Small HCR Court Victory

Thanks to Soonergrunt for the link — Foes of health-care reform law lose key court ruling:

DETROIT — A federal judge on Thursday rejected an attempt to stop some key provisions of the new national health-care law, saying Congress has the authority to require people to get insurance by 2014.
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The ruling — the first in a challenge to the Obama administration’s health care overhaul — came in a lawsuit filed in Michigan by a Christian legal group, the Thomas More Law Center, and four people who claimed lawmakers exceeded their power under the Constitution’s commerce clause. But U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit said the insurance mandate, and the financial penalty if someone skips coverage, are not illegal. He said Congress was trying to lower the overall cost of insurance by requiring participation.
[…]
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U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler noted the ruling “marks the first time a court has considered the merits of any challenge to this law.”
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“The court found that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable means for Congress to take in reforming our health care system,” Schmaler said. “The department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation.
[…]
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The four individual plaintiffs said they do not have private insurance and object to being compelled to buy it. They also fear that any financial penalty paid to the government if they don’t get insurance by 2014 would be used to pay for abortions.
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In Florida, a federal judge is overseeing a lawsuit filed by 20 states. They, too, say the law is unconstitutional and claim it would force states to absorb higher Medicaid costs. A decision on whether to dismiss the case is expected by Oct. 14, though the judge said last month that he likely would dismiss only parts while letting others go to trial.

The Thomas More Law Center is the pet project of Tom Monaghan, founder of Dominos Pizza, which puts him squarely in the wheelhouse of conservative billionaires astroturfing their pollution-producing industries. Although he’s probably more comfortable associating with the other anti-sex Talibangelicals, as one of those Catholics about whom Carlin remarked “they worship the Jesus who’s the only guy who insisted that his mother was a virgin”.

126 replies
  1. 1
    wonkie says:

    Dominos makes crappy pizza

  2. 2
    Davis X. Machina says:

    But U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit said the insurance mandate, and the financial penalty if someone skips coverage, are not illegal.

    Providing a Federal tax advantage to persons who make a certain purchase from a non-governmental, private, vendor, and denying the same advantage to persons who fail to make the same or a similar purchase had better not be illegal, because otherwise you’ve just made the mortgage interest tax deduction unconstitutional.

    Note to Thomas More Law Center: Be careful what you ask for, you morons. There’s a reason why the tax code was used to provide the carrot and stick for HCR.

  3. 3
    gbear says:

    …Tom Monaghan, founder of Dominos Pizza, which puts him squarely in the wheelhouse of conservative billionaires astroturfing their pollution-producing industries.

    Domino and the Derricks

    I could eat pizza for dinner every night but I would never order one from Dominos. What an asshole.

  4. 4
    TooManyJens says:

    They also fear that any financial penalty paid to the government if they don’t get insurance by 2014 would be used to pay for abortions.

    ::headdesk::

  5. 5
    Mark S. says:

    @wonkie:

    Dominos makes crappy pizza

    That is true.

    They also fear that any financial penalty paid to the government if they don’t get insurance by 2014 would be used to pay for abortions.

    O-kay. BTW, how do any of these dumbfucks have standing? The law doesn’t go into effect until 2014.

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    ..

    “they worship the Jesus who’s the only guy who insisted that his mother was a virgin”.

    John 3:16 v2: For God so loved the world he knocked up Joseph’s fiance.

  7. 7
    soonergrunt says:

    And over at CAAFlog, another wave of birfers have shown up. CAAFlog is a weblog by and for lawyers in and out of the military who practice appellate law at the military bar. Since a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army has refused to deploy to Afghanistan, on the grounds that Barrack H. Obama might not be a natural born citizen and therefore cannot be President/CinC and order him to go to Afghanistan, the LTC, Terry Lakin, MD. is being Court-Martial’ed. Hence CAAFlog’s intersection with the birther movement.
    It’s quite hilarious, the goings on there. The birthers show up, demand to be told what they want to hear, and the lawyers, being lawyers, tell them the truth of the matter so the birthers scream and squall about how the CAAFlog contributers, most of whom are field-grade officers in the active or reserve branches, are all Liberal Socialist Marxist Racist Bigot Hateful Nazi Truth Denying Bastards, and various permutations on same.

  8. 8
    Roger Moore says:

    @wonkie:

    Dominos makes crappy pizza

    No. Dominos makes a crappy foodlike substance that is alleged to be pizza. I refuse to concede the point that it actually is pizza. I’d much rather try the stuff BOB turns out than anything from Dominos.

  9. 9
    soonergrunt says:

    Anne Laurie, please check the mod filter because the dirty Soc ial ist word caught my last one. Thanks and sorry.

  10. 10
    Martin says:

    And a minor defeat – the feds are giving a one year extension for the shitty policies that McDonalds offers employees, as ED wrote about.

    Not the end of the world, but definitely not a victory.

  11. 11
    Mike E says:

    Catholic bashing–an American tradition spanning four centuries!

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    I thought Colbert covered Dominoes well.

  13. 13
    Steve says:

    The head of the Thomas More Law Center is Dick Thompson, a former county prosecutor who was thrown out of office by the voters – in a Republican county, no less – for wasting his entire office budget on a fruitless campaign to pursue Jack Kevorkian. It’s nice to see that he’s landed on his feet.

  14. 14
    soonergrunt says:

    I’ll note that the Thomas Moore Law Center keeps losing these big time cases. They lost over a million dollar judgment for attorney’s fees for their client Dover Area School District in Kitzmiller v. DASD in 2005.
    Maybe the asshole financier should be paying the damages his little tribe of incompetent lawyers keep causing.
    NOVA on PBS had a great two hour episode about the whole thing, which you can see on line.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    @Steve: Yes, out there scamming the televangelist viewers for pro-life contributions so he can file completely pointless lawsuits.

