Your morning jolt: Did John Roberts just make health care an easier GOP target?

Atlanta publicist and tea party backer Randy Lewis emailed last night as he was listening to a briefing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s health care ruling by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who argued that the decision has made repeal of the measure a more achievable goal for the GOP:

[Cuccinelli] said that one additional largely unknown issue from the ruling today is that with the court declaring the law constitutional because it is a tax, that the law can now be repealed with 51 votes in the Senate — not 60. Tax votes only require simple majority. All other legislation requires 60 votes. So, Repubs picking up three seats and a VP can repeal Obamacare.

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will be holding onto this CNN video clip for a while – for bar bets if nothing else. It contains the mayor’s prediction on Tuesday, minutes before President Barack Obama’s plane touched down in Atlanta and 48 hours before the actual decision was made public, that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold the health care overhaul.

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The Gallup organization says Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will have to work to make health care a frontburner issue again:

[F]ew Americans so far in 2012 mention health care when asked to identify the most important problem facing the country. Six percent say healthcare is the top problem in June, behind mentions of the economy, jobs, the deficit, and problems in government.

The numbers go far higher, the organization concedes, once voters are prompted.

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We’re all teenagers at heart. After digesting Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston tweeted out this break-up note:

With ‪#Obamacare‬ ruling, I feel like I just lost two great friends: America and Justice Roberts.

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The Georgia chapter of Americans for Prosperity will take to the state Capitol to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul at 3 p.m. this afternoon. Attorney General Sam Olens and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are among the scheduled speakers.

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On Wednesday U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, joined House Republicans and 16 other Democrats to hold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the Fast and Furious mess – while most of the rest of Georgia’s Democratic delegation walked out in protest.

Fortunately for Barrow, the contest that counts for him is more than four months away – plenty of time for people to forget this Associated Press article:

The Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Atlanta-based activist and former lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr., said he called Barrow on Wednesday and denounced him for betraying his party. Lowery said he views the contempt vote as nothing more than a Republican attempt to embarrass President Barack Obama before the fall election.

“I told him, ‘You are a Republican hiding in Democrat’s clothing,’” Lowery [said]. “…He doesn’t count in the Democratic column. He might as well go on and be a Republican.”

It was the second time this month that Barrow, the last white Democrat from the Deep South, has sought to put distance between himself and his party. Barrow recently said he won’t attend the Democratic National Convention, where the party will officially nominate Obama for a second term.

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Missed during the health care hoopla was an endorsement of the transportation sales tax by the Georgia Conservancy, the environmental group headed up by former lieutenant governor Pierre Howard. From the group’s website:

A vote against the referendum is a vote for even more traffic congestion. We will also vote to consign Atlanta to an uncertain future, allowing cities such as Charlotte, Dallas, Denver and Seattle to surge ahead of us in the competition for new corporate headquarters. We will be voting to stay in the past while other cities have voted to move into the future.

The Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club opposes the measure.

**
The fight over the transportation sales tax in Georgia hasn’t even reached its peak yet, but the next big policy clash – over charter schools – is already brewing. The website for Vote Smart Georgia, a coalition made up of PTA groups, the Georgia School Board Association, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Southern Education Foundation and others, is up and running.

It looks like they’ll be attempting to portray the state’s effort to reestablish its right to create charter schools – backed by Gov. Nathan Deal – as a ALEC-generated attempt to steer public monies to private friends.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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28 comments Add your comment

GaBlue

June 29th, 2012
9:24 am

That’s because the effort to give the state power to create charter schools — overriding local control — IS INDEED an ALEC-generated attempt to steer public monies to private friends.

If you believe in local control, then you’ll see this charter school scam for what it is: a way for private investors to get more tax breaks for themselves at the expense of public education. Whether or not you have children, and whether or not you send them to public schools, the facts remain: public education is important to the success of our state, and the quality of our school systems is directly related to our ability to attract and keep good jobs here.

John

June 29th, 2012
9:28 am

GaBlue: Stealing from me us NOT “important to the success of our State”. Indeed, NOT stealing from me is what is genuinely “important to the success of this State”.

Ed Advocate

June 29th, 2012
9:37 am

Welcome Vote Smart! You’ve got a uphill climb, but those of us who see the value in public education and decry the hijacking of the charter school movement by for-profit interests looking to dine at the public trough–and their political cronies–are glad you’re on the scene. I’m voting against the State Power Grab on Nov 6. Those who plan to vote for it–see you at the polls Nov 7.

Danny O

June 29th, 2012
9:40 am

I don’t have a problem with the basic concept of charter schools. A charter school with roots in the community, created by parents and teachers who believe in working to improve the educational outcomes for their children seems like a fine idea. What I have a problem with is charter schools that send school district dollars to for-profit school management companies. That’s a bad value for taxpayers, and most Georgians won’t cotton to it.

