CARTOONS | HENRY PAYNEVIEW CARTOONThe problem for Adelson and his allies is that the UIGEA and other federal statutes apply only when state borders are crossed. The 10th Amendment and the principles of federalism mean that federal lawmakers should have no say regarding activities that take place entirely within one state’s borders. So if state governments wish to authorize online gambling for their citizens, they are and should remain free to do so.Adelson’s gang has been trying for some time to pass the Restoration of America’s Wire Act to stop states from setting their own gaming rules. Despite its misleading name, RAWA would go even further than the original and erroneous interpretation of the Wire Act, as even that dealt only with interstate activity.RAWA has failed to muster enough support to move forward thus far, but another bill, SB 3376, was recently introduced by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., with very similar language, suggesting there may be an attempt to sneak it through during the lame-duck session. Trump’s campaign received significant support from Adelson, so Republicans might also try to take it up in the new Congress.Doing so would mean ditching their oft-claimed support for the 10th Amendment and state sovereignty. It would also set a precedent for Democrats, who will eventually hold power again, to similarly prohibit the forms of online commerce they find distasteful, such as gun and ammunition sales.Republicans should learn from today’s dismayed Democrats and resist the temptation — while in power — to operate beyond constitutional limits so that such limits might still be around to keep the other side in check once control of the federal government inevitably changes hands again.Share this on Facebook (6)TweetFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail A Republican Ban on Internet Gambling Would Repeat a Costly Democratic MistakeVeronique de Rugy Veronique de Rugy for TOWNHALLMany on the left have taken Donald Trump’s surprise victory poorly, responding with considerable hand-wringing and emotional outbursts. Instead of simply focusing on the many evils that they anticipate will take place under President Trump, they would do well to look in the mirror and recognize that there would be far less cause for concern had they not spent the past eight years cheering on the expansion of executive power under President Barack Obama.Republicans, soon to control all elected branches for the first time in a decade, ignore this lesson at their peril.A group of congressional Republicans has been trying to undo the Department of Justice’s acknowledgment in 2011 that the Wire Act — passed before the internet existed — never should have been interpreted to prevent all forms of online gambling (such as poker and lotteries), as opposed to the “bets or wagers on any sporting event or contest” that the statute explicitly addresses.They’re worked up about it because billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson is a GOP megadonor and some states have begun authorizing online gambling within their borders. Adelson hates online gambling, as it competes with his bricks-and-mortar Las Vegas casinos for customers.More than five years ago, on what has become known to the poker world as Black Friday, the federal government unleashed a legal jihad against online poker companies and their top executives. Online poker is not itself illegal — a fact clarified by the DOJ’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act — but the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act made it illegal for payment processors to transfer funds to and from gambling sites.
×Bob Berckes, at the recent televised Secaucus Board of Education meeting Bob Berckes, at the recent televised Secaucus Board of Education meeting The Board would transfer Christine Candela, the district’s current supervisor of English language arts and social studies, to replace Valente at the middle school. The news comes days after a NJ.com report revealed that Berckes intends to sue Superintendent Jennifer Montesano and the entire board over his suspension, for $5 million. The suit could add up to 10 more defendants, the outlet reported.In the suit, NJ.com says, Berckes claims he’s sustained emotional distress and embarrassment over his removal. He also alleges, the article said, that the suspension has affected his chiropractor business in town.The district first suspended Berckes and Assistant Principal Jeffrey Case–who will resign June 30–in April after an incident where a student allegedly brought a knife and marijuana to school. Though the district has not clarified why the suspension happened, Berckes gave his side at the May 10 board meeting.He claimed that he and Montesano agreed the student would be suspended. But after discarding the alleged drugs with a school officer, he claims his superiors tried to get the officer to say he didn’t follow protocol. In his suit, according to NJ.com, Berckes reiterates much of the claims he made during his appearance last month.The board’s investigation has drawn concern from Mayor Michael Gonnelli. At the May 24 Board meeting, Gonnelli urged members to make a decision regarding Berckes. He argued that what Berckes did “is not criminal.” He also believes that Montesano got “bad advice” in this instance, but does not know who gave it to her.Gonnelli plans to air his grievances at the June 28 board meeting.Board member Lou Giele, who also spoke favorably of Berckes at the May 24 meeting, wasn’t upset by the filing. “To be honest with you, Berckes has every right to file a suit,” Giele said. “The actions we have taken were totally unjustified and unwarranted. I have a real problem with whether or not he’s been given due process.” SECAUCUS–The Secaucus Board of Education is set to vote on transferring suspended Secaucus High School Principal Dr. Bob Berckes to the Clarendon Elementary School, according to the agenda for the Thursday, June 28 meeting. The transfers would also move current Clarendon Principal Steven Viggiani to replace Berckes at Secaucus High School. Secaucus Middle School Principal Robert Valente would become the new Huber Street School principal.
