President Says Obamacare Decision a Victory for Freedom
President Barack Obama hailed the US Supreme Court's narrow 5-4 decision to uphold his signature Affordable Care Act as “a victory for freedom.”
“By affirming the legality of our health care plan, the Court has ensured that every American will be free from the worry of having no insurance,” the President said. “By compelling everyone to purchase insurance we are freeing them to enjoy the benefits of medical coverage and relieving them of the necessity to plan ahead and decide for themselves whether get this insurance.”
The President attempted to reconcile the compulsory nature of the health care mandate with the concept of freedom. “Don't be led astray by those who would have you believe that their notions of freedom are a match for what every American needs,” Obama warned. “Just think back to the times when your parents made you eat your peas. In your kid's mind you probably saw this as an imposition on your freedom. But your parents were only trying to give you the gift of good health—freeing you from the consequences of a bad diet.”
“We're doing the same kind of thing with our health care plan,” he continued. “By taking the issue of whether to buy insurance off your list of things to do we are freeing you from having to spend time figuring out what to do. That time can now be used in whatever way you want. On top of this, you'll be healthier. And can there be any question that a healthier person is freer than a sick person?”
Press Secretary Says Contention that Obamacare Is Tax “Idiotic”
Press Secretary Jay Carney sought to get out ahead of the GOP's campaign rhetoric alleging that Obamacare is a huge tax imposed on the middle class.
“There's no way this is a tax,” Carney insisted. “The President doesn't call it a tax. The legislation doesn't say it's a tax. Calling it a tax is idiotic. The President has made it quite clear that the $2,000 a person has to pay for refusing to buy health insurance is a punishment for disobedience, not a tax.”
The fact that the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare was founded on Chief Justice John Roberts' finding that the so-called penalty is a tax is irrelevant, according to Carney. “Roberts' convoluted logic isn't binding on anything,” Carney said. “All that matters is that the Court voted to sustain the law. Whatever reasons he or any other Justice might give are irrelevant.”
To further bolster his case against Obamacare being a tax, Carney cited the waivers granted by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Secretary Sebelius has no authority to waive taxes,” Carney pointed out. “She does, however, have the authority to excuse persons from complying with the mandate. Those who think the mandate is oppressive ought to be trying to get on her good side. I don't think that castigating the Affordable Care Act for political advantage is a course likely to achieve that.”
Thus far, Sebelius has issued over 1,000 waivers—most of them to organizations and businesses supporting the Administration's political agenda.
In related news, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) suggested that, based on the Court's decision, the government might mandate the consumption of tofu or the purchase of a Chevy Volt under threat of being assessed a penalty for noncompliance. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) dismissed such fears as “misplaced. It is the government's job to promote the general welfare. If eating healthier food and driving non-polluting vehicles is deemed the appropriate way of promoting that welfare who is Mr. Jindal to say that the government shouldn't penalize those who won't cooperate?”
Contempt Vote Neutralized by DOJ
The Obama Administration's Department of Justice informed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that it would not honor any request for enforcement of it's finding that Attorney General Eric Holder is in contempt of Congress for his refusal to hand over copies of DOJ correspondence.
“The President's declaration of Executive Privilege has already ruled that Congress is not entitled to these documents,” Deputy Attorney General James Cole asserted. “This preemptively exonerates Attorney General Holder and vetoes any action Mr. Boehner might contemplate taking in his effort to obtain this information.”
Cole called Congress' efforts to secure DOJ correspondence on Operation Fast and Furious “a clear violation of the Constitution's protection against self-incrimination. Under the Fifth Amendment no one may be compelled to testify against himself. Just because the President has acted to shield the Attorney General from having to invoke his right against self-incrimination doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.”
In related news, Attorney General Holder told a federal court that Texas Governor Rick Perry's claim of executive privilege in a case concerning voter ID is invalid. “Why would he object to sharing his correspondence unless he has something to hide?” Holder asked. Holder speculated that “the something to hide is the racist intent of the Texas law requiring voters to show proof of identity before being allowed to vote. It is an established fact that a disproportionate number of undocumented persons are of Mexican descent. If Texas is permitted to proceed with its voter ID plan it will have a discriminatory impact on these people.”
Abortion Clinic Offers Sunday Discount
The Orlando Women's Center in Florida is offering a $50 discount to patients for abortions performed on Sunday.
NARAL spokesperson Adora Slaughter praised the clinic's “progressive marketing campaign. The frontal assault on the notion that somehow Sundays ought to be sacrosanct is a stroke of genius. I mean, consider the contrast. Instead of sitting in a church worshiping a nonexistent god a woman could be contributing to the health of the environment by reducing the Earth's future population. If a $50 coupon is all it takes to shift our culture's focus in this way I'm very encouraged about the progress we're making.”
If the $50 discount isn't enough to enable a woman to afford an abortion, the Fund Abortion Now website (www.fundabortionnow.org) offers additional aid. “No one should be forced to forgo an abortion just because she can't pay for it,” Slaughter declared. “Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act is on track to secure this right for everyone in America. In the meantime, we're grateful that alternate sources of funding are so readily available.”
Feds Cancel Cooperation with States on Immigration Enforcement
The Department of Homeland Security has unilaterally revoked an agreement with Arizona and refused to initiate one with Virginia to cooperate in enforcing the country's immigration laws.
“We were never very enthusiastic about these agreements,” Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted. “Communicating the Administration's nuanced policy to the local governments has always been a problem. At the same time, we felt it was important to convey an impression that we could work together. After all, the President was telling everyone that he had no choice under existing law.”
“Now the situation has completely changed,” Napolitano boasted. “The President's Executive Order has wiped out the previous law and established a new policy for how we treat those who are in the country illegally. Since we're no longer going to be enforcing the old laws it would be a waste of time for us to simulate cooperation between us and the local governments on enforcement issues.”
Napolitano didn't totally rule out possible cooperation between her agency and local governments. “If states want to help us issue work permits to these people I'm sure we could figure out a division of labor amenable to both sides,” she said. “The faster we can get new IDs into as many hands as possible the happier the President will be. Ideally, we'd like to have 800,000 new IDs in place within the next four months.”
In related news, the Department of Justice has set up a new “hotline” illegal aliens can use to complain about local government harassment. The hotline phone number is 1-855-353-1010. “We wanted to let this oppressed minority know that we've got their backs,” Attorney General Holder explained. “If any local cops even look at them crooked we want to know. There's a new law now. Locals who won't conform will be sanctioned.”
Obama Adviser Urges Democrats to Take Offensive on Taxes
White House adviser David Plouffe urged fellow Democrats to take the offensive on the tax issue in the campaign to reelect the President.
“The GOP is trying to twist Justice Roberts' words into a campaign slogan implying that we favor imposing taxes on average Americans,” Plouffe contended. “The truth is that the President and the Democratic Party are not in favor of raising taxes on everyone. We are in favor of raising penalties on the non-compliant.”
Plouffe emphasized that “it is absolutely critical that we clarify this distinction to the electorate. Those who are cooperating with the President's agenda—whether it be through buying the mandated health insurance, signing up for food stamps, hiring an undocumented worker, or whatever—have nothing to fear. They will get waivers, subsidies, and pardons as needed. All they have to do is help make sure the President is reelected.”