Bringing Justice In The Midst Of A Tangled Web

On Wednesday, Forbes posted an article about financier Jeffrey Epstein. Mr. Epstein was charged with sex crimes in Florida and avoided trial with a plea deal that seemed very lenient for the charges involved. He was arrested Saturday in New York City and charged with sex trafficking minors. He is expected to appear in court in New York on Monday.

The article reports:

A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered that 167 documents in a lawsuit that alleges famously well-connected financier Jeffrey Epstein participated in a sex-trafficking ring should be unsealed—and that many of his powerful friends could be named.

  • In its 27-page decision, the court cited the public’s right to access the case information outweighed the privacy of certain individuals, “including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well‐known Prime Minister, and other world leaders.” 
  • Virginia Guiffre (now Roberts) filed the lawsuit against Ghislane Maxwell, alleging that she had used her as part of a sex trafficking network of underage girls to Epstein and a number of his famous friends, including his lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. Both men denied the accusations.
  • Dershowitz has supported unsealing the documents, according to the Daily Beast.
  • The documents will not be immediately available, as anonymous individuals involved in the case have two weeks to file appeals.
  • The court advised the documents be read carefully. “We therefore urge the media to exercise restraint in covering potentially defamatory allegations, and we caution the public to read such accounts with discernment,” wrote the court in its decision.

In January 2015, The U.K. Daily Mail posted some of the flight logs from the “Lolita Express’ (the nickname of Epstein’s airplane that he used to transport people and underage girls to his private island. Please follow the link to the article to read the names. Because of those names, I would be very surprised if the court documents are actually unsealed. Mr. Epstein had connections in high places, which allowed him to avoid the punishment in Florida that an ordinary person would have received. It will be interesting to see if he has those same connections in New York City.

 

We Can Only Hope

KDKA Pittsburg posted an article yesterday about January’s Polar Vortex. The Polar Vortex was a very intense cold snap that began January 26th and lasted until February 1st.

Forbes Magazine reported on February 3rd:

Temperatures in the -20°Fs to -40°Fs were common from North Dakota to Illinois. A possible state record of -38°F was observed at Mount Carroll, Illinois. What was truly remarkable was the wind that accompanied these low temperatures. Many instances of sustained winds over 20 mph with temperatures colder than -20°F were reported. This causes the wind chill to drop dangerously low. For reference, a temperature of -20°F with a sustained wind of 20 mph produces a wind chill of -48°F. This is a good time to note that this analysis exclusively uses the wind chill formula developed in 2001. Based on the 2001 formula, the lowest wind chill reading I can find anywhere in any year at an official station is -73°F at Pembina, ND, in January 1936. Other lower readings probably exist, but that is the lowest I have seen.

KDKA reported:

A Virginia Tech research experiment shows that the Polar Vortex may have killed as many as 95 percent of stink bugs that hadn’t found warm shelter during the winter months.

The National Pest Management Association also says that the Emerald ash borer and southern pine beetles also likely dind’t survive the polar plunge.

Unfortunately that doesn’t mean all annoying insects were killed off in big numbers due to the frigid temperatures.

Researchers say cockroaches, and bed bugs will not be affected. Even if the adults freeze, they have already laid eggs which will hatch when the warmer weather gets here.

You may not see mosquitoes and termites this time of year, but that doesn’t mean the cold temperatures killed them off.

At least there should be some benefit to the incredibly cold weather we suffered through last month.

A Relevant Political Strategy?

Every Friday I have a brief conversation with Lockwood Phillips that airs on 107.1 WTKF some time between 6 and 7 pm. This week we talked about the Cloward-Piven political strategy. This strategy was developed by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven at Columbia University in May 1966. A description of the strategy was posted in the magazine “The Nation” with the title, “The weight of the poor: A strategy to end poverty.” I think ending poverty is a wonderful idea, although I don’t think it is possible. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” If you believe the Bible, we will always have poor people; it is our responsibility to treat them kindly and help them–not enable them to stay in poverty.