Don't Tread

June 29th, 2012
9:41 am

Assuming 0bama gets re-elected and 0bamacare sticks around, if I’m a business owner with 52 employees, take a wild guess as to who’s on the short list for the 3 positions that will be eliminated, automated, or outsourced? If you support people who confiscate my money for another entitlement, excuse the hell out of me if I quit paying your salary.

Barrow and the handful of other Democrats did the right thing in standing up to the Party. The “my Party can do no wrong even when they did” attitude has to go.

Baron DeKalb

June 29th, 2012
9:49 am

Whether you are an individual or a business owner, you make “your” money IN THE CONTEXT OF A SOCIETY. In order to function, a society needs certain institutions–schools, hospitals, roads–the success of which ultimately contributes positively to your ability to keep making money and enjoying the fruits of your labor and investment. Taxation has historically been the way for a society to gather the funds that it needs in order to keep functioning. If you have some other idea about how to fund these efforts, please, let us know. Until then, stop calling it “confiscation,” “stealing,” etc…. otherwise you just look like a selfish whiner who takes the benefits of society for granted and doesn’t want to pay his fair share to keep things working. Baron DeKalb

Real Athens

June 29th, 2012
9:50 am

Secretary of State Brian Kemp? A public speaker at a political event? Is the event for adults?

If Americans for Prosperity took a good look at how Kemp became prosperous, they’d be distancing themselves from him instead of inviting.

He couldn’t lie straight in bed.

joe

June 29th, 2012
9:59 am

Nice to know there is at least 1 Dem who doesn’t live on the plantation or drink the kook aid…way to go Rep Barrow! Hope you can convince a few more of your party brethren to join you. Everyone needs to distance themselves from our socialist/marxist-in-chief and the dumbmasses who blindly follow.

HiDefPix

June 29th, 2012
9:59 am

The Charter School hypocrisy is based on the flawed contention that they offer an alternative to public schools on a level playing field. When the public schools can expel students (or not admit them at all) that are disruptive or not willing to put in the work (and therefore drive aggregate test scores down), then we’ll talk. When public school adminstrators can back up their teachers in the face of parents that believe that their kids are the 2nd coming if not for teacher that wouldn’t give them an “A” for “D” work, then we’ll talk. When the public schools don’t have to devote resources to “mainstreaming” kids who are not ready to be mainstreamed, then we’ll talk. Until then, let’s not pretend that the public schools can’t compete or provide a quality education.

Real Athens

June 29th, 2012
10:00 am

Don’t Tread?:

You ask employees their political alignment on their applications? You hire and fire depending on how they vote? Tsk, Tsk. What are you? A union? ;-)

Don't Tread

June 29th, 2012
10:01 am

…there’s that “fair share” phrase again… :roll:

I said entitlement programs, not the funding of infrastructure. “Dollars for Deadbeats” programs do nothing for infrastructure. Government should tax enough to fund necessary services, and not a penny more. I’m a little tired of government spending money on stupid stuff, then demand I pay more (”fair share”) to cover it.

Real Athens

June 29th, 2012
10:03 am

John Barrow has proven, time and time again, that the only thing he is concerned about is John Barrow. He’s cut from the same cloth as Doug McKillip, another Athens opportunist.

Baron DeKalb

June 29th, 2012
10:23 am

I also don’t like my tax money being spent on “stupid stuff”–the problem is that my idea of what is “stupid” and what is “worthwhile” is probably diametrically opposed to yours. Of course, I don’t call it “theft” when I am taxed to pay for something I disagree with, I call it “the necessary compromise of living in a democratic society.” Maybe you can imagine your taxes as going towards prison construction, the drug war, and the military, and I’ll mentally earmark mine to help those in our society who are struggling. The wealthy have the biggest and most undeserved entitlement of all, which is the ability to wield disproportionate influence within the political sphere. Tax breaks and loopholes for millionaires like Mitt “15%” Romney are the result, while the poor and middle class have no option other than to pay THEIR FAIR SHARE. Baron DeKalb

Truth-O-Meter

June 29th, 2012
10:28 am

John Barrow has proved one more thing: He will not get my vote in November. He did not vote for ACA and Republicans repaid him by drawing him out of his district to make his defeat more likely by forcing him to move from Savannah to Richmond County/Augusta. Now he caters to the NRA. For what? Republicans are wrong-headed on may issues, but at least they are principally wrong-headed.

zeke

June 29th, 2012
10:30 am

real athens, can you name a local politician in last 10 years that wasn’t out for themselves; don’t know what the solution is, but it would be interesting to look at net worth before and after for all pols and let voters draw own conclusions.

Dave

June 29th, 2012
10:36 am

“It looks like they’ll be attempting to portray the state’s effort to reestablish its right to create charter schools – backed by Gov. Nathan Deal – as a ALEC-generated attempt to steer public monies to private friends.”

Is it?

Road Scholar

June 29th, 2012
10:42 am

HiDefPix: And then we need to send the “disrupters” to a military style boot camp to let them see the errors of their ways. Maybe even send their parents! Self discipline is a wonderful thing.

