Monday, April 9, 2012

Zimmerman family challenges Holder on New Black Panthers, says no arrests ‘based solely on your race!

Daily Caller ^ | 4/9/12 | Matthew Boyle
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday, obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller, a family member of George Zimmerman asked the nation’s top law enforcement officer why he has chosen to not arrest members of the New Black Panther Party for their rhetoric — some of which may fit the federal government’s definition of a hate crime — throughout the Trayvon Martin case.
The family member believes the reason Holder hasn’t made those arrests is because he, like the members of the New Black Panther Party, is black.
“I am writing you to ask you why, when the law of the land is crystal clear, is your office not arresting the New Black Panthers for hate crimes?” the family member wrote to Holder.
“The Zimmerman family is in hiding because of the threats that have been made against us, yet the DOJ has maintained an eerie silence on this matter. These threats are very public. If you haven’t been paying attention just do a Google search and you will find plenty. Since when can a group of people in the United States put a bounty on someone’s head, circulate Wanted posters publicly, and still be walking the streets?”
The New Black Panthers have issued ultimatums to the Sanford authorities, saying they want Zimmerman arrested “dead or alive.” They have placed a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, and have called for the building of an army of vigilantes to track him down and effect a citizen’s arrest.
Most recently, the New Black Panther Party has called for violence.
In a conference call recorded over the weekend, the militant group said it planned to “suit up and boot up” and prepare for the next stages of the “race war.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Two Sons (Which does the media report on?)

Founding Ideals ^ | 04/09/2012 | Aaron Gee & Steve Graff
The traditional media’s story of the moment is the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. That incident was initially reported as potentially a white on black racially motivated shooting of an innocent unarmed teen. The media’s response was to go into hyperbole overdrive. Editing 911 tapes to make it appear as if Zimmerman was racist and having “audio experts” declare that a racial slur could be heard on the same tapes. The racial demagogues Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackon descended on Sanford and lynch mob mentality ensued. The demagogues accused the local police of playing favorites due to race. Politicians rushed to speak out on the tragedy. President Obama said “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”.
The Florida Governor assigned a special prosecutor to review the case and unlike others asked that the investigators be given time. The 911 tapes as well as video and other evidence has been released to the public.
Then some facts starting coming out that weren’t so convenient to the MSM story line. The shooter was a self identified Hispanic that had fought to have the local police disciplined for beating a black homeless man. Trayvon Martin wasn’t a 12 year old boy scout. The MSM, confronted with their malfeasance and the alternate media’s relentless digging for facts has caused the narrative to change. The MSM now calls Zimmerman a ‘white Hispanic’ and the story is ‘complicated’ in an effort to hold on to the narrative.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Five Ways to Reduce Government Spending Now


Liberals like to label fiscal conservatives as the "party of no," individuals who talk spending cuts but offer little in the way of specific, realistic solutions to downsize government.

In their new book, Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future, President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist and economist John Lott, Jr. offer Republicans and conservatives a buffet of "low-hanging fiscal fruit" that can help jump start limited government by slamming the breaks on President Obama and congressional Democrats' runaway spending spree. Here are just five of the many solutions they offer:
1. Block-grant all means tested welfare programs.
As even the New York Times now concedes, "Perhaps no law in the past generation has drawn more praise than the drive to 'end welfare as we know it,' which joined the late-’90s economic boom to send caseloads plunging, employment rates rising and officials of both parties hailing the virtues of tough love." Part of the Welfare Reform Act's secret of success, explain Norquist and Lott, lay in its block-grant provision which freed up states to experiment and tailor solutions to meet their states' needs while encouraging cost-savings. Now, say the authors, we should extend the same formula to all means-tested welfare programs. Doing so, they say, would save taxpayers $750 billion over 10 years and remove the suffocating regulations currently imposed on states.
2. Keep the ban on earmarks.
A week ago, Big Government reported that GOP lawmakers are considering reversing the ban on earmarks. Norquist and Lott think that would be a big mistake. Even though earmarks make up a relatively small portion of overall government spending, the practice encourages lawmakers to go lax on big-spending bills.
Earmarks are the broken windows of the overspending problem. If congressmen see everyone fighting to gain earmarks, no one believes that anyone is actually fighting for taxpayers in general. And they would be right.
3. Increase transparency by posting all government accounts and contracts online.
It's the year 2012. You can find anything and everything on the Internet--except how much of your money the government is spending (and wasting) and to whom those checks are being cut. Norquist and Lott envision and simple, searchable database that taxpayers can use to keep an eye on how lawmakers are allocating taxpayer dollars.
In the age of the Internet, there is no reason that every single check written by federal, state, and local governments should not be available for every taxpayer to read in real time. Every contract entered into, be it your school district, town, city, county, state, or federal agency should be online in a searchable database.
4. Reduce the number of government workers without hurting the present workforce by phasing in attrition.
Liberals like to scare up votes from government workers by claiming that Republicans want to slash government jobs. Fine. So why not simply institute an attrition policy that reduces the government workforce as individuals retire? For every three government workers that retire, replace them with one. That, say Norquist and Lott, would help streamline government while protecting the current workforce.
The Postal Service had 900,000 employees in 2000. By 2009, that had declined to 700,000, and by 2011, it had fallen to 600,000. The Postal Service itself admits it needs only 400,000 employees. Another 200,000 can be reduced through attrition or voluntary buyouts.
5. Institute term-limits on the Appropriations Committee and bring back the Joint Committee on Nonessential Federal Expenditures.
The Budget Committee limits membership to six years, so why not the Appropriations Committee? And while they're at it, why doesn't Congress bring back the Joint Committee on Nonessential Federal Expenditures created in 1941 to identify and zap wasteful, unnecessary spending? Doing so, say Norquist and Lott, would be a step in the right direction.
Debacle offers citizens a host of smart, straightforward solutions to put America's bloated government on a diet. Here's hoping voters read it--and send a copy to their congressman.

Nude maid service may be against the law..."Don't Mess With Texas"

By Christie Post

They clean houses, but this new Lubbock business claims to offer nude or partially nude services. It's called Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service.
The owner, Melissa Borrett, tells us she started the business after struggling to make ends meet.
"As a single mother, I had been working a variety of different jobs, including waitressing out at the strip club. I was having to answer to a lot of people," Borrett said.
For $100 an hour, she says, they will clean your house nude or topless.
The business opened about a month ago. The maids clean houses and apartments in and around Lubbock. Borrett says business is booming.
"We've had college students, business people and paramedics. We actually offer a discount to law enforcement," she said.
But is there anything illegal going on?
"We have a very strict no touching policy with this business. There is definitely nothing illegal going on. We really clean houses," Borrett said.
The Lubbock Police Department says otherwise. Coming up tonight on KCBD NewsChannel 11 at 10 we'll tell you how a city ordinance could prevent this business from operating.

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.

Surprise! The 1% Are Paying Their Fair Share

Barron's ^ | 4/7/2012 | GENE EPSTEIN

Call them the Fantastic Four. Only four taxpayers have the distinction of making the Internal Revenue Service's anonymous list of the 400 highest-income filers in every one of the 17 years (1992-2008) for which the IRS has collected such data. Just 27% of the wealthiest filers have made the top-400 list more than once, and just 15% more than twice.
Even a one-time trip through this gilded door is surely a thrill, however. In 2008, entry into the favored 400 required a minimum adjusted gross income of $109.7 million, down from a cutoff of $138.8 million in '07—a decline that must have had a lot to do with the fall in asset prices. We can infer that from another striking fact: A disproportionate 57% of AGI for the top 400 came from capital gains in '08, down from 66% in '07.
The revolving door for the über-rich has been noted in other research. Setting $1 million in pretax income as the threshold, the Tax Foundation, a research group, found that from 1999 through 2007, "roughly half of millionaires were only millionaires once during the nine-year period," and "only 6% were millionaires in all nine years," with capital gains also accounting for an outsize share of income.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Gas Prices Officially Double Under Obama! ^ | April 9, 2012 | Katie Pavlich

Feeling pain at the pump? You're not alone. Gas prices have officially doubled in President Obama's first term.
In fact, while just barely, Obama has seen an even higher gas price increase than Carter dealt with under his administration.

Under the Carter administration, gas prices increased by 103.77 percent. Gas prices since Obama took office have risen by 103.79 percent. No other presidents in recent years have struggled as much with soaring oil prices. Under the Reagan administration, gas prices actually dropped 66 percent. When Bill Clinton was president, gas prices grew by roughly 30 percent, and under both Bush presidencies, gas prices rose by 20 percent.


Meanwhile, the Obama administration is doubling down on loans for "green" energy, despite a slew of failures and bankrupt companies at the expense of taxpayers:
The Energy Department said Thursday it expects to begin tentatively approving new taxpayer-backed loans for renewable energy projects in the coming months.

The announcement comes about seven months after Solyndra, the California solar firm that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the administration in 2009, went bankrupt, setting off a firestorm in Washington.

“The Department expects to begin issuing conditional commitments over the next several months after completing a rigorous internal and external review of each application,” Energy Department loan program chief David Frantz wrote to the top lawmakers on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.


Government Employees Overpaid and Complaining! ^ | April 9, 2012 | Bruce Bialosky
A few weeks back I took on our federal employees for being delinquent on their taxes to the tune of $1 billion. I received some criticism for that article, principally from readers who thought that government employees were being unfairly singled out. But just as that column appeared, the government confirmed what most knowledgeable people already suspected: federal employees are significantly overpaid.
In January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a comprehensive analysis of wages paid to federal employees. The report revealed that during the period of 2005-2010, federal employees were awarded much higher compensation than equivalent workers in the private sector. This doesn’t really surprise a lot of people, but the unfairness of this has not buried the media types.
Predictably, public-employee union representatives disputed the study, accusing the CBO of comparing apples and oranges because of an alleged mismatch in educational backgrounds and work experience. But, in fact, the CBO had defeated that argument by partitioning their analysis into five groups: high school diploma (or less), some college, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and professional degree or doctorate. Only the last of these groups fared better in the private sector; and, I suspect that if they separated out those with professional degrees, the analysis would show that federal employees with doctorates are also far better compensated than those in the private sector.
The report reveals that the lower your educational level, the better off you are working for the federal government. Those without a college degree get the best deal – a compensation package 36% higher than an equivalent non-government employee. For these folks, wages are 21% higher, and benefits a staggering 72% higher, than those in the private sector. All of which is paid for with your tax dollars, of course.
The analysis, however, appears to have omitted two things. While the accumulated benefits included health insurance, retirement benefits, and vacation pay, it’s not clear whether they contained sick pay and holidays, both of which are usually much more generous for federal employees. You might have noticed that public employee unions are the principal sponsors of legislation to impose generous sick leave, family leave, and holiday pay regulations on private sector employers. This is not an act of benevolence; it’s an act of self-protection.
Possibly the largest benefit to federal employees is completely absent from the study: the airtight security of a federal job. Every year, only 1 in 5,000 federal non-defense employees is let go for poor performance. (And yet somehow, I manage to run into most of the poor performers!) Apparently, the lazy and incompetent only work for private companies.
Reaction was swift from the protected class. Colleen M. Kelley, President of the National Treasury Employees Union and a member of the Federal Salary Council, addressed the issue in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. Unfortunately, after reading her commentary three times, I have yet to discern a meaningful and coherent argument.
Our elected representatives in Washington – except, of course, President Obama and his Democratic buddies – have started to confront this issue. The House has introduced 14 bills (and 11 by the Senate) addressing issues related to federal employment. This includes aspects of their compensation packages along with the huge increase in the number of government employees hired under the Obama Administration. Naturally, there’s little hope that Senator Harry Reid will allow a floor vote on any of these bills as part of his year-long commitment to accomplish nothing in Congress.
Still, our employees are feeling put upon. At a recent labor conference, the same Ms. Kelley said: “Every time we turn around, this Congress is proposing to reach into your pockets to pay for yet another fiscal problem.” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has chosen to align himself with the federal employees instead of the hard-working taxpayers of his state. Speaking after the same conference, Brown asserted that federal employees didn’t cause the government’s financial problems, and therefore shouldn’t have to pay to fix them. Mr. Brown will certainly be receiving a ton of money from these unions. Hopefully, Josh Mandel, who clearly understands that overpaying 95% of the federal workforce adds significantly to our financial mess, will defeat him in the fall.
It will take a new President to solve the problem of an entitled federal worker class.

There are far too many of them, they callously don’t pay their taxes in significant numbers, and they’re now proven to be grossly overpaid. And yet, they feel aggrieved. What is wrong with this picture?

Obama Critiques Media Bias!

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 7 April 2012 | John Semmens
President Obama told journalists that their effort to give both sides of a story conveys unwarranted credibility to his opponents.
“Reporters may think it’s fair or balanced to juxtapose contending views on controversial issues,” the President lectured. “This creates an impression that there might be merit on both sides. But must wrong be given a platform to contend with right? Must sin be given a voice to counterbalance virtue?”
The president urged media representatives to “not shy away from your duty to report the truth nor dilute it with a dollop of lies just to attain an appearance of unbiased treatment. Truth should be allowed to stand on its own.”
“The fact of the matter is, if they were alive today both Roosevelt and Reagan would be supporting my reelection,” Obama contended. “I am the perfect blend of FDR’s compassion for the forgotten man and Reagan’s optimism for the future.
This is what journalists should be writing in their coverage of the campaign.”
If you missed any other semi-news posts you can find them at...

Union Label Stuck to $137 Billion in Illinois State Debt ^ | April 9, 2012 | Mike Shedloch

Illinois has combined $137 billion in pension and healthcare liabilities on top of $9 billion in current unpaid bills. Yet, Illinois legislators will not even ask 6-figure pensioners to pick up a portion of their health premiums.

The Chicago Tribune reports Surprise! You owe another $54 billion
If Springfield won’t ask six-figure pension beneficiaries to pick up a portion of their health premiums, what are the odds that state legislators will confront their pension monster?

The state of Illinois admits to $83 billion in pension underfunding, a staggering weight on today's and tomorrow's taxpayers. Add to that the as yet uncalculated billions in unfunded pension obligations for city, county and other local governments.

A second, often overlooked time bomb merrily ticking for governments nationwide is the cost of health insurance for all those retirees. That number, too, is hard to gauge, because health care costs — like future investment returns — are unknowable. Yet governments typically don't put aside money for future health care, as they do for future pensions. The culture is to pay-as-you-go.

In Illinois, that means pay-as-you-go-even-more-broke. The Illinois Policy Institute, a right-leaning think tank, now is releasing 133 pages of frightening data. Beyond that $83 billion in unfunded pensions, state government alone faces an unfunded liability of more than $54 billion in retiree health liabilities over the next 30 years.

During the 2011 deliberations, two groups helped block retiree health reform: lawmakers of both parties who have state institutions (and thus state retirees) in their districts, and well-paid lobbyists whose prior careers in government entitle them to, yes, fat public pensions. If that happens this year, we want to read names.

By the last of the IPI's 133 pages, we conjured one question, then a follow-up:

How could Illinois pols do this to taxpayers?

And come November, will voters finally exact some consequences?
Who is to blame for this mess?

  1. Public unions
  2. Politicians in bed with public unions
  3. Voters who vote for politicians who are in bed with public unions

NY Times Chevy Volt Criticism Confounds Proponents!

National Legal & Policy Center ^ | April 9, 2012 | Mark Modica

Volt photo
The report by the NY Times that it would take up to 27 years for Chevy Volt buyers to save enough money in gas costs to make up for the high price of the car must be very confusing for apologists of the vehicle. The normal defense for any criticism is to accuse sources of having a right wing hate of the car. But the NY Times? The very vocal Volt defenders, who are quick to attack anyone who doesn't agree that the car is a technological marvel worthy of billions of dollars of taxpayer largess, will have to attribute the left-leaning Times' criticism to something other than a political agenda.
Many stories are circulated falsely proclaiming that a "crapload" of money can be saved by buying a Volt. The Times explains the misconception stating, "So why do some buyers pay more for advanced technology that might not save them money? Many never do the math, analysts say, or they tend to overestimate how much the added miles per gallon translate into actual monetary savings."
Of course, given the political nature of the Volt, it is more likely that outright lies rather than poor math skills are leading to the flood of pro-Volt stories. I have written in the past about the simple math of gas savings for the Volt that equate to about $2 a day in fuel savings . When you have a President of the USA campaigning on the perceived success of the Volt and General Motors, it is not surprising that false reports are circulated regarding the benefits of the vehicle. The Times report is a tough one for Government Motors to counter since the old "Rush Limbaugh/Fox News/right wing lies" defense will not work.
Obama-appointed GM CEO Dan Akerson's politicically based defense of the Volt is as disengenuous as the false gas savings hype. Akerson claims that Republicans are unfairly attacking the Volt, but not the plug-in Nissan Leaf. He goes on to blame low sales of the Volt on the criticisms. GM then trumpets how many more Volts are selling than the even more dismally selling Leaf. Wouldn't it stand to reason that if criticism is determining sales that the Leaf would be outselling the Volt? C'mon Mr. Akerson, put a little more thought into your spin.
The Times story is not the only cause of inner conflict for the gullible green crowd and extreme-left supporters of the Volt. The defense of GM because they are a patriotic company producing the American-made Volt must be just as paradoxical to the side that brought us the Occupy Wall Street movement. Shouldn't they be condemning evil American companies that do not pay their fair share instead of defending them? I guess the perceived good done by attacking Mitt Romney and Republicans for the slightest of Volt criticisms outweighs the eagerness to bash American corporatism. In addition, there are all those subsidies that go to wealthy purchasers of Volts. It seems that the desire to have the rich and corporations pay their fair share only applies to the conservative wealthy populace and politically unpopular oil companies; rich supporters of President Obama's failing energy policies who buy Volts and crony company GM get a bye.
The bottom line is that the Chevy Volt is a politically motivated car that is now being used as a campaign tool for Democrats. Millions of dollars will be spent on ads (which seems to be influencing news coverage) and lease incentives to see that the car is perceived as a success, regardless of the fact that the spending causes GM to lose money for shareholders, many of whom are the US taxpayers. Another approximately $20 million in tax subsidies contributed to the vehicle selling over 2,000 units in March, a still dismally low number that is being touted as a great success. Crony corporation, GE, will play its part as they purchase an undisclosed number of the vehicles each month leading up to November elections. And Government Motors will continue to whine about right wing conspiracies to hurt the Volt, even though the facts about the over-hyped vehicle not being all it was cracked up to be is coming from those in the media with a modicum of journalistic integrity (even if that integrity is short-lived, as might be the case with the NY Times) rather than a political agenda.
Mark Modica is an NLPC Associate Fellow.

The “Trayvon was murdered” scam will make Obama unelectable as the “Gangsta” In Chief ^ | April 9, 2012 | Kevin "Coach" Collins

“……the Left always seems to find a rake in the tall grass to step on. When they do it comes up to hit them in the face.
A case in point is the ridiculous circus known as “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) that morphed into “Occupy” anywhere Democrats are in charge (so they won’t get kicked out).
Ultimately the OWS movement did nothing but generate embarrassing questions about why Democrats had Super Glued themselves to a band of filthy criminals. As evidenced by the hundreds of arrests made in them , OWS camps became safe houses for murderers, rapists, child molesters, thieves and drug dealers.
Not surprisingly when the criminals outnumbered the few legitimate protesters the camps shut down. The OWS camps did not shut down because of the weather as the media wants us to believe; (we had a record warm winter) they folded up when only the criminals were left. Without the naïve “poindexters” around to steal from and rape, even the criminals fled.
Now we have the “Trayvon was murdered” circuses breaking out in Black neighborhoods around the country. There only purpose is to make Blacks angry enough to be enthusiastic about voting in November.
In this case the Left will fail again. This farce was doomed to failure almost from day one because of the media’s immediate bold faced lies about George Zimmerman, and Sharpton and Jackson’s decision to throw gasoline on the case by welcoming in the Black Panthers and impressionable Black street thugs.
The media’s lies ended any chance of making this a board based multiracial protest. White people ….don’t appreciate being lied to ……
By recruiting the Panthers and street thugs the Left has invited the seeds of its own destruction into its “movement.”

