George Will and his mini-me, Robert Robb


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The one political pundit who pisses me off more than any other, mostly because he is treated as credible and "intelligent" by other media villagers, is the patrician prevaricator for the plutocracy, George Will. Just because Will uses the entire dictionary in his columns does not make him "intelligent." If you actually follow the substance of what he says, he is a conservative ideological extremist. Just because he is not a bomb thrower like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity does not make him any more credible.

Arizona has its own version of the patrician prevaricator for the plutocracy, a George Will mini-me if you will, Robert Robb of the Arizona Republic. This conservative ideological extremist sets me off in the same way that George Will does.

Here is the latest example of how mini-me at the Republic lives in the shadow his role model, George Will.

The patrician prevaricator for the plutocracy was on FAUX News Sunday, and "suggested that President Barack Obama had caused a "constitutional scandal" by giving states the option of letting insurance companies continue to sell junk insurance plans for one year. George Will: Obamacare 'Fix' Lets Next GOP President Stop Taxing Rich Without Congress:

"It looks to a great many of us [GOPropagandists] to be illegal," he added, referring to the so "fix" that will give insurance regulators the leeway of allowing low-quality insurance plans to continue for additional year. "What we're told in grade school when we study civics is in that building behind you are the two legislative chambers of the federal government, the Senate and the House. It turns out, there's a third. It's called the White House press room, into which the president can, on a whim, sashay and rewrite laws."

"I do think this is a constitutional scandal," Will said. "Suppose the next Republican president — and there will be another Republican president — comes into the press room sometime and says, 'You know, I really think the capital gains tax does not serve the national interest so we're just, as an act of executive discretion, going to quit enforcing that for a few years. That's not the rule of law."

First, the Affordabe Care Act grandfathered existing policies as written. It also set new requirements for new policies issued on or after Jan. 1, 2014. Health insurers opted to get an early start on cancelling their junk insurance plans in October 2013 before the new requirements take effect in order to upsell their customers into more expensive plans, hoping to circumvent them shopping on the Marketplace health insurance exchange. Insurers failed to  advise policy holders of cheaper available options or the Marketplace health insurance exchange, and failed to advise them that their policies could not be renewed after they expire in 2014. That's called consumer fraud.

The so-called Obama "fix" does not effect any change in the statutory provisions of the law. Insurers could have renewed grandfathered policies in October 2013, and informed policy holders that their policy will not continue after October 2014. This is what Congress assumed would happen; they were wrong. Insurers decided "why wait?" and cancelled junk insurance policies now, with the added benefit of shifting the blame to "ObamaCare" with a compliant and feckless corporate media providing cover for their actions with hysterical anecdotal reporting on the "losers" under "ObamaCare" (a tiny fraction of the population).

Second, George Will is full-o'-crap about a future Republican president suspending the capital gains tax  by executive fiat, an example which demonstrates what this plutocrat really cares about. Setting aside the fact that Will's plutocrat friends have devised complex tax avoidance schemes to not pay the capital gains tax in any event, what this patrician prevaricator suggests would actually require a change in statutory law. He is pulling this bogus analogy out of his ass.

Following the lead of his role model, George Will's mini-me at the Arizona Republic, Robert Robb, wrote this column the other day, Obama: What separation of powers?

In President Obama’s announcement that individual plans not conforming with Obamacare could be continued past Jan. 1, and in the accompanying materials, there was one conspicuous absence: Any reference to the legal basis for such action.

The grandfather clause in Obamacare is clearly limited to policies in place on the effective date of the law, which was over three years ago. There is nothing in Obamacare that gives the president the authority to waive the essential benefits requirements for other policies that have resulted in the politically destructive wave of cancellations.

* * *

Obama just ignores the separation of powers, in which Congress legislates and the president implements what Congress enacts. Obama obviously regards legislation as merely non-binding suggestions.

* * *

The lasting legacy of this presidency may very well be the evisceration of Congress’s lawmaking power.

George Will's mini-me at the Arizona Republic is not a lawyer, but he frequently pretends to be one in his columns. Lucky for him he is not a lawyer, or he would be subject to an ethics complaint for violating the duty of candor. ER 3.3(a) A lawyer shall not knowingly: (2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post provides the "reference to the legal basis for such action" that Robert Robb falsely asserted the White House has not provided and failed to disclose in his column. White House defends legality of Obamacare fix:

The Obama “fix” to the law allows insurance companies to continue current policies for a year. What is the legal basis for this, given that the Affordable Care Act stipulates minimum standards for health coverage?

I put the question to the Obama administration. Here’s the answer, from a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services:

“The Supreme Court held more than 25 years ago that agencies charged with administering statues have inherent authority to exercise discretion to ensure that their statutes are enforced in a manner that achieves statutory goals and are consistent with other administrative policies. Agencies may exercise this discretion in appropriate circumstances, including when implementing new or different regulatory regimes, and to ensure that transitional periods do not result in undue hardship.”

The Supreme Court case in question, HHS says, is Heckler v. Chaney in 1985. That case involved a lawsuit brought by inmates who were sentenced to death by states. They sued to force the FDA to take action to block the use of certain drugs in state lethal injections, on the theory that the FDA has no authority to approve this use of the drugs. But the Court ruled that private citizens cannot force a federal agency to bring an enforcement action, even one in keeping with federal statutes.

David Vladeck, an expert in administrative law at Georgetown Law, tells me that critics would likely point out that the specifics of the case are not parallel to the current argument over the Affordable Care Act. “The inevitable question will be, what does lethal injection have to do with the health law?” Vladeck said.

But Vladeck clarified that the larger finding of the Court in that case does in fact support the administration’s reading of administrative law.

“The ultimate conclusion of the Court was that when it comes to using the various tools an agency has, it has very broad discretion, including refraining from enforcement actions, if the agency thinks this it will achieve its statutory goals,” said Vladeck, who was a political appointee to the FTC during Obama’s first term, but is widely quoted as an independent expert on these topics.

“The President does have discretion not to take enforcement action when he believes it would frustrate the purpose of federal law,” Vladeck added.

* * *

“The administration is put in a position where they have to use what seems like an odd justification to delay the president’s signature achievement,” Vladeck concluded. “But I think they’re being responsible in doing it, and the legal case for it is solid.”

The Wall Street Journal adds this salient point, Obama's Fix for a Political Problem Stirs Legal Question:

Even if critics believe the president lacks the authority to extend the life of substandard insurance policies, they may have trouble getting a court to hear their claim.

The Supreme Court long has held that a plaintiff must demonstrate an injury he wants redressed in order to get his day in court. The prisoners on death row certainly met that standard when they challenged the FDA in the Chaney case.

But it may be harder for a plaintiff to demonstrate an injury from being permitted, but not required, to renew an insurance policy they already hold.


When the patrician prevaricators for the plutocracy, George Will and his mini-me Robert Robb, engage in feeding the GOP crazy base with fantasies of impeachment of Obama by falsely asserting that he is doing something illegal and in violation of the Constitution, these GOPropagandists need to be called out and held to account for their outrageous and irresponsible claims. These GOPropagandists should not be treated as credible by other media, nor anyone else.