The Third Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    All this law did was benefit the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and entrench their power by trying to force Americans into buying their products. Bravo democratic corporatists.

    Because the old system was so much better? If I recall our entire economy was about to collapse because Americans are getting older and needed more healthcare, and insurance companies could not cope with paying for everyone's treatments so they transferred the costs to the insured until medical bills were taking up the vast majority of people's incomes. So then what other solution do we have other than mandated health insurance to get more cash into the pool? Healthcare reform was supported by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Clinton....it shouldn't even be called "Obamacare" so much as it is Rooseveltcare or Nixoncare.
  2. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    No, government did what it usually does: take a problem and make it worse.
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    What do you have to say for the two other judges who did declare it constitutional? Why is his ruling superior to theirs?

    Your question here jumps to the heart over concerns about "judicial activism," and I apply it equally to both sides. I think it's an issue that is going to have to be addressed at some point in the future, and is going to result in a truly generational landmark SC decision the likes of the original Marbury v Madison case.

    Because I think individual judges have been slowly grabbing more and more power, and it leads to "judge shopping" for high value topics, and cuts to the crux of the saying that "judicial activism simply happens when one doesn't agree with the decision..." If someone has a liberal cause, they shop it in CA's 9th District. If they have a conservative cause, they shop it in the 4th District. However, more often that not, if the legal rationale is weak, it ends up complicating the issue, not helping to settle it.

    For example, just 90 days ago, a single California District Judge ruled that "Don't ask/Don't Tell" was unconstitutional, despite the fact that numerous prior judges didn't take the issue up because of jurisdictional issues. (of course, her order was stayed on appeal) Now, I'm not arguing for or against the specific policy, but no matter how anyone feels about DA/DT, I think it's obvious that a single judge in CA doesn't have authority over Congress and over the entire Department of Defense. Of course, that's the reason why the government was granted an appeal, and DA/DT is pretty much at square one again.

    Now, the legal reasoning for this latest judge's order is more focused with regards to health care, but it's the same basic issue. Because it's the way the legal system is unfolding, and the established "legal heiarchy" is slowing eroding in favor of quick decisions that are sure to reach the SC. Except these are the things that need to be settled at the legislative level and not at the hands of a single judicial order.
  4. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    shanerjedi, that's just another cheap slogan from the book of Reagan. And you must think today's ruling is superior to the other ones if you are applauding it and rooting for it to succeed in the Supreme Court. So what specifically what makes it better to you?

    Good analysis, Mr44. One concern I have about so many decisions like these going to the Supreme Court is that it will drag the Court into the mud with the rest of the politicians. Wasn't the Supreme Court intended to always be above the fray? It foreshadows a future where presidents will more frequently lambast the Court in speeches to Congress, like Obama did (something I feel was completely out of line).
  5. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Good analysis, Mr44. One concern I have about so many decisions like these going to the Supreme Court is that it will drag the Court into the mud with the rest of the politicians. Wasn't the Supreme Court intended to always be above the fray? It foreshadows a future where presidents will more frequently lambast the Court in speeches to Congress, like Obama did (something I feel was completely out of line).

    I think that's a valid concern, and it also diminishes established procedure. Too many people cheer when their side does it, and then boo when the opposite side does the same thing.

    For example, let's look at the judge's DA/DT example again. In federal law, you have to have legal standing. That is, have a personal connection to whatever remedy is being sought to even file a case.

    What should have happened in that case is that someone got discharged in California. Judge Phillips should have ruled on those specific charges. Was the discharge valid? What harm was received? What law was violated?... etc.. If judge Phillips issued a ruling that said that "Sgt Smith was illegally terminated under DA/DT and should get 12 months of back pay (or whatever)" it would have went to the 9th Court of Appeals, which would have either denied or upheld the appeal. That appellate ruling would then be used as precedent in other federal districts. If the districts incorporate the decision, then it would fall to Congress to change policy or find the remedy. The SC would only get involved to clarify a a legal dispute between them. Ideally, every level is involved in the process, which might take longer, but I think it makes for stronger law.

    What judge Phillips did was simply say at the lowest level "I don't agree with the policy, so I rule that the entire DA/DT is unconstitutional, and it applies everywhere the military is," despite the fact that she obviously didn't have the authority to make such a broad ruling. It bypasses the various levels, and ends up forcing the issue.

