October 01, 2014

Court Rules Against Subsidies, Left Goes Crazy

For the past two years there have been 4 cases running through the Court systems related to an IRS Regulation that allows the payment of Premium Tax Credits to individuals who get their health insurance through the Federal Exchange (Healthcare.gov).

The background to the cases is fairly straight forward. The Affordable Care Act was written in such a way as to coerce States to build their own "State-based exchange." If they did not and relied on the Federal fall back exchange, there would be no subsidies. It should be noted that if there are no subsidies available, then there is no "Employer Mandate" since the two are legislatively linked.

Why such harsh legal language? There are two reasons: 1) The Federal Government cannot demand that a State does anything. States are independent entities. The legal term is "Commandeering," which means "to take control of." So the ACA had to use the carrot/stick approach to "encourage" states to build their own exchanges. 2) Congress is not a monolith. The Dems needed enough votes to get this through the Senate so they made compromises and promises to everyone and anyone to get the votes. Ben Nelson did not want a Federal takeover of the insurance industry so he demanded that the exchanges be "state based."

In July, two District Courts ruled on two of the four cases. Their rulings came to opposite conclusions. (The Halbig ruling in favor of the Plaintiffs has been set aside for the moment and will most likely be overturned). My interest in the situation is that I stumbled upon a video of ACA Architect Dr. Jonathan Gruber actually making the case for the Plaintiffs against the ACA in a video from 2012.

The State of Oklahoma actually included the Gruber video as part of their case. The Admin argued that if healthcare.gov did not allow subsidies, that would lead to an "absurd" reading of the plain text of the law. "Absurd" is actually used in a legal context here. Oklahoma used the video as proof that the result would not be "absurd" at all; one of the Architects provided the reasoning himself, on video, twice.

In yesterday's ruling in favor of the State of Oklahoma, the Judge footnoted the Gruber video as part of his reasoning. How cool is that?! Score 1 for the little guy! The powerful left has gone absolutely crazy. From the Twitter feed of Ian Millhiser, Constitutional lawyer from Think Progress: "and I like that the footnotes in these decisions are now directly citing to Volokh Conspiracy blog posts. Beyond parody." (Ok, maybe I shouldn't Tweeted that "I'll take that as a compliment.")

Sometimes when reading blogs and comments you see that people sometimes get the facts wrong. And sometimes you see complete emotional breakdowns " (Ian Millhiser: "Fuck this week. And it's only Tuesday.")

Yesterday I received my badge of honor from a leftist blog called the Angry Bear.

“Gruber’s statements, and Gruber’s preferences, are irrelevant to the legal issue”
Which is precisely what I stated in your earlier post. This just trash talking by a bunch of people who do not like a president who is African American, occupying The White House, and they have to obey. This has little to do with the PPACA, the law, and more to do with turning back anything ever done by Pres. Obama.

That's right, I had the race card thrown at me.

Posted by Richierich at 08:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 30, 2014

Will School 'Heckler's Veto' Ruling Get Shot Down by the SCOTUS?

Back in May of 2010 -- May 5th, to be exact -- several (Caucasian) students at California's Live Oak High School wearing shirts with the American flag on them were asked to leave school because they refused to turn their shirts inside-out.

What, what? Students had to turn their shirts around ... because American flags were on them?

Yep -- it was Cinco de Mayo, after all.

School officials at the heavily Hispanic school were concerned that Latino students would be offended by seeing Old Glory on the Mexican holiday (a holiday not even widely celebrated in Mexico), and that some fights could result.  Indeed, some 200 Mexican/Mexican-American students protested in a march that day upon hearing about their devious Old Glory-clad peers.

The gringos went to court ... and lost. The Ninth Circuit recently declined to hear their appeal, citing "prior events" that took place at the school, including an "altercation" (presumably between a white and Hispanic student), as a rationale. (There had been some 30 fights between white and Latino students in the past six years at the school.) The appellate panel said "school officials 'acted properly to prevent a substantial and material disruption of school activities.'”

