Patterico's Pontifications

2/14/2017

ALL HAIL THE KING! Trump’s IRS Will “Turn a Blind Eye” to Enforcement of the ObamaCare Mandate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:30 pm

At Reason.com, Peter Suderman reports that the IRS has passed a rule that says they will accept tax returns that don’t indicate whether someone has health coverage. If the report is accurate, the ObamaCare mandate is now optional. It’s pursuant to President Trump’s executive order softening the impact of ObamaCare:

How much difference does a single line on a tax form make? For Obamacare’s individual mandate, the answer might be quite a lot. . . . The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. . . .

Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61. The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it’s not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow up.

But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary. Silent returns will no longer be automatically rejected. The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law.

This does not sound legal. Suderman quotes experts differing on the matter. Michael Cannon, an ObamaCare expert, says Trump can’t do this:

The move has already raised questions about its legality. Federal law gives the administration broad authority to provide exemptions from the mandate. But “it does not allow the administration not to enforce the mandate, which it appears they may be doing here,” says Michael Cannon, health policy director at the libertarian Cato Institute. “Unless the Trump administration maintains the mandate is unconstitutional, the Constitution requires them to enforce it.”

Some other guy says this isn’t really non-enforcement . . . but his argument on that point is less than convincing:

“The mandate can only be weakened by Congress,” says [Ryan] Ellis [a Senior Fellow at the Conservative Reform Network]. “This is a change to how the IRS is choosing to enforce it. They will count on voluntary disclosure of non-coverage rather than asking themselves.”

The IRS notes that taxpayers are still required to pay the mandate penalty, if applicable. “Legislative provisions of the ACA law are still in force until changed by the Congress, and taxpayers remain required to follow the law and pay what they may owe‎,” the agency statement said.

Ellis says the new policy doesn’t fully rise to the level of declining to enforce the law. “If the IRS turns a blind eye to people’s status, that isn’t quite not enforcing it,” he says. “It’s more like the IRS wanting to maintain plausible deniability.”

I . . . don’t see the big difference between “turning a blind eye to people’s status” and “not enforcing” the law.

I’m sure plenty of Trump supporters will cheer this — because, you know, Trump. But if you’ll recall, conservatives (including myself) screamed bloody murder — with good reason — when Obama unilaterally decided to delay enforcement of ObamaCare provisions like the employer mandate. For me and for many others, this was a genuine and principled concern. But I think we’re about to find out that, for some conservatives, the complaints about Obama’s actions were pure partisanship — and for these unprincipled hypocrites, non-enforcement is about to be cool again.

When Trump signed this executive order, I urged caution. Let’s wait to see what he actually does with it, I said.

Will Donald Trump’s executive order be used to engage in the type of overreach Barack Obama routinely employed? I’m not sure yet. But if it is, conservatives need to lay down a marker now: this will not be acceptable.

Even if Barack Obama did it.

Well, we’re starting to see how Trump is applying the order, and this is not a good sign.

Look: even if all you care about is policy, the fact is that cushioning the blows from this horrible law make it less likely that it will be repealed. And repeal is what is needed. Until there is a free-market solution to health care, we’re on a slow march towards a single-payer system.

But there’s also more to the issue than policy. This goes straight to the nature of our system: will we be ruled by presidents, or kings? In my previous post I quoted Charles C.W. Cooke rejecting the “turnaround is fair play” argument, and I feel the need to do so again. Here is the key passage from his essential piece on the issue:

I am afraid that I consider this approach to be little short of suicidal, and I can under no circumstances look forward to a system in which the executive may pick and choose which laws he is prepared to enforce. On the contrary: I consider the idea to be a grave and a disastrous one, and I would propose that any such change is likely to usher in chaos at first and then to incite a slow, tragic descent into the monarchy and caprice that our ancestors spent so long trying to escape.

To that passage, I will add this warning from Ninth Circuit judge Alex Kozinski:

Executive power favors the party, or perhaps simply the person, who wields it. That power is the forbidden fruit of our politics, irresistible to those who possess it and reviled by those who don’t. Clear and stable structural rules are the bulwark against that power, which shifts with the sudden vagaries of our politics. In its haste to find a doctrine that can protect the policies of the present, our circuit should remember the old warning: May all your dreams come true.

If you’re going to help create a king because you think the king you’re helping to create is one you’ll like, don’t come crying to me when the power is wielded with even more force by one you don’t like.

UPDATE: After I first read the article, Suderman posted this correction:

Correction: The IRS did not reject silent returns last year, as this story originally indicated. The plan was to go into effect this year, for 2016 returns, but the IRS reversed course on February 3. Reason regrets the error.

I don’t think this undermines the point of the article, but it is worth noting.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

279 Responses to “ALL HAIL THE KING! Trump’s IRS Will “Turn a Blind Eye” to Enforcement of the ObamaCare Mandate”

  1. I think you missed Sudermann’s update where he stated that in fact, the IRS had already been accepting silent returns, despite the law’s requirements, in previous years and that they had in fact reversed the decision to begin rejecting them this year.

    SPQR (a3a747)

  2. I think we have to look at Obamacare as an aberration.

    It never should have existed.

    But for voter fraud in Minnesota, Al Franken wouldn’t be Senator and Obama would not have had the votes to put it through.

    Massachusetts elected a Republican (albeit, Scott Brown, not Ted Cruz) to prevent Obamacare from happening.

    It was rammed through by way of “reconciliation.” No Republican votes in favor. Gruber admitted it was sold under false pretenses. Pelosi said she had to pass it so we could find out what was in it.

    Obama himself used his magic President powers to change the rules whenever he felt like it.

    Some people got health care because of Obamacare, but many people LOST health care because of Obamacare, including because they lost their job, which Bernie doesn’t seem particularly broken up about. I still haven’t heard Barack Obama apologize for putting so many people out of work.

    In fact, this law was designed to fail from day one. It was not intended to work as it was originally written. It was intended to fail in such a manner that the insurance companies would be wiped out, and people would think single payer was the only option. The engineered, deliberate failure of Obamacare was happening in front of our eyes when Trump won the election (and he probably would not have won, but for that)

    If it really is a tax (which is what SCOTUS held) why can’t the executive just not enforce it? Does the executive really not have the power to engage in selective enforcement of tax laws? There is some law somewhere that says the executive is obligated to enforce and collect every tax in the land?

    With regard to a normal law, you could say “the rule of law is a good thing, and the rule of law insists that we enforce the law as it is written”

    It’s like we’re playing Calvinball, but Hobbes insists that only he gets to make up new rules.

    That’s not how you play Calvinball. I won’t accept second-class status. I won’t accept that leftists get special privileges to invent, mutate, deform, and brutalize the law, but the right has to act like Mitt Romney. (Nice guy. I like him. I prefer him to Trump. But even more so, I prefer winning to losing. If America prefers Trump to Romney, then America deserves to get Trump.)

    Obamacare is a monstrosity and it needs to die. Trump can’t kill it quickly enough.

    Daryl Herbert (7be116)

  3. But I think we’re about to find out that, for some conservatives, the complaints about Obama’s actions were pure partisanship — and for these unprincipled hypocrites, non-enforcement is about to be cool again.

    Non enforcement of an immoral law imposed from on high by political dilettantes.
    I can’t think of a more consistent patriotic conservative position to take.
    We are Americans, are we not?

    Certain stances are traditional. In the blood.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  4. I take it that the “King” is Obama, especially after the Flynn fiasco (props to Dana for even post with no snide anti-Trump remarks).

    The only thing missing is news he’s eluded his captors and has sailed from Elba.

    Harkin (8dd5e1)

  5. Hey. Use to be there was one blog that documented in great detail how certain high on their own BS political dilettantes imposed further past vote revisions when the letter of their corrupt edict didn’t work in their favor.

    What happened to that guy?

    papertiger (c8116c)

  6. Sounds more like under-reach to me.

    These are not the droids you are looking for.

    Pinandpuller (2f698d)

  7. I would also like them to ignore capital gains.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  8. At first glance, this seems like an outrage. For sure, there are going to be outrages with DJT as president. I am just not sure about this instance, though.

    Isn’t the entire ACA a discretionary Act? “…as the Secretary shall determine.” This passed muster at SCOTUS, did it not? Well, the Secretary may have just determined that the “tax” shall not be collected.

    It’s all ludicrous. All of it.

    Ed from SFV (3400a5)

  9. Not enforcing the most repugnant part of a bad law is a good thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  10. is too late for a lot of people

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  11. @ papertiger, #3:

    Non enforcement of an immoral law imposed from on high by political dilettantes.
    I can’t think of a more consistent patriotic conservative position to take.

    By this reasoning, the relevant members of the Obama administration could consider themselves “consistent patriotic conservatives” for refusing to defend DoMA.

    The law is the law. Whether you like the law or not, whether you think it’s a good idea or not, whether you think it was created legitimately or not…all are irrelevant to the factual question of whether it is the law. And the “consistent patriotic conservative” position to take…should be to enforce the law. Even if you don’t like it. Hell, especially if you don’t like it — because if you’re right, and it’s such a terrible law, enforcing it with total fairness and impartiality should help build the groundswell that leads to its eventual repeal. It will also give you actual evidence that your successsors can use to fight against it when, like all bad pennies, it turns up again.

    Demosthenes (09f714)

  12. But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary. Silent returns will no longer be automatically rejected. The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law.

    “The recent executive order directed federal agencies to exercise authority and discretion available to them to reduce potential burden,” the IRS said in a statement to Reason. “Consistent with that, the IRS has decided to make changes that would continue to allow electronic and paper returns to be accepted for processing in instances where a taxpayer doesn’t indicate their coverage status.”

    this edict is coming from greasy corrupt dildo John Koskinen not Mr. Trump

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  13. I see Patterico was right that the partisans are out in force over the principled.

    One can oppose Obamacare and work toward its repeal without supporting unconstitutional actions contrary to the law.

    This fight IS about Obamacare but it is ALSO about doing the right thing, even when it is difficult.

    We must resist the urge to act like “they” did and to do the things we railed against for 8 years.

    We do not govern in this country by executive fiat. We have a bicameral legislature and a system of checks and balances to ensure no one section of the federal government wields too much power. Just because someone with some of that power does something we like doesn’t mean we should support it if it violates the fundamental principles this country was founded on.

    Ryan (b16f18)

  14. lol

    principled like using a “a rarely invoked 1924 law” to rifle through the tax returns of their political enemies for dirt?

    nevertrump isn’t principled it’s just extremely butthurt

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  15. Not a new problem.

    Samuel 8:18
    “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

    However, I do have to admit that seeing the shoe on the other foot is rather amusing. Is failing to enforce federal law suddenly a bad thing (immigration law for instance)?

    mark (ca18be)

  16. strike>a

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  17. ugh

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  18. this seems related

    The Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of Economic Freedom—an annual global study that compares countries’ entrepreneurial environments—highlights the urgent need for the U.S. to change course. For the ninth time in the past 10 years since 2008, America has lost ground.

    […]

    The U.S. remains mired in the ranks of the “mostly free,” the second-tier economic freedom status into which it dropped in 2010.

    So does Mr. Trump’s EO exacerbate this problem of economic unfreedom or help alleviate it?

    Under the food stamp regime exceptions and waivers were doled out willy nilly by capricious unelected federal worker trash.

    This eo seems to strive for a uniform application of the law across all filers, and done in such a way as to lessen the burdens of the law wherever possible.

    This is a step forward.

    If you want to talk about an abrogation of the rule of law – there’s a twisted little judgepig named Thomas Wheeler that seems to have some ideas about that.

    [So-called] Judge Thomas Wheeler of the United States Court of Federal Claims just sent the United States an $8 billion bill for the benefit of insurance companies that sold certain policies under the Affordable Care Act. The premise of the ruling appears to be that Congress, when it failed explicitly to appropriate money for an ACA program known as “Risk Corridors” and when it then explicitly attempted to cut off certain sources of funding for what was termed a “bailout” of the insurance industry, didn’t dot a certain “i.” According to Judge Wheeler, that failure means that the federal government is obligated to make full payments to insurers with funds presumably coming from “the Judgment Fund,” an apparently bottomless pit of federal money.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  19. When the Supreme Court declared Obamacare a tax, and therefor constitutional, it certified the US as a banana republic – before then we were certainly on the way, the opinion of the court was just the formalization.

    We will not likely be less a banana republic until the next Constitutional Convention (hopefully via legislative action, not after a civil war).

    Steven Malynn (d29fc3)

  20. speaking of rule of law

    gogo gadget

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  21. Let em, that’s instant blue on blue when the citizen component of the 47% refund crowd still doesn’t get their checks close to Xmas.

    urbanleftbehind (bd111a)

  22. Dude called me out.

    Wow. I can’t recall dostoyevsky ever even giving the snide when he thought I wasn’t looking.

    The law is the law. Whether you like the law or not

    More like a set of guidelines. Subject to arbitrary unvoted upon revision when convenient.

    See here patterico.com/2014/02/12/unspeakable-outrage-obama-administration-to-require-employers-to-attest-on-their-tax-forms-that-they-have-not-laid-off-workers-to-avoid-the-obamacare-mandate/

    and here patterico.com/2011/08/12/obamacare-mandate-struck-down-by-eleventh-circuit/

    and here patterico.com/2013/07/02/obamacare-employer-mandate-suspended-until-2015/

    and here patterico.com/2014/12/02/good-news-obamas-unconstitutional-amnesty-incentivizes-employers-to-game-obamacare-by-employing-illegals/

    and here patterico.com/2014/11/14/jonathan-grubers-central-and-well-paid-role-in-fooling-the-public-about-the-cost-of-obamacare/

    and here patterico.com/2014/04/04/michael-hiltzik-even-this-diehard-obamacare-opponent-is-not-sure-obama-is-acting-illegally-in-unilaterally-delaying-provisions-of-the-law/

    and here (particularly to the post script) patterico.com/2014/03/12/wsj-obama-administration-quietly-extends-individual-mandate-for-two-years/

    and here patterico.com/2014/02/13/health-club-imposes-new-obamacare-fee/

    and here patterico.com/2013/08/05/utterly-corrupt-obama-rewriting-obamacare-unilaterally-again/

    and here http://patterico.com/2013/07/10/house-gop-to-push-individual-mandate-waiver-to-level-playing-field-with-business/

    and particularly this one here http://patterico.com/2013/07/09/does-the-law-require-obama-to-collect-the-employer-mandate-in-2014-or-not/

    In fact forget the first ten of those links. Just go to the last one.

    papertiger (c8116c)

  23. You guys can follow your own principles, but to a person holding down three part-time jobs and neither qualifying for Medicaid nor being able to afford the $300.00 and up monthly premiums for Obamacare, not being liable to the IRS for 2.5% of his adjusted income is one damn fine principle.

