The Wall Street Journal reports on what National Review Online’s Veronique de Rugy calls one more in the law of ”unintended consequences” to the implementation of our President’s “signature law” – ObamaCare (via Memeorandum -bolded emphasis added by me):
Employers are increasingly recognizing they may be able to avoid certain penalties under the federal health law by offering very limited plans that can lack key benefits such as hospital coverage.
Benefits advisers and insurance brokers—bucking a commonly held expectation that the law would broadly enrich benefits—are pitching these low-benefit plans around the country. They cover minimal requirements such as preventive services, but often little more. Some of the plans wouldn’t cover surgery, X-rays or prenatal care at all. Others will be paired with limited packages to cover additional services, for instance, $100 a day for a hospital visit.
Federal officials say this type of plan, in concept, would appear to qualify as acceptable minimum coverage under the law, and let most employers avoid an across-the-workforce $2,000-per-worker penalty for firms that offer nothing. Employers could still face other penalties they anticipate would be far less costly.
It is unclear how many employers will adopt the strategy, but a handful of companies have signed on and an industry is sprouting around the tactic. More than a dozen brokers and benefit-administrators in 10 states said they were discussing the strategy with their clients.
“There had to be a way out” of the penalty for employers with low-wage workers, said Todd Dorton, a consultant and broker for Gallagher Benefit Services Inc., a unit of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., who has enrolled several employers in the limited plans.
Pan-American Life Insurance Group Inc. has promoted a package including bare-bones plans, according to brokers in California, Kansas and other states and company documents. Carlo Mulvenna, an executive at New Orleans-based Pan-American, confirmed the firm is developing these types of products, and said it would adjust them as regulators clarify the law.
The idea that such plans would be allowable under the law has emerged only recently. Some benefits advisers still feel they could face regulatory uncertainty. The law requires employers with 50 or more workers to offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty. Many employers and benefits experts have understood the rules to require robust insurance, covering a list of “essential” benefits such as mental-health services and a high percentage of workers’ overall costs. Many employers, particularly in low-wage industries, worry about whether they—or their workers—can afford it.
But a close reading of the rules makes it clear that those mandates affect only plans sponsored by insurers that are sold to small businesses and individuals, federal officials confirm. That affects only about 30 million of the more than 160 million people with private insurance, including 19 million people covered by employers, according to a Citigroup Inc. report. Larger employers, generally with more than 50 workers, need cover only preventive services, without a lifetime or annual dollar-value limit, in order to avoid the across-the-workforce penalty.
What.a.surprise. Not. Hate to say “Toldjah So” but in this instance its well-worth reminding people. Heck, most of us “Toldjah So” with respect to this law long before it passed via lots of strong-arming and the backroom arm twisting and political promises that candidate Obama, when first running for the highest office in the land, told us he couldn’t stand – tactics he would seek to “change.” Riiiight.
All that glitters is not gold and, in fact, you didn’t even have to read the fine print in the “Affordable Care Act” to figure out what a monstrous, disastrous, unhealthy law this was for our nation and its people. Hours are being cut, full time employee status types are changing to part time, jobs are being lost, employer plan coverages all across the country are changing to either being unaffordable or worthless to the average workaday Jane and Joe, and no in many instances people have NOT been able to KEEP THEIR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIANS as a result of the passage of this law – one of the biggest whoppers told about this bill early on by its proponents. Employer health plan offerings as we know them are changing – and not for the better. This is, of course, in keeping with our President and his party’s ultimate goal: single payer health care coverage.
You got what you asked for, 51%. Too bad the rest of us have to suffer long-term for your woefully ill-informed decision to not only vote our celebrity President in the first time, but also for being clueless enough to turn around and do it again.
Will they ever learn?
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It also reportedly leveled an elementary school. There are mixed reports that all kids in the school are accounted for but nothing confirmed. Please keep the state in your prayers as rescue, recovery, and rebuilding efforts get underway. Via Fox News:
A mile-wide tornado churned through Oklahoma City’s suburbs Monday afternoon, causing significant property damage for the second day in a row, as part of a severe weather outbreak that was expected to spread in other parts of the Plains and Midwest.
Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, Okla., south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City.
Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department also said and elementary school in Moore suffered “extensive damage.” There were no immediate reports of injuries.
The National Weather Service said the tornado was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, with the first tornado warning coming 16 minutes before it touched down.
