Right now, the legal machinations regarding the Affordable Care Act are kind of like the overture you hear before a musical starts. It's a little preview of the different songs to come, but it isn't really the show itself. So today, Judge Henry Hudsonruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, in contrast to a series of other judges in other jurisdictions who have found the opposite.
Should you be worried? Well yeah, but not because of this ruling.
One of legislators' favorite strategic moves is to force their opponents into "tough" votes, whereby in order to get what they want they have to vote for something really unpopular or against something really popular. The idea is that since these legislators (particularly those in the House, who have to run every two years) are motivated largely by fear, they will knuckle under as visions of attack ads dance in their heads.
There's a new poll out from the Program on International Policy Attitudes, which shows that nine in 10 voters said that during the campaign they encountered information that was misleading or false. Obviously, in order to know you're encountering misleading information, you have to have some idea of what the truth is. But apparently not. As I've noted before, most of the misinformation benefits Republicans:
Back in March of 2008, I wrote a column about certain sectors of the left, particularly the anti-war group Code Pink and the Berkeley City Council, a uniquely silly municipal body. The controversy of the moment had to do with protests at a Marine recruiting center. Here's a little excerpt from the column:
In his farewell address to the Senate today, Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah did something rather unusual for a Republican these days: He talked about his opponents as though they are not crazed socialists, or America-hating foreigners, but as though they are reasonable, well-intentioned people with whom he happens to disagree on most things. His address was pretty remarkable in a lot of ways, not least because he talked proudly about how his father, who was also a senator, cast a vote in favor of the Civil Rights Act, even though most conservatives at the time found it an encroachment of government on individual liberty. But here's the key part.