Reader: Obamacare losing in courts, T-Paw pulls punch, Ohio Guv no LeBron fan, and more 2012 buzz

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on.

  • David Rivkin, Jr., and Lee Casey are the lead attorneys representing 26 states challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare in the federal courts. They state in the WSJ: “The government’s lawyers keep changing their arguments as each one is exposed as constitutionally suspect.” One of the Obama administration‘s arguments in favor of the individual mandate (that requires all citizens to buy health insurance) is that there really was no difference between activity and inactivity since eventually a consumer would purchase some form of health care. Rivkin and Casey note: “But because the future consumption of nearly all existing goods and services is inevitable across the entire population, this argument means that Americans can then be compelled to purchase an infinite variety of goods and services chosen by Washington. Far from limiting what government can do, this is the ultimate enabling principle. Even Soviet apparatchiks, who told producers what to make, did not dare tell people what to buy.” Read the rest of the article here.
  • T-Paw pulled his punch in last night’s GOP debate. Politico.com reports: “Tim Pawlenty’s puzzling decision at Monday’s debate to abandon a new line of attack on Mitt Romney’s health care record is prompting fresh doubts among members of his own party about his readiness to confront the GOP frontrunner. One day after Pawlenty linked Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan with the federal health reform law as ‘Obamneycare‘ in a nationally televised interview, the former Minnesota governor retreated from the sharp critique at the first debate featuring Romney.” Pawlenty has a solid pro-life and conservative record, but it was puzzling to see him backtrack from his attack on Mitt Romney’s health care plan (which President Obama said he modeled his plan after.) The reaction is nearly universal that Pawlenty has a ‘missed opportunity.’ “Debates are competitions – they are alpha dog battles,” explained longtime GOP ad man Alex Castellanos. “To win one, you have to create what I call an ‘MOS,’ a moment of strength. Tim Pawlenty had a chance to get in the ring tonight with the heavyweight champion and create such a moment. He refused to enter the ring. It was like LeBron refusing to take the big shot [Sunday] night.”
  • Speaking of NBA star LeBron James, whose Miami Heat team lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Ohio Gov. John Kasich thumbed his nose at LeBron James by making all Dallas Maverick players and fans ‘honorary Ohians’ for a day. Last year, the NBA star announced that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat in a much-hyped 30-minute ESPN special that clearly has Ohioans still upset at LeBron.
  • South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is not running for president, but he likes Rep. Michele Bachmann, who exceeded expectations in last night’s debate.
  • Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman will announce his candidacy for president next week with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.
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