Why Didn’t They Read The Bill Before They Passed It ?

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reported on Friday that a few House Democrats are proposing that one part of Obamacare be repealed.  The part they are interested in repealing is the provision that requires businesses to file 1099 tax forms for all transactions with vendors that total over $600.  Previously, 1099’s were required only for services received.  According to the Democrat’s plan for healthcare, this provision, which would have gone into effect in 2012, would have reaised $19 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare.

Mr. Morrissey concludes:

“The next question will be how Democrats will pay for the repeal.  According to their pay-go rule, any cut in revenue has to be matched either with a commensurate increase elsewhere or by an equal spending cut.  Otherwise, they not only violate the very rule that Democrats cheered on its passage in February, they also push ObamaCare into a deficit producer, even in their skewed calculations without the doctor-fix they passed in June.

“Hopefully, this section gets repealed quickly.  That should start some momentum for repealing the rest of it.”

This whole situation could have been avoided if Congressmen had read the bill before they passed it.  I wonder what other surprises we are going to hear about as implementation comes closer.

Selling Obamacare

National Review Online posted an article on Friday about the current campaign to portray Obamacare as a good thing.  One of the targets of this campaign is senior citizens, who generally disapprove of the plan. 

The article reports:

“The National Council on Aging, for example, just released a survey that’s astonishingly misrepresentative. The NCOA asked 636 seniors true-or-false questions about “the top twelve facts” they should know about Obamacare. Only 17 percent knew the “right” answers to half of the questions; not a single person got a perfect score. The news release read: “Most Seniors Misinformed, Unaware of Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.””

Even on the surface that seems a little odd, because generally speaking, senior citizens vote and stay informed.  So, what is going on here?  Well, it depends on who wrote the questions and who determines the answers.

The article lists a few of the questions:

• “The new law will result in future cuts to your basic Medicare benefits.” By more than two to one, seniors said the statement was true; the survey said that was wrong.

• “The new law is projected to increase the federal budget deficit over the next ten years and beyond.” By more than three to one, seniors said that was true; the survey said that was wrong.

• “The health care reform law will cut Medicare payments to doctors.” Seniors said true by three to one; wrong answer, according to the survey.

The facts actually show that the seniors were right, the survey was wrong!  According to the article:

• The health-care law takes $575 billion out of Medicare over the next ten years to pay for massive new entitlement programs.

• The Medicare actuary says that at least one in six Medicare providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians, could be operating at a loss by 2019 and could end their participation in the program, which could “possibly jeopardize access to care for beneficiaries.”

• More than 7 million seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage coverage, and millions more will find access to care restricted. The Congressional Budget Office found that seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage will lose an average of $800 a year in benefits.

• As Rep. Paul Ryan explained at the Blair House summit in February, “When you strip out the double-counting and . . . gimmicks, the full ten-year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second ten-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit.”

• The legislation keeps scheduled cuts in payments to doctors, which is why the Congress passed a separate “doc fix” bill in June to keep doctor payments from being cut by 21 percent.

The article concludes:

Pollster.com compiled an average of all of the polls, and they found 45 percent oppose and 42 percent favor the health-care law. Rasmussen, which polls likely voters, shows that 58 percent want it repealed. And that’s before people start to feel any of the impact of higher health costs, cuts to Medicare Advantage, higher taxes, and onerous and expensive mandates on individuals and businesses.

But the reeducation campaign nonetheless continues.

This law can be stopped before it does major damage.  The way to stop it is to elect people to Congress in November who pledge to “REPEAL AND REPLACE.”  If your Congressional candidate is unwilling to make that pledge, vote for his opponent.

The Most Ethical Congress Ever

On November 16, 2006, Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi said, “This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.”   I am not going to speculate as to whether she meant those words when she said them, but that is not the Congress that has been created since the Democrats took over. 

The Friday night news dump was a tradition in the Clinton White House.  It also seems to be a staple of the Obama Administration.  Mark Hemingway at the Washington Examiner posted an article Friday about the Obama Administration news dump.  Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has chosen to go through an ethics trail rather than accept the charges made against her by the eithics subcommittee.  This comes in the wake of the charges against Charlie Rangel, who initially said that he wanted to go through a trial in order to clear himself.  Meanwhile, many Democrats are calling for Representative Rangel’s resignation because they don’t want to deal with an ethics trial during an election year.  It will be interesting to see if the same Democrats ask Representative Waters to resign.

Today’s Washington Examiner reported on the charges against Maxine Waters.  She is under investigation because of a possible conflict of interest in a case regarding a bank seeking federal aid.  Her husband owned stock in the bank and had served on its board.  According to Friday’s article:

“Ms. Walters has publicly boosted OneUnited’s executives and criticized its government regulators during congressional hearings.  Last fall, she helped secure the bank a meeting with Treasure officials.”

