It’s Friday, March 30th, 2012….but before we begin, a question: it’s the wee hours of the morning….do you know where your First Family is?  On vacation….

 The Obama Women Are in Vegas


….AGAIN….ON YOUR NICKEL….for the umpteenth time in as many months.  Not only are The Obamaos totally tone deaf, they’re living proof of the wisdom of Mel Brooks when he so famously said….

So enjoy your cake….and hope and pray what comes to Vegas also stays in Vegas….for the good of the country!

Now, here’s The Gouge!

First up on the last Gouge of March, John Podhoretz, writing in the New York Post, describes what he terms….

A supreme shock for ‘La-La’ libs


The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.

They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.

That’s what happened this week. There appears to be no question in the mind of anyone who read the transcripts or listened to the oral arguments that the conservative lawyers and justices made mincemeat out of the Obama administration’s advocates and the liberal members of the court.

This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court. Jeffrey Toobin of the New Yorker and CNN confidently asserted on Charlie Rose at the beginning of the week that the court would rule 7-2, maybe even 8-1 in favor of ObamaCare. The previous week, he called the anti-ObamaCare arguments “really weak.”

His view was echoed by an equally confident op-ed assertion by the veteran court reporter Linda Greenhouse, who in The New York Times declared the case against ObamaCare “analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection.”

It was quite a change, then, to see Toobin emerge almost hysterical from the Supreme Court chamber after two hours of argument on Tuesday and declare the proceedings “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” Yesterday, after another two hours of argument, he suggested it might even be a “plane wreck.” (Which, we must assume, is worse in the mind of Liberals than a train wreck.)

That was the general consensus across the board. It held that the two lawyers arguing against ObamaCare — Paul Clement and Michael Carvin — were dazzlingly effective, while the administration’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, put in a mediocre performance. True enough. But here’s the thing: There was nothing new in what Clement and Carvin said.

Their arguments were featured in briefs already submitted to the court and available for general inspection. And they’d already been given weight by the two judicial opinions against the constitutionality of ObamaCare issued by federal district court judges — one by Henry Hudson in Virginia in December 2010, the other by Roger Vinson in Florida in January 2011.

The briefs exist. The decisions exist. You can Google them. They are strong, fluent, well-reasoned and legitimate. They take ObamaCare seriously, and they argue against it at the highest possible level.

Thus, the strength of the conservative arguments only came as a surprise to Toobin, Greenhouse and others because they evidently spent two years putting their fingers in their ears and singing, “La la la, I’m not listening” whenever the conservative argument was being advanced.

This is not to say that the pro-ObamaCare side had no arguments. It had plenty of arguments, and by far the most important interlocutor on its behalf was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Her perceptive and crystal-clear questioning of Clement and Carvin should put to rest forever the idea (spread both by liberals and conservatives) that she is intellectually unworthy to serve on the nation’s highest court.

The defense of ObamaCare’s constitutionality relies mainly on the truism that everyone is sure to get sick at some point in their lives, and this makes the health-care market unlike any other market. For the liberals, this fact — bolstered by the Constitution’s Commerce Clause — gives Congress the power to compel every adult in the nation to buy a private health-insurance policy.

The attack on ObamaCare was that Congress does not have the power under the Commerce Clause to force a private citizen into a private contractual relationship. If such a thing is permitted to stand, the anti-ObamaCare forces argue, there will be no limit to Congress’s power in the future.

There’s no telling which of 10 possible ways the high court will finally rule. But one thing is for certain: There will again come a time when liberals and conservatives disagree on a fundamental intellectual matter. Conservatives will take liberals and their arguments seriously and try to find the best way to argue the other side.

And the liberals will put their fingers in their ears and sing, “La la la.”

There are none so blind as those who will not see, none so deaf as those who will not hear….and nobody as dumb as Dimocrats.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the WSJ‘s Kimberly Strassel relates how some members of The Gang That Still Can’t Shoot Straight seems intent on admitting defeat on the threshold of victory:

The GOP’s Health-Care Eeyores

Some Republicans believe the Democratic spin that it will help the president if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare.


“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is
a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.

–”Winnie the Pooh”

Conservatives are meant to be optimists, yet by the mutterings attending this week’s Supreme Court drama, more than a few have been eating thistles with one depressive, gray donkey. To listen to this troop, the worst thing that might happen in this election season is for the court to . . . wait for it . . . kill ObamaCare.

