Activists are fuming after GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed an emergency rule to implement ObamaCare in the state and refused to return federal grant money provided under the scheme. Critics are calling the actions a “betrayal” of his supporters and the Tea Party, though some defenders are saying he has merely been acting on bad advice. Democrats, meanwhile, are demanding that Walker keep the funds and continue to implement Obama’s controversial healthcare plan. Some Republican legislators fought hard to kill AB 210, a bill that would have brought Wisconsin into compliance with ObamaCare even as it remains under assault in court for being unconstitutional. And GOP state Sen. Frank Lasee ensured that the legislation died in the Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing he chairs. “My office reached out to Gov. Walker approximately two weeks ago in a sincere effort to discuss the many reasons for killing AB 210,” Sen. Lasee said in a statement released on November 14. “We also hoped to broach the hazard of the $49 million in federal ‘Early Innovator Grant’ funds that the governor accepted in February of this year. Regrettably, we were rebuffed.”
After nominating Donald Berwick as head of Medicare and Medicaid, President Obama has now nominated Henry Aaron as head of the Social Security Advisory Board, and they are both proponents of healthcare rationing. Berwick, who Obama appointed through executive measures, circumventing the conventional Senate confirmation, has stated, "The decision is not whether or now we will ration care…. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly." Henry Aaron, a senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, harbors sentiments on the issue that are arguably even more extreme, which is evident in his comments about the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a U.S. government agency established in 2010 by sections of Obama’s healthcare overhaul, has the explicit task of curtailing the rate of growth in Medicare expenditures. Section 4303 of the Affordable Care Act grants the IPAB an unbounded authority to develop proposals to cut Medicare costs, which become law unless Congress acts to produce alternative cost-saving proposals that would save at least as much as the IPAB proposes.
From the time the GOP presidential primary contest got under way, Mitt Romney has been heralded in the media as the frontrunner. Since its crushing losses in ’06 and ’08 and the ensuing rise of both Barack H. Obama as well as the Tea Party movement, the Republican Party has claimed to have learned the error of its ways. It alone is the party of “limited” or “constitutional government,” the party of liberty. Yet during its reign of power under the tenor of George W. Bush, it not only abjectly failed to reduce the size and scope of the federal government; it significantly expanded Washington D.C.’s control over our lives. Now, the GOP promises us, it will “return to its roots.” From the time the GOP presidential primary contest got under way, the media has treated Mitt Romney’s nomination as virtually inevitable. How, though, does the idea of an allegedly repentant Republican Party renewing its commitment to individual liberty square with the idea of Mitt Romney as this party’s presidential nominee? To put this question another way, is Romney a credible standard bearer of the party of “limited government?” To answer this question, we need to look not so much as what Romney says now, during a Republican primary race. We need, rather, to look at what he has said and done throughout his career.
When considering what is the “establishment” in America, college students are never told that this group includes powerful labor unions, the news media, or state-supported academia. Hence, why the “Occupy D.C.” encampment, an offspring of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and other "Occupy" movements are leaning heavily upon big labor to support their protests despite the fact that big unions, in a fashion similar to big finance, buy off politicians in return for government action that is not in the interest of the public at large, but only to the benefit of unions — such as the National Labor Relations Board's attacks on Boeing at the behest of unions for opening a plant in a right-to-work state. On November 15, demonstrators from Occupy D.C. were removed from the Victor Building in Washington, but the Washington Times reports that big labor unions have provided accommodations to that group. The Service Employees International Union has given Occupy D.C. portable toilets. The AFL-CIO headquarters has a gym with showers, and as Jeff Hauser of that union says: “We happen to have a few showers associated with our small gym…. We make those available. It happened kind of naturally. We’ve talked with them about the needs they’ve expressed. This really helps them and it’s not a heavy lift on our part. “The rise of inequality, the job crisis — we’re thankful their creative energy and persistence has helped elevate these critical issues. We want to be supportive.”
Predictably, the eviction of hundreds of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) squatters from their squalid “tent city” in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park on Tuesday, November 15, brought howls of protest from the ACLU and liberal-left commentators in the major media. New York City Police arrested dozens of OWS activists who refused to leave Zuccotti, and on November 16 and 17 arrested hundreds more who tried to reoccupy the park or who attempted to disrupt business at the nearby New York Stock Exchange. Dozens more protesters were arrested on the 17th when they attempted to block traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge. OWS activists in Chicago, Seattle, and other cities also attempted to block or close down bridges as part of a “Day of Disruption” strategy. For more than two months, the privately owned Zuccotti Park has been jam-packed with thousands of protesters, tourists, journalists, and media camera crews. Local residents and business owners have complained that the OWS invasion has caused the 33,000-square-foot “pocket park” to become a magnet for crime and disruptive, unruly, and unsanitary behavior, including public urination and defecation, public lewdness, nudity, vandalism, assaults, theft, and illegal drug use.