(Check out The College Fix coverage of this case here and here.)

The US Supreme Court indeed has granted a lot of leeway over the last few decades to public school officials when it comes to regulating student speech. One notable ruling from seven years ago is the "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" case (Morse v. Frederick) in which a (public school) student unfurled a banner with "BONG HiTS 4 JESUS" on it across the street from his school during the Olympic torch relay.

SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority in the case (emphasis added):

Student speech celebrating illegal drug use at a school event, in the presence of school administrators and teachers . . . poses a particular challenge for school officials working to protect those entrusted to their care from the dangers of drug abuse. The First Amendment does not require schools to tolerate at school events student expression that contributes to those dangers.

Perhaps anticipating the ensuing controversy, those in the majority with Roberts emphasized that this ruling "applied only to advocacy of illegal drug use." Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, noted the "Bong Hits" case "'provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue' ... including student opposition to the drug laws themselves" (emphasis added).

Confused yet?

You probably should be. The courts have pretty much been all over the map when it comes to lower ed. student speech rights.

The standard for such rights had been the Tinker case from 1969. The SCOTUS ruled then that students were indeed permitted to wear black armbands at school to protest the Vietnam War. The famous quote to emerge from the case was "Students don't shed their constitutional rights at the school house gates."

But since then, Tinker has arguably been eroded, despite Justice Alito's reassurance in the Morse case. In addition to Morse, 1988's Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier allowed school administrators to censor student newspapers, even despite "protective" measures taken by student writers and editors.

Which brings us back to the situation at Live Oak High School. Does Morse apply here? Why or why not? Have we actually reached the point in this country where showing the American flag can legitimately be banned ... despite it being displayed in front of our schools ... and in each classroom within?

As an educator, I can fully appreciate the need for an "orderly educational environment," and back in 2007 during the Morse case I was fairly sympathetic to the high court's reasoning.

But these days, I'm not so sure.

If we're actually at the point where a display of our own flag can be considered "offensive" -- and hence banned -- then where does it end? Will administrators now ban student displays of other national flags because they may offend some students, i.e. native-born Americans? And/or because such displays, like at Live Oak HS, may lead to some student scuffles?

Or, are only certain (politically correct) groups permitted to be "offended?"

More importantly, will this case now go to the US Supreme Court ... and will the justices legitimize the heckler's veto that the case enshrines?

(Cross-posted at The College Fix.)

Posted by Hube at 07:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Yawn

The fun-extinguishing SJWs are out in force again, this time moaning about two t-shirts featuring three classic DC superheroes.

The first shirt shows Superman embracing Wonder Woman, kissing her, and the caption reads "Score! Superman Does It Again"

The second has the very recognizable Batman symbol with the caption "Training To Be Batman's Wife."

Robot 6's Brett White writes "Both shirts present undeniably sexist messages" and

These shirts are problematic because they presume that women need men — either to save them or to marry them — in order to get them interested in superheroes.

*Yawn*

Best comment: "It never ends…. This site should just be in an Ad Lib format. ______ outrages fans. 'Fans outraged about lack of things to be outraged about!!' It’s outrageous!!"

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The NarrativeTM

Check out the pic accompanying this Politico story.

Titled "Race and the Modern GOP," it features notorious Gov. George Wallace -- a Democrat -- confronting folks in front of a schoolhouse.

As Insty notes, "Even more amusingly, it’s labeled 'History Dept.'”

Posted by Hube at 11:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Because being politically correct is more important than, y'know, lives

January 2017 can't come soon enough: Justice Department expected to ban profiling by federal law enforcement

Though details are not final, the new policy is expected to prohibit undercover surveillance without specific information about criminal activity, according to the Times.

Current rules, approved in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, give law enforcement wide discretion to monitor religious groups. The changes would extend current bans on racial profiling to religious and other groups, and for the first time would not include an exception for national security investigations.

Radical Muslim extremists in the US? No worries.
Tea Party groups interested in teaching about the Constitution? Must be STOPPED.

RELATED: The FBI is treating the Oklahoma beheading as "workplace violence." Joe Scarborough is having none of it.

Posted by Hube at 11:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 28, 2014

And the media (and Obama admin) wonder about "a motive"

"In a bizarre coincidence, a fired Oklahoma City nursing home employee was arrested Friday after a co-worker reported he threatened to cut her head off."

"The arrest came on the same day police in Moore revealed fired Vaughan Foods worker Alton Alexander Nolen beheaded a co-worker after he was fired Thursday. Nolen is a Muslim convert."

And Boss Obama and the lapdog media will cross their fingers and "wonder" about the motive ...

Posted by Hube at 06:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 27, 2014

Religion of Peace update 2

Muslim recently arrested in Ferguson, MO had threatened to behead critics like “bitch” Daniel Pearl in 2010.

Lovely.

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Jumping the gun on Philly "hate crime"

Back on the 19th I wrote a post ridiculing Philly.com for, among other things, offering up a sympathetic look at one of the alleged attackers of a gay couple. It appears I may have been hasty in voicing my frustration with the inconsistency of so-called "hate crime" laws, and about the nature of that apparent "hate" attack in particular.

While I still feel that any hate crimes legislation is laughable if it doesn't include provisions for gay Americans, it seems there was (a lot) more to the story of the gay couple's beating than previously told. For instance:

According to court records, the couple, ages 28 and 27, were walking around 10:30 p.m. when they encountered a group of friends out celebrating a birthday.

The couple and the group exchanged words, leading to an argument that resulted in an altercation, during which members of the group used antigay slurs, according to the records. One man suffered a broken jaw, broken orbital bones, and a cut that required 24 stitches; the other, facial fractures.

Attorneys for Williams and Knott have characterized the incident as a mutual fight and not motivated by the victims' sexual orientation.

OK, so it wasn't just the group berating the couple for merely being gay. Both parties apparently tossed around some epithets and then things got out of control.

This doesn't justify the beating; however, how often have we read, say, about a black-on-white attack where racial epithets were used against the victims ... but no hate crimes charges were filed (because the motive ascribed was "robbery/economic")? If the gay couple in this case uttered some nasty words themselves, then why isn't their attackers' motivation then, just "retributive?"

If hate crimes laws are to be used in addition to other charges, then -- again -- they need to be utilized consistently. (But don't hold your breath.)

RELATED: The LGBT community's hypocrisy.

Posted by Hube at 12:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Religion of Peace update

Worker who was terminated for, among other things, hassling co-workers about converting to Islam, attacks -- and beheads -- a co-worker.

Motive unknown to the mainstream media.

Posted by Hube at 11:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Watcher's Council winners

The non-Council winner was Angelo Codevilla/The Federalist with Washington’s Ruling Class Is Fooling Itself About The Islamic State.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2014

Rejoice


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September 24, 2014

September 23, 2014

Teach For America: Math is the 'Domain of Old, White Men'

Who knew? Who knew that math ... excluded so many? For, according to the Teach For America website, “math has traditionally been seen as the domain of old, White men.”

Hmm. I wonder how the Mayans, then, managed to create their exquisitely accurate calendar long before the rapacious Caucasian came ashore?

Just don't bring up such ... "uncomfortable" questions to those who believe the "OWM" (Old White Men) theory of math. Sure, it'll make them squirm a bit, but you'll most likely be subjected to a litany of the usual PC nonsense, notably that you're exercising your "white privilege."

But I digress. EAG news.org reports:

Judging from the math curriculum recommended, this TFA group, like all other social justice educators, wants minorities to believe that what relates most to their lives in America is racism and oppression.

For example, the site recommends “Critically Conscious Mathematics” and “Radical Math.”

Radical Math was created by educator Jonathan Osler several years ago while teaching at El Puenta Academy in New Jersey. Osler taught Radical Math along-side Cathy Wilkerson, a former member of the Weather Underground Organization (with Bill Ayers) who once participated in a plot to detonate a nail bomb at a dance for military personnel at Fort Dix.

