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Obamacare: Not As Unconstitutional As You Might Think

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The conservative right, led by former President Bush, pushed the Supreme Court in 2005 to mandate federal control of marijuana over state sovereignty in a case regarding homegrown marijuana for medical use. They should not have won that but they did. That set the case law for this issue which is the definition of the reach of the federal government's power to regulate commerce.

The 2005 ruling, which conservatives hailed as a huge victory in the War on Drugs at the time and actually asked that the federal government be able to steamroller individual choice and states' rights, was duly handed down. Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy joined a 6-3 ruling that said Congress could regulate marijuana that was neither bought nor sold on the market but merely grown at home legally for sick patients. That enabled the DEA to keep raiding over the wishes of the voters and they are still at it. No one at the time anticipated the passage of a health care bill.

The conservative Supreme court ruled in favor of the conservative position (which was not thought out past the issue at hand) that the Constitution gives Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate the marketplace as part of its authority "to regulate commerce." Bush was pushing for federal control over everything he touched and had a Republican Congress and a Conservative Supreme court behind him.

The conservative Republican base got what they wanted. Federal law trumps states' rights and it is now established in law. President Obama has simply used the same ruling for his own purposes. The Supreme Court is not going to reverse itself because of unintended consequences.

When the case gets back to the Supreme court, I have no doubt that Justice Scalia will have a kind word for the people who so recently argued the other side of the same issue. The thirteen or fourteen Attorneys General who are bringing this case will surely have the opportunity to explain why they are attempting to challenge the very same law they fought so hard to establish in 2005 and won by a 2-to-1 majority.

The huge irony is that neither a conservative nor a liberal Supreme Court is going to reverse the ruling. If socialism is afoot, George Bush sowed the seeds. He didn't quite understand what tipping the balance of government heavily in favor of the executive branch would do. Now we know.

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About DrTom

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Nice catch Doc.

    B

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Now THAT is truly interesting! Man, but I do love a healthy dose of irony!

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Very interesting to see a different angle on the situation. Hope you contribute more fresh air into this stale room.

  • STM

    Yeah, so much bollocks is being written about this stuff … somewhere in between the polar opposites of opinions is an answer to most things. It’s nice to hear a rational voice.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It seems like a really, really terrible idea to suggest that just because the Supreme Court has ruled badly in the past on one or more laws which ought to have been struck down as unconstitutional but were not, that somehow this makes it okay to keep making the same mistake again and again with unconstitutional laws now and in the future.

    The ruling you describe here was obviously wrong, and while it has no real, direct relevance to the health care mandates or some of the other issues in Obamacare being challenged as unconstitutional, using one bad ruling as precedent for a worse ruling seems insane. That’s how the Constitution becomes meaningless.

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and the court will have the guts to reverse the marijuana ruling when it strikes down Obamacare. Now THAT would be an amusing irony.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    And for the record, it was not the “conservative right” which pushed the very unconservative Bush into trying to override states on the Marijuana issue, but rather the pharmaceutical lobbyists whose interests were purely those of profit.

    The real right is much more mixed on the marijuana issue than people realize and if you were to ask tea party participants about it (as I have) about 70% of them would favor legalization or at least decriminalization.

    Dave

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha Dave

    Thank you for your insights. However, I do not wish to parse words or be drawn into a discussion of semantics and opinion. I present facts which are always accurate, attributed and verifiable. I do not write propaganda and I cut to the chase in a calm, reasoned manner.

    As regards your comments: At no time did I suggest that a bad ruling in the past should justify bad rulings in the future. I merely described how this ruling came about and why it is not going to be overturned in the near future.

    The case was brought to the Supreme Court by the US Attorney General acting under the direction of the Bush Administration.

    “The Bush administration, which has been emphasizing marijuana enforcement in its anti-drug strategy, hailed the ruling.” I not see any amicus briefs submitted by pharmaceutical companies but they would be irrelevant to the point.

    I must challenge your assertion that this ruling does not directly address Obamacare. On the contrary.

    In a separate dissent, Thomas added that if “the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives and potluck suppers throughout the 50 states.” (ibid)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    I think you should be careful with Tom – he’s smarter than I am, and more careful. If I gave you conniptions, then Tom might give you hives.

  • STM

    Or dirty great sores that won’t go away until Dave gives himself an uppercut.

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha again, Dave.

    My computer was acting out last night and I did not have the opportunity to finish. I agree with you that drugs, and as far as I am concerned ALL drugs, should be legalized, taxed, and available in pharmaceutical grades with only one caveat. If you choose to partake in serious drugs without a prescription, you simply sign away your right to medical care from the results of your premeditated actions; but then, I believe that tobacco should carry the same penalty. My tax dollars should not go to care for someone who smoked cigarettes for forty years and suddenly has emphysema or lung cancer. Inhaling the products of combustion becomes fatal at some point.

    In point of fact, people want forbidden fruit and will partake of it simply because it is illegal. We see how wonderfully the war on drugs is not working….better by orders of magnitude than Prohibition for creating a criminal sub-culture. Mexico is effectively in a civil war over drugs for which WE are the buyers and thus the proximate cause. We have destabilized almost the whole world.

    I will not treat the war on terror here; I have an entire article for that. But it is equivalent to the steroid version of the war on drugs and ALL of it is because someone has decided that they can dictate the morality of the nation or the world.

    It is my opinion that if someone wants to sit under a tree and smoke high-grade crack until they die, that is not my business. I do not have to hire them, nor treat them medically, and they are not a threat to my person or property if they can get it at the pharmacy. And I would most certainly rather they do that than work at my company in a responsible position but have their mind on drugs; and I don’t want the burden of having to pay for MANDATORY random drug testing. Instantly, within a month, we would no longer be a bankrupt country with a bankrupt and dysfunctional judicial and prison system.

