Remember how last year benevolent overlord Rick Michigan said in one of those special messages that he wanted to get moving on a cost cutting health care exchange that would allow consumers shop for the best deals, and the state Legislature was all, "What ... isn't that in that Obamacare Death Panels Bill? Hells to the no!" And, they assumed -- as did America's greatest Constitutional scholars ever known, grassroots conservatives (aka teabaggers) -- that the Supreme Court would bail them out of having to create one, because ... dude, Obama=King George VI, do we need to draw a road map? And then this morning, the Supreme Court said, "Sorry, guess the Constitution is a bit more complicated than the Article you think is most favorable to your prejudices, and what Samuel Otis said to Silas Deane over tard tack and a tankard of Samuel Adams' ale." (To which former GOP spokesman Matthew Davis proclaimed, "A crimson oath I swear at your system of checks and balances ... to arms!") Back to the Legislature.
Michigan has received $999,772 to start the program but the legislature last year decided not to accept nearly $10 million in federal funds awarded to the state to create an exchange. Legislators said they preferred to wait for the Supreme Court ruling.
Michigan is unlikely to meet a Friday deadline to apply for money for the exchanges but new grant opportunities will be announced soon, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
I work in a group home for developmentally disabled adults, so I'm loathe to use the "-tard" suffix. Were I employed elsewhere, I might be tempted by this savage heat to let fly with a, "Nice going, fucktards. While, you're at it, why not also just dilly-dally on this so that the state has to throw something together at the last minute to avoid having the feds run it for us," except I'm employed where I am and I just read that Gail Harris plans to not worry her beautiful mind with a health care exchange until after the November election. Translation: If we dick around long enough, maybe Willard will win the presidency, and Republicans will win 60 seats in the Senate and we won't have to worry about it." Fabulous plan, that.
Meanwhile, Skubick thinks this morning's ruling offers a "put that in your pipe and smoke it" lesson to everyone amazed that the Supreme Court didn't chuck literally almost a century of jurisprudence in finding a way to support the individual mandate.
Since there is no record of how the debate went inside the court, one can only guess at how this decision was hammered out, but reasonable men and women would have to conclude this ruling was based on the law, not politics. If politics was the prevailing motivation, the court would have handed Mr. Obama a goose egg instead of a victory.
Yeah, maybe, or maybe the chief justice decided to fall on his sword since, like, he said during his confirmation hearings that the courts act as an umpire and that there's so much precedent to back up this law that it was universally concluded by people who know what the fuck they're talking about that the challenge supported by the likes of Bill Schuette was Constitutionally meritless. In other words, we're supposed to piss ourselves with joy that John Roberts has a shred of shame in him.
One last item, which Skubick does get right.
And while we are at it, let's put something else to rest. After the six-hour court hearing on this case three months ago, the "informed pundits" were falling all over themselves to read meaning into questions asked by the justices during the aggressive interrogation of lawyers on both sides of the case.
They figured if a justice asked a question putting the issue into doubt, they must have been opposed to the law. And out of that punditry came the "conclusion" there was a majority that would find the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
Back when this was argued, I remember Stephen Henderson of the Freep making comments to this effect. I asked him whether we could start ignoring the people whose predicitions got it horribly wrong. Who were those people? Let's name names.
It ought to be noted that Roberts sided with the four liberal justices, while Kennedy sided with Samuel Alito and those two other assholes. He could have easily been worried about the court's declining perception of impartiality in the public eyes as he was in a matter of law. God knows, Clarence Thomas didn't recuse himself, even though he stood to financially gain off the ruling, and the other day Antonin Scalia cited a New York Times article in taking a shot at the president in a dissent he authored, which suggests he's more interested in work as a political pundit than a impartial judge of law (and, if you want to know why you can call two sitting Supreme Court justices "assholes," it's because of stuff like that).
Update! ... Henry Payne's Museum of Half-Formed Thoughts has gone absolutely bonkers, but let it be known that they stand for only the highest standards of conduct. When Matt Davis called this morning's Supreme Court ruling a moment for considering armed insurrection, Henry Payne gave him a slot as a blogger.