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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Friday, June 06, 2014
Aiding And Abetting Terrorists
“Obama Aiding and Abetting” Terrorism. The setting free the Top 5 Terrorists from GITMO is likely to come back to bite the United States.
Tags:aiding, abetting, terroris,. releasing, top 5 terrorists, Gitmo, will bite U.S.,editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
GOP USA: The National Rifle Association (NRA) has rolled back an earlier statement criticizing "open carry" rallies in Texas in which gun rights advocates have brought military-style assault rifles into public places.
Chris Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's lobbying arm, said in an interview Tuesday on an NRA-hosted radio show that the statement was "a mistake" and that it was written by a staffer who was expressing his personal opinion.
"The truth is, an alert went out that referred to this type of behavior as 'weird' or somehow not normal, and that was a mistake. It shouldn't have happened," said Cox, who added that the NRA "unequivocally" supports open carry laws.
The open carry rallies in restaurants and other businesses — part of a push for less restrictive gun laws, including legalizing the open carry of handguns — have prompted public criticism, and the NRA appeared to join in last week.
The statement appeared on the website of the group's lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, saying that the demonstrations were counterproductive, scary and "downright weird." . . .
Open Carry Texas, one of the groups behind the recent demonstrations, had said if the NRA didn't retract the statement, Open Carry would withdraw its full support for the NRA.
Tov Henderson, an Open Carry member, told WFAA-TV in Dallas that the group's clarification was refreshing.
"Getting the clarification from them that it wasn't an official stance and that it was just a low-level employee ... it makes sense," Henderson said.
Texas has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the U.S., but openly carrying handguns remains illegal. Long guns like rifles can be carried openly but must be done so in a way that does not cause alarm. But gun holders can be charged with disorderly conduct if anyone around them feels threatened.
The open carry demonstrations, while peaceful, have upset some witnesses. . . . Tags:NRA, National Rifle Association, NRA-ILA, Chris Cox, open carry, Texas, GOPUSATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Racket of Foreign Guest STEM Workers Replacing Or Depressing Wages For American STEM Workers
by Phyllis Schlafly: Tom Donohue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president, just hurled a challenge to Republicans. If they don’t pass amnesty for illegal aliens, they “shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016.”
Somebody probably told him that outrageous statement was a gaffe, which means the inconvenient revelation of an embarrassing viewpoint, so Donohue tried to pass off his threat as a joke. But it isn’t funny; Donohue’s big-business members want us to import more low-paid workers and they want them now, suggesting that this fall’s lame-duck session of Congress would be a good time to implement this racket.
And it is a racket. It’s a carefully planned, well-financed scheme to use false arguments to import foreign workers who will keep wages depressed for American college graduates.
Every time the amnesty issue comes up, and we remind the advocates that it will severely disadvantage low-paid and entry-level American workers by swamping the market with a flood of immigrants to compete for their jobs and depress wages, business leaders offer a compromise. They argue that at least we must accept guest workers on H-1B visas because U.S. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates are in short supply.
We are even told we should welcome them because the foreign STEM graduates are the best and the brightest. That’s false and also insulting. In the age of political correctness, American STEM graduates should be invited to cry discrimination and demand apologies.
As Obama was hopping around in May from one high-dollar Democratic fundraiser to another, he used his famous pen of the Imperial Presidency to create a new category of guest workers for which he has no statutory authority. He will unilaterally allow the spouses of H1-B visa holders to take U.S. jobs.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who is the best friend of American workers, says that Obama’s proposal to create 100,000 more guest worker permits for the spouses of H-1B holders is a plan that will keep 100,000 Americans from finding jobs.
The United States already has more than twice as many workers with STEM degrees as there are STEM jobs. The Economic Policy Institute, the RAND Corporation, the Urban Institute and the National Research Council have all found no evidence that STEM workers are in short supply.
There are more than 5,000,000 native-born Americans with STEM degrees working in non-STEM occupations, and an additional 1.2 million STEM graduates who are unemployed. There is absolutely no STEM worker shortage.
Senator Sessions organized a gathering of real experts on this issue. He included professors who obviously have studied Economics 101 and learned that the law of supply and demand results in wages going up if there is a shortage and down if there is an oversupply.
Rutgers University public policy professor Hal Salzman said that current wages in the high-tech and information technology industries do not indicate that there is any shortage because wages are not going up. In fact, wages are the same as they were when Bill Clinton was president, so Salzman asked, “If there is in fact a shortage, why don’t wages go up?”
Michael Teitelbaum, senior research associate at Harvard Law School and author of a new book on scientific talent, said the high-tech industry has gotten years of a “free ride” from the media about an issue which is really non-debatable because there is no evidence of shortages of scientists and engineers.
Many scholarly studies have refuted the widespread propaganda that there is a shortage of American STEM graduates. Norm Matloff, professor of computer science at the University of California Davis, asked, was there “a problem to begin with?”
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has spent millions on expensive campaigns to get more H-1B visas. Bill Gates is another big advocate of bringing in more guest workers.
Big businesses favor H-1B visa workers because they are cheaper; corporations can pay them less than American engineers. In addition, they are similar to indentured workers because their employers hold their work permits and can prevent the H-1B workers from quitting to take a better job from another employer.
Big corporations not only pay H-1B workers less when they are hired, but use them to replace Americans over age 35 who expect promotions. H-1Bs have destroyed the opportunity of American STEM workers to move up and provide for their families.
The high-tech industries continue to cry about skilled labor shortages, yet they provide no evidence and their statements have been debunked by scholars. But they repeat them and the pro-amnesty media continue to give them coverage.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:The Racket, Guest Workers, Big Corporation, H-1B Visas, import foreign workers, keep wages depressed, lower wages, American college graduates, STEM workers, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle ForumTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Deceitfulness on the Bike Paths & Walkways Issue | They Want Us Out of Our Cars and On Bikes
"Once constructed, individuals need to be encouraged to use available bicycle transportation systems. 'Build it and they will come,' is true only to a limited extent regarding bicycle transportation systems...For a vast majority of people it will take a concerted effort to entice them out of motor vehicles and on to bicycles." ~ Arkansas State Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan1
"Increased commitment to and investment in bicycle facilities and walking networks can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities. Walking and bicycling provide low-cost mobility options that place fewer demands on local roads and highways...The Secretary has the authority to withhold approval for projects that would negatively impact pedestrians and bicyclists under certain circumstances." ~ US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood2
Debbie Pelley, Contributing Author: In the 60's I watched in disbelief as several countries fell to Communism. I wondered many times how these countries could possibly become Communist after witnessing the atrocities occurring in other countries that succumbed to communism.