So what is the Cloward-Piven strategy to end poverty? It is a political plan to overload the U.S. public welfare system so that it collapses and then replace it with a system that provides a guaranteed annual income for everyone. Theoretically this will end poverty. Some of the people who have espoused this strategy are Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, and George Soros. Many of these people were very instrumental in the political career of former President Barack Obama.

So let’s look at where our welfare system is now (the figures below are from 2015):

  • Roughly $1 trillion annually is given to more than 107 million Americans who receive some type of government benefits–not including Social Security, Medicare or unemployment
  • Before President Obama took office there were 26 million recipients of food stamps. In 2015, there were 47 million. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million. In July 2017, the number was 42.6. Economic policies make a difference.

In 2012, Forbes posted the following about President Obama’s welfare society:

  • An increase of 18 million people, to 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps;
  • A 122 percent increase in food-stamp spending to an estimated $89 billion this year from $40 billion in 2008;
  • An increase of 3.6 million people receiving Social Security disability payments;
  • A 10 million person increase in the number of individuals receiving welfare, to 107 million, or more than one-third of the U.S. population;
  •  A 34 percent, $683 billion reduction in the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2009 (latest data) from its 2007 peak.

And let’s not forget new entitlements like Obamacare, which will result in government expansion and expenditures by 2022 to the tune of:

  • Federal expenditures on Obamacare will total $2.3 trillion, a $1.4 trillion increase from the program’s initial estimates;
  • The combination of budget cuts and sequestration will reduce defense spending by $1 trillion, while total government spending will increase by $1.1 trillion;
  • Taxes will be increased by $1.8 trillion;
  • Yet, the national debt will increase by another $11 trillion.

The Heritage Foundation summarized well: “In 1964, programs for the poor consumed 1.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Today, spending on welfare programs is 13 times greater than it was in 1964 and consumes over 5 percent of GDP. Spending per poor person in 2008 amounted to around $16,800 in programmatic benefits.”

How will illegal immigration impact these numbers? What is the current financial situation of California? Do we want the financial situation in California to become the financial situation of America?

There are people in our government working behind the scenes to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy. The honestly believe that taking money from the people who earn it and giving it to the people who did not will end poverty. Most of the people working toward this goal are quite well off and somehow figure that their wealth will not be impacted. I guess if they succeed and are in control, it is possible that their wealth will not be impacted. Good luck to the rest of us.

 

An Article From September That I Missed

Reason posted an article in September with the following title, “New Research Confirms We Got Cholesterol All Wrong.”

The article reports:

A comprehensive new study on cholesterol, based on results from more than a million patients, could help upend decades of government advice about diet, nutrition, health, prevention, and medication. Just don’t hold your breath.

The study, published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, centers on statins, a class of drugs used to lower levels of LDL-C, the so-called “bad” cholesterol, in the human body. According to the study, statins are pointless for most people.

“No evidence exists to prove that having high levels of bad cholesterol causes heart disease, leading physicians have claimed” in the study, reports the Daily Mail. The Express likewise says the new study finds “no evidence that high levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol cause heart disease.”

The study also reports that “heart attack patients were shown to have lower than normal cholesterol levels of LDL-C” and that older people with higher levels of bad cholesterol tend to live longer than those with lower levels.

It is estimated that 11 million Americans take statins to lower their cholesterol. A Forbes article from 2008 states that ” 25 million more should be on them (statins).”

The article at Reason concludes:

What’s more, if bad cholesterol isn’t so bad, then the benefits of so-called good cholesterol are also under assault. Recently, *HDL, the so-called “good” cholesterol, was itself deemed suspect in some cases.

Dietary fat also appears not to be the danger the government says it is. Another new study, reported on by Ron Bailey this week, suggests, as he writes, that the federal government’s warnings to avoid dairy products that are high in fat “is bunk.”

