The Politics Of ObamaCare Premiums

The Daily Caller posted an article today about the collusion between the Obama Administration and health insurance companies to insure that healthcare premiums for consumers would not increase drastically just before the midterm elections of 2014.

The article explains:

New documents reveals that top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett personally conducted damage control with nervous health insurance companies after those companies saw no other way to hold premiums down under Obamacare without a taxpayer-funded bailout.

Their pleas worked.

A month later, the Obama administration issued rules to allow for a taxpayer-funded insurer bailout.

At a time when the federal budget is spiraling out of control, the Obama Administration is spending taxpayers’ money to avoid a political problem before the election.

The risk corridor program is set up so that consumers will not see the full impact of ObamaCare on their insurance premiums until 2017–after the midterm elections.

ObamaCare needs to be exposed totally for the disaster it is and ended as quickly as possible.

Misleading The Public For Political Gain

President Obama’s ratings are falling through the floor, and the Democrat needs a rallying cry to avoid being thrashed in November. They think they have it–free birth control (and abortion drugs).

NJ.com is reporting today that 35 Democratic senators in Congress have sponsored a bill they call “Not My Boss’s Business Act.” The obvious question here is, “If it’s not my boss’s business, why does he have to pay for it?” However, the real bit of information that the people screaming about the Hobby Lobby decision have overlooked is the fact that Hobby Lobby refused to pay for only four out of twenty forms of contraception. The company has funded, and will continue to fund the other sixteen.

An article posted at the Daily Caller about the move to undo the Hobby Lobby decision yesterday concludes:

In other words, while most Americans, except those with religious or moral objections, will happily share in the costs of a poor women’s birth control, few would see any reason to pay for contraceptives for Senators Murray, Boxer, or the vast majority of American women. Paying for their own birth control will neither deny them access nor violate their rights. You might say it is an outrage to contend otherwise.

 

 

Manufacturing A Crisis

On Friday I posted a screen capture of an advertisement asking for contractors to transport unaccompanied illegal alien children coming to America (rightwinggranny.com). The humanitarian crisis on our southern border was manufactured by the Obama Administration. Because they manufactured it, the Obama Administration also has the power to stop it. However, as reported in the Daily Caller yesterday, the Obama Administration has given orders to block Border Patrol Agents from doing what is necessary to stem the tide of unaccompanied children coming across the border.

The article reports:

If officials wanted to block the “Dream Deluge” of Central Americans youths, for example, “they would stop releasing them to family members [in the U.S., and] make sure they’re in long-term detention until they could either verify an asylum claim or a claim for persecution,” said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Immigration officials could make sure the youths’ parents are legal residents before they transfer the children and youths, and then deport the parents if they’re here illegally, said Moran, whose council serves as a union for border patrol officers.

But Obama’s appointees say “the whole goal of the process is family unification, so we’re not allowed to even ask the legal status of whosoever is picking them up,” he said.

This is another example of President Obama’s philosophy of “the law is whatever I say it is.” That attitude is the mark of a dictatorship–not a republic. Either the press (which isn’t going to) or Congress needs to hold President Obama accountable to his job description–upholding the U.S. Constitution (and the law). This is not a pattern of behavior that can be allowed to continue–our Republic is in danger. President Obama needs to be censured, at least, for his behavior.

Would You Believe This Story Even If You Trusted The Person Who Told It?

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had cancelled its contract with email-storage contractor Sanosoft just weeks after ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer crashed and shortly before other IRS officials’ computers allegedly crashed (and coincidentally about the time Congress began looking into the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups).

The article reports:

But Sonasoft’s six-year business relationship with the IRS came to an abrupt end at the close of fiscal year 2011, as congressional investigators began looking into the IRS conservative targeting scandal and IRS employees’ computers started crashing left and right.

Sonasoft’s fiscal year 2011 contract with the IRS ended on August 31, 2011. Eight days later, the IRS officially closed out its relationship with Sonasoft in accordance with the federal government’s contract close-out guidelines, which require agencies to fully audit their contracts and to get back any money that wasn’t used by the contractor. Curiously, the IRS de-allocated 36 cents when it closed out its contract with Sonasoft on September 8, 2011.

Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed in June 2011, just ten days after House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp first wrote a letter asking if the IRS was engaging in targeting of nonprofit groups. Two months later, Sonasoft’s contract ended and the IRS gave its email-archiving contractor the boot.

I suppose there exists a universe in which Lois Lerner’s emails just happened to be unavailable as soon as the Congressional investigators wanted them and the IRS is telling the truth, but I don’t think too many people live there. This is what a cover-up looks like. Congress can either appoint a Special Prosecutor (one who is not connected with or afraid of the current Justice Department) or they can be seen as absolute gutless wonders. I really don’t think there is a third choice.

The Week’s Best Question At A News Conference

The news is agog with reports of the capture of suspected Benghazi ringleader Ahmed Abu Khattala. His capture was announced early Tuesday. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki handled the press conference that was supposed to be a victory lap for the Obama Administration. However, I am noticing that the press is becoming a little less willing to be used as props for the failed policies of the Obama Administration. There seems to be some genuine confusion as to why it took almost two years to capture someone who was not only hiding in plain sight, but giving interviews to reporters.

The Daily Caller posted an article about the press conference that included the following:

When asked why no one in the U.S. special forces didn’t simply pose as a reporter, she joked that “we appreciate your view if you’re volunteering yourself for future endeavors.”

“You’re still not addressing the central question… you’re not answering the question of why a reporter was able to get within 6 inches of this guy and U.S. special forces weren’t for more than two years,” Rosen (Fox News correspondent James Rosen ), now exasperated, interjected.

To me, that is not the most disturbing aspect of this story. Ahmed Abu Khattala will be brought to New York where he will be tried in a standard American court with the full rights that are granted to American citizens. There will be a discovery phase of the trial which will allow his lawyers access to information showing how America is combating terrorism. It is also a pretty safe bet that no further perpetrators of the Benghazi attack will be arrested–this is simply not a very high priority for the Obama Administration. It is also highly probable that Mr. Khattala will be encouraged to say that it was the video that inspired him. I have seen reports that prior to the attack on Benghazi, the anti-Muslim video had less than 2000 hits. (Some reports say as few as 700 hits, some say as many as 1700.)  Are we to suppose that Mr. Khattala was one of these? Do Muslim leaders constantly watch YouTube to look for things to protest? (That may actually be true, but did they contact Mr. Khattala?)

There is nothing about the capture of this man and the timing of the capture that does not scream ‘diversion.’ It will be interesting to see if Americans are willing to be distracted by this as the Obama Administration’s economic and foreign policies are failing in front of our eyes.

While We Have Been Talking About The Prisoner Swap…

The Daily Caller is reporting today that new information uncovered in the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal shows that Lois Lerner sent confidential taxpayer information about nonprofit groups to the Federal Bureau of Investigation days before the 2010 midterm elections.

The article reports:

The Daily Caller previously reported that Lerner shared confidential taxpayer information on nonprofit groups with high-ranking White House officials Ellen Montz and Jeanne Lambrew in 2012. Lerner was held in contempt of Congress by a full House vote after stonewalling the chamber’s investigation into her improper targeting of conservative and tea party groups between 2010 and 2012.

“We were extremely troubled by this new information, and by the fact that the IRS has withheld it from the Committee for over a year,” House Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa and Oversight member Rep. Jim Jordan wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. ”We were astonished to learn days ago from the Justice Department that these 21 disks contained confidential taxpayer information protected by federal law. We ask that you immediately produce all material explaining how these disks were prepared and transmitted to the FBI.”

While the Democrats complain that the IRS investigation is endless, the Obama Administration continues to withhold information from the investigators. We have reached a point where our so-called leaders refuse to obey the laws that are supposed to protect our republic. It will be interesting to see if voters consider this behavior in the next election.

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Common Sense At Last

Last week the Daily Caller posted a story about changes Australia is making to its global warming budget.

The article reports:

Australia’s conservative coalition is set to cut more than 90 percent of the funding related to global warming from their budget, from $5.75 billion this year to $500 million, over the next four years.

