Which Obama Do You Believe?
When it come to illegal immigration, you have a choice.
"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
When it come to illegal immigration, you have a choice.
Of course, if they actually had balls, they'd start drawing cartoons of Mohammed themselves.
Seventeen Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists, including "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau and 2010 winner Mark Fiore, have signed a petition to condemn "threats" against Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the Comedy Central show "South Park," by a group calling itself Revolution Muslim.
The group produced the site RevolutionMuslim.com -- on which images of the fatally stabbed filmmaker Theo van Gogh (a noted critic of Islam) appeared with the caption: "Have Matt Stone And Trey Parker Forgotten This?"
Comedy Central censored an episode of "South Park" last week that was to depict Muhammad. Depictions of the religious leader are considered blasphemous by some Muslims. Stone and Parker said Comedy Central also censored the show's speech about fear and intimidation.
The 17 Pulitzer cartoonists who signed the letter are: Nick Anderson, Tony Auth, Clay Bennett, Steve Benson, Matt Davies, Fiore, Jack Higgins, David Horsey, Jim Morin, Mike Peters, Joel Pett, Michael Ramirez, Ben Sargent, Paul Szep, Ann Telnaes, Trudeau and Signe Wilkinson.
Their letter goes on to say that "freedom of expression is a universal right" and "we reject any group that seeks to silence people by violence or intimidation." The letter cites the United States' "proud tradition of political satire" and affirms belief in the right "to speak or draw freely without censorship."
Obama thinks that he should be telling people how much money they're allowed to make in the lifetimes (although he would put a cap on trial lawyers or his Hollywood contributors). Well, he made $5 million last year. Isn't that enough?
In a stump speech in Quincy, Illinois, President Obama suggested that “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” Video here.
Obama made almost $5.5 million last year, most of which came from book royalties according to his tax return.
This comes on top of the other millions of dollars Obama received in previous years. The fact that Obama has been in the public spotlight as a politician has undoubtedly had an impact on the royalties of his two books as well. Go ahead and compare Obama’s 2009 income with other presidents here.
The problem for Obama and Holder is that the people behind the new law have been through this before -- and won. Arizona is three-for-three in defending its immigration measures. In 2008, the state successfully defended its employer-sanctions law, which made it a state crime to knowingly employ an illegal immigrant. Facing some of the same groups that are now planning to challenge the new law, Arizona prevailed both in federal district court and at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's most liberal federal appeals court.
In federal court in 2005, Arizona successfully defended Proposition 200, which required proof of citizenship for voting and also restricted benefits to illegals. And in 2006, officials won a state-court challenge to Arizona's human smuggling law.
The arguments that liberal groups make against the new law are similar to those made in the past. Foremost among them is the claim that only the federal government can handle immigration matters, and thus the Arizona measure pre-empts federal law.
Lawmakers thought of that ahead of time. "This law was carefully drafted to avoid any legal challenge on pre-emption in two ways," explains Kobach. "One, it perfectly mirrors federal law. Courts usually ask whether a state law is in conflict with federal law, and this law is in perfect harmony with federal law.
"Two, the new law requires local law enforcement officers not to make their own judgment about a person's immigration status but to rely on the federal government," Kobach continues. Any officer who reasonably suspects a person is illegal is required to check with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "As long as the state or city is relying on the federal government to determine immigration status, that will protect against a pre-emption challenge," says Kobach.
But what if the Obama administration argues that the law is a burden on the federal government? Or refuses to assist Arizona in determining a person's legality? The drafters thought of that, too. There's a federal statute -- 8 USC 1373, passed during the Clinton years -- requiring the feds to verify a person's immigration status any time a state or local official asks for it. The federal government cannot deny assistance to Arizona without breaking the law itself.
Remarking the obvious.
Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning called Harry Reid an “idiot” during a lunch meeting with other Republican senators this week — the latest sign that the Senate majority leader is getting under the skin of his GOP counterparts.
Bunning’s harsh words — confirmed by several people in the room — came in the midst of Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s presentation about Reid’s handling of the Senate floor. Bunning rose from his seat and, speaking loudly, read fundraising data that singled out Reid and other Senate Democrats for taking more money from Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms than Republicans had.
After Bunning called Reid an “idiot,” another voice yelled out: “He is acting like an idiot.”
Idiot is as idiot does.
