Thursday, June 13, 2013

Senate KILLS Grassley’s border-security amendment — with all 4 Republican Gang of Eight members!

Hotair ^ | 06/13/2013 | AllahPundit

Grassley's amendment was dead on arrival in the Judiciary Committee and it was dead on arrival on the floor of the Senate today. Why? Because it did the one thing Republican border hawks Must Not Do as part of this grand, glorious compromise on immigration: It demanded that the border be effectively secured before any form of legalization, including first-stage probationary legalization, is granted to illegals. That would be a true enforcement “trigger” for amnesty, something that would warrant a second look at the bill. But of course, Democrats will never, ever agree to it; they have no more faith in DHS efficiently securing the border than you do, and thus there’s no way they’re going to make legalization contingent upon it. That’s why even Rubio, since the very beginning of this fiasco, has insisted thatprobationary legalization come before border security. The bill would be dead if he didn’t make that concession, and he’d rather have a terrible bill that betrays his phony promises of “security first” than have no bill at all.
That’s also why he, McCain, Graham, and Flake — the four GOP members of the Gang of Eight — all voted yes on Reid’s motion to table Grassley’s amendment, along with devout RINO Lisa Murkowski. They were the only Republican votes that Reid got, and as it turns out, he didn’t need a single one of them. A motion to table requires only 51 votes to pass and Reid had 52 Democrats on his side. The Republican “Gang” members conceivably could have voted no to try to show conservatives that they were striking a blow for tighter border security, even though they knew their votes would mean nothing and that Grassley’s amendment would fail anyway. They didn’t, because the Gang’s vowed to stick together on tough votes as a show of solidarity in the name of preserving the horrible “compromise” they’ve struck. They’re now past the point, it seems, of even making a pretense of border enforcement for the benefit of angry righties. There’s something to be said for honesty, I guess.
Reid’s move infuriated opponents of the bill, who said their right to keep talking while they worked to build a coalition for their proposal had been stripped away without fair warning.
“This so-called open and fair process is a farce,” the top Judiciary Committee Republican, Charles E. Grassley, called out just before the roll call. “This is a very provocative act.”…
For Reid, the power to call for tabling motions gives him additional leverage to move the debate along at a relatively brisk pace — and with solid odds of keeping the bill to his liking. He can make ideas he views as poison pills go away with 51 votes, while the other side will need 60 votes to add language viewed as killer amendments by the Obama administration, the gang of eight and the coalition of business and labor groups pushing the measure.
Rubio will, I’m guessing, defend his vote to table Grassley’s amendment in two ways. One: He’ll try to pander to conservatives by driving a hard bargain on other hot-button stuff to distract them from the fact that he caved on allowing legalization before border security. His last pander was to demand stricter English-language requirements for illegals; today’s pander is to threaten Democrats that he’ll walk awayfrom the bill if Pat Leahy’s amendment granting rights to the spouses of gay illegals passes. The fact that he’s willing to make a lame, boutique issue like that a dealbreaker but not the fact that Democrats refuse to secure the border before granting illegals probationary legalization tells you exactly how seriously he’s taking this bill from a policy standpoint. It’s an insult to serious border hawks, but asDrewM says, it’ll help Rubio with social cons in Iowa in 2016. And that’s what really matters, Rubio’s endless pronouncements that he’s only doing this because it’s the “right thing to do” notwithstanding.
Two: He’ll end up either backing Cornyn’s amendment demanding tighter border security before the second stage of legalization (the green-card process) or, if Democrats give him a firm no on that, he’ll cave on that too and then try to put together an even weaker border amendment of his own as a substitute. Sounds like that’s what’s in motion now, with Rubio working on a compromise while our old friend McCain tries to kill Cornyn’s bill before it even gets rolling:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is beginning to speak out forcefully against the Cornyn language, bombarding the Texas Republican with critical comments from the Senate floor. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is lobbying other Republicans on potential compromises. And Rubio, although he said Wednesday that the Cornyn plan “dramatically improves the bill,” is working on a package that others in the Gang of Eight hope could emerge as an alternative…
Rubio, in an interview with POLITICO this week, would not describe his work with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and others as an “alternative” to the Cornyn plan.
“We certainly have ideas, and we’re sharing them with people, but if others want to take the lead on securing the border, that’s good,” Rubio said. “We’re in a game of addition. … The border security elements of the bill will have to be improved. The only issue is what is going to do that.”
Cornyn’s bill is better than the status quo but see Mickey Kaus for why it too is basically a fudge on real border security, beginning with the fact that it signs on to the Gang’s “legalization before security” scheme rather than Grassley’s “security first” proposal. And so now we wait: Will Democrats cave, allowing Cornyn’s ineffective but salable-to-conservatives border amendment into the bill? Or will they muscle Rubio into quitting on Cornyn and offering something that’s even more watered down? The fate of … nothing, really, depends on the answer.

