Friday, November 21, 2014

President Declares a Political War He is Bound to Lose

By Clark S. Judge: managing director, White House Writers Group, Inc.; chairman, Pacific Research Institute
President Obama’s speech to the nation last night – carried on cable news channels but not on the broadcast networks – was a declaration of political war, a war the president is almost certain to lose.
How nakedly political was it? According to morning press reports (http://dailym.ai/1vvVmMT), the address was subtitled in Spanish. Perhaps the White House has provided this service before, but I can’t find a record of it. That the president’s team decided to do it for, apparently, the first time this time only confirms the obvious. The speech was not about national policy or the national interest. It was about confrontation. And indeed its raw political purpose was the reason the major television networks gave on background for refusing to carry it (http://wapo.st/1vvMZjx).
Still, on its surface, it was a pretty good statement. The president pointed to success in securing the border, the failure of which has been a major obstacle to Congressional approval of immigration reform. He offered immediate aid to university students from other countries, another big issue and one that, like border security, Republicans have championed. And his path to citizenship (“back of the line”, pay fines, wait years) for illegals was much like what many in both parties have advocated for years.
What was not to like?
Well, first, the border security data to which Mr. Obama pointed was a product of statistical slight of hand (http://lat.ms/1z2vKUF). Late in the George W. Bush years, the government changed the way it counted deportations, the number the president cited. It started counting people turned away at or near the border, which before the change it had not done. The truth is, according to a story the LA. Times ran earlier this year (at the prior link), expulsions of illegal immigrants of the kind who have always been counted “have fallen steadily since [Mr. Obama’s] first year in office, and are down more than 40% since 2009.”
The president pointed to drops in illegal immigrants in the United States. But the their number (see chart at Daily Mail link above) is off only about ten percent from its 2007 peak. All of that change was achieved in 2008 and 2009 as a result of Bush Administration policies and, surely more important than any other factor, the failing U.S. economy.
In other words, the case the president presented for setting aside the key obstacle to broad reform – border security – was false. Totally false.
So, too, was the president’s political case, that Congress had failed to act, so he had to. In our system, it is the Congress’ prerogative not to act. Without statutory authority or pursuant to a constitutional authorization, the president may not act on his own – in anything. Mr. Obama himself has repeatedly stated that as president he does not have legal authority to do what he did last night (http://1.usa.gov/11ltGMM). He was right when he made those statements. Only his view of political interest has changed.
Here is what it comes down to. Two of the biggest objections from Americans of all political stripe to Mr. Obama’s tenure – and key reasons for his abysmal approval ratings – are that 1) again and again he has failed tell the truth and 2) again and again he has failed to work effectively with members of Congress, any members of Congress, of either party.
Last night’s address only confirmed the reasons the American people have turned so sour on President Obama.

