The Constitution may finally catch up with Obamacare
Obamacare’s future is once again in jeopardy, thanks to one of the law’s most stubborn opponents — the U.S. Constitution. Twenty states are suing the federal government in Texas on the grounds that, since Congress zeroed-out the penalty for the individual mandate, the law is no longer constitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court deemed the individual mandate constitutional back in June 2012 by interpreting the provision as a tax — something Congress clearly has the power to impose. But the tax reform law enacted in December 2017 reduced the penalty for not having coverage to zero dollars, starting in 2019. So, as a matter of fact, there’s no longer a tax for those going without insurance coverage.
This, the plaintiffs argue, means that the defense that allowed Obamacare to survive six years ago no longer applies. And that makes the mandate unconstitutional.
The lawsuit also claims that the individual mandate is not “severable” from the rest of the law. The only way to bring Obamacare into compliance with the Constitution, it follows, is to do away with the law entirely. Four Supreme Court justices agreed during the 2012 case; the plaintiffs only need to pick up one more vote to win this time around, and they might just find it if Chief Justice John Roberts rules against Obamacare after ruling in its favor in the 2012 case.
The individual mandate marked the first time in American history that the federal government required the purchase of a product as a precondition for residing in the U.S. Nowhere does the Constitution give Congress the power to issue such a mandate. It’s remarkable that the provision — and the law which turns eight on March 23 from which it is not severable — has lasted as long as it has.
If the latest case manages to topple the law, as it should, then it will be because Obamacare’s disregard for the Constitution finally caught up with it.
REVEALED: Obama Campaign Hired Fusion GPS To Investigate Romney
Chuck Ross, 1:04 PM 03/13/2018
- A new book claims former President Barack Obama hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Romney
- Obama used law firm Perkins Coie to hide payment to Fusion GPS
- The Clinton campaign would later do the same thing to investigate Trump
The Barack Obama presidential campaign hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to dig up dirt on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, according to a book released on Tuesday.
The Obama campaign hid its payments to Fusion GPS through its law firm, Perkins Coie. The arrangement is similar to the one that the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee used to pay Fusion for its investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.
Dossier ‘coincidences’ pile up
That contract led to the creation of the infamous Steele dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele.
“In 2012, Fusion GPS was hired to do opposition research on Mitt Romney for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign,” reads “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and Donald Trump’s Election.”
The book is written by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, two veteran reporters who met during the 2016 campaign with Steele and Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. (RELATED: New Book Raises Questions About Steele Dossier Source)
“As had become standard practice in the shadowy world of ‘oppo’ research, the Obama campaign’s payments to Fusion GPS were never publicly disclosed; the money paid to the investigative firm was reported on campaign disclosure reports as legal bills to the campaign’s law firm, Perkins Coie,” the book reads.
The Obama for America committee paid Perkins Coie around $3 million during the 2012 election cycle, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, A vast majority of the payments were earmarked for “Legal Services.”
It is not clear how the law firm paid Fusion GPS for its research on Romney, a former Massachusetts governor.
Perkins Coie received more than $12 million from the Clinton campaign and DNC during the 2016 election cycle. Fusion GPS was paid just over $1 million for its research on Trump. The oppo firm paid Steele just under $178,000 for his work on the dossier.
Texas teachers and parents continue to flock to firearms training courses and active shooter preparedness workshops in response to the recent wave of school threats and the February shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 14 defenseless students and three faculty members dead.
A group of teachers, principals, and school nurses in the Aransas Pass Independent School District spent Saturday in a half-day licensed to carry (LTC) course that local law enforcement officers held free of charge. Aransas Pass Police Captain Lynn Pearce told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that “a lot of teachers” expressed interest in attending this handgun licensing class. “So we decided to have a special class for Aransas Pass ISD employees.”
“Just with the current situation, the department has been meeting with the school about safety in general,” said Pearce, who conducted the class. He also teaches the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), a certified Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center program at Texas State University.
Police already offer a free handgun licensing course to Aransas Pass residents, business owners and their employees, as well as to individuals who work for the city, which is located roughly 20 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. Last summer, Aransas Pass was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Its small school district enrolls around 1,765 students.
Although Aransas Pass ISD trustees have made no decisions whether or not to arm teachers, Police Chief Eric Blanchard proposed they implement a modified Guardian program as well as other school safety improvements at the February 21 board meeting.
In what has been described as a dispute between rival Sri Lankan migrants, two men attacked another with a machete, scalping him and cutting off his arm in a Paris restaurant.
The attack occurred on Monday evening at a restaurant in the 10th arrondissement of the city not far from the heavily migrant populated area of La Chapelle in northern Paris, broadcaster RTL reports.
Two attackers, both wearing hoodies and covering their faces, were said to have stormed into the establishment at around 9:30 pm armed with a machete and a sabre. The pair immediately attacked the victim, cutting at his scalp as well as cutting off one of his hands and his arm.
The 35-year-old victim, who is also a member of Paris’s Sri Lankan community, is said to be in critical condition at a local hospital as a result of the attack. A source within the police force has claimed that the motive for the brutal attack is likely related to settling scores within the community.
