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June 11, 2012

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Annoying Old Guy

I realized the other day why the "it's just a tax" argument fails - because the "tax" is paid to private entities, not government. I have yet to see that brought up by those who make this argument. And once you start tax farming you won't have a Republic for long.

Rob Crawford

And once you start tax farming you won't have a Republic for long.

A topic for discussion: how is civil forfeiture morally different than tax farming?

MarkO

You can't hurry love. You just have to wait.

Danube of Thought

Minus 13 at Raz today.

Trails Romney by 3.

Danube of Thought

What is the definition of tax farming?

Rob Crawford

Tax farming was the practice of selling the right to collect taxes to private individuals. It was understood that the tax farmer would pay himself from what he collected.

Threadkiller

Love don't come easy. It's a game of give and take.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/27/business/la-fi-medical-prices-20120527

I reposted this link from a couple days ago. It is a must read.

Ranger

What is the definition of tax farming?

I've always understood it to be the process of establishing semi-public offices to collect taxes. These "officers" of the state are not paid for their services though, they get a cut of what ever taxes they collect. As a result, they tend to overtax, to pad their own wallets.

NK

TM-- I doubt today. My guess is they'll conference the decision this coming thursday, and schedule a time to read the decision from the bench next week. Just a guess.

Janet

Like Zacchaeus in the Bible? He collected taxes for the Romans & paid himself out of the collected money.

jimmyk

Rob, civil forfeiture strikes me as much more dangerous than tax farming. At least taxes are based on more or less well-defined rules (as complex as they are). Civil forfeiture goes against the presumption of innocence, and is arbitrary, discretionary, and therefore much more subject to abuse and corruption. No comparison in my view.

Thomas Collins

It should be noted that the tax argument revolves around the penalty paid to the feds for the failure to purchase prepaid health coverage, not to the payment to the particular insurance company.

centralcal

Mark Knoller is saying Obamacare decision is not coming today.

Annoying Old Guy
how is civil forfeiture morally different than tax farming?

It's done by government agencies, not private entities. That said, jimmyk is quite right that it is highly corruptive to a republican government and the rule of law. Here's a report from the UK which is a bit more advanced on that front.

Thomas Collins

Last post from the SCOTUS LiveBlog:

"Amy: Okay, I think we're done for the day. (And the week, for that matter.)

Thanks so much for joining us. We will likely have more information about the Court's schedule next week later on this week, and we will post that as it becomes available. Otherwise, please join us again at 10 am next Monday for another edition of our Live Blog."

Thomas Collins

If the mandate is upheld as a tax, the Bloomberg Broccoli Tax will not be far behind (buy Dept. of Agriculture approved broccoli or pay a "tax" to the Federales).

Rob Crawford

At least taxes are based on more or less well-defined rules (as complex as they are). Civil forfeiture goes against the presumption of innocence, and is arbitrary, discretionary, and therefore much more subject to abuse and corruption.

Tax-farmers were notorious for accepting bribes, playing favorites, and abusing their authority. The laws weren't of much use, because it was the word of a well-connected, well-funded patrician against, well, a cobbler or free farmer.

IMHO, the two are equally immoral. Civil forfeiture includes all the dangers of tax farming, plus some new ones of its own.

Jane

Question; How many votes are required for a contempt of congress citation? I'm assuming 2/3rds. Does it just require a vote in the House? And can Holder keep presiding over F&F while the citation is pending?

FInally which democrats can we get?

gus

There's one for you 19 for me.

NK

TC@10:46-- that sounds right. The reason I believe that the SCOTUS will conference Obamacare this Thursday and then release and read the decision late next week is that several Justices leave late in June for summer teaching engagements, I think 2 of them are out of the country. That leaves this and next Thursday to conference, and the following week to schedule release/reading. I doubt Roberts will allow the decision to be released AFTER a couple Justices leave the country for a few months.

jimmyk

Tax-farmers were notorious for accepting bribes, playing favorites, and abusing their authority.

