Who Is Setting Up The Voting Machines?

Last Wednesday I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about voting machines in Schaumburg, Illinois, registering a Republican vote as a Democrat vote. That story was based on a Fox News story. Yesterday the Examiner posted a story about voting machines in Maryland that are refusing to let voters vote for Republican candidates.

The article reports:

“When I first selected my candidate on the electronic machine, it would not put the ‘x’ on the candidate I chose — a Republican — but it would put the ‘x’ on the Democrat candidate above it,” reported Donna Hamilton.

“This happened multiple times with multiple selections. Every time my choice flipped from Republican to Democrat. Sometimes it required four or five tries to get the ‘x’ to stay on my real selection,” the Frederick, Md., resident said Thursday.

…two voters in Anne Arundel County experienced the same problem: A touchscreen voting machine switched their Republican votes to Democrats. The voters had to cancel theirs votes and start over.

Joe Torre, election director in Anne Arundel, called it a “calibration issue” involving a single machine.

Hamilton said she notified officials of the problem she encountered at the Frederick County Center, where she voted. “I’m not sure what was done about it. If someone is not paying close attention, they could end up voting for the wrong candidate,” she said.

No kidding. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue–this is an honest elections issue. Both parties need to make sure voting machines are calibrated correctly so that votes get counted correctly. As Americans, we need to be able to trust the integrity of our elections.

Is American Free Speech In Danger?

The Daily Caller posted an article today about a letter written by FEC Vice Chair Ann Ravel about her plans to deal with the issue of internet political advertising. The concern is that her plans will severely limit political speech of any kind on the internet.

The internet has made a significant difference in the political climate in America. People who do not trust the mainstream media have a place they can go to investigate news stories on their own. Since many of the internet news sites lean conservative, there are those in the Democrat party who consider this a threat. The significance of the internet in the political dialogue in America is almost on the level of the significance that talk radio has been in recent years.

The article reports:

The Republican members of the commission cited a 2006 ruling which provided a so-called “Internet exemption” which allows for the publication of free political web videos.

But according to her letter, Ravel, an Obama appointee, hopes to change that.

“A re-examination of the Commission’s approach to the Internet and other emerging technologies is long overdue,” she wrote, adding that “the Commission has not adapted with” a changing world.

Warning against “turning a blind eye to the Internet’s growing force in the political arena,” Ravel said that “this effort to protect individual bloggers and online commentators” has been “stretched to cover slickly-produced ads solely on the Internet.”

The fact that FEC Vice Chair Ann Ravel has written this letter tells us that the Democrats are concerned about the growth of the new media. The new media is doing the job that the traditional media used to do. Hopefully, the FEC will not be successful in shutting down free speech.

Voters, Beware, Things May Not Be What They Seem

Fox News is reporting today about a very unsettling early voter mishap. Early voting has already begun in Illinois, and on Monday Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to cast his vote in the Schaumburg Public Library. When he attempted to vote for himself, the machine cast a vote for his opponent.

The article reports:

The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.

Moynihan offered this gracious lesson to his followers on Twitter: “Be careful when you vote in Illinois. Make sure you take the time to check your votes before submitting.”

Cook County Board of Elections Deputy Communications Director Jim Scalzitti, told Illinois Watchdog, the machine was taken out of service and tested.

“This was a calibration error of the touch-screen on the machine,” Scalzitti said. “When Mr. Moynihan used the touch-screen, it improperly assigned his votes due to improper calibration.”

I hate to be cynical, but I really do wonder if that is the only machine in Illinois that has a calibration error. This makes me very concerned about voting in America. I am ready to go back to paper and pencil if that’s what it takes to have an honest election. The fact that this happened in Cook County makes me even more suspicious.

Another Example Of The Need For Voter Identification Laws

The Corner at National Review is reporting today that The New Georgia Project, currently under investigation for “significant illegal activities” regarding voter registration in Georgia began handing over subpoenaed documents on Friday. The group claims that it has reached an agreement to limit the scope of the documents it’s required to turn over. However, Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp, who began this investigation earlier this month, has no knowledge of any deal to limit the scope of the documents to be handed over.

The article reports:

Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp launched the investigation of the New Georgia Project earlier this month after receiving “numerous” complaints regarding applications submitted by the group, including forged signatures and applications. The investigation has turned up 33 fraudulent applications thus far, ahead of the thousands of pages of documents set to be turned over. The group is run by a close ally and campaign confidante of Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, state-house minority leader Stacy Abrams.

Do you ever wonder why most Democrats oppose voter identification?

