HalBIG and other ObamaCare Hilarities

Our regular readers will not be surprised because we predicted so much of it. While the world burns, Obama golfs and vacations, and the American Southern border is as open and free as an Obama work schedule, let’s discuss Halbig and other Obama health scam related stories.

Our regular readers will recall our last Halbig article in which we made several predictions. We noted that ObamaCare “architect” Jonathan Gruber is a great help to ObamaCare opponents. We predicted that Gruber’s comments will be, either through judicial notice or part of the record, introduced by ObamaCare opponents into the judicial record.

We have been proven correct. Plaintiffs in an Oklahoma ObamaCare case have moved to supplement the record with Jonathan Gruber’s helpful comments and history. For our non-regular readers, here is a video hilarity of Gruber’s helpful comments for ObamaCare opponents:

Our Gruber prediction was not very daring. It was obvious. Less obvious at the time to all but us here at Big Pink was the good fortune of that Fourth Circuit pro-ObamaCare decision that came in two hours after the D.C. Circuit cut the guts out of ObamaCare. Our prediction? We predicted that the Fourth Circuit plaintiffs would race to the Supreme Court and skip the en banc stopover. Result? We are right again.

The Fourth Circuit plaintiffs could have asked the full panel of the Fourth Circuit to take up the case and therefore tie themselves down alongside the ObamaCare plaintiffs in the D.C. Circuit where the ObamaCare scam artists ask the full en banc court panel to take up the case. ObamaCare lawyers, it was widely presumed, would appeal their loss in D.C. to the full en banc panel which is packed with Obama appointed judges after Harry Reid destroyed the Senate and its filibuster rules. The likelihood was (although this was before Jonathan Gruber’s comments came to light) that the full D.C. panel would uphold ObamaCare and thereby end the “split” decisions in the circuits making it less likely that the Supreme Court would take up the ObamaCare HalBIG cases.

But we suspected and predicted that the Fourth Circuit plaintiffs would skip the full panel in the Fourth Circuit and instead go directly to the Supreme Court. This they did and we go to the head of the class.

On Friday, August 1, pro-ObamaCare lawyers, as predicted by most, filed their appeal for an en banc hearing before the entire D.C. Circuit panel. On July 31, however, the plaintiffs in the Fourth Circuit made their move. The “losers” in the Fourth Circuit beat the D.C. “winners” to the Supreme Court.

The writ to the Supreme Court by the Fourth Circuit plaintiffs cites their new pal “architect” Jonathan Gruber:

The petition to the Supreme Court cites recently-uncovered videos of Obamacare’s chief architect Jonathan Gruber in which he appears to support the position that subsidies were intended for state-run exchanges only.

For his part, Gruber, who has signed onto an amicus brief which supports the Obama administration’s position, claims both incidents were simply a “speak-o, like a typo.” But supporters of the interpretation that subsidies are meant to go to state exchanges only have pointed out that not only did Gruber suggest that the text of the law states subsidies are only for state exchanges, but he also provided an argument for why Congress would have done so.

“That is really the ultimate threat,” Gruber said at a 2012 event, “will people understand that gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. So that’s the other threat, is will states do what they need to do to set it up.”

Gruber’s opinion is cited in the petition as all the more reason that the Supreme Court should take the case.

As we predicted the timing was the interesting aspect:

Under the court’s rules, lawyers who lose in an appeals court have 90 days to seek a review in the Supreme Court. And normally, lawyers take the full time. But in this instance, the opponents of the Affordable Care Act want the court’s conservative justices to have a chance to take up the new healthcare case in a few months so they can rule by next spring.

The Obama administration has the opposite strategy on timing. The Justice Department said it planned to ask the full appeals court in the District of Columbia to reconsider last week’s ruling by a three-judge panel. If so, that could delay a final ruling from the appeals court until next year and push off a Supreme Court decision to 2016.

By then, millions of Americans will have relied for several years on having health insurance they could afford thanks to the subsidies. A single adult with an income up to $45,960 and a family of four with an income up $94,200 may obtain insurance on an exchange at a reduced cost.

We’ll address the issue of hooking Americans to ObamaCare subsidies as a political strategy below. We’ve already addressed why this line of HalBIG cases can be successful politically for the courts and that the Supreme Court will see that these ObamaCare cases are best settled outside the 2016 (and 2014) election window. Obama of course wants to attack the Supreme Court in an election year just like he so successfully used that timing to his advantage in 2012.

The Writ Of Certiorari filed so quickly, not waiting 90 days, comports with the strategy we have espoused of avoiding as much as possible an election year fight which will fill Chief Justice Roberts with angst. A non-election year ruling right after the November 2014 elections but well before 2016 is just what Roberts needs to calm his nerves.

ObamaCare opponents quoting ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber in court documents and the speedy run to the Supreme Court is tasty enough. But there is icing for that already delicious cake.

The dollops of icing come from ObamaCare supporters in Big Media fighting a scorched earth, last ditch attempt to salvage ObamaCare. Greg Sargent provided the laughs in a defense of ObamaCare that was so hapless, so stupid, so inept, it must have been ghost written by Barack himself not the half-wit Greg. The title for that idiotic counter-productive article is “Senate documents and interviews undercut ‘bombshell’ lawsuit against Obamacare“.

Far from undercutting the anti-ObamaCare lawsuits, Sargent is as helpful as Jonathan Gruber to the forces against the ObamaCare scam. The self-described “morons” at Ace of Spades demolished Sargent:

Let’s pause for a moment and savor that headline on its own for the spectacular own-goal carnage that’s about to follow.

Sargent’s argument, summarized, is that of course Congress meant all along for the ACA to offer subsidies on both the state and Federal exchanges, and intent only got muddled when two separate versions of the ACA legislation (one coming out of the Senate Finance Committee and one coming out of the Health, Education, Labor & Commerce Committee) were awkwardly and imperfectly merged.

There is so much that is wrong with Sargent’s legal reasoning here that it’s hard to know where to start. We’ll go with the money shot, I guess.

1) The first Senate version of the health law to be passed in 2009 — by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — explicitly stated that subsides would go to people on the federally-established exchange. A committee memo describing the bill circulated at the time spelled this out with total clarity.

I could stop right here. In fact, I will. And so would the courts, if we were dealing with a less politicized piece of legislation.

Sargent just helpfully informed us that an earlier version of the ACA — not a draft, mind you, but one that was actually passed out of committee — included explicit language granting subsidies to people on federal exchanges, language that was later dropped from the final bill.

If Sargent had been an attorney rather than a layman, this is the point where he would have hit “delete” on his draft post and forgotten all about it.

One of most fundamental rules of statutory interpretation used by courts when they are asked to discern legislative intent from ambiguous statutory language is this: if explicit language was in an earlier version of a bill but dropped from the final version, the court will treat that as proof it was removed on purpose. [snip]

Similarly, the argument advanced by the Left (and Sargent) that “of course the ACA intended all along for subsidies to cover federal exchanges!” is runs squarely onto the rocks of this earlier language. Thanks to Sargent’s crack reporting we have now confirmed that earlier iterations of the ACA specifically granted subsidies to federal exchanges…but that, for whatever reason, this language was later stripped from the bill.

The subsequent blathering about “why” this language fell out of the bill (“drafting errors,” you see) is immaterial as far as the Court is concerned, and this is apparently what Sargent doesn’t seem to realize; in a case where the wording of the statute is otherwise clear, the Court’s inquiry will stop cold right here — or at least it should. [snip]

This is not a fringe theory. This is not a novel legal argument. There’s a reason that canons of construction are called “canons,” after all. And of all the canons of statutory construction, “few are more compelling than the proposition that Congress does not intend sub silentio to enact statutory language that has earlier discarded in favor of other language.”

(Don’t take my word for it: that last quote is from the Supreme Court in INS v. Cardozo-Fonseca (1987).)

And the fact that Greg Sargent could blithely drop, in the midst of an attempt to shore up the Left’s “legislative intent” argument, a bombshell that utterly devastates that very argument’s legal chances in court without even realizing it is a mighty example of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

I, for one, thank him for his efforts in assisting with the legal case against Obamacare.

Greg Sargent’s ghost writer better go back to law school or at least read up on basic law in the internets. Greg Sargent is not alone in his self-immolation as Sean Davis brutally documents in “Halbig Shows How Leftist Wonks Just Aren’t Very Good At Their Jobs”:

Another day, another liberal wonkblogger contradicting the government’s position in the Halbig case. First we had Jonathan Gruber demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig was quite plausible. Then we had Jonathan Gruber demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig was quite plausible…again. Then we had Greg Sargent unwittingly demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig wasn’t only plausible, but quite likely.

Today, thanks to Phil Kerpen of American Commitment, we have Jonathan Cohn, one of the Left’s foremost experts on Obamacare, contradicting himself and demonstrating that the plaintiff’s case in Halbig was plausible:

We’ll spare you from reading the destruction of “leading experts on health care policy” ObamaCare supporters like Brian Beutler, Ezra Klein, and Jonathan Cohn. Read the entire brutal story for yourself.

Instead of lambasting the “juicebox crowd” of ObamaCare supporters, let’s listen to a grizzled ObamaCare supporter that was in Congress. Yup, we mean Barney Frank interviewed by Huff n’ Puff:

The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank told HuffPost during a July interview. “But frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.”

“He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them,’” Frank said. “But that’s not what he said.”

Why tell a big lie when Barack Obama can tell a huge lie? Barack Obama rather tell a whopper than just a run of the mill big lie. And that ObamaCare website rollout? Yeah, that cost the taxpayer, thus far, $840 million. $840 MILLION! Now we know how much waste is necessary to appall Barney Frank.

Have the billions wasted on ObamaCare been worth it? At the New York Times an Obama voter and ObamaCare supporter feels duped:

Last week, Salwa Shabazz arrived at the office of a public health network here with a bag full of paperwork about her new health insurance — and an unhappy look on her face. She had chosen her plan by phone in March, speaking to a customer service representative at the federal insurance marketplace. Now she had problems and questions, so many questions.

I’ve had one doctor appointment since I got this insurance, and I had to pay $60,” Ms. Shabazz told Daniel Flynn, a counselor with the health network, the Health Federation of Philadelphia. “I don’t have $60.”

Mr. Flynn spent almost two hours going over her Independence Blue Cross plan, which he explained had a “very complicated” network that grouped doctors and hospitals into three tiers. Ms. Shabazz, who has epilepsy, had not understood when she chose the plan that her doctors were in the most expensive tier.

None of that was explained when I signed up,” she said. “This is the first I’m hearing it.” [snip]

In one sign of widespread confusion, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey of programs that helped people apply for marketplace coverage found that 90 percent had already been re-contacted by consumers with post-enrollment questions. [snip]

Ms. Shabazz, 38, paid only about $32 a month in premiums, with federal subsidies of $218 covering the rest. But she could not afford the $60 co-payments to see her specialists on her annual income of $19,000.

Her financial situation worsened when she had to quit her job at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in June because of the epilepsy, she said. She had called the federal marketplace to report her change in income, and had received a letter that she handed to Mr. Flynn, hoping he could explain it. The news, he said, was not good: With no more paychecks, she had fallen into the so-called coverage gap, earning too little to keep qualifying for the subsidies that made her premiums affordable, but likely still not qualifying for Medicaid because Pennsylvania has not expanded that program, as 26 states have under the Affordable Care Act.

You’ll probably have to cancel your plan,” he said.

Ms. Shabazz’s mother, Waheedah Shabazz-El, who had accompanied her to the appointment, shook her head as her daughter wiped away tears. “There are so many layers to this,” Ms. Shabazz-El said.

