To be expected, I suppose. Lost the ruling on the ACA and hoping to lash out at the Obama administration anyway, but that whole Fast and Furious thing just makes them look like idiots. And that’s the kindest thing I can say about that. Is this the end of the idiocy? Oh no, it’s just going to get started.
First, for the sensible part:
President Obama Speaks on Health Reform
• Contrast that with the Romneybot 2.0, meeping away on a balcony in Washington, forgetting that the Supreme Court also handed Governor Romney a considerable vindication of the (immensely popular) program he put in place here in Massachusetts – the one in which he called the individual mandate “a personal responsibility issue”
Well, well, well, what have we here? Oh, it’s a video of a 2006 press conference after the passage of Romneycare in which Romney states the mandate in Romneycare — the stepfather of Obamacare — is not a tax, but rather a fee or an assessment on those who are “abusing the free care pool.” [angryblackladychronicles/ABL/28 Jun 2012]
• In a closed door House GOP meeting Thursday, Indiana congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence likened the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to several sources present. He immediately apologized.
- Women will no longer be denied insurance coverage for gender-related reasons.
- Women will no longer be charged more for their insurance coverage just for being women.
- Maternity care will be required in new insurance plans.
- Women will be guaranteed coverage of preventive services with no cost sharing.
- Women will gain better access to affordable health insurance.
[thinkprogress/Jessica Arons/28 Jun 2012]
• Republican Senator Calls For Federal Takeover Of State Health Exchanges By Telling States Not To Set One Up
• “Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional” – Senator Rand Paul blasting the Supreme Court as wrong and unqualified to decide constitutional matters. Paul’s disagreement with the court’s decision would clearly mean that he also does not agree with the United States Constitution, which designates the Court as responsible for ruling on the constitutionality of laws.
• Discussing health care outside the Supreme Court today, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told ThinkProgress that there “shouldn’t” be a law requiring businesses to cover employees who have cancer because that would “create an obligation” for others. “When you create a right for somebody,” Johnson said, “you create an obligation for somebody else, and then you’re taking away that person’s right.”
• Republican strategist Karl Rove appeared devastated on Thursday as he was forced to declare that the Supreme Court had given President Barack Obama a “boost” when they refused to strike down his health care reform law.
• Listen Up! This is Important.: Brothers and Sisters, if we allow the harpies on the rightwing to frame the Affordable Care Act as a “tax,” then shame on us. Shame, shame on us. The Supreme Court most certainly did NOT call it a tax. They called it a penalty, which America is allowed to levy under our taxing authority. They never, even once, called it tax. It is only a tax in the same way that a speeding ticket is a tax. Or a fine for a DUI is a tax. Or restitution to poor widow ladies who you cheat out of their savings is a tax. It is a penalty for not accepting personal responsibility and expecting the rest of us to pay for your health care. It is a penalty for not caring about your fellow Americans who have pre-exisiting conditions. It is a penalty for not acting like the Christian you call yourself. It is a penalty for not giving a hoot when seniors fall into the donut hole and can’t pay for their medicine. It is a penalty for not loving America and Americans. It only affects about 1 – 2% of all Americans. Hell, the ebola virus is more prevalent than that. [juanitajean/28 Jun 2012]
• There have been a lot of truly deranged responses to the Supreme Court decision from the wingnut crowd today, but this has to be in the top three: Former GOP Spokesman: ‘Is Armed Rebellion Now Justified?’
