Monday, March 29, 2010

Political Digest March 29, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

Democrats threaten companies hit hard by health care bill
Intimidation—the Chicago way. Excerpt: Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has summoned some of the nation's top executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment that the new national health care reform law will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses. Waxman is also demanding that the executives give lawmakers internal company documents related to health care finances -- a move one committee Republicans describes as "an attempt to intimidate and silence opponents of the Democrats' flawed health care reform legislation." On Thursday and Friday, the companies -- so far, they include AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M -- said a tax provision in the new health care law will make it far more expensive to provide prescription drug coverage to their retired employees. Now, both retirees and current employees of those companies are wondering whether the new law could mean reduced or canceled benefits for them in the future. The news is an embarrassment for Democrats. As President Obama and congressional leaders tout the purported benefits of the new health care law, some of the nation's biggest companies are saying it will mean higher costs and fewer benefits -- not exactly what Democrats want to hear in the days after their historic victory.

Obama's army in the health care bill?
This has been out on the net, but I haven’t seen in a source like, say, Fox news or the prominent blogs I accept as reliable. Interesting if true. I wonder if they’ll wear Brown Shirts or go right to the snazzy black uniforms.

Little-Known Health Care Law Provision Is a Budget Buster, Critics Say
While Congress spent the last year debating how to provide health insurance for the uninsured, a little-known provision slipped into the heath care law that could cost some Americans upwards of $2,000 a year. The Class Act, otherwise known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Support Act, is the federal government's first long-term care insurance program.
Under-reported and the under the radar of most lawmakers, the program will allow workers to have an average of roughly $150 or $240 a month, based on age and salary, automatically deducted from their paycheck to save for long-term care. The Congressional Budget Office expects the government will collect $109 billion in premiums by 2019.

Joint Committee on Taxation Confirms that ObamaCare Does Not Enforce Individual Mandate
Excerpt: One of the more controversial elements of ObamaCare is the mandate for most individuals to purchase insurance beginning in 2014. There is really no precedent for a federal mandate of this scale requiring individuals to purchase a product or service. So not surprisingly a number of state Attorney Generals have indicated they will be filing suit questioning the constitutionality of this provision. Of course the individual mandate is also very risky from a political standpoint, as the Democrats who orchestrated the passage of this bill are mandating not only that the young and healthy obtain insurance, but also that even their most fervent liberal constituents must purchase this coverage from the “evil”, private insurance industry. Republicans for their part have focused on the fact that this mandate will be enforced via threat of a financial penalty (or tax), with the added assumption that it is the dreaded IRS which will be enforcing this. And sure enough, it’s already been reported that the IRS anticipates hiring possibly in excess of 15,000 additional personnel to deal with the collection of the individual mandate, and other tax related provisions within the bill. However, it turns out that the Democrats who crafted this bill significantly – and I mean significantly – hamstrung the ability of the IRS or any other federal agency to enforce or collect on this mandate. Here is what the federal Joint Committee on Taxation had to say about this issue in a report released earlier this week:

Lipinski lonely but proud to be pro-life Democrat,0,5214921.column
Excerpt: By voting "no," Lipinski has put a target on his back for smears from the White House staffed by the guys from Chicago. "There were aspects of the president's package that I liked. Helping people get insurance, that sort of thing. But we weren't really voting for health reform. We were voting for a bill that is financially unsustainable. And I couldn't support that bill," he said. As a Roman Catholic against abortion, he's formally a pariah among most Democratic elites. And predictably, he's been attacked by unnamed White House sources in media reports. Who's behind that? Perhaps when White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (D-Tomczak) asks me out to lunch, he'll tell me. Lipinski said that his "no" vote was about more than abortion. "I looked through the analysis, I determined it was not a good bill," Lipinski said. "It's not sustainable. It will cost more than we can afford

CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP
This frightens me a bit. I was figuring I’d be safely dead when the collapse came. Excerpt: President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation’s economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday. In its 2011 budget, which the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Feb. 1, the administration projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion. After looking it over, CBO said in its final analysis, released Thursday, that the president’s budget would generate a combined $9.75 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
“An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference,” said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying.” The federal public debt, which was $6.3 trillion ($56,000 per household) when Mr. Obama entered office amid an economic crisis, totals $8.2 trillion ($72,000 per household) today, and it’s headed toward $20.3 trillion (more than $170,000 per household) in 2020, according to CBO’s deficit estimates.

Democrat Hypocrisy on Recess Appointments
Excerpt: When Bush made recess appointments to three “controversial” nominees in 2007, Democrats went ballistic. Senator John Kerry called it “abuse the power of the presidency.” Senator Chris Dodd said it was “an abuse of executive authority.” Senator Joe Lieberman said recess appointments “show disrespect” to the Senate. When Bush used his authority to appoint John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, Senator Harry Reid said Bush “abused a presidential power.”

A Birthright? Maybe Not.
Excerpt: A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal immigration. To end the practice of "birthright citizenship," all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment's first sentence: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants.

Why pot growers favor pot prohibition
Excerpt: They say pot-smoking is a victimless crime, but it turns out pot-legalization is hardly victimless. Consider the plight of marijuana growers: [AP] If California legalizes marijuana, they say, it will drive down the price of their crop and damage not just their livelihoods but the entire economy along the state's rugged northern coast.... Local residents are so worried that pot farmers came together with officials in Humboldt County for a standing-room-only meeting Tuesday night where civic leaders, activists and growers brainstormed ideas for dealing with the threat. This is a real-life example of a common analogy for rent-seeking -- the tale of the Baptist and the Bootlegger. Prohibition creates a barrier to entry, which drives up prices and profit margins. Lowering the government barriers to entry is good for consumers and would-be competitors, and bad for the incumbent businesses

TRULY Subversive Literature
Excerpt: I don't want hope; I don't want change. I want freedom.

