Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on July 22, 2014 by Allahpundit

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding the Halbig v. Burwell decision:

“The D.C. Circuit’s decision today in Halbig v. Burwell is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it,” said Sen. Cruz. “The Obama Administration, through the Internal Revenue Service, has attempted to dispense revenues to the states without proper congressional authorization, robbing Congress of its constitutionally-provided power of the purse. This decision restores power to Congress and to the people and if properly enforced, should shield citizens from Obamacare’s insidious penalties, mandates, and subsidies. This is a significant victory for the American people and the rule of law, but we must not rest. Americans will continue to lose jobs, pay higher premiums, and receive fewer healthcare choices because of this disastrous law. Every last word of Obamacare must be repealed to restore jobs, growth, and opportunity in our country.”

***

3. Another court has ruled that the president is breaking the law. The Supreme Court repeatedly ruled against the administration in a variety of cases this year, including the Hobby Lobby decision regarding Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate, the administration’s interpretation of chemical weapons law, and the president’s recess appointment powers. The theme of these cases is clear: that the Obama administration had overstepped the bounds of its authority. The same goes for the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in Halbig. One of the messages of the decision is that the Obama administration had no authority to offer subsidies through the federally run exchanges, that the IRS was not within its legal rights to authorize those credits, and that the executive branch has broken the law in making those subsidies available.

***

While the dissent was political, focusing on the plaintiff’s motives, the opinion of the court was authored by Judge Thomas B. Griffith, whom the Washington Post has described as “widely respected by people in both parties, and those who have worked with him elsewhere regard him as a sober lawyer with an open mind. There is considerable reason to think he would make a fine judge.” His nomination to the D.C. Circuit drew praise from prominent Democrats including Seth Waxman and David Kendall. Indeed, then-senator Barack Obama himself supported Griffith’s nomination. Griffith noted that while the court’s ruling could have a significant impact on the PPACA, “high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still.”

The D.C. Circuit applied the law that Congress enacted. Any downstream effects of Halbig are the result of the PPACA itself, not today’s ruling. If those effects are intolerable, then it is up to Congress to change the law, not the IRS. If Halbig results in people losing health-insurance subsidies, the blame lies with a president who recklessly offered millions of Americans tens of billions of dollars in subsidies he had no authority to offer, that could vanish with a single court ruling.

***

Cannon’s goal, stated bluntly and frequently, was that Obamacare had to be brought down by any means necessary. States that did not set up exchanges were in a better position to sue the government. Fewer people in the exchanges meant higher overall costs. To insurers, the “death spiral” was an apocalypse scenario; to Cannon, it meant freedom…

This is the Leninism I’m referring to in my headline. Cannon’s no socialist—quite the opposite!—but he saw a solution to the Republican crisis of watching people grow used to new entitlements. Rip the entitlement away, weaken the system, and a painful short term would give Congress no choice but to undo the law. Take away some of the beams, and what do you know? The roof collapses.

***

[T]his was not a drafting error at all. The point was to coerce the states into setting up exchanges, and the Left’s premise in structuring Obamacare as it did was its assessment that Obamacare, and especially its subsidies, would be popular. Obamacare turned out to be unpopular, however, and state governors and legislators did not suffer any political blow-back for refusing to help implement it. There was no ministerial drafting mistake; there was a mistaken assumption that the public would rally behind the policy, creating political pressure on state governments. Because statists think Obamacare is a good idea, they figured everyone would be brought around to that conclusion…

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if progressives would come clean about the drastic changes they’d make in the Constitution’s procedure for enacting law? Statutes would be sweeping, open-ended licenses to achieve one or more of the Left’s agenda items—e.g., everyone must have health care coverage—and it would then be left to the selfless, professional bureaucratic experts to work out the details. There would be no court review and no need to seek legislative modifications from Congress; everything would be done by administrative regulation and executive discretion … as long as the executive was a bien-pensant lefty like Obama.

We don’t have that system—not yet, anyway. So we’re told Halbig is about a “drafting error” and subjected to similar blather about “ambiguity” (where there is none), “plausible constructions” (that are implausible), etc. Obama partisans will continue trying to snow courts into ruling that the PPACA says something it clearly does not say—blather that may well work in the end since the judiciary, too, has become very politicized and party loyalty often counts for more than what Congress has written.

***

This has substantially changed the political dynamic. If Halbig were upheld and the law effectively gutted, the Right’s instinct would be to push for substantial reform — or, preferably, for full repeal. But there would be little incentive for the Democratic party to play along. In a world without federal subsidies, the many red states that have refused to set up exchanges would likely be stuck in an unappealing no man’s land — their voters unable to access the federal dollars that would continue to flow into the blue states that had established exchanges, but bound nonetheless by the still-in-tact federal regulations that were making insurance more expensive.

Would the philosophically opposed crack under the pressure? Possibly, yes. As Halbig neatly demonstrates, the administration has routinely failed to grasp the depth and scale of the opposition to its signature law. But Republicans, too, have exhibited a tendency to overestimate just how much conservatives dislike the reforms — and how vehemently they will fight them. It is eminently feasible that a mortally wounded Obamacare would provoke enough Republican voters into demanding a fix that the law would end up being strengthened, and not further gutted.

In other words: It could pan out that Halbig is reversed not by the courts, but by Congress. If the GOP takes back the Senate — and if the next president is more amenable to altering the system — a flailing Obamacare could provide the impetus needed for Americans to finally put the experiment out of its misery and usher in a new scheme. If not, the plaintiffs could find themselves back at square one. Today was a victory for principle, for common sense, and for the rule of law — for all those virtuous attributes that the republic is intended to exhibit in abundance. But before long politics will intrude. And that’s a different matter altogether.

***

Because of the nuclear option — when Reid broke the Senate rules to change the Senate rules pertaining to the filibuster of judicial nominees — Senate Republicans were unable to block three of Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result, Democrats have a 7–4 majority on the court.

The Justice Department is going to ask the full court to overturn the 2–1 ruling, issued Tuesday morning, which held that people who enrolled in Obamacare through the federal exchange are not eligible for the federal subsidies designed to make Obamacare cost less for individuals.

“If needed further proof that that’s an outlier, all you needed was to wait a couple of hours for the Fourth Circuit — which they decided the exact opposite,” Reid said. “Two activist Republican judges sought to undermine a law that was passed by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court, and is now benefiting millions of Americans. It seems clear to me that that decision is going to be overturned.”

***

The argument against the administration’s rule is straightforward: if a state refuses to set up an exchange, forcing the federal government to operate it instead, then the subsidies aren’t available. That legal reading of the statute makes some sense, because Congress may have wanted to encourage states to create exchanges with the carrot of promising subsidies for the states’ residents.

But the courts are required to uphold the rule if the law is ambiguous and the administration’s position is reasonable. The Supreme Court will probably uphold the rule under that lax standard

The issue is so close and contentious that it is basically inevitable that the Supreme Court will have to resolve it. If case goes straight to the Supreme Court, we will get a final decision within a year; otherwise, it will probably be two. My best guess is that a majority of the Justices will cite the limited role of the courts and rule for the administration and uphold the rule by the same 5-to-4 majority that rejected the major constitutional challenge to the law two years ago.

***

6. Life gets harder for Republican governors

When it comes to Obamacare’s exchanges, Republican governors have been able to have it both ways. By refusing to set up state-based exchanges, they’ve been able to boast to conservatives that they rejected Obamacare. But because the Obama administration has been giving out subsidies in their states anyway, benefits are flowing to their residents. If Halbig were ultimately upheld, however, governors would be in a tight spot. Conservative activists would be pressuring them to hold the line and refuse to set up their own exchanges. But there would be an uproar from liberal groups, newspaper editorial boards, hospitals and insurance lobbyists, and protests from individuals who had been receiving subsidies and would be facing the loss of their insurance.

***

There’s no use sugarcoating it: An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.

But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange…

If Congress didn’t act, and red-state governors threw their middle- and low-income constituents under the bus, they’d saddle the country with a two-tiered health care system, in which residents of blue states have functioning insurance markets and near-universal coverage, and residents of red states are consigned to dysfunction and high rates of uninsurance.

***

While these decisions could have major policy implications for President Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, there is virtually no chance that either one will have any near or even medium term impact on the politics surrounding Obamacare.

Why? Because minds are entirely made up about the law…

Obamacare has been, almost since its introduction into the political debate, a stand-in for feelings about President Obama. Like him, you like the law. Don’t like him, you don’t. And, like with Obama’s approval numbers — which are also in the low 40s at the moment — Republicans are more united in their dislike of Obamacare than Democrats are united in support of it. That was true before today and it will be true after today.

The political debate over Obamacare is over.

***

***

“Just last week I told Congress that Halbig was a live torpedo in the water for Obamacare. And that torpedo just hit.”


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canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 7:26 AM

God give y’ good mornin’, Canadian information streamer. :)

I wouldst thy maple leaves maple most admirably, thy electricity electrify with verve — and, withal, thy electric maple leaves both maple and electrify until the foul world is cleansed of pine.

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 7:33 AM

AXE: My various InTell Twitter linkys.

Lol, a Electrofied Maple Leaf(s):0

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 7:40 AM

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter

Matt Lee @APDiploWriter · 5s

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Defense Ministry: 2 #Ukraine military fighter jets shot down in the east of country.

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 7:42 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
7m

Editor’s note:

The Ukrainian defense ministry says 2 military fighter jets have been shot down in the country’s east. Reuters is sourcing a Ukrainian military spokesman as saying that the jets were shot down by pro-Russian rebels.

http://www.breakingnews.com/

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Wow….the panel wants to make hamas look like victims

SMH

cmsinaz on July 23, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Back up and look at it. Hamas sets up shop in a school, say, so children will be killed. The supporters of “the Palestinians” in the press know this. The secret’s out. Hamas was trying to manipulate the press corpse in order to manipulate public opinion. But I guess they never needed to. The press corpse is perfectly willing to just join the charade. As are the rest of the supporters — who also know it’s all a charade. That whole camp, from the terrorists to the Berkley demonstrators, is an exercise in Orwell’s double-think.

i.e., nuts.

(please read, “sure-ahd” — I’m thinking of going snoot)

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 7:45 AM

The Associated Press @AP · 17s

MORE: The Sukhoi-25 fighters were shot down over an area called Savur Mogila: http://apne.ws/1sQpJLc

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/2-ukrainian-military-fighter-jets-shot-down

canopfor on July 23, 2014 at 7:46 AM

Wow….the panel wants to make hamas look like victims

cmsinaz on July 23, 2014 at 7:23 AM

It’s funny how these liberals constantly preach about nuance but somehow manage to roll up Palestinian civilians, Hamas, and the PLA into a giant ball of victimhood. In the meantime, the Israelis apparently have no civilians needing protection- just blood-thirsty stormtroopers who aim at hospitals, schools, and orphanages for sport.

Happy Nomad on July 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM

1. Hamas is a terrorist organization.
2. Hamas started this by attacking Israel.
3. Hamas calls anyone who is killed a civilian.
4. Hamas is using civilians as human shields.

These are the facts. Hit the government media with it over and over.

crankyoldlady on July 23, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Thunder storm this morning. Supposed to get cooler after this.

crankyoldlady on July 23, 2014 at 5:23 AM

Sweater weather with the highs only in the upper 80′s here with a tropical mass keeping this cooler with cloud cover and 40% chance of rain. Will warm up for the weekend and get cooler next Tuesday.

Came home to 100 of bats living in the attic……they are protected since they consume three times their weight in skeeters .

Neighbour had them and, since you can’t trap and kill them, he had a company seal up his home and they put an excluder on their exit. They could fly out, but not come back in. Yep, they came to my house. Talked with the critter people and they said they usually end of sealing every home in the sub-division when this large of amount of bats infest the area. They live under the insulation in the attic during the winter. Cost about $1,600 per house and we have 83 in our sub-division…..for a grand total of $132,800.

I have a better idea. Going silent on the issue of bats.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 7:58 AM

I have a better idea. Going silent on the issue of bats.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Amnesty for illegal bats.

crankyoldlady on July 23, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Axe and HN
Yepper

Good points

cmsinaz on July 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Amnesty for illegal bats.

crankyoldlady on July 23, 2014 at 8:02 AM

What bats?

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM

What bats?