I’m not a nutritionist. I don’t know if the science on cholesterol is settled. But the federal government has warned us for decades about cholesterol in our bodies and in our food. The fact those warnings are now changing means the government has, despite what I’m sure are the good intentions of everyone involved, been handing out poor dietary advice and developing regulations that reflect that poor advice.

I’m one of many who has called out the DGAC and the federal government for foisting “decades of confusing and often-contradictory dietary advice” upon the American public. I also suggested, in a column last year, that one way the government might back up its claims to possess invaluable and unparalleled expertise in the areas of food policy and nutrition would be stop regularly reversing or altering its recommendations.

“The reason that we don’t know about these huge reversals in dietary advice is that the nutrition establishment is apparently loathe to make public their major reversals in policy,” Teicholz says. “The low-fat diet is another example: neither the AHA or the dietary guidelines recommend a low-fat diet anymore. But they have yet to announce this to the American public. And some in the establishment are still fighting to retain the low-fat status quo.”

I am not your doctor, nor your nutritionist. I have no idea what you should eat. Maybe the government should adopt that mantra, too.

We really don’t know as much about our bodies as we think we do.

The Old Guard Versus The New Left

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the Democrats’ summer meeting next week in Chicago. It seems that not everyone is happy with the role the superdelegates played in the 2016 Democrat primary election.

The article reports:

The battle is over a proposal that would reduce the power of superdelegates ahead of 2020. Superdelegates are Democratic leaders who are able to vote for their preferred candidate at the convention, even if that candidate lost the primary or caucus in the delegate’s state.

Subcommittees within the larger Democratic National Committee have advanced the measure over the last year, tweaking it along the way to go even further than previously recommended. The current proposal has the support of both delegates who supported Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

…The original proposal was drafted by the Unity Reform Commission, created in the aftermath of the 2016 election to unite the Sanders and Clinton delegates who came to blows during the primary. The commission also proposed measure to provide DNC budget transparency and crack down on conflicts of interest, but those measures have been pushed to the side.

The meeting next week is expected to be contentious as an opposition wing has formed against the superdelegates measure. In the final days, members have been whipping each other to rally behind weakening the influence of superdelegates.

Reforming parts of the nominating process have been critical ahead of 2020 to heal divisions among factions of the party. Democrats expect a large number of candidates to jump into the 2020 contest, and are hoping that changes to the nominating process will prevent another gruesome primary.

The following is from Wikipedia:

The rules implemented by the McGovern-Fraser Commission shifted the balance of power to primary elections and caucuses, mandating that all delegates be chosen via mechanisms open to all party members.[15] As a result of this change the number of primaries more than doubled over the next three presidential election cycles, from 17 in 1968 to 35 in 1980.[15] Despite the radically increased level of primary participation, with 32 million voters taking part in the selection process by 1980, the Democrats proved largely unsuccessful at the ballot box, with the 1972 presidential campaign of McGovern and the 1980 re-election campaign of Jimmy Carter resulting in landslide defeats.[15] Democratic Party affiliation skidded from 41 percent of the electorate at the time of the McGovern-Fraser Commission report to just 31 percent in the aftermath of the 1980 electoral debacle.[15]

Further soul-searching took place among party leaders, who argued that the pendulum had swung too far in the direction of primary elections over insider decision-making, with one May 1981 California white paper declaring that the Democratic Party had “lost its leadership, collective vision and ties with the past,” resulting in the nomination of unelectable candidates.[16] A new 70-member commission headed by Governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt was appointed to further refine the Democratic Party’s nomination process, attempting to balance the wishes of rank-and-file Democrats with the collective wisdom of party leaders and to thereby avoid the nomination of insurgent candidates exemplified by the liberal McGovern or the anti-Washington conservative Carter and lessening the potential influence of single-issue politics in the selection process.[16]

