Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Hot new trend: A massive lawsuit against yourself! (The Funny Side)
I'm always a little disappointed when I see a moving train and there aren't two men fighting on top. Aren't you? Not that I watch too many movies.
 
But talking of fighting, this writer has been advised to take out a massive lawsuit against a vile individual who has fouled up my whole life. I refer, of course, to myself. Suing yourself is all the rage these days, I hear from a reader who works as a paralegal ("lawyer who leaps from planes").
 
He told me that last year in the US state of Minnesota, a government van crashed into a parked car owned by one Megan Campbell. She took out a lawsuit against the van driver, a government staffer named, yes, Megan Campbell. This meant her employer had to pay for repairs, so everyone was happy. Except for the poor old taxpayer. But come on, we all know by now that allowing himself to be robbed every day of the year is the taxpayer's reason for existing, right?
 
The report reminded me of China's State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No.5 that specifies that people who have been reincarnated as elite masters of wisdom must have had their names previously recorded on a Reincarnation Application Form. (This is not a joke.) Clearly my current pitiful existence is a direct result of the total hash I made of form-filling in an earlier life, so that incarnation of me deserves to be sued for every penny he has, as soon as I can work out how to do it.
 
Regular contributors to this page added examples. A US jailbird named Brock sued himself for millions of dollars for giving himself alcohol which caused him to commit crimes. He argued that since he was a ward of a prison, the authorities would have to pay this huge sum to the victim - him. However, the US legal system refused to support this utterly ridiculous lawsuit, which is odd, because I thought supporting utterly ridiculous lawsuits was their main activity.
 
The most convoluted case was sent in by reader Sunita Chau and came from the London borough of Islington. An authority employee gave a parking ticket to an authority vehicle, the driver of which filed an appeal to the authority, which rejected it, causing the authority to file a second appeal which the authority accepted, inspiring the authority to demand costs from the authority which the authority rejected on the grounds that it was just too absurd. Well, they would know.
 
Earlier this year, the chief prosecutor of the Zambian government was accused of shocking irregularities in the way he ran his office. He referred the case to himself for judgment and dismissed it. His critics said that by finding himself not guilty he proved he was guilty. This is the sort of circular paradox that causes philosophers to suffer cranial short-circuits, so hide this page from any who might be passing.
 
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to fill in a Reincarnation Application Form so that I am reborn as an elite master of wisdom. Not that you'll notice any difference. But anything's better than my current role in life: taxpayer.

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Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush lose ground in primary state
Both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, Democratic and Republican frontrunners respectively in the 2016 White House race, have lost some ground in New Hampshire, the state set to host the campaign's first primary.
 
The former Secretary of State's sizable lead among Democrats in New Hampshire has been trimmed to single digits with Senator Bernie Sanders making a strong push in a state that narrowly broke Clinton's way in 2008, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.
 
Bush also still narrowly leads the Republican field in New Hampshire, but real estate mogul Donald Trump's gains in the state suggest the billionaire businessman is establishing a following in New Hampshire, CNN said,
 
Among the Democrats Clinton still holds an 8-point edge over Sanders, with 43 percent behind Clinton and 35 percent backing Sanders.
 
Vice President Joe Biden clocks in at 8 percent, with 2 percent or less supporting Martin O'Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee.
 
The poll marks a significant tightening of the contest since May when Clinton stood at 51 percent, with Elizabeth Warren at 20 percent and Sanders at 13 percent.
 
More see Clinton as presidential than Sanders, with 38 percent saying she has the personal characteristics and qualities a president should have, compared with 27 percent who think Sanders is best representative of those qualities.
 
On the Republican side, the new CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Primary poll found Trump at 11 percent, just behind Bush at 16 percent.
 
They were followed by Rand Paul at 9 percent, Scott Walker at 8 percent, and Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio both at 6 percent. Ben Carson and Chris Christie each have 5 percent support.
 
As the low numbers at the top of the pack indicate, the field is far from settled with 21 percent saying they don't know which of the 19 candidates tested in the poll they'd support, and overall, 75 percent saying they're not committed to any candidate.
 
Trump's gains seem connected to perceptions of him as a successful leader on economic issues and personal traits.
 
A whopping 46 percent say Trump is the one in the field "least likely to act like a typical politician if elected president." No one else comes close on that measure.
 
Trump's weakness may come from perceptions of his electability. While 37 percent say Bush is the candidate with the best chance to beat the Democratic nominee next year, just 7 percent say Trump has the best chance to win.
 
While Bush's favourability rating has ticked upward Since announcing his candidacy for President on June 1, New Hampshire voters seem to be souring on the rest of the field, the poll suggested.

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Victorious Obama says healthcare law 'here to stay'
As the US Supreme Court handed President Barack Obama a huge victory by upholding his signature healthcare law that opposition Republicans have tried to repeal countless times, he vowed to make it even better.
 
"Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in America, healthcare is not a privilege for a few but a right for all," Obama said from the White House on Thursday shortly after the verdict.
 
"Americans would have gone backwards and that's not what we do, that's not what America does, we move forward," he said praising the apex court's decision to uphold the subsidies in the law, nicknamed "Obamacare".
 
"The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," Obama said of the law that has extended cover to more than 15 million Americans who didn't have health insurance before it was signed into law in 2010.
 
In a 6-3 decision, the court held the Act authorised federal tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance nationwide and not just in states with their own exchanges to shop for them.
 
Only 16 states and the American capital of Washington have set up their own health insurance marketplaces and over 6.4 million Americans living in 34 Republican-ruled states which did not create such market places are dependent on Federal exchanges.
 
"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, wrote in the majority opinion joined by another conservative and the four liberal justices.
 
"If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter," he said.
 
In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said "we should start calling this law SCOTUScare," referring to the two times the Court has saved the law.
 
Challenge to the Act hinged on just four words in the law that they argued made subsidies available only to people buying insurance on "an exchange established by the state".
 
Congress made the distinction, the challengers said, to encourage states to create their own exchanges and when that failed on a large scale, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tried to "fix" the law.
 
The income-based subsidies are crucial to the law's success, helping to make health insurance more affordable and ultimately reducing the number of uninsured Americans.
 
All the Republican presidential candidates have vowed to repeal it with Louisiana's Indian American governor Bobby Jindal making it the second of his top four objectives after "secure our borders".
 
"I will replace Obamacare with a healthcare system that focuses on reducing costs and restoring freedom," Jindal declared on Wednesday as he became the first Indian American and 13th Republican candidate to jump into the 2016 White House race.
 
Several other Republican presidential candidates quickly denounced the ruling with a "disappointed" front runner Jeb Bush saying "this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare".
 
But Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to praise the decision.
 
"Yes!" she tweeted. "SCOTUS affirms what we know is true in our hearts & under the law: Health insurance should be affordable & available to all."

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