Category Archives: “Intelligence”

Supreme Court ruling could increase Obamacare premiums 700 percent

WashingtonExaminer

If the government loses in a major Obamacare challenge before the Supreme Court, it will result in premium increases of up to 700 percent for nearly 8 million people, a new analysis claims.

The analysis from think tank Avalere Health was released Thursday as the Obama administration continues to take heat from Congress for having no backup plan in case the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell doesn’t go their way. Oral arguments are set to start on Wednesday for the case, which has the potential to cripple the healthcare law.

The case challenges the government’s authority to dole out subsidies to the 37 states with federal-run exchanges. Plaintiffs say the Affordable Care Act specifically only allows for states that set up their own exchanges to receive subsidies, while the government says the plaintiffs are misinterpreting the law.

If the subsidies are illegal, average monthly premium contributions for about 7.5 million people could increase between 122 and 774 percent, depending on the state, according to Avalere.

Residents in Alaska and Mississippi would have the highest increases, the think tank said.

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Obama Believes He Alone Is The Law In America

IBD

Rule Of Law: First, the president issues unlawful executive orders giving illegal immigrants amnesty. Then, he dares an equal branch of government to vote on his orders’ legality so he can veto it. Is he establishing a monarchy?

While speaking at a town hall meeting Wednesday night at Florida International University, President Obama clearly indicated that he believes he is the final authority on law in this country. He will not tolerate dissent.

“If Mr. McConnell, the leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, want to have a vote on whether what I’m doing is legal or not, they can have that vote. I will veto that vote, because I’m absolutely confident that what we’re doing is the right thing to do,” he told a group organized by Democratic Rep. Jose Diaz-Balart.

In November, Obama announced a set of unilateral actions to change the immigration system. Government agencies were ordered not to enforce the law against up to 5 million illegal immigrants in the country. He also declared that they would not be subject to deportation and were to be handed green cards.

There was no vote in Congress. No consultation with the House and Senate. No law cited that gave him the authority. Just his word.

A month ago, we wondered if Obama was “so hellbent on amnesty for illegals he’ll resort to nullifying and even breaking the law.” Today, we know that he is.

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Time for Congress to Gut the FCC

Under an Obama-appointed chairman it is no longer independent but a travesty.

For political reasons. You see, all the FCC has to do is redefine broadband at a higher speed, and now they can argue that America’s broadband networks are insufficient and thus require greater FCC intervention.

And it’s part of a pattern. This is not the first time that the Obama-era FCC has radically departed from previous established FCC policy. Previously the FCC found that the wireless market is highly competitive. But as soon as an Obama-appointed FCC Chairman took office, the FCC decided that the wireless market was in fact not competitive, and previous FCCs all just got it wrong somehow.

The sad fact is that the FCC, purported to be an expert technical agency, has been thoroughly politicized—it’s now simply a political extension of the Obama administration and thus has been indentured into the administration’s regulatory power grab over the Internet.

Detailed reporting by the Wall Street Journal has revealed that the entire time the FCC was working to craft a more reasonable net neutrality compromise, the White House was engaged in a “secret,” parallel, closed process to craft a different policy that “stunned officials at the FCC.” The White House process was closed to some stakeholders and influenced by conversations with President Obama at a fundraiser. Those meeting with the White House were not required to register as lobbyists and were told to “not discuss the process openly.”

The White House effort “essentially killed the compromise proposed by Mr. Wheeler” and “swept aside more than a decade of light touch regulation of the Internet and months of work by Mr. Wheeler toward a compromise.”

So much for an “independent agency.”

In our constitutional republic, the proper place for public policy to be made is by the elected representatives of the people, through legislation. Congress has stepped up and Senator Thune has introduced legislation that would settle the net neutrality debate once and for all. Congress should be given time to act, but the President and Senate Democrats have made it clear that the Thune legislation is not acceptable: What they wanted all along was heavy federal regulation, not net neutrality. The gig is up.

Because the FCC has forsaken its mandate to be both expert and independent, Congress now has every reason to gut the FCC and radically downsize its regulatory scope and authority.

The FCC could be completely eliminated, and its few key functions distributed among other relevant agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Frankly, many of the FCC’s functions already overlap with the FTC, NTIA, and the Justice Department. In light of the FCC’s grotesque abrogation of its mandate to be expert and independent, a creative Congress could easily eliminate or dramatically scale back the FCC’s power.

Such a reform of the FCC is in fact long overdue, and Chairman Wheeler has set in motion the mechanism of its execution. By sacrificing his agency to President Obama’s radical progressive agenda to put the federal government in regulatory control of communications media, Chairman Wheeler should in fact be the last Chairman of the FCC as we know it.