    You know, the regulars on this blog could form a consortium and become multi-millionaires in a matter of a few years. The only thing holding us back are our souls.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:

    The court found that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable means for Congress to take in reforming our health care system

    Silly court, following precedent. They should know better. I’m sure that the Roberts Court will correct them, finding some reason why those rulings don’t apply in a case where the government is trying to help people get health care.

  17. 17

    I heart Radley Balko, and I appreciate his definition and reverence for the concept of Freedom, but his post on this,

    http://www.theagitator.com/201.....his-right/

    is just glibertarian couch-fainting. Mandates for auto insurance don’t get his ire up, but this crosses his moral line? I don’t get it. But then again, I suppose he’s still making a living writing for Reason for a…

    Goddamnit, there’s no way to finish that sentence that’s not groan-worthy.

  18. 18
    El Cid says:

    I risk death by stating that Domino’s is now the best tasting among all the major chains, but I promise I only know that from when pizzas are ordered at work.

  19. 19
    Mike in NC says:

    Dominos makes crappy pizza

    Per the TV ads, they made a huge investment in rebranding themselves last year as the people whose pizza isn’t rancid dogshit, but I’m grateful all the same for a reason not to do business with them.

  20. 20
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mike E:
    Whose a Catholic and who said anything about the church? The article is about rich fundys losing a court case.

    Now, as a lapsed Catholic, I can tell you that if I wanted to bash the church, I’d have brought up the former board member of the Arch Diocese of Green Bay, Ron Johnson, who testified to block a bill in the state senate that would require the church to pay the victims of the serial-boy-raping-and-perpetrator-protecting operation called the Arch Diocese of Green Bay.

    But no, there’s no anti-catholic feeling here, because nobody mentioned child molesters with white collars. So chill the fuck out.

  21. 21

    While I wouldn’t put anything past our current majority of right wing ideologues on the SCOTUS, for them to rule HCR doesn’t pass muster via the commerce clause would mean the instant unraveling of the entire New Deal, not to mention much environmental regulation passed at the federal level and closing their relevant fed agencies. Since I believe we are at the beginning of some fairly desperate and uncertain days in this country, anything is possible. All it takes is five justices who get it into their pretty little heads that in order to save the republic from liberal hedonism and godless rules of the road, they must do something drastic like cast open the gates to the Colosseum and let every man/woman fend for themselves.

  22. 22
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mike in NC:

    they made a huge investment in rebranding themselves last year as the people whose pizza isn’t rancid dogshit,

    They wasted their money.

  23. 23

    @soonergrunt:

    Here’s the link for the NOVA special on the Dover/Kitzmiller trial:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/e.....trial.html

  24. 24
    p mac says:

    Hey, no fair to Jesus!
    I strongly doubt he ever claimed his mother was a virgin.
    That kind of claim is more in the realm of Paul.

    This is one place that the Muslims have it right, insofar as religion is rational: Jesus was a prophet, not the Son of God.

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @soonergrunt: Dammit. This bites. They actually do make one semi-decent pizza that I used to order all the time at the old job. (Logistics make doing that at the new gig pretty near impossible.) But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make if it means this fucktard dies in a fire.

  26. 26
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mike E:
    __

    Catholic bashing—an American tradition spanning four centuries!

    Yes, I was professionally trained in that dark art for twelve years — it was called “parochial school”. Sir Thomas would have nothing but contempt for the shifty little weasels currently misusing his name to promote their pro-authoritarian, anti-human agenda.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:

    @El Cid:

    I risk death by stating that Domino’s is now the best tasting among all the major chains

    Which is like saying that Bud is the best of the major American lagers. It may be true, but it’s still damning with faint praise. Real pizza has already passed its prime in the time it takes for Dominos to deliver. They’re best viewed as a pizza substitute for times when the real thing simply isn’t available.

    ETA: Yes, I am a serious pizza snob.

  28. 28
    soonergrunt says:

    @freelancer (itouch):
    Thanks. I would’ve put the link, but I already had one comment in moderation and was worried I’d get two. lol.

  29. 29
    Martin says:

    @General Stuck: Now, now. Only one member of SCOTUS thought it was appropriate to strip-search a 13 year old girl to retrieve an Advil. The other’s just joked about it, but thought the action inappropriate. Have some faith in our very serious judicial overlords.

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @freelancer (itouch): The auto insurance mandate is, or ought to be, if anything, more offensive from a libertarian perspective.

    The penalty for driving uninsured in many if not most states is an actual criminal sanction. (e.g. Maine: “Title 29 A §1605. 6. Operating without giving proof. A person commits a Class E crime if that person is required to maintain proof of financial responsibility and, without authorization from the Secretary of State and without that proof, operates a vehicle or knowingly permits a vehicle owned by that person to be operated by another on a public way. “)

    The penalty for not taking the mandated steps to have yourself covered health-wise is an increase — technically a not-decrease — of your taxes. You will eventually face criminal sanctions if you don’t pay, or under-pay, your taxes as well, but that’s a lot more arms-length than having a sheriff’s deputy writing you a summons by the side of the road.

    One of the things that drives me crazy about a lot of libertarians, and libertarianism, is its failure to admit that there are such things as differences of degree in the application of coercion, and not just differences in kind.

  31. 31
    soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: They used to make a pretty good Hawaiian pizza, but they did something odd to their crust a while back.

    Papa John’s for me when I want carry-out/delivery. I also make my own, which is not as easy as it looks, it turns out.

  32. 32
    KG says:

    holy shit, watching the Maddow replay and the interview with Art Robinson. This guy is completely unstable.

  33. 33
    Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: BTW, Dominos really is at it’s flavorful prime after drinking a case of Bud. Cardboard pizza really comes into its own when you’re +4.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @soonergrunt: The Fiery Chicken Hawai’ian (not as heinous as the name implies) is actually very interesting. I could couple that with a thin crust Pacific Veggie (HAS to be thin otherwise it’s bleah) and call it good. Oh well.

    @Martin: Pizza is like sex: even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good.

