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The Morning Plum

* Are Senate Dems going wobbly? It appears that Senate Dems may abandon the idea of holding a vote on extending the middle class tax cuts. Incredibly, the thinking is that a vote is unnecesesary because the lines on this issue have already been drawn clearly enough.

As one Senate aide put it: "By the president being out there and individual members talking at home, it's clear where the lines are drawn in this debate, and you don't need the vote to cement that." As if more clarity on an issue where the public clearly sides with Dems would hurt! Apparently a final decision may come today.

* Et tu, Steny? And over in the House, it looks like Steny Hoyer may be the lead culprit in urging House Dems not to be aggressive in framing the choice between the parties in the runup to the midterms.

* Question of the day: Let's say this vote doesn't happen, as looks more and more likely. Did the White House even want this vote? Did Obama advisers signal to Congress that it would be a good move politically? Or do White House advisers agree that the President -- who has forcefully taken ownership of extending the tax cuts for the middle class as his own plan -- has already succeeded in drawing the lines clearly enough?

* Angle mocks autism? I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing this. Dems are blasting Sharron Angle for supposedly getting caught on video using exaggerated air quotes while she says the word "autism."

But it looks more like she was merely quoting "autism" while discussing use of the word as a medical insurance category. While her sentiment is wrong-headed in policy terms, in that she's being dismissive of mandated coverage of autism, it just doesn't look like air-quote mockery of the condition to me:

* The GOP "Pledge to America": Perry Bacon has a useful breakdown of the new GOP contract with America, to be formally unveiled today.

* Conservatives divided over "pledge"? Matt Lewis reports that National Review thinks the pledge is "bolder" than Newt's Contract with America, while Erick Erickson trashes the plan with typical subtlety and understatement:

Perhaps the Most Ridiculous Thing to Come Out of Washington Since George McClellan

* Reality check of the day: Kaiser Family Foundation president Drew Altman says health reform is in some ways already a success story, and while it remains unpopular, history shows that that will, you know, change.

* Tea Party a big scam: E.J. Dionne goes there, skewering the media for helping the Tea Party pull off the monstrous scam of hoodwinking everyone into believing that the spokespeople for broad discontent in America are "Tea Party ideologues who proclaim the unconstitutionality of the New Deal and everything since."

* Obama warns Dems against apathy and complacency: Jake Tapper quotes the President at a fundraiser last night:

"The single biggest threat to our success is not the other party. It's us. It's complacency. It's apathy. It's indifference. It's people feeling like, well, we only got 80 percent of what we want, we didn't get the other 20, so we're just going to sit on our hands."

That may be true, but if Congress punts on the middle class tax vote, that will stand as another reason why Congressional Dems have only themselves to blame.

* "Small business" in name only: ICYMI, here's the Keith Olbermann segment skewering that claim at some length.

* Also: Chris Hayes tells Olbermann that "moderate" Dems who support extending the tax cuts for the rich are "so politically, morally, logically bankrupt that it beggars belief."

* Invisible: Criticism of Obama's economic policies from the left is just white noise that can't be processed or acknowledged.

* And Saxby Chambliss's office continues to bring great distinction upon the world's greatest deliberative body:

His office confirms it was the source of the "all f-ggots must die" posting on the Joe My God blog The probe has been turned over to the Sergeant at Arms.

What else is going on?

By Greg Sargent  | September 23, 2010; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, Tea Party, economy  
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Next: Full context of Obama's "absorb a terrorist attack" quote undercuts conservative criticism

Comments

Here is overt racism on display from Loretta Sanchez (D-Cal):

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/09/027289.php


My Spanish comprehension is pathetic, but looks like she really did go there.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

This is laugh-out-loud ignorance from Dahlia Lithwick, supposed legal guru, by way of NRO.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/247480/good-old-dahlia-lithwick-ramesh-ponnuru

Perhaps, lms, this is where you picked up the idea that there is something wrong with the Pledge constitutionality item, or the same misconception?

