The Court this week has delivered a series of devastating blows to America’s conservative movement with their second decision affirming the constitutionality of Obamacare, today’s decision on same sex marriage along with another decision on discrimination in housing.
It’s been kind of funny watching the Fox crew attempting to recover from the multiple blows sustained by conservatives this week. Conservatives have been looking with regard to upending Obamacare to additional cases wending their way through the lower courts and hoping that these cases will somehow undo what’s already been settled. Political commentator Amy Walter, appearing on Fox News last night, pointed out that many of those cases have already been dismissed and that now with a second affirmative decision on Obamacare, most of the rest will probably be dismissed too or the Court will agree not to hear them.
And conservatives shouldn’t take to much solace in the idea that Obamacare will be undone on Capitol Hill either. Let’s be honest about one reality. Conservatives on Capitol Hill have voted some 50 times to repeal the A.C.A to no avail. Their last presidential effort was based in part in undoing the A.C.A and that failed too. To date the G.O.P. has failed to come up with an comprehensive alternative to the A.C.A. Thus what will change now? Not much likely with regard to Obamacare.
Barb Sutter lit in HD 49B
HD49B GOP candidate Barb Sutter says at the top of her campaign lit “Barb Sutter is an independent voice for our community” (click the image to enlarge). I suppose “independent” sounds good in a swing district, if appealing to voters inclined to split tickets. It sounds like someone who isn’t beholden to a party or any big donors or special interests. Yep, sounds good. And sounds funny, given that before becoming the candidate, Sutter was, no kidding, the SD49 GOP chair. Independent enough to make up a new definition of independent I guess.
She mentioned being the chair before becoming the candidate in an interview a few months ago on Republican Roundtable, a local public access program. This wasn’t the only instance where she’d showed interesting understandings of things. In that same interview, she agreed that schools increase the number of students labeled “special needs” just to get more money. The interviewer was the one who said it, and she replied, “There’s truth to that”. Embedding is disabled on this video, so you’ll have to follow the link. Scroll ahead in the video to 14:30.
“There’s truth to that”. So you know this, do you? It’s fraud, so you’ve reported the schools doing this, right? No? Are you countenancing fraud, or just making up what you’re saying? Basically, the whole interview is some variation of:
INTERVIEWER: Government sucks and everyone is dishonest.
They didn’t ask just in Iowa. I’m referring to a survey answer given by this election’s answer to Todd Akin or Sharon Angle, State Senator Joni Ernst, running for US Senate in Iowa. Asked “Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?”, she said yes. “Yes” to arresting federal officials implementing Obamacare, really. The survey was run by a group of crazy people called “Campaign for Liberty” who asked the question of all the 2012 state legislative candidates in Iowa…
And in Minnesota.
But hey, at least there are a lot fewer candidates wanting to arrest anyone implementing Obamacare in Minnesota than in Iowa. Hurrah for us!
Besides asking responding candidates if they would arrest federal officials implementing Obamacare, they also asked about eliminating the need for a permit to carry a concealed gun, and if TSA employees who pat down travelers should be arrested for sexual assault.
Most candidates chose not to respond to the survey. I don’t know if they missed it, feared it would provide material to some blogger doing, um, exactly what I’m doing, or didn’t see why this gaggle of nutballs was worth their time. I hope the latter. Some, however, did answer, mostly giving the desired answers or even agreeing to sponsor bills. Some of those who answered are running again in 2014. Surprise, the latter group are all Republicans aside from one minor party candidate, namely:
– First of all, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) has about as anti-woman a congressional record as one could have.
So, who can Republicans count on to “preach the Gospel of Bachmann” … of course, John Kline. Just look at the bills that he has sponsored :
H.R.7 : No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act
H.R. 23 Sanctity of Human Life Act
H.R.61 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.217 : Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act
H.R.346 : Stop Abortion Funding in Multi-state Exchange Plans (SAFE Act)
H.R.447 : Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2013
H.R.732 : Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act
H.R.940 : Health Care Conscience Rights Act
H.R.1091 : Life at Conception Act
H.R.1797 : Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
(MN Political Roundtable)
(That’s just regarding reproductive choice; there are many, many more War on Women efforts, with Kline’s name on them, in other areas.)
– And there’s this:
But the Supreme Court isn’t the only government body limiting insurance coverage to women. A new White House report released Wednesday argues that the 24 state governments that have failed to expand their Medicaid programs to individuals and families earning 138 percent above the federal poverty line could also be undermining women’s health.
