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Reach Out...

Yesterday, in a stunning blow, a federal court ruled against the Obama administration over ObamaCare. In an outrageous display of arrogance and ignorance, the judge ruled against the Obama administration's argument that refusing to buy health insurance is in and of itself an act that directly effects interstate commerce.

That's absolutely inconceivable. Doesn't the judge know that not engaging in a specific act of commerce is exactly the same as engaging in that act of commerce? And that all commerce is potentially an act of interstate commerce, and therefore the federal government's business?

By that logic, I need to call the next nun I meet a slut. Their vow of abstinence is functionally the equivalent of choosing to engage in sex wantonly at every opportunity.

Others have made the observation that by that logic, the government has essentially absolute power over every aspect of our lives. My favorite example? Get a haircut, hippie -- your refusal to patronize the local barber is itself an action that could affect interstate commerce.

That's a great one, but I think we can do better. More specifically, I think you can do better.

I'm challenging you -- all of you -- to think of the most absurd, most ludicrous, most extreme, most terrifying overreach of federal power you can think of, and rationalize it by the "refusing to do so counts as an act of interstate commerce" theory of the Obama administration.

Yup, this is a contest, and I'll announce the winners Thursday. Just two restrictions: members of the Obama administration are forbidden to enter, and members of the Obama administration are forbidden to read the entries -- we don't want you getting ideas. You're making enough of a mess of things without our help.

I haven't judged a contest in a while, but I'm thinking of several categories already -- Most Frightening, Most Ridiculous, and Most Plausible.

And I'm thinking that one entry could take all three.


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Comments (52)

New regulation will require... (Below threshold)

New regulation will require the price increase of $4 per week to $30 per week for your kindergartener's snack time. Menu transitions from milk and crackers to a Big Mac and a Bud Nip

You must attend public scho... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You must attend public schools (no more home schooling) as your child's education has an affect interstate commerce.

You must use govt approved laborers to cut your grass, you cant do it yourself as you may inadvertantly violate EPA laws.

"By that logic, I need to c... (Below threshold)

"By that logic, I need to call the next nun I meet a slut."

close, but the real claim is that by not engaging in sex, she raises the costs of sex for the rest of us. If the nun was in the "market" for sex, that would increase the total supply, causing downward pressure on the supply curve.

Because sex has a positive benefit for male health, raising the costs (and therefore reducing access) to sex will cost the Government money in long term health care costs.

The solution is clear. All nuns must have regular sex, and must report that to their government minders. It's for the children.

You must give the governmen... (Below threshold)
Brian The Adequate:

You must give the government your 401K in return for government bonds.....

What? Already been proposed? Dang it!

You can't grow food for your own consumption if you grow more than the prescribed amount..

WHAT #%$#%^ court case? nuts. One more try...

Homeless shelters will not be allowed to accept home baked items because the ingredient list may not be accurate, so...

WHAT THE %$^&%$& &(^&(? Already being done again????

Jay - I submit that your contest is void because the current reality is so messed up it defies satire.

Excuse me while I go clean my guns and weep silently for the country.

You must use a govt thermos... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You must use a govt thermostat in your home which only lets you keep your house at no more than 60 degrees in the winter and no less than 80 degress in the summer. After all electricty is bought between states.

You must have energy efficient windows installed in your home. After all electricty is bought between states.

You will be issued govt fat ration cards which will only let you purchase X number of "unhealthy" items per month. Food is transported across state lines after all.

Children can only eat at school cafeterias (once again food is transported across state lines).

You must buy carbon credits... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You must buy carbon credits based on the size of your electricty.

You must pay a tire monitoring tax. THis will go to pay for the tire monitoring stations set up at every road between states where a govt employee checks your tire pressure to ensure it is inflated properly and therefore save energy.

Up above should read<... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Up above should read

YOu must buy carbon credits based on the size of your electricity bill.

You must pay an internet ta... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You must pay an internet tax based on the number of out of state and out of country internet sites that you visit.

You must buy at least one o... (Below threshold)
retired military:

You must buy at least one out of state newspaper or magazine (from an approved list to include the NY Times, LA Times, Time and newsweek) improve interstate commerce.

