Friday, November 21, 2014

Rep.-elect Palmer, please calm the sh*tstorm

To Representative-elect Palmer:

Between you and me, I think you're the man to calm this sh*tstorm that is going on about immigration.

If you've been following me, I think you know the culprit in this mess is that political class in Washington DC, Democrats and Republicans alike.

Although my instruction for you on this is not completed yet, I think you should have a pretty good idea about how to get started on solving the problem, and ultimately calm the sh*tstorm.

I'll keep close with you on this, and I am sure together we can get the country through.

Sincerely,
Your constituent Rob




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dale Jackson says, "Go away."

Can Dale Jackson handle the truth?

Besides the above, see this previous episode: Can Dale Jackson handle the truth?

Independent voting in Alabama

My campaign platform is built around my campaign message to the effect that "the common enemy of average Democrats, average Republicans and average independents is the political class in Washington DC." That political class in Washington includes Republicans and Democrats.

This campaign platform pushes me towards being an Independent.

The condition and situation for independent voting, and alternatives to the Democratic and Republican parties in Alabama, are thus highly relevant for me.

There is a national IndependentVoting.org organization. The website says that Independents are 40% of the electorate. The website indicates there are independent voter groups in 30 or so States.

A group with the name Independent Alabama is shown for Alabama.

I attended an Independent Alabama meeting in 2012. To my knowledge, Independent Alabama is not currently active.

At the meeting I made the acquaintance of persons who were involved with the Libertarian Party of Alabama and the Conservative Party (Alabama)

The Libertarian Party website says:
The Libertarian Party of Alabama is a member run, volunteer driven organization.  We are currently assisting our candidates with their campaigns, engaging in a legal battle against the Alabama Secretary of State for ballot access, and planning ahead for the presidential election in 2016. Every day, we fight to keep the Republicans out of your bedroom and the Democrats out of your wallet.
The Jefferson County ballot in the elections this year showed the following Libertarian candidates:
  1. Ricky Levins, State Representative District 56
  2. Willie Hill, Jefferson County Sheriff
  3. Eric Calhoun, Jefferson County Commission, District 3
  4. Nicole Jordan, Jefferson County Tax Assessor
  5. Mark Bodenhausen, Jefferson County Assistant Tax Assessor, Bessemer Division
  6. Laura Pate, Jefferson County Tax Collector
  7. Leigh Lachine, Jefferson County Assistant Tax Collector, Bessemer Division
In addition, Aimee Love was the 2014 Libertarian candidate for Congress in the AL 6th Congressional district, but her name did not appear on the official ballot. Source http://ballotpedia.org/Aimee_Love 

The Conservative Party website says:
The Conservative Party will rectify the consistent failures and corruption of the current two-party system. The Conservative Party will impose fiscal discipline, restrain the reach of the federal government as outlined in the Constitution and defend America’s traditional family values.
There is a phrase that supports personal activism, “Lead, Follow, or get out of the way!” It has application today regarding this new website and political movement
It is time to shed the “Conservative Republican-Conservative Democrat” label because it just positions the constitutionalists within a sub-group of the overall party. A conservative hyphenated Republican or Democrat is not participating in a true constitutionalists movement. We need to face up to the reality that we constitutionalists are being used because we have no opportunity to “Lead” from the sub-group. The current two-party system has corrupted the Republic that our Founders created and we now live under the iron rule of an Oligarchy.
For those not familiar with the term, Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people.
Modern democracies should be considered as oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians’ careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is only one political party, the incumbent party.
We constitutionalists must now break free from this system as we “Lead” this nation back to its roots and restore the Republic our Founders created. It is time to return to our nation’s core values and those values are – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is time that we embrace these core values within a formal Party structure, begin to stand as one voice and fight back. I think the issue that Thomas Jefferson raises here is a question that as citizens we MUST answer today.
“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”
We must band together and find ways to elect statesmen who will represent the citizen’s interest regardless of the party “Brand” they wear. We must not continue to re-elect the current crop of career politicians who refuse to represent the citizens to the harm of our Precious Republic.
We invite you to join a movement that is built to give true patriots a means to compete at the ballot box. Please consider joining hands with us today and together let us build a better tomorrow for Alabama and restore our precious Republic.
 [This entry will be revised and updated as further relevant information becomes known to me.]

