Via the Independent Tribune:
CONCORD, N.C. — Authorities have arrested two men and are looking for a third in an alleged robbery conspiracy at a Concord Taco Bell.
At about 6:29 a.m. Sunday, Concord police responded to an armed robbery call at the Taco Bell at 2281 Spider Drive.
Two suspects stole $1,300 cash from the restaurant, according to a police report and information provided by CPD. One suspect was wearing a navy blue sweat suit, an Obama mask and had a handgun. The second suspect was wearing camouflage clothing, a black ski mask and carried a rifle.
During the investigation, police determined that Darrius De’quane Mack-Weaks, a Taco Bell employee, allegedly conspired with his cousin and a friend to rob the restaurant, according to CPD.
A Twitter follower quipped:
— Joseph Ryan (@jmotivator) February 4, 2015
President Obama – if he’s not robbing us one way, he’s robbing us some other way …
Clarence Daniels had just crossed the threshold of Walmart’s front doors on Tuesday, in search of coffee creamer for his wife, when the gun in hip holster gave a well-intentioned vigilante the idea he was up to something more sinister.
From the Walmart parking lot at 11110 Causeway Boulevard, Michael Foster, 43, of Lithia had watched Daniels, 62, take from his car the handgun — for which he holds a concealed carry permit — and place it on his hip underneath his coat, Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies reported.
As Daniels entered the store, a label for the coffee creamer in his pocket in case he forgot the brand, Foster tackled him to the ground and placed him in a choke hold, sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said.
“He’s got a gun!” deputies said Foster shouted.
“I have a permit!” Daniels yelled back multiple times, McKinnon said.
The men struggled and were separated until law enforcement arrived on scene just before noon. Foster was arrested and charged with battery.
Oh – and liberals have naturally latched on to the supposed “racial” angle in this story. The CCWP holder is black. The guy who tackled him in the Walmart is white.
Happened in Brandon, FL. Full story and video here.
**Posted by Phineas
Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to be the nation’s top cop — will announce later today that he is resigning, a Justice Department official told ABC News.
The announcement comes after nearly six years at the helm of the department that were marked by both highs and lows for a man who came in to revamp what many considered a demoralized and scandal-plagued institution.
Under Holder’s leadership, the Justice Department saw “historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement,” particularly on the issues of gay rights, sentencing reform and voting rights, and in the coming Holder is expected to impose new curbs on racial profiling in law enforcement, a department official told ABC News.
In a recent interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, Holder described his time leading the Justice Department as “demanding” but “the honor of my professional life,” serving the American people.
“I hope I’ve done a good job,” he said. “I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I’ve had to make, that my family has had to make.”
You want to know what a good job he’s done? Look at this:
That’s the blood of Mexican teens killed at a party by cartel gunmen wielding weapons that Eric Holder Department of Justice knowingly allowed to be bought illegally in the US and be taken to Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. (See also) That’s what Eric Holder “sacrificed” for.
Hell of a legacy, man.
It’s a shame I don’t have time to write about this today; Holder just makes me sick, and I would love to vent. For now, though, If you want to know more of what I think about this corrupt, racialist radical, check out my posts tagged “Eric Holder.” Also, there’s an excellent recent book about Holder’s role as Obama’s enforcer.
By all rights he should walk out of his office and into a jail cell.
UPDATE: More on Holder from J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ elections attorney — Goodbye and Good Riddance:
What can be said about Eric Holder’s six years as attorney general that PJ Media hasn’t already said? The news that Holder is going to resign should be bittersweet to anyone who cares about racial equality and the rule of law. The damage he has already done to the country leaves a turbulent wake that is ill-matched to the financial reward awaiting him at a shameless and large Washington, D.C., law firm.
Our country is more polarized and more racially divided because of Eric Holder. He turned the power of the Justice Department into a racially motivated turnout machine for the Democratic Party. That was his job in this administration, and he did it well.
Be sure to read it all. Mr. Adams is also the author of the invaluable “Injustice.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
The shameful judicial advocacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making the media rounds and the Internet is eating it up. After telling Yahoo News the five men on the court have a “blind spot” when it comes to discrimination against women, she turned around and told the Associated Press they’ll just have to live and learn.
The five conservative justices recently ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. that closely held for-profit companies may refuse to cover women’s contraceptives for religious reasons. Ginsburg was joined by the two other women on the court as well as liberal Justice Stephen Breyer in a dissenting opinion, which held that leaving it to companies to decide what sorts of health coverage a woman may use amounted to a form of discrimination.
