Wisconsin Protests, Astroturf

Well it didn’t take very long to find out that President Obama himself, along with his Organizing for America PAC are the driving force behind the protests in Madison, WI. The big picture here is that Obama and his labor union rent-a-mob are the driving force against the voters in Wisconsin.

Dang, this is beginning to look and sound a lot like the ruler is not only ignoring the will of the people but is actively working against them. Shades of Hosni Mubarak, no? Forget that democratic process that Obama was preaching to Mubarak last week. Today, every Democrat legislator in Madison was taken out of town on a bus (probably a short yellow one) in order to avoid the democratic process of representing their constituents and voting Yes or No on the governor’s bill.

What the governor is trying to do is save his state. That’s what he was just elected to do.

The teachers union and union thugs in general are not at their jobs. The kids (gee, it’s not about the kids anymore is it?) are losing lesson time that they’ll have to make up in June and they are complaining.  And while they are complaining, they are also starving. While the schools are closed, the poor children aren’t getting fed. What? And from the ones that supposedly care about ‘the children.’

The governor’s plan is to make the labor union employees pay rates comparable to their private sector counterparts. That, and to take all but their wages out of the realm of collective bargaining. It’s not their wages that present the fiscal calamity for Wisconsin, but the Cadillac benefit and pension plans. The people, aka taxpayers, the ones paying for it, don’t have the money. The party is over. It’s time to get real. It’s time to strip away this mystical perception so long-held by public sector labor unions of being exempt from the real world.

Who is the greedy one here?

The average worker for a state or local government earns $39.83 an hour in wages and benefits. His counterpart in the private sector earns considerably less — $27.49 an hour. Over 80 percent of state and local workers have pensions; just 50 percent of private sector workers do. These differences remain, Sherk notes, even after controlling for education, skills, and demographics. The bottom line: Taxpayers now underwrite unionized government jobs that pay considerably more — over $430 per week more — than comparable jobs in the private sector.

What this all boils down to is this administration and the Democrat party are  and always have been tied at the hip to BIG LABOR. It is BIG LABOR that contributes to their re-election. Democrats know what side their bread is buttered on. That’s why they and President Obama are concerned to the point of making laws (Card Check) to help increase union membership. Fact is, what labor union membership is, is no business of the federal government. They are an industry and business just like any other industry and business, complete with its lobbyists in Washington.

The labor unions have a lot at stake, which is why they’ll bus in protestors, beat up opponents if necessary, demonstrate at private homes,  in order to not lose their grip on the public sector labor market. The kind of labor that taxpayers have to pay for. Or to put it another way. The labor unions don’t want to lose business. If Big Labor’s business cost taxpayers more, then that is a business that the government does not need to be involved in. Let alone trying to expand. Period.

The reason Democrats are so beholden to labor unions is evidenced by the breakdown of organized labor between the public and private sector.

  • In 1980, 23 percent of Americans belonged to labor unions. For 2009, it is down to 12.3 percent.
  • A majority of union members in America (52 percent) now work for the government. This is up sharply from 49 percent in 2008. A function of all those so-called stimulus spending packages which served to grow the size of government and the union’s payroll.
  • A full 37.4 percent of government employees now belong to unions in 2009, up 0.6 percentage points from 2008.
  • Union membership in the productive sector of our economy continued its long-term downward spiral, falling from 20.1 percent in 1980 to a mere 7.2 percent in 2009.

Link: The New Face of Organized LaborWisconsin Democrats Get on Bus, Flee State

Obama’s Budget Up Close

The mid-term elections were a mere three months ago. Unfortunately for America, President Obama is dancing to a different drummer where fiscal responsibility, reigning in government size, and decreasing our national debt is concerned. While telling Americans what they want to hear, which is what they voted for, President Obama is doing the opposite.

“Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it’s time to try something new. Let’s invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt.”

These words, a quote from President Obama, were displayed prominently on the Office of Management and Budget Web site the morning his fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget was released. Fine words. Unfortunately, his budget is almost a line-by-line repudiation of this policy. Under the President’s budget, the deficit in 2011 will hit a new record of $1.645 trillion, and the national debt held by the public over the next 10 years would nearly double, rising by $7.2 trillion. View the rest of the damage HERE, as analyzed by The Heritage Foundation.