Ms. Shabazz said she was relieved to finally figure out her plan, even though she would not be keeping it. “I have a much clearer understanding now,” she said. “But I’m still kind of sad. I’m worried.”

Yup, we predicted this too. A lot of ObamaCare supporters thought they would get an ObamaCare card and then treated like the Shah of Iran or Warren Buffet (the example we cited in 2012). Instead they are now learning about the scam called ObamaCare and high deductibles and high premiums. And those are the lucky ones – the poor ones. The Middle Class suckers will be bled dry for nothing. Which is why:

After remaining steady for several months, the share of the public expressing an unfavorable view of the health care law rose to 53 percent in July, up eight percentage points since last month’s poll. This increase was offset by a decrease in the share who declined to offer an opinion on the law (11 percent, down from 16 percent in June), while the share who view the law favorably held fairly steady at 37 percent, similar to where it’s been since March.1 Republicans continue to be the group with the strongest opposition to the law, but the increase in the share with an unfavorable view between June and July was similar across the political spectrum and different demographic groups.

It’s gonna get worse unless the Supreme Court steps up and steps on this cockroach.


79 thoughts on “HalBIG and other ObamaCare Hilarities

  1. It seems that in attempting to “outsmart” everyone else, these geniuses outsmarted themselves. How appropriate.

    Even as Franks calls out the too-cool-for-school president, he apparently sees nothing amiss about this statement:

    “He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them,’” Frank said. “But that’s not what he said.”

    How progressive of him – “in your own interests, we’re going to change them”. While this would have been less untruthful, it is more presumptuous on the part of government than Americans have been willing to tolerate in the past. That was before O became POTUS, and initiated the practice of giving away the country to some, while ripping off others. I guess whether one would tolerate government usurping the right of self-determination at this point in time depends upon whether one wants to hand over management of every day matters of life and functioning to the US government. Most of us do not.

  2. The Justice Department said it planned to ask the full appeals court in the District of Columbia to reconsider last week’s ruling by a three-judge panel. If so, that could delay a final ruling from the appeals court until next year and push off a Supreme Court decision to 2016.

    By then, millions of Americans will have relied for several years on having health insurance they could afford thanks to the subsidies. A single adult with an income up to $45,960 and a family of four with an income up $94,200 may obtain insurance on an exchange at a reduced cost.
    If that is Holder’s position–that he can delay Supreme Court consideration of a case which is now before that Court by dragging his heels on a case on the same subject which is not, then it is fatally flawed.

    1. Jurisdiction: the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear the 4th circuit decision now if four judges on the Supreme Court agree. They do not need to wait until another inferior court, in this case, the DC Circuit, re-hears the decision of the three judge panel, en banc, assuming it even does. (Note: there is no guarantee that will even happen, given the Grubers’s prior inconsistent statements on the subject.)

    2. Irreparable Harm: if the Supreme Court were to do that which is not required to do, and delay hearing the 4th circuit case until the DC Circuit has ruled, then that delay would cause irreparable harm to the plaintiff’s position on the fourth circuit case, and to the people of this nation. The longer this goes without a decision, the more onerous the remedy would become for all concerned if the subsidies are held invalid, based on the express language of the act, the legislative history, and the chief architect at the time it was passed.

    What am I missing here?

  3. Apologies Admin. We’ve grown so accustomed to the excellent posts and to Big Pink calling the plays before they happen, it has become too easy to take you for granted. Thanks for being so astute and for keeping us so well informed.

  4. Instead they are now learning about the scam called ObamaCare and high deductibles and high premiums. And those are the lucky ones – the poor ones. The Middle Class suckers will be bled dry for nothing.
    Admin: you are spot on. Does anyone besides us see what is happening here? He is holding the nation and people lives hostage to his own political ambition. If there is a better definition of pure evil, I would like to hear what it is. In a democracy, this is as bad as it gets. And it is shameful that Gruber, who has twisted himself into a pretzel over the subsidy issue, now invokes the principle of democracy to undermine the rule of law. Mob rule. Just like his daddy, the fucking messiah, beloved by big media and installed by them to destroy this nation. They would say balderdash, we never intended this. But the truth is they did. A defendant is presumed to intend the logical and probable consequences of his actions,– and intent follows the bullet.

  5. I should have kept reading, but got annoyed with the drag the heels strategy of Holder which he has deployed successfully against the multiple scandals buzzing like deadly hornets around his head. Therefore, I was keen to point out that this may well be the one time his strategy of delay and obfuscate won’t work. But much–indeed, everything depends on John Roberts. And, where he is concerned, suffice it to say, I am not a believer.

  6. Oh, so well put:

    Yup, we predicted this too. A lot of ObamaCare supporters thought they would get an ObamaCare card and then treated like the Shah of Iran or Warren Buffet (the example we cited in 2012). Instead they are now learning about the scam called ObamaCare and high deductibles and high premiums. And those are the lucky ones – the poor ones. The Middle Class suckers will be bled dry for nothing.

    But will they ever wake up????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    Ya can’t fix stupid.

  7. From article…..

    Ms. Shabazz’s mother, Waheedah Shabazz-El, who had accompanied her to the appointment, shook her head as her daughter wiped away tears. “There are so many layers to this,” Ms. Shabazz-El said.

    This was the argument I made from the beginning. There is absolutely no need to use 2000 pages to write a health care law for this country. The devil is in the details. All those pages also hide the giveaways and corruption written into the law as well. All this is happening BEFORE the employers are hit with their increases. How will the obots respond then? Maybe the increase will be blamed on racism. Or republicans. Or the tooth fairy.


    Hillary 2016

    BTW – Great post admin.


    Commentariat Is Not Constituency

    By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | August 4th, 2014 at 12:23 AM |

    On Thursday, House Republicans failed to pass a piece of legislation related to the border crisis. The commentariat in Washington roundly criticized the House Republican leadership. On Friday, instead of trying to ram through a piece of legislation, the House GOP found consensus among its members and passed the legislation.

    The commentariat roundly criticized the GOP for passing something that could not make it out of the Senate. Never mind that the Senate had already fled Washington. The Wall Street Journal editorial page assailed conservatives, Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, and the House GOP for bringing to the public’s attention to the rift within the GOP. Ironically, for a bunch of hand wringing about exposing rifts, the Wall Street Journal does a very good job of exposes it.

    The media-centered commentariat has been wholly dismissive of the House GOP, Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions, and the conservatives. The media wants a deal. The commentariat wants a deal. The institutionalist factions of Washington, D.C. are desperate for a deal. They have created their own echo chamber and feedback loop in favor of a deal and because they did not get what they wanted, the House GOP must have broken down in some way.

    They blame Rush Limbaugh for the break. They blame RedState. They blame Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, the Senate Conservatives Fund, Madison Project, For America, Tea Party Patriots, and a long list of others. They say the House GOP is too interested in the opinions of these groups and catering to the whims of these groups. Really what they mean is that the House GOP is not catering to the commentariat, the Gang of 500, the DC institutionalists, and other like mind groups.

    What they miss is simple. The House is not listening to them, but the House is not waiting with bated breath to take orders from Heritage Action, RedState, Rush Limbaugh or any other outside influencer save the most important — their constituents. The circle of jerks in Washington is so focused on their own needs and interests and so used to getting their way, they forget there is a more important constituency and it is actually made of up voting constituents.

    The circle of jerks in Washington sometimes forgets the slow and grinding pace of government is all a feature and not a bug. They are used to getting their way. In the past few years they have had a harder and harder time getting their way. While this has made the allure of a go-it-alone President more intriguing for them, they forget the Founders designed the system to be extraordinarily difficult to get things done.

    Consider, for a moment, the masturbatory gleefulness of the Circle of Jerks and their acolytes to this Steve LaTourette piece. LaTourette posits that conservative outside groups and their insiders like Ted Cruz are “grifters”. He posits they are a “grifter wing” opposing a “governing wing.” What LaTourette is really saying is that there are outsiders who more and more in Congress are listening to and there are insiders who Congress used to listen to and he wishes Congress would go back to listening to them. LaTourette’s firm made over a million dollars in 2013 and wants to be listened to.

    Notice please that LaTourette never mentions two words: “voters” or “constituents.” He does not care about them. He cares about his profit and, in an act more and more common these days, projects his own sins onto others because it is the only way he understands them.

    Given that LaTourette’s two greatest skills in Washington have been adultery and profiting from his tenure, I assume his next op-ed will accuse Ted Cruz of infidelity to conservatives. Yes, we should not be surprised that the man accusing conservatives of “grifting” cheated on his wife with a lobbyist who, some reports have noted, had business before the committee on which LaTourette sat while in Congress.

    In fact, though the Circle of Jerks, their acolytes engaged in masturbatory glee at LaTourette’s crying, and guys like LaTourette himself ignore it, don’t mention it, and presume they are the constituency, there are in fact two houses of Congress with two different constituencies, plus a President and a court system — not to mention several states with the same systems duplicated in them. Government is not supposed to be efficient. The Founders recognized how bad things happen in efficient governmental systems. This gets to Ross Douthat’s excellent column on where Barack Obama is headed with the Circle of Jerks cheering him on. Efficiency breeds tyranny.

    Whether one likes what happened in the House of Representatives or not, it is operating within the system the Founders created and they are listening to the constituency they are constitutionally chartered to listen to — voters in congressional districts. What the Circle of Jerks view as aggravating bugs hampering the system, the Founders viewed as a feature of the system. We may be at the “halt and catch fire” point of this feature, but that then is what elections are for. When the country is ever more divided, the congress necessarily works ever more slowly by design.

    The bug in the system is a Washington of permanence. The Founders did not intend that to be a feature. The politicians were supposed to go home. They were not supposed to be a fixture of the swamp creating a new aristocracy. That is what they have become. The system is on the verge of a constitutional crisis because of this permanent class of politician turned lobbyist befriended by a commentariat who whore each other for gossip, sleep with each other for pleasure, dine with each other for frivolity, and circle the wagons against the outsiders. Steve LaTourette, who laments that he is not being listened to anymore, is a perfect example of this. He cheats on his wife with a lobbyist, leaves office, and stays to turn the system and taxpayer dollars toward his preferred interests. Then he has the audacity to accuse others of “grifting” in a publication that itself profits from the present system of permanence. Pot, meet kettle.

    They are so used to the bug of permanence that they turned it into a feature to grease wheels and speed things along. When the system corrects itself, when elections change things, and when the gridlock by constitutional design rears its head, they would rather add more bugs to the coding than step back, take a breath, and remember things are supposed to be slow and they themselves are not supposed to be permanent.

    We head now to a constitutional crisis because the political class that should have never been permanent cannot get its way from a system working as its founders intended it — a system where the members of the House of Representatives listen to their voters in their districts, not to general public opinion polling, editorialists, commentators, pundits, or politicians turned lobbyists.

  9. This from The Dem’s own polling gurus……..Warren has no chance, no support.


    Elizabeth Warren probably isn’t going to run for or win the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped progressives from trying to get her to run. And it’s no wonder: Warren would be among the most liberal presidential candidates — if not the most liberal — in the modern era (since 1972, when Democrats began selecting their nominee through the caucus and primary process).

    Quantifying the ideology of politicians is tricky, but we’ll use a method similar to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecasting model by looking at each nominee’s congressional voting record, fundraising and public statements (Adam Bonica’s ideological scores based on a candidate’s donors, joint DW-Nominate scores based on a candidate’s voting record in Congress, and On the Issues scores based on public statements).