For two years now, that law has animated the right. It was the spur behind the tea party, the reason voters gave Republicans the House. It is why Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum roll out of bed, to promise to immediately dismantle the monstrosity. Conservative think tanks, free-market business groups, the grass roots—all agree this must be the top priority.

And if you are any of the above, it was a darn good week. On every major legal question surrounding the law—the constitutionality of the individual mandate; the question of severability; the issue of Medicaid expansion—the court proved itself aware, and skeptical, of ObamaCare’s overreach. Nothing is certain in jurisprudence, and the Supremes could uphold the law. Yet the oral arguments were the single greatest reason for optimism that opponents have had.

And so, cue the donkeys. With all the dreariness of a modern-day Eeyore, they are convincing themselves that something so great as a legal victory must, by necessity, portend political disaster.

Credit for this idea goes to the left, which is scrambling to pre-emptively spin any humiliating court loss. The death of ObamaCare, proclaimed liberal strategist James Carville, “will be the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic Party.” The system will disintegrate, he explained, and Republicans will “own it.”

Added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: A court loss actually puts President Obama in a “better position for the election,” since Republicans lose their signature issue. And don’t forget, insisted Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress, that it will “galvanize Democrats to use the courts as a campaign issue.” (Yeah….like steering the RMS Titanic at near-flank speed through a known ice field put Captain Smith in a “better position” for promotion.)

Some Republicans are internalizing these arguments. Iowa Rep. Steve King all but declared in a recent news conference that a court victory would lose Republicans the White House. “If the Supreme Court finds this unconstitutional,” he fretted, “there is more risk that President Obama will be re-elected because people will think they are protected from this egregious reach into our freedom.” (Had Winston Churchill shared King’s sense of opportunity knocking, he’d have viewed Hitler’s invasion of Poland as a reason to retire.) This concern that voters would stay home is ricocheting through the conservative TV and radio waves.

And what if the court upholds some of the law (or all of it)? No good, former top Republican aide John Feehery told the Associated Press, since “a wide swathe of people will say ‘if the court says it’s kosher, then it’s kosher'”—which will also dampen voting enthusiasm. (To borrow a phrase from Frederic March in The Bridges at Toko-Ri, where do we get such men?!?)

There’s more moaning: What about the policy mess Republicans might be left with? What if voters blame the GOP for the loss of more popular provisions? What if the party gets dinged for having no comprehensive alternative? What if the focus goes back to insurers, elevating Mr. Obama’s class warfare? Misery and more misery.

The mistake here is one the Supreme Court didn’t make: Confusing politics with the real issues—the Constitution, and liberty. Or, as put by David Rivkin, the attorney who started the 26-state lawsuit against ObamaCare: “These concerns are bogus. We have already won in the sense that the entire court’s attention was on the Constitution’s structural limitation on governmental power. That’s the ultimate indictment—not just of ObamaCare, but of everything this administration has done.” (And he MEANS everything….from the Keystone XL to the auto bailout, the contraceptive mandate to the overreach of the EPA.)

Through that lens, the GOP has no obvious political problem. Republicans can argue that any fallout from partial or full repeal of the law—higher prices, the loss of some provisions—is the fault of a Democratic administration that strapped the market to a shoddily considered, partisan bill that failed judicial muster. And the risk of the same is the GOP argument for why it won’t be proposing its own 2,700-page alternative.

As to enthusiasm come November, what better argument can the GOP be handed than proof, via a Supreme Court repeal, that Mr. Obama cannot be trusted with a second term? If the president was willing to impose such a constitutionally suspect bill prior to re-election, what will he do if he never has to face voters again? And what better reminder of the centrality of the court, which Mr. Obama could well alter in a second term?

For these arguments to matter, they must, of course, be made. If a Nominee Romney, for instance, took a repeal of ObamaCare as license to quit talking about a tricky issue, he’d be throwing the game. Whatever the Eeyores say, ObamaCare—upheld or repealed—remains Republicans’ most potent issue this fall.

If political instincts were dynamite, these fools couldn’t blow their noses.  So to any Eeyore Republicans out there get a clue; and lose the doom-and-gloom….or….

….lose your heads….in a political sense of course.

In a related item, courtesy of Political Diary, James Freeman puts the real threat of ObamaScare in proper perspective….and offers the GOP the blueprint for victory in November:

The Infinite Mandate

The two powers in ObamaCare that the Supreme Court is considering would allow the government to force people to buy all kinds of things outside of health-care financing.


