Morning Briefing for December 14, 2010

RedState Morning Briefing
For December 14, 2010

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1. Obamacare’s Individual Mandate Exceeds Congress’ Commerce Clause Power

I have had time now to briefly read Judge Hudson’s opinion ruling that the individual mandate portion of Obamacare is unconstitutional. My initial impression is that, while this ruling will widely be viewed as a victory for opponents of Obamacare, there are some potential problems with the opinion that may result in this opinion being a net loss down the road (where it will inevitably be decided by the Supreme Court in any case).To begin with, Judge Hudson specifically refused to enjoin the Act’s enforcement pending appeal (a decision which will likely not be revisited by the Fourth Circuit whenever they get around to hearing the appeals). More importantly, Judge Hudson – improperly, in my view – severed the individual mandate from the Act as a whole. If that decision stands, it could well result in the wholesale destruction of private health insurance companies in the United States. It is also worth noting that this lawsuit did not address the potential capitation problems being litigated in the Florida lawsuit.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. An Unserious Circle of Smug Seriousness

Only in a place like New York, where a man can set off a bomb in Times Square and have the mayor blame opponents of Obamacare, could an unserious circle of smug, self-righteous political exiles get together and demand that they be treated seriously — so long as we give them no labels.What the heck?I’m talking, of course, about a new group out calling itself No Labels. It is a group of snobs, elitists, true believers, and other left-of-center Democrats and Republicans who share nothing in common except being rich, pretty white, repudiated by the American political system, and convinced that if they are good enough and, doggoneit, serious enough, they can bring Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing to reality. Oh, and they are very serious. Just ask them.Kicking things off as only left-of-center snobs and elitists can, they stole a logo from a graphic design artist instead of actually creating one of their own.Having contributed nothing to society except a love of ordering society around on a technocratic basis, this Confederacy of Clintonistas and Failed Republicans got together with the all white cast of MSNBC to tell us all that they aren’t really the mostly out of touch, urban, elitist, liberals they are, rather they are the serious people crying out in the wilderness demanding to be let back into power.We can get a pretty good idea of why they are out of power by looking at their issues where we clearly see they stand for nothing and everything at the same time — hardly a compelling way to get into power. It’s like a convention of Unitarian-Universalists.In any event, it is helpful to understand exactly what this group is all about.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. The Ethanol Juggernaut: Do Republicans Have the Will to Stop Big Government?

It’s always politically advantageous to support tax cuts. However, it takes more intransigence and fortitude to oppose big government programs and special interest handouts. It is even more arduous to oppose such programs when they are coupled with tax cuts as part of a backroom compromise. Based upon Senator Jim Inhofe’s comments to NRO it appears that there aren’t too many GOP Senators who are down for the struggle. Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. The Cost of Unions: The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Files For Bankruptcy

The grocery industry is a highly competitive industry and, as so often is the case, those businesses that are saddled with extraordinary obstacles falter.On Sunday, the 151-year old Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., once the nation’s largest grocery chain and current operator of 395 grocery stores with 41,000 employees, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With $1 billion in debt, the company has struggled in recent years and has lost market share, making the bankruptcy filing all the more likely.Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. Stephen Breyer Takes a Stab at Originalism: Hilarity Ensues

I have read enough of his opinions to know that Stephen Breyer is not an idiot. However, despite any protestations to the contrary he might make, he undoubtedly is a partisan. And his partisanship leads him down paths that require him to engage in intellectual dishonesty, which serves to make him look like an idiot far more often than he should. Please click here for the rest of the post.