    And I’ve got a Biblical quote for you that really is on point: “And He said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.” Luke, 11:46

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Gee, isn’t legislation supposed to originate in Congress? Maybe I misunderstood Schoolhouse Rock….

    George (77eb47)

  25. Here’s the problem, when you control both houses of Congress and the White House there isn’t any need to circumvent or ignore the laws on the books. Simply pass the laws as you want them the way the Constitution outlines and no one will question whether or not you’re circumventing branches of Government or overstepping authority.

    Furthermore, what many of you Trump fans are missing in all of this is Trump’s apparent lack of will to overturn Obamacare like he “promised” he would during the campaign. He’s not going to fully repeal the law, he’s just going to tweak it, and this is his first step in that direction.

    Sean (41ed1e)

  26. I think you missed Sudermann’s update where he stated that in fact, the IRS had already been accepting silent returns, despite the law’s requirements, in previous years and that they had in fact reversed the decision to begin rejecting them this year.

    Yeah, I don’t think that was up when I first read the article. Updating now.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  27. NK,

    Where is the relief from the liability specified? AFAICT, the IRS has postponed the use of a particular type of net for the moment and subject to revision upon a change in direction of the breeze. The liability remains, as does the penalty and interest surcharge which will apply when the IRS feels comfortable about deploying the stored net.

    Rick Ballard (5e8a41)

  28. I agree that it’s half a loaf, Rick. But it’s some relief and probably all that Trump can do without Congress actually repealing the dam’ thing.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. When mcturtle get their keester in gear, sometime in the fall, we’ll get to that point.

    narciso (8c497a)

  30. I don’t like this idea at all. Not enforcing the penalty will mean more people won’t have a problem with it making it harder to repeal. Enforce the penalty. Show people how much Obamacare sucks. Get rid of it.

    NJRob (43d957)

  31. Point well made, NJ. And while it does suck for many as in an additional tax, for how many does the enforcement of the penalty simply represent a reduction in refund?

    urbanleftbehind (bd111a)

  32. If there is no mandate and no conforming policy requirement (which is what makes it so expensive, I’m paying for birth control pills, antiretrovirals and sex changes for Nancy Pelosi’s constituency), why should it be repealed?

    nk (dbc370)

  33. nk because you can’t see a doctor for the clammering line ahead of you?

    papertiger (c8116c)

  34. Njrob is exactly right. If you have a bad law, enforce it so the people demand repeal. I actually understand trumps desire to show progress on the issue but this might make things harder

    Dustin (83747e)

  35. Greetings:

    Me, I thinking that maybe Lois Lerner needed a bit of a break from her IRS responsibilities.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  36. It was very kind of Trump to provide “just following orders” cover to the IRS for taking an action which has a potentially deleterious political effect upon the repeal of ACA. I’m curious as to whether the IRS checked with Treasury prior to executing the maneuver. Mnuchin might want to check it out now that he’s confirmed.

    Rick Ballard (5e8a41)

  37. ==The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law. This does not sound legal. Suderman quotes experts differing on the matter. Michael Cannon, an ObamaCare expert, says Trump can’t do this:==

    ==Correction: The IRS did not reject silent returns last year, as this story originally indicated. The plan was to go into effect this year, for 2016 returns, but the IRS reversed course on February 3. Reason regrets the error.

    “I don’t think this undermines the point of the article, but it is worth noting.”==

    ***
    The update certainly seems to undermine most of the point of this post –that Trump is acting like a King –if the IRS had, apparently on its own (or more probably from direct informal authority from the previous administration), already for some time been accepting “silent returns” and taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement for individual taxpayers.

    The Suderman article (beyond unfortunately not being properly researched prior to publication) seemed at least to be raising and balancing some intellectual and economic concerns about the Obamacare individual mandate by quoting experts with various opinions. That is– he left readers to consider whether, as the future of ACA is worked out in congress, it is better to provide maximum pain or maximum relief to taxpayers in the meantime.

    From Suderman article: Ellis says the new policy doesn’t fully rise to the level of declining to enforce the law. “If the IRS turns a blind eye to people’s status, that isn’t quite not enforcing it,” he says. “It’s more like the IRS wanting to maintain plausible deniability.”

    This particular statement made me think of immigration violation enforcement “plausible deniability” over the past 30 years or so for some reason.

    elissa (21b767)

  38. 36, maybe Mnuchin was told to shelve his idea of hiring 000s of more IRS agents, so the non-review of Item 61 is one of those things that fell by the wayside.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  39. I wasn’t aware Mnuchin was in favor of hiring thousands more alligators to help drain the swamp. Sounds like another Top Man hire.

    Rick Ballard (5e8a41)

  40. Very good. Trump is saving people (or their accountants) from putting false information on their income tax returns.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  41. Obama wasn’t enforcing this either.

    And even peole entitled to an exemption couldn’t get one issued.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  42. Correction: The IRS did not reject silent returns last year, as this story originally indicated. The plan was to go into effect this year, for 2016 returns, but the IRS reversed course on February 3. Reason regrets the error.

    I knew Obama wasn’t enforcing this. And I was pretty sure theer were no problems with returns taht didn’t check anything on Line 61.

    It was only now that the penalty/tax was going to get bigger.

    Obama’s attitude about Obamacare was “Après moi, le déluge”

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  43. If this was legal in 2016 for 2015 tax returns, it’s legal in 2017 for 2016 tax returns.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  44. ==Obama’s attitude about Obamacare was “Après moi, le déluge”==

    Sammy, this one sentence of clarity says it all. Nicely done, buddy.

    elissa (21b767)

  45. If Congress in the statute set the enforcement mechanism to be a line entry on your tax return, then I think its problematic for the Admin to choose to not enforce the requirement of the line entry.

    BUT, if Congress left it to the Obama Admin to determine how best to enforce the mandate, and through tax regulations it was determined to include the Line Entry on the tax return, then that is a regulation subject to change.

    Tax compliance is a “voluntary” system in the sense that people are entrusted with the responsibility to file their tax returns and disclose accurate information. Tens of thousands of inaccurate returns are processed by the IRS every year, and the vast majority are never subject to audit or adjustment.

    Making a required entry on Line 61 is still part of the filing requirement. The only change is that the absence of the entry isn’t a basis to reject the return. If your return is singled out for audit, and the audit turns up the fact that you are not covered and owe the mandated payment, then you’re going to pay the tax.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  46. Shipwreckcrew, that’s what I was thinking, and I think it would be a big risk for an individual not to fill in the info. Knowing the IRS, five years later you’ll get some notice you not only didn’t pay what you should have, but now you owe interest and penalties that add up to far more than the tax itself.

    Leon (1bee31)

  47. The Form 1040 instructions do not tell you how to calculate any payment.

    Line 61 has a box for checking Full Year Coverage.

    The instructions say you should receive a Form 1095 from any insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage. It says you do not have to wait for it to file your return, but you can file your return if you know you had it dfrom other sources. Form 1095 should come in early February, 2017 if it a Form 1095-A and come from the Health Insurance Marketplace, or in early March, 2017 if it is a Form 1095-B or form 1095-C and is government sponsored or from an employer. And you do not have to include Form 1095 with your tax return. (with that, the whole scheme falls apart, of course.)

    If you cannot check the box saying that every person named on your tax return, or that could have been named on your tax return, had minimum essential health insurance coverage for every month of the year 2016 that they were alive, then you must file Form 8965, and either claim an exemption (and to do so, it turns out you not only need to qualify, but you need an exemption number, which you should have obtained last year, and if you didn’t there’s no way to find out how to get it) or calculate the amount of the payment due for every month of the year for which there is a payment due, which you can figure out by reading the Form 8965 instructions, and then carry over the total to Line 61.

    But if you can be claimed as a dependent on somebody else’s tax return, just leave the line blank, whether or not you had health insurance for every month of the year.

    I’m being a little bit cleareer and more concise than the IRS Form 1040 instructions.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  48. Leon (1bee31) — 2/15/2017 @ 11:58 am

    five years later you’ll get some notice you not only didn’t pay what you should have, but now you owe interest and penalties that add up to far more than the tax itself.

    That is not true. Congress specifically provided, when they passed the PPACA, that the IRS could not collect the money except by withholding refunds, or maybe other payments due from the Treasury, but I don’t think Social Security.

    Besides which, Congress will proably have repealed it by then, and they will drop the claims so that people don’t have to pay it, but they won’t refund the money that people actually already paid.

    Meanwhile, you can study Form 8965 and its instructions:

    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8965.pdf

    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8965.pdf

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  49. You have a lot more confidence in the Republican congress than I Sammy. I’ve grown a tad cynical about McConnell and Ryan myself. I mean, for six years they’ve been telling us how if only they had the power they would repeal and replace in an instant, but now they have the power they tell us they haven’t really thought through any plan to replace it with. WTF!

    People can do what they want, but personally I’m real careful dealing with the IRS. Them boys are ruthless.

    Leon (1bee31)

  50. they haven’t really thought through any plan to replace it with. WTF!

    mostly you can thank racist trash like John Kasich for that

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  51. “I don’t think this undermines the point of the article . . .”

    Or, maybe not.

    This is what happens when one jumps on the media’s meme du jour. It’s not pretty. And it’s not the first time.

    I understand that even Rachel Maddow is beginning to figure this out.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  52. @ papertiger, #22:

    Wow. I can’t recall dostoyevsky ever even giving the snide when he thought I wasn’t looking.

    Trump worship does terrible things to your memory, I guess.

    Also, Dostoyevsky? Umm…thank you? Like I’m going to complain about being associated with the second-greatest author of all time.*

    More like a set of guidelines. Subject to arbitrary unvoted upon revision when convenient.

    Followed by a bunch of links, which prove all the dastardly things that they did, which we are now apparently justified in doing because #dishbestservedcold, or something. You know, about the moral reasoning I’d expect from a slightly below-average second grader. Or the ever-ridickerous, never-suspicerous papertigger. You do you, buddy. You do you.

    * Second-greatest, because Shakespeare. Of course.

    Demosthenes (09f714)

  53. This is what happens when one jumps on the media’s meme du jour.

    “The media”? It’s Peter Suderman at Reason.com.

    The second fucking sentence of this post starts with these words: “If the report is accurate.” How many fucking times do I have to repeat a caveat in a post? You give me the stylebook, ThOR, so you are satisfied. “If the report is accurate” every fucking sentence? Every other sentence?

    Please. Tell me. I want to make sure you’re happy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  54. “I don’t think this undermines the point of the article . . .”

    Or, maybe not.

    If it undermines the point of the article, it’s because “if Obama did it then it’s OK for Trump to do it” is now our guiding principle. I spent a lot of time in the post showing what I think that’s a bad principle. Did you read those parts of the post? Do you agree?

    Make an argument.

    Or just making snide remarks about how I fall for every “media” claim out there. Because that never ever gets old.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  55. The update certainly seems to undermine most of the point of this post –that Trump is acting like a King –if the IRS had, apparently on its own (or more probably from direct informal authority from the previous administration), already for some time been accepting “silent returns” and taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement for individual taxpayers.

    Why is that? Because we don’t think Obama acted like a king?

    If this exact article had come out with Obama’s name in place of Trump, I’d have been angry.

    I bet a lot of people defending it today would have been too.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  56. As you know, the post that is up now is not the same post that you wrote and was up this morning.

    elissa (dcb85a)

  57. As you know, the post that is up now is not the same post that you wrote and was up this morning.

    Be . . . cause . . . there is an update? Based on Suderman’s update?

    Yes. I do know that. I wrote the update.

    So?

    Again (I hate it when I say “again” because it means my point was ignored the first time): are we now saying Obama was beyond reproach? So if he ordered this action on the part of the IRS, then it’s all good?

    Really??

    Patterico (115b1f)

  58. I published a lot of criticism of Obama for refusing to enforce aspects of ObamaCare. It’s not clear to me how long the IRS had this policy in place, but they were planning to do away with it, and then (according to the facts as they remain) they stopped because of Trump’s executive order.

    If it had been “Obama’s executive order” would everyone here be piling on me for criticizing that?

    No. You most certainly would not be.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  59. Patterico, my comment from this morning responded to your original post which was a very, very different post, with a very different tone, and a different message than the one you currently have heading this thread and that is currently visible to readers. I think this is a better post and a more honest post and a more balanced post so I am glad you saw fit to rewrite it and include more discussion including embrace of Suderman’s information in the body of the post as well. But trying to engage me tonight in a fight over what I wrote with respect to the original post is an insult and I will not play along. An ethical approach would have been for you to announce that you had re-written the piece and had removed the original. You did not do that.

    elissa (dcb85a)

  60. elissa, if you’re implying that I did anything but add an update to this post, you’re wrong.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  61. People who saw the original post and especially saw the opening salvo know better. Not my problem.

    elissa (dcb85a)

  62. elissa, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I am assuming you are confused and not trying to deliberately mislead people, but I deeply resent the fact that you appear to be accusing me of lying.

    Dana, would you like to go into the control panel and verify that I did not substantially rewrite this post?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  63. It’s an evolutionary process, Mr. Spiderman is a pretty good film critic but he sometimes jumps to conclusions in his analysis.

    But the question still stands how to best dismantle an explosive device with multiple trip wires. Even have found it very difficult to challenge Austria’s dirigiste attitude. Democracies are unwilling to take the proper medicine.

    narciso (5f3cb5)

  64. If there is literally anyone at this site who claims to have seen a substantially different post from the one that appears above, except for the update, tell us about it. Tell us about this mythical “opening salvo” and all the other aspects of this “very, very different post” that elissa is fantasizing about.

    Anyone. Anyone at all.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  65. Elissa, measure your words carefully right now. You might want to take a moment. I am serious.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  66. elissa @ 61,

    What on earth are you talking about??? I read this post several times before I left for work this morning, and the post tonight is the same post, other than an added update and correction.

