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Saturday, June 30, 2012

What part of "illegal" do the liberals not understand?

Quote of the Day!

"The character of a democratic government will never be better than the character of the people it governs."

Clare Booth Luce


The new Earl Warren!

White House stands by position that health law mandate isn't a tax - The Hill's Healthwatch

White House stands by position that health law mandate isn't a tax - The Hill's Healthwatch

NAPOLITANO: Roberts unleashes vast federal power - Washington Times

NAPOLITANO: Roberts unleashes vast federal power - Washington Times

Among the 17 lawyers who have served as chief justice of the United States, John Marshall - the fourth chief justice - has come to be known as the “great” chief justice. The folks who have given him that title are the progressives who largely have written the history we have all been taught in government schools. They revere him because he is the intellectual progenitor of federal power. His opinions over a 34-year period during the nation’s infancy - expanding federal power at the expense of personal freedom and the sovereignty of the states - set a pattern for federal control of our lives and actually invited Congress to regulate areas of human behavior nowhere mentioned in the Constitution. He was Thomas Jefferson’s cousin, but they rarely spoke. No chief justice in history has so pronouncedly and creatively offered the feds power on a platter as much as he.

Now he has a rival.

Darrell Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Applications in Congressional Record : Roll Call News

Darrell Issa Puts Details of Secret Wiretap Applications in Congressional Record : Roll Call News

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.

The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.

The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Now it's up to the voters to strike down Obamacare and Biggest Tax Increase in History| The Daily Caller

A very splintered Supreme Court has upheld Obamacare, almost in its entirety. One small provision — which would have allowed the feds to withdraw the funding they give states for their Medicaid programs if they declined to expand them — was rejected.

Other than that, the court effectively gave the green light to the president’s attempt to destroy the country’s healthcare marketplace.
Perhaps the biggest shock was that Chief Justice John Roberts — who was appointed to the high court by Republican President George W. Bush — wrote the majority opinion, siding with the four liberal justices who were expected to support the law.
The ruling is a victory for the Obama administration. But it’s not a complete defeat for those who value limited government. A majority of voters still oppose Obamacare — and have since it became law. Current and would-be lawmakers can capitalize on that disdain by articulating a workable, effective alternative for reforming our healthcare system.
The Obama administration may have gotten the result it wanted — affirmation of the constitutionality of the individual mandate — but not for the reason it hoped. Roberts and company said that the mandate was constitutional under Congress’s power to tax, not its power to regulate interstate commerce.
To paraphrase Vice President Joe Biden, that’s a big, uh, deal. By declining to affirm the mandate under the Commerce Clause, the high court effectively prohibits Congress from forcing Americans to engage in commerce just so lawmakers can regulate it.
Further, by upholding the mandate under Congress’s taxation power, the justices have caused the president to impose the biggest tax increase on the middle class in American history.

Read more:

The Roberts Court

The Obamacare law is constitutional, now make it affordable -

The Obamacare law is constitutional, now make it affordable -

While the U.S. Supreme Courtupheld the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, it also knocked down a hugely significant provision of the law. Democrats may have been so giddy over what happened Thursday — "John Roberts gave us a break?!" — that the impact of this hasn't quite sunk in.
The high court said the federal government cannot compel the states to cooperate in a broad expansion of Medicaid. That was anticipated to provide health care for 16 million to 17 million people, half the people who would gain care coverage under the law.
In essence, anyone who earns up to 133 percent of the federal poverty rate would be covered. The law sought to force the states to add those people to their Medicaid rolls. If a state refused to comply, it could lose all of its federal Medicaid funds.
That, wrote Chief Justice John Roberts, "is economic dragooning that leaves the states with no real option but to acquiesce in the Medicaid expansion."
This is big: Twenty-six states challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act on the grounds that the individual mandate and the Medicaid requirements were unconstitutional. National health care may turn out to be not so national after all, if most or all of those states walk away. With so many states struggling to pay the cost of Medicaid now, that's a distinct possibility.

A substantial conservative win | commerce, mandate, court - Opinion - The Orange County Register

A substantial conservative win | commerce, mandate, court - Opinion - The Orange County Register

Conservatives won a substantial victory on Thursday. The physics of American politics – actions provoking reactions – continues to move the crucial debate, about the nature of the American regime, toward conservatism. Chief Justice John Roberts has served this cause.
The health care legislation's expansion of the federal government's purview has improved our civic health by rekindling interest in what this expansion threatens – the Framers' design for limited government. Conservatives distraught about the survival of the individual mandate are missing the considerable consolation prize they won when the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional rationale for the mandate – Congress' rationale – that was pregnant with rampant statism.

Health Care Ruling Re-Energizes Tea Party : Roll Call News

Health Care Ruling Re-Energizes Tea Party : Roll Call News

In upholding most of President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Supreme Court handed the tea party a new lease on life.
While activists spouted made-for-TV rancor through megaphones outside the court Thursday, the behind-the-scenes strategists who helped Republicans take the House in 2010 prepared for a flood of donations they said will fuel even greater gains this November.
“From a political standpoint, this is the best decision,” Sal Russo, chief strategist for the Tea Party Express, told Roll Call from his Sacramento, Calif., offices. “Obviously, this kind of a setback will re-energize them.”
The movement, born in 2009 from the opposition to the health care overhaul, has developed a professionalism that few expected, attracting seasoned operatives and winning allies in Congress. Vitriolic protests have taken a back seat to well-executed fundraising campaigns. 

