What in Obamacare now goes into effect

However bad HealthCare.gov has been, much of Obamacare is now in effect with the turning of the new year.  You need to know what all applies now, so details after the jump. [Read more…]

Justice halts birth control mandate

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor has issued an order blocking the implementation of Obamacare’s requirement that employers–even those with religious objections–must provide their employees insurance that covers birth control and morning after pills.  The stay is temporary, but it’s an important development.

Some will be surprised that Justice Sotomayor made this move.  “Isn’t she one of the liberals?”  But liberal judges too can follow the Constitution.  Besides, I have never understood the connection between liberalism and supporting abortion.  Liberal rhetoric is all about helping the poor, the weak, and the marginalized, while ignoring the poorest, the weakest, and the most marginalized of all, namely, the infant in the womb.

I would think there would be many more pro-life liberals than there are.  It’s hard for me to take pro-abortion liberals seriously, given that massive inconsistency. [Read more…]

Outlawing light bulbs

The manufacture of traditional incandescent light bulbs will be illegal, as of January 1.   Compact flourescent bulbs (those with the corkscrew shape) and Light Emitting Diodes, which look something like the old bulbs invented by Thomas Edison, will have to replace them.  You can still buy the old bulbs and stores can still sell them until they run out of stock, but it will be against the law to manufacture or import them.  The new bulbs use less energy and last longer, but they are more expensive.

If the new lighting technology saves so much money in the long run, shouldn’t the free market take care of this?  As opposed to a legal prohibition?  Or is this a case in which the free market doesn’t meet a social good, in this case, saving energy? [Read more…]

Swiss will vote on a guaranteed national income

While we argue about a guaranteed minimum wage, Switzerland is considering a guaranteed minimum income.  The Swiss will vote in a national referendum on whether or not to give themselves a guaranteed income of $33,600 per year, whether they work or not. [Read more…]

The language of totalitarianism

The “Dear Leader” of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, has executed his uncle, who had served as his advisor and mentor.   Max Fisher writes about the language the still-Communist North Koreans used to make this announcement and the worldview it reveals.  [Read more…]

Judge rules against NSA surveillance

A big legal setback for the NSA surveillance program:

A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States is likely unconstitutional. [Read more…]