Saturday, April 25, 2015

Obamacare Penalty May Not Be High Enough For Middle Incomes

Even though penalties under the Affordable Care Act for not having health insurance jumped significantly this year, they still might be too low to attract Americans to signup for subsidized coverage, a new analysis shows.
Avalere Health, a Washington health policy and consulting firm, said some middle income healthy individuals would rather pay the fine when they weigh it against spending a few hundred dollars more on insurance.
The fee increased to $325 per adult or 2% of income for 2015,according to That compares to a fee of $95 per adult or 1 percent of income for those who went without coverage last year.
“Individuals earning more than double the poverty level may continue to forego coverage since paying the fine is still much more affordable than purchasing insurance,” Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere, told journalists during a panel discussion Friday on exchanges at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual meeting in Santa Clara.

Answers demanded after vets’ disability claims found in cabinet

Rustyann Brown reacts to Seth Singletary as he draws her tattoo showing the number of compensation claims she found in a cabinet when she worked at the VA at Sacred Tattoo March 31, 2015 in Oakland, Calif. Brown became a whistleblower last year while working for the Oakland VA after she discovered over 13,000 compensation and disability claims stashed away in a filing cabinet dating back to the early 90s. Since she reported the VA, she says not much has changed within the office. Brown left the VA not long after coming forward with the news and has since been plagued with guilt and concern over the claims. Photo: Leah Millis, The Chronicle
One number will hang over a congressional hearing Wednesday looking into mismanagement at a U.S. Veterans Affairs regional office in Oakland: 13,184.
That’s the number of compensation and disability claims that were found in 2012, wrongfully stashed in a filing cabinet — some dating to the mid-1990s and many unprocessed. But what the number represents remains the source of fierce debate.
Employees who came forward about the claims say it’s the number of veterans whose much-needed benefits may have been delayed, or not paid altogether, because of what they described as organized negligence that continued even after the cabinet was emptied. …

Weekly Republican Address - House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

He talked about the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act would pave the way for increased U.S. trade, and the new jobs and stronger economic growth that would come with it. 

Via: C-Span

Obama Weekly Address: Fighting for Trade Deals that Put American Workers First

In this week’s address, the President laid out why new, high-standards trade agreements are important for our economy, our businesses, our workers, and our values. These new trade deals are vital to middle-class economics -- the idea that this country does best when everybody gets their fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules. The President has been clear -- any deal he signs will be the most progressive trade agreement in our history with strong provisions for both workers and the environment. It would also level the playing field -- and when the playing field is level, American workers always win.


‘Covered California,’ Obamacare Boondoggle, About To Go Belly Up!!!!!!

After two previous extensions, the open enrollment period for Covered California ends April 30. That deadline just might prove to be the tipping point for the state’s two-year-old health insurance exchange. That’s because this is the year Covered California is supposed to become completely self-sustaining

Indeed, there’s no more money coming from Washington after the state exhausts the $1.1 billion it received from the federal government to get the Obamacare exchange up and running. And state law prohibits Sacramento from spending any money to keep the exchange afloat.
That presents an existential crisis for Covered California, which is facing a nearly $80 budget deficit for its 2015-16 fiscal year. Although the exchange is setting aside $200 million to cover its near-term deficit, Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee acknowledged in December that there are questions about the “long-term sustainability of the organization.”
Covered California’s enrollment growth for 2015 was a mere 1 percent, according to a study this month by Avalere Health. That was worst than all but two other state exchanges. Meanwhile, California’s Obamacare exchange managed to retain only 65 percent of previous enrollees, the nation’s fourth-lowest re-enrollment rate.
No kidding! But in the Leftist mindset, an “entitlement” is still an entitlement, even if there’s no money to pay for it. Because entitlements are forever, even if California is not.

Via: PJ Media

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Hillary and the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Emoluments Clause, and it bans payola to U.S. government officials from foreign governments.  It reads:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
Sean Davis of The Federalist has explored how payments from foreign governments to the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation probably violate that clause.  His argument hinges on the evidence that the foundation has operated less as a charity than as a slush fund for the use of the Clintons:
Between 2009 and 2012, the Clinton Foundation raised over $500 million dollars according to a review of IRS documents by The Federalist (20122011201020092008). A measly 15 percent of that, or $75 million, went towards programmatic grants. More than $25 million went to fund travel expenses. Nearly $110 million went toward employee salaries and benefits. And a whopping $290 million during that period — nearly 60 percent of all money raised — was classified merely as “other expenses.” Official IRS forms do not list cigar or dry-cleaning expenses as a specific line item. The Clinton Foundation may well be saving lives, but it seems odd that the costs of so many life-saving activities would be classified by the organization itself as just random, miscellaneous expenses.
Keep in mind that the foundation has just announced that it will be re-filing these reports, now that Reuters has investigated them and found discrepancies.  A number of staffers of the Hillary campaign have been reported to have held jobs at the foundation prior to the campaign formally commencing, although I have seen no hard data on that.  And it has been reported that much of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s travel has been covered by the foundation.