CURL: Roberts to the rescue for Romney - Washington Times

CURL: Roberts to the rescue for Romney - Washington Times

Traitor! Turncoat! Benedict Arnold!
Those contemptuous epithets and more were hurled by Republicans and conservatives at Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.moments after he single-handedly saved Obamacare, joining liberals on the bench to break a 4-4 tie.
The Supreme Court has abandoned us,” Texas Gov. Rick Perrydeclared. “Simply disappointing,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott moaned. “Activist court,” Rep. Michele Bachmann cried.
Even Ari Fleischer, the former spokesman for George W. Bush, who appointed Chief Justice Roberts to the court, joined in. “I miss Justice Harriet Miers,” he whined.
But they all miss the point, and, more, by looking purely at the political, miss the forest for the trees.
In voting to uphold Mr. Obama’s disastrous health-care overhaul, the chief justice took away the president’s main line of attack that surely would have been deployed had the court voted 5-4, along party lines. The Divider in Chief, already bent on stoking cultural warfare — upper-middle class vs. lower-middle class, white against black against Hispanic, gay against straight, believers against non-believers — had no doubt hoped to win one more target for his bilious bifurcation.

The New and Even Worse Obamacare - Yuval Levin - National Review Online

The New and Even Worse Obamacare - Yuval Levin - National Review Online

The Court’s rewriting of the law strengthens the case for repealing it.

Romney raises $4.6M after health ruling - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Romney raises $4.6M after health ruling - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has raised $4.6 million since the Supreme Court ruled that President Obama's healthcare law is constitutional.
Romney started raising funds immediately after the decision, and in a message to supporters Friday morning his campaign spokeswoman said he had raised $4.6 million from 47,000 donations. 
This morning, the Romney campaign had raised $4.3 million less than 24 hours since the court's ruling.
"As of this morning, we have raised $4.3 million with 43,000 donations online," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said early Friday.
"The Supreme Court may have found ObamaCare constitutional, but it remains just as disastrous for job creators as the day the law was passed. ObamaCare is a job killer — it raises taxes, cuts Medicare and puts government between patients and their doctors," Saul added.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Will the Court Revitalize the Tea Party?

Will the Court Revitalize the Tea Party?

With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare, the issue now shifts to the elected branches of government and raises this question: Will the intense opposition dissipate or will it lead to a fervent new effort to repeal the liberal health care law?

Polls show that opposition to Obamacare has increased since it was passed in 2010. Then, it played a huge role in the Republican landslide in the midterm congressional election. In that campaign, Republican candidates were unified in the support for repealing Obamacare.

And the Tea Party movement that erupted in 2009 was also a strong force in the opposition to the health care stature.  Since the 2010 election, however, the Tea Party was become less active, at least in staging public demonstrations.

Will the 5-4 decision revive the Tea Party? Will Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney make Obamacare the centerpiece of his campaign against Obama? Will GOP candidates do the same?

Unless the answer to those questions is “yes,” the court’s decision may turn out to be the pivotal moment in legitimizing Obamacare, improving its public support as reflected in opinion polls, and embedding it firmly into the American health care system.

Obama threatens veto of GOP effort to defund health care bill, Wall Street reform - Washington Times

Obama threatens veto of GOP effort to defund health care bill, Wall Street reform - Washington Times

The White House on Thursday threatened to veto a 2013 spending bill that defunds President Obama’s signature Wall Street reform bill and the 2010 health care overhaul that the Supreme Court upheld earlier in the day.

Minutes later, the White House also warned House Republicans that Mr. Obama has deep concerns about a host of provisions in their defense spending bill as well, and also would veto that measure if it reaches his desk.

The House Financial Services bill containing the Wall Street and health-care provisions, as well as the defense spending measure, are heading to the floor after the July 4 break. The provisions in question have little chance of getting through the Senate, which Democrats control, so the veto threat is largely a symbolic denunciation of the House’s work.

Defeat Obama and Repeal Obamacare!

It Now Falls to Congress to Repeal Obamacare

It Now Falls to Congress

ObamaCare was a mistake from the start, a massive effort by the federal government to take over and control one-sixth of the economy – indeed, the part that concerns the most complex and intimate details of life, our health. It’s the most ambitious example to date of the political hubris progressives have displayed for over a century now, the belief that government can solve all of our problems.

Today, the Supreme Court had an opportunity to put a brake on that hubris. Four justices, led by Justice Kennedy, would have done so. But Chief Justice Roberts joined the four justices who are Exhibit A of the modern hubris, writing for the Court to uphold almost all of this monstrous intrusion on our liberty and on the very theory of the Constitution. And he did so on the flimsiest of rationales for deciding a constitutional question – precedent. If precedent carried the weight Roberts gave it today, we’d still be riding in segregated trains and sending our children to segregated schools.

Andy Barr Responds To SC Decision!

Contact: (859) 806-8683


Supreme Court Decision Confirms ObamaCare Is A Massive Tax

Barr: Court decision means only way to stop ObamaCare
is to replace Ben Chandler, who opposes repeal

LEXINGTON, KY – Commenting on today's United States Supreme Court ruling,
candidate for Congress Andy Barr noted that the decision confirms what
small businesses and voters have been saying from the beginning:

“Today, the Supreme Court exposed ObamaCare for what it actually is: a
massive tax imposed upon people who can least afford it,” Barr said. “This
decision means that the only way to stop ObamaCare is to defeat
politicians like Ben Chandler who have voted against repeal of this
disaster for working families.

“The Court's ruling did recognize that there are important limits on
federal power enshrined in our Constitution. By a 5-4 vote, the Court
vindicated the proposition that Congress lacks the power to compel
Americans to involuntarily engage in commercial activity. By a 7-2
margin, the Court held that that the federal government cannot hold a
state's Medicaid funding hostage to the whims of federal bureaucrats.

“For more than two years, an unworkable 2,700-page monstrosity has
consumed, distracted, and delayed lawmakers from adopting measures that
can truly address the shortcomings in our health care system. Rammed
through Congress in the dead of night when most members of Congress had
not even had a chance to read it, ObamaCare showcases the arrogance of
Washington politicians who think they know better than the rest of us. As
Ben Chandler’s choice for Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, infamously
said, ‘[w]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.’

“Every day that ObamaCare remains in effect means rising health care
costs, skyrocketing insurance premiums, accelerating job losses, and an
exploding federal deficit. In Congress, I will work to fully repeal this
unworkable law and replace it with market-based, patient-centered reforms
that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing government.”