The bank received a federal bailout despite serious charges of misconduct by the bank executives.

It’s time we held our elected leaders to the same standards we face as citizens.  There is a basic lack of honesty among some of our Congressmen.  Please vote carefully this November so that we can attempt to elect people who will listen to the citizens they are supposed to represent and will behave with basic integrity.


Inconvenient Facts About H.R. 847–James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010

This article has two sources–an article posted on Friday at the Weekly Standard and an article posted Thursday at GOP.gov.

The Weekly Standard article, by John McCormack, reminds us why the Democrats in the House of Representatives were unable to pass the bill:

“…the bill failed because Democrats suspended the rules, which denied the Republicans the chance to offer any amendments and required a 2/3 majority to pass. According to Hill sources, Democrats suspended the rules because they were afraid that Republicans would offer a motion to recommit–the one amendment allotted to the minority party by the rules–to pay for the bill using money from Obamacare or the stimulus or an amendment to deny funds to illegal immigrants.”

The Weekly Standard article also points out:

“Three government programs already exist to provide care for 9/11 responders, but this bill would have expanded the number of people who could get care.”

The article at GOP.gov explains one of the the Republican objections to the bill:

“The funding would be a new entitlement over the next 10 years for 90 percent of the costs of operating the new program. The remaining 10 percent of the costs of the program would be the responsibility of New York City for fiscal years 2011 to 2018. Then for fiscal years 2019 and 2020, New York City is responsible for only 1/9th  of the cost.  The federal government’s contribution would be capped at the lower of 90 percent of the costs or a specified amount each fiscal year beginning in FY2011 and ending in FY2020. Over this 10-year period, federal spending could not exceed $3.35 billion. No federal funds would be available for the program after FY2020.”

There are a number of other objections to the bill explained at GOP.gov.  Some of them are:

  • Limited oversight fails to ensure taxpayer funds are spent properly and effectively.  Government health care programs, such as Medicare, have a significant amount of fraud. 
  • H.R. 847 includes protections for trial lawyers, including the ability to receive taxpayer-funded compensation for work not directly related to recovery from the VCF.  In addition, attorneys who have been compensation under another settlement will have access to settlement funds under the reopened VCF.   
  • H.R. 847 increases hospital reimbursement rates to 140 percent of Medicare reimbursement rates on average for New York City hospitals while ObamaCare cuts $150 billion in payments to hospitals around the country.

Please take a look at the article at GOP.gov to see the other objections.  As written, this was a bad bill that needed to be amended in order to pass.  Had the Democrats allowed amendments, the improved bill could have passed with a simple majority.

The Dangers Of Toxic Politics

Tampa Bay Online posted an Associated Press article today about the House of Representatives failure to pass a bill to help the first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks pay for the health problems they have encountered because of the toxic fumes they breathed in the rescue and cleanup efforts.

There were procedural things done in the process of placing this bill before the House of Representatives that need to be considered in understanding exactly what happened.  (I will be posting more on this bill and what happened as more information becomes available).

Democratic leaders opted to consider the bill under a procedure that blocks any GOP amendments to the bill.  That procedure requires a two-thirds vote for approval rather than a simple majority.  The bill failed to win a two-thirds majority.  The actual vote tally can be found at thomas.gov.  If you look at the tally, you will see that the vote was largely along party lines, although some Republicans voted for it and others voted against it.  Some Democrats voted against it and some voted for it.  The actual vote was 255 for and 159 against, with 18 not voting.

The bottom line here is simple.  Had the bill gone forward in the usual manner and Republicans allowed to make amendments to it, it would have needed a simple majority to pass, and it would have passed.  Because the atmosphere right now in Washington is so toxic, a procedureal maneuver was used by the Democrats to keep Republicans from adding input to the bill.

This is campaign season.  The atmosphere will only get worse.  I am not sure exactly when Congress is going home, but they need to leave now and think about what they are doing to the country.  We need to remember all of this foolishness in November.  There are probably less than ten people in Congress right now that I think deserve to be re-elected in November.  If you have a longer list, I would love to see it!

The Economic Situation In Gaza Has Very Little To Do With The Israeli “Blockade”

Yesterday Arutz Sheva (Israelnationalnews.com) reported on living conditions in Gaza.  According to the article:

“Egyptian journalist Ashraf Abu al-Houl has added his report to others who were surprised to discover a “prosperous” Gaza in which prices are low and luxury businesses are booming. Al-Houl’s story of his trip to Gaza and his realization that “in actual terms, Gaza is not under siege” was written up in the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).”

