Monday, March 02, 201

By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold – 

 The ATF’s move to ban ammunition in common use since before the 1986 ban on “armor piercing ammunition” is at the direct hand of President Obama. Having failed to secure an assault weapons ban after New Town, or even universal background checks, he is trying to dry up the most popular “plinking” ammunition for AR rifles, the most popular rifle style sold in America. He has already moved to ban importation of Russian ammunition on the pretense of sanctioning Putin’s supporters, and the importation of foreign made semi-automatic rifles. (The same rifles are made here under license.)

As related in the Washington Examiner:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela‘s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop, likewise made this statement about the ammunition ban:

The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation.” . . .  “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.

In an effort to thwart BATFE’s attempted action, the National Rifle Association has worked with U.S. Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to draft a letter to BATFE expressing the lawmakers’ opposition to the proposed Framework.  So far the NRA, working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, have enlisted 30 House members.  Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 House members as co-signers in the near future.  Bob Goodlatte asserts that the proposed ban is a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act and has vowed to fight the measure in court.

According to the letter being drafted to send BATFE by Goodlatte and the NRA:

The idea that Congress intended [the ‘armor piercing’ ammunition law] to ban one of the preeminent rifle cartridges in use by Americans for legitimate purposes is preposterous.”  The letter goes on to state that the law “should be construed in accordance with the American tradition of lawful firearms ownership, as protected by the Second Amendment.” This includes due consideration of “the many legitimate uses Americans make of their firearms including target practice, hunting, organized and casual competition, training and skills development, and instructional activities.“ The letter concludes with several pointed questions for the B. Todd Jones, BATFE’s director, including why the agency bypassed the Administrative Procedures Act in proposing such a radical change to its prior interpretation and enforcement of the law.

The Goodlatte letter also states:

This round is amongst the most commonly used in the most popular rifle design in America, the AR-15. Millions upon millions of M855 rounds have been sold and used in the U.S., yet ATF has not even alleged — much less offered evidence — that even one such round has ever been fired from a handgun at a police officer.

Democrats are distancing themselves from the BATF proposal, with the possible exception of Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin. The issue is unifying gun owners against Democrats to a degree not seen since the spring of 2013.

At issue is so-called “armor-piercing” ammunition.  The inexpensive 5.56 M855 ammo, commonly called lightgreen tips, have been exempt for years, as have higher-caliber ammunition that also easily pierces the type of soft armor worn by police, because it’s mostly used by target shooters, not criminals. The agency proposes to reclassify it as armor-piercing and not exempt.  But now BATFE says that since the bullets can be used in semi-automatic handguns they pose a threat to police and must be banned from production, sale and use. But, as Goodlatte noted, the agency offered no proof. Federal agencies will still be allowed to buy the ammo.

What do we know about M855 ammunition?

  • M855 is the most used for sporting purposes, because it is cheap and as military surplice, available in large quantities. Soldiers are issued mainly M193 (FMJ) and M855 (steel tip) bullets for combat, hence the wide availability of outdated or surplus military ammunition.
  • The bullet does not fall in the 1896 law’s classification of “armor piercing” bullets, “consisting entirely of brass, bronze, tungsten, steel or spent uranium.” The M855 round is mostly lead with a thin gilding metal jacket and a small, flat-tipped conical steel core in front of the lead and covered by the jacket
  • M855 doesn’t actually penetrate armor. The steel core is flat-tipped under the soft, pointed jacket. It will penetrate a steel helmet (not Kevlar) at 300 yards, but is stopped by 1/8” hardened steel plate or 2” of polycarbonate at any distance. The bullet is designed to tumble on striking a target, with only mildly enhanced penetration. Since the bullet is base-heavy, it tends to tumble when it encounters resistance. The bullet turns sideways in as little as two layers of wall board or 6 inches of ballistic gel.
  • There have been no documented cases of its use against law enforcement officers.
  • The 1986 law purports to protect law enforcement against armor piercing ammunition in HANDGUNS. Ammunition used for both handguns and rifles was classified as “rifle” ammunition. The only handguns firing 5.56×45 ammunition are either single shot only, or large and cumbersome devices, consisting of an AR rifle without the extra 3” of a butt stock.
  • LEO armor is designed to resist handgun calibers. Any centerfire rifle and some common handguns will defeat the highest class of soft armor in use, IIIa, regardless of the construction of the bullet. That said, there are no documented cases of their use against officers in a typical encounter, like traffic or ID stops.

In reaction to the ATF’s plan to ban 5.56 mm steel-tipped bullets capable of penetrating a protective vest, customers are purchasing AR-15 ammo in volumes up to 20 times the normal rate in some gun stores across the country.  Numerous gun stores are reporting panic buying. Steve Ellis, owner of Top Guns in Terre Haute, Indiana, told WTHI that supplies were dwindling. “Everyone is selling out of ammunition, distributors are out, manufacturers are out, most dealers are out,” said Ellis  It was also reported that a Walmart in Anchorage, AK went from having plentiful supplies of the bullets to none whatsoever.  Meanwhile, Ryan Cook, manager of Eagle Armory in Springfield, said that suppliers were telling him “there was none available to order”.

Rick Moran, in an article published at the American Thinker on February 27 about the ban on AR-15 ammunition, concluded his article with these thoughtful but troubling statements:

We’re getting used to asking the question, “Can he really do that?”. The answer is, unless the courts are of a mind to stop him, he can do pretty much anything he pleases. In this case, the overreach is so egregious, that a bi-partisan Congress may step in and stifle the BATFE.  If the president would veto congressional action opposing him on the ammunition issue, there may be more than a dozen Democratic Senators will to vote with the GOP to override.