Andy Barr supports replacing ObamaCare with the following market-based,
patient-centered reforms:

• Authorize interstate competition among America's 1,300 private health
• Expand the availability of tax-favored Health Savings Accounts, which
empower consumers to negotiate the price of many lower cost health care
services (replacing insurance companies in this capacity);
• Replace the current tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health
insurance with a system of family and individual tax credits in order to
make health insurance more affordable and portable;
• Enact sensible medical liability reform; and
• Expand the availability of Association Health Plans, which enable
individuals and small businesses to purchase more affordable group

Dissenting Opinion Quotes in Supreme Court Decision

Excerpts from dissenting opinions of Justices Scalia,Kennedy, Thomas and Alito:

"What is absolutely clear, affirmed by the text of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendment ratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the
220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power—upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon thesovereign States. Whatever may be the conceptual limits upon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to tax and spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the States to function as administrators of federal programs.
That clear principle carries the day here."....

"The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying nonconsenting States all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative."...

"The Government was invited, at oral argument, to suggest what federal controls over private conduct (other than those explicitly prohibited by the Bill of Rights or other constitutional controls) could not be justified as necessary and proper for the carrying out of a general
regulatory scheme. See Tr. of Oral Arg. 27–30, 43–45 (Mar. 27, 2012). It was unable to name any. As we said at the outset, whereas the precise scope of the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause is uncertain,the proposition that the Federal Government cannot do
everything is a fundamental precept. See Lopez, 514 U. S., at 564 (“[I]f we were to accept the Government’s arguments, we are hard pressed to posit any activity by an individual that Congress is without power to regulate”).Section 5000A is defeated by that proposition."...

"The Constitution, though it dates from the founding of the Republic, has powerful meaning and vital relevance to our own times. The constitutional protections that this case involves are protections of structure. Structural protections—notably, the restraints imposed by federalism
and separation of powers—are less romantic and have less obvious a connection to personal freedom than the provisions of the Bill of Rights or the Civil War Amendments. Hence they tend to be undervalued or even forgotten by our citizens. It should be the responsibility of the Court to teach otherwise, to remind our people that the Framers considered structural protections of freedom the most important ones, for which reason they alone were embodied in the original Constitution and not left to later amendment. The fragmentation of power produced by the structure of our Government is central to liberty, and when we destroy it, we place liberty at peril. Today’s decision should have vindicated, should have taught, this truth; instead, our judgment today has disregarded it.

For the reasons here stated, we would find the Act invalid in its entirety. We respectfully dissent."

House should hold Holder in contempt | Editorials | The Seattle Times

House should hold Holder in contempt | Editorials | The Seattle Times

The Seattle Times editorial board argues that the Justice Department should hand over documents regarding the "Fast and Furious" gun-sale program, or else the House of Representatives should declare Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.

This Election Just Became About Obamacare

This Election Just Became About Obamacare

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare, the principal choice now facing Americans on November 6 will be whether to keep Obamacare or to repeal it.  The question is a binary one, and the answer — expressed almost entirely through their presidential vote — will go a long way toward determining the future course of this great nation. 


Yes, the economy is extremely important; and, yes, Obamacare is hurting the economy. But the reason why this election is the most important since the Civil War is not because Mitt Romney would make a far better steward of the economy than President Obama (though he would). Rather, it’s because we are about to decide whether to put what will soon be one-fifth of our economy under the control of the federal government; whether to funnel previously unthinkable amounts of power and money to Washington; and whether this nation conceived in liberty will continue to prioritize liberty.

Romney Response To USSC Ruling On Obamacare!

In an email to supporters, Mr. Romney asked to contributions for his campaign, saying that
“Obamacare is bad medicine, it is bad policy, and when I’m President, the bad news of Obamacare will be over.”

Mr. Romney pledged to work to repeal the health care law “on Day One,” and cast November’s election as a stark choice that is underscored by the court’s decision.

“Our basic liberties are at stake – and I will fight to restore our freedoms, renew the respect for our Constitution, and halt the government takeover of health care,” Mr. Romney wrote in the fundraising appeal. “This November it’s all on the line. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”

A Shallow Victory For Liberals and Deadbeats

Healthcare Mandate Upheld!

The Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate in Obamacare as a "tax'! The Court did strike down the expanded Medicaid portion of the law but found it to be severable from the rest of the law.

The decision did significantly restrict one major portion of the law: the expansion of Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income and sick people. The ruling give states some flexibility not to expand their Medicaid programs, without paying the same financial penalties the law for.

While I disagree with the opinion, I believe in the rule of law and until and unless a new Congress repeals the Act it is the law of the land! There now appears to be no limit on the power of the federal government!

Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion and stated:

'It is not our role to forbid it, or pass upon its wisdom or fairness'...
'Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it. '

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Conservative Quote

"Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences of his actions."

F A Hayek


The Left's effort to discredit all conservative thought

Carney: The Left's effort to discredit all conservative thought
June 27, 2012

Timothy P. Carney
Senior political columnist
The Washington Examiner

Closed-minded dismissal of opposing views has gone from being a bad habit of conservatives to a core strategy of the Left.

As we await the Supreme Court's Obamacare ruling, liberal commentator after liberal commentator has declared that only a dishonest partisan or a complete fool could find the individual mandate unconstitutional.

This is where the liberal elites have been headed for a couple of years, and not just on health care. In many cases, it's simply a matter of the liberal bubble. For others, it's a cynical way of moving the bounds of permissible dissent. This latter phenomenon I've given the florid name "Strategic Epistemic Closure."

I learned the term "epistemic closure" a couple of years back from the erudite libertarian blogger Julian Sanchez. Sanchez wrote that grassroots conservatives are especially prone to ignore counterarguments and opposing viewpoints, instead immersing themselves in the comfortable waters of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Epistemic closure is a sign of intellectual laziness that's too present among the conservative base. But it seems that among some liberals, epistemic closure is a deliberate and strategic choice: Ignore, dismiss and ridicule conservative and free-market views, and maybe the "referees" -- that is, the mainstream media -- will begin treating those views as ridiculous, too.

