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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moe Lauzier’s
Issues of the Day

“This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.”

~~~ Adolf Hitler, 1935

“The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”

~~~ Thomas Jefferson

The Halbig ruling: one brief, shining moment for the rule of law


Tuesday’s Halbig v. Burwell ruling touched off a panic on the Left, as the unexpected 2-1 ruling against ObamaCare looked as though it might be a death blow to that tortured, unpopular, blatantly unconstitutional program.  By the end of the day, liberal pundits were advising their readers to calm down, promising them that ObamaCare would weather this storm.
Those pundits are right, or at least they’re calling the odds correctly.  We no longer live in a constitutional republic that respects the rule of law.  If we did, ObamaCare would have died at the Supreme Court before it had a chance to do any damage.  There are too many pitfalls awaiting the Halbigdecision, too many ways for it to die before it escapes our systemic Temple of Doom.  Tuesday might prove to be an important milestone on the long road to ObamaCare repeal, but it will not be allowed to strike a death blow.
The Halbig ruling is still significant, no matter what ultimate fate awaits it.  For one brief, shining moment, the old republic was back.  A three-judge panel of the powerful D.C.. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that a law actually meant what it clearly said, the Leviathan State should be bound by the clear language of the law it passed, and anyone who dislikes the result should direct their ire at the power-hungry politicians and staffers who wrote the Affordable Care Act.  Golly, maybe the Democrats actually should have read it before they passed it!
And this particular “oversight” would seem like a stake to the heart of ObamaCare, because let’s face it: this isn’t a health care reform, it’s a massive socialist wealth redistribution system.  It’s a pile of regulations that adds an immense government burden to the cost of health insurance, making it nearly impossible for what politicians refer to as “working Americans” to afford coverage… combined with a system of lavish subsidies that force other people to pay much of that exorbitant cost.  (Not all of it, which is why many ObamaCare customers find themselves facing “sticker shock” price increases even with the subsidies.)
In other words, this was a strategy to radically increase the cost of an important product, then hook everyone in the Middle Class on government subsidies so they could afford to pay for it.  The Left’s long-desired subjugation of the Middle Class was at hand!  They would never be truly “independent” again.  People pulling down sixty grand a year would become wards of the welfare state, with thousands of dollars in leverage available to ensure their political cooperation with statism.  (If you want to see how that works, wait until there’s serious energy behind a small-government proposal, and the modified defensive whine from the Left insists that the first dollar of spending cuts must come from police, firefighters, teachers… and ObamaCare subsidies.)
But it turns out that buried in the thousands of pages of the Affordable Care Act were provisions (repeated more than once) specifying that only insurance purchased on a health-care exchange set up by a state government would be eligible for subsidies.  Insurance purchased on the billion-dollar bugtastic website could not be subsidized.  In fact, the Affordable Care Act didn’t even empower the federal government to create such an exchange at all.  And since the majority of ObamaCare customers, spread across 36 states, were using the federal exchange, this language in the law meant most of those buyers would be forced to - gasp! - pay the inflated premiums themselves.
Contrary to liberal caterwauling on Tuesday, the Halbig decision didn’t “increase” the price of insurance by a single penny.  It just changed who would be paying the bills.  It’s as clear a demonstration of the old leftist “free stuff” sleight-of-hand – in which “free” bunnies are magically conjured from the bottomless top hat of tax revenues – as you could ever ask to see.  Suddenly most of the people benefiting from insurance policies would be forced to - horror of horrors! - pay the bills themselves.  They would actually see what Barack Obama and his cronies did to the health care system.  What a disaster!
To shoot down another talking point: no, this wasn’t a clerical error or typo in the Affordable Care Act.  The restriction on subsidies was introduced deliberately, as part of an effort to bully state governments into setting up ObamaCare exchanges.  ObamaCare is a mountain of lies and deceptions, written during a series of hasty maneuvers designed to keep political opponents (and the American people) confused and off-balance.  Simplyrequiring the states to create exchanges would have spooked too many state electorates, and brought strong opposition from certain governors, not all of them Republicans.  Therefore, the illusion of freedom was introduced.  It’s the same illusion Obama was peddling when he lied, thirty or forty times, about how everyone would be able to keep their insurance plans if they liked those plans.  It was a massive scam designed to make ObamaCare look voluntary.  It was going to sell itself.  It would be so good that every state government, and every insurance buyer, would rush to participate!
But there were fears that state governments might decide to exercise their nominal freedom and opt out of the ObamaCare exchange system – fears that proved to be quite accurate, as 36 states would go on to exercise that option.  The con artists who created ObamaCare therefore slipped in the subsidy cudgel, reasoning that even if some states chose not to create exchanges at first, they would swiftly be forced to do so by their angry constituents, who would notice people in other states receiving juicy subsidies to purchase their overpriced insurance plans.  This was all supposed to be a legislative mousetrap that would make the freedom to opt out of the exchange system purely hypothetical.  At some point during the mad dash to stuff ObamaCare down America’s gullet during a brief window of opportunity when Democrats held both houses of Congress, some of these dolts forgot about the little subsidy bomb they left lurking in a bill none of them read before voting on it.
