Today begins The US Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of Obamacare

Today kicks off three straight days of oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the constitutionality of Obamacare. If the court ends up siding with the right-wing state Attorneys General who are in the pocket of the for-profit health insurance industry, then 50 million Americans will lose access to healthcare.

Not to mention – 17 million children will be denied insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions – and more than 100 million Americans will have to live in fear that their insurance company will cap them just when they need a life-saving procedure. While Obamacare isn’t perfect – and our nation should eventually adopt a single-payer system that makes health care a basic human right like in the rest of the developed world – the law is at least a start.

So now all eyes are on the Supreme Court and whether five unelected right-wing judges will put politics and corporate profits above the health of the nation.


mrallnaturall's picture
mrallnaturall 11 years 1 day ago

free health care for all .....same as canada

NotreDan 11 years 1 day ago

To frame this debate:

Until we are ready as a nation, to turn sick and injured people away at the emergency room door; we MUST have an insurance mandate (single payer would be better, but the mandate is a minimum). The reason is obvious: without effective risk sharing and cost averaging costs will continue to soar.

People will literally pay ANYTHING (or at least everything they have) to save thier own life or the life of a loved one. If a doctor told me it would cost $300,000 to save my childs life, I would sell everything to try and get that money. For this reason, it is immoral and should be criminal, to make a PROFIT as a result of this completely irrational (yet universally present) emotion based decision process. Further, imagine the immorality of making a profit on the risk sharing (insurance) mechanism ON TOP of the profit from the actual medical care! We as a country should feel collectively outraged at those that are manipulating our fears to enrich themselves.

I am afraid... afraid that the 5 republican justices are going to strike this down, and afraid that my current insurer (which I signed up for in February with a new job I landed, thank goodness) will be able to go "retro" and say that my son's Type 1 diabetes was pre-existing, and start denying payments.

twaplt's picture
twaplt 11 years 1 day ago

A Single payer health care system is the Only answer. Nothing less should be accepted. I have no faith in the Supreme Court. I believe, in this climate they are totally political, bought and paid forl and will vote against the Affordable Care mandate. This is unfortunate and not in the best interest of America. Healthcare for ALL should be a right for all citizens. I am a retired Airline Pilot and have traveled the world using the healthcare services of many countries. the worst is the United States. If myself or any member of my family had a terminal illness, I would leave thecountry to find a cure or help. The FDA is also a problem that needs to be addressed. I 1982, I had to leave this country to have a kidney stone treated with being cut in half. The extracorporeal lithotripsure unit (stone smashed) was not available in the US. It had been used ambulatory in Europe since the 1950's, invented by Dornier. He also develope the Messerschmidt Aircraft. I sometimes do not believe we want to find a cure for major diseases, at least, not cheap cures.

I do not expect the Supreme Court to do the right thing for this country.

cwren4355's picture
cwren4355 11 years 1 day ago

I believe the Supreme Court will favor the corporations and play politics with this and make their decision on the side of the Insurance companies. There seems to be no representation of justice for the American people in any branch of Government these days. They only represent the Banks and corporations. Time to start over.

steve luera's picture
steve luera 11 years 1 day ago

Obamacare will only help the insurance industry by forcing us to by insurance. They'll get richer, we gain nothing.

What we really need to do is reduce the cost of medical care by lowing prices paid to doctors and hospitals. This can be done by increasing the supply of doctors and hospitals - simple suppy and demand - plus establishing price controls.

Why settle for half measures. Let's hope the court rejects Obamacare so we can start over and do it right. As it is, Obama just seems a patsy of the medical and insurance lobbies.

dhurtado's picture
dhurtado 11 years 1 day ago

I generally am in the liberal/progressive camp. I thus find it odd to hear Thom and other liberals contending that it is an illegitimate use of the judicial power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional. I believe that the "mandate" of the ACA is within Congress' power under the Commerce Clause, at least as it has been interpreted by the Supreme Court over the years. But I do not agree that it is outside the Court's power to pass on the ACA's constitutionality. Indeed, it has been the cry of political conservatives over the decades that the Court does not have the power to overturn majoritarian tyranny, and thus must leave oppressive and discriminatory laws in place, lest the Court be accused of "legislating from the bench." While Article III of the Constitution does not expressly vest in the Court the power to declare acts of Congress unconstitiutional, it does vest the Court with the power to hear all cases "arising under" the Constitution. Please explain to me how the Court could decide a case arising under the Constitution without interpreting the Constitution and without determining whether an act of the Executive or Legislative Branch violates the Constitution. How can there be any check on majoritarian tyranny if the the acts of the "democratic" branches cannot be reviewed by an institution that is not directly answerable to voting public?

charell's picture
charell 11 years 23 hours ago

THE HEALTHCARE MOVIE is about Canada's struggle to get a Single Payer system. It's narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, grandson of Tommy Douglas. See:

I attended a screening couple of weeks ago. Thom should be promoting this film! I never realized the tough struggle Canadians went through to get it passed until I saw this film. It shows the stark contrast, in terms of how humane the Canadian system is, compared to the U.S. It also dispells the propaganda we hear so often to denigrate their system.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 11 years 22 hours ago

