The nation’s No. 2 court on Tuesday slapped down the Obama administration in a 2-1 decision that could kill the president’s signature health-care law.

A less-prestigious federal appeals court issued a contradictory opinion the same day, but if the Supreme Court upholds the DC Circuit’s ruling, it will force Congress back to the drawing board to design a health law that is genuinely affordable, not just falsely titled “Affordable Care Act.”

The ruling in Halbig v. Burwell bars the federal government from handing out taxpayer-funded subsidies to people who buy ObamaCare plans in nearly two-thirds of the states – New Jersey and 35 others that refused to set up their own insurance exchanges.

Those subsidies took the sting out of being forced to buy pricey ObamaCare plans. If the ruling sticks, buyers in those states will have to pay full price, on average a whopping four times the subsidized price they paid this year.

Quadrupling the price would trigger a mass exodus out of the plans, causing what the insurance industry calls a “death spiral.”

Sadly, many of the people who’ll be forced to flee the exchanges had cheaper health coverage pre-ObamaCare – but the president’s law outlawed plans that didn’t contain all the bells and whistles he deemed necessary.

The DC Circuit ruling also chastised the Obama administration for rewriting the law to suit its own ends.

Judge Thomas Griffith, writing for the majority, declared: “The Constitution assigns the legislative power to Congress, and to Congress alone.” No more governing by fiat, Mr. President.

Palestinians Chose Hamas and the Mass-Murder of Civilians—Including Their Own By Andrew C. McCarthy

I argued in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy that the illusion’s signature feature is a fantasy: By holding free elections, a people is choosing freedom: joining modernity, adopting pluralism and tolerance, rejecting revolutionary violence and totalitarianism.

Today, we are yet again being inundated with tales of Palestinian woe after Hamas’s familiar barbarism has provoked an Israeli military response. It thus bears remembering that the Palestinian people chose Hamas. What ever happened to all those Democracy Project paeans to self-determination? Hamas is Palestinian self-determination. Hamas was not forced on Palestinians. Hamas did not militarily conquer Gaza. No, Hamas swept parliamentary elections freely held in the Palestinian territories in 2006 – thrashing its rival, Fatah, which is only marginally less committed to the destruction of Israel.

Hamas did not suddenly become a terrorist organization after it was elected. Hamas was elected because it was a jihadist organization. It was elected because, by its own declaration, Hamas connects Palestinians to something they find attractive: the global Islamic-supremacist movement. Palestinians widely reject Israel’s right to exist. They regard not just Gaza, Judea and Samaria but all of Israel as “occupied Palestine.” Even those Palestinians who purport to accept the “two-state solution” see it as a way-station on the march to a one-state solution in which the Jewish state eventually ceases to be. Palestinians chose Hamas precisely because Hamas was seen as more dedicated than Fatah to the achievement of that goal—not to mention, more brutally competent.

At the time of its election, Hamas was well known to be the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian terrorist wing. It has been formally designated as a terrorist organization by the United States since the mid-nineties. Indeed, shortly before Palestinians endorsed Hamas at the ballot box, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted several Hamas operatives in the Holy Land Foundation case, a multi-million dollar terrorism financing conspiracy orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood in which several of the Brotherhood’s American affiliates—CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the North American Islamic Trust, among others—were proved to be complicit in the promotion of Hamas and thus designated as unindicted co-conspirators.

The Wall Street Journal gets close to the heart of the matter in its fine editorial this morning about Hamas’s “civilian death strategy”:

The people of Gaza overwhelmingly elected Hamas, a terrorist outfit dedicated to the destruction of Israel, as their designated representatives. Almost instantly Hamas began stockpiling weapons and using them against a more powerful foe with a solid track record of retaliation.

What did Gazans think was going to happen? Surely they must have understood on election night that their lives would now be suspended in a state of utter chaos. Life expectancy would be miserably low; children would be without a future. Staying alive would be a challenge, if staying alive even mattered anymore.


Does the United Nations ever read its own press releases? This week’s case in point being the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, which provides entitlement programs in Hamas-ruled Gaza — where Israel is now fighting to rid the enclave of terrorist tunnels and rockets.

For the second time in less than a week, UNRWA has discovered rockets hidden in vacant UNRWA schools in Gaza. UNRWA has disclosed these discoveries in press releases condemning “the group or groups” responsible for placing the rockets on its premises. But that is apparently no bar to UNRWA condemning Israel for shelling an UNRWA school.

Thus do we see the following lineup of UNRWA press releases:




There are now questions about whether UNRWA, in turning over the first round of hidden rockets to local authorities, effectively turned them right back over to the terrorists of Hamas.

One might well wonder whether the real problem here is rockets being stored in UNRWA schools, or UNRWA running schools in what might better be described as terrorist rocket-storage facilities.

Why We’re Moving Our Family into a War Zone :By Michael M. Rosen & Debra S. Rappaport Rosen

We had decided to spend a year with our children in Israel. We won’t let Hamas stop us.

In two weeks, we’re taking our four kids to Israel for a year — that is, unless El Al decides to stop flying into Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

Amidst the current conflagration in the Holy Land, friends and family have (cautiously, nervously) asked us if we still intend to go forward with our move. Our answer has been an anxious, fearful, gut-wrenching, but still resounding and joyful “YES!”

Our saga began this spring when we, parents and children, decided to spend the coming year in the Holy Land, where Michael would develop new business for his law firm among Israeli technology companies (while working remotely for his American clients), where Debra would study Hebrew and Jewish texts, and where our family as a whole would enjoy a year of religious, cultural, and linguistic exploration.

We would enroll our children in Israeli schools, where they would study every subject from math to Bible to history in Hebrew while also studying the Hebrew language intensively on the side, in addition to the usual suite of athletic and artistic extracurricular activities.

We would spend quality time with our many relatives and friends living throughout the country, and we hoped to travel to its four corners, from spelunking in the caves of Rosh HaNikra on the northern coast, to skiing the slopes of Mount Hermon on the Syrian border, to snorkeling among the reefs off Eilat in the south.

But, for a proudly Zionist, Orthodox Jewish family like ours, spending a year in Israel would always amount to far more than the sum of its parts, an all-encompassing religious, historical, and cultural experience that never relents. Michael and Debra were both privileged to spend extended periods living in the Jewish state as young adults, reveling in the cycle of holidays and enduring the mundane details of quotidian life, and we desperately wanted our children to share that experience.

And then thousands of rockets began raining down indiscriminately on civilian population centers in Israel — including the Tel Aviv suburb we’re moving to — ultimately prompting a State Department travel advisory and a temporary FAA ban on flights into Ben Gurion.

Just Words, Just Words Does Putin — or Anyone — Believe Obama’s Rhetoric Anymore? Tom Rogan

Monday, in National Journal, Ron Fournier considered President Obama’s odd scheduling choices over the last several days. Why, Fournier asks, did the White House see a game of pool as more presidential than crisis management? Fournier then ventured an answer:

[Obama] and his advisers are so certain about their moral and political standing that they believe it’s enough to make a declaration. If we say it, the public should believe it.

Indeed. But this dysfunction is not only due to arrogance. Ultimately, it’s a symptom of the administration’s strategic incompetence. Since January 2009, administration officials have never wavered in their belief that Obama’s rhetoric is a portal to policy utopia. If only, they assert, Obama would speak more, his agenda would come to fruition.

It’s easy to understand their assumption. Many of Obama’s White House staffers are inside-the-bubble warriors who served in the 2008 rapture-like presidential campaign and who helped haul Obamacare to legislative victory (if not popular support). These insiders are the Obama dream, and his “change” is one they will always believe in. Their self-righteousness feeds what I call the Obama matrix.

Correspondingly, White House officials simply can’t understand that many Americans have escaped the matrix and shut their ears to the standard Obamaite spin. Most damaging, these officials don’t seem to realize that rhetoric detached from action is the opposite of persuasive. And Obama’s failure of leadership isn’t limited to any particular issue. Just speak to congressional staffers. In public, Democrats will praise the president’s initiatives and Republicans will criticize him. In private, Republicans will still criticize Obama, but they’ll also offer possibilities for compromise. But what’s most interesting is what Democrats say behind closed doors (or in bars). Their typical complaint? Outreach from the White House is pathetic.

This has been a long-brewing problem for the president, and it’s fostered much rancor in D.C. Take John McCain’s disdain for the administration. In a 2012 interview with the Hill’s Alexander Bolton, McCain explained the alienating effect of Obama’s photo-op-style approach. “Let’s get real here,” McCain said. “There was never any outreach from President Obama or anyone in his administration to me.”

Were it only McCain, one might write off the complaint. But it isn’t just McCain. The Obama administration’s anti–charm offensive began in 2009, when the president withdrew without explanation the appointment of retired General Anthony Zinni as ambassador to Iraq. Obama has continued the pattern of snubs, keeping an unfriendly distance from Congress and even from his cabinet — in his memoir, former defense secretary Bob Gates provides a litany of examples of the Obama White House’s paranoia toward Pentagon personnel.