    Now again, I'm simply using DA/DT as an example because Phillip's decision was relatively new, and it's already been issued and put on hold within that short time. It's a textbook example of what not to do. I haven't read Judge Hudson's recent opinion on health care. If he ruled that Virginia doesn't have to comply with a clause in Obamacare, then there's lot's of appeal left in the case and it will work itself through. If he simply said that Obamacare itself is unconstitutional, then it's no different that what Judge Phillips tried to do with DA/DT, and would be judicial overreach.
  6. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    We are far far beyond the point where judges, even SC ones, are "above the political fray".

    You could argue it ended when FDR packed the court. You could argue it was with Roe v Wade. You could argue many things. But you can't really argue that it's above politics.
  7. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    FDR never packed the court, that bill failed in Congress. And I'd go so far as to say judges haven't been above the fray since a certain idiot made a certain incredibly divisive ruling in 1857.
  8. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    I agree with the court decision but I'm saying it's headed for the SC as the law itself as a whole, not one particular ruling. The SC is the only court at this point who will settle it. They have the constitutional authority to do so. Proponents and opponents can shop it to whatever judge and court of appeals they want. But ultimately, it will end up before SCOTUS.

    edit: Ramza, I think it was before even Dred Scott. You could ague it was with the very creation of the court itself and their appointment being made by a political figure in the U.S. President to be confirmed by politicians in Congress. The idea of "objective decision makers" on the courts died with the framers of the Constitution.
  9. chibiangi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    Personally, I hope the Supreme Court strikes it down and Congress has to go back to the drawing board. The major insurance companies own around 80% of the insurance being sold and all the bill did was mandate handing more cash to them and in all likelihood crushing the few remaining smaller companies. People who voted for Obama voted because they wanted to see a public option for all Americans. This is not a public option. This is some half-assed attempt to make good on campaign promises while coddling the insurance companies and soothing the Republicans. A public option does not mean completely free or that all people will drop their private insurance either. It might make the insurance companies more competitive in pricing while people try to make up their minds what they want. Of course, the end result would be that private insurance would become something only the very wealthy have but I don't see that much different than what exists today, except in degree.
  10. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    This is why Howard Dean said it was a bad deal. He knew it was a payoff to entrenched business interests. And it was.

    Hell, we would've been better off with a straightforward lump sum to poor people or lower income folks in the form of a voucher redeemable only through medical services.

    Is that redistributionist? Yep. Do I care? Nope.
  11. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Except...y'know...they don't. But never let something as trivial as reality spoil a good political narrative.


    EDIT: I can't fix the markups, but I think you get my point...
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    That should fix them. You just needed to put spaces between the different link tags so that they don't all run together.

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Thanks! [face_coffee] Whenever I "previewed" the edit, they showed up as correct [face_monkey]
  14. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    [face_laugh] Nicely done, KK. But yeah...J-Rod's 'common sence' (sic) would work in a perfect world. Maybe. I know you have this naive view that if the rich are happy that they'll gladly throw everyone a bone, but the reality is that when the rich get more money all they do is save that money. They don't invest it into their companies or in improving employee conditions. Most of the time it's that the employees suffer so they can make more money and that they can continue collecting more money. But you go right ahead and use your 'common sence' (sic) I'm sure it might work in your favor some day. Some day.
  15. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    First Merk, you are talking about corporations, I was talking about individuals. Second, and the article alluded to this, uncertainlty about the future of tax hikes is keeping corporations from risking capital. It practically supports my point.

    Sure FID didn't bother to read it, but he doesn't care about what's right or wrong. He just likes to make claims that the Repuiblicans are racist and agree with anything, no matter how wrong, so long as he can hold it for his side.
  16. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I read the articles, but thank you for bringing up irrelevant info. But yes, the current Republican leadership doesn't do much to change that perception that they're a bunch of bigoted, racist, redneck followers who will do anything to screw everyone but themselves over. So thanks again for proving my point. [face_peace]
  17. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    From the 1st link:
    From the 2nd article:
    In other words, even if the economy improves, their likely course of action is to put even more money into their own pockets. How 'bout the 3rd article:
    The notion that if we just let "rich people" have more money and they'll just uplift everyone else out of the (collective) goodness of their hearts is pure fantasy. George H.W. Bush called shenanigans on Reagan back in 1980, calling it "voodoo economics." Unfortunately, that Big Lie has been perpetuated for 30 years, and no amount of mere fact can be allowed to contradict this talking point.

    Trickle-down/voodoo economics Do. Not. Work.



  18. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I was just looking up "gray fallacy" on Wikipedia, was clicking around and got to this article. It was written back in '06, but I think he's 130% on the mark. Obviously a few things came to mind, notably healthcare, the tax cut extension, and how Democrats have somehow become these evil socialists trying to take away people's constitutional freedoms.

