Saturday, April 7, 2012

Republican Committee Fund-Raising Has Big Turnaround [America Eager To Fire Obama]

NY TIMES ^ | 4/6/12 | NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

Once teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and irrelevance, the Republican National Committee has raised more than $110 million over the past 15 months and retired more than half its debt, accumulating large cash reserves that could give Mitt Romney a critical boost later this spring as he intensifies his campaign against President Obama.
 
With the divisive and drawn-out Republican primary season moving toward a close, the committee reported more money in the bank at the start of last month than the Democratic National Committee, which raised about $137 million during the same period but also spent far more.

(Excerpt) Read more at mobile.nytimes.com ...

Medicare Advantage saves us taxpayers MONEY...my bill is proof!

The hospital sent its bill to Humana Medicare Advange for $55,552.47 for the 8 days I was their patient and the surgery I had.

Humana paid $8340.16!   My co-pay will be $625.00!

This tells me the gate-keeper is on the job!

Save The Advantage System after ObamaCare is killed!

Democrats deny parallels between Presidents Obama and Carter

The Hill ^

By Alexander Bolton - 04/07/12 08:00 AM ET
 
Democrats say the political prognosis for President Obama is much better than it was at the same point in former President Jimmy Carter's first term, even though the pace of the nation's job growth has slowed.
 
Obama was set back Friday by disappointing jobs numbers but the economy still created jobs at a faster pace than under Carter or former President George H.W. Bush, two of only four presidents to lose re-elections in the last 100 years.
 
Jobs are growing at a substantially faster clip than they did in 1980, when Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in a landslide, and 1992, when Bush lost narrowly to Bill Clinton.
 
Obama’s three-month average for 2012 is also better than the job growth former President George W. Bush saw when he was re-elected in 2004.
The economy is creating more jobs than it did in 2000, when former Vice President Al Gore (D-Tenn.) fumbled the handoff of the White House from Clinton, or 2004 when George W. Bush held off a strong challenge from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).
But jobs are not growing as fast as 1988, when then-Vice President George H.W. Bush successfully ran on Reagan’s economic record, or 1996, when Clinton won a second White-House term. Bush and Clinton won easily in those years.
While many political experts predicted this year’s presidential election would come down to the economy, the middling nature of the recovery signals that campaign tactics and the candidates’ performances may prove more decisive.
“The expectations of his situation are that the economy is going to be good enough that Obama can win but not so good that he’s going to have an easy re-election,” said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at the University of California and director of UC’s Washington Center. “It’s sufficiently ambiguous that Republicans can envision [the economy] as a winning issue for them.
“When the structural conditions are like that, the amount of money, the quality of the candidate and the guts of the campaign mean a lot more,” he added.
The economy created 110,000 nonfarm jobs in March, compared to 240,000 in February and 275,000 in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On average, jobs increased by 0.16 percent per month, considerably better than the 10-month average before the 1980 and 1992 elections.
The nation’s labor force grew by an average of 0.075 percent a month during the10 months leading up to the 1980 general election, according to survey data of employers kept on file by BLS.
Carter’s political hopes were killed by dismal jobs reports in April, May, June and July of that year, a span in which the economy shed 1.16 million jobs. Strong jobs reports in August and October made up for the losses but fell short of saving Carter’s presidency.
Political experts say Obama is in a much stronger position than Carter, the only Democratic president to lose re-election in more than 120 years.
“The situation was totally different. Interest rates were in the ionosphere, 14 percent and 16 percent to finance various projects. Carter had a difficult term in dealing with his own party. The thing that was the dagger that went into his political heart was the botched hostage rescue in Iran,” said former Sen. Richard Byran (D-Nev.), who was serving as attorney general of Nevada before winning election to Congress.
Republican strategists say the unemployment rate is not the only salient statistic in this election year. They argue Obama will be hurt by rising prices as Carter was by inflation more than thirty years ago.
“If your benchmark is Jimmy Carter, you are headed for the front of the one-term presidents pack,” said Sean Spicer, communications director the Republican National Committee. “Look at healthcare costs, college tuition costs, energy costs, groceries. Everything that matters is headed in the wrong direction.”
Democratic strategists say Obama does not need to get the unemployment rate down to a specific number to win as long as voters see steady improvement.
“The president’s in much better shape than President Carter, whom I worked for a long time ago,” said Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant who worked as a young staffer on Carter’s campaign. “Inflation was astronomical and malaise had set into the country. Americans were held hostage in Iran.
“The present situation is diametrically opposite,” Devine added. “It’s been 25 consecutive months of private sector job growth.”
George H.W. Bush endured even worse jobs numbers than Carter during the ten-month stretch leading to his 1992 loss. The economy suffered a net loss of jobs in only one month, February. But the job creation in other months was anemic. Only 267,000 jobs were created January, March, June, July and September, cumulatively. The workforce increased by an average of 0.0738 percent.
Obama’s burden is the national unemployment rate is higher this year than it was in 1992 and 1980. A Labor Department survey of households reported the national unemployment rate at 8.2 percent in March. It was 8.3 percent in January and February.
The nation’s unemployment rate averaged 7.5 percent in the ten months before the 1992 election and 7.1 percent in 1980.
Obama inherited a much worse economy than Bush senior, who took control of the White House when the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent. Carter took office when the rate was 7.5 percent, the same as it was in November of 1980. It was 7.8 percent when Obama swore his oath of office in January of 2009.
Chris Lehane, a Democratic strategist who served as senior advisor to Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said Obama will win if the economy continues to show improvement. But he warned that the climb to victory would be much tougher if the economy shows mixed signals.
“People aren’t expecting you to be at 3.9 percent unemployment. They want to get a sense that things are turning around,” he said. “So long as data is out there that things are beginning to turn around in the right direction, he wins. If the data is inconsistent, it’s a much bigger challenge.”

Obama's immigration problem

Ruben Navarrette

SAN DIEGO -- When I said recently that President Barack Obama had a habit of not being truthful about his immigration record, an angry Obama supporter demanded that I give specifics.

There are so many examples it's tough to keep track.

We can add a few more to the list thanks to an interview Obama gave recently to talk show host Fernando Espuelas of Univision Radio. When Espuelas noted the criticism that the president has received from Latinos for failing to deliver immigration reform, Obama bristled.

"Well, look," he said. "I think it is important for everybody to remember that I have been four square behind comprehensive immigration reform from the time I was a U.S. senator to my election as president and today. So, the issue has never been my full-throated support for comprehensive immigration reform."

False. Obama tends to forget that, while in the Senate, he supported -- at the behest of organized labor -- a "poison pill" amendment intended to kill bipartisan attempts at comprehensive immigration reform. And, as president, he failed to make reform a top priority, as he promised Latinos he would.

Obama went on: "The challenge is to get it passed through Congress, which is ultimately who has to pass this law. We have strong support from the majority of Democrats. We have no support from Republicans."

False. Obama may have support from a majority of Democrats in Congress, but it doesn't appear to be "strong" support. For the four years that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, from January 2007 to January 2011, comprehensive immigration reform was never a priority. Back then, Republicans were driving the agenda.

The president also said: "You've got some of the leading Republican candidates for president saying they would veto the DREAM Act and members of Congress telling the same line. We couldn't get any Republican votes for the DREAM Act when it came up a couple of years ago."

False. In December 2010, when Congress last took up legislation that would give undocumented youth legal status if they joined the military or went to college, three Republican senators -- Richard Lugar of Indiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Robert Bennett of Utah -- voted in favor of cloture to move the bill to a full vote. Lugar, in fact, was a co-sponsor of the bill.
Obama said: "My hope is that after this election, partly because of a strong Latino vote, a message will be sent that we need to, once again, be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, that we've got to be respectful of folks who are here, who are doing the right thing, trying to raise their families, often times have kids who were born here in the United States, and they need to be given a chance, a pathway, so that they can have a strong legal status in this country."

False. Obama has nerve talking about being "respectful" to immigrant families given that his administration has divided tens of thousands of them. According to a recent report by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more than 46,000 parents with U.S.-born children were deported in the first half of 2011.
Finally, the president ended with: "And DREAM Act kids to me should be a no brainer. … I think for us to give them a path to earn citizenship is the right thing to do. And so my hope is that after the election we will have a different assessment on the part of Republicans, and they will understand that not only is it the right thing to do, but it is also in their political interest to get on the right side of this issue."

False. Let's get real. Republicans are never going to conclude it's "in their political interest" to give undocumented students citizenship because it means also giving them the right to vote. And those students likely would exercise this right by voting Republicans out of office for the next 50 years.

Besides, the president never mentions the five Democratic senators who, during the debate over the DREAM Act, voted against cloture and, thus, helped kill the bill: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Jon Tester and Max Baucus of Montana.

In trying to be both hawkish and humane on immigration, Obama has a problem telling the truth on the subject. And that's no lie.



Read more: http://m.journalstar.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/ruben-navarrette-obama-s-immigration-problem/article_a3dc1f3b-9728-54d7-bccf-570ab7623c3c.html#ixzz1rMqH16d3

Obama Re-election Would Increase Problems

The Jacksonville Daily News ^ | April 4, 2012 | Jay Ambrose
They are definitely not cheering for it, but some conservatives and libertarians I ordinarily respect are saying oh, ho hum, it is no big deal if President Barack Obama gets re-elected because - listen up, worriers - we have separation of powers. We have divided government. Both houses of Congress are likely to be Republican after November's election, and they will keep this guy in check.
 

Excuse me, but have these fine folks paid any attention whatsoever to the past century or so of American history, to the gradually, then dramatically growing power of the executive?
 
Do they know how administrative agencies are now virtual dictators of much of American life and how a particularly controversial guy can be snuck into bossing one around when Congress is out of Washington? Have they heard of the veto, and how there is little way Republicans can stymie tyrannical acts big and small unless they have numbers no single election will ever give them?

Have they noticed the way in which Obama himself has come increasingly to think of Congress as a bother to be casually swatted away?

I don't say this as a Republican lover. Again and again, I get emails that start off, "All you Republicans ..." and I want to shout back, "Not guilty!" To me, the Republicans are the lesser of two evils and on occasion have been the greater. But minus a Republican president, what will happen when the Supreme Court has a couple of vacancies?

Obama may not be able to squeeze leftist deconstructionists onto the court, but after all the banging, jousting and grandstanding are done, we will have unmistakably progressive justices in a position to someday help take this country down the road to a more Europeanized, overregulated, liberty-shrinking society.
(Excerpt) Read more at scrippsnews.com ...

President Scofflaw (Required Reading for any people thinking of voting for Obama again)

am thinker ^ | 4/7/12 | j lewis

I've seen many debates about the war powers of the U.S. Congress, but I've never seen an American president openly laugh at the idea of seeking congressional approval for a major U.S. military assault on another country.
Obama did it with Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Kenya and tried it in Syria. But not in Iran.
Gaddafi is dead, Libya is a disaster, and no one has gotten any answers. Other than that contemptuous laugh. The media don't even dare to ask questions. They are afraid of retaliation.
I haven't seen an American president openly pressure the U.S. Supreme Court to protect his party's takeover of one-seventh of the American economy.
As Charles Krauthammer pointed out regarding the assertion of Federal jurisdiction made by Obama:
If [being born] ... means entering the market, Congress is omnipotent, authorized by the commerce clause to regulate "every human activity from cradle to grave."
I have not seen any American administration publicly claim its powers to rule by arbitrary decree about illegal immigrants, like a European despot.
I have not seen an American president take over banks and auto companies on behalf of his political friends, like the United Auto Workers.
I have never seen a U.S. president give open approval to a campaign of law-breaking and sometimes violent "occupations" -- as this White House has done with sixty organized leftist mobs around the country, with the ACORN voter fraud group.
I have never seen an administration that scapegoated the democratically elected opposition as "extremist." This administration has.
Obama is the first American president to assert that "international permission" beats the U.S. Constitution.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Is There a Republican Alternative to Obamacare?

Townhall.com ^ | April 7, 2012 | John C. Goodman
Just about every Republican candidate for office in the country is an unabashed opponent of ObamaCare. But if they get rid of the Democrat's health reform law, what would they replace it with?

Some critics claim that the GOP only knows what it's against when it comes to health policy. They have no positive agenda for solving the problems of rising costs, inadequate quality and, for many, lack of access to care.

But the critics are wrong. There is a Republican health plan. And it's even more radical and more progressive than ObamaCare! What is it? It's the health reform John McCain proposed during the last presidential election.

If you don't live in a battle ground state, you probably never heard about the McCain health plan. During the election the national media completely ignored it — even though it was far more innovative than the health ideas Barack Obama was proposing.