And, no, I didn't say it was just a way to accuse Democrats. You can see in Lithwick's absurd assumption that Congress is just supposed to pass whateve laws it feels like, regardless of constitutional authority, and let the courts sort it out, why th GOP thinks there is a problem here. The Lithwick view is what many believe the working principle of Dems is on this issue -- just pass whatever we think we can get away with.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Question I posted on the previous thread that apparently needs repeating:

So if a constitutional challenge is filed regarding a particularly piece of legislation, is the Department of Justice going to be limited to arguing only those provisions of the Constitution that Congress cited when the law was passed?

Also, should the Attorney General be barred from pleading alternative theories that were not previously argued during the political debate?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Extending the discussion further, should the GOP be prohibited from using reconciliation to pass laws since they have been arguing for 2 years that it amounts to ramming legislation down the throats of the American people?

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/22/after-blasting-ryan-reconciliation/

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Kevin_Willis 8:30 AM


You have some good points there.


However, we have to consider a few things - the economy needs sustainable jobs.


One set is jobs which resulted from the internet and mortgage bubbles - those jobs are gone - and we really do not want to re-inflate a bubble just to get those jobs.


Another set of jobs is those which we are losing as a result of the Free Trade Agreements. Those jobs have been slowing leaving - and those losses are more structural in nature.


Some of those jobs were just hanging on since the 90s - when they got knocked out in this downturn, they are not coming back.


Those are two sets of jobs to consider.


Clearly, the idea is to create "sustainable" jobs - ones that will last.


Obviously (or not so obviously to the administration) in a Free Trade Economy, a Keynsian demand model is going to "leak" out to other nations. Without manufacturing here in this nation, it is more difficult for stimulus dollars to create jobs here in the US.

So - all this talk of tax rates - and which ones spend money faster - well - if that money gets spent on Chinese goods, it doesn't help us, here.


That is why - if one wants to give Clinton credit for jobs creation - one really has to take out ALL the job losses from the bursting of the internet bubble AND from the long-term Free Trade job losses.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

"And Saxby Chambliss's office continues to bring great distinction upon the world's greatest deliberative body: His office confirms it was the source of the "all f-ggots must die" posting on the Joe My God blog The probe has been turned over to the Sergeant at Arms."

Today's GOP. You Conservatives must be SO PROUD.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

ON the clarity with the jobs issue - there are many democrats out there who would prefer NOT to take a position - a vote makes them take a position.


The question out there is - how many votes are out there for what -


Why spark a big battle for the democrats - with the concern that there are not enough votes? You are calling for a vote, but do you know if all the blue dogs are behind which proposal ?

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

cmc,

I answered your question on the previous thread. Short version: not really, but it would make flip flops like the Obamacare flip flop harder to sell, because the Court looks at congressional intent. It might also impose greater political accountability on Congress.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Harder to sell to who, those who will oppose the legislation under any circumstance? And you, a supposed hot-shot lawyer, are saying that arguing all available legal theories in support of a case is flip flopping?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama has already said that he wants to RAISE TAXES $700 BILLION DOLLARS.


Isn't that bad enough for the democrats? There has to be a roll call to get all the democrats to jump off this cliff too ?


Why don't we concern ourselves about the best ways to protect our citizens from terrorist attacks?

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

No comment re: taxes (if you don't have anything nice to say ...).

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Loretta Sanchez is going after the Vietnamese -


And she is calling the Vietnamese anti-immigrant and anti-Latino ???


HHHMMMMMM

I have no comment.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

No qb, I just happened to catch it while I was browsing through the pledge and it struck me as rather odd. I'll leave the debate to those more familiar with the issue, if it actually is one.

Honestly, it reminded me of Newt's rant last weekend about pre-emptively banning Sharia Law, as if there is some sort of effort under foot by Dems to decide legal issues in such a way.

In other words, we won't come out and accuse Dems of skirting Constitutional authority, we'll just bog the legislation down by somehow challenging it in advance. I guess because we're all supposed to just know Dems don't understand the Constitution as well as Repubs do? Subtle.

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Today's GOP. You Conservatives must be SO PROUD."

