Fraud In The Census Bureau

John Crudele has been reporting on fraud in the Census Bureau for the past six months. His work has been posted at The New York Post website. His latest story deals with data on unemployment and inflation being falsified by a data collector named Julius Buckmon.

The article in the New York Post explains how this false data impacts the reports we hear on the news:

Because the Census Bureau’s surveys are scientific — meaning each answer, in the case of the jobless survey, carries the weight of about 5,000 households — Buckmon’s actions alone would have given inaccurate readings on the economic health of 500,000 families.

Buckmon alleged that he was told to fudge the data by higher-ups. There was no formal probe back then into what Buckmon was doing or what he was alleging, although a Census investigator — who is now under indictment for other crimes against the bureau — did question a few people.

A source told me from the start of my investigation last October that Buckmon’s actions weren’t isolated and that falsification continued in the Philadelphia office right through the 2012 presidential election, only stopping when I exposed the practice last fall.

This is not acceptable. Mr. Crudele also reports that some of the people who work for the Census Bureau are talking to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the House Oversight Committee about their allegations. The OIG, Oversight Committee and several others will be investigating the claims of these workers.

The story in the New York Post goes on to explain exactly how the fraud is taking place. Please follow the link to the article to learn more about how the numbers in the jobs report are being falsified.

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The Senate’s Latest Attempt At Muzzling The Press

Senate Bill S987 is sponsored by New York Senator Charles Schumer. It is called the “Free Flow of Information Act of 2013.” The name is totally misleading.

According to Thomas.gov:

Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 – (Sec. 2) Prohibits a federal entity (an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the federal government with the power to issue a subpoena or other compulsory process), in any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under federal law, from compelling a covered journalist to disclose protected information, unless a U.S. judge in the jurisdiction where the compulsory process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity for the journalist to be heard, that all reasonable alternative sources have been exhausted and that separate specified conditions have been met depending on whether the matter is a criminal investigation or prosecution. (Thus, establishes a qualified privilege for journalists to withhold confidential information unless a judge makes a determination to compel disclosure under conditions that apply differently in criminal and civil matters.) (the bold italics are mine)

DaTechGuy posted an interesting article on this today.

DaTechGuy reports:

As we watch the spectacle of the mainstream media decide which internal investigations are believable (White House investigations on Benghazi & the IRS scandal) and which are not (Chris Christie Bridge Scandal) the Senate Judiciary Committee is advancing a bill “The Free Flow of Information Act of 2013” (S.987) that supposedly enhances freedom of the press by providing journalists with a legal shield in order to keep them from being forced to testify concerning sources.

While the actions of this administration might suggest a need of such a law, there is a huge catch in this bill that’s getting little play.  In order to determine who gets this shield privilege the bill devotes seven pages to define who a “journalist” and who is not.

In other words, this bill codifies the government’s the power to decide who is a legitimate journalist and who is not,  in effect licensing journalists.

DaTechGuy reminds us of where we would be if the government had declared that Matt Drudge was not a ‘covered’ journalist (remember the blue dress?) or Woodward and Bernstein were not ‘covered’ journalists. The White House already controls the press. There is no need to make it official.

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Losing The Second Amendment

On Wednesday Guns.com posted a story detailing the latest chapter in Connecticut’s war on gun owners. A law was passed at the end of last year that required certain gun owners to register their weapons with the State of Connecticut by December 31, 2013. Many gun owners simply did not register their guns. Others sent their applications in late or their applications were delivered late. Those people recently received a letter from the state:

http://www.rightwinggranny.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CT-Assualt-Weapon-Letter.jpg

The long and short of it it–if you missed the deadline, we will take your weapon away.

The article states:

According to the Journal Inquirer, 106 rifle owners and 108 ‘large capacity magazine’ owners in Connecticut were recently sent letters from the state police advising them that they had missed the deadline for registering their now-illicit firearms and accessories.

The state knew these individuals had these items because their registration applications were sent in, but postmarked too late to be processed.

This should be a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t see gun registration as the beginning step of gun confiscation.

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An Interesting Solution To “Inequality”

Jonah Goldberg posted an article at Townhall.com today that offers an interesting solution to the ‘inequality’ President Obama and some of the political left seem to be focused on lately. Oddly enough, the solution does not include giving more money or power to Washington.

In referring to the culture of Alaska (many of Mr. Goldberg’s wife’s family members live in Alaska, so he has spent some time there), he notes:

In my experience, Alaska stands out in another way: social equality. When I started going there regularly, I was shocked to discover how casually different economic classes intermingle. Scanning the attendees of a party or patrons of a restaurant, it’s pretty much guesswork to figure out who’s a millionaire and who’s a mechanic. Nothing like that happens in places like Washington, New York or Los Angeles, where upper and lower classes get along little better than the Morlocks and Eloi did in H.G. Wells‘ “The Time Machine.” But it does happen in lots of places — liberal and conservative — outside the Amtrak Acela corridor.

