Yah-Mo Be There. (Up and Over...)
A blog for the people.
In Jer. 18:15, God tells Jeremiah that the people have stumbled in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up.
O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;
If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.
And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.
And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.
Know the Game. Make the Call.
Luckily, referees, like justices, don't have to read all the hype leading up to the Big Game. *nod* Just the facts, ma'am...
It is legally and factually incorrect to describe these cases as “challenges to the ACA.” This is particularly important because the actual legal posture of these cases is far more troubling.
The plaintiffs in King are not asking the Supreme Court to block any part of the ACA. They are asking the Court to uphold the Act by blocking the IRS’s unilateral attempt to strike down the Act’s clear language.
Here’s how: Section 1311 directs states to establish exchanges, and Section 1321 directs the federal government to establish exchanges “within” any state that fails to do so.
Section 1401 authorizes subsidies (nominally, “tax credits”) for exchange enrollees whose household income falls between 100 and 400% of the federal poverty level, who are not eligible for qualified employer coverage or other government programs, and who enroll in coverage “through an Exchange established by the State.” Each of these eligibility restrictions is as clear as the next.
The statute makes no provision for subsidies in federally established exchanges.
The mere availability of exchange subsidies triggers penalties under the ACA’s employer and individual mandates. Under the statute, then, if a state does not establish an exchange: (1) those subsidies are not available; (2) a state’s employers are exempt from the employer mandate; and (3) the lion’s share of its residents are exempt from the individual mandate.
This appears to have been the IRS’s initial interpretation of the statute, at least until something went terribly wrong.
Early drafts of the IRS’s implementing regulations reflected the statutory requirement that exchange subsidies are available only through “an Exchange established by the State.” Following sweeping Republican gains in state governments in 2010 and discussions with the White House and Treasury Department, however, the IRS changed its draft regulations in March 2011.
In August 2011, the IRS issued a proposed rule announcing it would provide tax credits (and implement the resulting penalties) in states with federal exchanges too. Treasury and IRS officials later admitted to congressional investigators they knew the statute did not authorize them to issue tax credits through federal exchanges, and that they have no records of researching the statute or its legislative history before deciding to jettison this requirement.
The proposed rule provoked immediate and sustained criticism from the public, academics, and members of Congress. The IRS nonetheless finalized its “tax-credit rule” in May 2012. The final rule cited no statutory authority for the agency’s reversal. It contained only a cursory, one-paragraph explanation claiming this rewrite was consistent with the statute’s goals. Not until October 2012, under sustained pressure from members of Congress and after the rule had been challenged in federal court, did the agency cite any supposed statutory authority.
Confounding expectations, thirty-six states refused or otherwise failed to establish exchanges. When that happened, criticism of the IRS rule turned into legal action...
If the Supreme Court does the same — a big if — it will be a remarkable moment. A Republican-appointed majority of justices would do what Republican politicians have been trying, without success, to do for the last five years: Repeal much of Obamacare. And the court would be doing so only three years after upholding most of the same law.
When I asked historians if they could think of any similar undoing of an existing part of the social safety net, several said they could not. The court blocked parts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, but never dismantled such a large program already underway. The best-known piece of health care law to be repealed by Congress — a 1988 law expanding catastrophic coverage in Medicare — was far narrower than the Affordable Care Act. It was also only starting to go into effect when Congress undid it, in 1989.
Julian Zelizer, a Princeton historian and the author of a new book on the 1960s expansion of the safety net, said the closest analogy might be Reconstruction and the reaction to it. An enormous federal effort initially succeeded in expanding civil rights in the South, only to be reversed in later years. The reversal lasted decades.
Fear not, David.Reconstruction is obviously a charged, and imperfect, analogy. (For one thing, the people who would lose health insurance now would be predominantly white Southerners.) But the fact that no better precedent comes to mind underscores the highly unusual nature of what could happen at the Supreme Court.
You'd Think She Was Queen O'er the Land...
And Her Hair Hung Over Her Shoulder
Tied Up with a Black Velvet Band.
Make it a Great Friday, Folks!
Winter Weekend in Sight =
Jake: "We'll put the band back together, do a few gigs, we get some bread. ... Bang!"
