Category Archives: Law

Trump and Healthcare, by Scott Adams

This may look like Scott Adams trying to make the lemon of the Obamacare fiasco into lemonade, but he’s probably got it right. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Today we are witnessing one of the most important events in political history. But you probably can’t see it because the news is talking about healthcare, and how Ryan and Trump totally failed to get enough votes.

The real story is happening in parallel with the healthcare story, and that’s what renders it invisible. Something enormous is happening that has nothing to do with anything you are seeing in the news. In fact, you’ll probably read it here for the first time.

I’m dragging this out to see if you can guess the big news before I tell you. It is something I predicted would happen. It is something the country needs MORE than healthcare. It was, until yesterday, perceived as the biggest problem in the United States, if not the entire world.

And that problem almost totally went away yesterday. The smell might linger, but the problem has ended. We should be celebrating, but instead we will be yammering about healthcare.

Do you know what problem just got solved? It’s invisible for now, but later everyone will be able to see it.

Don’t see it?

Okay, I’ll just tell you.

With the failure of the Ryan healthcare bill, the illusion of Trump-is-Hitler has been fully replaced with Trump-is-incompetent meme. Look for the new meme to dominate the news, probably through the summer. By year end, you will see a second turn, from incompetent to “Competent, but we don’t like it.”

To continue reading: Trump and Healthcare

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Questions for Judge Gorsuch, by Andrew P. Napolitano

This is a thoughtful and interesting article about judicial philosophy. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

I have spent this past week watching the Senate Judiciary Committee interrogating U.S. Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch is President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. The vacancy was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia more than 13 months ago. The Supreme Court is currently generally divided between four liberals and four conservatives. As a justice, Gorsuch would probably break many ideological ties.

During the hearings, Republican senators are doing their best to associate Judge Gorsuch with the popular-in-death Justice Scalia, and Democratic senators are doing their best to try to pin down Gorsuch by making him commit publicly to positions on hot-button issues, such as abortion, gun rights and the use of unrestricted money in political campaigns. Gorsuch has accepted the Republican sobriquets and declined to answer Democratic inquiries with specificity. So, are the hearings of any real value?

Here is the back story.

Prior to the partisan efforts to block the nominations of the late Judge Robert Bork and now-Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, the Senate’s “advice and consent” role was mainly limited to a cursory examination of a nominee’s qualifications for office. The Bork hearings succeeded in derailing his nomination by portraying his philosophical views as outside the mainstream of legal thought. The Thomas hearings, which failed to block the nomination, centered on the nominee’s alleged personal shortcomings, which were directly challenged and mainly refuted.

My point here is that since these two hearings in 1987 and 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee has felt unleashed to probe and prod into any area it sees fit, and the nominees have become unleashed to answer only the questions that they think will advance their nominations.

To continue reading: Questions for Judge Gorsuch

How the Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare — and What We Can Actually Do About It, by Alice Salles

You may have heard this before from SLL. When government regulates an industry at the behest of sundry do-gooders, the regulated industry has every incentive to capture the regulatory apparatus. For the do-gooders, they are off to their next crusade. From Alice Salles at theantimedia.org:

Government’s meddling in the healthcare business has been disastrous from the get-go.

Since 1910, when Republican William Taft gave in to the American Medical Association’s lobbying efforts, most administrations have passed new healthcare regulations. With each new law or set of new regulations, restrictions on the healthcare market went further, until at some point in the 1980s, people began to notice the cost of healthcare had skyrocketed.

This is not an accident. It’s by design.

As regulators allowed special interests to help design policy, everything from medical education to drugs became dominated by virtual monopolies that wouldn’t have otherwise existed if not for government’s notion that intervening in people’s lives is part of their job.

But how did costs go up, and why didn’t this happen overnight?

It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon restricted the supply of hospitals by requiring institutions to provide a certificate-of-need.

Just a couple years later, in 1974, the president also strengthened unions for hospital workers by boosting pension protections, which raise the cost for both those who run hospitals and taxpayers in cases of institutions that rely on government subsidies. This move also helped force doctors who once owned and ran their own hospitals to merge into provider monopolies. These, in turn, are often only able to keep their doors open with the help of government subsidies.

This artificial restriction on healthcare access had yet another harsh consequence: overworked doctors.

But they weren’t the first to feel the consequences hit home. As the number of hospitals and clinics became further restricted and the healthcare industry became obsessed with simple compliance, patients were the first to feel abandoned.

To continue reading: How the Government Ruined U.S. Healthcare — and What We Can Actually Do About It

800 Families File Lawsuit Against Saudi Arabia over 9/11, by Carey Wedler

The discovery and actual trial of this case could be explosive, and deeply embarrassing to both Saudi Arabian and American government officials. If in fact Saudi Arabia is found liable, let’s hope the plaintiffs receive proper monetary compensation and a measure of closure. From Carey Wedler at theantimedia.org:

Eight-hundred families of 9/11 victims and 1,500 first responders, along with others who suffered as a result of the attacks, have filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia over its alleged complicity in the 2001 terror attacks, according to an exclusive report by local New York outlet Pix 11.