Facts Versus Spin

We have all heard the whining and moaning about the Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby. Some of the media has painted a picture of Hobby Lobby that makes you wonder why anyone would work there. As usual, the picture the media has painted has little to do with the reality of the situation.

On Monday, The Corner at National Review posted an article citing actual facts about Hobby Lobby and the benefits it provides for its employees.

The article includes some of the comments the political left has made about the decision:

“This is going to turn the dial back,” Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz warned on MSNBC. The Democratic party’s national chairwoman added: “Republicans want to do everything they can to have the long hand of government, and now the long hand of business, reach into a woman’s body and make health care decisions for her.”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision unfortunately jeopardizes basic healthcare coverage and access to contraception for a countless number of women,” said Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.

Consequently, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said that his party now must “fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage.”

The article also includes some facts about Hobby Lobby:

Imagine that a woman starts work at Hobby Lobby tomorrow morning — July 1. She joins Hobby Lobby’s health care plan. It includes access, copay-free, to the following categories of FDA-approved birth-control:

  1. Male condoms
  2. Female condoms
  3. Diaphragms with spermicide
  4. Sponges with spermicide
  5. Cervical caps with spermicide
  6. Spermicide alone
  7. Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
  8. Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
  9. Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
  10. Contraceptive patches
  11. Contraceptive rings
  12. Progestin injections
  13. Implantable rods
  14. Vasectomies
  15. Female sterilization surgeries
  16. Female sterilization implants

That really doesn’t sound like she is being denied healthcare. The article reminds us that Hobby Lobby offers medical coverage for 16 different kinds of birth control for its employees. The legal case was to exclude four methods that are seen to cause abortions. Again, there is no ban on employees using these four methods, but Hobby Lobby will not pay for them.

The article concludes:

Those who are screaming themselves hoarse after the Hobby Lobby decision would agree that Yeshiva need not serve unkosher food, and PETA need not include calf meat on its menu. Yes, somehow, Hobby Lobby is evil because it pays for 16 kinds of contraceptives, and expects its employees themselves to purchase four others that might kill human babies.

At its core, the Left’s moaning over Hobby Lobby is less about access to medicine and more about access to free stuff. 

I disagree with the writer’s conclusion. This is not about free stuff. It’s about convincing the low-information voter that there is a ‘war on women’ in conservative politics and that they need to vote for Democrat candidates. There are very few Americans who will do their homework and get the facts on this case–most will rely on news that quotes the type of statement quoted in the beginning of this article as fact. Would it be fair to say that Democrats regard women’s healthcare as the right to kill babies and that right must be protected?

Incumbency Over Ethics

National Review Online posted a story today about Mitzi Bickers, who played a major role in Thad Cochran’s primary victory in Mississippi. Ms. Bickers is a Democratic staffer and political strategist. Last year, she left her job as a senior adviser to Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed after news surfaced that she had filed a fraudulent financial-disclosure statement.

The article reports:

In a bizarre turn of events, it seems that Bickers was in the middle of a bitterly contested Republican Senate primary. Two Atlanta-based entities affiliated with Bickers, The Bickers Group and the Pirouette Company, were paid thousands of dollars to make robo-calls on Senator Cochran’s behalf by a super PAC that backed Cochran in his bid for reelection. Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show that Mississippi Conservatives, the political-action committee run by former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour’s nephew Henry, paid the groups a total of $44,000 for get-out-the-vote “phone services.”

It is becoming very clear that some Republicans are as opposed to the Tea Party as the Democrats are. Why? Because some of the Republican establishment has morphed into a Democrat Light party and has lost its way. The Republican establishment no longer adheres to the principle of smaller government and individual freedom. They have joined the Democrats in supporting the status quo and consolidating power in Washington.

The Republican Party needs to get back to its roots and its platform if it intends to be a political force in the future.

Dr. Greg Brannon Spoke In New Bern Tonight

Dr. Greg Brannon spoke to the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA) in New Bern, North Carolina, tonight. Dr. Brannon spoke about the grass roots constitutional conservative movement. He pointed out that both the Republican and the Democrat parties have drifted away from the U.S. Constitution. He reminded us that our Constitution is based on God’s law, Natural Law, and that the Constitution states that our rights are given to us by the Creator–not the government.

Dr. Brannon reminded us that the legitimate role of government is to protect the individual’s inalienable rights. The moment a government oversteps its bounds, it is no longer legitimate. Our Constitution is designed to chain the government–not the individual.

Dr. Brannon stated that the solution to the problem of a government that has overstepped its bounds is the individual. In the last primary election in North Carolina, only 15 percent of eligible voters voted. The role of the grass roots constitutional conservative movement is to reach the 85 percent that did not vote with the message of constitutional conservatism. That is how the country can be brought back to its roots and the boundaries of the Constitution.

There was a spirited question and answer period following Dr. Brannon’s remarks. Those in attendance were challenged to ignore party labels and vote according to Constitutional principles.

The monthly meetings of the CCTA are open to the public. They deal with issues that impact all of us. The next meeting will be held on July 15th. Details of upcoming programs are posted on their website.

 

 

American Voters Have More Common Sense Than Some Of Their Elected Officials

Hot Air posted a story today about voter identification laws in America. A Fox News poll released this week stated that 70 percent of American voters favor voter identification.

The article cites some results of the poll:

Seven in 10 registered voters are in favor of identification laws in order to root out fraud at the ballot box, according to a Fox News poll released this week.

The survey found majority support in every major demographic, including black voters and Democrats.

The 70 percent who support voter ID laws remains largely unchanged in the past few years. Another 27 percent believe the laws are unnecessary…

The survey found majorities of every demographic support the law. Ninety-one percent of Republicans offer support, and 66 percent of independents feel the same.

Fifty-five percent of Democrats support the laws, while 43 percent oppose them.

Opposition to the laws is highest among black respondents, but even there a bare majority, 51 percent, support them. Forty-six percent of African Americans oppose the laws.

Voter fraud impacts every voter. If you are an American citizen registered to vote, a fraudulent vote can easily cancel out your vote and rob you of the privilege of voting. Voter fraud benefits no one. Voter identification laws are one weapon against voter fraud. Rather than ‘infringing on your right to vote’ as many left-leaning politicians claim, voter identification laws protect your vote if you are voting legally.

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Something To Consider

Be forewarned–this is going to be a controversial article, but it is definitely something to think about.

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. A website called The Bunker quotes off the record remarks he made at the time:

”These Negroes, they‘re getting pretty uppity these days and that‘s a problem for us since they‘ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we‘ve got to do something about this, we‘ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.” ~Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)

President Lyndon Baines Johnson, And is “Great Society” to help the Negro… was recorded on a White House taped (and saved) conversation claiming, “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

In a January 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal, Walter Williams stated:

Even in the antebellum era, when slaves often weren’t permitted to wed, most black children lived with a biological mother and father. During Reconstruction and up until the 1940s, 75% to 85% of black children lived in two-parent families. Today, more than 70% of black children are born to single women. “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do,” Mr. Williams says. “And that is to destroy the black family.”

Cliven Bundy recently stated (as reported by CNN):

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” Bundy said, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids – and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch – they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” Bundy continued. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Mr. Bundy has been accused of racism on the basis of that statement. My question is simple, “Is that statement racist, or is that statement honest?”

 

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A Caution To Conservatives

William F. Buckley is said to have stated that Conservatives should ‘support the most viable conservative candidate.’ That’s a very important statement.

The exact quote:

“The wisest choice would be the one who would win. No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest. I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.”
-William F. Buckley Jr.

Right now there are two parties in Washington–the first is composed of the Democrats and the establishment Republicans, and the second is composed of the conservatives who have been elected since 2010. The 2014 mid-terms are important. They will determine whether the Democrats and establishment Republicans continue their tax and spend ways or if fiscal sanity makes an appearance.

Many Republican candidates who have been in office for a while are being challenged for the first time in primary campaigns by more conservative candidates. There is nothing wrong with the fact that establishment candidates are being challenged, but I have a word of caution.

In a world of instant news, cell phones that record and take pictures, twitter and facebook, candidates need to be more disciplined than they ever have been. Because the opposition is more than willing to take any comment out of context and twist words, candidates need to adhere to a specific group of lukewarm comments in order to get elected. I am not suggesting that candidates lie or misrepresent themselves, but I am saying that discipline on the part of the candidates will be crucial to this election.

Primary elections are important. You can judge a candidate by the way he runs his primary campaign–does he speak without thinking, does he make statements that cause him to have to  backtrack, is he respectful of the people who come out to hear him and eventually support him?

My advice to conservatives is simple–make sure your candidates are ready for prime time. Otherwise, you will be wasting money and time and accomplishing nothing.