So here we are, with a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruling, quite reasonably, that the law says what it says, and if Congress now believes the law was written incorrectly, our carefully balanced system of government provides a simple remedy: Congress can vote to amend the Affordable Care Act.  But of course, ObamaCare’s defenders – desperately trying to protect a deeply unpopular law while both it, and the President it is named after, are imploding – don’t want to follow the proper procedure for amendment, because it would be a political disaster for them, with a good chance of repealing all, or most, of the Affordable Care Act.  And that’s as it should be.  The ACA is a fraud.  It doesn’t work.  It doesn’t do what its authors claimed it would do.  Many of its funding mechanisms have been stripped away.  President Obama has illegally rewritten it on the fly to keep it alive.  The American people deserve a do-over: a second chance to look at health care reform with their eyes wide open.
But no, we can’t have that, so the Halbig decision will be swiftly neutralized, most likely by giving a full court stacked, packed, and racked with Obama operatives a chance to reverse Tuesday’s ruling.  Another court, the Fourth Circuit, coincidentally ruled in favor of ObamaCare on the very same topic Tuesday, and their ruling makes clear that the Affordable Care Act was an usurpation of the constitutional order, the very sort of enabling act that our Founders were horrified of.  In the Fourth Circuit’s view, the “context” of what ObamaCare’s authors “intended” trumps the clear text of the law itself.  More to the point, what they claim today was their intention two years ago is all that matters.  The ACA was a writ of unlimited power for the government to force what it decides is “affordable” and “universal” coverage upon the public… subject to such waivers and exemptions as the royal court sees fit to grant, of course.  (You would think all those exemptions could stand as a devastating retort to all this blather about “context” and “intentions,” since they’re obvious proof that ObamaCare isn’t making insurance universal or affordable, but logic departed this argument some time ago, and left no forwarding address.)
This is all about politics and power, not the rule of law, so the ACA will continue to say whatever His Majesty declares it says on any given day.  The White House immediately announced it would ignore the Halbig ruling even if it stood, which in a better era would appear on Barack Obama’s bill of impeachment, but frankly they’re just being honest about how things work these days.  No mere “law” will be allowed to obstruct the imperial President from exercising the powers he has seized.  If you didn’t want him to seize those powers, you shouldn’t have voted for him, suckers.
Even if Halbig made it the Supreme Court, it’s highly unlikely that a Chief Justice who has already rewritten the law on the fly to save it would be reluctant to do so again, and we all know the liberal justices will vote in a mindless Borg-like bloc to protect ObamaCare, no matter what is actually written upon its many pages.
We bid farewell to the rule of law long ago; ObamaCare makes for a perfect final epitaph.  This is a political struggle now, a clash of powers, in which laws are only selectively invoked by politicians who cannot defend their actions (see, for example, Democrats’ absurd insistence that one passage of a 2008 law they are willfully misreading is an iron barrier against dealing with our border crisis.)  When the power elite needs to deflect accountability, it raises the law as a shield and crouches behind it, whining that its hands are tied.  But when the elite wants to get something done, the law is no obstacle to their ambitions.  Why, it’s foolish to think the words printed on a page, above the President’s signature, could ever restrict his power!  Law binds the people, not the State!
With that in mind, the politics of the Halbig ruling are pretty much the opposite of its legal interpretation.  If it stood, and those ObamaCare subsidies were shut down, the exchange mousetrap might well snap shut upon state governments, precisely the way ObamaCare’s designers intended.  The clamor to implement such exchanges immediately, so that residents of those states could start collecting subsidies, would be deafening.  It might well become an election issue that could save a few Democrat seats in November.  Imagine barrages of political ads, and angry debate performances, in which the Republican candidate was backed into a corner and force to support the creation of state exchanges… or go on the record as wanting his constituents to pay thousands of dollars more per year for their insurance plans.  ObamaCare might end up dying from its Halbig wounds, but it would go down snapping its fangs and slashing its claws.
On the other hand, if the more likely outcome occurs and Halbig is overturned (or ignored), it becomes a powerful election-year issue for Republicans.  It’s one more undeniable piece of evidence that ObamaCare is fundamentally incompatible with the American system of government.  Sharp GOP candidates can make devastating arguments about how subsidies are used to hide the true cost of the program from the American people.  The banana-republic tactics used to beat down Halbig will be fodder for many Republican campaign ads.  There’s a lot of other bad news rolling in about ObamaCare; an overturned Halbig ruling will make a nice maraschino cherry atop the sundae of failure.
No matter what happens next, let us savor the one brief, shining moment when the rule of law actually mattered again, the Ruling Class was held responsible for its actions, and Americans were granted a vision of the great republic they have lost.  It’s more clear than ever that if we want the republic back, getting rid of ObamaCare is an indispensable first step.

