Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tea Party Tiime

In today's Spokesman Review we have a letter to the editor that's much different from any other that has been critical of Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has begun her fundraising campaign for re-election. Looking at her record, I am deeply troubled by her response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on what is now termed Obamacare. In her response to the court’s decision, she says, “I respect it and encourage others to do the same.”  

The court unconstitutionally redefined the law so as to justify its decision in declaring the law constitutional. When the government unconstitutionally manipulates the law in order to impose the government’s will against the will of the citizens, this is tyranny. The congresswoman willingly accepted this act of tyranny and, worse, wants her constituents to do the same.  

Now that it’s re-election time, one way the congresswoman attempts to connect with her constituents is to boast of her distinction as the first member of Congress to give birth to three children while in office. “While I extol the blessings of having children, I don’t accept the premise that having children while in office makes one worthy of re-election.”  

I am but one vote. Yet I will not support anyone who so easily surrenders their freedoms and liberties and who encourages their constituents to do the same.

Doug Belcher


Treasure Trap said...

At heart, Robert's argument was de minimus--that the cost of the mandate penalty was small enough to avoid constitutional scrutiny, so just call it a tax, wtf. Whether you support or oppose ACA, it's possible to see the class bias in this approach. Otoh, the reasoning also gives the courts a tool to limit the penalty should this or future administrations rachet it up to where even rich justices can appreciate the violation of rights of association and takings.

Here, progressives and tea party rank and file can find common ground. The Roberts decision was horribly reasoned and legally unstable. Where we we differ may be on Medicare expansion, which is constitutional and advisable.

An alliance makes sense for political reasons as well. Obama's lie to individual policy holders (more of a tea party issue) got lots of press. His lies to progressives about the public option and the mandate and secret negotiations with Pharma barely got covered. Obviously, the tea party is doing something right.

Whether the Robert's court is even legitimate is an appropriate question, given Robert's personal fiefdom of secret, anti-democracy intelligence "courts," and the real possibility that Roberts has illegal access to intelligence information on US citizens. The question of SCOTUS legitimacy is much broader than the decision on the mandate alone. While the Roberts court can be compared to Taney's post Dredd Scott, the legitimacy question here is Robert's structural overreach in violation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The American people need not obey an illegal court, and may have a duty not to. However, civil disobedience would better focus on Robert's illegal activities with the NSA, and the goal should be to shift the locus to impeachment proceedings in Congress.

Anonymous said...

Now that the filibuster for nominations is history, why hasn't Obama fired Clapper and Alexander? He can't claim that he won't be able to name replacements.

For that matter, why hasn't Obama fired Holder for not pressing criminal charges against these men?

Also, why has Obama nominated the creepy Jeh Johnson to head Homeland Security, when he could get a pro-democracy candidate approved?

The Democrats want us to believe that Obama didn't know about the military's violations of our constitutional rights. Secretary Kerry has particularly pushed this whopper while abroad.

So, why isn't the President doing anything now that he does know to rein in the lawless Junta that is controlling US politics? He can no longer claim he lacks the power to wrest power from and punish Clapper or Alexander, or that he must appoint fascists like drone-happy Johnson.

Judge Taint said...

Roberts should be recusing himself from every case involving the Bill of Rights, including ACA. You can be a spymaster violating rights, or you can be Chief Justice sworn to protect the Constitution, but you can't be both.

That said, a Congress that votes for the Patriot Act and confirms the war criminal Jeh Johnson is not about to impeach Roberts or Obama.

Roberts effectively moved the "locus" for Obamacare to rural red state regions. Elite Democrats are preaching personal responsibility and cracking a vindictive mandate whip. Elite Republicans have taken away Medicaid expansion. Caught in between are nonelite rural people (of all colors) who are facing an expensive, dysfunctional, noncompetitive exchange.

ACA is headed for balkanization and Progressives have ample recruiting grounds where Democrats fear to tread.

Johnson Wax said...

My favorite Jeh Johnson story is when he claimed Martin Luther King would have supported the Iraq War.