Thus, it is also reasonable to interpret the agreement as letting occupational pensions off tightened Solvency II or holistic balance sheet (HBS) capital adequacy rules until 1 January 2020, she believes, citing the ‘level playing field’ argument.The former chairman of the stakeholders group at EIOPA told IPE the agreement to delay capital adequacy rules for the life insurance part of insurance was achieved under pressure from, for example, France.A separate source speaks of the country’s well-known position on non-compliance with the IORPs Directive.Verhaegen herself says the trilogue’s relaxation makes it clear France has been “listened to”.The trilogue consensus, which is planned to be in force for the insurance sector in 2016, sets the sector’s life insurance component to be excused from certain IORP Directive rules until 31 December 2019.It means that exclusion measures set out in Article 4 of the existing 2003 occupational pensions Directive may continue in force for another six years.The Article states that: “In such case, and only as far as their occupational retirement provision business is concerned, insurance undertakings shall not be subject to Articles 20 to 26, 31 and 36 of [the life insurance] Directive”.However, according to Verhaegen, this is a member state option, and it is restricted to occupational pensions.The deal, which is described as “provisional”, was reached after eight hours of tense negotiations in Brussels.It took until 11.30pm under the chairmanship of British liberal MEP, Sharon Bowles.Bowles says the outcome makes for “a good day” for the European insurance industry, for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and for the European Parliament.“This agreement opens the door for EIOPA to take on responsibility for the regulation of the European insurance industry as envisaged by MEPs when EIOPA was originally created,” she says.As for reaction from PensionsEurope, it is cautiously holding back on comment, at least for the time being.Its head, Matti Leppälä, told IPE he would first like to see the “consolidated” text report of the trilogue agreement.This, in fact, requires clearance by the European Parliament, in plenary session.Here, the provisional date for this sitting is not until February 2014.In other words, expect further debate, no doubt mainly behind closed doors.Omnibus II’s “progress” follows delay after delay for its Solvency II predecessor.On an optimistic note, EIOPA’s chairman, Gabriel Bernardino welcomes the trilogue agreement, saying it will contribute to the strengthening of insurance supervision.As for the Nordics, a Brussels source says there have been discussions between Sweden and the EU institutions earlier this year on gearing up compliance over occupational pensions rules.German Green MEP Sven Giegold, a financial expert held in high esteem across party lines, quips: “Years of intensive lobbying have paid off for the insurance companies of the largest member states.”He adds: “The package provides a capital relief of an incredible €267bn. For life insurance alone, the relief is €264bn. Life insurers will be allowed to hold, under Solvency II, capital of just 4.5% of their assets.” Jeremy Woolfe speaks with Brussels insiders on the significance of the Omnibus II agreementDraft agreements reached in Brussels over Solvency II issues are likely to spin off into the occupational pension field, probably by 2020, according to a key Brussels pensions figure.The agreement to the Omnibus II legislative package was achieved in a late-night session bringing together the EU national governments, the European Parliament and the European Commission.The legislation is aimed at the insurance sector, but it is logical to suppose that occupational pensions – which can be described as a parallel sector – would eventually be “infected”, according to Chris Verhaegen.