The Dems Enforced It: Setting the Record Straight on Jim Crow : John Fund

Even as the nation celebrates the passage of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, some liberals are using the occasion to bash Republicans as inheriting the legacy of Jim Crow — ignoring the fact that a higher percentage of Republicans in Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act than did Democrats.

President Obama recently accused the GOP of waging an all-out assault on voting rights. Speaking to a group founded by Al Sharpton, that non-paragon of racial healing, Obama claimed: “The stark simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today. . . . This recent effort to restrict the vote has not been led by both parties. It’s been led by the Republican party.”

Leaving aside the fact that clear majorities of both African Americans and Hispanics support voter integrity measures such as showing voter ID at the polls, Obama is using incendiary rhetoric in an area where reasonable people can disagree.

The American Civil Rights Union, a conservative group that has filed suit in favor of voter-integrity measures, has had enough of such tactics. Its leaders include former attorney general Ed Meese and former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell. ACRU has just published a booklet on the real history of Jim Crow. Available for free at, it sets the record straight on a hidden racial past that many Democrats would rather see swept under the carpet. While Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” is constantly referenced in the media as a tool to attract white voters, less well remembered are Woodrow Wilson’s segregation of the entire federal civil service; FDR’s appointment of a member of the KKK to the Supreme Court; John F. Kennedy’s apathy toward civil-rights legislation; and the rise of Robert Byrd, a former member of the KKK, to the post of Democratic leader in the Senate in the 1980s.

Is it fair to remind people of the awful historical antecedents that can lurk within a political party? The study quotes author Bruce Bartlett as asking, “If the Republican party is to bear responsibility for Joe McCarthy through all time, why doesn’t the Democratic party have to bear responsibility for a century of racist leaders?”

The majority of the ACRU study focuses on the horror of Jim Crow, which at its core was a system of state-enforced laws that relegated blacks to inferior status. When police enforcement wasn’t enough, lynchings were used to keep Jim Crow in place. At least 3,500 blacks were lynched during the Jim Crow years, and people were murdered right up through the mid 1960s.

Lapdog of the Left Why There Will Never be a Bipartisan Alliance Against Corporate Welfare By Jonah Goldberg

It was a really nice try.

Heritage Action (the activist arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation) invited Senator Elizabeth Warren to speak at an event dedicated to phasing out the Export-Import Bank. The Ex-Im, as it’s known inside the Beltway, has become a favorite target of populist forces on right.

The Ex-Im gives U.S. taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to the foreign customers of giant U.S. corporations that don’t need the help. It socializes the risk while privatizing the profits. Basically, it’s free money for big businesses like GE, Caterpillar, and particularly Boeing (hence the outfit’s nickname, “the Bank of Boeing”). Even Barack Obama, shortly before he became president, derided Ex-Im as “little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”

Ex-Im is up for reauthorization in September. Not surprisingly, both the people who get free money and the people who enjoy giving out money that doesn’t belong to them would like to continue doing so.

Since Warren is the dashboard saint of left-wing populism these days, denouncing big business and Wall Street at every turn, the puckish policy pixies at Heritage Action thought they could enlist her in their cause. As first reported by Bloomberg News, Heritage sent Warren a letter asking her to speak against Ex-Im “and the political favoritism it engenders.”

“We, like you, are frustrated with a political economy that benefits well-connected elites at the expense of all Americans,” Michael Needham, the head of Heritage Action, wrote. “Your presence will send a clear signal that you are going to fight the most pressing example of corporate welfare and cronyism pending before Congress right now.”

Warren didn’t take the bait. Her spokeswoman told Bloomberg, “Senator Warren believes that the Export-Import Bank helps create American jobs and spur economic growth, but recognizes that there is room for improvement in the bank’s operations.”

Warren’s decision to turn down the invitation sparked numerous charges of hypocrisy from Ex-Im opponents. As one writer for Reason magazine put it, “That’s right: The woman best known for demonizing big businesses nevertheless wants to maintain an outlandishly generous subsidy package for them.”


It is not hard to tell what kind of persons penned the University of Chicago’s “abguide,” given passages like this:

*While this guide may refer to “women” when discussing study results or use female pronouns in some instances, we recognize that individuals seeking pregnancy counseling or abortion may not identify as women. We encourage readers to keep this in mind and provide sensitive counseling and care. is the University of Chicago’s online abortion guide, “Accessing Abortion in Illinois: A Guide for Health Care and Social Service Providers,” and the above sentences appear on the homepage, presumably to prevent visitors from journeying further into the site still clinging to a binary view of gender. Created by the university’s Section of Family Planning & Contraceptive Research and its (deep breath) Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health, or Ci3, the abguide is a narrowly tailored resource: Only those determined to counsel women not to seek an alternative to terminating their pregnancy need peruse.