Search and rescue crews are now staging at the Warren Theaer in Moore to look for anyone who may be trapped in the rubble, Fox 25 reports. Aerial flyovers showed crowds of residents picking through debris.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman had predicted a major outbreak of severe weather Monday in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. The National Weather Service has also issued tornado watches and warnings for counties in Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
On Sunday, at least two people were killed and 29 were injured in Oklahoma as a severe storm system generated several tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa, leveling neighborhoods and
Unconfirmed reports say today’s twister took at 12 mile path. Of course, this story is still developing so for the latest, make sure to stay tuned to one of the 24 hour networks, the Weather Channel, your local news if you live at or near the affected areas, and to social media platforms which update constantly. There are tornado watches in other parts of OK and TX right now, so it’s REALLY important to stay informed about this for those potentially in the path of the storm. BE SAFE.
It looks really, really bad there. Praying hard for all impacted.
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**Posted by Phineas
It could be a coincidence: a meeting between a very union-friendly president and the head of the union that includes IRS employees, a union described as very “anti-Tea Party,” and then the very next day the IRS begins targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups, stalling their applications for non-profit status.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
“Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30″
In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
“April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.”
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.
I’m not yet ready to call this a “smoking gun,” but I do think Ms. Kelley should be hauled before the Ways and Means committee and made to answer some very pointed questions about their conversation and just what, if any, instructions or “encouragements” were given to her union members.
But I’m sure this is all one big coincidence.
via Jim Hoft.
RELATED: John Fund on “Three signs there’s a cover-up.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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Kind of a quiet weekend here at Casa Toldjah, which is the way I like it right now. Loooong week, and one in which I didn’t get enough sleep, worked my fannie off, and feel like I yelled a lot. Taking the weekend to catch my breath. Hope you’re having a good one.
The lies just keep stacking up:
A number of people have sought to explain the IRS targeting of Tea Party, patriot, and 9/12 group applications — as well as those from other conservative groups — for “specialist team” treatment (mainly delays and excessive and inappropriate questions) in 2010 by pointing to the Citizens United decision that year allowing for unlimited, undisclosed fundraising by such groups. That’s the explanation IRS official Lois Lerner gave a week ago when she first revealed that the agency had improperly handled a slew of applications — the political shorthand was a mistaken attempt to deal with a surge in applications.
But Todd Young, a Republican congressman from Indiana, pointed out at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing with former acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George that this was not the case, according to the very data the IRS provided to the Treasury IG’s office.There were, he noted, actually fewer applications for tax-exempt status by groups seeking to be recognized as social-welfare organizations that year than the previous one, according to this IRS data. The real surge in applications did not come until 2012 — the year the IRS stopped the practice of treating the Tea Party class of groups differently from others.
Worse still? This –> IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office
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**Posted by Phineas
You know it’s bad when pleading stupidity is the best you can come up with.
Via Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:
Obama administration officials who were in key positions on Sept. 11, 2012 acknowledge that a range of mistakes were made the night of the attacks on the U.S. missions in Benghazi, and in messaging to Congress and the public in the aftermath.
The officials spoke to CBS News in a series of interviews and communications under the condition of anonymity so that they could be more frank in their assessments. They do not all agree on the list of mistakes and it’s important to note that they universally claim that any errors or missteps did not cost lives and reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” Nonetheless, in the eight months since the attacks, this is the most sweeping and detailed discussion by key players of what might have been done differently.
“We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”
My first observation is that “lying” and “idiots” are not mutually exclusive terms. In fact I suspect the former came about trying to cover for the latter.
The article addresses several questions, among them: Why wasn’t the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) activated? Why was the Counterterrorism Security Group, described as…
an interagency task force (…) to be convened when emergency terrorist events are suspected. According to a public military document, it’s part of a plan to “synchronize the efforts of all the government agencies that have a role to play in the Global War on Terrorism.”
…not convened? Where was the “in extremis” (emergency rescue) force?
The answers are, well, “special.” Things along the lines of (paraphrasing) “we didn’t think that was their mission” (FEST); they had been made “lower level” (CSG) and senior people were dealing with it; and “they were off on a training mission (because we didn’t notice the significance of the 9/11 anniversary) and they couldn’t be recalled in time.” Like I said, pleading incompetence.
Read the whole thing, it’s worth your time. You’ll notice that not really touched on is the issue of security for Benghazi prior to the attack on the consulate. I suppose they got tired of saying “We’re idiots” over and over.
Like I said above, one can be both a liar and incompetent at the same time, when the lying is used to cover the incompetence, particularly Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s; she had screwed up our Libya policy big-time, and the commander in chief needed his beauty sleep to be ready for his big fundraiser in Vegas the next day. These underlings weren’t just furiously trading emails and holding meetings to fight a blame war between State and the CIA, they were figuring out how best to cover their bosses’ arses and not damage his reelection campaign and her 2016 run.
And, in the process, lying to the American people, Congress, and the families of the victims.
There is “malicious”, and there is “idiot.”
