West Virginians should thank Attorney General Morrisey and Murray Energy Corporation for leading the charge to block this legally flawed EPA proposal in the court of law. The lawsuit, and those yet to come, will help avoid the pain that EPA’s proposal will inflict on West Virginia families, workers and employers.
Attorneys general used to act something like real lawyers. But more recently, they have become more like at-large representatives of their political constituencies, and their donors. Morrisey might be the paradigmatic example of the trend, even going so far as to misrepresent West Virginia’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act in order to strike a partisan pose.
The nation’s police forces should be the first to rally behind a federal proposal to ban the sale and manufacture of the 5.56-millimeter steel-core bullet. The bullet can be used in newly adapted handguns to provide lethal force to pierce the vests and body armor used by law enforcement officers.Until now, the powerful “M855 green tip” bullet has been legal for use in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, typically used by target shooters and hunters. But the gun industry’s reckless development of new handguns that use the bullet — criminals prefer handguns over rifles — has led the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to sensibly propose banning it in the name of greater gun safety.
Morrisey on Wednesday said he sent a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives asking it to not resurrect a recently tabled proposal to ban a specific type of ammunition used by hunters and target shooters.Last week, the ATF announced it was backing away from a proposal to ban the M855 5.56 x 45 mm cartridge after receiving 80,000 comments, most of which opposed the ban. However, Morrisey and other state attorneys general have sent letters urging the ATF to not revive the proposal at a later date.
It seems as if every day brings a new Obamacare disaster—missed deadlines, soaring costs, unintelligible bureaucratic requirements. Now add the risk of potential rampant identity theft to the list. Last week, the Obama Administration doled out tens of millions of dollars to “community groups” across the country, with few strings attached. These groups — and those posing as them — could gain access to consumer addresses, Social Security numbers, and medical information. It’s the President’s gift to some of his grassroots allies. And it could be a bonanza for identity thieves..
For that particular piece of fear-mongering, Morrisey deserves some kind of award because, while all the other concerns about Obamacare proved to be mere wild exaggerations – it’s true that some premiums increased, some doctors retired, some deficits increased, some people lost their insurance and health care costs increased somewhat, although, in all cases, far less than even supporters of the program expected – the identity theft scourge predicted by the Attorney General failed to manifest at all.As far as anyone knows, not a single identity has been stolen by an Affordable Care Act navigator. None. Zero. Zilch. Morrisey’s failed prediction might be spoken of in the same breath as those about Y2K and weapons of mass destruction had many people listened to him, which thankfully they did not.
“When the state opted to join the federal exchange, the decision was made based on the understanding that credits would be available,” Tomblin spokeswoman Shayna Varner said last week. “Governor Tomblin was not consulted before the attorney general filed his amicus brief, and the brief does not reflect the state’s understanding of the law when the decision to join the federal exchange was initially made.”
In West Virginia, more than 33,000 people have signed up for private health insurance on the exchange, according to the DHHS. Of those, 85 percent qualified for subsidies, according to the DHHS. The average monthly subsidy, per person, is $314, according to the DHHS. Do the math, and West Virginians buying health insurance stand to lose roughly $106 million in federal subsidies in 2015 if the lawsuit is successful.It’s unclear what would happen if the court rules that subsidies are not available in West Virginia. Health insurance likely would become unaffordable for thousands of West Virginians. In that case, it’s likely that only the unhealthiest people would continue to buy insurance, which would drive up premiums even more for those still in the exchange, said Perry Bryant, director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.“It’s not a rosy picture without those subsidies,” Bryant said.
Running for governor – what a surprise!
A front page article in the Intelligencer confirmed what Wheeling "newspapers" were already acting upon: WV’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (genus carpetbagger electus) will likely run for governor. That is, after he’s had a "transformational effect" on the AG’s office. Given his weekly publicity stunts and the papers’ coverage of them, it was inevitable.
Another story you won’t see in our local "newspapers"
From the front page of today’s Charleston Gazette-Mail:
For four months, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has balked at two state agencies’ requests to sue the nation’s largest prescription drug distributor, McKesson Corp., a key player in a trade association that Morrisey lobbied for in Washington, D.C., before running for office.
As the article explains:
Morrisey spent two years lobbying for the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), an Arlington, Virginia-based trade group that represents McKesson and other drug wholesalers. Morrisey’s lobbying work generated $250,000 for his Washington, D.C., law firm, King & Spaulding, according to lobbying disclosure forms. The president of McKesson’s U.S. pharmaceutical unit sits on HDMA’s executive board. A McKesson vice president contributed to Morrisey’s campaign in 2012.
I didn't see anything about this in this morning's "newspaper." Hey, maybe somebody can ask him about this at his next Sunday Sit-down with the Wheeling News-Register. Yeah, right.
On Wednesday, WV Attorney General Morrisey attached West Virginia to yet another frivolous lawsuit against the Obama Administration. Morrisey, who is obviously running for even higher office, apparently believes that it is never too early to start running against the President. As WSAZ reports:
Seventeen states, including West Virginia, are suing the Obama administration over the president’s recent executive actions on immigration.
"We joined this lawsuit to stand up once again with other state attorneys general and governors against an out-of-control executive branch that seeks to cherry-pick which laws it will enforce, which it will ignore, and which it will change," West Virginia Attorney General Morrisey said. "Our nation cannot triumph if our Constitution is disregarded and the rule of law is ignored."
For a slightly different take on this lawsuit you might check out this diarist at Daily Kos: "These 17 States Just Sued Obama for Wanting to Keep Families Together."
Planning for his next election campaign, Patrick Morrisey moves to secure the NRA vote
Despite the fact that Maryland’s gun law has no effect upon West Virginia, our Attorney General is leading a challenge to Maryland’s ban on military-style weapons. As the Baltimore Sun reports:
Led by West Virginia's attorney general, 21 states have joined a legal effort seeking to overturn Maryland's tough new gun control law.
The Maryland statute has no effect on gun laws in their states, but the attorneys general argue in an amicus brief filed this month that Maryland's law was written too broadly and violates the Second Amendment rights of their citizens.
"States must band together in times when they see citizens' rights being diminished or infringed upon," West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in statement released when he filed the brief. "If the courts decide this law passes muster, it would undermine a core part of the Second Amendment."
On the other side, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence will also be filing a "friend of the court" brief. Jonathan E. Lowy, the director of its legal action project, says that this is really about political posturing:
"There's absolutely no interest for West Virginia to have more people in Maryland buying and possessing assault weapons," Lowry said. "There's no court decision that could say the people of West Virginia must have an assault weapons ban. That's not an issue. That's a political decision. There is just no legitimate reason for the attorney general of West Virginia to be fighting the gun lobby's fight."
What about the publicity and a future NRA endorsement for Morrisey’s next political campaign? No, Lowry is correct – there is no "legitimate" reason.