Wow. Just, Wow.

I have to admit that I was much more anti-Hillary than pro-Trump in this election, but as a Catholic and a Constitutionalist, I was pleased with Donald Trump’s victory on several levels. As a Catholic, this was an election about Life. There was simply no way I could support a radically pro-abortion candidate like Clinton. Abortion is one of the non-negotiable issues that Catholics can never support for any reason. To listen to Hillary in the debate suggest that a woman has the right to kill a child in the womb just before birth made my stomach churn. I am still not completely confident that Trump is a pro-life as he tried to portray himself during the campaign, but I am sure about Mike Pence and I am confident that, with a Republican in the White House, Congress will finally have the backbone to defund Planned Parenthood, and I fully expect them to hold Trump to his promise of appointing pro-life Constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court.

As a Constitutionalist, I agree wholeheartedly with Charles C. W. Cooke that we finally have a chance to get back to our constitutional system of separation of powers and checks-and-balances. I think that Trump’s campaign was sufficiently independent – and adversarial – that the Republican Congress will have the unique opportunity to oppose him if he “goes rogue.” We know the Democrats will oppose him out of habit or spite, the same way the reflexively supported Obama in whatever he wanted to do, so Congress finally has a chance to reassert itself in our Constitutional system. It’s been a long time coming.

So suppose President Trump decides to nominate his sister or some other liberal judge not on his announced list of Supreme Court candidates. I fully expect, and would demand, that the Senate would reject the candidate both because he/she is unqualified but also to show the president that he doesn’t have carte blanche as Obama did. Also, once again, I expect the vice president to have some say in the process as well. Seeing the list of qualified people that the president-elect has chosen (Rudy for AG!), I’m less worried than I was a few months ago that he’ll do anything stupid.

And finally, I choose to believe that someone who would go through the last 18 months as Mr. Trump has, must have some idea of the magnitude of what he’s gotten himself into. I may be giving him more credit than he deserves, but I think he’s finally run into something bigger than he is. I’m sure he’s confident to believe he can handle it, and I hope he can, but I hope that the first time he steps into the Oval Office, he experiences a sense of humility befitting the job. And I’ll continue to pray for him and for our country. I ask you to do the same.

“I only know this is wrong.”

– Guinan
Star Trek: The Next Generation
“Yesterday’s Enterprise”

I’m a sucker for time-travel stories. Whether it’s Harry Potter, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or anything else, a good story about the hero traveling back in time and affecting (or restoring) “the timeline” is one of my favorite diversions. If the plot is clever and resolves itself well, I’m even willing to put up with hokey dialog and two-dimensional characters. I just love it when a story, which can easily open itself to paradox, cliché and deus ex machina anti-climax, manages to apply self-consistent logic and arrive at an exciting, thought-provoking and satisfying ending.

Of course, we know that time travel is impossible. You can’t go back in time and murder your grandfather, there are no alternate universes and there is no grand government conspiracy hiding an actual time travel device so we just think it’s impossible. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to change the past, at least not if you’re a progressive, or whatever term the left chooses to apply to itself. The only hard part is getting yourself into a position to do it, such as becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

If you’re like me, and believe that words have meanings and expect that logical self-consistency is essential for any set of laws to make sense, then you would agree that once a law is passed it’s meaning should remain constant until such time as the legislature chooses to amend or repeal the law. That’s a pretty basic feature of any “government of laws, not of men.” The problem, as the left sees it, is that our Constitution was set up to make it hard to change the law, but we conservatives see this as a feature, not a bug.

The way the Constitution says you change a law is to advocate for the change and convince the legislature to pass the amendment, get it approved by the other house and have the president sign it into law. But that can be difficult since (ideally) each legislator is beholden to a constituency (those pesky “we the people” again), so they have to convince them that it’s a good idea too. If they can’t, then they may get voted out in the next election. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. What if there were an easier way?