A Quota on Punishment

A Quota on Punishment 
The Obama administration is cynically politicizing education to depict black students as victims. 
Thomas Sowell 
If anyone still has any doubt about the utter cynicism of the Obama administration, a recent agreement between the federal government and the Minneapolis public schools should open their eyes.
Under the Obama administration, both the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have been leaning on public schools around the country to reduce what they call the “disproportionate” numbers of black male students who are punished for various offenses in schools.
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Under an implicit threat of losing their federal subsidies, the Minneapolis public schools have agreed to reduce the disparity in punishment of black students by 25 percent by the end of this school year, and then by 50 percent, 75 percent and finally 100 percent in each of the following years. In other words, there are now racial quota limits for punishment in the Minneapolis schools.
If we stop and think — as old-fashioned as that may seem — there is not the slightest reason to expect black males to commit the same number of offenses as Asian females or any other set of students.
When different groups of human beings have behaved differently in all sorts of ways, in countries around the world, for thousands of years of recorded history, why would we accept as dogma that the only reason one set of students gets punished more than others is because the people who are doing the punishing are picking on them?
Politically — which is the way the Obama administration looks at everything — any time they can depict blacks as victims, and depict themselves as their rescuers, that means an opportunity to get out the black vote for Democrats.
On the surface, this may look like a favor to blacks. But only on the surface.
Anyone with common sense knows that letting a kid get away with bad behavior is an open invitation to worse behavior in the future. Punishing a kid for misbehavior in school when he is ten years old may reduce the chances that he will have to be sent to prison when he is twenty years old.
Other schools in other cities that have also caved under pressure from the federal government and agreed to lighten up on black kids who misbehave have reported an increase in misbehavior, including violence. Who would have thought otherwise?
Letting kids who are behavior problems in schools grow up to become hoodlums and then criminals is no favor to them or to the black community. Moreover, it takes no more than a small fraction of troublemakers in a class to make it impossible to give that class a decent education. And for many poor people, whether black or white, education is their one big chance to escape poverty.
The people in the Obama administration who are pushing this counterproductive policy are not stupid. They are political, which is worse. They know what they are doing and they are willing to sacrifice young blacks to do it.
This punishment issue made me think back to the eighth grade, when I was punished by being kept after school, more often than any other kid in the class — black, white, Hispanic, or whatever. I was bored in school and did various pranks to liven things up.
One day, after school, as I sat alone among the empty chairs in the classroom, the teacher said, sarcastically: “Well, here we are again, Sowell, just the two of us!”
“Good grief, Miss Sharoff,” I said. “If we keep staying in after school together all the time, people will begin to talk.”
“We will just have to live with the scandal,” she said, without even looking up from the papers she was correcting.
Thank heaven there was no Obama administration to exempt me from punishment. Who knows how I might have ended up?
Years ago, there was a study of a working-class community where there were black, Hispanic, and Italian kids, and where many of the cops were Italian. When a black or Hispanic kid broke the law, the police took him down to the station and booked him. But, if an Italian kid did the same thing, they reacted differently.
The Italian cop would take the Italian kid out into an alley and rough him up. Then he would take him home to his family, tell them what had happened and leave him there — where the kid could expect another beating, instead of the wrist-slap punishment of the law. Those cops understood the realities of life that politicians ignore. And they were doing a favor to their own.
— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2014 Creators Syndicate Inc.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/392934/quota-punishment-thomas-sowell

Thursday, November 20, 2014

CONTRADICTING DIANNE FEINSTEIN’S SHAM REPORT ON CIA INTERROGATION


We have written about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s forthcoming “Feinstein Report,” an attack on the Bush-era CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. By all accounts, the report will conclude that the CIA regularly tortured terrorism suspects, lied to Congress about it, and gained no valuable information as a result.