Until Obama came along, the Second Amendment had been enjoying something of a winning streak in state legislatures and the courts, with some notable exceptions in backwards blue states. But even Chicago and Washington, D.C. lost court cases that overturned some of their more draconian gun control laws.

This latest stealth assault on the Second Amendment is cowardly and unnecessary. The BATFE is bypassing Congress because such an ammunition ban wouldn’t have a prayer of passing. By relying on royal edicts to impose his will, the president is making a mockery of the Constitution.”

 

Frédéric Bastiat  (30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850), an early free-market economist and classical liberal French author, had this warning which is applicable to the situation we face today, as a nation who has gradually forgotten from whence she came.

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Recently author Andrew McCarthy has been a guest on various Fox News shows, in addition to many appearances throughout the country promoting his new book, Faithful Execution,  At each event McCarthy weighs the political dynamics as he builds an impeachment case through assembling a litany of abuses that add up to one overreaching offense by the President, specifically, his willful violation of his solemn oath to execute the laws faithfully.

It is McCarthy’s contention that our elected representatives are duty-bound to take up the dare. This, however, is much easier said than done. The “why” will be covered later on.

The Heartland Institute had an overwhelming response to its noon time Author Series event that featured  McCarthy on Thursday, June 12 at The Heartland Institute library, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2740 in Chicago.

McCarthy, as a nationally claimed author, is a prominent voice on security issues, specifically the threat of radical Islam in America. Books include: “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America” and “Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the jihad.” At the present time McCarthy is a senior fellow at the Foundation of Defense for Democracies and a columnist for the National Review. Previously he was the Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District in New York. Most famously McCarthy was the lead prosecutor in the trial against Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman and 11 other terrorists involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

When writing Faithless Execution, McCarthy admitted there came a time when he had to finish writing about Obama’s abuses of power. Summarily, McCarthy found himself a few events behind by the time the book was published. McCarthy was especially taken back by the Obama administration’s failure to abide by the National Defense Security Act which mandates a 30-day notification period to members of Congress before Gitmo prisoners can be released. Because of the failure to notify Congress about the details of the prisoner swap of five dangerous Gitmo terrorist in exchange for Sargent Bengdahl, this usurping of congressional authority is gaining more traction than have previous infractions of the law, most likely due to bi-partisan anger over the reckless exchange.

Violation of Presidential Oath

Why is the willful flouting of the law by President Obama so egregious and dangerous to this nation?  It should be evident that unchecked power in a single chief executive poses a serious threat to liberty.  Andrew McCarthy doesn’t take lightly, nor did he forget candidate Barack Obama’s promise back in October, 2008, when during a campaign rally Obama remarked that he was only “five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America

Time and again President Obama has blatantly elected not to follow the oath of office of the President of the United States, which is simple and concise and reads:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Instead of living up to that oath, President Obama has actively attempted to subvert, ignore, and completely destroy large parts of the Constitution.  It is all together reasonable to conclude that President Barack Obama is well aware of what he is doing and that his actions are completely intentional.  A further thought, just why shouldn’t Obama continue with his lawlessness?

So far the main stream media has given President Obama a free pass.  Furthermore, Obama’s past history places him as a devotee of Alinsky and his “Rules for Radicals” in his work in the 80’s as a community organizer in Chicago.  Rule No. 8 of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” is definitely in play when considering Obama’s lawful actions and behavior as president.

Rule No. 8:  Keep the pressure on. Never let up. Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.) 

As suggested in Alinsky’s Rule No. 8, hit the public with one event after another to cause confusion.  Obama’s transgressions against the Constitution happen with such regularity, often with little daylight between them for reflection, that the American people have become overwhelmed and somewhat inoculated as to how to react when one lawless act follows another with little time elapsing to understand the previous one.  It doesn’t help that the public has such a short attention span, or that Obama is able to so masterfully divert blame from himself to another person or entity.

Impeachment as an option

As set forth by McCarthy, the Framers of our Constitution, because of concern over how placement of power in a single chief executive could lead to a rogue executive, vested in Congress two ways to deal with presidential excess:  1) Power of the purse, whose responsibility the current Republican-led House of Representatives has, for all practical purposes abdicated and 2) the power of impeachment.  These stand alone to check the president.   There are no other ways.

At the federal level, Article II of the United States Constitution (Section 4) states that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments.  Most of the framers knew the phrase “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” well. Since 1386 the English parliament had used “high crimes and misdemeanors” as one of the grounds to impeach officials of the crown

McCarthy believes that President Obama has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” through his abuse of power as a holder of high public trust.   Because of numerous infractions, Obama’s rampant lawlessness poses a systematic threat to our constitutional order, thereby making the case that Obama is unfit to continue in his role as president.  In comparing the campaigns to impeach President Nixon and Clinton to the call for President Obama’s impeachment, McCarthy describes Obama’s behavior as president “a willful, systematic attack on the constitutional system of separation of powers, an enterprise that aims to bring about a new regime of government by executive decree.”  In comparison, he Nixon and Clinton episodes involved misconduct that did not aim to undermine our constitutional framework.