And then there are “malicious idiots.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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**Posted by Phineas
Today, Senate Democrats placed a hold on Sen. Rand Paul’s recent resolution that condemns the targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calls for an investigation into this practice.
“This resolution is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. The First Amendment cannot and should not be renegotiated depending on which party holds power,” Sen. Paul said. ”Each senator took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet Senate Democrats chose to block my resolution and thus refused to condemn the IRS for trampling on our First Amendment rights. I am incredibly disappointed in Washington’s party politics and I am determined to hold the IRS accountable for these unjust acts.”
I’m not sure why anyone would find this surprising: as the party of arrogant, unrestrained government, the leaders of which think the Constitution is obsolete, well, of course they would shoot this resolution down.
It threatens their very reason for existence, after all.
via Stephen Green.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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It’s sorta like the Sandra Fluke manufactured “controversy” over “access” to birth control mixing with the religious exemptions issue – except on a local scale, with narcissistic North Carolina “feminists” in the starring role(s). Via the Raleigh News and Observer:
RALEIGH — A bill allowing private employers to refuse to cover contraception in their health insurance plans cleared a House committee Wednesday morning and is headed for a vote of the full chamber.
The legislation would also prohibit coverage for abortions in the new state health insurance exchange that is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, and through the plans cities and counties offer their workers. It also says any health-care provider can refuse to participate in abortions; current law protects doctors and nurses.
The bill is off to a rocky start, as Republicans in a House judiciary committee were not unified in supporting it. Rep. Bob Steinburg, a freshman Republican from Edenton who described himself as a hardcore abortion opponent, said he would only support the bill if the prohibition on contraception coverage was removed.
“It’s almost like we’re stepping back in time,” Steinburg said. “To suggest in the 21st century that women would be prevented from having access to birth control – even as far to the right as I am – is going off the cliff. This is going too far.”
Wellllll, I hope Steinburg’s constituents give him a piece of their mind on his feminist-themed criticism, which greatly misrepresented what the bill actually called for – giving employers the right to EXCLUDE from their health care insurance plans coverage for BC purchases (and abortions). It did not “restrict access.” It just changed who pays for it – not the insurer, but YOU. A self-described staunch pro-lifer shouldn’t be using left wing talking points to advance his argument one way or the other. Perhaps Rep. Steinburg is confused. I dunno.
Unfortunately, Steinburg’s misguided remarks only served to unintentionally amplify a 60s-style themed protest by – you guessed it – self-centered, anti-freedom of religion pro-choicers in attendance at Wednesday’s House committee meeting on the proposed bill:
Steinburg’s remark about stepping back in time played directly into the costume-themed protest that members of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina and other abortion-rights supporters staged in the audience. About 15 of them dressed up in “Mad Men” early-sixties attire to make the point that the GOP legislature was rolling back women’s progress in society.
Here’s a sampling:
(Rep) Rep. Steinberg says he very pro-life and is AGAINST denying BC coverage. Says he feels “we’re going back in time” Must have seen us!
— PPActionFundCNC (@PPCNC) May 15, 2013
Welcome to bizarro world:
— Planned Parenthood (@PPHSNC) May 15, 2013
But women can impose their beliefs on employers, who are made up of … individuals, then? *scratches head*
And from consultant Jeanne Bonds, a prominent North Carolina Democrat and activist comes this classic Fluke-You-And-Your-Freedoms-Too response to a local GOP women’s group:
— Jeanne MillikenBonds (@JeanneBonds4NC) May 15, 2013
Sigh. Embarrassing. What is it about the US Constitution that Ms Bonds – whose Twitter bio includes “Former Special Asst. to NC Chief Justice” – Rev. Akpan and other Democrat women don’t understand? If “going back to the 60s” is what it takes to get us back to the religious freedom all Americans have the RIGHT to observe thanks to the First Amendment, then yeah – we are “going back.” Indeed, we have strayed too far from the Constitution. This bill, and other similar bills which put the emphasis on personal responsibility (SHOCKING!) and protecting the unborn (PANIC!), has nothing to do with wanting to make women subservient to men, “taking away contraceptive access” or any other sort of mindless scare tactic “feminists” warn you it does. It was a woman who proposed the bill, for crying out loud. Oh, wait, it was a Republican woman which means her opinions count because she’s not an “authentic woman” or something due to the fact that she opposes the termination of unborn children.
Stop me if you’re heard this one before …
Anyway, the birth control part of this bill was taken out in last night’s “crossover” marathon session of legislation so on that score, at least, the “feminists” here won. But on the abortion issue itself and an employer’s right to not offer health insurance plans that offer abortion coverage, the unborn are winning. Thank God. Of course this really, REALLY upsets the Usual Suspects, who are still trying to brainwash people into thinking this means women won’t have access to “quality healthcare” aka abortions on demand.