Oh-noes! One staffer in the office of a senator I'm lukewarm on anyway is a bigotted idiot! Thus, logically, it follows as the day does the night, that Saxby Chambliss shares those views, and every other conservative everywhere shares those views, too. And the entire GOP. And so do all people who wear shoes, or have ears, or can use the internet.

Hope the guy who did it gets in trouble, like he should.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 23, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Harder to sell to who, those who will oppose the legislation under any circumstance? And you, a supposed hot-shot lawyer, are saying that arguing all available legal theories in support of a case is flip flopping?"

No, harder to sell to the courts, mainly the Supreme Court when a case gets there. I.e., the Court usually tries to determine the intent of Congress. Often it is unclear and the legislative record inconsistent. Rep A said X, by Sen B said Y. If the bill itself clearly states the basis (i.e., we are regulating Commerce, as opposed to we are imposing a tax), it might be harder for a Holder to persuade 5 justices otherwise.

No, arguing all available theories isn't itself a flip flop. But it is a flip flop for the Obama admin and Dems generally to have passed Obamacare on the strident insistence that the mandate is not a tax and isn't enforced with a tax, and then to march straight into court and argue that it is a tax. "Not a tax" for public consumption, "is a tax" for court consumption.

That is a flip flop, and Obama deserves to have it crammed down his throat, a classic, "are you lying now, or were you lying then, and aren't you, sir, a pathological and incorrigible liar?"

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Today's GOP. You Conservatives must be SO PROUD."

Experience suggests that the wiser a person is the less prone to rash judgments before all the facts are known he is.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Another amazing demonstration of your legal expertise - conflating legal arguments with factual arguments.

Maybe you should go back to talking loud and pounding your hand on the table.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing this. Dems are blasting Sharron Angle for supposedly getting caught on video using exaggerated air quotes while she says the word "autism.""

I agree with you. I'm more concerned with her comment about how she shouldn't have to pay for maternity coverage because she's not going to have any more babies.

Since she believes that women who are raped should make lemons into lemonade and carry any pregnancy to term.....does this mean that she thinks all women of child bearing age should be forced to carry maternity coverage?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | September 23, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Another amazing demonstration of your legal expertise - conflating legal arguments with factual arguments."

Well do enlighten us and explain how one is legal and the other factual. Or perhaps wb the legal scholar will step in and explain. Please include an explanation of the hundreds of cases in which the Court has sought to determine the intent of Congress from the legislative record, i.e., what the members of Congress said they were trying to do.

The legal world awaits your instruction.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Clearly a legal argument -

"are you lying now, or were you lying then, and aren't you, sir, a pathological and incorrigible liar?"

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad I get to see the democratic talking points - and how the democrats try to spin everything.


AND there is a tone-deaf aspect running through everything. I would imagine this comes from the top - but who knows.

The economy is the most important issue - and the democrats just don't seem to get it. They just don't. They start to quibble about tax rates - and the velocity of money. (Yes - there is a term for it if the democrats talk and don't know the word)


The point is we have a Free Trade economy right now - and the talk about the New Deal - Keynsian economics - and all that - simply DOES NOT APPLY.


Add to this the False Charge that the Republicans want to get rid of entitlements - and there is a focus on the 1930s that just creates wrong ideas.

(did the Republicans include eliminating entitlements in their paper, N0, so one can stop the lies)

Anyway - the conclusion of any reasonable person is the economic team of the administration is in complete disarray.


Let me be clear: they don't know what they are doing.


We don't have the inside story on Summers, however I would guess that he was giving Obama and crew a story thta they didn't like -


What might that be? That the stimulus didn't work, more won't work - and tax cuts for the small businesses makes the most sense in this kind of economy.


However, that is just a guess - when one looks at the economic and the unrealistic nature of Obama and crew - it seems like that is how the conversations have gone.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Such a surprise, cmc has no answer and no way to back up his dopey argument.

But why don't you call up Holder and offer your insights as to how "not a tax" is a factual argument that can be distinguished from "is a tax," which is a legal argument. He will doubtlessly be glad you called.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"In other words, we won't come out and accuse Dems of skirting Constitutional authority, we'll just bog the legislation down by somehow challenging it in advance."