Mr. Goldberg points out a very logical solution to ‘inequality’ in America:

For practical purposes, people don’t live in the United States of America. They live in their neighborhoods, towns and communities. Yes, these are American communities, but your neighbors live in your neighborhood, not seven states over. Your kids don’t go to “U.S. schools”; they go to the school down the road.

Yet most of our money goes to the government in Washington, and so does most of the power. Why not flip that around? Want to see the rich, poor and middle class interact more? Give them a reason to show up to a city council or school board meeting. Sure, money has power at the local level, too, but so do votes.

Moreover, when rich people get their way at the local level, people usually know who they are and why they are doing things. And you can bend their ear at the supermarket or at soccer practice.

But when all the decisions are made in Washington or New York, most Americans are simply out of the loop.

And they resent it.

Having lived in New England for many years, I attended many Town Meetings where budgets, roads, zoning, and community growth were discussed. It was a way to see politics on a local level, and it was a way to be involved in the politics of your town. The taxpayers voted on the budget; the taxpayers voted on the zoning; and the taxpayers got to see their elected city officials at work. The taxpayers also had a chance to talk to their elected officials after the meeting. I don’t know if a Town Meeting would work in a larger setting, but certainly if more Americans felt that they had some sort of power, they would attend some of the various committee meetings in their cities and towns. Involving taxpayers in their local governments would be a step forward. I think Mr. Goldberg is on to something.

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Silencing The Opposition Before 2014

I have written a number of articles about the IRS and the Justice Department targeting of conservative groups and their donors. It seems to be a way of life under the Obama Administration. (Use the search engine at the top of the page if you are curious to see who has been targeted and when.)  Evidently Governor Cuomo has decided to follow the example being set by the White House.

NewsMax is reporting today that James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, a group based in New York has been served a subpoena by the Board of Labor asking for every single financial transaction over the last three years.

Mr. O’Keefe is considering relocating to New Jersey because of the harassment he has experienced in New York.

The article concludes:

O’Keefe said among the documents the New York State Department of Labor is demanding to see by next week are general ledgers, journals, caches, pay roll records, checks, stubs, and copies of Social Security returns.

“Like I said, I’m happy to comply with all this stuff, it’s not my first audit, I’ve been audited nonstop for the last three years but it gives us pause. We’ve got to take a step back and look at what’s happening to our country right now,” O’Keefe said.

“I’m a journalist, OK, and I’ve decided to maintain a small nonprofit. When you look at the corruption in the state of New York, when it comes to the pension funds have been robbed and the state university system, all the stuff that’s going on, I wasn’t going to look into these things but now I think I am.

“The American people need to know that they think this is just standard procedure, [but] it’s politically motivated and it’s got to stop.”

James O’Keefe has done a good job of uncovering corruption in our government from ACORN to voter fraud. Any state government that was interested in honest, transparent government should be glad to have his organization in the state. If he is being harassed and driven out of the state, there is probably something in the state that those leading the state do not want exposed. New York needs more of James O’Keefe and less of Andrew Cuomo.

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Things That Make Me Wonder

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the indictment of Dinesh D’Souza, the producer of the documentary 2016: Obama’s America. Mr. D’Souza is being charged with allegedly pushing $20,000 in straw-man contributions into a Senate race in New York.

The US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York released a statement that included the following:

The Indictment is the result of a routine review by the FBI of campaign filings with the FEC by various candidates after the 2012 election for United States Senator in New York. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Carrie H. Cohen and Rebecca Ricigliano are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This indictment raises a lot of questions in my mind. I don’t know whether Mr. D’Souza is guilty or innocent, but I would love to know how many other people were investigated by this group. It is also ironic that Mr. D’Souza is being investigated when there was no investigation of the security on the website for donations to President Obama’s campaign when the website disabled the programming that would have disallowed foreign contributions.

This appears to be more thuggery from the Obama Administration, but we shall see what happens next.

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A Small Step Forward For Religious Freedom In America

No one has yet argued that Christians have the right to practice their faith in their churches, but ObamaCare has raised the question as to whether they are permitted to practice their faith outside their churches and even in the business world. Two of the major players in the legal fight to defend religious principles in regard to ObamaCare are Hobby Lobby and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has recently won a significant victory.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that New York, US District Court Judge Brian Cogan ruled that the HHS mandate forces the Catholic Church and its associated organizations to curtail its religious expression, and enjoined HHS from enforcing it.

Ed Morrissey points out that the HHS mandate on birth control is not a legislative mandate and was never passed by Congress. This is a regulatory mandate.

The article reports the Judge’s statement:

Cogan ruled the plaintiffs “demonstrated that the mandate, despite accommodation, compels them to perform acts that are contrary to their religion. And there can be no doubt that the coercive pressure here is substantial.”

