Category Archives: Health Care Reform

Roberts Rules Again…Poorly

Now comes news that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has doubled down on his middle finger to the American citizenry by turning away – without comment, which the SCOTUS gets to do – an emergency stay request, filed by the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons and the Alliance for Natural Health USA, to block the implementation of Obamacare.

In an almost ignored story, FOX News reports:

“Chief Justice John Roberts turned away without comment Monday an emergency stay request from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, Inc. and the Alliance for Natural Health USA.

“They asked the chief justice Friday to temporarily block the law, saying Congress had passed it incorrectly by starting it in the Senate instead of the House. Revenue-raising bills are supposed to originate in the lower chamber. They also wanted blocked doctor registration requirements they say will make it harder for independent non-Medicare physicians to treat Medicare-eligible patients.

“Still pending is a decision on a temporary block on the law’s contraceptive coverage requirements, which was challenged by a group of nuns.”

With an overwhelming number of Americans standing against the implementation of this law, an ever increasing realization of consequences that make the law he most expensive entitlement program ever launched, and the Obama Administration’s unconstitutional manipulation of the law’s provision via executive caveat, Chief Justice Roberts had a golden opportunity to rectify his atrocious ruling that allowed for this law to become binding to the American people. Again, Mr. Roberts has cheated the American people from the benefits of constitutional justice.

Article I, Section 7 of the US Constitution states clearly:

“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills…”

That The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) originated out of the US House of Representatives as the Service Members Home Ownership Act (HR3590), which has absolutely nothing – nothing – to do with health insurance mandates or so-called reforms. Per the Obama Administration’s own Justice Department rebuttal to a suit brought on the same subject by the Pacific Legal Foundation:

“…attorneys for the Justice Department argue that the bill originated as House Resolution 3590, which was then called the Service Members Home Ownership Act. After passing the House, the bill was stripped in a process known as ‘gut and amend’ and replaced entirely with the contents of what became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“Using HR3590 as a ‘shell bill’ may be inelegant, but it’s not unconstitutional, according to the government motion.”

So, the Obama Administration admits that the bill was foisted on the American people disingenuously and nefariously, Justice Roberts ruled it a tax, and yet Roberts refuses to allow the Supreme Court to hear a case that examines and rules on the constitutionality of exactly the unconstitutional aspects everyone says exist.

The big question is this. Why is Chief Justice John Roberts running interference for the Obama Progressives?

Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution states:

“The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”

One has to ask, with the caveat that Supreme Court Justices “shall hold their offices during good behaviour” we should all be asking – and asking our elected officials: What shall be done about Chief Justice Roberts; “bad behaviour”?

Don’t you Dare Talk Healthcare for the Holidays!

This is really a new low for President Box o’Rocks, and that’s saying a lot.

Not only is he corrupting the country and bringing us down to a level below Canada, now he wants to hijack Christmas. He wants his Kool-Aid drinking minions to talk about how great Obamacare is during Christmas dinner. His operatives have also provided talking points and strategery for those who may have a hard time getting the conversation started. The talking points are printer-friendly, too, so you can print them on recycled paper which I will then snatch out of your hand to wipe my rear end with, because I have two words for anybody who is jazzed about doing their part for the president:

F*** you. F*** Obama. And f*** you again.

I’ve really had it this time.

Obama, what on earth makes you think this is a good idea? Is your agenda and ideology all that you think of? What am I saying, of course it is! And this tactic proves it. I bet you have your chest puffed out and you’re strutin’ ’round really pleased with this bit of ingenuity.

You’re a Grinch, plain and simple.

Be advised. If anybody within five feet of me during this holiday season even dares to talk to me about Obamacare, you’re gonna get a mouthful that will make you weep. I will make you feel so low you’ll have to jump off a curb to commit suicide. And when I make your momma cry too, I’ll tell her she should have had an abortion. I’ll tell her that her own mother should have had an abortion to spare us the misery.

I’ve really, really had it this time.

All I want to do is relax and enjoy my holiday and the coming end of the year where we get to reflect and start fresh in January. January always smells new, and I look forward to it like one looks forward to a rare steak. I will not tolerate anything that gets in the way, but progressive idiots seem hell-bent on doing just that.

Well two can play at this game.

The problem, Obama, is that you announced your plan. Others refined your plan. This is why you’re stupid. Now the opposition can prepare.

I encourage all of you to be prepared.

Of course, it’s one thing to talk, it’s another to actually act, and I daresay even the most left-leaning radicals among our families will bother. Deep down I think even they know this is a dumb idea, but there’s always a ringer. Always a ringer. So be prepared for the ringer. Let him have it. And then conk him over the head and cut off his beard. Lefty “males” always have beards. The women, too.

Lies. Damned Lies. And Obamacare Statistics

Carnac: The software that knows what you want to spend before you spend it.

Carnac: The software that knows what you want to spend before you spend it.

The latest batch of October statistics from the Obama White House credits me with buying a Mercedes, BMW and an Audi. And the best part is it didn’t cost me a dime! All I did was take three test drives and here I am: A GDP–generating fool.

This flexible interpretation of window–shopping and tire–kicking has great potential for the future. I’m thinking about taking credit for job creation when I get a haircut or have my car washed. With just a bit more attention to my personal appearance I could find states competing to offer me subsidies and tax breaks like Terry McAuliffe got from Mississippi.

And wouldn’t you know it, this conceptual breakthrough started with Obamacare and the HealthCare.dud website.

Some of my conservative colleagues complained when Obama minions began counting people who only visited the HealthCare.dud website and selected a plan, but didn’t pay for it as Official Obamacare Enrollees. These stalwarts contend that until the victim has actually paid for the plan there is no sale and consequently no enrollment, regardless of how much they need the insurance or how many hours they wasted on the website.

What’s more, if we let Obama get away with this, soon people who only thought about health insurance would be counted as part of the system.

The private sector equivalent of this new White House statistical interpretation would be Amazon.com counting items still on shopper’s ‘wish lists’ as being revenue generating sales; and then releasing the information to Wall Street so as to drive up the stock price.

Since he’s not president, the result would be Jeff Bezos facing charges, while Obama merely faces a hostile — make that mildly annoyed — press corps that is having trouble coming up with new excuses for the president’s failures.

The conservative objection, while true, misses the larger point. Based on the Phantom Obamacare Enrollee Precedent, when I buy my 2013 copy of TurboTax and fill out the form, I should be counted as having paid my taxes without sending the IRS a check!

I call it my own private sequester. And when you consider how the number of people who take more from the government than they pay in taxes is increasing, it finally puts me on the right side of history.

The Obamacare rollout — or ground out, if you prefer — does have implications for Obama’s future after the White House. If he’s as smart as the MSM assures us, Obama will steer clear of the private sector. That’s because if he tried the same marketing tactics outside of government, he would be subject to fines and possibly jail time.

As Orson Swindle, a Federal Trade Commission member from 1997 to 2005, pointed out in the National Review the HealthCare.dud website is deceptive, misleading and illegal. Jay Carney’s “wild west” indeed.

