Don’t steal my bandwidth

If you use my site’s images on your site, instead of hosting them yourself, you drive up my bandwidth use. This costs me money. Then things like this happen.

BEFORE

BlazingCatFur.com before

AFTER

BlazingCatFur.com after

If your site is liberal, I’ll substitute a very embarrassing image, instead of a mild one like the above. I’m lookin’ at you, Kos.

Do the rich pay their fair share?

I have questions for people who say “the rich don’t pay their fair share.”

What counts as “rich” to you? Are we looking at net worth? Annual income? Households or individuals? What’s the cutoff for “fair share,” pray tell? 40% of income? 50%? 75%? 100%? Or are we talking about confiscating wealth instead of just income? Should there be salary/wage ceilings?

Effective Federal Tax Rate



fair share

Taxes & Spending

Define the terms you incessantly bleat about, or shut up.

Does gun control reduce violent crime?

If it could be shown by statistical studies that violent crime rates in counties with Policy X were lower than violent crime rates in counties without Policy X, and further that counties switching to Policy X saw a drop in their violent crime rate, and all of those statistics were carefully controlled to isolate the effect of Policy X alone, then what would you conclude?

Now what if Policy X turned out to be “shall issue” concealed firearm permits?

For further understanding of what, exactly, we have the right to keep and bear, read my paper on the Second Amendment’s definition of “arms.”

12:10 PM Update: For those who are unfamiliar with the legal term “shall issue,” read the Buckeye Firearms Association’s excellent summary in layman’s terms.

Bob Gibbs & the Obamacare repeal letter

The effort to choke off funding for Obamacare continues in the U.S. House of Representatives. Yesterday morning I e-mailed the following question to Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) via his 7th District campaign’s Facebook page

Why didn’t you sign this letter pledging to defund Obamacare?

His reply:

Alo,

Obviously I’m totally against Obamacare, I have voted 33 times to repeal, defund and different parts etc. The reason I didn’t sign on to the letter to leadership because the letter stated to include defunding Obamacare in every piece of legislation going forward. This week we are doing defense appropriations and I can’t support holding funding up for our troops and national security, essentially holding our troops hostage. Also I’m completely fed up with the spectacle of the dog and pony show here in DC, I’m working for real results not being part of a circus.

Bob

Seems reasonable. My only quibble is the implication that Rep. Jim Jordan is running a circus. The Republican Study Committee is nothing of the kind.

Attention, casual voters

If you still aren’t paying serious attention to politics this late in the game, do everyone a favor this November 6th.

Don’t vote.

You’re not competent enough to make an informed decision either way, whether you’re a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent. You can no more make an informed decision on who should run the country than you could make wise financial decisions with a ouija board. You will vote with emotion instead of reason, swayed by bumper stickers, three-word slogans, lying ads, and screaming TV pundits. You deserve a voice on national policy like I deserve a voice in any NFL team’s play-calling, or like your drunk Uncle Hugo deserves to sit at the controls of a passenger airliner.

Sit this one out. Do whatever it is that occupies your time, but don’t get involved in how your government impacts your neighbors’ lives. You don’t know enough about what’s at stake to choose intelligently between the options presented.

Want to vote? Then you have obligations to meet first. Shut up. Listen. Learn. Turn off the latest episode of The Jersey Shore, put down your copy of People Magazine, and stop wasting time on TMZ.com. Learn how to spot bullshit by understanding logical fallacies, the most common propaganda/advertising techniques, and the standard statistical trickery pushed by politicians and the media. Memorize who your representatives are (find your Zip+4 and use it to search for your politicians here). Read the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and their competitors. Get a basic grasp of world & US history. Get comfortable with all of that, and then keep up with political news for at least a year.

casual voterPull your head out of your ass before you presume to push the government in one direction or another, because this isn’t some game. You’re not choosing the next American Idol. Your choices profoundly affect the liberty and livelihood of everyone around you, including those who’ve done the right thing by taking the time to get informed. This election will determine whether America survives as a representative republic or slides into the soft tyranny experienced by most of the rest of the world. There isn’t enough time before Election Day for you to get up to speed anymore, if you aren’t there already. So swallow your precious pride, quietly admit to yourself that you’ve neglected to do your civic duty, and skip this election.

If you do cast a vote anyway, even though you can’t be bothered to “follow all of that boring political stuff,” then don’t tell me about it.

Because I’m going to punch you in the mouth the next time you come within arm’s reach, you arrogant and recklessly destructive twit.

236 years and counting

Happy Independence Day! Thank a veteran, read the Declaration of Independence, enjoy the fireworks, and hoist a cold one to America today!

Did the Supreme Court limit the Commerce Clause?

As you read this post, keep these words in the front of your mind: “the opinion of the Court.”

In Part III-A of his published opinion on the Obamacare case, Chief Justice Roberts explained that he would forbid Congress from relying on the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution to pass legislation to force you to buy something. Plenty of conservatives — and even a few leftists — seem to think that his opinion on the Commerce Clause is also the formal opinion of the Supreme Court. Not so.

Here’s the very first paragraph of the published ruling, taken from page 7 of the PDF file.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and III–C, an opinion with respect to Part IV, in which JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE KAGAN join, and an opinion with respect to Parts III–A, III–B, and III–D.