Impeachable offenses cited by McCarthy

In Part 2 of “Faithless Execution” Andrew McCarthy builds the political case for President Obama’s impeachment by setting forth the broad range of his high crimes and misdemeanors and willful subversion of the Constitution by factoring in seven articles of impeachment:

1.  Refusal to Execute Laws Faithfully.

2.  Usurping Constitutional Authority.

3.  Dereliction of Duty as Commander in Chief.

4.  Fraud on the American People.

5.  Failure to Execute Laws Faithfully:  Immigration.

6.  Failure to Execute Laws Faithfully:  Department of Justice.

7.  Undermining the Constitutional Rights of the American People.

Impeachable offenses that fit under the above seven categories 

  • McCarthy cites the implementation of ObamaCare as one key aspect of a potential impeachment effort.  McCarthy asserts that Obama committed fraud on the American people by deliberately misleading voters in regard to his healthcare intention, which Obama continues to change at will whenever it suits him politically.
  • The botched gun-walking operation arming Mexican criminals is another scandal McCarthy believes rises to a level that meets potential impeachment proceedings.  According to McCarthy, Obama engaged in “systematic politicization of a Department of Justice that has covered up the Fast & Furious scandal.”
  • Through the appointment of a U.S. House select committee to investigate the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, attempts are still being made to find out what happened the night of 9/11/2012.  The failure to provide adequate security was described by McCarthy as a “dereliction of duty” by Obama as commander in chief.  This was followed by the fraud of the video, rather than Islamic Supremacists, as the suggested entity responsible for the Benghazi massacre deaths of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others killed in a night of violence.
  • The president and his subordinates involved this nation in an unauthorized war in Libya that empowered jihadist enemies of the United States.  Furthermore, the purpose of the war was spun as an attempt to protect civilians, pursuant to a United Nations resolution, when the  real purpose was to overthrow the Libyan regime of Muammar Qaddafi, a government that had previously been portrayed as a key counterterrorism ally of the U.S.
  • The selective targeting of political opponents for harassment and abuse by the IRS occurred when Lois Lerner, who ran the Exempt Organizations division of the IRS, subjected Republican and conservative groups to heightened scrutiny.  McCarthy thought Lois Lerner should have been given immunity and is doubtful she will be prosecuted.  The latest wrinkle in the IRS scandal took place when it was recently reported that two years of e-mails had gone missing during a period when tea party groups were being targeted.   Sounds much like the dog ate my homework!
  • Obama’s immigration amnesty by executive edict is now indirectly responsible for the flood of children crossing the southern border from Guatemala and Honduras.  Acting over the authority of the Department of Homeland Security, Obama has conferred administrative amnesty on categories of illegal immigrants which he has unilaterally defined, undermining federal immigration laws and the constitutional authority of Congress to enact immigration law.
  • The American people were defrauded, including investors in the public securities exchanges, when President Obama and his subordinates willingly subsidized Solyndra with over half a billion taxpayer dollars despite obvious indication that the venture was not viable and would collapse.

Political trumps legality

Andrew McCarthy’s closing thoughts were somewhat sober in nature when he recounted why the impeachment of Obama, although warranted, would not help conservatives, Republicans or any elected official or individual who seeks to defend this nation’s constitutional framework.  Noted was how the case for impeachment is not the same as moving forward with articles of impeachment, although legally speaking a president may be impeached for a single offense that qualifies as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” whether it includes a breach of the profound pubic trust vested in the president, or a violation of his constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully.

Real impeachment can only occur if there is a public will to remove the president from office.  Even with a thousand impeachable offenses, impeachment is not an appropriate remedy absent a political consensus.  This said, all Americans should be concerned regardless of political affiliation.  Why is this so?  The lawlessness President Obama is getting away with today will be available to every future president unless checked.

McCarthy proposed in his book and during his talk what amounts to a concerted effort to change the political environment by bringing the issue of lawlessness front-and-center in public discourse. Through changing the political environment, mused McCarthy, Obama could be pushed to execute the laws faithfully through actions that fall within the bounds of the Constitution.  Given Obama’s leftist political philosophy and his determination to build his progressive legacy through fundamentally changing this nation, aided by the backing and financial support of George Soros and others, McCarthy’s musings seem little more than a pipe dream.

The only way to build a political case for impeachment it to make it clear to the American people that all have a stake in what happens to this nation, not only as it pertains to their present lives, but also how future generations will fare through Obama’s misguided policies of today.

Minus the public firmly on the side of impeachment, President Obama’s reckless abandonment of lawlessness and breaches of public trust will continue unchecked, assuring that both this nation and its people will reap little of substance.  Instead, mostly grief and a loss of liberty and freedom will result from the bitter seeds of progressive socialism Obama is sowing and will continue to sow throughout the remainder of his presidency if there is no outcry from the public otherwise.

Save this date:  Stephen Moore, Chief Economist with the Heritage Foundation, will give a dinner lecture on Thursday, July 17, at The Heartland Institute headquarters in Chicago at One South Wacker Drive, #2740.  He will speak about his new book:  “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of States.”

Also of note is that from July 7-9, The Heartland Institute will be holding its 9th International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information and to register for events, call 312/377-4000, or visit heartland.org.

 

 By:  Nancy Thorner & Elizabeth Clarke
To “provide for the common defense” is a phrase in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution. That powerful statement explains a major reason why the individual states banded together in one union. It was essential in order for them to provide an effective, unified military force to protect all of the states from an enemy. They understood that a larger and more powerful defense provided a stronger protection from an attack, as well as be a daunting deterrent from an enemy considering an attack.

That reasoning applies today. America will always have enemies, and it is essential that our national government have the power to protect itself whenever needed. A strong show of strength by our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, etc. is necessary to be a safeguard for Americans from all foreign enemies.

Recently Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has proposed cuts that would reduce our Army to its smallest size since World War II, lay up half of our Navy’s cruisers, reduce the acquisition of modern Littoral Combat Ships from 52 to 30 vessels, and set the stage for mothballing one of our few remaining aircraft carriers barely halfway into its planned for service life.  Additionally the Army National Guard would shrink by 20,000 troops; the Army Reserve would be cut by 10,000 troops, and the Marine Corps by 8,000 troops.  Moreover, all of the Air Force’s famed A-10 Warthog close air support aircraft would be sent to the junk yard.