The Supreme Court will do what is correct for the American people and will dismiss the attack against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This is not as much a political problem for the Supreme's. They are immune to political pressure, when they examine the merits of the case they will take the only reasonable action and vote 9-0 to support this Act and the health of the nation. If they do not make their support unanimous, they will fuel the arguments of the Tea Party. Those on the Supreme Court are not crazy Tea Party members, they are smart enough to do what is right even if they do not like President Obama. They have already seen how their decision on Citizens-United did the opposite of what they expected. They will not go down the stupid road again.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 20 hours ago

It's rigged to benefit the HealthScare industry either way. When a public option, or the single payer system, was taken off the table, even before opening discussion of the issue...largely because Obama P!$$ed it all away right from the get go...we, the people, lost out to the healthScare industry. So, if the right wing SCOTUS decides in favor of repealing Obamacare, we lose. If SCOTUS decides against repealing....we still lose. For us, it's a lose-lose situation and a win-win situation for the healthScare crime lords. The same can be said for if Obama wins re-election. We, the 99%, will lose either way and the 1% will win either way.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 20 hours ago

That HealthCareMovie (only about 2 minutes) was very good. showed that only 1 out of about 80-some Canadians disliked the Canadian system of healthcare. At the end, some Fascist American politician said "We do not want a government take-over of our healthcare system!"

Yes, we least in part...enough to provide at least an alternative to shelling out our money (if we can even afford it) to wealthy healthScare CEOs and other execs. I'd rather have to wait a few weeks or months in the Canadian system than not getting any healthcare at all in our criminal system...where if you are rich get the care...if you aren't rich get the boot...and suffer and die. We're struggling to survive, here.

bldegl's picture
bldegl 11 years 20 hours ago

The republicans have been saying, for years, that we need to be able to sell insurance across state lines. What they are really saying is that they want the federal interstate commerce laws to allow one state to impose its laws and restrictions on another.

If the Supreme Courts says that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, and violates interstate commerce laws, then there is no way that they can say that selling health insurance across state lines, out the other side of their mouth, is constitutional.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 19 hours ago

The new movie "The Hunger Games" has a very appropriate theme and is, if you think about it, not very far off from what we have now in real life.

The ridiculous hair styles and color and comical dress of the upper classes salivating at the thought of the coming attraction is likely trying to portray these people as being not exactly sane. This too is reflected, I believe, in our current real world...not many of these upper echelon leeches, maggots and cockroaches (Koch-Roaches?) are very sane.

In the movie, young people between the age of 12 and 18 are to register to be drafted for some ridiculous show of patriotism every year. A male and a female is selected out of each sector to participate in the battle to the death (Gladiator) contest while the whole nation watches them slaughter each other. The single winning contestant is celebrated and held in very high esteem and aired on the national TV talk show.

Of course, so far, our country has only been culpable in committing war crimes and atrocities in other countries and has submitted the canon fodder of our young soldiers (albeit not yet as young as 12) to kill or be killed (but mostly kill innocent civilians and children in other countries). And our idiot warmonger muppeteers play up the patriotism and sacrifice drivel for all to marvel at. But the ridiculous patriotic theme and under the table Gladiator theme is still extant in our current realities which seemed to be reflected in the movie.

Donald Southerland, who plays the white haired old man who appears to be the top dog here and is making all the decisions, could very well represent our SCOTUS....or our President...or our Congress. He doesn't seem so evil except that he obviously must be....he makes the decisions that make the Hunger Games a reality.

WindHarps's picture
WindHarps 11 years 18 hours ago

Regarding the notions of "at least a start" and other "stepping stone" obfuscation, see relative propaganda via the SEIU (Common Dreams printed it?):

Response, overall: Physicians for a National Health Program is indeed the proper “solution.” However, in this Sold Out and Bought Out environment, there is no hope of such uplifting realities becoming Truth (in Action). For that to happen, there would have to be a Progressive (FDR-type) uprising of a percentage enough to make the Blue Dogs and Tea Party/ALEC members of both parties a toothless minority. At this point, the referenced sellouts have reached a level of power where such an uprising is almost (almost: OWS tides/new tides arising) impossible.

In relation to Karen Marlene Rebb’s and the SEIU's rosy outlook, it is taken along the same lines as Michael Moore’s turning of support toward this (corporate) sham (Without a Public Option): “Pass it because, if President Obama takes a fall on this one, I don’t know if he’ll be able to get back up.” He also viewed (sold) the “stepping stone” aspect as a road to “Single-Payer/Medicare for All.” What are the Actual chances of that? Review the history of our government since Reagan and (if you didn’t already) you will have the answer.

Further, regarding Rebb’s “positive points” (“acquire affordable health insurance/care” definitely not being one of them, since, of course, it is an outrageous and insulting statement) there was another Humane/Progressive way to achieve many goals: they could have been, and still could be, implemented – Without forcing a Mandate to Buy corporate insurance. The word is Regulation. The insurance companies could have been regulated into those aspects – Without the Mandate. It should also be noted additionally and predominantly: her response was no different than Mary Kay Henry’s PR Release. Spin. Spin. Spin. Orwellian Word and Fact Games (purposely ignoring all alternatives which were, and are, being overridden.)

