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9/26/2009
YOUNG, STUPID THINK PROGRESS RESEARCHER LOSES SANITY IN PUBLIC

Hey - not a bad impersonation of a Think Progress headline, don’t you think? And as I always say…”If you ‘Think Progress,’ Think Idiocy!”

What set me off was this head shaking headline:

Uninsured 22-Year-Old Boehner Constituent Dies From Swine Flu

The copy is predictably bloodcurdling:

A 22-year-old woman from Oxford, Ohio, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Kimberly Young graduated from Miami University in December and continued to live in Oxford, Ohio, within Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional distrct. Reports now indicate that after initially getting sick, Young put off treatment because she was uninsured…

Oh my GOD! Is this true? Did someone really DIE in a Republican Congressman’s DISTRICT!

Liberals were right when they warned us that Republicans opposed health insurance reforms because they want you to die. That poor young girl should have listened. If she had only had the courage to go against the wishes of her Congressman and buy health insurance, she would be alive today. But Boehner is a sneaky one. He used all of his wiles, all of his GOP MoJo Magic to make that poor girl decide that at age 22, she was indestructible and didn’t need health insurance - a waste of money, that.

After all, no other 22 year olds in the entire United States have made similar decisions, right? Only in GOP congressional districts are 22 year olds under the spell of evil GOPers and are mesmerized into believing they don’t need insurance and that getting it would be a waste. They’d rather spend their limited income on luxuries like housing and food.

Oh, wait…:

There are plenty of reasons people go without health insurance, but no group has more cause than 20-somethings. These young adults are less likely to be offered employer-based coverage, earn less money to buy insurance on their own, are generally healthy and spend little time worrying about the worst-case scenarios that could befall them.

No wonder, then, that this age group has the highest uninsured rate of any cohort in the U.S. population: some 13 million Americans ages 19 to 29 - or 1 in 3 - lack coverage. That’s a scary number, and not just because any of them could end up needing serious medical care for an unforeseen illness or accident. The willingness of young people to forgo insurance, it turns out, is a major problem for the entire health-care system, which needs them on the rolls to help spread out risk and keep older Americans’ premiums from going even higher. Young adults, after all, are less likely than older generations to need health care, meaning insurance companies can charge them low premiums and, in most cases, sit back and collect without much risk of paying out for health-care services.

What a dick, this Victor Zapanta, fellow is. Identified as a “researcher” for CAP, Zapanta is a blooded political activist having worked for both Clinton and Obama in 2008. Someone should teach this kid what it is a “researcher” does. What they don’t do is smear people based on the most outrageous number of degrees of separation - except in the hyper-partisan world of Think Progress where every raindrop that falls in New York is responsible for a flood in California. That’s actually a more realistic connection to reality than Zapanta’s wretched attempt at guilt by non-existent association.

Let’s take Mr. Zapanta’s technique and apply it in another direction shall we?

467 Chicagoans Murdered in 2006 While Obama Was Senator

While Barack Obama sat in the senate supporting gun control, 467 Chicagoans were murdered needlessly because they couldn’t defend themselves. These poor victims were denied their constitutional right of self defense because they were represented by a senator who hates the constitution and wants to keep guns out of their hands that almost certainly would have saved their lives.

Another 442 Chicagoans were murdered in 2007…

It needs a little work. I don’t quite have the accusatory tone down right, don’t you think?

The idea that Boehner’s opposition to health care reform - or that anything Boehner has ever said or done - is in any way responsible for this young girl’s death is unbelievably calumnious and so off base as to be beyond the pale of rationality, of reason, and logic. The notion that Think Progress is connected in any way to an organization - The Center for American Progress - that is supposed to be a serious place for the study and promotion of public policy is a disgrace to intellectual honesty, a blot on our public discourse, and an affront to the decency of our democracy.

If you were to peruse the archives of this uber-partisan rag, you would find literally hundreds of similar off the wall headlines that are not meant to inform, or even to attack based on facts, but rather to simply smear in the most vile and distorted manner. It is the worst of politics, and given their connection to a supposedly august think tank, beneath contempt.

I don’t want to hear that the right does it. I will turn around the argument I make to conservatives and say, “So you want to ape the worst tactics of your opponent? How idiotic is that?” Indeed, if there is one thing about both right and left extremist partisans that is becoming more and more clear, they are interchangeable in their ignorance and stupidity.

I know I’m pissing in the wind here but God help us if blogs like Think Progress and their righty counterparts ever achieve more influence than they currently enjoy. Rational discourse, so polluted now with bilious rants and wildly exaggerated and distorted attacks, would disappear entirely and all that would be left would be two sides hurling rocks at each other across a great chasm of hate and distrust.

By: Rick Moran at 1:44 pm
40 Responses to “YOUNG, STUPID THINK PROGRESS RESEARCHER LOSES SANITY IN PUBLIC”
  1. 1
    busboy33 Said:
    3:52 pm 

    Wow . . . nothing really makes the point about liberals making up hysterical nonsense like conservatives making up hysterical nonsense. Really drives the point home.

    “to make that poor girl decide that at age 22, she was indestructible and didn’t need health insurance - a waste of money, that.”

    And that’s exactly what the article you linked to said:

    “Young became ill about two weeks ago, but didn’t seek care initially because she didn’t have health insurance and was worried about the cost, according to Brent Mowery, her friend and former roommate.”

    Well okay, it’s not even remotely like what the article said. But then . . . you knew that, didn’t you?

    There is a bit of a difference between “I feel that the likelyhood of medical necessity is so remote I can use my extra money for that trip to Cancun rather than invest in health insurance” and “I’d really like health insurance, but since I absolutely need to eat and pay rent, and I can only afford to do two of the three, I guess I’ll just have to pray I don’t get sick.” Since the article doesn’t make clear which of these two wildly overblown scenarios the facts fit, I guess you can just make up whatever you want, right?

    Please jump to the hysterical unsupported extreme to make your rational point. And then mock the author for doing the same thing. Its the irony of the scenario that really makes it funny, in an “I’m embarassed to be witnessing this” sort of way.

