Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tear Down This Law

obama, obama jokes, cartoon, political, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, obamacare, appeals, court, subsidies

Yesterday, a three-judge panel ruled that the language contained in Obamacare's previously unread 2000+ pages specifically spells out an inconvenient truth: federally funded subsidies are illegal for anyone purchasing health insurance policies from the federally-run exchanges (ie, "") in 36 states.

Conservatives and constitutionalists were quick to cheer, predicting that the legal ruling might represent a long-awaited death blow to Obamacare. But their hope was short won: only hours later, another federal appeals court issued a ruling in opposition to the first federal appeals court, and said that because the critical language in the law was "ambiguous," it could be interpreted by the IRS (the heavily armed, politically partisan enforcement wing of Obamacare) to mean whatever the hell they wanted it to mean.

To put it another way, if a law is incomprehensibly confusing, the second decision says it should be interpreted by an agency that can't even follow the simple instructions (not to mention laws) for backing up their emails.

Because of the conflicting rulings, a smug Josh Earnest says that the White House will ask for the whole hot mess to be reviewed by a higher appeals court with 11 members - 7 of whom were appointed by Democrats. Guess how that body will rule.

And following that fustercluckery, it's likely that the competing rulings will eventually meander all the way to the Supreme Court for final adjudication. But to borrow the words of a genuinely despicable (and filthy rich!) politician, "What does it matter?"

Because the Supreme Court pretty much lost its last shred of credibility after Chief Justice John Roberts completely invented the reasons for approving Obamacare as constitutional. And even if the Supreme Court did rule that the Obama administration is breaking the law by handing out money illegally - what would anyone do about it?

Seriously, Barack Obama breaks the law as routinely as Joe Biden guffaws at his own farts, and in both cases everyone in Washington either ignores it or claims to smell roses.

In all candor, Hope n' Change is feeling genuinely wounded by this whiplash of judicial activity: a sudden ray of sunlight - followed immediately by the crushing fist of darkness. Leave it to Barack Hussein Obama to turn our "hope" into a vulnerability.


Frankie said...

This really made me depressed:

"A White House official said the U.S. will seek a review by the full appeals court, where seven of the 11 judges were nominated by Democratic presidents, including four by Obama."

Guess where this is going?

TrickyRicky said...

@Frankie-If you're not depressed these days you are simply not paying attention. That, or you are one of the Emperor's brain dead zombie minions.

Chuck Baker said...

When asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Benjamin Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

We didn't. The Republic is dead. Long live the Republic.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." Thomas Jefferson

John the Econ said...

What else can one possibly expect when a congress passes a law with over twice the pages of Atlas Shrugged that absolutely nobody read before passing it? And then from that unread document, the bureaucrats proceed to produce tens-of-thousands of pages of rules, many of which are out of thin air.

For those who remain confused as to why the US economy remains moribund, are you beginning to see the problem? How are investors, business and individuals supposed to create and execute long-term plans when the President, the bureaucracy, and the courts keep making everything up as they go along?

The real reason we have laws isn't necessarily to make things "fair", but to make then predictable. Economies thrive when the environment is stable and predictable. When the rules change with the weather and nobody can be sure what will be happening tomorrow, people take their marbles and head home until that changes.

Other ObamaCare news: Ironically, using the same confusion over the meaning of the word "state", the Obama Administration just exempted residents of American territories from ObamaCare. Previously, the HHS had concluded that they had "no legal authority to exclude the territories" from ObamaCare. But since there are no rules anymore, that's obviously changed. ObamaCare had destroyed the insurance market in the territories, making it impossible to buy any insurance at any price. (In 2010, the Democrats had pulled $4.5 billion in subsidies for the territories because at that time they were still trying to make the argument that ObamaCare reduced the deficit)

Now, very ironically, the territories will now be governed by the "state" definition that excludes the territories for both the subsidies and now the mandates too.

See? If you've "got a phone and a pen" you can have your cake, and eat it too.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@Stilton: To add to the confusion, it was the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that agreed with the gov't argument, and the DC Court of Appeals that disagreed - equal courts. The gov't will ask the DC Court of Appeals to sir 'en band' (the full 11 judges-7 Dem appointments,4 Rebub) to rehear the arguments and (from their standpoint, hopefully) overrule the 3 judge panel that issued the opinion. Irregardless, this is heading to the Supreme Court, and if they choose to hear the case, their decision will be released in June, 2015, just ahead of the elections. Pundits are out on this, but whatever the outcome, it's going to rally one voter base or the other, and ya gotta know the Dems will get out all the infamous 47%er's.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@ChuckBaker: You forgot one - "When they find they can vote themselves money, it will be the end of the republic" - Benjamin Franklin

Geoff King said...

