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Re: Election 2012

Postby fuzzygeek » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:51 am

Health care for all is well and good. That's not really the point, all handwaving and hysteronics aside. What's really interesting is the power of the federal government and how it utilizes (abuses the fuck out of) the commerce clause, and what challenges this ruling opens up.

Everyone agrees the system is a mess. The way they went about "fixing" it is even worse ("We have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it"). The effect of this 5-4 ruling is going to be even more interesting, especially in an election year.

The more I think about this, the more I think Roberts is a sly bastard. I just hope his flip is the result of a calculated strategy, instead of a spineless capitulation. And honestly it may not even matter.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Thalia » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:25 am

A lot of people are pointing out that Scalia's decent was actually written as the majority, it constantly referred to Ruth Ginsberg's Opinion calling it "the decent", seeming to indicated that Robert's vote seemed to have flipped at some point, and if that recently. Wondered what happened? Robert's had to pull the "Taxing" power out of his #$#% since it was not written as a Tax, President Obama is on record many times saying it was not a tax, and before they took up the case they had a hired lawyer come argue why it wasn't a tax so that they could take it up as a Commerce Clause issue..., which it was found unconstitutional on.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:29 am

Actually Fuzzy, the commerce clause argument was struck down 5-4 and I think that's now legal precedent.  However, there's little satisifaction in that when rolling anything into a tax seems to be a viable bypass to judicial scrutiny.

The conventional wisdom on Roberts being sly, is that by calling it a tax, a political solution can be found.  Arguably, the notion of health care being a political argument is a good one, but this wasn't about health care it was about mechanics in this plan's implementation.  Further as a budgetary motion, there's no filibuster concern when dealing with it, another tick in Roberts cap. 

However, even assuming that Roberts believes it to be bad legislation (and it's possible to infer that from his comments, but it's still just inference) I still highly doubt that this was a sly master plan.  First, too much was given up for it.  Secondly, there is no way in hell Mitt Romney wins the election so it's moot.  Third, having the plan revisited now would actually make it a political process, which one could argue that the way it was passed before was a back door around that process.

I think that opinion was Roberts' of his own free will, for better or for worse.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby aureon » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:58 pm

As speaking from an overseas prospective:
You guys really need to hang a few heads, more than we do.
And ban legal lobbying, that's just ridicolous.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Sagara » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:47 am

To be honest, the European parlement is looking to be headed the same way. Was it last month that we had that whole debacle on lobby group informations law?

The only reason it's not as visible here is because the parlement doesn't hold as much power.

But, yeah, lobbyism sucks.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:50 am

If there ever was a USSC decision for which "The Constitution died today" hyperbole was justified, it was Citizens United.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:10 am

That might be the first time I've heard that hyperbole used with a decision that actually restrained government.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:11 pm

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:08 am

I really hate it when people assume it's the government's responsibility to do things like this:

"Creating jobs so that finding meaningful employment can stop feeling like pursuing an all-but-unattainable luxury."

It's not. I don't want to pay for John Q Public's minimum wage job. Beyond the obvious direct employment, the government cannot "create jobs". For instance, take the welfare-to-work program - it's funded by taxpayers, and the program pays half of the employees salary during their probationary/training period, pays 6 months to a year of transportation costs to/from work, and pays for childcare during that same period, along with still providing welfare benefits to the recipient, plus a year of health insurance (if they had medicaid already).

"A fair solution to health care, that compassionate people along every station of the right/left continuum can live with and be proud of."

There is no such thing. It's like trying to find a place where fire can coexist peacefully with water. The best we can hope for is that we manage to get a party with enough votes in congress to pass it as a piece of partisan legislation that implements strict requirements on getting this insurance - such as yearly physicals, and if something goes wrong that's preventable by Not Being Stupid™, the person loses their insurance. Smoke? Sure - but if you get a legitimate smoking related illness, you're pooched. Addicted to McDonalds? Guess what, if your fat ass has a stroke or heartattack or something due to your craptastic diet, you're up shit creek without a paddle; etc...

People outside the US like to look at us like we're stupid for not being able to pass it, but the US government is a beast on an entirely different scale than anywhere else. Or perhaps it's a beast on the same exact scale, but we have different hot button issues. For instance, Canadians have the Quebecois constantly threatening secession if I'm not mistaken? The UK constantly has to deal with bitchslaps from Ireland (and vice versa) - every country has something that they can't fix. Healthcare just happens to be our monster-in-the-closet.

"Fixing the fallout from the big-bank machinations and the mortgage crisis that have cost so many people their homes."

