Thursday, June 28, 2012

Assclowns of the Week Day #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands off My High Pre'mums and Deductible! edition

(If you kind folks could see your way clear to helping out Mrs. JP and me, we'd surely appreciate it. Making the rent and the rest of our bills for August is looking very scary right now.)

Because yours truly seriously doesn't need a week to fill up the top 10 spots.

The Supreme Court, as I'm sure most of us are aware, upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act save for the stick the federal government had held to whip into shape states who would choose to not expand Medicare coverage. The rationale that Chief Justice John Roberts used in his swing vote to legitimize the individual mandate was that it was indeed a tax, therefore Constitutional.

And the mainstream media, true to form, that was almost universally wrong (especially on CNN and Fox "News") about the ACA being struck down in part or even in its entirety, has doubled down on their lunacy by inviting almost exclusively Republican wingnuts for their "thoughts" on the SCOTUS's ruling.

What follows are the ten most hilarious and/or pathetic examples of hind leg-chewing the GOP and its surrogates has to offer today:

10) Sarah Palin

Yes, the Queen of Mean actually said this from her shit-stained perch on Twitter as if she was some deranged swallow that just escaped from a pharmaceutical company's test lab. The Obama administration never said it wasn't a tax and proved it by signing off on the provision set by Congress that noncompliance with the individual mandate would be enforceable by two bylaws of the federal tax code. And how else are you to enforce an individual mandate without involving some monetary penalty? Ergo, the ACA, with its individual mandate without a real public option simply took a cue from RomneyCare (that after the second year takes away your personal exemption of over $900 on your state taxes). Oh, and the individual mandate, with its requisite penalties, was originally a Republican idea that reached far beyond Beacon Hill, as Fox "News", of all places, reminds us.

9) Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann (R-Hale-Bopp), in an eerie reprise of her actually exhorting her followers to slit their wrists if Barack Obama ever got a health care bill ratified, again stood on the steps of the Supreme Court building and dourly preening for CNN by saying, "What they did was not just uphold ObamaCare, this Supreme Court rewrote ObamaCare in line with its own design."

Yes, she actually said that. There was no explanation how the High Court "rewrote ObamaCare" when they let 99% of it stand or what exactly how it was "in line with its own design." Bachmann then chewed her other hind leg off by adding,
This is clearly unconstitutional. There is no basis in the Constitution for the government to have this level of history-making expansion of power. Because what this means, for the first time in the history of the country, Congress can force Americans to purchase any product, any service that Congress wants them to, which determines the price and we are forced to, which is a denial of liberty. We will never be the same.

Well, yeah. That was the whole idea, stupid.

8) Rush Limbaugh

Funny how rich Republicans weren't very averse to an individual mandate sans public option being enforced through the US tax code when it was still their idea. But since the president grabbed that rancid idea and ran with it, it's been in bad odor with those same rich Republicans, including Rush "Donde esta el kiddo brothelo?" Limbaugh, who'd said on his radio show that the IRS "has just become Barack Obama's domestic army".

It's unclear why Limpballs is suddenly so concerned about the IRS knocking on our doors since rich fucks like him won't have to worry about noncompliance under the existing law because those most greatly affected will be poor people who won't be able to pay the rates the HMOs still get to arbitrarily charge. I guess Rush really is a man of the people, huh?

7) Rand Paul

You know what kids 3-12 typically say to their parents or step parents when they don't get their way? "You're not the boss of me!" Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this generation's answer to Dan Quayle: Sen. Rand Paul.

Today, Paul, supposedly a lawmaker in the upper chamber, betrayed how much he knew of Constitutional law and the Supreme Court's function when he said today:
Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. 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.

Mind you, this is also the same guy who once famously said while he was running for the US Senate that it wouldn't be his job to make laws, that "criticizing BP is unAmerican," that parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be repealed, that mine collapses are inevitable and mine companies shouldn't be sued for skirting workplace safety laws ("I mean, sometimes mines just collapse, you know? Nobody's fault. I think it's called 'gravity'.") and that there are no poor people.

6) Mitt Romney

Within minutes of the SCOTUS posting its ruling on the ACA on its website, an empty motorcade (sans Seamus) rolled up somewhere and Mitt Romney got out. He cut a pretty pathetic figure as he frowned and grimaced at the triumph of a health care law that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had said was based on his own health care law. He'd put himself into a lose/lose situation yet felt compelled to say something about it in a desperate effort to look topical and relevant:
“This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear. If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that.”

No word, yet, on what he'd replace ObamaCare with or how he'd get the Congress (you know, the bunch of old men and women who'd ratifed it) to sign off on something else. Hey, how about a health care system with an individual mandate enforcable through the tax code, no public option whatsoever and one that doesn't even attempt to reign in out of control corporate greed by regulating premiums and deductibles! We can call it... Oh, wait...

5) Speaker John Boehner

I was the only Oompa Loompa who couldn't sing or do cartwheels. So I went into politics. May we move on, please?

By now, Weepy John's office must look like the back room of Mr. Rick's place in Casablanca: Filled with smoke, empty, overturned shot glasses and depressed hoodlums. Just a week ago, confident the right wing SCOTUS would see things his and his employers' way, Boner was preemptively telling Republicans to not "spike the football" when, not if, when the ACA was ruled unconstitutional.

