Thursday, May 8, 2014

Barrasso: Obamacare Premiums Depend on Side of Street You Live On

Barrasso: Obamacare Premiums Depend on Side of Street You Live OnU.S. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming says his disturbing find that some Americans pay more for their Affordable Care Act premiums than their neighbors is proof of how unfair President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law is.

"It is nutty … [You] save money or end up paying more depending on which side of the street you live," Barrasso told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"[A] person living on one side of the street or the other could end up paying up to $600 a year more … Not because of their health, not because of fitness, not because of pre-existing conditions, but solely because of which side of the street they live.

"This is happening all over America. There's so many of the unintended consequences of the healthcare law, but people know that they're not being treated fairly."

Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, analyzed costs in three states participating in the federal healthcare exchange: South Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Via: Newsmax

Continue Reading.....

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

'Rogue' Agency? EPA Under Fire for Allegedly Obstructing Investigations

The Environmental Protection Agency's little-known Office of Homeland Security has illegally blocked investigations by an independent watchdog for years, an inspector with the agency's Office of Inspector General will tell Congress Wednesday.

Patrick Sullivan, the assistant EPA inspector general for investigations, is expected to testify Wednesday before a House oversight committee about the activities of the Office of Homeland Security, a unit run by President Obama's political staff.

The office of about 10 employees is overseen by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's office, and the inspector general's office is accusing it of operating illegally as a "rogue law enforcement agency" that has impeded independent investigations into employee misconduct, computer security and external threats, including compelling employees involved in cases to sign non-disclosure agreements.

"Under the heavy cloak of 'national security,' the Office of Homeland Security has repeatedly rebuffed and refused to cooperate with the OIG's ongoing requests for information or cooperation," Sullivan wrote in prepared testimony. "This block unquestionably has hamstrung the Office of Inspector General's ability to carry out its statutory mandate to investigate wrongdoing of EPA employees."

EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe was expected to tell Congress that the agency's employees work cooperatively with the inspector general and support its mission, according to his prepared testimony.

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation --- like PACs

Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media's exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of theFederal Election Commission is vowing to fight.

“I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers,” warned Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman in an interview.
“The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications,” he added.
Noting the success of sites like the Drudge Report, Goodman said that protecting conservative media, especially those on the internet, “matters to me because I see the future going to the democratization of media largely through the internet. They can compete with the big boys now, and I have seen storm clouds that the second you start to regulate them. There is at least the possibility or indeed proclivity for selective enforcement, so we need to keep the media free and the internet free.”
All media has long benefited from an exemption from FEC rules, thereby allowing outlets to pick favorites in elections and promote them without any limits or disclosure requirements like political action committees.
But Goodman cited several examples where the FEC has considered regulating conservative media, including Sean Hannity's radio show and Citizens United's movie division. Those efforts to lift the media exemption died in split votes at the politically evenly divided board, often with Democrats seeking regulation.
Liberals over the years have also pushed for a change in the Federal Communications Commission's "fairness doctrine" to cut of conservative voices, and retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has delighted Democrats recently with a proposed Constitutional amendment that some say could force the media to stop endorsing candidates or promoting issues.
“The picking and choosing has started to occur,” said Goodman. “There are some in this building that think we can actually regulate” media, added Goodman, a Republican whose chairmanship lasts through December. And if that occurs, he said, “then I am concerned about disparate treatment of conservative media.”
He added, “Truth be told, I want conservative media to have the same exemption as all other media.”

The IRS Targeting Scandal, Lois Lerner and Contempt of Congress - The Truth Must Be Uncovered

On May 10, 2013, former top IRS official Lois Lerner appeared before a gathering of the American Bar Association. Responding to a question that she had planted in the audience, Lerner apologized for what she acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election.

Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level rogue employees in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias.

Fast forward to today – on the eve of the one-year anniversary of that bombshell. Lois Lerner faces a vote in the full House of Representatives – a vote to hold her in contempt of Congress.
What a difference a year makes.

As we know, that’s exactly what happened in this case.

Under the direction of Lois Lerner, there was a coordinated nationwide effort – not the work of a few rogue agents – to target conservative and Tea Party groups that applied for tax-exempt status. Lerner and others (we still don’t know how high the involvement goes) employed a strategy to delay these applications – effectively silencing these conservative organizations – putting them on the sideline in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election.

Our federal lawsuit challenging this unlawful and unconstitutional action by the IRS is moving forward. We represent 41 organizations in 22 states. Eleven of our clients are still waiting for an answer – one group has been waiting for a response for nearly five years.