Anyone who watches Fox news... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Anyone who watches Fox news must spend an equal amount of time watching either MSNBC, CNN or PBS.

Everyone crossing state lin... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Everyone crossing state lines must pay a toll road tax to help with the upkeep of federally funded roads.

No more holding butterfly w... (Below threshold)

No more holding butterfly wings closed.

The butterfly effect affects, well, everything.
So don't interfere.

You must hire that illegal ... (Below threshold)

You must hire that illegal alien!

I was going to say that, to... (Below threshold)

I was going to say that, to expand the nun example. .

"Every female must register ass a sexworker, because to abstain from such effects the sexual favors market and drives up costs."

All commercial transactions... (Below threshold)
Stephen Smith:

All commercial transactions that involve the transfer of a product from a producer or retailer to a consumer, or for any services rendered must be reported to the federal government. The cash transfer for such transaction will be made to a federal bank account and vouchers for goods and services will be issued to the producer/retailer/service provider.

Once the federal government has collected all of the cash transactions will only be allowed via federal vouchers.

All vouchers will be generic to the product or service intended and will be equal in value. (Example, "This voucher qualifies as one car payment" or "This voucher qualifies the bearer to one pound of meat")

No cash or "barter" transactions will be allowed, penalty for such an infraction will be 6 years of re-education in a federal internment center.

The overreaching Supreme Co... (Below threshold)

The overreaching Supreme Court has already done this before as congress continues to intrude on what you can do with your own property for your own consumption.

Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942), was a U.S. Supreme Court decision that dramatically increased the power of the federal government to regulate economic activity. A farmer, Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat to feed his chickens. The U.S. government had imposed limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer, in order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, and Filburn was growing more than the limits permitted. Filburn was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine, even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it.

The Supreme Court, interpreting the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause under Article 1 Section 8 (which permits the United States Congress "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;") decided that, because Filburn's wheat growing activities reduced the amount of wheat he would buy for chicken feed on the open market, and because wheat was traded nationally, Filburn's production of more wheat than he was allotted was affecting interstate commerce, and so could be regulated by the federal government.


Mark Levin talks about this all the time on his show and writes about it at length in his book "Liberty and Tyranny".

retired military, you're cl... (Below threshold)

retired military, you're close, but you forgot to factor in the Oregon modification: the tax will be based on the mileage between the sites you visit.

TO expand on the above, aft... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

TO expand on the above, after registering as a sex worker, the female must both use and not use contraceptive simultaneously. Because not using them might affect interstate commerce by effecting the contraceptive industry, while using them would hurt the abortion industry, but you must also simultaneously have and not have the abortion, because having it might hurt the Obstetricians. . .

Purchase of credit card def... (Below threshold)

Purchase of credit card default insurance. The justification for the medical mandate is that hospitals are required by Federal law to provide services to all who come to an emergency room, so that those without insurance are placing a burden on the rest of us (we pay their bills through higher medical insurance premiums.) Similarly, those who default on credit card debt raise the cost to the rest of us through increased interest rates and higher fees. Credit cards are used in interstate commercial transactions. Therefore, everyone should have to buy credit insurance.

The decision to not own a g... (Below threshold)

The decision to not own a gun and not fire the gun you don't own is the same as owning a gun and shooting someone. Therefore all people who do not own guns should thus be charged with first degree murder.

If you cease breathing, tha... (Below threshold)

If you cease breathing, that will have an impact on interstate commerce. Therefore when you cease breathing you will be taxed $1,000 for each year in which you continue to not breathe. Said tax to be paid by your heirs until such a time as the full value of your estate and any income it has produced for those heirs has been exhausted. Should your heirs cease breathing before your estate is exhausted, an additional $1,000 tax will be levied for each year they are not breathing.

JT: "I'm thinking of sev... (Below threshold)

JT: "I'm thinking of several categories already -- Most Frightening, Most Ridiculous, and Most Plausible"

With the Obama Administration the most frightening and most rediculous ARE the most plausible.

My Entry:

Breathing Permits-- Air does travel across site lines everyday so it is clearly interstate commerce and therefore the government is obligataged to regulate it, and by regulate I mean force us to pay for the air we breathe. And if any pregant women want the lifeless, inhuman lump of goo in their uteri to pass through their birth canals and magically become a living BREATHING human you'll need to apply for and pay dearly for a permit for that too.

