Thorner/Keill: Are you angry enough yet? The ObamaCare Nightmare (Part 2)
What should be egregious to all is what Obamacare will bring when the nightmare officially begins on Oct 1, 2013.
Obamacare Navigators Won’t Be Checked: Fox News has reported that the Navigators who are being hired by HHS to help set up exchanges for Obamacare will not be properly screened before starting work. Due to the little time left, Kathleen Sebelius has lifted the checks on Navigator backgrounds, fingerprints and criminal records. Their training has been dropped from 30 hours to 20 hours. These people will have access to your personal records, such as health information, Social Security numbers and income tax earnings.
There are no safeguards established yet to prevent identity theft or fraud in the use of your records. Also, Sebelius has taken some of the $67 million needed to begin the Navigator project from the Disease Prevention Fund (20%) of Obamacare. Now you know where your Obamacare taxes are going – from one fund to another fund of the law with tricky accounting – robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Obama Waives Federal Employees Obamacare Premiums: When the Democrats in Congress rammed through Obamacare, they forgot to exempt themselves and their federal employees from the requirements of the law. Now, they’ve discovered how expensive and different their coverage is going to be under Obamacare. They have been wailing about the cost and the potential loss of experienced staffers who might leave Washington, DC because they can’t afford the new health program.
Obama to the rescue: He has ordered the Office of Personnel Management to have the American taxpayer subsidize the federal employees and they do not have to meet the law’s requirements of salary or previous insurance coverage for the Obamacare exchanges. So, federal employees, who can make $70,000-$174,000 will now have the taxpayer subsidize their health care premiums up to 75% – because it’s too expensive for them. They voted for it; they should have to live with it; but they won’t have to now. They’ve been excused. And, we’re paying for it.
Department of Labor Delays the Out-of-Pocket Caps for a Year: In 2014, the limit on out-of-pocket expenses (which you have to pay yourself) would have been $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. This has now been postponed until 2015 for group plans like those offered by employers. It does not apply to individual plans. So, you have to continue paying these out-of-pocket costs, when they should have dropped in 2014. This was announced by the Department of Labor on their website in February and we’re just now finding out about it.
Health Insurance Data Will Not Be Secured: On October 1, 2013, Obamacare insurance exchanges are supposed to be ready to go for Americans to enroll for insurance coverage. The technology needed to run the program, however, is way behind schedule in development and it is only going to be tested on September 30 – the day before the exchanges open. Without security encryption codes confirmed and tested, any medical, income and other personal information you provide for the state exchanges to sign you up for Obamacare will be left open to fraud and identity theft by anyone who can hack into the system.
Death Panels, IPAB and USPSTF: We have already told you about the ‘death panel’ in Obamacare called IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) made up of 15 members appointed by the President (whoever that might be). The IPAB will have the authority to decide who will receive medical care and how much will/will not be paid for it.
The other ‘death panel’ in Obamacare is the “United States Preventive Services Task Force” (also known as the Mandate Task Force or USPSTF). Together, their actions will result in rationing of care, longer waits for care and possible elimination of care. This is an independent group of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine that works to improve the health of all Americans by making evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services or preventive medications.
The USPSTF is made up of 16 volunteer members who come from the fields of preventive medicine and primary care, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics/gynecology, and nursing. All members volunteer their time to serve on the USPSTF, and most are practicing clinicians.
So, we have another committee now under Obamacare, made up of 16 non-government experts in medical prevention and evidence-based medicine. Like the IPAB, they will review what and when and how often you will be entitled to medical screenings and make recommendations on what can, or can’t, be offered for health coverage. Here are some examples of their limiting work. You have seen them in the news over the last year or so.
- Women no longer need to get mammograms or pap smears before a certain age.
- It has been suggested that men don’t have to get tests for prostate cancer. (PSAs)
- Chest x-rays are also now on the list of unnecessary services on a routine basis.
- Recommendation that heavy smokers get yearly CT scans to check for lung cancer — for free.
- HIV screenings free for all Americans, aged 15-65.
- Domestic violence screenings free for all women, aged 14-46.
Provisions will allow ‘forced’ home inspections by government agents: Citing the Health and Human Services website, a report posted on Wednesday, August 15th at the Freedom Outpost says that under ObamaCare, government agents an engage in “home health visits” for those in certain “high-risk” categories. Despite what HHS says, the program is not “voluntary.”
A homeschooling family may be subject to intervention in school readiness and social-emotional developmental indicators. A farm family may be subject to intervention in order to prevent child injuries. While the administration claims the program only applies to those on Medicaid, the new law, by its own definition has no such limitations.
In a somewhat hilarious move, the Obama’s administration’s latest advertising scheme is a video contest aimed at convincing young people to sign up for health insurance. Cash prizes will be offered to the winners, along with a “Stay Healthy Kit” to the first 100 participants. This despite a conclusion by the National Center for Public Policy Research that millions of young people could save more than $1,000 next year by not signing up for insurance and paying the penalty.
Are you angry yet? If not you should be, and you will be when we expose other infractions by the Obama administration into our privacy and our pocketbooks that are already happening, with more on the drawing board to be installed in the next year or so.
Start by calling your elected representatives. The clock is ticking. Don’t allow history to record that indifference of its citizens was the reason this nation lost its Constitutional Republic with the promise of liberty and freedom for all and descended into European-type Socialism and even worse!
This is the first of several articles that will present an overall view of our federal government and what it is doing on a number of fronts. Some measures are already affecting our lives. Others are certain to evolve in the not too distant future. Not only will the quality of our lives suffer, but unless we become angry enough to speak out and allow our voices to protest what the Obama administration has in store for us, future generations will be saddled with what we allowed to happen all because we were too busy, disinterested or too lackadaisical to care until it was too late.
Nowadays, turning on the radio or the TV and even surfing the web can be hazardous to ones health. Lie after lie after lie is being exposed. Some days it seems as if the Obama administration is collapsing, but nothing ever sticks to our Teflon-like President or members of his administration that would have otherwise brought the previous administration to its knees and even worse. Now that Congress is home on its August break, ObamaCare is on the front burner as legislators not afraid of answering questions from their constituents are conducting public town-hall-style meetings. But even before noting some of the monstrosities that make up the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), it is well to remember that real laws have been broken by the White House in the interim before the law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
Now that Congress is home on its August break, ObamaCare is on the front burner as legislators not afraid of answering questions from their constituents are conducting public town-hall-style meetings. But even before noting some of the monstrosities that make up the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), it is well to remember that real laws have been broken by the White House in the interim before the law goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
As George F. Will, one of today’s most recognized writers featured in more than 450 newspapers, wrote in a commentary titled: “Obama Ignores Laws, Like Nixon“: “Barack Obama’s increasingly grandiose claims for presidential power are inversely proportional to his shriveling presidency.”
