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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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   1301. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 01, 2012 at 07:43 PM (#4170880)
Is David the one arguing that the right answers to legal questions are just out there in the ether and courts just need to identify them? (I have him on ignore) That kind of thinking went out the window a hundred years ago.
   1302. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 08:00 PM (#4170885)
ONLY 83 MORE POSTS UNTIL THE OVER!


We have clearance, Clarence
   1303. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4170888)
I haven't said a single word about legal positivism. I've critiqued your outmoded and outdated reliance on logical positivism. Try to keep up.
Right; sorry. Your comment was so non-sequiturish that my eyes just glanced over your posts and thought you said "legal positivism." Sorry about that. Now it's just wrong in a different way. Nothing I said was logical positivist.
   1304. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4170890)
1301:

Who knows? He and Ray are playing it cagey. But, yes, apparently, the truth is somewhere out there, and only they will know it when they see it. Where? They're taking bids.

Homer: Alright, I'll talk to Lisa's teacher this year; you can have Bart's.
Marge: That's the way we do it every year.
Homer: Alright, tell ya what – I'm thinking of a number between one and 50.
Marge: Is it 37?
Homer: D'oh—! I mean, no.
Marge: Homer!
Homer: Please, Marge! Please, please, please, please, please!
Marge: Oh, alright.
Homer: Woo-hoo! [honks horn] USA! USA! USA!

Or maybe there case against the SC determining constitutionality runs more like Monty Python's What Has Rome Ever Done For Us?
   1305. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 08:14 PM (#4170895)
To circle back to the 600s:

I'm leaning toward the "Great Big American Hat Solution" where were put all 300,000,000+ names in a hat and pick out all of our elected officials and then outlaw lobbying.


Demarchy! I'd be interested in seeing how it works.
   1306. sunnyday2 Posted: July 01, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4170906)
Just discovered this thread and you need to know that the phoniness scale is very very cool.

I think in the end phoniness among politicians has to do with the so-called imposter syndrome. The ones who know in their heart that they are incompetent, that they are impostors in their public life, are the phoniest, the most likely to make up ####. And that would have to be Palin.

Criminality and immorality is not phoniness per se, it is criminality and immorality. I guess you gotta be phony to be criminal or immoral and to claim innocence, but it is not essentially phony, it is tangentially phony. I am talking Edwards and Gingrich here.

But frankly phoniness is pretty small potatoes compared to lying to the American people in order to be able to start or escalate a war, so LBJ and W kind of take the cake in this realm. The others are pikers compared to this behavior.
   1307. sunnyday2 Posted: July 01, 2012 at 08:45 PM (#4170911)
Would Esoteric accept a description of Obama is a "liberal leaning pragmatist, whatever works within certain bounds"? I mean, Obamacare is a Republican program. But anyway, what's good for the goose is good for the gander (in debate) and besides which in the real world (the one uninhabited by talk TV) the one is as true as the other.
   1308. zenbitz Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4170932)
I actually think the 2004 election isnt a terrible analogy for the constituionality of ACA. Both cases are essentially ties with something practically arbitrary deciding.

And i think people are being a little hard on david n ray here (although they are big boys and can take it). They are just being a little obtuse.
   1309. sunnyday2 Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4170933)
OK, on the ACA, do Republicans think it's cool that 30 percent of the American people are without health insurance? I mean, forget all the cheap talk. What exactly have they done to get health care into the hands of people who don't have it. Oh yeah, RomneyCare took care of MA.

And while I'm at it. Are our rights protected by the Constitution, or are they subject to a vote by the people? In MN, I can tell you that our rights are subject to a vote of the people. If a cabal of so-called legislative leaders wants a vote, the Constitution is nothing.

Where does this rate on the phoniness scale coming from a state party whose campaign lit says a vote for us is a vote for freedom?
   1310. sunnyday2 Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4170934)
I can see now that I discovered this thread too late.
   1311. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4170955)
I'm not taunting them. I'm pointing out the fundamental flaws in their reasoning. And I'm doing so not because it's fun to point out the canyon sized flaws in their thinking, but because it's their fundamental flaws of reasoning which leads them to the absurd conclusions they argue so frequently. I mean, seriously, logical positivism has been dead for damned near a century now.

The reasoning behind the "it's not constitutional, the Court just said it was in error" assumes one of two things. Either they believe there exists a form of Constitutionality floating about in the aether, like the 'perfect triangle' or something, and we're just so soiled down here in the realm of the living that we can't grasp the pristine perfection of It's glory (naive Platonism) or what is "constitutional" is to be determined by edict from the libertarian politburo of David, Ray and Partners, who shall dictate to us plebes what is and what is not to be.

Either they're really running and archaic, outmoded theory of being or their protestations of "defending liberty" doth protest to much. Either way, it's relevant to any ongoing political or philosophical debate with the two.


Note that in his response to this post, David addresses only the first paragraph.

I asked the question because I really wanted to know. As I stated a number of times, it’s not a trick question. I didn’t pose it in a veiled attempt to sucker punch anyone. If the SC doesn’t have the authority to definitively and really decide constitutionality, then who or what does? All I wanted to know was how this would play out in whatever hypothetical alternative there was. Maybe R&D knew something. Maybe they could make a convincing case that would change the paradigm, as they say.
   1312. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:34 PM (#4170956)
Still waiting for Dave or Ray (or someone else) to explain to me who gets to determine what is constitutional if not the Supreme Court.

We all do. Of course, the Supreme Court's determination has force, because they have the guns to back it up. Nobody disputes that. (But see Andrew Jackson, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.")


Uh huh. You keep scrambling. We all do, except for the SC? However, its determination has force? I mean, what kind of argument is this? First, both were emphatically certain (100%?) that something could be decided for constitutional purposes but nevertheless be wrong; now it’s everyone’s right? No one’s wrong? Except the SC, whose decision, though, admittedly is what counts. This is crazy.

“We all do,” says Mr. Born Again Populist. Looking at their original statements, that’s, in evolutionary terms, known as a saltation—a jump so extreme and radical it has no hope of propagating itself. Or it is meaningless subterfuge, like Milo Minderbinder and “everyone has a share.” So, we are all our own little constitutionalists. Is that really what you rest a serious alternative vision on?

