• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Obamafolks turn gas on Whistleblowers exposing Holder’s Incompetence with Fast and Furious

E-mails reveal retaliation, cover-up at ATF,

 DoJ following Fast & Furious exposure

 by Ed Morrissey     at  HotAir:

I recall a time when Democrats regularly lionized whistleblowers … during the Bush administration, of course.  The media hailed them as heroes; Time Magazine even made them the collective Person of the Year for 2002.  Democrats loved them so much that they ran one of the whistleblowers on that cover in my Congressional district in 2006 against Rep. John Kline, a former Marine colonel that Colleen Rowley’s campaign photoshopped into a Nazi uniform for their campaign website.  Needless to say, Rowley has disappeared back into well-deserved obscurity, while Kline still represents my district.

These days, in the Obama era, Democrats and the media seem a lot less admiring of whistleblowers, oddly enough.  Imagine for a moment that Rowley had been assigned a new boss at the FBI after her whistleblowing, one that had told others that the agency needed to “get whatever dirt we can” on her to “take her down,” and especially if that boss had previously said in the presence of at least one witness that the FBI needed to “f**k” said whistleblower.  Can you imagine the media meltdown that would have occurred?  Well, you’re going to have to be satisfied with imagining it, but Senator Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa want answers as to why two Operation Fast and Furious whistleblowers got assigned to work for a man who said exactly that about them:

In a Friday letter to the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Grassley and Issa said they’re now concerned retaliation is much more likely following Thursday’s votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal and civil contempt of Congress.

“We just learned that ATF senior management placed two of the main whistleblowers who have testified before Congress about Fast and Furious under the supervision of someone who vowed to retaliate against them,” they wrote before describing how senior political figures have made dangerous threats before.

Grassley and Issa said that in early 2011, right around the time Grassley first made public the whistleblowers’ allegations about Fast and Furious, Scot Thomasson – then the chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Division – said, according to an eyewitness account: “We need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys [the whistleblowers] and take them down.”

Thomasson also allegedly said that: “All these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f—k these guys.”

According to Grassley and Issa, when Thomasson was asked about whistleblowers’ allegations that guns were allowed to walk, Thomasson said he “didn’t know and didn’t care.”

That’s not all that Issa and Grassley want to know, either.  Departing Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote the now-infamous letter of February 2011 to Grassley that asserted the DoJ had no knowledge of gunwalking in OF&F.  Newly released e-mails now show Weich and former acting ATF head Ken Melson cc’ed on e-mails discussing how to respond to Congressional inquiries on just this point.  A January 12, 2011 memo from ATF circulated within the agency briefs officials about how to respond to this question:

“Some media reports, referencing an anonymous ATF official, claim that ATF knowingly “walked” about 1,900 firearms across the US-Mexico border as part of this operation.  What can you tell me about that?” — Or — “The news release/indictment indicates that A TF waited until nearly 2,000 guns were
illegally purchased before arresting the straw buyers in this case. Why did ATF wait so long?”

ANSWER: It’s not against the law for an individual to purchase 10,20 or 50 or even 100 guns at one time. It’s not illegal to own or possess hundreds of guns; however, it is illegal to straw purchase firearms for those who cannot possess them legally. Operation Fast and Furious became a long-term investigation because of the amount of time it took to gather enough evidence against those who were supplying these violent criminals with the tools of their trade. We needed to ensure that when we did arrest these individuals, justice would be served.

ANSWER: Knowing what it takes to prosecute these types of federal violations is the best way to understand why this investigation took as long as it did and utilized so many resources. Investigations of this type are often long and complicated due to the fact that firearms are a legal commodity being diverted for illegal use. When conducting these investigations we have found that the end user of often shrouded by many layers of straw purchasers and middlemen whose sole purpose is to hide the connection between the first retail purchaser and the violent criminal. Determining when the firearm leaves legal commerce can be extremely difficult and therefore hard to prove.

In other words, the gunwalking was common enough knowledge that the ATF prepared a formal memo (see attachment 2) to instruct officials how to respond to questions about it on January 11, 2011.  Yet when Congress asked Weich to inform them, Weich prepared a response three weeks after that ATF briefing memo was published that outright denied it ever happened, and the DoJ did not correct that testimony for another ten months.  Either Weich is one of the most incompetent bureaucrats in recent history, or he and the ATF were trying to cover up their gunwalking from Congress.  Intimidating whistleblowers had to be part of that strategy; Weich’s position would have been — and turned out to be — untenable while whistleblowers kept tipping off Congress.

