Your tax dollars at work: EPA staffer paid $120k per year while watching porn at work

**Posted by Phineas

New logo of the EPA?

New logo of the EPA?

I have to ask: How do I get this job?

A congressional committee grilled leaders of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday following reports that an agency employee confessed to spending between two and six hours per day viewing pornography on his government-issued computer during work hours.

Witnesses in the House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing confirmed that the worker, whose name has not been disclosed, is still receiving his $120,000 salary and continues to have access to EPA computers.

When an investigator went to interview him, he was at his desk surfing sexually explicit websites.

‘How much pornography would it take for an EPA employee to lose their job?’ asked an incredulous Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the committee.

‘What does it take for you to take somebody off the computer when you discover they’re doing it? … when someone has done wrong, they’re still on the job,’ Issa fumed.

That’s a darned fine question and, if you read the rest of the article, you’ll find a rare moment of agreement between Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Fool that I am, I always thought one had to work hard to earn good money. Now I know that all I need is a job at the EPA and an account at Boom-Chikka-Wow.com. I bet EPA will even pay for the subscription.

And remember, these are the same people who always say they need more of your money, and the same agency that claims ever-more power over our lives.

We’re in the best of hands.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

ST adds: Read more here.

#Benghazi: Proof of what we knew — the White House is full of lying suckweasels

**Posted by Phineas

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

So, more than 19 months after four Americans –including our ambassador– died at the hands of al Qaeda allies in an attack on our consulate in Benghazi, part of the truth finally comes out: the White House political operation used the story of  a video to protect President Obama reelection, sacrificing the truth, our national security interests, and any shred of decency owed the victims’ surviving families on the altar of his political needs.

Independent reporter Sharyl Attkisson has the story:

Newly-released documents reveal direct White House involvement in steering the public narrative about the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, toward that of a spontaneous protest that never happened.

One of the operative documents, which the government had withheld from Congress and reporters for a year and a half, is an internal September 14, 2012 email to White House press officials from Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Assistant and Deputy National Security Advisor. (Disclosure: Ben Rhodes is the brother of David Rhodes, the President of CBS News, where I was employed until March.)

In the email, Ben Rhodes lists as a “goal” the White House desire “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

The email is entitled, “RE: PREP CALL with Susan, Saturday at 4:00 pm ET” and refers to White House involvement in preparing then-U.S.Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice for her upcoming appearance on Sunday television network political talk shows.

The Rhodes email states that another “goal” is “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”

Via Twitchy. There’s much more, so read it all.

Remember, Obama had been claiming for months that al Qaeda was “on the run,” nearly beaten. It was one of his justifications for reelection: he had crushed our mortal enemy. Then they attacked our consulate and killed our personnel, and suddenly the whole narrative was about to fall like the house of cards it was.

This wasn’t a meeting of a group meant to deal with a foreign policy crisis. No, Rhodes was heading up a political damage control team. That’s where the priority was. Not in determining how this happened, not in pursuing our enemies, and certainly not in our Head of State and Commander in Chief taking responsibility, because that might have meant handing a cudgel to the Republicans. Jim Geraghty weighs in (emphasis added):

Yes, Rhodes’s speechwriting always focused in the foreign-policy realm. He was a longtime assistant to Lee Hamilton, then joined Obama as a speechwriter in 2007. But this guy’s not an expert on Libya. There’s no way he was in any position, from Washington, to overrule the assessment of the folks on the ground. He’s a message guy. And he quickly concluded – accurately – that the administration’s obvious ill-prepared presence in Libya, and failure to organize timely rescue efforts, on the 9/11 anniversary represented a serious threat to the president’s reelection. They needed a scapegoat; the video was the best option at hand.

That included, by the way, trampling the First Amendment rights of the video maker, who was hauled off in the middle of the night and pilloried in the press to play that scapegoat.

And before anyone says things were still unclear and they really thought the attack was a spontaneous reaction to the video, check the dates. Rhodes’ email was dated the 14th; the attack happened on the 11th. By the night of the attack, within hours, they knew that it was a terrorist strike, not an out of control riot against a video:

Minutes after the American consulate in Benghazi came under assault on Sept. 11, 2012, the nation’s top civilian and uniformed defense officials — headed for a previously scheduled Oval Office session with President Obama — were informed that the event was a “terrorist attack,” declassified documents show. The new evidence raises the question of why the top military men, one of whom was a member of the president’s Cabinet, allowed him and other senior Obama administration officials to press a false narrative of the Benghazi attacks for two weeks afterward.