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Candidates Forum In New Bern

Last Night I attended the Candidate Forum at the Stanly Hall Ballroom in New Bern, North Carolina. The forum was sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association. The candidates attending included Republicans and Democrats running for office at various levels of government including the U. S. Senate the U. S. House of Representatives, the North Carolina Senate, the North Carolina House of Representatives, and various other state and county offices. It was a very informative night, and I encourage you if you live in an area that does candidate forums, to attend one–they are worth attending. On May 6th North Carolina voters will go to the polls to vote in a primary election. Many of the candidates for office have primary challenges. Be an informed voter.

It would take forever to detail what each candidate said, so I am going to simply list general impressions of a few candidates who stood out.

Greg Brannon is impressive. His off-the-cuff knowledge of the U.S. Constitution is inspiring. He is definitely ready for prime time. His answers to questions were clear and concise, and there was nothing he had to backtrack on as the questions continued. It was also interesting to see that some of the other candidates deferred to him on Constitutional questions. There were a number of candidates who made statements during the question and answer period that they had to backtrack on. I suspect they will be working on this before the election.

I was also impressed by Norm Sanderson and Michael Speciale. Norm Sanderson is serving is freshman term in the North Carolina Senate, and Michael Speciale is serving his freshman term in the North Carolina House. Both men had clear ideas on what needs to be done in North Carolina and clear plans for instituting those ideas.

I was also impressed by George Liner, running for Craven County Board of Commissioners. When asked a question about the Craven County tall structures laws and how they would protect people and property values from a wind farm, he was already aware of the potential problems that would arise. He seemed well prepared to hold the office if he is elected.

All of the candidates had an opportunity to state their reasons for running and their positions on various subjects. It was a very informative evening. As a new resident of this area, I learned a lot at the forum. It was very helpful to me to see the candidates and hear what they considered the major issues facing the state and local communities.

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The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost

Even though the November election is seven months away, this is the election season. One of the goals of the Democrat party during this season is to convince Americans that ObamaCare is a good thing and that we like it. So far that effort is not going particularly well. Based on some numbers posted by Forbes Magazine, it is about to get worse.

Yesterday Forbes Magazine posted an article with the following headline:

Health Plan Premiums Are Skyrocketing According To New Survey Of 148 Insurance Brokers, With Delaware Up 100%, California 53%, Florida 37%, Pennsylvania 28%

Democrats may be okay with those numbers, but to a lot of Americans, those numbers represent one more broken promise in ObamaCare.

The article reports:

Health insurance premiums are showing the sharpest increases perhaps ever according to a survey of brokers who sell coverage in the individual and small group market. Morgan Stanley’s healthcare analysts conducted the proprietary survey of 148 brokers. The April survey shows the largest acceleration in small and individual group rates in any of the 12 prior quarterly periods when it has been conducted.

The average increases are in excess of 11% in the small group market and 12% in the individual market. Some state show increases 10 to 50 times that amount. The analysts conclude that the “increases are largely due to changes under the ACA.”

Not only has ObamaCare wrecked the American healthcare system, it has spent massive amounts of money to do so and has placed enormous financial burdens on Americans trying to purchase the required healthcare. It is truly time for ObamaCare to go away.

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When Cuts Aren’t Cuts

The CATO Institute posted an article yesterday about Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal.

The article included this chart which tracks spending in the coming years under Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget:

The chart below compares Paul Ryan’s budget against the CBO projections of the federal budget:

Notice that there are no actual spending cuts in Paul Ryan’s budget–it simply represents a slower rate of growth.

The article reports:

Chairman Ryan’s budget would spend $42.6 trillion over the next ten years. Opponents will say that Ryan’s budget slashes federal spending, while supporters will say that it includes large budgetary savings. The reality is that Ryan’s budget would increase spending at an annual average rate of 3.5 percent, or from $3.54 trillion in 2014 to $5.0 trillion in 2024. Only in Washington would that be considered substantial restraint, let alone slashing.

Until we change the culture of Washington, we can expect to see Congress drive America into bankruptcy. If you want to see change, you need to change the people you vote for. Continually voting for the people who keep spending high will not result in lower spending.  Most of the establishment Republicans (as well as the Democrats) have forgotten their promises to cut spending. Those Republicans need to be replaced by people who will remember their promises.

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Where Does Your Tax Money Go

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article showing some of the details of President Obama’s proposed budget.

The article includes the following chart:

This chart illustrates the fact that 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals.

The article reports:

In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others. These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high. In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP.

…Where do these checks go? The biggest chunk, 38.6%, goes to pay health bills, either through Medicare, Medicaid or ObamaCare. A third goes out in the form of Social Security checks. Only 21% goes toward poverty programs — or “income security” as it’s labeled in the budget — and a mere 5% ends up in the hands of veterans.

