When 10 words mean what they say … or will they, when they get to the Supreme Court?

The ObamaCare law — if you can call it that with all its delays, waivers and bureaucratic rewrites — says what it says, according to a federal court, which found that tax subsidies for health insurance premiums may only be granted in exchanges run by states, not the federal government, as is the case in 36 states.

The language is that the subsidies must come “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311.”

The lede on the CNBC story declares: “In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a federal appeals court panel declared Tuesday that government subsidies worth billions of dollars that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal”

If the higher court upholds the ruling, a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute estimates 7.3 million enrollees could lose access to about $36.1 billion in subsidies.

A couple of hours later, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the Obamacare subsidies through the federal exchange, saying the law is ambiguous and it was deferring to the IRS interpretation.



Texas governor sends National Guard to border to act as welcome wagon for illegals

Texas Gov. Rick Parry has announced that the is sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border to halt the flow of illegal aliens flooding across our international border.

Well, no, not really.

He actually announced that he is sending 1,000 trained soldiers to help round up those crossing out borders and quickly turned them over to taxpayer funded boarding houses  for care and feeding until they can be set free in the general population and told to show up for an immigration hearing someday, if they feel like it.

“Technically speaking, if we were asked to we could detain people but we’re not planning on that,” said Adjutant General John Nichols, head of the Texas Military Forces, Nichols, who joined Perry at a press conference today. “We’re planning on referring and deterring — so deterring them with physical presence and referring any people that we see that we think are illegal immigrants to DPS (Texas Department of Public Safety).”


The people coming across the border are not trying to evade the Border Patrol. They readily and eagerly turn themselves in, knowing they’ll be royally treated.

“We think that they will come to us and say please take us to a Border Patrol station,” Nichols said. “We’re going to be prepared to have water there, to render aid if they need it.”

“These children are not trying to evade Border Patrol and there’s no reason to confront them with soldiers,” said U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio.

There is no one even hinting that we should station personnel at the border and tell these people to stop and turn back. No, it is: “Come on in, sit down. Here is good, clothing, medicine and safety.”

It will cost Texans $17 million a month roll out this welcome wagon. That’s $5 million for DPS and $12 million for the National Guard. Perry says he will send a bill to the federal government.

Newspaper column: Bashing right-wingers for fun and profit, mostly profit

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) recently published a report loosely based on the standoff at the Cliven Bundy ranch in Bunkerville titled “War in the West: The Bundy Ranch Standoff and the American Radical Right.”

It was duly reported by the press without a smidgen of skepticism, as noted in this week’s newspaper column available on The Ely Times and the Elko Daily Free Press.

“The Bundy standoff has invigorated an extremist movement that exploded when  President Obama was elected, going from some 150 groups in 2008 to more than 1,000 last year,” the report declares breathlessly on its opening page, without an ounce of documentation or attribution. “Though the movement has waxed and waned over the last three decades, antigovernment extremists have long pushed, most fiercely during Democratic administrations, rabid conspiracy theories about a nefarious New World Order …”

More cameras than guns. (Reuters photo)

SPCL is a multimillion-dollar leftist organization built on direct marketing and scare tactics, having little to do with poverty or law. It touts itself as “a nonprofit organization that combats hate, intolerance and discrimination through education and litigation.” Yet it spreads hate and intolerance with vile innuendo and speculation. It also inflates its hate group count by counting every chapter in every state as a separate group.

In a press release announcing the “War” report, SPLC’s Mark Potok claims, “The Bundy ranch standoff wasn’t a spontaneous response to Cliven Bundy’s predicament but rather a well-organized, military-type action that reflects the potential for violence from a much larger and more dangerous movement.”

This conclusion is based entirely on an interview with a single person, 30-year-old Ryan Payne of Montana, who the report claims told “counter snipers” where to position themselves behind concrete and pavement barriers. Basically, as shown in photographs in the report and in numerous newspapers, a man with a rifle peeked between barriers on a highway overpass. In one photo there is one rifle and a half dozen cameras. No mention is made of the photo taken by Bundy family members of Bureau of Land Management snipers atop hills.