    What is it about the healthcare debate that makes you freak the hell out? With you sometimes its literally Jekyll and Hyde. Just because you oppose national healthcare doesn’t mean every aspect of the the issue is lies/poisonous/seditious/evil.

    What does Boehner have to do with this young woman’s death? Absolutely nothing - zero, nada, zilch. This young woman died tragically - a needless death - not because she didn’t have health insurance but because she was not aware that help was available at a free clinic.

    http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/leftists-gleefully-exploit-college.html

    The attempt to connect Boehner to this tragedy is beyond belief. That’s why I went over the top with it. And I also think it high time that the Center for American Progress - an honorable intellectual institution - change their relationship with this guttersnipe of a blog. The sewer rats who run Think Progress are doing nothing but sliming their parent with the stench of their hyper partisan smears. And it’s time for CAP to put an end to their filth.

    I do not believe in mandates. I think they are inimical to personal liberty. One of the positive items in the Baucus plan is to allow insurance companies to offer packages to the “young invincibles” like this 22 year old woman that fall short of the kind of comprehensive coverage demanded by the current plans for mandates and are much cheaper. I would support such coverage. But liberals in Congress and on the internet oppose this plan so before they go blaming Boehner, maybe they should look in a mirror.

    ed.

  2. 2
    Richard bottoms Said:
    4:37 pm 

    I do not believe in mandates.

    Like license plates, or the license to drive a car?

    The mandate for health insurance will operate just like the mandate to pay SSI if you have a job. It will appear as $19 out of every paycheck or less than the cost of two tickets to the movies.

    I know conservatives love to make such things sound like the end of the world.

    But then the same thing was said when seat belts became the law and the automotive industry said it would bankrupt them.

    Why must you exaggerate everything? The auto industry didn’t say it would bankrupt them. If that is your interpretation, then you are an idiot, I’m sorry, there’s no other way to put it.

    But you don’t believe that. You exaggerate because you cannot argue any other way. I pity you.

    ed.

  3. 3
    Richard bottoms Said:
    6:10 pm 

    Why exaggerate the exaggeration.

    The auto industry spent millions to first fight seat belts, then millions more to fight airbags, even crash resistant bumpers. All safety innovations that have saved countless lives.

    Their only motive: greed.

    Their willing allies are absolutists who believe all mandates on business to be an intolerable intrusion.

    It’s hard to believe it now but the only reason seatbelts are mandatory is because the auto industry agreed to them as a bulwark against airbags.

    The common sense idea that you should protect yourself when driving became law to help stall the introduction of an even better safety device.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation has ruled that air bags or other automatic restraints must be installed in all new cars unless states representing two-thirds of the nation’s population pass seat belt laws by 1989.

    Auto makers, who have been fighting the introduction of air bags for nearly a decade as too costly and only marginally effective, have gone a long way toward their goal of bypassing the federal regulations. In recent months, they have successfully lobbied for mandatory seat belt laws in the big states of New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Similar measures are pending in 32 other states.

    California, representing 10% of the nation’s population, promises to provide a pivotal high-stakes test for the auto industry’s political prowess.

    ‘Well on Their Way’

    “If they get this 10% they are well on their way,” said George Tye, a lobbyist representing an influential coalition of insurance companies that, together with consumer groups, favor air bags and oppose the auto makers’ efforts. “If they do not get California, they will have real trouble coming up with that two-thirds.”

    Loren Smith, a lobbyist directing the auto makers’ California campaign, conceded that it is “probably the most important state in the union in regard to these seat belt laws . . . and it’s a target state.”

    Bankrupt them, no. But car companies didn’t spent millions to fight a common sense rule for any other reason other than greed.

    Your opposition to mandates is quite genuine I am sure. And that’s the point of my post.

    It is being used by Aetna, Blue Cross, and every other insurnace conglomerates to keep their profits high and to forestall mandates to cover everyone.

    An extra $19 out over every paycheck to ensure no matter what, everyone 18 or older has insurance is common sense. It may grate on your principles but it is hardly the end of the world.

  4. 4
    Richard bottoms Said:
    6:25 pm 

    BTW, this is just how the GOP using the anti-abortion issue.

    “One more election my friends, just another $100 of your hard earned cash and we’ll have a Congress that will legislate Roe v. Wade out of existence. We’ll finally seat a Supreme Court to overturn it.” But that day never comes.

    And just like the insurnace firms know eventually they will lose (same as Big Tobacco lost), they keep the suckers ponying up the cash to fight that evil “socialism”.

    They are using you, and they know it. The only person who doesn’t know it is you.

  5. 5
    glasnost Said:
    9:08 pm 

    I don’t know what you’re smoking, Rich, but I don’t want any of it. In order to make any version of this story - a completely legit and important story, which is, as follows:

    “Textbook Example - Young Photogenic Cute Person Dies from Preventable Sickness B/C She Was Afraid of the Expense Of Treatment, While Her Local Politician Fights To Kill Laws That Would Help Her”

    Then it has to be a someone who doesn’t actually support health care reform. If it was in Nancy Pelosi’s district, than the story would have to be either

    “Cute girl Dies While Politician Fights To Make Sure Fewer People Die For The Same Reasons”.

    Which is a less interesting story. Controversy sells, man.

    Anyway, what exactly are you worked up about? They went wayyyyyyy easy on Boehner. They hardly used language like a Malkin, or even like you. They mentioned the fact that she was in Boehner’s district, and they pointed out that he doesn’t support something that threatens his citizens. If said Malkin runs - and she would, in a heartbeat - a report about how Nancy Pelosi doesn’t support some legislation to go deport Mexicans while Mexicans are out in San Fran mugging and raping her citizens - I would trash her for unfairly singling out Mexicans, for not looking at Pelosi’s good reasons for not wanting to deport Mexicans, yada yada, but the basic argument “politician resists law meant to fix problems suffered by his constituents” is in no way out of bounds. Nor could it be out of bounds. Nor *should* it be out of bounds. That’s, um, the essence of journalism.