There may be some unintended grave consequences for the heavy use of birth control pills in nations like the United States. A recent study published in the online British Medical Journal Open found that those countries having a high number of women using birth control pills also have a higher incidence of men with prostate cancer. While the study did not make a definite tie-in, “researchers said estrogen hormones released in urine that recycle through the water supply could account for one possible explanation” for the correlation between use of the pill and increased prostate cancer, reported ABC News. Explained Dr. Neil Fleshner, head of urology at the University Health Network in Ontario and one of the study’s authors: “There’s reason to suggest there’s an environmental component [to prostate cancer] and not solely genetic.” While other studies have linked prostate and other cancers to the presence of pesticides, chemicals, and medications in water supplies, researchers explained that their speculation is based on the increase of prostate cancer in developed countries during the four decades that has seen a dramatic rise in the use of oral contraceptives by women in those countries.
The state legislature of Massachusetts passed a measure on November 15 to extend discrimination protection for transgender people in matters related to housing, credit, and employment. Further, the bill will include such individuals in the definition of a “hate crime.” After a nearly party line vote of 115-37 (the Democratic party is currently in the majority in the Massachusetts House by a split of 127 to 33 Republicans), the legislation, known as the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, was passed by the House and sent on to the state senate. Upon being passed by the upper house, the bill was sent to the state’s Democratic Governor, Deval Patrick, and he signed the measure making it state law. Said the Governor: "I think we have hate crimes on the books today," he said. "They, in the case of transgender people, don't go far enough.” He continued, calling the matter a “question of human and civil rights." According to the provisions set forth in the act, no person may be discriminated against on the basis of gender identity. The protection does not extend to the area of public accommodations.
It’s official. The U.S. federal debt has crossed another unbelievable line: $15 trillion. The Treasury Department reported the news on Wednesday, and various sources are reporting different figures for the level of debt person and per family. But the discrepancies between those figures are a distinction without a difference. The United States of America is drowning in debt. And it may never recover. The Numbers The national debt is the sum of the debt held by the public plus the so-called intragovernmental debt. The latter is that debt held by federal trust funds, such as Social Security, when the government borrows from those trust funds. Those figures are $10.3 trillion and $4.7 trillion. Terence P. Jeffrey, a veteran budget reporter and columnist for CNSNews.com, reported that the new debt per family, based on the Census Bureau’s estimate of just more than 76 million families in the United States, is $197,579. Jeffrey calculates the debt per person worker in the private section at $160,545. Those figures drop just a little using numbers from the U.S. Debt Clock. It reports that the debt per taxpayer is about $133,373, while the debt per citizen is about $48,000. It reports a debt per family of about $182,000, based on an estimate of about 82.5 million families.
Back in 1962, Arthur Trace wrote a book entitled What Ivan Knows That Johnny Doesn’t. In that book Trace informed us that Ivan was being taught to read by phonics, and that was why Ivan was able to learn so much better than Johnny. In fact, throughout the communist world, children were taught to read by phonics so that they could read Marx and Lenin and become the engineers and scientists the state needed to enable it to create its socialist utopia and great military power.
A harshly critical new report by congressional investigators says that despite spending close to $60 billion on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), screening is based on “theatrics” that has failed to catch any terrorists, while passengers and crew are still the most effective line of defense. Air travel, meanwhile, is no safer than it was before September 11, 2001. Instead of focusing on security, the agency has become “an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy, more concerned with human resource management and consolidating power,” according to the investigation released on November 16. “Today, TSA's screening policies are based in theatrics. They are typical, bureaucratic responses to failed security policies meant to assuage the concerns of the traveling public.” The Joint Majority Staff Report entitled "A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform" sharply criticized the widespread waste and inefficiency that is rife throughout the “bloated bureaucracy.” The agency also suffers from a lack of administrative competency, investigators found. According to the report, TSA has more than 65,000 employees. That means it has more personnel than the Departments of Labor, Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development, and State — combined. And its own “classified” performance results “do not reflect a good return on this taxpayer investment,” investigators said.