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Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:29 AM

Supreme Court Might Decide Their Second Election

Supreme Court Might Decide Their Second Election
by Cenk Uygur | March 30, 2012 - 9:19am
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/42284

It was a similar crew of conservative justices on the Supreme Court that decided that their long-held beliefs on states' rights were irrelevant and made George W. Bush our next president in 2000. Now, they're back!!! And they might decide yet another presidential election.

Imagine the damage it does to President Obama to strip him of his signature accomplishment right before the election. It would also allow the Republicans to say -- "See, we told you so! It was unconstitutional all along. It was a wild, socialist over-reach of big government." It creates a permanent stain on the law -- as if there was something horribly wrong with it all along. And it takes it off the books at a moment when it is still relatively unpopular. So, before any of the popular provisions are put into effect it would go in the record books as a complete disaster.

Why don't you just hand the Republicans the election? Which is, of course, exactly what the conservatives of this court would love to do. These conservative justices are given far too much deference in the media. They are largely partisan hacks.

Antonin Scalia is a complete fraud. He will bend any so-called principle to get to the political result he wants. If it's upholding anti-gay legislation or striking down federal laws he doesn't like, he is a huge advocate for states' rights. But if it's marijuana legalization or euthanasia or Bush v. Gore, then he hates states' rights. So, which one is it? Here's how you can tell -- which side is the Republican Party on?

Remember, this is a guy who goes duck hunting with Dick Cheney and attends political fundraisers with the Koch brothers. Of course, he doesn't recuse himself from any cases that involve those people. In fact, he votes on their side nearly 100% of the time.

We've been hearing for at least thirty years about the dangers of activist judges. That it is so wrong for unelected officials, like judges, to invalidate laws made by the people's representatives. Now, all of a sudden, the Republicans love that idea! They want to interpret the Commerce Clause in a way that it has not been interpreted since 1937. They want to invalidate a sitting president's signature piece of legislation for the first time in 75 years. And their hack, partisan justices on the Supreme Court can't wait to do their bidding.

<<snip>>

31 replies, 5625 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Supreme Court Might Decide Their Second Election (Original post)
dajoki Mar 2012 OP
Poll_Blind Mar 2012 #1
Jackpine Radical Mar 2012 #5
Poll_Blind Mar 2012 #6
LiberalCatholic Mar 2012 #27
dajoki Mar 2012 #28
dajoki Mar 2012 #29
dajoki Mar 2012 #31
Yo_Mama Mar 2012 #16
polichick Mar 2012 #2
libtodeath Mar 2012 #4
polichick Mar 2012 #7
AZ Progressive Mar 2012 #8
polichick Mar 2012 #9
AZ Progressive Mar 2012 #12
polichick Mar 2012 #14
marlakay Mar 2012 #11
AZ Progressive Mar 2012 #13
AZ Progressive Mar 2012 #15
subterranean Mar 2012 #20
Yo_Mama Mar 2012 #24
demgrrrll Mar 2012 #26
Worried senior Mar 2012 #30
CrispyQ Mar 2012 #3
AZ Progressive Mar 2012 #10
loudsue Mar 2012 #22
peace frog Mar 2012 #17
AZ Progressive Mar 2012 #18
dajoki Mar 2012 #19
seethegalaxy Mar 2012 #21
sellitman Mar 2012 #23
shawn703 Mar 2012 #25

Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:40 AM

1. This one is ALL on Obama. He didn't have to adopt the individual mandate the insurance companies...

...demanded. This is his baby. He did NOT have to adopt that bullshit about an individual mandate.

His choice, his consequences. He knew he was rolling the dice in a big way but he desperately wanted big legislation and was willing to make questionable deals with the devil to get it.

And he got exactly that: A deal with the devil. Reminds me of the character in Faustus who wants something to remove his beard without a razor.

The crap he smears on his face eats off his beard, alllright, but also his skin.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:57 AM

5. He would probably never have gotten anything through without the Mandate.

Still, maybe in the long run we as a nation (but probably not Obama) would be better off if he had just stood up and proposed a public option so that there was no mandate to buy from private companies, and then taken his case to the public. But instead he did all that fancy bullshit about letting the Congress write the legislation. Even if he had lost (a likely outcome), he would have educated the public, and he might have actually won if he could get enough voters to pressure the Blue Dogs. At the very least, he would have made clear to the public who the enemies of accessible health care are.

I don't see how we would be much worse off now if he had done that.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:11 PM

6. I agree. If you think back, in the end he had to take it to the people just to get...

...it passed in the Senate, IIRC, anyway.

