Monday, January 16, 2012

Romneycare receives setback from court; France downgraded as well as socialism; UN peacekeepers take cholera to Haiti; Government's financial reporting is abysmal; Devout Muslim now on Homeland Security Advisory Committee; Department of Defense smart cards compromised; Dolphins to seek Iranian mines in Strait of Hormuz; We need to spend more to help immigrants assimilate; Obama's foreign policies put us in danger; U.S. continues downward in Economic Index of Freedom; Health and Human Services Secretary obstruct investigation and then destroy evidence, when governor; The government we have is not the government we need

Townhall Finance reports: One of the ways Massachusetts officials have tried to temper RomneyCare’s cost overruns was by denying participation to legal immigrants. Last week, the Commonwealth’s highest court ruled that restriction violates the Massachusetts Constitution:
Massachusetts cannot bar legal immigrants from a state health care program, according to a ruling issued Thursday by the state’s highest court…
The ruling said that a 2009 state budget that dropped about 29,000 legal immigrants who had lived in the United States for less than five years from Commonwealth Care, a subsidized health insurance program central to this state’s 2006 health care overhaul, violated the State Constitution.
“This appropriation discriminated on the basis of alienage and national origin,” wrote Justice Robert J. Cordy of the Supreme Judicial Court, ruling that the action “violates their rights to equal protection under the Massachusetts Constitution.”…
State officials say they will abide by the decision, although they are not yet sure how to pay for the change.
“This decision has significant fiscal impacts for the commonwealth, adding somewhere in the range of $150 million in annual costs to what is already a very challenging budget,” said Jay Gonzalez, secretary of administration and finance.
No doubt their “pay for” will involve another unpopular minority.
Former Romney/Obama advisor Jonathan Gruber has written that RomneyCare  was already costing the state $50 billion more than projected by 2009.  Of course, supporters have been hiding RomneyCare’s costs (and exaggerating its benefits) all along.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Human Events writes: Well, it’s finally happened. Once again, socialism has put a silver fork in itself. Standard & Poor’s has downgraded France’s AAA credit rating, giving the country side-eye on claims to have its debt under control. This means the country will now have to pay it all back at an even higher interest rate. 

Who are we kidding? No one’s paying back any debts right now. You need money to do that. When was the last time France had any extra cash lying around? It’s like raising the interest rate on the credit card of a smack addict whose pumping his capital into his veins faster than any German, Chinese, or Russian can slip him a tenner.

No amount of hot air and spin could ultimately keep socialism afloat. It’s a good lesson for those in America and other parts of the world who think that Europe is in any way an exemplary, sustainable alternative to free-market limited government capitalism. If capitalism is perceived to not be working in America -- as the Occupy Wall Street movement has argued -- then it’s because the system isn’t capitalist enough.
Yahoo News reports: Compelling new scientific evidence suggests United Nations peacekeepers have carried a virulent strain of cholera -- a super bug -- into the Western Hemisphere for the first time.
The vicious form of cholera has already killed 7,000 people in Haiti, where it surfaced in a remote village in October 2010. Leading researchers from Harvard Medical School and elsewhere told ABC News that, despite UN denials, there is now a mountain of evidence suggesting the strain originated in Nepal, and was carried to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers who came to Haiti to serve as UN peacekeepers after the earthquake that ravaged the country on Jan. 12, 2010 -- two years ago today. Haiti had never seen a case of cholera until the arrival of the peacekeepers, who allegedly failed to maintain sanitary conditions at their base. [Unintended consequences of doing "good"]
Washington Times reports: The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) annual audit of federal agency financial statements, released last month. As it has for many years, the GAO concluded that it cannot express an opinion on the statements because of weak internal financial controls and unreliable evidence to support material information.
In other words, the government’s financial reporting is so abysmal no one can tell taxpayers exactly how their money is being spent. That’s aside from the fact that the nation’s current fiscal path is unsustainable.
World Net Daily reports: Homeland Security is on the hot seat. Back in October 2010, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano named the devout Muslim Mohamed Elibiary to the Homeland Security Advisory Council. The Texas Department of Public Safety now says that Elibiary may have been allowed to gain access to a highly sensitive database of intelligence reports, and then allegedly shopped some of the material he found in that database to a media outlet for a story about “Islamophobia” in the Public Safety Department.
Who else is the devout Elibiary shopping sensitive intel to? Mohamed Elibiary was one of the speakers at a December 2004 conference in Dallas entitled “A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary,” that is, the Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iran and the violent Muslim global revolution to install a universal Islamic government. When Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News challenged him about his appearance at this conference, Elibiary threatened Dreher, writing: “Expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe.” I warned about Elibiary’s appointment back in 2010.
It is bad enough that Napolitano appointed Elibiary to the Homeland Security Advisory Council in the first place, but it gets even worse. When questioned last week by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, at the U.S. Immigration and Enforcement hearings, Big Sis, Janet Napolitano (with the most disturbing hairdo and hair color that I have ever seen), admitted that she has been giving secret clearance to Muslim Brotherhood-tied operatives here in the U.S.
The UK Register writes: A new strain of the Sykipot Trojan is been used to compromise the Department of Defense-sanctioned smart cards used to authorise network and building access at many US government agencies, according to security researchers.
Smart cards are a standard means of granting active duty military staff, selected reserve personnel, civilian employees and eligible contractors access to intranets at US Army, Navy and the Air Force facilities. They can be used to get into buildings or, when used in conjunction with a static password, to access networks.
Chinese hackers have adapted the Sykipot Trojan to lift card credentials from compromised systems in order to access classified military networks, according to researchers at security tools firm AlienVault. An adapted version of the Trojan targets PCs attached to smart card readers running ActivClient, the client application of ActivIdentity, in what's been described as a 'smart card proxy' attack. [And if we believe that our proposed internet identities, forced by government, would be secure - we are fools.]
The Atlantic Wire reports: If Iran closes the Strait of Hormuz, the U.S. Navy has a backup plan to save one-fifth of the world's daily oil trade: send in the dolphins
The threat of Iran closing the strait has reached a fever pitch, reports today's New York Times, with U.S. officials warning Iran's supreme leader that such moves would cross a "red line" provoking a U.S. response. Iran could block the strait with any assortment of mines, armed speed boats or anti-ship cruise missiles but according to Michael Connell at the Center for Naval Analysis, “The immediate issue [for the U.S. military] is to get the mines.” To solve that problem, the Navy has a solution that isn't heavily-advertised but has a time-tested success rate: mine-detecting dolphins.
National Review writes: The U.S. is not spending enough on helping immigrants to assimilate, argues a USC professor in the New York Times. We should redirect “the billions of dollars spent on border enforcement” to the education budget, both to federal student loans and to community and four-year state colleges, says public-policy professor Dowell Myers.
Myers projects that by 2030, 18 percent of second-generation Hispanic students will have a college degree. He apparently means that as good news; in fact it is a sign of how slowly progress between the generations is occurring, since the Hispanic graduation rate in California was 10 percent in 2006.
American Thinker opines: Shakespeare's Mark Antony beseeched his countrymen to "lend me your ears."  Is it time to ask Americans to lend their eyes to see how President Obama's foreign policies have endangered our country?
1. Failure to Support Iranian Democracy Protesters:  
2. The Nuclear Countdown:
3. Turkey -- Ally or Enemy?
4. Russian "Reset":

