The Founding Fathers Didn’t Know the Constitution!

I love this (and Ezra Klein, who comes up with the best stuff):

See Rick Ungar, “Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798.”

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed – “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

This is a fascinating thing I don’t think I’ve heard about before. The new country depended very much on the private merchant fleet for trade, but the seamen were always getting hurt and coming down with diseases. Sick merchant seamen were bad for the economy. So the 5th Congress established government-run maritime hospitals for the seamen, paid by a payroll tax on the seamen’s wages. And seamen were required to pay into their health care system or they weren’t allowed to work as seamen.

Do read the whole article, and also Greg Sargent’s follow up. This absolutely destroys the argument that the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have approved of government-run health care as a public good because it wasn’t explicitly discussed in the Constitution.

Right-Wing Domestic Violence News: The Grand Silence

Before today’s review of “isolated incidents” of right-wing domestic violence, take a moment to view this bit of a curiosity from Glenn Beck, from a few months ago. Brad Blog has a transcript.

It’s a curiosity, because if you listened to it you may have thought you heard Beck saying “You’re going to have to shoot them in the head.” But, we learn from Patterico that he didn’t say that at all! Very curious, indeed. Are we all suffering a mass audio delusion?

Ah, here’s the explanation. Patterico objects because there is an unspoken implication that Beck was telling his audience to shoot someone in the head. But that’s not true! Patterico says:

When you read [the transcript], you will see that the word “you” refers to the leftist politicians in Washington and their pals in the media, and “they” refers to their radical leftist friends — who, Beck warns, actually believe there must be violent revolution . . . and if they don’t get what they want, they may start one.

Beck is warning the comfortable pols that the people who put them in power aren’t going to be satisfied with seeing just a little of their agenda accomplished. They want it all. Because they are revolutionaries at heart — people who have called for violence and never repudiated it. And if they aren’t satisfied, Beck tells the pols, they will come after you. Violently.

You’re going to have to shoot them in the head. But they may shoot you.

Johnson wants you to believe that the “you” is Beck’s audience, whom Beck is inciting to violence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

See? Nobody’s inciting anybody to violence. So if you’re a rightie thinking I was going to say something snarky about Patterico, you can go back to your regular favorite websites. Thanks much.

Are they gone? Jeebus, is this sick, or what? See also Steve M.

If you’ve got the stomach for it, Dave Neiwert has a roundup of Glenn’s greatest hits, which includes this bit.

Anyway, in other domestic violence news — you may have heard of the bomb left along a Martin Luther King Day parade in Spokane. I say you may have heard; this story hasn’t made much of a splash at all. But law enforcement officials say the bomb wasn’t an amateur job, but a sophisticated and deadly piece of work.

The Spokane bomb was packed with shrapnel and would have been detonated by a remote device, if it hadn’t been discovered.

Authorities are still checking out a long list of suspects, including the Aryan Nations. So far, the investigation appears to be focused on right-wing hate groups.

Dave Neiwert, who lives up in those parts somewhere, provided a background of right-wing hate groups in the Spokane area. And Will Bunch asks if right-wing media carping about the coverage of the Tucson shooting has news media spooked from covering the bomb attempt in Spokane.

Because, you know, if they could tie that bomb to someone named “Mohammed,” it would be all we’d hear about for days. But some right-wing racist yahoos? Nothin’ to see hear, folks, move along.

And police in Arlington, Massachusetts, have seized “a large amount of weapons and ammunition” from some guy who suggested on his blog that all members of Congress should be shot. After the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tuscan, he titled a post “1 down, 534 to go.” He told police he was just joking. Of course, I suppose it could be argued that since the guy advocated the shooting of all member of Congress, of both parties, that makes him a moderate.

Sorta kinda related — New Jersey’s job-killing governor Chris Christie may have blown his status as the Right’s new “best boy” by appointing a Muslim man to be a judge.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Donald Douglas

Not finding enough people to hate today, I suppose, flaming idiot Donald Douglas lies to his readers about what I wrote about the abortion doctor and clinic under indictment in Philadelphia.

Get a load of this headline:

Click for larger image

And then the miserable liar Douglas ends his post this way —

I’m saddened by the industrial-scale death that you promote with your radical pro-choice ideology. And I’ll pray for those babies — and for you as well.

Pray for yourself, Douglas. Maybe God will make you an honest man. Or, at least, bequeath unto you standard reading comprehension skills.

Of course I didn’t “cheer” the doctor under indictment. The point of the post was that what he did was illegal under current abortion law, and now he is being prosecuted, which is as it should be. Further criminalization of abortion will not stop more clinics like this, but rather make it likely there will be more of them. I’m not saying this is what I want; I’m saying this is a terrible thing that will happen if abortion is further criminalized in the U.S.

And of course, no reader of Douglas’s slanderous post will bother to actually read what I really wrote, because righties don’t read. They just hate.