In case you had illusions that the Supreme Court finding in the Kelo case wouldn't have much effect, tell it to the thousands of people for whom home-theft is now imminent given the judicial green-light. (Link via The Agitator.)
While I see a lot of people slanting this case as America's big "fuck you" to the poor, I think that it's going to affect a much larger slice of the citizenry. Sam and I wanted to buy a home - probably one that needed considerable work, since it would be our first and we figured on making some extra money that way - but what's to keep Omaha from blighting the home we buy for condos? We're pretty firmly in the middle class, and this ruling just makes it that much less likely that the risks of homebuying will be outweighed by the rewards.
Meanwhile, over at Reason they're talking about how these kinds of rulings happen (discussing Raich & Kelo, cases which seriously redefine and undermine formerly limiting clauses on government power). And our congress-critters seem to have noticed that we're pissed, and are using their spending power to make use of eminent domain for private gain a sour pill for those hoping for federal money. Nancy Pelosi, an idiot with too much power, thinks that the measure (which passed by a pretty margin in the house) is "in violation of the respect of separation of powers in our Constitution". Funny, I was thinking something similar about the 5-4 decision in the Kelo case (it's in violation of the Constitution, anyhow). It's interesting to hear someone posit that measures which oppose and counterbalance each other are in violation of separation of powers. I thought that the whole point was to limit governmental power, but hey, since when has Pelosi known anything about limited government? The Washington Post article linked notes that the measure to deny federal funds to eminent domain abuses went 231-189, the split going 192-31 for Republicans and 39-157 for Democrats. And Dems wonder why they can't win a Presidency or Congressional majority - 86% of them are apparently morons. Are those the kind of odds we want? Didn't think so.
(If you're curious how your house representatives voted on this amendment, check the voting record; for Nebraskans, the reps in question are Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry and Thomas Osborne, all of whom, I'm encouraged to say, voted aye to block federal spending on eminent domain abuse. I should write them pretty letters. With... sparkles and perfume.)
Time for me to go take my physics test, so I'll leave the ranting to others for a couple of hours.