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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Supreme Court to Determine the Constitutionality of Health Care Act

C-SPAN has a page exclusively devoted to this Supreme Court case here.

Below is the entire post from C-SPAN's website about ObamaCare at the Supreme Court:

The U.S. Supreme Court holds an unprecedented 6 hours of oral arguments beginning Monday in the multi-state lawsuit challenging the health care law. They will determine the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. The case is Florida v. Department of Health & Human Services.

Three different circuit courts heard oral argument on the new health care law. In May 2011, the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia heard two cases on the health care law.

In Liberty University v. Geithner, the Court decided 2-1 that the individuals in the case could not challenge the law until after the law goes into effect. And Virginia v. Sebelius, the court dismissed the case on the rationale that the only plaintiff in the case, the Commonwealth of Virginia, had no legal right to bring a lawsuit because the individual mandate affects only individuals.

The first appellate court with a decision on the law was the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama. The Court decided 2-1 to reject the Center’s argument that the individual mandate can never be constitutional, an argument known as a “facial challenge.”

In an opinion by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a known conservative judge who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, the court held that it is constitutional to require all Americans to buy health insurance.

The next to hear a challenge to the health care law was at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. That Court reached the opposite conclusion from the Sixth Circuit in the case brought by Florida and a group of twenty-five other states, along with the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

The Court sided with the challengers that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. The court also held that even if the individual mandate was unconstitutional, the rest of the health care law could still go into effect, a legal concept known as “severability.”

The 26 States in the lawsuit before the Supreme Court are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

NOTE: C-SPAN's coverage kicks off at 7am (ET) with three hours of the Washington Journal, followed by LIVE coverage outside the Supreme Court for protests and a variety of lawyer and advocate press briefings. Around 1pm, we present the same-day audio recordings of the argument.

Some in Tea Party cite ‘buyer’s remorse’ with South Carolina Governor

Republicans, beware. None of you are guaranteed another term in office. - Reggie

Talbert Black, state coordinator of the S.C. Campaign for Liberty, worked hard to get his Lexington County state representative, Nikki Haley, elected governor in 2010, blasting out emails and making phone calls to galvanize Tea Party-minded voters.

“She was going to fight the establishment, shrink the size of government and fight the good ol’ boy,” Black said Friday of Haley. “Instead, she got elected and became part of the system.”

Black is part of a faction of the state’s Tea Party movement that says Haley, who they helped elect, has broken faith with them. Many now hope she will be a one-term governor.

For Haley, never a favorite of the state’s GOP establishment, losing Tea Party support could be devastating.

Despite internal rifts among the state’s Tea Party groups, they still have clout. In the January Republican presidential primary, Tea Partiers rallied behind U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, helping him win a crushing victory over Republican establishment candidate Mitt Romney.

S.C. Republicans approve of Tea Partiers, too.

While 83 percent of self-identified S.C. Republicans said in December that they did not consider themselves members of the Tea Party, 61 percent said they approved of the movement, according to a Winthrop University poll.

“She’s done so much that is negative that it’s going to be very difficult for her to change our opinions and prove she’s in it for the good of the state vs. her personal gain,” Black said. “That’s what I think now. She’s in it for herself, for some plan for her future — whatever that may be.”

Haley, campaigning Friday for Romney in Pennsylvania, was not available to discuss her Tea Party support. But her spokesman, Rob Godfrey, said in an email that a handful of disaffected Tea Partiers, including Black, do not speak for the movement.

“The governor appreciates her Tea Party supporters across the state,” Godfrey wrote. “What she has always loved about the Tea Party is that they’re not a party at all — they’re Republicans, Democrats and independents — who think for themselves and speak for themselves. No one or two people speak for the Tea Party.

“The governor remains focused on issues the Tea Party has always championed: reigning in government spending, teaching government the value of a dollar and reminding elected officials they work for the people, and not the other way around.”

‘She started caving in’

Read the full story

ObamaCare Arguments Begin Tomorrow

Arguments begin tomorrow before the United States Supreme Court about the Obama power grab of our entire health care system. C-SPAN has set aside a web page for the case here. Below are some reports about ObamaCare from Fox News in the past few days.



City-funded activist group teaches homeless how to invade apartments

This is where we are headed, America. Tyranny and lawlessness from our government, anarchy and lawlessness in the streets. We are in serious, deep and troubling chaos. We must be prepared (as much as possible) for the violent protests coming throughout the country this spring and summer with the Occupy lunatics. - Reggie

It’s breaking and entering for dummies.

Picture the Homeless, a Bronx nonprofit that has received at least $240,000 in taxpayer money in the last five years, is giving a crash course on squatting — and city-owned buildings are a prime target.

Two weeks ago, board member Andres Perez held a teach-in on how to wrest “control” of vacant apartments. He called it “homesteading.”

“The best time to enter a building is in the late hours,” he advised a group of about 20, who gathered in front of the half-empty East New York housing complex Arlington Village.

“You make sure you have your proper tools. You remove the chains and padlock, and then you go in.”

He then led them through the next steps — including filling out a change-of-address form at the post office and setting up utilities. After that, “nine out of 10 times the courts will allow you to be able to have control of the property,” he said.

But squatting school outraged legal residents of Arlington Village.

“I can’t let nobody squat where I live,” said Pete Rolon, 64, a 35-year resident who claimed pimps had grabbed two apartments in the complex. “There were hookers. They were smoking crack. There were condoms all over the floor. There were hundreds of them.”

