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Chad’s Morning Brief: Reaction to Supreme Court, Food Stamp Parties, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of June 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.

Alex Wong, Getty Images

1. Goodbye ObamaCare, Hello ObamaTax (link)

Republicans aren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet when it comes to fighting Obamacare. Instead, thanks to the Supreme Court, they will now re-label it ObamaTax.

In its 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the so-called individual mandate could be upheld only because it fell within Congress’ authority to tax. However, that is not how the Obama administration originally sold it.

In fact, in a 2009 interview, President Obama adamantly rejected the notion that the penalty for not buying insurance amounted to a tax hike.

“You can’t just make up that language and decide that that’s called a tax increase,” Obama said, scolding his interviewer.

Now that the high court says it is a tax, Republicans say the law will be more unpopular.

Really the only way to get rid of this law now is to vote in Romney and let the Republicans win the House and Senate. The chances of the GOP winning all of those is pretty slim. Thoughts?

2. Big Decisions for Texas (link)

Texas has some decisions to make after Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling. According to the Texas Tribune:

Republican Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who sued the federal government over “Obamacare” on Texas’ behalf, said it’s not yet clear whether Texas will opt out of the expansion — and the associated funding.

“That is a policy decision the policy-makers in Austin are going to have to make,” he said.

But in a statement, outgoing Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs left the door wide open for rejecting the federal funds, saying he was “pleased” that the Supreme Court gave states “more ability to push back” against the Medicaid expansion.

The Affordable Care Act requires every state to have a health insurance exchange — a kind of Orbitz for medical coverage — and says that if states don’t do it, they’ll get a one-size-fits-all federal plan instead.

In a conference call on Thursday, Abbott said he’s unsure if and how Texas will set up an exchange, but that Texas will have to “move swiftly.” “That will have to be hammered out in the coming weeks and months,” he said.

3. Food Stamp Parties! (link)

On Tuesday we told you about the USDA promoting how great Food Stamps are in a commercial. Well, the USDA isn’t done. In order to increase the number of people on Food Stamps, the USDA encourages Food Stamp parties and games. I only wish I was joking.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has embraced entire promotional campaigns designed to encourage eligible Americans to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

A pamphlet currently posted at the USDA website encourages local SNAP offices to throw parties as one way to get potentially eligible seniors to enroll in the program.

“Throw a Great Party. Host social events where people mix and mingle,” the agency advises. “Make it fun by having activities, games, food, and entertainment, and provide information about SNAP. Putting SNAP information in a game format like BINGO, crossword puzzles, or even a ‘true/false’ quiz is fun and helps get your message across in a memorable way.”

A party for Food Stamps? Unreal. We shouldn’t be glorifying or celebrating this at all. Why are people proud to be in this program?

4. Even New Hampshire Wants Voter ID (link)

Republican’s override the Governor’s veto on Voter ID. Good to the people in New Hampshire.

On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Senate and House of New Hampshire overrode Democratic Gov. John Lynch’s veto of Senate Bill 289, which requires photo identification to be presented when voting. The override required a two-thirds majority in each chamber. It cleared the Senate by a margin of 18-5 and the House by 231-112.

Lynch had previously expressed concerns that voter ID laws would limit the constitutional right of citizens to vote. In a press release, he stated that “SB 289 would put into place a photo identification system that is far more restrictive than necessary.”

Republicans disagreed with Lynch: “Today, our citizens have to show an ID to get on a plane, on a bus, to pick up a package and to enter a federal building,” House Majority Leader Pete Silver stated. ”It certainly is not a major imposition to ask for a driver’s license or other ID in order to protect the integrity of voting.”

It’s the same argument we hear in Texas. Showing an ID hurts no one.

5. Dumb Story of the Morning (link)

In the rush to get it on the air first, a couple of major outlets got it wrong.

Moments after the 193-page ruling was released by the court, several media outlets–including CNN and Fox News–erroneously reported on-air that the mandate had been struck down.

“BREAKING NEWS: INDIVIDUAL MANDATE STRUCK DOWN,” CNN’s on-screen scroll blared. “Supreme Court finds measure unconstitutional.”

It was a “Dewey Defeats Truman” moment for the 21st Century, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage tweeted, pointing to a screengrab of CNN’s premature scroll.

CNN.com’s homepage mirrored the on-air report–inspiring at least one timely photo illustration: President Obama, as Harry S. Truman, proudly displaying the CNN homepage on his iPad. (In 1948, the Chicago Tribune published a front page headline calling the presidential election for Thomas E. Dewey instead of the actual winner, Truman, which led to the iconic image of Truman holding up a copy of the incorrect edition.)

As the story says, CNN wasn’t the only one who messed up. FOX News also ran with it, only to take it off the screen once the FOX anchors started reading the SCOTUS blog.

Other Top Stories:

Conservatives Turn on Roberts

Don’t Tax Bills Originate in the House?

Holder in Contempt

Tech Football Ring of Honor

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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