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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

OT-P: President Obama Booed After Thanking Boston For Kevin Youkilis « CBS Boston

Political loyalties aren’t as strong as team loyalties.


NOTE: As I discussed in the Off-Topics, Politics, and the Redesign thread, in the redesign I’m making non-baseball content opt-in. Until the redesign is done (about two months), I’m designating one thread each month (similar to the basketball and soccer threads) as Off-Topic Politics (OT-P) and will restrict off-topic political conversations to that thread. Off-topic political comments which appear in other threads will be deleted. Since this thread has been highjacked, I’m designating this thread as the June OT-P thread.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 26, 2012 at 06:52 AM | 1396 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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   1101. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 29, 2012 at 07:59 PM (#4169829)
Flip.
   1102. Tripon Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4169831)
FLIP? FLIP. I DON'T CARE ABOUT FLIP. GIVE ME MORE FLIP.
   1103. Downtown Bookie Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4169833)
#1102 - Sorry, I don't give a flip.

DB
   1104. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:11 PM (#4169834)
Sorry. I've got money on the over.
   1105. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4169835)
This is why gambling on message boards has to be against the rules!
   1106. Shredder Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4169836)
What happened is the Dems got hold of the executive branch and then had sufficient numbers in the legislative branch to ram an unconstitutional and unpopular law through, with precious little of the "bipartisanship" that both parties often pay lip service to being present.
I can't determine whether this is the pathetic ranting of an adult, or the petulant reaction of an emotional child. You belong to a movement where bipartisanship no longer exist, because agreement with the left is anathema to today's Republicans.
   1107. Tripon Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4169837)
Ayn Rand never should have written that book.

Or rather, when she had the option to not take SS, she still took them. Despite her bluster, she believed at least in one aspect of the Social Net.
   1108. Dan The Mediocre Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4169838)
Despite her bluster, she believed at least in one aspect of the Social Net.


No, what she believed in was her getting more money. Since social security gives her money, she is for it when the time comes to collect.
   1109. zenbitz Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4169840)
Goshdareit Ray, are you trolling me!!! The *band* Rush. Famous Ayn Rand Inspired Canadian Prog Rock Band Front Man GeDDy Lee.

For Miserlou, I quoted "Free Will" in an argument about action vs. inaction.
   1110. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: June 29, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4169844)
Goshdareit Ray, are you trolling me!!! The *band* Rush. Famous Ayn Rand Inspired Canadian Prog Rock Band Front Man GeDDy Lee.

For Miserlou, I quoted "Free Will" in an argument about action vs. inaction.


Thanks. For the record, the fact that they are still not in the R&R HOF is a worse crime than Obamacare.
   1111. villageidiom Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:01 PM (#4169845)
What happened is the Dems got hold of the executive branch and then had sufficient numbers in the legislative branch to ram an unconstitutional and unpopular law through, with precious little of the "bipartisanship" that both parties often pay lip service to being present.

Wasn't the bipartisan part where the health care system proposed by Democrats was effectively the same system demanded by Republicans federally 15-20 years earlier, and advocated at a state level by a Republican governor in the interim?

As an aside, I expect Obama to use the above point on this as his message to independents. "See? In the interest of compromise we took a step toward Republicans, and their response was to take three steps backward and blame us for not doing enough to compromise. It's what has been going on in Congress for 18 years; it's what Mitt Romney is doing now; and it's at the heart of the Republican platform for the forseeable future. Is that what you want for America's future? Hell no." The GOP can play the hate game, but all that will get you is Obama reelected. (Push the hate game too far, and you get Joe Biden as President.)
   1112. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:12 PM (#4169846)
Yes, but their sampling in recent years has started coming of for a lot of criticism...


Rassmussen or Gallup? Rassmussen had a decidedly strong tilt last cycle, but has come back towards the pack, and they did come in for a lot of criticism for their methodology. Gallup's bigger issue is that, IIRC, they don't use cell phone samples in a day and age where something like 1 in 3 households don't have a land line and another 1 in 6 seldom answer it. Even so, I wouldn't call the amount of criticism a lot.

How is constitutionality determined?


I think there's two views of constitutionality at work here. There's what you feel is the accurate interpretation of the constitution, and there's what's the current, de jure rule that actually matters for actually doing anything. So, for example, I think that the Court in Buckley v. Valeo was mistaken when determining that money equaled speech and that fairly stringent campaign finance laws are constitutional. At the same time, it's pretty clear that those laws are unconstitutional no matter how strongly I feel it should be to the contrary. So in the fascist takeover example, it'd similarly be both constitutional and unconstitutional depending on which meaning you were going for.

Part of the problem is separating the idea of "constitutional" from the value of "good"- it's not all that easy to admit that some things you think would be good policy is unconstitutional by your own interpretation of the constitution and by the same token that some things you think are awful policy are constitutional.
   1113. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4169847)
So, basically, Ray can think Obamacare is unconstitutional but he has to admit that for the purpose of actually evaluating the law the group that matters disagrees with him.

eta: I have Ray blocked, because he has seldom if ever said anything interesting or thought provoking and most of his commentary is bilious and sophistic, but it's pretty interesting trying to figure out exactly what he's saying by the snippets of quotes people are responding to.
   1114. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:29 PM (#4169852)
Part of the problem is separating the idea of "constitutional" from the value of "good"- it's not all that easy to admit that some things you think would be good policy is unconstitutional by your own interpretation of the constitution and by the same token that some things you think are awful policy are constitutional.


"Constitutionality" is a mug's game for people who are already tools of the state. This is the great, fantastic irony of the libertarian chorus about these parts.
   1115. Danny Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4169853)
Gallup's bigger issue is that, IIRC, they don't use cell phone samples in a day and age where something like 1 in 3 households don't have a land line and another 1 in 6 seldom answer it.

Gallup calls cell phones. In fact, they called mine last week.
   1116. The District Attorney Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4169855)
I expect Obama to use the above point on this as his message to independents. "See? In the interest of compromise we took a step toward Republicans, and their response was to take three steps backward and blame us for not doing enough to compromise. It's what has been going on in Congress for 18 years; it's what Mitt Romney is doing now; and it's at the heart of the Republican platform for the forseeable future. Is that what you want for America's future? Hell no."
Three problems with this.

1. As has been mentioned, people like winners. They don't know from filibusters, balance of power, what have you. They believe that the President can, and should, get things done on the basis that he is the President.

2. For his entire political career, Obama has been cultivating an image of himself as the calm, sensible man in the room. That's part of why his political favorability rating is higher than Romney and pretty much every other currently relevant US figure, and it's a big part of why his personal favorability rating stays pretty good even when his political favorability rating goes down. As we're in fact seeing right now in this very discussion, it's quite difficult to simultaneously accuse the other side of not being bipartisan and retain the image of being bipartisan yourself. Obama has earned enough "above the fray" capital that he can spend a little of it, but he really can't overdo it.

3. If someone has a problem with Republican obstructionism solely on the basis that it's obstruction (without reference to what agenda either side is trying to advance), then a logical solution to that would be to simply elect a Republican President.

