He Who Represents Himself Has a Fool For a Client

Apparently the AG of Washington is going against the will of Gov. Gregoire and everyone else in office in the state of Washington and has decided to sue to stop HCR, and Gov. Gregoire is pissed:

Ahh, wingnuts. Apparently AG McKenna joined the suit before even telling her, as she found out that he was doing this from a newspaper report.

You simply can not put these clowns anywhere near a position of power or authority before they stick their you know what in the mashed potatoes. This idiot, rather than doing something useful, is going to waste his office resources on a lawsuit that will fail, and on top of wasting all that money, now the state has to hire attorneys to handle the lawsuit that Gregoire and the others are going to inevitably file against McKenna.

We’ll file that under fiscal conservatism. And if you idiots in Washington elect him again, you are getting what you deserve.

170 replies
  1. 1
    slag says:

    I’ll say this: McKenna’s phone line has been busy all day.

  2. 2
    Norbrook says:

    Oooh.. Bad move on McKenna’s part. I’m sure he’s trying to position himself with the various wingnut factions of the Republican Party to run for something, but stepping in it with the Governor of your state is generally not a good move.

    If I were him, I’d be thinking of ways to gracefully change his mind.

  3. 3
    dan robinson says:

    McKenna is a weasel, but he’s our weasel.

    Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right.

    Anybody want to buy a weasel? We’ll let you have him, cheap.

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    @Norbrook:

    I’m sure he’s trying to position himself with the various wingnut factions of the Republican Party to run for something, but stepping in it with the Governor of your state is generally not a good move.

    He’s one of those that believe that Gregoire squeaked into office, no matter what the last election results say.

  5. 5
    Comrade Luke says:

    I was going to post about this in the open thread, but I didn’t think people cared about my little old state :)


    Here’s some more, via Publicola
    .

    “It is the attorney general’s job to defend the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment,” said Stevens, R-Arlington. “He doesn’t need the governor’s approval to do that. It’s simply the right thing to do. Besides, I don’t recall that Governor Gregoire, when she was attorney general, had to consult the governor before joining other states’ attorneys general in the tobacco lawsuit.“

    Except, no.

    as for the bust on Gregoire’s famous tobacco lawsuit, Gregoire spokeswoman Karina Shagren pointed out that then AG Gregoire consulted with then Governor Mike Lowry and Lowry “actually stood alongside her at the press conference she did announcing the suit.”

    So much for not recalling.

  6. 6
    MikeTheZ says:

    @Norbrook: I would be think of a new job, personally. One that isn’t in Govt since this is going to earn him the “Pro-Death” tag.

    Seriously, Dems, get on this. They’re against preventing insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions? Call ’em Pro-Death.

    …I’m a bit surly tonight.

  7. 7
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    He represents the decaying conservative movement and nothing else. The mindless tribe is coalescing around a new flag that is nothing more than political self preservation born of desperation and now they are going too far in a big way.

    They are the traitors to this country and really always were, and it’s constitution and now they are pissing down our backs and telling us it’s raining patriotism. This is the end for them. At least as a viable party to participate in a civil democracy. All that is left is rebellion of one form or another. It will get a lot worse before it gets really bad.

  8. 8
    rob! says:

    McKenna is a weasel, but he’s our weasel.

    Weasels, ripping our flesh. Rzzz!

  9. 9

    Same thing is going on here in Colorado. I’m wondering how he’s justifying it when the state budget is in a shambles.

    BTW, totally loving the rotating tags.

  10. 10
    MikeTheZ says:

    @Comrade Luke: Can someone please explain to me how these morans got to the 10th Amendment without reading the 9th?

  11. 11

    Wow. The balls on that one…

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly: Except I don’t know how to pronounce f—–g. Why not say “fucking”a perfectly nice anglo-saxonism?

  13. 13
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @dan robinson:

    “He might be a fool but he’s our fool…

    We’re wingnuts, we’re wingnuts, we can’t tell our ass from a hole in the ground, we’re wingnuts, we’re wingnuts….”

    Man that transfers straight across with very little lost in translation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nGw_vAnqPI

  14. 14
    sdstarr says:

    McKenna has always acted like been portrayed by the local media as the very soul of moderation. This is clearly a move he thought he had to make to give him conservative street cred with the wingnuts who vote in the Republican primary. Or (in joke for Washington readers) the “prefers GOP Party” primary.

    Seriously, he has always seemed like a very middle of the road conservative who has always been praised by establishment types for putting his job before his ideology. This is a very, very strange move on his part if he’s not trying to re-shape his image Mitt Romney style.

  15. 15

    Just found out over the weekend 800K in Colorado are without health insurance. Also.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Except in the coda he does engage in some “both sides do it” ism.

  17. 17
    Comrade Luke says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    The thing is, as I mentioned in a thread last night, he has been VERY close to the vest as AG. His primary issue to date has been stricter laws against sexual predators IIRC. He’s on our local NPR station quite frequently, and he always has a measured, professional tone.

    I have many friends who think he’s just a nice “moderate” conservative, and they’ve mocked me when I said it was all bullshit, and a Republican is a Republican, full stop.

    Now that he’s done this I feel like Tim Robbins when he’s looking toward the sky after crawling through the sewer in Shawshank Redemption:

    Andy Dufresne, who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side.

  18. 18
    Jeff Fecke says:

    I pretty much despise my state’s Democratic Attorney General Lori Swanson, mainly because I don’t think a Democratic-Farmer-Labor officeholder should be working against unionizing in her office. But I will give her props for her response to the wingnut brigade. When challenged by the house and senate minority party to file suit, Swanson said she had to research all of the 2000+ pages of the bill, and couldn’t possibly comment until after that was done.

    Funny how the bill that’s too long to read is easy to file suit on mere moments after passage.

  19. 19
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Go States.

  20. 20
    Camchuck says:

    Michigan AG Mike Cox (yes, his real name) filed as well. He’s got some ground to make up on Pete Hoestroika for the teabagger nomination for governor. Things are gonna get worse in Michigan before they get better.

  21. 21
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    You simply can not put these clowns anywhere near a position of power or authority before they stick their you know what in the mashed potatoes.

    And if a state or we as a country put them back in charge, we deserve what get from these loons. You only get so many chances at choosing destructo morons for leaders. And sooner or later doing so, it will be time to pay the piper everything you own.

  22. 22
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Huh. First time I can recall hearing local news on a national (international! galactic!) blog. That’s what I get for working all day. Anyway, McKenna’s an ass, but my governor sounds ready to hand him his testicles once they come off the rotisserie.

  23. 23
    gbear says:

    Angry governor is angry…and incredibly articulate. Yowsa.

    Trade you for our governor, who just had the AG tell him to sit down and shut up.

  24. 24
    Brian J says:

    Adam Winkler, who is a constitutional law professor at UCLA, says they might win. His argument is that because the case would be political, the Court could actually break precedent and do what it wants.

    I don’t know what to make of this, but it seems to be a more academic version of “Why wouldn’t the Court do a repeat of Bush v. Gore and act political?”

  25. 25
    eric says:

    Here is what is going to happen: people are slowly going to learn that they can get something out of HCR. Perhaps it will be radio shows advising callers on what to do when they lose a job and people will hear that this will help their lives. it make take time, but it will happen. Websites and advocacy groups will pop up and people will learn and then they will get pissed off when it is not good enough and, viola, we will get more.

    victory will be sweet

  26. 26
    jharp says:

    Wow. That was something. Fantastic post.

    Compare. Palin. Bachmann. Good fucking grief.

  27. 27
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Hey, representative Goober of Tejas wants to take away our right to vote for Senators!