That's right.* You read it in the New York Times this past weekend: Maureen Dowd reports the Bush Brothers are Putting the Band Back Together ...
W. was a boy king, propped up by regents supplied by his father. Since he knew nothing about foreign affairs, his father surrounded him with his own advisers: Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Dick Cheney, who joined up with his pal Donald Rumsfeld and absconded with W.’s presidency.Jeb, too, wanted to bolster his negligible foreign policy cred, so the day of his speech, his aide released a list of 21 advisers, 19 of whom had worked in the administrations of his father and his brother. The list starts with the estimable James Baker. But then it shockingly veers into warmongers.
It’s mind-boggling, but there’s Paul Wolfowitz, the unapologetic designer of the doctrine of unilateralism and pre-emption, the naïve cheerleader for the Iraq invasion and the man who assured Congress that Iraqi oil would pay for the country’s reconstruction and that it was ridiculous to think we would need as many troops to control the country as Gen. Eric Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, suggested.
There’s John Hannah, Cheney’s national security adviser (cultivated by the scheming Ahmed Chalabi), who tried to stuff hyped-up junk on Saddam into Powell’s U.N. speech and who harbored bellicose ambitions about Iran; Stephen Hadley, who let the false 16-word assertion about Saddam trying to buy yellowcake in Niger into W.’s 2003 State of the Union; Porter Goss, the former C.I.A. director who defended waterboarding.
There’s Michael Hayden, who publicly misled Congress about warrantless wiretapping and torture, and Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security secretary who fumbled Katrina.
Jeb is also getting advice from Condi Rice, queen of the apocalyptic mushroom cloud. And in his speech he twice praised a supporter, Henry Kissinger! who advised prolonging the Vietnam War, which the Nixon White House thought might help with the 1972 election...
Why not bring back Scooter Libby?
The Wisconsin prep hockey playoffs have begun...
Let the winnowing begin!
'Tis the (Lenten) Season II:
Friday Night Fish Fry
that Puts Hair on your Chest !
Stay warm, everyone.
This too shall pass...
Steve Harvey plays this Family Feud survey question beautifully!
Name Something That Gets Passed Around...
Sports writer Dave Zirin argues that the first all-African-American Little League championship team from the Chicago area should have been excused for recruiting players from outside the city boundaries, and picking off the suburban black players to play on the city team.
But before you go changing those rules Mr. Zirin, all of the other leagues in the country should get to decide if they want to establish their teams on the basis of race or ethnicity, rather than geographic boundary lines.
An all-Dominican team from NYC, say.
All the best Cuban-American players in the Miami area, say Miami Dade up the coast to Palm Beach County. All the Jewish-American ballplayers in the same region.
All the white kids from Houston and the suburbs...
Or is it just the African Americans he thinks need a special competitive advantage on the athletic field, here -- the baseball diamonds?
there's a reason, legally, why Little League takes all comers -- the fat kids, nerds, Jews, girls, blacks, delinquents -- didn't you see the original Bad News Bears, Mr. Zirin?
Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau), a former minor-league baseball player and an alcoholic who cleans swimming pools, is recruited by a city councilman and attorney who filed a lawsuit against a competitive Southern California Little League, which excluded the least athletically skilled children (including his son) from playing.
To settle the lawsuit, the league agrees to add an additional team the Bears which is composed of the worst players.Those kids -- collectively, The Bears -- were ultimately winners, because they didn't sacrifice playing by the rules in order to "win".
I suppose it's more politically correct for our friends at the New York Times to pay a historian to tell us stories of "The First Victims of the First Crusades: -- namely, the Jewish people -- than to timely report what the Jewish extremists and their 21st Century weapons have done to the dead victims and living survivors in Gaza today.
Israel is an alleged ally,
so it's much better to remember a time when the Jews were the First Victims, while they look away from the war crimes of today.
Same as it ever was?
Join us next week for an attempt to assess reparations for the descendants of these First Victims, who have never been made whole and thus whose sufferings continue on today while the Rhineland flourishes!
Braving the Freezing Temperatures for Love, Religion and Chocolate SalesLook who's writing for the New York Times these days...
By TATIANA SCHLOSSBERG
Notorious Cubs fan George Will,
73 and aging comfortably,
tells us to think positively,
everything is wonderful
where he's at in life.