    You’re way out of line. It may have set you off, but that doesn’t make you right to be set off. Politicans kill laws that would save people’s lives all the time, sometimes even for perfectly defensible reasons. It’s ugly to point it out, but it’s perfectly legitimate. Real life is ugly, and in real life we all let people die because we don’t give a damn. Let Boehner take it like a man.

  6. 6
    busboy33 Said:
    10:45 pm 

    No question Boehner didn’t have anything to do with this girl’s death. Hell, if healthcare reform had been passed months ago with a unanimous vote, she STILL wouldn’t have had any coverage yet so the current debate is to a very real extent irrevelant to her death. No argument there.

    Philosophically, mandates are anathema to personal liberty by definition. However, issues of community need require mandates, and always have. “The Tragedy of the Commons” is probably the most standard illustration of the need for mandates:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons

    Yes, there were free clinics this lady could have gone to. Have you ever gone to a free clinic? I have. Maybe she couldn’t take 12 hours off from work to be seen by a doctor.

    Who pays for “free” clinics? Sure, they take donations . . . but the majority of their funding comes from the government. Paid for by taxes or other government revenue sources (like the Tobacco Settlement). Government-funded health care. Remember, the thing that she should have used government-funded health care to avoid?

    The B-Plan of requiring everybody to buy private insurance (especially with no price controls) is disgusting. Ordering me to give a private company profits is literally “wealth re-distribution” in the most Un-American sense.

    But what about the public option? “Medicare for All”, as the pollsters like to phrase it to make it more appealing?

    The first question is “should everybody have healthcare”? If you say no, then that’s one thing. But if you say “no”, then are you opposed to Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP, to government-funded clinics, to “must treat” Emergency Room rules?
    If you think (as I do) that it is necessary to call ourselves a moral society, then we can quibble about the details — cost, procedures, coverage, etc. But that’s an ENTIRELY different conversation than “Universal Coverage is Teh Deebil!!”

    “It would be bad for private insurance companies”. You know what? Fu@k ‘em. I’m all for companies making a profit (working with a start-up right now, and we’re certainly trying to make a profit). Recalling the Corvair was “bad” for the manufacturer. Requiring sanitary conditions was “bad” for the food-processing industry. Imposing restrictions on credit-swap derivatives is “bad” for financial institutions. Too God-damn bad.

    If you are opposed to Universal coverage, then why care about the availability of free clinics? No coverage . . . you die if you get seriously ill. Period. That’s life. People are gonna drop dead from treatable problems. If that’s what you’re promoting, then bite the bullet and just chalk the dead and dying up to “cost of living in the Greatrest Country In The World”.
    If you’re NOT advocating for that . . . then you’ve got people that you believe SHOULD be able to receive treatment (if for no other reason than so they don’t infect others), and many can’t. Maybe this lady could. Maybe this lady couldn’t. A free clinic doesn’t mean that everybody within 50 miles of the clinic is gold in regards to health care.

    If you don’t want a public option, and you don’t want mandates, and you don’t believe that Americans should be left to die . . . what DO you think is the solution?

  7. 7
    Six Said:
    10:51 pm 

    Here’s the flaw in your automobile comparison richard. I can choose whether or not to own or drive a car. If I choose to own one then I choose to pay all the associated costs and accept all the attached regulations, like seatbelts and insurance. Choose being the operative word here.

    The problem with mandated health care is that I no longer get to choose whether or not I will participate. I can’t opt for a bicycle, or the bus or shanks mare. I must pay or conceivably go to jail. It may or may not be 19 dollars but even if it is, it’s my 19 dollars. Not yours, mine. If you come up to me on the street and demand 19 dollars every time I get paid it’s called robbery or extortion. If you now argue that I already pay thousands in other taxes you’d be absolutely right. My response would be, maybe the government should stop taxing me to death. That is not a reasonable excuse to add one more tax on top of what I already pay.
    I’m a grown up adult person and solely responsible for my own success or failure. For what I choose to buy or own and for what I choose not to.
    As for the girl in the story. I’m sorry she’s dead. I wish she had availed herself of a local hospital where they are legally mandated (Hey, there’s that word again. Maybe we already have mandated health care) to give her treatment. She made a choice. It was a tragic one but no more tragic than a citizen who sees it as his or her duty to join the military and fight for their country and gets killed in the process.
    America is all about choices. It’s called Freedom.

  8. 8
    Six Said:
    11:04 pm 

    “If you don’t want a public option, and you don’t want mandates, and you don’t believe that Americans should be left to die . . . what DO you think is the solution?”

    The solution is to de-regulate the industry and allow the free market to work. Allow companies to compete across state lines. In the competition to make a buck you’ll see low cost options abound.
    Pass comprehensive tort reform. Lawyers are getting rich on the backs of both doctors and insurance customers. I’m not talking about reasonable settlements for people injured by actual malpractice but there’s a lot of room for improvement. Something along the lines of loser pays perhaps.

  9. 9
    Richard bottoms Said:
    11:10 pm 

    The problem with mandated health care is that I no longer get to choose whether or not I will participate.

    True, but that doesn’t bother me at all, any more than mandating contributions to Social Security.

    I am not disputing that there is a philosophical argument to be made against the mandate. I am simply saying the people who believe it should be mandated won the last election (pretty handilly I might add) so they intend to set about doing what was run on.

    That’s how it works in America.

    If you run on banning taxpayer support for clinics in the third world that include abortion however much I think that it is a bad idea, if you are George Bush and you have Republican control of the congress you get to have your way.

    If you want to go to war with Iraq and you are in charge, we go to war. Tax cuts for the wealthy, done.

    Similarly, if Barrack Obama wins the presidency and he has the votes to put his agenda into law, into law it gets put. It won’t be at the point of a gun or with squads of Gurkha blue helmets rounding up opponents into interment camps. It will done by a vote in Congress by duly elected officials.

    See you in 2012 if you don’t like it.

