Archive for June 2012
Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprise swing vote to uphold President Obama’s health care law left more than a few conservatives scratching their heads. Some scratched especially hard. Some just let their heads explode. Here are the best right-wing freak outs to Roberts’ decision.
On his radio show Thursday, conservative talk radio firebrand Michael Savage wondered whether Roberts’ epilepsy medication affected the chief justice’s cognition. “I’m going to tell you something that you’re not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to,” Savage said. “It’s well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts’ writings you can see the cognitive dissociation in what he is saying,”
In a closed door meeting with House Republicans, Rep. Mike Pence likened the health care ruling to Sept. 11, Politico reported.
Saying the Supreme Court decision “destroys Bush’s legacy,” dimmed conservative star Glenn Beck put his rhetoric where his online store is. He is selling screen-printed Roberts “coward” t-shirts for $30 a pop.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Salon that Roberts made clear he believes Obama is a liar and he’s sorry the chief justice has become so cynical. “It’s a sad day for America,” he said.
Conservative shock jock Bryan Fischer followed suit: Roberts “is going down in history as the justice that shredded the Constitution and turned it into a worthless piece of parchment,” he told BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray. Roberts acted “more like a demolitions expert” than an “umpire,” he added.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin said he doesn’t think much of the “five lawyers in robes” who ruled for “Obamacare.” The court’s majority held the American people in contempt on Thursday, he said, calling the court’s decision “absolutely lawless.”
“Roberts’ activism is now firmly evident,” he added.
Now, if you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from. Each state will take the lead in designing their own menu of options, and if states can come up with even better ways of covering more people at the same quality and cost, this law allows them to do that, too. And I’ve asked Congress to help speed up that process, and give states this flexibility in year one.
Once states set up these health insurance marketplaces, known as exchanges, insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against any American with a preexisting health condition. They won’t be able to charge you more just because you’re a woman. They won’t be able to bill you into bankruptcy. If you’re sick, you’ll finally have the same chance to get quality, affordable health care as everyone else. And if you can’t afford the premiums, you’ll receive a credit that helps pay for it.
Today, the Supreme Court also upheld the principle that people who can afford health insurance should take the responsibility to buy health insurance. This is important for two reasons.
First, when uninsured people who can afford coverage get sick, and show up at the emergency room for care, the rest of us end up paying for their care in the form of higher premiums.
And second, if you ask insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, but don’t require people who can afford it to buy their own insurance, some folks might wait until they’re sick to buy the care they need — which would also drive up everybody else’s premiums.
That’s why, even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so. In fact, this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for President.
Stewart “Let’s begin tonight with this mornings news out of the Supreme Court, a decision regarding Arizona’s landmark immigration law sb1070. You’ll recall, the law required Arizona police to ask anyone they stop, who they then suspect of being undocumented, for their immigration papers. The caveat being as long as some of the time they pretend they thought the person was an illegal Canadian. The Obama administration challenged the law. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer maintained it was Constitutional. Let’s see who won.”
Fox reporter “It’s a victory for the Obama administration.”
Pete Williams, NBC “I think this is a victory for Arizona.”
Reporter MSNBC “Victory for Jan Brewer”
Stewart “A victory for Obama, Arizona, and Governor Brewer. A win-win-win. Who lost here?”
News show “Defeat for Obama.”
Another news show “This was a huge blow for Arizona.”
Fox reporter “A profound defeat for Governor Brewer.”
Stewart “Are you messing with me? Defeat for the President, Arizona and Governor Brewer. As always news networks, your analysis is spot on dead wrong.”
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Then “The New York Times” columnist Nicholas Kristof just took a rare journey from one side of Iran to the other without government minders to take the pulse of the people. He’s here to tell us what he learned.
ZAKARIA: So what was your dominant impression, given this access? Because you have been to Tehran, but what felt different about being outside Tehran?
KRISTOF: Well, as you know, one of the extraordinary things about Iran is how pro-American everybody seems at the grassroots. You go to Pakistan, you go to Egypt, and we pour billions into these places and everybody seems to hate us.
