I explained it as much as it needs explaining. There is no enumerated power to pay for the health care of private citizens. Therefore it is unconstitutional. You see, when someone says something violates the Tenth Amendment, no explanation is needed, because that is simply synonymous with "there is nothing in the Constitution that allows him to do it." It then becomes incumbent upon you to show where in the Constitution the government is granted that power, if you want to express your disagreement.


You ... blow it by stating that Obama wants to "take over" the Health Care industry.

I said no such thing. What I said was "Regulating commerce is not the same as taking over the business." That does not imply he wants to take over the Health Care industry, but he DOES want to take over many functions of the health care businesses.

For example, from his own agenda: "Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage."

Obama would take over the business function of providing a health care plan. Regulation is "insurers must accept anyone into their plan." Taking over is "we are going to offer our own plan." See the difference? Both are of questionable constitutionality, but the latter really has no legal leg to stand on whatsoever, simply because it IS NOT REGULATION.


On this point, you are flat out 100% wrong. I have stated this over and over to you, you thick-headed numbskill.

Yes, you keep attacking that straw man. I've never said that he said what you keep denying he said.


Nowhere, I mean nowhere, does it state any government take over of the health care industry.

Nowhere, I mean nowhere, did I ever say his proposal would do so.


He never stated this in the primaries, nor general election. It has never been his plan for day one.

I never stated he said it in the primaries, nor general election. I never said it from day one.


If you would bother reading what is actually written, instead of making stuff up, then you may gain an ounce of credibility on this topic.

No, see, that is MY line to YOU.

Posted by: pudge on January 21, 2009 05:09 PM
42. Pudge,
You are not understanding the National Health Insurance Exchange. You wrote about taxpayers paying for the Health Care. This is incorrect. All you have to do is look at how the FEHB (Federal Employees Health Board) is structured to see the example of what Obama is proposing. In the case of the FEHB, you would be correct that government is paying some of the premium cost, but government is the employer. In the case of the National Health Insurance Exchange, you would have a structure like FEHB, where the government sets the minimum standards that insurance plans need to include and then private insurance companies submit plans to meet those requirements. Companies that meet the requirements are included in the set of plans that individuals can then choose. Each plan has an employee portion and an employer portion as far as the premium. In the case of private businesses, it is the private business, not government, that would be paying the employer portion. The only difference to what is currently done in private companies, is the companies that utilize the network do not have to negotiate themselves with the private insurers. This is the only part that the government steps in and does. During the year then, like the FEHB, individuals negotiate claims with the individual private insurance companies. In my case, when I worked for the federal government, I had Group Health and the last several years, I had Regence.

In summary, the role of government, in the case of the Health Exchange is to set minimum standards for plans and negotiate/review companies proposed plan offerings to make sure they meet the standards set. Insurance companies that participate in the plan, still have to compete on price. Individuals get the benefit by being part of a larger insurance pool, and for those who work for companies that don't offer health plans, individuals gain by being able to gain the efficiencies of scale of a central negotiation for services that workers at large companies enjoy. Large companies will still most likely negotiate their own agreements, especially if they can negotiate better cost breakdown (i.e., employer portion). Mid-size companies will most likely take a serious look at joining in, since they can cut their own administrative costs of having to negotiate plans themselves and the fact that through the Exchange they can offer their employees more variety of choices. Most mid-size companies can only afford to negotiate and offer one or possibly two health plans to employees. Small businesses gain three-fold. First, they don't have the resources, normally, to negotiate specific health care plans for their employees, so they get this advantage that larger companies get, which can lower their portion. Second, for those that don't offer any health plan, the proposal allows them an option. Third, when coupled with Obama's tax proposal to exempt small businesses costs for health care, it becomes even more economical for them to offer the option to their employees.

The bottom line is Pudge, you have a clear misunderstanding of Obama's proposal. He has stated numerous times of using FEHB as the model. If you want to know what he will initially propose, then study the FEHB and how it works, recognizing the fact that the employer portion of the premiums would not be the Federal Government, but the individual private employer.

Posted by: tc on January 22, 2009 08:05 AM
43. tc:

You are not understanding the National Health Insurance Exchange.

You are wrong.


You wrote about taxpayers paying for the Health Care. This is incorrect.

No, I am not.


In the case of the National Health Insurance Exchange, you would have a structure like FEHB, where the government sets the minimum standards that insurance plans need to include and then private insurance companies submit plans to meet those requirements. The only difference to what is currently done in private companies, is the companies that utilize the network do not have to negotiate themselves with the private insurers. This is the only part that the government steps in and does.

You're wrong, of course. If you would actually read the proposal, you would notice that this is only PART of the Exchange. Read it again: "Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options" -- that is what you're talking about here, but there's more -- "as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage."

