The president's health care law is currently before the Supreme Court to determine whether it is constitutional or not. The main argument of those who believe it is not constitutional is that the individual mandate that forces people to purchase insurance is not only unprecedented, but would not have been considered constitutional by the framers of the Constitution (or the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence). That is simply not true. Individual mandates do have precedent in our history and were supported by the framers and founders.
The following article was taken from The New Republic. It was written by Einer R. Elhauge, who is on the faculty of Harvard Law School. Professor Elhauge also joined an amicus brief supporting the mandate's constitutionality. Here is what he wrote:
In making the legal case against Obamacare?s individual mandate, challengers have argued that the framers of our Constitution would certainly have found such a measure to be unconstitutional. Nevermind that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution?s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases. The framers, challengers have claimed, thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too ?obvious? to mention. Their core basis for this claim is that purchase mandates are unprecedented, which they say would not be the case if it was understood this power existed.But there?s a major problem with this line of argument: It just isn?t true. The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress?which incidentally included 20 framers?passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That?s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate.That?s not all. In 1792, a Congress with 17 framers passed another statute that required all able-bodied men to buy firearms. Yes, we used to have not only a right to bear arms, but a federal duty to buy them. Four framers voted against this bill, but the others did not, and it was also signed by Washington. Some tried to repeal this gun purchase mandate on the grounds it was too onerous, but only one framer voted to repeal it.Six years later, in 1798, Congress addressed the problem that the employer mandate to buy medical insurance for seamen covered drugs and physician services but not hospital stays. And you know what this Congress, with five framers serving in it, did? It enacted a federal law requiring the seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. That?s right, Congress enacted an individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. And this act was signed by another founder, President John Adams.Not only did most framers support these federal mandates to buy firearms and health insurance, but there is no evidence that any of the few framers who voted against these mandates ever objected on constitutional grounds. Presumably one would have done so if there was some unstated original understanding that such federal mandates were unconstitutional. Moreover, no one thought these past purchase mandates were problematic enough to challenge legally.True, one could try to distinguish these other federal mandates from the Affordable Care Act mandate. One could argue that the laws for seamen and ship owners mandated purchases from people who were already engaged in some commerce. But that is no less true of everyone subject to the health-insurance mandate: Indeed, virtually all of us get some health care every five years, and the few exceptions could hardly justify invalidating all applications of the statute. One could also argue (as the challengers did) that activity in the health care market isn?t enough to justify a purchase mandate in the separate health insurance market. But the early mandates required shippers and seamen to buy health insurance without showing they were active in any market for health insurance or even health care, which was far more rare back then.Nor do any of these attempted distinctions explain away the mandate to buy guns, which was not limited to persons engaged in commerce. One might try the different distinction that the gun purchase mandate was adopted under the militia clause rather than the commerce clause. But that misses the point: This precedent (like the others) disproves the challengers? claim that the framers had some general unspoken understanding against purchase mandates.In oral arguments before the court two weeks ago, the challengers also argued that the health insurance mandate was not ?proper? in a way that allows it to be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause. These precedents rebut that claim because they indicate that the framers thought not just purchase mandates but medical insurance mandates were perfectly proper indeed.
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Political Cartoon is by Pat Bagley in the Salt Lake Tribune.
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Rita Hayworth Is Staying Alive - a compilation of Rita Hayworth movie clips set to The Bee Gees Staying Alive by et7waage1. The video editing and synchronization is amazing.[...]
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Ann Romney is upset because someone pointed out the truth about her -- that she's never had to work (and that includes the work of a stay-at-home mom). Newt Gingrich is upset because even right-wing voters are too smart to put him back in a position of power. They are clearly victims. Right?
(Found at the blog of the wonderful Yellowdog Granny.)
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Here is a list of sins that will get you tossed into the pit. I took this picture in a Houston park a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to the young lady for her nice wave. I got the sense that she and the gentleman in the picture were used to having their picture taken. [...]
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I love this. The end is the best part.
