Monthly Archives: June 2012

Health Care Law Has Already Lost in Court of Public Opinion

via Rasmussen Reports:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A week after President Obama’s health care law was passed, 54% of voters nationwide wanted to see the law repealed.  Now, as the Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling on the law’s constitutionality, the numbers are unchanged: 54% want to see the law repealed.

In polls conducted weekly or biweekly for over two years since the law’s passage in March 2010, the numbers have barely moved. In fact, for more than a year before the law was passed, a similar majority opposed its passage.

The dynamics have remained the same throughout as well. Most Democrats oppose repeal, while most Republicans and unaffiliated voters support it. Older voters, those who use the health care system more than anyone else, favor repeal more than younger voters. The number who Strongly Favor repeal has remained over 40%, while the number Strongly Opposing has remained in the 20-something percent range.

Most voters have consistently expressed the view that the law will hurt the quality of care, drive up costs and increase the federal deficit. They also don’t like the government ordering people to buy health insurance and don’t think the Constitution permits that anyway.

This strong and consistent opposition led Scott Rasmussen to conclude in a recent syndicated newspaper column that the “health care law is doomed regardless of what the court decides.”

Here’s Why Roberts Said The Insurance Mandate Was OK

via Business Insider:

In his landmark majority opinion Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts ruled that U.S. citizens can be forced to pay a tax as a consequence of not buying health insurance.

John Roberts Smile (AP)

The chief justice came to the conclusion that the mandate was constitutional as a tax after finding that it was not, in fact, a legal “command” to buy health insurance.

“Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income,” he wrote.

While the chief justice deemed the mandate constitutional as a tax, he did point out that it would not be constitutional under the commerce clause, which allows the federal government to police interstate commerce.

The Constitution’s commerce clause does not allow the federal government to force people to participate in a particular economic activity, Roberts stated.

“The Commerce Clause is not a general license to regulate an individual from cradle to grave, simply because they will engage in particular transactions,” Roberts wrote. “Any police power to regulate people, as such, as opposed to their activities, remains with the states.”

Watch the video to find out the basics on the decision and what it means politically, going forward.

Rush Limbaugh Completely Melted Down Over The Obamacare Decision

via Business Insider:

Rush Limbaugh, as you might imagine, was not pleased at the Supreme Court’s decision that upheld the Affordable Care Act on Thursday.

He railed against the Supreme Court on his radio show Thursday, blasting John Roberts and saying that America had “been betrayed and deceived by the Supreme Court. He said it was the “largest tax increase in the history of the world.”

“What has been upheld here is fraud, and the Internal Revenue Service has just become Barack Obama’s domestic army,” Limbaugh said. “That is what we face now. We were deceived. Obamacare was a lie. It was a stealth tax on all Americans, and nobody knew it until today. Not officially. Obama told George Stephanopoulos it wasn’t a tax. And Stephanopoulos was trouble-making for trying to suggest otherwise.”

He summed it all up with a shot at the Supreme Court’s week overall, in which the court upheld Obamacare and overturned three key provisions in Arizona’s immigration law.

“Between the Arizona and Obamacare decisions, America is a very different concept than it was just a week ago,” Limbaugh said. “In the United States of America, you either purchase what central authorities tell you to purchase or they will punish you with taxes. In America, states are not allowed to fully protect their citizens from the slow-motion invasion across their borders.”

Listen

CNN’s ‘Humiliating’ Obamacare Screwup Causes Near Mutiny In Newsroom

via Business Insider:

CNN sent everyone into a tizzy when it wrongly reported the Supreme Court struck down Obamacare.

And now the 24-hours news network is is jumping into recovery mode, claiming one of its producers inside the court room “jumped the gun,” when he told a junior reporter the false ruling, BuzzFeed reported.

Not only did reporter Kate Bolduan proclaim the false information on air, citing producer Bill Mears, the network also tweeted it and ran a large banner on its site.

The mistake nearly caused a mutiny inside the organization.

On-air reporters and producers told BuzzFeed the mistake was “fucking humiliating.”

“Maybe this will shake the company into understanding that CNN has not been the ‘most trusted name in news’ for a very long time,” the insider told BuzzFeed.

On-air legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, jumped to the network’s aid, saying the mistake was embarrassing but covering breaking news can get very stressful.

“It looked to all the world like the chief justice was going to strike down the law,” Toobin said.

