ObamaCare Spy Network Called Off (For Now)

30 Jun 2011

Obama’s Health Care Spies

Last week we learned the Obama administration planned to recruit “mystery shoppers” who would pose as patients and call primary care doctors’ offices to find out (1) if they were accepting new patients, (2) whether they would accept private insurance while declining Medicare or Medicaid, and (3) how long it would take to schedule an appointment.

After a storm of criticism the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it had changed its mind and would not undertake the survey—at least for now.

Translation: HHS will let the media flurry die down and then proceed apace when no one is paying attention.

The rest of the article is about how ObamaCare has it backwards. Instead of rewarding hard work, it punishes it. So the rules push people to behave contrary to the goals of ObamaCare – which is why the spies are needed. This is not new for ObamaCare.

It’s similar to HHS’s response to health insurers. Once insurers calculated all the new benefits and requirements in ObamaCare, they started raising premiums to cover their future costs. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had a fit and set up a process to monitor premium increases: If they went past 10 percent, the HHS premium police would call and want an explanation.

This needs to be defunded and repealed ASAP.


ACORN Appeal Buried

20 Jun 2011

Court won’t hear ACORN lawsuit over gov’t funding

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from ACORN, the activist group driven to ruin by scandal and financial woes, over being banned from getting federal funds.

The high court on Monday refused to review a federal court’s decision to uphold Congress’s ban on federal funds for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

This is back page news, but any good news should be noted.

Texas & Unions vs. Obama & EPA

20 Jun 2011

I figured something like this was coming – now it’s on.

Union, Texas Congressional delegation agree: The EPA is threatening the Texas economy

On April 13, 2011, the EPA publishing its ruling that Texas must comply with the Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR). Using the CATR, the EPA is set to include Texas in the national sulfur dioxide program, without any comment from any of the state’s stakeholders, political leaders or industry leaders allowed. No public review, just bam!, Texans get the EPA jackboot.

It’s a rare moment when Republicans and unions agree on much, but as it turns out, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union agrees: The EPA is dangerously overreaching in its CATR finding. The IBEW also fired off a letter of protest on June 16, to Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Air and Regulation.

That Texas economic success story you’ve been hearing so much about in the news lately? The EPA’s actions here threaten it very directly, by increasing electricity costs while throwing thousands of Texans out of work. If the EPA wants Texas’ unemployment rate to climb up to the higher national average, this ruling may help that along.

How can anyone believe Obama when he says he desires the economy to recover – when this action raises electricity costs and causes people to be laid off? Obama and his group are WEDs – Weapons of Economic Destruction.

Businesses Leaving California at Record Pace

20 Jun 2011

Calif. Business Departures Increasing–Now Five Times Higher Than In 2009

  • From Jan. 1 of this year through this morning, June 16, we have had 129 disinvestment events occur, an average of 5.4 per week.
  • For all of last year, we saw an average of 3.9 events per week.
  • Comparing this year thus far with 2009, when the total was 51 events, essentially averaging 1 per week, our rate today is more than 5 times what it was then.

A conservative estimate is that only 1 out of 5 company departures becomes public knowledge, which means California may suffer more than 1,000 disinvestment events this year.

The top five destinations are (1) Texas, (2) Arizona, (3) Colorado, (4) Nevada and Utah tied; and (5) Virginia and North Carolina tied.

Based on the legislature’s recent rejection of business-friendly legislation and Sacramento’s implementation of additional regulations, signs are that California’s hostility towards business will only worsen.

This is going to get ugly – but the legislators (and by extension the people who voted for them) are bringing this upon themselves.

Green Cars Are Not So Green Study Says

14 Jun 2011

Electric cars may not be so green after all, says British study

The British study, which is the first analysis of the full lifetime emissions of electric cars covering manufacturing, driving and disposal, undermines the case for tackling climate change by the rapid introduction of electric cars.

It found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed.

Many electric cars are expected to need a replacement battery after a few years. Once the emissions from producing the second battery are added in, the total CO2 from producing an electric car rises to 12.6 tonnes, compared with 5.6 tonnes for a petrol car. Disposal also produces double the emissions because of the energy consumed in recovering and recycling metals in the battery. The study also took into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed.

So our government is involved in more phony green schemes that makes things worse over the long run. What a complete and utter joke – except our tax money is funding this worthless project.

Gas cars are better on the environment.

SEIU Launches Republican PAC in California

14 Jun 2011

SEIU California launches Republican PAC to back moderates

One of California’s largest labor unions today advanced a plan intended to result in the election of more moderate Republicans.

By creating a Republican political action committee, Service Employees International Union California officials say they hope to help send people from right-leaning areas to Sacramento who put practical solutions in front of strict conservative thinking.

Smart on their part. The fact that they believe they can pull this off is indicative of how far left California has turned.

Dept. of Education Removes Aid from Vocational Colleges

2 Jun 2011

Obama Government Rule Cracks Down on For-Profit Colleges

After months of political wrangling, the U.S. Department of Education finalized on Thursday its highly contentious “gainful employment” rule, a crucial element of the Obama Administration’s crackdown on the rapidly growing for-profit career-college industry.

The rule will strip federal financial aid dollars from vocational programs that load students with more debt than they can realistically repay.

Under the gainful-employment rule, to qualify for federal financial aid, a program must meet one of three requirements: at least 35% of former students are repaying their loans; the estimated annual loan payment of a graduate does not exceed 30% of his or her discretionary income; or the estimated annual loan payment does not exceed 12% of his or her total earnings.

Senator Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who has been leading an extensive inquiry into the industry over the past year, voiced his support for the finalization, calling it an important step in protecting students and taxpayers against “subprime” academic programs.

“At a time when Congress is concerned about the growing deficit, we should not turn a blind eye to the waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Harkin said in a statement.

Waste?? – we just spent two years redoing the food pyramid to a food plate. And where is the reform for traditional four year public universities?

Now are they separating vocational for-profit schools by definition or through the terms of the regulation? We continue to make regulation after regulation when we should be enforcing common sense rules to those who do not repay their loans.