I view the report as not only a political document — the latest salvo in the war between Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA.
In my view, the war stems from the fact that leading congressional Democrats who were briefed on what the CIA was doing to fight terrorism signed off more or less unquestioningly. But later, when the political climate changed, these politicians tried to claim ignorance.
The CIA, understandably, was unwilling to let them off the hook. Now the Dems will have their revenge. (Republicans on the Committee honorably refused to participate in the farce.)
Sen. Feinstein has done everything possible to stack the deck against the CIA. As Steve Hayes reports:
Feinstein required former CIA directors and deputy directors to sign nondisclosure agreements in order even to see the accusations made against them. Despite the fact that virtually all of the 500-plus-page report has been declassified for release, the Feinstein committee also imposed, as a condition of access to the report, severe restrictions on what those officials may say in their own defense.
Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, told The Weekly Standard: “Based on the nondisclosure agreement I signed, I cannot talk to you about the details of the Feinstein report, the Republican rebuttal, or the agency response—all as a condition of my being able to see it.”
In the clearest evidence that the committee was interested in blame rather than truth, the staffers did not seek to interview those involved in the interrogations.
This is searching for the truth, Democrat-style.
Fortunately, one of the CIA’s lead interrogators is fighting back. According to Hayes, that interrogator, writing under the pseudonym Jason Beale, has produced a 39-page document that counters the narrative pushed by Democrats and amplified by journalists eager to discredit the program.
The Weekly Standard has made “Beale’s” document available here. It makes for fascinating reading.
Some of the best evidence Beale elicits in support of the efficacy of enhanced interrogation comes from no less an authority than Barack Obama. Beale compares the statements of candidate Obama on the subject with those of President Obama:
Candidate Obama repeatedly stated that enhanced interrogation was not only immoral and un-American, but it didn’t work. People will say anything to make it stop. Every leading interrogator and intelligence professional will tell you that “torture” never works—it produces bad intelligence.
But here was President Obama:
I am absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do [to end enhanced interrogation] —- not because there might not have been information that was yielded by these various detainees who were subjected to this treatment, but because we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.
But here’s what I can tell you —- that the public reports and the public justifications for these techniques -— which is that we got information from these individuals that were subjected to these techniques– doesn’t answer the core question, which is: Could we have gotten that same information without resorting to these techniques? And it doesn’t answer the broader question: Are we safer as a consequence of having used these techniques?
Notice the switch. Candidate Obama insisted that enhanced interrogation didn’t work. President Obama, now in a position to know the facts, can’t make that claim. So he argues instead that, although enhanced interrogation succeeded in obtaining information from terrorists, we could have gotten the information in other ways.
The efficacy proposition — enhanced interrogation succeeded in prying information from terrorists == is a straightforward factual issue. It can easily be answered and clearly was answered, even to Obama’s satisfaction, in the affirmative: the enhanced interrogations yielded good information.
The question of whether the information could have been obtained in other ways is less straightforward. It sounds hypothetical. By retreating to it, Obama feels he’s on safer ground.
However, this hypothetical-sounding question — could we have gotten the same information through other methods – isn’t necessarily unanswerable. The CIA tried initially to obtain information from the terrorists through non-enhanced means. And CIA interrogators like “Beale” have long experience in using such methods.
Here is Beale’s response to President Obama’s claim:
I know that we couldn’t have collected the same information using standard techniques because I was an expert in using standard techniques — I used them thousands of times over two decades — and the notion that I could have convinced the detainees. . .to provide closely-held information (or any information at all) without the use of enhanced interrogation techniques is laughable. There is zero chance. Zero.
Zero. That’s the same chance that Feinstein and her fellow Democratic revisionist historians would produce an honest report about the Bush CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques.