Asked about the decision by the AP on Thursday, Ginsburg suggested the five male justices simply didn’t know better. “I have no doubt that if the court had been composed of nine women the result would have been different in Hobby Lobby,” she said. But, she added, she hasn’t entirely lost hope for the men in the court’s majority opinion: “As long as one lives, one can learn.”
Here’s the shorter version of what Ginsburg has said all along about the ruling on Hobby Lobby, including her dissent on the case: The United States Supreme Court should consider gender before the Constitution when deciding which way to rule on any given case where there is a perception that women could potentially be impacted. Furthermore, implicit in her public reaction and dissatisfaction with the majority opinion is the insinuation that the five “conservative” (hilarious that National Journal considers Justice Kennedy a “conservative”!) Justices ruled that way because they’re men - full stop, and that a court of all women would have (and should have) taken gender into account and ruled primarily on emotion rather than basing their opinion solely on the Constitution. And here you thought it was misogynistic for anyone to suggest women allow their sex and emotion to dictate their decisions rather than logic and fact and, in this case, the law! Silly rabbit.
I respect the position of SCOTUS Justice, and I respect the years Ginsburg has been on the bench. It’s cute that she and Justice Scalia are reportedly “close friends” in spite of their obvious ideological differences. However, none of that changes the fact that she has crossed a serious line here in suggesting in so many words that the men on the court are, well, just being men and that a majority of women on the court would have and should have ruled differently based more on the sideline emotional aspects rather than Constitutional law. She’ll get by with it, of course, without much criticism from the Usual Suspects™ who would have, I should note, flipped their lids at this point if any of the so-called “conservative” male Justices on the Supreme Court had even remotely suggested after a court ruling that the women on the court were, you know, just being women.
Move along here, business as usual, and all that …
**Posted by Phineas
I normally use that graphic as a metaphor for the needlessly disruptive, even harmful effects the Affordable Care Act is having on the American health care system and the millions who rely on it. But the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Halbig v. Burwell (formerly Halbig v. Sebelius) turned the ACA into its own flaming wreck by holding that purchasers of insurance on the federal exchange were ineligible for subsidies, meaning those buyers would be forced to pay the full cost of their new, needlessly more expensive O-care plans.
Some background: When the writers of Obamacare were designing this anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law, it was decided that states would be able to set up their own exchanges, with the federal exchange serving as the “insurance mall” for those that didn’t. To encourage states to create exchanges, it was written into the bill that subsidies for insurance purchases would only be available to those who bought their policies via an exchange “established by the State.” The idea was that pressure from purchasers who wanted those subsidies would force even conservative governors and legislatures to “opt in” to the system.
Trouble was for Obamacare fans, it didn’t work out that way.
Only 14 states set up their own exchanges (and some of those have been such disasters that their states are switching to the federal marketplace). That meant that, under the law, insurance buyers in the federal marketplace would be paying full price for their policies. It also meant that the federal government could not collect the “Roberts tax” (penalties) for not buying insurance, since those taxes were triggered by the availability of subsidies. No subsidies, no tax revenues, which the government was relying on to fund those same federal subsidies. You can just imagine how that prospect thrilled the pols in D.C.:
So the IRS, hearing its master voice, suddenly decided it had the power to declare that “established by the State” intended to include the federal exchange, and thus the subsidy money could keep flowing.
Enter Halbig and its argument that, no, the law meant what it plainly said, and then the First Circuit’s agreement.
The reaction on the Left has been amusing, to say the least. Ranging from shrieks of “judicial activism!!” to whines of “it’s just a typo and you know very well that’s not what Congress intended, meanies!”, they want the full, en banc, First Circuit to reverse the ruling. And, if they don’t do it, then, by golly, it’s on to the Supreme Court, where John Roberts will rewrite the law for us! Or something.
That got an awful lot harder to imagine, though, after the Competitive Enterprise Institute last night uncovered video from 2012 in which Jonathan Gruber, one of the key architects of both Obamacare and the earlier Romneycare, point-blank admitted the plaintiffs in Halbig were right:
The key moment starts at minute 31. Here’s CEI’s transcription of the big reveal:
What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.
Per Michael Cannon, Gruber is off on one point, because the “Roberts taxes” are only triggered in states that create exchanges and thus get subsidies. But the core is that this destroys the government’s “congressional intent” argument, because we now have one of the designers saying the limitation of subsidies to state exchanges was the intent of Congress.