No, we all have our philosophies, we all have our public policy consideration, our views on what’s constitutional, but what actually is constitutional for game purposes is what he umpire says is constitutional. Yes, we can get him (or them) to change their minds, but until we do, it is what it is. And then the change becomes what is.
   1313. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:36 PM (#4170958)
The point is not that the Supreme Court's decisions aren't binding on the lower courts and the rest of the government, but that the Supreme Court's decisions can indeed be wrong.


No, the point isn’t that the SC can be wrong. We all can be wrong, but that isn’t binding. The point is what it says is constitutional is what’s constitutional—right or wrong—until that is changed somehow. Unless you know another way of doing this, this side of anarcho-nihilism.

It’s not about right or wrong—it’s about what determines what’s constitutional, which is an entirely separate determination that can not be dealt with by reverting to right and wrong. It’s like they don’t know the difference between law and that which justifies law. The latter informs the first; it is not a substitute for the other, however. That the two are not the same is Law School 101. R&D keep wanting their sense of what should be to trump the law. It’s not that our sense of what is right and wrong, what is best, doesn’t matter—it’s that that is not how we play the game.
   1314. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4170959)
The Supreme Court "gets to" have its determination count. That in no way means that I or anyone else can't have an opinion on the matter. I fail to see why people are having trouble comprehending this. Since when do people just blindly believe that court decisions can't be wrong?


Oh, we can believe they can be wrong. We can believe you can be wrong. And that I can be wrong. But what makes it constitutional if not the SC’s determination is the question you evade. You didn’t originally couched your view of the matter in terms of opinions that have equal value; you said the decision was unconstitutional, that there was no rational basis for it, etc. You, as always, were categorically imperious, so positive as to brook no qualification whatsoever. Given that, we just wanted to know what determines “constitutional,” then, and it turns out, at long last, that, hippie-like, life is just one big commune of total equals (sounds socialistic_ and we all get to decide, man, and that way no one’s buzz gets harshed, and that’s what counts, groovy, don’t you, copacetic whatnot?
   1315. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4170960)
Of course the Supreme Court can be "wrong", in the sense that not everyone agrees with their interpretations of the Constitution.


Yes, but I would go even further and say that the SC can be wrong in some moral or philosophical sense. That, though, has nothing to do necessarily with what’s “constitutional.” It's really besides the point.
   1316. Morty Causa Posted: July 01, 2012 at 09:39 PM (#4170961)
(Or did the Constitution permit segregation in 1896, and forbid it in 1954, even though it was the same Constitution?)


It was not, though, the same justices. Nor were those decisions made in the same context. There’s a transmitter and receiver to all communication, and they often disagree as to the meaning of the text or agreement, whether as to a constitution or the label on a can of Campbell’s Pork ‘N’ Beans. That’s often why the parties to any agreement contemplate the necessity of a third-party having to settle matters.
   1317. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4170979)
OK, on the ACA, do Republicans think it's cool that 30 percent of the American people are without health insurance? I mean, forget all the cheap talk. What exactly have they done to get health care into the hands of people who don't have it. Oh yeah, RomneyCare took care of MA.
30%??????? Even the largest estimates are only about 45 million, and that includes illegal aliens, and that's by the broadest definition of "without insurance" such that it includes someone who was without insurance for a few weeks between jobs. 30% would be more than 90 million.
   1318. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4170984)
Uh huh. You keep scrambling.
No, I don't. I keep saying the same thing, and you keep playing stupid and pretending you don't understand it. And then you ask again, and I say the same thing again, and you pretend you don't understand it again.
We all do, except for the SC? However, its determination has force? I mean, what kind of argument is this?
Do I need to use smaller words?
First, both were emphatically certain (100%?) that something could be decided for constitutional purposes but nevertheless be wrong; now it’s everyone’s right? No one’s wrong? Except the SC, whose decision, though, admittedly is what counts. This is crazy.
Nothing I said can remotely be interpreted as "no one's wrong." My whole position is that there is an objectively correct or incorrect interpretation, such that the Supreme Court can be said to be wrong in a given situation.


No, the point isn’t that the SC can be wrong.
Well, that was my point.
   1319. booond Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4170991)
Even the largest estimates are only about 45 million, and that includes illegal aliens, and that's by the broadest definition of "without insurance" such that it includes someone who was without insurance for a few weeks between jobs. 30% would be more than 90 million.


I've seen 50 million, which includes illegal aliens, but that is a snapshot. It's not like after it becomes law we were grandfathered into position. It is a law for everyone not on medicare. Why they continue to sell this as a law for a small fraction of people is poor marketing. It is a law for everyone.
   1320. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4170995)
OK, on the ACA, do Republicans think it's cool that 30 percent of the American people are without health insurance?


Without trying to go all Lassus here, cite? It's nowhere near 30%.
   1321. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4170996)
My whole position is that there is an objectively correct or incorrect interpretation, such that the Supreme Court can be said to be wrong in a given situation.

If you had only the slightest bit of self-awareness, you'd realize just how much language like that sounds exactly like the ####### Communist Party back in the days when they'd use politically "correct" as unironically as you're using it here.
   1322. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4170997)
Nice to see Ray's back, still ducking the question about whether objectors to the Iraq war should be able to refuse to contribute their tax money to it.
   1323. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4170998)
This is one of the silliest discussions ever. All I've said is that Supreme Court decisions can be wrong, and that while the Supreme Court gets to have the final word on it, that doesn't make them right.

They get to rule whether a law is constitutional, but they don't get to be above criticism for making an incorrect ruling. If a law is not constitutional and they find it so, they are wrong.

Without trying to go all Matt Clement of Alexandria here, this is really basic, simple stuff.
   1324. booond Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4170999)
Nice to see Ray's back, still ducking the question about whether objectors to the Iraq war should be able to refuse to contribute their tax money to it.


Can my taxes not go to oil company subsidies, please?
   1325. Lassus Posted: July 01, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4171014)
Without trying to go all Lassus here, cite?

Yes, facts are our enemies.


All I've said is that Supreme Court decisions can be wrong

Actually, you said this one was wrong. I forget, did you say why? If so, can you repeat?
   1326. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4171031)
Nice to see Ray's back, still ducking the question about whether objectors to the Iraq war should be able to refuse to contribute their tax money to it.

