Thursday, 6/28/12, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

49 responses to “Thursday, 6/28/12, Public Square

  1. Good morning Triple Ps.

    I’m having ‘puter problems and have dug out and hooked up an old Windows laptop. I’m relearning after several years of using a Mac. Did I mention the learning is coming slowly? The laptop can’t hold a candle to me in the old and slow categories.

    It’s pleasant outside and I know it won’t last so I’m going to enjoy it while I can! The heat is intolerable later on.

  2. prairie pond

    Long live the Mac. Once you go Mac, you’ll never go back!

  3. prairie pond

    Great graphic, fnord. And while we’re waiting for the Supremes today, here’s a little video made by some boys in Saline County. And even though it’s funny, it’s also enough to make an old farm girl cry. These boys get it.

    • prairie pond

      Sorry, I didn’t realize this was in the Wichita paper today. I picked it up elsewhere. Still, it’s a great video.

  4. “Here in the House,” Speaker John Boehner announced after meeting with his caucus Wednesday morning, “Republicans are going to continue to stay focused on jobs.”

    It’s true. Technically, House Republicans are focused on jobs: Eric Holder’s and President Obama’s. They want to put both men out of work.

  5. prairie pond

    …and don’t forget the focus on keeping their own jobs. Ours? Not so much.

  6. Seems like it’s good news. Now, on to Medicare for all! Americans deserve that (at least)!

  7. Allowing states to opt out. Seems SCOTUS (or at least Roberts who wrote for the majority) thought long and hard on how they might allow every person, no matter their personal opinion, to find something they can call a win.

    I think this decision, like the biggie on immigration handed down earlier this week, will be in the courts again.

    • Refresh my memory – didn’t Obama say that if any state wanted to opt of of the Medicaid portion of the ACA that they could – as long as they provided the same level of health care?

      From what I heard (and I’ve been busy feeding two grandkids their morning snacks) – the Medicaid expansion part was not upheld but that federal government cannot withhold all the money from those states that do not comply with teh ACA – is that correct?

      So…..the states could opt out and still get federal money? And isn’t that what Obama had said from the start?

      I’ve not had time to really sit down and absorb all the news about this SCOTUS ruling – but it appears to me that Obama won BIG……

      And now the Republicans will have a field day feasting on Chief Justice Roberts – because I heard (and I hope this correct) that Roberts was the one that gave the thumbs up the consitutionality of ACA.

      Wow – I bet two billionaire brothers are cussing a certain John G. Roberts this morning….

      • That’s the way I understand it.

        And, any person can choose to not buy health insurance by simply paying the tax levied for making that choice!

      • I also read somewhere that even if they do not pay the tax for not buying health insurance – there is no real threat of jail – so……

        I guess I just don’t understand something. With the current health care system, my taxes and my insurance premiums are already paying for those who do not buy heatlh siunfuance – so again, tell me why is it so wrong for those pepole to actually pay for themselves?

        And there are provisions for susidies if peole cannot afford to pay their health insurance premiums – isn’t there?

        And if we could ever get the health care providers to actually lower their prices and stop gouging people – then maybe – just maybe – with everyone contributing to the money pot – a more fair health care system will emerge?

        Ah, what am I saying? That would be actually doing something about a problem and we all know that partisan politics will never allow that.

      • prairie pond

        Indy, I could be wrong, and I hope our resident SCOTUS experts weigh in, but I think the ruling was the government could withhold future medicaid funds, but the government could not force states to expand medicaid. Kind of confusing. States can opt out of expanding medicaid, but they can’t opt out of the Obamacare program entirely.

        I read last night that this might be upheld because Roberts is all of a sudden worried about his “legacy” of turning the court into a partisan operation. WTF? They had a chance to overturn Citizens United and didn’t. NOW he’s worried about his freakin’ legacy? I think it is very telling though that Roberts was the deciding swing vote. And I also think speculation was correct that Scalia wrote his out of bounds opinion on the AZ law because he was so pissed about this law being upheld.

        I wish now they’d fix the holes in this law that let big pharma and big insurance drive trucks through. And I hope Kansas is happy that they turned back their grant money to develop insurance exchanges. They gambled the law would be overturned and they’d look smart. Now they just look like the wingnut asses they are. Not that anyone in Kansas cares. Except our little blog!

        I wish Steven Davis was here to comment on this day. I miss him.

        I think I’ll go peek over the fence. I bet there is great wailing and gnashing of teeth along with the usual hatred. Heh. Heheheh. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!

      • PP – I miss Steven too…..especially at times like this when a monumental and historic SCOTUS ruling comes down..

        BTW – after done peeking over the fence – report back to class?

        I just do not have the energy to lok over that fence anymore – those folks drain any type of positive flow I’ve got in my system..

        And they are just not wroth it…….

      • prairie pond

        Indy, the report from over the fence is sad faces, usual spin, and unusual lack of comment. I think they are too stunned to speak, and only the blatantly stupid are speaking, well, the blatantly stupid things they usually speak.

        In other words, SSDD.

