June 28, 2012

How bout that?

I must say I was surprised by today's Supreme Court decision (see yesterday's post here). I am a little concerned about the Medicaid part of the decision, in which the court said the expansion was constitutional but the feds couldn't withhold Medicaid funding from states that refuse to enroll more people. This could give states the ability to weasel out of what to me is a key piece of reform.

In other words, Medicaid expansion is the real public option.

Still and all, pretty cool.

June 27, 2012

Anybody's guess

It looks like June 28 2012 will be a historic date as the US Supreme Joke I mean Court is supposed to rule on the constitutionality of health care reform. Here's one take on that.

And here's another: a friend of mine recently pointed out that the individual mandate is less like requiring people to buy broccoli and more like making it harder for people in a restaurant to run out without paying their bill and forcing other customers to fork it over.

The deeper issue here is that of legitimacy. I wonder whether the current majority on the US Supreme Court is totally overcome with partisan frenzy or whether it might be able to take a long view and recognize that being perceived as being totally biased totally undermines the whole idea of having a Supreme Court to start with.

I guess we'll see soon enough. I'm not sure, alas, that the smart money is on the long view.

June 26, 2012

Best. Expression. Ever.

 Maybe I don't get out much, but, on one of my rare visits to Facebook, an old friend who happens to be an educator describes as really bad day as "like being pecked to death by ducks."

That could be a tired old cliche but it's the first time I've heard it and I'm jealous I didn't come up with that a long time ago.

I mean, think about it. Being pecked to death by ducks would take a really long time. It would probably not be all that bad to start with but would eventually get old and then probably really be bad.

I DON'T USUALLY LIKE DAVID BROOKS COLUMNS HERE, but this one on Springsteen gets a pass. (I wonder if he's figured out the Bruce isn't into that whole right wing thing?)

PATRIOTISM. What is it, really?

IF YOU LIVE IN WV AND WANT TO GET IN ON A GOOD FIGHT, click here and urge Gov. Tomblin to undo cuts in child care for working families.


June 25, 2012

Growing apart

These are strange days in El Cabrero's beloved state of West Virginia. Things are a bit schizoid...in a literal sense. There are signs of a pretty big economic bust coming to southern WV even as a boom of sorts is taking place up north.

One reason for this is increased economic activity due to Marcellus Shale gas drilling, even though this hasn't created a whole lot of direct jobs for local workers. But an interesting report from the US Energy Information Administration is predicting a bust for coal production in southern WV (particularly for steam coal) while things look better in the northern part of the state, which incidentally tends to be underground mining with union labor.  Read more about it here.

SPEAKING OF COAL, here's a perspective from a major WV writer who is no big fan.

WHY ISN'T OUR CHAMBER THIS COOL? The Greater NY Chamber of Commerce supports raising the minimum wage.

DUH. Public sector layoffs are hurting the economy.


June 24, 2012

Hang on

Photo credit: the Spousal Unit.

If an ordinary picture is worth 1000 words, this ought to be worth a few more. But here's a thought: if this was a New Yorker cartoon, what would the caption be?