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Stonepounder

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Member since: Sun Jun 27, 2010, 09:05 PM
Number of posts: 3,833

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Trump just gave a huge gift to an alleged billion dollar Medicare fraudster

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-obamacare-medicare-fraud-4910319d89ed/



Trump just gave a huge gift to an alleged billion dollar Medicare fraudster

The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable Care Act after a judge in Texas declared that the entire law must be struck down. The judge, Reed O’Connor, is a former Republican Senate staffer with a history of striking down policies opposed by conservatives. O’Connor’s opinion is widely viewed as ridiculous, even by conservative legal scholars and health policy experts.

Yet, while O’Connor’s opinion in Texas v. United States is likely to be reversed, either by the conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or by the Supreme Court, the Justice Department’s claim that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional already threatens a seemingly unrelated prosecution of a Florida health care executive on trial for allegedly committing $1 billion worth of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

[The person on trial is Philip Esforme]

On Wednesday, Esformes’ lawyers filed a motion in a federal court in Florida arguing that the case against their client must be dismissed — effectively ruining three years of work by prosecutors — because “the Justice Department has admitted that the health care offenses at issue in this trial are unconstitutional.” Alternatively, Esformes’ legal team suggests that the judge should declare a mistrial.

The problem arises because O’Connor did not simply strike down the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act. He declared that every single provision of the law is invalid, including relatively minor provisions amending the statutes governing Medicare fraud and kickbacks paid to health providers. Though Esformes alleged actions may also be illegal under the unamended versions of those statutes, Esformes was charged under the amended versions. According to Esformes’ motion, “every health care statute cited in the Indictment has been identified as among those ruled unconstitutional” by Judge O’Connor.

The crux of Esformes’ legal argument is that “the Due Process Clause will not permit the Justice Department to prosecute the Defendant based upon alleged violations of statutes and regulations that they have independently deemed and declared to be unconstitutional.” It’s an aggressive argument. Nevertheless, it’s an argument that puts the Justice Department in a terrible bind.


Note: If the motion succeeds, then not only would Esforme be released and not retried when/if O'Connor's ruling is reversed, but any other person being tried for Medicare fraud can probably try for a dismissal, as can prisoners who were convicted under the same statutes.

Thanks, Donnie!

Even if you never watch Grey's Anatomy,

do yourself a favor and watch episode 'S15 E19 Silent All These Years'. An extremely powerful story, dealing with the reality of sexual assault. Well worth your 40-odd minutes. And what victims go through after the fact.

ABC wanted to tone it down a bit, but the writer(s?) refused and insisted it be shown as written. ABC finally backed down. We watched it on HULU, but the original ABC broadcast came with a warning that it was intense and anyone who had been a victim might want to watch with a friend.

Men, make yourself watch as well. See and hear what women actually go through (there is no violence shown, only the after effects). And, as a final note, without giving you a spoiler, one of the last scenes has women lining a hospital corridor. According to ABC, everyone lining the corridor was either an actor or an ABC employee who wanted to be part of the scene.

Well worth 45 minutes or so of your life.

------

Footnote: I don't think I have ever recommended a TV show on a forum like this and it will probably be a very long time before I do so again. This was one powerful show. I have never been sexually assaulted and don't know anyone who has admitted to me that they have. And the story still knocked me out. TV at its finest.

William Barr Reads "Moby-Dick," Finds No Evidence of Whales (Borowitz)

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/william-barr-reads-moby-dick-finds-no-evidence-of-whales?utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Borowitz_032619&utm_medium=email&bxid=5bd672883f92a41245dd6fd1&user_id=27161810&esrc=&utm_term=TNY_Borowitz

William Barr Reads “Moby-Dick,” Finds No Evidence of Whales

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Attorney General William Barr has just read the classic American novel “Moby-Dick,” by Herman Melville, and found that the book contains “no evidence whatsoever of whales,” Barr stated on Tuesday.

