I can’t often say I agree with much that any Obamacare opponents have to say about Obama or Obamacare (or, often, most anything else), but I’ll have to agree with Steven Presser says about Obama in his CNN Opinion piece; Obama should have know better than to say what he said about the Supreme Court’s eventual decision regarding Obamacare. Judicial Review *is* an important piece of the governmental pie, but my primary concern is the arrogance of Obama’s remarks, and the gauntlet he seemed to be throwing down. He may as well have said “Go ahead, conservative majority on the Supreme Court, strike down the Affordable Care act. I dare you.”
That said, I think Mr. Presser’s analysis of the status of the individual mandate is faulty. I’m not a lawyer, and undoubtedly know less about the ins and outs of the Law than Professor Presser does, but my logic goes like this:
- There is no question that the government can force you to buy insurance under some conditions. Many states require that you carry auto insurance if you register a car, and home insurance is required if you have certain types of loans that the US Government guarantees.
- The key to whether the government can require you to purchase insurance seems to be that you’re engaged in certain kinds of commercial behavior that the government has interest in regulating.
- The government has an interest in regulating aspects of the health insurance and health care industries.
- Every one (and I mean everyone) will eventually have to engage in commercial behavior in the industry in question.
There should be no concern about the government regulating commerce around healthcare and health insurance; we accept that the can do so around voluntary commercial activity, and (as pointed out elsewhere) both healthcare and, to the degree that you recognize that paying for health care out of your own pocket is a sort of health insurance, health insurance has a special status; no one escapes the eventual need to engage is purchasing health care or health insurance.
Former President Jimmy Carter weasels out of his previous comments regarding the Bush Administration:
“This administration’s foreign policy, compared to President Nixon’s, was much worse,” Carter said on NBC. “I wasn’t comparing this administration with other administrations back through history but just with President Nixon’s.” (from The Boston Globe)
In contrast to that statement, here’s what he said to the interviewer:
Carter called the Bush administration “the worst in history” when it comes to foreign affairs and accused the president of abandoning “America’s basic values.” (from Arkansas Democrat Gazette, audio here)
Now President Carter’s right, he was responding to a question about a comparison between the Nixon and Bush administrations. But what he said, “this administration has been the worst in hist … worst in history,” was clear-cut and patently directed specifically at the current administration, not in comparison to another administration, but in contrast to the arc of the American Presidency. It was unequivocal and not particularly subject to misinterpretation.
Now I happen to agree with what Mr. Carter said originally; this administration had been an almost unqualified disaster, both for the United States and for the world as a whole. But as important as that is that President Carter’s not taking responsibility for his statements. He’s dissembling when he says “My remarks were maybe careless or misinterpreted, but I wasn’t comparing the overall administration and I was certainly not talking personally about any president” (Globe) and it hurts his credibility in my eyes and perhaps on the larger stage. If he felt he was wrong to say that then fine, he should admit he made a mistake, and apologize if appropriate. But he shouldn’t try to change what he said to get out of taking responsibility for his words – that’s too similar to what members of the current administration are wont to do. Perhaps the White House is right when they say that Carter is increasingly irrelevant, and perhaps he should constrain himself to his work in Habitat for Humanity and the Carter Center, where he’s done some real good, and where his words are less likely to get him in hot water.
On a side note, my congratulations and thanks to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and Frank Lockwood and whatever other editors or publishers were involved in the decision to post the audio so we could hear President Carter’s words for ourselves. I wonder if they would have done so if the audio would have reflected less favorably on themselves or not been quite as newsworthy – there’s the real test of journalistic openness.
Almost two-thirds of those polled said … actions in Iraq showed … was “stubborn and unwilling to admit mistakes”. (From here)
Who might that be in reference to? Of course it’s a reference to George W. Bush, but it sounds like Hillary Rodham Clinton to me.
Interesting and effective illustration of our responses to victimization. The author had my responses pegged exactly correctly. A little manipulative overall, but worth reading….
In any situation in which someone is being victimized, there are only six roles you and I can play.
This is the total extent of our choices. Whether we welcome our role or not, simply by being aware of the situation means we have taken on one of these roles. The only good news here is that we have a choice as to which role we will play. (from: Your Only Choice Is Which Role You will Play / John Edwards ’08 Blog)
Ah yes, American holiday spirit:
Jensen was ordered to take the [peace-sign shaped] wreath down when some residents in her 200-home subdivision saw it as a protest of the Iraq war. Bob Kearns, president of the board, also said some saw it as a symbol of Satan. (From: Truce declared in peace wreath battle – CNN.com)
In the season of Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men, we have whole neighborhoods declaring hanging a peace sign on your house is not just unpatriotic and divisive, but also downright Satanic.
No comment from the neighborhood association board, two of whom changed their phone numbers to unlisted ones on Monday.
Yes, peace on earth; what a radical notion.
“Tony Blair has unveiled plans to introduce nearly 80 ‘Supernannies’ to help parents tame unruly children.