See that highlighted text? Part III-A is where Roberts fleshes out his theories about the limits of the Commerce Clause, but that doesn’t change a damn thing. Part III-A is obiter dictum (often shortened to dictum or dicta), a fancy Latin term that means “this is a part of the written opinion where the judge yammers on about something or other, but it isn’t part of the court’s formal ruling, so it isn’t controlling precedent and you can ignore it.”

Go read the opinion, and look at the beginning of Part III-A and compare it to the beginning of Part III-C.

Roberts opinion, Part III-A Roberts opinion, Part III-C

You have to pay attention to details when you read a Supreme Court opinion. The Obamacare case did not rein in Congress’ use of the Commerce Clause. Chief Justice Roberts wrote his opinion about it, but not enough justices joined him to make it the official, binding opinion of the Court. They did join him in Part III-C, where he upheld the individual mandate by magically rewriting the law as a tax. Part III-C is indeed the opinion of the Court.

Want an even simpler explanation of what Chief Justice Roberts tried to achieve?

Commerce Clause or Taxing Power?

Always look for the opinion of the Court. Let Mark Levin explain it for you.

Congress is the problem

Ever wondered why Congress doesn’t work? Think about this: when America was founded, the average Congressman represented 30,000 constituents. Today, it’s roughly 700,000. To make the U.S. House as responsive to all 300+ million of us as it used to be, it would need to grow from its current size of 425 Representatives.

It would need to have roughly 10,000 members.

We have a problem, folks.

Pack the Supreme Court

Want to reign in the activist tendencies of the statists* on the U.S. Supreme Court? Take a look at current federal law to see the answer:

The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

Elect conservative Republicans — and tractable RINOs — to the House and Senate, evict Barack Obama from the White House, and change this law. Increase the size of the Court to 11 or 13 justices, then fill the vacancies with constitutionalists (those who interpret a law by looking to the commonly-understood meaning of a law’s text).

Problem solved.


* the four leftists plus the squishes, Kennedy and Roberts

Why won’t Sherrod Brown take credit for passing Obamacare?

Today should be a happy day for Ohio’s senior U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, the Democrat whose vote pushed Obamacare over the finish line in March of 2010. After all, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it today. There was a time way back in October 2010 ancient history when Sherrod Brown urged his fellow Democrats to run for election with the passage of Obamacare as their main campaign theme.

But a funny thing has happened in the 20 months since: Sherrod Brown doesn’t talk about Obamacare anymore. Notice anything missing from these two screen shots (taken an hour ago) of his Twitter activity?

Sherrod Brown on Obamacare

Sherrod Brown on Obamacare

If you peruse the press releases on his campaign web site, you’ll find no mentions of Obamacare. On his Senate site, you’ll see a prime example of spreading the blame:

“Supreme Court Justices appointed by presidents of both parties today made an independent legal judgment to uphold the health law. I hope today’s ruling will put an end to the partisan bickering so that we can continue our focus on jobs and improving the economy” Brown said.

Translation: “Don’t blame me and my party for this abomination. Let’s talk about something else. Please.” If you manage to confront him in person and ask him about his instrumental support for Obamacare — without which it would not have passed — his response will be the following:

Look! Shiny object!

C’mon, Senator, man up for once. Own it. Obamacare is your baby.

Obamacare prediction

Here’s my prediction for tomorrow’s ruling on Obamacare by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Based on reports of über-leftist Justice Ginsburg penning the dissent, and based on the way the conservative wing of the Court (plus perennial swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy) grilled Obama’s Solicitor General during oral argument over the severability issue earlier this year, I’m guardedly optimistic.

The individual mandate will be tossed as unconstitutional. Then, because there’s no severability clause in the bill, the Court will toss the rest of the bill along with the mandate. That will kick the whole issue back to Congress for a do-over, on what’s as close to a procedural technicality as possible. This Court doesn’t want to sift through thousands of pages of legislative sausage to craft a politically palatable compromise. That’s not possible to achieve, and they’re loathe to get blatantly involved in partisan politics to begin with. The ruling will be a long-winded version of “you guys did this wrong so you have to start over from scratch.”

At any rate, that’s what I’m praying for.

6/27/2012 Update: Whoa.

Barack Nixon Obama tries to hide the cover-up

Barack Nixon ObamaWhy has President Obama invoked executive privilege to avoid turning over documents to Congress involving Operation Fast & Furious, which shipped thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels, who then used them to murder hundreds of Mexicans and USBP Agent Brian Terry? Obama asserts that the documents he’s hiding don’t reveal that he or his advisors authorized the scheme, or that they tried to cover it up. He claims that all he’s hiding is confidential advice offered by his staff on how best to run the Executive Branch.

Imagine that the Bush Administration actually authorized Operation Fast & Furious, as the Obama Administration would like us to believe. Do you honestly think that they’d pass up the opportunity to blame Bush for all of that blood?

C’mon now. This is a cover-up, pure and simple. The Obama Administration’s corrupt lust for power and blind devotion to extremist progressive ideology got a lot of people killed, they know it’ll damage them on Election Day, and they value re-election over justice for murder victims and the preservation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Sayonara Zone

How bad must things get for a first term president (or the nominee of a two-term president’s party) before he’s in serious danger of losing his next election? How can we quantify “bad?”

I decided to scatterplot the presidential approval ratings tracked by Gallup against the infamous “Misery Index” — U-6 Unemployment plus the current annual inflation rate — culled from statistics collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data points I plotted were from the last dates surveyed before each Election Day. Here’s what I found.

The Sayonara Zone

Uh-oh. I’d say President Obama is solidly inside The Sayonara Zone on the chart.