Øbamacare is working flawlessly. It's sole purpose has always been to destroy the healthcare industry to pave the way for a government-controlled socialistic system. Of course they have always wanted control of that huge portion of our GDP. Was there ever any doubt? The only missing piece is a major health crisis that will justify their taking charge and becoming our "saviors". Voila! Simply flood the country with unchecked illegals and it is just a matter of time before a pandemic breaks out and the sheeple will beg for government assistance.

Jim Hlavac said...

Well, this is where I sort of smile, giggle even -- conservatives, liberty minded, the right, etc etc -- well, you, us, me -- those against this abomination of a law -- now are reliant on judicial action to get the law overturned -- and this is "judicial reason" and would not be "judicial activism," and would be quite welcomed if the law which affects every American, you know 320 million of us, is struck down - if a clear "ObamaCare is illegal, unconstitutional" ruling comes forth, there will be great glee in the land -- probably even amongst some Democrat politicians too. "Sound judicial decision" will be intoned.

But "In all candor, Hope n' Change is feeling genuinely wounded by this whiplash of judicial activity: a sudden ray of sunlight - followed immediately by the crushing fist of darkness" -- Really? My my, you should see the judicial yo-yo over the laws that target just a tiny percentage of the population ... some say just 2% of the people ... and don't affect anyone else by any rational measure (though to be sure, by emotional measure in leaps and bounds I have never truly fathomed, heterophobic as I am.) Whoosh - it's a big carnival all at once, way beyond the yo-yo by Bozo and the courts. On, off, stay, OK, appeal, refusals to enforce, refusals to obey -- it's a mess! I wrote a book about this very subject which one can find by my name at Amazon (no, not the one about the Czechs and Slovaks of Louisiana, my first book.)

Still, so far, ObamaCare has had a very mixed bag in the courts -- 1/2 the judges ruling this or that part is unconstitutional, and all of it headed to the Supreme Court -- where the Right will hope the judges declare the law wrong -- as everyone here seems to hope, too. While in the 2% matter (like skim milk, I suppose, rather than the lump of rotten cheese) it's 100% of the judges saying "Egad, this is absurd" and well, there's hope for change indeed in getting rid of abominable laws. And it's all heading to the Supreme Court too -- and then when the judges that so dearly are hoped by the Right to strike down ObamaCare will strike down um, Sissy Smooching, to coin a phrase, then, well, gnashing of teeth from some of the Right about "judicial activism."

It is most amusing to watch, indeed. I don't like inconsistency -- one reason I don't like the liberal mindset -- it's mush. Yech.

You know, you wonder why I have a sense of optimism? Well, it's simple -- 40 years ago I was a crazed sick felon on the way to school or work with 99% of the people quite against me -- and today I see light at the end of the tunnel. Hope'n'change indeed.

Still, let's hope that damn ObamaCare without a doctor, nurse or hospital in it, and only a monstrous bureaucracy, is struck down so hard you won't find the pieces.

And remember, in the Common Law, the law is what you can convince a judge it is, for 800 years now. While in the Civil Law, upon which ObamaCare is really based, is the wisdom of our leaders. And you know how smart they are. So, I'm optimistic that all these unjust laws are struck down, too.

Jim Hlavac said...

Really, giggle, Thanks - you gave me my humor for my day. :)

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@Geoff King: To quote Dirty Harry back in ~2011 "It was never supposed to work!" One does have to remember the tenet of Cloward-Piven "Overwhelm the welfare System" so that the 'gimmes' would demand that a socialistic system be put in it's place.

Pandemic - coming to a community near you.

Bruce Bleu said...

It really seems likely that the next "decree" that comes from this White House is that "lamont shits chocolate ice cream and the sun shines out of his ass". How much more ludicrous could this situation be?
That sound emanating from D.C., and getting louder, is the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves!!!
Hold on... a black helicopter just landed in my front yard... (well, we don't have ROADS in Colorado, according to Michael Bloomturd, so the black Suburbans can't get here!).

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Frankie- Justice may be blind, but it can still smell. And the 11 member, majority democrat Appeals Court smells to high heaven.

@TrickyRicky- There's a reason they say "ignorance is bliss."

@Chuck Baker- As Firesign Theater once said, Benjamin Franklin was the greatest American president who was never president.

@John the Econ- Producing regs out of "thin air" is right. The main argument I'm hearing for ignoring the plain language of the law is that it doesn't represent "the intent of Congress." But since when does the rule of intent trump the rule of law?

And if Congress (or at least the Democrats in Congress) had such strong intent, why didn't they bother to read the law to see if it codified their intent?

