"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dem. Wisconsin State Rep. Ryan Winkler Calls Justice Clarence Thomas an "Uncle Tom"


Representative Ryan Winkler: "But I thought Democrats can't be racist!"

Wrong.

...and then says he didn't know it was racist. Winkler probably insults White people by calling them Uncle Toms too. Uh, right?

From Doug Powers at MichelleMalkin.com:

The SCOTUS ruling on the Voting Rights Act was released this morning, causing the left to move John Roberts from the “brilliant adjudicator” column back to “hated Bush appointee” status. After the 5-4 ruling, Wisconsin Democrat State Rep. Ryan Winkler wrote a tweet that he later deleted which said in part “VOA majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas”: 
null
After getting some flak, Winkler tweeted "I did not understand 'Uncle Tom' as a racist term, and there seems to be some debate about it. I do apologize for it, however."

I'm pretty sure the term Uncle Tom isn't racist when a White Democrat uses it against Black conservative... well, that and a host of other racial slurs.

All that aside however, look at Winkler's actually saying. He's basically stating that "I didn't mean to be racist, I was just trying to insult Thomas by saying that he's not really a Black man." Got it. And that's his PR-smoothing-over-reasoning. Nice.

So, all minorities should remember if you stray from the Democratic party line, a bunch of White Democrats will shower you with racial insults. And if you're lucky, then they might tell you that they didn't know they were being racist.


UPDATE: Winkler has issued a laughable statement.

I was very disappointed today in the Supreme Court decision to roll back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act because I believe the Voting Rights Act is one of the most important steps our nation has taken to eliminate racial discrimination. 
In expressing that disappointment on twitter, I hastily used a loaded term that is offensive to many. My words were inappropriate and I apologize. The implications of this Supreme Court decision are serious for our state and country and I regret that my comments have distracted from the serious dialogue we must have going forward to ensure racial discrimination has no place in our election system.
You hear that? Winkler used a racial slur because he was so very, very upset about the racism in our election system. LOL. So, let's all just move on from this distraction and focus on the real problem... which is everyone else's racism. LOL.

What a sniveling, little creep. Watching him trying to slither out of this reminds me of trying to catch snakes in the summer as a kid. You pick up the trash can lid it's hiding under, it slithers under a rock, then pick up the rock and it darts under the porch stairs. Keep on slithering Winkler, I'm sure the NAACP will protect you eventually. You're one of the right kinds of racists for them.

Twitchy.com has some interesting responses.

The best tweets came from:

Jerome Hudson who wrote "If you believe that because Justice Thomas is black and therefor he should think a certain way, isn’t racist, you can’t be taken seriously."

And from Robert A. George who wrote: "@RepRyanWinkler You didn't realize a white man calling a black man a slur synonymous with being servile and a race-traitor was racist? Oh."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address


"Hey, mistakes can be made. But don't worry, they'll have it all sorted out once they start enforcing your health care."

Weird, huh?

It's almost seems like willful fraud. But I'm no lawyer nor a Constitutional scholar.

From CNS News (h/t Doug Powers at Michelle Malkin.com):

The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  
That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically occupied by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta. 
The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.  
Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.  
Since 1996, the IRS has issued what it calls Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to two classes of persons: 1) non-resident aliens who have a tax liability in the United States, and 2) aliens living in the United States who are “not authorized to work in the United States.”  
[...]  
In addition to the 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 that the IRS sent to a single address in Atlanta, the IG also discovered that the IRS had assigned 15,796 ITINs to unauthorized aliens who presumably resided at a single Atlanta address.  
The IRS, according to TIGTA, also assigned ITINs to 15,028 unauthorized aliens presumably living at a single address in Dallas, Texas, and 10,356 to unauthorized aliens presumably living at a single address in Atlantic City, N.J.  
Perhaps the most remarkable act of the IRS was this: It assigned 6,411 ITINs to unauthorized aliens presumably using a single address in Morganton, North Carolina. According to the 2010 Census, there were only 16,681 people in Morganton. So, for the IRS to have been correct in issuing 6,411 ITINS to unauthorized aliens at a single address Morganton it would have meant that 38 percent of the town’s total population were unauthorized alien workers using a single address.
Well, look at this way-- it might not be corruption, it could just be gross incompetence.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Little Housecleaning



I'm just going over my Blog List and I dropped a few blogs. If I removed your blog and you give a crap then leave a comment and I'll put you back up.

Sorry if I sound rude, but it's been a a cruddy day.

Yukio Ngaby

Friday, June 21, 2013

Judge Orders California to Release 10,000 Prisoners


"Now look judges, there's nothing I can do about it. So you're just going to have to wait with me until the problem escalates to the point where we can no longer just ignore it. And getting a mere federal order is not an indication that we're even close to that point. It's the California way."

Man, am I glad I left that state.

From Reuters:

A panel of federal judges ordered California on Thursday to ease overcrowding in state prisons by reducing the number of inmates by about 10,000 this year, and criticized in harsh terms what they described as foot-dragging in dealing with the matter.  
The three-judge panel also repeated an earlier warning to potentially hold California Governor Jerry Brown in contempt if a reduction plan is not implemented. The governor said he would seek a stay of the ruling. 
California, the nation's most populous state, has been under court orders to reduce inmate numbers in its 33-prison system since 2009, when the same three-judge panel ordered it to relieve overcrowding that has caused inadequate medical and mental healthcare. 
The issue has become a political football for Brown, partly because reducing the population in state prisons has meant that local jurisdictions have to host some convicts in county jails who previously would have been sent to state prisons. 
Earlier this year, the judges rebuffed a request by Brown to vacate the 2009 order. Brown had contended the state had fixed the crowding problem and that further prisoner releases would harm public safety. 
"The history of this litigation is of defendants' repeated failure to take the necessary steps to remedy the constitutional violations in its prison system," the judges said in Thursday's ruling.  
[...]  
The judges said if current efforts to reduce crowding do not result in the state reaching a prison population target of 137.5 percent of capacity by the end of the year, the state must then free prisoners from a list of inmates at low risk of recidivism.

"Failure to take such steps or to report on such steps every two weeks shall constitute an act of contempt," the judges said.