President Obama is at his best when he's campaigning. If the Supreme Court strikes this law down, there's no reason we can't have another election year obsessed with healthcare reform. I would personally love to see Romney and Obama falling over themselves to define who will work harder to get America covered more.

I would love to see lawmakers fearful of losing re-election if they don't cough up something real. Preferably before the election to vouchsafe their success.

Now, that may sound like a pipe dream but the House and Senate sure as shit got The Fear in them over that ethics overhaul.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #6)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:17 PM

27. I think it could be OK for Dems if

we put this totally on Repubs. Obama can still talk about what the bill offered and what the Repubs took away. Then he can mention that they have no other plan to improve healthcare. But THEN he needs to really bring it up a notch and say that Congress now needs to pass Medicare for all (NOT single payer-focus on what people get, not what they pay). Sadly, I'm not sure he will do that.

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Response to LiberalCatholic (Reply #27)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:29 PM

28. He had the chance...

to do it but he didn't.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 03:10 PM

29. Medicare for all n/t

Last edited Sat Mar 31, 2012, 04:13 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #5)


Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:56 PM

16. Don't blame Obama

He signed the bill Congress sent him. Presidents do not have the power to write legislation to sign.

There wasn't support in Congress for a bill that would have clearly been constitutional, so it is not his fault.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:41 AM

2. If they do it again, maybe the walking dead American people will...

...finally wake the fuck up. Really, what will it take?!?

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Response to polichick (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:42 AM

4. Sadly when we are all living under the american xtian taliban.

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Response to libtodeath (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:13 PM

7. Maybe some country will invade us and fight the American Taliban.

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Response to polichick (Reply #2)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:15 PM

8. According to one poll, 2/3rd of Americans want the Supreme Court to strike down the mandate

Apparently Americans want the right to get stuck with tens of thousands of dollars of hospital bills or be unable to get adequate healthcare to survive a disease. Sadly, they will find out just how much of an idiot they are when they or a friend / family / spouse suffers and/or dies because the ACA was struck down.

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:22 PM

9. But as many people like the individual provisions of the bill...

It's truly amazing how easy it is to manipulate Americans, and how bad people are at connecting dots.

My husband says the country gets what it deserves, but it depresses me that our children get it too.

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Response to polichick (Reply #9)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:37 PM

12. This is why it is everyone's business how people vote

Because every other person's vote affects me and every other person via who they vote to elect. Idiotic voters hurt other Americans, and now their votes and opinions will lead to the death and suffering of many. One's beliefs and opinions, through voting, affects me and you! Thus, whatever one believes politically is my business and everyone else's. We are all in the same boat and if certain idiots on that boat want the boat to sink, it is my business!

Why should good and smart Americans have to suffer because of the ignorant and idiotic Americans?

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #12)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:46 PM

14. I agree; it is everyone's business - but how do you wake those up who...

...have fallen prey to a calculated and organized four-decades-long effort to manipulate them?

In my opinion, the Dems need a huge, well-funded and professional re-messenging campaign - but I'm not so sure that we really don't have one corporate party with two faces. How else can you explain the lack of smart messenging - surely Dem leaders have heard of the gurus of Madison Avenue?

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:37 PM

11. People are scared and think it will bankrupt them

they are barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck and afraid this will take them under. I think they have had lousy media explaining exactly how much people will have to pay from their gross or net income.

Imagine your gross income is not too bad but your mortgage, property insurance, car insurance, and car payments are high, you were okay but maybe one of the couple lost your job and now you are barely hanging on. Can't sell house or car for amount of loan so what do you do? And then you hear you have to pay for medical, you want it but are afraid. You make pretty good money but not with the payments you took on when you had two incomes.

Stupid example but I am thinking people across america during the good times could have worked up credit card bills, loans, etc and now that wages are frozen or hours cut they are struggling where once was good and this new law terrifies them if it is based on gross income because most people know they made poor judgement calls when times were good…

So Obama's team should have come out years ago when this first happened and explained exactly, not generally but exactly or close to it, how much people would have to pay. When people know they can plan and budget for it, when they don't know, fear comes in big time!

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Response to marlakay (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:41 PM

13. They don't go and research the law because they let Rush Limbaugh inform them about the law

Apparently many Americans don't believe in doing research on their own, even though most Americans have access to the internet.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:52 PM

15. Also, people probably don't know how insurance works

In that in a properly functioning pool, you have the healthy supporting the unhealthy. Everyone has the chance of becoming unhealthy / sick, so noone can really say that they don't need insurance. ACA would have enabled most of at least 20 million young adult uninsured Americans to join health insurance pools, as well as other healthy people, which as well as with other ACA provisions, would have done a lot to lower the cost of health insurance.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:19 PM

20. It's difficult to say exactly how much an individual or family would have to pay.

There are too many variables -- age, income, how many people are in your household, which insurance plan you choose, what insurance plans will be available, etc. I myself have tried to find information such as the cost and the type of coverage that will be available, but to no avail.