Our President and a large segment of the American people seem to have forgotten what is conveyed by the words “providing for the common defense,” practiced over the years at a loss of much blood and treasure of those who answered the call to protect this nation in times of war and in peace.

It’s understandable why many Americans are war weary from years of involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  It doesn’t help that we have a president who is eager to remove all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan — caring not if our security is put at risk — so money is freed up for his domestic programs at home.

Most Americans are too young to remember World War II.  The teaching of American history, if taught at all, is not to think of this nation as above other nations or as a guiding light and example to the rest of the world.  Instead, it is to see this nation as greedy and selfish and at odds with the concept of American citizens being endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

Nancy Thorner and Elizabeth Clarke remember WW II, with Elizabeth’s memories stretching back to an even an earlier time.   The following account related by Elizabeth Clarke tells of apathy among the American people after WW I and of positive action taken post WW I by individuals worried about disarmament that made all the difference when America entered WW II:

     When I was married at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1941, I remember that my husband had to spend time every night polishing his riding boots.  The Artillery was horse-drawn then; meaning that it took six horses to pull a cannon and another six horses to pull the Caisson “ammunition” for the cannon.  There were four cannons in each unit depending on the size of the guns.  As a lieutenant, my husband was in charge of training the men and the horses. 

President Roosevelt realized that the citizens of the U.S were determined to stay OUT of Europe’s wars, where Hitler’s Germany was taking over, but he managed to persuade the Congress to pass the Thompson Act to require ROTC (Reserve Officer’s Training Corps) officers to serve one year of active duty.  ROTC trained students in military activity and was a way for students to pay for college.  Other students signed pledges that they would “NEVER JOIN THE MILITARY, THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE WORLD WORTH FIGHTING FOR.” 

The attack on Pearl Harbor changed everything! The military was thankful for the two oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific to protect us.  We lost a large part of our Navy in the Japanese attack so we had a difficult time at sea. 

Then we found that spies were telling the Japanese Emperor about our ship movements, commercial as well as naval.  After three months of trying to get the California Japanese to help stop the spying, the President ordered the round-up of Japanese, Germans, and Italians into camps where they were well treated but could not communicate with their home countries. 

My dad was on the Artillery Board, whose members were worried about the disarmament of the military after WW I.  The Board drew up detailed plans for the equipment that would be needed should the U.S. be attacked in future years. So when Pearl Harbor was attacked the Artillery and other branches of the military were able to tell the factories what to build, including the details of the machinery needed to make the tanks and other equipment.  Having those plans saved months of planning, but it still took two years before our military was beginning to be equipped and trained.  As the U.S. had been sending guns and ammunition to England in Lend-Lease to help England resist the Nazi Regime, our military was really short on essential equipment and vulnerable. 

Now we are putting the U.S in the same pathetic unpreparedness as we were in 1941.  BUT THE OCEANS WILL NOT HELP GIVE US TIME TO REARM NEXT TIME!!!

Certainly the World is not a safer place today. Today, there are those who want to destroy America, and we will always have enemies. Is this the time to retreat from the founders’ wisdom of making our federal government’s top priority the protection of our borders? Can we afford apathy now?  This is a dangerous world with events unfolding rapidly in the Ukraine, as Russia under Putin has thoughts of grandeur to return to the glory days of the former Soviet Union to recapture its prominence in the world

This is all happening at a time when President Obama is behaving in an inexplicably weak manner in dealing with most every potential threat, including that of the Russians.  But such behavior on the world-wide stage has been the norm ever since President Obama took office in 2009, during which time there has been a consistent weakening of this nation both strategically and militarily.  It should concern the American people that President Obama would rather spend billions on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.

Who will fill the void if this nation sticks its head in the sand and summarily abandons its allies. It is unlikely that the void will be filled by a country who is sympathetic to democracy and human rights.  Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea must all be applauding Chuck Hagel’s recent call for big cuts in defense.

Is this what Obama meant when he said he was basically going to transform this country?  Will the American people wake up before it’s no longer possible to change the course of a once proud, strong and grateful nation, founded on the principles of freedom and liberty which were granted through the grace of God?

Monday, March 03, 2014 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

Technorati Tags: Elizabeth Clarke, Illinois Review, Nancy Thorner, World War II

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By Nancy Thorner – 

Romina Broccia of the Washington Times suggested that for lawmakers battling over the debt ceiling they should stop to watch “Groundhog Day.” In the movie Phil Connors asks, “What would you do if you were stuck in on place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?” Connors was able to break out of his Groundhog Day cycle after reexamining his life and changing his approach to problems. Lawmakers could also do the same if they were willing to break out of the spending and debt cycle by putting the budget on a path to balance through cuts in mandatory as well as discretionary spending.

House Republicans have once again come face to face with this nation’s debt limit. A letter sent to House lawmakers on Friday, February 7, by Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew, warned Congress that unless the debt ceiling is raised by Thursday, February 27, the treasury Department will all but completely exhaust its abilities to pay the nation’s bills (The borrowing cap was to be addressed back in October of last year, but it was suspended as part of the deal to end the government shutdown).

Predictably House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hammered home Lew’s stated deadline to House Republicans by demanding that Republicans enact a clean increase to the debt ceiling without any policy riders, further reminding Republicans that only a limited numbers of days remain when both chambers are in session before the deadline.

Do House Republicans dare not to heed this warning from Nancy Pelosi?

