You may not have noticed last summer when Congress moved to save you money on debit card transactions by fixing fees banks could charge retailers. It was Sen. Dick Durbin's big idea to fix the amounts of something called interchange fees and he said the savings would go to us.
Is anyone surprised that this didn't quite work out? It does explain why we have seen other bank fees increase. It also explains why Sen. Durbin's big business supporters are happy to continue funding his re-election campaign.
Durbin now wants to run the same scam with your credit cards.
Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul fought Durbin and Obama on this last year. We can expect them to fight again this time, too. It just seems that with all the real problems we have in our country we shouldn't be playing "fund my campaign" games with another Democrat Senator from Illinois.
Rand Paul joined Barack Obama in the arena of disrespect when he reacted to the decision of the Supreme Court on Obamacare by calling them "boneheaded". I understand that he is unhappy with the result but I also think that he was pandering to the people he predicts will "rise up" against these "fighting words."
First of all people like Rand need to stop whipping people up into a frenzy. We have a Constitution which provides for a Supreme Court. We have a legal system in this country which provides order and certainty. So what if he and his mob of angry Americans "rise up". What will they do, over throw the government, discard the Constitution, eliminate the Supreme Court, install a dictator. What does it mean to call a Supreme Court decision "fighting words"? Fight who, where, when, how?
The current makeup of the House of Representatives is pretty assuredly aligned to pass the repeal of Obamacare, but how will it pass the Senate? I know that some people think that repeal will only require 50 + 1 votes in the Senate, but before the vote is taken the debate has to end, and it takes 60 votes to end the debate.
Can the republicans win enough seats in the Senate to end up with those 60 votes? Is that where he is planning to take the fight, the ballot box in states with contested Senate seats? You tell me where those 13 additional votes are going to come from.
No, what many people will hear in his high flying rhetoric is a call for more anger, less respect for the institutions of government and more pandering to their ignorance.
Rand says that the powers of government are limited by the Constitution. He then says that he sees no where in Article I section 8 where the powers of the Congress to lay and collect taxes is unlimited. That kind of talk appeals to the ignorance of people who will take him at face value, not read the Constitution for themselves or research what the courts have said about the power to tax.
Article I section 8 says this: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises." There are no limitations set out in the Constitution on this power except for the provision that Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.
I agree that the power to tax has been "interpreted" to have limitations, in fact CJ Roberts cited earlier opinions which held so. But the bold assertion that the Constitution does not grant unlimited powers to tax has no basis in the language of that section of the document itself.
I really like Rand and think he can be a good thing for Kentucky one day. But he has to stop spinning out of control like this and going off into outer space where the loonies live. There is no need, except for rank political gain, to inspire disrespect for the court, disrespect for those with whom you disagree and to inspire an already hot headed bunch of borderline-anarchists to become even more enraged and volatile.
The Roberts decision is proving to be a big benefit to the Romney campaign.
The Romney campaign has raised $3.2 million online since the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Affordable Care Act, a Romney aide tells me.
The news here is that Romney's tapping into conservative small-donor enthusiasm -- he had clocked multi-million-dollar days before, but not from the GOP rank and file. He's had over 30,000 individual donors so far. [POLITICO]
Yesterday, shortly after hearing and reading CJ Roberts opinion in the Obamacare case I offered my early take on what the decision did and did not do. Today, upon greater reflection, it seems that the conservative brain trust is coming around to the same conclusions. It's nice to have this kind of affirmation.
Take for example the comments by Kate Hicks, editor at Townhall.com. Here is what she had to say:
John Roberts is not a “traitor to his philosophy.” He is not a liberal. He is, above all else, a very strict originalist, and the Chief Justice of a Court that is acutely aware – and wary – of its role in politics. Understand that his opinion, though certainly not ideal for the Right, contains more good news for conservatives in its pages than it does on its face.
So let’s take a look at his surprising opinion – the controlling opinion, as it’s called, which sets precedent and “say[s] what the law is,” as Marshall said so long ago.
What hath he wrought?
