HAPPY 145TH BIRTHDAY, CANADA!
• Canadian ranchers welcome favourable ruling in trade dispute with U.S.: Country-of-origin labelling requirements were put in place by the U.S. government in 2008, bringing with them increased tracking and processing costs for Canadian agricultural products. As a result, many American packing plants decided to avoid the extra hassle by refusing to take Canadian cattle altogether, or only taking them on certain days of the week. According to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, the loss of U.S. imports of Canadian feeder cattle amounted to 480,000 head in the first 80 weeks after the labelling law came into effect. Lower prices and increased shipping costs as a result of the labelling rule have led to a loss of $90 per animal — an annual loss of $400 million for the Canadian cattle industry, estimates from Farm Credit Canada suggest. [Calgary Herald/Amanda Stephenson/30 June 2012]
• “It’s a penalty because you have a choice,” Carney said. “You don’t have a choice to pay your taxes, right? You have a choice to buy — if you can afford health insurance. … So if you don’t buy it, and you can afford it, it is an irresponsible thing to do to ask the rest of America’s taxpayers to pay for your care when you go to the emergency room. So your choice is to purchase healthcare reform or a penalty will be administered.”
• Without much to say now that the law has been ruled constitutional, the GOP has fallen back on its pledge to repeal ObamaCare. However, the new health care law provides 30 million Americans with access to health insurance. So how do Republicans plan to replace this key feature if they repeal?
• ObamaCare Gives $1.1 Billion in Cash Back to the American People: Hidden behind the right’s propaganda about a massive tax hike, President Obama’s healthcare law is forcing health insurance companies to issue a refund worth $1.1 billion dollars to Americans and business starting August 1st, 2012. This “massive tax hike” the the GOP talks about, is actually smaller than Reagan’s tax hike of 1982. But really? Those are facts, so the GOP leaders don’t care about that. The reason for this rebate is because in the Affordable Care Act, it mandates a medical loss ratio of 80%- 20%. [politicususa/Ray Medeiros/30 june 2012]
• It’s day three after That Black Guy Shoved Healthcare Down Your Throat, and wingnuts around the country are still crying about it.
• In separate interviews, the governors of Florida and Louisiana said they would defy this week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.
• Supreme Court Leaves Romney in the Cold: Mitt Romney is an idiot or, even worse, is pretending to be one. His tantrum of a response on Thursday to the Supreme Court’s health care decision was pure playground: As president I will own the ball, and the game will be played by rules that leave me a winner. That game has already been called in a decision written by the top-ranking conservative jurist, and shorn of the constitutional objection; Barack Obama’s health care plan now will be judged by its practical outcomes. Romney’s promise that “I will act to repeal Obamacare” from “my first day as president of the United States” is a prescription of destructive gridlock for a program already well under way. By immediately committing to reverse a health care reform based on the very program he implemented as governor of Massachusetts, Romney has gone to war with himself. Obviously, neither he nor his advisers has yet grasped that the decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts has changed the terms of the debate….Why did Massachusetts under Romneycare have a right to tax to pay for mandated health care but the federal government would have no such right? All the Obama campaign needs to do is play that video clip from April 12, 2006, when Romney signed into law a Massachusetts mandate, justifying his tax penalty on those who failed to comply by saying it would help “hundreds of thousands of people … have healthier and happier lives.” President Obama could claim correctly that he added 30 million Americans, not blessed to be living in Massachusetts, to the healthy and happy category. [truthdig/Robert Scheer/28 june 2012]
Bitter, Angry and Stupid: Republican edition
• Pathetic Sarah Palin is Reduced to Tossing Playground Insults at Nancy Pelosi: Can’t you just feel the joy it must give Ms Palin to reach into the bag where she keeps all of the bitter hurts she’s been nursing for years and pulls one out, willy nilly, to attach to the nearest Democrat? After Sarah Palin called Nancy Pelosi a “dingbat” on Fox last night, the Internets were ablaze with indignation and gloating — her fans love it when she crazily swings her bitter axe. But what most missed is that Sarah Palin’s biggest weakness isn’t her lack of mental acuity; it’s the Nixonian way she nurses a grudge until it’s a big old festering wound of resentment that causes her to say something completely silly like… calling Pelosi a dingbat. [politicususa/Sarah Jones/30 june 2012]
• Allen West’s fundraising letter paints Bill Maher as the devil incarnate. The letter accuses Maher of being responsible for every bad thing outside of the Holocaust and the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. Maher didn’t mention Allen West because he is black. He wrote about him because he is crazy.
• The ankle-nippers at Big Dead Andy’s Big Mausoleum of Otherwise Unemployables have claimed another head to be mounted on their wall of Black People We Don’t Like Because They Are Black People. In this case, Joe Williams from the Beltway Daily Racing Form known as Politico
• Texas Republicans express regret for officially opposing critical thinking skills: Texas Republicans are saying that their 2012 platform’s opposition to “critical thinking skills” was a mistake—but that mistake is now the formal policy of the Republican Party of Texas until 2014. The stated reasoning behind opposition to critical thinking skills was that such education programs “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”…Even if we take them at their word that this was in fact a mistake rather than just being something you regret when you get caught, and aside from the fact that this regretted mistake remains official party policy, it’s pretty damn clear that the party’s Education Subcommittee seriously discussed its opposition to critical thinking skills and included said opposition in some advanced drafts of its part of the platform. I think we can safely say Texas Republicans don’t support critical thinking skills, anyway. [Daily Kos/Laura Clawson/30 june 2012]
• Mainstream Media Keep Interviewing the Same “Small Business Owner”: Mainstream Media Keep Interviewing the Same “Small Business Owner” — Who’s Being Put on the News by ALEC-Linked Group Go to many of these links and you find out something about Joe Olivo that NPR and NBC didn’t tell you: he’s a member of the National Federation of Independent Business. NFIB’s site and YouTube page promote many of Olivo’s public appearances. He was the subject of an NFIB “My Voice in Washington” online video in 2011. NFIB, you will not be surprised to learn, is linked to the ALEC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, and to the usual rogues’ gallery of right-wing zillionaires. So Joe Olivo isn’t just some random business owner — he’s dispatched by NFIB whenever there’s a need for someone to play a random small business owner on TV. [No More Mister Nice Blog/Steve M./30 June 2012]