• Outside Of Supreme Court, GOP Front Group Funded With Secret Health Insurance Cash Tries To Hide Affiliation: Earlier this month, health insurance company Aetna accidentally leaked a document that revealed that the company secretly funneled $7.7 million to Republican front groups in 2010. The money was earmarked for the Karl Rove’s American Action Forum ($3.3 million) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($4.4 million), two groups that led the charge in fighting against health reform and running deceptive advertising about supporters of the law. One particularly nasty American Action Network ad said congressmen who voted for the bill were providing viagra for rapists. This morning outside the Supreme Court, as crowds gathered to await the decision, we ran into Doug Holtz-Eakin, the economist who helped launch American Action Network and its sister 501(c)3 group, American Action Forum. He is listed on the American Action Network website as one of their “experts,” and he told FrumForum that he would be working closely with the American Action Network to put “ideas into action.” When the pair of groups launched in 2010, the New York Times reported Holtz-Eakin as “part of American Action Network.” But Holtz-Eakin is apparently nervous about answering questions about the health insurance money that helps fund his network of front groups. [republicreport/Lee Fang/29 Jun 2012]
• Crybaby business owners only have themselves to blame: What comes across loud and clear in this article is that a lot of business owners so miserly and so contemptuous of working class people that they would rather have their businesses fail than offer their workers a a reasonable amount of training, an ability for growth on the job, or the right to only work one job for one salary. It’s not that the American workers aren’t good enough, though it is worth noting that all these people could probably get more of what they wanted if they didn’t keep voting for Republicans who are trying to underfund our public school system. It’s that the owners are so committed to class warfare that they will burn everything to the ground before they bother to give workers a fair shake. [pandagon/Amanda Marcotte/29 Jun 2012]
• Republican Congressman Admits GOP Has ‘No’ Plan To Replace Obamacare: WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than two years after Obamacare passed, a longtime Republican congressman admits that his party has “no” plan to replace it if they succeed in getting rid of the landmark health law. Before the Supreme Court ruling was released yesterday, ThinkProgress spoke with Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) about what Republicans would do to protect the 57 million Americans who have pre-existing conditions. “We’re going to work on that,” Terry promised, offering no specifics beyond “there’s going to be lots of ideas. We just have to accept all of them.” When we pressed him on whether, two years later, Republicans had come up with the “replace” part of “repeal and replace,” Terry was frank: “no.” [Think Progress/Scott Keyes/29 Jun 2012]
• House Majority Leader Eric Cantor appeared on CBS’ This Morning today and said he and his Republican colleagues in the House are planning a vote for early next month
• How the Supreme Court Removed the Republican Party’s Best Obama Hate Disguise: By removing the last legitimate challenge to the healthcare reform law, the Supreme Court effectively removed the shroud that conservatives hid behind to expose what is obvious to any semi-intelligent human being, and it is that their opposition to the healthcare law was not based on political ideology, economic principles, or what is best for the American people, but because it was championed by an African American President. [politicususa/Rmuse/29 Jun 2012]
Fast and Furious:
• Led by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who originally planned a walk-out yesterday, most Democrats exited the chamber instead of voting to hold the Attorney General in contempt.
• Eric Holder Found in Contempt of Congress: The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt for failing to disclose internal Justice Department documents in response to a subpoena. It was the first time in American history that Congress has imposed that sanction on a sitting member of a president’s cabinet. The vote – 255 to 67, with one member voting present – followed an acrimonious and politically charged debate. Many Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest without voting, accusing Republicans of railroading the motion so they could inflict political damage on the Obama administration during an election year … Democrats dismissed the effort as an election-year witch hunt. They said previously disclosed documents and testimony had established that Fast and Furious was the work of Arizona-based law enforcement officials who were frustrated by the difficulty of bringing low-level gun cases, and they contended that Republicans were seeking to embarrass Mr. Holder for political reasons. … In the 2008 case, when the parties’ positions were reversed, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, saying that prosecutors would not convene a grand jury or charge the two officials who were cited, because Mr. Bush had invoked executive privilege over the information Congress had subpoenaed. The Obama Justice Department has been preparing a similarly worded letter to the current House speaker, John A. Boehner, according to officials familiar with the internal discussions. Because the contempt citation was leveled against Mr. Holder, it appeared that the letter would be signed by the deputy attorney general, James Cole, and would be sent either late Thursday or on Friday, the officials said. “What Republicans are doing with this motion today is contemptible,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Even for them, it’s contemptible.” [New York Times/Jonathan Weisman and Charlie Savage/28 June 2012]
