Monday, June 29, 2015
The morning papers are having some fun with the “spat” between Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Karl Rove (the architect of the Bush brigade) over Cruz’s assertion in his new book, that Rove told him to back off an endorsement by President H. Bush, given the man’s age, and a current race tied to donations to the Presidential library. Rove said Cruz flat out lied, Cruz pulled the emails from 2009. (Dallas Morning News) Score Cruz 1 – Rove 0 – Cruz is turning out to be one of the most interesting contenders for the 2016 prize –the other, Bernie Sanders, VT-Democrat Socialist or Socialist Democrat – is giving Clinton a run for her money – and best bet is he surpasses her in the polls and stays there.
Over the weekend, the nation of Greece decided to close its financial institutions for six days given it’s ongoing battle with those who hold the purse strings to a nation that has no ability to stop guaranteeing work, vacation and pensions to one and all – the system is a house of cards when that nation also has little in the way of exports. This affects all global markets. (The Guardian UK)
Next up on the possible default list – Puerto Rico - whose Governor announced they simply cannot pay their debts, many of which are tied to municipal bonds (hello – 401k’s) – His suggestion that “creditors must now “share the sacrifices” that he has imposed on the island’s residents.” Is par for the Democrat Padilla – to read more on this on- see article in the New York Time (New York Times)
Friday, June 26, 2015
Chief Justice John Roberts, not only agreed with the court on King vs. Burell, he wrote the opinion that upheld another potential stumbling block for “obamacare”. As a result, some Conservatives are mighty teed off. (Politico). That said if one reads the opinion (here in PDF), the man played by the rules of the Constitution and the Court, ruling from what it appears with prudence, rather than say, any political inference.
In addition to those reforms, the Act requires the creation of an “Exchange” in each State—basically, a marketplace that allows people to compare and purchase insurance plans. The Act gives each State the opportunity to establish its own Exchange, but provides that the Federal Government will establish the Exchange if the State does not. This case is about whether the Act’s interlocking re- 2 KING v. BURWELL Opinion of the Court forms apply equally in each State no matter who establishes the State’s Exchange. Specifically, the question presented is whether the Act’s tax credits are available in States that have a Federal Exchange.
In addition to those three reforms, the Act requires the creation of an “Exchange” in each State where people can shop for insurance, usually online. 42 U. S. C. §18031(b)(1). An Exchange may be created in one of two ways. First, the Act provides that “[e]ach State shall . . . establish an American Health Benefit Exchange . . . for the State.” Ibid. Second, if a State nonetheless chooses not to establish its own Exchange, the Act provides that the Secretary of Health and Human Services “shall . . . establish and operate such Exchange within the State.” §18041(c)(1). The issue in this case is whether the Act’s tax credits are available in States that have a Federal Exchange rather than a State Exchange. The Act initially provides that tax credits “shall be allowed” for any “applicable taxpayer.” 26 U. S. C. §36B(a). The Act then provides that the amount of the tax credit depends in part on whether the taxpayer has enrolled in an insurance plan through “an Exchange established by the State under section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [hereinafter 42 U. S. C. §18031].” 26 U. S. C. §§36B(b)–(c) (emphasis added).
The IRS addressed the availability of tax credits by promulgating a rule that made them available on both State and Federal Exchanges. 77 Fed. Reg. 30378 (2012). As relevant here, the IRS Rule provides that a taxpayer is eligible for a tax credit if he enrolled in an insurance plan through “an Exchange,” 26 CFR §1.36B–2 (2013), which is defined as “an Exchange serving the individual market . . . regardless of whether the Exchange is established and operated by a State . . . or by HHS,” 45 CFR §155.20 (2014). At this point, 16 States and the District of Columbia have established their own Exchanges; the other 34 States have elected to have HHS do so.