I do think Obama can come off as a bit of a squish, and he does need to rap the Republicans' knuckles a bit. But you need to be very careful with it. Perhaps Harry Truman could run on a "give 'em hell" platform, but it's not Obama's persona and I think it'd be a really bad idea for him to try it on now. And again, it's difficult for anyone to prove they're a tough guy by arguing that their opponent has rendered them impotent.

The more critical thing for Obama IMO is to try to define Romney's positions before Romney does. Romney is giving him quite the window to do that, since he is offering little other than the fact that he isn't Obama. Obama moves on immigration? Romney says Obama didn't keep his earlier immigration promises. ACA is upheld? Romney says Obama is screwing up health care.

If Romney thinks that he can win by emphasizing that he's not Obama and being as vague as possible otherwise, I think he's incorrect about that, barring a Eurodisaster or other huge outside event that works against Obama. Incumbents don't lose when it's close to 50/50 and the challenger hasn't made it clear how their alternative would play out. We've seen that so many times. And anyway, Romney is going to be forced to show his hand eventually, by debates, cutting campaign ads, etc. He's running for the highest office, for Pete's sake ;-) I think it'd be a big mistake for him to wait until he's cornered before he starts doing it.
   1117. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: June 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4169857)
Newt Gingrich's sugar daddy donated 10 million to the Koch Brothers' today...
   1118. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4169862)
Gallup calls cell phones. In fact, they called mine last week.


Well, #### me gently with a chainsaw. Guess IDNRC!
   1119. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM (#4169866)
Newt Gingrich's sugar daddy donated 10 million to the Koch Brothers' today...

Where is Anatole France when we need him?
   1120. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4169890)
Thanks. For the record, the fact that they are still not in the R&R HOF is a worse crime than Obamacare.

Also for the record, Neil Peart has not really believed in the writings of Ayn Rand for about 35 years at this point.
   1121. CrosbyBird Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM (#4169905)
This was a pretty cool contest.

I'm hoping that the place that referred me to this link wasn't somewhere earlier in this thread.
   1122. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 29, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4169925)
eta: I have Ray blocked, because he has seldom if ever said anything interesting or thought provoking and most of his commentary is bilious and sophistic, but it's pretty interesting trying to figure out exactly what he's saying by the snippets of quotes people are responding to.


It's always amusing to me when people who I've never heard of have me blocked.
   1123. tshipman Posted: June 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4169942)
If Romney thinks that he can win by emphasizing that he's not Obama and being as vague as possible otherwise, I think he's incorrect about that, barring a Eurodisaster or other huge outside event that works against Obama. Incumbents don't lose when it's close to 50/50 and the challenger hasn't made it clear how their alternative would play out. We've seen that so many times. And anyway, Romney is going to be forced to show his hand eventually, by debates, cutting campaign ads, etc. He's running for the highest office, for Pete's sake ;-) I think it'd be a big mistake for him to wait until he's cornered before he starts doing it.


Romney's campaign (up until this point) has been very explicit in its critique of Obama as poor economically. Everything is attempted to be tied back in to jobs, etc.

It's a highly risky maneuver, because what do you do if we start adding 200K jobs per month?
   1124. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4169954)
It's always amusing to me when people who I've never heard of have me blocked.
Why? You post very frequently so it's likely that your name will be more recognizable to another poster (picked at random) than his/hers is to you.

I mean, as someone whose name is likely unfamiliar to most posters here, I'm sure most of the people whom I have blocked are unaware that I have done so and have no appreciable memory for my posts on this forum. I could (in theory) go ahead and list them and eliminate the first condition, but because I do not post frequently here (and perhaps because I also eschew controversial positions) they still won't likely know my posts from those of a first time poster.

(I assume it goes without saying that I myself haven't blocked you, Ray).
   1125. Ron J Posted: June 30, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4169965)
#1112 I agree with you on the multiple meanings of the word. I just happen to think it's unfortunate because it's another way for people to talk past each other -- and God knows there's enough of that in any political discussion.

My preference is to use something like "poorly reasoned" for a ruling that has no chance of being overturned in the next couple of decades. And I'm prepared to bet that this one won't be overturned by the courts.

IOW it's "constitutional" even if you can't comprehend how the court came up with its ruling.
   1126. zenbitz Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4169966)
@1120. I knows but its a meme. I think it takes a completely simplistic and unnuaced reading (listening?) Of "the trees" to conclude its a libertarian anthbem
   1127. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:34 AM (#4169980)
I think it hurt the Dems back in the day (Vietnam war protests and such) and I think it hurts the GOP now. The GOPs great strength usually is the ability to dog whistle the hate, so the haters hear it and know it and the low information folks don't. Romney is pretty bad at dog whistle politics.
1) The only people who ever hear these dog whistles are liberals. Which means liberals are the dogs. Which really kind of screws up the whole metaphor.
2) If you're not reaching the low information folks, then how is that a "strength" in the first place?
   1128. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:37 AM (#4169981)
How exactly is Obamacare an infringement on the 2nd amendment?

Didn't you hear? The AFT is going to confiscate all of our guns and use them to collect those taxes.
The American Federation of Teachers? Yeah, I can buy that, actually.
   1129. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:42 AM (#4169982)
So the emergency room should turn aside a nine-year old with a cut arm and let him bleed to death because his parents either didn't purchase or can't afford health insurance?
Of course not. They should treat him, and then send the bill directly to the people who think it's "barbaric" not to treat him.

Oh, and then take his parents away.
   1130. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:44 AM (#4169983)
The market for health care is unique in that there's essentially a societal compact, engaged in by all, that would-be purchasers of necessary health care will be served even though all parties know they can't pay. It can't be compared to normal markets.
In fact, it can be compared to normal markets. That's not anything remotely unique, nor is it actually a feature of the market in the first place. It's just standard-issue left-wing government welfare.
   1131. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:45 AM (#4169984)
So, basically, Ray can think Obamacare is unconstitutional but he has to admit that for the purpose of actually evaluating the law the group that matters disagrees with him.

eta: I have Ray blocked, because he has seldom if ever said anything interesting or thought provoking and most of his commentary is bilious and sophistic, but it's pretty interesting trying to figure out exactly what he's saying by the snippets of quotes people are responding to.


It strikes me as extraordinarily classless to take shots directly at a poster who you've blocked from even seeing comments from. If you wish to never engage Ray, that's cool and everything, but to guarantee you only have to participate in a one-way argument is pretty pathetic.
   1132. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:48 AM (#4169985)
Those who are legitimately too poor to buy coverage were free riders before Obamacare and remain free riders with Obamacare, but it may well be the case that they're less of a drain on the system with better access to preventative and other non-disaster care, since they'll be consuming far fewer resources by more frequently addressing health issues when they are smaller and easier to manage.
Someone mentioned this earlier, and I meant to comment on it but did not, and don't feel like figuring out who it was, so I'll respond here. There's no evidence that expanding preventive care saves money. Studies simply don't find it. It may be good policy for other reasons, but not for financial ones.
   1133. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 06:54 AM (#4169986)
Maybe if there are no consequences to the authority's assertion. But that's not the case here. If Paul had said "I disagree with the Court's reasoning and I believe that the authority for the law is not found within the text of the Constitution", then maybe he'd have a point.
"The authority for the law is not found within the text of the Constitution" = "unconstitutional."
But it's absolutely the case that the Supreme Court saying a law is Constitutional BY DEFINITION makes that law Constitutional.
No, it doesn't. BY DEFINITION, that can't be true, since the Supreme Court changes its mind from time-to-time without the constitution actually having been changed.