    This is an ugly accusation to make of a writer with a stellar reputation and one who has absolutely no reason to do what you have accused him of doing. It’s ridiculous on its face. As someone who has long-admired your intelligence and spirit, this is over the line. Stop it.

    Dana (023079)

  67. Editing history of this post:

    February 14, 2017 @ 22:30:11: I take the code from RedState and cut and paste it here.

    February 14, 2017 @ 22:30:32: I add a link to The Jury Talks Back

    February 14, 2017 @ 22:31:30: I make a minor change in the wording of the opening paragraph, changing this:

    At Reason.com, Peter Suderman has a report that says the IRS has passed a rule that says they will accept tax returns that don’t indicate whether someone has health coverage. If the report is accurate, the ObamaCare mandate is now optional. It’s pursuant to President Trump’s executive order softening the impact of ObamaCare:

    To this:

    At Reason.com, Peter Suderman reports that the IRS has passed a rule that says they will accept tax returns that don’t indicate whether someone has health coverage. If the report is accurate, the ObamaCare mandate is now optional. It’s pursuant to President Trump’s executive order softening the impact of ObamaCare:

    That is not a substantive change at all, but rather tightens up the language, makes it more active and punchy, and avoids saying “that says” twice in a row.

    I put up the post, and there are no further changes until this morning.

    Fast forward to this morning. I see SPQR’s comment about Suderman’s update. I then write a quick update, which I tweak over the course of three minutes or less, as follows:

    February 15, 2017 @ 07:40:34: There is an autosave of the update, which initially reads as follows:

    UPDATE: After this post was published, Suderman posted this correction:

    Correction: The IRS did not reject silent returns last year, as this story originally indicated. The plan was to go into effect this year, for 2016 returns, but the IRS reversed course on February 3. Reason regrets the error.

    I’m getting ready to run out the door but tweak the update a couple more times, as follows.

    February 15, 2017 @ 07:41:20: There is no difference, but I actively save the update as written that had already been autosaved less than a minute before.

    February 15, 2017 @ 07:42:09: I reflect on whether Suderman’s update necessarily occurred before I first published the post, and conclude that I don’t know that for sure. I alter the language of the update to reflect that, changing this:

    UPDATE: After this post was published, Suderman posted this correction:

    To this:

    UPDATE: After I first read the article, Suderman posted this correction:

    February 15, 2017 @ 07:43:29: I add this sentence to the update:

    I don’t think this undermines the point of the article, but it is worth noting.

    Note that the original edits to the original post on February 14 took place over the course of less than 90 seconds.

    The changes to the update took place over the course of less than three minutes.

    This is all information shown on the control panel. I think Dana or JVW can verify it, if they consider such an exercise to be a valuable use of their time.

    Elissa’s first comment on the thread takes place at 8:50 a.m., more than an hour after the last revision to my post.

    Yet Elissa says, quite falsely:

    Patterico, my comment from this morning responded to your original post which was a very, very different post, with a very different tone, and a different message than the one you currently have heading this thread and that is currently visible to readers.

    That is either an outright fabrication or, more likely, a mistake — but a mistake underlying a very serious and reckless accusation: that I deliberately changed the post in a significant manner without telling my readers. That is false. I just showed it’s false.

    I resent being called a liar on my blog.

    I resent feeling that I have to take the time to show all of these revisions to demonstrate that elissa’s claim is patently false.

    I am stunned at the entire situation.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  68. What an absolute waste of my time.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  69. The platform used at this website is Word Press. I used to guest blog here and one of the Word Press features is a record of every change made to a post, including the exact change made and when it was made. It can be seen by the Administrator and anyone with admin privileges, like guest bloggers. That is why Patterico invited Dana to “go into the control panel and verify that I did not substantially rewrite this post.”

    So Patterico has not only denied elissa’s serious allegation but also offered a way to disprove it. In addition, the same post is up at The Jury and Red State, which IMO is another basis to question her allegation. Unless she believes he has altered all three.

    DRJ (15874d)

  70. I think this is a better post and a more honest post and a more balanced post so I am glad you saw fit to rewrite it and include more discussion including embrace of Suderman’s information in the body of the post as well.

    As I have just showed, nothing substantive was changed in the body of the post. There was no more discussion or embrace of Suderman’s information other than the update.

    But trying to engage me tonight in a fight over what I wrote with respect to the original post is an insult and I will not play along.

    It is no engaging in a fight to make clear that all I did was add an update.

    An ethical approach would have been for you to announce that you had re-written the piece and had removed the original. You did not do that.

    Since I did nothing of the sort, I did nothing unethical — and it’s bizarre that you would claim that, when it has no basis whatsoever in reality.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  71. So Patterico has not only denied elissa’s serious allegation but also offered a way to disprove it. In addition, the same post is up at The Jury and Red State, which IMO is another basis to question her allegation. Unless she believes he has altered all three.

    The very minor tweak I did last night (editing a sentence to make it read better over the course of 90 seconds), and the very minor tweaks to the update (all done over the course of three minutes this morning, painfully documented in detail above, and finalized over an hour before elissa’s first comments) were made to all three versions of the post. Part of the annoyance of cross-posting.

    By contrast, the alleged substantial stealth re-write of substance is purely a figment of elissa’s imagination.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  72. What an absolute waste of my time.

    Yup. Nobody believed elissa.

    nk (dbc370)

  73. So basis ally superman read the story wrong, and then its emily litella, this

    narciso (d1f714)

  74. elissa,

    I just went into the administrative side of the blog, and can confirm the editing history Patterico has listed at comment 69.

    I believe you own him an apology.

    Dana (023079)

  75. I honestly don’t consider your very limited, minor tweaks in the first 90 seconds of posting — repeated at The Jury and Red State — to be alterations, let alone:

    ” … a very, very different post, with a very different tone, and a different message than the one you currently have heading this thread and that is currently visible to readers.”

    DRJ (15874d)

  76. Plus, the claim was that the revisions occurred after Elissa’s 8:50 am post. Nope. No revisions after 7:43 am.

    It’s just an utterly false claim.

    Patterico (2f6716)

  77. Ps I don’t trust koskinen, keeping him on staff is the old story of the scorpion & the frog, note how he is delaying refunds again.

    narciso (2cee46)

  78. I hope she was confused, perhaps from reading other stories and conflating them with yours or reading quickly or even “misremembering.” But she should respond. It’s not something that will be forgotten.

    DRJ (15874d)

  79. The IRS announced in December it would delay refunds for taxpayers claiming the Earned Income Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit. These credits have been subject to fraud and abuse for years and it’s about time the IRS starts looking at them.

    DRJ (15874d)

  80. I have to assume it’s confusion, DRJ, but that does not justify the accusation. It certainly doesn’t justify the suggestion that I acted unethically. And it most definitely does not justify saying that readers “know better” than to believe me when I say it didn’t happen.

    That’s a direct accusation of dishonesty on my part. Note that absolutely nobody supports Elissa on this. Nobody else saw what she claims to have seen. And Dana confirms that my hyper-detailed description of my editing process was accurate.

    No, I won’t simply forget this without its being addressed. You don’t say things like this and just pretend it never happened.

    I hope Elissa has the class to return and forthrightly acknowledge her mistake. And I assume it was a mistake.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  81. I’d be happy to make an argument, or many.

    To begin with, when a little bird tells you that “This post may not be accurate,” don’t use the post as a bludgeon. If it’s an interesting article, go ahead and use it in some creative way, but not as a club.

    And here’s a really creative angle that you came up with and buried:

    “Look: even if all you care about is policy, the fact is that cushioning the blows from this horrible law make it less likely that it will be repealed. And repeal is what is needed. Until there is a free-market solution to health care, we’re on a slow march towards a single-payer system”

    Bravo! That should have been your lede. Axing ObamaCare was a major Trump campaign theme. If Trump is to follow through on this promise – and we all know he wants to follow through – he must stand firm against attempts to make the law more palatable. “Let Trump be Trump,” should have been your cry! The Trumpers would have loved you for it. And it would have been true.

    Instead you parrot Suderman and attack Trump for what some bureaucrat, thinking like a bureaucrat, has come up with. I don’t like this Obama-esque approach to impact mitigation, but it surely doesn’t merit your hyperbole. Are you even certain that Trump is even aware of this change and has signed on to it? Moreover, do you honestly think this small change – which, apparently is no change at all – falls outside the scope of Chevron/Auer deference?

    If you are worried about king-making, you might want to take a harder look at the judiciary. They are the ones who gave us Chevron.

    The idea that the bureaucracy should try to come up with new and creative ways to enforce federal law, in the least burdensome way permissible under the law, fits my idea of conservative thinking. There are pitfalls to this approach, but that’s true of any policy implementation. If anything, the bureaucracy has made a practice of erring in the direction of overly punitive enforcement. This new direction – getting the government off our backs – comes as a breath of fresh air.

    As a postscript, I’d like to suggest a little mental exercise for you: every time you read something that is critical of Trump, no matter how credible you view the source, try playing devil’s advocate. Turn the argument upside down and see if the logic works in the opposite direction. Apply Occum’s razor. Bend over backwards to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. And, finally, wait a day before bringing out the bludgeon. One day is a small price for the credibility in confers.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  82. This new direction – getting the government off our backs – comes as a breath of fresh air.

    Was it a breath of fresh air when Obama delayed the employer mandate with no Congressional authorization? That was announced by a bureaucracy too, by the way.

    I can’t tell if your argument is: it’s OK because Trump doesn’t know about it or I’m glad Trump is doing this or if the bureaucracy does this it’s the courts’ fault.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  83. I too checked on the admin side and can confirm Patterico’s account of events.

    JVW (6e49ce)

  84. And there is no reason not to use it as a club because even if this represents no change that means Obama did it too and guess what that’s not good either.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  85. Thank you, JVW.

    Patterico (5890f2)

  86. ThOR:

    Turn the argument upside down and see if the logic works in the opposite direction.

    That’s what Patterico asks readers to do with Trump. If you cheer when Trump does it, you better have cheered when Obama did it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  87. You encourage Patterico to “Bend over backwards to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.” Did you do that with Obama?

    DRJ (15874d)

  88. Perhaps you did and, if so, what time period is required for giving new Presidents a chance before it’s okay to criticize them?

    DRJ (15874d)

  89. I certainly see a shift in the tone.

    It went from an E flat to an F sharp — no question about it.

    But, then again, I’m no musician (which is probably obvious).

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  90. I wonder if this election has made some people think it’s acceptable and even cool to say anything they feel like saying. It certainly worked for Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  91. A bureaucrat, using bureaucrat logic, saw this as a way to follow through on an executive directive. I don’t like the approach, though I do give the proponent good marks for what I presume is a best effort. The President asked; a bureaucrat somewhere in the IRS responded.

    I do not take an absolutist view of this issue, but instead see the Obama/Trump question as a matter of proportion. Obama’s machinations were in pursuit of pure political power. They were naked evasions of the law intended to promote Obama’s signature domestic policy. By contrast, the re-authorization of last year’s rule to cover this year’s tax returns, is stopgap measure to a law that, at a minimum, will be substantially revised and may well be repealed in the very near future. It is a relatively inconsequential footnote to the Trump presidency for which I see no ulterior motive of any great measure. Again, when it comes to politics, as I have mentioned here in the past, I see absolutism as a dead end.

    I don’t believe this is the best course. I think Trump should concur, though I don’t claim to understand him well enough to say he “would” concur. However, a good administrator allows underlings to come up with policies that ostensibly carry out the vision of the administrator, even if those policies don’t mirror the thinking of the boss, so long as the policies don’t stray from the norm. Clearly, this policy generally advances the stated goal of the administration and does not stray from the norm. Moreover, I think an effective administrator lets underlings attend to the details. I think Trump is a good administrator and would be inclined to defer. For what I view as a small potatoes issue, that would be okay with me. Furthermore, I’m not about to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    A great deal of executive overreach is nothing more than bureaucratic overreach that has been rubber stamped by the judiciary. I don’t like executive overreach; I particularly dislike overreach by the unelected drones who hide in our bureaucracies, anonymously shape policy, and crush anyone who stands in their way; and, generally speaking, I blame the court for permitting this overreach and, especially, for enabling the reprehensible slobs who populate civil service.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  92. I’m assuming that the IRS can still go after people who don’t have healthcare. They just won’t automatically reject tax returns that doesn’t indicate whether the person is insured or not.

    And as even the left admits, IRS has never rejected silent returns.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/02/no-irs-has-not-gutted-obamacares-individual-mandate

    Yes, the law is the law. But as in all things (especially immigration) there are gray areas. Obama probably met with dozens of activists who proclaimed their undocumented status with pride. It would have been difficult for many republicans to urge ICE to deport them on the spot for many practical reasons.

    Most Americans are warming up to criminal justice of decriminalization of drugs and behavior, which involves the government turning a “blind eye” to enforcing troublesome laws – like writing too many parking tickets and going after people selling sticks of cigs. It discourages the heavy hand of government and is favored by libertarians. I didn’t want the IRS to snoop all over my affairs and subject me to their audits (as they insist that “the law is the law, chum”) BEFORE Obamacare – over some negligible oversights. Had the IRS actually rejected silent return to the letters of the law it would have led to many complications.

    I admit I couldn’t STAND Obama. I detested his “you guys won’t work with me so I’ll go on my own” rationale for his EO abuses. My socially conservative parents all but disowned him as POTUS. It gives me great pleasure at hearing about insurers pulling out of the exchange and Trump working to undermine the law.

    Of course the conservative in me urges me not to hold Trump accountable. But given that both sides were always selective in enforcing the law (occasionally for the real benefit of the public) I won’t go out of my way to be pedantic. If Trump just nullifies the individual mandate on his own whim, I’ll question whether he has authority to do so. But it seems like all Trump did was allow the IRS to carry on the Obama era policy of accepting silent returns. If the dems think Obama was wrong on that, let them take it to court.

    lee (55777a)

  93. I meant to say “Of course the conservative in me urges me to hold Trump accountable.”

    lee (55777a)

  94. Fire every lawyer alive.

    mg (31009b)

  95. And the dead democrat lawyers still voting, kill them thrice.

    mg (31009b)

  96. If perverted Mitt Romney’s slicked-up boytoy Paul Ryan was doing his job this wouldn’t even be an issue would it nope

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  97. Wow. What happened here?

