**Posted by Phineas
From Senator Ron Johnson* (R- WI), the story of Kathi Rose, a minister in Wisconsin who learned she was losing the health insurance she was satisfied with and that replacing it would cost her roughly $4,000 per year more. This is helping people? Making them “more secure?”
As Johnson points out in the video, this is not only a financial hardship for Kathi and her family, but also an invasion of their liberty and a threat to the health of her family. This is just one example of a story being played out again and again across the nation and illustrates once more why this anti-constitutional monstrosity has to be repealed.
*A freshman, elected in the “Tea Party” class of 2010. And one of the very good candidates we found that year. Turned out to be a good senator, too.
via Ben Howe
RELATED: Nearer to home for many of us is the story of Jim Hoft, aka “Gateway Pundit,” who suffered a near-fatal disease earlier, but was saved by the excellent care paid for by his insurance — care he still needs. Guess what? Jim is losing his insurance and may lose the doctors he trusts. To quote Jim, “Why is our government doing this to us?”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Miami (CNN) – The words that spill out of Elian Gonzalez’s mouth now make his great uncle shrug his shoulders.
But Delfin Gonzalez says he’s not surprised by pro-Cuba comments his nephew made in an interview with CNN this week.
“He understands and says what they have taught him,” Delfin Gonzalez told CNN en Español from his Miami home on Wednesday. “He cannot understand anything else.”
Fourteen years after Elian Gonzalez made headlines as the subject of a bitter international custody battle, he spoke to CNN this week from a youth conference in Ecuador.
It’s his first trip abroad since the U.S. government removed him at gunpoint from his relatives’ home in Miami and, after a legal battle, sent him back to Cuba to live with his father.
When asked by CNN en Español to describe what his life has been like since he left Miami, Elian Gonzalez said “magnificent.”
“I have experienced unprecedented, great growth, as a Cuban revolutionary, joining the cause,” he said.
Delfin Gonzalez says he remembers when his young nephew had quite a different perception of the island.
“One time he asked me, ‘How do the cats meow in Cuba?’ I told him, ‘Well, just like they do everywhere.’ He said, ‘No, there they say, ‘Miami, Miami.’”
Elian Gonzalez now studies engineering at a military school in Cuba and appears to be emerging as a new spokesman for the Cuban government.
“I haven’t suffered any consequences because of what happened. It has not affected me psychologically, but it has been hard for my family,” he told CNN en Español this week. “Those were tough times.”
Delfin Gonzalez said family in Miami has only one consolation.
“For us,” he said, “the only satisfaction that we are left with is that he is alive.”
For their sake – and, more importantly, his – I hope he comes to his senses (or, more fittingly, can get away from the intense manipulation and control I suspect he’s under by the Cuban government), and that when he does, he can get out of Cuba and far, far away from Communism. For good.
Via Capitol City Project:
The Alan Grayson (D – Fla.) re-election campaign has begun searching for people to become the congressman’s “friends with benefits” according to an email sent out Wednesday morning.
The email, originally obtained by Red Alert Politics’s Kelsey Osterman, was entitled “TODAY ONLY: Friends With Benefits.” The email states that the congressman wanted to offer “special thanks” to those that have supported him on a monthly basis. It also claims that these “friends with benefits” are “important to our campaign.” It even says the “friends with benefits” “mean too much to” them.
That’s the reason given for the congressman’s campaign to “start looking for something we can do for you.”
As part of the “friends with benefits” program those providing monthly support to the Democrat will be eligible for certain perks. One is reportedly the ability to ask the congressmen questions and get answers back from him. All on video.
Video “benefits”? Er, um … well, at least this has the potential to be much more entertaining than his unhinged fundraising rants about the Tea Party equating to the KKK …
As they say stay tuned.
**Posted by Phineas
Mostly because, if the Republicans take the Senate and she keeps giving contempt-laden answers like these, she’s sure to face impeachment:
[Rep. John] Shimkus (R-IL)moved on to try and get Sebelius to acknowledge that items the Obama administration is claiming are free now because of Obamacare are not actually free: “I had my phone on and when my phone rang on left on because I wanted to talk to a Democrat state senator from my state of Illinois, who was on the insurance commission and he said mandated preventive services are laid directly on premium prices. So you cannot say as you have numerous times that these preventative care services our, quote, free of charge, can you?”
Again, Sebelius stuck to the party line: “They are free to the consumer.”
This sparked a response from Shimkus, “There is no free lunch, Madam Secretary! If the premiums increase because of the mandated coverage based upon state senator from the state of Illinois, a Democrat, who is in oversight of the insurance of the state of Illinois and he said when you mandate coverage it is ruled directly on premiums, premiums increase, that is paying, you cannot say these are free of charge!”
“Consumers will not have a co-pay or deductible,” Sebelius fired back, and refused to acknowledge that anyone’s premiums have risen due to Obamacare mandates, despite the widely reported fact that millions of Americans have seen their health insurance premiums and deductibles rise sharply since Obamacare’s implementation.
I’d recommend that Madame Secretary read Bastiat’s “That Which is Seen” essay, as well as anything by Thomas Sowell, for a reminder that nothing comes without cost. But that would assume she’e even interested in learning such things, which she isn’t.
In fact, the former-governor’s answers at this committee hearing were indicative of utter contempt for those charged with spending the public’s money and, by implication with overseeing how that money is spent. She simply would not give Mr. Shimkus a straight answer, until he gave up and said it was like dealing with North Korea.
This isn’t the first time the HHS secretary has given non-answers to legitimate questions posed by a co-equal branch of the government. Indeed, it’s a pattern with this whole administration; one just has to recall any number of Eric Holder’s appearances before House committees, or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s patent lies to Congress. Granted, this happens to one degree or another in all administrations, especially when the opposition is on an obvious fishing expedition, but that isn’t the case, here. Republicans are posing valid questions in pursuit of their constitutional duties of oversight, and members of the administration are duty-bound to answer.
But, more and more, Obama administration officials are doing the equivalent to answering with “lovely weather, isn’t it?” and acting as if they have no responsibilities to the public at all.
There is an answer for this. I refer the reader to Article 1, sections 2 and 3 of the United States Constitution:
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
I would argue that Kathleen Sebelius’s utter disregard for the constitutional proprieties, such as giving a straight answer to a straight question from a member of the legislature, merits impeachment, as much to send a warning to other government officials as to punish her. Now, it would never get through a trial in the Senate as currently constituted. That’s fine; we have more pressing matters to deal with, such as taking control of said Senate in next year’s elections. We must control the tool before we can wield it.
But, after that, some salutary execu… er… impeachments may well be in order; I’ve come to the conclusion we don’t do it often enough. (1)
Which is why I think we’ll see a few key resignations starting in late November, 2014.
Just as I was finishing this post, the following news broke:
In a letter addressed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) accuses the Department of criminally threatening the vendor that developed troubled Healthcare.gov website. Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has been investigating the extremely rocky rollout of Healthcare.gov on October 1.
Issa cites a December 6, 2013 letter that HHS sent to Creative Computing Solutions, Inc. In that latter, “the Department claimed that the company is contractually precluded from producing documents to Congress. The letter further stated that the Department will respond to requests from Congress on the company’s behalf.” Issa’s letter states that other Healthcare.gov vendors received similar letters.
But Issa notes that the actual HHS contract precludes vendors from sharing documents with other companies, not Congress, which is charged by the Constitution with overseeing the actions of the executive branch.
“The Department’s attempt to threaten CCSI for the purpose of deterring the company from providing documents to Congress places the officials responsible for drafting and sending the letter on the wrong side of federal statutes that prohibit obstruction of a congressional investigation,” Issa states in the letter to HHS. He cites Section 1505 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code,…
Be sure to read the rest. Sebelius may be leaving sooner than I thought.
(1) While I agree completely with Andrew McCarthy that President Obama himself merits impeachment and removal from office, I don’t think we’d ever have enough votes in the Senate (2) to convict him. However, “bumping off ” one or two cabinet-level appointees might convince him to spend more time on the golf course and less abusing his power for the time he has left.
(2) Of course, it’s always possible Obama will leave Congress no choice, whether they’re sure of the votes or not.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) December 10, 2013
On a more serious note, former George W. Bush official Otto J. Reich writes in National Review Online today about how much damage that handshake can do:
American presidents should avoid shaking the hand of dictators, especially those that have American blood on theirs. One example of many: Raul Castro was Minister of Defense in 1996 when Cuban Air Force MiGs, cold-bloodedly and over international airspace, destroyed two civilian U.S. airplanes with four American rescue workers on board. President Clinton rightly condemned the attack as cowardly, while Raul Castro decorated his pilots for bravery. That incident alone illustrates the difference between the two systems that are embodied in the two leaders. President Obama seems unaware of the importance of his office or of the mantle of honor he wears as the leader of the world’s oldest democracy and the liberator of nations. There is no moral equivalence between the leader of the free world and the leader of a morally bankrupt military dictatorship that holds power only by force.