He remembers when the complex of 12 two-story, red-brick buildings was filled with families and children playing.

Calvin Coolidge on Taxes and Government Spending

This is the kind of president we need, again if America is to survive. We need government cuts in spending, regulations, oppressive laws and entire government departments, agencies, bureaucrats, etc. Unfortunately, we need all of these cuts immediately. 

Who is today's Calvin Coolidge? Where is he? Where is the patriot that is willing to cut the federal government to the bone in order to save our Constitutional Republic? Kentucky Senator, Rand Paul has the best plan I've seen thus far. - Reggie


American Rhetoric gives us a transcript:

[This] country needs every ounce of its energy to restore itself. The costs of government are all assessed upon the people.

This means that the farmer is doomed to provide a certain amount of money out of the sale of his produce, no matter how low the price, to pay his taxes. The manufacturer, the professional man, the clerk, must do the same from their income. The wage earner, often at a higher rate when compared to his earning, makes his contribution, perhaps not directly but indirectly, in the advanced cost of everything he buys.

The expenses of government reach everybody.

Taxes take from everyone a part of his earnings and force everyone to work for a certain part of his time for the government.

When we come to realize that the yearly expenses of the governments of this country...the stupendous sum of about 7 billion, 500 million dollars -- we get...700 million dollars -- is needed by the national government, and the remainder by local governments.

Such a sum is difficult to comprehend. It represents all the pay of five million wage earners receiving five dollars a day, working 300 days in the year. If the government should add 100 million dollars of expense, it would represent four days more work of these wage earners. These are some of the reasons why I want to cut down public expense.

I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government -- and more for themselves.

I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom.

Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.

These results are not fanciful; they are not imaginary. They are grimly actual and real, reaching into every household in the land. They take from each home annually an average of over 300 dollars -- and taxes must be paid. They are not a voluntary contribution to be met out of surplus earnings. They are a stern necessity. They come first.

It is only out of what is left, after they are paid, that the necessities of food, clothing, and shelter can be provided and the comforts of home secured, or the yearnings of the soul -- for a broader and more abundant life gratified.

When the government affects a new economy, it grants everybody a life pension with which to raise the standard of existence. It increases the value of everybody's property, raises the scale of everybody's wages.

One of the greatest favors that can be bestowed upon the American people is economy in government.

Read a commentary at RedState about Coolidge and a few of his policies.

ObamaCare: The Reckoning

Charles Krauthammer
The stakes could not be higher.

Obamacare dominated the 2010 midterms, driving its Democratic authors to a historic electoral shellacking. But since then, the issue has slipped quietly underground.

Now it’s back, summoned to the national stage by the confluence of three disparate events: the release of new Congressional Budget Office cost estimates, the approach of Supreme Court hearings on the law’s constitutionality, and the issuance of a compulsory contraception mandate.

COST

Obamacare was carefully constructed to manipulate the standard ten-year cost projections of the CBO. Because benefits would not fully kick in for four years, President Obama could trumpet ten-year gross costs of less than $1 trillion — $938 billion, to be exact.

But now that the near-costless years 2010 and 2011 have elapsed, the true ten-year price tag comes into focus. From 2013 through 2022, the CBO reports, the costs of Obamacare come to $1.76 trillion — almost twice the phony original number.

It gets worse. Annual gross costs after 2021 are more than a quarter of a trillion dollars every year — until the end of time. That, for a new entitlement in a country already drowning in $16 trillion of debt.

CONSTITUTIONALITY

Beginning March 26, the Supreme Court will hear challenges to the law. The American people, by an astonishing two-thirds majority, want the law and/or the individual mandate tossed out by the Court. In practice, however, questions this momentous are generally decided 5 to 4, i.e., they depend on whatever side of the bed Justice Anthony Kennedy gets out of that morning.

Ultimately, the question will hinge on whether the Commerce Clause has any limits. If the federal government can compel a private citizen, under threat of a federally imposed penalty, to engage in a private contract with a private entity (to buy health insurance), is there anything the federal government cannot compel the citizen to do?

If Obamacare is upheld, it fundamentally changes the nature of the American social contract. It means the effective end of a government of enumerated powers — i.e., finite, delineated powers beyond which the government may not go, beyond which lies the free realm of the people and their voluntary institutions. The new post-Obamacare dispensation is a central government of unlimited power from which citizen and civil society struggle to carve out and maintain spheres of autonomy.

Figure becomes ground; ground becomes figure. The stakes could not be higher.

COERCIVENESS

Tebow in Babylon

Surprisingly excellent piece. - Reggie

THE Prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh. St. Paul was sent to Athens, Macedonia, Rome. And now Tim Tebow has been sent to New York City.

There was a moment last week when it looked as if the trade shipping Tebow from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets might somehow fall through — that Tebow might end up a Jacksonville Jaguar instead, with a guaranteed starting job, a heavily evangelical fan base, and none of the insanity involved in eclipsing Jeremy Lin as the most famous Christian athlete in Babylon-upon-the-Hudson.

O ye of little faith. Did you think that the Lord God of Hosts, having raised Tebow up as a Gideon of the gridiron, would pass up the opportunity to put his faithful servant to the test? Did you think that the angelic screenwriters responsible for scripting last year’s succession of Tebow-related improbabilities had nodded off after the Broncos were dispatched in the A.F.C. playoffs? Did you think that the archons and demiurges who preside over America’s culture war would be content to let Tebow fade into obscurity — some red-state-friendly endorsement deals, a few 6-10 finishes, and then early retirement and a lifetime of under-the-radar charity work?