Meriam Ibrahim Arrives in Italy, 1 Day After Conservatives Blast Obama for Ignoring Her Plight

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said “a warning should be sounded across America” over the Obama administration’s “virtual silence” toward the Sudanese government’s persecution of Meriam Ibrahim, who was imprisoned in Sudan for being a Christian.
Shortly after Perkins testified Wednesday before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee, Ibrahim and her family – two young children and her American husband – were allowed to leave the U.S. Embassy in Sudan, where they took refuge on June 27.
They arrived in Rome on Thursday, their exit from Sudan reportedly negotiated by the Italian government and the Vatican -- not the United States. Later on Thursday, Meriam was blessed by Pope Francis.
In his testimony to Congress, Perkins said Ibrahim has shown more courage than the Obama administration throughout her ordeal:
“We are here because of the courage of a 27-year-old mother -- a 27-year-old mother, if you’ll just imagine the situation for a moment, in a prison on Khartoum [Sudan], which the U.N. says has an infant mortality rate of one child dying per day in that prison. At her side, at eight months pregnant, is a 21-month-old boy. And she is told that if she will denounce her faith in Jesus Christ, there’s the door, you can be a free person. But yet she refused to renounce her faith because she had the courage to stare death in the face.”
APTOPIX Vatican Pope Sudan
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, from Sudan, with her daughter Maya in her arms, in his Santa Marta residence, at the Vatican, Thursday, July 24, 2014.

“What has America done?” Perkins challenged. “Where is the courage in America?”
Meriam was arrested on February 17 after her brother told police she left Islam to marry Daniel Wani, who is a Christian and an American citizen. Under Islamic law in Sudan, apostasy is a capital crime, and on May 15, she was convicted and sentenced to death.
She was imprisoned with her 21-month-old son, and she gave birth to a daughter while still in shackles.
But Meriam insisted all along that she was raised a Christian, and she refused to renounce her faith.
Facing international pressure and condemnation, the Sudanese government freed Ibrahim on June 23, but she was detained again the next day at the airport in Khartoum for alleged document fraud, preventing her from leaving the country.
Perkins criticized the Obama administration for being “practically mute” as Ibrahim was allowed to sit in prison awaiting death simply for being a Christian.
“While other governments have called attention to Meriam’s situation, including the European parliament passing a resolution and the British government’s prime minister speaking out publicly, the U.S. government has been practically mute,” Perkins said.
“The U.S. government’s disinterest in the plight of an American and his family is simply indefensible,” he added, accusing the administration of “ignoring the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which states that ‘it shall be the policy of the United States to condemn violations of religious freedom and to promote and assist other governments in the promotion of the fundamental right to freedom of religion.’
“The United States has clearly failed to condemn this violation and to speak out clearly and with conviction and courage on behalf of Meriam,” Perkins said.
He added that the Obama administration’s silence over international religious persecution goes hand-in-hand with a “reinterpretation” of religious freedom in the United States.
“A warning should be sounded across America that an indifference to religious persecution abroad can only lead to greater religious intolerance here at home,” Perkins warned.
“It is difficult to look at these facts and not understand them in light of the current administration’s unilateral reinterpretation of religious freedom domestically.
“This administration believes religious beliefs should be quarantined to private spaces and excluded from the public space. This truncated view of religious freedom domestically more accurately described as the freedom of worship, is matched by the administration’s failure to address the growing threats to religious freedom internationally,” Perkins added.
While the Obama administration has condemned other discriminatory acts by governments abroad, it has often turned a blind eye to violations of religious freedom, Perkins said, even as the Obama administration has actively urged other governments around the world to acknowledge rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people.
“The State Department has been pursuing its values and its goals, which have not included religious liberty,” Perkins said.
At the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) also criticized the administration for its silence, saying the lack of an immediate response to Ibrahim’s situation “seems wrong.”
“When a woman of faith is neglected at least for several months, and I would say mistreated, as well as her children and her husband, recently they’re doing things we can all be proud of, but at first, why did it take an outcry by U.S. Congress, members of the U.S. Senate, religious freedom NGOs and others to bring a focus upon this?” Smith questioned. “It seems wrong to me that it takes that kind of pressure just to do the right thing.”

Obama Dinner Fire Sale: Price Of Seats Slashed At President’s California Fundraisers

President Barack Obama’s fundraising junket on the west coast has reportedly hit a wall, with per-plate prices for the Democratic fundraising dinners which he headlines tanking from a previous high of $32,400 to as little as $5,000.

That’s getting into hoi polloi territory.

Why the price cut? Donor fatigue, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“President Obama hit the Bay Area for a fast cash-and-grab fundraising drive Wednesday, but there were signs that even in one of the nation’s most reliable Democratic ATMs, donor fatigue is setting in,” the Chronicle reported this morning.

“Democratic donors who were invited to the San Francisco event, at the Four Seasons Hotel on Market Street, said they had initially been asked to donate as much as $25,000 to sit down with Obama. One who balked at the price said organizers had offered a cut-rate deal of as little as $5,000,” the report also revealed.

A San Francisco event also reportedly began offering tickets at a deep discount, even though similar events in the past have routinely enjoyed ticket prices of $32,400 per guest.

Only three months have passed since Obama made a similar trip through Silicon Valley to pass the hat, and one unnamed invitee (the report doesn’t say whether the invitee actually attended an event this time around) told the Chronicle it feels as though donors are being asked to pay more for the privilege of the President’s brief company — while receiving less than they’re used to.

“Five-thousand dollars to sit down with the president for an hour? That’s usually what it costs for a photo of you and your whole family.”

Maine Governor Curbs Public Assistance To ‘Able-Bodied’ Recipients Unless They Work

Maine Governor Curbs Public Assistance To ‘Able-Bodied’ Recipients Unless They Work

Acting on the order of Republican Governor Paul LePage, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday the State would stop administering Federal food stamp benefits to capable residents who do not hold jobs, receive job training or do volunteer work.

In a statement, the Governor explained his rationale, saying people in need “deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied individuals a handout… We must protect our limited resources for those who are truly in need and who are doing all they can to be self-sufficient.”

According to Portland NBC affiliate WCSH-TV, the new rule, set to take effect on Oct. 1, applies to adult food stamp recipients who do not claim any dependents. It will require them to work or volunteer for 20 per week in order to continue receiving food stamps, now formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Recipients can also meet the requirement by participating in the Maine Department of Labor’s Competitive Skills Scholarship Program, which trains residents in developing practical job skills.

The SNAP program is funded by the Federal government but is administered by the States. LePage’s plan would affect approximately 12,000 Maine residents.

More from the report:
In an interview with NEWS CENTER, DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew emphasized that the change only affects SNAP recipients with are not disabled, not elderly and have no dependents. She says that means it will not affect single mothers, for example. DHHS says federal law already requires work for those recipients, but Mayhew says Maine has been operating under a federal waiver since 2009. The waiver expires at the end of September and Mayhew says the state will not renew it. She says the lower unemployment rate and improving economy should make it more feasible for those people to find jobs. But DHHS is also stressing that specific education or training programs can also qualify, as can approved community service work.

Democratic elected leaders in Maine reportedly aren’t happy about the end of no-work food stamps, criticizing LePage for playing politics and neglecting the plight of poor people in the State’s rural areas, where the logistics of getting and keeping part-time work aren’t feasible for people who lack funds.

In June, LePage made a similar move to curb wasteful applications of public assistance, announcing a plan to end State benefits for illegal immigrants who reside in Maine. “[I]llegal aliens who choose to live in Maine are not our most vulnerable citizens,” LePage explained in a radio address discussing the proposal.

Interesting nugget: LePage himself reportedly was homeless as a child.