“They consider this to be an endorsement of such coverage; to them, the self-certification compels affirmation of a repugnant belief,” Cogan wrote. “It is not for this Court to say otherwise.”

The article looks at this decision in the light of the coming case regarding Hobby Lobby and how that will impact the implementation of ObamaCare on the whole. Please follow the link to read the article and see why this case matters.

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Soup Nazi????

For those of you who watched Seinfeld, you remember the character on the show called the “Soup Nazi” who epitomized what non-New Yorkers think of New Yorkers. As someone who went to school in New York City and spent a lot of time there, I loved the Seinfeld show. The show captured a lot of the ambiance of New York City–both good and bad.

Yesterday Marta H. Mossburg posted an article at the American Spectator comparing the behavior of the Obama Administration during the government shutdown to the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld.

The article reports:

Take the park rangers who last week locked under armed guard a group of senior citizens that included visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the U.S. inside Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Gordon Hodgson, the guide of the 41-person tour group, told the Livingston, Montana Enterprise that officials told him they could stay at the hotel but could not do anything.

…According to a report in USA Today, the Parks Service is now allowing veterans to visit memorials, but “non-veterans not practicing free speech are still barred from the memorials and mall.”

Who gets to decide who is practicing free speech or not? Are there “essential” federal employees assigned to the task?

What American law allows this?

The article concludes:

The ironic thing is that being mean is not helping the administration politically. Republicans are taking the most blame for the government shutdown according to polls, but President Barack Obama’s approval rating is only 37 percent, hardly a PR victory for him.

Ultimately the only thing he is proving through his nasty tactics is that he governs like the “Soup Nazi” of “Seinfeld” dispenses soup — arbitrarily and rudely. Shutdown or no shutdown, “No soup for you!” is not a way to run a country.

All of us need to remember the Soup Nazi the next time we vote.

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A Great Weekend Story

Yesterday Yahoo News posted a story that reminds us that compassion is still a part of our world. Inbar Chomsky of Rehovot, Israel, was on her way to Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, New York, a camp for children who suffer from cancer and other hematologic illnesses. As she was seated on the plane in Israel, preparing for the flight to New York, the flight attendants could not find her passport. After an extensive search, her passport was not found, she was taken off the plane and her mother was called to pick her up. The plane prepared for take off and headed for the runway.

As the plane approached the runway, someone located Inbar Chomsky’s passport. The plane turned around, picked up the child and headed for New York.

The article reports:

Although Yahoo! Shine could not reach an El Al spokesperson for comment, the airline sent a statement to the Times of Israel that read, “Planes rarely return to the gate after departing. The plane was on its way to the runway, when the passport was found on the plane. After consulting with El Al crew on the plane and El Al staff at the airport the decision was made and the plane returned to pick up Inbar. El Al was honored and proud to help Inbar’s dream to go to the camp in the USA come true. We wish Inbar full recovery and health.”

What a fantastic story!

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When Unions And The Government Work Together

Normally it’s a good thing when different groups work together. Sometimes, however, it isn’t. Some recent events in New York State show what happens when the interests of the general population take second place to the interests of a powerful special interest group.

Yesterday Townhall, com reported that the State of New York and the public sector unions have prevented serious disciplinary action against state home-workers who mistreated their patients. On Thursday the New York Times had posted an update on a report they had done earlier on this matter.

The New York Times article reports:

The Times conducted a new review this year by looking at 227 cases decided since the beginning of 2012 in which the state had sought to fire an offending employee. The numbers remain the same. Only 23 percent of the workers recommended for dismissal by the state actually ended up being fired.

The latest review also included a second agency, the State Office of Mental Health, whose workers care for the mentally ill. The numbers were hardly different there. About 27 percent of 104 workers recommended for dismissal actually were fired, according to a review of cases at that agency. In all, The Times reviewed about 4,000 pages of records.

A recommendation to fire an employee occurs following an internal disciplinary inquiry into allegations made against the worker. The employee is represented by the union and has the right to contest the firing before an arbitrator, who can uphold the charges, reject some or all of them, or impose a lesser punishment. In some cases, the state and union will settle on a punishment before the arbitrator rules.

As long as the unions remain major donors to the political party that runs the state, the state has no incentive to make sure union workers are properly disciplined when they behave inappropriately.

The New York Times article concludes:

Michael Carey, an advocate and the father of Jonathan Carey, whose death led to Jonathan’s Law, has been one of the Cuomo administration’s most strident critics. He has long been troubled that abuse reports are not made directly to the police, instead of filtered through a state bureaucracy. “It’s a clear violation of these individuals’ rights,” he said. He also opposed a move by the Cuomo administration that increased the standard of proof required in some child abuse cases in an effort to make the standard more consistent across a wider range of investigations.

