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The reason I like E. J. Dionne:

Some excerpts on his commentary on the Supreme Court vs. the Health Care legislation:

Three days of Supreme Court arguments over the health-care law demonstrated for all to see that conservative justices are prepared to act as an alternative legislature, diving deeply into policy details as if they were members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Senator, excuse me, Justice Samuel Alito quoted Congressional Budget Office figures on Tuesday to talk about the insurance costs of the young. On Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts sounded like the House whip in discussing whether parts of the law could stand if other parts fell. He noted that without various provisions, Congress “wouldn’t have been able to put together, cobble together, the votes to get it through.” Tell me again, was this a courtroom or a lobbyist’s office?

It fell to the court’s liberals — the so-called “judicial activists,” remember? — to remind their conservative brethren that legislative power is supposed to rest in our government’s elected branches.

The irony is that if the court’s conservatives overthrow the mandate, they will hasten the arrival of a more government-heavy system. Justice Anthony Kennedy even hinted that it might be more “honest” if government simply used “the tax power to raise revenue and to just have a national health service, single-payer.” Remember those words.

…a court that gave us Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United will prove conclusively that it sees no limits on its power, no need to defer to those elected to make our laws. A Supreme Court that is supposed to give us justice will instead deliver ideology.

See what I mean. Clear and concise with an ability to combine seriousness with humor. After all, we have to live with this stuff.

Read the whole column HERE.

The Embarrassed Republicans and the 9/11 First Responders… an American Drama

When the Senate passed the 9/11 First Responders Bill yesterday it was over 6 Billion Dollars lower than it was originally proposed… primarily because the funding now ends in 2016 instead of 2031… due to Senator Tom Coburn.

Senator Tom Coburn

Coburn vowed to block the 9/11 First Responders  bill, saying he wanted it to be funded through spending cuts. He also claimed the bill had been fast-tracked and skipped committee (but, in fact, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on the bill in June — Coburn, a committee member, missed it.)

 

And then two major things happened that shined the light on Republicans in an embarrassing way: Jon Stewart used a whole evening of The Daily Show not to joke, but to interview New York police, fire and other officials who suffered from the physical affronts that effect first responders; and then a large number of those responders swarmed into Coburn’s office:

As John Feal, head of the First Responders, said:

“Mr. Coburn should be ashamed of himself, because I think before he was a senator he was a doctor and he took an oath to help people that are sick. He’s going against his oath as a doctor. He can vote any way he wants as a senator, but as a doctor, he just embarrassed the medical profession.”

Apparently all the Republicans were so embarrassed that the revised bill got 100% support. Mitch McConnell even made a public appearance to say that they were all for the bill before they were against it (well he had to say something).

This became one of Obama‘s big wins yesterday and Mitch McConnell must have suffered through the press conference the President held in the afternoon which certainly pointed a finger at the Republican opposition.