Tuesday, December 27, 2011

States may now decide on minimum benefits of health insurance packages; "War on Terror" money spent on clown shows, fish fry ads, and snow-cone machines; Voter ID and Eric Holder; Absentee Voter ID fraud in Troy, NY; Obama won't be bound by newly signed omnibus law; A laziness in Obama; Obama's "civilian national security force" in new defense reauthorization bill?'; Gingrich agrees with Romney 's Health Care law, individual mandate; New defense authorization act is a slip into tyranny;

Our tired President, leaving for $4 million golfing vacation in Hawaii.  I took this photo as his helicopter was rising from the White House grounds on Friday December 23.

Forbes opines: Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, shocked many in the wonk world by announcing that she was going to allow the individual states to make the call on the minimum benefits required to be included in the health insurance packages offered to customers through the state run health care exchanges.
It did not have to be this way.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) gave the HHS Secretary the power to establish the rules on what benefits and coverage insurance companies must, at a minimum, offer throughout the country. Had the Administration accepted this responsibility, rather than playing pass the hot potato, it would have not only insured uniformity of basic benefits but also taken the matter out of the hands of the lobbyists who will now be very busy writing the rules that will be rubber stamped by anti-Obamacare legislatures in many American states.
Is the president now backing off his landmark achievement to gain a little political cover as he heads into 2012 or is the Administration simply acknowledging the importance of state sovereignty when it comes to how health care operates on the state level? http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/12/24/is-obama-chickening-out-on-obamacare/
Lowering the Bar writes: Every time you think "homeland security" can't get more ridiculous, it gets more ridiculous.
There have been plenty of examples already showing that large amounts of your tax money supposedly earmarked for the "War on Terror" end up getting used for purposes that are, shall we say, less than mission-critical. Back in 2006, we learned that $25 million in homeland-security money had been handed out in just one grant program with no controls at all, which resulted in $77,000 going to local fire departments to fund "puppet and clown shows," and another $22,000 for an "educational robot." An Indiana county got in trouble for using its $300,000 Electronic Emergency Message Boards, intended to notify the public about things like evacuation routes, to advertise the volunteer fire department's charity fish fry. This is just the local stuff, not counting the umpteen billions spent on naked scanners that don't do any good.
The Daily News was able to confirm that the the snow-cone machines were funded by a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program, but nobody seems to have had a good answer for the "appropriate use" question, surprisingly enough. Two ways to go in that situation: (1) admit it was a mistake or a bad decision, and fix it; or (2) insist that yes, there is an entirely valid purpose for incorporating an Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine into your anti-terrorism plan.
“It is used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security,” [Sandeep] Dey said from his office in Muskegon. “More importantly, they (homeland security officials) felt in a medical emergency the machine was capable of making ice packs which could be used for medical purposes.” http://www.loweringthebar.net/2011/12/the-homeland-security-snow-cone-machine.html
Wall St. Journal writes: In the Attorney General's telling, the movement in the states to require voters to show some ID is a revival of minority disenfranchisement a la Jim Crow. A growing number of minorities, he said in a speech last week, are now worried about "the same disparities, divisions and problems" that beset the country in 1965 and "many Americans, for the first time in their lives . . . now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up" to the promise of democracy for all
Mr. Holder's remarks are especially notable because they come as the Justice Department is reviewing voter ID laws in Texas and South Carolina for "preclearance" under the Voting Rights Act. The states' plans require voters to present photo ID like a driver's license or passport to vote, a measure endorsed by the Commission on Federal Election Reform headed by President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker in 2005 to protect the integrity of the ballot.
The court's liberal lion, then-Justice John Paul Stevens, wrote for the majority that Indiana's law "is unquestionably relevant to the State's interest in protecting the integrity and reliability of the electoral process." Indiana offered free voter ID cards to all citizens, so the inconvenience of picking up an ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles wasn't an undue burden and was reasonably balanced by the state's interest in reducing fraud, Justice Stevens wrote.
National Review, however, writes: The latest voter-fraud convictions in Troy, N.Y., must be very inconvenient to the public-affairs propagandists over at the DNC and the NAACP, as well as liberal media outlets like the New York Times. It just ruins their constant refrain that there is no voter fraud in the United States. 
Eric Shawn at FOX News reports that two Troy city officials, the city clerk and a councilman, along with two Democratic political operatives, have pled guilty to forging absentee-ballot signatures and casting fraudulent ballots in the 2009 Working Families Party primary. The WFP is the political party associated with ACORN.
As for the constant liberal claims that voter fraud does not occur, one of the Democratic operatives who pled guilty, Anthony DeFiglio, told New York State police investigators “that faking absentee ballots was a commonplace and accepted practice in political circles, all intended to swing an election.” And whose votes do they steal? DeFiglio was very plain about that: “The people who are targeted live in low-income housing, and there is a sense that they are a lot less likely to ask any questions.” http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/286557/yes-virginia-there-really-voter-fraud-hans-von-spakovsky
The Hill writes: President Obama said Friday he will not be bound by at least 20 policy riders in the 2012 omnibus funding the government, including provisions pertaining to Guantanamo Bay and gun control.
After he signed the omnibus into law Friday, the White House released a concurrent signing statement saying Obama will object to portions of the legislation on constitutional grounds.
"I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress's consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient," Obama said in a statement as he signed the bill into law.
The statement also objects to numerous unnamed provisions in the bill that would require executive branch officials to clear everyday spending decisions with appropriators.
Of these extra conditions, Obama writes, "our spending decisions shall not be treated as dependent on the approval of congressional committees. [If you are interested in actions which can be considered those of a dictator, read the full article.  He signed the bill and immediately said he will comply only on the items with which he agree.]
World Net Daily writes: Way back in July 2008, when Barack Obama was just a candidate for the presidency, he gave a speech in which he called for the creation of a "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military.
No one in the media reported it.
I think Obama may have pushed his "civilian national security force" through the Congress and signed it into law.
What am I talking about?
I'm talking about the defense reauthorization bill that sailed through both houses of Congress and was signed into law recently. I called it, "The day habeas corpus died."  http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=380161

Gingrich ’06 Memo: “Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney” on Health Care

ABC News opines: To conservatives, the biggest strike against Mitt Romney is the health care plan he put in place in Massachusetts, but Newt Gingrich lavished praise on Romney’s plan after it was passed in 2006. “We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans,” Gingrich wrote in 2006.
And, Gingrich wrote, the key to achieving that goal was doing what Romney did in Massachusetts:  Requiring everybody who could afford it to buy health insurance.  In fact, Gingrich makes an impassioned case for the so-called individual mandate — which is also at the center of President Obama’s health plan — on conservative grounds.
“We also believe strongly that personal responsibility is vital to creating a 21st Century Intelligent Health System,”http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/gingrich-06-memo-agree-entirely-with-gov-romney-on-health-care/

The Hill writes: GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul warned that the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by Congress this month, will accelerate the country’s “slip into tyranny” and virtually assures “our descent into totalitarianism.”
“The founders wanted to set a high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty,” Paul, the libertarian congressman, said Monday in a weekly phone message to supporters. “To lower that bar is to endanger everyone. When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-presidential-primary/201335-rep-paul-says-defense-bill-assures-descent-into-totalitarianism

1 comment:

  1. old grizzled veteranDecember 29, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Our President will not be bound by the content of a piece of legislation passed by Congress, and one HE SIGNED INTO LAW ??!! Sounds like a dictator's profile to me....I thought America had laws, and nobody is above the laws....