The fact that so much of the federal spending is going toward direct payments makes it very difficult to cut the budget. Rather than cut these payments, the government is forced to cut programs it is actually constitutionally required to fund, such as defense.

The bottom line here is simple. We need to elect fiscal conservatives to Congress. We have reached the point where Democrats and establishment Republicans are no longer fighting over cutting spending–they are simply fighting over who will control the out-of-control spending. It is time for a change. It is also time to understand that Democrats and establishment Republicans will be working against that change.

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Things That Happen In An Election Year

Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that seven Senate Democrats voted with the Republicans to block the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Adegbile voluntarily took up the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, after Black Panther member Abu-Jamal was convicted of the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.

The article reminds us that these votes were not about principle, they are about politics:

A senior aide to one of the senators who voted against the nominee said several senators’ offices were “very angry” at the White House for moving ahead with the nomination even though it could leave Democrats who are facing tough reelection races vulnerable to attack ads.

…Reid had spoken in defense of Adegbile and initially voted in favor but later switched his vote to no, making him the eighth Democrat to vote against the nominee. But Reid did so only to reserve his right as Senate leader to bring up the nomination again. Later Wednesday, aides couldn’t say whether that will happen.

Under President Obama, the Justice Department has become very politicized. Had the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile been allowed to proceed, the Justice Department would have become even more political. In the beginning of the Obama Administration, the direction of the Justice Department became clear when the New Black Panthers were not prosecuted for voter intimidation. In the past, the Justice Department has not been a political arm of the President’s political party. Hopefully, when we are free of the Obama Administration in 2016, the Justice Department will go back to being an impartial judge of the laws of America. We can probably expect the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to appear again after the 2014 mid-term elections.

 

 

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Pictures vs. Words

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article quoting a leak to the Washington Post on President Obama’s proposed budget. The Washington Post reported: “With 2015 budget request, Obama will call for an end to era of austerity:”

It has always been my belief that a picture is worth a thousand words. From Yahoo.com:

federalspending

Where is the austerity?

However, there is more to the problem.

John Hinderaker reminds us:

But wait! Democrats and Republicans agreed on discretionary spending levels that supposedly were binding for a decade to come in the Budget Control Act, which included the sequester. Just a few months ago, the Ryan-Murray compromise modified the sequester and increased discretionary spending. That bipartisan agreement was supposed to put spending debates to rest for at least the next couple of years. Now, apparently, the Obama administration intends to throw all prior agreements into the trash can, and demand still higher spending.

This illustrates a point that I have made over and over: all budget agreements that purport to achieve savings over a long period of time, usually a decade, are a farce. The savings always come in the “out years,” but the out years never arrive. Once you get past the current fiscal year, budget agreements are not worth the paper they are printed on. For Republicans to agree to more spending today in exchange for hypothetical cuts in later years is folly–those cuts will never come.

Leadership in both political parties do not desire to cut federal spending. Their debate is only over which party will control the massive spending. That is why it is imperative that we change the establishment leadership of the Republican party. The Republicans used to be the party of small government, there is hope that they can be again. The Democrats have always supported big government. The only solution to this problem is new leadership in the Republican party.

 

 

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More IRS Abuses Are Coming To Light

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article about the IRS targeting conservative groups for audits. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has stated that the committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits. That is not a surprise when you consider the harassment that donors to conservative causes underwent during the run-up to the 2012 election. As I have previously mentioned, my husband and I were audited for the first time in 45 years. The auditors found nothing, but it took them almost a year to find nothing.

The Democrats in Congress are currently attempting to pass laws that would severely limit the free speech of conservative organizations. Under the new guidelines the Democrats are seeking, the voter guides showing the voting records of candidates would be considered unlawful political activity by organizations that have traditionally distributed them.

The article includes the current spin the Democrats are using to attempt to hide what they are doing and what they have done:

“Instead of this prestigious committee using its broad jurisdiction to address critical issues that confront us, it has been consumed by a tireless effort by Republicans to find political scandal, regardless of what the truth holds, as they look toward the November election,” said Rep. Sander Levin (D., Mich.).

He also chided Republicans for seeking to delay the regulations, noting that “what really remains hidden are donors to groups pouring millions of dollars into campaign advertising.”

The new IRS regulations proposed by the Democrats are a threat to free speech. If they are enacted, most Americans will only hear one side of any political issue.

