ObamaCare Unconstitutional? That's Crazy Talk!
No One Seriously Thinks ObamaCare Is Unconstitutional
‚ÄúAbout half the public apparently believes that the Affordable Care Act‚Äôs individual mandate is unconstitutional.... I‚Äôm here to tell you: that belief is simply wrong. The constitutional challenge to the law‚Äôs requirement for people to buy health insurance ‚ÄĒ specifically, the argument that the mandate exceeds Congress‚Äôs power under the Commerce Clause ‚ÄĒ is rhetorically powerful but analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection. There‚Äôs just no there there.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Former New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in a March 21 blog posting.
Anchor Soledad O‚ÄôBrien: ‚ÄúSo the bottom line is, is making people buy health insurance a legitimate use of the power of Congress?‚ÄĚ
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: ‚ÄúCorrect, and the challengers in these laws have said, ‚ÄėNo, this is not something Congress can do.‚Äô What I wrote in The New Yorker this week, what I think is that basically that is a really weak argument, in that the United States Congress has been regulating health care for years, has been involved in this market for years, and this is a perfectly ordinary use of Congress‚Äôs power.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ CNN‚Äôs Starting Point, March 19. [Audio/video (0:47): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Blame Bush‚Äôs ‚ÄúVery, Very, Very Conservative‚ÄĚ Justices
Anchor Chuck Todd: ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a lot of panic at the White House, to be frank. They really thought this wasn‚Äôt going to be that hard of a case....Now they‚Äôre biting their fingernails. Should they be biting their fingernails?‚ÄĚ
NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg: ‚ÄúYeah, they should be biting their fingernails....The White House was right not to worry about it way back when. The entire legal community, except for I would say the really hardcore... everybody, including conservatives, thought, ‚ÄėOh, this case is a piece of cake.‚Äô...[But] because of the Bush appointments, which were very, very, very conservative, the Court has become so much more conservative. I would say on economic regulatory matters ‚ÄĒ and you are seeing a hint of this here ‚ÄĒ we haven‚Äôt seen a Court this conservative, perhaps, since the early, mid-1930s, the early New Deal era.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ MSNBC‚Äôs The Daily Rundown, March 30.
‚ÄúThis may as much be a referendum on the Supreme Court and whether or not the Roberts court is so conservatively politicized that it will make a decision to hurt the President, rather than sticking closely to precedent here.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on NBC‚Äôs Today, March 27.
Failure to Uphold ObamaCare = Death Sentence for Toddler
CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen: ‚ÄúThese nine Supreme Court Justices will forever affect the life of 3-year-old Violet McManus. [to Julie Walters, Violet‚Äôs mother] Are you worried about what the Supreme Court might do?‚ÄĚ
Julie Walters: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm really scared. Very scared. Like, ‚ÄėI can‚Äôt sleep‚Äô scared.‚ÄĚ
Cohen: ‚ÄúViolet‚Äôs mother, Julie, knows if the Justices overturn health care reform, Violet will lose her health insurance. [to Walters] Tell me why it‚Äôs scary for you.‚ÄĚ
Walters: ‚ÄúOur daughter could die and there‚Äôs nothing we can do about it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ CNN Newsroom, March 27.
MSNBC‚Äôs Useful Idiot for Castro‚Äôs Propaganda
Anchor Andrea Mitchell, in Havana: ‚ÄúCuba is highly regarded for its health care, and especially one of Fidel Castro‚Äôs signature project, which is training doctors....We went back to the Latin American medical school here to talk to American medical students about what they‚Äôre learning about medicine, about Cuba, and about themselves.‚ÄĚ
Medical student Cynthia Aguilera: ‚ÄúThe idea is that we come from under-represented and under-served communities and that after graduating with no debt, no worries about paying off loans and having to get a high-paying job, we can return to our communities and work in them and try to uplift them the same way that Cuba uplifted us.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ MSNBC‚Äôs Andrea Mitchell Reports, March 27.
Ignorant Republicans Don‚Äôt Appreciate Europe‚Äôs Wonderful Socialism
Correspondent Allen Pizzey: ‚ÄúThe candidates are dealing in caricatures of Europe that are about 90 percent wrong, in the view of American University of Rome Professor James Walston.‚ÄĚ
Professor James Walston: ‚ÄúThey are trying to smear the opponents by using the socialism word, when, what is actually present in Europe is something ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs social democracy, and not even that....‚ÄĚ
Pizzey: ‚ÄúSuch talk certainly resonates with young European voters like Anica Petrovic, but not quite in the way the candidates have in mind.‚ÄĚ
Anica Petrovic: ‚ÄúI just hope that most Americans are just more intelligent than those politicians....‚ÄĚ
Pizzey: ‚ÄúUniversal health care is a concept that Berlin artist Madeleine Krakor says she wouldn‚Äôt want to live without.‚ÄĚ
Madeleine Krakor: ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs a big part of, like, feeling secure, really secure, because you always know, whatever happens, if you don‚Äôt have any money to buy some noodles ‚ÄĒ but you are safe.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ CBS Sunday Morning, March 25. [Audio/video (0:50): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Confusing Slower Growth With an Actual ‚ÄúCut‚ÄĚ
Fill-in host Norah O‚ÄôDonnell: ‚ÄúYou also include changes to Medicare, and cuts in Medicaid, $810 billion in cuts to Medicaid. How can you guarantee people that you‚Äôre not giving tax cuts to the wealthiest and taking away aid to the poor?...But you don‚Äôt deny that you‚Äôre cutting $810 billion from Medicaid?‚ÄĚ
Representative Paul Ryan: ‚ÄúNo, actually, we get $810 billion in savings. But we still grow Medicaid each and every year under our formula.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ CBS‚Äôs Face the Nation, March 25.
