Monday, July 28, 2014

So it's not my modem

My Verizon DSL worked for all of one day and now I'm just getting the red light of non-connectivity. Tomorrow I'm calling for a cable modem.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We're in the very best of hands

Forbes: "CBO: Budget Deficits to Saddle Next Generation with WWII-Era Burden."  Mostly due to mandatory spending in the federal budget which is exploding, while employment participation is bumping near a record low.

Meanwhile, as Hot Air reports, the new White House Budget Director doesn't seem to understand how the Social Security Trust Fund works.  Good enough for government work, I guess.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Intent theory

Here's Shikha Dalmia in USA Today with "Obamacare court defense crumbles."
In other words, Congress did mean to use the subsidies to overcome state resistance and pressure them to set up their own exchanges. That is precisely what the plaintiffs in Halbig asserted. Of course, Obamacare's supporters didn't anticipate that the backlash against the law would be so intense that 34 states would actually decline the subsidies, almost as an act of civil disobedience.
On Friday morning, an embarrassed Gruber insisted to The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn, "I honestly don't remember why I said that… I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake."
IIRC from the Halbig arguments, the defendants were unable to produce a single contemporaneous piece of evidence from the original drafting of Obamacare that, sure, subsidies would be available on the Federal exchange.  To the contrary, as Jonathan Gruber explained at the time, they were meant to be a cudgel to force states into setting up their own exchanges.  Now the Administration wants to pretend differently.

Extra - From Althouse.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blogging by phone

Day 2 with no DSL. Verizon will be here tomorrow, and I quote, "before 8 pm".

Update - Hooray for Verizon!  Back up at 9:30am.  Something fried my modem and a factory reset restored it.  I had hooked up an old router and it didn't connect to the internet either, either wirelessly or via ethernet, so I assumed it was a DSL problem.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Americans for Darth!

Daily Caller: "Darth Vader is more popular than Obama, Congress and every single 2016 presidential hopeful as of Wednesday."

And why not?  The former Air Force pilot is man of faith and knows how to manage big projects (until the rebels blow it up.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Krauthammer on ambiguity

So there's a conflict between the literal meaning and the context of the law.  This is a job for either the legislature (to resolve) or the judiciary (to interpret) - not the executive branch.

Chief Justice Roberts to the rescue

Here's Tom Goldstein of the well-regarded SCOTUSBlog: "Why Obamacare probably isn't doomed."

Obamacare kneecapped

Obama 2008: "Don't tell me words don't matter!"

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: "Yeah, words do matter."

Today the court ruled that Obamacare subsidies paid through the Federal Obamacare exchange were illegal because the wording of the law unambiguously states that subsidies are only available through state-run exchanges.  Hot Air picks it up:
Plain and simple, if Congress wants to rewrite the law to extend subsidies to federal enrollees, they’re welcome to do it. That’s what legislatures are for. But the law, as written, says what it says, and that’s not the court’s problem.
You're going to hear that phrase a lot today: "the law says what it says."

Extra - Hit and Run: "It's a major blow to the way the administration has chosen to implement the health law, and a victory for plain language legal interpretation as well."  Words matter.

More - From Legal Insurrection.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Krugman is full of it, part redux

I tend to tune out the NY Times' liberal polemicist since even his own ombudsman described him as somebody with "disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults."

As Patterico ably demonstrates, the slicing blades were at full power in Krugman's latest take on the nation's long-term debt.  By using the stimulus-heavy year of 2009 as the baseline for spending and deficits, Krugman now claims that "all is well" since we're now running slightly lower deficits.  Also, he compares the total debt-to-GDP to post World War II levels as if this is contextual to modern times.  Finally, Krugman ignores that revenues-to-GDP almost never rise above 20%, no matter what taxation rate is applied, so debt will rise inexorably when spending is above that level.

Of course, it's well known that everybody who disagrees with Krugman is an idiot, including the green eyeshades over at the CBO who said this only a couple days ago:
If current laws remained generally unchanged in the future, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next few years, CBO projects. After that, however, growing budget deficits would push debt back to and above its current high level. Twenty-five years from now, in 2039, federal debt held by the public would exceed 100 percent of GDP, CBO projects. Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely.
Once again, as Patterico notes, liberals like Krugman wailed like banshees at the insignificant budget cuts of the sequester.  There is zero chance they'll accept the $230+ billion in cuts or tax hikes required to close this gaping hole.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Slumdog Millionaire it was not

I took the family to Northampton tonight, the hippie capital of Western Massachusetts, and there was some First World begging going on in front of Faces.  Two zaftig girls were sitting on the sidewalk, reading paperbacks and smoking.  Near their iced coffees was a sign reading "Please help - any amount accepted."

It breaks my cold, cold heart to see people settle for an iced latte instead of a caffe machiatto.

I should have snapped a cellphone picture.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Red Sea

I missed this WashPost editorial the other day: "No Washington hasn't solved the country's debt problem."

The first step to curing a spending addiction is to admit you have one.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Can't possibly be true

Warning: rant ensuing.  So I set up a tuition payment plan through Sallie Mae but, after I was done, the FAQ indicated it would not accept payment from a College 529 Account - the VERY THING designed to pay for college expenses!  What?!?  I don't know what's going on here...