Mr. Carey said tangible ideas intended to prevent abuse, like installing cameras in group homes, were also being ignored.

“Rampant abuse and neglect goes on,” he said. “There has not been anything significant done to stop it.”

The article at Townhall.com cncludes:

By the way–Governor Cuomo struck a deal with the CSEA (Civil Service Employees Association) six months after he was re-elected on the platform that he would address the issue of abuse. The deal included “CSEA protection from broad layoffs,” as well as the implementation of a new “Select Panel on Patient Abuse” to specifically protect the disabled and mentally ill. Two years later, CSEA employees have avoided layoffs, and the man appointed by Cuomo to lead the Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs has a record of lobbying against employee accountability, and actually “lobbied against Jonathan’s Law, the legislation that forced the state to start disclosing abuse reports to parents, named after a teenager with autism who died after being asphyxiated by a state worker.” Meanwhile, the record for firing employees guilty of abuse remains at an abysmal 25%.

This is not a good situation for the residents of New York.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

America is a very generous country. We feed people all over the world and do everything we can to make sure that people in this country do not go hungry. However, sometimes the controls on our generosity are not what they should be.

On Sunday, the New York Post reported that many of the people receiving food stamps in New York are using them to buy food to ship to relatives in their home countries.

The article reports:

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.

No kidding. I don’t want to see anyone starve anywhere. However, we have programs that ship dollars and food overseas. In many cases, the politics of the receiving country prevent the food and aid from going to the people who need it most. That is something that needs to be dealt with, but it is a separate issue. Why are American taxpayers paying for people to ship food out of the country?

The article reports:

The United States spent $522.7 million on foreign aid to the Caribbean last fiscal year, government data show.

Still, New Yorkers say they ship the food because staples available in the States are superior and less costly than what their families can get abroad.

“Everybody does it,” said a worker at an Associated Supermarket in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. “They pay for it any way they can. A lot of people pay with EBT.”

Customers pay cash for the barrels, usually about $40, and typically ship them filled with $500 to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk and sausages.

Workers at the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue and the Key Food on Flatbush Avenue confirmed the practice.

If Congress were actually looking for places to cut the federal budget, they might want to take a look at the food stamp program.

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An Interesting Choice Of Words

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the Anthony Weiner story–I just want to point out that his choice of words at his press conference was revealing.

KSAT.com quotes part of the press conference:

“Some of these things happened before my resignation, some happened after,” Weiner said at a hastily organized press conference in New York, where he also pushed back when asked if the latest revelation would prompt him to drop out of the race.

He also commented on the things that had ‘happened to him and his family.’ Does anyone actually believe that obscene text messages just happen?

I just want to point out that nothing ‘happened’ to Anthony Weiner–he made the choices that resulted in his resignation from Congress and may cost him in the current campaign for Mayor of New York. One of the problems we are having in our society right now is that no one is willing to take responsibility for their actions. This is a prime example of that problem. If they residents of New York City elect Anthony Weiner as Mayor, they deserve anything they get.

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Does This Mean Mayor Bloomberg Will Put The Salt Shakers Back On The Tables At New York City Restaurants?

On June 21, a website called PreventDisease.com posted a story stating that there is no benefit in reducing salt intake and it may even be dangerous. In the past, New York‘s Mayor Bloomberg has attempted to limit the use of salt in New York City’s restaurants.

Now the Democrat food police (yes, I realize that Mayor Bloomberg is a Republican, but check the circumstances of his becoming mayor) have a new issue. First Lady Michelle Obama has been trying to change the lunch programs in our schools.

On Friday, Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line about the latest escapades of the Democrat food police.

The article quotes a Washington Times article:

“[Food service manager Nicky] Boehm and her staff worked hard to implement the new regulations, but there were just too many problems and too many foods that students did not like and would not purchase,” said Assistant Superintendent Chris Abdoo about the National School Lunch Program in a statement reported by EAGNews.org. “Students complained of being hungry with these lunches and the district lost money.”

The school system decided to instead create its own lunch menu for next year.

The district lost about $100,000 trying out the federal menu, which offered such meals as “part” of a chicken patty on a minicroissant, EAGNews.org reported.

Would that satisfy you? It would be really nice to see children eat better, but I am not sure that is something the government can accomplish. It seems to me that it’s not even an education problem. Most people over the age of twelve understand that eating fast food every night or living on potato chips and sugar is not a good idea. The only thing that will reduce the obesity rate in America will be American’s deciding that they want to lose the weight. It comes down to individual choice.

The ‘nanny state’ is not really helpful to anyone. As science changes regarding salt and other foods, the government may not be in a position to undo the regulations it set in place. We don’t always make the correct personal choices, but we all have the right to make those choices.