…But Abbott (conservative Liberal Party Prime Minister Tony Abbott) shows no signs of slowing down in his quest to repeal the country’s environmental laws, which have slowed economic growth, including mining taxes, green energy funding and the carbon tax.

“The carbon tax is an act of economic vandalism,” Abbott said in March. “You can’t trust [Labor] anywhere near an economy.”

The carbon tax was imposed by former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the summer of 2012, and quickly became unpopular as businesses and households began to bear the costs of higher power bills and higher inflation.

Could we invite Prime Minister Abbott to come and speak to Congress? Man-made global warming is a hoax. There was global warming in the Middle Ages before factories, coal-burning electric plants, and SUV‘s. Climate is cyclical. In the 1980′s we were supposed to panic over “The Coming Ice Age” as reported by Time Magazine. Carbon taxes are economic vandalism. Thank you, Prime Minister Abbott for speaking the truth.

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Why Are We Negotiating?

The Daily Caller reported yesterday that Iran‘s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated, “Those [Iranians] who want to promote negotiation and surrender to the oppressors and blame the Islamic Republic as a warmonger in reality commit treason.” He made this statement in a meeting of members of parliament.

The article reports:

Khamenei emphasized that without a combative mindset, the regime cannot reach its higher Islamic role against the “oppressors’ front.”

“The reason for continuation of this battle is not the warmongering of the Islamic Republic. Logic and reason command that for Iran, in order to pass through a region full of pirates, needs to arm itself and must have the capability to defend itself,” he said.

“Today’s world is full of thieves and plunderers of human honor, dignity and morality who are equipped with knowledge, wealth and power, and under the pretense of humanity easily commit crimes and betray human ideals and start wars in different parts of the world.”

In response to a question by a parliamentarian on how long this battle will continue, Khamenei said,“Battle and jihad are endless because evil and its front continue to exist. … This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides.”

Meanwhile, Iran has made the following demands in the negotiations regarding its nuclear option– the expansion of the country’s research and development for its nuclear program, the need of the country to continue enrichment, and the fact that the country’s ballistic missile program — despite U.N. sanctions — is not up for negotiation.

Historically, Iran has negotiated with the west regarding its nuclear program when it needed time do continue the program. These recent statements illustrate that Iran is not really interested in a negotiated solution to the threat its nuclear program poses. Iran is only interested in setting up a world-wide caliphate. If we don’t wake up soon, we will be dealing with another North Korea.

 

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Is This Really What We Want For America?

See Update at the bottom of the page!

Today’s Daily Caller is reporting on some further consequences of being outspoken about your Christian faith.

The article reports:

First they lost their television show. Now the Benham brothers say they are losing their business.

SunTrust Banks is cutting ties with would-be reality stars David and Jason Benham after liberal activists attacked them for their conservative views on abortion and gay marriage, The Daily Caller has learned.

In a statement provided first to TheDC on Friday, the Benham brothers confirmed that SunTrust Banks has pulled all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business, which includes several franchisees across four states.

Please follow the link above to the article to read the details of the story.

I have a few comments on this story. First of all, companies are entitled to do or not do business with anyone they choose. If a company wants to discriminate against someone because they hold a traditional view on marriage, and the board of directors of the company agrees to this decision, the company is free to make that decision. However, as an average American, I will make sure that in turn I do not support in any way businesses that take that stand. That is also my right. Second of all, if those who support gay marriage accuse those of us who don’t of being intolerant, what in the world is this? There is room for alternate views in the universe. The idea is to be fair in allowing both views to be expressed and to acknowledge that a person who believes in the Bible has the right to practice his religion and to support traditional marriage. The fact that the Benham brothers were treated this way because of their religious beliefs is chilling.

From the Daily Caller late this afternoon:

After an uproar from conservative customers, SunTrust Banks announced Friday afternoon that the decision to end its relationship with real estate entrepreneurs David and Jason Benham had been reversed.

Earlier Friday, The Daily Caller reported that SunTrust Banks had pulled all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business.

I don’t care why SunTrust made that decision, it was the right decision to make, and I applaud them.

