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.