Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

22 July 2014

Pic of the Day: Wal*Mart Hookers?






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And, here I thought the 'Blue Light Special' was a K-Mart thang.



It Wasn't A Typo: Congress Meant Exactly What They Wrote About Obamacare Subsidies...And Here's Why



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Congress ALWAYS intended for the Obamacare subsidies to ONLY be available in states with their own exchanges.  They were supposed to act as a carrot to induce states to create them.

'Congress made subsidies available only through state exchanges as a means of coercing states into setting up exchanges.

In Senate Finance Committee deliberations on the ACA, Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of the bill’s primary authors, suggested the possibility of conditioning tax credits on state compliance because only by doing so could the federal government induce state cooperation with the ACA. Then the law’s insurance requirements could be imposed on states without running afoul of constitutional law precedents that prevent the federal government from commandeering state governments. The pertinent language originated in the committee and was clarified in the Senate.'

And more...


1. Senators Durbin, Begich, Bingaman, Burris, Casey, Gillibrand, Klobuchar, Kohl, Lieberman, Lincoln, Pryor, Shaheen, and Specter. Each of these “aye” votes on the PPACA also sponsored S. 979, the Small Business Health Options Program Act of 2009, which offered tax credits to small businesses only “in a State which . . . maintains a State-wide purchasing pool that provides purchasers in the small group market a choice of health benefit plans, with comparative information provided concerning such plans and the premiums charged for such plans made available through the Internet” (i.e., an Exchange).

2. Senators Dodd, Bingaman (again), Brown, Casey (again), Hagan, Harkin, Merkley, Mikulski, Murray, Reed, Sanders, and Whitehouse. Each of these “aye” votes on the PPACA also voted for the S.1679, the Affordable Health Choices Act (reported by the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee), which withheld health-insurance subsidies from a state’s residents for four years if the state failed to establish an Exchange, and permanently if the state failed to implement the bill’s employer mandate.

3. Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who (1) wrote the PPACA language restricting subsidies to state-established Exchanges and preserved it through multiple drafts, (2) introduced a Health Coverage Tax Credit in 2002 that uses similar eligibility rules and that the Congressional Research Service says “can be claimed for only 10 types of qualified health insurance…7 of which require state action to become effective”; and (3) also in 2009 floated proposals that (like S. 979) would have conditioned health-insurance tax credits on states enacting certain laws.

That’s 24 of the 60 senators who approved the PPACA. There is no evidence they changed their minds before casting their votes.


Let's also not forget that the administration just reversed itself on the issue of whether Obamacare applied to US Territories.  According to its new position - after 'further review' - Obamacare's mandates and requirements only apply to the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, which is specifically dealt with in the law separately.  In other words, 'state' means an actual state, not just any 'government.'  So, how will the administration square that circle?

Next time, Dems, perhaps, you shouldn't mock those that tell you to 'Read the Bill' and pass massive legislation in the middle of the night.

Right, John?


‘I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill’… What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?’ 

- Rep John Conyers


Eat that ‘Satan Sammich,’ John!



UPDATE:

The law authorizes the federal government to establish exchanges for states that refrain, but has no provision allowing tax credits to be offered to defray the costs of insurance policies offered on those federal exchanges. Without the tax credits, though, the policies will be prohibitively expensive for so many people that the law will not work.

So the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service decided that it would offer tax credits even on the federal exchange, which covers 36 states. The success of the program required going beyond the letter of the law — several hundred billion dollars beyond it over the next decade.

That decision, in addition to being legally questionable, created some losers. Various taxes and penalties in the law come into effect only when tax credits are available. Employers will be subject to a penalty for not offering insurance, for example, only if their employees get tax credits on an exchange. What the IRS has done, then, is to declare that it is going to collect taxes that Congress has not authorized in law. 

Several lawsuits have challenged the administration on this point. While it has won the early rounds of the cases, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is now considering one of them. It could make it as far as the Supreme Court.

Jonathan Adler and Michael Cannon (the first a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, the second a health-policy analyst at the Cato Institute, both libertarians who have published often in NR) have made the case for the plaintiffs at length in Health Matrix, a journal of law and medicine. They want the courts to rule that the IRS must stop issuing tax credits, and also stop levying taxes and penalties that are tied to them, in the 36 states covered by the federal exchange.

Unlike the challenge to the individual mandate that the Supreme Court decided in 2012, these lawsuits do not question the scope of congressional power. Neither Adler nor Cannon nor any of the other people involved in the lawsuits denies that Congress had the legal power to extend tax credits to people getting insurance from a federal exchange. Congress could, for that matter, have stipulated in the law that for purposes of the law’s treatment of exchanges the federal government would be counted as a state; it did just that with respect to U.S. territories.

As we know, the Constitution grants only Congress the 'power to tax' and the Supreme Court has already held that the penalty in Obamacare is a 'tax'; thus, the IRS lacks the ability to collect unauthorised taxes.


21 July 2014

Pic of the Day: Breaking & Entering


Ilegal_Aliens


Via Right Michigan


Conspiracy Theories And The Useful Idiots Who Are Happy To Believe Putin's Lies


'On Saturday, the English language online version of Pravda published an editorial entitled "MH17: some conclusions - did Nato try to murder Putin?"'

'On Saturday, the English language online version of Pravda published an editorial entitled "MH17: some conclusions - did Nato try to murder Putin?"'


By Dominic Lawson 

When my grand-father’s cousin Lev Germanovich Leibson visited Britain in the mid-Seventies, he was shocked to find the industrial chaos that culminated in the winter of discontent. 

He was shocked, because as a Soviet citizen he had read about it in Pravda — and therefore assumed it could not be true. 

As the USSR’s leading molecular endocrinologist, Lev was one of the academic elite — otherwise he would not have been allowed to visit London for a medical conference during the Cold War. 