Obama promised to "reset" relations with Russia.  The effect to date is all gain for Russia, all loss for the U.S.  Obama quickly reneged on a U.S. missile defense agreement with democratic Poland and the Czech Republic, thereby indicating that no friendly country can rely on the U.S.  Russia responded to Obama's unilateral magnanimity by, e.g., refusing to compromise on missile defense in Europe or strategic arms reductions, as well as by continuing  aggression against tiny Georgia.  Obama seems determined to further reward Russia with unilateral strategic arms reductions (the only known college or law school paper by Obama advocates shedding all nuclear weapons) and pulling U.S. troops from Europe.  It is not possible to identify any advantage to the U.S. in the "reset" with Russia.
5. Fading of the Arab Spring: 

Obama's policies have facilitated the ascendancy of hard-line Islamist political power throughout the Mideast.
6. Israel-Palestinians:
7. Will Our Armed Forces Be Adequate to Protect Us

Washington Examiner writes: Every year that Barack Obama has occupied the Oval Office, the United States has fallen lower in the Economic Index of Freedom compiled annually by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. America was fifth in the ranking in 2008 (surpassed only by Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland and Australia), then dropped to sixth in 2009, eighth in 2010, ninth last year, and now 10th. The index measures, according to its authors, 10 categories of economic freedom: labor, business, trade, fiscal responsibility, government spending, monetary policy, investment, financial regulation, property rights, and absence of corruption. Scores in these categories are averaged to create an overall score for each of all 184 nations.
But increased federal spending never happens in a vacuum. It is invariably accompanied by more bureaucratic regulation. This has especially been true under Obama, whose administration has added at least 46 major new regulations, which are estimated to impose at least $100 million in added compliance costs on private-sector businesses. As Heritage's Ed Feulner observed, "Each new edict means a new government bureaucracy that individuals and businesses must navigate. Each new law opens the door for political graft and cronyism."
At the root of the spending and regulatory explosion under Obama -- and the resulting decline in U.S. economic freedom -- is his obvious disdain for the Constitution's limits on executive branch power.
What there hasn't been is anything like a demonstration of resolve in Congress to stand up to Obama and force his compliance with the Constitution. There is only one way to do that on appointments and that is to withdraw funding for any action taken by the appointees in question.
The New American opines: A state Governor and her appointees obstruct an investigation into repeated coverups of child rape. When they find they can no longer stave off the inevitable, they destroy the evidence. Along the way they try to have the prosecutor disbarred. The Governor later becomes a member of the President’s Cabinet. These are the makings of a major scandal that should be plastered across the front page of every newspaper in America. Instead, hardly anyone has heard of it. Why?

The answer is twofold. First, the former Governor is current Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Second, her administration’s actions were undertaken in an effort to protect the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. One needn’t be Sherlock Holmes to figure out why the mainstream media have chosen to ignore the story.
Bloomberg writes: President Obama: “The government we have is not the government that we need,” Obama said yesterday at the White House. “Our economy has fundamentally changed — as has the world — but our government, our agencies, have not.”

1 comment:

  1. old grizzled veteranJanuary 16, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    All good news to know...gotta love that our Economic Freedom Index has fallen ever since THE WON has been in office--the truth does hurt !
    And, what in the &%@# is Homeland Security(?) doing appointing a radical muslim to such a sensitive committee!!!!