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herding cats

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Member since: Mon Nov 18, 2013, 02:56 PM
Number of posts: 991

Journal Archives

Separate U.S. appeals court upholds subsidies under Obama health law

Source: Reuters

Contrary to the D.C. Circuit decision today, the 4th Circuit upholds the Obamacare federal exchange subsidy. Maybe the Obama admin knew about the opinion, which would explain why it was so confident subsidies would flow pending court cases.

This all but guarantees the Supreme Court will take the case since there is a split in the Circuits.

From the opinion intro (emphasis added):
The plaintiffs-appellants bring this suit challenging the validity of an Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) final rule implementing the premium tax credit provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA” or “Act”). The final rule interprets the ACA as authorizing the IRS to grant tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance on both state-run insurance “Exchanges” and federally-facilitated “Exchanges” created and operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). The plaintiffs contend that the IRS’s interpretation is contrary to the language of the statute, which, they assert, authorizes tax credits only for individuals who purchase insurance on state-run Exchanges. For reasons explained below, we find that the applicable statutory language is ambiguous and subject to multiple interpretations. Applying deference to the IRS’s determination, however, we uphold the rule as a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion. We thus affirm the judgment of the district court.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/22/usa-court-obamacare-fourthcircuit-idUSL2N0PX1CS20140722

It looks like the next stop is the SC.

I'll update with more shortly. The full opinion is at the above link.

Split decision! Fed appeals courts disagree on Obamacare subsidies

In a dramatic split decision, two federal appeals court panels on Tuesday disagreed on whether billions of dollars of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are lega,

A panel of federal appeals court that covers Washington. D.C., ruled in a 2-1 decision that the subsidies are illegal. But about two hours later, the federal Fourth Circuit appeals court's own panel hearing a similar challenge in a 3-0 ruling said the subsidies are legal.

The split could lead to the US Supreme Court taking up the issue soon.

Earlier Tuesday, in the DC circuit , the judicial panel said 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.

The ruling relied on a close reading of language in the Affordable Care Act.

"Section 36B plainly makes subsidies available in the Exchanges established by states," wrote Senior Circuit Judge Raymond Randolph, who was joined by Judge Thomas Griffith in the majority decision on the case known as Halbig v. Burwell.

"We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. At least until states that wish to can set up their own Exchanges, our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly."

D.C. Appeals Court Overturns Subsidies For Fed Exchange; Fourth Circuit Takes Different View

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Tuesday that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. The decision overturned a lower court ruling. Hours later the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals offered its own decision, which upholds the Obama administration's arguments that subsidies can be applied in the federal exchange.

You can read the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia's decision here, and the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit here.

Check back as we continue to update our summary of the day's coverage.


Melbourne-bound AIDS 2014 delegates among those on MH17 flight

Source: Star Observer

REPORTS have emerged that among the passengers aboard the downed Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight in Ukraine were delegates, researchers and advocates bound for the AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne.

Flight MH17 was shot down in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine this morning, claiming the lives of 298 passengers and crew. Authorities have said 27 Australians were on board.

Since the news broke, there has been a flurry of conflicting reports — mostly on social media — that up to 108 of those on board the flight were bound for Melbourne, via Kuala Lumpur, for the 20th International AIDS Conference which begins on Sunday.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has confirmed that a number of people on board the flight were travelling to Melbourne for the conference, but an exact figure has not yet been confirmed at the time of writing.

Read more: http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/local-news/melbourne-bound-aids-2014-delegates-among-those-on-mh17-flight/125312

This is very sad news, Joep Lange was an amazing man who will be dearly missed. We lost one of our good ones today.

Malaysia Plane Crash Victims Included WHO Staffers

Several of the passengers aboard the Malaysian Airlines flight that crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday were World Health Organization staffers heading to a conference on AIDS research in Australia, the Guardian reported.

Glenn Thomas, a spokesperson for WHO's Global TB Program, was among the victims, according to a fellow staffer. Global TB Program Coordinator Haileyesus Getahun shared the news via Twitter.


The International AIDS Conference is taking place in Melbourne this weekend. The International AIDS Society, which organized the event, released a statement following the tragic news:

The International AIDS Society (IAS) today expresses its sincere sadness at receiving news that a number of colleagues and friends en route to attend the 20th International AIDS Conference taking place in Melbourne, Australia, were on board the Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight that has crashed over Ukraine earlier today.

At this incredibly sad and sensitive time the IAS stands with our international family and sends condolences to the loved ones of those who have been lost to this tragedy.