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Will someone do something NOW? The IRS Scandal, Day 658

IRS watchdog reveals Lois Lerner missing emails now subject of criminal probe

The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.

He said they have also discovered the hard drives from the IRS’s email servers, but said because the drives are out of synch it’s not clear whether they will be able to recover anything from them.

“To date we have found 32,744 unique emails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s email box. We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Mr. Camus said.

Democrats questioned the independence of Inspector General J. Russell George, who is overseeing the investigation, saying he’s injected politics into his work. (Pay back hurts, doesn’t it? Ed)

In one of the new emails, Lerner apparently wrote, “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other.”

irsUn-freakin’-believable…

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Watchdog Accuses Harry Reid of Ethics Violations

FreeBeacon

Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.) illegally used official Senate resources for political purposes, according to an ethics complaint filed this week.

A reported meeting between Reid and his caucus in which the Nevada Democrat promoted his 2016 reelection campaign violated Senate ethics rules, the complaint alleges.

“Senator Reid’s actions appear to make a mockery of both the Senate Ethics Rules and federal law,” the complaint states. “He reportedly announced his reelection campaign from the confines of an official Senate meeting room located mere steps from the Senate floor.”

The complaint was filed on Tuesday by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a new conservative ethics watchdog group run by former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker.

Whitaker pointed to a recent Politico story that described a meeting between Reid and Senate Democrats. According to the story, Reid kicked off the meeting by assuring his colleagues that he will run for reelection next year.

“The only reported topic [of the meeting] was to announce, ‘I’m running,’” Whitaker wrote in the complaint. “Even Politico admitted the meeting—attended by more than fifty Senate staffers—was ‘unusual.’”

It is not clear what else was discussed at the meeting, but Whitaker says its apparent political themes were improper on their own.

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Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle

WashingtonExaminer

It’s starting.

As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.

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.

Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.

The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that 30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.

“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,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “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.”

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Time to man up, Mitch…

Dear Mitch

Dear Senator McConnell,

I mean this with all due respect – you’re worthless. Actually, you’re worse than worthless; you’re the problem.

You were better as minority leader. Your steering the Senate is worse than Harry Reid’s corruption. It’s almost enough to make me wish you could switch back places.

If Democrats want to filibuster funding the Department of Homeland Security, make them filibuster it. Keep the Senate open 24/7 and make them hold the floor. Meanwhile, you and your members explain to the American people why nothing else is happening in the Senate until Democrats stop their filibuster.

That is, of course, if you have any interest in doing what you’ve publicly said you wanted to do. You’re old, probably too old to run again, so you have no reason to care what your supporters want. You’ve moved into legacy territory. So was everything you’ve said about President Obama’s executive amnesty real or a lie to get this last term before you slip into oblivion?

In addition to forcing Democrats to conduct a real filibuster, consider one of the following options:

1 Let Homeland Security shut down. Considering roughly 90 percent of the people who work there are “essential,” no one will notice. Democrats and the White House will scream and cry, but you have the truth on your side. More than that, you have the American people on your side, who oppose the president’s illegal amnesty action. If you can’t effectively message that, even with the media working against you, you should quit.

2 Work with the House to bring up a “clean” bill so the Democrats won’t filibuster it, then offer the blocking language as an amendment. Use the exact same language from a stand-alone defund bill so the Democrats you would be offering cover would either have to vote for it again or vote against it. Then, when you move to final passage of the amended bill and Democrats filibuster again, make them actually filibuster. Keep them there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until they give in. Then they’d be filibustering a bill over language many of them supported just a few days earlier.

3 Screw the filibuster. When Harry Reid changed the filibuster rule he made it perfectly clear that rules and traditions mean nothing; it’s the progressive agenda he’s loyal to. That’s how Democrats ran the Senate; give them a dose of their own medicine.

Isn’t it time you start leading?

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U.S. and Israel: The Manufactured Crisis

TheWeeklyStandard

The crisis between the United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration. Building a crisis up or down is well within the administration’s power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.

First comes the personal relationship and the desire to see Netanyahu lose the election. Recall that Obama became president before Netanyahu became prime minister, and it is obvious that the dislike was both personal and political before Netanyahu had done anything. Obama does not like people on the right, period—Americans, Israelis, Australians, you name it.

Susan Rice has determined that her job is to make bilateral relations worse, and has established no relationship with her Israeli counterpart Yossi Cohen. So the problem is not just bad chemistry at the top; it is an administration that has decided to create a tense and negative relationship from the top down.