If you do live in a battle ground state, you probably did hear about it. But odds are what you heard was a completely distorted version. In fact, the Obama campaign spent more money attacking and mischaracterizing the McCain health plan than has ever been spent for or against a public policy idea in the history of the republic.

Perhaps for that reason, Republicans today are a bit skittish about even discussing the idea. Just as most Democratic candidates don't want to talk about ObamaCare, Republicans don't want to talk about the McCain plan either. And that's too bad.

The McCain vision was based on a bill, sponsored by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC), along with Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA). That bill, in turn, was based on an idea which Mark Pauly and I proposed in a Health Affairs article more than a decade ago.

What makes this Republican approach so radical is that it would replace all government tax and spending subsidies for the purchase of private health insurance with a fixed-sum tax credit — essentially giving every American the same number of dollars to apply to their health insurance, regardless of where they obtain it.

Under the current system, federal state and local tax subsidies for private health insurance approach $300 billion a year. The distribution of these dollars is arbitrary, unfair and wasteful.

How much help a family gets from government depends on such factors as its tax bracket, the type of health plan the employer chooses, and state and local tax rates.

The subsidies are also regressive. According to the Lewin Group, families earning more than $100,000 a year get nearly six times as much tax relief as families earning $25,000. We give the most encouragement to buy health insurance to those people who least need encouragement and who probably would have purchased it anyway.

In addition, people can always lower their taxes by spending more on health insurance, and there is no limit to how bloated a health plan can be.

Oddly enough, we place special burdens on people who must purchase their own insurance. Essentially, they must pay taxes first and buy the insurance with what's left over.

For a worker facing a 15.3% (FICA) payroll tax, a 25% income tax rate and a 5% state income tax, having to buy health insurance with after-tax dollars essentially doubles its cost.

Special burdens also are placed on part-time workers and the self-employed.

Consider that one in five workers is part time. Employers usually do not offer these workers health insurance. And federal law makes it difficult for employers to give them a choice between wages and health insurance.

The self-employed are now able to deduct health insurance costs on their income tax returns. Unlike other workers, they get no relief from the payroll tax, which for many, is a larger tax bite than the income tax.

These problems can be solved with an approach that treats everyone alike, regardless of income or job status. The McCain/Coburn approach (with my updating a bit) works like this:

• The current system of tax and spending subsidies would be replaced by a tax credit of, say, $2,500 per person or $8,000 for a family of four for the purchase of health insurance.

• The subsidy would be refundable; everyone gets it even if he does not owe any income taxes.

• Families could obtain the subsidy in the year in which the insurance is purchased and would not have to wait until April 15 the following year to get their credit.

• Insurance companies and other intermediaries would be able to help families obtain their credit and apply it directly to the health insurance premiums.

As a result, people who must purchase their own insurance (including part-time workers and the self-employed) would get just as much tax relief as people who obtain insurance through an employer.

The tax credit would subsidize the core insurance that everyone should have. It would not subsidize all the bells and whistles, as the current system does.

Since employees and their employers would be paying for additional coverage with after-tax dollars, everyone would have an incentive to compare the value of extra health benefits to the value of other things money can buy.

A group of 15 year-old boys discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at the McDonald's next to Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because they only had six dollars among them, they could ride their bikes there, Jennie Webster, that cute girl in Social Studies, lives on the same street, and they might see her.
Ten years later, the group of now 25 year-old guys discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the beer was cheap, the bar had free snacks, the house band was good, there was no cover charge and there were lot of cute girls.
Ten years later, at 35 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was decided they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the booze was good, it was near their gym and, if they went late enough, there wouldn't be too many whiny little kids.
Ten years later, at 45, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet a t Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the martinis were big and the waitresses wore tight pants.
Ten years later, now 55, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the prices were reasonable, they have a nice wine list and fish is good for your cholesterol.
Ten years later, at 65 years of age, the once again group discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the lighting was good and they have an early bird special.
Ten years later, at 75 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because the food was not too spicy and the restaurant was handicapped accessible.
Ten years later, at 85 years of age, the group once again discussed where they should meet for dinner. It was agreed they would meet at Captain Jack's Seafood Grille because they had never been there before.

Ya just have to love this guy

A Police STOP at 2 AM

An elderly man is stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and is asked where he is going at this time of night.
The man replies, "I am on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late."
The officer then asks, "Really? Who is giving that lecture at this time of night?"
The man replies, "That would be my wife."