  10. 10
    Richard bottoms Said:
    11:22 pm 

    The solution is to de-regulate the industry and allow the free market to work. Allow companies to compete across state lines. In the competition to make a buck you’ll see low cost options abound.

    Ah yes, we see how well deregulation worked for electricity in California a few years back. >>Enron, cough<<<

    Funny how there aren’t too many Republican politicians extolling deregulation’s virtues, especially in California these days. (Do a Nexus/Lexis search and let me know how many times Meg Whitman comes out for deregulation of anything in 2010.)

    The American political systems allows you full access to have your say and for the people who oppose your position to ignore it in favor of theirs.

    Not Communism. Not Socialism. Not Fascism.

    We won. W O N. Beat you. Threw your team out of the majority and put ours in. At noon, January 20th 2009 you lost the power to set the agenda for at least four years. Kindly, Suck It Up, and stop freaking out over the unfairness of it all for God’s sake.

    See you at the ballot box next time around. I know you don’t have to like it any more than I liked Reagan, Bush I or Bush II. But whatever you do, don’t tell me what Obama is doing is un-American.

    It couldn’t be more American to be given the chance to enact an agenda that you told the people you would do if elected.

  11. 11
    PoliGazette » Think Progress Studies Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals As Well Pinged With:
    7:03 am 

    [...] Moran reacts rather wonderfully to the inflammatory headline: ”oh my GOD! Is this true? Did someone [...]

  12. 12
    Six Said:
    10:19 am 

    “True, but that doesn’t bother me at all, any more than mandating contributions to Social Security.”

    I know and that’s the pity. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need eh? Where have I heard that before?

    “I am not disputing that there is a philosophical argument to be made against the mandate. I am simply saying the people who believe it should be mandated won the last election (pretty handilly I might add) so they intend to set about doing what was run on.”

    Majority rules?

    “That’s how it works in America.”

    Actually no, it’s not. See we’re not, not, not a true democracy, we’re a Constitutional Representative Republic. Look up Rule Of Law. Government is required to do certain things (i.e. provide for a common defense) and forbidden from doing others (anything and everything not specifically permitted). It’s to protect the citizenry from the tyranny of the majority. See, if a majority of people learn they can vote themselves the treasury they will. Rule of law stops that kind of thing. Like mandates.

    If you want to trash the Constitution then stop being coy. Step up and declare it. If not then step up and defend the rule of law.

    That’s how America works.

  13. 13
    Leftists Gleefully Exploit Death of 22 Year-Old Kimberly Young | Right Wing News Pinged With:
    10:21 am 

    [...] Added: See also, Right Wing Nut House, “YOUNG, STUPID THINK PROGRESS RESEARCHER LOSES SANITY IN PUBLIC“: [...]

  14. 14
    Bill Said:
    10:28 am 

    The supply of electrical in California would never have been a problem if the market had been deregulated — the problem occurred because half the market was deregulated and the other half was not; an impossible situation.

    You are correct that the Democrats won the last election, and can pass laws; those laws must pass Constitutional muster.

    We are opining that the proposed laws are not Constitutional. You have no right to make me buy anything.

  15. 15
    Six Said:
    10:52 am 

    “Bankrupt them, no. But car companies didn’t spent millions to fight a common sense rule for any other reason other than greed.”

    I love this kind of reasoning. It’s so classically liberal.
    Car companies do not pay for new safety features, consumers do.
    This just drives me to distraction. Big Business does not reduce profit, they pass costs on to consumers.

    If you want to say Big Auto resisted air bags because they’re uncaring and want people to die it’s actually more intellectually honest than the greed theory.

    Tired, liberal rhetoric. Been wrong for 50 years. Be wrong for another 50 I suspect.

  16. 16
    digitusmedius Said:
    1:19 pm 

    Murders and health care….yeah, exactly the same. Brilliant.

  17. 17
    digitusmedius Said:
    1:25 pm 

    Sooo, the government has no constitutional power to mandate mandates, eh? That would make the military draft unconstitutional. It would make the requirement to register to vote unconstitutional. It would make actually being a citizen unconstitutional. This is a fun game. Anyone have any other unconstitutional mandates under which we currently suffer?

  18. 18
    Ruby Slippers Trackbacked With:
    1:29 pm 

    Liberals Politicize Death Based on Manipulated Media Reports to Sell a Failing Agenda…

    Early on Saturday, a Think Progress report by Victor Zapanta was linked at Memeorandum . The grossly irresponsible headline, \”Uninsured 22-Year-Old Boehner Constituent Dies From Swine Flu,\” betrayed Zapanta\’s dishonest attempt to draw a caus…

  19. 19
    glasnost Said:
    1:29 pm 

    Big Business does not reduce profit, they pass costs on to consumers.

    As an axiom, this is an absurd statement. If it was completely true, no profit margin of any company would ever fall throughout the history of its existence.

    Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. And that doesn’t even get into situations where the costs of such a regulation are equaled by the reduction of costs *somwhere else*!!!, with neither margins *or* net prices changing at all.

    Please be so kind as to never throw around this dumb bullshit as an axiom again. Thanks.

  20. 20
    Six Said:
    1:55 pm 

    “Sooo, the government has no constitutional power to mandate mandates, eh? That would make the military draft unconstitutional. It would make the requirement to register to vote unconstitutional. It would make actually being a citizen unconstitutional. This is a fun game. Anyone have any other unconstitutional mandates under which we currently suffer?”

    Fail. The Conscription Act was passed in 1917 and the Supreme Court ruled in 1918 that it was not unconstitutional.

    Fail. The United States Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed literacy tests and provided for federal registration of African-American voters in areas that had less than 50% of eligible voters registered. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on August 6, 1965.
    Epic Fail. Make being a citizen unconstitutional? You have to be kidding me. No one is that ignorant.

    You’re right, this is fun.

  21. 21
    digitusmedius Said:
    2:07 pm 

    So those laws, as is the 16th amendment, are constitutional in your view? Therefore, the government, through the proper constitutional procedures, does indeed have the right to mandate that the people do or pay for certain things.

