Tonight's Crazy Story:
Radio Caller Charged After Allegedly Bragging How She Faked PTSD to Avoid Jury Duty on Air
If you just committed a felony, it would probably be a good idea to not call into a local radio show and brag about it. When a Denver woman called a local radio station and described how she faked mental illness to get out of jury duty, an investigator from the District Attorney's office was listening.
Topic One: Arguments Against ObamaCare
Many good articles are being written on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Steven Engel writes about the economic case: "As over 100 economists successfully argued before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the voluntarily uninsured -- the young, healthy and not poor who choose to forgo coverage -- do not shift costs in our health care system. The lower Court rightly found that "the primary persons regulated by the individual mandate are not cost shifters but healthy individuals who forgo purchasing insurance." According to the economists' analysis of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data, only one-half of 1 percent of total health spending can be attributed to the targets of the individual mandate. The real purpose of the mandate is not to recover uncompensated costs, but to force younger, healthier individuals to subsidize the health insurance of others."
A WSJ editorial explains the liberty argument against ObamaCare: "The argument against the individual mandate—the requirement that everyone buy health insurance or pay a penalty—is carefully anchored in constitutional precedent and American history. The Commerce Clause that the government invokes to defend such regulation has always applied to commercial and economic transactions, not to individuals as members of society. This distinction is crucial. The health-care and health-insurance markets are classic interstate commerce. The federal government can regulate broadly—though not without limit—and it has. It could even mandate that people use insurance to purchase the services of doctors and hospitals, because then it would be regulating market participation. But with ObamaCare the government is asserting for the first time that it can compel people to enter those markets, and only then to regulate how they consume health care and health insurance."
The overregulation argument: "The Hydra was a mythical swamp beast whose multiple heads grew back after being severed. Obamacare is a real Washington monster whose countless hidden bureaucracies keep sprouting forth even after they're rooted out. As soon as combatants lop off one of the law's unconstitutional agencies, another takes its place."
There's Always Time for a Laugh:
"March Madness started again today with the start of the round known as the Sweet 16. President Obama's bracket was in the top 2 percent of everyone who makes picks on Espn.com. I guess it helps when you can send the CIA in to scout the teams."
Topic Two: The Ryan Budget
Ross Kaminsky gives the Ryan Budget a glowing review for The American Spectator: "The House Republican budget contrasts mightily, in approach and in the numbers, with President Obama's recent budget, which could be entitled "The Path to Bankruptcy and Dependency," and with the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate's budget which, as Rep. Ryan subtly reminds us, does not exist. But it also throws down a gauntlet to Republican presidential candidates, pressing them to emphasize pro-growth economic policies more clearly and more aggressively. The focus on foundational principles is neither idle talk nor only of academic interest to Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) whose "expression of…principles, vision, and philosophy of governing" is captured in the budget document. It is a philosophy and a budget that aim to put the U.S. back on track toward fiscal sanity and toward the uniquely American vision of limited government at limited cost."
Veronique de Rugy expresses a much more critical viewpoint at National Review Online: "The overwhelming response coming out of the free-market movement is that the proposed Ryan plan is great. And parts of that plan are good. But I thought the only way I can add something productive to this conversation is by pointing out how this plan isn’t doing nearly enough to reduce the size of government and make our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren better. I apologize in advance to all of you who think that we should only be encouraging Chairman Ryan who, after all, is one of the very few members of Congress who has had the courage to talk about reforming Medicare. But I think this is not the time to compromise. Considering the situation we are in today, the size of government, the level of our debt, the continuous violations of our economic and personal freedoms, free-market advocates should be breathing fire everyday and fight for truly smaller government. This plan isn’t enough."
As de Rugy mentions, Ryan certainly should be commended for being the only one expressing a plan to reform entitlements. However, it needs to go much farther. We need a plan that will balance the budget today, not years from now. We need a plan that reforms all entitlements, not just the one closest to insolvency. We need to put everything on the table, including defense. (What good will our military do if our enemies can attack us economically through their debt holdings?) Every American knows that the first step in getting out of debt is to cut up the credit cards, but our government refuses to stop its deficit spending.
(As of Thursday, March 22, 2012 )
Your share as a citizen: $49,881.08
Share per household: $136,427.28
Debt since Obama inauguration: $4,958,028,845,214
Topic Three: Voter ID
Kenneth Klukowski on protecting voter integrity: "Protecting the integrity of the ballot box is essential to our democracy. Laws requiring voters to show identification at the polls are commonsense measures to prevent fraud and corruption, and ensure that each year's election returns accurately reflect the will of the people. Yet President Obama's administration and political allies are pursuing a dual-track approach to vilify such tools, in a crass political ploy to aid the president's reelection. In 2008, the Supreme Court held in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board that Indiana's voter-ID law is constitutional. The Court noted that the challengers could not produce a single voter disenfranchised by that law. Now thirty-two states have voter-ID laws to protect their electoral process."
