From what I understand Chief Justice Roberts, who has issued the overall opinion, found the individual mandate constitutional, not under the Commerce Clause, but under the Congress’ authority to tax. So the penalty for not buying health insurance is essentially equivalent to a tax. There are a few complications with that in that currently there is no penalty for not paying the penalty, but Treasury may be able to fix that through regulations depending on the way it’s written.
The Court also threw a monkey wrench into the expansion of Medicaid by essentially removing the penalty against states for not going along with it. However the carrot approach could work better there than the stick.
A lot of analysis to be done but overall a pretty good day for the Prez.
UPDATE: I saw some speculation the last couple of days that Justice Alito’s sad temper tantrum directed at Obama over the Arizona immigration act ruling was a sign that he was not happy with the way the ACA decision was coming down. Didn’t want to say anything about it cuz I’m superstitious that way, but looks like it was spot on! And Scalia seriously needs to consider retiring before he embarrasses himself any more than he has.
Hope you don’t mind the choice of furniture, it simply goes with the rest of the decor. Ross, I can call you “Ross”, right? I’ve been meaning to discuss your columns with you for awhile, and on the basis of the last two, I think there really might be no time like the present.
This audience member in Ohio asked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney a question about restoring the Constitutional balance of the branches of government, but not before accusing President Obama of treason and “acting outside of the structure of the Constitution”. She wasn’t specific about what she found treasonous in President Obama’s execution of his office, but without missing a beat, Romney gave an answer regarding the awesomeness of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and some right wing boilerplate complaint about Obama’s statement that the Supreme Court finding the ACA unconstitutional would be unprecedented. (Really? Is another Harvard Law school graduate actually going to accuse Obama of not understanding the process of judicial review, when he was talking about the historical precedents in favor of the commerce clause? Actually, that kind of got to me more than blowing off the treason charge did.)
But, wait—what about that claim of treason? Didn’t Mitt find anything a little weird about that?
Well—no! She did get a little applause for it, after all. These days, I don’t think that sounds too weird to Republicans anymore. He’s been compared to Hitler and to Chamberlain. The Republicans are just looking for an angle to impeach him over, so, what the hell, why not accuse him of treason? After all, the candidate himself has accused Obama of apologizing for America all over the world (and would he be so good as to tell us where those speeches were so we can queue’em up on YouTube? Oh, that’s right, it’s a damn lie.) By saying she wanted to see Obama on trial for treason. she was just saying “hello”. It’s not that Obama has to be guilty of treason, after all.
She’d just like to see him on trial for it, is all. Then watch the sentence and the execution thereof. Nothing to see here—just a Republican who wants a Democratic president facing a firing squad. And candidate Romney understands. So he gave a standard reply: Constitution, good. Declaration of Independence good. Obama, dumber than wet paint.
Now, he does develop a sense of endangered rep when called on it later by journos. But in the moment? Why would it sound funky at all? Of course Obama is guilty of treason. He’s in Mitt Romney’s way.
I’d say it was another episode of Profiles in Something Other Than Courage for Mitt, but if I have to cluck every time he plays the coward I’ll be thinking I’m a chicken before all this is over. And he wasn’t being a coward right there, exactly. He was just being a Republican.
Chen took refuge at the embassy after escaping house arrest. He rejected a deal to keep him safely in China and now says he wants to leave the country. Chen has said he feels abandoned by the U.S. American officials have said they didn’t pressure him to leave.
“If these reports are true, this is a dark day for freedom and it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration,” Romney said. “We are a place of freedom, here and around the world, and we should stand up and defend freedom wherever it is under attack.”
The State Department said this week it conveyed no implicit threats and the issue of violence never came up in its discussions with Chen. They told him that China had agreed for him to reunite with his family if he left the U.S. Embassy.
Romney suggested U.S. officials were motivated by the politics of Chen’s case. He said U.S. officials “willingly or unwittingly communicated to Chen an implicit threat to his family” and accelerated negotiations for his safety because of scheduled high-level talks in the country with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and their Chinese counterparts.
And here’s what turns out to be some very sensible advice from Mr. Kristol:
The US says it expects China to allow prominent dissident Chen Guangcheng to travel abroad soon.