Following a series of meetings held from August 1981 to February 1982, the Hunt Commission issued a report which recommended the set aside of unelected and unpledged delegate slots for Democratic members of Congress and for state party chairs and vice chairs (so-called “superdelegates”).[16] With the original Hunt plan, superdelegates were to represent 30% of all delegates to the national convention, but when it was finally implemented by the Democratic National Committee for the 1984 election, the number of superdelegates was set at 14%.[17] Over time this percentage has gradually increased, until by 2008 the percentage stood at approximately 20% of total delegates to the Democratic Party nominating convention.[18]

The superdelegates were put in place to prevent the Democrats from nominating a candidate too far out of the mainstream (as exemplified by George McGovern). (For an interesting article on George McGovern and what he learned when he opened a bed and breakfast in Connecticut, click here). Let’s be honest–the establishment of both parties likes to be in control. Superdelegates help maintain that control. Unfortunately the superdelegates for the Democrats in 2016 worked against their success–Hillary Clinton was simply not a popular candidate, and she also had the right-direction, wrong-track poll working against her (here).

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this convention is. I don’t expect the mainstream media to report it, but I will go looking for it.

Something Your History Teachers Might Not Have Mentioned

In 2012, Forbes Magazine ran an article titled, “How A Failed Commune Gave Us What Is Now Thanksgiving.” The article reminds us that America was settled by Pilgrims who sincerely believed that community ownership and total sharing were the way to prosper in the New World. Unfortunately, their idealism almost caused the loss of their colony.

The article reports:

As I’ve outlined in greater detail here before (Lessons From a Capitalist Thanksgiving), the original colony had written into its charter a system of communal property and labor. As William Bradford recorded in his Of Plymouth Plantation, a people who had formerly been known for their virtue and hard work became lazy and unproductive. Resources were squandered, vegetables were allowed to rot on the ground and mass starvation was the result. And where there is starvation, there is plague. After 2 1/2 years, the leaders of the colony decided to abandon their socialist mandate and create a system which honored private property. The colony survived and thrived and the abundance which resulted was what was celebrated at that iconic Thanksgiving feast.

After watching the success of Bernie Sanders as a Socialist candidate for President, I wonder if our children are being taught this.

The article concludes:

History is the story of the limitations of human power. But the limits of power is a topic for people who doubt themselves and their right to rule, not the self-anointed.

That’s how it is now, and that’s how it was in 1620. The charter of the Plymouth Colony reflected the most up-to-date economic, philosophical and religious thinking of the early 17th century. Plato was in vogue then, and Plato believed in central planning by intellectuals in the context of communal property, centralized state education, state centralized cultural offerings and communal family structure. For Plato, it literally did take a village to raise a child. This collectivist impulse reflected itself in various heretical offshoots of Protestant Christianity with names like The True Levelers, and the Diggers, mass movements of people who believed that property and income distinctions should be eliminated, that the wealthy should have their property expropriated and given to what we now call the 99%. This kind of thinking was rife in the 1600s and is perhaps why the Pilgrim settlers settled for a charter which did not create a private property system.

But the Pilgrims learned and prospered. And what they learned, we have forgotten and we fade.  Now, new waves of ignorant masses flood into parks and public squares. New Platonists demand control of other people’s property. New True Levelers legally occupy the prestige pulpits of our nation, secular and sacred. And now, as then, the productive class of our now gigantic, colony-turned-superpower, learn and teach again, the painful lessons of history. Collectivism violates the iron laws of human nature. It has always failed. It is always failing, and it will always fail. I thank God that it is failing now. Providence is teaching us once again.

This is one example of the reason we need to pay attention to what our children are learning about American history in our schools.

How Crony Capitalism In North Carolina Impacts Medical Costs To Patients

I am a member of an organization called the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The CCTA is essentially a watchdog organization that supports the U.S. Constitution and the concept of free markets. One of the things that has come across the radar of the CCTA lately is the requirement for a Certificate of Need (CON) to build a heath care facility in North Carolina. The bureaucracy surrounding the requirement for a CON prevents competition, innovation, and results in high health care costs for North Carolina residents.

Forbes Magazine posted an article on this subject in December 2014.

