Sen. Pat Toomey would rather pretend that we’re not in a time of disastrous climate change, and that previous standards don’t work anymore. I suppose he expects us to hold bake sales for neighbors who are flooded out?

Swat them down

Like the annoying insects they are! By all means, the feds should simply take over. You can’t let Republicans get away with simply ignoring the law — if you do, it just emboldens them:

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act shifts the focus from whether sweeping changes to the health insurance market should take place to a scramble to meet the law’s rapidly approaching deadlines.

A number of largely Republican-led states that gambled on delay now face the unsettling prospect that the federal government could take over their responsibilities, particularly in setting up the health insurance marketplaces known as exchanges, where people will be able to choose among policies for their coverage.

Under the law, which the court upheld in its entirety by a 5-to-4 vote, individuals must be able to buy insurance coverage through the new state exchanges by Jan. 1, 2014. But a more immediate deadline is less than six months away, on Jan. 1, 2013, when states must demonstrate to the Department of Health and Human Services that the exchanges will be operational the next year.

If they do not, the secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, “shall establish and operate” the exchanges for the states, according to the statute, a prospect that Republican governors like Rick Scott of Florida, Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin would presumably find anathema.

Mr. Walker quickly raised the risk by announcing that, in spite of the ruling, he would continue to delay any imposition of the law while waiting to see whether Republicans took control of the White House or Congress in November. Republicans on Capitol Hill, and the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, have vowed to repeal the entire law if they gain power.

“Wisconsin will not take any action to implement Obamacare,” Mr. Walker said in a statement. “I am hopeful that political changes in Washington, D.C., later this year ultimately end the implementation of this law at the federal level.”

I wonder what all those nice Midwesterners who thought it was mean to recall Scott Walker will think of their governor simply making up his own rules.

Dark cloud on a sunny day

BTD says Roberts’ decision is an undermining of the commerce claus:

There is no satisfying response, but there is an obvious one—the Roberts five seek to dismantle the New Deal jurisprudence. With no need to even opine on the Commerce and Necessary and Proper question, Chief Justice Roberts has written an unfathomable opinion whose motive can only be the laying of groundwork—the groundwork to undo the New Deal.

Now, more than ever, we see the Roberts five agenda. We must reelect President Obama in order to stop it.

I don’t think there’s any question that’s been their intent all along, nor it is something that hasn’t occurred to most of us. To stop it is, quite literally, the only reason I’d vote for Barack Obama. But it’s an important one.

How they think

The American way!

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Businesses should be allowed to deny health insurance to cancer patients, according to a Republican senator, because “our nation was based on the foundation of freedom and limited government.”

Discussing health care outside the Supreme Court today, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told ThinkProgress that there “shouldn’t” be a law requiring businesses to cover employees who have cancer because that would “create an obligation” for others. “When you create a right for somebody,” Johnson said, “you create an obligation for somebody else, and then you’re taking away that person’s right.”

You mean, like when you pass a tax cut to make billionaires happy and then the rest of us have to pay for it?

Why did Roberts do it?

From The Nation.

The law’s challengers—and the Court’s dissenters—rejected the characterization of the law as a tax. They noted that it was labeled a “penalty,” not a tax; that it was designed to encourage people to buy health insurance, not to raise revenue; and that Obama himself had rejected claims that the law was a tax when it was being considered by Congress. But Roberts said the question is a functional one, not a matter of labels. Because the law in fact would raise revenue, imposed no sanction other than a tax and was calculated and collected by the IRS as part of the income tax, the Court treated it as a tax and upheld the law.

Chief Justice Roberts did go on to say (for himself, but not for the Court’s majority) that he thought the law was not justified by the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause, because rather than regulating existing economic activity it compelled people to enter into commerce. When one adds the dissenting justices, there were five votes on the Court for this restrictive view of the Commerce Clause. But that is not binding, because the law was upheld on other grounds. And while some have termed this a major restriction on Commerce Clause power, it is not clear that it will have significant impact going forward, as the individual mandate was the first and only time in over 200 years that Congress had in fact sought to compel people to engage in commerce. It’s just not a common way of regulating, so the fact that five justices think it’s an unconstitutional way of regulating is not likely to have much real-world significance.

Do androids dream of electric sheep, I mean voters?

A few years ago, a team of researchers attempted to build an android replica of the late, great science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. They did a good job but somehow lost the android’s head — the most important part, of course — at an airport. The story is told in a nonfiction book called How To Build An Android, reviewed this week in the NYT. The review makes the Dick android sound amazingly like the first android to run for president, Mitt Romney:

The [android] was a dazzling blend of technology and art. He was also erratic, as you might expect any first-generation android to be. Unexpected questions and loud noises threw him off. Androids have a hard time responding to human speech cues, knowing when to answer and when to stop. Sometimes Phil would get into a self-­perpetuating conversational loop. His handlers — who monitored his responses on a computer screen — had to keep a close eye.

Let’s hope Romney’s handlers are more careful in transporting their android than handlers of the Dick android were.

Rand Paul, idiot protector of the special interests

That’s the thing about pandering: It often makes you look really, really stupid.

Sen. Rand Paul doesn’t think the Supreme Court gets the last word on what’s constitutional.The Kentucky Republican belittled the high court’s health care decision as the flawed opinion of just a “couple people.”

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional.”

Funny story, Rand: That thing you said in a press release that doesn’t make a law constitutional? “People on the Supreme Court declar[ing] something to be ‘constitutional’”? Turns out, that’s exactly how we here in the United States determine whether or not a law is constitutional. And we’ve been doing it that way since the 1700s.

So, to review, the Supreme Court, not embarrassing junior senators from Kentucky, determines what is and isn’t constitutional. For more information, see Article III of the Constitution.

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