  28. 28
    Norbrook says:

    @MikeJ: It’s still a particularly brain-dead move on his part. I can’t think of too many instances where I’ve ever heard of an AG suing the Federal government without the express backing of the governor, and usually the legislature.

    This strikes me as a political positioning move more than anything else. From what analysis I’ve seen of it, they’re not going to be able to get a court (let alone the Supreme Court) to agree with them, without a major reversal of precedent.

  29. 29
    max hats says:

    McKenna just came out of the closet as a wingnut lunatic, and unfortunately for him Washington State is just too backwards to accept that kind of person. Hell, many people over here actually think people choose to be Tea Partying Sarah Palin fans. It’s sad, and a little tragic. I just hope he moves some place like Killeen Texas, where he can be accepted for who he is. Some place far, far from elected office in my state.

  30. 30
    MikeJ says:

    @jharp:

    Compare. Palin. Bachmann. Good fucking grief.

    It’s a pity she can’t run again. I hope she starts getting a good underling some airtime in the next few years so the flatlanders don’t take over.

  31. 31
    slag says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    I have many friends who think he’s just a nice “moderate” conservative, and they’ve mocked me when I said it was all bullshit, and a Republican is a Republican, full stop.

    Exactly. In our house, we don’t even consider voting Republican anymore for this reason.

    Before Bush, we would consider voting Republican, depending on the candidate. After the 2000 election, if we didn’t like either the Dem or Ind candidates, we’d leave the ballot blank. Now, it doesn’t matter. Always voting against the Republican. Always. No matter how “moderate” he seems; it’s a sham. And anyone who’s paying the least bit of attention knows it.

    Clearly, McKenna is no exception to the Lunatic Republican rule.

  32. 32
    eric says:

    @Brian J: no effing way. I am SURE that there is plenty of testimony in the Congressional Record that the health care system as it is currently constituted impacts economic activity and interstate commerce (notwithstanding anti-trust exemption). There must be volumes from the committee hearings on how the “system” is affecting our national economic well-being and hurting the nation’s businesses acting inside and outside of the United States. Clearly, with the exception of Thomas in the Lopez case, NO ONE on the Court is going to find this law violative of the Commerce Clause. The GOP can’t have it both ways; if health care is 1/6 of the economy that HCR falls within the rubric of the Commerce Clause. There is nothing unconstitutional about the mandate.

    eric

  33. 33
    Malron aka eclecticbrotha says:

    Speaking of fiscal conservatism, how sweet is it to know that Sen Tom Coburn will be wasting the people’s tax money offering up ridiculous amendments to the reconciliation bill to deny viagra to sex offenders? Or, the extra hours billed to the people because John “Crash” McCain and Co. won’t offer unanimous consent to conduct senate business after 2:00 PM?

    “The world’s greatest deliberative body” is just a farcical collection of grumpy, old, lily-white, vindictive sore losers who would rather destroy government than let any Democrat run it. Especially if the Democrat’s a brotha with a better intellect and often the only adult in Washington.

  34. 34
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Comrade Luke: I think it’s hard for us to really understand how important to the wingers it was to stop comprehensive health care reform. It has little to do with cost, or whether or not it’s a good idea. There is the economic loss to their plutocrat heroes, but it goes much deeper and began with The New Deal. It really is an Armageddon to them to the core of what they believe.

    The huckster wingnuts and profiteers are not happy and will kick and scream for awhile, but know they can likely figure out another way to raid our piggy banks. It is the true believers we have to worry about. And they often do seem moderate, but not now, after the last vestiges, in their minds, of a long outdated and unrealistic sense of freedom has been lost, that is part and parcel to their worldview and image of America.

  35. 35
    mak says:

    I hope Rendell is watching this, and follows Gregoire’s lead. Our AG and likely next governor, Corbett (R-Pennsyltucky) has also joined this suit.
    Since Fast Eddie is term limited and has nothing better to do, he could do his prospective dem successor a huge solid by calling out Corbett on the naked tea-baggerism of this BS suit.

  36. 36
    Brian J says:

    @Jeff Fecke:

    I caught ten seconds of local news before and there was a clip of Mitch McConnell saying something like Americans don’t like the bill not because they don’t know what was in it, but because they knew what was in it but didn’t like it. Which makes sense, doesn’t it? I mean, for months we heard that nobody read the bill, or that nobody would want to, because it was too long. Then we heard that it was too short, or something.

    I don’t understand why I am confused about what the hell they are trying to say. I mean, it’s not as if they are tossing out meaningless complaints, or simply making stuff up, like death panels, in order to confuse the crap out of the public, is it?

  37. 37
    MikeJ says:

    @eric:

    I am SURE that there is plenty of testimony in the Congressional Record that the health care system as it is currently constituted impacts economic activity and interstate commerce (notwithstanding anti-trust exemption).

    JUst dig up all the republicans saying that the solution is to “allow competition across state lines.” (Results 1 – 100 of about 40,900 for “allow competition across state lines”. (0.44 seconds) )

  38. 38
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    It is not Constitutional for the federal government to mandate Citizens to purchase a product.

    A critical mass of people understand this. There will be those who practice civil disobedience for us to see.

  39. 39
    Short Bus Bully says:

    I’m from the red side of Washington (anything east of the cascades) and I’m sure that my shitheel neighbors are just cheering this guy on. What a gigantic douche. I hope Gregoire pulls a Pelosi on McKenna since he’s now shown his true colors.

  40. 40
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @MikeJ:

    Except in the coda he does engage in some “both sides do it” ism.

    Oh definitely. That’s the whole point of Randy Newman, or I mean often that’s going on, rather than some black and white (no pun intended) morality being preached, he paints a more three-dimensional character study. Rare enough in pop music if you ask me.

    The idea that there’s open racism and then more subtle racism doesn’t seem so far-fetched to me. I heard him on an interview talking about writing that song, and he said that he did in fact see Lester Maddox on Dick Cavett, and the liberals were just making a complete fool of him, and while Newman himself saw things more their way, he was also wondering how it would feel for Maddox types in the South watching it. Thus the song.

  41. 41

    Well, it’s going to get fun here in the Golden State. Jerry Brown (currently AG) is running for governor, and the state wingnuts think they’re going to use this to mess with his candidacy.

    And of course, all the GOP candidates for governor and Boxer’s senate seat are running on the “repeal” fantasy.

    Silly wingnuts.

  42. 42
    Comrade Luke says:

    OK, I posted here without having watched the video because I’ve been following this since it happened. McKenna is widely rumored to be lining up a bid to run for governor, which is probably why he did this. Right now the most rumored Democratic challenger is Jay Inslee, who is currently in the House, representing my district in DC.

    Now that I’ve watched the video…holy. crap.

    Gregoire has been driving me nuts for years now because she’s been a milquetoast, Third Way Democrat. This is…by far…the best she has EVER looked, including two gubernatorial campaigns and more than one full term as governor.

    This gambit by McKenna might be the best thing to happen to Washington Democrats in…well, forever.

  43. 43
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: Thank you for your expert legal opinion, BOB.

  44. 44
    Brian J says:

    @eric:

    Read the article. He acknowledges that the claims against the case are weak/non-existent. What he says is that it doesn’t matter, because there’s a history of the Court doing what it likes and breaking precedent by acting to fit its political prejudices.

  45. 45
    Comrade Mary says:

    Pelosi. Clinton. Gregoire. I want to be them when I grow up.

  46. 46
    RadioOne says:

    you know, I’m starting to get a little worried about you, John. When you were a wingnut for the right, you didn’t allow logic from the left to influence your opinion. Now that you’re on the left, I’m afraid you’re doing the same thing. The Supreme Court right now is hyper partisan and very conservative. The court has overturned hundreds of years of precedent in law for the benefit of the GOP in the past few years. Why would they stop now?

