Friday, June 29, 2012

Sen. Paul NRO Op-Ed On Obamacare

Sen. Rand Paul has posted on op-ed on National Review Online in which he reiterates his initial reaction to the Obamcare ruling and paints a way forward.

Plainly, this is a call to the Tea Party to rally for a new president, a new Senate and a return to limited government.

Here are highlights from Paul's op-ed:

[T]he 2010 Tea Party wave as an extraordinary assemblage of liberty-minded Americans who rallied around the Constitution in order to reclaim their country. One of the galvanizing forces was the passage of Obamacare — the national government’s takeover of our health care. Millions of Americans were enraged by this and other aspects of the Obama administration’s destructive political agenda, and they were sick and tired of their representatives’ failure to do anything to stop it. The 2010 wave election was a direct consequence of Obama’s unconstitutional ideals and czar-like power. And now, with the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, it is my belief that the American people will be motivated to reorder our political priorities as they did in 2010.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare’s individual mandate in a 5–4 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts. The Supreme Court wrongly concluded that Obamacare can stand. But just because a majority of the Supreme Court declares something to be “constitutional” does not make it so. Millions of Americans simply won’t accept it and will act to help overhaul it.

Make no mistake: Obamacare is not constitutional. As a consequence of the Court’s ruling, Americans, whether they want it or not, will be compelled to purchase a product — health insurance — or pay a penalty.

The majority held that this penalty, for constitutional purposes, is also a tax. The dissenting justices concluded that the majority, by its actions today, rewrote what Congress actually intended when it enacted the law: “For all these reasons, to say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling.” The dissent then immediately cites the Stamp Act of 1765.

The Stamp Act was a direct tax imposed on the colonies by King George III. This act inevitably led to the American Revolution. Just as the Stamp Act did in 1765, Obamacare should act as a wake-up call. . . .

Obamacare exists because Obama is in the White House. This decision is a direct consequence of the American people’s political decisions. And much like Obama himself, Obamacare was deceptively sold to the American people.

In 2009, President Obama firmly stated that the individual mandate was not a tax. Here are his exact words: “For us [the government] to say that you [the American people] must take personal responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.” After the ruling, Nancy Pelosi was asked if these reforms were a tax. Her response: “Call it what you will — it is a step forward for American families.”

Obamacare has caused up to 20 million Americans to lose their health-insurance policies. . . . . [It]will destroy 800,000 jobs. An analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation from November 2009 shows that in 2016, three-quarters of the tax imposed by the individual mandate will fall on those making less than $120,000 of income for a family of four or $59,000 for an individual. Families of four making $72,000 or less and individuals making $35,400 or less will bear nearly half of the mandate tax.

This is a direct tax on the middle class. It is clear that through its proposed $500 billion in tax increases, the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and the individual mandates and regulations, Obamacare will swiftly harm our country. . . .

Although the Supreme Court declared that the individual mandate should be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s taxing power, there was a minor victory for the Commerce Clause in that the Court did hold that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. This minor victory is not much of a comfort, however, because this ruling essentially grants the federal government the right to legally tax our every breath. And tax they will.

Today the Supreme Court — the ruling body that our Founding Fathers created to protect citizens from tyranny — decided to uphold Obamacare and thus stripped Americans of their personal liberties and freedoms. We have heard the Court’s opinion loud and clear, but now it’s time for them to hear us. It is up to us to reclaim our constitutional rights. It is up to the American people to end President Obama’s political agenda. Obamacare is wrong for Americans and it will destroy our health-care system. This now means that we must fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new president and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare.

Thank You, Gail Russell

Perhaps I have been too busy with Obamacare coverage; I just learned that Gail K. Russell will no longer be Kentucky's  Republican National Committeewoman.  She served admirably for eight years at a considerable cost (the post is voluntary and with all the command-performances, costs the Committeewoman approximately $25,000 per year). Gail also reached out to developing the next generation of conservative leaders, particularly young women.

I appreciate her service and will miss her in that role. She brought integrity, intellect and graciousness to her duties for the party.

Sen. Mike Lee, Tea Party Caucus Member and Former Alito Clerk, Discusses Obamacare Ruling

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), in a conference call with conservative bloggers, gave his take on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare, and Republican plans in reseponse to the ruling.

Kentuckians may know that Lee is one of Sen. Rand Paul's favorite colleagues and with Paul a founding member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.  In fact, Paul attributes his interest in the Federalist Society to Lee.