It is just the latest brutal attack to occur in the French capital. Last month, a drunken man stabbed six people at random in the city’s heavily migrant populated 18th arrondissement with five of the victims requiring hospital treatment. The man was later found by police with his clothing soaked in blood.
Three African Men Arrested for Cannibalism in Paris Suburb https://t.co/XIW9WnPVUx
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 21, 2018
Only a week later, three migrants from African island nation of Cape Verde were arrested in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois after they attacked a man at random one evening.
The three migrants kicked, punched, and bit off parts of the man’s ear, cheek, and lip and are said to have eaten the pieces. All three have been brought up on cannibalism charges.
French media revealed that there are as many as 777 random violent attacks across France every day. The danger has led a mobile app developer to create an app which allows people to act as chaperones to each other while travelling alone in order to provide safety in numbers from attacks.
March 8, 2018
Mueller keeps fishing in back channels, casting a new fly line in Seychelles
Oh, desperation, thy name is Robert Mueller!
Or something like that. Going against all precedent to see a crime where there never was one, the special counsel is now pursuing the potential back channels Trump administration officials set up with the Russians in Seychelles shortly before he took office.
According to a Washington Post report:
Special counsel Robert Mueller has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in the Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin – apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.
In January 2017, Erik Prince, the founder of the private security company Blackwater, met with a Russian official close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and later described the meeting to congressional investigators as a chance encounter that was not a planned discussion of U.S.-Russia relations.
A witness cooperating with Mueller has told investigators the meeting was set up in advance so that a representative of the Trump transition could meet with an emissary from Moscow to discuss future relations between the countries, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
This is an old story, by the way, first reported 11 months ago, in 2017.
According to an ABC News report last year, back channels are something every president has done since the nation’s founding, with some rather spectacular examples dating from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt onward. Those examples include then-president-elect Obama. ABC reports:
CNN admitted in a report on March 6, 2018, that a Georgia town requiring gun ownership has only seen one murder in six years and maintains a violent crime rate of less than two percent.
CNN reports that Kennesaw, Georgia, adopted an ordinance in 1982 requiring the head of every household to “maintain a firearm.”
CNN suggested the law requiring gun ownership is not actually enforced, but it simultaneously reported that the town of Kennesaw has only witnessed one murder in the past six years. In other words, just the common knowledge that guns are in the hands of law-abiding citizens appears to restrain the actions of criminals.
Kennesaw Police Department Lt. Craig Graydon said, “It was meant to be kind of a crime deterrent.”
At the same time, Graydon noted that widespread private gun ownership is just part of the reason for the town’s violent crime rate of less than two percent. He described the requirement to own a gun as part of “the whole picture.”
But Mayor Derek Easterling (R) focused on armed law-abiding citizens, stating, “If you’re going to commit a crime in Kennesaw and you’re the criminal — are you going to take a chance that that homeowner is a law-abiding citizen?”
News of Kennesaw’s low violent crime rate and the fact that they have only seen one murder in six years come at a time when Democrats in D.C. are working their hardest to further restrict the ability to own firearms.
March 3, 2018
Trump preparing to use a pardon to highlight the depth of Hillary’s national security crimes
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly referred to the case of Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who was sentenced to one year in prison for taking pictures on a submarine that were deemed “confidential” – the lowest rung on the ladder of national security secrets. Candidate Trump compared Saucier’s severe punishment for this comparatively minor infraction to Hillary Clinton’s exoneration by James Comey for far more serious breaches in using an unprotected server in a bathroom to house top secret and beyond documents.
This usually was a cue for the crowd to chant, “Lock her up! Lock her up!”
The next chapter is about to dawn. Steve Nelson of the Examiner reports:
The Justice Department is processing a pardon application from former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier after denying him a waiver to apply for a pardon last year.
This is a departure from normal pardon practice:
People convicted of federal crimes generally have to wait five years after being sentenced before they can apply for a pardon, and a waiver request from Saucier was denied in May, even though Trump told Fox News days after taking office in January 2017 that he was considering a pardon.
In its waiver-denial letter to Saucier’s then-attorney Jeffrey Addicott, the Justice Department’s Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote on May 30: “Upon careful review of the information you submitted, we have concluded that it would not be appropriate to grant a waiver of the waiting period in Mr. Saucier’s case to permit him to apply for a pardon at this time.”
But, apparently pressure from above has been applied:
In late February, the Justice Department sent another letter, saying Saucier’s pardon application is now being processed. “We will now be processing the application for presidential pardon of your client, Kristian Saucier,” the Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote to Addicott, who forwarded the letter to Saucier’s current attorney, Ronald Daigle.
The new letter, dated Feb. 20, requests detailed information about Saucier’s criminal, employment, and medical history, in addition to information about his current civic engagement. The questions focus on specific details about Saucier’s life.
Assuming that these formalities are concluded, the stage will be set for President Trump to sign a presidential pardon in front of the cameras, with a grateful Saucier (who has completed his term) beside him, ready to describe his infraction and the prison term he already served, and compare it to Hillary Clinton escaping indictment or punishment through James Comey taking upon himself an authority he did not have, to decide that she should not be indicted.
It should be quite a show, in the hands of television’s greatest reality TV producer.