Illegal!

A federal appeals court dealt Obamacare another blow—Obama’s subsidies are illegal.

Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal

– CNBC

This is a breaking news story. Please check back to the link above for updates.

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are not legal under the Affordable Care Act.

In its decision, a three-judge panel said that such subsidies can be granted only to 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. Plaintiffs in the case known as Halbig v. Burwell argued that the ACA, as written, only allows that often-significant financial aid to be issued to people who bought insurance on a marketplace set up by a state.

The decision is certain to be challenged by the Obama Administration, and does not immediately have the effect of law. But if it is ultimately upheld, it would cause insurance rates for those people who lost the subsidies to dramatically rise.

HealthCare.gov serves residents of the 36 states that did not create their own health insurance marketplace. About 86 percent of its 5.45 million customers received a subsidy to offset the cost of their coverage this year because they had low or moderate incomes.

In a report issued Thursday, the consultancy Avalere Health said that if those subsidies were removed this year from the 4.7 million people who received them in HealthCare.gov states, their premiums would have been an average of 76 percent higher in price than what they are paying now.

Before the decision, a leading Obamacare expert who was firmly opposed to the plantiffs’ arguments said a ruling in their favor could have major consequences for the health-care reform law.

“If the courts were to decide that the Halbig plaintiffs were right, it would be a huge threat to the ACA,” said that expert,Timothy Jost, a professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

On Monday, one of the intellectual godfathers of the argument that is the basis of the Halbig case, as well as three other similar pending court challenges, said that tens of millions of people would be freed from Obamacare mandates in the affected states if the challenges prevailed.

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, said more than 250,000 firms in those states—which have about 57 million workers—would not be subject to the employer mandate being phased in starting next year. That rule, which hinges on the availability of subsidies on Obamacare exchanges, will compel employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer affordable health insurance or pay a fine.

The crucial point to this court decision is in the last paragraph above—no subsidies, no employer mandate. If the employer mandate is declared illegal, then why would anyone want to stay in the program…Obamacare…if their rates go up an estimated 76%?

The decision is bad news for Obama, his sycophants and Obamacare.

***

Dave Helling, writing in the Kansas City “Red” Star laments on the lack of discussion about issues in the upcoming Primary two weeks from today. Helling’s lament was echoed in the PoliticMO newsletter this morning.

AUGUST BALLOT — “After dragging for months, the primary is now just two weeks away,’ Dave Helling previews in the KC Star: “That deadline does not seem to have quickened the pace of local campaigns, however. They seem slightly listless, as if the voters’ verdict is still months in the future. Missouri’s three-fourths cent sales tax for transportation improvements has probably drawn the most interest. It would be the largest tax hike in state history. But where’s the campaign? Normally, two weeks out, you would see tax supporters holding news conferences at crumbling bridges. Ads would suck up TV time. Letters to the editor would extol (or denounce) the proposal. Have you seen much of this? I haven’t, either. …

Sluggish campaigns lead to low turnout. …  In most years, “no” voters are more motivated and a small turnout would endanger the tax. But it’s also possible the quiet campaign has helped tamp down anti-tax fervor in Missouri. In either case, it’s probably too late for consultants to reconfigure their campaigns. It’s going to be hard to awaken voters in the next two weeks after putting many of them to sleep over the last six months.” — KC Star.

Perhaps Mr. Helling should look at his own editorial board for that lack of interest. If stories aren’t reported, the great unwashed, i.e., those who only get their news from that liberal Kansas City rag, are unaware of those issues. It makes me wonder if the average denizen of Kansas City is even aware an election is scheduled two weeks from today. Don’t blame any apparent lack of interest of the lack of substance in the issues, Mr. Helling. Blame those like the KC Star editorial board for down-playing those issues hoping that a low turnout will allow the tax increase in Amendment 7 to pass. The KC Star hasn’t yet seen a tax increase it didn’t like.

Hierarchy of Needs

Have you heard about the Federal Tax increase passed by the House last week? Not many people have because it contained a tax deferment and the Washington elite from both parties didn’t want the news spread. Ignorance of voters is bliss—especially when it is Washington taking more money out of our pockets.

In this case, the bill would allow employers to defer making pension fund payments. Pension fund payments are tax deductible. Companies are required by law to make those payments…unless…the government wants those measly tax payments for something else.

It’s a matter of taking from Peter to pay Paul. This Highway bill, which our local congresscritter, Vicky Hartzler voted for, allows companies to defer making those pension payments. If a company is in such dire straits, they would have more trouble making their tax payments. Peter, in this example, is the FedGov. Paul is the retirees. Guess who gets screwed. Vicky says, “It’s budget neutral.” My question is, “Whose budget!?” Not mine!

Highway maintenance is a subject that will appear on the upcoming primary election ballot August 5th. Amendment 7 is a sales tax increase to ‘help’ fund maintenance of Missouri’s roads and bridges. The reality is that there is sufficient money already—if the state, county and city governments use that money as it was intended.

The real problem is that the state, counties and cities, have not been spending the existing funds on roads and bridges. Instead, they’ve been using the funds for other items. For example, Kansas City has a fixation with light rail and street cars. They have a plan, using funds from the roads and bridges maintenance funds, to restore a 1940’s era rail plan.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper on Hierarchy of Needs. In that paper, Maslow discusses needs—prioritization of needs that must be met. In engineer-speak, it is known as prioritization of tasks and dependencies. In order to complete a project, say maintaining roads and bridges, the individual tasks must be listed, dependencies determined, and then the tasks are prioritized by need and efficiency, i.e., getting the most bang for the buck.

The assumption is that the state, counties and cities, will be logical and work the projects as engineers. Unfortunately, the leaders of the state, counties, and cities, especially the larger cities more insulated from voter wrath, are not logical. They are more like neurotics, seeking to upset that engineering hierarchy of needs to feed their neurotic needs of their egos. They want their needs to be at the top, and a high need is to remain in office.

If they can placate their supporters, some of their needs have been met. The original purpose of the project funding gets lost and instead of maintaining the city’s road and bridges, we get the light-rail/street car boondoggle in Kansas City. I’m given to understand St Louis has similar boondoggles that is funded by the road and bridges budget just like Kansas City.

Maslow’s thesis was that everyone has a hierarchy of needs. No one really disagrees with that concept. Organizations, like city and county governments have needs, too. Unfortunately, governments are logical people. They are reflections of their elected officials. The passage of Amendment 7 would feed their egos insteading of meeting the actual needs of roads and bridges.

In Kansas City, the issue is the ego-stuffing of Mayor Sly James. In Cass County four years ago, it was the egos of the presiding commissioner Gary Mallory and commissioners Bill Cook and Brian Baker.

Mallory, Cook and Baker approved two unworkable boondoggles called Tri-Gen and Broadband Internet. The projects were unworkable and unaffordable but they did present the opportunity for corruption. That issue is still being played in the courts.

The damage to Cass County’s finances was severe. The county was within a hair-breath of bankruptcy. Due to the leadership of the current Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox and County Auditor Ron Johnson, Cass County is slowly recovering.

Cass County has a new crop of responsive elected officials and an auditor who actually does his job instead of being a rubber stamp for the county commission. But the opposition, the prior officials, are still present, building an insurgency to regain access to public funds. Their hierarchy of needs opposes the hierarchy of needs of us the residents of the county.

When the primary arrives on August 5th, vote for yourself, your needs, not for the selfish needs of an oligarchy, unrepentant of their corruption. Vote for Jeff Cox, Ron Johnson and Stacey Lett. Let’s keep Cass County free of the Oligarchy and supportive of the needs of the residents. We don’t’ need a minority in office who has rapacious eyes on our public funds.

Something new

My wife had an experience yesterday, one neither of us have had for a primary election. She received a call from a St. Louis pollster. We’ve had polling calls prior to general elections, but this was a first—it was targeted towards Cass County GOP primary races. Not ‘Pub vs dem, but ‘Pub vs RINO. I didn’t receive the call, Mrs. Crucis did. She said they asked only about the Presiding Commissioner, Auditor and Associate Circuit Judge races.

Curious, that. Who has the funding to pay for the poll? None of the candidates running, as far as I know, have pockets deep enough, nor backers with pockets deep enough, to pay for the poll…except for the RINOs who are rumored to have some funding from KC unions.

In past elections, we’ve had cross-over votes from the dems attempting to influence GOP primaries. The last northern Commissioner race in 2012 was one such occurance. This time I think the RINOs are scared.

***

There have been discussions in the last few weeks about impeaching Obama. Even Sarah Palin supported impeachment. The overall opinion was for impeachment until one Congressman revealed why the House is in no rush to do so.

If the House impeached Obama, it would go to Harry Reid’s Senate for trial.  If—IF—the trial actually happened, and if—IF—Obama was convicted, we would have Joe Biden as President! 

That’s why Obama won’t be impeached.

***

I’m recovering, a bit, from yesterday’s Range Day. I was having withdrawal symptoms and needed a day out sending lead down-range.

The temperature was in the mid-70s. We, my shootin’ buddy and I, had a slight breeze out of the south. The day was perfect, a great day. When I got home, I crashed. It wasn’t so much from fatigue but that I was just ‘stiff’ from standing and walking so much.

So, I’ll take today as a recovery day and I’ll be ready to go again…tomorrow…or next week.

For the rest of you, have a great weekend.

Infringement

in·fringe·ment
inˈfrinjmənt/
noun
noun: infringement; plural noun: infringements

1. the action of breaking the terms of a law, agreement, etc.; violation.
“copyright infringement”
2. the action of limiting or undermining something.
“the infringement of the right to privacy”

If an act by a governing body, say a county, criminalizes an act that would in other circumstances be recognized as a by-product of a constitutional right, would that body be said to be infringing upon a constitutional right?

The county is Jackson. What they have done is to criminalize self protection if a firearm is used. Earlier this week, I wrote about a message I received from Kevin Jamison, President of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance. It’s worth repeating.

Jackson County has an ordinance which prohibits shooting in the “urban tier” of the country. There is a map of this urban tier but it takes some effort to get. It does not exempt self-defense. The ordinance was slipped through last December without public notice. It does allow for ranges but does not define them and no county permit for ranges exists. This complicates some of the CCW instructors who have a home range. There was a hearing on a repeal sponsored by County Legislator Greg Grounds. The hearing was continued to 28 July, 2014 at 2:30 in the Jackson County Independence courthouse, in the basement. There were a great number of people there today. That always gets a politician’s attention.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office says that they did not request this ordinance.

Let’s create a scenario. You are in a mall parking lot and you have your arms full of packages. You are parked nose-in against a concrete wall and have cars parked on both sides of you. A man walks up with a weapon and demands your money, car keys and says he’ll kill you if you don’t comply.

You cannot run. There is no where to go. Your exit is blocked by the mugger. From more of his statements, you believe he’ll kill you regardless of your compliance. You also have a CCW permit and have a pistol available. You are in fear of your life. What do you do? Comply and possibly die, or fight back? Many of us, in similar situations, would fight back using what we have available—throw the packages at your attacker, draw your weapon and fire.

You have just violated Jackson County’s new ordinance—firing a pistol, any firearm, withing the boundaries of Jackson County. It makes no difference that you were fully justified in defending yourself under the law. It makes no difference you were legally armed. It makes no difference, you have fired within the county and the Powers-That-Be are determined to get their pound-of-flesh because you exercised your right of self-defense.

It is an atrocity.

For those of you residing within Jackson County, remember the clandestine actions of your county government when you return to the polls. Vote the tyrants out!

***

Harry Reid said he was determined to go around the First Amendment after SCOTUS laid down the law on Obama’s attempt to violate Hobby Lobby’s First Amendment rights. Like other democrats, Reid believe the Constitution is an impediment in the path of their statist agenda. Too bad some of his own didn’t obey Reid’s marching orders.

Victory: Pro-Life Senators Vote Down New Abortion-Pill Mandate

The American people’s voices were heard.  Over 75,000 Americans signed the ACLJ’s petition to defeat the new abortion-pill mandate and defend religious liberty in just a little over 48 hours.

Yet the left is not giving up on its dream of making every American pay for abortion.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lamented that this pro-abortion bill only gained 56 of the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture (end debate), and promised another vote “before the year is out” (read: before the November elections).  In other words, Sen. Reid is signaling to his pro-abortion allies that he will make the abortion-pill mandate a central issue of the fall elections.

Harry Reid lost this time but he won’t give up on his attempts to destroy the Constitution. The left never gives up. They’ll chip away at the Constitution, one right at a time.

And so it goes…

The title of today’s post is taken from one of my favorite songs by Billy Joel. I don’t agree with his politics, but I do like his music.  The title also applies to the machinations of the GOP elite from Washington attacking home-state conservatives.

We had the Mississippi fiasco with a number of looong service ‘Pub senators like McConnell, Cornyn, and Missouri’s Roy Blunt, feeding Thad Cochran’s camhttp://www.americanthinker.com/images/bucket/2014-07/192774_5_.jpgpaign. Next, we had ‘pub Senators feeding Pat Roberts money against Milton Wolf. Now, we find more RINOs siding with democrats against other ‘Pub conservatives. This time it is local Kansas RINOs against ‘Pub Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.

RINO stampede in Kansas

By Thomas Lifson, July 16m, 2014

The headline from AP certainly is alarming: “100 Kansas GOP endorse Democrat for governor.” And the lead paragraph continues the theme:

Democratic challenger Paul Davis sought Tuesday to give his campaign for Kansas governor a bipartisan boost by announcing endorsements from more than 100 moderate Republicans who’ve split with conservative GOP Gov. Sam Brownback over education and tax policy.

You might be wondering, to borrow Thomas Frank’s infamous book title, “What’s the matter with Kansas”? I can’t claim to be an expert on the Jayhawker State, but it does appear that this is a matter of sour grapes:

Six state senators on the list lost their seats in 2012 primaries to Brownback-favored candidates, including former Senate President Steve Morris, of Hugoton.

Brownback, after winning the governor’s office in 2010 with 63% of the vote, has moved aggressively to implement a conservative agenda, cutting income taxes. This has rankled the government industry and its many rent-seekers. The good old days when everyone gouged the taxpayers and shared their wealth among the ruling class are missed.

Speaking of old:

Many of the former lawmakers have been out of office for at least a decade.

“When was the last time any of them took a day and walked a precinct to talk with today’s voters about the voters’ concerns?” state GOP Executive Director Clay Barker said.

State Rep. J.R. Claeys, a conservative Republican, was even more dismissive, tweeting, “and they really raided the nursing home for some of them.”

So how’s the Brownback program working out for Kansas?

Brownback campaign spokesman John Milburn responded to the new group’s criticism by noting that since Brownback took office in January 2011, Kansas has gained more than 50,000 private-sector jobs. He also pointed to enactment this year of an education funding plan boosting aid to poor school districts.

“Governor Brownback is focused on leading Kansas by growing the economy, investing in education for future generations, and preserving the bedrock values of hard work, faith and family,” Milburn said.

But the new group backing Davis said Brownback’s “experiment” with tax cuts has impeded the economy, with U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that private-sector job growth has been slower in Kansas than in the U.S. as a whole. The new group also contends spending on public schools remains inadequate.

Put Kansas on the list of states to watch for November.

Kansas has always had a problem with “moderate” republicans. Many of them were democrats claiming the title of republican when they realized they couldn’t be elected as democrats. Johnson County and Wyandotte County, in particular, were infested with these so-called moderates.

Most of them, although there are still a few hold-outs, have been booted out of office by real conservatives. Now those RINOs have shown their true colors. They are supporting liberal democrats against Kansas’ conservatives.

Do they have the strength to affect the election? That is the real question. At this point, no one knows.

 

Time’s up!

Yesterday, July 14th, was the deadline for Governor Nixon to veto, sign or ignore the pile of bills on his desk. One, SB 656, was one of those waiting for Nixon’s action. Late yesterday—at the very last minute, he vetoed SB 656.

What was SB 656? It was a bill that among other things, allowed teachers to protect their students after extensive training and certification by law enforcement, similar training, in fact, that LEOs undergo.

