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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In a dramatic split decision, two federal appellate panels on Tuesday disagreed on whether billions of dollars of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are legal. A panel of federal appeals court that covers Washington, D.C., ruled 2-1 that the subsidies are illegal. But about two hours later, a panel from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 in a separate case that the subsidies are legal. Tuesday's ruling in the D.C. circuit endorsed a controversial interpretation of the Affordable Care Act, which argues that the HealthCare.gov subsidies are illegal because ACA does not explicitly empower a federal exchange to offer subsidized coverage, as it explicitly does in the case of state-created exchanges. The decision by the panel is the most serious threat to the underpinnings of the Affordable Care Act since a challenge to that law's constitutionality was heard by the Supreme Court.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Utah prosecutors on Tuesday filed criminal charges against two former state attorneys general in a court filing that makes tantalizing references to a possible pay-to-play influence scheme involving U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Utah County District Attorney Sim Gill charged former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff with numerous felony state crimes, including bribery, acceptance of illegal gifts, evidence tampering and a "pattern of unlawful activity."


Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Prominent Detroit political consultant Adolph Mongo threw a verbal Molatov cocktail with an open letter in Deadline Detroit today saying it's time for black people to "tell the UAW and Democratic Party to buzz off."

In a long opinion piece, he wrote the two stalwarts of African American political life haven't done enough to help black people, and it may be time to embrace Republicans.


Police arrested a 26-year-old high-priced call girl from Georgia on Friday after she shot heroin into a Santa Cruz tech executive on his yacht and fled when he overdosed.

Alix Catherine Tichelman and 51-year-old Forrest Timothy Hayes found each other online and had met a few times before their Nov. 26 encounter on Hayes' 50-foot yacht, Escape, at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, said Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark.


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

After five years in the White House, Obama has taken 31 trips for a total of 119 days abroad. At that point in George W. Bush's presidency, Bush had taken 28 trips for 116 days, while Bill Clinton had taken 27 trips for 113 days. Ronald Reagan, after five years, had taken 14 trips for 73 days while Richard Nixon had taken 12 trips for 60 days after five years in the White House and Lyndon Johnson took 10 trips for 34 days at the half-decade mark. Dwight Eisenhower took 8 trips for 31 days after five years in the White House.

The Obamas racked up $7.4 million during just three trips in 2013 – in flight expenses alone.


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