Health-Care Reform and the Constitution

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Here’s an article by Judge Andrew Napolitano that needs no commentary on first.

Health-Care Reform and the Constitution

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

Last week, I asked South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, where in the Constitution it authorizes the federal government to regulate the delivery of health care. He replied: “There’s nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do.” Then he shot back: “How about [you] show me where in the Constitution it prohibits the federal government from doing this?”

Rep. Clyburn, like many of his colleagues, seems to have conveniently forgotten that the federal government has only specific enumerated powers. He also seems to have overlooked the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which limit Congress’s powers only to those granted in the Constitution.

One of those powers—the power “to regulate” interstate commerce—is the favorite hook on which Congress hangs its hat in order to justify the regulation of anything it wants to control.

Unfortunately, a notoriously tendentious New Deal-era Supreme Court decision has given Congress a green light to use the Commerce Clause to regulate noncommercial, and even purely local, private behavior. In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the Supreme Court held that a farmer who grew wheat just for the consumption of his own family violated federal agricultural guidelines enacted pursuant to the Commerce Clause. Though the wheat did not move across state lines—indeed, it never left his farm—the Court held that if other similarly situated farmers were permitted to do the same it, might have an aggregate effect on interstate commerce.

James Madison, who argued that to regulate meant to keep regular, would have shuddered at such circular reasoning. Madison’s understanding was the commonly held one in 1789, since the principle reason for the Constitutional Convention was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses. It would do so by assuring that commerce between the states was kept “regular.”

The Supreme Court finally came to its senses when it invalidated a congressional ban on illegal guns within 1,000 feet of public schools. In United States v. Lopez (1995), the Court ruled that the Commerce Clause may only be used by Congress to regulate human activity that is truly commercial at its core and that has not traditionally been regulated by the states. The movement of illegal guns from one state to another, the Court ruled, was criminal and not commercial at its core, and school safety has historically been a state function.

Applying these principles to President Barack Obama’s health-care proposal, it’s clear that his plan is unconstitutional at its core. The practice of medicine consists of the delivery of intimate services to the human body. In almost all instances, the delivery of medical services occurs in one place and does not move across interstate lines. One goes to a physician not to engage in commercial activity, as the Framers of the Constitution understood, but to improve one’s health. And the practice of medicine, much like public school safety, has been regulated by states for the past century.

The same Congress that wants to tell family farmers what to grow in their backyards has declined “to keep regular” the commercial sale of insurance policies. It has permitted all 50 states to erect the type of barriers that the Commerce Clause was written precisely to tear down. Insurers are barred from selling policies to people in another state.

That’s right: Congress refuses to keep commerce regular when the commercial activity is the sale of insurance, but claims it can regulate the removal of a person’s appendix because that constitutes interstate commerce.

What we have here is raw abuse of power by the federal government for political purposes. The president and his colleagues want to reward their supporters with “free” health care that the rest of us will end up paying for. Their only restraint on their exercise of Commerce Clause power is whatever they can get away with. They aren’t upholding the Constitution—they are evading it.

Mr. Napolitano, who served on the bench of the Superior Court of New Jersey between 1987 and 1995, is the senior judicial analyst at the Fox News Channel. His latest book is “Dred Scott’s Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America” (Nelson, 2009).

WSJ.online.com

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Iowa Town Renames Good Friday to ‘Spring Holiday’ and Causes a Stir

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When will these type people learn…..America is a Christian nation…..always has been and always will be. We have observed Christian holidays since our ancestors arrived here. This does not violate “separation of church and state” because that is a myth…..the founding fathers didn’t practice it and none of our ancestors did until the Supreme Court in 1947 created the new law, of which BTW they don’t  have the Constitutional authority to create new laws, only Congress is given that authority in the Constitution.

Iowa Town Renames Good Friday to ‘Spring Holiday’


One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints from Christians and union members whose contracts give them that day off.

Taking a recommendation by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission to change the holiday’s name to something more ecumenical, City Administrator Craig Malin sent a memo to municipal employees announcing Good Friday would officially be known as “Spring Holiday.”