Well, minutes after the SCOTUS published its ruling online, Boehner went before the cameras and essentially revealed that the Supreme Court denied the GOP its one and only plank in its 2012 strategy, when he said, "Today’s ruling underscores the urgency of repealing today’s harmful law in its entirety." So, there you have it. They robbed us of our second biggest reason for being (next to eliminating all taxes for the top 2%), which is repealing the black guy's most significant domestic legislation to date.

4) Erick Erickson

Who only knows why CNN chose to hire Red States' Erick Erickson but if you want to give them a reason to reconsider their relationship with him you can send them this:
Third, while Roberts has expanded the taxation power, which I don’t really think is a massive expansion from what it was, Roberts has curtailed the commerce clause as an avenue for Congressional overreach. In so doing, he has affirmed the Democrats are massive taxers. In fact, I would argue that this may prevent future mandates in that no one is going to go around campaigning on new massive tax increases. On the upside, I guess we can tax the hell out of abortion now.

So, the same guy who gave us Obamacare (complete with the co-opted Republican idea of a mandate enforceable through higher taxes) and who'd consistently caved to the GOP in consistently keeping the ruinous Bush tax cuts in place is a "massive taxer." Gotcha, Erick.

3) Rank and Vile Right Wing Tweeps

At the same time this wingnuttery was going on in the halls of power, libertarian and other assorted conservative morons were taking to the twittersphere to say they were moving to Canada.

You know, to get away from the dreadful, socialized health care that we all know Canada would never have. Which is like, I don't know, a chicken jumping from the coop into a Fry-o-lator. Or vice versa. I don't know. All this concentrated, weapons-grade stupidity is making my head hurt.

2) The Four Horsemen of the SCOTUS

And no list like this would be be complete with the particular dissent into madness that usually characterizes Fat Tony Scalia & Co:
The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying nonconsenting States all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative.

You read that right. They all wanted to invalidate the entire law, even the provisions that had already been implemented. Perhaps Roberts sided with the moderates and liberals out of a simple aversion to throwing out the baby with the bath water. They also had this to say about Justice Ginsburg (and I believe I can detect more than a faint whiff of Fat Tony's infamous sarcasm):
The [Ginsburg] dissent’s exposition of the wonderful things the Federal Government has achieved through exercise of its assigned powers, such as “the provision of old-age and survivors’ benefits” in the Social Security Act, ante, at 2, is quite beside the point. The issue here is whether the federal government can impose the Individual Mandate through the Commerce Clause. And the relevant history is not that Congress has achieved wide and wonderful results through the proper exercise of its assigned powers in the past, but that it has never before used the Commerce Clause to compel entry into commerce.

So essentially, anything that's signed into law by the current president can expect to be met with a nasty blog post disguised as a judicial dissent by Fat Tony. Oh no, this isn't politically motivated at all, despite the right wingers on the court being more concerned about executive, judicial and legislative overreach without once considering the humanitarian aspects of upholding or striking down the ACA.

1) Fox "News"

Ever resourceful, Rupert's and Roger's boys and girls are not above exploiting a little partisan frenzy to stir up fear among the masses, especially if they're brown, reliably Democratic-voting people such as Latinos, for instance:
The Supreme Court decision on Thursday upholding President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy health insurance will have a particular impact on the Latino population of the United States.

The matter is immensely important to Latinos, who number some 50 million in the United States and who are twice as likely as the general population to be uninsured.

Nearly a third of Latinos, or slightly more than 15 million of them, are uninsured. They are three times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be uninsured.

The issue especially impacts Latino women.

I can hardly remember any other time when the same Fox "News" that condemned Obama for his amnesty program extended to young Latinos and any humane immigration reform had ever given a stale burrito about the plight of Hispanics. But I guess in an election year in which the GOP's man is about as popular as an outbreak of AIDS on Fire Island, you do what you gotta do to scare brown folks into voting for Romney, who did not inspire ObamaCare one single bit.


At June 28, 2012 at 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but that it has never before used the Commerce Clause to compel entry into commerce."

Oh but Fat Tony, you do forget that it has used the taxation authority to compel participation in a retirement system. Its called Social Security. Only you two Koch twins think that's unconstitutional. Brer Roberts jumped ship at your argument on that point exactly.

At July 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The repubs were not concerned that the ACA would damage America, they were worried that the American people would LOVE IT. They said the same doom and gloom about social security, Medicare/Medicaid. Bill kristol informed the GOP that when Clinton was trying to reform healthcare, that if he succeeded , the repubs would be locked out of elections for decades.

At July 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a tax. If it was, SCOTUS would not be able to hear the case until after someone paid it. BUT, as Roberts explained, the penalty is LIKE a tax in that Congress has the authority to impose it. There's a penalty for not paying your taxes, but that penalty is not a tax. A tax is levied on everyone, but a penalty is only levied on those who are not in compliance.

At July 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM, Blogger E.A. Blair said...

You call them "The Four Horsemen of the SCOTUS"; I call them the SCOTUS RATS. Here's why:


At July 3, 2012 at 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came here from Crooks and Liars/Mike's Blog Round-Up. Another featured blog today was Mugsy's Rap Sheet, in which the author explains how the penalty is definitely a penalty and not a tax.


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