Above all, did you think that Tebow himself, with his distinctive mix of missionary zeal and “give me the ball” confidence, would duck the Gotham opportunity? That he would pull a LeBron James and take his talents down to Florida instead?

No, this was where the Tebow story was always destined to end up. Denver was his Galilee; New York will be the Roman Colosseum. Or to be pop cultural rather than scriptural: Denver was District 12 in Suzanne Collins’s Panem, and the Meadowlands will be the Hunger Games arena.

Etch-a-Sketch Romney

The classic Etch-a-Sketch
The Republican party is nominating a train wreck. It is continually obvious that Mitt Romney (affectionately known at Republic Heritage as Mr. Etch-a-Sketch) is an opportunist and a chameleon that changes his "beliefs" almost as often as his campaign changes locations in order to acquire more votes.

Yes, vote for Romney, the candidate without a core or a conscience. The candidate that changes with the weather. The candidate that told the voters in the south he "believes" English should be the primary language in our country and the same candidate that told the voters in Puerto Rico English should not be a requirement in order for them to become the 51st state. Yes, America, Romney said these two opposite "beliefs" within days of each other.

He is the weakest candidate in the field and the one that aligns more with Obama's "beliefs" than any of the other GOP candidates. It appears he will be the nominee (unless God intervenes somehow and saves us from ourselves! Brokered convention, anyone?) and I truly believe he will lose.

We need a stark contrast between Obama and the GOP nominee so Americans can see the road we've traveled and the clear alternative to that destructive road. We had that much needed contrast in 1980, the last time the GOP unseated an incumbent Democrat and I'm afraid without that contrast we will see the election of 1996.

Reggie
3/25/2012


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Health Care Law Heads to Supreme Court

Lead attorney in lower court challenge previews arguments

from earlier today


And there is this...

Cheney Undergoes Heart Transplant Surgery

Former GOP Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from heart transplant surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, a spokeswoman said Saturday evening.

In 2010, Cheney had a left ventricular assist device implanted for treatment of end-stage heart failure. The former vice president has been on the cardiac transplant list for more than 20 months.

NY Times Credits Bush, Cheney with US Energy Surge

I’m getting ready to start any number of conspiracy theories here. Was the New York Times website hacked by Anonymous? Did someone accidentally click on a redirect to The Onion? Did some editor at the Gray Lady suddenly suffer from a stroke and go rogue on us? In any event, as Walter Russell Mead discovers, the Paper of Record unleashed some good news on the energy front this week.

Not only has the United States reduced oil imports from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries by more than 20 percent in the last three years, it has become a net exporter of refined petroleum products like gasoline for the first time since the Truman presidency. The natural gasindustry, which less than a decade ago feared running out of domestic gas, is suddenly dealing with a glut so vast that import facilities are applying for licenses to export gas to Europe and Asia.
National oil production, which declined steadily to 4.95 million barrels a day in 2008 from 9.6 million in 1970, has risen over the last four years to nearly 5.7 million barrels a day. The Energy Department projects that daily output could reach nearly seven million barrels by 2020. Some experts think it could eventually hit 10 million barrels — which would put the United States in the same league as Saudi Arabia.

Read the full post

On the Watch for Religious Persecutors

Open Doors has released its World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians worldwide.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, said Thomas Jefferson, and that includes religious freedom. Religious persecution is tragically common abroad.

While members of all faiths are sometimes at risk somewhere, Christians are constantly victimized almost everywhere. And in many of these cases the threat is violence, imprisonment, and even death. Martyrdom apparently is more common today than during Roman times.

The California-based group Open Doors has released its latest World Watch List of the 50 worst persecutors of Christians around the globe. A Baker's Dozen are communist or former communist states, led by North Korea. An incredible 38 are Muslim, including several of Washington's allies. (Seven are both communist/former communist and Islamic, truly a toxic combination.) The other six are a potpourri -- Hindu India, Buddhist Burma and Bhutan, conflict-ridden Colombia, and Eritrea and Ethiopia, which are both repressive and religiously divided.

Topping the World Watch List is the so-called Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which leads any parade of the world's repressive, impoverished, or just plain awful places. Explains Open Doors: "Defiantly Communist in the Stalinist style, a bizarre quasi-religion was built around the founder of the country, Kim Il Sung. Anyone with 'another god' is automatically persecuted, which is why the 200,000-400,000 Christians in this country must remain deeply underground." At least a quarter of them may be confined to labor camps.

Number two is Afghanistan, where Americans and Europeans continue to die trying to create a Western-style liberal democracy. The status of Christians continues to decline. Reports Open Doors: "Despite having signed all international agreements designed to protect the freedom of religion, the government in the current setting is not even able to guarantee the most basic tenants of this right." To the contrary, mobs cheerfully murder Americans and other non-Muslims when copies of the Koran are accidentally burned.

Another "friend" of Washington, Saudi Arabia, is number three. "Religious freedom does not exist in this heartland of Islam where citizens are only allowed to adhere to one religion," notes Open Doors: "Apostasy -- conversion to another religion -- is punishable by death if the accused does not recant." Of course, the Saudi royals live licentiously when abroad while posing as defenders of Islam at home.

Fourth is Somalia, another Muslim land. This area no longer constitutes a traditional nation. Alas, says Open Doors, "The overall persecution situation in Somalia tightened a bit more in the country. The main persecution engine is Islamic extremism."

Iran, most in the news over fears that it might be developing nuclear weapons, ranks number five. "Religious persecution of certain minorities has intensified in Iran since 2005," concludes Open Doors, including of Baha'is, Sufi Muslims, and Christians. Indeed, the group adds, "almost all Christian activity is illegal, especially when it occurs in Persian languages." The regime has publicly denounced the expansion of Christianity, which it blamed on "the enemies of Islam."

The Maldives comes next at six, a small island nation which simply bans other faiths. States Open Doors: "As every Maldivian citizen has to be Muslim, all deviant religious convictions are strictly forbidden." Believers must "practice their faith in utmost secrecy, always in fear of being discovered."

Number seven is Uzbekistan, where "All activities of unregistered churches are strictly forbidden, both inside and outside the churches. Youth activities are forbidden, outreaches are forbidden, seminars and training are forbidden." Uzbekistan is a Muslim state that spent seven decades under Communism, a tragic mix almost guaranteeing religious persecution.

Also in the news is Yemen, which falls to eight on the World Watch List. Reports Open Doors: "Islam is the state religion and sharia is the source of all legislation. There is some religious freedom for foreigners, but evangelism is prohibited; several expatriate workers were deported in the past for Christian activities. Yemenis who leave Islam may face the death penalty as a result."

Persecutor number nine is Iraq, a nation nominally liberated with American blood. Unfortunately, the U.S. invasion unleashed civil chaos and conflict which may have consumed 200,000 lives. The Christian community ended up as collateral damage. Explains Open Doors: "A true exodus of Christians is going on in Iraq. Christians are fleeing the country." And for good reason: "Christian individuals are still being threatened, robbed, raped, or kidnapped and churches attacked." Moreover, the situation is deteriorating even in Kurdistan, which until recently had been relatively safe for Christians.

Another not-so-loyal ally, Pakistan, rounds out the negative top ten. "Christians are a beleaguered minority… caught between Islamic militant organizations that routinely target Christians for violence, and an Islamizing culture that makes Christians feel less and less a part of Pakistan," says Open Doors.

In eleventh place is Eritrea, a religiously mixed state ruled by one of the most viciously repressive governments in the world. Reports Open Doors: "Christians from the evangelical minority are pressurized to change or renounced their religion. They are tortured and forced to revert to the registered denominations. While no Christian has been killed in the last year, five Christians died in prison due to illness."

Next at twelve comes backward Laos, still ruled by communists in a world in which communism has been largely relegated to academia, requires registration of religious groups, which are then controlled. Open Doors explains that "Other small independent Protestant congregations are under pressure and have been refused recognition. The activities of unrecognized churches are considered illegal by authorities, who detain and arrest their members and leaders under various pretexts."

Down with ObamaCare

Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell
The Supreme Court should declare the health-care law unconstitutional.

On the two-year anniversary of Obamacare, Republicans in Congress are more committed than ever to repealing this unconstitutional law and replacing it with commonsense reforms that put health care back in the hands of individuals and doctors, instead of bureaucrats in Washington.

President Obama was right when he argued upon taking office that the U.S. health-care system was in critical need of reform. Among other problems were the rising cost of health care to private and public payers, the exposure of too many families to potentially catastrophic health-care costs, and the lack of coverage for millions of Americans.

Yet rather than solving the most pressing problems in the old system, Obamacare has made many of these problems far worse. Costs and premiums are rising, Medicare has been weakened, states now struggle to keep pace with even costlier federal mandates, and the economy is being sapped as new mandates dissuade employers from creating new jobs.

For these reasons and others, those of us who fought against Obamacare’s passage look forward to making our case before the Supreme Court next week.

Americans continue to oppose Obamacare in large numbers. Indeed, a recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 72 percent of Americans, including most Democrats, believe that Obamacare’s core, a government mandate to buy health insurance, violates the Constitution. This, along with a growing list of unintended consequences, are reason enough to repeal it.

But nearly two years after passage, Americans continue to find more things to dislike. Far from curing a rise in health-care costs, Obamacare is now expected to increase health-care spending by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, and federal health-care spending and subsidies by nearly $400 billion. Health-care premiums for American families are expected to skyrocket by $2,100 per year.

And the White House has now admitted what they refused to acknowledge when they forced Obamacare into law: A key component of their deficit-reduction claims, the CLASS Act, can’t possibly be implemented in a financially sustainable way. Now they tell us.

As for the law’s broader impact on the economy, here too the reality has proven far less appealing than the president’s rhetoric. Although the plan was sold as a cure-all for a broken health-care system, but as the foundation for a stronger economy, we now know that Obamacare has been one of the single biggest drags on job creation since early 2010.

According to the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare means 800,000 fewer jobs over the next decade. One recent private-sector analysis concluded that the president’s health-care law is “arguably the biggest impediment to hiring, particularly hiring of less skilled workers”

States face their own challenges. Many couldn’t afford federal health-care mandates before Obamacare mandated dramatic increases in Medicaid rolls — and the costs to pay for it. Needless to say, even if states are able to meet the costs of covering as many as 25 million more Medicaid patients, the quality of the care for those who rely on Medicaid would almost certainly suffer.

The president may be able to boast that more people have coverage. But states, which will have to shoulder the costs, won’t be applauding.

Nor will America’s seniors, millions of whom now know from bitter experience that the president wasn’t speaking to them when he vowed that, under Obamacare, “if you like the plan you have you can keep it.” Since then, millions who have and like Medicare Advantage have learned it won’t necessarily be there for them anymore.

