Patterico's Pontifications


Scott Lemieux’s Challenge to Halbig/King Is His Typical Nonsense

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:08 pm

Writing for “The Week,” my favorite punching bag Scott Lemieux claims “The Supreme Court challenge against ObamaCare is rapidly falling apart.”

Is it now.

Here is his evidence:

First of all, when read properly, the legislation is pretty clear. The statute’s definition of “an Exchange established by the State” clearly encompasses the exchanges established by the federal government on the state’s behalf.

Subsidies are available only for plans bought on exchanges “established by the state.” “The state” has a definition, and it does not include the federal government. Yet Lemieux concedes, without seeming to realize it, that in states that declined to establish exchanges, the exchanges were not “established by the state.” What were they established by? I refer you to the bolded language in the previous paragraph: they were “established by the federal government.”

Down comes the gavel. That’s the whole case, pal.

But he goes on, detailing the supposed evidence against the notion that Congress intended to write what they actually wrote. Big Piece of Evidence #1: the partisan Democrats who voted for the law now say that, never mind what they wrote, they never meant to block subsidies for federally established exchanges. “The congressional leadership that passed the ACA has rejected the idea.” Seriously, he actually thinks that is significant. I don’t know what to say except: no. No, it isn’t. Self-serving after-the-fact interpretations of a law don’t count for anything, nor should they. You’d have to be a fool to think they do.

It gets better. He actually claims, unaware that he is arguing in a circle, that you have to believe that Congress gave subsidies to the states because it’s unconstitutional to take away those subsidies without notice. No, really. That’s what he says:

Republican members of Congress also assumed the same, even after it was clear that not all states would establish their own exchanges. Numerous Republican state officials have said that they expected subsidies to be made available. (Indeed, the Cannon-Adler interpretation may be unconstitutional, since states have to be given fair notice before a federal benefit is taken away.)

That’s like me saying that, in this dispute between you and me concerning who owns the book sitting on this table, I win because if you say it’s yours, you’re taking it without permission, and it’s illegal to take books from people without permission. Some people call this “begging the question.” I call it rank stupidity.

Moving onward:

And as the government’s brief observes, the conservative dissenters in NFIB v. Sebelius — the landmark Supreme Court case that upheld ObamaCare in 2012 — were also on board with this interpretation.

This is totally false, and his link to his own blog to support this assertion is — pardon me, but there’s really no other way to say this — bullshit. His argument relies on his mushing together two utterly unrelated statements that appear 36 paragraphs apart, and pretending that they are intimately connected. I decimated the argument definitively in this post, and Lemieux should be embarrassed to raise this argument again after the spanking I gave him last time around. But he has already proven he is incapable of shame upon having his rank intellectual dishonesty revealed.

Against this mountain of evidence, Cannon first tried to use Jonathan Gruber, the consultant who in some stray comments found on YouTube seemed to suggest that the subsidies would not be made available on the federally established state exchanges. But given that Gruber himself repudiated these views both before and after the fact, this doesn’t even rise to the level of cherry-picking.

False. We know how to click links, Scott. The link cited for Gruber repudiating these views “both before and after the fact” shows Gruber repudiating the views after, but not before, the fact. Meaning it’s “compelling” evidence of a liberal giving convenient, self-serving, and implausible denials of his repeatedly expressed past statements about how the law works. Wow, I’m overwhelmed!

It just goes on and on like that. Lemieux seems to think that if he simply keeps calling Adler and Cannon “troofers” and joining with the likes of Brian Beutler to mock them, that people won’t notice that he is peddling horseshit.

But we do, Scott. We do.

I don’t really know what “The Week” is, but if they’re giving space to clowns like this guy, the site is obviously not worth the pixels used to form the nonsensical words that appear on it.

Jordanian Pilot Dies Horrific Death At The Hands Of ISIS

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:45 pm

[guest post by Dana]

King Abdullah II of Jordan confirmed today that an horrific video released by ISIS showing a man being held in a cage and burned alive was indeed Jordanian pilot and ISIS hostage, Moaz al-Kasasbeh:

The 22-minute, slickly produced video shows the Jordanian combat pilot dressed in an orange jumpsuit and locked in a metal cage, his clothing doused with flammable chemicals.

The Jordanian pilot’s release was still being negotiated up until this weekend.

Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, 26, fell into the hands of the militants in December when his F-16 crashed near Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the group’s self-styled caliphate. He was the only pilot from the U.S.-led coalition to have been captured to date.

Jordanian officials, who promised “strong, decisive and swift” revenge, are wasting no time in keeping their promise:

Jordan will execute Wednesday an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death row and other jihadists after having vowed to avenge the murder of a Jordanian pilot by Islamic State jihadists, an official said.