You may recall a recent furor over airline websites that were allegedly hiding baggage and other add–on fees until just before the consumer purchased the ticket. “Consumer advocates” and other busybodies complained that by waiting until the end of the purchase process to give the consumer a total price, airlines were trying to pull a fast one.

Airlines responded that where else would you give a total price unless it was at the end of the purchase process?

And besides the Carnac the Magnificent software was not ready for launch. Protests fell on deaf government ears and the FTC required the websites to be reprogrammed to sound a klaxon and flash red lights every time a consumer made a choice that would add more than a nickel to the ticket price.

Soon shopping for a big–ticket airfare came to resemble crash–diving in a submarine.

Yet the HealthCare.dud site is programmed to hide any cost information until after the consumer has created an account and been forced to divulge detailed financial information. And even then the information is purposely inaccurate.

As Swindle says, quoting CBS News, “HealthCare.gov contains a pricing feature that tends to “dramatically underestimate” the cost of insurance. The website’s “shop and browse” feature divides users into two broad age categories: “49 or under” and “50 or older.” Price estimates for the first age group are based on what a 27-year-old could expect to pay, whereas as the latter group’s price estimates are based on what a 50-year-old would pay, a practice that inevitably produces wildly misleading results for individuals significantly older than the base age. In some cases, actual premiums are nearly double the projected amount.”

Swindle concludes, “The bottom line is that no private entity would be allowed to get away with what the Obama administration is trying to get away with.”

And we haven’t even mentioned the “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it” shuffle.

The bad news is we have conservative busybodies, too. Rep. Fred Upton (R–MI) — descendant of Civil War hero Gen. Emory Upton — passed a bill in the House to allow insurers to continue to sell policies that the feds have canceled. What’s more, Upton persuaded 39 Democrats to join him in supporting this “bi–partisan” legislation. (Unfortunately for comity in the House, the bill must have passed on the weekend, because I don’t remember any praise for Upton from the MSM for reaching across the aisle to garner Democrat support.)

Too bad this is exactly the wrong thing to do.

If we are to rid ourselves of this Obamacare monstrosity, it will only come after the pressure on Democrats is so great they beg for political mercy. And that will only happen after all those who didn’t take time to read the law, feel the impact of the law.

Interim fix–its to reduce the pain undermine what should be conservative’s long term goal, which is end it, not mend it.

Obamacare’s Strays

!cid_image004_jpg@01CEDFF3

The stories from Gop.gov/yourstory continue to roll in at an alarming rate. As we have all seen, millions of Americans continue to receive notices informing them that their current insurance plans will no longer be offered under Obamacare. The House Republican Conference has compiled a short video, embargoed until 9:00 a.m. EST,  highlighting some of these Americans.  Please take a minute to watch and share with your readers.

Sun Tzu predicted Republicans’ and Tea Partiers’ defeat over 2,500 years ago

suntzusartofwar

Well before the government shutdown had begun, I knew it was a supremely stupid idea and a fight that would gain nothing for Republicans and the Tea Party (other than further damage of their image in the American people’s eyes), and I warned my friends on Facebook who thought it was a good idea they were wrong.

On October 11th, after 10 days of the shutdown, CDN published my article explaining, in detail, why the government shutdown was a foolish idea, why there was nothing to be gained from it, why it was impossible to repeal or defund Obamacare while Obama is still wielding a veto pen (and a 55-seat Senate majority), and why Republicans need to first win the argument, then win the vote, and only then make policy. I also predicted Republicans would eventually cave in.

I was right, and those who argued otherwise, including Tea Partiers, were dead wrong. But another man had predicted Republicans’ and Tea Partiers’ defeat much earlier – in fact, over 2,500 years ago. His name is Sun Tzu.

Yes, that Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese general and strategist who authored the world’s first military treatise, the Art of War, a masterpiece that inspired leaders as diverse as Emperor Qinshi Huangdi, Oda Nobunaga, Togo Heihachiro, Douglas MacArthur, Vo Nguyen Giap, and Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf.

Contained in this succint treatise that would fit on 13 pages of A4 paper today are the keys to victory in all competitive endeavors – war, business, sports… and politics.

And this masterwork, completed sometime in the 6th century or the early 5th century BC, explains nicely why various battles and wars throughout history have ended they way they have. Including Republicans’ and Tea Partiers’ recent Obamacare debacle.

Basically, in virtually every case in history, the losing side ignored at least one, if not more, of Sun Tzu’s teachings, or the winning side successfully utilized the principles he taught.

In this case, we can see that going into the government shutdown battle, Republicans and Tea Partiers cavalierly disregarded not one, not two, but SEVERAL of Master Sun’s teachings, to their detriment.

Sun Tzu wrote:

“Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.” – Chapter XII, verse 17

“Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: (1) He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.” – ch. III, v. 17

“There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must be not attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed.” – ch. VIII, v. 3

Yet, Republicans started a battle they never had any chance of winning, a battle they were doomed to lose, at the wrong time and the wrong place against a much stronger, well-entrenched enemy, a battle from which there was nothing to be gained.

Intelligent people, such as Dr. Charles Krauthammer and this writer, warned Republicans even before the shutdown that there was no way they could’ve defunded Obamacare from one house of Congress, because the Senate would never pass, and Obama would never sign into law, a bill or resolution defunding his sole legislative “achievement” – so there was no way they’d agree to doing so even if the shutdown took place – which it did, and Obama still didn’t agree to defund Obamacare.

Indeed, Obama and the Democrats, not Republicans, were the only side that could’ve gained anything from the shutdown – an opportunity to portray Republicans as extremists who want to send the country into havoc.

Sun Tzu wrote:

“The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

These are:

(1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth; (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.

The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.” – Ch. I, v. 3-4.

These aqre the five constant factors governing warfare and determining who wins and loses. It is no coincidence that the first factor Sun Tzu lists is “Moral Law” – or, as translated by Samuel Griffith (I’m otherwise quoting the Lionel Giles translation here), “Moral Influence” – in other words, popular support, i.e. moral support from the general populace.

This is a crucial factor for victory in virtually every war, even for dictatorships – this is why America had to withdraw ignominiously from Vietnam and Iraq and is now withdrawing from Afghanistan – because the American people no longer support these wars. Even Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, under popular (and financial) pressure, had to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989 after 10 years of fruitless fighting.

Popular support is even more important for those fighting in the political arena, especially in democratic countries (i.e. those with democratically-elected governments). If Republicans want to ever retake the Senate and the White House, let alone enact their policies, they must enjoy thef support of a majority of Americans.

Yet, by starting the government shutdown, Republicans and Tea Partiers have only alienated large swathes of the American electorate, already largely unfriendly to them in 2012. Most Americans do oppose Obamacare in principle – but not to the point they want the federal government to shut down.

Moreover, according to Gallup, a significant majority of Americans wants Republicans and Democrats to compromise (yes, that dreaded c-word), and according to another poll (not by Gallup), 51% of Americans say Republicans should just “get over the fact that Obamacare is the law.” Also, according to Gallup polling, by far the biggest criticism levied by most Americans (and a plurality of Republicans) against the GOP is that it is too inflexible and too unwilling to compromise.