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Why The Freedom Of Information Act Is Important

Judicial Watch is an organization that has held both Democrat and Republican politicians accountable to the people who voted for them. One of their best weapons used to hold politicians accountable is the Freedom of Information Act. Even when the press has walked away from a story, Judicial Watch keeps looking for information. In the case of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Scandal, their tenacity has paid off.

The Daily Caller is reporting today that Judicial Watch has obtained emails showing that Democrat Senator Carl Levin pressured the IRS to target conservative groups.

The article reports:

Levin, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ permanent subcommittee on investigations, wrote a March 30, 2012 letter to then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman discussing the “urgency” of the issue of possible political activity by nonprofit applicants. Levin asked if the IRS was sending out additional information requests to applicant groups and citing an IRS rejection letter to a conservative group as an example of how the IRS should be conducting its business.

The article reports that the IRS targeting is easily traceable to Washington, D.C.:

IRS official Holly Paz wrote a July 6, 2010 email to Washington-based IRS lawyer Steven Grodnitzky “to let Cindy and Sharon know how we have been handling Tea Party applications in the last few months.” Grodnitzky replied to the email, confirming that the Washington-based Exempt Organization Technical unit (EOT) was designing the targeting in the nation’s capital.

“EOT is working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases,” Grodnitzky wrote.

“Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases in EOT and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob,” Grodnitzky wrote.

“Rob” is believed to be then-IRS director of rulings and agreements Rob Choi, who was based at the agency’s Washington headquarters, according to Judicial Watch.

This use of the IRS for political purposes by whichever party is in power will continue unless it is stopped in its tracks now. I strongly recommend that you email your Representative and your Senators and tell them that you want those who used the IRS for political purposes held accountable. Otherwise, this will be the new normal.

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This Warning Applies To All Of Us

The Daily Caller reported today on the 10th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C., early this morning.

The article reports:

“My message for you today is a somber one,” said Professor Robert George, who lectures on civil liberties at Princeton, to a packed ballroom of Catholics that included failed Virginia Senate hopeful Ken Cuccinelli. “The days of acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past. …It’s not easy anymore. There are costs to discipleship, heavy costs that are burdensome to bear.”

Soon enough he’d get specific. George stressed that there are “powerful forces and currents in our society that press us to be ashamed of the Gospel. For example, if you believe that marriage is the consensual union between a man and a woman, you’re portrayed as bigoted, even hateful. …If you believe these things, some forces say you are a bigot [who is] against homosexuality [and] you ought to be ashamed.”

This warning applies to all Americans–whether they are Catholic or not. There was a time when we really didn’t pay a lot of attention to what our elected officials were doing–they shared our values and we trusted them. Now, if you are an average American with traditional values, most elected officials can’t hear you. Even if they do share your values, they are so bombarded with a media that has no values and the pressure to be re-elected, they cannot support the values most Americans support. We are in danger of losing our country. The things that we once held dear are not valued by those currently in power in America. Patriotism and faith are considered passe by those in charge of the media and those in charge of our government. If we are going to take our country back, we need to do it one vote at a time. All of us need to get out and vote, and we need to make sure that those people who share our values also vote.

Pay attention. The next two elections will determine whether you remain free to treasure the values you grew up with.

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After A While, You Have To Wonder If This Is Intentional

Yesterday, the Daily Caller reported that one of the taxes in ObamaCare will result in the loss of between 152,000 and 286,000 jobs by 2023. The tax is the health insurance tax which charges insurance companies according to their percentage of the insurance market — the more health plans sold (Obamacare’s goal), the more insurers are required to pay.

The tax will actually impact small businesses, raising their insurance costs. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) estimates that 57 percent of the jobs lost will be in companies with less than 500 employees. Small business is the backbone of the American economy, the economic policies of the Obama Administration are undermining the strength of our economy.

The article reports:

The federal government expects to collect $8 billion from the tax in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, with the pot growing to $14.3 billion by 2018. While the Obama administration may have intended for the tax to take a hit at insurers’ profits, the cost of the tax will likely be passed along to those purchasing the plans — which in the vast majority of cases are employers.