In quoting what President Obama said about his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act, he said:
In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law. . . it looks like there may be some better ways to do this, let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so.
Since Obamacare was passed in March of 2010, the administration has failed to adhere to half of its own legal deadlines:
- A mandate that employers provide insurance next year or pay a penalty has been delayed for at least a year;
- laws dictating that people applying for federal subsidies to buy insurance had to provide proof that they were eligible for government aid were scaled back;
- suspended for a year were sharp limits on out-of-pocket costs to be paid for health care insurance by enrollees; and
- members of Congress and Hill staffers will keep health-care subsidies under Obamacare.
Despite the illegal changes made to the Affordable Care Act by the White House and the Obama administration, both insist that on October 1st the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges will go live online; that is, unless the push by conservatives to defund Obamacare in both the House and the Senate can be realized. There is presently great angst over how well these online exchanges will function when millions of Americans to try to log on and choose their own healthcare coverage.
Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 07:00 AM | Permalink
What could only be described as an Armagedon-sized economic tornado waiting to happen was depicted accordingly by President Obama in his weekly address on Saturday, August 18:
So I’m going to keep doing everything in my power to make sure this law works as it’s supposed, because in the United States of America heath insurance isn’t a privilege — it is your right. And we’re going to keep it that way.
So along with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, health insurance is now a right as administered through ObamaCare in accordance to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, passed in the dead of night in the House on March 21, 2010, with not one Republican vote, and signed into law by President Obama on March 23rd, 2010. obamacarefactscom/obamacarebill.php
ObamaCare not only aims to confiscate 1/6 of this nation’s economy, but it has as its goal the creation of a federal healthcare one-size-fits-all entitlement program, irregardless that so many parts of America’s health care system were working fine. In that 85% of the American people had health care prior to The Affordable Care Act, the Democrats were willing to overhaul the entire system, punishing those 85% in order to accommodate the 15% who did not, as the first step in achieving what had been a long-held Democratic dream — a federally-run health care system.
Imagine this, if ObamaCare is fully implemented on January 1, 2014, with regulations still being written, ObamaCare with its current 33,000 pages of regulations would reach seven feet high if placed in a stack. It is a given that implementation of ObamaCare will become a bureaucratic nightmare with some 159 new government agencies and programs attempting to enforce the thousands of pages of regulations.
Is it any wonder why many of us are concerned that ObamaCare is a disaster-in-waiting for America? If you are among those who don’t trust our government and the IRS to handle or to enforce the monstrosity of ObamaCare, the following talking points can be used when contacting the 5 renegade Illinois Republican U.S. congressmen (Rep. Randy Hultgrin has signed on to the Meadows letter. Thank him.) and Senator Mark Kirk. Local offices telephone numbers: Senator Mark Kirk, 312-886-2117; Representatives Rodney Davis, 217-403-4691; Randy Hultgren, 630-232-7174; Adam Kinzinger, 815-431-9383; Peter Roskam, 630-232-7393; Aaron Schock, 217-670-1806, John Simkus, 217-446-0670. And don’t forget Majority Speaker John Boehner at 202-225-0600.
Economic destruction. We are facing the end of the 40 hour work week. This means the end of the middle class. ObamaCare punishes business by imposing ridiculous rules resulting in a business retracting or at least, not growing over 50 people.
Taxpayer dollars. Employers are cutting back hours and creating more part-time positions in order to get around the Obamacare mandate and punishment on growth. America cannot survive and thrive with a nation full of part-time workers. Even worse, a new study argues that ObamaCare could grow the welfare state as between 500,000 and 900,000 workers leave the workforce and go on welfare instead of keeping their jobs just for healthcare.
Elitists’ benefits, with no consequences. Congress exempted themselves from the crushing premiums of Obamacare, voting instead for YOU, THE TAXPAYER to pick up about 75% of their tab. That’s about all you need to know!
Affected lawmakers and their staff still have to enter the exchanges beginning in Oct. 1, as set forth in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but, unlike private sector employees, they will not lose their employee contributions for their health plan’s premium costs.
Rising premiums. ObamaCare is anything but “Affordable,” which is how they labeled it. And if so many of us are taking advantage of subsidies or losing our jobs due to ObamaCare, who will ultimately be stuck with the bill for all of us?
The IRS is enforcing it. I don’t know about you but I do not want one of the most corrupt agencies in this administration in charge of fines and enforcing ObamaCare. If that doesn’t send a chill up your spine, nothing will.
Being hired by the IRS to go after American citizens who refuse to pay the ObamaCare tax (or is it a penalty) are up to 6,500 tax enforcers.
Privacy concerns. ObamaCare is Ground Zero for a hack attack…not just by outsiders, but also government agencies who will concoct whatever reason necessary to “hack” your data and use it against you. Everything you talk to a doctor about will be kept in an untested database that is accessible to anyone in government who asks for it—and all your personal information will be readily available for hackers with sinister motives.
Thousands of “navigators” are being hired through a $54 million slush fund controlled by the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary. These “in-service assistants” and counselors will propagandize and enroll ObamaCare recipients in the government-run health insurance exchanges and will have access to highly personal data from potential “customers” to asses their “needs,” such income levels, birth dates, addresses, eligibility for government assistance, Social Security numbers and sensitive medical information. Small businesses will be targeted along with individuals.
Because of time constraints, HHS has cutting back on the requirements to become a navigator, meaning they’re not going to be doing background checks nor fingerprinting those they hire, which will make it easier for a person’s private information to fall into the wrong hands. What if a navigator has been convicted of committing identity theft or grand theft prior to being hired by HHS?
It is predicted that with the coming of ObamaCare will come the con artists. According to Monica Lindeen, Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, “There are fake exchanges already up and running on the Internet.” Getting an early jump on national health care reform, scam artists since last year have been calling, faxing and emailing people across the country claiming to be with Medicare, ObamaCare or some agency of the federal government.