With only five days left in session before the deadline, we must act now.  Democrats are ready to work with our Republican colleagues to enact a clean increase in the debt ceiling.  Democrats hope the Republican leadership makes the right choice and brings this up for a vote, so our country can pay our bills.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made his view known on the issue when on Thursday, January 24 he seemingly reinforced the wish of Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats that it would be unwise for House Republicans to use the issue of increasing the borrowing limit to challenge President Obama on raising the federal debt limit.   Although at the time Gingrich did accuse Obama of trying to “bully House Republicans,” he further said that the GOP shouldn’t “pick fights” that they cannot ultimately win.

Newt Gingrich’s advice is getting to be rather stale. Time and again Republicans are told to keep their powder dry and wait for another occasion down the road to challenge the Obama administration on its massive spending and debt accrued since Obama was election in 2008 – $7 trillion dollars.  When is the right time for House Republicans to stand up and fight on behalf of the American people and future generations of Americans for a bit of sanity against raising the nation’s debt ceiling for the purpose of allowing the Obama administration to borrow more money and further erode the financial stability and health of this nation?

Initially Republican House Speaker John Boehner reassured the American people that he would request President Obama to give up a key provision of ObamaCare in exchange for his consent to raise the debt ceiling.  According to a Hill report, Speaker Boehner and his lieutenants on Wednesday, February 5, abandoned plans to tie an increase in the nation’s debt limit either to the repeal of a provision in ObamaCare or to the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, a decision made only hours after the Congressional Budget Office said ObamaCare will eradicate 2.5 million jobs and add a trillion dollars to this nation’s debt!   Some patriots in the U.S.House, like Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, feel that agreeing to a clean debt ceiling is capitulation, and that he didn’t get elected by the District of Texas to come here to Washington and capitulate.

Only a few years ago, Obama spoke vehemently against putting America in debt as then Senator Barack March 16, 2006.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.  It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills.  It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. 

But this is now.  Obama as president likes the power and control the office bestows on him, and uses it at will to enact policies that are consistent with his extreme leftist political philosophy.  Now Obama seemingly wants the power to raise the debt limit by himself, anytime.  Abandoned by Obama is any notion that members of Congress should get permission from the people they represent to borrow and spend more money.

Is it really necessary to borrow more money to pay our nation’s debt obligations?  The United States collects more than enough tax revenue each and every day to easily satisfy the repayment of our debt.  Without a limit increase on the use of the nation’s credit cards, our government officials would actually have to prioritize debt repayment and make modest cuts to out-of-control government spending now, instead of pretending that cuts are in the offing somewhere down the road. The interest on the debt is around $30 billion per month and the Feds are taking in $250 billion.  The only reason the U.S. would default is if Obama and Jack Lew, Secretary of the Treasury, refused to service the debt.

Will the decision be made in the House to betray the American people without consulting the American people about mortgaging the hopes and dreams of future generations of Americans? Figures cited in a report of Wednesday, September 25, 2013, place the national debt at nearly $17 trillion or $140,000 per American household.  Since Obama has been president the debt has been raised seven time, causing the per-household tab for the debt to soar by $43,000 in just the last four years.

A last minute meeting was called by House Republicans leaders and its conference last night (2/10) to try to come up with a legislative strategy on the debt ceiling regarding what they might attach to an increase in the nation’s borrowing limit.

Don’t hold your breath in hoping that House Republicans will do anything of substance in reducing spending other than to allow a clean debt ceiling increase to reach the floor. The latest is that the House did move toward a vote Wednesday on legislation that would lift the debt ceiling and reverse recent changes to military retirement benefits.  Even so this plan is a gamble, as it’s uncertain whether the package will pass the House without the support of a fair number of Democrats.

Is it too much to ask that Congress wakes up to a new day, and soon?  It’s time for Republicans to grow a backbone and stand up to Obama.  Most Republicans are scared stiff to challenge the media, fellow Republicans pundits and elitists, and President Obama and his operatives, ending up instead cowering in fear over their own political fortunes, while neglecting those they represent and indirectly the generations of Americans who will follow in their wake.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

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Thorner & O’Neil: A Response to Elites Who Have Lost Our Respect

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By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Oh how sad it is when we realize even some of our favorite politicians are deceptive, even those at the highest level of government. Even worse, some of the offenders are those we considered to be on our side of political thought; yet they too made promises to us they did not keep. Recently, problems have been uncovered serious enough to make front page news, and be subjected to congressional hearings. One can only wonder how many more remain hidden from the public.

Some examples of disturbing problems have been exposed at the federal level. Particularly disturbing was the discovery that our government has been spying on us: American citizens. Equally damaging and even embarrassing is that the Obama administration was caught spying on leaders of 35 countries, including those who are considered our friends. The most notable example is that of German Chancellor Markel. She was seriously offended to discover America had tapped into her private cell phone, and she was not alone. Only time will tell how damaging that eavesdropping will be to American interests in the future. Trust is fragile, and once broken, is not quickly mended.

It should concern all of us that there have been an unprecedented number of scandals surrounding the Obama presidency. Some have estimated the total number as high as twenty four, others claim it even higher. Most of us are fairly acquainted with the more publicized and ongoing political scandals, such as “Fast and Furious”, “Benghazi”,  “I.R.S. Profiling”, “Snowgate”, and “Spying on the Media”.   Consider this, if these are ones that have been discovered, how many more have not?

This administration continually refuses to accept any culpability, even when facts indicate they are indeed guilty as charged. Denial has been followed by actual proof of guilt, and that has severely damaged our trust in politicians.  Once lost, trust is not easily regained, especially when deceptions are contrived at the highest level of government.   The public questions whether there are any honest politicians left in D.C. today.    It is becoming especially difficult to believe even our president, after he recently claimed there has not been “even a smidgeon of corruption” within his administration.

However, Republican leaders are not blameless either.