    DRJ (15874d)

  98. yes yes yes koskinen is no good

    he’s as corrupt than James Comey if not moreso

    he certainly lies with more enthusiasm

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  99. er

    he’s as corrupt *as* James Comey i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  100. lee (55777a) — 2/16/2017 @ 12:58 am

    Had the IRS actually rejected silent return to the letters of the law it would have led to many complications.

    And an inability of many people to file accurate returns.

    I see that Form 8965 is only for exemptions. Nowhere in the Form 1040 instructions, does it tell you how to calculate the tax.

    There’s are some worksheets in the Form 8965 instructions where you can calculate the Shared Responsibility Payment. You can calculate the dollar amount on page 18, provided, of course, that you know for how many months, you, or any member of your household for which you claim or can claim an exemption, did not have coverage in 2016, which you can get by determining what months and what periods are NOT included in any of your Form 1095s, minus any months and persons where the insurance obligation does not apply, and you should receive any and all Form 1095s that should be coming to you by the middle of March.

    There is every attempt to wave you away from doing that calculation.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  101. 94. lee (55777a) — 2/16/2017 @ 12:58 am

    I’m assuming that the IRS can still go after people who don’t have healthcare. They just won’t automatically reject tax returns that doesn’t indicate whether the person is insured or not.

    All the IRS can do, if it finds a deficiency here, is withhold that amount from the next refund.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  102. they can also target you based on what they think your political beliefs are and make your life a living hell

    this is one of several innovations John Koskinen has brought to the process

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  103. I am a lifelong Republican. I voted for every Republican presidential candidate from 1968 to 2004.

    he couldn’t bring himself to vote for Meghan’s coward daddy or pervy Mitt Romney?

    oh my goodness

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  104. Too much of a jock sniffer or needed to be “with it” at all costs. Palin did put a lot of his ilk off, though.

    urbanleftbehind (43762d)

  105. It’s “behead” you moron. How’s that assimilation going all the leftists are touting?

    https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HfK12kpKe-k/WKToDE9VHaI/AAAAAAABF44/QhAgFcFfIewY2A5W8IjzWEBge8GE1PA8gCLcB/s1600/1ninetymilesu8Nsf1tb3eifo1_500.jpg

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  106. Maybe it’s this kind of beheading he has in mind: http://www.indiewire.com/2009/05/6-sex-scenes-that-are-hard-for-guys-to-watch-227273/

    urbanleftbehind (43762d)

  107. Wasn’t that the prize for the runner-ups at Pam Geller’s Mohammed cartoon contest?

    — Ms. Geller, what are the prizes for your cartoon contest?
    — Well, the second to fifth place runners up will get a blowjob from me.
    — And the first prize?
    — $2.19 cash.

    nk (dbc370)

  108. It’s a joke, Hoagie. Like “Hands Up, Don’t Loot”. Some smartass teenager photoshopped “Behead” into “Give Head”.

    nk (dbc370)

  109. I’m aware nk, it was sent to me as a joke by my sister this morning. I figured we could use a laugh and I could make a point. Obviously my assininery missed the mark on both. Sorry.

    Rev. Hoagie® (785e38)

  110. I thought it was funny, Hoagie.

    nk (dbc370)

  111. Well were not going to review how Obama’s behavior over 15 years, made him unsuitable for anything lower than dog catcher.

    narciso (d1f714)

  112. I certainly see a shift in the tone.

    It went from an E flat to an F sharp — no question about it.

    But, then again, I’m no musician (which is probably obvious).

    I’m … not sure what is meant by that. Please tell me you are not trying to defend Elissa’s indefensible accusation against me. If so then I will demand that you explain just exactly what you mean. I added an update and that is it, and you had damn well better not be implying otherwise. Admit you are not please, or explain yourself.

    Patterico (74f607)

  113. Blame it on superman, who chased the wrong squirrel all day,

    narciso (d1f714)

  114. elissa has returned to post this:

    Here is an original quote from near the beginning of the All Hail The King thread post as constructed yesterday morning. I know it was this way when I commented @8:50a.m. , because I copied the quote directly from the post.

    ==The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law. This does not sound legal. Suderman quotes experts differing on the matter. Michael Cannon, an ObamaCare expert, says Trump can’t do this:==

    At that point SPQR had indeed alerted Patterico to an update to the article at Reason which added some important and relevant-to-the -discussion new information and Patterico had acknowledged SPQR and appended his short note at the bottom of the post (which was the proper course).

    This is the opening for the blog post as it exists today. I do not know if it is the same as last evening.:

    ==At Reason.com, Peter Suderman reports that the IRS has passed a rule that says they will accept tax returns that don’t indicate whether someone has health coverage. If the report is accurate, the ObamaCare mandate is now optional. It’s pursuant to President Trump’s executive order softening the impact of ObamaCare:==

    I do not know how the inner workings and timestamps of blogger work. I do see that Patterico has agreed here that he made changes for clarity. “That is not a substantive change at all, but rather tightens up the language, makes it more active and punchy, and avoids saying “that says” twice in a row.” And earlier he stated, “Be . . . cause . . . there is an update? Based on Suderman’s update? Yes. I do know that. I wrote the update.”

    Finally, I did not call you dishonest. I did not call you a liar. You and others conjured that. What I did say is that changes to published posts whether large or small are supposed to be annotated when they occur.

    I agree this was a waste of time.

    elissa (3ccd22)

  115. “THE OTHER SIDE OF OBAMACARE: Millions Excluded from Obamacare Aid, Pass on Coverage.

    “It’s hard to tell people who don’t see health care needs in the year ahead that they should be paying premiums and higher deductibles to make the system work for everyone else,” says JoAnn Volk, a senior research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “But the going-in idea is that you’ll need health insurance at some point.”

    To 42-year-old Tiffany, one of several people U.S. News spoke with whose last names are being withheld to protect their privacy, the costs of coverage to her and her husband this year were overwhelming: $1,221.20 per month, with an $11,700 deductible. If they were to divorce, they realized, they would qualify for cheaper coverage. Alternatively, Tiffany’s husband, who is self-employed, would need to make an extra $20,000 a year to make up the difference once medication and doctor visits are factored in.

    Though the option of ending their 17-year marriage wasn’t truly on the table, to them it accentuated the lack of options they faced this year. The Columbus, Ohio-area residents already had been unhappy with the plan they bought the previous year, finding that it covered few of the services they needed. Their regular medical needs include providing medication for a daughter with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and another with mild asthma.

    As a family of five making between $115,000 and $125,000 a year, they did not qualify for subsidies. And doctors in the plans available were far away.

    “This year, I just cried,” Tiffany says of the moment she saw how much insurance was going to cost them. “I’m not an emotional person. I was just floored. I completely shut down because there were no options.”

    Somebody needs to tell JoAnn Volk that the choice between going broke now for certain, or taking a chance on going broke later, is no choice at all.

    Anyway, ObamaCare sticks it to the middle and upper-middle class because, as Willie Sutton is supposed to have said, that’s where the money is.”

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/257504/

    Colonel Haiku (8f010c)

  116. People seem to have lost all sense of proportion. They see offense where and when none was intended. Thin-skinned. Flinty.

    Colonel Haiku (8f010c)

  117. The reason I enjoy this blog, even when the comments haven’t been awesome, is the bloggers are (with the a single exception back in the Weinergate days) very honest here. They understand that admitting their mistakes and admitting their changes of heart do not diminish their credibility. I’ve seen Patterico change his mind or admit his mistake in the open many times, with no sense of regret that he’s being honest.

    It’s a sign of the times that this isn’t the recipe for the heights of success in blogging that it used to be, but at the very least we can give Patterico credit for being a stand up guy who doesn’t lie to us. I can understand why he’s not pleased with elissa.

    Elissa, try to see things from the other point of view, in good faith. You’ll be a better and more persuasive commenter for the extra effort.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  118. The quote you lifted from the post IS THERE NOW. You said I changed something after you posted your comment at 8:50, Elissa. We all saw that accusation. I changed nothing. What did I change? I want an answer.

    You accused me of being unerhical. A light editing of a couple of words to make a sentence active and eliminate a redundancy within 90 seconds is not unethical. Tweaking an update over the course of 3 minutes is not unethical. What did I do that is unethical? I want an answer.

    You said readers “know better” than what I had just said. What did that mean? It looks like you’re saying I should not be believed. If not? What DID it mean? I want an answer.

    I want an answer to these three questions, Elissa.

    You don’t get to just walk away whistling as if your blatantly false accusations were correct and do not require an apology. Not without a crushing hit to your credibility, that is.

    Answer the three questions I just asked, please. You made the accusations. Now you back them up or everyone will see that you cannot.

    Patterico (74f607)

  119. “This is a change to how the IRS is choosing to enforce it

    What’s wrong with that statement is that that is NOT a change, but rather, a cancellation of a change that the Obama administration scheduled to take effect after they were gone.

    I know it was previously the case for tax returns filed in 2015 for the tax year 2014 that tax returns where no box was checked was processed. A friend delayed filing until October 15, IIRC, and finally just sent it with the box blank. There was no road for getting an exemption number.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  120. I think it’s easier to assume that the it’s Will do nothing that serves it’s own interests, the ‘reform’ to the eitc is another form of sabotage, this indeterminate rule is yet another example.

    narciso (e03e6b)

  121. Exemptions were selectively doled out if you had the right connections.

    Colonel Haiku (8f010c)

  122. People seem to have lost all sense of proportion. They see offense where and when none was intended. Thin-skinned. Flinty.

    Colonel, either stay out of this or explain 1) what “unethical” change I made, 2) how I substantively changed the post after 8:50 am yesterday, and 3) what it means to say that people “know better” after I make a true statement.

    You, and every other damned person that wants to insinuate themselves into this and take Elissa’s side in this, are going to be held equally responsible for defending her words. I will NOT have people accuse me of changes I did not make, accuse me of a lack of ethics, or accuse me of saying something deliberately false. That is what she has done and if you are going to argue with me about it then you explain at length, chapter and verse, what she meant. Do NOT tell me not to get offended on my own blog when someone accuses me of being unethical or lying.

    Stay the fuck out of this or go all the way, Colonel. This is serious to me and if you want to get involved then you adopt her position as your own and take responsibility for the same false and nasty claims.

    Do NOT tell me not to respond forcefully when I am accused of a lack of ethics, sir.

    Patterico (74f607)

  123. Isn’t that typical of how Obama handled his business? Delay all the ugly side of his legislation until it’s no longer his watch.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  124. (my comment was a reply to Sammy, which I should have made clear)

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  125. Maybe in the future, our bloggers will publicly denote where and when they have made edits to a post, even if it’s something as simple as a spelling error that they fixed.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  126. SWC, since you made some cryptic comment about a change in tone:

    1. Do you contend I acted unethically in any way?
    2. Do you contend that I changed my post in any way after 8:50 am yesterday?
    3. Do you contend I changed anything of substance other than adding an update?
    4. Do you contend commenters here “know better” than to believe me when I say my only substantive change was adding an update.

    These are simple yes or no questions. Elissa has made each of the above four false accusations and now pretends she is in the right. Do you agree with even a single one of these false accusations? I ask because of your cryptic “tone” comment. I do not care at this post not to split hairs about the extent to which the update changes the post. So do not go off on a tangent about that. That is not what this current discussion is about. I always acknowledged making the update and this is about several false accusations made by a commenter here who wants to pretend either that she didn’t make them or that she was right to do so. I am not letting this go and I will stay focused on those false accusations and the complete lack of basis for them.

    Patterico (74f607)

  127. I apologize to you, Patterico, and to other commenters for being the one who set off this firestorm over what is in fact an important discussion to have. And yes, I am now walking away. I admit I have confirmation biases which come out in my writing as do we all.

    elissa (3ccd22)

  128. Maybe in the future, our bloggers will publicly denote where and when they have made edits to a post, even if it’s something as simple as a spelling error that they fixed.

    That is not what she was fucking talking about and you know it. Do not recharacterize her false accusations. I am serious. Stay the fuck out of this or defend the actual false things she said. This is NOT a time to engage in your reflexive bullshit. Think. You have no idea how seriously I take this.

    Patterico (74f607)

  129. I’m unclear what you’re apologizing for, Elissa, and I think that having made your very specific and detailed false accusations that the decent thing for you to do would be to admit with specificity what you got wrong and apologize for it.

    I do not accept the apology in its current form because you have not done that.

    Patterico (74f607)

  130. Cruz supporter:

    Please answer the four questions I put to SWC. Be very careful in your answers. Take it as deadly serious.

    Patterico (74f607)

  131. Maybe in the future, our bloggers will publicly denote where and when they have made edits to a post, even if it’s something as simple as a spelling error that they fixed.

    Cruz Supporter

    Nothing worse than passive aggressive partisans trying to say something without actually having the stones to say it.

    It’s pretty obvious a Trump fan tried to dishonestly paint a Trump critic as unethical, was called out, and now the same slew of trolls are suggesting the real problem wasn’t the dishonest accusation… why we can just ignore that! The real problem is that the Trump critic must be wrong in some vague way. Somehow, without any need to explain, the Trump fan who actually did the wrong should be overlooked, and once again it’s the Trump critic who needs to change their ways for unexplained reasons.

    I’m still waiting for Cruz Supporter to change its name to something less dishonest.

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  132. Anyone who wants to suggest the changes I made are unethical is gone. I hope that is clear.

    Patterico (74f607)

  133. Colonel Haiku, please answer the four questions I put to SWC. understand I will not let this go. Anyone else who wants to butt in will also have the same questions put to them. I am still waiting for Elissa to answer them.

    Patterico (74f607)

  134. And when I say “butt in” I mean suggest, insinuate, imply that Elissa was right in any way.

    I appreciate the comments of Dustin and DRJ etc. they are on the side of truth.

    There will be no post this morning. This is taking up my entire morning.

    Patterico (74f607)

  135. Maybe Dana or JVW will have something. Not me.

    Patterico (74f607)

  136. I believe elissa is saying the original post is undermined by the Update, and she considers the two to be “very, very different.” I think she believes the Update disproves everything you claimed about Trump because it suggests the IRS is simply continuing an existing policy and Trump might have nothing to do with it, let alone acting “like a King.”