Obama has proposed to offer a new public insurance plan in addition to the private options you are talking about.


The bottom line is Pudge, you have a clear misunderstanding of Obama's proposal.

Nope.

Posted by: pudge on January 22, 2009 08:14 AM
44. Oh, and BTW, in case you still don't understand, tc, here's a quote from a "health care expert" who is joining with Congressional Democrats to push Obama's plan:

Leading political figures, including President-Elect Barack Obama, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, and Secretary-Designate of the Department of Health and Human Services Tom Daschle are proposing to offer a new public insurance option to Americans who lack employment-based coverage. The public plan would be similar to conventional Medicare (the public Medicare plan, as distinguished from private plans that contract with Medicare) in that it would be managed by the federal government and pay private providers to deliver care. The public plan would be offered through a new national insurance exchange, where it would compete with private insurance plans.

So who has the clear misunderstanding of Obama's proposal, now? Is it me and Jacob Hacker Ph.D. and Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), or is it you?

Posted by: pudge on January 22, 2009 08:43 AM
45. Pudge,

A few points.

1. Nice to see you actually went an read the proposal. At least we can discuss from the same starting point.

2. The line you quoted does not state public paying for Health Care, but to give you a point, it also doesn't state that public won't pay a portion of this part of the proposal. I would assume by this last part that what I had previously described would be expanded to have the government paying the employer portion of the premium, like they do for federal employees. Personally, I think this part of his Health Care proposals will be either delayed or a non-starter given the current deficit. Even if he made it revenue neutral, which would be a tall order, by paying for this through tax penalties on large/medium businesses who don't provide Health Care (he has already been on record for not penalizing small businesses, which would include individuals), I still think given the current climate and his stated priorities this part will be delayed. Democrats, separately, may propose it, but given other statements by Obama, this will go to the back of the pack as far as initiatives.

3. Assuming for the moment that this part did get passed, which I myself will voice a negative opinion to congress and the President for fiscal issues, I don't see how it oversteps the 10th Amendment. Health Care is an interstate commerce. Many of the Insurance Companies are national in scope (like Aetna). A private insurance company providing an offering via the Exchange would be performing interstate commerce. Therefore, the Commerce clause would come into play. Note, the "new public plan" still involves private insurance companies offering the actual insurance. FEHB does not offer its own plan in competition with the private insurance companies. The only thing I do see in this last part is whether we as taxpayers want to pony up to pay the employer portion for individuals who participate in this "public plan." I don't see where your 10th Amendment concern comes from. I would totally agree there is a fiscal conservative argument to be made against this part of Obama's overall health care proposals. You have no disagreement there from me, but what I read in your post was that you were concerned from a 10th Amendment standpoint, not a fiscal conservatism standpoint.

Posted by: tc on January 22, 2009 01:36 PM
46. tc:

Nice to see you actually went an read the proposal.

I see. So you were calling me a "thick-headed numbskill (sic)" falsely attacking me for not reading the proposal and getting it wrong, EVEN THOUGH I was RIGHT ALL ALONG, and you are now pretending that what I am saying is some sort of news to me, when in fact, YOU were the one who didn't read the proposal very well, and YOU are the one who got it wrong.


The line you quoted does not state public paying for Health Care

That is what it is. That is what "public [insurance] plan" means. As opposed to "private insurance options."


I would assume by this last part that what I had previously described would be expanded to have the government paying the employer portion of the premium

No. It is a public plan. The government SETS the premium. And at least in some cases, will pay it, too.


Personally, I think this part of his Health Care proposals will be either delayed or a non-starter given the current deficit.

Is this your way of apologizing and admitting I was right all along? By pretending that it doesn't matter because you think it won't happen?


Assuming for the moment that this part did get passed, which I myself will voice a negative opinion to congress and the President for fiscal issues, I don't see how it oversteps the 10th Amendment.

Yes, I know you don't.


Health Care is an interstate commerce.

My copy of the Constitution doesn't say the federal government has the power to engage in interstate commerce.


Note, the "new public plan" still involves private insurance companies offering the actual insurance.

False.


FEHB does not offer its own plan in competition with the private insurance companies.

Correct. However, Obama's plan DOES. THAT IS WHAT "public plan" MEANS. It "would be managed by the federal government and pay private providers to deliver care," according to Rep. Stark's expert.

Of course, even if Obama's plan would NOT do what you say it won't do, which it would, in fact, do ... it's still a clear violation of the Tenth Amendment.

"Interstate commerce" is not a blanket permission to do anything having anything to do with interstate commerce. It is about regulating commerce between the states because the states obviously can't each do it individually. The power to regulate interstate commerce is directly related to the ability of states to regulate it themselves. But any state can already mandate insurance options without federal help.

