Thursday, January 31, 2013

Some Unions Grow Wary of Health Law They Backed [Schadenfreude]

Wall Street Journal ^ | 1/31/13



Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration's health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

Union leaders say many of the law's requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive. Among other things, the law eliminates the caps on medical benefits and prescription drugs used as cost-containment measures in many health-care plans. It also allows children to stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26.


(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...

Arrogance Isn't the Answer

Townhall.com ^ | January 31, 2013 | Michael Reagan

I'm getting tired of President Obama blaming Republicans for everything.
This week it was immigration.
In Las Vegas the president called for a policy that would provide a clear path to citizenship for illegal residents who pay their taxes, learn English and abide by the law.
He warned that if bipartisan talks in Congress break down in bickering, he'll use his bully pulpit and present an immigration bill based on his ideas -- ideas that barely mention the need to secure the border as the first order of business.
The president and his liberal friends in the media like to make everyone think it's Republicans who've been thwarting comprehensive immigration reform all these years.
But the dirty little political secret is that it's the Democrats who are really the ones who don't want to see immigration reform happen anytime soon.
As long as immigration policy remains a political football to fight over, Democrats can use the issue as a way to brand Republicans as anti-immigrant and continue to capture the vast majority of Latino voters.
If the GOP wants to have a future, it has to get its act together and get its ideas out to the Hispanic community - 16 percent of Americans. Hispanics are receptive to those ideas when they know the truth.
Right now, Latinos and all immigrants who come to America legally or illegally see Republicans as the party of exclusion, not inclusion.
Except for Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, the GOP is seen as the party that tells immigrants "We want you out of the country."
But Republicans should be welcoming and embracing immigrants, not appearing to scare them off. Until the party changes, Democrats will own the Latino vote the way they own the black vote.
The Republican Party also has to prove that Marco Rubio isn't its only Latino. Rubio is great. I love seeing him in the Senate and I'd love to see him in the White House someday.
But the GOP has some other great Hispanic political leaders out there who need to be seen and heard on immigration. In fact, liberal CNN recently admitted that among statewide officeholders, Republicans are more diverse than Democrats. Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico and Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada, plus rising Senate star Ted Cruz of Texas are among that group.
We -- the Republican Party and the country -- need to hear their ideas. Not at the end of the immigration reform argument, but now, at the beginning.
Meanwhile, the country desperately needs a president who knows how to lead.
We need a leader who doesn't stand up and point fingers at the other side but instead opens the door to the White House, invites both sides in, finds commonality and signs the subsequent legislation.
Unfortunately, we don't have such a president. We have a leader who is arrogant. We have a leader who never gets off the campaign trail long enough to lead. And who spends most of his time demonizing the opposition.
My mother taught me a basic truth that President Obama should learn -- "You can't listen if your mouth is always open."
President Obama's mouth is always open. It's time for him to shut his mouth, open the White House doors and do what my father Ronald Reagan would have done. It's time for him to stop talking and start inviting

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Why Not?

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The People

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Thou Shalt Not...

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The Poor

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More Liberal Logic

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What Difference?

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Before and After Hillary

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Lacking Moral Fiber!

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Kick The Can

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You Are Not Alone!

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Driving Miss Liberty

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The States and Sheriffs as Bastions against Lawless Obama!

scottfactor.com ^ | 01/31/2013 | Gina Miller

On Tuesday evening, Dr. Laurie Roth invited me to be a guest on her nationally syndicated radio program, The Roth Show. In the hour I was on with her, we discussed, among other things, my column from Tuesday, “Can They Be Stopped?” My conclusion in the piece was that it will be nearly impossible to stop this lawless president and his criminal administration, since Congress and the courts are either fellow-traveling commies or scared, shrinking violets.
My thinking in the column was The People versus the diabolical Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) and his communist cohorts in the administration, which I saw as a bleak, Masada-type struggle (except without the mass suicide). But, Laurie pointed out that we still have thirty states under Republican governorships and hundreds of sheriffs across the nation who are pledging to resist the outlaw in the White House and his unconstitutional dictates.
That is an aspect of our critical situation that I did not address in my column, and it’s an important one. There is still a level of defense between The People and the federal government: the State legislatures and the sheriffs, who are the supreme lawmen in their jurisdictions.
Of course, we know that not all so-called Republicans are conservatives, since leftists have been invading and subverting the Republican Party for many years. My Editor at American Clarion, Bob Ellis, has worked long and hard in exposing the liberal policies and voting records of the Republican-controlled state government in South Dakota. Even here in Mississippi, which also has a Republican majority in Jackson, the insurance commissioner, Mike Chaney, who is a “Republican,” is actively going against Governor Phil Bryant’s strong opposition to setting up a state health insurance exchange, as the evil “Obamacare” legislation mandates. Needless to say, Chaney is very unpopular with conservatives in this state.
So, even though the United States has sixty percent Republican governorships, it does not mean that all the Republican governors (and state houses) will resist the exploding federal tyranny. That also leaves the conservative patriots in the Democrat- (and “Independent”) governed states with no state-level opposition to the criminal administration in Washington. What’s left? The military? We have seen numerous reports that Obama is firing military leaders left and right, which would mean that he is replacing them with his own men.
We could only hope for an American patriot military coup against this treasonous administration, but I’m not holding my breath. The anti-American Obama is intentionally destroying our military with insane leftist policies like forcing the military to bow to the global warming hoax, shoving open homosexuality onto our troops, and now stupidly allowing women in combat. This is in addition to the debilitating “sequestration” defense budget cuts and troop reductions which, if not stopped, will only make us that much more vulnerable to our enemies inside and outside of the United States.
That leaves state legislatures and state-level law enforcement to stand between the American people and the tyranny of the Obama administration. It’s good to see that close to thirty states are resisting implementation of the state health insurance exchanges dictated by “Obamacare,” and several states are already stepping up to outlaw within their states Obama’s illegal executive order attacks on the Second Amendment.
The sheriffs across the nation are also one of our last lines of defense against federal tyranny, and it’s encouraging to see that many sheriffs are also vowing to oppose any federal attempts at gun control. This is good news, because our sheriffs do not answer to the feds. From the Constitutional Law Enforcement Association blog site is an essay titled, “The County Sheriff: The Ultimate Check & Balance.” In part, it reads:
So, what happens when government does not obey its own constitution? What punishment is meted out to politicians who vote for and pass unconstitutional laws? What happens if they appoint unlawful bureaucracies or allow their agents to violate the rights of the American citizen? The answer to these questions is both astounding and lamentable; NOTHING!
Now the question becomes even greater; who will stop criminal and out-of-control government from killing, abusing, violating, robbing, and destroying its own people? Yes, believe it or not, there is an answer to this one. The duty to stop such criminality lies with the county sheriff. The question needs to be posed to each and every sheriff of these United States; will you stand against tyranny?
Yes, it is regrettable that a sheriff would be put in this position. The governor and the state legislature should be preventing federal invasions into the states and counties way before the sheriff, but if it comes to the sheriff, then he must take a firm stand. James Madison also said, "We can safely rely on the disposition of state legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority." So when the state legislatures go along to get along and are bought off by political cronyism or the disbursement of federal funds, then the sheriff becomes the ultimate check and balance.
It is time for the sworn protectors of liberty, the sheriffs of these United States of America, to walk tall and defend us from all enemies; foreign and domestic. When sheriffs are put in the quandary of choosing between enforcing statutes from vapid politicians or keeping their oaths of office, the path and choice is clear, "I solemnly swear or affirm, that I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
We still have some hope for resistance from our state governments that are blessed with conservative leadership, and beyond that, we have the sheriffs—at least those who will honor their oaths and will stand against the evil tyranny of the communists invaders of our presidency and federal government.

Surge of black violence called 'urban terrorism'

WND ^ | January 30, 2013 | Colin Flaherty

'Large numbers of kids coming downtown … with guns'!

(Editor’s note: Colin Flaherty has done more reporting than any other journalist on what appears to be a nationwide trend of skyrocketing black-on-white crime, violence and abuse. WND features these reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concerns that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist. WND considers it racist not to report racial abuse solely because of the skin color of the perpetrators or victims.)

The links in the following report may contain offensive language.

Indianapolis? A hot bed of black mob violence?

Really?
Yes, really: With dozens of episodes over the last five years, Indianapolis has to be near the top of any list of cities with sustained, violent, extensive and numerous cases of black mob violence.

This “crisis” of “urban terrorism,” as the new chief of police calls it, is now a regular feature of life in this Midwestern city once thought to be a haven from racial turmoil.
The latest examples are focused downtown at the Circle Centre Mall – a gleaming display of downtown redevelopment when it opened in 1996. This multi-story story retail center, connected by covered walkways to nine hotels and the convention center, was once anchored by Nordstrom.
It also features a complex of movie theaters currently playing Broken City and Django Unchained.
Today, Nordstrom is gone. As are many of the restaurants and shops. The rest of the mall and the surrounding area is increasingly hazardous – and empty – following a

(Excerpt) Read more at wnd.com ...

Running With Scissors

Townhall.com ^ | January 31, 2013 | Debra J. Saunders

If you thought Republican presidential hopefuls were insane to refuse to raise their hands during a 2011 primary debate when asked whether they'd support a deficit reduction deal with $10 in spending cuts to $1 in tax increases, look at Washington today. In August 2011, President Barack Obama signed a debt ceiling deal that promised more than $2 trillion in spending cuts over a decade and zero dollars in new revenue.
The package included $1.2 trillion in "sequestration" cuts -- $85 billion this year out of a $3.8 trillion federal budget -- which are supposed to begin March 1. This week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats told reporters they want to change the deal so that it also includes tax increases. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray wants to change the deal to 50-50 between spending cuts and tax increases.
Does it matter that Washington just passed the fiscal cliff deal, which raised taxes by about $600 billion?
Of course not.
Washington these days has no problem with not getting a job done. The 2011 Budget Control Act's sequestration formula for cutting $1.2 trillion was an invitation to disaster. The idea was to propose cuts so painful that a 12-member supercommittee would have to work together to craft smarter cuts. But members couldn't agree on cuts; they could only agree to fail.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta correctly warned that the sequester formula cut too deeply into national security -- doubling defense cuts, to close to $1 trillion. Even as U.S. troops remained at war in Afghanistan and at risk across the globe, Panetta warned, the sequester cuts would "hollow out the force."
Still, the president and Senate Democrats have been saving their fire to push for more tax increases.
As Washington's most prominent budget hawk, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan pushed legislation to direct cuts elsewhere to spare defense, but the House cannot pass bills by itself.
"We think these sequesters will happen, because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others and they've offered no alternatives," Ryan told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
Now it turns out that gross domestic product shrank by 0.1 percent last quarter. White House spokesman Jay Carney acknowledged that the dip had something to do with the "uncertainty created by the prospect of sequester," especially in the defense sector.
This would be a good time to demand that Congress spare defense spending. Alison Acosta Fraser, director of economic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, believes that the president should push for entitlement reform to replace the sequester cuts.
Instead, Carney talked up the need to raise taxes on oil companies and "corporate jet owners."
Fraser believes that the Senate and Obama, with their "high-stakes brinksmanship, intentionally," are leading the country down the path of less economic prosperity, less opportunity for growth and less national security.
And: "When you have an administration whose own secretary says 'don't do this' but the president can't or won't lead on this, then we have a problem."

The Skeet Shooter

obama shoot skeet surfing aloha akhbar

The Spending Sequester Will Grow the Private Economy -- Don’t Back Off

Townhall.com ^ | January 31, 2013 | Larry Kudlow

Yesterday's report of a 0.1 percent GDP decline for the fourth quarter came as a surprise to most forecasters. But it actually masks considerable strength in the private economy. Namely, housing investment in the fourth quarter jumped 15.3 percent annually, business equipment and software spiked 12.4 percent, and real private final sales rose 2.6 percent. All in, the domestic private sector of the economy increased 3.4 percent annually -- a very respectable gain.
And here’s one for the record books: Working ahead of year-end tax hikes, individuals shifted so much money to the fourth quarter at the 35 percent top rate that personal income grew by 7.9 percent annually -- a huge number. And there’s more: In order to beat the taxman, dividend income rose 85.2 percent annually. You think tax incentives don’t matter? Guess again.
Now, all this private-sector strength occurred despite the fact that government spending -- namely military spending -- dropped 6.6 percent. Inventories also lost ground and the trade deficit widened.
But here’s a key point: Military spending has now fallen virtually to its lower sequester-spending-cut baseline. It did so in one quarter by about $40 billion. So the brunt of the impact over the coming years has already been felt. (Normally, as of recent years, military spending has been virtually flat.)
Which leads me to another key point: Even with the fourth-quarter contraction, the latest GDP report shows that falling government spending can coexist with rising private economic activity. This is an important point in terms of the upcoming spending sequester. Lower federal spending, limited government, and a smaller spending-to-GDP ratio will be good for growth. The military spending plunge will not likely be repeated. But by keeping resources in private hands, rather than transferring them to the inefficient government sector, the spending sequester is actually pro-growth.
Big-government Keynesians think big spending provides big growth. They are wrong. This has been a 2 percent recovery -- the worst in modern times -- dating back to 1947. So let’s try something different. Let’s shrink government. Let’s let the private sector breathe and generate entrepreneurship and risk-taking.
Spending is the true tax measure of the economy, according to Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and others. Even a modest sequester spending cut of maybe $60 billion in 2013, and perhaps more than $1 trillion over ten years (most of which will come from a slower spending growth rate, not real reductions), will be the best thing to inspire business and market confidence as well as international credibility. And it maybe even shave a point or two off the spending share of GDP.
On March 1 the spending sequester is supposed to kick in by law. If Congress wants to help the U.S. economy, the best thing it can do right now is implement this sequester. Then it can round out an even larger growth package, including large- and small-business tax reform and adjustments to stop entitlements from going bankrupt.