Let’s suppose that time travel were actually possible. Our legislative crusader could go back in time, maybe to the Constitutional Convention, and actually advocate to change the Constitution. Maybe convince James Madison that the first amendment should include that phrase “Congress shall make no law limiting the ability of a mother to kill her unborn child at any time during her pregnancy.” Then the Supreme Court never would have had to wrestle with the abortion question in Roe v. Wade.

Instead, the left has discovered that Legislative Time Travel is much easier. All they have to do is decide what policy they want to enact and then declare that the meaning of the appropriate legislation is actually different from what everyone thought it was originally, and – surprise! – it actually means just what it needs to mean to enact whatever policy they want. They did it with abortion, they did it with gay “marriage” and now they’re doing it with “transgenderism.” Instead of going back in time and convincing Madison, all they have to say is “Madison really meant whatever I wish he’d meant.”

And the Obama administration doesn’t even have to go back that far. By reinterpreting Title IX to include the nebulous term “gender identity” they have the chutzpah to tell legislators, many of whom are still around, that the law they passed to prohibit discrimination based on sex now means something completely different.

So now we find ourselves in an alternate reality where laws are no longer logically self-consistent, since “gender identity” is completely subjective and this made-up interpretation of plainly written law is now in direct contradiction of the First Amendment in forcing churches and religious organizations and employers to go against the practice of their faith (i.e. the free exercise of their religion) to accommodate what the American College of Pediatricians has classified as a psychological disorder.

Since we don’t believe in Legislative Time Travel, we need representatives who will follow the Constitution and not just make things up as they go along. Since Clinton has pledged to be Obama’s third term, we can expect more of the same if she is elected. It says a lot about how far left Clinton and the democrats have become that Donald Trump is actually the candidate who is more likely to restore our timeline to one that make sense.

Six months ago I bluntly told you that in a Ted Cruz Donald Trump race, Trump was the establishment pick:

If Ted Cruz is willing to take on practically his entire caucus as the junior senator against a powerful Senate leader how much more willing will he be willing to do so with the bully pulpit & the power that comes with it in his hands? The Supreme Court Fights alone will be epic and I suspect a man as familiar with the court as he will managed to find actual conservatives to both nominate and fight for.

Now contrast that worry with what the Establishment will had to deal with in a Trump administration. Picture a group of people appointed by a pragmatic deal maker and picture the establishment and even the left having to deal with Trump and his appointees, many of whom will be self-made and have absolutely no loyalty to the conservative electorate that said establishment loathes so much.

Then finally consider Trump himself, he prides himself as being person who is a great negotiator and dealmaker. The problem with a dealmaker is the key question: “What do you give up to make the deal?”

If you are an Establishment republican or even a democrat that question will console you, but as a social conservative it does not.

So for me it’s no surprise that John Boehner is now on the Trump train:

The former House speaker also described the two other Republican candidates as friends. He recalled playing golf with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for years, and said they were “texting buddies.” Despite Trump being short of the 1,237 delegates required to win the nomination, Boehner accepted that The Donald is the presumptive Republican nominee.

While he did not praise Trump’s policies, the former speaker said he would vote for The Donald in a general election. He said he would not, however, vote for Cruz.

What? This isn’t possible, we’ve just been told for months by the Trump campaign that Ted Cruz is the insider and Donald Trump was the outsiders and that Ted Cruz maintaining the opposite was lying.

Next thing you’ll be telling me that Ted Cruz is telling the Truth about Donald Trump being liberal:

Boehner may have attacked Obama’s sharpest critic, but he had positive words for the president himself. The Stanford Daily reported that the former speaker “reflected positively on his relationship with Obama. Although he acknowledged that the two disagree, Boehner said the two get along well.” While it is good to make friends across the aisle, the sharp criticism against a fellow Republican — one of the most insistent and orthodox conservatives in recent memory — contrasted with praise for the putative head of the Democratic Party strikes conservatives the wrong way.

