Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Bad News Keeps On Coming. . . For Obama

Yesterday, we talked about some of the problems Obama faces getting re-elected. That made me happy. So let’s do it again. Today, let’s talk about the economic problems Obama faces.

The economy is a mess. We’ve technically been out of recession since May 2009, but growth has been anemic (slightly below the long-term average) and job growth has been nonexistent. This will hurt Obama come re-election time. But “top line” economic numbers don’t bother people. What bothers people are the things that hit them personally. And that is where Obama is really hurting:
Unemployment: The unemployment rate in February was 8.3%. That means 12.8 million people are unemployed. The actual rate is closer to 16%, which means 25 million people are unemployed. Talk all you want about growth, but as long as most people in the country know one or more of these 25 million people personally, they won’t believe things are getting better.

Inflation: The official inflation rate is 2.9% in the US. But unofficially, people are recording a 12% rate. That means everyone is taking a 12% pay cut each year right now, and that’s the worst it’s been since Jimmy Carter’s era.

Home Values: It may not be fair to blame Obama for the housing collapse, but he will still feel the heat because Americans have used their homes as a form of retirement savings. And that means people are hurting. According to Case-Shiller, which provides housing price data to the stock market, home values are at their lowest level since 2003 AND they now suspect that suburban home prices may not recover in our lifetimes. Shiller says the shift toward renting and city living could mean “that we will never in our lifetime see a rebound in these prices in the suburbs.” That’s disastrous for Obama because it means that until things change, people will feel insecure and will spend less, which depresses the economy.

Gas Price: The biggie is gas prices. Gas currently sits at a national average of $3.90 and is expected to hit $4.25 by mid-May. Some analysts think this will go as high as $4.50 to $4.70 during the summer. Indeed, everyone is now warning that gas will keep going up until the summer is over. And while the MSM has studiously avoided letting anyone blame Obama for this, a Reuters poll shows that 68% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the issue.

What “handling” could they be upset about? Well, people overwhelmingly favor the Keystone Pipeline, they overwhelmingly favor offshore drilling, and they overwhelmingly favor fracking for natural gas. Obama has stood in the way of each.

Utility Costs: Obama’s EPA just issued rules forcing power plants to cut their carbon emissions. This means energy costs are about to go up again, just in time for air conditioning season.
Beyond this, seniors are worried the pension system keeps getting closer and closer to bankruptcy and Medicare barely works anymore because it's broke, the budget is out of control which is crushing consumer purchasing power and causing massive inflation, and civil servants have transformed themselves into a permanent elite class of rich, protected jerks living high on the amounts stolen from poor and middle class taxpayers. . . who aren't happy about it.

All of this is disastrous for Obama. That’s the good news.

The better news is that all of this can be fixed. . . just not by Obama. Getting spending under control will solve the budget and inflation problems. Extending the retirement age and capping benefits or running them lower than the rate of inflation will fix the pensions and Medicare issue. Gas prices can be fixed by approving more drilling and switching to natural gas. Republican attempts to break public sector unions are changing the bureaucratic landscape, and Republicans are getting the credit for things like school reform -- an area that once belonged exclusively to Democrats in voter’s minds.

Moreover, one of the biggest imbalances in our economy, the “collapse” of manufacturing is starting to right itself. First, manufacturing never collapsed. The US is still the largest or second largest manufacturer in the world depending on how you count it. Secondly, with wage inflation in China, it is now more cost efficient to open a new plant in the United States than it is to open the plant in China. And with wage growth showing no signs of stopping in China, you will soon see manufacturing return to the US.

The moral here is simple. The Democrats are doing everything wrong and are causing people genuine pain. That will ruin their election chances. And the Republicans have a chance, after the election, to set all of this right and win over the American people probably permanently. Good times will be here again!

112 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

let it be so . . . . . :) All of this is true. We just have to keep making sure truth comes out in the media. I know that runs counter to what you just said because gas prices and utility costs are what they are. It is probably a long adult life of having Lucy pull the football away that gives me pause to caution. In a sense that is like the punditry yesterday already announcing the verdict for Obamacare. It may be likely, but perhaps I'm just superstitious. You know the lamestreams will give B.O. full credit for any slight drop in gas prices prior to the election. Anyway, a couple of days worth of really good data:) (in a "I hope he fails" kind of way.")

Joel Farnham said...

It is looking up. Combine these with the unapologetic racism indulged by Obama and his administration it looks like the Democrats were foolish in putting all their hopes and dreams into "The One."

StanH said...

I think Barry loses the general, the question is just how big. If our standard bearer (Romney) will use all of these arrows in his quiver, it could be Reagan 1980, 46 states to 4, or Reagan 1984 49 to 1. Sadly, my guess is the RNC will mollycoddle Barry, taking the high ground, and only win 54% to 46%, or 40 states to 10, giving democrats hope.

Tennessee Jed said...

Stan - it may not be as big as it should be because Republicans have historically found a way to, if not exactly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, at least fail to maximize their advantages. Part of that may be mollycoddling, but I think the job of the Republicans, as the outsiders, is merely to hammer B.O.'s record again, and again, and again. The other job is to do what Bush didn't do, and Obama had done too much of. Basically, call him out each and every time he lies. To a point, even the lame streams have to cover the pressers of the both candidates so they can't "bury" bad news the way usually do.

tryanmax said...