Gen. Carter Ham, who at the time was head of AFRICOM, the Defense Department combatant command with jurisdiction over Libya, told the House in classified testimony last year that it was him who broke the news about the unfolding situation in Benghazi to then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The tense briefing — in which it was already known that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens had been targeted and had gone missing — occurred just before the two senior officials departed the Pentagon for their session with the commander in chief.

According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Ham — who was working out of his Pentagon office on the afternoon of Sept. 11 — said he learned about the assault on the consulate compound within 15 minutes of its commencement, at 9:42 p.m. Libya time, through a call he received from the AFRICOM Command Center.

As I wrote at the time:

But now we have the testimony of the general in charge of the combat command responsible for Benghazi that he, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarded this as a terrorist attack — within minutes of the attack beginning! Panetta and Dempsey then went to a previously scheduled meeting with Obama at which, we’re supposed to believe, they didn’t give their boss their considered opinion? They just let him believe the massacre happened because of some video few ever saw? That they let him and his advisers go on for weeks like this, when they knew the truth?

Garbage. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know that night that our consulate had come under terrorist attack. 

And that was three days before Rhodes’ email, which can only mean this was a deliberate attempt to lie to the American people in order to save Obama’s (and Hillary’s) craven political rear ends.

No wonder they tried to keep this email secret.

RELATED: At PJM, Roger Simon says this is “worse than Watergate” and calls for impeachment.

PS: And this only answers one major question about the Benghazi massacre. Still left begging is the question of just where Obama was that night and what was his role, if he even had one. The question of Hillary’s accountability for her incompetence leading up to the disaster is a whole other matter.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

ABC’s GMA runs Westboro video in story on anti-gay marriage @Mozilla CEO

ABC News

The “high tech lynching” of now-former CEO of Mozilla Brendan Eich (and anyone who happens to agree with him) over his stance against gay marraige continues.  Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock files this report:

According to Good Morning America’Linzie Janis, a CEO who made a donation in opposition to gay marriage is the same as the hateful members of Westboro Baptist. On Friday, Janis reported on Brendan Eich, the former head of the tech company Mozilla. Eich was ousted after liberal groups found out that in 2008 he made a $1000 donation to support Proposition 8 in California.

As  Janis spoke about the six-year-old donation, video footage of Westboro Baptist protesters with “God hates fags” and “soldiers die 4 fag marriage” signs appeared on-screen. [See video below. MP3 audio here.] 

And right after the footage of Westboro they immediately show footage of happy gay couples who have just gotten married, as if there’s no in between – there’s either being on the “side” of Westboro Baptist or rooting for happy gay  couples to be able to marry with the government’s approval.  So everyone who opposes gay marriage is the equivalent to the despicable Westboro Baptist “Church” bigots according to Good Morning America. Make sure to click the Newsbusters link above for the full video segment, which ran on this morning’s GMA.

Talk about stooping to new lows! Make sure to let GMA know what you think of their ridiculously slanted coverage of this story.

(Video) Why the elderly are fleeing the Democrats

**Posted by Phineas

"2014 voters"

“2014 voters”

Consider this to be a coda to yesterday’s post about the Gallup poll showing the electorally active senior vote shifting decisively away from the Democrats. It’s anecdotal evidence, but still illustrative:

Key line, per David Freddoso:

“Not only did my premium go up,” this 91-year-old New York gentleman notes, “but my coverage went down.”

And it’s not just the Democrats’ lock on the senior vote that’s been endangered by Obamacare’s trashing of the healthcare system: I don’t know how Mr. Centola’s son feels, but I’m willing to bet he’s not happy with the people who foisted this mess on the American people — and his father. Were it my parents or grandparents being jerked around like this, there would be steam coming out my ears and I’d be looking forward to the chance to vent it on election day. I suspect there are many more children and grandchildren who feel the same way.

Ticking off a large, politically active group is not a path toward happiness on election night.

Hectic day today, but I couldn’t let this one go by without notice.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Obamacare: people who think they have coverage get hit with massive bills

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t our new, glorious, designed by unicorns healthcare system supposed to prevent things like this? If you signed up for coverage and made your payments, you weren’t supposed to get crushed by the ensuing medical bills, right? All those horror stories from the dark days before Obamacare the Affordable Affordable Affordable Affordable Affordable Care Act (1) of people with unbearable financial burdens? Gone. Banished forever. Not gonna happen ever again in our new progressive paradise.

Just ask Alex Szablya of Washington:

Alex Szablya just wants the best health care she can get for her children. So she got a gold plan, the highest level possible with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. She picked a plan with Lifewise, an affiliate of Premera Blue Cross.

In early March, her 16-year old daughter had a medical emergency. Alex drove her to the nearest hospital, which was Seattle Children’s. Alex says doctors there felt her daughter’s situation was so dire she needed to be admitted to the hospital immediately. She was there for nine days.

Then came news that her stay, which involved specialized mental health care for adolescents, was going to cost $36,000 and her insurance would only pay for half because Seattle Children’s was considered on out-of-network facility.

She thought by going for the highest premium PPO gold level coverage offered the state exchange, a majority of the bill would have been covered.

“I’m paying a premium for that and I’m willing to pay that premium, but I expect to get services that are not so limited by the insurance companies,” she said.

Premera told her to take her daughter to facilities either in Yakima or Bremerton, the one a three hour drive and the other two hours away via ferry, while Seattle Children’s was just 15 minutes away. Now, where would you go with your child in an emergency? Remember that she bought a gold plan. Among the many problems we’ve heard about regarding the exchanges is that is can be hard to tell if a particular doctor or hospital is included. Ms. Szablya might well have looked at the online offerings and just assumed that, of course, nearby Seattle Children’s would be included. When you have an emergency, especially one involving your child, you’re not going to stop, call your insurance agent, and ask if a particular doctor or hospital is part of the network. (via Katnandu)

An even worse bill awaited Larry Basich of Las Vegas, who thought he had done everything right, but, after undergoing triple bypass surgery, found himself on the hook for over $400,000:

The hospital bills are hitting Larry Basich’s mailbox.

That would be OK if Basich had health insurance. But he doesn’t.

Thing is, he should be covered. Basich, 62, bought a plan through the state’s Nevada Health Link insurance exchange in the fall. He’s been paying monthly premiums since November.

Yet the Las Vegan is stranded in a no-man’s-land where no carrier claims him, and his tab is mounting: Basich owes $407,000 for care received in January and February, when his policy was supposed to be in effect. Instead, he’s covered only for March and beyond.

Basich has begged for weeks for help from the exchange and its contractor, Xerox. But Basich’s insurance broker said Xerox seems more interested in lawyering up and covering its hide than in working out Basich’s problems. Nor is Basich the only client facing plan-selection errors through the exchange, she added.

Xerox, meanwhile, said it’s working every day to fix Basich’s problem, and its legal counsel is routine.

In the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its insurance exchanges, you can find a success story for every failure (2). But Basich’s case is extreme.

Be sure to read the whole thing. Basich worked for weeks to make sure he had coverage, both using the crappy online exchange and telephone help. He’s dealt with Xerox and even gotten Governor Sandoval’s office involved. His case is so bad that Harry Reid won’t even call him a liar; his office is instead trying to help.

The problem in this case is the web site, itself. It looks like Xerox did almost as good a job with it as Oracle did with Oregon’s exchange. While payments have been deducted from Basich’s bank account, UnitedHealthCare has no record of his coverage beginning when he was told it would begin, the exchange says he signed up with a different company (even though he has proof otherwise), and that company has no record of him and doesn’t want to be stuck with the bill.

Before this ever gets worked out, the stress may drive Mr. Basich to another heart attack.

In both cases, the the articles miss the mark when attributing blame. By limiting its networks, Premera is doing what any company would when faced with government mandates that impose highers costs: find ways to control them. In Larry Basich’s situation, Xerox deserves all the blame that can be heaped on it, but they’re not the root.

The source of the problem isn’t corporate greed or incompetence: it’s Obamacare, itself. All these problems people are experiencing are due to the top-down mandates that are the essence of the Affordable Care Act. A bunch of legislators and bureaucrats trying to control by law something as complex as the health care system of the United States was bound to fail. And that ongoing, rolling disaster is causing real-life misery for Americans all over the nation.

It has to go.