The Castro brothers have been vying for the world to see a handshake with a U.S. president for over 50 years. (President Clinton did shake hands with Fidel at a U.N. summit in 2000, but there was no photo.) They knew it would represent a form of recognition, something they forfeited by virtue of presiding over a military dictatorship, and their support for violence and anti-American terrorist movements and governments on three continents.
Related: Via ABC News – President Obama Poses for Selfie [w/ World Leaders] at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial
No idea what’s going on but all of the comments to the site have completely disappeared, and when you try to comment on current posts, it comes up that you can’t. We are working to get this issue resolved. Sorry for any inconveniences!!
Update – 5:50 PM: Problem fixed! Had to repair the database …. #FirstWorldProblems
**Posted by Phineas
Via David Freddoso, this is a funny little satire of what we’re now experiencing under the Affordable Care Act:
“Ha-ha-ha! Of course it’s a free country! Or, we like to tell people that…”
Scary thing is, I worry Starbucks might go for this…
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Yes, it’s true:
Here are the final ten contenders for TIME’s Person of the Year (listed alphabetically):
Bashar Assad, President of Syria
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder
Ted Cruz, Texas Senator
Miley Cyrus, Singer
Pope Francis, Leader of the Catholic Church
Barack Obama, President of the United States
Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran
Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Edward Snowden, N.S.A. Leaker
Edith Windsor, Gay rights activist
That’s quite, um, a “diverse” list Time has there. Not sure how Miley fits in but then again the list has been pretty much worthless for years. I’d have a little more respect for it if it included more deserving nominees like these people:
My nomination for Man of the Year – The Newly Uninsured
— John C. (@JCinQC) December 10, 2013
There ya go.
Any other suggestions?
**Posted by Phineas
I’m telling you, George Orwell was a prophet:
Neil Phillips said he was fingerprinted, DNA-swabbed and had his computers seized.
The 44-year-old was held after posting: “My PC takes so long to shut down I’ve decided to call it Nelson Mandela.”
Another read: “Free Mandela – switch the power off.”
But police swooped after a councillor complained over the gags about the former South African leader, who passed away on Thursday, aged 95.
Mr Phillips who insisted he meant no harm, said: “It was an awful experience. I was fingerprinted, they took DNA and my computer.
“It was a couple of jokes, Bernard Manning type,” he added. “There was no hatred. What happened to freedom of speech? I think they over-reacted massively.”
Mr Phillips, who runs Crumbs sandwich shop in Rugeley, Staffs, was arrested after complaints by [local councilor] Tim Jones about the one-liners, aired when the anti-apartheid hero was critically ill.
Mr. Phillips “crime,” aside from telling some mildly tasteless jokes, is that he broke the 1986 Public Order Act (1), which, among other things, makes it an offense to say things that others might find insulting and distressing. And because a local pol was “offended,” Phillips was hauled in and treated like an enemy of the state.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we get our traditions of free speech from that very same island, where now an off-color joke means an official knock at the door?
Via Charles Cooke, who has this to say about the state of liberty in his former country:
In other words, Section 5 [of the POA] allows anybody to have anybody else investigated for speaking. And they have. The arrests have run the gamut: from Muslims criticizing atheists to atheists critcizing Muslims; from a young man who told a police officer that his horse was “gay” to protesters criticizing Scientology; from a Christian arguing against homosexuality on the street to a man arrested and charged with offending a chaplain. I’ll give them this: The British are at least thorough with their suppression.
Cooke points out that, after public outrage, the law has been amended to ban prosecutions for insulting people, but only if no particular victim can be identified. A real blow for liberty, that. It’s also a good example of why we should zealously guard our own 1st Amendment; we all know pols and academics here who’d love to have a similar law in the name of “respecting each other’s feelings.”
Britain’s Glorious Revolution resulted in the English Bill of Rights, forerunner to our own. Maybe it’s time they had another.
(1) Passed under Margaret Thatcher? Really?
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
Shaking my head. Via The Hill:
Rev. Jesse Jackson said Sunday apartheid still exists in the United States as he reflected on Nelson Mandela’s effect on American politics.
“Apartheid remains. Apartheid gaps in poverty, healthcare and education. We’re in the middle of the end of the apartheid struggle now, but it’s just changed phases,” he said on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”
“For almost 30 years, we had a lead jump on the right to vote and used that right to vote to empower allies in South Africa,” Jackson said.
Never let an opportunity go to waste to make a complete a** of yourself, right Jesse? Racism, of course, still exists in America, but the word “apartheid” conjures up very specific and strong definitions and (disturbing) images from South Africa, and is a major embellishment – and, frankly, is grossly misrepresentative of what is going on here in America in present day politically, as opposed to what was happening here in the 50s and 60s. Shame on you, Rev. If you had any shame, that is.