  22. 22
    digitusmedius Said:
    2:28 pm 

    BTW, I don’t believe there’s anything in the Constitution that requires anyone to be a citizen in order to live here. I’d be happy to be directed to that “mandate” in the Constitution if anyone cares to so direct me.

  23. 23
    digitusmedius Said:
    2:40 pm 

    The supply of electrical in California would never have been a problem if the market had been deregulated — the problem occurred because half the market was deregulated and the other half was not; an impossible situation.

    And why not fully regulated rather than fully deregulated? Oh, right, because deregulation is always better. That’s why we should remove even the pretty much worthless regulations on the banking and finance industry because it’s so self-evident that it was the weak regulations in that sector that motivated it to run hog wild with everyone else’s money. If there had been absolutely no regulation of that sector, it would have behaved much more responsibly and we’d all be millionaires now.

  24. 24
    digitusmedius Said:
    2:45 pm 

    “Make being a citizen unconstitutional?”

    I see my wording was imprecise. What I meant to convey was that mandating citizenship to in this country would be unconstitutional since there’s nothing in the Constitution that requires naturalization in order to enter and live here.

  25. 25
    Richard bottoms Said:
    2:56 pm 

    You are correct that the Democrats won the last election, and can pass laws; those laws must pass Constitutional muster.

    True. Obama passes his bill.

    You guys sue, it goes to the Supreme Court and we either win or lose.

    Rinse and repeat.

    Of course by the time it gets there Obama will have appointed Justice #2 so I am not awfully worried about the outcome before the court.

    But win or lose before the court we are following our system of law making and constitutional testing. We’re not the ones freaking out about the whole thing.

    It doesn’t bother me if Rick or anyone else disagrees with the mandates. If our guys have the votes to pass it and the Supreme Court says it’s legal we win.

    If the Supreme Court says it doesn’t pass constitutional muster we adjust it until it does. The longer it goes on the louder and crazier the opposition will become to the detriment of scaring off swing voters from the GOP.

  26. 26
    busboy33 Said:
    3:06 pm 

    @Six:

    “If you come up to me on the street and demand 19 dollars every time I get paid it’s called robbery or extortion.”

    True . . . but there’s a small flaw in your analogy: I’m not the government.

    You get “robbed” every paycheck for the police, the fire department, roads, schools, national defense, education, retirement benefits, etc. If that’s the analogy you’re going with (btw, I love the image . . . its so classically right-wing), do you favor me opting out of those as well? Why is this “robbery” and those “doing your fair share”? What distinguishes healthcare from national defense? From infrastructure?

    “I’m a grown up adult person and solely responsible for my own success or failure. For what I choose to buy or own and for what I choose not to.”

    Yes, you are an adult (I’ll take your word for that since I don’t know you). No, you’re not solely responsible for your success or failure. That’s why I linked the “Commons” analogy above, as an illustration.
    Another hypothetical: You run a Mom+Pop store. You run it well, and you make a profit of off it. The building next to you catches fire. The fire is going to spread to your store. You stand outside with a garden hose (presuming that you were able to get there in time to be standing there with a garden hose) but that ain’t gonna cut it. You need a fire department to save your efforts. You can’t afford a couple of hundred thousand to pay for the truck and personnel, let alone the millions required to lay high-pressure pipes and hydrants to deliver the water. Are you responsible when your business goes up in smoke?
    Maybe it IS your fault. You should have gotten insurance to cover it. So lets say you have a policy . . . and they refuse to pay. They claim you had extra-flammible paint on your building (although that wasn’t a problem all these years when they were taking your premiums). Have fun in court arguing about it. For the next 3 years. Hope you saved up another couple of hundred thousand for the costs. Plus another couple of hundred thousand for your mortgage, food, expenses, etc. while you’re fighting. You haven’t saved up a million dollars running your Mom+Pop store? Well . . . then I guess you ARE a failure. You loser. Glad you’re out of the game . . . we don’t want failures like you in the American System.

    You suggested the solution to healthcare is de-regulation. That Capitalism, if cut loose from its shackles, will achieve equilibrium and meet the needs of citizens in an equitable manner.

    I repectfully disagree. I’m a capitalist, but in the same way I’m for nuclear power. It is one of the most awesome forms of power, and properly harnessed is a massive boon to people . . . but starting a chain reaction and standing around the fire roasting marshmellows is a recipie for disaster.
    Let me ask you this: can you give me an example of un-regulated capitalism inherently reaching an equitable equilibrium? One? The examples of de-regulated capitalism becoming destructive are legion. If you can’t give a single example of unfettered capitalism “working” in equilibrium . . . then why the hell would I expect it to work now?

    “If you want to say Big Auto resisted air bags because they’re uncaring and want people to die it’s actually more intellectually honest than the greed theory.”

    No . . . that’s not correct, and I’m pretty sure you know that. “Profits be damned — let’s kill everybody” is just silly. Car companies don’t/didn’t want consumers to die . . . then there would be no customers. If they actively wanted people to die they would have put bombs in the cars. But if it was a choice between a profitable unsafe vehicle and a less-profitable safer vehicle . . . profit wins. That’s how business works.
    Example? The Corvair. The argument at the manufacturer wasn’t “are we killing enough people?”. The argument was “it is more profitable to kill-and-settle than it is to make it safer.” Bottom line was profit, without dispute.

    Companies exist for profit — period. That is a good thing in many aspects. But it is also a dangerous thing in other respects. Ignoring that danger, or the hundreds of years of examples demonstrating the inevitable consequence of that danger, is naive.

    Certainly, in a textbook, Capitalism is a self-balancing system. We don’t live in a textbook. Between theoretical postulates and concrete reality . . . well, if we’re talking about my a$$ I’ll put my money on reality. I’m funny that way.

  27. 27
    busboy33 Said:
    3:18 pm 

    @Six (sorry for the double-post):

    “Government is required to do certain things (i.e. provide for a common defense) and forbidden from doing others (anything and everything not specifically permitted).”

    What’s the phrase IMMEDIATELY after ‘provide for the common defense . . .’?