In contrast with government officials?

I take your point, but it sounds like we agree that CF is even worse.

Ignatz

--Tax-farmers were notorious for accepting bribes, playing favorites, and abusing their authority.--

There's a good reason tax collectors were lumped in with prostitutes and lepers at the bottom of the heap in Jesus's day.
OTOH, the apostle Matthew was one so Jesus obviously figured they were a cut above the unredeemable Pharisees and politicians.

Jane

Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation).

~

I like this part: Presidential pardons appear not to apply to a civil contempt procedure such as the above, since it is not an "offense against the United States" or against "the dignity of public authority."[8]

rse

Anger at Tax farming and the corruption it fostered was one of the precipitates for the French Revolution.

And speaking of things to make you angry that you still need to be aware of, LUN is the post on Social and Emotional Learning.

I think I hit on most of the ways this is coming in. If you have a child in private school, this is the sort of thing coming in without your knowledge under the influences of accreditation. You really cannot imagine how onerous the agreement made with Catholic schools in California was and it looked to me to be a national template for independent schools.

So they really wouldn't be anymore.

This SEL focus has come in full force under language agreeing to close the achievement gap. Only in the area of emotions and socializing is there no achievement gap.

Melinda Romanoff

Perfessor Zabaglione.

centralcal

Jane: Gretawire posted an email from Chad Pergram of FNC, containing this:

Keep in mind that this is just a [House Oversight Committee] committee vote. Holder is not held in contempt unless the entire House votes to do so. Remember that Boehner likes to do things by the book.
Clarice

I have no idea whether this is true, but a commenter at Lucianne says this about the Bryson incident:

"Mapping the accident locations reveals that he was headed toward the headquarters of Southern California Edison in Rosemead, CA. On a Saturday afternoon. In his own car, without security. Two days after Issa's office issued letters requesting information, emails, etc, on BrightSource, Bryson's company, and on Bryson's vetting for Commerce Secretary."

If true, this could go from an Obama headache to a massive migraine.

Rob Crawford

The losers are still pissed of over 2000?

pagar

"and on Bryson's vetting for Commerce Secretary."

Has any member of the Obama Admin been vetted?

Porchlight

From Gallup:

President Obama's support has dropped by double digits among Jewish voters from 2008, but he still earns more than twice the support of Mitt Romney among American Jews, according to a new survey from Gallup. The President receives support from 64 percent of Jewish voters, versus 29 percent for Romney, a ten point drop for Obama from 2008.


I don't think there is any possibility of Obama losing a majority of Jewish voters, of course. But if their support for him has dropped 10 points, surely that is a sign that his support has weakened across the board.

The best any GOP candidate has done in recent years among Jewish voters is Reagan in '80 with 39%. I think Nixon got 35% or so in '68. Those were landslides of course, so AFAICT Romney's looking pretty good at 29%.

Rob Crawford

Has any member of the Obama Admin been vetted?

I believe there was a complete set of papers on Bo.

Neo

The Court’s lineup in today's Elgin v. Department of Treasury decision is quite unusual. Justice Thomas wrote the opinion of the Court, joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Breyer and Sotomayor. Justice Alito dissented, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan.

Rick Ballard

Porchlight,

Here's a clean demographic view of the current state of play. The writer understates the probable percentage white voters. It is more likely to hit 75-77% than to drop to 72%. The writer also neglects to mention the shift in the fastest growing sector - the geezer faction constituted 23% of the electorate and voted 47% for Obama. Gallup has current geezer support at 38% and the geezer faction will probably hit 25% in '12.

The President's re-election effort is doing fine. Just like the economy.

Clarice

I think Obama's Jewish voter support has been on a fairly consistent downward slope.

Thomas Collins

Well, since SCOTUS is not handing down its ObamaCare decision today, and this thread is shaping up as one of TM's "starts with a specific topic but turns all purpose" threads, I figured I'd LUN a MILF report (for all those brave enough to click the LUN).