Botched Execution Nothing to Lose Sleep Over

by Chuck Muth
So bleeding heart liberals are in a tizzy over the fact that it took almost two hours for Joseph Rudolph Wood to die after his lethal injection in Arizona on Wednesday.  His attorneys claim their client was “gasping and snorting” for an hour, and death penalty opponents will certainly use this incident to complain of cruel and unusual punishment.
You know what I think is cruel and unusual?  What Wood did to land on death row in the first place, that’s what.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections website, Wood “had been involved in a turbulent relationship for 5 years,” including “numerous breakups and several domestic violence incidents” with his ex-girlfriend, 29-year-old Debbie Dietz.
Twenty-nine years old.  Her whole life still ahead of her.  Now here’s the rest of the story…
“Debbie was working at a local body shop owned by her family. On August 7, 1989, Wood walked into the shop and shot Gene Dietz, age 55, in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver, killing him.
“Gene Dietz’s 70-year-old brother was present and tried to stop Wood, but Wood pushed him away and proceeded into another section of the body shop.
“Wood went up to Debbie, placed her in some type of hold, and shot her once in the abdomen and once in the chest, killing her. Wood then fled the building.
“Two police officers approached Wood and ordered him to drop his weapon. After Wood placed the weapon on the ground, he reached down and picked it up, and pointed it at the officers. The officers fired, striking Wood several times. Wood was transported to a local hospital where he underwent extensive surgery.”
So this guy beats up his girlfriend multiple times.  She breaks up with him.  He shows up at her place of business without warning.  Kills her unarmed father for no reason.  Kills his unarmed ex for breaking up with him.  Then tries to kill two police officers.
And I’m supposed to feel badly that this murderous piece of human garbage didn’t die a quick and totally painless death?
Wood got to live almost 25 years longer than the two people whose lives he snuffed out.  How are their murders not cruel and unusual punishment for both the victims and their families?
As for death penalty opponents who claim the death penalty is not a deterrent, let me assure you that thanks to the death penalty Joseph Rudolph Wood absolutely, positively, without a doubt, will never, ever murder an innocent person again.  He has been permanently deterred
As for the afterlife, I can only hope that when Wood reaches the Gates of Hades, Saddam Hussein is the greeter, takes a fancy to him, and makes him his boy-toy for eternity.
Rest in pain, Mr. Wood.  Rest in pain.
G’ day…

Ciao…….Moe Lauzier

Friday, July 25, 2014

Moe Lauzier’s
Issues of the Day

“This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.”

~~~ Adolf Hitler, 1935

“The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.”