“The sentence of death pending on… Iraqi Sajida al-Rishawi will be carried out at dawn,” the security official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Rishawi, the would-be bomber, was condemned to death for her participation in deadly attacks in Amman in 2005, and IS had offered to spare the life of the Jordanian fighter pilot, Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh, if she were released.

“The death sentence will be carried out on a group of jihadists, starting with Rishawi, as well as Iraqi Al-Qaeda operative Ziad Karbuli and others who attacked Jordan’s interests,” the security source said.

“Jordan’s response will be earth-shattering,” Information Minister Mohammed Momani said earlier on television, while the army and government vowed to avenge the pilot’s murder.

Meanwhile, President Obama responded to the news of al-Kaseasbeh’s death with the usual platitudes:

Today, the coalition fights for everyone who has suffered from ISIL’s inhumanity. It is their memory that invests us and our coalition partners with the undeterred resolve to see ISIL and its hateful ideology banished to the recesses of history.

Exactly what America’s role will be in banishing ISIS and its “hateful ideology” that shall not be named, remains to be seen.


The Patterico Music Project: The Lyrics to “Creation”

Filed under: General,Music by Patterico — Patterico @ 7:48 am

Yesterday I debuted a song written by me in the early 1990s, and recorded by Jay Semko of the Northern Pikes this year (2015). It’s all part of this crazy project I am pursuing, in which I try to get my musical heroes to record songs I wrote in the early 1990s. I am sharing these songs with you over the next couple of weeks, beginning with a song called “Creation.” Here is that song again:

Below are the lyrics to that song. To set the stage, let me quote the summary of the song’s theme that I gave you yesterday:

The song I present to you today is actually a dialogue between a creator and his creation. It could be God creating Adam; or a parent creating a child; or an artist creating a work of art. There is the moment of creation, and the love and gratitude the creation feels towards its creator for giving it life. But one day, the creation will seek its freedom. The creator will resist letting go — but will eventually set his creation free, out of love. Finally, the creator will die — but will still achieve a certain immortality, as long as the creation remains alive.

I’ll resist the very real temptation to point out alleged subtleties in the lyrics (“Without you I could not be” — get it? Get it?) and just let you read them. Or better yet, let you listen — since I recommend that you play the song above as you follow along with the lyrics below.

[A dialogue/duet between a creator and his creation]


A child of fantasy
A being to call my own
A creature from my mind
You sprang full-blown

And from that instant
You began to fully flower
Revealing openly
Your elemental power

The world was yours
And each discovery was new
The setting of the sun
The early morning dew


I was born the day I met you
You were everything to me
I needed you to tell my story
Without you, I could not be

But I knew I’d have to leave you
The world was full of things I wanted to see


But time rushed by
And soon you spoke of being alone
My thoughts and dreams were all
That you had ever known

You wanted to escape
To break your chains and roam
From the comfort
And the paradise of home

I hoped some day you’d look
Into my eyes and see
The love that held you back
But finally set you free


Then one day I came to see you
But ghostly shadows hid your eyes
I thought of what you once had told me
When we said our last goodbyes

You said: “I am immortal”
“As long as you’re alive, I’ll never die”

Tomorrow — unless I talk myself out of it — I’ll let you hear the wretched original recording I made in law school.

Could the Measles Outbreak Be Related to the Giant Influx of Illegal Immigrant Children?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Jim Geraghty says not necessarily — but his argument rests on a questionable assumption. Geraghty says:

Could the measles have come here from illegal immigrant children? It’s possible but perhaps not as likely as you might think. According to data from the World Health Organization and UNICEF, the three Central American countries that were the country of origin for most of last summer’s tsunami of children and teens actually have pretty good rates of immunization for measles. The measles immunization rate for children between 12 and 23 months of age in El Salvador in 2013 was 94 percent, for Guatemala it was 85 percent, and Nicaragua’s was 99 percent.

In the United States, the rate was 91 percent. Note that Mexico’s was 99 percent in 2012 but dropped to 89 percent in 2013.

This argument assumes that the rate of vaccinations among illegal immigrants from Central America is similar to the rate among natives in their country.

But on closer inspection, there is reason to doubt this. In the United States, at least, vaccination rates are lower for children in poverty than for children at or above the poverty level (.pdf). And the immigrants from Central America are likely poorer than natives, if this data from 2013 has any relevance:

Poverty: 65 percent of Honduran immigrants and their young children (under 18) live in or near poverty (under 200 percent of the poverty threshold). For Guatemalan and Salvadoran immigrants and their children, it is 61 percent. The corresponding figure for natives and their children is 31 percent.4

So: could the measles outbreak be related to the giant influx of immigrants caused by Obama’s lax immigration policies? I don’t know, but it’s a question we should be asking.

Don’t be surprised if you see a remarkable lack of curiosity on the subject among those in Big Media.

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