The article reported:

Under the existing statute, medical providers often times must ask permission from “The SHCC,” the governor-appointed State Health Coordinating Council, to build or expand an existing health care facility, offer new services, or update major medical equipment. For more on the history and flawed reasoning behind CON laws, see my previous post on the issue here.

The article also reported the state legislature’s desire to change the status quo:

As 2015 approaches, North Carolina legislators have plans to disrupt the health care status quo. Reforming the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) law will hopefully ignite some competition within the health care sector and help to reduce costs for patients.

Approval for another ambulatory surgery center (ASC), a gamma knife, or even a hospital bed is determined in part by a data-driven formula that produces the annual state Medical Facilities Plan, a 450-page inventory that accounts for all types of health care settings and services delivered across the state. North Carolina has one of the most micromanaged CON programs in the country. The SHCC regulates over 25 services, and it can take years for new and established health facilities to break ground. My colleague, economist Dr. Roy Cordato, compares the entire CON with Chinese restaurants:

The commission might have a formula that would look at data regarding how many Chinese restaurants exist per 100,000 or 50,000 or 25,000 in population; how many of those are strictly take-out restaurants and how many are eat-in or ‘sit-down’ restaurants…if it is determined that the community does ‘need’ one more Chinese restaurant…it may not be able to offer take-out service if there are already ‘enough’ take-out restaurants in the area.

The methodology behind the State Medical Facilities Plan may have good intentions, such as preventing underused facilities and incentivize better health care access in underserved areas, but unhealthy limits on competition lets incumbent providers inflate health care costs.

The free market works. Competition lowers prices and promotes innovation. I hope that the North Carolina legislature will follow through on its desire to do away with the Certificate of Need. The Certificate of Need is another example of government interference in the free market that hurts the consumer.

A Hidden Cost Of ObamaCare

On Monday, Forbes Magazine reported on a little-known aspect of the ObamaCare law.

The article reports:

Want to know what’s happening with Obamacare? Good luck finding out. The White House recently adopted a new approach for updating Americans on the country’s most consequential law. I call it the “needle in a haystack” method: Bury the announcement in hundreds of pages of regulations and hope no one finds it.

The White House tried a test run several weeks ago. Hidden in the midst of a 436 page regulatory update, and written in pure bureaucratese, the Department of Health and Human Services asked that insurance companies limit the looming premium increases for 2015 health plans. But don’t worry, HHS hinted: we’ll bail you out on the taxpayer’s dime if you lose money.

Crony capitalism, anyone? But it’s more than crony capitalism–the White House wants to keep insurance premiums down because the health insurance rates will be released before the mid-term elections.

The article concludes:

These may not be the only examples where the administration has lawlessly rewritten Obamacare without letting the American people know. The law created at least 11,000 pages of new regulation, with more added every day. The White House got caught this time—but they’ll have plenty of other chances to hide the truth.

It’s up to the voters to inform themselves and act accordingly.

The Revised Numbers Tell A Different Story

On Friday the Washington Times posted a story about the Obama economy. As I am sure you remember, when the government announced that the economy had grown 3.2 percent in the last months of 2013, economists announced that America was well on its way to prosperity. Well, not so fast.

The article reports:

However, according to a revised estimate released Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, that 3.2 percent figure was a wild exaggeration.

The U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of our country’s entire economic output, grew no more than 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter — a pitifully low growth rate for the largest economy in the world.

“Averaged across the four quarters of last year, real GDP added 1.9 percent in 2013 from 2012,” said Forbes’ website reported.

So what happened? Part of the reason for the lack of growth is that personal income has not grown for several months, putting a damper on consumer demand. Also, 2013 brought higher taxes to all income levels–some hidden taxes included in ObamaCare like the medical devices tax. High earners also faced increased capital gains taxes, which slowed risk taking and job growth. In February, contracts to buy new homes fell for the eighth month in a row.