Up to £4 million is to be spent on creating a network of experts in a bid to tackle the roots of anti-social behaviour, according to the Prime Minister.” (Source: Telegraph | News | Blair proposes network of ‘Supernannies’)
Guess I was wrong about “anti-social” being code for “illegal”.
Later though, good old Tony goes on to reinforce the big-brotherism in British government:
“Laying the ground for the publication of proposals to force more fathers and mothers to attend parenting classes, Mr Blair said that an ‘overwhelming majority’ of people would welcome outside assistance.”
I’m not 100% sure I disagree with the usefulness of mandatory parenting classes; there are an awful lot of parents who could benefit from them out there. On the other hand, I’m sure a lot of people would say that I’m one of those parents, and I’m 100% sure there’s no good solution to determine who should decide who’s a good parent and who’s not. Not that that’ll stop old Tony.
Police are to use head-mounted video cameras to help in the fight against anti-social behaviour. (Source: BBC NEWS | UK | England | London | Beat officers to use head cameras)
Hmm. My wife and I are heading to London next year, and we’ve recently discussed the pros and cons of Britain’s surveillance state. Questions of who decides what’s “anti-social” aside (I have to assume that’s a British way of saying “against to law”), I don’t know whether to find this creepy or not. There are certainly all sorts of reasons to find it oppressive, but also some not to. Especially if the coppers are open and transparent with the content captured by the cameras. We certainly don’t hear much about police brutality in Britain, though I’m sure that’s at least partly due to my not living there.
I think they should supply a similar percentage of the general populace with head-mounted cameras, just to make things fair….
Currently listening to Do You Feel Loved by U2 from Pop.
If its perfectly targeted, it isn’t advertising, its information. Information is welcome, advertising is offensive.
Well, while I don’t agree that all advertising is offensive, I absolutely agree that commercial information perfectly tailored to me is just that: information. It’s no longer an ad.
I also agree with what Dave says further down in this piece that “target” is the wrong metaphor. As I seem to recall hearing Doc say (though I can’t find the reference): “I’m not a target.”
Scripting News: 6/15/2006
Posting the ground rules for BloggerCon this year, Dave Winer rebaits a long-lived ideological trap:
“…if they say the technology is too complicated for a user to understand, ask them why, and if they could simplify it so we can understand. And if not, why should we use it?”
It’s not that I disagree (completely), or that I think Dave is being disingenuous or doesn’t believe in this idea. It’s how categorical this statement is that brings it to the foreground of his post for me.
Take XML-RPC as a good example. It’s widely used for a large proportion of online activites (I’m using it right now, in fact). It’s a large part of the central nervous system of the web, and it’s a technology that Dave is largely (perhaps solely) responsible for. However it’s not really a technology that users need to understand, or are necessarily equipped to. I wouldn’t care to try to explain XML-RPC to my father or my sister-in-law, and from my point of view they sholdn’t need to understand it. For that matter, I probably don’t understand all the complexities of it; I’ve only taken the time to understand the bits I needed to when I needed them.
I wholeheartedly agree that technology should be as simple as possible (and no simpler). To whatever extent we can, we should, as makers of tools, make what happens when a tool is used easy for the user to understand. I’m also fully cognisant that many of the users at BloggerCon will be extraordinary as far as their ability to understand technological complexity. But to suggest that, perhaps, a technology isn’t worth using if it’s users can’t understand it seems too broad a brush with which to paint either users or technology.
FuzzyBlog – Elements of Blogging Style
I was looking forward to reading this. I'm not much, generally, for sets of rules about blogging; everyone blogs for their own reason and with their own style and no one set of rules will work for everyone, but I respect Scott, and like his writing, and this was likely to be more insightful than Guy Kawasaki's tripe about blogging evangelism.
I gave up on it, however, when the navigation overcame me. Scott seemingly realized his goal of "short, pithy guidelines," but that became a hindrance rather than a strength when I had to scroll a mile and a half down the sidebar to get the next bit of pith.
Perhaps I'll get back to it, but I can't help thinking that there's a better way.
Like that wasn't already common knowledge, but I'm downloading the Steven Colbert video (thanks to Dave for the link). Inside our corporate network I'm getting upwards of 450 kbps.
That's what I'm talkin' about!
Too bad so much of the stuff I want to download via torrent has no seeders any more 😦
ShelleyTheRepublican.com: Linux: A European threat to our computers (by Tristan)
On this website you will find many information on how to support America
On this website you will also find more ignorance than I thought could possibly fit inside one brain. This individual's mind is so far closed to reality that even the fact that Blogger is hosted on Linux server is impossible.
Even if this isn't a spoof and these folks are for real, there are some great trolls in the comments.
"It sucks to be Frodo."