As for the claim that the support for Bundy was not spontaneous, the report contradicts its author by pointing out that Payne spontaneously drove through the night from Montana with a friend after becoming enraged by a YouTube video of BLM agents using a Taser on one of Bundy’s sons.

The standoff between the BLM and the armed supporters ended on April 12. The agency had shown up with hundreds of heavily armed agents to confiscate Bundy’s cattle, which had been grazing without permits on federal land in Gold Butte for 20 years.

Though the SPLC says 900 of Bundy’s cattle had been rounded up and placed in pens, media reports place the number at less than 500. SPLC also notes that the BLM packed up and left, citing a “serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public,” not mentioning that the BLM had not secured any place to take the confiscated cattle and had no choice but to let them go, as Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie has confirmed.

The report also makes numerous redundant references to the presence at the ranch of Jerad and Amanda Miller — who later ambushed and killed two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian who tried to stop them — suggesting an ideological affinity. The report did not mention that the couple was told to leave the ranch or that they had also attended a leftist Million Mask March in Indiana.

SPLC’s definition of hate groups is broad, sweeping in groups that question amnesty for illegal immigrants and church groups that oppose gay marriage. None of the so-called hate groups on its list is on the left of the political spectrum. There are groups with the phrase tea party or patriot in their names but none with occupy or pro choice.

SPLC was founded in 1971 by direct mail marketer Morris Dees. According to the organization’s 2012 IRS report, the latest available, it had assets of more than $290 million, receiving more than $37.5 million in contributions and grants that year.

Writer Potok was paid $163,000, while Dees fetched more than $350,000, as did President and CEO Richard Cohen. Eight other staffers were paid between $100,000 and $200,000 each.

As for tolerance, Potok told a hate crimes conference in 2007, “Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on … I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.”

Tolerance, sweet tolerance.

Also read the column at Ely or Elko.

If taxes can be an incentive for companies, why not for illegal immigrants?

Taxes are causing a number of American companies to seek shelter overseas, as The Wall Street Journal points out in an editorial today on how Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wants to make things worse.

WSJ noted Lew wants to punish those companies and wrote:

“Mr. Lew is responding to a recent flurry by U.S.-based companies to merge with or acquire foreign companies so they can relocate their headquarters overseas. These so-called inversions allow companies to reduce their overall tax burden by avoiding America’s 35% corporate tax rate—40% on average including state levies—on income they earn overseas. The combined U.S. rate is double the average in Europe and is more than triple the 12.5% rate in Ireland.”

Meanwhile, over at Investor’s Business Daily, their editorial suggests using taxes to curb illegal immigration.

IBD points out that this administration is making it easier and cheaper for illegals to send money to families back in their home countries, such as putting an end to “hidden fees” banks charge immigrants to wire funds.

“Consumers sending $200 from here to El Salvador might find they pay anywhere from $8 to $33,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief Richard Cordray complained

IBD suggests we tax such transfers and use the money to pay for government services we provide Salvadorans or use the money to beef up border security.

On average, illegals send $300 back to Latin America each month. Tax that and provide an incentive for them to stay home.

Taxes can be a powerful incentive and work both ways.

Harry Reid says the border is secure and Obama can take care of everything

It depends on your definition of secure. We know where it is. It isn’t going anywhere. It is merely being ignored.

Somewhere between 90,000 and 150,000 Central American child illegal immigrants are expected to cross the border into the open arms of the Border Patrol this, according to Investor’s Business Daily. That’s in addition to the 421,000 adults detained at the border in 2013.

All those children are to be given immigration hearings that can take years to handle. Only about 10 percent are ever deported.

According to the Daily Caller, the number of foreigners granted asylum in the U.S. tripled from 2012 to 2013 — rising to 30,393. That’s 10 times the number from 2008.

Lisa Benson cartoon.

Harry Reid’s comment about the border being secure prompted Charles Krauthammer to ask whether he is off his meds.

