Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Harassment, plain and simple

The Supreme Court already ruled that this guy can't be forced to bake a cake.  Why is the Colorado Civil Rights Commission all up in his grill, er, oven again?  Phillips is counter-suing for $100,000.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Hilarious article from the NY Times

I knew I was going to laugh and laugh when I saw this headline: "Trump’s Sabotage of Obamacare Is Illegal - A president doesn’t have the right to dispense with laws he dislikes."  He doesn't?!?  Tell us all about it, law professors:
But Mr. Trump isn’t a king; he doesn’t have the power to dispense with laws he dislikes. He swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes the requirement, set forth in Article II, that the president “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
What a unique position to be taken on the issue of Obamacare:

  • The Labor Department announced in February 2013 that it was delaying for a year the part of the law that limits how much people have to spend on their own insurance. This may have been sensible, but changing a law requires actual legislation.
  • Later that year, the administration announced via blogpost on the eve of the July 4 holiday that it was delaying the requirement that employers of at least 50 people provide complying insurance or pay a fine. This time it cited statutory authority, but the cited provisions allow the delay of reporting requirements, not the mandate itself.
  • The famous pledge that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” backfired when insurers started cancelling millions of plans that didn’t comply with Obamacare. So Obama called a press conference to proclaim that people could continue buying non-complying plans for another year—despite the ACA’s language to the contrary. He then refused to consider a House-passed bill that would’ve made this action legal.
  • A little-known part of Obamacare requires congressional staff to get insurance from health exchanges, rather than a taxpayer-funded program. Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management to interpret the law to maintain the generous benefits.
  • Obamacare grants tax credits to people whose employers don’t provide coverage if they buy a plan “through an Exchange established by the State”—and then fines employers for each employee receiving such a subsidy. No tax credits are authorized for residents of states where the exchanges are established by the federal government, as an incentive for states to create exchanges themselves. Because so few (16) states did, however, the IRS issued a rule allowing subsidies (and fines) for plans coming from “a State Exchange, regional Exchange, subsidiary Exchange, and federally-facilitated Exchange.” Yes, we can also blame the Supreme Court for upholding this.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services granted more than 2,000 waivers to employers seeking relief from Obamacare’s regulations. Nearly 20 percent of them went to gourmet restaurants and other businesses in former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district. Nevada, home to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, got a blanket waiver, while GOP-controlled states like Indiana and Louisiana were denied. Beyond political favoritism, such dispensations violate a host of constitutional and administrative law provisions like equal protection and the “intelligible principle” needed for congressional delegation of authority to cabinet agencies.
  • HHS also continues paying insurance companies to compensate them for losses caused by Obamacare’s ignorance of basic economics. Alas, Congress never appropriated these funds, so the House of Representatives is suing the administration and won in the district court. Now on appeal, House v. Burwell is stayed until the D.C. Circuit hears from the incoming Trump administration.

Indeed, on this last point, here's how law professors Bagley and Gluck characterize Trump's decision to stop payments on a program which was not funded by Congress:
To sow chaos in the insurance markets, Mr. Trump toyed for nine months with the idea of eliminating a crucial funding stream for Obamacare known as cost-sharing payments. After he cut off those funds, he boasted that Obamacare was “being dismantled.”
Federal Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled that those payments were not allocated by Congress and were therefore illegal.  Is it the NY Times' position that Trump should ignore a federal judge?  Or is that only the case when it comes to travel bans?

The rest of the article is just whining because Trump has changed insurance rules that were perfectly within his power because Obamacare endowed wide latitude to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  That was a great plan as long as Hillary was a shoo-in.

It's California

Hit and Run: "The $289 Million Verdict Against Monsanto Is Scientifically Outrageous - California jurors misled by activist misinformation."  "I am truly sorry that DeWayne Johnson is suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), but years of scientific research has determined that it is exceedingly unlikely, despite the outrageous verdict of a California jury on Friday, that he contracted NHL from using the herbicide glyphosate."