The other side's views need not be entertained, the argument goes, because the other side is not serious. And we know they are not serious because they are on the other side. Any reporter who gives as much weight to the Right's argument as to the Left's is guilty of false equivalence and "he-said-she-said" analysis.

Paul Krugman, the acid-penned New York Times columnist, is the trendsetter when it comes to Strategic Epistemic Closure.

"I don't know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously," Krugman writes, explaining why he reads no conservatives or free-marketers. "I know we're supposed to pretend that both sides always have a point; but the truth is that most of the time they don't."

Those conservatives they can't dismiss as "ignorant yahoos" (Krugman's term) they vilify as corporate shills. Yahoos and shills being the only two sources of conservative or free-market argumentation, they can all safely be ignored.

This is related to what liberal blogger Ezra Klein recently described as "building a permission structure." Klein wrote this week of how the Right built a "permission structure" allowing conservative judges to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional.

Here's the flip side of that story: liberal Strategic Epistemic Closure is all about dismantling any permission structure on the Right. For instance, get enough elites to dismiss an idea, and boom, it's "discredited." Get enough liberals to act shocked at a proposal, and you've made it "controversial." Then pretend some objective standard has been met, and warn the media not to give credence to discredited or controversial ideas.

On the mandate's constitutionality, liberals point to a legal consensus among liberal academics most of whom also happen to think a mandate is good policy. Then they assert that anyone outside that "consensus" is arguing on political, not legal, grounds.

Facts that undermine the claim of consensus -- for instance, a Clinton-appointed judge found the mandate unconstitutional -- are steadfastly ignored.

Nobody looking at the plain language of the Constitution would say, "Ah, this obviously empowers Congress to force everyone in America to buy health insurance on the state-by-state individual market."

But a permission structure has been built in the form of legal precedent -- including many bad decisions by liberal judges -- slowly making it possible for Washington to do what sounds absurd on its face: forcing us into intrastate commerce in the name of regulating interstate commerce.

The liberal argument today, though, is not merely that Congress can regulate inactivity, but that any argument to the contrary is dishonest or idiotic. This allows the Left to portray an adverse ruling as nakedly political. The Atlantic's James Fallows wrote it would signal a "coup."

Liberal writer Kevin Drum wrote that it "would mean that the Supreme Court had officially entered an era where they were frankly willing to overturn liberal legislation just because they don't like it."

The truth is we've entered an era where many liberal commentators are willing to dismiss any argument as illegitimate just because they don't like it.

Timothy P.Carney, The Examiner's senior political columnist, can be contacted at His column appears Monday and Thursday, and his stories and blog posts appear on

Tax Hikes in Obamacare: How Will SCOTUS Rule?

Tax Hikes in Obamacare: How Will SCOTUS Rule?
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:42 AM | Ryan Ellis and John Kartch

Obamacare law contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses

On the eve of the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare, taxpayers are reminded that the President’s healthcare law is one of the largest tax increases in American history.

Obamacare contains 20 new or higher taxes on American families and small businesses. On Thursday, Americans for Tax Reform will do a full analysis of the tax implications of the Court’s decision.

Arranged by their respective effective dates, below is the total list of all $500 billion-plus in tax hikes (over the next ten years) in Obamacare, where to find them in the bill, and how much your taxes are scheduled to go up as of today:

Taxes that took effect in 2010:

1. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/immediate): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

2. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

3. “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

4. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies ($22.2 bil/Jan 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

5. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike ($0.4 bil/Jan 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

6. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services ($2.7 billion/July 1, 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

Taxes that took effect in 2011:

7. Medicine Cabinet Tax ($5 bil/Jan 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

8. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike ($1.4 bil/Jan 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

Tax that took effect in 2012:

9. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (Min$/Jan 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

Taxes that take effect in 2013:

10. Surtax on Investment Income ($123 billion/Jan. 2013):  Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93


Capital Gains











*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

11. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax ($86.8 bil/Jan 2013): Current law and changes:


First $200,000
($250,000 Married)

All Remaining Wages

Current Law

2.9% self-employed

2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

2.9% self-employed

3.8% self-employed

Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

12. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers ($20 bil/Jan 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

13. Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI ($15.2 bil/Jan 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

14. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” ($13 bil/Jan 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).  Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

15. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D ($4.5 bil/Jan 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

16. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives ($0.6 bil/Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

Taxes that take effect in 2014:

17. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following


1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults


1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285


2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

18. Employer Mandate Tax (Jan 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

19. Tax on Health Insurers ($60.1 bil/Jan 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  Phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

Taxes that take effect in 2018:

20. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans ($32 bil/Jan 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family).  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions.  CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA;

My Bucket List for 2012

Founding Father Quote

"If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight; I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and to the God of Hosts, is all that is left us!."

-Patrick Henry

Crazy Joe

White House lobbies House to scrub Holder contempt vote - Washington Times

White House lobbies House to scrub Holder contempt vote - Washington Times

President Obama’s spokesman urged House Republicans on Wednesday to cancel a planned vote to hold Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress, saying most Americans don’t care about the separation-of-powers struggle.

“We hope Republicans change their minds as to what the right course of action is,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney, adding that lawmakers should be focused instead on boosting the economy. “I cannot imagine this will sit well with most Americans.”

But Mr. Carney said the White House was under no illusions about the Republicans’ plans, and administration officials expect the House vote against Mr. Holder to proceed.

“House Republicans have made the strategic choice to try to score political points,” Mr. Carney said, adding that there was “ample opportunity” to resolve the battle earlier.

Mr. Carney said senior White House and Justice Department officials met Tuesday with staff from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and showed them “a representative sample” of documents sought by the committee. But they were not able to resolve the impasse.

The Mandate Represents What's Wrong With Democrats

The Mandate Represents What’s Wrong With Democrats

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling on Obamacare--and, in particular, the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance whether they want it or not.

Let us hope that the Court invalidates this law.