Can my taxes not go to oil company subsidies, please?


Or subsidies to baseball stadiums, for that matter. At some point our Man of a Million Opinions will come out from under his rock and opine on this one, but I'm not holding my breath.
   1327. Spahn Insane Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:04 AM (#4171032)
This is one of the silliest discussions ever. All I've said is that Supreme Court decisions can be wrong, and that while the Supreme Court gets to have the final word on it, that doesn't make them right.

That much, I'll agree with (even if I don't agree with it as applied to the ACA ruling). It was David's "reality determines itself" comment (as if there were a self-evident single correct answer to every legal dispute) that set things off the rails. But I see that the intervening discussion has pretty well beaten this horse to death, so I'll leave it at that.
   1328. RollingWave Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4171039)
I see now that sabermetrics strongly correlates with liberals!

   1329. zenbitz Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:43 AM (#4171064)
Actually, being socially and economically liberal does correlate with scientific thought. Most scientists are on the (US side) left side.
   1330. BrianBrianson Posted: July 02, 2012 at 04:12 AM (#4171068)
Actually, being socially and economically liberal does correlate with scientific thought. Most scientists are on the (US side) left side.


A lot of computer scientists and engineers end up being libertarian types, however. Similarly, almost every "scientist" who identifies as a young earth creationist is a computer scientist.

But yes, being a physicist, basically everyone I know is both socially and economically liberal/progressive/socialist/whatever. Taking the right wing position often depends on believing things that are empirically false, so it's hard (at least among those who pay any attention. If you're politically disinterested, it's much easier.)
   1331. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 06:35 AM (#4171074)
That much, I'll agree with (even if I don't agree with it as applied to the ACA ruling). It was David's "reality determines itself" comment (as if there were a self-evident single correct answer to every legal dispute) that set things off the rails. But I see that the intervening discussion has pretty well beaten this horse to death, so I'll leave it at that.
My "reality determines itself" did not mean that there was a "self-evident" answer to every dispute. It was in direct response to the notion that there's no correct answer, and whatever the Supreme Court says is therefore correct simply because the Supreme Court said it was. The argument being posed was that because it was the Supreme Court's job to determine constitutionality, that the Supreme Court's decision therefore was unassailable. Again, I refer back to the old umpire parable about judges. The three types of umpires, representing the three theories of judging:

A: I call 'em as I see 'em.
B: I call 'em as they are.
C: They ain't nothing until I call 'em.

I reject "C." It may be very difficult to tell whether the umpire was right or wrong; hell, it may be impossible, because there's no clear camera angle for a play. But that doesn't mean that whatever call the umpire made was correct. If the Court had struck down Obamacare, I'd have been very happy. It would have settled the legal dispute (at least temporarily). But it would neither have made Obamacare unconstitutional nor "proved" that Obamacare was. And what the Court actually did does not make Obamacare constitutional or prove that it is. It simply resolved the case before it, and established legally binding precedent for lower courts.
   1332. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 02, 2012 at 07:00 AM (#4171077)
I'm more with Ray and David on the weird philosophy-of-language thing that everyone decided to make this thread about. There are two perfectly normal and regular ways of using the word "constitutional".

A "constitutional" law can be one that, based on a particular interpretation of the Constitution, is in accordance with the best reading of that text. Or, a "constitutional" law can be one that, in the context of procedural American democracy, has been determined to be in accordance with the constitution by the institutions given that power.

When Ray or David calls the ACA "unconstitutional", they are applying their particular Gilded Age reading of the Constitution and making a normative judgment. This is the same thing that I do when I say that the ACA was clearly "constitutional" under the Commerce Clause, except that I'm rejecting the Gilded Age reading. This is, indeed, all very normal linguistic stuff.

(As a note, I think that adjudicating between interpretations is difficult, but possible. People can be convinced one way or the other - it happened with villageidiom in just this thread. There are better and worse readings, there are ludicrous readings, there are strong readings. It just takes the hard work of argumentation and conversation to work all of it out, and it can never be entirely complete.)
   1333. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 07:33 AM (#4171087)
When Ray or David calls the ACA "unconstitutional", they are applying their particular Gilded Age reading of the Constitution and making a normative judgment.

Matt, if only Ray and David were to admit that their judgment was purely normative, and that it was based on their Gilded Age premises, I'm pretty sure that most of the rest of us would just say "okay, we get it" and let it go at that.

But the problem with Ray in particular, and David to a lesser extent, is that his premises are simply assumed, and neither of them ever acknowledges even for a second the possibility that there are other perfectly legitimate premises to base one's case on. It's an intellectual arrogance that's usually more amusing that anything else, but when it's combined with an undertone of almost comical self-pity** there are times when amusement isn't always the first response.

It also doesn't help when they avoid answering questions that they find uncomfortable. Ray is a serial offender in this regard.

**"Poor me, my life is being stolen at gunpoint to pay for freeloaders' health care and big screen TVs" is an attitude that underlies nearly every single argument of theirs.

This is the same thing that I do when I say that the ACA was clearly "constitutional" under the Commerce Clause, except that I'm rejecting the Gilded Age reading. This is, indeed, all very normal linguistic stuff.

Yes, but you don't generally act as if God died and left you Chief Justice of a one man Supreme Court. That alone distinguishes you from those two.
   1334. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 02, 2012 at 07:37 AM (#4171088)
Eh, it's the Internet. Everyone's posts come with an assumed, "based on particular premises..." I've never been terribly bothered by that, and it's not like either Ray or Dave is at all guarded about their peculiar beliefs about what are and are not rights.
   1335. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4171109)
A "constitutional" law can be one that, based on a particular interpretation of the Constitution, is in accordance with the best reading of that text. Or, a "constitutional" law can be one that, in the context of procedural American democracy, has been determined to be in accordance with the constitution by the institutions given that power.


Option A admits that all readings of constitutionality are textual interpretations. Now, I have no problem with that, nor does, say, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but David and Ray and the "reality determines itself" brigades (inclusive of the Thomases and Scalias of the court) are violently opposed* to admitting that basic, obvious truth.