Obama is such an ideologue when it comes to fossil fuels that I doubt he can bring himself to do much of anything that would significantly lower gas and energy prices. Yes, the MSM will praise him if the prices drop even a penny, but that may still work to Barry's disadvantage. The MSM loves to set magic numbers, so they will crow if gas dips below $4/gal. What they forget is that they keep reminding people that gas is close to $4/gal.

StanH said...

Hey Jed, agreed. I suppose my trepidation comes from RNC political handlers after Lee Atwater (Reagan’s campaign manager). He was willing to expose the weakness of the opposition and sell the conservative platform of the great Ronald Reagan. Now I know Romney is not RR, but he needs to look back at Reagan/Carter because the political environment is analogous to that time, misery index, high gas prices (relative to the times), weakened international standard, high unemployment, etc. with one exception interest rates, and the president this time is a black man. On the president being black, the democrats will pull the race-card with impunity, I believe this is a political wild card, it may cut both ways. We’ll see.

One thing that gives me hope, was Romney’s withdrawal speech in ’08, I believe 2/8/08, it was rock-ribbed conservatism, if that man had of shown up in ’08, he’d have beaten McCain/Barry, in my opinion.

Joel Farnham said...

tryanmax,

Remember, $4/gal was the number that prompted people to sharply curb their driving which sharply curbed their buying of gas the last time it got this high.

T-Rav said...

We need a responsible fracking president!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. And the reason I think we need to keep pounding away on these facts is because humans have a tendency to begin to doubt their own observations when others don't confirm them. So if the MSM keeps pretending the issue doesn't exist, many people will start doubting it.

Joel Farnham said...

Here is something over at Legal Insurrection, post it notes on gas pumps that read,

"No new oil from anwr, east coast, the gulf. No pipeline from Canada

$4 gal

Thanks Obama voters"

It might just take off, and unlike astroturf shenanigans, it is one pump one person at a time thing. Wouldn't that be something?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Exactly, the real takeaway of the past few months has been that Obama is failing across the board. The economy stinks and it's hurting people. His administration has proven to be incompetent at even offering a plan people will believe for solving the crises. His policies are making all the bad things worse. He's angering people with open racism. His war on religion blew up in his face. His slut friends have made contraception into a joke... seriously, we're supposed to pay so some rich girl from Georgetown can sleep around?

All of this tells us that things have gone very wrong for Obama AND that he plans to continue going in the wrong direction.

I really am very confident he's in deep, deep trouble.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Before the primary, I would have been worried that Romney would basically sit back and let the election go its own course. But he has proven that he's ready and willing to really make hard-edged attacks. I would expect that Romney will savage Obama. He won't do it in incendiary ways because that's not his style, but incendiary rarely works in any event. His style is more cutting. I think that is exactly what we need in this election because it is Obama who will be on trial.

I look at this like trial work. Obama is the defendant who is staring at VERY bad facts. In that type of situation, the prosecutor's job is to make the case about the facts, not themselves or invective. And Romney's style is very good in that kind of fight because he always speaks fact-based and he always sounds reasonable, even as he makes clear attacks.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. In terms of how big we win, I'm not sure. If Obama really starts to flail, then we're looking at a huge landslide -- though nowhere near what Reagan got because places like California will still go to Obama.

But if Obama finally finds a good strategy, then I think this race comes down to New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and possibly Wisconsin.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's true, the job of the Republicans and the conservative media will be to call Obama out every single time. It's becoming clear to me that the MSM can't ignore scandals when all of the conservative world is talking about them. And once the MSM starts talking about something, the Democrats go all defensive and that looks horrible for them with the public.

On the size of the victory, keep in mind that the country has changed demographically since Reagan. Places like California and New York simply are incapable of resulting in Republican victories, just like Texas, Georgia and Alabama will never again vote for a Democrat. For the most part, each side is now guaranteed maybe 20 states and they are fighting over the other 10.

That also, by the way, is why any idea of amending the Constitution is D.O.A., because you just can't get beyond the 20/20 divide to make it happen. So when someone says, "I promise a constitutional amendment to..." they are either stupid or lying.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Excellent points.

1. Obama is an ideologue on environmental issues (and other issues) and is simply incapable and unwilling of making the decisions he needs to make to win over the voters.

2. The MSM will cover for him, but it will blow up in their faces. The public is showing record levels of distrust for the MSM already. Preaching something the public sees to be false with their own eyes -- especially as everyone outside the MSM is talking about it, will simply make that worse.

Also, there is a blowback factor. I think of soccer and women's basketball. The "establishment" loves both sports and wants us to love them... but we don't. So the establishment has decided to lie to us and to pretend that we DO love them in the hopes of triggering the public's herd instinct and getting everyone to follow the non-existent herd. But the public reacts angrily to that. They don't just ignore it, instead you see people commenting and writing and talking about how pissed off they are that the sports media is trying to force this lie upon them.

I think it will be the same thing here. The more the media tries to lie about gas, the more the public will react poorly -- as long as everyone else they know also doesn't buy into the lie.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, As they say, "I see what you did there!" ;)

LawHawkRFD said...

Gas prices are unnecessarily high, and it's a hot button issue right now. It probably will still be by election time. But I see it as an important but not dispositive issue. Also, Obama will keep touting the non-recovery recovery, and wonkish conservatives will help him by using the strict definition of a "recession" to prove that the recession is over. What I think will ultimately defeat him is his dishonesty and sneakiness. And what will kill him politically (at least I think so) is that and the unemployment numbers. Unemployed people don't care if there has been some kind of "recovery" from a technical "recession." They just want jobs and a healthy economy that produces jobs. Unemployed people are getting murdered by high gas prices and creeping inflation, and huge numbers have given up on the idea that they might find a job as long as Obama remains in office. That's what the Republican candidate is going to have to focus on. Unemployment, unemployment, unemployment--jobs, jobs, jobs.