Democrats are in power right now, which obviously makes their deceptions more noticeable.  But Republicans have had integrity problems as well.  A recent example come via the courtesy of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.  Huckabee told his Fox News audience in December of last year that he no longer supported the Common Core standards.  It seems Huckabee had approved Common Core while campaigning as a Republican presidential hopeful in 2008.  His faithful viewers were alarmed by that, and for a while he defended his opinion.

But after the Common Core controversy became a national issue and most of his audience strongly disagreed with his opinion, he reversed his response by explaining Common Core had changed in the years since he was Governor and had morphed into something he no longer could support.  Nevertheless, at the recent meeting of Council of Chief State School Officers, one of the organizations that created the Common Core State Standards, Huckabee’s message changed once more.  This time, it was reported that Huckabee told CCSSO members: “Rebrand it, refocus it, but don’t retreat.”

Huckabee is not the only Republican to break with Conservative Republicans on important issues, but what makes Huckabee’s deception more troubling is that he promotes himself as a conservative with conservative values, but was willing to waffle when addressing a group with opposing opinions.

We can respect a politician who disagrees with us on a given issue, especially if their position is reasonable.  But deceptions from officials based on self-serving reasons is intolerable.

The mounting scandals seem to have overwhelmed citizens, coming at such a rapid rate;  many do not know which issue to address; which one is the most damaging to America’s future.  The question is “have we lost the will to demand that scandals like Benghazi, IRS, NSA, Fast and Furious, spying on Americans, voter fraud, and so many others be thoroughly investigated??”  Are you willing to let the scandals just fade away without any consequences to the perpetrators who lied, deceived, and/or who were part of a cover-up?   If so, we can promise that such a lack of vocal concern will invite more bold attempts by government to act illegally.

Never before in our history have citizens had a better opportunity to unite their voices, thanks to the social media, emailing, and organizations that support our political beliefs.   Why then are citizens not making a significant effort to stop this continual abuse of trust?   Where is the nation’s outrage?

If we are to keep America as the country we have known and loved, we must not count on anybody but ourselves to stop this growing trend of a federal government that overreaches their authority, engages in lies, and perpetrates cover-ups when caught.  Patriots must be willing to sacrifice some time, unite together, and speak out in one accord against corruption wherever we find it.  Only then will our message have a strong enough impact to be heard and thus force an appropriate change in the “elites” who control our lives.  Let us all return to the principles and values that allowed our Country to prosper.  We owe that to future generations.

Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

 

 

John Tillman, CEO of The Illinois Policy Institute, welcomed economist Don Boudreaux to Chicago on Thursday, January 23, as the first speaker of its Liberty Speakers Series scheduled for the first half of 2014. Visit illinoispolicy.org/events to see the full lineup of speakers and how to RSVP.

Tillman heard Boudreaux speak 10 years ago at an event in Canada, at which time Boudreaux made a powerful impression on Tillman when speaking about liberty. It was this encounter after 10 years had elapsed that prompted Tillman to invite Don Boudreaux to speak on this topic: “What’s in a wage? Why income doesn’t tell the whole story.”

Introduced by John Tillman, Boudreaux is a senior fellow at the Mercatus Center and a professor of economics and former economics department chairman at George Mason University. He holds the Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus. His specialization is globalization and trade, law and economics and antitrust economics.

Mr. Boudreaux writes the blog Cafe Hayek (cafehayek.com) with Russell Roberts and pens a regular column on economics for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Out of Boudreaux’s blog posts at Cafe Havek evolved his 2012 book: Hypocrits & Half-Wits: A Daily Dose of Sanity from Café Hayek. Boudreaux has appeared numerous times on John Stossel’s Fox show to discuss a range of economic issues.

Don Boudreaux in public has criticized Noble Laureate Economist Paul Krugman, stating that Krugman frequently ‘commits elementary errors’ when discussing economics. Boudreaux is recognized as a libertarian.

Following the impressive introductory remarks by John Tillman, Mr. Boudreaux discussed how the quantities and qualities of what ordinary Americans consume are closer to rich Americans than they were in past decades, further explaining what that phenomena means for real inequality in America today. Boudreaux’s premise: America’s middle class has not stagnated economically since the 1970’s.

Mr. Boudreaux disagrees with President Obama’s intent to make income inequality into a political issue, believing as the president does that income inequality has declined in America with the rich benefiting the most. But given that an item’s performance is far superior to the 70’s product and at a lesser cost, quality of life has improved for the poor and middle class since the ’70’s.

Four years ago Robert Reich, Clinton’s Labor Secretary, made this not uncommon statement that dovetails with President Obama’s embrace of income inequality that calls for wealth redistribution.

After three decades of flat wages during which almost all the gains of growth have gone to the very top, the middle class no longer has the buying power to keep the economy going.

Using a Chicago connection, Don Boudreaux through a slide presentation displayed pages randomly chosen from a 1975 Sears catalog showing an item relative to cost and the number of hours needed to purchase that item in terms of 1975 work hours, followed by a comparable item and its cost to purchase relative to work hours needed in 2014. (Note: Mr. Boudreaux purchased the 1975 Sears catalog off Amazon for $.05 cents, but bemoaned how overnight shipping of the catalog set him back $40 plus dollars.)

Items chosen randomly by Boudreaux for comparing work hours needed to purchase an item in 1975 in contrast to a similar item purchased in 2013:

Exercise Machine: 15.8 work hours to buy in 1975 at $74.95. 5.4 work hours to purchase a finer and more streamlined exercise machine in 2013.

Four drawer metal filing cabinet: 44 work hours to buy in 1975 at $207.95. Only one fourth of the time (11 hours) needed in 2013.

Microwave Oven: 93 work hours to buy in 1975 at $440. A similar size would require 4 hours of work time in 2013.