Lee clerked for then-Judge Samual Alito twice, once on the Third Circuit  later on the Supreme Court.

Drawing on that experience as a Supreme Court clerk, Lee said he "would not be surprised' to learn that Chief Justice John Roberts switched his vote at the last minute to uphold the statute.  "There are some signals in the opinion that something changed somwhere," he said, "probably late in the day."  He noted that the dissent refers to the "Ginsburg dissent" rather than "concurrance."  Further, he observed that the dissent "reads generally like a majority opinion." Lee cautioned that he cannot prove that this is so.

Lee's take on the Commerce Clause ruling was similar to what I wrote yesterday:  this limit on Congress' authority under the Commerce Clause -- only the third time in 75 years -- is historic.  "Our children and grand-children will study this."  In contrast, the holding on that the  individual mandate may survive as a tax is "a hollow and short-lived" victory for the Obama administration.

Lee called it "somewhat unprecedented" for the Court to rewrite the statute to save it.  The problem with the Court "shoe-horning" the statute under the taxing power, for the Obama administration, is that the individual mandate is "wildly unpopular," Lee said. "To put it mildly, the individual mandated's new status as a tax is not going to increase the American people's appetite for it."

Another "siliver lining" of the decision,  (in addition to the Commerce Clause ruling) is the holding on Medicaid, that Congress cannot coerce states into accepting new regulations by taking away prerviously-promised funds. Lee noted that this is the first time the doctrine from South Dakota v. Dole has been implemented to strike something down. 

Lee said he was "saddened" by the Supreme Court's failure to play its role as the "gatekeeper" of limited government.  "I didn't think it was a tax. Congress didn't think it was a tax.  The president assured it wasn't a tax."  But the Supreme Court said it was a tax in order to save it.

The only way to turn this into a victory, therefore, is to shift to a policical remedy.  He predicted that "this ruling will give us added momentum" to elect Republicans in November.

Lee had the same reaction as I did yesterday to the Court's remedy on the Medicaid provision's coerciveness:  having concluded that the coercion was unconstitutional, the Court should have stricken the entire statute on that basis, rather than just the portion that would take away existing state funds.  "I disagreed with the severability analysis," Lee said.  Seven justices found the coercion unconstitutional.  "The appropriate remedy was to invalidate the whole law at that point."

Regarding Republlican talking points about "Repeal and Replace,"  Lee said that outright repeal will be difficult without 60 Republican votes in the Senate, an unlikely prospect.  However, "there's alot we can do with only 51 votes."  Specifically, Lee suggested that given a Republican majority in January, Republicans can  suspend the "tax" provisions and refuse to fund the ACA's implementation. While cautioning that he is "not promising a repeal," Lee said there is a "strong, strong likelihood" that Republicans can disable the act.  That will be crucial because the "difficulty and expense in implementation are only going to get more severe," and will be much worse than the American people were promised.

Lee favors and incremental approach to the "Replace" part of "Repeal and Replace."  This is colored by his perspective as a consitutional conservative.  He said there is no single Republican alternative, no catch-all solution to reforming health care.  He favors proceeding "step by step" with "common sense decisions" to put Americans back in charge of their own health care. He said Republicans need to avoid rushing to pass something, and said that is how we ended up with a 2700 page bill that no one had read before voting upon.

When asked about his role in the Tea Party Caucus, Lee said he tries to remind his colleagues that the federal government is one of limited, enumerated powers.  Citing James Madison in The Federalist No. 45, Lee observed that there are lots of things that the states can do that the federal government cannot. Healthcare is a good example of that principle of federalism.  Some of the health care reforms, therefore need to take place at the state level, Lee said.

On a personal note, I can see why Sen. Paul is such a big fan of Lee.  The man is not just brilliant and conservative, but he is thoughtful. He thinks deeply about the appropriate role of the federal government with respect to the states and to individuals.  His presence in the Senate gives me hope for the future of conseravtism in the Republican Party.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sen. Ron Johnson Discusses Obamacare Ruling in Blogger Call

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) spoke with conservative bloggers today in a conference call that had been scheduled in anticipation of today's Obamacare ruling at the Supreme Court.

