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These are the domestic issues that arose overnight, focused on Politics and ObamaDontCare.

Corbetts struggles continue [PA SENATE LAWYERS UP OVER VETOES] as the Senate GOP leadership
asked Corbett to Re-appoint Office of Open Records director Terry Mutchler; Im continuing to blog
regarding how Corbett [and Rs] can win. [Corbett appears to concur with my view that the pension
crisis and property taxes are key campaign issues and Dermody is fuzzy on pension history.] Indeed, as
Republicans ponder how to maximize the results of the mid-terms, they may wish to ponder Ten
Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist; regarding BHOs Scandal-Sheet, there has been a renewed hunt
for Lois Lerners emails, although the IRS Commissioner said [amazingly] Were Not Investigating The
Missing Emails Right Now. Quietly, Big Tobacco just got bigger, as JOY BEHAR claimed PALIN SHOULD BE
'TURNING LETTERS OVER ON SOME GAME SHOW.' {Also, Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down
over separatist territory not far from the site of the Malaysia Airlines crash, an attack the rebels took
credit for but that Kiev said it believed came from Russian territory.}

Cheney said any attempt to impeach Obama would be distraction.

Regarding Illegals, Obamas Border Narrative percolating into the media [that it constitutes a sudden
humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied child refugees] is Unraveling; the implication of their narrative is
that this is akin to a natural disaster that requires an immediate increase in spending to treat the crisis,
but now it appears that the entire narrative is based on falsehoods, for this immigrant invasion was
planned and anticipated by the Obama administration as early as 2012. Even Senate Democrats want to
trim Obamas border request by $1B, but Mitch McConnell wont say whether he backs Ted Cruzs push
to attack Obamas deferred action policies on immigration; the Senate minority leader believes Cruz
should get a vote on his proposal. Cruz (R-Texas) is urging Republicans to support a divisive effort that
would prohibit any further expansion of Obamas Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that
shields some young undocumented immigrants from deportation. {Through it all, the NYT advocates

National Public Radio's Morning Edition aired an extraordinary story about U.S. Customs
and Border Patrol on Friday. The story was not about the ongoing wave of illegal aliens
from Central Americamany of them childrencrossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rather, it was about the rules on when deadly force may be used by Border Patrol
agents in the course of their duties, with a view to making it harder for them to do so.

Whereas Politico reported Perdue won Georgia Senate runoff without discussing Amnesty/Illegals and
then suggested that Georgia could flip to the Dems in 2014; PERDUE PINNED PRO-AMNESTY CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE SUPPORT ON LOSING OPPONENT for, in the days leading up to election day, he made a
big push to tie the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's support for amnesty to Kingston, who had benefited
from over $3 million dollars in campaign spending from the lobby group. {Senate Conservatives also
touted the fact that Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) won the Republican primary runoff election for the 11

Congressional District in Georgia.}

Another issue separating the Establishment-GOP from the more conservative-Rs is the
battle being waged by Bob Dole against home-schoolers on disabilities treaty. An
international treaty on rights for people with disabilities [U.N. Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities, adopted in 2006 and signed by Obama in 2009, modeled
after the Americans with Disabilities Act] is intended to help guarantee that people with
disabilities can access education, jobs, health care and other opportunities afforded to
countries mainstream populations. It will either have no effect on American law or
infringe on the rights of parents whose children have disabilities, threaten states rights
and become a legal tool for pro-choice advocates pushing against restrictive abortion
laws. The treaty now includes several recommended add-ons [called reservations,
understandings or declarations] that would clarify that it couldnt affect American law.
Therefore, if that be the case, then why pass it?

In addition to promoting Wolf [against Roberts] in Kansas, the Senate Conservatives are promoting Joe
Carr [against Alexander] in Tennessee; Laura Ingraham said Lamar Alexander is aged and Out of Touch,
comparing him to an old sweater that had become full of moths, with faded colors.

Democratic staffers whose bosses lose in November may be in for more bad news in
January. Staffers leaving Capitol Hill as a result of a retirement or election loss will enter
one of the tightest K Street labor markets in recent memory as firms of all sizes have
struggled to gin up new business and keep existing clients amid several years of anemic
growth and stalled legislation.