    In all cases, negative scores mean more liberal. We usually standardize and average these three metrics, but there aren’t scores for all the candidates before 2000 and comparing across time can be tricky. So let’s keep this simple and just look at each metric separately.

    The logic behind Bonica’s fundraising scores goes basically like this: If liberals are giving you lots of money, you’re probably pretty liberal, and if conservatives are filling your coffers, well … you get it. According to Bonica’s scores — the only system of the three for which we have grades for all the candidates — Warren would be by far the most liberal nominee in the modern era. Indeed, fellow Democrats have sought her help on the campaign trail in large part because of her appeal among liberal donors. It’s also no surprise that those at Netroots Nation have taken a shine to her.

    If Warren were to win the Democratic nomination, she’d rank as the second-most liberal nominee who served in the Senate or House. Her voting record has been to the left of Walter Mondale’s; only the famously liberal George McGovern had a more leftward-leaning legislative record. By contrast, the past three Democrats to represent the party on the presidential ticket were all near the center of the Democratic Senate caucus, while Warren has the fifth-most liberal voting record in the Senate today.

    On public statements, Warren ranks a clear second. The only past nominee to her left, according to On the Issues, is John Kerry. But the distance between Warren and Kerry is smaller than the distance between Warren and any other past nominee. In other words, Warren’s liberalness on this measure is pretty clear — far to the left of President Obama.

    In terms of 2016 contenders, Warren is to the left of both Vice President Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on all three of these measures.

    But it’s not like Biden and Clinton aren’t liberal. Clinton especially has a fairly liberal donor base by historical standards. Clinton would be to the left of the median senator (-0.33) in terms of voting record. Clinton, like Biden and Warren, would be the second-most liberal nominee in the modern era in terms of public statements.

    And therein lies Warren’s problem. The clamoring for Warren to run in 2016 doesn’t go much beyond the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Warren may be the most liberal, but the other top 2016 contenders haven’t left a lot of room on the ideological left for her to gain a foothold.

  10. OT. Nice article. Hard to know where to cut.

    Clinton praises Trib publisher’s fight ‘for what he believed’ August 2, 2014
    …A founder and funder of conservative think tanks and advocacy groups, [Richard Mellon] Scaife’s opposition to Clinton marked much of the latter’s two terms as president. But the acrimony softened after Clinton left office in 2001, and the two became friends, with Scaife supporting Clinton’s foundation and his wife’s 2008 presidential campaign.
    Clinton said he’s “grateful” to former New York Mayor Ed Koch, a mutual friend, for convincing Clinton that he and Scaife had more in common than he thought. The two met on July 31, 2007, in the Harlem offices of the Clinton Foundation. Scaife later donated more than $100,000 to the foundation.
    “Our differences are important. Our political differences, our philosophical differences, our religious differences, our racial and ethnic differences, they’re important. They help us to define who we are,” Clinton said. “But they don’t have to keep us at arm’s length from others.”
    Clinton used his reconciliation with Scaife and the friendship the two forged as an example of what’s missing in conflicts from Capitol Hill to Gaza.“I think the counterintuitive friendship we formed is a good symbol of Richard Mellon Scaife’s legacy. He fought as hard as he could for what he believed, but he never thought he had to be blind or deaf” to re-evaluating his positions, no matter how closely held, Clinton said.
    The description “counterintuitive” was borrowed from his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who used the word to describe her meeting with Tribune-Review reporters and editors in 2008, during the hotly contested Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania. The paper’s editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton in the April primary election, and Scaife penned an opinion piece praising the New York Democrat.“You need to know that she treasures that column and that experience,” Clinton said….

  11. moononpluto
    August 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

    This from The Dem’s own polling gurus……..Warren has no chance, no support.

    Well Moon we thought that about the Chicago flim flam man too. 😡

  12. “This was the argument I made from the beginning. There is absolutely no need to use 2000 pages to write a health care law for this country.”
    The Medicare legislation of 1965 was 136 pages and was put into effect, covering 19 million over age 65, in less than a year, without computers.

  13. holdthemaccountable
    August 4, 2014 at 9:15 am
    One of the finest pieces of editorial writing I have seen was the article that Richard Mellon Scaiffe wrote supporting Hillary over Obama in the 2008 primary. He was heir to the Mellon Bank fortune, and their family were big players in government during the first half of the twentieth century, when the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell ran our foreign policy. I think his central focus was the welfare of this nation–something that is conspicuous by his absence in the ranks of our current elites. The article I posted above, which would be sent to every American who could read if I had my druthers, the one about the political class vs. the American People calls bullshit on our current elites, who are destroying this country before our very eyes, all fro the sake of profit, power and their own egos. In time, it will generate a revolution, because there is no other way these money changers, these permanent fixtures, these blood sucking elites will give up their power voluntarily. One related point, concerning the Kennedy. The head of their clam, Joseph Kennedy was an Irish mobster, whom FDR called “the most evil man I have ever met”. John Kennedy was the real deal, whereas the rest of them are simply hangers on–trust fund babies as it were. With the exception of Bobby Jr. and Katherine Townsend who are true public servants, the rest of them are symptomatic of all that is wrong with our elite class. Caroline, like her mother, has assumed the role of protector of the family name, and is capable of doing what her mother did, lamenting the fact that her husband was killed by “a little communist rather than a white southern racist”, which would have made him a martyr of the civil rights movement. The one thing Caroline will never have however is the same status as old money–the kind that goes back to the Mayflower and looks down on the Kennedies as shanty Irish, rather than lace curtain Irish. To us, that seems totally irrelevant, but to the keeper of the flame, is everything. Nearly enough to hop in the sack with the trust fund baby who owns NYT–young Arthur/

  14. Fox reports:

    Another New Book Set To Agitate Clinton Machine

    The Clinton machine is reportedly gearing up to target a soon-to-be released book set to expose Hillary Clinton’s personal role in the Benghazi scandal.

    “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know,” by New York Times bestselling author Aaron Klein, is slated for release Sept. 9, two days before the second anniversary of the Benghazi attack.

    It is said to contain information documenting the personal role Clinton played in security at the U.S. special mission as well as her direct and central involvement in plans to arm the Mideast rebels, a scheme the book connects to events related to the Benghazi attack.

  15. holdthemaccountable August 4, 2014 at 9:15 am

    “Our differences are important. Our political differences, our philosophical differences, our religious differences, our racial and ethnic differences, they’re important. They help us to define who we are,” Clinton said. “But they don’t have to keep us at arm’s length from others.”
    Clinton used his reconciliation with Scaife and the friendship the two forged as an example of what’s missing in conflicts from Capitol Hill to Gaza.

    Thanks for the article and the great quote.

    About Gaza, there was another demonstration in Paris this Saturday in support of the Palestinians. About 12 K people, which is quite a showing in a city of 2 million at the peak of the summer holidays when the city is practically empty.

    It inspired me to write a few posts for H44 about the Israeli-Palestinian struggle and its history. A couple of people have told me I don’t know my history on the subject, so I’ll show them what I do know.

  16. And if a Indian woman is the next goal?? 👿


    If so, they had better find better start looking for a real one. One Drop falls a bit short. lol

  17. Others follow our lead and keep their eyes on the Obamacare scam.


    Obamacare’s Bad News Didn’t Stop; The Media Just Lost Interest

    Several news cycles pass without much discussion of Obamacare/the Affordable Care Act. Some may interpret this as a sign that disapproval of the law is wavering — it isn’t — or that the reports of frustration, waste, mismanagement and premium hikes have stopped. They haven’t stopped, they’re just not surprising news anymore, and they’ve been pushed to the back pages by the summer’s cavalcade of crises: the humanitarian crisis on the border, ISIS taking over Iraq, Russian separatists shooting down airliners, Israel fighting Hamas, and so on. As mentioned in today’s Jolt

    Just Because You’re Not Hearing About Obamacare Messes Doesn’t Mean Obamacare Isn’t Making New Messes (or Exacerbating Old Ones)

    Hey, remember Obamacare?

    The New York Times checks in with those who have insurance for the first time:Last week, Salwa Shabazz arrived at the office of a public health network here with a bag full of paperwork about her new health insurance — and an unhappy look on her face. She had chosen her plan by phone in March, speaking to a customer service representative at the federal insurance marketplace. Now she had problems and questions, so many questions. [snip]

    Another survey indicating that a significant chunk of the uninsured aren’t paying any attention to anything:

    Among those who were uninsured last year and remain uninsured, only 59% were familiar with the new Obamacare marketplaces and 38% were aware of federal subsidies to lower their insurance costs, according to the survey conducted in June by the nonpartisan Urban Institute.

    About 60% of respondents list cost as the main reason for not having insurance. But 20% say they don’t want health insurance or would rather pay the fine for not having coverage.

    The price tag just keeps growing, well beyond previous estimates: “Between September 2011 and February 2014, the “federally facilitated marketplace” (FFM) saw costs grow from $56 million to $209 million. Meanwhile, the costs for the related data hubs, the so-called ‘back office operations,’ rose from $30 million to $85 million.”

    Up in Massachusetts, the folks who failed to gets the state’s health-insurance exchange running smoothly on time . . . are getting a bunch of raises.

    Recently, Massachusetts Health Connector executive director Jean Yang doled out raises of $10,000 or more to 11 of the agency’s 53 workers. The increases ranged from 15 percent to 24 percent, with another 3 percent on the way in the fiscal 2015 budget if the agency meets goals to successfully re-launch its balky website by November.

    Yang said the salary increases are needed to retain valued employees and improve performance going forward. This action comes after the embarrassing debacle associated with the state’s rollout of its Obamacare website, which has cost taxpayers nearly $1 million in computer fixes and lawsuits and still isn’t resolved.

    Yang is also planning to hire eight more workers, increasing the staff to 61.

    Indeed, failure is demoralizing. Speaking of Massachusetts, you may have missed this Friday:

    Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed the administration’s ObamaCare rollout, calling President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance plans under the law a “lie.”

    The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said in an interview with the Huffington Post published Friday. [anip]

    Here’s a story of  Hartford, Connecticut doctors facing reality on the reimbursement rates:

    On a recent afternoon at his office in Hartford, Conn., Dr. Doug Gerard examines a patient complaining of joint pain. He checks her out, asks her a few questions about her symptoms and then orders a few tests before sending her on her way.

    For a typical quick visit like this, Gerard could get reimbursed $100 or more from a private insurer. For the same visit, Medicare pays less — about $80. And now, with the new private plans under the Affordable Care Act, Gerard says he would get something in between, but closer to the lower Medicare rates.

    That’s not something he’s willing to put up with.

    “I cannot accept a plan [in which] potentially commercial-type reimbursement rates were now going to be reimbursed at Medicare rates. You have to maintain a certain mix in private practice between the low reimbursers and the high reimbursers to be able to keep the lights on,” he says.

    Three insurers offered plans on Connecticut’s ACA marketplace in 2014 and Gerard is only accepting one. He won’t say which, but he will say it pays the highest rate.

    “I don’t think most physicians know what they’re being reimbursed,” he says. “Only when they start seeing some of those rates come through will they realize how low the rates are they agreed to.”

    Gerard’s decision to reject two plans is something officials in Connecticut are concerned about. If reimbursement rates to doctors stays low in Obamacare plans, more doctors could reject those plans. And that could mean that people will get access to insurance, but they may not get access to a lot of doctors.

  18. Damn, type – o throughout.

    Shoulda said. If so, they had better start looking for one now. I was being a smart-ass. Guess that doesn’t always pay. lol

  19. jeswezey
    August 4, 2014 at 11:54 am
    Fox reports:

    Another New Book Set To Agitate Clinton Machine

    The Clinton machine is reportedly gearing up to target a soon-to-be released book set to expose Hillary Clinton’s personal role in the Benghazi scandal.