Thomas Collins

Well, since SCOTUS is not handing down its ObamaCare decision today, and this thread is shaping up as one of TM's "starts with a specific topic but turns all purpose" threads, I figured I'd LUN a MILF report (for all those brave enough to click the LUN).

Danube of Thought

suffered a seizure in connection with a traffic accident, the Commerce Department announced Monday

How do they know?

Neo

Parkinson's Law of office buildings:
When a company or other organization is finally able to plan and build the perfect building for itself, the building best suited to its needs, that organization is in the throes of petrification and death.

Porchlight

Thanks for that link, Rick. Nice to see it broken down. The news for Romney only seems to be getting better and the news for Obama worse.

Danube of Thought

My fondest hope is that the losers continue to believe until their dying day that Al Gore would have been president but for the actions of the Supreme Court. Subsequent exhaustive investigations by the press proved that Bush actually carried the state of Florida, and thus won the election. But the notion that the election was stolen enrages them, and that makes me blissfully happy.

Danube of Thought

That's not what I think of when I hear MILF.

AliceH

I'm more eager to hear a jobs report today. Specifically, Mine.

I am supposed to find out today whether my contract is being extended, or whether my last work day is June 29. I'm not actually sure what answer I'm hoping for.

Rick Ballard

Gallup is sugar coating for the innumerate - the "10 point drop" represents a 13.5% decline in Jewish support. That's significantly less than the 18.6% decline among whites noted in the piece I cited above but still very substantial.

Porchlight

More OT,

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that an acquaintance of mine here at UT Austin, Mark Regnerus, was going to be publishing a major study on gay parenting outcomes.

Well, it is out today. Here is a piece in Slate by Regnerus:

Gay parents: are they really no different?

and one by Douthat:

Ross Douthat: Gay Parents And The Marriage Debate

peter

Yeah, but DOT, the SCOFFLAWs were more than willing to phony up the results, doing selective recounts, swinging chads, etc.

Rick Ballard

Porchlight,

My only concern wrt Governor Romney's campaign was assuaged last week by his taking appropriate rest days. The pacing is excellent and minimizes the possibility of misspeaking due to fatigue.

That allows the electorate to focus on the utterances of President Gaffamatic.

Jane

Porch,

At lunch Amy was telling me about her kids at a B-day party on Sat with a completely abusive mother, (straight) putting down her own kid and the father of another kid "typical male, your father forgot your towell". I commented that it eluded me as to how anyone could oppose gay parents when there are so many bad straight ones (I grew up in such a family)- the article which of I scanned parts seems to mirror that:

Ten years later, the discourse has actually shifted further still, suggesting that same-sex parents now appear to be more competent than heterosexual ones. A second review of research asserted that “non-heterosexual” parents, on average, enjoy significantly better relationships with their children than do heterosexual ones, and that the kids in same-sex families exhibited no differences in the domains of cognitive development, psychological adjustment, and gender identity. Elsewhere it was noted that in lesbian families there is zero evidence of sexual abuse, and the news was widely publicized. This line of argument led to yet another review article—this one on gender and parenting in 2010—with sociologists Judith Stacey and Tim Biblarz openly contending that:

based strictly on the published science, one could argue that two women parent better on average than a woman and a man, or at least than a woman and man with a traditional division of labor. Lesbian coparents seem to outperform comparable married heterosexual, biological parents on several measures, even while being denied the substantial privileges of marriage.

The thing that expect bothers a lot of people is that kids of gay parents are more willing to engage sexually with people of both sexes. However I do think there is a whole lot of that going on without gay parents.

Clarice

Gaffamatic of the day:Climate Change is his No 1 priority,

Walter

Fingers crossed, AliceH.

PaulV

Why does the Gaffemeister want to change the climate?