Last word from Charlotte-area Tea Party activist Dennis Peterson:
— Dennis Peterson (@Dennis_Peterson) May 16, 2013
Says it all.
- WCNC – Proposed NC bill would track repeat domestic violent offenders (and here I thought the NC GOP hated women …)
- Lady Liberty – Democrats Are Melting Down In NC
The post #NCPOL: Local “feminists” flip out over #NCGA’s employer conscience protection bill appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
A red-faced, positively outraged!!!-at-the-GOP-for-daring-to-hold-this-admin-accountable Chris Matthews throws the perfect pitch, and Sharpton, of course, hits the race card out of the ball park (via Greg Hengler):
You know how it is …
The above card says it all. Conservatives must be silenced by any means necessary, according to the left. Need I say more?
The post Race-hustler Al Sharpton: #IRS scandal proves “white supremacy” in GOP (VIDEO) appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
**Posted by Phineas
But they’re absolutely, totally, without a doubt non-political. And don’t you dare say otherwise, wingnut!
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The article also mentions a Texas pro-life group that had its free speech rights roughed up, too.
With new revelations of IRS abuse coming out seemingly hourly, this would be almost comical if it weren’t for the serious constitutional, legal, and political implications. Granting tax-exempt status only if they promise not to exercise their First Amendment rights?? Can these morons in IRS really have been so blind as to not see what a bright red line they were crossing? (Or did they think it was an “Obama red line,” and therefore meaningless?)
via Kevin Eder.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
We’re in the best of hands:
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.
“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
You know, we may just be a lowly state, and they may be a mighty federal agency, but it would take only a few angry superior court judges to make life miserable for the regional IRS office…
Meanwhile, what are we up to? Five scandals in the last two weeks? Six? Am I bid seven?
via Drew M.
UPDATE: Lawyer Gabriel Malor is “calling BS” on the Healthcare IT News story, describing the suit as “vague” and “lurid.” See his tweets beginning at 3/15/13 at 10:12 AM.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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**Posted by Phineas
At this point, there’s not much we can do about it, folks. Losing a Supreme Court decision and the 2012 election guarantees that Obamacare will go into full effect on January 1st, 2014 – Happy New Year!
All we can do for now is observe and take note of the pain (some of it our own) as businesses make their plans to deal with the forthcoming train wreck, plans that include laying people off to cover the new, federally-imposed expenses:
From Channel 41 Action News (1), Kansas City, Missouri:
I’ve reported on the consequences of Obamacare before, and we’re going to see more and more as we approach 2014 and enter our Brave New World of government-controlled health care. The PPACA imposes immense burdens on businesses, and they will have to act rationally in response, whether by passing on costs to the consumer or cutting costs elsewhere — by layoffs, for instance.
People who voted for the Democrats since 2008 are, in effect, getting exactly what they voted for, even if they refused to see it at the time. (2) To use the cliche, “elections have consequences.”
But so do bad laws, and the people can always fix their mistakes in the next election. Obamacare is the “Mother of Bad Laws,” and I predict its myriad problems are going to cost the Democrats dearly as voters harmed by Obamacare first get worried, then annoyed, then angry, and then royally ticked off. Democrats are already so worried that some are retiring to avoid facing the voters in 2014.
Elections have consequences for the ruling class, too.
via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt
(1) For any Obamacare apologists in the audience, before your knee jerks too much, note that Channel 41 is an NBC affiliate, not the evil FOX. When you’ve lost NBC…
(2) No, I’m not saying the people laid off in Missouri all voted for Obama and thus got what they deserved. Some almost certainly did, but we don’t know who or how many. Presuming innocence, they all have my sympathy. But the broad electorate voted for people who used anti-constitutional means to pass a horrendous law in expectation of getting Free Stuff(tm), in violation of all the laws of economics. To them, I can only quote the words of the late, great Mayor Ed Koch: “The People have spoken … and they must be punished.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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The various scandals we see the Obama administration currently immersed in were entirely predictable, as were the socialistic policies he’s advocated since his very first day in office, as was the continued state of economic stagnation our country still faces as a result of those very policies. What’s may not be widely known – or a better word for it might be “understood” – even amongst many a political junkie is a very successful tactic employed by Obama and his team of Chicago political thugs that utterly neutralizes their political opposition to the point that even “mainstream” GOP ideas that you’d think most people could agree on are laughed off as “extreme” or “fringe.” Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard wrote a fantastic piece about this political strategy that should be considered a must-read by all (bolded emphasis added by me):
In a May 3 Q&A with the New York Times’s John Harwood, former Obama strategist David Axelrod put a demographic spin on the president’s analysis. When Harwood asked why gun background checks failed in the Senate, Axelrod responded, “The Republican Party today is, at its core, a mostly Southern, white, old, evangelical party.”