Call in with Represent.Us tomorrow 7:30 pm CST

Represent.Us is a national organization, which holds itself out as a movement of, by and for the people, to take a stand against the corruption of government in the United States.

At this stage, the focus of Represent.Us is "Think Nationally. End Corruption Locally." Below is copied and pasted from this webpage: https://represent.us/#



THINK NATIONALLY.
END CORRUPTION LOCALLY.

Pass laws in towns, cities and states that meet the standards of the American Anti-Corruption Act, building momentum from the bottom up.
Represent.Us Chapters are forming all across the country in a nationally coordinated effort to end corruption at the local level.



If you are interested in learning about Represent.Us, and perhaps helping with the formation of a chapter in Birmingham, AL, tomorrow evening (Thursday), there will be an introductory conference call with Represent.Us representatives at 7:30 pm CST.  The below email gives you the needed call in information if you are interested in joining the call:

From: Matt Vaughan <matt@represent.us>
Date: Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM
Subject: Join our next Intro Call this Thursday at 8:30pm EST
To: Robert Shattuck <rdshattuck@gmail.com>
Robert,

I wanted to invite you to our next Introductory Conference Call this Thursday, November 20th, at 8:30pm EST / 5:30pm PST.The call serves as a basic introduction to Represent.Us for those of you who are new to the campaign or who want a refresher. The call should last 30 minutes and will give you an overview of our campaign and ways you can get more involved. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions, if you have any.

Please click here to RSVP for the call.

Online log-in information: It's best if everyone could log-in online, so you can view the full presentation. Click the link below and you will be prompted to enter the passcode and your phone number. The service will call your phone and connect you to the meeting.
Online link: CLICK HERE TO JOIN AS AN ATTENDEESelect the "Enter as a guest" option, enter your name and email, then click "Join Meeting."
Please join 15 minutes before the start time to get situated.
Web passcode: 246660
If you do not have access to a computer, you can call in the old-fashioned way.
Dial-in number: 1-(719)-457-6209
Participant passcode: 246660
Can't make the call? Sign up for a future call at the link here. Or give us a call at the number below and we can help you get started.

Thanks for taking your first step to fight corruption,

Matt, Izzy and the Represent.Us Team
Represent.Us · PO Box 60008, Florence, MA 01062, United States 

Instructing Gary Palmer- Part I

I believe AL06's Representative-elect can receive significant instruction from the below video and article. So, also, I believe, can his constituents. Let me first post this video and article, and then follow up in a separate entry, which discusses what instruction I think our Representative-elect should take from the video and article.

 

MSNBC’s O’Donnell Defends Gruber: ‘What He Did Was Tell The Truth’










MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, host of the Last Word, stopped by Morning Joe on Tuesday, November 18 and did his best to defend ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber from criticism following video of him saying that the “stupidity of the American voter” was key to getting ObamaCare passed.
Speaking to the Morning Joe panel, O’Donnell argued that “what Gruber did, specific language aside, the offensive language aside, what he did was tell the truth. Legislation always needs collective ignorance about many elements of it in order to move forward.”
As O'Donnell continued his defense of Jonathan Gruber, the MSNBC host insisted that no one who voted for ObamaCare knew more than “30% of what was in it” and the law’s details needed to be kept secret:
I promise you, there was not one person who voted for the Affordable Care Act, who can tell you more than 30% of what was in it. I had the pleasure of coming on this set, sitting in this chair, and announcing to America that there were fifteen taxes in the Affordable Care Act that no one knew about because they were developed in secret as they always are by Senate Finance Committee staff and as soon as Max Baucus' work product was finally public we then knew that.
--
But through the course of that debate, those fifteen taxes did not get debated. You couldn't find anyone who could name you two or three of those taxes that were in there and that is how these things move. And one of the legislative strategies about secrecy is, as soon as you know there is a medical device tax in this bill, the medical device industry and their lobbyists will come in and try to shut that down. 