The Sun Also Sets

Mark Steyn
Our national bankruptcy is about to enter its “sudden” phase.

I was in Australia earlier this month and there, as elsewhere on my recent travels, the consensus among the politicians I met (at least in private) was that Washington lacked the will for meaningful course correction, and that, therefore, the trick was to ensure that, when the behemoth goes over the cliff, you’re not dragged down with it. It is faintly surreal to be sitting in paneled offices lined by formal portraits listening to eminent persons who assume the collapse of the dominant global power is a fait accompli. “I don’t feel America is quite a First World country anymore,” a robustly pro-American Aussie told me, with a sigh of regret.

Well, what does some rinky-dink ’roo-infested didgeridoo mill on the other side of the planet know about anything? Fair enough. But Australia was the only major Western nation not to go into recession after 2008. And in the last decade the U.S. dollar has fallen by half against the Oz buck: That’s to say, in 2002, one greenback bought you a buck-ninety Down Under; now it buys you 95 cents. More of that a bit later.

I have now returned from Oz to the Emerald City, where everything is built with borrowed green. President Obama has run up more debt in three years than President Bush did in eight, and he plans to run up more still — from ten trillion in 2008 to fifteen and a half trillion now to 20 trillion and beyond. Onward and upward! The president doesn’t see this as a problem, nor do his party, and nor do at least fortysomething percent of the American people. The Democrats’ plan is to have no plan, and their budget is not to budget at all. “We don’t need to bring a budget,” said Harry Reid. Why tie yourself down? “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution,” the treasury secretary told House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan. “What we do know is we don’t like yours.”

Nor do some of Ryan’s fellow conservatives. Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, for whom I have a high regard, was among those representatives who appeared at the Heritage Foundation to express misgivings regarding the Ryan plan’s timidity. They’re not wrong on that: The alleged terrorizer of widows and orphans does not propose to balance the budget of the government of the United States until the year 2040. That would be 27 years after Congressman Ryan’s current term of office expires. Who knows what could throw a wrench in those numbers? Suppose Beijing decides to seize Taiwan. The U.S. is obligated to defend it militarily. But U.S. taxpayers would be funding both sides of the war — the home team, via the Pentagon budget, and the Chinese military, through the interest payments on the debt. (We’ll be bankrolling the entire People’s Liberation Army by some point this decade.) A Beijing–Taipei conflict would be, in budget terms, a U.S. civil war relocated to the Straits of Taiwan. Which is why plans for mid-century are of limited value. When the most notorious extreme callous budget-slasher of the age cannot foresee the government living within its means within the next three decades, you begin to appreciate why foreign observers doubt whether there’ll be a 2040, not for anything recognizable as “the United States.”

Yet it’s widely agreed that Ryan’s plan is about as far as you can push it while retaining minimal political viability. A second-term Obama would roar full throttle to the cliff edge, while a President Romney would be unlikely to do much more than ease off to third gear. At this point, it’s traditional for pundits to warn that if we don’t change course we’re going to wind up like Greece. Presumably they mean that, right now, our national debt, which crossed the Rubicon of 100 percent of GDP just before Christmas, is not as bad as that of Athens, although it’s worse than Britain, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, and every other European nation except Portugal, Ireland, and Italy. Or perhaps they mean that America’s current deficit-to-GDP ratio is not quite as bad as Greece’s, although it’s worse than that of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, and every other European nation except Ireland.

But these comparisons tend to understate the insolvency of America, failing as they do to take into account state and municipal debts and public pension liabilities. When Morgan Stanley ran those numbers in 2009, the debt-to-revenue ratio in Greece was 312 percent; in the United States it was 358 percent. If Greece has been knocking back the ouzo, we’re face down in the vat. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute calculates that, if you take into account unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare versus their European equivalents, Greece owes 875 percent of GDP; the United States owes 911 percent — or getting on for twice as much as the second-most-insolvent Continental: France at 549 percent.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Mark Levin’s Landmark Legal Pushes for Probe of Tea Party-bullying IRS

Yes, it’s about damned time.

Earlier this month, I reported on President Obama’s campaign bully brigade — and I noted the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups across the country.

The Landmark Legal Foundation is not taking it lying down.

Today, conservative talk radio giant and movement warrior Mark Levin’s group requested an immediate investigation “into possible misconduct by the Internal Revenue Service’s Exempt Organization (EO) Division that calls into question the integrity of federal tax administration and IRS programs.” Specifically, the letter cites the feds’ information demands that went “far beyond the appropriate level of inquiry regarding the religious, charitable and/or educational activities of a tax exempt entity. The inquiries are not relevant to these permitted activities. Inquiries extend to organizational policy positions and priorities, personal and political affiliations, and associations of staff, board members and even family members of staff and board members.”

Media Matters vs. Rush Limbaugh

From Fox News channel's, The Five this afternoon.

Is free speech dying in America?

Liberal Media's Hateful Obsession with Sarah Palin

From earlier this evening.


And there is this...

Are Voter I.D. Laws Racist?

Excellent "man on the street" segment.

OBAMA: All countries are close allies!!

YouTube description: Barack Obama and the US has a lot of close and strong allies in the world. And all small countries punches above their weight according to the president. From the show Detektor, Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR. Host is Thomas Buch-Andersen.