  35. 35
    soonergrunt says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Count me another survivor of Catholic school. I did an eight-year sentence, and then public high school. Basic training after high school was easy after eight years of Catholic school. I turned my brain off and simply did what I was told without thought or hesitation just like Catholic school but a lot shorter.

  36. 36
    MikeJ says:

    Garlic Jim’s for those times I don’t make my own.

  37. 37
    soonergrunt says:

    @p mac: Excepting that the first mention of a virgin birth came from the hadith, you’re correct. Original stories of Christ’s birth weren’t in the bible until after they’d been in the Koran and other texts for some time.

    The bible is the world’s greatest collaborative fiction effort spanning thousands of years, and dozens if not hundreds of variants to bring us to the versions we know today.

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    @Davis X. Machina: And morally, the argument makes no sense either.

    As a society, we’ve concluded that it’s morally wrong to turn a sick person away from a hospital, even if they are uninsured and unable to pay. That’s been federal law for quite a while now. To put a mandate that everyone pay into such a system is hardly radical since we’ve already established that the cost side of the system is morally unavoidable.

    I’m not aware of anyone who has advanced a moral argument that people who get into accidents without insurance should be absolved of any part of their liability. The closest anyone comes to that is no-fault insurance in some states, and that only applies to cases where negligence can’t be found.

    It’s typical libertarian lack of reasoning.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I also make my own, which is not as easy as it looks, it turns out.

    It may not be as easy as it looks, but it’s not rocket surgery, either. Any moderately skillful cook with an ordinary kitchen should be able to turn out a better pizza than you get from the big chains, if only because you can use good quality cheese and toppings and it won’t spend ten minutes in a cardboard box getting soggy before you eat it. The hardest part is convincing yourself that it’s possible to make pizza yourself.

  40. 40
    Ailuridae says:

    @gbear:

    That’s Derek not Derrick.

    @soonergrunt:

    PapaJohn’s is by far the best of the national chains. When I go hones (pop 25000) I eat pizza for every meal as there are probably 8 pizzerias there that are better than anything in Chicago (deep dish is an entirely different entity than what I consider pizza). Sadly Papa John’s has some gripe with Chicago labor rules and won’t move into the city. The posted franchise adverts in the El like four years ago and I was very interested but then they backed out (again).

  41. 41

    @Yutsano:

    Haters gotta hate. If dominos revamped and their product is paletable, whatever. It’s kinda like, after I was in AZ last spring, and had In ‘N Out Burger for the first time, only to later find out that they are owned and operated by Fundamentalist Christianists (look under the bottom lip of their drink cups). What the fuck, ever. For a “Fast Food” company, they run a damn good business and make a seriously top tier cheeseburger. And I say this as a guy that has family that works for Omaha Steaks.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    Wow, I just saw that Rachel Maddow interview everybody’s talking about. That guy’s a billion times crazier than Christine O’Donnell!

    Now excuse me while I rub some low-level radioactive substances on my balls. Art says it’s good for me!

  43. 43
    Martin says:

    Making pizza is pretty easy, actually, particularly if you have a grill. Fire it up, toss your stretched dough over the heat and crisp up one side for about 5 minutes. Pull it off, and sauce and dress the crisped side and slide it back on the grill (uncrisped side down) and give it another 5 minutes or so.

    If you’ve got a fancy grill with a rotisserie burner (cough) then fire that up for the 2nd pass and broil the fuck out of the toppings.

    My favorite in the kitchen is to lay the crust in my cast iron pan with a nice layer of olive oil on the bottom, get it dressed up deep-dish style, preheat the oven to 500 and while it’s heating, stick the pan over a burner and get the bottom good and hot before you toss it in there.

  44. 44
    hamletta says:

    Every time I hear about the Thomas More Center, I think St. Thomas More hisself must be spinning in his grave. He was willing to die for his faith, but he wasn’t an idiot. He also believed in educating his girlchildren.

    Monoghan sold his interest in Domino’s years ago to fund his Rightie-Catholic Utopia (see what I did there?), so avoiding them is no longer a political statement worth making.

    Avoiding them for the shitty pizza, however, is another matter. I’ve seen some of their campaign to woo people back, and maybe they’re worth a whirl. Papa John’s hasn’t been all that great lately, and they were the ones devoted to quality.

    Here in Nashvegas, the best pizza places are run by Middle Eastern guys. Except for Manny’s, but they don’t deliver.

  45. 45
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Martin: So, to recap:

    They don’t have a moral argument.
    They don’t have a legal argument (at least one any court’s bought yet).

    What do they have, exactly, except umbrage?

    We’re apparently living in the Saudi Arabia of umbrage — world’s largest producer and world’s largest proven reserves. I say let’s cartelize it — we’ll be rich, I tell ya, rich!

  46. 46
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    I think the “principled libertarian” argument is more a federalist argument. Namely that it is something left to the states and cannot be done by the federal government. Obviously I strongly disagree.

    One of the reasons I think it might be good that the exchanges are at the state level is that I think the challenge to a single federally run exchange would have succeeded at the Supreme Court.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    @Davis X. Machina: They’re basically Republicans, so they have Chocolate Carter to push against. That’s about it.

  48. 48
    Martin says:

    @Ailuridae: It has been left to the states – for 200 years. Where has that gotten us?

    Fuck. I cannot stand these arguments that pretend the universe just started 20 minutes ago.

  49. 49
    geg6 says:

    @KG:

    Yup, completely and utterly certifiable. Whoo, poor Rachel, you head has to hurt after that.

    As for Domino’s “pizza,” that is sone shitty foodlike substance and I’ve seen rats reject it.

    And anyone who thinks Catholics have been bashed in this thread is delusional. But this ecstatically happy former Catholic turned atheist would be happy to bash with abandon in order to give you something to whine about that has a glancing relationship with reality.

