Thursday, March 30, 2023

Last Call For The Meltdown Of All Orange Meltdowns

The news breaking this evening.

Donald Trump has been indicted in Manhattan.


A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald J. Trump on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to five people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges.

In the coming days, prosecutors working for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, will likely ask Mr. Trump to surrender and to face arraignment. The specific charges will be announced when he is arraigned.


A MANHATTAN GRAND jury has voted to indict Donald Trump on charges related to the former president’s hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, Rolling Stone has confirmed. The New York Times was the first to report the news.

The historic indictment was highly anticipated, as details of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe into the former president became public in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, Bragg’s office gave Trump the option to testify before the grand jury, signaling an indictment was forthcoming. Trump declined the invitation. Fox News reported that Manhattan prosecutors had requested a meeting with law enforcement to discuss logistics surrounding the possible indictment, and Trump posted to Truth Social the following morning that he would be getting arrested in the coming days. It took a little longer than Trump anticipated, giving the former president time to bash Bragg and suggest violent action might be the only way to defend him against charges.

The grand jury’s vote is a gut-check for the American legal system, testing the bedrock principle that “no one is above the law.” It is also unprecedented. Trump is the first former president to face criminal prosecution in the history of the United States. (Though culpability was not in doubt, Richard Nixon was pardoned for his Watergate crimes before he could face the justice system.)

The indictment stems from a 2016 payment to Daniels, with whom Trump allegedly had an affair in 2006 and 2007. The pair had met at a celebrity golf tournament near Lake Tahoe during the height of Trump’s celebrity as the star of the reality show The Apprentice.
Let this be the first of many, and I'm never so glad to have been wrong in a very long time.

Obamacare In The ER Again

While we were all watching and waiting concerning Trump's indictment and Texas Federal Judge Matt Kacsmaryk ending the FDA approval of abortion medication, another Texas Federal Judge just shot Obamacare in the chest and left potentially tens of millions of Americans without preventative healthcare.
A federal judge in Texas said Thursday that some Affordable Care Act mandates cannot be enforced nationwide, including those that require insurers to cover a wide array of preventive care services at no cost to the patient, including some cancer, heart and STD screenings, and smoking cessation programs.

In the new ruling, US District Judge Reed O’Connor said the recommendations that have been issued by the US Preventive Services Task Force, which has been tasked with determining some of the preventive care treatments that Obamacare requires to be covered.

O’Connor’s ruling comes after the judge had already said that the Task Force’s recommendations violated the Constitution’s Appointments Clause. The judge also deemed unlawful the ACA requirement that insurers and employers offer plans that cover HIV-prevention measures such as PrEP for free.

Other preventive care mandates under the ACA remain in effect.

It is likely the case will be appealed, and the Justice Department has the option to ask that O’Connor’s ruling be put on pause while the appeal is litigated.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment, nor did the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The decision, in a case brought by employers and individuals in Texas, represents the latest legal attack on the landmark 2010 health care law. It is unclear what immediate practical effect O’Connor’s new ruling will have for those with job-based and Affordable Care Act policies because insurance companies will likely continue no-cost coverage for the remainder of the contracts even though the Obamacare requirements in question have been blocked.

While the case does not pose the existential threat to the Affordable Care Act that previous legal challenges posed, legal experts say that O’Connor’s ruling nonetheless puts in jeopardy the access some Americans will have to a whole host of preventive treatments.

“We lose a huge chunk of preventive services because health plans can now impose costs,” said Andrew Twinamatsiko, associate director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. “People who are sensitive to cost will go without, mostly poor people and marginalized communities
So unless this gets resolved soon, next year your health care plan won't include preventative screenings, because health insurers won't pay for them anymore. It means screening for cancer, mammograms, pre-natal care, even checkups may become too expensive for millions of us.
This is a potential disaster. I'm hoping the Biden administration will move quickly to appeal, but the question of even basic health care is now as uncertain as it was 15 years ago, and it's twice as expensive now as it was then.
Republicans just love misery.




Trans Siberian Express, Con't

With the widely expected override of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's veto by Republicans in the General Assembly, Kentucky now has the most vile anti-trans laws on the books, and trans kids are going to get hurt or worse.


Hundreds of LGBTQ+ youths and their allies, young and old, protested as a last-ditch attempt at convincing Kentucky’s Republican-dominated legislature to let a veto of one of the nation's most extreme anti-trans bills stand.

Their efforts were to no avail.

Shortly after gaveling in Wednesday afternoon, the Kentucky Senate voted to override Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of Senate Bill 150. Around an hour later, the House also voted to override the veto - making SB 150 law.

Kentucky SB 150 is now expected to face legal challenges to block its implementation.

"To all the trans youth who may be affected by this legislation: we stand by you, and we will not stop fighting. You are cherished. You are loved. You belong," the ACLU of Kentucky said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. "To the commonwealth: we will see you in court."

The bill does the following:
  • Bans all gender-affirming medical care for trans youths;
  • Requires doctors to detransition minors in their care if they’re using any of the restricted treatment options;
  • Prohibits conversations around sexual orientation or gender identity in school for students of all grades;
  • Requires school districts to forbid trans students from using the bathroom tied to their gender identities;
  • Allows teachers to refuse to use the pronouns a student identifies with.
Barring any court injunctions, the sections of the bill allowing teachers to misgender kids, restricting if and when students learn about topics around human sexuality and instituting bathroom bans will go into effect immediately.

Pieces of the bill dealing with gender-affirming medical treatments will go into effect in late June.

So, to the courts we go, where this battle was always going to be headed. I don't know how it will fare in Kentucky courts, but GOP AG Daniel Cameron will certainly make defending this garbage fire his campaign platform for Governor in Kentucky's primary in May, and should he win that, his platform heading into November. Former Trump UN Ambassador Kelly Craft, who is also running in the GOP primary, will be showcasing this mess too, as her running mate state Sen. Max Wise wrote this abomination.
Either way, Kentucky will have a clear choice in November.
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