Senate Republica Leader Mitch McConnell, introducing Sen. Johnson,noted that "repeal and replace with common sense reform" will be at the top of his agenda come January if he is Majority Leader. McConnell reiterated a point he made right after the Court announced its decision, that the Obamacare legislation was passed as a "deception" that it was not a tax.  In fact, McConnell said, the healthcare takeover is a "massive tax" that will fall disproportionaely on lower middle-class Americans.

Sen. Johnson -- who is an accountant by profession -- expressed disappointment with the Court's opinion but said that Republicans are "very unified" to move forward to.

Alluding to the holding that Congress did not have Commerce Clause power to pass the Affordable Care Act, Johnson said conservatives came "tantalizingly close."  He said the majority "rewrote the law" to uphold it.

Now, the task for Republicans is to paint a picture for voters as to exactly what the health care legislation will do to them as patients, small business owners -- and what it will do the American economy. Costs will increase, innovation will decrease and the country will go bankrupt if the Affordable Care Act is not repealed and replaced, Johnson said.

It is "jaw-dropping how underestimated the costs" of the law are, Johnson said.

He predicted that employers will have a simple deicsion to face:  pay $20,000 per family/year for mandatory health insurance or pay a $2,000 fine.  Employees, moreover, will then be able to take advantage of $10,000 federal subsidies to get insurance that their employers would have provided pre-Obamacare.  The cost to the federal government, when thousands of individuals figure that calculous into their decsion-making, will be more than the federal government can ever shoulder. Employees "in the millions" will choose to be subsidized, Johnson said.  "It is a budgetary disaster waiting to happen."

Johnson conceded that it is unlikely that Republicans will pick up enough seats to obtain a filibuster-proof super-majority of 60.  He therefore expects that the best possible result from Congress in the short term, now that the law has been re-cast as a tax, is that it could be de-funded with a simple majority through the reconciliation process.

Chief Justice John Roberts has made "clear its not their [the Court's] duty to repair bad laws," Johnson said. The solution now must be a legislative solution, and Johnson said that will require a Republican majority in the Senate and a Republican president.

Memories of Obama Saying, No Tax Here, Move Along

Hey, remember when President Obama said that Obamacare was not  a tax, before he needed it to be a tax in order to get Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold it?

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Under this mandate, the government is forcing people to spend money, fining you if you don’t. How is that not a tax?” … PRESIDENT OBAMA: “No. That's not true, George. The — for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase.” (“Obama: Mandate Is Not A Tax,” ABC News, 9/20/09)

STEPHANOPOULOS: “But you reject that it’s a tax increase?” PRESIDENT OBAMA: “I absolutely reject that notion.” (“Obama: Mandate Is Not A Tax,” ABC News, 9/20/09)

Sen. McConnell Reacts to Obamacare Ruling

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who weighed in on amicus briefs as far back as the district court in Florida, issued this statement on the Senate Floor a few minutes ago:

Two and a half years ago, a Democrat president teamed up with a Democrat-led Congress to force a piece of legislation on the American people that they never asked for, and that has turned out to be just as disastrous as many of us predicted.

“Amid economic recession, a spiraling federal debt, and accelerating increases in government health spending, they proposed a bill that has made these problems worse.

“Americans were promised lower health care costs. They’re going up.

“Americans were promised lower premiums. They’re going up.

“Most Americans were promised their taxes wouldn’t change. They’re going up.

“Seniors were promised Medicare would be protected. It was raided to pay for a new entitlement instead.

“Americans were promised it would create jobs. The CBO predicts it will lead to nearly 1 million fewer jobs.

“Americans were promised they could keep their plan if they liked it, yet millions have learned they can’t.

“And the President of the United States himself promised up and down that this bill was not a tax.

“This was one of the Democrats’ top selling points — because they knew it would have never

Excerpt From Sen. Rand Paul's Brief on "Spending Power"

Sen. Rand Paul's amicus brief in the Obamacare case focused on why the statute was unconsitutional under the Commerce Clause.  (Disclosure:  I was counsel of record on that brief.)  A majority of the court agreed with his reasoning, but upheld it under the so-called Taxing and Spending power.  This was the third layer of argument that the Obama administration advanced -- the fall-back to its fall-back.

Though it wasn't the primary focus of Sen. Paul's brief, he did address it briefly, focusing on the Framers' original understanding of the "Spending Power":

So, too, with PPACA, the statute’s proponents lean on the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause and the spending power to form a three-leggedstool to support the Act. None of these legs can support the Act’s constitutionality either in isolation or cobbled together in the regulatory morass that is PPACA.

. . .