    Meanwhile, few things give me more joy than seeing those ignorant fucks at Thomas More get another smackdown in court. What a bunch of losers those dimwits are. About as good an investment for that shit Monahan as his super duper Vatican City in Florida has been.

  50. 50
    TooManyJens says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    We’re apparently living in the Saudi Arabia of umbrage

    FTdepressingW.

  51. 51
    jeffreyw says:

    Are folks talking pizza here? I’ve been having great fun making pizzas lately from homemade pita rounds-they’ve become my method of choice. Mrs J is not very adventurous with toppings, insisting on ham, pepper rings, and mozzarella. I’ve been branching out some but it’s hard to shake decades of eating pizzas with the basic toppings everyone knows.

  52. 52
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    My favorite in the kitchen is to lay the crust in my cast iron pan with a nice layer of olive oil on the bottom, get it dressed up deep-dish style, preheat the oven to 500 and while it’s heating, stick the pan over a burner and get the bottom good and hot before you toss it in there.

    My dad introduced us to the above (skillet pizza) sometime in the mid 80s before the pizza stone craze occurred. Its remarkably good and given that a multi-tasker lodge cast iron skillet (also good for pan fried chicken amongst other thing) could be had for less than a pizza stone it made my dad happy to know that everyone else was a rube.

  53. 53
    hamletta says:

    @Martin: Dude, it’s not the heat that’s the problem! The dough! It’s tricksy!

    The one time I tried to make pizza dough, it came out all puffy and bready. I probably didn’t use (high-protein) bread flour though. This was before I discovered Alton Brown.

    Though I like Rachael Ray’s suggestion to just buy raw dough from your local pizzeria.

  54. 54

    @Davis X. Machina:

    We’re apparently living in the Saudi Arabia of umbrage—world’s largest producer and world’s largest proven reserves. I say let’s cartelize it—we’ll be rich, I tell ya, rich!

    Too late, Mark Zuckerberg already has. Facebook is used by content, moral human beings to stay in touch over vast distances in space and time. For everyone else it’s a daily exercise in bitter judgement and shallow resentment. See the movie though, it’s quite brilliant.

  55. 55
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    I assume you are asking me this rhetorically and not suggesting that I think as a policy matter it should be left to the states, right? I’ve been pretty clear on this over the years but basically I think libertarianism and the strain of small government advocacy it supports is entirely morally bankrupt and a policy disaster.

  56. 56
    Martin says:

    Oh, and for the working folks, pizza dough freezes perfectly. Make up a bunch of dough balls, wrap them loosely in plastic (they’ll rise slightly before freezing), and shove them in the freezer.

    To defrost, about 4-5 hours before cooking (if you can come home for lunch or have someone from home do it) drop one in a bowl and stretch the plastic across the top (recycle!). It’ll defrost and rise and be ready when you get home.

    Fire up the grill, stretch it out, and toss it on. From in the door to eating is about 30-45 minutes when we make two, one after the other.

  57. 57
    geg6 says:

    I really can’t stand Lawrence O’Donnell’s new show, but he is making Lou Dobbs look like an ass. A low bar, I know, but still fun to watch.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @jeffreyw:

    I’ve been branching out some but it’s hard to shake decades of eating pizzas with the basic toppings everyone knows.

    You should try my smoked duck breast with orange sauce pizza. The sauce is half tomato and half orange, with the zest added just before I put it on the pizza so the essential oils don’t boil off as the sauce cooks down. It’s startlingly good. I’ve also branched out with a Mexican pizza, where I use guacamole in place of tomato sauce, queso quesadilla in place of mozzarella, and chorizo as a topping.

  59. 59
    Ailuridae says:

    @hamletta:

    FWIW, a lot of pizzeria’s don’t take kindly to that. Its like her asking for half portions on her budget travel show. Nobody is going to tell rachel ray to go fuck herself on Food Network but a lot of pizzeria owners (especially good ones who are a notoriously paranoid lot) will indeed tell you to fuck off at the suggestion.

  60. 60
    gbear says:

    @Ailuridae:

    That’s Derek not Derrick.

    It was a pun. I was trying to make a funny. hahah

  61. 61
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Amen sistah! My brothers, sisters and I suffered through four years at Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane. We all got wise and dropped out in our teen years. Our Mom did likewise when she discovered that the church only supports the family as long as the man of the house is around.

    Confession is hypocrisy in action.

    “In and out, three “Hail, Mary’s”, you’re back on the street with Father Rivera, man. You could see the line move; that’s how fast he was working.”

  62. 62
    Ailuridae says:

    @jeffreyw:

    I’m a pizza purist and there are a lot of things that I would never let near a pizza. And that includes things that have grown commonly acceptable like chicken breast and pineapple. It’s arbitrary and rigid but it feels right.

  63. 63
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @KG:

    You think? He’s running against my guy here. Old dynamite is more stable than this guy.

    @Mark S.:

    I think he’s been drinking radioactive waste for years now.

  64. 64
    ruemara says:

    I can’t understand takeaway pizza, barring papa john’s because homemade is so much better. The local co-op has whole wheat and regular dough, so all you gotta do is defrost, and roll. A good quiche pan (don’t judge), and you’re good to go. Where else am I gonna find squid, shrimp and olives pizza.

  65. 65
    morzer says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Actually, Thomas More was a nasty piece of work with a very strong authoritarian streak who did plenty of heretic-hunting and burning. England was well rid of him when he finally met the fate he so richly deserved.

  66. 66
    jeffreyw says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I’ve also branched out with a Mexican pizza, where I use guacamole in place of tomato sauce, queso quesadilla in place of mozzarella, and chorizo as a topping.

    I could see me doing that one!

  67. 67
    Roger Moore says:

    @Martin:
    You can also use one of the high moisture, no knead, long rising dough recipes. You need to make sure to use plenty of flour on your working surfaces- they’re sticky- but you can get one started in a few minutes before going to work and have it ready when you get home.

  68. 68

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    AMCG

    Ad Majorem Carlin de Gloriam

    For the Greater Glory of George

  69. 69
    Ailuridae says:

    @ruemara:

    A good quiche pan (don’t judge), and you’re good to go. Where else am I gonna find squid, shrimp and olives pizza.

    The third circle of hell?

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Martin says:

    @Ailuridae: Yes, rhetorically. I get the ‘states should do it’ argument all the time, and I go after it quickly. Further, it’s been proven definitively that certain markets simply aren’t viable. Low population density areas can’t create cost-effective health care networks because there’s a limit you can have people travel to get to an ER before they simply die due to lack of treatment, and the number of hospitals you need to stay under that distance don’t create enough demand to be able to pay to keep the facility staffed.

    If your state has high and low density areas, the cities can subsidize the rural areas, but if you don’t have that urban population, there’s pretty much nothing you can do. Those markets have the advantage of lower costs of living, but people expect lower rates as a result, and they don’t get it. South Dakota has health spending which is 10% higher per capita than California and higher than the national average. Wyoming is even higher and is 15% higher than the national average. Hawaii, which is outrageous in terms of cost of living is below the national average on health care, but also has a reasonable population density.

  72. 72
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @freelancer (itouch):

    Amen, or ahem… rAmen to that!

  73. 73
    Roger Moore says:

    @jeffreyw:
    If you’re up for making a rye crust, a Reuben pizza is another funky option. And pesto pizzas are a whole other set of choices. If you stop thinking about pizza as pizza and more as an open faced sandwich where you’re cooking the bread at the same time as the fixings, you can come up with all kinds of interesting ideas.

  74. 74
    jeffreyw says:

    @Roger Moore: My last few pizzas have used dried tomato pesto as the “sauce”. Amazingly good stuff.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    @hamletta:

    Lord Chancellor More would eat these pathetic wannabes for breakfast. He may have been the conservative standard-bearer of his time and place, but anyone with a small fraction of his brains and character would see that there’s something profoundly fucked up about a supposedly Christian legal organization attacking a law that benefits people other than the rich and powerful. And in his name, yet. Shame on those libelous bastards.

  77. 77
    Radley Balko says:

    I heart Radley Balko, and I appreciate his definition and reverence for the concept of Freedom, but his post on this is just glibertarian couch-fainting. Mandates for auto insurance don’t get his ire up, but this crosses his moral line?

    1) My post was about the expansion of the Commerce Clause and constitutional restraints on the federal government. Auto insurance mandates come from the states, not from the federal government. Therefore, auto insurance mandates aren’t a Commerce Clause issue.

    2) In any case, auto insurance mandates are only forced on people who choose to drive. The health insurance mandate is forced on people choose to breathe. There is a difference.

    3) What the hell does “glibertarian” even mean?

    If memory serves, John defines it as a person who affects libertarianism only when it’s convenient. The term now gets invoked on this site any time a libertarian makes a point about taxes, regulation, or economics.

    Ninety-five percent of what I do is defend libertarian principles on issues in which I have no direct personal stake. I don’t smoke pot, crack, or meth; I’m rather unlikely to ever be wrongfully convicted, wrongly arrested, or beaten up by a cop; I’m probably never going to be convicted of a crime because of fraudulent forensic testimony. If you’re going to call me a “glibertarian” because I also occasionally voice my displeasure with I think is government overreach on economic issues, then the term really has no meaning at all.

  78. 78
    burnspbesq says:

    @soonergrunt:

    But no, there’s no anti-catholic feeling here

    Really? Then why mention Monaghan’s Catholicism? Why is it relevant to his insane political views?

    At least the anti-Catholic bigotry here isn’t spreading. It’s still confined to days that end in “y.”

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Yutsano says:

    @Martin:

    Hawaii, which is outrageous in terms of cost of living is below the national average on health care, but also has a reasonable population density.

    Hawai’i also has an employer mandate that is pretty strict. Basically if you work over 35 hours (I think that’s the standard, could be wrong) your employer HAS to offer you health care period. I think there are also ratios for what the employer has to cover. I’m amazed the idea never caught on elsewhere.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    @Roger Moore: This will certainly come across as blasphemy to most, but I have turned my favorite sandwich into pizza on occasion: cream cheese and pastrami. Crisp up the dough, use the cream cheese in place of sauce, using the residual heat from the crust to melt it a bit, and layer on the pastrami. Cut it up. Add beer.

  82. 82
  83. 83
    KG says:

    @Ailuridae: yeah, the libertarian argument I’d’ve made a few years ago is that issues of “health, welfare, and morality” (as the Federalist Papers called them) are state police powers and the federal government shouldn’t be involved.

    The problem that conservatives have is that they’ve been federalizing shit like crazy (tort reform anyone?) over the last couple of decades.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the system as it exists is terribly broken. I am not entirely convinced that the bill that passed is the best answer. But I’m willing to give it a try over the status quo (or status ante, I guess). Additionally, we’ve found that the States have not been the repositories of rights and liberty that the Founders envisioned.

  84. 84
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Regarding the Maddow/Robinson blowout, LGF is all over it. This comment made me lol:

    Maddow clearly demonstrated that Art Robinson thinks at the speed of potato.

    Lots of great comments.

  85. 85
    Martin says:

    @Yutsano: Hawaii also has lower per-day hospital expenses than the national average, so it’s not a case of shifting high costs to employers.

    On average, employers pay 90% of premiums for individuals and 75% for families. Those aren’t the mandates, just the averages. Both are higher than the national average.

  86. 86
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    Gotcha. I was randomly defensive there. Sorry about that.

    Broadly, I think states rights arguments are purely to stop progress. Same with constitutional originalism. Its classic conservatism as yelling athwart history yelling stop Buckley stuff. Its obvious to anyone who has looked at the issue and honestly tried to come to a solution that the federal government has to take the lead in HCR. So libertarians immediately disagree as they think that smaller government in and of itself is a moral and worthwhile aim. That’s one of the reasons the right always gets the left wrong: since they think that shrinking government is an end in itself and we are there opposition we must think that growing the government is a worthwhile goal in and of itself. But while that is an accurate description of the right’s political calculus it is a laughably absurd characterization of the left’s political calculus.