Posted by: pudge on January 22, 2009 01:54 PM
47. Pudge @44
I went and skimmed the full report at the site you linked to. My comments are as follows:

1. The report outlines a proposal that is a combination of several proposals, including what Obama proposed during the campaign (Here is Obama's original campaign proposal). What it describes is not Obama's, but a combination of approaches and makes an argument for a public plan, from the best that I can tell, which would be similar to our state's Uniform Health Plan.

2. I do not agree with the analysis contained in the report. First off, the FEHBP (forgot the P in past posts), does not offer a government version in competition to the private plans offered. The coverage in FEHBP is more than adequate. Therefore, it cannot be demonstrated that a public plan in competition would be less costly and an attractive alternative to the private plans offered in the Exchange. Further, taking our own state as an example, our state's Uniformed Health Plan is a joke compared to private plans. Yes, it covers some basics, but is no where near comprehensive as private plans offered by employers or even in the FEHBP. The writers of the report refer to Medicare as an example. To me this is a losing argument. Medicare lowers costs by not paying for certain procedures that in the long term could save money. Instead full comprehensive tests aren't performed that can diagnose issues and correct early on, Medicare, I believe, forces more visits, and additional future treatment, instead of preventing future treatment. Private insurers, like Aetna, unfortunately are also following this practice. For example, Aetna (State Plan) will not pay for simple, low cost cholesterol checks for women under 50, unless there is a preexisting condition already present (i.e., been diagnosed previously with cholesterol). Further, Medicare is not a good example because it is the only option for people over 65, unless the people had previous health care when employed that carried over. Medicare has driven out all other private alternatives for the over 65 crowd. There are supplemental plans, but no primary plans (at least that are anywhere close to affordability). No, the authors of the report do not convince me that a public plan offering is needed. The regional and national Exchanges and pooling of employees, I do agree is needed. Providing a plan for individuals whose employers don't offer coverage is needed, and can be provided under the proposal I outlined previously.

3. In re-reading Obama's campaign proposal, it is vague on what the public plan entails. Obama in the debates compared it to FEHBP, which only includes private insurers that negotiate to be part of the plan. I don't recall from the debates Obama stating a public insurance plan competing with private plans. His campaign literature also doesn't spell this out. I can see how you can read this into the plan, especially given others (not Obama) comments. I would agree with you that a specific federal government offering in competition with private plans is bad. I still would disagree from a 10th Amendment standpoint. I would disagree from a pragmatic standpoint (i.e., if offerred it would be like our own state's Uniform Health Plan, which I feel isn't adequate) and from a fiscal standpoint (i.e., if the government pays any portion of the plan's premiums).

4. One other point on interstate commerce of health care. Most health care plans include prescription drug benefits as part of the plan. This part, in today's world, is definitely an interstate commerce action, because almost all include mail-order prescriptions as part of the overall prescription drug benefit. The mail-order prescription business is an interstate business. My own plan has a contract with PPS out of Oregon, which I think was also who Regence contracted with when I was under the FEHBP. When I was with a different private employer in the past, their mail-order plan was with CVS, which is a big East-coast based pharmacy. I don't find your argument that health care commerce is not a federal issue and does not fall under the Commerce clause.

Posted by: tc on January 22, 2009 02:10 PM
48. tc:

the FEHBP ... does not offer a government version in competition to the private plans offered

Irrelevant to anything I was saying, of course. It does not, fine. But Obama's proposal does. That's all I am saying.


The writers of the report refer to Medicare as an example.

Exactly.


No, the authors of the report do not convince me that a public plan offering is needed.

You don't have to convince me of that. :-)


In re-reading Obama's campaign proposal, it is vague on what the public plan entails.

Yes.


Obama in the debates compared it to FEHBP, which only includes private insurers that negotiate to be part of the plan.

Right. But in his campaign literature he says that a "public plan" will be a part of the system in addition to those private insurers. So obviously, it is not the same thing. The question to ask here is: what is the "public plan" if they compare it to Medicare and differentiate it from the inclusion of private insurers you've been talking about?

I can see only one serious answer: what his own allies in Congress are saying, that it is a plan the government would administer and pay health care providers (not insurers) directly from, and there's little doubt remaining.


One other point on interstate commerce of health care. Most health care plans include prescription drug benefits as part of the plan. This part, in today's world, is definitely an interstate commerce action, because almost all include mail-order prescriptions as part of the overall prescription drug benefit.

Yes, and of course, interstate drug trade can be regulated without regulating other parts of the health care industry. Some parts are interstate, some are not. My health insurance provider is interstate to some degree, but my health care providers are not.

And more to the point, again, the regulation of interstate commerce was designed to fit a very narrow state interest: when the state cannot regulate themselves because of conflict with other states.

Posted by: pudge on January 22, 2009 02:28 PM
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