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51  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nixon's interference with negotiations and Reagan so accused on: July 01, 2015, 09:17:00 AM

Maybe we can keep an empty thread here to track of every time one of Crafty's liberal friends with "progressive" sourcing gets something right...   wink

Iran held the American Hostages for 444 days.  The reason alleged that they didn't release them in exactly October 1980, just before the election, was that the "Reagan administration" (during the Carter administration) had secret ties with the Ayatollah.  The source of that is Amadinejad's predecessor Bani-Sadr, who claims way after the fact that he believes that but does not claim to have any personal knowledge of that, or source or evidence.  Just his word.  He also claims Carter would have otherwise won (Nothing else wrong with the Carter Presidency?) and that without Reagan we wouldn't have any problems with Iran today. (Huh?)   If the absurd claim was true, why would they hold them then past the election through November and December and early January?  That makes no sense.  More plausibly they were told the opposite of hold them longer.  If they were told anything at the instruction of Reagan it would be they were told of the dire consequence of holding them for more than one minute after his inauguration as Commander in Chief.  If he didn't tell them that, then they figured it out on their own.  If the Iranian government had no control over the "students", then how could they negotiate and get it done in January, as alleged.  It makes no sense.

We know now in the Obama post-Cairo speech years that terrorists (and most foreigners) make no meaningful distinction between different American Presidents.  And if they did, why would they prefer Reagan?

Regarding the left's slam on Nixon, have at him.  Nixon ran as a conservative and governed as a liberal.  I consider him one of theirs.  Founded the EPA, price wage freezes with governmental oversight.  Uses the IRS like Obama, with the moral integrity of Hillary.

For credibility sake, has Bani Sadr ever written to correct Amadinejad on holocaust denial?  Or only to smear Reagan?  FYI: My Dad and his unit were the first medical responders at the liberation of death camp Buchenwald.  I have it first hand - it happened.
52  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: WSJ: Constitutional Chumps on: July 01, 2015, 08:26:59 AM
"Chumps" is putting it nicely.
53  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Bobby Jindal on: July 01, 2015, 08:26:09 AM
Jindal is 100% acceptable to me on policy, experience and competence.  My question to him and all of them is their ability to connect and bring more people over to 'our' way of thinking.  Not only to get elected, but a President needs to maintain and build popularity in order to govern effectively. 

I certainly hope he is one of the top ten on the stage debating substantive issues.

I didn't hear his Christian pandering, but they need to be more careful about that.  By Christianity as it relates to politics, most mean Judeo Christian values, which you don't need to be Jewish or Christian to possess IMHO.  Most of the politically active evangelicals probably don't think of Catholic as evangelical (, so it requires someone like Jindal to openly talk about his faith for them to relate.  But then in the general election a lot of centrists, whose votes they need to win, hate the openness of religion and Christianity from the politicians.

They tend to go on record early in a campaign disclosing the personal side of their faith and how it affects them so that they don't have to be discussing it later.

As an aside, I liked Jeb's line separating church and state, that he looks to people like Milton Friedman, not the Pope, to inform him on economics.  A Catholic conservative is going to lose half of the Catholic vote anyway.  Might as well draw those lines.
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender, Gay, Lesbian on: July 01, 2015, 08:03:33 AM
Quite exciting that gay couples now have a constitutional right to divorce.

"It's all about love", it says in our local paper.  No.  Love was already legal.  It's all about benefits.
55  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: June 27, 2015, 11:02:55 AM
56  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: June 27, 2015, 10:53:39 AM
I see frustrated conservative talking about flying the flag upside down as we head into the fourth of July.  Are we a nation in distress?

Ten years ago the Supreme Court created a right for local governments to take private homes and send people down the road in order to accommodate the wishes of their preferred private, special interests.

This week the Court, twisting like a pretzel, interpreted Obamacare to say the exact opposite of what it does in order to preserve the law rather than leave it to the law writing branch to fix, change or repeal it.  The next day they ended the legislative process across the country to make marriage, where a man and a woman become husband and wife, a constitutional right for gay couples.  With 4 anti-constitutional liberals on the Court, we are now ruled by the whim of one or two erratic appointees of former Republican Presidents on both social and economic issues.

The question is not what to do about shiny objects like gay marriage.  The question is how to go forward from here.  Of course this overlaps with 2016 Presidential because the question also necessarily becomes who best to lead.

Let's take these two issues first.  Obamacare became the law of the land through a number of large deceptions, a one-time super-majority, and deeming a bill passed that wasn't.  It was upheld originally by making it something we were promised that it wasn't and then funded by those sworn to repeal it.

I heard Ted Cruz' irate reaction to these decisions.  He, for one, drew a line earlier against funding Obamacare, but his party punted away their constitutional power of the purse back to the media and the Saul Alinsky executive branch.  Yes Ted Cruz would stand up for limited government and constitutional principles.  But he aims his arguments at the minority of conservatives who already agree with him.  The good he could do as President, such as appoint great Justices is subject to the question of being him marginalized into unelectability.  Scott Walker also stood up strongly against the rulings.  Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio opposed the decisions but took more conciliatory tones, FWIW.

Gay Marriage was coming anyway and Republicans in Congress are already funding O'care and ready to make a "temporary fix" on subsidies.  So the question remains, what is the way forward?  We don't just need a leader who is right on the issues.  We need leadership that can successfully make the arguments, connect with more people and move public opinion.

Meanwhile, we will are paddling upstream against a really strong current.  99% of colleges have been taken over by liberal teaching and an even higher percentage in the k-12 public schools.  84% of O'care enrollees are subsidized, no longer able to take a disinterested view.  Most Hispanics know someone personally affected by the immigration reform debate.  Most gays don't know it is Republicans who would actually give them far more liberties.  Most Jews aren't impressed that Republicans are now the defenders of Israel and most blacks have never voted for a Republican.  Most unemployed, recent college grads think redistribution grows the economy.  All network news and nearly every major newspaper are in lockstep with DNC talking points.

Is there still a way forward?
57  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: FBI: Valerie Jarret's family was communist on: June 25, 2015, 02:11:22 PM
FBI Files Document Communism in Valerie Jarrett’s Family

JUNE 22, 2015

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that the dad, maternal grandpa and father-in-law of President Obama’s trusted senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, were hardcore Communists under investigation by the U.S. government.

Jarrett’s dad, pathologist and geneticist Dr. James Bowman, had extensive ties to Communist associations and individuals, his lengthy FBI file shows. In 1950 Bowman was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, who fled to Prague after getting charged with espionage. Bowman was also a member of a Communist-sympathizing group called the Association of Internes and Medical Students. After his discharge from the Army Medical Corps in 1955, Bowman moved to Iran to work, the FBI records show.

According to Bowman’s government file the Association of Internes and Medical Students is an organization that “has long been a faithful follower of the Communist Party line” and engages in un-American activities. Bowman was born in Washington D.C. and had deep ties to Chicago, where he often collaborated with fellow Communists. JW also obtained documents on Bowman from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) showing that the FBI was brought into investigate him for his membership in a group that “follows the communist party line.” The Jarrett family Communist ties also include a business partnership between Jarrett’s maternal grandpa, Robert Rochon Taylor, and Stern, the Soviet agent associated with her dad.

Jarrett’s father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was also another big-time Chicago Communist, according to separate FBI files obtained by JW as part of a probe into the Jarrett family’s Communist ties. For a period of time Vernon Jarrett appeared on the FBI’s Security Index and was considered a potential Communist saboteur who was to be arrested in the event of a conflict with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). His FBI file reveals that he was assigned to write propaganda for a Communist Party front group in Chicago that would “disseminate the Communist Party line among…the middle class.”

It’s been well documented that Valerie Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer and longtime Obama confidant, is a liberal extremist who wields tremendous power in the White House. Faithful to her roots, she still has connections to many Communist and extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. Jarrett and her family also had strong ties to Frank Marshal Davis, a big Obama mentor and Communist Party member with an extensive FBI file.

JW has exposed Valerie Jarrett’s many transgressions over the years, including her role in covering up a scandalous gun-running operation carried out by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Last fall JW obtained public records that show Jarrett was a key player in the effort to cover up that Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about the Fast and Furious, a disastrous experiment in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed guns from the U.S. to be smuggled into Mexico so they could eventually be traced to drug cartels. Instead, federal law enforcement officers lost track of hundreds of weapons which have been used in an unknown number of crimes, including the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona.

In 2008 JW got documents linking Valerie Jarrett, who also served as co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team, to a series of real estate scandals, including several housing projects operated by convicted felon and Obama fundraiser/friend Antoin “Tony” Rezko. According to the documents obtained from the Illinois Secretary of State, Valerie Jarrett served as a board member for several organizations that provided funding and support for Chicago slum projects operated by Rezko.