IT WAS GEORGE W. BUSH WHO SLOWED THE RISE OF THE OCEANS


One of Barack Obama’s most notorious flights of hubris was his proclamation that his nomination was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” I have always understood how silly this was: the oceans have been rising for around 12,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age. The rise was rapid during the first few millennia, then tapered off to where it has continued at a modest rate, with the usual fluctuations, for many centuries:
clip_image044
There has been no increase in the rate at which the oceans are rising coincident with increased levels of CO2, as this chart illustrates. The top line shows sea level; the second shows the rate at which sea level has risen or fallen:
jevrejeva_sea_level
What I didn’t realize until today is that the most recent research show that the rise of the oceans has indeed begun to slow. Could it be that Obama has finally made good on one of his campaign promises? No. The slowing in the rise of the oceans began around 2004, during the George W. Bush administration:
sea_level_topex_92_09
It is typical of President Bush’s modesty that he never took credit for slowing the rise of the oceans.

Spinning for Hillary

Spinning for Hillary
The New York Times wants you to believe Team Clinton considers the midterms a win for her.
By Jonah Goldberg

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Republicans More Informed Than Democrats, According to Pew Research

Republicans More Informed Than Democrats, According to Pew Research

BY TIMOTHY H. LEE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 08 2014
This year's results parallel surveys from previous years, so it's not as though it should have come as an unwelcome surprise to the left-leaning Pew.
Few traits better characterize contemporary liberals than their false sense of intellectual superiority. 
We're all familiar with the clichés.  Conservatives and libertarians who deviate from liberal articles of faith, from global warming alarmism to Keynesian economics to bureaucratized social engineering, are "deniers," unmoored from rationality and "settled science."  Leftist author Thomas Frank captured that mindset with the title of his book "What's the Matter with Kansas?," asserting that Republican voters aren't even capable of aligning their votes with their supposedly self-evident best interests. 
There's only one problem. 
The actual, objective sociological evidence continues to demonstrate that the opposite is true.  Republicans routinely prove themselves more knowledgeable than Democrats. 
The left-leaning Pew Research Center provides the latest example. 
Each year, Pew conducts its "What Do Americans Know" survey, which tests respondents on a series of questions.  This year, the topics included the federal minimum wage, the territory occupied by ISIS, the Ukraine, Common Core educational proposals, fracking, where the Ebola virus is centered, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the U.S. poverty rate, where Shiite Muslims outnumber Sunnis, who chairs the Federal Reserve, where the federal government spends most and the U.S. unemployment rate.  Unsurprisingly, older adults demonstrated greater knowledge than their younger counterparts, as did better-educated respondents. 
But buried at the bottom of the survey report lies the subject heading "Partisan Differences in Knowledge," which itemizes each question and the percentage of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who answered each one correctly. 
So how stark were the partisan knowledge differentials? 
Out of 12 questions asked, Republicans outperformed both Democrats and Independents on 10.  The differences were most pronounced on the questions regarding Common Core, fracking and where Shiites outnumber Sunnis, where the percentage of Republicans answering correctly outpaced Democrats by double digits.  But Republicans also outperformed Democrats on questions centering on the federal minimum wage and the Fed Chairwoman, even though she's a Democrat appointed by Obama, while the minimum wage is Democrats' favorite wedge issue this election year to try to keep Harry Reid (D - Nevada) as the Senate Majority Leader. 
Democrats only outscored Republicans in naming the primary Ebola outbreak location and the federal poverty rate, but only by 2 and 5 percentage points, respectively. 
That obviously amounts to a lopsided Republican advantage in knowledge.  But take a look at how Pew attempted to soften the findings: 
"Differences in news knowledge across partisan groups are relatively modest, though Republicans tend to do somewhat better than Democrats overall.  Republicans are 16 points more likely than Democrats to answer the Common Core question correctly (58% vs. 42%).  And 57% of Republicans identify the oil industry as a primary driver of growth in North Dakota, compared with 42% of Democrats.  On other issues, such as the unemployment rate, there are hardly any differences in news knowledge between Republicans and Democrats.  Just 38% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats know that the unemployment rate is currently closest to 6%.  Many Americans overestimate the current unemployment rate:  27% say it is closest to 9%, while an additional 18% think the rate is closest to 12%." 
Think about that for a moment.  Imagine two football teams playing 12 head-to-head games, with one winning 10 and the other 2.  It would be preposterous for a sportswriter to describe that differential as  "relatively modest," or that the team winning 10 of 12 games performed "somewhat better" than the team that lost 10 of 12. 
This year's results parallel surveys from previous years, so it's not as though it should have come as an unwelcome surprise to the left-leaning Pew. 
In 2012, Republicans outscored Democrats on 11 of 12 items.  Yet in that instance Pew also described Republicans' performance as "somewhat better" than Democratic voters.  In the 2011 Pew survey, Republicans outperformed Democrats on every single one of 19 questions, and in 2010 Republicans tested better than Democrats on 10 of 12 questions, with 1 tie score and Democrats testing better on just 1.  
Moreover, those who find these consistent results disagreeable cannot simply dismiss them as unique to Pew. 
In 2010, as just one example, The New York Times conducted a survey on Tea Party supporters, and the results surely jolted editors and readers alike.  Under the headline "Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated," The Times conceded that Tea Partiers were more likely to possess a college degree than their opposition by a 23% to 15 % margin, as well as to have obtained a graduate degree by a 14% to 10% differential.  Tea Partiers were also more likely to have "some college" while less likely to have not completed high school (3% versus 12%). 
These objective, real-world results won't surprise many conservatives and libertarians.  By now, we're well accustomed to such things as reciting the lack of global temperature increase going back almost two decades now, even while liberals unfamiliar with such facts claim fealty to "science." 
Denial among media and entertainment leaders remains curiously stubborn, but reality must set in at some point for them as well.  

