Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Hillary solicited kickbacks from foreign nations via private email

Before we get to the topic of Hillary's illegal use of personal email accounts, let's stipulate that there is zero chance a former First Lady and Presidential candidate will face any kind of legal jeopardy, for this or the Clinton Foundation's unethical collection of foreign contributions.  Ron Fournier asks:
The rest of us are required to play by the rules. Why does Clinton think she's above them?
Good question!  Isn't "playing by the rules" a fetish of the Elizabeth Warren left?  In fact here's Obama just this past Saturday with his weekly address:
That’s what middle-class economics is all about—the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules
Well, rules were meant to be broken and, besides, we're pretty sure Sarah Palin did the same thing.

I, for one, am going to take a page out of the Harry Reid playbook.  In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, we can only conclude that Hillary was looking for big kickbacks in exchange for quid pro quo influence from the State department.  Hell, let's just say she's behind the Nigerian price email scam.  She has no accomplishments of note during her tenure at Secretary of State.  Why?  Because she was too busy squeezing everybody for cash.

It's a real shame that Hillary used her position and private email to shake down foreign governments.  Tsk tsk.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

The New York Times editorial page is simply awful

How's that for a straightforward blog post title?  And before I continue, let's link to this NY Observer article about how the rest of the newsroom is embarrassed by the editorial page.

Forget the content of today's NY Times editorial on Obamacare, which I'll address in a moment.  The rumors that the Gray Lady is now a high-school newspaper are true.  This editorial has all the emotional maturity of a middle-school tweener complaining about changes at the vending machine.  "Diet Dr. Pepper!  Eww....gross!"  It is a strident and tendentious mess.  Away we go:
The central claim of the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of four Virginians by a small group of conservative activists who have long sought to destroy Obamacare, is that the law does not allow tax-credit subsidies to be made available to anyone living in the 34 states whose health care exchanges are operated by the federal government, which stepped in when those states declined to set up their own.
This is, to put it mildly, baloney.
Baloney!  Phony baloney, according to plaintiffs who probably don't even have standing, doncha know.  Let's cut away all the emotional appeals and focus on the legal arguments.
The four words — “established by the State” — appear in a subsection of the law dealing with the calculation of tax credits. The law’s challengers say this means that credits are available only in the 16 states that have set up their own exchanges.
Yeah, funny thing about that, it's because it's true:
First, Section 1311 expressly requires that an authorized Exchange must be “established by a State.” Section 1304(d) also expressly defines “state” as “each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia.” Later amendments to the PPACA also provide that Exchanges created by territories are to be treated as the equivalent of state-run Exchanges, but there is no such language concerning federally run Exchanges.
Oh those crazy sub-sections with their explicit definitions.  This part of the NYT editorial is, well, it's simply darling:
Reading the Affordable Care Act as a whole, it’s clear that Congress meant to provide subsidies on both federal and state exchanges. For one thing, why establish a federal exchange that doesn’t actually work? As an amicus brief submitted by a group of legal scholars put it, “Congress does not write statutes to fail.”
OMG, guys, it's totally clear Congress totally meant to activate the federal subsidies.  A bunch of partisans said so, you guys!  Do you know who was fooled?  The IRS who initially drafted their policies based on the wording of the legislation passed in that only state-run exchanges would receive subsidies.  But then when only a handful of states established exchanges - surprise! - they suddenly discovered they were wrong.  A year after the legislation was passed they found - oh snap! - the federal exchanges get subsidies too.
So why did the IRS wait nearly 16 months to spring this new interpretation on the public? That’s also an easy one. As of August 17, 2011, when its rule was first proposed, only ten states had passed laws establishing their own exchanges. Seventeen had outright rejected the Obamacare exchanges. All told, 40 states had by that point failed to do the administration’s bidding and set up state-based Obamacare exchanges.
Without exchanges in every state, Obamacare would surely fail as a policy matter. And without massive subsidies to offset the costs of Obamacare’s health plans, Obamacare would fail as a political matter. The IRS maneuver was a last-ditch attempt to paper over the law’s serious structural flaws.
I've been reading the comments the NY Times slam book and everybody thinks it's totes crazy that the Supreme Court might interpret words to mean what they say.  Here's the thing, though: if there's an infirmity to the language of the law, it can only be remedied by a legislative repair:
Furthermore, actual “drafting errors” have to be corrected by new laws, not by executive fiat. Even when they are plainly obvious to everyone who sees them, that 3015 that should’ve been 2015 still has to be amended via a new law: passed by both Houses, and signed by the president. Yet, that’s not what this administration did.
No, because Republicans managed to gain the largest majority in Congress since the Hoover administration, so let's just make stuff up.

Hey, I made it through this entire post without mentioning Jonathan Gruber!  Yay me.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

But we're the good guys!