Example: Everyone will be Forced to “acquire” health insurance from a corporate entity – or face substantial penalties with/from the full force of the government. “Acquir[ing]” will be noted as/relentlessly referred to as “Providing.” And, an “Affordable” New Monthly/Yearly Bill will be sold as/relentlessly referenced as (somehow?) a New Reality – especially to/for those who did not have health insurance before, because they could not spare a single penny further in their bootstrapped lives.

Candidate Obama: “If a mandate was a solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.” Period.

“These are the stock-in-trade tactics of the ‘power elite’ that C. Wright Mills wrote so poignantly about back in the 1950s.”

Congressman Kucinich (before selling out): “Government of the people or a government of the corporations[?]”

Howard Dean (before selling out): “This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

Michael Moore (while selling out): “Within days, the House of Representatives will vote to pass the Senate health care ‘reform’ bill. This bill is a joke. It has NOTHING to do with ‘health care reform.’ It has EVERYTHING to do with lining the pockets of the health insurance industry. It forces, by law, every American who isn’t old or destitute to buy health insurance if their boss doesn’t provide it. What company wouldn’t love the government forcing the public to buy that company’s product?!”

Candidate Obama on Mandates:
President Obama (after already having made secret deals to Kill the Public Option): It’s ‘only’ “one sliver” ‘of the health care plan.’

An Open Letter to Michael Moore

NY Times Reporter Confirms Obama Made Deal to Kill Public Option

“[A] mandate isn’t necessary for Congress to exercise its legitimate role in regulating health insurance. . . .”

Next, let’s “solve [the Wall Street-Speculated Gas Crisis] by mandating everyone buy a [new Prius – every year].

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 17 hours ago

After the Citizens United ruling does anyone seriously doubt the radical right wing nature of five of our Supreme Court Justices? Like the republican/tea party they exist only to promote the financial welfare of a very elite few in our society. This would include health insurance CEO's with multi-million dollar salaries. Thus if current health insurance reform points ultimately to not for profit universal health insurance for all, which in my opinion it does, then count on Clarence and his radical partners to rule against it.

In stark contrast to republican will, passage of the Health Insurance Reform Act demonstrates how most Democrats in both the House and Senate as well as the President CARE about the general welfare of the vast majority of the people. However I think the word "affordable" would of had some meaning with inclusion of the public option. This not for profit choice should have been included at least for the blue states in favor. The red states in oppostion should have been given the choice to continue paying twice as much for the same coverage with the satisfaction of maintaining multi-million dollar salaries for a few health insurance CEO's as well as to prevent a govt. take over including death panels! Let the red state fox heads vote against their own damn best interests.....just leave me out of it. I like democracy and freedom, which means Government involvement on behalf of we the people when necessary, as in education, energy, and health care.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 11 years 7 hours ago

If this should go wrong, it won't distract me in any way. The goal is consistent liberal re-orchestration of Congress. This is the job of all American voters. If the GOP will go on making themselves fools, people like Limbaugh add their insanity, this helps a lot. Plus, I very much hope gasoline prices will go down until November.

From 2013 on, we also have to change the Supreme Court, which still is misorchestrated since Reagan and Bush. So then, even if it should go wrong in Supreme Court this time, we can do better : wheel the progressive broom and sweep out corporate greed -- out of Congress, Supreme Court and generally out of politics. Not only Republicans are preventing these goals, we can't have so many blue-dogs as well. So please look out what Democrats you appoint in your counties!

arky12's picture
arky12 11 years 5 hours ago

This is off A real eye opener as to the true agendas of the ultra wealthy. A military coup in this country?

I’ve written a few different posts here, and I’ve finally joined to be a member. I told the FDL people that I still would like to keep my identity separate from my screen name for a variety of reasons. I am an attorney working in Texas, which is probably too much information as it is. I am Jewish (at least, my dad was, making me not so kosher in more traditional circles). That narrows it down pretty much as much I care to let it. The reason I need to maintain some degree of anonymity is because this is still something of the “lion’s den” down here in Texas. I do work in the Energy industry, with some pretty big names in the hydrocarbon industry. And I get to rub shoulders with some pretty big hosses. They may not pay much mind to me – with armies of attorneys around them, its easy to be lost in the shuffle when you’re not the big kahuna that plays golf with them. And I like to keep it that way. These are not “my” clients. They are simply clients of attorneys I work with on a regular basis to assist them with specific things.

I can’t discuss specific things. I can’t disclose specific confidences. But when a fellow attorney starts blabbing about politics, I can certainly listen, and when they say things that are rather amazing or outrageous, I see no reason to “protect” those personal opinions. Out of professional courtesy and respect, I will never disclose names, or titles. And I would not want to make it too easy to draw a link between myself and my screen name. But some things are worth sharing with the FDL community. Even with names and titles and locations redacted. I won’t be “sourcing” what I am sharing, so this is purely anecdotal. Take of it what you will, and discard what you choose to discard. I seek only to share within certain bounds and read what others with similar or different experiences care to share.