The article points out that the prosperity is not enjoyed by everyone.  Ashraf Abu al-Houl reports that, “The luxury resorts and wide range of consumer goods are enjoyed by “only a few groups,” he said, primarily those who own smuggling tunnels to Egypt and those who work for international organizations such as the United Nations’ UNRWA and who do not include or aid the rest of the population.”

It is interesting that the smugglers, United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and other international organizations that are supposedly helping the people are living the life of luxury.  It seems as if those organizations need to do a better job of sharing the wealth. 

Another Planned End Run Around The United States Constitution

National Review Online is reporting today on “The Amnesty Memo.”  This is an internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services memo obtained by NATIONAL REVIEW.  This memo states that the agency is considering how to enact “meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action.”   In plain English, that means how to pass immigration reform without the bother of going through Congress.

The article lists some of the provisions in the memo:

“In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations, exercising discretion with regard to parole-in-place, deferred action and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA), and adopting significant process improvements.”

The article concludes:

“In the immediate wake of the court decision blocking the Arizona immigration law yesterday, the memo is sure to create controversy — and the sense that the administration is bent on preserving and extending the nations de facto amnesty.”

We already have the Environmental Protection Agency attempting to enact Cap and Trade laws without going through Congress, now we have Immigration pondering if they can initiate amnesty for illegal aliens without bothering Congress with the details.  Unless Congress decides to take a stand against this sort of thing, we will lose our democracy. 

Some Perspectives On The Decision On The Arizona Illegal Immigration Law

I am not a lawyer and do not totally understand a lot of what I am hearing about the decision yesterday to prevent the immediate implementation of the Arizona illegal immigration law.  Therefore, I will give some perspectives from people who have the background to understand what just happened.

Andy McCarthy at The Corner at National Review Online pointed out yesterday that the law in Arizona is in compliance with federal law.  He states, “The judge, however, twisted to concept of federal law into federal enforcement practices (or, as it happens, lack thereof). In effect, the court is saying that if the feds refuse to enforce the law the states can’t do it either because doing so would transgress the federal policy of non-enforcement … which is nuts.”

If you follow the link to the article, you will see his total argument that the decision reached yesterday was not based on sound law. 

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line commented yesterday:

“…Other judges might have waited to see how Arizona implemented the law before striking it down based on a construction Arizona has repudiated. Judge Bolton did neither.

“Judge Bolton also appears to have overstated the burden the Arizona law places on lawfully present aliens. According to Heather McDonald and Mark Krikorian, the number of lawfully present aliens who cannot instantly establish their right to be in the country is small. And even as them, their right to be here probably can be established quickly by contacting federal authorities.

“In the weighing of interests required before a preliminary injunction is issued, it would seem that Arizona’s interest in coping with half a million or so illegal immigrants and the havoc this influx is causing outweighs the small burden the law may impose on a relatively small number of lawfully present aliens. In any event, I don’t believe the contrary view is established in advance of seeing how the law actually works.”

It seems to me that not enforcing federal immigration laws puts a huge burden on the residents of Arizona.  Phoenix has become the kidnapping capital of the world.  I suspect that strict enforcement of immigration laws would change that quickly.

CNS News today reports:

“”Aliens from countries of special interest to the United States such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan (known as special-interest aliens) also illegally enter the United States through the [southwest border] region,” Richard Stana, the GAO homeland security and justice issues director, said in a report issued July 22 on alien smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border.”

I understand that the lack of border security has to do with the Obama Administration’s push to give illegal aliens amnesty so that they can become Democrat voters.  However, I am concerned that in their pursuit of voters, the Obama Administraiton is endangering our country.  You can see the video of President Obama before he was president saying that border security and amnesty were a politcal ‘trade off” at Hot Air.  It was posted on June 22 of this year after Senator Kyl stated that he had been told by the President that we would not have border security until amnesty was passed. 

The Priorities Of The Obama Justice Department

Yesterday’s Washington Times reported on how the Justice Department is dealing with two distinct classes of voters. 

According to the article:

“Obama Justice Department outrages never cease. The politically charged gang led by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is more interested in helping felons vote than in helping the military to vote. Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, has put a legislative hold on the already troubled nomination of James M. Cole to be deputy attorney general until the attorney general ensures full protection for voting rights of our military (and associated civilian personnel) stationed abroad. The senator is right to raise a ruckus.”

At the same time the Obama Justice Department is undermining the law that insists that miltary absentee ballots be mailed 45 days before an election, the website of the Justice Department devotes a large section – 2,314 words – to advising felons how to regain voting privileges. 