Regarding POTUS-16, Santorum and Dr. Ben Carson [who famously claimed the 2
Amendment should
appplied differently in urban America when compared with the rest of the country] are Starting to Think
About 2016 WH Runs, but far more ominous are activities of Rand Paul [Pentagon Official: Why Rand
Pauls Ideas Scare Me, And Why They Should Scare You and Rand Paul Slams Voter ID: Its Offending
People]. Regardless of these maneuvers, it is clear that Limbaugh Was Right regarding the need to
oppose everything BHO wants, and some feel Krauthammer, Will, and Kristol Should Apologize.


Regarding ObamaDontCare, the White House [predictably] will Ignore Court Ruling and Keep Handing
Out Subsidies; per Politico, Obamas court strategy [packing the D.C. Appellate Court] may help save
Obamacare, although most commentators predict the issue will be faced next year by the SCOTUS.
Although customarily biased, this piece by Politico elucidates the major forces-at-play currently:

Democrats still haven't learned Obamacare lesson

Memo to Democrats: This is what happens when you pass a law where you cant fix
simple drafting errors.
Within hours of each other, two federal courts reached exactly opposite conclusions
Tuesday about whether the vague wording of Obamacare allows people to get subsidies
through the federal health insurance exchange. One said, sorry, thats not what the law
says. The other said, sure, they can get the subsidies the Obama administration has
the power to do that.
The conflicting rulings were another wake-up call for Democrats about the fragility of
the health care law and a reminder that whenever they think a lawsuit is no threat to
the law, its probably a threat to the law.
Its all because of what most Democrats insist is a drafting error in the law, but its kind
of a big one. The federal health insurance marketplace is now serving 36 states that
couldnt or wouldnt set up their own exchanges.
And now that the two courts have issued conflicting rulings, the odds are higher that the
Supreme Court may have to settle the question once again putting the fate of a major
part of the law before the high court.
Theres no guarantee that the Supreme Court would take up the issue. But if it does, its
not at all certain that the justices would allow the subsidies to keep flowing in the
federal exchange. If it doesnt, that could jeopardize the coverage for more than 7.3
million low- and middle-income people who would need those subsidies to be able to
afford Obamacare coverage. Yes, the court upheld most of Obamacare in 2012 but
that was a different set of legal questions.
The split decision in the courts Tuesday is the classic formula for a Supreme Court
review, maybe on a fast track, said William Galston, a domestic policy expert at the
Brookings Institution.
Its a lesson, some health care experts say, in why President Barack Obama and
congressional Democrats took their chances in 2010 when they passed the Affordable
Care Act using a special procedure called budget reconciliation. That allowed the Senate
to pass the bill with just 51 votes, because they couldnt get 60 votes after Republican
Scott Brown was elected to fill Ted Kennedys Senate seat in Massachusetts.
But it didnt allow Congress to fix simple wording mistakes in the law an earlier
version of which had squeaked through the Senate with GOP support in late 2009. The
rules allowed only limited changes with a clear budget impact. Its a bit like the college
student who slaps together a rough draft of a term paper, expecting to clean it up
before its handed in, only to find suddenly time is up.
The sloppy language stayed and it came back to bite the Democrats on Tuesday.
When you pass a bill by any means necessary, you can fix a lot, but you cant fix
everything, said Thomas Miller, a health care expert at the conservative American
Enterprise Institute. The staff writes it late at night. Its never reconciled and they
say, Oh well, well fix it after its passed.
The Obama administration and congressional Democrats insist they still have the
stronger legal hand in the long run. We are confident in the legal position that we
have, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a briefing after the first
ruling. It is pretty obvious what the congressional intent was.
Supporters of the ACA from academics and legal experts to Democrats on Capitol Hill
have long downplayed the laws legal challenges, accusing the plaintiffs of trying to
kill the law for partisan reasons. But some of those challenges have been successful. The
most vivid example was the Supreme Courts Hobby Lobby decision last month, when
the high court ruled that the administration overreached by mandating that most
employers provide contraception even if they had religious objections.
And in 2012, the court ruled the laws Medicaid expansion had to be optional for states.
But in that same decision the Supreme Court did uphold the individual mandate a
victory that makes the laws supporters confident that the subsidies will survive, too.
The full law was put before the Supreme Court, and the law stood, said Tony Carrk,
director of the Health Care War Room at the liberal Center for American Progress Action
The latest legal threat to Obamacare comes from a basic mistake in the wording that
2009 drafting error. The law encourages states to set up their own health insurance
marketplaces, but it also creates a federal marketplace as a fallback.
Yet the section on health insurance subsidies says they can be paid to anyone who signs
