Roger Clemens’ trail is over and he has been cleared of all steroids and perjury charges. The verdict opens the door for the “Rocket’s” detractors to cry foul while his defenders validate his storied career. So it goes with celebrity trials. Each side remains convinced of their rightness no matter the evidence or the jury’s decision.

The Clemens debate will turn to his place in baseball history. Has the seven-time Cy Young winner been irreparably tarnished? Is his name honored or disgraced? Will he enter the Hall of Fame or set-up shop at the Cooperstown city limit with Pete Rose? If Clemens is enshrined what happens to other tainted players from his era: Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, and Palmeiro? It’ll make for interesting hot stove discussions next winter. But the Clemens trial raised a far more important issue than a ballplayer’s legacy. Read more

Jeff Wright, the brother of intrepid PD Editor Jason Wright, sent this fun little note:

I wonder if you have a contact in Congress that might get the ball rolling on a new bill. The health and safety of the American people should be of utmost importance to the administration. I just conducted an informal poll and was quite disturbed to learn that there are a number of American households without a first aid kit. Considering that having one of these is an important contributor to health and safety, and also considering that the Supreme Court has now ruled that the administration can tell Americans what they need to buy, I propose a bill be drafted and submitted to Congress that requires all households to own a first aid kit.

Another little tidbit leading into the weekend involves the Obama Campaign’s latest fundraising strategy:

Is your wedding, birthday, or anniversary coming up? President Barack Obama has the perfect gift registry for you. Skip Bed Bath & Beyond, he suggests, and have your guests donate straight to his re-election campaign. To make this process easier, the Obama reelection campaign has started an event registry to let supporters request donations from their family and friends instead of gifts on their big day. They make setting up and sharing your registry with everyone you know as easy as can be.

Who needs a food processor or toaster oven? A donation to the Campaign to Re-elect Barack Obama is certainly the gift that keeps on giving!

The Supreme Court ruled and Obamacare prevailed 5-4, with Justice Roberts delivering the surprise swing vote. It was a clear, convincing triumph for the President, since a reversal had been widely expected.

The pundits, analysts, and talking heads will chew over this for weeks, if not months, to come. All the so-called “experts” were wrong. The Mandate was thought a fait accompli to be struck down; the only question remaining was whether the rest of the ACA would survive. Countless hours of interviews given, countless words and column inches expended, countless cubic feet of atmosphere inhaled and exhaled, and all for naught. There are no experts, and the Court’s behavior is totally unpredictable (and apolitical), especially when there is so long a gap between oral arguments (March) and their final decision being handed down (June).
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***Update*** The Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act by a reported 5-4 decision. Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberal justices, and penned a long opinion for the majority.

The Obama Administration faces what could be a brutal day today, with the Supreme Court set to reveal its ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act and the House prepares to vote on holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress over the “Fast and Furious” operation on the U.S.-Mexican border.

The Obamacare decision has more layers than an onion, and it is kind of odd to consider that the best possible result for the White House would be if the plan was struck down entirely:

Obama faces a Catch-22 situation over the Supreme Court ruling. If the legislation is upheld, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney can run on repealing it if he’s elected – an almost sure-fire crowd pleaser.

But if Obamacare – formally named the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – is struck down in whole or in part then Obama will look like a failure as well as a President who has exceeded his powers.

A split decision might be the worst outcome for him as full rejection would force Republicans to come up with an alternative plan and full support would hand Romney a popular rallying cry for repeal.

Stay tuned for what is sure to be one of the more wild days in politics that does not include a trip to the ballot box.

The Tea Party came up short in its latest test against an incumbent Republican, as Orrin Hatch buried Dan Liljenquist by 34 points in the Utah Republican Primary. The 78-year-old Hatch is seeking his seventh term as a Senator.

Another survivor is Democrat Charlie Rangel, who topped a crowded field in a newly formed New York Congressional district. Many thought Rangel, who was censured by the House in 2010 for various ethics violations, would be in trouble in the primary, but he managed to slip past his top opponent, Adriano Espaillat by five points.

Here’s more speculation about the Romney Veep pick, with a list that seems pretty right on to me.

Tuesday open thread


Filed Under Open Thread on Jun 26 

Today marks the latest Tea Party test, this time in Utah where Sen. Orrin Hatch faces a challenge from Dan Liljenquist. Polls suggest Hatch will survive easily. Anyone see an upset? Speaking of upset, it would be fun to be in the elevator next time Senators Lee and Hatch find themselves face to face.

Also on the ballot today, Charlie Rangel, the third longest-serving member of Congress and a man who probably deserves jail time more than another term. Could he pull it out in a five-way primary?

Also today, the NYT wonders whether Obama is setting or following course and Hugh Hewitt takes on two common charges against Pawlenty as a Veep contender.

The war on words


Filed Under General on Jun 25 

We’re engaged in a destructive, debilitating war, a war that directly drains our resources and inhibits our ability to function as free-thinking, motivated, self-reliant individuals. It’s a conflict that pits arbitrarily-chosen demographic groups against each other, creating discord and tension where none existed, and indeed, none needs to exist.

