Republicans scored a huge victory today when the Supreme Court gave them something to scare voters with for a while. Scott Brown is shilling for a health supplement company, and sales should go through the roof once he taps into his lucrative network of kings and queens. And Antonin Scalia’s dissent in King v. Burwell was so breathless that if you retyped it in all-caps purple comic sans, you’d swear it was from your belligerently conservative grandparent. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, June 25th, 2015:
SUPREME COURT KILLS AMERICA. JUST KILLS IT DEAD. - First we're taking down symbols of an insurrection against the United States. Now we're keeping Americans alive. America is over. Jeffrey Young and Jonathan Cohn: " The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed. On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act -- thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago..Had the plaintiffs prevailed,millions of people who depend upon the Affordable Care Act for insurance would have lost financial assistance from the federal government. Without that money, most of them would have had to give up coverage altogether. And the loss of so many customers would have forced insurers to raise premiums, seriously disrupting state insurance markets. But two of the court’s conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined the court’s four liberals in rejecting the lawsuit in a 6-3 decision.Roberts delivered the opinion for the majority. And the decision was a concise, stinging rebuke of the plaintiffs, who contended that Congress intended to write a law that would leave so many people without coverage, and cause such disarray." [HuffPost]
THESE TWO TEAMS JUST DON'T LIKE EACH OTHER - Louise Radnofsky: "After Chief Justice Roberts finished, Justice Antonin Scalia read a blistering dissent, drawing giggles when he suggested the law should be dubbed 'Scotuscare' because of the court’s efforts to save it. Chief Justice Roberts didn’t crack a smile. Justice Scalia concluded: 'I respectfully dissent.' At that point, the chief justice quickly looked at him and seemed to shrug his shoulders. The justices then quickly rose and left." [WSJ]
Scott Brown would like you to try these weight loss pills.
HOUSE REPUBLICAN INTRODUCING 'SCOTUScare ACT' - Texas Rep. Brian Babin (R) has introduced the SCOTUScare Act of 2015, which, per an email to Hill staffers from Babin's office, would "require all Justices and staff of the United States Supreme Court to obtain their federal health insurance benefits through the exchanges created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Feel better, guys!
Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor, tells Jonathan Cohn: "The government couldn’t have won bigger."
CONSERVATIVES LICK WOUNDS - To be fair, had the court sided with the plaintiffs, a lot of Americans' health care would be reduced to literal wound-licking. Igor Bobic: "'Roberts = Souter,' tweeted Matt Mackowiak, a Republican operative from Texas. Justice David Souter was appointed by former President George H. W. Bush, but conservatives later soured on his appointment after he moved toward the middle and voted to reaffirm Roe v. Wade. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter echoed the sentiment and turned it into a critique of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is the third member of the Bush family to run for president. Jonathan Adler, a conservative legal commentator and law professor, said Obamacare 'now really is the law that John Roberts wrote.' Andrew Grossman, a legal adjunct at the Cato Institute, took it a step further and called it 'RobertsCare.' Fox Host Andrea Tantaros said the "judiciary, John Roberts included, is now just the water boy for the welfare state." [HuffPost]
@burgessev: Senate adjourns for Independence Day recess. If House adopts adjournment resolution, not in session again 'til July 7.