Let me start with the end first, that way the rest of it will at least make some sense. I think that it is entirely possible that President Obama is prolonging the wars and keeping the troops deployed for more than one reason. I know we mock and joke about his “11th Dimensional Chess” bullshit… and I think most of it is bullshit that comes out of his political campainging. But, I also recognize that even this “empty suit” sock puppet may have a few good reasons for doing what he is doing. Even if those “good” reasons are very self-serving. All of us here have witnessed how the President appears to be captive to a Military-Industrial complex and Financial Vampire oligarchy. I think he stepped into that captivity the moment he became a “viable” candidate. They approached him and did a deal. That is how he edged Hillary. He promised them more than she did or could. But I think even he is not willing to risk the worst possible outcome of doing deals with the devil. Even he, if at all possible, may be trying to avert a more desperate situation from occurring. It is possible that if he were to “bring all the troops” back home that a far greater problem may ensue. That what we know to be a de-facto hijacking of the Presidency by these interests may mushroom into a full-blown coup or civil war.

I would not have drawn such a preliminary conclusion, but for the conversation I had with an attorney in the Energy industry that has ties to the military. His comments echoed several other comments I have heard from many other former military men who now run companies or act as senior executives or Board members of companies in various parts of Texas.

Let me set the scene a bit. There is a senior attorney (my peer), (who does play the golf), who is a white male. There is a hispanic female attorney much more junior in the room. And there is myself. Going through the stuff we go through, and discussing the legal matters we need to discuss. We are looking at certain documents and reports. And the topic of national security comes up. And the discussion about what this nation is doing/not doing right/wrong with respect to that. I make a general observation that the war on terror is about as effective as the war on drugs – which is to say completely ineffective. The senior attorney demonstrates his biases by claiming that the Government doesn’t do enough spying. The junior hispanic female attorney heartily agrees with him. He proceeds to make the following comments, not exactly in this order, (all of which the junior hispanic female readily agrees with, in a sickening sycophantic manner):

1. That he believes in the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. (With which I agree)

2. He believes America has been sold out to foreign powers and special interests, (if he means Wall Street and the MIC, then I agree)

3. He believes the only solution is for America to be ruled by its own “Hitler” – he clarifies that the whole “Jewish” thing (he does not realize I am Jewish) was because the “rats” (his words) had taken advantage of Germany and made themselves a target. He then goes on to say that “Hitler gave them a chance to leave, an he didn’t just close the borders and kill them. He gave them a chance first…” (At this point, I am quietly gritting my teeth, realizing that arguing with him while I am angry will do no good)

4. He believes that the only motivator for change in America is FEAR. Machiavelli-style. That Americans will not respond to economics, but to fear. And that they can’t think for themselves. So they need a tyrant to dictate the law to them. To “restore” the Constitution, he advocates the establishment of an American Hitler to FORCE change. At the point of a gun.

5. (At this point, I am being as tactful as possible, being at “his” firm, and explaining the obvious problems with the tearing apart of the Constitution to support it, the way that such tactics will results in a civil war, etc…) He proceeds to say, “Good. The Civil War is inevitable. It will come. When people protest, you don’t let them. You kill them. With the military. People won’t stand still with an M-1 tank bearing down on them. He then laments that such a plan won’t work as long as the military stays abroad. The Military has to come home in order for the Coup to truly take place.

6. Probing more, I gather this from him – the Military is comprised of ”True Patriots” who will topple a President they feel has betrayed the Constitution. He (and other former servicemembers-cum-CEOs of private companies that I’ve met) have shared this same sentiment many times. I think there is a real movement afoot in the military to seize the reigns of power. Wait a minute – they appear already to have so done. They get the wars they want, how they want, now. And they get the budget they want, how they want, already. But this attorney is telling me that a large movement of Americans on the “right” side of the spectrum want the boys and girls home, not to end the Wars, but to have them here, Stateside, for the inevitable coup!

I would dismiss this guy under other circumstances, but (1) this is not the first time I’ve heard people with large wads of cash and corporate power make the same comments, (2) General Smedley Butler was approached by the corporate titans of his day (DuPont, Dow, Wall Street, etc) to lead such a coup against FDR, (3) the Tea Party has arisen, with Koch-funding, to express the need to “Water the Tree of Liberty with Tyrant’s blood”, (4) the Military has increasing grown Evangelical and Zenophobic as an institution , (see Jeff Sharlett, and Jeremy Scahill), (5) the military has allowed far greater rates of enlistment of members of hate groups to fight in the prolonged wars,

7. He goes on to say that the person who will fill this role must be non-brown. According to him, that is the only way to ensure that the person is a “True” American. (The hispanic female junior attorney has so far nodded, smiled, heartily agreed, and ecstatically said “that is SO true…” to everything he has said. Which tells me that she either sold out long ago or is making the decision to sell out now). He then laments “affirmative action” as the cause of all problems, and that multiculturalism is the root of all evil. He laments that people have lost their way as “True Americans” and that now, the only thing that will work is FEAR and TYRANNY. That a strong person must seize power and FORCE people to become TRUE AMERICANS or DIE (in the name of the Constitution, of course!).