And the golden phrase of the day is your quote The real reason we have laws isn't necessarily to make things "fair", but to make then predictable.


@Grumpy Curmudgeon- Thank you for the clarification. In point of fact, I've slightly rewritten today's commentary because I initially got it wrong; I said that the second finding "overruled" the first, which was not the case. As you point out, there are now two equal but conflicting legal opinions, which is why the matter will be rushed to a Democrat-led kangaroo court for further "disambiguation."

@Geoff King- I agree that Obamacare is doing exactly what it was meant to do- wreck the medical system, redistribute wealth, and foster greater dependence on an intrusive government.

Regarding your pandemic scenario, I've got to say that it would explain a lot...

@Jim Hlavac- Trust me, I'm sympathetic to the legal discrimination that Gays have endured. And thanks to Obamacare, everyone is getting a taste of what it feels like to be criminalized just for existing (ie, fined if you commit the crime of being alive but not having health insurance).

Unfortunately, my inclination is to think that court decisions will, over the long term, be positive for matters of civil rights, but negative in terms of cutting down on "big government" abuses.

@Grumpy Curmudgeon- It's great to hear the quote from the real Dirty Harry, and not Reid.

β male #1 said...

Whatever happened to the the "Rule Of Law"? We rely on judges now, who are for the most part these days school in the activist-progressive-Stalinist tradition, to provide law making.

Honestly - I feel like giving up. What the Founders created (The Constitution and the notions of Classical Liberty that go along with it) has for over a century now been going down the toilet because of central-planning fetishists, elitists conspirators (aka "progressives"), and poorly-educated, leftist-indoctrinated infantile masses. The ones in power are rich people who play up the moronic emotions of the LoFo's in the streets. Callous bastards. It's the same old, same old.

And the RINOs like Boehner just play with their navels and don't do their jobs. Sometimes I think the Republican Party is WORSE than the Democrats (aka the Progressive Workers CPUSA Rich Folk K Street Cocktail Party Elite Party Party Party Or Sumthin') because the Republicans are not a true opposition party. The Republicans are derelict in their duty - because the make money at it.

$18T in debt - whimsical borders - strong men oversees eyeing us with glee - Muslims licking their chops to behead us all or exact their medieval tributes.... What happened to Modernity? A Canticle For Leibowitz in slow motion ...

Schmaltzer Cronkite said...

And this just in ...

I wonder why he just doesn't make it illegal for Hamas to have weapons?

But would the French even notice it?

Anonymous said...

That still leaves 21 states to get to 57!

Schmaltzer Cronkite said...

Just a bump in the road.

His Imperial Majesty, soon to be Rancho Mirage resident, the Semi-Retired Wonderfulness, speaks. So I guess His Holiness DID know about those missing emails and so on and so forth.

Anonymouseseses said...

Anonymous -

He was just confused by Heinz 57, his secretary of state.... give a slob a break, puleez.

Froaderick Barbarossa said...

Chuck Baker and Grumpy -

That is truly the sad thing; the Founders knew well that this experiment in Classical Liberalism (as we call it now but it was just "liberalism" back then) was very much at risk from human nature. And for at least a hundred years, the "tree of liberty" has been withering at the hands of aggressively hostile progressives (which to be fair are no different than Rousseau and his bloody compatriots, Paine, and even a little bit of Jefferson, though he later saw the light - but they really got going in the early 20th Century). Like the Pied Piper with his illiterate children in tow, we are now marching off into oblivion, as out experiment fails. I really believe that.

And now for something completely different. Hump? What hump? "Well, doncha know, lookie what I found here!"

Froaderick Barbarossa said...

Ooppsss - correction.

" our experiment fails."

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@ Froaderick Barbarossa:
@ Schmaltzer Cronkite:
re: links

I guess that The One's Criminal Defense lawyer saw the writing on the wall regarding the tapes - trying to hide the tapes? Good try - no cigar.

Why else would their wonderfulnesses be in escrow on a home 2+ years out from EOP? Maybe Tony Rezko got them another 'for you, such a deal!'? But, but, I thought he was from Chicago - Rahm's good buddy - why is he forsaking the city of loud noises at night? The homies are outraged - one even said she was gonna throw way her ObamaPhone (D**n thing never worked anyway-kept calling OFA (Organization of Frothing A**holes)!).

Wait until September, when the rate adjustments for 2015 will be coming out - not gonna be pretty. The company my wife works for has said that (like we didn't know) because of all the long term sick signing up, and a small 'well' base, average premium increases are going to be in the 20% range for the ACA policies, and in the one state where the feds begged them to enter the market because no one else would, it's going to be about twice that. Spin that Pelosi!