One day after Republicans said they had secured a deal on a financial regulation bill that would allow them to move forward on debating the bill, they denounced the legislation and said it would not accomplish any of their goals for preventing bailouts or making the markets more secure.
“The legislation that we are about to consider will help the likes of Goldman Sachs, but will harm the American people,” said Sen. Richard Shelby, Alabama Republican and ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee.
“It will lead to job losses, lost opportunities for businesses to productively invest in the future, and it will ensure future bailouts,” Shelby said on the Senate floor.
Shelby, who said Wednesday that Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, had given him assurances that he would make sure the regulatory reform bill ended any chance of bailouts for large financial institutions, said Thursday that the bill still contained the provisions he objected to.
“I appreciate his assurances and take him at his word, but I am concerned that there appear to be no substantive changes in the relevant sections of the bill that would reflect such assurances,” Shelby said of Dodd.
Teachers are contractually forbidden from doing volunteer work. Tell me again who's selfish?
Al Gore just bought himself an $8.9 million ocean front villa.
The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.
"It's nothing but jealousy and pure peevishness to mock and complain when this delightful, public-spirited man takes another modest step to find some little comfort for himself and his wife."
Unintentional (I think) ironic humor.
We've been too mean.
The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in "cooperating countries," a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.
The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama's desk by Memorial Day.
"It's incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.
Contrary to the mainstream media narrative, leftists, unlike the Tea Party, actually is uncivil.
Imagine a group of angry demonstrators toting swastika-festooned protest signs calling politicians Nazis, shouting obscenities and racial remarks and throwing rocks and bottles at police officers sent to keep order. No, these are not Tea Partiers. They are the mob that turned out last week to protest Arizona's new immigration-enforcement law. This group of liberal rowdies has been dubbed the Tequila Party.
For the most part, liberal media coverage overlooked all the leftist violence. Typical headlines described the protest as "mostly peaceful," with media outlets avoiding details about why they had to use the qualifier "mostly." Reporting a near-riot by the opponents of the Arizona law doesn't fit the dominant media storyline.
Uno de Mayo! Brought to you again by the Communist Party.
Protest organizers said on Wednesday outrage over the Arizona law -- which seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of the state bordering Mexico -- has galvanized Latinos and would translate into a higher turnout for May Day rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.
"The marches and demonstrations are going to be far more massive than they otherwise would have been," said Juan Jose Gutierrez, a Los Angeles rally organizer who runs an immigration assistance company.
The backlash began on Friday after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a measure that requires state and local police to determine a person's immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" they are undocumented. Critics say it is unconstitutional and opens the door to racial profiling.
Republican backers of the law say it is needed to curb crime in the desert state, which is a key corridor for drug and migrant smugglers from Mexico.
We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.
Compare that to his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Now, we’re not doing this to punish these firms or begrudge success that’s fairly earned. We don’t want to stop them from fulfilling their responsibility to help grow our economy.
More Rovian than Karl Rove himself. Or it could be that it's Clinton's divisive politics he's emulating?
If there was any doubt about the divisive aims of Obama's 2010 strategy, his man at the Democratic National Committee, former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, wiped them away when he issued a pre-emptive warning about Republican racism two days later: "We know the Republican Party still seeks to suppress the vote and initiate arbitrary challenges, particularly challenging minority and low-income voters."
Obama and Kaine once lamented Republican efforts to exploit fears and divisions. Now they are more Rovian than Rove.
The preferred wedge issue for the president this year is immigration.
While Rome burned, SEC investigators were watching pornography. And no one's getting fired for it.
The revelation comes nearly three months after The Washington Times broke the original story. According a recent AP report, those 28 employees were discovered after Kotz “conducted 33 probes of employees” over the course of the past five years. The report found that one “senior official” either spent his entire eight-hour day watching and downloading porn, or was simply investigating the wrong “troubled assets.”
That's reassuring. Background here.
A contrite Robert Chatigny apologized dozens of times to Senate Republicans at a brutal hearing Wednesday for his conduct relating to the conviction of a notorious serial killer. But his face – lips puckered, brow furrowed – may have said more than any of his answers.
The questions were so painful that Chatigny’s Republican tormentors repeatedly apologized for broaching them.