    ‘. . . and general welfare’

    Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1:

    “Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

    Are you saying the health of citizens should not be considered ‘general welfare’? If so, why not (aside from “it wasn’t before”)? As you said . . . the government is Constitutionally mandated to provide for the general welfare. The government MUST provide for the general welfare.

    Since we’re playing Tenther games here, I’ll also note that Art.1, Sec.8, Cl.12-13 make pretty clear that a standing Army is Constitutionally prohibited — so I can assume you demand that the United States Army be abolished?

  28. 28
    digitusmedius Said:
    4:01 pm 

    Nice pick up, busboy. I know the “general welfare” phrase is in the Preamble but did not know that it reappears in the main body of the document.

  29. 29
    digitusmedius Said:
    4:08 pm 

    Since we’re playing Tenther games here

    One of those games seems to be that the Tenth somehow gives “the people” the right to simply opt out of whatever government program or ignore any law they don’t like. Or, even sillier, that any individual can decide what’s constitutional and what isn’t. Like the bible, the Constitution does have some ambiguity. Unlike the bible, it’s interpretation is not up for grabs.

  30. 30
    Six Said:
    4:11 pm 

    “BTW, I don’t believe there’s anything in the Constitution that requires anyone to be a citizen in order to live here. I’d be happy to be directed to that “mandate” in the Constitution if anyone cares to so direct me.”

    No one said that. YOU said being a citizen is unconstitutional. Do try and stay consistent with your arguments.

    “So those laws, as is the 16th amendment, are constitutional in your view? Therefore, the government, through the proper constitutional procedures, does indeed have the right to mandate that the people do or pay for certain things.”

    Do? Yes. Pay? Maybe. Income tax has been ruled as Constitutional so there certainly is prescedent. So, if you want mandated health care all you have to do is get a Constitutional amendment and I’ll argue it’s legal. Simple, no?

  31. 31
    Six Said:
    4:29 pm 

    “Another hypothetical:”

    Another term for hypothetical is straw man. You can demonstrate anything you want. What if the sire department is all volunteer and late to respond? What if their equipment is outdated and doesn’t work properly and the fire fighters and poorly trained and your business goes up in flames anyway? My point is that it’s not the governments responsibility to provide an equity of outcome, only opportunity. Success or failure is an individual responsibility. Government literally cannot guarantee everyone will always come out ahead so if they can’t for everyone who gets to choose who wins and who fails?

    “‘. . . and general welfare’

    Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1:”

    My reading of Constitutional history leads me to believe the framers were talking about promoting the general welfare within the bounds of the Constitution, not trying to promote public welfare programs outside their intent. Promote the general welfare is a crutch used by the left to defend programs that are extra-constitutional at best. No, health care is not constitutionally defensible as general welfare.

    “Since we’re playing Tenther games here, I’ll also note that Art.1, Sec.8, Cl.12-13 make pretty clear that a standing Army is Constitutionally prohibited — so I can assume you demand that the United States Army be abolished?”

    “In its totality, the Convention arrived at a very important set of decisions concerning military matters with relatively little disagreement. The delegates were able to resolve the thorny issue of potential abuses of power by inserting the Army, Navy, and militia into the same carefully structured set of checks and balances that applied throughout the Constitution. To promote efficiency, it placed the regulars under the national government, at the same time providing for a dual system of defense by dividing responsibility over the much larger militia establishment with the states. While the national government might employ the militia for the common defense, that authority was checked by the states, which retained authority to appoint their militia officers and to supervise the peacetime training of citizen-soldiers. The Founders were able to create a standing army, the hobgoblin of the Anglo-Saxon world for more than a century, by establishing much tighter civilian control over the armed forces than existed in any contemporary European country. A civilian President served as Commander in Chief; the Senate had to concur in the appointment of all senior officers; and the House of Representatives controlled financial resources. Furthermore, Mason’s inclusion of a provision for limiting appropriations for the military to two years made the legislature a full partner with the executive in military matters.”
    “http://www.history.army.mil/books/RevWar/ss/ch4.htm

    Read and learn.

  32. 32
    digitusmedius Said:
    4:37 pm 

    Six, I clarified my statement and I think you knew what the original meaning was anyway but took advantage of the poor way I phrased it. Fair enough. But, let’s look closer at this:

    Do? Yes. Pay? Maybe. Income tax has been ruled as Constitutional so there certainly is prescedent. So, if you want mandated health care all you have to do is get a Constitutional amendment and I’ll argue it’s legal. Simple, no?

    I hope you’re not trying to say that the government has less power to tax than it does to send people off to die. And we don’t need any such thing as an amendment to set up a government run health care system. We already have several and they were established in the way that any new or additional system will be established: by the power of Congress to pass legislation. Your side can challenge it on constitutional grounds after it becomes law. Good luck with that.

  33. 33
    digitusmedius Said:
    4:41 pm 

    My reading of Constitutional history leads me to believe the framers were talking about promoting the general welfare within the bounds of the Constitution, not trying to promote public welfare programs outside their intent.

    Your reading can lead you anywhere you’d like it to, but like I said above, interpreting the Constitution isn’t like deciding what the bible means. There’s a carefully defined way to do the former and the latter is up for grabs.

  34. 34
    Six Said:
    4:42 pm 

    “No . . . that’s not correct, and I’m pretty sure you know that. “Profits be damned — let’s kill everybody” is just silly.”

    Look up the definition of ’sarcasm’.

    “Let me ask you this: can you give me an example of un-regulated capitalism inherently reaching an equitable equilibrium? One? The examples of de-regulated capitalism becoming destructive are legion. If you can’t give a single example of unfettered capitalism “working” in equilibrium . . . then why the hell would I expect it to work now?”

    “Unregulated Networking Industry Thrives In Retail”
    http://www.retailsolutionsonline.com/article.mvc/Unregulated-Networking-Industry-Thrives-In-Re-0001?VNETCOOKIE=NO

    How about internet business? E-Bay doing well? Yahoo? Google?