I came to realize the key was deceit; the people had to be terribly deceived in order to accept the Communist philosophy. Ever since then I've had a healthy fear and a respect for the dangers of deception.
Later, I also realized if people hear something often enough, they start to believe it whether it is true or not. That is the heart of propaganda and the method the liberal media uses to its fullest. I began to make it my goal to search out this propaganda on issues and document the truth.
Since then I've sent hundreds of emails to legislators, media, and state leaders sharing the facts (not just opinion). I, myself, would not believe many of the things I write if I had not seen the documents that prove it, so I send prolific documentation with every letter and email I write.
When those propagating the lies get caught by the facts, (or those who are deceived by them) their favorite response is "conspiracy." I could understand that if I were quoting right wing conservative websites, but I nearly always use government, liberal, and media websites. Most people don't even bother to check the documentation to find the truth.
I am far more concerned with the deceitfulness propagated by those pushing bike trails as an excuse to add another layer of governmental control than I am with the bike trails themselves. Every aspect of government control leads us closer to communism.
In 1963 when they took prayer out of schools, no one envisioned that years later a citizen of Jonesboro would ever apply that to freedom of speech and actually blast the editor for printing letters with quotes from the Bible. Likewise, it is hard to believe the government wants to wean us off our cars and put us on bikes or walkways, but they do.
The dangerous trend in our society is to ask "What is truth?" as though each person can have his own private truth. Pilate asked that question hundreds of years ago. II Thessalonians 2:10-11 says, "Because they received not the love of the truth...God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie."
If you don't want the truth, you're probably not going to find it.
-------------- Debbie Pelley is Retired Arkansas Teacher of 27 years and a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. She is a grassroots conservative watchdog, citizen activist, researcher and writer who advocates for transparent and limited government.
(1) Arkansas State Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan, April 1998, Arkansas Highway Dept. [Advised this is being updated]
"Once constructed, individuals need to be encouraged to use available bicycle transportation systems. 'Build it and they will come,' is true only to a limited extent regarding bicycle transportation systems...For a vast majority of people it will take a concerted effort to entice them out of motor vehicles and on to bicycles." (Page 20)
"Bicycle and pedestrian transportation planning is required."
"Again, bicycle facilities funded through this source must be primarily for transportation rather than recreation." (quote in similar form 4 times on Pages 2 & 3)
The word "must" is used about 50 times in the Plan indicating a mandate.
"The Secretary has the authority to withhold approval for projects that would negatively impact pedestrians and bicyclists under certain circumstances."
"Increased commitment to and investment in bicycle facilities and walking networks can help meet goals for cleaner, healthier air; less congested roadways; and more livable, safe, cost-efficient communities. Walking and bicycling provide low-cost mobility options that place fewer demands on local roads and highways."
"The State and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning regulations describe how walking and bicycling are to be accommodated throughout the planning process (e.g., see 23 CFR 450.200, 23 CFR 450.300, 23 U.S.C. 134(h), and 135(d))."
"Metropolitan transportation plans "...shall, at a minimum, include...existing and proposed transportation facilities (including major roadways, transit, multimodal and intermodal facilities, pedestrian walkways and bicycle facilities, and intermodal connectors that should function as an integrated metropolitan transportation system..." 23 CFR 450.322(f). See 23 CFR 450.216(g) for similar State requirements.
Tags:U.S., Department of Transportation, Bike paths, Walkways, reduced car usage, Debbie Pelley,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began.
Although defenders of the current economy attribute shrinking labor force participation to the increasing pace of retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, these new statistics above confirm a trend that Barron’s recently diagnosed: “The ratio of those over 55 in the workforce actually ticked up”—in other words, older Americans are being forced to return to work in a poor economy to make ends meet while many younger Americans simply aren’t working at all. In short, there is an unprecedented supply of working-age Americans who do not hold jobs. Tags:record number, men not working, United States, 2014, Senator, Jeff Sessions, U.S. Senate Budget CommitteeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene on Monday at 2 PM. At 5:30 on Monday, there will be three cloture votes on district judge nominees: Hannah Lauck to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, Leo Sorokin to be United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and Richard Boulware II to be United States District Judge for the District of Nevada.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 78-17 to confirm Sylvia Burwell to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
The more Americans learn about the crisis at the VA the worse the problems appear to be.
According to the AP, “An additional 18 veterans in the Phoenix area whose names were kept off an official electronic Veterans Affairs appointment list have died, the agency's acting secretary said Thursday — the latest revelation in a growing scandal over long patient waits for care and falsified records covering up the delays at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide. Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson said he does not know whether the 18 new deaths were related to long waiting times for appointments but said they were in addition to the 17 reported last month by the VA's inspector general. . . . The investigation also found broad and deep-seated problems with delays in patient care and manipulation of waiting lists throughout the sprawling VA health care system, which provides medical care to about 9 million veterans and family members. Richard Griffin, the VA's acting inspector general, told a Senate committee three weeks ago that his investigators had found 17 deaths among veterans awaiting appointments in Phoenix.”
>USA Today adds, “Investigators have determined that more than 100,000 veterans nationwide were kept off waiting lists for medical appointments, and Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan Gibson said the nation will learn Monday how many patients were relegated to ‘secret lists.’ During a news conference Thursday at the Carl T. Hayden Medical Center in Phoenix, where the VA medical scandal erupted, Gibson also disclosed that at least 18 Arizona veterans died while awaiting doctor appointments, though it remains unclear whether the delayed care is to blame for those fatalities. . . . Gibson said if any of the 18 deaths is found to have been tied to delays or bogus wait-time stats that the agency will disclose that and discipline the responsible employees.”