  87. 87
    Ash Can says:

    @morzer: Yes, you’re right, he did have that ugly side to him. But he was brilliant nonetheless, and his best friend was the greatest secular humanist of the day. I just can’t see him attacking policies enacted for the good of the populace solely for the purpose of defending the interests of a wealthy few, like today’s Thomas More Center is doing. If he were to go that route, he’d have done a much better job of sucking up to Henry.

  88. 88
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @burnspbesq:

    You are mistaking disgust for bigotry. Look them up in the big book of what words mean.

    It’s disgust. Especially coming from those of us who have ‘been there, done that’ in regards to the Catholic church. I was an altar boy for four years and I can say whatever I want about the church I used to be a part of.

    I am just one opinion, one voice of experience, and I have a right to speak of my experiences and opinions without being called a bigot by those who disagree with me.

    Get over it.

  89. 89
    Ash Can says:

    @burnspbesq: Bigotry notwithstanding, the sad fact is that way too often, Catholics bring this opprobrium on themselves. Seriously, it makes me crazy that a Catholic legal firm, of all entities, is fighting an expansion of health care coverage. What the fuck is wrong with these people?

  90. 90
    Ailuridae says:

    @Yutsano:

    I think its far fewer than 35 hours even like Starbucks time.

    @Radley Balko:

    The ever principled Radley Balko pis consistently outraged at the federal government’s overreach. This much is true.

  91. 91
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @hamletta:

    Every time I hear about the Thomas More Center, I think St. Thomas More hisself must be spinning in his grave. He was willing to die for his faith, but he wasn’t an idiot. He also believed in educating his girlchildren.

    And he believed in burning people at the stake because their slightly different conception of how to properly worship the same deity was so offensive to all concerned, also too. So maybe it’s not a totally wacky name.

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    BTW, this is why America is losing its competitive edge.

    Gap CEO earns $3M per year + stock, and focuses on rolling out a shitty milquetoast new logo with mindless corporate speak.

    New products? No. Entering new markets? No. Let’s tweak the marketing bling and hope that profits come our way, rather than making real investments in the business or taking a risk.

    Fucking spineless retards run our corporations.

  93. 93
    Ailuridae says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Actually generalizing criticism of an institution or larger group purely from one’s personal experiences is almost the definition of bigotry.

  94. 94
    Martin says:

    @Ash Can: Nothing wrong with them – wingnuts will give money to file the suits, and they’re lawyers so yeah, they take the money and file the suits. Anne hasn’t learned to stick C.R.E.A.M. on all her posts like DougJ does, but she should in this case.

  95. 95
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Then why mention Monaghan’s Catholicism? Why is it relevant to his insane political views?

    Because his insane political views are wholly at odds with the fundamental text of the religion he purports to practice. Unless you think that this douchebag is representative of all Catholics, pointing out his personal hypocrisy is not anti-Catholic.

  96. 96
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Martin:

    BTW, this is why America is losing its competitive edge.
    __
    Gap CEO earns $3M per year + stock

    That, all by itself, is why America is losing its competitive edge. The only CEOs who should be making that kind of bank are the ones whose companies produce actual things in American facilities paying American workers decent wages. The only thing the CEO of Gap knows how to do is put massive markups on shitty clothes. For that he should get about $20 an hour and free chips from the vending machine.

  97. 97
    Mark S. says:

    I actually agree with Art Robinson about this:

    Public education (tax-financed soshalism) has become the most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism in the United States. Moreover, people who have been cut off at the knees by public education are so mentally handicapped that they cannot be responsible custodians of the energy technology base or other advanced accomplishments of our civilization. These ignorant people vote, and their votes are beginning to destroy our way of life.

    He’s talking about teabaggers, right?

    ETA: Damn you, Art, for misspelling soshalism and tripping the spam filter!

  98. 98
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Ailuridae:

    I speak of the church itself as an entity, and not the individuals that operate and belong to it. There is a wide spectrum of thought and belief in the church and there is no generalizing that. I am not speaking of individuals here, nor have I. I am not saying “all Catholics are…”, but rather I am saying that ‘what they (the church itself) represents…’ or what I see wrong with the church, both past and present.

    There is a lot of history to the Catholic church, both positive and negative, and more history is being written every day. I will not ignore that which I view as wrong, nor will I stand for an inference that I am a bigot for being disgusted by it. Granted, the church has done plenty of good and still does to this very day, but that does not excuse their past or current wrongs that they have perpetrated on people.

    ’nuff said.

  99. 99
    morzer says:

    @Ash Can:

    More wrote one “best-seller” in Utopia, and is lucky that the vast bulk of his hate-filled screeds against e.g. Luther have been consigned to the trash-can of history. Given More’s fanatical conservatism at the end of his life, I could see him joining the extreme right-wing quite easily. I would strongly dispute More’s”brilliance” except in a provincial context. He produced little of genuine philosophical merit, added nothing to Latin or English style, and although a competent and effective administrator can hardly be called someone who changed the course of English law or bureaucracy. Generally speaking, More gets assessed much too highly, partly because of A Man for All Seasons, partly because people give him too much credit as a thinker for Utopia. God only knows why the English over-estimate religious figures called Thomas, but both More and Becket have been given far too much credit, and their follies, self-promotion and frequent unpleasantness get written out of the record.

  100. 100
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    As someone said above, why is his group fighting something that will help people, many who are poor, can’t afford or are stuck with junk insurance.

    It’s the opposite of what his religion claims is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, there are too many Christians who feel the same way and are willing to have many suffer just to prevent the possibility of someone getting an abortion. They feel that the potential evil outweighs the known good.