The former House speaker also praised Hillary Clinton, after briefly mocking her sexist campaign. “Oh, I’m a woman, vote for me,” he said, but the crowd reacted negatively. Later, he admitted that he has known Clinton for 25 years and finds her to be very accomplished and smart.

Boehner also added that he thinks Bernie Sanders is a nice guy and the most honest politician in the race, even though he disagrees with the Vermont senator’s positions on nearly all of the issues.

So to sum up, John Boehner, fan of Clinton, fan of Sanders, fan of Obama, fan of Trump, hates Ted Cruz.

What does that tell you? I know what that tells Ted Cruz:

“If you’re wondering who has actually stood up to Washington,” Cruz said, “John Boehner has made it crystal clear” that Donald Trump is not that candidate

As Allahpundit put it, this would have been more useful six months ago which is likely why Boehner kept his mouth shut till now.

Oh Boehner and friends aren’t stopping at hitting Ted Cruz:

The same players who detest Ted Cruz have now recruited a straw man RINO to run against Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), one of the most intrepid conservatives in the House of Representatives.

and who are they funding to oppose him?

Well, who is Tom Atkinson? He is the quintessential wealthy trans-ideological Republican. He donated to a liberal Democrat, Kathy Taylor, who ran against the Republican mayor of Tulsa. That Republican mayor, Dewey Bartlett, is Tom Atkinson’s own brother-in-law! Atkinson has tapped Shane Saunders, a former aid to John Sullivan, the RINO Bridenstine defeated in 2012. Saunders is known to be close with Boehner as well.

On Atkinson’s campaign website and in his ads, he sells himself as a conservative and not a politician. But how could a conservative donate to a prominent Democrat who funded Emily’s List and held fundraisers for Joe Biden?

So for all the republicans who were outraged over John Boehner who have within a few months of cheering his departure bought into the false attacks on Ted Cruz by the Trump campaign let Ted answer it directly:

John Boehner, in his remarks, described Donald Trump as his texting and golfing buddy. So if you want someone that’s a texting and golfing buddy, if you’re happy about John Boehner, Speaker of the House, and if you want a president like John Boehner, Donald Trump’s your man.  

A lot of people have been played this cycle and in the internet age there is no excuse for it.

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Yesterday we talked about how for the GOP their real fear is that key patronage positions leading to increased power would go to people whose primary loyalty was to Trump and not to party.

That is the reason why they are potentially willing to elect a woman who was willing to leave Americans in trouble to die rather than risk a Trump presidency.

But here on Election day, as I celebrate the end of robo calls that have been never-ending It occurs to me that if he wants, Mr. Trump has the ability to craft a far more effective revenge on the GOP than a mere 3rd party run.

Here in Massachusetts I’ve gotten robo calls for presidential candidates (I say vote Cruz) and state rep candidates (I say vote Tran) but the greatest number of calls I’ve received have been for candidates for the GOP state committee. (I say vote Frank Ardinger & ignore the Gov’s ticket)

You might recall that two years ago it was the attempt to silence activists on the committee and some deceptive arguments that sparked outrage and led to my own departure from the GOP.

You might also recall that just last week I wrote about Charlie Baker running his own slate of State Committee people who by an odd coincidence are targeting the conservative activists who were treated so poorly last time.

Now ask yourself this. What if Donald Trump decides to get involved in these races on the state level?

Picture for example if a Donald Trump, to use Massachusetts as an example, angry about how he’s treated decides next time around to run his OWN slate of GOP state committee people?

Picture Trump holding rallies in Worcester and drawing 5000, 10000 or 20000 and urging them to go to the pols and vote for a Trump slate. Picture him standing next to a candidate and giving him the Trump imprimatur.

Then picture if even a fraction of those people he draws turning up for what is normally a sleepy election with turnout so low the primary job of the police at the polling stations is to keep the elderly poll workers awake. Remember the height different between Governor Baker and Dean Tran at his rally. Well when it comes to drawing voters in an election Trump dwarfs Governor Baker in the same way.