This is, at its core, false. A majority of Romney voters were from outside the Old Confederacy, under 65 years old, and not evangelical. But truth is not the point, nor is the purpose of Obama’s “permission structure” analysis merely to explain why his legislative program has stalled. Instead, it is to define the president’s conservative opposition as out of the mainstream of American society. Obama’s opponents, so the logic goes, are so out to lunch that their opinions should not be taken seriously.
The Obama team employed this approach successfully in 2012. Mitt Romney may have been a family man who gave nearly $2 million to his church in 2010, but by the time Team Obama finished defining him, he was a heartless plutocrat. It worked: The exit polls showed an electorate either split or tilted to the right on the top issues, with Obama defeating Romney because the latter simply was distrusted.
Social scientists call this the mobilization of bias. Marxists refer to it as the establishment of cultural hegemony. More plainly, it is a common trick pulled by Team Obama any time they are in a jam: Define your opponents in such a way that their views are not really taken seriously.
Of course, politicians are always trying this stunt. It makes sense to convince fickle swing voters that the opposition is just no good. Yet Obama’s attempts to mobilize bias stand out, for two reasons.
First is the total commitment to the strategy. Listen to any Obama flack long enough (usually just a matter of minutes), and he or she will reference how extreme the opposition is. Last month when discussing entitlements, Jay Carney said the president was looking for the “common-sense caucus.” And, of course, the media echo this: Last week Politico repeated the “common-sense caucus” phrase to report on the president’s golf game with Republican senators. The result is to paint conservatives as so far outside the mainstream that there is nothing that this president can do with them.
Second is the hypocrisy behind the tactic. This, after all, is the president elected because he promised to bring fundamental change to Washington. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama goes on at length about respecting the views of those who disagree with him, especially on abortion. Instead, we have sustained partisan warfare and a first-ever presidential address to Planned Parenthood, in which the president proclaims that the people whose views he once professed to respect are trying to return America to the 1950s.
His disclaimers lauding sensible centrism aside, Barack Obama is the most partisan president since at least Richard Nixon, and maybe even since Harry Truman. He seems to have a visceral dislike of his opponents, deep in his bones, and his political strategy since the spring of 2008 has been to win by disqualifying them altogether.
Indeed. We’ve all seen how petulant he is when he doesn’t get his way. His embarrassingly unpresidential reaction to his loss on the gun control bill is a very recent example. He’s a guy who doesn’t like to lose, who has mastered the game of appearing to be the type to “reach across the aisle” although in reality he only “reaches” as far as he needs to to advance his far left wing policy objectives. Sadly, “moderates” in both the House and Senate are all too often willing to oblige in the name of “harmony” and “bipartisanship.” Barack Obama had it so easy his entire political career, with his first few elections almost literally handed to him, not to mention how Democrats have treated him like the second coming of Jesus Christ. After a while, all that fawning and gushing and praise and adoration received can make a person really feel like the are above reproach, that they shouldn’t be questioned, and how dare you oppose him my fellow extremist right wing malcontents!
This is the type of cold, callous, calculated political opposition we’ll have for the foreseeable future. Couple that with a complicit MSM and you see the massive hurdles “our side” has to deal with in order to try and get the message out. Our politicos on the right should never forget that (but they often do) when they’re tempted to extend an olive branch to entrenched elected partisan Democrats. Some are worth breaking bread with, while others (most) only do it to advance their own agendas and careers – at the expense of GOP politicos, who they will stab in the back at the first opportunity, and will in fact USE those good-faith attempts at shaking hands with the political opposition against them in some way shape or form later on. It’s a soberingly cynical way to look at things, but this is modern-day politics, peeps – and it’s not going to change, especially not under this Chicago Way-style administration.
It’s never a bad idea to remind like-minded people as to who and what we are up against, as well as the obstacles we’re looking at going forward. Let this post serve as my official reminder to you (for those of you who need it, anyway). In the infamous words of our VP: “Gird your loins.” The future’s going to be a brutal ride indeed. But so very much worth it.
The post Perhaps the most important piece you’ll ever read on President Obama appeared first on Sister Toldjah.
In light of the recent events surrounding the Kermit Gosnell trial, I found this interesting:
For the second time in six years, a southeast Charlotte abortion clinic has reopened a short time after the state forced it to shut down because of safety issues, most recently the improper administration of a drug that terminates pregnancies.
A Preferred Woman’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive will be allowed to open at 9 a.m. Wednesday after the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services lifted its order suspending clinic services, according to an official with the state agency who provided information on background.