Thanks for posting this even though we all know nothing will ever become of it.  She shouldn't be punished for what her family has done, but we should be aware of the background and relationships that shaped and guide her.  Note that Hillary's top adviser Huma also has family with major issues.  Meanwhile the media is pounding a GOP candidate to separate himself from family members that were fully vetted and elected a combined number of 5 times elected to the office of VP and President.  They are also slamming Rand for his father's strict adherence to the US constitution, and attack Marco Rubio for a friend's finances and his wife's driving.
58  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 25, 2015, 01:50:29 PM
I am sickened by Chief Justice John Roberts hypocrisy on his Obamacare rulings and by my own inability to recognize poor character before it becomes so blatantly obvious.

In the previous case, Sebelius vs America, he wrote essentially that the defects of the law could be corrected by the legislative process and therefore didn't need interference from the judicial branch.  In King v. Burwell he saw specific writing that could easily be changed by the legislative branch if they were so inclined and instead he 'fixed' it for them - making the law pretend to say what it in fact doesn't.

Roberts' drivel from his confirmation that impressed me so much at the time:

"If the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy's going to win in court before me," Roberts said. "But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then the big guy's going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That's the oath."

What a weasel.

Justice Scala isn't impressed either:

"We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.

The Court interprets §36B to award tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. It accepts that the “most natural sense” of the phrase “Exchange established by the State” is an Exchange established by a State. Ante, at 11. (Understatement, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!).

Yet the opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that “it is also possible that the phrase refers to all Exchanges—both State and Federal.” Ante, at 13. (Impossible possibility, thy name is an opinion on the Affordable Care Act!).

I wholeheartedly agree with the Court that sound interpretation requires paying attention to the whole law, not homing in on isolated words or even isolated sections. Context always matters. Let us not forget, however, why context matters: It is a tool for understanding the terms of the law, not an excuse for rewriting them.

One begins to get the sense that the Court’s insistence on reading things in context applies to “established by the State,” but to nothing else.

On the other side of the ledger, the Court has come up with nothing more than a general provision that turns out to be controlled by a specific one, a handful of clauses that are consistent with either understanding of establishment by the State, and a resemblance between the tax-credit provision and the rest of the Tax Code. If that is all it takes to make something ambiguous, everything is ambiguous.

Perhaps sensing the dismal failure of its efforts to show that “established by the State” means “established by the State or the Federal Government,” the Court tries to palm off the pertinent statutory phrase as “inartful drafting.” Ante, at 14. This Court, however, has no free-floating power “to rescue Congress from its drafting errors.” Lamie v. United States Trustee, 540 U. S. 526, 542 (2004).

Only when it is patently obvious to a reasonable reader that a drafting mistake has occurred may a court correct the mistake. The occurrence of a misprint may be apparent from the face of the law, as it is where the Affordable Care Act “creates three separate Section 1563s.” Ante, at 14. But the Court does not pretend that there is any such indication of a drafting error on the face of §36B.

The occurrence of a misprint may also be apparent because a provision decrees an absurd result—a consequence “so monstrous, that all mankind would, without hesitation, unite in rejecting the application.” Sturges, 4 Wheat., at 203. But §36B does not come remotely close to satisfying that demanding standard. It is entirely plausible that tax credits were restricted to state Exchanges deliberately—for example, in order to encourage States to establish their own Exchanges. We therefore have no authority to dismiss the terms of the law as a drafting fumble.

Let us not forget that the term “Exchange established by the State” appears twice in §36B and five more times in other parts of the Act that mention tax credits. What are the odds, do you think, that the same slip of the pen occurred in seven separate places?

If there was a mistake here, context suggests it was a substantive mistake in designing this part of the law, not a technical mistake in transcribing it.

The Court’s decision reflects the philosophy that judges should endure whatever interpretive distortions it takes in order to correct a supposed flaw in the statutory machinery. That philosophy ignores the American people’s decision to give Congress “[a]ll legislative Powers” enumerated in the Constitution. Art. I, §1. They made Congress, not this Court, responsible for both making laws and mending them.

This Court holds only the judicial power—the power to pronounce the law as Congress has enacted it. We lack the prerogative to repair laws that do not work out in practice, just as the people lack the ability to throw us out of office if they dislike the solutions we concoct. We must always remember, therefore, that “
  • ur task is to apply the text, not to improve upon it.” Pavelic & LeFlore v. Marvel Entertainment Group, Div. of Cadence Industries Corp., 493 U. S. 120, 126 (1989).

Even less defensible, if possible, is the Court’s claim that its interpretive approach is justified because this Act “does not reflect the type of care and deliberation that one might expect of such significant legislation.” [Citation omitted] It is not our place to judge the quality of the care and deliberation that went into this or any other law. A laenacted by voice vote with no deliberation whatever is fully as binding upon us as one enacted after years of study, months of committee hearings, and weeks of debate.

Much less is it our place to make everything come out right when Congress does not do its job properly. It is up to Congress to design its laws with care, and it is up to the people to hold them to account if they fail to carry out that responsibility.

[T]he plain, obvious, and rational meaning of a statute is always to be preferred to any curious, narrow, hidden sense that nothing but the exigency of a hard case and the ingenuity and study of an acute and powerful intellect would discover.” Lynch v. Alworth-Stephens Co., 267 U. S. 364, 370 (1925).

Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.

Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.”

Today’s interpretation is not merely unnatural; it is unheard of.

[T]his Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax, “further [Medicaid] payments to the State” means only incremental Medicaid payments to the State, “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by litigants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence.

And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites."
59  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: June 25, 2015, 11:27:56 AM
It's now called SCOTUScare.
60  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Surprisingly, Hillary lies trying to rebut Clinton Cashgate on: June 23, 2015, 10:45:49 PM
"The timing doesn't work", she said about the contributions related to the Russian takeover of Uranium One, that the money was given to the foundation before she was Secretary of State.  - FALSE

More than $100 million came in from people who benefited from the transaction WHILE she was Secretary of State.

Hillary was secure in her knowledge that neither the interviewer nor most of the audience had read Schweitzer's book, Clinton Cash.

Clinton:  “I think part of the interesting twist to this is most foundations, charities do not publish all of their contributors. The Clinton Foundation does.”

But one of Schweizer’s revelations in Clinton Cash is that the Clinton Foundation does not, in fact, disclose all of its donors. Hillary is well aware of this, but apparently calculates that she can get away with more false claims.

Who is going to vett her claims, the media?
61  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Surprisingly, Hillary lies trying to rebut Clinton Cashgate on: June 23, 2015, 09:48:26 AM
"The timing doesn't work", she said about the contributions related to the Russian takeover of Uranium One, that the money was given to the foundation before she was Secretary of State.  - FALSE

More than $100 million came in from people who benefited from the transaction WHILE she was Secretary of State.

Hillary was secure in her knowledge that neither the interviewer nor most of the audience had read Schweitzer's book, Clinton Cash.

Clinton:  “I think part of the interesting twist to this is most foundations, charities do not publish all of their contributors. The Clinton Foundation does.”

But one of Schweizer’s revelations in Clinton Cash is that the Clinton Foundation does not, in fact, disclose all of its donors. Hillary is well aware of this, but apparently calculates that she can get away with more false claims.
62  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary’s Abysmal Record as Secretary of State Alone BY THOMAS SOWELL on: June 23, 2015, 09:36:49 AM
Hillary’s Abysmal Record as Secretary of State Alone... BY THOMAS SOWELL

There are no sure things in politics, but Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to a sure thing to become the Democrats’ candidate for president in 2016. This is one of the painful but inescapable signs of our time. There is nothing in her history that would qualify her for the presidency, and much that should disqualify her. What is even more painful is that none of that matters politically. Many people simply want “a woman” to be president, and Hillary is the best-known woman in politics, though by no means the best qualified. What is Hillary’s history? In the most important job she has ever held — secretary of state — American foreign policy has had one setback after another, punctuated by disasters.

U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to Islamic extremists’ taking over in Egypt and terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans. Fortunately, the Egyptian military has gotten rid of that country’s extremist government that was persecuting Christians, threatening Israel, and aligning itself with our enemies. But that was in spite of American foreign policy. In Europe, as in the Middle East, our foreign policy during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state was to undermine our friends and cater to our enemies. In the most important job she has ever held — secretary of state — American foreign policy has had one setback after another.

The famous “reset” in our foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration’s reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks. This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia — and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises. Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves. This was especially ironic since Barack Obama, when he was in the Senate, was one of those urging Ukraine to not only give up the nuclear weapons it had inherited from its days as a member of the Soviet Union, but to also reduce conventional military arms.