Suddenly you don’t have a GOP state committee that looks like the establishment or like Charlie Baker, Suddenly you have a GOP state committee that looks like Donald Trump.

Now imagine that picture repeated state by state nationwide. Having nightmares yet GOP?

I can see the naysayers now: “Surely you jest, not only would that be very expensive but very time-consuming and what about the conservative activist and the Rand Paul activists etc they won’t go along with this?”

To that I say, Trump has the money, he has the voters, an he’s the type of guy who doesn’t forget slights so he’ll be highly motivated. It will keep his name in the headlines which he will love, and as for the activists, given how they’ve been treated by the party leaders I suspect they will not need a lot of persuasion to join a Trump attempt to “throw the rascals out”…oh and don’t call me Shirley.

And that’s just talking state Committees, it could get much worse for the party.

As I mentioned a bit back Ted Cruz did the establishment a big favor last time around by not endorsing in primaries involving incumbents. His treatment by the party will determine if that happens next time around.


In the last election cycle Ted Cruz did not challenge any sitting GOP incumbent, he didn’t endorse Matt Bevin when he was running against Mitch McConnell nor did aid John Cornyn’s worthy challenger Dwayne Stovall. In the current election cycle, frankly Senator Cruz is a tad busy…

…but what about next one?

Now picture Donald Trump in this scenario instead of Ted Cruz. Picture Trump holding huge rallies and bringing his turnout machine to the various states for primary opponents of GOP incumbents. Cripes he might even get Cruz to go along with him on this.

And picture the wall to wall coverage the MSM will give all these efforts, you’re talking more free media than the GOP can buy.

How fast with GOP incumbents fearful of such a scenario decide to line up behind Trump?

Now as I’ve said over and over. I’m a Ted Cruz man. I’ll be voting for him today and I URGE any person reading, particularly Trump people, to get behind Ted who is the conservative who has actually fought and paid the price to trying to do all of the things Donald Trump is now promising to get done. Along the same lineYesterday Pastor Kelly warned of the spiritual price of “win at any cost”.

But if the people don’t take my advice or the Pastor’s and go with Trump, then we must, as a republic respect their choice. I submit and suggest to the GOP establishment that trying to silence the voice of the voters, even if they choose the “wrong” candidate is not only the wrong thing to do, it’s the Dumb thing to do an it will have consequences far worse and longer lasting than they establishment fools realize.

GOP don’t say you haven’t been warned.

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As a person who is a bit of a defense hawk I’m not down on Kelly Ayotte like a lot of other conservatives. I have noted on more than one occasion she has talked real sense on military matters, has been great on Benghazi

On the Hagel hearings she was spectacular:

Yesterday she raised an incredible point at the Hagel Hearings that nobody seems to have caught
Of course he also voted against a sense of the senate in designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization and he told us during the hearing that it was because of it was part of an elected legitimate Iranian government.
I don’t think that the people who rose up in 2009 in the green movement who were persecuted and shot at by the Iranian government would call that government a legitimately elected government. Nor would, at the time that he voted against designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization at the time they were assisting those in Iraq who were murdering our troops.

That is simply devastating. Yet it got absolutely no airtime in the MSM. Why, because it can’t be refuted, there is no way to describe that vote in a positive way and there was nothing in either Senator Ayotte’s demeanor nor her delivery that can be used to attack her on style or substance.

and when she voted against Manchin Toomey she was savaged by the MSM.  As I put it at the time:

The left has wanted to bring down the only national pol to the right of Chris Christie in the NH and now they’ve finally found a picture of Kelly Ayotte they think they can sell to the General public & New Hampshire voters.

Additionally Ms. Ayotte has been willing to give me time on occasion and it’s much appreciated.

Bottom line I like Kelly Ayotte.  She’s not as conservative as me or frankly as I’d like but she the most conservative member of the Senate from any state north-east of Pennsylvania and that combined with her performance on national defense issues means something.