The Supreme Court can rule a law to be constitutional or not -- but the Supreme Court can be right or wrong when it does so.


There's the old baseball analogy that they teach. There are three types of umpires:
One kind says: "I call 'em as I see 'em."
Another says: "I call 'em as they are."
The last says: "They ain't anything until I call 'em."

The third one is, of course, wrong.


As is Sam when he writes:
There is not a natural state of being called "constitutional." It's not a Platonic form.
   1134. Poulanc Posted: June 30, 2012 at 07:39 AM (#4169989)
Of course not. They should treat him, and then send the bill directly to the people who think it's "barbaric" not to treat him.


Isn't that what happens?
   1135. Poulanc Posted: June 30, 2012 at 07:51 AM (#4169991)
The Supreme Court can rule a law to be constitutional or not -- but the Supreme Court can be right or wrong when it does so.


The Supreme Court is interpreting a 225 year old document that has been amended 27 times. I'm amused that you think it's so black and white that you can call it either right or wrong.
   1136. Dan The Mediocre Posted: June 30, 2012 at 08:21 AM (#4169993)
1) The only people who ever hear these dog whistles are liberals


What do you think "Kenyan anti-colonialist" means?
   1137. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 09:08 AM (#4169996)
It strikes me as extraordinarily classless to take shots directly at a poster who you've blocked from even seeing comments from. If you wish to never engage Ray, that's cool and everything, but to guarantee you only have to participate in a one-way argument is pretty pathetic.
Ah, but if person A has Ray blocked, how would s/he know that the shots taken are one-way? At least by taking the shots, s/he is revealing him/herself to Ray so that Ray can make a more informed decision about whether or not to block the other person.

I dunno, I guess I think that shots at people you've blocked strike me as no better or worse than any other shots. I think one should not take shots at people; whether or not you have them blocked or vice versa is beside the point.
   1138. formerly dp Posted: June 30, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4170020)
What do you think "Kenyan anti-colonialist" means?

I had assumed it was a term of endearment. Is that not the case?
   1139. CrosbyBird Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4170032)
Someone mentioned this earlier, and I meant to comment on it but did not, and don't feel like figuring out who it was, so I'll respond here. There's no evidence that expanding preventive care saves money. Studies simply don't find it. It may be good policy for other reasons, but not for financial ones.

I said it "may" end up reducing the drain on the system. Bear in mind that it need not be less expensive if the additional cost is outweighed by some other financial benefit that exceeds the extra cost such as increased productivity or reduced disease vectors.

The financial effect is something that is particularly hard to model because of these sorts of secondary effects. If someone gets antibiotics for a bacterial infection, the period of time where they're infectious is reduced. Fewer people catch the bug from them. That's more people that don't experience lost productivity and that don't infect others. That has a pretty clear financial benefit.

Also, one of the other limited resources under the current system is emergency room time. That's another way that lack of access to affordable care causes people to drain resources from the system.
   1140. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4170038)
The financial effect is something that is particularly hard to model because of these sorts of secondary effects. If someone gets antibiotics for a bacterial infection, the period of time where they're infectious is reduced. Fewer people catch the bug from them. That's more people that don't experience lost productivity and that don't infect others. That has a pretty clear financial benefit.


It has a pretty clear financial benefit if it all proceeds according to that one path on the flowchart, and all of those conditions are in place. But if it proceeds differently, with different conditions, the financial benefit is not so clear. For example, yes, screening for diseases will help those people who have the disease and see it picked up early from the screening. But there are scores of people for which the screening will have no benefit, because they don't have the disease. And screening costs money. People seem to take it as a given that preventative care saves money, but that is not clear at all.
   1141. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4170041)
Again, I ask those who hold that the Supreme Court does not decide constitutionality: what does, then? How, at any given moment, do we know what's consitutional? This is not a trick question. It's not a gotcha. We want to know--we need to know. There's this case in controversy, or just this facutal scenario, and we want to know if it passes constitutional muster? How is that determined? By the Supreme Court? No? Then who and how? Tell us specifically how this works its way to a resolution.
   1142. CrosbyBird Posted: June 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4170044)
It has a pretty clear financial benefit if it all proceeds according to that one path on the flowchart, and all of those conditions are in place. But if it proceeds differently, with different conditions, the financial benefit is not so clear. For example, yes, screening for diseases will help those people who have the disease and see it picked up early from the screening. But there are scores of people for which the screening will have no benefit, because they don't have the disease. And screening costs money.

Correct, which is why I said it "may" be the case and why I said it's very difficult to model. It would be just as unreasonable to ignore some of the financial costs as it would be to ignore some of financial benefits. One significant financial cost is that with improved medical care, people will live longer and consume more health care over their lifetimes. (Few people will argue that this is a bad thing, but it is an increased cost.)

That said, I don't think we're going to have a rash of people going to the doctor with minor sniffles because minor sniffles aren't enough of a nuisance to merit taking the time to go to the doctor. You have health insurance, I'm assuming. Do you make a doctor's appointment for every sniffle or sore throat or boo-boo?

People seem to take it as a given that preventative care saves money, but that is not clear at all.

Perhaps "people" do, but I wasn't.
   1143. CrosbyBird Posted: June 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4170049)
Again, I ask those who hold that the Supreme Court does not decide constitutionality: what does, then? How, at any given moment, do we know what's consitutional?

We generally don't know so much as defer to the Supreme Court's opinion as to whether a law is unconstitutional (and legally, treat the matter as settled so that we can get on with the rest of our lives). Even the justices of that court rarely are in complete agreement.

Scalia says Obamacare is unconstitutional. Would it be appropriate to say that he is incorrect, or that he simply holds the minority position on an issue that can't truly be resolved as a matter of fact? If Roberts goes the other way, does that make Scalia "right" about constitutionality?
   1144. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4170056)
Isn't the "this is un/constitutional" argument roughly the same as "he is a Hall of Famer" argument?

Some people argue that a Hall of Famer is, by definition, whomever the Hall of Fame argues is a Hall of Famer. If they currently say that Pete Rose is not a Hall of Famer, then he's not one. If Rose gets voted in, then he is one. If they change their minds about Mickey Mantle and kick him out for using greenies, then he's not one. If Eva Longoria gets voted in (because of a typo on the voting form), then she's one, regardless of whether or not she has ever played the sport. And so forth.