“My phone has been ringing off the hook since Saturday,” said city council alderman Bill Edmond. “People are genuinely upset because this is nothing but political correctness run amok.”

Edmond said the city administrator made the change unilaterally and did not bring it to the council for a vote, a requirement for a change in policy.

“The city council didn’t know anything about the change. We were blind sided and now we’ve got to clean this mess up. How do you tell people the city renamed a 2,000 year old holiday?” said Edmond.

It didn’t take long for the city the resurrect the name Good Friday. Malin was overruled today and the words “Spring Holiday” disappeared.

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus was crucified and died. Christians celebrate his resurrection the following Sunday, Easter.

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The Civil Rights Commission said it recommended changing the name to better reflect the city’s diversity and maintain a separation of church and state when it came to official municipal holidays.

“We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday,” said Tim Hart, the commission’s chairman. “Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change.”

News of the change could not have come at more significant time in the Christian calendar. News of the name change spread through the town on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, becoming a topic of conversation at church services throughout Davenport.

ABCNews.go.com

Tea Partiers…Radicals?

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If you don’t catch World Net Daily, you’re missing some great articles.  Couldn’t pass this one up without sharing…

The real anti-Americans


Pat Buchanan

World Net Daily

As Democrats, after a Sunday rally on the Capitol grounds, marched to the House hand-in-hand to vote for health-care reform, tea partiers reportedly shouted the “N-word” at John Lewis and another black congressman. A third was allegedly spat upon. And Barney Frank was called a nasty name.

Tea partiers deny it all. And neither audio nor video of this alleged incident has been produced, though TV cameras and voice recorders were everywhere on the Hill.

Other Democrats say their offices were vandalized and they’ve been threatened. A few received, and eagerly played for cable TV, obscene phone calls they got.

If true, this is crude and inexcusable behavior. And any threat should be investigated. But Democrats are also exploiting these real, imaginary or hoked-up slurs to portray themselves as political martyrs and to smear opponents as racists and bigots.

This is the politics of desperation.

Majority Whip James Clyburn accuses Republicans of “aiding and abetting … terrorism.” New York Times columnist Frank Rich compared the tea-party treatment of Democrats to Nazi treatment of the Jews during Kristallnacht:

“How curious that a mob fond of likening President Obama to Hitler knows so little about history that it doesn’t recognize its own small-scale mimicry of Kristallnacht.”

Kristallnacht, “Crystal Night,” the “Night of Broken Glass,” was the worst pogrom in Germany since the Middle Ages. Synagogues were torched and hundreds of businesses smashed. Shattered glass covered the streets. Women were assaulted and men beaten and murdered. After that terrible night, half the Jews remaining in Germany fled.

To compare a brick tossed through the window of a congressional office and two shouted slurs to Kristallnacht suggests a growing paranoia on the left about the populist right.

Not since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made “some Americans run off the rails,” said Rich, have we seen anything like this.

Was Rich awake in 1964? Because it wasn’t the right that went off the rails. The really big riot in 1964 was in Harlem, lasting five days, with 500 injured and as many arrested. The Watts riot in 1965, Detroit and Newark in 1967, Washington, D.C., and 100 other cities in 1968, all bringing troops into American cities, were not the work of George Wallace populists or Barry Goldwater conservatives. They were the work of folks who went “all the way with LBJ.”

Nor was it Young Americans for Freedom that burned ROTC buildings, vandalized professors’ offices, toted the guns at Cornell or took over Columbia in 1968. And it was not the Birchers who set off that 1970 explosion in the Greenwich Village townhouse that killed three radicals and aborted the terrorist bombing of the NCO club at Fort Dix.

No, this was not the New Right. This was the New Left, and it was Obama not John Boehner who used to “pal around” with one of the boys who did the Pentagon and Capitol Hill bombings.

As for calling Barney Frank a naughty name, that is not nice. But one wonders what Rich thought of the students marching under Viet Cong flags chanting, about the man who signed that Civil Rights Act, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” and, “Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the NLF is going to win,” when American boys were dying in the hundreds every week fighting the communist NLF?

