The ACA is Constitutional, but Still Terrible

The Supreme Court upheld (on narrow and clever grounds) the Affordable Care Act. So, for those of us who had our fingers crossed that we could start over, we’re going to have to look to our elected officials for help. To be certain, the health care system in the United States has some problems. Some of those problems are huge and pervasive. The ACA is the epitome of everything that sucks about compromise: nobody gets what they want and you run the risk of the outcome carrying the worst traits of the proposed solutions.

The left wants to fix everything right now. The right wants the federal government to have no part in it.

Neither of those are viable alternatives, and what congress ended up with in the ACA was a deal with the devil. The left sold its soul to the health insurance industry for some short-term gains to coverage levels. In exchange for some platitudes from the health insurance lobby, congress handed them millions of new, mostly healthy customers, a demographic known to health insurers as “free money.”

In typical American fashion, once we agreed there was a problem, we demanded an immediate fix, without regard for the long-term consequences. With a bit of patience, we could have something both better and easier.

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The Myth of Corporate Personhood

Flickr image by konstantine1982

Today, instead of handing down the Affordable Care Act opinions like we all wanted, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of life without parole for minors, some immigration thing1, and a third case2 which tested some of the boundaries of their 2010 Citizens United ruling.

Even if you’re not familiar with Citizens, you’ve probably heard about it. Most likely, you’ve heard people offering various sarcasm and snark about “corporate personhood”. Those who opposed the ruling and what it represents did an exceptional job of driving the narrative about the case toward what turns out to be an absurdist interpretation of the court’s opinion.

You see, Citizens actually has a remarkably sane holding. So sane, in fact, that were one to read the actual text of it, one would be relatively unlikely to experience outrage, even in disagreement. So, if you’re one of those who mistakenly believes that the Supreme Court of the United States ordained corporations as people, read on.

Continue reading The Myth of Corporate Personhood

  1. I kid; this was a pretty huge deal, but well beyond the scope of my knowledge 

  2. American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, which determined that state laws weren’t free to ignore the Citizens holding. 

Sandusky’s Lawyers Plead Incompetence

Jerry Sandusky being carried off the field by Penn State players

Last night, Jerry Sandusky, a long-time Defensive Coordinator for Penn State’s football team, was convicted of 45 counts of abuse spanning ten victims and faces a sentence that could eclipse 400 years in prison. Karl Rominger and Joe Amendola, Sandusky’s attorneys, are now claiming that they were “unprepared”.


Jerry Sandusky’s attorney Karl Rominger, on his WHP 580 Saturday radio show, said he and attorney Joe Amendola tried to get out of Sandusky’s case the morning of jury selection, not feeling adequately prepared.

Judge John Cleland denied the request, Rominger said.

Cleland had repeatedly denied requests for continuances and the trial approached. Sandusky’s attorney said they only had a few months to try to get through all the evidence — thousands of pages of documents — prosecutors acquired over the three-year grand jury investigation.

I do not doubt, based on various reports from the trial, that Sandusky’s attorneys were not well-prepared. All indications are that the prosecutors ran an excellent ship while the defense appeared to flounder. The problem with this excuse — and that’s precisely what it is — is that we’re not talking about speeding tickets or simple assault charges. It was clear from the initial filing of the 51 assorted counts of abuse that the state was playing for keeps.

Why, then, if Amendola and Rominger knew they were falling behind, didn’t they call for backup? With Sandusky’s not-insubstantial wealth at their behest (and why on earth wouldn’t he use every penny of it to try to keep himself from rotting in jail?) they could have nearly hired an entire law firm of junior attorneys and paralegals to do trivial things like, say, read police reports.

“Sue Paterno’s name was only on that list because her name came up on one of the police reports, for no important reason whatsoever,” Rominger said. “We would have taken her off the list if we had actually had time to read the report where her name showed up.”

Given the court’s unwillingness to provide continuances, it seems that adding staff would have been a reasonable option, and given the number of out-of-work attorneys who would probably kill to have this case on their resume (to say nothing of having a job at all) it simply could not have been all that difficult to find willing participants.

I have no doubt that Rominger and Amendola were unprepared; what I can’t figure out is why on earth they’d advertise that fact in an interview as though it was anyone’s fault but their own.