December 13th, 2010


Federal judge rules against Obama care, conservatives get giddy

A federal judge declared the Obama administration's health care law unconstitutional Monday, siding with Virginia's attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson is the first federal judge to strike down the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan. Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and others are pending, including one filed by 20 other states in Florida.

Source: AP.

Conservatives and Libertarians on Live journal have been very excited since this news broke earlier this afternoon, but apparently they've overlooked previous rulings against this lawsuits (and quite a few of the lawsuits have been dismissed without comment). It turns out the judge that ruled, Henry E. Hudson, is a Bush II appointee. The next level is to the 4th circuit, one of the most conservative circuits in the country. As Bill Dupray has observed: "If you opposed Obamacare and got to choose the judge and the Circuit in which to have the case heard, you could do a lot worse than the Virginia federal courts. But of course, Ken Cuccinelli [Virginia Attorney General - R ] already knew that." Since we all know this will be decided by the Supremal Court (the Roberts court is the most conservative since the 1930s), and more than likely by a single vote, that made me wonder, if a conservative vacancy occurred for whatever reasons (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito, or tie-breaker Kennedy), do you think President Obama would be required to nominate another conservative? In the last two nominations, there was a feeling from right wingers that the President would obligated to maintain an ideological balance on the court, and could expect a tremendous fight during a confirmation process if he were to nominate anyone that they didn't approve. Of course, I couldn't disagree more. The President can nominate ANYONE he wants, and expect Senate confirmation, baring any major issues. But considering how much President Obama wants to compromise with the Republican party, I'd be willing to bet he'd pick another conservative.
christmas barrel roll
  • kinvore

What would be your articles of secession?

A couple of years ago a dear friend of mine was teaching an 8th grade US history class. When they got to the Civil War she gave them an assignment that I thought would be a lot of fun for us to have here.

She had them draw up their own articles of secession and to create their own nation. For instance one of her students said that in his country there would be no public assistance (aka welfare). Everyone has to work, if you are in a wheel chair then you find a job where you work from home on your computer.

The rules are simple: pick a place that really exists, be it your home or your neighborhood or your city or whatever, as long as it's not an entire country. Create a document as to why you want to secede from whatever country it's in (doesn't have to be in the US). State your reasons/grievances.

I'd like to add a bit more to it and create your own version of the Bill of Rights, the rules that are the basis of your fledgling nation. If you want extra credit make a flag, maybe a motto, or anything else to flesh things out. Everyone who makes a submission can grade someone else's idea, everyone else should STFU until they've stuck their neck out. This is just a suggestion to encourage participation, honestly anyone can comment/grade even if you're a worthless lazy bastich.

You can either reply here or you can make your own thread, but if you make your own thread please be sure to reference this one so that people know WTF you're talking about. There is no requirement to take this project seriously, it's all in good fun. Feel free to be as outlandish as you want, if you want, but try to keep it safe for work. If you're going to blatantly troll and say something like "no black people" (or white people for that matter), let me be the first to say you deserve to die in a fire, and your corpse should be put out by being blasted with piss. My piss. After I've eaten asparagus.

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The Crying Game / John Boehner on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes had an segment on John Boehner Sunday evening. Many on the left are making a big deal of how much he cries (calling him Weeper-of-the-House), suggesting that if Speaker Pelosi had been as emotional, the right wingers would have had a field day with it. Leslie Stahl also noticed the frequency of Boehner's crying, and was honestly taken aback by it and asked him about it. Despite his reputation as being a rich guy who loves to play golf with lobbyists, Boehner's personal life-story is a traditional American success story, the 2nd oldest of 12 children (!), devout Roman Catholic (went to daily Mass), and from a family that were Kennedy Democrats, and Boehner worked as a janitor for 7 years while going to college. It's a nice piece and certainly gives you a lot of insights to the man. I would highly recommend it, I learned a lot about him. Apparently Boehner and Ted Kennedy were the best of friends and Boehner thought highly of him.

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Chicago: A major city which won't be featured on "The Great Food Truck Race"

I actually watched Food Network's Great food truck road race with some interest when it debuted this year. Previously I hadn't been aware that food trucks had been experimenting with gourmet style food and a lot of it I would have loved being present at the time to sample some of it, had I been near any of them.

It turns out that this trend is partly fueled as development of the recent economic downturn as chefs and restaurateurs find that it's much cheaper to reach customers by food truck than spending upwards of a million dollars to buy/rent/renovate inner city floorspace. Makes sense. If I lived in a city, based on some of what I saw on the show, I'd be insane not to try it myself.

Now it seems Chicago has made it virtually impossible to operate a food truck in the city. You can't open up food product for preparation in the vehicle, so you have to prep everything before you leave meaning any product which relies on a fresh prep to be palatable is off the menu, and you can't park within 200m of a brick-and-mortar restaurant/food establishment.

Naturally, the brick-and-mortar establishments in Chicago like the status-quo very much.

From the article: 'The food truck concept is "a quaint idea," says Dan Rosenthal, owner of Sopraffina Marketcaffe, a chain of Italian restaurants in Chicago. "But when you get right down to it, it creates an unlevel playing field."'

This to me, is BS. What it does is indicate a changing marketplace in the food preparation industry, and that for those settled into it already, change is uncomfortable. I can understand that it certainly must be frustrating having to deal with a changing market climate, but this is precisely the kind of change which keeps an industry sustainable. Having to deal with less resources means having to become more resourceful. For the time being, it seems the city is firmly on the side of the brick-and-mortar team.

The article quotes a representative from the city council as defending the rules with the following:

"A spokeswoman for the city says Chicago's rules are for health and sanitary reasons."

...which seems a lot more like a blanket statement of meaningless reassurance unless there's some rather specific justification the article left out of the quote. And it would have to be quite a justification, as numerous other major urban centers don't seem to find it necessary to be this restrictive to achieve those ends.

So I pass it to the general audience here to add some of your own insight into this. Is this an example of an established and perhaps connected segment of an industry using the bureaucracy as a shield against changing market forces (not to lean on stereotype too much, but this is Chicago)? Who wins in this scenario? If the food trucks can make restaurant quality food for less, and the city is essentially restricting that option away, won't the average person simply choose eating out less overall than frequenting the brick-and-mortar restaurants more?