I think you are really confused about how legislation and judicial review work. Rs accuse Dems of skirting Constitutional authority, openly and proudly, both before and after legislation is passed. Ds do the same.

I don't see how citing the authority would change the legislative process or bog it down in any way. If Ds feel they have authority, it shouldn't be a problem citing it. For Obamacare, they claimed they were regulating interstate commerce.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1 10:10 AM


Debate in Congress has always included discussions on whether a potential law is Constitutional. So now the Republicans want to add some neutral opinion to the process.


Is that binding on the Courts ? No, it wouldn't be.


However, the Republicans want to make it a step in the process - on the level of the Congressional Budget Office "scoring" the impact of bills.


The democrats do not realize that there ARE Constitutional limitations out there.

,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Red State: "These 21 pages tell you lots of things, some contradictory things, but mostly this: it is a series of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama... It is dreck -- dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter. I like the butter, not the Brussels sprouts. Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten."

http://www.redstate.com/erick/2010/09/22/the-republicans-pledge-is-perhaps-the-most-ridiculous-thing-to-come-out-of-washington-since-george-mcclellan/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

NEWS FLASH


Israel is apparently boycotting Obama's speech. All their seats are empty at the UN.


I thought Israel got thrown out of the UN, but I guess I was wrong - I thought Israel was violating the international laws concerning occupied territories - an placing settlers in those areas - and that got them thrown out.


Well - apparently that is not right - Israel is still in the UN - and Israel is boycotting Obama's speech.


,

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"Shouting “Broken Promises KILL!” a group of LGBT and AIDS activists heckled President Obama as he began to speak at a NYC fundraising event that raised $1.4 million for his party and fellow Democrats seeking election this November.

“Some of those signs should be going up at the other folks’ events, and folks should be hollering at the other folks’ event. Because the choice in November could not be clearer,” the president said, according to the Associated Press.

The activists would not let up. Finally, the President said: “When I was running for office … maybe we gave people the wrong impression about how change happens.”

http://firedoglake.com/

This isn't going well at all.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Klein on the GOP's Pledge to America: "Their policy agenda is detailed and specific -- a decision they will almost certainly come to regret. Because when you get past the adjectives and soaring language, the talk of inalienable rights and constitutional guarantees, you're left with a set of hard promises that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars, take health-care insurance away from tens of millions of people, create a level of policy uncertainty businesses have never previously known, and suck demand out of an economy that's already got too little of it."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/the_gops_bad_idea.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

What else is new?

Here's a comparison of this recessions job creation to the last one to see how they equal up. Just remember though, 1000 jobs now != to 1000 jobs a decade ago in terms of percentages of able workers unemployed. I could do the same with the unemployment rate tonight.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_59luVgxXa9Y/TJrTps-783I/AAAAAAAAAM0/4OcNidsR1_I/s1600/jobs.JPG

Posted by: mikefromArlington | September 23, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"I don't see how citing the authority would change the legislative process or bog it down in any way."

Okay, if it's nothing new, why bother including it in a blueprint going forward? I just thought it was interesting and wondered if there was some new threshold they were trying to enact. It's apparently not that big of a deal since legislators already do it, so why bring it up?

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

HAAA! First Read OBLITERATES the obvious contradictions and fallacies in the Promise to Destroy America:

***The contradictions and the omissions: But the GOP’s blueprint also contains obvious contradictions. How does this demonstrate the GOP has new ideas when its first policy proposal is making the Bush tax cuts permanent? How do you reduce the deficit if you make those tax cuts permanent? Why work to ensure access for patients with pre-existing conditions if you repeal a law that already does that? Why push for tax cuts for small businesses when your party has opposed similar cuts that Democrats have offered? (Indeed, will House Republicans today vote for that Democratic measure?) And then there’s this: The document makes absolutely no mention about what to do regarding the war in Afghanistan. (It does talk about Iran and lumps immigration in their national security section). It also ignores what to do about Social Security and Medicare. And how do you truly address cutting government spending if you ignore Social Security and Medicare?