And because I like Kelly Ayotte I’d like to give her some free advice:

If the Jeb Bush team wants to pull stunts like this in NH:

During an appearance at a Jon Huntsman / The Hill “No Labels” event, a female audience member named Lauren Batchelder played the role of a female antagonist toward candidate Donald Trump.

However, Ms. Batchelder is not just an average audience member.  She’s a paid political operative of the GOP and a paid staff member of Team Jeb Bush:

Let him do it with someone who isn’t on your staff:

However, as previously noted, it didn’t take long to discover that Lauren Batchelder was not just an ordinary audience member, she is actually a current staffer for Senator Kelly Ayotte and also working in New Hampshire on behalf of the Jeb Bush 2016 campaign.

Your name being associated with this not only pisses off the base that you are going to need to turn out in full next year to be re-elected  but by asking the question

“…do I get to choose what I do with my body?”

your intern Lauren Batchelder in one fell swoop put your pro-life credentials in doubt and the last thing you need is single issue NH right to life voters deciding you’re not worth their vote.

I don’t know if the Bush people put you up to it or not, if you knew about it or not, or if your staffer did this on her own but for the sake of a one day sound bite that backfired on the Bush campaign, they’ve given the base and the pro-life community, two groups that NEVER forget a reason, to distrust you.

This is bad.

Moreover because of Ms. Batchelder’s attempt to erase her affiliations the apology I’d normally suggest may not fly because destroying the evidence doesn’t do much for one’s credibility, it makes one look like Hillary Clinton.

That was incredibly stupid.

So take my advice:  Approach your staff and tell them this:

“The next time a candidate with a campaign that’s pulling single digits in the polls tries to use them for a stunt with the potential to piss off the base like this you have a choice:  Say NO or resign publicly.”

No charge.

Oh and it goes without saying that if Ms. Batchelder is still working for you by the end of the week the signal it will give to the base and pro-lifers will be so unmistakable that no amount of advice of mine will help.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Your first job is to get re-elected.

Sam Rayburn

If you looked at the Mainstream media Thursday evening and Friday morning there was a single theme. The Conservative caucus in the house was doomed, they were stuck with John Boehner and that if they force an election for speaker through a motion to “vacate the chair” they will create a speaker who will destroy conservatives etc etc etc

Such was the conventional wisdom brought to you by the same people for whom the conventional wisdom at 8 AM Thursday was “Kevin McCarthy will be the next speaker of the house.”

This is exactly wrong.  The time for the GOP conservative caucus to strike is NOW, the time to make a motion to vacate the chair is NOW and the time to force the feckless GOP members to make a decision between the base and the establishment is NOW!

However everyone is ignoring a card, that the Conservatives / Tea People have, a card, a wild card, a card that they likely will never have  in play again.

They have Donald Trump.on the GOP primary ballot.

You see in a normal year, the Tea Party might manage to bring  a primary challenge to a sitting congressman and unless the congressman is very new or very weak that threat might or in just the right district it will only be an annoyance because their name recognition will be enough to carry them through against any unknown challenger.

 

But not in the year of Trump!

In the year of Trump a whole new set of voters will be going to the polls on primary, voters who are not loyal to the GOP establishment, a set of voters who look at the establishment that attacks with scorn, a set of voters who are ready to follow Trump..and people who pledge their support to him.

What happens if in such an environment a GOP establishment candidate gets a primary challenger runs as a Pro-Trump Candidate?

Suddenly:  You have an opponent that has instant credibility with that set of new voters.

Suddenly:  You have an opponent that is newsworthy to not only local media but national media.

Suddenly:  All those checks that Trump can’t take from donors for political reasons have a professed Pro-Trump destination that can accept them, checks that can be used to finance a pro-Trump rally in that district

Suddenly:  You have an opponent who would share a stage with Trump and might even get a chance to speak to a huge crowd.

and most frightening of all to a member of the GOP establishment in the house

Suddenly:   You have a credible well financed challenger ready to unseat you.