      • All of us keep Steve alive! Yesterday when RD struggled with his memories of who is in prison (and why) I wanted to hear Steven weigh in. He is a great friend, a man we his friends will always strive to honor. He left us this place and the responsibility of maintaining it.

      • PP – thanks for the report. Safe to assume these CONS are far from being next on the evolution launching pad?

    • From what I am seeing on the Huffington Post blog – the CONS are using GOP talking point #_____ as to Obama broke his promise of not raising taxes on middle class people because this mandate is now called a ‘tax’ by the SCOTUS.

  8. Could we hope this will energize all sides to work toward a true solution? I can hope! It doesn’t take much to encourage me to hope. 🙂

    • The tricky word in your wish is the word ‘ALL’….that would assume Republicans are capable of putting on their big boy pants and grow up…

      And I highly doubt that – very much.

      But I am much more cynical than you – and I love the way you’re so upbeat and hopeful all th e time. I think you got my share of that hopefulness….

      • Indy, republicans have been trying to undo two other benefits Americans enjoy — Social Security and Medicare — for many years. They aren’t very good at actually accomplishing what they talk about!

      • I’ve said this before – from my seat in the health care business – a certain mega church would not be making alot of money off their healthcare businesses if Medicare was to go bye-bye….

        Yeah, they may infer they make no money by being non-profit – but, believe me, they are making money.

  9. As we’ve all said overandover, Obamacare isn’t what Americans deserve and certainly doesn’t go far enough, but it sure is a good first step. As time goes along, and more and more Americans benefit, it will become more clear to everyone exactly how important this bill is and how much credit President Obama and the Democratic Party deserve for accomplishing it!

    • My DIL and I were talking this morning about how the US is dead last in countries who give time off for parents when they have their children.

      For being such an ‘exceptional’ country and who who professes to be so Godly and Moral and love all that family values B.S. – just why are we dead last in that categrory?

      My God – Pakistan is even ahead of us…….

      Pakistan????

      Like my DIL says – isn’t that the place that will cut off the head of a woman if she brings shame on the family but yet these people STILL have a better rating on giving people time off to have their kids?

      Un…frickin……believable……

  10. Will Romney now tell Americans, “Yes, Massachusetts residents deserved affordable health care, but the rest of Americans don’t”?

  11. I just have to wonder if Chief Justice Roberts will not be labeled an ‘activist judge’ by the CONS???

  12. wicked

    I’m speechless. Yes, I know. It doesn’t happen often, so enjoy it. 🙂

    • That’s funny……

      I was rather shocked with this decision. I just assumed the mandate would be rejected and maybe the entire thing – but Chief Justice Roberts sure did do the ‘mavericky’ thing – didn’t he?

  13. http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17151 Here we go (in not a good way). I just got home, must d/l and read. One thought on Roberts’ tax analogy; very old precedent regarding a law enacted in the John Adams administration. Hopefully more later after reading and digesting…

    • prairie pond

      617, I understand some resident lunatics at Freeperville are calling for Roberts to be shot. These are dangerous times. I think the republic hangs by a thread.

      On a lighter note, I also understand lots of cons threatening to move to Canada. That’s right. They can’t find a developed nation that does not have universal health care.

      And, might I add, taxes in Canada for healthcare are higher than here. And, ya know, they do allow gay marriage.

      I say we give them all a big going away party and offer to help them pack!

      • I totally agree, PP. However, these folks might well save $$ in the long term, as the additional taxes < cost of healthcare (individual policy with family benefits, for sure) here. Might be a bargain, though, to rid ourselves of those who wish to go (KI'd venture they'd not enjoy Quebec, however).

  14. I’ve now read through Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion. There is much to digest. One thing I noticed about the same is it has been quite a while since I’ve seen McCullough v. Maryland cited so often. If memory serves, four times in the first five pages. There were a few obligatory references to Marbury v. Madison early on, then the opinion goes on to read like part of a Bar Review course over Constitutional Law.

    A few comments (darned few, right now): the furor over a “tax” was due to an alternative argument advanced by the Government as to the constitutionally of the individual mandate. The Chief Justice seized on this like a hungry dog on a bone, and then ran with it. As to the expansion of Medicaid, I cannot totally agree with his reasoning, but respect how he arrived at the conclusion reached.

    As to the first issue, the opinion is a well constructed review of the enumerated powers granted the Federal government, resting on Article I, clause 8 (the “taxing power”), then combining same with a review of the “Necessary and Proper Clause” in arriving at the holding that the Individual Mandate is constitutional. Sprinkled within the melding of these clauses, there is a sprinkling of citations to cases which essentially say that it is the duty of a court to uphold the constitutionality of a statute if there exists a way to do so. I may overstate this a bit, but it is refreshing to see an opinion which hews to precedent (and the principle of stare decisis in this way. BTW, he has anticipated some of the most probable grounds for future cases and foreclosed the arguments against the Individual Mandate that would likely be made in same.

    As to the second issue, he again adheres to good precedent, cases that do not require straining to read them as saying what he cites them to say. Apologies, wicked; too lazy to redo that sentence.