“You probably want to be off that subject and so do I,” Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, said in transitioning from whether Chatigny believes sexual sadism is a “mitigating factor” in killing sprees to whether he flagrantly disregarded judicial precedent in a decision the Supreme Court later slapped down 9 to 0.
What if Republicans won the Majority Leader's seat in Nevada, Barack Hussein Obama's seat in Illinois, and Joe Biden's seat in Delaware, all in one election? It is beginning to dawn on Democrats (ie; the Washington Post) that it could very well happen.
Every now and then, there comes a congressional race so fraught with history and symbolism that it becomes as much about sending a message as winning a seat.
This year, Republicans are looking to hit the trifecta in the Senate.
As things stand now, they are well within striking distance of winning President Obama's old seat in Illinois and Vice President Biden's former perch in Delaware, and of toppling Majority Leader Harry M. Reid in Nevada.
"I call them the trophy seats," said Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Winning all three would affirm a GOP resurgence and announce -- as Scott Brown did, when he won a January special election for the late Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts -- that Democrats aren't safe anywhere anymore.
Like the US Democratic Party, the Mexican government knows how the American news media will distort the news to support the leftist narrative. So when Mexico criticizes Arizona for its illegal immigrant law, the Mexicans can feel confident that the mainstream news media will not report this.
– The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?
– If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.
– Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment. Document fraud is subject to fine and imprisonment; so is alien marriage fraud. Evading deportation is a serious crime; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).
– Law enforcement officials at all levels — by national mandate — must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.
– Ready to show your papers? Mexico’s National Catalog of Foreigners tracks all outside tourists and foreign nationals. A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Visitors who do not possess proper documents and identification are subject to arrest as illegal aliens.
The Interior Department acknowledged in a statement that the mainly Central American migrants who pass through Mexico on their way to the United States suffer abuses, but attributed the problem to criminal gangs branching out into kidnapping and extortion of migrants.
Rupert Knox, Amnesty's Mexico researcher, said in the report that the failure by authorities to tackle abuses against migrants has made their trip through Mexico one of the most dangerous in the world.
"Migrants in Mexico are facing a major human rights crisis leaving them with virtually no access to justice, fearing reprisals and deportation if they complain of abuses," Knox said.
Central American migrants are frequently pulled off trains, kidnapped en masse, held at gang hideouts and forced to call relatives in the U.S. to pay off the kidnappers. Such kidnappings affect thousands of migrants each year in Mexico, the report says.
Many are beaten, raped or killed in the process.
One of the main issues, Amnesty says, is that migrants fear they will be deported if they complain to Mexican authorities about abuses.
At present, Article 67 of Mexico's Population Law says, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal ... are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues."
You can sleep easier now. Big Brother is on the case.
No toy for you, Junior.
Not if you live in unincorporated Santa Clara County, where the Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban restaurants from giving away toys with children's meals that exceed set levels of calories, fat, salt and sugar.
The ordinance, which the board passed by a 3-2 vote, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. The target is the fast-food industry and what critics call its practice of marketing unhealthful food to children and fueling an epidemic of obesity among the young.
"This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes," said the law's author, Supervisor Ken Yeager. "Obviously, toys in and of themselves do not make children obese. But it is unfair to parents and children to use toys to capture the tastes of children when they are young and get them hooked on eating high-sugar, high-fat foods early in life."
Democrat on Democrat.
A New York senator angry at being lectured and ordered to stay in Albany by Gov. David Paterson called his fellow Democrat a "coke-snorting, staff-banging governor."
The comment to some reporters by Sen. Kevin Parker of Brooklyn is one of the harshest criticisms of the governor by senators now in their third week of an internal power struggle that has shut down action in the Senate, reports CBS station WCBS-TV in New York City.
Parker's Democratic conference leaders quickly called for "civility and decorum."
As senators sought to go home for the weekend and resolve their dispute next week, Paterson ordered them to return to Albany indefinitely.
Paterson dismissed the comments as "distractions."
“Nobody wants to pick us up,” Julio Loyola Diaz says in Spanish as he and dozens of other men wait under the shade of palo verde trees and lean against a low brick wall outside the east Phoenix home improvement store.
Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants…
Why vote Republican?
Senate Republicans Wednesday said they will stop filibustering the financial regulatory reform bill, backing down after Democrats said they would make them stay through the night into Thursday morning to sustain their blocking of the legislation.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said there had been a “key agreement reached.”