Sun Tzu wrote:

“If the enemy occupies high ground, do not attack him; with his back resting on hills, do not oppose him.” – ch. VII, v. 26 in the Griffith translation

Yet, Republicans have attacked a much stronger enemy who was occupying high ground – a President Obama wielding a veto pen and controlling the whole executive branch and a 55-seat Senate majority. In addition, the public opinion sided mostly with Obama on the government shutdown, even though it does not approve of Obamacare itself. Even before the shutdown, Obama had approval ratings much better than those of Congressional Republicans and the Tea Party, above 40%. Today, Obama still has approval ratings above 40% – at 43% according to Gallup. While these ratings are nothing to boast about (his disapproval ratings vary from the high forties to the low fifties), they are still way better than those of Congressional Republicans, their leaders, and the Tea Party.

Republicans made the same foolish mistake they made in 1995: they tried to implement a radical change (in this case, repeal or defunding of a newly-enacted major law) while controlling only the Congress, and without a veto-proof majority, while a Democratic president wielded a veto pen. This time the mistake was all the more foolish, because Republicans controlled only one chamber of Congress.

Republicans were hardly the first “army” to attack an enemy occupying high ground. The Union Army did so in 1862 at Fredericksburg and the Confederate Army at Gettysburg in 1863. That latter battle arguably, in the long run, cost the Confederates the war. The Confederacy is no more any longer. The same could very well happen to the GOP.

Sun Tzu wrote:

“When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. ” – ch. X, v. 16.

“If soldiers are punished before they have grown attached to you, they will not prove submissive; and, unless submissive, then will be practically useless. If, when the soldiers have become attached to you, punishments are not enforced, they will still be useless.

Therefore soldiers must be treated in the first instance with humanity, but kept under control by means of iron discipline. This is a certain road to victory.

If in training soldiers commands are habitually enforced, the army will be well-disciplined; if not, its discipline will be bad.

If a general shows confidence in his men but always insists on his orders being obeyed, the gain will be mutual.” – ch. IX, v. 42-45.

“When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is insubordination. When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is collapse.

When the higher officers are angry and insubordinate, and on meeting the enemy give battle on their own account from a feeling of resentment, before the commander-in-chief can tell whether or not he is in a position to fight, the result is ruin.

When the general is weak and without authority; when his orders are not clear and distinct; when there are no fixed duties assigned to officers and men, and the ranks are formed in a slovenly haphazard manner, the result is utter disorganization.” – ch. X, v. 16-18.

Clearly a big factor in Speaker Boehner’s and Leader McConnell’s defeat was the large, undisciplined, insubordinate contingent of radical Republicans (Tea Party Republicans) in Congress, led by Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in the Senate and by Congressmen Raul Labrador, Justin Amash, and Mick Mulvaney in the House. With soldiers like that, no military commander, not even Sun Tzu, would’ve been able to win any battle.

These Congressmen and Senators – most of them very young and very inexperienced (Cruz has been in the Senate only since January, Paul since 2011) – are arrogant, overconfident, and very aggressive in their demands. Yet, despite their junior status, they have been able to hold the GOP Congressional Leadership hostage due to their large numbers. So in the Republican “Army”, the common soldiers are too strong and the officers are too weak. There is disunity in Republican ranks. The commanding generals – J0hn Boehner and Mitch McConnell – are weak and without authority within their contingents.

That is so because they – at least until recently – have failed to keep their troops “under control by means of iron discipline”, which, according to Sun Tzu, is “the certain road to victory.” They have failed to insist on the GOP’s leadership’s orders being enforced with stern discipline; they have failed, until recently, to punish those radical Republicans who aren’t team players, insist on unattainable non-negotiable demands, disrupt the work of the Congress, and don’t support the party’s agenda.

In January, the GOP House Caucus removed four such insubordinate, disruptive Republicans (including Justin Amash) from key committees. Conservative media hysterically called it a purge; in fact, it was a minor and long overdue correction. A purge would’ve meant removing all insubordinate and disruptive Congressmen from all key committees. Likewise, Mitch McConnell has only now belatedly begun to fight back against pseudo-conservative groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund, the “Club for Growth”, and FreedomWorks by denying NRSC contracts to companies that also do business with these groups. These radical organizations claim to be conservative, but in reality, they only serve to get more Democrats elected and to advance their agenda by targeting mainstream-but-not-radical Republicans whom they don’t consider “pure enough” and by ensuring that totally unelectable fringe candidates (like Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Ken Buck) win GOP primaries and then lose general elections.

And yet, it was not until this month that McConnell began taking action against these groups.

One’s own soldiers must be treated humanely, but also kept under control by means of iron discipline, as Sun Tzu wrote.

Sun Tzu wrote:

“Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy. To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself. (…) Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.” – ch. IV, v. 1-2 and 15

Yet, Republicans started a battle before devising any plan to win it. They went into battle without any plan to win. Like all other vanquished armies in history, they first fought and then sought victory – exactly the wrong order.

Had Republicans and Tea Partiers been wise people, they would’ve first devised a plan for victory, then would’ve created the conditions for triumph (which would necessarily mean retaking the Senate and the WH), and only then would’ve fought.

Thus you can see why Republicans lost – and were doomed to lose – the government shutdown battle against Obama, and how Sun Tzu predicted their defeat over 2,500 years ago. Republicans and Tea Partiers will continue to suffer further defeats if they continue to recklessly ignore Sun Tzu’s wise advice.

Let Master Sun have the last word here, across 2,500 years of time:

“The general that hearkens to my counsel and acts upon it, will conquer: let such a one be retained in command! The general that hearkens not to my counsel nor acts upon it, will suffer defeat:–let such a one be dismissed!”

Obamacare: Enter the Finger Pointing

obamacare_logo_1

obamacare_logo_1It may not be a surprise that Republicans, and some Democrats, are now calling for the resignation or termination of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, given the absolute calamity that is the HealthCare.gov launch. But is the call for her head really fair? Probably not.

It is probably fair to say that no unelected bureaucrat, regardless of party or experience, could possibly keep HHS running smoothly. Forget that half a billion dollars were thrown at building a website – quite possibly the most expensive website launch in the history of the internet – over three years, the idea of a federal bureaucracy delivering a consumer ready product over any amount of time and expense is laughable.

Over the years much has been made of the headaches and hassles involved at the DMV. The DMV is such an easy target it has become a joke frequented by mediocre comedians. And yet, after decades and untold expense, the DMV lines are just as long or longer, and the service is just as bad.

Put frankly, Sebelius was given a task no government bureaucrat could have accomplished. In fact, many don’t realize HHS has the greatest cut of the budgetary pie, consisting of $941 billion, or roughly 25% of the total federal budget. Could anyone, anywhere, oversee the proper spending and allocation of such a huge amount of money? Could anyone possibly claim they not only could ensure the money was spent wisely, but that the services provided would be of the top quality?

If launching a website is too monumental a task for the all-powerful federal government, what will we get from the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” (IPAB)? This was the “death panel” Sarah Palin made so famous. IPAB submits “recommendations” to Congress which automatically take effect unless a supermajority can override them. Which is to say, 15 unelected directors will decide what services should be cut, suspended or done away with. Those decisions, by the way, are exempted from administrative or judicial review.