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We Have A New Crime

Yesterday the Washington Post posted an article about President Obama’s latest “I have a pen and a phone” moment. The President changed the provisions of ObamaCare so that employers with between 50 to 99 employees who don’t already offer health insurance to their employees have until 2016 to comply with the shifting Obamacare requirements. (Notice that this is after the 2014 mid-term elections.) However, there is a caveat on this exemption for businesses with less than 100 employees.

The article reports:

And the fine print of the latest announcement from the Administration is worse than the terrible headlines. This rule includes a provision that says you have to have the right motives for having a certain number of employees to be in compliance with Obamacare. Bear with me, that’s right: You must certify to the IRS – under the threat of perjury – that the reasons for your employee head count have nothing to do with your opposition to or avoidance of Obamacare. This president doesn’t just selectively enforce the law as he sees fit; now he is actually inventing new crimes.  It’s jaw-dropping that if you fall below 100 employees, the burden will be on you to prove that you meant no disrespect to Obamacare.  I can’t wait to see the video of the first Democrat who tries to defend this new threat of prosecution within Obamacare.  In fact, look for the White House to fix this and somehow drop this provision altogether.  It’s completely indefensible.

I disagree with the idea that this provision will be dropped. President Obama has done so much that is indefensible at this point, his making up a new crime as he goes along will probably not get a lot of attention. I suspect most companies who had slightly over 100 employees have already cut their workforce below 100 to avoid the worst of ObamaCare.

Until someone has the gumption (there are a number of other words I could have used, but this blog is rated G) to stand up to President Obama and say that what he is doing is unconstitutional, we will probably continue down this road.

The article concludes:

On the one hand, Republicans are blasted for wanting to repeal Obamacare, and the Democrats and their allies routinely remind us it’s the so-called “law of the land.”  But the president can amend the law, ignore the law and now even create new ways to prosecute you if you try to avoid its burdens, and the Democrats all fall in line.

In politics, one of the worst things you can do is to deny the obvious and defend the indefensible.  Well, the president is putting the Democratic party in the unenviable position of trying to do exactly that.  If it were nine days instead of nine months before the next election, maybe they could pull it off.  But Obamacare is failing in its original purpose of providing insurance for the uninsured, it unnecessarily burdens American families and businesses, and now the White House has opened the door to prosecuting those they deem to be insufficiently committed to Obamacare. When will the nightmare end?

Because I am on Medicare, I don’t have to deal directly with ObamaCare (other than the money it has taken away from Medicare and the Death Panels, which are real), but I pity anyone who runs a business or needs health insurance. ObamaCare is probably the worst mess I have ever seen the government come up with, and there have been a few.

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There Really Is A Plan B

Today’s Weekly Standard posted an article by Bill Kristol and Jeffrey Anderson about the 2017 Project. The 2017 Project has developed an alternative heath care proposal to ObamaCare.

The article explains:

It would solve the three core problems that called out for real reform even before the Democrats passed Obamacare: getting more people insured; dealing with the problem of preexisting conditions; and lowering costs. In providing politically attractive and substantively sound solutions to these three core concerns, it would justify bringing an end to Obamacare, and thus would pave the way for full repeal.

Just as important as what our proposal would do is what it wouldn’t do.  It wouldn’t force anyone to buy insurance. It wouldn’t auto-enroll anyone in any plan. It wouldn’t reduce the tax break for employer-based insurance (aside from closing the tax loophole at the high end). It wouldn’t cost anywhere near the $2 trillion over a decade that Obamacare would cost. It wouldn’t undermine religious liberty. It would allow Americans to keep their current plan if they like it.

It would be wonderful to have a plan that provided health insurance for every American without spending $2 trillion over ten years. It would also be nice to let Americans make their own decisions about what health insurance they need and what health insurance they don’t need.

More information on the alternate proposal to ObamaCare can be found at 2017Project.com. Please follow the link to see the details.

 

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A Vote That Needs To Happen

On Friday, the Military Times reported that this week the Senate will consider the repeal of the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) reductions included in the recent omnibus budget bill.

The article reports:

Majority leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has fast-tracked a bill drafted by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., setting a procedural vote for Monday that paves the way for a vote by mid-week.

The legislation, S 1963, would repeal the portion of the Bipartisan Budget Act that will reduce annual COLA increases by 1 percentage point for “working age” retirees, starting in late 2015.

The Senate Armed Services Committee had scheduled a hearing to consider Pryor’s bill the same evening; that markup has been canceled and the full Senate instead will vote on whether to debate the bill.

