Veep Says Trials and Tribulations of Health Law Qualify President for Sainthood
“No one has suffered more than the President over this thing,” said Vice-President Joe Biden commenting on the disastrous Affordable Care Act. “I know it will be hard for those who've lost coverage or seen their premiums skyrocket to grasp this. But these people have minor individual problems. The President has to face a rising tide of criticism and blame. He's not used to that. If anyone qualifies for sainthood it's him.”
Talk show host Ellen Degeneres largely concurred in Biden's assessment arguing that “while there may be a few malcontents, I think the vast majority of Americans are truly grateful for what the President has done for them.”
“Malcontent” Mort Dedmon begged to differ. “Because of this new law my insurance carrier was forced to cancel our 'bad apple' policy,” Dedmon complained. “It didn't offer a zero out-of-pocket cost coverage for birth control. But it was paying for my wife's stage-3 breast cancer treatments. I think we're signed up for a complying plan, but I can't be sure. My wife's new doctor made us sign papers accepting financial responsibility in the event that we aren't signed up. On top of this, the monthly premium for our new insurance is almost twice what we were paying before.”
Biden characterized Dedmon's situation as “a minor bump in the road. From a broader perspective, the implementation of a nationwide uniform health insurance is of greater importance. Every major advance in civilization always leaves a few people behind. In our view, we must take these inevitable casualties in stride if we hope to win the battle for social justice.”
The “battle” may be a long one, though. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that as many as one million of the previously uninsured may have signed up to purchase Obamacare compliant policies. HHS is currently unable to ascertain how many of these potential customers will follow through by making payments of their premiums, but predicted that “if payments can approach the 90% range at this rate we'll be on pace to eradicate the uninsured cohort in less than 20 years.”
In related news, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur admitted to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that “I don't recall anyone raising the issue of whether we have the legal authority to administratively modify the terms of the Affordable Care Act. I mean, this is the President's law. If he tells us to make changes regarding who is affected by any of its provisions who are we to question him?”
DOJ Rejects Independent Prosecutor Request
Attorney General Eric Holder rejected Texas Senator Ted Cruz's request that an independent prosecutor be named to investigate IRS targeting of conservatives.
“The impartiality of those presently assigned to this case—both AG Holder himself and his delegated investigator Barbara Bosserman—is tainted,” Cruz contended. “Any finding of 'no wrong doing' they may issue would lack credibility.”
Holder dismissed Cruz's request as “outside the normal range of authorized governmental processes. The voters elected President Obama to rule this country. His appointees are fully empowered by his election to carry out his will. There is no mandate for such a thing as an 'independent prosecutor.'”
“If Senator Cruz is dissatisfied with the way the President is governing this country he should refer to the US Constitution for a remedy,” Holder added. “This document provides for regular elections. The GOP has every right to advance candidates in these elections in an effort to win control of the government. If the prospect of waiting until the next election is deemed too distant, the President's critics have the option of impeaching him.”
“Inasmuch as the alleged IRS infractions entail discriminatory intervention in the election process, I find Holder's suggestion that elections are the proper remedy self-serving and unsatisfying,” Cruz remarked. “In essence, he seems to be promising that the Administration will continue to abuse its authority until it is forcefully thrown out of office by the voters or Congress.”
In related news, the IRS has proposed new regulations that would bar non-profit organizations from publishing “legislative scorecards” or mentioning any elected officials by name in any of their communications. IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen explained that “we don't feel it is appropriate for a member of Congress, for example, to have these kinds of organizations monitoring his every move. Informing voters is the job of the recognized professional media, not some self-appointed interlopers funded by the Koch brothers.”
Judge Rules Border Fence Illegal
U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia Beryl Howell ruled that “the construction of any kind of barrier to the free movement of people across the US/Mexican border is illegal. There can be no disputing that such a barrier would explicitly target a protected ethnic minority. This violates the equal protection clause.”