The individual mandate is the apotheosis of the modern Democratic party’s way of doing business. In particular, it is the quintessential example of how, hiding behind a smokescreen of egalitarian rhetoric, the party has become deeply, perhaps hopelessly, anti-republican, happy to dole out favors to privileged groups while the rest of the country is left with nothing.

First, the individual mandate represents an enormous transfer of wealth, completely independent of income or social status. It transfers resources from the healthy to the sick, from the young to the old, without regard to who has more money to begin with. Democrats typically rail against supposedly regressive GOP tax proposals, but nothing the Republicans have ever cooked up compares to the individual mandate. While we’re on the subject of Democratic regressiveness, LBJ’s Medicare is a similarly regressive form of taxation, and ditto Social Security, ever since Johnson turned it into a pay-as-you-go system. Yet watch Democrats howl with outrage whenever the GOP dares suggest reforms that would alter this socially unjust status quo.

Things You Should Know About Mitt Romney

Things You Should Know About

Mitt Romney

Personal Information:

· His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney

· He was Born: March 12, 1947 and is 65 years old.

· His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan

· He was Raised in: Bloomfield Hills , Michigan

· He is Married to: Ann Romney since 1969; they have five children

· Education: B.A. from Brigham Young University , J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard University

· Religion: Mormon – The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints

Working Background:

· After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary.

· After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar, but never worked as an attorney.

· In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, one of the largest such firms in the United States .

· In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts and lost to Ted Kennedy.

· He was President and C.E.O. of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

· In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

Some Interesting Facts about Romney:

· Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts , turned it into Staples; now over 2,000 stores employing 90,000 people.

· Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, and many others.

· He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad's gubernatorial campaign 1 year.

· He was an unpaid intern in his dad’s governor’s office for eight years.

· He was an unpaid bishop and stake president of his church for ten years. The stories of his personal involvement in helping others, as well as his annual gifts to charities continue to be impressive.

· He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for three years. He stepped in to take over a troubled Organizing Committee and oversaw the making of the the Games successful. (A very complex task, accomplished because of his leadership and experience in working with people for a common goal.)

· He took no salary and was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for four years.

· He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.

· Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service and time than most men. (In fact, it's difficult to find another man even close in this respect!)

Mitt Romney is Trustworthy:

· He will show us his birth certificate

· He will show us his high school and college transcripts.

· He will show us his social security card.

· He will show us his law degree.

· He will show us his draft notice.

· He will show us his medical records.

· He will show us his income tax records.

· He will show us he has nothing to hide.

Mitt Romney’s background, experience and trustworthiness show him to be a great leader and will be an excellent President of the United States .

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Shredder

We don't need no Stinkin' Constitution!

Eric Witholder

Has the Day of the Islamist Arrived? |

Has the Day of the Islamist Arrived? |

Sixteen months after the United States abandoned its loyal satrap of 30 years, President Hosni Mubarak, to champion democracy in Egypt, the returns are in.

Mohammed Morsi, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, is president of Egypt, while the military has dissolved the elected parliament that was dominated by the Brotherhood, and curbed his powers.

The military and the mullahs will fight for the future of a country that is home to one in four Arabs. The soldiers who have dominated Egypt since the ouster of King Farouk in 1952 show no willingness to surrender what they have long controlled of the state and economy.

Yet in the long run, the Brotherhood — whose claim to guide the nation's destiny is rooted in a faith 1,400 years old — is likely to prevail.

In Syria, the uprising against Bashar Assad appears headed for civil war, with atrocities on both sides. Some 10,000 are estimated to have died, a far bloodier affair than Egypt. And here, too, the day of the Brotherhood, massacred in the thousands by Bashar's father in Hama, seems not far off.

Witnessing what is happening in these critical Arab countries and across the region, one is tempted to ask: What are the fruits of three decades of compulsive U.S. intervention in the Islamic world?

Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona immigration law underscores how profoundly broken federal policy is - NY Daily News

Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona immigration law underscores how profoundly broken federal policy is - NY Daily News

The U.S. Supreme Court was unanimously right in harshly judging what passes for immigration enforcement in America as the justices rendered a split verdict on Arizona’s aggressive attempt to repel illegal entrants from Mexico.
Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the state “bears many of the consequences of unlawful immigration.” Kennedy added that in its “most populous county, these aliens are reported to be responsible for a disproportionate share of serious crime.”
Most damningly, he pointed out: “Phoenix is a major city of the United States, yet signs along an interstate highway 30 miles to the south warn the public to stay away. One read, ‘DANGER — PUBLIC WARNING — TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED/ Active Drug and Human Smuggling Areas/ Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed.’ ”
Leading the court’s opposing, minority bloc, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia added: “Arizona bears the brunt of the country’s illegal immigration problem . Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrants who invade their property, strain their social services and even place their lives in jeopardy.”
Under those circumstances, it’s no wonder that the Arizona Legislature and governor tried to take the law into their own hands, with statutes declaring presence in the state without documents and taking a job without documents to be misdemeanors.
It’s also no wonder that Arizona enacted an additional provision authorizing police to check the immigration status of anyone who was reasonably suspected of being in the country illegally.
Properly, the majority struck down the move to charge illegal immigrants with misdemeanors for living or working there. Such criminalization went far beyond U.S. policy , thereby impermissibly intruding into an exclusive province of the federal government.

Read more:

A Political Glossary

A Political Glossary

Since this is an election year, we can expect to hear a lot of words -- and the meaning of those words is not always clear. So it may be helpful to have a glossary of political terms.
One of the most versatile terms in the political vocabulary is "fairness." It has been used over a vast range of issues, from "fair trade" laws to the Fair Labor Standards Act. And recently we have heard that the rich don't pay their "fair share" of taxes.
Some of us may want to see a definition of what is "fair." But a concrete definition would destroy the versatility of the word, which is what makes it so useful politically.
If you said, for example, that 46.7 percent of their income -- or any other number -- is the "fair share" of their income that the rich should have to pay in taxes, then once they paid that amount, there would be no basis for politicians to come back to them for more -- and "more" is what "fair share" means in practice.
Life in general has never been even close to fair, so the pretense that the government can make it fair is a valuable and inexhaustible asset to politicians who want to expand government.
"Racism" is another term we can expect to hear a lot this election year, especially if the public opinion polls are going against President Barack Obama.
Former big-time TV journalist Sam Donaldson and current fledgling CNN host Don Lemon have already proclaimed racism to be the reason for criticisms of Obama, and we can expect more and more other talking heads to say the same thing as the election campaign goes on. The word "racism" is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything -- and demanding evidence makes you a "ra

Liberal Logic!