Obama can't help it. It's instinctive.
Will someone please rein in our relentlessly hectoring President? Barrack Hussein Obama has taken his gift for inspirational oratory—one of the traits that got him elected—and turned it into something darker and more insidious. Bam is a bully. Bad enough that he bashes Wall Street, but this President has gone farther than any in modern history in putting the wrong kind of “bully” back into what Teddy Roosevelthad called the bully pulpit.
Obama’s latest broadside came over the weekend, when he vehemently criticized the state of Arizona and its (Republican) governor for passing a tough new law on illegal immigration.
The President called the measure “misguided” and all but labeled it un-American. He even ordered the Department of Justice, before the ink on this bill-signing has even dried, to examine the civil-rights “implications” of the new law. Seems like the courts and rights groups could handle that once any problem actually emerges.
Can you remember any other modern President, wagging a finger from on high, so directly and bitterly criticizing a new law passed by any state?
This is hubris at best and ignorance of the Constitution at worst. The U.S. was founded in part on the precept of states’ rights as an important counterweight to a rapacious federal government. Thus a President must step softly here, questioning gently but avoiding rancor and browbeating.
The new state law itself is disturbing, even detestable, and I don’t like it. It forces immigrants to carry with them proof of their legal status and lets cops demand to see the “papers” of anyone (read: any foreign-looking person) to make sure he didn’t sneak into the country. It smacks of Nazis in the Jewish ghetto in Poland.
But it is the law, and Arizona’s people duly elected the legislators who voted for it. They acted, moreover, on an issue the feds clearly have botched—immigration—and are trying to protect the state’s citizens from an influx of drug-cartel violence from Mexico.
You Democrats can keep him for the final few months of his career.
A year ago today, Arlen Specter switched political parties after seeing primary polling results that made him too nervous to fight Pat Toomey for his seat. Now facing a tough primary fight as a Democrat, Specter tells the Morning Call that he may have made a mistake:
What's next on the Democrats' path to self-immolation?
Democrats are on the verge of a fateful choice about their agenda between now and the end of the 111th Congress. Whatever its substantive merits, and regardless of how it will be judged once it goes into effect, the health care bill has not gained popular support since its passage, and the Democratic Party has continued to slip in the polls. The key reason, I’d suspect, is that people came to see the health care debate as a long diversion from their central concern—namely, jobs and the economy.
Elementary prudence would seem to dictate that the leadership would quickly pivot to the economy and would sustain that focus through the spring and summer. The small-bore jobs bill was a start, and the far more significant financial reforms will advance the case. But now, the leadership is moving toward, or backing into, months dominated by some combination of immigration and climate change—and of course there will also be a Supreme Court confirmation battle to fight. It is hard to believe that the people will respond favorably.
No doubt strategists on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue will point out that intensity is the key to midterm elections and that right now the intensity gap strongly favors the Republicans. The only way to counter-mobilize a somewhat demoralized Democratic base is to target the issues its components care about the most—immigration for Hispanics, climate change for young people—or so the argument runs.
A serial killer sentenced to death was entitled to special consideration by Obama's nominee to the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals because he was a sexual sadist.
In 1995, Chatigny, whom President Obama has nominated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, presided over the case of confessed serial killer Michael Ross, a.k.a. the “roadside strangler.”After 18 years on death row, Ross instructed his lawyer to stop appealing his scheduled execution; he’d already admitted to the murder of eight women — seven of whom he’d raped — and was ready to accept his punishment.
But Chatigny, then a federal district judge, would have nothing of it. Threatening to seek the disbarment of Ross’ attorney, Chatigny aggressively browbeat the lawyer into claiming that Ross – who went to Cornell — was somehow too incompetent to accept his sentence.
“Looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which . . . is clearly a mitigating factor,” Chatigny said then.
The Politico is trying to make the claim that Obama's now out of favor with the press. I don't think so. They'll all be in the Democrats' camp by October. They're liberals first and journalists second.
One of the enduring story lines of Barack Obama’s presidency, dating back to the earliest days of his candidacy, is that the press loves him.
“Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me,” Obama joked last year at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.
But even then, only four months into his presidency, the joke fell flat. Now, a year later, with another correspondents’ dinner Saturday night likely to generate the familiar criticism of the press’s cozy relationship with power, the reality is even more at odds with the public perception.