According to the article:

“… Justice Department official Rebecca Wertz told a Feb. 1 conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State that the new law’s requirements(mailing military absentee ballots 45 days before an election) are somehow open to interpretation. On July 28, an attendee at that conference – heretofore uninterviewed – told The Washington Times that Ms. Wertz‘s message was “totally undermining” the law. The earlier reports actually underplayed the effect of Ms. Wertz‘s comments. “It was even more pronounced at the meeting,” said the source. “She undermined [the law] right in front of everybody. When I heard what she was saying, I thought: ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ … It was a clear reversal of roles for Justice to no longer be enforcing the law.”

Senator Cornyn is holding up the nomination of James M. Cole until Eric Holder takes steps to ensure that the 45-day rule will be enforced.  Among other things, Senator Cornyn is asking that the Justice Department provide a state-by-state accounting of compliance efforts.  I, for one, hope Senator Cornyn sticks to his guns.  Our military deserves the right to have their votes counted.

Are Illegal Immigrants Illegal ? How Would We Know ?

Reuters is reporting today on the blocking of key parts of Arizona’s immigration law by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.  Judge Bolton blocked the provision that required a police officer to determine the immigration status of a person detained or arrested if the officer believed the person was not in the country legally.  Also blocked were provisions requiring immigrants to carry their papers at all times and making it illegal for people without proper documents to tout for work in public places.

If someone is here illegally and commits a serious crime, why in the world should we keep them in an American jail?  Why can’t we establish their status and ship them back to their home country?  It would be cheaper for everyone and would provide some protection from repeat offenders for Americans.  How many innocent people and police officers have to die before we begin to enforce our borders?   How many signs do we have to put up telling Americans to stay out of their own parks due to drug runners and murderers?  This is our country–the threats caused by illegal immigration have as much to do with national security as terrorism does.  When are we going to protect our own country?

Unintended Consequences Of Shaking Down British Petroleum For $32.2 Billion For The Gulf Oil Spill

I firmly believe that forcing British Petroleum to set aside $32.2 billion (in a fund they would not administer) for the Gulf oil spill was a shakedown.  Regardless of the integrity of the man overseeing the payment program, I suspect that somewhere hidden in the small print, Chicago politics are in play.  Well, there are some unintended consequences.

CBS News reported yesterday that BP took a $17 billion loss in the second quarter. 

According to the article:

“BP set aside $32.2 billion for the cost of the spill, a charge that led to the $17 billion quarterly loss. But according to the msnbc.com report, BP plans to offset the entire cost of the spill against its tax bill, which will slash its U.S. taxes by $10 billion.”

I would like to point out that BP did nothing illegal or unethical here–they took legally allowed tax write-offs.  What this essentially means is that the government treasury will be receiving $10 billion less revenue because of BP’s losses.  BP may be paying for the clean-up and the impact on the Gulf residents, but, as usual with this administration, the American taxpayer is left holding the bag.  Had the administration allowed BP to pay expenses as they came up, I suspect their tax burden would not have been as greatly affected.

I really think this is poetic justice.

Taxing The Rich

One of the current debates in Congress is whether or not to let “George Bush’s tax cuts for the rich” expire.  Well, first of all, “tax cuts for the rich” is not an accurate description of the law.  What is not generally mentioned is the fact that many of the “rich” are what is known as “S” Corporations.  These are small businesses that are generally responsible for growing the economy by hiring new people.  Because the total business income is reported on a personal income form, the person filing the form will look “rich” to the uninformed observer.  What needs to be considered are the expenses against that income and the fact that this is business income and not someone’s personal income.  If the tax cuts on these corporations are allowed to expire, people will lose their jobs and fewer people will be hired.  That is not necessarily what you want to happen in a recession.

Anyway, just for the record, let’s look at who pays taxes.  The information that follows is taken from an article posted at Americans For Tax Reform yesterday.

  • As of 2006, the tax burden of the top 1 percent of taxpayers exceeds the tax burden of the bottom 95 percent combined.  Moreover, according to the National Taxpayers Union, households in the top 5% by income have been paying about 60% of the federal income tax bill for years.
  • As the New York Times reports, “the Top 5 percent in income earners–those households earning $210,000 or more–account for about one-third of consumer outlays, including spending on goods and services, interest payments on consumer debt and cash gifts, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve date by Moody’s Analytics.  That means the purchasing decisions of the rich have an outsize effect on economic data.”
  • In 2009, approximately 47 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income taxes.  While 2009 had fewer households owing taxes than other years due to some allegedly temporary tax breaks and a lagging economy, the Tax Foundation reports that close to 40 percent of households owe no federal income taxes in an average year.  According to the IRS, 67 percent of Single Head of Household returns in 2005 had no tax liability whatsoever.
  • The proportion of American tax returns that incur no tax liability increased by 59 percent between 1989 and 2007, the latest year for which full analysis is available.