HealthCare.gov isn’t a disaster because Secretary Sebelius is incompetent, though she very well may be, but because this is the inevitable results of big government. The members of Congress now demanding Sebelius’ head have found a handy scapegoat, but a disingenuous one. If the GOP has any sense left at all, they will hold up HealthCare.gov as a perfect example, a living example, of exactly why big government can never work. Fingers should be pointed for this debacle, but they should be pointed at the very people who brought us Obamacare: the Democrats in Congress and President Obama.

How Advice from Three Frenchmen Could Have Won the Shutdown Battle

Don't let the floppy hats fool you. The Three Musketeers could have helped during the Shutdown fight.

Don’t let the floppy hats fool you. The Three Musketeers could have helped during the Shutdown fight.

Speaker John Boehner is the Adm. Karl Dönitz of Republican politics. Hemmed in on one side by the pounding batteries of the Mainstream Media and on the other by a mob of howling leftists eager to send him to a self–criticism session on MSNBC — Boehner desperately tries to negotiate a surrender to Supreme Commander Obama that will leave him with a shred of dignity and continued access to the Congressional tanning bed.

What really sticks in Boehner’s craw is the realization he’s going to be stuck with the blame for the shutdown defeat! He warned the caucus what would happen if they followed a strategy designed by crazy people. But no, they were intoxicated by the crowds at the rallies and stem–winders on the Senate floor. Victory was at hand!

Yet now the loonies are out of the picture and here Boehner sits in the ruins of the Shutdown Bunker wondering if Harry Reid will allow him to smoke at the signing ceremony.

That’s what Boehner gets for trying to fight a two–front war. The struggle over Obamacare should have been either the continuing resolution shutdown or the debt ceiling. Not a bizarre push–me­—pull–you that blurred the two issues and made the public think the country hitched a ride with Thelma & Louise.

Giving credit where credit is due, Boehner started out well. The House GOP passed the initial continuing resolution with everything funded but Obamacare and sent the bill to the Senate where is disappeared like it was term limits legislation. So the government was at impasse.

It’s possible that if Boehner had donned a turban and started enriching uranium, Obama would have agreed to negotiate with him, but there wasn’t enough time to install the necessary number of centrifuges in the Rayburn office building.

During past shutdowns our leaders attempted to limit the inconvenience. This was a policy the Obama Administration could not afford to follow, as I pointed out last week, because after losing the sequester a painless shutdown would help make the case for even smaller government.

That’s why the Spite House made sure this shutdown hurt as many civilian bystanders as possible. Collateral damage was the order of the day. In total disregard of negative publicity Obama used his human drones in the Park Police to close the WWII monument, national parks, private businesses, roads, athletic fields and anything else they could get away with.

It drove Obama’s approval rating down to Jimmy Carter Land at 37 percent, which is an all time low for the light bringer. Yet he held firm, ironically enough employing the Nixon “madman” strategy. As Nixon once said, “I call it the Madman Theory… I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, “for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button.”

The only difference is Obama — totally lacking a foreign policy — uses the Madman theory to intimidate his Republican domestic opposition. It’s remarkable that a fellow who wears mom jeans and would probably have trouble bench-pressing a juice box, is so eager to roll the dice when other’s futures are at stake.

So as the nation’s busy borrowers at the Treasury threatened to crash into an unyielding debt ceiling, Boehner was genuinely worried that Madman Barack might actually cause the country to default, if it meant he would win the confrontation.

So Boehner blinked and surrendered.

Here is where the Frenchmen could have provided the margin of victory.

If only Boehner had employed the Three Musketeer Strategy the county and the GOP would have won in the long run. The Three Musketeer’s motto was: One for All & All for One.

Instead of allowing craven porkmeister Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–I’m not for sale, but I rent cheap) to seize the agenda and pass a combination government funding and debt ceiling agreement, Boehner should have had the House pass a bill that did that AND required everyone, every company and every member of Congress and their staff to submit to Obamacare this year without any waivers.

One for All & All for One; with the “All” in this instance being Obamacare. That way the fight is still about Obama’s signature bill, the one he shut down the government to save, but in a brilliant bit of political ju–jitsu his bill is turned against him.

Making the entire country suffer under the full Obamacare this year would have resulted in a disaster at the polls for Democrats in 2014. What’s more, the administration knows it, which is why it exempted employers from the mandate until AFTER the election.

Even better the Three Musketeer bill has the virtue of simplicity: all the money and all the Obamacare. With only two elements the MSM could not bury coverage of the Obamacare waiver removal, as it buried Obama’s plunging poll ratings. (Most poll stories trumpeted declining GOP ratings in the headlines and only mentioned the new low for Obama as a passing aside.)

A Three Musketeers bill would have been a poison pill for the administration. Signing it means a disaster at the polls next year. Not signing it and defaulting because Republicans were too bi–partisan and Obama didn’t want his signature bill to take effect for everyone would be a PR disaster even the MSM could not ignore. And Democrats would still face a wipeout in 2014. All victory would have required was for Boehner to hold fast regardless of Obama’s choice.

If the signature bill of the president is so good for the country, as the MSM claims, then Republicans should have done their best to make sure the nation gets it, as H. L. Mencken used to say, “good and hard.” After all, what’s wrong with using “settled law” to unsettle the populace?

Do we know how bad HealthCare.gov really is yet?

For the past two and a half weeks – sadly partially silenced by the government shutdown and debt ceiling drama – Obamacare as an information system has been melting down since enrollment in the “exchanges” or “marketplaces” for health insurance went live at the HealthCare.gov website on October 1, 2013. It’s clear that the situation is bad, and is starting to alarm even the most forgiving to the President and his policies, as liberal Statist sites like The Huffington Post  publish articles with titles like “Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage for Millions of Americans”.

The actual file name of that post is simply delicious: “obamacare-train-wreck_n_4118041.html”.

We’re starting to see lots of material being published about how HealthCare.gov came into being, and either baffled disappointment or a sense of “what else did you expect?” at how a web application project that as much as $634 million has been spent on can’t handle user loads, deliver simple web pages, or manage to correctly display drop-down list box contents, much less enroll millions of uninsured Americans for soon-to-be-universally-mandated health coverage.

It’s also been reported that of the people who have managed to actually not have HealthCare.gov error on them and get themselves enrolled that incorrect information has been passed to the insurers via the government’s website and that possible compromises of personal information (leaving enrollees vulnerable to identity theft) have both occurred.

I work in information technology, and while I’m not a software developer, I’ve got a very good handle on the architecture and design that multi-tier application systems employ, of which Obamacare’s HealthCare.gov certainly is one. For those who aren’t as familiar, multi-tier applications use “front ends” (a website through which you enter or view data, for example) and “back ends” (databases or other systems for storing and organizing data). In between the front end and the back end is normally “middleware”; software that analyzes or processes data as it is inputted into the front end or retrieves data from the back end and formats it for the front end user to see. Based on the common problems reported with healthcare.gov thus far, I think it’s obvious that inter-tier communications between layers of the application are responsible for many of the failures.