Previous attempts at repeal have been unsuccessful–blocked by Senator Harry Reid. It is interesting to me that Senator Mark Pryor is sponsoring the bill that Senator Reid is finally willing to consider. Senator Pryor is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents facing re-election in 2014. He voted for  ObamaCare and has generally supported President Obama’s policies. Recently he has attempted to distance himself from those policies.  He is being challenged for his seat by freshman Republican Representative Tom Cotton. The Democrats do not want to lose that seat, and having Senator Pryor sponsor this bill is one way to make him look good.

The article reports:

Numerous lawmakers have offered other proposals to offset the loss of savings. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., has proposed closing a tax loophole that allows undocumented workers to receive tax credits for their children.

As part of a broad, $30 billion veterans’ bill, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., proposed to pay for repealing the COLA caps by using wartime contingency funding.

Other legislators, both in the House and Senate, have introduced bills that would offset the cost of repeal by tightening regulations on U.S. companies that shelter funds in foreign tax havens; cutting Saturday postal service; blocking foreign aid to Egypt or Pakistan; and consolidating the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments’ prescription drug purchasing programs.

It will be interesting to see if the COLA caps are repealed and how that repeal is paid for. The COLA caps were the only cut in the omnibus spending bill. If they go away, Congress will have again succeeded in passing a budget without any actual budget cuts. This is what Democrats and establishment Republicans do. We need to vote all of them out of office.

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This Is The Vote On The Omnibus Spending Bill

Taken from The Blaze:

Please remember this vote during the coming election. The people who voted yes voted to increase the budget in every area except one–they cut the retirement benefits of our military.

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Misplaced Priorities

In an article posted yesterday about the omnibus spending bill currently making its way through Congress, John Hinderaker at Power Line concluded:

One wonders, too: why do the Democrats even bother to screw veterans when the dollars involved are such small potatoes? Certainly not because they suddenly had a twinge of fiscal conscience. I think there is only one plausible explanation. The Democrats’ desire to stick it to veterans is much like their insistence on using Obamacare to force religious institutions to violate their beliefs. It is totally unnecessary; in practical terms, there is hardly anything in it for the Democrats. But in both cases, it is the principle that matters: the Democrats want to rub the noses of religious people and veterans in the fact that the Left is in the saddle. It is a raw exercise of power, of the sort that tyrants of all eras would appreciate. Not just opposition, but potential opposition must be stamped out.

So I understand why Democrats would vote for a bill they haven’t read, which cuts nothing except long-promised veterans’ benefits. But–I repeat–why on Earth would any Republican vote for it?

The Heritage Foundation posted a list of some of the pork-barrel spending in the bill on Monday. Included in the list are such things as:

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants, a program which should instead have been discontinued. DERA grants have been used to pay for new or retrofitted tractors and cherry pickers in Utah ($750,000), electrified parking spaces at a Delaware truck stop ($1 million), a new engine and generators for a 1950s locomotive in Pennsylvania ($1.2 million), school buses in San Diego County ($1.6 million), and new equipment engines for farmers in the San Joaquin Valley ($1.6 million).

This programs allows federal tax payers in some states to pay for pet projects in other states, rather than having private industry, local governments or state governments pay for these projects. Massachusetts took advantage of this idea years ago when the rest of the country paid for the Big Dig.

The omnibus continues to entangle taxpayer funding with an organization that reportedly has ties to China’s coercive family planning regime. The bill appropriates $35 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Despite continued assertions that UNFPA has been involved in China’s coercive one-child policy, the U.S. government persists in sending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to an organization allegedly complicit in forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. Congress should eliminate all U.S. contributions to UNFPA as long as the organization persists in working with the Chinese family planning administration.

…By continuing to fund implementation of Obamacare, the omnibus bill would continue to entangle taxpayer dollars in abortion coverage. Taxpayers will foot the bill for federal subsidies for the purchase of health plans on the Obamacare exchanges that went live online Oct. 1, and some of those plans could cover elective abortion. This flood of new funding could significantly increase the number of abortions covered by taxpayer-subsidized plans.

…Instead of cutting transportation spending in the FY 2014 omnibus, lawmakers have doubled down on spending on federal programs—many of which are outdated, duplicative, or outside of the federal government’s responsibility. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants are one such program, and lawmakers have awarded it whopping $600 million—up $125 million from FY 2013. Begun in the 2009 stimulus bill to generate economic recovery, this grant program has been reincarnated in fiscal years 2010 through 2013, for a total of five rounds grants. This even though President Obama said, “The private sector is doing fine,” in June 2012 (about when $500 million in FY12 TIGER grants were announced) and continues to assert that the economy is doing well.