Meanwhile, other investigators are digging into the lack of transparency and problems for whistleblowers within the VA. The Washington Post reports, “Federal investigators are examining claims that the Department of Veterans Affairs retaliated against 37 whistleblowers, including workers who tried to report actions relating to the agency’s recent scheduling scandal. The complaints include allegations that managers demoted, suspended and lowered the performance ratings of employees who tried to expose inappropriate record-keeping practices at VA hospitals, according to the Office of Special Counsel, a federal investigative and prosecutorial agency that protects federal employees from reprisals. Claims of retaliation against whistleblowers have arisen at 28 VA locations in 18 states and Puerto Rico, OSC said. ‘The frequency with which VA employees are filing these complaints is one of the highest levels in the federal government,’ said OSC spokesman Nick Schwellenbach. The complaints involve VA facilities in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, the OSC said.”
And according to CNN, “Employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, from all across the country, told us people who speak out face retaliation that could end their careers and permanently harm their family's finances and futures. Today, the Office of Special Counsel announced details from VA whistleblower cases illustrating just how true that fear at the VA has become. . . . The OSC said it has received the complaints from employees at VA facilities in 19 states. And the complaints run the gamut -- from allegations of retaliation for disclosing improper scheduling practices to retaliation for exposing other threats to patient care. . . . In the just the past fiscal year, the Office of Special Counsel has fought the punishment of 14 VA employees who had been retaliated against for being critical of the agency. . . . Last fall, six doctors in Columbia, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia, came forward to describe to CNN how delayed colonoscopies and endoscopies had led to the death of as many as 20 veterans. None would appear on camera. None would even allow us to quote them. But they begged CNN to tell the story. . . . Several of the doctors, we were told, had tried to tell administrators of their concerns that patients were being harmed by delays and that some had died or suffered serious injuries. But we were told those doctors were treated harshly by administrators who did not want to hear of the complaints. All the doctors confirmed to us that VA officials had posted warnings in the hospital's halls and elevators that no VA employees could speak with the media or divulge details of what went on inside the hospital. The warnings, the doctors said, included details about laws that could be violated and penalties that employees could face, including financial reparations and even jail time, if they were to speak out publicly, and if the hospital suffered financial losses as a result.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell recently said, “The denial of care to our veterans is a national disgrace. And the scandal only seems to increase in scope by the day. . . . This scandal appears to be a failure of a huge magnitude, and the people we represent are demanding he rise to the challenge. Our veterans are counting on him to work with both parties to get to the truth, and to pursue solutions that can make things better. . . . We all remember how engaged the President was when Healthcare.gov flopped. He didn’t just send a staffer out to Phoenix. He didn’t just give a Secretary a stern talking to. He didn't justsay he wouldn’t stand for it. He pulled out all the stops. He made it his number one priority to get that website running – even if it’s still not done. And what I’m saying is, the President should put more effort into helping our veterans than his attempt to fix a website. Only he can work with us to get to the truth. Our veterans deserve it. They deserve answers. They deserve accountability. They deserve solutions.” Tags:VA Scandal, continues, Sylvia Burwell, confirmed, Secretary of Health and Human ServicesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of France that marks the beginning of the end of World War II.
The World War II generation is passing, and with it our collective memory of the sacrifices they made to defeat Hitler, Mussolini, Hirohito and the forces of tyranny. The Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France was a massive undertaking involving 160,000 troops, 13,000 aircraft and 5,000 ships.
It is difficult to imagine the United States engaging in such an operation today. Nine-thousand men were killed or wounded in the initial invasion -- and that was just the beginning.
America still has the most powerful military in the world. Its technological sophistication surpasses anything our leaders of 70 years ago could have imagined. American citizens enjoy more prosperity than ever, and in some ways we are a stronger country than we were then.
But when it comes to having the moral courage to do what needs to be done to triumph against evil, our retreat from the values of the Greatest Generation has been nothing short of breathtaking.
Modern wars profoundly affect the people who fight them. But for most Americans, the outcomes don’t change their everyday lives very much.
World War II was different. In the conflict with Germany and Japan, most Americans understood that, if they lost, they would lose their freedoms and their way of life and perhaps literally their lives.
Here at the beaches where I am staying on the Maryland and Delaware shores, there are the remains of watchtowers from which, during the war, American soldiers peered into the Atlantic Ocean 24 hours a day, searching for German submarines that might try to attack the homeland.
In 1942, eight Nazi saboteurs in U-boats reached the coast of Amagansett in New York and Ponte Vedra in Florida. They were tasked with waging a campaign of terror on American transport hubs, industrial facilities and hydro-electric power plants.
But once they arrived, one of the would-be terrorists turned himself into the FBI. Six of the men were summarily executed, while two others were jailed and then deported.
Under today’s leadership, these thugs would be greeted by ACLU attorneys offering to represent them at trial. Political pundits would wonder whether the United States had done something to invite such hostility.
The Democratic Party of the 1940s understood the requirements of defending liberty. That was the party of Roosevelt, the liberal icon to whom today’s Democratic politicians compare themselves but few seem to understand.
The boys who stormed the beaches at Normandy, even those who were unchurched, knew what they were fighting for: the principles elaborated in our founding documents, including the belief that our liberty comes from God.
FDR knew that as well. He once said that the war, at its core, was a battle between the cross of Jesus Christ and the crooked cross of the Nazis. Could you imagine our current president saying something similar?
But let me end on a positive note. On D-Day, Roosevelt led the nation in a prayer for the thousands of American and Allied men crossing the English Channel. Here are some excerpts:
“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. …They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas … – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice. …And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. …Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:D-Day, 70 Years Ago, June 6, 1944Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Warning: Obama's EPA Climate Plan Is Leaking Methane
"Natural gas, which is essentially methane (CH4), may burn cleaner than coal, but what happens when it isn't burned? As a greenhouse gas, methane emitted into the atmosphere is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide over a 100-year period."Plants consume CO2 (carbon dioxide) and release O2 (oxygen - which humans and animals need), However, CH4 (Methane) kills! Hopefully, Industry and government will address this Methane issue.
