Saturday, May 28, 2011
With the rise of e-mail and the decline of letters, mail volume is falling at a staggering rate, and the postal service's survival plan isn't reassuring. Elsewhere in the world, postal services are grappling with the same dilemma—only most of them, in humbling contrast, are thriving.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
In other words, if you cut spending on school lunches, children will go hungry. If you fail to subsidize housing, people will be homeless. If you fail to subsidize prescription drugs, old people will have to eat dog food in order to be able to afford their meds.
This is the vision promoted by many politicians and much of the media. But, in the world of reality, it is not even true for most people who are living below the official poverty line.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
This afternoon, the (4th Circuit) panel ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs by May 31 explaining the consequences if the court holds that the Anti-Injunction Act applies. That’s a bomb for one simple reason: The Anti-Injunction Act applies to federal taxes.
This means that the appellate judges on this case may hold that the Obamacare individual mandate is okay because it is a tax. While the political repercussions of such a decision seem obvious, the legal implications are serious, too.
Under the Anti-Injunction Act, no one can sue to challenge the legality of a tax until after the tax has been paid. The statute specifies that no federal court has jurisdiction to hear a challenge until someone who has already paid the tax files suit, demanding a refund and the tax’s termination.
The individual mandate doesn’t go into effect until 2014. Therefore, if it is ruled to be a tax, then no one will have standing to sue until 2014. The Fourth Circuit cases would be dismissed.
Monday, May 23, 2011
How to build your own Taser. And while you’re feeling crafty, here are instructions for making a urinal out of video game cartridges.