Just Two Tidbits

Just a couple of tidbits I wanted to weigh in on today sans snark … well, okay, maybe there’s just a tiny bit of snark …

Has Fox found a conscience?

I’m not sure what is going on over at Fox ‘News’, but it almost seems as if they are trying to become a legitimate news network!  First, they were the first of all the major networks to call Arizona in Joe Biden’s favour at 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday – election night.  Needless to say, Trump was not happy, and Jared Kushner actually called Rupert Murdoch to complain.

And yesterday evening, Fox actually cut away from a news conference with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany because she claimed without evidence that Democrats were inviting fraud and illegal voting.  WHOA!  This sounds like the work of an actual news station!  Has Fox fallen off the Trump bandwagon?

Fox’ anchor Neil Cavuto said, as the network cut away …

“Whoa, whoa, whoa … I just think we have to be very clear that she’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue showing you this.”

Cavuto is the same one who earlier this year found a backbone and said …

“Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you — just report on you.”

Another Fox anchor, Bret Baier, has also declined to fall in line with Trump’s claims of massive voter fraud, saying …

“Listen, we are not seeing any evidence of widespread fraud. We want to look into everything as well. But we just haven’t seen it. You know, it hasn’t been presented. There’s all kinds of stuff flying on the Internet. But when we look into it, it doesn’t pan out.”

Of course, Cavuto and Baier are on the news side of Fox.  The opinion people still play the game, with Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, and Sean Hannity claiming, without a shred of evidence, that Trump is right about massive voter fraud, and continuing to fawn over him.  If Rupert Murdoch intends to improve the credibility of Fox, then he needs to shut down the opinion side, or at least hire people who are not witless pawns.

It disappoints and disturbs me that some of the Fox staff have been receiving threatening calls and emails from people because they aren’t falling in with the Trump line of false rhetoric.  I always thought that the people of this nation were better than that, but over the past decade I’ve come to realize that a significant portion are not.

ACA – on the chopping block?

Maybe not.  I am pleased and somewhat surprised today to read that both Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts might not be so eager to strike down the Affordable Healthcare Act, aka Obamacare.

As you will remember, the penalty for the individual mandate requiring every individual to have at least a basic healthcare insurance plan, was reduced to zero in December 2017, when Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which eliminated the individual mandate penalty, effective January 1, 2019.  The mandate itself has remained but is not enforceable without the penalty.  At issue is whether the mandate is constitutional or not, and if not, then does that render the entirety of the Act unconstitutional.  Some, such as the newbie Justice Amy Barrett, have been hyper-critical of the previous Court rulings that upheld the ACA, but today, as the Supreme Court is reviewing the case, it seems possible that ACA may weather yet another storm.

“It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the law in place.” –  Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh

“I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act.” – Chief Justice John Roberts

Along with the three-remaining liberal-leaning justices – Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor – it appears likely that ACA will remain, saving tens of thousands of people from suddenly finding themselves left without health insurance.

That there is such a deep partisan divide in the Court goes against what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution in 1787.  The goal was to have a non-partisan Court with moderate, fair justices who decided cases based on constitutional law, not their own ideologies.  Today, we are about as far from that as imaginable, and yet sometimes it still works properly.

20 thoughts on “Just Two Tidbits

  1. If Trump and his followers were so (bad work) concerned about the voting process then why didn’t they raise concerns that he got into the Whitehouse on a minority vote ? Huh? Huh?
    Of course they didn’t.
    I’m glad for you guys that Biden won, really am, but sometimes when I see the antics from the loser (which he is big time) and his fanatical wing I’m back in my Stalin-lite mode…..some folk just do demonstrate that they don’t care about democracy anymore than he did.

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  2. I think the trouble is that most times it does not. The law seems too be a battleground, where most layers shou;d come together to get it right. Now it seems that whichever side is in power tries to pass something but it will only survive if they hold the Senate as well.. And f the senate is held by Moscow Mitch then he wields his power so that mothing gets a reading without his say so even when its a joint venture ( very rare). It’s become a political game which it should not be.

