Patterico's Pontifications


GOP: Well of Course We Must Pass ObamaCare Subsidies!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:52 pm

To those worried by the prospect that the Supreme Court could rule against Obama in Halbig, I said in February:

[B]e of good cheer. Winning or losing that case won’t matter, it now appears — because, as Orrin Hatch recently made clear, Republicans are going to cave immediately if we win the case:

Hatch said that while Obamacare has hurt millions of people and needs to be ultimately repealed and replaced, Congress should do something in the meantime to mitigate the effects if the high court decides to invalidate that financial aid.

“I don’t think we can stand by and simply let the shortcomings of the law hurt people more,” he said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

“In the coming days, I will release details of a short-term solution for Americans who may be affected,” Hatch said. “That solution will address immediate concerns and set the stage for a permanent solution in the future.”

Of course. You can’t take the goodies away, so you have to give people “short-term, temporary” subsidies until such time as you develop the political courage to . . . make those subsidies long-term and permanent.

Did anyone really expect anything different?

Confirmed: Senate GOP Leaders Endorse Bill To Extend Obamacare Subsidies To 2017:

The Senate’s top five Republican leaders have cosponsored legislation to extend until 2017 the Obamacare insurance subsidies that may be struck down by the Supreme Court this summer.

The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the most politically vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2016, would maintain the federal tax credits at stake in King v. Burwell through the end of August 2017.

Of course, it’s wrong to say the subsidies might be “struck down” by the Court, or to say that the GOP has a plan to “restore” them. If the Supreme Court rules against Obama, it will be a recognition that Congress never provided for these subsidies to begin with.

But look: you can’t expect Republicans to make a principled stand on this. They have to extend the subsidies that ObamaCare never provided in the first place, to keep voters happy who are used to being on the ObamaCare dole. Republicans will do this only until they no longer have an election coming up that they want to win. Which is . . . never. So of course they have to accept the progressive, pro-statist solution in perpetuity. Because the alternative is standing up and saying this is wrong, and only Ted Cruz is willing to do that and it’s Unpopular and so we can’t do it right now. Or anytime soon. Or ever.

If you’re keeping score, those who say Republicans are little different from Democrats just won another round. They win a lot of those rounds lately, huh?

Liberals On Taxes: “We’re All In It Together”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:16 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Unfortunately for a few MSNBC hosts, their relationships with the IRS are a bit rocky right now. As they sanctimoniously lectured audiences on the importance of paying taxes, they hid a dirty little secret:

MSNBC’s hosts and guests regularly call for higher taxes on the rich, condemning wealthy individuals and corporations who don’t pay their taxes or make use of loopholes. But recent reports, as well as records reviewed by National Review, show that at least four high-profile MSNBC on-air personalities have tax liens or warrants filed against them.


* Touré Neblett, co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, owes more than $59,000 in taxes (“Regressive taxation & tax-avoidance & union crushing & the financial corruption of legislation has fueled inequality more than hard work.”)

* Last month, New York filed a $4,948.15 tax warrant against Joy-Ann Reid (Reid has called taxes on the wealthy “a basic fairness argument,” also arguing for “smart spending and smart tax increases” to create economic growth.)

* Melissa Harris-Perry and her husband, James Perry, owed around $70,000 in delinquent taxes (“We actually do better as a country when we spread the wealth around”)

* Sharpton and his entities owed as much as $4.5 million in taxes, penalties, and interest (“they give tax cuts and loopholes to the rich, and they act like it’s acceptable.”)

Touré and Reid did not comment, but a rep said the issue was being worked out. Harris-Perry recently paid down the debt by $21,721. And Sharpton disputes the figures. But of course he does.

This about sums it up:

All these tax deadbeats claim to be paying off their debts. But that doesn’t absolve them of their guilt. So long as they so much as lift a finger to avoid paying taxes, they’ll still be liberal hypocrites.


Commander In Chief Rightly Assumes Responsibility In Two Deaths; Spokesman Says, Look Over There

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama announced today that an American and an Italian were accidentally killed by a U.S. drone strike that was targeting an al-Qaeda compound in Pakistan. As Commander in Chief, Obama rightly assumed responsibility for the tragedy:

“As president and as commander in chief, I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni,” Obama said. “I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families.”

“It is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally and our fight against terrorists specifically, mistakes, sometimes deadly mistakes, can occur,” the president added. “But one of the things that sets America apart from many other nations, one of the things that makes us exceptional, is our willingness to confront squarely our imperfections and to learn from our mistakes.”

However, per NBC News, White House spokesman Josh Earnest assigned responsibility elsewhere:

In response, Rush observed the irony that now Congress has a role in something?

Congress doesn’t have a role in immigration. Congress doesn’t have a role in practically anything else, but now that the Regime has mistakenly, erroneously killed an American in a counterterrorism op, all of a sudden Congress has a role in the policy that sent the drone up there.

I’m sure Boehner and McConnell are on the phones, “What? When did we order the drone strike?”

You don’t get to have it both ways.


Scandal Over Clinton Foundation Intensifies

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

Sean Davis at The Federalist sums up the takeaway nicely:

A blockbuster report in the New York Times today details how Hillary Clinton’s non-profit organization raked in millions from the Russian nuclear industry while Hillary was negotiating a deal to allow the Russians to acquire Uranium One, one of the world’s largest uranium mining companies.

From that NYT article:

[T]he sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

Barack Obama needs to be asked whether he exempted these transactions from being disclosed — or reported to the IRS. Yeah, turns out Hil and Bill forgot to tell the IRS too:

Hillary Clinton’s family’s charities are refiling at least five annual tax returns after a Reuters review found errors in how they reported donations from governments, and said they may audit other Clinton Foundation returns in case of other errors.


For three years in a row beginning in 2010, the Clinton Foundation reported to the IRS that it received zero in funds from foreign and U.S. governments, a dramatic fall-off from the tens of millions of dollars in foreign government contributions reported in preceding years.

Those entries were errors, according to the foundation: several foreign governments continued to give tens of millions of dollars toward the foundation’s work on climate change and economic development through this three-year period.


Meanwhile, Bill’s speaking fees doubled and even tripled after Hillary became Secretary of State. I can’t see any potential for corruption there, can you??

But just how involved was Hillary, really, in all this? All we need to do is just check her emails, and then we can . . .

Oh. Right.

Nothing to see here.

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