Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hey guys, Let's use the economic problems to institute national healthcare!

I'm watching Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday interview Senators Corker (R-TN) and Stabenow (D-MI).

Stabenow just stated that the big three union employees are actually making less than their competitors, but the difference is in healthcare benefits. She then said:

"Then we need to join with our president elect and have real healthcare reform."

Wallace did not give Corker a chance to immediently respond, but he looked pretty mad. Volkswagon is currently building a plant in Corker's hometown (my hometown of Chattanooga, the city couldn't be happier). Do those employees get universal healthcare? I don't think so.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Ban Tasers?

Eugene Volokh, at The Volokh Conspiracy (why can't I come up with a cool blog name like that, I ask you?) notes that a number of jurisdictions have banned the personal possession of tasers, and asks if there is any good reason for it.

Now, the jurisdictions that he gives are the usual suspects (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, plus Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.), so this is probably not an issue here in freedom loving Tennessee. I've sometimes thought about getting a taser to carry around campus (about once or twice a week when I get those emails warning about another robbery/mugging/assault that took place on the very route that I walk every day to get from the law school to the parking lot. But, of course, I shouldn't worry, campus is a super safe gun free zone!)

According to Charles Krauthammer, the Real Barack Obama cares little about foreign policy or economics, and seeks power to "transform"

Krauthammer says:

As Obama revealingly said just last week, "This painful crisis also
provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of
ordinary people." Transformation is his mission. Crisis provides the
opportunity. The election provides him the power.

According to Krauthammer, the Bush administration has already laid the groundwork for a New Deal style federal interventionism, and the bailouts already in place will result in "undreamed of amounts of money at Obama's disposal."

It begins with a near $1 trillion stimulus package. This is where Obama
will show himself ideologically. It is his one great opportunity to plant the
seeds for everything he cares about: a new green economy, universal health care,
a labor resurgence, government as benevolent private-sector "partner." The first
hint came yesterday, when Obama claimed, "If we want to overcome our economic
challenges, we must also finally address our health care challenge" -- the
perfect non sequitur that gives carte blanche to whatever health-care reform and
spending the Obama team dreams up. It is the community organizer's ultimate

Read the whole thing. My only complaint is that it provides little guidance as to what this change will be. Obama has been nothing if not unpredicatable from the start, and right now, I have no idea what "change" means.

Has Atlas Shrugged All Over The Country?

C. Edmund Wright, at the American Thinker, says yes.

Like many business owners, we are no longer willing to take all of the
financial and legal risks and put up with all of the aggravation of owning and
running a business. Not with the prospects of even higher taxes, more
regulation, more litigation and more emboldened bureaucrats on the
horizon. Like others we know, we are getting out while the getting is,
well, tolerable. Many who aren't getting out are scaling back.

. . .

It is no secret that owners circulated endless emails leading up to
election day discussing lay off plans were Obama to win. Entrepreneurs
instinctively understand the danger posed by larger liberal majorities in power.
The risk-reward equation and fierce independence spirit of start up businesses
are anathema to the class warfare, equality of outcome and spread the wealth
mentality of the left.
We have very little appetite to have our lives
run by elected or un-elected officials like Barney Frank and Jamie Gorelick. We
have no appetite to be taxed even more by the likes of Charlie Rangel. These
clowns destroyed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and our entire economy as a result.
Congress, by their own admission, cannot even run their own damned dining room
with a captive customer base! Some of them refuse to pay their own tax
burden. Why in the world would we subject ourselves to their ilk armed with the
unchecked powers of the Oval Office and both houses of congress and a massive
army of bureaucrats?
We got into business to be independent. We will get out
for the same reason.
The fact that Obama is not in office yet is irrelevant.
Businesses must see "around the corner" and plan accordingly. Rightly or
wrongly, business owners see a huge anti-business shift in motion and they are
making preparations NOW. We do not want to have business illiterates like Chris
Dodd dictate our decisions from the comfort of his home made possible by a quid
pro quo Countrywide mortgage.

As someone who's currently job hunting, I sure hope they're getting it out of their systems now.

Daniel B. Klein asks "What Should Liberals Liberalize?"

He suggests school choice, immigration, international trade, ag subsidies, drug prohibitions, occupational licensing, minimum wage, the FDA, and several others.

This, of course, assumes that liberals seek, you know, freedom.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Michelle Malkin is taking on the Obama Birth Certificate crowd. Here, she basically accuses them of being no different from the 9-11 truthers and the nutjobs who still believe that Sarah Palin faked her last pregnancy.

The plain truth will never mollify a Truther. There’s always a convoluted
excuse – some inconsequential discrepancy to seize on, some photographic
“evidence” to magnify into a blur of meaningless pixels – that will rationalize
irrationality. Palin could produce Trig’s umbilical cord and it still wouldn’t
be enough.

Alas, Trutherism thrives on both the left and right. Which brings us to the spate of lawsuits challenging President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship. On Friday, the
U.S. Supreme Court considers one of those suits filed by New Jersey citizen Leo
, who maintains that Obama is not a “natural born citizen” because
his father held British citizenship.

There may be a seed of a legitimate constitutional issue to explore here (how is the citizenship requirement enforced for presidential candidates, anyway?) And at least Donofrio concedes that Obama was born in Hawaii. But a dangerously large segment of the birth certificate hunters have lurched into rabid Truther territory. The most
prominent crusader against Obama’s American citizenship claim, lawyer Philip
(who, not coincidentally, is also a prominent 9/11 Truther), disputes that Obama was born in Hawaii and claims that Obama’s paternal grandmother told him she saw Obama born in Kenya.

I can't help but agree. There has been nothing about this controversy that has rung true to me in the least, and the people who cling tenaciously to it do themselves, and (by association) anyone who opposes Obama a great disservice by undermining the legitimacy of any real criticism that may be had.

But Michelle brings up an interesting side note. There may be a seed of a legitimate constitutional issue here, after all. Nobody has ever established what the constitution means by "natural born citizen," and maybe we need to know this.

So I'm thinking that this really opens the door to legitimate debate on whether the natural born citizen, whatever it means, really ought to be there at all. Think about it. Let's say that Obama really was born in another country, but his parents moved him here shortly thereafter. Now, obviously he would have had to have committed some fraud to cover that up, which we would have a legitimate problem with, but other than that, how would the place of his birth, the place that he wouldn't even remember, have any impact on his actual abilities to serve as president? The fact that he lived in Indonesia for a time that he actually does remember, in fact, a time during which he was forming his personality and learning about the world, is not held against him. Can you think of one legitimate reason that his birthplace is actually important, other than the strict rule of law?

A person has absolutely no choice in the question of where he or she is born. Let's do away with the restriction on where a person is born and look at how they have lived, instead.