Jan 312011

Today U.S. District Judge Robert Vinson ruled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare (well, not so popularly known as such among its rapidly dwindling supporters, so hammer down on that term), unconstitutional:

“While the individual mandate was clearly ‘necessary and essential’ to the act as drafted, it is not ‘necessary and essential’ to health care reform in general.  Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void.”

The entire ruling is here.  Some good early analysis is here.

This guarantees the U.S. Supreme Court showdown we’ve all suspected was inevitable, and it’s a big deal.  “Judicial activism on steroids,” The Nation breathlessly, senselessly, and oh-so-satisfyingly bloviates.

Awful lot of holes in the dike, Mr. President.  How many fingers do you have?

 Posted by at 6:33 pm
Jan 292011

The southeastern United States is enjoying a marvelously mild day.  A splash of meteorological joy appearing amongst sustained seasonal malaise is historically bad for my blog, and today is no exception.  Traffic is down 30-35%.  In fact, I’m positively delighted you’re reading this.  No one else is.

Winter Saturdays mean Upward for us, so we had Aaron’s game and then Nathan’s game today.  I was supposed to volunteer on the grill this afternoon at our church’s seasonal restaurant The Christian Cafe, but another guy asked me to switch days with him.  So it’s a tad more relaxing afternoon than I anticipated, though please understand, that’s an observation totally devoid of complaint.  Stuff I’m doing:

  • Checking out the Rolex 24 at Daytona.  IndyCar doesn’t start for another two months, and it’s racing!  I’m definitely a novice when it comes to sports car endurance racing, though.
  • Loving all of the macro shots of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona during said coverage.  Rolex has a mystique that flirts with irrational, in my opinion, but there’s no doubt the Daytona is a spectacularly gorgeous watch.  If you need a birthday or Christmas idea for me, I’ll take one.  The steel version, which I’m totally fine with, is only about $12,000.
  • Watching the boys enjoy their Razor Rip Rider 360s on a beautiful 65º afternoon.  These things are so cool.  I’d buy an adult version.
  • Discovering that my Wi-Fi reaches into the garage just fine.
  • Watching my neighbor Bobby wash his truck, and wondering if he knows that it’s about to rain for three days.  I thought about yelling it across, but rejected the proposition as borderline jackassish.  Want couth?  There it is.  Who says you can’t take me anywhere?
  • Relishing The Call of the Wild.  I really love the style of the narrative.  It falls this weekend.  I bought a big pile of Dover Thrift Editions—no-frills editions of classics, but unabridged—years ago for $1 a pop.  I’ve only ever read a couple of them.  I disappointed myself with how little I read in 2010, and I’m rectifying it in 2011.  This is another rung on that ladder.
  • Making Super Bowl viewing plans.  I’ve decided the Packers get my support.  This is partially because I was delighted with how consistently and genuinely polite and warm Wisconsinites were on my first visit last year, and partially because one of the biggest jerks I’ve ever known is a Steelers fan.
  • Putting the rest of the Avery India Pale Ale out of its misery.  It’s not bad, but not worth repeating.  This is not really its fault; there are simply too many other great IPAs out there.  It’s a marvelous time to be a hophead.
  • Reflecting on, and appreciating, some new challenges at work.
  • Beginning to pleasantly anticipate the deluxe BLTs that got the nod for dinner.
  • Feeling so blessed to have such a leisurely, unhurried, relaxed day, wanting for nothing.  God is good.

I hope you’re having a good weekend.

 Posted by at 3:38 pm
Jan 282011

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

 Posted by at 6:12 pm
Jan 272011
  • Well, “they” understated our Christmas snow, and then got Snowpocalypse about right.  So, if there’s a trend, “they” were due for a thoroughly inaccurate forecast.  It came Tuesday night.  Two to four inches of snow predicted, and…it rained.  No complaints here.  I’m over snow for the season.
  • An Alabama law firm has filed suit against Taco Bell, claiming its meat is only 35% beef.  It was right at 95% when I worked there—one pound of “seasoning” per twenty of ground beef—and I don’t doubt that it’s fallen since then, but 35% seems awfully low.
  • I don’t watch college football recruiting nearly as closely as many do.  I did see that as of this writing, out of 21 commitments, Alabama has 15 4- and 5-star recruits.  Gee, that sounds pretty good.
  • The official cause of death for those 5,000 birds in Arkansas is “blunt force trauma,” i.e. they flew into something.  Love it!  That won’t be a microgram of cover against the average conspiracy theorist.
  • Back up to six months since I’ve been in a Wal-Mart.  (We stopped there in Wisconsin last year.)  I guess before that it was in October of 2009 to buy the Kiss CD, and before that it was September 2008 to buy an Oxford cap.  That’s three visits since October 2006.  I miss Wal-Mart like amoebic dysentery.
  • The latest warning circulating about an aggregator site is real, and if you follow the directions, you and your information will indeed be removed—from that site.  I suppose there is some satisfaction in continuing the effort, but this battle is essentially lost, folks.
  • “America, you’re gettin’ burger hungry, hungry for the burger that makes you full…”  So Hardbodies finally came to DVD.  When do I get Hamburger: The Motion Picture?
 Posted by at 10:10 am
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