    “The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know,” by New York Times bestselling author Aaron Klein, is slated for release Sept. 9, two days before the second anniversary of the Benghazi attack.

    It is said to contain information documenting the personal role Clinton played in security at the U.S. special mission as well as her direct and central involvement in plans to arm the Mideast rebels, a scheme the book connects to events related to the Benghazi attack.

    I read about another one to come out soon with info allegedly provided by secret service agents about a wait for it ….. NEW WOMAN Bill allegedly entertains at the Clinton home in NY state. The code name for this woman allegedly is “the Energizer” as in the battery powered bunny. This seems totally realistic for a man over 65 who has had open heart surgery does it not? If report is true, Big Dawg is the one who should be called “The Energizer”.

    Damn! Two more books about a Clinton. These Repubs and conservative talking heads are scared sh**less are they not?

    Didn’t post link. But, if interested it’s at the Guardian UK.

  20. Another great post admin.

    The ObamaHellCare Plan is a giant turd that needs to be buried before it stinks to high Heaven.

    This is the kitchenSink plan that was rammed though without any intelligent research nor even pondering.

    When/if this stink bomb is put to death, the idea of ever having a great single payer health care plan in the US will be pushed decades into the future.

    I have a feeling that even the Supremes will not dismantle the HellCare bill completely. What will be left???

  21. Admin. We’ve grown so accustomed to the excellent posts and to Big Pink calling the plays before they happen, it has become too easy to take you for granted. Thanks for being so astute and for keeping us so well informed.

    I agree with Free.

  22. freespirit
    August 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    And if a Indian woman is the next goal?? 👿


    If so, they had better find better start looking for a real one. One Drop falls a bit short. lol

    Indeed, and that one drop is questionable.

  23. “When/if this stink bomb is put to death, the idea of ever having a great single payer health care plan in the US will be pushed decades into the future.”
    That was likely the #1 motivation of the lobbyists who pieced AHA together. It was no secret that AHA was financially unsustainable and would implode by about 2020 leaving a massive distrust of Federal Govt in managing healthcare. I seriously doubt that there was any thought or even care about what would come next, only a motivation to keep the tax dollars flowing for another 10 years.

  24. wbb – thx for filling in on RM Scaife’s integrity.

    Admin, I can share an evaluation about US medicine at this moment. A family member of mine recently retired; she had been employed as a grant writer at a large state medical university. As such, she was of speaking acquaintance with many of the doctors. She recently emailed to her family this account in July as a retiree and a patient:

    Finally had my back specialist appointment at UXX Hospital Ortho Clinic. I don’t want to imply that there was a long wait time, but they passed out bottles of water, juice and graham crackers … Well, the outcome is to come back in a year …. Same thing I have been hearing for 40 years. At least I got my referral to the pain management clinic. The down side is there is a three-four month wait….

    Normally this gal leaves out such commentary, so it was significant that she noted long wait times & a wait-and-see diagnosis.

  25. Great post. I sure would like to see an end to the Obamascam being perpetrated on this country. By the time it is gone, few will regret it’s loss.

  26. http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/is-thinking-now-obsolete/

    Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.

    Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.

    Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?

    Talk-show host Geraldo Rivera says that there is no way Israel is winning the battle for world opinion. But Israel is trying to win the battle for survival, while surrounded by enemies. Might that not be more important?

    Has any other country, in any other war, been expected to keep the enemy’s civilian casualties no higher than its own civilian casualties? The idea that Israel should do so did not originate among the masses but among the educated intelligentsia.

    In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.

    It is much the same story in our domestic controversies. We have gotten so intimidated by political correctness that our major media outlets dare not call people who immigrate to this country illegally “illegal immigrants.” [snip]

    Some of these youngsters are already known to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. Since there have been no thorough medical examinations of most of them, we have no way of knowing whether, or how many, are carrying deadly diseases that will spread to American children when these unexamined young immigrants enter schools across the country.

    The attack against Matt Drudge has been in the classic tradition of demagogues. It turns questions of fact into questions of motive. Geraldo accuses Drudge of trying to start a “civil war.”

    Back when masses of immigrants from Europe were entering this country, those with dangerous diseases were turned back from Ellis Island. Nobody thought they had a legal or a moral “right” to be in America or that it was mean or racist not to want our children to catch their diseases.

    More at link.

  27. My recollections of naval engineering are foggy at best. But I do recall something called a righting moment, which relates to metacentric height, and a whole bunch of other things which I no longer care to understand if I ever really did. The question I am obsessing over now is whether there is a righting moment in our political winter of our discontent. Or, what happens when there is no man, message and moment, because thinking is passé. Smarter men than me have pondered that question, and one of them, Chris Hedges, who sees past the smoke and mirrors, dismisses the media of which he was once a part, and yearns for a system where as Leaned Hand noted not a sparrow falls to earth that we do not hear it, but at the same time realizes that the world of the elites and the world of the rest of us are not the same world. Once upon a time, those two worlds could co-exist. Whereas today, with globalization, outsourcing, concentration of corporate control of the media, and our political system, plus a society that rejects traditional values, now longer reads and reflects, and is lured and seduced by lies and false graphic images, we pass from a democracy to a dictatorship, without either a bang or a whimper. Where in all the stars of the heavens can we hope to find that righting moment. I will be damned if I know. The best shot, I think, is still Hillary. But she will have to rise to the challenge. And make no mistake, that challenge is huge.

  28. There is that famous exchange between Hemmingway and F Scott Fitzgerald (I have two of his pens, somewhere) where Hemmingway said the rich are different because they have money, and Fitzgerald corrected him and said they are just different, and it is more than just money. The clear implication? The rich live in a different world. The problem that I see is this: their world is colliding with our world, and it has become a zero sum game. Their effort to control our political system and loot the taxpayers in now in full view for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Their bet is if it gets bad enough they can flee the country like they have always done. Whereas now, thanks to technology, including the internet the world is smaller and there is no Shangr-la. The other thing they misjudge, in their efforts to exploit the system for personal gain, is how interdependent our society has become, such that even if they affect the behavior of survivalists there is really no place to hide. If they are smart enough to see this, and to realize that small oases of wealth cannot exist amid vast deserts of poverty without generating storms that will engulf those oases, then they will dedicate or rededicate themselves to this nation, which they have effectively abandoned in their unquenchable thirst for money and power.

  29. I find it surprising, not that this is being said, but that it has taken it as long as it has to say it: the democrat party stands four square against white people. Well, perhaps. But there can be no doubt that the democrat party has been accusing the republican party of being against people of color. And, believe me, that sentiment comes not only from the black caucus, but from the leadership of the DNC and DNCC with no subtlety attached. The elites are perfectly happy to stoke this fire, because it gets the country worried about race rather than economic inequality. They fear that it will come to that eventually, and place them in the cross hairs of our political blood sport, and they will be eaten alive. Years ago, I would have condemned such sweeping generalizations, but when you look at the comments and policies of Obama, the party and his big media bootlickers, only a fool would say that the congressman is wrong. All I ask is that the elites who support this be forced to suffer the same consequences as the rest of us, because they were instrumental in causing it. Put differently, he who seeks equity must do equity. Finally, when this congressman says the democrat party is anti white people he is merely articulating what millions now believe. How then do you put Humpty Dumpty back together again?
    August 04, 2014, 01:32 pm
    Republican blasts Dem ‘war on whites’
    By Rebecca Shabad
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    Greg Nash
    Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) on Monday accused Democrats of engaging in a “war on whites” in the current immigration debate.

    On conservative radio host Laura Ingraham’s show, Brooks dismissed the idea that the more conservative GOP bloc’s position on immigration is hurting his own party.


    “This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else,” he said during the interview.

    “It’s a part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things. Well that’s not true.”

    On “Fox News Sunday,” National Journal’s editorial director, Ron Fournier, suggested the Hispanic community is becoming increasingly disenchanted with Republicans.

    “This party, your party, cannot be the party of the future beyond November if you’re seen as the party of white people,” said Fournier, whom Ingraham described as being part of the “lame-stream media.”

    Brooks said recent polls indicate every demographic group agrees that the rule of law should be enforced and border security must be improved.

    “It doesn’t make any difference if you’re a white American, a black American, a Hispanic-American, an Asian-American or if you’re a woman or a man. Every single demographic group is hurt by falling wages and lost jobs,” Brooks said.

    “Democrats, they have to demagogue on this and try and turn it into a racial issue, which is an emotional issue, rather than a thoughtful issue,” he added. “If it becomes a thoughtful issue, then we win and we win big. And they lose and they lose big. ”

    Brooks accused Democrats of playing a “political game” and Ingraham said they’re “playing the race card.”

    The congressman said he gives “credit” to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who influenced the more conservative wing of the House GOP caucus to back away from the first Republican-sponsored border bill on Thursday. The House went on to approve a different version of the border bill Friday night.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/214245-republican-accuses-dems-of-launching-war-on-whites-in-border#ixzz39UUZ6D19
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  30. I think the wave election deniers are stupid. If they base their conclusion on current data, including the crap produced by PPP now, which assumes the same turnout levels as a presidential election then they are nuts. It is too early to get out the slide rules, and draw definitive conclusions about what will happen. I think the polls will shift significantly between now and November and a wave election will occur.
    Nate Silver warns the political class that it could still be a GOP wave year

    Share on Facebook 1K 1K SHARES
    Public opinion polls, as they say, are a snapshot in time. And a glance at the polls today suggests that the 2014 midterm elections are shaping up to be good for Republicans, but a landslide does not appear to be in the offing.

    As of this writing, Real Clear Politics puts nine of this year’s 19 even competitive Senate races in the tossup column. Many of those races poll so tightly that it is impossible to make an accurate prediction about how they will shape up but, as RCP notes, the GOP is set today to pick up six net seats for a slim 51-49 majority in the 114th Congress.

    The New York Times election modeling feature The Upshot comes to a similar conclusion. As of today, the Republican Party has a 53 percent chance of taking control of the upper chamber of Congress. “[T]hat doesn’t mean we’re predicting the Republicans to win the Senate,” The Upshot clarified, “the probability is essentially the same as a coin flip.”

    Of those same nine tossup races, The Times only gives Republican candidates better than even odds of winning four of them. With two of those races, Kentucky and Georgia, representing holds for the Senate’s minority party, and with three pickup opportunities for the GOP in Montana, West Virginia, and South Dakota now appearing to be Republican locks, this would also leave the GOP with a one-seat majority.

    The consensus opinion is clear: A good Republican year, but no tsunami.

    But FiveThirtyEight statistics analyst Nate Silver has some advice for elections analysts that cuts against the grain. He noted on Monday that the polls do not show a Republican “wave” is forming, and it is clear that the GOP can still retake the Senate even in a “wave’s” absence. It would, however, be folly to make any firm predictions about the political landscape even with less than 100 days remaining before voters head to the polls.

    “It’s still early,” Silver wrote, “and we should not rule out the possibility that one party could win most or all of the competitive races.”

    It can be tempting, if you cover politics for a living, to check your calendar, see that it’s already August, and conclude that if there were a wave election coming we would have seen more signs of it by now. But political time is nonlinear and a lot of waves are late-breaking, especially in midterm years. Most forecasts issued at this point in the cycle would have considerably underestimated Republican gains in the House in 1994 or 2010, for instance, or Democratic gains in the Senate in 2006. (These late shifts don’t always work to the benefit of the minority party; in 2012, the Democrats’ standing in Senate races improved considerably after Labor Day.) A late swing toward Republicans this year could result in their winning as many as 10 or 11 Senate seats. Democrats, alternatively, could limit the damage to as few as one or two races. These remain plausible scenarios — not “Black Swan” cases.
    Based, however, on the data available today, Silver sided with the majority of polling analysts who note that Republicans are favored to pick up the bare minimum of seats they need to retake the Senate.