    Evil wins again.

  101. 101
    Mark S. says:

    Rachel didn’t use an even better quote from Robinson on radiation:

    While ocean dispersal would have long ago turned the radioactive waste disposal issue into a non-problem had pseudo environmentalism not intervened, the best place for that waste is in the concrete foundations and insulation of homes and buildings. Suitably diluted, radioactive substances in our homes would provide a hermetic radiation dose and significantly prolong our lives.

    Give your home a healthy green glow.

  102. 102

    @Radley Balko:

    3) What the hell does “glibertarian” even mean?
    __
    If memory serves, John defines it as a person who affects libertarianism only when it’s convenient.

    Which is pretty much every Libertarian I’ve ever met. You know, like your colleague at Reason, Matt I get my health care in France” Welch. Face it Radley, most of members of the Libertarian party are just Republicans who smoke dope, there are precious few Karl Hesses amongst their ranks, if any at all.

  103. 103
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    If the conservatives improbably succeeded in nullifying healthcare reform based on the individual mandate, I would die laughing. They wouldn’t be able to privatize Social Security, or any business that everyone needs to be able to use.

  104. 104
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Mark S.:

    I told the wife and daughter to note who is displaying Robinson signs in their yards or on their cars. It’s a great way to know who to avoid since they are either stupid or crazy.

  105. 105
    stormhit says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Except that is not what Anne Laurie did, at all.

  106. 106
    Redshift says:

    @TooManyJens: Raising once again the question of why abortion is the one thing it’s considered reasonable for people to demand their personal tax dollars not pay for.

    While I’m unhappy that they often get their way on that, I understand that they do it through the successful application of political pressure, so while I think that’s bad, it’s not inherently outrageous. The thing I think is outrageous is that people who object to their tax dollars going for wars, or for the death penalty, or even for enforcing laws they don’t like, are automatically considered kind of nutty, but people who say “I don’t want there to be any chance my tax dollar might end up going for abortion” aren’t, even when they tack it on to a case like this, where accepting that principle carries the ludicrous implication that they should be able to withhold all their taxes, not just the health care mandate.

    It’s truly nutty, but because it’s about the a-word, our politicians and media pretend it isn’t.

  107. 107
    MikeJ says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: You don’t have to smoke dope to be a libertarian. Just be too ashamed to call yourself a Republican.

  108. 108
    Ailuridae says:

    @MikeJ:

    You don’t have to smoke dope to be a libertarian. Just be too ashamed to call yourself a Republican.

    Or too scared to admit your world view is actually fueled by race resentment.

  109. 109
    Ailuridae says:

    @MikeJ:

    You don’t have to smoke dope to be a libertarian. Just be too ashamed to call yourself a Republican.

    Or too scared to admit your world view is actually fueled by race resentment.

  110. 110
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @stormhit:

    Except that is not what Anne Laurie did, at all.

    It looks like that’s exactly what she did, but she can speak for herself.

    I swear, the victim mentality of some Catholics is insane. Really, despite the many reasons why the Catholic Church should be declared an organized criminal enterprise, nobody is coming after you guys. You’re doing really well on the “Social Groups Currently Being Fucked Over by Society” tally; plenty of folks are getting shafted a whole lot worse than you. And if occasionally some of us have some unkind things to say about Holy Mother Church, well, it’s only because her leadership so richly deserves them.

  111. 111
    freelancer says:

    @Radley Balko:

    Because I quoted you, and because I failed/ignored/took the easiest interpretation as to the substance of your post, I am remiss in that my labelling you as a “glibertarian” was a cheap shot, and what followed may (or may not have been) a shallow refutation of a strawman version of your own position. For that I am sorry, it was a cheap shot. I am a huge fan of your writing (also, you were awesome on P&T Bullshit! /fanboy), and I promise to follow up with you via email, but not right now, and not in this venue, as I am very, very inebriated at the moment (Go Huskers!)

    The summation of my position might go as follows, and the only difference is that there is nothing written in our laws as of yet that enunciates a government’s civil responsibility towards the health of it’s citizens, but does mandate security, at all, and might I add, way too many costs.

    We seem to be philosophically arguing over the moral difference or overlap between “security” and “health/well-being”.

    It might not be a legal parallel, but in my mind, it is a very real moral analogy between a police predation on those who cannot defend themselves, morally, intellectually, or financially, basically the predation on poverty-stricken Americans for the sake of being tough on crime, and allowing access to equal medical care that disregards any consideration of class. The level of government involvement is something to be debated, however, if we are to agree that, say, testicular cancer victims, are to be treated the same, one being a non-smoking shift manager at McDonalds, and the other being a mid-level copier repairman at Xerox, and yet another, one of the afflicted is the immediate superior of either the McDonald’s employee or the Xerox employee, one must at least start at the level of saying each has the equal amount of rights under the law, and regardless of class, a baseline needs to be established so that no one, out of the three (or 350 million) should be allowed to become homeless as a consequence of their treatment. The state already mandates insurance for autos, and you might consider it a convenient excuse that it’s only those that choose to drive that are subjected, and therefore it is “voluntary”, but at the same time it isn’t something that really holds water to me. I find it condescending, and I find it quite hollow to realistically see a car owner, who, looking out for his rights and individuality, has the opportunity to forgo automobile ownership for the sake of not complying with a government mandate.

    I have more on this, but it is late. I obviously disagree with you on some level, but I can’t help but see your point on many of the idiosyncrasies that you bring up.

    I am completely shitfaced at this point, and simply can’t be bothered to refute certain things right here right now. Consider me a fan and a reader who, knowing the scope of what I don’t know, may be completely wrong about this subject and also one who fails to see more than one or two moves ahead, but I know there are discussions out there to be had, and it is with people like you that will be the most valuable.