In a news release from CNN, the network said it accurately reported the fact that Roberts seemed to oppose the mandate but then “wrongly reported that therefore the court struck down the mandate.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/cnns-humiliating-obamacare-screwup-causes-near-mutiny-in-newsroom-2012-6#ixzz1z7j3sJoY

Was The Supreme Court On The Verge Of Killing Obamacare?

via Business Insider:

Brad DeLong, an economics professor at UC Berkeley, noticed a strange pattern in the Affordable Care Act dissent of Justice Antonin Scalia on Thursday. It seems as if Scalia was originally writing the majority opinion of the court.

Antonin Scalia

DeLong points out that Scalia repeatedly refers to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion as a “dissent.” Ginsburg’s opinion differs from the rest of the majority, but she’s still in the majority.

DeLong points out that it also appears that Justice Clarence Thomas forgot to change his original “joint opinion” to a “joint dissent.”

DeLong’s theory is that Scalia actually thought he was writing the majority opinion, and that Chief Justice John Roberts flipped at the last minute:

And [Scalia] did not search-and-replace his text to correct it when Roberts peeled off.

Successfully electing George W. Bush 5-4 was not enough for him. He thought he had repealed the ACA 5-4 as well.

DeLong points out that Scalia uses the word “dissent” to refer to the majority opinion fourteen times in his own dissenting opinion.

Here are the some of the key parts from Scalia’s dissent. When he uses the word “dissent,” he appears to be referring to Ginsberg’s majority opinion.

The dissent claims that we “fai[l] to explain why the individual mandate threatens our constitutional order.” Ante, at 35. But we have done so. It threatens that order because it gives such an expansive meaning to the Com- merce Clause that all private conduct (including failure to act) becomes subject to federal control…

Thus the dissent, on the theories proposed for the validity of the Mandate, would alter the accepted constitutional relation between the individual and the National Government…

The dissent protests that the Necessary and Proper Clause has been held to include “the power to enact crimi- nal laws, . . . the power to imprison, . . . and the power to create a national bank,” ante, at 34–35. Is not the power to compel purchase of health insurance much lesser?…

DeLong writes: “Is this deliberate–that Scalia wants us to know that his opinion was originally written to be the opinion of the Court? Or is this simply sloppy draftsmanship–chronic laziness at revision?”

 

SARAH PALIN: ‘Obama Lies, Freedom Dies’

via Business Insider:

UPDATE (2:00 P.M. ET:( Palin also reacted on her Facebook page, saying “Thank God” for the Supreme Court because it would rally conservatives around the election:

SCOTUS now rules this is a tax? Well, Congress has the ability to create taxes – and also has the ability to rescind them. Upon their return from the July recess, Congress should act immediately to repeal this terrible new tax on the American people, and indeed they must repeal all of Obamacare. This is the most brazen and sweeping new tax and government overreach imposed on us. We the People did not ask for this tax, we do not want this tax, and we can’t afford this tax. This is not an answer to America’s health care challenges.

Sarah Palin just tweeted her reaction to the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling.

Sarah Palin Obamacare

Twitter/@SarahPalinUSA

What she’s referring to: In 2009, Barack Obama said the mandate was “not a tax.” The Supreme Court just upheld the mandate as a tax.

On her Facebook page Monday, Palin wrote a post defending her claim that Obamacare creates a “death panel.”

“If the Supreme Court doesn’t strike down Obamacare entirely, then Congress must act to repeal IPAB and Obamacare before it is indeed ‘too late,'” she wrote. “All of Obamacare must go one way or another.”

RAND PAUL: The Supreme Court Doesn’t Get To Decide What’s Constitutional

via Business Insider:

There has been no shortage of conservative outrage over the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold President Obama’s healthcare reform law today. But few have taken it as far as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a Tea Party darling and presumptive heir to the Ron Paul throne.

Rand Paul

In a statement responding to the court’s ruling, Paul summarily dismissed both the decision and the court itself, and even voiced doubts about whether or not the Supreme Court justices have the authority to rule on the Constitution.

Here’s his statement:

“Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so,” Paul said in the statement. “The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.” 

“Obamacare is wrong for Americans. It will destroy our health care system. This now means we fight every hour, every day until November to elect a new President and a new Senate to repeal Obamacare,” he continued.  

The elder Paul was similarly dissatisfied with the ruling, although he stopped short of questioning the role of the judiciary and the balance of power.

Here’s Congressman Paul’s statement:

“I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised.  The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.    

“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate.’  The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t.  The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse.  The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force.  In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.

 

“Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally.  Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care.  Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens.  Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so.”