    Let people do what they want so long as they only harm themselves. They are going to anyway and that is what freedom is about. Isn’t it better to know up front that your daughter’s boyfriend is a heroin addict than to find out after she is too?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    The 2005 Raich case, apparently relied upon in the article, will doubtless be cited if and when the new Health Control law gets to the courts. It will probably be cited by both sides.

    As Justice Stevens noted,

    In assessing the validity of congressional regulation, none of our Commerce Clause cases can be viewed in isolation. As charted in considerable detail in United States v. Lopez, our understanding of the reach of the Commerce Clause, as well as Congress’ assertion of authority thereunder, has evolved over time.

    For the Court, Justice Stevens opined In Raich that even though the marijuana was grown intrastate for intrastate consumption, a small amount of it could enter interstate commerce, and that its de minimis nature did not deprive the Congress of jurisdiction under the Commerce clause. That is not new law; it has been around at least since the Court decided the Wickard case in 1942, holding that small quantities of wheat grown for private consumption might enter interstate commerce, even in small amounts. I think it distends the Commerce Clause, but my views don’t really matter.

    However, as I understand the situation, health insurance is not sold in interstate commerce and, before Health Control was enacted, was regulated solely by the various states — subject, of course, to the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission over false and misleading advertising. Hence, it may well be argued that a Federal mandate to buy it is not warranted by the Commerce Clause. Neither Raich nor Wickard required anybody to buy anything.

    As I understand the new Health Control law — not very well yet — Federal requirements will have an impact on the nature of the health insurance to be sold intrastate and on the conditions on which it may be sold intrastate. Purchase of a non-conforming health insurance policy (should any such beast survive) will not obviate the penalties to be imposed on U.S. residents who decline to purchase conforming health insurance. This may be the salvation or the death knell of the must-buy requirement, of the Federal requirements as to the nature of coverage, or perhaps of both.

    Others, on both sides, have doubtless done a lot more than the very little research I have done and will more than likely come up with very clever arguments. Procedural limitations may well limit access to the courts. It will be an interesting battle to watch. I doubt that extraordinarily superficial, but popular, arguments such as this one claiming that the Health Control law is unconstitutional, will cut the mustard.

    We shall see (someday) what we shall see.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha Dan,

    Right and not. Raich, following Wickard, explicitly states that virtually anything the Congress mandates will fly. That neither Wickard nor Raich required a purchase is irrelevant; That particular law has been tested and upheld in the case of Social Security which does require a buy-in.

    Certainly you cannot mean to suggest that a policyholder would lose coverage by moving to another state. “Interstate” is implicit in a federal requirement.

    I do not agree that the ruling, or any of them we are discussing, might be even remotely Constitutional; but my agreement is not necessary for the Supreme court. More is the pity. :-)

    My point, and I cleave to it, is that Raich was handed down and will not likely be reversed by the court in the foreseeable future.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Hi, Tom

    I hope we can agree that it is, at best, premature to predict with confidence what the Supreme Court will do if and when this mess is before it. I don’t think Raich will be overturned; that rarely happens. However, the Health Control law may well be “distinguished” from it on any of various bases. That’s how the Court often avoids actually overruling its own precedents.

    I don’t know what happens now-a-days if an insured moves from one state to another. I had medical insurance in 1998 and it restricted treatment to facilities in Maryland, where I had contracted for the insurance. To get treatment, I had to go there from Bonaire, a pleasant Dutch island down in the Caribbean.

    If you would be so kind, I would like a link to the Social Security case. Until I retired in 1996, I was required to “contribute” to the Social Security fund; as a partner in a law firm, I had to “contribute” the entire amount, not merely half, and I also had to “contribute” my share of the amounts paid by the firm on behalf of our employees.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dan –

    Good to see you, and I was looking forward to your comments on this particular issue. I do think that SCOTUS is the only real hope the conservatives have of overturning HCR (I hope they fail, of course), and the current court has shown itself quite willing to ignore precedent (Citizens United). You may well see things differently, of course, and you know I respect your point of view.

    Personally, I think the current SCOTUS will overturn HCR along the same 5-4 vote that decided Citizens United. I just hope that the Dems can delay the case and entangle it in the court system until President Obama has an opportunity to replace one of the far-too-conservative justices.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Does the fact that the individual mandate is framed as a tax law make it less likely to be overturned? I think so, but I don’t claim to be an expert.

    I think people who are blowing gaskets over how terrible this law is should just take a deep breath, acknowledge that they’ve overreacted and turn to another issue.

    It’s a good law, that will make the country better in so many ways. Overturning it would hurt a lot of people and take us back to the wretched system we have now.

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    Dan is one subtle son of a gun. Anyone catch his characterization of the health reform legislation as “Health Control?”

    Very clever, you sly devil you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Glen,

    Thanks. As you anticipated, I hope you are correct about what the Supreme Court as presently constituted is likely to do. Whether President Obama will have an opportunity to replace one of the “conservative” justices in the near future is unknown. Justice Stevens has for years been a highly competent albeit leftist jurist, and while it seems very likely that President Obama will find a replacement of similar disposition, that is unlikely to change the Court significantly. As I wrote several times about now Justice Sotomayor, she would not have been my choice but she was well qualified and her nomination should be, as it was, approved.

    I think the legislation is bad, but then you already know my thoughts on that. However, I don’t know what will happen. The best I was able to do was to ask our worker to kill one of the chickens so that I could examine its entrails. Alas, my examination was not dispositive and, even worse, the chickens he raises are so tough and gamy that I could not even prepare good soup.

    Such is life; or, in the case of the chicken, death.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Baritone,

    Thanks! I have been using that nomenclature fairly often elsewhere, and you are the first to notice, or at least the first to comment on it.

    Again, thanks for noticing.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Tom Burnett
  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Tom,

    Thanks for the SS links; I’m officially an old fart, and it’s time for bed. I’ll tackle the cases tomorrow.

