For National Review Online, Hans A. von Spakovsky writes: And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: two different federal courts of appeal, issuing completely contradictory rulings on the very same day, on the very same issue.
“An Exchange established by the federal government cannot possibly be ‘an exchange established by the State.’ To hold otherwise would be to engage in distortion, not interpretation.”
– Senior Judge Ray Randolph
That’s what happened Tuesday. If nothing else, the dueling rulings should hasten the day when the next phase of litigation involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reaches the Supreme Court.
In Halbig v. Burwell, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled against the administration, voiding an IRS regulation that provided tax credits in the form of a subsidy to individuals purchasing health insurance through exchanges run by the federal government. Meanwhile, in Richmond, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held the exact opposite: In King v. Burwell, it concluded that the IRS had the power to authorize such subsidies.
The language of the statute is not ambiguous, so the Justice Department was forced to argue that the IRS rule was a valid exercise of regulatory authority to implement the intent of the law.
The Obamacare law specifically says that the federal government can provide subsidies for insurance bought on an exchange “established by the State.” But there is no mention whatsoever of extending the subsidies to those who purchase coverage on an exchange run by the federal government. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby writes: The Pew Research Center last week released a new survey of American attitudes in the Middle East. The results weren’t surprising. In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, 51 percent of Americans say they sympathize more with Israel. Only 14 percent feel greater affinity for the Palestinians.
Sympathy Toward Israel Has Never Been Higher
Pew’s findings demonstrate the strength of pro-Israel feeling in the United States. The poll was conducted amid the current fighting with Hamas, but the bottom line hardly changed from Pew’s last survey in April, when it reported that in the 36 years it has been sampling public opinion, “sympathy toward Israel has never been higher.”
[Check out the book "Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel" at Amazon.com]
But below the surface, America’s Israel-friendly consensus is splitting along the same left-vs.-right fault line that has polarized so many other issues. While support for Israel is overwhelming among Republicans and conservatives, it has been shrinking among Democrats and liberals. “The partisan gap in Mideast sympathies has never been wider,” reports Pew, with 73 percent of Republicans sympathetic to Israel in the ongoing conflict, but just 44 percent of Democrats. Respondents identifying as liberal Democrats were five times as likely as conservative Republicans to sympathize more with the Palestinians.
Thus is the Democratic Party losing its way on one of the great moral issues of our time.
For roughly the first third of Israel’s existence, Democrats tended to support the Jewish state more strongly than Republicans did. In a compelling new book, ““Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel”, foreign-affairs thinker Joshua Muravchik writes that during the run-up to the Six Day War in 1967, “Israel was above all a cause championed by liberals.” So heartfelt was this support that even ardent Democratic opponents of the Vietnam War, such as John Kenneth Galbraith and Eugene McCarthy, advocated US military action on Israel’s behalf. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) July 22, 2014
“If the D.C. Court is upheld, Obamacare is over. It won’t survive.”
Charles Krauthammer believes that the language in the Affordable Care Act saying that subsidies are to be provided through state exchanges is unambiguous…He referred to a point made earlier today on NRO by Andrew McCarthy, who argued that even if you accept the government’s defense that it was indeed a drafting error, Congress is the only instrument in the constitutional system that can change the error.
“It is not in the power of the executive to fix what’s written in the legislation.”
Synagogues are targets during increasingly violent protests against Operation Protective Edge
For The Times of Israel, Cnaan Lipshiz reports: For the past 14 years, French Jews have grown accustomed to coming under attack during periods of conflict in the Middle East from hostile elements within their country’s large Arab and Muslim communities.
One recent incident, however, stood out: the July 13 riot by Palestinian sympathizers outside the Synagogue de la Roquette in central Paris that trapped some 200 terrified people inside the building. A street brawl ensued between the rioters and dozens of Jewish men who arrived to defend the synagogue.
“In people’s minds, there will be a before and after the Synagogue de la Roquette,” Joel Mergui, president of the Consistoire, French Jewry’s central religious services organization, told the French newsweekly Le Nouvel Observateur.
The incident involved pro-Palestinian protesters who reportedly had just come from a large demonstration against Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza.