Option B admits that the reality that is "determined" by the powers that be** is, in fact, the operative reality, and the rest of this is navel gazing and wishcasting.

*Rhetorically, not physically

**Again, coming back to the reason I threw the "weird philosophy-of-language" brick is to highlight the absurdity of the positions the hard line libertarians tend to lock themselves into in these debates, and the failings of those positions. Primarily, of course, the libertarian arguments fail the sniff-test of reality because they naively believe they can waive their arms about the air and magically replace power with authority.
   1336. formerly dp Posted: July 02, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4171114)
The Constitution changes in its interpretation? I don't think the Constitution is doing any interpreting of anything. The Supreme Court changed its interpretation of the Constitution, but the Constitution was static. (*) And since it was static, the Supreme Court's interpretation was wrong one of those two times.

The Constitution doesn't say anything without humans to read and interpret it. And those human interpreters are going to be bound up or enmeshed in an interpretive context. I'm not sure how you get around this without engaging in a transparent act of fiction. If you can demonstrate that reading can happen without a reader, we can go from there. Until then, it's all humans, and they're all contextual actors. There's no eye of history.

---
Eh, it's the Internet. Everyone's posts come with an assumed, "based on particular premises..." I've never been terribly bothered by that, and it's not like either Ray or Dave is at all guarded about their peculiar beliefs about what are and are not rights.

The problem with Ray's formulation is that it's a rhetorical strategy, rather than an attempt at making an honest argument. "There is no way it could be otherwise" dresses what's obviously a contingent claim up in a false objectivity. Just like "it's over." But Ray's not actually interested in making arguments, unless we abide by whatever absurd definitions he's made up in his head.
   1337. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4171117)
Eh, it's the Internet. Everyone's posts come with an assumed, "based on particular premises..." I've never been terribly bothered by that, and it's not like either Ray or Dave is at all guarded about their peculiar beliefs about what are and are not rights.

The problem with that is that you wind up either (a) getting sidetracked into a discussion about whose premises are "correct" (David's lovely neo-Marxist term), which with them is like punching the tar baby; or (b) simply talking past one another. Neither way gets you anywhere.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Eh, it's the Internet. Everyone's posts come with an assumed, "based on particular premises..." I've never been terribly bothered by that, and it's not like either Ray or Dave is at all guarded about their peculiar beliefs about what are and are not rights.


The problem with Ray's formulation is that it's a rhetorical strategy, rather than an attempt at making an honest argument. "There is no way it could be otherwise" dresses what's obviously a contingent claim up in a false objectivity. Just like "it's over." But Ray's not actually interested in making arguments, unless we abide by whatever absurd definitions he's made up in his head.

That's exactly the point. And when he can't reconcile his premises (or "principles", as he so quaintly likes to call them) with scenarios that clearly contradict them, he simply disappears and hopes that nobody will notice the extent of his evasiveness. It's the BTF version of the old rope-a-dope strategy.
   1338. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 02, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4171122)
The problem with Ray's formulation is that it's a rhetorical strategy, rather than an attempt at making an honest argument.

Precisely. To say that this is just an argument over semantics misses the point.
   1339. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4171131)
Backing out of the language weeds a bit, here's a link to Forbes on the best provision of "Obamacare" - the medical loss ratio provision - which goes into effect today.

"That would be the provision of the law, called the medical loss ratio, that requires health insurance companies to spend 80% of the consumers’ premium dollars they collect—85% for large group insurers—on actual medical care rather than overhead, marketing expenses and profit. Failure on the part of insurers to meet this requirement will result in the insurers having to send their customers a rebate check representing the amount in which they underspend on actual medical care."
   1340. escabeche Posted: July 02, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4171138)
I reject "C." It may be very difficult to tell whether the umpire was right or wrong; hell, it may be impossible, because there's no clear camera angle for a play. But that doesn't mean that whatever call the umpire made was correct.

This is a great analogy. I mean, it's wrong, but it makes the issues involved very clear.

The rules of baseball provide a definitive rule, covering all situations, for determining whether a pitch is a ball or a strike So there is a right answer, which the umpire can perceive correctly or not.

The Constitution provides definitive answers to some questions, to be sure. But not all. So "X is constitutional if and only if the justices say so" is wrong, just as you say, and for the reasons you give. But "The question of whether X is onstitutional has a correct answer, independent of whether the judges see it or not," is true only for those X to which the Constitution speaks definitively. For obvious reasons, the cases that make it to the Supreme Court are disproportionately (though certainly not entirely) drawn from the cases where the clear text of the Constitution does not provide a clear answer. In these cases, the job of the SC Justice is quite different from that of the umpire.

   1341. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 02, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4171145)
This is one of the silliest discussions ever.
   1342. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4171151)
I'm going to repeat myself from a couple hundred posts ago, because I think it gets to the crux of the still continuing debate:

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.


which goes into effect today.


I'm looking forward to see if the rebates in August get any coverage. Seriously, between this, the age 26 rule for kids staying on insurance, and closing the donut hole that's 3 big things that've changed for the better since 2010.

eta: I see Matt was making a similar point. Does he owe me a coke or do I owe him one?
   1343. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4171156)
The Supreme Court, the President, and the Woman with Cancer

Every story of hardship is different. Some people had no insurance. Others had insurance, only to discover it didn’t cover what they needed. But the common thread in these stories is the fundamental unfairness of it all. Whatever their very human faults or mistakes, these people were all victims of misfortune, sometimes financial and sometimes medical—and, as a result, their livelihoods and in some cases their very lives were at stake. They lived in the richest country in the world, yet paying for basic medical care, something the citizens of every other developed country take for granted, was a struggle.
   1344. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4171170)
Jon Cohn is excellent. Ezra Klein made a pretty good point that Republicans have moved away from their prior position of universal care to one of universal access to care:

“ensure that all Americans would have affordable, quality, private health coverage, while protecting current government programs. We believe the health care system cannot be fixed without providing solutions for everyone. Otherwise, the costs of those without insurance will continue to be shifted to those who do have coverage.”


That's Senator Jim DeMint, 5 years ago. What happened other than Democrats pushed hard for and passed a reform bill aimed at fixing the big problems in our health care system?

Why they continue to sell this as a law for a small fraction of people is poor marketing. It is a law for everyone.


Yes, it is. But most people who have health care like their health care. They largely get it through their employers, they don't know how much it costs their employers and thus how much their take home pay is being held down by shift in compensation, and a lot of the reforms to the individual market that will be really helpful like guaranteed issue and community rating are already done by large companies with insurers or those that self-insure. When you start talking about changing that, even in tangential ways, people get nervous. It's part of what hurt Clinton's reform efforts. There's ways to talk about it successfully, but it's not as much a slam dunk as you might think. And that's even accepting that the public wanted/still wants to litigate the issue in the court of public opinion rather than talk about where the jobs are.
   1345. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4171181)
It was in direct response to the notion that there's no correct answer, and whatever the Supreme Court says is therefore correct simply because the Supreme Court said it was.

A: I call 'em as I see 'em.
B: I call 'em as they are.
C: They ain't nothing until I call 'em.

I reject "C." It may be very difficult to tell whether the umpire was right or wrong; hell, it may be impossible, because there's no clear camera angle for a play.


(I didn’t say there was no correct answer. I asked you and Ray to tell us what that correct answer was, since you stated with absolute certainty that there was one and it wasn’t the Supreme Court’s answer.)

Why don’t you reject A or B?

What corresponds to “camera angle” in determining constitutionality?
   1346. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4171204)
What corresponds to “camera angle” in determining constitutionality?


The Justice assigned to write the majority opinion.
   1347. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4171213)
There are two perfectly normal and regular ways of using the word "constitutional".


It’s not about normal and regular ways. This is an argument over law, and/or political philosophy giving rise to law. Before we can figure that out, the Oracles at Delphi have to be flushed and made to plant their flag.

A "constitutional" law can be one that, based on a particular interpretation of the Constitution, is in accordance with the best reading of that text.


That gets us nowhere. It simply restates the problem. Whose interpretation? Anyone’s? How and who determines that “best reading”? That’s what Ray and David have retreated to.

Or, a "constitutional" law can be one that, in the context of procedural American democracy, has been determined to be in accordance with the constitution by the institutions given that power.


How is this different from the first, other than presumably the actors making the determination are different?

If this is all normal linguistic stuff, then why this mystic air of the Word having been received from powers (undisclosed) that transcend human endeavor and institutions--which we not speak of.
   1348. Davo Dozier Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4171219)
Just poking my head in here--this has nothing at all to do with Kevin Youkilis, does it?
   1349. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4171222)
Kevin Youkilis is unconstitutional.
   1350. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4171230)
Eh, it's the Internet. Everyone's posts come with an assumed, "based on particular premises..." I've never been terribly bothered by that, and it's not like either Ray or Dave is at all guarded about their peculiar beliefs about what are and are not rights.


Yes, most of us most of the time just want to luxuriate in pontification. We just want to testify without being tested. But that's useless for matters dealing with our shared public life. The “based on particular premises” is fine, but only as far as it goes. When called upon it, one must then disclose and be willing to discuss those premises, if one expects to be taken seriously. Or one can exit, stage right. Again, this is about law, policy, and public matters. Secrecy and reticence at this point really have no place, except as rhetorical shuck and jive in order to slip someone the green wienie.
   1351. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4171236)
One of the most bitter and contentious disputes will always be Youkilis v. Mirror.

If the Court had struck down Obamacare, I'd have been very happy. It would have settled the legal dispute (at least temporarily).

Pssst... the legal dispute did get settled. Why did you think so many keyboards were getting punched, and dogs were getting kicked last week?
   1352. Ron J Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4171253)
#1331 The problem with the way you want to use "unconstitutional" is that it becomes devoid of value in any discussion. Your use becomes essentially a way to add some kind of sheen to a "no true Scotsman" argument (because that's pretty much how you and Ray have argued the matter in this thread) and as such I find the definition beyond useless and extending into unhelpful.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seriously, if what you mean is "no plausible reading of the constitution supports this ruling" (or some similar phrasing) try using that. Yeah, I know I'm not likely to persuade anybody, but terms of reference matter otherwise these discussions will inevitably turn into one side shouting "Orange, you idiot" and the other "Purple, you moron"

   1353. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4171262)
This is one of the silliest discussions ever.


And don't call me Shirley.
   1354. booond Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4171265)
Yes, it is. But most people who have health care like their health care. They largely get it through their employers


Until they lose their jobs.
   1355. zonk Posted: July 02, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4171277)
Yes, it is. But most people who have health care like their health care. They largely get it through their employers


They like their health care -- but they don't much care for their insurance. Since this was really a health insurance reform more so than a health care reform, well...

Medicare routinely scores much higher satisfaction rates than does private insurance - including employer sponsored plans, and the gap has continued to widen. From access to costs to expectations - the satisfaction rates aren't really all that close.
   1356. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4171281)
#1352, Ron:

I haven't simply rested on "it's unconstitutional." I've explained why - i.e., that the mandate is not a tax, and that the mandate is not supported by the commerce clause. For example, I argued with TShipman for a while over the commerce clause and inaction versus action and Wickard v Filburn and the ludicrous notion that people in the hotel business in 1964 were not "acting."

And note that in so doing, I _accepted_ that we were not arguing over simply my view of all of these things, but we were accepting the precedent - e.g., Wickard - as binding.

The idea that David and I have just rested on "It's unconstitutional no matter what the Supreme Court says, nyah nyah" is a fiction. We argued our position on the merits. Then people who disagreed with us shifted the debate to the cartoonish place it's at now, where - against all odds - we're arguing over whether a court decision can be wrong, when (I would bet every nickel I have) prior to this ruling last week every person here agreed that a court decision can be wrong. (Cite the previous Bush v Gore discussions, where some of them accused the Court of stealing the election. That position can only be taken if one believes that court decisions can be wrong.)

This entire thread tangent is a smokescreen by people who disagree with us so they're trying to paint us as unreasonable and as resting on conclusory positions without explaining our reasoning.
   1357. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4171290)
But most people who have health care like their health care.


Most people who are satisfied with their health care aren’t at that point where they have to use it a lot, or at that point where the insurer would try to drop them or evade coverage.