As many as 108 on board were AIDS activist colleagues and family members.

MORE than 100 AIDS activists, researchers and health workers bound for a major conference in Melbourne were on the Malaysia Airlines flight downed in the Ukraine.

It is believed that delegates to the 20th International AIDS Conference, due to begin on Sunday, will be informed today that 108 of their colleagues and family members died on MH17.

Among those thought to have been killed was prominent Dutch researcher Joep Lange, a former president of the International Aids Society.

The European head of Malaysia Airlines has announced nationalities of some of the passengers

Among the other nationalities on board were 154 Dutch, 27 Australians, 23 Malaysians, 11 Indonesians, six Britons, four Germans, four Belgians, three from the Philippines and one Canadian.


No mention of Americans yet.

May they all RIP.

Ariz. Protestors Mistakenly Blockade YMCA Bus Instead Of Migrants

It reads like satire but it really happened.

ORACLE, Ariz. (AP) — Protesters waved "Return to Sender" signs, shoved a group of mariachi musicians and waited for a bus of immigrant children that the local sheriff told them would arrive. At one point, they briefly halted a bus before realizing it was carrying children from a YMCA.

The bus of Central American children never arrived, ending a day of protest in a small Arizona town that drew more than 100 people on both sides of the immigration debate.

Manassas police ditch plan to take X-rated photo of teen boy

Police in Virginia said Thursday that they no longer will pursue efforts to take sexually explicit photos of a 17-year-old in an effort to prove a sexting case against him.

Police and prosecutors faced a wave of criticism following news media reports that they had obtained a warrant to take photos of the teen's erect penis. Police wanted the pictures to compare against photos he is accused of sending to his 15-year-old girlfriend at the time.

On Thursday, Manassas Police Lt. Brian Larkin said the Police Department will not proceed with the plan to take the pictures and will let a search warrant authorizing the photos to expire.

Privacy advocates had criticized the plan as a violation of the teen's constitutional rights.

The teen's aunt, who serves as his legal guardian, said she had not heard of the police department's reversal until contacted by an Associated Press reporter Thursday afternoon. She said she would be ecstatic if police follow through on their statement that they will no longer pursue the photos. But she said she won't be fully satisfied until the case against her nephew is dropped entirely.


The aunt felt certain that the tidal wave of criticism against authorities is the only reason police reversed course.


Great news! Now hopefully the case will have garnered enough public attention the boy will get a fair due process.

Sorry if this was already posted and I missed seeing it.

APNewsBreak: No 'stand down' order in Benghazi

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The testimony of nine military officers undermines contentions by Republican lawmakers that a "stand-down order" held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.

The "stand-down" theory centers on a Special Operations team of four — a detachment leader, a medic, a communications expert and a weapons operator with his foot in a cast — who were stopped from flying from Tripoli to Benghazi after the attacks of Sept. 11-12, 2012, had ended. Instead, they were instructed to help protect and care for those being evacuated from Benghazi and from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

The senior military officer who issued the instruction to "remain in place" and the detachment leader who received it said it was the right decision and has been widely mischaracterized. The order was to remain in Tripoli and protect some three dozen embassy personnel rather than fly to Benghazi some 600 miles away after all Americans there would have been evacuated. And the medic is credited with saving the life of an evacuee from the attacks.

Transcripts of hours of closed-door interviews with the military leaders by the House Armed Services and Oversight and Government Reform committees were made public for the first time on Wednesday. The Associated Press had reviewed the material ahead of its release.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the Oversight panel, has suggested Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the order, though as secretary of state at the time, she was not in the military chain of command.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/apnewsbreak-no-stand-down-order-benghazi

Lawsuit: Former Georgia GOP Staffer Claims Party Officials Targeted Her With Racial Slurs

The onetime executive assistant to the state's GOP chair alleges she was fired after complaining of racist treatment.

A former staffer for the Georgia Republican Party has filed a lawsuit claiming that party officials discriminated against her because she's black and subjected her to racist slurs and comments. In one case, she alleges, a colleague called her "the house nigger."

Qiana Keith served as the executive assistant to Georgia GOP Chair John Padgett until she was fired in March, allegedly for complaining about racist treatment by fellow Republican Party staffers. Her lawsuit, which she filed July 8 in federal court, accuses the Georgia GOP and Padgett of "intentional and unlawful race discrimination" that culminated in her wrongful termination.