Mark Folkestad

I'm scratching my head over something. My apartment is less than five miles from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, so I'm now used to plane noise. But there was a different noise, and I looked out to see several military jets flying, separately, not in formation. The Air National Guard base at the airport generally doesn't have many flights outside the weekend. I'm wondering if they were scrambled because of some in-flight airliner incident. Hopefully it is just pilots catching up on hours.

Captain Hate

I'm not actually sure what answer I'm hoping for.

Is that bad or good?

Jane

Porch,

I recognize that your guy is skeptical of those findings, but I think they are still interesting findings. In the end it seems to me good parenting depends on whether you are a good parent, and little more.

Chubby

((Gaffamatic of the day:Climate Change is his No 1 priority,))

and the electorate's No 1 priority is Regime Change, so it's even-steven

Clarice

Well, that highlights the upside of polygamy--lots of women around to help with child rearing.Of course, that's also true of traditional extended families. In mine, if our parents were getting you down, you could walk over to another relative's house where you'd be better treated,

Lots of tension builds up in nuclear families with kids and no other adults to diffuse it.

Ranger

Althouse has a good post up on the "Private Sector Gaff":

Obama’s "doing fine" remark is not just a "gaffe" that will be used against him to "sell" a "story" about him.

The crux of her argument is this:

Now, that's a fully fleshed out economic position. Not a gaffe. It's not merely "fodder" to be exploited by Republicans who want to tell their story. It is Obama's economic plan. It's not tax relief, which Obama comes out and says is unwarranted. And it's not fundamental reform of state and local government of the sort that Gov. Scott Walker has successfully undertaken in Wisconsin, which has worked to avoid laying off government workers. That's something Obama wouldn't even mention, in the very week that Walker won the recall election. Obama is promoting a plan to prop up the states that are not doing the kind of hard work that we've done in Wisconsin and thus reinforcing what is happening in the most irresponsible states.

The statement about climate change is the same thing. It's not a gaffe, it is what he really believes and what his policies are based on.

Captain Hate

Jane, it's social science that describes the tendencies of large groups of people. Nothing is iron clad on how a specific situation will be because wide variances exist within all groups.

Captain Hate

Holy shit; Tammy Bruce is aiming both barrels at Jeb Bush.

Thomas Collins
"I'm not actually sure what answer I'm hoping for."

AliceH, your remark reminds me of something a wise estate and gift tax teacher said to us at the end of the course: "I hope you get what you want, and want what you get."

Jane

It's always a bad thing when I skim stuff Capn. I amm good at picking out what I want to see however.

Sorry bout that.

Porchlight

Jane,

My understanding is that the new study finds that children of gay parents are much less likely to live in intact families. In the study, adult children of gay parents score significantly worse on 25 of 40 different measures than do children of intact straight households.

While anecdotal evidence shows that there are good gay parents and bad hetero parents, I think the bottom line is that when studied systematically, the data show that broadly speaking, hetero bio married households are still the gold standard for raising children. But for those who disagree, this study, if nothing else, at least provides more data for these debates in the future.

Thomas Collins

More incivility from those right wing Tea Partiers. Dana Loesch dared to ask Senator Sherrod Brown a question about ObamaCare. See LUN (via Instapundit).

Jane

Is MSNBC's Chris Hayes a boy or a girl? He dresses male but his hairless face seems pretty girly.

Porchlight

Lots of tension builds up in nuclear families with kids and no other adults to diffuse it.

I sure do agree with this. I think it is essential in parenting for kids to have trusted adults outside the nuclear family - whether it be aunts, uncles, friends of parents, parents of friends, etc.

We are good friends with a couple where the dad is a Marine and he is often in demand for help with discipline issues. When he talks, our kids listen - surprise surprise. :)

Jane

Porch,

As I said, I read badly when I read quickly and am good at seeing what I want. However I stand by my assertion that good parents are good parents regardless of sexual persuasion and vice versa - which is pretty much what you said.