    Cheers,

    Nick +a lot

  112. 112
    Joey Maloney says:

    We used to buy these frozen Margherita (sp?) pizzas from Costco – very thin, crispy crust, sparsely topped with chopped tomato, basil, and mozzarella – and then dope the shit out of them, piling on our own toppings: chopped garlic, kalamata olives, feta cheese, more mozzarella; chopped garlic, mushrooms sauteed in honey, spicy homemade sauce, meatless fake sausage; chopped garlic, black olives, chili beans, taco sauce, cheddar cheese; and so on. (Yes, you can see the theme emerging.)

    That was a great compromise for when we didn’t have the time to whip up our own batch of dough and wait for it to rise. (BTW, I always had terrible luck with freezing unrisen dough. It would never rise properly when thawed, or the gluten would just fall apart. Is there a trick to it?)

  113. 113
    b-psycho says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Which is like saying that Bud is the best of the major American lagers. It may be true

    It’s not. Sam Adams is, unless they don’t count as a major.

  114. 114
    aimai says:

    @burnspbesq:

    This makes no sense: the organization he founded is named after a Catholic Martyr. He expressly organizes his public personality around his Catholicism and his goal is enforcing what he sees as Catholic (and universal) morality on others. Catholicism isn’t a side issue, its a central issue, in understanding what the Dominos guy is doing. Not mentioning it is to leave the reader in the dark.

    So, it wasn’t anti-semitism when Sanchez called Jon Stewart a bigot (though it was an incorrect use of the word bigot given the information Sanchez offered) but it did rise to the level of anti Semitism when the entire ethnicity was accused of controlling the media. Similarly, its not “Catholic Bashing” to describe the actions of a proud and self promoting Catholic to enforce Catholic dogma under the banner of a Catholic named organization–it would be if we attacked the entire category of people who practice Catholicism and said the Pope controls everything, or the Catholics hate women, or something of that global a nature.

    Myself I’m a big fan of the Catholic Worker movement, Dorothy Day, and Liberation Theology and I think Jesuits have been both awful and very, very, cool during their long history. Learn to disaggregate.

    aimai

  115. 115

    Tom Monaghan also gave us Ave Maria Law School, which gave us Andrew Shrivell, AAG and rabid homophobe.

  116. 116
    soonergrunt says:

    @burnspbesq: There was, as I pointed out, an anti-conservative bent to the argument. The fact that Monaghan is a Catholic was mentioned, but mentioning that one particular Catholic is a shit-head or is a member of a small group of shit-heads doesn’t comprise anti-Catholicism.
    As for your complaint about anti-catholicism only occuring on days that end in ‘y’, may I suggest, Mr. Donohue, that the Church has earned quite a bit of it through its institutional behavior. Today’s anti-catholicism is much different than the past’s, which was primarily about anti-imigration attitudes with regard to those stinky poor Irish and Italians.
    American anti-catholicism today is primarily driven by former Catholics.

  117. 117
    Don K says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Serious question here: has the TMLC ever won anything? Or is it just a form of welfare for a bunch of otherwise unemployable grads from Ave Maria Law School (also, IIRC, originally funded by Monaghan)?

  118. 118
    Don K says:

    @El Cid:

    In my part of the Detroit area we have only chains (you need a certain critical mass of Italian-Americans to get local pizzerias), and Domino’s is definitely the best of the chains now (a big change from as recently as a couple of years ago, when they were the absolute worst). This really only means they’re about up to the standards of an average mom-and-pop store from NJ or NY, though.

  119. 119

    […] small victory for the healthcare reform law: DETROIT — A federal judge on Thursday rejected an attempt to stop […]

  120. 120
    Steve says:

    Ave Maria Law School was actually pretty impressive for a start-up, until Monaghan followed through on his plan to move it to some enclave he created in Florida and go full-on crazy. They had good faculty and an impressive bar passage rate. I wouldn’t mock them like Regent or something, although again, all this is before the move.

  121. 121
    Martin says:

    @Don K: Nope, just another wingnut welfare group.

  122. 122
    Comrade Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

    “You know, the regulars on this blog could form a consortium and become multi-millionaires in a matter of a few years. The only thing holding us back are our souls.”

    I’m sure we could get some Koch money.

    Lessee…”At the Tunch Institute for Values and Debate, we intend spreading the truth about Conservative Policies and Values via New Media to an audience normally hostile to the Conservative message.”

    Hey, no lies there.

    Let’s send the proposal and feast on that wingnut welfare!

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    I can say whatever I want about the church I used to be a part of.

    Of course you can. No one disputes that.

    And I can call it what it is.

  124. 124
    burnspbesq says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Unless you think that this douchebag is representative of all Catholics,

    No only do I not think that, I know it to be false. But it seems to be the working hypothesis here.

    What I’m bitching about is the reflexive tendency of people here to assume that the worst, craziest, most un-Christian of Catholics (and I absolutely include the Holy Father in that group) are representative of the views of the vast majority of the faithful. That’s simply untrue, and I know no better word than “bigotry” to describe continuing to believe that when it is demonstrably untrue. It’s beyond stereotyping.

  125. 125
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @burnspbesq:

    No only do I not think that, I know it to be false. But it seems to be the working hypothesis here.

    Whose working hypothesis does it seem to be?

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Unless you think that this douchebag is representative of all Catholics,
    __
    No only do I not think that, I know it to be false. But it seems to be the working hypothesis here.

    I think I see the disconnect here. Monaghan has set himself up in public and claimed to be representative of all Catholics.

    When you have people like Monaghan or Bill Donahue going on teevee to represent Catholics, or you have Cardinal Law defending pedophiles, or the National Council of Bishops publicly opposing healthcare reform, what do you expect people to think? These are the public faces of the Catholic Church. These are the spokespeople. In many cases, they hold high office within the church itself.

    These are the people that everyone thinks of when they think “Catholic,” because they’re the ones who claim that they’re speaking for all Catholics. What are you planning to do about that? It’s pretty hard to claim that bishops and cardinals don’t represent Catholics.

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