Recent Political Ads

Newt Gingrich: Sketchy Romney: Everything Changes


Ron Paul: Etch-A-Sketch


Mitt Romney: Conservative Record


Rick Santorum:
Obamaville

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bibi Netanyahu Speaks at "Christians United for Israel" Conference 2012

YouTube description: Israeli Prime Minister,Benjamin Netanyahu's Speech @ "Christians United for Israel" Conference 2012
Stay updated with The Prime Minister's social media sites:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/IsraeliPM
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IsraeliPM

So, Don't tell me we're not drilling!

click image for larger view 

HHS Messes with Texas

Obama’s real agenda is clear: abortion.

While opposition to the HHS mandate has caused many liberals to accuse Republicans of a “war on women,” the Obama administration itself has just declared the first front in its own war on women’s health care. Its casus belli? The Texas government’s restriction on funding for abortion providers.

As of last week, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services has withdrawn $30 million worth of funding from a Texas Medicaid program that provides health-care services for low-income women. This HHS policy begins to confirm what conservatives have suspected all along: While the Obama administration has made it clearer than it would like to claim the mantle of “protecting women’s health,” its real aim is unfettered access to abortion and ubiquitous, free contraception.

The affected program, Texas’s Women’s Health Program (WHP), which provides family-planning services to low-income women who earn too much to qualify for regular Medicaid, is a waiver initiative that funds services beyond the purview of standard Medicaid. Texas is what is called a “pass through” Medicaid state, which means that state legislators set funding priorities for the state agencies that disburse federal funds. Texas adopted a rule last year to prevent any of the WHP funds from going to clinics that provide or refer for abortions — most notably, Planned Parenthood franchises, which had received 40 percent of the program’s funding.

But in December, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) informed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission that, in its opinion, Texas’s restrictions on the waiver program were unlawful. Essentially, CMS contends that Texas cannot restrict the distribution of its WHP funds because patients have the right to choose any Medicaid provider — and threatened to withdraw the funds entirely unless the restrictions were removed. The two parties agreed to a negotiation period ending March 14, and, after the federal government refused to make any concessions, all federal funding for WHP was withdrawn.

Governor Rick Perry has insisted that he will ensure that the program continues without federal support, at the state’s expense. The state may, unfortunately, be bearing this burden for a while: HHS’s funding withdrawal evinces a steadfast commitment to funding abortion providers, and the Texas government and Texans themselves are equally adamant that they will do everything they can to avoid such support.

Media Matters wants a fight, but can’t take a punch

After facing down more than a month of tough reporting, David Brock’s Media Matters for America still has nothing to say for itself. The progressive messaging group has all but clammed up about its internal turmoil under a constant barrage of scrutiny from conservatives and liberals alike.

It’s been a little over a month since The Daily Caller published the beginning of an investigative series examining the inner workings of Media Matters. The reporting, bolstered by first-hand knowledge from sources familiar with day-to-day activities in the group’s Washington, D.C. offices, revealed close coordination with the Obama White House, a slew of favored — and receptive — mainstream journalists, intense erratic behavior by Brock, a Glock pistol illegally carried by Brock’s assistant and consequence-free sex in the office’s media war room.

TheDC also revealed an extensive list of left-wing foundations that bankroll the group’s operations. Those findings showed the organization’s use of Bernie Madoff-exposed assets, the receipt of a donation specifically earmarked for targeting religious media, and a laundry list of big-name progressive foundations, including the Tides Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and MoveOn.org, among many others.

In that same time frame, Fox News reported that Brock had to sell his Rehoboth Beach, Del. home to pay his former domestic partner  $850,000 in what Brock called “blackmail” to keep him silent about details purportedly devastating to Media Matters.

Additionally, Media Matters’ foreign policy department has risen to become the group’s greatest public liability, with senior fellow MJ Rosenberg  under fire across the political spectrum — and in the pages of The New York Times — for being “virulently anti-Israel,” according to liberal Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz.

A report published Monday by TheDC showed that Media Matters’ foreign policy associations include a tangled relationship with Al-Jazeera, a Qatar government-operated television network with an anti-Israel — and arguably anti-American — editorial posture.

Amid all this fallout are serious questions about Media Matters’ ability to maintain its tax-exempt charitable status with the IRS, with the White House and senior Democrats aligning themselves closely with the organization.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has even promised his voice — regardless of the consequences of political ties for Media Matters’ favored tax status — in helping to promote the organization’s latest anti-Fox News book, “The Fox Effect.”

That tax status, TheDC learned, began  to face scrutiny from Republican members of Congress in mid-February.

Through all this, Media Matters has been extraordinarily quiet, publicly answering only a single question regarding a 2009 Media Matters internal memo suggesting the group hire private investigators “to look into the personal lives” of Fox News employees.

“I could not care if a Fox News person was cheating on their wife. That doesn’t matter,” Media Matters’ Executive Vice President Ari Rabin-Havt replied to TheDC  during a book event. “We don’t dig into people’s personal lives, no.”

Beyond that claim, Rabin-Havt dismissed a Daily Caller reporter as a “troll.”

“I generally make a policy not to respond to trolls, basically,” he said. “I’m not going to respond to an article that’s basically filled up with just crap. There’s no point getting into a match back and forth with The Daily Caller, and that’s why we chose not to respond.”

Neither Brock nor his group’s spokeswoman, Jess Levin, has returned a single request for comment from TheDC.

Additionally, Brock has avoided nearly all national media outlets while promoting his book, “The Fox Effect,” giving him ample cover from facing tough questions.

The lone exception came late Tuesday night in the form of an op-ed appearing prominently on the home page of the news website Politico.