Footnote:
(1) There apparently are five “affordables” in the bills name. Just ask Nancy Pelosi.
(2) Why do I think that last sentence was meant to deflect the ire of Harry Reid? “Sure there are success stories, too! Just trust us!”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Obamacare Chronicles: To Harry Reid, this man is likely a liar

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Remember kiddies, it was just a few days ago that the Majority Leader of the United States Senate said that all the Obamacare horror stories were untrue, asserting by implication that the people behind those stories were all liars. Then he softened it to “most.” (How gracious of him.) Many have already come forward to call out his arrant nonsense, but perhaps few stories are as frightening and maddening as that of Fred Rosamilia, who was told after his cancer surgery that his Obamacare “gold plan” would not pay his doctor bills:

The Rosamilia’s told Fred’s doctors that they had enrolled in the new plan. They were met with positive reactions from the doctors. The doctors told them that it was a great plan and that they accepted it.

After his surgery, the Rosamilia’s received their bills and were disappointed to find that their insurance company had only covered lower costing, high co-pay procedures.

Lynne then overheard the nurses saying that they would not be able to treat Fred for the next 60 days, now leaving them with huge medical bills.

Heckuva morale-booster for a guy fighting for his life, no?

Eventually the Rosamilia’s were allowed to switch to a “silver” plan that, it seems, will cover the future treatment (we hope), but they’re still on the hook for two months worth of medical bills. Imagine what that probably adds up to.

This kind of real-life American Horror Story is happening again and again across the nation, or so we’re told. To Harry Reid, a vile, shriveled fool if there ever was one, Mr. Rosamilia and all those like him are probably liars.

I wonder if he kicks puppies, too.

The only liars here are the Democrats and everyone who sold this anti-constitutional monstrosity as an improvement on the prior health-insurance system, that it would lead to wider coverage, lowered costs, and better treatment. That people could keep the plans they liked and the doctors they trusted. Lies, lies, and more lies. One lie after another, from the President on down, meant to sell snake oil to a nation that didn’t even want it — and still don’t.

Sideshow carnies have more integrity.

What the Democrats have done to the nation, what they are doing now to people like Fred Rosamilia, is unforgivable. They deserve nothing less than the electoral version of what Rome did to Carthage.

Bring on November.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

What would you think if #Obamacare were killing your mother?

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

For Stephen Blackwood, that horrifying possibility is not hypothetical.

Mr. Blackwood’s mother was diagnosed with cancer at age 49 in 2005. She needs the drug Sandostatin to have a fighting chance at survival. Though her policy with BlueCross/Blue Shield was expensive, it met her needs for a very expensive treatment, paid for the drug, and let her see any physician she needed. She and her family were satisfied with it.

Then along came Obamacare, and Mr. Blackwood’s mother lost her insurance. I’ll let him take the story from here:

The repeated and prolonged phone waits were Sisyphean, the competence and customer service abysmal. When finally she found a plan that looked like it would cover her Sandostatin and other cancer treatments, she called the insurer, Humana, to confirm that it would do so. The enrollment agent said that after she met her deductible, all treatments and medications—including those for her cancer—would be covered at 100%. Because, however, the enrollment agents did not—unbelievable though this may seem—have access to the “coverage formularies” for the plans they were selling, they said the only way to find out in detail what was in the plan was to buy the plan. (Does that remind you of anyone?)

With no other options, she bought the plan and was approved on Nov. 22. Because by January the plan was still not showing up on her online Humana account, however, she repeatedly called to confirm that it was active. The agents told her not to worry, she was definitely covered.

Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications. The cost of the Sandostatin alone, since Jan. 1, was $14,000, and the company was refusing to pay.

The news was dumbfounding. This is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren’t happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn’t cover her condition and it’s completely unaffordable.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Blackwood’s mother, in order to receive the treatment she needs, has to somehow come up with $14,000 on her own. Her case is currently on appeal with Humana.

And the next time…?

Apologists for the law will of course blame Humana, and, to be sure, I do not excuse them. The incompetence is infuriating, bordering on the Kafkaesque.

Still, none of this would be happening without that anti-constitutional monstrosity of  a law, which the Democratic Party shoved down the throat of a nation that did not want it, that was mostly satisfied with the insurance it had, and wanted them instead to deal with the economic crisis we were then facing.