The 1967 attack on the Pentagon, where thousands tried to break through military police to get into the building, was the work of left-wing radicals. Did the tea-party folks who chanted, “Kill the bill,” outside the House behave worse than that?

Some of us recall the anarchy of May Day 1971, when 15,000 leftists tried to shut down Washington on a Monday morning by rolling logs onto Canal Road, smashing car windows, blocking traffic circles and wilding in Georgetown. Most wound up behind a chain-link fence at the Armory.

How many were arrested on Capitol Hill Sunday a week ago?

Not one tea partier, man or woman.

The “mass hysteria” of the tea-party right, writes Rich, is at root about race. “By 2012 … non-Hispanic white births will be in the minority. The tea party is virtually all white. … Their anxieties about a rapidly changing America are well-grounded.”

Rich is implying that when America’s white majority disappears, in 2042 according to 2008 Census Bureau projections, the day of the white conservative is over.

Given the rise in ethnic consciousness among all Americans, Rich may be right. But it is not just white folks who want illegal aliens deported and legal immigration curtailed, while 25 million of our own are out of work or underemployed.

A Zogby poll for the Center for Immigration Studies found that 56 percent of Hispanics, 57 percent of Asian-Americans and 68 percent of African-Americans think legal immigration is too high.

If the tea-party folks think it is leftist elites who detest and wish to be rid of the America they grew up in and love, they are right.

Follow Drudge to Losses?

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If this hadn’t been so funny I would have passed it up.  First, I’m posting from Rasmussen who shows Obama at a -13 Approval, 54% disapproval of Healthcare, 64% disapproval of Congress, and 53% who believe Obama Policies will lead to violence.

Now, the latest USA Today/Gallup Poll asked the question “Do you think the health care legislation: (percentage who said “yes”)”

Source: USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 1,033 adults March 26-28. Margin of error +/- 4 percentage points

Also, respondents to the USA Today poll indicated Obama’s approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.  There was also a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods “an abuse of power.”

Now, you’ll see why this story in the Hill is so hilarious:

Matt Drudge and the Republican delusion

By Brent Budowsky – 03/26/10 11:54 AM ET

In my opinion Matt Drudge is the most important and influential single figure in American media. In terms of daily and ongoing influence he is more influential than The New York Times, the television networks, cable news or anyone else.

Let me suggest here that Drudge’s power may turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing for Republicans and conservatives because in my view, it fosters delusions that can lead to defeat. Recently a Gallup poll, of course highlighted on Drudge, found that Obama’s numbers had (then) turned more unfavorable than favorable. This has (now) dramatically changed, unreported by Drudge, with Obama’s favorables now well above his unfavorables. The generic Democratic vote is leading the generic Republican vote in the last Gallup congressional election survey.The healthcare bill has passed and the president’s polls have moved up. Democratic numbers have crept up. Media focus on right-wing death threats is alienating political independents and motivating the Democratic base. But readers of Matt Drudge, listeners to Rush Limbaugh and viewers of Glenn Beck are being fed a false dose of Republican triumphalism and a megaphone for what a majority of voters might see as extremism that is both delusional and politically damaging to Republicans.

Drudge only reports the polls he likes, which gives a warped view of the state of the nation. Limbaugh says he wants opponents “wiped out,” sounding like Michael Corleone and far out of touch with heartland America. Glenn Beck attacks Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.”

Excuse me? Attacking “Born in the USA”? What a great Republican platform — for Democrats! Where do these delusions come from, and on what planet are these people living?

It is true that countless lazy individuals in media just read Drudge, patronize his propaganda, and parrot his party line like robots. His influence is unquestioned and immense. Let’s give Matt Drudge credit for entrepreneurial drive to have reached this summit of American media. Let’s give a round of boos for progressives with money who never even attempted a meaningful challenge to Drudge.

But my point today is, delusions lead to defeat and Republicans are falling into the trap. Matt Drudge could be an albatross for Republicans who believe their own propaganda, in the same way that Limbaugh and Beck could be true geniuses about promoting themselves for profitability but major dangers to conservatives and Republicans.