Brown, a Democrat, has said he lacks the authority to enact certain measures to reduce prison crowding. In court papers filed earlier this month, attorneys for the governor said state officials were working on legislation to solve that problem.

The legislation would, among other things, make it easier for inmates to be released on parole for medical reasons and establish a parole process for elderly inmates who are a low risk to the public, the state's court papers said.

Thursday's ruling stemmed from class action litigation accusing the state of failing to provide prisoners with adequate mental and medical healthcare. That led to a 2009 ruling that treatment of inmates in the state's overcrowded prison system violated constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 2009 order to reduce California's prison population.

Don Specter, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, said the ruling would mean cutting the prison population to around 109,000 inmates from about 119,000 currently, which amounts to about 150 percent of capacity for the prison system.
So when California's prisons are only overcrowded by 50% more than their capacity, then the problem will be fixed. Huh.

Well, clearly the solution is for California to impose a prison tax against the wealthy-- that is anyone with a job or running a small business-- and thus enrich the coffers of the prison guards' unions. Or California could legalize certain criminal behaviors, like 2nd degree murder and armed robbery, and thus reduce the amount of inmates coming in to the system.

Realistically, any solution in California is going to involve tons of money, with accompanying graft. I really have no idea where they're going to get the money (probably raising taxes-- my bet is another increase in the sales tax), but I can't wait to see how this all plays out.

Northern Ireland Bishop Responds to Obama's Call for an End to Catholic Schools


"I, the Light-bringer, bring to you my criticisms of your religions and schools. What?! Do you truly believe that you can solve your problems without my pithy advice?"

What?! Obama would publicly make an inaccurate analysis of a situation so he could throw in an attack against his usual suspects? Never. Not since Gates' arrest, or demanding an arrest in the Trayvon Martin case, or misrepresenting a Supreme Court decision and calling out a private citizen in a State of the Union Address, or jailing a scapegoat following the Benghazi attacks, or saying that Fast & Furious was an operation under Bush that he stopped, or...

From The Catholic Register article by Michael Kelly (h/t to Gateway Pundit):

A bishop in Northern Ireland accused President Barack Obama of a "hackneyed" analysis of the political situation in the region.
Auxiliary Bishop Donal McKeown of Down and Connor said some parts of the president's June 17 speech in Belfast, Northern Ireland, echoed "the Protestant/Catholic caricature that has actually receded into the background in Northern Ireland."  
[...]  
Obama addressed 2,000 young people and community leaders at Waterfront Hall and called for a renewed focus on reconciliation, 15 years after the Good Friday peace agreement. 
Looking to the future, the president said, "if towns remain divided -- if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can't see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden -- that too encourages division and discourages cooperation." 
Bishop McKeown said the 1998 accord "was clear that the core problem in Northern Ireland was a political one. ... It is significant that religion did not appear in the agreement on what is primarily a political problem." 
He said that "it is the Catholic schools in Northern Ireland that are now actually among the most racially and linguistically mixed. And, while so many young people are very open to new friendships and opportunities, it needs to be stated that it is adults outside schools who promote mistrust for their own political and personal agendas." 
"A simplistic denominational vocabulary fails to do justice to where we are," added Bishop McKeown, who chairs the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education.
"We all welcome the president's presence," the bishop said, "but would encourage his speechwriters to support a less hackneyed analysis of our situation and prospects."
Heck, just because Obama's calling for an end to religious differences 15 years after the fact doesn't make him wrong. The Irish should be overjoyed at having some American who's ignorant on their issues criticizing their religions and religious institutions to solve a problem that they themselves addressed more than a decade ago. What's wrong with them?


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Smart Diplomacy: Obama Calls for End of Catholic Schools in Northern Ireland


Other religions just get in the way of the proper veneration of the Light-bringer, right Mark Morford?


Of course for Obama, all religions (except perhaps Islam) are the fall backs for weak and cowardly people who don't have enough work and knowledge to cling to-- well, that plus guns and bigotry. It's a basic American Marxist belief-- a slightly modernized version of the "opiate for the mass" shtick.

From the Scottish Catholic Observer article by Ian Dunn (h/t BizPac Review):

The US President has made an alarming call for an end to Catholic education in Northern Ireland in spite of the fact that Archbishop Gerhard M├╝ller told Scots that Catholic education was 'a critical component of the Church.’ 
President Barack Obama, repeated the oft disproved claim that Catholic education increases division in front of an audience of 2000 young people, including many Catholics, at Belfast’s Waterfront hall when he arrived in the country this morning. 
“If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden—that too encourages division and discourages cooperation,” the US president said. 
The US politician made the unfounded claim despite a top Vatican official spelling out the undeniable good done by Catholic education in a speech in Glasgow on Saturday and in his homily at Mass on Friday.
Smart diplomacy... Do you remember when that was the buzzword for the Obama administration? It's hard to be smart when you have a lot of axes to grind and religion to attack.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Iran's Newly Elected "Reformer" Doesn't Have Much of a Reformer's Background


Hasan Rouhani

The American media is swooning over the idea that Iran's newly elected president Hassan Rouhani is a reformer. Anybody who has the faintest idea as to how Iran's elections are run, is not so quick to whip out the "reformer" title to anyone who's been elected.

It must be understood that Iran's current political system was set up following the Iranian Revolution, and is designed to prevent change and reform. Nobody runs for president in Iran without the permission of the Guardian Council (a council made up of six members appointed by the Supreme Leader and six members elected by their parliament from a list provided by the head of the judiciary-- a position that is filled by an appointee of the Supreme Leader). Indeed, the Guardian Council has even prevented parliamentary candidates from running for office.

So to recap, you don't run for president in Iran unless you get permission from the twelve person Guardian Council-- six of whom are directly appointed by the Supreme Leader and the other six are elected by Parliament from a list provided by an appointee of the Supreme Leader.

So to think that somehow a reformer slipped through this process is ludicrous. Anyone who's given permission to run for office clearly does so with the knowledge and permission of the Supreme Leader and his appointees.

It should also be made clear that the President of Iran is not in charge of the military. The Supreme Leader is the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian military.

All of this should give you an inkling into how safely insulated the Supreme Leader of Iran is. He only answers to The Assembly of Experts-- a body of 80+ Islamic theologians-- who elect the Supreme Leader for his life term. The Assembly of Experts does have the legal power to remove the Supreme Leader, but has never attempted to exercise this power. Considering that the Supreme Leader has absolute control over the military, it would be interesting to see what would happen if the Experts actually tried to depose the Supreme Leader.

So what about  Hassan Rouhanni's background? The Tower provides a very quick rundown.

From The Tower piece by Avi Issacharoff  (h/t David Gerstman at Legal Insurrection):

The incoming president of Iran was never a reformist. It is doubtful that his achievement was even a victory for the moderate camp in Iran, which on the face of it wants to replace the regime and to stop the nuclear weapons race. Rouhani, as opposed to the image that has been fashioned, was until recently known as part of the conservative camp in Iran. He is not one of those challenging the Islamist regime, and certainly not challenging Khamenei’s rule. 
Rouhani’s win election should not be seen as a dramatic sign that Iran will change its line regarding either its nuclear policy or its involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts. Despite Rouhani’s declarations in the past that may suggest he seeks flexibility in the nuclear project, the reality in Iran is that these matters will remain in the hands of Khamenei and the men of the Revolutionary Guard. 
Politicall Rouhani’s victory reflects power struggles within the Iranian leadership. It marks a kind of political comeback for former president President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was Rouhani’s political godfather. Moreover, Rouhani is the breath of fresh air, a new face at the top of the Iranian leadership compared to the outgoing president, Muhamad Ahmedinejad. He was the only cleric allowed to run in the race, and will now try to bring the public, including the Tehran elites, closer to the regime of the Ayatollahs – of which he is one of the most outstanding products. 
So how did a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts and Supreme National Security Council – and a confidant of Khamenei – become the “great hope” of the moderate camp? It may be the embrace he received from the two former presidents, Khatami and Rafsanjani, rivals to Khamenei, that put him into the reformist category. 
“He never called himself a reformist,” explains Dr. Soli Shahvar, who heads the Ezri Center for Iran and Gulf Studies at Haifa University. “But he uses rhetoric that is less blustery than that of Ahmedinejad, and speaks more moderately, including on the subject of nuclear negotiations.” Shahvar’s conclusion with respect to Rouhani’s win is unambiguous. “I interpret his election in one way only: The regime wanted him to win. If they had wanted one of the conservatives to win, they would have gotten four of the five conservatives to drop out of the race, paving the way for [eventual runner-up, Tehran Mayor Mohammad-Bagher] Ghalibaf to win. But they didn’t do that. Moreover, it was the regime that approved the candidacy of Rouhani alongside only seven others. This is striking evidence that Khamenei wanted Rouhani to win, both internally and externally.” 
According to Shahvar, from the internal perspective, a victory for another candidate like Ahmedinejad risked provoking a renewal of the demonstrations like those of 2009. “Victory for a candidate who is perceived as more moderate yet still has the confidence of Khamenei, serves the regime in the best way. Externally, Iran today is in a very difficult situation with regard to sanctions and its international standing. A conservative president would only have increased Tehran’s isolation in the world. A victory for someone from the ‘moderate stream,’ however, will immediately bring certain countries in the international community to call for ‘giving a chance to dialogue with the Iranian moderates.’ They will ask for more time in order to encourage this stream, and it will take pressure off the regime. And so we see that in the non-disqualification of Rouhani and especially in the non-dropping-out of four of the five conservative candidates there is more than just an indication that this is the result the regime desired.”
Most likely this false face of friendly reform will fool the U.S. State Department who, in between engaging in and covering up various cases of sexual misconduct within their ranks, have a vested interest in attempting to show that Obama's weak-- I mean, open-minded policies toward Iran are effective.

Friday, June 14, 2013

IRS Reportedly Training with AR-15 Rifles


"When I said gun control, I meant taking away the guns from you folks and giving them to the agencies of the executive branch. Or did I forget to mention that? My bad."


I guess they're getting ready for the enforcement of ObamaCare-- nobody mentioned it involved arming IRS agents with assault rifles.

From WYFF News (h/t Gateway Pundit):

South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District representative wants to know why he saw IRS agents training with powerful, semi-automatic rifles.
Republican Jeff Duncan said he made the discovery at a Maryland Federal Law Enforcement Training Center on May 23. 
The congressman was touring the facility with Homeland Security officials as part of his investigation into the amount of ammunition purchases the agency conducts. 
Duncan told News 4’s Sean Muserallo he saw about eight or nine shooters identified to him as IRS agents practicing at an indoor 100-yard range. 
“While we were sitting there,” said Duncan, “the gentleman told them to sling their weapons and load a 30-round magazine into the AR-15s they were training with.”
Duncan said he was concerned about what he saw. 
“Why do IRS law enforcement agents need standoff capability that you would have with a long rifle or with a weapon similar to an AR-15? They’re generally investigating tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. We think of the IRS as an audit agency more than doing the type of law enforcement where they have to use an AR-15.” 
Duncan said the IRS has the resources of the federal government, including the FBI, if they come into a situation where they feel like they need a SWAT team.
And I suppose the IRS feels that they might need a SWAT team during some audits of conservative non-profits.

Does anybody get the feeling we might see another Waco incident where poorly trained agents decide to play SWAT with somebody right before funding time?

CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Hacked


Is Attkisson paying the price for defying the will of the Light-bringer?

Gee, I wonder who did this?

From CBS News:

CBS News announced Friday that correspondent Sharyl Attkisson's computer was hacked by "an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions," confirming Attkisson's previous revelation of the hacking.

CBS News spokeswoman Sonya McNair said that a cybersecurity firm hired by CBS News "has determined through forensic analysis" that "Attkisson's computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions in late 2012."

"Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson's accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data. This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion. CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access."

Several months ago, Attkisson had reported suspected intrusions of her computers, including her CBS News work computer, prompting CBS News to hire a firm to look into the hacking.

Friday's announcement comes on the heels of last month's revelation that the Justice Department had seized the emails and phone records of Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

To be clear, the federal government has not been accused in the intrusion of Attkisson's computer; CBS News is continuing to work to identify the responsible party.
And I bet Attkisson's work on the Fast & Furious and Benghazi cover ups had nothing to do with this.

Obama's been dodging huge scandals from Fast & Furious all the way to the IRS's targeting of conservative groups. How many more can he dodge?

Jim Geraghty has the best line via Twitchy: "I'm sure whoever hacked @SharylAttkisson's computer is just a rogue, low-level employee acting on his own with no direction from above."

The City of Detroit Defaults


Just some more of Detroit's neighborhood blight
Detroit is pretty much an amalgamation of the Democrats' ideas-- unions, welfare, racial tensions, and federal meddling. All of that managed to turn one of the wealthiest American cities into a punchline.

From the AP via Breitbart (via Drudge):

Detroit's emergency manager says the city is defaulting on about $2.5 billion of debt.

Kevyn Orr said Friday that Detroit is asking creditors to take about 10 cents on the dollar of what they're owed. Underfunded pension claims will get less.

Orr spent about two hours Friday morning with dozens of people representing banks, insurers and companies holding Detroit debt. He told reporters earlier at an airport hotel in Romulus he wants to fix fiscal problems that have made the city insolvent.

He has instituted a moratorium on all of Detroit's payments on unsecured debt, seeking forgiveness of millions of dollars owed by the city.

He also said $1.25 billion will be set aside over 10 years for public safety, lighting and neighborhood blight elimination.
It's the foreshadow of Hope and Change...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Four Scandals in Obama's EPA-- Add Them to the the List of Obama's Abuses of Power


"Look, I told folks that voting was the best revenge. What did you all think I meant by that? It meant I'm going to use my executive powers to attack and punish conservatives. How else could you interpret this?"

It's amazing how many scandals are shooting out of the Obama Administration (oops.. can I say "shooting out of the administration" without getting red-flagged, audited, or being attacked by the EPA or its hard-Left environmentalist allies?). It's what would've been happening four years ago if the press had been doing their job.

Now Hot Air reports on four more scandals, these coming out of Obama's EPA. Hope and change!

From Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air:

1) The EPA gave an ethics award to fake employee, “Richard Windsor,” who was already just an unethically created e-mail alias for the agency’s former head, Lisa P. Jackson. 
HotAir’s covered this story several times, but it really escalated to a point I don’t think I would have even concocted for a fictional account of government stupidity for fear it might feel like a reach. But government stupidity, undaunted by such a challenge and unbound by the limits of my imagination indeed awarded the “scholar of ethical behavior” award, among other professional recognitions, to a dude who does not exist and was created merely to unethically circumvent FOIA requests.  
[...]  
2) The EPA makes conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups. 
According to research from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose fellow Chris Horner uncovered “Richard Windsor:”
Specifically, CEI asserts that the EPA is waiving FOIA fees for what it describes as left-wing groups – like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and EarthJustice – while it “systematically denies waivers for groups on the right,” according to CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner. 
Horner said his research shows that from January 2012 to Spring 2013 the fees for “green” groups were waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, the EPA effectively or expressly denied his request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA instances over this same time period. Horner’s appeals of the EPA decisions to deny his fee waivers were rejected. 
Further review, Horner said, established that “green” groups proved successful in getting their fees waived 92 percent of the time.
As Gabe notes, the EPA is kindly “considering” an investigation into this matter. Most transparent administration evah. More pressure, please, Congress!  
3) EPA contractors are basically Gym, Tan, Laundrying in new, swanky rec rooms thanks to your tax money.  
Aww, yeah:
In a huge Environmental Protection Agency warehouse in Landover, enterprising workers made sure that they had all the comforts of home. They created personal rec rooms with televisions, radios, chairs and couches. On the walls were photos, calendars and pinups. For entertainment, they had books, magazines and videos. If they got hungry, they could grab something from a refrigerator and pop it into a microwave. 
The crown jewel of their hideaway — which stored EPA office furnishings — was a 30-by-45-foot athletic center, cobbled together from “surplus” EPA gym equipment and decked out with a music system provided via “other agency inventory items,” according to a recently released inspector general’s report. 
All of it was carefully hidden from security cameras by partitions and piles of boxes set up by the workers, employees of Apex Logistics, the contractor that ran the warehouse until the EPA severed ties after learning of the situation last month.
4) The EPA leaked confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups. No bigs. 
For your NOM-IRS analogy, this one’s perfect:
According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”  
The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.
I actually did a post on #4 back in late March.

As Prof. Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit wrote in USA Today, the common theme in the Obama administration ifs the abuse of power.

From Reynolds:

The NSA spying scandal goes deep, and the Obama administration's only upside is that the furor over its poking into Americans' private business on a wholesale basis will distract people from the furor over the use of the IRS and other federal agencies to target political enemies -- and even donors to Republican causes -- and the furor over the Benghazi screwup and subsequent lies (scapegoated filmmaker Nakoula is still in jail), the furor over the "Fast And Furious" gunrunning scandal that left literally scores of Mexicans dead, the scandal over the DOJ's poking into phone records of journalists (and their parents), HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' shakedown of companies she regulates for "donations" to pay for ObamaCare implementation that Congress has refused to fund, the Pigford scandal where the Treasury Department's "Judgment Fund" appears to have been raided for political purposes -- well, it's getting to where you need a scorecard to keep up. 
But, in fact, there's a common theme in all of these scandals: Abuse of power. And, what's more, that abuse-of-power theme is what makes the NSA snooping story bigger than it otherwise would be. It all comes down to trust. [...] As for abuse, well, is it plausible to believe that a government that would abuse the powers of the IRS to attack political enemies, go after journalists who publish unflattering material or scapegoat a filmmaker in the hopes of providing political cover to an election-season claim that al-Qaeda was finished would have any qualms about misusing the massive power of government-run snooping and Big Data? What we've seen here is a pattern of abuse. There's little reason to think that pattern will change, absent a change of administration -- and, quite possibly, not even then. Sooner or later, power granted tends to become power abused. Then there's the risk that information gathered might leak, of course, as recent events demonstrate.  
[...]  
As for abuse, well, is it plausible to believe that a government that would abuse the powers of the IRS to attack political enemies, go after journalists who publish unflattering material or scapegoat a filmmaker in the hopes of providing political cover to an election-season claim that al-Qaeda was finished would have any qualms about misusing the massive power of government-run snooping and Big Data? What we've seen here is a pattern of abuse. There's little reason to think that pattern will change, absent a change of administration -- and, quite possibly, not even then. Sooner or later, power granted tends to become power abused. Then there's the risk that information gathered might leak, of course, as recent events demonstrate.