Via: American Thinker

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This is not your hood': Judge rips gang member in blistering attack that leaves the 'carefree' suspect dumbstruck

Tennessee Judge Lila Statom has become a viral sensation thanks to her incredible take down of one gang member who dared try to claim an area as 'his hood' while in her courtroom
Tennessee Judge Lila Statom has become a viral sensation thanks to her incredible take down of one gang member who dared try to claim an area as 'his hood' while in her courtroom
'Sir, East Lake Courts is not your hood, it's the citizens of the United States who own that because they work and pay taxes' Statom told O'Shae Smith, who told the judge he shot a rival gang member for being there
'Sir, East Lake Courts is not your hood, it's the citizens of the United States who own that because they work and pay taxes' Statom told O'Shae Smith, who told the judge he shot a rival gang member for being there.

'It's the citizens of the United States who own that because they work and pay taxes, you don't own that.'

Statom said she wanted to show Smith he wasn't 'in control everywhere'. 
'It makes me upset because there are people that live in East Lake Court who get up and go to work every day. They take their children to daycare,' she told WRCB-TV.  

Statom had a personal connection to the area that has been ravaged with gang violence, and told Smith 'it used to be a very nice place to live'.

'My grandmother lived there and I spent many a night,' she told the courtroom. 'It was a nice place where you could walk around. People like you have made it a violent, unsafe place to live.' 

'Hopefully we can make it the place that it used to be back when it was originally built for people who didn't have anywhere else to live - to make it a safe place to live,' she said.  
According to police, Smith, 20, shot Kendre Allen, 18, in the hip in late March. Allen also appeared in Statom's court last week to testify against Smith. 

Via: Daily Mail

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280 High School Students Just Told Obama To Shove It In An Epic Way…

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280 high schoolers – the entire junior class of Nathan Hale High School in Seattle, Washington – have effectively told President Obama and his band of progressive buffoons that they can take their Common Core and shove it.

When state testing began on Tuesday, not a single junior showed up on campus to participate, as the entire student body had collectively decided to exercise their legal right to opt out of the ‘Smarter Balanced’ exams.

“They didn’t skip school all day,” commented district spokeswoman Stacy Howard, according to the Seattle Times. “They just didn’t show up during the testing period.”

The Nathan Hale students weren’t the only ones to deal this massive blow to the liberal establishment, either. According to early district estimates, about half of the juniors at three other Seattle high schools have also opted out of the Smarter Balanced testing.

“Students voted with their own feet,” remarked Doug Edelstein, a history teacher at Nathan Hale and opponent of the Common Core testing. “They felt like they knew the facts, and made their own decisions.”

Give the junior class at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High two thumbs up for taking a stand against Common Core by sharing this report!

Gay Marriage: A Trojan Horse Movement

The Left doesn’t care about gay rights, any more than they care about civil rights, welfare rights, minority rights, animal rights or any other “rights.” According to the Left, “the issue is never the issue; the issue is always the revolution.” The various “rights” the Left has aggressively promoted over the years are merely vehicles to advance the Left’s power.

Consider: the welfare “rights” movement, founded by the notorious socialists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, was not established to guarantee welfare to the poor. As they said, their purpose was to pack the welfare rolls with so many beneficiaries that the government would collapse of its own weight. In the ensuing riots, they hoped policy makers would be driven to accept their socialist solution. In short, they sought anarchy, using a militant poor as their foot soldiers. They couldn’t care less what happened to the poor in prosecuting this agenda, and they said so. Doubt me? Just look at the status of the poor today. There are more people on welfare than at any time in history. And the crime and degeneracy that accompany it are epidemic.

Look at our country today. With manufactured crisis Strategist-in-Chief Obama, we are almost there, and Cloward and Piven’s intellectual descendants were out in force in Ferguson. The communist agitators seeking “social justice” for Michael Brown burned down much of the neighborhood. Do black lives matter to them? Apparently not. And they have even said so. The issue isnot the issue.