    “Summing the probabilities of each race yields an estimate of 51 seats3 for Republicans,” he observed. “That makes them very slight favorites — perhaps somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-40 — to take control of the Senate, but also doesn’t leave them much room for error.”

    If Republicans manage to retake the Senate without a significant cushion, the party will likely only be renting the majority leader’s seat. While a Republican Party in control of both chambers of Congress would certainly blunt President Barack Obama’s agenda for the remainder of his presidency, Democrats would remain the favorites to retake that chamber in 2016 when those GOP senators elected in 2010 face their state’s voters in a presidential year.

  31. This seems about right. The only way to be sure is to get Charlie Cook and Larry Sabado to say it is wrong, and then we will know for sure it is accurate. Seldom right but never in doubt, that pair. But like the weatherman, they get it wrong all the time, but people still listen to them. . . some people at least.

    “It can be tempting, if you cover politics for a living, to check your calendar, see that it’s already August, and conclude that if there were a wave election coming we would have seen more signs of it by now. But political time is nonlinear and a lot of waves are late-breaking, especially in midterm years. Most forecasts issued at this point in the cycle would have considerably underestimated Republican gains in the House in 1994 or 2010, for instance, or Democratic gains in the Senate in 2006”

  32. admin

    August 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm


    And hence the ultimate decline of society as a whole and the realization that chaos is the preferred media of the elites is revealed for all the world to see. Take away the ability for people to think and you take away the engine for both progress and social change. Think about what blacks died for coming out of slavery – education. Look at what drove the civil rights movement – intelligence in thought and action. Conversely, what did Hitler choose to eliminate first as he took power? Books. Then art. Finally, individuality. Who were amongst the first people swept up by Stalin – Russian scientists, thinkers, artists, poets, etc. The elites cannot take away the information anymore (thank you internet), but they CAN make it irrelevant (thank you big media). And so they try to minimize and/or make insignificant the vehicle that drives the information that is out there – critical and common sense thinking.


    August 4, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    There is that famous exchange between Hemmingway and F Scott Fitzgerald (I have two of his pens, somewhere) where Hemmingway said the rich are different because they have money, and Fitzgerald corrected him and said they are just different, and it is more than just money. The clear implication? The rich live in a different world. The problem that I see is this: their world is colliding with our world, and it has become a zero sum game.

    wbb points out the fatal flaw in the over arching plan. Even as the elites did their best to block the flow of information coming out of Turkey, we have been blessed with moon. The Syrians (before the takeover by the outside fighters), and the Iraqis (post bumbles the great) have used social media to get the truth about what is going on in their backyards while the world’s media waxes on about whatever crap is on their minds at the time.

    The world is imploding because the two worlds – the one that the elites exist in and the real world – are colliding, and the effect is an complete implosion. The point is coming when common sense thought will again match the information the public has at hand.

    The next few years will be a pivotal in the history of the world. How that history will be written will be determined by the victors. Who the victorrs will be answered soon enough.

    Hillary 2016

  33. wbboei August 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm
    …. whether there is a righting moment in our political winter of our discontent….

    Interesting metaphor. Let’s hope it does not entirely hold, between naval architecture and politics, because there is an ominous extension to it:

    Indeed all boats and ships have a righting moment, but also a tipping point beyond which the ship will simply capsize and the righting moment will then serve only to keep it capsized.

    From the tenor of most of your posts, I think you feel this tipping point has been exceeded.

  34. jeswezey
    August 5, 2014 at 6:05 am
    Yes, I am pessimistic. The civic virtues I believe in–those expressed by de Tocqueville, and the rights embedded in our constitution are being systematically eliminated by our corrupt ruling class, and a changing demographic who has no attachment to the ideals of western civilization. And no one seems to care, except people who big media accuses of being racist. I will accept that charge as long as everyone know is has nothing to do with race.

    In the industrial society Marx spoke of control belongs to those who controlled the means of production. In an information based society control belongs to those who control the flow of information. Big media is in that position, and this explains why a majority of the public does not favor impeachment. Big media hides from them the truth, and makes effective democracy impossible.

    The political class must also share the blame, because they have discovered that they can maintain control by bribing people with their own money, and money generated by other people.

    Finally, there is the new phenomenon of massive illegal immigration cast as human rights which is the most cynical expression of hypocrisy and cynicism by our elite class. The massive influx of uneducated people who do not share our values is the greatest threat to the American character, its institutions and the quality of life is a pox on our house. An immigration system which prevents this from happening, and encourages legal immigration based on merit, as opposed to family unification is unalterably opposed by the new Democrat party because their goal is an ignorant and uninformed electorate who they can manipulate. And, as we saw in Mississippi, the Republican establishment is no different.

    Yes, I am pessimistic.

    Beyond that, I can do no better than to repeat some of the things De Tocqueville had to day on the subject.

    1. We are sleeping on a volcano… A wind of revolution blows, the storm is on the horizon.

    2. Socialism is a new form of slavery.

    3. As for me, I am deeply a democrat; this is why I am in no way a socialist. Democracy and socialism cannot go together. You can’t have it both ways.

    4. La démocratie étend la sphère de l’indépendance individuelle, le socialisme la resserre. La démocratie donne toute sa valeur possible à chaque homme, le socialisme fait de chaque homme un agent, un instrument, un chiffre. La démocratie et le socialisme ne se tiennent que par un mot, l’égalité ; mais remarquez la différence : la démocratie veut l’égalité dans la liberté, et le socialisme veut l’égalité dans la gêne et dans la servitude.

    Translation (from Hayek, The Road to Serfdom): Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.


  35. A number of stories on web today about racism from Dems. This seems to be picking up steam as a campaign theme. From FOX posted at Real Clear Politics a story alleging racist remarks from a Dem strategist about Mitch McConnell’s wife:


    Democratic strategist erases Twitter account after remarks about McConnell’s wife
    Published August 04, 2014FoxNews.com
    FILE: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.AP
    WASHINGTON – A Democratic operative deleted her Twitter account Monday following a series of what some called racist remarks about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao.

    Chao, former U.S. Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush, is Asian.

    Kathy Groob, who describes herself as an “advocate for women in politics,” sent a series of tweets related to Chao at a political event Saturday.

    According to WKMS, Groob sent the tweets in response to comments McConnell made at the event, in which he referred to his wife as “the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet.”

    In one tweet Groob wrote, “Hey Mitch, nothing against you wife and spouses should be off limits; since you mentioned, she isn’t from KY, she is Asian.”

    Groob followed that tweet with another: “Google Elaine Chao, #MitchMcConnell’s wife. No mention of Kentucky, she is Asian” Groop wrote.

    Her racially-charged comments drew a firestorm on Twitter from people who questioned why Groob was pushing a narrative that someone who is Asian could not also be from Kentucky.

    In Chao’s case, she and her family came to the U.S. from Taiwan when she was a child. She has been married to McConnell for more than two decades.

    The state chapter for the Democratic Party condemned Groop’s tweets, calling her comments “abhorrent” and saying they “have no place in Kentucky politics.”

    They added, “We strongly denounce them.”

    Following widespread criticism from her own party, Groob later apologized for her “poor choice of words” and deleted her Twitter account.

    Kentucky’s Senate race is one of the highest-profile races during this year’s midterm elections. It pits McConnell against Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.

    Both candidates were at the Fancy Farm Picnic – a colorful political festival in Kentucky – over the weekend.

    The event — which drew a record crowd of 5,000 this year — invites both Democratic and Republican candidates on stage to deliver short speeches while being heckled by the crowd.


  36. Outrageous.
    8/4/14. CAMARILLO, CA – Statement by Jeff Gorell, candidate for California’s 26th Congressional District, regarding use of foreign or fake military officer photographs in Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s taxpayer-funded government mailers: It’s been brought to my attention by concerned local veterans in the 26th Congressional District that Congresswoman Julia Brownley recently sent district voters a mass-mailing funded at taxpayer expense designed to imply that Brownley has the support of local military veterans. Sadly, the overtly political franking mailer proudly portrays an image – next to Brownley’s photo – of an officer in uniform that is NOT a military uniform of any branch of the armed forces of the United States. The emblem in this photo appears to be that of the German Luftwaffe, a German military branch from the mid-1930’s.” … “This failure is common pattern and practice by Congresswoman Brownley. In 2013, she sent out an electronic mail piece stating that her father was a ‘Marine in the U.S. Navy’ which is not an accurate description of the service relationships. It’s again symbolic of Julia’s lack of understanding of the military.” (See below)
    “With the threat of imminent base closures and continued military actions developing around the globe, it is important that Ventura County residents are represented by someone who understands military service and veterans.”
    “This mail piece was sent at taxpayer expense, adding to the $308,196 Julia has spent on House mail as of March 31, 2014….”

  37. I consider myself to be a staunch feminist, and as such, I deeply resent and condemn seism. However, if the so-called “attack” on Pelosi by Marino was sexist as alleged, I failed to see it. It diminishes the real injustice that sexism represents when false accusations of sexism are made.


    August 05, 2014, 07:10 am

    Dem: Attack on Pelosi was ‘sexist’

    By Rebecca Shabad

    Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is calling the attack during the immigration debate on House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “sexist.”

    On MSNBC’s “Politics Nation” late Monday, Schakowsky was asked to react to Rep. Tom Marino’s (R-Pa.) comments toward Pelosi in which he suggested she bore some of the blame for the border crisis.

    “I would say that it’s sexist and that it was patronizing. ‘Do the research, Madam Leader.’ And he got exactly what he deserved. And then for him to claim, ‘I was the tough guy. I’m a street fighter.’ Really? On the floor of the House?” she said.

    Before the House passed the new version of the GOP border bill on Friday, Marino broke floor protocol and called out Pelosi directly.
    “I did the research on it,” he said. “You might want to try it. You might want to try it, Madam Leader.”

    “And talking to her in that condescending way. I’m really offended. And I was proud of her for marching over,” Schakowsky said.

    Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was on the House floor at the time, said Pelosi walked across the aisle to Marino and said, “You’re insignificant.”

    “You know, you’re not supposed to direct comments personally, and he did just that. He deserved what he got and shouldn’t be proud of it,” Schakowsky added.

    On Monday, Marino said on Fox News’s “Fox and Friends” that the encounter was a “walk in the park” compared to being threatened by murderers.

    “She came up to me wagging her finger and saying that I was a liar and I simply said ‘No, I do my research I have my facts straight, perhaps you should try that,’” Marino said.

    After Pelosi called him “insignificant,” he said, “I simply said to her, ‘Do you want to talk about this in the back?’ and she said ‘no,’” he added. “She was visibly shaken.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/214303-democratic-lawmaker-attack-on-pelosi-sexist#ixzz39WnqoDOB
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  38. A poem to the dearly beloved RINO:

    Let him go let him tarry let him sink or let him swim
    He gives not a damn for us nor we give a damn for him

    Let there be no mistake about it. McConnell ran an ugly campaign against Matt Bevin. He was the instigator behind a shameful campaign of character assassination and outright defamatory falsehoods directed against Chris McDaniel in Mississippi against the addled, septuagenarian adulterer (NTTAWWT, his health plan covers Viagra and Cialis) Thad Cochran. He is a detestable human being.

    No one in Kentucky should vote for Mitch McConnell for any reason other than they support his policies. If that puts him over the top, that’s fine. If it doesn’t, then good riddance.

