Saturday, July 7, 2012

Obama raised taxes on some of the nation’s poorest people ...and other 'good' news (i.e. "...the Court ruled 9-0 that Obamacare was unconstitutional under the Commerce clause)

"...the Affordable Health Care Act is not affordable. It does little or nothing to control health care costs, which are destined to continue to gobble up an ever increasing amount of the total US Gross Domestic Product as well as of corporate profits and families’ incomes."

Insurance Companies Win, Public Left on Life Support
Why the ObamaCare Ruling Stinks from CounterPunch

Looking on the bright side, the Supreme Court has ruled that something that President Obama has done is definitively not unconstitutional.
That’s probably the best that can be said of the 5-4 decision by the High Court today in upholding the ironically named Affordable Health Care Act.
On the downside for Obama, he goes into the final four months of the election campaign saddled with a decision that says he has raised taxes on some of the nation’s poorest people — for that is what the court said will be happening, 18 months from now, when the health insurance mandate part of the new Act takes effect, and people who have no employer-provided health plan, and no other kind of coverage, fail to buy a policy for themselves and their families. They will be socked with a bill by the IRS, and while the Obama administration and supporters of the act in Congress were at pains to say that the payment such people would be hit with would be a fine, the Justices in the majority were adamant that it would be a tax.
Also taking a hit were Republicans, who universally oppose what they have been deprecatingly calling “Obamacare.” Republicans, including their presidential candidate- in-waiting Mitt Romney, have vowed to eliminate the act after the November election if they win, though unless they do surprisingly well in the Senate and come up with close to a 60-40 majority — very unlikely — they will in truth be unable to do that.
Romney, who as governor of Massachusetts launched a state health plan that included an insurance mandate with a fine for not having insurance, which was clearly the model for the federal law, is in the awkward position of another Massachusetts presidential contender, John Kerry, who went down to defeat in part because he voted for an $87-billion bill funding the Iraq War and then voted against it, leaving him lamely explaining to reporters that “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” Now Mitt Romney will have to be saying, for the next four months, that “I was for an insurance mandate before I was against it.”
Not an enviable position to be in as a candidate.
The real losers in the latest Supreme Court decision, however, are the people of the United States. Not those who will be required to go out and buy some over-priced, minimal coverage, rip-off insurance plan offered by the private insurance industry, or to pay a “tax” to the IRS for not doing so, but everyone.
This is because the Affordable Health Care Act is not affordable. It does little or nothing to control health care costs, which are destined to continue to gobble up an ever increasing amount of the total US Gross Domestic Product as well as of corporate profits and families’ incomes.
The new federal version of Romneycare simply prolongs the day when the US finally does what it should have done decades ago, should have done during the first Clinton administration, and should have done at the start of the Obama administration: namely expanding Medicare to cover all Americans.
Instead of going for this option when he had broad and enthusiastic support as the newly elected president, Obama deliberately shut out all discussion of the Canadian-style approach to national health coverage — a national program of government insurance for all, with doctors’ rates and hospital charges negotiated by the government — and instead devised a scheme that leaves the whole payment system in the hands of the private insurance industry, and effectively lets doctors and hospitals charge what they can get away with.
Obama did this because he was a huge recipient of money from all sectors of the health care industry — the insurance companies, the hospital companies, the American Medical Association, the big pharmaceutical firms, and the medical supply firms.
ObamaRomneyCare is at its core an enrichment scheme for nearly all elements of the Medical Industrial Complex, with the possible exception of the lowly family practice physician, nurses, and hospital workers.
There is a reason why Canadians, who have better health statistics than US citizens, as measured by access to care, life expectancy, infant mortality rates, etc., spend half as much as we Americans do on health care both as individuals and as a percent of national Gross Domestic Product. There is a reason why the US has far and away the costliest medical system in the world, and yet still has some 50 million people who cannot get preventive care, and who cannot be seen by a physician when they or their family members get sick or injured unless they go to a hospital emergency room.
On balance, Obama probably has a narrow win in the Supreme Court decision, because the alternative — having the Affordable Health Act ruled unconstitutional– would have been an unmitigated disaster for him. There are certainly bragging rights in being able to tell Republican critics that the Supreme Court, including its Chief Justice John Roberts, an appointee of George W. Bush, have ruled that it does pass Constitutional muster.
But it is a pyrrhic victory, both for Obama, who will now have to explain why it is a good thing to tax poor people who can’t come up with the money to buy a crummy mandated health insurance plan, and for the public, who are going to end up having to pay through the nose for this new law.
No “progressives” should be cheering this decision. It stinks.