The spending power is not a roundabout to evade the Constitution’s federalist plan of limited and enumerated powers. See Richard W. Garnett, The New Federalism, The Spending Power, and Federal Criminal Law, 89 CORNELL L. REV. 1, 24 (2003). Indeed, there is no “Spending Clause” per se, and there is considerable scholarly debate about what constitutional provision empowers Congress to spend. See, e.g., ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE 253-85 (Steven Calabresi ed., 2007). For most of the first seventy years after the Constitution’s ratification, the spending power was understood to be limited to the enumerated powers, rather than a free-standing power. See John C. Eastman, The Spending Power, in THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION 95 (Edwin Meese III ed., 2005) (discussing narrow view of spending power leading to vetoes by Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe).PPACA cannot be squared with this original understanding.

Here's Sen. Paul's reaction to today's ruling:

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right,” Sen. Paul said.

“Obamacare is wrong for Americans. It will destroy our health care system. This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare,” he continued.

Quick Reaction to Obamacare Ruling

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare is on one level very disappointing. The good news is that Chief Justice Roberts -- the swing vote -- voted to uphold it under the taxing power rather than the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause.  This is a much narrower basis for the legislation than the Obama administration had advanced all along, until the very end.

Those who believe in limited government should thank God that this monstrosisty was not upheld under the Commerce Clause coupled with the Necessary and Proper Clause.

The majority opinion, at least at first glance, appears rife with inconsistencies and hypocrisy.  If the minimum coverage provision is a tax, then why wasn't it barred by the Anti-Injunction Act?

The ruling on Medicaid and the coerscion of the states is similarly illogical.  Seven Justices found that it was unconstitutional for Congress to take away existing Medicaid funds from states which refuse to adopt new Obamacare expansions.  But instead of holding the statute unconstitutional on that basis, a majority of  five for theCourt esseentially rewrote that provision -- Congress may not take away the exisiting Medicaid funds, but may withhold new funds conditioned on new expansions.  This, despite the fact that the statute contains no provision for severability. 

This is the Court not interpreting the law but redrafting it altogether.  It is one thing to construe a statute in the best light to hold it constitutional, it is another to slice it and dice it to make it so, particuarly in the absence of the a severability provision.

More thoughts to come, but that is my initial take.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Madison Project Flunks KY Congressmen

The Madison Project has released its list of conservative poseurs, and the results for Kentucky are discouraging.  This grassroots project analyzes voting records of House of Representative members to determine whether those who ran as conservatives are actually voting as conservatives.

I pass along the list with the caveat that the methodology is not clear to me.  If anyone wants to take issue, have at it.

The "Hall of Shame" lists a number of Republicans who represent safe conservative districts and yet, according to the Madison Project, vote in the mushy middle of the political spectrum.

To put the scores into perspective,
Here is a list of members who’s conservative ratings are dramatically underperforming in strong Republican districts or have scored a failing grade in swing districts. These are our pale-pastel politicians – the ones who blur the distinction between the parties.
 Members scoring 20 points or more below their conservative districts (defined as R+7 and above). There are 52 such members!:

In Kentucky's 1st Congressional District, Ed Whitfield gets a Madison Performance Index (MPI) of -- get this:  - 38.5.

In KY-5, Hal Rogers is not far behind with an MPI of  -38.

KY-2 Congressman, and perhaps future gubernatorial candidate Brett Guthrie's MPI is -32.

KY-4 Congressman Geoff Davis scored -23.5 on the MPI scale.

The Madison Project links to Sen. Rand Paul's first floor speech and also supports the candidacy of Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate in Indiana. I must admit I like the idea of holding conservatives accountable.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NRO: Rand an " Important" Romney Ally, possible Veep

National Review says that although Sen. Rand Paul has not née asked to submit the paperwork that is part of the vetting process, his name is continually mentioned by Romney advisers as a potential vice presidential nominee.

Paul will be campaigning as a a surrogate for Romney. He also will get to speak during the Republican National Convention,

Let's hope that Romney is smart enough to give Paul a prime-time slot. As anyone who has ever heard Paul speak knows, that could be a break-out performance -- to surpass Obama's speech at the Democratic National Comvention I. 2004.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rand Paul Explains Romney Endorsement:

Sen. Rand Paul clarified his endorsement of Mitt Romney, clarifying that he and Romney may not agree on how a president can constitutionally wage war.  On NRO today, Paul outlined why he endorsed Romney:

I endorsed Governor Romney for many reasons, not the least of which is that we simply cannot afford four more years of President Obama. Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, an out-of-control EPA and NLRB, and trillion-dollar deficits are combining to strangle our economy. I am afraid if that chokehold is not released quickly, our country may quickly follow Europe into destruction. Anyone who doesn’t believe there is a difference between the two candidates on economic issues is simply not looking or not being honest with their assessments.

