Moment Of Truth: Is Roberts Ready To Wreck Obamacare?

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When a federal appeals court in D.C. ruled to invalidate Obamacare subsidies for millions of Americans back in July 2014, conservatives saw a golden opportunity to cripple the law they detest, and they set their sights on Chief Justice John Roberts to finish the job.

Editors' Blog

Check This Out

Ed Kilgore reviews the new mini-debate about whether the American constitutional order is in fact doomed (I'm skeptical) and offers his own take. My own take is that the structure of American government (presidential vs parliamentary systems) is relatively unimportant. I'm closer to Chait in thinking the driving issue is the rise of conservative absolutism, grounded in white identity politics, coming into its own in mid-90s and growing more or less ever since.

Here We Go

TPM's Sahil Kapur will be at the Supreme Court at 10 a.m. ET for the oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the big Obamacare case. Look for his initial report later this morning. Meanwhile, here's his final dispatch before arguments and if you're catching up here's a one-stop shop for all our coverage of King v. Burwell (and the related Halbig case).

The Speech

I've written at great length about this speech, in anticipation of it, and about the Israeli election, to which it is inextricably connected. If you step back, it is amazing that this even happened. A foreign head of state gave a speech to the US Congress explicitly criticizing and trying to block the diplomacy of a sitting U.S. president. Having said all that, what about the speech itself?

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Oooohhh Boy

Earlier this morning we published this story about how AIPAC had invited Steve Emerson to this year's conference even after he'd gotten in all the trouble a few weeks ago for his bogus claims about Birmingham, England ("totally Muslim") and no-go zones in Paris - statements which led the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to call him an "idiot" and which he himself later apologized for. The piece triggered a blizzard of amazing emails from Emerson in which "challenge[d]" us to publish the questions below and which I am actually eager to publish.

I've used bold to add emphasis to the good parts.

You won't want to miss this.

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King of Israel

Bear in mind while you watch this that over the last three weeks Netanyahu's poll numbers and those of his party have been slipping.

11:30 AM: It would be interesting to watch this speech with subtitles which detailed the specific ways in which each point Netanyahu makes is misleading or simply false.

11:32 AM: A key point Netanyahu is making is that the Iranian "break out" phase will be short and that Israel believes it will be shorter than U.S. intelligence believes it will be. Remember that we now know Netanyahu specifically and repeatedly misstated what Israel's intelligence agencies were telling him about the Iranian program in his 2012 speech to the UN.

11:37 AM: BECAUSE IT'S NOT POLITICAL!!!: Netanyahu's campaign site livestreams speech and harvests campaign email lists.

Taking the Long View

There is a fascinating new study out the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences pointing to a connection between the slow story of climate change and the Syrian Civil War, which of course is the setting out of which ISIS and the current regional war war emerged. Connecting climate change to such a charged on-going event will of course drive attention and controversy. But what is equally interesting to me is the much more uncontroversial claim that in addition to the regional movement of the Arab Spring and the on-going refugee crisis spurred by the Iraq War, the 2007-2010 was destabilizing the Syrian regime out of our view (at least most of us who don't follow these matters closely.)

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