Earlier today, Republicans were hitting on a recording of Obama in 1998 in which the future President says he “believe(s) in some redistribution”.
“I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution – because I actually believe in some redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everybody’s got a shot.”
It’s those final words – “I actually believe in some redistribution” – that Republicans have latched onto, characterizing them as an endorsement of redistributing wealth, rather than making sure government agencies were well supported. Many conservatives argue redistributing wealth is akin to socialism.
That’s hardly a revelation. The President’s staunch support of taking from those who work and giving to those who watch the work is well-documented, in word and deed.
Now though, a new recording has surfaced of Obama in 2001, and it’s a rather alarming statement on just how far he thinks government can reach in their quest to spread the wealth. Essentially, he believes there is theoretical justification for the Supreme Court to do the redistributing.
Back in 2001, Barack Obama gave this stunning interview to a Chicago public radio station in which he talked about using the Supreme Court, the most undemocratic of the three branches of government, to “spread the wealth.”
A rough excerpt:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order, and as long as I could pay for it, I’d be OK. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and the more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent, as radical as, I think, people try to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical; it didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution…. One of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think, there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways, we still suffer from that. You can craft theoretical justification for it legally, and any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts.
Some call it a backing of affirmative action policies, while others call it a full-throated endorsement of discrimination. Regardless, 13 attorneys general, led by New York’s own Eric Schneiderman, have filed a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold racial preferences in college admissions.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, on behalf of 14 states, is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold racial preferences in college admissions.
The court is scheduled to hear arguments Oct. 10 in a lawsuit by Abigail Fisher, a white student who was not admitted to the University of Texas in 2008. Fisher is challenging the university’s admissions policy as a violation of her civil and constitutional rights.
The court’s ruling will be its first on affirmative action in higher education since 2003.
“The states all share a strong interest in preserving the flexibility of their varied institutions to pursue a range of strategies to achieve the educational benefits of diversity in higher education,” Schneiderman and state Solicitor General Barbara Underwood said in a brief filed late Monday. They noted that public schools like the State University of New York, ranging from community colleges to research universities, enroll about 72 percent of post-secondary students nationally and play an especially important role for students with modest means.
Other states joining the brief were Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Justice Department has argued that a diverse college population is not only in the best interest of the university, but also the government’s. But the tactics in which a college attains that diversity is what is in question, as the University of Texas had shifted from accepting students based on class rank, to finding other ways to diversify the student population. In other words, some students who may have been accepted based on academic performance would now compete with others who may have been chosen based on better personal essays or on their extracurricular merits – and with race in mind.
The brief (provided below) is very similar to one filed in 2010 with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, also supporting the University of Texas’ use of racial preferences in their undergraduate admissions process. The brief had been filed by then solicitor general and current Justice, Elena Kagan, and stems from the same battle begun in the 2003 ruling that narrowly permitted race-conscious policies in public higher education.
Such blatant support for the exploitation of race in education was panned by the National Review’s Roger Clegg, when he described the brief as “a full-throated endorsement of such discrimination.”
The Supreme Court’s review of this affirmative action case may have political ramifications as well. The review is expected to occur in October—placing it squarely in the minds of voters just weeks prior to the presidential election.
Just another sobering reminder that the President’s healthcare plan is a burden on people at every income level. While the administration would like to play semantics on calling it a penalty, the rest of the nation, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, recognizes the massive tax implications of Obamacare – and now we’re learning that the effects will be economically devastating on one class in particular that the President claims to be a champion for … the poor.
The Daily Caller reports:
The penalty imposed by the Affordable Care Act on citizens who elect not to purchase health insurance will be at least $1,000 for most people, and more than $12,000 for high-income earners, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.
“We can see that this is a big tax, particularly on the poor,” writes the Tax Foundation’s William McBride. “Higher income families generally pay a higher amount, but actually a smaller percent of their income, making this a regressive tax.”
For example, the penalty for a family of four earning $20,000 will be $2,085, more than 10 percent of its income, according to the Tax Foundation — whereas a family of four making $100,000 will only have two percent of its income taken away by the government.
A regressive tax for a regressive regime. Why the War on the Poor, Mr. President?
The report then goes on to say that implementation of the individual mandate would have a negative impact on the economy, with people trying to shield their income from the new tax by “working less”.
An unemployment rate at 8.2%, an underemployment rate at nearly 15%, and the implementation of the President’s healthcare plan is going to cause people to ‘work less’ to avoid paying more.
Aren’t people already working less because of the President’s economic policies?
Obama. Isn’t. Working.
“I absolutely reject” the notion that the individual mandate is a tax.
“… for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.”