Others use "Hall of Famer" to mean what they think it should mean: one of the best players to ever play the game. Hank Aaron isn't a Hall of Famer because of the judgments of other people, he's a Hall of Famer because he was one of the best players to ever play the game. Buddy Biancalana's not being a Hall of Famer has nothing to do with whether or not he's received votes, but because he's not one of the greatest players to ever play the game. They point out that any player COULD, in theory, get inducted (either voted in by the current standards or designated a Hall of Famer by future, possibly more lenient, standards -- see "hat size"), and the idiosyncratic picks of some group of people is irrelevant to the greatness or ineptitude of their play on the diamond.

Isn't that what's happening here?
   1145. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4170058)
We generally don't know so much as defer to the Supreme Court's opinion as to whether a law is unconstitutional (and legally, treat the matter as settled so that we can get on with the rest of our lives).


Well, as a legal, practical, and political matter, I'm sorry, but we in fact do. But if didn’t, or we shouldn’t, who or what do we defer to? How do we get this game played? It’s seems as if many here go to great lengths not to go anywhere on this question of who, what, and how constitutionality is decided? Why is that? It’s a simple question.

No one is ever in complete agreement about anything. So what? I can't feel but again, this reversion to, well, courts reverse themselves and justices differ, is redolent of evasion. To plant your flag on that is so broaden the issue, which should be a narrow one if it is make sense and have effect, as to make it undeterminable, if not meaningless. But we certainly can’t have concept of constitutionality to be irrelevant, can we?

Is there a concept we can term "constitutionality"? If there is, what is that concept and what determines it. People are good at saying that the court changes its holding sometimes on issues, that justices differ on issues. My response: so what, and okay. Then it has to follow, what, then, determines constitutionality, if not the Supreme Court?

For a resolution, there must be a decision somehow by someone, mustn’t there? There must be a resolution which we will couch in terms of "constitutionality"? So, how does this game play out?

Or, are you really holding that there is no such thing? Well, there's a thing—so let’s say instead, no such concept. That it’s all personal and subjective? Man, that’s a hell of way to run a railroad.

Scalia says Obamacare is unconstitutional. Would it be appropriate to say that he is incorrect, or that he simply holds the minority position on an issue that can't truly be resolved as a matter of fact? If Roberts goes the other way, does that make Scalia "right" about constitutionality?


Why not? If not that, what then?
   1146. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4170063)
1144:

That's some very good points, and a very good comparison you make, too.

Part of the problem is we’re dealing with language. People who say it can only be one way, their way or no way, are not appreciating the way language inextricably deals with multiple meanings simultaneously. We can hardly say anything that can’t be taken in some other way. That's why we should keep in mind that what's good and best and right is not coequal to what's constitutional (or HOF worthy and meta HOF worthy).

What is a Hall of Famer? Someone elected to the HOF (yeah, there are other ways--let's keep this simple)? Even if he shouldn’t have been elected (how do we know this?). The electors, and the institution they are agents of, have a concept of what a HOF is, who should be in it, and on what terms, and that panel of “judges” applies all that variously.

But all of us, in some way or other have a supervening concept we apply that the judges may not comport with? Even if we feel we are right and they are wrong, we still don’t have a vote. We still don’t elect anybody. (And if we did have institutional stature, there would still be odd men out who would then feel as we did—that we were wrong and they are right.)

There still must be a system if you going to have an institution that has effect. And a political process must have effect. May be the HOF roster of judges needs to be purged. Maybe the Supreme Court does, too. You will still be left with some process that incorporates some chosen people making choices based on premises that allow a resolution, which some will always find lacking. But: what else is there? (That’s not necessarily a rhetorical question—what else is there that has social, legal, and political efficacy?)
   1147. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4170070)
What is the issue, here? If a law is not supported by the constitution, then the law is unconstitutional. Pretty much by definition. If a person or group of people nevertheless hold that the law is constitutional, then those persons are wrong. As is the case here. They are wrong. The law should have been struck down.
   1148. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4170072)
What is the issue, here? If a law is not supported by the constitution, then the law is unconstitutional. Pretty much by definition. If a person or group of people nevertheless hold that the law is constitutional, then those persons are wrong.
By whose definition of "supported by the constitution"? There's more than one and — I know, it's shocking! — the Ray interpretation isn't the only valid one.

The Constitution doesn't exist in a state of nature; the The Supreme Court defines what's constitutional, and when they reverse themselves, rightly or wrongly, they change the definition. What is constitutional isn't necessarily what is right.
   1149. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4170073)
Also, I don't know how one can logically argue that "Since the court upheld it, then by definition it must be constitutional." The court upheld it by a 5-4 vote. So you have justices on either side. So the argument logically fails, as it must logically fail. And as David noted, another way you can see this is that the court often reverses itself - as it did years later with the Bowers v. Hardwick case I mentioned.
   1150. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:07 PM (#4170074)
Also, I don't know how one can logically argue that "Since the court upheld it, then by definition it must be constitutional." The court upheld it by a 5-4 vote. So you have justices on either side. So the argument logically fails, as it must logically fail.
If you believe this, then law means nothing, and all you have is Mao.
   1151. CrosbyBird Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4170075)
Or, are you really holding that there is no such thing? Well, there's a thing—so let’s say instead, no such concept. That it’s all personal and subjective? Man, that’s a hell of way to run a railroad.

Correct. We recognize that the entire idea of whether something conforms to a complex set of sometimes conflicting rules will always be a matter of interpretation based on one's particular values; there is no "knowing."

And since, as you say, it's no way to run a railroad, we agree to act as if what a majority of these particular nine experts agree on is a fact. A child doesn't listen to Mommy because Mommy is always right or because there's even one perfect "truth" about the right way to behave, but because Mommy is in charge. We listen to the opinions of the Supreme Court because they are in charge, and we respect (or at least fear) the government enough to comply with their rules.

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech." A reasonable person cannot deny that a number of restrictions on speech that are "constitutional" by the decree of our highest court are "unconstitutional" in the sense that they directly and unambiguously contradict the text of the document itself.

So you're asking a fundamentally defective question when you ask "How do we know if something is constitutional?" There isn't a simple answer. The complex answer is "it depends on what what you mean by constitutional." The question it looks like you're trying to answer with "because the Supreme Court ruled so" is more appropriately something like "How is a person to definitively know which laws remain in force and which have been struck down?" We need to be able to answer that question in order to follow the rules properly, but we don't need to agree that the particular interpretation is correct or that there even is a "correct" interpretation.
   1152. Zipperholes Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4170077)
What is the issue, here? If a law is not supported by the constitution, then the law is unconstitutional. Pretty much by definition. If a person or group of people nevertheless hold that the law is constitutional, then those persons are wrong.
I hope to God whoever said this is not a lawyer.
   1153. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4170078)
LA, the fact that our system has final arbiters in order to prevent the system from completely breaking down does not mean that those final arbiters are always correct.

Think of it this way also: typically lower appeals courts rule on the matter before the Supreme Court gets it. Typically the Supreme Court overrules the lower courts. Are the lower courts just filled with idiots and morons, such that the Supreme Court often has to correct them? Or might it be that the lower courts sometimes get it right and the Supreme Court comes along and gets it wrong?

Sometimes there is more than one reasonable view of whether something is constitutional. There are close cases.