 

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Rick Perry Comes To New York

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been making the rounds lately–visiting states with high taxes that might cause businesses to take a look at Texas. Fred Barnes posted an article at the Weekly Standard about Governor Perry’s recent visit to Manhattan.

The article reports:

After his freshman year at Texas A&M in 1969, Perry sold Bible-related books one summer in rural Missouri. “It took weeks before I sold my first books,” he says, but he learned salesmanship. “I look at myself just like a businessman trying to sell a product,” he says. Perry told Trump he’s selling the “opportunity” for business owners to flee the “high tax, high regulation, high litigation” environment of states like New York and thrive in a free market state that lets them keep more of the money they earn. Texas has no state income tax.

Perry is never bashful. When touting Texas as a safe haven for American business, he’s doing what no governor has done before. And he’s doing it with as much fanfare and buzz as possible. Some governors send letters, urging companies to pick up stakes and move. When Perry spent a day in Connecticut last week, he bumped into Dennis Daugaard, the Republican governor of South Dakota. Both were on economic missions. The Connecticut media latched on to Perry and ignored Daugaard.

This is an example of how the United States is supposed to work. The states were set up to be independent laboratories for policies–then Congress would enact the programs that worked in the successful states and not enact the programs in the states with economic or social problems that were not being solved. Unfortunately, Congress has often chosen to do the opposite.

The advertising campaign in New York was noteworthy:

The killer line: “If you’re tired of the same old recipe of over-taxation, over-regulation, and frivolous litigation, get out before you go broke.” Perry delivered the closer. “Texas is calling,” he said. “Your opportunity awaits.” The ads made a splash.

Governor Perry’s trips and advertising campaign are paid for by a group called Texas One, a foundation that touts the state’s economy.

The article reports the goals of Governor Perry’s trip to New York:

Perry had three goals for his trip. He succeeded, partially anyway, on two. In time, he may on the third. The first was to attract businesses to Texas. Perry insists it takes nine months from his pitch to a company’s decision to move. So we’ll have to wait on that. But Perry says he expects to hear this summer that an untold number of California companies are Texas-bound.

The second goal was to stir a national debate on “blue state versus red states policies.” Perry thinks he’s set this in motion and he may have. It should shine a favorable light on the Texas model of low taxes, light regulation, and less litigation—small government that works.

Perry didn’t acknowledge the third goal. It was a test of his skill as a potential presidential candidate after his disastrous performance in last year’s race for the Republican nomination. He says he “parachuted” into that campaign both too late and unprepared. He knows better now.

I guess the primary season for the 2016 Presidential election has begun.

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It All Depends On How You Name Something

There have been some negative comments lately from Democrats worried about how the implementation of ObamaCare will impact the 2014 mid-term elections. Historically, a President in his second term loses big in the mid-term elections, so the Democrats don’t want any additional difficulties. Recently a Democrat referred to ObamaCare as a ‘train wreck’ about to happen. That certainly does not improve the image of ObamaCare. Also, a lot of 26-year-olds are timing out of their parents’ health insurance and realizing that the IRS will be fining them if they do not pay the increased premiums ObamaCare requires from them. Keep in mind that increasing premiums on younger people is supposed to subsidize medical expenses for the elderly and for those with pre-existing health conditions.

Well, now it’s time for the goodwill tour for ObamaCare. Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported that as part of the Mother’s Day offensive for ObamaCare, President Obama has described ObamaCare as “largest health care tax cut for working families and small businesses in our history. “ Really. If you believe that, please call me about buying some waterfront property in Arizona–or maybe I could interest you in a bridge in New York.

The article reports:

His argument was a Hail-Mary effort to redesignate subsidies for individuals to purchase health insurance on government-run exchanges as a “tax cut.” But according to the Congressional Budget Office, these subsidies actually qualify as more than $1 trillion in “Exchange Subsidies and Related Spending.” (Emphasis mine.)

Far from being a historic tax cut, Obamacare actually qualifies as one of the largest tax increases in history. It contains roughly $1 trillion in taxes — on insurance plans, medical devices and investment income. And many of the taxes will end up falling on the middle class. The law’s individual mandate, which the Obama administration successful argued was a tax before the U.S. Supreme Court, is projected to hit nearly 5 million Americans with incomes less than $60,000 by 2016.

I understand that right now we have a lot of low-information voters who know more about American Idol than about what is going on in Washington. However, as these people begin to notice what is happening to their household budgets, maybe they will wake up and start paying attention. I can relate to the low-information voters–I used to be one. My excuse was not American Idol–my excuse was juggling family, work, etc. Either way, it’s time for America to wake up and begin to vote for people who will actually tell us the truth and practice fiscal restraint. I am sure that we have people in politics who are capable of that–I am just not sure how much power they have right now. We need to pay attention and vote accordingly.

 

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What Does This Have To Do With Reading, Writing, And Arithmetic?

