Yes, We Are Bailing Out Detroit

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that despite denials by the White House, Washington is bailing out Detroit. The bailout of $100 million is being described as “blight remediation.”

The article reports:

…it (the $100 Million) allows the city’s new managers to reshuffle more cash into the city employees’ pension funds, which were looted by city and union officials for several decades.

The stealth bailout was exposed by the Detroit Free Press, which said the $100 million would be taken from the so-called “Hardest Hit Fund.” That fund was created by the administration in 2010 to counter the disastrous implosion of the federally-inflated real estate bubble.

Evidently the “Hardest Hit Fund” had been drained over the years by unconventional practices, including the periodic payout of funds to employees in years when the funds’ value were boosted by Wall Street investments.

Keep in mind that the stock market has been in fairly good shape over the last few years due to the influx of money from quantitative easing. That should have kept the funds viable had they been handled properly.

The article further reports:

Detroit has been under Democratic control since the departure of Louis Miriani in 1962, when the city’s residents had the nation’s highest per capita income.

The city crashed in the 1970s, amid racial acrimony and incompetent management at the city’s vital auto plants.

Many other cities and states face severe pension difficulties. They’re led by Chicago and Los Angeles, where Democratic control has boosted the pensions of government employees.

Michigan’s Republican governor, Rick Snyder, has promised to send $350 million in state funds to the city.

It matters who runs your city. Part of the problem is unfunded liabilities (large pensions promised to union government employees). In order to get our cities and states under financial control, we need to make sure that the promises we make to our municipal and state employees are paid for at the time the promises are made. The federal government can print money–states and cities cannot.

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This Sort Of Thing Makes My Head Hurt

Dr. Marty Nemko posted an article at the Daily Caller on Friday about the Common Core standards (and curriculum) that is currently being debated in many states.

The article includes a few examples of math problems included in the Common Core:

This is from the Common Core Standards for the 5th grade. All students are required to:

Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane. For example, given the rule “Add 3″ and the starting number 0, and given the rule “Add 6″ and the starting number 0, generate terms in the resulting sequences, and observe that the terms in one sequence are twice the corresponding terms in the other sequence. Explain informally why this is so.

In the 8th grade, the Common Core requires all students to:

Solve systems of two linear equations in two variables algebraically, and estimate solutions by graphing the equations. Solve simple cases by inspection. For example, 3x + 2y = 5 and 3x + 2y = 6 have no solution because 3x + 2y cannot simultaneously be 5 and 6.

In the 9th grade:

Prove theorems about lines and angles: vertical angles are congruent; when a transversal crosses parallel lines, alternate interior angles are congruent and corresponding angles are congruent; points on a perpendicular bisector of a line segment are exactly those equidistant from the segment’s endpoints.

Lest you think I cherry-picked, here is the link to all the standards, K-12. Throughout, they are remarkably arcane and irrelevant in the real world.

I have no idea what they are trying to do to our children, but it seems to me that learning two plus two and related facts might be much more useful. When I look at the math curriculum of Common Core, it looks like ti was designed by an English major. That is not to knock English majors, but there are some people who will not grasp basic math regardless of what you do to it (I had that problem with physics).

I understand that we live in a complicated, computerized world, but I firmly believe that memorization of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication facts builds a good foundation for learning mathematics. Common core does not build that foundation–it eschews memorization. When you don’t have a good foundation, the building collapses. I fear that we are about to collapse the American educational system by introducing Common Core. Our educational system is not perfect, but I believe that Common Core will make it worse–not better.

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It’s Not Really About Safety–It’s About Money

The Democrats have claimed that they want to make abortion safe and rare, but when it comes to supporting laws that make the procedure safer for women, they protest. The recent changes to abortion law in Texas are a good example of this.

Today the Daily Caller is reporting that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court‘s decision that the changes in abortion laws in Texas were unconstitutional.

The article reports:

The higher court’s opinion upheld the requirements that a lower court deemed unconstitutional — specifically the mandate that abortionists have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals and that the administration of abortion-inducing drugs comply with Food and Drug Administration protocols.