Even Americans who don’t think that the government can force people to buy health insurance may not have realized until this week that the Obama administration is seeking much broader powers than that. That’s because Team Obama is asking the Supreme Court to endorse a new federal power to require the purchase of health insurance, combined with the federal government’s long-standing claim that it can define what insurance is. Taken together, the two powers would allow the feds to force people to buy all kinds of things outside of health-care financing.

Yet to pull off this power grab, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli tried to suggest on Tuesday that the government was not seeking to force anyone to buy a product, but simply regulating the manner in which they pay for it. People are already consuming health care, he argued, and therefore insurance is just a “method of financing” it. Mr. Verrilli claimed that the infamous individual mandate “is not a purchase mandate . . . . This is a law that regulates the method of paying for a service that the class of people to whom it applies are either consuming . . . or inevitably will consume.”

But anyone who has read even a short summary of the law knows that ObamaCare is about much more than financing. Insurance under ObamaCare is a bundle that includes both financing and a basket of goods and services dictated by the government, not the consumer. It’s as if car insurance was a product that included both collision liability coverage and a blue minivan with a DVD player and heated seats.

Chief Justice John Roberts, among others, took on the government claim that the law merely requires a particular payment method for services that people will use anyway. Addressing Mr. Verrilli, the chief justice said, “If I understand the law, the policies that you’re requiring people to purchase . . . must contain provision for maternity and newborn care, pediatric services, and substance [abuse] treatment. It seems to me that you cannot say that everybody is going to need substance [abuse] treatment . . . or pediatric services, and yet that is part of what you require them to purchase.”

Apparently without irony, the government’s lawyer said, “With respect to what insurance has to cover, Your Honor, I think Congress is entitled the latitude of making the judgments of what the appropriate scope of coverage is.” To sum up, Washington can make individuals buy whatever Washington says they should buy.

Which, as we said, even Republicans should be able to craft into a coherent campaign.

Next up, Larry Elder on The Mouth That Roared:

Jesse: Trayvon Proves ‘Blacks Are Under Attack’


“Blacks are under attack,” said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, irresponsibly turning the Florida shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, at the hands of Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman into a barometer of black-white “race-relations.”

President Barack Obama, three years past his inauguration as American’s first black president, weighed in, too. As when he accused the Cambridge police of “acting stupidly,” Obama injected race, but this time a little less directly: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

The implication, of course, is that race undoubtedly played a role in the death of Trayvon Martin. A special prosecutor as well as a Florida grand jury will examine the case, re-interview all the witnesses and go over all the evidence. Zimmerman may well be charged with murder, and a racially motivated one at that. Or the prosecutor may find the evidence insufficient to convince a jury that Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

No matter whether Zimmerman is charged or convicted, a tragedy occurred. But is Jesse Jackson right, that the death of Trayvon Martin suggests “blacks are under attack,” presumably by racist non-blacks?

True, black men, especially young ones, stand a much greater chance of being murdered than white males. But almost all murders involve a victim and a killer of the same race. Yes, instances of black-white murder — as, for example, when James Byrd, a black man of Jasper, Texas, was dragged to his death by three white men — do exist. But nationally, according to the Department of Justice, 53 percent of known homicide suspects in 2010 were identified as black — although blacks comprise only 13 percent of the population. And in murders involving a single black victim and a single offender, 90 percent of the time it is a black perpetrator who murders the black victim. Similarly, 83 percent of whites are murdered by other whites.

What happened in Sanford, Fla. — a white person killing a black person — is extremely infrequent, occurring in 8 percent of black homicides. In saying “blacks are under attack,” Jackson paints a picture of whites targeting and hunting down black males.

Look at the 2010 stats for New York City. While blacks comprise about 25 percent of the city’s population, blacks accounted for two-thirds of murder victims. For black homicide suspects arrested, 85 percent of their victims were also black.

The leading causes of death for all young men ages 15 to 29, according to a 2006 Kaiser Family Foundation study, regardless of race or ethnicity, are unintentional injury (e.g., car accident, firearm or drowning), suicide and homicide. Not for young black men. The No. 1 cause of death in this demographic is murder. The homicide death rate for young (ages 15 to 24) African American men (85 per 100,000 persons) is three times the rate for young Hispanic men (30 per 100,000 population), the population group with the next highest homicide mortality rate. The rates for young Asian and young white males are 9.8 and 5 per 100,000, respectively.

In one recent Chicago weekend, 49 people were shot, 10 fatally, including a 6-year-old black girl. Did President Obama issue a statement? Black-on-black crime, like black-on-white crime, does not fit the liberal media’s narrative of the continuing problem of white racism.