“That’s not a tax increase…”
“… you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase.”
And now, the latest from Mister Smith Media…
Though there are people far more qualified to debate the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare, we’d be remiss in not mentioning it all.
Via Doug Powers:
Yikes. Obamacare upheld almost in its entirety:
“The mandate is constitutional. Chief Justice Roberts joins the left of the Court.”
“The Medicaid provision is limited but not invalidated.”
“The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.”
The mandate survives “as a tax.” That should help the middle class dig out of the recession.
Here’s the thing – this is a defeat for conservatives in many ways. That said, any chance Obama had of seeing voters sit on the sideline because they can’t get behind Romney is gone.
It also gives Republicans running in 2012 a new talking point – not only is this a massive expansion of government power, but it is being implemented via a massive tax.
Doubt that this will be a rallying cry? Team Romneycare has already raised $200k since the decision mere minutes ago.
In the meantime, here’s a friendly reminder that the President himself insisted that the individual mandate is not a tax.
Transcript via ABC News:
STEPHANOPOULOS: …during the campaign. Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?
OBAMA: Well, hold on a second, George. Here — here’s what’s happening. You and I are both paying $900, on average — our families — in higher premiums because of uncompensated care. Now what I’ve said is that if you can’t afford health insurance, you certainly shouldn’t be punished for that. That’s just piling on. If, on the other hand, we’re giving tax credits, we’ve set up an exchange, you are now part of a big pool, we’ve driven down the costs, we’ve done everything we can and you actually can afford health insurance, but you’ve just decided, you know what, I want to take my chances. And then you get hit by a bus and you and I have to pay for the emergency room care, that’s…
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may be, but it’s still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. That’s not true, George. The — for us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is, is that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I’m not covering all the costs.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it may be fair, it may be good public policy…
OBAMA: No, but — but, George, you — you can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase. Any…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Here’s the…
OBAMA: What — what — if I — if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that’s not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don’t want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then…
STEPHANOPOULOS: I — I don’t think I’m making it up. Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: Tax — “a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.”
OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam’s Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what…
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no, but…
OBAMA: …what you’re saying is…
STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to check for myself. But your critics say it is a tax increase.
OBAMA: My critics say everything is a tax increase. My critics say that I’m taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look, we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we’re going to have an individual mandate or not, but…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?
OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.
Well Mr. President, you now have no choice but to accept that notion. You’ve just implemented one of the biggest tax burdens in American history. Own it.
Meanwhile, expect the Tea Party to be back in business in the coming months.
We’ll see you in November.
Unreal – In Response to Supreme Court Decision, Obama Administration Punishes Arizona Law Enforcement
How can an alleged law scholar respond to the Supreme Court of our nation by ignoring their rulings, or essentially finding other ways around what they have decreed as legal?
The court struck down three of the four provisions in Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law, but upheld a key provision which allows police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop. Clearly, the Obama administration was not pleased with the Supreme Court ruling, which makes me believe it may have been more of a victory than was assumed at first glance. And being not pleased, the administration does what it tends to do when they don’t get their own way – they reverted to a child-like petulant nature.
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that they are discontinuing agreements made with Arizona police to enforce federal immigration laws. In other words, they pouted, stomped their feet, took their ball and went home.
The Department of Homeland Security is suspending the program it uses to deputize local, county and state law enforcement officers in Arizona so they can double up as immigration agents.
The move affects only Arizona and it was made in direct reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday regarding Arizona’s controversial immigration laws.
Further, DHS has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Read that again.
HOMELAND SECURITY will be IGNORING PHONE CALLS regarding individuals who are IN OUR COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. Doesn’t that defy the very definition of ‘homeland security’?
Can you just imagine?
“Excuse me Ms. Napolitano, we’d like to report an individual who has crossed our border illegally, ignoring the sovereignty of our nation, someone who may represent a threat to our security…”
Napolitano, with fingers inserted firmly in ears responds with, “La, la, la, la, I can’t hear you…”
Additionally, the DHS is limiting resources to a state police force trying to enforce a federal law that the federal government wasn’t enforcing in the first place. Presumably, they would be continuing this program had the Supreme Court struck down the entire law, leaving only one interpretation – Obama is only willing to enforce a law if he agrees with it.
This is a stunningly amateurish temper tantrum of a response to the Supreme Court’s decree that police officer’s can check the immigration status of people in the process of breaking the law. And it leads to the question, with this and the administration’s adamant opposition to voter ID laws, why is President Obama so protective of people that are willing to break the law?
Oh yes – votes. Democrats have the market cornered when it comes to illegal votes.
Meanwhile, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer crushed the President with this statement:
“As though we needed any more evidence, President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people. Within the last two hours, I have been notified the Obama administration has revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law.
