Archive for the ‘Democrats’ Category
When the Halbig v. Burwell ruling came out last week, lefties like the New Republic reached out to Jonathan Gruber after their initial spin failed. Their initial spin consisted of this being a drafting error which should be excused by the courts.
When conservative bloggers found a video of Jonathan Gruber saying that health insurance subsidies were only available to people buying health insurance through state-established exchanges, TNR called Gruber. Dr. Gruber immediately backtracked by saying what he said was “a speak-o”. Michael Cannon’s op-ed blows that spin out of the water:
The administration’s defenders responded to the Halbig case by insisting that Congress never intended to withhold subsidies from residents of states that did not establish exchanges. Like the Obama administration, Gruber told the D.C. Circuit that this idea is “implausible.” The D.C. Circuit disagreed when it ruled for the plaintiffs last Tuesday.
Gruber then became part of the story on Thursday when a video surfaced in which he espouses the very interpretation of the law he now publicly derides as “screwy,” “nutty” and “stupid.” In 2012, Gruber told an audience: “If you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”
Frankly, this appears to be proof that Dr. Gruber is willing to say anything to save his greatest legislative achievement. There’s no question what the legislative language says, which is the only thing the courts can go by.
As damning as that is, this is the part of Cannon’s op-ed that sinks Dr. Gruber:
The problem with his explanations is that Jonathan Gruber doesn’t “flake.” He knows this law in and out. He knew what his words meant, with all their implications, when he spoke them. He knew the feature he was describing essentially gave each state a veto over the PPACA’s exchange subsidies, employer mandate and to a large extent its individual mandate. He knew that could lead to adverse selection. To claim Gruber didn’t know what he was saying is as absurd as saying a conductor might fail to notice that the brass section suddenly stopped playing.
It’s rich that the guy who boasts that he knows “more about this law than any other economist” suddenly left to dissembling when he’s caught spinning.
Richard Epstein’s explanation of the ruling is compelling and succinct:
Do the words an “exchange established by a State” cover an exchange that is established by the federal government “on behalf of a state”? To the unpracticed eye, the two propositions are not synonyms, but opposites. When I do something on behalf of myself, it is quite a different thing from someone else doing it on my behalf. The first case involves self-control. The second involves a change of actors. It is not, moreover, that the federal government establishes the exchange on behalf of a state that has authorized the action, under which case normal principles of agency law would apply. Quite the opposite: the federal government decides to act because the state has refused to put the program into place. It is hard to see, as a textual matter, why the two situations should be regarded as identical when the political forces at work in them are so different. Under the so-called “plain meaning approach”, there is no need to look further. The text does not authorize the subsidies for these transactions, so it is up to Congress to fix the mess that it created in 2010.
The only context needed is the text itself. It’s clear that language agreed upon means that the only people who are eligible for subsidies are people who bought them through state-established exchanges. There’s no question that the federal government used this carrot-and-stick approach to coax states into creating exchanges. There’s also no question that the federal government couldn’t force states to create these exchange.
That’s considered commandeering by the federal government, which isn’t allowed in our federalist system of governance.
This is enlightening information, too:
Last year, seven career Treasury and IRS officials told congressional investigators that they knew the PPACA did not authorize them to issue tax credits in federal exchanges, and that their regulations had originally confined tax credits to exchanges “established by the State.” At the direction of their political-appointee superiors, however, they dropped that language and announced that tax credits would be available through exchanges established by the federal government as well.
Isn’t it interesting that the rules didn’t change until after President Obama’s political appointees ordered the rule changes? That clearly shows the IRS regulation changing the clear intent of the ACA was an act of political mischief.
Some governors are expressing surprise and outrage after gun manufacturers left their state:
Beretta USA announced last week that it will relocate from Maryland to Tennessee, explaining that stringent gun laws supported by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley would make it nearly impossible for the company to manufacture or sell many of its products in the Old Line State.
“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta USA from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the state products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world,” Jeff Cooper, general manager for Beretta USA, said in a statement.
Lefty Gov. Martin O’Malley is sticking to his guns:
And although Beretta has no plans to move its administrative staff in Accokeek, Md., to Tennessee, O’Malley is apparently unhappy with the company’s decision to move much of its business to Tennessee.
“We’re disappointed with this decision, but the common-sense gun safety law we passed, which includes licenses for handgun purchases, is keeping schools, communities and law enforcement personnel safe,” said a spokeswoman for O’Malley, Nina Smith.
Here’s a question for Ms. Smith. If the bill just passed, how does Gov. O’Malley know that it’s keeping anyone safe? Have crime rates dropped? If they haven’t, then the claim is essentially spin. If they have, how do you know it isn’t attributable to other things?
Meanwhile, another southern governor is happy:
Beretta will reportedly invest around $45 million to set up shop in Tennessee, Fox News reported, and plans to employ about 300 people during the next five years.
“Beretta is one of the world’s great companies, and its commitment to excellence and Tennessee’s rich history in manufacturing make a great match,” Dave Smith, a spokesman for Tennessee’s Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, told Fox in an email.
Here’s another situation where capital goes where it’s welcome. Maryland essentially said that Beretta wasn’t welcome in the state. Tennesssee stepped forward and said that they’d extend some southern hospitality to Beretta. This isn’t that complicated. It’s pretty straightforward, in fact.
Here’s a list of gun manufacturers who’ve left states after those states passed strict gun control laws:
Les Baer Custom
Lewis Machine & Tool
O.F. Mossberg & Sons
Sturm, Ruger & Co.
States that aren’t hospitable to gun companies are finding out that they’re essentially shooting themselves in the foot. Will they ever learn?
If there’s a message we should take from this article, it’s that Rick Nolan is an environmentalist first and foremost:
BRAINERD, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan voiced opposition Thursday to Enbridge Energy’s proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline route, which would cut across northern Minnesota.
Citing environmental and economic concerns, the Minnesota Democrat issued a statement in which he spoke of potential threats to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, porous sandy soil, drinking water sources and what he termed some of the cleanest lakes in the state.
Rick Nolan will say anything to not upset environmental activists. Chloe Rockow, Stewart Mills’ communications director, highlighted that in this statement:
“It looks like once again, Rick Nolan wants to have his cake and eat it too,” she said. “We’ve seen too many instances where Rick claims to support projects like Keystone, Polymet, or Twin Metals but then turns around and supports the very regulations that stop them from moving forward. This is just another example of Rick’s extremism stopping a project that could really benefit the 8th Congressional District.”
I’d put things differently. Here’s what I would’ve said: Rick Nolan likes most of these big projects in the theoretical sense. It’s just that Nolan, like most Democrats, won’t pull the trigger so they’d become reality. It’s just that Nolan, like other Metrocrats, aren’t interested in improving people’s lives. They’re more worried about talking a good game.
The truth is that this project would bring lots of jobs to the Eighth District. Another truth is that Nolan, like other Democrats, wants to talk like he supports these projects without supporting these projects. That leads to an important question of great import.
Nolan supposedly supports PolyMet, which, according to environmentalist organizations like Conservation, might pollute entire watershed districts. How can Nolan support the PolyMet mining project but oppose the pipeline project? Further, why would Nolan support rerouting the Enbridge pipeline through important, productive agricultural properties? Is it that he doesn’t put a high priority on agricultural properties?
If the truth was told, it would be that Nolan’s taking his position on Enbridge and his position on PolyMet for purely political reasons. It doesn’t have anything to do with setting solid public policy. That’s why a vote for Rick Nolan is a vote for politics-as-usual in DC.
Minnesotans deserve better than that.
Then-Sen. Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton both railed against President Bush’s confrontation of terrorists where they lived. They both preached the gospel of “smart diplomacy.” Six years later, we now know that “smart diplomacy” is just a euphemism for appeasement and retreat, if not outright isolationim.
Nowhere is the failure of the Obama-Clinton “smart diplomacy” foreign policy more apparent than in Libya. Walter Russell Mead’s article highlights that failure succinctly by quoting a State Department travel advisory:
The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. In addition to the threat of crime, various groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya. Extremist groups in Libya have made several specific threats this year against U.S. government officials, citizens, and interests in Libya. Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death. U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately.
Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country and attacks by armed groups can occur in many different areas; hotels frequented by westerners have been caught in the crossfire. Armed clashes have occurred in the areas near Tripoli International Airport, Airport Road, and Swani Road. Checkpoints controlled by militias are common outside of Tripoli, and at times inside the capital. Closures or threats of closures of international airports occur regularly, whether for maintenance, labor, or security-related incidents. Along with airports, seaports and roads can close with little or no warning. U.S. citizens should closely monitor news and check with airlines to try to travel out of Libya as quickly and safely as possible.
The status of the country’s interim government remains uncertain. The newly elected Council of Representatives is scheduled to convene by August 4, but political jockeying continues over where and when to seat the parliament. Heavy clashes between rival factions erupted in May 2014 in Benghazi and other eastern cities. In Tripoli, armed groups have contested territory near Tripoli International Airport since July 13, rendering the airport non-operational. State security institutions lack basic capabilities to prevent conflict, and there remains a possibility of further escalation.
TRANSLATION: Libya is a disaster. Contrary to President Obama’s statement that al-Qa’ida is on the run, terrorist organizations, aka militias, control Libya. In September, 2012, Benghazi was a hot spot. These days, the entire country is a hot spot.
“Smart diplomacy” has become a punch line, and the dream Team Obama had of making Democrats the go-to national security party is as dead as the passenger pigeon.
President Obama is in way over his head. He’s never been interested in learning about the different actors on the world stage. That can’t be said about Hillary. She’s been interested in the different actors on the world stage. She just hasn’t been that bright. She could’ve stood up to President Obama but she didn’t. She acquiesced in the name of political considerations.
Libya isn’t a fight that needed to be fought, though it definitely needed monitoring. Killing militias would’ve been much more advisable than killing Khadaffi.
President Obama’s favorite foreign policy straw man is that there are only 2 options: all out war or isolationism. That’s either proof that he’s a liar or that he doesn’t have a clue. It might be proof of both.
Taking out Khadaffi was stupid. Not confronting Putin is equally foolish. Smart diplomacy isn’t as smart as arming people who would love to fight for their own freedom. Why President Obama prefers giving Putin free run of eastern Europe but insists on killing north African dictators is beyond me.
When superPACs and other special interest organizations make a major ad buy in a formerly safe congressional district, it’s usually proof that the incumbent is in trouble. When that major ad buy happens months before the election, it’s a guarantee that he’s in trouble. That’s why this ad is proof, at minimum, that Rick Nolan, Nancy Pelosi and AFSCME are worried about Stewart Mills flipping this seat this November:
What’s interesting, and predictable, is that Nolan’s special interest allies are lying through their teeth about Mills supporting “tax breaks for the rich.” Let’s look at Mill’s issues page for the truth:
The Eighth District is a Main Street economy and job growth here comes from the ground up. That means we need tax reform that’s geared toward small business growth. Stewart doesn’t believe that Washington creates jobs- entrepreneurs and business owners create jobs.
When Republicans talk about tax reform, they’re talking mostly about tax simplification. That’s because tax compliance hurts small businesses far more than it hurts big corporations. Big corporations have tons of lobbyists to get favorable tax breaks and tons of accountants that stay on top of the ever-changing tax code.
Meanwhile, an entrepreneur might be the chief salesman of the product, the guy who does payroll and fills in when someone’s missing. He’s also the guy who has to stay on top of the onslaught of regulations and changes in the tax code. In short, tax compliance hurts small businesses far more than it hurts big corporations.
In other words, the AFSCME/House Majority PAC ad is BS.
Another important part of the AFSCME/House Majority PAC ad says that Stewart Mills opposes the minimum wage. I’ve paid a ton of attention to the Mills campaign. I’ve yet to hear him talk about the minimum wage. His stump speech is mostly about a) starting over and getting health care reform right, b) making PolyMet and job creation in Minnesota’s Eighth District a reality and c) standing up for the Second Amendment.
There’s nothing in there that’s about “tax cuts for the rich” or the minimum wage. Those mining jobs are anything but about the minimum wage. Those future miners certainly aren’t “the rich.” That’s who Stewart Mills will fight for if he’s elected, mostly because it’s the right thing to do.
After the DFL convention, Rick Nolan railed that Stewart Mills was the personification of the one-percent:
Nolan started off the campaign with a shot the Republican contender Stewart Mills. “He is, no mistake about it, a one percenter who is there to represent the 1 percent not the 99 percent,” Nolan said.
I said then what I’ll repeat now: Mills Fleet Farm is one of the most blue collar retail chains in the nation. They have lots of auto parts, lawn care products, sporting goods and a smattering of clothing, ranging from blue jeans to flannel shirts. What they don’t have are products that might be found in Macy’s or Nieman Marcus.
According to University of Wisconsin Superior Political Science Professor Alison Von Hagel, “I guess one could say it could be seen as putting words in his (Mills) mouth.” That’s understatement.
I’d argue that it’s filled with assumptions based mostly on ideology, not fact. In that sense, it’s what I expect from far left liberals like the DFL and Nancy Pelosi. Their relationship with the truth is minimal at best.
Stewart Mills is a salt-of-the-earth type of guy. He’s totally comfortable hanging out at the Mills family hunting shack. That isn’t to say he’s uncomfortable running the Mills Fleet Farm benefits program. He knows that pretty well, too, which is why he wants to start over on health care reform so that it’s affordable for everyone.
Right now, thanks to the ACA, it isn’t affordable for many.
That, of course, isn’t part of the AFSCME/House Majority PAC ad. That truth doesn’t fit with the Democrats’ storyline. If it doesn’t fit with the Democrats’ smear campaign, it’s ignored.
High-ranking people in DC thinks Nolan’s in trouble. That’s why he was put on the DCCC’s equivalent of the ‘Endangered Incumbents List.’ That’s why the House Majority PAC and AFSCME paid for this ad this early. If they thought Nolan wasn’t in trouble, they would’ve saved their money until the stretch run.
Sean Davis’s article utterly demolishes the Left’s argument that the DC Circuit was willing to throw millions of people off health care because of a “drafting error.” Here’s a key portion of Davis’s demolition of that argument:
Let’s take a step back to see how plausible that explanation is. There are two types of exchanges: state-established, and federally established. The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?
Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?
Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero. Was that yet another “drafting error”?
Either these progressive pundits are the worst liars in the world or the person who wrote the legislation is the most inept person ever to draft legislation. I’m voting for the former, not the latter.
It’s obvious that the bill was written properly. It’s obvious that Democrats didn’t think 36 states would opt out of establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, aka HIX.
The media’s fiction that this was a drafting error is intellectually dishonest intended at painting the judges as hate-filled conservatives who don’t care about poor people. The truth is that it’s Democrats that intentionally played politics with poor people’s lives.
They’re the people who wrote the law to not include subsidies for people buying insurance through Healthcare.gov. They’re the people who didn’t see anything wrong with the bill until after it became obvious that they’d miscalculated the popularity of the HIXs. They’re the people who made faulty assumptions.
Mr. Davis has written and/or proofed standalone legislation and legislative amendments:
When I worked in the Senate, I spent countless hours reading through various appropriation and spending bills. I also drafted hundreds of amendments, as well as a standalone public law. During the years I spent reading through proposed legislation, it was not uncommon to find obvious errors in bills and amendments. Sometimes you would see a date written as 3015 instead of 2015. Sometimes a non-existent section would be referenced, or a section number in a table of contents might be wrong. Other times, you might see a dollar figure that had too few or too many zeroes (seriously, that happened). You might even find a misspelled word or an incorrect line number every now and again. Those were true “drafting errors,” the typos of the legislative world.
The deliberate creation of a separate section to authorize a separate federal entity is not a drafting error. The repeated and deliberate reference to one section but not another is not a drafting error. The refusal to grant equal authority to two programs authorized by two separate sections is not a drafting error. The decision to specifically reference section X but not section Y in a portion of a law that grants spending or tax authority is not a drafting error.
Simply put, the Left knows that they’re in real danger of having the heart of the ACA ripped from the bill. If the subsidies disappear, the ACA, aka Obamacare, disappears, too. They know that they can’t argue the law. Arguing that is foolish. Appealing to the judges’ partisanship is the only avenue they have for winning.
At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats made a faulty assumption. At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats thought this bill would be much more popular than it is. They wrote the law based on the opinion that the ACA would pressure Republicans into supporting a terrible bill.
Democrats were wrong about that.
I wrote this post to highlight Democratic senators’ biggest problem is Harry Reid, not President Obama. When I found out this morning that the RNC is starting a #FireReid campaign on social media, I got excited. This indicates that they’re aware that Sen.Reid is toxic. This article gives us some details into the RNC’s campaign:
A banner unfurled outside of the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington is providing an unsubtle hint about the GOP’s goals for this fall. In bold letters it reads, “Stop Obama” and “Fire Reid.”
