Friday, April 16, 2010

Obama's Power

Just so you know, the day after the Tax Day Tea Parties: The Washington Examiner reports: President Barack Obama said Thursday he's amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.
Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he's cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.
"You would think they'd be saying thank you," he said.  [This statement depends on the meaning of  the words "tax" and "cut".  Even he can't really believe his own words, or can he?]
Obama bowed again.

Mon Apr 12, 6:49 PM ET
President Barack Obama greets Chinese President Hu Jintao during the official arrivals for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Monday April 12, 2010.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  [Bowing again to a head of state.......]

U.S. President Obama greets Canadas Prime Minister Stephen Harper 
at ...Obama, honoring our Canadian ally......?
"He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue [not it's failings as Obama does], and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves."  Samuel Adams  1865

  • The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have receiv'd them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchas'd them for us with toil and danger and expence of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath'd to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. — Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that "if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom." It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.

    • Essay, written under the pseudonym "Candidus," in The Boston Gazette (14 October 1771)
    • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
The AP reports: Gov. Bobby Jindal's chief campaign fund-raiser is recovering from injuries she suffered in a Friday night altercation with a group of people in the French Quarter, the governor's office said Monday.
Allee Bautsch suffered a broken leg and her boyfriend suffered a concussion and a fractured nose and jaw in the incident, which happened after a fundraising event at Brennan's Restaurant on behalf of the Louisiana Republican Party on Friday evening.
Jindal was at the fund-raising event at the restaurant, but was not present when the incident occurred.
Kyle Plotkin, a Jindal spokesman, said Bautsch had surgery during the weekend and is facing a recovery time of two to three months.  [Is this perhaps just a little more violent than the angry words of Tea Party attendees whose words are not being heard by this Administration and Congress?]

While Congress considers sweeping new legislation to permanently institutionalize the bailouts and federal control of our financial system (right on the heels of their health care takeover, of course) several other sweeping power grabs are going on outside the spotlight of legislative debate. Indeed President Obama seems to believe that most of his sweeping agenda to transform the country can be accomplished without even a vote of Congress. The chart seen above and found here shows what the administration is up to.
As I’ve previously noted here in the Fox Forum, the the EPA is pursuing an aggressive global warming power grab under the direction of White House Climate czar Carol Browner (who was not subject to Senate confirmation), and the FCC is pursuing a regulatory takeover of the Internet.
Both of those efforts are now escalating. The EPA has now finalized its vehicle emissions rule, for the first time regulating global warming under the 1970 Clean Air
Act. While EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is trying to calm a political backlash by promising the delay the onslaught of regulations (the overall blueprint is over 18,000 pages and regulates almost everything that moves and lots of things that stay put) she remains committed to them. The Senate will have a key vote on S.J. Res. 26, which would stop the EPA, some time in May.
The FCC was smacked down in court last week in Comcast v. FCC, which held that the Commission has no jurisdiction to regulate the Internet. Yet FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a close friend of Obama’s, is now considering Internet regulations of an even more extreme nature and by an even more dubious mechanism—reclassifying the Internet as a phone system to regulate it like an old-fashioned public utility.
Obama has a pattern of sidestepping Congress that will only get worse in the aftermath of the health care fight and the pending financial “reform” legislation. For a full explanation of all of these threats as well as action items on how to stop them, please check out the interactive version of the chart on
The Hill reports:
If the financial regulation bill that passed the House last year becomes law, President Obama and his Treasury Secretary will acquire the right to take over any financial institution they wish to, provided that, in their sole opinion, it is both "too big to fail" and on the brink of insolvency. The House bill provides for no judicial review and does not require any objective evidence of imminent failure to trigger the takeover provisions.

Once the government takes over such a company, it will acquire the right to replace the entire board of directors, fire the management of the company, wipe out stockholder equity and even sell off divisions of the company.

Service Employees International Union President Andrew Stern, (the most frequent visitor to the White House) and one of America's most prominent labor leaders, is set to resign, according to a member of the union's board and another SEIU official.
The SEIU has emerged as a central political player and has grown rapidly under Stern's tenure, and some close to him had expected him to resign during the first term of the president he helped elect, and after the achievement he'd spent years focusing on, widening access to health care. But he's also waged a series of bitter battles inside the labor movement, one of the nastiest of which turned in SEIU's favor with a California court ruling last week. Stern also won a victory when Obama named his union's lawyer, Craig Becker, to the National Labor Relations board over Republican objections in a recess appointment last month.
Stern, even without the union presidency, would remain on, among other things, the board of President Obama's deficit commission, to which he was appointed in February. [It's the "among other things" that concerns me.  I won't be surprised if he turns up as an appointee of the President."  Either that, or we will be told that it doesn't matter what terrible things he has done - he is gone, let's just move forward.]
Stern’s operating philosophy: “[W]e prefer to use the power of persuasion, but if that doesn’t work we use the persuasion of power.”