    But … I don’t understand why elissa said: “changes to published posts whether large or small are supposed to be annotated when they occur.” Patterico, Dana and JVW have conclusively shown there were no material changes made other than the Update, which was clearly “annotated.” So Patterico did show all changes, and it is unfair to imply he didn’t. (The only other changes were minor style changes that did not change the substance of any part of the post and happened within 90 seconds. They were similar to fixing minor typos and are not material changes.)

    Perhaps elissa can clarify whether she thinks Patterico has been dishonest or if she simply disagrees with his opinions.

    DRJ (15874d)

  137. elissa said the post was changed after her 8:50 a.m. comment, DRJ.

    Those changes were one by 7:43 am.

    The post was not changed. In fact, the quote she alleged that I unethically whisked away IS STILL THERE. She apparently just didn’t notice that she had grabbed part of the end of a block quote and part of the beginning of my response to it.

    I do not note every typo that I change within a minute or two of publishing. I try to read the post several times before publishing but sometimes you notice a stylistic issue immediately after publishing. My rule is generally that if it is not substantive and it’s within a minute or two I just fix it. But that’s not what we are even talking about and for Cruz Supporter to suggest it is, is just obfuscation. elissa very clearly accused me of a major, substantive change made after she commented. That is something she just imagined.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  138. Patrick — My comment was a joke. An attempt to lighten the mood a bit. I don’t see anything askance in either your comment or in the editing. I’m not sure what Elissa is referring to, and I think there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

    So: No, No, No, No.

    But, the fact that you fear some “cryptic” meaning in my very short and nonsensical post should give you a moment to consider whether sometimes you’re imagining opposition where it doesn’t exist.

    I think your reaction to Elissa is not unwarranted, but you’re a bit quick to snap at any perceived slight — intended or not.

    In the immortal words of Sergeant Hulka — “Lighten up Franics”.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  139. Confrontation is not always pleasant but sometimes people have to confront difficult discussions and resolve them. I think this is one of those times, elissa. I hope you will explain your position.

    DRJ (15874d)

  140. Perhaps elissa can clarify whether she thinks Patterico has been dishonest or if she simply disagrees with his opinions.

    I want her, and the Colonel and Cruz Supporter and SWC and anyone else who wants to suggest that she maybe had a point (if that’s what they’re doing) to answer the questions I asked, which are, I repeat:

    1. Do you contend I acted unethically in any way?
    2. Do you contend that I changed my post in any way after 8:50 am yesterday?
    3. Do you contend I changed anything of substance other than adding an update?
    4. Do you contend commenters here “know better” than to believe me when I say my only substantive change was adding an update.

    I want to add that someone who answers “yes” to #1 because of minor stylistic changes made within a minute or two can pack their things and go.

    I want all of them to either answer these questions or (to the ones who are not elissa) to acknowledge that it was a mistake for them to butt in on this issue, which is very important to me and which is wasting hours of my time. I take accusations of lack of ethics or lying or misleading very seriously, and elissa made all three sets of accusations.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  141. Patterico, sir, I haven’t had time to follow the thread closely. I haven’t insinuated in any way that you made any changes or did anything unethical.

    I only happened to skim a few of the recent morning comments and saw that elissa mentioned in #117 that annotation of edits might be helpful in the future, so in #128 I was second-ing that suggestion, that’s all.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  142. But, the fact that you fear some “cryptic” meaning in my very short and nonsensical post should give you a moment to consider whether sometimes you’re imagining opposition where it doesn’t exist.

    I think your reaction to Elissa is not unwarranted, but you’re a bit quick to snap at any perceived slight — intended or not.

    In the immortal words of Sergeant Hulka — “Lighten up Franics”.

    SWC, this is not a joking matter to me, and anyone who is insinuating themselves into it may be suggesting that I am unethical, that I lied, or that I mislead. It’s the wrong time for a joke and it’s the wrong time to insinuate yourself in the situation other than to clearly state, as you did just now, which I appreciate, that I have not lied or been unethical or deliberately misled people. When I am being accused of such things is not the time to lecture me on whether I am overreacting. That sort of comment is not appreciated right now. You say my reaction to elissa is not unwarranted. Good. You are right about that. Leave it at that for now and save your unrelated criticisms for another time please.

    Thank you for answering the questions clearly, SWC. Colonel? Cruz Supporter? Please do the same.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  143. See, right there again in 143 you jump to a ridiculous conclusion based on my 3 line joke.

    I know you didn’t see my 142 before you posted – we obviously cross-posted.

    But I suspect you might be the only person who read my 91 and thought it was in any way supportive of Elissa’s criticism.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  144. Cruz Supporter,

    That’s good enough, thank you. I take that as a “no” to all four questions. Please stay out of this now. First of all you’re wrong about whether the very minor stylistic edits I made should require an annotation, in my very considered opinion, and second of all that is not the issue and unless you are going to fully acquaint yourself with the details of what elissa has accused me of, it’s best for you to stay out of this.

    Thank you for answering the questions. Colonel? You’re the last one besides elissa.

    1. Do you contend I acted unethically in any way?
    2. Do you contend that I changed my post in any way after 8:50 am yesterday?
    3. Do you contend I changed anything of substance other than adding an update?
    4. Do you contend commenters here “know better” than to believe me when I say my only substantive change was adding an update.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  145. I read her comment that way, too, Patrick, but I believe it also possible to read her initial comments as saying the “change” was in tone, not words.

    However, the fact that she returned this morning to complaining about changes to words undermines that interpretation.

    DRJ (15874d)

  146. And the criticism is not “unrelated” — it’s not about your reaction to Elissa, its about your reaction to my 91.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  147. See, right there again in 143 you jump to a ridiculous conclusion based on my 3 line joke.

    No, I didn’t. I said “if that’s what they’re doing.” Please go back and read that. What do you think I meant by that? Why do you pretend I didn’t say that? I didn’t know what you meant by the comment. That’s why I insisted that you answer the questions, to clarify.

    Now is just not the time to distract me with this stuff. What do I have to say to you to make this clear?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  148. I read her comment that way, too, Patrick, but I believe it also possible to read her initial comments as saying the “change” was in tone, not words.

    I initially thought that she was just saying that the update totally changed the meaning of the post and reacted to her based on that assumption. But then it became increasingly clear that she accusing me of changing the post wholesale. I think if you go back and re-read the entirety of what was said you’ll see what I mean.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  149. You encourage Patterico to “Bend over backwards to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.” Did you do that with Obama?

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/15/2017 @ 11:12 pm

    Perhaps you did and, if so, what time period is required for giving new Presidents a chance before it’s okay to criticize them?

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/15/2017 @ 11:19 pm

    Remember 2008. Remember people asking us to think Obama won’t be that bad. To give him a chance. I do.

    And I am not saying anyone used those exact words. Just the essence.

    NJRob (43d957)

  150. “But I suspect you might be the only person who read my 91 and thought it was in any way supportive of Elissa’s criticism.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Uh, no. Words mean things – even in Trump’s America.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  151. swc, I thought your 91 was supporting elissa. It struck me as a way to use Patrick’s interest in music to chide him about his tone, which is something I think elissa does.

    DRJ (15874d)

  152. Patterico, as I just wrote to you, I support your defending your own honesty and integrity 100%.

    We live in a “smear culture” where it is acceptable to defame, ridicule, and lie about others with impunity.

    You have honor. It’s refreshing to see.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  153. In the immortal words of Sergeant Hulka — “Lighten up Francis”.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591) — 2/16/2017 @ 7:21 am

    I believe those were the immortal words of Deadpool to Ajax.

    NJRob (43d957)

  154. I agree with your comment 151, Patrick, and I read her comments the same way at the time. I think she should answer your four questions to clear this up, and I hope all her answers are No.

    DRJ (15874d)

  155. 49.

    SF on 2/15/2017 @ 12:23 pm:

    Besides which, Congress will probably have repealed it by then, and they will drop the claims so that people don’t have to pay it, but they won’t refund the money that people actually already paid.

    50. Leon (1bee31) — 2/15/2017 @ 4:38 pm


    You have a lot more confidence in the Republican congress than I Sammy. I’ve grown a tad cynical about McConnell and Ryan myself.

    No, I’m cynical. That’s why I say they’ll repeal the mandate, and drop the claims, but NOT refund any money.

    But they have to repeal the mandate before the 2018 election.

    The Congressional Budget Office will give them enough trouble over repealing the mandate for the future, so they won’t refund any money, because that they don’t have to do.

    It’s collecting the money (by withholding refunds) that could cause political problems, and so far, I don’t think that’s happened.

    Even a Democratic Congress and president would strive not to collect the money (at least from people earning less than $75,000 a year) but they would maybe leave it in there in the law for the people in the CBO, who, by law, have to assume that the money will be paid if their bosses tell them it will.

    In any case, money will not be forcibly collected. It was originally designed that way, actually, in fact.

    Congress knew what it was doing when they passed Obamacare, and they didn’t want that to happen. They didn’t treat it like any other tax that was owed, and certainly not like a guaranteed student loan (where nobody thought anyone woud trace it back to Congress)

    They specially provided that the amount owed could only be collected by withholding tax refunds (and some other payments by the U.S. Treasury) and none of the tools and tactics used for other instances of noncompliance could be used.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XCT-jcpRr5gJ:https://www.aol.com/2015/06/25/can-you-really-ignore-obamacare-penalty/%2Bobamacare+refund+penalty+only&hl=en&gbv=2&ct=clnk

    One of the strangest elements of the Affordable Care Act is that after going to all the trouble of creating penalties for not having adequate health care coverage, the law does almost nothing to give the IRS any power to enforce the penalty provisions. Specifically, the law forbids the IRS from using its typical collection actions, including filing a notice of a tax lien. Ordinarily, that would allow the IRS to attach a lien to items including bank accounts, personal assets, or even your wage income. Moreover, the IRS isn’t allowed to impose any other penalties related to unpaid taxes or to begin criminal prosecution proceedings for failure to pay the penalty voluntarily.

    Indeed, the only way the IRS can collect the Obamacare penalty is by deducting it from the refund you’d otherwise be due. If you don’t have a refund coming to you, then the penalty amount simply carries forward to future years, presumably accumulating interest but otherwise being practically unenforceable.

    The Democrats who passed the bill in 2010 knew what they were doing.

    They didn’t want any political trouble.

    Now, after the 2016 presidential election, the Obama Administration did make some plans to enforce it, or at least pretend to:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/11/irs_to_target_taxpayer_not_on_obamacare.html

    Noveber 28, 2016…

    The IRS is ready to send out millions of letters to taxpayers to let them know that if they don’t sign up for an Obamacare health insurance plan, they will have to pay the penalty.

    Republicans in Congress are objecting to the plan because it threatens the privacy of individual taxpayers

    That last sentence really should read:

    Republicans in Congress are objecting to the plan on the specious grounds that it threatens the privacy of individual taxpayers.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  156. If person A attacks my ethics and truthfulness and person B comes in making a comment that looks like it may be supporting person B, person B now has my full attention. I will want to know if person B agrees with the accusations by person A. That is not the time to tell me to lighten up. Attacks on my ethics or truthfulness are not a joking matter.

    This should not be difficult to explain.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  157. Leon @50:

    I mean, for six years they’ve been telling us how if only they had the power they would repeal and replace in an instant,

    I don’t think they ever said in an instant, but the House passed bills repealing it, without replacing it, maybe 100 times, precisely because they knew it would never become law.

    In the last Congress it even passed the Senate, and Obama vetoed it.

    http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/267963-house-fails-to-override-veto-of-obamacare-repeal

    The House on Tuesday failed to override President Obama’s veto of legislation that would have repealed much of ObamaCare and defunded Planned Parenthood.

    The result was expected, given that an override would have required Democratic support to succeed, but Republicans praised the vote as showing what could happen next year if their party wins back the White House…

    Which was not true.

    Now Donald Trump took seriously the REPLACE part of it, and said they both had to be passed at about the same time, if I interpret him correctly.

    And the truth is, there wasn’t majority in Congress for doing one without the other.

    Some Republicans wanted to repeal it and write the replacement later, but Donald Trump said no (without specifically saying he would veto such a bill) and that strangled the idea in its cradle.

    And it wasn’t even maybe the fear that Congress would not successfully pass a bill, but simply that insurance companies need some certainty about what the law is going to be a year or two from now in order to create policies and price them and get them approved by state regulators; or otherwise people would find their insurance policies expiring at the end of 2017 or 2018 with no replacement in sight.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  158. Leon:

    but now they have the power they tell us they haven’t really thought through any plan to replace it with. WTF!

    That’s news? They never did, and it was always obvious.

    And I’ll tell you what the real problem is with REPLACE.

    The math in Obamacare doesn’t add up.

    If you’re going to come up with a substitute, it’s going to cost more money! at least until any deflationary effects of the new system kick in. No matter how you slice it.

    Obamacare always underestimated the cost, (the costs were hidden in corners) but if an entitlement costs more money than expected, the Congressional Budget Office doesn’t require any offsets. It only requires offsets when there’s a change in the law

    And not only would replacing Obamacare change the law, the Republioan system would probably involve fixed appropriations of money, either in tax refunds, or special payments for high risk coverage, or payments to the states. So every penny it will cost will be in the CBO estimates.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  159. I hope you aren’t trying to start the “good man” argument here, NJrob, especially now. That would be a mistake on every level.

    DRJ (15874d)

  160. 154: LOL — see, humor just doesn’t always translate.

    You are correct that it was a un-stated comment on Patrick’s interest in music — which is a facet of this site that I deeply appreciate. I learn a lot about music from him, even though I don’t really have much of an ear for music myself. Its a big regret that I have — I learned to play the trumpet when I was young, but quit when I didn’t get to switch to the Sax like I wanted. Now in my 50s, I desperately want one of my kids to play the piano so I can just sit and listen to them play. My 15 year old is starting to play the guitar, and even though he’s just learning chords, I like to listen to him practicing.

    So, yes, referencing the “tone”, and then making an nonsensical comment about two musical notes (I’m not even sure they are real notes), was an attempt to lighten the thread a bit AND make it a musical double entendre directed at Patrick.

    I know he sometimes feels “under assault” on his own blog. Knowing what I know from my off-the-net discussions with him about how much effort he has put in to creating this community, I wish 1) he didn’t feel that way, and 2) he wasn’t given so much reason from guests here to feel that way.

    Even though he and I disagree more now than in the past, I’ve tried to be mindful about keeping the disagreements substantive so he and I can BOTH enjoy the debate.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  161. The IRS has never made a serious attempt to collect the penalty/tax. If they did, they’d demand that people prove they were covered by stating who covered them. This would complicate even the simplest returns, and few returns could be filed before about March 15. Form 1040 EZ would no longer be easy, except for dependents.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  162. That’s cool, SWC. I see your point of view, I’m just not sure, when you made that comment, that you fully realize how disruptive these accusations have been and how upset I am about that. I didn’t assume you were supporting her but any comment that looks like it might be support, given the serious nature of the accusations, is going to get a quick and very pointed response.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  163. I hope you aren’t trying to start the “good man” argument here, NJrob, especially now. That would be a mistake on every level.

    DRJ (15874d) — 2/16/2017 @ 7:49 am

    Not at all. I knew from the beginning that Obama and Trump were both “bad men.”

    But we are stuck with who we have for the next 4 years. When he does well he deserves to be praised. He doesn’t deserve the name calling and trash talking I see so much on here from people. He gets enough of that from the fanatical left.

    When he does wrong, call him on it like we did with Bush and trying to pass amnesty and Harriet Myers. Don’t just keep calling him stupid names and expect people to think you’re trying to be reasonable.

    NJRob (43d957)

  164. I can vouch for Patterico’s integrity. I have been coming to his blog, off and on, for over a decade now I believe, and he has never made any substantial changes to any of his posts.

    Tillman (a95660)

  165. Remember people asking us to think Obama won’t be that bad.

    Not really. I certainly never said anything of the sort.

    Patterico (74f607)

  166. NJ Rob, if you’re making a passive aggressive reference to a post of mine, find that post and read it and see what I say about how Obama would be on policy. Report back.

    Don’t do the lazy smear. Find it, read it, quote it.

    You brought this up. Follow through.

    Patterico (74f607)

  167. I’m done being smeared.

    Patterico (74f607)

  168. it’s like the red light camera tickets in california I think

    they can send you the ticket and it’s all okey dokey legally you just don’t have to pay it

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  169. To make it crystal clear that Elissa was not talking about the update changing the meaning of the post I quote this comment of hers:

    so I am glad you saw fit to rewrite it and include more discussion including embrace of Suderman’s information in the body of the post as well. But trying to engage me tonight in a fight over what I wrote with respect to the original post is an insult and I will not play along. An ethical approach would have been for you to announce that you had re-written the piece and had removed the original. You did not do that.

    That quote is when I knew she was not talking about an update but a complete overhaul of the body of the post. An overhaul which never happened except in Elissa’s imagination.

    Patterico (74f607)

  170. That does make elissa’s opinion crystal clear.

    DRJ (15874d)

  171. I hope elissa does not wait a day to respond.

    DRJ (15874d)

  172. http://www.laweekly.com/news/everything-you-need-to-know-about-ignoring-red-light-camera-tickets-5146123

    The letters that were sent out, or supposed to be sent out, in Noveber and December, 2016. were going only to people who had acknowledged, in their 2015 tax returns, filed in 2016, that they owed money for not having insurance in 2015, and warned them that they might owe money again for 2017 (in 2018) if they didn’t get health insurance, and that the exchanges were open only for a limited period of time, and the enrollment period would end, and gave them the dates..

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  173. “It’s a joke, Hoagie. Like “Hands Up, Don’t Loot”. Some smartass teenager photoshopped “Behead” into “Give Head”.”nk

    Sometimes I find myself worrying about our desperately confused younger generation. Then I read something like this and I feel better.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  174. So Colonel, did I do that? Since I didn’t, am I wrong to react forcefully at a false accusation that I did? Tell me more about how I am being thin-skinned, have lost all sense of proportion, and am taking offense where none was intended, when I am being accused of removing a post in an unethical manner.

    Patterico (74f607)

  175. I think Elissa might walk back from that portion of her post if this hadn’t developed into such a “throw-down”. I think she simply made some unwarranted assumptions from the update, thinking that the new info in the link somehow implicated the original analysis, and assumed the original analysis had been changed become some language in the original version of the post was changed.

    In the same way that I think Patrick felt his integrity assaulted by her initial allegation, she now feels beseiged by his demands that she either retract the comment in context (she apologized for starting this foodfight, but not for her original comment which kicked it off), or make a substantive defense of her comment. She has now left for the time being so its pretty much a one-sided argument.

    But the world keeps moving.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  176. Ironically, removing a post in an unethical manner is precisely what I accused Steve Bannon of, which led to him telling me to fuck myself, something Elissa continually portrays as a personal snit on my part.

    Thanks SWC for finding a way to make this my fault. I’m sure when your ethics, integrity, and honesty are under direct assault, you never demand a retraction. Yay for you. Out of here for the morning.

    Patterico (74f607)

  177. NJ Rob, if you’re making a passive aggressive reference to a post of mine, find that post and read it and see what I say about how Obama would be on policy. Report back.

    Don’t do the lazy smear. Find it, read it, quote it.

    You brought this up. Follow through.

    Patterico (74f607) — 2/16/2017 @ 8:15 am

    I’m not smearing you and I didn’t quote you by name for a reason. I’m staying out of your path because I don’t want to get involved in the fight I see on this thread. But I’m not going to support attacking someone we need to pass policy for the benefit of our nation because we find him personally distasteful. I held my nose and voted for McCain. I did the same for Romney. I did the same for Trump. I voted for Bush in 2004 when I lived in Ohio. I haven’t gotten a candidate I wanted since Giuliani in ’96 when I lived in NYC.

    I accept that. I’ve lived in liberal communities most of my life. I won’t get the best candidate light a Lonegan elected though I’ll vote for them any chance I get. But I won’t attack my own side when they aren’t wrong. That’s just giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    NJRob (43d957)

  178. It’s a throwdown because the nature of her accusations demands it. That is her fault, not mine.

    Patterico (74f607)

  179. Trump responds forcefully to his critics and gets cheers from many here, including Patterico when he agrees. I hope commenters will recognize that Patterico is standing up for himself and deserves the same support if you think he is right.

    DRJ (15874d)

  180. Still waiting for that Rashid Khalidi tape to be released.

    NJRob (43d957)

  181. But I won’t attack my own side when they aren’t wrong

    Good, neither will I, nor have I.

    Patterico (74f607)

  182. “You encourage Patterico to “Bend over backwards to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.” Did you do that with Obama?”

    – DRJ

    Yes, at this stage in the Obama presidency I did. Presidential transitions are rocky, as are fundamental transitions in any bureaucratic setting. If you’ve ever worked for a company that was bought out, you’d know what I mean. I give all new Presidents – and all new CEOs, for that matter – a chance to get their ball rolling. It’s only fair.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  183. Ok, I acknowledged that possibility, ThOR, and followed up with a question about how long he is due the deference you suggest. Some people said wait until he is inaugurated. Now you say keep waiting. How long?

    DRJ (15874d)

  184. My realization of who Obama was (an is) came slowly. I wanted to give our new President the benefit of the doubt. I especially wanted to give the first Black President the benefit of the doubt. In this I was not alone. At the time, I was a regular reader of Roger L. Simon, who was a Freedom Rider back in the early 1960s, and I saw in his post my own feelings. The realization of who Obama is came as a “death by 1,000 cuts” to us both.

    It’s not that my ultimate realization of who Obama is differs significantly than my worst fear, early on, about his character. It is just that I set my fears aside, putting my faith in the man and those who elected him. Here’s the weird thing. I’d do it again. I’m doing it now. I will do it the next time a new President takes office, too.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  185. How long? If you criticize someone for criticizing the President “at this stage,” then you must have a timetable. What is it?

    DRJ (15874d)

  186. Mr. Trump reminds me of Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves cause of how he makes all the right moves

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  187. Aaargh – of course it would be a flick based in his margin-of-victory land.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  188. As a political score keeper, not an absolutist, I look to my scorecard. The reason I’m a score keeper is that no politician, living or dead, could live up to my absolutist view and I think it is important to differentiate between office holders better and worse. On my score card, I saw goose eggs all the way down with Obama. Trump, on the other hand, has been putting conservative runs on the board. I will continue to forgive him his errors (which I make a point of counting) just as long as I see an effort is being made to support programs and policies I favor.

    Philosophically, I’m with Gump: “stupid is as stupid does.” So far, I don’t see a lot of stupid doings with Trump. I’d very much like to see the overheated rhetoric about Trump toned down. I don’t think he deserves it. Moreover, I don’t think hating Trump is helpful, if you care about our country and its institutions. As I see it, this sort of rhetoric plays into the hands of an already worryingly large anti-American contingent.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  189. A surgeon and an OR nurse had a dispute at the end of a surgery. The nurse insisted that the count was off and the doctor said he had not left any instruments behind.

    Prior to surgery the nurse had laid out 5x surgical instruments. In the middle of the surgery the doctor had required 1x more and the nurse opened another pack. Instead of writing +1x on the white board she did something (?) that screwed up the count, in her mind alone.

    The doctor argued with her briefly but eventually the head OR nurse and the chief of surgery got involved.

    Protocol was to give the patient an xray, which would put a mark against the doctor and have possible legal ramifications. The doctor was careful and fastidious and insisted that the nurse was incorrect.

    The nurse was in the wrong here. Sure, she faced being banned from the surgeon’s OR. But the doctor’s reputation was on the line and a black mark against him could not stand past the OR’s doors.

    Pinandpuller (5223f0)

  190. What does this episode bring the elissa flounce count up to? Six or seven?

    nk (dbc370)

  191. that is not nice

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  192. I will continue to give President Trump (and all human beings, for that matter) the benefit of the doubt until I see pattern of behavior that demonstrates serious bad faith. With most pols, you don’t have to wait very long. When I think back about the GOP also-rans, I try to imagine where they would fall on the bad faith scale if they had been elected. My guess is that almost all would be outperforming Trump when it comes to bad faith.

    Donald Trump may be a clown, but as politicians go, he proven himself to be among the better actors. Please try not to get lost in his clownishness.

    ThOR (c9324e)

  193. “Donald Trump may be a clown, but as politicians go, he proven himself to be among the better actors. Please try not to get lost in his clownishness.”

    – ThOR

    As we were recently visibly reminded, there is a guy who follows Donald Trump around with a bag containing launch codes for the most destructive weapons human beings have ever invented. Setting aside your ludicrous assertion that Trump has yet to demonstrate serious bad faith, “clownishness” is pretty close to the last thing that anyone should tolerate in a President of the United States.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  194. South Florida Bureau, any thoughts on the Labor appointee (F. Alexander Acosta)?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  195. he’s a slurky harvardtrash second choice what will sail through confirmation and then waste everyone’s time being gay

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  196. just my lil hot take there

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  197. We’ve tolerated clownishness for the past 8 years from a man who was a master of bad faith and you expect me to fret about Trump? Where have your been?

    ThOR (c9324e)

  198. He’s been on the left ThOR. Being a leftist excuses all faults. Didn’t you know that?

    NJRob (7d79d6)

  199. Actually, happyfeet, its a 2-for-1 troll, you’re getting a Ted Cruz doppleganger who fits the CW of what a “Cuban” should be like plus its a finger wag to that one CNN reporter named Acosta.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  200. Today’s Trump presser summary:

    “I tried to run the ship properly, by the book, but they fought me at every turn. The crew wanted to walk around with their shirt tails hanging out, that’s all right, let them. Take the tow line, defective equipment, no more, no less. But they encouraged the crew to go around scoffing at me, and spreading wild rumors about steaming in circles, and then old yellow-strain. I was to blame for Lt. Maryk’s incompetence and poor seamanship. Lt. Maryk was the perfect officer, but not Captain Queeg. Ah, but the strawberries, that’s where I had them, they laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the ward room icebox did exist, and I’ve had produced that key if they hadn’t pulled the Caine out of action. I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officer . . . Naturally, I can only cover these things from memory. If I’ve left anything out, why, just ask me specific questions and I’ll be glad to answer them one by one.”

    “No further questions…” – Lt. Barney Greenwald [Jose Ferrer] ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  201. This guy wouldnt even pass the paper bag test and he’d gas you out of the next stall if they gave him the ice cream test (for lactose intolerance).

    http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/34521384/fbi-arrests-man-allegedly-planning-attack-in-the-spirit-of-dylann-roof?clienttype=generic&utm_content=buffer89ed9&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  202. #203 DCSCA

    Herman Wouk will turn 102 at the end of May!

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  203. ugh that other acosta can’t stop whining

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  204. LOLOLOL

    Leviticus (efada1)

  205. @205- Electoral college, shirt tails, Flynn, tow lines, leaks, disloyal officers, CNN, strawberries.

    Trump out-Bogarted Bogart today.

    “Captain, you’re a sick man.” – Lt. Maryk [Van Johnson] ‘The Caine Mutiny’ 1954

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  206. Costa is a good egg, all told, the heavy has the details

    https://medium.com/@burntoakboy/this-is-fascism-64b98579ed0e#.1rl6b9ch8

    narciso (d1f714)

  207. 179 — See, again you attribute a motive to me where none exists.

    And, just to show you that I share similar experiences, last week for the first time I had a CLIENT OF MINE suggest that I had “planted” a document in his file to undermine his case because he thinks I don’t want to represent him any longer. I won’t give you the back-and-forth, but rather than “shout him down” I made efforts over 3 days to get him to understand why he was mistaken, why the document wasn’t significant in the way he feared it to be, and why the document really helped his case from a strategic standpoint in the litigation in which he’s involved.

    Before I finally convinced him that my view was correct, he accused me 2 more times in writing of having “planted” the document in his file.

    I knew he was wrong, I had a good idea what the provenance of the document was, and it took a little “looking around the corner” to see how it was actually going to work to our advantage in the long run.

    So, yeah, I know. Don’t think I don’t. You’re not in uncharted waters here. It happens. What we can control is our own reactions.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  208. You work for your client, and answer to professional authorities for his or her complaints. Neither is true of the relationship between Patterico and elissa. It’s the wrong analogy. How bout the living room analogy?

    Leviticus (efada1)

  209. Beyond that, Patterico has gone out of his way to make it perfectly clear to any objective observer that he did not do as he was accused of doing or act as he was accused of acting. That’s not “shouting someone down,” that’s calling someone out. There’s a huge difference.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  210. But good for you for “controlling your reactions,” I guess.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  211. In his latest book “Sailor and Fiddler” (a short book, lk his previopus one in 2010 “Te Language God Talks” – Simon and Shuster 2016) Herman Wouk writes a little about how he came to write the book. It only happened maybe (at that time) because somebody else died, Kurt Weill, who was going to make musical out of his play “Aurora Dawn” or because his wife insisted he write the book. He decided to finish the book before getting to work on the musical.

    It was rejected by the publisher who first read it, but he did get an advance for his Navy book (or “the crazy captain book”) but it did not turn out to be an immediate success, being eclipsed for a while by “From Here to Eternity.”

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  212. 125… I guess I don’t give a f*ck enough to do that, patterico, I’m just tired of all this bickering between people that – when all is said and done – really don’t have major differences in what they’d like to see happen in this country. I didn’t interpret elissa’s post to mean anything other than she noted a change of tone, but i haven’t read them all. You’re wonderful, she’s wonderful, Hell, even I’m okay every now and then. It’s gotten to the point that if things were handled as they were in the distant past, there would be bodies scattered from here to Timbuktu.

    I’ll butt out now, before I get even more depressed.

    Colonel Haiku (8f010c)

  213. they’re both wonderful

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  214. I didn’t interpret elissa’s post to mean anything other than she noted a change of tone, but i haven’t read them all.

    If you don’t know what you’re talking about, and you just admitted you don’t, then stay out of it. It is way out of bounds for you to lecture me about being thin-skinned, losing all sense of proportion, or taking offense where none was intended — when you haven’t even bothered to learn what I am upset about.

    Do you normally come upon an argument between two people and start offering your opinion about who is right and who is wrong without knowing what happened? No? Then don’t do it here.

    If you care to learn what the problem is, it is that Elissa accused me of being unethical when I didn’t do what she accused me of. It is not being thin-skinned, losing all sense of proportion, or taking offense where none was intended — those are your words — to react strongly when someone makes false accusations like that. Your little uninformed two cents was not welcome and only made things worse. Next time stay out of arguments when you haven’t bothered to fully understand what is at stake.

    I’ll butt out now

    That’s the smartest thing you have said today. I wish you had decided never to butt in to begin with.

    Patterico (74f607)

  215. And now something to cheer everybody up. Congress doing what the Supremes told them to do in Chevron to overturn an O-reg.

    nk (dbc370)

  216. SWC, Elissa is not my client. I am not interested in yours or anyone else’s criticism of how I am handling this. I view anything like that as an attempt to minimize what she did because you are blaming me and the pressure should be on her, the clear wrongdoer, and not on me. If you have a criticism of my reaction on this issue, email it or save it.

    Anyone who wants to actually defend her on the merits is welcome to do so but you had better be ready to back up what you say, own your own words, and be responsible for them.

    Nobody but nobody has the right to falsely accuse me of unethical behavior on my blog and walk away whistling with a vague non-apology apology that implies I am at fault. By criticizing my reaction to that rather than calling her out, you are giving her aid and comfort and I don’t appreciate it. Stop making it seem like Elissa or anyone else has that right. Nobody does.

    Patterico (74f607)

  217. leviticus:

    Patrick’s post at 82 — which I thought was perfectly appropriate — came at 10:58 last night.

    His next post on the subject was at 6:10 this morning, responding to my “joke”.

    Since that post at 6:10 am, he has commented on the topic 22 times between comment 115 and 184.

    22 out of 69 total comments in that span of time.

    Elissa posted twice in that span, including a “non-apology” apology at comment 130. Nothing sense.

    I can’t see a single comment that defends what she originally wrote, or took her side in the dispute over Patrick’s original article and the edit.

    She said it was a complete waste of time to continue and left.

    Patrick said it was a complete waste of time and ….

    He’s vindicated – he’s right, he was always right. She left because she knew he was right.

    Why has this gone on for 6 hours?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  218. Patrick — read you comment. Here I’ll help you:

    I’m sure when your ethics, integrity, and honesty are under direct assault, you never demand a retraction.

    So I responded with a MUCH MORE SERIOUS real world example, and I how responded to it.

    Your response here to Elissa’s act is how you have responded.

    You’re not interested in views other than your own? Fine.

    This place will be lonely.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  219. I feel like someone who just got sucker-punched for no reason and now has the crowd that saw it happen yammer at me about how I am getting too angry about the punch. What about the person who just delivered the unfair sucker punch? Crowd: oh, she’s great. We love her! But you’re just so angry! Get over that sucker punch, Patterico! Can’t you see you’re the real problem here?

    Patterico (74f607)

  220. Now you’re counting the number of times I commented, SWC? Time for a little time out for you. You don’t get it.

    Patterico (74f607)

  221. Crowd: oh, she’s great. We love her! But you’re just so angry! Get over that sucker punch, Patterico! Can’t you see you’re the real problem here?

    Strawman.

    You can do better.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  222. You’re not interested in views other than your own?

    Yes, that is exactly what any reasonable observer should conclude from my getting unfairly accused of being unethical and then having people like you lecture me on my reaction rather than lecturing the person who made the unfair accusation.

    Since you can’t stop and reflect on this on your own, I’ll help you.

    Stop lecturing the guy who got sucker-punched.

    Patterico (74f607)

  223. Got it, Patterico. You know best.

    Colonel Haiku (8f010c)

  224. You can join SWC’s 24-hour time-out.

    Patterico (74f607)

  225. “Why has this gone on for 6 hours?”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Because people like you keep down-playing the significance of very serious accusations. This isn’t a mystery.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  226. Who else wants to blame me for the offense of getting angry when I am unfairly accused of unethical behavior? Surely there’s someone else.

    Patterico (74f607)

  227. Show me one post where I downplayed the significance of her comment??

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  228. A few people here have managed to figure out that when someone pulls a stunt like Elissa did, that the person who should be blamed is the person who pulled the stunt. Thank you to those people. It does not seem like your common sense should be so rare. But obviously it is.

    Patterico (74f607)

  229. I guess there is a gulf between the people here now. Why must everything be directed at you? There are many of us that frequent your blog who are prone to be easily riled. What I wrote was meant for all to consider. But have it your way, it’s your blog.

    Colonel Haiku (8f010c)

  230. I wonder how SWC would have reacted if, while he dealt with the situation with his client, several third parties came along and kibitzed his handling of the issue, criticizing him in front of the client, making jokes, mocking the amount of effort he put in to the effort of showing he was right, and so forth.

    I dare say that would have made him (or anyone) angry.

    He can reflect on that in moderation.

    Patterico (74f607)

  231. It’s Pat’s choice whether or not to accept my apology. I wish he would. It was offered sincerely.

    I sang at a funeral this morning. At the end of the homily the priest said,: “*L* loved God, loved her family, loved her friends, loved music and loved life. She didn’t waste a moment of it. As tribute to *L.* I say to all you mourners gathered here today– at the end when the Book of Life is read, know that a wasted minute is something never to be gotten back.”

    This is not a flounce. It is recognition that Patterico will be much happier and hopefully more calm if I am not on his site anymore and so I am going to oblige. It will be better for me this way, too.

    elissa (3ccd22)

  232. i disagree with you going away because i think you add value

    this too shall pass

    and it will be so good

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  233. I am sorry for your loss. That is obviously more important and may have had you out of sorts.

    But it does not feel like a sincere apology because you did not explain what you did wrong. I do not care to have people here who falsely accuse me of unethical behavior and can’t articulate a clear and unmistakable regret for having done so falsely. You’re clearly unwilling to do that, and as long as that remains true, I do not want you to comment here.

    Patterico (74f607)

  234. Sorry if you lost someone close to you, elissa. But none of this has been wasted time. This has been an argument about principles, and those arguments are always worth the effort.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  235. You’re not interested in views other than your own?

    Yes, that is exactly what any reasonable observer should conclude from my getting unfairly accused of being unethical and then having people like you lecture me on my reaction rather than lecturing the person who made the unfair accusation.

    How about these:

    When I am being accused of such things is not the time to lecture me on whether I am overreacting. That sort of comment is not appreciated right now. You say my reaction to elissa is not unwarranted. Good. You are right about that. Leave it at that for now and save your unrelated criticisms for another time please.

    Now is just not the time to distract me with this stuff. What do I have to say to you to make this clear?

    That is not the time to tell me to lighten up. Attacks on my ethics or truthfulness are not a joking matter.
    This should not be difficult to explain.

    I am not interested in yours or anyone else’s criticism of how I am handling this. I view anything like that as an attempt to minimize what she did because you are blaming me and the pressure should be on her, the clear wrongdoer, and not on me. If you have a criticism of my reaction on this issue, email it or save it.
    ….

    By criticizing my reaction to that rather than calling her out, you are giving her aid and comfort and I don’t appreciate it.

    Yep – those are invitations to a meaningful dialogue — just on your terms and your’s alone.

    See, I have never once taken Elissa’s side, yet you have turned this into a confrontation between you and I by treating my comments as if I had. That’s on you.

    Elissa was wrong — but she’s been gone for hours. How many posts should I put up to someone who is not here telling her she’s wrong? How many would salve your wound? Because the only point of such posts would be to make a tally of the scorecard between the two of you.

    But instead of taking a step back, realizing your point was WELL MADE AND ENDORSED BY YOUR COMMENTS COMMUNITY — how many have supported Elissa? — you instead turn your agitation on those of us who are saying “Hey Patrick, turn with us to some other important things going on.”

    I think its a HUGE STORY unfolding that not only has the IC has scalped Flynn, but now it looks like the Press is FULLY involved since day 2 reporting seems to be consistent that the transcripts of Flynn’s conversations with the Russian Ambassador have NOTHING in them considered to be consequential.

    But I guess we could keep talking about how you are right and Elissa is wrong.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  236. Don’t direct comments at me you know I can’t respond to while you have my on hold.

    You do that and you won’t see me here again. That’s bullshit.

    You can delete this one without posting it.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  237. I’d like to think that once Elissa has gotten past what is obviously a difficult day for other reasons, that she will reflect on the fact that one does not make accusations as serious as she made — acting unethically — and truly make up for it with a vague apology that does not demonstrate an awareness of the depth of the mistake made in making such an accusation.

    Such accusations are obviously not as important as life and death. This is the wrong day for her to think about it. But it is still a serious matter, and at the right time I hope she would give it the thought it deserves.

    My condolences to you.

    Patterico (74f607)

  238. Pssst – Trump threw a circus presser to cover up rescinding his travel EO blunder.

    Pass it on.

    Rick Ballard (5e8a41)

  239. I’m glad elissa came back but I second Patterico’s comments and decision. Real debate is not where people make passionate statements or accusations and then wait for the final decision of the spectators. It involves give-and-take where both sides pose and answer questions to test their ideas.

    DRJ (15874d)

  240. DRJ, you’ve already injected a hundred dollars and two cents worth into a thread where Patterico’s asked people to back off. You’re usually asking others for civility and space. Let’s give what we ask for, eh?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  241. I know you are hurt by this.

    DRJ (15874d)

  242. i hope they do confirms on Mr. Pruitt today

    that would be splendid

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  243. Two Democrats have vowed to vote for President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

    Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
    , both from conservative fossil-fuel producing states, said they are going to vote for the nominee despite a last-ditch effort by Democrats to stall a final floor vote on Pruitt’s confirmation.

    this is a bipartisan achievement for america

    Mr. Trump’s uniting Americans together what want to make America great again

    and it is so good

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  244. “DRJ, you’ve already injected a hundred dollars and two cents worth into a thread where Patterico’s asked people to back off. You’re usually asking others for civility and space. Let’s give what we ask for, eh?”

    – Trump Supporter

    LOL, Patterico has so extremely obviously *not* asked DRJ to “back off” in this thread that I am almost (*almost*) surprised that you bothered to attempt such a transparently false equivalence. Almost.

    LOLOL

    Leviticus (efada1)

  245. mr happyfeet, it looks like more nevertrump democrats are building bridges than nevertrump “conservatives.”

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  246. Pruitt should dunk his face in crude and then take the oath.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  247. Leviticus, Patterico has actually asked the people that DRJ is sniping at to back off. So those people aren’t really in position to respond to her snipes. Comprende?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  248. DRJ, you’re the best. You articulate what those you disagree with think in a very helpful way, you’re unfailingly polite, and you’re just insightful.

    And I second Leviticus’s laughter at Trump Supporter (who never seems to give a flip when Cruz is being trashed, but always is there for Trump). Trump Supporter, is it really necessary to troll so much? What is the purpose of it?

    Dustin (ba94b2)

  249. 215. Colonel Haiku (8f010c) — 2/16/2017 @ 11:58 am

    I didn’t interpret elissa’s post to mean anything other than she noted a change of tone,

    Patterico pointed out that it is in that very post where she talks about tone, (#61) that she says something very wrong.

    To recap:

    There’s nothing wrong with her #37, which quite clearly refers to the post after it was updated, and #58 might be understood to be referring to the update, although the words are really too strong for that (and, if so, would seem to be a non sequitor to his #57) but #61 actually does not make sense if you are living in the real universe.

    While the beginning of #61 says that earlier it was “a very, very different post, with a very different tone, and a different message,” that can again be seen as referring to the post before the update, except that there’s no indication she was responding to that in her #37, since she quotes the update.

    But then she’s seems to become Captain Queeg. But it is easy for regular readers of this blog to miss, because it’s hard to recognize sometimes that an alternative reality is being assumed.

    If you read it carefully – and Patterico had to point this out, it’s so incredible – she seems to be assuming – not accusing, but assuming – an alternative reality, in which this post did not start with the paragraph it did, and contained no mention of Suderman’s article in Reason at all. And Worse, this is an alternative reality in which Patterico does something he hates, and has never done – silently correcting a post or news article.

    Then she says he’s unethical because he didn’t announce that he had re-written the piece and had removed the original. And in #63 she calls on all of us (or any of us who saw the blog before the supposed change) as witnesses.

    Nobody has come forward, and there’s no indication in any of the comments, either here or at the jury, that there existed any version of this post before 10:30 pm PST February 14.

    At #64 Patterico says she seems to be confused (because what else could it be?) and asks Dana to verify thatthe post was not altered, and at #66 he asks for witnesses to any such substantial reqriting of the contents of the blog to come forward. And also if anyone can tell anything about the mythical “opening salvo” she talked about and anything else about this “very, very different post”

    At #68 Dana asks elissa what on earth is she talking about, and at #69 Patterico goes into detail
    about the (very limited) editing history of this post and at #71 DRJ notes that anyone with administrator privileges on WordPress can see all the changes, and that the same post, in its current form is at The Jury and at Red State.

    At #72 Paterico says this claim is bizarre, and at #73 that it is a figment of her imagination

    At #74 nk says nobody believed elissa, and at #75 Dana says she confirms what Patterico said at #69 and at #76 DRJ says the minor changes does not fit the description of it being before aa very different post.

    At #78 Patterico says the the claim was that the revisions occurred after Elissa’s 8:50 am post. Actually, its probably a claim it was responding to an earlier version, but she quotes the update!

    At #80 DRJ says hopes elissa was confused, perhaps from reading other stories and conflating them with Patterico’s yours or reading quickly or even “misremembering” but hopes

    At #82 Patterico says he has to assume it’s confusion, and that absolutely nobody supports Elissa on this, and nobody else saw what she claims to have seen, and Dana confirms that his hyper-detailed description of the editing process was accurate. But confusion does not justify the accusation that he acted unethically. He hopes Elissa has the class to return and forthrightly acknowledge her mistake and that you don’t say things like this and just pretend it never happened.

    At #85, JVW confirms what dana and Patterico said about the editing history of this post.

    By this time some people don’t know what this is about.

    At #117 we have elissa’s version of what the post looked like when she posted. Except that it’s still the same. At #121 patterico points that out. She also says she didn’t call him dishonest or a liar but did say that “changes to published posts whether large or small are supposed to be annotated when they occur.” At #121 patterico has 3 questions for her and says she doesn’t get to just walk away whistling as if her blatantly false accusations were correct and do not require an apology unless she wants a crushing hit to her credibility.

    At #129, repeated at #143, Patterico has a list of 4 questions that he wants a “no” answer to from anyone who might defend her.

    At #130 elissa apologizes for “this firestorm” and says she is walking away, muttering something about confirmation bias.

    At #139 DRJ says she thinks that elissa meant the original post is undermined by the Update, and she considers the two to be “very, very different” and believes the Update disproves everything he claimed about Trump because it suggests the IRS is simply continuing an existing policy and Trump might have nothing to do with it, let alone acting “like a King.”

    But the problem is the issue is whether or not patterico silently altered the post.

    At #151 patterico says he initially thought that she was just saying that the update totally changed the meaning of the post, but then it became increasingly clear that she accusing him of changing the post wholesale.

    At #140 Patterico talks about what his policy is about making and indicating changes to posts.

    At #172 Patterico extracts from elissa’s #61 what the real problem is with what she said.

    Sammy Finkelman (be6791)

  250. I made an effort to see this from elissa’s point of view, Cruz Supporter, and to discuss it here. I fail to see how that is sniping. But elissa’s own words showed she accused Patterico of being unethical. Please re-read comment 172 if you can’t see that.

    I think you are mad at me because you know that elissa and I often disagreed, and you care for elissa and don’t want to see her go. I understand that hurts.

    DRJ (15874d)

  251. I’d like to think that once Elissa has gotten past what is obviously a difficult day for other reasons, that she will reflect on the fact that one does not make accusations as serious as she made — acting unethically — and truly make up for it with a vague apology that does not demonstrate an awareness of the depth of the mistake made in making such an accusation.

    Such accusations are obviously not as important as life and death. This is the wrong day for her to think about it. But it is still a serious matter, and at the right time I hope she would give it the thought it deserves.

    My condolences to you.

    Patterico (74f607) — 2/16/2017 @ 12:53 pm

    This is a righteous response. The speaker clearly recognizes the degrees of importance in situations, and which matters most. The speaker recognizes that today may not be the best day to address this situation. The speaker gives the offender an opportunity and room to consider and reflect upon the depth and degree of the offense because perhaps they don’t grasp just how deeply offensive her accusations were to one whose reputation is built upon integrity and upholding a high bar of ethical behavior. The speaker reminds the offender that because of the severity of the damage done, it becomes that much more important for the offender to address this in a way that recognizes and acknowledges the damage done. IOW, she needs to own it, apologize and ask forgiveness because that’s how grown-ups act when they seek to restore a relationship they have damaged.

    This is a marvelous example of graciousness being extended to one who has offended. May that grace help bring some clarity, elissa.

    Dana (023079)

  252. I don’t purposely post while you are at work. In fact, just the opposite. Unless I’m posting a comment for a mass audience, I usually wait until I see that you are currently in the comments if its something I want you to see. Usually this is when I’m putting in something in response to either a post, or in response to a comment. I find it sort of pointless to post comments directed at people who aren’t here.

    As for the “peanut gallery” chiming in, I would note that if you had the option to deal with this entire topic via email with Elissa since your blog captures user’s email (assuming they give you accurate ones). IN RETROSPECT — given how things have turned out — that might have been a less antagonistic avenue – and by that I mean you might have felt less antagonism over the input of third parties where it wasn’t wanted.

    You could have closed off the comments for a brief period while you resolved it with Elissa — assuming she was willing to do so — and then posted the results in a comment.

    I have no problem with you defending your integrity, and I don’t think I faulted a single one of your posts.

    But it was the “anyone who even hints at slightest expression that might be construed as an implied silent endorsement of her allegation is unworthy of my time so buzz off” responses that I thought were simply unwarranted. You were attacking the messengers who were simply suggesting that your were beating a dead horse — she was gone, I doubted she would be back any time soon, no one had lined up to support her, and you were completely vindicated.

    Remember when you demanded my fealty, my answers were “No, No, No, No” on the substance of the dispute.

    Others did similarly.

    She was gone.

    Why wasn’t that enough?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  253. Some people said wait until he is inaugurated. Now you say keep waiting. How long?
    DRJ (15874d) — 2/16/2017 @ 8:52 am

    We’ll be able to tell who they are by the fruits of their labor. They’ll have visible hernias from carrying around those goalposts continually like they have been!

    Yoda jr. (cffabe)

  254. I have unmoderated SWC and Colonel Haiku.

    I’m just not interested in a discussion about how upset you think I am allowed to be when unfairly attacked for ethical violations I didn’t actually commit.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  255. shipwreckedcrew’s 255 was in response to a comment I appended to his previous comment which read:

    [I am not interested in views other than my own on how I am dealing with Elissa. You said I am not interested in views other than my own and it sounded like a blanket pronouncement.

    You will be able to respond to this tomorrow. You make comments when I am at work and you know I can’t respond for hours. I genuinely want you to reflect on how you would have reacted to uninformed and unhelpful comments from the peanut gallery while you were in this very important credibility struggle with your client. And I want you to THINK about it. Not mouth off like a lawyer making a counterpoint. So make your counterpoints if you must but nobody reads them for 24 hours. Meanwhile truly THINK about this.]

    Patterico (115b1f)

  256. As for the “peanut gallery” chiming in, I would note that if you had the option to deal with this entire topic via email with Elissa since your blog captures user’s email (assuming they give you accurate ones). IN RETROSPECT — given how things have turned out — that might have been a less antagonistic avenue – and by that I mean you might have felt less antagonism over the input of third parties where it wasn’t wanted.

    Fundamentally, I am not interested in your observations about how I handled this. I am open to others’ views on many things. Not how I handle false attacks on my integrity. I’ll handle such attacks the way I choose to, and I don’t want, need, or appreciate your public input on it. How about YOU give me en email suggestion on how to handle it rather than criticizing me publicly? That said, I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.

    First, she doesn’t respond to my emails. I have sent 2-3 in recent weeks. No response.

    Second, it was a public accusation and others saw it. It was important to me that people see it was bogus.

    Did your client’s accusation take place in front of other people? Did people go around criticizing your handling of it in front of your partners, your client, etc.? No. Because that would be rude. Your criticism, similarly, is rude. I don’t know how to convey this to you, because you seem determined to ignore all my cues, so I am telling you directly, It’s not appreciated.

    But it was the “anyone who even hints at slightest expression that might be construed as an implied silent endorsement of her allegation is unworthy of my time so buzz off” responses that I thought were simply unwarranted. You were attacking the messengers who were simply suggesting that your were beating a dead horse — she was gone, I doubted she would be back any time soon, no one had lined up to support her, and you were completely vindicated.

    Because I decided it wasn’t enough and it’s my blog and my integrity at issue and not yours. Therefore I DO NOT CARE what you think about how I handled it. I’ll say that again. I DO NOT CARE what you think about how I handled it.

    Give it a rest on this point.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  257. Sammy Finkleman’s #252 is a very, very, very comprehensive history of this thread for anyone who wants the relevant information, wants to understand why I got upset, and doesn’t want to read the whole thread.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  258. SWC, I read your comment explaining the joke about tone. I think you were coming at it from a lighthearted point of view. I get it. I now need you to see things from my point of view. I don’t care if you would have handled it differently. I don’t need negative commentary from onlookers while I am handling an bogus attack on my honesty and integrity. Period. End of story. Is there any way to be more clear? That is not the fucking time to criticize me. Am I finally making myself clear?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  259. DRJ, you’ve already injected a hundred dollars and two cents worth into a thread where Patterico’s asked people to back off. You’re usually asking others for civility and space. Let’s give what we ask for, eh?

    I appreciate DRJ’s comments in this thread and reject Trump Supporter’s comments asking her to back off.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  260. and if i wrote her a love song and sang it to her every day

    would it ever be enough to make her come back and stay

    maybe

    but maybe she could be gone forever

    my thinking is maybe we coulda shoulda tooken this offline

    threwed some totino’s in the microwave

    passed around a bowl

    and just hashed it out

    while the rain walls fiercely on the oroville dam

    it’s so metaphorical you could almost call it an analogy

    but that just makes it all the more meaningful

    peaceout

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  261. I’d like to let this entire thing drop now.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  262. ugh *falls* fiercely i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  263. okey dokey doggy daddy

    dropped like a mic it is

    peaceout

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  264. I’ve been meaning to ask Cruz Supporter if he had considered a Jefferson Airplane…Jefferson Starship…Starship kind of thing.

    Maybe it’s like squatting on a dot com.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  265. Just call him Trump Supporter. It’s more accurate.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  266. “Unless the Trump administration maintains the mandate is unconstitutional, the Constitution requires them to enforce it.” – Michael Cannon, Cato Institute health policy director.

    Attorney General Sessions believes the mandate is unconstitutional, and I would be surprised if he doesn’t say this explicitly if/when a reporter asks him a direct question. (Trump, granted, probably hasn’t thought about it at that level of detail.)

    What’s his duty if he thinks the government lacks the authority to inflict this penalty on noncompliant taxpayers?

    If California passes an unconstitutional “hate speech” ban, should state prosecutors go after violators? (That’s a sincere question. The “good constitutionalist” answer isn’t obvious to me.)

    scrutineer (e49623)

  267. What’s his duty if he thinks the government lacks the authority to inflict this penalty on noncompliant taxpayers?

    If we had a thoughtful President who made a compelling case that he personally believed the mandate unconstitutional, and would not enforce it despite a Supreme Court decision to the contrary, I would probably applaud that — if, as I do here, I think the Supreme Court decision is wrong, and if I truly believed the President were acting out of principle.

    That ain’t what’s happening.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  268. mr. trump understands malinvestment better than most

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  269. I would say blame it on suderman’s flawed analysis

    Ot, a. Interesting offshoot of deleon’s jury nullification view:
    http://www.peekinthewell.net/blog

    narciso (d1f714)

  270. Trump’s not even an unfrozen caveman lawyer.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5)

  271. “Good ” producing actions upholding the Constitution should be celebrated not derided because one does not think they come from the right place in ones heart.

    Good is good. Bad is bad.

    Those producing good no matter the evil in their soul are in effect, good.

    Those producing bad, no matter the purity of their intentions are in effect, bad.

    This is Something Roberts et al should maybe take lessons on in order they make decisions.

    Cuz fact is you can torture any legal doc to fit whatever u want. And lawyers do to our Constitution and laws at the drop of a hat when it suits their politics.

    Blah blah blah (44eaa0)

  272. Not a bad point, really.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  273. Been offline all evening. But was checking from time to time on my phone.

    Had a visceral reaction to 257-261. Was going to write a pointed response, but was on my phone and didn’t feel like doing to one-finger typist thing.

    So just got back on the my computer a while ago, and started scrolling back through the comments to see if I could figure out where it went off the rails.

    Read 165, and thought “It should have just ended there.”

    So, for me, everything after 165 is just getting a mental flush.

    On to other topics.

    shipwreckedcrew (553aa3)

  274. shipwreckedcrew (553aa3) — 2/16/2017 @ 11:45 pm

    Read 165, and thought “It should have just ended there.”

    So, for me, everything after 165 is just getting a mental flush.

    That’s the part that concerned your attempt at humor. But I didn’t truly understand what had happened until I read #172 which quotes elissa’s #61, and boldfaces the problem.

    And I like(d?) elissa. I don’t know what got into her. I think she proved one thing:

    You don’t need to go on Twitter to say something crazy.

    You can do that right here.

    On to other topics.

    There actually was a topic here, but that may have been pretty completely discussed. There were all sosrts of thing I could have (had I had the opportunity) mentioned on this open thread. Some of them medical.

    Sammy Finkelman (8dcc71)

  275. When something bad happens to my dog, he shakes his body and seems to instantly forget about it. I think that’s where the phrase “shake it off” comes from. I admire that about him.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  276. Trump’s not even an unfrozen caveman lawyer.

    Pinandpuller (16b0b5) — 2/16/2017 @ 6:30 pm

    You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand that forcing someone to purchase a product is just a quieter form of slavery. How much of their own monies are they forced to use before it’s illegal. Or would indentured servitude be more appropriate? I think it’s slavery because you don’t have the choice to enter into the action. It’s forced upon you by existing.

    NJRob (43d957)


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