Obama and the media actually have a surprisingly hostile relationship — as contentious on a day-to-day basis as any between press and president in the past decade, reporters who cover the White House say.
Reporters say the White House is thin-skinned, controlling, eager to go over their heads and stingy with even basic information. All White Houses try to control the message. But this White House has pledged to be more open than its predecessors, and reporters feel it doesn’t live up to that pledge in several key areas:
— Day-to-day interaction with Obama is almost nonexistent, and he talks to the press corps far less often than Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush did. Clinton took questions nearly every weekday, on average. Obama barely does it once a week.
— The ferocity of pushback is intense. A routine press query can draw a string of vitriolic e-mails. A negative story can draw a profane high-decibel phone call or worse. Some reporters feel like they’ve been frozen out after crossing the White House.
— Except toward a few reporters, press secretary Robert Gibbs can be distant and difficult to reach — even though his job is to be one of the main conduits from president to press. “It’s an odd White House where it’s easier to get the White House chief of staff on the phone than the White House press secretary,” one top reporter said.
— And at the very moment many reporters feel shut out, one paper — The New York Times — enjoys a favoritism from Obama and his staff that makes competitors fume, with gift-wrapped scoops and loads of presidential face time.
“They seem to want to close the book on the highly secretive years of the Bush administration. However, in their relationship with the press, I think they’re doing what they think succeeded in helping Obama get elected,” said The New Yorker’s George Packer.
“I don’t think they need to be nice to reporters, but the White House seems to imagine that releasing information is like a tap that can be turned on and off at their whim,” Packer said.
Much of the criticism is off the record, both out of fear of retaliation and from worry about appearing whiny. But those views were voiced by a cross section of the television, newspaper and magazine journalists who cover the White House.
“These are people who came in with every reporter giving them the benefit of the doubt,” said another reporter who regularly covers the White House. “They’ve lost all that goodwill.”
And this attitude, many believe, starts with the man at the top. Obama rarely lets a chance go by to make a critical or sarcastic comment about the press, its superficiality or its short-term mentality. He also hasn’t done a full-blown news conference for 10 months.
But it won't be presented that way by the mainstream news media.
"We're going to fight, eh amigos?"
To appease the sensibilities of San Franciscans? Or, Barack Hussein Obama for that matter. And consider that New York Senator Chuck U. Schumer (D-NY) has an illegal immigration strategy that is even more oppressive.
As Obama lectures Arizona, citizens here await his decision on an urgent request to send three thousand National Guard troops to the border. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl recently asked for soldiers, as did Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, to bring some security to American citizens being hammered by cross-border smugglers and thugs.Here's an important bit of context: This isn't your father's illegal immigration, when polite farm workers offered to do chores in return for some water and a sandwich as they walked north. Today, the drug cartels have taken over the people-smuggling business. They own the trails into the country and dominate the land, the same way urban gangs control neighborhoodsAny group wanting in has to deal with them, and the going rate is $2,500 per person. If you don't have the cash, the cartel coyote will offer to bring you in for free if you carry his dope. As Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever testified to the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week, most of the groups coming up now have a gun behind them.Along the Chiricahua Corridor smuggling route north and east of Douglas, Arizona, residents have been screaming for some time about break-ins, threats, intimidation, vandalism, and home invasions. But the feds did nothing to keep citizens safe. Instead, they talked amnesty. Then the inevitable happened.
On March 27, Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz was murdered on his land, presumably by a drug smuggler. The death occurred on a well-known drug trail, and trackers followed the killer's prints back into Mexico. He is still at large.
The news continues to come out, just in time to make a difference. Where was this before the vote?
“At this point, the effects of the recent legislation on federal health-care spending over the long term are uncertain, in part because they depend importantly on implementation,” Bernanke said.
Bernanke’s oblique reference to implementation would likely cover roughly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare that must be authorized by future Congresses as well as the identification of ways to deliver care that are more efficient and reduce costs. The health bill authorizes trial runs of numerous such experiments.
Robert Reischauer, the president of the Urban Institute, also addressed the fiscal commission during its first meeting. He said that “while the health reform act contains many promising demonstrations and pilot projects designed to test incentives and organizational changes that might slow spending growth, it will be more than five years before the results from these experiments can inform policy.”