The legal document, filed in a federal court in Manhattan, describes the Saudi role in the attacks. Pix 11 reports:

“The document details how officials from Saudi embassies supported hijackers Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar 18 months before 9/11.

“The officials allegedly helped them find apartments, learn English and obtain credit cards and cash. The documents state that the officials helped them learn how to blend into the American landscape.”

For years, suspicions have swirled that some Saudi officials had ties to the gruesome attacks. The recent release of FBI reports produced shortly after the attacks provided details to justify growing skepticism against the Saudis. These details were further bolstered by the release of 28 pages originally withheld from the 9/11 commission report. Though the U.S. government downplayed the findings, even some lawmakers expressed concern.

Pix 11 further described the lawsuit, which reportedly relies on information from the FBI’s investigations:

“The suit also produces evidence that officials in the Saudi embassy in Germany supported lead hijacker Mohamed Atta. It claims that a Saudi official was in the same hotel in Virginia with several hijackers the night before the attacks.”

The suit also alleges “some of the hijackers had special markers in their passports, identifying them as al-Qaida sympathizers.”

According to the suit, filed by aviation law firm Kreindler & Kreindler, “Saudi royals, who for years had been trying to curry favor with fundamentalists to avoid losing power, were aware that funds from Saudi charities were being funneled to al-Qaida.”

“The charities were alter egos of the Saudi government,” Jim Kreindler told Pix 11.

According to Kreindler, “there was a direct link between all the charities and Osama bin Laden and…they operated with the full knowledge of Saudi officials.”

To continue reading: 800 Families File Lawsuit Against Saudi Arabia over 9/11

Obamacare Repeal or Obamacare 2.0? by Ron Paul

Ron Paul is not enthusiastic about the Republicans’ proposed replacement of Obamacare. From Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

This Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on a Republican bill that supposedly repeals Obamacare. However, the bill retains Obamacare’s most destructive features.

That is not to say this legislation is entirely without merit. For example, the bill expands the amount individuals can contribute to a health savings account (HSA). HSAs allow individuals to save money tax-free to pay for routine medical expenses. By restoring individuals’ control over healthcare dollars, HSAs remove the distortions introduced in the healthcare market by government policies encouraging over-reliance on third-party payers.

The legislation also contains other positive tax changes, such a provision allowing individuals to use healthcare tax credits to purchase a “catastrophic-only” insurance policy. Ideally, health insurance should only cover major or catastrophic health events. No one expects their auto insurance to cover routine oil changes, so why should they expect health insurance to cover routine checkups?

Unfortunately the bill’s positive aspects are more than outweighed by its failure to repeal Obamacare’s regulations and price controls. Like all price controls, Obamacare distorts the signals that a freely functioning marketplace sends to consumers and producers, thus guaranteeing chaos in the marketplace. The result of this chaos is higher prices, reduced supply, and lowered quality.

Two particularly insidious Obamacare regulations are guaranteed issue and community ratings. As the name suggests, guaranteed issue forces health insurance companies to issue a health insurance policy to anyone who applies for coverage. Community ratings forces health insurance companies to charge an obese couch potato and a physically-fit jogger similar premiums. This forces the jogger to subsidize the couch potato’s unhealthy lifestyle.

To continue reading: Obamacare Repeal or Obamacare 2.0?

America First or Saudi Arabia First? by Kristen Breitweiser

Saudi Arabia is spreading a lot of money around Washington trying to get the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act rescinded, since it’s squarely aimed at that country. The question is, will the US government under President Trump abandon or reaffirm its longstanding obsequiousness towards the repressive kingdom? From Kristen Breitweiser at strategic-culture.org:

Dear President Trump,

This week you are scheduled to meet with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. As a 9/11 widow who has fought for more than 15 years for truth, justice, accountability and transparency with regard to the murder of my husband, Ron, I have a considerable interest in your upcoming meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince.

First, foremost and for good reason, I fear that the Deputy Crown Prince will not be forthright with you about his Kingdom’s role in the 9/11 attacks and global terrorism.

Indeed, many in the Kingdom refuse to tell the truth about their continued, long-standing, and well-documented clandestine, logistical and financial support of radical Islamist terrorist groups that target and kill innocent Americans.

For example, last summer when the infamous 2002 Joint Inquiry of Congress’ “28 pages” were finally released, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir claimed that the Saudis were exonerated and that the matter surrounding the Saudi role in the 9/11 attacks was “now finished.”

In reality, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks is far from over. And, in truth, the “28 pages” – actually 29 pages of the 832-page report – prove to be quite illuminating, devastating and damning towards that end:

On page 415: “While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support and assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government.… [A]t least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”

On page 417: One of the individuals identified in the pages as a financial supporter of two of the 9/11 hijackers, Osama Bassnan, later received a “significant amount of cash” from “a member of the Saudi Royal Family” during a 2002 trip to Houston.

To continue reading: America First or Saudi Arabia First?

 

The Muslim Travel Ban Explained, from Zero Hedge

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-16/muslim-travel-ban-explained-1-simple-cartoon