Unless something happens to cause President Obama to change his policies, we will have three more years of a non-recovery recovery., If you are not happy with the direction the country is moving in, you need to voice your opinion at the ballot box in November. A Republican Senate may be able to reverse enough of this to get the economy moving.

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Are We Rapidly Losing The Constitution?

On Saturday Forbes Magazine posted an article titled, “Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss.”

Because of what has happened with Americans having their health insurance cancelled and not being able to enroll in ObamaCare because of website screw-ups and other glitches, the Obama Administration is attempted to force health insurance companies to hand out free health care—at a loss—to those whom the White House has rendered uninsured.

The article reports:

On Wednesday afternoon, health policy reporters found in their inboxes a friendly e-mail from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announcing “steps to ensure Americans signing up through the Marketplace have coverage and access to the care they need on January 1.” Basically, the “steps” involve muscling insurers to provide free or discounted care to those who have become uninsured because of the problems with healthcare.gov.

…“What’s wrong with ‘urging’ insurers to offer free care?” you might ask. “That’s not the same as forcing them to offer free care.” Except that the government is using the full force of its regulatory powers, under Obamacare, to threaten insurers if they don’t comply. All you have to do is read the menacing language in the new regulations that HHS published this week, in which HHS says it may throw otherwise qualified health plans off of the exchanges next year if they don’t comply with the government’s “requests.”

What we have here is an out-of-control administration that learned politics in Chicago. Until someone in Congress or the private sector has the intestinal fortitude to stand up to this thuggery, it will continue. Meanwhile, ObamaCare gets a little worse every day.

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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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Greedy Governments Profit From The Success Of People They Actually Have No Connection To

Over taxation is a worldwide problem. It seems as if anytime anyone does something extremely well and reaps a large financial reward, the vultures start circling.

One of the more recent examples of the vultures circling was reported in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. The article reported on the recent golfing victories of Phil Mickelson. Phil Mickelson earned more than $2.16 million in just two weeks.

The article reports:

According to Forbes, Mickelson has been subjected to the United Kingdom’s 45 percent tax rate for those who make more than £150,000 a year. In addition, the magazine reports, he will be taxed on a portion of the endorsement income he earned during his time in Scotland.

While Mickelson can take a foreign tax credit to avoid being taxed again by the U.S. government, he still has to pay self-employment taxes, the new Medicare surtax, and hand over 13.3 percent of his wages to the state of California, which does not have a foreign tax credit, Forbes reported.

To put it simply, Phil Mickelson gets to take home 39 per cent of what he earned. Out of 2.16 million, it is estimated that he will take home $842,700. I don’t care how much you are into class envy, that seems a little unfair. He earned it, why should everyone else reap the benefits?

 

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Why We Need To Drastically Shrink The Internal Revenue Service–Not Expand It

Yesterday the Washington Times reported that someone is actually suing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Turn about is fair play! So what did the IRS do that resulted in a lawsuit.

The lawsuit charges that the IRS violated the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The article explains:

…(IRS) agents executed a search warrant for financial data on one employee – and that led to the seizure of information on 10 million, including state judges.

The search warrant did not specify that the IRS could take medical information, UPI said. And information technology officials warned the IRS about the potential to violate medical privacy laws before agents executed the warrant, the complaint said, as reported by UPI.

“Despite knowing that these medical records were not within the scope of the warrant, defendants threatened to ‘rip’ the servers containing the medical data out of the building if IT personnel would not voluntarily hand them over,” the complaint states, UPI reported.

The article reports that the records taken could impact up to one in 25 Americans.

Meanwhile, Forbes Magazine posted an article on Friday noting:

…Obamacare dramatically expands the authority and the scope of the Internal Revenue Service. Two provisions in particular will require thousands of new IRS agents, and billions in funding, to enforce: the law’s individual mandate, forcing most Americans to buy government-approved health insurance; and its employer mandate, forcing most employers to take money out of workers’ paychecks to purchase costly health insurance on their behalf.