“It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.” — President-Elect Barack Obama [said of Stern], November 4, 2008
“It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.” Ayn Rand, The Soul of a Collectivist, For the New Intellectual
Jennifer Rubin of Commentary Magazine writes:  At times Obama seems to embody the worst characteristics of the Left — near comical moral equivalence, indifference to human rights, and a willingness to disregard America’s stature as the world’s leading democracy. Add in some jaw-dropping egotism and you have a scene like this:
President Obama said Sunday that the United States is still “working on” democracy and a top aide said he has taken “historic steps” to improve democracy in the United States during his time in office. The remarks came as Obama met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev — one of the U.S. president’s many meetings with world leaders ahead of this week’s nuclear summit.

The Heritage Foundation reports: Is the Federal Communications Commission building a case for government-subsidized news? It’s not hard to imagine that will be the outcome of the Commission’s “Future of Media” inquiry. The digital age has produced a “democratic shortfall,” according to one source cited in the inquiry’s public notice. Another scholar working on the project for the FCC has said that today’s media abundance calls for “public media entities” that will serve “as both a filter to reduce information overload and a megaphone to give voice to the unheard.” 
Obama has told state governments that in the event of a nuclear attack on America, they should not expect any federal response for 24-72 hours.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Henry Waxman and CEO Testimony

News Flash -
CEOs had been asked to testify before a U.S. House subcommittee investigating the companies' claims that the new health care bill will affect their ability to provide coverage for its retirees, and will therefore cost the companies millions of dollars.
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations also wanted Caterpillar and other companies to document the claims and explain how they arrived at the amounts they claim the new law will cost them.  Representative Henry Waxman, who called for the grilling of those CEOs,  has called off the testimony.   Someone actually read the legal requirements for companies to actually show their expenses, and found that they were only following the law.  It must be so disappointing to not be able to rail against big companies as evil doers.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Obama's Health Care Bill Has Passed - Now We See What's In It!

The Washington Examiner writes: Taxpayers earning less than $200,000 a year will pay roughly $3.9 billion more in taxes — in 2019 alone — because of healthcare reform, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official scorekeeper for legislation.
The new law raises $15.2 billion over 10 years by limiting the medical expense deduction, a provision widely used by taxpayers who either have a serious illness or are older.
Taxpayers can currently deduct medical expenses in excess of 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income. Starting in 2013, most taxpayers will only be allowed to deducted expenses greater than 10 percent of AGI. Older taxpayers are hit by this threshold increase in 2017.
This is worse than a tax on the middle class. It’s a tax on the middle class who are seriously ill. And what’s the over/under on how may times Obama is going to break that “no taxes on anyone earning under $250,000 a year” pledge, anyway?
From Human Events comes the following: In 1798, long before the “Nullification Crisis” arose, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions, contending that states not only had the right to decide the constitutionality of federal legislation but to leave the Union if unconstitutional legislation was not rescinded. One year later, James Madison took an identical position in the Virginia Resolutions.  (Both sets of resolutions were written in the belief that President John Adams had violated the Constitution via the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.)

Three decades later, southerners viewed the “Tariff of Abominations” as Jefferson and Madison had viewed Adams’ legislation. And sharing Jefferson’s view that the federal government was a compact created by the states, and therefore one the states had a right to dismantle should tyranny arise, South Carolina pushed the doctrine of nullification coupled with the threat of secession.
And the demarcation between supporters of a burgeoning government and supporters of states’ rights is as clear (and important) in 2010 as it was in 1828 and 1832. For within days after the passage of Obamacare, Utah, Texas, Virgnia, Alabama, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, and South Dakota, positioned themselves to file suit against it on grounds that portions of the legislation were unconstitutional: And before the legislation was even signed into law Idaho and Minnesota were taking their stand.

Within weeks, these first fourteen states were joined by six more, and now the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that “members of at least 39 state legislatures have proposed legislation” which, in one way or another, is aimed at stopping Obamacare in its tracks.

In short, the race is on to nullify this legislation before the citizens of the states fall prey to the greedy, overreaching paws of those who put government first, and liberty second.

May it ever be the theme of Conservatism that regardless of the stakes involved, we hold liberty, above all else, “most dear.”
[It's not as if those with functioning minds didn't predict this, but the Wall St. Journal reports]:  Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000. 
A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.  [Sounds like Canada.  Might this be what we call rationing, in effect leading to "death panels"?]
Proponents of the new health-care law say it does attempt to address the physician shortage. The law offers sweeteners to encourage more people to enter medical professions, and a 10% Medicare pay boost for primary-care doctors.
Meanwhile, a number of new medical schools have opened around the country recently. As of last October, four new medical schools enrolled a total of about 190 students, and 12 medical schools raised the enrollment of first-year students by a total of 150 slots, according to the AAMC. Some 18,000 students entered U.S. medical schools in the fall of 2009, the AAMC says.
But medical colleges and hospitals warn that these efforts will hit a big bottleneck: There is a shortage of medical resident positions. The residency is the minimum three-year period when medical-school graduates train in hospitals and clinics.  [Yes indeed, we are beginning to see the effects of Obamacare already.]
The NYT, on the new health care bill: The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.
But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.
The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.
Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.
“It is unclear whether members of Congress and Congressional staff who are currently participating in F.E.H.B.P. may be able to retain this coverage,” the research service said in an 8,100-word memorandum.
And even if current members of Congress can stay in the popular program for federal employees, that option will probably not be available to newly elected lawmakers, the report says.
Moreover, it says, the strictures of the new law will apply to staff members who work in the personal office of a member of Congress. But they may or may not apply to people who work on the staff of Congressional committees and in “leadership offices” like those of the House speaker and the Democratic and Republican leaders and whips in the two chambers.
From Human Events: 58 percent of American voters support the repeal of Obamacare just three weeks after Congress passed it, and that's probably without even realizing the extent of the tainted cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office or the tax consequences of the bill.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Iraq and Nuclear Weapons, Free Obamacare, and Tea Party Goers

Just prior to our President's proclamation that "Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons, and they will use it", wrote this:  Iran's hard-line president last week ridiculed President Barack Obama's new nuclear strategy, which turns the U.S. focus away from the Cold War threats and instead aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists. 

Obama on Tuesday announced the new strategy, including a vow not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them. Iran, however, was pointedly excepted from that pledge, along with North Korea, because Washington accuses them of not cooperating with the international community on nonproliferation standards. "American materialist politicians, whenever they are beaten by logic, immediately resort to their weapons like cowboys," Ahmadinejad said in a speech before a crowd of several thousand in northwestern Iran.

"Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer (to politics). Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience. Be careful not to read just any paper put in front of you or repeat any statement recommended," Ahmadinejad said in the speech, aired live on state TV.

"American materialist politicians, whenever they are beaten by logic, immediately resort to their weapons like cowboys," Ahmadinejad said in a speech before a crowd of several thousand in northwestern Iran.

"We tell them it's not free [Obamacare], that there are going to be things in place that help people who are low-income, but that ultimately most of that is not going to be taking place until 2014," McLean said.

Adults with pre-existing conditions are frustrated to learn that insurers won't have to cover them until 2014 (though those under 18 will be protected in late September); then they become both hopeful and confused upon learning that a federal high-risk pool for them will be established in the next few months. "Health insurance is so confusing. You add this on top of it and it makes it even more confusing," McLean said.
Read more:
Commentary Magazine reports: The name of the new 3.8 percent “Medicare Tax” on investment income (imposed on people in the upper two tax brackets) was changed the day before the House vote. Its official name in the law signed by President Obama last week is not the “Medicare Tax” (the name in the text released 72 hours before the vote) but rather the “Medicare Contribution.” 
Michelle Malkin reports on the fact that anti-Tea Party groups have been and will be attempting to crash the parties and to make its' participants look bad. They have written: "We will act on behalf of the Tea Party in ways which exaggerate their least appealing qualities (misspelled protest signs, wild claims in TV interviews, etc.) to further distance them from mainstream America and damage the public’s opinion of them. We will also use the inside information that we have gained in order to disrupt and derail their plans.” [Straight from Saul Alinsky's Rules For Radicals..  Those who attend Tea Parties must be ready with out cameras, our cell phone cameras and our camcorders to record these interlopers.  As usual, conservatives deal in the truth while liberals deal in lies, distortions, and degradations of their foes.]
President Obama said Sunday that the United States is still "working on" democracy and a top aide said he has taken "historic steps" to improve democracy in the United States during his time in office. The remarks came as Obama met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev