Wall Street Journal editorial: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303610504577416710604278438.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
“You can tell the Supreme Court is getting closer to its historic ObamaCare ruling because the left is making one last attempt to intimidate the Justices. The latest effort includes taunting Chief Justice John Roberts that if the Court overturns any of the law, he’ll forever be defined as a partisan ‘activist.’ … The most dishonest argument is the liberal media chant that overturning the law means overturning the New Deal era’s Commerce Clause precedents. This is propaganda. None of the plaintiffs advocated that any precedents be overturned, even though in our view some of those cases deserve to be overturned. Paul Clement and Michael Carvin, who argued for the plaintiffs before the Court, explicitly denied any such desire. … We doubt the High Court will be intimidated by any of this, and the truth is that no Justice would be worthy to sit on the Court if he is. As Chief Justice Roberts said at his confirmation hearing, a judge should be a neutral umpire who calls legal balls and strikes fairly as he sees them. The Court’s reputation will be tarnished if it bows to the political distemper of the moment, not if it follows the Constitution.”
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democrats-put-john-roberts-on-trial/2012/05/22/gIQAijq8iU_story.html
“Novelist John Grisham could hardly spin a more provocative fiction: The president and his surrogates mount an aggressive campaign to intimidate the chief justice of the United States, implying ruin and ridicule should he fail to vote in a pivotal case according to the ruling political party’s wishes. If only it were fiction. … Publicly chastising the court — and now taunting Roberts specifically — seems to have two purposes. One is to get under Roberts’s skin in the hopes that he’ll rule the ‘correct,’ if not necessarily ‘legally correct,’ way. Two is to lay the groundwork for declaring the court illegitimate if all or part of Obamacare is overturned. Either way, it’s politics at its filthiest and is beneath the dignity of the court — and of the White House. Unfortunately for Roberts, it’s up to the chief justice to hold the bar high.”
Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center: http://volokh.com/2012/05/20/judicial-minimalism-and-the-individual-mandate/
“The justices know what many readers of the New Republic do not: Nowhere did the challengers to the ACA ever base their claim on ‘conservative economic doctrines.’ No. Where. Our case has always been simply that this claim of federal power exceeds any that has ever previously been authorized by the Supreme Court, and that it is an uncabined, unnecessary and dangerous power to recognize for the first time.”
Stephen B. Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History at Northwestern University School of Law: http://cnsnews.com/blog/stephen-presser/heavens-will-not-fall-if-obamacare-does
“In the face of this disappointing attempt to intimidate the Court, and, in particular, its Chief Justice John Roberts and its perpetual swing voter Anthony Kennedy, it will take some courage for the Court to do what is Constitutionally correct, and we can only hope that courage is forthcoming. The individual mandate of the PPACA is the boldest attempt yet to dramatically expand the reach of Congressional power. And, simply stated, no one has been able to explain how, if the Congress can do this, any limits remain on its power. The Government attorneys defending the PPACA at the recent Supreme Court arguments were not able to limn any such remaining limits, and this is because there are none.”
Carrie Severino, chief counsel, Judicial Crisis Network: http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/300658/chief-justice-roberts-moment-truth-carrie-severino
“In Rosen’s world, avoiding 5–4 decisions at all costs is apparently a higher virtue than following the law. … First, it ignores the fact that the chief can only directly control his own vote and therefore would only be in a position to flip a 5–4 decision against the mandate to another 5–4 decision in favor of it. If Rosen is really concerned more about the vote counts than the ultimate results, both results would leave identical black marks on the chief justice’s record. To the extent that Rosen hopes the chief justice will engage in lobbying of his colleagues reminiscent of the Warren-era court, such a strategy is inherently limited. Even if the chief justice were able to articulate a narrow decision that avoided making any major constitutional ruling (and if there were an obvious route to such a ruling, it is hard to imagine another of the many parties and amici would not have hit upon it), a determined coalition of four liberal justices would still be in a position to foreclose a consensus result simply by rallying around a position they knew none of the conservatives would accept.”
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/what-would-a-change-of-vote-on-obamacare-cost/2012/05/23/gJQApViNkU_blog.html
“The Obama-Leahy-Rosen tag team would ask that Roberts subscribe to some alternate political reality in which Obamacare is very popular and the public would be shocked and rise up in anger that the Supreme Court would overturn the ‘popular will.’ (They must assume Roberts isn’t aware more than 70 percent of the public think the law is unconstitutional.) The pleaders would ask Roberts to adopt the left’s contention that conservative justices who adhere to the meaning and text of the Constitution can’t all vote one way for fear it will “look bad,” but liberal justices are free to march uniformly as they see fit.”
Investors Business Daily editorial: http://news.investors.com/article/612508/201205231905/obamacare-will-test-supreme-court-justices-integrity.htm
“Rosen contends that ‘In addition to deciding what kind of chief justice he wants to be, he has to decide what kind of legal conservatism he wants to embrace.. This was a favorite pastime of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy — instructing conservatives on the differences between acceptable and unacceptable versions of the political philosophy of which he was a mortal enemy. … Roberts’ thinking may not be as well-identified as that of Justices Scalia, Thomas, or even Alito. But we can be sure of this: He’s enough of his own man not to be cowed by politically motivated appeals — whether they come from a president or a lefty magazine.”
National Review editorial: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/300872/pressuring-chief-editors
“The four liberal justices appear very likely to uphold the mandate, a fact that somehow does not lead to their description as partisans. For the justices who are prepared to consider whether the mandate is unconstitutional, the path of duty is clear: They should uphold the Constitution as best they understand it, explain their reasoning as well as they can, and let their critics and supporters have at it.”
Ilya Somin, associate professor of law, George Mason University: http://volokh.com/2012/05/21/nonlegal-arguments-for-upholding-the-individual-mandate/
“Claims that a decision striking down the mandate will undermine the Court’s “legitimacy” founder on the simple reality that an overwhelmingly majority of the public wants the law to be invalidated. Even a slight 48-44 plurality of Democrats agree, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll. Decisions that damage the Court’s legitimacy tend to be ones that run contrary to majority opinion, such as some of the cases striking down New Deal laws in the 1930s. By contrast, a decision failing to strike down a law that large majorities believe to be unconstitutional can actually damage the Court’s reputation and create a political backlash, as the case of Kelo v. City of New London dramatically demonstrated.”
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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