Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Not A Halbig F'ing Deal

En Bancing on Halbig and general assholery

I am not as concerned as some, for the reasons expressed below and in gentler terms elsewhere.  Weird though to see so many people freaking out over this today. 
"And why am I not particularly worried?  The government can ask for the entire active DC Court of Appeals to hear the case as a body.  En Banc  review is used for high profile cases or where the vast majority of the circuit thinks their colleagues fucked up big time. The DC Court of Appeals currently has a 7-4 Democratic appointee majority and they'll apply normal administrative law procedures to this case and tell their colleagues that they are fucking hacks in appropriately judgy language.  Assuming the en banc review goes the way I think it does, all circuits will then agree that the IRS has the right to interpret ambiguous law as it sees fit as long as the interpretation passes a rationale basis/giggle test .  If there is an all circuit agreement, the Supreme will have a real hard time taking the case to gut Red State subsidies. And now let's talk about the asshole of the day. The two "intellectual fathers" of the anti-Obamacare lawsuits are Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler.  Their major brief on the Halbig case contains a massive factual error that invalidates their argument.  Balkinization explains: In a recent blog post, Cato scholar Michael Cannon admitted that he and his colleague, Case Western University professor Jonathan Adler, had made a mistake in an amicus brief they submitted to the courts in the Halbig and King cases.  We all make mistakes—indeed Michael has claimed that I have made many mistakes in my analysis of these cases, some of which were indeed mistakes.  This mistake is important, however, because it goes to the central argument that he and Jonathan have relied on in their brief…."

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2014/07/22/en-bancing-on-halbig-and-general-assholery/

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Verizon FiOS Netflix Throttling

Video proof of Verizon throttling Netflix

There is no question that Verizon is pulling this BS in Brooklyn too - and then constantly trying to upsell faster "premium" internet service. 

When will the regulatory authorities address this?

"In this infuriating video, Colin Nederkoorn records his computer streaming Netflix's test video over his Verizon FiOS connection. Then, via a VPN on the same home network, he receives a nearly ten-times faster stream."

http://boingboing.net/2014/07/18/video-proof-of-verizon-throttl.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Emergency Con Ed Work In Carroll Gardens Starting . . . Now

Zeeshan Ott from Sen. Squadron's office sent out a heads-up just now.  Presumably this is related to the power outage that was reported on Tuesday evening in Carroll Gardens.  Given the current state of Clinton Street (top pavement has been stripped for a road resurfacing) it is nice to see this work getting done now, before the new asphalt goes down.  Presuming of course that some of Clinton will be getting ripped up for this work.  Few things are as maddening as seeing brand new pavement torn up for utility work.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Beginning immediately and through the night Con Edison crews will be working between 1st and 4th Place from Clinton to Smith Streets to make necessary repairs to ensure the reliability of our electric system.

Crews will be working at this location continuously until the repair is completed.

We apologize for any inconvenience this work may cause.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Wanker of the Day

Andrew Ross Sorkin Is Impressed By the Patriotism of Tax-Dodging CEOs

Andrew Ross Sorkin.  
The worst form of access journalist, Sorkin is like a robotic fluffer to the wealthy and powerful. 

"I initially believed that the Times headline "Reluctantly, Patriot Flees Homeland for Greener Tax Pastures" was tongue in cheek. After all, a truly patriotic American would not pull their company out of America for the sole purpose of depriving America of tax revenue, would they? Well. I can report to you that this headline is quite serious indeed. Sorkin's story concerns Heather Bresch, the daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and the CEO of Mylan, a $19 billion company that makes generic drugs. Heather Bresch is a born patriot, you see. She grew up around the flag. Her company was based in Pittsburgh, a real American city. Well—until now. Because Heather Bresch, a true American patriot, is moving her company's residence (for tax purposes) out of America and into the Netherlands."

http://gawker.com/andrew-ross-sorkin-is-impressed-by-the-patriotism-of-ta-1605293619?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gawker%2Ffull+%28Gawker%29

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Free Debra Harrell

Working Mom Arrested for Letting Her Daughter Play Outside

This is insane.  In a generation or two we've gone from free range kids to kids on permanent lockdown, based not on evidence but on hysteria.

And don't get me started on our broken "workfare" system which has not improved since the tragic subplot of Bowling For Columbine. 

"Debra Harrell is currently in jail because she let her 9-year-old daughter play, unsupervised, in a public park. Almost everything about this story (which I noticed courtesy of Lenore Skenazy) is horrifying. Harrell works at McDonald's. Her daughter used to tag along and stare at a screen at her mother's workplace during the day. She asked to go to the park instead, was discovered to be without an adult, and her mother was arrested. Compounding the horribleness is the news coverage, in which reporters and onlookers alike are united in disgust at Harrell: The story is a convergence of helicopter parenting with America's primitive family policy. Our welfare policy is designed to make everybody, even single mothers, work full-time jobs. The social safety net makes it difficult for low-wage single mothers to obtain adequate child care. And society is seized by bizarre fears that children are routinely snatched up by strangers in public places. The phenomenon is, in fact, nearly as rare as in-person voting fraud. But when you watch the report above, you can see everybody involved believes such a thing plainly happens all the time."

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/mom-arrested-for-letting-daughter-play-outside.html

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Revisiting Flagrant Parking Placard Abuse

WNBC Shames City for Letting Employees Hog Parking With Bogus Placards

Very little was done about this odious form of public corruption under Bloomberg.  Aside from the obvious public policy reasons for a crackdown, letting this continue to slide also undermines respect for the law.  The in-your-face nature of the cheating by government employees/retirees inspires contempt and reinforces the notion that the system is rigged. 

"While surveys of retail districts around the city show that most customers don't arrive in private cars, placard abuse leads customers who do drive to clog up streets as they search for an open spot. And that can foil the city's attempts to reform curbside parking prices. At the Atlantic Avenue BID's request last year, DOT implemented its PARK Smart program, which adjusts parking meter rates to improve parking availability and cut down on cruising for spots. But Department of Corrections employees at a jail in Boerum Hill have been hogging spaces near Atlantic Avenue, using invalid placards, union cards, employee handbooks, Corrections Department baseball caps, and coat patches — none of which are supposed to provide free parking. The lawbreaking is flagrant, but WNBC caught NYPD parking enforcement agents repeatedly looking in the windows of cars with bogus placards and walking right by. "Are you not supposed to write tickets for people that have placards or the union cards? What's going on?" Llamas asked, as the agent ignored him."

http://www.streetsblog.org/2014/07/14/wnbc-shames-city-for-giving-away-curb-space-as-illegal-entitlement-for-employees/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Streetsblog+%28Streetsblog%29

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