Monday, August 5, 2013

Small Businesses Can't Avoid ObamaCare by Switching to Part-Time Workers!

breitbart.com ^ | 8/5/13 | Dr. Susan Berry

Keeping in mind that, under ObamaCare, a “full-time” work week is only 30 hours, the SBA website provides an example:

Company X has 40 full-time employees working 40 hours per week, along with 20 part-time employees working 15 hours per week. The 20 part-time employees are counted as 10 full-time equivalent employees. Company X has 50 full-time employees and is subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions.

The rules are a “problem for employers at the margin” of 50 full-time workers, said Edmund F. Haisimaier of the Heritage Foundation. In addition, the mandates include seasonal employees, so even if a business with seasonal workers has the equivalent of 50 full-time workers for only 121 days, ObamaCare requirements are activated for that business.

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

The Voices of Fort Hood (Justice will be Hasan's execution)

American Thinker ^ | August 5, 2013 | Elise Cooper

There was the cry of "Allahu Akbar," a gun fired, mayhem all around, with the end result of thirteen dead and thirty wounded at an Army base in Fort Hood, Texas on November 5th, 2009. The culprit is not just any terrorist but a major in the U.S. Army, Nidal Malik Hassan. He was an officer sworn to protect, a psychiatrist sworn to help, and an American, sworn to the Constitution. American Thinker interviewed victims, their families, and someone who was a college classmate of Hassan.

David Wellington in his latest book, Chimera, wrote that those serving in the military need a good officer who "learns to respect them, their hard work, their sacrifice... and he comes to love them. But he can't ever forget he's responsible for them." Hassan had none of these attributes. There were warning signs from his college days at the University of the Health Sciences in Maryland. A college classmate who knew him in 2007 said at that time Hassan had radical beliefs. "Hassan was a Muslim first, held to Sharia Law before the Constitution, believed he had a duty to fellow Muslims before Americans, and justified suicide bombings. I had an Environmental class with him where he did a presentation against the War on Terror, and in support of suicide bombings in the name of Islam. This was so completely off topic that a bunch of us complained to the professor who did nothing because of political correctness."

Was Hassan suspended or thrown out of the Army? No, he was promoted. But there were other warning signs including his contact through eighteen emails with Anwar al-Awlaki, where he referred to the U.S. as the aggressor against Muslims. The FBI dropped the ball and handed it off to the Army,...

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

The Dependably Unfaithful Colin Powell

The American Thnker ^ | August 5, 2013 | Jeannie DeAngelis

In 2008 and then again in 2012, after retired four-star General Colin Powell endorsed and then voted for Barack Obama, the former Secretary of State's sanity was already in question. At least now, after having his email account hacked by high-level security-breacher Guccifer, Colin Powell's besmirching of the Republican Party's "shift to the right" and "identity crisis" finally makes sense.


It seems that for years the mannerly and always professional Colin Powell has been cyber-comporting with a 46-year-old Romanian European Parliament member, Social Democrat, and past spokesperson for Romanian president Ion Iliescu named Corina Creţu. So it's safe to say that Colin Powell was probably the one in the throes of an "identity crisis."
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

ObamaCare Exemption for Congress!

The President intervenes to give Members and staff a break.