    I too have no personal interest. My wife and I reside full time in the Republic of Panama, where we have adequate health insurance. I understand that under Health Control, we will neither be required to purchase conforming U.S. medical insurance nor penalized for failing to do so.

    Your list of topics is interesting. Might I suggest that this — ‘The War On’ – Defining total failure over and over.– is a good place to start? We have declared war on everything from Nazi Germany to obesity. Use of the phrase “war on” in most non-military contexts has generally struck me as stupid.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Thank you for your insights. However, I do not wish to parse words or be drawn into a discussion of semantics and opinion. I present facts which are always accurate, attributed and verifiable. I do not write propaganda and I cut to the chase in a calm, reasoned manner.

    And you clearly have a neutral and unbiased view of your own actions.

    As regards your comments: At no time did I suggest that a bad ruling in the past should justify bad rulings in the future. I merely described how this ruling came about and why it is not going to be overturned in the near future.

    No, it was my characterization of the past ruling as bad, and it was indeed a terrible ruling. This was my point, that when the Supreme Court makes one bad ruling and uses it as the basis for future bad rulings the result is a degradation of the law and the Constitution. While this was not your point, it is the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the situation which you describe.

    I not see any amicus briefs submitted by pharmaceutical companies but they would be irrelevant to the point.

    Please don’t be disingenuous. You don’t appear to be an idiot, so don’t pretend to be this naive. It’s insulting to the rest of us.

    I must challenge your assertion that this ruling does not directly address Obamacare. On the contrary.

    Read my comment again. I didn’t say that it did not directly effect Obamacare, just that it did not necessarily apply to all of the Constitutional challenges. It certainly doesn’t apply to the Constitutional challenges to the process by which the bill was passed, for example.

    In a separate dissent, Thomas added that if “the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives and potluck suppers throughout the 50 states.”

    And he was right. The SC opened the door to unrestrained abuse of federal power.

    Dave

  • Tom Burnett

    Goodnight Dan,

    I am officially an old fart as well. The War On is one of my pet peeves as well. We don’t declare war on the countries we invade, just on concepts…poverty? I guess we are losing that one. Terrorism… Like the TSA?

    I live in the republic of Hawaii which wants to be a non-state like Puerto Rico. But it’s pretty and remote and I’m almost self-sufficient.

    a hui hou
    T

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    By the way, John Paul Stevens doesn’t consider himself a leftist.

    Gerald Ford, no lefty either, was reportedly very proud of appointing him.

    And Stevens says he started moderate, and stayed put — while the court [and some parts of the country] drifted rightward over four decades.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “I feel as though I have fallen into a trove of intellectuals which I did not know existed.”

    That illusion should be dispelled in no time.

  • STM

    “I feel as though I have fallen into a trove of intellectuals which I did not know existed.”

    I didn’t know it existed either.

    You must somehow be accessing that other BC … the one that exists in a parallel universe.

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha Dave,

    “You don’t appear to be an idiot…”

    There is a reason for that which I am about to demonstrate to you.

    Marijuana is a huge moneymaker. Like tobacco, but more fun. Sadly, it makes me throw up. And it is still illegal at the federal level. But the times, they are a’changin’. Pretty soon we will discover that we cannot afford to keep one in ten Americans in prison, many of them for non-violent crimes. So we will have to change the laws to eliminate some of the crimes. The first one will be marijuana.

    Big Pharma is a huge moneymaker too and they have megabucks. EVERY BIG PHARMA CEO is sitting somewhere right this second reviewing their plan to grab the marijuana business the SECOND it is declared legal as a medical adjunct. That may not be what they SAY, but big pharma is prima facie NOT opposed to medical marijuana.

    Pharmaceuticals? Medical marijuana? See the connection?

    There will be pharma-produced marijuana in every pharmacy within a week of legalization and all these little boutique dispensaries will be selling specialty ‘organic’ brands if they manage to stay in business at all; but the big money will grab the market because they have a monopoly. A local pharmacist can’t call the Zig-Zag shop for takeout to fill a prescription and he won’t have to.

    There will not be a ramp-up period while Pharma obtains the equipment. There will not be problems with packaging and delivery. Consider it done.

    Now Dave, I’ll bet you are going to tell me that no corporation would ever make plans to sell a product that is illegal or even CONSIDER peddling something almost no one really needs…like Diazepam or Serotonin enhancers. That wouldn’t be right, would it? Certainly not. Perish the thought.

    But you show me ONE brief from big pharma to the Supreme court that would have the least detrimental effect on their ability to both hold a NATIONAL monopoly and market marijuana in a heartbeat when the chance arises.

    Do you know what? You can’t do it.

    I enjoy and appreciate your polite comments; the rude ones, not so much.

    I didn’t come here to argue. I am polite because I have the luxury of choosing to be polite. Or not.

    Take a break, Dave. I am not a prey item.

    a hui hou
    T

  • Tom Burnett

    You are funny as well! I am going to skip my “The War On” series temporarily for the more immediate Second Amendment issue.

    And I am interested in why the country is still going broke but the Dow is over 11,000.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Tom,

    Either the SS links you had provided in Comment #19 disappeared or my computer is trying to drive me to insanity — not a long trip.

    Would you please be so kind as to post them again?

    Thanks,

    Dan

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    #26: Great comment, Tom.

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha Dan,

    The government is paying me to do that to you in lieu of waterboarding. :-)

    [Personal contact info deleted]

    Here you go

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This is a great read, especially the introductory essay.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I am interested in why the country is still going broke but the Dow is over 11,000.

    Of course, Wall St doesn’t always correlate to the health of the economy as a whole. But there were several very hopeful signs of recovery this week, especially a rebound in retail sales indicating consumer spending is returning to near normal.

    The household survey portion of the government’s employment measures indicates that over a million jobs were created in the first quarter. [The employer survey was less robust, but those numbers are rough estimates that often get heavily revised.]