I suspect such a candidate would do anything to avoid such a situation, even support the freedom caucus candidate for speaker.
Now there are of course risks,  particularly if Trump suddenly collapses but the media and the establishment has been predicting Trump’s collapse for the last three months and it hasn’t happened yet and it’s certainly not going to happen before a GOP leadership vote.

And of course given Mr. Trump’s legendary humility there is absolutely no chance that he would want to promote congressional candidates who are specifically promoting and supporting him for president is there?

If the freedom caucus wants to move members of the GOP establishment this is the scenario that they should put in front of every member preparing to vote with Democrats to stop them.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Before we begin with my objections to yesterday’s proceedings let me tell you a few things I DON’T object to.

I DON’T object: To the current speaker pushing his deputy for the job. As a member of the house in good standing he has every right to support his favorite candidate as any other member.

I DON’T object: To the establishment GOP doing their best to line up votes for said candidate in the house. This is an election and they are trying to win it, that’s how elections work.

I DON’T object: To the establishment using the media to their advantage, this is s political fight and in such a fight you use the assets you have.

I DON’T object: To these guys arguing against a tea party candidate. They believe it is in their best interest to defeat us, so naturally they are going to make the case against, that’s how politics works.

Stipulating all those things and giving our friends in the establishment GOP all of those caveats let me say this.

I object in the strongest possible terms for the GOP to cancel the leadership elections after their candidate drops out.

We keep complaining that the Democrats in the Senate block votes and don’t allow the representatives of the people to make a decision but now just as the caucus is preparing to vote, with three declared candidates ready to make their case, one of them drops off and suddenly the election is off?

This is the type of BS that conspiracy theorists talk bout.

If Steve McCarthy decides to drop out of the race because he put is foot in his mouth, or because he doesn’t have the support or if he’s afraid of scandal that’s on him, but there were two other members in good standing of the House of Representatives GOP caucus ready for the vote who weren’t running away from the decision of the caucus. It was incumbent on the officials there to make a decision rather than string along the nation.

That’s just cowardly BS, our fix isn’t in so we’re not going to vote anymore, what a bunch of losers.

If the members of the GOP aren’t capable voting for a declared candidate for speaker how are they going to be able to make decisions that actually matter?

I’d remind each one of those members that they begged the people at home for the chance to do that job and there are literally dozens in not hundreds of people in each of their districts who would love to have that position if they don’t want it anymore.

This is the Effect:

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) abandoned his bid for speaker Thursday afternoon just minutes before the election, throwing the House of Representatives into chaos.
Outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced during a meeting of House Republicans that elections were being postponed. Pandemonium broke out in the Longworth Office Building, where Republicans had been expected to nominate McCarthy, as lawmakers and aides reacted to the news with astonishment.

and I have a gut feeling this is the cause:

“With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I am asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public,” Jones wrote in a letter to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

Feel free to disagree (Yid with Lid does) but I’d like to point out the day started with former Vice president Dick Cheney endorsing him and he’s a smart enough cookie not to spend political capital foolishly. He would have figured the Benghazi remarks wouldn’t sink him but likely wouldn’t have known about anything Walter Jones might have been referring to.

I could be dead wrong here but I don’t think so.

By Steve Eggleston

Unless you’ve been in a cave the last 2 days, you know that the Supreme Court once again rewrote what Justice Antonin Scalia has taken to calling SCOTUSCare to judicially extend tax subsidies for purchasing health insurance to the poor and middle class purchasing insurance on federally-established insurance exchanges. Much has been made over said subsidies, with the Congressional Republicans preemtively saying that had the letter of the law been applied and said subsidies on the federally-established exchanges been struck down, they would rush in to “temporarily” allow those subsidies to happen through 2017.

