March 24, 2012

Louisiana Primary: Santorum Wins Big, Overachieves Yet Again

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:20 pm

The poll consensus at Real Clear Politics had Rick Santorum up by 41-28-18-5 over Romney-Gingrich-Paul. That leaves about 8% undecided.

The results — With about 50% counted, it’s 49-27-17-6. Update: With 75%, it’s 49-26-16-6. Final update: Santorum wins, 49-27-16-6. He gathered more total votes than the other major candidates (91,305 vs. 90.865 [49,749 + 29.655 + 11,460]), and took 10 of 15 delegates.

Bottom line: Rick Santorum swept the undecideds.

Rock Santorum continues to overachieve. Mitt Romney continues to underachieve. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve known Republicans all your life, instead of just having met them for the first time 18 years ago.

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UPDATE: Via AP, relevant exit polling info, administered with the usual grain of salt –

About two-thirds of those who turned out Saturday said they strongly backed their candidate, among the highest levels seen in entrance and exit polls conducted during this year’s nomination contest. Santorum was the primary benefactor of voters’ enthusiasm: 64 percent of his supporters strongly backed him, compared with 56 percent of Romney’s.

Performing the math, comparing all and strong backers of their candidate concentrating on just the top two:

  • Among all supporters, it was Santorum 65.2% (91,305 divided by  140,054), Romney 34.8%.
  • Among only strong supporters, employing the 64% and 56% cited, Santorum more than doubled Romney (68.2%, Romney 31.8%).

 

Bloomberg: Dem Corzine Ordered $200 Million Transfer of Customer Funds; AP, UPI, Others Fail to Name His Party; All Avoid Obama Bundling

CorzineDec2011An item filed at the Hill on Friday afternoon by Peter Schroeder tells us that Bloomberg News was the first organization to report the latest development relating to former New Jersey Democratic Governor and Senator Jon Corzine. Bloomberg’s report, via Phil Mattingly and Silla Brush, reveals that Corzine, who was CEO at the now-bankrupt MF Global Holdings until November, “gave ‘direct instructions’ to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in a brokerage account with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to a memo written by congressional investigators.” That would be an MF brokerage account, meaning that customer money was used to cover company losses. If the memo reflects what really happened, Corzine committed a crime — either by committing perjury in his congressional testimony several months, in ordering the transfer itself, or both.

Bloomberg’s report identifies Corzine as a Democrat in its fourteenth paragraph. But at least Bloomberg did so. That did not occur in reports at the Associated PressUnited Press International, MarketWatch.comCNBC. The Hill’s Schroeder did tag Corzine as a Dem. Here are several paragraphs from Bloomberg’s report (bolds are mine):

(more…)

WSJ on ObamaCare, Part 1: ‘Plenary Police Powers’

Nothing less than America as we have known it is at stake in the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare’s constitutionality.

(By the way, those who object to that nickname can officially shut up. No less a hardened Democratic partisan than David Axelrod said in a campaign email yesterday: “Hell yeah, I like Obamacare.” Well, David, I like calling it ObamaCare, except with a capital “C,” because it sets off the name of the authoritarian who championed it.)

The fallback position (“it’s okay, we can always repeal it”) is fraught with danger. Watch what happens if ObamaCare is upheld. Just like that, the elites will tell us that ObamaCare has been “blessed” (not merely permitted) by the Court; attempts to overturn it will suddenly be framed as going against the “expressed will” of the infinitely wise, learned Court.

Repeal could still be accomplished and the effort will be necessary, but it will run up against status quo defenders with no shortage of underhanded means to thwart it at their disposal. Success would largely depend on the steely nerve of a host of alleged conservatives who have betrayed the cause they claim to believe in so often that we’ve all long since lost count of how many times it has happened.

And of course, the willingness to continue to uphold ObamaCare will join the insistence on giving expectant mothers the “right” to end their preborn babies’ lives as the next leftist litmus test for Court nominees.

The Court’s duty to declare the entire law unconstitutional could hardly be more obvious.

Here’s part of the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday editorial in anticipation of oral arguments on ObamaCare next week (bolds are mine):

Liberty and ObamaCare
The Affordable Care Act claims federal power is unlimited. Now the High Court must decide.

… The argument against the individual mandate—the requirement that everyone buy health insurance or pay a penalty—is carefully anchored in constitutional precedent and American history. The Commerce Clause that the government invokes to defend such regulation has always applied to commercial and economic transactions, not to individuals as members of society.

This distinction is crucial. The health-care and health-insurance markets are classic interstate commerce. The federal government can regulate broadly—though not without limit—and it has. It could even mandate that people use insurance to purchase the services of doctors and hospitals, because then it would be regulating market participation. But with ObamaCare the government is asserting for the first time that it can compel people to enter those markets, and only then to regulate how they consume health care and health insurance. In a word, the government is claiming it can create commerce so it has something to regulate.

This is another way of describing plenary police powers—regulations of private behavior to advance public order and welfare. The problem is that with two explicit exceptions (military conscription and jury duty) the Constitution withholds such power from a central government and vests that authority in the states. It is a black-letter axiom: Congress and the President can make rules for actions and objects; states can make rules for citizens.

The framers feared arbitrary and centralized power, so they designed the federalist system—which predates the Bill of Rights—to diffuse and limit power and to guarantee accountability. Upholding the ObamaCare mandate requires a vision on the Commerce Clause so broad that it would erase dual sovereignty and extend the new reach of federal general police powers into every sphere of what used to be individual autonomy.

… As the Affordable Care Act suits have ascended through the courts, the Justice Department has been repeatedly asked to articulate some benchmark that distinguishes this specific individual mandate from some other purchase mandate that would be unconstitutional. Justice has tried and failed, because a limiting principle does not exist.

The best the government can do is to claim that health care is unique. It is not. Other industries also have high costs that mean buyers and sellers risk potentially catastrophic expenses—think of housing, or credit-card debt. Health costs are unpredictable—but all markets are inherently unpredictable. The uninsured can make insurance pools more expensive and transfer their costs to those with coverage—though then again, similar cost-shifting is the foundation of bankruptcy law.

The reality is that every decision not to buy some good or service has some effect on the interstate market for that good or service. The government is asserting that because there are ultimate economic consequences it has the power to control the most basic decisions about how people spend their own money in their day-to-day lives. The next stops on this outbound train could be mortgages, college tuition, credit, investment, saving for retirement, Treasurys, and who knows what else.

If the Court upholds ObamaCare, “could” in the final excerpted paragraph turns into “will.”

Part 2 will come tomorrow.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (032412)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:00 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: Decapitated woman lives to tell of medical miracle

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:45 am

From Jacksonville, Florida:

Published On: Mar 16 2012 06:05:11 AM EDT
Updated On: Mar 16 2012 10:34:01 AM EDT

Judy Kerns is a medical miracle. A car accident left the bone in Judy’s neck literally crumbled.

“My neck, I couldn’t get my neck back up,” says Kerns.

Kerns was decapitated internally. Her head had fallen off her spine.

“It was just like somebody was sticking knives in me, and my whole body would just freeze up in pain,” explains Kerns.

She couldn’t lift her head to eat and dropped to 98 pounds. She also developed sores under her neck that became infected, but doctor after doctor told Kerns they didn’t know how to fix her head.

“I was scared. I guess I was in so much pain. I just wanted it all over,” says Kerns.

Then she met Vanderbilt surgeon Matthew McGirt who said he’d try a risky, but potentially lifesaving procedure.

“We knew without surgery, she would likely die,” says Matthew McGirt, a spine surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

For two weeks doctors worked to get Kerns healthy again. That meant nutrition through a feeding tube and treating her infected sores. Then came the week-long surgery.

“This was the first time I had to rebuild someone’s entire cervical spine. The real trick was doing it without paralyzing her,” says McGirt. …

Go here for the rest of the story.