The site contains a predictable conglomeration of reassuring abortion statistics, warnings against crisis-pregnancy centers, and paeans to the importance of value-free pregnancy-option counseling. If, however, your values need “clarification,” you can access this handy worksheet developed by the National Abortion Federation.

All of this, the site announces on its homepage, “should be considered through a reproductive justice framework. . . . As described in one foundational document, the reproductive justice framework recognizes that ‘women’s ability to exercise self-determination — including in their reproductive lives — is impacted by power inequities inherent in our society’s institutions, environment, economics, and culture.’”

The foundational document in question is “A New Vision,” published in 2005 by Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice (ACRJ). The “Reproductive Justice Movement” — yes, there’s a movement — “explor[es] and articulat[es] the intersection of racism, sexism, xenophobia, heterosexism, and class oppression in women’s lives.” Because “reproductive oppression” is “both a tool and a result of systems of oppression based on race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age and immigration status,” reproductive justice must “engage with issues such as sex trafficking, youth empowerment, family unification, educational justice, unsafe working conditions, domestic violence, discrimination of queer and transgendered communities, immigrant rights, environmental justice, and globalization.” The ACRJ casts a wide net.


A premature Gaza cease-fire would help Hamas.

Nations must be militarily strong and determined enough to ensure their own survival. Israelis have long understood this harsh reality of global politics, and it has never been clearer than this week as the world browbeats Israel and the terror group Hamas for a “cease-fire” in Gaza.

President Obama and John Kerry have adopted this ostensibly even-handed trope, and on Tuesday the European Union went further and deplored Israel and Hamas as if they were equal perpetrators. Hamas should stop its “criminal and unjustifiable acts,” the EU said, but it added that it was “particularly appalled” at the human cost of the Israel ground offensive. Particularly?

This all may be intended as fine impartiality, but the reality is that a cease-fire now would help Hamas. The terror group rejected Egypt’s offer of a cease-fire last week after Israel had accepted it, perhaps figuring that Israel wouldn’t risk a ground invasion. Or perhaps it wanted such an invasion figuring the world would condemn Israel for civilian casualties and Hamas would win the propaganda war.

In any case now that it has moved on the ground, Israel will lose if it stops before it achieves its main military objectives. This means blowing up the entire network of tunnels that Hamas uses to infiltrate into Israel and to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt. It also means destroying the stockpiles of rockets and storage sites.

The Israelis are best positioned to judge their progress, and the U.S. should publicly support its military response in a war it didn’t start. This is what will bring the most rapid end to the violence.

Give Us Your Donors, or Else : California and New York Try to Chill Political Speech.

We’ve seen what happened at the IRS when Democrats launched a political campaign to crack down on tax-exempt groups that don’t disclose their donors. A similar animus is now at work in the states, where two attorneys general are forcing 501(c) groups to disclose their donors if they want to raise money in those states.

In New York, tax-exempt groups must apply for a license to solicit contributions, a process that has traditionally required the submission of their public IRS form 990. But Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has begun demanding that nonprofits also file their confidential list of donors found on IRS form “Schedule B.” The AG from Occupy Wall Street says a failure to do so makes an application “deficient” and exposes a group to fines or ban for violating the state’s law against unregistered solicitation.

Under New York’s Administrative Procedure Act, a change like this must go through a period of public comment, but Mr. Schneiderman acted by unilateral fiat. In May the 501(c)(4) Citizens United sued on grounds that the AG’s diktat violates its First Amendment and due process rights by imposing a rule without consultation or notice. The suit is pending in federal court.

Mr. Schneiderman says the information will be kept confidential, but New York state law has a robust bias in favor of freedom of information. How long before one of the AG’s liberal allies petitions the government to produce those files? The IRS recently paid $50,000 to settle a suit over the leak of donor information from the National Organization for Marriage to its political adversaries at the Human Rights Campaign.

In California, meanwhile, the Center for Competitive Politics is challenging the Golden State’s requirement that the group must cough up its donors if it wants a license to solicit contributions. The state says the power to seek donor information has been on the books for years, but the Center for Competitive Politics says the state’s demand this year is the first time the information had been required. This new arbitrary enforcement is happening amid the general liberal attack on conservative campaign donors.

California claims its wants disclosure to deter fraud, but state tax-law infringement doesn’t justify a rule that would cover donors nationwide. The Center for Competitive Politics is based in Virginia and draws donors from all over the country. The requirement means a Massachusetts contributor to a Virginia group would be disclosed to the California state AG.