  47. 47
    soonergrunt says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: You are a Goddamned idiot. We have this thing called a constitution that says two things: First, that acts of Congress have superiority over acts of the states, and second that Brick Oven Bill is a Goddamned idiot. You can look it up.
    You’re too stupid to hang yourself properly, so I won’t ask, but I’m certain you have the requisite two wetsuits and dildo with condom, also called the conservative uniform, so you’re almost there.

    It’s dumbshits like you that are going bankrupt the wingnut states and I’m glad of it because with every penny wasted on this fools errand, there’s one penny less to use the power of the state to enforce whackjob religious positions. It’s not like these fuckers are fixing the roads or combatting the crystal meth epidemic out in cousin-fucking country you know.

  48. 48
    Cathie from Canada says:

    Actually, if there is one thing in this bill that the health insurance companies would NOT want overturned, it is the individual mandate — otherwise, people would just buy insurance on their way to the hospital, and the insurance companies would go bankrupt.
    Result? Ultimately, the government would have to cover people whose insurance companies had gone bankrupt, and in the end, the United States would actually have Medicare for all.
    So I wonder if these Republican Attorneys-General are going to be getting some quiet phone call from the heads of the insurance companies on this one.

  49. 49
    Mark S. says:

    @Brian J:

    That was pretty bizarre. After demolishing the argument and concluding, “Health-care opponents’ arguments against the law are without merit,” he says they’ll probably win? Geez, I don’t have a lot of respect for the Roberts Five but I don’t think even they are that craven.

  50. 50
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    cool title Mr. Cole

  51. 51
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: Amazing. I mean, the next day polls swung to reflect the real chances of health care repeal in this country, which are zero.

    The “Americans don’t want this bill” polls being touted by wingnuts before were bullshit anyway, since a healthy chunk of those disapproving were actually saying that it should be stronger. The idea that this made a majority who were against it for wingnut reasons was smoke and mirrors.

    I bet they pivot to another issue within a month. It’s going to be that much of a failure, this one.

  52. 52
    mai naem says:

    The only thing I know about Gregoire is that she barely won against the Dino guy but damn looking at this clip, I would not want to get on the wrong side of this woman. She’s kinda sorta majorly pissed off. I wouldn’t want to be be around her if I was McKenna, esp. if there were any sort of weapons around cuz she’s likely to use them on him.

  53. 53
    Comrade Luke says:

    @RadioOne:

    The court has overturned hundreds of years of precedent in law for the benefit of the GOP in the past few years. Why would they stop now?

    This is my nightmare, for healthcare and anything and everything else the Republicans don’t want to accept.

    I think it’s a valid concern.

  54. 54
    mak says:

    @eric

    Before Bush v. Gore, I would have agreed with you. And that was before Roberts and Scalito. As things stand, I have little doubt that, if given the chance, the Roberts court would find a way to side with the wingnut AGs.

    The only hope, therefore, is to keep the ball out of the Roberts Court, which means it has to be killed early. Then killed again. And dragged on and on and on in between, so that people become comfortable with and possessive of their HCR.

    My question: why Florida? Are they forum shopping?

  55. 55
    Comrade Luke says:

    @mai naem:

    She ran two campaigns in a row where she tried to split the baby, and the result was two elections that were so close that it allowed the Republicans to cry foul.

    If she ran like this both would have been no contest.

  56. 56
    BethanyAnne says:

    @Mark S.: What makes you think that?

  57. 57
    slag says:

    @mai naem: Barely won? Not many consider Gregoire’s over 53% to Rossi’s under 47% to mean “barely won”. Not now anyway.

  58. 58
    kay says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Brick Oven Bill thought Orly had a great case. He argued the legal merits here, for weeks.
    He stopped mentioning her right around the time the federal judiciary got tired of her nonsense, fined her 20k, and sent her packing back to California.
    20k outstanding which she won’t pay, although the fine was just affirmed.
    She’s a deadbeat, basically.
    Oh, and she lost her case. And lost. And lost. And lost.
    He thought she was a great legal mind.

  59. 59
    gwangung says:

    The only thing I know about Gregoire is that she barely won against the Dino guy but damn looking at this clip, I would not want to get on the wrong side of this woman.

    Mainly because she knows this area cold and was the former insurance commissioner of the state—and was a very good friend to the consumer.

  60. 60
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    This is my nightmare, for healthcare and anything and everything else the Republicans don’t want to accept.

    Can’t Obama do what FDR did? They threatened to overturn the New Deal, and he said fine, I’ll appoint 4,762 new justices. The constitution sets no upper limit on the number of justices.

  61. 61
    Genine says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly:

    Oh! You’re in Colorado, too? Cool. :-) I think there are quite of few of us on this blog.

  62. 62
    Bailey says:

    @sdstarr:

    I agree. I even voted for him. Largely because I hate thinking of myself as a straight ticket voter but with no viable R contenders in my Congressional District (I like McDermott too much and he’s pretty much all but un-opposed anyway) and Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, there just isn’t the opportunity to safely cross over much. Despite my complete distrust of the GOP on the Nat’l level I figured a vote for AG was relatively safe considering that he’d be answerable to the state government.

    Jesus Christ. I may have to quote Fox Mulder: “Trust no one” (in the GOP).

  63. 63
    Joy says:

    I read this interesting bit of history on Think Progress…
    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/.....ashington/

    It seems that the first (or second) Congress was okay with mandates…that ought to impress the strict constructionists on the Court…oh right,…nevermind.

  64. 64
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Mark S.: I think anything is possible here on out. And I wouldn’t put it past the 4 right wing ideologues on the court, if they convince themselves it should be done to save the country. Kennedy, who knows about him? They wouldn’t likely strike down the entire bill, but parts of it tied to the Interstate Commerce clause and they have shown willingness the past 15 years to limit that for the first time in 75 years of precedent. And striking down individual components would make the rest of the bill unworkable, which is all the right wing cares about.

    I don’t think they will do that, as it would put in chaos other use of the CC in long existing government involvement in a lot of areas.

  65. 65

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I bet they pivot to another issue within a month.

    Precisely. Financial regulation (i.e. s0-cialist takeover of the banks), immigration reform (i.e. amnesty for the Mexicans), and energy (i.e. global-warming hoax tax) are the big tickets that are coming down the road.

    And I’d wager that not only will they pivot, they’ll regale us with stories of their principled and heroic opposition, which saved our health care system from becoming a s0-cialist nightmare and made it Safe and Wholesome for Real Americans ™.

  66. 66
    kay says:

    I think it’s about the power to tax, not the power to compel purchase.
    The way to avoid the healthcare tax of 95 dollars that begins in 2014 is to provide proof of health insurance.
    They don’t have to weigh into the purchase issue at all. The purchase issue can be entirely distinct from the tax issue.
    If the feds can’t tax, well, that’s radical.
    I think they can avoid the whole issue.

  67. 67
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @mak: And it is rare for the SCOTUS to take on a congressional act until it is fully implemented, and HCR won’t be until 2014 which is when the subsidies start.

  68. 68
    mai naem says:

    @slag: I guess I am thinking of her first term when it went into a recount.

  69. 69
    Ben says:

    Involuntarily displaced Washingtonian here (east side, if you must know), and for those new to my home state’s politics, there are two rules to keep in mind:

    1) Seattle/King County dominates everything political;
    2) Nobody, but nobody, fucks with Christine Gregoire. The woman has left a trail of broken, bleeding bodies in her wake (ask Rossi).

  70. 70
    Comrade Luke says:

    @Bailey:

    My argument has always been that no matter how moderate they appear, it has to be a ruse. Most if not all politicians aspire to a higher office than the one they currently hold, and the higher they get the more they have to get in line with the national party line. Either they tweak their beliefs – which is what those of us in the reality-based community refer to as LYING – or they eventually show their true colors. McKenna appears to have done the latter.

