Obvi, the most dangerous piece of legislation Congress ever passed was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which encouraged armed posses to cross the Mason-Dixon line and abduct black people. You know who agrees with me? Rep. Bill O’Brien (R-NH)—that’s why he put Obamacare and the Fugitive Slave Act in a tie. He seems to have been wrong, along with a great many pundits, commentators, chimerical celebrity/politician hybrids—you name it. Lots of people were vociferously wrong about Obamacare, as Krug Man points out in the New York Times. Shouldn’t they have to admit their mistakes? Bring them to Krug Man, so they may be cleansed. All hail Krug Man!
If you want to feel superior and depressed at the same time, read this New York Times story on the budget plan House Republicans submitted last week. The good news is that it balances the federal budget by 2025. The bad news is that it does so by assuming $147 billion in additional revenue from the “macroeconomic effect” of the budget itself. It also repeals the Affordable Care Act and the taxes that support it, but still includes $1 trillion in revenue from those taxes. Finally, it counts $1 trillion in savings from unspecified cuts to social welfare programs. Don’t worry, though: there’s a $40 billion increase in defense spending next year, couched as “emergency war spending” so as not to violate the 2011 Budget Control Act. We’ll find the war later. As Rep. Rob Woodall (R–GA) of the House Budget Committee put it, “A budget is a moral document; it talks about where your values are.”
The Affordable Care Act required states to set up health insurance exchanges when it was passed in 2010, but 34 states refused. The federal government set up exchanges on their behalf, which seemed like a reasonable expedient at the time. This morning, however, a DC Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that the ACA prohibits the IRS from offering subsidies to people who bought their insurance on federal exchanges. That includes about 70% of the people getting subsidies, meaning that 4.7 million people just got some very bad news. For reference, it also means that 70% of the people who needed Obamacare the most live in states whose governors fought it the hardest.
First of all, Aunt Jemima has gotten a lot less racist over the years, but the basic concept remains extremely problematic. Second, and in no way related to pancakes: the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that family-owned corporations like Hobby Lobby are exempt from federal laws requiring them to provide comprehensive insurance coverage for certain types of contraception. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, the court determined that forcing companies to pay for birth control methods that prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs—which some Christians consider a form of abortion—constituted a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So get ready to see more pregnant girls working at Hobby Lobby, as I presume the company’s founders intended.
That’s the president of the nation, not just California, appearing in a Funny or Die video with Zach Galifianakis. He would be the first sitting president to appear on an internet humor program, were it not for James K. Polk’s hilarious “What Treaty?” telegraph comedy routine with Sitting Bull. Still, it seems important that the president of the United States would do a low-budget video with a waning film buffoon. It’s something Reagan probably would never have—oh, wait.