    In principle it would be nice to have majorities in the House and Senate, but in the main, a Senate majority led by Mitch McConnell will be damned little different from a Senate led by Harry Reid. McConnell has as much as said that if he become majority leader he’ll give Harry Reid the filibuster that Reid took away from him.

    This will give Reid the ability to filibuster judges if a Republican is elected in 2016 and as we saw from McConnell’s stewardship under Bush, he simply doesn’t have the guts to fight Harry Reid in anything more challenging than a slapfight.

    While he has been effectively and comprehensively stump broke by Harry Reid, he obviously detests conservatives and has vowed to crush us. He boasted of this in the New York Times. He loves to spend your money. He’ll just give it to a different set of corporate welfare recipients.

    Why should any conservative give this man their vote? I don’t know.

    Many years ago, when I was young enough to be excused, I was enamored of the cause of Irish independence. I went Irish bars, left money in the NORAID jar, and learned the lyrics to the new generation of IRA songs. One that stuck in my mind was “The Ballad of Lynch’s Army” which has this couplet:

    Let him go let him tarry let him sink or let him swim
    He does give a damn for us nor we a damn for him

  39. Tell me this is not an attempt by O and Plouffe to stab Hillary squarely in the back with a velvet knife. Chicken sh** SOBs They know Hillary could beat anyone the Dems might decide to run against her, including One Drop, but they just can’t stand the thought of it, so they try to prevail upon Warren to run. And the always presumptuous Kennedys hold an “audition” for her. But, wait – they can’t leave out Joe – the Obama court jester. Good ole Joe. Lets don’t count him out yet, even tho polling shows he would receive 10% of the votes in a primary race with Clinton (Warren would get even less) . http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_democratic_presidential_nomination-3824.html


    August 05, 2014, 10:38 am
    Plouffe predicts most Dem contenders would ‘stand down’ if Hillary runs

    By Justin Sink

    Hillary Clinton is “a dominant frontrunner” who has a “huge, huge base in the Democratic Party,” former Obama White House senior adviser David Plouffe said Monday.

    “I think most people will decide to stand down,” Plouffe, who served as President Obama’s campaign manager in 2008, predicted of the Democratic field.

    Still, Plouffe told Politico’s “Playbook Lunch” that it was still possible that Vice President Joe Biden, who has openly flirted with the idea of a 2016 run, could mount a bid.

    The former White House adviser said Biden “connects with middle-class voters exceedingly well” and hailed the vice president’s “authenticity” and “great appeal.”

    “All of us in Obama world have such affection for him, a belief in him as a public official,” Plouffe said. “He’s an amazing person.”

    President Obama has so far declined to weigh in on the 2016 race to replace him, offering praise for both Biden and Clinton. In an interview with the New Yorker published last month, Obama said Biden would be a “superb president.”

    “He has seen the job up close, he knows what the job entails,” Obama said.

    But the question for both Biden and Clinton, Obama said, is whether they actually want to run for president, something he described as a “pretty undignifying process.”

    “I think that, for both Joe and for Hillary, they’ve already accomplished an awful lot in their lives,” Obama said. “The question is, do they, at this phase in their lives, want to go through the pretty undignifying process of running all over again.”



  40. wbboei August 5, 2014 at 7:40 am

    I hate to disagree with such an icon as De Tocqueville, but the 19th-century idea of “socialism” as derived directly from Marx is quite different from socialism as conceived since Mitterrand.

    I don’t want to imply either that Hollande is some great example of democrat – his popularity is around 10-15% right now – but there is a small band of economists that say Hollande is taking the necessary steps to right the ship of state (using your righting moment metaphor) and that this is no time in history for kowtowing to the polls. Popular opinion of the moment, even ideally, should only account for a small portion of policy-making.

  41. freespirit August 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Oh, come on, Plouffe and O are an intestine feeding an asshole. Who cares what O thinks about the “undignifying process” of running for POTUS? Maybe it was an undignified process for him, because of all the tricks and thuggery he used, but both McCain and Romney declared that their nominations and runs for the presidency were the honor of their lifetimes.

    So, let O talk all he wants about an undignifying process. He should know.

  42. You’re right. It was undignified because he made it so. When you have no class to begin with, you can’t bring dignity to any endeavor in which you’re involved. That was the case with O.

  43. “Those who claim that the D.C. Circuit will rehear the case en banc do no service to the court’s judges, who know the threat that overtly politicized en banc rehearings pose to the court’s collegiality. The controversy surrounding HHS’s federal exchanges should be resolved promptly by the Supreme Court. There’s no need to tarry any longer at the D.C. Circuit.” http://online.wsj.com/articles/adam-j-white-no-need-for-a-halbig-rehearing-1407195952

    To get around the WSJ paywall just google Halbig and this article will pop up under news.

  44. Seems to me, the real war is connected with globalization. The masses are more aware and connected by the internet and open borders. The worker bees can scramble from one land to another.

    The wealthy ‘movers and shakers’ battle for power among themselves, using their country’s serfs as pawns.

    It’s difficult to be ‘intelligent’ enough to fight against this ‘upper level’ chess game.

    We all know how hard it’s been to inform others of Baracko’s corruption and ineptness.

    We all know how hard it was to stop his second term.

    We all know that people like Sorors cause our lives to be a living Hell.

  45. totally disgusted, jbstonesfan & others interested in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle and have lessons to teach me about the history behind it, this is for you:

    Historic Jewish claims to Palestine

    Jewish claims to Palestine are based on the presumed existence of an ancient Israel based wholly on what is recounted in the Bible, which was written by… whom?

    Even modern Jews realize that at least 90% of what is written in the Bible is mythology. The Bible is written in Homeric style — that is, a poetic account of fantastical events and the intervention of divine beings doing mighty deeds, favoring one people or punishing another.

    Mythical places appear just as they do in Homer (Atlantis) and Arthurian legend (Camelot), and there are mythical events like the Creation stories (which appear in all different religions, and in Greek mythology too), violent storms at sea versus the Flood, for example, and many other places and events, all of which could just as well have been recorded in the Scriptures as sermons to the people or bedtime stories for children, to fill them with dreams or admonish them for their sins against others or against divine beings.

    The Bible is taken as a source of wisdom, poetry and lyrics. But historians generally dismiss it as history. That is not to say that it is all fiction, made up out of thin air, nor does this mean that fiction has no truth to it. For example, fiction such as War and Peace or Les Miserables contain powerful insights into actual history with a mixture of memorable central characters invented out of thin air, plus references to actual characters such as Czar Alexander and Napoleon Bonaparte and the real events surrounding those historic characters.

    Likewise, in the Bible, there are doubtless people that existed and events that took place, but before the chaff of fiction can be separated from the historical wheat, the historian needs corroborative evidence.

    The very idea of an ancient Israel is thus doubted because, if there ever was such a thing, someone else would have noted it — either neighboring warlords and kings, or merchants doing business with the inhabitants or its neighbors. But outside the Bible, there is no evidence in Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman or any other sources even mentioning ‘Israel’.

    Now, before you take me down as an iconoclast, I hasten to add that, before studying history, I had the Bible drummed into me as a kid because of my Grandma, a Protestant fundamentalist who believed every word of the Bible from the first word of Genesis to the last phrase of Revelations as if it was dictated by God himself; so I am accustomed to believing that Israel existed, for whatever period of time, in the ancient past. I look to the partly finished (or partly destroyed) Temple of Jerusalem as physical evidence left by David and Solomon. So I was aggrieved to find, as a history major in college, that historians had nothing to say about Israel.

    But much later on, I found in the writings of the Freemasons of the Memphis-Misraïm Rite, which had been founded during the Napoleonic conquest of Egypt when the Rosetta Stone was discovered, that the Egyptians had records of interest that, while “Israel” is not mentioned, showed evidence of a Hebrew kingdom:

    Around 1500 BC, the Semitic Hyksos kings (Hyksos meaning “foreign shepherd” in Egyptian) from Asia (perhaps as far away as Ur, making them Abraham’s immediate descendants) invaded the eastern Nile Delta initiating the Second Intermediate Period, and ruled that part of Egypt for a century before being expelled.

    The Egyptians called these expelled people the “Habarus,” which translates neatly into English as “Hebrews”. The Habarus moved eastward, presumably into a land that they themselves named “Canaan”, where they supposedly established “Israel” (though there is no corroborative record of where they re-settled, or of this name change).

    So, to my mind, there is evidence that the Habarus left Egypt and set up shop in “Canaan” sometime around 1400 BC.

    As for the archeological “evidence” dug up in Israeli Tells, however, conscientious archeologists consider this to be junk finds. Every pottery shard, utensil, scrap of leather, carved stone or shaped metal dating from about 1300 BC onward is construed into evidence of Hebrew genius and greatness, and evidence of the existence of ‘Israel’, while everything found from before that time is ignored, as is everything that is found dating from about 600 BC.

    The underlying theory and conclusion is that the kingdom of Israel lasted from about 1300 BC to 600 BC. The beginning date is taken to correspond to the arrival of the Habarus, and the end date is said to be about 600 BC because, if it had been any later, there would be a Greek trace of “Israel.”

    This is self-serving “science” in its most shining form. It reminds me of today’s effort to prove Global Warming at all costs, advancing a pet theory and collecting any evidence to support it while ignoring anything else.

    Alternatively, it reminds me of Jurassic Park — a good story whipped up out of fleshed-out dinosaurs. Jurassic Park is of course 90% fiction, in that the only reality to it is that we have the skeletal remains of dinosaurs, so we know they once existed, even though we don’t really know what they looked like or their behavior patterns, or why they disappeared, and of course no names existed for them at the time they were alive.

    But setting aside this phony “archeological evidence,” there is still enough evidence IMO to think that the Hebrews settled in Canaan, and that Canaan was Palestine. I take, for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls as valid evidence of this, along with the remains of the Temple, and the Egyptian records of Habaru exile from Egypt.

    Modern (Israeli) geographers say the 12 tribes of this kingdom stretched west-east from the Mediterranean deep into modern-day Jordan (called “Amon” at the time), thus including all of what is now the “West Bank” and the east bank as well, and from southern Lebanon to some point about 100 miles south of Jerusalem.

    But this area does not include a very large area centered around modern-day Gaza, which was inhabited by the “Philistines.” “Philistia” was a Hebrew designation for “Land of the Philistines,” and was referred to in Ancient Greek as “Palaistine,” meaning “Philistia and the surrounding region” and in Latin as “Palaestina,” the Roman province of Palestine. In fact, the full Roman name for the province was Syria Palaestina, indicating that the area included the whole zone up to Damascus and encompassing Jericho to Amman.

    But while the Greeks and Romans recognized Philistia, or Palestine, they made no mention of “Israel” — or of the Hebrews, for that matter.

    So, (i) assuming that “Israel” was only a name that the Hebrews later invented like “Camelot” in Arthurian legend or “Atlantis” in Greek mythology, and the Hebrews did not use or publicize it at the time it existed, and (ii) further assuming that modern Zionists are basing their claims to this area on this ancient history, then (iii) modern Israelis could possibly lay claim to the West Bank and the western half of Jordan but have no business fiddling around with Gaza at all, since it corresponds to Philistia, nor with the southern cone of Israel down to Eilat on the Red Sea, which should reasonably be part of Saudi Arabia.

    It is thus evident, even in the terms of zealot Zionists, that Gaza has a right to self-determination, i.e. separate from Israel, as the ancient home of the Philistines, or Palestine.