So when will the media fall back in love with whistleblowers?  I’ll go out on a limb and predict it will be when a Republican gets elected President.  May that day come soon.

Comment:   Remember Obama’s brag nearly four years ago that his administration would be the most OPEN in the history of the country.    He must have been comparing his tenure  exclusively to  Billy Clinton’s……remember the Billy Clinton who pointed  his finger and furrowed his brow on television  in front of  the American people swearing on his honor that he “never had sex with that woman…..Monica Lewinsky.

Swearing honesty and performing its opposite is a religion with these Lefties.  They go to college to learn the tricks.

Chris Christie remains steady on Planned Parenthood funding…..He Vetoes It.

Chris Christie Vetoes Planned Parenthood Funding Again

by  Steven Ertell    at LifeNews

“For the fourth time, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a bill that would have sent taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

“I first want to thank you for acting on our Alert to urge the Governor to veto S788/A3204, the bill which would provide $7.5M in taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood, Marie Tasy of New Jersey Right to Life said in an email message to members. “The Governor heard our message loud and clear!  Just this afternoon, Governor Christie vetoed the bill, along with other supplemental bills passed last week.”

“This is the 4th time Governor Christie has vetoed measures to fund Planned Parenthood.  Please call and thank the Governor (609 292 6000) for standing strong on this issue and protecting the integrity of New Jersey taxpayers,” Tasy added.

It is reprehensible that any lawmakers would even consider using the hard earned tax dollars of New Jersey taxpayers to fund Planned Parenthood,” she said, “especially after this organization has been repeatedly caught on tape aiding and abetting the sexual predators of minor girls and most recently, encouraging the late term sex selection abortion of baby girls.”

“Planned Parenthood’s conduct toward women and girls is disgusting, discriminatory and indefensible. This is the real “War on Women” and it’s time these legislators stopped trying to pad the pockets of Planned Parenthood and instead focus on working with the Governor to help bring tax relief to New Jersey’s citizens,” Tasy said.

The New Jersey Family Policy Council also opposed Planned Parenthood funding and said it is asking lawmakers to vote no as the bill moves forward.

“Politics aside, this funding harms children,” the group said. “The funds, which are designated for “women’s health and family planning” services, are contracted to Planned Parenthood, which swears that is uses the money strictly for services like mammograms (which Planned Parenthood does not actually offer), breast exams, and pap tests. Unfortunately we know that every dollar they receive for women’s health services frees up another dollar for the taking of innocent human life through abortion. We also know that all of the services offered at Planned Parenthood’s 43 locations are offered at county health clinics across New Jersey, free of charge—which makes this funding a wasteful duplication of resources.”

Previously, an employee at the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Perth Amboy, New Jersey was caught on videotape working with an alleged sex trafficking ring operator to get abortions done on the underage girls he claimed he was exploiting.

Afterwards, an inespection of Planned Parenthood of Mercer County found the clinic in the state capital was cited for numerous health code violations which have placed the lives and health of women and young girls in imminent danger.

The New Jersey Department of Health conducted the surveys and found Planned Parenthood of Mercer County improperly used syringes and compounds, it was guilty of improper training and qualifications of staff on pain management and health care counseling (including abortions), the facility failed to have infection control program in place and failed to require physical exams for staff.

Health officials also determined the Planned Parenthood center did not test staff for rubella and TB, the medical director failed to designate a replacement for times of absence, the Planned Parenthood did not ensure adequate protections were in place for drug adverse reactions and medication errors, did not have procedures in place regarding dangerous substances, did not have a written agreement with a pharmacy licensed by the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy, did not have adequate infection controls in place, was not using and sterilizing medical instruments and devices — including a vaginal ultrasound — properly, and did not provide any proof that the facility is a formal member of the Maternal and Child Health Consortium as required by law.

The inspection, written up in an April 7 letter, also noted Planned Parenthood failed to maintain hot running water in patient care areas, and it had several sanitary and safety violations involving patient care and many other administrative deficiencies.

After a U.S. Inspector General report showed New Jersey-based family planning clinics run by the Planned Parenthood abortion business were improperly billing Medicaid for services that did not qualify as family planning, the state had to return $2.9 million to the Medicaid program.”