But where things really get ridiculous is the yelps coming from Democrats in Washington about Republicans shutting down the government. If it gets shut down, which would be an improvement at this point, it will be Democrats that do it. In fact, they’re planning on it.

Listen to how they are claiming the end of the world if  the new house majority (Republicans) do what they were sent to Washington to do. Picture this. $100 billion is but a drop in the bucket to a multi-trillion dollar budget. To put it another way, the last so-called stimulus bill pumped $800 billion of NEW spending debt into the government. So how can it be that cutting $100 billion will cause irrepairable harm to the country?  The current budget aside, there is still $700 billion of NEW debt remaining for crying out loud.

No, they’ll be the ones shutting it down and blaming Republicans for it. Just like they did during a few weeks in the Clinton administration. Only problem for those Democrats and President Obama is, that BS won’t fly here, and more and more Americans aren’t going to buy it either.

Continue reading Obama’s Budget Up Close

More Waivers From Obamacare

More waivers from participation in the now unconstitutional national health care law, aka Obamacare. The waivers were granted to 4 states. Not companies, states. They are Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, and New Jersey.

Steve Larsen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, confirmed the news under questioning from Rep. Cliff Stearns at an oversight hearing for the House Energy and Commerce committee.

Considering that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a majority of union members in America (52 percent) now work for the government, giving waivers to the states is tantamount to labor union bailout. And we already know how tight Democrats and Obama are with BIG LABOR, and why.

So we have waivers to individual companies and waivers for entire states, so far encompassing 900 health plans, four states and counting. What do we have? Strip it all away we have waivers issued to stop rising costs of a program that’s supposed to reduce them. All predicated on the notion that everyone participates. What?

Link: CMS Official Confirms That Four States Have Been Granted ObamaCare Waivers

The Banks Are Shooting Their Own Feet

By Farid A. Khavari, (PhD) Economist

When we visit a bank to open a checking or savings account, the bank employee will ask for information needed to open an account. Besides our names, driver license, social security numbers, and if it is a business account, they need corporate papers of the company along with the above information for opening a corporate account. This is understandable because banks must follow rules and regulations that are imposed on them by government or as part of their corporate policy. Let’s stop and look at this process and think, what in reality is happening?

When we go to a given bank that we have secured an account with, we deposit our paychecks or the money made from our companies into that bank. The bank takes our money, gives us a receipt for the deposit made. Banks as part of its policy imposes its terms on our bank accounts, such as a “minimum requirement,” say a minimum of $100, to be held in that account. If that minimum requirement falls below that $100, a penalty will be given in the form of fees. How many times do you think you would go to any other established business, such as a restaurant, or buy a car at a car dealership, or buy anything else, if these merchants would have treated you the way the banks do?! As much as a purchase of a hamburger from a restaurant, or a car from a dealer would enhance their revenue, the same does happen when we open an account at a bank, and deposit our money in their banking institution. Why don’t restaurants, car dealers, and other businesses do not have the same leverage as banks do? Why don’t corporations impose on us similar terms as banks do? Why do they not penalize us with fees? If corporations worked as banks did, wouldn’t we allow corporations to exploit us in the same manner?

Unfortunately, since most of the American people do not have enough savings to make big purchases, we as Americans have come to believe that banks lending us money can make these purchases possible, which is true to some extent. How do you think a car dealership would behave if you were to buy a car and were desperate to get the car? The price of that car, or any other car would go up, and the dealer would justify “squeezing” more money out of an individual by seeing that desperation. The banks do justify the same scenario in the above example, whether you want to believe it or not!

If the car dealer though, finds out that you are in no rush to get the car, not only the price would drop, but also the car salesman would be running after you.

The best example is when you go to borrow money. Those who have gone through the routine know very well what all it involves—financial statement, prove of income, and other cumbersome information. Now ask yourself this question, when we deposit our money with a banking institution, we are practically doing just the same—loaning them our money, even if it’s in form of deposit. Do we ask the banks about their financial statement, and prove of reserve stability, when we deposit our money with them?

Even worse, is when we get into some kind of default payments that are due to financial pressures, caused through loss of income, or unexpected expenditures? The banks often rush to foreclose on assets that we might have, and as bank policy report us to credit agencies. Although many other companies follow the same policy when a customer defaults on payment, why should a customer deal with a bank or any company which does not care to understand their customers’ financial hardship?