    The great thing is that for the next 10-20yrs I can just say “Oh yea? Look at Rob McKenna!” to refute my friends.

    This really is the gift that will keep on giving.

  71. 71
    fucen tarmal says:

    if only it were only the wingnut states, here in pennsylvania, even with all the alabama we tuck in the middle, i don’t like to think of us as a wingnut state….

    at least our governor, has said the a.g. is off his ass on this one.

  72. 72
    mai naem says:

    In other news, Pat Buchanan has the ugliest green colored tie on Tweety’s show today. Like baby poop uglee.

  73. 73
    Mark S. says:

    @Cathie from Canada:

    Exactly.

    @BethanyAnne:

    Because they would end up having to overturn a lot of their own precedents. Here’s Scalia:

    As Lopez itself states, and the Court affirms today, Congress may regulate noneconomic intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce

  74. 74
    jwb says:

    @mak: I don’t think SCOTUS will touch this. The corporate interests are too split over it (which is really the only reason it could pass in the first place), and it’s also not clear that somebody like Kennedy would go along with the conservative block if they decided to take the case. On the other hand there’s really no way to stop SCOTUS from hearing the case if they want it, since every ruling can be appealed to SCOTUS, even if it is rarely worth it.

  75. 75
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Bailey: I used to be the same way about straight ticket voting. But the GOP is now a Borg collective, run by Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin et al. So for the time being I would rather vote for a yellow dog than a gooper, even if I may like the candidate and think he or she would do a better job than the dem. It ain’t all that noble, but we don’t have a noble GOP, in the slightest.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I’m actually confident on this one. I think this goes nowhere.

  77. 77
    Citizen_X says:

    It’s the ultimate in frivolous lawsuits, and a complete and total waste of taxpayer dollars. Don’t they have anything better to do? Just like that idiot Neugebauer (“BABY-KILLER!”) said he’s going to keep representing everyone “who find this [HCR] policy unacceptable.” What about representing his constituents?

    Instead they’re spending their time sabotaging the functioning of government for the sake of an aging, shrinking, minority. Some patriots.

  78. 78
    Redshift says:

    Sadly, here in VA we’re not so lucky. We’ve got a wingnut AG, a wingnut governor, and a legislature that inexplicably passed a law against the mandate (even the narrowly Dem-controlled state senate, which reminds me that I need to look up who the turncoats were.)

    The only bright spot is that in three years we’ll have lots of examples of how he wasted money on wingnut crusades while they were telling everyone they had no choice but to cut the budget for things that are more important to most people. I hope that actually has some positive effect.

  79. 79
    The Dangerman says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    It is not Constitutional for the federal government to mandate Citizens to purchase a product.

    Actually, you MAY be right; that could be shaky on constitutional grounds.

    Thankfully, the bill does NOT require you to purchase any product. It hits you with a tax if you don’t purchase the product. Given the shock to the government coffers when people without insurance end up in the County emergency room, this seems a fair remedy.

  80. 80

    @mak: That’s a good one!! “Easy” Ed is another DLC clown who still thinks he can make nice with Republicans. The Philly paper had a story on Corbett’s stupidity(my name for it .. not theirs) in today’s(Tuesday) paper. No quote from Rendell calling Corbett out. We’ll see if that changes. I’m not holding my breath.

  81. 81
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @kay: I think you’re likely right to be confident as it would be a bridge too far.

  82. 82
    ChrisZ says:

    Gov. Gregoire is a badass.

  83. 83
    Brian J says:

    @Ben:

    2) Nobody, but nobody, fucks with Christine Gregoire. The woman has left a trail of broken, bleeding bodies in her wake (ask Rossi).

    Care to elaborate?

  84. 84
    GregB says:

    There’s no such thing as a moderate Republican. They are all wingnuts and most of them are racists.

  85. 85
    Mark S. says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    And it is rare for the SCOTUS to take on a congressional act until it is fully implemented, and HCR won’t be until 2014 which is when the subsidies start.

    That’s true, and I think it’s an open question whether the AG’s have standing to sue on the individual mandate part.

    FWIW, conservative law professor Orin Kerr says there’s a less than 1% chance that “courts will invalidate the individual mandate as exceeding Congress’s Article I power.” We are still awaiting Instapundit’s assessment.

  86. 86
    Dan says:

    “It is not Constitutional for the federal government to mandate Citizens to purchase a product”

    Where are people getting this from? I see it all over conservative websites but never see any support for it. Nothing in the constitution says Congress can’t do so, so if Congress can regulate the area under the commerce clause, then they can mandate people purchase a product. Since under the past 80 years of commerce clause jurisprudence healthcare is about as clearly within the commerce power as you can get, there’s no problem here.

    Think of the ADA. Congress essentially mandates that anyone building a place of public accomodation spend money to ensure accessibility. They are mandating they buy the many products and services necessary to do so.

    If this ever got to the Supreme Court, which it won’t because every Circuit Court will uphold it, the vote would be 8-1 or 9-0. Only Thomas is crazy enough, and even he may not be.

  87. 87
    Ben says:

    @Brian J:

    Sure.

    Basically, it was Bush v. Gore, except this time the Democrats didn’t run away like frightened children when the Republicans started playing hardball.

    Perhaps you could also check out the tobacco lawsuit referenced in the video.

  88. 88
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I just think it’s easy to defend. They can characterize it a lot of different ways, and never really reach the issue of forcing anyone to buy anything. They never have to reach that affirmative act.

    It was framed that way by opponents, “a forced purchase” but that’s only one narrow way to look at it. Taxes regularly operate as incentives to favored behavior. They don’t “force”, they reward. If I purchase a home and receive tax breaks for that favored behavior, and you don’t, you don’t scream that the government is forcing you to purchase a home. This is just a different way of doing the same thing.
    Rather than taking a deduction or a credit for favored behavior, the 95 dollar tax exists, and it disappears when the person provides proof of insurance.

  89. 89
    mak says:

    @the General
    If given the opportunity to stick their finger in it, I truly believe this Court would do so, justifiably confident that they could roll Kennedy. Which is why it is so important to stop it in its tracks now or, at the very least, delay it until it has become interwoven into the fabric of society, a la Miranda (you may recall that the court essentially gave Miranda a pass a few years back, based largely on the rationale that people have grown used to it). I’m not saying we need to push the argument back 40 years; 3 or 4 will do for present purposes.

  90. 90
    IndyLib says:

    @Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle:
    Rendell was on Maddow tonight and kept repeating that Corbett was just too good an attorney to sign onto this nonsense. It was like he thought that if he kept saying it, the reality would change. He did acknowledge that the idjit was probably doing it because he was going to run for Gov as a Rethug.

  91. 91
    kay says:

    @Dan:

    The ADA is a great point. I’m sticking with the tax approach, but that’s great.
    Again, I think there are lots of ways to defend this.

  92. 92
    burnspbesq says:

    @RadioOne:

    You must not be a litigator. It’s going to be at least four years before any case about this gets anywhere near a Supreme Court decision on the merits.

    The Rule 12(b)(6) motions (to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted) are all going to be granted, because district court judges don’t stick their necks out and overrule 80 years of consistent precedent. If the court of appeals affirms, then the case can get to the Supreme Court, but on the limited, procedural issue of whether the case can proceed.

    Even if a court of appeals or the Supreme Court overturns the dismissal, the case will be remanded to the district court. There will be months, if not years, of discovery, after which the defense will file a motion for summary judgment, saying that there is no triable issue. If that motion is granted, then the case goes back into the appellate system, again on a limited, procedural issue. Only if the motion for summary judgment is denied by the district court, or if an appellate court overturns the district court’s grant of summary judgment, will there be a trial.