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM

You’ll have an attic full of guano.

crankyoldlady on July 23, 2014 at 8:09 AM

They live under the insulation in the attic during the winter. Cost about $1,600 per house and we have 83 in our sub-division…..for a grand total of $132,800.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 7:58 AM

Together, could probably build them a house. Move the problematic guano away, keep the awesomeness of having them.

https://www.google.com/search?q=large+bat+house&client=opera&hs=0rH&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=-abPU9XZNsW58gHShoGIDQ&ved=0CEEQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=643

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Perdue pushed himself over the finish line by attacking Kingston’s support from the Chamber of Corrupt Commerce that is pushing amnesty.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/22/Perdue-Hung-Chamber-Support-On-Kingston

Wigglesworth on July 23, 2014 at 8:31 AM

libfreeordie on July 22, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Always tough to lose a loved one. I will have a beer in his honour this evening.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Dude, since you will not take my advise on picking up hot chicks with a wood chipper being towed behind your truck; how about I show you how to snag hotties using Dwarfs as bait.

For an appetizer here is a true story. Once upon a time…….just kidding. This is true. I married this hot chick and we lasted a tad over 10 years. She started out straight and turned Bi. Will end that part of the story right there. The other part of the story is that the Hot Bi wife had a young employee working for her who was also hot and young. Guess who I ended up marrying years later. Yep, still married to her.

I have mellowed in my old age. Since The Wife reads the comments…..I might be trolling for grannies down at The Villages in Florida soon.

Hey honey, who much in child support will I have to pay?

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 8:49 AM

All right. This officially qualifies as one of the weirdest QoTD threads ever.

Axe on July 22, 2014 at 11:53 PM

And I will not be here until tomorrow. Can’t blame me. Well, I am typing today not yesterday talking about tomorrow….but you get my meaning.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Dude, since you will not take my advise on picking up hot chicks with a wood chipper being towed behind your truck; how about I show you how to snag hotties using Dwarfs as bait.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 8:49 AM

Fascinating. :) Though, disappointingly, there were no dwarfs. And not really of practical use, I must say. I’m already in this girl’s pocket:

AXIE, BABY!

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Eye wuvs yewts da bitcoins!

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 10:55 PM

*contented sigh*

–Correct. I’m RWM’s lint.

Pride was overrated. I’d rather smell like Mentos and fabric softener.

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Have a great day, day-walkers. :)

My skin’s starting to smoke, so I’m for the shade.

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

You’ll have an attic full of guano.

crankyoldlady on July 23, 2014 at 8:09 AM

Colonel Bat Guano??? (George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove)…

bimmcorp on July 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Have a great day, day-walkers. :)

My skin’s starting to smoke, so I’m for the shade.

Axe on July 23, 2014 at 9:05 AM

See you tomorrow on today’s QOTD. Bedtime is 2100 Monday through Thursday. Like you care! Chuckle.

HonestLib on July 23, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Guano makes great grass fertilizer. You could have a nice lawn and be green at the same time with this renewable source.

Kissmygrits on July 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

The Shameful Seven (Repubs who contributed to the Cochran PAC to defeat McDaniels)

First, it shows that the following seven GOP senators gave a total of $160,000 to Thad Cochran’s super PAC:

1. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — $50,000 — (202) 224-2541 — Facebook — Twitter

2. Bob Corker (R-TN) — $30,000 — (202) 224-3344 — Facebook — Twitter

3. Rob Portman (R-OH) — $25,000 — (202) 224-3353 — Facebook — Twitter

4. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — $25,000 — (202) 224-5251 — Facebook — Twitter

5. Richard Burr (R-NC) — $20,000 — (202) 224-3154 — Facebook — Twitter

6. Roy Blunt (R-MO) — $5,000 — (202) 224-5721 — Facebook — Twitter

7. Mike Crapo (R-ID) — $5,000 — (202) 224-6142 — Facebook — Twitter

Second, it shows that the PAC then gave a similar amount to a liberal group to run racial attacks against Chris McDaniel.

These senators fully funded ads that urged Democrats to “cross over and vote in the republican primary” and claimed that a McDaniel win would be a loss “for race relationships between blacks and whites.”

They also helped pay for fliers that said, “The Tea Party Intends to Prevent You From Voting” and suggested McDaniel would roll back civil rights.

And perhaps worst of all, they helped pay thousand of dollars to Democratic activists to do so called “canvasing” to turn out votes for Cochran.

lineholder on July 23, 2014 at 7:00 PM

COL…
the NASCAR Trucks are running Eldora tonight..
you still have enough time to zip over to the
track and catch the LCQ and the Feature race..!!

going2mars on July 23, 2014 at 7:34 PM

COL…
the St Henry HS Band is playing the national anthem..
live on FOXsports1 TV…
your neck of the woods if world famous!!!

going2mars on July 23, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6