To adapt H.L. Mencken, nobody ever went broke underestimating the cynicism and self-dealing of the American political class. Witness their ad-libbed decision, at the 11th hour and on the basis of no legal authority, to create a special exemption for themselves from the ObamaCare health coverage that everybody else is mandated to buy.
The Affordable Care Act requires Members of Congress and their staffs to participate in its insurance exchanges, in order to gain first-hand experience with what they're about to impose on their constituents. Harry Truman enrolled as the first Medicare beneficiary in 1965, and why shouldn't the Members live under the same laws they pass for the rest of the country?
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Associated Press
That was the idea when Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley proposed the original good-enough-for-thee, good-enough-for-me amendment in 2009, and the Finance Committee unanimously adopted his rule. Declared Chairman Max Baucus, "I'm very gratified that you have so much confidence in our program that you're going to be able to purchase the new program yourself and I'm confident too that the system will work very well."
Harry Reid revised the Grassley amendment when he rammed through his infamous ObamaCare bill that no one had read for a vote on Christmas eve. But he neglected to include language about what would happen to the premium contributions that the government makes for its employees. Whether it was intentional or not, the fairest reading of the statute as written is that if Democrats thought somebody earning $174,000 didn't deserve an exchange subsidy, then this person doesn't get a subsidy merely because he happens to work in Congress.
But the statute means that about 11,000 Members and Congressional staff will lose the generous coverage they now have as part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Instead they will get the lower-quality, low-choice "Medicaid Plus" of the exchanges. The Members—annual salary: $174,000—and their better paid aides also wouldn't qualify for ObamaCare subsidies. That means they could be exposed to thousands of dollars a year in out-of-pocket insurance costs.
The result was a full wig out on Capitol Hill, with Members of both parties fretting about "brain drain" as staff face higher health-care costs. Democrats in particular begged the White House for help, claiming the Reid language was merely an unintentional mistake. President Obama told Democrats in a closed-door meeting last week that he would personally moonlight as HR manager and resolve the issue.
And now the White House is suspending the law to create a double standard. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that runs federal benefits will release regulatory details this week, but leaks to the press suggest that Congress will receive extra payments based on the FEHBP defined-contribution formula, which covers about 75% of the cost of the average insurance plan. For 2013, that's about $4,900 for individuals and $10,000 for families.
How OPM will pull this off is worth watching. Is OPM simply going to cut checks, akin to "cashing out" fringe benefits and increasing wages? Or will OPM cover 75% of the cost of the ObamaCare plan the worker chooses—which could well be costlier than what the feds now contribute via current FEHBP plans? In any case the carve-out for Congress creates a two-tier exchange system, one for the great unwashed and another for the politically connected.
This latest White House night at the improv is also illegal. OPM has no authority to pay for insurance plans that lack FEHBP contracts, nor does the Affordable Care Act permit either exchange contributions or a unilateral bump in congressional pay in return for less overall compensation. Those things require appropriations bills passed by Congress and signed by the President.
But the White House rejected a legislative fix because Republicans might insist on other changes, and Mr. Obama feared that Democrats would go along because they're looking out for number one. So the White House is once again rewriting the law unilaterally, much as it did by suspending ObamaCare's employer mandate for a year. For this White House, the law it wrote is a mere suggestion.
The lesson for Americans is that Democrats who passed ObamaCare didn't even understand what they were doing to themselves, much less to everyone else. But you can bet Democrats will never extend to ordinary Americans the same fixes that they are now claiming for themselves. The real class divide in President Obama's America is between the political class and everyone else.
A version of this article appeared August 5, 2013, on page A12 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Congress's ObamaCare Exemption.
Copyright 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Defund Obamacare Now: Opposition to it is building even on the left.

National Review ^ | 08/05/2013 | Deroy Murdock

Congress possesses the power of the purse, but only if it wields it. And it should do so to defund Obamacare, before this medical Godzilla grows larger and more ferocious.
Republican senators Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Florida), Rand Paul (Kentucky), and Ted Cruz (Texas) are leading a valiant effort to pass a continuing resolution in September that will finance the federal government as is but zero out Obamacare. Short of repeal, which Obama surely would veto, this may be the last exit before Obamacare’s New Year’s Day implementation. Once this beast is unleashed, its fire-breathing destruction could become uncontainable.
This initiative, headquartered online at DontFundObamaCare.com, arrives just as Obamacare’s critics have reached a crescendo.
“One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them. . . . The IPAB will cause frustration to providers and patients alike, and it will fail to control costs.” Was that Rush Limbaugh? Glenn Beck?
Thus wrote Howard Dean, M.D., former presidential candidate and ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Dean explained in July 29’s Wall Street Journal that he likes aspects of Obamacare but considers IPAB a clinical wrecking ball.
“I think if you’re an individual who is satisfied with your health care coverage, you’re probably in a better position to stick with that coverage than go through the change of moving into a different environment and going through that process. . . . I would prefer to stay with the current policy that I’m pleased with, rather than go through a change if I don’t need to go through that change.”
Was that from the latest Ann Coulter rant?
Nope.
That was acting IRS commissioner Daniel Werfel telling the House Ways and Means Committee on August 1 why he, like many other employees at the tax agency, prefers to keep his generous health coverage rather than join Obamacare — which the IRS is scheduled to begin enforcing on January 1.
Obamacare “will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class. . . . We can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.”
Was this penned by tea-party leaders?
In fact, this is from an open letter by the chiefs of the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, and UNITE-HERE. These three major labor unions represent some 2.8 million workers. They originally cheered Obamacare. But, to paraphrase former House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s notorious words, once it was passed, they learned what was in it. And now, they are afraid.
As well they should be. Even as it paces its cage and aches to stomp across the U.S. economy, Obamacare already is wreaking havoc.
“One thing that we hear in the commentary that we get . . . is that some employers are hiring part-time in order to avoid the mandate” for insuring staffers who work more than 30 hours weekly, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke testified on Capitol Hill on July 17. The Chicago Fed noted that day that “several retailers reported that the Affordable Care Act would lead to more part-time and temporary versus full-time hiring.” Indeed, even after Obama delayed this law’s employer mandate by one year (autocratically and without the statutory authority to do so), among 75 manufacturers surveyed by the Philadelphia Fed, 5.6 percent plan to sack or not hire workers, to avoid Obamacare’s handcuffs. Another 8.3 percent will shift from full-time to part-time workers, and 18.1 percent will boost outsourcing. Thus, fully 32 percent of these manufacturers say they will not create jobs next year.
This worrisome trend dominated July’s employment figures. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time positions rose by 92,000, but part-time jobs increased by 174,000 — 90 percent more quickly. June’s numbers were even more frightful, with full-timers falling 240,000 as part-timers soared by 360,000.
Thank you, Obamacare!
The term “Affordable Care Act” has become a sick punchline.
Peach State insurance commissioner Ralph Hudgens just announced that Georgia insurers have proposed 2014 premium hikes “up to 198 percent for some individuals.” Meanwhile, seven insurers competed in Georgia’s health exchange until Wednesday, when Aetna and Coventry completely fled. And then there were five. Maryland expects individual-market premiums to rise in 2014, up to 25 percent. Ohioans are bracing for like hikes averaging 88 percent. Forbes and National Review Online columnist Avik Roy calculates that a typical, non-smoking, 25-year-old California man will see his rates surge between 100 and 123 percent. Coverage will cost a similar 40-year-old 116 percent more next year.
Obamacare will hammer taxpayers, too. The one-year employer-mandate delay, the Congressional Budget Office projects, will cost $12 billion, and some 1 million Americans will lose their employer-based health plans. More shocking: Since Obamacare’s 2010–19 expenses were backloaded (to ease congressional passage), its initial ten-year price tag was $940 billion. Conveniently for Obama, this fell just below the potentially deal-killing $1 trillion threshold. However, CBO’s 2014–23 forecast incorporates four years of actual operations. Thus, in a Smithsonian-grade bait and switch, Obamacare’s latest ten-year estimate is $1.8 trillion — double the original sticker price.
Regarding a similar con job, my old Appalachian Trail hiking partner J. D. Tuccille writes at Reason.com that a call center in Contra Costa, Calif., has opened to answer questions and otherwise help people enroll in Obamacare. In the middle of training, about half of the 2,000 hirees were told one on one that they would not work full time, as promised, but instead would serve part time — without medical benefits. Some of them left other full-time positions only to get stuck with part-time work and without health insurance. That’s one more triumph of Obamacare.
Meanwhile, Obamacare’s popularity slip-slides away. Beneath the headline “CBS News poll finds more Americans than ever want Obamacare repealed,” the network’s Amanda Cochran observed July 24 that 54 percent of adults disapprove of Obamacare while only 36 percent embrace it. A mere 13 percent believe the program will “help me,” while 38 percent think it will “hurt me.”
Amid Obamacare’s smoldering rubble, it is irritating that GOP senators such as North Carolina’s Richard Burr and Oklahoma’s stalwart Tom Coburn spurn this defunding bid. Imagine: If Republicans organized a proper anti-Obamacare parade, a deeply disenchanted public just might march with the GOP.
So long as the employer mandate is frozen until January 1, 2015 (rather than 2014), Republicans should echo Senator Lee’s flawlessly logical argument: “If the administration will not enforce the law as written, then the American people should not be forced to fund it.”
This strategy need not trigger a messy government shutdown. Lee wants to fund the budget, absent Obamacare. The House should consider similar language and make Democrats declare whether or not they still love this monster. Senate Democrats likewise should choose sides.
If this measure reaches Obama’s desk, let him decide: “Do I keep Washington running as is, sans Obamacare money, or will my veto force Congress to keep Obamacare alive, even though everyone sees its rotting fangs and hideous, wart-encrusted hide?”
Come on, Republicans: Make Obama and the Democrats sweat!
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a nationally syndicated columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service, and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.

‘There’s Plenty of Money, It’s Just the Government Doesn’t Have It’ — Leftest Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison

Pajamas Media ^ | 08/05/2013 | Walter Hudson

Urban legend holds that Willie Sutton told a reporter that he robbed banks “because that’s where the money is.” Not to be outdone, Minnesota Leftest Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison recently made a similar observation. CNS News reports:

Ellison was discussing his “Inclusive Prosperity Act” measure at the July 25th Progressive Democrats of America roundtable in Washington.
“The bottom line is we’re not broke, there’s plenty of money, it’s just the government doesn’t have it,” Ellison continued, “The government has a right, the government and the people of the United States have a right to run the programs of the United States. Health, welfare, housing – all these things.”
The “Inclusive Prosperity Act” would levy a sales tax on the trading of stocks, bonds and derivatives.
We can induce from Ellison’s comments that he believes the government cannot go broke so long as money remains in the private sector to be taken. In other words, your money does not belong to you. The state allows you to keep what you have and reserves the right to seize it for redistribution.
Benito Mussolini would be proud. The Italian dictator who coined the term fascism defined it as a system of government where the state exists for its own sake, subordinating the individual. Like Ellison, Mussolini spoke of the state as though it were a person, elevating its “will” above that of the individual. Ellison ascribes “rights” to the government — to “the people of the United States” — while denying the property right of individuals.
Having apparently learned nothing from his hometown of Detroit, Ellison proceeds as though the trading of stocks, bonds, and derivatives will be unaffected by his new sales tax. Even if individual traders continued their transactions unabated, the tax would remove an estimated $300 billion annually from the private economy. In private hands, that $300 billion gets deployed for an economic return. In Ellison’s hands, it will be deployed for a political return.
A profound cowardice underlies Ellison’s position. Like the constituency he hopes to expand, Ellison seeks to avoid the risk-taking which those he would fleece must face for a chance at profit. While investors proceed without any guarantee that their effort will yield a return, Ellison proposes to feed off their attempt even before success is achieved. Transcending the evil of the income tax, which punishes citizens for their audacious efforts to survive and thrive, Ellison’s “Integrated Prosperity Act” seeks to tax citizens for merely trying to earn something, regardless of whether they actually do.
He might as well tax breathing. Oh, wait

Poor attendance at Obamacare events!

Politico ^ | AUG 4,2013 | KYLE CHENEY

A race to define Obamacare to the masses began today between the stacks at the Centreville Library. Over pizza in Decatur, Texas. And with a glass of wine in Naples, Fla.
Dozens of communities around the country hosted pro-Obamacare events, convened by the president’s foot soldiers at Organizing for Action. The series is the first salvo in what is fixing to be a month of high-stakes health care spin. When Congress returns from its summer recess in early September, there will be less than a month until Obamacare’s most sweeping coverage programs start signing up customers in new health insurance exchanges.
That means gatherings like today’s in Centreville — although the slow start here is probably not what OFA organizers had in mind. After a scheduling snafu over the start time, a few people showed up and left before it actually started. Just one volunteer stayed to help work the phone bank for the health law, and the event’s organizer bolted after 20 minutes — although he was bound for another Obamacare event, a house party.
The poor turnout here in Centreville wasn’t necessarily indicative of what’s happening across the country at other OFA events Sunday afternoon and evening, which coincide with President Barack Obama’s birthday. OFA sent out pictures of bigger and more enthusiastic turnout elsewhere, including some events in places like Ohio, Florida and Missouri where volunteer enthusiasm will be needed to overcome state government resistance to implementation. Most of the events were intentionally small-scale — house parties, leafleting near a b
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...

Tea party plans to abandon GOP stars

Associated Press ^ | Aug 4, 2013 6:04 PM EDT | Michael J. Mishak

This wasn’t the revolution the tea party had in mind.

Four years ago, the movement and its potent mix of anger and populism persuaded thousands of costumed and sign-waving conservatives to protest the ballooning deficit and President Obama’s health care law. It swept a crop of no-compromise lawmakers into Congress and governor’s offices and transformed political up-and-comers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, into household names.
But as many tea party stars seek re-election next year and Rubio considers a 2016 presidential run, conservative activists are finding themselves at a crossroads. Many of their standard-bearers have embraced more moderate positions on bedrock issues such as immigration and health care, broadening their appeal in swing states but dampening grass-roots passion.
“They keep sticking their finger in the eyes of the guys who got them elected,” said Ralph King, a co-founder of the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots. “A lot of people are feeling betrayed.” …
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...

Stand By Your Man

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CAUTION

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Phony Scandals

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George

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The Devil

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Nick of Time!

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Lots of free time!

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If you voted for Obama...

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Economic Rx

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Death Panels

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Train Wreck

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Hidden Cost

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Dicks

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Detroit's Roots

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Racial Hustlers

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Taking an Obama!

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Detroit Unions!

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Doubled?

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One fulfilled!

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Relax

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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg now building a political network (Supporting illegal alien amnesty!)

The Hill's Hillicon Valley ^ | August 4, 2013 | Jennifer Martinez

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is building a new social network, and this time it's political.
While he’s better known as the hoodie-clad, Harvard dropout that launched a multi-billion dollar Internet company, Zuckerberg has emerged as a political player on the national stage.
After largely sitting on the political sidelines for a few years, the 29-year-old Facebook founder is using his clout as a top business executive and American success story to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.
This week, Zuckerberg will publicly dive headfirst into the immigration debate that’s captivated Washington by joining forces with pro-immigration advocates outside of the tech industry.
On Tuesday evening in San Francisco, Zuckerberg will give introductory remarks at the premiere of “Documented,” a documentary film directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas that looks at the stories of young immigrants, known as "Dreamers," who came to the United States illegally as children with their parents....
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com ...