The US state department said Mr Chen had been offered a fellowship at an American university, and it would allow his wife and children to accompany him.
Earlier, Beijing said the blind activist could apply to study abroad - paving the way for a resolution to a tense diplomatic stand-off with the US.
So, basically, the outrage lasted about a week, would you say? At the embassy for about six days, then let out, then, voila! a perfectly reasonable and legal way for him to travel abroad appears! In real terms, this situation lasted an actual day for Mitt Romney, as in, he read a thing in the paper to criticize, pronounced it a “dark day for freedom and a day of shame” and now is just kind of looking awkward and clueless. Again.
The name of the SuperPAC supporting him, Restoring Our Freedom, kind of bothered me, but now it makes sense. I was always thinking, “Well, the future hasn’t happened yet, so, where did it go that it needs restoring?” But now I get it. Romney can’t win on his history, and he sucks at current events. So, the future it is!
In Annie Hall Woody Allen posited an employment hierarchy that went more or less like this: Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym. I would argue that you can continue along that line: those who can’t teach gym, become ombudsmen. Then, at the very bottom of the hierarchy is the Washington Post fact checker.
I think most of us would accept without argument that a fact checker should a.) go to the public record (the intertubes) to verify basic information. b.) when assertions go more into the world of opinion, i.e., opinion checking, be a neutral arbiter between what is being asserted and the real physical world.
Take today’s column. The fact checker dismisses the claim of judicial activism by quoting some guy who works at Cato. I suppose the assumption is that a libertarian institutional wouldn’t hire ideologues that support the tenets of libertarianism. Which is, basically, a really crappy assumption.
I’m not sure if Sun Tzu had anything to say about right-wing doofuses whose addresses to the House of Delegates betray their regret over not following up on the better-than-expected reception they got at an open mic night in ‘86, but if he did, I’d assume it went something like “when your enemy is being told by his loved ones that he’s wrong and you’re right, chuckle politely at his flailing attempts at humor, for it may hasten his awakening.” Then he’d go back to painting his war art, unless I totally misread that book. Eh, whatever, people seem to like my “serene and inscrutable” watercolors.
Look, I don’t know if this guy’s giving us a play-by-play on his change of heart or what, I’m not even sure if the point is that his wife was turned off by the language being tossed around or by the bill itself, but to this viewer it sure as shootin’ comes across as the latter, and what’s more, the state-mandated-rape-o-sphere seems to agree. From On High, the most preposterously full-of-itself wingnut blog I’ve come across since the last time I came across one, merely links to the vid with a reminder that Albo’s a RINO, which I gather is an acronym for Read A Book Once, and it’s also a label conservatives slap on their comrades whenever they feel the need to distance themselves. BTW, here’s the author pic at FOH, caption his, not mine:
That’s another thing I hate about the right. I have to put work into my puerile innuendo, for these guys it’s effortless.
(top post on FOH as of this writing: remember Krystal Ball, that attractive young Democratic congressional candidate in those Rudolph-dildo pictures? Apparently she’s a hypocrite for being against forced trans-V ultrasound while being for wearing something sexy to a costume party. I refuse to link to it on the principle that there’s a picture of Ball and another cute brunette in a schoolgirl outfit being naughty with each other and it’s all terribly prurient and I like to think you people are better than that, plus if you crash the server I won’t be able to see it)
As for what nerve he touched after his wife went to bed, I don’t wanna know! Unless there’s one I’ve somehow overlooked, in which case he should feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, maybe with a scanned thumbnail sketch attached.
To be fair, lots of men have difficulty remaining firm when contraception’s involved.
UPDATE, 8pm-ish: I’ll be dammed, this might be a victory after all. Links to that effect in comments, but I’m mostly going off of what I’ve been hearing on NPR, and it sounds good so far. I’ve still got a nagging suspicion that when all’s said and done today’ll redound to the benefit of the Ecclesiastical-Industrial Complex, but I promised I’d eat my words if I had to, and as of right now the score looks to be women: guaranteed contraceptive coverage, Christofascist Zombie Brigade: 0. So I’ll just print this post out and chow down—not looking forward to it, but a vegetarian diet’s great practice for occasions such as these.
