Pols react to Supreme Court ruling on healthcare law

Gov. Bill Haslam:

We will review the entire Supreme Court’s opinion to fully understand its impact on the State of Tennessee. From initial reports, it appears the individual mandate has been ruled Constitutional and has been upheld. My primary issues with ObamaCare are that it takes away the flexibility for states to encourage healthy behavior, will cost Tennessee hundreds of millions of dollars, and does nothing to solve the crisis of the cost of health care in America. What was unanticipated is the section of the opinion that says states cannot be forced to expand their Medicaid program. This particular portion of the ruling is significant, but it is premature to know the exact ramifications. Now it is up to Tennesseans and Americans to turn their attention to the November election. By electing Mitt Romney, we can be sure that the entire law will be repealed.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey:

It is intensely disappointing that this court failed to recognize what constitutionalists and conservatives know deep in their hearts: A federal government which can coerce its people to buy a product is a government unrestrained and out of control. Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen called Obamacare the ‘mother of all unfunded mandates’ and stated it will cost Tennesseans 1.1 billion dollars in the next few years. However, the fight does not end here. The court may have made its decision today but the people have yet to speak. When they do, Mitt Romney will be elected president and I will do all I can to aid him as he fulfills his solemn promise to repeal this insidious law.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann:

The Supreme Court made the wrong decision today. The Constitution places specific limits on the government, and the court unfortunately did not recognize those limits in allowing Obamacare to stand. While the Supreme Court may consider the individual mandate a tax, the Obama administration repeatedly claimed that this was not a tax when they tried to pass Obamacare. Like many conservatives, I believe the individual mandate cannot be justified as a tax. Not only does Obamacare force Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not, but it also forces Americans to subsidize birth control even if it violates their faith. Additionally, the law creates IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This board is anything but advisory. It has the power to control Medicare payments, and its decisions carry the full force of law. The results of Obamacare are clear: Higher healthcare costs, hundreds of billions in tax increases, top down government control of healthcare, and a continuation of our massive deficits. Now, it is time for Congressional Republicans to demonstrate our commitment to smaller government, and continue the fight to repeal Obamacare. Our healthcare, our nation’s finances, and our national character demand nothing less.

U.S. House 3rd District candidate Bill Taylor (D):

That the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act this morning is “a victory for the common man,” said Bill Taylor, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District. “The ACA was created to stop the unfair advantage that insurance companies have gained over people’s ability to afford healthcare. “Our country currently ranks 37th in the world in terms of quality of healthcare. This decision will help us move forward in creating a system of affordable, quality care that is available to everyone.” Taylor noted that there is “still work to be done to make the healthcare system more efficient and workable. As an expert in healthcare, I can help to move this process forward in Congress in a leadership way.”

U.S. House 3rd District candidate Weston Wamp (R):

More will be posted as they become available.

More at Post Politics. Still more at Chattanoogan.com.

This is what you call getting your feet wet in politics

Rep. Frank Nicely posted the below picture on his Facebook page, and, with his express permission, I am sharing it with you.

Nicely is running for the District 8 Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Mike Faulk, and faces 3 other Republicans in the August 2 primary. I don’t in any way mean to wade into picking favorites in this race, but I heartily endorse this behavior as a citizen of Tennessee:

A Facebook commenter identifies the body of water as the French Broad River. Nicely identified the man on the right as Charles Williamson, who’s running for House of Representatives in District 50.

Tennessee students achieve academic growth

Like many, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the results of this year’s Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP); but remember, schools that consistently perform very well can get dinged on “value-added” measurements simply because there’s not much room to go up. It’s complicated, but the bottom line is that today’s news is good.

Here’s the press release from Governor Haslam’s office: Continue reading

Candidate forum for Hamilton County Sessions Court Division 5 election

As I often say, to the agony of everyone else: forum, or against ’em, you be the judge.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that it is co-sponsoring with the Chattanooga Bar Association a forum featuring the candidates running in the August 2 election for General Sessions Court, Division 5. The candidates are:

  • Joe DeGaetano
  • Valerie Epstein
  • Yolanda Mitchell
  • David Norton (currently serving as interim judge)
  • Ron Powers
  • Gary Starnes
  • Patricia Best Vital

UPDATE: You can see much more about each candidate in this voter guide.

One of the real socialists running for President

President Barack Obama, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney. Barack Obama. Mitt Romney. Obama. Romney. Obamnnnnnnotgonnagothere.

Looking for something different? Leaving aside (but only for the moment) former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, here’s a candidate running for the Oval Office who offers a different perspective on things than the mainstream candidates do. Continue reading