The thing to remember here is that the income tax is based on wages and salaries earned–not on accumulated wealth.  Any increase in taxes is going to hit the middle class before it impacts anyone else.  The very rich will find tax shelters to get around new taxes, and those of us in the middle class will pick up the slack.  One of the characteristics of a socialist country is a very wealthy upper class, a very poor lower class, and an almost non-existent middle class.  That is the direction our tax code is headed in.

Can We Have This Man As President Of America ?

Merco Press is reporting today that outgoing Colombian president Alvaro Uribe criticized Tuesday the possibilities of a peace proposal with the Colombian guerrilla groups FARC and ELN and emphasized that Colombia will not fall into the trap of “internationalizing dialogue”.  It is nice to see a world leader who understands that you fight evil–you don’t negotiate with it.

The article reports:

“”We’re not going to fall into that trap again. We only demand from the international community that they abide by the agreed international rules we respect: fighting terrorism and offering them no refuge, nowhere”, insisted Uribe who next week, on August 7 will be stepping down after eight years in office and as the most popular Colombian leader in decades.”

A U.S. – Columbia Trade Promotion Agreement was sent to Congress on April 7, 2007, by President Bush.  It is still not approved.  Congress refuses to admit that President Uribe has made considerable progress in fighting FARC and ELN and is unwilling to ratify that agreement which would help Columbia stand strong against the designs of those terrorists and of Hugo Chavez.  The issue that has prevented Congress from ratifying this agreement has to do with the influence of American unions on the Democrat Congress.

The article at Merco Press concludes:

“President Chavez rejects the “terrorist group” labels for FARC and ELN (imposed by the US and the EU) arguing they are part of the “Bolivarian revolution” combating regional oligarchies.

“He has been in the past and is now again strongly pushing for the “peace dialogue” between the guerrillas and the Colombian government.

“With the guerrillas on the run and virtually no public opinion support, and following some spectacular rescue-coups by Colombian special forces, there is no significant ambiance for such a peace dialogue in the country, according to the latest polls.”

Until we learn to call terrorists by their proper name (terrorists) and treat them as such, we will not defeat people who kidnap and kill innocent people.  Thank you, President Uribe, for your steadfastness and your wisdom.

Why Is This Happening Now Instead Of Two Years Ago ?

This story is based on two articles, one in the Washington Post on Friday, and one at Hot Air yesterday.  The article at the Washington Post points out that in early 2008 the House ethics committee began looking into the affairs of Charlie Rangel, the colorful Democratic representative from New York.  The two most serious charges have to do with unreported income and using congressional letterhead to raise funds for a private center named after him at City College of New York.  There will be a trial in September.  In preparation for that, the alleged violations are expected to be made public tomorrow.  I need to mention that this process was totally avoidable.

The Washington Post reports:

“Sources familiar with the case said that Rangel could have avoided this showdown by accepting the subcommittee’s findings. He was briefed on the allegations against him — as required by House rules — in recent weeks, and he rejected them.”

This is rather odd.  Hot Air reports:

“Rep. Charles Rangel’s chances of cutting an ethics deal are in jeopardy over allegations that he met privately with Ethics Committee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) Monday night without any Republican members of the bipartisan panel present.”

“Lofgren says she hasn’t spoken to Rangel since last Thursday, and sources close to Rangel deny that there was an attempt to cut a backroom deal with Lofgren. But Rangel’s attorneys met with Democratic ethics committee staff Monday, according to people close to the investigation.”

This may be a case of using words carefully.  If Rangel’s lawyers and Democratic aides met with Republicans present, this could jeopardize any sort of bipartisan ethics process. 

 Meanwhile, Representative Rangel is being challenged in a Democrat party primary by Adam Clayton Powell Jr’s son.  Ironically, in 1970 Charlie Rangel defeated Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in a Democrat primary.  Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was chairman of the Education and Labor Committee in 1961. As committee chairman he supported the passage of important social legislation, but was eventually removed from his seat by the Democratic members-elect of the 90th Congress following allegations of corruption.

It’s sad to see people who are supposed to serve the public misusing their positions.  We need to clean house in November and elect people who understand the concept of public service.  It is discouraging to see the number of ‘public servants’ who use their positions to amass personal wealth. 

Another Really Stupid Idea From Massachusetts

Sometimes its embarrassing to live in Massachusetts.  Every chance I get, I vote, and only about five times in the thirty-something years I have lived here has my candidate won (the most recent example of that was Scott Brown).  Well, our state legislature has done it again.  They have found another way to discount the value of my vote.

According to Boston.com the Massachusetts Legislature has approved a new law intended to bypass the Electoral College system and ensure that the winner of the presidential election is determined by the national popular vote.  OK.  That doesn’t sound all that bad.  But wait a minute. 