If he was just a buffoon, no biggie. But this is the guy who largely provided the "legal" rationale for the illegal drones strikes, including on civilians. Even as he struck moralistic poses on the issue, signature strikes expanded.

This profoundly evil Pentagon syncophant brings his moralistic charade to US soil, and this is a man not afraid to murder Americans with drones. With the fillibuster gone, and a big green light from both elite parties for his policies, he gets to appoint 40% of DHS brass.

The militarization of the Unites States continues.

Anonymous said...

I support Jeh Johnson for DHS.

Given that DHS is a clusterfuck affront to the very idea of democracy, who better than Johnson to inadvertantly sabotage it?

Unless, of course, Toronto Mayor Ford is available...

Anonymous said...

Just as the budget showdown masked the debacle of the federal ACA rollout, aren't the problems with the rollout masking a deeper problem of affordability? Affordability in the federal states will be the issue if/when the website starts working.

With neither an employer mandate or Medicaid expansion, and with relatively few private provider choices in some area exchanges, how can ACA continue in all states?

Paul Krugman is asking us to consider the success of California's state exchange, but that just begs the question of how the individual mandate can politically survive in the very not-California south, Texas, and interior West. How can ACA succeed in Mississippi?

Democrats keep looking at this question from a top-down, coastal, partisan manner, shame on Republican governors, etc. Their only stab at a citizen-level pov is to blame red state voters.

But between the Democrats and Republicans, a large percentage of the population is being given options of bankruptcy, sickness, or both. They are practically powerless to affect change in the time frame afforded by the ACA, or within the existing two-party political framework.

ACA seems to be firm in many states, including Cali and Washington. But, it's hard to understand how practically that success translates nationwide. Democrats seem to be still arguing like it was 2008, and not accounting for the SCOTUS decision. What's the fallback?

Why not expand Medicare or federalize the Medicaid expansion? Single payer increasingly looks like the only way past red state intransigence, but that means confronting elite Democratic intransigence as well.

Krockman said...

Did you notice the chilling sentence from Krugman?

" And one shouldn’t forget that the insurance industry has a big financial stake in the success of Obamacare, and will soon be pitching in with big efforts to sign people up."

During the ACA debate Krugman argued singlepayer and ACA had the same end result, but repeatedly refused to include health insurance profit in his calculation. Now he's hypocritically including the profit cost as a positive incentive.

But, Krugman's argument only holds true to the extent insurers must compete for insurees, and only then if they can steer customers toward their own products. Many areas have little or no competition, and , in any case, the purpose of the exchange was to enforce common standards and neutrality.

Krugman's argument doesn't really make sense. He has other strawmen, like exchange size, that no one is really arguing. Democrats do not seem to be facing reality as Nov 30 approaches.

Red State Babies said...

Krugman's schadenfreude toward red state nonelites unable to afford coverage strikes me as both bigoted and counter productive.

Although I agree with our consensus that the future will find states with coverage and states without, let's look at the alternative scenarios.

Krugman's pixie dust vision of corporate advertising and profits saving red state ACA can be easily dismissed. Advertising will add not a dollar in household expendable income and health insurers preferred the preACA market anyway. Why add marketing costs when the IRS is mandating your profits during ACA and you'll return to an even more profitable environment if ACA fails?

But, a balkanized model does not necessarily mean the same mix of federal, state, and individual funding in the future. Yes, a relatively highly capitalized state like Washington might keep a competitive exchange going with heavier state taxes providing subsidies. Our wealthiest have even asked to be taxed more, Eyman notwithstanding. A state like Vermont could do away with Krugman's beloved corporate profits and provide economical care via single payer. And so on.

But many states, including perhaps California, will need federal subsidies, particularly Medicaid reimbursement at 90%. For them to get it, a simple majority of the senate, and a future president, will have to consider ACA a success. Look at the map, Mr Krugman. If Democrats want to save ACA for you elites on the coasts, better think of ways to make it work where your cold blueblooded asses ain't.

Two Mississippi said...