CBN News posted a story today about a recent anti-bullying presentation at Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook, New York. I would like to go on the record to say that I oppose bullying. I do wonder why it seems to have become such a major problem in our schools in recent years. Back in the age of dinosaurs (the 1950′s and 1960′s) we had bullies too, but somehow it didn’t seem to be as much of an issue. Has the concept of conflict resolution caused us to forget how to deal with a bully? I don’t consider myself a violent person, but I have learned that the only successful way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him. Evidently our schools are suggesting an alternative approach.

The article at CBN reports:

The workshop for 13 and 14-year-old girls focused on homosexuality and gender identity. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and “genderqueer.”

Parents say their daughters were told to ask one another for a kiss and they say two girls were told to stand in front of the class and pretend they were lesbians on a date.

“She told me, ‘Mom we all get teased and picked on enough. Now I’m going to be called a lesbian because I had to ask another girl if I could kiss her,’” parent, Mandy Coon, told reporters.

What in the world does this have to do with how to deal with a bully? Parents of the students who attended the workshop were not warned in advance or given the opportunity to opt out of the workshop.

The article further reports:

Superintendent Paul Finch told The Poughkeepsie Journal the presentation was “focused on improving culture, relationships, communication and self-perceptions.”

“We may require more notification to parents in the future,” Finch said.

He claimed the sessions are required under the state Dignity for All Students Act, which prohibits harassment and bullying in the classroom.

I would have no problem with teaching the students to report bullying incidents so that the school administration can deal with the bully involved. I would have no problem with teaching the students how to ignore bullying and encouraging all students to be kinder to each other. I would have no problem teaching students interpersonal problem-solving skills that would help end the bullying. I do, however, fail to see how making two young ladies kiss in front of the classroom relates to education. There is a reason parents are fleeing the public schools in favor of home schooling and private schools. This sort of behavior on the part of school administrators is part of that reason.

 

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Is This Really What We Intended?

The media silence on the trial of Kermit Gosnell is deafening, but how do the things he did compare with what goes on at other abortion clinics? Yesterday the New York Post posted a story (updated today) about a sting operation in a Bronx abortion clinic.

The women went in claiming to be 23 weeks pregnant (abortion is legal in New York up until 24 weeks) seeking an abortion.

The article reports:

In an exchange laden with euphemisms on both sides to conceal the gruesome nature of the discussion, the pregnant woman wondered aloud what would happen if “it” (her fetus) emerged from her intact and alive.

The employee assigned to take note of medical history reassured the woman, “We never had that for ages” (a seeming admission that a baby did survive abortion at the clinic at least once) but that should “it” “survive this,” “They would still have to put it in like a jar, a container, with solution, and send it to the lab. . . . We don’t just throw it out in the garbage.”

Oh, and this innocuous-sounding “solution” was, of course, a toxic substance suitable for killing an infant.

“Like, what if it was twitching?” asked the pregnant woman.

“The solution will make it stop,” said the clinic employee. “That’s the whole purpose of the solution . . . It will automatically stop. It won’t be able to breathe anymore.”

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Some Historical Perspective On This Unlawful Combatant Thing

The information below is taken from the FBI website detailing famous cases and criminals:

Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, 1942, four men landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, primers, and incendiaries to support an expected two-year career in the sabotage of American defense-related production. On June 17, 1942, a similar group landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption.

The purpose of the invasions was to strike a major blow for Germany by bringing the violence of war to our home ground through destruction of America’s ability to manufacture vital equipment and supplies and transport them to the battlegrounds of Europe; to strike fear into the American civilian population; and to diminish the resolve of the United States to overcome our enemies.

By June 27, 1942, all eight saboteurs had been arrested without having accomplished one act of destruction. Tried before a military commission, they were found guilty. One was sentenced to life imprisonment, another to 30vyears, and six received the death penalty, which was carried out within a few days.

Two of these men were American citizens–Ernest Peter Burger had become a naturalized American in 1933 and Herbert Hans Haupt had entered the United States as a child, gaining citizenship when his father was naturalized in 1930.

The FBI website reports:

All eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. Attorney General Biddle and J. Edgar Hoover appealed to President Roosevelt to commute the sentences of Dasch and Burger. Dasch then received a 30-year sentence, and Burger received a life sentence, both to be served in a federal penitentiary. The remaining six were executed at the District of Columbia Jail on August 8, 1942.

Why is the person who bombed the Boston Marathon being treated differently than these men?

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Another Gun Confiscation And American Citizen Forced To Go To Court To Defend His Constitutional Rights

Today’s National Review posted a story about a soldier in Texas arrested for “rudely displaying” his weapon. Yes, you read that right.