The government meddling is a HUGE part of what's responsible for the mortgage crisis. They had to go and regulate banks, "encouraging" them to provide subprime mortgages to high risk borrowers, then when the economy tanked, all of those insanely high risk borrowers defaulted on their loans. What a shocking and unexpected development that was! I'm all for providing housing for the needy, but that's what rental subsidy programs (such as Section 8, among others) are for. If people don't want to live in "The Projects" then they should get the hell out of there on their own, without government interference.

Besides, our government's knee-jerk reaction to pretty much any problem that arises is to throw more money at it in the hopes that it will go away. The last bailout cost every single man, woman and child in the US a little over $1000. And for what? So that banks wouldn't go bankrupt? Well guess what, banks - that's the risk you take when you loan people money!

I wouldn't have minded that nearly as much as I did, except that the bailout money went directly to the banks to be used basically at their discretion. I favored a much "neater" solution - that is, use the bailout money to pay off the mortgages that the banks had outstanding. The banks would have gotten the money in the end, and a lot fewer people would've lost their homes. Instead, the banks spent it on more bad investments, leaving them in nearly the same position they were in pre-bailout, along with a lot of empty foreclosed homes that lost over half (on average) of their pre-crash value.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:42 pm

Fridmarr wrote:That might be the first time I've heard that hyperbole used with a decision that actually restrained government.


Unelected branch of government upholds the ability of elected branch of government to make laws.
Conservatives declare the death of the Republic.

p.s. Upon re-reading your statement, how did Citizens United RESTRAIN government? It UN-restrained the powerful, and gave them totally free reign over the governing process of the entire country.

This year, the Koch family alone has spent more than all the campaign contributions by individuals during the last Presidential election combined, for both candidates. A single family with more power than the entire people of the United States. And you call that restraining government?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:57 pm

Fivelives wrote:"Fixing the fallout from the big-bank machinations and the mortgage crisis that have cost so many people their homes."

The government meddling is a HUGE part of what's responsible for the mortgage crisis. They had to go and regulate banks, "encouraging" them to provide subprime mortgages to high risk borrowers, then when the economy tanked, all of those insanely high risk borrowers defaulted on their loans. What a shocking and unexpected development that was! I'm all for providing housing for the needy, but that's what rental subsidy programs (such as Section 8, among others) are for. If people don't want to live in "The Projects" then they should get the hell out of there on their own, without government interference.

Besides, our government's knee-jerk reaction to pretty much any problem that arises is to throw more money at it in the hopes that it will go away. The last bailout cost every single man, woman and child in the US a little over $1000. And for what? So that banks wouldn't go bankrupt? Well guess what, banks - that's the risk you take when you loan people money!

I wouldn't have minded that nearly as much as I did, except that the bailout money went directly to the banks to be used basically at their discretion. I favored a much "neater" solution - that is, use the bailout money to pay off the mortgages that the banks had outstanding. The banks would have gotten the money in the end, and a lot fewer people would've lost their homes. Instead, the banks spent it on more bad investments, leaving them in nearly the same position they were in pre-bailout, along with a lot of empty foreclosed homes that lost over half (on average) of their pre-crash value.


That is a fucking brilliant idea, and I agree it would have been far better.
And it's much more Free Market a solution because you are bailing out people, not corporations.

Gosh, that would have been such a great political stance to take too. "I am in favor of saving the American People, not the fat cats who caused all this mess."
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:06 pm

I'm still pretty honestly surprised that nobody else thought of that.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby fuzzygeek » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:46 pm

Fivelives wrote:I'm still pretty honestly surprised that nobody else thought of that.


I'm sure it was thought of, but there are far fewer opportunities for graft, so of course it was never seriously considered.

Also there's the problem of basically free money for people who were being bailed out -- the fed comes in and pays my idiot neighbor's mortgage for him, so suddenly his debt vanishes? I'd be a little irritated since I'm, you know, responsible and shit and not in need of a bailout.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:12 pm

And what would prevent other people from defaulting just to get the bailout money? I'm sure it could have been written into the bill, but you just know someone will find a loophole to exploit.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:35 pm

fuzzygeek wrote:Also there's the problem of basically free money for people who were being bailed out -- the fed comes in and pays my idiot neighbor's mortgage for him, so suddenly his debt vanishes? I'd be a little irritated since I'm, you know, responsible and shit and not in need of a bailout.

We have a winner. If the US government bailed out one US citizen, all the others would line up with their hand out expecting the same treatment.

The people who would have been bailed out that way are people who don't tend to vote, and are vastly outnumbered by the people who would have been butthurt that their mortgage didn't get paid off. Result? Political suicide.

If you bail out the banks, you don't really help any of the rank-and-file citizens but you get re-elected.

Cool system.
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