Affordable Care Act is So Unaffordable, Members of Congress and Their Aides are Quitting

Rush Limbaugh ^ | 6/13/13 | The Maha


BEGIN TRANSCRIPT


RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, this is truly outrageous. There's a headline in The Politico today: "Obamacare? We Were Just Leaving..." And when I saw the headline, I thought it was gonna be an article about how Democrats are afraid of losing their seats because of all the skyrocketing costs of health premiums and all the other negatives associated with Obamacare.

But that's not what this story is about. What this story's about is congressmen worried about themselves. In a nutshell, a number of congressmen and staffers, according to The Politico, are threatening to quit or retire because they can't afford their premiums under Obamacare! So the same people who gave us this monstrosity, the same people who didn't have the guts to vote against this monstrosity, are now bellyaching that they can't afford it. And so they're either asking for waivers or they're running for the exits to avoid having to accept it for themselves and face any consequences. And a lot of these congresspeople are Democrats. Some of them are even demanding waivers and, failing that, they want to have their premiums subsidized by taxpayers. I am not kidding.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Meanwhile, in addition to members of Congress wanting out, threatening to quit because of the high price of Obamacare, try this from AP: "President Obama's health care law is called the Affordable Care Act." That's the lead sentence in a big story by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar. Did you know that, President Obama's health care law is called the Affordable Care Act?

Next sentence. "But a glitch could make it unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels." Nice to know now, isn't it? "Here's the problem: The law requires medium-sized and large employers to offer what it calls 'affordable' coverage or face fines. But policy experts and corporate consultants say the definition of 'affordable' can mean premiums up to 9.5 percent of an employee's income."

So under Obamacare, 10% of what you earn going to health care costs is considered affordable. "And that could be unaffordable for many people making around $20,000 a year or a few thousand more. Some supporters of the law are disappointed. They say a fix will be needed. The White House says the worries are overblown. Administration officials say they expect most companies will do the right thing." Well, it's wonderful they tell us that now. How great is this, to learn after the election that coverage may be unaffordable for low-wage workers.

The dirty little secret is this was designed that way. It's designed to be unaffordable for an increasing number of people so that they panic when they can't get it and they start screaming bloody murder after they get upset at Kanye West for cheating on Kimmy. Then when they figure out they can't afford health care they start bellyaching about that and the regime says, "Don't worry about that. We'll cover you. We'll just have single payer. You know what? We'll make it for you, and we'll make it free." This is the design. This is how it's all supposed to roll out.

There's nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act. It's gonna cost $20,000 for your average family of four. And for people making $30,000 a year, affordable is now 10% of what they earn. You make 30 grand a year, it's entirely understandable that you should spend $3,000 after taxes -- wait. You don't pay any taxes -- at least income taxes -- on your health care. My gosh, that's more than a big screen. That's more than an iPhone and two years of service on a contract. What are they expecting of you? Man, it just isn't fair, is it? It's so bad, members of Congress are quitting because they can't afford it on what they earn, which is six figures.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: From The Politico. Here the details. "Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting."

As I said, when I saw the headline, "Obamacare? We Were Just Leaving …" I thought it was gonna be an article about how Democrats are afraid of losing their seats because of the costs of health premiums and the other negatives of Obamacare, but it turns out they're just worried about themselves.

Back to The Politico story. "The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive."