Occupy Wall Street’s black anarchist organizer Nelini Stamp’s new group, Dream Defenders, popularized the slogan “Hands Up Don’t Shoot!” But prior to Ferguson there was Trayvon Martin. Working with Eric Holder’s DOJ, Stamp’s group was responsible for getting Sanford, Florida police chief Bill Lee fired. This despite the fact the FBI agreed with Lee’s assessment that there was no case against Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. Did Stamp care about “Justice for Trayvon?” Not according to Stamp. “We are actually trying to change the capitalist system we have today, because it’s not working for any of us,” she said.

Via: American Thinker

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[VIDEO] NBC finds at least 10 Brian Williams embellishments

The in-house investigators assigned to look into Brian Williams' past reports have documented at least 10 instances of exaggerations and embellishments by the NBC anchorman.

The investigation is not yet complete, according to a person with knowledge of it, who described some of the findings on condition of anonymity.

It is unclear whether Williams had had a chance to defend himself to his bosses. NBC has not allowed him to do so publicly.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was briefed on the current findings at a Thursday morning meeting in New York. The meeting suggests that the network is nearing a decision about Williams' future.
Williams, the anchor of "NBC Nightly News" for the past 10 years, was suspended nearly three months ago when a scandal erupted about his recounting of an Iraq War mission in 2003.
His suspension is scheduled to end in August, but it is unclear whether NBC will reinstate him at that time. Lester Holt has been filling in.
The network has been under pressure -- both internally and externally -- to reach a decision about Williams and announce it well ahead of the August deadline.
That decision will be informed by NBC's internal fact-checking effort, which is being led by Richard Esposito, the news division's senior executive producer in charge of investigations.
All of the people involved are being incredibly tight-lipped, and NBC refuses to confirm anything about the investigation.

40 Days: Treasury Says Debt Has Been Frozen at $18,112,975,000,000 - According to the Daily Treasury Statement for Wednesday, April 22, which was published by the U.S. Treasury on Thursday, April 23, that portion of the federal debt that is subject to a legal limit set by Congress closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000—for the 40th day in a row.
$18,112,975,000,000 is about $25 million below the current legal debt limit of $18,113,000,080,959.35.
Table III-C on the Daily Treasury Statement for April 22 shows that the federal debt subject to the legal limit began April at $18,112,975,000,000, began the day of April 22 at $18,112,975,000,000 and closed the day of April 22 at $18,112,975,000,000.
Table III-C Daily Treasury Statement of April 22, 2015
This is Table III-C from the Daily Treasury Statement of April 22, 2015, reporting that the debt subject to limit has been $18,112,975,000,000 for 40 straight days.
In fact, every Daily Treasury Statement since March 13—which was a Friday--has said that the debt subject to the limit has closed the day at $18,112,975,000,000.

Via: CNS News

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Tax Payers Fund Boston Bombers’ Family Flights To The US, Housing And Security During The Trial…

The family of convicted Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been flown to the US from their home in Chechnya, are being housed at a Hampton Inn outside of Boston, and are being guarded 24 hours a day by at least 3 federal agencies.
The taxpayer funded junket to the US for the family of a Muslim terrorist is costing well over $100,000, according to a former US attorney.

Survivors and their families are outraged:
“I think you’re probably talking about $100,000 plus in that neighborhood in terms of security and out of pocket costs associated with travel,” former US attorney Michael Sullivan said.
And that’s just for this trip.
Lawyer fees or even what all witnesses during the trial cost is still unclear. One defense witness, Mark Spencer of Arsenal Consulting, charged $375 per hour and billing taxpayers for $150,000.
Governor Charlie Baker said, “It’s a federal trial, it’s a federal case, the feds ultimately need to make the decisions about this.”
Baker was non-committal about how resources are being used, even state ones.
Sullivan told Sacchetti that while he understands taxpayer outrage, the whole point is to make sure it’s done right.
“The court wants to make sure that at the end of the day, the defendant gets a fair trial and would not want to add any potential issues on appeal in the penalty phase, prosecutors finished making their case yesterday,” he said.
Marathon survivor Marc Fucarile reached out to us Friday night, reacting to this news, saying that he’s outraged that Tsarnaev’s family’s expenses are being paid for when “myself and some of the other survivors and our families have to pay for our own parking at court, lunch, and we were told that if the trial was moved out of state, we’d have to pay for our own travel and lodging, there.”
The statement went on to say: “Why should our country pay for them when that family committed a violent act against our country? Not to mention, all of the free government services this family previously enjoyed on the backs of the taxpayers including government assistance and a free ride to UMass Dartmouth. In contrast, I was denied housing assistance I sought after the bombings, even though I needed a handicapped accessible apartment, and my wife lost her job as a result of the events.”
He ended by saying he feels badly for the taxpayers that have to pay for this after they were so generous to all the survivors and the One Fund.