    We’re not out of the woods yet, but unemployment may start to drop significantly in the next few monthly reports.

  • Tom Burnett

    This will be interesting as well. I predict another major crash into a depression by years end and a major extinction event in 2034.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t know about 2034 – too far ahead to even visualize the shape of the world by then. But another stock market crash, and soon, is inevitable.

    In fact, it’s almost uncanny how today’s market moves up and down by the slightest of degree. It’s almost as if it were by design. Totally unsymptomatic.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    An “extinction event”? Is that a joke? Is this to become another Refuge for Wacky Theories discussion?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    10 Tom,

    Your article makes a good point, I think. But it sort of strikes me as odd that you don’t apply a similar analysis in your hypothetical scenario about who should be covered for health care. Why stop at refusing to cover people who take drugs without prescriptions? Why not refuse to cover people who eat meat, drink alcohol, or eat saturated fat–maybe even get specific, refusing coverage for those who eat one kind of saturated fat, but not another? You can then control whatever people consume by law.

    Can you see that the refusal to cover any condition is analogous to the problem you have written about in your article?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “the refusal to cover any condition” should have been better stated as “the refusal to covere any person regardless of their behavior.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    a major extinction event in 2034.

    So, Tom,

    If I make it to 83, how am I supposed to be killed off? Just idle curiosity….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Tom,

    Thanks for reviving the cites and I apologize for not responding sooner. Our electricity went off at about 1300 and came back only a few minutes ago, at 1740.

    I have skimmed the three Supreme Court cases, and think they have little to do with the Health Control law. Although they were decided when FDR was thinking about packing the Court in furtherance of his New Deal, that is of little if any significance; the decisions say what they say. Fully to understand the cases, decided about seventy years ago, it would be necessary to do a lot of legal research on the positions for which those cases were subsequently cited by the Supreme Court as well as by lower courts. I have not attempted that.

    What they seem to say, however, is that the Federal Government can impose what the Court termed excise taxes, even if it does not do so with complete uniformity. The Social Security tax then applied to businesses with eight or more employees only, and additionally exempted agricultural employers and those who employed only domestic servants. The employees of the businesses so taxed were themselves taxed.

    The question before the Court in the Social Security cases did not involve punitive taxes against individuals who declined to purchase goods and services from private companies. However, the Health Control law requires most residents of the United States to purchase services, not from the government but from a collection of private businesses at least some of which seem not to be engaged in interstate commerce. To enforce this requirement, it apparently imposes a special and punitive tax burden on those who don’t do so. As I understand it, the purchase requirement, and therefore the punitive tax, can be avoided by some people with religious objections to having insurance and by those who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes. Even as to the latter, the IRS can apparently withhold refunds otherwise due to them.

    Once again, a lot of legal research and perhaps extensive examination of chicken entrails will be needed by those arguing before the Supreme Court, if the case(s) get there.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hi, Cindy. Are you back or just in transit?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Tom, in 2034 I shall be ninety-three; should I have the good(?) fortune to live until then (my parents both did), I shall watch it through blurry eyes and probably an even more blurry mind with great interest.

    Of course, St. Al the Gored may be correct, in which event we should all take swimming lessons and otherwise prepare well before then.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “However, the Health Control law requires most residents of the United States to purchase services . . .”

    Interesting point. So perhaps nationalizing healthcare control industry is the next logical step.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    ” . . . not from the government but from a collection of private businesses at least some of which seem not to be engaged in interstate commerce.”

    (Completing the quote)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hiya Roger :-)

    (Just packed the car up. Still in VA…everyone is watching TV.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Have a safe trip. And enjoy sightseeing.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    a major extinction event in 2034

    With one exception, extinction events are almost impossible to predict with any degree of precision.

    Tom may be thinking of the near-Earth asteroid Apophis, which is scheduled to make close approaches to us in 2029 and 2036 (not 2034). A certain unlikely combination of circumstances during the 2029 approach could alter the orbit of Apophis in such a way as to change the 2036 encounter from a near miss to an impact. However, as the JPL analysis I linked to shows, Apophis could just as easily not come anywhere near Earth in 2036 – again, depending on what happens in 2029.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    the Health Control law requires most residents of the United States to purchase services

    Not accurate. Only about 10% of the population will be ‘strongly urged’ to insure themselves [or face a non-criminal tax penalty that costs less than the insurance].

    60% of Americans are insured through their employers. Many, many others are covered by Medicare or Medicaid. This coverage will not substantially change under the new law.

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha everyone!

    Thank you for responding, pro or con.

    @Cindy. Yes, of course. I mentioned an opinion and stated that it was an opinion. That opinion was that while people are certainly free to make intentionally fatal choices, those actions should have consequences apart from simply the final one in that they should assume a certain amount of responsibility for their actions even if they are not Congresspersons.

    “You can then control whatever people consume by law.”

    In contrast to what? The total freedom we now enjoy to consume anything we choose??
    HELLO!

    @Dr. Dreadful: It is a given that no one can predict the future insofar as assigning a specific date to an inevitable event….such as an extinction event or the sun running out of fuel, crisping Earth and falling off the main sequence, or the arrival of Andromeda.

    Neither can I tell you the date of the next impaction of an earth-crosser; that is inevitable as well but is not my reference.

    I am a bit tired tonight and do not care to treat these subjects but I most certainly will oblige.

    @handyman: AFTER you read my thoughts might be a better time to relegate them to the heap of ‘wacky theories’.

    “Not accurate”.

    I didn’t make the comment. If you disagree with me, I can respond. If you disagree with someone else, I cannot. Please debate them elsewhere.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Handyguy: I apologize for the typo. I did say that I am very tired tonight. Please don’t take offense at my last reply to you. I AM very tired tonight and sunburned and I should not be anywhere near this computer.

    So….goodnight!

    a hui hou
    T

  • Tom Burnett

    @Dan: Re’ 39, agreed. It is easy to understand – once one grasps, as you have, that the Supremes are a group of crooners who operate under the old axiom: ‘Whose food I eat, his song I sing’. I am sure I will raise a heap of wrath by suggesting that Kagan would be a good pick but I like intellectuals. My theory is that as the laws become more Draconian, the more people will become criminals by default and less and less of the citizenry will actually abide such laws.

    I am not a lawyer. I informally and occasionally assist with amicus curiae questions which involve the Constitution
    because I bring a lateral and unusual thought process to the table and because ‘political correctness’ is anathema to me.

    I am not running for office, so I do not have to pander to anyone. I specifically reject any possibility that I shall be alive in 2034. Convincing myself to stay through the next decade is so unlikely that I refuse to consider it. I would be 86 in 2034 and my aim would be off. :-)

    This is a really great bunch of people. I hope I can interact with all of them in a meaningful way before I piss them off.

    a hui hou
    T

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Tom,

    Okay. I am not challenging that it is an opinion. I am asking why, and now especially when you seem to realize it’s illogical, you want to maintain such an opinion?

    “You can then control whatever people consume by law.”

    In contrast to what? The total freedom we now enjoy to consume anything we choose??
    HELLO!

    In contrast to nothing. The idea stands on its own. Your comment seems designed to discount by a tricky disparaging use of words rtahter than being an actual real objection.

    I am probably wrong but I would have guessed you would be opposed to controlling people and therefore your hypothetical solution would demonstrate that rather than contain your own favoroed brand of control.

    You are either for controlling what people consume or you are not. You can’t stick just a toe in. The unintended consequenceslogically forbid it. (Sort of the point of your article, no? The system can’t be used by some when it suits them without unintended consequences.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    better:
    “The system can’t be used [to achive a personal preference] by some when it suits them without unintended consequences.”

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Also, you’d then be supporting arbitrary control based on the whims of whoever has power to enforce. That’s basically what we have. So, what’s the difference to me? I get your edicts or someone else’s.

    In order to maintain our own personal freedom, we would be obliged to favor a system where other people could make choices we do not like.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Cindy: I do not support arbitrary control of personal freedom. I understand that the system cannot work that way. I simply had an opinion which I tossed out because it is logical in the same way that arming people one sends into combat is logical. They would not need a weapon if they weren’t meant to use it…so a person might not be entitled to full, and exceptionally expensive medical care at the expense of the public if he or she chose to continue a known destructive behavior over a period of many years. That is like paying welfare moms to sit home and have babies which I also disagree with. But logic will never prevail in this instance. I withdraw it. I do not necessarily agree with the way you phrase your point, but the point is politically correct.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    As based on a number of recent comments, it would appear that Tom’s all-objective, all-neutral demeanor is a façade.

    In fact, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he seems unable to tolerate any idea or directionality of thought that’s contrary to his own, and becomes downright nasty and mean-spirited to his interlocutors.

    There goes the myth of intellectual superiority taking seed on the pages of BC politics.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Cindy: I do not recognize that it is illogical. I recognize that it is not LIBERAL. I think that if you want to eat, you can either get a job or grow food. That is what I do. My Social Security income is $521 a month. If I cannot feed myself, I do not eat. Yet I would never apply for food stamps or other social assistance because I am not a leech on the ass of society. I see people at the store who use their welfare card to buy food and then drive away in a new
    Mercedes. All the time. And they have free medical and the state even pays for their car insurance. I CHOOSE not to do that and I have opinions about it. But I yield to the majority of the voters.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Do you also refuse your free medical because you don’t like being a leech? And how come you’re collecting Social Security when you’re barely sixty?

    Got tired of working?

  • Mark

    “…get a job or grow food.”

    Those of us in a position to grow food might consider giving aid to those who don’t control a space to do so and cannot get work in this crisis.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Roger: I pay for medical coverage. I don’t get free anything. My Social Security does not start until this coming July, a month after I am sixty-two; but I know the amount. I did not get tired of working. The economy ate my job. Why are you interested in my personal details? If it is simply a shabby attempt to discredit me, I wish you good luck.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Mark: I do that, of course. I share or barter with people who grow things other than what I grow and preserve. It is a very nice feeling.

  • Mark

    Tom, then you’ve experienced the (possible) ‘model’ for keeping ourselves fed through periods of social change without relying on Government. There is no reason to condemn those who turn to government; we’ve offered no substantial alternative.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Tom, my correction of Dan’s misstatement [that “most US citizens” will be subject to the individual insurance mandate] was directed at him and not at you. We are allowed to comment on other comments here.

    Your Mercedes anecdote seems akin to Reagan’s statement about mythological [or at least anomalous] ‘welfare queens.’

    Do you think a significant number of welfare recipients can afford any new car, much less a Mercedes? Your remarks come very close to casting aspersion on the working poor who play by the rules [probably the vast majority].

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You discredit yourself, Tom, by accusing others of what you yourself appear to be guilty of. Surely you won’t refuse the Social Security benefits or the Medicare that will be available to you in a few months’ time.

    As to Food stamps, perhaps you can afford to do without them; many people can’t.

    So how are you going to live in Hawaii on measly $500 monthly income, unless you have accumulated a stash?

  • Tom Burnett

    @Handyguy: (a) I concur; but please be clear as to whose comment you are responding to, if for no other reason than to allow me to keep it all straight.

    Again I apologize for the typo and I repeat that I enjoy and value your input. Work with me as I attempt to adjust to this new environment. It ain’t easy being green. :-)

    (b) Para 3: In Hawaii the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Hawaii is an interesting place, especially before the economic crash. Everyone who wanted to ‘game’ the system could for the most part. I am not talking about ‘working poor’ at all. People who live in Hawaii typically do not live at the poverty level.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Pray then explain to us how they are eligible for welfare or food stamps.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Mark and Roger: I have a retirement income. It is not of the ‘golden parachute’ variety, but it is sufficient to allow me to purchase insurance through my ex-employer, which I do. It is possible that I failed to post a CV here.