“When you get Harry Reid saying the border is secure,” he said. “You’ve got to wonder, you know, whether he’s really on his medication or not.”

Krauthammer added, “I mean that’s so detached from reality. How many [children] do we have now? 60,000 at least? And we’re completely helpless. And it’s the helplessness that I think is driving the president and the Democrats to accept” changing the law.

But, according to The Hill, Democrats are now balking at changing the 2008 law that was intended to curb international sex trafficking and was not intended to grant automatic asylum to any children crossing the border from Central America. They also say Obama should not have signaled a willingness to change the law.

Republicans insist changes are necessary. “An average case of someone coming across the border illegally … will take between a year and a half to as long as five years,” The Hill quoted Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, who is leading the team drafting recommendations on the issue. “That’s just not acceptable. So we’ve got to change that.”

Reid has said he opposes draft legislation from two members of the Texas delegation, calling their changes too broad. He said the administration can adjust the deportation process without Congress changing the law.

Sounds like what Obama did with the Dream Act, which was never passed by Congress.

Heritage Foundation study reported the net cost of an illegal immigrant household to the taxpayers per year is $14,387 —  benefits received minus taxes paid. That figure skyrockets when the household is given amnesty and becomes eligible for more benefits, such as ObamaCare.


Just say no to the rural groundwater grab, once and for all

The Las Vegas newspaper today editorially points out the city’s primary water source is drying up. That’s obvious from the white bath tub ring around Lake Mead.

As to the answer to the problem, the editorialists suggest tapping groundwater from rural Nevada — a proposition that would be harmful for both the rural area and the urbanites.

Saying “make no mistake” twice, the editorial concludes:

The truth is that, historically, droughts along the Colorado River are normal and can last decades. As such, the continuing decline of Lake Mead is a reminder to develop whatever additional water resources we can. Reducing the standard of living in this region is not a solution.

Make no mistake, no one wants to build the rural groundwater pipeline. Indeed, several lawsuits aim to prevent it, and the cost of the project would be massive — many billions of dollars, including service on construction debt. But make no mistake, the water authority must be prepared to forge ahead if river conditions continue to deteriorate.

That would be a mistake.

According to the state engineer, who is water rights arbiter in Nevada, the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plan to draw 84,000 acre-feet of groundwater would affect the water table outside the valleys that would be tapped. Groundwater in Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys are linked to the White River Flow System and drawing down the water table in those valleys could affect water resources as far away as Pahranagat Valley, Lake Valley, Muddy River Springs Valley, Lower Moapa Valley, and Coyote Spring Valley.

Lake Mead’s bath tub ring

One state lawsuit opposing the pipeline project contends, “The proposed pumping would amount to a devastating groundwater mining project, under which the groundwater system would not even begin to approach equilibrium for thousands of years, with the potential of never reaching equilibrium.”

That would deter rural development efforts.

As for urban Clark County, the bottom line is that it’s still too darned expensive.

The infrastructure cost is still $7.3 billion, according to a study by Hobbs, Ong & Associates of Las Vegas and Public Financial Management of Seattle. (The study: SNWA_Exh_383_Hobbs and Bonow Report) The cost per acre-foot just for the capital expense alone is well north of $2,000 per acre-foot. That’s while Colorado River water is being sold to farmers in California and Arizona for well less than $20 per acre-foot.

As the SNWA’s own study admits, water rates in Las Vegas would at least triple if the groundwater is tapped and piped south. That would deter development in Clark County.

The first that should be done is to fill Lake Mead with Lake Powell water.

Research for the Glen Canyon Institute by hydrologist Dr. Thomas Myers found that 260,000 to 390,000 acre-feet of water seeps into the banks of Lake Powell annually, which the Bureau of Reclamation, the manager of the river, fails to take into account.

That is Nevada’s annual allotment of Colorado River water.

But the real solution lies in changing water from a socialized commodity to one openly bought and sold in a free market.

