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Today, the Supreme Court passed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in a favorable 5-4 vote, deeming the bill constitutional. As expected, liberal judges, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan voted for it, but it was conservative Justice John Roberts that tipped the scale towards reform.

It was the inclusion of the mandate requiring all Americans to pay into the health care system, or face a penalty, that inspired Justice Roberts’ vote, as it essentially falls within the government’s right to impose taxes on the people.

Yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney joked before an audience that the White House would have some trouble getting to sleep that night; and if that was the case, President Obama wasn’t the only one.

There were a number of things at stake today, some of which had taken nearly immediate effect when Obama signed the act into law in 2010. Small things like affording health care to millions of young twenty-somethings by way of their parents’ insurance up until age 26. Unimportant things like insurance companies not being able to deny health coverage to those with preexisting conditions, young children especially.

Unfortunately, such things still hang in the balance, as Republicans are on a quest to defeat the bill and Obama come November, as if they needed another reason.

Conservative author and commentator Laura Ingraham dismissed the President’s remarks from today, as well as those of any Democrat explaining the bill to the American people as one giant “sob story.”

When a real American story is referenced to explain the real time implications of the bill- when a cancer survivor goes on television to talk about how this bill has provided her with care that was unavailable and unaffordable to her 3 years ago, to Ingraham, this is merely a “sob story,” a foolish attempt to “tug on your heartstrings.”

But if the truth is a sob story, then that’s all the more reason to change it.

No doubt, the Republicans have legitimate concerns when it comes to funding and sustainability.

As of now, the health care act will be funded by everyone paying into it, eliminating the costs of uninsured Americans accessing emergency rooms and passing those costs to taxpayers.

Republicans argue that this is going to result in an increase in healthcare costs while Democrats argue that it won’t since insured Americans have always paid for uninsured medical treatments.

Even President Obama admits that parts of this bill will need to be altered in the future and has no qualms with that. Just as education undergoes change, just as civil rights undergoes change, this country has a history of “learning as we go,” making changes when we need to.

Certainly, Republicans would get more attention from those who support the bill if they presented a bill of their own.

Wouldn’t it be nice to read less headlines Romney’s pledge to repeal healthcare and more headlines on what he’d do to replace it?

It’s all well and good to disagree with the president, but to offer no alternative leaves Romney’s counterargument completely empty.

In fact, there are many who support Obamacare who are equally interested in hearing what Romney’s approach will be, many who welcome something better than Obamacare, many who hope Mitt has something in mind like Romneycare in Massachusetts…

Many who will keep their fingers crossed.


Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pictured on the left, Mayor Tom Barrett on the right (Photo credited to the Grassroots Citizens of Wisconsin)

The recall election in Wisconsin not only brought with it a victory for Governor Scott Walker but also the fierce realization that democracy as we’ve known it is vanishing.

This disappearing act is accredited to the power of money, and not in the small $10-$50 donations a typical American might contribute to a campaign, or even a $1 million donation from some wealthy donor.

The demise of democracy will be traced back to the imperious Super PACs, of which billionaires accumulate millions of dollars to a particular candidate running for any office. And while a cool few million bucks to a billionaire feels like $10 to the average American, the danger in this is too great to ignore.

As we saw in Wisconsin, Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett was outspent by Governor Walker 8:1, running on a $4.2 million campaign compared to that of Walker’s- valued at $30 million and heavily bolstered by outside, Super PAC fundraising.

They say that money can’t buy you everything, but in the case of tens of millions of dollars, in light of the Wisconsin race, I beg to differ.

Most recently, Mitt Romney acquired a nice sum as well from casino giant Sheldon Adelson in the amount of $10 million. It is the largest quantity single-handedly gifted to the Romney campaign thus far. With donations like this, he is set to outspend President Obama in the present election, and with the bottomless pockets of Adelson and the like, who can say by how much.

We are moving closer to a time where the presidency will carry a hefty price tag, filled with commas to the point of sheer redundancy and far beyond any budget of the 99%.

It will be up to the few billionaires of this country to decide as to which candidate will best serve their interests first and foremost. After all, these are businessmen making an investment, and will of course expect a swift return.

Mitt Romney jeopardizes the way this country will see him come November. For voters will see him, not as he presents himself on stages or in internet ads, but as the representative of the quiet, secretive money that hangs over his head, only burdened further with the high expectations of heavily decreased regulation, disregard for the general public, and who knows what else.

Yes, it looks like we’ve begun to admit to a dying democracy, with those subscribed to the Super PAC institution are only too happy to see it go.

When President Obama took office, Republicans relentlessly offered their vocal concern that this country was headed for socialism. But it seems they were fighting for something new entirely, a little less like democracy and a little more like tyranny.

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As if serving as president for the past three-odd years isn’t proof enough, it seems some Republicans are still interested in the Reverend Wright and William Ayers ties to President Obama.