PRY said...

Well, boys n girls, now we kinda know what a leaf in the wind feels like!

Omar al Tikriti said...

Yes, Sahid PRY but do you know what it is to be a mannequin in a store wind -ow? Lewd! Lascivious! Like my anal jihad buddy, Abdul! He is wearing a mask now too, the munchkin.

Now you know that we are winning!

That and we are jamming this Obamacare down your lovely throats! Come here, bubba ....

Sympathy for a progressive said...

Jim Hlavac,

Well, I am certainly glad that you are optimistic. Me? I have to keep telling myself that these are the best times - when poor people are not poor by historical standards. But therein lies the rub. Human nature is an ugly thing, not being very far removed from the jungle environment it was bred in. And while we live in miraculous times, we are NEVER far from the medieval, from another dark ages. There is a very thin line of culture that keeps us here and not there. It is this that the progressives are truly trying to destroy.

There is some hope that the younger generation, that of my cousins-once-removed, that they realize, once they get older and fed up with what they will have to deal with, will return to the notions of freedom in the original sense, not the "progressive" sense. But the "progressive" stranglehold on things is almost complete.

I personally hold no hope for anything good arising from the ashes of "progressive" actions in my lifetime. Inflation is coming back with a vengeance. Debt is spiraling out of control and the politicians and their enablers just fiddle. People hate the rich to the point that I can only believe a class warfare is imminent. It's not like that never happened before. Maybe not in my lifetime but ...

Oh well, I have food, a place to live, and some money, until the progressives inflate it into oblivion to get rid of the debt they have been creating since WWII. It's a structural debt like we have NEVER seen before. And I am not even considering the debt of states and municipalities. My cousins-once-removed can't find jobs despite spending thousands on college education. How can this end anywhere near "good"?

And Obama does have the missiles ...

"I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name"

JustaJeepGuy said...

@Sympathy for a progressive,

You have "some money" NOW. Just wait until Barack Hussein's "class war" hits. Then, if you have 25 cents more than the next guy, YOU will be the "rich", and your 25 cents will be re-distributed with glee. It's the same thing that happened in the former Soviet Union during the terror famine of the early 1930s. Anyone who had a garden of his own was a kulak and therefore an enemy of the people. His garden was re-distributed forthwith. Sadly though, people like, say, the Kennedys will never get their stuff re-distributed. Remember when Ted "the hero of Chappaquiddick" Kennedy gave a speech before the U.S. Senate and stated that the "ultra wealthy" needed to pay more in taxes? I always thought the Kennedys were "ultra wealthy", but apparently "ultra" wealth starts at 25 cents more than the Kennedys....

Honcho said...

Honcho here.

Not sure what that 'anonymous' is.

JJG - you are too correct. The rich politicians put on this dog-and-pony show for their idiot followers - "Tax the rich! Not me! I'm poor!" Hillary - dirt poor. Elizabeth Warren - dirt poor. Michael Moore - only nine houses. Saw that last one today, sport. Obama - in escrow for a luxury home in Rancho Mirage. George Soros, Steyer, Gates, Buffet, and on and on.

Yeah, Mr. Sympathy - I can guess yer name!

Honcho said...

Honcho here again,

Whoa! "Anonymous" just disappeared. Dang! Creeps.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@Honcho: Gotta wonder if that luxury home in Ranch Mirage was one of Moore's. Perfect place for Obama, Rancho Mirage, since he's the king of smoke and mirrors!

Ya hafta wonder if that's Moochie's 'home away from home' since you now never see her with Obama, 'specially since he's gone down hill (rather than 'Over to the Hill' which even Clinton had to do). Me thinks trouble in paradise? Enquiring minds want to know.

Wahoo said...

@Grumpy Curmudgeon: Self-appointed nutrition czar Mooch'el is probably suffering from meat hunger...specifically the lack of man meat in her diet.

John the Econ said...

Anyone else catching on to the Democrat's "new" meme? Economic Patriotism".

Got that? The left's only defense to our screwed-up tax code is that it's "patriotic" to put up with it.

Of course, this is in response to the new trend of "tax inversions", where America's multinational corporations are moving their HQs overseas to avoid America's singularly excessive double-taxation of foreign-derived profits. Leftist intellectuals deride this trend by denying that US corporate taxes really aren't higher than anyone else's. But that's simply illogical in that if that was the case, these corporations wouldn't be doing it. And how embarrassing is it that supposedly free-wheeling-out-of-control-capitalist America has higher corporate tax rates than the staid socialist democracies of Europe?

