Oh thank Christ

The United States Supreme Court

I’m as surprised as you: the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The individual mandate is constitutional, albeit on the grounds that it is a tax and not a mandate. But no matter—minus some sticky stuff about federal coercion of the states to expand Medicare, health care reform stands, kit if not caboodle. “It is painful to recognize that the liberties which our forefathers fought a revolution to secure have been lost,” Karen Harned of the National Federation of Independent Businesses writes, “But it is clear that our original constitutional system has been thrown out, and we are left with only the democratic process to preserve our rights.” Let the hyperbole begin continue!

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NYC police clear Zuccotti Park

Occupy Wall Street protestors return to Zucotti Park on Tuesday afternoon. Photo from the Guardian, where they are not afraid to put other journalists front and center.

“I’m calling you to update you on what we did,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson told the chair of the Lower Manhattan Community Board. “We came in the middle of the night.” Thus ended the occupation of Wall Street, after police executed Mayor Bloomberg’s order to clear Zuccotti Park of tents and protestors around 1am Tuesday morning. After a series of temporary injunctions and contradictory judicial rulings, protestors are no longer camping at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. They trickled back into the park during the day, but no one is allowed to lie down. As winter sets in, more than one person is probably relieved not to have to do the sleeping on the cold ground part of civil disobedience. Yet the clearing of the park feels undeniably like the end of something, and it raises plenty of questions. “Is it over?” is not the only one.

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