Just to recap and make a short story shorter, Obama was a member of Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years, of which, the controversy lies in the sporadically racist and unpatriotic remarks of Pastor Wright.

William Ayers, a former member of the radical, left-winged 1970’s organization called Weather Underground had been linked to Obama in that they both served on not-for-profit committee boards in the past.

In 2008, Republicans attacked Obama’s judgment in choosing to sit under the leadership of Reverend Wright and accused him of “palling around with terrorists” for his minor associations with the reformed Bill Ayers.

For some reason unbeknown to anyone with any satisfactory level of intelligence, Sarah Palin has offered her uninspired opinion on the 2012 campaign. Her advice? Resurrect the controversies that riddled the ’08 election against Obama. And never mind the fact that they failed then, and will no doubt fail now.

Why anyone would ask the loser of the ’08 campaign as to how Romney can win in this election is beyond me, but not beyond Fox News.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity recently had General Colin Powell (who endorsed Obama in 2008) on his show and tried desperately to get Powell to speak against the Bill Ayers and Wright associations. Needless to say, he failed.

Good old Donald Trump has chimed in as well, encouraging Romney to “go at it,” talking about the Reverend Wright attacks. And lest we forget, despite Trumps’ waltz around a possible run for president, he is not a politician. He’s a businessman and celebrity, so why his political advice is being entertained is another one for the cavemen to mull over.

But let’s entertain this argument for the briefest moment.

If Obama was an “empty vessel” as Palin puts it, and these ties have all the legitimacy that Republicans claimed back in 2008, what is that to say about Barack Obama exactly?

He’s racist against whites? He’s anti-American? He’s a terrorist himself or by way of association? What is the point of bringing up these attacks?

Because I can think of nothing more American than running for the presidential office, or giving the “OK” that initiated the demise of the leading world terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. And while Barack Obama is half black, he’s also half white, and is just as likely to be racist against blacks as he would be against whites.

But even if that’s not convincing enough, wouldn’t he have conducted an attack in his first term as president? I’ve never consulted with a terrorist, personally, but if BIn Laden were still alive, I’m sure he’d express some disappointment in an opportunity missed and consider the president terrible at being a terrorist.

Any serious political analyst will agree these sideshow issues could offer momentary advantage at best to Mitt Romney but are useless in the long run. These matter slept so soundly in their graves these past years, now it’s time to lay them to rest once and for all.

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Mayor of Newark, NJ Cory Booker is participating in the Barack Obama re-election campaign as a surrogate, taking on press opportunities to talk up the President’s qualifications and accomplishments. Unfortunately, it seems as though everyone knows it but Cory.

On Meet the Press this week, Cory defended his personal opinions on the attacks against Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, and in the process, stepped all over the strategy of the Obama campaign saying, “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support, to grow businesses. This kind of stuff is nauseating to me on both sides… enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity.”

Now, this is the exact argument the Romney camp offers, which would be acceptable if Cory was a Romney surrogate but he’s not.

Thanks to the GOP, that official title is not needed, as it has unofficially made Cory a Republican surrogate in its latest attack, using his words verbatim, giving legs to its new slogan, “I stand with Cory.”

No doubt he is a beloved Mayor in Newark and surrounding areas. But as a politician, he seems to be severely lacking in foresight, which can, in some cases destroy political careers.

Some debate whether Cory’s possible future run for president inspired his comments, maybe in an attempt to avoid scaring off future donors heavily involved in private equity. But he can’t have it both ways, pledging allegiance to both them and Barack Obama, in the hope of running on the former’s money, and the endorsement of the latter.

Booker has since walked back his comments in light of the Obama team renouncing them as wrong, and there’s no question that his stardom from a recent anti-Obama ad has been sobering to say the least. But one has to ask, is it really much of a surprise?

It was too easy for Republicans to jump on this, and luckily President Obama is articulate enough to pave over the mess Booker’s created. Hopefully, someone’s explained the role of a surrogate to Booker by now, and he can stop throwing sticks into the spokes of Obama’s campaign and get on with assisting a win in this election.

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It’s public knowledge that President Obama has the endorsement of the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Despite his scandal-ridden exit from the white house, former President Clinton is largely regarded as having a satisfactory political record, and if he wasn’t an asset in Obama’s 2008 win, he surely wasn’t a burden.

So naturally, eyes have been on Governor Romney and former Republican President George W. Bush as to what their relationship will be going forward in the election.

Especially in light of the spectacle Romney made out of President George Bush Senior’s endorsement- a moment Romney thought to be a perfect press opportunity. After the announcement, Romney proudly boasted, “I am honored to have your endorsement and support.”

But at the end of the clip above, President Bush whispers to Romney, “Has [George W. Bush] endorsed you?” To which he replied, “Uh, no. No.” It was a topic brought up by one of the reporters- one that Romney tried to step on with some useless, irrelevant comment.