    If there is ever a trial, then there will be an appealable district court decision on the merits. If the case is brought in a state where the court of appeals with jurisdiction has a huge backlog (like, for example, Washington), the case could languish for years before there is a court of appeals decision. Only after the court of appeals issues a decision can the losing party petition the Supreme Court to take the case.

    Now, while all of this grist is being milled in the lower courts, Obama gets to appoint at least two new Supreme Court justices (replacements for Stevens and Ginsburg), and Kennedy and Scalia aren’t getting any younger. One or both of them could die or retire, and then the balance of the Supreme Court shifts dramatically.

    Shorter me: un-knot those panties, folks.

  93. 93
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @kay: Plus there is the fact that uninsured people, or a random sample will need health care to be paid for by taxpayers already, Moral hazard and all. So a mandate would mitigate as a remedy to an existing impact on interstate commerce. Sort of like what happens with uninsured motorists.

  94. 94
    Brian J says:

    @Ben:

    I know that she ended up winning after a long legal battle. Anyway, interesting.

  95. 95
    slag says:

    @mai naem: Indeed. In 2008, she had the benefit of Obama’s coattails. Which widened the race considerably, I’m guessing.

  96. 96
    burnspbesq says:

    @kay:

    The State Bar of California is getting ready to hand Orly Taitz her ass, on a plate, garnished with the shreds of her license to practice. You simply don’t dis a U.S. District Judge the way she did without major consequences.

    Shame that it can’t get its shit together where John Yoo is concerned.

  97. 97
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Ruh, roh!

    It’s ON like Donkey Kong!

  98. 98
    mak says:

    @jwb
    I don’t think the Court would hear the case until it has wended its way through the District Court, then the Court of Appeals. But if given the chance, they would submarine the bill in a heartbeat.

  99. 99
    gregw says:

    @Bailey:

    “Trust no one” (in the GOP).

    Now you have it.

  100. 100
    VladCat says:

    This can only be…good news for John McCain.

  101. 101
    Infodriveway says:

    I hail from Bellingham. My state’s AG sure the hell doesn’t represent me…

  102. 102
    DaddyJ says:

    Yeah, I’m interested in hearing more about Gregoire. Very impressive in that clip: clearly angry but focused and in command of the facts. Spontaneous and razor-sharp. Run that clip back to back with any clip of The Ex Gov of the Next State to the North at a presser and ask your conservative relatives who they honestly think is better leadership material.

  103. 103
    eric says:

    @burnspbesq: I am not even sure how the AGs have standing to challenge the mandate directed at the individual citizen. Plus, isn’t there a ripeness problem for that portion of the HCR that does not take effect until 2014.

    The difference between this and Bush v. Gore is twofold: first, that case was FAST and there was little time for the country to digest the arguments being made. Second, the body of law at issue in Bush/Gore is far less defined than the law at issue in HCR. I am pretty sure you would never get Scalia, but I cannot see Kennedy striking Commerce Clause jurisprudence.

    This is a passing fad.

  104. 104
    Desert Rat says:

    It could have been 14 states suing.

    Arizona’s Attorney General is a Democrat (Terry Goddard, who is running for Governor in November). The rest of the power in the state rests in the hands of Republican mouthbreathers that make the GOoPers in Washington look positively forward thinking.

    It’s the only reason Arizona isn’t suing.

  105. 105
    ds says:

    @eric:

    This is so obviously political theater I can’t see why anyone’s taking it seriously.

    Why the fuck would Republicans go after the MANDATE? If you struck down the mandate but left all the insurance regulations in place, all that would happen is that the medical-industrial complex would act with swift fury to get Congress to pass another mandate or quasi-mandate on different constitutional grounds, and they’d easily get it. Insurance companies aren’t going to let themselves go broke because of a bunch of conservative whackadoodles.

    For instance, no one denies that states can pass insurance mandates. Most states have it for car insurance. The federal government could just threaten to cut off Medicaid funds to states that don’t pass an insurance mandate, and presto, you have a de facto federal mandate.

    Republicans know that the mandate is the most unpopular aspect of the bill so they’re trying to make political hay of it. Nothing more than that.

    Does the party that just a few years ago was campaigning on forced contributions to Wall Street with Social Security private accounts really believe that mandated health insurance is unconstitutional? It’s beyond absurd.

  106. 106
    AngusTheGodOfMeat says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The way I heard it described today is that you get a tax credit when you purchase the insurance. You lose the credit if you don’t.

    It doesn’t sound much different from getting a tax credit for buying a house, or a credit for putting in solar panels.

    I don’t see people suing the government for forcing them to buy a house, or solar panels.

    Hmm. Moo?

    If I am Brick Oven Bill, it’s just like getting a tax credit for electrifying your railroad. Amirite?

  107. 107
    burnspbesq says:

    @eric:

    I am not even sure how the AGs have standing to challenge the mandate directed at the individual citizen.

    It won’t be hard to find a plaintiff with standing. Anyone who pays the excise tax/penalty for not having coverage would have standing to file a refund claim. And there will be wingnut “public interest law firms” lined up around the block vying for the chance to represent the test-case plaintiff. The AGs can be amici.

  108. 108
    stickler says:

    DaddyJ:

    Fans of Caribou Barbie are not vulnerable to facts or data. Believe me: I have had long conversations with people who were convinced that Katie Couric “ambushed” her. That mean, devious Katie Couric!

    That’s a density field you’re not going to get through with mere facts or objective reality.

  109. 109
    Scott de B. says:

    It is not Constitutional for the federal government to mandate Citizens to purchase a product.

    “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled….That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; ”

    From the Militia Act of 1792, signed into law by George F***ing Washington.

  110. 110
    deep cover says:

    I am one of the 450+ attorneys that work for the Washington AGO. I have to say that until today, I was very impressed with my current boss. He has been a great guy to work for (as opposed to Gregoire who was AG before him and was not a nice person to work for even though she was on the right side of the issues). McKenna has not been a winger until now. I do not fathom what propelled him to get involved in this stupid lawsuit, but wonder if he is thinking this will propel him nationally. I am most disappointed in his legal judgment on this. It goes without saying that it makes going to work there very hard.

    I usually post here under another name, but for obvious reasons, am going deep cover to make this statement as all assistant attorneys general serve at the pleasure of the boss.

  111. 111
    eric says:

    @burnspbesq: but if the mandate does not kick in til 2014, there is no adversely affected individual. In that case, the two year litigation meter starts running four years in the future.

  112. 112
    Mark S. says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The individual mandate doesn’t go into effect until 2014, so no one will have standing to challenge that part for awhile.

  113. 113
    Mike in NC says:

    USA Today ran an op-ed about HCR from batshit crazy goatfucker Jim Bob Demented (Asshole-SC). Naturally every sentence dripped with lies and bullshit, but what else could we expect?

  114. 114
    ds says:

    @AngusTheGodOfMeat:

    Exactly. It was done through the tax system specifically to be on the steadiest constitutional ground. There’s just no plausible case against it.

    This is like renters suing the federal government for giving homeowners the mortgage interest tax deduction.

    Of course the federal government can tax or not tax people to incentivize economic decisions, like buying or not buying health insurance. Practically every provision of our tax code does exactly that.

    Unless the Supremes swoop down with some crazy ruling that the only type of tax that is constitutional is a flat tax, which would wipe out Medicare, Social Security, and countless other programs, the mandate in the bill stays.

  115. 115
    jcricket says:

    I love this thread, and frankly, in the long-run, I love McKenna’s actions (I say this as a Washingtonian).