The clinic’s reopening comes only four days after it was ordered to suspend operations. In April state investigators determined that clinic staffers were orally administering the drug Methotrexate, which is used to induce abortions. The drug is meant to be injected, according to the state report.
But Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services received “documentation that the inappropriate administration of medication would be discontinued,” according to the department official.
The clinic also submitted a quality improvement plan to the state, the official said.
The state department has temporarily shut down the Charlotte clinic – only to have it reopen shortly thereafter – in the past, according to the official and a state document. In February 2007, state investigators found as many as 16 safety and regulatory issues at the clinic, according to a letter DHHS sent the clinic.
Attempts to reach clinic owner Lois Turner were unsuccessful Tuesday.
A Preferred Woman’s Health Center is one of three clinics that provide abortions in Charlotte, according to the National Abortion Federation, a professional association representing abortion providers. Planned Parenthood, which refers women to local abortion providers, does not refer patients to A Preferred Woman’s Healther Center, spokeswoman Melissa Reed said.
“We are not affiliated with that clinic at all and did not make referrals to it at all,” said Reed, who works out of the group’s Raleigh office. “Planned Parenthood puts patient safety and women’s healthcare as our primary concern.”
Read the rest to find out what extremely disturbing instances caused them to be shut down this year and in 2007, and let me know if you think the state was smart in accepting the word of the “clinic” that it would make the necessary changes to avoid a third time being shut down. It sounds to me like a pattern of medical malpractice that, if it continues, could lead to the death of an adult patient (we already know what happens to the unborn patients there). Hopefully the state won’t wait the customary two years for their next inspection of this clinic.
As to Gosnell, he will get life without parole after making a deal with prosecutors in which he agreed to waive his right to appeal. That he will have to live out his remaining days thinking of what he did, and knowing his reputation in the medical community is all but destroyed, seems fitting. Probably the worst thing you can do to a doctor of his (former good) reputation is to have him lose the respect of his peers and stop him forever from getting to practice his “craft.” Interestingly enough, nine of the twelve on the jury were reportedly pro-choice. Even in tragedy something meaningful usually comes out of it, and in this case hopefully minds were changed on abortion issue – not just on the jury but for others in America who actually took the time to read and learn about the case. The abortion lobby’s insistence on secrecy and “privacy” for abortion clinics unfortunately ensured no health inspections, and as a result the lives of the babies murdered at Gosnell’s abortion mill couldn’t be saved, but maybe through knowledge of Gosnell and his gruesome practices, which were not that different from a “safe” abortion provider except for the geographical location of the unborn baby, people will have a change of heart when it comes to our nation’s most vulnerable: the unborn – and from that maybe future abortions can be prevented.
Minds can be changed on abortion. I am proof of that. Never give up hope that others can change their minds, too.
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Were the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse organizations targeted by President Obama’s IRS like Tea Party groups and conservative Jews were? Rev. Franklin Graham says “yes”, according to Politico:
The IRS came after Billy Graham, too, his son charged Tuesday in a letter to President Barack Obama.
Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the family’s international humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, said that the IRS notified the organizations in September that it was conducting a “review” of their activities for tax year 2010.
With the IRS admitting it gave extra scrutiny to conservative political organizations, Graham says he now believes that the review was part of an Obama administration effort of “targeting and attempting to intimidate us.”
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association urging of voters to back “candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel” during last year’s presidential race was the reason why IRS agents visited the North Carolina offices of both Graham groups, the letter accuses.
“While these audits not only wasted taxpayer money, they wasted money contributed by donors for ministry purposes as we had to spend precious resources servicing the IRS agents in our offices,” Graham wrote in the letter, which was shared with POLITICO. “I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us. This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.”
The Graham organizations kept their federal income tax exemptions after the audit — but were not told they’d be able to until after the November election, he wrote.
As they say, the plot thickenz.
In my opinion, Congressional inquiries should also include questions about Franklin Graham’s allegations against Obama’s IRS. Let.the sun.shine in. Let American people find out whether or not the corruptocrats in this administration went after our nation’s favorite pastor and the good work he and his organizations do both here and overseas. If what Franklin is saying turns out to be accurate, the Democrats will – for starters – have a very tough time picking this state up in 2016, and upcoming House and Senate elections could prove more difficult them – especially for incumbent Democrats like Kay Hagan who plan to run again. The Grahams make their home here, and the elder Graham enjoys “favorite son” status …and is practically untouchable. For darned good reason.
Targeting political groups who oppose this administration’s agenda is bad enough, but targeting religious groups on similar grounds – which we learned earlier today happened a few years ago with some Jewish groups who are (shockingly!) pro-Israel, unlike this administration – just adds one more troubling layer to this already deeply disturbing and still-developing story. Add Graham’s allegations into the mix and you’ve got a murky, boiling cauldron of spin and lies that soon will no longer be able to be contained by the likes of poor WH spox Jay Carney, higher ups in the admin, and the rest of the Chicago political circle that surrounds and tries to insulate our celebrity President from scandal.
