Robert’s ObamaCare Opinion and His Game Plan

Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion in King v Burwell or Obamacare case. He rewrote the plain language of the act to allow payments of subsidies to persons not actually eligible under a direct reading of the act. He idid so to keep the act working.

Robert’s has made a habit of correcting, as he calls it, “Inartful drafting.” He even admits that the Affordable Care Act is full of such language.

So what is his game plan?

I think this particular Chief Justice believes so strongly in the legislative process, that he feels compelled to correct and allow legislation, no matter how badly written, to remain in force and not be barred on constitutional grounds.

There is another, and I think, equally powerful argument to make and that is that Roberts is telling the American people, you elected these people, they passed this legislation and now you live with the consequences of your actions. If you want something else, elect someone else.

I really think that is it. It is deference to the legislature and a reminder to the people that elections are serious.

George Will joins me in this opinion as he wrote: “The decision also resulted from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s embrace of the doctrine that courts, owing vast deference to the purposes of the political branches, are obligated to do whatever is required to make a law efficient, regardless of how the law is written. What Roberts does by way of, to be polite, creative construing (Justice Antonin Scalia, dissenting, calls it “somersaults of statutory interpretation”) is legislating, not judging.”

After this week, major political issues have been taken off the table to the relief of many Republicans who did not want to have to oppose same sex marriage in 2016 or have their majorities in the house and senate actually pass legislation that corrected the error in Obamacare. I just don’t think that would work well.

Will continues with “Thursday’s decision demonstrates how easily, indeed inevitably, judicial deference becomes judicial dereliction, with anticonstitutional consequences.” Read more

I have to agree, however, I see long term benefits from Roberts’ Game Plan.  We’ll wait and see.

Caitlyn and Dylann: Two Incomprehensible and Unrelated Events

The incomprehensible events I speak of are the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina and the emergence of Caitlyn Jenner from a lifetime of being the wrong gender.

The shootings, by Dylann Storm Roof, 21,  took place at an AME Church in Charleston on Wednesday, June 17th. The shooter entered the African Methodist Episcopal Church during the evenings prayer study with murder on his mind and a loaded Glock .45 in his pocket. He sat there for an hour listening to the prayer study before shooting.

I’ve been to AME church services and I can’t think of a more serene, loving, all embracing atmosphere than an AME church during a prayer study. The attendees are devout Christian people who believe in Christian principles. Dylann was the only white person there. The survivors at AME have found love to forgive Dylann, I wonder how he deals with that!

His motivation seems to be virulent racism. I simply cannot understand that, nor can I understand how Roof would think that he would accomplish anything beneficial to his point of view by entering this church and killing nine people. There is no comprehensible benefit anywhere, to anyone,  and none for him as he would probably die because of the act either by cop or by execution after trial.

For Dylann Roof there must have been a benefit and he seems coyly serene in his incarceration. I’ve known virulent racists in my life. One, a fellow from Emporia, Virginia, was so hateful that he refused to turn a door knob if a black man had touched it before.  I often wondered where his racism came from. I think it came from  the boys at the drug store in Emporia who spewed hateful stuff to this fellow. He bought it all, and when he gave evidence to his vengeance, he was only thinking of the boys at the drug store in Emporia and how proud they would be.

I think Dylann is like this fellow from Virginia. His motivation is misguided approval from those from his youth who taught him wrong. As he sits in jail he will think he did something, but all he did was show how stupid he and those like him really are.

As for Jenner, I just find it incomprehensible that a man discovers that he’s really a woman at his age and acts on the feelings/thoughts. I think what was done here, the drugs, implants etc. took tremendous bravery. Still, it is incomprehensible, especially in that Jenner’s fame is due to athletic success as 1976 Olympic Decathlon Champion. It takes male attributes, especially testosterone, to win such events and his 23 year marriage produced six children, another male activity!

So what was the motivation for this incomprehensible act. For Roof, it was easy, for Jenner, confusing. In thinking about this, I keep going back to the Wheaties Box in 1976 that showed Gold Medalist Jenner in a track shirt, but with long hair! His features are finely drawn and his body lean, not over muscled. Maybe we were all missing the feminine side of the decathlete then only to be made aware of it after the athletic career, six children, the twenty-three  year marriage and the looming prospect of old age, that side was allowed to emerge. The thought of spending an entire life as a male when the feminine had been trying to emerge for half a century was too much.

So Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner, it seemed so straight forward it must be honest. For me it is incomprehensible, but I’ve never faced Jenner’s reality.  Nor can I relate to Dylann’s stupidity, although I’ve seen it before.

It’s an amazing world. We are lucky to live in interesting times.

Deflategate Reconsidered.

The Wells  Report, that purported to show that The Patriots and Tom Brady deliberately under-inflated footballs prior to a championship game has been debunked by a new study. An abstract of that report is here/

ABSTRACT: In the current “Deflategate” controversy, the New England Patriots have been accused of illicitly deflating footballs before the start of their 2015 American Football Conference championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The National Football League and the lawyers it hired have produced a report — commonly known as the “Wells report” — that has been used to justify penalties against the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady. Although the Wells report finds that the Patriots footballs declined in pressure significantly more than the Colts’ balls in the first half of the game, our replication of the report’s analysis finds that it relies on an unorthodox statistical procedure at odds with the methodology the report describes. It also fails to investigate all relevant scenarios. In addition, it focuses only on the difference between the Colts and Patriots pressure drops. Such a difference, however, can be caused either by the pressure in the Patriots’ balls dropping below their expected value or by the pressure in the Colts’ balls rising above their expected value. The second of these two scenarios seems more likely based on the absolute pressure measurements. Logistically, the greater change in pressure in the Patriots’ footballs can be explained by the fact that sufficient time may have passed between halftime testing of the two teams’ balls for the Colts’ balls to warm significantly, effectively inflating them.

This is a perfectly reasonable explanation that has the ring of truth. Balls are inflated indoors, played with outdoors and temperature changes alone can account for differences. There is also a range of acceptable pressures and a slight variance can be expected from ball to ball and hour to hour. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the penalties imposed on Brady, Kraft and the Patriots.

Caitlyn Jenner and How To Kiss Your Elbow

I support the courage and resolve with which Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn, a presumably straight woman. The process had to be painful and involved considerable soul searching, but she pulled it off. I have no problem with a person who knows what they want, goes after it, and gets it.

The process took a lifetime, apparently. Jenner, the world’s best athlete for a time, says she has been thinking of this “foreever,” recognizing an error in gender assignment at birth.

As I think of this, thoughts of my mother come up, as they do so often. She was a brilliant, funny woman with a clear view of life and its foibles. If Jenner had expressed his wish for gender reassignment, she would have laughed, and said “It’s easy, Bruce, all you have to do is kiss your elbow.”  (Note: I still don’t know why she told me that!)

Caitlyn Jenner has “kissed her elbow.” We live in an amazing time and mother Natalie would be astonished.