The article describes the incident:

“We live out in the country in Texas, near Temple,” he told me. “My son and I were on a ten-mile hike so that he could earn his hiking merit badge – it’s the last badge he needs to become an Eagle Scout.” But half way into the hike, Grisham said, “a police officer pulled up.” Initially, he was “cordial” and he “asked what we were doing.” Grisham told him. “Then he looked at my rifle. I carry a rifle any time I walk around because there are feral hogs and cougars and things like that.” 

From here, things took a turn for the worse.

“‘Where you going with that rifle?’ he asked me. I said, ‘does it matter? Am I breaking any laws?’” Then, he says, the officer “grabbed the rifle without telling me – but it was attached to me. My immediate reaction as a combat veteran was to grab it back and then take a step back. I asked him what he was doing. So he pulled his gun on me. Then I thought about my son, so I put my hands off my gun and he told me to move over to the car. Luckily my son had the video camera to document the hike for his merit badge. I told him to turn it on.”

There is a video of the incident included in the article. I suggest you watch the whole thing. This is clearly unconstitutional.

The soldier’s concealed-carry permit was taken along with his guns. The article notes that historically what happens next is that the prosecutor will offer to drop the charges if the soldier gives up his guns. It is a very subtle form of gun confiscation.

Evidently this is not an isolated incident. The obvious question here is, “Why are the police wasting their time on legal gun owners when there are so many illegal guns out there?” If the police had been half as diligent in “Fast and Furious” as they are at harassing legal gun owners, a lot a people would be alive today who are no longer with us.

UPDATE: Evidently there are some questions about whether or not Mr. Grisham set up this encounter. However, even if this were the case (and we don’t know if it was), confiscating someone’s guns without proper legal procedure is a serious violation of the Constitution. The fact remains that it will cost Mr. Grisham a lot of time, money, and energy to get those guns (which are rightfully his) back. If I come across further information on this story, I will post it.

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Disarming America–One State At A Time

Yesterday I posted a story about state police in New York mistakenly taking away a law abiding citizen’s guns. Today I have another story. Breitbart.com reported yesterday that during an investigation of the states new driver’s licensing system, it was discovered that the Missouri State Highway Patrol twice gave a database of concealed carry permit holders to federal authorities.

The article reports:

The investigation into leaked personal information began after suspicions arose over new drivers license rules requiring citizens to bring in numerous personal documents–including concealed carry permit information–to be “scanned and retained.” 

Replogle said the names were turned over to “cross-check… names on the concealed carry list with [the federal] agency’s list of those with disabilities attributed to mental illness to find possible evidence of fraud in the system.”

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has been denying that “concealed weapons permits were turned over to a ‘magical database’ for federal agents to ‘mess with.’”

The article states that the information was given to the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General in Nov. 2011 and again in Jan. 2012. Replogle claims the information was encrypted and the discs holding the information were destroyed.

Excuse me if I am a little skeptical of the fact that the information was destroyed and that there are no copies floating around anywhere.

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Why The Anti-Gun Hysteria Is Dangerous

The Blaze is reporting today that the New York State Police mistakenly confiscated the guns of a law-abiding citizen. They confiscated the guns and suspended the gun permit of David Lewis of Amherst, New York, based on the misinformation that Mr. Lewis had mental health problems.

The article reports:

“Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs said that late today he received a call from the New York State Police informing him that they had provided information on the wrong person when they notified his office of someone whose permit should be suspended because of the new mental health provisions in New York’s SAFE Act,” the release begins.

“When the State Police called to tell us they made a mistake and had the wrong person … it become clear that the state did not do their job here and now we all look foolish,” the release went on to say in a quote from Clerk Jacobs.

This is a vivid example of what can happen when the government has too much power.

This is the press release acknowledging the error:

New York State Police Admits It Got Wrong Man in Gun Confiscation Case

Keep this incident in mind as you listen to Congress declare that they have no intention of confiscating guns.Enhanced by Zemanta

The Pitfalls Of Random Acts Of Charity

It feels good to help someone who is less fortunate than yourself. We encourage our children to be generous, and we try to set a good example. However, our efforts are not always as helpful as we would like to think. I used to know a Pastor who when someone on the street asked him for money would offer to buy them lunch–that way he knew the money didn’t go toward drugs or alcohol. I don’t know the actual percentage of homeless people with drug or alcohol problems, but I suspect it’s fairly high.

Recently, a video of a New York City policemen went vital on YouTube because he bought a barefoot homeless man on the street a pair of new shoes. It was a beautiful gesture, but the story is not what it appears to be. Scott Johnson at Power Line posted ‘the rest of the story’ yesterday.

It seems that the homeless man actually did have a home–and multiple pairs of shoes. He earns a few hundred dollars a day (tax free) by walking the streets of New York City barefoot, asking for money.