    We each see ourselves through rose-colored glasses and the light we shine on ourselves ifs always a bit softer than the light in which others see us. I am no better than anyone else in that regard.

    It is impossible to starve in Hawaii, at least where I live and ‘welfare'; a something-for-nothing entitlement program which was mis-appropriated from inception by those who didn’t really need it to the continuing detriment of those who do, is a source of national shame.

    Continuing to place more and more of one’s life and liberty in the hands of Big Brother is not only farcical but constitutes a game-plan for failure. I agree that many people could use a hand up and I agree that our entire infrastrucure including our medical system requires a complete re-vamping.

    Before welfare existed, it was a good concept on paper. In practice, as with any bureaucracy, it is a complete disaster.

    Back when we had money to burn and politicians wanted to buy votes, welfare must have seemed like a good idea to help people get back on their feet. But if you cannot find a job, you can’t get back on your feet and many people discovered that it was more lucrative to live on their backs.

    Now that millions of people who really WANT jobs and are qualified for them cannot find employment, a welfare mom isn’t even remotely in the job market.

    Do not defend those people to me. Even though we created them an perpetuated them by letting the best of intentions spiral out of control, collecting welfare is not and should not be a career path.

    We call universal care ‘socialism’ yet we have spent over a trillion dollars in Iraq setting up a socialized medical system. My opinion is that if money needs to be spent, it is on American Citizens FIRST, especially our combat veterans, and on the rest of the world if there is any surplus. But again, I make a distinction: Putting your life on the line is very different than growing up in a culture that supports you and provides for your needs in exchange for enabling and then rewarding you to make the wrong choices.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That is a completely fictional description of the post-1996 welfare system. During the recent deep recession, while unemployment doubled and food stamp recipients increased by 40%, welfare rolls increased by less than 10%.

    The Clinton-Gingrich reformed ‘workfare’ system, with strict job requirements and time limits, has worked fairly well during times of prosperity. But when there is widespread, long-lasting job loss, its shortcomings become apparent and many people are falling off the rolls with nowhere to turn.

    From today’s NY Times:

    As Congress turns its attention to the temporary assistance program, Republicans suspect that Democrats want to dismantle parts of the 1996 law and expand welfare once again. Democrats say they want to preserve the emphasis on work, but reward states for lifting families out of poverty, not just reducing the welfare rolls.

    The 1996 law changed the culture of cash assistance. The number of people on welfare fell more than expected, the employment of single mothers increased and child poverty declined.

    But those trends have not been sustained. Child poverty has increased. Since 1996, the proportion of poor children receiving assistance has declined by more than half. Fewer than half of eligible families participate in the program.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But even if the situation used to be close to what Tom describes, certainly with the present recession and continuing unemployment, all bets are off.

    So what are we going to do, Tom, with all those who are looking for work and can’t find it (as well as those who gave up looking)? Let them starve?

    Wages of capitalism, friend, and welfare capitalism to boot.

    I find it interesting that you fail to address this aspect of the story, as well as the financial manipulations on Wall Street which had brought this country (if not the world) to the brink of disaster while reciting the old conservative mantra about welfare.

    So yes, the system did not deliver to a great many people – did not deliver in terms of offering equal educational opportunities, job opportunities, all of the above. Crime is the only area where some have been allowed to excel; even menial, customer- service jobs are being off-shored to Third World countries while most Americans are rapidly joining the ever=growing underclass of either partially- or perennially-unemployed – and there appears no solution in sight.

  • Tom Burnett

    Aloha Gentlemen,

    Re’ #68: “many people are falling off the rolls with nowhere to turn.”

    Re’#69: “and there appears no solution in sight”.

    California, the eighth largest economy in the world is falling off the rolls with nowhere to turn. The United States; the only Superpower left in the world is bankrupt with nowhere to turn, except China. And so it goes that Ford sold Volvo to a Chinese company for a 5 billion dollar loss.

    But China deserves a closer look. We ‘bailed out’ the banks but the Fed won’t open their books. Neither will the banks. and the CEOs are still walking away with bonuses, even in excess of what they got before the bailout in some cases.

    If we had actually ‘bailed out’ the banks, they would have no toxic assets. They would effectively have no market exposure at all and so they should be lending money as fast as that can at one percent over prime….or 1 percent. It would be pure profit. bailing out mortgages and opening credit lines like crazy. But they aren’t. In fact, they act like they don’t have any spare cash.

    We will probably never know, but I have a guess. China asked George Bush for something and he told them “No” and so they simply presented a few trillion dollars of US paper for collection instead of rolling it over for additional interest.

    In my world the theory that most closely fits the observations is the place to start. In this case it is merely a passing observation. I am not overly concerned with something-for-nothing entitlement programs because they do not treat all of the citizenry equally and are not sustainable. But I have no investment in this theory and I won’t defend it.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Handyguy #66: We have no industry except tourism and our tax base is not very dense. On an island in the middle of the Pacific, with a population of about 100k, on which everyone is related to someone, doling out federal money is not a matter of eligibility.

  • Tom Burnett

    This subject is done to death.

    Don, I will talk to you off-forum.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Tom, the bank ‘bailout’ has now officially turned a profit. So I don’t know what your #69 is about. [AIG, GM and Chrysler will end up costing the government about $70 billion total; the banks have now paid everything back plus $7 billion profit.]

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    …so a person might not be entitled to full, and exceptionally expensive medical care at the expense of the public if he or she chose to continue a known destructive behavior over a period of many years.