Where the two differ, however, is foreign policy, as Paul explained:

I must oppose the most recent statements made by Mitt Romney in which he says he, as president, could take us to war unilaterally with Iran, without any approval from Congress. His exact words were:

I can assure you if I’m president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world. I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.

This is a misreading of the role of the president and Congress in declaring war.

The Constitution clearly states that it is Congress that has the power to declare war, not the president. The War Powers Act also clearly states that U.S. forces are to engage in hostilities only if the circumstances are “pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

Absent these criteria, the president has no authority to declare war.

Even if the president believes he has such authority, the War Powers Act goes on to require the president to seek congressional approval within 60 days of conflict.

No president is above the law or above the Constitution.

Our Founding Fathers were quite concerned about giving the power to declare war to the executive. They were quite concerned that the executive could rule like a king.

Before sending our young men and women into combat, we should have a mature and thoughtful debate over the ramifications, the authorization, and the motives of the war. James Madison wrote that the Constitution supposes what history demonstrates, that the executive is the branch most interested in war and most prone to it. The Constitution, therefore, with studied care vested that power in the legislature.

I will hold accountable and oppose any actions from any president, Republican or Democrat, if he declares war without congressional consent.

This seems to be a polite way for Paul to put Mitt Romney on notice that notwithstanding the endorsement, Paul will stand on principle even if it means opposing a Republican president.  That is, Paul has no problem being a burr in the side of politicians from either party who would disregard the limits of the constitution.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Obama Regime Bypasses Congress

The Obama administration's decision to bypass Congress and enact amnesty for young illegal -- the so-called "Dream Act" -- shows Obama's contempt for Democracy and the rule of law.

This is not even about the content of the policy. One can disagree over whether illegal aliens should be allowed to stay in the U.S. just by virtue of their age.

The more critical problem is the president's disregard of Congress as the constitutionally established body charged with making the laws. Having determined that he did not have the votes - even though his party controls the Senate - the president just blew past Congress.

Was there a coup that no one told us about? Obama's cynical ploy to woo Hispanics has been achieved with the strong-man tactics of a junta.

We need to vote this guy out of office while he still let's us vote.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rand Paul Would Be a Good VP Pick

If Mitt Romney is not considering Sen. Rand Paul for VP, he should. It would be a "Team of Rivals" pick, a la Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about the Lincoln administration. Lincoln chose to keep his friends close but his enemies(primary opponents) closer by putting them in his administration.

A Vice President Rand Paul would have a hard time mounting a primary challenge to a President Romney, if Romney makes the mistake of governing like a moderate. I hope that Romney won't make that mistake; he seems solid on fiscal issues. But if Romney fails to govern like a conservative, he will draw a primary challenge from the Tea Party. Paul would be well-suited to that task.

The notion that the VP pick must come from a geo-politically important state is antiquated and irrelevant in an age of national media. It is therefor beside the point that Paul's state of Kentucky is safely red, or that it has few electoral votes.

The outrage among some in the Tea Party about Paul endorsing Romney is misplaced. Romney is the nominee, and he needs and deserves our support. Indeed, it would have been a mistake for Paul not to endorse Romney. But Romney should recognize that one way or the other, Paul and the Tea Party will hold him accountable. Paul can better do that if he is not VP, which is why it is in Romney's interest to pick him.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sluts For Obama

Some in President Obama's camp are rewriting the old punch line "She's no lady; . . ." to end with "she's an Obama supporter." Susan McMillan Emry has started a site called "Rock the Slut Vote" to milk whatever voter anger is left in the Left from Rush Limbaugh "slut" comment he made earlier this year.

Emry offers various reasons for why "You might be a slut," including "if you've ever used contraception" or "if you're still downloading Dixie Chicks music" or "if you don't go to church." Lovely.

If she were an originalist (which I'm sure she's not), Emry would also include "if you are slovenly or ill dressed woman", which was the eighteenth century definition of a "slut", as used by the Founders. Jefferson, for example, once warned one of his daughters against appearing "dishabille" in public lest she be thought to be a "slut."