As the Judge sees it, “in order to pass muster, a policy, program, or enforcement must be shown to affect all racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, and sexual-orientation subsets of the population in roughly equal proportion to each group's percentage of the population. Since a fence along the United States' southern border would disproportionally affect Hispanics it is impermissible under our laws.”
Howell suggested that “if Congress is determined to build a border fence they should look north rather than south. The mix of populations on both sides of the US/Canada border is roughly similar. No one group would be disproportionally disadvantaged by having their movements over this border impeded.”
While not part of the case being adjudicated, Judge Howell hinted that “deportations should be subjected to scrutiny, as well. There is little doubt in my mind that a disproportionate share of those being forced to leave this country against their will are Hispanic. This would also appear to violate the equal protection clause.”
The Mexican Government hailed Howell's decision. Mexico’s former foreign minister, Jorge Castañeda, insisted that “there must be no impediments to the migration of Mexican nationals into the land that was stolen from our country by American aggression in the 19th century.”
Leftist Government Officials Attack NYC Charter Schools
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleased the teachers' union by canceling three previously approved charter schools. However, Brooklyn City Councilman Vincent Gentile wants him to go further.
“Saying no to new charter schools doesn't do anything to combat the over-achievement being inflicted on our community by the schools that are already operating,” Gentile complained. “The advocates for these schools imagine that a recitation of the learning gains for students in these schools should persuade us that they are a good thing. I maintain that this is evidence of the pernicious effects of the charter school movement.”
“The learning gains of students in charter schools gives them an unfair advantage over their peers in our public schools,” the Councilman pointed out. “This undermines the equality we should be guaranteeing for all children. Not every child can or wants to handle an increased burden of study. Why should those who do be allowed to pull ahead of everyone else? We can't insure that everyone has the same genetic inheritance, but we can insure that everyone has to cope with the same school environment.”
In support of Gentile's view, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has joined with others to file a lawsuit that would block charter schools from leasing vacant space in public school buildings. “It is better that these classrooms sit idle than that they be used to foster inequality,” she argues. “If we accomplish nothing more than to save the demoralized public school students from having to share space with charter school nerds we will have struck a blow for the kind of social solidarity that must be the uniform goal of all education.”
Bribery Case against Pennsylvania Democrats Dropped
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D) has decided to drop charges against four state legislators caught on tape accepting bribes in exchange for voting against a voter ID bill in 2012. According to the tapes, Rep. Ronald Waters got payments totaling $7,650, Rep. Vanessa Brown $4,000, Rep. Michelle Brownlee $3,500, and Rep. Louise Bishop $1,500.
Kane called the investigation “poorly conceived. The notion that these individuals were influenced by the bribes is ludicrous. Every one of the individuals implicated was a Democrat. Democrats would be expected to vote against voter ID no matter whether they were bribed or not. In essence, they were not selling their votes. They were merely bilking the briber by taking money for something they would've done anyway. Besides, the amounts were pitifully small. At best, these were petty crimes of opportunity, not major felonies.”
A second factor cited by Kane was that “every one of the bribe takers was an African-American Democrat. I felt it would be inappropriate to go forward with a prosecution laden with these racially and politically disparate impacts. If there had been a more balanced mix in terms of race and political Party the case might have been worthy of pursuing. However, I will not be a party to a prosecution that disproportionately impacts one race over another or one Party over another.”
Governor Warns Gun Owners
The assertion by many Connecticut gun owners that they will not comply with the State's new requirement to register their weapons did not sit well with Governor Dannel Malloy (D).
“What these people need to realize is that I'm serious,” Malloy declared. “They may chatter about the 4th Amendment all they want, but if they fail to comply I promise to use the full power of the State to enforce the law. They had the opportunity to make their case before we passed the registration requirement. They lost. We won.”
“Possession of an unregistered firearm is now a felony in this State,” the Governor continued. “Felons cannot expect leniency. If we have to make some examples, kick down a few doors, apply deadly force—we will do so. We have the firepower to out-gun any individual who would dare to defy us. Any blood will be on the hands of those who refuse to obey.”