Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Business Owners May Face $100-Per-Day Penalty Under ObamaCare (beginning Oct. 1)

Fox Business ^ | 9/09/13 | Kate Rogers

Small business owners who thought they were off the hook for ObamaCare regulations until 2015 may be in for an expensive wake-up call next month.

Beginning Oct. 1, any business with at least one employee and $500,000 in annual revenue must notify all employees by letter about the Affordable Care Act’s health-care exchanges, or face up to a $100-per-day fine. The requirement applies to any business regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act, regardless of size. Going forward, letters are to be distributed to any new hires within 14 days of their starting date, according to the Department of Labor.
(Excerpt) Read more at smallbusiness.foxbusiness.com ...

The Amateur’s War

Frontpagemagazine ^ | September 10, 2013 | Daniel Greenfield

Syria would be Obama’s fourth war, but it might as well be his first war. The amateur has an impressive war machine that can level entire countries, but not the understanding of how to use it.
Obama has reportedly flipped through 50 war plans for Syria, but he hasn’t been able to provide one sensible reason why the attack should happen. His rationalizations and justifications never stop shifting. If you don’t like one excuse, wait a bit and another one will come along.
In his weekly address, Obama said that military action was necessary to protect against the national security threat of chemical weapons falling “into the hands of terrorist groups who wish to do us harm.”
This explanation contradicted his actual plan of attacking Syrian military installations thereby helping the Syrian terrorists who wish to do us harm. The surest way to see chemical weapons fall into the hands of terrorists is by bombing Assad.
If Obama were really worried about national security, he would be more concerned about Al Qaeda’s nerve gas manufacturing efforts in Iraq and Assad’s chemical weapons being captured by its Al Nusra Front affiliate.
Obama’s plan for Syria is really a maze of excuses riven with contradictions.
It’s a military solution to a problem that he insists can only have a diplomatic solution. It’s a unilateral attack launched by two men who built their recent political reputations on opposing unilateralism. And Obama is bringing it to Congress for approval as a symbolic gesture while making it clear that he will not be bound by a negative decision.
The man who advocated turning a blind eye to Sudan and Rwanda during his campaign, who emerged into the spotlight opposing the removal of Saddam Hussein, suddenly insists that we cannot turn a blind eye to Syria…after having turned a blind eye to it for years.
Even if 1,429 Syrians did die in the chemical attack, that’s only 1.5 percent of the total deaths in the war. By the end of 2011, the UN listed 5,000 dead in Syria. Obama was willing to turn a blind eye to those 5,000, and the 100,000 that followed, but not to these 1,429.
And like so much else, the chemical attack that Obama is using to justify the strikes is a question mark.
UK intelligence claims 350 dead. French intelligence puts it at 281. Doctors Without Borders lists only 355. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights lists 502 dead. The one thing these estimates have in common is that they are far below Kerry’s 1,429.
Like these numbers, the facts and excuses fluctuate wildly. Obama promises Americans a light attack to deter Assad, but tells senators that it will lead to regime change. Either Obama is lying or he can’t make up his mind.
The men and women around Obama have proven to be equally amateurish and incompetent.
Samantha Power, his UN ambassador, wasted time trying to convince Iran to reject Assad over his use of chemical weapons, apparently unaware that Iran was developing nuclear weapons to be used on Israel.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel told the House Committee that the attacks would cost tens of millions of dollars. Considering that Tomahawk cruise missiles cost $1.5 million each, not to mention the cost of warship deployments and operations, a more realistic figure would be in the hundreds of millions.
White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough admitted that while there was no “beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence,” the videos of the attacks led him to a “common sense” conclusion that Assad was responsible. Apparently we start wars now based not on evidence, but on common sense conclusions.
Secretary of State John Kerry had told Congress that there was indeed proof beyond a reasonable doubt only to be contradicted by the Chief of Staff. But Kerry didn’t need to be contradicted by McDonough because he was too busy contradicting himself, telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he wanted the option of putting boots on the ground before denying it, telling Congressmen that this was a Munich moment but promising “unbelievably small” strikes.
Kerry, who began his entry into international politics with illegal negotiations with the Viet Cong and began his Senate career with unsolicited negotiations with the Sandinistas, had spent his career practicing to become a diplomatic disaster.
The amateurish performance culminated with Kerry suggesting that Assad could avoid a war by giving up his chemical weapons. Russia signed on to the proposal. A State Department spokesman explained that Kerry hadn’t really meant it. Obama then announced that he was ordering Kerry to follow through on the proposal that he hadn’t meant seriously. It was a comedy of errors with countless lives at stake.
Senator McCain called Kerry’s efforts “unbelievably unhelpful.” The Washington Post described him as “dangerously bad.”
General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the only professional on the team, who had warned earlier, “Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid,” appeared to sum up the inchoate state of affairs by replying to the question “What is it you’re seeking?” with “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”
If the highest ranking military officer can’t answer that question about Syria, who can?
After months of trying, no one in the administration can explain what they hope to achieve by bombing Syria. They hint at regime change and then rule it out. They promise that it will be unbelievably small and that it will change the momentum of the war. They talk about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists, but follow a course that will put chemical weapons into the hands of terrorists.
Attacking Syria is bad policy. Attacking Syria without having a plan isn’t even a policy. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
And it’s Obama’s disaster.
Conservatives who urge support for Obama’s plan to patriotically protect his credibility and leadership, are suffering from misplaced priorities. Not only are these qualities as absent as they have ever been, but this country does not send men into battle to protect incompetent politicians who are too busy playing Hamlet to act the part of commander-in-chief.
“The United States should never go to war because it wants to; the United States should go to war because we have to,” John Kerry said during his debate with George W. Bush. Those are not bad words.
We don’t fight wars because we can, because France wants us to or because not dropping the bombs will undermine the standing of an elected official.
War is serious business. It’s too important to be left to amateurs.