Lower standards of care. This presents a problem for current patients, as well as all the new ones on the insurance rolls. Are you on Medicare or Medicaid? If so, it’s getting really hard to find a doctor and once you get in, you may not see an actual doctor, but rather an assistant who has limited medical training. You may wait months for a test. The government may refuse to treat some illnesses, resulting in even more medical bills or even death.
On Saturday, August 11, an article by Thorner was posted at Illinois Review which noted straw-man arguments being used by congressmen as reasons why they couldn’t sign the Meadows letter in the House to defund ObamaCare.
Here are two more excuses with countering information should congressmen try to tell you that the following undesirable consequences would happen should the government be shut down.
1. During a government shutdown the activities of our Armed Forces would halt.
NOT TRUE: Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, are permitted to continue certain exempt, “emergency” activities deemed “essential” including, “providing for the national security, including the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life and property.” In past shutdowns, the Pentagon has instructed all active duty military personnel to report for duty, exempting them from furlough. Some non-essential activities will cease, but exempt activities have been interpreted broadly with substantial discretion given to local commanders to decide what is necessary.
2. During a government shutdown military personnel would not be paid.
NOT TRUE: All exempt personnel reporting for duty would eventually be paid in full, and Congress has historically paid furloughed (non-exempt) employees retroactively after the conclusion of past shutdowns. However, the pay would be deferred until the standoff ended and appropriations enacted. Since many personnel are paid at the end of the month, they would be insulated from the initial onset of a government shutdown. The President—in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief—could of course end any standoff, at any time, simply by signing into law a CR that funds the entire government (minus ObamaCare) or a separate CR pertaining only to defense (if such a bill was sent to his desk by the Congress).
On October 1st Americans will be putting their identity, their lives and the future of America in jeopardy when ObamaCare begins enrollment in the exchanges unless Congress does something about it now, while they still can.
Are we going to allow Congressmen to tell us that they want ObamaCare gone but then act like there is nothing they can do about it? Baloney! All they have to do is grow a spine and refuse to fund it.
Most importantly, we are not asking the President to shut down the government. That is President Obama’s threat if ObamaCare funding is denied, further becoming Obama’s cross to bear. We are simply asking Members of Congress to fund everything but ObamaCare.
Part 1 of this expose “Heritage Action defund Obamacare tour rolls out Monday”
Monday, August 19, 2013 at 08:00 AM | Permalink
1. Only 20% of the voters in these diverse districts support going forward with ObamaCare unchanged. Notice that Representative Aaron Schock represents one of these diverse districts here in Illinois.
Steve Southerland, R (FL-2) – Aaron Schock, R (IL-18) – Leonard Lance, R (NJ-7) – Renee Ellmers, R (NC-2) – Patrick Tiberi, R (OH-12) – Greg Walden, R (OR-2) – John Barrow, D (GA-12) – Mike McIntyre, D (NC-7) – Jim Matheson, D (UT-4) – Nick Rahall, D (WV-3)
2. A large majority, 77% favor either a slow down in implementation or an outright repeal.
3. There is no present evidence that a move to defund ObamaCare and the potential of a partial government shutdown would harm Republican prospects of holding the House majority.
4. Forcing a partial government shutdown over defunding ObamaCare will not be blamed solely on Republicans. Thirty-three percent would blame “Republicans in Congress” or “The TEA Party,” 41% would blame “Democrats in Congress” or “President Obama,” and 17% would blame “all of them.” Independents would spread the blame among groups on the Right, 36%, groups on the Left 30% and 26% would blame both.
5. House Republicans should be much more concerned with the fallout of failing to defund ObamaCare than with the imaginary fallout of doing so The poll found that a majority would be less likely to support the reelection efforts of House members who voted to continue ObamaCare funding while 48 percent said they’d be more likely to support a member who did “everything” they could to slow down implementation of the law.
It is telling that more than half a dozen possible GOP White House candidates are supporting the defunding effort, five are calling for a more nuanced approach to defunding or repealing the healthcare law, two are dodging questions, and three others are not signaling one way or another.
Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
Rep. Steve King (Iowa)
PURSUE ANOTHER APPROACH (DELAY, TRADITIONAL REPEAL) (5):
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Gov. Susana Martinez (N.M.)
Rep. Pete King (N.Y.)
Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.)
Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.)
Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)
DID NOT RESPOND TO CALLS, EMAILS (3):
Former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.)
Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.)
Gov. Nikki Haley (S.C.
With Congress on summer recess, citizen action must accompany the Heritage Action town hall meetings focusing on defunding ObamaCare.
With a call to all conservative to stay on the job and to keep up the fight against what is an unconstitutional law, even though attending a town hall meeting might not be possible, we can make telephone calls and send emails and faxes letting the Republican leadership and House members know that they must stand up and fight for what is in our best interests — to defund the monster of ObamaCare.
How long will we the people be mandated to eat what Congress won’t eat!
Part 2: Talking points to deal with recalcitrant congressmen.
August 12, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Thorner: ‘Grassroots Army’ recruitment to fight defund Obamacare ney-sayers
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is calling on America’s grassroots conservative activists to rise up against Obama Care in a call to arms that we must be heeded to help activate a “Grassroots Army” to change the minds of those who are beating the drum against defunding.
Cruz and other conservative lawmakers are urging Republican leaders to use ObamaCare as a bargaining chip, with a warning to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mich McConnell that unless the president’s signature law is defunded they won’t support a “continuing resolution” to fund the federal government
It must be clarified that Cruz is not talking about shutting down the government, as he doesn’t have the power to to do so, only to defund ObamaCare. If Congress should submit a spending resolution to President Obama that would defund ObamaCare, it would be Obama’s choice to either do what many Americans want, jettison ObamaCare or draw a line in the sand and shutdown the government.
A recent poll commissioned by Tea Party Patriots indicates that Americans, not just Republicans, but all Americans, actually support a temporary shutdown to the government to stop the implementation of ObamaCare by a margin of 48-39 percent, while 71% of voters favor some sort of delay in the implementation of ObamaCare.
Senator Tom Cruz has argued that Republicans could avoid fallout in case of a partial government shutdown by vigorously rebutting allegations that Republicans are to blame. http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/07/sen-ted-cruz-calls-for-public-uprising-too-defund-obamacare.html
For us [Republicans] to win this fight the American people have to be with us We want to keep the government open. . . Why is President Obama threatening to shut down the federal government in order to force ObamaCare down the throats of the American people?