Reagan faced a very similar problem at this point in his first term. He was working on the problem, using every resource available to him to get the economy moving again. His unemployment numbers remained bad. But the big difference was that Reagan loved America and had infinite faith in her and her people. And that allowed those who remained unemployed at that juncture to put their faith in him that he would turn it around. And of course, he did.

Nobody in his right mind trusts Obama, and those with at least an ounce of brains have figured out that Obama has no faith in America, no faith in her people, and has accepted the idea of American decline. Those unemployed, a very large number, will put their faith and their votes on the side of a candidate who believes in their ability to recover and will do something to free up private enterprise to provide those jobs. The Republican candidate must be bold, believable and experienced on this issue. If he gets bogged down in technicalities and wonkish discussion of the economy, he will lose or barely squeak by. But give those people genuine hope (not Obama dope hope), and they will come out in droves.

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, Romney was on Leno last night. To be honest, I thought he did pretty well. He stumbled around a bit when getting into the whole health insurance thing (Leno didn't help by basically asking, "What about the poor children?"), but I liked that he didn't back away from his earlier comments about Russia, and he came across in general as rather warm and engaging. So good on him.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I feel your pain. I have watched the GOP since Reagan just go all mealy and fearful and play everything wrong. Time and again they have played Lucy and the football and time and again they have sounded like accountants trying to address the mob.

BUT Romney is not the GOP. Contrary to the PR, he is not the establishment candidate and never has been because he's not playing by establishment rules. He has learned to be a fighter and that's what Santorum and Newt have whined about time and again -- Romney has savaged them in state after state while personally appearing to stay above the fray.

I expect the exact same thing from him against Obama. In fact, having listened to almost all of his victory/consession speeches since the primaries began, I can tell you that he has been ripping Obama apart and pointing out EVERYTHING we've been talking about. I have a great deal of confidence he will run a very strong race against Obama.

The only thing you won't hear is him standing up and using the kinds of invective words that talk radio likes. But those aren't productive with the voters in any event.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I heard something about him saying Santorum could be his press secretary? I take it that was a joke?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's true. $3 a gallon is where people start to get upset and $4 a gallon is where people begin to change their habits.

In fact, the stock guys are predicting a bit of an economic slump this summer because of the gas prices which they think will depress economic activity and will keep people from going on vacations.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Interestingly, the MSM is trying to spin this new poll about the gas prices by drawing a distinction without a difference. They note that while 68% of the public disapproves of Obama's handling of the issue, the majority "blame" other factors for the high prices -- foreign issues and oil companies.

But here's the thing, that is irrelevant because even if they don't blame Obama for causing it, they are blaming him for not fixing it -- and that's worse.

Think about it. Bush didn't cause Katrina, he was blamed for not fixing it. Jimmy Carter didn't cause the invasion of Afghanistan or the Iranian hostage situation, he was blamed for not fixing it. Etc. The public does not blame politicians for events that appear beyond their control, they DO blame politicians for not fixing them.

DUQ said...

The good news keeps right on rolling! Keep bringing it! :D

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I think that was a joke, probably aimed at the idea that Santorum might be his VP candidate. Because when I think of the ideal GOP ticket, "Romney/Santorum 2012" immediately comes to my mind.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Well said. That's one thing that gives me a lot of faith in Romney. I've listened to his speeches and he's neither cautious nor a wonk. He has taken to mocking Obama's economy by calling it a "non-recovery recovery" and then he launches into the very Reaganesque idea of are you better off today than you were four years ago, and then he tells people why they aren't -- in real terms. Finally, he offers optimism.

The other thing Romney has going for him is something Reagan had on his side too -- common sense. The things he says make sense to people: cut taxes, cut regulations, get the government out of the way = jobs. That short, simple and it makes sense. He's not promising complex spending programs or regulatory re-organizations, he's talking in very plain language about what he wants. That's very effective. (Compare that to McCain's fetish for earmarks and arcane budget rules... which the public couldn't understand.) Obama on the other hand is more of a technocrat: tinker with this rule, raise taxes on X to redistribute to Y and we can manipulate our way to prosperity. That's why he can't connect to people like Reagan could because he's not speaking their language.

Also, Obama seems to have decided that he needs to wake up his base and that really turns off the moderates.

Finally, on your faith point, you are 100% correct. Americans are the most optimistic people on the planet -- they hate pessimism. They want to hear that their politicians believe we can do anything. Obama doesn't believe that. Everything he says is crawling with defeatism and "America is a second rate power"ism. That alone will serve him poorly, long before any of the other stuff.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Will do. The way this administration works, there will be plenty more good news.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I figured it was a joke and that was what it was aimed at. BTW, Santorum actually said the other day that he would accept being Romney's VP... something that would be a HORRIBLE mistake for Romney and which I can't see Romney even considering.


P.S. I've seen a bunch of articles pushing the idea of Paul Ryan as VP, but I'm not thrilled with that at all. If he won't be President then he should stay in the House where he would be useful.

tryanmax said...