Exclusive Text of President Obama’s Awkwardly Timed Syria Speech

New York Magazine ^ | 9/10

Tonight at 9 p.m. EST, President Obama will deliver live, televised remarks on Syria from the White House. Daily Intelligencer has secured a copy of this speech, as prepared for address.

Good evening. Tonight I had hoped to speak directly to you, the American people, as your president and commander-in-chief, about the necessity of taking military action against the Assad regime in Syria. I was going to talk all about why bombing Syria was not only a moral obligation, but also squarely in our national interests. That's what I had planned to do when we scheduled this speech last week.
But then, as many of you know, John Kerry sort of accidentally proposed yesterday that President Assad could avoid retribution if he agreed to give up his chemical weapons. To our surprise, Syria is into it, as is its close ally Russia. Suddenly we're in the midst of figuring out a diplomatic solution to this crisis. Just a few hours ago, Syria declared its intention to join the international treaty banning chemical weapons, and I asked the Senate to delay a vote on military strikes. The situation is changing almost by the minute.
So, with all that being said ... I'm not totally sure what I'm supposed to say here anymore. The military strikes I was going to aggressively argue for tonight may no longer be necessary. Then again, they might be, if these diplomatic talks fall apart. We definitely need to do something about Syria, I'm just not sure what. You can see my dilemma.
What people don't know is that once you reserve ten minutes of prime-time television, they don't let you back out, for any reason. It's crazy.
You know what? Joe said something pretty spot-on about Syria the other day. What was it ... oh, right. "Barack, if the American people don't" ... no, wait ... how did it go? Ah, crap. I can't remember. Well, it was good.
Did anyone watch Monday Night Football last night? Those were some okay games. I'm really excited about this season.
Okay, well, that about wraps 'er up. Let me get back to you about Syria, because again, we're really right in the middle of this thing. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Burn! Sen. Lindsey Graham, ‘Leader of the Surrender Caucus.’