“Commerce Clause” is everywhere in the news today, and if you’ll recall, that was considered the basis for both upholding and striking down the mandate. Roberts threw out the government’s argument that it could regulate inactivity because of the “substantial effect” abstention from the market would have on the market as a whole. This, he said, was way too much power. [Townhall]
Thank you Kate. Precisely what I took away from the opinion yesterday.
And to further bolster what I distilled from the opinion, here is what George Will had to say this morning:
The mandate’s opponents favor a federal government as James Madison fashioned it, one limited by the constitutional enumeration of its powers. The mandate’s supporters favor government as Woodrow Wilson construed it, with limits as elastic as liberalism’s agenda, and powers acquiring derivative constitutionality by being necessary to, or efficient for, implementing government’s ambitions.
By persuading the court to reject a Commerce Clause rationale for a president’s signature act, the conservative legal insurgency against Obamacare has won a huge victory for the long haul. This victory will help revive a venerable tradition of America’s political culture, that of viewing congressional actions with a skeptical constitutional squint, searching for congruence with the Constitution’s architecture of enumerated powers. By rejecting the Commerce Clause rationale, Thursday’s decision reaffirmed the Constitution’s foundational premise: Enumerated powers are necessarily limited because, as Chief Justice John Marshall said, “the enumeration presupposes something not enumerated.”
Elections matter most; only they can end Obamacare. But in Roberts’s decision, conservatives can see that the court has been persuaded to think more as they do about the constitutional language that has most enabled the promiscuous expansion of government. [Washington Post]
Rush Limbaugh echoed my sentiments yesterday on his show but he took it one step further. I said that by labeling the program a tax that it would help candidates running for office who promise to repeal Obamcare. And I said that the bill, by process, was in fact the expressed will of the people. Rush however took another approach and said that the people had been deceived.
“Obamacare is nothing more than the largest tax increase in the history of the world and the people who were characterizing it as such were right and were telling the truth,” Limbaugh said.
“The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts said ‘it’s not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices. Not our job.’ Well what about when we are deceived?” he asked.
“The court upheld a law that was not what we were told it would be. What has been upheld here is fraud and the Internal Revenue Service has just become Barack Obama’s domestic army. That is what we face now.” [The Blaze]
Exactly Rush. As I said Roberts just hit Obama right in the kisser by labeling the program as a huge tax and proving him to be a liar. Maybe the decision was not everything the conservatives wanted, but it sure gave us a lot of credibility.
Be sure to keep reading here folks. You and I may not agree all the time, but what we do here is pretty sharply focused on an honest approach to political and cultural events.
Willie White, 75, was watching a basketball game at about 1:15 a.m. when he heard a steady banging at his door. White armed himself with a rifle before an 18-year-old intruder was able to kick in the door. White said, “I was nervous—I figured if someone’s hostile enough to break your door down, he’s capable of anything. So once he came inside my house, I shot him.” The intruder sustained a single gunshot wound that proved fatal. His two accomplices fled the scene. (The Detroit News, Detroit, MI, 3/29/12)
Okay, you are disappointed that the SCOTUS didn't strike down Obamacare. Get over it. Here is what they did.
First, in the Alvarez case discussed earlier, they struck a blow in favor of the First Amendment by declaring it beyond the power of Congress to outlaw lying. So, for now at least, Congress can continue to lie and so can phony soldiers.
Second, they declared for the second time this session that Congress was stretching the Commerce Clause too far. That's good news on many fronts.
Third, they declared that the Obamacare bill went too far in violation of the sovereignty of the States. That's good too for lovers of the 10th Amendment.
And by upholding the "individual mandate" as a tax they did two really cool things. First, they declared Obama to be a liar since he insisted that the bill was NOT a tax. Score one blow to the kisser. Second, they have now energized the Republican base and assured a greater chance at victory for anybody running for office who promises to repeal Obamacare if elected.
Oh, and one last thing. They ruled in favor of the separation of powers, just as I thought they might. You see, the bill was passed by both houses of Congress which means, polling to the contrary notwithstanding, that the bill was an expression of the will of the people. For those of you who don't like justices re-writing laws this might be a bitter-sweet result, but hey, sometimes you get what you ask for, even if the consequences are unintended.
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