The violence drew a stern rebuke from French President Francois Hollande. Read the rest of this entry »
GLOBAL PANIC OF 2014 REACHES CHINA: Freakishly Large, Bizzare Flying Insect Found in Sichuan Province, Experts SayPosted: July 22, 2014
World’s largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China’s Sichuan province
Large enough to cover the face of a human adult, this scary-looking insect is also known among entomologists as an indicator of good water quality.
(CNN) – According to the Insect Museum of West China, local villagers in the outskirts of Chengdu handed over “weird insects that resemble giant dragonflies with long teeth” earlier this month.
Several of these odd critters were examined by the museum and found to be unusually large specimens of the giant dobsonfly, which is native to China and Vietnam.
The largest one measured 21 centimeters (8.27 inches) when its wings were open, according to the museum, busting the original record for largest aquatic insect held by a South American helicopter damselfly, which had a wingspan of 19.1 centimeters (7.5 inches). Read the rest of this entry »
White House Signals Greater Flexibility and Autonomy, Encourages Non-Compliance for All Americans, All U.S. Laws and Regulations Subject to Individual Discretion
For The Daily Caller, Sarah Hurtubise reports: The Obama administration will continue handing out Obamacare subsidies to federal exchange customers despite a federal court’s ruling Tuesday that the subsidies are illegal.
A D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday morning that customers in the 36 states that didn’t establish their own exchange and use HealthCare.gov instead cannot be given premium tax credits, according to the text of the Affordable Care Act itself.
But the White House said in response that it will continue handing out the billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies. Read the rest of this entry »
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) July 22, 2014
Dan Mangan reports: 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.
“Now, Obama and Company will look for John Roberts to pull their fat out of the fire again. I am afraid he will.”
– Wesley J. Smith
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 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. Read the rest of this entry »
In the United States, God is on the currency. By brilliant design, though, he is not mentioned in the Constitution. The founders were explicit: This country would never formally align God with one political party, or allow someone to use religion to ignore civil laws. At least that was the intent. In this summer of the violent God, five justices on the Supreme Court seem to feel otherwise.
Egan packs a lot of misunderstandings into a few words. Read the rest of this entry »
The most influential news organization in the world is manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful
For The Weekly Standard, Noah Pollak writes: Something important is missing from the New York Times‘s coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields.
A review of the Times‘s photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.
” It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters.”
It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.
“Maybe all of this is an illustration of just how biased against Israel the Times has become—so biased that Times photographers and editors are simply blind to any image that doesn’t conform to their view of the war.”
Today’s Times photo essay contains seven images: three of Gaza civilians in distress; one of a smoke plume rising over Gaza; and three of the IDF, including tanks and attack helicopters. The message is simple and clear: the IDF is attacking Gaza and harming Palestinian civilians. There are no images of Israelis under rocket attack, no images of grieving Israeli families and damaged Israeli buildings, no images of Hamas fighters or rocket attacks on Israel, no images of the RPG’s and machine guns recovered from attempted Hamas tunnel infiltrations into Israel.
Originally posted on 9to5Mac:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has told its suppliers to prepare to build a record number of next-gen iPhones. According to the Journal, Apple is looking to produce 70-80 million units by December 30th. As reported earlier this month, both the 4.7-inch and the larger 5.5-inch models of the upcoming iPhone are expected to enter mass production in the coming weeks.
This is a big jump from the previous iPhone models. Last year the company only ordered 50-60 million of the iPhone 5s and 5c. Manufacturing parter Foxconn recently hired as many as 100,000 new workers to help meet the increased demand, and even ordered a custom line of robotic equipment to facilitate the production of iPhone 6.
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Originally posted on CBS Seattle:
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Tuesday that they have found a body of a fugitive billionaire businessman sought over April’s ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing.
Police officer Wu Hyung-ho told a televised news conference that the body was found in an agricultural field in the southern South Korean city of Suncheon on June 12. He said results of DNA and fingerprint tests showed they matched those of Yoo Byung-eun.
Wu said the body was already decayed too much beyond recognition when it was found and more thorough investigation is needed to find how and when he died.