Off-topic question: Is anybody following the ObamaCare proceedings better than I am? Is the administration fumbling their arguments as badly as is being reported by RWR?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, We discussed that a good deal in the comments to yesterday's article. The answer is yes. The solicitor general is horrible. He's committed the cardinal sin: he's been unprepared for arguments and questions he knew was coming.

That said, this isn't the kind of case where bad lawyering can LOSE the case, but it is the kind of case where exceptional lawyering could have won the case. In other words, this issue is too important for the Supremes to strike it down just because Obama's lawyer stinks. BUT it is the kind of case where a brilliant presentation could have made it impossible for the Supremes not to side with Obama.

Obama's side should have gone in there with truly insightful analogies and clear ways to refute the obvious questions the court would have. That would have made it harder for the plaintiffs... possibly impossible since deference is given to the idea that the law should be considered constitutional barring some clear evidence to the contrary. But he didn't. So what he did was basically punt and leave it up to the judges to work this out themselves. That's a 5-4 loser.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Check out this quote from CNN's Jeffery Tobin. He's one of these guys who thought the law would pass 7-2 and now he thinks it's finished:

"This was a train wreck for the Obama administration. This law looks like it's going to be struck down. I'm telling you, all of the predictions, including mine, that the justices would not have a problem with this law, were wrong. Justice Kennedy, the swing vote, was enormously skeptical. Justice Alito, Justice Scalia were constantly skeptical. Justice Thomas didn't say anything, but we know his position on the issue. The only conservative justice who looked like he might uphold the law was Chief Justice Roberts, who asked hard questions of both sides."

This is hilarious because it really highlights just had badly the Obama lawyer did yesterday because his entire side is now demoralized (they are now arguing that a loss will actually help the Democrats... wrong), AND it highlights the level of legal malpractice by the MSM analyst community.

When this case started, these "experts" said the case was "frivolous." That means that they thought it was so ludicrous that it was literally unethical for an attorney to make the argument. That is an incredibly high standard -- way beyond what laymen will understand. And yet they made it. And now here we are with the Supreme Court of the land about to buy the argument?! How bad must the judgement of guys like Tobin be?

tryanmax said...

Sorry if I've fallen behind. I've just learned to be skeptical when everybody on a side all says the same thing. And RWR is crowing loudly today. Glad to know my skepticism is overwrought.

Also, folks might be amused by href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-health-care-20120328,0,7822999.story">this bit of cellophane laid out by the Baltimore Sun meant to spin the case.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Nope, this time they are right that he made a fool of himself and his side.

BUT....

Let me caution you again that this does not mean what they are claiming. His falling flat on his face will NOT be the cause of ObamaCare's failure. It just means he failed to "win" the case and now the Supreme Court will be left to figure it out themselves.

On this point, this is quickly becoming the new spin. The left will very soon begin to claim that "if only he'd done better, then the Supreme Court would have ruled in favor of Obamacare.... so let's try again." That is bull, but that will be the new liberal defense mechanism. I can guarantee you that will be the case.

And as usual, conservatives are feeding this narrative when they should be pointing out: "even Obama's own attorney couldn't defend this monster because it is an unconstitutional law." They should not be framing this as, "he blew it." That leaves the door open to liberals believing that there were special circumstances which went against them this time.


(On your link, there's no article there?)

tryanmax said...

Gaaah! I keep screwing up my links. Does this work?

AndrewPrice said...

Yep, that one works.

This article doesn't surprise me. Liberals will simply deny the decision if they don't like it. They will find reasons to believe that no matter what the court says, the thing is legal. That's why I think they will eventually lay the blame at the feet of the solicitor general.

Alternative theories will be a bought and paid for Supreme Court, Thomas having a financial interest through his wife, Roberts being pissy about thinking he was snubbed by Obama, Kennedy being pressured by an angry-moblike public. There may be more, but those are the obvious ones right now.

tryanmax said...

I just find the article humorous in the sense that the author believes the justices will somehow conclude that their own criticisms are weak, even in the absence of a strong counter.

rlaWTX said...

glad there is something in all of this mess that can make you happy, Andrew.

personally, this day is less than stellar and very busy, so I'll have to catch up with y'all later.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Isn't this the first time in history where play by play of a case before the Supreme court is being paid this close attention. I mean, usually the way this goes is the Supreme Court sees this or that case today. Then three months later, we find out what the Supremes decided. This time we get a play by play look.

Ed said...

Every one of these things hits people in the pocketbook and threatens their economic security and their economic happiness, and it can all be laid at the doorstep of Obama. He is doomed.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It's all wishful thinking. I've seen this all the time in the legal system. I've appeared many times before a particular state supreme court and the way they work is they schedule you for morning or afternoon and you just sit there and wait. I've waited up to ten hours one time to be heard.

If you watch without prejudice, it becomes very easy to see which way the justices are leaning from the questioning. Indeed, I've never failed to accurately predict a case when I got to watch the argument because the questions asked identify the principles the justice see as important in that case and that tells you which way they will lean. BUT some people can't observe without bias. And those people very quickly dismiss things that didn't reach the desired result and add explanations and justifications that either weren't made or don't make sense. And I saw it over and over again that these people were wrong every single time and were often quite shocked when the court went the other way.

It's the same thing here. If you prejudge the issue and you WANT to find that Obamacare will win, then you can make yourself believe it. But that's wishful thinking.