    More later, but only if there are questions I might answer. Be thankful for small favors.

  15. prairie pond

    OMG. Gotta love the Rude Pundit for this excerpt.

    “And while this doesn’t get Roberts off the hook for a lot of vile shit, it does look as if the young Chief Justice decided that he wasn’t going all in with deranged Scalia (and his vestigial tail, Thomas). By creating a way that the law could stand, one might hope that Roberts simply tilted towards progress, finally, at last. You can bet that some Republican will be calling for his impeachment soon.”

    Scalia and his VESTIGIAL TAIL, THOMAS!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA

    I wanna be as good as the Rude one when I grow up.

  16. prairie pond

    617, I still don’t understand the Medicaid expansion portion of the ruling. How is it that Congress can withhold highway funds if states don’t raise the legal drinking age to 21, but they can’t withhold Medicaid in toto if the states refuse to expand Medicaid? As I understand it, Congress can withhold Medicaid expansion money if the states choose not to expand, but they can’t withhold their original Medicaid funding. Makes no damn linear logic type sense to me. I think it’s just stuff made up to throw the repukes a bone.

    I also heard today that states that refuse to expand Medicaid will see insurance premiums go up or at least be higher than states that expand Medicaid. I guess because insurance companies will be forced to cover the people that didn’t make it into the Medicaid expansion cutoff? You know what that means for Kansas since the devil will ice skate before Kansas even brings current Medicaid up to snuff, much less expands it.

    I wonder if pastor sam regrets turning back the federal grant money to set up exchanges?: Do you suppose he’ll drag his feet until past the deadline so the feds will set it up for Kansas, then run against “federal overreach?”

    And what do you think about the speculation that the four con justices wanted to throw out the entire law and Roberts wasn’t ready to go that far, so he jumped to the left? Do you really think Roberts gives a rat’s butt about his legacy or is this his way of providing the four cons cover for preserving the windfall profits for the insurance industry?

    So many questions.

    • Paraphrasing the Roberts opinion (this part had seven votes, in total): the distinction that was drawn was in the situations you cite, no “new program” was being created. Thus, the reduction was to funds for the existing program, in the form of an inducement to follow the Feds’ bidding. The Medicaid expansion was considered to be a new program; if the state doesn’t decide to agree, then it will not receive funds therefor. To eliminate funding for an existing program because of a state’s refusal to adopt a new program is impermissible. The CJ cited some precedent for this holding, after distinguishing the South Dakota case.

      As to your other queries, I dunno. The higher premium argument makes a lot of sense.

  17. Not to worry PP – Pastor Sam will just get his mega church to cover all those people that won’t get health care through the expansion of Medicaid.

    I know, I know……if we depended on these self-professing Christians to actually follow Jesus’ teachings – we would not need health care reform in the first place…

  18. 1) Some CONS want Roberts to be shot? – Do these CONS remember who nominated Roberts to the SCOTUS. How ironic that GWB was the one that put the activist judge in there to make Obamacare Constitutional.

    2) Some CONS want to move to Canada? Wouldn’t it be a hoot if Canada started a big war on illegal immigrants?

    Wow – Lady Karma was doing double duty today…

    • Instead of CONS moving to Canada – let’s all get together and send them to Iraq or Egypt? NOW that would be funny to watch these chickenhawks faces. Imagine – after all they’re yelling for dropping bombs on those evil Muslims – I wonder how long would it take for these CONS to STFU.

    • indy, I think they would grudgingly go. Of course, on average, Canada’s taxes are higher, and there is universal healthcare, gay marriage, and (I’d especially like to see the reaction to this) the Quebecois take a really dim view towards those who insist on English only.

      The apparent negative reaction to this ruling and the SB 1070 case has been much more threatening than I expected.

      Query: Will John Roberts turn out to be the next Earl Warren?

      • Honestly – I did not think John Roberts had this in him. But, as one pundit stated today, this is exactly what John Roberts said he would do during his confirmation hearing.

        Wow – I just think it is hilarious to see these CONS wanting Roberts’ head on a platter when it was George W. Bush that gave us John Roberts – aka activist judge…

        Now how ironic is this…..

      • clarification = the exact ‘type of thing’ John Roberts would do.

        This woman pundit was saying that John Roberts made a point to state that he felt the Judicial Branch is to interpret the laws as being Constitutional or Not Constitutional and that the Executive and Legislative Branches were to do the political side.

        Which – I think – basically sums up this Roberts’ decision regarding the ACA….

  19. Romney said something quite peculiar in his response to the SCOTUS ruling today.

    He said that the Supreme Court did not say the ACA was a good law.

    As I stated abov de – Roberts made it a point to make it known that the Court is not to be political – but to simply interpret the laws.

    So is it the job of the SCOTUS to label somethijng a good lor bad law?

  20. Just how low will these Far Right Wingers go? Now one their shock-jocks is spewing the fact that Roberts ruled the way he did because he is on seizure medication?

    Seriously….WTF

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/michael-savage-john-roberts-epilepsy-medication_n_1636092.html#comments