BBC NEWS | Technology | Apple attacks plan to open iTunes
This is potentially a big blow for Apple, whose iTunes/iPod business model is built on its very lack of interoperability with other devices and services
Jonathan Arber, Ovum
Any company that can’t adapt to making money without resorting to breaking my ability to move my data from one place to another deserves to fold. I’m not some “open-source communist” on this idea; I have no problem with companies making money from the proprietary software they write. But if I own the data (be it text, pictures, or music) then don’t stop me from moving from one place to another. It’s one reason why I’ve never bought anything from iTunes (aside from “buying” the occasional free downloads) and never will.
Via Dave (and, previously, Dave)
Lots of really good commentary regarding the GoodMail solution and Esther Dyson’s op-ed piece in Dave’s comments. Unfortunately, aside from a brief visit from GoodMail’s founder, it’s been pretty one-sided.
This does have the feel of an answer for the privileged. For what it’s worth, I’m all for a better spam solution, but there are alternatives that can make it more difficult for the true spammers without making the rest of us bear the burden. SenderID, for all its weaknesses, comes to mind.
From Deconstructing the newspaper (BuzzMachine):
“It is important for newspapers to boil themselves down to their essence and figure out how to do better at providing that unique and valuable service.”
I don’t consider myself a particularly valuable contributor to the New Newsroom conversation, since I’ve never subscribed to a newspaper, and probably never will (thought I did deliver them for many years). My greatest exposure to the newspaper are when my neighbors go out of town and have them delivered to us while they’re gone. Aside from that, all I typically see is the funnies in the breakroom. That said, here I go anyway.
I generally agree with Jeff on his points about what will keep the newspaper alive, and I do think it’s important that they stay alive because any independant news coverage is important, especially in the current atmosphere. We need all the truth-telling we can get these days, no matter who’s on the receiving end. Mostly I think that Jeff has good pointers that the newspapers would be wise to heed.
However one thread of this particular piece (which it has in common with others he’s written) is the idea of syndicating everything you can:
“I’ll be[t] that half the papers that maintain third-rate bureaus in Washington would do better running news from syndicates….”
I see the same problem with over-syndication that I see with over-consolidation in media markets. Fewer voices means less truth – whatever truth is – and if we end up with all the news in newspapers nationwide provided by 3 or 5 news agencies, the loss of so many voices will be sorely felt, and noticed too late.
Perhaps Jeff’s way is the only way for newspapers to survive, I don’t know, but I’m afraid of a world where every bit of news I read is written by the same 5 or 6 organizations.
A little more about it here. Lots more about it here.
TECHNOSIGHT » 7 Ways to Avoid Blogging Burnout
“If there is no discovery for the writer, there is none for the reader.” – Robert Frost.
Well-timed commentary for me personally, since I’ve been lax in blogging recently and have a number of posts in “churn-mode” where I think about them and write/edit a little bit at a time over days or weeks. Some really excellent thoughts from Ken. Every single point he makes here has validity for many (most?) bloggers.
If you’re a blogger (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), go read this.
“With TiVos and iPods giving consumers more power, what’s an ad guy to do?”
from Advertising Strategies Challenged in High-Tech Age – All Things Considered
Echoing what Dave (and others, of course) has been saying since I started reading Scripting News – about 2 years now.
Further evidence (if you needed any) that even if you dislike Dave’s politics or public persona, you’d be a fool not to read him and follow what he’s talking about.
Also, I love NPR and listen with some regularity, but sometimes it’s hard to understand how long it takes them to catch up to things like this. Not their strength, perhaps….
His first post. Some other interesting stuff (not by Tim) there as well.
Google’s new music search looks fairly useful. Here’s a search for Fugazi.
Using the music search’s album list you’ll see all the albums Google can find, along with pricing at various vendors and links to reviews, if there are any that Google can find. Here’s a better example, for Pink Floyd.
From the song list you can view other versions of a particular song, iTunes and eMusic purchase options, and lyrics searches (I wonder how the RIAA is going to like that? Not much, I expect).
Update: Just noticed Dave’s post about a potential music industry heads up. Figures Google would talk to the RIAA but not to the rest of us.
“Systems, Applications, Products in Data Processing”, formed by four ex-IBM employees who used to work in the ‘Systems/Applications/Projects’ group of IBM.
from this. I’d like to know where he got his info. I understood SAP to stand for something in German. Given that much of the backend ABAP code is commented in German, I suspected that was fairly accurate.
Thanks to Dave, I’m now subscribed to the voting records of my 3 legislators. An avenue in to involved and interactive government, especially when RSS is built in to more apps.
Herb Kohl: RSS
Wonder Tammy: RSS
Super Russ: RSS
Conversations worth having require beliefs that you are secure in.
Many of the most valuable conversations I’ve ever had are exploratory – about things I don’t have a settled belief about. The conversation helps me resolve those ideas.
Having looked at Sawdust and Incense when Doc last linked to it, I find something very appealing about the gentleman’s approach, especially when contrasted against that of many of the pro-life or pro-choice groups. I’d also like to hope that this fellow isn’t thinking “conversation = conversion”.
In addition I’d like to encourage a conversation with a few women I know, who could tell him that the first few paragraphs of this aren’t necessarily the norm.