    Back before the 2000 elections, like many, I would occasionally vote for a Republican if they seemed “moderate”. Afterwards, despite futility, I voted against every Republican on the ticket (McKenna included). I had plenty of friends who said this was “too partisan”. Now I feel entirely vindicated.

    You cannot be a part of the Republican party and not cater to the batshit insane fringe. Either McKenna is trying to position himself for a potential GOP primary against Rossi (who doesn’t love a two-time loser?) – or he truly believes this. In either case, he has signed his political death warrant in WA state. I’m sure he’ll earn some money suckling from the wingnut welfare teat decrying how the horrible, terrible Democrats stifled his honest intentions and what-not – but whatever.

    Democrats can barely eke out a victory on HCR despite controlling the entirety of Congress and the WH – and we make the shittiest arguments in favor of our actual policies. So right now, the fact that Republicans insist on being FUCKING CRAZY is the best gift we could hope for.

  116. 116
    Jeff Fecke says:

    @Scott de B.:

    This is central to his point.

  117. 117
    jcricket says:

    @ds:

    Unless the Supremes swoop down with some crazy ruling that the only type of tax that is constitutional is a flat tax, which would wipe out Medicare, Social Security, and countless other programs, the mandate in the bill stays.

    This last part is the most important. Medicare and Social Security, and things like requiring auto insurance before you can drive, would fall victim to the same ruling.

    Despite the conservative idiocy of today’s Supreme Court, I can’t see them ruling in favor of the conservatives on this case. Heck, the system in MA has withstood any and all legal challenges so far, I see no difference with the federal system being implemented now (yeah yeah, states rights, whatever).

  118. 118
    Comrade Luke says:

    @jcricket:

    You cannot be a part of the Republican party and not cater to the batshit insane fringe.

    Period. The End.

    I suppose it might be because it’s local (for me), but I’m more happy about this than the bill passing. Vindication is the best way to describe it.

    Anyone who supports this clown is now part of said fringe.

  119. 119
    YellowJournalism says:

    So proud of my former governor. That woman was PISSED, and I do not blame her one bit. The list of “he does not represent” was awesome.

  120. 120
    IronyAbounds says:

    @burnspbesq: If you think Scalia will retire and allow Obama to pick his successor, I have some ocean front property here in Arizona to sell you. Ain’t.gonna.happen.

    Roberts and Alito will do whatever is in the best interests of the Republican Party. I’m reading Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side” and the positions Alito took before becoming a Justice are frightening. He was clearly appointed to insure that Cheney’s view of Executive power would be upheld by the Supreme Court. They are smart guys, but they are clearly partisan Republicans.

  121. 121
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Bad Horse’s Filly: “BTW, totally loving the rotating tags.”

    Agreed, I am enjoying the new rotation in the lineup at the top. Can we offer suggestions? How about

    Where were you during the United Pastry Jihad?

    or maybe:

    I survived the United Pastry Jihad!

    I grew up in Spokane and this guy is someone that the people on the eastern side of the state would love to have a beer with. Maybe even leg hump. Serious, that’s why I had to get the fuck outta Dodge. The city/county governments of Spokane are corrupt and incompetent. The police are absolute assholes and the people aren’t much different.

    I left that shithole in ’92 and I only go back once a year to visit our (wife from Spokane too) poor unfortunate families who are stuck in ruts there. All plan to leave upon retirement though. I hope they survive.

    ETA: Almost forgot! How are you doing today BHF? I hope you are feeling better about things and hope it gets sorted out to your satisfaction at work. Best thoughts go out to you! :)

  122. 122
    The Raven says:

    I was sitting in on a podcast on just this subject tonight; it’ll be up over on horsesass.org soon. What’s surprised everyone is that McKenna is actually a very savvy pol–a radical right-winger who nonetheless has won high office in a state including one of the most liberal cities in the country. Goldy thinks he’s committed political suicide by doing this, but I’m not so sure. I think maybe he wants to lead the Northwestern Teabaggers.

  123. 123
    Comrade Luke says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    I was there for four years in college (Gonzaga, same as where Gregoire went to law school :), and left in ’89. It’s might seem rightie, but it’s the most “left” part of the entire state east of the Cascades.

    I’ll never forget driving through various small towns in eastern Washington in ’04 and noticing that the only new, clean parts of any of the towns were the gigantic Bush/Cheney signs, along with Rossi for governor. It was very depressing.

  124. 124
    R. Johnston says:

    What’s a guy gotta do to get himself impeached? If this isn’t it, what is? Seriously, the Washington AG has no independent authority at all in civil matters; the state law and constitution are very clear that he’s an agent of the other state officers, and that he’s only independent in criminal matters. This is egregiously bad behavior on his part.

  125. 125
    deep cover says:

    Gregoire was not insurance commissioner of WA, gwangung. She was Attorney General for 3 terms and spear headed the lawsuit against big tobacco. You do not f*** with her.

  126. 126
    ds says:

    @jcricket:

    Well, their argument is that the mandate doesn’t pass the Commerce clause. States can do whatever the fuck they want as long as it doesn’t violate federal law and portions of the constitution incorporated on the states.

    The Commerce clause is the main clause that gives the Congress authority to pass practically any sort of law. For instance, the Civil Rights Act bans discrimination in public accommodations on the basis that discrimination affects interstate commerce.

    What the vast majority of conservative jurists have accepted since the end of the activist Lochner era is that “commerce” should in the end be defined by the democratic system, and that Congress really does have sweeping authority to regulate anything even indirectly related to any sort of economic activity.

    So far the only laws in the last 80 years that the Supreme Court has overturned on Commerce clause basis are gun-free school zones and portions of the Violence Against Women Act.

    A tax that is predicated on whether or not you bought health insurance is just obviously related to interstate commerce. There are thousands of laws that are a bigger stretch that conservatives have no qualms with. I don’t see how they could throw it out without creating a standard that would wipe out 90% of the federal government.

  127. 127
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Comrade Luke: I was in Eastern Washington at Wazzu during the end of the Clinton years and the begining of the Bush years. I know exactly what you’re talking about.

    My roommate one year was a lifetime Eastern Washington resident. We did NOT talk politics, and I think our relationship was better for that. I think we got into one political discussion over flag burning, I said something about defending the rights of people to speak out and protest peacefully despite disagreeing with them, and that was the end of our politcal battles.

  128. 128
    Joseph Nobles says:

    1792 – the Militia Act required every able-bodied free man to own a gun so that he was ready to join a militia if need be. That’s from the great Daily Beast article close to the top of this comment thread.

  129. 129

    […] Link from Kos via John Cole at Balloon Juice […]

  130. 130
    Ruckus says:

    So, those of you living in WA, what’s it like to live in a state with a reasonable human being as governor? I watch the video and I think, why didn’t I move to Seattle like I considered? I could have moved to a state with a actual governor. (And government?) But nooo, not me. No, I have to move back to CA with an actor asshole for governor.

  131. 131
    The Populist says:

    Fiscal Conservativism: Surrrrrrreeeeee. Righties, keep telling yourselves that.

    Aren’t you also the party that gets all worked up about frivolous lawsuits? Uh huh, thought so.

    You’re a lost cause righties because you certainly aren’t acting like the Americans you claim to be.

  132. 132
    The Populist says:

    Republicanism means never having to accept being defeated.

  133. 133
    Yutsano says:

    @YellowJournalism: Holy fucking shit. You were a Coug when I was dude!

  134. 134
    The Populist says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Civil disobedience? So you think it’s okay to wave your guns, stomp your feet and advocate for hurting some congress person’s child like your brethren are doing all over the net?

    Moron, let me make this perfectly clear: I get it, you like to play contrarian concern troll but realize this —– you lost. When the left “lost” to Bush idiots like you told the left to Fuck off, die and go away (not in that order). Time for YOU to do the same.