According to the article:

“Under the law, which was enacted by the House last week, all 12 of the state’s electoral votes would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most votes nationally.”

So why should I vote?  Should I find another state to vote in so that my vote will count?

The Electoral College was originally set up to ensure that the votes of people in small states or sparsely populated areas would count in a national election.  Because of the Electoral College, a presidential candidate is prevented from concentrating on one state or area of the country–he is forced to address the entire nation.  It is not a perfect system, but it does give those of us who live in small towns or small states a voice in our government.  To give the electoral votes of Massachusetts to whoever wins the popular vote nationally is to take away the voting rights of the people of Massachusetts.

The article states:

“”We’ve had a lot of bad ideas come through this chamber over the years, but this is going to be one of the worst ideas that has surfaced and actually garnered some support,” said (Richard) Tisei, who is also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

“The bill, which passed on a 28-to-9 vote, now heads to Democratic Governor Deval Patrick’s desk. The governor has said in the past that he supports the bill, said his spokeswoman Kim Haberlin.”

Where can I go so that someone will count my vote too?

An Interesting Perspective On The WikiLeaks

Ryan Mauro posted an article at Frontpagemag.com today entitled, “Why WikiLeaks Will Fail.”  Ryan Mauro is the founder of WorldThreats.com, National Security Advisor to the Christian Action Network, and an intelligence analyst with the Asymmetric Warfare and Intelligence Center.

Mr. Mauro points out that the aim of WikiLeaks in the past was to undermine the war effort in Iraq.  WikiLeaks has now turned his attention to Afghanistan.  This week it released over 90,000 secret documents with the goal of casting U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan in a negative light.

Mr. Mauro states that the leak may have the opposite effect of what was intended.  According to the article, the documents:

“…expose the Taliban’s close alliances with Iran, Pakistan and Al-Qaeda and thus bolster a key rationale for the war in Afghanistan – that the U.S. military is fighting terrorists abroad so that we do not have to face them at home.”

The documents leaked reveal the Taliban as radical Islamists acting as proxies for foreign elements, including al-Qaeda.  The documents also point out that the Taliban and Iran have worked in unison since September 11, 2001.  The documents confirm that Iran supplies weapons to the Taliban and has also been involved in training the Taliban.

The article concludes:

“The reason Iran’s meddling in Afghanistan hasn’t been made public is explained in one file. President Karzai requested that the U.S. not publicize the finding of Iranian weapons in Kandahar, so as not to jeopardize an upcoming visit by Ahmadinejad. An April 2007 file says that he wanted “to avoid additional friction with Afghanistan’s neighbors.” The documents also show that Afghan and U.S. officials were having trouble thinking up ways to counter Iran’s efforts to influence political parties through bribery, spending $4 million on 90 parliamentarians. It appears that fear has caused the Afghan government not to expose Iran’s terrorism connections.”

It’s time to fight the war in Afghanistan with two hands, win it, and get out.  We can help stablize that country, but we have to exercise some serious force first.

Is Partial Repeal Possible ?

This story is based on two sources, an article from The Hill yesterday, and an article from CNS News today.  Both sources are reporting on the fact that the Republicans in Congress and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to repeal a provision in the healthcare reform act that would be very cumbersome for small businesses. 

According to CNS News:

“In section 9006 of the health care law, starting in 2012, the new health care law requires businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and government entities to file Form 1099 for every single business-to-business transaction of $600 or more, for both property and services. So small businesses purchases from vendors that exceed $600 must report those transactions to the IRS.”

This means that a small business must track its office supply purchases and other business to business purchases and send 1099’s to the vendors involved.  This is a new provision–previously only services above $600 needed to be reported.  

CNS News further reports:

“Nina Olson, head of Taxpayer Advocate Services, said, “If the IRS continues to ramp up enforcement while reducing taxpayer service programs, I would be concerned about its ability to administer the new health care credits and penalty taxes in a fair and compassionate way.”

There are serious questions as to whether the IRS will be able to track this new requirement.  There is also the question being asked by some Congressmen, “What does this have to do with healthcare?”  I think that as we come closer to seeing the healthcare reform bill put into effect, we will find out that a lot of the bill has very little to do with healthcare.

Former Republican State Party Chairman Jim Rappaport Has Endorsed Marty Lamb For Congress

Former Republican State Party Chairman Jim Rappaport has announced his support for Marty Lamb for Congress (Marty is running against Jim McGovern in the Third Congressional District in Massachusetts). 