Related: Politico - KMOV anchor: The IRS is targeting me
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**Posted by Phineas
Via PJM. This is one of those statements that makes you think “No, you didn’t just say that, did you?”
“Now, with hindsight, don’t you [Amb. Thomas Pickering, co-chair of the Accountability Review Board] think it would have been important to ask her about that conversation and other decisions she made that night? Because she [Secretary Clinton] was intimately involved,” [Wolf] Blitzer asked.
“We did. We did. We interviewed the senior staff members…”
“But why not her?” Blitzer pressed.
Pickering replied that they “felt that everything that we saw was fully and competently taken care of.”
“We didn’t have a reason in any way at all to suggest there was anything that she might have known that was not already relayed to us. It was straightforward. We thought they did an excellent job the night of. There were many different pieces of testimony we put together with respect to that,” he continued.
When asked if the ARB was trying to protect Clinton, Pickering said, “Well, the criticism may be the criticism. We will have to live with that, but the truth is that we didn’t feel there was a need to do that on the basis of all the evidence we had accumulated to date.”
“And knowing what you know now, was that the right decision?” Blitzer continued.
“Yes, of course it was the right decision.”
“To avoid any serious questioning with the secretary of state?”
“Well, if we had started down that line, where would it have ended?” Pickering asked.
Oh, gee, Ambassador, I don’t know. How about with “the Truth?” Clinton was on a 2 AM (Libyan time) phone call with DCM Hicks, by that time the highest American official in Libya because the Ambassador was missing in a besieged consulate and later found dead. He made no mention of a “demonstration” or a video. Every bit of evidence from our people on the ground –relayed to Clinton directly– and from intelligence that night indicated this was a terrorist attack. Maybe you could have asked her just where in the process of revising the talking points a dozen times the idea of a video being the cause of it all entered the picture?
And if that wasn’t in your purview, how about why repeated requests for additional security (or even just to keep the security they had) were denied? Why was the inter-departmental FEST counter-terrorism team never activated that night, despite repeated requests from the Deputy Assistant Secretary in charge to be included?
That’s why you ask the questions: You may not know where they’ll end, but, when you get there, you’ll have the accountability your board was supposed to establish.
Unless, in your dictionary, “accountability” means “whitewash.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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**Posted by Phineas
Jewish groups that are favorable toward Israel. We all know how close the President is to Israel, now don’t we?
This just gets better and better.
The same Internal Revenue Service office that singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny also challenged Israel-related organizations, at least one of which filed suit over the agency’s handling of its application for tax-exempt status.
The trouble for the Israel-focused groups seems to have had different origins than that experienced by conservative groups, but at times the effort seems to have been equally ham-handed.
Z Street filed a lawsuit against the IRS in 2010 alleging that one of its attorneys were told its application for tax exemption was delayed and sent to a “special unit…to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”
“Special unit” probably refers to the same group vetting 501(c)(3) applications that’s been at the center of controversy the last few days. Seems they’re “looking into” anyone critical of Obama, his policies, or the direction of the nation.
But, really, “special unit” and “investigating Jewish groups” are thoughts you never want associated with your administration.
More from The Jewish Press.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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**Posted by Phineas
The White House counsel’s office was informed in April of an inspector general’s review of the Internal Revenue Service, press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.
Carney told reporters that the counsel’s office was told of the examination into the targeting of conservative groups during the week of April 22, but not given details about the review’s findings. President Obama, Carney said, was not told about the review and learned of it only after news reports emerged Friday, just what Obama said earlier Monday.
Uh huh. Right. The Treasury IG hands the president’s lawyer bombshell revelations, and yet that lawyer never tells his client? “Uh… Hi, sir! Nice morning, isn’t it? Huh? Wha…? No, nothing going on today, sir! Nothing at all!”
Care to buy some swampland in Arizona?
I’m with Moran:
I do not believe that Barack Obama first learned of the IRS’s targeting of conservatives “from news reports” on Friday. That doesn’t pass the smell test, especially since a close aide was told of the program three weeks ago. Are we to believe that the president’s own counsel didn’t immediately go to the Oval Office after learning of this and tell Obama “We’ve got a big problem, sir”? And the fact that the White House is now in full-blown circle-the wagons damage-control mode would suggest that their primary goal is to keep the president a thousand miles away from anything having to do with this scandal.
Good luck with that, guys. Just remember — it’s always the cover-up that gets ya.