The ruling had one caveat, that the requirements may not be enforced against abortionists who already applied for admitting privileges but are still waiting to be accepted by hospitals.

There is a risk in any medical procedure, including abortion. What the new law does is put provisions in place to help ensure a woman’s safety if something goes wrong during an abortion. There is no reason that Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups should fight this as they have been claiming for years that their desire is to make abortions safe.

Abortion is about money, as the chart below from the Life Issues Institute illustrates (PPFA stands for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America):

planned parenthood profitUnfortunately, killing babies is big business.

 

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When Citizens Speak Out

A lot of Americans don’t pay attention to exactly what their government is doing, but occasionally something comes along that wakes everyone up. Common Core is an example of that. The Common Core standards were developed to provide national standards for students as they progressed through school. Aside from the one-size-fits-all aspect of the program, there were serious questions as to the age-appropriateness of what was being taught and the political slant. As people, particularly parents, become more aware of what Common Core is, the opposition to the program is growing.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Indiana has passed Senate Bill 91, a law ordering public K-12 schools across the state to stop using Common Core standards. Some other states (Iowa, Florida and Arizona) have tried to get around the opposition by renaming the program–Indiana simply threw out the program.

The article reports the Governor’s statement on Common Core:

“I believe our students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level,” Pence said in a statement.

“By signing this legislation, Indiana has taken an important step forward in developing academic standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high, and I commend members of the General Assembly for their support,” the Republican governor added, according to the Star.

Massachusetts proved in the 1990′s that states can write their own standards and improve education in their individual states. It is a mistake to allow the federal government to control local education–parents and school boards should do that.

One aspect of Common Core that I think is often overlooked by its supporters is the amount of data collection on the students. I do not believe that this amount of data collection is necessary, nor am I sure that once the data is collected it will be kept sufficiently secure so as not to be a violation of the students’ and parents’ privacy. It is up to parents and grandparents of students to insure that American students get the best education possible. High standards are a good thing–federal standards dictated by Common Core are not.

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Unions Members Inspecting Non-Union Companies

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that union representatives are allowed to accompany OSHA to nonunion work sites due to an Obama administration rule clarification. The clarification has been accused in congressional testimony of violating federal laws.

The article reports:

Union representatives from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are now accompanying federal government safety inspectors on site visits to review labor complaints at nonunion private businesses, The Daily Caller has learned.

SEIU and other labor unions can accompany the government inspectors on site visits due to a quiet and contested Obama administration rule clarification issued last year in response to a request from a union representative.

SEIU agents recently accompanied an inspector from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor, on three visits to nonunion work sites under contract with the Houston-based janitorial company Professional Janitorial Services (PJS).

The argument against allowing SIEU and other union member to be involved in OSHA inspections is that it brings into question the neutrality of OSHA in labor-management disputes. Union members have no business being involved in the inspection of a non-union company.

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Another Fiction-Based Policy Brought To You By The Obama Administration

The Daily Caller today is reporting that the policies that are part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‘s plan to fight global warming will cost the economy $2.23 trillion. The debate over global warming continues, but so does the runaway cost of fighting it–courtesy of the EPA.

The article reports:

“Higher energy prices as a result of the regulations will squeeze both production and consumption. Since energy is a critical input for most goods and services, Americans will be hit repeatedly with higher prices as businesses pass higher costs onto consumers,” writes Nick Loris, a Heritage Foundation economist and co-author of the report.

“However, if a company had to absorb the costs, high energy costs would shrink profit margins and prevent businesses from investing and expanding,” Loris adds. “The cutbacks result in less output, fewer new jobs, and less income.

Let’s wait until we are sure the problem actually exists before we throw tons of money at it.

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The Co-Founder Of Greenpeace Has Forgotten The Talking Points

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story about a Senate Committee hearing on Tuesday. Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore was testifying.

The article reports:

Moore argued that the current argument that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming over the past century lacks scientific evidence. He added that the Earth is in an unusually cold period and some warming would be a good thing.

“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” according to Moore’s prepared testimony. “Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species.”