Allow the municipalities, industries, farmers and ranchers with existing water rights to buy, sell and trade in an open market. Why would a farmer continue to grow rice or cotton with his $20 an acre-foot water, when he can sell it to the water authority in Las Vegas for, say, $200? Instead of allowing that allotment to flow through the dams and canals to Yuma, Las Vegas could take that share from Lake Mead.

No need for a water grab. Problem solved.


Billions for detention and handling of illegals, but not one dime for turning them back at the border and not letting them cross

Illegal immigrant children at the border.

Central American parents are sending their unaccompanied children north to the U.S. because they believe their children will be given homes, food, clothes, an education and medical care and will not be sent back.

So, what is included in Obama’s proposed $3.7 billion spending package to “secure” the border?

The biggest item is $1.8 billion for Health and Human Services  “to provide the appropriate care for unaccompanied children, consistent with Federal law, while maintaining services for refugees.  With these funds, HHS will have the resources to be able to care for the children currently projected to come into the custody of the Department of Homeland Security while putting in place more stable, cost-effective arrangements for these children going forward.” Going forward means for the long haul.

As for actually securing the border and turning back illegals before entering the country, there is not a mention of doing so.

Obama proposes $433 million for the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, but much of that is for  “contract services and facility costs to care for children while in CBP custody, and medical and transportation.”

It all about apprehending and detaining and not turning back.

Obama proposes $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

  • $116 million would pay for transportation costs associated with the significant rise in apprehensions of unaccompanied children;
  • $109 million would provide for immigration and customs enforcement efforts, including expanding the Border Enforcement Security Task Force program, doubling the size of vetted units in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and expanding investigatory activities by ICE Homeland Security Investigations; and
  • $879 million would pay for detention and removal of apprehended undocumented adults traveling with children, expansion of alternatives to detention programs for these individuals, and additional prosecution capacity for adults with children who cross the border unlawfully.

Most the rest of the money goes for paying lawyers and judges and clerical staff to push paper around for years and years, such as the “$45.4 million would be to hire approximately 40 additional immigration judge teams.”

Then there is that $5 million for a propaganda campaign in Central America that “will emphasize the dangers of the journey, deliver the message that unaccompanied children are not given a permit to stay in the U.S.” Nope. No permit just perpetual care and a lot of paperwork.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry points out that there is no Border Patrol at the border to turn back foreigners.

“The president was not even aware that his border patrol was back 40 or 45 miles from the border at these checkpoints,” he said on Fox News. “They need to be right on the ripper, they need to be there as a show of force.”

Perry went on to say:

“Very little of it [the bill] is for border security. And I think until he gets realistic about the problem and how you deal with the problem, and it is a border security issue, and we’ve got a track record now of five plus years of him disregarding what is going on on the border, so here’s his opportunity to truly lead.”

Lead? He wouldn’t even go to the border — or send his Border Patrol there.

Today the White House confirmed that many of the illegals will be allowed to stay in this country permanently if they simply say they are afraid to return home because of the dangers there.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said:

“These children will — and other immigrants who are attempting to enter the country without documentation — will go through the immigration process and that means their claims of asylum will be considered by an immigration judge and by asylum officials.

“What that means is it means that if a immigration judge determines that they face a credible threat of death upon their return to their home country, then, again, I’m not an immigration judge, but it is likely that the immigration judge will find that that person should be granted humanitarian relief.”

Don’t we all face a credible threat of death eventually?


Glenn McCoy cartoon

Here comes the Sun, devoid of any light

Greenspun column on something that happened two weeks ago.

Greenspun column on something that happened two weeks ago.

What a steaming pile of claptrap.

Two weeks after buying out his brother and sisters — who had voted to accept an offer to cease printing the Las Vegas Sun as a section in the Las Vegas Review-Journal under a joint operating agreement (JOA) — Sun publisher and putative editor Brian Greenspun takes the banner position in his 10-page section to blather about his father. Nothing new there.

He poor mouths his way through the whole screed, saying things like: “while I am not allowed to discuss what I paid to make that deal happen, the cost was very dear.”