But it would not have much bothered those who churned out propaganda for the Soviet state that a sophisticated intellectual regarded everything they wrote as lies (provided he never said it publicly): their concern was that it be believed by the masses. 

That is also the view of President Putin as the media organs of the Russian state engage in the task of concocting an alternative account of why 298 men, women and children were blown out of the skies above Eastern Ukraine. 

Alternative, that is, to the overwhelming probability that their murderers were Ukrainian separatists supplied with the necessary missile launchers by the Russian military. 

One of the problems with constructing such an alternative narrative is that Malaysian Flight MH17 was flying from West to East — which is why it would have been thought by the Russian-backed separatists manning the missile battery to be a military transport flight from Kiev. 


 Grim task: Ukrainian rescue workers collect bodies of victims at the site of the MH17 crash

 Grim task: Ukrainian rescue workers collect bodies of victims at the site of the MH17 crash


The simplest way round that (apart from ignoring the bugged open phone-line conversations that suggest this is exactly how it happened) is to declare it was blown up by the Kiev government precisely in order to discredit the rebels. 

This was the initial approach of the head of the Kremlin’s English language television channel, Russia Today: he retweeted the opinion that Ukrainian ‘freaks’ were responsible, who would blame pro-Russian fighters. But Pravda — which means ‘truth’, so it’s named after the missing ingredient — produced a much more elaborate attempt.

 



On Saturday, the English language online version of this still Communist party-owned publication published an editorial entitled ‘MH17: some conclusions — did Nato try to murder Putin?’ Note the use of the word ‘conclusions’ even as Russia tells the rest of the world not to jump to any.

The article cites unidentified ‘eyewitnesses’ who saw Ukrainian airforce jets ‘accompanying MH17’ and ‘rumours that President Putin was believed to be flying over the same route at the same time’.

It continues: ‘Sources who have asked not to be named have claimed that the Russian President’s aircraft has very similar contours and colouring to MH17 and that both aircraft intersected at the same point and altitude at a similar time.

‘In the event it did not fly over Ukraine, but the trajectory could have fooled those  who wanted to murder President Putin. Nato?’

Almost comically — if it is possible to be amused by anything related to such a monstrous crime — the article in Pravda accused the British media of ‘a total lack of respect for the victims and their families, trying to score points from a tragedy’, immediately before observing: ‘After Iraq, after Libya, after Syria, would anyone seriously rule out a Nato attempt to murder President Putin?’


A placard reading 'Putin is a serial killer! Stop Russian terrorism' is situated on bouquet of flowers in commemoration of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane accident in eastern Ukraine in front of the Dutch embassy in Kiev

A placard reading 'Putin is a serial killer! Stop Russian terrorism' is situated on bouquet of flowers in commemoration of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane accident in eastern Ukraine in front of the Dutch embassy in Kiev


The author ends with the most important conclusion about the responsibility for this terrible incident — at least from the point of view of the man in the Kremlin: ‘One thing is clear: President Putin is not responsible.’

Putin has not yet attached his own name to the bizarre conspiracy theories given licence on the state-controlled media. He has contented himself with the observation that the 298 deaths were the Ukrainian government’s fault because ‘the state over whose territory this took place bears responsibility’.

It will be interesting to see whether the Russian President declares himself solely responsible if Chechen separatist rebels were to blow up a plane flying over Russian territory.

Putin’s apologists can legitimately point out it was the West — in the form of the U.S. navy — that blew up a passenger jet back in 1988. All 290 on board Iran Air Flight 655 were killed when it was struck by SM-2MR missiles fired from the USS Vincennes.

It is also true that though the U.S. government eventually paid reparations of $62 million to the bereaved families, it never apologised.


A cameraman chronicles tail debris at the main crash site of the Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

A cameraman chronicles tail debris at the main crash site of the Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17


But what the U.S. government didn’t do was to make up lies to the effect that Flight 655 had been downed by Iranian fighter jets in order to discredit Washington.

It only sought to defend its blundering naval officers (who had sailed into Iranian waters) on the grounds they had mistaken the airliner for an incoming warplane. That was not the least consolation for the victims’ families, but it was the truth.


 

 

One of the many merits of a free Press —which is what they have in the U.S. — is that it makes it almost impossible for the government to pull the wool over its own public’s eyes, or at least not for long.

But Putin, as the Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt observed last week, ‘has consolidated all the information and “news” resources of Russia in order to create a more effective instrument to . . . spread fear and division. While in the past, a war was initiated by an artillery barrage, today it is by a disinformation campaign’.

Disinformation was the name given to the artfully constructed lies produced by the USSR’s department for Agitation and Propaganda — in which skills the former KGB officer Putin would have been trained.


A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine

A pro-Russian fighter guards the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine


Perhaps the most elaborate was Operation INFEKTION, the KGB disinformation campaign to spread the idea that the CIA created Aids as part of a biological weapons project. This was partly designed to foment anger at U.S. military bases, which were often portrayed as the cause of Aids outbreaks in local populations.

It was successful: like a virus itself, the ‘CIA made Aids’ campaign spread across the globe. It may have even contributed to the refusal by the Moscow-trained South African president Thabo Mbeki to accept the real causes of the virus that was killing millions of his own countrymen — with appalling consequences.

As it happens, among the murdered on flight MH17 were Dutch experts travelling to address a Melbourne global Aids conference.

Do not be surprised if Pravda’s editorial board finds use for this in suggesting a U.S. motive for blowing up the plane: ‘Was one of the MH17 passengers about to reveal to the world the CIA’s real role in the killer disease?’

If they do, there will be more than enough idiots to believe them.





'Toons of the Day: I've Gotta Fight For My Right To PAAARRRR-TAY!


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