Chad’s Morning Brief: Obamacare Could Go Down, Castle Doctrine in Texas Under Attack, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 29, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.
1. Obamacare in trouble (link)
After three days of arguments it appears as though we are heading towards a huge decision by the Supreme Court regarding Obamacare. According to most who have paid attention, the court looks like they will strike down Obamacare. According to the LA Times:
Picking up where they left off Tuesday, the conservatives said they thought a decision striking down the law's controversial individual mandate to purchase health insurance means the whole statute should fall with it.
The court’s conservatives sounded as though they had determined for themselves that the 2,700-page measure must be declared unconstitutional.
"One way or another, Congress will have to revisit it in toto," said Justice Antonin Scalia.
Agreeing, Justice Anthony Kennedy said it would be an "extreme proposition" to allow the various insurance regulations to stand after the mandate was struck down.
Meanwhile, the court's liberal justices argued for restraint. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the court should do a "salvage job," not undertake a “wrecking operation." But she looked to be out-voted.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said they shared the view of Scalia and Kennedy that the law should stand or fall in total. Along with Justice Clarence Thomas, they would have a majority to strike down the entire statute as unconstitutional.
Of course, no one knows for sure what the Supreme Court will do but if you support Obamacare, you are pretty nervous right now. A huge political fight is coming though no matter how the court rules. You've got to think that Democrats will try again when it comes to health care. How will the Republicans react? Will the GOP come up with their own plan to overhaul health care?
2. Castle Doctrine in Texas Under Attack (link)
Democrats across the nation have exploited the death of Trayvon Martin to fit their agenda and it's no different here in Texas. State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) said yesterday that he will file a bill in next years legislative session to repeal the Castle Doctrine. According to reports:
“This law, like the Florida law, is a license to kill, especially brown or black people,” Rep. Garnet Coleman said of the Castle Doctrine law the Texas Legislature passed overwhelmingly in the 2007 session.
“I knew it was a bad legislation for the people I represent,” said Coleman, one of only 13 legislators – all Democrats – to vote against Senate Bill 378. “Brown and black people are born suspects and this law, like the Florida law, allows people to shoot first and ask questions later.”
Odd. Maybe I missed it, but I never saw language in the Castle Doctrine that said it's a license to kill brown or black people. What a complete idiot this man is. He is another Al Sharpton in my opinion. Using race as a way to scare people. The fact is, more blacks die at the hands of other blacks. The language that Rep. Coleman uses makes him sound like more of a racist than anything. People like Rep. Coleman shouldn't hold elected office. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
3. Obama Campaign Says that Republican's are Politicizing Trayvon Martin's Death (link)
No seriously. The Obama campaign really said this.
"His Republican opponents have jumped all over him because they do want to play politics with this issue. The President spoke from his heart on this, it was trying to emphasize with some parents who had just lost a child. By any measure, this was a tragedy and we need to let the investigation take its course," Stephanie Cutter, Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager, said on MSNBC today.
"People have to stop politicizing it," she added. "It's no surprise that some of our Republican opponents are trying to make an issue with this. But the President spoke from the heart and we need to let the investigation take its course."
Yes, it's Republican's that are playing politics with the Trayvon case. It was a Republican member of the House that wore a hoodie and sunglasses on the House floor. It was the Republicans that flew Trayvon's parents to a forum on race. It was a Republican President that commented on the issue before having all the facts. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, two well known Republican's have been organizing marches. And the Republican organization known as the Black Panthers put a bounty on a man's head.
4. Is the TEA Hiding Something? (link)
Students cheating on standardized testing? The TEA won't show any data.
A spokeswoman said the Texas Education Agency was not planning any response to the findings. Among other reasons, Debbie Ratcliffe said, the analysis used by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had too wide a margin of error because it tracked classes, not individual students, who can move around among schools.
Time will tell who’s right: An investigation the paper conducted on Atlanta schools in 2009 using the same methodology proved spot-on. Meanwhile, there is another way to check if Texas school districts statewide have been messing with student test scores.
But the TEA won’t let anyone look at that data.
In the past year, a number of newspapers, including USA Today and The New York Times, have identified cheating on standardized tests through erasure analysis: Examining answer sheets to determined how many test answers were changed from wrong to right.
In theory, that’s also possible in Texas. As part of its nearly $100 million per year contract with TEA, the giant test-writing company Pearson in years past has produced a regular erasure analysis of all the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills — TAKS — tests taken by the state’s students. (Students this year are switching to the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR.)
It would not surprise me if some districts or schools cheated. Wouldn't surprise me at all.
5. Dumb story of the morning (link)
Albino Beer isn't PC.
The popular restaurant chain, with outlets across Western Canada and Ontario, is the target of a complaint over the name of its brew:Albino Rhino.
Ikponwosa (I.K.) Ero of Vancouver has alleged to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal that the name singles out people like her who suffer from albinism, the absence of pigment from the skin, hair and eyes.
In her complaint - which also takes aim at Earls' Albino Wings Wednesdays - Eros alleges the name demeans her and other albinos by deliberately evoking a sense of oddness about the condition,CBC News reports.
It's a medical condition, not a taste treat, Ero argues.
Amazing story. Glad the guy is okay.
A man walking near a construction site in Atlanta experienced a near-death experience when he fell into the site and became buried alive in mud.
The man, whom police did not identify, was walking across a muddy area near a bridge’s construction zone around 8 a.m. Saturday when he began to sink in the mud, authorities said.
Dramatic video captured at the scene shows the man so immersed in the mud that his figure is virtually indistinguishable.
Atlanta Fire Rescue crews who responded to the scene had to first move the mud away from his face so he could continue to breathe and then worked for nearly one hour before they were able to pull him from the mud, using a ladder and their own strength.
The man was taken to nearby Grady Hospital where he was treated for hypothermia, according to local affiliate WSBTV. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Read the rest of the story at the link above!
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