We begin with the text of Section 36B. As relevant here, Section 36B allows an individual to receive tax credits only if the individual enrolls in an insurance plan through “an Exchange established by the State under [42 U. S. C. §18031].” In other words, three things must be true: First, the individual must enroll in an insurance plan through “an Exchange.” Second, that Exchange must be “established by the State.” And third, that Exchange must be established “under [42 U. S. C. §18031].” We address each requirement in turn. First, all parties agree that a Federal Exchange qualifies as “an Exchange” for purposes of Section 36B. See Brief for Petitioners 22; Brief for Respondents 22. Section 18031 provides that “[e]ach State shall . . . establish an American Health Benefit Exchange . . . for the State.” §18031(b)(1). Although phrased as a requirement, the Act gives the States “flexibility” by allowing them to “elect” whether they want to establish an Exchange. §18041(b). If the State chooses not to do so, Section 18041 provides that the Secretary “shall . . . establish and operate such Exchange within the State.” §18041(c)(1) (emphasis added). (read balance here at supreme court.gov).
Therefore, the Chief Justice sided with the law as it was written. Sour Grapes ensued
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
It appears that negative is the key word of the day for what is sometimes referred to as the “drive by media” when it comes to 2016 GOP candidates. For starters (there are so many so one must choose two for brevity) there is the AP Photograph of one Ted Cruz – the photo with Cruz standing next to a poster of a gun, was taken, most likely by someone who was not particularly skilled, to appear as if the gun on the poster was directly pointed at the Senator/candidates head. The photographer apparently missed that lesson where one is never to take a photo whereby there are objects that might detract from the main theme, a tree, for example might appear to be growing from someone’s head. Unfortunately, this particular photo has shocked some, and they are conservative, yet, instead of having a sense of humor, or giving a critique on the lack of skills employed by AP photographers, yelling from the rafters that this was intentional! (Yahoo News). It may or may not have been, and in all cases of the media, with few exceptions, one might suggest that it was intentional, but there are so many pertinent issues at hand that it seems rather small. Give the left a pass on this one.
That said, there is no excuse for the ridiculous assertion by a Politico piece that the GOP 2016 candidates played it “safe” on the confederate flag issue. The flag, a battle flag which historically stood for southern pride, (if one lived in the South), is now the cry of racisms (or has been since the carpetbaggers decided to get religion). Being the flag under discussion was in South Carolina and the removal or non-removal would be up to the state government, one would think it would be a 10th amendment issue. One would also think that smart and savvy candidates who profess to be lovers of the Constitution would not immediately weigh in, since, unless they lived in the State itself, it would be non-Constitutional for them to do so. Furthermore, what made this an issue was the usual hue and cry of the professional rabble-rousers, rather than any true passion, one the shooting at the church took place, and the pathetic individual appeared with a Confederate flag, among other items which stood for apartheid, was apprehended and photographs appeared. Instantly one had a guns issue (take them away!!) and a race issue (remove the flag!!) and perhaps the sky was falling. Meanwhile, families of victims of the shooting were espousing forgiveness and trying to grieve, while the aforementioned rabble-rousers descended upon the state. (The background). Frankly, one might have given the families some time, one might think to digest the fact that some who was on the face of it racist, but also taking medications known to cause suicide and or murder in hundreds of cases, might have been a little over the ledge, making this less of a shooter of hateful racism and more of a crazy person off or on their medication. Not a peep in that regard. Yet, according to Politico, many of those who weighed in after pressure from the media, or out of good conscious have most likely blown an election because they did a) too little to late) and b) most likely pissed off their base. (In simple language).
The situation is “caught between a rock and a hard place” – leaving those candidates (all who have weighed in which is an opinion on the GOP side), prey to those who will be producing opposition videos for Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley or least likely to achieve the nomination, Hillary Clinton. It was never about the families or the flag, it was about politics and a pre-election year where any event can turn into a massive protest, and one might bet their bottom dollar this will continue to happen. What is so sad is that a mental health issue and multiple families’ grief were thrown to the side in the name of the Holy Gail of politics. Addressing racism is one thing, in a proper context, as in this young man was a racist, who when on or off his meds, could not control himself. See Sandy Hook and other recent shootings where race may not have played a factor, yet another person who was on these medications or off went over the ledge in a picture perfect moment for some politicians and the true issue was swept under the bed – again in the name of politics. – Yet all is silent when murder after murder is being committed in major us cities, black on black, white on white, regardless of race, the youth of the nation are literally wasting their lives – yet no action, no outcry, no marches. No articles of disgust and dismay!