Where Obamacare defenders go from here (other than to a bar to drown their sorrows), I don’t know. They can’t give up, because the loss of the subsidies wrecks Obamacare. Can you imagine the reaction when customers on the federal exchange are told they have to pay full price, prices mandated by Obamacare, which was passed solely by Democrats?
I have no idea how the courts will handle this. Assuming the government asks for an en banc hearing, it’s possible the ruling in Halbig will be reversed, thus probably ending the matter, but I’d have to think less so after this revelation. And there is a contradictory ruling from the 4th Circuit, a situation that almost guarantees the Supreme Court would take the case in 2015.
As ST likes to say, stay tuned…
RELATED: More from Reason. The Federalist on Michael Cannon’s revenge. Mr. Cannon himself points out how Halbig frees tens of millions from an illegal tax. Paula Bolyard reports how Mr. Gruber calls the plaintiff’s arguments in Halbig “nutty,” …er… but they’re his own ideas, too. Oops, again. By the way, did you know 91% of fake applicants for Obamacare can get subsidized coverage? Another reason to kill this thing and bury it under a crossroads at midnight with a stake through it.
UPDATE: This is amusing – four ways in which Obamacare defenders have desperately tried to spin Mr. Gruber’s “speak-o.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Reason’s Peter Suderman has the deets:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit delivered a huge blow to Obamacare this morning, ruling that the insurance subsidies granted through the federally run health exchange, which covered 36 states for the first open enrollment period, are not allowed by the law.
The highly anticipated opinion in the case ofJacqueline Halbig v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell reversed a lower court ruling finding that federally run exchanges did have the authority to disburse subsidies.
Today’s ruling vacates the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulation allowing the federal exchanges to give subsidies. The large majority of individuals, about 86 percent, in the federal exchange system received subsidies, and in those cases the subsidies covered about 76 percent of the premium on average.
The essence of the court’s ruling is that, according to the law, those subsidies are illegal. They were always illegal, and the administration never had the authority to offer them. (According to an administration official, however, the subsidies will continue to flow throughout the appeals process.)
The court’s ruling agreed with challengers who argued that the plain language of the law, which in multiple instances limits subsidies and credits to any “Exchange established by the State,” does not allow subsidies to be disbursed in exchanges where a state declined to establish its own exchange and is instead run by the federal government. Basically, the federal government cannot step in and create and run an exchange that is somehow still an exchange established by a state.
Think this is interesting? Come to find out, a different circuit court ruled in quite a different direction on this same issue:
Update 2: A different circuit court ruled today that subsidies offered through federally run exchanges are authorized on the law. This creates a circuit court split, which increases, but does not guarantee, the chances of an eventual hearing by the Supreme Court. It is also possible, and arguably even more likely, that the circuit split will be dealt with via en banc review.
Fasten your seat belts, y’all.
Memeorandum has much more.
The IRS said under oath Friday that former agency official Lois Lerner’s hard drive was destroyed and recycled, echoing earlier testimony from its commissioner.
In its most extensive comments yet on Lerner’s hard drive, the agency said in court filings Friday that the hard drive was destroyed in 2011 to protect confidential taxpayer information.
Before that, the IRS said, the hard drive underwent a process designed to permanently erase stored data. That process occurred after a series of IRS technical officers examined Lerner’s hard drive, and found that it couldn’t be restored after a crash.
The IRS’s court filings came as part of a lawsuit filed against the agency by True the Vote, a conservative activist group.
A week ago, Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court in Washington imposed a Friday deadline for the IRS to tell the court what happened to Lerner’s hard drive, among other questions.
The IRS said last month that Lerner’s hard drive crashed in 2011, leaving a chunk of her emails for the previous two-plus years missing.
That admission reignited the investigations into the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt groups. Lerner kicked off that controversy in May 2013 by apologizing for the IRS’s behavior, and has since become the central figure in the inquiry.
[GOP] skeptics, along with Judge Walton, also sought the serial number to Lerner’s hard drive.
In its court filing, the IRS said that it got the hard drive’s serial number from an outside contractor who sold the agency Lerner’s laptop computer. The IRS added that it only puts bar codes on larger pieces of equipment, like laptop or desktop computers.
The IRS said that it was standard practice for hard drives to be shredded before any of their parts were recycled. Because of its tracking system, the IRS said that it’s now impossible to say what happened to any of the parts of Lerner’s hard drive that might have been put back into use.