8. He advocates the use of nuclear weapons to eradicate the Middle East of ALL Muslims. He is adamant that Muslims are worse than Jews in America (but only by a little bit, apparently).

What am I to make of all this? When I say to him, “Well, I would be surprised if the military would orchestrate a coup, no matter what some service members might feel” he responds with “Well, the Black military would support Obama. But there are plenty of “True Patriots” in the military. That same phrase, used again.

I’ve heard it used too often here in Texas by former military now turned executive. He even made the point that the best way to kickstart this civil war is to use a foreign power to do the dirty work for the True Americans. I probed a bit to learn what he meant. He basically said, “Well, we will get a terrorist to drop a bomb on Washington, D.C. to decapitate the snake. Just like we started to do already…” and then he trailed off. He appeared unwilling to say more about the “what we started to do already” part.

He suggested that I join him and his comrades in this endeavor. I told him it wasn’t my cup of tea. He seemed pretty cocksure of himself. He was in the company of other attorneys, and figures that everything said in a law firm is privileged and confidential. Which, to a degree, it is. But when he talked of bombing D.C., killing elected officials, and a military coup, what right does he have to think its privileged? If he had shown me battle plans and details and names and lists of targets, I would have already reported him to the authorities.

But here is the catch. He is okay with the national security apparatus in place. He is okay with the PATRIOT Act. He doesn’t seem fazed by such brazenly open commentary. I think I know why.

Because if I were to “turn him in” to the authorities, they probably would lock me up. Because THEY ARE HIM. AND HE IS THEM. The “authorities” are probably already sharing this mindset with guys like this. When this much money (Citizens United) can be unleashed into the halls of power, naked and in light of day, and the Financial Vampires and MIC can so brazenly loot from the public and impose a restriction of rights upon us all, then it is likely that this “coup” he was talking of is already at least a decade into its plan. If not longer. Some might argue that when Ronnie Reagan was president, this coup was already well under way. Others might argue that the killing of JFK and RFK were a key part of this coup (those men couldn’t be bought or turned, and threatened some aspect of the puppet masters’ strategy too much).

I don’t know.

I do know that this kind of brazen talk has become increasingly commonplace. On Glenn Beck. On Faux News. In Sarah Palin’s mouth. Or Michelle Bachman’s mouth. In the mouths of Tea Partiers at astroturf rallies. In the commentaries of talking heads on ClearChannel AM stations and Roger Ailes’ paid goons. It is spoken from the mouths of millions of members found from a laundry list of hate groups. It is the common parlance of Republican elected officials to use military metaphors, violent metaphors, (cross-hairs on political opponents, “lock and load”, “rally the troops”, “conquer Washington”) or refer to the assassination or hanging of political opponents (look at the reactions of right-wingers to Julian Assange and Bradley Manning) or the constant refrain of the lynch-mob verbiage (“hang em high, string em up, hang em by the balls”). It is very common around the state here in Texas. Be it in the mouth of the local auto mechanic who talks openly about seeing an armed revolution while I’m sitting in the damn waiting room of the shop, or a wealthy attorney with a wealthy energy company client described herein. And so many in between. But this time, it was filled with too much bravado, certainty, and ease. It felt eerie and bizarro to hear such brazen language so openly spoken. It made me fear Sarah Palin just a wee bit more, and it made me wonder about the German people who quietly accepted such talk when they heard it not so long ago.

Is this attorney with influence and money just talking big? Or is he aware of something and so cocksure of something that he doesn’t even feel timid in bragging about it? I don’t know. But I do know this. The more I hear talk like this, the less sure I am of how much we want the more radical element of our armed forces stateside. Do we want a large concentration of white-supremacist, Christian Identity special forces congregated in our homeland? With tanks, munitions, and infantry tactics? Do we want thatwhen we already have a highly Evangelicalized Air Force that controls the unmanned drones, spy satellites, and air defense systems? (More Sources here).

I felt obliged to share this experience here at FDL simply to give people a chance to think about these issues. Perhaps I felt a bit frustrated that I was not in a position to do a damn thing about this individual. The client and its executive leadership are quite chummy with this individual and his colleagues. I don’t know to what extent they all share the exact same thinking, but it is clear he has no problem speaking of it in the presence of some of their employees or other third-party agents. I’ve heard this talk before, and I was dealing with people who are accountable to nobody but themselves. They run corporations and are independently wealthy. They run for public office (and some have won) at the state and local and federal level. Be they in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or other cities in Texas. When the governor of the state can so brashly talk about Secession, and there are no consequences, then I suppose the entire motif and mythology of a new civil war is considered romantic and heroic. It is openly glorified in the halls of power in this state. The idea that the military would depose a President that did not see the world through its eyes is not a new one. And I suppose that President Obama perhaps is dealing with this right now. After all, JFK was shot in Dallas. Perhaps Texas has the greatest network of “True Patriots” and they feel quite at home here being so open about their intentions.