A good example would be the home foreclosure. Many banks threaten to foreclose homes if the buyer falls behind with the mortgage payment as we see currently with our economic problems. Whether it is morally right to do that is a secondary question, considering the way the bankers’ minds are set. What’s really perplexing is banks do not realize that by continuing to foreclose on homes they shoot themselves in their feet; and they start to put themselves out of business, gradually, but surely!

Assume banks keep foreclosing all the homes without any resistance by home-owners due to falling behind on payments. The burning question is what are the banks going to do with these foreclosed homes? Sell them on the market for an increasingly lower price, if they are that lucky to find a buyer who could meet the terms of a purchase, which would require a certain amount of cash these days! If the banks have tough luck, then they must pay for the maintenance costs and property taxes of those homes they foreclosed on! What have the banks gained? Nothing! The fact of the matter is that these banks have lost a lot of money! This leads us to another big question: when the banks know that they’ll never recover the original amount of the foreclosed homes, why wouldn’t they work out a deal with the current home-owners that may in the long run help both bank and home-owner, and in the bigger picture the United States economy in whole. This is a question that only people with bank-mentality would or could understand; it is beyond a comprehensive of a logically thinking person!

It maybe argued that once such a step is taken, it would set precedence and all other home-owners would want the same deal, or would default in order to get a similar deal! It is completely understandable, and there is some truth to it. However, if the foreclosure rates continues, more foreclosures will become prevalent across the country, people would lose their jobs in the construction industry as it kept faltering, and more jobs must be terminated that are effected, leading to a trickle down effect and ending up in more foreclosures. Consequently, it would lead to an unending virtuous cycle of destruction! Who would want to build a new home, when there are hundreds of foreclosed homes for half the price available everywhere?

Now, what happens if the people decide to treat the banks the same way as the banks do to them? They would go belly-up in heartbeat! Imagine tomorrow, not even every account holder at a given bank, but only a few thousands of them everyday would stand in line to close their accounts at that banking institution, let’s say Bank of America, Chase, or Wachovia? A rush to any bank would mean the end of that bank! As Americans, would we do that? Certainly, not because we are human and good people; we are not like banks!

On the other hand, no person needs to undertake such a drastic step, because the banks are – as mentioned earlier – their worst enemy and inflict the biggest harm to their own existence without any help from the outsider. How can a bank continue to exist if all they do is to destroy the creditworthiness of their own clients, and put them out of work and income, and then to expect to exist?! Do the banks not see the writing on the wall?

What the bankers have to understand is that hoarding money is worthless in the long-run if it’s not backed by a strong currency and a vibrant economy, unless they want to create a “banana republic” economy. One thing is certain—their actions would not create either one of these two conditions. Needless to say, if the banks survive under these conditions, they would be no more than a banana republic bank—worthless than any other banks of a Third-World nation, because they have at least to show still some valuable reserve currency. What would American Banks have as reserve currency if U.S. Dollar falters?!

This may lead us to all the conspiracy theories associated with the Bilderberg Group, CFR, Trilateral Commission, Bohemian Groove, illuminati, and all other groups. The big question remains, why these groups would want a prosperous nation like the United States and a world reserve currency such the U.S. Dollar falter, in order to create a world market for the big corporations? Do they want the Chinese Yuan or the Euro to become the reserve currencies of the world, replacing the U.S. Dollar? Don’t we have enough poverty and economic woe in the United States and as it is in the rest of the world that we are in process of creating more of it?

Farid A. Khavari is the author of nine books, dealing with issues of economics, environment, energy, oil, healthcare, currencies and cost.

City Voting On Union Representation Today

You won’t find this in the local paper. A search in the Pensacola News Journal (a trade union shop) comes up empty for an organizing attempt of city employees. The only place I saw it mentioned is in a local blog called Progressive Pensacola.

The literature from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has a catchy phrase. ‘AFSCME – We make FLORIDA happen.’ I have another take on it. It’s more like ‘We help make FLORIDA broke!’

On Progressive Pensacola, City employees voting on union Thursday.

Now there’s a really bad idea. Unions, aside from being useless nowadays, only spell more costs for the city. And consequently, more costs for the taxpayers that currently pay their wages and benefits. As if we are flush with cash. If working for the city is so bad, why are applicants falling over themselves trying to get a job with the city? The high demand and desirability of getting a city job seems to belie the need, as far as employees are concerned, for a union. On the other hand, it’s not hard to understand why AFSCME would not want to get more dues paying members.  They are a business and an industry just like any other.