According to the press release from Marty Lamb’s campaign:

“We need more business leaders serving in Congress. That’s why I am supporting Marty Lamb. He is the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, running who has signed the front of a paycheck and created jobs. Marty knows first-hand the burdens the federal government places on small businesses and how mandates are job killers,” said Rappaport.

Speaking of the actions of our current Congressional leaders, Marty Lamb stated:

“As a small business owner, I never sign a contract before knowing what is in it. But yet Congress passed the national health care mandate without fully understand its costs or impact on our economy. That’s wrong,” said Lamb. “At a minimum taxpayer will have to fund $1 trillion to pay for Obamacare. Where is the money gong to come from? Taxpayers? China?”

Marty Lamb’s plan on spending (called the Lamb Chop Plan) includes items that all American taxpayers are concerned about:

1. Instituting a balanced budget amendment
2. Passing a Line Item Veto
3. Limiting government spending to rate of inflation (TABOR)
4. Hiring freeze for all non-essential employees
5. Paying off the national debt
6. Moratorium on new entitlements
7. Establishing a Sunset Committee
8. Ending off-budget expenditures
9. Prohibiting bailouts
10. Taking back unspent TARP funds

I need to mention that I have been working for Marty Lamb’s campaign since he began gathering signatures.  I have never worked on a political campaign before, but I felt as if it was time to get involved and to support people who understood how small business works.  I have been very impressed by the people I have met who are also working on the campaign and the fact that I am not the only person who has not been involved in a campaign before.  Marty Lamb’s campaign is truly ‘grass roots’, and I believe he has a good chance of defeating Jim McGovern in November.

Attempting To Mainstream Anti-Semitism

Newsbusters posted an article yesterday about an interview Oliver Stone gave to U.K. Sunday Times.  The original article is subscription only, so I am not linking it.

According to the article, Oliver Stone, in speaking of the Holocaust, stated that “America’s focus on the Jewish massacre was a product of the “Jewish domination of the media.””

Stone is also quoted in the article as saying:

“…his upcoming Showtime documentary series “Secret History of America” seeks to put Hitler and Communist dictator Joseph Stalin “in context.”

You can follow the link above to the story to read the rest of Stone’s comments.  It is a disgrace that Showtime gives this man a platform to spout his horrible distortion of the world and its history.  It is truly sad that this kind of anti-Semitism can be freely expressed with no consequences.



Brace Yourself For January 1, 2011

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a report on the coming tax increases of January 1. The tax increases will kick in due to the expiration on the Bush tax cuts.  At this point I would like to mention that the Bush tax cuts expire because President Bush did not have a filibuster-proof Congress at any time that he was in office, and thus was not able to make his tax cuts permanent.  The Democrat party is still spinning those tax cuts as ‘tax cuts for the rich’ that increased the deficit.  The tax cuts did no such thing–the increased spending that began in 2006 when the Democrats took over Congress increased the deficit.  It would have been nice if President Bush had vetoed some of the spending, but he didn’t, and the deficit grew (although nothing like what it has grown in the past eighteen months).

Investor’s Business Daily reports that everyone who pays taxes will see a tax increase on January 1, 2011.  Even the 10 percent bracket will increase to 15 percent.  Capital gains will increase from 15 to 20 percent.  Dividend income will go from being taxed at 15 percent to a 39.6 percent tax rate.  The increased taxes on capital gains and dividends not only discourage investment (which creates jobs), but impact senior citizens who depend on dividends for their income. 

The inheritance tax will be 55 percent for an estate valued at $1 million or more.  If you live in a state with high real estate values, that is not a very high number.  In New York, California, or Massachusetts, that is a house, two cars, and a small investment portfolio (or 401K). 

Senator Jim DeMint, (Republican-S.C.) proposed an amendment last week to end the death tax.  That amendment would have created an estimated 1.5 million new jobs (according to the American Family Business Foundation).  Unfortunately, the Democrats voted down the amendment. 

The article concludes:

All of the foregoing reminds us of President Reagan’s wise maxim: “Our problem is not that the American people don’t pay enough in taxes, it’s that the government spends too much.”

We need a new Ronald Reagan to provide common sense at this time.

Embarrassing Revelations From The British

The Australian is reporting today on a secret letter sent to the Scottish government by the United States regarding the release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi (the Lockerbee bomber).  The Obama Administration had stated in the letter that releasing al-Megrahi for compassionate reasons was more acceptable than locking him up in a Libyan prison.  This was based on the assumption that al-Megrahi was suffering from prostate cancer and only had a few months to live. 

According to the article:

“The US Senate foreign relations committee launched a probe after The Sunday Times revealed this month that Megrahi’s doctors thought he could live for another decade.

“A source close to the Senate inquiry said: “The (LeBaron) letter is embarrassing for the US because it shows they were much less opposed to compassionate release than prisoner transfer.””