The MSNBCer went on to spin that if the American public really knew what was in ObamaCare, the law would never have passed Congress:
And so everyone who’s trying to preserve the secrecy of legislation and the moving components of it as it’s going through the process think they're doing the right thing. And in their experience tells them, it's the only way we can get this passed. 
--
I guarantee you that there are elements of that legislation that the writers of it don't want discussed because they are political liabilities within the legislation. That's what Gruber was saying. 
For his part Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough pushed back at O’Donnell:
This is obviously a serious problem when you have the Speaker of the House saying that we’ve got to pass it to figure out what's in it. A couple years later, we find out this guy says, well you know what, we just had to hide it from the American people because they're too dumb. That should cause a few alarm bells.
The segment concluded with liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank coming to Gruber’s defense one final time:
He [Jonathan Gruber] didn't use the word stupidity, he didn’t talk about throwing things up against a wall. So it's not the concept. It's the way he said it. And I can't wait for the hearing when they haul this guy down here, because if you guys haven’t just turned it into a verb, it will be in a week or so. 
See relevant transcript below.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe
November 18, 2014
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I get the feeling his name [Jonathan Gruber] is going to become like a verb. Like, you just got Grubered or something. The guy, I think to Joe's point last hour, let's cut this conversation short, the president should have just said, what a jerk. 
LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well, he did. The president didn't do what Nancy Pelosi did last week when she pretended to literally not know who Gruber was. And then you had video of her talking about Gruber years before. You know, look, this fits the Michael Kingsley definition of a gaffe. What Gruber did, specific language aside, the offensive language aside, what he did was tell the truth. 
Legislation always needs collective ignorance about many elements of it in order to move forward. I promise you, there was not one person who voted for the Affordable Care Act who could tell you more than 30% of what was in it. I had the pleasure of coming on this set, sitting in this chair, and announcing to America that there were fifteen taxes in the Affordable Care Act that no one knew about because they were developed in secret as they always are by Senate Finance Committee staff and as soon as Max Baucus' work product was finally public we then knew that. But through the course of that debate, those fifteen taxes did not get debated. 
You couldn't find anyone who could name you two or three of those taxes that were in there and that is how these things move. And one of the legislative strategies about secrecy is, as soon as you know there is a medical device tax in this bill, the medical device industry and their lobbyists will come in and try to shut that down. And so everyone who’s trying to preserve the secrecy of legislation and the moving components of it as it’s going through the process think they're doing the right thing. And in their experience tells them, it's the only way we can get this passed. 
- See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/jeffrey-meyer/2014/11/18/msnbcs-odonnell-defends-gruber-what-he-did-was-tell-truth#sthash.PBe4xU0u.dpuf

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What will Rep. Palmer and Sen. Sessions do?

The United States Supreme Court has decided to take up a case concerning whether or not health insurance policies purchased on federally run health insurance exchanges qualify for tax subsidies. 

Alabama did not create a state exchange and utilizes the federally run exchange. 

Some states without state exchanges are trying to figure out ways to work around a Supreme Court holding that the law does not provide for tax subsidies in states that do not have state exchanges.

The below article  reports, on the other had, that Republican officials in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Nebraska and South Carolina filed a brief in a related case, which brief argued that people in states with federally run exchanges, including theirs, should not get the subsidies.

Possible ways to fix the possible problem would seem to include that a state without a state exchange could reverse course and create a state exchange, or that Congress could amend The Affordable Care Act to provide that subsidies are available for all health insurance exchanges.

Would Representative-elect Palmer and Senator Sessions care to share with their constituents what their thinking is about how to deal with this possible problem for Alabama?