The Attorney General issued his statement on the absence of whales in the Melville classic in a two-paragraph book report released to the news media. “Those who read ‘Moby-Dick’ looking for whales will be sorely disappointed,” Barr wrote. “There are no whales here.”

To illustrate his point, Barr quoted the book’s first sentence: “Call me Ishmael.” “As you can clearly see, that sentence does not have a whale in it,” Barr wrote. The Attorney General indicated that he hoped his report would put an end to “reckless speculation” about the existence of whales in “Moby-Dick.” “It’s time to move on,” he wrote.

Barr disclosed that, after waiting years to read “Moby-Dick,” he was able to finish reading it in approximately fifteen minutes.

Stranger gifts car to struggling nursing student who works 2 jobs

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Living/stranger-gifts-car-struggling-nursing-student-works-jobs/story?id=61759770

When 22-year-old Kayla Cooper walked out of car dealership in tears, little did she know a good Samaritan was about to help her. Cooper, a nursing student at San Diego City College, was at Auto City in El Cajon, California, when she realized that she didn't have enough money for a down payment to buy a used car.

Dan Laguardia, a dad of four from San Diego, was also at the dealership that day and overheard Cooper's story. Laguardia was buying a new car for himself and planned to trade in the old one.

Laguardia learned that Cooper, who had been driving a loner car, couldn't afford a down payment to purchase her own. When she's not attending nursing school, Cooper works two part-time jobs -- as a cashier at 7-Eleven and a lot enforcer at Ace Parking in San Diego.

After Cooper left the dealership, Laguardia asked the salesperson to call and ask her to come back. Cooper returned 10 minutes later and Laguardia offered her his 2005 Scion, which he intended on trading in, for nothing.


Full story with pics at link.

While riding my Harley,

I swerved to avoid hitting a dog, lost control and landed in a ditch, severely banging my head.

Dazed and confused I crawled out of the ditch to the edge of the road when a shiny new convertible pulled up with a very beautiful woman who asked, "Are you okay?"

As I looked up, I noticed she was long and lean, she could have been a model.

"I'm okay I think," I replied as I pulled myself up to the side of the car to get a closer look.

She said, “Get in and I’ll take you home so I can clean and bandage that nasty scrape on your head.”

"That's nice of you," I answered, "but I don't think my wife will like me doing that!"

"Oh, come now, I’m a nurse," she insisted. "I need to see if you have any more scrapes and then treat them properly."

Well, she was really pretty and very persuasive. Being sort of shaken and weak, I agreed, but repeated, "I'm sure my wife won't like this."

We arrived at her place which was just few miles away and, after a couple of cold beers and the bandaging, I thanked her and said, "I feel a lot better but I know my wife is going to be really upset so I'd better go now."

"Don't be silly!" she said with a smile. "Stay for a while. I don't mind. By the way, where is she?"

"Still in the ditch with the Harley, I guess."

Poarch Creek tribe will cover the cost for all 23 funerals of Alabama tornado victims

https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/2019/03/08/alabama-tornado-poarch-creek-tribe-pay-23-funerals-beauregard-lee-county/3102718002/

Poarch Creek tribe will cover the cost for all 23 funerals of Alabama tornado victims

After tornadoes swept through Alabama killing 23 people, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians reached out to see how they could help.

After talking to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, they agreed to donate $50,000 to help with the funerals. Then they called back. They wanted to know how much it would cost to cover funerals for all 23 victims.

“… I gave them a figure and they graciously made it happen,” Harris said in a statement.

In the end, the Poarch Band agreed to donate $184,000. Harris said that money will be deposited with the East Alabama Medical Center Foundation to be dispersed to the funeral homes.


Note: There are 36 Mega-Churches in Alabama. None of them pitched in. However, the Wind Creek Casino kicked in a 5-digit donation to the tribe to help reach the required figure.

Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to de-legitimize the 2020 election

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/politics/donald-trump-2020-election-illegitimate/index.html

Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to de-legitimize the 2020 election


Even as the 2020 race begins in earnest, President Donald Trump is already suggesting that Democrats cannot beat him fairly -- raising the specter that if he loses next November, he will suggest that the election was not legitimate.

"The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see," Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to House Democrats' launching of a broad-scale investigation into him. "When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!"

[...]

In politics, Trump's inability to accept that he could lose fair and square is far, far more dangerous. Michael Cohen, Trump's former longtime fixer, said as much during his congressional testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee last month. "Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power," said Cohen.

Sit with that for a minute. And realize what it would mean if the sitting incumbent President of the United States simply refuses to concede he has lost in 2020.
Posted by Stonepounder | Sat Mar 9, 2019, 01:44 AM (8 replies)

How will we repair our democracy after Trump? H.R. 1 offers a clue.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-will-we-repair-our-democracy-after-trump-hr-1-offers-a-clue/2019/03/06/2ea03104-405d-11e9-a0d3-1210e58a94cf_story.html

A central challenge of the Trump era is how to deal urgently with the president’s transgressions while also taking steps to prevent politicians from abusing power in the future. Equally important is restoring faith in our republican democracy as a genuinely representative system open to broad participation and protected from the outsize influence of the financially privileged.
....
But let’s not hear the excuse that there’s no point spending much time on legislation that, while likely to pass a Democratic House, has no chance in the Senate. That less representative body — always remember that Wyoming has as many senators as California — is controlled by Republicans and led by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who hated campaign finance reforms when they were proposed in the early 2000s by his late GOP colleague John McCain and despises them still.
....
The House proposal, sniff the cognoscenti, is merely a “messaging bill.” Actually, no. It’s a marker, a bill worth fighting for in the future. Recall that versions of Medicare, the Tennessee Valley Authority and more expansive civil rights proposals all languished in Congress or were defeated before they passed.
....
“We have a campaign finance system we haven’t seen since the Gilded Age,” he said. “We have efforts at voter suppression we haven’t seen since the days of segregation. We have gerrymandering at a level we have never seen before. And we have a president who raises financial abuse and corruption issues we haven’t seen in generations.”



Full text at link. Hard to get full flavor with the 4 paragraph limit.
Posted by Stonepounder | Thu Mar 7, 2019, 01:24 AM (3 replies)

Refugees and Americans find community -- over a cup of coffee

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/06/us/iyw-refuge-coffee-serves-clarkston-trnd/index.html

Refugees and Americans find community -- over a cup of coffee

Would you like a cup of coffee? You can feel the warmth in the question. It's a hospitable gesture with a universal meaning: You are welcome here.

At a small coffee shop in Clarkston, Georgia, you hear that question asked in imperfect English and thick accents. The employees at Refuge Coffee know what it feels like to long for a welcoming word. So do many of their customers, who fled wars and violence around the world.

That connection has always been a key goal for Refuge Coffee founder Kitti Murray. She wanted to create a safe space for people to get to know their refugee neighbors. "We want to connect people. We want refugees to get to know Americans who live all around them. We want Americans who don't know a thing about refugees to get to know them," Murray said.

"And we see it over and over again that real friendships are made over one cup of coffee."


Do yourself a favor and follow the link. It will help you forget all the crap that keeps flowing from tRump and remind you that there are good people out there doing good things. Some of them are multi-generational citizens and some are just off the boat refugees. But the full story will lift your spirits.
Posted by Stonepounder | Thu Mar 7, 2019, 12:17 AM (0 replies)

Lawyers should NEVER ask a question they don't know the answer to!

Lawyers should never ask a Georgia grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know me?' She responded, 'Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realise you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.'

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, 'Mrs. Jones, do you know the defence attorney?'

She again replied, 'Why yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him.'
The defence attorney nearly died.

The judge asked both counsellors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice, said,
'If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you both to the electric chair.
Posted by Stonepounder | Mon Mar 4, 2019, 12:02 AM (6 replies)
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