The body was wearing a pair of expensive shoes and a costly Italian-made jacket. Also found near him were three empty Korean local liquor bottles, a bag and a magnifying glass, according to police.
Authorities believe Yoo was the owner the ferry and…
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“This is the cruelest, most grotesque war that I’ve ever seen.”
For NRO, Celina Durgin: Hamas is purposely placing Palestinian citizens in Gaza in harm’s way to cause more civilian casualties at the hands of Israeli troops, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday on Special Report.
Hamas is “using their own people as propaganda fodder,” Netanyahu said.
Hamas soldiers have positioned their weapons in civilian homes… (read more)
For Washington Times, Ben Wolfgang reports: Amid increasing violence in the Middle East and questions still swirling around the aircraft shot down over Ukraine last week, the White House is not considering canceling President Obama’s upcoming trip to the West Coast for Democratic party fundraisers.
Mr. Obama is scheduled to leave Washington Tuesday and headline a party event in Seattle later that night. He will then attend Democratic fundraisers in California before returning to Washington on Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »
My secret lust for right-wing women
“I envy men of the right — their sexual lives are not constrained by the rules of sexual correctness we lefties are expected to live by.”
For The Spectator.uk, Cosmo Landesman writes: Not long ago I was out drinking with a group of friends and we started playing the If-You-Had-To game. The idea is to present players with two people they would never want to sleep with — and then make them choose which they’d sleep with. Here are some of the fiendish alternatives I had to face: Imelda Marcos or Wallace Simpson? Ayn Rand or Yoko Ono? Gertrude Stein or Virginia Woolf?
“Sorry, comrades, but when it comes to the bedroom I’ll have to vote Tory.”
Then one joker said: Theresa May or Jemima Khan? Everyone laughed at this no-contest choice. Everyone except me. How could I tell them the ugly truth: I’d prefer a night of passion with right-wing Theresa over lefty Jemima any day of the week.
But then I belong to that small, deviant group of liberal-lefty-pro-feminist men who find conservative/right-wing women super sexy. In an age when anything goes — at least in terms of sexual pleasure — ours is a lust that dare not speak its name.
I know this because later that evening, I turned to one of the group and confessed my secret longing for the likes of Theresa May, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin — ideally all at once. I thought my fantasy night of passion would be received with sympathy and understanding. After all, this friend of mine pays a woman in Earls Court to put him on a rack and do things you don’t want to read about. He just looked at me and said: ‘You’re sick!’ Read the rest of this entry »
GLOBAL PANIC OF JULY 2014 Strikes the Deep South: 200 Pairs of Panties Stolen from Georgia Mall, Thief Captured on VideoPosted: July 21, 2014
Authorities are investigating after a thief at an east Georgia shopping mall made off with a bagful of womens unmentionables.Richmond County sheriffs officials say a thief stole 200 pairs of panties from Victorias Secret in Augusta Mall shortly before noon Saturday.
The Augusta Chronicle reports that security video shows a male entering the store and stuffing the underwear into a large shopping bag. Authorities say he left without paying for the merchandise, valued at $1,900. ABC News
“The show went to narrative and cinematic places no comedy has gone before and we look forward to seeing what Louis comes up with next.”
From EW.com: FX has ordered a fifth season from creator-producer-star-everything Louis CK, but there’s a catch — only seven episodes this time. The show will return next spring. “Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking—always thought provoking,” said Landgraf. “The show went to narrative and cinematic places no comedy has gone before and we look forward to seeing what Louis comes up with next.” (read more)
Also renewed for a second season if FX’s “Fargo”, also with a catch….(read more)
From Mental Floss: On July 17, 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier finished drawing up plans for what is today considered the first modern air conditioning system. It was installed in a printing business in Brooklyn in 1903, and in 1906, Carrier patented a refined version, called “Apparatus for Treating Air.”
By 1936, Carrier predicted that in the future, “the average businessman will rise, pleasantly refreshed, having slept in an air-conditioned room, he will travel in an air-conditioned train, and toil in an air-conditioned office, store, or factory—or dine in an air-conditioned restaurant. In fact, the only time he will know anything about heat waves or arctic blasts will be when he exposes himself to the natural discomforts of out-of-doors.” Read the rest of this entry »