Conservative Elites Will Go to Amazing Lengths to Deny People Basic Healthcare
(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian.)
Federal Judge Reed O'Connor was nominated by President George W. Bush and his nomination was confirmed on a voice vote to a seat on the Federal District Court for the northern district of Texas. Since then, he has become the hacko di tutti hacki of federal judges. He's gone out of his way to declare Title IX protections for transgender children, and the Indian Child Welfare Act, unconstitutional.
On Friday, however, O'Connor shot the moon and guaranteed his invitation to the annual Federalist Society cannibal feast for the rest of his life. From The New York Times:
In his ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth said that the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance “can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s tax power.” Accordingly, Judge O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, said that “the individual mandate is unconstitutional” and the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act are invalid.
No injunction was granted, so the ACA remains in effect at least through the inevitable appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is no bargain its own self. The most likely outcome is that the appeals court tells O'Connor to pound sand and overturns his decision and everyone goes home, for the moment, anyway.
However, it remains possible that the issue will be dumped once again into the laps of the Nine Wise Souls in D.C.-and if anything will keep Ruth Bader Ginsburg hitting the weights, it would be that possibility. After all, this is a radically different Supreme Court than the one that upheld the ACA by a whisker back in 2012. Nobody's really sure where Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh would come down on this issue, and the case directly attacks the basis for Chief Justice John Roberts's rationale for upholding the law.
Future scholars, assuming they don't all die young from pre-existing conditions, are going to be amazed at the lengths that the conservative elite of our time will go to deny people basic healthcare. An example: this lawsuit is the one joined by 20 Republican state attorneys general. One of those was Wisconsin's Brad Schimel, who got flushed along with Governor Scott Walker last month. As we have discussed here in the shebeen, these inconvenient election results moved the Republican majorities in the state legislature to make sure that the new AG, Josh Kaul, and the new governor, Tony Evers, couldn't have the full powers of their respective jobs because, well, they're Democratic politicians and black people in the cities voted for them. I am barely exaggerating here.
One of those bills was aimed at preventing Kaul from pulling Wisconsin out of this lawsuit. Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage this particular midwest subsidiary, signed all four of those bills on Friday to the surprise pf approximately nobody. So, barring a successful suit brought by Kaul against the lame-duck restrictions, Wisconsin will stay aboard this plague ship of a lawsuit which already has gotten further than anyone thought it would.
Some wildly optimistic liberals are crowing that this decision, whether it is overturned or not, will provide more momentum for their side in the fight for Medicare For All. Good luck with that, y'all.
This week was the 100th anniversary of the 1918 British parliamentary elections, which were a turning point in the struggle for Irish independence. The old Irish Revolutionary Party was overtaken by events, especially by the Easter Rising in 1916 and the drumhead executions that followed. A lot of the other fighters were being held in British prisons. Some of them ran anyway-"Put Him In To Get Him Out" was the slogan-under the banner of Sinn Fein, the party of the Rising. Sinn Fein won 73 of the 105 seats contested in Ireland.
But it was what came later that spun the wheel of fortune. A substantial number of the successful Sinn Fein candidates refused their seats in Westminster and, instead, organized Dail Eireann, an Irish national assembly, as the legitimate political legacy of the the 1916 revolt. That set the struggle for independence on an inexorable path. Anyway, here's the scorecard of who got elected and from where. James Crowley of Sinn Fein won in the riding from which my family emigrated. He refused to go to London and sat in the Dail, and god bless his memory for that.
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Scared Of That Child" (Mike Henderson): Yeah, I still pretty much love New Orleans.
Weekly Visit to the Pathe Archives: Here's Edward VIII, giving up the throne for the Woman He Loved. I am not dropping any hints or suggestions, but there would be a sort of historical punchline if a president* were to have to give up his office for the Women He Paid Off. Somehow, it's a little less elegant. History is so cool-but, occasionally, not while you're living through it.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Phys.org? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!
Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii was named by Sebastian Dalman, John-Paul Hodnett, Asher Lichtig and Spencer Lucas, Ph.D, in an article recently published in the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science Bulletin. Dalman and Lichtig are Research Associates of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (NMMNHS), Lucas is a curator at NMMNHS, and Hodnett is a paleontologist employed by the Maryland-National Capital Parks Commission. The name Crittendenceratops is for the Fort Crittenden Formation (the rock formation that yielded the dinosaur fossils) and Greek ceratops, which means horned face. The species name krzyzanowskii is for the late Stan Krzyzanowski, a NMMNHS Research Associate who discovered the bones of the new dinosaur.
I think it's a bit much to be naming a new dinosaur after the basketball coach at Duke, no matter how successful that program has been. And the young Crittendencertopses are sure to be teased around the playground, but they would be killer at Scrabble, and they lived then to make us happy now.
Top Commenter Of The Week goes to Top Commenter Jack Compere, and it was over as soon as he lit up the Firesign in response to our observation that the president* has no friends, only witnesses. It's been a long time since we heard from Deputy Dan, but all we need to return him to the present is to...fade...our..voice...like...this...And cue the organist. And there they are, 96.56 Beckhams for you, good sir.
I'll be back on Monday to see who's flipped over the weekend. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, and keep your hands and feet inside the boat at all times. It's a jungle out there.