The article at Power Line cites a New York Post article which concluded:

Hillman reminds us how easy it is to exploit generosity. His scam seems to have been directed at passers-by who take pity on a man who goes about Midtown pretending to be barefoot, poor and homeless. His example reminds us why it is important for the city to ensure that its own assistance is not exploited by those who don’t need it.

For in addition to the needy, New York also has a whole class of politicians and activists quick to denounce City Hall as cruel and heartless (and to sue) whenever it takes reasonable measures to weed out the deserving from the undeserving.

Scott Johnson draws a different conclusion:

I don’t think the Post quite gets the lesson offered by the Hillman saga as a case study. Despite Hillman’s exploitation of the kindness of strangers, I think his case is inherent in the welfare state. One way or another, however, it provides a case study worthy of continuing discussion.

The generosity of the policeman is commendable. The actions of the barefoot beggar are those of a con man taking advantage of the kindness of New Yorkers.

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Finally–Someone With Some Common Sense

Today’s Wall Street Journal is reporting that New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling has blocked Mayor Bloomberg‘s ban on the sale of sugary drinks.

The article reports:

In his ruling, Judge Tingling found the Board of Health‘s mission is to protect New Yorkers by providing regulations that protect against diseases. Those powers, he argued, don’t include the authority to “limit or ban a legal item under the guise of ‘controlling chronic disease.’ “

The board may supervise and regulate the city’s food supply when it affects public health, but the City Charter clearly outlines when such steps may be taken: According to Judge Tingling, the city must face imminent danger due to disease.

“That has not been demonstrated,” he wrote.

The ban on sugary drinks over 16 ounces was to take effect tomorrow. Thank God for a judge with some common sense!Enhanced by Zemanta

Do Parents Have The Right To Know That The School Is Giving Their Children Drugs ?

The New York Post posted an article on Saturday (updated today) about a program in the New York City schools that provides high school girls with birth control pills–including Plan B (the morning-after pill).

The article reports:

Last September, the city revealed it had started giving out Plan B and other birth control in the nurses’ offices of 13 high schools. At the time, officials said 567 girls had gotten Plan B.

But the birth-control blitz was much bigger than the city had acknowledged. About 40 separate “school-based health centers” doled out 12,721 doses of Plan B in 2011-12, up from 10,720 in 2010-11 and 5,039 in 2009-10, according to the newly released data.

 About 22,400 students sought reproductive care from January 2009 through last school year, records show. Under state law, minors don’t need parental OKs to get contraceptives.

The article further reports:

The city says about 6,300 NYC girls under age 17 had unplanned pregnancies last year, and more than half had abortions. Of those who give birth, the city says, about 70 percent drop out of school, making their futures bleak.

Just for the record, the age of consent for sex in New York is seventeen. That means that the schools are giving out birth control to children who are not legally supposed to be having sex. So let me get this straight. There won’t be salt on my table at a restaurant in New York City because Mayor Bloomberg says it is bad for me. No restaurant can use transfat to fry food in New York City, and ‘big gulp’ sodas are illegal in New York City because Mayor Bloomberg says they are bad for me, but my daughter can obtain birth control or the morning after pill without my consent our without consulting me about any medical conditions that she may have.

The world has truly turned upside down.

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Some Common Sense In The Gun Debate

This is a video of Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey. The video was posted at Breitbart.com.

This is what the Mayor said:

To me, the data should drive our decision making. So I know, I’m not afraid of people having guns who are law abiding citizens. In the analysis of gun murders and shootings in my city, I could only find one in the entire time I’ve been mayor – and unfortunately there have been hundreds and hundreds – where a person who was involved in a shooting where they had their gun legally, where they legally acquired their gun. The guns that are causing carnage in our cities, my city and our country, every single year are acquired illegally.

Newark, New Jersey, is the second largest city in the New York metropolitan area.

Wikipedia gives us a picture of crime in the city:

In 1996, Time magazine ranked Newark “The Most Dangerous City in the Nation.” By 2007, however, the city recorded a total of 99 homicides for the year, representing a significant drop from the record of 161 murders set in 1981. The number of murders in 2008 dropped to 65, a decline of 30% from the previous year and the lowest in the city since 2002 when there were also 65 murders.

In 2011, Newark recorded 90 homicides, after experiencing 86 homicides in 2010. Overall, there was a 6% increase in crime numbers over the previous year, including a rise in carjackings for the third straight year. Along with the increase in crime, the Newark Police Department increased its recovery of illegally owned guns in 2011 to 696, up from 278 in 2010.

After being forced to lay off 162 officers due to economic reasons in 2010, the NPD was able to rehire eight of those officers in 2012, with plans for another 17 rehires later in the year.

Mayor Booker was elected in 2006. He is an inspiring mayor to watch–recently he rescued a young woman from a burning building and came to the aid of a dog that had been left out in the extreme cold. We need more mayors (and people involved in politics) like Mayor Booker–he tells the truth and does what’s right!

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