Monday, June 25, 2012

RAHN: Constitutional fix to overspending - Washington Times

RAHN: Constitutional fix to overspending - Washington Times

Tea Party members are going to be very unhappy. Many of the new members of the House and Senate that the Tea Party helped elect are already becoming part of the political class, as evidenced by their votes for continued farm subsidies, refusals to put reasonable limits on the growth of the food- stamp program, support for unaccountable international organizations, and on and on. Members of Congress vote for unjustified spending because they think the recipients will reward them with campaign contributions and praise while the majority of the electorate will never notice.

Well-known and highly respected public opinion pollster Scott Rasmussen explains in his new book, “The People’s Money,” why the political class always ends up supporting far more spending and taxing than the majority of voters want. Mr. Rasmussen notes: “The gap exists today because just about every budget-cutting proposal favored by the American people involves shifting power away from official Washington. … At the other extreme is the Political Class dream of even more power, authority and money flowing into Washington.”

The benefits of any specific government spending program tend to be concentrated, while the costs are dispersed among almost everyone. As a result, those who benefit are willing to spend time and money to line their own pocketbooks, while the cost of each program is normally so small as not to be noticed by the taxpayers or worth the necessary effort to stop it. But the sum total of all the spending is what kills liberty and the economy. This is why almost all democracies eventually fail.

Where's The Outrage Over CHRISTIANS Being Killed? |

Where's The Outrage Over CHRISTIANS Being Killed? |

There was something about the way Hillary Clinton said it that touched a nerve.

“People are dying,” the Secretary of State said forcefully and finally – with an emphasis on the word “dying” that can only be born of outrage.

She was talking about Syria and the brutal repression by embattled President Bashar al-Assad against a popular uprising – an uprising that Clinton and President Obama hope leads to the toppling of the Assad regime.

The comment came during a June 13 press conference at the State Department as Clinton stood at a podium next to the Indian foreign minister, answering a hand-full of questions from an international press corps.

There she was, a prominent member of the administration using the bully pulpit on behalf of human rights – in this case, the right of people not to be killed wantonly for their political beliefs.

She has said the same thing about Syria and Assad at other State Department news conferences that I have attended.

It was the same idea she expressed on May 24, when she finally released – albeit three months late -- the 2011 Human Rights Report, a yearly report that documents the state of human rights and human rights abuses in the nations of the world.

Wasserman Schultz Out as DNC Chief?

Wasserman Schultz Out as DNC Chief?

Two new reports suggest that Florida congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz might be nearing the end of her run as chair of Democratic National Committee. The first comes from Shark Tank, a Florida blog: 

We now have learned that Wasserman Schultz will not be back as DNC Chairwoman after the November elections.

According to our source within the Democratic Party, who is also a close associate of Wasserman Schultz, the arrangements have already been made for her to leave DNC  regardless if President Obama wins re-election or not.

This same source believes that Wasserman Schultz will be forced to resign behind closed doors and then stage an press event in which she tells Americans that her job as the DNC chair was a temporary one and that she is moving on with her congressional career.

And the second, slightly less definitive, comes from National Journal: 

When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was tapped last year to lead the Democratic National Committee, it seemed like the latest ascension for a fast-rising star destined for even higher positions. Some stumbles and an apparent falling out of favor with the White House had changed that calculus. Now it looks like it could be changing again.

Talk is that Wasserman Schultz will not be asked to serve another term at the DNC, regardless of whether she helps President Obama win a second term. Yet the native New Yorker could use that to her advantage, as she reportedly now has her eye on a House leadership post—perhaps even the highest.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Conservative Quote

"The effect of Welfarism on freedom will be felt later on – after its beneficiaries have become its victims, after dependence on government has turned into bondage and it is too late to unlock the jail."

Barry Goldwater

Jeffersonian Wisdom

Democracy In America Is Stalled!

Democracy in America is stalled.

From the Right and the Left, citizens are increasingly coming to recognize that our Republic does not work as our Framers intended. Reform of any kind is stalled by a status quo that profits from blocking change. No side in the political debate benefits from this inertia.

The Framers created a method for escaping from captured government—an Article V Constitutional Convention.

If two-thirds of the states pass resolutions calling for a convention, then all sides will have the opportunity to argue for the changes they believe will restore our Republic. Any amendment proposed must then be ratified by three fourths of the states to become law.

On September 24th, people from across America and across the political spectrum will convene at Harvard University to discuss the advisability and feasibility of organizing towards a Constitutional Convention. The conference's lead organizers are both proponents and opponents of an Article V convention and we actively encourage the participation of those who support a convention and those who oppose holding a convention at all.
Lawrence Lessig and Mark Meckler will co-chair the conference. Lawrence Lessig is the director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He co-founded Change Congress, which aims to reduce the influence of private money in American politics.

For more, see "How to sober up Washington"—an essay by Lessig and Mark McKinnon on corruption in Washington, voters' disillusionment, and the need for an Article V convention. Mark Meckler is the Co-Founder and a National Coordinator for Tea Party Patriots (along with his Co-Founder and fellow National Coordinator, Jenny Beth Martin), the largest grassroots tea party organization in the nation with over 3,500 chapters spanning every state.

It's Time For An Article V Constitutional Convention!