Radical Math provides hundreds of social justice math lessons obviously meant to indoctrinate. For example, lesson titles include “Sweatshop Accounting,” “Racism and Stop and Frisk,” “When Equal Isn’t Fair,” “The Square Root of a Fair Share” and “Home Buying While Brown or Black.”

TFA also includes "culturally responsive" anecdotes such as the following "to suggest that the idea that math is neutral, rational, and logical is a myth and the premise that 2 + 2 = 4 is 'naive'”:

… a European explorer (presumably Francis Galton, the man who invented eugenics) agrees to trade an African shepherd two sticks of tobacco in exchange for one sheep. When he offers four sticks of tobacco in exchange for two sheep, however, the shepherd declines; the explorer later tells this story as evidence of the shepherd’s inability to comprehend simple mathematical reasoning and as “proof” of intellectual inferiority on the African subcontinent. But, if sheep are not standardized units, as there is no reason to believe them to be, then doesn’t it make sense that the second sheep might be worth far more than the first? And then doesn’t our premise of 2 + 2 = 4 look awfully naive?

I cannot think of a better way to keep minorities ignorant of mathematics than by turning the subject into yet another showcase for historical grievances. After all, these students/soon-to-be real world participants won't be able to make change at the store, or prepare the EZ federal tax form, but they will know that Christopher Columbus initiated a genocide against the native peoples of the Americas ...

... many of whom, it just so happens, were pretty good at math.

(Cross-posted at The College Fix.)

Posted by Hube at 04:06 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Your commander-in-chief

No words:


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This week's Weasels of the Week nominations

We haz Weasels.

Posted by Hube at 08:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More RFK Jr. insanity

It's bad enough when a guy with a famous name -- and a ton of cash -- lectures average people on the "need" to alter our lifestyles so that their latest pet cause can be attained; it's 100% worse when that same person wants to toss you in jail because you disagree with him.

Posted by Hube at 08:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2014

Fitness for office

In NJ a guy is running for Borough Council candidate is removing himself from the race. Why? Seven years ago he hurled racial abuse at a woman and her child while mooning them. Guess which party he belongs to? I'll give you a hint, this did not make national news and lead to a "conversation" about one party and how they're all secretly racist.

Irony alert:

"What's most disappointing is that the Republicans will stoop so low as to seek to personally destroy (Sorrentino) for something that happened years ago and for which he has not only apologized for his words, but also his actions."

Paula Deen could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Duffy at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Progressives" HATE being called out on their hypocrisy

Gotta love RFK Jr.'s reaction to being questioned about "setting an example" regarding climate change. It's always "It really doesn't matter what I do -- just shut up and listen to what I say."

I love how RFK Jr. says our lifestyles "won't be affected," then goes on to demand that automobile mileage standards be raised to some ungodly figure, and that electric cars be mandated. Indeed -- those won't affect Joe Six-Pack's bottom line at all, right?

Also check out how these climate change marchers listened intently to folks like Leo DiCaprio, who, as Human Events points out, has "a bigger carbon footprint bigger than most of the crowd put together."

Posted by Hube at 10:35 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Go figure: Arab comics creator creates wholesome Muslim superheroes, gets fatwa declared on him

Religion of Peace update: the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and the ministry of Islamic affairs in Kuwait issued a fatwa against Naif Al-Mutawa, creator of The 99, a comicbook team of Muslim superheroes.

Al-Mutawa notes:

This accusation opened up a Pandora’s box and led to an avalanche of extremists each trying to outdo one another. It led to fatwas and more recently death threats from Twitter accounts linked to ISIL and Al Qaeda.

This is what the Muslim world needs -- real moderates like Al-Mutawa, and more people to support him against the likes of ISIL and al-Qaeda barbarians.

Posted by Hube at 09:44 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Delaware's Joe Biden

Check out Plugs' latest foot-in-mouth effort: He waxes nostalgic for the type of Republican ... that is Bob Packwood. At a women's conference.