Shar

June 29th, 2012
10:43 am

@Don’t Tread, If the “entitlement” you complain about is the requirement that you provide your 512 employees with health care or pay a fine, then what you are actually complaining about is the end of the “entitlement” you are indirectly receiving from those of us who pay taxes and carry health insurance. It’s the rest of us who pay for your employees’ care when they show up at the hospital uninsured while you pocket what would have been your business” share of the insurance cost. Look closely in the mirror before you accuse other people of getting “entitlements”.

@Danny O, I couldn’t agree more about charter schools. They are good laboratories for new ideas that have demonstrable merit and support in the community, but they have become an irresistible target for legislators eager to please their corporate owners by finding another big pile of taxpayer cash for them to drain, as well as other people’s children for them to indoctrinate.

Don't Tread

June 29th, 2012
11:04 am

Shar…I never said I was dropping coverage for the other 49. You made that assumption.

The point is to get the government’s nose out of my business.

TruthBe

June 29th, 2012
11:11 am

What about “Conflict of Interest” with Kagan voting on obamacare? Wasn’t she the SG for obamacare with the President’s administration? Didn’t Kagan promote obamacare to the federal courts as the SG for Obama.

Eustis

June 29th, 2012
11:12 am

Zeke,

I thought you were leaving the country.

Moving from Jay’s blog to this one doesn’t qualify.

Smart move!

June 29th, 2012
11:39 am

Smart move, Mr. Chief Justice! You called the mandate imposed on our backs by a nutty Congress exactly what it is…a tax! And you laid it right back in the hands of those who elected the dummies that did it to us! If we want this poorly written health care law repealed all we have to do is vote them out and change Presidents. Or we can continue to howl and do nothing as usual. You are okay in my book and your decision to call the mandate a constitutionally allowed tax was correct under our Constitution.

yellowdog

June 29th, 2012
11:41 am

no matter what the president does, republicans will ca ll him down; so doesnt matter if or how they will take justice roberts’ decision….and frankly, i dont care; and to respod to a comment above, barrow has always been an opportunist playing democrat when it suited him and a blue dog democrat; which to my mind is someone who will eventually switch party affiliation…….many dems over the past 8 years have switched parties and toed the line – the affordable care act is now the law of the land; no respect from the gop for any of that; when will romney give it up; same mandate as mass. law. when all these folksy hating :”big” government give up their medicare and insurance covered by the federal government, i will begin to listen when they set out their own plans. meanwhile, just overturning laws theydont agree with; and shouting rhetoric for rousting our president are reasons enuf to reelect the prez…..fact is gop has no plan…………….

Last Man Laying Down

June 29th, 2012
12:38 pm

Rev. Lowery is a man of God, but his ideas and mentality are stuck in the 1950s and 60s. God bless him, but the world has changed when it comes to race, Democrats and Republicans. And God bless us because it has changed. It’s not perfect, but it is exponentially different. It’s time for black folks, and all folks for that matter, to quit blaming others for their ills and stop stereotyping folks based on color, ideology, theology or party affiliation. Republicans aren’t racist and white Democrats didn’t just use black people to get elected. As Sam Jackson said in “Do the Right Thing”, “It’s time to wake up people.”

Cobb resident & voter

June 29th, 2012
12:55 pm

“…while the poor and middle class have no option other than to pay THEIR FAIR SHARE. ” – Baron DeKalb

I disagree with your statement. There is a Child Tax Credit of $1000 per child that poor and middle class use every year. That $1000 for each child under age 17 deducts exactly $1000 of tax liability from the filer. That is NOT deducted from income or used on a percentage basis…it is $1000 off the final tax bill.

“For married taxpayers filing a joint return, the phase-out begins at $110,000. For married taxpayers filing a separate return, it begins at $55,000. For all other taxpayers, the phase-out begins at $75,000.” IRS.gov

Auntie Christ

June 29th, 2012
1:00 pm

truth be asks: What about “Conflict of Interest” with Kagan voting on obamacare? Wasn’t she the SG for obamacare with the President’s administration? Didn’t Kagan promote obamacare to the federal courts as the SG for Obama.

I am constantly amazed at how people are so willing to come to a web site and display their total ignorance of the topic they are commenting on. It is astonishing. You have no idea what the responsibilities of the Solicitor General are do you truth be? Incidentally, no one ‘promotes’ anything before a court of law, they argue their case.

Carole

June 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

When I heard that Barrow wasn’t going to Charlotte I said it. Now this. I’m telling you, any day now Barrow is going to take that leap into the R column.

professional skeptic

June 29th, 2012
1:14 pm

John
June 29th, 2012
9:28 am

When taxpayers helped pay for John’s education, roads, sewers, etc., it wasn’t stealing. Now that it is John’s turn to return the favor and help the next generation, as the previous generation helped him… Now all of a sudden it’s STEALING.