Mark Waldeland sent the above article.

Roberts Joins Marxists Obama and Company to Begin the End of the American Experiment


The Marxist foreigner Obama,  that sleek con-artist, that  flabby mouthed liar, that  racist  salesman conspiring to create  the bureaucratic killing  of the American dream,  found a buddy in the Supreme Court in its Chief Justice, the traitor, John Roberts.

Let shame be associated to the both forever more for future generations to remember this defeat.    Although the decent in America has  been in descent  for decades, the poison gas  will  now  be prepared for the final solution.    The dictatorship over America by the Obama bueaucrats has been given a free ride into its tyrannical future.

It is amazing how quickly the Obamadisease with its hate engines reving up  to divide and conquer America has succeeded in infecting the country from shore to shore.

Bankruptchy has arrived, the  financial and  the moral.

Shame,  John Roberts.    One expects Marxism from the arrogant and revengeful, Obama, Ginsberg,  Sotomayor, and Kagan.    It is their religion.   Shame, shame you  traitor to America’s liberty, John Roberts!

Peggy Noonan presents her reaction to the treason in the following article in the Wall Street Journal:

Noonan: Obama Has a Good Day

But liberty has a bad one.

“It is a big victory for the White House.

ObamaCare, including the insurance mandate, was upheld. What would have been a political disaster for President Obama has been averted. He has not been humiliated, and the centerpiece of his efforts the past 3½ years has not been rebuked by the Supreme Court.

The ruling strikes me as very bad for the atmosphere of freedom in our country, the sense of freeness and lazy, sloppy liberty we’ve long maintained with some hiccups along the way. Those hiccups seem to come more and more now, and closer and closer together. From the dissent of Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito: “If Congress can reach out and command even those furthest removed from an interstate market to participate in the market, then the Commerce Clause becomes a font of unlimited power or, in Hamilton’s words, ‘the hideous monster whose devouring jaws . . . spare neither sex nor age, nor high nor low, nor sacred nor profane.’ ” They were quoting Federalist No. 33. The language is dramatic, but the thought applies.

A great practical question, an informed friend reminds me, will not be answered for years: How much will an average family’s health-insurance premium rise if ObamaCare isn’t repealed or significantly revised? His guess is 40%.

In any case, brace yourself for the admiring profiles of Chief Justice John Roberts. Last week’s wisdom: right-wing nut in black robe. This week’s wisdom: rigorous mind, independent nature, unswayed by partisan considerations, he’s grown in the role since being appointed by George W. Bush.

To the presidential politics of it: For the first time in months, the president looks like he’s on the Uppalator, not the Downalator.

This may mark a turning point for the president’s listless, directionless campaign. Certainly it will buoy the spirits of the White House. “There’s nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result,” said Churchill. Members of the president’s campaign and White House will stop feeling like what they usually feel like, Team of Losers. The snake-bit White House has for once found a serum.

There will be a downside: The president is left carrying the burden defending a bill nobody likes. It certainly has the worst public reputation of any new government program of my lifetime. The Republicans can say, “It may be constitutional, but it’s still a bad law, and we’ll get rid of it.” In fact the speaker of the House said it within hours of the decision.

If the court had knocked the mandate down, the president might, in the end, have been given a fiery argument to rouse his base: “A divided court, dominated by conservatives, has thwarted progress, but we will persevere, and we will do everything we can to achieve universal coverage for all Americans. Now we know, once again, just how crucial it is who serves on that court, and who appoints them. Do we want more radical right-wing judges?” Instead, the base may feel they got what they wanted and they can relax.

For the Republicans, a national issue has been revived: Tear it down, repeal it. “But we’ll need a new president and Senate to get rid of ObamaCare. Send Republicans to Washington this November. Send in the cavalry!” This will rouse the Republican base.

As will this: The court decision was clarifying in that it held the penalties associated with ObamaCare are, in fact, taxes. (Chief Justice Roberts agreed with the dissenters that it was not a permissible exercise of the Commerce Clause.) South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, among others, picked up on this right away. The president didn’t tell the truth when he said his program contained no taxes on the middle class, and every Democrat on the Hill should be asked to take a stand and back those taxes or not.