It’s not like multi-tier applications are anything new. I’ve been working on multi-tier application systems for over sixteen years. Well, it appears that some software developers might need some remedial education on the programming languages, development tools, and multi-tier systems they’re working with. It certainly seems that interfacing with government-produced, supplied, or owned software components designed specifically for information exchange between applications or application tiers are a challenge for some.

Michelle Ray (Twitter’s @GaltsGirl) drew my attention to a support forum post on the Java.net site from September 4, 2013. I’m pretty sure that the author of the thread-opening post is Srini Dhanam, who according to his page on LinkedIn works for a web site called GetInsured.com. They describe themselves as, “the nation’s easiest way to shop for health insurance. Since 2005, we’ve helped more than 2 million people find the health insurance policies that best fit their needs and their budget.” Sounds like they were a private sector (gasp!) health insurance “exchange” before government had the brilliant idea they had to be, uh, invented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Mr. Dhanam is probably in the clear as far as the HealthCare.gov debacle goes for that site directly, but his support forum post indicates use of application code or programming objects that derive from government sources. One namespace URL referred to by the detailed error message he’s trying to get assistance with refers to “applicant-eligibility.ee.ffe.cms.gov” (don’t bother trying to access it; the name does not resolve). However, “cms.gov” is the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responsible for administering Medicare and working in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid. I’m speculating that Mr. Dhanam’s problem could be related to difficulties getting the government’s systems in the multi-tier HealthCare.gov system to interface correctly with private insurers’ systems, which he could be working with or on.

From a data security/information assurance perspective, Dhanam’s use (as he says in his post) of version 7, Update 21 of the Java SDK and corresponding run time environment is also problematic. It expired on July 18, 2013. Version 7, Update 45 is the current release and includes many security fixes for vulnerabilities found in the earlier code.

Another identifiable organization within the post’s content is “NIEM”, the National Information Exchange Model (pronounced like “neam”). NIEM was created in 2005 as an inter-departmental panel to facilitate information sharing standards between government computer systems, and the primary cabinet-level departments who contribute to the organization are HHS, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Is anyone comforted that with an eight-year old developing standard for information sharing standardization between government departments in place, HealthCare.gov is having problems with…information sharing standardization between government departments and the private sector?

Doing some web searches on the “applicant-eligibility.ee.ffe.cms.gov” string led me to a different support forum post that includes it, plus additional references to NIEM. I tried through various approaches, but I couldn’t shed any light on the identity of that thread’s initiator, known by the handle “wbisantosh”. The first responder to his problem though, shed some interesting light on Mr. wibsantosh’s skills as a programmer (click to enlarge):

overyourhead

“Have you attended the training?…[S]eems you are in over your head.” Whether “wibsantosh” is involved in the coding of HealthCare.gov or one of the multitude of systems interfacing with it or not, that still seems like a fitting description of what has produced the horrific user experience of Obamacare thus far..

Lest anyone think a connection here to the actual HealthCare.gov site is tenuous, there’s one more thing I found. If you Google search for just the “ee.ffe” portion of the cms.gov string found from the support posts, the first item returned takes you to…drum roll, please…HealthCare.gov.

I think we’ve only scratched the surface of the technical disaster, from both information technology operational and security perspectives, that is the roll-out of Obamacare.

What do operations in the HealthCare.gov data centers or technical support centers look like? Probably something like this excerpt from the classic 1957 film starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, Desk Set:

AMAC: there’s a ‘foul odor’ coming from the deal to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling

This was no confrontation between them and the Republicans;

it was a showdown between them and the people of this country.

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 18 – “There’s a foul odor emanating from the nation’s capital that should have Americans wrinkling their noses. It’s the stench of a political power-grab undertaken by ideologues intent on usurping the Constitutional rights of the people,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

Weber said the bargain that ended the partial shutdown of the government and raised the nation’s debt limit was a “deal with the devil. We, the people, wanted reasonable concessions in exchange for the extension of credit-things like spending cuts and controls, a health care law that would treat us and those who enacted the law the same way and much-needed checks on the growth and power of government. We got none of these things because President Obama and his Democratic henchmen dug in their heels and refused to negotiate with us. This was no confrontation between them and the Republicans on the Hill; it was a showdown between them and the people of this country. They threatened rack and ruin and forced us to give in.”

But the AMAC chief noted, it may all come back to bite them. For example, he said, even the president’s closest allies were “appalled by his mule-headed intransigence regarding the request for a delay of Obamacare. Some of his friends even went so far as to call him an inept leader. And, it’s made the mainstream media see the light.”

Weber cited the newspapers that endorsed him, like his hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, which editorialized this week saying: “There is a growing mountain of evidence that Obamacare has fundamental problems in design and implementation.”

Weber said that the Tribune went on to say what AMAC has been saying all along: “The administration cut a sweet deal for Congress and its staffers, who will continue to get generous federal subsidies. It has allowed any number of carve-outs for special pleaders. A delay in the individual mandate would not be a special favor to American consumers. It’s a matter of fairness.”

Weber said that Obamacare is only part of the problem. “The president has demanded an unfettered trillion dollar extension of his line of credit in the face of dire warnings that upping the debt limit without spending cuts is lunacy. His own Comptroller, Eugene Louis Dodaro, told him that current spending is ‘unsustainable.’ The president’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, meanwhile warned that the size of our national debt is the greatest threat to our national security. But Mr. Obama remains aloof, seemingly disdainful of anyone who dares to criticize his intrusive authority.”

How Obamacare Screws the Working Class…Hard

Now that it is becoming clear that the establishment House Republicans are about to capitulate to the Senate Democrats and Obama Progressives, it is clear that, short of Republicans taking the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, Obamacare is set to sink into the flesh of the American entitlement system not unlike a bear’s claws sink into the flesh of its prey. Regardless of whether or not the federal healthcare exchange website functions adequately or not (get used to it, it’s government inferiority at work), the bureaucracy has just expanded and your wallets are about to do the opposite.

One of the things that people are going to have to come to understand is how the Internal Revenue Service – yes, the same Internal Revenue Service currently under investigation for targeting Conservative political groups – will be assessing the penalties (read: enforcing Obamacare) on those who choose not to “participate.” The fact of the matter is that it is both less ominous, yet more disturbing, than people think.

The penalties levied under the Affordable Care Act, under the usually heavy hand of the IRS, is not so much under the ACA. In fact, the pathway for extracting the Obamacare penalty from non-participants is exclusive to the garnishment of any federal tax refunds due. If one chooses not to acquire qualifying health insurance, the IRS will withhold the amount of the penalty that must be paid from any federal tax return refund that is owed an individual in violation of the statute.

According to BusinessInsider.com:

The IRS will not have the power to charge you criminally or seize your assets if you refuse to pay. The IRS will only have the ability to sue you. And the most the IRS can collect from you if it wins the suit is 2 times the amount you owe. So if you want to thumb your nose at the penalty-tax, the IRS won’t be able to do as much to you as they could if you refused to pay, say, income tax.

