Will the courts derail obamacare? (Forbes)

The conventional wisdom is that John Roberts [an “evil genius,” “political genius” “coward,” “pragmatist”] settled the matter of Obamacare’s constitutionality with his [“stunning,” “convoluted,” “statesmanlike,” “bipolar,” “bold”] decision [“constitutional malpractice” “a singular act of courage,” “sophistry,” “fancy footwork,” “deft performance,” “a brilliant act of judicial statesmanship”] 14 months ago to save the law by essentially rewriting some of its core provisions. The Supreme Court has spoken, Obamacare is the law of the land, Republicans should “get over it” and, in Bill Clinton’s words it should be “all hands on board” to get it launched successfully. What if the conventional wisdom is wrong? While it may not be prudent to bet the farm on this outcome, the courts may yet topple the entire law or at least cripple it badly enough to require Congress to act to fix or replace it. Here are 5 key cases to pay attention to in the months ahead.

All told, Obamacare and its tens of thousands of pages of companion regulations have spawned nearly 100 lawsuits, although, as Washington and Lee University legal scholar Timothy Jost has pointed out, “over half of these challenge a single regulation promulgated under the law (the preventive services contraceptive requirement) rather than the…”…

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Violation of the Origination Clause: Sissel v. United States Department of Health & Human Services (D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals)

The Issue: Did Passage of the ACA Violate the Constitution’s Origination Clause? Obamacare imposes a charge on Americans who fail to buy health insurance — a penalty payment that the U.S. Supreme Court characterized in June 2012 as a federal tax. In this case, the non-profit Pacific Legal Foundation argues that that this purported tax is illegal because it was introduced in the Senate rather than the House, as required by the Constitution’s Origination Clause…

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Reality of “New” Male Body Leads Transexual to Elect State Condoned Euthenasia in Belgium

A high-profile case of a Belgian transsexual who chose to be killed by medical euthanasia after a sex-change operation turned him into a “monster” has highlighted the soaring number of people in the region electing to die this way – and has raised fresh questions over the controversial practice.

Nathan Verhelst, born Nancy, gave an interview to a local newspaper hours before his death this week citing his “unbearable psychological suffering” – rather than a terminal or degenerative physical illness – as his reason for dying voluntarily.

“When I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself. My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be… a monster,” Verhelst told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, referencing his double mastectomy and surgery to construct a penis last year.

Verhelst, 44, was killed by voluntary lethal injection on Monday according to local media reports.

Euthanasia, the act of a doctor directly killing a patient, is becoming more popular in Belgium and the Netherlands, which along with Luxembourg have all legalized euthanasia in the past 10 years and are the only three countries in the world where the practice is legal.

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New Study: Children with Same-Sex Parents Fare Worse

Using Canadian census data, a very large and therefore representative database, Canadian professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by intact, married biological parents do better than children raised by same-sex couples. From the abstract, yes, published in a peer-reviewed journal:

Here, a 20 % sample of the 2006 Canada census is used to identify self-reported children living with same-sex parents, and to examine the association of household type with children’s high school graduation rates. This large random sample allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children. Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.

Obama Eviscerates Troops’ 1st Amendment Rights: Threatens Catholic Priests With Arrest If They Minister To Them

picture from examiner.com

Unreal.  He’s a monster.

The Catholic priests need to come out and challenge this.  It’s not enough that Obama is strategically punishing each and every American civilian, he’s going after our troops, too.

Obama took the time to make sure Camp David stays open during the shutdown and he had time to pose for a portrait on the third day of the shutdown.  Meanwhile, Sunday is near and the military has no priests to perform Sunday service or hear confessions. In an Op-Ed piece by John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, said:

“With the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer.  During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

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Constitution Gives House of Reps the “Weapon” to Destroy ObamaCare

Constitution Gives House of Reps the "Weapon" to Destroy ObamaCare

Can there be a more fruitful source of dispute, or a kind of dispute more difficult to be settled?

— James Madison speaking at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 on the spending bill battles between the House and Senate that would occur.

As the “Government Shutdown” puppet show continues its run in Washington, D.C., there is power in the Constitution to close down the entire production.

Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution requires that “all bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other bills.”

The solution to the ObamaCare funding fiasco is right there in black and white.

If any money is to be spent on anything, the bill must come out of the House of Representatives. If no bill is approved by that body and sent to the Senate, no money may be spent!