    No one wants a return to the robber barons but I see unfettered capitalism as an answer to most of our problems. Under Reagan, America experienced job growth and an increase in the standard of living never before or since reproduced. Take off the shackles and watch the private sector go.

  35. 35
    busboy33 Said:
    6:41 pm 

    @Six:

    “Another term for hypothetical is straw man.”

    No, it isn’t. A hypothetical is an example used to make a point. A “Straw Man” fallacy is an intentionally inappropriate hypothetical intended to re-direct the discussion to an easily defeated non-issue . . . designed to imply that the analysis against the non-issue is applicable against the original (avoided) topic.

    An example of a straw man fallacy from Wikipedia:

    “(Hypothetical) prohibition debate:
    Person A: We should liberalize the laws on beer.
    Person B: No, any society with unrestricted access to intoxicants loses its work ethic and goes only for immediate gratification.

    The proposal was to relax laws on beer. Person B has exaggerated this to a position harder to defend, i.e., ‘unrestricted access to intoxicants’.”

    Here’s another, more relevant example of the StrawMan fallacy:

    “My point is that it’s not the governments responsibility to provide an equity of outcome, only opportunity.”

    My argument, and the hypothetical I provided, had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with “equity of outcome”. Rather than addressing the question, you re-phrased it into “Pure Marxian Communism vs. Individual freedom”, because that is a much more simple and emotional argument to make.
    Are you claiming that a Fire Department is Communist? Are you opposed to having a Fire Department? Does using communal resources for the common good (stopping fires) have anything to do with “equity of outcome”? No.

    THAT is an example of a StrawMan Fallacy . . . usually indicative of a panicked and weak defense.

    “My reading of Constitutional history leads me to believe the framers were talking about promoting the general welfare within the bounds of the Constitution, not trying to promote public welfare programs outside their intent.”

    What the hell does that mean? The terms of the Constitution were designed to work within the Constitution? Well . . . yes. So the “general welfare” was not designed to promote the “public welfare”? What’s the difference between “general” and “public”?

    If your readings have suggested that the Founding Fathers didn’t consider “general welfare” to apply to the body of citizens, might I suggest the Federalist Papers?

    Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Papers #26:
    “The citizens of America have too much discernment to be argued into anarchy. And I am much mistaken, if experience has not wrought a deep and solemn conviction in the public mind, that greater energy of government is essential to the welfare and prosperity of the community.”

    James Madison, Federalist Papers #45:
    “Is it too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.”

    Liberal whining hippies! What do they know about the Constitution?

    re: Standing Army vs. Militia vs. Standing Navy

    I agree with you 100% . . . read and learn.

    U.S. Constitution, Art.1, Sec. 8, Cl. 12:
    “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;”
    U.S. Constitution, Art.1, Sec.8, Cl.13:
    “To provide and maintain a Navy;”

    Notice the different phrasing in these two Clauses. For the Navy, the Congress has the duty to provide and maintain. For the Army, the Founders specifically and explicitly used different terms: “raise” and “support”, and also expressly pegged a limited timeframe on that support, whereas there is no time limit on the Navy.
    There is a phrase in legal analysis that explains this: “expressio unis est exclusio alter” (my apologies for the most-likely misspelled Latin). Rough translation: “The inclusion of one is the exclusion of the other”, meaning if the writers made it a point to explicitly include (or exclude) terms and restrictions, it is logical to presume that their failure to include/exclude those terms elsewhere means they intended a different meaning. The Founders when out of their way to limit the Army. They didn’t with the Navy. Therefore, they intended that these two things be treated differently.

    U.S. Constitution, Art.1, Sec.8, Cl.16:
    “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

    The Army was to come from the State Militias, to be called up as necessary for the defence of the Nation, and then disbanded back to the Militias once the need had passed. The States were tasked with appointing officers, not the Federal government. The Founders feared a standing Army so much, they not only tied the Federal government’s hands with keeping a standing Army roaming around, they wrote the 2nd Amendment to support the Militias right to exist:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    The language is a modified version of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which makes the point more explicitly:

    “That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.”

    Still not convinced? Federalist Papers, #8, 23, 26, 29, 46, just to name a few.

    This was a MAJOR concern for the Founders. The debate was well documented. America’s view of the issue has changed over the last few hundred years, but to say that the Founding Fathers envisioned a standing Army, and wrote it into the Constitution, is utterly wrong.

    @digitus:

    “One of those games seems to be that the Tenth somehow gives “the people” the right to simply opt out of whatever government program or ignore any law they don’t like. Or, even sillier, that any individual can decide what’s constitutional and what isn’t.”

    Isn’t it amazing? Like these questions have never come up before in the history of the country. If only there were some governing body to settle disputes like this. Something like a Court. But it would have to be the Ultimate Court so its decisions could be final. I wonder what we could call it . . . The Ultimate Court? The Maximum Court? Something that suggested its interpretation was the Supreme opinion on the issue. I know! The Super-Duper Court! That’s got pizazz!
    Probably would have to be a co-equal branch of Federal government . . . but maybe since they had the ultimate decision power they could be gimped by lacking any ability to affirmatively make rules. Yeah . . . they could be limited to only deciding questions of interpretation that are brought before them! And they could write their decisions down, so we wouldn’t have to re-argue the same questions over and over again.
    I can’t believe the Founders didn’t think of this. Really sloppy work, setting up a government and failing to include some form of dispute/interpretation resolution.

  36. 36
    Six Said:
    7:09 pm 

    “The Army was to come from the State Militias, to be called up as necessary for the defence of the Nation, and then disbanded back to the Militias once the need had passed.”

    Wrong. The Founders acknowledged the necessity of a standing Army and took pains to ensure civilian control (President as Commander In Chief). If they didn’t envision a standing army why enumerate the President as CinC and civilian control. If there was to be no standing army why even mention civilian control at all? The Militias were State run, not federal. The Militia was meant to supplement the Standing Army because it was supposed to be being small, not replace it. I do agree with you that the Founders had major concerns about a standing army. They believed they had sufficient controls in place to avoid a military take over.

