The consequences for not upholding it were too dire. First, it would undo the Democrat party's biggest advancement of socialism since 1964. Second, it would cause an immediate backlash against the D.C. establishment as the status of millions of peoples' health insurance plans were suddenly thrown into doubt. Third, it would represent the single largest failure ever of a big government initiative. Finally, it might set a precedent for cancelling other programs that concentrate power in D.C.
The first point is fairly self-explanatory. Everyone in D.C. who's at the top level, like the justices of SCOTUS, are pretty much all in the same clique. They may not all go to the same parties all the time, but they move in the same circles, and there's obviously some sort of "gentlemens' agreement" in the top echelon about stepping on each others' toes too much. (How else do you explain the way the GOP does things?)
The second: in the wake of its passage, Obamacare caused a sea change in the medical insurance industry. People would not be able to go back to their pre-Obamacare plans, as those are gone forever. The ending of the exchanges would drop overinflated health-care bills squarely on the shoulders of the people buying plans, and lots of them would be unable to pay the premiums. The insurance industry would have to lower premiums or lose customers, neither of which they want, and without the individual mandate forcing people to buy health insurance, underwriters would start dropping like flies. People would blame D.C. for not having its act together. Incumbents would lose elections. Can't have that.
The third: Obamacare is the biggest tax increase in history. Cancel it, and where does that leave Obama and the federal government? The federal government is not going to give up control of 1/6th of the economy, not for any reason, and if the language has to be contorted out of recognizable shape, if they have to call a penalty a tax, whatever they must do to retain control they will do.
Finally: if Obamacare can be cancelled by a SCOTUS ruling, what other huge government programs could be construed as unconstitional? The aristocracy can't risk opening that can of worms.
So, no, I'm not surprised that SCOTUS ruled the way it did, and I'm not surprised that they contorted language and law into pretzel logic in the process. There's no way in hell they could overturn Obamacare even if they wanted to; and believe me they certainly don't want to.
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Incidentally, I'm reminded that Justice Roberts (the deciding vote in both cases) was a Bush appointee. In the last election someone made the point that I ought to vote Romney because "what if a justice retires or dies?" Bush was allegedly a Republican, yet he's saddled us with someone who's voted with Obama on critical matters of government power and personal freedom. I don't see how Romney--arguably more liberal than Bush!--could be much of an improvement on that standard.
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Fred Reed on the white man's role in creating western civilization. Which is to say, all of it.
Fred has reached the stage where he no longer cares what people think of him, and so he's able to speak frankly about the truth of the matter without worrying about stepping on overly-sensitive PC toes.
I liked the caption under a photograph of a gothic cathedral: "A white man’s kraal. We started building them around 1137."
...western civilization has done, in a relatively short span of time, things that were utterly impossible before it existed, and in fact western civilization gave us the technological explosion starting in the renaissance which remade the world into something it's never been before. Five hundred years from the abacus to the supercomputer, the ox cart to the moon landing, the quill to the laser printer, the town crier to the Internet, the sailing ship to the supertanker--except for language you could take the average man from 1500 BC and plop him in 1500 AD and he wouldn't be too far out of his depth...but take the man from 1500 AD and drop him in 2015 and he wouldn't know what the hell to think. And yeah, sorry, it was predominantly white men who did it.
Of course, since today we're removing all evidence of the Confederacy from the public square, I suppose it's only a matter of time before we decide that Thomas Edison was actually black, you know, and somehow make Columbus hispanic. WTF, if the black-letter law no longer means what it says, why can't we change everything to better suit our personal tastes?
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The big security breach really was about this simple to prevent. I'm talking about the one where a Chinese national, living in China, had root access to the computer system that contained all sorts of security clearance files. Y'know, because that chinese guy was administering a UNIX system that no American would administer, right?
Don't read the comments to today's Dilbert strip, unless you suffer from chronic low blood pressure. People are idiots, and I hate them.
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So I was hoping to cut the back grass today. But last night? *RRRUMBLE*, etcetera. *sigh* It wasn't just a passing popcorn shower, either, worse luck. Maybe Sunday? Or maybe Monday?
Mrs. Fungus and I watched Flash Gordon last night, the 1980 one. It's a better movie than I recall it being. Sam Jones turns in the worst performance in the thing, and the best part about it is how the entire thing is played straight. They're not hamming it up or playing it campy. The costumes and sets are outlandish, hearkening back to the old serials, and they probably used half of the US' output of gold lame in 1978 to make the movie, and if they'd tried to ham it, the whole thing would have collapsed--but instead the art deco design elements and such are pushed into the background, where they belong. It looks crazy but absolutely no attention is paid to it whatsoever by the characters. The movie looks like it ought to be terrible, but the plot holds together and the performances (all but Jones') are good.
I have to wonder how well Flash Gordon would work without a production design like that.
It's not art for the ages but we had fun watching it. That's what counts.