The efforts of Senator Ted Cruz and other conservatives to defund Obamacare has some semblance to David and Goliath, 1 Samuel 17, with the government and establishment Republicans striking back with all the might of a Goliath before the giant suffered defeat at the feet of an undaunted and courageous David. Christianity.about.com/od/biblestorysummaries/p/davidandgoliath.htm
Not only are Republican establishment leaders and like-minded members in the House and Senate fighting those who wish to defund ObamaCare*, but the same conservatives are also encountering a well-funded beast in a nearly bottomless slush fund of $12.5 billion — the “Prevention and Public Health Fund”– that can be released, in part, to promote ObamaCare through TV, radio, bill boards, and the social media. http://www.newsmax.com/PrintTemplate.aspx?nodeid=511071
*House Eric Cantor, fearful of the call by House conservative to defund Obama and uneasy with the talk of a shutdown, felt it necessary to speak with National Review Online on Friday, August 9th. In so doing Cantor threw cold water on the defund rallying cry by House conservatives.
No one is advocating a government shutdown. . . In order to avoid a government shutdown, we need 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to pass a continuing resolution. To get 60 votes in the Senate, you need at least 14 Democrats to join Republicans and pass a CR that defunds.
But the impossible task of repealing ObamaCare still remains the goal of Cantor, Boehner and many other House Republicans as they attempt to chip away at ObamaCare through a piecemeal effort, such as attempting to delay the mandate for people, such has been done for big business. http://wwwnationalreview.com/corner/35522/cantor-no-one-advocati…
None other that Mitt Romney on Tuesday, August 6, warned Republicans at a fundraiser in New Hampshire for the state’s Republican Party against a government shutdown over ObamaCare: http://thehill.com/blog/blog-briefing-room/news/315865-romney-war...
But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government. What would come next when soldiers aren’t paid, when seniors fear for their Medicare and Social Security, and when the FBI is of duty?
Although the task at hand appears to be a tall order to accomplish, the only way to fight back and meet the challenge is through a public uprising to defund ObamaCare. The American people must rise up to over power and change the minds of those who are beating the drum against defunding.
Pressure must be exerted on Republican leaders and other Republicans who have not signed Mike Lee’s letter to defund ObamaCare, reminding them that if they haven’t signed Lee’s letter they are for ObamaCare. There are too many shrinking violet Republicans (and wobblies) in Congress who live in fear of negative criticism, even if their base stands behind them to do the right thing. It may be now or never to strike a fatal blow on ObamaCare.
Heritage Action, a sister organization of The Heritage Foundation, is fighting for you and has started the ball rolling. Heritageaction.com As Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMit wrote in their op-ed on Friday, August 9th in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324522504578654592286139464.html
Obamacare can be stopped only if Congress denies funding for it in the next spending bill, which must be passed in September. . . The president is the one threatening to shut down the government, through the media won’t cover it that way. . . Republicans could lose the national debate. But a failure of Republicans to show the courage of their convictions on such a fundamental issue will inspire no one and will further alienate the American people from their government. This carries far greater risks to the nation’s future than the threat of a government shutdown or the risk of losing the next election.
Heritage Action will begin hosting town halls in nine cities across the nation on August 19, starting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and concluding on August 29 in Wilmington, Delaware. Other cities on the tour are Dallas, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio; and Pittsburgh.
The meetings are open to the public. Featured speakers on the “Defund Obamacare” Heritage Action tour include CEO Michael A Needham; Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Senator Ted Cruz and his father, Rafael Cruse, when in Dallas; Senator Mike Lee of Utah; Texas Senator Rand Paul; and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. http://patownhall.com/article.php?id=7772
Be part of Senator Cruz’s “Grass Roots” army. Sign up as a grass roots conservative activist dissatisfied with the lack of courage and fortitude being shown by our elected Republican legislators.
First off, sign the petition Senators Cruz and Lee have been promoting on online that already has over 250,000 signatures. http://www.dontfundobamacare.com/
Insist that elected Republicans U.S. representative and senator commit to defunding ObamaCare by co-sponsoring the Meadows Letter in the House or the Lee Letter in the Senate.
Attend your district’s town hall meetings, unless your legislator is in hiding, then insist he has one!
Here in Illinois call the local offices of our six Republican Illinois congressman and Senator Mark Kirk telling them to jump aboard the defunding ObamaCare bandwagon, reminding them if they don’t stop this law NOW, millions of Americans will lose their health coverage, many will be forced to pay higher taxes, and hundreds of thousands will lose their jobs.
Contact information for Republican U.S. House members – Illinois offices:
Rodney Davis ( 217-403-4690); Randy Hultgren ( 630-232-7104) Thank Rep. Hultgren for signing on; Adam Kinzinger ( 815-431-9271); Peter Roskam (847-656-6354); Aaron Schock (217-670-1653); John Shimkus (217-446-0664).
The Clock is ticking. Time is wasting away. Are you on board as a concerned citizen in the ‘Grassroots Army’ of Senator Ted Cruz? Make phones ring of their hooks!
Part 1: Wobblies seek to disrupt defunding of Obamacare – http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/thorner-wobblies-seek-to-disrupt-defunding-of-obamacare-by-conservatives.html#more
Part 2: Outrage about outrageous Obamacare – http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/part-2-outrage-about-outrageous-obamacare-exemptions.html#more
Part 3: GOP straw-man arguments against defunding Obamacare display cowardliness – http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/throner-gop-straw-man-arguments-against-defunding-obamacare-display-cowardliness.html#more
Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 04:41 PM | Permalink
August 11, 2013
A number of straw-man arguments have surfaced in the last few weeks as to why Republican senators and representatives are unwilling to join the on-going mobilization of members in the House and Senate to defund Obamacare through a Ryder to the must-pass Continuing Resolution, expiring on September 30, to fund the government.
What does it say about Republicans, many of whom are already assuming that it will be they who would blink and back down and that Democrats won’t be under any pressure to blink and retreat?
Following are three of the most recent straw-man arguments against defunding ObamaCare. Each argument is eviscerated:
Eviscerating Straw-man excuses:
1. Some members of Congress, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been spreading the idea that it would be better to delay key parts of the law. However, the “delay” messaging shifts the focus away from a defund fight in the context of a “must-pass” bill to fund the government, where it matters most and has the most teeth. Focusing on only the individual and employer mandates risks not enough opposition against the two main ObamaCare entitlements coming on-line October 1 — Medicaid expansion and exchange subsidies.
2. Others legislators are promoting a Congressional Research Service study which says that shutting down the government will not defund Obamacare, but none of the defund proponents are suggesting that it does. The strategy is to fund the government and defund Obamacare. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/08/04/defund-obamacare-sen-mike-lee-editorials-debates/2617319/
To those establishment Republicans who say that ObamaCare largely can’t be defunded and that the funds to implement are already baked into the care, nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Heritage Foundation, the $1 billion in mandatory implementation money has already been spent, meaning that ObamaCare’s administrative costs will have to be funded through the annual discretionary appropriation. According to the federal Antideficiency Act (ADA), it is illegal to spend money in excess of appropriations. http://www.gao.gov/legal/lawresources/antideficiencybackground.html
Illinois Republican Congressman Aaron Schock (18th Congressional District) used this straw-man argument at a town hall meeting on Monday, August 5th, when implying that the effort to defund ObamaCare “wouldn’t necessarily stop the Affordable Care Act from being implemented”. To Representative Schock, ObamaCare’s mandatory spending can be held up in the continuing resolution which will fund the government after September 30th. http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/rep-aaron-schock-defunding-wouldnt-necessarily-stop-the-affordable-care-act.html#more
3. Finally, we continue to hear pundits declare that it is political suicide for the Republicans to take a stand on the continuing resolution, but history reveals that the government slowdown of the 1990’s resulted in a pick-up of Republican seats in the Senate, as well as the GOP maintaining control of the House.
Closing down the government would not be the end of the world. Because of the two shutdowns in 1995, with Republicans standing up to Bill Clinton, some fiscal responsibility was achieved through a balanced budget. Why then do so many Republicans live in fear of being blamed for any shutdown? Although their concerns are not unreasonable, they do reflect the all too common short-view mindset of too many Republicans.
Consider how every weekend the non-essential services of the government are temporarily and partially shut down, which is what would happen in a potential temporary shutdown. Not even President Obama would allow the government to go unfunded for any significant amount of time to result in a long term shut down of government.
Rational people would understand that a government shutdown would be equally the fault of President Obama for his refusal to compromise on a budget unless his pet health care project was funded.
Do Republicans really lack the where-with-all to get a unified and targeted message out in defense of defunding the monstrosity that is ObamaCare, which no Republican voted for back in March of 2010, and which all claim to dislike? At the moment this seems to be so. Repealing is impossible with a Senate and the presidency both controlled by Democrats.
It must also be remembered that the messiah edifice of ObamCare has begun to crumble even among dyed-in-the-wool Democratic supporters and legislators.
On October 1st, just 52 days from today (August 10), the ObamaCare health insurance exchanges are set to open. The Heritage Foundation’s “Morning Bell” on Friday, August 9, noted two data security threats facing the American people on October because of the shoddy, slapdash approach the government has taken in the implementation of ObamaCare.
These two security threats alone should serve as wake-up calls to legislators in the Senate and House who continue to use discredited straw-man arguments as reasons not to commit to the ObamaCare defunding push in their respective chambers. Furthermore, they offer proof of why the House should refuse to spend a single dime to implement this unfair, unworkable, and unpopular law. http://blog.heritage.org/2013/08/09/morning-bell-obamacare-the-next-threat-to-your-privacy/
1. Threat #1: ObamaCare “Navigators”: HHS will not require navigators to undergo “minimum eligibility criteria and background checks,” nor must they participate in anti-fraud classes. This laxness will more than likely produce scam artists who pose as navigators to get access to applicants’ personal information.
2. Threat #2: ObamaCare’s Data Hub: This massive compilation of tax filings, Social Security reports and other government date used to determine eligibility for subsidized insurance isn’t scheduled to be certified as secure until September 30, only one day before the exchanges open for business. As the Administration has been cutting corners on data privacy for the exchanges, this raises the issue of whether the data on the hub can ever be certified as secure.
Part 4: Will explore current citizen action to defund ObamaCare across this nation and what action must be taken here in IL to get our six U.S. congressmen and Senator Mark Kirk on board with defunding ObamaCare.
Friday, August 09, 2013
As to the question of “Why the urgency to defund Obamacare?” the continuing resolution to fund the government to prevent the interruption of government services expires on Sept. 30, the last stop on the train and the last opportunity for conservatives to defund ObamaCare before it kicks in with full force and fury in the new year.
With October 1st comes the start of the new fiscal year, when under Obamacare every American citizen will be required to to have insurance coverage starting in 2014 or face $95 or 1% of family income, whichever is the greatest, administered by the IRS. Insurers must offer a package of essential benefits — including maternity, mental health and medications — and must cover all who apply. This extra comprehensive coverage for purchasing individual insurance plans points to higher premiums unless Congress acts on defunding Obamacare.
Also in the new fiscal year (Oct. 1st) state insurance exchange enrollment begins. Those who don’t comply will encounter penalties administered by the IRS. The Obama administration is attempting to attract more than 2.5 million young, healthy people to health insurance exchanges to offset the costs of caring for the old and sick. This might be a difficult sell as choosing to pay for fine for not enrolling would be less costly than signing on to an insurance exchange. Young people make up almost a third of all uninsured Americans.
Likewise on Oct. 1st open enrollment begins for Obamacare’s new main entitlement — Medicaid expansion and the exchange subsidies. Fast forward a few months to January 1, 2014, and these two ObamaCare entitlements are scheduled to take effect. Just for these two Obamacare entitlement programs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the federal government will spend $48 billion in 2014 and nearly $1.8 trillion through 2023. Along with the expansion of Medicaid will come increased dependency. History tells us that taking away an entitlement once established is almost an impossibility.
With our nation’s debt already standing at $16.7 trillion, isn’t it foolish to take on new entitlement programs knowing full well that estimated entitlement costs do not dovetail with what programs actually cost down the road. Notwithstanding, the goal of the Obama administration is determined to get as many individuals addicted to the sugar as possible before the boom is lowered, this despite the unpopularity of ObamaCare with the public regardless of political affiliation.