If so, this gives a slightly different perspective on the President. If he is surrounded by jackals at all times, and realizes that he took an office that is already a figurehead position, then he probably has to be very careful how he operates in that context. I don’t intend to make apologies for his cowardice, or excuse his actions (the killing of civilians with drones or other implements of war is not excusable, the craven retreat from the Peace Process, and the willingness to give assassination orders on American citizens, the decision to allow the abuse of Bradley Manning and the subsequent firing of officials who criticize it, etc, etc). I am not going to defend his decision to obey his masters. But I will at least consider and concede that he might be a captive man. That his honor and integrity, while noble in intention during the campaign, may have been too weak or immature to have given him the resolve to stay true to that honor and integrity in the face of the jackals.

Were he to stand up to them, and end this silent coup, I am sure horrible things would transpire as a reaction. But he would be a hero for doing it. America doesn’t need its own Hitler. It needs its own heroes. Everyone of us will have to step up and be prepared to do the right thing (whatever that may be) in the face of naked aggression. I can only hope that the words I heard were bluster and nothing more. But I have a sick feeling in my stomach that they are far more than that. And that the national security state is already largely aligned with those words. Thus, the braggart uttering them will not be punished by the law. Rather, the person offended by them (myself) would be punished. Just as Bush, Cheney, et al go free, the one who exposes the war crimes, Bradley Manning, is made to suffer.

I truly believe, now, that Bradley Manning is the symbol of everyperson. He is the representation of a decent American trying to do the decent thing. And he is being made to suffer horribly for that. And he is the lesson to the rest of us. Shut up, and tow the line. Or end up like him. See no evil (or ignore it if you do see it), Hear no evil (or speak nothing of it if you hear it), and Do No Evil (or do not stop the ones doing the evil if you are too unwilling to do the evil yourself). The new American Way.

Make of it what you will. But I daresay that others here at FDL have had similiar personal experiences. It would be great if the other Texas-based members were willing to offer input on anything they’ve seen or heard akin to my experiences. Is this more rampant than we have been willing to admit to ourselves? Do we all see the same thing?

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 11 years 4 hours ago

Hi Clarissa,

Are you now doing "stand-up" aloong with playing music? :)

AACD2012's picture
AACD2012 11 years 4 hours ago

In addition to this great question, could Social Security Insurance be affected by a Supreme Court ruling against the ACA? Both are insurance programs and SSI has had the individual mandate requiring participation nationwide? Might the conservatives use a ruling in their favor to attack SSI? This most activist Supreme Court might be generating anoth Citizens United type of decision.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 1 hour ago

Excellent piece, Arky12! Thanks! Yes, this is really very scary. And, I am sure you are quite correct on your belief that this is a very common theme in those levels of power and influence. Xenophobia is also quite rampant.

As Mikey Weinstein has shown us...they brainwash much of our military not only with the mental tools to kill without guilt but they add in the "kill for Jesus" mentality (I mean, after all...passages of the bible engraved in rifle scopes?..what more evidence do we need here? But there is a lot of evidence beyond that, of course).

And now, after wasting all those tax-payer's billions of dollars on illegal wars abroad...they are now wasting tax payer's billions of dollars on spying on least $2 billion just to build that 1 million square foot NSA super-spy center in Utah (you'd think all they had to do was to use MyLife to effectively spy on people). They know that their anti-99% will eventually lead to rebellion and they are preparing for it.

The more I see what is going on today, the more I believe that there really is an agenda to depopulate the world. Some in high places evidently believe that the world is too populated (with all the wrong kind of people) and want to depopulate the world according to their idyllic utopia of streets paved with gold and pearly gates and angelic virgins floating around spouting hypocryphal verses from the bible..New Testament ..of course.) In reality, they don't really believe in all that Biblical nonsense and so try very hard to create their "heaven on earth". But there is nothing more terrifying than deranged "Christian" sadists.

I think you may very well be correct in that Obama was let in on the dirty little secret of our faux Democracy....that it is really a Plutocracy..or "Corporatocracy"...and that, if he wanted to protect himself or his family, he'd better play their game. I believe the same genre of secretive powers that have their stranglehold on America was behind the JFK and RFK and MLK, and others, assassinations. And their modus operandi has been to set up a patsy or patsies to take the fall for the dirty deeds.

And I believe that things won't change in our favor even if Obama is re-elected. Especially, since he would no longer have to be concerned about pretending to represent the people...or seeking another re-election...he is likely to play it safe and do exactly what these jackals want him to do.

So, I have come to the conclusion that no third party will stand a chance, because the two party system is too strongly entrenched in our minds, to get into power. And even if they did, they will have the same problem as Obama did. If you participate in the elections, this time around, just know that it is an act of futility...except, maybe, to tick off the Republicans who have been such obstinate prigs, and pricks.

A second term Obama Presidency will not look much better than the current one...or, a Republican one....because the ruling elite...controls the shots. An Obama Presidency will only serve to keep the gullible hopeful longer. And that kind of hope will only serve to keep people from the real actions necessary to bring about real change in their favor. And the longer they wait, the more the ruling elite will be able to monitor and anticipate actions of the 99%...hence...controlling them. The giant NSA spy center, many different kinds of drones patrolling the cities of America, implants like "Digital Angel", RFID labels and credit/debit cards, and social networking/cell phones will keep Americans in line for the near future. The current and various TV shows that psych watchers into giving up their liberties, privacy, and freedoms for "protection" against the contrived evil, terrorist, bogeyman will keep many Americans comfortably numb enough to keep them from thinking too critically on the issues.