~~~ Thomas Jefferson

Make no mistake, the president has instigated the present influx of illegal aliens.
It is a grave error to view the swarming of illegal aliens across our southern border as anything other than a challenge to our sovereignty — a challenge abetted, rather than repulsed, by a president who vows to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” The challenge brings into sharp relief a question I’ve repeatedly pressed (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here): If the states cannot or will not defend themselves, are they still, in any real sense, sovereign?
As expected, the president’s mainstream-media allies portray Obama as a man struggling to manage a crisis beyond his control, a crisis their thin and exhausted playbook instructs them to blame on George W. Bush. Nonsense.
In Faithless Execution, I detail Obama’s immigration lawlessness — at least the very extensive record compiled as of mid-spring 2014, when I had to stop writing in order to make an early June publication date. If you’re keeping track, mid-spring was before the ramping up of the ongoing invasion, which already involves close to 300,000 illegal aliens (less than 20 percent of whom are, according to the New York Times, “unaccompanied minors”). It was, however, months after what we now know was the Obama “Homeland Security” Department’s solicitation of escort services to help handle an anticipated arrival of 65,000 illegal-alien minors.
As one would expect, the usual Obama apologists claim that the administration was not conspiring in the invasion. Rather, it was preparing for a humanitarian crisis it had heard alarms about but was somehow powerless to avert. On its face, this is laughable: The executive branch has many ways of discouraging and stopping attempts by foreigners — whether as an armed force or in overwhelming numbers — to enter our country. More significantly, the facts here point unmistakably to willful administration collusion.
The January 2014 solicitation published by DHS’s bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement foretells (a) the arrival of 65,000 “unaccompanied alien children,” and, tellingly, (b) the administration’s intention to transfer them to “Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.” Weasel Zippers points out the glaring fact, largely ignored by the press, that by planning to dispatch the new arrivals to ORR, the administration implicitly presumed that they should be deemed refugees, not excludable or deportable illegal aliens.
The mission of the ORR is to settle “new populations” within the United States, not to detain them pending expulsion. Clearly, the plan was — is — to seed thousands of illegal aliens in cities and towns throughout the country. That is perfectly consistent with other aspects of the administration’s radical agenda, such as “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” Obama’s plan to have the executive branch engineer the racial and ethnic composition of American neighborhoods.
The president has spent nearly six years giving effective legal immunity to millions of illegal aliens already here. His administration, meanwhile, hooks them on the government gravy train and fights state efforts to detain them, deny social services to them, and prevent them from fraudulently voting. Under those circumstances, the rolling out of a federal red carpet for teeming masses of illegal aliens must be understood as intentional.
To be sure, the administration, in its arrogance and ideological zeal, underestimated the resulting groundswell of American protest. It has thus fallen back on its modus operandi, which should be painfully familiar by now: Once assured that an Obama-caused disaster is fully underway, the president endeavors to evade accountability by making a couple of disingenuous gestures in seeming opposition to the crisis he has orchestrated — enough for his courtiers to run with.
So, after 300,000 illegal aliens of all ages have spent thee months pouring in, Obama finally tells ABC News that “unaccompanied children” should not be sent to the United States because the trip here is dangerous and “if they do make it [here], they’ll get sent back.” Right. Then, even as his administration, under a veil of secrecy, transfers tens of thousands of illegals to communities across the country (without notifying state officials), Obama ceremoniously deports a grand total of 38 Hondurans. That’s —  as Sweetness & Light computed — one-one-hundredth of a percent of the swarm that has crossed our border since April. Predictably, the president’s media accomplices highlight these trifling, cynical ploys as clear proof that Obama opposes the invasion he has instigated. And while we are diverted debating that claim, thousands more invaders are resettled as refugees.
In the interim, the press blames Bush. It’s a shrewd gambit: The charge is plausible because the GOP establishment has desperately pushed amnesty for years; even better, the charge involves a complex 2008 law, so it is difficult to unwind. Indeed, even conservative pundits have accepted the premise that what the press monotonously tells us is a “Bush-era law” has contributed mightily to the border crisis.
In reality, this 2008 measure, known as the “William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act,” was a Democratic amendment, added by Senator Dianne Feinstein and then-Senator (and Vice President-elect) Joe Biden to the seemingly uncontroversial reauthorization of a Clinton-era anti-human-trafficking law. Yes, Bush did sign the measure just before leaving office — the third time he’d signed a reauthorization of the feel-good, anti-human-trafficking law. But to blame this law for the crisis is to blame a leak in the kitchen faucet for the flood that is carrying the house away.
The act gives extensive due-process protections to “unaccompanied alien children” who come to the United States from “non-contiguous” countries — i.e., not Mexico or Canada (which is why the swarm originates in Central America). But only if these children are actually victims of human trafficking, the narrow class the legislation aims to protect. As a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies explains, the Wilberforce law is “largely irrelevant” to the situation at hand, which involves illegal aliens willingly smuggled into the country so they can live here, not coercively trafficked into the country for purposes of sex slavery or other indentured servitude. As the report elaborates, immigration law distinguishes smuggling from trafficking.
Moreover, the children at issue are not really “unaccompanied” as that term is defined in the federal code. Again, the law is intended to protect children who are forced to come to our country for certain nefarious purposes. The children in this case overwhelmingly have family members who have taken up residence in the U.S., often illegally. Joining these family members is the objective of their illegal entry. Many of the “children” are also gang members who, while technically minors, voluntarily come here to wreak havoc. Finally, even if we were to concede, for argument’s sake, that the human-trafficking law truly applies, its own terms allow its suspension in exceptional circumstances — a fact acknowledged by Senator Feinstein, an author of the law, who told the New York Times that the law has the “flexibility” to allow for accelerated removal proceedings.
The “Bush-era law” actually contributes to the border crisis in only one significant way: as the sleight-of-hand by which our lawless president suddenly claims to be bound by the rule of law. It is the due-process camouflage for his ruinous and legally unnecessary importation and strategic dispersal of thousands of low-skilled, unassimilated, future Democratic voters.
Make no mistake: President Obama has instigated this crisis — a two-fer that advances the project of remaking the country while crowding the IRS, the VA, Benghazi, Bergdahl, the Taliban, ISIS, Hamas, the EPA, Obamacare, Ukraine, and other debacles out of the public’s finite attention span. The invasion was invited by a systematic campaign to gut the immigration laws.


This Governor’s Radical Anti-Gun Law Just Backfired, Costs 100s of Jobs

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley – a guy who raises taxes on everything, including rainfall – is a major force in the Democratic Party. And as the leader of the Democratic Governors Association, he is well on his way to taking a shot at a White House run.
But his radical, ideological agenda against guns in his state just backfired. One of the nation’s largest firearms manufacturers is responding to his anti-gun law by packing up their entire manufacturing effort… and moving to a new state:
Beretta USA, one of the nation’s largest firearms manufacturers, will move its manufacturing and approximately 300 jobs out of Maryland because of the state’s new gun control laws, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Beretta said the company will transition its manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee in 2015, citing Maryland’s passage of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Firearms Safety Act last year and the state’s general gun control atmosphere.
The law banned the sale of 45 types of semi-automatic firearms, including the extremely popular AR-15 platform.
“While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the state,” Jeff Cooper, general manager for Beretta USA, said in a statement. “While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent from the point of view of our future welfare to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility.”
One would assume O’Malley, the former Mayor of Baltimore, would know something about high-crime areas. Somehow, Baltimore remains one of America’s most violent cities, even with strict gun bans in place.
The 2nd Amendment is an essential ingredient for liberty in America. For sport and for self defense, guns are as American as apple pie and baseball. But the left doesn’t support those freedoms, and is so intent on taking your rights away that they are willing – and happy – to scare away a major job producer like Beretta USA.
Martin O’Malley is truly a .22 caliber mind in a .357 Magnum world.
Massive ObamaCare fraud is just a mouse click away