The latest Rasmussen Report national telephone survey released on Monday, August 5th, finds that 48% want their governor to oppose implementation of ObamaCare, while 40% of likely U.S voters want their governor to support implementation. 12% are not sure.
Recently President Obama admitted that Obamacare was a failure when he lifted temporarily Obamacare’s burden on business. But what did President Obama do to lessen the burden for the average American? Nothing, having left the “Individual” mandate in tact. Shamefully Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continue to believe ObamaCare is fabulous.
It must be presumed that the Republican leadership isn’t up to being as strong to fight Obamacare as were Democrats in twisting arms to pass ObamaCare in the dead of night along a party line vote, or they would realize that defunding ObamaCare through stripping appropriation bills of all funding is seen as the last opportunity to stop Obamacare in the House and Senate before the January 1st deadline.
Hopefully some establishment Republicans are not indifferent to the premiums their constituents will be obligated to pay under ObamaCare, as members of Congress and their staff don’t have to pay rising premium costs under a compromise made following complaints made about the expense of purchasing health care? But where is the outrage?
Under a ruling made on Wednesday, August 7, aimed at avoiding “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, “U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.” This decision by the Office of Personnel Management came with Obama’s blessing and will prevent unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and the House and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.
As Senator Mike Utah of Utah said on the Senate floor: “Defund it, or you own it. If you fund it, you’re for it.”
Senator Cruz, in quoting Margaret Thatcher: First you win the argument. Then you win the vote.
What does ObamaCare impose if not defunded so a delay can take place? Have legislators been candid? Most Republican House members were elected to Congress and sent to Washington, D.C. to deal with ObamaCare. How have they done so far? After all, ObamaCare is the ultimate opportunity for the government to integrate themselves into your life. Once in, you will never be free.
What can we expect before and after January 1st if the defunding effort fails?
1. Longer waiting lines and a lower quality of care as doctors and hospitals close their practices or retire.
2. Millions will lose jobs or become part time workers as small business owners seek to avoid paying health insurance for their employees by reducing work hours to 29 hours or less a week.
3. Paperwork to sign up reads like an interrogation of your life. Reports say a typical family of four must answer about 1,000 questions on personal, private data which then goes most likely to the IRS to be integrated with the other databases being house in the Utah NSA Data Center. The final question asked is if you would like to register to vote?
4. Medical privacy will end for whatever you see your doctor for will be stored for eternity in a giant government database accessible to anyone who asks for it.
5. On hand is a $12.5 billion “Prevention and Public Health Fund.” This is a side fund of ObamaCare with NO Congressional oversight and it never expires. It can be spent by the HHS (Health and Human Services) any way it sees fit. That means this money will be diverted to Democrat-heavy organizations that will then donate to the 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton seems to be the favorite.
6. Already seventeen states have cut child-only plans leaving kids with less coverage, meaning that no insurers are selling child-only policies to new enrollees. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACAP) or ObamaCare enacted in March, 2010, insurers who sell child-only plans must offer coverage to all new applicants without regard to the child’s preexisting health condition, resulting in the mass exodus of child-only plans.
7. Implementation of Obamacare will be rife with delays, glitches and problems.
Part 3: To be explored are the Straw-men arguments being used by those Republicans who are resisting the defunding plan being promoted by conservative Republicans in the House and Senate.
Friday, August 09, 2013 at 04:05 PM | Permalink
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Defunding ObamaCare is right up there in the House along with its battle to ensure that border security is in place before granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
Just because federal lawmakers are back in their districts for a six-week recess, doesn’t mean that all is quiet on the national front.
Come September both the House and the Senate chambers will be engaging in battles over whether ObamaCare should be defunded (delayed for one year) through detaching a legislative rider to a must pass bill (debt limit, annual spending bill, etc.) that 1) prohibits any funds from being spent on any activities to implement or enforce ObamaCare; 2) rescinds any unspent balances that have already been appropriated for implementation; and 3) turns off the exchange subsidy and new Medicaid spending that are on auto-pilot.
In the House Representative Bridensteine, among others, is standing up and leading the charge. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) told Breitbart news on Friday, August 2, that as of the day before 121 House Republicans had signed on as co-sponsors to his legislation to defund ObamaCare in the upcoming Continuing Resolution. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/08/02/Exclusive-Grassroots-pressure-working-as-majority-of-House-GOP-wants-to-defund-Obamacare-in-September
Flies in the ointment, however, exists in both the House and the Senate. In the House Speaker John Boehner is trying to sell the House GOP on a series of targeted strikes against the healthcare overhaul, rather than the defunding effort.
In the Senate, Minority Leader Mich McConnell, although not taking sides against the defunding push as have Republican senators Richard Burr (R-NC, John McCain (R-AZ), and Tom Coburn (R-OK, he is operating behind the scenes. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/08/07/Senators-Building-Grassroots-Army-to-Pressure-McConnell-GOP-Leadership-to-Defund-Obamacare
It has been reported that Illinois senator Mark Kirk, who originally co-sponsored the Ted Cruz bill to defund ObamaCare and further signed on to Mike Lee’s letter, was pressured by Mich McConnell to withdraw his support. http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/07/illinois-tea-party-upset-with-kirk-dropping-senator-mike-lees-effort-to-defund-obamacare.html.html
It’s past time for Illinois’ six elected Republican congressmen and Republican Senator Mark Kirk to stand up, instead of being too afraid or too cowardly to go down the right path, seemingly lacking the conjones to do so. Only Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-14) has signed on to Representative Tom Graves’ letter to defund ObamaCare. Kudos to him!
Voters follow and respect leaders and dislike those who procrastinate or cower and cave when challenged by those in the Republican leadership — or outside sources – that manufacture straw man arguments against doing what is best for their constituents and the nation. Most Republicans legislators were elected under the assumption that they would act to undo the scourge of ObamaCare.
An article in the Canada Free Press on Wednesday, August 7, by Judi McLead, describes politicians who have lost the courage they never really had as “Wobblies.” They go along to get along, hiding in pockets provided by the other side, becoming Democrats in everything but name. They don’t run when they see a train wreck coming down the tracks, but must faint dead-away. To be fair, wobblies also thrives in Britain courtesy of Prime Minister David Cameron.