And sometimes, like this time, the cases aren't close.
   1154. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4170079)
I hope to God whoever said this is not a lawyer.


Why? What specifically is wrong about it?

Are you a lawyer?
   1155. CrosbyBird Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:24 PM (#4170082)
If you believe this, then law means nothing, and all you have is Mao.

That's not true at all. We've built a system where we accept that we need to make some decisions that, by their very nature, cannot simply just be true as a matter of fact. That's why we receive judicial "opinions" and not judicial "facts."

When people say "OJ Simpson is guilty of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson," they do not mean "OJ Simpson was found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of his peers" (legal guilt) but that "OJ Simpson did murder Nicole Brown Simpson" (is morally blameworthy). Saying that a particular law is wrong or that a particular case is wrongly decided is not saying that the rule of law is entirely worthless or that we live in a country ruled entirely by fiat.
   1156. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4170084)
Well, they can't know that for sure either--that OJ murdered Nicole Brown Simpson. That's the crux. Nothing can be known with absolute certainty--thus although we must make decisions that have effect as if we know for certain, the question and issue is always in some sense open, and some issues are so open, to speak with the air of authority that some do here is ridiculous. However, as I say (and I say again I do not speak rhetorically), maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is a way to know constitutionality in some alternative sense that justifies the air of certainty and know-it-all-ness.
   1157. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4170086)
What’s the issue here? If a law is not supported by the constitution, then the law is unconstitutional.


Who says? And how do we know that? What’s the issue here? How many times has it been set forth? The issue is who are you (or me) to say what goes down with sure certainty? And who and what is the judge of what we say?

Pretty much by definition.


And the devil is in the details. And the details are determining facts to that definition. And people do that differently with different results. You may think them wrong, but that's not an officially approved definition of wrong in the legal and political sense.

If a person or group of people nevertheless hold that the law is constitutional, then those persons are wrong.


Who says so, and how do we know they (you or me) are right (or wrong).

You're still just relying on nothing but rank assertion for your view, and you are still not answering the question--how is the determination made and who are you to be the final decider. You still simply rest your assertions on assertions that resemble someone who claims to have heard the voice of God—why should we believe them (or you or me)? That is nut-cracking time.
   1158. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4170087)
Well, they can't know that for sure either--that OJ murdered Nicole Brown Simpson.


Morty, this is utter nonsense. We know with 100.0% certainty that OJ murdered them.
   1159. tshipman Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4170089)
And sometimes, like this time, the cases aren't close.


You know, the fringe right had a good run on shifting the window on this law, but at some point, you're just a poor loser. Back in 1989, there was no hint that anyone thought an individual mandate was unconstitutional. In 1994, it was promoted aggressively as a less statist approach to the goal of UHC. In 2006, no one thought it was unconstitutional when it was implemented in MA. In 2008, when all three Dem candidates for president were talking about the mandate, no one said it was unconstitutional. Even last week, when a poll of constitutional scholars is conducted, they overwhelmingly believe it to be constitutional.

The fact that through aggressive agitation, the right wing has managed to give the thin veneer of respectability to the argument that a mandate is unconstitutional is quite a feat. To continue to argue aggressively that the law is unconstitutional, when your argument has been massively rejected, is to just be a poor loser.
   1160. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:50 PM (#4170094)
The fact that through aggressive agitation, the right wing has managed to give the thin veneer of respectability to the argument that a mandate is unconstitutional is quite a feat. To continue to argue aggressively that the law is unconstitutional, when your argument has been massively rejected, is to just be a poor loser.


I don't recall stating anywhere, at any time, that the mandate was constitutional. Not in 2012, not in 2008, not in 1994, not in 1989. I don't recall that not because my memory is bad, but because I never stated it. So whatever other people may have said at various points in time (not that you've quoted any of them) is irrelevant to my position that the mandate is unconstitutional.
   1161. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4170095)
It's circular (obviously, as you'll see), but can't one argue that since the Constitution defines the Supreme Court as the ultimate arbiters of the law of the land, then ultimately, there is no ultimate authority on legal matters (including the Constitution) beyond the Supreme Court?

I mean, if the Constitution is the highest authority in the land, and if it says that The Supreme Court are the most important authority in judging laws, then to say that the Supreme Court is "wrong" about a law is to suggest that you (or someone or something) possesses a higher authority to deciding legality/constitutionality than the Supreme Court. But to do so, aren't you going against the Constitution, which says the Supreme Court are the ultimate arbiters of such things?

What am I missing? One can argue that the law is bad and the Supreme Court made a moral mistake or violated principles that you hold dear, but how can one argue that something is unconstitutional after-the-fact, if the Constitution itself says that nothing possesses a higher basis for determining constitutionality than the Supreme Court?

The above is not asked argumentatively, but out of curiosity. I can think of ways of rebutting this, but they require more nuanced understandings of the Constitution than I possess.
   1162. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4170096)
Also, I don't know how one can logically argue that "Since the court upheld it, then by definition it must be constitutional." The court upheld it by a 5-4 vote.


Some horses win like Secretariat did at Belmont, and some win by a nose. Both, by definition, are winners.
   1163. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4170097)
We know with 100.0% certainty that OJ murdered them.
Are you taking the piss here? Other people might claim that they're speaking hyperbolically and that what they mean is that there is no reasonable doubt about the issue; you tend to say what you mean and mean what you say. How can you claim that something like that is 100% knowable? (You're not OJ, right?)
   1164. tshipman Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4170099)
I don't recall stating anywhere, at any time, that the mandate was constitutional. Not in 2012, not in 2008, not in 1994, not in 1989. I don't recall that not because my memory is bad, but because I never stated it. So whatever other people may have said at various points in time (not that you've quoted any of them) is irrelevant to my position that the mandate is unconstitutional.


Your position is dumb and based on a hyper-technicality. A tax credit system (where congress levies a tax and gives a credit to anyone who has medical insurance) is indisputably constitutional. A single-payer system is indisputably constitutional. So your argument rests on the fact that Congress found the authority to enact the law in the Commerce clause, rather than some other part of the Constitution. That's the thin straw that your argument lies on.

Your continued protest over exactly how something was done, even when everyone who matters disagrees with you, makes you a sore loser.
   1165. Srul Itza Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4170102)
how can one argue that something is unconstitutional after-the-fact, if the Constitution itself says that nothing possesses a higher basis for determining constitutionality than the Supreme Court?


Actually, the Constitution says nothing about the Supreme Court interpreting the Constitution or the constitutionality of laws. The Constitution says that there shall be a Supreme Court. During debates over the Constitution and over its ratification, the power of the Court to determine the constitutionality of laws was discussed and largely assumed to exist, but it was not enshrined in the document. The Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, resolved the debate by saying that, yes, the Courts do have that power.
   1166. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4170104)
Are you taking the piss here? Other people might claim that they're speaking hyperbolically and that what they mean is that there is no reasonable doubt about the issue; you tend to say what you mean and mean what you say. How can you claim that something like that is 100% knowable? (You're not OJ, right?)


I said it was 100% knowable, and (as you surmise) I meant it was 100% knowable. 100%. Not 98%, not 99%, not 99.9%, but 100%.

Please construct a scenario for me -- any scenario -- that OJ is innocent. Then we can test it against the facts. The only scenario you can possibly construct is something fantastical such as "martians came down secretly in an invisible spaceship and brainwashed people and warped the space-time continuum to frame OJ."

That's all you're left with, and that is 100%. Anyone who doesn't think we know with 100% certainty that OJ killed those people either isn't informed on the matter - has no clue what the evidence and the facts are - or is simply not operating with anything close to full mental capacity.
   1167. Srul Itza Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4170105)
the cases aren't close


Really? You are just so much smarter and so superior to every judge who ruled that the law and every legal scholar who argued that it was constitutional, that every one of them is a complete moron or corrupt, because the case isn't even close?

This is all the proof one needs to determine that you are either a troll or a jackass.

That case isn't close.
   1168. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4170106)
re 1165: How could the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison conclude otherwise? If the Supreme Court does not have the ultimate authority to decide what is constitutional, what person or body would decide in its place. If "the judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court" does not mean the power to judge all laws of the land, then what else would judge constitutionality in its place, and would that not be an even bigger assumption of powers than what Marbury v Madison suggests is appropriate for the Supreme Court?
   1169. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4170107)
This is all the proof one needs to determine that you are either a troll or a jackass.

That case isn't close.


Why don't you put me on ignore already, Srul, if pretty much every time you ever address me you insult me? I mean, why bother reading what I write?
   1170. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4170108)
That's all you're left with, and that is 100%. Anyone who doesn't think we know with 100% certainty that OJ killed those people either isn't informed on the matter - has no clue what the evidence and the facts are - or is simply not operating with anything close to full mental capacity.
I have no belief in anyone's 100% guilt. Although I generally believe in the state's ability to identify the guilty (and which does not require 100% certainty for conviction), I do not see how anyone can be 100% certain of anyone's guilt. The Thin Blue Line, the McMartin Trial, the West Memphis Three... in all of these cases there were people working for or with the state who lied in order to get a conviction. Although I would never claim that that happened in the OJ Simpson trial, there's no reason it could not have. 99.99999999% certain? Sure, whatever. But 100% means there is no possibility that anyone lied, and I do not believe that.
   1171. Srul Itza Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4170109)
How could the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison conclude otherwise?


I don't think they could, but there are those who disagree.

If "the judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court" does not mean the power to judge all laws of the land, then what else would judge constitutionality in its place, and would that not be an even bigger assumption of powers than what Marbury v Madison suggests is appropriate for the Supreme Court?


This is not precisely the best vehicle for the lengthy discussion of historical legal theory that this would entail. What "judicial power" means, is open to interpretation. There are those who argued that Congress and the President, as co-equal branches of the government, were equally empowered to determine whether a law is constitutional. And don't get me started on theories relating to the powers of the States to get involved in this.

All these other theories may have been unworkable, or they may have eventually resolved us into a different system.

EDIT: When you grow up with a system, learning that this is the way things are done, it seems inevitable. History is rarely so neat.
   1172. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4170110)
I said it "may" end up reducing the drain on the system. Bear in mind that it need not be less expensive if the additional cost is outweighed by some other financial benefit that exceeds the extra cost such as increased productivity or reduced disease vectors.

The financial effect is something that is particularly hard to model because of these sorts of secondary effects. If someone gets antibiotics for a bacterial infection, the period of time where they're infectious is reduced. Fewer people catch the bug from them. That's more people that don't experience lost productivity and that don't infect others. That has a pretty clear financial benefit.
First, the argument isn't that there isn't some anecdotal situations in which preventive care can't save money; the argument is that preventive care as a class does not.

Second, antibiotics for a bacterial infection would not normally be deemed preventive care, but rather treatment.
   1173. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4170112)
Or, are you really holding that there is no such thing? Well, there's a thing—so let’s say instead, no such concept. That it’s all personal and subjective? Man, that’s a hell of way to run a railroad.
Hmm. That's an odd way to phrase it. I'm saying the exact opposite: that it's not personal and subjective, but rather objective. You're the one claiming it's subjective.


EDIT:
Well, they can't know that for sure either--that OJ murdered Nicole Brown Simpson. That's the crux. Nothing can be known with absolute certainty
Well, OJ knows with absolute certainty. As does Nicole Brown Simpson.

But that misses the point: OJ did murder Nicole Brown Simpson. Or he didn't. But that's not a matter of opinion; it's a matter of objective fact. If he did, then people who say otherwise are wrong. If he didn't, then people who say otherwise are wrong.
   1174. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4170114)
But 100% means there is no possibility that anyone lied, and I do not believe that.


No, 100% means that there is no possibility - none - that he is innocent.

Consider just this: There were bloody footprints leading away from the crime scene. His shoes and his DNA, but let's forget that. To the left of the footprints were drops of blood.

Now: On OJ's finger on his left hand was a fresh gash.

He must be the unluckiest man in the world.

His DNA at the crime scene. His shoe prints. His gloves. Dripping blood in his home, in his car, in his driveway. A glove found on his property. He was late for his pickup from the limo driver.

The unluckiest man in the entire world.

You need dozens of people either lying or otherwise conspiring against him. To frame a man for a murder. Many of these people who don't know each other, just met that night, engaging in a massive conspiracy to frame him - and even then it doesn't really work.

To what end, Bob Nob? To what end? For what reason do all of these people come together to conspire against him?
   1175. villageidiom Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4170118)
There's no evidence that expanding preventive care saves money.
There's market-based evidence but it depends on what you mean by "expanding" preventive care.

Health insurance was originally intended for major medical issues. Eventually health insurers started covering preventive care, and continue to this day, because they found it was cheaper to pay for preventive care for all their insureds than it was to pay the claims for the few major issues that preventive care would find or prevent. So if you mean "expanding" preventive care to more people, damn right there's evidence it saves money.

If you mean "expanding" the procedures used in preventive care, you have a point. These days a doctor might screen for everything connected with a given symptom, at the first presentation of the symptom, because waiting to eliminate the most likely causes before testing for the bizarre stuff could be seen as negligence. The growing availability of medical technology combined with a legal system that is tilted heavily in favor of patients* have expanded the number of treatments included in preventive care, which in turn has increased the cost. There is no evidence - yet - that this saves money. Health insurance costs are rising due to many factors, and it's unclear whether increased preventive care is exacerbating or offsetting those factors.

* Not saying it's rightly or wrongly tilted this way. It just is.
   1176. bobm Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4170119)
First, the argument isn't that there isn't some anecdotal situations in which preventive care can't save money; the argument is that preventive care as a class does not.

Vaccination seems hardly anecdotal.
   1177. Srul Itza Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4170120)
Second, antibiotics for a bacterial infection would not normally be deemed preventive care, but rather treatment.