The president, in his statement Thursday afternoon, was all sweet reason and moderation. His voice was full and firm; he looked like a man trying not to show happiness and relief. His media people must have decided that if he showed joy it would make him look small, as if it were about him and not the country. He said the politics surrounding the program don’t matter, that the program itself is a matter of trying to make life better for all Americans. “The highest court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law.”

Twice, and with an unusual tone of modesty, he said all sides should work together “to improve on it where we can.” What we cannot do is “refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.” It is “time for us to move forward—to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law.” Cleverly, he suggested those Republicans who continue to oppose ObamaCare are wasting the country’s time at a crucial moment. We must focus “on the most urgent challenge of our time: putting people back to work, paying down our debt, and building an economy where people can have confidence.”

He stressed what he said were the program’s benefits. Those already insured will find their coverage “more secure and more affordable,” insurance companies will provide “free preventive care like checkups and mammograms,” “seniors” and “young adults” will receive benefits, those with pre-existing conditions will no longer be denied coverage. Also, the insurance companies “won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman.”

It was a targeted base-greaser.

He said the debate has been “divisive,” but “I didn’t do this because it was good politics,” he did it because it was right. This was sly, positioning ObamaCare not as legacy-making overreach whose unabating unpopularity took the White House by surprise, but as a sacrifice, a commendable expenditure of personal popularity in order to achieve a public good.

He urged America to go forward.

It was pretty good stuff, meaning shrewdly put, politically astute, and delivered with the august halls of the White House sparkling in the background.

The president had a good day, the first in a long time, in months.

Is it too late for him to change his image to modest and moderate man of the center who’s only trying to do what’s best for America? Because that’s what he’s trying to do. He’s in a perfect position now to tell the leftwardmost parts of his base that he’s given them plenty and suffered for it, it’s time they got in line. Is it too late for independents to give him a second or third look? He’s going for that, too.

The race is not remade, that would be saying too much. But there’s a new dynamic now: Mr. Obama got a break.

Republican backers of Mitt Romney have been feeling pretty confident, and understandably. Their challenge now is to make the most of the moment. They will have the help of their base, which is, at the moment, angry as hornets, loaded for bear, and fully awake.”

The Disingenuous, Devious and Dishonest Barack is Revisited by Honest Hillary and Mitt Ads

by John Hinderaker in 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama

“Shame On You, Barack Obama”

Hey, I didn’t say it. Hillary Clinton did. The Romney camp is touting the fact that various fact-checkers have criticized Obama’s attack on Romney’s Bain Capital record. As we have written more than once, Obama’s attacks on alleged “outsourcing” are both economically ignorant and factually false. The Romney campaign has released this ad, which is playing in some of the battleground states. It is simple and good, I think:

Video of the ad:  http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2012/06/shame-on-you-barack-obama.php

John Roberts Became Obama Chief Legislator instead of U.S. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Friend and fellow conservative sent the following “thoughtful” analysis by Max Frazier:

 By now you have heard that the United States SupremeCourt has validated the Constitutionality of Obamacare.  The ruling was a 5-4 vote, with Justice Kennedy, who usually votes with the more liberal side of the Court, voting with the minority, and Chief Justice Roberts, who usually is a strong voice on the conservative side of the Court, voting and writing the majority argument.What the Court did in effect was to rewrite the Law so that the individual mandate that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty – that penalty now becomes a tax. 

The Court stated that it was the right of the Congress to pass and collect taxes.  Yet, as you remember, as the Bill was going through the Congress, it was repeated over and over again that the penalty was not a tax.  But now it is a tax.What the Court said in its ruling is that the Court did what the Congress refused to do in order to make Obamacare constitutional. 

 I always grew up believing that it was not theprivilege of the Supreme Court to write laws or even to change laws, but to declare whether a law violated the United States Constitution.  The precedent set by the Court today is dangerous. 

From now on, the Court can impose on the American people laws that were not passed by the Congress.  In fact, the Supreme Court can make laws – and they are not accountable to the American people.  This could truly be “taxation without representation” – something that began a war back in 1775. FoxNews.com posted an editorial written by Karen Harned, the executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center.  Here is what she had to say:

“Today marks a sad day in the history of America.  With this decision, Americans have lost the right to be left alone, which Justice William O Douglas once called ‘the beginning of all  freedom.’  It is painful to recognize that the liberties which our forefathers fought a revolution to secure have been lost.  But it is clear that our original constitutional system has been thrown out, and we are left with only the democratic process to preserve our rights.  That should be a sobering thought for anyone who values liberty.