Cubs Gonna Win the Pennant!
(I miss Mike Royko's "voice" too.
More realistic than optimistic.)
IN OTHER NEWS:
The big news at work yesterday was that William Mitchell Law School in St. Paul, and Hamline University Law are merging their programs on the Wm. Mitchell campus.
The Mitchell|Hamline School of Law will offer more enrollment options than any other school in the country, including full-time, weekend, and part-time programs, as well as a hybrid, on-campus/online JD option. In addition, students will be able to earn dual degrees through the school’s affiliation with Hamline University, and they will have access to Hamline’s athletic facilities, library and cultural programs.
“It will leverage the best of two outstanding institutions to create a stronger law school with the ability to put a greater focus on helping students prepare for the new realities of the profession, which is increasingly competitive, specialized, and technology-based,” said Eric Janus, William Mitchell president and dean.
Because I am so checking you out!
We are beautiful.
It's gonna be a beautiful night...
(Y'all sing it!)
Don't believe me, just watch!
Sorry, but I never did understand the bandwagon appeal of silly nothings.
Momentarily distractingly funny,
if you go in for that sort of thing.
(*and plenty do, plenty did, don't mean to take anything from either boyish-man, but... in the end, there really wasn't much of anything really there, was there? I like deeper humor myself, not just the pointedly giggling at the nothingness our collective culture has become. Give me a deep "thinker's" joke anyday over such nonsense.)
Still, I am sorry for those grieving their upcoming loss. You'll survive though, and I think both men were smart in getting out while the game is still good. Betcha neither Seinfeld, nor an evermore grey Stewart would age well, doing such comedy.
At some point, you grow up and start taking life seriously, and then that nothingness style of humor doesn't really seem so funny, when you consider the underlying issues it is built upon.
All these issues... seems to change to black and white.
I'm growing tired: your times stand still before me;
frozen here on the ladder of my life...
when I met you...
Closed the door
but I'm not blind...
My oh my!
The Never-Ending Story.
Well it's the same... old song.
But with a different reason...
since bin Laden's gone.
Yes it's the same, old song...
but for a different reason,
it goes on and on...
Remember that inner-city Chicago team that won hearts for overcoming adversity on their way to their championship game loss against South Korea in the Little League World Championship last year?
Turns out, some of the black kids came from the south suburbs -- South Holland, Dolton, Lansing, Lynwood, and Homewood, Illinois -- in violation of the residency rules.
The crux of Evergreen Park’s allegations came to light during Jackie Robinson West’s Little League World Series run that ended with a U.S. championship, including online posts from a congresswoman, a suburban mayor, an elite traveling baseball league, a village newsletter and a Sports Illustrated post that detailed the players' suburban roots.Looking Ahead for Leadership?
Chris Janes says he won’t apologize for “doing the right thing” and holds on to hope that Little League International will investigate new information made public in a DNAinfo.com Chicago report.
Little League residency rules require players to either reside or attend school within a league’s boundaries with very few exceptions, and specifically state it is unacceptable for a parent to establish residency to qualify for tournament play.“I’ve gotten several messages telling me that I’m an idiot. Telling me that it’s sour grapes. Telling me I should resign,” Janes said. “But I have no regrets. I feel like we’re doing the right thing and we just have to keep moving forward. … I don’t think this is over.”
According to a league map obtained by DNAinfo.com, the Jackie Robinson West boundaries include sections of the Morgan Park, Washington Heights, Auburn Gresham, Englewood and New City neighborhoods of Chicago — but do not include any suburbs.
Janes and fellow Evergreen Park league board members said news reports during and after the World Series that quoted suburban officials celebrating various players as hometown heroes exposed some of Jackie Robinson West players as suburbanites and confirmed what some Evergreen Park Little League volunteers had suspected for years — preteen blue-chip players were being recruited to join the team.
“Due to their success this year — and getting on TV — all of the information [about the players] became so readily available,” Janes said. “All you had to do was Google any one of the players' names and their hometowns outside of Chicago pop up. … It was all just there.”