…Moore argued that the current argument that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming over the past century lacks scientific evidence. He added that the Earth is in an unusually cold period and some warming would be a good thing.

“There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,” according to Moore’s prepared testimony. “Today, we live in an unusually cold period in the history of life on earth and there is no reason to believe that a warmer climate would be anything but beneficial for humans and the majority of other species.”

I, for one, have always been in favor of slight global warming. It is encouraging to me to know that I can now use hairspray, air conditioning, and my blow dryer without endangering the planet. However, on a serious note, it is the responsibility of all of us to do what we can within reason to keep our planet clean.

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I Love The Irony In This

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about the impact of ObamaCare in Massachusetts–the home of RomneyCare. RomeyCare was supposed to be the model for ObamaCare, but when you look closely at RomneyCare, there are some significant differences. Neither one did what was promised, but at least RomneyCare did not totally wreck healthcare in Massachusetts. It has taken ObamaCare to do that!

The article reports:

Starting in 2007 — over a period of three years — Massachusetts spent $3,449,520 developing a first-in-the-nation online health exchange, which allowed the state’s citizens to purchase health coverage. And when President Obama campaigned for the passage of his own federal health law, he leaned on the Massachusetts experiment as a model for the nation.

But the changes mandated by Obama’s Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, have actually gutted the effectiveness of Massachusetts’ once-working model.

Thanks to Obamacare, in 2012, Massachusetts began a transition to a new federally compliant health exchange, budgeted to cost $69 million. But to date, not one person has purchased health care through that federally funded exchange.

…The Massachusetts legislature didn’t even vote until June of 2013 to authorize the Connector Authority to change from their original functioning exchange over to the new system. Shortly after that vote, as The Boston Globe reported, officials started warning the Health Connector that the website would not work.

…On the unsubsidized side, Connector Authority spokesman Jason Lefferts told the Daily Caller, “We have worked with carriers to define the most similar plan to current coverage. The members will get a notice with the details. If they like it, all they do is pay the bill and they are all set. If they don’t, they are able to shop for a new plan. This new mechanism will allow these people to keep coverage without having to go through the website. All members will get notices within the next week.”

Yet four and a half months after the launch date of the new exchange, there remains no end date in site for the fixes.

Yang summed up the current situation at the last board meeting: “We have to work harder,” she said, according to the Boston Globe. “That means I need to tell the staff members they’re not doing a good enough job and I’m telling them that, even though they have been doing this tirelessly for months, and they’re exhausted.”

RomneyCare was no bargain, but it has taken ObamaCare to ruin it completely.

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More Mischief By The Obama Administration

The Daily Caller posted a story today about the plan to put new rules in place that would silence conservative grass roots organizations before the 2014 election.

The article reports:

The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.

The article explains:

Ways and Means chairman Rep. Dave Camp blasted the off-the-record plan during a hearing Wednesday with IRS commissioner John Koskinen, and called for the administration’s newly proposed 501(c)(4) rules to be halted until criminal investigations into the IRS targeting scandal are complete.

“If Treasury and the IRS fabricated the rationale for a rule change it would tend to raise questions about the integrity of the rule-making process,” Camp said.

...New IRS commissioner Koskinen said that the rules should “put to rest all of the issues surrounding applications for tax-exempt status.”

But Madrigal’s email to Lerner proves that the regulations were being developed long before the IRS needed to publicly put anything “to rest.”

At least 292 conservative groups were subjected to unfair targeting between 2010 and 2012, against six liberal groups that were allegedly given similar treatment.

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you side on, this should be chilling. The changes in the law will allow whichever party is in control of the executive branch to use the IRS to silence the speech of their opposition. This is not what America is about. Unless this ends now, the American people will never again get to hear both sides of a political campaign. That is frightening.

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A New Twist On The Lastest Attack On Christie

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that the Jersey shore advertisements that New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone asked the Department of Housing and Urban Development over the summer to probe were approved by the Obama administration.

