No Surprise To Me

A judge has ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional in its entirety. Praise be to the morons on the Hill who decided there was no room in a bill of over 2000 pages for a severability clause.

I haven’t had time to read the ruling obviously, but I’m sure that others are doing so, and will have thoughts. It isn’t clear whether or not the ruling enjoins the government from enforcing the law, but I’m pretty sure that this will accelerate SCOTUS review.

Oh, and Queen Nancy? Remember when someone asked you about the constitutionality of this atrocity, and you asked if they were serious? I think this answers that question.

[Update a few minutes later]

Professor Jacobson weighs in:

Judge Vinson found that there was no need for an injunction, since the declaratory judgment that the entire law was invalid was sufficient. In effect, there is nothing left to enjoin, since no part of the law survived. By contrast, in the ruling in Virginia last year invalidating the mandate, the Judge severed the mandate from the rest of the law (but denied an injunction preventing the rest of the law from taking effect).

In this sense, this decision is far more sweeping than the Virginia case, and presents a greater problem for the Obama administration which arguably does not have authority to implement any aspect of Obamacare.

In a sensible world of course, in which the Democrats had any political integrity, this would accelerate the momentum toward repeal. I mean, if I had already delegated my oath of office to the courts, and got such a devastating rebuke, I’d certainly reconsider if my vote had been wise. And a president who wasn’t power mad would be willing to acknowledge his mistake as well, and willingly rectify it with his signature on a repeal bill.

But that’s not the world we live in.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Americans for Limited Government has a release:

For Immediate Release Contact: Rick Manning (press); Rebekah Rast (TV & radio)

January 31, 2011
Phone: (703) 383-0880

Florida Judge Rules ObamaCare Unconstitutional, ALG Responds

January 31st, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, released the following statement after Florida Judge Vinson ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional.

“For the second time, the federal courts have ruled that the federal government’s takeover of the health care system is unconstitutional. Congress needs to act now to defund the regulation writing on this unconstitutional law to prevent further damage from being done to our nation’s health care system. It is clear with a majority of states suing to stop the law, that it is unpopular, unconstitutional and unenforceable. Congress needs to act now to correct this mistake.”

With all Americans increasingly concerned about the unsustainable debt Obama and his cohorts have imposed on taxpayers, stopping any further advance of ObamaCare is vital to getting our fiscal house in order. First, stop any further regulation or dictates to the states. Second, repeal the law outright. And finally, move with common sense, market-based proposals to make the necessary repairs. Judge Vinson, following the ruling by Judge Hudson, has done a great service to the American people by beginning this crucial process.”

Indeed he has.

[Update a couple minutes later]

You know, it’s no surprise that unconstitutional bills get passed by a congress that contains members of a brain trust like Chuck Schumer:

“We have three branches of the government: we have a House, we have a Senate and we have a President…”

Hey, knowing basic civics is for the little people.

[Update a while later]

A summary of the decision by Dave Kopel.

I should note that it is becoming more clear now that the judge’s order was in effect a de facto stay against the law, so any enforcement of it by the administration will be in violation of that order. This should go to appellate like a rocket, if it doesn’t go straight to SCOTUS (as a result of the conflicting rulings from other districts).

[Update a while later]

Well, that didn’t take very long. According to the totalitarians, it is an act of judicial overreach and activism to point out that the Constitution places limits on the powers of the federal government.

Expect To See A Lot More Of This

People are starting to point out the potential similarities between 1979 Iran and 2011 Egypt. Thoughts from Michael Ledeen, Victor Davis Hanson, and Flopping Aces.

The Shah was no saint, but is Iran and the rest of the world better off, three decades later (or at any time over the past thirty years) for having deposed him and replaced him with a brutal theocracy? This is a situation where one should hope for the best, but fear the worst. And the history of that part of the world doesn’t give great cause for optimism. And the fact that we (incredibly as that may be) seem to have a president even more lacking feck than Jimmy Carter just depresses all the more.

I’m Confused

OK, for years, people who claim to be my intellectual betters on foreign policy (and pretty much everything else), and particularly about the Middle East, have been telling me that the root cause of the problems in the Middle East is the “occupation” of disputed territories in the West Bank and Gaza, and that we won’t be able to make any progress without solving that issue. It is what motivates Arab anger, and animates their protests.

Well, surely if this is the case, with all of the apparent anger and ongoing revolt in Cairo, we should be seeing many reports on the ground of protesters with angry signs against the Zionist entity, right? Or have I just missed them somehow?

Faster, Please

Researchers at Scripps have converted skin cells directly to heart muscle:

“This work represents a new paradigm in stem cell reprogramming,” said Scripps Research Associate Professor Sheng Ding, Ph.D., who led the study. “We hope it helps overcome major safety and other technical hurdles currently associated with some types of stem cell therapies.”

I found this an interesting (and flawed) analogy, though:

“In 11 days, we went from skin cells to beating heart cells in a dish,” said Ding. “It was phenomenal to see.”

Ding points out the protocol is fundamentally different from what has been done by other scientists in the past and notes that giving the cells a different kind of signal could turn them into brain cells or pancreatic cells.

“It is like launching a rocket,” he said. “Until now, people thought you needed to first land the rocket on the moon and then from there you could go to other planets. But here we show that just after the launch you can redirect the rocket to another planet without having to first go to the moon. This is a totally new paradigm.”

Actually, I don’t know anyone who thought that except for people who were promulgating a straw-man argument against the Vision for Space Exploration. For instance, some claimed that Bush’s plan was foolish because it proposed “building a Kennedy Space Center on the moon.” But the plan was never to land on the moon, and then depart from there for other planets. It was to utilize the resources of the moon to provide propellants and other consumables to interplanetary ships already in orbit, and save the expense of launching them all from earth. It may well be that this is equally economically impractical in the near term, but it’s not what the critics (and the Scripps researcher) seem to think it is.

By the way, the article says that these researchers are scientists, but I think they’re engineers. Or perhaps some blend of both.

The Wrong Solution

We might be able to save the planet via artificial meat, but for some reason…

In a typical Malthusian-panic green response, one group recommends going vegan to save the planet. But Dr. Mironov has another approach: grow the stuff in labs without all the methane. I have no idea whether this will work at all or whether the meat produced that way will taste more like Kobe beef than like the anonymous gray ‘mystery meat’ they used to feed us when I was a promising young sprout back in pundit school. But if Dr. Mironov is even partly right, the dynamics of the world’s food supply, energy use and atmospheric composition are very, very different from what the greens say.

You would think that smart greens genuinely interested in saving the planet would be all over Dr. Mironov’s work like white on rice. You would think that the vast and well organized enviro-agricultural lobbies like the ones that brought us ethanol and the enviro-industrial lobbies like the ones bringing us bad electric cars and expensively subsidized alternative energy sources would be pumping billions or at least hundreds of millions into a relatively simple scientific concept that, if successful, would make the world cleaner while dramatically raising the living standards of much of the world’s population by making a high protein diet more accessible and sustainable.

It’s almost as though they had a different agenda than the one they claim.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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