Not everyone works for an employer who provides insurance, especially insurance into retirement. Not by a long shot. Moreover, for those people who have private policies, as you get older the premiums skyrocket until you simply can’t afford them. That’s assuming that without ACA you could have obtained a supplemental policy that would provide full coverage in conjunction with Medicare.

Things were, are, and will get worse unless matters are taken in hand. The ACA is a pathetic solution, but we got our foot in the water. In America, this ###### up country, that’s how things work. However precarious the purchase, that toehold is all important.
   1358. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4171300)
Medicare routinely scores much higher satisfaction rates than does private insurance - including employer sponsored plans, and the gap has continued to widen. From access to costs to expectations - the satisfaction rates aren't really all that close.


Yes. Plus because Medicare is a government program, a person has actual real rights. Their alternatives aren't to lump it or leave it.

The obvious way to provide universal health care was, first, to simply extend Medicare to everyone, then decide whether that should morph to a one-payer system, or whether continue as it is with private insurances supplementing Medicare.
   1359. Ron J Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4171303)
Ray I accept that. The "unconstitutional" is still unhelpful. See the way Jefferson referred to the Marbury decision. He passionately believes the decision was wrong and has no support in any plausible reading of the constitution. But he accepts that there's no way the decision will be overturned.

   1360. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4171304)
1355: My point was mainly that the insured start getting concerned real quick when you talk about modifying any part of their health coverage, especially when you have half the elected officials talking about the horrible things that will happen if the new law gets passed and the media providing them a megaphone to shout into. Perhaps you can get around this via Medicare for all, but even then people aren't looking at it as if they're already happy Medicare customers but instead as privately insured people who are worrying about what the changes mean to their status quo. Worries that are being supercharged by mendacious pontificating for political gain by one party and given credibility by a media more than happy to give them a forum. See, e.g., death panels.
   1361. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4171306)
then decide whether that should morph to a one-payer system, or whether continue as it is with private insurances supplementing Medicare.


Go back to Sault Ste. Marie, ya hoser.
   1362. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4171310)
Bon Juurrrre!
   1363. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4171313)
Most people who are satisfied with their health care aren’t at that point where they have to use it a lot, or at that point where the insurer would try to drop them or evade coverage.


This. Most people are happy with their insurance because they don't realize how much of a boondoggle it is until they need to use it and it's yanked away from them at the hour of most need.
   1364. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4171323)
@1356:

Ray I accept what you say, except for one little thing, you state that your ideological adversaries are trying to paint you and Dave as being unreasonable- you two ARE unreasonable, but aside from that I agree with what you say in 1356
   1365. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4171337)
Worries that are being supercharged by mendacious pontificating for political gain by one party and given credibility by a media more than happy to give them a forum. See, e.g., death panels.


Yes, if you look at many recent blog entries- in between the delusional "freedom has died/ impeach Roberts ranting" from the nutters on the one hand, and gloating from lefties on the other, you will see that many people are generally concerned that their personal healthcare/finances has been significantly and negatively impacted- and much of that concern is a result of the false propaganda that has been relentlessly disseminated for 2+ years now-

there are people who now actually and honestly think their medicare has been cut, or that they are going to have to convince a "death panel" that they deserve to live before their next procedure is approved, and variously other things that are simply not true- these people did not make these things up- they've been told them- over and over and over again.

One reason for the absurdly over the- top reaction from parts of the right this week- if they can't stop implementation their lies will be exposed, so now you see a two par hysteria- a naked desperation to win and repeal come November- combined with a relentless mis-direction campaign (the death of freedom as we know it- no exaggeration")

They should not be so desperate- never underestimate the ability of people to believe what they want to believe and ignore contradictory evidence- IOW their base will never notice that they lied
   1366. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4171350)
This entire thread tangent is a smokescreen by people who disagree with us so they're trying to paint us as unreasonable and as resting on conclusory positions without explaining our reasoning.

Ray, with all due respect, that's absolute BS. Whatever has been directed at you in this thread has stemmed from your conceit that you and David have some sort of unique insight into "objective" truth that those who disagree with you don't possess. We don't give a rat's patooie whether you agree or disagree with the ACA ruling.

Not to mention that you continue to duck the question of whether the Iraq war, like health insurance / health care for those who can't afford it, should be funded only by those who support the idea. That's your once and forever answer to the insurance mandate, and I only wonder why that same sort of reasoning shouldn't apply across the board, at least in other areas of hotly contested policy disputes. Like the Iraq war.

I'm sure you'll dig up some reason for saying "that's different", but so far you've just pulled a McGwire on us, without the excuse of having to worry about jail time.

--------------------------------------------------------

there are people who now actually and honestly think their medicare has been cut, or that they are going to have to convince a "death panel" that they deserve to live before their next procedure is approved, and variously other things that are simply not true- these people did not make these things up- they've been told them- over and over and over again.

That might have something to do with the fact that opponents of the ACA have outspent its proponents to the tune of about 3 to 1. Of course since in David's view advertising can't do anything except persuade Marlboro smokers to switch to Winstons, this sort of information goes in one orifice and out another.
   1367. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4171366)
if you look at many recent blog entries- in between the delusional "freedom has died/ impeach Roberts ranting" from the nutters on the one hand, and gloating from lefties on the other

For those amused by the antics of the monkey house, the Village Voice has a long-running feature called "Exploring the Right Wing Blogosphere," whose latest installment deals with the celebratory buildup to and soulcrushing aftermath of the Obamacare ruling. It may not technically qualify as "gloating from lefties," since previous installments have dealt with things conservatives have actually won, and the tone is the same.
   1368. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4171373)
Ray, with all due respect, that's absolute BS.


No, it's not. That is exactly what's happened here.

Whatever has been directed at you in this thread has stemmed from your conceit that you and David have some sort of unique insight into "objective" truth that those who disagree with you don't possess.


All that's happened is (I will speak for myself and not David): I said the ACA is unconstitutional. The Court ruled. I said the Court was wrong. And since you think the Court was right, you (and whoever else also thinks that) are also wrong.