Drudge may not report it, but the healthcare bill passing has put the president on the upswing, Democrats lead Republicans in the Gallup poll, the negatives of the healthcare bill are starting to recede, independents are alienated by right-wing extremism, the jobs picture I predict will soon brighten, and the Democratic base is finally being motivated.

Matt Drudge may be the most important and influential figure in American media and journalism, but this may well be a curse for conservatives, not a blessing. Dreams die hard and delusions lose elections.

Let me also add a comment after this story was written on the Hills website:

It s funny to read someone who is a paid political hack of the DNC attacking someone else’s “bias”. Also very funny that Brent has runaway from the race baiting article he wrote prior to this one. We now know that the congressman was NOT spit on, that the “15 instances of the n-word” being used was BS as those congressman had cameras with their posse and there is ZERO evidence. Why does The Hill let a DNC paid political operative write columns, I am truly curious?

Brent what facts are those? Oh where you say that Drudge did not write an article everyday about the latest gallup? Let me ask you, no challenge you to this. Lets see if the Gallup goes negative once again for Obama and you write an article about those numbers! lol We know you wont because the DNC does not pay you for that. BY jon on 03/26/2010 at 15:29

Sen. Graham, Cap & Trade Dead, but…

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Senators work on bipartisan climate bill

By Kevin Sieff in Washington

Three senior US lawmakers are piecing together a sweeping bipartisan energy and climate bill, which looks set to include sweeteners to galvanise support among Republicans and industry groups.

The proposed legislation, encouraged by President Barack Obama, dilutes a climate bill that stalled last year in the Senate. The senators have hosted meetings with industry groups over the past two weeks, revealing details about their plan that would cap carbon emissions while expanding offshore oil drilling and nuclear power generation.

Nearly six months have passed since the Senate’s most recent climate bill failed to win over conservatives and moderates, a political stalemate that cast a shadow on America’s presence at the Copenhagen climate summit. But some Democrats say the passage of healthcare reform has opened the door for climate change legislation, while acknowledging trade-offs will be needed to secure 60 Senate votes. “They know that to pass a comprehensive bill they will have to ease concerns of some special interests and mid-western senators whose states have manufacturing-oriented economies,” said Daniel J. Weiss, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal think-tank.

Environmental groups are divided over the bill, with some decrying the push to pre-empt existing state and federal greenhouse gas regulations. But many moderate groups are withholding judgment until the bill is introduced, saying concessions to industry bodies will be necessary. According to people briefed by the senators, the bill aims to cut carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 17 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, largely by implementing separate caps on utilities and manufacturers. The federal government would sell separate pollution permits to each sector, using a “hard price collar” to limit greenhouse gas allowances to between $10 and $30 per ton, and committing to flood the market with credits if the price ceiling is exceeded.

The bill’s sponsors – John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat, Joseph Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut, and Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican – said the new sectoral approach would begin imposing carbon caps on utilities in 2012 and manufacturers in 2016.

The bill includes a new petrol tax, which would be passed on to consumers, though this could be vulnerable in the efforts to reach a compromise. By mentioning investment in conventional energy, the senators have elicited favourable responses from industry leaders, including BP executives and lobbyists from the US Chamber of Commerce, who opposed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill passed by the House of Representatives last spring. After meeting the senators, Bruce Josten, the chamber’s top lobbyist, said their efforts were “largely in sync” with industry targets.

Mr Graham, distinguishing his legislation from last year’s bill, told reporters this month “the cap-and-trade bills in the House and Senate are dead” and would be replaced.

He hopes his sector-by-sector approach to regulation, unlike Waxman-Markey’s economy-wide cap, will help him save face among conservatives. His role in the bill’s formulation was itself in doubt after he said the Democrats’ handling of healthcare reform “poisoned the well” for bipartisan co-operation.

The senators hope to send details of the bill to the Environmental Protection Agency this week. The bill is likely to be introduced by late April. Despite bipartisan sponsors, its passage is not guaranteed. Last week, 10 Democratic senators said they would not support unlimited offshore oil exploration. Meanwhile, some environmentalists said the bill would curb the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases.