A Three Piece Puzzle

4 03 2015

Washington, D.C.

Two pieces of the puzzle in King v Burwell, whose SCOTUS BJs have just started.

Louisiana Gov. Piyush Jindal, writing in NR:

And here’s where some on the right want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Conventional wisdom in Washington has assumed that, should the Court strike down the subsidies in 37 states under King, states will immediately act to establish their own state-run exchanges — allowing the subsidies to flow once more. Alternatively, Congress might be tempted to pass language extending the subsidies to the federally-run exchange, allowing Obamacare to comply with the Court ruling. That’s a “solution” in search of a problem. If eliminating the subsidies represents a net tax cut, then restoring the subsidies — whether by states creating their own exchanges, Congress passing new legislation, or some combination of the two — would re-impose a sizable tax increase. Americans would pay billions more in higher taxes to fund the newly restored subsidies, making Obamacare that much more entrenched. What self-proclaimed conservative of sound mind would do such a thing? Alternatively, some have talked about enacting a “compromise” that would restore the Obamacare subsidies while reforming some of the law’s new insurance requirements and regulations. But restoring the flow of subsidies means restoring the employer mandate, thus raising taxes. And even if such a “compromise” weakens or eliminates the employer mandate, the Obama administration — to say nothing of the insurance companies themselves — will hardly countenance a repeal of the individual mandate, which restoring the subsidies will only strengthen. So those seeking to restore the flow of subsidies will likely end up having to raise taxes on millions of Americans, in some way, shape, or form.

The emphasis of one given word in this quote is my own addition.

Betsey McCaughey, in the NYP:

Insurance companies will be the biggest losers

Their stock prices have soared since the healthcare.gov rollout — Humana up 66 percent; Cigna, 53 percent; Aetna, 52 percent. No wonder: ObamaCare forces the public to buy their policies.

It’s like a law requiring all Americans to buy cars, subsidizing those who can’t pay. That would send automaker stocks skyrocketing, too.

Insurers are expected to haul in over a trillion dollars of taxpayer money over the next decade. No wonder they’re bombarding the Supremes with arguments defending their cozy deal.

The third piece of the puzzle?  Look at the campaign finance reports of a lot of Republicans, and you’re going to find a whole lot of insurance PACs, 527s, if not semi-directly, then funneled through one or two intermediaries.

It’s why the Republican Party in current form is never going to make a serious run at repeal.  At “best,” they’ll just nibble around some of the worst edges.

Ticket to Ride

11 02 2015



$100,000 income puts a household at the 77.5 percentile.


2015: A Border Odyssey

16 11 2014



Exclusive: GOP Rep. Hal Rogers’ Campaign Donor Stands to Profit from Executive Amnesty

A defense contractor and top campaign contributor to House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is in the running to get a contract to print millions of IDs and other government documents associated with the president’s planned executive amnesty, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

That’s all you need to know.

And why is HAL crucially important here?

Easy.  He runs House Budget, and he’s trying to use his power to get the House to pass a budget that lasts through the end of FY 15, not just a short CR to last until early January when the next Congress starts.  Passing a longer budget now means that the new Congress wouldn’t be able to play appropriations hardball with Obama over EO amnesty, at least not until October 1, 2015, at which point the other side hopes that everyone will have forgotten all about the immigration issue.  That would be fine with HAL, for very practical reasons we now know.

NYT Lobs a Bomb on Chris Koster’s Campaign for Governor

30 10 2014

Jefferson City

Read all about it.

I would be cheering, except that, barring a miracle, the Republicans will be nominating Peter Kindercare.

Gop Goop Glop

6 10 2014

Washington, D.C.

Want to know why there might be a disconnect between public anger at Obama and the Democrats and Senate Republican candidates’ less than stellar showing in the polls?

Try this.

You’ll notice that a company called TracFone is the single largest beneficiary of income since the Lifeline program was extended into the cell phone space in 2008, because of a bill signed by then-President George W. Bush.  (That’s why they really should be called Bushphones, and not Obamaphones.)  Who owns TracFone?  Carlos Slim.

So if you add it all up, all it means is that Carlos Slim is spending a lot of money (by our standards, but pocket change to him) to convince House Republicans not to cut the Bushphone program by even one red penny, hiding behind the uniforms of disabled veterans in the process. That said, expect a barrage of editorials in the New York Times denouncing any Republican or anyone who wants to spend slightly less on Bushphones next year than this year.

Which means this woman will probably never have to worry about losing her free sail foam, no matter which of the “two” parties wins elections.

Mercy Plea

8 07 2014

New Orleans

The wife and kids are pleading with the judge for leniency.

He’s a good boy, and honor roll student, a good athlete, an aspiring rapper, who happened to fall in with the wrong crowd.  But he was in the process of turning his life around.  Besides, blame Bush.


Didn’t work.  Ten bit.

So They Say

19 03 2014


We don’t need photo ID to vote, they say.

Voter fraud is not a problem, they say.

So why are they passing around oodles of money to prevent from happening something they say we don’t need to prevent a problem they say doesn’t exist?


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