Of course when you elect a petty little grievance mongerer who enriches himself by the suffering of others-- I mean, a community organizer-- this is pretty much what you can expect.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ohio Dept. Of Insurance: ObamaCare Will Cause an 88% Increase in Health Premiums in Ohio


"I've been recently saying that there will be some hiccups in the implementation of my economically Fascist plan. And by hiccups, I meant skyrocketing rate increases. I didn't tell you before because I didn't think it was any of your business. Anyway, it's Bush's fault."

But I was repeatedly assured by Obama and all that my insurance wouldn't skyrocket under ObamaCare...

From the Forbes article by Avik Roy (via Drudge):

Democrats continue to try to dismiss the evidence that Obamacare will dramatically increase the cost of insurance for people who buy it on their own. But on Thursday, the Ohio Department of Insurance announced that, based on the rates submitted by insurers to date, the average individual-market health insurance premium in 2014 will come in around $420, “representing an increase of 88 percent” relative to 2013. “We have warned of these increases,” said Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in a statement. “Consumers will have fewer choices and pay much higher premiums for their health insurance starting in 2014.”    
The rates that Ohio reported are proposed rates; the Department of Insurance still has to formally approve them. “A total of 14 companies proposed rates for 214 plans to the Department. Projected costs from the companies for providing coverage for the required [by Obamacare] essential health benefits ranged from $282.51 to $577.40 for individual health insurance plans.” 
It’s called “rate shock,” but it’s not shocking to people who understand the economics of health insurance. In August 2011, Milliman, one of the nation’s leading actuarial firms, predicted that Obamacare would increase individual-market premiums in Ohio by 55 to 85 percent. This past March, the Society of Actuaries projected that the law would increase premiums in that market by 81 percent. Like good players on “The Price is Right,” they both came in just under the real figure, 88 percent.  
What are the drivers of the increase? According to Milliman, the two biggest drivers are (1) risk pool composition changes, such as forcing the young to subsidize the old, and the healthy to subsidize the sick; and (2) Obamacare’s required expansion of insurance benefits, particularly its mandated reductions in deductibles and co-pays. 
This is a significant concept to understand. Some people have the impression that the main reason that rates are going up under Obamacare is because of the law’s requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions. But that accounts for only a fraction—around a quarter—of the rate hike. The rest comes from all the other things that Obamacare does, such as forcing people to buy richer insurance benefits; to buy products with all sorts of add-ons they might not need; to pay Obamacare’s premium tax; and to pay a lot more, if they’re young, to subsidize older individuals. 
There is an important difference between these analyses and the one I conducted for California last week. Ohio has reported average premiums across the individual market, for everyone; for California, I looked at the lowest-priced individual-market plans for 25- and 40-year-old men, both pre- and post-Obamacare. We’ll need to go through Ohio’s individual rate filings, especially after they’ve been approved by the state, to get a more detailed sense of what is going on. [emphasis mine]
As I have said many times before, ObamaCare perfectly fits the definition of economic Fascism. But remember that only the Right are Fascists... or something.

Welcome to Hope and Change! Hope you have some change left when ObamaCare's done with you. Unless you're politically connected to the Democrats because then you get a waiver. Not that it'll do much good in the chaos that ObamaCare's going to inflict on health care.

You passed it against the will of the American people. Own it Dems.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pelosi's Selective Memory





Watching Pelosi backtrack as the crud of ObamaCare starts creeping in would be amusing if this wasn't affecting millions of people. I think that they might have some trouble blaming this coming disaster on Bush, but I'm betting that they will somehow try.

Of course, crazy people like me have been saying that ObamaCare will increase the costs and decrease the quality of health care since it was a bill in Congress. Plus, the majority of Americans have been against ObamaCare from it's inception. But since the Democrats decided to ignore the American people and ram through a law using a dishonest parliamentary tactic to avoid sending the bill to the Senate (can anyone honestly say that ObamaCare is merely a budget?), they can now stew in the responsibility of this unworkable law.

Own it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Xbox One-- The Game Console that Watches You and Makes Sure You Watch Commercials


The little black spybox that knows if you watch its commercials. Don't make it mad.

It's like a Yakov Smirnoff joke: "In Russia the television watches you."

Well, now the Xbox One will watch you watching it, see if you pay attention to the commercials and reward you if you do-- Pavlov style, I guess

From The Daily Caller:

Possible privacy violations by Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One have come under new scrutiny since it was revealed Thursday that the tech giant was a crucial partner in an expansive Internet surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency and involving Silicon Valley’s biggest players. 
One of the console’s key features is the full integration of the Kinect, a motion sensing camera that allows users to play games, scroll through menus, and generally operate the Xbox just using hand gestures. Microsoft has touted the camera as the hallmark of a new era of interactivity in gaming. 
What Microsoft has not promoted, however, is the fact that you will not be able to power on the console without first enabling the Kinect, designed to detect both heartbeats and eye movement. and positioning yourself in front of it.     
Disturbingly, a recently published Microsoft patent reveals the Kinect has the capability to determine exactly when users are viewing ads broadcast by the Xbox through its eye movement tracking. Consistent ad viewers would be granted rewards, according to the patent. 
Perhaps the feature most worryisome to privacy advocates is the requirement that the Xbox connect to the Internet at least once every 24 hours. Many critics have asserted that Microsoft will follow the lead of other Silicon Valley companies and use their console to gather data about its users, particularly through the Kinect, and collect it through the online connection users can’t avoid.