“Ms. Harned continues: “The significance of this decision cannot be overstated.  Our Founding Fathers were greatly concerned that by giving too much power to the federal government, they would be endangering our liberties.  So they sought to restrain the federal government by vesting it with only limited powers.  As James Madison said, the powers of the federal government were to be ‘few and defined.’  Yet with this decision, it is clear that the powers of the federal government are no longer limited at all. 

Our only remaining protections are with those liberties which were explicitly
spelled out in the Bill of Rights, and even those are under assault.  So today
Madison’s vision of the American Republic has been turned on its head: The
powers of the federal government are now broad and uncabined, and the freedoms
of the people are few and confined.”She concludes: “We must now look
forward, with great trepidation, into this brave new world, a world in which the
Constitution has been undone, and federal power knows no limit.  This is a day
that our Founders would never have wanted to see. All that they had fought to
secure and preserve has been lost.”  You can read the article in its entirety by
The City of New York is deciding that they should regulate the size of
the soft drinks you can purchase.  Other places are arguing that you must get
counseling if you are obese.  Will we soon be mandated that we can only purchase
American made automobiles, after all, the government is in the car-business?  If
I want to drive a Honda or a Toyota or a Volkswagen I will have to pay a penalty
– oops, I meant to say a tax.  And what if I want to cool my home to 68 degrees,
will the government come in and order me to set my AC to 78 degrees or I will
have to pay that “tax?”Today we have taken a huge step down the slippery
slope toward the implosion that is coming.  I shared with someone today, after
hearing the announcement, that Pandora’s Box has been fully opened, and now we
get to see all the uglies that can crawl out.I believe that June 28,
2012 will be one of those dates that will live on in infamy, much like January
22, 1973, or December 7, 1941.With 68% of Americans stating that they
disliked either all or parts of Obamacare, the question now becomes, “What will
they do about it?” 
We have heard from the Court. 
We have heard from the President.  Now it is time to hear from the people.

Krauthammer: Roberts Contrived Opinion to Achieve Lefty Reputation of “Fairness”

Krauthammer: Roberts “Concocted This Finesse” To Save Court’s Reputation

at realclearpolitics videos:

“He didn’t want to overturn the law, because as Chief Justice he feels he’s the custodian of the reputation and the stature of the court,” syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the health care law. “And I think he thinks that the court suffered a decision in 2000 in Gore and Bush was seen as a partisan court, it went 5-4 along ideological lines.”

“And he was afraid if that happened on ObamaCare, it would diminished the standard of the court, which he thinks he’s responsible for keeping it up. So he concocted this finesse of which allows him of calling a mandate a tax, which it is not. So he concocts a finesse which allows him to uphold the law and strike it down, the commerce clause as the reason,” Krauthammer said.

The video:    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/06/28/krauthammer_roberts_concocted_this_finesse_to_save_courts_reputation.html

Explaining Roberts’ Dreaminess Making Obamacare Case Worse

The New and Even Worse Obamacare

by Yuval Levin     at    National Review Online

 The political case for repealing Obamacare, which has always been the most significant and relevant case, is stronger than ever after today’s decision. Left alone, the law will spend well over a trillion dollars in the coming decade on yet another health-care entitlement program and on the expansion of existing entitlements, micromanage the insurance industry in ways likely to make it even less efficient, employ even heavier price controls of the sort that have always failed in Medicare, and raise half a trillion dollars in taxes on employment, investment, and medical research. And now we know that its tax bill will be even higher than we thought, and that its reduction of the uninsured even smaller. Today’s decision just means that President Obama must now embrace this monstrosity even tighter, and that the case for replacing him has grown even clearer and more powerful.

The great legal scholars at NRO and elsewhere will surely be offering their sharp analyses of the Court’s decision in the coming hours and days, and I very much look forward to learning from them. Until then, a few thoughts about the Court’s arguments from this amateur observer, and a few (perhaps slightly more informed) thoughts about the health-care implications.

Reading the opinion of the Chief Justice, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that he was working very hard to find arguments that might enable him to walk a precarious tightrope, and that at the end of the day he just had to pretend those arguments existed. In the months leading up to this decision, many of us thought the Court faced a choice between throwing out a major act of legislation and throwing out any limits on the Commerce Clause. My sense from this opinion is that Roberts desperately sought a way to do neither: He wanted to avoid striking down the law (and four of his colleagues evidently concluded that the whole law would have to go if the mandate did), but he wanted to avoid extending even further the meaning of the Commerce Clause.