McIlroy also became embroiled in legal battles with his former management company and one of his sponsors, but eventually got his game back in shape and ended the year on a high with a victory in the Australian Open and successfully proposing to his tennis star girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki. And a final round of 65 in last week’s Shell Houston Open meant the Northern Irishman was in high spirits as he discussed his chances of following in the footsteps of Adam Scott on Sunday. “Mind, body, equipment, it’s all there. There’s no excuses,” McIlroy told his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday. “There’s no excuses if I don’t play well this week. “Everything’s in the right place to allow me to play well so it’s just a matter of managing my expectations, not getting ahead of myself, not thinking about Sunday when it’s Friday afternoon. Just really keeping myself in the present and in the moment and trying to take it one shot at a time and hopefully those shots add up to about 270 and I walk away with a green jacket. “It’s just about not getting ahead of yourself and just letting all the practice and all the work that you’ve put in come out in your execution and just get out of your own way.” McIlroy was also pleased to learn that another obstacle has been taken out of his way, namely the branch of a tree on the 10th hole which helped send his wayward drive into uncharted territory. Despite a poor start to the final round, McIlroy was clinging onto the lead until a triple-bogey seven there precipitated a back nine of 43 that left him 10 shots behind winner Charl Schwartzel and in tears on the phone with his mother. “That’s probably the only time I’ve cried over golf, the morning after in 2011,” he added. “Last year was nothing compared to blowing a lead in the final round of the Masters, because you never know if you’re going to get that opportunity again. Rory McIlroy admits there will be no excuses if he does not give himself a chance to complete the third leg of a career grand slam in the US Masters this week. Press Association “It makes it easier these days when you have two majors in the bag. It’s not that you don’t care as much, but it’s not the end of the world. You know that you will have more opportunities and you’ve taken a couple of opportunities already. “I think you’re always excited to come back here. I really enjoy this tournament. I have no ill feelings towards 2011. I thought it was a very important day in my career. “It was a big learning curve for me and I don’t know if I had not have had that day, would I be the person and the player that I am sitting here, because I learned so much from it. I learned exactly not what to do under pressure and contention, and I definitely learned from that day how to handle my emotions better on the course.” McIlroy is making his sixth appearance in the Masters but will be the veteran in his group for the first two rounds after being paired with 20-year-old Jordan Spieth and 23-year-old Patrick Reed. Reed hit the headlines recently for labelling himself one of the top five players in the world following his victory in the WGC-Cadillac Championship, but world number nine McIlroy joked: “There’s going to be no top-five players in that group. “Actually I played a few holes with Patrick today. It’s the first time I’ve ever spent any time with him. He seems like a nice guy.” Reed and Spieth are among 24 rookies aiming to become the first to win on their Masters debut since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 and McIlroy added: ” When I teed it up here for the first time I had not won a PGA Tour and I still was a pretty accomplished player. But Patrick has won three times on the PGA Tour, Jordan has obviously won once and last year was rookie of the year, played the Presidents Cup. So they are accomplished guys. “I feel the first go around here you’re always a little tentative. I certainly was a little tentative in 2009, but they are aggressive players, they have shown that they can play well on big stages and we’ll see what they do over the next few days.” McIlroy has won the US Open and the US PGA Championship and finished third in the 2010 Open at St Andrews, but his best finish at Augusta National remains a tie for 15th in 2011, when he led by four shots going into the final round but crashed to a closing 80. Twelve months ago McIlroy arrived at the Masters on the back of a second-place finish in the Valero Texas Open which somewhat masked his struggles to adapt to new equipment, the 24-year-old having earlier walked off the course during his defence of the Honda Classic saying he was “in a bad place mentally.”