Opposition to the Individual Health Insurance MandateTo those who oppose this move, health reform's individual mandate exemplifies the controlling overreach and invasiveness that have branded the past couple of years of associated Democratic power in the government. To those who support it, it is a critical portion of the effort by Congress to ensure that everyone in the country has health insurance available to them. In fact, estimates say that health reform will provide access to coverage for 32 million Americans in the next three to four years.
Attorney Generals Fight BackMore than twenty state attorney generals have brought forth two different lawsuits opposing the individual mandate. In addition, over a dozen individuals, advocacy groups and trade associations across the nation have filed challenges of their own.
Even though the plaintiffs in these cases make a multiplicity of legitimate points, their primary argument is that Congress does not have the authority to force the American people to purchase any type of product. If the government did possess such power, there would be no end to the control that it holds over the people. Congress would be able to order Americans to buy memberships at a gym or eat a specific amount of fruits and vegetables every day. The government could force people to vehicles from Chrysler or GM until the government has recovered its recent investment.
A number of federal judges have expressed their doubts about the mandate, claiming that it is an exceptional effort by Congress to normalize economic sedateness. Legal battles surrounding the issue of the individual mandate are not expected to be resolved without at least one of the lawsuits making it all the way to the Supreme Court.
photo credit: Andrew Aliferis
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Newspapers, national radio programs, bloggers and politicos are all talking about how Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Dec. 29 suspended the life sentences of two sisters jailed for an armed robbery that netted just $11—but the release of one sister will require her to donate a kidney to the other. As reported in The Afro American Newspaper today, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Dec. 29 suspended the life sentences, saying:
“To date, the sisters have served 16 years of their sentences and are eligible for parole in 2014. Jamie Scott requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her,” Barbour said in a prepared statement, according to The Hattiesburg American. “The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society. Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the State of Mississippi.”
Jamie (left) and Gladys Scott were convicted of robbery in 1993 and given double life sentences. (Courtesy Photo)
According to The American, in 1993 the sisters lured two men down a road where they were robbed by three teens. The Scott sisters were convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon in the incident and each received reportedly unusual double life prison sentences. The teenagers who allegedly carried out the robbery only served two years in prison.
Barbour’s statement said that he asked the Mississippi Parole Board to review the Scott’s case, and that they supported his decision to suspend their sentences.
According to the Associated Press, the sisters have received support from national groups including the NAACP. A march for them earlier this year drew hundreds of people.
A release date for the sisters has not been decided, and will be set by the Mississippi Department of Corrections, according to Jackson, Miss. NBC affiliate WLBT.
AAP says: But with all the grandstanding that is about to happen, groups like the national office of the NAACP, Al Sharpton and the rest of the slick poverty pimp hustlers need to move over, and salute one of the key people that fought the up hill battle to get these women free. A true black woman freedom fighter who deserves accolades and support from America and America's African American community, Ms. Nancy Lockhart, who for years, through the strategic use of the Internet, and her Free the Scott Sisters Blog, along with Internet BlogTalkRadio shows began a grassroots effort to free the Scott sisters. Without Nancy Lockhart who has proven to be a modern day, 21st Century, Harriet Tubman like, African American women working on the outside, the Scott sisters may not be looking at Freedom. Of course we have to include the recent color aroused political blunders by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, as the emphasis for the his true interest in reducing the life sentences of two black American sisters jailed for an armed robbery that netted just $11.
Ms. Nancy Lockhart, who has worked closely with grass root groups and individuals like Jerry Robinson, a sharp mouthed grass root community organizer, political activist, and national President of the Chicago based Poor People's Campaign has worked with Nancy Lockhart in her efforts to engage grass-root Internet activist, bloggers, and community groups from across the nation to support the Scott Sisters quest for freedom. Let the truth be told, it was not the national NAACP that lead the effort to free the Scott Sisters, it was Nancy Lockhart through her use of grassroots Internet organizing, with the support of people like Jerry Robinson of the Poor People's Campaign, Black left Internet groups like the afrospear, Black Agenda Report, and black bloggers like Electronic Village, Jack and Jill Politics, Francis L. Holland Blog, along with many dozens of Internet blogtalkradio host, such as Black Achievement USA, Black Talk Radio, JWriter, Justice4Us, Duchess of Wisdom, AANation, PPC, Kala Nation, Joli Ali, BostonAnt, Pumpkin13, Madison Media, Antoinette former co-host of African American Pundit's SlugFest Program, along with Antionette Harrell, One Black Mans View, Scotty, and so many others, who were able to create a band of national Internet activist who worked with Nancy Lockhart to get the word out to the larger blogosphere, afrosphere, black radio and national media, that caused the Scott Sisters to be of interest to groups like the NAACP and because of recent color aroused political blunders by Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, caused him to look at the Scott Sisters case as a political opportunity to make himself look good, as part of his potential Presidential ambitions. As noted in The Washington Post, Barbour, who is weighing a run for president, announced the pardon a week after he ran afoul of civil rights advocates. Last week, Barbour backtracked on comments he made about the civil rights era in Mississippi. More HERE
AAP says: All that being said, America, particularly Black America should salute and thank Nancy Lockhart for a job well done! She has taught us a new lesson for the 21st Century, "grassroot Internet organizing can work for America, particularly black America, if we put your mind, heart and soul into it."