“Last week, a succession of British politicians – including Mr MacAskill, Mr Salmond and former justice secretary Jack Straw – delivered a diplomatic snub to the senators by refusing to fly across the Atlantic to answer questions at the Senate’s hearing on Thursday (US time) about their role in Megrahi’s release.”

The British are not obligated to show up for United States Senate hearings.  I think it is a bit of arrogance to expect them to come and be grilled by Congress!  The bottom line here is that we believed what we were told and acted accordingly.  It is a shame that the families of the people killed in the Lockerbee bombing had to watch the hero’s welcome al-Megrahi received in Libya and then be told he may live another ten to twenty years.  As usual, in the area of terrorism, the Obama Administration was snookered.

My Final Word On Shirley Sherrod

The link here is the CBS News story from Tuesday that stated that Shirtley Sherrod accused the White House of forcing her resignation.  Frankly, Miss Scarlet, I don’t give a —-!  I am bringing up this story again for the purpose of pointing only one thing out.  I have heard the complete tape.  At the end of the tape, Ms. Sherrod blasts the Bush Administration for anything and everything and declares opposition to President Obama’s healthcare plan as racist.  Maybe Ms. Sherrod got over her racism, but she has not yet reached the point where she is unwilling to accuse anyone she disagrees with of being a racist!  I don’t believe that is any reason to fire her–I have worked with many unique people in my life who operated under similar mindsets.  My point is simply this, name calling should not pass as intelligent political dialogue.  Ms. Sherrod is entitled to think whatever she things about the Bush Administration and she is entitled to believe that Obamacare is the answer to the nation’s healthcare challenges.  However, to simply brand the opposition as ‘racists’ is to discourage intelligent debate and move further away from a reasonable solution to the problem. 

If The Goal Was To Make Things Better, They Failed

Hot Air posted an article today about another unintended consequence of the recent Healthcare Reform Act.  The bill that Congress passed was supposed to provide all children insurance under their parent’s policies until age 26.  Sounds like a great idea, but there were a few things Congress forgot to consider.

Insurance companies are in business to make money.  They use actuarial charts to set rates and write insurance policies.  In the free market that works.  In a market with excessive government regulation, it doesn’t.  One of the effects of Obamacare that is becoming obvious is that fewer children will have healthcare coverage than before. 

According to the article:

“Starting on September 23rd, insurers will have to allow children onto plans at any time regardless of previous insurance or pre-existing conditions.  The way the law is written, after that date parents can wait until their children get sick to sign them up for individual plans at any time.  Insurers can’t predict the cost of sudden additions to plans for those making immediate use of the system, and so instead just won’t make those kinds of plans available.”

This is very similar to the problems Massachusetts is having with its healthcare plan, which supposedly was one model for Obamacare.  Because insurance companies cannot refuse anyone insurance at any time, people were waiting until they needed major medical procedures to sign up for insurance and dropping the coverage when the procedure was done.  This thoroughly skewed the previous actuarial tables and the insurance companies asked the state for permission to raise their rates.  When the state turned down a majority of their requests, the insurance companies discontinued many of the policies they had been writing. 

It is becoming very obvious that Obamacare fully implemented will be a total nightmare.  The answer is very simple–REPEAL AND REPLACE.  Remember that in November.

Disturbing News About Our Military’s Voting Rights

Yesterday’s Washington Times reported that the Justice Department‘s Voting Section has encouraged states to waive the statute that requires states mail absentee ballots to military personnel at least 45 days before an election.  This statute was put in place so that the military serving overseas would have a chance to get their absentee ballots in before deadlines to have their votes counted. 

If this statute is waived, many of our military will not have their votes counted in elections because they cannot get them back to their voting districts in time.

Sen. John Cornyn has met with Defense Department officials in charge of protecting military voting rights.  One of the problems here is that generally speaking the military votes Republican, and in a Democrat administration with Chicago roots, fair play may not be the name of the game.

The Bill That Wouldn’t Die May Have Died

John Hinderaker at Power Line reported yesterday that the cap and trade bill is dead–at least for now.  As usual, the Democrats are claiming that they can’t pass the bill because of lack of cooperation on the part of the Republicans (who are accused of only wanting to secure political points).  Really?  What about the Democrats who refuse to support the bill? 

The question here is whether or not the cap and trade bill will be brought up and passed in a lame duck session after the November elections.  The Democrats seem to be conceding that they will lose their majority (at least in the House of Representatives), and there is some speculation that they will use a lame duck session to pass unpopular legislation before the Republicans take over.  I suppose that is a possibility, but I suspect that it might be something people remember in future elections.  I doubt that even the Democrats would be willing to take that chance.