The Geshrey express is about to leave the station on track no. 13. All aboard. Be advised that those who do not get aboard are going nowhere.
Please forgive me. This is a particularly long blog but I had much to say.
Didja know that the states participating in Super Tuesday represent 40% of the US population?
Didja know humans are not the only animals that vote? African wild dogs, for instance, hold something akin to a caucus to decide whether to go hunting or keep resting. The more sneezes they produce during their caucus, the more likely that a hunt is to begin.
Didja know that tweeting is T-rump’s form of hunting? In his tweets he is always throwing barbs in an attempt to hit and hurt someone, or even kill [their careers]. Ever notice that T-rump cannot stop sniffing? Of course you have. Do you suppose the more he sniffs the more likely he is to tweet? The less he sniffs the more likely he is to go golfing? How many sniffs would it take for him to decide to do a competent job? This is unknowable because we do not have a yardstick to measure with; there is no history of competency so counting “competency sniffs” is out of the question.
It is time to be very serious because today is a very important day. Today the Supreme Court will hear a very contentious case about abortion that will tell us the course the Supreme Court will take for many years. A decision is expected in June.
In The Geshrey Issue No. 12 I discussed the fact that each Justice of the Supreme Court votes independently but often their votes seem to mirror the political and social leanings of the President who appointed them. Thus it is normal to describe justices as conservative or liberal. Presently the court has a conservative majority.
Today’s case is an indirect attack on Roe vs. Wade. At issue is a law passed by Louisiana that requires every doctor providing abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. Currently there are three clinics in Louisiana that provide abortions. If the law is upheld, only one will remain and many other states will certainly enact similar laws. It will be harder for women to get abortions in these states.
In 2016, the Supreme Court with a conservative majority ruled that a virtually identical law in Texas was unconstitutional because it imposed an unreasonable burden on health care. In 2017 a District Court, following the Texas decision, ruled Louisiana’s law unconstitutional. Later, in a decision that contradicts the Supreme Court’s decision in the Texas case, the Fifth Circuit reversed the District Court. (Even law students know that the Circuit Court must follow decisions of the Supreme Court, so the Fifth Circuit’s reversal flabbergasted legal scholars.)
Today, with the addition of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the court retains its conservative majority. The difference is that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are darlings of the ultra-conservative right; well beyond normal conservatism.
In the history of the U.S. there were certainly cases that were reversed as being obviously wrong. These include but are not limited to the Dred Scott case (which held slaves were property and had no legal rights) and Brown vs. The Board of Education which held that separate is not equal, thus reversing a series of cases upholding segregation.
Aside from direct reversals the court may in its decision say a case is wrong. This occurred in Trump v. Hawaii in which the court said that the Korematsu case was wrong when decided. (Korematsu upheld President Roosevelt’s executive order allowing the internment of Japanese during WWII. The T-rump White House tried to use Korematsu in its argument about Moslem immigration.)
I suspect in every case that the Court reversed, the reversals were not based on conservative vs. liberal ideologies. They were without serious doubt wrong when decided and the reversal corrected that wrong. But I know of no case that was reversed that was only four years old and not obviously wrong when decided.
I hope that the Supreme Court agreed to hear the Louisiana case to reverse the Fifth Circuit and reinstate normalcy. But with the court’s present make-up, it may decide to reverse its Texas decision and allow the shutdown of abortion providers. If so, this will do great harm to our legal system because it will support arbitrariness and validate the Fifth Circuit’s wrongheadedness. It will tell other courts that it is OK not to follow the decisions of the highest court in the land. It will have the effect of further obscuring the line between legal thought and political – and religious – partisanship.
Another important case the Court has decided to hear involves a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The challengers seek is to strike down the ACA. The lawsuit is backed by T-rump and Texas Republicans. California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra is leading the charge to save it. A hearing date has not yet been set.
Millions of Americans have health care through the ACA. The ACA includes health care accessibility for Americans with preexisting medical conditions, it gives Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans and it provides premium assistance for those who need help paying their premiums. (Didja know that more than 71 million people get some form of Medicaid benefits?)