We are really not very far away from what used to be thought of as futuristic science fiction with an evil few getting their jollies by doing whatever they want to the human footstools... or, maybe even reverting back to the Roman form of entertainment...Gladiator games. But that is happening a way.. if you think about what we are doing in our illegal wars...committing war crimes...murdering children and other civilians...our arrogant Regal Lions slaughtering the innocents for the enjoyment of the deluded and exploited citizens of our own country who can fantasize in patriotic illusions of grandeur and smug self-righteousness. We have to be psychologically molded into thinking that these kinds of things only happen "over there" to "sub-humans" who deserve their fate. And if we don't question the authority over here then we can be assured that these things won't happen over here....until one does.

There will always be One-Starred Sneaches and Two-Starred Sneaches at each other's throats. One kind will always think themselves better, and more deserving, than the other kind and will try to do each other in. They will invent their own unique fantasies of deities, pretend all-powerful invisible gods, that miraculously defeat one's enemies...especially death. But those fantasies often clash with other's fantasies and actually result in the very outcome that they each wanted to avoid in the first place. We live in a terribly insane world. Dogma kills...especially when you mix it with an incestuous brew of Patriotism and brainwash that into trained killers.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 45 min ago

And then, what about mandated car insurance? But, at least driving a car is a choice. You can decide to drive or not to drive. With health can decide to live or not to live...and that is basically what the healthScare scamsters and their puppets, the Republicans and some faux-Democrats, want apparently.

But the problem with trying to throw SSI in the same basket as Obamacare is that with SSI we are not mandated to pay a private insurance scamster and we will get our money back if we live long enough and if the damn anti-SSI jackals don't destroy it.

With Obamacare, without a public option, we are government-strong-armed into filling the coffers of the extremely over-compensated CEOs and other profit-mongers who don't care a whit about anything but their profits. And like what would happen if they ever do privatize SSI...the Ponzi-schemers would disappear it all down the casino capitalist rabbit hole. So, there is a big difference between Obamacare (which was a complete give away to the healthScare scamsters) and a long successful government program that guaranteed us security in our old age.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 33 min ago

With Obamacare, the healthcare insurance companies may be prohibited from denying us insurance or compensation on the basis of pre-existing conditions but it doesn't stop them from raising their rates....effectively denying affordable insurance rates to anyone who has come down with any particular illness...pre-existing or not. If they start getting medical care, costing the insurance company money, their rates will go up. And many people just can't afford to pay and will likely die of their affliction one way or the other. And the insurance companies are going to make out, like the bandits they are, with the help of the strong-arm government enforcers. We need to take the profit motive out of healthcare in America.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 52 weeks ago

arky12, I think you reveil too many details, which makes me concerned one might be able to figure you out.....

Right now you still have the chance to EDIT. Maybe, you wanna think over, which informations are really necessary?

I mean, if this is all true : don't risk too much!

Love ya, Arky!

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 52 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:We need to take the profit motive out of healthcare in America.
Yes, yes, yes! And good ideas are actually before our eyes on the web. Everybody can study how healthcare works in other countries, it's all on the internet. Take Germany, their economy is very strong -- although they have a PUBLIC (!!!) healthcare system (created by a Christian-Conservative party, not by socialists!). Germany actually cut their private insurance companies back, after they got too mighty. Why? Because private insurers are working for profit, not for public health. So, over the next term, from 2013 on, we will have to get Obamacare (yeah, Obama cares!) on the right track : the PUBLIC track.

I'm all for free market, but not in things health insurance -- here the free market doesn't work, this is a government job.

Briefly, we have to change American healthcare from private insurers to public insurance. Is there already a government-funded health insurer? Like APH / American Public Healthcare? Something like that will have to be the path to go ahead.....

mgbeyer's picture
mgbeyer 10 years 52 weeks ago

RE: SCOTUS arguments on Affordable Healthcare, this is MISSING:

You're not going to eat broccoli if you DONT buy it and make others pay for it! You are not going to use a cell phone if you DONT buy one and rack up charges that everyone else will have to pay! That's the difference! If you DONT BUY coverage for healthcare, you are STILL eventually going to use it, and everyone else has to pay for it through increased premiums or higher healthcare costs!

mgbeyer's picture
mgbeyer 10 years 52 weeks ago

What will happen if the SCOTUS strikes down ObamacareS? Of course the obvious, XO max 26-80-100-200: X= Pre-ex denials reinstated, O = Donut hole returns, max= lifetime max pay-outs are back, 26= kids up to 26 yo no longer allowed on parent's healthcare, 80 = 80% of premiums being spent on paying out benefits no longer a limitation, 100 = $100 B over 10 years won't be saved on healthcare costs and 200 = 200 M people no longer have access to healthcare. That's besides small businesses losing their 35% tax allowance for premiums for employees, full coverage on preventative care, mental health no longer treated same as other medical conditions, women will again be discriminated against in the cost of insurance just because of their gender, and the Patient Bill of Rights is thrown under the bus, run over and destroyed. Pass it on!

kilgoretrout887's picture
kilgoretrout887 10 years 51 weeks ago

Phillips, Phillip, Phillip, you are talking about 4 of the most corrupt partisan citizens of these United States. These people violated their own states rights principles to install geo bush and it would take someone a whole lot dumber than a tea bagger to fail to recognize the harm citizens united would do. these guys will be stupid again and obama knew it when he turned his back on the public option - this has all been for show

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 51 weeks ago

Which would mean, they've been naive and silly like unexperienced little children, and now they become wise, grown people?