    It is also evident that these non-Hebrews also inhabited “Philistia” or “Canaan” before ancient Israel, during it, and continued to live there long after ancient Israel evaporated. The Hebrews, later called “Jews,” were, according to Josephus, spread to the winds in a diaspora when the Romans moved in; but some did stay on, as did most of these original non-Jews.

    This idea of a “Diaspora” does not make much sense, actually. It doesn’t make sense to say that the Roman invasion of Palestine was so painful to the Jews that they had to leave or that they were expelled from their homeland.

    The Romans conquered a lot of places in their time, and everywhere they went they brought peace and justice, the Pax Romana. That is what they were famed for and why the Pax Romana lasted as long as it did.

    It is more likely, to my mind, that the Jews realized the value of the Roman Empire and took advantage of it, moving quite voluntarily to other more hospitable areas of the Empire, around the Mediterranean but also to Europe, and mastered the mercantile routes of the Empire. That, in fact, is what the early Christians did, and the early Christians were Jews — the difference being that the Christians proselytized (the Jews didn’t) and eventually conquered Rome by the back door.

    Accordingly, the story that Massada was the site of last resistance against Rome by a zealot Hebrew sect that all committed suicide rather than submit to Rome, was a fairy tale invented by a Swedish Jew and has since been debunked.

    The bottom line is that modern Jews returning from the Diaspora have a sentimental attachment to Palestine, or “The Holy Lands,” which is based largely on legend and marginally on historical fact; but this ancient “history” is alloyed by the facts that (i) the area has always been inhabited also by non-Jews in a much broader area that has always been called “Palestine” or some version thereof, and (ii) their departure from Palestine was probably voluntary.

    In any event, I feel that, even if ancient Israel did exist and covered the lands it is now said to have covered, this is still not sufficient reason to translate this into real estate rights in the 20-21st century AD, expelling the Palestinians and particularly those of Gaza. If that were the case, then Amerindians could lay claim to our entire continent and Mexicans could lay claim to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. More about that in my next post, because this possibility actually comes into play in World War I !!

    In any event, flash-forward 2600 years and we know that there was a large majority of non-Jews living in Palestine in 1947 and the Jews did not object to them. But that is getting ahead of the game, and will be the subject of yet another post.

  46. “Those who claim that the D.C. Circuit will rehear the case en banc do no service to the court’s judges, who know the threat that overtly politicized en banc rehearings pose to the court’s collegiality.
    Collegiality is one concern.

    Legitimacy is the larger concern.

    In its narrowest context, this is a case of statutory interpretation.

    In its broader context, it raises a question which goes to the architecture of republican government, and whether the powers divided between three branches as a check and balance against tyranny can be unilaterally usurped by an imperial executive.

    If the court lends its imprimatur to this frontal attack on the separation of powers, then we no longer are a republic. And when a future republican president does the same thing, there will be no grounds to object, a precedent having thus been set.

    Is Roberts capable of rising to this challenge? This morning I read in another blog that whenever a writer raises a question in the title of an article, almost invariably, the answer is no.

  47. Mormaer, thanks for the link. Here’s a discussion of the Halbig topic and the article:


    Ever since a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held in Halbig v. Burwell that the PPACA does not authorize tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies for the purchase of health insurance on federally established exchanges, most commentators have assumed that the decision would be reversed by the full D.C. Circuit, rehearing the case en banc. Senior Judge Harry Edwards even called the majority’s decision a “proposed judgment” in his dissent.

    The Administration, for its part, immediately announced its plan to seek review and filed a petition for en banc rehearing last Friday.  This was no surprise.  Thanks to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to nuke the filibuster of judicial nominees, Democratic nominees now hold a decisive 7-4 majority on the court, and Reid himself suggested this case was just the sort of thing that justified his move.

    Is en banc review of Halbig guaranteed? Don’t be so sure.  While Halbig is a high-profile case of substantial importance to PPACA implementation, this does not mean it is worthy of en banc review, particularly as this standard has been traditionally applied by the D.C. Circuit.  Attorney Adam White makes this point in today’s WSJ:

    If the D.C. Circuit rehears the case en banc, it would be a sharp break from history. The D.C. Circuit rehears virtually none of its cases. Each year the court’s three-judge panels make roughly 500 rulings, but the court averages roughly one en banc rehearing. This year has produced a bumper crop: two. The previous year: zero.

    The low numbers are thanks to the court’s high standard, found in the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure: En banc rehearing “is not favored and ordinarily will not be ordered” unless the case satisfies one of two standards. First, an en banc rehearing may be needed to “secure or maintain uniformity of the court’s decisions.” A three-judge panel is not allowed to overrule old precedents, even when precedents are in conflict; only the full court can do so, en banc.

    Second, en banc rehearing is appropriate for what the federal appellate rules call cases of “exceptional importance.” For the D.C. Circuit, this standard has been met almost exclusively by cases raising serious constitutional issues. Over the past decade seven of the nine cases reheard en banc raised difficult questions of constitutional law, such as the rights of Guantanamo detainees or of terminally ill patients. . . .

    Halbig checks none of these boxes. It is a straightforward statutory interpretation case. The administration’s supporters seem to believe that Halbig has “exceptional importance” because the Affordable Care Act is exceptionally important to them and the panel’s decision was, in their eyes, wrong.

    It is well understood that just because a court’s opinion is “wrong” does not make it en banc worthy. Judge Jeffery Sutton U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit made this point some years ago. It’s also a point that Judge Edwards made in his opinion respecting the denial of en banc review in Bartlett v. Bowen (1987). Judge Edwards’s opinion in Bartlett is worth quoting at length:

    The decision to grant en banc/ consideration is unquestionably among the most serious non-merits determinations an appellate court can make, because it may have the effect of vacating a panel opinion that is the product of a substantial expenditure of time and effort by three judges and numerous counsel. Such a determination should be made only in the most compelling circumstances. . . .

    The dissent urges that en banc review is appropriate in these cases because they are cases of “exceptional importance” where the panel’s decision allegedly was either “clearly wrong” or “highly dubious.” The problem with this view, however, is that it reduces the “exceptional importance” test to a self-serving and result-oriented criterion. Under [this] standard, one judge’s case of “exceptional importance” is another judge’s “routine or run-of-the-mill” case . . .

    the institutional cost of rehearing cases en banc is extraordinary. Each year, every judge has a heavy schedule of brief-reading, oral arguments, motions work and opinion-writing in connection with cases on the regular calendar. It is an enormous distraction to break into this schedule and tie up the entire court to hear one case en banc. It especially burdens judges who already are carrying a large backlog of cases, and it substantially delays the case being reheard, often with no clear principle emanating from the en banc court.

    Underlying . . . resort to a “clearly wrong”/“highly dubious” test to determine when to rehear a case en banc . . . is the implicit view that every time a majority of the judges disagree with a panel decision, they should get rid of it by rehearing the case en banc. The error in this proposition is the concept that it is somehow desirable that majority rule should determine the outcome of cases. However salutary that principle may be in the context of popularly elected legislatures where a majority decision reflects the will of the voters who chose the lawmakers, it has no equivalent value in an intermediate court of review. The fact that 6 of 11 judges agree with a particular result does not invest that result with any greater legal validity than it would otherwise have. The reason we use majority rule on a panel is because there must be some device for reaching a decision where there is disagreement among three judges; it is not because correctness is assured by having as many legal minds as possible in agreement.

    [The] “clearly wrong”/“highly dubious” test not only serves no useful purpose in this intermediate appellate judicial context, it does substantial violence to the collegiality that is indispensable to judicial decisionmaking. Collegiality cannot exist if every dissenting judge feels obliged to lobby his or her colleagues to rehear the case en banc in order to vindicate that judge’s position. Politicking will replace the thoughtful dialogue that should characterize a court where every judge respects the integrity of his or her colleagues. Furthermore, such a process would impugn the integrity of panel judges, who are both intelligent enough to know the law and conscientious enough to abide by their oath to uphold it.

    The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure explicitly recognize that en banc rehearing is “not favored and ordinarily will not be ordered,” except when consideration is necessary to secure or maintain uniformity of decisions or when a case involves a question of exceptional importance. FED.R.APP.P. 35(a). Under this rule, it is well-understood that it is only in the rarest of circumstances when a case should be reheard en banc. In other words, for the appellate system to function, judges on a circuit must trust one another and have faith in the work of their colleagues, including Senior Judges and visiting judges from other circuits. Obviously, no judge agrees with all of the decisions handed down in the circuit, nor would every judge write a particular opinion in the same fashion. But if such disagreements determined whether or not a case should be reheard en banc, the number of en banc rehearings would increase at least a hundredfold.

    FRAP 35 identifies a conflict with another circuit as a potential reason for en banc review, but the D.C. Circuit has rarely granted en banc review on this basis.  Nor has the court regularly granted review when a panel has struck down important or high profile regulations. Thus the court refused to rehear decisions striking down the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule or the Bush Administration’s proposed revisions to New Source Review under the Clean Air Act.  Indeed, as traditionally applied, the bar on en banc rehearing in the D.C. Circuit has been higher than the bar for certiorari in the Supreme Court.  The D.C. Circuit denied en banc in the aforementioned EME Homer case, as well as in two incredibly important greenhouse gas cases (Massachusetts v. EPA and UARG v. EPA), yet all three were subsequently heard by the Supreme Court.

    As White notes, the D.C. Circuit usually grants en banc review when a case presents an important constitutional or jurisdictional question that is likely to affect a wide range of cases, or when a majority of judges wishes to reconsider a rule of decision announced in a prior case.  Thus the court granted en banc review in the American Meat Institute case because judges wished to reconsider a suggestion made in prior cases about the applicability of a text governing compelled commercial speech.  It did not rehear the case because a majority of the court had questions about the panel’s decision to uphold the country-of-origin labeling rules at issue.

    An additional consideration for the D.C. Circuit in Halbig is whether en banc review could unnecessarily delay final resolution of the underlying question.  Both the D.C. Circuit and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit expedited their consideration of the challenges to the IRS tax credits rule out of a recognition that there are significant reliance issues for both states and insured individuals.  States are already preparing to deal with the possibility that Halbig is upheld.  If the IRS rule is invalid, some states that refused to create their own exchanges may reconsider.  The sooner they know the outcome, the sooner they can make such decisions. (Ditto those states with their own exchanges that are considering whether to turn the exchanges over to the feds.)  If, as some suspect, Supreme Court review of this issue is inevitable, en banc rehearing could push off a final resolution of this question until the 2015-16 term. Even if the en banc rehearing discourages the Supreme Court from accepting certiorari in King — as Halbig critics hope – there are still two more cases pending against the rule.  Of course Halbig proponents don’t want to see an en banc review for the same reason.

    So what happens now?  Immediately after receiving the government’s petition, the D.C. Circuit asked the plaintiffs for a response within 15 days.  The judges will consider this brief and vote shortly thereafter.  If rehearing is granted, we should know rather quickly, and the court will announce a rehearing schedule and whether it wants any additional briefing from the parties.  The en banc panel for such a rehearing will include the 11 active judges and the two senior judges who participated in the original panel (senior judges Edwards and Randolph).  Should the court deny rehearing, however, an announcement of this decision could be delayed if any of the judges would like to file related opinions supporting or dissenting from a denial of en banc review.  Stay tuned.

    Halbig gets more interesting by the day. We did not know of the order for plaintiffs to respond in 15 days so now there will be more Halbig news next week. If there is no en banc hearing then Obama’s goose and chickens have come home to roost and they have Ebola.

  48. Sam Baker at National Journal:


    If You Like Your Obamacare Plan, It’ll Cost You
    Consumers could be hit with major price increases, without even knowing it, if they don’t switch their health care plans.