    “What the hell does that mean? The terms of the Constitution were designed to work within the Constitution? Well . . . yes. So the “general welfare” was not designed to promote the “public welfare”? What’s the difference between “general” and “public”?”

    At the time the Constitution was adopted, some interpreted the clause as granting Congress a broad power to pass any legislation it pleased, so long as its asserted purpose was promotion of the general welfare. One of the Constitution’s drafters, James Madison (again!), objected to this reading of the clause, arguing that it was inconsistent with the concept of a government of limited powers and that it rendered the list of enumerated powers redundant. He argued that the General Welfare clause granted Congress no additional powers other than those enumerated. Thus, in their view the words themselves served no practical purpose. I freely acknowledge that there is case law that out there that sets a different prescedent. I just disagree. It’s my opinion, one I am still allowed to express.

  37. 37
    Richard bottoms Said:
    10:22 pm 

    How about internet business? E-Bay doing well? Yahoo? Google?

    How about the Federal government has carved out a special tax break for internet commerce and advantage that local commerce can’t match.

    Then there’s the fact the the internet exists solely because millions of tax dollars were poured into research into survivable networks for warfare.

    It was Stanford and other university undergrads who took advantage of access to facilities and naivete on the part of many universities to start firms like Cisco, Sun, and others launched in no small part due to the largess of tax dollars that supported the universities.

    The universities themselves exist more often than not because of tax dollars. Private colleges benefit from tax breaks and from Pell grants and subsidized tuition assistance from Uncle Sugar.

    And who were many of their first large customers: the United States military and other universities.

    Your tax dollars at work. Again.

    Virtually unlimited reliable electricity from grids created from tax dollars. Highways to move their goods.. tax dollars. Basic research from NASA to the CDC.. tax dollars.

    This idea that these companies somehow spring into existence and shower cash on their owners and employees with nary a bit of support from Uncle Sam and only through pure entrepreneurial sweat is ludicrous, a fantasy of the Randians.

  38. 38
    busboy33 Said:
    10:48 pm 

    Nobody is telling you that you can’t express you opinion, you poor martyr you. You opinion (or mine, or anybody’s) is entirely different from what the rules are . . . which you acknowledge is established by the precedent. You wern’t saying “this is my opinion” — you were saying “this is what it means”.

    What’s the difference? Hypothetical time. Baseball game, my team is up 1-0, bottom of the 9th inning, other team is at bat, bases loaded, 2 outs. Count to the batter is 3-2. Pitcher throws a pitch. I think it was a strike. Umpire calls it a ball, walks in the tying run. Next batter comes up, and the same thing happens.
    In my opinion, the ump was blind. We should have won. If someone asks me what the final score was and I say “1-0 we won” . . . that’s not accurate. “everybody knows we won” . . . that’s not accurate. “we lost 2-1 on some bull$h!t calls” . . . that’s accurate.

    I can think that the 1st Amendment covers my public masturbation. My opinion. But for me to say “public masturbation is covered by the 1st Amendment just as the Framers intended” . . . that’s wrong. It isn’t covered. My thinking it should be doesn’t make it so.

    What should be the interpretation of the language and what is the interpretation of the language are entirely different conversations.

    “James Madison (again!), objected to this reading of the clause, arguing that it was inconsistent with the concept of a government of limited powers and that it rendered the list of enumerated powers redundant. He argued that the General Welfare clause granted Congress no additional powers other than those enumerated. Thus, in THEIR view the words themselves served no practical purpose.”(emphasis added)

    James Madison does not equal the Founding Fathers. As you note, others believed differently. So from James Madison disagreeing, you have “them” putting in language (both in the Preamble and the main body of the document) that nobody thought served any purpose whatsoever. For a bunch of lawyers and statesmen . . . that is staggeringly hard to fathom. They used the same phrase twice, both to state their goals and to specifically enumerate a purpose. Legislatively, that is enormously significant. The Founders were well aware of the importance of both saying something and not saying something — as an example, they attached a qualifier to the 2nd Amendment and didn’t to any other of the Bill of Rights. They knew exactly what they were doing. To say that they just repeatedly used that language, but nobody intended for it to have any impact whatsoever, is uncredible to me.

    Yes, James Madison expressed opinions. So did Alexander Hamilton. Thomas Jefferson. Many others. That James Madison said, at one point, that was what he believed, does not make it the meaning of the language that all delegates believed without question. Reading their correspondence back and and forth, following the debate, shows not only different views, but the evolution of ideas.

    In regards to the idea that the Founders wanted a standing Army . . . I don’t know what else to say. From where I’m sitting, it’s pretty clear that they didn’t. From a jurispridencial perspective, linguistic perspective, historical perspective . . . they didn’t. Saying “yes they did” seems to me to fly directly in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. I can’t just ignore that evidence, so I guess I’ll just have to respectfully disagree with your assessment.

  39. 39
    c3 Said:
    4:08 pm 

    If were going to argue over the utility of a capitalist system “managing” health care then lets just “cut to the chase” and eliminate all profit. Let’s pay doctors a “living wage” say $80,000 and pay hospitals at the rate we pay say rural hospitals, eliminate any profit in medication production or sales ….

    If were not going to go that route can we stop with the arguments about what’s “good profit” (i.e. a heart surgeon earning $300,000) and what’s “bad profit” (anything by a health insurance company…)

  40. 40
    Chris Pedersen Said:
    6:41 am 

    EVERYONE CLICK ON chicagoguncase.com for a extensive review of the Unconstitutional Ordinance of The City of Chicago band on firearms before the US Supreme Court.

    ROUND 2 IN THE BATTLE TO “KEEP AND BEAR ARMS” .

    What you won’t see is that THE ORDINANCE was introduced by a “Made Wiseguy” of the “Chicago Outfit” 1st Ward Alderman “Fred Rotti” of “The 26th Street Crew”. Just Google for the Daley MOB faction of the 1st and 11th Wards, his Homeland Dynasty, Chicago Sun-Times.com has it all.

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