 This is a thoroughly understandable desire. He pursued it in the end by treating the individual mandate as a tax. The Court’s opinion thus accepts more or less in their entirety the arguments of the conservative legal scholars who said that the Commerce Clause could not be read to permit Congress to regulate inactivity or to compel commercial activity, and rejects more or less in their entirety the frantic, shallow tantrums of countless liberal legal types who insisted that such an objection was tantamount to lunacy. In its effects on our understanding of the Commerce Clause alone, this decision does much of what conservatives hoped it might. But it then treats the mandate as a tax and so concludes that the law can stand with just that alteration in our understanding of its meaning. 

The Chief’s argument for this interpretation seems to me exceedingly weak, and the critique of this argument offered up by the dissenting justices is devastating. But Roberts seemed to be after what might be considered a minimalist (or restrained) ruling in terms of both its constitutional implications and its practical ones — he wanted to leave the law alone but reject its champions’ limitless interpretation of the Commerce Clause. He did that at the expense of a coherent case for the Court’s ruling. His desire is not hard to understand, though his actual legal reasoning is.

And the nature of the action he has taken, as a matter of the Court’s disposition toward laws brought before it in disputes, is strikingly micro-managerial. Roberts has rewritten the law in several crucial respects rather than rule it unconstitutional. It’s not clear how his own theory of the Court’s role (even as articulated in this opinion) justifies doing this, but it seems his concern for the Court’s standing justified it in his eyes. This rewriting of the law — the fact that Obamacare was not simply upheld today — has several significant practical implications.

First, the Court ruled that the individual mandate would have been constitutional if, rather than being crafted as a legal requirement with a penalty for non-compliance, it had been crafted as a tax from which those who were insured were exempted and that, rather than be overturned, the mandate should be treated as though that was indeed how it was crafted. The Chief Justice’s opinion argues that the mandate should now be understood as essentially an optional tax — people have the choice of buying insurance approved by the federal government or paying that tax. Decades of academic studies of the question of driving insurance coverage with penalties and incentives have found that a mandate crafted this way would have a significantly smaller effect than a mandate that was structured as a legal requirement with a penalty. (The Congressional Budget Office discussed some of that literature in this paperfrom 2010.) The basic reason appears to be that a lot of compliance with legal requirements is driven by people’s inclination to do what they are required to do by law, quite apart from the cost of breaking the law. When the imperative to buy insurance is instead presented as a choice between two options, more people will be likely to choose the cheaper option (which, for almost everyone, will be paying the tax rather than buying the coverage). If Obamacare is not repealed by 2014, the behavioral economics of insurance decisions suggests, today’s Court opinion sets up the Obamacare system for an insurance death spiral — less expressly than an outright striking of the mandate while leaving the rest of the law intact, of course, but pretty expressly.


Second, the Medicaid portion of the decision is very important, and (to me) rather surprising. The Court essentially ruled that the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare is optional for the states. Obamacare as originally written would have required states to participate in the huge expansion of the (unreformed, and very badly designed) program, and states that did not participate would have lost all of their federal Medicaid dollars. That expansion accounted for about half of the overall reduction in the uninsured scored by CBO. The Court now says that states choosing not to participate in the expansion must be able to remain in essentially today’s Medicaid program— they would not get the new federal money that Obamacare allocates for the expansion, but they would not lose the funding arrangements they have with Congress now. Here again, the Court simply rewrites a portion of the law to answer a constitutional objection rather than ruling that portion unconstitutional. 

Expanding Medicaid coverage could cost the states a great deal of money over time. If Obamacare is not repealed, I think, many states will choose not to expand their Medicaid programs, and as a result far fewer uninsured people will be covered under Obamcare than would have been otherwise. Moreover, in states that do this, a gap will open up between the lowest income level eligible to receive subsidies in the Obamacare exchanges and the highest income level eligible for Medicaid, and it is far from clear what the federal government or the states will do about that.

