Nothing is ever straight ahead in an empire.



Yesterday I wrote in a reply to the largely self-congratulatory thread that Booman started called Health Care Ruling:

I see [this Supreme Court ruling as the result of] one of two possibilities or a combination of the two.

1-The fix is still in for Obama. Romney’s numbers were rising, so the Supremes…or at least some of them…were told to sing a different tune.

2-The initial opponents of Obamacare saw that they could either:

   1–Make more money from it than they first realized.


   2- Have another plan to take it down.

The Supremes as heroes?

I don’t think so.

No one on that court has passed through the system without major compromises to their integrity. Sorry, but there it is. One simply cannot successfully hustle one’s way to the top of this rotted-out system with inextricably allying oneself with the PermaGov controllers. It cannot be done, any more than a store owner or businessman can successfully run a business in a mafia-controlled area without having some serious silent partners.

As above, so below folks.

Sorry, but there it is.

Any other view of this is naivete squared.

Cubed, even.




Later I ran into the following article by Richard Eskow. Don’t Kid Yourself. It’s Still a Corporate Court. Here Are 10 Lessons From CEO Roberts.

This guy seems to have pinned it as well as it can be pinned.

Read on to learn something.

Don’t Kid Yourself. It’s Still a Corporate Court. Here Are 10 Lessons From CEO Roberts

by Richard Eskow.

Posted: 06/28/2012 7:35 pm

Was today’s ruling a victory for justice over corporate power? Did Chief Justice John Roberts rise above partisan differences because that’s where an honest reading of the law took him?

Nah. The majority on this Supreme Court is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate America. Call it SCOTUSTM Inc., and it’s brought to you by the same fine folks that gave you Citizens United and Bush v. Gore. John Roberts is its CEO, not its chief justice.

The point isn’t to reinforce anybody’s cynicism. The point is to act more effectively on behalf of our ideals, by seeing things as they really are.

That is the point of much of what I write here as well. I share many of the same ideals as do well-meaning progressives of the sort who frequent this blog, but I do not share the naive pro-Dem partisanship that is evident  throughout almost the entire leftiness blogosphere. If we are to survive as a nation, we must become more realistic about how the empire works.

Following is a good snapshot of the truth of the matter.

Roberts Rules

It was a shrewd move. Remember, as CEO of SCOTUSTM Inc., John Roberts is running the subsidiary of a large conglomerate. I’ve had that job myself, and trust me: you’ve got to please the parent or you’re out of business.

By casting the decisive vote (who knows whether it really was the deciding vote, or whether the right-wing majority made it look that way) Roberts acted in the best interests of corporate conservatism, for-profit healthcare companies, and — most importantly of all — of the far-right political force which is today’s Republican Party.

He had three options: Strike down a signature piece of Democratic legislation in its entirety, which would look highly partisan; strike down the individual mandate, which would look even worse since it was a conservative Republican idea; or uphold the law in a way that’s designed to do maximum political damage to the Democrats and protect the Court’s current corporate status.

Weighing the Options

Striking down the law would have cost the Court immeasurably in what corporate accountants call “good will. “It would have widened and deepened the common (and accurate) perception that this Court’s majority acts in a partisan, ideological, and pro-corporate manner, regardless of the law. It would have polluted the Court’s brand even further.

It also would have given new momentum to the single-payer movement, galvanized Democrats, alienated independents, and strengthened the argument against electing a Republican president who would provide more justices in favor of Bush v. Gore type decisions.

What about striking down the individual mandate alone? The mandate has provided great rhetorical fodder for the right (we were among the few to predict it would, or to accurately predict the political impact of this law), so why deprive them of such a good political tool? It was never in the GOP’s partisan interests to do that. It would have left the bill’s most popular provisions intact, giving the Democrats a stronger bill to run on and weakening the GOP’s case against it.

Besides, it’s a great boon for health insurers. I never believed the court would strike down the mandate and leave the law’s other provisions standing. That would be an actuarial nightmare for the insurance industry. They’d never tolerate a move like that.

The Decision

By defending the law, Roberts made the right decision for Corporate America. He was also able to severely limit the federal government’s ability to regulate commerce, which I believe is a major setback in a number of legal areas that’s likely to provide a lot of benefit to corporations in the years to come. Since I’m not an attorney, I’ll leave that analysis to others. But I’m surprised that aspect of the ruling hasn’t received more attention.

Stock prices in the for-profit hospital industry soared, rising 7 percent in heavy trading immediately after the Court ruling. Stocks for the nation’s largest health insurers barely moved, despite what must have been some heavy pre-Court betting that the conservative majority would overturn the entire law.

That tells us something important: Roberts’ decision to side with the liberals and moderates didn’t exactly create a revolution in our health care economy.

Like the head of any subsidiary, Roberts made the choice that was best for his parent. Sure, he’s taking some heat from the Right. Like any good executive, he’s willing to take one for the team.

He may not be much of a chief justice, but John Roberts is a very good CEO.


There it is. Deal wid it.

There’s much more. Follow the above link to read the whole thing.

But as always…all you really have to do is follow the money to find the truth of power.

Bet on it.


Red Meat

By joining with the liberals, Roberts was able to write the ruling himself. He did it in a way which the other four disagreed with, but which was designed to provide talking points for Republicans and the Right. He labeled the mandate’s penalty a “tax” (which it is; so is the so-called “Cadillac tax” on higher-cost health plans, which Obama campaigned against and then personally inserted into the bill).

That was red meat, and it was immediately gobbled up by the likes of Sarah Palin. “It is a tax,” said Palin. “Obama lies; freedom dies.” But Palin also “thanked God” for the ruling because she said it would fire up her base. “We did not want this tax,” she said. “We can’t afford this tax.”

Democrats, take heed: That’s the battle cry, and the battle plan, for November.

Take heed, babies. It ain’t over yet.

Not by a long shot.

Politics is a games of feints and shakes. Saints and fakes. Something like that, anyway. “Smoke and mirrors,” as the ol’ House fox Tip O’Neill used to say. Never inhale that smoke, my friends, and always remember that a mirror reverses the direction of all that it reflects.

Mr. Eskow also submits what he calls “10 Lessons for the Battles to Come” that if taken in their entirety and well-applied would literally revolutionize the Democratic Party and its position in this society. Of course, if that were to happen the corporate interests that now control both parties would first have to lose control of the Dems, and that is not a likely scenario. But a little dreaming is always good for the soul, so here they are, compressed.

There’s a corporate war against the middle class and its financial security, with many battles yet to come. Will the left stop waging them from a defensive position? There are 10 lessons to be learned from this ruling:

1. Declare victory where victory is real.


2. Don’t BS the public.


3. Pledge to strengthen the law.


4. Strike back at the “tax” message.


5. Keep the pressure on.


6. Defend Medicare.


7. Expand Medicare.


8. Medicaid is a core part of our values. Our decency, integrity, and stability as a society depends on our ability to ensure that no one dies, is disabled, or suffers needlessly because of economic hardship.


  1. SCOTUSTM matters. Whatever disappointments you may have with Barack Obama — and I’ve had plenty of them — the next president could very well pick several more members of the Court. President Romney would choose judges who are willing to bend the law into a pretzel over and over, just as Scalia, Thomas, and the others on the right have done, to serve the interests of the corporate class.
  2. Don’t forget about nutrition. Don’t let them gut food programs that are essential to the health of our children. They need a balanced diet to make sure they become strong, healthy, productive adults.

And yes, a balanced diet includes broccoli.

There it is.

Richard Eskow for Chairman of the Democratic Party!!!

Fat chance.



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