Proposed Division Names For The Big Tweleven

…are not getting a lot of love from the commentariat at Free Republic. The comments at the original Tribune article are pretty cutting, too.

They seem kind of stupid to me. Can’t one be both a “Leader” and a “Legend”? Or, neither, for that matter? Jeez, just go with East and West.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s a suggestion for a new, disambiguated name: “The Big Ten Plus Penn State And Nebraska.” You can call the other one “The Big Twelve Minus Colorado and Nebraska.”

ObamaCare Is On The Ropes

Richard Epstein explains:

The government finds itself here in a real pickle. Virginia has drawn a clear line that accounts for all the existing cases, so that no precedent has to be overruled to strike down this legislation. On the other hand, to uphold it invites the government to force me to buy everything from exercise machines to bicycles, because there is always some good that the coercive use of state authority can advance. The ironic point is that this is not a commerce-clause argument as such, for in my view any state statute would be subject to the same objection even though the state has plenary police powers.

Read the whole thing.

I think that this also demonstrates the constitutional ignorance of the Democratic leadership and its counsel, and legal incompetence of the Holder Justice Department (not that it was really a winnable case).

I would also add that, as he points out, that this is a demonstration of why state requirements for the purchase of auto insurance don’t lie with the fact that the are states, but with the fact that driving on public highways is a privilege, not a right, and that auto insurance mandates are to protect others from the externalities of your driving, not to protect you from yourself (as health insurance is).

Health Care And Overreach

Twice now, while there were other factors in both cases, the Democrats have been severely punished in elections over their attempt to socialize medicine.

First, in 1994, they lost both houses of Congress because of HillaryCare, which fortunately didn’t pass.

They learned the wrong lesson from 1994, deluding themselves that they lost not because they attempted to take over a sixth of the nation’s economy, and one on which people depend for their very health and lives, but because they had failed to do so. So in 2010, they applied this false lesson to double down, deluding themselves this time that if they passed the latest unconstitutional monstrosity, it would be the key to electoral victory. Even Bill Clinton fantasized (or at least pretended to, perhaps as a way of sabotaging the Obama administration?) that it would magically become more popular once it was passed, and Queen Nancy assured us, holding her giant gavel, that we would find out what was in it then, and like it.

This time, they lost the House even more dramatically, and kept the Senate only because of a combination of safe Dem seats up that year and some flawed Republican candidates. The fact that the law remains on the books, with a president in the White House prepared to veto any repeal of it, his signature “victory” (ignoring the fact that it was rammed through the Congress in a partisan manner via undemocratic procedural gimmicks with very little White House guidance or input), will just make things that much worse in two years in the Senate, with many more vulnerable Democrats up for election, perhaps even providing the Republicans with a filibuster-proof majority.

So what false lesson will they take from this latest setback on their “progressive” road to serfdom? My prediction: the polls are all wrong — the bill was unpopular not because it passed, but because it wasn’t socialistic enough, lacking a “public option” (read “government option” or inevitable slide down the steep greased slope to single-payer). Because in their ideology, the “reality-based community” ise impervious to empirical data, or reason, or reality. It’s the thing that saves us from them, ultimately, in a country where the voice of the people is ultimately heard.

[Update a while later]

And here is Chris Gerrib in comments, right on cue, to validate my prediction.

A Blow To Lawlessness And Socialism

…and a victory for the Constitution:

A federal judge declared the Obama administration’s health care law unconstitutional Monday, siding with Virginia’s attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I would have been surprised (and dismayed) had it gone any other way. Let’s get it to appellate and the Supreme Court quickly, before Obama is able to stack it with more Elena Kagens who, as Jeff Sessions demonstrated, don’t seem to think that there are any limits whatsoever to the federal government’s reach into individuals’ personal decisions.

[Update a few minutes later]

Great minds…apparently Cuccinelli has requested a direct appeal to SCOTUS. This is unusual, but it may happen, given the magnitude of the decision and its impact.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More from Bryan Preston. I love this display of idiocy by Josh Marshall:

Josh Marshall, in a state of shock, says that “no one” took the constitutional argument against ObamaCare seriously. Obviously a majority of the voters did, a couple dozen state attorneys general did, and a federal judge has as well.

It’s one thing to argue that it’s constitutional. It’s another to be so willfully blind as to imagine that “no one” thought it wasn’t. This kind of delusion is one of the reasons they got “shellacked” last month.

[Update a few minutes later]

A link roundup at How Appealing.

[Update a while later]

It’s unconstitutional and unpopular. What’s not to like?

But of course, as Nancy said, we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. That’s the way it is with bills of thousands of pages that no one reads.

