Politics

SCOTUS Upholds Obamacare Subsidies 6-3

By on 6.25.15 | 12:04PM

I'm not sure if I'm always the contrarian on this or I've just become so cynical that it's almost impossible to surprise me with a "good" result, but today's 6-3 ruling, in favor of maintaining Federal subsidies for state healthcare exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act is hardly shocking. 

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts determined that Congress, while too dumb to put it into words, intended to create a system that provided Federal subsidies to even those who were forced to use state healthcare exchanges to purchase their insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. The majority of the court agreed with Roberts (except for Scalia, who is basically turning into that guy from Scarface every time he writes a dissent). 

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's majority opinion and was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Knowing What We Know Now

Will Democrats Apologize for Slavery and Segregation?

By 6.25.15

Dear Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz:

I note with interest this statement from you with regard to the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag on the grounds of the South Carolina State Capitol. You said:

For decades community leaders in South Carolina — and across the country — have been calling to get rid of this symbol of hatred, and action has been long overdue.

But this is just the beginning of a conversation we as a society need to have about race, bigotry and violence in this country — not the end of one.

Good enough. It’s good to know you wish to begin this conversation and I am happy to oblige. Let me begin with this question:

Will the Democratic Party finally apologize for supporting slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan?

Let me recall these lines from some of your party platforms.

From your 1840 platform: 

Obama Admin Will Lift Ban on Negotiating With Terrorists, Replace It With Endless Bureaucracy

By on 6.24.15 | 5:28PM

The Obama Administration is looking to lessen the restrictions on American families who want to communicate directly with terrorists holding their relatives.

Defying the longstanding mantra that we "don't negotiate with terrorists," the White House is maintaining an official distance from any actual transactions involving Americans and certain disreputable stateless organizations, but will decline to prosecute those families who wish to engage in negotiations on their own, or who send American money overseas to terrorist organizations and drug cartels to ensure the safety of their loved ones.

The Obama administration was accused Wednesday of giving terrorists an incentive to kidnap as it unveiled a hostage policy overhaul allowing families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom -- and allowing the U.S. government to help families communicate with captors. 

Chris Christie to Declare Next Week

By on 6.24.15 | 4:14PM

I'm really ready for some good news, guys, like that Nick Offerman has permanently become Ron Swanson and that he's running for President on the "build your own damned American dream" ticket. I can't take any more of these half-considered declarations. 

Chris Christie, who MSNBC has been trying to pin a bridge SNAFU on for close to two years, is looking to take his New Jersey circus on the road, so after much consideration and a few low-fat cupcakes, Chris Christie has decided that he will declare his intention to seek the GOP nomination for President later this week or early next

Chris Christie is in the final stages of preparing his 2016 presidential bid, with a formal announcement possible as soon as next week, according to several sources familiar with the discussions.

WaPo Concerned that Bobby Jindal is Not Really Much of an Indian-American

By on 6.24.15 | 12:57PM

If you ever wonder if a degree in politicial science is a worthwhile endeavor, consider that, while it may be a fast track to a byline on the Washington Post editorial page, it does not guarantee that you'll be viewed as anything resembling "intelligent." 

I say this only because the Post carried an opinion editorial yesterday penned by a well-known professor of political science, on the subject of Bobby Jindal's past. The op-ed was, ostensibly, designed to discuss Bobby Jindal's appeal as the child of immigrants, and whether that could resonate with target demographics in comparison to, say, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, for whom the immigrant experience is tangible in their campaign platforms. The professor's conclusion - and the Posts promotional question: Bobby Jindal is totally not Indian American anymore.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. Free Again to Buy Michael Jackson Memorabilia, Do Naked Karate

By on 6.23.15 | 1:06PM

He may have stolen three quarters of a million dollars from his campaign donors, and then wasted it on fur parkas and fake Michael Jackson memorabilia and Eddie Van Halen guitars, but after 17 months, shared between an Alabama prison and a Baltimore halfway house, Jesse Jackson, Jr. is a free man.

He was serving a 30 month sentence on a felony fraud count, a plea deal he struck after being socked with a number of Federal charges following an investigation that turned up his financial malfeasance. Apparently, he got out on good behavior after serving about two thirds of his sentence. 

Former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was released on Monday morning from a Baltimore halfway house, where he'd been living since his release from an Alabama federal prison in March.

Jackson served 17 months of a 30-month sentence. 

Jackson, 50, was released from the Volunteers of America halfway house shortly before 9am and left in a black SUV.

OPM Hack Affects 18 Million Americans and Counting

By on 6.23.15 | 12:22PM

Remember when the Office of Personnel Management assured us that "only" 4 million or so Americans were ultimately affected by the massive Chinese hack that exposed more private internal systems than a Miley Cyrus Instagram post? 

Yeah, let's just say that they wildly underestimated their own personnel management file system. Even their recent admission, that it could be in the ballpark of 14 million files now in the hands of a coalition of Chinese hackers came in a little low. According to a recent report given to Congress, by FBI Director James Comey and obtained by CNN, the number is actually closer to 18 million, and includes personnel files established for job applicants and profiles of Federal family members, not just regular employees. 

Approximately 18 million Americans reportedly had their personal records compromised when hackers attacked the Office of Personnel Management's databases last year.

In Defense of a Better Taco Emoji, Sort Of

By on 6.23.15 | 11:46AM

There is much sadness among Mexican street food advocates that the "taco emoji" which many of us have waited for with bated breath, will not depict an "authentic" Mexican taco, but rather the kind of meat-lettuce-tomatoes-and-cheese option that Americans have come to consider "tacos" because that's what they can manage to eek out as an order at 2am in a Taco Bell drive-thru after consuming several adult beverages and, perhaps, engaging in some regrettable karaoke.

Not that that's ever happened to me, but you understand.

Anyway, a group of "social justice warriors" have decided to object, tongue-in-cheek, to the Americanized taco emoji in an offbeat effort to encourage Americans to embrace the more authentic taco toppings, including cilantro, onions and the occasional wedge of lime, all settled nicely in a corn tortilla rather than a giant Dorito. 

Political Hay

Congressman Mark Meadows: Profile in Courage

By 6.23.15

As the Gipper might say: Here we go again. Another petty campaign of retribution against a conservative who stands up for principle.

Once upon a time Ronald Reagan used to go through this kind of thing. The GOP Establishment of the day couldn’t abide him. They didn’t want him running for governor of California (he was too extreme to win, it was explained). And they certainly didn’t want him running for president — either in 1976 or 1980. Too extreme, explained Gerald Ford himself, to ever get elected. Right.

This time the target is Republican North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz has suddenly decided to distinguished his time as the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by turning on — conservatives. Specifically, Mark Meadows.

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