What it means is, the very people who voted for this somehow got tricked into having to live under its circumstances as we are. No longer are they going to have an exemption from this law that we all have to live under. I'm not making this up. I can't believe this story actually runs today. It is a story about how members of Congress, having to face the same consequences of the law that you and I have to face, can't afford it because their premiums and benefits are no longer going to be subsidized. Therefore it's gonna be exorbitantly expensive. And, if it isn't resolved, massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain. Oh, my God.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I don't know if it's true or not. That's just the point. I don't know when we're being played. I don't know when our intelligence is being insulted or when we're being set up. I know that the news isn't the news anymore, that everything's part of an agenda, so I pass all this stuff along to you under those provisos.

I want to finish this, at least the thrust of this Politico story. Members of Congress are leaving because no longer will their health care be subsidized, their premiums. In other words, they're going to be subject to the law like anybody else, and they're scared to death. They've never had to pay this amount of money for health care before, and they can't afford it, on what they make, over a hundred thousand dollars. They can't afford it. They wrote and signed and agreed to a law that, if left to themselves, they couldn't afford. And yet that law has become the law of the land. Now that they are, in effect, not exempt, they want to quit, they want to retire.

How is that going to be help them? Are they gonna leverage these gigs into private sector gigs where they earn more money? How is it gonna help them to walk out on $160,000-a-year jobs? That's just one question I've got about this. But The Politico says, as though they're wringing their hands (paraphrasing), "This could be very, very bad. If the issue isn't resolved and massive numbers of lawmakers indeed quit, and massive numbers of their staffers indeed quit, many people on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of important issues, like fights over the tax code and immigration reform." Are you kidding me? A brain drain? The combined IQ of these people might equal a pencil eraser.

What kind of loss are we talking about here? This irritates me. Sorry. It just irritates me. "The problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy. Sources said several aides have already given lawmakers notice that they’ll be leaving over concerns about Obamacare. Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health care plan, is constant."

Oh! Oh! They stay on the current plan if they quit. Now, why didn't I think of that? See, in my world, when you quit something, you quit. Like if I quit this job, nobody's gonna pay me anymore. I don't get a pension. I don't have anybody paying me. If I quit, that's it. I don't live in the world where you quit something and you continue to get paid. I never have lived in that world, but now I understand. Somehow if they stay, they are subject to the law. If they quit or retire, somehow they're not subject to the law. At least that's my interpretation.

"Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health care plan, is constant." So the way I'm reading that, if they retire, they somehow stay on the pre-Obamacare health care plan they have. I don't pretend to understand how that works. But if they don't quit, then they don't get to stay on their current health care plan; they're subject to the one they passed for all of us, and the poor babies can't afford it. And now we're concerned because they're so smart that if they leave, it's gonna be a real problem for the country because some of the smartest and brightest people -- ahem -- are leaving on the cusp of these important, weighty issues, like immigration and tax reform.

"Pete Sessions, Republican, Texas: 'It’s a reality. This is the law. … It’s going to hinder our ability with retention of members, it’s going to hinder our ability for members to take care of their families.' He said his fellow lawmakers are having 'quiet conversations' about the threat."

There has to be something I'm missing here. As I have read this to you, does any of this make any sense to you? I'm gonna get a phone call from some member of Congress. H.R.'s phone is probably ringing now. 'Cause none of this makes any sense.

"Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner said the threat is already real, especially for veteran lawmakers and staff. If they leave this year, they think they can continue to be covered under the current health care plan." The Affordable Care Act, which is anything but -- just like what did Obama call his stimulus? What was the name of the stimulus bill? It was the exact opposite of whatever it actually did. There's nothing affordable about Obamacare, and there was nothing that was stimulating about the stimulus, whatever its official name was.

Here we go. "The Affordable Care Act -- signed into law in 2010 -- contained a provision known as the Grassley Amendment, which said the government can only offer members of Congress and their staff plans that are 'created' in the bill or 'offered through an exchange' -- unless the bill is amended. Currently, aides and lawmakers receive their health care under the generous Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. The government subsidizes upward of 75 percent of the premiums for the health insurance plans."

In other words, they're demanding an exemption from Obamacare or they're gonna quit. That's right, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. What an absolute joke that name was. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. And now we have the Affordable Care Act, and it's so affordable that members of Congress can't stay in office, and they're earning six figures. What about the rest of you? So, in other words, they're demanding an exemption here from Obamacare; and, failing that, they want to have their insurance subsidized by the taxpayers.

"In 2014, most Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers are expected to be put onto the exchanges --" like all of you, "-- and there has been no guidance whether the government will subsidize those premiums." Aww! So they're not certain whether the government's gonna subsidize their health care going forward. "This is expected to cause a steep spike in health insurance costs." Isn't it amazing how that works? Isn't this classic? The reason I'm having trouble with this is, again, can they be this -- I don't know -- obtuse? I mean, complaining about this in public? Having this story? There must be some sense of entitlement to holding public office.

I am continually surprised at what apparently is just an utter lack of common sense. Are we supposed to feel sorry? Is the purpose of this Politico story, are we supposed to feel sorry? The current salary for 2013 rank-and-file members of the House, Senate $174,000 a year. Now, stop and think about what we're being told in this Politico story: $174,000 a year, and people earning that cannot afford the new health care costs. Let me make a subtle change. It's not that they can't afford it. They don't want to. They don't want to have to pay that much more for health care than they already are paying. That's really what this about. At $174,000 a year, they can afford it. You make adjustments elsewhere in your lifestyle. They don't want to.

But we're supposed to feel sorry and we're supposed to worry about the brain drain? We're supposed to worry about all the brilliance that might vanish from high atop Capitol Hill? So then what are we supposed to do? Is there supposed to be able to a mass movement among all of us to exempt members of Congress from Obamacare so that we don't lose their brain power? I don't think it's gonna fly, if that's the objective.

"There have been many options for fixing the problem discussed throughout the year, including administrative fixes and legislative tweaks. One scenario seen as likely on Capitol Hill would have OPM simply decide that the government could still subsidize insurance on the exchanges. House Democratic leadership says the issue must be resolved. 'The leadership has assured members that fixing this issue is a top priority,' said one Democratic leadership aide. 'This issue must be fixed by administrative action in order that the flawed Grassley Amendment’s spirit is honored and all staff and members are treated the same.'"

This is chutzpah like I have not seen. That's why I think I'm missing something. They can't be this -- I guess they can be. Obamacare for thee but not for me.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to put something in perspective here for you on what happened here with this Politico story because it revolves around the Grassley amendment, and basically Grassley -- senator from Iowa -- devised this amendment as a "gotcha" during the debate over Obamacare. His amendment was intended to demonstrate that congressional staff would want to avoid the exchanges. And instead, the Democrats surprised him by agreeing to it. So the Grassley amendment became part of Obamacare. Now that it's being implemented, now the Democrats are trying to roll it back. They didn't want him to get away with this "gotcha" because Grassley was trying to expose the hypocrisy. And instead of allowing Grassley to get away with that, they agreed to it.

Now that it's come time to implement this thing, now they're trying to roll it back, to get an exemption, congressional staff. They're whining and moaning that they can't afford it, that they might have to quit, as though we're all supposed to be worried about, "No, no, please don't quit! Oh, we need you so badly." No. That's not gonna be the reaction. The reaction's gonna be, "What? You can't afford it on $174,000? You can't afford it on $125,000? You can't afford it on a hundred thousand? Sorry, we have no tears for you." That's gonna be the reaction.

END TRANSCRIPT

Social Security for the Dead: Don't tell them Dad has died and you can just keep collecting!

National Review ^ | 06/13/2013 | Jillian Kay Melchior

The heat comes early each spring in Slidell, La. If it weren’t for that, the handless corpse of Charles Fisher might have gone on rotting in a 160-quart ice chest for some while, and the Social Security Administration might still have been unaware that Debra Fisher and Heidi Todd were collecting his benefits.
On a warm March day last year, repairmen were sent to fix an air conditioner at a brick apartment complex on Military Road. They knocked on the door of the apartment of Charles Fisher, a man in his early 80s, who shared his home with his 58-year-old daughter and her roommate. But the two women refused in no uncertain terms to let them in.
The workers called his landlords, who realized it had been a while since they’d seen the old man who had leased the apartment. And, come to think of it, the women hadn’t wanted them inside, either. They had just assumed it was because Debra Fisher was a hoarder. But now the landlords were disturbed, and they called the authorities.
team from the sheriff’s department showed up and found filthy living conditions but nothing else. “They were looking for a person,” a sheriff’s-office spokesman later said. “They didn’t think to look for an ice chest.” But the deputies’ visit was apparently the breaking point for Debra, whom acquaintances described as already mentally ill. After they had left, she walked to the sheriff’s office three miles away, sat down, and turned herself in.
When sheriff’s deputies subsequently opened the ice chest, they discovered the half-mummified, half-liquefied body of Charles Fisher. Debra later admitted that she had cut her father’s hands off with an X-Acto knife and hidden them in a white plastic éclair box in her freezer; if she ever decided to dispose of the body, he would be much more difficult to identify because the authorities couldn’t take fingerprints, she had reasoned.
“It was terrible, because we really liked Mr. Charlie,” the dead man’s landlady told National Review Online. “He had been living there a good ten years. It just got suspicious when we realized we hadn’t seen him in a while.” The landlady said she believes Debra had a hard time letting go of her father’s corpse, a manifestation of her hoarding disorder.
But the court’s verdict suggests another motive: money. Debra and her roommate, Heidi, had apparently been living off the aging Charles’s Social Security checks for years. When her father died from a heart ailment, Debra later said, she feared she’d end up on the streets; she said she made only $400 a year working at a car dealership.
At first, Debra had left her father’s body in the bed where he had died, but when the corpse began to decompose, she came up with the plan of hiding it in the ice chest. Heidi reportedly did the heavy lifting. And when the Social Security payments arrived in the old man’s checking account, Debra would first pay the rent, then go online and transfer the remainder to her own account. All in all, she collected about $34,000 of Charles Fisher’s Social Security benefits.
* * *
For many people, the death of a friend or relative becomes an opportunity to pocket Social Security funds. It happens more than you might think: In the last two-year period on record, the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General closed 979 such cases, securing 282 criminal convictions and recovering $16.6 million in purloined funds.
These fraud incidents generally fall into one of two categories. Most commonly, relatives simply fail to notify the Social Security Administration of the beneficiary’s death and continue to cash the checks. But there are also quite a few instances where fraudsters go to extreme lengths.
For example, in Michigan last year, a 72-year-old woman allegedly collected $28,000 in benefits issued to her boyfriend, who died of natural causes. Authorities struggled to come up with appropriate charges beyond theft, however: She reportedly never moved her boyfriend’s body from the recliner he had died in — sometimes sitting beside him and watching NASCAR races on television — so they couldn’t press the charges that apply when someone tampers with or improperly disposes of a corpse.
In February of this year, an Ohio woman pleaded guilty to the theft of $142,000 — Social Security money she fraudulently collected after she buried her mother’s body in a yard in Florida.
In May, an Oregon caregiver admitted that she hid the body of an elderly charge almost two decades ago. She pleaded guilty to stealing more than $200,000 in Social Security retirement benefits since his death.
And last summer, a New York man who described himself as a fan of Norman Bates was sentenced to 41 years in prison. After his mother died, he had falsified the records, donned a platinum-blonde wig and a dress, and impersonated her, collecting more than $44,000 in benefits.
The SSA has few measures in place to verify whether a beneficiary is still alive; the agency’s stance has been that its primary function is to pay benefits, not ensure that death records are accurately maintained. It generally does not even check on beneficiaries who, according to official records, have lived long beyond the average life expectancy — partly out of tact, but more out of general carelessness, one suspects.
Instead, the SSA finds out about the death of a beneficiary from information provided by family members, funeral homes, other federal agencies, states, and even financial institutions. But those data often arrive in very rough form, and they may not even include accurate information about date of birth, date of death, or Social Security number.
In 2009, then-commissioner Michael J. Astrue told Congress that “it is extremely expensive and may even be impossible to determine if a person is alive or dead, particularly if the person died many years ago.”
When the SSA ends up paying benefits to the deceased, it’s almost always because of either fraud or a transcription error. And, unsurprisingly, it costs taxpayers big time. It’s hard to come by statistics about how commonly people wrongfully collect benefits on behalf of the dead — precisely because the SSA doesn’t know when it happens — but a 2010 report from Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) revealed that the agency had distributed $18 million in stimulus funds alone to 71,668 people who had already died.
When the Social Security Administration’s records are wrong, it has implications across the federal government. That’s because other federal programs — including Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps — rely on the SSA’s Death Master File to check on the status of beneficiaries. And until Congress intervened last year, the SSA did not even give other federal agencies access to its complete file for cross-checking beneficiaries’ status.
The cost adds up fast, according to the Coburn report: Dead farmers got $1.1 billion in subsidies from the Department of Agriculture; 11,000 dead people got $3.9 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to help pay for air conditioning and heat; Medicaid paid out more than $700,000 to cover the prescriptions of patients who had already died; and Medicare covered $8.2 million worth of medical supplies for the deceased. Fraudsters also stole the identities of doctors who had perished, charging Medicare for medical equipment and walking away with tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.
The report estimated that at least $1 billion has been wasted in these ways just since 2000. While some of these instances derive from simple errors, the report notes, the money frequently ended up in the hands of people who are deliberately “defrauding the system by collecting benefits meant for now-deceased relatives.”
* * *
Debra Fisher was sentenced this March for her crimes: ten years in prison for Social Security theft and two three-year sentences for what she did to her father’s body, to be served concurrently. She must also pay back the money, the court ordered. Her roommate and accomplice, Heidi Todd, got three years. When I spoke with Fisher’s landlady, she cautioned me that perhaps this story wasn’t the best example of Social Security fraud; Debra was already mentally ill, she said.
Perhaps so — but there’s probably some insanity at work any time a person hacks apart and hides the body of a family member. Then again, there’s a twisted logic to such a calculation — lose the corpse and keep the money. Cash is always a powerful motive, and when a federal agency dispenses it without proper diligence, that can create the opportunity and the incentive for criminal behavior.
While it’s comforting in one way to know that death can evade the seemingly omniscient federal government, it becomes less so when you consider that the living are left to pay for the fraud. Taxpayers now have a truly morbid interest in the lives and deaths of their fellow citizens.
— Jillian Kay Melchior is a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.

Rep. Jeff Duncan questions IRS AR-15 Assault Rifle usage!

www.politico.com ^ | 6/13/13 | TAL KOPAN

Rep. Jeff Duncan wants to know why IRS law enforcement agents are training with AR-15 rifles!

As chairman of the House Homeland Security oversight subcommittee, Duncan (R-S.C.) toured a federal law enforcement facility in late May and noticed agents training with the semi-automatic weapons at a firing range.

They identified themselves as IRS, he said. “When I left there, it’s been bugging me for weeks now, why IRS agents are training with a semi-automatic rifle AR-15, which has stand-off capability,” Duncan told POLITICO. “Are Americans that much of a target that you need that kind of capability?” ....

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

Lawsuits filed over IRS power grab. Fate of ObamaCare hangs in balance!

Coach is Right ^ | 6/13/13 | Douglas H. Book

The future of Barack Obama’s namesake effort to exercise the power of life and death over the American people will depend upon the outcome of 2 under-reported lawsuits, one filed in Washington DC and the other in Oklahoma City.
“This is huge,”writes George Mason University law professor Michael Greve. “If successful…[either] case will bring Obamacare’s Exchange engine to a screeching halt…In short, this is for all the marbles.” (1)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides tax credits and subsidies for the purchase of health insurance through exchanges that are run by “a governmental agency or nonprofit entity that is established by a state.” (2) To date, however, 33 states have refused to build an ObamaCare Exchange so necessary to...
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...

Big Three Networks Abandon IRS Scandal

NewsBusters ^ 

When news broke that IRS agents were abusively targeting conservative groups particularly the Tea Party, it looked at as if this was an Obama administration scandal that would stick. Even reporters like NBC’s Andrea Mitchell counted it as among the “most outrageous excesses I’ve seen.” Obama sycophant Chris Matthews predicted it could be worth “five or 10 points” for Republicans in the next midterm elections. Even the New York Times editorial board proclaimed: “The IRS Audits Are Condemned.”
The Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) news networks actually jumped to cover the story, filling their evening and morning shows with a total of 96 stories in the first two weeks (May 10 through May 23) of coverage. But after those two strong weeks, the broadcast networks lost interest in the scandal, and the coverage slowed to a crawl -- just 31 stories in the subsequent weeks (May 24 through June 12). This week, the networks have run only one story (June 11 on ABC’s Good Morning America) on the IRS scandal.

Read more at link above.

Rumors Swirl Around Holdup in Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision

Yahoo News ^ | June 13, 2013 | Liz Goodwin

Eight months after attorneys for Abigail Fisher argued in front of the Supreme Court that the University of Texas' affirmative action admissions policy discriminates against white students, the justices still have not handed down their decision in the potentially paradigm-shifting case.

The unusual delay has many court-watchers stumped, though as with everything Supreme Court-related, all explanations for the wait are, at best, educated guesswork.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
*************************************************************************
Winkler said he believes the court will rule broadly against the University of Texas in a way that will outlaw affirmative action programs nationwide. He thinks that instead of ruling narrowly against this particular school, the court will overturn its own 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision that said affirmative action is allowable as long as it's not a quota system as a way to ensure schools have a diverse student body. In that decision, the court ruled that eventually, in 25 years, the use of race would again becoming legally suspect, but that until then it's needed to correct societal discrimination.Winkler guesses the decision is taking so long because the liberal justices are writing lengthy dissents to the conservative judges' sweeping decision.*SNIP* "I think the more likely explanation is simply that dealing with tough issues requires a lot of thought and care," said Gail Heriot, a law professor at the University of San Diego.

Why is 'affirmative action' a legislative relic if there ever was one, a vestigial, anachronistic remnant whose time has come and gone still being utilized in a manner which wreaks havoc with people's lives, having earned their coveted place in society by being the best and the brightest only to have it usurped by those who misguidedly believe they have the right to interfere, create priorities based on racial criteria over that of merit and ability?
The left-wing, liberal holier-than-thou attitude at implementing racial quotas is wrong as it is immoral,patently unfair.
That in 2013, we still employ the archaic, illegal approach in deciding who in society will attain achievement and success by the people's very own criteria that affirmative action so egregiously intrudes upon is unfair to all, everyone. 

Rubio: ‘I’m done’ if immigration bill includes QUEER couple amendment!

Yahoo ^ 

Rubio: ‘I’m done’ if immigration bill includes gay couple amendment The Ticket By Chris Moody, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 27 mins ago
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, a co-author and key proponent of the Senate immigration bill, said he will revoke his support if an amendment is added that allows gay unauthorized immigrants to claim foreign same-sex partners as family.
"If this bill has something in it that gives gay couples immigration rights and so forth, it kills the bill. I'm done," Rubio said Thursday during an interview on the Andrea Tantaros Show. "I'm off it, and I've said that repeatedly. I don't think that's going to happen and it shouldn't happen. This is already a difficult enough issue as it is."
The amendment, introduced by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, would grant green cards to foreign partners of gay unauthorized immigrants who seek legal status under new rules in the bill. Leahy originally introduced the measure during the Senate Judiciary Committee markup of the bill, but he withdrew it under pressure from Republican lawmakers who said it would reduce the chance of the bill passing.
The effort underway in Congress to overhaul the nation's immigration system is a bipartisan one, and its success hinges on a fragile coalition of political, business and religious groups that span the ideological spectrum. Opponents of Leahy's amendment have said repeatedly that his proposal would cause some key groups to withdraw their support and kill the bill. Rubio's exit would be especially devastating to its survival.
The Senate is expected to vote on Leahy's amendment soon.
In the interview, Rubio also said that as the bill is currently written, it has "no chance" of passing.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...

Roger Ailes wows conservatives in accepting Bradley prize

The Washington Post ^ | June 13, 2013 | Paul Farhi

Ailes delighted the house by slamming President Obama,
To vigorous applause, he implied that the Obama administration had abandoned its duty to protect American diplomats and personnel during last year’s attacks in Benghazi, Libya. “I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t even care what the president of the United States was doing that night,” he said. “However, I would like to know what the commander-in-chief was doing that night.”
He also told a shaggy-dog story about the difference between liberals and conservatives.
It seems a liberal in a hot-air balloon is lost and late for an appointment and descends to ask a conservative for directions. The conservative pulls out a GPS device and tells him exactly where he is.
“You must be a conservative,” the balloon man says. The man on the ground asks how he knows that. The reply: “Everything you’ve told me is technically correct, I have no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is, I’m still lost. Frankly, you haven’t been very much help so far.”
The conservative replies that the balloon guy must be a liberal. How does he know? The punch line: “You don’t know where you’re going or where you’ve been, you’ve risen to where you are on hot air, and you made a promise that you have no idea how to keep. Now you expect me to solve your problems. The fact is, you’re in the same place you were before we met and now it’s my fault!” Turning serious, Ailes offered a spirited critique of multiculturalism:
“….America is a culture, it has a culture, and it must be recognized….We must not allow our collective memory to fade or morph into trendy revisionist versions of political correctness, which become a substitute for the truth.”
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

Biden Launches New Imaginary Gun Buyback Initiative

The People's Cube ^ | 6/12/2013, 11:34 am | Ivan Betinov

Inspired by the "Toy Gun" buyback program recently initiated by Hayward California's Strobridge Elementary School principal Charles Hill, Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to announce today White House backing of a new "Imaginary Gun" buyback program.

"We have been plagued by a recent rash of imaginary gun incidents in our nation's schools," said Biden spokesman Aldous Orwell. "Children live in terror because of rampant imagination."

Step One of the program would entail registration of imaginary weapons in a National Imaginary Terror Weapon Information Tracking System (NITWITS). Educators will help students fill out a form from NITWITS to see if their imaginations are producing unacceptable thoughts involving a weapon of any kind.

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

The Final Frontier

aoolna.jpg

I feel your pain

image.jpg

Why is he still alive?

2612iih.jpg

Obama's Administration

qq1ev7.jpg

Questions!

2pzfevt.jpg

Monitoring Phone Calls

mmg3yo.jpg

ORDERS

132716_600.jpg

PERKS

132722_600.jpg

Your Fault

mcdermott.jpg

Sebelius The Mean

sebelius_thumbs_down_10_year_old_girl.jp

Obama's Gestapo

188444.jpg

Courageous Restraint

CouragiousRestraint_zps94e2e281.png

Find Out!

188443.jpg

Trust Me!

On-Guard-600-w-logo-4.jpg

Jerry and Perry

9ibubn.jpg

Happy Hunting

32zjoyq.jpg

Obama’s new UN Ambassador Samantha Power suggested US invade Israel

http://www.israelunseen.com/obamas-new-un-ambassador-samantha-power-suggested-us-invade-israel/#.Ubmjh73E1p0 ^ 

Obama’s brand new appointee as UN Ambassador in Samantha Power, here shown at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, calls for a military invasion of Israel to create a Palestinian State.
She calls American troops a “protection force” and what Israel does as “human rights abuses”.
Disclaimer: To the people who are sending me some obscure Jewish Journal article by Shmuley Boteach of all people being pandered to by Samantha Power about how much she supports Israel, I can only offer you these thoughts:
If you know how to think in the abstract…the interviewer in the video, by merely asking that question about genocide, even if it was merely a “hypothetical”, gives the indication that he’s implying that there actually IS genocide by Israel on “Palestine”…and she is humoring his implication by answering.
If she didn’t feel that there was genocide, she wouldn’t even engage in a “thought experiment” as he put it. But by doing so, she reveals her true position.
Moreover, she somehow pools in Rwanda as a “thought experiment”, even though the genocide in Rwanda was a reality and not a “hypothetical”.
(Excerpt) Read more at israelunseen.com ...