The young Black “gangstas” see……..
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Doomsday shelters line Kansas missile silo

AFP/YahooNews ^ | 4/9/12 | Joe Lambe
Tucked deep beneath the Kansas prairie, luxury condos are being built into the shaft of an abandoned missile silo to service anxious -- and wealthy -- people preparing for doomsday.
So far, four buyers have plopped down a total of about $7 million for havens to flee to when disaster happens or the end is nigh. And developer Larry Hall has options to retro-fit three more Cold War-era silos when this one fills up.
"They worry about events ranging from solar flares, to economic collapse, to pandemics to terrorism to food shortages," Hall told AFP on a tour of the site.

These "doomsday preppers", as they are called, want a safe place and he will be there with them because Hall, 55, bought one of the condos for himself. He says his fear is that sun flares could wipe out the power grid and cause chaos.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

SHOCK VIDEO: Investigator Obtains Eric Holder’s Own Ballot – Without ANY I.D.

Stand With Arizona ^ | 04-09-2012 | John Hill

As we have detailed repeatedly over the past year, the Obama Administration and the Democrats are determined to steal the 2012 election by enabling voter fraud - and are blocking every state Voter ID law they possibly can.
As always, left-wing groups like the ACLU, Brennan Center for Justice, and the Administration itself insist that voter fraud is - as Attorney General Eric Holder himself has said - "a problem that does not exist", and thus proof that ID laws are merely an attempt to suppress minority voting (despite overwhelming evidence that the exact opposite is true).
Now in a stunning new video, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas demonstrates to the Mr. Holder just why he should be concerned about lack of voter ID laws – by walking into Holder’s voting precinct and showing the world that anyone can obtain Eric Holder’s ballot. Literally...

Anna M. Tinsley | The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH — More than two months after President Barack Obama asked for Darin Wedel's résumé, the phone is quiet, e-mails are no longer flooding in and the long-sought-after job interviews -- which had begun to be scheduled -- have petered out.
"Not even recruiting companies are calling anymore," said Jennifer Wedel, the Fort Worth mother of two who chatted online this year with Obama about her out-of-work husband.
She says his job search has been hurt by a program to hire skilled foreign workers. It's been more than three years since Darin Wedel lost his job as a semiconductor engineer at Texas Instruments.
But the family had newfound hope after Jennifer Wedel participated in a Jan. 30 video chat with the president using the "hangout" feature on Google Plus.
She asked the president why the government issues and extends H-1B visas to foreign workers when highly skilled Americans like her husband can't find full-time work.Obama, who said industry leaders have told him that the U.S. doesn't have enough high-tech engineers to meet its needs, ended up asking for Darin Wedel's résumé.
For weeks after that, the family's telephone rang constantly with calls from recruiters, headhunters, the news media, the Texas Workforce Commission, the White House, and out-of-town and out-of-state companies about possible job opportunities.
"I did feel we got our hopes up a little," Jennifer Wedel said last week. "I mean, he's the POTUS. But it seems not even the leader of our country can get [Darin] a job."
Shortly after Jennifer Wedel talked with the president, the family was overwhelmed with attention.
Many calls came from out-of-state companies, as well as companies throughout Texas. But Darin's work choices are limited to North Texas because of a custody agreement for one of his two daughters that prevents him from moving away.
Even so, the family thought a new job was right around the corner, possibly weeks away.
But the phone calls lessened, and now they have stopped.

Jennifer Wedel said the whole reason she participated in the chat was to draw attention to her concern about H-1B visas, which she believes are preventing workers like her husband from getting hired.

Supporters say this type of visa is needed to fill jobs that otherwise might be left vacant. Critics say that there's no worker shortage, that countless highly skilled U.S. workers are unemployed and that companies are choosing to hire foreign workers at lower salaries through the program.
Jennifer Wedel's conversation with the president prompted Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to send Obama a letter asking him to support a bill geared to reform the visa program.
"Your response to Ms. Wedel leads me to believe that you don't understand the plight of many unemployed high-skilled Americans," the letter said.
"Mr. Wedel's situation is all too common. Thousands of qualified Americans remain out of work while companies are incentivized to import foreign workers. I'm concerned that you're hearing only one side of the story -- from businesses who claim that there are better and brighter people abroad."
After Darin Wedel was laid off, Jennifer Wedel went to work at an insurance agency, hoping to help support the family while her husband looked for a job.
Now, more than two months after her chat with the president, she has changed her approach. She is turning to social media to try to find a higher-paying job for herself to better support her family.
"We are doing fine," she said. "Unless reform comes to the H-1B program, I'm afraid we are in a place where 'our' family roles are changed.
"This is our permanent job [situation] now. It's unfortunate, but we will overcome," she said. "We didn't do the interview with the president to get a job. We did it to get a voice for so many Americans who, like my husband, are in the very same situation."

To read more, visit
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Voting for money

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Obama's Hula Hoop

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Occupy Movement

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tough puzzle

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a real cliffhanger

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Obama's Easter Message

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Obama's Easter

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White House has diverted $500M to IRS to implement healthcare law (Commiecare™ = Solyndra?)

The Hill ^ | 4/09/12 | Sam Baker

The Obama administration is quietly diverting roughly $500 million to the IRS to help implement the president’s healthcare law.

The money is only part of the IRS’s total implementation spending, and it is being provided outside the normal appropriations process. The tax agency is responsible for several key provisions of the new law, including the unpopular individual mandate.

Republican lawmakers have tried to cut off funding to implement the healthcare law, at least until after the Supreme Court decides whether to strike it down. That ruling is expected by June, and oral arguments last week indicated the justices may well overturn at least the individual mandate, if not the whole law.

“While President Obama and his Senate allies continue to spend more tax dollars implementing an unpopular and unworkable law that may very well be struck down as unconstitutional in a matter of months, I’ll continue to stand with the American people who want to repeal this law and replace it with something that will actually address the cost of healthcare,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), who chairs the House appropriations subcommittee for healthcare and is in a closely contested Senate race this year.

The Obama administration has plowed ahead despite the legal and political challenges.

It has moved aggressively to get important policies in place. And, according to a review of budget documents and figures provided by congressional staff, the administration is also burning through implementation funding provided in the health law.

The law contains dozens of targeted appropriations to implement specific provisions. It also gave the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) a $1 billion implementation fund, to use as it sees fit. Republicans have called it a “slush fund.”

HHS plans to drain the entire fund by September — before the presidential election, and more than a year before most of the healthcare law takes effect. Roughly half of that money will ultimately go to the IRS.

HHS has transferred almost $200 million to the IRS over the past two years and plans to transfer more than $300 million this year, according to figures provided by a congressional aide.

The Government Accountability Office has said the transfers are perfectly legal and consistent with how agencies have used general implementation funds in the past. The $1 billion fund was set aside for “federal” implementation activities, the GAO said, and can therefore be used by any agency — not just HHS, where the money is housed.

Still, significant transfers to the IRS and other agencies leave less money for HHS, and the department needs to draw on the $1 billion fund for some of its biggest tasks.

The healthcare law directs HHS to set up a federal insurance exchange — a new marketplace for individuals and small businesses to buy coverage — in any state that doesn’t establish its own. But it didn’t provide any money for the federal exchange, forcing HHS to cobble together funding by using some of the $1 billion fund and steering money away from other accounts.

The transfers also allow the IRS to make the healthcare law a smaller part of its public budget figures. For example, the tax agency requested $8 million next year to implement the individual mandate, and said the money would not pay for any new employees.

An IRS spokeswoman would not say how much money has been spent so far implementing the individual mandate.

Republicans charged during the legislative debate over healthcare that the IRS would be hiring hundreds of new agents to enforce the mandate and throwing people in jail because they don’t have insurance.

However, the mandate is just one part of the IRS’s responsibilities.

The healthcare law includes a slew of new taxes and fees, some of which are already in effect. The tax agency wants to hire more than 300 new employees next year to cover those tax changes, such as the new fees on drug companies and insurance policies.

The IRS will also administer the most expensive piece of the new law — subsidies to help low-income people pay for insurance, which are structured as tax credits. The agency asked Congress to fund another 537 new employees dedicated to administering the new subsidies.

The Republican-led House last year passed an amendment 246-182 sponsored by Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) that would have prevented the IRS from hiring new personnel or initiating any other measures to mandate people to purchase health insurance. The measure, strongly opposed by the Obama administration, was subsequently dropped from a larger bill that averted a government shutdown.