But the endorsement we’ve all been waiting for has finally (and quietly) come, sans follow-up questions from reporters, or gratitude from the Romney camp, or elaboration from W. Bush, himself.

What The Daily Caller has titled the “Least Enthusiastic Endorsement of All Time,” (or at least rivals that of Rick Santorum) President W. Bush announced, while elevator doors closed on him, that he’s “for Mitt Romney.”

Thus far, Romney hasn’t responded to the breaking news, and though it’s unspoken, it’s clear that Romney had hoped that “little Bush problem” would just go away. He doesn’t want to talk about the president who holds one of the lowest exiting approval ratings in American history, led the country into two wars we’re stll paying for 10 years later, or who’s administration saw the biggest collapse of the economy since the turn of the century- yeah, that guy.

Romney doesn’t want the comparison or even the association, even though his proposed economic policies mirror those of George W. Bush in that he regards tax cuts for the rich and less regulation on Wall Street as the answer to a weakened economy.

Now, if you’re policies mimic those of a past president who won two terms, wouldn’t their endorsement be an asset? Shouldn’t it be proof of why your economic plan will be successful? Why won’t Mitt Romney look back to those glorious 8 years of a G.W. Bush administration and run screaming towards the American people shouting, “See? This is the stuff I’m talking about!” Because it was a disaster? Our point exactly.

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Today, President Barack Obama has made history once again, publicly endorsing gay marriage and becoming the first president in American history to do so.

In an interview with ABC News, he concluded, “It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” however, he went on to explain that the decision should be made at the state level.

While it was important for the president to come out and support the gay community on this civil rights issue, it’s disappointing that he didn’t come all the way out, advocating a federal legislative measure that would legalize gay marriage across the country.

It’s polarizing enough to outline one’s personal support for gay marriage, soothing the Left and agitating the Right, so why not go all in and pledge to not only empathize with homosexual Americans’ plight, but to be proactively fighting, as he has been the past three and a half years.

Clearly, it’s a political move intended to appeal to the president’s base while not scaring off too many centrists and independents, but this is not the kind of issue to be straddled. You’re either all for it or all against it, no inbetween.

Certainly something is better than nothing, a philosophy that has surfaced in each major civil rights movement throughout our history, but as evolved as we are as a society today, equality really should just be a given by now.

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Vice President Joe Biden’s blunt remarks on gay marriage have shocked some political commentators who are now calling for the president to be just as forthcoming.

When asked about his personal views on the matter, Biden replied, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, heterosexuals… are entitled the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. Quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”

There is debate as to whether Biden somehow harms the president’s campaign in making the firmest stance in support of gay marriage that we’ve seen thus far, or if it even makes a difference at all.

It’s well-known that the Republican party generally poses a road-block to gay civil progress while the Democratic party stands by as enthusiastic cheerleaders with their wrists tied behind their backs, pom poms in hand. So is anyone really surprised that Vice President Biden supports gays’ right to marriage? And ultimately, does anyone really question President Obama’s position?

While he hasn’t come out in explicit support, and in fact, explained in 2008 that he defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman, his actions say otherwise.

Even before the last of the confetti fell, the morning after election night 2008, he publicly denounced Proposition 8 in California, a measure that banned marital status for homosexuals. During his administration, he repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a provision in the military that resulted in the dishonorable discharge and alienation of young, homosexual soldiers. And most recently, he spoke out against a gay marriage ban that went up for a vote and passed in North Carolina today.

All signs point to “support” from this president, especially in contrast with the actions of the far Right and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who either go out of their way to stifle progress or do nothing when confronted by a legislative means to discrimination.

It’s obvious that there is a hesitation among the Obama campaign to explicitly endorse gay marriage in fear of scaring away Democrats who are on-the-fence on this issue, or energizing conservatives who imagine gay marriage to be the end to all hope for a strong value system in this country. Or perhaps President Obama is concerned about repelling his minority base of blacks and Latinos come election day, who largely oppose the equal right to marriage.

The fact of the matter is that he won’t come out and say that homosexuals have rights to the terms and conditions of “marriage” in this country-certainly not before the election because he doesn’t have to. He’s said everything without saying anything, making some political moves that begin to chip away at the gay political to-do list and being just vocal enough about passing legislation that thwarts it.

However, many would like to see this president come out and make it clear that no matter his personal or religious reservations, his vision for the country is that of fairness and equality, which he boasts in other facets of his campaign. A declaration of equality would  mean more than just exciting his homosexual supporters and their alliances, it would mean authenticity for this president, which is what electrified his first bid for the white house. Authenticity is a trait that Governor Romney clearly struggles with, but since when did President Obama get caught in the mire? If the president can begin his campaign by laying his cards out, a second term may not be guaranteed, but a legacy of transparency and liberty will be.