--------------- by Nicholas Cunningham , OilPrice.com: The Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent will no doubt lead to a cleaner economy. But the road there will be paved with methane.
By requiring reductions in the energy intensity per megawatt-hour of electricity generation, utilities will have the ability to choose from an array of options for how to meet the targets.
Energy efficiency will likely be the first choice. Renewable energy will certainly play a big part, as well.
But one of the major ways utilities will comply with EPA rules is by fuel switching from coal to natural gas. By the EPA's own estimate, coal generation will decline by 20 percent to 22 percent by 2020. That will create an opening for natural gas, which could rise by up to 45 percent, jumping from 22 billion cubic feet per day to 32 bcf/d.
The Obama administration has bet its climate legacy on this trend, which was already underway before the EPA regulations. This is why the administration chose 2005 as a baseline, when emissions were near a peak. 2005 predated the shale gas revolution, which led to significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions as cheap natural gas displaced coal. By 2013, the U.S. had already achieved about a 10 percent reduction in emissions since 2005 – meaning we are already well on our way to the 2030 goal.
Since natural gas burns much cleaner than coal, producing about half as much carbon dioxide, making the switch from coal to gas can go a long way to achieving the rest of the remaining reductions, the administration seems to be thinking.
The big problem is that we don't know what's happening with methane emissions. Natural gas, which is essentially methane (CH4), may burn cleaner than coal, but what happens when it isn't burned? As a greenhouse gas, methane emitted into the atmosphere is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
Natural gas production leaks methane along its entire supply chain – from drilling to storing, processing to distributing. The EPA estimates that methane emissions have actually declined over the past 20 years as technology has improved. And this needs to be true for the EPA's assumptions to work out with its climate plan.
The problem is that many scientists dispute those claims. Robert Howarth of Cornell University believes that methane leakage could be much higher than the government says, which would mean pushing utilities to switch from coal to natural gas may not be constructive. He has conducted studies that conclude methane leakage far exceeds EPA estimates. "Converting to natural gas plants, which is what this latest rule is likely to do, will actually aggravate climate change, not make things better," Howarth told Bloomberg News. "It's well enough established to suggest the EPA is on the wrong side of the science."
The natural gas industry has aggressively pushed back against Howarth's findings, pointing to other studies that show lower methane leakage. But the problem is that the science just isn't all there yet – we don't know exactly how much methane is leaking. Nevertheless, the Obama administration is ploughing forward.
In its regulatory analysis for the new carbon rule, the EPA recognized the methane problem, but has punted on the issue for now. "The EPA is aware that other GHGs such as nitrous oxide (N2O) (and to a lesser extent, methane [CH4]) may be emitted from fossil-fuel-fired EGUs…The EPA is not proposing separate N2O or CH4 guidelines or an equivalent CO2 emission limit because of a lack of available data for these affected sources," the report said.
Natural gas may still have a climate benefit over coal. And even if it doesn't right now, methane leakage could turn out to be a very fixable problem, as engineers figure out how to plug the leaks in the supply chain. But for now, President Barack Obama's climate plan hinges on this uncertainty.
---------------- James Stafford, Editor, OilPrice.com contributed this article to the ARRA News Service. OilPrice.com, the leading online energy news site. Nicholas Cunningham is a Washington DC-based writer on energy and environmental issues. You can follow him on twitter at @nickcunningham1. Tags:EPA, climate plan, CO2 regulations, war on coal, coal, methane, leaking methane, N20, deadly, natural gas, Obama administrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
I can do i, I can distract them Anything for Obama!
Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: It’s an old American saying: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” President Obama’s National Security Adviser went on another Sunday show last weekend. She proceeded to tell the nation and the world that the AWOL U.S. Army soldier held for five years by the Taliban, Bowe Bergdahl, had served “honorably, and with distinction.” She defended the Obama administration’s decision to trade five of the worst detainees at Guantànamo Bay for this soldier.
This is not the first time Susan Rice has been dispatched to the Sunday shows. In 2012, she appeared on five Sunday talk shows in one day. Then, her mission was to spin the story that it was an anti-Muslim video produced in the U.S. that had provoked the deadly attack on our diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
We now know that that was not true. We have since learned that the CIA never told the administration that it was a video that had precipitated the lethal assault that resulted in the deaths of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three brave Americans who had been sent to provide security for our mission in that strife-torn land.
We have good reason to believe that Susan Rice’s performance on those Sunday shows was all a part of an Obama campaign “narrative.” The hotly contested presidential race was then entering its final weeks. Vice President Joe Biden was stumping the country, bragging that “GM is alive and Osama bin Laden is dead.” True, but the Obama-Biden campaign’s simultaneous contention that “al Qaeda is on the run” has proven not to be true. The black flags and slogans of al Qaeda were prominently on view in the streets of Benghazi.
In order to protect the main theme of the Obama `12 campaign, however, it was necessary to politicize the U.S. State Department in ways never before attempted. Everything had to be done to maintain the fiction that “al Qaeda is on the run.” Susan Rice was dispatched to those Sunday talk shows, we have since been told, because Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was “exhausted” by the traumatic events of that bloody week. It is certainly draining to have to lie to the dead men’s families, lie to the nation, lie to the world, and lie to those men’s caskets. But Hillary always knows where her duty lies.
So then, Susan Rice did the lying for the fatigued Madam Secretary. Rice was then our Ambassador to the UN and President Obama's "designated political liar". As a top U.S. diplomat, she fully met the job description some wag gave to such: “A diplomat is a person paid to lie for his (or her) country.” Note, though, even that cynical description didn’t say lie to her country.
That’s what Susan Rice did in 2012. It’s also what made it impossible for even this president to name her as Hillary Clinton’s successor at the State Department. Safely re-elected (and ready to be “more flexible” for Vladimir Putin), Mr. Obama could not afford to have his second term agenda derailed by the battle royal that would have ensued had he named Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Better to tap her as National Security Adviser. That way, you don’t have to hassle with something as inconvenient as Senate confirmation.