So, unlike when an individual fails to pay their federal income taxes, there won’t be a cadre of black uniformed federal agents armed with fully-automatic weapons kicking in your door in the middle of the night. You won’t be “frog-marched” out of your house in irons, past your disenchanted neighbors, to face the swift righteousness of redistributive social justice (I am being sarcastic, but less so than I would have been just a few years back).

But one question that eludes the thoughts of most people where this matter is concerned is this. What happens if you don’t “participate” in Obamacare but you aren’t due any federal tax refund? What if you are one of the 47 percent who does not pay federal income tax? What if you are über-wealthy and can afford a wizard tax attorney who can figure out how you can “zero out” on your federal taxes each year?

Well, the short answer is this. If you don’t pay federal income tax, technically, you don’t have to pay the fines under the Affordable Care Act. If you are one of the hard-working Americans who has federal taxes withheld from your paycheck – oh, you know, like Middle-Class, blue-collar and union workers not covered by the Executive Branch union carve-outs of the law – you will have to pay the penalty out of your tax refunds. If you are one of the 47 percent of the American public who doesn’t pay federal income taxes, you get to “skate” the Obamacare penalty. Ditto for the “One Percenters.”

One has to wonder whether H&R Block is going to be flooded with new clients trying to figure out how to pay their federal income taxes to the penny throughout the year so that they “zero out.”

And let’s be honesty, the IRS is not going to come after every person who “skates” the $95 dollar (or 1 percent of earnings) penalty being assessed in 2014, even if they did seek to hire upwards of 16,000 new IRS agents since the passage of this freedom-crushing law.

So, when one comes to understand this very stark reality, the obvious question is this. If the indestructible demographic (the 21 to 32 year-old demo) doesn’t sign-up for the Obamacare exchanges in droves – and droves upwards of 80% of their demographic, and 47 percent of the country doesn’t pay federal income taxes, who actually pays for the expanded coverage mandated under the Affordable Care Act? Who is on the hook for Obamacare?

The answer – again – is the Middle-Class, blue-collar and union workers not covered by the Executive Branch union carve-outs of the law…and new taxes on everyone. Again, BusinessInsider.com reports:

Here are some of the new taxes you’re going to have to pay to pay for Obamacare:

A 3.8% surtax on “investment income”( dividends, interest, rent, capital gains, annuities, house sales, partnerships, etc.) when your adjusted gross income is more than $200,000, $250,000 for joint-filers. What is “investment income?” (WSJ)

A 0.9% surtax on Medicare taxes for those making $200,000 or more, $250,000 joint. (WSJ)

Flexible Spending Account contributions will be capped at $2,500. Currently, there is no tax-related limit on how much you can set aside pre-tax to pay for medical expenses. (ATR.org)

The itemized-deduction hurdle for medical expenses is going up to 10% of adjusted gross income. (ATR.org)

The penalty on non-medical withdrawals from Healthcare Savings Accounts is now 20% instead of 10%. (ATR.org)

A tax of 10% on indoor tanning services. This has been in place for two years, since the summer of 2010. (ATR.org)

A 40% tax on “Cadillac Health Care Plans” starting in 2018.Those whose employers pay for all or most of comprehensive healthcare plans (costing $10,200 for an individual or $27,500 for families) will have to pay a 40% tax on the amount their employer pays. (ATR.org)

A”Medicine Cabinet Tax” that eliminates the ability to pay for over-the-counter medicines from a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account. (ATR.org)

A “penalty” tax for those who don’t buy health insurance.

A 2.3% excise tax on medical devices costing more than $100. (Breitbart.com)

So those are some of the new taxes you’ll be paying that will help pay for Obamacare…

Note that these taxes are both “progressive” (aimed at rich people) and “regressive” (aimed at the middle class and poor people).

The cost of this program will not be affordable for the individuals – almost every story but for those who get taxpayer-funded subsidies is one of tripled premiums and deductibles, and it won’t be affordable for the country, especially when the bureaucrats and elitist political class put the price tag of the whole Obamacare ball of infected earwax at approximately $2 trillion dollars.

Now, President Obama is quoted as having said, in an interview with the Spanish-Speaking television network Univision, that:

Once [the budget impasse is rectified], you know, the day after – I’m going to be pushing to say, call a vote on immigration reform…And if I have to join with other advocates and continue to speak out on that, and keep pushing, I’m going to do so because I think it’s really important for the country. And now is the time to do it.

And as the “indestructible” demographic (21-32 years of age) fails to sign-up for the Obamacare exchanges, pro-amnesty Progressives will begin insisting that illegal immigrants (I’m sorry, I mean undocumented uninvited guests) be added to those eligible for Obamacare. Understanding that the 47 percent of those who do not pay federal income tax cannot be fined, and that the One Percenters can affords to have their taxes “zero out,” how long will it be until Progressives scream “crisis” and demand massive, Middle-Class killing. economy destroying, Cloward-Piven-styled tax increases?

Who is John Galt?

Thomas More Society Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Autocam’s Obamacare Case

obamacare_logo_1

KENTWOOD, Mich., Oct. 15, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm, joined forces with Catholic Vote Legal Defense Fund and a Michigan law firm, to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review and reverse the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ recent decision, denying the claims of Autocam, an international automotive manufacturer, and its owners, that Obamacare’s so-called “HHS mandate” abridges their federal constitutional and statutory rights to the free exercise of their religious faith as well as other legal rights. John Kennedy, CEO of Michigan-based family-owned company, Autocam, joined the company as well as its other family owners to urge the Justices to rule that the government has no right to require that Autocam purchase group insurance coverage, providing its employees with morally objectionable contraceptives, including abortifacients (e.g., the so-called abortion pill, Plan B, and “Ella”), and sterilization.

Kennedy and his children, Paul, John, Margaret, and Thomas Kennedy, all faithfully embrace the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that contraception, abortion, and sterilization are serious wrongs. The HHS mandate, therefore, forces these petitioners to flout their deeply held religious convictions and operate their company in a manner that they sincerely hold to constitute grave wrongdoing.

Prior to the government’s implementation of the HHS mandate, Autocam had specifically designed a health insurance plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan to exclude contraception, sterilization, abortion, and abortion-inducing drugs, in full accord and harmony with its owners’ profound religious beliefs.

“Forcing citizens to violate their conscientious religious beliefs makes a mockery of the very notion of religious freedom,” said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. “This cannot be tolerated in a society that professes to honor fundamental civil liberties.” Even apart from the constitutional rights to free exercise of religion and free speech, the company and its owners are also protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which prohibits the federal government from substantially burdening the free exercise of religion, absent a compelling interest for doing so and then only by resort to the least burdensome means. But the petitioners for Supreme Court review contend that providing insurance for birth control or other products or services that are widely available and affordable hardly qualifies as a compelling interest, and that even if that interest were deemed compelling, the government could have opted to use other means — such as providing free contraceptives, abortifacients, or sterilizations free of charge, or subsidizing their cheap and easy accessibility for all those desiring them, without burdening or curtailing anybody else’s religious liberties.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the lawsuit on the ground that conducting business for profit is somehow wholly divorced from the religious beliefs of the business or its owners and operators. But Brejcha criticizes this ruling as reflecting a crabbed and unduly narrow view of religion, confining it to the sacred space inside the four walls of houses of worship. He argues that that morals as well as money-making have a key role to play in the marketplace; that religious faith shapes, informs and sustains one’s morals; and that a robust or meaningful religious faith must be practiced as well as professed in every aspect of life. He concludes, “Indeed, our criminal laws demand that American businesses as well as their owners act in accord with myriad laws designed to serve the public welfare and the common good, rather than maximization of profits. People of faith must not be coerced to check their religious liberties at the door when they enter the commercial marketplace.”