    Known when and to whom? What happens when it turns out that what is ‘known’ by some, and is used to deprive others, becomes misinformation and perhaps those others who’ve been usurped are actually the ones doing the ‘right’ thing? Who do you deprive of health-care then? What is the remedy for THAT error?

    Use of drugs without prescription is an arbitrary condition upon which to base depriving some people of health care.

    First, what anyone ‘knows’ changes over time and differs among communities. Thus, cholesterol consumption first ‘is’ then ‘is not’ a factor in determining heart disease. It turns out it may be only related to saturated fats. But wait, some saturated fats might be good and only some might be bad.

    So, say that, since you ate saturated fats for years, the community decided to deprive you of your health-care based on your diet. (And why shouldn’t it? Just because YOUR preference to determine health-care coverage is non-prescription drug-taking, doesn’t mean the next guy’s is. The next guy might think you shouldn’t use an electric blanket (because it puts out EMFs), or that you should’t consume meat, or alcohol, or smoke, or live in a city (where there is too much pollution), or, or, or, or, or… Unfortunately you die (of a treatable cancer) before it is discovered that the particular saturated fats you ate actually had a beneficial effect on your health. Oh well.

    By the way, do you have any evidence whatsoever that people who take drugs without prescriptions suffer more health problems (as a cost to the community) than anyone who skydives? or eats meat? or how about people who actually take prescriptions the community prescribes (like ritalin, like birth control pills)? Have you read the side effects from this stuff? What about alcohol? Is alcohol good or bad? There is evidence that alcohol itself protects from heart disease. Also people can become addicted to alcohol. How do you decide whether drinkers should be covered medically? Is ‘legality’ the determining factor in whether someone who drinks alcohol should be covered or not for health-care? If so, wouldn’t that be imposing an arbitrary control?

    You appear to be so enamored of your own pet preference as a health risk, that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You don’t recognize it’s arbitrary. You may not understand the point I’m making. Keep thinking about it.

  • http://taleitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t think you’re gonna get Dr. Tom think about anything, Cindy, which he hadn’t already thought first.

    As per public announcement, he’s taking this conversations into a private chat room. Apparently, the BC community is too unruly a crowd.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Handyguy: “Officially turned a profit” does not mean anything except that the books are being cooked. The government has turned into everyone’s mother and you can’t expect mommy to give you bad news month after month. The fact is that The U.S .economy has lost 8.4 million jobs since the recession began, while it should have added 2.7 million jobs simply to keep up with population growth. This means the labor market is now roughly 11.1 million jobs below what would be needed to restore the pre-recession unemployment rate and the jobs we exported to China are not coming back, ever.

    http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp259/

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I’m disappointed to find out that you’re just another Internet conservative eccentric who expresses himself primarily through conspiracy theories.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Cindy: Opinions is opinions and I don’t have to defend them because I don’t promote them as practical or doable or fair or suggest they should be the basis for a law or criteria for obtaining insurance or printed on toilet paper.

    In a perfect world, no one would need an opinion. In this world everyone has one and arguing them is useless.

    I happen to like the color blue and I am glad blueberries are blue. Because bears eat them does not mean I think bears should be blue. I think everyone should cultivate tomatoes and earthworms whenever possible in case I drop in and want a salad or need some bait. I have never eaten head cheese and I am never going to and I don’t care whether you do or not. My opinion about health insurance is exactly like my opinion about homeowner insurance. If you set your own house on fire, you shouldn’t be able to collect on accidental fire coverage. But I am not an insurance underwriter. I am not proposing a law or a constitutional amendment; I am not suggesting that my opinions are better than yours or valuable at all; I am just chatting.

    The piece I published is the basis for these comments, or should be….not a tossed-off opinion. I retract it. If you have 500 piercings and various chunks of metal and bone poked through your skin and orifices, you should absolutely be entitled to full medical coverage when you contract Hep-C or Tetanus from that activity. I am sure that no body of scientific evidence exists which suggests that self-mutilation could be dangerous.

    Chumming the water with blood and meat and then jumping into a shark feeding frenzy with a camera ought to be covered too, just like participating in a riot in prison as an inmate is now.

    “Quickly, Grasshopper! Remove this rope from around my neck!” Suicide is a crime, but I have never seen anyone charged with attempting it and failing. Should attempted suicide be covered by health insurance? You jump off a bridge and break every bone in your body, require millions of dollars of medicare and lifelong full-time assistance, a special van and wheelchair, ramps on your home you you can operate your Hoveround with your chin and go to the market…I mean is there no point at which a person can conceivably be held responsible for their own actions?

    Sure there is. The criteria should be ‘accidental’ instead of ‘intentional’. “Oh, wait! That’s not what I meant to do”. OK. Did you jump or were you pushed?

    In a ridiculous and pre-failed effort to relate this back to the original piece so that it might be at least a bit relevant, unintended consequences of intentional actions are still consequences of intentional actions.

    And in an effort to seem less …ummmm whatever Roger called me….”mean-spirited” I think it was…I have duly renounced my opinion that people should ever be at all responsible for their own actions and that’s a good thing. We now have no more use for lawyers, courts, police officers…for that matter ANY regulation at all. In fact, following your contention to it’s logical conclusion instead of stopping at mid-field, the concepts of ‘Government” and “law” are obsolete as well.

    And in the spirit of being nice-spirited and happy-go-lucky and a friend to all, I shall adopt the mantra of “No child left behind! Live and don’t learn! Uncle Sam will take care of us all! WHEEEEE! Bring out the unicorns!”

    @Roger: You can follow both Don and me on our respective blogs. No one here is too unruly; they simply have short attention spans. The piece was about a specific Supreme court decision. There was nothing personal about it and there is no reason to go down that road. If ya wanna though, I’ll play ‘kick-the-can’ with ya.