I wasn't going to buy the new Xbox anyway. I don't purchase stuff that's not specifically a home computer that must be connected to the internet. And there's no chance that I'm buying something that must be connected to the internet at least once every 24 hours.

Bye bye, Xbox. Hello, Sony Playstation.

Friday, June 7, 2013

IRS Targeting of Conservatives Coincides with Obama's Warnings of Conservatives' "Threats" Against Democracy


"Hey now people, let's not just dwell on this IRS scandal. Let's not forget about the NSA collecting data-- which was a Bush thing that I'm all totally against and outraged by. And let's not forget about Benghazi-- which was Hilary's thing."

Still just a coincidence. Obama is shocked, just shocked, at how the IRS would help his cause during election years.

From The Wall Street Journal piece by Kimberly A. Strassel:

Perhaps the only useful part of the inspector general's audit of the IRS was its timeline. We know that it was August 2010 when the IRS issued its first "Be On the Lookout" list, flagging applications containing key conservative words and issues. The criteria would expand in the months to come.  
What else was happening in the summer and fall of 2010? The Obama administration and its allies continue to suggest the IRS was working in some political vacuum. What they'd rather everyone forget is that the IRS's first BOLO list coincided with their own attack against "shadowy" or "front" conservative groups that they claimed were rigging the electoral system. 
Below is a more relevant timeline, a political one, which seeks to remind readers of the context in which the IRS targeting happened.  
Aug. 9, 2010: In Texas, President Obama for the first time publicly names a group he is obsessed with—Americans for Prosperity (founded by the Koch Brothers)—and warns about conservative groups. Taking up a cry that had until then largely been confined to left-wing media and activists, he says: "Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads . . . And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation."

Aug. 11: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sends out a fundraising email warning about "Karl Rove-inspired shadow groups."

Aug. 21: Mr. Obama devotes his weekly radio address to the threat of "attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names. We don't know who's behind these ads and we don't know who's paying for them. . . . You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation. . . . The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide."  
[...]  
Sept. 2: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warns on its website that the Kochs have "funneled their money into right-wing shadow groups."

Sept. 16: Mr. Obama, in Connecticut, repeats that a "foreign-controlled entity" might be funding "millions of dollars of attack ads." Four days later, in Philadelphia, he again says the problem is that "nobody knows" who is behind conservative groups.

Sept. 21: Sam Stein, in his Huffington Post article "Obama, Dems Try to Make Shadowy Conservative Groups a Problem for Conservatives," writes that a "senior administration official" had "urged a small gathering of reporters to start writing on what he deemed 'the most insidious power grab that we have seen in a very long time.' "

Sept. 22: In New York City, Mr. Obama warns that conservative groups "pose as non-for-profit, social welfare and trade groups," even though they are "guided by seasoned Republican political operatives" who might be funded by a "foreign-controlled corporation."

Sept. 26: On ABC's "This Week," Obama senior adviser David Axelrod declares outright that the "benign-sounding Americans for Prosperity, the American Crossroads Fund" are "front groups for foreign-controlled companies."

Sept. 28: The president, in Wisconsin, again warns about conservative organizations "posing as nonprofit groups." Sen. Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, writes to the IRS demanding it investigate nonprofits. The letter names conservative organizations.

On Oct. 14, Mr. Obama calls these groups "a problem for democracy." On Oct. 22, he slams those who "hide behind these front groups." On Oct. 25, he upgrades them to a "threat to our democracy." On Oct. 26, he decries groups engaged in "unsupervised spending."

These were not off-the-cuff remarks.  
[...]  
This newspaper reported Thursday that Cincinnati IRS employees are now telling investigators that they took their orders from Washington. For anyone with a memory of 2010 politics, that was obvious from the start.
I guess the main problem with these shadowy, foreign financed groups for Obama is that they weren't Chinese and funding the Democrats' coffers.

Still, these conservative group brought all of this upon themselves by applying for tax exempt status and, most significantly, by not agreeing with the Obama in the first place. Shame on them. These groups should understand that if they don't resist his will, things will go much more smoothly.

And eventually we could the all live in variations of Detroit and Chicago. Heaven on earth!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

NSA Datamining with PRISM-- Watches Search History, Content of Emails, File Transfers and Live Chats



Chart from The Guardian article quoted and linked below

"Look. I know this looks bad, but you can trust me. I'm like your big brother. Right? I mean just look at this smile. Trustworthy."

Wow. This makes the executive branch's grabbing of phone records look pretty mild by comparison.

From The Guardian (h/t Jacobson at Legal Insurrection):

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. 
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says. 
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers. 
Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program. [Jacobson wonders if these companies might not be under a gag order similar to Verizon]
[...]  
The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US. 
It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants. 
Disclosure of the PRISM program follows a leak to the Guardian on Wednesday of a top-secret court order compelling telecoms provider Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of US customers. 
The participation of the internet companies in PRISM will add to the debate, ignited by the Verizon revelation, about the scale of surveillance by the intelligence services. Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata. 
Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.
It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.
Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks.
It's kind of amazing that when the press actually does a little investigation into Obama, scratching the thinnest of veneers really, they find all sorts of scandals and executive branch over reach. Weird that they didn't do this prior to the election, isn't it?

I'm shocked that someone like Obama who makes speeches about being ready to rule, indulging in revenge, and punishing enemies would run these sort of spying-- I mean data collection programs. But I guess he does have to learn the identity and location of his enemies after all...

I can't wait for the "It's Bush's fault" excuses to come rolling in.

AP Headline: Report: US hasn't seen expected 'Great Recovery'


CLICK TO ENLARGE GRAPH OF UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AFTER OBAMA'S "STIMULUS"

"Hey, everyone better not thank me all at once for this great economy! But do thank me one at a time."


I think only the uninformed and the Left really had expected a "Great Recovery."

Aside from the "Really!! Do you think?!" aspect of the story, it's notable that the AP is actually running a headline countering the Obama narrative. Maybe their still smarting from their phone records being grabbed.