President Obama, like other presidents, has made his own foreign policy. But Hillary Clinton, like other secretaries of state, had the option of resigning if she did not agree with it. In reality, she shared the same flawed vision of the world as Obama’s when they were both in the Senate. Both of them opposed the military “surge” in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, that defeated the terrorists there. Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary Clinton was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit General Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge’s success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it. The truly historic catastrophe of American foreign policy — not only failing to stop Iran from going nuclear, but making it more difficult for Israel to stop them — was also something that happened on Hillary Clinton’s watch as secretary of state. What the administration’s protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran accomplished was to allow Iran time to multiply, bury, and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.

There are no offsetting foreign-policy triumphs under Secretary of State Clinton. Syria, China and North Korea are other scenes of similar setbacks. The fact that many people are still prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States, in times made incredibly dangerous by the foreign-policy disasters on her watch as secretary of state, raises painful questions about this country. A president of the United States — any president — has the lives of more than 300 million Americans in his or her hands, and the future of Western civilization. If the debacles and disasters of the Obama administration have still not demonstrated the irresponsibility of choosing a president on the basis of demographic characteristics, it is hard to imagine what could. With our enemies around the world arming while we are disarming, such self-indulgent choices for president can leave our children and grandchildren a future that will be grim, if not catastrophic.

 — Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is
63  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Issues in the American Creed (Constitutional Law and related matters) on: June 23, 2015, 09:30:18 AM
Big Supreme Court decisions coming very shortly, King v Burwell and the right of states to define marriage.  Predictions anyone?

I am hopeful on Burwell that the Court goes beyond merely reading the statute and strikes down all subsidies that aren't available equally to all Americans.  Is that too much to ask?

Roberts will write the Obamacare subsidy decision.  Kennedy will write the gay marriage decision.
64  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Susette Kelo vs Pfizer Corp and the City of New London, CT on: June 23, 2015, 09:24:01 AM

Yes, still wrong.  Another good article on the same topic below.  Worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott or Roe v. Wade?  It is salt in the ironic wounds that the liberals sided with Big Pharma and then the company left the city when the preferential tax subsidies ran out.  What have we learned?  For most, NOTHING.  Along with no respect for the sanctity of life or right of privacy (see healthcare), we don't respect property rights anymore.  The Court upheld the action of a City with acted with openly preferential treatment in favor of the largest company in town and took the pink house by the water from a woman who did nothing wrong for no reason other than financial gain, and it is symbolic of nearly all that is wrong with our country and government today.  A woman's house was not her castle.  I would ask, where are the women's rights advocates when you take their income, take their home or take their right to be left alone and not have to hire lawyers to oppose the government on its every power grabbing whim?  Nowhere to be seen.

Kelo v. City of New London Ten Years... by RICHARD EPSTEIN  There has been some progress, but much is left to do. Ten years ago, on June 23, 2005, the United States Supreme Court dropped a judicial thunderbolt in Kelo v. City of New London. By a narrow five-to-four margin it rejected a spirited challenge that Susette Kelo and her neighboring landowners had raised against the ambitious land-use development plan put forward by the City of New London, Ct. The formulaic account of the holding is that a local government does not violate the “public use” component of the Constitution’s takings clause — “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” — when it condemns property that will be turned over to a private developer for private development. Under the logic of Justice John Paul Stevens, so long as there is an indirect promised public benefit from the development process, the public-use inquiry is at an end, and Ms. Kelo can be driven out of her pink house by the water.

Ten years later, my reaction is the same as it was at the time: truly horrible. Justice Stevens and the Supreme Court were tone-deaf as to what moves people in dealing with property. Of all the cases decided since the year 2000, Kelo may not be the most important; ironically, it certainly was not the most controversial. But hands down, it was the decision that got more people indignant than any other. The bipartisan coalition in opposition was, and is, easy to identify. On the right, there are folks who think that a person’s home is his castle, and thus resent any forced displacement of individuals for the benefit of some supposed social good. And that anger doubles because of the crackpot and visionary nature of the particular plan at issue in Kelo. The communitarians on the left were upset that Pfizer, the company that was going to use the seized land for a research facility, should flex its muscles in ways that prey on individual people.

Anyone who wants to get a sense of the process would be well-advised to real Ilya Somin’s new book, The Grasping Hand, which offers a painful blow-by-blow account of how good intentions for redevelopment were so badly misdirected that ten years later the seized property remains empty. Perhaps the only nice feature about the case is that Ms. Kelo’s pink house was whisked away to another site, so that the newly vacant land can be used to collect debris that washes up on the shore. Yes, the grandiose development plans for the Fort Trumbull neighborhood never got to first base. As it turned out, New London was too slow off the mark, other communities built the ancillary facilities that Pfizer wanted, and the company pulled out of New London once the tax subsidies ran out.

 Truth be told, however, this bipartisan form of indignation cut too broadly for its own good. The same fierce objections could also be used to attack the destruction of homes to make way for a public hospital or public road. The public-use clause looks only at the purpose for which property is taken, but ordinary people also look at the other side of the equation and ask about the purpose that is deprived. Indeed, the fierce reaction to Kelo prompted lots of people to reexamine the use of eminent domain even in cases where the government’s public use, narrowly conceived, was incontrovertible. And they are right. The Constitution should not be the only restriction on the use of the takings power. It is one thing to knock someone out of a home, and quite another to tell a landlord that he is duty-bound to transfer his interest to his tenant in possession in an exchange that the state will enforce only after the tenant ponies up the cash to the state to work the condemnation. Yet this blatant violation of the public-use clause received its judicial blessing in Hawaiian Housing Authority v. Midkiff, a muddy 1984 decision in which Justice Sandra Day O’Connor concocted an indirect benefit that justified the coerced transfer — the need to eliminate supposed “oligarchy” in the Hawaiian housing market, which could have been done quite easily by opening up more restricted agricultural land to urban development. Doctrinally Midkiff was no better or no worse than Kelo, and to her credit, Justice O’Connor backed away from Midkiff in her Kelo dissent.

Yet back in 1984 the public yawned. Taking land from the Bishop Estate, a charitable trust, was, for many populists at least, a delicious prospect. The Left/Right coalition that formed in Kelo could not coalesce around the earlier case, which did not resonate with the public at large. So what should have been done in Kelo? Here the deep irony is that Justice Stevens did not have to tempt the devil. In general, my own view is that master plans are often too ambitious for their own good, much like those vaunted Soviet-style five-year plans. But often the ingredients are there. Such was evident in Kelo, where the introduction of a major $73 million subsidy from the state to the city had to be spent lest it be lost. So the impulse is to move first and think later, which is what the city did when it condemned the entire 90-acre Fort Trumbull development site before any concrete plans were in place. Remove the subsidy and perhaps New London would have been content to plan today and condemn tomorrow, when matters got closer to realization.

On the facts of that case, a possible halfway house would have been to condemn the land at the center of the development site immediately and leave the peripheral takings until later. Judicially, that is what the Connecticut trial judge decided when he spared Ms. Kelo’s plot because it was not in the path of any planned development. But hubris is in far greater supply as one moves through the court system, so that the Connecticut Supreme Court had such confidence in the city’s planners that it thought maximum flexibility was needed for effective planning. Had that court simply affirmed the decision below, Kelo would never have reached the U.S. Supreme Court and the entire incident would have faded away. Some state courts, and some state legislatures, have tried to clip the wings of the decision, but even that has been a hard battle. Yet, once it was decided, the outrage did not subside. Since that time, the Supreme Court has ducked the issue, even though some local governments have done things just as foolish and unnecessary as what the city of New London did. Some state courts, and some state legislatures, have tried to clip the wings of the decision, but even that has been a hard battle. It is difficult to get anyone to attack general planning for economic development, because sometimes in blighted communities it actually works. But “blight” can easily become a term of art, so that weeds in the garden may trigger a government takeover.

All this is not to deny that Kelo has had its effect, for surely it has, but chiefly through the medium of public opinion, which has tended to make it politically more costly for governments to condemn the property of their own citizens. It is so much easier politically to get local governments to rally support to zone out people they don’t want in their communities. Kelo was a big deal, and it will remain in the consciousness of the American public for years to come. Zoning is a bigger deal, and the same misguided progressive impulses that led to the rise of central planning on steroids are still dominant in an area that needs its own Kelo-like fiasco to get the public attention that it so richly deserves.

 — Richard Epstein is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law Emeritus and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago.

65  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alleged debunk of Lott is upside down on: June 22, 2015, 10:58:10 AM
Crafty's liberal friends have come across a summary of a "massive" 47 page missive claiming to "debunk" the work of economist John Lott who wrote books that include "More Guns, Less Crime".  From this, conservatives and gun rights advocates can learn to be careful not to make claims like that in all cases, more guns equals less crime.  More guns always means less crime however was not the title or the premise of Lott's work. 

For example, if you add one more gun to the otherwise gun free zone in a church in South Carolina, and the one gun happens to be in the hand of a deranged, mentally ill, racist nut with a premeditated plan to shoot up the place, the incidence of the crime mass murder goes up.  Add a second gun in the hands of a law abiding, well-trained, well-positioned parishioner that day and the incidence of crime that day would potentially go down.  So it isn't that simple, more guns, less crime.

The real question is upside down IMHO.  We already have an explicit constitutional right to own and bear arms.  The issue we are debating in the political world is not more guns, but the right to limit the right to bear arms.  In our state (and in 50 states now) that came up as a right to apply for and receive a permit for a concealed carry permit.  The issue also comes up as to whether or not making a specific location a "gun free zone" adds or takes away from public safety.

The anti-gun lobby in our state against "shall issue" concealed carry legislation argued that we would become the wild west.  They portrayed an environment where nearly everyone would carry and people would be settling their disputes with their guns.

Let's ask the questions forward instead of backward.  Did the issuing of more concealed carry permits make crime go up.  By all accounts, the answer is no.  Does the designation of gun free zones make crime go down?  Once again no.  Where in the debunk did they debunk THAT?   From my reading of it, they didn't.

Permit holders are roughly 10 time less likely to commit crimes than the general population.  In the rare incidence of a criminal taking the time to get a permit and then commit a crime, why do we think the safety class and the legal registration played any role in causing the crime?  It didn't.  There are 300 million guns already in America.  Criminals have access to guns and by definition, they don't limit their activities based on laws passed.

Gun free zones like Chicago have the worst violent crime in America.  Mass shootings including the latest one in SC keep happening in "gun free zone".  Also not debunked. 

The alleged debunker sheds more fog than light on the subject as he shows his own anti-gun cherry picking.  He claims guns don't significantly prevent crime because so few actually carry, while the argument against carry was that so many would carry.  He ignores the deterrent effect that people might be carrying - except in the gun free zones where these mass shootings keep occurring.  The shooter who chooses a church or a gun free theater for his mass murder does not seem to ignore that fact.
66  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: We the Well-armed People (Gun rights stuff ) on: June 19, 2015, 03:02:02 PM
Isn't a legal gun in the hand of a law abiding citizen, in the right place at the right time, the only way this shooting could have been stopped?

If the Glibster was in the room, he could have talked the delusional mass murderer down.

What is the point of calling this a hate crime?  Softer penalty if the shootings were not done with some kind of group hate, if they were same race, mixed race, etc.?  Really?  Isn't killing by definition a hate crime?  How do you get other than the maximum penalty for a premeditated andnintentional mass murder?  Rehabilitate and look for the good in someone like this? The politics of this are quite frustrating and ought to be unnecessary.
67  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance His Glibness: does not happen in other advanced countries on: June 19, 2015, 02:50:24 PM
“This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries"

Behring Anders Breivik killed 75, 2011, Norway
Mohammed Merah killed 7, 2012, France
Genildo Ferreira de França killed 14, 1997, Brazil
Michael Robert Ryan killed 16, 1987, UK
Eric Borel killed 15, 1995, France
Friedrich Leibacher killed 14, 2001,Switzerland
Christian Dornier killed 14, 1989, France
Ljubiša Bogdanović killed 13, 2013, Serbia
Derrick Bird killed 12, 2010, UK
Robert Steinhäuser killed 16, 2002, Germany
Tim Kretschmer killled 15, 2009, Germany
Wellington Menezes de Oliveira killed 12, 2011, Brazil
Bai Ningyang killed 12, 2006, China
Juhani Matti Saari killed 10, 2008, Finland
Huanming Wu killed 9, 2010, China
Ahmed Ibragimov killed 41, 1999, Russia
Ami Popper killed 7, 1990, Israel
Antoní Blažka killed 6, 2013, Czech Republic
68  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / John Podhoritz: Senator Marco Rubio is the one to beat on: June 17, 2015, 11:16:04 PM

What makes Rubio so frightening to others is, simply, that he is a freakishly gifted politician — and a daring one.
He chose to challenge the sitting governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, for the Republican nomination for Senate in 2009 when Crist was at 60 percent in the polls and he was at 3 — and not only knocked Crist out of the GOP race but then beat him by 20 points when Crist ran as an independent in the general election.
It was an unprecedented triumph, like a rookie pitcher winning 25 games, and only another politician knows just how seriously he must take a rival like that.
But here’s the real thing about Rubio. I’ve listened to him and watched him talk, both in private sessions and on the Senate floor in speeches you can see on YouTube.
He is, without question, the most naturally gifted off-the-cuff political speaker I have ever seen.
69  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential - Trump on: June 17, 2015, 03:13:36 PM
Hopefully we will not need a trump thread.

It is a mistake to take people like Perot and Trump lightly.  Trump has appeal, and he and Perot both had a superb skill of pointing out what is wrong - with both parties in some cases.

As I understand it, Trump can talk big like a candidate but needs to file very complete financials now within 15 days.  Hopefully that hurdle keeps him from taking up a chair.

So what's wrong with Trump?

Kevin Williamson rips him persuasively here with many facts.

One tidbit I take from it is 4 bankruptcies.  You may want to run the government more like a business but it isn't a business and you don't run it like a Trump business.  The federal government doesn't need to take risks; it needs to provide a solid foundation for private sector risk taking. 
70  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Fed calls out Wesbury, optimists wrong, future growth is "highly uncertain"! on: June 17, 2015, 02:58:09 PM
I was surprised to see Fed Chair Janet Yellen use such strong words to rip wrong headed optimists like Brian Wesbury.

Who could have seen this coming?  (

The following facts and truths were excerpted away from the all positive bs in this Washington Post story:

Officials at the nation’s central bank voted unanimously to leave the benchmark federal funds rate unchanged at zero during their regular policy meeting in Washington.

Since 2008, it has been at virtually zero in the (mistaken) hope that easy money would stimulate demand among consumers and businesses and bolster the recovery. Raising the rate (which they did NOT do) would amount to a vote of confidence in the country’s economic health. (A confidence they do not have.)

The central bank acknowledged that businesses have been wary of investing and exports are weak.  (I wonder what happened to American competitiveness during these failed redistribution years.)
The Fed... downgraded forecasts for the economy this year. The central bank lowered its forecast for growth.   Meanwhile, it raised the forecast for the unemployment rate.

“The various headwinds that are still restraining the economy will likely take some time to fully abate  (Huh?!), and the pace of that improvement is highly uncertain,” ('ya think?) Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a speech last month.

IT'S BEEN SIX AND A HALF YEARS!!  WHY DOES ANYONE THINK RESULTS WILL GET BETTER UNDER ALL THE SAME DESTRUCTIVE POLICIES??!!  It's insane - by definition.  Why doesn't Democrat Yellen honestly admit that it is not EVER going to get better unless and until we throw out all the current bums along with all their failed policies.

Wesbury apologizes, resigns.  (Just kidding.)
71  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WEsbury: Inflation is coming, and will arrive sooner and bigger than expected on: June 17, 2015, 02:17:53 PM
Famous people caught reading the forum.  )

Inflation was the expansion of the money supply; it already happened.  Price increases are coming IF/WHEN economic demand and velocity ever recover.  At zero or negative growth, that time could be never, or we could have a return of stagflation (see Jimmy Carter's first term) or deflation (see Japan last 20 years) which is potentially even more perilous.
72  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economy, what The Fed sees on: June 16, 2015, 11:14:46 AM
The Fed has the best data available anywhere on the US economy, down to micro-level crop reports and equivalent for all regions and industries.  They arguably have the most and best economists on staff of anywhere in the world with a virtually unlimited budget to study and track data. Yet The Fed has left their interest rate at 0% for 6 1/2 years - since Dec. 2008 including all of this "recovery", all of the Obama Presidency, through two different Fed Chairs.  All this in spite of the fact that we know zero interest rates are bad for savings, skew incentives, mis-allocate resources, give the policy makers no additional room to move and should only be used in an absolute emergency, if then.

We are told how solid the economy now is and how great and strong the recovery is and has been and how the market gains are not from Fed policy, yet those who know the very most think this economy and this recovery is still too weak and fragile to handle interest rates of even one or two percent, much less the 4 or 5% it would take to make savings possible.

I know Wesbury and Grannis think interest rates should start coming back up, but how do they explain that fact that The Fed, with all their wisdom, disagrees.

On another point, slightly related, it is time to repeal Humphrey Hawkins.

73  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Jeb Bush on: June 16, 2015, 10:55:10 AM
Other than the problems we have previously noted here about Gov. Bush, he would be one of the best candidates in the race.

This piece below predicts a Jeb victory.  I don't agree.  I'm pulling for a less experienced underdog, but the points made are mostly valid.

Five reasons Jeb Bush will be the next president

1. Bush is seeking to grow the Republican Party.

Rather than trying to expand his support among conservative voters, Bush is trying to make inroads with moderate, swing voters. For example, when I've heard Bush talk about his education reforms in Florida, he doesn't just give conservative talking points about expanding families' freedom to choose the school that's best for them. He explains how successful the reforms have been in making Florida's Hispanic, black and low-income students outscore students in other states.

Bush is a true Big Tent Republican. He generally doesn't attack other Republicans, and when he attacks Democrats, he generally avoids the outraged tone that other GOP candidates employ. This will be an attractive feature to the growing share of voters who are fed up with the politics of perpetual outrage. Conservative voters likely won't like his moderate approach to immigration or his support for Common Core. But Bush isn't flip-flopping on those issues; instead, he is working to convince conservatives of his positions while taking his message to moderate voters.

2. He's already in the lead.

Bush leads the RealClearPolitics polling average (although Scott Walker and Marco Rubio are very close behind). His drive to attract moderate voters will expand his base of support. Few others are competing for the same voters, leaving Bush nowhere to go but up.

After a shake-up in the management of his campaign even before it launches, many have suggested that Bush's campaign is faltering. I'm reminded of July 2007, when John McCain's campaign manager and chief strategist left. The entire campaign was downsized. In the end, McCain's shake-up was worse than Bush's, and things turned out okay for McCain. Surely Bush can do the same, if not better.

3. Other Republicans are shifting to the right.

At one point in the last few months I thought Walker had the best chance of winning the nomination. Then he showed what kind of voters he was trying to attract by taking ultra-conservative positions on national policy issues. Very conservative voters were already impressed by Walker's record of standing up to intense union opposition, and many would have supported him anyway. By shifting to the right on immigration, foreign policy and social issues, Walker has made himself look more conservative and less attractive to voters who weren't already inclined to support him.

With other Republicans moving rightward, there's a vacuum in the middle of the electorate — one that Bush is well-placed to fill.

4. Hillary Clinton is shifting to the left.

Clinton started the campaign with an unprecedented lead against her competitors. With the Democratic nomination all but sealed, it would only make sense for her to stay in the ideological center so as not to scare away moderate general election voters. Instead, Clinton has done the opposite, championing left-wing causes like debt-free college and automatic voter registration.

The New York Times' David Brooks has called Clinton's campaign strategy a "mistake" and bad for the country. Meanwhile, Brooks wrote, "Jeb Bush is trying to expand his party's reach." With Clinton abandoning independent voters, Bush's reach into the middle will go uncontested from the left, leaving Bush an opportunity to gain support.

5. No, Jeb doesn't have a "Bush" problem.

George H.W. Bush failed to win re-election in 1992. I'm sure some pundits must have thought the Bush family name would be tainted forever due to his unpopularity. But Bush's son won the presidency just eight years later, and was re-elected with more support than in his initial election. Today, George W. Bush's favorable ratings are above 50 percent, which is more than President Obama and Hillary Clinton can say about theirs.

Hillary's Obama problem is worse than Jeb's Bush problem.

The Democratic candidate, no matter who it is, is going to be tied to Obama's approval rating. Hillary Clinton will be especially tied to his foreign policy, having served as his secretary of state. The ongoing situation in Ukraine will cause her a lot of problems, given her "reset button" stunt.

74  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Wesbury: Unemployment NOT higher on: June 11, 2015, 11:30:53 PM

42% of adults don't work.  Not 5.5%.  Not 10.8%.  42%!  If you are not actively looking for work, you are not employed, but not unemployed.  That's clear isn't it?  If the government pays you SSI, SNAP, MFIB, TANF, Medicaid, Section 8 or one of a thousand and fifty other social spending programs other than unemployment compensation to not work, and you don't work, don't look for work, don't even want to work or plan to work - ever again, then you are NOT unemployed.

This kind of logic makes me sick. 
75  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: 2016 Presidential on: June 11, 2015, 11:10:28 PM
I think you've got the wrong link here.  Very interesting anyway.
76  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Carly Fiorina, The Hillary Slayer on: June 11, 2015, 11:06:17 PM
New Carly Fiorina ad dismantles Hillary Clinton's accomplishments


Nothing new, but very well packaged.  This is how you do this.  It doesn't take any money to pass around a video link. Help her out; pass it around.
77  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen.Ted Cruz, Campaign update on: June 11, 2015, 10:49:06 PM
My other first choice.  Good interview.  20 minutes, no commercials.
Senator Ted Cruz on 2016, TPA, TPP And The Islamic State
Thursday, June 11, 2015    |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Fund raising going well.
Ted Cruz got 40% of the Hispanic vote in Texas, 2012.  That threatens the Obama model Hillary is following.
CinC should have a strategy, defeat radical Islamic terrorists, destroy Islamic State.
Arm the Kurds.  Kurds are boots on the ground for us.
Would not end the filibuster.
78  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law on: June 11, 2015, 10:27:54 PM
I don't understand the politics of this decision at all.  While I watched Dick Morris, I listened to Mark Levin on radio make the same points.  They are so specific about what this and say supporters haven't read it because no one has.  Well how do THEY know what is in it then.

Of course we don't trust Obama.  But authority to negotiate a trade agreement for an up or down vote should include strict parameters from which to negotiate a trade agreement.  In other words, an agreement named a trade agreement that includes non-trade items like all of what Dick Morris claims, giving away sovereignty etc., will NOT be brought before the House or Senate for an up and down vote.  If it covers immigration issues too or changes our constitutional process, overrides congressional powers, any of these things, then it shall be amended.  Put that in there and then give him the authorization.

Republicans have the majority in both the House and the Senate right now.  They will have 60 days to read and argue it.  Too bad Republicans can't trust Republicans to vote down a bad agreement. 
79  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio's house and Hillary's on: June 10, 2015, 07:11:02 AM

Rubios' house and neighborhood above.

And Hillary's house below, away from the little people, with armed guards "protecting" the email server.

Rubio revels in media attacks.

Next up, Rubio's fishing boat next to John Kerry's yacht.
80  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iraq on: June 08, 2015, 11:11:40 PM
Our attempt to install consensual, self-government in place of bloody, murderous tyranny in Iraq at the cost of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars was heroic.  It almost worked.  It did work for a while.  Others tossed away the gains that were made at such a great cost.  Saddam was hanged.  That sent a message.  We lost patience.  That sent another message.  We didn't even keep intel resources on the ground much less a residual force or 'base on the horizon' as was once contemplated.  A year ago our dear leader was calling ISIS the JV team.  Today he still doesn't have a plan to defeat them.  Commander in Chief in name only.  The commands he has issued in Iraq are stand down.

Saddam would be nuclear by now if left alone in 2002 when this debate occurred, 13 years ago according to the Iraq Study Group. 
81  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: June 08, 2015, 10:57:14 PM
"Therefore day to day stuff is out of pocket.   Towards that end, PRICES MUST BE KNOWN; THEY MUST BE READILY AVAILABLE TO ALL POTENTIAL PATIENTS."

Agreed.  That is exactly the focus we need.
82  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Economics, the stock market , and other investment/savings strategies on: June 08, 2015, 10:54:17 PM
"Today, the true unemployment rate is 10.8%"    - 'nuff said!

In fact the unemployment rate is 37.2% of adults in America.
"62.8%: Labor Force Participation Has Hovered Near 37-Year-Low for 11 Months"
That is the lowest participation rate EVER FOR ADULT males. 

It is like an Obama straw man argument.  Why is the comparison point the depth of the worst collapse instead of the median or best of other so-called recoveries?

What portion of this so called 'recovery' is artificial?  What should or would be the market interest rate if not for QE-insanity?  What is the growth rate employment rate if / when we remove all the artificial stimuli and create an economy of private sector balance, where savings equals investment?

What is the GDP gap since 2009, the area under the curve between where we are and we we should be?  2-3 trillion per year times 6.5 years and counting - on the conservative side?  We are approaching 20 trillion of income not earned and wealth not created due to counter-productive policies and approaching 100 million adults not working by the end of his term. 

Yay, rah - rah, zero percent growth!    Excuse me if I don't get excited.  We are not the ones mixing politics with economics.
83  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio, Road map to the Presidency on: June 08, 2015, 04:01:44 PM
Rubio's pollster has written the road map to the Presidency that any succdessful Republican will need to follow.

"For Republicans to become competitive again in presidential elections, Republican candidates must perform better among whites, especially in the overwhelmingly white states of the upper Midwest, and much better among minorities.”

Specifics on issues are included.
84  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: June 08, 2015, 03:56:39 PM

"allowing Americans to purchase policies across state lines"

I've pushed this one here for a while now.  This is the only one I see that is likely to gather positive notice.

"reforming medical liability laws"

Good idea but not a particularly potent idea.  Question-- Isn't this a matter of State laws?

"removing any subsidy assistance"

Politically this will be a BIG negative.   Something potent will be needed to offset this and then some.

"increasing tax benefits"

In that the rich are the ones paying taxes, this will be portrayed as subsidizing the rich while ending subsidies for the poor.

"expanding federal funding for state “high-risk pools,”"

probably a good idea to answer the pre-existing condition issue.

"and investing in research for the most common causes of death in the United States.”

Pork to placate; I doubt it will serve that function very well.

Good work answering this.

1.  Agree, open up commerce across state lines. 

2.  'Isn't medical malpractice/liability a matter of state law?'  By their standard, nothing is a state matter.  This affects interstate commerce, right?

3. "removing any subsidy assistance"   Agree, this is the landmine they left behind.  84% of Obamacare enrollees are subsidized.  Republicans / reformers have to deal with this economically and politically or they have walked into the trap.  I don't have the answer for how to replace socialism with socialis, or to have people who left work for subsidy suddenly become self sufficient.

4.  "increasing tax benefits"  Agree with you, playing with fire here.

5. "expanding federal funding for state “high-risk pools,”  Agree again with you, a program for dealing with pre-existing conditions is a political must.  This was a point Republicans already agreed to before Obamacare.  This should be a shrinking pool if more and more now have coverage, unless people are losing their coverage.  It seems to me the govt enters into a contract with the individual similar to what was done with welfare reform.  If we subsidize, you have to maintain payment on your portion of the coverage to remain eligible.

6. "investing in research"  Right.  Don't we already do that?  Another socialist answer to a private sector challenge?

None of these, it seems to me, addresses the underlying problem that our healthcare system is overly bureaucratic and inefficient and therefore overpriced by several-fold.  There will be short term and long term agenda items.  If/when the Supreme Court strikes down federal subsidies to individuals in states with no exchange, we need to some plug in that hole.  That will require positive legislation from a Repulican congress to a signature from the President.  I don't know the specifics, but we should agree to the short term fix only if he/they agree to a long term fix which must necessarily include a pathway to giving consumers more power and responsibility.  The proposed reforms don't get us there other than ending subsidies, which is a political disaster.  We know negotiating with the President is a losing proposition.  The plan has to be good enough to take to the people and win.  We could use some real leadership here.  Maybe one of our 19 candidates can step forward and do that prior to being elected.
85  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gov. Rick Perry on: June 07, 2015, 02:43:40 PM
Crafty:  " I admit to being surprised, but I thought Perry's announcement speech, and his extensive interview with Hannity afterwards (Hannity actually behaved himself and asked fair and balanced questions!) were both quite strong.  The man clearly has been boning up on foreign affairs since last time and I thought he spoke well and persuasively about them.   His talking points about what he did as governor are quite strong (e.g. 1/3 of the jobs created during the Obama years were in Texas).  Indeed, in many ways he appears to be a very well rounded candidate: strong executive experience with proven results.   Of course there is the "Oops!" thing, but he appears emotionally centered and comfortable in responding when it comes up.   The man bears a second look I'm thinking."

Yes, he has the best record, perhaps the best experience, is right on nearly all the issues (from my point of view), and is very under-rated because of one freeze up under pressure on a rather trivial point.

That said, he is not my first choice.  I thought he came out too perfectly aimed at winning votes on the right, when he needs to persuade and win those 2 or 3% in the middle to be President.  All his wins were in Texas, an important state, but an already safe one, so he has no real political experience having to win a swing state or to connect and appeal to people from other regions.  Great executive experience.  Virtually no foreign policy or Washington experience.  It's a tradeoff that they all have to overcome on one side or another of it.

The main thing is that by having so many solid candidates ready to be President, it elevates the level required for whoever wins the nomination.

Who do they have over on the other side with Perry's experience and success?  Nobody.  What has Hillary ever run on a par with governing the State of Texas, one of the largest economies in the world?  Nothing.  What Dem Governor has Perry's economic record - with more jobs added than the other 49 combined?  Obviously no one. 
86  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Current Rep alternative on: June 07, 2015, 02:20:43 PM

Great question.  I will look into it, and want to also know what Crafty and others think.  The Republicans need a plan.  This is the plan.  Just saying no government or federal involvement isn't going to cut it.  Does this move us in the right direction and solve enough politically to allow us to win and privatize healthcare further in the future?  We know this issue is going to get demogogued as soon as the Republicans take action.  I guess we also know Obama will veto anything they pass.  It better be their best effort, one they can hold firm on as while an insincere jerk makes straw arguments back against them from the bully pulpit.

(More likely Republicans will fear Obama, fold and give him everything he demands.)

From the link:

“Highlights of the bill include removing any subsidy assistance, increasing tax benefits, expanding federal funding for state “high-risk pools,” allowing Americans to purchase policies across state lines, reforming medical liability laws, and investing in research for the most common causes of death in the United States.”
87  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nothing on this yet from professional journalist Martha Raddatz on: June 07, 2015, 02:09:39 PM

Yes, strange all the way around.  Was there any possibility they could do this investigation and then NOT print it when it turns out they uncovered NOTHING?  There used to be an unwritten rule about not going after the spouses and family - at least until they become politically involved.  This non-story is about Mrs. Rubio.  4 tickets in 20 years for the candidate is nothing.  It means he is driving himself around and trying to get himself to a lot of things.  Legal authorities would look more at how many tickets in the last 6 or 12 months, not 2 decades.

One analyst called the NYT story a parody.  Hard to distinguish the Times from the Onion.

This story actually helps Rubio.  Getting all these things out there now so that they don't come out later as a surprise is a good thing for the campaign.  Same with the story about his friend having troubles.

The analogy to the Obama non-coverage is made worse by the fact that Obama had no intention of ever paying his tickets, even to become a US Senator, until he decided to run for President.  Who could have seen that level of arrogance and privilege coming?  And they still don't cover it.

Does the Times have an agenda, or a double standard?  'ya thin?  Do they hold themselves to any sort of journalistic standard for consistency?  Not in the least.  Now we wait and see if Martha and Candy step in with outrage, defending the integrity of their profession, lol.

You would think the so-called professional journalists would try to put out a high quality work product - a notch above what they call the bloggers in pajamas.   But they don't.
88  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / NY Times: Senator Marco Rubio broke the law on: June 05, 2015, 07:52:21 PM
I think ccp already caught this.  The NY Times went to Miami and other places to dig up dirt on Marco Rubio and found traffic tickets!

They went back to 1997 (pre-children BTW) and found that he had 4 and she had 13.

Meanwhile Hillary is at least a 3-time loser felon, 3 strikes and you're out.  Also Hillary's spouse has to explain his RECENT travels with teenage prostitutes, whether he indulged or not.

The comparison between the Rubios and the Clintons takes us back to George H.W. Bush commenting on a grocery store scanner after spending 8 years in the shelter of the White House.  Check my math on this but Hillary Clinton HAS NOT EITHER OWNED OR DRIVEN A CAR IN ALL OF THIS TIME. possibly never.  They didn't even own a house for most of their adult life, she has said, going from the Governor's mansion to the White House, with drivers and pilots.  How is that for relating to the problems of what they now call the "little people".

Here is the photo the NY Times ran with the traffic ticket expose'.  This isn't going to hurt him...
89  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: WSJ/Strassel: Clinton charity begins at home on: June 05, 2015, 01:43:02 PM
That's right!  How did the IRS non-profit group shut down tea party groups for years for doing nothing wrong and then give the Clinton Family Crime Foundation who directs almost none of its money to charity a free pass.  You would think they would have to at least fake an investigation.
90  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Senator Marco Rubio out there shrinking the gender gap on: June 05, 2015, 01:39:01 PM

A good interview with the gals on Fox.  I think they found him likable.  Unlike the other side, he answered all their questions.
91  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Sen. Rand Paul's outrage, IRS or NSA? on: June 04, 2015, 10:29:11 PM
While Rand Paul was blaming Republicans for ISIS and shutting down the NSA, somehow we let his thread drift down to page 2.

Rand Paul has made himself a niche player, using NSA grandstanding for his Presidential fundraising.  Further, acting like an establishment politician, he got his own election rules changed so that he could run for both President and reelection - unlike a competitor I have mentioned from Fla.

The federal government over-reach on NSA has not been egregious.  They know what phone numbers have connected and have use for that only when one of them is connected with terrorism.  There have been no abuses of the program that we know of so far.  They are not listening to your conversations.

Meanwhile, this God-awful administration used the IRS to put down opposition groups to get reelected in ways that would make Richard Nixon blush.  WHERE IS RAND PAUL'S OUTRAGE ON THAT?  

I get sick and tired of these Republicans who try to advance themselves by attacking other Republicans. Who is your adversary here Rand, the Republicans whose vote you will need to win or the Democrats who you will run against if you win the nomination you say you are seeking.

Taking the Obama administration down a notch based on their own lies, corruption and failures is necessary to win the next election along with taking down their nomine.  His approval rating is a key factor in the outcome of the election of his successor - according to every election expert.

If you are serious about running for President as a Republican defeating Democrats - then start acting like it.
92  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trade Issues / Freedom to Trade on: June 04, 2015, 10:07:52 PM
The fact that McConnell is saying the trade deal is about the country and not Obama just shows how corrupt he is.  There can be no other explanation that he is for this for pork and for his lobby business cronies.
Just despicable how our own party just washes us down the drain.  I expect it from the crats but not from Republican

Doug, I take it you go to Repub conventions?

I for one am with the millions who will not vote for the likes of Bush (unless he really changes his tune), Graham, Kasich, Christy, and the like.   I will sit home and if Hillary wins she wins.  These guys are a loss anyway so no point in voting for them.
McConnell and the other fraud from the other House are corrupt.  Just no other explanation folks.
Give Obama fast track?  There not crazy - just corrupt.

Doc,  You have this about right.  The fast track opposition is really about distrust of the Congress to vote down a bad deal, not the obvious - that this President can't be trusted to negotiate in our best interests.

Bush won't be the nominee IMO, but I have already been wrong on one of these picks.

If it really came down to Bush v. Clinton ...     well let's deal with that only if we have to.  He isn't going to change, but we aren't going to sit still and let her win either.

Remember the author of the latest Clinton corruption book also has a follow-the-money book coming out about Jeb.   So far, Jeb is under-performing in terms of both fund raising and poll numbers, even if he is almost in first place.  He hasn't won an election in a long time and doesn't seem to get the framework of this one.

All I can say about trade bills that aren't about trade is vote them down and vote in a better President.  We are the United States of America, very recently the largest economy in the world.  People should want to trade with us!
93  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary's whistle blowers meet with House committee on: June 04, 2015, 02:51:32 PM
94  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Immigration issues: Ann Coulter newest book, Adios America on: June 03, 2015, 02:07:32 PM
Our ccp is proven right - again.

I have been on the WSJ side of this, believing LEGAL immigration is mostly good - good for the country, good for the economy, and completely unrelated to illegal immigration.  Not so, according to this new bool.

Ann Coulter is often a flame thrower, but when she gets things right, she can do that with amazing wit, persuasion and clarity.

Only one chapter of this book is on illegal immigration, but the main point is to examine and expose what is happening on the legal side.

"You know I am a ferocious researcher", she said in an interview, and then went on to tell how the federal government with all its demographics, data and record keeping will not give out any information that ties statistics like crime or welfare to immigration.  So she relentlessly went through local crime stories from across the country looking for keywords like "translator" as it applied to criminal charges and other things and found out things that are not otherwise reported.

Here is a link:    I haven't read the book but her point is that these immigrants are not like those immigrants.  Generalizing, they are not coming here for the same reasons as the immigrants of the past.

Legal immigration SHOULD be a good thing because we have needs and should decide who comes in - the right people from the right places for the right reasons.  In this politically correct world, that type of analysis is never going to happen

The Pamela Geller piece posted today in 'Islam in America' about Somali immigration is relevant here too. I went to school there on the west bank of the Univ. of Minnesota and knew that neighborhood that is now called "Little Mogadishu".  Arguably we took in refugees from a region with brutal civil war and we have done that before with other people from other regions.  But why are these people here - legally - if they don't accept basic foundations of our society like free speech.  Besides the right to remain silent, to an attorney, etc., in Minneapolis you also have the right to a free, competent and "culturally sensitive" interpreter, no matter your language and not just for criminal matters.

More later when people have time to read the book and cite her facts, but her main point in my words is that these people, Hispanic and others, are coming from failed cultures and bringing their failed ways with them causing more problems and societal costs here.  Liberals and Democrats are conspiring to get them here, all set up on welfare programs and dependent on government from the moment they arrive and lock them in as reliable voters.  If true (and it IS true) that should drive every remaining, hard working, blue collar Democrat out of the party.  

Signing up for free everything isn't how it worked when other groups in the past came here and successfully assimilated over time and contributed greatly to our country.  Don't confuse the greatness of these people with the results of what is happening now.  Critics of course call that line of inquiry racist, but what are the facts?  No one else will say.

Whatever comes out of this, there should be a serious discussion about what legal immigration should be, in addition to solving the illegal problem.  You can look at Sweden for another example, but you can't mix open borders with a massive entitlement system and then be surprised to learn people are coming for the wrong reasons and causing problems.
95  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marco Rubio First in latest CNN poll on: June 02, 2015, 01:30:43 PM
Rubio 1st in CNN poll (and 4th in ABC poll).  Gained 7 points on Jeb Bush in one month, passing him by one, all within the margin of error.   Walker and Huckabee also double digits.  These early polls are all over the map but the averages and trend lines matter.  Best position I think is to be top of the second tier, not at the very top too early where everyone needs to knock you down.  As long as this stays 5 or 6-way close, the candidates need to audition for the general election rather than knock down each other.
96  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Trade Issues / Freedom to Trade on: June 01, 2015, 12:01:57 PM
Good points ccp.

The debate so far was about fast track trade negotiating authority.  Of course we don't want President O negotiating on our behalf, but we also don't want that precedent to be lost on his successors.  536 people can't negotiate.

On the question of what we can do about it if it comes out as a bad agreement:  The majority of Dems already oppose it without the defects speculated.  A letter signed by half the Republicans would put the President on notice that if it contains the 'other 24 sections', it will be voted down.  But say that only if you mean it, not to paint Obama-like red lines.

I am SO tired of bills, laws and treaties not being what they are named.  If they put something into a trade agreement that is not in his trade authorization, then amend it anyway, down to its authorized and constitutional sections, and vote it up or down.

Let's make sure US sovereignty versus consenting to world government is on the issues list in the next campaign.  That is NOT opposition to trade.  And don't give away whatever control of the internet that we still have.
97  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re-do: Hillary to announce (again) on June 13 on: June 01, 2015, 11:36:54 AM
Is this the point where I have officially lost (again) Phase I of my bet with ccp, that she won't run, won't win the nomination, and won't be elected President?

Her first attempt, posting a video and a couple of pretend appearances, looked pretty lame.  She wasn't really launching yet; she just needed to jump through some legal, financial hoops.  You know how the Clintons want to comply with not only the letter but the spirit of the law.  Soon she be up to her 2007 pace, announcing her willingness to accept the coronation.

I hope some junior Senator (other than Rubio or Cruz) doesn't step in and mess it up for her,

I bumped into an old friend yesterday, medium lefty, who I enjoy some political banter with.  He asked who I was supporting.  I said Rubio.  He seemed shocked, no response.  I asked him who he was supporting and he said Hillary without hesitation.  I asked if he liked her for her honesty?  No response.  I think he likes her now because that's who he wanted last time.  That should give her at least as good of a chance to be President as our second place finisher, Rick Santorum.   )
98  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of the Republicans on: June 01, 2015, 10:34:51 AM
"This is probably a very common scam the politicians use to make money.   Remember this is exactly how Harry Reid got his millions.  Same scam."

    - It sure does sound the same - except that this was after Hastert left office so R's have no more opportunity to kick him out.  Dems had every opportunity and left their slime in power.

"Oh but perfectly legal"   

    - I doubt that.

"As for sexual indiscretion(s) hard to say.  Why now that he is rich did his alleged victim come forward ~ 35 later."

    - There are better explanations for why not come forward sooner than for why these payments were made.  Since i'm not on the jury and don't want to look into the facts any further, I'm going to assume he's guilty.  Otherwise he can explain the payments in a way that we believe him.  BTW, praying on young boys is not an 'indiscretion'.  It's closer to treason - the thread where this started.  Penalty should be genitalia-ectomy.  Maybe that would discourage it.
99  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Hillbillary Clintons shadiest characters: Cody Shearer on: June 01, 2015, 10:17:06 AM
My wish is to defeat her on ideology, rather than corruption and character, but while we wait for her trade position, Keysone decision, tax plan and budget, we can take a look at her team.