But the progressives who knew so much better than we what we needed had other plans in mind, and so Stephen Blackwell’s mother now faces the very real, very frightening possibility that she will not be able to find insurance to cover the treatment she needs to stay alive, or that she might have to beggar herself and her family to get it.

Or do without.

Via Roger Kimball, whose final paragraph is worth quoting:

You won’t find chilly, insulated elites like Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama admitting it, but the blood of Mrs. Blackwood and millions of other Americans harmed by their thoughtless legislation is on their heads. Obamacare is a totalitarian scheme masquerading as a humanitarian enterprise.  Its human cost is incalculable, but already, just a few months in, we’re beginning to get a sense of the suffering it will cause.  When your treatment for cancer is disallowed, when your daughter cannot get the medicine she needs, when your mother’s insurance is cancelled, will you still go gently into that good night of liberal sanctimony? Or will you finally realize that when Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America,” this might not have been the beneficent program The New York Times and other such outlets led you to believe?

The Democrats deserve every bit of electoral hell coming their way, and so much more.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Tennessee VW workers rejected the UAW because of… racism!

**Posted by Phineas

Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

But, of course.

According to MSNBC pundit Timothy Noah, workers at the Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant rejected membership in the United Auto Workers union because they were a bunch of mouthing-breathing, knuckle-dragging, Southern racists:

“The South has always been hostile territory for union organizing. Y’know, as Harold said, the culture war in the South trumps the class war. You already have in a number of Southern states right to work laws, which means that even if they had unionized the plants, those who benefited from the presence of that union wouldn’t have had to pay union dues if they didn’t feel like it. So you’re in an overwhelmingly hostile climate.

And the opposition I gather, through, portrayed this as a kind of northern invasion, a re-fighting of the Civil War. Apparently there are not a lot of, uh, black employees in this particular plant. And so, that kind of, uh, uh, uh, waving of the Confederate flag was an effective strategy.”

Yep, those Johnny Rebs in Tennessee just took a pull on the whiskey jug, channeled the spirit Jeff Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest, and voted down the union, because they wanted to re-fight the Chattanooga campaign. It couldn’t have been because they made a rational economic decision as free people that the union didn’t provide enough benefits to warrant the dues they’d have to pay. Nah. It just had to be because there were so few Blacks there in the workforce that they weren’t afraid to show their real, neo-Confederate faces.

Who’s the bigot again, Timmy?

RELATED: Naturally, the UAW wants the NLRB to overturn the election results and call a new vote. Typical: If you can’t win, vote and vote again until the rubes vote the way they’re told. What do they think this is, the EU?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Democrat #MIsen candidate attacks cancer victim, TV stations, over #Obamacare ad

Rep. Gary Peters

Despicable.

So Obamacare and the lies its proponents have repeatedly told about it has become so toxic for Democrats in an election year that a Michigan US Senate candidate – who is currently a representative in the US House – is not only trying to silence a cancer victim, but also is threatening a TV station’s licenses for running her an ad that features her story:

Julie Boonstra, a cancer patient who was kicked of off her health plan due to Obamacare, lashed out at Rep. Gary Peters (D., Mich.) on Saturday after lawyers for his campaign demanded that Michigan broadcasters cease airing ads featuring her story.

Boonstra, a Michigan resident, was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago. She was recently kicked off of her healthcare plan due to regulations passed as part of President Barack Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Peters voted in favor of.

After relating her story publicly in an ad produced by the advocacy group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), Peters dispatched lawyers to prevent the spot from running on local television stations.

Boonstra, who says she is now struggling to pay out of pocket for her rising healthcare costs, told the Washington Free Beacon she is stunned by Peters’ efforts to censor her story.

“I’m appalled. I’m appalled as a mom, as a woman, and as a cancer patient, as someone living with cancer … who has stood before this nation to say, ‘I cannot afford that out of pocket expense,’” said Boonstra, who said she was given a 20 percent chance of surviving her disease. “As a Michigan resident, to silence my voice, I’m absolutely appalled.”

Peters, who is running for a seat in the Senate, instructed his legal council earlier this week to demand that stations stop running the AFP ad until additional evidence of the cancer victim’s claims could be produced.

[…]

Boonstra attempted to confront the congressman at his door, but he did not answer when she knocked.

“I just went up to his house and knocked on his door,” Boonstra recalled. “I would like to meet with him, but he did not answer. I know someone was home, so I left a letter there for him.”