[Update a few minutes later]

Memo to Bob Gibbs, who has now gone all Orwellian on us, rebranding the “individual mandate” “individual responsibility.” Even granting for the sake of argument only that I have such a responsibility, the Constitution still doesn’t allow the federal government to compel me at gunpoint to be “responsible.” Sorry, no sale.

Time Warp

I just noticed that space historian Roger Launius has a blog, which I’ve added to the roll on the left. And last week, he had a very peculiar post.

It’s actually a generally not-bad history of NASA’s (and the nation’s) continued attempts to replace the Shuttle, but it contains these words:

Without a doubt, moving to a next generation human launcher will cost a significant amount of money. It always has.

…No doubt, building a new human-rated launcher will require a considerable investment. If the United States intends to fly humans into space as the twenty-first century proceeds it must be willing to foot the bill for doing so.

There are two striking omissions in the narrative. First is the complete lack of mention of commercial space or privately developed systems, even failed ones. They don’t exist at all. It might have made sense to write such a piece in the early eighties, maybe even the early nineties, when it was still unimaginable in the conventional wisdom that there would be multiple solutions to the Shuttle replacement problem, let alone private ones.

But this is 2010. And this blog post was written only two days after the successful flight of the Falcon 9 and Dragon. It’s as though it didn’t happen, and remains so unlikely to that it isn’t worthy of mention in the context of the discussion.

So what does he think is a “significant amount of money”? Or a “considerable investment”? Because any rational analysis, based on SpaceX’s costs to date, would indicate that they are less than a billion dollars away from having a “new human-rated launcher” (ignoring the archaic and useless notion of “human rating” a twenty-first-century launcher designed to the current state-of-the-art in reliability). But no, because “it always has,” it always will.

It’s amazing how myopic the conventionally wise can be.

[Update a while later]

Speaking of myopic space historians (or policy analysts or both, depending on what you think he is), I hadn’t previously seen this quote from John Logsdon cited by Jeff Foust at today’s issue of The Space Review:

Others question just how “commercial” such systems could really be. “I think one of the worst things that happened in managing this revolutionary proposal with respect to human spaceflight is to call the transportation service ‘commercial,’” John Logsdon, the former director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said in a space policy forum earlier this month hosted by the Marshall Institute. “There is no obvious market” right now for crewed flights beyond NASA’s needs, he claimed, and allowing that question to dominate the policy debate “is one of the policy failures of the last year.”

Well, let’s see. Space Adventures has had several customers for the Soyuz flights, and has more who would like to fly, but the supply seems to be the choke point. Bob Bigelow has MOUs with several nations who would like to lease his facilities who clearly can afford it, but in order to use them, their “astronauts” (or whatever they want to call them) will need rides to and from. In addition, Bob has offered hundreds of millions of dollars of his own (existing) money for the capability to offer such rides. Maybe John doesn’t want to call that a market, “obvious” or otherwise, “beyond NASA’s needs,” but it sure looks like one to me.

The Last Action Hero Governor

Thoughts on the rise, and disastrous fall, of the Governator:

One man has the right to toast to a case of schadenfreude. California Congressman Tom McClintock, running against Schwarzenegger in the 2003 recall, warned voters before the election that Arnold was a liberal wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing. McClintock predicted that a Governor Schwarzenegger would be far and away from the second coming of Governor Ronald Reagan.

McClintock’s prophecy proved to be more true than even he most likely thought possible. To the shock and dismay of sensible government advocates around the state, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s leftist metamorphosis paved the way for California’s incredible decline. Like a script from the several horrible Terminator sequels, Governor Schwarzenegger started strong only to end up on DVD shortly thereafter.

And we get stuck with the residuals.

If The Republicans Supposedly Filibuster So Much…

…there’s a reason:

the GOP’s historic number of filibusters is the only viable response to Sen. Harry Reid’s unprecedentedly authoritarian rule of the Senate. Senator Reid has blocked the minority from amending bills more than any Senate majority leader in history — and more times than the last four Senate majority leaders combined.

How does Senator Reid do this? He uses his right to be recognized first by the chair to offer just enough amendments to bills to block any further amendments. These amendments are usually meaningless, like changing a word or a date, but they effectively block the minority’s opportunity. This is a clear abuse of the spirit, if not the letter, of the Senate’s rules, and that is one reason why we have witnessed Republicans’ frequent use of the filibuster.

Well, we’ll have an opportunity to fix that in a couple years. And even if Reid had lost, I wouldn’t lay long odds that Schumer wouldn’t have behaved the same way.

The Weirdness Of The Human Mind

Often, when I mistype, unless I’m in a huge hurry and just sit on the backspace, I’ll be careful to not delete letters I’ve already typed, but move the cursor around them if they’ll be useful in the fix, because I don’t like to waste them.

Just so you know. I’m a child of parents who were children of the Depression. What can I say? I’m just frugal, if not always rational.

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