In an opinion column, Brock went back on the offensive against conservative radio talker Rush Limbaugh, complaining about his treatment of a Georgetown Law School student and contraception activist on Feb. 29. Limbaugh referred to Sandra Fluke as a “slut” on his show that day, and later apologized for his choice of words.

Brock’s Politico op-ed came 20 days later — and long after countless other liberal commentators had tired of attacking Limbaugh and his advertisers — in what amounted to a safe toe in the water that gave Media Matters a higher profile without addressing the widespread charges against it.

'Rush Limbaugh Show' Responds to Brock

David Brock is so outraged at Rush Limbaugh’s words of three weeks ago that he started organizing a protest — almost 3 years ago.

It was planned ahead and activated at the first moment Brock could manipulate a media frenzy. Make no mistake, Brock’s “marketplace of ideas” offers only one brand: Brand Brock. All others will be forced off the shelves with intimidation and lies.

Media Matters for America stands for censorship, and nothing more than that. Their ginned-up election year anger is directed at the words of their media political opposition — similar expressions are ignored when used by their allies.

It’s different, they claim. It’s always different when they say it is, for an array of implausible reasons. The truth is that they are hypocrites. But that’s the least of their offenses.

By putting small business in the crosshairs of their war on expression, Media Matters is causing real harm. They are hurting these businesses, their employees and their families. As a business owner, imagine waking up one morning and being assaulted by hundreds of coordinated attacks from operatives who never were or will be your customers.

These Media Matters mobs bear a simple message: Renounce our enemies or become one of them. They distribute target lists of advertiser phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook links and Twitter handles, and then they come out of nowhere, en masse, against selected advertisers in rotation. They barrage small business with threats until they cancel their advertising.

Customers either can’t get through the fog of messages, or see a business under attack. Everyone is so busy with the protestors that no one is left to talk to customers. You call that education, David? Reasonable people identify what you organize by a different name.

Read the full op-ed

NOTE: Rush Limbaugh is telling his side of the story on Twitter and is exposing Media Matters tactics in their attempt to stifle speech they disagree with.

video below is from March 20th

Sadly, Tim Tebow's class act may not play in NFL

Tim Tebow
Broncos' apparent decision to ditch Tebow, last season's hero, may make sense to NFL personnel types, but it still doesn't seem fair. When so many bad actors get second chances in sports, why not him?

It disappeared almost as quickly as it had arrived, the breathtaking autumn spectacle vanishing into mile-high air on a March afternoon.

The Denver Broncos gathered for a news conference regarding a ballyhooed quarterback Tuesday, yet nobody dropped to one knee or raised his hands to the sky. There were no miracles here, only old-fashioned football men, Peyton Manning joining John Elway on a national stage filled with Hall of Fame pedigree and stocked with championship promise.

And completely absent of You Know Who.

One of the most magical, mystical runs in NFL history is indeed, resoundingly, resolutely over.

Tebow Time is up.

Five months after he captured a nation's imagination by pulling out five last-gasp victories and throwing a bomb that gave the Broncos an overtime playoff win against the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers, Tim Tebow has seemingly lost everything.

His job as a Broncos starting quarterback is gone, the NFL's least accurate passer benched for one of its greatest passers ever.

His job as a Broncos backup quarterback is gone, with team vice president Elway now jumping at the chance to rid the organization of its most polarizing presence.

His chances of becoming a starting quarterback on another team are slim, because most NFL personnel people don't believe that games can be won with the sort of higher powers that Tebow's presence seemed to summon. Frankly, most NFL personnel people think he stinks.

His chances of becoming a full-time backup quarterback aren't great, either, because who wants a season swirled by the quarterback controversy winds that will accompany his every sideline twitch? Remember, this is a guy so beloved that in Denver folks bought billboards urging the Broncos to play him. And if his team doesn't employ the sort of running attack that works for Tebow, how would he ever get on the field?

His best opportunity is to go to a place like New England where there will be no quarterback controversy with Tom Brady, and where he can be morphed into a tight end or fullback or short-yardage guy by an innovator like Bill Belichick.

I wish it weren't true, and maybe it won't be. But right now, the sad irony is that for Tim Tebow to continue to exist as a contributing member of an NFL team, he probably has to stop being Tim Tebow.

When Elway was asked about Tebow at Tuesday's news conference, he pulled another spinning helicopter move.

"You know, we're going through the process now . . . we're going to look at that obviously," Elway said of Tebow. "'Having been in this game for as long as I have, and seen as many friends as I've seen in this game that all of a sudden, they're here one day and gone another . . . this is a tough business."

When Manning was asked about Tebow, he began by being politically correct, then became one of the first quarterbacks in history to talk about an active teammate practically in the past tense.

"If Tim Tebow is here next year, I'm going to be the best teammate I can be to him," Manning said. "If other opportunities present themselves for him, I'm going to wish him the best, because he's going to be a great player wherever he is."

Think about that. This is a guy still under contract, a guy who led the Broncos to their first division title in six years, and both the team vice president and new quarterback aren't even pretending that he's still wanted there.

The only thing more crass would be to immediately strip the Broncos facility walls of the Tebow action photos that were hung last season. Wait . . . they've already done that.

Read the full article

UPDATE: Since this article was published, Tebow has been traded to the New York Jets but I think the author of this piece may be right. Tebow will not be a starting QB in New York because they just gave a three year extension to Mark Sanchez. Also, New York is the largest media market the NFL has and I think the media there will try to destroy Tebow.