Since any meaningful tax reform (meaning anything that doesn't raises taxes on the enemies of progressivism) is DOA at the Senate and White House, the left is only left with rhetoric, hence the "Economic Patriotism" meme.

Except even that's not new. Over 20 years ago, shortly after Bill Clinton took office in 1993, the Clintons floated "Economic Patriotism" as justification for all of the taxes they wanted to impose to fund their expansionist fantasies.

I can't remember who originally said this at the time, but it was concise as to the redefinition of "patriotism": "The Democrats have turned bleeding for your country into being bled dry by your country."

This morning, the Obama Administration said that although any relevant or comprehensive tax reform (which is what we really need) is still off-the-table, "anti-inversion" legislation is not.

What exactly would "anti-inversion" legislation be? Are we actually going to make it illegal for people to invest their money freely internationally? Are we going to force companies to stay within our borders? Is the Obama Administration actually considering building an economic "Iron Curtain"?

What kind of countries build iron curtains? Certainly not free ones. People are drawn to free and great countries. Free and great countries do not need to build fences to keep people and capital in. Only unfree and oppressive countries do that.

Grumpy Curmudgeon said...

@John the Econ: Just think what he can do with the 2 1/2 years left. I pray for our country.

Karnak said...

Snort, giggle - who woulda thunk? Eh? Socialist are sooooo pure though? Like the driven snow! That piece CANNOT be true!

And speaking of which .... Hey, wouldn't it be way cool if Obama renounced his citizenship? Too cool. MarketWatch is VERY lefty so you have to take that with a grain of salt.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss ..."

Puta del político said...

Ha! Some cross-referencing ....

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- I saw a brilliant letter in the Wall Street Journal which asked "if corporations aren't people and can't have religious convictions, then how can they be expected to feel emotions like patriotism?"

Actually, I think the letter writer put it better than that. But he may have had the unfair advantage of being cold sober.

Dodger Blues said...

Oh brother.

I don't know what he means by moving left. I basically agree with his points but they make me move LIBERTARIAN. Why they would make him move left (bigger government), I have no idea. Bigger government is the source of these ills.

Is anyone out there (I am sure that Mr. Econ is) with a current study from a reputable source about this so-called income inequality? I have seen studies in the past that couple it with income mobility and it is important to keep those two concepts together. In the past, it has been easy to argue that there is a lot of income mobility (rich today, poor tomorrow, so to speak) even when the "rich get richer" sort of thing. It is obviously true that if you are rich, you are likely to get richer because of the investment opportunities - but you can get poorer too. But those investments also help grow the economy for all. All of this tripe just gets my goat - there is a lot of sloganeering and little thoughtful analysis of data.

Of course, I have read that if you work for the government, you are getting richer - at taxpayer expense.

And for that, the only cure is ..... A DOUBLE-DOUBLE! Later, dudes.

Dodger Blues said...

Correction: Is anyone out there familiar ... with a current study ...

Anonymous said...


OK, just kidding. Giggle-snort.

John the Econ said...

"The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task," according to a new study, "The (True) Legacy of Two Really Existing Economic Systems," from Duke University and the University of Munich.

Interesting, and hardly a surprise. Just look at what welfare, especially after generations of it in single blood-lines, does to people, morally and spiritually.

@Stilton, I didn't see that one, but it is a brilliant observation. Indeed, and it's amusing as to how the left will argue that corporations are mindless, soulless mechanisms, and yet they'll insist that the biggest corporation of all, the government of the United States should be solely entrusted with the care of us all.

A rhetorical question for any visiting leftists: Now that we've cheapened the meaning of "citizenship" to near nothingness with our de-facto open borders and freebies for everyone as long as they're a "correct" demographic at the expense of those who actually create the means for it all, exactly what weight is left for a concept of "patriotism"?

@Dodger Blues, that's nothing compared to nonsense like this: Youthful Idiots: Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For Guaranteed jobs, universal basic incomes, public finance and more

Here's some interesting reading for you:

The Poverty Hoax

Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?

Much of the problem with any discussion of "income inequality" is that most of those engaging in the debate rely upon ill-or-non-defined terms to quantify their point. What we too frequently call "poverty" in the US would be a nominal middle-class existence in most of the developed world, and downright luxurious anywhere else. And this relativity isn't just about place, but time. People we today call "poor" have access to goods and services that not even the extremely wealthy had but little more than a generation ago. The debate is more emotion than reality.

Anonymous said...

Karnak has that study you mention linked above.

That is a good Quote from Stilton. I missed that. Hypocrites. Yeah it's real patriotic to hand over my hard earned money to people who squander it.

Somebody else, I think, made mention of debt. There is a very good piece in the current issue of NR about that. VERY GOOD.