Here in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, at the intersection of leftist Amherst and super-leftist Northampton, a bunch of protesters took a stand at - of all places - a Whole Foods store.  This part cracked me up:
The demonstrators stood in silence until a Whole Foods employee approached and politely asked them to leave. That's when the blindfolds came off and the chant of "Whole Foods is a lie; animals do not want to die," began. The group made their way through the store, drawing much attention from presumably socially conscious shoppers, as they walked toward the exit.
This story makes me hungry for steak.  Let's hope they recycled their protest signs.

Green

Coyote Blog: "On funding and bias in climate."  "I really, really did not want to have to write yet another post on this.  99+% of all climate funding goes to alarmists rather than skeptics."

Couldn't happen to a nicer city

Chicago Tribune: "Moody's downgrades Chicago's debt rating."  It's now two notches above junk status.

Extra - From Instapundit.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Great Paris

Fox News: "Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ dead at 83."

In a career dominated by Spock, it's easy to overlook that Nimoy played Andrew "The Great" Paris on (my favorite) "Mission: Impossible."  He filled in the role of "master of disguise" after Martin Landau left the show.

Not a smidgen of corruption

Via Twitchy, this is an actual email from IRS saboteur Lois Lerner: "‘No one will ever believe’ two hard drives ‘crashed’ within a week."  Eric Holder just called to say: "Sounds plausible to me!"

Show them the money

This is a good overview: "The Clinton Foundation Scandals, ExplainedEverything you need to know about the shady dealings of the Clinton family's global corporate charity conglomerate."
Is it normal to be so rich, yet so obsessed with money?
It’s not unusual, but yeah, this is pretty absurd.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing: is this a psychological defect with the Clintons?  I know that Bill came from humble beginnings and maybe there's this urge for the security of financial means.  But the cash-grabbing of the Clinton Foundation is over-the-top.  Here's a tidbit from Powerline: "Will the Clintons' greed do them in?"
Moreover, there is reason to suspect that the Clinton Foundation has served as a slush fund to finance the Clintons’ private enjoyments. The New York Post reported in 2013 that the Clinton Foundation had spent more than $50 million on travel expenses since 2003. Think about that: $50 million! That would cover a lot of the globe-trotting for which the Clintons are famous.
Look, I realize this includes a staff and some far-flung locales, but $50 million?  C'mon.  I'm sure Hillary justifies it with the same mindset as the "woe-is-me we were dead broke" statement.

ICYMI - Cha-ching!  $300,000 payday on Tuesday talking to Silicon Valley corporations.  Nice work if you can get it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Court rules for Sam I Am

This is kinda funny: "Dr. Seuss comes to the Supreme Court"
Today’s dissent by Justice Kagan in fish isn’t a “tangible object” case has the first Dr. Seuss citation in U.S. Supreme Court history.
The citation in question was "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Politifact turns into Politi-fiction

Last week, Hot Air reported: "PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year of 2014 falls apart only two months later."

Today, Kevin Williamson recounts how Politifact beclowned itself by 1) suspending basic journalistic fact-checking to 2) reflexively defend Obamacare while 3) getting everything wrong.

I'll Cu later about this copper

I laughed old-style at this.

Sic semper tyrannis

Robert Reich is upset that "we're all becoming independent contractors."  He really doesn't like Uber because people use their free will to enter into an agreement to give rides to other people and make money using their own cars.  He would prefer if all Americans follow the General Motors model of generous benefits punctuated by periodic bankruptcies.

Clearly, such a change to labor laws compelling corporations to do away with independent contractors should be vetted in the appropriate Congressional committees, debated in the House and Senate, then passed on to the President for approval.

Ha-ha, just kidding:
Congress doesn't have to pass a new law to make this the test of employment. Federal agencies such as the Labor Department and the IRS have the power to do this on their own, through their rule making authority.
They should do so. Now.
For your own good, peasants.  Your Uber ride to the airport is now $230.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Jobless jihadis

Ace of Spades: "Investigation of Australia's Home-Grown IS Fighters Reveals That 96% Were On Welfare Before Joining the Jihad."

And on the other end of the spectrum, Osama Bin Laden came from one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Protecting the homeland

Occasional crossword-puzzle clue Jeh Johnson will be on all the news shows this morning to warn that furloughing 30,000 out of 230,000 Homeland Security workers will let ISIS through the border.  Here's Mark Steyn:
I opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security on the basic Thatcherite principle that if you create a government bureaucracy in order to deal with a problem you'll never be rid of the problem. But I underestimated the creativity of our rulers: The DHS was set up because 19 Muslims flew planes into skyscrapers and killed thousands of people. Thirteen years later, the head of the DHS thinks his department's priority should be to "give voice to the plight of Muslims" who have the misfortune to live in America.
I don't want to see another partial shutdown but I understand holding back funding for an immigration policy that a federal judge has now deemed unconstitutional.

Incompressible

Cool video via Maggie's Farm.  I guessed five.