However, there is one thing I am certain of. Tim Tebow has placed his life in the hands of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and God has everything under control.

One more thing. John Elway and the Denver Broncos treated Tebow horribly these last few days and I hope they reap what they have sewn. - Reggie

The Whole Truth

YouTube description: A response to the Democrat ad showing Paul Ryan throwing grandma off a cliff. Get the whole truth on how ObamaCare will impact the health and welfare of your loved ones at www.AmericanDoctors4Truth.org.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Road We've Traveled

Where has the Obama administration really taken us?


h/t Glenn Beck

And there is this...

Glenn Beck: The story behind Obama’s documentary “The Road We’ve Traveled”

And, finally, listen to the warning below.

YouTube description: She was born under Hitler, raised under the USSR's sovereignty in East Germany, and came to America as a young adult. LISTEN to her.

Holder's Brainwashing Against Guns Foreshadowed Operation Fast and Furious

Yesterday, Breitbart.com revealed exclusive video of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder speaking to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, stating that he wanted to “brainwash” people against gun ownership.

The video reveals Attorney General Holder’s early, consistent, and strident enthusiasm for gun control legislation. He wanted schools to talk about anti-gun propaganda “every day, every school, and every level."

Operation Fast and Furious -- in which Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) smuggled guns illegally to Mexican drug cartels -- could finally have provided Holder the material for that anti-gun curriculum.

On December 7, 2011, CBS News investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson (who is the only one in the mainstream media faithfully reporting this story) shared documents proving that the motive behind Operation Fast & Furious was to implement harsher gun regulations.

Ms. Attkisson reported that Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) officials within the DOJ discussed using the illegal gun sales to justify “Demand Letter 3,” which would require some gun shops to report the sales of multiple rifles or long guns.

Each new revelation pushes Operation Fast and Furious up the chain of command and provides more evidence that it was to be used for more gun control.

Here’s a review of what we know.

ATF Agent John Dodson sat down with Ms. Attkisson on March 3, 2011. He told Ms. Attkisson he had been assigned to Phoenix in 2010 and that he’d been involved in Operation Fast and Furious every single day since he arrived.

Agent Dodson had been assured that the “gun walking” strategy had been approved all the way up to the Department of Justice. That didn’t calm Agent Dodson and others. There was so much opposition that an ATF supervisor sent out an email that said, “Whether you care or not people of rank and authority at HQ are paying close attention to this case…we are doing what they envisioned.”

A few weeks, later on March 25, Ms. Attkisson released another report based on information from whistleblower Darren Gil, lead ATF official in Mexico at the time.  She asked the most crucial question: who knew and how high up? She mentioned an interview President Obama had given with Univision, in which he claimed he or Mr. Holder had authorized it. However, Agent Gil’s interview contradicted President Obama’s statement about Mr. Holder. 

Obama Lied During Debt Ceiling Debate

Rush Limbaugh
March 19, 2012

RUSH: A massive, long story at the top of the fold on the front page of the Washington Post yesterday on last summer's very feisty debt limit battle. It is a story. It's very long.  No way would I even recommend you read the whole thing. Well, I might recommend you read the whole thing.  I wouldn't read it to you; I couldn't.  It prints out to ten pages.  Front page Washington Post.  And what this story points out is that Obama purposely, intentionally lied to the American people when he told us that the Republicans were not interested in raising taxes, that they wanted a cuts-only solution to the debt crisis.  It turns out that John Boehner and Eric Cantor had indeed offered $808 billion in tax increases.  Obama lied.  He just flat-out lied to the American people about the Republicans and their position in the debt negotiations. He flat-out lied.

That's on the front page of the Washington Post.  You have to read awhile to get to that in the story.  There are a couple-three other things that were momentous about it as well.  So that's yesterday, front page Washington Post.  This story paints Harry Reid and Pelosi as practically irrelevant. Where everybody thinks they're part of the problem, part of the obstacles problem, this story makes it clear that they're just up there to do Obama's bidding but that Obama doesn't know how to negotiate.  This story points out that Obama's incompetent when he negotiates because he lies.  He told Boehner and he told the country that the Republicans were not willing to compromise in an area, and they were all along.

Boehner said, "I don't know what to do about this." By the way, I had a meeting with Boehner not long before that. This was last summer sometime, and I had a meeting with Boehner here at the EIB Southern Command some months before that.  I just casually asked him what it was like working with Harry Reid. And he said, "You know, it'd surprise you. If it were just Reid and me we could get a deal done."  Of course I thought he was off. "Oh, gosh. Don't tell me he really believes this."  He did.  He said, "If it was just Reid and me we'd get a deal." He said, "Harry gets it."  I said, "Oh my. (groan)" This story says that.  Or pretty close to it.

This story in the front page of the Washington Post pretty much says that Boehner and Reid could and did work together, and that Obama is the whole problem.  Obama was campaigning.  Obama had to give his base something.  Obama, the whole debt limit thing was a phony baloney, plastic banana, good-time rock 'n' roller diversion.  Yeah, he wanted the debt sealing raised but he could not afford for his base, lunatic fringe base, to see him as compromising at all.  This is the bunch that talks about "compromise."  This is the bunch (along with the Republican establishment, too,) heralding the beauties and the wonders of compromise.

And here was Obama making it look like he was willing to compromise. He was the stone wall, and he lied in a national address to the nation!  He lied in a prime-time address to the nation.  And don't take my word for it if you don't want to.  It's the Washington Post.





The story Limbaugh talked about is linked below: