Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Fox News reports:
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a U.S. senator's lawsuit challenging a requirement that congressional members and their staffs obtain government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges, saying the senator had no grounds to sue.
In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped nearly 5 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal.You haven't heard the last of this story. Here's more from left-wing TPM.
A judicial panel in a 2-1 ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov.
The decision threatens to unleash a cascade of effects that could seriously compromise Obamacare's goals of compelling people to get health insurance, and helping them afford it.
The Obama Administration is certain to seek a reversal of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which does not immediately have the effect of law.
The ruling endorsed a controversial interpretation of the Affordable Care Act that argues that the HealthCare.gov subsidies are illegal because ACA does not explicitly empower a federal exchange to offer subsidized coverage, as it does in the case of state-created exchanges. Subsidies for more than 2 million people who bought coverage on state exchanges would not be affected by Tuesday's ruling if it is upheld.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:34 AM
GE supported Vox has the money crank article of the day. Only the ignorant think printing more money leads to prosperity.
The Wall Street Journal reports:
Friday brings yet another indication that Senate Democrats are in trouble this year.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report moved Iowa’s Senate race from its Lean Democratic column to Toss Up – a downgrade for Democrats that comes a day after an NBC/Marist poll found Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley in a dead heat with Republican Joni Ernst, an Iowa state senator.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:03 AM
Twitchy has the propaganda of left-wing journalist Roger Simon.
Probably hoping no one would notice, regulators late last week exempted from ObamaCare five U.S. territories where it was failing. Will they do the same once it's obvious ObamaCare is failing everywhere else?Will a future Presidents "broaden" the "exemptions" of ObamaCare?
When the geniuses in Congress and the White House were writing the ObamaCare legislation, they made a slight mistake. The law imposed ObamaCare's guaranteed issue and community rating insurance mandates on the five territories — which have a combined population of more than 4 million — but it exempted them from the individual mandate and didn't offer any subsidies.
Not surprisingly, the insurance markets quickly collapsed in Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands, just like health officials there said would happen.
Until last week, the administration claimed there was nothing it could do. A year ago, in fact, they told the territories that, while the law might have been badly written, it's the law. The HHS "does not have the authority" to fix the problem.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:39 AM
There are 57,000 kids at the border who need temporary shelter. Shame on the Democratic governors who are turning them away.Some Democrats don't want illegals in their community.
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The Hill reports:
The IRS might not have lost the backups of former agency administrator Lois Lerner’s emails after all, according to a top IRS official.The great moments of the IRS.
In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the IRS’s deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled.
The IRS told lawmakers in June that the tapes had been recycled, one of the reasons that an untold number of Lerner’s emails were missing. Since then, the IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, has repeatedly stood by those statements in congressional testimony.
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The Daily Caller reports:
Australia’s repeal of its carbon tax last week has gotten other countries thinking about ditching their own carbon dioxide emissions reduction schemes.Green energy is a complete and total fraud.
On the heels of the Aussie carbon tax defeat, South Korea’s finance minister, Choi Kyung-hwan, called his country’s planned cap-and-trade system “flawed in many ways,” and hinted that he would pressure the government to delay the plan until 2015.
Businesses say the cap-and-trade system could cost them up to $28.9 billion in three years unless the program is delayed until 2020.
Reuters reports that South Korea’s emissions trading program has already been delayed twice since 2013. The system would have capped emissions from 400 top emitters in the country, potentially making it the world’s second-largest cap-and-trade system.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:12 AM
The Blaze on no limit on what government can do.
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Monday, July 21, 2014
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Data mining is digging into your health.Big Brother will not allow market based health insurance but... they want to pester you. Go figure.
Actuaries predict your life span. Banks track your spending habits. Now, your employer can tell whether you’ll have diabetes a year from now.
And the federal government is encouraging businesses to use that information to tell you how to eat and exercise, to “data mine” for your own good and the employer’s bottom line.
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FBI Paid Muslims to Plot Terrorist Attacks Reports Columbia University Law School Human Rights Watch
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Think Progress reports:
A luxury condo building on New York City’s Upper West Side has gotten clearance from the city to have a separate entrance, or a “poor door,” for low-income tenants, according to the New York Post.One of the greatest moments ever in Blue America. Government creates a crisis in housing through land use restrictions, unions, and rent-control: and then this! Central planning always fails. Always.
Extell, which is building the 33-story complex, will build a specific door for the 55 affordable housing units it’s including in order to be allowed to build a bigger building. The low-income units, which are available to people making 60 percent of median income or less, will also be in a segment that only contains affordable apartments and that faces the street while the luxury apartments will face the river.
In New York City, this arrangement is relatively common. Luxury builders get credits to use up more square footage than they normally could by promising to build affordable units as well. Those developers can then sell the credits to cover the costs of building the low-income housing. Because Extell considers the affordable segment to be legally separate from the rest of the building, it says it is required to have different entrances.
And besides being made to use a separate entrance, some low-income residents in luxury buildings are prohibited from using the amenities offered to the wealthy tenants, which in the case of this particular building include swimming pools and regulation-sized basketball courts. Several buildings in the city ban affordable housing or rent-regulated tenants from using perks like gyms, rooftops, and pools, and the practice is on the rise.
New York City lawmakers have taken notice of all of this, and two council members are working on legislation that would expand the city’s anti-discrimination protections to include rent-regulated tenants. A state assemblywoman has introduced legislation that would require buildings to let low-income renters use all the amenities.
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The New York Post reports:
Bill Clinton reportedly has a buxom blond mistress who visits so often when Hillary Clinton isn’t home in Chappaqua that the former president’s Secret Service detail have given her an unofficial code name: Energizer.Do Bill and Hillary have an "alternative style " marriage?
This is according to Ronald Kessler in “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents,” due Aug. 5 from Crown Forum.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 5:38 PM
Crain's Chicago Business reports:
The local residential market is coming back, but a full recovery is still a long way off — 11.7 years, to be exact.There's more:
That's when an index of Chicago-area home values will return to pre-crash levels, the longest recovery time by far among the 10 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a forecast from Seattle-based real estate website Zillow Inc. The Chicago index hit its peak in March 2007 and is still 24.4 percent below that level.
It will take at least another three years for half of the nation's 100 largest metros to reach pre-recession home values — a sign that the U.S. housing market is still in the middle of its recovery. Over the next year, an index of U.S. home values is projected to increase 4.2 percent.What if Zillow is wrong and we get another recession in the next 12 years, because Zillow isn't "assuming" a drop in housing prices for 12 years??? This article is a must for those who said "it's always a good time to buy real estate." Anyway, you can thank the Federal Reserve system for the boom and bust cycles which created the housing crash.
But Chicago will have the longest wait for a full recovery among the top 10 metro areas. Zillow forecasts that its index for the Chicago area will hit its 2007 peak in 2026, while the New York area will recover fully by 2019, and Los Angeles by the end of next year.
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The Philadelphia Inquirer writes a puff piece for rent-seekers.
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Hillary Clinton has earned at least $12 million in 16 months since leaving the State Department, a windfall at odds with her party’s call to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor.Hillary sure is rich from "government service".
Clinton’s income since her resignation as secretary of state in February 2013 is derived mostly from her latest memoir, speeches and paid appearances at corporate retreats, according to an analysis of data compiled by Bloomberg.
At least 12 organizations that previously booked President Bill Clinton -- who has been paid almost $106 million in speaking fees alone since he left the White House -- also hired his wife. Among them: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and the National Association of Realtors.
With a prospective 2016 presidential candidacy in her future, she keeps tight control over her events. In one university contract, Clinton retained the right to approve her introducer, program, moderator and the set, and she limited to 50 the number of pictures taken on a rope line.
The L.A. Weekly reports:
“I’m Peace. I have a Ph.D. in medieval studies. Which means I owe $200,000 in student loan debt at 49 percent interest rate! Whoops,” Maria Bamford quips as she introduces herself and the other endearingly in-debt characters in her new Funny or Die series, The Program.Pop culture notices that higher education can be a rip-off.
Bamford and fellow L.A. comedian Melinda Hill co-wrote the show, which follows the journey of five members of a 12-step, Debtors Anonymous program. The two came up with the idea while carpooling to various Anonymous meetings that they “may or may not” have attended in L.A.
“We wanted to create something as close to, and respectful of, this world — and funny — as we could,” Bamford tells the Weekly. “And to celebrate this special culture, of which L.A. has the most in the world!”
Posted by Steve Bartin at 9:44 AM
While record numbers of Americans sign up for the larger Medicaid health insurance program for the poor, financial issues are emerging for medical care providers in the two dozen states that didn’t go along with the expansion under the Affordable Care Act.When you "rely" on third party payments don't be surprised when the cost structure gets hazy.
Reports out in the last week indicate the gap between those with health care coverage is widening between states that agreed to go along with the health law’s Medicaid expansion and those generally led by Republican legislatures and GOP governors that are balking at the expansion.
The moves against expansion are “beginning to hurt hospitals in states that opted out,” a report last week from Fitch Ratings said. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services has said Medicaid enrollment in the 26 states and the District of Columbia that agreed to go along with and implemented the expansion by the end of May “rose by 17 percent, while states that have not expanded reported only a 3 percent increase,” HHS said in an enrollment update for the Medicaid program.
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The American Spectator on strongman Barack Obama.
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The Weekly Standard reports:
The New York Times channels its' inner Walter Duranty of KGB fame.
Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields.
It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.
A review of the Times's photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.
Today's Times photo essay contains seven images: three of Gaza civilians in distress; one of a smoke plume rising over Gaza; and three of the IDF, including tanks and attack helicopters. The message is simple and clear: the IDF is attacking Gaza and harming Palestinian civilians. There are no images of Israelis under rocket attack, no images of grieving Israeli families and damaged Israeli buildings, no images of Hamas fighters or rocket attacks on Israel, no images of the RPG's and machine guns recovered from attempted Hamas tunnel infiltrations into Israel.
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CBS News reports:
According to a new study, Facebook as well as other social media websites may increase the likelihood of divorce.Imagine that.
“Results show that using social networking sites negatively correlated with marriage quality and happiness, and positively correlated with experiencing a troubled relationship and thinking about divorce,” the researchers noted in the study obtained by The Christian Post.
Researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and Boston University’s College of Communication say they found a link between Facebook and divorce.
Researchers say a 20 percent increase in the population of a state with a Facebook account correlated with a 2.18 percent increase in the rate of divorce.
Posted by Steve Bartin at 8:44 AM
Conventional wisdom suggested that talking on a cell phone while driving is bad for you and everyone around you—as dangerous as drinking and driving—and increased the risk of accidents.Is regulation just one big scam to get campaign contributions from regulated industries?
Now, a new study suggests conventional wisdom may be wrong as far as accidents are concerned. Researchers at the University of Colorado and RAND Corporation wanted to better understand the impact of the cell phone legislation. After California enacted a ban on driving with a hand-held mobile in July 2008, they designed a study that looked at accident rates before and after the new law.
According to their research, published in the journal Transportation Research, they found no evidence of a reduction in accidents.
Daniel Kaffine, an associate professor of economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder and an author of the study, says he was "shocked" when he crunched the numbers.
"We were expecting to find maybe a five to ten percent reduction in accidents. We had read the studies that talking on your phone is as dangerous as drinking and driving."The researchers were shocked when they crunched the numbers."" But even after controlling for gas prices, miles traveled, rainfall, and holidays—all factors that impact traffic patterns, road volume, and crashes—they found no impact on the rate of accidents.
Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: Why Are Teachers Unions So Opposed to Change? As a former union leader and a lifelong Democrat, I am deeply troubled by their rhetoric and strategy.
The Wall Street Journal has former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa take on the teachers unions:
As a former union leader and a lifelong Democrat who supports collective bargaining, I am deeply troubled by the rhetoric and strategy we heard at both national conventions. They attacked an administration in Washington that helped protect 400,000 teaching jobs during the recession, has actively promoted labor-management collaboration and has empowered classroom teachers to help shape policy.The great moments of public education.
Others are in full-throated denial over the recent California court ruling striking down the state's public-school teacher tenure and seniority laws—despite compelling evidence that it is nearly impossible to remove ineffective teachers from the classroom and that the least effective teachers disproportionately end up in classrooms with low-income children. We should be working together to fix the problem rather than defending a broken system.
Most say they are for accountability yet they dismiss measures of a teacher's effectiveness as a "sham" and insist that standardized tests are "invalid" and "unreliable." Let's be clear. Testing isn't teaching, and school districts that devote too much time to testing and test prep are doing a disservice to children. But parents and taxpayers need to know if children are learning. Without a test, too many children will slip through the cracks and too many ineffective teachers will remain in the system.
At the same time, we need to know which teachers are really excellent so they can help their colleagues improve and which ones need more support to get better. Finally, we need to identify the small percentage who lack the passion or capacity to teach and counsel them out of the field. That's not an indictment of the teaching profession nor is it antiunion. It's a fact of life in every field. Countless teachers and many union leaders agree with these common-sense measures, yet at their conventions, the most regressive voices are amplified while the reasonable, fair-minded voices aren't heard.
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