The truth is that we don't know what the court will really do because we only hear the questions and not the thoughts, but right now it sounds pretty clear that we're looking at a 5-4 victory for the opponents of Obamacare.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, There is ALWAYS something good! :)

Sorry to hear you're busy, may the rest of your day go more smoothly!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, There have always been court watchers and all the big cases got a LOT of attention. But yes, this is the first time the public has treated this like a sporting event. In the past, people would share what they observed on the nightly news or in a weekly magazine and that would be about it. This time, with the net and the 24/7 news cycle, is the first time a case has gotten this level of real-time following.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think that's true. People forgive top line numbers, but they don't forgive things that hit them directly and these things hit them directly.

Ed said...

Andrew, I agree. I think people respond when issues hit their pocketbook.

Patriot said...

Funny how we no longer hear anything about Kagan's refusal to recuse herself from this case....as she was SG when the legislation was passed and fought for the administrations standing.

Looks like the press beat down Roberts enough on Thomas's wife's interest in the law that he didn't even want to go there and ask her to recuse herself.

On the economy, Zero has been holding up his base to the detriment of everyone else. Most people see this guy as an incompetent naif, who should have never been elected in the first place. The racial angle was played big time the first time around and won't fly this time. We already elected our first black president.....a lot different than re-electing our first black president. Now he has a record eeveryone can see and dissect.

He's toast.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think that's right.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Strange, isn't it? What I think is even funnier is how the left talks so openly about being sure that their justices will follow the party line, yet their lockstep justices aren't the "ideologues". To the contrary, they claim the conservative justices are the ideologues EVEN THOUGH the left admits they have no idea which way 3 of the 5 "ideologues" will ultimate decide the case. How messed up is that?

In terms of recusal, I never thought she would recuse herself. Liberal justices just don't think that way. Don't forget, she belonged to a secret exclusive group who worked together to help out professional women professionally and economically -- basically trying to create an "old girl" network. She should have resigned from that organization and recused herself from any case in which the interests of professional feminism could have been implicated, but she didn't. Liberals don't care about integrity, they care about the end result. All the rest is just public relations.


On Obama, I agree -- he's toast. He showed himself as someone who is not a president in the traditional sense but is a representative of his supporters in all things, and he has been doing their bidding without regard to how this would impact the rest of the public. People see that now.

I also think the race stuff has finally caught up to him, and the more the Democrats push this Trayvon thing, the worse it will be. Indeed, I suspect they are dangerously close to turning off Hispanics with this because of how easily they've dismissed Hispanics as "white" and then lumped them in as "white racists."

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, Another feel good story! I too think he's toast. Not only has Obama done everything wrong, but he keeps going further in the wrong direction. No amount of campaign advertising can save him from that.

Tam said...

Dare I dream? Does it really sound like a real potential possibility that Obamacare could be stricken down entirely? I heard this morning on the radio that the severability clause was in an original draft, but later taken out. It seems like brazen arrogance on the part of the dems to take it out, suggesting that no one would dare throw out the entire landmark legislation.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, That's the key -- he's going in the wrong direction. If he'd spent the past year trying to move to the center, people might forgive him. But he hasn't and he shows no signs of moving in that direction. Basically, he's just doubling-down on what got him to this point.

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, It is possible, but I don't think it's likely. I'm going to explain the reason not to put much faith in the severability clause tomorrow morning. Basically, logically, you are 100% right. But the law probably won't go that way. It will instead interpret the absence of the severability clause as merely giving the court the CHANCE to look at whether or not to strike the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping like heck they do strike it down, but I would bet against it -- I wouldn't bet very much though. This is a 51/49 issue.

BevfromNYC said...

I find it interesting that Thomas has always been criticized for not asking any questions during oral arguments, yet I have only heard that one liberal justice has asked any questions during this process - Sotomayor.

And why is it okay for the liberal justices to have already made up their minds before oral argument? This is critism always leveled at the conservative justices? Of course I know the answer, but I just wanted to write it "out loud".

tryanmax said...

RE: Housing, the bulldozing of Detroit is getting mention again, on radio at least. I think when the plan was proposed two years ago, they were talking about 25-30% of the city, so I imagine it's still going on. Hopefully that tidbit makes it into the general campaign.

Joel Farnham said...

The Latest on Obama's Campaign? He is saying Republicans are politicizing Travyon Martin's death.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Obviously the answer is that we just know that liberals are smarter, right?

Actually, they've been smearing Thomas from day one. First they accused him of being stupid, then they accused him of being Scalia's dupe, then they went back to stupid and now they're working on corrupt. Of course, the liberal justices are beyond reproach.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm all for bulldozing Detroit. Then we can do DC, LA and any other mismanaged liberal city we can think of. Plus, think of the jobs that will be created building the walls we need to keep the residents in before the bulldozing starts.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Someone called on Obama today to calm his idiot supporters down... clearly he hasn't gotten the message.

But what do you expect. The left knows that whining racism gets blacks upset and gets them to turn out for elections. This is nothing more than a cynical attempt to make sure blacks stay on the plantation and turn out to vote. The whole thing is disgraceful.

tryanmax said...

Speaking of liberal double-standards: they are always arguing for more diversity on the bench, yet all three current female justices hail from New York City. This is diversity?

AndrewPrice said...

"Diversity" is just a code word for "higher percentage of liberals." That's why conservatives don't count but members of liberal whiner groups do, Christians don't count but non-Christians do, and why only some blacks/Hispanics/women are considered minorities.

BevfromNYC said...

But don't you know how diverse NYC is? And hey, when Justice Sotomayor was appointed being "Hispanic" was a minority. It has just been deemed "white" in the last few days...