  19. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Well, everybody points that out to people and nobody buys it. Soo...'Murcans be stupid.
  20. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    I'm fairly certain that any real attempts to ban birth control will be met with such a crushing pushback from everybody but the most fringe of society that the GOP will be fractured from the attempt.

    They have been trying to tie birth control to abortion since the 1960s, and it hasn't worked. John Ashcroft tried this early in the decade, when he issued subpoenas to NYC Presbyterian Hospital and its' affiliate women's health clinics for the medical records of all women who were on birth control, regardless of age. His rationale was that the Justice Department needed the data to make it's case against late-term abortion procedures. Not only did the hospital refuse, the request was slapped down immediately by federal judges.

    I still maintain that it was social issues that started the flight from the GOP in the mid-90s, and then financial issues accelerated it and took over as the defining factor. Social issues tend to fall behind the economy when the economy is poor, but almost always get dragged up whenever either party wins a majority for reasons having nothing to do with said issues. The GOP anti-abortion caucus, for example, is getting ready to attach restrictions across the board to just about every bill that they can get away with.

    It never has worked. Terry Schiavo woke "the middle" up to just how far the Right was willing to go to redefine the center, and it cost the Republican party dearly. One can only get so radical for so long before there is pushback. I would even submit that over the last 50 years, liberals have been far more successful with defining the middle than conservatives have been. Staunchly entrenched positions on everything from civil rights, to women's freedoms, to gay and lesbian rights, not to mention the role of government and entitlements, have all been expanded, not contracted. Liberals may always pay a short-term price at the polls for their actions, but Americans love their government services over the long-run, they just don't like paying for them.

    For all the talk about how the ACA will be taken down, the truth is, if you look carefully at disapproval over the law, more than half of people polled say it doesn't go far enough in certain surveys. Many people love the idea of government health care, even if it doesn't play well politically. They see it as another handout, like social security and medicare. Even if the SC tosses the mandate, people are now expecting the insurance regulations, which are overwhelmingly popular, to remain, even though it will be economically almost impossible for that to happen without demanding that all Americans purchase insurance.

    So when it comes down to it, things like Social Security and Medicare, which the Right has tirelessly attacked, may end up being trimmed not because of a redefinition of the political center, but rather by economic reality. The old adage "people vote with their pocketbooks" has never been truer than it is right now. Even people like Mitch McConnell, who is busy making out with the Tea Party, is busy filling his plate with pork. I don't take any of these guys all that seriously anymore, because they are all hypocrites.

    I just happen to see the Left as somewhat less dangerous to personal freedoms than the Right. In reality, nothing is going to change. The center gets dragged left and right over an imaginary line every single decade, and very rarely are their any seismic shifts. I don't see any coming soon. The first party to actually cut entitlements is going to be out in the wilderness for a very long time, and they know it. So, until both sides can agree to go down together, they are going to simply continue the finger-pointing, and nothing will get done.

    Peace,

    V-03
  21. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    V03

    Well said as always my man.

    Politically speaking, Obama had one of his best weeks. Repealing DADT is huge for the base, and the tax cut package shows 'compromise', and further shows if played right, that the Republicans care more about tax cuts for the top 2% or so than anything else. He compromised to get tax cuts for the middle class and extend unemployment benefits for the jobless, the Republicans threatened to hold up all legislation unless they got tax cuts for the top 2%. Just sayin' [face_mischief]
  22. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Thanks DS :).

    If START passes, I'm wondering just how long it will be before the MSM starts the low-level rumblings of how Obama is getting his mojo back.....I'm just sayin'....

    Peace,

    V-03
  23. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    That's the kicker, isn't it. If there were any time to play the "Republicans are holding up unemployment and middle class tax cuts" card, it would be when they were actually doing it. Wait, and suddenly the Republicans are the oh-so-reasonable ones because everyone got what they wanted in the spirit of "compromise", and you end up with Mitch McConnell speaking from Bizarro World about how the Democrats are playing partisan politics to hike middle class taxes.
  24. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Ultimately, it is still Obama's victory. At least, as far as the press is concerned. Politico has done a complete 180 on him.
  25. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Does anyone think Obama will seriously take up any more gay equality issues before his re-election, like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or a repeal of DOMA, or anything else?

    And yes, for the remainder of the 111th Congress, the biggest item still unchecked on the list is the New START Treaty. I think they should have the votes to pass it before Christmas.

    We can't really keep calling this a lame-duck session, can we? It's one of the most productive sessions Congress has had in years. :p