Boonstra wrote in her letter, “I don’t understand why you’re trying to silence my voice. I have every right to speak out and don’t understand why you’re doing this.”

A spokesman for the Peters campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The Washington Examiner has more:

Media organizations investigating the ad’s claims note that Boonstra was able to find comparable new insurance under the law; the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog gave the ad “two Pinocchios” (as compared to four for President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance under the law).

But Boonstra, in response, told the local Dexter Leader newspaper that though she has no idea whether she will break even with her new plan, as the fact-checkers claim, the uncertainty of having to restructure her health care while coping with a deadly disease is damage enough.

“People are asking me for the numbers and I don’t know those answers — that’s the heartbreak of all of this. It’s the uncertainty of not having those numbers that I have an issue with, because I always knew what I was paying and now I don’t, and I haven’t gone through the tests or seen my specialist yet,” she said.

“People don’t have that certainty — they don’t have the stability of knowing every month what they’re going to be paying now and it’s the ability to actually have that sum of money to pay. People don’t have these out-of -pocket expense moneys.”

And that’s the issue. She was on a plan that she liked, that she felt could help save her life, and then it was cancelled because of Obamacare – which Peters voted for.  That she got to keep her doctor under the “new” plan, as the fact checkers note, isn’t the point of the ad. Will she get the exact same coverage? What about prescriptions? These are uncertainties that no one should have to go through, let alone someone in an already extremely stressful situation who is facing a life-threatening disease who knew exactly what she was getting with the plan she was on – which she wanted to keep.

Rep. Peters is a disgusting bully for trying to silence Boonstra and for using government threats in an attempt to get TV stations to stop running an ad he doesn’t like.   If you agree, make sure to tweet him and politely – but firmly – tell him so.

Related:

Obama declares it a crime to disobey his illegal law, which would be illegal to obey

**Posted by Phineas

Approved by Juan Peron!

Approved by Juan Peron!

As part of my post yesterday on Juan Domingo Obama’s latest and almost certainly illegal rewriting of the Affordable Care Act to delay the employer mandate for another year for businesses with 50-99 employees, I noted that the administration, with no supporting legislation, unilaterally created a felony. In a usurpation of congressional authority, Treasury is requiring businesses taking advantage of the waiver to attest that they are not letting employees go because of the waiver, under penalty of perjury.

To put it another way, the Obama administration is declaring it a federal crime to make a logical business decision if you do so to take advantage of illegal rules written by the Obama administration.

And you thought 1984 was fiction.

This would have Andrew McCarthy’s head spinning, too, except he’s too busy being outraged at the lawlessness of it all:

So now Obama, like a standard-issue leftist dictator, is complementing lawlessness with socialist irrationality.

Think about how lunatic this is. There is nothing even faintly illegal about businesses’ – indeed, all economic actors’ – making financial decisions based on tax consequences. (And remember, notwithstanding Obama’s misrepresentations to the contrary, Obamacare mandates are taxes – as Obama’s Justice Department argued and as Chief Justice Roberts & Co. concluded.) The tax consequences of Obamacare are profound – that is precisely the reason that Obama is “waiving” them. No responsible officers in a corporation of relevant size would fail to take them into account in making the decision to staff at over or under 100 employees; in determining whether some full-time employees should be terminated or shifted to part-time; or in making any number of the decisions Obamacare’s mind-numbing complexity requires.

The officers’ responsibility is to the owners of the company, the shareholders. The business exists to create value, not to provide employment – employing workers is a function of the value added to the enterprise, not the need to create a more favorable election environment for the statist political party. Corporate officers who overlooked material tax consequences would be unfit to be corporate officers.

What is illegal and irrational is not a company’s commonsense deliberation over its costs, it is Obama’s edict. And look what attends this one: criminal prosecution if Obama’s Justice Department decides the business has falsely certified that its staffing decision was not motivated by Obamacare.

And, as McCarthy points out, if a company does take advantage of the waiver, regardless of the reason for doing so, it is in violation of the ACA as written, because the fine revenue is owed to the public, not the president. He has no authority forego its collection. Talk about being between the proverbial rock and a hard place: a company can pass on the waiver, even though it makes economic sense for them, thus breaking its fiduciary duty to its owners, or it could take advantage of it and face the threat of prosecution from two directions.

Heads you lose, tails you lose.

And so does the Rule of Law.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)