Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

And in other news: Obamacare upheld by the Supreme Court…

Thu 28 June 2012, 3:36pm

This in plain English from ScotusBlog

The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power.

That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.

On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

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Comments (51)

  1. wild turkey (profile) says:

    Early reports indicate that Chief Justice Roberts read the decision. This being the case, it means he authored the majority decision… AND WAS THE SWING VOTE.

    The decision of Roberts possibly, just possibly, means that George W Bush will be in long-term shit with the conservative base

    we live in interesting times

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  2. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    This is something that 30 million Americans will be applauding today; those that were without health insurance before the law was passed. Those of us who live in more enlightened states which provide generous health benefits should thank our lucky stars.
    Brave of the Chief Justice to side with the liberals. He should be grateful to John Adams for the provision that Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. (I’m currently reading an excellent biography of Adams by David McCullough).

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  3. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    The decision of Roberts possibly, just possibly, means that George W Bush will be in long-term shit with the conservative base

    I’m curious. What relevance does W have now or in the future ?

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  4. Mister_Joe @ 3:52 pm celebrates John Adams, and rightly so.

    I was thrown by the “individual mandate” thing, only to find it was legally rooted in the Militia Acts of 1792, and An Act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen (requiring shipowners to pay the Treasury 20c a seaman a month, deducted from wages), which afore-mentioned President John Adams signed into law in 1798.

    Look forward to the “original intent” theorists deconstructing that little lot!

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  5. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Malcolm – I love it.

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  6. pauluk (profile) says:

    Mister Joe ‘This is something that 30 million Americans will be applauding today; those that were without health insurance before the law was passed.’

    I know only a little about how the health care system in the US works, but, obviously, Mr Joe knows even less. Health insurance has always been available, but you had a choice whether you purchased it or not. Now, under Obamacare, everyone will be forced to purchase it. As someone has said, it’s the biggest tax hike in the history of the world. The greatest applause is coming from the insurance industry which is going to make an absolute fortune from tens of millions who don’t want it or need it.

    The ruling will galvanise resistance to Obamacare, which has very low support anyway, especially from younger people. Romney is going to get a lot of mileage from this new tax from Obama.

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  7. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    pauluk.

    I believe you’re being obtuse. But, I will amend my words:
    ‘This is something that 30 million Americans will be applauding today; those that could not afford health insurance before the law was passed.’
    As for the rest of your post, it’s sheer nonsense. The insurance industry donated (?) huge sums of money to those who opposed the measure.

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  8. South Down Stoop (profile) says:

    pauluk,

    I don’t think anyone could say that if Obama could pass his ideal health reform Bill, it would include the individual mandate. It would much more likely be a single-payer, NHS-esque plan.

    What the individual mandate did was put a pro-business slant on a social democratic bill: the profits posted by HMOs from newly mandated insurance buyers will more than be offset by the legal requirement of HMOs to cover those with pre-existing conditions etc.

    At the end of the day neither Republicans or Democrats would have the mandate in their ideal (although it was emphatically a Republican policy initiative), it was simply part of a larger, ultimately beneficial parcel. That saying about laws and sausages comes to mind. . .

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  9. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    That saying about laws and sausages comes to mind. . .

    You must have the same day calendar as me; that was yesterday’s quip.

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  10. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    pauluk:

    I know only a little about how the health care system in the US works

    That much is certain.

    but, obviously, Mr Joe knows even less. Health insurance has always been available

    Let me stop you there.

    Health insurance has always been available provided (a) you or your employer can pay the hefty cost, and (b) you are lucky enough not to have been seriously ill. If you can’t afford it, tough, no insurance. If you have already been sick, insurers can simply deny you cover for your pre-existing conditions, so you can’t get treatment or medicine for them.

    The other problem that can happen is where your current employer’s insurance policy is the only one you can afford. This creates huge problems if you want to change jobs.

    but you had a choice whether you purchased it or not.

    Americans are already compelled to pay the costs of covering those who are uninsured. Hospitals are required to treat people who show up at the A&E. Hospitals and clinics make losses when they cannot recover the costs of treatment from those without the correct insurance. Those losses are recovered through higher charges. This is why the USA has the most expensive healthcare in the world, by some distance, with merely average scores in the major population health statistics.

    Now, under Obamacare, everyone will be forced to purchase it.

    Nope. Everyone will be required to be covered by health insurance. This does not necessarily mean that they are forced to purchase insurance; they can be covered by an existing government or employer scheme. Furthermore employers will now be required to provide an insurance plan.

    This requirement is necessary to stop freeloading, ensuring that people contribute properly to the costs of their care cover. Part of the current problem is that so many people do not contribute to health care costs and end up being a burden on the system anyway. There is a class of people who can afford to pay for insurance and who do not – usually younger folks.

    As someone has said, it’s the biggest tax hike in the history of the world.

    You have to put this in context. Americans are already “taxed” in the form of their ludicrously high health care costs which are a burden on families and people with low incomes. If these measures do even half of what they are supposed to do, those costs will come down and sickness and serious illness will reduce.

    The greatest applause is coming from the insurance industry which is going to make an absolute fortune

    OK, it’s now clear that you are babbling inanely and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    It is the large insurance companies who have been lobbying to stop these changes. They have been doing it for decades. They have resisted it all the way along the line. American healthcare costs are the highest in the world for a reason.

    from tens of millions who don’t want it or need it.

    I guess you must be in favour of ending compulsory car insurance. After all, I don’t need it if I’m a good driver and never crash – right ?

    South Down Stoop

    I don’t think anyone could say that if Obama could pass his ideal health reform Bill, it would include the individual mandate. It would much more likely be a single-payer, NHS-esque plan.

    There are no NHS-esque plans anywhere in the world. It is unique. Nobody in the developed world, outside of the old communist regimes, has ever tried to build anything like it. I doubt that anyone would try to imitate it.

    What the individual mandate did was put a pro-business slant on a social democratic bill: the profits posted by HMOs from newly mandated insurance buyers will more than be offset by the legal requirement of HMOs to cover those with pre-existing conditions etc.

    The new bill does not exclusively deal with HMOs as you seem to suggest. Many/most Americans are not covered under the HMO model.

    At the end of the day neither Republicans or Democrats would have the mandate in their ideal (although it was emphatically a Republican policy initiative), it was simply part of a larger, ultimately beneficial parcel. That saying about laws and sausages comes to mind. . .

    Getting conspiratorial, I have a suspicion that the Republicans attempted to push the legislation this way in the hope that the USSC would kill it. Unfortunately for them they appear to have been outfoxed.

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  11. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin,

    Well researched and an excellent post.

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  12. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    It is worth noting that many Presidents, Republican as well as Democratic, attempted health care reform only to be thwarted by the insurance industry, whose only care was to maximise their profits. Hence, as Comrade alludes to, trying to ensure that they collected premiums mostly from those unlikely to make a claim, excluding pre-existing conditions for example. By contrast, in Canada, private insurers can only exclude pre-existing conditions if they have not been stable for at least 90 days.

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  13. pauluk (profile) says:

    Comrade,

    Thanks for the different perspectives. Always nice to hear other angles.

    I found it interesting that in your treatise you did not refute my concluding paragraph: The ruling will galvanise resistance to Obamacare, which has very low support anyway, especially from younger people. Romney is going to get a lot of mileage from this new tax from Obama.

    Irrespective of the pros and cons, and politics of Obamacare, it seems to me that when the 36% of Americans who now support it find out that Obama has indeed raised taxes (despite his energetic denials earlier) by about $1.7 trillion dollars in the first decade of this law coming into effect, and, when, as you rightly say, young people will bear the brunt of the new taxes, that this is actually a red letter day in exposing Obama for the fraud that he is, namely, by his deception of the American people, when he insisted in 2008 that he would not raise taxes on the poor and middle class and that he did not raise taxes with Obamacare. Both of these promises/claims are now clearly shown to be false.

    Roberts has defended the honour and integrity of SCOTUS but he has also implicitly called into question Obama’s integrity.

    Obama ‘won’ today. but it may be a poisoned chalice. It may well turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory for Obama. Being branded a sneaky tax-raiser by the highest court in the land just months before a critical election cannot help Obama or those Dems who voted for Obamacare and now have to defend their seats in Congress.

    I’m sure Romney will take full advantage of this emerging situation.

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  14. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    paul,

    Neither did you try to defend the ridiculous proposition of yours that the insurance industry welcomed the health care reforms as benefitting them.
    Time will tell of course as to who the next President will be. I wouldn’t bet money on either of them.

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  15. Jimmy Sands (profile) says:

    MSNBC just showed some film from 2006 of the Governor of Massachusetts eloquently defending his state’s individual mandate. Whatever happened to him I wonder?

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  16. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Whatever happened to him..

    Rank (as in stinky) ambition and sheer hypocrisy.

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  17. Wild turkey Sadly for the rest of the world, outside the USA, it was us who were condemned by the hanging chads of Florida in 2000 to live in interesting times with the asterick president who should never have got near power.
    When the city of Montreal is no longer paying for staging the Olympics back in ’76, The US will be paying for Bush’s eight years of folly.

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  18. wild turkey (profile) says:

    danielsmoran

    don’t get me wrong, i totally agree with your comment on bush. as a general point of principle, i never went home to the states during his presidency.

    in my lifetime my country of birth has experienced two coups; dallas 1963 and florida 2000.

    comrade s

    1. excellent analysis above
    2. the point i was alluding to is that Roberts, like the demonised by the right Earl Warren, were both appointed by republican/conservative presidents. their subsequent supreme court judgements may belie the desired legacy of the president who appointed them. ya just never know

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  19. OK, Wild. I didn’t intend the prediction about US debt to come over as gloating. Mind you, I enjoyed watching Fox news during Bush second term when he was found out. The Euro seems to be recovering ground after last night so that should help the world economy.

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  20. WT Some would add 1968 and Robert Kennedy’s assassination as well, as an attempt to prevent a Catholic in the White House. Don’t know if Hoover was of the WASP fraternity or not, but wouldn’t be surprised.

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  21. salgado (profile) says:

    daniel – by 1968 there had already been a Catholic in the White House. RK would certainly have experienced some bigotry, but assassination is surely a bit far fetched.

    Hoover was dead by 1964 anyway.

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  22. Salgado. RK was certainly tempting fate by running in ’68 after what happened with the previous Catholic in that office, namely JFK.I was thinking more of the mindset of the WASP who were the establishment over there.

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  23. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    pauluk,

    I must apologise for my narky tone yesterday. It was a long day.

    Irrespective of the pros and cons, and politics of Obamacare, it seems to me that when the 36% of Americans who now support it find out that Obama has indeed raised taxes

    I am not sure how strongly this criticism will resonate. The Obama administration used the constitutional provisions around federal taxation powers as a fallback strategy in the event that the USSC chose to overturn the healthcare bill over interstate commerce, even though the provision in question is clearly not a tax, it is a fine. In much the same way that the US interstate highway system was constructed using the legal basis that it is necessary to ensure that troops and equipment can be moved across the country in wartime, despite it being very clear that the true purpose of the system was civilian.

    The Democrats simply have to point out that no Americans who are either insured, covered by Medicare, or a state-level healthcare plan will pay any kind of new taxes or levies. All they need to do is follow it up by pointing out that the GOP are in the pocket of health insurers which are seeking to charge ever-increasing premiums while denying care to more and more ordinary working people. All of which is factual.

    I suspect the USSC very much wanted to overturn the Obama legislation, but assessed that it would have the potential to create political instability by exposing them to the allegation that they voted along party lines. As such, they did not overturn the legislation but attempted to put Obama on the back foot by presenting it as a tax. The ruling is not without its problems- despite what they are saying, there are in fact precedents for the USSC upholding the federal government’s right to regulate interstate commerce and compel citizens to purchase goods on the market rather than dealing with it themselves. But I guess the Obama administration has chosen not to challenge this.

    (despite his energetic denials earlier)

    I am hearing from the usual right-wing sources that Obama denied there were tax increases, but I can find no evidence of this – I spent some time Googling for an Obama quote and could not find one. What were these denials, when were they made and how energetic exactly were they ?