The IRS will be enforcing the individual mandate. We knew that. What you may not be aware of is that there are a number of exceptions to the individual mandate, and the IRS has to have a good deal of information about you to see if you are eligible for one of those exceptions–they are only collecting all of this personal information for your own good!

The law is also written in a way that forces employers with 50 or more “full-time employees” offer “minimum essential coverage” in an “affordable” manner. There are all sorts of rules and regulations surrounding this that also require the IRS to collect more information on all of us.

The article in Forbes suggests a solution:

Others are suggesting that the duty to enforce the individual and employer mandates be taken out of IRS’ hands and moved into another agency. But, to me, this doesn’t make much sense. Do we really want another government agency to have sensitive information about our incomes and our insurance policies?

The only viable solution to this problem is to repeal the employer mandate altogether, and to replace the individual mandate with something else, like a limited open enrollment period, that does not require expanding the power and the authority of the IRS.

ObamaCare will not be repealed unless it becomes an obstacle for Democrats running for office. Until the American people make it clear that they will not vote for anyone who does not support the repeal of ObamaCare, we will be stuck with it. Even then, it may take a little time for politicians to get the message. The thing to remember is that there will be a point of no return–a place where ObamaCare has so totally impacted health care in America that it cannot be repealed. Hopefully we get repeal it before we reach that point.

 

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Who Makes Money In ObamaCare ?

The following charts are from Forbes.com:

What the chart shows is the profits the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will make as the result of the passage of ObamaCare. One of the aspects of ObamaCare is the end of the Medicare Advantage program–the favorite program of senior citizens.

The article at Forbes reports:

Not only did AARP succeed in getting Democrats to balk at Medigap reform. Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare Advantage will drive many seniors out of that program, and into traditional government-run Medicare, which will increase the number of people who need Medigap insurance.

It gets worse. AARP Medigap plans are exempted from most of Obamacare’s best-known insurance mandates. AARP Medigap plans are exempted from the ban that requires insurers to take all comers, regardless of pre-existing conditions. The plans are exempted from the $500,000 cap on insurance industry executive compensation; top AARP executives currently make more than $1 million. AARP plans are exempt from the premium tax levied on other private insurers. IPAB, Medicare’s rationing board, is explicitly barred from altering Medicare’s cost-sharing provisions, provisions that govern the existence of Medigap plans.

And AARP Medigap plans are allowed to have twice the administrative costs that other private insurers are allowed under Obamacare’s medical loss ratio regulations. This last point is key, because AARP’s 4.95 percent royalty is a significant administrative cost.

One of the most corrupt administrations in American history has ruined American healthcare. Unless we vote President Obama out of office and repeal ObamaCare, the crony capitalism engaged in by this administration will haunt us for years.

 

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Two Treaties To Watch In The Senate

There are two treaties coming up for a vote in the Senate in the near future. The first is the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. That treaty is expected to be finalized by July 27.

On Wednesday, an article in the Washington Times detailed some of the details of the treaty:

The criteria that arms should not be used to “prolong” or “aggravate” instability is troubling. China could use such a provision to label U.S. arms sales to Taiwan as a violation of international law. In 1941, such a treaty would have made illegal the U.S. lend-lease program to aid Britain before Pearl Harbor.

The implication is absurd: If giving arms to an ally fighting a tyrant prolongs the conflict, the only “legal” option for the ally is to surrender.

Another problem is the draft’s invocation of “international human rights law.” Unfortunately, liberal activists often claim that strict gun control is a “human right.” This reference, then, could be interpreted in ways that infringe on Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

Why should we care what some U.N. treaty says? Just ignore it, you say, because our Constitution trumps everything. Well, not if the U.S. signs and the Senate ratifies it. At that point, the treaty carries the weight of U.S. domestic law.

The second treaty coming to the Senate is the Law Of The Sea Treaty (appropriately called LOST). Forbes Magazine posted an article about both treaties on Tuesday.