Political advocacy groups, politicians, news people, and educators employ single words or short phrases that are euphemisms for other meanings, with the intention of influencing voters’ perceptions or turning a given circumstance into personal financial advantage.
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A ruling on Obama could come as early as today. What’s your prediction? Will it all go down? Split decision? Will the mandate survive? Don’t come back in a few days and tell everyone how right you were at the water cooler debate, get on record now.

Please enjoy this guest post sent to from an anonymous retired colonel.

As I listen to the news of the Fast and Furious hearings and the Administration’s responses, I am awed by the cold, calculating way in which President Obama and his Administration approach governance. Their agenda is all that matters, and they use every opportunity to push what they want on the United States.
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Politico says Tim Pawlenty is considered the leading option on Mitt Romney’s VP shortlist. Perhaps Romney missed the readers’ choice of Paul Ryan.

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell spliced together parts of a Romney speech and introduced it as his “cash register moment”, which, if you recall, was another media hit job in presidential political history back in 1992. In reality, Romney was making a point on the inefficiency of government. After near immediate calls for an apology, the next day Mitchell said “we didn’t get a chance to play [the full video]” and ran his speech uncut. However, Mitchell made no mention at her deception from the previous day.

They say it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up. Now some media are comparing President Obama’s use of “executive privilege” to withhold documents on the Fast and Furious scandal to Watergate and Drudge Report had this image headlining for 24 hours.

The Supreme Court will release additional verdicts today. The Affordable Healthcare Act could be one of them, which analysts say could be left alone, entirely struck down, or have portions, such as the individual mandate stuck down.

Finally, some humor. Read more

Mitt Romney is making noise in a state that has been in the Democrat column since 1992, namely his birth state of Michigan. Though President Obama still has the RCP average lead, A couple of recent polls have Romney in striking distance.

In the merry world of sorting out Romney’s running mate, Romney refuted claims that Marco Rubio was not being vetted for the slot, while Tim Pawlenty is reported as being the favorite of Romney’s advisors.

Is the enthusiasm pendulum for Mitt Romney finally swinging in his favor? The Washington Post certainly thinks so, and there are numbers that support the idea:

While just 58 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably in mid-March, 78 percent had positive opinions in late May, according to Washington Post-ABC News polling.

ABC is reporting that presumed Veep favorite Marco Rubio is not being vetted by the Romney campaign for the number two slot.

And while the general elections is shaping up to be a battle over the economy and the Obama administration’s efforts to stimulate it, there are foreign policy issues looming, specifically in the Middle East, as four of the major powers that often differ with U.S. policy are reported to be holding joint war games.

Rodney King, who beacame famous in 1992 after being arrested and beaten by Los Angeles police officers, was found dead at his home after apparently drowning. He was 47 years old. King published a book this year: “The Riot Within: My Journey From Rebellion to Redemption.”

King’s early death is a tragic story. Politicians love to insert themselves into the lives of other people – often without justification. Will the story of Rodney King in 2012 end with the telling of his life or with the comments about to be made about people who never knew him?

A Father’s Day message from guest contributor Derek Oaks:

In 2009, over 4 million babies were born, of which 41 percent were to unwed mothers. Roughly 1.6 million youth were born into the country never to really know what Fathers’ Day is all about. They will never buy their dad a new tie, will never make him breakfast in bed, and will never go to Ponderosa or some cheesy buffet for Sunday Brunch.
Even worse, over 40 percent of children born in America today will never experience the joy of having their fathers come home from work. They will never revel in a fishing trip with their dads. They will never sneak away to the store to get ice cream and soda with their dads, ‘never to tell mom.’
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President Obama and Mitt Romney continue to battle on the economy, with Romney recently saying: “I think this election is a watershed election, which will determine the relationship between citizen and enterprise and government.” Romney should be thrilled with this, as the economy is a winning argument for his campaign.

If you’re not aware of the shale natural gas boom, it’s huge right now. Some projections say it will create 1.5M new jobs by 2035 and generate $1.5T in tax and royalty revenue.

The Senate continues to support crony capitalism subsidies in the agriculture industry, leading one economist to call it the ‘U.S. Sugar Cartel‘. This had bipartisan support. Republicans and Democrats in the House also continue to support corporate welfare. In the end, most politicians are self-interested politicians and put themselves first and self-interested politicians have learned that it is much easier to get votes and campaign contributions when they pay (call it subsidize, grant, welfare, loans, whatever you will) people and companies.

Finally, don’t forget to vote today in the VP Championship.

Amid President Obama’s attempt to spark a tough start to his reelection campaign, top Democrats want him to move away from the “the economy isn’t as bad as you think it is” message that is resonating with voters like a submarine with screen doors.

While most of the headlines in the campaign will focus on issues and gaffes, the underlying battle over campaign fundraising is likely to have just as much, if not more of an impact. The frenetic battle to collect cash is in full bloom, and Mitt Romney out-raised the President last month. Cash flow was one of the many advantages Obama enjoyed in 2008, and Romney is going to do everything he can to change that.

And don’t forget to vote in the Veep Madness finals!