That’s because women make up nearly 70 percent of adults on Medicaid and the report finds that limiting their access to coverage significantly restricts their access to health care. Relying on past health research, the analysis concludes that “having health insurance increases the probability that individuals report receiving ‘all needed care’ over the prior year.” “If the 24 States that have not yet expanded Medicaid did so, an additional 651,000 people would receive ‘all needed care’ over a given year once expanded coverage was fully in effect,” it says.
– “A Comprehensive Guide To Right-Wing Media’s Mockery, Victim-Blaming, And Denial Of Sexual Assault.” What a bunch of sorry, craven, whimpering, worthless losers the right-wing punditry are. I don’t know how to successfully hold them accountable, though.
Don’t be linguistically hoist by your own petard.
No, that title doesn’t mean Democrats need to stop swearing. Ever been to a DFL meeting? You could broadcast those without a seven second delay; not with much audience except the five Republicans hoping something stupid will be said, but certainly without fear of FCC fines. I’m referring to our actual verbiage. The way we communicate.
Yes, I know, you’ve heard about messaging and framing, and semantics, and your head just swims as the concepts fade from your brain. You don’t need any theoretical understanding as long as you get it empirically; say X and not Y. So my intention here is to look at specific word choices. I’ve been delaying posting as I give time for examples to accumulate, not that I’m not bound to miss a bunch. Feel free to disagree of course, but also feel free to add. You might well have better ones than I came up with.
Let’s just dive in. In order basically as they occurred to me, not alphabetical or topical or ranked by importance:
“Photo ID”, not “Voter ID”: They’re not the same. We’re playing into the hands of the voter suppressors every time we say “voter ID”. The problem isn’t getting an ID; the problem is getting an ID with a photo on it. We already have voter ID for registering, when you need something with your address on it; bank statements, rental agreements, or utility bills. If a voter could vote with a utility bill, showing ID to vote would still be a pointless step given the scarcity of impersonation, but at least the requirement wouldn’t be disenfranchising. Getting the photo ID is the hard part for many people, especially when what people have is disallowed, like states that sent confirmation cards to registered voters stopped accepting those cards at the polls because they don’t have photos. Saying “voter ID” grossly understates the difficulty many voters have in getting acceptable ID, and the voter fraud invention industry depends on the majority for whom photo ID is no big deal giving it no thought. At least “photo ID” gets us part way to making the point that people do have ID, but new laws won’t accept it. As we learned in Minnesota when we beat back the photo ID constitutional amendment, public support is broad but shallow, and quite amenable to factual arguments (how rarely that happens unfortunately).
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on Fox News yesterday. She’s joined up with several other Republicans to push a bill that would prevent taxpayer funded bailouts of health insurance companies.
Why would they be going under? Let’s let her explain:
Congress should pass the anti-bailout bills currently in Congress to prevent health insurance companies from profiting at the expense of taxpayers, says U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Appearing on Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on Wednesday, Bachmann, R-Minn., said Americans don’t want to see “bailout fever” in Washington.
Bills by Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., call for the government not to aid the insurance industry in the event that its profits fall below projections because too few young, healthy people sign up for heath coverage.
Just to bring a little reality to the situation. The health insurance industry wants Obamacare. The health insurance industry is going to make vast profits from Obamacare.
Young people currently make up 25% of enrollees. The industry would like to see 40%. Sane people anticipate that the percentage will rise.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) is one of those far right wing politicians who swept into office in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Moderation, cooperation and bipartisanship are anathema to Tea Party Republicans like Daudt. So it’s no surprise he would repeal Obamacare.
Not that he can do much in the State Legislature controlled by the DFL, but, you know, a right wing lunatic can dream, can’t he?
But the MNGOP has done what it can in Minnesota to make sure that our implementation, http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2013/12/gop-leaders-dayton-representative-spar-over-mnsure-performance-criticisms, wouldn’t go well. Mainly through neglect. They did nothing when they ran the legislature.
When reporters pushed the Republicans on their role in the exchange’s missteps, they demurred. The GOP blocked or ignored exchange legislation during their time in the majority, when Dayton pushed ahead on his own.
“Would I love to repeal this? In a heartbeat,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said, noting that the federal regulatory atmosphere made such a move unlikely.
Dayton called the exchange’s performance “unacceptable” last week. On Monday, his administration was critical of the new GOP attacks.
“No one has ever gotten health care via press conference, so it is unsurprising that today’s round of GOP rhetoric was so unproductive,” Dayton administration Spokesman Matt Swenson said in a press release.
So remember this during the 2014 legislative session when Daudt complains that the DFL majority won’t work with him. Work with him on what exactly? Repealing Obamacare? Preventing the DFL majorities from doing anything? That’s the only compromise he’s interested in.