Clearly the administration worries that Israeli (not just Netanyahu, but Israeli) criticisms of the possible Iran nuclear deal might begin to reverberate. So it has adopted the tactic of personalizing the Israeli critique. The third Obama administration reason for building up this crisis is also deadly serious: it is to use the current tension to harm Israel’s support in the United States permanently.

Perhaps this manufactured crisis will diminish after Netanyahu’s speech, where he is likely to say things that many Democrats still agree with. Perhaps it will diminish if Iran rejects any deal, even on the terms the Obama administration is offering. Perhaps Netanyahu will lose his election and a new Labor Party-led government will appear in Jerusalem. But more likely, the remaining 23 months of the Obama administration will be months of continuing tension between Israel and the United States. That is because the administration desires that tension and views it as productive. The problem is not Netanyahu’s speech, which right or wrong to deliver should be a minor and passing factor in bilateral relations. The real issues are deeper and far more serious. This president has fostered a crisis in relations because it advances his own political and policy goals. That is what his subordinates and many Democrats in Congress are trying very hard, and with real success, to obfuscate.

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GOP Must Find a Way Out of Obama’s DHS De-Funding Trap

Commentary

With only days to go before a deadline for funding the Department of Homeland Security, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is desperately seeking a way to sell Republicans in both houses of Congress on a plan to get themselves out of the trap that President Obama set for them. His conservative critics aren’t wrong when they say this is nothing more than a GOP surrender that gives up any hope of taking a stand against the president’s extralegal executive orders granting wholesale amnesty to up to five million illegal immigrants. But unless McConnell can persuade House Republicans to go along with him, the understandable desire to defund those parts of the government that will carry out the president’s orders will cause the party to embark on another suicide charge that might prove to be even more disastrous than the 2013 government shutdown.

Let’s specify that Tea Partiers and other GOP stalwarts are right to be outraged about the president’s end-run around the Constitution. The notion that a president has the right to legislate on his own simply because he says he gave Congress time to do what he wanted it to do and must now act since they failed to is absurd as well as reflecting contempt for the rule of law. Regardless of one’s views about the need for immigration reform, the president’s actions constitute an ominous precedent that presage a constitutional crisis as the executive branch runs roughshod over the normal order of government. Indeed, even many Democrats said as much last fall prior to the orders, especially those up for reelection.

But simply because something is wrong and should be stopped doesn’t necessarily mean there is a way to do it that is politically palatable. The orders were given in a way that there is no option for halting their implementation other than defunding the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which now falls under the purview of the Department of Homeland Security. The courts may rule in favor of the 26 states that have sued to halt Obama’s orders. The decision of one federal judge in Texas in favor of that suit has, at least temporarily, stopped Obama in his tracks. But unless that track works—and it is likely that it won’t—the only alternative is defunding DHS.

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Top Ten Jobs for Jihadists

AmericanSpectator

#1 Wal-Mart Greeters

Who better to meet and greet shoppers — and urge them to load their shopping carts to overflowing — than hooded and black-robed jihadists who will decapitate anyone who dares to oppose them?

#2 Part of the Establishment of Free Community Colleges

As the president never tires of saying, we must “invest” more in the education and training of our young people —including, as he sees it, young jihadists who are contemptuous of everything Western education has to offer.

#3 Posters, Flags, and All Kinds of Signage

The Islamic State is already on record in promising to fly its black flag over the White House. If that is the kind of thing young jihadists like to do, why not encourage them to fly their flag and to raise their banners at other public buildings around the country?

#4 Border Security

The jihadists know all about border security.

#5 Tax Collection and Revenue Enhancement

The Obama administration could employ thousands or even millions of jihadists as old-style tax farmers or tax collectors — personally empowered to go out into the field to collect money from anyone lucky enough to continue to possess it.

#6 Obamacare Death Panels

In addition to their new duties as tax collectors, jihadists could therefore have a role in the implementation or enforcement of Obamacare.

#7 Social Media

The astounding growth of the Islamic State over the past year has been due in no small part to its mastery of the Internet and social media to recruit new members from all over the world and to launch terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East and Europe. Surely, the new Obama jobs-for-jihadists plan will find a way to channel their social media moxie in more innocent ways — as the president himself did recently in clowning around with a selfie stick… making the video of himself for HealthCare.gov that went viral.

#8 Infrastructure Building and Demolition

Let the jihadists have at our roads, bridges, dams, and port facilities.

#9 Early Childhood Education and Development

No time is too soon for children to be taken from their parents and turned over to educators trained by the state. Those who have been trained in this way (including many jihadists) can train others.

#10 Sustainability / Reducing our Carbon Footprint

The jihadists want to turn the clock back more than 1,200 years — teaching us all to live like goat herders. What’s not to like about that? We have everything to learn from them about reducing our carbon footprint.

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