The decision to marry is on... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The decision to marry is one that impacts commerce (marriages cost north of $20K these days). You will need government approval in order to get married, conservatives will find their applications held up for years. This will force many people to resort to living together forcing them to file taxes as single rather than married meaning the government will reap increased tax revenues.

Having a child has significant effects on commerce. Couples must obtain a permit to have a child. Potential parents must gain government approval to have children. Christians and conservatives will find their applications denied or delayed for several decades. Getting pregnant without a permit will be punished by forced abortion and surgical sterilization of both parents. Children born without a permit will be put to death (retroactively aborted). Tom Friedman would be proud.

The main problem is that pe... (Below threshold)

The main problem is that people are stupid; unlike our betters who work in government. Therefore ALL wages will go directly to the federal government. Each citizen will be issued a debt card. Government computers will monitor every purchase, keeping track of clothing, food, and transportation expenses. Computers will automatically decline purchases of fatty foods, sugary soft drinks, candies, etc. Clothing allowances will be based on projected growth (children) as well as seasonal weather patterns. Unless of the government 'class', purchase of outrageously expensive apparel items will be denied. Travel and transportation expenses will also be monitored for excessive CO2 output, and curtailed where necessary. Since payment of monthly home expenses will also be via debt card, energy and water usage will also be monitored and restricted as needed. At the end of each fiscal year, monies remaining in your 'pay account' will be directed to the US Treasury as your annual 'tax'. After all, you don't need it.

"Government computers wi... (Below threshold)

"Government computers will monitor every purchase, keeping track of clothing, food, and transportation expenses."

Garandfan, I don't think it's fair to use regulations that the Dems have already passed and been signed into law.

Alternative Protein Act of ... (Below threshold)

Alternative Protein Act of 2011

The retail purchase of any food item containing animal protein (meat) will require an offsetting purchase one of the following.

A) An equivalent purchase in dollar amount of any "Approved Animal Alternative Protein Product" (AAAPP)

B) An AAAPP credit valued at 75% of the animal protein price.

The harvesting of wild game,fish,or domestic animals will require the purchase of AAAPP credits based on rates set by the Secretary of Health and Human services.

In consideration of individuals that prefer the taste of animal protein, but may not be able to afford it under this act the government offers an alternative.

Eat "Combined Regulated Animal/Alternative Products" "CRAAP"

You must purchase a "Medica... (Below threshold)

You must purchase a "Medical Marijuana" liscense. Failure to do so limits revenues for the local/state/federal governments and impairs interstate and international commerce, thus potentially violating NAFTA.....dude.

Every household must adopt ... (Below threshold)

Every household must adopt a Dog and a Cat from the local animal shelters. Size of said dog to be chosen based upon house and yard size.

Eagle Scout Service projects must now be approved by a new government agency, as well as the current system of project beneficiary, troop, and district. Can't have free labor given away where people want to do it!

All income to religious institutions will now be funneled thru a new government agency to determine where to spend the money.

After all, charity must be re-directed to where the government thinks it belongs most!

Every adult citizen shall v... (Below threshold)

Every adult citizen shall voluntarily donate ten percent of his or her gross annual income to the Service Employees International Union. The Federal Government has determined that the SEIU represents the best interests of all workers, whether they realize it or not. Employment obviously is an economic activity. Failure to donate is also an economic activity, and shall be penalized by forfeiture of twenty percent of each offending citizen's gross annual income.

1) Federal sales tax on onl... (Below threshold)

1) Federal sales tax on online purchases.

2) Eminent domain expansion- all cities eventually re-zone residential property into commercial/industrial to allow for greater tax revenue. Citizens live outside these cities and have to make all purchases within the city limits.

3) A federal push away from cash or checks, consolidating credit/debit cards into one government entity, requiring direct-deposit of payroll, etc. I'm thinking of an eventual move to an entirely cashless financial landscape.

4) Fees/regulations/government approval to volunteer in youth organizations (such as Boy/Girl Scouts) so big bro can screen for potential abusers. Any money collected for infractions will go to approved organizations such as NAMBLA.