Meet Cody Shearer, the Strangest Character in Hillary’s Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
 BY BRENDAN BORDELON,   National Review  (link below)

And you thought Sidney Blumenthal was shady. Few people have heard of Cody Shearer, the unsanctioned diplomat, private eye, and Clinton flunky whose name surfaced in connection with the so-called intelligence reports Sidney Blumenthal was channeling to Hillary Clinton during her time at the State Department. But this shadowy fixture of the Clinton machine was everywhere in the 1990s — including war-torn Bosnia, where he became the subject of a State Department investigation after he represented himself as an agent of the U.S. government and took cash from a genocidal warlord.

Now evidence suggests Shearer, working with his partner Blumenthal, was up to something similar during the 2011 revolution in Libya. And like in the 1990s, the Clintons were lurking on the margins. Much of the intelligence contained in memos fed to the Clinton State Department by Blumenthal was not just self-serving — it was provided by someone with a history of misleading foreign sources, misrepresenting himself as an agent of the U.S. government, and creating trouble for both himself and the United States abroad. Much of the intelligence contained in memos fed to the Clinton State Department by Blumenthal was not just self-serving — it was provided by someone with a history of misrepresenting himself as an agent of the U.S. government.

Though often described as a journalist, Shearer hasn’t written much since the 1980s. His work, like that of his father, Lloyd Shearer, the former editor of Parade magazine, was often gossipy and reputation-ruining. A series of columns the younger Shearer wrote on the sexual proclivities of former Texas senator John Tower sank his nomination for defense secretary in 1989. RELATED: Did Sidney Blumenthal Violate Foreign-Lobbying Laws?

Shearer’s career took a strange turn when the Clintons entered the White House in 1992. His entrée into the first family’s orbit was Strobe Talbott, Shearer’s brother-in-law, who had been a friend of Bill Clinton since the president’s days at Oxford. Talbott served as a deputy secretary in Bill Clinton’s State Department; his brother-in-law took a different route, allegedly working with Clinton enforcer Terry Lenzner to investigate and, at times, intimidate women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.

But Shearer’s political intrigues in the ’90s extended beyond U.S. shores. In the middle of the decade, for reasons that remain unclear, he traveled to Europe to negotiate with associates of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian-Serb president known to have orchestrated the mass killings of Bosnian Muslims — including the Srebrenica genocide — during the brutal Yugoslav Wars. Representing himself as an agent of the State Department, Shearer told his Serbian contacts, which included members of Karadzic’s family, that he could reduce the severity of impending war-crimes charges if Karadzic surrendered. He claimed he was in contact not only with his brother-in-law, but also with then-secretary of state Madeleine Albright and even with President Clinton himself. 

“He said, ‘If you can show to my friends, meaning his brother-in-law and the president, that you can offer a serious line of negotiation, military action to capture Karadzic would not happen,’” the Serbian associate said, according to a 1999 Wall Street Journal article. A subsequent State Department investigation found that the Serbs paid Shearer at least $25,000 for his efforts, though the Serbs themselves claim he was paid much more.

Although Shearer’s negotiations on behalf of the U.S. government were unauthorized, the Wall Street Journal reported that Strobe Talbott knew of his brother-in-law’s activities at least one year before the State Department did and asked him to stop. He only felt compelled to do so, according to the Journal, because Shearer was erroneously informing his Serbian contacts that the U.S. supported a plan to partition Bosnia, not because he was conducting shadow diplomacy with a genocidal warlord.

David Bossie, now the president of the conservative political-action committee Citizens United, first uncovered Shearer’s role in the Bosnia negotiations as a GOP researcher on the House Oversight Committee in the 1990s. The State Department’s inspector general opened an investigation into Shearer’s actions in 1999, but it was never publicly released. “It was just one of those things that fell by the wayside,” says Bossie. “And then the Clintons leave office and it’s all forgotten.” Citizens United is now asking the State Department to release the investigation’s results.

Fast-forward 14 years and, in early 2011, as a State Department-sanctioned revolution against the Qaddafi regime in Libya was picking up steam, longtime Clinton consigliere Sidney Blumenthal was sending “confidential” intelligence memos to Hillary Clinton. He was touting leaders of the Libyan rebel movement with whom he had business dealings and pushing for the hire of private military contractors while working as an adviser to Osprey Global Solutions, a contracting company seeking to do business in Libya.

Shearer was aiding Blumenthal in these “intelligence-gathering” efforts. In one e-mail message from May 2001, first published by Gawker in March, Shearer appears to be serving as the liaison between Blumenthal and “Grange,” the former Army general and CEO of Osprey, as they attempt to organize a small team of contractors to conduct an unspecified mission to the Libyan border from Tunisia. He is also in frequent contact with “K,” a Libyan named Khalifa al Sherif who seems to be feeding Shearer intelligence reports from inside the Libyan revolutionary council.

It’s not clear to what extent Clinton knew she was involving herself with Shearer — National Review was unable to contact Shearer, and the Clinton campaign did not reply to a request for comment. Bossie says the House Select Committee on Benghazi has been notified of Shearer’s past indiscretions in Bosnia and believes that history will prove instructive as to what he was up to in Libya — and on whose behalf.

 - Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.
100  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Issues...Constitutional Law, 5 cases to watch, not just Burwell and Hodges on: June 01, 2015, 09:55:45 AM
5 Supreme Court Cases to Watch in June
(I would like to discuss these with Bigdog.)

The High Court prepares to rule on Obamacare, gay marriage, death penalty drugs, and more.
Damon Root | May 31, 2015

The Supreme Court's 2014-2015 term will soon reach its finale. By the end of June, when the justices depart for their summer break, the Court is expected to issue a series of blockbuster decisions, including rulings on gay marriage, death penalty drugs, and Obamacare. Here are five cases to watch as another momentous SCOTUS term reaches its peak.

Elonis v. United States

Anthony Elonis claims that he's "just an aspiring rapper" who likes to post violent lyrics and graphic first-person murder fantasies to Facebook. But after numerous Facebook postings in which Elonis wrote about killing his estranged wife, killing his boss, and killing others, including the FBI agent sent to investigate him, a federal jury found him guilty of transmitting "in interstate or foreign commerce any communications containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person of another." He was sentenced to 44 months in prison.

In Elonis v. United States the Supreme Court will decide whether those Facebook posts constituted a "true threat" of violence or whether they count as constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment.

Glossip v. Gross

The state of Oklahoma employs a three-drug protocol when carrying out the death penalty via lethal injection. The first drug is supposed to render the prisoner totally unconscious and insensate. The second drug is a paralytic. The third drug does the killing. But what if there is a lack of medical consensus about whether or not the first drug actually renders the prisoner unconscious and insensate? What if paralyzed prisoners sometimes suffer excruciating pain in the final minutes before death? (A concern not afforded to the innocent in late term abortions.) Would that lack of medical certainty about the drug's effects violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against imposing cruel and unusual punishments (of serial killers)?  Italics comments added.

Glossip v. Gross centers on such concerns. At issue is Oklahoma's use of the drug midazolam to render prisoners unconscious during execution. According to the petitioners, midazolam "is not approved or used as a standalone anesthetic during painful surgeries, because it is inherently incapable of reliably inducing and maintaining deep, comalike unconsciousness." The Supreme Court is tasked with determining whether or not the lower court got it wrong when it allowed Oklahoma to continue using this potentially unreliable drug.

Horne v. United States Department of Agriculture

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires the government to pay just compensation when it takes private property for a public use. Yet according to a federal regulation designed to "stabilize" the raisin market, raisin farmers such as Marvin and Laura Horne are required to physically surrender a portion of their crop to federal officials each year without receiving just compensation in return. For example, in 2002-2003, the USDA demanded 30 percent of the annual raisin crop, which amounted to 89,000 tons. In return, the federal government paid nothing back to raisin farmers.

Do the USDA's actions violate the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment? The Supreme Court will decide in Horne v. USDA.

Obergefell v. Hodges

Do state legislatures have the lawful power to prohibit gay marriage? Or do state bans on gay marriage violate the 14th Amendment, which forbids the states from denying the equal protection of the laws to any person within their respective jurisdictions? In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court confronts the possibility of legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

King v. Burwell

The question before the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell is whether the Obama administration illegally implemented the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) when the IRS allowed tax credits to issue to certain persons who bought health insurance on federally established health care exchanges. According to the text of the ACA, such tax credits should only issue in connection with purchases made via an "Exchange established by the State." According to the Obama administration, however, the phrase "established by the State" is actually a "term of art" that encompasses exchanges established by both the states and by the federal government. The legal challengers, by contrast, maintain that the statutory text is clear and that the health care law means what it says. Depending on how the Court sees it, the long-term survival of Obamacare could be at risk.

Damon Root is a senior editor of Reason magazine and the author of Overruled: The Long War for Control of the U.S. Supreme Court (Palgrave Macmillan).
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