Of course, there's the Kaiser Family Foundation health insurance calculator (http://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx ), but that only shows the cost for a single person or a family of 4, neither of which matches my situation. Also, I noticed the unsubsidized cost is much higher than the cost of the high-deductible plans I could buy right now. Does that mean the insurance will offer much better coverage? I have no idea.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #11)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:51 PM

24. I don't think this is a stupid example at all

I think you very precisely described what's happening.

But what happens to the young underemployed with the large student loans? I can't see how many of them can afford to pay their student loans, pay for insurance and do anything else. Older people with generally higher incomes but higher bills and much higher medical costs will be in trouble too.

People are strapped.

And no one can really tell anyone how much they have to pay, because the copays under the law are too damned high. If you actually need medical care, you're in trouble. This is not the reform the average American was looking for:
http://healthreform.kff.org/SubsidyCalculator.aspx

Here's what take-home pay would like for a single person, 23, no dependents, $25,000 annual income:
http://www.calculator.net/take-home-pay-calculator.html?cannualincome=25000&cpayfrequency=Annual&cfilestatus=Single&callowance=1&cdeduction=0&cstatetax=6&ccitytax=0&cadditionat1=no&x=68&y=6

After-tax income something like $19,734. From that, such a person has to pay $1,726 (or thereabouts) in insurance premiums. But the estimated real premium is over 4K a year, and we still don't know when and how this person is going to get the tax credit of $2,342 that's supposed to make up the difference. If it's not credited back in the paycheck (and I have no idea how that would work), then how? Because if the person has to pay upfront and wait a year, that person is in trouble.

But the real joy happens if this person runs up 10K in med bills, which these days can be one ER visit (suppose you fall off your bike and crack your skull). The actuarial payout is on the order of 73%, which means the average cost to the person will be another $2,700.

Is that really affordable? 22% of your income for medical?

And what about people with very fluctuating incomes? No one's explained how that works.

As a plan to really get people medical care, I don't think it works. I think it was a good first step, but what the final bill added up to was a lot of protection for hospitals and insurance companies, and very little protection for the consumer.

Now figure that this person is paying $250 a month on student loans, and after that payment their annual take home pay is 16,734, or $1,394 a month. From that they are supposed to pay car payment, auto insurance, medical bills plus the medical premium.

It gets way worse when you look at older people. Way, way worse. For a 62 year old single, no dependents, with an annual income of $48,000, the insurance premium is supposed to be $12,000 annually. On top of that, the out-of-pocket cost is $6,250. The actuarial payout is 60%, so if they have 10K of medical bills they can expect to pay $4,000 out of pocket. So that's total medical bills of $16,000 annually, and after taxes, tax home pay should be around $36,650. So are they really going to pay over 43% of their income on medical expenses? If the person is self-employed, the extra FICA/SECA tax drops the take home to $33,885, taking medical payments to over 47% of income.

Hell, the average homeowner who has paid off his/her mortgage in some high-tax states (think NJ) pays property taxes in excess of $7,000.

The reality is that many people won't be able to afford both the insurance and medical care. You have so many people working temporary jobs. They don't know from month to month what their income will be. You've got tons more working in retail with highly fluctuating incomes because the hours fluctuate.

I'm sorry, we always said it would be "fixed later", and IMO it's time to begin fixing it. We urgently need reform of the health care system, and the economic realities are still mostly getting worse.

The plan's really good if you are high income, because it guarantees you access to lower cost insurance due to folding in all the young folks. It's really good if you are low income, like making 14K a year, because you get Medicaid (although it's increasingly difficult to actually get medical care on Medicaid). It sucks for the vast majority of the people who will be thrown on the exchanges - those working in lower paid jobs, temporary jobs, self-employed.

That's why CBO keeps changing its estimates to more uninsured people - at last estimate, over 26 million.
http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/03-13-Coverage%20Estimates.pdf
Compared with prior law, the ACA is now estimated by CBO and JCT to reduce the number of nonelderly people without health insurance coverage by 30 million to 33 million in 2016 and subsequent years, leaving 26 million to 27 million nonelderly residents uninsured in those years (see Table 3, at the end of this report). The share of legal nonelderly residents with insurance is projected to rise from 82 percent in 2012 to 93 percent by 2022.