Another vignette in the long, painful process of ObamaCare disintegration is delivered by the Washington Post, which reports that our super-genius centrally-planned mega-bureaucracy and its billion-dollar website aren’t very good at detecting fraudulent applications or subsidy ripoffs:
In undercover tests of the new federal health insurance marketplace, government investigators have been able to procure health plans and federal subsidies for fake applicants with fictitious documents, according to findings that will be disclosed to lawmakers Wednesday.
The results of the inquiry by the Government Accountability Office are evidence of still-imperfect work by specialists intended to assist new insurance customers as well as government contractors hired to verify that coverage and subsidies are legitimate. The GAO also pointed to flaws that linger in the marketplace’s Web site,
“Still-imperfect work?”  I’m going to need a moment to clear the tears of laughter from my eyes before I can keep reading.  That’s got to be one of the all-time-great Protect the Precious euphemisms.  Just how “imperfect” does the People’s Glorious Health Care Plan remain?  Oh, only about 95 percent imperfect:
According to testimony to be delivered before a House Ways and Means subcommittee, undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants online or by phone, using invalid or missing Social Security numbers or inaccurate citizenship information.
All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage — and have kept it. In one instance, an application was denied but then approved on a second try. In six other attempts to sign up fake applicants via in-person assisters, just one assister accurately told an investigator that the applicant’s income was too high for a subsidy.
The Treasury vaults are open, and thieves are strolling out with bags of taxpayer cash over their shoulders, but don’t worry, it’ll all get cleared up sooner or later.  The vast bureaucracy created with billions of your dollars was able to catch one out of twelve fraudsters, so you can’t say the system is a total failure!
House Republicans were eager for early information because the findings reinforce their contention that the Obama administration set up the health insurance marketplace in ways that leave it vulnerable to fraud and waste of taxpayer money. The allegation that does not properly verify the identity and eligibility of consumers has been one of several lines of attack that congressional Republicans have used in trying to discredit the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the way administration officials set it in motion.
The GAO investigation was requested before the marketplace opened in the fall, by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.); Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.), chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee; and Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah).
Even before the GAO delivered the early findings, the lawmakers were seizing them as fresh ammunition. “We are seeing a trend with Obamacare information systems: under every rock, there is incompetence, waste and the potential for fraud,” Camp said in a statement. “Now, we learn that in many cases, the exchange is unable to screen out fake identities or documents.”
It’s not Republicans who are discrediting ObamaCare, it’s the Obama Administration.  And they’re not just “trying.”  They’re doing a fantastic job of it.  And let’s not forget that even the subsidies that aren’t looted by fraudsters have been largely doled out in defiance of the law.  If we’re going to put up with an imperial executive ignoring the clear wording of duly-passed legislation, we must at least insist they watch our money more carefully than a Cub Scout troop managing the cash jar at a lemonade stand.
But they’re not, and let me be extremely blunt about why: the Obama Administration is not in the business of saying “no” to ObamaCare applications, especially during this disastrous first year.  They don’t really care if millions of subsidy dollars are incorrectly handed out to ineligible participants – that’s not even a Top Five priority item.  Priority One was rushing as many people as possible into Affordable Care Act plans, as quickly as possible, to pump up the enrollment numbers and score a few public-relations wins during crucial news cycles, especially the delayed end of official enrollment last April.
Not only are warm bodies needed to stave off devastating media headlines about ObamaCare missing its (revised) enrollment targets by a mile, but millions in subsidy payments are necessary to build up a layer of dependency muscle for depending the program.  It’s going to be a huge talking point that X number of Americans are now dependent on $Y billion in taxpayer subsidies to afford health insurance, without which they would instantly die, so anyone who wants to repeal ObamaCare is essentially passing a death sentence on all those hapless Working Americans.  The bigger the subsidy payments are, the stronger that argument becomes.  Again, it’s not a Top Five priority for the Administration to ensure the subsidies are delivered with meticulous precision to highly qualified applicants.  That can all be sorted out later, if ever.  It’s only taxpayer money, after all.
Don’t Believe Those Lying Job Numbers

Don’t Believe Those Lying Job Numbers

by Chip Wood  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the United States gained 288,000 jobs in June, and Barack Obama couldn’t have been happier.

