Monday, April 16, 2012

No Obamacare Exchanges should be created by the States

Obamacare had a bad couple of days before the Supreme Court — so bad that President Obama made some ill-considered comments about the Court from which he still hasn't totally backpedaled. Though the oral arguments over the individual mandate and severability were encouraging, we cannot count on the Supremes to kill Obamacare. Opponents must keep fighting it on all fronts.

The most important front right now is to ensure that states do not create the health-insurance exchanges Obamacare needs in order to operate. Refusing to create exchanges is the most powerful thing states can do to take Obamacare down. Think of it as an insurance policy in case the Supreme Court whiffs.

Exchanges are the new government bureaucracies through which millions of Americans will be compelled to purchase Obamacare's overpriced and overregulated health insurance. Through these bureaucracies, insurance companies will receive hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. Without these bureaucracies, Obamacare cannot work.

Here are just a few reasons why states should refuse to create them.

Jobs. Refusing to create an exchange will block Obamacare from imposing a tax on employers whose health benefits do not meet the federal government's definition of "essential" coverage. That tax can run as high as $3,000 per employee. A state that refuses to create an exchange will spare its employers from that tax, and will therefore enable them to create more jobs.

Religious freedom. In blocking that employer tax, state officials would likewise block Obamacare's effort to force religious employers to provide coverage for services they find immoral — like contraception, pharmaceutical abortions, and sterilization.

The federal debt. Refusing to create exchanges would also reduce the federal debt, because it would prevent the Obama administration from doling out billions of dollars in subsidies to private insurance companies.

The U.S. Constitution. The Obama administration has indicated that it might try to tax employers and hand out those subsidies anyway — even in states that don't create an exchange, and even though neither Obamacare nor any other federal law gives it the power to do so. If that happens, the fact that a state has refused to create an exchange would give every large employer in the state — including the state government itself — the ability to go to court to block the administration's attempt to usurp Congress's legislative powers.

A lower state tax burden. States that opt to create an exchange can expect to pay anywhere from $10 million to $100 million per year to run it. But if states refuse, Obamacare says the federal government must pay to create one. Why should states pay for something that the federal government is giving away?

Bye-bye, Obamacare. That is, if the feds can create an exchange at all. The Obama administration has admitted it doesn't have the money — and good luck getting any such funding through the GOP-controlled House. Moreover, without state-run exchanges, the feds can't subsidize private insurance companies. That by itself could cause Obamacare to collapse.

Unfortunately, ever since Obamacare became law, lobbyists for the insurance companies and others who would financially benefit from it have been wooing state officials with the false promise that a state-run exchange would preserve state control over health care. If the Supreme Court fails to strike down the entire law, they'll say, "Aw, shucks. Now you have to create an exchange."

Nonsense. Obamacare does not and cannot mandate that states create exchanges. Moreover, state-run exchanges do not preserve local control. They will do Washington's bidding, or else they will be commandeered or swept aside.

Even if we assume the Obama administration figures out a way to impose a federal exchange on states, are there any atrocities a federal exchange might inflict that federal regulations could not require state-run exchanges to inflict? Of course not.

That's why every conservative and free-market group, including the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, has advised states to refuse to create an exchange and to send all related grants back to Washington. Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wisconsin have already done so.

If the Court strikes Obamacare down, state officials who refused to create an exchange will look prescient. If not, they will be positioned to drive a stake through its heart.



Chris Christie: America becoming a nation of couch potatoes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that the U.S. is turning into a “paternalistic entitlement society” that will bankrupt the country financially and morally because “we’ll have a bunch of people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check.”

“I’ve never seen a less optimistic time in my lifetime in this country and people wonder why,” the first-term Republican governor said at the Bush Institute Conference on Taxes and Economic Growth in New York City.

“I think it’s really simple. It’s because government’s now telling them ‘stop dreaming, stop striving, we’ll take care of you.’ We’re turning into a paternalistic entitlement society,” he said.

“That will not just bankrupt us financially, it will bankrupt us morally because when the American people no longer believe that this a place where only their willingness to work hard … determines their success in life then we’ll have a bunch of people sittin’ on a couch waiting for their next government check,” Christie said.

Much of the blame, Christie said, falls at the feet of politicians at all levels of government who are too eager to please voters.

“I’m not looking to be loved. You see, I think politicians get themselves into the biggest trouble when they care more about being loved than being respected. That’s why we run up these deficits we run up. That’s why we can’t say ‘no’ to anything. Because we care too much about being loved. I’m loved enough at home, believe me — on occasion,” he said.



Obama Admin: Your Privacy and All Your Stuff Belong To Us

Did you know that the federal government claims that it can take away your constitutional rights any time that it wants to?

Over the past several decades, there have been an endless parade of laws and executive orders that have been slowly and methodically carving up our rights under the U.S. Constitution. Most Americans are not even aware of the "creeping totalitarianism" that is happening. Most Americans just trust the "authorities" when they tell us that certain things "must be done" in order to keep us all safe.

But even if we gave up all of our privacy, even if we gave up all of our liberties and our freedoms, and even if we gave the government all of our stuff, they still would not be able to keep us safe. It is inevitable that evil people are going to do evil things, and if you are counting on the Obama administration to keep you safe then you are being delusional. Obama is not going to save us from anything.

But Obama will gladly take away our rights and our freedoms if the American people allow him to. The Obama administration seems to have an endless lust for more power. Sadly, if we do give away our rights it will have some very serious consequences. If we freely give away all of the rights that we have been given under the U.S. Constitution it will be incredibly difficult to ever get them back. Giving up liberty for security never works, and if we want to be worthy of being called Americans then we need to start standing up for the republic that our forefathers worked so hard to build.

An executive order that Barack Obama signed recently made headlines all over the nation. The title of the executive order is "National Defense Resources Preparedness" and it is actually an update of a series of previous executive orders.

The original "National Defense Resources Preparedness" executive order (EO 8248) was issued back in 1939. This latest version is very similar to EO 12919 that was signed by Bill Clinton in June 1994. However, several very important changes have been made in this new version.

For example, in Section 201(b) the words "under both emergency and non-emergency conditions" have been added.

So now the federal government can take control of all food, all energy, all health resources, all transportation resources and "all other materials, services, and facilities" in the country even if the United States is not experiencing emergency conditions.
Not that the Obama administration really needed to put that in there. After all, the U.S. government has been operating under a constant state of national emergency since September 14, 2001.

So the Obama administration did not really need to include a new excuse for taking control of everything. The existing "state of emergency" would probably work just fine.
If Barack Obama woke up one day and decided to exercise the powers in this executive order, he would be able to do pretty much anything that he wanted. This executive order would essentially allow Obama to declare a state of martial law in the United States even during a time when no emergency was happening.

Much more HERE


The motives of "Deep Throat": Mark Felt

Felt was no. 2 in the FBI

As the 40th anniversary of Watergate impends, we are to be bathed again in the great myth and morality play about the finest hour in all of American journalism.

Woodward and Bernstein paint Deep Throat, writes Holland, as a “selfless high-ranking official intent on exposing the lawlessness of the Nixon White House.” But this is self-serving nonsense.

The truth was right in front of Woodward. His refusal to see it made him a willing or witless collaborator in the ruin of the reputation and career of an honorable pubic servant, Patrick Gray.

Felt was consumed by anger and ambition. When Hoover died, a month before the break-in, Felt, who had toadied to Hoover, saw himself as Hoover’s successor. But President Nixon went outside the bureau to name Gray from the Department of Justice acting director.

Concealing his rage and resentment, Felt wormed himself into Gray’s confidence, and then set out to destroy Gray. Felt’s method: Leak discoveries of the Watergate investigation to a cub reporter at the Post, which everybody in Washington read, rather than to veteran journalists known to be FBI outlets. This would cover Felt’s tracks.

Published in the Post, the leaks of what the FBI was uncovering would enrage Nixon and make Gray appear an incompetent unable to conduct a professional investigation. This would make it unlikely that Nixon would ever send Gray’s name to the Senate for confirmation as permanent director.

And if Gray, an outsider, fell because he couldn’t keep the FBI from leaking, Nixon might turn to Felt, the ranking insider who could button up the bureau like Hoover did.

By ingratiating himself with Gray as he set out to discredit and destroy him, Felt expected that when Gray was passed over by Nixon, he would recommend to Nixon that he appoint his loyal deputy, Felt, as director. Even if cynical and vicious, the scheme was clever.

Until Nixon found out Felt was the leaker in late 1972, he was considering Felt for the top job. Felt’s machinations and deceptions at the apex of the FBI make Nixon’s White House appear in retrospect to have been a cloistered convent of Carmelite nuns.

More revolting than the ruin of Gray’s reputation was what Felt did to the good name of the bureau he professed to love. By leaking what agents were learning about Watergate, he was discrediting the FBI.

Inside the government, he made the FBI look like an agency of bumblers who could not keep secrets. Outside the government, the FBI looked like a three-toed sloth, while a fleet-footed and fearless Washington Post was unearthing the truth.

The FBI appeared beaten at every turn by the brilliant Post, when it was the FBI’s homework Felt was stealing and the Post was cribbing. Woodward and Bernstein were glorified stenographers.

And though Deep Throat was portrayed as a man sickened by the wiretaps and break-ins by the White House, Felt himself, writes Holland, “authorized illegal surreptitious entries into the homes of people associated with the Weather Underground.”

Mark Felt was a snake. He used the Post to destroy his rivals and advance his ambitions, and the Post didn’t care what his motives were because Felt was assisting them in destroying their old enemy.



Breivik ‘has sympathizers’

As debate continues over whether confessed Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is insane, an ideological warrior, simply evil or all of the above, chilling details continue to emerge about how he thinks. Among them, that he still has no regrets over killing 77 persons last summer, wishes he’d been able to carry his attacks further, and that he has sympathizers both in Norway and abroad.

Oslo-based newspaper Aftenposten has been publishing a steady stream of excerpts from records of lengthy conversations between Breivik and police investigators, court-appointed psychiatrists and prison officials during the past several months. On Friday came more details from the 310-page report written by a second team of court-appointed psychiatrists who reversed an earlier evaluation of Breivik by claiming he’s not insane after all.

They could find no evidence, for example, that Breivik’s ongoing references to “we” instead of “I” when discussing his attacks is a sign of any “identity disturbance.” Rather, they contend in their report, it’s because “he has sympathizers in Norway and other countries.” They wrote that Breivik has received many letters of support since he bombed Norway’s government headquarters on July 22 and then gunned down scores of people, mostly youth, at a Labour Party summer camp on the island of Utøya.

“While in custody he’s received a steady stream of sympathy declarations from like-minded persons,” the psychiatrists wrote, adding that they “therefore find no basis for interpreting his extreme and unrealistic political perceptions and goals as a sign of psychotic thought processes.”

Psychiatrists Agnar Aspaas and Terje Tørrissen also reported that they studied the right-wing extremist online milieu where Breivik was an active participant. “It’s well-known … that there are political subcultures that adhere to the extreme political ideas that (Breivik) has defended,” they wrote. They believe that Breivik has reason to believe he is not alone in his beliefs that Norway and Europe need to be protected from ongoing immigration by Muslims.

Breivik recently admitted that he fabricated the existence of the organization for which he initially claimed he was a commander, Knights Templar, but neither Aspaas nor Tørrissen believe that is a sign of psychosis either. “He has shown that the entire idea of Knights Templar sprang out of his own fantasy,” they wrote, according to Aftenposten. They believe he simply has wrapped himself into an “unrealistic future dream based on totalitarian and militant ideological svermeri (fanaticism).”

Geir Lippestad, Breivik’s defense attorney, won’t comment on the psychiatrists’ report but has told reporters that his client was satisfied with it.

While the psychiatrists found no psychosis, no suicidal tendencies, no paranoia nor any grand delusions, they claim he does have an extremely over-inflated opinion of himself and that he rejects society in general. In short, he believes he’s right and most everyone else is wrong.



There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.



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