Manhood fee: All men with ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Manhood fee: All men with greater-than-normal size of manhood shall pay an annual fee of $150 per inch, and shall receive a certificate to carry to prove payment of the fee.

Since claims of size shall be voluntary, any man claiming to have a certain size shall be vouchsafed as accurate, so long as the fee is paid.

The demographics of males interested in government certification of greater size would make this fee both popular and profitable.

Rosie O'Donnell is exempted from this fee.

Health Tax: Whereas... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Health Tax: Whereas Healthcare is deemed to be a right, it has been shown that unhealthy habits are expensive, yet benefit the economy (cigarettes, alcohol, and the like are clearly interstate commerce), and therefore those people who practice healthy lifestyles adversely impact the economy.

Therefore, anyone with less than 25% body fat by weight, who does not smoke at least 30 cigarettes or 10 cigars each week, or who does not consume at least one gallon of beer or liquor each week, regardless of age, gender, culture, or other factors, shall pay a health tax of $500 per month until such time as they adjust their lifestyle to match the national norm.

America Loves Obama:... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

America Loves Obama: The election of the first African-American to the office of President of the United States is a clearly proud moment in history. Yet some would dishonor the accomplishment and impugn the One.

Therefore, every adult American who is not the same race, political party, and opinion as President Obama, shall pay a fee of $2,500 per year to show allegiance and support for his amazing accomplishments. He'll feel better, and so will you - or else.

Your failure to give large ... (Below threshold)

Your failure to give large sums of money to your elected officials directly affects your elected officials' interstate and international spending...

You must eat at a local res... (Below threshold)

You must eat at a local restaurant at least "X" times per week. Failure to do so would have a have a direct and negative impact on food industry commerce, including interstate commerce.

Since all money is federal,... (Below threshold)

Since all money is federal, your company will now give your paycheck to the government, where taxes will be withheld, then the government will give you the portion with which they think you should have.

Since sex is the cause of m... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Since sex is the cause of most STDs and STDs bend the cost of healthcare upward the govt has decreed that noone can have sex unless they have a govt exemption to do so. Per the Bill Clinton amendment to this bill, blowjobs are not considered sex and therefore must be covered by a different bill.

All drivers will be require... (Below threshold)
retired military:

All drivers will be required to buy an electric car.
Every one who uses the interstate roads must have a specific number of people in their car. That number is decided by the number of cylinders of the car divided by 2 and rounded up.
Users of the sun will be required to pay a global warming tax.

In order to eat at restaura... (Below threshold)
retired military:

In order to eat at restaurants or buy unhealthy foods from the store you must buy "govt healthcare stamps" which are then to be presented at the time of purchase, no stamps no purchase/eating out . The revenue from the stamps will be used to lower healthcare costs.

Since the teamster unions t... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Since the teamster unions travel between states everyone will be required to join the teamster union and pay dues.

(occured to me by noting... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

(occured to me by noting the trolls voting down suggestions)

Vote-down tax: Negativity impairs consumer confidence, which clearly affects interstate commerce. Therefore, voting down on a blog comment related to commerce issues shall be done only upon payment of a troll behavior tax in the amount of $3.50 per vote.

If a person resides in Utah... (Below threshold)

If a person resides in Utah with no plans to travel to Nevada, said person NOT using the services of hookers will now be catagorized the same as using such services. Either way your screwed and must pay a mandated service fee.

God I LOVE the interstate commerce!!!

Newpapers are going out of ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Newpapers are going out of business. Freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment. In order to assure that this freedom is notabridged by market conditions, every adult will be required to purchase a subscription to a newspaper on an approved list from the Federal Government. Failure to purchase a subscription will be punishable by a fine up to $100,000 and between 1 to 10 years in prison (for abridging the first amendment rights of your fellow citizens).

My hypothetical:I ... (Below threshold)

My hypothetical:

I live in Steamboat Springs CO. My ex-wife lives in Breckenridge CO. Our 15 year old daughter is under custody not mine. I have been granted two weekends a month, four weeks a year parental rights.

Divorce settlements require me to pay for my daughter's ski pass in Summit County (one time yearly payment of $430) along with a monthly sustenance payment much higher.