“Make no mistake,” he gloated. “We are headed in the right direction.”

What a crock! A closer look at the numbers proves that instead of the economy getting better, it is a disaster for people who lack a job and want one.

First, about those so-called job gains: It turns out the economy actually lost 523,000 full-time jobs last month. That’s an absolute tragedy! The only way the Obama Administration could claim any gains was because of an increase of 811,000 part-time jobs. And this is the “victory” that Obama wants to celebrate?

There are two reasons why employers are offering more than three times as many part-time jobs today as full-time ones. The first is because of Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act mandates that anyone working 30 hours a week or more must be provided with company-paid-for health insurance. More and more employers are hiring part-time workers to keep from falling under that legislation’s dictates.

The second reason for a decline in full-time jobs is nerves. Or maybe I should say a total lack of confidence that the Obama Administration will adopt policies that will help this economy get growing again. Of course, taxes are too high; but Obama wants to make them even higher. Of course, regulations are too onerous; yet the Obama Administration keeps adding more and more.

Under the circumstances, if you were the CEO of a company, would you tell your shareholders that this is the time to invest, expand and take on more risk? I very much doubt it.

Faced with all of this, how is that, then, that the unemployment numbers continue to decline? Let’s assume for a moment that they’re not being fudged (which many of us are convinced they are) and that unemployment, at least the way the government calculates it, did decline to 6.1 percent last month. Is this any reason to cheer?

Not on your life! The fact of the matter is that the number declined because 2.4 million Americans have become so discouraged they’ve stopped even bothering to look for a job. They’re no longer counted as part of the workforce.

Heck, the way the unemployment numbers are calculated, the best thing that could happen in this country would be for every unemployed person to stop looking for a job. If that were to happen, the unemployment rate would be zero. Just imagine how excited Obama would be to trumpet that news!

The grim reality is that the proportion of adult Americans in the workforce has fallen to 62.8 percent. That’s the lowest it’s been in the past 36 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 91 million Americans over the age of 16 don’t hold any sort of job today, full time or part time. That’s the highest that number has ever been. It means there are nearly 10 million fewer jobs in America today than there were when Obama first became President.

What we’re seeing is the weakest post-recession recovery in the Nation’s history. The employment numbers won’t get much better until one more person joins the unemployment line — and that’s the guy presently occupying the White House.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Warning goes forth, again, over ratifying UN treaty

By Charlie Butts,

A U.S. Senate panel has advanced to the full senate a treaty that could pose a danger to parents and to preborn babies.
After a contentious hearing this week, the Judiciary Committee advanced the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which one expert says has a nice title but is deceiving.
Will Estrada of the Home School Legal Defense Association says there are three concerns, beginning with an intrusion into national sovereignty. The treaty would change America's current system to allow "unelected United Nations bureaucrats" to monitor how the United States implements the treaty and advise it, he says.
Estrada also alleges the treaty surrenders the sovereignty of parents to bureaucrats, quoting from Article 7 of the treaty. That portion reads, "In all issues concerning the child with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be the primary consideration."
In other words, warns Estrada, the treaty could override the authority of parents.
The treaty passed out of committee with a 12-6 vote on Tuesday.
The same treaty received a 13-6 committee vote in 2012, when The Washington Times warned in an editorial that the U.S. could "soon find itself taking orders from international bureaucrats on how to treat people with disabilities."
Disability news website Disability Scoop credits Home School Legal Defense Association for leading the effort against the treaty but claims more than 800 groups support the treaty.
Citing those groups, the website also claims concerns about sovereignty are "unfounded" and suggests that ratifying it would give the United States a "leadership role in the international community."
Still another warning from Estrada is that Article 25 in the treaty creates a "right" to abortion, stating that countries that ratify the treaty must ensure "that every person with disabilities gets free sexual and reproductive health services."
That includes free, UN-guaranteed access to abortion – for the disabled.
The Washington Times editorial from two years ago reported then that Democrats insisted the UN treaty wouldn't override restrictive U.S. abortion laws. But they rejected an amendment, offered by Sen. Marco Rubio, to exclude abortion from the phrase "sexual and reproductive health."
Estrada encourages people to contact their state's two senators and ask for a "Nay" vote when the UN treaty comes up for a vote.
G’ day…

Ciao…….Moe Lauzier

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