Stewart Baker at the Volokh Conspiracy legal blog quips:
Why? According to The Hill, “the agency said in court filings Friday that the hard drive was destroyed in 2011 to protect confidential taxpayer information.”
I’m sure the IRS feels it’s a little ungrateful of Tea Party groups to complain about the agency’s heroic efforts to protect them.
Indeed. The irony, and much more importantly, the bull sh*t IRS excuses are so thick you could cut them with a knife. I know it’s just a fantasy that will never in reality happen but I’d love every one of these sad excuses for “public servants” be carted off to prison to serve some serious time for what they’ve done. It’s absolutely sickening – and rest assured, if this happened under the Bush administration those involved would have already done the perp walk, and then some.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up the first procedural vote on a bill that would reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows some employers to deny birth control coverage for women.
“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said while introducing the bill last week.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that companies, such as Hobby Lobby, don’t have to provide their employees birth control coverage as mandated under ObamaCare. The 5-4 decision stated that the mandate violated the religious liberties of employers who don’t believe in the use of contraceptives.
Democrats have pounced on the issue ahead of the November elections in order to draw contrast between the two parties on the issue.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives,” said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a lead co-sponsor of the bill. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”
Senate Democrats will need at least five Republicans to join them in voting to end debate on the motion to proceed to S. 2578, but it seems unlikely they will get that support. That vote is expected Wednesday.
In other words, they know they aren’t going to get anywhere on the bill. It’s just election-year posturing designed to let perpetual (and in some cases “professional”) “feminist” victims on the left who dogmatically support the demagogues in the Democrat party know that when it comes to choosing between respect for the First Amendment versus abortion on demand, they’ll choose baby-killing every single time.
And yes, as the headline to this post suggests, North Carolinians, Senator Hagan (D) supports this bill:
The Protect Women’s Health from Corp. Interference Act protects coverage of health services —no matter what employers' personal beliefs are
— Senator Kay Hagan (@SenatorHagan) July 14, 2014
Shameful. And out of touch with North Carolina voters. But not surprising.
Considering the depth of ignorance on display here, it’s astonishing how high this woman has risen in power in Congress over the last couple of decades. Then again, maybe not, considering how Democrats think and operate:
Americans should live in fear of the Supreme Court, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.
Hammering a pair of recent rulings related to birth control access, the House minority leader suggested the conservative-leaning court is stealing women’s freedoms when it comes to making healthcare choices.
“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.
Pelosi said last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama’s healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.
“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again in hopes it will sink in with the clueless: By forcing your boss to pay for healthcare options that go against his or her religious conscience, you ARE putting them in the middle of your healthcare decisions. Furthermore, you’ve told them that their religious rights should be laid at the feet of the state simply because you want something that you think shouldn’t have to pay for. Not only that, but in the case of Hobby Lobby, it already offers – and continues to offer – healthcare coverage for sixteen types pf birth control. It wanted nothing to do, however, with abortifacients, which was the issue at the heart of their case against the Obama administration.
But we’ve rehashed that again and again. What I want to address is the sexism, yes, outright sexism Pelosi – and other female Democrat politicos and so-called “woman’s rights activists” on the left who’ve uttered similar remarks – has blatantly exhibited here, and how this disturbing double standard has unfortunately become “acceptable” over the years because too few have dared to question it and/or call it out. Her implication here is that if we’d just had a Supreme Court full of women, they’ve have never ruled this way. To Pelosi, there’s no way the five (male) justices who ruled the way they did in the Hobby Lobby case could have done so for any other reason other than they hate women or, at the very least, want to see them relegated back to being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Keep in mind that Pelosi has offered no legal basis for her disagreement with the high court’s decision, so we’re left to assume that not only does she believe the “five guys” are misogynists, but also that she’s in favor of women on the court ruling based on feelings rather than the law. And here you thought, by the standards that Democrats themselves have set, that it was wrong to believe women make judgment calls based purely on their emotions.
Lastly, I want you to imagine for a second that we did have a majority female Supreme Court, and how high the level of outrage would be nationwide if anyone on the right condemned a case ruling based solely on the sex of the justices who ruled for or against it. We’d be at Code Red on the outrage meter, and understandably so. That we’re not when it comes to “reverse sexism” just shows how successful feminists on the left have been over the years at demonizing men and demagoguing and dumbing down the debate over women’s rights issues – and issues that go beyond women’s rights but are nevertheless hijacked by “feminists” for their own warped agendas. That needs to change.