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    • Lately, it seems that you’re right, that it does not work as it was intended. Hopefully, though, ACA will survive … this time. I’m disturbed that it seems to be whoever has the most money, who can pay the best lawyers, who can buy members of Congress, that determines the path of this nation. Perhaps it has always been so, only to a lesser extent. The Senate will remain undecided until January 5th, when Georgia holds two runoff elections, but you’re right — if McConnell remains the Majority Leader, I’m not sure what will be accomplished in the next two years, if anything. Then again, I hear that Biden & Mitch have had a good working relationship at times. Sigh. Yes, it is a political game in which “he with the most toys, wins”.

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    • Thanks John!!! I am pleased with the results, but still holding my breath, for these next 70 days will be chaotic, to say the least. And, Trump is changing some key personnel in the Pentagon, replacing people with some who are specifically loyal to him, which makes me nervous. I think ACA will likely be safe … for now. Yes, after January 20th, I might be able to sleep more than one hour at a time!!!

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  3. Jill, Cavuto, Baier, and Chris Wallace stand out in Fox News. Shep Smith also fit the bill until Trump allegedly forced his resignation through William Barr. They are trying to get it right, even with conservative bent. As for the talk show hosts, they are merely entertainers pushing what the audience wants. The truth is low on their totem pole.

    As for the ACA, the case against it is not strong, but Trump is not defending the law, but actually working to destroy it. If successful, this would harm not only the exchange members but depending on how much is ruled against could effect Medicaid expansion and employer healthcare participants (the ACA requires guaranteed renewability, pre-existing condition protection, etc.). Keith

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    • I agree … I have often wondered, though, why they stay with a network that has a reputation for right-wing bias? I thought Shep Smith resigned on his own … I’ll have to look into that … I didn’t know that Barr/Trump had a hand in it. I think Fox would do well to discard their opinion hosts, just shut down the opinion side altogether if they can’t find honest people to run it. But then, I suppose they would lose the vast majority of their viewers, who eat that garbage up.

      I’m thinking that ACA will be upheld … at least that’s what it looks like at this juncture, but of course it may well not be decided until June, when the next session begins.


  4. This thing about fraud, the one thing I haven’t heard anybody say yet is that, if Trump thought that the US process was flawed, why did he not at least try to do something about it while in office? I mean, surely that is exactly what a president should do? I don’t know about your commentators but nobody raised it here yet. Admittedly we will have far less coverage…

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    • Good question. Every process has some flaws, but the U.S. election process, while not perfect, does not have such large security gaps that widescale voter fraud could even happen. Trump knows that, but about six months ago, he began to realize that his poll numbers were tanking, mostly as a result of his bungling of the pandemic and the fact that the U.S., with only about 4% of the world’s population, had over 25% of the deaths. So, rather than try to improve his record on the pandemic, he lied and told everybody it was going away, not to worry, and meanwhile, he started criticizing the fact that a large portion of people would be voting by mail this year, due to the pandemic. He continually ranted that mail-in voting was corrupt and rife with fraud (it isn’t). Yes, working to fix problems … real problems, that is … is what a real leader would do, but Trump is not and has never been a real leader. Now, he is between a rock and a hard place, as they say, for once he leaves office, he is subject to numerous lawsuits and has a huge amount of debt coming due, so he is doing whatever he can to stay in power, even though he has lost by a solid margin. What lies ahead is 70 days of chaos, I fear, but at the end of the day, on January 20th, despite Trump’s best efforts, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the nation’s 46th president. I think that the commentators are largely trying to ignore Trump’s antics, and I’m glad, for the continual coverage of his every word is defeating, it only adds fuel to the fire of an already-divided nation.

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  5. Maybe Fox knows their days as ‘faux news’ are numbered if there is an uncrooked/less crooked bunch coming into office, and a lot of people who put them there, so they want to appeal to whatever market sectors they think might exist–if it makes them better, that’s good.

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