If the ACA is stricken by the court, despite T-rump’s campaign promises to replace it, there is no T-rump/Republican plan to replace the ACA. Millions of Americans will lose their health insurance and consequently, access to health care.
Without the ACA or a similar plan, Axios’ Caitlin Owens writes, “Our expensive, inaccessible health care system could easily make it harder to control the coronavirus’ spread, failing individual patients and endangering more people, . . .” She continues, quoting Chris Sloan of Avalere Health, a consulting firm, “[Y]ou could see uninsured or underinsured patients, just like they do for other conditions (emphasis added by this writer), skipping necessary treatment because they believe they can’t afford it.”
Twice before the high court has upheld the Obama-era healthcare law, with Chief Justice Roberts casting the key deciding votes along with liberal justices to reject broad conservative challenges. But with the addition of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh the ACA may be stricken regardless of how Roberts votes.
It seems that T-rump’s and the Republicans’ nationalistic America First policies do not include first helping Americans who need access to health care.
I am sorry to be so serious, but the idea of chipping away at Roe vs. Wade or losing the ACA really , really bothers me. The decisions of the court will affect millions and millions of people. The wrong decisions will hurt them in an incalculable manner.
On the lighter side, didja know our 50-star flag was designed as part of a high school project by 17-year old Robert Heff in 1958? He originally only received a B- grade but after the design was selected as the official U.S. flag his grade was upped to an A.
Ever wonder why babies, puppies, kittens (and every other young animal) are so adorable? That is because a face with big eyes, a small nose, and a small chin are a collection of traits humans have evolved to find adorable. This is called kinderschema. (As dogs get older they develop what I call “sad eyes.” When a dog looks at me with those pathetic, sad eyes I melt and give it anything it wants. One look at those eyes and I cannot help myself.)
“They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.” —-Speaker of the House (three times between 1889-1899) Thomas Reed, predicting T-rump’s Presidency and the ascendancy of the Republican Party.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”—-Buddha
The private enterprise system indicates that some people have higher incomes than others.” —-former governor Jerry Brown of California
I quoted Buddha and Brown to prove a point. Income and wealth, even great income and great wealth, honestly earned, does not detract from anyone else’s opportunity to earn great income and great wealth. One man’s honesty earned success does not impair another’s chance at success. Isn’t that what the American dream is all about?
Great income and wealth do not cause anyone to do good or bad things. To paraphrase one of my favorite philosophers, Christopher Hitchens, good people do good things and bad people do bad things.
T-rump is a bad person, both morally and legally. He is a serial adulterer. By his own admission – supported by the revelations of about 20 women – he is a criminal sexual batterer. He is an embezzler. Want proof? Not long ago the New York Attorney General shut down T-rump’s charitable foundation due to T-rump’s embezzlement of the charity’s money, which incidentally was mainly donated by others. (As a condition to settling the lawsuit T-rump had to pay $2 million to other charities.) How about fraud? Need evidence? T-rump University. T-rump had to pay $25 million dollars to settle a lawsuit against him arising from the fraudulent activities of the school.
Didja know that back in the 1800s, composer Franz Liszt was worshiped like a rock star? In fact, he received so many requests for locks of his hair that he eventually bought a dog, only to snip off patches of its fur to send to his admirers. Today that would be known as Trump University where value was promised and nothing of value was delivered.
In a future issue I will outline all of the crimes T-rump committed. I cannot include all of them in this issue lest I incur the wrath of my sister-in-law who chides me about long blogs.
According to George Bernard Shaw, T-rump was destined to become a politician. Shaw said, “[H]e knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.”
Didja hear about the new restaurant called Karma. There’s no menu; you get what you deserve.
Now it’s “time time to say goodby until we meet again.” (Someone help me. Where did I hear this sentiment before?)
Going against my better judgement I tried to sleep with both eyes closed. I had a nightmare. I kept seeing T-rump being sworn in again as President. I think I will keep sleeping with one eye open. Seeing him re-elected is something I never want to see. I firmly believe that if everyone sleeps with one eye open this will not happen again.