After the passage of Michelle Obama's We Will Tell You What You Have To Eat In School bill, (and on the tails of the SCOTUS's acceptance to Obamacare's "individual mandate clause") it finally dawns on the smarty pants in the federal government that exercise is even more important to good health than "Whole Foods" products. Because the courts recognize that the State has the right to force me to buy insurance, the feds now tell me that I have to purchase the $1000 ski pass for my daughter here in Steamboat. So that she can exercise wherever she stays.

Now while skiing is good exercise, it is inherently dangerous. So I also have to pay the ski area to mitigate the dangerous areas (every inch of the ski slopes), pay for all the protective clothing my daughter, by law, has to wear, and contribute to the funds supporting all those who can not pay for all the above. And because I am a man, I have to pay all my ex-wife's similar fees down in Breckenridge. And this is just for skiing.

My wonderful daughter, who I only see two weekends a month, four weeks a year, loves mountain biking, rock climbing, and kayaking.

Now just looking at the last, rivers run across many states, so how can the commerce clause, as interpreted by adherents of a living constitution, not apply to everything involved in kayaking; including where I eat; where I sleep before, during, and after; what car I drive to and fro; even the clothing I wear?

Where to Who draws that line?

Troll TaxEvery rig... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Troll Tax

Every right wing website visited by a leftwing troll must pay a tax to subsidize their internet usage. The revenue from the tax will be directed to left wing websites in the interest of fairness and balance.

THe Lee Ward TaxEv... (Below threshold)
retired military:

THe Lee Ward Tax

Everyone who voted for Hillary must donate 10% of their pretax income to Obama's reelection campaign.

Racism taxAnytime ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Racism tax

Anytime a conservative is accused of being racially biased (no proof of accusation needed) they are assessed a $1000 fine to be distruibuted to the congressional black caucus.

"You have to have an aborti... (Below threshold)
Ken in Camarillo:

"You have to have an abortion"
We have too many people in this country, and if you create an extra person beyond your quota, that extra person will engage in interstate commerce while overburdening the nation's environment.
(I haven't read anyone's entries yet)

Following Jay's line of rea... (Below threshold)

Following Jay's line of reasoning, since having sex is healthy for an individual, it isn't fair that only 'rich' people can afford to have sex with a hooker. The government will issue Sex-a-Care cards to people making less than a certain amount of money. This card will allow the person to visit the government approved hookers as needed. The hookers must accept these cards, since they have to have government aproval to operate. The card holder will will get services rendered to him, and the hooker can file the appropriate paperwork, in triplicate, to the government for reimbursement, at predetermined rate set by the government at 23% of the normal rate.

While I agree with Brian ab... (Below threshold)
Rich K:

While I agree with Brian above Ill give this a shot.
As these two commercial items are responsible for a litany of social and medical ill effects on the general public;All alcohol and tobacco products will be strictly administered and distributed only through federally sanctioned state stores. Any state without a liquor/tobacco commision will be required to set up and fund such an entity within 12 months of this statute being signed into law by the president.
Further more, any parties purchasing alcohol /tobacco products will be included in a federal database to monitor consumption of said products.This data will be shared with the HHS department though its medical database sharing arrangement and will allow sanctions and penalties to be charged to parties that are shown to be habitual or overly frequent users of said alcohol/tobacco products.
Guidelines for this conduct/quota will be posted in all state distribution centers.

The "SHIT" tax. "SHIT" sta... (Below threshold)

The "SHIT" tax. "SHIT" stands for "Strategic Handling of Invaluable Turds". Every American household will have a "smart" toilet(s) installed that keep(s) track of flushes and reports them electronically to the IRS. These toilets must be installed by out-of-state unionized govt employees. Interstate commerce is not only affected by this duty (heh heh) but also by the creation of unionized federal "SHIT" squads that oversee enforcement and hand out citations. One dollar from every charged flush goes to a reward fund that pays informers to rat on their neighbors that are caught heading into the woods with a shovel....

The Save Social Security Ac... (Below threshold)

The Save Social Security Act:

All female citizens MUST have at least 5 children in order to have more people paying in to SS than there are taking out.






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