So now, Susan Rice has been deployed once again as a Truth-Seeking Missile, ready to shoot down any attempt by Americans to learn what is actually being done with our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
Last Sunday’s talk show appearance by Susan Rice ends any usefulness she has for the American people. In telling the world that Bowe Bergdahl served “honorably and with distinction,” she appears not to have read the extensive Pentagon report on the questionable disappearance of this Summer Soldier from his unit in Afghanistan. If this is the case, then she clearly cannot serve with effectiveness as National Security Adviser.
The most obvious question she should have asked before going on national television is:
“What do we know about this guy?” She could easily have obtained his file before her early Sunday appearance.
There is, unfortunately, a worse possibility: Susan Rice may have had the Bergdahl file in hand and decided she would go before the cameras and try to bluff her way through. She would simply assert that Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction.
Susan Rice must resign or be fired. She has not served with honor or with distinction. And it is clear that when she appears before a national audience on TV, she is on a mission in mendacity. By repeatedly thrusting her forward, the Obama administration is giving us anything but its Sunday best.
------------------------ Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Susan Rice, National Security Adviser, Obama administration, lying, fool us twice, Ken BlackwellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: While the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and the Taliban 5 has dominated the headlines, there was another major, albeit anticipated, announcement from the Obama Administration on Monday. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy declared that the nation's power plants would have to reduce carbon emissions by 30% over the next 16 years.
The Obama Administration is imposing by regulation its radical cap and trade agenda that failed to pass in 2010. And the plan is radical. Consider some of the reaction to this news:
"President Obama's new EPA rule is more proof that Washington isn't working for Kentucky. I will fiercely oppose the president's attack on Kentucky's coal industry."
"There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the Obama Administration has got it wrong once again. This new regulation threatens our economy…"
Those statements did not come from Republicans, but from Democrats who are desperate to distance themselves from Obama's latest big government power grab. But the notion that Democrats will go to Washington and fight Obama is absurd. Every Senate Democrat voted for Obamacare!
Monday's move by the EPA is a declaration of war on coal, which the Wall Street Journal notes is "the cheapest and most plentiful source for power, providing 40% of the nation's electricity."
If you impose regulations that aim to eliminate the nation's cheapest and most plentiful source of electricity, you are guaranteeing higher electricity rates by imposing a new tax on businesses and consumers.
Think your electricity bill is too high now? Barack Obama promised that under his cap and trade plan"electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." Now he's making good on that promise, and it won't be good for the economy.
For the record, carbon emissions have declined since 2007. Why? Thanks to a decline in economic activity -- the Great Recession and its aftermath.
In 2010, climate researcher Pierre Friedlingstein of the University of Exeter told USA Today, "There is a close link between the world's gross domestic product and emissions of carbon dioxide." According to Professor Friedlingstein's research, "The emissions decrease … from 2008 to 2009 was directly related to the economic crisis."
In 2011, one British newspaper published a story on reduced carbon emissions with this headline: "Significant Reduction In UK Emissions Attributed To Recession."
Professor Eric Larson of Princeton wrote in 2012, "Recent declines in carbon emissions are the result of a combination of factors. …The recession, however, appears to be the most significant factor in the decline."
Do you get it, friends?
Carbon emissions are one indication of economic growth. Declining carbon emissions are a sign of recession.
This is what the left's global warming, "cap and tax" policy is all about -- capping energy production and taxing our economy. It's a lose/lose proposition.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Obama, EPA, national Energy Tax, EPA regulation, carbon emissions, higher electric bills, higher prices, lost jobs, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
In an interview with Sean Hannity this week, Robertson said that as he studied U.S. history, he learned about the importance of religion to the country’s founders.
“They were godly men, the vast majority of them,” Robertson said. “I just read about them and I’m thinking, well, I’m no different than they are. They loved God. They carried their Bibles. They follow the lord Jesus. So I’m thinking, I’m like them.”
Robertson’s religious beliefs sparked a controversy in December, prompting A&E to temporarily suspend him from the hit TV show. After widespread backlash, the network reversed the decision. In the Hannity interview, Robertson responded to his critics:,dir>I would never judge or condemn anyone. The Almighty, that’s his job. [I] just give them the good news. Some of them kick and scream about it. We just give it to them.Robertson, a devout Christian, wasn’t always a man of faith. He has said his previous lifestyle was full of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” That changed in his late 20s—and saved his marriage with Kay Robertson.
“I lived with the wicked for 28 years. I’ve been with the godly for 40,” he told Hannity. “Trust me, this last 40—the contrast has been astounding between the two.”
Tags:Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, founding fathers, Sean Hannity, Robert Bluey, The Daily Signal, heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Given the collective anger over the exchange of five Taliban commanders for what appears to be a U.S. Army deserter, combined with the anger from the Veterans Administration revelations, one might be tempted to think that Obama would be impeached or would resign, but neither of those options will occur.
He’s not leaving because he doesn’t care what Americans think and only cared when the issues involved forthcoming elections. He was, after all, elected twice. He doesn’t even care what the members of Congress think, relying now entirely on executive orders and by working his way through federal agencies and departments.
He knows that his approval ratings fluctuate between 48% and 51% on any given day—a testimony to the stupidity that liberals embrace while accusing conservatives of being stupid—and he knows that the vast bulk of Americans are too busy trying to hold onto their jobs, if they have one, and that most do not spend much time paying attention to the issues. Large numbers receive some form of federal assistance and that is their sole concern.
Until the Taliban debacle the mainstream media could be depended upon to ignore tragic events like the Benghazi attack and its cover-up. Indeed, some speculate that Obama thought that getting a U.S. soldier back from the Taliban would detract attention from the VA issue, but did not anticipate how badly that would turn out. It was, after all, part of his intention to release all of the Gitmo detainees and close the facility.
It hardly seems accidental or ironic that the spokesperson for both scandals has been national security advisor, Susan Rice, lying through her teeth.
In the 2010 and 2012 elections Republicans gained more seats in the House of Representatives, but made little progress in the Senate. Some Tea Party movement conservatives like Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio now hold office, but they are a minority within a minority so far as the U.S. Senate is concerned. I will take any progress we make and any candidate with a “R” after his or her name.