In another sign that Republicans are trying to nationalize competitive Senate races in a political environment unfavorable to Democrats, the RNC on Tuesday announced the start of its “#FireReid” campaign, aimed at winning control of the Senate and thus demoting Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“Beginning this week, we will launch robocalls in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a memo about the initiative.
The robo-call script will assert that a vote for the Democratic candidate, in many cases an incumbent, amounts to providing a “rubber stamp” for President Obama and Reid’s “partisan agenda.”
Additionally, the anti-Reid campaign will include “research briefings, social media, videos, interviews, and infographics” highlighting the Nevada lawmaker’s position on such issues as the Keystone XL pipeline and the Affordable Care Act.
It isn’t that Harry Reid is nationally well-known…yet. It’s that he’s said a ton of offensive and/or dishonest things that the RNC will use to paint Reid as the tyrant he is. My suggestion is that they highlight Sen. Reid’s dishonesty, his hyperpartisanship and his fierce loyalty to President Obama’s agenda.
Further, I hope the RNC shows how often Democrat senators vote with Sen. Reid, then quantify the impact they’ve had on families. Rattling off a string of statistics won’t cut it. Personalizing things is required. If the RNC does that, then Democrats will have a difficult time defending their rubber stamping the Obama/Reid agenda.
According to the RNC announcement, the GOP will also seek to depict Reid as obedient “to billionaire SuperPAC donors like Tom Steyer [who] have hurt our country and the democratic process.”
That campaign might not have the same impact as the #FireReid campaign but it might be helpful in the sense that it’ll portray Democrats as listening more to the special interests than to rank-and-file unions that want the Keystone XL Pipeline built.
The whining on the left hasn’t stopped since the DC Circuit Court’s ruling on Halbig v. Burwell. This article is a perfect example of the Left’s whining:
The Affordable Care Act was designed to offer premium tax credits (subsidies) to people to purchase private health insurance on government-run exchanges — at least those earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The belief among legislators was that the exchanges would be state-based, so the section of the law authorized subsidies to those enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State.”
Simply put, this is proof that the people writing the ACA wanted one thing but didn’t write the bill properly. If they wanted everyone “earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level” to get premium supports regardless of which exchange they bought it through, they should’ve written that into the law.
The assumption that “the exchanges would be state-based” is a sloppy assumption. Sloppy assumptions make terrible laws. It isn’t the judges’ fault that Max Baucus didn’t write the bill properly. Further, it isn’t the judges’ fault that the writing of the law was shrouded in secrecy.
Had this been a transparent operation, someone might’ve caught Sen. Baucus’s mistake. Had Sen. Baucus not made a terrible assumption, if that’s what it was, the bill might’ve been written with more clarity.
Blaming Democrats’ mistakes on Republicans is pathetic. Sen. Baucus, Sen. Reid and then-Speaker Pelosi made a series of decisions that produced sloppyily-written legislation. That’s on their heads, not the judges’ heads. It’s one thing to argue intent when the legislative language isn’t clear. It’s another to argue when the legislative language includes a straightforward, declarative statement.
At that point, that straightforward, declarative statement is what judges should base their opinion on. The Democrats’ attorneys argument is essentially that Baucus, Reid and Pelosi made a mistake in writing the bill, therefore the judges should clean up their mistake.
That isn’t the court’s responsibility. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi want to fix the law, the only constitutional remedy is to submit the correction to the legislative process. I wrote yesterday that the Democrats don’t want to do that because House Republicans might actually want to include other provisions in the bill that Democrats don’t like. That’s tough. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi didn’t want Republicans to have that type of leverage, they should’ve written the bill right the first time.
Their whining now just indicates that they’re looking for a skapegoat to blame for their mistakes. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and accept the fact that they put together a sloppy piece of legislation. It isn’t the court’s responsibility to clean up politicians’ messes. That’s the politician’s responsibility.
Technorati: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, President Obama, Max Baucus, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Legislative Intent, Halbig v. Burwell, DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Democrats, Legislative Process, Legislative Branch
It would be wrong to blame the killing of 298 passengers on MH17 on President Obama. That blame should be firmly fixed on the Russian terrorists and the Russian military personnel who fired the surface-to-air missiles. This article, though, shows that President Obama could’ve done something that would’ve prevented that terrorist attack:
As the United States and NATO last month began to publicly acknowledge the sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft systems moving into rebel held areas of eastern Ukraine, the government in Kiev asked for gear that might be used to counter those weapons.
