The Constitutional Lawyer Strikes Again

One of the reasons we were assured that Barack Obama would be a good president is that he is a bona fide constitutional lawyer. His administration seems to have an interesting take on constitutional issues:

The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations.At issue are payments to insurers known as cost-sharing subsidies. These payments come about because President Obama’s healthcare law forces insurers to limit out-of-pocket costs for certain low income individuals by capping consumer expenses, such as deductibles and co-payments, in insurance policies. In exchange for capping these charges, insurers are supposed to receive compensation.What’s tricky is that Congress never authorized any money to make such payments to insurers in its annual appropriations, but the Department of Health and Human Services, with the cooperation of the U.S. Treasury, made them anyway.

Now, I'm not a bona fide constitutional lawyer, but I have read the Constitution. There's this tricky part called Article 1:

Section. 8.

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Betty McCollum’s hatchet job

President Obama has no fiercer defender than Rep. Betty McCollum, the Democrat representing Minnesota’s 4th District. That doesn’t mean she’s accomplished much. It just means she’s represented a district that’s as competitive of a district as Nancy Pelosi’s. Rep. McCollum’s op-ed reads like something approved by President Obama himself and possibly written by Susan Rice with the assistance of Ben Rhodes.

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Crystal City Councilman Jeff Kolb Takes On The Met Council

Yesterday, (2/25) the Minnesota House held a hearing in the new Subcommittee on Metropolitan Council Accountability and Transparency on House Bill (HF75) which is possibly the most important of the new Metropolitan Council-related bills. The others are fairly benign, but this one would make any Met Council plans and projections advisory in nature. Why is this a big deal? Because the Met Council has largely operated as a cabal of thugs, pushing City and County governments around, binding them to policies that are bad for their area, and projections that are consistently incorrect. Should this bill pass the house, it will most likely fail in the Senate, and most definitely fail at the Governor’s desk. Still, we need to start this move toward weakening (and eventually eliminating) the Met Council now, and never give up until we win.

Read the Rest at Community Solutions blog.

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Mall of America: Gun Rights vs Property Rights

On today's Fightin Words podcast, hosted on the Twin Cities News Talk Podcast Network:

A gun rights organization has joined a Minnesota state legislator in highlighting an unlawful attempt by the Mall of America to ban guns on their premises. State law bars landlords from prohibiting lawful carry in private spaces – like residences or business – and in the common areas providing access to such spaces. But is it appropriate for property owners to be denied their right to set the terms of their leases?

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Bombshell New Report Confirms That The DFL Is The Real Party Of the Rich

From Minnesota Campaign Finance Board Candidate Handbook (pdf).

(Page 18) Special source limits

Finally, there is a limit on the total amount that a candidate’s committee can receive from certain types of donors. This limit is called the “special source limit”. The donors included in this limit are often called “special sources”, and include political committees and funds, lobbyists, and associations not registered with the Board. Contributions from large donors no longer count toward the special source limit.

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WaPo: Public-employee unions are awfully lonely places in Wisconsin these days

How has Scott Walker’s reform to public-employee unions played out in Wisconsin? According to the Washington Post, the lights may not all be out, but the party’s over — and even the unions know it. Robert Samuels’ profile of PEU life after Act 10 reads like a somber paean to organized labor, but what it really reveals was how the PEUs survived by trapping employees through compulsory dues and a lack of opportunity to escape:

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Fashionable Bigotry

Conservatives and Christians have been saying it for years; there really is only one acceptable form of bigotry to our political class these days.

And as Maggie Gallagher at NRO shows, it‘s not just an idle complaint.  A disturbing number of the “educated” upper middle class hold some fairly intense bigotry againstpeople of faith Christians.

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Big Business Cronies Ending Internet Freedom

On today's Fightin Words podcast, hosted on the Twin Cities News Talk Podcast Network:

With no sense of irony to speak of, some of the biggest and most profitable companies on the Internet have succeeded in masking their pursuit of subsidy as a campaign for “an open internet.” Now, they stand ready to close the con.

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It’s Go Week

This is going to be a big week at the legislature for Second Amendment bills; five vitally important gun rights bills are going to be hitting the legislature in the next week.

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Pay Up For Your Rights

Up until 1974, Minnesotans didn’t need a permit, or a sheriff’s permission, or a card costing $100, to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm. Minnesotans could carry anything they wanted, subject to their criminal record; they could do it anywhere they wanted to subject to their senses of etiquette.

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