“Of course, it is no coincidence that this announcement comes immediately on the heels of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of the heart of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law: SB 1070. It’s worth noting that 68 law enforcement entities in 24 states have functioning 287(g) agreements with the federal government. But it appears the only agreements eliminated today were those in Arizona, the state that happens to be on the front lines of America’s fight against illegal immigration. We are on our own, apparently.
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn – downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our State from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this. Still, the disarmament of Arizona’s 287(g) agreements is a new low, even for this administration.
It seems like on a nearly daily basis, we are discussing how the Obama administration has managed to hit a new low. At some point, you’d think the President would hit the bottom of the barrel, but he simply keeps breaking through and digging even deeper.
Will the President find a way to circumvent the law again if the Supreme Court strikes down his signature achievement on Thursday?
Brewer points out why the actions of this President need to be taken very seriously:
“The President’s action should be of concern to all Americans. This fight is not over. President Obama may disregard Congress. He may target individual states like Arizona. He may generally act with impunity. But he is not above judgment – and the American people will have theirs very soon.”
Will you continue to stand for this America? Four more years of this imperial Presidency?
The Supreme Court has upheld a provision in the Arizona Immigration Law known as SB 1070, which allows police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop.
A majority of other provisions in the law were struck down, cited as an intrusion on the federal governments enforcement of immigration.
The Wall Street Journal explains the other provisions which were overturned.
The others make it a crime for immigrants without work permits to seek employment, make it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry registration documents, and authorize the police to arrest any immigrant they believe has committed a deportable offense. Those other three provisions were struck down.
Shane at Caffeinated Thoughts has a copy of the decision, and states in regards to the immigration check victory, the reason the police immigration status check was upheld is because the Court didn’t believe it interfered with the “federal immigration scheme.”
This gives the decision an even greater feeling of being a hollow victory of sorts. What good is checking the immigration status of those stopped for breaking the law, if it is only reported to the federal government who just recently were instructed to halt deportations of some 800,000 illegal immigrants?
On the plus side, the “show me your papers” provision was the most controversial, as well as the most widely debated and generally understood aspect of the law.
Both sides will likely come away from this claiming victory.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Obamacare on Thursday.
Specifically, they’re calling out John Roberts in an attempt to convey the message that if he dares contribute to the overturning of Obamacare, he is simply doing so based on radical conservative judicial activism.
Nevermind it is an unconstitutional overreach of government power.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
You can tell the Supreme Court is getting closer to its historic ObamaCare ruling because the left is making one last attempt to intimidate the Justices. The latest effort includes taunting Chief Justice John Roberts that if the Court overturns any of the law, he’ll forever be defined as a partisan “activist.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy recently took the extraordinary step of publicly lobbying the Chief Justice after oral argument but before its ruling. “I trust that he will be a Chief Justice for all of us and that he has a strong institutional sense of the proper role of the judicial branch,” the Democrat declared on the Senate floor. “The conservative activism of recent years has not been good for the Court.”
He added that, “Given the ideological challenge to the Affordable Care Act and the extensive, supportive precedent, it would be extraordinary for the Supreme Court not to defer to Congress in this matter that so clearly affects interstate commerce.”
The elite liberal press has followed with pointed warnings that Mr. Roberts has a choice—either uphold ObamaCare, or be portrayed a radical who wants to repeal the New Deal and a century of precedent. This attack is itself clearly partisan, but it’s worth rehearsing the arguments to show how truly flawed they are.
As was reported here earlier, President Obama has gone out of his way in an attempt to intimidate the Supreme Court, flat-out lying about the “unprecedented” possibility of his healthcare law being ruled unconstitutional. Apparently, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t take kindly to that characterization, and has issued a direct challenge to the administration, daring them to say they don’t believe that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law.
From CBS News:
In the escalating battle between the administration and the judiciary, a federal appeals court apparently is calling the president’s bluff — ordering the Justice Department to answer by Thursday whether the Obama Administration believes that the courts have the right to strike down a federal law, according to a lawyer who was in the courtroom.
The order, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, appears to be in direct response to the president’s comments yesterday about the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law. Mr. Obama all but threw down the gauntlet with the justices, saying he was “confident” the Court would not “take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
Overturning a law of course would not be unprecedented — since the Supreme Court since 1803 has asserted the power to strike down laws it interprets as unconstitutional. The three-judge appellate court appears to be asking the administration to admit that basic premise — despite the president’s remarks that implied the contrary. The panel ordered the Justice Department to submit a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday addressing whether the Executive Branch believes courts have such power, the lawyer said.
