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Supreme Court
  • The Founding Fathers on Obamacare

    Whenever Americans have needed a higher authority to justify their preexisting political beliefs, we've turned to the words of the Founding Fathers for historical backup.

    In that spirit, four dissenting Supreme Court Justices in the Affordable Care Act case called upon the ghost of Alexander Hamilton to oppose the individual mandate. If Congress can require Americans to purchase insurance, the dissenting justices wrote, "then the Commerce Clause becomes a font of unlimited power, or in Hamilton's words, "the hideous monster whose devouring jaws…spare neither sex nor age, nor high nor low, nor sacred nor profane."

    Sadly, Crtl-F search through the Federalist Papers by a law clerk is not the same thing as actually reading the Federalist Papers, because in fact, Hamilton was being sarcastically derisive of the opponents of expanded federal power, making fun of Anti-Federalists for suggesting that the new Constitution would turn the government in to a "hideous monster." Hamilton was an early fan of muscular government if there ever was one.

    As Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Beware of quotes you find on the Internet, because they are often made up or taken out of context."

    Thanks to recent discoveries in the world of particle physics, we've been able to bring a couple of the Founding Fathers in to the 21st century in order to seek their opinion on Obamacare. Unfortunately, they first had more questions for us, such as, "Does Obamacare cover leaches?" Mostly, they were very pretty perturbed by the whole black guy in the White House thing.

    Eventually John Jay was hit by a horseless carriage and we had to call the whole thing off. Some things will remain a mystery.

    Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    Tags: Alexander Hamilton, Founding Fathers, Health Care, Supreme Court
  • Memo to Conservatives: "Obamacare" Is Now Called "ObamaTax"

    barack obamaConservatives — apparently concerned that the term "Obamacare" wasn't providing quite as much ridicule or ire as was originally intended — have seized upon Chief Justice John Robert's mandate-as-tax rationale for deciding the Affordable Care Act as constitutional as an opportunity to rename health care reform.

    Behold, you are witnessing the birth of history…

    Rush Limbaugh: "Now all of a sudden since the Supreme Court ruling has come out and made this effectively ObamaTax instead of Obamacare" "Liz MacDonald of Fox Business tells us that, with ObamaTax now being the law of the land, the IRS will, indeed, be a more intrusive presence in our private lives."

    Gateway Pundit: "After a brief ObamaTax bump, Mitt Romney retook the lead over Barack Obama today. Maybe it was the realization that most of the ObamaTax burden will fall on the backs of the middle class."

    Townhall: "Guess who will be paying for ObamaTax? The middle class."

    NewsBusters: "Shortly after Thursday's Supreme Court ruling regarding ObamaTax, the vulgar comedian [Bill Maher] tweeted the former Republican vice presidential nominee…"

    And of course the obligatory hashtag…

    Unfortunately, not everyone in the conservative universe has received the talking point memo

    [Romney advisor and progenitor of the "Etch A Sketch" meme] Eric Fehrnstrom, in an interview on MSNBC, said Romney agrees with President Obama that the individual mandate is no tax.

    "He agreed with the dissent written by Justice Scalia which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax," Fehrnstrom said.

    It sucks when an email gets sent to the spam folder by accident.

    Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Conservatives, Health Care, John Roberts, Judiciary, Mitt Romney, Supreme Court, Taxes
  • John Roberts Escapes to Malta

    Chief Justice John Roberts faces an avalanche of conservative criticism now that he's outed himself as a sometime believer in judicial minimalism, AKA a communist.

    Michael Savage suggested his decision was due to "cognitive problems" associated with epilepsy medicine. Glenn Beck is selling a tee shirt with Roberts's face and the word "coward" below it. And many Republicans are so upset, they've gone so far as to blame George W. Bush for Roberts' appointment, the first time any negative event in the Obama administration was attributed to the former president.

    Roberts, for one, knows how to read the misspelled writing on the Tea Party wall…

    Responding to a question about his summer break, Roberts said he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta, the Mediterranean island nation.

    "Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea," Roberts said, drawing laughter from about 300 judges, attorneys and others attending a four-day conference Friday at a posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort.

    He better take his birth certificate with him if he wants to have a chance at coming back.

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Conservatives, Health Care, John Roberts, Supreme Court