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/09/23/5162945-first-thoughts-the-pledge

Also, same link:

*** Health law provisions take effect: On the same day that the House GOP’s Pledge will vow to repeal the health-care law, many of its central provisions -- which are individually popular -- take effect. The New York Times: “Starting now, insurance companies will no longer be permitted to exclude children because of pre-existing health conditions, which the White House said could enable 72,000 uninsured to gain coverage. Insurers also will be prohibited from imposing lifetime limits on benefits. The law will now forbid insurers to drop sick and costly customers after discovering technical mistakes on applications. It requires that they offer coverage to children under 26 on their parents’ policies.”

Hmmm... widely beneficial health care law taking effect today... versus a jumbled, disingenuous MESS!

The contrast could not be more clear between the parties.

We have the ADULTS who are already leading the country in the right direction.

And the petulant whiny children who want to go back to the 2000-2006 era hyper-conservative, neoconservative, neoconfederate policies that screwed this country beyond belief.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

AP-GfK Poll: Independents as upset as Republicans

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/23/AR2010092300299.html

Stunning. Read it and weep. And remember that this analyzes Independents, not Liberals. I hope the changes in Obama's inner circle signal a new approach but, frankly, I'm not very optimistic about that. The White House seems to think it's doing great and people are too dumb to realize it. And THAT is a recipe for a colossal implosion. Wake up before it's too late. Please.

Posted by: wbgonne | September 23, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

"GOP: Same Old Agenda"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQYbxoFeCS4

Awesome vid released by Dem Rapid Response team. Check it out.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Gee, I'm no legal scholar on your level, nickel, but it seems to me you might have actually stumbled on something here. Whether something is or is not a tax would be a legal argument and if I say, as a matter of my opinion of the law, that it is or is not a tax, would not be relevant to the Court, unless, of course I was offering expert testimony which only you could possibly be qualified to offer. So, if a politician, in the course of arguing his case for the passage of particular legislation states that it is not a tax and the guy on the other side of the political argument says, well of course it's a tax, a Court perhaps would be asked to settle this difference of opinion as a matter of law.

But that's just my humble opinion on the matter.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Obama's administration is in complete disarray.


Has anyone been following this? The National Security team believes that Obama's policies in Afghanistan and on domestic terrorism are COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC.


There NO economic policy. "50 Billion more for stimulus" is not a policy - its ridiculous.

ONE has to ask - what part of the administration is working properly? None. Health care has the nation angry. A bunch of quibbling about tax rates will probably lose more votes than gain.


So WHAT is Obama doing right ? Nothing. WE are in the middle of the GREAT OBAMA STAGNATION.

Obama is off making speeches again - this time telling the UN that what he is proposing "has never been done before" - and yet it sounds like everything else.

Obama is a complete disaster. What are they doing over there? What is this administration think it is doing ? The GREAT OBAMA STAGNATION - Obama is doing nothing about that.


Companies are not hiring because they don't know what their health care costs will be.


So what do we have? Obama making ANOTHER speech, this time in a backyard, - (no pool) and Obama was touting all these EXPENSIVE new laws.


WHAT Obama didn't say is that insurance companies have to PAY for all these new benefits - and those costs will be passed onto people who ARE PAYING.


At the same time - Obama appears to have a whole bunch of new benefits for people WHO ARE NOT PAYING.


Those COSTS have to go somewhere.


Anyway - reasonable people have to come to the conclusion that Obama really does not understand what he is doing.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I'm back on Social Security watch and caught a great assessment of the issue from Joshua Holland. It's a nice overview of where we stand today if anyone's interested.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Just how effective is the corporate Right’s campaign to terrify the public into believing in their all-encompassing “entitlement crisis”? So much so that the standard rallying cry among even savvy progressives has been that we need to “strengthen Social Security now for the future.” The truth is we don’t need to do anything anytime soon; while the $5.4 trillion "shortfall" projected over the next 75 years is a scary number, it represents just 0.7 percent of the country’s total economic output over that period, according to the trustees’ assumptions. And the annual gap can be fixed anytime. Even if nothing at all were done before then, the program’s 2084 shortfall would represent only 1.4 percent of our economic output (in a country that currently has the 27th lowest tax burden out of the 30 wealthy countries of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development)."

http://www.alternet.org/economy/148260/social_security_con_artists_are_lying_about_one_of_the_strongest_arms_of_the_program/?page=3

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

His conclusion is pretty compelling also.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"These are all things to keep in mind when digesting the granny-bashing blather emanating from Washington. And consider, too, that the entirety of the 75-year “Social Security gap” is equal to the value of extending George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. As the Center for Budgets and Policy Priorities pointed out, “Members of Congress cannot simultaneously claim that the tax cuts for people at the top are affordable while the Social Security shortfall constitutes a dire fiscal threat.” But that’s just what they’re doing."