9% - that's how much this act is supposed to reduce the uninsured. In fact, CBO estimates that in 2014, the share of insured US legal residents with rise from 80% in 2013 to 86%. More than 50% of that comes from the additional Medicaid enrollees.

I'm so tired of people pretending that this act does things it doesn't do. The purpose of insurance is so that people can access medical care. If it fails at that purpose, it's a failure.

I guarantee you that a lot more people will be defaulting on loans if this bill goes into effect! The problem is that this bill does not protect sick people.

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Response to AZ Progressive (Reply #8)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 02:06 PM

26. So true and they will shake their little fists while sitting on their Medicare paid for scooter. NT

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Response to demgrrrll (Reply #26)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 03:15 PM

30. I agree with demgrrrll

I am currently on Medicare and I thank my lucky stars everyday for it.

I've lived without insurance and with piss-poor insurance I and think these people against it are out of their minds.

I am scared to death this will get over-ruled because I don't trust out supreme court at all.

We are a joke in the rest of the civilized world.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 11:41 AM

3. Excellent commentary!


One last thought, which is on the sad incompetence of the Democratic Party. They should be screaming "activist judges" from the rooftops. Instead they are meekly mumbling about how it's unclear which way the court is going to go and how we shouldn't pre-judge. I got news for you -- the Republicans have been pre-judging your bill for years now. You should consider fighting back.

But the primary responsibility is the president's. Why did you agree to the Republican idea of mandates in the first place?

Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the original sponsor of the mandate in the Senate back in 1993. The Heritage Foundation championed the idea. Mitt Romney was applauded wildly by conservatives when he passed a mandate in Massachusetts. Did the president think they would like him more if he agreed to their idea? No, they have always opposed you at every turn, and they always will. They turned on their own idea the minute you agreed to it -- and now they're using it to kill your whole bill.

When is the president ever going to learn that agreeing with Republicans never helps him? It never helps the country. All it does is make it easier for them to beat you because you made the fatal mistake of agreeing with them.


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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:25 PM

10. There are three groups of people responsible for this

Republicans, of course, for their evilness
Democrats, for being pathetically timid and afraid to proudly stand up for their beliefs since at least the Clinton years
The low information and/or short attention span / short term memory / easily misled and brainwashable American voter

There are multiple parties responsible thus for this. You can't have evil winning without gullible subjects and the good people not being as vigorous and passionate about their beliefs as the evil people are. Of course, this doesn't take into account that the Democratic party may be timid and not as powerful because many are also in the back pocket of corporations, which goes to show that there also needs to be an invasion of the party itself by good people.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:35 PM

22. I recommend this post, AND the original post.

But there's no little linky thing to do both.


kickin'

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 12:57 PM

17. I'll go out on a limb and say

that I don't think John Roberts wants to go down in history as the Chief Justice whose court struck down the only sweeping healthcare law enacted in several decades. I'm betting he and Kennedy will vote with the 4 liberal justices, making it a 6-3 split in favor of finding the individual mandate constitutional. Of course I could lose that bet,,,,but still think it will be upheld.

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Response to peace frog (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:09 PM

18. Hopefully John Roberts has the foresight to see that....

as healthcare gets worse and worse in this country, that the American people in a large majority would realize just how bad the decision would be to get rid of healthcare reform, and that they will blame the Supreme Court for it. He's going to be there for a long time, so he will eventually get the blame especially since he's the Chief Justice, not to mention the stain of the Supreme Court being fully seen as a political tool.

Then again, I'm not optimistic that Right Wingers will suddenly care about what others think of them and about doing the right thing, I'm not betting on it. I can just be hopeful.

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Response to peace frog (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:15 PM

19. Roberts likes to be on the majority side...

if Kennedy votes to uphold, then so will Roberts, if not, and its 4-4 Roberts will vote to overturn.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:19 PM

21. let's hope this is wrong

Let's hope this is wrong. I take it for granted that it will be decided solely by what is good for "conservatives" and the wealthy (with considerations of truth and legality utterly irrelevant), but a fear of a backlash might restrain their ambitions.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:49 PM

23. The Law is toast.

Lets not be delusional. What we have to do is use its demise to our advantage politically.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Mar 31, 2012, 01:55 PM

25. I almost think the effect would be opposite

Democrats would have a field day blaming Republicans for taking away health care from Americans. It's about who has the better message, and it just seems to me that taking something away from people resonates more than an argument about constitutionality of a mandate. Democrats can be demagogues too.

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