Bloomberg News

State Obamacare Strategies Take Shape as Court Case Looms

November 11, 2014

Delaware and Illinois have plans to work around a potential Supreme Court ruling that could block millions of Americans from receiving subsidies to buy health insurance, providing a potential road map for other states.
State officials around the country are formulating plans in case of a ruling next year against the Obama administration, which would eliminate billions of dollars in health insurance subsidies for more than 4 million people. The court said Nov. 7 it would hear a case arguing that insurance subsidies in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should only be available in a handful of states.
A verdict against the Obama administration would largely unravel the law in as many as 37 states that don’t operate their own health insurance marketplaces. To keep subsidies intact, Delaware officials are contemplating a technical work-around, while Illinois’ outgoing governor is seeking to push through a legislative fix in the final months of his term.
The Supreme Court case turns on a four-word phrase in the Affordable Care Act. The law says people qualify for tax credits to help pay insurance premiums when they buy a plan on an exchange “established by the state.”
Democrats who wrote the law say it was never their intent to keep people in federally run exchanges from getting subsidies. The Congressional Budget Office, which analyzed the cost of the law including its subsidies before it was passed, always assumed tax credits would be available nationwide.

Work-Around

Delaware decided in 2010 it was too small to build its own exchange. In a phone interview today, the state’s health secretary, Rita Landgraf, said it shouldn’t lose the subsidies because it in effect controls the Delaware version of healthcare.gov, the federally run insurance exchange.
Using healthcare.gov is no different than hiring a contractor for a state-run marketplace, Landgraf said, and “actually brings down the cost.”
Delaware’s solution depends on a favorable definition of what constitutes a state-based exchange. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is counting on the Democrat-controlled state legislature to act before Bruce Rauner, the incoming Republican, takes office in January.
Quinn said the state will submit an application this week for federal money to support a state-based exchange. He wants the legislature to authorize an exchange during its “veto session” that begins Nov. 19. Mike Schrimpf, a spokesman for Rauner, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
“The issue is in the hands of the General Assembly, which would need to pass legislation to create a governing structure for a state exchange,” Quinn’s spokesman, Mike Claffey, said in an e-mail. The application for additional federal money, he said, “would keep all options on the table.”

Partnerships

Other states with federally run exchanges have Republican governors who oppose the law, or may find it more difficult to argue that the state has sufficient control of its exchange.
Seven states including Delaware are considered to be in a “partnership” with the federal system because they handle some elements of insurance sales, such as deciding which plans will be available. Of the seven, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Arkansas will have Republican governors next year.
Figuring out which states qualify as running their own exchanges is a question the high court probably won’t answer, said Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, who closely follows the health law.

No Easy Fix

Jost, who said he believes the court should uphold the subsidies in all states, thinks Delaware’s argument won’t work if the justices rule against the government. States probably will have to establish their own exchanges, either by legislation or executive orders from their governors, to keep the money coming, he said.
“I hope they can get away with it,” Jost said of Delaware. “I don’t think there’s an easy fix here.”
Landgraf said she believes Delaware’s governor, Democrat Jack Markell, is prepared to issue an executive order to establish an exchange if he needs to.
“We want to protect our citizens in retaining that level of subsidy so they can get their health care coverage and in turn get their health care,” she said.
Sixteen states, including Virginia, Pennsylvania and Mississippi, have said in a legal brief in a related case that they assumed insurance subsidies would be available even in a federally run exchange. Others, including Arkansas, Delaware and Iowa, said they set up their markets as partnerships with the U.S. with the same assumption.
At least six states have said they don’t want the subsidies for their citizens. Republican officials in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Nebraska and South Carolina filed a brief in the related case arguing that people in states with federally run exchanges, including theirs, shouldn’t get the subsidies.
The case before the Supreme Court is King v. Burwell, 14-114.
To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Wayne in Washington at awayne3@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at tharrison5@bloomberg.net Drew Armstrong, John Lear