September 3, 1964. LBJ signs the Wilderness Act. He praises Congress:
“If the 88th had not earned already so many honorable titles, such as the education Congress, the health Congress, the full prosperity Congress, it would be remembered as the conservation Congress, because in addition to the measures before me this morning, Congress has wisely this year passed the Ozark Rivers National Riverway bill, which I signed last week; the Fire Island National Seashore bill, which is awaiting action; the Canyonlands National Park legislation, which I expect to sign shortly, creating our first new national park on this continent in 17 years.
“But Congress has done even more. Action has been taken to keep our air pure and our water safe and our food free from pesticides; to protect our wildlife; to conserve our precious water resources. No single Congress in my memory has done so much to keep America as a good and wholesome and beautiful place to live.”
Remember when Congress used to do things for the common good?
They can again. But you have to vote.
If you don’t vote, we get Extremist Republicans.
The court argued — rightly, I feel — that the mandate is constitutional per Congress’ taxing authority. Basically, the individual mandate is a tax break for having health insurance. If you have health insurance, you get the tax break. If you don’t have health insurance, you pay the tax.
It really is that simple.
In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement.
The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax.
The decision came as a sharp rebuff and disappointment to congressional Republicans, many of whom had expected the court to strike down at least some parts of the law.
Take a breath and read this slowly. It helped us.
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
Gearing up for tomorrow’s expected Obamacare decision, here’s a chart showing the rightward drift of the Supreme Court justices over the years.
Rachel Maddow on “Obamacare”
It’s healthcare reform, not ‘obamacare’. It’s been called that so that all of the blame can be placed on him even though many people had a hand in writing and creating the reform. Let’s be real, now.
Medicare reports that 14.3 million seniors in America have already received important preventive benefits under President Obama’s health care law. In the first few months of 2012, seniors were able to take advantage of a number of preventative health services, including an annual checkup, without paying any deductibles or co-pays. “Thanks to the health care law, millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms, and other preventive services for free,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “These preventive services are helping people in Medicare stay healthy and lower their health care costs.”
NEW YORK — Dozens of Roman Catholic dioceses, schools and other institutions sued the Obama administration Monday over a government mandate requiring most employers to provide birth control coverage as part of their employee health plans.
The lawsuits filed in federal courts around the country represent the largest push against the mandate since President Barack Obama announced the policy in January. Among those suing are the University of Notre Dame, the Archdioceses of Washington, New York and Michigan, and the Catholic University of America.
However, faith leaders from across religious traditions protested, saying the mandate violates religious freedom. The original rule includes a religious exemption that allows houses of worship to opt-out of the mandate, but keeps the requirement in place for religiously affiliated charities.
In response to the political furor, Obama offered to soften the rule so that insurers would pay for birth control instead of religious groups. However, the bishops and others have said that the accommodation doesn’t go far enough.
The university, among the best-known Catholic schools in the country, has indicated past willingness to work with President Barack Obama, despite their differences with him on abortion and other issues. Notre Dame came under unprecedented criticism from U.S. bishops and others in 2009 for inviting Obama, who supports abortion rights, as commencement speaker and presenting him with an honorary law degree.
H/T: Huffington Post
Cuz they’ll pay for viagara but not birth control. OK.
A new report by the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint project of Michigan and Northwestern law schools, chronicles over 2000 cases where a person convicted of a crime was later exonerated between 1989 and 2012. More than half of these exonerated persons “were cleared since 1995 in 13 ‘group exonerations,’ that occurred after it was discovered that police officers had deliberately framed dozens or hundreds of innocent defendants, mostly for drug and gun crimes.” Perhaps most distressingly, however, 101 of the exonerated individuals were convicted of murder and sentenced to die — nearly all of whom spent years or even decades behind bars before their criminal conviction was eventually overturned.
If a survivor of domestic violence uses a gun to warn an attacker, not kill him, and that survivor now faces a prison term of twenty years, then what purpose does Stand Your Ground serve?
—Melissa Harris-Perry on the case of Marissa Alexander, a mother of three, who fired a warning shot into her kitchen ceiling trying to keep her abusive husband away. No one was hurt, but she now faces up to twenty years in prison. (via monkeyknifefight)
A white man guns down a black minor for the crime of ‘walking while black’ or something can use the Stand Your Ground Law as defense of killing a kid. A black mother defends herself against repeated abuse without even hurting anyone = 20 years in prison. I see how it is.
Adam Serwer has your afternoon must-read.
Judge Scheindlin has pointed to a sworn affidavit from state senator Eric Adams, formerly an NYPD officer of 22 years, who alleges that Kelly once said stop-and-frisks are intended to serve as a psychological tool applied specifically to black and Latino communities*
Adams told the Guardian that the commissioner made the comment during a 2010 meeting challenging the department’s use of a stop-and-frisk database. According to Adams, Kelly said: “He wanted to instil the fear in black and Hispanic youths that every time they leave their homes they will feel that they could be stopped and searched by the police.”