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, "deemed" white! LOL! But not just any old white, "white red-neck racist killers of black children." Yikes! Perhaps we should deport them all to bring about racial justice?

By the way, isn't Obama half "white red-neck racist killer of black children" too?

BevfromNYC said...

But he can't be half "white red-neck racist killer of black children" because he's half black. The black part makes him impervious to the ""white red-neck racist killer of black children" part.

tryanmax said...

Good point, Bev. NYC is apparently diverse enough to stand in for the rest of the country. Why have nationwide elections? Why not let New Yorkers pick all our leaders? I am, of course, including displaced New Yorkers living in LA.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Ah yes, that would work, especially with the liberal-booster shot he gave himself. If he had taken the conservative pill, then he would probably be considered white right now.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Why bother with elections at all? We know what the people want, elections are a waste of time and money.

BevfromNYC said...

Tryanmax - PLEASE don't give Bloomberg any more "great" ideas! We still have one more year to keep him at bay from taking complete control of all of our bodily functions!

T-Rav said...

Really? Republicans are politicizing this issue? Who, pray tell, started casting the whole shooting as "racially motivated"? Grrrr....

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, All joking aside, that is very, very irritating that Obama would say that when his people have been exploiting this issue. The gall is stunning. It's like Hitler complaining about Polish aggression.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I still can't believe Mayor Chavezbergio banned food donations to homeless shelters. What an insane ass!

tryanmax said...

Andrew, you are so right. Why bother with NYC and LA when I ought to have looked to Chicago all along?

Bev, Bloomberg might let you keep your toilet if you promise not to flush it more than once a day. Besides, you've got New Jersey for that.

tryanmax said...

RE: Republicans politicizing...

Shoot me. Shoot me now.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, As I've said before: suicide is never the answer. . . homicide is the answer.


On the toilet comment, btw, I am now envisioning NYC without toilets as people simply crap out windows like in Elizabethan times. In a strange sort of way, that sounds like a Bloombergian Paradise. Blech.

T-Rav said...

Andrew (and Tam), I don't know--I've just been catching up on the day's arguments, and it really sounds to me like the four conservatives (plus Kennedy) are seriously thinking that the simpler solution would be to just kill the whole thing now. It's not just a narrow interpretation of the severability clause, it's their apparent belief that the whole ObamaCare package becomes fatally unworkable without the mandate and therefore should be put out of its misery now. But a final decision is a couple months or so away, so things could change.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm still working through that in my head. That is the TRULY hard part of the decision. I would not want to bet money either way on it because there's just no way of knowing.

That said, I think the severability clause is a red herring, as I'll explain tomorrow. Call that a teaser! :)

Tomorrow, on New Channel Commentarama... have you been teased by severability? You might not be alone. But first, are your pets trying to kill you?

Tam said...

Andrew (and T-Rav)I always thought that the absence of the severability clause TECHNICALLY meant that the whole law could or should be thrown out if one part is determined to be unconstitutional, but that the court would look at the whole law to determine how integral that part is...does the rest stand without the mandate? I never really thought it would possibly be thrown out entirely by the court, but things I've been reading and hearing today seem to *potentially, possibly, maybe* indicate they might, maybe think about killing it all now. Even Fancy Nancy seems to get the sense it is doomed.

Tam said...

P.S. You're such a tease, Andrew!

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, Teasing is all part of our arsenal to generate business, at least that's what our marketing team tells us. And now that we have a solid audience, the profits should start flowing in any day... somehow. Hmmm.

// scratches head

Something may be wrong with our business plan? ;)

T-Rav said...

Hmph. Are my pets trying to kill me? I don't need to know that!*

Tam, I wouldn't necessarily bet on it, but it certainly sounds very enticing. For the record, Verelli (Obama's Solicitor General defending the law) got his you-know-what handed to him again today. Scalia all but laughed in his face more than once.

*(If you must know, they've already made three unsuccessful attempts. The real question is, How good are your booby-traps and other nighttime defenses?)

AndrewPrice said...

The thing about the severability clause is this. A lot of people are claiming that the absence of the severability clause means the whole things is finished. But that's not true. What it really means is that the court will look at whether the rest of the law should survive.

200 years ago, there was an absolute rule that if the law (or contract) wasn't 100% valid then the courts would strike it down.

So people invented the severability clause, which told the court that it is the legislature's intent to leave the rest of the in place even if part of it gets struck down.

That has slowly morphed over time to a point that courts no longer automatically strike down whole laws. We are now at the point, that the clause is seen this way: if it's present, then the court will uphold the rest of the law automatically. If it's not, then the court will try to determine whether or not this little piece was so vital to the intent of the legislature that the law needs to be struck down.

That's where we are. So all the absence of the clause really does is allow the court to make the decision. It doesn't result in an automatic decision.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm sensing a little payback at Obama in all of this... and I love it!

There's a great Far Side where a couple dogs are plotting the death of their owner, and the one dog says to the other, "Well, yes, Fluffy, if we kill her, the pampering WILL end." LOL!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Oh, here is something interesting. People keep on saying that Martin is so innocent that all he had was skittles and iced tea. The problem is that the police incident report doesn't mention those items at all. It seems skittles and iced tea come from the lawyers from Martin's family. Hmmmm. Could it also be that skittles and iced tea is also a lie?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It's possible the police just didn't write it down. It's possible the lawyer made it up. I do wonder how the lawyer knew that if the police didn't?

At this point, nothing surprises me with this case because the race baiters have proven there are no depths to which they won't sink.

tryanmax said...

Re: Severability clause -- the last thing I heard was some audio of one of the justices (don't know them by voice--hope that's not on the next quiz) basically mocking the idea that they would pour over the entire legislation to decide what could stay and what must go without the mandate. It's only one justice, but it suggests leanings toward axing the whole thing for simplicity's sake.

AndrewPrice said...

That was Scalia and he will vote to strike it all down. You can, however, read that statement both ways -- either as a reason to strike the whole thing or as a reason to only strike the offending part and leave the rest to the legislature.

tryanmax said...

I suppose so, but actually hearing it spoken, it seemed pretty clear which one he meant. And I doubt Scalia is alone in that attitude.

Which raises another question, the primary issue as I understand it is the Constitutionality of the individual mandate. If (when) that gets struck down, how do they proceed deciding whether to uphold or strike the remainder of the law? Is that a separate decision?

AndrewPrice said...

That's the real question. They can either strike the whole thing, leave the rest, or they can send it back for more evidence on a particular point.

The test they will use is how much the rest of the law depends on the part they strike down. If the rest of the law is sufficiently independent to stand on its own if the mandate gets struck down, then they will strike it. If the rest of the law really requires the mandate to work, then they should leave it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Even though the lack of a severability clause is neither dispositive nor fatal, I think it's something the Justices can hang their hats on if they choose. I think they should, but I'm not counting that chicken before it hatches.

LawHawkRFD said...

I have to add this. The government's attorney has been flailing about like a hooked flounder in the bottom of the boat. His arguments and answers to the Justice's questions are almost incomprehensible. At one point, I thought he was having a stroke. They have been so ridiculous that the audience was beginning to snicker at him. But today he topped it all. He was so desperate that he actually used Nancy Pelosi's argument that the bill was not just about health care and government mandates, but about--wait for it--freedom!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I'm actually not surprised. I know his firm and they are very hoyty toyty, but I've always found big firm attorneys to be weak in the actual practice. I am stunned, however, how poorly he ultimately did.

I think the severability clause is a red herring in this case, but we'll see.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Did you see the latest? ABC news has obtained a surveillance video which supposed shows that Zimmerman had no injuries... only, having dealt with those videos in the past, I can tell you that they don't give you a very accurate portrayal at all. Nor do we knew if he wiped away the blood form his nose before he was taken to the station. ANY legal expert should have known that and the fact ABC has jumped on this when they should have known better is just more proof that they are trying to lynch him.

T-Rav said...

Earlier this evening, I heard a clip from an interview between Anderson Cooper and a spokesman for the New Black Panthers. It was...interesting. I'll link it if I find the full thing, but basically this guy moved from making a citizens' arrest of Zimmermann (which is illegal) to announcing a rejection of the entire legal system (because it was created by the white man) to essentially admitting that they weren't really there for the Martin family, they were there to stir the pot. Oh, and any black person who disagrees with their aims is an Uncle Tom.

T-Rav said...

Calling for making a citizens' arrest of Zimmermann, that is. I don't think anyone's actually attempted it.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, so if I'm following you, then the court would either uphold or strike the mandate and then decide severability as a separate matter? Sorry if I'm asking the same question twice, but the news has really muddled what the court's options are, exactly.

(I must add, no thanks to Mark Levin. I thought he was a lawyer? /sarc)

tryanmax said...

Andrew, Joel, the MSM so desperately wants the Zimmerman story to remain one-sided. It's like an argument where one side has already lost, but it thinks it can still win as long as it has the last word.

What's next? "Oh yeah? What if we told you Zimmerman kicks puppies? Do you still like him, now?" And, actually, I said more than I even meant to. The media doesn't care about right or wrong; it's about who they like more.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, That's Critical Race Theory -- the idea that the law was created by the race in power (whites) to keep down blacks. Thus, legal equality and colorblindness is not enough because it leaves in place a system designed specifically to enslave (and kill off) blacks. You would be surprised how many black believe that. In fact, even in black-run cities, they still make the same argument and they get around the "black-run" problem by claiming that the whole bigger system is rotten.

I'm a little surprised the guy admitted they didn't care about Martin, but on the other hand, those guys are so far out there that they probably aren't interested in telling lies to sugarcoat what they want. They are basically revolutionaries.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, No problem.

Here are the court's options:

1. Decide the case isn't ready and send it back to the lower court to take more evidence.

2. Uphold the mandate. The end.

3A. Strike the mandate and leave the rest in place. The end.

3B. Strike the mandate and wipe out the rest. The end.

3C. Strike the mandate and pick and choose parts to wipe out and leave the rest. The end.

3D. Strike the mandate and send it back to the lower court to take more evidence to see what else (if anything) should be struck with it. Possibly hear the case later when it gets appealed again.


Every option except 1 and 3D would result in ONE opinion. That written opinion will make two decisions and will be nicely outlined, but it will come as one document.

Option 3D would result in one opinion now which covered the striking of the mandate (so that would happen) AND it would order the rest of the case remanded to the lower court. AFTER the case made its way back up to the Supremes in a couple years (and if the Supremes agree to hear it), then a second opinion would be made at that point on the issue of the rest of the law.

If option 1 is chosen, then a single opinion will be issued now explaining that, and then we'd have to wait and see how the case made it's way back up to the Supremes later.

Does that help?