The American Action Forum, a Washington-based free-market think tank, estimates that the health insurance tax will add $101 onto customers’ premiums in 2014 and $143 in 2015 and 2016.

ObamaCare is not good for Americans, and it is not good for the American economy. We need to elect people in November who are willing to repeal it. There are ideas in ObamaCare that can be included in new healthcare programs, but ObamaCare has to go.

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What Our Children Are Learning In College

Anyone who is a parent knows that children learn a whole lot more from what they see than what you tell them.  That continues regardless of how old they are.  Some parents might be upset about the lesson their college-age children recently learned at Notre Dame University.

The Daily Caller reported today that a pro-traditional marriage group that had set up an information table on the Notre Dame campus was shut down by police called by the school.

The article reports:

The cops rushed to the scene after they got the call from school officials at the Roman Catholic school and quickly slapped a “cease and desist” order on the conservative group, Tradition Family Property Student Action (TFP), reports Campus Reform.

TFP Student Action members say they were told by the University of Notre Dame Security Police Department — “fully authorized as a police agency by the State of Indiana” — that there is a distinction between having permission to set up a table and having permission to sit at the table.

Actually sitting at a table seems to require a totally different and higher level of bureaucratic authorization.

If Americans who support the values that have served as the foundation of our country do not stand up for those values and teach those values, those values will disappear. Obviously Notre Dame is not interested in teaching those values.

The article concludes:

TFP Student Action members were handing out a flier entitled “10 Reasons Why Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ is Harmful and Must Be Opposed.” Ritchie said the response from students and faculty members ranged from respectful to supportive.

Then, a group of leftist students who support gay marriage arrived. They allegedly began ripping up the fliers, shouting a flurry of obscenities and suggesting that the message of religious conservatives does not deserve to be heard.

“It seems like the more you hear about inclusion and diversity in higher education, the less you hear about the truth, the more the truth is shut out of the conversation” Ritchie said.

It seems as if the concept of free speech at Notre Dame only applies to ideas approved by the left end of the political spectrum.

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And All This Time You Thought Common Core Was About Education

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Bill Gates will shut down his Gates Foundation (and Carnegie Corporation) financed nonprofit educational-software company InBloom Inc. permanently.

This was the company that was going to compile large amounts of information on students.

The article reports:

The strategy driving inBloom had been to create a huge database connecting local school districts and state education bureaucracies with behemoth education companies.

To accomplish this goal, the nonprofit had hoped to provide a smorgasbord of data about students. What homework are they doing? What tests are they assigned? What are their test scores? Their specific learning disabilities? Their disciplinary records? Their skin colors? Their names? Their addresses?

The Atlanta-based company had originally signed up nine states for the database. It planned to charge school districts between $2 and $5 per student for the privilege of participating in the student data collection scheme.

The intrusive data collection of student information was not the only surprise in Common Core. (also note that the school systems would be paying for the privilege of having their students’ privacy violated)  Upon investigating the curriculum which is aligned to Common Core, parents found lessons that were age inappropriate, lessons that were historically inaccurate and slanted, and literature for junior high reading that bordered on pornographic.

A few states are already are already responding to parental concern about Common Core and are backing away from using the standards and curriculum. Hopefully all states will move in that direction and then move to set up standards that work for them.

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An Opinion From An Interesting Source

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article quoting Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner, on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal,

The article quoted Ms. Mitchell:

“This is a sea change! People need to understand — this has never happened before in my lifetime and I don’t think anybody’s lifetime, where you have the president of the United States, elected members of Congress calling on the IRS to silence their political opponents, and having the IRS management and top brass doing what the politicians wanted them to do, and essentially taking sides in a philosophical and political debate between conservatives and liberals,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner.

“The more we allow government to mushroom and metastasize, we become more like the former Soviet Union where you have the commissars who have laws for everybody else, the little people, that don’t apply to them, and they use the government to go after their opponents and people are afraid of the government,” Mitchell said. “I mean, this is happening. And we have to stop it.”

It has become very obvious that the Obama Administration wants to silence anyone who is opposed to their policies. If they are successful in this, it is not a stretch to think that any future administration of either party will employ similar tactics.

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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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