  • Tom Burnett

    @handyguy: I’m disappointed that you are disappointed. My conservative friends believe that I am a rabid socialist liberal. As long as I can keep everyone in that balance, I know I am on the right track.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com roger nowosielski

    “Opinions is opinions and I don’t have to defend them because I don’t promote them as practical or doable or fair or suggest they should be the basis for a law or criteria for obtaining insurance or printed on toilet paper.”

    So if they need not to be justified, why even bother to express them? It’s like pissing in the wind.

    Thanks for invitation, Tom, but that’s not my express area of interest. I have my own discussion thread on this site. I will scan, however, a short little article on different approaches to the question of constitutionality and provide the appropriate link. It might be of philosophical interest to both you and Dan.

    PS: It’s Dan, by the way, Dan Miller.

  • Tom Burnett

    @handyguy: I’m thinking I am probably more an un-conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe enough people can get into a boat and steer it to a conspiracy without hitting an iceberg on the way and I certainly don’t believe the United States has any state secrets that The Chinese and Russians don’t know. It’s hard to think of something that might actually be a conspiracy instead of a screw-up but it’s not at all difficult to imagine the government telling people what they want to hear, even if it’s tinged with a bit of optimism. It’s not their job to create runaway panic. That’s my job. :-O

    I have never read this guy’s blog before but he happens to have several of the stories I follow on one page, so I’m going to list it without warranty or opinion of any kind except that I have a pension which comes from California and I have been watching California slip toward bankruptcy as well as several other states.

    http://blogs.uncommonwisdomdaily.com/red-hot-energy-and-gold/3-important-stories-on-debtor-revolt-predatory-banks-and-state-bankruptcies/

    So IF I phrase something in terms of a conspiracy, I almost certainly mean that someone is trying to cover their ass for whatever they screwed up, typically by trying to divert attention to what someone else screwed up.

  • Tom Burnett

    @Roger: I know it is. My spellchecker can’t tell Dan from Don and I ask your consideration.

    “It’s like pissing in the wind.”

    Well…simply for the sake of having a little conversation above the Huffington Post quality. You must admit that everyone here…even I…can make good points. Thanks, though, for explaining why my socks are wet. :-)

  • John Wilson

    We have a permanent reduction of work requi8red to sustain and grow our economy. Jobs will not increase to provide work, so we must either abide more non-working people, or reduce the work week.

    It’s simple math.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad./com roger nowosielski

    Tom,

    Just saying that the classical Platonic distinction between knowledge and opinion is not as clear cut as most tend to believe – both require forms of justification.

    But I will provide a link to the short article alluded to earlier. You might find it interesting.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    We now have no more use for lawyers, courts, police officers…for that matter ANY regulation at all. In fact, following your contention to it’s logical conclusion instead of stopping at mid-field, the concepts of ‘Government” and “law” are obsolete as well.

    That’s about right. You got there faster than I expected.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Come on, Cindy, leave Tom a little bit of elbow room.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Alright, Tom, the following is the link.

    Once you download the pdf file and save, look up articles numbered 5 and 6, as per table of contents.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Giggle giggle, snort snort. It seems that in passing the new Health Control Law, the Congress forgot to repeal the Law of Unforeseen/Unintended Consequences.

    In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

    For example, it says,the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

    The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

    Gosh Darn! What a shame!

    The devil is in the details, and a 2,700 page piece of legislation has lots of details. Still, it would be nice for our Congresscritters at least to have tried to read it or, failing that, perhaps to have had others read it out loud for them.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Yes, Dan, that is rather funny. I blame it all on dumbass Charles Grassley. He insisted at an earlier stage, when the GOP was allegedly still part of the discussion, that Congress should have to get its insurance from the same exchanges as other Americans. This isn’t supposed to happen until 2014, but somebody forgot to cross an i or dot a t.

    By the way, your post quotes the NY Times story on this slip-up. But you include a snarky quote from Utah GOP ‘congresscritter’ Jason Chaffetz without attribution, as if it’s the reporter’s on words. Naughty of you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    Handyguy, you claim that

    your post quotes the NY Times story on this slip-up. But you include a snarky quote from Utah GOP ‘congresscritter’ Jason Chaffetz without attribution, as if it’s the reporter’s on [sic] words. Naughty of you.

    That is not accurate, and I suggest that you look again. The words as I quoted in the comment from the NY Times article were,

    In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

    For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

    The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

    The words in the linked NY Times article were the same, viz,

    In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

    For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

    The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

    I neither quoted nor referred to the “snarky” comments of Mr.Chaffetz with or without attribution to anyone. According to a part of the NY Times piece I cited, way down toward the bottom, it says,

    Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, said lawmakers were in the same boat as many Americans, trying to figure out what the new law meant for them.

    “If members of Congress cannot explain how it’s going to work for them and their staff, how will they explain it to the rest of America?” Mr. Chaffetz asked in an interview.

    One of the reasons I provide links is so that those so inclined can read the linked article, without having to go to the effort of looking (or making) things up.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    My mistake, sorry bout that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/dan_miller Dan(Miller)

    In re # 90 — Thanks, handyguy. I appreciate it.

    Dan(Miller)

  • Tom Burnett

    @Cindy: I was there before we started this.

    @Roger: thank you.

    @HandyGuy: Dan and I seem to be on almost the same page. As a litigator, he has diplomatic skills. As a muckraker, I suppress any which attempt to surface.

    I am not attempting to school anyone or change your views. I simply try to present another perspective. That’s all. I want people to think about every possible result of any decision on both sides of every issue. Issues themselves don;t particularly concern me. If people will stop to think things through, propaganda will become ineffective.

    No, i don’t think it will ever happen either. :-(

  • Tom Burnett

    Something has been nagging at my subconscious and I found it….#72.

    It was from Handyguy and it was pretty clear that the banks have paid back all the bailout/TARP monies.

    My question is…HOW? Where did the money come from? What business model was used? That’s a lot of money. They didn’t get it from me. Where DID it come from? Or did it?