Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth


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* As part of my mandate to see any movie having anything to do with time travel, we saw Hot Tub Time Machine last night. It’s essentially a remake of classic 1980s bromance Back to the Future in the more contemporary bromantic mode; the plot of the film hits nearly all the same beats in the same order, all the way down to “Earth Angel” to the fistfight with Biff to the obligatory happy ending. It’s by no means great cinema, but all right, I laughed.

* Krugman: For today’s G.O.P. is, fully and finally, the party of Ronald Reagan — not Reagan the pragmatic politician, who could and did strike deals with Democrats, but Reagan the antigovernment fanatic, who warned that Medicare would destroy American freedom. It’s a party that sees modest efforts to improve Americans’ economic and health security not merely as unwise, but as monstrous. It’s a party in which paranoid fantasies about the other side — Obama is a socialist, Democrats have totalitarian ambitions — are mainstream. And, as a result, it’s a party that fundamentally doesn’t accept anyone else’s right to govern.

* Can the effort to repeal the individual mandate in the courts even count on Antonin Scalia’s support?

Reporting from Washington – Lawsuits from 14 states challenging the constitutionality of the new national healthcare law face an uphill battle, largely due to a far-reaching Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that upheld federal restrictions on home-grown marijuana in California.

At issue in that case — just like in the upcoming challenges to the healthcare overhaul — was the reach of the federal government’s power.

Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy joined a 6-3 ruling that said Congress could regulate marijuana that was neither bought nor sold on the market but rather grown at home legally for sick patients.

They said the Constitution gave Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate the marketplace as part of its authority “to regulate commerce.”

Even “noneconomic local activity” can come under federal regulation if it is “a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce,” Scalia wrote.

But this week, Obama administration lawyers pointed to Scalia’s opinion as supporting the constitutionality of broad federal regulation of health insurance, and most legal experts agreed.

I’m apparently significantly less impressed with Scalia’s intellectual honesty than “most legal experts”; I feel pretty confident he will find a reason to vote however he wants to vote. But take this for what it’s worth.

* Relatedly, Daily Kos has an interesting post today on the backlash against state attorneys general who are using their supposedly independent offices to play partisan games.

* Change we can believe in? ‘Citing “irreversible damage,” EPA nears veto of mountaintop removal permit.’ I’ll be happier once we can finally strike that nears.

* Is Obama finally ready to make some recess appointments?

* No more long nights: 24 has been canceled.

* And nobody puts Baby in a nursing home: Dirty Dancing‘s Jennifer Gray is 50. This makes me feel ancient.

One Response

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  1. Lately, I’ve come to view all rightist anti-government sentiment – at least the kind that focuses on the fed, economics, and spending – as a residue of one fundamental error on the part of the neo-conservative economists. Hayek probably articulated it most thoroughly, but all of them believed that government spending was what drove bubbles. The fed creates money ergo the fed drives inflation. What they failed to realize is that the fed doesn’t create money. It creates paper money. Banks create money through credit, and the money that they create doesn’t need to exist in the form of hard cash. In short, neo-cons are under the perpetual illusion that the dog wags the tail, when in fact the reality is opposite.


    March 28, 2010 at 8:53 am

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