Porchlight

Jane,

I do the same thing when skimming! There's a lot of data here and I haven't yet been able to examine it all. Especially since I am stealing time from work...

Captain Hate

Dana Loesch dared to ask Senator Sherrod Brown a question about ObamaCare. See LUN (via Instapundit).

She should probably be more careful when asking questions of people whose ex wives have secured restraining orders against. Brown is going down to defeat in November; the only question is the final margin.

NK

CaptH-- so Brown is an Ohio loser. 'Bam does better because of black votes? or is 'Bam an Ohio loser as well?

rse

Well I think we can arrange to talk about bo's 2nd term climate change plans without needing to wait for a 2nd term. Or even November.

In fact I think that would be a lovely relevant topic to discuss openly before Rio+20.

Now if I could only locate someone who had that info. With verifying documentation that was incontrovertible.

Time to go searching I suppose.

AliceH

Either way, I expect I'll first be unhappy, then eventually I'll work around to be okay.

The immediate issue now is they are really ticking me off.

Captain Hate

NK, they're both going down.

Rob Crawford

rse -- I have no problem with the dog staying in the White House. Barack has to go, though.

cathyf
...broadly speaking, hetero bio married households are still the gold standard for raising children...
I haven't read too far into the report, but it starts out with lots of interesting discussion of categorization. It rightly points out that there are variations in gay parenting that are analogous to all different situations of straight parenting, when we know that there are big differences between the straight parents in those situations. It looks like the most common route to gay parenting starts with mother and father marrying, having children, divorcing, and then one (or both) parents taking up gay relationship(s). Which really ought to be treated as a blended family and/or step-parenting situation, which we already know is less than ideal compared to intact family of biological children to both parents. When gay/lesbian couples adopt children, we ought to compare that to heterosexual couples who adopt children.

What is also interesting is that the studies run before this have been more or less self-selected samples, and they are disproportionately whites who live disproportionately in liberal cities, while families with at least one gay/lesbian parent are actually disproportionately black/hispanic who live disproportionately in conservative and less urban areas.

Danube of Thought

Who knew? The U.S. Secretary of Commerce drives a Lexus. (Suppose Bush's had done so.)

Final prediction: Justice Kennedy will disappoint us yet again. He had his fun in oral argument; now he will revert to form.

NK

CaptH-- Ohio? thanks for making my day;

DoT-- thanks for ruining my day.

MarkO

My antepunultimate prediction: Struck down it its entirety. My final will come after the ruling. As the parody famously said, "To protect your investment, none will be made."

Captain Hate

If DoT's correct, Boehner had better proceed with Rick's "Operation Hold Their Feet to the Fire" motion to defund Bammycare STAT.

jimmyk

Justice Kennedy will disappoint us yet again.

I agree, DoT. I've even put money down on that, money I'll be happy to lose. On the other hand, Obama losing followed by repeal of the Obamacare on or about January 21st, 2013 will be just as sweet.

MarkO

*Antepenultimate*

MarkO

Oh, and my prediction is based on what I believe to the the fact that the word got out, somehow, to the Obama Admin.

NK

oops--- I forgot my prediction from back in March.

marlene

News from the social pages of Portland and Bangor newspapers: Hillary Clinton is hosting an engagement party for Sen.Susan Collins.The 59 year old Collins announced her engagement earlier this year to 73 year old Thomas Daffron.I guess its a "ladies of the Senate" event. By the way,the Maine primary is tomorrow.Six Republicans and four Democrats running for the open Senate seat.

rse

jimmy-I am going to disagree with the just as sweet part. We would be left with essentially no limitations on legislative power under the Commerce clause.

I think that would be a permanent loss in the sovereignty of the individual in the US. If this remains constitutionally permissable and the ONLY real recourse is legislative, we will never again be the Republic we were in January 2009.