    If you like your Obamacare plan, you can keep it—but you might end up paying a whole lot more.

    People who decide to stick with the coverage they’ve already gotten through Obamacare, rather than switching plans, are at risk for some of the biggest premium spikes anywhere in the system. And some people won’t even know their costs went up until they get a bill from the IRS.

    Insurance plans generally raise their premiums every year, but those costs are just the tip of the iceberg for millions of Obamacare enrollees. A series of other, largely invisible factors will also push up many consumers’ premiums.

    In some cases, even if an insurance company doesn’t raise its rates at all, its customers could still end up owing thousands of dollars more for their premiums. It’s all a byproduct of complicated technical changes triggered, ironically enough, by the law’s success at bolstering competition among insurers.

    Many consumers will need to switch plans in order to keep their costs steady, but health care experts question how many people will do that. Switching plans can entail changing your doctor and adjusting to new out-of-pocket costs, never mind the fresh trek through HealthCare.gov. The White House has already set up an auto-renewal process, making it easier to stick with the status quo.

    And with so many behind-the-scenes factors at play, most people might not even know that they need to go back through HealthCare.gov just to keep the deal they already have.

    A lot of people aren’t going to understand this,” said Susan Pantely, an actuary at the Milliman consulting firm.

    Hidden cost of doing nothing

    Let’s break down the complex factors that make inertia so expensive for Obamacare enrollees.

    First, there are the standard premium increases insurers seek from year to year. The lowest-cost plans in each state’s marketplace were generally the ones that attracted the most customers in 2014. But in many cases, they’re also the plans seeking above-average rate hikes.

    The prices of the lowest-cost [plans] tend to be going up more,” said Caroline Pearson, vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health. “Most people, if re-enrolled, will be enrolled in a plan that has a premium increase.”

    But that’s only part of the reason inertia is so expensive for Obamacare enrollees. The vast majority of enrollees don’t pay the full cost of their premiums—85 percent are getting financial help from the government. And many of those consumers will find that their subsidies don’t go as far next year, even for the same plans.

    The size of each person’s subsidy is tied to a “benchmark” plan. Poorer consumers only have to spend a certain percentage of their income for that plan; the government pays the rest of the premium. If you choose a more expensive policy, you have to pay the difference on your own.

    This year, about 3.4 million people picked the benchmark plan or went one option cheaper. But as those plans raise their rates and new options come to the market, they’ll often lose their benchmark status to cheaper competitors—and their customers will find themselves on the hook for a bigger share of their premiums.

    “I would expect that probably the majority of 2014 enrollees are going to be impacted pretty substantially,” said Milliman analyst Paul Houchens.[snip]

    This means you’re on the hook not only for every dollar of your plan’s 5 percent premium increase, but also for every dollar of the difference in price between your plan and the new benchmark plan.

    These technical changes in subsidies could turn a 5 percent premium increase into a spike of 30 to 100 percent in the net costs for low-income consumers, according to a recent Milliam analysis.

    There’s already evidence this is happening: In an Avalere Health survey of nine states, the benchmark plan will change next year in six of them. The lowest-cost plan will change in seven of the nine states.

    ‘The totally crazy part’

    As cheaper plans come into the marketplace, millions of consumers will see the cost of keeping their plan rise. But they might not know it.

    HealthCare.gov isn’t able to automatically recalculate the subsidies existing consumers are eligible for. So, while the dollar value of your financial assistance drops, you can only find out that’s happening by going back into the system and asking for a redetermination as part of the shopping process.

    Consumers who auto-renew their policies will get the same dollar value of subsidies they got last year—even though changes in the marketplace all but guarantee that will no longer be the right subsidy amount for millions of people.

    That’s the totally crazy part,” Pearson said. “They’re basically going to send them what they know to be the wrong subsidy.”

    The IRS will eventually figure out how much financial assistance you should have received, and will reconcile the difference on your taxes. If you should have gotten a bigger subsidy, the government will issue you a tax credit. If your subsidy was too big, which would be the case if you keep your plan and lower-cost options come to the market, you’ll owe the IRS money.

    Milliman has this example: [snip]

    We get into a very dangerous situation if we just tell everybody they can just auto-enroll,” Houchens said. [snip]

    Consumers are “largely protected if they’re willing to switch plans,” said Larry Levitt, vice president of special initiatives at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    But will they be willing to switch?

    Experience with Medicare’s prescription-drug benefit suggests not. Once seniors pick a drug plan, they’re unlikely to reenter the marketplace and shop around again, even if there’s a plan that might work better for them, Levitt said. The same is true of the insurance exchange that serves federal employees—people rarely switch.

    “There are lots of reasons to believe inertia will take hold here and people won’t switch,” Levitt said. “Betting on inertia is certainly a reasonable bet here.”

    Rickety ObamaCare requires you to spend all your time on the ObamaCare website.

  49. If the USSC declares the Ofraudcare subsidies illegal, I wonder if BO will have the IRS thugs collect it from his victims.

    “Sorry folks, but the courts said I have to take your bank account”

  50. “A non-election year ruling right after the November 2014 elections but well before 2016 is just what Roberts needs to calm his nerves. ”

    John Roberts has no need to calm his nerves. This is revenge served cold. It explains everything. Hear me out. I promise not to waste your time.

    Let’s go back to the basics. Article Three of the United States Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to “cases and controversies”. This means that if you want to bring a lawsuit challenging the interpretation of a law, you must be able to show to the court that you are personally adversely affected by the application of that law. You can’t challenge a law just because you think that the law is being improperly interpreted. (like the Obama eligibility lawsuits) You have to show that you are actually personally harmed by the interpretation. Then and only then are the courts allowed to decide whether the interpretation is correct or incorrect. This is also known as obtaining standing and it is often the hardest part of challenging the incorrect interpretation of a law.

    This case should be a slam-dunk. The administration is ignoring the plain text of the law. The architect of the law has explained the meaning of the law on multiple occasions, and even more importantly, early drafts of the legislation have come to light where the subsidies were allowed on the federal exchanges — and the language was then removed. Courts tend to take this as conclusive evidence of deliberate Congressional intent. IF the case can come to court, it should be won by the plaintiffs. But how to obtain the necessary standing to every bring the case to court?

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Roberts had sided with the conservatives, and declared that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. Had he done this, all Americans would be freed from the statutory obligation to purchase an Obamacare policy and could not be penalized for not doing so. HOWEVER, had he done that, no one would ever be able to obtain standing to challenge the subsidies on the federal exchanges because no one would be able to show personal harm. This would have effectively made the subsidies permanent and unchallengeable.

    But Roberts made a complicated and tricky ruling. He ruled that (1) The requirement to purchase insurance was unconstitutional. Any individual had the right to refuse to purchase insurance, and (2) The penalty was actually a tax, and what was being taxed was the decision to not purchase insurance.

    Those two conditions were tailor-made to allow the Halbig plaintiffs to obtain standing. They fit like a glove. The plaintiffs did not want to purchase insurance, so it was important to establish that the decision to not purchase insurance was a perfectly lawful choice. By explicitly defining the penalty as a tax, the entire issue was neatly reframed into a legal situation very familiar to the courts: The government has interpreted a law in a way that subjects an individual, acting lawfully, to a tax. The individual pleads to the court that the taxation is improper because the law is being misinterpreted. This is very familiar to the judicial system and is exactly the sort of case that courts are used to dealing with.

    The most delicious part is that Roberts utterly rolled the liberal judges. They must have been astonished when he decided to side with them, and they must not have paid enough attention when they signed off on the majority opinion that effectively rolled out the red carpet for Halbig. I’m sure they have figured it out by now. The case is coming back to Justice Roberts desk and I can assure you that Roberts with his 5-4 majority is going to bring the axe down hard and clean on the federal exchange subsidies.

    Obama thought he was being pretty cute when he berated the Supreme Court in person at his State of the Union address. Watch and see. Revenge will be soon served cold.

  51. interesting theory JMS. If , as you believe, Roberts employed the forethought and strategic planning you believe he did, the dude is no dummy.

  52. jms
    August 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm
    You have more faith in Roberts than I do. Your interpretation of what he will do is novel. It assumes that Roberts is playing a chess game, and is about to pounce. I see it differently. Frankly, my concern is that he is looking for a way to not decide the case. I worry that he will wait and see whether the DC Circuit en banc reverses the 3 judge panel, so he can claim there is no longer a conflict in the circuits so as to warrant Supreme Court review. In that case he would let stand a practice which is a clear violation of the separation of powers. But he as done this before. You see a pillar of strength. I see a trembling tower of tapioca. I pray that you are right and I am wrong.

  53. JtJames, finally! Thanks to our tech team for their hard work. We’ll have a new post up soon and comment on the recent hack and what happened.

  54. Hope everyone checked out our Twitter and Facebook pages during the outage to know what was happening.

  55. Job well done can’t wait for the post it’s I’d probably compare it to the fifty shades of grey world premiere ! 😉

  56. admin
    August 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Hope everyone checked out our Twitter and Facebook pages during the outage to know what was happening.

    Ooops, I didn’t think of twitter and FB to get the scoop. I was running around on other Hillary sites looking for breadcrumbs. I saw Foxy was looking there too.

    Thank God you’re back, Admin!!!

    I felt like someone dumped me out of an airplane onto a deserted island without my Big Pink crew.

  57. admin
    August 8, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Hope everyone checked out our Twitter and Facebook pages during the outage to know what was happening.


    Of course 😀

  58. Welcome back…we were worried you’d been Breitbarted or blackbagged and stuffed in somewhere like Guantanamo….

  59. Let the speculation begin…this happened while we were on a Hackattack……4,000 sq ft is a massive office. The fact its a 2 yr lease tells us all we need to know.


    Hillary leases 4,000 square foot Times Square office – but aide denies it will be 2016 campaign HQ.

    Gossip website started a Hillarywatch brush fire Tuesday with a breathless report claiming it had stumbled onto Clinton’s presidential HQ
    New office space is in a building owned by the brother of a former NYC Democratic mayoral candidate
    It’s just her ‘personal office,’ a spokesman claims of the space outfitted for 25 workers
    Democratic political operative snarks that 25 staff ‘isn’t even enough people to pass out the walking-around money, much less run a campaign’

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is either preparing a presidential campaign announcement or executing a 4,000 square foot head-fake in Midtown Manhattan with an office rental that was made public on Tuesday.

    She has reportedly inked a two-year lease on space in a skyscraper on 45th Street near Times Square – a building owned by the brother of a one-time New York City Democratic candidate for mayor.

  60. Admin –

    Are you okay? Do you need anything?

    Hillary 2016


  61. moononpluto

    August 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Welcome back…we were worried you’d been Breitbarted or blackbagged and stuffed in somewhere like Guantanamo….

    That is EXACTLY what I thought. Didn’t know if we were going to have to find a real life Jason Bourne to come get you! Glad to see all is well 🙂

    Hillary 2016

  62. Here’s one fresh off the presses:


    James Brady’s Death Was a Homicide, D.C. Medical Examiner Rules

    The death of James Brady — President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was wounded in the attempt on Reagan’s life in March 1981 — was a homicide, the District of Columbia medical examiner ruled Friday.

    The medical examiner said Brady died as a result of the grievous injuries he suffered 33 years ago, which means that gunman John Hinckley Jr. could be charged with Brady’s murder.

    This seems rather odd.

  63. Since H44 has been offline, a signficant event happened. Walsh has dropped out of the Montana Senate Race leaving the Dems without a candidate. It seems that Schweitzer wants nothing to do with Obama or Washington for that matter!

Comments are closed.