Dave Lindorff is a founder of This Can’t Be Happening and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He lives in Philadelphia.

And from Smart Girl Politics...

"...the Court ruled 9-0 that Obamacare was unconstitutional under the Commerce clause which was Obama’s whole defense of the bill. They also ruled 9-0 on the “necessary and proper” clause. Even better both of these rulings were unnecessary to the decision so it is gravy that we got the libs to concede this and it will make it easier to pare away at both theories in the future, which we must do. Well done."

What does the Roberts' decision mean for our future and the future of our Republic.... Have we been wrong ???

Lexington, South Carolina
To all my friends, particularly those conservatives who are despondent over the searing betrayal by Chief Justice John Roberts and the pending demise of our beloved country, I offer this perspective to convey some profound hope and evidence of the Almighty’s hand in the affairs of men in relation to the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.
I initially thought we had cause for despondency when I only heard the results of the decision and not the reason or the make-up of the sides. I have now read a large portion of the decision and I believe that it was precisely the result that Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Roberts and even Kennedy wanted and not a defeat for conservatism or the rule of law. I believe the conservatives on the court have run circles around the liberals and demonstrated that the libs are patently unqualified to be on the Supreme Court. Let me explain.
First let me assure you that John Roberts is a conservative and he is not dumb, mentally unstable, diabolical, a turncoat, a Souter or even just trying to be too nice. He is a genius along with the members of the Court in the dissent. The more of the decision I read the more remarkable it became. It is not obvious and it requires a passable understanding of Constitutional law but if it is explained anyone can see the beauty of it.
The decision was going to be a 5-4 decision no matter what, so the allegation that the decision was a partisan political decision was going to be made by the losing side and their supporters. If the bill was struck down completely with Roberts on the other side there would have been a national and media backlash against conservatives and probably strong motivation for Obama supporters to come out and vote in November. With today’s decision that dynamic is reversed and there is a groundswell of support for Romney and Republicans, even for people who were formerly lukewarm toward Romney before today, additionally Romney raised more than 3 million dollars today.
Next, merely striking the law without the support of Democrats and libs would have left the fight over the commerce clause and the “necessary and proper “ clause and the federal government’s role in general festering and heading the wrong way as it has since 1942. As a result of the decision the libs are saying great things about Roberts; how wise, fair and reasonable he is. They would never have said that without this decision even after the Arizona immigration decision on Monday. In the future when Roberts rules conservatively it will be harder for the left and the media to complain about the Robert’s Court’s fairness. That’s why he as Chief Justice went to the other side for this decision not Scalia, Alito, Thomas or Kennedy, all of whom I believe would have been willing to do it.
Next let’s look at the decision itself. Thankfully Roberts got to write it as Chief Justice and it is a masterpiece. (As I write this the libs don’t even know what has happened they just think Roberts is great and that they won and we are all going to have free, unlimited healthcare services and we are all going to live happily ever after.) He first emphatically states that Obamacare is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause saying you cannot make people buy stuff. Then he emphatically states that it is unconstitutional under the “necessary and proper” clause which only applies to “enumerated powers” in the US Constitution. Justices Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan all went along with these statements. They never would have gone along with that sentiment if that was the basis for striking the law in total. This is huge because this means that the Court ruled 9-0 that Obamacare was unconstitutional under the Commerce clause which was Obama’s whole defense of the bill. They also ruled 9-0 on the “necessary and proper” clause. Even better both of these rulings were unnecessary to the decision so it is gravy that we got the libs to concede this and it will make it easier to pare away at both theories in the future, which we must do. Well done.
Roberts, through very tortured reasoning, goes on to find that the taxing law provides the Constitutionality for the law. Virtually everyone agrees that the Federal government has the power to do this as it does with the mortgage deduction for federal income taxes. This too is huge because Obama assiduously avoided using the term “tax” and now he has to admit this law is a tax and it is on everyone even the poor. That will hurt him hugely in the polls and will help Romney. More importantly though is the fact that this makes this a budgetary issue that can be voted on in the Senate by a mere majority instead of 60 votes needed to stop a filibuster. That means that if the Republicans can gain a majority in the Senate, it can vote to repeal Obamacare in total.
Finally the Court voted 7-2 to strike down the punitive rules that take away money from states that do not expand Medicare as required in Obamacare. This too is huge because we got Kagan and Breyer to join this decision and it can easily be applied to many other cases of extortion the Federal government uses to force states to do things they don’t want to. This is also amazing because Obamacare has no severability clause so by striking the Medicaid mandate portion as unconstitutional the whole bill should have been struck. If that happened none of these other benefits would have been accomplished. I haven’t read far enough to know how he did it but I am sure it is brilliant.
So to recap the Roberts court through a brilliant tactical maneuver has: strengthened the limitations of the commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause by a unanimous decision, made Obama raise taxes on the poor and middle classes, converted Obamacare into a tax program repealable with 51 votes in the Senate, enhanced Romney’s and Republican’s fundraising and likelihood of being elected in November, weakened federal extortion and got the left to love Roberts and sing his praises all without anyone even noticing. Even Obama is now espousing the rule of law just 2 weeks after violating it with his deportation executive order.
That is why I have decided this was a genius decision and that I did in fact get a great birthday present today not to mention U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt. What a day.