The controversy began in late October when Janes sent an email on behalf of his south suburban league asking Little League International to investigate whether Jackie Robinson West engaged in “manipulating, bending and blatantly breaking the rules for the sole purpose of winning at all costs” by recruiting All-Star players from outside their league boundaries to put together the “super team” that became U.S. champs.
Janes said he also received emails and calls backing his league’s decision to speak out, including a letter from a former west suburban Little League official.
“I wanted to reach out to you to thank and encourage you to continue to speak out against border-jumping families. While the story told of the JRW program was inspiring and the players deserve the admiration, it is my opinion that the choices of the adults deserve scorn,” the email states.
“What they fail to see [as do most of the commenters] is that for every accolade they have received, they have stolen those magical moments from kids and families who have followed the rules and deserve the attention. … It takes a great deal of courage and clearly demonstrates the responsibility you must feel to speak out against the injustice of deception.”
Janes says he appreciated the support.
“It’s great to hear but it’s odd when people commend you for being courageous,” he said. “What kind of world do we live in when this is what’s considered courageous? When you see something that’s wrong you report it. More people should step forward.”
Janes said that he’s hoping now that the Evergreen Park league he represents has spoken out and provided “as many facts as we could” that more people with “first-hand knowledge of Jackie Robinson West players living outside league boundaries will speak up as well.
“Maybe the more voices that are heard the more likely something will be done about it,” said Janes, who believes Jackie Robinson West should be stripped of its title if an investigation finds the team violated residency rules.
The Mountain Ridge Little League coach whose Las Vegas-based team lost to Jackie Robinson West in the U.S. title game said he believes Little League International officials will do the right thing to “protect the integrity of the league” as they have in past cases involving questions about player eligibility.
“I’m gonna leave that up to them,” Mountain Ridge manager Ashton Cave said. “I’m sure Little League [officials] would — now that there’s some controversy being stirred up — want to keep the integrity of Little League … because it will affect a lot of baseball players and a lot of families if it becomes tainted and tarnished.
“That’s the last thing that any coach or league would want to do — to ruin something because you want to win. You don’t tarnish an entire league worldwide. That would be very unfortunate. And I’m not accusing anybody. I’m just making observations."
Patrick Wilson, Vice President of Operations and International Tournament Director for the Williamsport, Penn.-based Little League International, said he took seriously the allegations in Janes’ letter challenging residency of Jackie Robinson West players.
Wilson said Little League officials reviewed evidence Janes sent, which included Web links to news stories, Facebook pages, crowd-funding websites and roster information from the Chicago White Sox ACE program, a travel team organization that a number of Jackie Robinson West players had participated in.
Wilson said Little League checked Jackie Robinson West paperwork to verify that the players “live in Chicago or go to school in Chicago” and asked for additional information to verify residency. Little League officials, however, did not ask Jackie Robinson West parents to sign affidavits — legal binding documents signed under oath — to verify residency or school attendance as required according to Little League’s rules, Wilson said.
Wilson declined to answer specific questions about player residency information, would not say whether the league filed residency waivers for specific players and refused to provide the map of Jackie Robinson West’s league boundaries the national organization used to verify residency.
Wilson said that Little League International followed up on the “very specific complaints” made by Evergreen Park by rechecking the documents Jackie Robinson West submitted to prove player residency. He said Little League International also asked for additional documentation to support residency and school enrollment claims.
Wilson declined to elaborate on details of the investigation but said, “We checked the documentation and the addresses that the Evergreen Park folks sent from Lynwood, South Holland and Dolton.” He said that the organization looked at documents provided by Jackie Robinson “to support the residency and school enrollment requirements.”
Wilson said privacy concerns prevented him from disclosing information about specific player documentation and that it is Little League policy not to disclose individual league boundary maps.
“We don’t publish those maps,” Wilson said. “Leagues share them how they decide to. We do not.”
Janes said he was disappointed that Little League International conducted what he considered a less-than-thorough investigation especially given the organization’s significant financial resources. Last year, Little League signed a $60 million deal extending ESPN’s exclusive television broadcast rights to the World Series tournament.
“We thought what we sent them was the smoking gun. … It seems to me with all the big money people involved, the television rights and all of that, if they were legitimately concerned that they would have done their homework,” Janes said.