This move, like all union attempts to raid and then soak an employer, serve only to take your money, if you are one of the employees, and give some of it to the union. And increase the cost of whatever it is that is produced. Which is ultimately paid for by you, the consumer. But you are rich. You can pay it, right?

In general, labor unions had a useful purpose 50, 60, 70 years ago. But since then, employers got the message and don’t treat their employees like indentured servants. Instead, that’s what the unions intend to make of their members.

Consequently, they have contributed to their own demise. Because of their efforts and due diligence in improving working conditions and employee relations decades ago, employers nowadays got the message. Due to their successes decades ago, they have made themselves obsolete today.

But BIG LABOR does not care that unemployment is high. And that their collective bargaining, combined with their spending employee’s money on political campaigns, mostly to save their sorry underfunded benefit packages has caused states and cities all over the country to look at insolvency, if not another government bailout. Are you ready for another government bailout? Andy Stern and Barack Obama are.

Let’s be thankful that the city can employ as many people as they can right now. Raise the cost more and see if layoffs don’t occur.

So who benefits? Not the employees. Not the taxpayers. Just the labor union.

Jesse Sharpton Mute On ‘Monkey In The Window’ Comment

Proving once again that the justice brothers and so-called minority watchdogs like the NAACP are Liberals first, and Black second. On second thought, coming from the Left, ignoring racist comments about black conservatives are nothing new.

To be totally fair,  our President is not exempt from speaking up against racist crap like this either. Especially since he said he was going to be the uniter of the races. Actually, he has been anything but.  He just missed another chance here and here to walk the walk.

The latest is the racist comments against Herman Cain. Coming from an online forum called AlterNet. The sorry thing is though, comments like that are common in places where Progressives and Liberals hang out. Go figure.

This is not a very good chapter in race relations under the current regime. Kind of takes the pride out of Black History Month doesn’t it? Seems like we, as a society, are moving backwards in that respect. And the momentum is coming from those who supposedly champion minorities, free speech and tolerance.

Black Activists Speak Out

Some more pertinent news on the subject of race relations comes in these two gems. Maybe just a coincidence that they come to us during Black History Month.

Civil Rights Leaders Urged to Denounce Leftist Calls for Violence Against Black Supreme Court Justice

Apparently, calling for the hanging of Justice Clarence Thomas is no big deal. What?

Obama Cuts Heating Aid to Poor While Raising Energy Prices

Black Activist Speaks Out Against Agenda that Assures Suffering.

Black Political History Month, A Test



NOTE: All answers are “b.”

1. What Party was founded as the anti-slavery Party and fought to free blacks from slavery?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

2. What was the Party of Abraham Lincoln who signed the emancipation proclamation that resulted in the Juneteenth celebrations that occur in black communities today?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

3. What Party passed the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution granting blacks freedom, citizenship, and the right to vote?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

4. What Party passed the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 granting blacks protection from the Black Codes and prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations, and was the Party of most blacks prior to the 1960’s, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

5. What was the Party of the founding fathers of the NAACP?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

6. What was the Party of President Dwight Eisenhower who sent U.S. troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools, established the Civil Rights Commission in 1958, and appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court which resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

7. What Party, by the greatest percentage, passed the Civil Rights Acts of the 1950’s and 1960’s?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

8. What was the Party of President Richard Nixon who instituted the first Affirmative Action program in 1969 with the Philadelphia Plan that established goals and timetables?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party

9. What is the Party of President George W. Bush who appointed more blacks to high-level positions than any president in history and who spent record money education, job training and health care to help black Americans prosper?

[ ] a. Democratic Party

[ ] b. Republican Party


NOTE: All answers are “b.”