The article at Heritage continues with a long list of pork-barrel spending in the omnibus spending bill. Although major spending cuts are needed to the pork-barrel spending, the only spending cuts in the bill are to the retirement benefits of our military. Any member of Congress should be made to understand that if he supports the cuts to military retirement benefits he will be voted out of office.

 

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The Attack Continues

It is becoming very obvious that the Democrats do not want Hillary Clinton to run against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Now Christie is being investigated for his use of hurricane Sandy funds.

CNN is breathlessly reporting today that:

CNN has learned that federal officials are investigating whether Christie improperly used those relief funds to produce tourism ads that starred him and his family.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time for the scandal-plagued Republican, who is facing two probes into whether his staff tied up traffic near the country’s busiest bridge to punish a Democratic mayor who refused to endorse his successful re-election bid.

N.J. Democratic legislator: “I do believe laws have been broken.”

If the Sandy inquiry finds any wrongdoing, it could prove even more damaging to Christie’s national ambitions. His performance during and after the superstorm has been widely praised and is a fundamental part of his straight-shooting political brand.

Make no mistake–this is about 2014 and 2016 elections. How much coverage has CNN given to either the IRS or Benghazi scandals?

If the American people allow the press to continually destroy Republican candidates for office, they may find that they do not like the choices they have on election day. As I have said, I am not a big Christie supporter, but I recognize coordinated attacks on politicians when I see them.

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Please Remember This In November

On Friday the Washington Free Beacon reported that Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a Republican attempt to restore military pensions cut in last month’s budget deal. The Democrats denied a vote on an amendment that would have ended the loophole that allows illegal aliens to obtain millions in tax refunds and restored the cuts to military pensions.

The article reports:

Among them (the Republican Amendments)  was Ayotte’s (Sen. Kelly Ayotte R., N.H.) measure, which would repeal cuts to military pensions by ending a loophole in the tax code that allows illegal immigrants to receive the Additional Child Tax Credit. Her attempt to get a vote failed 42-54, with only one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), voting with Republicans.

“It’s a sad day when a common sense amendment to responsibly pay for legislation that helps struggling Americans, repeals unfair military retirement benefits and reduces the deficit can’t even get a vote in the Senate,” Ayotte said in a statement.

The amendment would have repealed a provision in the budget deal that hits military retirees with a 1 percent decrease in their annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), which could cost servicemembers up to $124,000 in lost retirement pay. Federal civilian retiree pensions were not cut.

The budget agreement also did not exempt disabled military retirees despite early assurances from the House Budget Committee. The cuts will save an estimated $6 billion over 10 years.

There were no cuts made to the pensions of either Congress or civil service employees. Civil servants have unions–the military does not. Cutting military retirement pay is a disgrace.

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Is There Any Part Of This Plan That Will Improve Healthcare?

My husband and I are in the process of moving, which is why posts have been rather erratic lately. In the process of getting everything done, I had a chance to listen to Rush Limbaugh today. He made some very interesting points about ObamaCare. In his comments, Rush Limbaugh mentioned a Forbes article written by Steven Hayward predicting that even if the ObamaCare website is repaired, ObamaCare will be repealed before the 2014 election.

The article states:

Senate Democrats endangered for re-election will lead the charge for repeal perhaps as soon as January, after they get an earful over the Christmas break.  They’ll call it “reform,” and clothe it in calls for delaying the individual mandate and allowing people and businesses to keep their existing health insurance policies.  But it is probably too late to go back in many cases.  With the political damage guaranteed to continue, the momentum toward repeal will be unstoppable.  Democrats will not want to face the voters next November with the albatross of Obamacare.

Rush Limbaugh pointed out some basic facts about this “reform.” He pointed out that if healthy people do not sign up for ObamaCare and pay the higher premiums, there will be no way to pay for healthcare for sick people and the whole system will collapse. The Democrats will probably attempt to solve the problem by offering subsidies to middle class families. America cannot afford to do that–we are already running unsustainable deficits, but the Democrats won’t care about that–they simply will be looking for a way to be re-elected.

Meanwhile, the Western Center for Journalism reported the following:

Lisa Martinson called customer service after she forgot her password. That’s when she was told that three different people were given the password to her account, her address, and her Social Security number. Then she was told it would take up to five days to get her personal information offline.
Please follow the link to the article to watch a short video of her story.
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