Combined, these two rather arbitrary acts of revision mean that if the CBO reassesses the law’s effect on the number of Americans without insurance (which it certainly will do) using the same methods it used originally, it is likely to find a much smaller reduction in the uninsured.The scope of its projected reduction of the uninsured and the (already false at the time) assertion that it did not raise taxes on the middle class were of course essential to the bare and narrow passage of Obamacare. The law as the Supreme Court has rewritten it today would not have passed. It contains all of the many grave flaws that have made Obamacare so unpopular, and fewer of the elements that finally persuaded some wavering Democrats to hold their noses and vote for it.


The case for repealing the law is thus stronger than ever. And it would be made stronger still if it could be reinforced with a clear set of alternatives offered up by the Republican nominee for president. The shape of such reforms is perfectly clear — Mitt Romney has laid it out in general, and others have done it in far greater detail. It consists of a series of reforms (of our entitlement programs, of the tax treatment of insurance, of the individual-coverage market, and of insurance regulations) that would enable a real market in insurance, and enable all Americans to participate in it. Such a transformation of American health careneed not be pursued in one fell swoop, and should not be pursued in one massive piece of legislation. But in this election season, conservative office-seekers and officeholders should make clear to the public that they have in mind a clear, achievable path to a health-care system that works for everyone. 

The disaster of Obamacare has created an opportunity for such conservative reformers. It is after all perfectly easy to show that we can do better. And today’s decision only makes it easier to show voters why this law needs to go, and how that could be done. 

There is only one way. “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in today’s opinion. “We possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them.” They can be, and they should be. Now let us see to it that they will be.

Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and the editor of National Affairs

Protect My Vote.com Asking for your Support!

Calling All Volunteers!

Ever been to a parade? You watched the floats, the royalty and all the marchers smiling, handing out candy to the kids, happily slapping their stickers on teens and giving adults information with their pageantry.

Looks like fun, doesn’t it? It’s fun from both sides of a parade, but being a part of it is something special.   What if you could be an insider and make history while having a blast at the same time?

ProtectMyVote.com has an impressive parade unit that’s spreading a positive message of fair, trustworthy elections. We’re giving candy to the kiddies, stickers to decorate the teens and crucial information delivered in a fun way for voters.

Behind the scenes, friendships with likeminded people are made. Connections are cemented in person. Besides that, event volunteers get the best refreshments.

Do you want to have a good time and feel good about it afterwards?

Then volunteer to help ProtectMyVote.com spread its positive message of voter empowerment and find out what you’ve been missing out on.

If this sounds appealing to you, contact our event coordinator, Dorothy Fleming and volunteer for one of our upcoming events.  Dorothy can be reached at Dorothy.Fleming@protectmyvote.com

On July 3rd, we’ll be at Music in Plymouth recruiting supporters and giving away some nice swag.

On the 4th of July, we’re in parades in Chanhassen and Spicer. What could be better than promoting free and fair elections on Independence Day?

Constitutional amendments don’t get passed by themselves. Spreading the message takes a lot of effort from people who care.

If you care and want to help us preserve free, fair, verifiable elections for generations to come, contact our event coordinator, Dorothy Fleming right away at Dorothy.Fleming@protectmyvote.com

No worthwhile thing happens without effort. If you can’t make one of these events, but want to help out, register as a volunteer here: http://www.protectmyvote.com/?page_id=132

Please also be sure to check-out our Facebook Events page for more ways to plug in and help out at http://www.facebook.com/ProtectMyVote/events

Best regards,

Dan McGrath

Prepared and paid for by ProtectMyVote.com, 1730 New Brighton Blvd, Minneapolis, MN  55413

Obama’s Barack Hussein War against Christianity

Welcome to the Cult of Government

By George Neumayr     at realclearreligion:

Either say “long live the federal government” or die, Mexican government officials hectored Catholics in the early twentieth century, as depicted in the movie, For Greater Glory, an account of the Christian resistance to this persecution known as the “Cristeros war.”

Is Mexico’s past America’s future? After four years of in-your-face secularism from Barack Obama, it is not an idle question.

“Darn tooting,” Barack Obama said to militant feminists when they asked him, after the passage of the “Affordable Care Act,” if he was going to force Christians to pay for the contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortifacients of their employees.

Under his secularist mandates, of which his HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate is the most obvious example, Americans are in effect forced to say “long live the federal government” or face financial death. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the essence of the “Affordable Care Act,” noncomplying religious organizations can expect to face fines of $2,000 per employee as soon as August 2013. These fines will cripple most Christian hospitals and schools and cause the closures of many religious charities.