And in his typical ancestor worshipfulness: “Many decades ago, my father visited me in college to tell me about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This was not long after a fire had destroyed the Las Vegas Sun, the rebuilding of which caused my parents to go deeply into debt, which they had little or no chance of repaying if they expected to do it from the meager profits that the newspaper made, sometimes.”

Apparently Hank Greenspun had an offer from someone to buy the paper but he first wanted to ask his son — apparently not any of his other children, since no mention is made of them — whether he wanted to continue in the newspaper business. Brian says his answer was yes.

He makes no mention anywhere of the fast real estate deals his father made in order to build Green Valley in Henderson and become fabulously wealthy, nor of him using the newspaper to tout his friends, punish his enemies and shill for certain politicians.

At one point in the column Brian boasts, “What I now own is a company with some of the best reporters, editors, designers, salespeople and dreamers in the news industry. If the Las Vegas Sun and its sister publications survive and prosper in the coming years, it will be because of the hard work, dedication and imagination of the people who call the Greenspun Media Group home.”

This statement is on a front page, three-quarters of which is filled with a Los Angeles Times feature on development at the Grand Canyon. The only thing else on the page is a puff piece by Robin Leach about the first 100 days of operation of an oversized roller coaster on the Strip that first appeared online this past Tuesday.

The back page is a feature by a local writer about two Las Vegas performers appearing in Los Angeles that first appeared online Friday.

The rest, save two letters to the editor, is syndicated columns and features. Don’t want to work those best reporters and editors too hard now, Brian.

If I recall, the JOA gives Greenspun wide birth as to the content of the section and requires that it be delivered daily with the R-J. Short of pornography or repulsive photos of aborted fetuses, he can publish just about anything he wishes and it gets delivered to the driveway — whether it is news or not.

Perhaps his father is still waiting for him to continue in the newspaper business, since what he is doing now is certainly not the newspaper business.


Illegal immigrant ‘children’ carrying more than just infectious diseases

Ramirez cartoon

In addition to carrying debilitating and deadly diseases, those unaccompanied alien “children” being detained temporarily on our Southern border are carrying other problems.

Katie Pavlich reports on Townhall.com that internal Border Patrol memo says at least 16 unaccompanied illegal alien children are members of the brutal El Salvadorian street gang Mara Salvatrucha — also known as MS-13.

MS-13 gangs were first reported to be active in Los Angeles in the 1980s, formed by immigrant Salvadorian youth. They had reputation for being among the most violent of gangs. Many were trained in guerilla warfare and had access to sophisticated weapons.

MS-13 members are noted for their elaborate tattoos.

Pavlich quoted the Border Patrol memo as saying:

“Border Patrol Agents (BPAs) and Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs), assigned to The Nogales Placement Center (NPC), discovered that 16 unaccompanied alien children (13 El Salvadoran males, two Guatelmalan males and one Honduran male) currently being held at the NPC are members of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). The MS-13 gang members admitted to their gang associations following a discovery of graffiti at the NPC. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) were notified. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) were notified.”

Earlier, Pavlich quoted an anonymous agent as saying, “We have six minors in Nogales who have admitted to killing and doing grievous bodily injuries. One admitted to killing as young as eight years old. They are being held for placement in the U.S.”

An Investor’s Business Daily editorial recounts:

“The transnational criminal organization (MS-13) not only makes millions from smuggling illegals, its cash has bought tentacles into Central American governments that ship illegals and rely on them for remittances.

“Ground zero is El Salvador, which has shipped as much as a third of its population to the U.S. and relies on their remittances for 16% of the nation’s GDP.”

Some of these “children” will soon be released into our population along with their various kinds of infection.

Image with Pavlich report.

Harry Reid’s latest gaffe is truly an embarrassment

Harry Reid once said of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas:

“I think that he has been an embarrassment to the Supreme Court. … “I think that his opinions are poorly written. I just don’t think that he’s done a good job as a Supreme Court justice.”

Who is embarrassed now?

Reid said:

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men. This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote. And if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think they’ll have to be treated unfavorably come November for the elections.”

The Hobby Lobby opinion was written by Samuel Alito and was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

Clarence Thomas