up for coverage in an Exchange established by the State. It doesnt say anything about
the federal exchange.
Democratic leaders insisted in a legal brief that the point always was to make the
subsidies available in all exchanges, not just the state ones. But the opponents of the
law say it was much more than a drafting error. They say that the laws crafters
purposely made subsidies available only in the state-run exchanges to encourage states
to set them up. Besides, they said, the IRS cant just change the law.
Until Tuesday, most supporters of the ACA dismissed the possibility that the wording
presented any real legal threat. Congress obviously meant to include the federal
exchange, they said, and thats how the courts will see it.
But then, the three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-
1 that the law has to be read literally. Its not our job, the judges wrote, to go beyond
the clear wording of the law and guess about congressional intent.
This limited role serves democratic interests by ensuring that policy is made by elected,
politically accountable representatives, not by appointed, life-tenured judges, Judge
Thomas Griffith wrote in the opinion.
Hours later, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals came to the opposite conclusion. It wasnt
exactly a ringing endorsement of the language, and there was no declaration that this
is clearly what Congress meant. The wording was sloppy, the court wrote, even self-
contradictory and ambiguous. But they said Supreme Court precedent says that the
federal agencies have significant deference when crafting rules so the IRS decision
was valid.
Simply put, the statute is ambiguous and subject to at least two different
interpretations, the judges wrote. Confronted with the Acts ambiguity, the IRS crafted
a rule ensuring the credits broad availability and furthering the goals of the law.
That ruling gave Democrats just enough cover to predict with confidence that the
subsidies will be fine and blast Republicans for continually trying to kill a health care
law thats already covering millions of people and lowering the rate of uninsured
The American people deserve better than Republicans lawsuits and legislative nihilism.
We are confident that as these cases advance, the plaintiffs obviously false
interpretation of the law will be exposed as the baseless and desperate Republican
distraction that it is, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, whos leading his partys Obamacare
messaging in the Senate, tweeted a dismissive reaction. Weve seen this play before.
Outlier lower court dents #ACA, higher courts correct. Fed. exchange subsidies will be
But Republicans insisted that the Democrats brought the mess upon themselves by
using a partisan process and skirting House-Senate negotiations in which language
problems are typically worked out.
If the governments position [that Congress intended to have subsidies go to all states]
was right, this should have been sorted out in the conference between the House and
the Senate, said Tevi Troy, a former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services
during the George W. Bush administration.
For now, the subsidies arent going to screech to a halt. Theyll continue for everyone
who has signed up this year. The Obama administration plans to seek a ruling from the
full D.C. appeals court, and Democrats predict the full court will uphold their reading of
the law. Theyre already dismissing the ruling because it was written by two Republican-
appointed judges.
I believe it will be appealed to the full D.C. circuit court and will lose there. Two other
[courts] have turned thumbs-down to similar suits, and I expect the D.C. court will do
the same, said John McDonough, a health care expert at Harvard who helped write the
law as a Democratic Senate staffer in 2010.
AEIs Miller isnt so sure. Its uphill [for the other judges] to say, Well, we disagree with
you because we were appointed by Democrats, he said.
But the real issue, health care experts say, is what happens if the dispute eventually
reaches the Supreme Court. That could be more perilous for the law given the courts
conservative majority.
And if the subsidies do eventually lose in the high court, Obamacare opponents say,
thats no ones fault but the laws authors.
If people lose those subsidies, it is because the courts have ruled that those subsidies
are and always have been unlawful, said Michael Cannon, who is director of health
policy studies at the Cato Institute and strongly backed the lawsuit in amicus briefs.
The issue also has serious implications for Obamacares employer mandate an
unpopular piece of the law that has proved troublesome for the administration. The
mandate is triggered only when a companys employees go to the exchange to get
subsidies. So if a person cannot get subsidies, there is really no mandate and no fine on
the employers.
And if the subsidies are ultimately struck down, it would also cripple the individual
In a brief filed with the D.C. court, several economists who support the law wrote that if
subsidies couldnt go to federal exchange states, insurance would be unaffordable for 99
percent of the people who qualify for subsidies today. That means they would be
exempt from the individual mandate because coverage was unaffordable under the
So the individual mandate would still be on the books, it would still operate in those
states, but far more people would be exempt from penalties in those states, said