Read the Autocam petition filed with the United States Supreme Court here.

Federal Government: Embarrassing to the Point of Painful

As the so-called “government shutdown” drags on, one thing is hard not to admit: the Obama Administration is acting in a manner that is attempting to extract the maximum amount of pain on the American people. While many are wondering how it came to this point, those of us who actually paid attention in Social Studies, Civics and American History classes – school subjects that are, today, given little, if any, attention –
understand it’s because the US Constitution and the purity of the original governmental process has been raped by the opportunistic political class.

Our nation has always had a robust political discourse, commencing from before we were even a documented nation. We have always been represented by a passionate, spirited political class; strong in their beliefs, but educated and knowledgeable enough to legislate and govern for the good of all the people. Today, this is not the case.

Today, we have a political class that insists on the importance of ideologically motivated political “achievements” over the honest representation of the American people; loyalty to political faction – of which each and every Framer and Founder warned – over loyalty to those who delivered them to power via the ballot box.

Today, we literally have people in the political class that have an inferior command of the English language, an inferior and under-performing understanding of the principles of the Constitution and the Charters of Freedom, and a devotion to Progressivism; a non-indigenous, Marxist-based ideology that believes the State is the Alpha and the Omega; the giver of rights and the final arbiter of freedom and liberty.

Today, we have a government that does not – does not – serve the American people, evidenced – in a singular point – by the overwhelming and sustained majority of Americans who do not want the Affordable Care Act implemented on any level.

FOX News reports:

Is the Obama administration employing a make-it-hurt strategy to gain political leverage in the budget battle on Capitol Hill?

Republicans are making that charge as the stalemate drags on, and point to the Pentagon furlough of 400,000 civilian staffers — even though Congress passed and the president signed a bill to supposedly keep them on the job…

Republicans argue that the intent of the law was to keep them on the job, and that the Obama administration “narrowly interpreted” it against congressional intent in order to furlough more employees.

It’s one example of how, Republicans say, the administration is making the partial shutdown of government services worse than it needs to be. Many have complained about the National Park Service cordoning off even open-air monuments in Washington, DC, such as the World War II Memorial.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), responded to criticisms by saying, “It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop the games.”

Shamefully, FOX also reported that correspondence on this situation has stalled because, as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), stated, “Unfortunately, most of the staff who draft congressional correspondence are furloughed.”

A few notes on this shameful situation.

First, and to be equally critical to both sides, if “staffers that draft congressional correspondence” have been furloughed, perhaps those elected to Congress should learn to (and actually) write their own correspondence.

Second, to the Progressives, Democrats and our embarrassing President, it is never “game-playing” when the taxpayer’s money is being spent. It is “game-playing” when members of our military who have been maimed and permanently injured can’t get medical care because the politically opportune refuse to entertain appropriations passed through a traditional method (not every spending bill has to be an omnibus package, in fact traditionally, the 12 appropriation bills have been passed separately).

House Republicans “screwed the pooch” when they didn’t advance ACA funding as a separate, stand-alone appropriations bill from the start. When House Speaker Boehner stated that this Congress would operate under “regular order” he should have stated that the House would be de-bundling all legislation into stand-alone pieces, shining the light of truth and accountability on everything that passed across the House floor. Sadly, traditional, inside-the-beltway pork politics prevailed and the practice of bundling legislation to appease the politically greedy has delivered us to this point.

Truth be told, had the political class not blindly followed the Progressive Movement into ratifying the 17th Amendment, none of this would have ever come to pass. But, then, the Commerce Clause wouldn’t have even come close to allowing much of what the Federal government has done that encroaches into our daily lives.

Additionally, if Harry Reid would have operated lawfully, the omnibus appropriations package would have already been legislated, as he is – is – bound by law to have produced a budget by April 15 of each year. He has not done so since before Republicans took control of the House.

The sad, but glaringly true, fact is this. Our government has become too big and too bureaucratic. Our government has manipulated and strayed from the boundaries of the US Constitution, which is a mandated blueprint for limiting government.

Until We the People insist on repealing the 17th Amendment so as to re-employ constitutional protections for the States, and until Congress re-visits the Federal government’s grotesquely over-reaching interpretation of the Commerce Clause, it will be up to the States to save the nation, either by Constitutional Convention (which in and of itself is very dangerous were the original words of the Constitution to be manipulated by the opportunistic) or by, God forbid, secession.

And it is with tears in my eyes for our country; for freedom; for liberty itself, that I acquiesce to the notion. Buy, my God, are we to allow the greatest achievement of freedom in the history of the world be extinguished at the hand of ideological bullies?

The words of Patriot Patrick Henry said so very seriously then, are just as cogent today:

“Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! — I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

The Fomentation of a Government Shut Down

Well, it is upon us, the dreaded government shutdown. And yet the Earth still spins, the water still runs, the electric is on and Harry Reid is still tossing verbal grenades at anyone who dares represent an opposing view to the lock-step Progressive agenda. Imagine that! Our daily lives didn’t come to a grinding, catastrophic halt because the big government nanny state was sidelined by the fruits of their own discontent. In fact, to paraphrase an often heard chant at any Leftist-leaning protest march, “This is what not spending looks like!”

Truth be told, if our nation would have stayed true to our Founding Documents, the crisis that delivered unto us this dastardly government shutdown would never had existed. Indeed, if we would have executed government with fidelity to the Constitution, to governmental process and to the legislated laws instead of capitulating to the Progressive’s fundamental transformation of the United States of America (a transformation launched at the turn of the 20th Century), World War II veterans wouldn’t have had to push aside hastily erected barriers meant to shut down the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC, Tuesday simply to experience the memorial erected in their honor.

I mention a lack of fidelity to the US Constitution and the rule of law because had two specific established protocols – Article I, Section 3 of the US Constitution and The Budget Control Act of 1974 – been honored, not only would the environment in Washington, DC, been devoid of gridlock, but regular order would have mandated the annual delivery of appropriations to the various departments and agencies.

When our Framers crafted the US Constitution they included Article I, Section 3, which reads:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” (Emphasis added)

Where the members of the House of Representatives were to serve as the “voice of the people,” the Senate was supposed to act as the protector of States’ Rights. The check-and-balance between the co-equal branches of government was to have a check-and-balance within the Legislative Branch to assure that both the voice of the people and the rights of the States were balanced in any legislation that would emanate from that branch of government. By constructing this internal check-and-balance, the Framers enshrined the power to both force compromise with the Executive Branch and protect the rights of the minority (Read: States’ Rights) in the Legislative Branch.