We go to Iran and everywhere you go, people want to buy you tea or invite you into their homes. It is — I mean, it’s just stunning, the pro-American quality of the country. I think more broadly politically, I was reminded, absolutely, there is still support for the regime, for the government in rural areas, among less educated people, people who don’t have access to satellite television.
But all of the larger social forces seem to me to be working against the government. More educated people, more urbanized people, people who do have international connections just are more and more fed up with the system. They’re upset by the economic downturn and they don’t really blame the West for sanctions. They blame their own government.
ZAKARIA: Did you get a feel for whether or not the religious nature of the regime is being questioned? In other words, they don’t like the government, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want a whole-scale regime change and a revolution.
KRISTOF: I was struck by how often I heard religious people say that their system is not really Islamic and were questioning it on religious grounds.
Many people seem to yearn for something a little more like Turkey, where there’s a strong Islamic component to the society, yet much greater democracy, warmer ties with the West, and none of this isolation that I think really leaves people embarrassed, that here you have a country with a great civilization, an extraordinary history, and whenever you travel outside the country, you’re regarded as a terrorist. I think people are, frankly, kind of fed up with the regime.
(CBS News) ELGIN, Texas – A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas.
Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick, reports CBS Station KEYE.
The cows dropped dead several weeks ago on an 80-acre ranch owned by Jerry Abel in Elgin, just east of Austin.
Abel says he’s been using the fields for cattle grazing and hay for 15 years. “A lot of leaf, it’s good grass, tested high for protein – it should have been perfect,” he told KEYE correspondent Lisa Leigh Kelly.
The grass is a genetically-modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel’s 18 head of Corriente cattle. Corriente are used for team roping because of their small size and horns.
“When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that,” said Abel.
Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.
“When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something,” said Abel. “But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions.”
Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.
“That was very traumatic to see, because there was nothing you could do, obviously, they were dying,” said Abel.
Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.
“Coming off the drought that we had the last two years … we’re concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this,” Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian and cattle specialist who conducted the 15 necropsies, told Kelly.
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST “We’re now in the general election campaign in the United States, the point at which the candidates are meant to pivot from the primary voters to the general election voters, most of who now are registered Independents.
But this isn’t really happening. The Obama campaign started with its attack ads about Bain Capital, which presented a simplistic picture of a complicated reality. Although some private-equity firms have engaged in some bad practices, on the whole the industry has grown so large because it performs a useful function.
Then came Mitt Romney’s first major ad which told us that on his first day in office, he would introduce tax cuts. Now, the one idea that is almost certain not to jump-start this economy is a tax cut. After all, that’s what we’ve been doing for the past three years. For those who think President Obama’s policies have done little to produce growth, keep in mind that the single largest piece of his policies, in dollar terms, has been tax cuts. It actually began before Obama, with the tax cut passed under the George W. Bush administration in response to the financial crisis in 2008.
Then came the stimulus bill, of which tax cuts were the largest chunk by far, one-third of the total. Then, the payroll tax cut, the small business tax cut, the extension of the payroll tax cut, and so on.
The president’s Twitter feed boasted that, “President Obama has signed 21 tax cuts to support middle class families.” And how has that worked out? The “Wall Street Journal” explained this away saying that the problem is all these tax cuts are temporary. If only we had across-the-board cuts in rates, except that these were tried as well.
The 2001 Bush tax cuts were designed precisely along those lines. They were, in dollar terms, the largest tax cuts in U.S. history. And the economy got worse, not better. In fact, the years 2000 to 2007 were the period of weakest job growth in the United States since the Great Depression.
Now, look, tax cuts can stimulate growth, especially when you go from say 70 percent rates to 30 percent rates as Ronald Reagan did, but a cut of a few percent from a reasonably moderate base or a temporary waiver of some small tax provisions, is highly unlikely to unleash lasting growth.”
Bill Maher “Both Romney and Obama were in Ohio giving dueling speeches on the economy. Before Obama’s speech, get this, Romney’s bus starts circling the Obama site, honking their horn from the parking lot. They would have actually stayed and done it longer, but Mitt had to get back to his site, to give his speech about how we need to put the grownups back in charge.”