Tea Party Searchlight Nevada Aerial Shots From Helicopter

327 House members tell Obama to make U-turn on US-Israeli relations
Excerpt: Barack Obama talks a lot about the “spirit of bipartisanship.” Now he’s had a chance to see it for himself, thanks to a series of diplomatic fumbles between the White House and Israel, usually one of America’s closest allies. More than three-quarters of the US House of Representatives signed a letter expressing dismay over the direction of the alliance, warning that the “highly publicized tensions” aren’t helping America’s interests:

Briton is Duped into Carrying Terror Cash
Didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. Excerpt: A PLOT by Al Qaeda to blow up a sports stadium was foiled when a British-based courier was arrested.
The man was held in Chicago as he prepared to board a flight for England carrying cash to buy explosives. The money, ultimately bound for ¬Pakistan, was intercepted after an ¬elaborate sting by FBI agents who had penetrated the terror cell. Last week taxi driver Raja Lahrasib Khan, 56, a naturalised US citizen of Pakistani ¬origin, was charged with financing ¬terror.

Good news: There is no chance of jihad terror in San Francisco -- Police Chief apologizes for suggesting otherwise
An update on this story -- and it's great news! The possibility that a Muslim in San Francisco could get involved in jihad terrorism is nil -- it is in fact less than nil, zero minus eight degrees, such that even to suggest the possibility that it could happen is an insult to the area Muslims, each and every one of whom is robustly patriotic! So now that San Francisco is a Jihad-Free Zone, I guess all the airport security personnel will have to be laid off, eh? And the city probably would benefit from having fewer FBI and JTTF folks on the job. They will certainly be able to find jobs in the industries in the city that start to thrive as people flock there from areas that don't enjoy such assurances!

U.K.'s most popular Islamic channel under investigation for promoting "extremism"
Excerpt: "Viewers were told that 'the majority of people in hell will be women'." What kind of rabid extremist would say that? Well, Muhammad. In fact, it comes up more than once. Several times, actually.

Imagining an Israeli Strike on Iran
Interesting and scary. Excerpt: In 1981, Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak, declaring it could not live with the chance the country would get a nuclear weapons capability. In 2007, it wiped out a North Korean-built reactor in Syria. And the next year, the Israelis secretly asked the Bush administration for the equipment and overflight rights they might need some day to strike Iran’s much better-hidden, better-defended nuclear sites. They were turned down, but the request added urgency to the question: Would Israel take the risk of a strike? And if so, what would follow?

Agencies Suspect Iran Is Planning Atomic Sites
Excerpt: The United Nations inspectors assigned to monitor Iran’s nuclear program are now searching for evidence of two such sites, prompted by recent comments by a top Iranian official that drew little attention in the West, and are looking into a mystery about the whereabouts of recently manufactured uranium enrichment equipment. In an interview with the Iranian Student News Agency, the official, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ordered work to begin soon on two new plants. The plants, he said, “will be built inside mountains,” presumably to protect them from attacks. “God willing,” Mr. Salehi was quoted as saying, “we may start the construction of two new enrichment sites” in the Iranian new year, which began March 21.

Obama’s Summit On Entrepreneurship
Excerpt: President Obama will be hosting a “Summit on Entrepreneurship” in our nation’s capital on April 26-27 in the Ronald Reagan building. The Summit is an idea Mr. Obama alluded to in his “A New Beginning” speech in Cairo, Egypt last June—part of the months-long Apology Tour that disgusted and embarrassed so many proud Americans. Certainly entrepreneurship is an important concept for Americans; after all, entrepreneurship, or free enterprise, is in large part what makes America so exceptional. There’s one catch to the president’s Summit, however. All attendees must be Muslims. According to both a White House press release and the summit’s official Web site, the Summit is part of a larger process whereby our government “partners, convenes, and catalyzes” delegates from Muslim majority countries and Muslim communities to “foster entrepreneurship” in those countries and communities. Let’s review. Our president is hosting a business summit encouraging the very free market ideals upon which our country was built for a group of people whose Islamic law eschews those very ideas, to the degree that they hijacked our commercial jetliners and flew them like missiles into the very heart and soul of our financial capitol on September 11, 2001 killing nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. Outrageous. At the bottom of the Summit’s Web site there’s a link that visitors can click on to share their ideas, so here are two ideas for sharing: First, let’s admit that Islam is not a religion of peace. There are, indeed, peaceful Muslims around the world and in the U.S., but as retired Army Lt. Colonel Allen West, an expert on jihad and Islam and a former civilian advisor to the Afghan Army, testifies on a recent panel about jihad, “You must realize that this is not a religion that you are fighting against. You are fighting against a theo-political belief system and construct.” Mr. West goes on to explain that if you study the Koran, the Sura, and the Hadith closely “then you can really understand that this is not a perversion. They are doing exactly what this book says.” (Suppose Bush had hosted a Summit On Entrepreneurship open only to Christians. Think the media would have had something to say?)

The Boys of Alpha Company Marines in Afghanistan. Makes a vet proud.

The True Heroes, 1st Battalion 6th Marines: Marjeh Afghanistan
The “Pogey Bait” 6th Marines—it’s a WWII joke—was one of the two Marine Regiments that did such great service in WWI.

Net Humor
This was sent to me by a former pastor. Thought it was funny, so pass on.

Ok, this is how it works:

1 - Answer the one question below, reply to me only.

2- Then forward this email to all your friends.

3 - Wait till you see all responses ....this is a riot!

Question: "If you saw ME in the backseat of a police car what would you think I got arrested for? " Remember, reply to me only,, then forward this on and see how many crimes you get accused of.

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