LEGAL SYSTEM NOT THROUGH WITH AFFORDABLE CARE ACT - Jeffrey Young: "President Barack Obama's health care law survived yet another near-death experience Thursday. But that doesn't mean the Affordable Care Act has achieved immortality…. Litigating the Affordable Care Act has become a favorite pastime for conservatives, and there's no reason to believe that will end soon despite numerous defeats, both high- and low-profile. A handful of other legal challenges are wending their way through the court system. And while none appear to be on a fast track to the Supreme Court, they have the potential to do major damage to the landmark health care reform law. They're all seen as long shots, but so were King v. Burwell and National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius -- and both of those went all the way to the highest court in the land." [HuffPost]
DAILY DELANEY DOWNER - Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), one of the Republican Party's top safety net experts, changed his tune slightly this week about the War on Poverty. "For the past 50 years, we’ve been waging a War on Poverty," Ryan said during a hearing Thursday. "And I don’t think you can call it anything but a stalemate." "Stalemate" is a lot nicer than the f-word Ryan has used for antipoverty programs in the past few years. He called the federal government's safety net a "failed system" in May. He gave it a "failing grade" in January 2014. He said in 2013 that strategies associated with the War on Poverty had "failed miserably." Two cheers for stalemate! [HuffPost]
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DEMS PASS TRADE RELIEF BILL - If it's any consolation, the government will return the giant crate that it shipped your job overseas in and let you use it for housing. Mike McAuliff: "The House passed a bill Thursday to help workers displaced by the trade deals Congress just gave President Barack Obama the power to sign, but it's a bitter consolation for Democrats who think the White House should have gotten much more.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance program -- passed as part of a larger trade preferences bill on a vote of 286 to 138 -- will spend about $450 million a year to retrain workers whose jobs are destroyed by free trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Obama is expected to finish soon. “The reason we need TAA is because we have lousy trade deals that end up with the loss of a lot of American jobs. I’d rather have a good trade deal than a bad trade deal with TAA," Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) told The Huffington Post in an interview earlier this week, summing up the feelings of many Democrats who tried to block the fast-track trade powers that Obama won this week. Democrats have typically backed the program, but not always enthusiastically, deriding something that wouldn't be needed if federal trade policy hadn't killed the jobs in the first place. The program is often seen as a salve for trade deals that are beloved by corporate America but despised by labor, and it's seen as only marginally effective." [HuffPost]
HIPPIE DIPPIE SUPREME COURT CONTINUES TO TURN COUNTRY INTO SOCIALIST HELLSCAPE - Nick Wing: "The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday that housing policies and practices with discriminatory outcomes can be challenged under the Fair Housing Act, even if there was no intent to discriminate. At issue in the case, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, was the validity of a theory known as disparate impact, and specifically its application under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, passed just a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Though the FHA protects against many forms of discrimination, disparate impact is seen by fair housing advocates as a particularly vital tool for fighting racial inequality, as it permits lawsuits to be brought against policies that disproportionately affect people of color, even when no overt racial motive can be proven." [HuffPost]
BOB BECKEL, THE POOR MAN'S COLMES, LEAVING FOX NEWS - Rumors are that Beckel's spot on "The Five" will be filled by a copy of "Rules for Radicals" that the other hosts will just yell at for an hour. TVNewser: "Fox News Channel confirms Bob Beckel is leaving his role as co-host of The Five, and will depart the network. In a statement to TVNewser, Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming for Fox News, said 'We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues. He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him. Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be among those rotating on the show for the near future.'" [TVNewser]
Man, Fox really knows how to gratuitously crap on a former employee.
Roger Ailes, Patron Saint of Politically Discordant Thanksgiving Dinners, is staying with Fox News: "Roger Ailes, who built Fox News into a cable news powerhouse, will continue as chairman and CEO for the next several years, the company announced Thursday. The announcement of a multi-year deal should help end recent speculation about whether Ailes, 75, would stay at Fox News following a succession plan in which Rupert Murdoch's two sons, James and Lachlan, take the reins of the media empire. James Murdoch was recently named CEO of 21st Century Fox, while Lachlan becomes co-executive chairman alongside his father." [HuffPost]
Who threatens political cartoonists? What is this, 1880? "Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said Wednesday that he'd like to shoot the cartoonist for the Bangor Daily News, a joke that fell flat in light of the January shooting that killed five Charlie Hebdo cartoonists in France. LePage made his comments about cartoonist George Danby on Wednesday in front of a group of teenagers attending Dirigo Boys State, a youth leadership program held in Waterville, Maine. Danby's son, Nick, was in attendance and asked the governor a question. According to Danby, LePage was skeptical of the question and asked Nick where he received his information. Nick said he reads newspapers, and the governor responded that he shouldn't trust what newspapers say. Nick eventually asked what LePage thought of the Bangor Daily News' cartoonist, at which point LePage made his joke, Danby said." [HuffPost's Amanda Terkel]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here's a dog befriending a crab.
- Will Ferrell's wedding speech to complete strangers.
- Film critic unloads an epic stemwinder against the "Entourage" movie.
- Man gives walking tour of the world's newest island, formed by a recent volcanic eruption.
@ericschoeck: Justice Scalia the lone dissenter in the lesser-watched case, Adorable Puppies v. Hot Pile of Garbage. "I love garbage," Scalia writes.
@fordm: So are folks going to write new Roberts-the-betrayer stories if he joins a marriage equality ruling, or just update their Obamacare ones?
@cushbomb: To recognize today's ACA ruling I will be hosting a memorial service for the US Constitution in my rumpus room. BYOB, Diaps will be provided
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