    Guess what? The government CAN mandate health care requirements and fine those who don’t follow the law. You guys are wasting time and money on these court challenges.

    Congress has the RIGHT to levy taxes for the general welfare of the USA. Good luck…if Roberts and his boys take this down, they’ve opened a pandora’s box where almost ANY federal mandate could be taken down by state lawsuit.

    Congress has the power to regulate commerce between states. Roberts and company claim to be strict constructionists, so going against this proves they are activists of the worst order (and odor!).

    Foolish one, you lose. PERIOD. I guarantee you this, if you and your buddies impede on our freedoms by terrorizing citizens who think you idiots are fools you are worse than the Al Qaeda morons.

  135. 135
    The Populist says:

    @gbear: The right just made sure Gregoire wins another term!

  136. 136
    MattR says:

    @The Populist:

    Congress has the RIGHT to levy taxes for the general welfare of the USA. Good luck…if Roberts and his boys take this down, they’ve opened a pandora’s box where almost ANY federal mandate could be taken down by state lawsuit.

    I kinda think that is the ultimate goal here. Use teabagger anger over health care as a back door to destroying the power of the federal government.

  137. 137
    Yutsano says:

    @The Populist: I think it’s way too early to truly speculate as she has a few years left, but I don’t think Gregoire is going for Number Three. I’m willing to bet she’ll be either happy to retire or possibly do something for Obama in the second Presidency. I’ve been wrong before though.

  138. 138
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Jeff Fecke: Wait, what? She’s doing what? Links, please? I did not know this. I have GOT to pay more attention to local politics.

    @gbear: I did not think it was possible for me to despise that man even more, but now I do. Ratface Pawlenty needs to STFU.

  139. 139
    Ripley says:

    Mistuh B.O.B., he dead.

  140. 140
    The Raven says:

    BTW, coverage over at HA.org. Podcast still not up.

  141. 141
  142. 142
    Xenos says:

    @ds:

    A tax that is predicated on whether or not you bought health insurance is just obviously related to interstate commerce. There are thousands of laws that are a bigger stretch that conservatives have no qualms with. I don’t see how they could throw it out without creating a standard that would wipe out 90% of the federal government.

    I am sure Scalia, Alito, and Roberts are capable of inventing or repurposing some doctrine or theory that puts health insurance in some sort of protected-by-the-tenth-amendment status that would invalidate the mandate. The question is whether they would dare to do so.

  143. 143
    TR says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Kennedy and Scalia aren’t getting any younger. One or both of them could die or retire, and then the balance of the Supreme Court shifts dramatically.

    Kennedy might, but they will have to pry the robe from Scalia’s cold dead hands. That man has a soul as dark and spiteful as Coach K.

  144. 144
    bob h says:

    The astounding thing is that Washington State is one of the most liberal we have. This is not some troglodyte Dogpatch.

  145. 145
    Alan says:

    @Brick Oven Bill: According to this article, if they win their suit, it will pave the way for single payor. Awesome.

  146. 146
    brantl says:

    I’ve got to say, this is the first I’ve heard from Christine Gregoire, and I think she’s the cat’s ass. Man, to the point, clear and concise. Hits the right points with the right frequency. I wish my governor (Granholm) was half this good.

  147. 147
    Blake says:

    Make no mistake, Gregoire is awful. I heard McKenna interviewed on the local NPR station in Seattle before his election, and he seemed the soul of moderation. He’s the only top-of-the-ticket Republican I’ve ever cast a vote for, ever, and up until this stunt I was pleased, or at least not offended, by the way he’s run the office. I guess the gloves are off now, though. This is just plain unbelievable. What a piece of shit lawsuit. Congratulations, Washington, we’re keeping some great company now – Texas, Utah, Alabama, Nebraska, and South Carolina. There’s a reason I don’t live in any of those places, and I think Rob McKenna will learn it in the next election.

  148. 148
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    My sis graduated from Gonzaga too. You were there from ’85-’89? I wouldn’t be surprised if we have seen each other somewhere there. At the time I lived on the north side of Spokane (Cook St.) and worked at Sun Runner (Medical Lake area). We (wife & I ) have family and friends all over Spokane and drove it extensively. We moved to the south coast of Oregon in ’92 and haven’t missed Spokane one bit. Every time we go visit family I am reminded every time I drive through the town as to why I am glad we left.

    It may be the leftest part of eastern Washington but that ain’t saying much, it’s a pretty damned conservative town. One thing I never tire of is how flat and brown the prairie is coming into Spokane eastbound on I-90. As you approach Geiger Hill the road rises and as you crest the hill and start down you finally see the whole town spread out in the valley below. While I can’t stand the town the view coming in to it is really nice.

    @YellowJournalism:

    Wazzu? I used to go there for the concerts and it’s a great place to party out. Nice trip down from Spokane as long as you can avoid the State Troopers. When there were no helmet laws my favorite cap to wear in cool weather was a WSU ski cap (burgandy/silver if I remember right). I was even wearing it when I wrecked my motorcycle on the Pullman Highway…lol! Only got a bloody nose out of it though.

    I hope Gregiore can put the brakes on the fuckwit AG up there. I am glad I live in Oregon, no stupid shit like that here.

  149. 149
    sparky says:

    @ds: i agree with you–mostly.

    not sure i agree with you about IC; Wickard, et al., are jokes and everyone pretty much understands that. i understand Lopez and the other recent CC (and 11th amendment) cases to say, ok, so far but no further. as to involvement, i would think Medicare and Medicaid would be the relevant standards; the difference here is that this is compulsory. you can’t claim with a straight face that this is like buying a house because you are forced to pay one way or the other. (and as you point out, the states have far broader powers than the federal government in some areas, so the analogy to auto insurance is wrong.) Wickard aside, most federal spending (and CC power) has always been predicated on the fiction that the states (not individuals) may opt out if they wish (e.g., stimulus funding). no such opt out is present here.

    do i think this would be overturned by the SCt? no, but if i had to guess i’d say it is saved by some reference to enabling state legislation, and that may actually be an issue down the road. (maybe that’s part of the reason for the state structures.)

    it is a potential catastrophe that CC power is essentially based on a fiction. i don’t expect that fiction to come down if only because the people on the bench know exactly how it came to be. paging justice Roberts!

    as for this particular AG: well, that’s what you get when you have a statewide elective AG office. democracy doesn’t guarantee good results, just results. on balance i think it’s far better to have independent AGs–the only cost here is the waste of taxpayer dollars, but think of all the AGs who have trod where their governors would not.

  150. 150
    Granfalloon says:

    As a lawyer, lover of our Constitution, and decent person, I’m all for citizens and affected entities taking action and going to Court to remedy injustices, or even perceived injustice. Our Constitution makes it clear that the Courts are the ultimate arbiter of the law and, without that important check on the other branches of government, we would be lost.

    Having said that, the absurdity of this situation is that these attorneys general (sorry, “tehse attorney generals”) – the highest elected legal authority in a state – have filed a lawsuit that anyone who went to a few weeks of law school during the second semester of first year would know is absolutely meritless. As we have so often heard from the right, meritless lawsuits are killing this country. Not only is it costing the state money (wonder how many AAGs he put to work on this, not to mention the $350/hr private firms the governor, speaker et al will need to hire), but it will cost the federal government money to defend a principle that has been settled law for hundreds of years and that has repeatedly been affirmed in the highest court.

    This makes the McDonalds-hot coffee lawsuit look like Brown v. Board of Education. This is the “sue John Deere because I cut off my fingers using my riding mower to trim my nails.” This is – not suprisingly – the Texas loons who every year on April 15 file a lawsuit that says that the income tax is unconstitutional.

    And this, from the party of tort reform and anti-wasteful spending.

    Oh, and who’s going to pay the Rule 11 Sanctions that should be awarded against the AGs?

  151. 151
    tc125231 says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: It’s not the end for them. Has NYC ever managed to wipe out cockroaches?

    This is the Long Struggle….

  152. 152
    sparky says:

    @Granfalloon: hmmm…not sure where you are going with your point, though maybe i am just dense.

    it will cost the federal government money to defend a principle that has been settled law for hundreds of years and that has repeatedly been affirmed in the highest court.

    if you mean the Supremacy Clause, i agree. if you mean the Commerce Clause, i don’t. as i suggested above, the SCt is not going to overturn all CC jurisprudence (i think) but it is possible to draw a plausible distinction between this legislation and much previous CC-enabled legislation. for example, while the industrial-medical complex is a large part of commerce, in one sense, even Wickard doesn’t go this far because there the farmer sought to compete in the same market, thus the commerce link, whereas here participation is compulsory–even if you don’t want health insurance (this incidentally is where my usual complaint comes in–being forced to subsidize private industry is not the same as for example participating in a government program like Social Security.)

    i don’t know enough about this legislation to speculate if there’s some kind of equal protection challenge that’s viable.

    and, FWIW i don’t agree with you about sanctions: just because it’s a long shot doesn’t mean it’s frivolous.

    edit for clarity: i am not suggesting that these lawsuits are anything other than political stunts. but just because they are stunts doesn’t mean they are without any basis. personally i don’t think this is going to hurt him–who remembers this sort of stuff–and in the short term gets him some teabagger chits.

  153. 153
    Ivan Ivanovich Renko says:

    @slag: This here. In spades.

  154. 154
    Xenos says:

    for example, while the industrial-medical complex is a large part of commerce, in one sense, even Wickard doesn’t go this far because there the farmer sought to compete in the same market, thus the commerce link

    Your are the third person I have seen who has misremembered this case. The farmer in Wickard was not selling wheat. He was a chicken farmer who wanted to raise his own feed. By not buying feed on the open heavily regulated war-time market the farmer was indirectly depressing the price of wheat, so this business that took place entirely on private property was found to be interstate commerce allowing federal law to be in effect. This case pushed the penumbra of interstate commerce much farther than anyone had found before. Or since, really. Morrison and Lopez were police power issues that distinguished from the commerce clause, and did not really curtail it on economic terms.

    Lots of Federalist Society lawyers and judges would love a chance to take a bite out of Wickard. This could be their chance.

  155. 155
    Dog is My Co-Pilot says:

    I will agree with Governor Gregoire: I am a resident of Washington state and McKenna most certainly does NOT represent me. I was shocked when I first learned he was joining in on this lawsuit. I suppose this was his shot at glory. I’ve tried to call his office, as well, but cannot get through.

  156. 156
    Tlazolteotl says:

    This is McKenna trying to position himself for a run at the governor’s office; Gregoire is in her 2nd term. Fortunately for us, the common wisdom is that he’s just committed political suicide, as he has just blown his “moderate Republican” cover. While the mouthbreathing 24% may approve, Dems are pissed (and in fact the state Legislature may well intervene to stop McKenna from participating in the suit), and a lot of the people who would call themselves independents can’t be happy that McKenna is wasting state resources in such a blatantly political cause.

    Oh, and Howdy to MikeJ, long time no hear!

  157. 157
    DeadlyShoe says:

    McKenna cannot be a total wingnut. He certainly did not go Full Metal Wingnut during the contested elections here, which even became a cause celebre for the wingnut faction nationwide.

    Here’s one person who voted for McKenna who just gave up on him.

  158. 158
    Richard says:

    I am being completely honest here and just need a point of order: When you say he’s sticking his you know whats in the mashed potatoes, you know McKenna is transgendered, right? Is that just going without saying? Because if it isn’t, the irony…

  159. 159
    Richard says:

    I am being completely honest here and just need a point of order: When you say he’s sticking his you know whats in the mashed potatoes, you know McKenna is transgendered, right? Is that just going without saying? Because if it isn’t, the irony…

  160. 160
    Tlazolteotl says:

    When you say he’s sticking his you know whats in the mashed potatoes, you know McKenna is transgendered, right?

    And here I thought I was the only one who suspected!

  161. 161
    mcc says:

    @Richard: That was Dan Savage’s thing, right? It doesn’t even make goddamn sense. If you spend 1 minute on wikipedia you find McKenna has 4 children and became an Eagle Scout at age 14. Also I think Savage admitted he was trolling.

  162. 162
    Zoogz says:

    Good, this topic didn’t quite die yet.

    I don’t know about other states, but Michigan has a law in place that requires all motor vehicle operators to buy insurance but is also “no-fault”, that is, you can’t claim a single dime on another person’s auto insurance if an accident happens while both vehicles were moving at the same time. So, some ass with a Hummer can wipe out my car but because I don’t have enough money to pay for full insurance, I’m utterly SOL. Better yet, this no-fault law is so great that even if the other person has NO insurance, you still can’t claim anything on them, and police can get a greater fine from non-compliance with the law than you can when you are the directly-affected party.

    This situation, according to the attorney general’s office, is not only perfectly legal but encouraged and recommended. However, a mandate to purchase health insurance? EEEEVILLL.

    Hypocritcal bastards, the lot of them. Go to hell, Mike Cox.

  163. 163
    priscianus jr says:

    Desert Rat (at 104),
    It’s interesting what you say about the AZ AG being a Democrat, but if the governor or state legislators wanted him to join this case, wouldn’t he be required to do so? Otherwise it would be like the Washington State thing in reverse. There must be more to it than that, no?

  164. 164
    Dr. Morpheus says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Militia Acts of 1792

    This act provides that “…every able-bodied white male citizen…of the age of 18 years and under the age of 45…be enrolled in the militia…Every citizen so enrolled…shall within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt “and…not less than twenty-four cartridges…”
    __
    Signed in script type by George Washington, May 8, 1792.

    Our first President and the Founding Fathers (in Congress) were IslamofascistcommieAmericahaters, who knew?

  165. 165
    Tlazolteotl says:

    The governor of Nevada is trying to do just that, prisianus jr

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/new.....l-lawsuit/

    He just sent a letter to Nevada’s AG (a dem) basically ordering her to join the lawsuit.

  166. 166
    Sloegin says:

    McKenna not a winger? He’s been arm-in-arm with his bestest bud since college days, Luke Esser.

    Esser, the republican party chair who declared McCain winner of the State primary before they got around to you know… actually counting the results.

    (McKenna BTW was McCain’s state campaign chair for that one.)

    And yes, Savage was being an idiot with that trolling.

  167. 167

    Some of you need to just forget about car insurance; it may have the word insurance in it but it’s comparing apples and rocks. Car insurance is a straight ahead mandate – not a tax dis/incentive. Car insurance is a State issue. Car insurance is narrowly applicable – it applies to use on non-personal private property, same as a license. States I’m familiar with allow the posting of bonds in place of insurance. Most places have serious legal consequences for non-insured use including towing, fines, jail.

    You muddy the waters unbelievably and falsely by conflating car insurance with the health care bill. It has nothing to do with the discussion and you bring in issues you don’t want in.

  168. 168
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Yutsano: Coming back to the thread a bit late, but it’s nice to know that someone would understand when I say that I really miss Sella’s.

    Oh, and it’s dudette.

  169. 169
    Original Lee says:

    @RadioOne: I agree that the Supreme Court has me worried.

  170. 170
    Ab_Normal says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): Hey, Spokane’s not that bad — oh, who am I kidding, I can’t even finish that sentence. My spawn graduates high school next year, then we can FLEE.

    Being a DFH in Eastern Washington is an… interesting thing.

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