Even though he rewrote the ObamaCare legislation in his ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts (and six of his colleagues) held that the individual mandate of ObamaCare was not a constitutional expression of the Commerce Clause, thereby throwing the whole matter back to the House of Representatives and to the states.

As Bubba Atkinson of the Independent Review Journal explains:

Chief Justice Roberts actually ruled the mandate, relative to the commerce clause, was unconstitutional. That is how the Democrats got Obamacare going in the first place. This is critical. His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything, ever. The notion is now officially and forever, unconstitutional. As it should be.

Next, he stated that, because Congress doesn’t have the ability to mandate, it must, to fund Obamacare, rely on its power to tax. Therefore, the mechanism that funds Obamacare is a tax. He struck down as unconstitutional, the Obamacare idea that the federal government can bully states into complying by yanking their existing Medicaid funding. Liberals, through Obamacare, basically said to the states — ‘comply with Obamacare or we will stop existing funding.’ Roberts ruled that is a no-no.”

By attaching ObamaCare funding to the overall spending bill, the House turned the issue into the political football that it is today. The whole charade could have been avoided had the House carried out its constitutionally assigned duty of controlling the purse containing the people’s money.

Put another way, had the House of Representatives sent the Senate a bill defunding ObamaCare — a so-called “stand alone bill” — then the Senate would have had to accept or refuse it without hooking the ObamaCare wagon to the star of other federal budget items. Accept the defunding bill and ObamaCare is dead. Refuse the ObamaCare defunding bill and the bill goes back to the House where it would be reworked or not. Either way, not a dime is spent on socialized medicine.

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Chad Henderson Exposes The Media Lies About Obamacare Exchanges

There is no greater hatred than that born out of affection spurned and trust betrayed. Yesterday, the media loved Chad Henderson. Today, they hate him.

He, along with a handful of other individuals, were recently the subject of profiles in the press demonstrating both how navigable the exchange system is and how they are benefiting under the Affordable Care Act. It’s difficult to overstate how absurd the media coverage of Henderson’s reportedly successful effort to sign up to health care exchange has been.

Henderson’s story was particularly attractive. He was precisely what the media, and the White House, needed: a young, ostensibly healthy individual willing to pay a substantial portion of the meager income into the system so that it can support older, more chronically ill patients who will be partaking in health care services regularly.

In the media’s rush to make a star out of Henderson, they failed to vet him thoroughly. Most of the press missed the fact that Henderson is a current political activist and Organizing for America volunteer. Somewhat more egregiously, they also missed the fact that Henderson’s story was not true.

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Mike Lee and Ted Cruz faced ‘demeaning’ and ‘all-out attack’ from weak GOP colleagues

Senate Republicans furiously attacked Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Sen. Mike Lee behind closed doors and leaked details of an off-record meeting to the media to harm the two senators, according to Lee.

Lee divulged some of the details of a closed-door meeting on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show on Friday, since he said much of it had been leaked to the media by his own colleagues.

“[N]ormally, I don’t comment at all on closed-door meetings between Republican senators,” Lee said. “It’s a pretty strict rule we follow. But one exception I’ll make is circumstances like this, where contents of the meeting were leaked deliberately by several of my colleagues and leaked in a very one-sided way. I’m happy to tell you about it here.”

“It was an all-out attack against Ted Cruz and me,” he continued. “It was unflattering. It was unfair. It was demeaning. It was demeaning to Sen. Cruz and me, but more than anything, it was demeaning to those who engaged in the attack.”

Lee said a number of senators had rose to speak against he and Cruz — “enough that I lost count.”

Obama Does Not Rule Out Taking Action On The Debt Ceiling By Himself (Impeach if he does)

Barack Obama

Read into this what you will, but President Barack Obama did not specifically rule out working around Congress to raise the nation’s borrowing limit if Congress does not permit a hike before an Oct. 17 deadline.

In an interview with The Associated Press that was published on Saturday, Obama ducked the question of whether he is “willing to take other action” to prevent default. He only said that he expected Congress would pass a bill to raise it.