As if this deliberate targeting scheme was not enough, we now know that Lerner was truly a partisan bureaucrat – her politically-charged conduct outlined in a letter released recently by the House Ways and Means Committee.

Make no mistake about it. The actions of Lois Lerner, which I detailed in an earlier post, clearly reveal what can only be described as stunning political bias and manipulation.

Dems Slam 'Unfair' Benghazi Probe Plan

ClyburnHouse Democrats are threatening not to participate in a special select committee on Benghazi, accusing Republicans of making an “unfair” framework for the panel that underscores its partisanship.
"This is nothing more than a kangaroo court in the making,"Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra told reporters Wednesday. "They have not explained to us on the Republican side what’s so important to do this over and over again."
Top Democrats told GOP leaders in a letter last night that they reject the proposed makeup of seven Republicans and five Democrats on the panel, as well as its granting of subpoena authority only to chairman Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy.
“If you truly want this new select committee to be bipartisan and fair – and to be taken seriously by the American people – we call on you to reconsider this approach before bringing this measure to the House floor for a vote,” they wrote.
Other Democrats went even further, saying flatly that they should ignore the panel entirely.
"I would be dead-set against it," top Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina said of a committee that didn't have equal representation of Republicans and Democrats. "I'm not bringing a noose to my hanging."
Republicans will vote Thursday on a resolution to formally establish the rules for the special select committee. Democrats are expected to oppose that measure.
House Speaker John Boehner insisted Wednesday that the special select committee is intended for “transparency and accountability,” not for political points.
“This is all about getting to the truth,” he told reporters. “There's not going to be a side show, there's not going to be a circus, this is a serious investigation.

DNC Chairwoman: Benghazi Committee ‘Political Ploy’

DNC Chairwoman: Benghazi Committee Political PloyDemocratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Wednesday accused House Republicans of creating a select investigative committee on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, solely to motivate their base to turn out in the November midterm elections.
“Let’s call this what it is — it is nothing more than a political ploy because continuing to focus obsessively on repealing the Affordable Care Act has lost its luster, even among their own party members,” the Florida lawmaker said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Republicans selected Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to lead the committee and gave their party seven slots on the 12-member panel, to just five for Democrats. House Democratic leaders sent a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner Tuesday night urging him to reconsider the committee’s partisan split.
Wasserman Schultz said she agrees with the request from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., and believes they “should seriously consider not participating if the process is not going to be fair.”
If House Republicans “want to ensure that the investigation — which, like I said, I believe is really just an election-year turnout operation for their base — if they want to make sure it’s fair, there is no reason to reject the leader’s request to have the committee be evenly split.”
In response, Republican National Committee spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said, “Republicans want answers from a White House that spent more time politicizing this issue than trying to figure out how Americans died.”
The chairwoman pointed to the special election in Florida’s 13th District — which in the immediate aftermath served as a red flag for Democrats already concerned about turnout in November — as an example of the GOP’s own turnout issues, saying Republicans should have “run away” with the open-seat race.
Despite polling showing a challenging climate for Democrats, she said the party is headed for a successful midterm cycle, particularly when looking at the races individually, rather than at a macro level.
“We’re looking forward to the midterms,” Wasserman Schultz said, citing some gubernatorial opportunities in Pennsylvania, Florida and Maine. “We have opportunities in the Senate in Georgia and Kentucky, and keep a close eye on Mississippi. When it comes to our incumbent senators, the Republicans and pundits are pointing some of the vulnerable incumbents — these are challenging races, but we have incumbent members who have their finger on the pulse of their constituencies, know the people that they represent, and I think we’ll be successful in November.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gowdy: 'I Want to See Every Single Solitary Document'; Death of 4 Americans 'Transcends Politics'

featured-imgRep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who has been chosen to chair the select committee on Benghazi, went “On The Record tonight.

When asked what he would say to Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff who oppose the committee, Gowdy said, “At least let the process have a chance to work before you declare it null and void.”

Gowdy said the committee will lay out all the facts and evidence, and then a jury will come to a decision. He said he hopes for a reasonable, fair-minded jury.

The South Carolina congressman told Greta Van Susteren that witnesses have come forward and shared that there was a systematic effort to keep certain documents under wraps. He also said there is a lot of over-classification of documents to protect people’s careers.

“I’m not interested in summaries, I’m not interested in synopses, I’m interested in access to the document and the witness, and I’ll decide whether or not I think the appropriate questions were asked in the past,” he said.

“There are certain things in our culture that have to transcend politics. And I don’t mean to sound naive, but the murder of four fellow Americans and an attack on a facility that is emblematic of our country should transcend politics, and I know our fellow citizens can handle the truth, but only if they get access to it,” he said.

Popular Posts