Rick Larsen-- the Democratic Old Guard in DC has lost touch with the values of the Democratic Party
Tuesday Alex Isenstadt did a Beltway kind of story about how Blue Dogs face extinction. It was more relevant when we wrote it in 2009 but... well, Politico. Someone should tell Alex that this your the story isn't that the Blue Dogs are finally going extinct, but that they've migrated over to the New Dems, a similarly conservative group, only less racist, less sexist and less homophobic. But just as corrupted by corporate cash. Blue Dogs who are also New Dems include Jason Altmire (PA), John Barrow (GA), Jim Cooper (TN), Mike McIntyre (NC), Loretta Sanchez (CA), Adam Schiff (CA), Kurt Schrader (OR), and David Scott (GA). After November, when the Blue Dogs officially go belly up, all the remaining members will join the New Dems, making it an even more disgusting group than it already is. Normally when we talk about how disgusting the New Dems are we roll out Queens corruptionist Joseph Crowley, the chairman who is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. But today, let's share the spotlight with the vice-chair, Rick Larsen (WA). According to ProgressivePunch, in the current legislative session (2011-12) Larsen voted with the Democrats more than the Republicans-- but not by much. He took the progressive side almost two-thirds of the time and the conservatives' side about one-third of the time, making him one of the 30-some-odd worst Democrats in Congress and the worst Democrat from the state of Washington. So it should have come as no surprise this week that he endorsed a dismal candidate of the one percent, Suzan DelBene in the open first congressional district of Washington state.
The state Democratic Establishment wants the self-funding multimillionaire and the party establishment is coalescing behind her-- even though voters show virtually zero enthusiasm for this remote, one-percent female Mitt Romney who is most often compared to Meg Whitman. Keep in mind that the two politicians leading this move-- outgoing Governor Christine Gregoire and Larsen-- are among the least popular and least admired politicians in the state of Washington. Labor unions whine about how the Democrats don't take on the one percent on behalf of their members and then the union chiefs back a one-percenter like DelBene (take a look at this post about labor's political role).
"It's no surprise that Governor Gregoire would endorse Suzan DelBene given her role in the Gregoire Administration," said Burner spokesperson Jeremy Koulish. "It is rather surprising, though, that Gregoire's endorsement announcement came so close to Tax Day, but made no mention of DelBene's role as Gregoire's tax collector."
DelBene ran against Reichert in 2010, after Burner said she wouldn't run. Democrats believe DelBene would finance much of her own campaign, freeing the party of the prospect of ponying up money that could be better spent elsewhere.
"DelBene can write a check and win it," said one Democratic consultant who is unaffiliated in the race. "She is a really nice person, just not terribly inspiring."
We hear a lot about the proudly white, righteously heterosupremacist, and warriorly aspects of Ted Nugent's personality, but seldom does anyone write about his soft, tender, romantic side--the side that wins the hearts of sweet young 12-year-old future rock goddesses.
It was 1976. Ted was 28 and in Love--in little Courtney Love's mouth to be specific. But, alas, Love was fleeting. With a spit and a moan, Ted lost his Love to the hard work of growing breasts and the fast paced world of Girl Scout cookie merchandising.
Ted found romance again two years later . Her name was Pele Massa, a high school student from Hawaii. Ted loved his teenage goddess dearly. No doubt she was the "teenage queen...lookin' so clean, especi'lly down in between" from the paean to romantic love, "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang," he wrote around the same time.
Unfortunately, their love was beset with obstacles, the most daunting of which were laws against statutory rape. But love will find a way. In Ted and Pele's case, the way was a combination of adoption and the lax incest laws of the Seventies.
Heartwarming, isn't it. I bet the Romneys discuss Ted's love stories during Family Home Evening.
An Alabama state legislator has proposed a bill that would require women to take emergency contraception under a doctor’s supervision in order to protect life, he said. State Rep. Gerald Allen (R), who once proposed banning any book that “promotes homosexuality” to “protect Alabamians,” is sponsoring the bill, which a Senate committee approved Wednesday. The legislation would also require follow-up visits to ensure the morning after pill was effective; an earlier version would have required women to undergo an exam before taking the pill. Currently, the morning after pill is available without a prescription to anyone over 17, and anyone younger than 17 can get it with a prescription.