There appears to be a subtext in the piece: cometh the hour, cometh the man. But let us not forget that David Cameron’s first instinct, what he chose to promote to the first order of business in a recalled Parliament, was to blame social media, and moot the prospect of shutting down the country’s telecommunications systems at the first hint of a disturbance. Once again, the symptoms and not the causes are being addressed. This is because addressing causes is unpopular and difficult. It is depressing to note that the only prime minister since the Second World War who has had the honesty to candidly and repeatedly speak the truth about the consequences of our post-war welfare fetish was Margaret Thatcher: She pulled no punches, she did not dress up her sentiments or obscure the harshness of her message to such an extent that it lost its meaning, and she revelled in taking on who she saw as the enemies of liberty and of civilization (the socialists at home, the Soviet Union abroad). The result? The economy rallied and Britain was saved from what looked like terminal decline. Her reward? To be generally loathed for being “harsh,” even by many of those who would broadly agree with her.
Mrs. Thatcher’s great strength was that she did not particularly care about being popular — for which, let us not forget, she was rewarded with three election victories. And taking on the status quo is going to make the government unpopular. But David Cameron is no Mrs. Thatcher. The prime minister is not the man to stand up and say what needs to be said. He is still racked with guilt for his privilege and afflicted by that vacuous and peculiarly British concept of “One Nation” conservatism, which seeks to compromise between liberty and safety, and which has largely accepted the post-war settlement as being the foundation of a “civilized” society, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.
The real problem raised by Obamacare is not the unprecedented individual mandate, but rather the expansive scope that the Supreme Court has already given to the federal government’s spending power — which is both the root of the Medicaid issue and perhaps the gravest threat to the federal structure of the Constitution. In U.S. v. Butler (1936), the Supreme Court warned that conditional federal grants could become an “instrument for the total subversion of the governmental powers reserved to the individual states.” So it has proved. But in U.S. v. Printz (1997), the Supreme Court ruled that what offends the “dual sovereignty” of the states is an offense to the federal structure of the Constitution, and must be struck down.
By elision, the Eleventh Circuit deftly avoided Judge Vinson’s invitation to extend the logic of Printz to the domain of conditional federal grants. Perhaps it had little choice, given that Dole is both unworkable and (for the moment) a controlling precedent. Unfortunately, we do not have the same “circuit split” on the Medicaid issue that now guarantees the individual mandate’s rapid ascent to the Supreme Court. But, with any luck, the Supremes will grant certiorari on the Medicaid issue, and at long last squarely face how poisonous federal conditional grants are to the whole philosophy of government that shaped our Constitution.
I think that it’s equally impossible to conceive that Obama didn’t know about Gunwalker. Of course, that’s partly because I agree with some of the commenters — this was never an operation that “went south” (well, it did literally, but not figuratively). It did exactly what it was intended to do all along. What’s amazing is that they thought they could get away with it. But actually, given how supine the gun-hating Obama-loving media has been on the story, they may well have gotten away with it had the Republicans not taken back the House.
I agree that we have to do more than just repeal SOX and Dodd-Frank — we need real banking and finance reform. I’m not sure just what it would look like, but it wouldn’t look like either of those bills.
Starting October 1st, any public official who passes or enforces gun regulations below the state level faces a $5,000 personal fine and could even be removed from office by the governor for enacting or enforcing local gun laws.
While Florida has had a law on its books since 1987 that makes it illegal to pass gun regulations beyond state statutes, there was no enforcement mechanism in place. As a result, towns and cities have created ordinances at will. In the process, many of them have criminalized otherwise completely law-abiding citizens who unintentionally ran afoul of arbitrary, localized gun rules.
But thanks to the law recently signed by Governor Rick Scott, that’s all about to change in the Sunshine State.
We didn’t put a man on the moon because some company thought they might be able to make a profit doing it. It takes vision to involve the common good of the American people without regard for profit. If you’re charting a course for this country and your big idea is “NO WE CAN’T”, then I don’t want you leading this country.
No, Rachel, we put a man on the moon because we wanted to show that a democratic socialist space program was superior to a totalitarian socialist space program. If we’d done it for profit, it would have taken a lot longer, but we’d still be doing it.
Science fiction writers used to focus on the horrors of nuclear war and frightened the willies out of readers for many decades. Public worry much more intense than anything the greens can gin up never got the nuclear disarmament movement over the hump — not because nuclear war isn’t bad, or because people weren’t scared, but because the nuclear disarmament movement’s policy ideas emanated from the same cloud-cuckoo-land that the green fantasies do.
Panic doesn’t turn an unworkable policy agenda into something that people can actually do. It can waste a lot of energy and time and cause otherwise capable people to sink months or years of their lives into leprechaun chases, and it can cause pandering politicians to gesture in the direction of your agenda without ever actually doing anything significant — but that is all. And it is not much.
It is, after all, fiction. Sort of like Al Gore’s book, but more entertaining.