"...Mississippi remains one of the 26 states that chose to refuse the federal offer to raise the ceiling of income eligibility to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level for its Medicaid population. An estimated 300,000 Mississippians could likely have received insurance through Medicaid, according to Rigsby, had the state embraced that opportunity from 2014 through 2016 to have 100 percent of the costs borne by the federal government; no less than 90 percent in years moving forward.

“These are hardworking Mississippians, store clerks, cashiers, and construction workers,” she explained, using those occupations where a coverage gap exists for workers who often have salaries “where they make too much to qualify for the current Medicaid program and not enough for them to purchase insurance on the exchange.”
Washington Informer.

And, who often get no employer coverage.

Mississippi's Governor refused the Medicaid, but this is one of the few articles to portray the affected sympathetically. Btw, about half are white and half black. We are still looking for mainstream media, and Democrats, to interview these people, rather than portray them as deserving victims of their state politics or irresponsible. That's the real response to Republicans fishing for fail stories.

To be fair, some liberal Democratic senators (eg Franken) are now threating a delay to the mandate if the website isn't working by Sunday. But that doesn't offer a solution to the underfunded who can't participate even if the website works. Also, lacking subsidies increases the chances of the death spiral if the sickest join.

Obama is in the Rose Garden, Franken is on NPR, Krugman is in his corporate pajamas posting to the Times, and none of them is talking realistic, nationalized, singlepayer solutions to the problem of the undersubsidized, even as a contingency. 50 votes plus Biden plus the President. That's all it would take to completely nuke the filibuster and expand Medicare on a means-tested basis in the federal exchange states that refused Medicaid.

Stop talking the talk, Democrats, until you walk the walk.

16 Mississippi said...

I agree with what you are saying and not saying, Two. Progressives could tip the House for Democrats if Democrats embraced a practical, Medicare-based response to the Medicaid denials. Democrats would just need to hold a majority in the Senate.

But, the President would still need to make a credible promise against the use of state violence against Progressives. No Progressive wants to relive the Occupy shutdown.

Obama is going completely the opposite direction, handing out military assault vehicles to police departments, appointing Johnson to DHS, retaining Clapper and Clapper clones, expanding NSA surveillance in the domestic sphere, Holder, giving intel on private citizens to Wall Street, etc etc.

Obama would need to credibly embrace democracy and he's headed the other way. He's not credible.

I'm not suggesting that Progressives eschew electoral politics forever, but 2016 looks better than 2014, especially if Hillary runs as the perfect foil.

Until then, hiding behind airgaps and fronts makes the most sense. Eventually we will run against Democrats and Republicans. Democrats don't want activists or a realistic platform? We need to stop saving them from themselves.

Mississippi Hurling said...

More good news, SCOTUS is taking another whack at ACA in a case that will definitely be a kick below the Bible Belt. Hello contraception and abortion!

Another vote for 2016, unless the stock pimple pops sooner rather than later. It would be nice to get the PAFTA thingy on the table too.

Not because of Obama's violence though. Then they get angry and then you win, etc. I got that from Mahatma Jeh.

Bono Beau said...

My activist days are over. No doubt the NSA knows of my fetish for hot online monkey sex with insufferable geriatric rock stars.

For goodness sakes, they even spied on Bill Clinton:

Charges exorbitant speaking fees. Attracted to fame.

Odd, I always assumed Bubba was a Shia.

Happy Hookah said...

I wonder what Clinton's Islamic porn fantasies look like.

I'm imagining Dolly Parton in a burka showing a bit of ankle.

Bowed Britches said...

A thong burkini!

Anonymous said...

Hey, is this one possibly not even Muslim?

Well-known media celebrity [who claims] US perpertrated 9/11 attacks. Glamarous lifestyle. Misinterprets Quaran. Possibly misdirects donations.

Thats like half of Fox News, heck,half of Congress! None of this stuff seems very substantive reason to watch porn over their shoulders though. Audit their taxes instead maybe?

General Alexander is one creepy little pervert.

Moollah said...

I like that the lavishly paid and perked NSA is jealous of clergy payscale.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the NSA works hard correctly interpreting the Koran for Muslims.

When was the last time the Taliban or the Pakistani secret service offered to help American Christians correctly interpret the Bible?

Selfish bastards.