Like Bernanke, Reischauer sounded some doubtful notes about the likelihood that ObamaCare will bend the cost curve of health spending down.
“Medicaid costs will rise significantly because the program plays the primary role in expanding coverage among low-income populations,” Reischauer said.
“While a recent report from UnitedHealth concludes that significant savings are possible in the program, realizing them would require adopting effective coordinated care for Medicaid’s regular population and community-base/coordinated care for Medicaid’s long term care beneficiaries.”
With the economy in the tank and joblessness well into double digits, you'd think that voters' top concern would be jobs, jobs jobs. But voters' top priority is government ethics. Clearly they see the link between Obama's crony capitalism and a weak economy.
Ethics in government is suddenly a big deal for voters -- more important than the economy. I wrote about this today in the context of Congress, but Rasmussen has polled voters on President Obama's ethics.
They find that 37 percent believe Obama is more ethical than other politicians, while 35 percent believe he is less ethical and 25 percent believe he is about the same as most. The number who believe he is less ethical has grown from 16 percent in January 2009.
Returning to his roots: Demagoguery.
In his first 14 months in office, Barack Obama worked to change public policy, with partial success. He jammed through the stimulus package in February 2009 and health care legislation in March 2010 on party-line votes.
But he paid curiously little attention to the substance of the legislation. One-third of the stimulus money went to state and local governments -- i.e., to public employee unions -- which helped ensure that the bill would not hold down unemployment to the promised 8 percent. And the health care bill, we now learn from Health and Human Services Department actuaries, is going to increase spending rather than hold it down.
Now Obama seems to be pivoting toward legislative priorities chosen not for policy but for political reasons.
During the Monday 12PM ET hour of live coverage on MSNBC, anchor Contessa Brewer described the "firestorm" over a newly passed immigration law in Arizona and fretted: "does this lead to a situation where neighbors are turning in neighbors or families turning against families?" Later in the segment, a headline on screen read: "Law Makes it a Crime to be Illegal Immigrant."
Politico acts as if this is something unusual. It's just Bill Clinton all over again.
Mitch McConnell is in bed with Wall Street “movers and shakers” — and is fronting “cynical and deceptive” arguments on their behalf.
John Boehner is a health care Chicken Little to be mocked for predicting Armageddon if the Democrats’ reform bill passed.
Sarah Palin can be ignored on arms control because she’s “not exactly an expert on nuclear issues.”
And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just a “troublesome” twosome spreading “vitriol.”
Democratic oppo research? Comments from Daily Kos?
Lecture everyone one else about substance abuse, then get hammered.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy was spotted doing vodka shots last week at a Capitol Hill bar just hours after he spoke about his history of substance abuse at a charity event.
An HOH tipster and a pal were sitting at the bar at the Capitol Lounge around 11 p.m. on Tuesday when the Rhode Island Democrat walked in and took a seat between the pair. The tipster’s friend asked the Congressman what he was drinking, and when Kennedy replied vodka, the group ordered vodka shots, the tipster tells us.
After slamming down the first round, another was ordered, then a third. Our tipster and his friend stopped doing shots, but Kennedy drank three more until the bartender cut him off, at least from obtaining any more shots, our tipster says.
Liars. General Motors did not pay back its loans as they are now claiming.
The TARP inspector general, Neil Barofsky, bluntly told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing last week that the repayment "is just other TARP money" and lawmakers should not "exaggerate" the feat.
"It sounds like they're kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in the other to do that," Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said at the hearing.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., expressed similar concerns Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying it's "misleading" for the administration to claim the company has paid back its loans.
The FTC would not comment on the specific GM ad.
General Motors admits that the company is repaying the loan with other government money, but says a year ago "nobody thought we'd be able to pay this back."
According to Janet Napolitano.
White House Press Stooge Robert Gibbs dismissed the report as inconsequential. So why did they hide it?
The economic report released last week by Health and Human Services, which indicated that President Barack Obama's health care "reform" law would actually increase the cost of health care and impose higher costs on consumers, had been submitted to the office of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius more than a week before the Congressional votes on the bill, according to career HHS sources, who added that Sebelius's staff refused to review the document before the vote was taken.
"The reason we were given was that they did not want to influence the vote," says an HHS source. "Which is actually the point of having a review like this, you would think."
The Politico reverts to New York Times journalism.