thedailybeast.com ^ | 9/10/13 | David Catanese

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Talk about Southern hospitality.
Famed Democratic strategist Pat Caddell swept into South Carolina on Monday night, blistered Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, and then insulted the people who put him in office.
And he was rewarded for his bravado with a round of hearty applause and laughter.
“Lindsey Graham is the effective leader of the surrender caucus of the Republican Party,” Cadell proclaimed during a fiery speech before the Charleston Meeting, a monthly gathering of conservative activists hosted at the swanky Harbour Club in downtown Charleston.
“And I don’t know how he works with the public in South Carolina, but I saw all of the people who’ve endorsed him for reelection. Frankly, he’s as close to a Democrat as you can get in South Carolina,” he said, evoking a smattering of chuckles from the audience.
But Caddell wasn’t chuckling—or even smiling, for that matter. The former adviser to President Jimmy Carter, now a Fox News analyst, seemed determined to go further than just lob barbs at another “feckless” politician; his tirade was aimed at the voters complicit in his reelection.
“You’re not going to like it, but you people are responsible for it, and you get the country you deserve because you allow these people to take you for a ride,” Caddell blasted.
More applause.
Dubbing Graham—who faces reelection for a third term next year—a wimp may seem ironic at a time he’s leading the charge for military intervention in Syria. But Cadell’s “surrender” remark referred to the senator’s unwillingness to challenge President Obama on his appointments.
Why didn’t Graham put the brakes on a “corrupt and radical” nominee for Labor secretary or protest liberal National Labor Relations Board picks? How did Susan Rice and Samantha Power get a pass after their culpability in Benghazi, an obsession of Graham’s?
(Excerpt) Read more at thedailybeast.com ...

NOW Obama wants Congress to delay Syria vote!

Politico ^ 

Obama wants Congress to delay Syria vote
By: Jennifer Epstein and Manu Raju September 10, 2013 11:06 AM EDT

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wants Congress to delay its efforts to vote on authorizing the use of force in response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons until the round of diplomatic efforts that began this week has a chance to play out.
Obama’s comments came at lunch meetings with senators, which followed the administration’s commitment to engage in talks at the United Nations, and as Syria and Russia quickly responded to the action at the UN with their own statements and requests.
“We’re going to continue to work moving forward on this but keeping pronounced — and I pronounce it now — that the credible threat of our doing something about this attack is going to remain,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the president’s 75-minute meeting with Senate Democrats. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) added that a Senate vote on the use of force would be delayed until next week, at the earliest.
Efforts to reach an agreement at the UN began Tuesday, as France proposed a Security Council resolution that Russia quickly dismissed as “unacceptable,” before Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Obama to renounce the use of force.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...

Ted Cruz tele-town hall drums up support for defunding Obamacare

Houston Chronicle ^ | Sept 10, 2013

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, long an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, took to the air waves Monday night in a phone call with his constituents to rally up support for defunding it, calling on Congress to refuse to pass a budget later this month if the healthcare plan is included in it.
Lost in the tension surrounding potential military action in Syria — and its sudden change of plans with Russia’s involvement — is the persistent fight of several Republican lawmakers, Cruz included, to demolish the 2010 law and its ongoing requirements.
In a tele-town hall Monday evening sponsored by Empower Texans, a nonprofit organization advocating fiscal responsibility, Cruz spoke about his concerns and suggestions to repeal Obamacare, which he said was “the single biggest job killer in this country and poses an enormous threat to the economic health and well-being of the nation.”
House leaders have crafted a proposal that would specify the repeal of Obamacare and plan to include it in the government’s continuing resolution to fund itself through the first few months of the next fiscal year. Cruz advocated this plan Monday night, saying it places pressure on the Democrats.
“This is different because this actually has teeth,” Cruz said. “This actually has a real chance of working.”
As a funding deadline for the federal government nears at the end of the month, Republicans are trying to use the budget proposal as leverage to abolish Obamacare. Legislators will have to develop a budget bill by Oct. 1 to avoid a government shutdown.
Cruz said it will bring Obamacare back to the center of the funding debate and added, “I have pledged under no circumstances will I support a resolution that funds even one penny of Obamacare.”
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.chron.com ...

Wait for it


Going in circles


It's Strange




If only...


