atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3454: I'm optimistic

From the beginning I have called ObamaCare "the single largest tax increase in US history". The fact that the US Supreme Court upheld it on the (dubious) legal theory that ObamaCare's individual mandate is a tax means that the SC has given the GOP all the ammo it needs to demolish the law.

"Obama promised no new taxes were in ObamaCare," they'll say, "yet the SC has said it's a tax. We want to repeal this law because the tax is regressive and unfair."

If I were in charge of the GOP I would start making that argument right now. It is a regressive tax. Poor people generally need more health care than the rich do (look it up!) and the ObamaCare individual mandate will hit the poor harder than the rich. SINCE IT IS A TAX it is a highly regressive one.

And it's a tax, all right. The SC has said so. The function of the judiciary is to interpret law--and they've interpreted ObamaCare's individual mandate as a tax.

Sadly, there are three things wrong with this idea.

1) The GOP is the stupid party. This is true for a variety of reasons, but they don't want to use a hard-hitting strategy that might actually win. Why? Because

2) The GOP is also the party of "Democrat Lite". They want ObamaCare; they just don't want ObamaCare as it's written. The GOP doesn't give a wet fart about "small government"; they want "big government, only a little smaller than what Democrats want". They like being in charge, too, after all!

3) Besides, if they do something like that, the press will say bad things about them. (The press will say bad things regardless, but see #1.)

There's evidence which suggests that Justice Roberts changed his mind and voted to uphold ObamaCare. I wonder why? Might there be something that someone is holding over his head? "Hey, if you don't vote the right way, we'll let this get out...."

Alan Caruba: "Obamacare has now transformed the United States into a police state." Is that a bit much? I'm not so sure. If Congress has the power to tax behavior, where does their power end?

I think ObamaCare is bad law. It's socialized medicine. It's going to ruin the medical system in this country. But I don't think the final chapter has been written, either.

Borepatch thinks it's a disaster for the Democrats. I hope he's right.

* * *

Low-carb better for you than low-fat. I've become a believer in this. I've lost weight since I stopped drinking sugar water all day.

* * *

Borepatch on the money to be had in climate doomsaying. Sure, the guys in the trenches aren't going to get rich making up global warming data--but they'll keep their jobs, and in this economy that's important.

How'd you like to be an unemployed weatherman in a depression? I didn't think so.

* * *

Femnism: If you're a man who lusts after a young and hot woman, you're a douchebag. But if you're a woman who will only date rich men, you're discerning. That's how it works.

* * *

Karl Denninger throws in his fifty cents on the ObamaCare ruling. "What little was left of The Constitution died today, June 28th, 2012," he says.

I'm still not so sure about that. It was not, after all, an uncritical statement of constitutionality; the SC didn't say, "There's nothing wrong with this law! Get outa here before we have the bailiffs kick you nuts in the butt!"

We'll see, I guess. (I was hoping the whole thing would be overturned, of course. And I still have to wonder who has what on Justice Roberts....)

* * *

In his novel "Door Into Summer" Heinlein's protagonist invented a floor cleaning robot he called "Hired Girl". The only similar name I can think for this one would be racist which is probably why John Deere chose to call their lawn-mowing robot the "TANGO E5".

...and guess what?
The unit is powered by a 36 volt, 2600 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery and will mow an area of up to 1,800 square meters. This space has to be defined by a user/specialist dealer installed boundary wire that helps to keep the mower from heading across the road and visiting your neighbor’s petunia bed.
That's where my own thoughts were going.

But it needs gasoline power and a self-refueling capacity to be what I envisioned. That way you buy 5 gallons of gas and dump it into a tank in the thing's docking unit, and when it senses that it's low on fuel it simply goes back and refills before resuming its task. And it sends you an e-mail (or otherwise notifies you) when there's less than a gallon of gas in the dock's tank.

Overall, this sounds very good to me, though; only real problem is the price. It's around $3,000, and for $3,000 you can get your grass cut by a couple of Mexicans landscaping service for about three years. How long does that lithium ion battery last? How many discharge cycles? And how much does it cost to replace it?

At about $1,000 it becomes a doable proposition for most people, and below that it becomes commonplace. We'll see!

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