"Ms. Keith was terminated for consistently poor job performance," Anne Lewis, the general counsel of the Georgia Republican Party told Mother Jones in a statement. "More than two months later, she contacted the Party through a lawyer and made claims of race discrimination and retaliation. We immediately undertook a full investigation of those claims and found that there was no merit to any of them. The Party and Chairman Padgett will vigorously defend themselves in court against these completely unfounded claims."

According to Keith's lawsuit, she was hired in June 2013 and "it soon became clear that Ms. Keith's race set her apart from her co-workers, and she was treated differently throughout her employment. Keith was repeatedly…put in demeaning situations by her co-workers."

Posted by herding cats | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 04:49 PM (5 replies)

GOP Congressional Candidate Says Obama Has Rare Mental Illness

"Münchausen syndrome by proxy"—it’s not just for parents anymore.

Iraq War vet Larry Smith is the Republican nominee to take on Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) in November. He's also, it turns out, an armchair psychiatrist. According to Smith, Barack Obama's handling of the child refugee crisis along the Mexican border suggests the president is suffering from Münchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare psychological condition that causes caretakers to abuse kids.

"Today, we hear of reports that children are being abused, being used by drug cartels, and even dying," Smith said in a statement on his website last Thursday. "If a high school administrator prompted such mass abuse, that person would quickly be without a job and perhaps even found behind bars. The mental stability of the school administrator would be in question. Is a President of the United States who does such horrific acts deserving of less scrutiny and accountability?…People who intentionally hurt children for attention can be accused of Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy."

The stupid runs deep with this one! I often wonder if people like him even believe the half the shit that comes out of their mouths.

The good news is I looked into the district he's running in and it appears from my glance the Dem is pretty secure, so thankfully we won't have this nut in congress!
Posted by herding cats | Wed Jul 9, 2014, 02:34 PM (9 replies)

Tomorrow legal recreational pot goes on sale in Washington.

Tomorrow is the big unveil for new pot industry in Washington State after a 20 month wait since the law passed.

Washington State's First Legal Marijuana Shops Set to Open Amid Chaos

The prohibition of marijuana in Washington state fell early Monday as a small number of retail shop owners received an electronic copy of a license to sell just-for-fun cannabis.

Those 2 a.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) emails bang-started a scramble for the actual pot, now waiting in the warehouses of an equally small number of separately licensed growers. Exactly 24 hours after product orders are placed, per a mandatory waiting period, the owners will be allowed to open for business, launching a new experiment in the legal sale of a very old plant.

The cash registers are ready. The display cases are clean. But less than a day before the likely first retail sale of marijuana in Washington, no one knows for certain which stores will be open, or which growers will provide the chlorophyll of the hour.

“It’s going to come down to the wire,” says Sean Green, the founder of Kouchlock Productions, which got the state’s first official growing license back in March. Now there are about 80 licensed growers, and some 20 retail shops who expect a license this week.

Green said at least three retail shops will open Tuesday: Cannabis City Seattle, Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham and The Freedom Market" in Kelso.

To add to the confusion of the big unveil they're expecting a huge shortage of product in the beginning, but overtime the situation should balance out.

I just wanted to wish them luck and give Washington a hat tip. Best wishes for a successful first day with their newly legal pot!

Posted by herding cats | Mon Jul 7, 2014, 12:36 PM (1 replies)

GOP Rep.: Hobby Lobby Ruling Keeps Liberals From Reinstating 'Stone Age Tribalism'

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who launched a strange, unsuccessful primary bid to unseat Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) this year, warned this week that the Hobby Lobby ruling shows that "liberals seek to drag us back to Stone Age tribalism."

"Today is a great victory for religious freedom in America, which has been severely under attack by the anti-freedom Left and its special interest groups," Stockman said in a Monday statement. "It is ironic for the Left to scream no interference in a woman’s decision to obtain contraceptives, but then to argue the government should interfere in that decision to fulfill a supposed ‘inherent’ right to contraceptives."


"Civilization is a society in which the rights of the individual trump the whims of the majority. This ruling is a reminder liberals seek to drag us back to Stone Age tribalism in which one can be subjugated to the tribe as a whole," he said. "The belief people can be forced to buy you something that violates their beliefs is the height of arrogance, greed, selfishness and brute force. The Court rejected that tribal belief and upheld the ideas upon which this nation was founded. You are an individual and no one owns your mind or conscience."

This coming from a Ted Nugent loving expert in sending women back to the stone age. What about the women's individual right to choose their own type of birth control? How is it acceptable for an employer to have more rights in that area than the individual these choices directly impact?
Posted by herding cats | Sun Jul 6, 2014, 01:47 PM (6 replies)
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