Here’s the key exchange:

Q: But if they don’t, if they get up to this deadline and they are not willing to pass this clean debt ceiling that you’re asking them to do, would you be willing to take other action to prevent default?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t expect to get there. There were at least some quotes yesterday that Speaker Boehner is willing to make sure that we don’t default. And just as is true with the government shutdown, there are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today. And I’m pretty willing to bet that there are enough votes in the House of Representatives right now to make sure that the United States doesn’t end up being a deadbeat. The only thing that’s preventing that from happening is Speaker Boehner calling the vote.

The possibility that Obama will have to work around Congress to raise the debt has been increasingly discussed by analysts over the past week.

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Obamacare Facebook Erupts with Citizen Sticker Shock

On Thursday, the government’s official Obamacare Facebook page was riddled with people expressing sticker shock over the government’s high cost premiums after struggling for hours to wade through the technical failures vexing Obamacare exchanges all across the country.

“I am so disappointed,” wrote one woman. “These prices are outrageous and there are huge deductibles. No one can afford this!” The comment received 169 “likes.”

“There is NO WAY I can afford it,” said one commenter after using the Kaiser Subsidy Calculator. “Heck right now I couldn’t afford an extra 10$ [sic] a month…and oh apparently I make to [sic] much at 8.55/hour to get subsidies.”

Another person shared a link found on the federal government’s main Obamacare page listing premium estimates for small business employers:

The information is not very complete as I don’t see anything about deductible or other detailed info, but it does given an actual price as to the “Premium.” It is VERY SCARY!! For example, my insurance plan right now for my spouse and I costs $545 a month with 100% coverage after my $2500 deductible. We are both 32 years old. When I looked at this site for 80% coverage it says it will be $954.78 a month!!!! So compare my old Plan: 100% coverage for $545 a month To New Plan: 80% Coverage for $945 a month. This is only only an estimate but it is VERY Scary for me to see this kind of increase in rates and reduction in benefits!

A single mother of two said she is in school and working full-time while living “75% below the poverty level.” She said she was shocked to learn she did not qualify for a healthcare subsidy. “Are you Fucking kidding me????” she wrote on the government’s Obamacare Facebook page. “Where the HELL am I supposed to get $3,000 more a year to pay for this ‘bronze’ health insurance plan!?!??? And I DO NOT EVEN WANT INSURANCE to begin with!! This is frightening,” she wrote.

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More Shutdown Drama as House Votes to Delay Obamacare Implementation (Govt Shutdown Looms)

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Published on: September 29, 2013

issa092813 445x291 More Shutdown Drama as House Sends CR Back to Senate

Rep. Darrell Issa addressed the press after a Saturday afternoon meeting of the House Republican Conference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

 

House Republicans voted early Sunday morning to prolong the showdown over a government shutdown, sending the Senate more provisions intended to undermine Obamacare as part of a stopgap spending bill to keep the government operating past Monday.

The high-stakes game of hot potato could end up bringing the government to a bureaucratic halt come Tuesday, given that Senate Democratic leaders have flatly refused to consider any measure that would weaken the president’s signature legislative achievement.

Shortly after midnight, the House voted to approve a series of amendments to the Senate-passed version of a continuing resolution. While the Senate had stripped out language intended to defund Obamacare, House Republicans decided Saturday to try again with a one-year delay of the health care law, which they approved 231-192. Two Democrats voted with all but two Republicans for the Obamacare delay.

The Republicans voting against the delay were Reps. Richard Hanna and Chris Gibson, both of New York. Democrats voting with Republicans were Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Mike McIntyre of North Carolina.

The House also approved, 248-174 a repeal of a 2.3 percent tax on medical device makers that the Congressional Budget Office says would bring in $29 billion over a decade. Seventeen Democrats joined all Republicans on that vote. The chamber also voted to change the CR’s expiration date from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15.

House leaders made the bill even more unpalatable to Senate Democrats by including a “conscience clause” allowing employers and insurers to opt out of providing coverage for contraception if they have moral or religious objections.

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From De Blasio to Obama: Have you ever also agreed with Marxist ideology, Mr. President?

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Published on: September 29, 2013

Something fascinating and surprisingly honest has happened at the New York Times. In two separate articles, the Times took a page it would usually attribute to Joe McCarthy. In profiling the background of Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, who will likely be New York City’s next mayor, and fittingly so, the Times has shed much-needed light on de Blasio’s disturbing political past. It’s a past that includes cheerleading for Nicaragua’s Sandinista government and Fidel Castro’s barbarous regime in Cuba.

