It’s easy to make John Boehner cry. So what makes him laugh? “When poor people lose their healthcare.” –Andy Borowitz
It’s easy to make John Boehner cry. So what makes him laugh? “When poor people lose their healthcare.” –Andy Borowitz
An activist judge in Florida who was appointed by Ronald Reagan has thrown out a poor Republican health care idea, the individual mandate. In contrast to the previous court decision against the individual mandate which allowed the rest of the law to progress, this ruling is against the entire act.
As I noted at the time of the previous court decision, as long as the major battles are over the individual mandate, the Republicans win political points. Very few people are aware that this, like many aspects of the Affordable Care Act, is an old Republican idea which Republicans rejected as soon as Democrats supported it. While it was a bad idea when initially proposed by Republicans, the Democrats have foolishly allowed themselves to be the party which is forcing people to buy insurance. This changes the way people see health care reform from something which is done to help them to something which is done to them by the government.
Most likely the Democrats will fight this ruling. While the Constitutional argument against the law is poor, and it appears even the Founding Fathers sided with the Democrats here, this could even be a losing legal battle considering the current make up of the Supreme Court.
It is a battle which does not need to be fought. The important issue isn’t whether we have an individual mandate but whether measures are included in health care reform to ensure that people cannot game the system by waiting until sick to purchase insurance once insurance companies are prevented from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
There are many other ways this could be accomplished. We could have open enrollment periods like the voluntary Medicare Part D program, with those who purchasing outside of such open enrollment periods being subject to the old insurance company rules. There could also be higher premiums for those who sign up later, as is also done with Medicare Part D, to make up for the premiums not paid into the system when the individual was younger and healthier. Changes such as this could limit the problems from the free rider problem, while eliminating the major reason why many on both the left and right have opposed the current plan.
There should be a “King’s Speech” about Michele Bachmann where in the last scene she learns to look in the camera. –Andy Borowitz
I was ambivalent about Fringe during the first season when there were primarily stand-alone stories, but have grown to love the show as it got more into its mythology and a continuing story line. Friday’s episode brought about one major change as we saw in Reciprocity that Peter’s connection to the Doomsday Machine has also changed Peter. Finding that Peter was the one killing the shape shifters was a surprise. It was also amusing to see the effects of Walter injecting the chimpanzee DNA and I was happy to see some movement on Peter’s relationship with Olivia.Dumping a boyfriend because he had sex with your identical counterpart from an alternative universe is the lamest reason since Rachel dumping Ross for messing around when they were on a break.
While an excellent episode, I do miss the alternative universe. We’ve been promised that the show will return there, and there was some more news on this last week. John Noble has hinted about his roles:
In a recent conference call, the actor told reporters that the brain-damaged scientist will begin to “put his life back together”.
“He finally comes to face up to his limitations, but also his strength,” said Noble. “[That is] more than enough to deal with the problems. It’s a wonderful journey for Walter this season and he gets to go through all the stages.”
Noble also promised that viewers will begin to see a more human side to Walter’s doppelganger, the sinister Walternate.
“You will learn more of what made Walternate what he is, and you will see some humanisation of the man behind that steel exterior,” he explained. “He has to make some difficult decisions. We’ve done some terrific things that don’t soften him, but help to understand that he is man, not a machine.”
He added: “I hope that there is a resolution between Walter and Walternate, because I don’t see either of them as bad men.”
I am especially looking forward to the February 25 episode which goes back to Peter’s abduction:
“Peter,” the season two episode that brilliantly chronicled how Walter Bishop accidentally abducted the alternate universe’s Peter, was such a fan favorite that producers are headed back to 1985 in an upcoming episode of “Fringe.”
Slated to air February 25, the installment will serve as a companion piece to “Peter,” according to star Jasika Nicole. “It’s going to pick up right where ‘Peter’ left off and it’s better than the first one,” she told PopWrap.
But unlike the season two edition, “this flashback is going to take place in the alternate universe as well as this universe. That’s why it’s so good, you’ll see the repercussions stealing Peter has for Walter and Walternate,” she adds.
A huge part of the fallout will involve Elizabeth Bishop. “As we’ve seen, Walternate is still with his wife and there’s a reason for that. You see all these consequences that happened as a result of that [abduction] and what that means for his relationship with Elizabeth. It’s a really heartbreaking story.”
The biggest Fringe news is that Leonard Nimoy has tweeted that he might be returning as William Bell. The actual tweet states, “Plans developing for a William Bell return to Fringe. Stay Tuned. LLAP.” As long as Nimoy is willing to return, it is hard to believe that the producers of Fringe will not take advantage of this.
I wasn’t paying any attention to the prospect of an other remake of Charlie’s Angels until Minka Kelly of Friday Night Lights was cast in the movie last week.(Kelly also has a recurring role in Parenthood this season and played Autumn in 500 Days of Summer).