“Now you see it . . . now you don’t!” ...a commentary about a slickster from Chicago

The popular music themes were quite different back in the 50's compared with what we are listening to now.  And I'm sure it's a generational thing for us old folks not to enjoy what the young folk are currently busting their ear drums over.  One of my favorite singers of the era was Pat Boone...not sure which song was my favorite but I would place 'Love Letters In The Sand' right up there in the list of the many hits he sang competing against the likes of Elvis Presley for the top teenage heart-throb.  Pat Boone was more than just a teenage idol, he was the epitome of what every parent would hope their child turned out to be...honesty, integrity and whatever else makes up one's character was expressed in both his appearance and crooning abilities...just an overall nice guy.  It's nice guys like the aging Mr. Boone that the younger generation should be listening to now...not what Pat Boone sang (although that would be nice) but what he is now saying...and I can guarantee whatever he says is true.  ~ Norman E. Hooben ...never underestimate an old guy!

from NewsMax
Never Underestimate a 'Slickster'
by Pat Boone

“Now you see it . . . now you don’t!”

The hands are in constant motion, lifting, swapping and placing the walnut shells in ever shifting positions, occasionally giving a glimpse of the pea which will be found under one of the shells.

The sleight-of-hand trickster is glib and talkative, alternately assuring and then questioning the observer about which shell hides the elusive pea. At some point, the observer stops the motion and the chatter . . . and points to the shell he is sure hides the pea.

And invariably, he’s wrong.

The shell game practitioner is practiced and skilled at the game, knowing how to distract with chatter and motion, and to effectively hide with his back and forth hand actions the actual changing location of the little pea. At times there may actually be no pea on the surface, having been palmed by the trickster temporarily, lest the observer accidentally choose the right shell.

Does any of this seem familiar, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold Obamacare . . . not as voter-approved law . . . but as a massive new tax?

