Monday, March 25, 2013

To all my blog followers of the Jewish faith I wish you a very Happy Passover.
בברכת חג פסח שמח מאוד
 

Obamacare’s Deceptive Conception

Obamacare’s Deceptive ConceptionBy: Dan Holler / Townhall Columnist
 
As with most conceptions, Obamacare was conceived behind closed doors. Unlike most conceptions though, there were many hands involved and lots of money tossed around. And but for the Immaculate Conception, it could have a larger impact than any other.
Three years after its birth, Obamacare is a bumbling mess. As it turns out, passing a bill to find out what’s in it isn’t a good strategy. It is kind of like telling a toddler to captain a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Then again, common sense usually doesn’t exist in Washington.

Last week, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended Obamacare’s track record on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, saying, "What we're seeing is costs really come down for the first time in a very long time.”

Her assertion came as eHealth, Inc. released their “Cost of Comprehensive Health Benefits” report, which according to Fox Business “found the average monthly premiums for individual and family health insurance plans are 47% higher than average when they cover a comprehensive list of eight health benefits compared to 2012.”

An eHealth representative explained, “The benefits in these plans will cost customers more.” Why? Well, despite what Sebelius says, this is a signal of how Obamacare will potentially impact the cost of your health care.

Skyrocketing premiums will make it very hard for some people to keep their insurance. If those drop their plans and flee to the non-existent, but sure to be convoluted, government-run exchanges, Obamacare will be to blame.

I guess, in a technical, President Obama isn’t wrong. He said people could keep their plans if they like them. After massive premium increases, that “like” may have dissipated. Score one for the fact checkers!

That doesn’t exactly square the circle, though. As Heritage’s “10 Stories of Job Loss as Consequences of Obamacare” makes clear. Perhaps Obama was wrong after all, because when people lose their jobs, they typically lose their insurance.

In November, the Colorado Observer reported medical device manufacturer would lay off 1,000 employees because of Obamacare’s medical device tax:
“In a statement Tuesday, Stryker President and CEO Kevin A. Lobo made it clear that the layoffs were directly related to the increased costs on business imposed by the Affordable Care Act, which is scheduled to be fully implemented in 2014. 
“’Stryker remains significantly concerned with the upcoming medical device excise tax and its negative impact on jobs and innovation, and will continue to work with Congress to try to repeal the tax,’ said Lobo. 
“The company ‘expects to owe approximately $100 million in the first year alone, equating to over 20 percent of our annual, global R&D investments,’ said Lobo.”
It may come as no surprise then that both of Colorado’s Democrat Senators cast a symbolic vote to repeal the medical device tax that has already killed jobs in their state.

To celebrate Obamacare’s second birthday, Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) reminded his constituents he “fought hard” to pass the law. He went on to tout the law’s benefits to “young Coloradans just entering the workforce in a difficult job climate.” Difficult job climate you say?

It would be ironic if it weren’t so painful for so many struggling Americans.

We can all take some comfort though, because White House officials still insist Obama will follow through on his commitment to become one of the first Americans on a government-run exchange. As Politico noted, though, “It would be a purely symbolic gesture … in part because he’ll still have access to the White House Medical Unit and the official physician to the president, an office that has served every executive since the Revolution.”

If Obama likes his doctors, he can keep them.

That is a novel idea, isn’t it? The Republican Party should embrace the idea when it comes to reforming Medicare. Premium Support isn’t about dollar signs and age cohorts, it is about giving people access to an incredible array of health care choices, including the possibility of staying on their current insurance with a different financing stream.

When push comes to shove, the Left’s big-government policies are the antithesis of choice. As Americans are sadly learning, Obamacare is exhibit A. The allure of freedom is powerful to those who lack it, and conservatives must be prepared to present them with a real alternative.

Have We Lost America? Hell No! 

