Links for Wednesday
* Domestic terrorism watch: a gas line was cut at the home of Virginia Representative Tom Perriello’s brother one day after the address was posted on a Tea Party blog advising those angry about the health care decision to “drop by.” The FBI is investigating. Bart Stupak has also been receiving death threats. Ten members of Congress have received increased security protection in the wake of the health care passage.
* Fox News continues to devote its august attention to the real stories, like the possibility that terrorists could use breast implants to bring down airplanes.
* Insane GOP obstructionism brings Senate reform closer. Today they invoked the ridiculous “2 PM” rule to block a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Supporting the troops! Because, you know, country first.
* Leading GOP Congressmen are already seeking to take credit for the health care bill they spent the last 18 months demonizing—even while other factions in the party continue to demonize it:
What House Minority Leader John A. Boehner has called the Battle of Capitol Hill is over. I expect that the Battle of the Electorate is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of a nonsocialist America. Upon it depends our own American way of life and the long continuity of our institutions and our history. The whole fury and might of the media and the Democratic party must very soon be trained on the electorate.
If they can stand up to the coming propaganda, America may be free, and the life of the wider free world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.
But if the voters succumb to those seven months of blandishments and deceptions, then free America — including all that we have known and cared for — will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Oh, no! Not perverted science!
* Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?: The paper reviews the relevant features of the legislation, Congress‟ rationale and record supporting the requirement (generally called the “individual mandate”), relevant constitutional provisions and judicial precedents, and reform opponents‟ arguments challenging the lawfulness of the mandate. The paper concludes that the mandate is lawful and clearly so – pursuant either to Congress‟ authority to “regulate commerce among the several states,” or to its authority to “lay and collect taxes to provide for the General Welfare.”1 With respect to Congress‟ interstate commerce authority, the goals that drive this legislation – including achieving universal coverage, eliminating adverse selection, eliminating pre-existing conditions as a prerequisite for coverage, facilitating broad-scale pooling of individuals not covered by group health plans, and radically reducing costly emergency room visits by uninsured individuals – are eminently lawful objects for the exercise of that power. In the context of current health insurance market circumstances and the framework of the legislation, the use of an individual mandate, structured as it is to ensure affordability for all who are subject to it, is likewise an eminently rational and well-supported (“necessary and proper” in the words of Article I, §8) means for achieving these goals. The same goals and choice of means fit the mandate snugly within precedents broadly defining Congress‟ authority to tax and spend. (via Ezra Klein)
* Headlines I can believe in: “James Cameron: Glenn Beck Is A ‘Madman’ & ‘F**king A**hole.’”