The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell is not simply a victory for the Obama administration — and for the millions of Americans who depend upon the Affordable Care Act for their health coverage. It is a sweeping, crushing blow for conservatives who seek to use the courts to undo what President Obama and a Democratic Congress accomplished. “In a democracy,” Chief Justice John Roberts implicitly scolds the activists behind this litigation, “the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people.” He then offers a broad statement to future judges called upon to interpret the Affordable Care Act: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
Despite this, Republican hopefuls continue to dream of repeal:
Today’s decision reinforces why we need a pres who will bring real reform that repeals & replaces Obamacare MORE: http://t.co/QriBHw6zDt
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) June 25, 2015
“Graham has dismissed the idea that the Charleston murders had any larger impact. “I just think he was one of these whacked out kids. I don’t think it’s anything broader than that,” Graham said. Roof, in fact, appeared to be strongly motivated by white supremacist ideology and allegedly wrote a long manifesto espousing those views. While Graham is focused on threats originating from the Middle East, researchers believe right-wing extremism represents a larger threat.”
Demonstrators say they feel betrayed by the measures of the upcoming deal, which, according to AP, suggests increasing the contributions that employees pay for pensions, and phasing out the right to early retirement. It does, however, spare any cuts to pensioners’ incomes.
— Theopi Skarlatos (@TheopiSkarlatos) June 23, 2015
The bill, called the Ratepayer Protection Act and sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), would allow governors to refuse to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Governors who claim that the regulations would have a “significant adverse effect” on electric bills or grid reliability in their states could opt out of making plans to cut power plant emissions. “This is a worldwide problem and there’s no reason for the president of the United States to unilaterally punish America for what we’ve already accomplished,” Whitfield said of the carbon rule. “It’s such a power grab, unprecedented, that we are going to take it up on the floor today to delay this radical regulation.”
“Entitled High Hopes, Tempered Expectations, the report was released Monday by the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and draws on in-depth interviews with civil society leaders, including journalists, scholars, lawyers, writers, artists, family members of political prisoners, and former members of parliament. ‘All of the respondents felt failure of the negotiations would be catastrophic for Iranian society, leading to greater economic hardship, increased repression and further loss of political and cultural freedoms, the weakening of President Rouhani and moderate forces in Iran, and an increased chance of a military confrontation,’ states the study.”
In a May 2013 speech at the National Defense University, Obama vowed to move the ‘out of the covert shadows and into the relative sunlight of the Defense Department,’ writes HuffPo reporter Ali Watkins, who notes that ‘[d]rone critics greeted the announcement with cautious optimism, hoping that a Pentagon-run drone program would be more transparent and allow more oversight of targeted killings.’ [Yet,] on June 10 … HuffPo reports, administration officials gave a classified briefing to lawmakers laying out a blueprint for a new transition plan that would involve a dual command structure—giving the Defense Department and the CIA joint control of drone strikes.”
“The jihadists of the Islamic State carried out two new offensives in northern Syria on Thursday, driving car bombs into the Kurdish town of Kobani, according to opposition activists and Syrian state-run news media. Kobani gained international attention last year as the site of a fierce battle between the Islamic State and Kurdish fighters, aided by airstrikes by a United States-led military coalition.
The Islamic State fighters also attacked the government-held city of Hasaka, near the Turkish border, news reports said.”
“Also a subject of ridicule was the fact that Mr Jindal railed against allowing ‘people to immigrate to this country so that they can use our freedoms to undermine our freedoms’. He added it was incumbent on migrants entering the United States to be ‘ready and willing to embrace our values, learn English, and roll up your sleeves and get to work’. The presidential hopeful had begun his speech with the words: ‘Forty-four years ago, a young couple who had never been on an airplane before left their home on the other side of the world to come to a place called America.’ Indians online were not amused by his remarks. The original hashtag #bobbyjindalissowhite was started by Indian-American comedian Hari Kondabolu, with a series of tweets. Following the success of the tag he said it was the most ‘satisfying thing’ he had ever done.”
“Local media say that at least 950 people have died in Karachi, with tens of thousands being treated for heatstroke and dehydration. Temperatures dipped to 38C (100F) on Thursday but the spokesman for a leading charity told AFP that the death toll could reach as high as 1,500. Officials have been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the crisis.”
‘Asked his reasons for taking it down and if it included what happened in Charleston last week, the governor said, “Yes, partially this is about that. This is the right thing to do. We are facing some major issues in this state regarding the budget and other matters that we need to deal with. This had the potential to become a major distraction as we go forward. I have taxes to raise, we have work to do. And it was my decision that the flag needed to come down.”’
(Title image via).