The article reports:

“The Stronger Than The Storm campaign was just one part of the first action plan approved by the Obama Administration and developed with the goal of effectively communicating that the Jersey Shore was open for business during the first summer after Sandy,” Christie spokesman Colin Reed said Monday.

…“Federal agency reviews are routine and standard operating procedure with all federally allocated resources to ensure that funds are distributed fairly,” Reed said. “We’re confident that any review will show that the ads were a key part in helping New Jersey get back on its feet after being struck by the worst storm in state history.”

The action plan that Christie’s office said was approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development included language calling for a media campaign to draw tourists back to the beaches.

Even if this information makes it to the mainstream media, this will not be the end of the story. As you hear these attacks on Christie, keep in mind that the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign people (yes, that campaign already exists) are convinced that Christie would be a real threat to an election victory for Clinton. These attacks will continue until the Clinton campaign is convinced that they have removed Christie as a viable candidate. Be prepared.

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A Backdoor Approach To Gun Control

At some point you have to ask yourself why the Obama Administration and the political left are so desperate to separate Americans from their guns. Statistics show that the cities with the strictest gun laws have the highest crime rates, and criminals do not obey gun laws anyway. There is no logical reason to take guns away from Americans, yet the left seems convinced that the Second Amendment doesn’t really mean what it says and that Americans are not smart enough or stable enough to own guns. Well, the left is at it again.

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s two new executive actions that would expand the government’s access to mental health records when doing background checks on gun buyers. Now admittedly that sounds like a good idea, and if you looked into the backgrounds of some of the recent acts of gun violence and who committed them, it might make sense. But wait–there’s more. In every case of a shooter (from the Arizona shooter who shot Representative Giffords to the Colorado theater shooter to the Newtown Connecticut shooter), there was more than enough evidence that the shooter was mentally ill long before the shooting incident. The government would not have to have access to anyone’s mental health records–the people around the shooters could have easily alerted local police to the danger.

The problem was not the background check, the problem was a society not willing to put the mentally ill in mental institutions. In the case of Newtown Connecticut, the mother of the shooter was going through the process of having her son committed. The process took long enough for the son to find out and shoot his mother to prevent being committed.

The article at the Daily Caller describes the two Executive Orders:

It (the first order) modifies the HIPAA Privacy Rule to allow institutions “to disclose to the NICS the identities of persons prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm for reasons related to mental health.”

The other executive action, issued by the Department of Justice, clarifies what exactly in someone’s mental health history would prohibit them from owning or purchasing a gun. Persons who fall under the category of “adjudicated as a mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution” include those who are “incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect; persons lacking mental responsibility or deemed insane; and persons found guilty but mentally ill, regardless of whether these determinations are made by a state, local, federal or military court,” as well as “a person committed to involuntary inpatient or outpatient treatment.”

There are some concerns with these Executive Orders. There is a basic danger in allowing the government to be involved in any way in determining a person’s mental health. Is the next step declaring members of the Tea Party mentally unstable?

In April 2009, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) detailing a government program targeting veterans as unstable. The article stated:

“The aim of the FBI’s effort with the Defense Department, which was rolled into the Vigilant Eagle program, is to “share information regarding Iraqi and Afghanistan war veterans whose involvement in white supremacy and/or militia sovereign citizen extremist groups poses a domestic terrorism threat,” according to the Feb. 23 FBI memo.”

Our returning veterans are not a threat. They do not represent a domestic terrorism threat. However, the government, at its whim, can declare them as such. At this point in history, I am opposed to anything that limits the rights of Americans to own guns–there are too many freedoms being infringed upon by our government right now, and I think the Second Amendment is more important than it has ever been.

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A Gay Feminist Speaks Out About Duck Dynasty

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about some comments made by Camille Paglia, a social critic and openly gay, dissident feminist, about the recent dust-up about the statements made by the Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil. What she said is the most cogent statement I have heard from the left side of the political spectrum.

The article reports her comments:

“I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday.

“In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,” she added.

…“To express yourself in a magazine in an interview — this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,” Paglia said. “This is the whole legacy of free speech 1960’s that have been lost by my own party.”

…“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” Paglia said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”

“There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement,” she added. “And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”

The lady obviously understands the need for two sides of a discussion. We need more people who are intellectually honest on both sides of the political spectrum.

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Imagine Those Feudal Lords Running Around In Their SUV’s

The global warming people have a problem again–the facts just aren’t supporting their claims. Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted an article about a Swedish study that concluded that the earth was warmer during Roman times and during the Middle Ages than it is today.

The article reports:

The study, by scientist Leif Kullman, analyzed 455 “radiocarbon-dated mega-fossils” in the Scandes mountains and found that tree lines for different species of trees were higher during the Roman and Medieval times than they are today. Not only that, but the temperatures were higher as well.
“Historical tree line positions are viewed in relation to early 21st century equivalents, and indicate that tree line elevations attained during the past century and in association with modern climate warming are highly unusual, but not unique, phenomena from the perspective of the past 4,800 years,” Kullman found. “Prior to that, the pine tree line (and summer temperatures) was consistently higher than present, as it was also during the Roman and Medieval periods.”

This is not new information. Another study reported similar data (rightwinggranny.com) last year.

The article at the Daily Caller reminds us that scientific data shows that the earth’s temperature stopped rising in 1998 for no obvious reason. Since that time, scientists have begun to look at solar activity and normal global cycles as the causes for recent temperature changes.
The article concludes:

A study by Dr. Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama, Huntsville found that about half the warming that occurred since the 1970s can be attributed to El Niño weather events, which had a warming effect on the planet.

The Pacific Ocean’s natural warming and cooling cycles last about 30 years, with La Niña cooling being dominant from the 1950s to the 1970s and El Niño warming events dominating late 1970s to the late 1990s. Spencer suggests that the world may be in a La Niña cooling period.

It would be a good idea for all of us to take a step back and take a deep breath. The bottom line here is that we really don’t know. The equation is complicated by the fact that many very powerful people have an economic interest in convincing the rest of us that global warming is real and that we are the cause of it. We need to look carefully before we buy into that argument.

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It’s Not The Unemployment Numbers–It’s The Number Of People Who Have Dropped Out Of The Labor Force

Today’s Daily Caller reported that the percentage of Americans in the labor force has reached a record low–62.8 percent. According to the article, a record high 91,541,000 Americans did not participate in the labor force this October. Since January 2009, more than 11 million people have dropped out of the labor force.
The article concludes:

The economic blog Zero Hedge notes that at the current rate, the number of people not participating in the labor force could exceed those working in about four years.

This is unlike any economic recovery from a recession we have ever had.

I Guess This Is A Step In The Right Direction

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that the U. S. Army is ordering a halt to all briefings classifying Christian groups as domestic hate groups. Yes, you read that right. The army needs a memorandum to stop teaching soldiers that Christians are a domestic terrorism threat. Good grief!  A memorandum sent out by the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh ordered all Army leaders “to cease all briefings, command presentations, or training on the subject of extremist organizations and activities, pending promulgation” of a uniform instruction and training program.

The article reports:

As Fox News notes, the Army’s Equal Opportunity Advisor Student Guide highlights the SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center). Troops at Fort Hood were recently advised that donations to evangelical Christian groups or Tea Party groups could lead to penalties. Also, in May, Fox says, an Army Reserve training memo called evangelical Christians and Catholics as religious extremists.

The irony of this, of course, is that an SPLC law center map was used by Floyd Lee Corkins to find the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., where his goal was to shoot as many people as possible. Thank God he was stopped by a security guard that he did shoot.

The First Amendment protects our religious freedom. Our military takes an oath to protect and defend our Constitution. Our training memos and lectures should reflect that oath.

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Thugs

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about a raid on the home of journalist Audrey Hudson, a former Washington Times reporter and current freelance reporter. The raid was carried out by the Department of Homeland Security and the Maryland State Police. The warrant obtained by the Daily Caller states that the purpose of the raid was to search for firearms inside the home.

The article reports:

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

But without Hudson’s knowledge, the agents also confiscated a batch of documents that contained information about sources inside the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, she said.