The feature piece was done by Times reporter Javier Hernandez, who should be commended for his atypical bravery. In the liberal church, where the Times is both Old and New Testament, Hernandez’s blasphemy is worthy of excommunication. Mr. Hernandez, a vile sinner, has committed a grave heresy that merits accountability before the entire congregation.

To be sure, the intrepid Times writer didn’t exactly excoriate de Blasio’s dark past. The piece was mild at best. Hernandez won’t be confused with the long, lost brother of J. Edgar Hoover. Nonetheless, for the Times, it’s remarkable to see such facts in print.

Blasio, naturally, dismisses this shameless examination. He describes himself as a merry “progressive” pursuing “social justice.” Of course he does. In fact, that’s normally the Times’ take for any leftist from Angela Davis to Gus Hall to Karl Marx.

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White House preps fall immigration AMNESTY push

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Published on: September 29, 2013

The White House is getting ready to launch a major fall blitz for immigration reform — this time, one that appears to be more about partisanship than partnership with Republicans.

While Washington may be consumed in the latest continuing resolution crisis and debt ceiling drama, it’s also just days away from massive new push on an issue many had written off months ago.

But if the president’s low profile on immigration in the past had been a bow to the reality that Republicans wouldn’t want to join hands with him publicly, the nature of the renewed push suggests the West Wing brain trust isn’t betting much on the prospect that the issue will be resolved in this Congress.

The political imperatives driving the latest immigration effort are clear: Obama can’t just abandon an issue that he promised to deliver on during his last campaign without suffering a major backlash from activists who helped elect him, and congressional Democrats are anxious to make sure Latino voters are motivated to punish Republicans at the polls in the 2014 mid-term election if there’s no law on the books by then.

Still, the effort remains a delicate balancing act for the White House.

Not ONE word of official account of raid that killed Bin Laden is true, claims award-winning journalist Seymour Hersh

Sucking up: Hersh said the American press spends ¿so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would¿

Sucking up: Hersh said the American press spends ‘so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would’

 

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist says that the official account of the raid which killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 is ‘one big lie’.

Seymour Hersh, 76, said that ‘not one word’ of the Obama administration’s narrative on what happened is true.

In an interview with The Guardian published today, Hersh savages the US media for failing to challenge the White House on a whole host of issues, from NSA spying, to drone attacks, to aggression against Syria.

He said the Navy Seal raid that supposedly resulted in the death of the Al-Qaeda terror leader, Hersh said, ‘not one word of it is true’.

According to Hersh – who first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting – the problem is that the US media is allowing the Obama administration to get away with lying.

‘It’s pathetic. They are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama].’

The White House has refused to publicly release images of Bin Laden’s body, fuelling suspicion they are withholding information.

Gay NY Opera Protesters Promise More Sour Notes for Russian Performers

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Published on: September 25, 2013

Protesters held signs up for patrons to see, but said they really wanted their message to reach opera diva Anna Netrebko and renowned conductor Valery Gergiev.

Gay rights protestors who raised their voices and disrupted the start of the New York Metropolitan Opera’s Russia-centric opening night gala on Monday were singing victory on Tuesday, and planning new ways to pressure high-profile Russian performers to speak out against their country’s controversial legislation on homosexuality.

“As we continue to press Russian artists who come to the US, and as we continue to pressure Russian public figures who come to the US, I think we will begin to see folks in Russia begin to question the wisdom of this law they have passed,” said Duncan Osborne, one of the protesters and a member of Queer Nation NY, a New York-based group that works to end discrimination against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

The season-opening gala is a cornerstone event for New York society and opera enthusiasts. But the performance of “Eugene Onegin,” written by famed Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and performed by two Russian stars, was a tempting target for protesters.

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Al Gore Says Global Warming Skeptics Should Be Treated Like Racists And Homophobes

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Published on: September 25, 2013
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Former vice president Al Gore on Monday called for making climate change “denial” a taboo in society.

“Within the market system we have to put a price on carbon, and within the political system, we have to put a price on denial,” Gore said at the Social Good Summit New York City.

He urged attendees to challenge denial of climate change in conversations in families and communities and elsewhere. “We can win this conversation and winning a conversation can make all the difference,” Gore said. “Don’t let denial go unchallenged.”

Gore noted how racism and later homophobia have become increasingly unacceptable.

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