Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New 'Puter; Health Care Reform Lawsuits;

Hey! What's up?
Not too much on my end. In case you're wondering, I still have the comment moderation feature enabled because I still keep getting the spam in my comments section with links to Asian pornography. Which is just great. Anyway, hopefully it will subside, but for now the moderation remains on. Because I don't need any of you Adventurers turning my blog site into your personal smut portal!! (you know who you are....)
In other news, I ordered a MacBook Pro, and it arrived yesterday! Big thanks to Andy for helping me to pick out a computer and place my order. Anyhoo, it's a fun machine. I had it out of the box for only a short time before I was already using it to record and overdub some tracks in Garage Band (I know Garage Band is a pretty basic level multitrack recording system, but it really is amazingly easy to use, and produces some pretty good results).
What else?
Lawsuits were filed by the attorney generals of 14 different states to challenge the new health care reform bill this week. All but one of the attorney generals who filed the lawsuits are Republicans. There's a pretty good opinion column on CNN by Timothy Stoltzfus Jost about why none of these lawsuits are really going to go anywhere. In terms of legal theory, I tend to agree with Jost. Simply put, there isn't anything illegal in the health care reform bill, so it's a valid, constitutionally sound law (the federal government has the right to put such a program in place, particularly when there are federal monies attached to it [which there are], and there's nothing illegal about imposing a mandate for insurance coverage, especially when failure to obtain coverage would just pass on an expense to other taxpayers [as is currently the case when people fail to obtain insurance and fall sick]). I think that Jost may be underestimating the extent to which politics have crept into our judicial system, though, and the extent to which activist judges may be willing to break with legal precedent in order to comply with the wishes of the political leaders who appointed them (the Supreme Court has recently demonstrated a willingness to disregard precedent in order to make rulings in keeping with its conservative politcal views, most notably through a terrible decision in which it rolled back well established prohibitions against corporate spending on political speech).
Anyway, I agree that these lawsuits should be meritless, and it annoys me that these Attorney Generals (including our own Greg Abbott here in Texas) are wasting time and taxpayer money on these lawsuits. Given the fact that there's a built in opportunity for some conservative political grandstanding, though, and given the recent willingness of the supreme Court to overrule precedent in favor of political ideals, I'm not at all surprised that these lawsuits have been filed.
This health care debate is truly never going to end.

By the way, there was also an interesting article today in the New York Times today about how this piece of health care reform legislation is one of the biggest attacks on income disparity and its effects on lower income Americans to occur in several decades. I'm definitely cool with that. As I've said before, I'm not in favor of handing out jet skis or plasma screen TVs to poor people, but when you're talking about something as basic as health care, then I can get behind some assistance for lower income folks. Good article.

Well, I don't have much else for now. Maybe more later.

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