Why we needed to enter the land of "court decisions can't be wrong" is left as an exercise for the reader.
   1369. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4171377)
For those amused by the antics of the monkey house, the Village Voice has a long-running feature called "Exploring the Right Wing Blogosphere," whose latest installment deals with the celebratory buildup to and soulcrushing aftermath of the Obamacare ruling. It may not technically qualify as "gloating from lefties," since previous installments have dealt with things conservatives have actually won, and the tone is the same.


What's kind of funny is that you would think that the gloating by liberals came from a 9-0 decision where the side that lost was trounced on all counts. But really, the court rejected the commerce clause argument, and barely ruled, 5-4, that the mandate is a "tax." (Scare quotes intended, and deserved.)

It could have been worse for those who like freedom, although obviously the outcome is bad.
   1370. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4171383)
All that's happened is (I will speak for myself and not David): I said the ACA is unconstitutional. The Court ruled. I said the Court was wrong.
Yes, but the Court is the final arbiter of what is or is not constitutional. Feel free to argue the decision, but for now, the ACA is constitutional.
   1371. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4171384)
What's kind of funny is that you would think that the gloating by liberals came from a 9-0 decision where the side that lost was trounced on all counts. But really, the court rejected the commerce clause argument, and barely ruled, 5-4, that the mandate is a "tax." (Scare quotes intended, and deserved.)
Do you know what they call the guy who graduates from medical school at the bottom of his class? Doctor. Do you know what they call a law that wins a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling? Constitutional.

It could have been worse for those who like freedom, although obviously the outcome is bad.
And because you like to smear people in this way, people treat you like a troll.
   1372. zonk Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4171386)
It could have been worse for those who like freedom, although obviously the outcome is bad.


It's got a good beat and I can dance to it, but needs more "then the terrorists win".

   1373. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4171388)
.
   1374. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4171389)
Toobin at The New Yorker

It is tempting to see, in the Chief Justice’s work in the health-care case, the possibility of some very long-range thinking. By siding with the liberals, Roberts insulates himself from charges of partisanship for the foreseeable future. This may be worth remembering next year, when the Court, led by the Chief Justice, is likely to strike down both the use of affirmative action in college admissions and the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And if, in the same year, the Justices uphold the noxious Defense of Marriage Act, many will deem Roberts’s motives beyond reproach.

It is also worth remembering that Roberts’s narrow conception of the Commerce Clause is now the law of the land. This new rule may limit the ability of Congress to expand the size of the government, and, indeed, may invite challenges to some government programs that are currently on the books, such as federal consumer safety or even seat-belt laws. In Ginsburg’s apt phrase, Roberts’s reading of the Commerce Clause is “stunningly retrogressive”—that is, a throwback to the pre-1937 state of the law. That may be Roberts’s goal. His doctrinal investments may take a while to pay off, but he has the luxury of guaranteed professional longevity. Roberts could still be Chief Justice when Obama is teaching the jump shot to Malia’s and Sasha’s children. By then, if Roberts has succeeded in limiting the scope of federal power, the health-care decision may look very different from how it looks today.



   1375. Morty Causa Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4171391)
People generally don't say "X is constitutional," or if they do they either (a) mean it as shorthand, or (b) don't understand what they're talking about. We say "The Supreme Court has held X to be constitutional."


And the effect of this distinction is...?
   1376. formerly dp Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4171392)
The idea that David and I have just rested on "It's unconstitutional no matter what the Supreme Court says, nyah nyah" is a fiction. We argued our position on the merits. Then people who disagreed with us shifted the debate to the cartoonish place it's at now,

No. You argued your side earlier in the thread, and then you stated your conclusion as if it were accepted fact, repeatedly, when no one else accepted as such. The fact is that the ACA has been ruled constitutional. It's a fact you're still in denial over, hence your repeated offhanded restatement of your own opinion on the subject as if it were fact. Again, it's a rhetorical tactic, and not a particularly clever one, deployed to give your opinions more weight than they have. Just because the RDP-7000 spit out a line of text, it does not have the weight of objective fact, in spite of your annoying persistence. Once you stop dressing your opinions up as incontrovertible truth, we can move on. You constantly and falsely claim to be interested in honest discussion. But if you were, you would at least attempt to be precise in your use of language. The fact that you refuse to do so degrades every conversation you have with anyone on this site.

It could have been worse for those who like freedom, although obviously the outcome is bad.

Where freedom=Ray DiPerna gets to keep more of his precious money, you are absolutely correct. For those who define freedom differently, the ACA ruling is a huge win.
   1377. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4171394)
That Village Voice link is priceless.
   1378. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4171398)
Whatever has been directed at you in this thread has stemmed from your conceit that you and David have some sort of unique insight into "objective" truth that those who disagree with you don't possess.

All that's happened is (I will speak for myself and not David): I said the ACA is unconstitutional. The Court ruled. I said the Court was wrong. And since you think the Court was right, you (and whoever else also thinks that) are also wrong.

Why we needed to enter the land of "court decisions can't be wrong" is left as an exercise for the reader.


Nobody's saying that court decisions can't be subjectively "wrong", according to one's various premises. But what you don't seem to understand is that you're no more party to an "objective" interpretation of constitutionality than a homeless person fighting a pigeon for a scrap of bread. It's the pretense of "objectivity" that's laughable, especially coming from someone with such a reductionist concept of "freedom".

And you still continue to duck the question of funding the Iraq war. Are you really that scared that your answer will strip away your fig leaf of objectivity when it comes to issues of personal "freedom"?
   1379. Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4171400)
Since we are in a new month, I ask someone to submit a "July OT-P:" thread. It can be a link to a political article. Although the topic can be anything, I'd prefer not to see a clearly partisan article posted. When I approve the article I will close this discussion and provide a pointer to the new thread.
   1380. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4171404)
Nobody's saying that court decisions can't be subjectively "wrong", according to one's various premises. But what you don't seem to understand is that you're no more party to an "objective" interpretation of constitutionality than a homeless person fighting a pigeon for a scrap of bread. It's the pretense of "objectivity" that's laughable, especially coming from someone with such a reductionist concept of "freedom".


You disagree that court decisions can be objectively wrong? Really?

   1381. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4171409)
Must. Break. 1380.
   1382. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4171411)
It is also worth remembering that Roberts’s narrow conception of the Commerce Clause is now the law of the land.