The countless repeated assurances from this president that he would “raise no new taxes on 90 percent of Americans . . . no income tax, no payroll tax, no estate tax, no tax, no tax, no tax” still ring in our ears?

Do we not remember the man, with all his persuasive skill and confident assurances, saying over and over “this mandate is not a tax; in fact, it will reduce taxes,” on TV and in his constant staged appearances across the country?

Voila. The tax pea was found where it was least suspected, under the black robe of Justice Roberts.

Who’d have imagined? And now it’ll pop up on the tax bills or expenses of all Americans, as the costs of living and the shared trillions of debt pile up on us.

We should have known this would happen, because the shell game has been played on us repeatedly in the last four years. I’m including the last year of Mr. Obama’s campaign, when he hid his true feelings under one verbal shell — and later revealed the opposite feelings under another after he was elected. The sly fella fooled us again and again!

On abortion, he said he was “not in favor of it, but if one of my daughters commits a mistake, she shouldn’t be punished with a child.” That sent shock waves through the pro-life half of America — but at least candidate Obama said he didn’t “favor” abortion. But he fooled us; his first executive order when he assumed the presidency was to give $250 million dollars of our taxpayer funds to Planned Parenthood International, the foremost provider of abortions in the world.

We sure didn’t see that coming — we’d have sworn his convictions were under that first shell. The pre-election one.

And marriage, another shell-game masterpiece. When Rick Warren asked him on national television about marriage, the cunning Master stated blithely his conviction that marriage, in his view (under his campaign shell), was meant “for one man and one woman.”So we knew where that pea was, right?

Boy, were we played for chumps again. Just recently, as Election 2012 comes nearer, the trickster announced his thinking had “evolved” . . . and he lifted another shell to reveal his view that two men and two women had just as much right to get married as one man and one woman. A complete reversal of what we thought was firmly under his marriage shell. But that trick was calculated to attract a lot of votes for his re-election, so who could blame him? Never underestimate a slickster.

Looking back over the last three-and-a-half years, it’s amazing how many times, and in how many ways, we’ve fallen for the same illusions. Mr. Obama, during his candidacy, stated forcefully that he considered President George W. Bush’s running up the national debt as “unpatriotic.” The debt pea was firmly under that shell — we thought. But fooled again, of course. President Obama has proceeded to run our annual deficit up to close to $2 trillion, and has presented plans that will add $15 trillion to our already $16 trillion debt! How does he do it?

And energy, boy has that been a crazy trick. First he said his demands for “clean energy” would drive the prices of coal and gas “through the roof,” on purpose.

That was so that poor gas-addicted Americans would be forced to use less oil and gas. Clever, huh? But when polls showed high gas prices were hurting his approval standings, he lifted another pea to show that under another shell of his administration, oil production had increased significantly.

What he failed to point out was that the increase was the result of drilling begun under George Bush and that he, Obama, was still obstructing America’s oil production every way he could. The whole thing was so confusing that the public gave up trying to find that pea.

But the Master Game of all has been his pledge of a “transparency” pea.

He was so convincing about that one that when he produced an obviously Photoshopped false “birth certificate,” he completely fooled most of Congress and all the media. A lot of average citizens were on to him, though, and kept asking “what’s under those early passport and school and travel record shells?

Show us those, mister. What are you hiding under there?”

Even he — skilled as he was at his slippery magic — knew that showing those peas would ruin everything, and that his game would be over. So he hired lawyers to keep all those hidden away forever. And lately, when “leaks” emanated from the White House inner circle and were reported in the New York Times that not only jeopardized military secrets, personnel and procedures, but seemed purposed to enhance the president’s image as a strong leader, he professed to be “offended” by the innuendos, managing not to expressly deny a White House origin of the leaks.

But then, as members of Congress were catching on to his game, and insisting he turn over his shells and reveal the “Fast and Furious” pea that cost hundreds of Mexican lives and two US agents — the sly trickster realized he was running out of tricks. He exerted “executive privilege” and told Congress the game was over — for a while.