How to Call a Convention
Article V of the Constitution gives the states the power to call for a Constitutional Convention. To do so, two-thirds of the states—34 out of 50 state legislatures—must pass an application calling for a Convention. If enough states pass this simple resolution, then Congress must call a Convention so that states can propose amendments to the Constitution.
The application states must pass does not need to provide a reason for the Convention—states can call a Convention for any reason. However, there is no guarantee the Convention will address the complaints of the states, as delegates at the Convention may introduece and pass whatever Amendments they see fit. (States may try to remedy this by electing their delegates to the Convention.)
Any amendments that come out of the convention have to be ratified by the legislatures of, or by conventions in, at least three-quarters of the states to become part of the Constitution of the United States.
Draft Resolution: Application by the Legislature
We've developed a draft Application that we'll be asking state after state to ratify in the coming months. It requests that Congress call a Convention, and requires that delegates to the Convention include neither current nor future politicians. As we've stated, there is no guarantee a Constitutional Convention will result in the campaign finance reform Amendment, and if we're going to fix Washington, we need citizens, not professional politicians, to lead the charge.
Pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, the state of ____, speaking through its Legislature, hereby petitions the United States Congress to call a new constitutional convention to consider the adequacy of our present Constitution, including interpretations of the Constitution by the Supreme Court, to the needs of our own time.
The state of _____, speaking through its Legislature, further requests that Congress, in setting membership requirements for delegates to such a convention, explicitly exclude from eligibility current Members of Congress.

Freedom Quote

"When all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect."

Thomas Paine

Saturday, June 23, 2012

HHS Wasting Our Money on Obamacare

HHS pushes out cash ahead of ruling

Much - if not all - of this funding was in the pipeline well before March. | Reuters
By J. LESTER FEDER & KATHRYN SMITH & KYLE CHENEY | 06/23/2012 10:34:53 AM EDT | Updated: 06/23/2012 12:10:41 PM EDT
Conservatives wanted the White House to stop spending on the health care law until the Supreme Court rules on whether it's constitutional.

But the administration has forged ahead, spending at least $2.7 billion since oral arguments in the case ended on March 28. That's more than double the amount that was handed out in the three-month period leading up to the arguments, according to a POLITICO review of funding announcements from the Department of Health and Human Services.

While much - if not all - of this funding was in the pipeline well before March, the timeline for handing out specific funds is not set in stone, which gives the agency leeway over the kinds of dollars it has been handing out.

And the stakes have increased as the date of a Supreme Court ruling approaches, because money that is spent won't have to be repaid, most likely. But remaining funds will dry up if the court strikes down the law.

The court is expected to announce its decision next week.

The $2.7 billion includes grants and awards that have been handed out since the Supreme Court arguments - including more than $90 million in funds for health insurance cooperatives that HHS announced Friday afternoon.

By contrast, the administration gave out about $1 billion in grants, loans and other awards during the three months before the Supreme Court arguments.

An HHS spokesperson strongly disputed the idea that there was any change in the timeline because of the court.

"This story is flat-out wrong. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act more than two years ago, we have worked continuously to implement the law and to educate the American people about the benefits," the spokesperson said. "The premise of the story does not take into account the timeline of implementation."

Some Republicans have been pushing to halt all implementation of the law until the Supreme Court ruling comes out. Last year, for example, a draft of the House Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which provides funding for the health care agencies, would have frozen all spending on health reform until the court ruled. And Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has been pushing a bill that would have blocked any more implementation of the law before the ruling.

House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), the author of the appropriations bill that would have put implementation funding on hold, blasted the latest HHS spending in a statement provided to POLITICO.

"It was irresponsible to spend a single dollar implementing the law before the Supreme Court rules, and I fought hard to prevent that money from being spent," Rehberg said.

Once this money's committed, there's probably no recovering it even if the Supreme Court strikes down the whole law, lamented Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas). "I don't know how the funding comes back," he said.

The Supreme Court could just strip parts of the law, like the individual mandate and the guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, which wouldn't affect the kinds of funds HHS has released. But a ruling that strikes down the entire law isn't out of the question - and that could require a halt to the other health reform programs HHS has been funding.

HHS announced Friday that it had granted a combined $92.6 million dollars to capitalize health care CO-OPs - nonprofit insurance organizations intended to boost competition in places where the insurance market is heavily concentrated - in Vermont and Kentucky.

HHS has awarded $306.5 million to CO-OPs in other states since the arguments, and even made an award of $87.6 million on March 27, the second day of the Supreme Court hearing.

The largest single amount doled out since March was for awards from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation's "Innovation Challenge" to organizations testing more efficient ways of delivering care. It gave $772 million to 81 organizations on June 15, which was a follow-up to a $122.6 million batch of innovation grants awarded on May 8.

Another large chunk of funds went to help build or renovate community health centers. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $728 million in health center funding to 398 health centers on a May 1 visit to Philadelphia's Fairmount Primary Care Center. On Wednesday, the department awarded another $128.6 million to help expand 219 health centers.

Six states - including three states that are part of the challenge to the health care law - benefited from $181 million in grants announced in mid-May to help them set up health exchanges. The exchanges are new, state-based health insurance marketplaces that will go into effect in 2014 if the law is upheld.

And earlier this month, another four states - including three that are opposing the law -split $295.6 million in enhanced Medicaid funding provided by the law to encourage states to provide long-term care to patients in their homes.

Jonathan Allen contributed to this report.

This article first appeared on POLITICO Pro at 7:00 a.m. on June 23, 2012.

It's No Party of the People

It's No Party of the People

Unlike Presidents Carter and Clinton, President Obama has not even tried to check the special interests that now dominate his party. There is no better example than ObamaCare, in particular the deal the president cut with the pharmaceutical lobby. Democrats had railed for years about how the drug manufacturers bent the 2002 Medicare prescription drug program toward their own ends, by using their clout to keep the government from negotiating lower drug prices and to maintain a ban on reimporting their drugs from Canada. On the stump, they promised to cut the drug makers down to size by allowing cheaper Canadian drugs to be reimported into the U.S.