Why oppose voter ID laws? Conservative Byte explains: "IF A PERSON CAN’T MAKE SUCH A SIMPLE EFFORT AS TAKING THE TIME TO GO DOWN TO GET A PHOTO ID, THEY DON’T DESERVE TO VOTE. They would be evidencing that they don’t have enough civic responsibility or intelligence to adequately figure out the right people to vote for. But I don’t think that’s the case. That is, the only reason that I can see to fight against requiring a photo ID (although it will never be stated this way by the left) is because it will detract efforts to commit fraud with the voting counts … just like it was done in 2008 with dead people voting; incarcerated people voting; the same person voting multiple times and in multiple states; votes being paid for; people voting for other people; people being rounded up in busses and being told to vote a certain way just because of how the elections were being presented to them; voter intimidation (like the Black Panthers did in Philadelphia); etc."
Tweet of the Day:
Ken Gardner (@kesgardner): Really, in a better political culture the Dems would pay a SEVERE price for refusing to tell us how much they want to spend on what. #tcot
Topic Four: Green(-Wasting) Energy
$10.8 Million subsidy per job? "President Obama will tout investments in “renewable” energy Wednesday at the local Copper Mountain Solar 1 plant, although the plant has only five full-time employees. The plant, owned by San Diego-based energy company Sempra, was built in late 2010 at a cost of $141 million. Funding included $42 million in federal-government tax credits and $12 million in tax-rebate commitments from the state of Nevada. Construction of the plant involved over 300 part-time jobs, but currently only five full-time employees operate the plant, a Sempra spokeswoman confirmed. That comes out to $10.8 million in tax-dollar subsidies per employee."
Obama's algae racket: "Pond scum stinks. And so do the Obama administration's enormous, taxpayer-funded "investments" in politically connected biofuel companies. While the president embarks on a green rehabilitation tour this week to quell growing public outrage about big green boondoggles, the White House continues to cultivate a cozy algae racket. Obama's promotion of algae as a fuel source at a campaign speech in Miami last month caught the nation's attention. But algae companies have been banking on administration support from Day One. In December 2008, when the White House announced the nomination of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the CEO of Florida-based biofuels startup Algenol, Paul Woods, exulted to Time magazine: "You see this smile on my face? It's not going away. Everyone is really excited by this."
Food for Thought - A Quote from our Founders
Not a founding father, but a true and excellent quote nonetheless. "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
Topic Five: Iran
Obama announced exemptions for the Iran sanctions this week, but Jonathan Tobin asks if this shows Obama's real intentions: "The danger here is not only that Iran doesn’t believe that President Obama has the guts to risk raising oil prices in an election year and thus will continue to defy international efforts to get it to back down. Though the waivers allow the administration some flexibility in implementation of the sanctions, the fear is that when push comes to shove, the president will lack the nerve to punish nations that still prefer to do business with Tehran. The waivers may also encourage the Iranians to use the promise of negotiations to string the West along without them ever having to give up their nukes. As with everything else about the administration’s Iran policy, the key issue here is trust. The Treasury Department has already issued thousands of exemptions to American companies who want to do business with Iran in violation of the law. So long as Obama and Clinton can keep talking tough, they may assume that the public will be unaware of the fact that the crippling sanctions Congress imposed on them are full of holes."
Does Iran think Obama is bluffing? "Iranian leaders also believe that since Israel would now have to act alone, it will not risk thousands of missiles from many fronts raining down on Tel Aviv and ultimately will also accept a nuclear Iran. Most of all, they believe that once Iran is nuclear-armed, the West will be checkmated, as the cost of any confrontation at that time would be the destruction of the world. The leaders of the Islamic regime have often said, "While the West loves life, martyrdom is an honor for us." Therein lies the dilemma for the West: bear the economic and human costs of destroying Iran's nuclear facilities now, or accept a nuclear-armed Iran that is bent on paving the way for the return of the 12th Imam Mahdi and the global dominance of Islam."
Tomorrow in History
March 25, 1995 - The first wiki, WikiWikiWeb, is made public by Ward Cunningham.
Grab Bag - Interesting and Important Stories to Conclude Your Evening
Tax reform means tax equality
Muslim Brotherhood flip-flops, will enter Presidential race
Texas city manager lays himself off
Will online learning ruin education?
Parents better at combating obesity
Why shouting "racism" doesn't work anymore
Internet: the great truth detector
Why some political gaffes matter, and others don't
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