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. When I say "single opinion," that's not 100% accurate. Technically each Justice can write their own opinions, and you will often see 3-4. But only 1 of those controls -- the one with the most votes. So you could technically have split votes on both issues with different justices actually taking seemingly contradictory decisions. I doubt that will happen, but it can.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree. They are out there very much acting as advocates for the conviction of Zimmerman. They've even entered the "why are people defending this white racist?" mode of slandering Zimmerman's defenders.

tryanmax said...

Yes, that helps very much. And thanks also for the post script. That's the part I was having the most difficulty understanding.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome.

Yeah, it gets kind of weird when you see multiple decisions and the "majority opinion" has only 3 or 4 judges. But that happens. Those decisions often are discounted a bit by future courts, but not always. And there have been some famous ones decided in that manner. One the big affirmative action cases was a real mess like this. Check this jumble out (Bakke) -- it was a 4+1 v. 4 with difference justices jumping sides for different sections of the decision:


It is important to note that there were two opposing 4-person plurality opinions and then Justice Powell's. Each of the 4-person plurality opinions concurred only with parts of Justice Powell's opinion and not the same parts.

Justices Brennan, White, Marshall and Blackmun concluded in one plurality opinion that race could be used as a factor when it was for the purpose of remedying substantial chronic underrepresentation of certain minorities in the medical profession.

Chief Justice Burger, Justice Stewart, and Justice Rehnquist joined Justice Stevens' view that whether race could ever be a factor was not at issue in the case, but that the special admissions program under consideration violated Title VI because it excluded from consideration an applicant on the basis of race.

Justice Powell concluded that though race could not be the basis for excluding a candidate, race may be one of many factors in admissions considerations.

The issue before the Court was twofold: 1. Whether Bakke's exclusion from consideration in UC Davis Medical School special admissions program for minorities because he was white was unconstitutional and a violation of section VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and 2. if it was unconstitutional, should UC Davis Medical School be required to admit him.

Justice Powell concluded that excluding a candidate from consideration solely on the basis of race was unconstitutional, no matter what the purpose, and since UC Davis Medical School could not prove that, even without the special admissions program, Bakke would never have been admitted anyway, UC Davis was compelled to admit Bakke.

Though the Stevens' plurality opinion did not concur with Powell's assertion that race could be one factor among many in admissions' considerations, it did agree with Powell that the UC Davis special admissions program excluding Bakke because he was white was unconstitutional. Stevens' plurality also concurred with that part of Powell's opinion that UC Davis should be required to admit Bakke.

Therefore, though there was no clear-cut majority view on using race as a factor in general, there was a 5–4 split in which the majority (the Stevens plurality and Powell) agreed that the UC Davis Special admissions program was unconstitutional because it excluded applicants on the basis of race. Similarly the same 5–4 split concurred that UC Davis be required to admit Bakke.

tryanmax said...

Believe it or not, this is not the first time I've heard about that case. Maybe because it's unusual?

AndrewPrice said...

It's THE big affirmative action case so you've probably heard about it that way -- it created a battleground in college admissions.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Yes, I saw that. I note that this is after the EMT cleaned his cuts up and called him good to go. Also, I note that we don't see close-ups and the picture is grainy plus the ABC logo covers most of Zimmerman's head when it is clear. In other words, I can't see a damn thing. One more note. Zimmerman is in cuffs, as in arrested that night.

Joel Farnham said...

Oh, how many hours was Zimmerman kept? We know that it is more than one hour and less than twenty-four because he saw his doctor the next day to get his broken nose treated and kept for questioning for hourS!

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I wasn't aware this was after the EMTs, but that makes sense -- they would have treated him at the scene. So he wouldn't have any blood unless it got onto his shirt or jacket and we can't tell that.

You're right about the rest too. ABC's logo covers his head and the back of his head does appear to have a dark spot but it's too grainy and too far away to see -- not that a bruise would likely show up this early in any event -- and yet ABC is selling this as "here's undeniable proof that he wasn't injured." They need to know this is a lie.

I'm not sure I get your point about the handcuffs... maybe they were his own handcuffs and the cops were just giving him a friendly ride to a KKK bondage festival? I'm sure that's what is was because we know the cops were in on this coverup, right?

AndrewPrice said...

I have no idea, but if they took him to the station, then they arrested him and kept him for several hours.

The medical records will be interesting unless we assume the doctor is a racist liar too. No doubt that will come next.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, Joel, are you two sure you're not in on the conspiracy? Just look at how you keep digging for "facts." The only fact that you need to know is that Zimmerman is guilty of being white.

Joel Farnham said...

I thought Zimmerman is "white" Hispanic, tryanmax.

Joel Farnham said...

Newest out on the Zimmerman/Martin case. The 13 year old witness has been named. I wonder when the NBPP will decide to "visit" the child and "discuss" what he actually saw?

Joel Farnham said...

Hey, I just thought of something. If Zimmerman can be called a "white" Hispanic, can Obama be called a "black" White or would he be called a "white" Black?

tryanmax said...

Joel, there you go looking for racist "facts" again. It doesn't matter if Zimmerman is "actually" Hispanic, Asian, African, or Martian. The "fact" is, he is white. Who are you to question your liberal betters?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, That's shitty. They don't usually let underage witnesses be named because it is easy to intimidate them. And the media usually freaks out about people doing that. I guess that wasn't a "journalistic principle" after all?

AndrewPrice said...

Joel and tryanmax, As near as I can tell, his biggest crime is being perceived as white. That's apparently a capital offense these days.

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