The Law Blog provides the specific comments that sparked the challenge…
Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a Reagan appointee, hears arguments in another Affordable Care Act case on Tuesday and asks Justice Department lawyer Dana Lydia Kaersvang whether the agency believes that the judiciary can knock down unconstitutional laws. You can find the link to the audio (start at around 18:00) here, and below is the key exchange.
Smith: Does the Department of Justice recognize that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities?
Kaersvang: Yes, your honor. Of course, there would need to be a severability analysis, but yes.
Smith: I’m referring to statements by the president in the past few days to the effect…that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed “unelected” judges to strike acts of Congress that have enjoyed — he was referring, of course, to Obamacare — what he termed broad consensus in majorities in both houses of Congress.
That has troubled a number of people who have read it as somehow a challenge to the federal courts or to their authority or to the appropriateness of the concept of judicial review. And that’s not a small matter. So I want to be sure that you’re telling us that the attorney general and the Department of Justice do recognize the authority of the federal courts through unelected judges to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases.
Kaersvang: Marbury v. Madison is the law, your honor, but it would not make sense in this circumstance to strike down this statute, because there’s no –
Smith: I would like to have from you by noon on Thursday…a letter stating what is the position of the attorney general and the Department of Justice, in regard to the recent statements by the president, stating specifically and in detail in reference to those statements what the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review. That letter needs to be at least three pages single spaced, no less, and it needs to be specific. It needs to make specific reference to the president’s statements and again to the position of the attorney general and the Department of Justice.
The PJ Tatler response:
The only thing that’s unprecedented is the ObamaCare mandate forcing Americans to purchase a product approved by the government as the price of citizenship. Judicial review is just about as old as the nation itself. Well, the HHS mandate that kicks an executive branch jackboot through the First Amendment is unprecedented, too. I’ll grant that.
The President has embarrassed himself in a major way here, and there doesn’t appear to be any way to walk it back, though he has tried.
The ‘constitutional scholar’ has proven to be a constitutional illiterate.
There are so many lies packed into his statement that it’s difficult to figure out where to begin.
Via Fox News:
President Obama, employing his strongest language to date on the Supreme Court review of the federal health care overhaul, cautioned the court Monday against overturning the law — while repeatedly saying he’s “confident” it will be upheld.
The president spoke at length about the case at a joint press conference with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. The president, adopting what he described as the language of conservatives who fret about judicial activism, questioned how an “unelected group of people” could overturn a law approved by Congress.
“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said.
Lie #1: Obama doesn’t understand how an ‘unelected group of people’ could overturn a law.
Obama is a media-framed Constitutional expert, so his not understanding the basic system of checks and balances seems unlikely. Just in case he’s a little foggy on the topic (after all, he hasn’t exactly attempted to heed the Constitution much since his days at Harvard), Mitt Romney explains:
“What the president’s complaining about, however, is that the Supreme Court might actually apply the Constitution to the bill that he passed! And the whole purpose of the Supreme Court is to make sure that Congress does not pass laws that are in violation of the Constitution.”
Lie #2: The healthcare law was passed by a strong majority.
Even the Atlanta Journal Constitution is calling BS on this claim. The healthcare bill had to be passed using trickery such as reconciliation and backroom deals. In the end, it still only passed the House by a vote of 219-212, and had to be rammed through Congress using a budget reconciliation maneuver that allowed it to bypass a Senate filibuster with just 51 votes.
Lie #3: Overturning the law would be ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unprecedented’.
Doug Ross explains that this has only happened, well… over 1,300 times.
If find it curious that a self-professed Constitutional scholar doesn’t know that the Supreme Court has struck down more than 1,300 laws since the founding of the Republic.
• Unprecedented step of overturning a law? Oh, gee, Mr. Constitutional Scholar, as of 2002, the Supreme Court had only struck 1,315 laws down as unconstitutional, the first in 1803.
Does the arrogance of this President know no bounds?
For you drones and irregular Americans following along, that’s a rhetorical question.
So the smartest man in the room doesn’t understand basic laws, and the definition of the words ‘unprecedented’, and ‘majority’.
Not to mention the word ‘Constitution’.
Alexa Shrugged adds:
As many have pointed out, this is a laughably unprecedented and extraordinary definition of the words “unprecedented” and “extraordinary.” It’s as if President Obama thinks the Supreme Court has never struck down a law before! Or that Congress has never passed an unconstitutional law in its history!
After his Solicitor General got terrible reviews for his oral arguments, which some think put the case in jeopardy, Obama is trying to reframe the debate in case he loses. If Obamacare goes down, Obama wants you to think it is because of an activist, extreme Supreme Court – not because the law itself is an unconstitutional federal intrusion into your life.