You might recall that Packwood was bounced from the Senate in the mid-90s (well, he resigned, but y'know) due to sexual harassment charges.

Posted by Hube at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New at the Watcher's Council

Forum: What’s Behind The Downturn In The GOP’s Chances To Take The Senate?

Posted by Hube at 08:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Watcher's Council winners

The non-Council winner was Sharyl Atkisson/Daily Signal with Benghazi Bombshell: Clinton State Department Official Reveals Details of Alleged Document Review.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 08:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 19, 2014

Again, why "hate crime" laws are a joke

In this case, the brutal beating of a gay couple in Philly a few days ago ... doesn't "fit" any of the state's statutes, if you can believe that:

"The current law for ethnic intimidation, a/k/a a 'hate crime,' in the commonwealth states: 'In order for ethnic intimidation to be charged, the malicious intention toward the religion, ethnicity or race of the victim must be the motive for the commission of the underlying crime,'" Tasha Jamerson, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, told the Daily News' Helen Ubiñas. "So, no, we would not be able to charge with ethnic intimidation in this case."

The law was amended to include sexual orientation in 2002, but that was axed by the state Supreme Court on "procedural grounds" in 2008. Great.

So in what is obviously a hate crime, the couple is sh** out of luck. Figures. Obvious hate crimes don't get charged, highly questionable ones do. *Sigh*

Meanwhile, Philly.com inexplicably offers up a "heartfelt" story on ... one of the alleged attackers. WTF??

Lawyers for the several members of the group that allegedly attacked the gay couple say their clients "would be 'coming in to give their sides of the story.'"

Can't wait to hear those.

Posted by Hube at 03:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Does this really surprise anyone anymore?

Boss Obama, on Constitution Day, refers to our basic rights as ... "privileges."

“Our Constitution reflects the values we cherish as a people and the ideals we strive for as a society,” Obama said in the release. “It secures the privileges we enjoy as citizens, but also demands participation, responsibility, and service to our country and to one another.”

Because "privileges" can be taken away. Rights can't. And remember -- this lemon was (supposedly) a constitutional law professor!

Posted by Hube at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Maybe it's her "Native American" that's speaking. Or something.

Check out moonbat Elizabeth Warren's response to the following comment:

[My name's] Eva Moseley, I’m not a student, I’m not an alumnae, but was in faculty life. I was also a Holocaust refugee and I’m extremely concerned that Jews don’t do to another people what was done to them.

Warren: “I think that’s fair.” (Video at the link above.)

"Fair," huh?

Ye gad. Hey, at least she didn't say "For it," right? Whew! Or, perhaps even "better," our vice-president invoking the name Shylock.

Posted by Hube at 01:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ah, political correctness

Via Ace: The online "handmade craft and vintage item" outlet Etsy.com recently wrote the following:

Today we seek to balance two principles that are critically important to us: freedom of speech and protection from discrimination. Freedom of speech and expression is important to us because we are a community of artists, artisans, and curators of all backgrounds, aesthetics, and viewpoints. If you search our site, you will see a wide variety of items testifying to our diversity and our seemingly limitless creativity.

This freedom, however, is not without limits. In the past, we have taken actions to protect our community and to preserve our integrity as both a creative and an ethical space. We want Etsy to be safe, welcoming, and respectful for everyone, including artists, women, and minorities. For this reason, it has long been against our policies to allow content on our site that demeans people based upon race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation.

You can probably guess what's coming: They will no longer be associated with anything related to the (Washington) Redskins. Because, they say, Native Americans "have long considered [the name] offensive, disparaging, and racist." Which isn't true, of course, but that's not the best part ...

The best part is ... that Etsy.com still sells Nazi-related items -- plenty of things to buy with swastikas on 'em. 456 items currently, to be precise.

So much for that "demeaning people based on religion," eh?

Posted by Hube at 01:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 17, 2014

Must see of the day

This is interesting. It's an interactive map of the players in the Middle East and who is aligned with whom.

Some of this I knew, some of it, not so much.

Posted by Duffy at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)