But with the Progressive Era’s 1912-1913 achievement of the 17th Amendment, that check-and-balance, along with the protection of States’ Rights was obliterated, and a gigantic move toward a centralization of government power at the Federal level was achieved.

The 17th Amendment reads, in part,

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.” (Emphasis added.)

So, by effectively transforming the US Senate from a protector of States’ Rights to a redundant chamber catering to the voice of the people, Progressives created two chambers vulnerable to political faction; two competing political entities that could gridlock because their tasks were the same – their authorities derived from the same source.

Today, had the 17th Amendment not existed, the US House of Representatives would have advanced their bill to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Senate – given that 38 States have indicated they do not support the ACA – would have concurred, sending a Continuing Resolution to fund the whole of government but defunding the ACA to President Obama. The President would have almost certainly vetoed the legislation which, by virtue of the Senates’ loyalty to their respective State Legislatures, would have been overturned by the whole of the Legislative Branch. Of course, this is predicated on the ACA ever having had become law in the first place, which, under the original intent of the US Constitution, would be questionable.

Additionally, had the United States Senate, under the disingenuous and corrupt political hand of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), not insisted on existing in defiance of a federal law – The Budget Control Act of 1974, the entire Continuing Resolution process wouldn’t have taken place.

The Budget Control Act of 1974 mandates that,

“…Congress pass two annual budget resolutions (it later was decreased to one) and set timetables for finishing budget work. The budget resolution specifies spending levels in broad areas and may direct congressional committees to find ways to save money. Initially the date for completing the budget resolution was May 15, but later the deadline was changed to April 15.

“It’s a deadline Congress seldom has met. Since 1974, Congress has only succeeded in meeting its statutory deadline for passing a budget resolution six times. Sometimes it’s months late. Sometimes, as in Fiscal 2011, Congress doesn’t pass a budget resolution at all.

“Another section of the Budget Act of 1974 states that Congress cannot consider any annual appropriations bills until it adopts an overall budget blueprint…In Fiscal 2011 there should have been 12 appropriations bills.”

So, had Senate Majority Leader Reid actually adhered to the law by advancing a budget resolution to be reconciled, this “showdown” might never have come to pass. But, because there are automatic increases built into each annual budget to account for inflation, etc., it was to the benefit of the spendthrifts in Congress to refuse to advance – or even negotiate – a budget resolution. By using a Continuing Resolution they didn’t have to cut any spending in the face of repeated requests from President Obama to raise the debt ceiling even as the citizenry – and the elected GOP – screamed for fiscal responsibility and debt reduction.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Reid had an underhanded and completely partisan reason for not following the law. We should have come to understand that the Progressives of the 21st Century are vicious, win-at-all-cost, slash-and-burners when then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (P-CA), dismissed the idea of legitimately legislating the ACA by saying,

“We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.”

And we should have known that 21st Century Progressives would scald their own Mothers to submission to advance their cause when we were subjected to the over-the-top and venomous assaults they made on duly elected officials who dared to disagree with their political agenda:

“It is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the TEA Party, the anarchists of the country…” – Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV)

“Obama will not – he cannot – negotiate with a roving band of anarchists who say, ‘Build our oil pipeline or the troops don’t get paid.’” – Former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau

“I have never seen such an extreme group of people adopt such an insane policy.” – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

“These people have come unhinged.” – Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (P-FL)

“I believe it’s terrorism…This is an attempt to destroy all we know of the republican form of government in this country.” – Chris Matthews, MSNBC

“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” – Dan Pfeiffer, White House Senior Adviser

“I call them ‘legislative arsonists.’ They’re there to burn down what we should be building up…” – Nancy Pelosi (P-CA)

I could go on but you get the picture.

The bottom line here is this. Progressives will do anything and say anything; they will lie, cheat and steal, to achieve their goals; their agendas. They will alter the Constitution, create new behemoth entitlement programs, spend, raise taxes and amass debt from which there is no return, in any and all efforts to advance their nanny-state, centralized government vision for our country. And if those who believe in Constitutional law, States’ Rights, individualism, personal responsibility the free market and liberty don’t take a stand – now…well, it will all be over very, very soon…at the hands of the Progressives’ ideological death panel.

Of course, these are just the ravings of an “unhinged, roving legislative arsonist touting an insane terrorist policy, a bomb strapped to my chest,” don’t you know…

Durbin Thinks the Gov’t Has Profits to Spend

In a perfect example of Progressive thinking, Sen. Dick Durbin (P-IL), has taken issue with the idea of lawmakers and congressional staff having to be subjected to the mandates of Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., Obamacare. As people like Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid throw around rhetoric like “hostage,” “extortion,” “legislative arson,” etc., they are – at the very same time – carving out incredible perks for themselves and their staffs, paid for them on the backs of the taxpayers, while creating a super-privileged class.

Since the US Supreme Court, under the direction of SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts, over-stepped their function in literally re-framing the
law as a tax — even as Progressive lawmakers debating the law stated without doubt that is was not a tax, it is fair to assume that this “tax” is covered by the authority of Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution, which mandates all taxes, “… shall be uniform throughout the United States.”

Specifically:

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;…”

Before the rhetorically challenged chime in, an “impost” is, by definition, a “tax.” But I am getting off track on the issue of tax inequity…\

In attempting to create – or, to be more accurate, further the privilege of the elitist political class, Mr. Durbin has suggested that government be treated on an even plane at the private sector.

The Washington Times reports:

“‘If Obamacare is going to force Americans all over this country to lose their employer-provided health insurance, be forced onto the exchange with no subsidies, then the men and women who serve in this body should feel that pain exactly the same,’ said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who on Tuesday staged a filibuster to block the chamber floor and draw attention to his fight to defund the health law.

“Sen. Richard J. Durbin (P-IL), though, said if members of Congress lost their taxpayer subsidies for health insurance, would Mr. Cruz want all workers to be stripped of support from their companies.

“‘You better think twice about this. If you want to stop the employer contribution to health insurance, that is the headline for tomorrow,’ Mr. Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the chamber, said.”

When Sen. “Dickie” Durbin (P-IL), took to the floor during Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX), elongated floor speech to advance this ridiculous notion, he tried to slough off the underwriting of Congress’s health insurance, making a subsidy of 72% sound like Congressmen and their staffs were shouldering some sort of burden. Then he equated it to what large corporations do for their employees.

Note to Mr. Durbin: Corporations make profits out of which they pay for the benefits they provide their employees, or at least they used to before Obamacare, which is making them abandon their employees.

The Federal Government doesn’t make a product by which to create a “profit.” Government “profits” are taxes extracted from taxpayers. So, because government doesn’t create profits they can’t use those profits to pay for your health insurance benefits, or those of your staffs.

That said, there should be no federal health insurance benefits with the advent of Obamacare. All federal – all – should be in the Obamacare exchanges; each and every federal employee – union or not, regardless of branch – should be forced onto the exchanges.

Suddenly Obamacare doesn’t sound so hot, eh, Mr. Durbin?

« Older Entries Recent Entries »