It makes me sick.
A landmark decision challenged anew.
Having survived 67 separate attempts by the House of Representatives to abolish it, after an impressive presidential campaign win in 2012 during which time it became a central contentious issue, and following a 6 to 3 Supreme Court decision affirming its legality (the second time the Court has ruled in its favor), the Affordable Health Care Act still remains a target for right-wing Republican wrath.
In a clear display of dissociative delusion, Speaker of the House John Boehner moans: “We will continue our efforts to repeal the law and replace it with patient-centered solutions that meet the needs of seniors, small business owners, and middle-class families.”
These “solutions” — featuring only wild, focus group-tested generalities — are the best the Speaker has been able to come up with after over five years of trying. Specifics? He’s still working on those.
Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, now leading in Republican polling, tentatively and a bit oddly exclaims: “This is the direct result of President Obama. He deliberately forced ObamaCare on the people in a partisan and toxic way.”
And look who’s in second place! Donald “We Will Overcomb” Trump bellows: “ObamaCare is a lie! A filthy lie!”
I was taught way before Kindergarten not to be a poor loser.
“ObamaCare” was coined by the GOP as a nasty pejorative. Thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts and the Supreme Court, it now lives on as a lasting legacy, honoring and crediting our 44th President with successful guidance and tenacious support leading to the implementation of the nation’s first major step on our road toward universal health care, decades behind the rest of the civilized world.
Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders notched a place in history as he drew a capacity crown of 3,000 into the University of Denver gymnasium as several thousand others listened in an adjacent atrium where speakers were set up, and on a nearby lacrosse field where the speech was streamed on a scoreboard. The event was one of the largest political rallies of the 2016 election cycle so far and was promoted only a few days in advance with minimal funding almost exclusively on social media.
I like what Bernie Sanders said about health care in the wake of Thursday’s victory:
“While I am glad the Supreme Court upheld the law, in my view, the only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a Medicare-for-all single payer system.”
Senator Sanders went on to assert that profiteering by the pharmaceutical industry and private insurance companies causes the United States to spend more per capita than any other nation on earth, while our life expectancy, infant mortality and preventable death outcomes are worse than almost every other country.
He seems to have facts and figures to back this up. Check for yourself. Google till you get it.
And then came Friday — a payday gay day.
In the last major decision of this current session before an extended summer recess, the Court determined in a sweeping ruling that same-sex couples can marry nationwide, establishing a new civil right and handing advocates an historic, milestone victory.
By a vote of 5 to 4, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with these words: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. The Constitution grants them that right.”
In a scathing, petulant, abrasive dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote — with firepower characteristic of a flatulent flea – that the decision was ”a threat to American Democracy. The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me (he fibbed) – but what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch.” “Putsch” is one of those “Nazi words” some people resort to when they’re really putsched off.
That’s still not quite as weird as Scalia’s commentary the preceding day on the Court’s Affordable Care Act vote, which he decried as: “Somersaults of statutory interpretation”, “Applesauce”, and “Interpretive jiggery-pokery.”
This last displays a somehow discomforting familiarity with “Harry Potter”, but may well account for Scalia’s darkest reflections from his own secret world of private legal fantasy.
But enough of this.
On behalf of my Great-Great-Grandfather, Thomas Newcomb — and myself as well – We wish you a Happy Fourth of July!
Thomas rests buried on a hilltop in Central New York under a well-preserved marker indicating, “Thomas Newcomb. Soldier. Revolutionary War. Died Oct. 8, 1851. Aged 90 Years.” Directly above his name proudly flies our Star-Spangled Banner — deeply carved in lasting stone.
As we march ever forward.