BARACK THE KNIFE: President Obama heads out on the first leg of his Midwestern trip this week with a visit to Iowa Tuesday — but not before meeting with members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in the morning. The deficit commission, as it's more casually known, will sit down with the president in the Roosevelt Room for a conversation and pool spray.
Afterward, Obama plans to speak from the Rose Garden, according to White House guidance, "thanking the members of the Commission for their important service and underscore the importance of forging bipartisan consensus around recommendations to meaningfully improve our long-run fiscal health."
Obama says he has taken steps to prevent leaving the next generations with a "mountain of debt," including asking Congress to restore a pay-as-you-go rule and ending budget "loopholes" for oil and gas companies.
"I kept my promise to pass a health care reform bill without adding a dime to the deficit," he says, adding that "attacking waste and fraud" will bring down debt by $1 trillion in two decades.
The financial-regulatory bill now before the Senate is so filled with special-interest loopholes and exclusions that it makes the health-care "reform" bill, with its "Cornhusker Kickback" and "Louisiana Purchase," look like a model of rectitude.
The Senate bill, sponsored by Democrat Chris Dodd, claims to subject all "too big to fail" institutions to greater federal supervision, but in fact it only mandates such regulation for bank-holding companies. Regulators would have to make a case-by-case decision on whether to apply it to other financial companies.
A huge circulation drop is part of the grand plan.
The Chronicle said Monday that remaking its business model by charging more for the newspaper has, as expected, produced a sharp drop in circulation even as it has improved the paper's bottom line.
For the six months ending in March, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported Monday that The Chronicle's daily circulation declined 22.7 percent, from 312,118 to 241,330, the largest decline among the nation's top 25 newspapers.
Weekday circulation nationwide went down 8.7 percent, and 6.5 percent on Sundays.
Mark Adkins, president of The Chronicle, said the circulation decline was an anticipated result of significant increases in the price of the newspaper intended to reshape its business model.
If you haven’t already heard, ‘Boobquake’ is a call to action against an Iranian cleric’s claim that scantily clad women are to blame for natural disasters. In the cleric’s words, certain women “lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”
Founded by Purdue University senior Jennifer McCreight, the goal of ‘Boobquake’ is for women to show some skin today to order to prove that immodest clothing does not cause natural disasters.
McCreight’s assumptions, however, are based on the premise that cleavage doesn’t cause earthquakes. Why is she so sure that she’s right?
Nevada voters are likely to retire Harry Reid this November. But he's fighting back, with money raised from Wall Street through Chuck U. Schumer's PAC. Anybody see anything ironic in that?
The mullahs were wrong.
The creator of Boobquake said the results are in: Boobquake did not move the earth.
On her blog, Purdue Senior Jennifer McCreight said that according to the USGS website, there were 47 earthquakes yesterday. That number may sound high, but in reality there are many earthquakes nearly every day and 47 is not an abnormal number.
McCreight said to be statistically abnormal there would have had to have been over 148 quakes yesterday - over three times the actual total.
The 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Taiwan had many buzzing that Boobquake had moved the earth, but the event's creator said that's not the case.
"Sorry to be a buzzkill - hey, I'd like magical control over plate tectonics too - but that single earthquake wasn't significant. Earthquakes between 6.0 and 6.9 magnitude happen, on average, 134 times a year. That means we had about a 37% probability of an earthquake of that magnitude happening on boobquake just due to chance alone - hardly an improbable event that needs to be attributed to an angry deity," stated McCreight on her blog.
The average magnitude of earthquakes yesterday was actually slightly lower than the average for the past two months, causing McCreight to quip that perhaps the hypothesis that immodest women reduce earthquakes needs to be examined.
Sarah Palin was right. We'll just could call it an "independent payment advisory board." That makes it all better.
Unexpected, I'm sure.
In latest quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economics, the index that measures employment showed job growth for the first time in two years — but a majority of respondents felt the fiscal stimulus had no impact.
NABE conducted the study by polling 68 of its members who work in economic roles at private-sector firms. About 73% of those surveyed said employment at their company is neither higher nor lower as a result of the $787 billion Recovery Act, which the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers says is on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of the year.
That sentiment is shared for the recently passed $17.7 billion jobs bill that calls for tax breaks for businesses that hire and additional infrastructure spending. More than two-thirds of those polled believe the measure won’t affect payrolls, while 30% expect it to boost hiring “moderately.”
