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Blog of Mass Destruction

Chopping Broccoli

By The Reverend Published: March 28, 2012

CNN's legal contributor, Jeffrey Toobin, yesterday...

"This law looks like it's going to be struck down," Toobin said earlier today on CNN. "All of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong."

The Reverend from Monday....." the political game of "how do you think today's Supreme Court questions will hurt Obama's chances for re-election?"…..will be hot, hot, hot the first half of this week." Toobin stated that yesterday's oral arguments by the Supreme Court over the individual mandate in Obamacare were...

"a train wreck for the Obama administration."

Toobin claimed yesterday that the questions from Justices were a very good indicator, actually, of the intent of those Justices. May be. But with such a highly politicized Court, Justices may simply be playing to the audience. Three activist conservatives on the Court, Roberts, Alito and Scalia.....asked the mandatory winger questions. If government can compel citizens to purchase health insurance if they can afford it....what COULDN'T the government compel citizens to purchase?

Roberts asked about requiring cell phones to call emergency services, Alito asked about mandatory burial insurance, and Scalia asked about compulsory broccoli consumption.

I'll get back to those Very Serious Questions in a minute. First...

family insurance rates in the U.S....are as much as $1,500 higher annually because of the cost of treating the uninsured, according a study by the advocacy group Families USA. LA Times

50.7 million Americans were uninsured as of 2009. That equals 16.7% of the U.S. population. More money per person is spent on health care in the U.S. than in any other nation. The U.S. pays twice as much yet lags behind other wealthy nations in such measures as infant mortality and life expectancy. Current estimates put U.S. health care spending at approximately 16% of GDP, second highest to East Timor among all UN member nations. Health insurance costs are rising faster than wages or inflation, and medical causes were cited by about half of bankruptcy filers in the United States in 2001. Wikipedia.

Roberts and cell phones: Cell phone usage in the U.S. does not comprise 16% of GDP. Therefore, cell phone usage poses no threat to the overall U.S. economy. The cost of cell phone service is not the primary factor in the bankruptcies of 47% of U.S. households. Cell phones are Roberts "apples" to the "oranges" of a health care industry which has been threatening the economic future of the entire population through ever-increasing prices. The government does not have a "cell phones for seniors" program, say, like Medicare.....or a "cell phones for the poor" program, say, like Medicaid...whose projected budgets because of Baby Boomers, will explode over the next 20 years.

Alito and "mandatory burial insurance": Again....does the cost of burial insurance threaten the overall economy of the United States? Does the national cost of burial insurance make up 16% of the nation's GDP? Do people die prematurely because they can't afford burial insurance? Does the U.S. have a huge existing earned benefit program called BuryCare which is projected to blowup national debt if not curbed? Is burial insurance the primary factor in 47% of individual bankruptcies in the U.S.?

My favorite....Scalia and the "compulsory broccoli consumption." This is a partisan question most often heard asked by Fox-bots and Ditto-heads. If Congress can pass laws making citizens buy health care is said by the usual suspects.....then why can't Congress also make laws forcing Americans to consume broccoli. He's a sly one, that Scalia.

Once again....does the lack of broccoli consumption in the U.S. threaten our economy? Are 50 million Americans refusing to consume broccoli because broccoli is unaffordable? Has it been demonstrated that the costs from 50 million Americans who refuse to purchase broccoli result in unaffordable prices for everyone else who does eat broccoli? Are 47% of folks who go bankrupt claiming "high broccoli costs" as the primary reason for their bankruptcies?

The Reverend, like Justice Scalia, is equally capable of making up off the wall, irrelevant sh*t too. Let's say a new virulent strain of influenza strikes the U.S. population. A killer plague unlike anything in the modern era. And let's say, because like the Supremes, we can,....that scientists find that the only way to beat this flu is for every human to eat broccoli. In this hypothetical, wouldn't it be negligent of the federal government not to instruct all citizens through law that they must consume broccoli? Wouldn't it be within the most urgent "general welfare" parameters of the Constitution for federal leaders to mandate broccoli consumption to stay the influenza, which left unchecked, could very well threaten all citizens? If elected officials knew that eating broccoli would save millions of Americans from misery and possible death, wouldn't those elected officials be violating their oath to protect the nation if they DIDN'T set up a legal situation which compelled all citizens to consume....broccoli?

Like I said on Monday.....Jeffrey Toobin comment or no Jeffrey Toobin comment....the Supremes know that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional according to long standing precedent. That is not the question at hand....and really never has been. The question is: what do the Supremes want to do with their ruling on the ACA? Do the conservative activist judges want to set up a crushing political blow to President Obama a few months prior to his re-election? Do the Justices, like in Bush v Gore, plan to side with Republicans and their Tea Party enforcers in their wider goal of "making Obama a one term president"? I know that Clarence Thomas and his wife do. Perhaps Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Kennedy do as well. Don't know one knows until late June.

Maybe it will be a very hot summer.



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