After all, he has a re-election to think about.

Pat Boone's public career spans a half-century, during which he has been a top-selling recording artist, the star of a hit television series, a movie star, a Broadway headliner, and a best-selling author. He is also a great-great-grandson of the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone. Read more reports from Pat Boone — Click Here Now.

© 2012 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Olympic Travel Advisory

Source: Pamela Geller
Muslim plot to crash U.S. airline during London Olympics

Is it rampant islamophobia that "anti-aircraft missile batteries have been set up in open spaces and on the roofs of apartment buildings around London, Typhoon fighter-jets have been stationed at Northolt airfield near the capital and snipers - trained to shoot down light aircraft - will operate from helicopters, taking off and landing from a battleship on the Thames. Prime Minister David Cameron will personally authorize shooting down a passenger plane believed to be on a suicide collision course."
Obama say, "respect it!"
More info on the thwarted jihadist plot that I posted last weeK:
Report: Al-Qaida planning to crash U.S. airline during London Olympics Haaretz, July 1 hat tip van
According to the Sunday Times, a Norwegian who was trained in Yemen plans to crash the plane on a suicide mission; British authorities say there is a shortage of personnel to carry out proper security screenings.
The al-Qaida branch in the Arabian Peninsula is believed to be planning a terror attack during the Olympic Games in London, scheduled to begin at the end of the month. According to a report in today's Sunday Times, quoting intelligence services, the organization has recruited a Norwegian Muslim convert who was supposed to hijack a U.S. passenger plane and crash it on a suicide mission. It is not clear though that the attack targeted one of the Olympic venues, despite the timing.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been involved in a number of attempts to carry out high-profile attacks on Western targets.
Jonathan Evans, head of MI5, Britain's domestic security service, said in a rare public address last week that "the games are not an easy target, and the fact that we have disrupted multiple terrorist plots here and abroad in recent years demonstrates that the UK as a whole is not an easy target." Despite the successes in foiling terror attacks, Evans warned that "in back rooms and in cars on the streets of this country there is no shortage of individuals talking about wanting to mount terrorist attacks here," and spoke of the threat of Western Muslim citizens who have been radicalized and trained in camps in countries such as Yemen and Sudan, traveling back to the West to carry out attacks.
According to the sources quoted in The Sunday Times, a Norwegian citizen in his mid-30s and who names himself Abu Abdulrahman converted to Islam in 2008 and has in recent months been undergoing training at AQAP bases in Yemen. There have been a number of reports over the last few months of Western citizens who joined al-Qaida and are involved in its operations in Yemen against the local Western-backed security forces.
The intelligence services believe that AQAP will try and take advantage of the fact the Norwegian has a "clean" criminal record and can travel throughout Europe with few restrictions. Around 600 thousand people are expected to be accredited to the Olympics and millions of additional tourists are expected in London over the next month. British airports are suffering from a shortage of qualified passport officers and authorities have expressed concern that the border control will be "swamped" around the Olympics and many visitors will not be sufficiently screened upon entrance.
As part of the elaborate security set-up for the Olympics, the airborne threat has also been taken into account. Anti-aircraft missile batteries have been set up in open spaces and on the roofs of apartment buildings around London, Typhoon fighter-jets have been stationed at Northolt airfield near the capital and snipers - trained to shoot down light aircraft - will operate from helicopters, taking off and landing from a battleship on the Thames. Prime Minister David Cameron will personally authorize shooting down a passenger plane believed to be on a suicide collision course. The preparations have drawn a significant amount of criticism, including from residents of one of the buildings where missiles have been stationed, and who are petitioning the court to have them removed. 

Progressive Nightmares and Conservative Solutions

There are laws that are above political laws...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Why aren't we grabbing our muskets?

This is not the stuff of Democrats or Republicans...this is  the stuff of tyranny.