In a legal setback for the Obama administration, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Tuesday that people in states that rely on the federal insurance exchange are not eligible for Obamacare premium subsidies to help them pay for coverage.
Judge Ronald White, a George W. Bush appointee, invalidated an Internal Revenue Service rule interpreting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to allow the premium tax credits in states that have not established their own exchange. “The court holds that the IRS Rule is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law,” White wrote.
In his ruling, White rejected the argument that striking down the subsidies would cripple the entire healthcare reform law. “Congress is free to amend the ACA to provide for tax credits in both state and federal exchanges, if that is the legislative will,” he wrote.
Exactly. I have to say it, I'm with the conservative lunatics on this one (regardless of their motivations). If you want to have the rule of law, then you need to write the law so you aren't reduced to saying "But I really meant that!" when people read it, and the administration really did (modulo conspiracy theories) butcher the drafting. There are other cases in the works: Read below the fold...
The MMT Uptake Problem
Proponents of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to macroeconomics have had many successes since the approach was first synthesized in coherent form by Warren Mosler. There have been successful predictions of economic conditions: much work showing that the historical record accords with the MMT point of view, rather than the views of other approaches and paradigms, and also many instances where representatives of other approaches to economics have suddenly begun to use economic views first put forward by MMT economists.
So, it's surely true that MMT has been making progress in its quest to become the dominant economic paradigm guiding macroeconomic and fiscal policy in nations. But for some of us writing about issues relating to MMT progress seems painfully slow. A big part of the reason for slow progress is the difficulty of getting MMT views into the mass media consistently, which is seen as a necessary step in getting them popular currency. Read below the fold...
Brian J. Foley in “Dissident Thoughts Upon Learning of the ‘Latte Salute’ Scandal” writes:
Obama-haters are hopping mad that Obama saluted troops while holding a cup of café latte in his saluting hand.
Obama supporters (saluters?) and others who just like pointing out hypocrisy have responded by showing that George W. Bush was equally guilty, because he once saluted troops … while holding a dog.
snipRead below the fold...
Just one or two. And it was 80°F, which was very nice.
Schneider 2x Tele. It was extremely hard to get the iPad to focus on this, and I was far enough away. The bud simply wouldn't "pop" into focus. I wasn't sure if the problem was that the branch was in almost constant motion, and was probably vibrating quietly even when I though it was at rest. You see why plants evolved windborne forms of reproduction; the air is almost never still! Read below the fold...
AS GOOD AS IT GETS
Carol Connelly: Stop it! Why can't I have a normal boyfriend? Why? Just a regular boyfriend that doesn't go nuts on me! I -
[Beverly (her mother) butts in, and Carol turns to her.]
Beverly Connelly: Everybody wants that, dear. It doesn't exist.
JC: I need to get out of here! I need to work! I need people! I need a social life! I need SEX!
Plumber: But, but ... but I’m a married man!
BROADCAST NEWS Read below the fold...
When Jason Levin crashed a meeting of the two major-party candidates for governor with the Pamplin Media Group/EO Media Group on Monday, it wasn’t the first time that the Pacific Green Party nominee had drawn attention to himself.
But Levin says that compared with the well-heeled campaigns of Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber and Republican Rep. Dennis Richardson, he has to resort to such guerrilla tactics.
You bet. More like this, please. Read below the fold...
These are all from a shady area. They flowered late, and are out of the wind, though the poppies in the front garden are all gone, now. The sun is sinking, to the left.
Schneider 2x Tele.
And more. I can't help myself! Read below the fold...
Schneider 2x tele. I see the idea here, in terms of the focal plane, or whatever they call it, but I still don't like the idea. I think if was DaVinci who thought distance was a function of haze; I'd rather think that way than in and out of focus. Still, the lens expresses what it can express and can't do anything else; it's only glass, after all. Read below the fold...
The outbreak of another Western-led military conflict in the Middle East is widely viewed as unwinnable. It is also viewed as counterproductive because of its potential to help its target, ISIL, the anti-Western fanatical social movement, recruit new volunteers in its crusade to topple Middle East regimes.
My view, as a political scientist, is that none of the players currently involved can bring peace or stability to the region. The "perpetual war" the protagonists appear to be unleashing is more likely to cause even more human suffering and displacement in the region on a scale previously unimaginable.
It is also my view that the failure of Middle East regimes to create functioning democracies that accord fundamental civil and political liberties to their populaces has created a barbaric monster born of hatred and rage for the regimes and their Western allies. ISIL's leadership is using its misrepresentation and misappropriation of Islam to recruit aggrieved and in certain cases mentally deranged individuals to its cause, instigating them to commit acts of barbarism not only in Iraq and Syria but throughout the world.
Since war is not the answer, and the majority of the regimes involved do not have functioning democracies enabling their citizens to govern their countries, what I and many others foresee is perpetual internecine warfare among the players until the entire region is devastated. The only solution I can envisage to preventing this region-wide quagmire of human misery is the bottom-up technological solution that I propose below. First, let me explain why I believe it may well provide the only possibility for ending the conflicts and bringing peace to the region and the world. Read below the fold...