Politicians described as “Wobblies” by McLead include the following: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/print-friendly/57059
1. “Weepy Wobby” House Speaker John Boehner and his gang of vacationing Republicans hiding in fear from their own constituent shadows.
2. John McCain as the Poster Boy for politicians plagued by the “Wobblies”.
3. Mitt Romney as a “Wobbly-Come-Lately” infected with a life-threatening case of the Wobblies after warning a New Hampshire GOP fundraiser on Tuesday, August 5th, against legislators shutting down the government in an attempt to defund ObamaCare. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/315865-romney-war…
Recently none other than the inestimable Charles Krauthammer called the Rubio/Lee/Cruz plan “nuts,” while another equally inestimable Steve Hayes, a senior writer or The Weekly Standard, called the move a good one and that now was the time for being aggressive. Admitting that the effort to defund ObamaCare might not succeed, Hayes believes that Lee’s “efforts may succeed in pushing Republican leaders to come up with an actual strategy to stall ObamaCare. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/leading-behind_741032.html?page=1
Thursday, August 08, 2013 at 11:00 AM | Permalink
August 8, 2013
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
What were the statement or the actions described during the trial testimony that made the jury’s decision the correct one and the only one possible under the circumstances:
- Zimmerman identified Martin as a suspicious person and called 911. When asked to describe the person by the 911 operator, he identified Martin as “black.” He did not volunteer this information, as implied by the tape as edited by CBS News.
- When Martin ran between buildings, Zimmerman left his car to see where he had gone and to identify the location to police. He did not defy the 911 operator in leaving his car, as implied by the prosecution and news media. That conversation occurred 15 seconds after leaving the car, at which point the 911 operator (not a policeman) asked if he (Zimmerman) was following the subject. When Zimmerman responded in the affirmative, the operator said, “We don’t need you to do that,” Zimmerman responded “Okay,” walked to the far end of the cross walk, and started to return to his car, a distance of about 100 yards. The gunshot, recorded on another 911 call, occurred approximately 1:17 after Zimmerman ended his last 911 call.
- According to friend on the phone with Martin at the time, Rachel Jeantel, Martin had reached his home, which is about 212 yards from where the confrontation occurred near the “T” intersection of walkways. If that testimony was correct, then Martin had to travel that distance to confront Zimmerman. We know that’s where he struck Zimmerman, because Zimmerman’s keys (which he had in his hand) and other objects were found near that that intersection. In other words, Martin left a place of safety in order to confront Zimmerman. He had a phone but did not use it to call for help, rather took the law into his own hands.
- Was Martin justified in attacking Zimmerman? Perhaps, if Zimmerman had struck or threatened Martin. However, there is no evidence that Zimmerman struck Martin and ample evidence that Martin delivered many blows. It is more likely that Martin was angry that he had been followed and set out to avenge this disrespect. Oddly, that’s the justification given by the prosecution, the Martin family attorneys, and several celebrities, most recently by “gangsta” rapper, Jay-Z
- If Zimmerman had displayed his gun, as implied by the prosecution, it is unlikely Martin would have struck him in the face and wrestled him to the ground. *The first priority would be to take control of the weapon. According to Zimmerman, that happened much later, when Martin reached for the gun after it was exposed when Zimmerman’s jacket slipped up while he was being beaten on the ground.
The absence of contact DNA on the slide is not evidence that Martin did not try to grab it. Nor was there contact DNA on the slide from Zimmerman, or the officer who took it from him. We know both touched it, because that’s how you load or clear a pistol. Zimmerman testified that Martin “reached” for the gun. Mark Osterman, the only person to say Martin actually grabbed the gun, based his testimony on recollection three months after the event when writing a book about it. This speaks of dramatic “embellishment.” The manner in which the DNA evidence was preserved and collected borders on malfeasance.
- Sanford medical examiner, Dr. Shiping Bao, refused to testify on the nature of the gunshot wound except in overly broad terms. He did not test Martins hands for Zimmerman’s DNA, despite the knowledge that a fight preceded the gunshot. Dr. Bao also put Martin’s clothing in a plastic bag while still wet, leading to extensive decomposition and degradation. There was no coordination between the medical examiner and the investigators, and examination of the clothing and other physical evidence.
- Did Zimmerman have a reasonable basis for fearing death or serious bodily injury? Jacksonville’s medical examiner, Dr. Valerie Rao, testified that Zimmerman’s head wounds were not life-threatening nor as numerous as described by Zimmerman. Dr. Vincent Di Maio, the defense expert, put many of these matters to rest. Significant to the defense, Dr. Di Maio testified that brain trauma can cause death without any external wounds at all, and the presence of these wounds confirms that a concussion had occurred. A mild concussion (not causing brain hemorrhage) will cause pain and confusion, described in common terms as “ringing your chimes,” and the effects tend to be cumulative in the short term.
- There is a question of who was on top doing the beating. All physical evidence indicates Martin was on top during the struggle, as well as eye witness, Jonathan Good. Martins pants had grass stains on the knees, whereas Zimmerman’s pants and jacket were stained on the back. According to Dr. Di Maio, the fact that the gun was in contact with Martin’s sweatshirt when fired, but 2-4 inches from his chest (per powder residue pattern) indicates that Martin was leaning over Zimmerman when the gun was fired, causing his sweatshirt to hang free.
It should be noted that forensic pathology requires a different skill set than medical autopsies. Textbooks on the subject, including those written by Dr. Di Maio, cover gunshot wounds and head trauma extensively, not to mention the collection and preservation of related evidence. Mark Furman, a retired LA homicide detective, said on Fox News that he had a copy of Di Maio’s book on his desk, and referred to it regularly. Furman also remarked that the person on top would have no reason to scream for help in such a desperate manner and that the grass stains clearly indicated who was on top.
- The prosecution questioned how Zimmerman could have drawn his gun and fired while Martin was holding him down. First of all, a holster like that used by Zimmerman is worn just behind the hip socket, not in the middle of the back like the prosecutor demonstrated. In the walk-through, Zimmerman demonstrated the correct placement. Secondly, it is not hard to lift your hips off the ground even with someone sitting on you, using your legs and possibly rolling to one side. It’s much harder to get your shoulders off the ground, as any wrestler could testify.