There are some problems with this story. If her husband had a run-in with the law in 1986 and has not had problems since then, why hasn’t the restriction been lifted? Since the ban on his owning firearms goes back more than 25 years, why has it gone unenforced until now, and who authorized the taking of Audrey Hudson’s notes?

The article further reports:

At about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 6, Hudson said officers dressed in full body armor presented a search warrant to enter the home she shares on the bay with her husband. She estimates that at least seven officers took part in the raid.

After the search began, Hudson said she was asked by an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service if she was the same Audrey Hudson who had written a series of critical stories about air marshals for The Washington Times over the last decade. The Coast Guard operates under the Department of Homeland Security.

This is not the America I know. Note that the raid took place in the middle of the night–when people are not awake enough to realize completely what is happening. That is the kind of tactic the SS used in Nazi Germany.

We need to get the current thugs out of Washington as soon as possible. We are in danger of losing our freedom of speech.

 

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The Internal Revenue Service Is Not Supposed To Be A Political Entity

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about the continuing investigation into the misbehavior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the Obama Administration.

The article reports:

Top Internal Revenue Service Obamacare official Sarah Hall Ingram discussed confidential taxpayer information with senior Obama White House officials, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller.

That is illegal.

The article reports:

Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division, also received an email alongside White House officials that contained confidential information.

Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.

Unfortunately, we have an administration that routinely uses Chicago-style tactics to intimidate people who disagree with them. Debate on issues is part of the American political system. This administration has done everything possible to squelch that debate. If you disagree with President Obama, his staff will attempt to intimidate you. If that doesn’t work, media allies are called in. Please notice that the media targets any new Republican leaders that might actually move the country away from the policies of President Obama. There are some real conflicts between ObamaCare and the First Amendment rights of Bible-believing Christians. The Obama Administration decided to ignore those rights and to engage in a campaign against the people and organizations that supported those rights. It we don’t stand up to this administration, we have only ourselves to blame when we realize that much of our freedom is gone.

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Then and Now

From the Daily Caller in January 2011:

Harry Reid on raising the debt ceiling in 2006:

“If my Republican friends believe that increasing our debt by almost $800 billion today and more than $3 trillion over the last five years is the right thing to do, they should be upfront about it. They should explain why they think more debt is good for the economy.

From The Hill yesterday:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is moving legislation to push the debt limit until Dec. 31, 2014, well beyond next year’s midterm election.

Senate aides estimate the bill would increase federal borrowing authority by about $1.1 trillion.

Is there any doubt that this whole discussion is based on politics and not based on what is good for America and Americans? Until we vote professional politicians out of office, this is the kind of nonsense we will have to live with.

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More Ridiculousness

Hold on to your hat–the government is attempting to shut down God. The Daily Caller reported yesterday that the Priests who are in government service or are under contract to the military have been threatened with arrest if they celebrate Mass on Sunday.

The article reports:

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”

The article points out that this ruling on the part of the Obama Administration is not in accordance with the First Amendment rights of the American military. This is not something the government of a free country should do.

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Lying As A Way Of Life

If you heard someone you knew tell this story, you would immediately feel sympathy:

“I’ve had a situation in my family — a child — who had serious physical problems, who could not have qualified but for group health insurance available to me as a member of Congress,” Durbin (Senator Dick Durbin) said in response to a pointed question to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

“If I had gone on the open market to buy a policy I’m not sure I could have bought one for my family to cover my child,” said Durbin, who was first elected to Congress in 1982 when his Christine was fourteen.

When you hear that story, you immediately think how horrible it would be to have a child who needed medical attention and not be able to provide the necessary care. However, when you look a little bit closer, that is not exactly what the situation was.

The quote above is from a Daily Caller article posted on Tuesday.

The article tells a little more about the story:

…the Illinois Democrat (Senator Dick Durbin) neglected to mention that his late daughter was easily covered by existing insurance, and that he used taxpayer money to reward the hospital that treated her.

Despite her preexisting condition, Christine Durbin, who suffered from a lifelong heart condition and died at age 40 in 2008, was eligible for coverage under existing laws in multiple states, including the senator’s state and the state she ultimately settled in.

Durbin also neglected to mention that he sent his daughter to one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, to which he earmarked millions of dollars from 2002-2010.

…State law also addressed the problem of individuals in the open market suffering from preexisting conditions. In 1987, Illinois passed the Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (CHIP, which covered any Illinoisan who could not “obtain individual coverage from private insurance companies because of medical conditions.” Thirty-five other states have similar programs, including Maryland, where Christine ultimately settled.

It is entirely possible to address the problem of providing health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions without wrecking health insurance for the rest of us. If the Senator feels that it is necessary to lie to promote ObamaCare, why should we believe anything else he is saying?
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Somehow The Mainstream Media May Have Missed This

CNS News posted a story today on the latest developments in the government shutdown. There is some information buried in the body of the story that I don’t believe is being widely reported.

The article reports:

House Republicans want to tie the CR to changes on Obamacare, offering proposals to delay the individual mandate by one year and to prevent Congress and congressional staff from getting government subsidies for Obamacare. Senate Democrats refused. The federal government shut down at midnight Tuesday after Congress failed to come to agreement over a CR, which authorizes federal spending after Sept. 30, when the most recent funding legislation expired.

“Last night, Senate Democrats went so far as to reject legislation that would have kept the government running under just two conditions – just two – that families get the same one year relief as employers and that Congress has to follow the same rules on Obamacare exchanges as their constituents. That’s how extreme the Democratic position is. They won’t even accept basic fairness as a principle under Obamacare,” McConnell said.

These two things are important. President Obama already unilaterally delayed the employer mandate in ObamaCare. The Republicans are asking that he give all Americans the same right he gave to their bosses.

On September 16, 2013, National Review reported:

In 1995, the newly elected Republican Congress passed a Congressional Accountability Act to fulfill a promise made the previous year in the Contract with America. For the first time, the Act applied to Congress the same civil-rights employment and labor laws that lawmakers had required everyday citizens to abide by. With some lapses, it’s worked well to defuse public outrage about “one law for thee, one law for me” congressional behavior.

In 2009, Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) decided that the principle deserved to be embedded in Obamacare, and he was able to insert a provision requiring all members of Congress and their staffs to get insurance through the Obamacare health exchanges. “The more that Congress experiences the laws it passes, the better,” said Grassley. Although his amendment was watered down before final passage to exclude committee staff, it still applies to members of Congress and their personal staffs. Most employment lawyers interpreted that to mean that the taxpayer-funded federal health-insurance subsidies dispensed to those on Congress’s payroll — which now range from $5,000 to $11,000 a year — would have to end.

On August 7, 2013, the Daily Caller reported:

Members of Congress and Hill staffers will not lose their health-care subsidies from the government when Obamacare is implemented because of an exception proposed Wednesday by the Office of Personnel Management.

What that says is that Congress and Hill staffers will get subsidies that are not available to average Americans with comparable incomes.
The bill sent to the Senate last night would have corrected that and delayed the individual mandate. The Senate refused to consider the bill.
Don’t blame the Republicans for the shutdown–they are trying to force Congress to be covered by the laws they pass. Unfortunately, most of the media is not interested in reporting that story.
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More Unintended Consequences Of ObamaCare

I really wish Congress was required to read all the laws it passes before it passes them. That might have avoided some problems, although most of ObamaCare was not yet written when it was passed.

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about the impact ObamaCare will have on competition in the healthcare insurance industry in North Carolina. As it is currently being implemented, ObamaCare will create a healthcare insurance monopoly in North Carolina.

The article reports:

“Although seven insurance companies currently operate in North Carolina, under the new Obamacare exchanges, those options will dwindle down to one in the majority of counties,” Ellmers (Congresswomen Renee Ellmers from North Carolina’s Second District) said Thursday following the disclosure of figures by federal health officials showing that more than 60 percent of North Carolina counties will have only one insurance provider option under Obamacare: Blue Cross Blue Shield.