I disagree with this from Toobin. It's dicta. It's authoritative, but not dispositive, and not precedent. That said, there's 5 votes for not allowing mandates from the federal government. It'll be interesting to see how that gets used in the future. As I've said upthread, I'm much more concerned about the Medicaid ruling. Rick Scott and Bobby Jindal have both announced they're not expanding coverage. Given that hardship exemptions are only mandated under 100% FPL and the subsidies aren't there, we could see a donut hole develop in recalcitrant red states that epically ##### over low income working poor people for the sake of thumbing their nose at Obama. People will die if this happens for no other reason than sheer partisan cussedness.

When I approve the article I will close this discussion and provide a pointer to the new thread.


But we're only 3 away from the over! Quick, I have the list of everyone who's ever done steroids ever! Who wants to see it?!

   1383. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: July 02, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4171412)
Oh snap, the over! I MADE IT, I CAN FINALLY LEAVE THIS THREAD!

eta: The over was set at 1382. Which, really, is impressively dead on.
   1384. formerly dp Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4171415)
It can be a link to a political article. Although the topic can be anything, I'd prefer not to see a clearly partisan article posted. When I approve the article I will close this discussion and provide a pointer to the new thread.

Will Ray declare the new thread constitutional? A nation shudders with anticipation...
   1385. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4171425)
eta: The over was set at 1382. Which, really, is impressively dead on.


That was pretty exciting, although I think posts specifically about the bet shouldn't count toward the total.
   1386. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4171426)
Nobody's saying that court decisions can't be subjectively "wrong", according to one's various premises. But what you don't seem to understand is that you're no more party to an "objective" interpretation of constitutionality than a homeless person fighting a pigeon for a scrap of bread. It's the pretense of "objectivity" that's laughable, especially coming from someone with such a reductionist concept of "freedom".

You disagree that court decisions can be objectively wrong? Really?


What I disagree with is that you (or anyone else) have any particular insight into what's "objectively" wrong or "objectively" right in Constitutional terms until the Supreme Court issues a decision. You continue to conflate your personal preferences with objectivity, in a manner that vacillates between cheerful arrogance and cheerful cluelessness. It's truly a sight to behold.

And since you've repeatedly demonstrated that you're afraid to answer that perfectly legitimate question about voluntary funding of the Iraq war, I wonder if there are any less reticent libertarians out there who will give it a shot.

To repeat the question: If the solution to the health care / health insurance issue is to rely on voluntary contributions to pay for those who can't afford it, then why shouldn't those who opposed Bush's invasion of Iraq be equally able to have refused to pay taxes to subsidize the war? I have yet to see a coherent answer to this----or from Ray, any answer at all.

Seems to me that philosophically you can't support "health care tax resistors" without also supporting "Iraq war tax resistors", without coming up with some torturous reason for why one set of resistors is justified while the other set isn't. And since this simple question seems to be impossible for Ray to look in the eye without cowering, perhaps some other principled libertarian might want to respond.
   1387. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4171429)
Will Ray declare the new thread constitutional? A nation shudders with anticipation...
Don't all of us have to agree for it to be constitutional? I mean if only, say, 55.6% of us think the thread is constitutional, does it really make it constitutional?
   1388. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4171432)
Don't all of us have to agree for it to be constitutional? I mean if only, say, 55.6% of us think the thread is constitutional, does it really make it constitutional?


Actually, 55.6% could vote constitutional, but if the libertarian politburo declares it's unconstitutional regardless, we all have to live with that shame. Somehow.
   1389. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4171435)
Actually, 55.6% could vote constitutional, but if the libertarian politburo declares it's unconstitutional regardless, we all have to live with that shame. Somehow.

Of course the far greater shame is that we've come up short by reasoning that was 100% certifiably objective. And who are we to argue with the objective disciples of Little Orphan Aynnie?
   1390. formerly dp Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4171438)
Don't all of us have to agree for it to be constitutional? I mean if only, say, 55.6% of us think the thread is constitutional, does it really make it constitutional?

Where the hell have you been for the last 200 posts? Did you not hear that we're all now being governed by The Algorithm Formerly Known as Ray*?

*all praise his machinic wisdom, which guides us like a beacon through the fog of unreason
   1391. Gonfalon B. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4171439)
Seems to me that philosophically you can't support "health care tax resistors" without also supporting "Iraq war tax resistors", without coming up with some torturous reason for why one set of resistors is justified while the other set isn't.

Happily, that's not a legal or logical conflict. John Yoo swears that the Iraq War was constitutional, but Obamacare is not. And especially that torturous reasons are.
   1392. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM (#4171443)
Where the hell have you been for the last 200 posts? Did you not hear that we're all now being governed by The Algorithm Formerly Known as Ray*


I, personally, am willing to call the man TAFKaR for the rest of his life.
   1393. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4171446)
Dialing back a page...
The [privatized retirement savings] bill allowed one to divert (*) a portion of the social security taxes one paid to a private account. But despite the label "privatization" that some used, it didn't actually eliminate the government social security system. And one was free to simply pay all of those taxes directly to the government (as we currently do) and not privately invest any of them.
This sounds like the ACA, though. People are given a choice whether to (A) to invest a portion of one's money in a private account or (B) leave their tax dollars with Social Security, but one is not free to not save for retirement. It's not called a mandate, but it acts in exactly that manner, since it requires everyone to become actors in that particular market.
   1394. formerly dp Posted: July 02, 2012 at 02:45 PM (#4171448)
I, personally, am willing to call the man TAFKaR for the rest of his life.

The system goes on-line June 28th, 2012. Human decisions are removed from the judicial process. TAFKaR begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, July 3rd. In a panic, they try to start a new thread...
   1395. Srul Itza Posted: July 02, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4171504)
I said the ACA is unconstitutional. The Court ruled. I said the Court was wrong. And since you think the Court was right, you (and whoever else also thinks that) are also wrong.


No, what you said was "it's not even close", as if it was inconceivable that anyone could possibly disagree with you, implying that the many scholars, judges and justices who did disagree with you must be liars or insane or incurably stupid. It is this type of hubris that calls forth the hounds.
   1396. Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4171509)
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