Even if the GOP were to gain control of the Senate after the forthcoming November midterm elections there will be no impeachment proceedings against Obama because Republicans with long memories will recall how badly that turned out when it was attempted against Bill Clinton. It was rejected and he went on to become the Democratic Party’s popular senior statesman.
Hillary Clinton has let it be known she did not favor releasing the Taliban commanders. A story in the Daily Beast on June 3 reported that “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was personally and intensely involved in the debate over swapping five Taliban commanders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2011 and 2012. But she had severe reservations about the potential deal, and demanded stricter conditions for the release of the prisoners than what President Obama settled for last week.”
Should she become the Democratic Party candidate for 2016 Hillary will put as much distance as possible between herself and Obama.
Will Obama resign as this new wave of anger sweeps over the White House? That is not going to happen either.
If we know anything about Obama at this point it is that he has no regard for the oath of office he took, even less for the Constitution. He breaks laws now with virtual impunity.
He knows that his lies have made it possible for him to pursue his agenda for legislation like Obamacare, increasing the national debt to the highest it has ever been, and imposing regulations through the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct his “war on coal.” His “stimulus” to goose the economy was a failure. His “reset” with Russia has been a failure along with other foreign policy missteps.
When Obama leaves office—assuming the worst fears of many conservatives that he will declare martial law and try to make himself President-for-Life will not occur—he will have a long life of considerable wealth awaiting him. He will be gone, but in the same way the Clintons are gone, yet still making news.
So, yes, Obama must go. But he won’t.
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs" disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:President Obama, Must go, But Won't, Alan Caruba, warning signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Coal Killer, EPA Regulations, jobs, economy, AF Branco, editorial cartoon To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Federal Agencies are Building a Massive Database to Collect Personal Data
Photographer: Justin Grimes/ Flickr. Licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: The federal government is building a database that will contain extensive personal financial information for over 200 million Americans, the Washington Examiner reports:The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau posted an April 16 Federal Register notice of an expansion of their joint National Mortgage Database Program to include personally identifiable information that reveals actual users, a reversal of previously stated policy.
FHFA will manage the database and share it with CFPB. A CFPB internal planning document for 2013-17 describes the bureau as monitoring 95 percent of all mortgage transactions.
FHFA officials claim the database is essential to conducting a monthly mortgage survey required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and to help it prepare an annual report for Congress.
… [U]nder the April register notice, the database expansion means it will include a host of data points, including a mortgage owner’s name, address, Social Security number, all credit card and other loan information and account balances.
The database will also encompass a mortgage holder’s entire credit history, including delinquent payments, late payments, minimum payments, high account balances and credit scores, according to the notice.
The two agencies will also assemble “household demographic data,” including racial and ethnic data, gender, marital status, religion, education, employment history, military status, household composition, the number of wage earners and a family’s total wealth and assets.The National Mortgage Database (NMD) website insists that “We Are Protecting Your Information”:Information in the database will not identify any individual and we have put safeguards in place to ensure that information in the database is handled in accordance with federal privacy laws and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.Critics like the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Market Competitiveness disagree with this assertion. A CCMC letter to the FHFA states that the database “will intrude unnecessarily upon Americans’ privacy, increase the risk of financial fraud and identity theft, and undermine consumer confidence in the security of their financial information.”
CCMC has a number of criticisms with the database:
“The FHFA has not clearly stated the need for the NMD” nor has it explained “why existing databases or a more limited version of the NMD might not meet the FHFA’s purposes.”
The FHFA “lacks clear authority to gather, store, and analyze the vast amounts of sensitive personal and financial information that will be tracked in the NMD.”
Federal privacy law “does not allow an agency [FHFA] (here likely acting beyond its authority) to share confidential information with another agency [CFPB] simply because they share similar policy goals.”
The FHFA hasn’t adequately explained how this tempting target for hackers will be protected.
Since the FHFA will be sharing the database with the CFPB, it’s important to look at some questionable behavior from this agency. Last month, it was discovered that the agency will spend nearly $400,000 on an all-staff meeting in Washington, D.C. in July. Also earlier this year we found out that a renovation of its Washington, D.C. headquarters has “soared to $145.1 million from a prior estimate of $95 million.”
The CFPB is housed inside the Federal Reserve and isn’t funded by Congress, it is, in the words of Rep. Jeb Henserling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, “unaccountable to the American people.”
Both agencies can say, “Trust us,” but in the case of the CFPB, its fiscal track record and the lack of institutional accountability should make us question its ability to keep that promise.
------------ Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and blogger at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Federal Agencies, massive Database, collecting, personal data, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, Sean Hackbarth, U.S. Chamber of CommerceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:The Bad Deal, President Obama, 5 Taliban terrists, released, editorial cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by George F. Will: What Winston Churchill said of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles — that he was a bull who carried his own china shop around with him — is true of Susan Rice, who is, to be polite, accident-prone . When in September 2012 she was deputed to sell to the public the fable that the Benghazi attack was just an unfortunately vigorous movie review — a response to an Internet video — it could have been that she, rather than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was given this degrading duty because Rice was merely U.N. ambassador, an ornamental position at an inconsequential institution. Today, however, Rice is Barack Obama’s national security adviser, so two conclusions must be drawn.
Perhaps she did not know, in advance of the swap of five terrorists for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the, shall we say, ambiguities about Bergdahl’s departure from his platoon in Afghanistan and the reportedly deadly consequences of his behavior. If so, then she has pioneered a degree of incompetence exotic even for this 10-thumbed administration. If, however, she did know and still allowed Obama to present this as a mellow moment of national satisfaction, she is condign punishment for his choice of such hirelings.
Perhaps this exchange really is, as Obama said in defending it, an excellent thing “regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be.” His confidence in its excellence is striking, considering that he acknowledges that we do not know the facts about what would seem to be important “circumstances.”
Such as the note Bergdahl reportedly left before disappearing, in which he supposedly said he did not approve of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. And the notably strong and numerous expressions of anger by members of Bergdahl’s battalion concerning his comportment and its costs.