According to a former senior U.S. defense official who has worked closely with Ukraine’s military and a former head of state who has consulted with the government there, Kiev last month requested the radar jamming and detection equipment necessary to evade and counter the anti-aircraft systems Moscow was providing the country’s separatists.
It’s obvious that President Obama is a pacifist on the world stage. He likely said no to Kiev’s request because he didn’t want to do anything that might escalate the tensions between Russia and the Ukraine. That’s foolishness. President Obama keeps urging Putin to rejoin the community of nations. Putin keeps ignoring those pleas because he’s too busy rebuilding the Soviet empire.
It’s time President Obama to start dealing with the world that exists rather than dealing with the world he wishes exists. This isn’t a game of make believe. It’s a situation where Ukraine needs the world’s only true superpower to step up and act like the world’s only true superpower. It’s time for President Obama to stop acting like a naive child. It’s time for him to start acting like the leader of the free world.
Some senior U.S. officials asked about the Ukrainian request by The Daily Beast said they were not aware of it. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told The Daily Beast, “The Ukrainian government has requested support, but we’re not going to detail the types of support they have requested.”
How convenient. The most transparent administration in history won’t confirm what the Daily Beast has already reported.
President Obama’s pacifism cost those 298 people their lives. Because he wasn’t willing to deal with reality, those people died needlessly. Further, President Obama’s disdain for military action is getting people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Had President Obama sent the radar jamming and detection equipment to Ukraine, the people flying on MH17 would likely still be alive. Had President Obama listened to his generals in Iraq and kept residual force of 30,000 troops in theater, he would’ve gotten a status-of-forces agreement with Maliki. That would’ve likely prevented ISIS from capturing a major part of Iraq.
I hope President Obama can live with himself knowing that his pacifism cost people their lives. More importantly, I hope President Obama will admit, at some time in the future, that he was wrong on most of his foreign policy decisions.
I’ve spent the last half of Tuesday illustrating the fact that Section 36B is clearly written. In this clip, Charles Krauthammer explains that the bill’s language is exceptionally straightforward:
The language in the bill simply states that the subsidies are ony available to people purchasing health insurance through state-run exchanges. This doesn’t require guessing. It just requires the ability to believe what you’ve heard.
After Charles’ explanation, Kirsten Powers argued that the language was ambiguous. She essentially said that the intent was clear if you read the entire section. This doesn’t have anything to do with reading the entire section. The only context that’s required is the simple declarative statement.
The statement isn’t filled with caveats. It’s straightforward. It’s declarative.
What the administration and its apologists are arguing is that we should a) accept their word that they really meant for everyone of a certain income level to qualify for subsidies and b) ignore the straightforward language of the bill.
My response to that is simple. I don’t read minds to determine legislative intent and I don’t trust liberals who say that federal statutes really mean whatever liberals insist they mean at any point in history. Liberal constitutional law Professor Jonathan Turley agrees with me on that. Here’s what he said:
I’d love hearing Kirsten Powers or Ron Fournier dispute Professor Turley’s explanation. Ultimately, though, Prof. Turley is right in saying that this is about more than the ACA. It’s about which branch of government has the responsibility to correct the law. Ultimately, the question is whether the executive branch can usurp the legislative branch’s authority to write new laws.
Dishonest progressives argue that the executive branch isn’t writing new laws. They’re lying about that. The plain language of the bill says one thing and they’re saying that the straightforward wording isn’t what they meant.
Let’s remember that the ACA was written by Max Baucus in Harry Reid’s office. Dishonest progressives want me to believe that Sen. Baucus was so inept that he accidentally slipped that language into the bill. He’s written dozens of bills and hundreds of amendments to bills. I’m supposed to think that he mistakenly put in a straightforward-sounding statement runs contrary to his intent into the most important bill he ever wrote. Why would I buy into that?
Further, even if I thought that was the truth, I’d still argue that the executive branch, in this instance the IRS, has the authority to rewrite that language to mean what it wants the section to mean years after the fact. The language is clear. When the language is clear, the intent is clear.
I don’t need a clairvoyant to determine what Sen. Baucus meant. I just need a little common sense, a little reading ability and the ability to ignore misinformed liberals.