ABC’s Charlie’s Angels has its trio female leads: Former Friday Night Lights star Minka Kelly’s will play a former Marine and weapons expert and Transformers star Rachael Taylor will play a con artist.
The duo have been near-deals for the roles this week and are now official on the Sony Pictures TV project. Kelly and Taylor join the previously cast General Hospital star Annie Ilonzeh.
Friday Night Lights is down to only two more episodes. I won’t give any details as many are waiting until it airs on NBC this spring, but I think this was the best of the shorter, and lower-budget, seasons done jointly with Direct TV.
In other casting news, Henry Cavill of The Tudors will play Superman.
Colin Firth says he’d like to play a bad guy on Doctor Who or Torchwood, especially Doctor Who.
Keanu Reeves has created a stir in the blogosphere by stating two more sequels to The Matrix are in the works. Perhaps we could start a fund to pay them not to do this. I’m not sure where they would go after the two terrible sequels to a great movie. Would it be feasible to just pretend the two sequels don’t exist and remake a good pair to replace them?
Luke Pasqualino will play William Odama on the upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel, Blood and Chrome. IO9 has a larger version of the above map of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.
Not only is this map a thing of great beauty, but it’s totally official — Grazier was science advisor for Battlestar Galactica from the very beginning, and helped to define a lot of the show’s concepts. And Espenson, as the original showrunner for the prequel series Caprica, had to do a lot of thinking about exactly how the Twelve Colonies were laid out. This info comes straight from the creators — and from the showrunner’s bible for BSG and Caprica. And Grazier, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, verifies that the info in this map is “scientifically plausible.” It was created by Hollywood graphic designer Geoffrey Mandel, who made countless adjustments as the technical data underwent scrutiny…
We asked Espenson and Grazier some questions about the map, and they ended up telling us a lot more about the science and backstory of Battlestar Galactica:
I didn’t realize there were four different stars in the Cyrannus star system. I had always wondered if there were just 12 habitable planets clustered around a single sun. Where did the idea of four different stars come from? Was this in the show bible someplace? I’m especially curious about Leonis, the “heart of the colonies,” which I don’t think we ever heard about. Also, Scorpion, the “playground of the colonies.” Is that the colonial version of Risa?
Jane: Even back before Caprica the show existed, I believe Kevin and I had talked a bit about the configuration of the colonies. All the work on that is his. I instinctively loved the idea of a star cluster. The idea of 12 habitable planets all orbiting one star just seemed unworkable. And crowded. This group of stars makes so much sense. Kevin was at work on the configuration of stars and planets long before we shot a single frame.
More on the “science” of Battlestar Galactica in the full post.
One of the Fantastic Four has died. This link reveals which one.
David Frye has died age 77. He was best known for his impersonations of Richard Nixon.
Personally I think that Daleks are far too dangerous for human children to use as toys. Exterminate!
Saturday Night Live mocked Michelle Bachmann’s response to the State of the Union in the video above.
Of course the funniest (or most tragic) aspect of all of this is not that Bachmann failed to look into the network’s camera but that people take the argument she is repeating seriously. The right wing has been rewriting history in blaming the Republican-created deficit on Obama. To do so they start with spending upon Obama taking office even though he was in the final fiscal year of the last Bush budget. After Obama took office he began to include the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the budget while Bush kept the wars off the budget, giving a false appearance of a jump in spending. This argument also ignores the fact that the Bush tax cuts for the top two percent account for a large part of the deficit–far more than the stimulus spending Obama used to keep the country out of a depression.
“The US is dumping the color-coded terror alert system after complaints that John Boehner’s face was alarming people.” –Andy Borowitz
“Tea Party rebutter Michele Bachmann is under fire for saying the Founding Fathers eliminated slavery. Sarah Palin is very upset. Another female Republican trying to steal the dumbass vote.” –Jay Leno
More information and video of Michelle Bachmann flubbing the history can be found here.
The best that Sarah Palin could come up with in response to the State of the Union Address was “WTF” (along with showing she didn’t know the meaning of Sputnik movement.)How unoriginal. That’s what we’ve been saying every day since McCain picked her as his running mate. That’s also what we wind up saying every time she opens her mouth or posts on Facebook. The difference is that we’ve also gone on from that initial reaction to demonstrate her ignorance, present better arguments as to why she is wrong, or (as clicking on the Sarah Palin tag here will demonstrate), come up with far funnier lines.
Senators Rand Paul and David Vitter have proposed amending the Constitution to deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S. Once they get rid of this part of the 14th Amendment, they’ll move on to reversing the freeing of the slaves.
“In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama focused his speech on how to bring prosperity back to America. It basically involves all of us convincing Oprah we’re her half sister. That’s the plan.” –Conan O’Brien