“If they were concerned about everybody playing by the same rules that Little League publishes on its website, their responses would have been a lot more specific. I think there’s a lot at stake and there are a lot of people involved in this that are concerned the truth may come out.”
The appearance that the Jackie Robinson West team is comprised of “travel players from outside their boundaries” remains at the heart of Evergreen Park’s formal complaint, Janes said.
When parents ask him how his suburban league can remain competitive against Jackie Robinson West, Janes says he doesn’t have a good answer.
"As long as they are allowed to select players from outside their boundaries to make a team largely comprised of travel players and we continue to only allow players within our boundary, it’s going to be difficult,” Janes alleged.
Janes said he “wouldn’t be surprised that other leagues do the same thing particularly if circumventing the rules is as easy as it appears to be now.”
“But I think it’s wrong no matter who does it,” Janes said. “In the end Jackie Robinson West is in our backyard and they’ve been so well-publicized that it’s obvious that they’re doing it, at least in my eyes.”
Janes said Evergreen Park volunteers genuinely fear that the continued existence of an unlevel playing field might kill their league.
“The intent of Little League is everybody plays. There are no cuts. It’s a childhood experience, not a stepping stone to play high school ball or college,” Janes said.
Travel ball exists for the players whose parents “thought their kids were a little better and it might be good to play a more competitive brand of baseball on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
Travel teams are not restricted by boundaries. “They have tryouts and cut players,” Janes said. “They don’t have the same rules as Little League.”
The travel teams, he said, “really don’t want anything to do with Little League — until it’s time to play on TV.”
“All the sudden they’re a travel ball team masquerading as a Little League team,” he said.
He added, “There’s something wrong with a process that seems to be very easily manipulated.”
Things were slow in the Minneapolis document review business this past month, but will be picking up once again, tomorrow. Good thing. The World is My Beat. Who wrote that again? ;-)
I got two turntables and a microphone...
There's a destination a little up the road
From the habitations and the towns we know
A place we saw the lights turn low
The jig-saw jazz and the get-fresh flow
Pulling out jives and jamboree handouts
Two turntables and a microphone
Bottles and cans just clap your hands
Just clap your hands
Where it's at!
I got two turntables and a microphone...
The Standoff Continues...
* I'd be very surprised if the NBC executives allow Brian to return to the prominent evening anchor chair, over the inconsistent stories pointed out on social media by the veteran military men.
"Hold your nose and play on" might have worked in the Super Bowl, when alleged cheating was detected. (Brady even won the MVP, although the game was saved by a different man.) But only children and the obtuse bought the explanation that the quarterback wasn't, somehow, bending the rules to get there...
You don't bend the rules on the playing field.
Soldiers understand that.
Let's learn here.
America needs an attitude adjustment:
No more rewarding "cheats".
How Many Trucks/SUV's Did Bruce Jenner Sell This Weekend?
Talk about Incentives to Buy Big... his Escalade tapped the right rear of a Lexus, pushing it into traffic where it got creamed by a Hummer, killing the elderly woman driver inside.
Sadly, policymakers -- themselves often divorced from real-life daily decision-making -- believe that if gas costs more, people will be inclined to buy smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles to travel.
Then you see photos like those from this weekend's traffic aftermath. Protection, people.
Societal inequalities are taxing, but often we overlook the results in reality, except when there's a celebrity or maybe a Lexus sedan involved...
I've found, if I heat the oven early in the morning on the weekends, especially when I've bedded down early* the night before, the whole place warms up easily, and it smells nice too.
So this morning, an Italian sausage, garlic and onions skillet, wrapped into a boiled, then oven-baked, spaghetti and cheese dish.
I'm not sure how this will plate up -- I go for nutrition more than aesthetics here, and take most of my meals as a single, standing -- but it looks delicious. Plus, I'm eating out the freezer from some of the tomato sauces frozen late in the summer.
And it's not even 7a.m. Sunday morning... go me.
Added: *I'm going to have Sunday dinner in half an hour... not waiting.
So Brian Williams' acting career is over?
It was a good long run while it lasted, Bri.,
playing a journalist on t.v. Chin up.
You're young(ish looking). You'll get more gigs.
"The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it." ~ William James