Now he's going to campaign against white guys.
The Democrats march ahead with their murder/suicide pact.
Reid's about-face left many in the GOP amazed. Democrats appear to be tossing aside one difficult-to-pass issue in favor of an impossible-to-pass issue. The likelihood is that neither will pass. "There will be no immigration and no energy," says another Senate aide. "They can do some sort of an energy bill, but it won't be cap-and-trade. Graham-Kerry-Lieberman won't pass. The support is just not there, even among Democrats. And on immigration -- after having voted for a health care bill that's toxic, voted for the biggest deficits ever, Democrats are then going to turn around and vote for an amnesty bill?"
One more thing we've learned about what's in now that we've passed it.
The new health care law could shift billions of dollars from cash-strapped states to the federal government by changing the way Medicaid prescription-drug rebates are treated, according to state and industry officials and an examination of Medicaid spending data.
Democrats included a provision in the law that’s intended to raise $38 billion over 10 years by requiring drugmakers to offer bigger discounts to Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor. The rebates will continue to be divided between the states and the federal government, but under the new law, Washington will get a bigger share beginning this year.
...All but three states — Arizona, Massachusetts and New Mexico — stand to lose money because of the change, in many cases millions of dollars a year, according to a state-by-state examination of 2009 Medicaid spending records by Kaiser Health News.
Democrats declare a mulligan.
[J]udging by the study released last last week by Richard Foster, the Obama Administration's Medicare actuary. Mr. Foster predicts net national health spending will increase by about 1% annually above the status quo that is already estimated to be $4.7 trillion in 2019. This is one more rebuke to the White House fantasy that a new entitlement will lower health costs.
"Although several provisions would help to reduce health care cost growth, their impact would be more than offset through 2019 by the higher health expenditures resulting from the coverage expansions," Mr. Foster writes—and that's assuming everything goes according to plan. He considers it "plausible and even probable" that prices in the private market will rise as greater demand due to subsidized coverage runs into the relatively fixed supply of doctors and hospitals.
Most of ObamaCare's unrealistic "savings" come from cranking down the way Medicare calculates its price controls, and Mr. Foster writes that they'll grow "more slowly than, and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers' costs of furnishing services to beneficiaries." He expects that 15% of hospital budgets may be driven into deficits, thus "possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries." Isn't reform grand?
He claims that he's actually bisexual. His opponent says he's faking it.
Just how bisexual is Gregg Kravitz? His political career may pivot on the answer. Kravitz is a 29-year-old former stockbroker from Philadelphia, who is running for the Pennsylvania statehouse. He claims to be a bisexual.
His opponent in the Democratic primary, incumbent Babette Josephs, says Kravitz is lying about who he sleeps with in order to curry favor with gay voters. Josephs claims she met a woman at a fundraiser who identified herself as Kravitz’s girlfriend. “I outed him as a straight person,” Josephs announced.
“I do have a girlfriend,” Kravitz conceded in an interview with The Daily Caller, “but I am a bisexual man, which means I am attracted to both men and women.” Kravitz says he has been involved with girlfriend Leah Greenspoon since they met on New Years Eve, and ultimately could see himself married to either a man or a woman. “I’m very happy in the relationship that I’m in, but it doesn’t mean you’re not attracted to other people,” adding that he’s “disappointed that I have to use my time and energy to respond to blatant lies about my sexuality.”
Texas senator Kay Bailey Hutchison raked in $1.2 billion alone.
Texas raked in $1.6 billion for projects sought by its members of Congress. That total swells to $1.8 billion when earmarks requested solely by the White House, mostly for military projects, are added.
Houston-area lawmakers are among the most prolific fans of the earmark in the Texas delegation, totaling about $322 million in this year's budget. They sponsored or co-sponsored 85 of the 573 Texas earmarks. Five of the top seven Texas earmarkers come from Houston, led by Democratic Rep. Gene Green and Republican Rep. John Culberson.
The aggressive use of earmarks by Texans comes as President Barack Obama and congressional Republican leaders are denouncing the proliferation of earmarks over the past 15 years. There were 9,413 included in this year's federal budget, down from 10,363 in 2009. But the cost of those earmarks grew to $15.9 billion from $15.6 billion last year.