10. What Party fought to keep blacks in slavery and was the Party of the Ku Klux Klan?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

11. What Party from 1870 to 1930 used fraud, whippings, lynching, murder, intimidation, and mutilation to get the black vote, and passed the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws which legalized racial discrimination and denied blacks their rights as citizens?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

12. What was the Party of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Harry Truman who rejected anti-lynching laws and efforts to establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

13. What was the Party of President Lyndon Johnson, who called Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “that [N-word] preacher” because he opposed the Viet Nam War; and President John F. Kennedy who voted against the 1957 Civil Rights law as a Senator, then as president opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. after becoming president and the FBI investigate Dr. King on suspicion of being a communist?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

14. What is the Party of the late Senators Robert Byrd who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, Ernest “Fritz” Hollings who hoisted the Confederate flag over the state capitol in South Carolina while governor, and Ted Kennedy who called black judicial nominees “Neanderthals” while blocking their appointments?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

15. What was the Party of President Bill Clinton who failed to fight the terrorists after the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, sent troops to war in Bosnia and Kosovo without Congressional approval, vetoed the Welfare Reform law twice before signing it, and refused to comply with a court order to have shipping companies develop an Affirmative Action Plan?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

16. What is the Party of Vice President Al Gore whose father voted against the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s, and who lost the 2000 election as confirmed by a second recount of Florida votes by the “Miami Herald” and a consortium of major news organizations and the ruling by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that blacks were not denied the right to vote?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

17. What Party is against school vouchers, against school prayers, and takes the black vote for granted without ever acknowledging their racist past or apologizing for trying to expand slavery, lynching blacks and passing the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws that caused great harm to blacks?

[ ] a. Republican Party

[ ] b. Democratic Party

On Obamacare, Let Justice Prevail

The media hasn’t been doing well lately. Try as they might to tie the goings on in Egypt to a Obama foreign policy success, they failed. However, the events in Egypt did take the heat off of the administration for judge Vinson’s recent ruling that Obamacare is unconstitutional in its entirety. It’s time to revisit this ruling and where this case is headed.

Where the U.S. Constitution is concerned, there are two views. One is that it serves as our blueprint for governance as intended by our founding fathers who wrote it. The other point of view is that the constitution is old, outdated, and is useful only as a guideline to be adjusted up or down as needed.

President Obama holds the second view. In this radio interview, speaking to the issue of civil rights and the Warren court, then Senator Obama said . . .

The Warren court wasn’t that radical.  It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the constitution. Generally, the constitution is a charter of negative liberties. . . . It doesn’t say what the federal government must do on your behalf.

And that is on purpose. Anything else is left up to the states. In light of his attitude of the constitution, it begs the question that has yet to be asked of the president. What does it mean to you ‘to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?’

This loose, if not contemptuous, attitude of the constitution is more common among Liberals, Progressives, and the political Left. It is also the belief of another constitutional lawyer Lawrence H. Tribe of Gore v Bush fame. Tribe’s book, The Invisible Constitution, purports that

what is not written in the Constitution plays a key role in its interpretation. Indeed some of the most contentious Constitutional debates of our time hinge on the extent to which it can admit of divergent readings.

Well DUH! That’s why we have a Supreme Court.

Tribe wrote an opinion piece about Obamacare last week in the New York Times which is found below in its entirety, with comments.

On Health Care, Justice Will Prevail


Cambridge, Mass.

THE lawsuits challenging the individual mandate in the health care law, including one in which a federal district judge last week called the law unconstitutional, will ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court, and pundits are already making bets on how the justices will vote.

But the predictions of a partisan 5-4 split rest on a misunderstanding of the court and the Constitution. The constitutionality of the health care law is not one of those novel, one-off issues, like the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, that have at times created the impression of Supreme Court justices as political actors rather than legal analysts.

{You lost that one Larry. Sorry.}

Since the New Deal, the court has consistently held that Congress has broad constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. This includes authority over not just goods moving across state lines, but also the economic choices of individuals within states {where?} that have significant effects on interstate markets. By that standard, {new standard} this law’s constitutionality is open and shut. Does anyone doubt that the multitrillion-dollar health insurance industry is an interstate market that Congress has the power to regulate? {Judge Vinson is dealing with the part that regulates people Larry, not the insurance industry.}

Many new provisions in the law, like the ban on discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, are also undeniably permissible. But they would be undermined if healthy or risk-prone individuals could opt out of insurance, which could lead to unacceptably high premiums for those remaining in the pool. For the system to work, all individuals — healthy and sick, risk-prone and risk-averse — must participate to the extent of their economic ability. {Yeah right. So kill all the hundreds of waivers, mostly to unions.}