Nixon vetoed it saying it endangered the children. He prefers School Resource officers. So he said. Some school districts cannot afford hiring police to patrol their schools every day nor does every police department have extra officers to station them at every school.

Regardless of his motives, what Nixon has done was to leave schools open for more shootings. Our students must continue to be taught in free-fire zones.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 4:49

http://www.guns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Jay-Nixon-kmov.jpgMissouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed legislation Monday that would have allowed vetted and trained teachers and school administrators to carry firearms on campus. The measure had passed the Republican-dominated state house by a strong 111-28 vote and the state senate in a 21-7 vote.

“I cannot condone putting firearms in the hands of educators,” Nixon said. “Arming teachers will not make our schools safer.”

Nixon said he supports the use of duly authorized law enforcement officers employed as school resource officers.

The bill, SB 656, was designed to allow school districts to cross-train faculty to a new “school protection officer” standard. These volunteer teachers and administrators would need a valid Missouri concealed-carry permit and complete a Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission certification course. Following these steps, they would be allowed to carry on school grounds if the district opted to allow armed personnel on campus.

Over the summer, no fewer than 10 school districts have sent selected teachers and staff through up to 75 hours of training in anticipation of the bill being signed by the governor. This required training ran at a cost of $17,500 for every two staff members.

Bloomberg surrogates, Moms Demand Action, are ecstatic that student remain endangered.

***

In another firearm related issue, Jackson County quietly passed an ordinance earlier this year prohibiting firing a firearm within the county. The way the law is written, if you have to shoot to protect yourself, you will be arrested, regardless of the merits of the act, for shooting within the county.

Kevin Jamison, one of the creator’s of Missouri’s CCW law and President of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, had this to say.

Jackson County has an ordinance which prohibits shooting in the “urban tier” of the country. There is a map of this urban tier but it takes some effort to get. It does not exempt self-defense. The ordinance was slipped through last December without public notice. It does allow for ranges but does not define them and no county permit for ranges exists. This complicates some of the CCW instructors who have a home range. There was a hearing on a repeal sponsored by County Legislator Greg Grounds. The hearing was continued to 28 July, 2014 at 2:30 in the Jackson County Independence courthouse, in the basement. There were a great number of people there today. That always gets a politician’s attention.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office says that they did not request this ordinance.

Spread the word.

***

SJR 36, also known as Amendment 5 on the August 5th ballot continues to be under fire from gun control activists. An appellate hearing occurred yesterday before the Missouri Supreme Court. Ron Calzone, a gun-rights activist was present and made this report.

What do you think “unalienable right” means?

Today I went to the MO Supreme Court hearing over the ballot title for Amendment 5, the super strong gun rights amendment sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer.

The lawyer for the anti-gun side said, (beginning at about 2:50 of the audio link): “The effect of the word ‘unalienable’ has no legal meaning, as we argued in our brief. Three states have, that I have found, have the phrase “inalienable right’ in their constitution. In all three of those states their Supreme Courts have said, specially, that the use of the word ‘inalienable’ does not trigger strict scrutiny standards and that they will review those under rational basis.

http://www.courts.mo.gov/SUP/index.nsf/fe8feff4659e0b7b8625699f0079eddf/46c3c6fb6b7bd9eb86257d0a00634fcf/$FILE/SC94293.mp3

This type of thinking is exactly why, in SJR 36, we advocated for the addition of a specific requirement that gun rights be protected by “strict scrutiny” standards in court.

For a 4 minute primer on Strict Scrutiny vs. the Rational Basis Test, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzETeTvYDu4

You’ll see that the rational basis test the anti-gun lawyer argued allows government restriction on gun rights for about any reason. You can also see why it’s so important to pass Amendment 5!

OGIM

I’m tired. I had a busy weekend, running from and to. I had stuff that I had committed to do so I can’t complain…too much, anyway. But now it’s Monday and I’m looking through my usual sources. Usually, come Monday, I find all the information the democrats and libs didn’t want us to see. They didn’t release it until late on Friday knowing most of the people will be, like me, busy through the weekend.

Well, it appears to have worked.

I remember seeing some articles Friday night that were interesting. Now, come Monday morning, I can’t find them. That’s life in the blogging world.