Future of the Democrats

CBS News: "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez becomes the Sarah Palin of the Left."  "If you're one of the many American progressives cheering on the performance of your new political rock star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, look around: Many of the people cheering with you are Republicans."

Monday, August 13, 2018


Hot Air: "Peter Strzok Fired."  Remember this?
Many of the texts had already been made public after the FBI sent them to Congress. But in a new, inflammatory text revealed in the report, Page wrote Strzok in August 2016: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The inspector general’s report said that exchange “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”
Looks like Trump did the stopping, Pete.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The predictable response

Airhead Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is finally getting some attention for her serial lies so guess what: it's all just sexism, ya'll.  We just can't stand to see a strong woman.  Can't stand it!

But on the Kelvin scale, the rise is negligible

Powerline: "The Times does temperature."  "It is always fun to have a laugh at the expense of the failing New York Times, but as we have noted before, there is a more serious point. Reporters and editors try to lecture the rest of us on scientific matters, when in fact their knowledge of science (like their knowledge of history, literature and other fields) is below average."

Tea Party prevails

Washington Times: "Tea party groups get revenge against IRS as judge approves $3.5 million payout."  "A judge late Wednesday signed off on the settlement between the IRS and hundreds of tea party groups, closing out the last major legal battle over what all sides now agree was unwarranted and illegal targeting for political purposes."

Friday, August 10, 2018

Why are you so quiet?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The paragon of journalism

Slate: "Liberals Don’t Have to Defend Sarah Jeong’s Tweets - The impulse to bash “old white men” is satisfying, but it’s also wrong and counterproductive."

I want Sarah Jeong to keep her job as a constant reminder of the NY Times' position on racial discourse:

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Seizing your property

So it's not just in Zimbabwe or South Africa where governments are looking to expropriate your property.  According to the Grumpy Economist, it's the only way that state governments will be able to pay for unfunded pension obligations:
States can try to raise income taxes. And people will move. States can try to raise business taxes. And  businesses will move. What can states tax that can't move? Only real estate. If the state drastically raises the property tax, there is no choice but to pay it. You can sell, but the new buyer will be willing to pay much less. Pay the tax slowly over time, or lose the value of the property right away in a lower price.  Either way, the owner of the property on the day the tax is announced bears the burden of paying off the pensions.
Politicians will shrug their shoulders and say: "We had no choice, now that it's a crisis we knew about for decades."

I've seen this horror movie before

Neo-Neocon: "As Zimbabwe goes, so goes South Africa?"  "Whatever the reasons, it’s dangerous for governments to confiscate the land of citizens without compensation, as the leading party of South Africa is now poised to do."

If only there were some nearby analog we could use for comparison.  The Atlantic: "How To Kill A Country - Turning a breadbasket into a basket case in ten easy steps—the Robert Mugabe way."

Monday, August 06, 2018

This is my favorite story today

Daily Caller: "Twitter suspends Candace Owens - then says it was 'an error' after backlash."  Her crime?  She took Sarah Jeong's old Twitter posts and replaced "white" with either "Jewish" or "black."  Oops.

Extra - From Instapundit.


Yes, dance, dance!  Hot Air: "Dem Gubernatorial Candidates Going All-In On Single-Payer."

They couldn't do it in either Vermont or California, probably because of all the Republicans.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Trump virtually guarantees his re-election

Daily Wire: "Warren Basically Announces Bid For 2020 With Gimmicky Signs."

Elizabeth Warren is the biggest airhead in Congress whose schtick is "fighting" and "the system is rigged."  Delve deep into the sea of platitudes:
"We believe that in America every family deserves a fighting chance, and we’re ready to fight as hard as it takes, as long as it takes, to deliver on that promise," said Warren.
That's our Warren: always fighting and persisting against the rigged system.  Sometimes I wish she were a Senator or something, working to improve the lives of Bay Staters.  Oh well.  Good luck with the nomination, Liz!  I know Joe Sixpack in Pittsburgh is pulling for you.