 

By the left, quack march! Farmer stops traffic taking his 5,000 ducks for a walk to the local pond

via Daily Mail:

By the left, quack march! Farmer stops traffic taking his 5,000 ducks for a walk to the local pond

 

A Chinese farmer caused chaos on the roads when he ducked out to feed his flock of 5,000.

Hong brought streets in the eastern city of Taizhou to a standstill when, accompanied by a colleague, he took his animals to a pond.

Armed with nothing but a cane, he guided his feathered friends three quarters of a mile as part of an annual tradition in Zhejiang province.

China

Ducking out: A Chinese farmer caused chaos on the roads when he took his flock of 5,000 down the road to be fed

 

 

china
china

Hungry birds: Hong brought streets in the eastern city of Taizhou to a standstill when, accompanied by a colleague, he took his animals to a pond

ChinaOn the move: Armed with nothing but a cane, he guided his feathered friends three quarters of a mile as part of an annual tradition in Zhejiang province

And he claims that not one of the ducks was lost in transition during the tricky duck migration manoeuvre.

Taizhou lies 190 miles south of Shanghai and has a population of almost 6million people.

ChinaClaims: Hong said not one of the ducks was lost in transition during the tricky duck migration

 

 

chinaSpectacle: But motorists didn’t seem too bothered by the disruption, and stopped to stare at the incredible sight

chinaMarching army: Taizhou lies 190 miles south of Shanghai and has a population of almost 6million people

 

Sweden says no to Colbert Twitter takeover

via The Local:

Sweden says no to Colbert Twitter takeover

Stephen Colbert will not be allowed access to Sweden’s Twitter account, officials in charge of @sweden said on Wednesday, effectively rejecting the US comedian’s long-running bid to tweet for Sweden.

“Although we appreciate that having Colbert as a Curator of Sweden would be meaningful in terms of global attention to this initiative, VisitSweden and the Swedish Institute have decided to – after thorough consideration – decline his generous offer,” the agencies said in a statement released to The Local.

“The account is – at the current time – first and foremost a way for us to hand over the voice of Sweden to the Swedes.”

Frida Roberts, Head of the Communications Unit at the Swedish Institute, called Colbert’s proposal “tempting” but argued that the Curators of Sweden initiative, which allows a different Swede control the @sweden Twitter account each week, is primarily for “Swedish citizens”.

”It’s been very exciting to realize that Stephen Colbert has such a strong interest in Sweden and our culture,” said Maria Ziv, Director of Marketing at VisitSweden.

She added that she would be “delighted” to invite Colbert over to Sweden so that he can “experience the openness and diversity of the Swedish society on the spot”.

Johannes Karlsson, the head of PR and Social Media at Visit Sweden, who had been singled out by Colbert as an “obstacle” to the US comedian’s impassioned plea for control of @sweden, echoed Roberts’s sentiments.

“This is an account and an initiative we are very dedicated to, it was made for Swedes and I hope Mr Colbert can appreciate that,” he told The Local.

The news comes after two weeks of to-ing and fro-ing between Colbert and Swedish officials about whether or not he would be allowed to tweet for Sweden.

Former @sweden curator Sonja Abrahamsson put the account on the world stage two weeks ago when she tweeted “whats the fuzz with jews”.

Her question, followed by her musings on the Jewish community, her breasts, and her unusual food descriptions, prompted the US comedian to launch #artificialswedener – a campaign for Colbert to take over the account himself for one week.

While authorities initially laughed off the comedian’s plea, Colbert’s segments continued, prompting Swedish officials to respond that they were “amused” and “in discussions” about the possibility of the takeover – even though the rules stated that a curator must be Swedish to control the account.

Last week, Colbert threatened to “cut off all diplomatic relations with Sweden” if his wish was not granted, before bursting into a version of Abba’s Take a Chance on Me.

Colbert’s joking aside, Karlsson emphasized that he and his colleagues took the request seriously.

“We’ve had real flesh and blood meetings about the whole thing for days now, and even though it’s a no, we hope to maintain good relations with Mr Colbert and his many fans,” he said.

When asked if there was any other celebrity who may have the power to take the @sweden Twitter throne, Karlsson laughed.

“No, we wouldn’t say yes to any of them at this point – unless they were a Swede,” he said.

In the meantime, Karlsson is happy to sit back to see how Colbert reacts to the invite to visit Sweden in person.

“It’s an open invitation, and I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here,” he told The Local.

The Curators of Sweden initiative has been running since December, and won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions International festival of Creativity for the best international viral marketing campaign on Wednesday.