In discussing the LOST treaty, the article states:

Then there’s the currently proposed, Obama-endorsed, Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) which would subordinate U.S. naval and drilling operations beyond 200 miles of our coast to a newly established U.N. bureaucracy. If ratified by Congress, it will grant a Kingston, Jamaica-based International Seabed Authority (ISA) the power to regulate deep-sea oil exploration, seabed mining, and fishing rights. As part of the deal, as much as 7% of U.S. government revenue collected from oil and gas companies operating off our coast will be forked over to ISA for redistribution to poorer, landlocked countries.

The U.S. would have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money would go, and be obligated to hand over offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it… for free. And who are those lucky international recipients? They will most likely include such undemocratic, despotic and brutal governments as Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe…all current voting members of LOST.

Does either one of these treaties represent the country you want your children to inherit? Is American sovereignty important to you? The Senate switchboard telephone number is 202-224-3121. If you believe in upholding the Second Amendment of the Constitution and if you believe America should be able to control its own offshore waters, please call your Senator and ask him to vote against both of these treaties.

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More Questions Without Answers

A blog called the Daily Pen posted some information on Friday that may turn out to be important. Please take a look. There are an awful lot of unanswered quesitons about the history of President Obama. Even some in the major media are starting to wonder about his school records, etc. Forbes Magazine has posted an excerpt from a book called, “Hope Is Not A Strategy.”  Normally, a President’s college grades, educational history, etc. are public information. Why is there so much secrecy surrounding President Obama?

NOTE: The Forbes article referred to above has disappeared from the Internet.

Gateway Pundit has the story.

 

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About That Buffett Rule…

Pat Robertson on the 700 Club revealed some numbers his research people came up with regarding the taxes of Warren Buffett and Warren Buffett’s secretary. They are as follows:

Warren Buffett’s 2010 Taxes:

Adjusted Gross Income              $62.9 million

Taxable Income                          $39.8 million

Income Taxes                             $6.9 million

Warren Buffett’s secretary in 2010

Forbes Magazine estimated her income at somewhere around $200,000

Her estimated tax burden was approximately $70,000 or slightly higher

A significant amount of Mr. Buffett’s income came from sources that the government had already taxes at 35% (corporate taxes). There is no reason to tax that money again. Mr. Buffett’s secretary did not pay more in taxes than he did. That is a lie.

 

 

 

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One Answer To The Deficit And To Job Creation

In April of this year, the Daily Caller posted a story about the high cost of government regulations. The article reports:

Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, combed through the 81,405 pages of the Federal Registry — which contains the nation’s regulations on businesses, and state and local governments — and cites a report showing that regulation cost the economy a whopping $1.75 trillion in 2008.

In July, Forbes posted an article about the cost of Government regulation stating:

The country’s wealth creators need a real review of regulations, not comforting words from federal officials. Out of over 3,500 rules finalized in 2010, OIRA (Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs) reviewed 66 — and of those only did benefit calculations for 20.

A simple perusal of the Federal Register shows over 430 rules costing over $65 billion so far this year alone, let alone the entire Crain (Nicole and Mark Crain, author of the SBA’s oft-cited report finding of $1.7 trillion in regulatory costs) universe of rules, which stops at 2008. As the Crains note, regulatory costs are often “indirect,” compared with direct taxation.

The article at the Daily Caller also points out:

Combining regulatory costs with federal FY 2010 outlays of $3.456 trillion reveals a federal government whose share of the entire economy now reaches 35.5 percent.
In 2010, federal agencies issued 3,573 final rules.

While agencies issued 3,573 final rules, Congress passed and the president signed into law a comparatively “few” 217 bills. Considerable lawmaking power is delegated to unelected bureaucrats at agencies, an abuse addressed recently in proposals such as the REINS Act.
Proposed rules in the Federal Register have surged from 2,044 in 2009 to 2,439 in 2010, a jump of 19.3 percent.
I don’t know what the President will say in his economy speech tomorrow night, but unless he agrees to cut government regulations drastically, the unemployment numbers will not change significantly.

 

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