However, the case itself was never about the subsidies themselves, but rather the penalt…er…taxes that those subsidies allowed to be applied. Indeed, both the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts and the dissent written by Scalia admit that it is all about the tax, and in Roberts’ case, preserving what he transformed from a penalty to a tax.

As Scalia points out, the phrase “Exchange established by the State” appears innumerable times throughout the law. Indeed, it expressly defined the word “State” as “each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia”.

The goal of limiting the subsidies to those in states where the state set up the exchange rather than the federal government was to put political pressure on the states to be the proverbial bagmen for the federal government by offloading the cost of the exchanges from the federal government to the states. That the Democrats failed in their attempt to blackmail the states into becoming their bagmen (a wise fiscal decision, as those states that set up, or tried to set up, their own exchanges are finding to their peril) is not something for the IRS, or six Lawgivers-In-Black, to “correct”, especially when the Republicans said that they would do the “correcting” on at least a temporary basis.

The elimination of said subsidies in states with federally-established exchanges would, in a plain-text reading of the law, also eliminate the threat of the individual non-insurance tax for every couple, virtually every multi-member family, and most single people making between 100% and 400% of the poverty level in those states as the cost of the second-cheapest “silver” insurance plan would rise to above 8% of their income. Similarly, the two types of employer non-insurance tax are predicated on at least one “full-time” employee (that is, one who worked at least 130 hours in a given month) getting subsidized coverage, with the elimination of the subsidy eliminating the liability of those employers operating solely in those states.

Roberts, in defending his 2012 declaration that the individual tax is indeed a tax, admits that result would cause great financial harm to the overall SCOTUSCare scheme. Again, the role of a judge, even a Supreme Court Chief Justice, is not to save the other branches of federal government from bad financial bets through judicial rewrites of law, especially since Congressional Republicans vowed to do just that.

I guess we could count ourselves “fortunate” that my darker prediction of Roberts and his fellow Lawgivers-In-Black finding a way to keep the taxes fully-intact while striking down the subsidies didn’t happen. On the other hand, given the Congressional Republicans were going to fully-cave (though supposedly temporarily) on the issue of subsidies, I doubt that allowing them to keep the fig leaf of Kabuki Theatre Opposition will much matter. It will simply take a bit longer for them to do the expansion of SCOTUSCare that they previously did for Social Security (thrice) and Medicare.

Illinois signBy John Ruberry

On Thursday a federal grand jury indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert for breaking banking laws and lying to FBI agents. Prior to his entry into politics, Hastert was a teacher and a state champion wrestling coach at Yorkville High School 50 miles southwest of Chicago. The charges are rooted in a sexual affair with a male student at that school–the over $1 million the man nicknamed “Coach” in Congress was apparently hush money to keep the man quiet.

Amid the reports of the bombshell Hastert indictment was news that legislation authorizing a $500,000 statue of the former speaker for the grounds of the state capitol was introduced earlier this month by state House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat who is also chairman of the state party. According to AP, Hastert, citing the ongoing state budget crisis, declined the offer. Or more likely, he saw his indictment on the horizon.

Madigan’s proposed 2016 Illinois budget includes a $4 billion deficit–despite constitutional requirements that the state budget must be balanced. But Madigan, who was arguably the most powerful Democrat in state government even when Illinois had a Democratic governor, somehow found money–or maybe he didn’t–to put the Coach in bronze.

Worse, Illinois’ public worker pensions are unfunded by an astounding $110 billion.

Democrats are not serious about cutting spending in Illinois.

As for Hastert, his speakership was of the Illinois-kind. House Republicans who played Denny’s game were rewarded earmarks–and that reckless spending contributed to the end of the GOP majority in the House in 2006.

The Coach also played footsie with Illinois Democrats–and he was a leader in the bi-partisan graft machine dubbed the Combine by Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass.

So in a way, while Hastert is deserving in a twisted way of the honor of $500,000 statue, preciously scarce taxpayer funds should not be squandered on this monument.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.