SCOTUS Saves ObamaCare Again

So, once again, it’s up to the voters to get rid of this legislative atrocity.

[Late-morning update]

Wow. By amazing coincidence, they released this ruling that words mean whatever they want them to mean on George Orwell’s birthday.

[Afternoon update]

No matter how King v. Burwell was decided, this was always going to come down to 2016:

Supporters of the law have already telegraphed that their next move is to end the political debate by urging a Pax Obamacare to which all Americans must acquiesce. Last week the president said, after “five years in, what we are talking about it is no longer just a law. It’s no longer just a theory. This isn’t even just about the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare . . . This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another.”

While the ACA is certainly the “law of the land,” as it has been since its enactment, nothing in the Court’s decision today imparts any additional legitimacy on this law as a public policy meriting political acquiescence. To borrow from the president’s words, it is still “just a law.” So nothing in this decision should deter Republican presidential and congressional candidates in the 2016 election from continuing to press their campaign to “repeal and replace” Obamacare.

Politically, it’s actually probably better for Republicans and those others of us who want to repeal it, but it’s a terrible terrible precedent, legally.

[Update a few minutes later]

Roberts rewrites the PPACA to save it (again).

[Mid-afternoon update]

Sorry, Obama, but it’s still not a done deal:

Obamacare has only enrolled about 40% of the subsidy eligible market in two years worth of open enrollments. That level of consumer support does not make Obamacare either financially sustainable or politically sustainable. The surveys say the 40% who have enrolled like their plans. Of course they do, they are the poorest with the biggest subsidies and the lowest deductibles. The working and middle-class have most often not signed up for Obamacare because it costs too much and delivers too little.

That Obamacare is not financially sustainable is evidenced by the first wave of big 2016 rate increases by so many large market share insurers. The next wave of rate increases a year from now will also be large and will be in the middle of the 2016 election.

These rate increases will further undermine the political sustainability of the law that has been reflected in five years of polling.

On to the election.

[Later-afternoon update]

“Let us recall why the Affordable Care Act is so messed up.”

A Shameless IRS

…is still withholding Lois Lerner’s emails:

Now, according to the most recent filing by Judicial Watch, the IRS asserts that the emails are not records of the IRS. Being a Texan, I’m not 100 percent sure how to pronounce it, but “chutzpah” is the only word to describe this latest assertion. To borrow from Lewis Carroll, “Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.”

The IRS and its Department of Justice lawyers must be imagining that these emails were not repeatedly sought by Congress and Judicial Watch while in the possession of the IRS. The IRS must be imagining that its own commissioner never lied to Congress, the court and the public about their existence and purported efforts to find them. And it must be imagining that each of its seven filings in Judge Sullivan’s court did not fail to reveal the existence of the backup tapes. It must be imagining that Judge Sullivan won’t remember the lengths to which he and the magistrate went to try to find the emails and any backups. And it is imagining that it can continue stalling and lying indefinitely, while no one in the government is held accountable for far more serious legal infractions than those for which ordinary citizens have been imprisoned.

They’re just trying to run out the clock.

The OPM Data Breach

So, apparently they’ve been lying under oath about it.

I wish I were surprised. I’m old enough to remember a time when people actually got in trouble for that.

[Update a while later]

How and why the OPM got hit with the biggest hack of all time.

[Update a few minutes later]

From comments:

Oh, it’s worse than that, though I realize it’s hard to imagine.

Consider: root access doesn’t just let you read the information. It lets you replace valid information with whatever you want. It lets you insert records into the data. In other words, it lets you create an SF-86 and background investigation for anyone. It lets you insert your own agents into the security records.

Including, I might add, agents of yours who might be hired to work at OPM. Which means that not only is that database blown, it must be considered corrupt – the information in it can’t be trusted because it may have been altered. That in turn means it needs to get wiped and go back to bare metal, then be reloaded from paper records. If they still have those records. And even if they do that, they can’t necessarily trust the records of the people doing this reloading.

This is what happens when you put incompetent political hacks in positions of great responsibility. And there’s no accountability.

[Update a few minutes later]

Andy Weir On Elon Musk

Ashlee Vance had a conversation with him:

I love that NASA is working on new technologies and new stuff, but it just seems way more expensive than alternatives. You’re talking about spending $20 billion on a booster to put 150,000kg in orbit. Meanwhile, SpaceX intends to put 53,000kg into space for $100 million per booster. You could buy three of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rockets for $300 million, then spend $1 billion to assemble whatever heavy thing you wanted to put in space, and keep the other $8 billion. It just seems like this huge discrepancy in expenses. Governments don’t always do the economically viable thing, right? There’s a lot of politics involved.

You don’t say.

Senator Gillibrand

She thinks there is no such thing as an innocent man being falsely accused:

She’s suggesting that the criminal justice system isn’t easy enough for accusers. Police and juries won’t throw someone in jail based on nothing but an accusation. Therefore, a kinder, gentler justice system needs to exist to do just that. It is that kind of thinking that has prompted more than 70 male students to sue their universities after being expelled and treated like criminals without evidence — and sometimes with evidence that points to a false accusation.

Ashe Schow is doing yeowoman’s work in continuing to spotlight these Kafkaesque anti-male fascists.

The Law-School Bubble

How it happened:

The small town lawyer used to loom large in the American psyche. When an American of a certain age pictured a lawyer he thought of Abraham Lincoln, Atticus Finch, Perry Mason, or Matlock.

These lawyers were regular guys who took the business that walked in the door. If you went to law school expecting to be Perry Mason or Matlock you were certainly disappointed by how boring your life was, but not by what you earned.

After L.A. Law and The Firm Americans stopped thinking of lawyers as solo practitioners and somehow decided that all lawyers were good looking, interesting, and super, extra rich. This drew a whole new wave of confused history majors from college to law school, and floated a thirty year boom in the number of law schools, the number of law students, tuition, and profits. This was awesome news for law schools, less so for everyone else.

It didn’t help that it was subsidized by the student-loan program.

The Era Of Big Progressivism

is over.

As I’ve often noted, these people are neither liberal, or progressive. They don’t believe in freedom of expression, they don’t believe in freedom of contract, they don’t believe in freedom of conscience, they don’t believe in liberty, period. They are racist fascist leftists, as they’ve always been, and I will continue to fight to take back the language.

[Update a few minutes later]

Here’s a great example: “Shut up,” he explained.

The National Raisin Reserve

Prepare for life without it:

…it seems likely that this is the end of the National Raisin Reserve, because I doubt the government will be interested in maintaining a program that actually costs taxpayers’ dollars to run, rather than just farmers’ raisins. It may also have an impact on the 20 other crops that are subject to market orders, from almonds to spearmint, though it seems safe to bet that these will be litigated, with the government strenuously arguing that the market orders for these crops are nothing like that nasty, unconstitutional, wrinkly old National Raisin Reserve.

More broadly, this is a welcome move to limit the government’s generally expansive notions of when it may take your property without payment. However, don’t get too excited, because it doesn’t do too much to limit eminent domain where compensation is offered, or “regulatory takings” in which government rules make your property practically worthless, but not quite so worthless that it has to pay you for the lost potential uses.

There’s a lot more work to do, particularly on civil forfeiture.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!