By: Kurt Schlichter / Townhall Columnist

Have We Lost America?  Hell No!
It’s the easiest thing in the world to be a pessimist, and the least American. We’re optimists, and as tough as things are, as many skirmishes as we’ve lost, we haven’t lost this country to the left quite yet. If you had to choose between being them or us, you’d be crazy to choose being them. We’re going to win, and America is going to rise again.

Pessimism is a cop-out, an excuse to do nothing and wait for the end instead of figuratively fixing bayonets and charging head-long into the enemy. That military metaphor is no accident, because decades in the military taught me that “pessimism” is just another name for “failure.” You don’t always get to pick your enemy. You don’t always get to pick your situation. Your job is to take whatever you face, find your advantages, and exploit them to drive on to victory.

We’re conservative Americans. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, Irish it up with a little Stoli, and then grill a rib-eye while you drink it.

Let’s assess our situation as conservatives. We face a leftist President and his senatorial minions. The media is against us. Our culture embraces a whole range of bizarrely self-destructive and immoral notions. The supposedly conservative party is divided between folks who want to promote conservatism and those who want to promote themselves.

So we’re under siege. So what else is new?

Now let’s look at the situation from a different perspective, one that looks for hope and opportunities. They’re there all right – we just need to be willing to see them.

Every day makes it clearer that President 51% is the lamest of ducks. The only thing he’s squandering faster than money borrowed from the Chinese to subsidize his coalition of lazy government hacks and welfare bums is his political capital.

The closest thing he has had to a political victory since eking out a win over Mitt Romney by a couple percentage points is getting through the Fiscal Cliff morass by making permanent the Bush tax rates on all but a few people. Yeah, his big success was making automatic taxes increases apply to fewer folks than it otherwise would have. That sort of failure is only considered a “victory” if you’re a MSNBC commentator or a French general.

And the sequester? Not only didn’t the sky fall but people kind of looked around, read their money market statements, and thought, “Uh, if this is what happens when we cut 2% of the budget, let’s see what happens when we cut 10%.”

That normal people are realizing that the Democrats’ sound and fury about slashing the budget signifies nothing is huge.

And the Senate? If I were Senator Mitch McConnell I’d be barging into Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office to start measuring the drapes. The GOP stands a great chance of snatching a bunch of Democrat seats up in 2014 if it can avoid nominating a bunch of Akin clones.

For example, just look at Mitch’s likely opponent, a puffy, washed-up actress who claims Tennessee residence and talks like a particularly militant Gender Studies TA at a second-rate liberal arts college.

There’s a perfect fit for the Bluegrass State’s electorate – I’m surprised Mitch can keep a straight face.

You’ll note that the Minority Leader showed up at the Rand Paul party a few weeks ago. Mitch McConnell is a lot of things, but a guy who bets on losers isn’t one of them. He stood with the Wacko Birds while Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham fumed. That’s all you need to know about which way the wind is blowing inside the Beltway.

Oh, and Lindsay may be facing a primary challenge from the right by Bruce Carroll, a guy who used the Twitter handle “GayPatriot.” Watch for Lindsay to respond by backpedalling on immigration – and watch Marco Rubio shrug his shoulders and say, “Well, I tried,” as it becomes obvious to him that there is a liberal/squish conspiracy to fake border security in exchange for amnesty.

But that’s all mere politics – let’s look at the big picture. For all the abuse it has been taking, our Constitution remains strong and Americans are tenaciously defending it from the liberals’ assaults on the God-given rights it guarantees.

The right to freedom of religion is under attack, often via Obamacare’s un-American mandates, but citizens are successfully litigating those threats in courts across the country. No one is rolling over and giving up on our right to live in conformity with our faith.

The right to free speech remains strong. Sure, nitwits like the mayor of Philadelphia and academic neo-fascists whine about it, but Americans aren’t ready to surrender their right to say what they think just because the elites disapprove. Contrast that with once-Great Britain, where the subjects of that once-great nation are willingly casting away their ancient freedom because of an anti-free press campaign led by celebrity Hugh Grant.

Yeah, the U.K. has fallen so far that its people are willing to give up their tradition of liberty in reliance upon the judgment of a guy who gave up mega-hottie Elizabeth Hurley for some tacky L.A. streetwalker. Good plan, limies.

And the Second Amendment? The fury of Senator Feinstein at Harry Reid’s unwillingness to join in her Senatorial majority suicide pact says it all. Notice how the President has said nothing about it? He knows how weak this utter rout on his marquee priority makes him look, and he’s happy to let the egg splatter on DiFi’s face. It is mighty crowded under the Obama bus.

Sure, Colorado Democrats squeaked some limited anti-gun laws through, but they’ll wish they hadn’t. Remember those conservatives who sat out the last election? They’ll be flocking to the polls in the Centennial State to extract their unholy vengeance. No one ever wins elections by pushing gun control, but Colorado’s voters are about to demonstrate that folks do lose elections by pushing gun control.

How about the rest of the Bill of Rights? Rand Paul’s epic filibuster threw a spotlight on the fact that there is a huge overlap when it comes to the concept of liberty between conservatives and liberty-loving people who currently think of themselves as liberals. Next up – a conservative-hipster campaign to repeal the iPhone jailbreaking felony fiasco and similar corporate-sponsored assaults on freedom.

This is a huge opportunity to expand our coalition based not on superficial things like race or ethnicity or gender or any of that consultant-fetish nonsense but upon a solid foundation of a shared love of liberty. It’s an opportunity we need to ruthlessly exploit. As we continue our painful campaign of conservative self-assessment – itself a tremendously good sign that we intend to learn from our mistakes –we need to look for ways to cut into other groups that our opponents take for granted.

Our opponents have grown lazy. They have also grown old and tired. Their great gray hope Hillary will be a frisky 69 years old in 2016. She’ll energize the youth vote just like the dynamic John McCain did.

Their ideas – which all seem to boil down to taking money from people who work to give it to losers who vote for Democrats – are played-out. Their short-term dream of retaking the House (Ha!) and keeping the Senate (Good luck!) are almost certain to be crushed.

It’s glorious.

This is no time to be a pessimist. Americans are natural optimists, and we conservatives have reason to be. The initiative and the momentum are with us in the campaign to take this county back from the liberal elites and their spineless lackeys. We’re going to win, and America is going to rise again.

In fact, I almost feel sorry for our opponents.

Almost.

Obama Administration quietly unblocks $500,000,000 in jizya for "Palestinians"

From Jihad watch / Posted by Robert Spencer


Why? The Israelis were the only ones who made any concessions: apologizing to Turkey for defending themselves. The Israelis make the concessions, the "Palestinian" jihadis get the reward. "US unblocks $500M for Palestinians," from AFP, March 23 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The United States has quietly unblocked almost $500 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority which had been frozen by Congress for months, a top US official said Friday. 
The news that the funds had finally been freed up came after US President Barack Obama met top Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a landmark visit to Israel and the West Bank earlier this week.
"To date, we have moved $295.7 million in fiscal year 2012 money… and $200 million in fiscal year 2013 assistance," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters.

The Obama administration also notified Congress in late February that it was seeking a further $200 million to fund US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs for the Palestinians, she said.

The first sum comprises some $195.7 million, allocated under the 2012 fiscal year budget for USAID economic, development and humanitarian assistance, as well as a further $100 million earmarked specifically for narcotics control.
The second sum of $200 million unblocked and available to the Palestinian Authority will come under the 2013 budget and be spent for direct budget support.

The Palestinian Authority is facing its worst economic crisis in years, in part because of a failure by donors to deliver pledged funds. But its finances were plunged further into chaos after president Mahmud Abbas won upgraded UN observer status at the UN General Assembly in late November.

Congress froze the US administration's requests for funds.
And Israel, which also strongly opposed the move, said it was suspending monthly transfers of the tax and tariff revenue it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the wake of the decision.
It did, however, transfer $100 million in a one-off payment in late January....
Incredible.
Op-ed:
The budget rhetoric drones on and on and on...
By: Diane Sori

 
Claiming they had not passed a budget in four years because of fiscal policy disputes with House Republicans, just before 5am this past Saturday, as expected, 'Prince Harry,' and his mostly party line crew of miscreants in the Senate, approved by a vote of 50 to 49, the Democrats non-binding blueprint plan for the 2014 budget. Replacing the supposed deep sequestration cuts, this proposed $3.7 trillion budget sticks 'We the People' with $1 trillion in new tax increases over the next decade, and cuts modestly, if at all anything from domestic programs...after all, you know they must protect Barack HUSSEIN Obama's 'freebie and handout' programs at all costs so people (those whom I call 'the sponges of society') will continue to be beholden to them, and continue to vote Democratic at the mid-term elections.

And as an added extra prod to pass a budget...any budget NO matter how bad the Democrats nothing but a pro-tax, pro-spend, pro-debt, anti-defense budget (remember they're cutting defense allocations more than anything else) is....Senators did just that because of the new "no budget, no pay" provision that says if a budget is NOT passed by April 15th, Senators' salaries will be held in escrow until a budget is passed. And we all know their personal interests come way before those of 'We the People' or our country.

And as the lead-up to the Senate vote itself, into this budget mix went some 101 amendments (again non-binding) to the original proposal that were added and voted on strictly to force Republicans into a corner. For example, Paul Ryan's House budget was offered up for a vote, forcing Senate Republicans to say whether they were for or against the deep spending cuts and entitlement changes in his budget plan, all the while Democrats argued that the cuts were 'destructive and unrealistic.' And as if on cue the Senate rejected (59 to 40) Paul Ryan's budget proposal...a proposal that actually made sense...and then overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by Senator Rand Paul, whose proposal, in my opinion, actually was somewhat unworkable as it cut too much too fast to reduce the deficit in 5 years compared to Paul Ryan's 10 years 'without raising taxes' proposal that cut trillions of dollars from wasteful government accounts in an orderly logical way.

And with the Democrats being the 'tax and spend' sorts that they are, they poo-pooed the call for a balanced budget as they deliberately left this oh so important 'We the People' wanted proposal out of their plan. In fact, Obama said he's NOT trying to "chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.” NO of course he wouldn't as then that would mean he's actually listening to the wants of the majority of the American people.

According to Obama, "If we control spending and we have a smart entitlement package, then potentially what you have is balance...but it is not balance on the backs of the poor, the elderly, students who need student loans, families that have disabled kids. That is not the right way to balance our budget."

NO of course NOT...the right way according to Obama is to have the middle class carry the burden for those who want what we have but who refuse to work for it, to continue giving a free ride to the 47% who pay NO taxes at all, and to place the burden on the wealthiest Americans to reduce the deficit and balance the budget.

Sounds like a plan, huh...a plan to redistribute wealth via a socialist agenda...and the Senate is going along with this for NO other reason than to keep themselves in their cushy jobs by assuring themselves of more and more Democratic votes, because they know 'the sponges' will NEVER bite the hand that feeds them.

And also while they were at it, Prince Harry's Senate refused to defund the monstrosity known as ObamaCare...but this was NOT only expected but known before the vote was even taken as the Democrats also left this out of their proposal. Again, got to keep 'the sponges' happy.

Four Democrats with some still working brain cells, who were seriously concerned about the steep tax hikes in the proposal, voted against the Democratic proposal and sided with the Republicans. Senators Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas did the right thing and my thanks goes out to them.

So now this Senate proposal goes back to the House, where it most likely will fail thus leaving Congress no closer to resolving deep differences over how to shrink the deficit and 'grow' the economy. And so the blame game for having NO budget will begin anew as the two opposing budget proposals, and a third one being issued shortly by Obama himself (can't wait to see how he'll stick it to 'We the People' even more with that one) will be used as political fodder between the parties while 'We the People' continue to carry the burden of an America without a budget.

Ain't life grand in Obamanation...insert sarcasm here after gagging on the absurdity of it all.