Obama did not comply with the law requiring presidents to notify Congress 30 days before such exchanges of prisoners at Guantanamo. Politico can be cited about this not because among the media it is exceptionally, well, understanding of Obama’s exuberant notion of executive latitude but because it is not. Politico headlined a story on his noncompliance with the law “Obama May Finally Be Going Rogue on Gitmo.” It said Obama’s “assertive” act “defied Congress” — Congress, not the rule of law — in order “to get that process [of closing the prison at Guantanamo] moving.” It sent “a clear message” that “Obama is now willing to wield his executive powers to get the job done.” Or, as used to be said in extenuation of strong leaders, “to make the trains run on time.”
The 44th president, channeling — not for the first time — the 37th (in his post-impeachment conversation with David Frost), may say: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” Already the administration says events dictated a speed that precluded complying with the law.
This explanation should be accorded open-minded, but not empty-minded, consideration. It should be considered in light of the fact that as the Veterans Affairs debacle continued, Obama went to Afghanistan to hug some troops, then completed the terrorists-for-Bergdahl transaction. And in light of the fact that Obama waged a seven-month military intervention in Libya’s civil war without complying with the law (the War Powers Resolution) that requires presidents to terminate within 60 to 90 days a military action not authorized or subsequently approved by Congress.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the intelligence committee, says the administration told him he would be notified about negotiations for the release of terrorists. He now says he cannot “believe a thing this president says.”
Obama says his agents “consulted with Congress for quite some time” about prisoner exchanges with the Taliban. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, says there have been no consultations since 2011. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) says “I don’t like it when the White House says the intelligence committees were briefed. Because we weren’t.” He says Obama is “referring to . . . 2011-2012, when I was still in grade school.”
Now, now. “Assertive” presidents can’t be expected to “go rogue” without ruffling feathers. And omelets cannot be made without breaking eggs. Etc.
This episode will be examined by congressional committees, if they can pierce the administration’s coming cover-up, which has been foreshadowed by the response to congressional attempts to scrutinize the politicization of the Internal Revenue Service. If the military stalls on turning over files to Congress pertaining to the five years of Bergdahl’s absence, we will at least know that there is no national institution remaining to be corrupted.
------------ George F. Will on Facebook; Opinion Columnist at the Washington Post where his article was first shared.. Tags:George F. Will, president, president goes rogue, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Media Research Center Sues The Federal Government
A seminal case for religious liberty, future of the MRC at stake. Initial hearing scheduled for June 6.
"We do not stop being religious,
moral people the moment we walk
out of our houses of worship."
- L. Brent Bozell III
L. Brent Bozell III, MRC: When the ObamaCare mandate forcing religious institutions to subsidize contraception, abortifacients, and sterilizations went into effect in January 2012, it caused a massive uproar.
And not just among conservatives and people of faith. In fact, even some liberal columnists were appalled. The broad opposition to the mandate stemmed from a fundamental question about whether the state has the right to force people to violate their sacred beliefs. It was that simple.
In the face of intense opposition from all sides, the Obama Administration made some cosmetic changes to the mandate, without addressing the core issue at hand, which was religious liberty.
The mandate now exempts Churches and other “eligible organizations.”
But to qualify as an “eligible” organization, the non-profit must, and I quote, “hold itself out as a religious organization.”
The law, however, is unclear as to what exactly that means. Who is “eligible” has been left for bureaucrats to decide.
If they were to determine that the MRC does not “qualify” for Constitutional protection, we face crushing fines totaling $12,500 per day or $4.5 million per year, starting from May 1, 2014. These fines would put the MRC out of business.
As a result, we have been forced to assert our rights in federal court. We will take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.
At 1:45 PM, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nomination of Sylvia Burwell to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Following that vote, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nomination of Carolyn Radelet, to be Director of the Peace Corps.
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Today, the Senate will vote on President Obama’s newest choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services. In other words, the person he’ll be sticking with the impossible task of trying to make Obamacare work. By most accounts, Sylvia Burwell is a smart and skilled public servant. But her embrace of Obamacare calls her policy judgment into question. And when it comes to the task of implementing this ill-conceived and disastrous law, the President may as well have nominated Sisyphus. Because, as I indicated, Ms. Burwell is being asked to do the impossible here. Obamacare has already inflicted tremendous pain on the lives of countless Middle Class Americans, including many thousands in my own state. It’s increasing costs for families all across the country – despite endless promises to the contrary. It’s reduced access to the doctors and hospitals my constituents relied on – despite endless promises to the contrary. And it’s caused Kentuckians to lose the plans they liked and wanted to keep – despite endless promises to the contrary. . . . Nearly every major Obamacare promise from several years ago is a broken Obamacare promise today.”
While things like the VA scandal, the Obama EPA’s costly new job-killing regulations, and various foreign policy stumbles by the White House have dominated the news recently, Obamacare has continued to generate stories about its failures and headaches.
Of course, the law continues to break the core promises Democrats made when they passed it, among those that it would lower premiums. In one of the Democrat-run states that wholeheartedly embraced Obamacare, Vermont, the AP reported yesterday, “The two health insurance companies offering coverage through the state health exchange want to raise their rates for people and small businesses. The state's largest insurance provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, has requested an average 9.8 percent increase and MVP Health Care is seeking an average 15.4 percent increase. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont says the increase is driven by significant medical price increases as well as changes related to federal and state health care reforms.”