Color TV: 158.6 hours or nearly a month of work hours in 1975 at $749.95 for the best TV available, but with no remote and only 4 channels. 17.1 hours of work time in 2013, remotes are now standard and there are an array of channels and other perks built into the set.

Notable is that no item was more expensive today to purchase than it was in 1975, even adjusted for inflation.

Not only do the middle class live better today, but the poor — using the criteria of whether a household has a dishwasher, central air conditioner, colored TV, a stove, and a refrigeration to assess judgment — likewise do. Mr. Boudreaux found that in comparing All households in 1971, Poor Households in 1984, and Poor households in 2005, that poor households in 2005 had more of the 6 criteria items than all households did in 1971.

Mr. Boudreaux did admit that the Consumer Price Index average wage when adjusted for inflation has remained about the same for non-supervisory wages since at least 1964, the first year the BLS started its record keeping.

Boudreaux then proceeded to present three reasons why measurement of wages doesn’t necessarily support a narrative of middle-class stagnation or a lone basis on which to judge the living standards of the American people.

1. Consider the improvement in product quality and variety available today at less cost.

2. Consider the rise over the past few decades in the portion of worker pay taken as (nontaxable) fringe benefits.

3. Consider how over the past three decades the average wage has been held down but the great increase of women and immigrants into the workforce. While lesser-skilled workers entering the workforce in any given year were paid wages lower than the average, the measured statistic of “average hourly wage” has remained unchanged or stagnant over the years, even though real wages of actual flesh-and-blood workers employed in any given year rose. In the same article, The Myth of a Stagnant Middle Class, published in the Wall Street Journal on January 23, 2013, Don Boudreaux wrote:

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, spending by households on many of life’s “basics” — food at home, automobiles, clothing and footwear, household furnishing and equipment, and housing and utilities — fell from 53% of disposable income in 1950 to 44% in 1970 to 32% today.

Why do people perceive themselves to be worse off, when what ordinary Americans consume is closer to that of rich Americans (consider the same electronic products used by both), and that it’s unlikely that an average American would trade his wages and benefits in 2013 for the same real wages with lower fringe benefits, higher prices, a limited selection, and inferior products to those available in the 19450s or 1970’s?

According to Don Boudreaux: Many of the improvement made in products are so small that they are masked in the largeness of numbers. Consider the bag of celery which in 70’s didn’t have a top that could be resealed for freshness. Then too, what we hear influences thinking. Being told that stagnation is present by our politicians and through the media, people just accept and believe. It matters not that facts to counter such thinking are staring them in the face.

In closing Mr. Boudreaux noted his second Chicago connection, the just announced decision to shutter the Sears store in the Loop, after which John Tillman presented Don Boudreaux with a pen to honor his participation in the Illinois Policy Institute Liberty Speaker Series for 2014. Tillman joked how Boudreaux would have to present three lectures to earn the pen.

John Tillman, as CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, expressed excitement about 2014, (illinoispolicy.org/about-us/) calling it a pivotal year. Believing as Tillman does that free enterprise is the greatest force for good, this force can work to help lift up the poor and the disadvantaged.

Tillman described his positive outlook for Illinois in terms of the fall of the Berlin Wall in September, 1988. It was the general consensus that the wall would never come down; however, things were already in motion to make it happen prior to the fall of the wall.

To paraphrase Tillman, there are similar undercurrents present in Illinois. Even Speaker Mike Madigan is sensing that change. Republicans must seize the moral high ground in making the argument about the far reaching tentacles of liberty. Tillman asked for our help to possibly make Illinois the biggest story in this November’s election.

 

BarackObamaWavingBillPuglianoBy Nancy Thorner – 

One of many examples of government’s profound incompetence can be observed in the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency with its attempts to be the nation’s super-regulator of the nation’s carbon economy.  Several days ago the White House announced what might jokingly be called the EPA’s “Christmas Gift” to this nation, 134 more regulations!

Noteworthy among the proposals are the agency’s move toward unprecedented control over private property under a massive expansion of its Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act authority and new rules for power plant regulations to curb CO2 emissions.

Perhaps the EPA should first try to regulate its own employees, at least James C. Beale, who was found masquerading as a James Bond?  The ‘Spy’ Who Fooled the EPA (Under deep CIA cover at the Office of Air and Radiation) appeared as a commentary in The Wall Street Journal on Friday,November 22.

The Environmental Protection Agency allowed Beale to be absent for 2.5 years in less than 23 years of service, take expensive trips to see relatives, all the while claiming to be a CIA spy. Then Beale retires with a big sendoff and the agency forgets to take him off the payroll.  Beale further received retention incentive bonuses on top of this scam.  What was his punishment?  In late September the Department of Justice announced a pleas agreement with John C Beale who admitted devoting most of his 23-year career to bilking taxpayers of some $900,000 in pay and expenses.

At long last the bloom seems to be coming off the rose for President Obama.  The American people are catching on to how Obama lies about his lies, only to lie that he didn’t lie about his lies.  Also contributing to Obama’s downfall is how he has surrounded himself with sycophants who do the same for him.

Unlike President Obama, why might Abraham Lincoln be revered and considered a competent leader?  Lincoln was president during the Civil War — the worst crisis in American history —  but unlike President Obama, Lincoln fired incompetent leaders when he encountered them.   Half a dozen generals were fired before Lincoln found Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, who won the war after Lincoln’s fired generals had been losing it.

Yet in a recent display of utter arrogance at a private Democratic fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA, Obama touted himself and Democratic leaders for surpassing the likes of Abraham Lincoln.  And this is not the first time Obama has compared himself to Lincoln.  According to Obama, his administration has been the most productive in history, going on as he did to list his many accomplishments among them being:  Saving the economy from a Great Depression; revitalizing an auto industry; doubling our exports; reducing our dependence of foreign oil; doubling our production of clean energy; reducing the pace of our carbon emissions; etc.