Still not ready to buy into the idea that this was Bam’s plan from the get-go. I mean, I only play chess in 7 or 8 dimensions so I can’t be sure, but c’mon, he’s a clever dude, not a Time Lord. Still, heckuva plan B, and if lobbyists for Big Jesus like Dolan (“step in the right direction,” fuck you) get a good humbling in return for their overreach, all the better. Gotta love it when bishops get beaten.
Yes, the Ambassador would like us to know she means to preserve as many of us as she can~~but the sacred bio-essence passing through these portals must be preserved! A number of us may have to be sacrificed, but the bio-essence must be maintained! Come to Pink, children. Want Pink. Don’t turn from Pink. You… need…Pink.
Or, not. So glad I never went for the Pink Kitchen-Aid Mixer. Bundling that thing up and shipping it off to almost-Governor Handel wouldn’t have been a satisfying protest, but not buying it sure is!
Update: did I say Kitchen-Aid Mixer? Pah! Komen be Barnhardtin’! *
Hey, whatcha havin’ for breakfast? Ooh, an omelette, sounds delish. I’ve heard that making one of those requires certain sacrifices that could be considered controversial, so count yourself lucky that chickens haven’t established a religious organization that wields political sway out of accordance with its role in a pluralistic society, else you’d have to settle for a bowl of Chex.
(RRNN)—Rick Perry dropped out of the 2012 presidential race today and endorsed those kickass muscle relaxers some sketchy dude slipped him before his now-famous Manchester, NH appearance. “I can’t recommend ‘em highly enough, they’re like a space-walk in a Ziploc, man. Oh, you mean for the nomination? I dunno, one of those other pills, I guess,” said the ex-candidate.
The former governor and homunculus borne of George W. Bush’s genetic runoff will return to the place of his creation, What A Bunch Of Clones Laboratories, where he will writhe in agony as his body breaks down on the cellular level at geometrically accelerating speed, intermittently cursing his “father” (head geneticist Stephen Wong) for encumbering him with this cruel mockery of life. His final hours will be spent on the run—after using what remains of his strength to break out of his glass enclosure, he will kidnap Laura Bush and climb to the top of the Wells Fargo Plaza, bleating “I just want what you have, brother!” in something approximating human speech until his teeth and tongue fall out and drop to the street below.
“It was scary but kind of fun too, I guess I needed a little adventure in my life,” the former First Lady will be quoted as saying as she furtively tucks a Ziploc bag into her pocket and steps away from a bubbling puddle of viscous, flesh-colored liquid which was once considered a leading contender for the GOP nomination.
“Did I say ‘so cool?’ I meant cold, so very cold.”
The holiday season is upon us—well, it’s upon you, I’m just holing up with cheap beer and my GameCube until it blows over—and that means family gatherings, and family gatherings sometimes mean interacting with people we’d really rather not. To make the next few days as tension-free as possible, I offer the following excerpt from my upcoming book The Gilful Life: Advice From Someone You Should Totally Take Advice From due out next year from Simon & Shuster, or if those guys keep refusing to take my calls, one of those vanity presses that help lonely women channel their sadness and frustration into stories about steampunk Wiccans.
In contrast, Mitt Romney, who knows something about health care legislation, welcomed the Ryan-Wyden proposal, which is not too far removed from a Medicare reform plan the former Massachusetts Governor had put forward earlier, as “an enormous achievement.”
Why yes, of course the voice of bipartisan reason, the healing center, the maypole we can dance around nonidealogically just happens to be the once and probably future leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination. Christ, I haven’t seen false equivalence pay off like that since the mirror scene in Evil Dead II.
Three news items converged late this week to shed some light on what’s up with the struggle for America’s soul. First, a tea party goon hopped up on birtherism and Matriarch of Mayhem videos interrupted Elizabeth Warren at a volunteer meeting to call the candidate a “socialist whore” with a “foreign-born” boss:
Notice how he encounters a locked door when he tries to make a grand exit after hurling insults at a candidate who treated him graciously. Classy guy. Smart too!