Judeo-Christianity is so dangerous to the common good, according to Obama, that he feels free to persecute it through fiats and a cramped definition of “religion” which renders, as the United States Bishops have pointed out, even Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity nonreligious. As HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius decreed at the time of the HHS mandate’s announcement, only private sects that “primarily” employ and serve fellow members of their sects qualify as “religious” under the Obama administration’s definition of a religious organization.

How convenient. By this Orwellian definition of “religion,” Obama seeks to maintain the fiction that he is respecting “religious freedom” while driving the religious out of the public square.

Purging the traditionally religious from public life has long been the objective of the ACLU left, from which Barack Obama comes. He is, as his supporters put it in 2008, the one “we have been waiting for” — meaning that he is the final consummation of socialism and secularism.

According to Barack Obama, no higher power should exist in public life than godless government. Government, not God, is the sole measure of morality and law for him. Government, not God, is the determiner of the “good.” Never mind that the word good derives from the word God. Hence, Obama feels justified in shunting the religious into the shadows of society. While he has not pursued this aim violently, as Mexican President Plutarco Calles did in the 1920s, he has pursued it bureaucratically and legislatively.

Were Plutarco Calles alive today, he would no doubt approve of Obama’s attempts to define religion out of public life through statute, not to mention Obama’s use of public schools as instruments of secularist propaganda. Raised by an atheistic uncle who taught him to hate the Church and influenced by the growing secularism in Western Europe (where he traveled), Calles was a socialist and secularist who sought to monopolize all of public life by plucking children from parents and priests and indoctrinating them in statism. “We must enter and take possession of the mind of childhood, the mind of youth,” Calles liked to say.

In For Greater Glory, the child who is pressured to say “long live the federal government” instead says bravely, “Viva Cristo Rey!” Let us hope that the parents of America will teach their children to emulate this heroic example.

George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author (with Phyllis Schlafly) of the forthcoming book, No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.


Mostly the bad and ugly in the court decision


by J. Chritian Adams    at Pajamas Media:

There will be lots of analysis and spin today on the Supreme Court’s decision. But here is all you need to know. The Court got the Commerce Clause part right, but so what? They were never going to find the mandate within the power of the Commerce Clause. The Court, on the other hand, disregarded the position of the government and read the law to be a tax, and therefore within the power of the Constitution.

The Good:

The Constitution grants Congress the power to “regulate Commerce.” Art. I, §8, cl. 3 (emphasis added). The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. This Court’s precedent reflects this understanding: As expansive as this Court’s cases construing the scope of the commerce power have been, they uniformly describe the power as reaching “activity.” E.g., United States v. Lopez, 514 U. S. 549, 560. The individual mandate, however, does not regulate existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce.

Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.

The Bad:

In pressing its taxing power argument, the Government asks the Court to view the mandate as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product. Because “every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order tosave a statute from unconstitutionality,” Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 657, the question is whether it is “fairly possible” to interpret the mandate as imposing such a tax, Crowell v. Benson, 285 U. S. 22, 62. Pp. 31–32.

The Ugly:

In answering that constitutional question, this Court follows a functional approach,“[d]isregarding the designation of the exaction, and viewing its substance and application.” United States v. Constantine, 296 U. S. 287, 294. Pp. 33–35.  Such an analysis suggests that the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax. The payment is not so high that there is really no choice but to buy health insurance; the payment is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are; and the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation.

Understand that the decision to characterize the law as a tax (even though the Justice Department made the opposite argument) is not entirely outlandish. Courts have an obligation to presume statutes are constitutional. Roberts particularly hails from that jurisprudential pedigree, as opposed to someone like Justice Thomas or Scalia.

There are conservatives like Roberts obsessed with reining in courts, largely from their Roe v Wade shell shock and other 1970s opinions. Conservatives like Scalia and Thomas are more interested in enforcing constitutional limits to protect liberty.

When you hear Republican politicians warn about “legislating from the bench,” they are using rhetoric from two decades ago when courts advanced a leftist agenda in the absence of legislative activity. The term today is as archaic as parachute pants and AMC Gremlins. These days, legislatures are passing leftist legislation that exercises unconstitutional power. In that circumstance, it is up to the courts to defend the Constitution. Today, the Court flinched from that obligation, in part because of decades of conservatives repeating the empty and now obsolete admonition against “legislating from the bench.”