Not willing to deal with incompetency dove tails with Obama’s inherent feeling of superiority, in that Obama fathoms to  know what is best for the American people.  For hasn’t Obama indicated time and time again that the American people are in need of government guidance as they are incapable of making decisions on their own?

Such arrogance, President Obama, will only guarantee continued incompetency and will continue to drive your poll numbers downward.

Maybe, as Alan West suggested, this is what Obama wants?   Maybe Obama feels little loyalty to this nation to care what happens to it on the world stage or to its people, or even about his poll numbers, as long as his progressive policies are set firmly in place when he leaves office in 2016, and that progressive judges are in place to see that Obama’s policies are carried out.

Those knowing the background of Barack Obama before his 2008 election should not be surprised, as Obama did promise change with a dose of hope.

What is surprising is how fast Obama’s change is happening right before our eyes with the purposeful shredding of our Constitution as Obama moves this nation rapidly down the pathway toward socialism.

What is alarming is the lack of objection or push back coming from those Americans who do understand what is happening, as Obama continues to mandate policies that Congress is unwilling to approve to achieve his goal, that of his puppet-master, George Soros.

Incompetence is not relegated to one party.  Where is the Republican leadership as Obama continue to shred the Constitution?  If the Republican Party continues to function as a go-along-to-get-along political party, blame and failure will also befall the Party of Lincoln.  Amnesty without border security would spell the death knell for the Republican Party.

Pretending to stand for smaller government and less taxes, Republican Party leaders and pundits display incompetence, if when push comes to shove, they allow government to keeps growing and adding more debt to this nation’s already unattainable and incomprehensible debt.   A billion here and a billion there means nothing any more to legislators, and speaking about a trillion no longer sounds foreign to the American people.

Throw the “bums” out is easier said than done, but these are times that demand citizen action.  This nation cannot possibly survive as a viable nation under another arrogant and incompetent president with an equally incompetent administration.

One thing certain is that for the first time in the history of this nation, founded with such promise and hope and as a nation under God, what we pass along to future generations will be less than what we inherited.

Future generation might question as they look back to the “now”  times:  “How did our ancestors allow this to happen?”  Was it laziness, indifference, too busy to care, etc.?  What would be your excuse if you could have your say?
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Sunday, December 01, 2013 at 06:39 AM | Permalink

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Obama-02

By Nancy Thorner & Al Boese –

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ‘s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.  It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.  Increasing America ‘s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here”. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better“. –U.S. Senator Barack H. Obama, March 16, 2006

Now fast forward to Thursday, October 16, 2013:

So what are we to make of Barack Obama’s quote before he was elected president and while yet a senator here in Illinois, given that the debt limit debate, as of last night, was still ongoing in Congress despite the rapid approach of the debt limit deadline fast approaching. As to be expected, Obama’s quote was recently spun in a way to exonerate Obama from his 2006 rhetoric. After all, weren’t Obama’s casual 2006 remarks only in keeping with what all politicians do when trying to score points politically with the other party?

While the outcome of the irresponsible debit limit deadline is still a bit cloudy, what is not uncertain is how this nation got to where it is today. Might we start with this broad premise as to the “how” and “why” of the present situation: With no need to mince words out of political correctness: President Obama is a liar (you can keep your old plan and doctor, and much, much more, including Benghazi the IRS); a hypocrite as the paragraph above reveals; an incompetent and failed leader (never held a job or lead anything); a radical socialist (deep and long relationships with Saul Alinsky and Abner Mikva); stunningly clueless as to matters of foreign policy (Syria, Egypt, Libya);  a gullible and naïve diplomat (Putin and Iran cleaned his clock); a Commander in Chief void of conceptual military strategy (abandon Iraq and Afghanistan); and a president devoid of an understanding of economic, fiscal and monetary policy (stimulus and unemployment outcome and government effectiveness).

President Obama’s lack of regard for the Constitution and the traditional rules of Law is legendary. He is likewise a narcissistic loner who dislikes most people and direct conflict (body language in the confrontation with Paul Ryan at the Obamacare conference in 2010), and holds the people of this country in contempt and disregard, as evidenced by his willingness to punish American citizens (selective close down of government facilities to obtain maximum citizen discomfort) to obtain a political point and gain.

Nowhere in American history has any President so willfully and maliciously punished the citizen of the country, for any reason. What we are seeing is reverse patriotism and a total disregard for those for whom he took an oath to lead and protect.

The performance of Congress is not artful and even disgraceful, but this man is the President, the one man who can take the necessary actions to lead us out of the quagmire. We get instead a dash to the bottom, if that is even possible considering where we are now.

If ever we have witnessed the outcome of a leaderless nation, it is now. Obama has clearly abandoned that role and substituted demonization, contrite allegations, petty and childish claims and unseemly arrogance. He campaigns but does not lead. He talks but does not do. He blames but self absolves. And, now we are abandoned.

May God help us all now for the sake of future generations of Americans!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 09:45 AM | Permalink

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Friday, August 09, 2013

Obama-smirk-signing-obamacareBy Nancy Thorner – 

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.

Part 1: http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/thorner-wobblies-seek-to-disrupt-defunding-of-obamacare-by-conservatives.html#more

Friday, August 09, 2013 at 04:05 PM | Permalink

 

 

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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

George_zimmerman2012-hannity-interview-wide1-400x300By Nancy Thorner & Edward Ingold –

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
http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/08/thorner-the-zimmerman-jury-got-it-right-.html#more

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

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