But during the 2008 campaign, the pharmaceutical industry contributed some $8 million to Democratic candidates, nearly twice what it had donated to them in 2004, and gave more than $1 million to Mr. Obama alone. In 2009 it spent almost $200 million to lobby Congress and the White House for a special carve-out on the health-care bill. It worked: The legislation did not lift the reimportation ban, and Democrats nowadays no longer talk about it.

The Obama Retreat

The Obama Retreat

Last week, we wrote on this page that given the Obama administration’s lack of leadership on Iran in this “period of consequences,” Congress should step in to fill the void. As our editorial went to press, a bipartisan group of 44 senators began to do just that. In a letter organized by Senators Robert Menendez and Roy Blunt, the group outlined a series of steps Iran would have needed to take at the June 18-19 Moscow talks to justify further negotiations. These included shutting its previously covert enrichment facility near Qom, freezing enrichment above 5 percent, and shipping its stockpile of uranium enriched above that point out of the country.


The letter noted, “Absent these steps, we must conclude that Tehran is using the talks as a cover to buy time as it advances toward nuclear weapons capability.” And the senators called on the president to “reevaluate the utility of further talks at this time and instead focus on significantly increasing the pressure on the Iranian government through sanctions and making clear that a credible military option exists.”

With the subsequent failure of the Moscow talks, President Obama should heed this sensible advice from nearly half the Senate. At this point, the futility of further talks is pretty clear to any honest observer. The United States and our allies have made proposal after proposal, imposed sanction upon sanction, and even apparently deployed covert tools which we learn about on an almost daily basis as administration officials desperate to burnish the president’s image leak sensitive national security information. Despite all of this, the centrifuges continue to spin, the stockpile of enriched uranium grows, and Iran gets closer and closer to a nuclear weapons capability.

Friday, June 22, 2012

They Are Not US Citizens!

Founding Father Quote

The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of man.

Thomas Jefferson,

Barack Obama’s odd “Fast and Furious” move -

Barack Obama’s odd “Fast and Furious” move -

There’s a reason you don’t know much about the complicated and confusing mess known as “Fast and Furious.” The mainstream media have largely ignored this Obama administration scandal, which would have dominated mainstream front pages and homepages and programs for months had it all taken place under a Republican administration.

Something changed yesterday. With his attorney general imminently at risk of being held in contempt of Congress, which has happened to administration officials only four times in the past 30 years, the president of the United States moved to claim “executive privilege” in relation to some of the information sought by Congress.

Read more:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thank God for the Second Amendment

The Real Reagan In His own Words

The Real Reagan

EDITORIAL: Holder's contempt and Obama's privilege - Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Holder's contempt and Obama's privilege - Washington Times

President Obama’s attempt to invoke executive privilege to forestall contempt-of-Congress proceedings against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. failed. Instead, the claim elevates the dispute between the administration and Capitol Hill to a new and troubling level. The operative question now is, what did the president know and when did he know it?

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted Wednesday to recommend a contempt charge against Mr. Holder. Since October, the Justice Department has refused to respond to a subpoena seeking 1,300 pages of documents related to the botched Fast and Furious Mexican gunrunning operation. Negotiations between the Justice Department and committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa, California Republican, broke down, and the contempt recommendation followed

Rove responds to Pelosi’s threats: She 'sounds like a mad Red Queen' | The Daily Caller

Rove responds to Pelosi’s threats: She 'sounds like a mad Red Queen' | The Daily Caller

Karl Rove, the former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, said Thursday that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sounded “like a mad Red Queen” when she claimed she could have “arrested” him “on any given day” when she was the House speaker.
“The only way I could have been arrested is if the House adopted the resolution, which it did not,” Rove said.
“So, it’s nice to know that Speaker Pelosi wanted to have me arrested. It’s nice to know that she thinks she had the power to, but we’re still a nation of laws and she has no authority to do so and had she attempted to arrest on any of the number times that I was in and out of the Capitol, without a resolution passed by the entire House of Representatives, she would have been up the proverbial creek without a paddle."

Read more:

There is only Tyranny or Freedom!

Editorial: End the secrets on Fast and Furious - The Denver Post

Editorial: End the secrets on Fast and Furious - The Denver Post

President Obama'sdeclaration of executive privilegein the Fast and Furious scandal may have been envisioned as a checkmate move in an escalating confrontation, but instead it had the opposite effect.

A U.S. House oversight committee voted Wednesday tohold U.S. Attorney General Eric Holderin contempt for failing to provide relevant documents about a scandalous government gun-smuggling investigation.

The dispute didn't have to get to that point.

The administration has beeninexcusably holding outon fully disclosing who knew what and how high that knowledge went up the food chain.

Congressional investigators — admittedly Republicans going after a Democratic administration in an election year — suspect the Department of Justice is sandbagging when it comes to releasing pertinent documents about the investigation. There is good reason for that belief, which we will address.

The so-calledFast and Furious investigationwas a 15-month operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives engaged in a dangerous strategy of allowing the bad guys, thought to be buying guns on behalf of Mexican drug lords, "walk" with what ended up totaling about 2,000 guns. The idea was to track the weapons back to bigger fish — the drug kingpins.

U.S. Border Patrol officer Brian Terry was killed in 2010 by a Mexican drug cartel armed with weapons from the failed investigation. The guns have shown up at the scenes of other crimes as well.

Fast and Furious was a disaster, and one that must be fully explored. Yes, there has been friction on this count, with Democrats saying the GOP cannot be satisfied, and Republicans sayingHolder's offerto brief lawmakers on information in documents the committee wants is inadequate.

The GOP is right. Holder ought to disclose the documents. Also, the use of executive privilege is questionable, based on what has been disclosed thus far. The privilege pertains to the president, and the White House is not supposed to have been involved in the operation.

Furthermore, though the DOJ says it has given thousands of pages of documents to Congress, there are far more it hasn't provided.
The administration can avoid a full House vote on the contempt charge by turning over the requested documents, and it should. The gamesmanship must end.

Read more:Editorial: End the secrets on Fast and Furious - The Denver Post
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