How selective is the outrage about interracial crime — when the bad guy is black? Ken Tillery, in 2002, walked down a Jasper, Texas, road. Three men offered him a ride. But the men kidnapped Tillery, driving him to a remote location. John Perazzo of describes what happened: “When the terrified Tillery jumped out of the vehicle and tried to flee, the kidnappers caught up with him, beat him and finally ran over him — dragging him to his death beneath their car’s undercarriage.”

Same town, a few years after the James Byrd murder, a black-white murder in the same fashion — by dragging a man to his death — but no story! Why? Well, Tillery was white, and the three suspects were all black. The irony alone would, one would think, guarantee lots of coverage. But how much coverage did the case get? An online search of 557 newspapers found that 22 covered the story.

In a scene from “Menace II Society,” a movie about the struggles of inner-city black youth, a tough black high school teacher advises two black male students: “Being a black man in American isn’t easy. The hunt is on — and you’re the prey.” We hear a police siren in the background as the teacher gives his admonition — just in case the identity of the hunter is unclear. But reality tells a very different story, one that even Jesse Jackson once acknowledged.

In 1994, in an unguarded moment while discussing urban crime, Jackson told an interviewer he’s relieved when the footsteps on the street behind him belong to white — rather than black — feet.

To borrow a phrase from Forrest Gump….

Race Hustler: A term coined to describe those individuals of a particular race who project themselves into the media spotlight as spokespersons whenever there is an alleged racial incident which involves their race. The use of the word “Hustler”, included as a part of the term, also implies that these individuals exploit a racial situation to serve their own interests.

Which brings us to this next item forwarded by Jim Gleaves:

Teen Faces Life Sentence in Slaying of UK Tourists


In a case that generated blaring tabloid headlines in the U.K. press, a Florida teen is facing life in prison without parole for murdering two young British tourists who got lost and wandered into a housing project where their convicted killer lived. After an eight-day trial, a jury on Wednesday convicted 17-year-old Shawn Tyson of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting of James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, last April.

The two men were on a three-week Sarasota holiday and spent an evening drinking when they got lost. The men were in Florida staying with Cooper’s family on a Gulf coast beach near Sarasota and on April 15, they dined and drank downtown. Authorities said both were drunk when they got lost and accidentally wandered just before 3 a.m. into the housing project where Tyson lived.

Witnesses testified that Tyson told them he saw two “crackers” — a derogatory term for white people — walking through the neighborhood and that he intended to rob them. The tourists said they didn’t have any money and begged Tyson to let them go home….Since you ain’t got no money, then I have something for your ass,” Tyson recounted to a witness, then added that he shot the men several times.

Hallett said friends and family were thankful for the support provided by Sarasota police and municipal officials….Both men also said they were “dissatisfied” with the lack of support or condolences from the United States government and President Barack Obama in particular. “We would like to publicly express our dissatisfaction at the lack of any public or private message of support or condolence,” Joe Hallett, a friend of the two victims said.

Tyson did not show emotion as Davis and Hallett spoke. Neither did Tyson’s mother, who was also present.

….The tourists’ bodies were found shirtless on the street and their baggy pants were pulled down to their thighs. Both men still had their wallets and did in fact have money; Cooper also had a cellphone and camera in his pants pocket. Authorities later found that Kouzaris’ blood alcohol level was 0.243 and Cooper’s was 0.214 — well past Florida’s legal limit for intoxication when driving, which is 0.08.

During closing arguments, Assistant State Attorney Ed Brodsky told the jury that the case was about “opportunities.” “For James Cooper and James Kouzaris, they had seized an opportunity to travel abroad,” Brodsky said. “Shawn Tyson seized upon an opportunity to rob and kill two men.”

It’s worth noting Tyson, who was 16 at the time he gunned down Cooper and Kouzaris, had only be released by a judge two weeks before the murders following his arrest for armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Soooo….can we assume if Tick-Tock had a son, he also might have looked like….

….Shawn Tyson?!?

On the Lighter Side….

Finally, we’ll call it a week with the Culture Section, and a cautionary tale for anyone lucky enough to have the winning numbers:

Mega Millions Jackpot May Not Bring Good Fortune

Lottery’s biggest losers: Big wins don’t equal better lives

We talked it over with TLJ, and decided….

….we’re willing to risk it!

If any of you win, all we ask is an Aston Martin Vanquish or a cherry P-51D; if we win, we don’t know any of you.