GRUBERGATE HIGHLIGHTS THE CORRUPTION OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION


The New York Post’s Kyle Smith does an excellent job of summing up the Jonathan Gruber scandal, and its significance:
Gruber, the MIT economist who (in the words of The New York Times) “put together the basic principles of” ObamaCare and helped Congress “draft the specifics of the legislation” is one of a long line of liberals driven by the belief that the stupidity of the American people is so insurmountable that persuasion is futile. …
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and basically, you know, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass,” Gruber said, in a newly unearthed 2013 video that went viral last week. …
What’s important about Gruber’s words is that they highlight the fact that ObamaCare isn’t just “controversial” or “divisive” or “hotly debated.” It is fraudulent. Being based on lies, it is illegitimate.
The arguments made in its behalf were tainted. When Democrats including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and even the elves who run the White House website wanted to push the idea that impartial experts agreed with its sunny projections about ObamaCare, they turned to…Jonathan Gruber.
“Objective Analysis Shows Reform will Help Small Businesses, Lower Premiums for American Families,” said a Nov. 4, 2009 White House blog post that referred to Gruber’s supposedly unbiased opinion.
But, far from being an unbiased expert, Gruber was on the take:
Yet Gruber joined the HHS payroll right after Obama took office, in March 2009. He was paid $392,600 to consult on ObamaCare. Some might call this kind of arrangement “corruption.”
It’s like an expert witness appearing in court to swear that BP never spilled any oil while working as BP’s $400,000-a-year publicist.
But that’s not the only way Gruber personally profited from the Affordable Care Act. After he “pretty much wrote ObamaCare” (liberal health-care journalist Sarah Kliff), he hit the road to promote it — and got paid via funding provided by the same law.
Minnesota paid him $400,000 of ObamaCare money to attend one meeting, print a copy of a report and participate in an e-mail list, The Washington Times reported. Wisconsin and Vermont each paid Gruber $400,000 for similar “work.” West Virginia, Maine, Colorado and Oregon also hired him, though the Times didn’t say how much they paid him. So Gruber has made more than $1.5 million from ObamaCare — that we know of.
But don’t worry, the Government Accountability Office already investigated, and cleared him.
As Smith notes, Gruber wrote numerous op-eds extolling the virtues of Obamacare without disclosing that he was on the take, to the tune of at least $1.5 million.
Byron York writes, “Grubergate shines spotlight on Obamacare profiteers.”
Remember when Nancy Pelosi declared that Obamacare was a jobs bill? “It’s about jobs,” Pelosi said in 2011, during a news conference to mark the first anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act. “Does it create jobs? Health insurance reform creates 4 million jobs.”
I had actually forgotten that particular lie.
Like many other promises about Obamacare, that hasn’t worked out. But there is no doubt that Obamacare created a lot of work for at least one American — MIT professor Jonathan Gruber. Gruber’s frank admissions that he and others deceived the public about Obamacare have drawn a lot of attention in recent days. But the money that Gruber made from Obamacare raises yet another issue about his involvement in the project. Throughout 2009 and 2010, he energetically advocated a bill from which he stood to profit. And when it became law, the money rolled in.
Byron recites the same series of federal and state payments that Smith itemizes.
Gruber’s recent admissions might put him in a special category. He is, by his own account, a man who intentionally deceived the public in order to pass a measure from which he stood to profit handsomely.
Someone–Gruber for sure, maybe others in the Obama administration–deserves to go to jail for this. The Obama administration is corrupt to the core. It can’t come to an end too soon.