Depending on the angle you approach it from, it can be both.
   1178. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4170121)
You know, the fringe right had a good run on shifting the window on this law, but at some point, you're just a poor loser. Back in 1989, there was no hint that anyone thought an individual mandate was unconstitutional. In 1994, it was promoted aggressively as a less statist approach to the goal of UHC. In 2006, no one thought it was unconstitutional when it was implemented in MA. In 2008, when all three Dem candidates for president were talking about the mandate, no one said it was unconstitutional.
This is pretty much all wrong, not to mention confused. (The argument is that it's unconstitutional because it exceeds Congress's power under the commerce clause; since the Massachusetts' legislature's power does not derive from the commerce clause, it wouldn't be unconstitutional for Massachusetts to implement it.) True, there wasn't much discussion about the constitutionality of a random proposal years before it was implemented, because people generally discuss things that are happening, not things that aren't, and aren't likely to.
Even last week, when a poll of constitutional scholars is conducted, they overwhelmingly believe it to be constitutional.
Um, a self-selected group of 19 left-wing scholars thought it was constitutional. That's meaningless one way or the other. As one wag put it, it's a miracle that there were two votes among that particular group of people for unconstitutionality.
   1179. Srul Itza Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4170123)
pretty much every time you ever address me you insult me


Not true. Sometime I berate you, belittle you or excoriate you. 1 out of every 64 times, I agree with you.

why bother reading what I write


Your delightful use of allegory and aphorism, of course.
   1180. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4170125)
1151:

Food for thought there, and I think I agree with a lot of what you wrote there.

Correct. We recognize that the entire idea of whether something conforms to a complex set of sometimes conflicting rules will always be a matter of interpretation based on one's particular values; there is no "knowing."


Like baseball. A game played under different rules in different circumstances might turn out differently. We need a winner, though, under terms enough of us accept. It allows us to go on (progress) to other matters. That is the purpose and effect of a determination of constitutionality. It’s an artificial resolution because the concept of constitutionality like those of the rules of a baseball game is contrived, coherent only within arbitrary rules it sets for itself. Bigger issues, like right and wrong or good and evil, or the nature of good government, is something else. We shouldn’t always be confounding the rules of play with eternal principles about why we want to play like we do.

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech." A reasonable person cannot deny that a number of restrictions on speech that are "constitutional" by the decree of our highest court are "unconstitutional" in the sense that they directly and unambiguously contradict the text of the document itself.


That’s right, the restrictions on speech can be said to fly in the face of a plain reading of the wording—kind of like “Thou shalt not kill...[except, unless, if...].” Grand principles are one thing, effectuating them in real life is something else. But, is “constitutionality” a grand principle in that sense—and did we receive in such definite and plain terms as the First Amendment. Morever, that First Amendment has also been expanded by our not adhering to a plain and literal reading—for instance, “speech” is not just speech. So, it hasn’t been all derogation from that grand general principle. The First Amendment covers a lot more than what its literal words would suggest.

I would suggest that there are political philosophical principles and there are arbitrary boundaries of a working scheme or system that are set place to make that system or scheme work and work in a certain way. Which is “constitutionality”?


   1181. Morty Causa Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4170130)
Hmm. That's an odd way to phrase it. I'm saying the exact opposite: that it's not personal and subjective, but rather objective. You're the one claiming it's subjective.


No, I'm not. It seems to be where this is all heading, and I asked. The law certainly can't work on "everyone doing their own thing, man."

But, I glad you think it's objective. So answer the question, then.

Well, OJ knows with absolute certainty. As does Nicole Brown Simpson.


How do you know that? And what different would that make, since OJ doesn't decide his legal fate and Nicole Brown Simpsons doesn't decide who killed her.

But that misses the point: OJ did murder Nicole Brown Simpson. Or he didn't. But that's not a matter of opinion; it's a matter of objective fact. If he did, then people who say otherwise are wrong. If he didn't, then people who say otherwise are wrong.


No, that misses the point. It's determining facts and then assessing them according to rules and applying them other rules all based on probabilities.
   1182. Zipperholes Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4170131)
Why? What specifically is wrong about it?

Are you a lawyer?
SCOTUS decisions are law. If SCOTUS determines a law to be constitutional, it is. Whether you, I or anyone else besides that body thinks it's proper is irrelevant to its constitutionality. You can disagree with them, but the most you can say is that something "should" or "shouldn't" have been ruled constitutional.

Yes.
   1183. formerly dp Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4170134)
Why don't you put me on ignore already, Srul, if pretty much every time you ever address me you insult me? I mean, why bother reading what I write?

Stop being a troll, and you'll stop getting called one. You've hijacked this thread by repeatedly and baselessly asserting ACA's unconstitutionality, and then whining when the rest of us refuse to accept your baseless assertion as fact. What about the countless legal experts whose interpretation differs? What makes yours right and theirs wrong? You can't be a jackass, and then ##### when you get called out for it. When you start trying to make a serious point, people will take you seriously.
   1184. Gonfalon B. Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4170136)
John Cole's column is mostly taunting and moondancing, but it includes this:
A couple years ago Republicans were arguing that crushing a child’s testicles was constitutional. Now they want to argue that denying your child health care when he has leukemia is constitutional.
   1185. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4170137)
You've hijacked this thread by repeatedly and baselessly asserting ACA's unconstitutionality, and then whining when the rest of us refuse to accept your baseless assertion as fact.


? It seems to me that the "whining" has been by TShipman and others, who are upset that I've called the decision clearly incorrect.

I don't care what you "accept as fact" and what you do not.
   1186. formerly dp Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4170138)
a self-selected group of 19 left-wing scholars thought it was constitutional.

Anyone who disagrees with David=left-wing. It's an easy formula to remember, elegant in its simplicity.
   1187. formerly dp Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4170139)
It seems to me that the "whining" has been by TShipman and others, who are upset that I've called the decision clearly incorrect.

This is whining phrased in the form of a question:
Why don't you put me on ignore already, Srul, if pretty much every time you ever address me you insult me? I mean, why bother reading what I write?

It's an art you've crafted in your years of daily ######## here at Ray DiPerna's personal gripe fest, AKA BTF.

I don't care what you "accept as fact" and what you do not.

Clearly you do. Otherwise you wouldn't insist on hammering away at the point, long after your assertion has been rejected by everyone here, except for the man you share a skull with. So just quit already and leave it at that. You disagree with the ruling, and you're fist-pounding. We get it. But it's time to stop now.
   1188. zenbitz Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4170140)
ErIs being Constitutional like being... Orange? Of couse, one can narrowly define a photon wavelength reflectivity/emmission that defines orange... But lets pretend we're normal and dont think like that. Sowe being experts on color we can argue if something seems "orange-y" but when push comes to shove, the Court of Orange is the final arbiter. If this seems funny, i recently had an argument with my wife over whether or not a shirt was blue or grey (lucky it wasnt 1862).