Then there are the state exchanges that are still floundering after high profile implosions.The Wall Street Journal wrote this week, “Five states that launched health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act expect to spend as much as $240 million to fix their sites or switch to the federal marketplace, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon estimate the money will be needed to fix problems with troubled marketplaces or to join the federal exchange before the next enrollment period in November, according to an analysis of data provided by the state exchanges. Funds may come from the states, remaining federal grants and new federal requests. The fresh spending is fueling a pitched debate in some states that could shape how residents buy their health insurance. Some local lawmakers say upgrading or sustaining the exchanges could deplete funding for roads, education or other vital programs. In Washington, some Republicans lawmakers want a moratorium on spending federal funds on marketplaces still bedeviled by problems. ‘I don't think more money will solve the problem,’ said Sen. John Barrasso, (R., Wyo.). ‘We should stop the bleeding.’ . . . In Maryland, legislators are urging Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley to support a switch to the federal exchange, which they say would come at scant cost. But state officials are looking to adopt technology from Connecticut's marketplace. Maryland estimates it will cost as much as $50 million to upgrade. . . . In Rhode Island, some state legislators are balking at the cost of sustaining the marketplace, which has so far received $140 million in federal grants. GOP state Rep. Patricia Morgan in March introduced legislation that would prohibit state funding for the exchange after federal funds run out. Co-sponsors said the state would spend $40 million annually on exchange operations, money that could be used to fix potholes, roads and bridges. ‘They built it and never thought about how they'd pay for it,’ she said. . . . Beginning with the November enrollment period, Oregon will use the federal exchange to sign people up for private plans. The state will cover that cost, which is estimated at up to $6 million. The Oregon Health Authority, which operates most of the state's health-care programs, will take over Medicaid eligibility and enrollment. The federal government will pick up 90% of that estimated $35 million cost.”
Oregon’s collapse continues to generate problems on top of problems. According to KATU TV in Portland, “Some people who signed up for private health insurance plans through Cover Oregon this year will need to re-enroll for next year. It affects more than 80,000 people, or about a quarter of those who enrolled through Cover Oregon. It’s a step in the state transferring Cover Oregon to the federal government. . . . Come November, people who purchased private plans through Cover Oregon for 2014 will have to re-enroll for coverage through the federal website, which only handles private plans. . . . Right now, four insurance companies who offered private plans through Cover Oregon don't offer any through the federal exchange. . . . The Cover Oregon debacle has infuriated many Oregonians, especially people who got caught up in it. The website failed to enroll a single person as it was promised.”
But the federal system isn’t faring that well in actually administering this mess of a law either. Yesterday, the AP reported, “A government document provided to The Associated Press indicates that at least 2 million people enrolled for taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance have data discrepancies in their applications. Each individual has at least one mismatch between key personal information they supplied and what the government has on record. Consumers who get a notice about such problems would do well to pay attention. If unresolved, it could affect what they pay for coverage, or even their legal right to benefits. It's also creating a huge new paperwork headache for the administration, although officials say they hope much of the pile can be cleared away this summer. Congressional Republicans opposed to the law are launching investigations, saying they worry the government may be wasting money by paying overly generous subsidies. . . . The May 8 document provided to the AP said that 2.1 million people enrolled through the new health insurance exchanges were ‘affected by one or more inconsistency’ as of the end of April. The number of people affected could well be higher. According to the administration, the 2 million figure reflects only consumers who signed up through the federally administered HealthCare.gov website and call centers. The government signed up about 5.4 million people, while state-run websites signed up an additional 2.6 million. . . . The document provided to AP describes a laborious effort to try to resolve the problems, largely requiring hands-on attention from a legion of workers employed by government contractor Serco Inc. ‘Current system access and functionality ... limits the ability to resolve outstanding inconsistencies,’ said the document. ‘A phased approach is proposed, initially leveraging manual processes.’”
And earlier this week, >Roll Call found that “[a]t least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall . . . . The problems are most acute in three states — California, Illinois and North Carolina — where almost 1.5 million Medicaid applicants remain in limbo. Though all three are experiencing high volumes of enrollment, problems vary from California’s balky electronic sign-up system to Illinois’ inability to predict a surge of applications. The waits are linked in part to the troubled rollout of the federal insurance website healthcare.gov last fall. Alaska, Kansas, Maine and Michigan still are unable to receive applications their residents completed through the federal website. Others such as Georgia received applications submitted last fall in May. . . . Beyond the individuals, the delays have left doctors, hospitals and other health providers unsure whether they will be reimbursed for care they provide to people who appear eligible for Medicaid but haven’t received benefit cards. . . . In the 36 states whose residents signed up through healthcare.gov, at least 1.4 million people faced delays because the website was unable for months to transmit the information to states. Once it did, states complained they weren’t receiving all of the applications and that data was incomplete or riddled with errors. The logjams were so bad that officials asked applicants to re-apply directly through the states, where workers often sorted the information by hand. That created duplicate applications for as many as half of prospective Medicaid enrollees in Idaho and Louisiana. . . . States that ran their own websites, including California and Illinois, also experienced troubles. The new California computer system has technical glitches, including difficulty sending information to counties that help process applications.”
As Leader McConnell explained, “In January, the Secretary certified to Congress that she would verify that people were actually eligible for Obamacare subsidies before they were sent out. In recent weeks, we learned from media accounts and testimony that many of the systems needed to protect taxpayers against inaccurate or fraudulent payments still have not been built, tested, or used. And yesterday we learned that nearly one in four applications may have an inconsistency that could affect the accuracy of these payments from American taxpayers. Any wasted tax dollar is a problem, but when you consider that many of these are dollars raised from tax increases or raided from Medicare to make payouts by mistake or through fraud, it’s enough to make your head spin. This is just the kind of thing everyone warned about as Washington Democrats tried to ram this law through. And it will only get worse if we give up now and just accept the giant mess they’ve made of health care. I mean, if they can’t even get a website fixed – after spending hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars – how can they possibly regulate such a huge sector of our economy in any effective way?
“How can any Administration official possibly repair all the broken Obamacare promises? The question answers itself: they can’t. The nominee before us can’t. No one can. The problem is the law itself. Obamacare is what prevents the successful implementation of Obamacare. And Americans don’t want it. They want real health reforms – reforms that can actually lower costs, increase choice, and help the Middle Class. So, in my view, the Senate shouldn’t be focusing on a new captain for the Titanic. It should focus on steering away from the iceberg. . . . I’ll be voting against this nominee, because I think we need to focus on repealing and replacing this law, not trying to do the impossible by pretending we can make it work.” Tags:DHHS nomination, Sylvia Burwell, DHHS Titanic, Obmacare,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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