Posted by: lmsinca | September 23, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

And if Congress passes a law attaches a ridiculous statement that it believes that law is Constitutional as a matter of equal protection, certainly it will incumbent upon the Attorney General to argue that it is also Constitutional under interstate commerce or whatever other legal theory may apply.

Or do you think that Congress should be required to state EVERY POSSIBLE theory under which a particular law MIGHT be constitutional? If that's the case, I have a strong suspicion that the safest course would be to just say, "we think it's constitutional," which, of course, they implicitly do every time they pass a law.

Perhaps you could also add, at the end, "I'm the nickel, master legal scholar without doubt, and I approve this legislation." That should do it, right?

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

quarterback1 10:02 AM


Don't get me wrong - I believe the health care bill is unconsitutional because of the Interstate Commerce clause - and that health care has traditionally been the domain of the states.


However, the tax question is interesting -

How can a tax be required to be paid to a private entity? That makes little sense.


Conversely - would a tax to a public option account then be Constitutional - because that account would be a part of the government ?


A few thoughts: Public appropriations must be approved by Congress - and for no longer than two years.

So, if taxes are required to be paid to a private entity, then Congress has assigned its powers to spend that money to that private entity - that can not be Constitutional.


Furthermore, a public entity would - in theory - contract out insurance services which would have to be bid out on a competitive basis. This would give that entity PURCHASING POWER. In a sense, by making individuals go into the market by themselves, Congress has given up that potential Purchasing power.


Obviously, a public entity does NOT have to contract out insurance services, instead, such an entity could pay out the claims on its own - and make rules concerning those claims.


So - again HERE is another function of Congress - the rules concerning the claims of the "tax" money - which Congress has now assigned out to a private entity.


Apparently, Obama has an added layer - a regulator in the form of the Department of Health and Human Services in the middle of it all - (apparently that adds efficiency)

CONCLUSION - How can it be a tax if Congress is not spending the money ?

Furthermore, Congress can only appropriate money for a MAXIMUM of two years - so setting up a system - a regulatory system of HOW to spend that money - for GREATER than two years - is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Thank you

Thank you very much.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

But that brings me back to another of your stupid statements - "are you lying now, or were you lying then, and aren't you, sir, a pathological and incorrigible liar?"

Death panels anyone?


Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The big news on that video is at the very end, that Sharron Angle wants to get rid of insurance coverage for maternity leave. Reid should publicize that to the hilt as an example of her far-out whacko plans--

“How about maternity leave?” she continued. “I'm not going to have any more babies, but I sure get to pay for it on my insurance. Those are the kinds of things that we want to get rid of.”

Posted by: jw456 | September 23, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

cmccauley60 10:48 AM

There are Separation of Powers issues here - the Executive branch can do whatever it wants.

The Judiciary can do whatever it wants.


The statement on Contitutionality will be more like the Congressional Budget Office "scoring" a bill - and saying how much it will cost. It really won't be binding down the road.


It's not like when a bill that has been "scored" hits that number, the spending stops.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The Great Obama Stagnation


The democrats simply do not realize how much ECONOMIC GROWTH has been choked off by Obama's health care plan -


Companies do not know what their health care costs will be - so that is a DRAG ON HIRING.


This is HURTING THE ECONOMY - and reducing demand overall.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

There you go, nickel, our other resident genius has it all figured.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Such a surprise, the nickel has no answer and no way to back up his dopey argument.