Did ‚ÄúEvildoer‚ÄĚ Dick Cheney Get a Heart He Didn‚Äôt Deserve?
‚ÄúDid Dick do a dick thing and leapfrog a bunch of other worthies, people who aren‚Äôt viewed by some as war criminals and evildoers but rather are decent folk decades younger, likelier to contribute to society and to provide a better return on investment for our taxpayer health-care dollars?...Old man Cheney and his million-dollar heart serve to remind us just how ugly health care can be when it is a simple commodity given to someone with friends in high places, even if he (possibly) did get the organ through routine channels. He now and forever is the poster child for why health care must be a right, not the latest luxe trinket for those few who can afford it.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Kent Sepkowitz, a writer and infectious-disease specialist writing at the Newsweek/Daily Beast Web site, March 26.
If ‚ÄúMost Evil‚ÄĚ Cheney Got Her Heart: ‚ÄúI‚Äôd Say, Give It Back‚ÄĚ
Newsweek/Daily Beast assignment editor Allison Yarrow: ‚ÄúCan you imagine being that organ donor? I mean, it‚Äôs such a difficult decision to say ‚ÄėI want to give my body to someone else after I‚Äôm dead.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
Newsweek senior writer Ramin Setoodeh: ‚ÄúTo Dick Cheney? I would never give my heart to Dick Cheney. It would freeze over.‚ÄĚ
Yarrow: ‚ÄúI would never do it. I‚Äôd say ‚Äėgive me my heart back.‚Äô Exactly ...‚ÄĚ
Host/columnist John Avlon: ‚ÄúSeriously, the ill will toward Dick Cheney getting a heart transplant is stunning.‚ÄĚ
Yarrow: ‚ÄúHe may be one of the most evil people in the world.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Exchange on Newsweek/Daily Beast‚Äôs daily ‚ÄúNewsBeast‚ÄĚ Web show, March 26. [Audio/video (1:30): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
MSNBC Blames Rush Limbaugh for Death of Florida Teen
‚ÄúSo, when Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says that, quote, ‚Äėreally poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working...,‚Äô or Rush Limbaugh calls a presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama, a ‚ÄėMagic Negro,‚Äô or Mitt Romney says nothing at all, the effect is dangerous, because they reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with African-Americans and people of color, calling us lazy, undeserving recipients of public assistance. In the case of Trayvon [Martin], those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Fill-in host Karen Finney on MSNBC‚Äôs Martin Bashir, March 22. The phrase ‚ÄúMagic Negro‚ÄĚ to describe Barack Obama originated with an African-American columnist for the Los Angeles Times, not Rush Limbaugh. [Audio/video (1:29): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Dastardly GOP ‚ÄúRobber Barons‚ÄĚ vs. ‚ÄúClear-Eyed‚ÄĚ News Media
‚ÄúThere will be a Republican running against Obama, and Senator McCain said under the Supreme Court decision all of the new 21st century robber barons, let‚Äôs call them what they are, can put tens of millions of dollars into the campaign. It‚Äôs negative, it‚Äôs poison, it‚Äôs venom, and we ‚ÄĒ NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, the people in the media ‚ÄĒ are going to be under ‚ÄĒ I think we‚Äôre going to be tested to say can we present a clear-eyed view of who the candidates are...and not just have this negative atmosphere. I mean that is ‚ÄĒ I‚Äôve never seen anything like it. And during the Nixon era they had a slush fund of $700,000. Now the slush fund is probably going to be $100 million. My God, what they‚Äôre going to do.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Washington Post editor and author Bob Woodward on Meet the Press, March 18.
Those Stupid, Stupid Voters
‚ÄúTo me, some of these poll results, they just seem stupid. So I asked Alex Burns, ‚ÄėWhy don‚Äôt you do a piece that looks at the question of whether voters are stupid and a lot of the things that they say in these polls are just plain stupid?‚Äô Alex warmed to the assignment and he wrote this. He actually found a number of good voices from pollsters who say, ‚ÄėYeah, that‚Äôs the first thing you learn as a pollster, voters are stupid.‚Äô‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Politico editor and former Washington Post correspondent John Harris during Politico Live broadcast of primary voting results, March 13. [Audio/video (1:50): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
Bigots Can‚Äôt Stand Obama Being ‚ÄúBiggest Man in the World‚ÄĚ
Host Piers Morgan: ‚ÄúDid you think America, Mike, has become more or less racist since Barack Obama, an African-American, became President?...That it‚Äôs become worse?‚ÄĚ
Mike Tyson: ‚ÄúA hundred percent, yes. Because that‚Äôs how these groups surface, these red ‚ÄĒ Tea Party and everything. Listen, it‚Äôs new stuff, being a black man, having the image of the strongest man on the planet, the biggest man in the world.... That must be pretty tough to take in when you ‚ÄĒ I don‚Äôt know. It‚Äôs just the way this country is.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Exchange on CNN‚Äôs Piers Morgan Tonight, March 29.
Lucky Republicans Have It So Easy
‚ÄúYou know, I‚Äôm an old Democrat but I grew up around a lot of Republicans and, you know, if I was a Republican, if Obama was a Republican, I would be selling all of the, you know, ‚ÄėYou saved the auto industry,‚Äô and ‚ÄėYou got Osama bin Laden,‚Äô and ‚ÄėYou passed a health care bill that nobody could pass,‚Äô ‚ÄĒ if that was a Republican issue. I would be able to sell his presidency as a very successful one. But Democrats are bad at that. We like to pick each other apart.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĒ Actor George Clooney on Meet the Press, March 18. [Audio/video (1:06): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
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