• ‘The Fast and Furious program as you know it is a myth’: Cenk digs into Fortune Magazine’s report following a six-month investigation into claims that agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sold guns to straw purchasers for Mexican cartels during Operation Fast and Furious. Attorney General Eric Holder may be held in contempt, but Fortune concludes that ATF agents never purposely sold to cartels. Instead, their efforts to track purchasers were often blocked by weak gun control laws. “You want to know the irony of this? The NRA had those weak laws passed in the first place,” Cenk says. “Do you know that, in Arizona, all you need to do to buy a gun is to be 18 and pass a background check? In fact … you can buy 10 guns — 100 guns, if you want.” [the-young-turks/27 Jun 2012]
• Even John Boehner Recognizes the Sham and Shame of Holding Holder in Contempt: Ultimately, this was a symbolic vote, in the name of mollifying the ideologically extreme Tea Party branch of the Republican Party. It will not be prosecuted since it will be up to the Department of Justice to prosecute this case. The reality is it would be a mockery of justice to prosecute the Attorney General. Even John Boehner knows it, but doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the extremists within his party. That is the only explanation that makes sense when he chose to hold this vote on the same day that the Supreme Court ruled that the AFC is constitutional. He was hoping the media would be so focused on the ruling that they wouldn’t be paying attention to that persecution behind the curtain….The only gun walking operation, ostensibly to take away the second amendment is in Darrell Issa’s head. The ATF never intended for arms to fall in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, as Issa suggests. In fact, they tried to stop it from happening, but prosecutors were unwilling to indict the list of suspects the ATF provided….Let’s not forget, that despite the lack of merit of their complaint, the Attorney General appeared before Issa’s committee several times. The Attorney General disclosed documents that could be released without compromising the law. Let’s not forget that in the name of investigating this figment of Issa’s imagination; he wasn’t interested in hearing from the ATF since doing so would show this contempt charge for the sham that it is. We should also remember that the program to prevent weapons from falling in the hands of Mexican drug cartels was initiated under President Bush and it was a program that Issa supported – when it was under HIS party’s president. This sham of investigation was never about the truth. If it was, Issa’s committee would have sought testimony from Bush’s Attorney-General, Michael Mukasey. [politicususa/Adalia Woodbury/28 Jun 2012]
• What the hell is wrong with these craven so-called Democrats who voted to hold Holder in criminal Contempt of Congress? Let me clue you in, people: the NRA will still campaign against you.
There are other things happening:
• A genetic study of thousands of specimens of sharks and rays has uncovered scores of potential new species and is fuelling biologists’ debates over the organisation of the family tree of these animals. The work also raises the possibility that some species are even more endangered than previously thought.
• As GOP policymakers nationwide embrace voter-suppression tactics, and put new barriers between voters and their democracy, some on the right would have Americans believe that Democrats are trying to rig the electoral game.
• Did Zimmerman Confess When He Said, “I Took my Gun Aimed it at him and Fired?”
• One soldier dead following shooting on Fort Bragg: FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) — One soldier from the 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade was killed and two others were wounded following a shooting incident at Fort Bragg. Officials said it happened around 3:30 p.m. Thursday during a unit safety brief when a soldier shot another member of the unit and then turned the weapon on himself. The shooter was injured and was taken into custody. A third soldier, who was in the area, was also slightly wounded in the shooting. [abclocal/28 Jun 2012]
• Blistering, potentially deadly heat forecast for much of U.S.: Much of the central and eastern United States will bake under intense heat Friday, prompting warnings about air quality and fears about the health of those unable to find refuge in cooler confines. The blistering conditions won’t be fleeting: High temperatures not only are expected to be around or above 100 degrees in locales from Topeka, Kansas, to Washington on Friday, but they’re expected to stay at about that level in many places through next week if not longer. “Heat-related illness such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke are a real threat; dehydration can occur quickly,” noted the National Weather Service’s bureau in Indianapolis, where highs should hit 101 on Friday, while issuing an excessive heat warning. “The extended period of heat also will cause drought conditions to worsen and raise the concern for wildfire development.” [cnn/29 Jun 2012]
• Uzbekistan pulls out of ‘Russia’s NATO: Ex-Soviet Uzbekistan on Thursday pulled out of a Moscow-led regional security alliance after protesting Russian plans to deploy a rapid reaction force for Central Asia near its borders. The decision to leave the Collective Security Treaty Organisation comes as a blow to Russia’s efforts to reassert its authority in the resource-rich region in the face a continued diplomatic and economic push from China. [AFP/28 Jun 2012]
• The United Nations condemned the use of live ammunition on Serbians by Kosovo police at an administrative checkpoint Thursday.