Posted by: cmccauley60 | September 23, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

We Progressive Patriots have now raised:

$155 for Russ Feingold

$90 for Chris Coons

$130 for Alan Grayson

Please help if you can, any amount is great!

http://www.actblue.com/page/plcommunity

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If you don't hold a goddamn vote then the only thing that's going to be clear is you wanted tax hikes for everyone. Excuse my language but are the Democrats ever going to realize that if you never, ever stand up for the little guy, the little guy is not going to believe you when you say you do.

The level of governance in America right now is beyond tragic. Next thing the Republican will get in, the government will shut down and eventually everyone can find out what a massive economic failure really looks like. Except for the 1% of the population that have been allowed to steal the wealth of the entire nation. It's their money, dont'cha know.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | September 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

* Warren Buffett: Raise Taxes On The Rich, Already! *

Billionaire Warren Buffett thinks that the Bush-era tax cuts for the superrich have had their day. Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and one of the richest people in America, told Politico's Mike Allen after a small business program commencement ceremony at LaGuardia Community College, in Long Island City, Queens that it takes time for economic "wounds" to heal. He said he still supports President Obama.

"I'd vote for him all over again. ... I think he's got the same vision about America I do. ... I think he has the same social goals, very much, that I do," Politico reported.

[...]

"I think there should be tax increases for people in the high income levels," he said.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/warren-buffett-raise-taxes-on-the-rich-already.php

Ben Nelson has ZERO EXCUSE for not backing the Obama Middle Class Tax Cut plan.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Ethan

Read Woodward's book - tell us if Adults are running the country.


You can not be serious.


The problem is the liberals are unrealistic with REALITY - hence they act like children.

.
.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | September 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I'll keep this really simple, cmc, as close as I can keep it to simpleton level.

If an act of Congress explicitly states what Constitutional authority it is purporting to exercise, it is very likely the Court would consider that statement relevant to questions of its constitutionality and even questions of its application. That's all an ignorant person like you really needs to know.

It is also a way to make the legislative process more transparent and disciplined, in the eyes of conservatives, who tend to believe Congress has ignored its limitations these past 80 years.

Posted by: quarterback1 | September 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

All, I've got the section from Woodward's book on Obama's "absorb a terrorist attack" quote, and it shows the right's criticism is bogus:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/full_context_of_obamas_absorb.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | September 23, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Wow between qb and rainforest, this place is a pigsty.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | September 23, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

"Read Woodward's book - tell us if Adults are running the country."

I read it. They are. They are called Democrats.

You, on the other hand. You're a petulant child. You lack basic intelligence necessary to understand the world around you. And you call yourself SaveTheRainorest, but you want to slash and burn the rainforest and allow corporations to pollute the Earth. You are a liar and a cheat and you are incapable of normal thought.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | September 23, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow between qb and rainforest, this place is a pigsty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No doubt about it.

Posted by: nisleib | September 23, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"And over in the House, it looks like Steny Hoyer may be the lead culprit in urging House Dems not to be aggressive in framing the choice between the parties in the runup to the midterms."

Hoyer is a worthless piece of crap. I guess he's happy being in the minority again. He is a perfect exampla of what Chris Hayes refers to as Dems who are " politically, morally, logically bankrupt that it beggars belief."
The tragedy of our political system is that we have only two parties, one who has spent the last 30 years purposefully destroying the middle class to appease their corporate masters, and the other party filled with acquiescent geldings.

Posted by: filmnoia | September 23, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

typical liberal:
===========
ow between qb and rainforest, this place is a pigsty.

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | September 23, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

=========================

No doubt BS here has extensive experience within pigsties. What time do they normally slop you pal?

Oh and just a reminder to BS and other snarling nasty liberals: Pigs get fed, hogs get slaughtered. So by all means, go for a tax hike now. The price of bacon will plummet due to the increase in supply.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | September 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

@bullsmith: "Wow between qb and rainforest, this place is a pigsty."

As some might say, lumping STRF and qb together is a "false equivalency".

QB replies to actual comments, stays on topic, demonstrates a level of invective and condescension that is, for the most part, proportionate to how he is treated, and never tries to sell anybody a brand name handbag.

:)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | September 23, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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