I suspect Embry will have about as much success in rehabilitating her four-letter word as the President's campaign will have with respect to his last four years.
Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dems' War on Small Business Hurts Women

Democratic strategists are panicking that they are losing woman. As a result, Dems have renewed their push for "pay equality."  Republicans who oppose the deceptively-titled "Paycheck Fairness Act" will be described as waging a "war on women."  This is part of a theme of the Obama campaign that we saw a few months ago.

It's the same slur that Dems used against Republicans who believe in the free exercise clause of the first amendment. Obama administration has assault that right by mandating that employers pay for insurance of abortion-inducing drugs, even where that violates the employer's conscience. Anyone who supports free exercise of religion, so the script goes, is waging a "war on women."
The so-called Paycheck Fairness Act will hurt small businesses, including those owned by women. It will chill job creation, including jobs that women might want to apply for.  That's the implicit sexism in the Democrats' attempt to energize the feminists:  the Paycheck Fairness Act assumes that women are victims.  Its logic also assumes that all employers are male.
The legislation is a boon to trial lawyers, however -- the sort of law that will make John Edwards weep with joy over not losing his law license.  The law seeks to follow up on the Lilly Ledbetter "Fair Pay Act," which gave women extra time to sue for discrimination.  That is, it gave the trial lawyers a longer statute of limitations to troll for clients.
This most recent legislation would increase the incentive for trial lawyers to sue by allowing women to sue for punitive damages. That's where trial lawyers make their money.
And the suits would be easier to win, because the law would shift the burden of persuasion from the plaintiff-woman to the defendant-employers. Thus, employers would literally be presumed guilty of pay discrimination unless proven innocent.  If, for example, an employer paid a man extra money because the nature of his duty was hazardous, for example, the onus will now be on the employer to prove that this was not discriminatory against women.  Same for pay differentials based on level of education, time of the shift, local market differentials or profitability.
Make no mistake:  this is the Obama administration telling businesses how to do business.
No wonder the legislation has been opposed by so many organization that promote private enterprise:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce; American Bakers Association; American Bankers Association; American Hotel & Lodging Association; Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.; College and University Professional Association for Human Resources; Food Marketing Institute; HR Policy Association; International Public Management Association for Human Resources; National Association of Manufacturers; National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors; National Council of Chain Restaurants; National Council of Textile Organizations; National Federation of Independent Business; National Public Employer Labor Relations Association; National Restaurant Association; National Retail Federation; National Roofing Contractors Association; Printing Industries of America; Retail Industry Leaders Association; Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council; Society for Human Resource Management.
Nor is this legislation just a problem just for large employers:  even businesses with as few as two employees would be subject to this law.
It is wrong to discriminate against an employee based on gender.  It is also illegal -- has been for years. Employers who discriminate can be held accountable without the federal government micromanaging small businesses and without throwing an election year treat to the trail lawyers.
A weak economy hurts everyone, women included.  Given the lousy job numbers report that came out a few days ago, the last thing this economy needs is more red-tape to discourage small businesses from hiring.

Rand Paul Will Keep Romney From Going Wobbly

If Barack Obama is reelected, Sen. Rand Paul will declare his candidacy for president before the year is over.  If Mitt Romney is elected, the spectre of a Rand Paul primary challenge may force Romney to govern like a conservative, rather than a Massachusetts moderate.

I take comfort in that thought when I see headlines like this:  "Romney's Transition Leader Favors Implementing Obamacare."  That's the sort of headline that gives conservatives heart arrhythmia.  It's a disingenuous headline, as it turns out, because the transition team member is implementing "exchanges," which could be done as a market reform to decrease the cost of health care. It is not as if Team Romney was arguing in favor of the individual mandate, for example 

Sure, there are conservatives who oppose the state-run health insurance exchanges.  The point here is not the merits of this part of Obamacare, but rather that conservatives will be closely monitoring how a President Romney governs.  Many of us had doubts about him, but see him as out best chance of -- literally -- saving the country from the disastrous consequences of a second Obama term.

Romney has unified the base with the prospect of defeating Obama.  If Romney then drifts to the center after elected, he will be risking a primary challenge. This is a real possibility -- one that Romney should keep in mind with each policy choice.

Conservatives are backing Romney now that he is the nominee.  But unlike Sen. Paul, Romney is not in the Circle of Trust.