- Why would Zimmerman re-holster his gun? First of all, this has no bearing on the prosecution nor the defense. Once the threat is stopped, you stop shooting. Zimmerman testified that he thought Martin had given up, not that he was mortally wounded (note his surprise when Officer Delores Singleton told him Martin had passed). He knew police were on the way and didn’t want to be standing over a downed man with a drawn weapon. That’s a good way to get shot by police. You need to retain control of the weapon, rather than throw it to the ground (unless ordered to do so by the police). These are all basics, covered in training for the CCW license.
- Why did Zimmerman have a round in the chamber and the magazine topped off? Again, that’s what you are trained to do for self defense. Television cops (and bad guys) rack the slide just before engaging, because that makes scary sounds for the viewers’ appreciation.
- Although the judge’s instructions to the jury included a reference to the “Stand Your Ground” (776.013, section 3), Zimmerman’s defense was based solely on 776.013, sections 1 and 2, “Use of deadly force…” There is no reason to claim “Use of force by the aggressor” (776.041), since there was no evidence or testimony that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Reporting suspicious activity to the police does not rise to the level of aggression, even if Zimmerman left his car to see where Martin had gone or if that action infuriated Martin.
The Zimmerman/Martin trial should never have occurred. In that it was turned into a profoundly racial case with the help of President Obama with his remark, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” makes the happening a national tragedy. If the President expresses no confidence in the justice system and a completely public trial, although sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, why should his followers? What’s the alternative – a lynch mob?
When campaigning to be president and upon being elected, many presumed that America’s racial divide would finally be a thing of the past and that Obama would unite us all. Instead this nation was ripped apart by the Zimmerman decision with no hope that the racial division created by the Zimmerman/Martin verdict will disappear any time soon. The DOJ is threatening to prosecute Zimmerman under the Federal Civil Rights law, but seems to be in no hurry to do so, and has little (if any) evidence to support such a charge. The threat is intended to mollify demands from civil rights activists, but the delay merely provokes more racial unrest and division.
All seems to point toward a conclusion that the Obama administration intends to use the Zimmerman trial to further his own agenda of division and dependency.
Part 1: The Zimmerman Jury Got It Right by Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold
August 7, 2013
Even when the pent up fury dies down within those believing Zimmerman was guilty of cold-blooded murder and who are even now seeking vengeance, the Zimmerman/Martin acquittal will remain very much alive for those who were denied their pound of flesh.
For the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton it will never be over, for he revels in stirring up racial discrimination, making sure it exists by injecting race into a situation that was never about race. Like the Wild West days, Al Sharpton and his ilk are all about dispensing social justice which is the polar opposite of following the law.
Despite the unanimous not quilty verdict of the jury, many who agreed were surprised when the verdict was read. After all, the makeup of the jury was mostly-white, and all women to boot, who were well aware of the civil unrest that might occur should Zimmerman were not convicted and incarcerated. Even Obama’s DOJ got involved in basically fanning the flames of civil unrest by busing protestors in with police escorts. Division and unrest suit the President’s agenda more than justice.
A recent survey indicates that 48% of the respondents think Zimmerman’s acquittal was right, but 32% think it was wrong and Zimmerman was guilty of murder. http://hotair.com/archives/2013/07/17/rasmussen-near-majority-agrees-with-zimmerman-verdict-4834/
The poll largely splits along racial lines. More significantly, the poll reflects ignorance of the law, the evidence, and the testimony presented at the trial.
Few people took the time to view the actual trial, but instead depended on inaccurate reports by newsmen and what can best be described as TV “screaming heads” like Nancy Grace and her empaneled guests. Of the news programs, only CNN’s Anderson Cooper maintained a high degree of objectivity.
Then there were pundits, including lawyers, who had obviously never read the Florida statutes (716-12 and 716-13), superficially known as “Stand Your Ground.” Reports were often based on those by others, rather than on first hand knowledge. With each generation of reporting came added errors, often to reflect the reporter’s bias.
In Florida law, “Stand Your Ground” refers to an extension of the so-called “Castle Doctrine,” which says the victim need not retreat from an attacker who enters his home. In “Stand Your Ground,” the “Castle Doctrine” is extended to your occupied automobile and ultimately to your legal presence anywhere. It does not, as implied by many in the news, mean you can blast away at someone who disagrees with you. If threatened with force, you can use appropriate and proportional force in return.
There are 22 states with a similar law, including Illinois. While an individual is not obligated to retreat, response is limited to the force appropriate to the threat. Deadly force if a reasonable defense is a person would fear imminent death or serious injury, or, as in Florida, forcible felony.
In general, an individual can’t claim self defense if he initiates an altercation. However, under 716-041, if the other party responds to an attack (other than a forcible felony) with deadly force, the initial aggressor is justified using deadly force in self defense if retreat or withdrawal, in complete safety, is not possible. If physical escape is not possible, it is sufficient that the person attempts to withdraw in good faith, and indicates clearly that he wishes to withdraw (e.g., by declaring he doesn’t want to fight, or by screaming “help”).
The prosecution’s case against Zimmerman was based on the premise that he “profiled” Martin as a suspicious person and pursued him with the intent of apprehending him and detaining him for authorities. The State implied that the mere act of following Martin constituted an assault. When Martin resisted, Zimmerman shot him in cold blood. This scenario was initially used by the Martin family attorneys and civil rights leader, Al Sharpton, to demand that Zimmerman be prosecuted.
During summation, the prosecution made no attempt to establish this scenario to the jury, nor was any attempt made to show how any testimony or evidence supported this claim. Instead, the summation was an emotional account of how an adult man, armed with a gun, pursued a child, Martin, who had done nothing wrong. The term “child” was used nineteen times to describe Martin, in an appeal to emotions rather than fact or the law. The jury was encouraged to fill in huge gaps in the evidence, based on their own emotions and experience.
By contrast, Mark O’Mara of the defense presented the jury with a timeline of events, including various 911 calls, and a call to Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel. O’Mara then summed up the testimony of all 22 trial witnesses, and along with the physical evidence, all gave credence to Zimmerman’s version of the events. While Martin had done nothing wrong walking home with Skittles and Iced Tea, he crossed the line and became the aggressor when he knocked Zimmerman to the ground and beat his head on the sidewalk.
The defense established a timeline, based on Zimmerman’s statements to the police immediately after the event, repeated several times during the trial without serious differences, including a physical walk-through with detectives and a challenge interview at the police station.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Permalink