We know from past experience that monopolies are not a good idea. This is another example of why ObamaCare needs to be stopped in its tracks before it does any more damage.

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The Law Should Be The Same For Everyone

The Daily Caller posted an article today that reminds us why opposition to ObamaCare is somewhat muted in much of Washington, D.C. ObamaCare does not impact federal employees. Members of Congress and Congressional staffers will receive large taxpayer-funded subsidies for their health insurance. Those of us who do not work for the federal government or Congress will be greatly impacted by the implementation of ObamaCare.

The article reports on a proposal made by Rand Paul:

Paul’s proposal — outlawing any special exemptions for government employees — would mean all federal workers would have to purchase health insurance on the new Obamacare exchanges instead of getting taxpayer-funded subsidies. Some critics say those subsidies amount to special treatment. The Obamacare health insurance exchange opens Oct 1.

…Paul’s constitutional amendment says no federal employees should get special exemptions from laws. The senator also plans to push a proposal requiring that Congress and all federal employees rely on Obamacare for their insurance.

His proposal comes after outrage from conservatives about a so-called “exemption” for members of Congress and their staff from Obamacare.

If ObamaCare is such a wonderful thing, why do Congress and Congressional staffers need taxpayer-funded subsidies in order to participate in ObamaCare?

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Protecting Americans From The Truth

It isn’t news to say that the American media is biased. It is a surprise sometimes, however, to see how biased. Below are pictures of the September 16, 2013, cover of Time Magazine. The Daily Caller posted these pictures in an article about the magazine covers posted on Monday. The covers with Vladimir Putin on them are the foreign editions. The cover featuring the college athlete is the edition sold in America.

So what was the lead story in the magazines with Vladimir Putin on the cover?

The Daily Caller reports:

The foreign covers acknowledge Putin’s triumph over Obama, telling foreigners that Putin “doesn’t care what anybody thinks of him.”

The protective covers arrive as Time’s managing editor departs for a job working for one of the architects of the Syrian debacle, Secretary of State John Kerry.

In “early summer,” editor Rick Stengel was asked by Kerry, and immediately accepted, the job of running the department’s public diplomacy mission, according to Politico.

Months later, the appointment was leaked to two media outlets.

Throughout the summer, Stengel remained editor of Time while it covered U.S. politics.

Most often, the covers of Time magazine are uniform.

There is a reason the major media is dying–Americans cannot trust the major media to tell us the truth. The corroboration between Democrat politicians and the mainstream media is a scandal that the mainstream media is never going to report, but as more Americans become aware of the relationship, they will find other sources of news.

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Is There Really An Economic Recovery?

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article on our current financial recovery from the financial crisis of 2008.

The article reports:

Less than half of Americans’ per-capita wealth that was lost in the government-boosted property bubble has been recovered by mid-2013, says a new White House report that is intended to help President Barack Obama trumpet his economic accomplishments.

Adjusted for inflation and population growth, only 45 percent of wealth lost during the recession has been recovered, and many of the hardest hit households did not benefit as much from the rebound in [Wall Street] financial assets prices,” the report admits.

I suspect that part of the fact that the lost wealth has not been recovered is due to the fact that a good deal of that wealth was in the housing bubble. You can easily make the case that it was not real wealth–it was part of a bubble. However, the jobs numbers are real, and they are pathetic.

The article reports:

But Obama’s economic report has so many gaps that it fails to mention today’s unemployment rate, or even the 20 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed.

The report does declare that “over the past three and a half years, our businesses have created seven and a half million new jobs.” But the population also has grown 7 million, from 306.8 million in 2009, to 314 million in 2012, partly through the arrival of roughly 5 million immigrants.

…The report doesn’t mention the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, even though enrollment in the program has dramatically increased over Obama’s tenure, from 28 million recipients in 2008 to 47.7 million recipients in June 2013.

The labor force participation rate currently stands at 63.2 percent according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. In a very odd twist of fate, the people who voted for President Obama are also the ones hit hardest by the recession and so-called recovery. In view of their own economic survival, I strongly suggest that the low-information voters become informed voters before they vote again.

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