I don't know...... although I would like your version better, because it could make me sleep better.......

mauiman58's picture
mauiman58 10 years 51 weeks ago

If the press is right (and that is not always the case), then Obamacare will get struck down by the Supream Court. It could not pass as legislation in the last congress controlled by Democrats, it is so unpopular that almost 70% of Americans oppose it, and now the Supream Court is ready to declare it unconstitutional. How can anyone defend it? Are you guys really that smart?

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 51 weeks ago

70%?? Either you're lying on purpose, or you're just a goop. You're all about misinforming by talking a bunch of hooey, which is not the first time here.

mauiman58's picture
mauiman58 10 years 51 weeks ago

Clarissa, that number has been quoted several times.

To all others, here is the Chicago Tribunes take on the situation:,0,140180.story

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 51 weeks ago

Read exactly how German healthcare works so beautifully (my head's splitting after studying all that, but makes sense!)…

mauiman58's picture
mauiman58 10 years 51 weeks ago


Funny how that guy told you the same thing I did, that it would appear that you are young and idealistic, and in 10-20 years you will change your tune and realize the problems with depending on the goverment for everything. So I am not alone in the opinion of you.

Bill300's picture
Bill300 10 years 51 weeks ago

Question? What would happen if the Supreme court shoots down the bill and then Obama tells the country, " TOUGH" the law stays in effect? Should be interesting!

mauiman58's picture
mauiman58 10 years 51 weeks ago

I think that if the Supreme court strikes a law down, it becomes null and void. As I understand it, the provision that forces people to buy insurance in the way Obamacare demands would never become law. Without that, the whole thing falls on its face.

Sauron's picture
Sauron 10 years 49 weeks ago

Clearly we are not ready as a nation to turn sick and injured away form the emergency room doors. What strikes me as odd is that people protesting mandated insurance don't seem to realize that they if they pay taxes, they are paying for the emergency room free ride used by both those who cannot pay, and those who can pay but choose not to ( gaming the system). Aside from the intermittent increases in insurance coverage in the name of greed, the hospital and insurance rates are increased to cover the losses incurred due to those who cannot or choose not to pay. Logically, mandated insurance would decrease loss of revenue in the hospitals, and cast a more critical eye on insurance rate increases.

The claim that mandated health insurance " infringes on the rights" of those forced to buy insurance or pay a penalty, is invalid if citizens can be mandated by the states to carry automobile insurance. Whether it is Federal or State, a mandate is law if passed by the Federal government or State government. How the Supreme Court could not see the parallel and uphold the Constitutionality of the mandated health care plan would be difficult to explain given the similarity. Constitutionally, the Supreme Court is not empowered with the right to strike down laws passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. Of the three bodies of government, Congress and the Executive Branch have powers granted by the Constitution that the Supreme Court is not granted. Of the three bodies, the Supreme Court is ranked third in Constitutionally granted powers.

I am not only afraid, but am dead certain the the Republican controlled Supreme Court will render the health care plan useless by dismantling parts of it, or striking it down altogether. If they have the power to do that, the Constitution is not worth the parchment it was written on. They would render the Congress and President powerless to stop them from ruling the country from their lofty thrones.

Sauron's picture
Sauron 10 years 49 weeks ago

I applaud your faith in the Supreme Court, but I respectfully submit that it may be somewhat misplaced. I also respectfully disagree with your assumption that they are immune to political pressure. They are partisans of the Republican persuasion, and their loyalties and values will sway their thoughts, whether conciously or subconciously in favor of the views of their party. I personally think the Supremes are fearless in their decisions, regardless of their outcomes. If I were a betting man, I would lay odds that the Supremes will not only go down the stupid road again, but that the results will be exponentially worse than the Citizens United ruling.

Clarissa Smith's picture
Clarissa Smith 10 years 49 weeks ago

Your phony "70%" aren't in that Chicagoan article.

The correct figures are 46% vs 54% -- 54% are FOR Obamacare!

If you tell me I'm too young you're like an old Ford T-model of the 1920s, considering itself a safer car for streets of 2012.

Quote Gershwin in 1930:Old man trouble, I don't mind him--

You won't find him, at my door.

I Got Rhythm.........

(I GOT RHYTHM came out 1930)

The message is timeless: Fussy old people, trying to tell younger people how they should live are NOT appreciated. Not invited, not around our door. Old-fashioned old people who hate to change, naturally become isolated and lonesome. Old people who are open and tolerant are welcome to young people. It has always been that way : you guys disqualify yourselves.

Your queer message is: "We old people know better, you young people change thinking to that of old people." What a laugh!

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