    The reason I ask is that looking at the legislation, I can see very specific provisions to increase taxes, primarily the wealthy and on insurance providers. It seems strange that Obama would deny something in his own bill, especially if the very obvious question has to be asked about how the bill will be paid for.

    by about $1.7 trillion dollars in the first decade of this law coming into effect

    That figure sounds very suspicious. Where did you get it from ? It is impossible to make any kind of sensible estimate of what the final costs to the Treasury will be given that the purpose of the fine (or tax if you want) is to discourage people from failing to take up insurance. As with other punitive government levies, people will seek to avoid paying it by obtaining the insurance as required.

    , and, when, as you rightly say, young people will bear the brunt of the new taxes,

    No I did not say any such thing.

    I said that health insurance avoiders (ie those who can afford to pay, but cannot) are primarily young people, as younger folks under 30 or so tend not to have any health problems. Many of them are already insured through their employer and will not have to face any new charges or fees. Those who are not will find themselves compelled to obtain insurance.

    that this is actually a red letter day in exposing Obama for the fraud that he is

    You are clearly in full propaganda mode here.

    namely, by his deception of the American people, when he insisted in 2008 that he would not raise taxes on the poor and middle class and that he did not raise taxes with Obamacare. Both of these promises/claims are now clearly shown to be false.

    Please, go ahead and show me the details of precisely what taxes on the poor or middle class have been raised; and show me where Obama denied that his health care plans would not involve any tax increases.

    If you want to be properly informed of politics in the USA I suggest you balance your consumption of Fox News and the Tea Party websites with some perspectives from the other side of the debate. It is quite surprising to those of us used to the more measured and fair tone of political debate in the UK to find out the full extent to which reporting networks and certain sectors of popular public opinion stretch the facts or invent their own.

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  24. salgado (profile) says:

    Daniel – I still think you’re stretching things to imply that the Kennedys were assassinated because of their Catholicism. It’s not a view I’ve ever seen suggested before tbh.

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  25. pauluk (profile) says:

    Comrade,

    I think this post on hotair.com answers most of your queries, particularly the ‘Obama never said it wasn’t a tax’ spin and the supposedly ‘suspicious’ 1.7 trillion dollar cost of Obamacare.

    Even senior Democrats are acknowledging that Obamacare is ‘an albatross around our neck’.

    The continuing poor economy after almost 4 years of huge (wasteful) spending by Obama, the enormous cost of Obamacare, the negative effect it has on businesses taking on new workers, and the level playing field this time around with campaign finances all indicate a very difficult time over the next few months for Obama.

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  26. pauluk @ 11:58 pm:

    That post might, just might, have been a wee bit convincing had it recognised that Ed Morrissey might, just might, be a tainted source. Look him up.

    Ditto Erika Johnsen (the author of your second citing). Ditto hotair.com (and its “Boss Emeritus” — Michelle Malkin). In fact, ditto the whole Salem Communications reptile house. Why not get some of your recycled stuff from this side of the frothing, religious far-far Right?

    As for the level playing field this time around with campaign finances, you really are taking the liquid bodily excretion. You have heard of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission , haven’t you? Now run your search-engine over terms such as “Americans for Prosperity”, “the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights”, “the Claude R. Lambe Foundation” (a.k.a. the Koch family), “501c(4) organisations”.

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  27. Salgado. Well, possibly being also Irish may have been a clincher on getting rid of both kennedy’s, I agree that being Catholic alone wouldn’t have motivated whoever did them, HE Oswald/Sirhan Sirhan, I don’t remember where I was, [except it was Co Derry] when JFK met his nemesis, but I do know in in RFK case, being 13 at the time.

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  28. salgado (profile) says:

    I guess I just don’t really go for conspiracy theories.

    Do you have any evidence other than the establishment not being fans of people of Irish Catholics descent?

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  29. pauluk (profile) says:

    That’s right Malcolm, when you are losing the argument, attack the man (and women)!

    You got to accept it, when even the New York Times is calling Obama’s ‘win’ A Pyrrhic Victory, it’s not good news for his re-election campaign. Ironically the ruling increases the power and influence of the courts and decreases that of the federal government.

    (but I suppose you also have a smear link for Prof Katyal, Malcolm?)

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  30. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Paul,

    I think this post on hotair.com answers most of your queries, particularly the ‘Obama never said it wasn’t a tax’ spin

    The “spin” here is the claim that the penalty charge levied on people who do not purchase insurance is a tax.

    In that vein, let me ask you question. This week the NI Assembly voted to increase parking fines from £60 to £90. Was that a tax increase ?

    and the supposedly ‘suspicious’ 1.7 trillion dollar cost of Obamacare.

    I searched for the $1.7tn claim. I can only find it on right-wing blogs, but some of them point to the CBO statistics here. I looked through the document and I can find only the quote :

    CBO and JCT now estimate that the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012–2021 period—about $50 billion less than the agencies’ March 2011 estimate for that 10-year period (see Table 1, following the text).

    That says $1.1tn over 9 years (or about $122bn per year).

    Shall I take it that you are simply copy and pasting arguments from Conservative blogs without troubling yourself to check whether or not they are substantiated ?

    Even senior Democrats are acknowledging that Obamacare is ‘an albatross around our neck’.

    I don’t find that terribly convincing.

    The continuing poor economy after almost 4 years of huge (wasteful) spending by Obama,

    What wasteful spending ?

    the enormous cost of Obamacare

    The cost of Obamacare is necessary to deal with the far, far more significant cost to the country of the broken healthcare “system”.

    , the negative effect it has on businesses taking on new workers

    I think you’ll find that problem is a global one.

    , and the level playing field this time around with campaign finances all indicate a very difficult time over the next few months for Obama.

    What are you talking about ?

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  31. Salgado. I’m both irish and catholic although from the UK controlled part of the island, so that theory doesn’t hold.

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  32. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Lads, RFK’s Irishness and Catholicism had nothing to do with why he was assassinated. Like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King – neither of whom was either Irish or Catholic – RFK’s great crime was to talk far too much about ending the war in Vietnam, and doing something for poor people at home.

    Bill Hicks used to do a great routine about what happens to US presidents on their inauguration day.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MRykTpw1RQ

    There’s a long history in America of people who want a less warlike foreign policy, or to help the poor, coming to a bad end. RFK was only a particularly high-profile example.

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  33. salgado (profile) says:

    Billy – I know, but I was interested to see where the idea would lead.

    Anyway, back to Obamacare …

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  34. Billy. Having reflected on this, your theory is the more likely than the Irish/Catholic one. The US establishent doesn’t believe in looking after it’s hungry tired and poor masses, as Lou Reed pointed out on the New York Album back in ’89.

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  35. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Salgado

    ‘I guess I just don’t really go for conspiracy theories…’

    What, ever? You don’t believe there has ever been such a thing, in the history of the world, as a conspiracy?

    All a ‘conspiracy’ is, is a course of action agreed by people who do not wish to publicly acknowledge what they’re doing. Conspiracies are being hatched in every boardroom in the world, every day of the week.

    Now, of course, there are a lot of batshit crazy ideas out there about ‘conspiracies’ – 911 as an inside job is a classic of the genre.

    The beauty of the phrase ‘conspiracy theorist’ is that it labels as batshit crazy anyone who suggests that great matters of public import are not, perhaps, exactly as they have been presented to us by the most powerful forces in our society.

    (The idea that some nutjob commie fantasist assassinated the President of the United States, with no help from anyone, by carrying out the greatest feat of marksmanship in history, is the daftest ‘theory’ I’ve heard about the Kennedy assassination.)

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  36. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Yes, I’ve been convinced for a long time that Kennedy was assassinated by Elmer Fudd.

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  37. salgado (profile) says:

    ‘I guess I just don’t really go for conspiracy theories…’

    ‘You don’t believe there has ever been such a thing, in the history of the world, as a conspiracy?’

    Not really the same thing, are they?

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  38. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Mister Joe

    Actually, I’m pretty sure Fudd’s alibi checks out.

    Do I take it you believe every word of the Warren commission?

    Salgado

    ‘Not the same thing, are they?’

    What isn’t the same thing?

    You said you don’t believe in ‘conspiracy theories’ – what, ever? You don’t believe people, or groups of people, ever do things that they don’t tell the world about?

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  39. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Or you sure you aren’t just allowing yourself to be bullied by the highly ideological phrase ‘conspiracy theorist’?

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  40. salgado (profile) says:

    I said I don’t really go for them (I wasn’t quite as definite as you seemed to think). Some may be true, most aren’t.

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  41. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Of course.

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  42. pauluk (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin: What are you talking about ?

    Chop, chop, comrade, you need to try to keep up!

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  43. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Do I take it you believe every word of the Warren commission?

    But of course. The assassination was pre-ordained by that guy with the beard who sits above us, deciding, in advance, who will live or who will die. (It certainly wasn’t the free will of Kennedy that decided that he should be murdered).

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  44. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Joe

    Are you drunk?

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  45. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    No, Billy. But if I were, I might be inclined to paraphrase Sir Winston and say “I might be drunk but you are stupid/silly/delusional (take your pick or add your own) and, I will be sober in the morning.”

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  46. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    pauluk, I know what you are talking about in the sense of the usual GOP soundbites and talking points that you have been repeating verbatim and somewhat mindlessly in your contributions above.

    I don’t know what you are talking about in the sense that I can seldom ascertain where you, or the sources you quote, fabricate those opinions from. And whenever I do ask the questions they are evaded.

    Billy Pilgrim,

    The best definition of a conspiracy theorist is someone who believes in a complicated and detailed plot which, conveniently, requires no supporting evidence whatsoever beyond that extrapolated from the circumstances, and relies heavily on innuendo and disinformation.

    Americans love their fruitcake conspiracy theories. It’s not a new phenomenon, they’ve been doing it for centuries. Moon landings, Kennedy assassination, 9/11 and this current bullshit about Obama’s birth certificate.

    My own opinion is that Kennedy was assassinated for the same reason John Lennon was; a fruitcake with a gun wanted to create a spectacle.

    What do you think?
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  47. Billy Pilgrim (profile) says:

    Comrade Stalin

    I’d say that, first and foremost, ‘conspiracy theorist’ is a phrase designed as an ideological weapon. The beauty of it, is that it creates an equivalence – albeit a false one – between those who suspect there might be more to great public events than our elites would have us believe, and the batshit crazies you refer to above.

    Re. Kennedy assassination – so you do accept the findings of the Warren commission? Every though they require you to reject the laws of physics? Who’s the fruitcake, again?

    What do you think?
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  48. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    I am aware of the Warren Commission and its report, and I’ve noted that the conspiracy theorists seem to dig this up and attempt to use it as a strawman, in the way that you have several times in this discussion. I have to confess I have never taken the time to sift through the massive report. Have you ?

    That aside, the question of whether or not there may be mistakes for whatever reason in the Warren report does not in itself serve to substantiate any of the alternative theories/motivations for Kennedy’s assassination. If you have evidence supporting a conspiracy, let’s hear it.

    What do you think?
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  49. Dread Cthulhu (profile) says:

    Let us start with the obvious — we’ve screwed up the healthcare of 300,000,000 people to sort out the insurance (not healthcare) of 30,000,000, of which about a third are voluntarily unenrolled and another third are illegal immigrants.

    What do you think?
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  50. Mister_Joe (profile) says:

    Pray tell us Dread Cthulhu how the healthcare of those 300M has been screwed up. I haven’t heard any reports of Americans dying in droves since the Act came into effect.

    What do you think?
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  51. Dread Cthulhu (profile) says:

    Let’s see…

    Money taken out of Medicare — screw the old people… Insurance policies are going to be mandating a great deal more — all they have to do is lobby the Sec of HHS — screw the people pulling the proverbial wagon… the tax for not having Healthcare starts at $95, so there is economic incentive to free ride the system for the first couple years, until the penalty gets too onerous… Corporations are going to dump employees off of healthcare policies… “efficacy panels” will be getting between you and your physician, with no appeal. This is just the short-term things off the top of my head.

    Longer term, we get the problem of deficit spending, since initial comparisons were based on 10 years of taxes supporting 7 years of benefits… the slow morphing into a single payor system will give us all the problems inherent to such a system — waiting lists, etc.

    What do you think?
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