NK

OT-- Ross Douthat clearly-- but politiely-- points out today that eugenics is an American "progressive" ideology and that technology makes brings eugenics closer than ever. Douthat poses the uncomfortable question of if abortion is permissible, why no screened eugenics. Read the comments, the true believe readers at the NYT are in angry hysterics. Good on you Ross: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/10/opinion/sunday/douthat-eugenics-past-and-future.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

NK

I'm with RSE, letting Obamacare stand eliminates the Commerce Clause limits on power entirely an givesunfettered power to Congress. That would be shameful.

MarkO

"Eugenics" maybe. But for me, the fearful prospect of a government take over will soon have infrastructure with drones overhead every major city and even the cow pastures of Montana.

What could possibly go wrong?

Soon we won't need no stinkin' Martians.

NK

"government takeover?" hmmm? this government can't even control the Taliban Drug dealers in Afghanistan. I think you can rest easy.

lyle

Wow, NK. This is the first comment at your 3:37:

I have no problem with someone choosing to have a severely disabled child, but I am adamantly opposed to society then being forced to pay for the care. Our choices in life have consequences, and when the economic consequences are externalized, as is commonly the case now, the individual choice then becomes a forced societal choice.

But you stupid wingnutz had better pay for every other thing I want.

Ignatz

They may not be able to take over but they can sure make our lives hell.

NK

Lyle-- that first comment reflects the debased and souless nature of Libs here in NYC Metro, DC, Hollywood etc. It is the same twisted 'value' system that says it's OK to vaporize Jihadis with a Hellfire missle, but don't you dare try them with a military commission. Just sick.

NK

Ig-- alas, that's true enough. 'Hell'-- at least-- for the law abiding.

jimmyk

I am going to disagree with the just as sweet part. We would be left with essentially no limitations on legislative power under the Commerce clause.

I realized as I was typing that that response was likely. My unstated presumption was that upholding Obamacare would hurt Barry's reelection chances, and help the Repubs obtain and maintain huge majorities in Congress. I'm also not sure that the SC's ruling Obamacare unconstitutional will be the sea change that puts dramatic new limits on the Commerce Clause, whereas a Republican President and control of Congress (with a couple of new SC appointments replacing some of the lefties) just might.

Having said all that, since I think Barry will lose big anyway, I'll step back and say say "almost as sweet."

MarkO

Oh, I'm not worried about our own government getting control of the drones and changing our lives. But, it certainly could make it easy for some other group to do it.

I'm working on the treatment for a meeting at The Ivy.

Jack is Back

Kennedy may vote to uphold but that won't disappoint if it means the final nail in Obama's political coffin. Taking Obamacare off the issue docket doesn't help Obama because Romney has said from day one that he will exercise his Presidential authority and pursue repeal either by EO and/or legislative repeal and/or defunding.

ObamaCare being killed in one form or another by the Supremes seems to me to take one albatross off his neck that can't be part of the election issue menu.

Perhaps I am wrong but someone tell me why.

OT: My old associate is the President of the company building Ivanpah Solar (matt knows who). Sent him an email but I think he is now in Oz.

AliceH

Alice employment notification moved to tomorrow. That's probably good. Probably by then I'll have calmed down enough to not preemptively tell them to perform one or more physically impossible acts.

peter

Hillary Clinton is a tired 65 year old. Does anyone think she would be a viable candidate in 2016?

lyle

Hillary Clinton is a tired 65 year old. Does anyone think she would be a viable candidate in 2016?

Bill does but not for the reasons Hillary and all the other Dems might think. Bill's already relishing the thought of diving back into the zaftig intern cooter pool.

Ranger

I think a partial repeal is an electoral nightmare for Obama. Without the mandate, the cost explodes, and yet Barry will insisnt that the rest not be repealed.

Ignatz

--Oh, I'm not worried about our own government getting control of the drones and changing our lives.--

Even Fast and Furious hasn't disabused you of that notion?

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