Via: PJ Media

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Obamacare Leaves Behind Millions Of Lower Income Workers


Reverend Vann R. Ellison, the president of the Florida based St. Matthew’s House, is trying to bring attention to the issue which he says affects people that fall between the $10,000 and $12,000 a year income range. St. Matthew’s House, which takes care of roughly 1,500 people, provides food and shelter to those individuals trying to work their way out of poverty.
“We generally deal with lower income people trying to get their lives together,” Ellison told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “These are people that can’t afford their own apartments.”
Those in that income range make too much to qualify for assistance under Obamacare but often times make too little to actually afford coverage or the fee that comes with not being covered. It’s an issue that impacts many of the lower income people Ellison is trying to help.

Via: Daily Caller

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, tells Breitbart News exclusively why he thinks the New York Times is coming after him.
“The New York Times has done a series of three hit pieces in a little over a week, all directed at me, which may suggest that the Times is dismayed to see a strong conservative such as me getting real momentum with grassroots across the country,” Cruz said.
The first thing the Times attacked him with was an editorial from editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, in which he called Cruz’s support for the Second Amendment “strange” in a headline. Cruz fired back in an op-ed for National Review, laying out how the liberals at the newspaper don’t “get” the Second Amendment.
From there, the Times unleashed Jason Horowitz—a reporter who wrote a series of pieces digging into Cruz’s college days and questioning whether he is in fact a great debater. The pieces quoted people who didn’t like Cruz in college.
And the most recent hit piece was about Cruz attending a dinner with openly gay people who support Cruz’s positions on the economy and foreign policy. The piece, as Breitbart News already detailed, found it odd that Cruz would unconditionally love his daughters. It also argues that the conservative firebrand was ambivalent about his opposition to gay marriage. Cruz told Breitbart News that the Times is just flat wrong.
“The latest hit piece they wrote focused on a pro-Israel fundraiser we had in New York—that some of the attendees were gay,” Cruz explained when asked about it by Breitbart News.

[VIDEO] Bombshell Interview: Obama’s Brother Says Barack Is ‘Cold And Ruthless…Dishonest And A Schemer’

In an interview conducted earlier this month, film maker Joel Gilbert, who produced the film “Dreams from My Real Father,” (which suggested that Obama’s Communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, may be his real father) talks to President Obama’s brother Malik, who has some very strong views about his half-brother – including his own doubts as to Obama’s parentage.
Malik says, he feels “Disappointed, disappointed, used, used and also betrayed. In the beginning, I didn’t think that he was a schemer. His real character, his real personality, the real him, is coming out now.”
Trust me Malik, you are not alone.
…the way that he’s turned and become a different person with the family is the same way that I see him behaving politically. He says one thing and then he does another. He’s not been an honest man, as far as I’m concerned, in who he is and what he says and how he treats people.”
While Malik and Barack are not particularly close now, Malik was close enough to have been the best man at Barack and Michelle’s wedding, has visited the White House, and is president of the Barack H. Obama Foundation.
Gilbert asks Malik if he really thinks he and Obama share the same father. Granted, Gilbert has a vested interest in the answer, considering he’s hawking a book about the subject, but Malik’s response is still troubling. He has his doubts.
However, most troubling is how Americans were duped into electing this dishonest “schemer” as president – twice.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The thing that EVERY GOP candidate must demand of EVERY reporter until we get answers.

Image result for reportersBackground: power-mad, out-of-control Democratic prosecutors in Wisconsin went on a Stasi-like legal rampage over the last few years. They’d send out the cops to raid conservatives and citizen-activists, then slap gag orders on their victims to keep them from complaining.  This, thankfully, is now in the process of blowing up in their face, and there are people – starting with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm – who need to be disbarred. Heck, they need to go to jail, but I don’t think that we canquite make that stick.  
Anyway: caught up on this? Good.  Anyway, via Instapundit here’s the question (by Instapundit commenter Prof. Stephen Clark) that needs to be asked:
Every Democrat should repeatedly be asked whether they support the police state tactics used by Democrats in Wisconsin. As with Rand Paul every media interviewer should be asked by candidates to answer the same as the price for continuing the interview.
Wisconsin Democrats should be made into a public embarrassment for Democrats generally. Behavior of this kind will cease only when it carries a global political cost.
Indeed.  No more double standards. No more double standards.

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