She was a professional colorist - a human spectrophotometer if you will - so needless to say, i lost the argument (a pyrric victory, as i still chose to wear something different)
   1189. zenbitz Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4170141)
As not a legal expert i agree that this law seems marginally constitutional on the surface, due to the "not a tax, really" wording... But i think if it is practically unconstitution(al the so are alot of things.
   1190. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4170143)
To what end, Bob Nob? To what end? For what reason do all of these people come together to conspire against him?
Some might think he did it but know that they don't have the evidence to get a conviction. Some might be self-interested and think that they gain more reward from convictions than investigations that lead to no arrests and/or no one punished. Some might have prejudicial reasons for wanting a particular person convicted. Some might not have been inclined to lie themselves, but would not be inclined to "rat out" a colleague who did so.

Put it this way: I know that you doubt the motivations of people in lots of other professions, why would you cease to have any doubt whatsoever for these particular professionals? I'm not saying there's any reason to give much credence to the doubt -- make it even less likely than a moon landing or a faked birth certificate if you like -- but it's not as if its outside the realm of possibility, even if there's plenty of reason to discard it soon after it's considered.

I'm with David: OJ (likely) has 100% certainty of whether he did it or not; the rest of us need to be content with varying degrees of great (albeit not absolute) certainty.
   1191. The District Attorney Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4170144)
Romney's campaign (up until this point) has been very explicit in its critique of Obama as poor economically. Everything is attempted to be tied back in to jobs, etc.

It's a highly risky maneuver, because what do you do if we start adding 200K jobs per month?
I don't think it's even that, so much as that if A) Romney doesn't explain what he'd do about jobs (again, beyond "not what Obama is doing"), and if B) we're not losing 200K jobs per month, then Romney is not going to win.

As for the rest of this nonsense, I dunno whether to be happy because it's not partisan or despair because it's nearly insufferable. I will wade in to make a point I think should be pretty obvious. (Quite possibly, the very fact I think that something philosophical is "obvious" puts me in the same boat as the other blowhards. So it goes.) I would draw the opposite conclusion from the comparison to OJ. It is a fact that Nicole Simpson was killed. It's a fact that she's dead, it's a fact that she didn't die of natural causes, therefore it's a fact that she was killed. Even if we disagree about who did it, we are still arguing about the details of a fact. That is not the case when arguing whether something is constitutional. There is no underlying fact there. So, rather than claiming that not knowing whether OJ did it is analogous to not knowing whether something is constitutional, I would instead say that the comparison illustrates how the two examples are completely different.
   1192. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4170145)
but it's not as if its outside the realm of possibility,


Bob, I'm not trying to be difficult. I do think it's flat outside the realm of possibility that he didn't do it. And so I can't in good conscience concede that there's even the slightest possibility.

Either OJ did it, or the world as we know it does not exist.
   1193. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4170148)
1188: You and your wife might enjoy(*) http://www.xrite.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=77&lang=en then. (I got a perfect score on the test, incidentally, but it was definitely difficult at certain times to see the differences, and I know plenty of people who did not get perfect scores. I could imagine taking the test again and narrowly missing a couple points, though, now that I've taken it once, I'm pretty sure I'd do at least reasonably well.

(*) It does take quite a bit of patience to complete (I didn't bother to ask my wife to do it -- the reward would not have been worth the journey for her), but the idea that some people don't see the same colors the same way that we do is... interesting, at least to me.
   1194. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4170152)
Either OJ did it, or the world as we know it does not exist.
No joke here, though it may seem that way: even this last admits the possibility that he did not do it, though it's an argument for doubt that I avoided presenting for its conversation-ending quality.

Politically/philosophically, you (rightly) doubt the infallibility and/or motivation of people working for the state, and do so to such an extent that (with very few exceptions) you'd prefer no government to government; why does that doubt disappear regarding the state in this instance?
   1195. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:33 PM (#4170155)
Anyone who disagrees with David=left-wing. It's an easy formula to remember, elegant in its simplicity.
No. That group of people was left-wing. Look at the list.

(And it was totally self-selected; they surveyed something like 130 professors, and only 21 responded.)
   1196. RobertMachemer Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4170160)
Oh, and I know you're not trying to be difficult. ;-)

I do hope you know me well enough to know I'm not trying to be difficult either. I'm splitting hairs, but I think they're important hairs to split. I don't like saying we have something like absolute certainty when I do not think we do, neither with OJ, nor "must win" games, nor certainty of making the playoffs, and so on. I don't like rounding numbers without admitting that I've rounded them. (My wife, the statistician doesn't mind this as much as I do; we jokingly fight about it often).
   1197. Zipperholes Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4170161)
Bob, I'm not trying to be difficult. I do think it's flat outside the realm of possibility that he didn't do it. And so I can't in good conscience concede that there's even the slightest possibility.
But, to be pedantic, that doesn't make him "guilty of murder." It means he killed his wife.
   1198. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4170162)
No joke here, though it may seem that way: even this last admits the possibility that he did not do it, though it's an argument for doubt that I avoided presenting for its conversation-ending quality.


That's fine; if you want to classify "the world as we know it does not exist" as a "possibility" for these purposes, fair enough. Either way we do it, I think my position is clear.

Politically/philosophically, you (rightly) doubt the infallibility and/or motivation of people working for the state, and do so to such an extent that (with very few exceptions) you'd prefer no government to government; why does that doubt disappear regarding the state in this instance?


I wouldn't necessarily prefer no government to government. The entire fight is over how much and what "government" I would be getting.

But you miss my point: my OJ opinion really has nothing to do with "the infallibility and/or motivation of people working for the state." I don't impute them with any heightened credibility because they were "working for the state." I simply say that, from a purely factual matter and from a "world as we know it" matter, they didn't all get together and immediately decide to conspire against him. And even if we assume that they had, I don't see how we could construct even a possibility that they framed him. How did they cut his finger, for instance? Drug him around the time of the murders and slice his finger open, such that he magically began bleeding all over his property around the time of the murders? (*) And all of this occurring before any of them were even called to the crime scene? It's not humanly possible.

(*) And we don't even need to rely on DNA evidence for this. He admitted in his initial statement to police, that his celebrity lawyer foolishly allowed him to make, that he was bleeding all over his car, home, and driveway at the time of the murders.

It really is 100%, unless aliens came down from outer space and did it.
   1199. Srul Itza Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4170164)
it's not as if its outside the realm of possibility,


Are you really trying to win this kind of argument with Mr. "It's over. It's always been over."?

   1200. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 30, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4170166)
I do hope you know me well enough to know I'm not trying to be difficult either. I'm splitting hairs, but I think they're important hairs to split. I don't like saying we have something like absolute certainty when I do not think we do, neither with OJ, nor "must win" games, nor certainty of making the playoffs, and so on.


MLB.com says that the Yankees won today, 4-0. ESPN has it as a win, 4-0. Yahoo Sports has it as a 4-0 win as well. I'm sure people here who watched the game can report that the Yankees won, 4-0.

Can we say with absolute, 100% certainty, that the Yankees won today?

If so, why can't we say with 100% certainty that OJ killed his wife?

It's an honest question. Do we need a videotape of it to be sure? Why can't we be sure without that?

To me, the same principle applies in both cases. Deductive reasoning, logical and fact-based conclusions, etc.

Do you doubt that the Yankees won today? Is there a .000001% doubt in your mind? Things can be 100% certain, and often are.
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