From the AP:

The expected U.S. "Great Recovery" hasn't materialized and the economy has fallen short of even normal growth, according to a forecast released Wednesday. 
The second-quarter UCLA Anderson Forecast said the growth of real gross domestic product - meaning the inflation-adjusted value of goods and services produced - is too small to help the nation climb out of its slump. 
The figure was 15.4 percent below a "normal" growth trend, forecast director Edward Leamer wrote. 
"To get back to that 3 percent trend, we would need 4 percent growth for 15 years, or 5 percent growth for eight years, or 6 percent growth for five years, not the disappointing twos and threes we have been racking up recently," he said. 
"It's not a recovery. It's not even normal growth. It's bad," he wrote. 
A real GDP growth rate of just 1.9 percent is expected for this year, only rising to 3 percent in 2015, according to the forecast. 
[...]  
Unemployment should fall to 6.9 percent next year and 6.6 percent by 2015, according to the forecast - partly due, however, to discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force [wow, they're actually reporting this! Of course conservative fools like myself and many, many others have been talking about how the unemployment records don't reflect current reality for years now]. 
Leamer said that while jobs are being created, "the tepid growth continues to obscure the nation's most fundamental problems: too much government spending [but I thought that the the Tea Party were all crazy and don't know what they're talking about] funded with too much borrowing [again!], too little national savings to cover late-in-life health care issues [and that's the beginning, wait until ObamaCare kicks in for real] and too many workers lacking the skills to compete in the modern economy [due to a lack of education despite the fact that massive amounts of money have been poured into the educational system-- which of course includes teacher's retirement plans and their unions]," according to a University of California, Los Angeles press statement. [emphasis mine] 
In addition, the jobs being created may not provide workers with a secure future and the education system is failing to provide skills such as analytical thinking that will be crucial for future workers, he wrote.

Now if only the AP and other "news" outlets had been reporting this a few years back after the failed stimulus, then it might have actually made a difference to America in the near future. Instead, we have four more years of Obama's probably illegal executive actions that will continue the push the same idiotic trends that have been stifling real growth for slightly more than four years now.

Can America slip back into a double dip recession? Yes, we can!

NSA Collecting American Citizens' Phone Records


"I know who you call. It's almost like magic."

Maybe the AP and Fox News phone record procurements by Holder's DOJ was just a precursor.

From The Guardian (h/t Instapundit):

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April. 
The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries. 
The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing. 
The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19. 
Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.  
[...]  
The Guardian approached the National Security Agency, the White House and the Department of Justice for comment in advance of publication on Wednesday. All declined. The agencies were also offered the opportunity to raise specific security concerns regarding the publication of the court order. 
The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI's request for its customers' records, or the court order itself.  
"We decline comment," said Ed McFadden, a Washington-based Verizon spokesman.
The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compels Verizon to produce to the NSA electronic copies of "all call detail records or 'telephony metadata' created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad" or "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls".
Well, I for one feel great about my medical records being accessed by the federal government under ObamaCare-- so this data mining is totally not a big deal to me. Nope. No problems here. Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Obama Bailout of GM Will Result in $10 Billion Loss


"I shall lead you to golden fields, irrigated with red ink."


But considering the size of the "stimulus," $10 billion isn't all that much... uh, right?

From The Detroit News (via Drudge):

The U.S. Treasury said Wednesday it plans to sell 30 million additional shares of General Motors stock in a new public offering in conjunction with GM’s return to the S&P 500 index on Thursday. The United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust — which holds about 14 percent of GM — will also participate by selling 20 million shares, making the total offering size 50 million shares. It represents about 12 percent of Treasury’s outstanding GM stock.
The move may mean that Treasury completely exits in 2013, rather than by the end of March 2014. The return to the S&P will prompt significant demand for GM shares and the stock has recently traded near its highest level since February 2011. GM is filing a new prospectus ahead of the sale.
The Treasury sold nearly 20 percent of its remaining shares in General Motors Co. in the first three months of the year, the Detroit automaker disclosed Thursday.
The Treasury, which initially held 60.8 percent of GM as part of the U.S. $49.5 billion bailout, now owns just 16.4 percent, or 241.7 million shares. In December, the Treasury sold GM 200 million shares of its stake for $5.5 billion to reduce its stake to 300 million shares.
In total, Treasury has recouped $30.6 billion. At current trading prices, Treasury would lose around $10 billion on its GM bailout. [emphasis mine]
I love how the $10 billion dollar loss part is sort of hidden down at the bottom. Well, Obama spent $10 billion to bailout the UAW and to put GM back into a precarious financial position. Unless people suddenly decide they want to buy the Chevy Volt. Oh wait, that won't help because Chevy losing money on every Volt that they sell. And it's subsidized!

Remember when people were saying GM's alive and Bin Laden is dead. Well, it turns out that GM is still losing money hand over fist-- though now America's burdened with a fair amount of the cost-- and Al Qaeda is organized enough to attack our embassies... but what difference does it make?

ObamaCare Rate Increases Are Not the Fantasies of the GOP and Consumers



"ObamaCare will bring down the cost of health care. California has mystically fudged numbers to prove that the rate increases won't be that bad."

It's weird how people can continue to claim ObamaCare can result into anything but a massive rate hike. Anyone who has actually read the monstrously long law (I have, plus two of the bills) and listened to Obama say that going paperless will save a $1 trillion + would be idiotic to think that will not be massive rate spikes. If you drop a ball on Earth, it's going to fall.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Liberals have spent years claiming that "rate shock" under the Affordable Care Act—the 20% to 30% average spike in insurance premiums that every independent analyst projects—is merely the political imagination of Republicans and the insurance industry. So they immediately claimed victory when California reported last month that the plans that will be available on the state's new insurance exchange next year would be cheaper than they are today. 
Except now it emerges that California goosed the data to make it appear as if ObamaCare won't send costs aloft as the law's regulations and mandates kick in. It will, by a lot. And now liberals have suddenly switched to arguing that, sure, insurance will be more expensive but the new costs are justified. Needless to say that was not how Democrats sold health-care reform.  
California reported that the rates would range from 2% above to 29% below the current market. "This is a home run for consumers in every region of California," said Peter Lee, the director of the state exchange. "These rates are way below the worst-case gloom-and-doom scenarios we have heard." 
But Mr. Lee and his fellow regulators were making a false comparison. They weren't looking at California's lightly regulated individual insurance market that functions surprisingly well. They were comparing ObamaCare insurance to the state's current small-business market where regulations similar to ObamaCare have already been imposed.
In other words, California wasn't comparing apples to apples. It wasn't even comparing apples to oranges. It was comparing apples to ostriches. The conservative analyst Avik Roy consulted current rates on the eHealthInsurance website and discovered that the cheapest ObamaCare plan for a typical 25-year-old man is roughly 64% to 117% more expensive than the five cheapest policies sold today. For a 40 year old, it's 73% to 146%. Stanford economist Dan Kessler adds his observations nearby.

We wouldn't be shocked if California deliberately abused statistics in the hopes that no one would notice that in some cases premiums would more than double. In any case, the turn among the liberals who touted the fake results has been educational.

They now concede that individual costs will rise but claim that it is unfair to compare today's market to ObamaCare because ObamaCare mandates much richer benefits. Another liberal rationalization is that the cost-increasing regulations are meant to help people with pre-existing conditions, so they're worth it.

So they're finally admitting what some of us predicted from the start, but that's also the policy point. Americans are being forced to buy more expensive coverage than what they willingly buy today. Liberals also argue that some of the new costs will be offset by subsidies, which is great news unless you happen to be a taxpayer or aren't eligible for ObamaCare dollars and wake up to find your current coverage is illegal.

The Affordable Care Act was sold as a tool to lower health costs. In case you missed it, the claim is right there in the law's title. The new Democratic position is that the entitlement will do the opposite but never mind, which is at least more honest. 

Democrats lying to make things look better then every single rational person's common sense perceives?! Why it's almost like they were doing the same thing regarding unemployment, the "stimulus," Islamist terrorism, Benghazi, Syrian rebels, the IRS scandal, spying on the AP and Fox News reporters, attacking conservatives with executive power, the GDP... The mind boggles. The weird thing is that it works with some people. They believe that we would be in the world of Mad Max if it wasn't for Obama's timely rescue.

ObamaCare was never popular. It never had the support of Americans. What's worse is that it cannot work. Whether by design of incompetence, it is doomed to fail. Much like the Left in general, it's simply a matter of how much damage it does while it's in place.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

IRS Assumes Cheapest Health Care Insurance for Family Under ObamaCare Will Be $20,000


"It's just some teething problems with implementation. Don't worry. You all will learn to love it. After all, it was named after me. Oh, and if you're in a union, donated enough to the Democrats, or are otherwise politcally connected, you'll be given a waiver."

But, I thought my health care insurance wouldn't go up a single dime under ObamaCare, right Obama?

From CNS News:

In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year. 
Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS. 
The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan. 
The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.
“The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,” the regulation says. 
Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016. 
In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance. 
To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in. 
In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Did anyone realistically think that the result of the federal government defining how much insurance we must have and what the insurance must cover would be cheap?

ObamaCare was never popular, but I wonder how much more unpopular it will become once people realize how truly expensive it will be, both for the insured and for the country. And let's all remember one thing-- the colossally expensive screw-up that is ObamaCare is solely the fault of the Democrats. Make them own it.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

California Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring $50 Fee for Ammo Purchases


California: Mankind's Last and Best Hope to Face Down the Twin Scourges of Middle America and Sane Fiscal Theories

Along with a whole gaggle of various gun restrictions. Does anyone want to bet on if this is going to decrease crime in Compton, Oakland, Watts, or any other place these lawmakers haven't set foot in, or won't travel to without an armed escort?

From the L.A. Times:

California lawmakers Wednesday advanced a dozen gun-control measures, including background checks for ammunition buyers, and gave early approval to a tax penalty on the Boy Scouts for barring openly gay leaders. 
Legislators also voted for a new $75 charge on real estate transactions to pay for affordable-housing projects. 
Mass shootings such as the one in Newtown, Conn., in December spurred Democratic lawmakers to look for ways to tighten California's gun laws, already some of the toughest in the nation.
So let's see here... Control guns to increase crime, then raise taxes, and then punish politically incorrect and therefore politically unpopular institutions. It's like a Christmas wish list of trendy American Leftist policies. And people wonder why California is sinking without the benefit of a mega-quake from the San Andreas...

Californians who want to buy ammunition would have to submit personal information and a $50 fee for a background check by the state, under a bill passed by the Senate. The state Department of Justice would determine whether buyers have a criminal record, severe mental illness or a restraining order that would disqualify them from owning guns. 
Ammo shops would check the name on buyers' driver's licenses against a state list of qualified purchasers.  
[...]  
The Senate also OK'd a bill that would outlaw the sale, purchase and manufacture in California of semiautomatic rifles that can accommodate detachable magazines. The measure, SB 374 by Steinberg [Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento)], also would require those who own such weapons to register them with the state. 
The Assembly joined the action on guns by passing a measure to require the state Department of Justice to notify local law enforcement agencies when someone buys more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition. The bill would also ban kits that convert magazines to carry more than 10 rounds and would extend a ban on gun ownership for anyone who conveys a serious threat of violence to a licensed psychotherapist. 
Yup. According to California's legislature, there's not a problem that can't be solved by over-regulation, notification/intimidation, and collecting taxes/fees for ineffective government programs and filling political coffers. Well, actually I suppose those programs are only ineffective if you believe that their purpose is to do what they're nominally supposed to do. If you think these of these programs as vehicles for enriching politically connected relatives/spouses, or political allies (public employee unions, for instance)... well, then they're quite effective.

This is like reason number 75,978 as to why I left California and will never return. Well, that and the basically ignorant and arrogant belief that anyone not from California or a big city in the east is an stupid and/or evil, possibly inbred, hick that will attack you on sight.

Think I'm kidding or exaggerating? I'm not. I've had conversations with family and friends in California who, in all seriousness, have claimed that the Tea Party thinks that's it's OK for men to rape women(!) because that's just the way it is in "other" parts of the country. I bet you didn't know that California is one of the last bastions of humanity in this country-- a country whose morals have, apparently, decayed to the point of Mad Max 2.