Obama's War


Two Allies


Don't Ask!






Blame Game


Disloyal Subject






War is cool?


The Lowest Forms




A Traitor


Hornet's Nest


On Vacation!






War Lite


Putin Makes a Grand Offer to Help Obama? Has Anyone Figured This Out?

9/10/2013 | Nikos1121

I’ve been thinking about this all night...It doesn’t make sense to me. Does anyone else feel the same way I do?
Putin is very very quick, almost too quick, to offer the INternational control of weapons IMMEDIATELY after Kerry’s faux Paux. Why?
I don't think in the least that he fears Obama, or even respects the man as his equal. So why would he make an offer that on the surface will ultimately make Obama look good esp in the eyes of the media, and make him looks like he caved to Obama's threats?
Anyone over the age of 40 kows that the Russians are and always will be liars. They will promise anything to get what they want.
I say this whole thing is set up to expose Obama for the phony he is in this matter. It is not an offer made by a man who fears Obama. To the contrary, I believe that it's an empty offer that intends to ultimately embarrass Obama in the media even more so than he has been.
Think about this. The administration at first says Kerry's comments were rhetorical, giving us the idea that Kerry messed up, but then pundits spin this to sound like Obama got the Russians to do this, and now Obama is taking credit for it. Hillary steps in too.
Makes no sense. Sounds to me like a sly move by Putin that in the end will undermine Obama even more.
I can't help but think that Putin is toying with us, and Obama and company are falling right into it. Why would the Russians be afraid of Obama esp when he says this is going to be an extremely small bombing.
So why did he offer this?
Let’s think this through. WHy would Putin make this offer, unless his intelligence has made it very clear that Obama is using the chemical weapons as a pretense to rally support to bomb Syria and support the MB fight against Syria.
I think that PUtin knows it's got nothing to do with chemical weapons, and to prove it he immediately offers to take that issue off the table.
Now the ball is back in Obama’s court and the MSM can applaud him as there should no longer be an issue for war. The media already are saying Obama is the smartest guy in the room. He got the Russians to cave without firing a shot. Game should be over, right?
WRONG. The Saudi’s, Obama etc want regime change in Syria. It’s not about dying babies and chemical weapons. It’s about regime change and supporting the MB. Same game as in Libya and Egypt.
Boy, I would think Obama is fuming about this. NOw he's called out by the Russians and there's again no where to hide for him. If the Russians and Syrians say we're removing the weapons, the whole matter should be over.
So the Russians figure Obama will back off on his threat to bomb. What will the Russians do? They can spin this all they want for as long as they want. I predict that they will take their fine time on this. Weeks, months maybe a year. Hahahaha.
Why do I picture Putin over there with this big grin on his face. He's thinking, I'll not only beat Obama on any battle field because I know that man is a coward, but I'll beat him in the social media as well.
Does anyone actually believe that Assad will destroy his chemical weapons? Who will watch over the weapons? Hey, I got an idea, how about the Russians? Maybe they'll offer to do so in fact, I'm sure that's all part of it.
And just a thought. What if after some international scrutiny it turns out the chemical weapons came from Iraq, from Saddam? Then what? Don't think Kerry and company would like that information to get out now would they.
I'm asking for Freepers to give me their take on this. I'm saying Putin has pulled a remarkable gambit move here. I say he'll promise anything to put Obama on the spot to back off his threats, in turn exposing Obama. Putin knows the media now will run with this.
Like I said, no one with any intelligence actually believes that Obama wants to bomb Syria because of the chemical weapons. Bob Menedez, Kerry and all the other simpletons can say all they want about dying babies. I say bull.
This whole thing is predicated on the clear assumption that Assad unleashed the weapons. Where is the proof? If he did then why would he offer to destroy them or to even render them unusable. Show the American public the proof.
The whole thing on the surface makes no sense unless you start by realizing this is about Obama's long term covert support for the MB and to do what the Saudi's want him to do.
Hey Henry Kessinger, Charles Krauthammer anyone! What the heck is going on here? Please tell us.