WILLIAM LEVIN: THE ROAD TO REPEAL


William Levin is a graduate of Yale Law School. He writes to comment on the Obamacare case pending before the Supreme Court. He argues that “the road to Obamacare repeal runs through through King v. Burwell.” His column makes assumptions that are subject to reasonable argument, such as Chief Justice Roberts’s ultimate position in the current case and the soundness of the Chief Justice’s position in what he calls Obamacare I, but the analysis nevertheless makes a contribution to our thinking through the issues before us. He writes:
Exactly what is the significance of King v. Burwell, the high profile Obamacare tax subsidy case docketed for decision by the Supreme Court in its Term ending June 30, 2015?
Legally, a reversal by the Court will eliminate the authority to pay subsidies to individuals purchasing health care on the federal exchange, meaning that an estimated 5.4 million people will no longer be eligible to receive a subsidy check averaging $4,700. Taxpayers will save $25 billion, but otherwise the outcome does not sound of overwhelming policy significance.
But that misses the true sequence of events triggered by King. Following Pelosi, it turns out in actually reading the legislation that the obligation to buy or provide insurance is linked to receiving the subsidy.
Employers are subject to fines (“assessable payments”) if they do not offer affordable coverage to full time employees. But under the statute the payment is triggered only if at least one employee receives a subsidy. No subsidy, no fine. No fine, 250,000 employers in the 36 federal exchange states are free to offer non-compliant insurance coverage, no coverage at all, or even coverage actually desired and valued by employees, such as high care Cadillac plans or low-cost plans with high deductibles.
For individuals, the result is slightly less categorical, but still real. The individual mandate penalty does not apply to those who cannot afford coverage. The implementing regulations apply the exemption if the annual cost of coverage exceeds 8% of household income. But in the calculation of cost, the tax subsidy is subtracted. As a result, millions who would have been exempt are forced to buy coverage. Post-King, these millions return to exempt status, lawfully entitled to decline coverage or buy only affordable catastrophic insurance.
The systematic effect of these withdrawals and exemptions produces the widely discussed death spiral of out-of-control premium increases to cover a narrow pool of sick enrollees. Except the shock of King will be immediate and more extensive than previously imagined in a spiral caused by uncoordinated individual decisions. The impact, and attendant uncertainty, hits in June and for individuals, employers and insurers, i.e., everyone, it will be pure chaos.
Politically, the chaos shifts the balance of power. Today President Obama wields a veto pen without fear of override. Post-King, the Obamacare health care system, unfueled by tax subsidies and healthy enrollees, cannot be sustained. Then it is Obama and, more pertinently the Democrats and its presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, who must deal with Republicans to salvage a law ravaging the American public. The Obamacare cancer, and all its notorious lies, are 100 percent owned by the Democrats and its massive failure is owned by them as well.
The media will of course blame Republicans, but it is voters who have already concluded that Obamacare is an unworkable disaster. Obama by illegal waiver has sought to put off the day of reckoning until his departure from office. In June, the fears not only get accelerated, they become real.
The political sea change wrought by King begins now. Republicans today are actively caucusing on the best course to defeat Obamacare. The absolutist approach contemplates using reconciliation in the context of a budget bill to repeal the ACA by majority vote. This can offer emotional satisfaction, but no prospect of actual success as Republicans do not have the two-third votes needed to override a presidential veto. It also has the huge downside of entwining Obamacare in the amnesty battle.
The principal alternative being discussed is to offer specific bills targeting the most onerous provisions of the bill, such as the medical device tax. This approach is fine as far it goes, but it suffers the defect of the veto and there are few to no areas where common ground will actually be found with Democrats to generate a veto-proof majority.
By contrast, King is the gift and the answer. In June, the theoretical failures of Obamacare become manifest. In June, Obamacare escapes the arsenal of Obamacare subterfuge, from waiver, unauthorized regulation and concealment, to disguised enrollment statistics and straight out lies. That is the truest contribution of King. Obama has done everything in his power to claim Obamacare works by deferring its consequences. After King, not possible.
As has been rightly observed elsewhere, President Obama retains a power of intransigence even after King and there are dangers that Republicans get blamed, basically for recalcitrance in cleaning up the mess, but the arc of the story is already too strong. Democrats crammed Obamacare down America’s collective throat, and it decided not to stay. By 2016, the newly elected Republican President will have won the mandate to end Obamacare by full repeal.
But how can anyone know the Court in King will end the federal exchange subsidy payments. Here commentators are traditionally cautious. While it is conceded in light of the grant of cert that four votes are guaranteed, Chief Justice Roberts is said to be the wild card. The bitter disappointment has not dissipated among conservatives or the public at large for upholding the individual mandate as a tax.
But Republican strategists err hugely if they join in this contemplative skepticism. It is in truth a dead pull, 100 percent certainty that Roberts joins to form a majority in King. Roberts will never accept that plain meaning in the statute with respect to subsidy payments can be overridden by isolated provisions said, incorrectly, to become unintelligible, absurd or contradictory. Nor is there any chance that Roberts will accept the risible logic that “affordable care” as a purpose means as a matter of legislative fact that subsidies extend to the federal exchanges.
As to Obamacare I, Roberts concluded the individual mandate was a tax, which unfortunately is correct as matter of economics, and therefore that the individual mandate was justified as the constitutional exercise of an enumerated power, the incorrect leap. InKing, by contrast, no equivalent doctrinal escape overwrites the ACA limit on subsidy payments to state exchanges.
Democrats and the media already recognize that King is lost, as evidenced by Paul Krugman’s resort to crude rant. And the now infamous Gruber videos have sealed the deal publicly in a manner that even the most committed partisan never saw coming.
That leaves only one open end to the puzzle, which is for Democrats to apply all available pressure on the 36 states using a federal exchange to set up a state exchange. No doubt select states will in fact do so, but with 70 percent of the state chambers controlled by Republicans, material defections among the 36 states will be few.
In the end, no single bullet can solve Obamacare, least of all a legal case addressing one aspect of the ACA legislation. Obamacare was enacted into law by Congress, however deceitfully, and it is only a political solution that will end the nightmare. At the same time,King provides the signal moment when Obamacare is exposed as the failure is has always been destined to become. In eight short months we will be there, in time for King to have a meaningful impact on the 2016 elections.