Just ask any White House occupant circa 1974.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
Hey, remember when IRS official Lois Lerner said that only a wayward local office in Cincinnati was improperly investigating conservative groups?
Yeah, well… about that:
Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea party-affiliated groups.
IRS employees in Cincinnati also told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.
Lois G. Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, told reporters on Friday the “absolutely inappropriate” actions were undertaken by “front-line people” working in Cincinnati to target groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names.
In one instance, however, Ron Bell, an IRS employee, informed an attorney representing a conservative group focused on voter fraud that the application was under review in Washington. On several other occasions, IRS officials in D.C. and California sent detailed questionaires to conservative groups asking more than a dozen questions about their voter outreach and other activities, according to the documents.
“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote.
“True the Vote” is an organization dedicated to election integrity and fight vote fraud. What a shock it was hassled during… an election year.
Except there was, and it wasn’t just local and it wasn’t just “front-line people.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
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At last, justice for some of the many babies “Dr.” Gosnell murdered – and for his adult victim as well. Via Life News:
The jury in the murder trial of abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell returned a verdict and found him guilty on three of the four first-degree murder charges he faced.
Gosnell was found guilty of killing Baby A, Baby C and Baby D and found not guilty of killing Baby E. He was also convicted on hundreds of lesser charges ranging from infanticide to running a corrupt organization.
The guilty verdict on these three counts subjects the abortion “doctor” to the potential he will face the death penalty when a second jury considers his sentencing on the convictions. At minimum Gosnell will face three life terms in prison. The jury that will be tasked with sentencing Gosnell on the convictions will begin its work on May 21.
Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar, who died after a botched abortion. And he was found guilty on most of the more than 200 counts of violating Pennsylvania’s informed consent law.
In total, Gosnell was found guilty of 21 out of 24 felony counts of illegal abortions beyond the 24 week limit and found guilty on all but 16 of 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law.
One local reporter covering the trial indicated Gosnell “heard verdict passively, with small bitter faced smiles.” A Fox news reporter added, “Our Fox producer in the courtroom says Gosnell looked mad when the verdicts were read.”
Multiple reports indicate an assistant prosecutor sobbed as the verdict was read.
Pro-abortion “feminist” groups pretended to be elated by the verdicts today, as exemplified by Planned Parenthood’s reaction:
Planned Parenthood applauded the verdict on Monday, saying in a statement that “The jury has punished Kermit Gosnell for his appalling crimes.”
“This verdict will ensure that no woman is victimized by Kermit Gosnell ever again,” said Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero. “This case has made clear that we must have and enforce laws that protect access to safe and legal abortion, and we must reject misguided laws that would limit women’s options and force them to seek treatment from criminals like Kermit Gosnell.”
Conveniently left out of their little “statement of support” for the verdicts was the fact that the state of Pennsylvania was derelict in their routine inspection duties for over 15 years on all PA abortion clinics because they didn’t want to face the wrath of the likes of “feminist” groups like Planned Parenthood, who while claiming to make women’s health their number one priority strangely don’t take too kindly to too much state oversight of abortion clinics, you know, because they want the utmost “privacy for the patients” and all that. In fact, the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA admitted they had heard many complaints from women about the horrific conditions of Gosnell’s clinics … but did nothing. Also contra to Planned Parenthood’s bloviations otherwise, Gosnell’s clinic was not an “underground, back alley” clinic but right on the corner in plain view, and as far as anyone knew outside of the Planned Parenthood dupes who did nothing in response to women’s complaints about the clinic, his clinic on the surface from the outside was no different from any other – remember, no inspections had been done there for well over a decade. So it wasn’t technically an “illegal” clinic, either. And there were no “misguided laws” at play here and no woman was “forced” to go to Gosnell because of any alleged “misguided laws.” However, what was in play here was the THE LACK OF ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING LAWS via routine inspections which we know didn’t happen. Hello? So, no, Planned Parenthood’s statement about “safe, legal access” for abortion rings extremely hollow to yours truly – and it should for you, too.
Blood is on the hands of many here like Planned Parenthood and others who indirectly contributed to the murders of those babies (and countless others we’ll never know about) as well as Ms. Mongar by their militant dedication to reduced oversight for abortion clinics in the name of “privacy.” Most won’t be punished here on earth but will be called to the ultimate account at some point, if you catch my drift.
The question on a lot of minds today in the aftermath of the guilty verdicts was “Should Gosnell get the death penalty”? He’s 72 years old, and with all the charges he was found guilty of - in addition to the murder and manslaughter convictions – he’ll be in jail for the rest of his life. Would administering the death penalty to him at this stage in his life even be worth it? Some argue that a better penalty is for him to spend the rest of his life in prison, thinking about what he did, let the guilt eat away at him. I’m inclined to agree. What do you think?
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