In this regard, the health care law is little different from Social Security. The court unanimously recognized in 1982 that it would be “difficult, if not impossible” to maintain the financial soundness of a Social Security system from which people could opt out. {Make that ‘impossible,’ and that’s not because of the system, it’s because congress has been spending it on entitlement programs for the last 50 years.} The same analysis holds here: by restricting certain economic choices of individuals, {it is ‘requiring’ choices, not restricting choices} we ensure the vitality of a regulatory regime clearly within Congress’s power to establish. {clear in your mind perhaps}

The justices aren’t likely to be misled by the reasoning that prompted two of the four federal courts that have ruled on this legislation to invalidate it on the theory that Congress is entitled to regulate only economic “activity,” not “inactivity,” like the decision not to purchase insurance. This distinction is illusory. Individuals who don’t purchase insurance they can afford have made a choice to take a free ride on the health care system. They know that if they need emergency-room care that they can’t pay for, the public will pick up the tab. {And under Obamacare, they can buy their insurance after they get sick and be covered. Effectively killing private sector health insurance.} This conscious choice carries serious economic consequences for the national health care market, which makes it a proper subject for federal regulation.

Even if the interstate commerce clause did not suffice to uphold mandatory insurance, the even broader power of Congress to impose taxes would surely do so. After all, the individual mandate is enforced through taxation, even if supporters have been reluctant to point that out. {You mean like proponents were reluctant to call it a tax when trying to sell it to the American people. They said it was not a tax, but a penalty. Only since going to court are they now calling it a tax. Can you say Bait and Switch?}

Given the clear case for the law’s constitutionality {in your mind}, it’s distressing that many assume its fate will be decided by a partisan, closely divided Supreme Court. {Like Bush v Gore?} Justice Antonin Scalia, whom some count as a certain vote against the law, upheld in 2005 Congress’s power to punish those growing marijuana for their own medical use; a ban on homegrown marijuana, he reasoned, might be deemed “necessary and proper” to effectively enforce broader federal regulation of nationwide drug markets. To imagine Justice Scalia would abandon that fundamental understanding of the Constitution’s necessary and proper clause because he was appointed by a Republican president is to insult both his intellect and his integrity.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, whom many unfairly caricature as the “swing vote,” deserves better as well. Yes, his opinion in the 5-4 decision invalidating the federal ban on possession of guns near schools is frequently cited by opponents of the health care law. But that decision in 1995 drew a bright line between commercial choices, all of which Congress has presumptive power to regulate, and conduct like gun possession that is not in itself “commercial” or “economic,” however likely it might be to set off a cascade of economic effects. The decision about how to pay for health care is a quintessentially commercial choice in itself, not merely a decision that might have economic consequences. {And not one for the federal government to make.}

Only a crude prediction that justices will vote based on politics rather than principle would lead anybody to imagine that Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Samuel Alito would agree with the judges in Florida and Virginia who have ruled against the health care law. Those judges made the confused assertion that what is at stake here is a matter of personal liberty — the right not to purchase what one wishes not to purchase — rather than the reach of national legislative power in a world where no man is an island. {The confusion lies in your understanding of the federal government’s enumerated powers.}

It would be asking a lot to expect conservative jurists to smuggle into the commerce clause an unenumerated federal “right” to opt out of the social contract. If Justice Clarence Thomas can be counted a nearly sure vote against the health care law, the only reason is that he alone has publicly and repeatedly stressed his principled disagreement with the whole line of post-1937 cases that interpret Congress’s commerce power broadly. {And correctly so, imho.}

There is every reason to believe that a strong, nonpartisan majority of justices will do their constitutional duty, set aside how they might have voted had they been members of Congress and treat this constitutional challenge for what it is — a political objection in legal garb. {So the setup is, if you lose this one, it will have been a political rather than constitutional. Just like Gore v Bush. It’s like being a sore loser in advance.}

Laurence H. Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School, is the author of “The Invisible Constitution.”

No Federal Budget For 2011

As far as running any enterprise goes, let alone the country, making a budget is something you do. Where the country is concerned, the 2011 budget was due last October. That is to say, before the mid-term election.  President Obama gets an F for failing to do his job. There is no budget and no plans to make one. The talk now is about the 2012 budget. The president intends on flying by the seat of his big-spending pants with continuing resolutions for the rest of the year.

I’m not making excuses for the community organizer, but the fact is that had he submitted a budget that included doubling the size of government like he has done and increasing the debt like he is planning to do, the mid-term elections would have included a new majority party in the senate as well.

Is there no one left to hold this statist of a president to account?