Opponents of ObamaCare have long argued that the law poses a grave threat to Americans’ privacy. Although that argument was based on informed speculation, a new rule proposed by the Obama administration provides concrete evidence that privacy concerns were indeed well-founded. The rule, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), would require “insurance companies [to] submit detailed health care information about their patients,” according to a Washington Examiner op-ed by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.). If enacted, the rule would enable the government “to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us,” declares the Congressman. “This type of data collection is an egregious violation of patient-doctor confidentiality and business privacy,” he maintains, likening it to “J. Edgar Hoover in a lab coat.”
Observers who surmised that President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act was a gimmick designed to make the employment situation look better just long enough for Obama to be reelected — never mind the long-term consequences — have been vindicated. A recent Associated Press report states that Obama’s plan would at best reduce the unemployment rate by a single percentage point in time for the November 2012 election, after which it would become “a drag on the economy” to the point that “by 2015, the economy [will be] in the same place as now, as if there were no jobs package.” Taxes, meanwhile, will have permanently increased by some $1.6 trillion. Obama has been careful not to make his own prediction about how many jobs his bill would create, fearing that he would only be sealing his own fate if reality failed to live up to his forecast. Instead, he turned to Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, who estimated that the bill would generate about 1.9 million new jobs in 2012, or 158,000 a month, leading to a one-percentage-point reduction in the unemployment rate and a two-percentage-point increase in the gross domestic product. The AP notes that Zandi’s jobs estimate “is somewhat higher than private analyses that suggest the plan would create 100,000 to 150,000 jobs a month.”
The government of Uganda and the“carbon credits” firm New Forests Company — accredited by the United Nations and largely financed by the World Bank and the European Union — are under intense public pressure after evidence emerged that over 20,000 poor Ugandan farmers were brutally evicted from their lands in order for the U.K.-based company to plant trees. The atrocities, publicized in a September 22 report by the non-profit aid group Oxfam, have made headlines around the world. Under the guise of saving the environment from global warming and climate change, armed enforcers reportedly burned locals’ houses to the ground — along with at least one child who was inside his home when it was set ablaze. The goon squads also reportedly terrorized and beat the residents, threatening to murder anyone who resisted. “We were beaten by soldiers. They beat my husband and put him in jail,” Naiki Apanabang, who obtained her family’s land in recognition of her grandfather’s military service, told Oxfam investigators. “The eviction was very violent.” Apanabang and her eight children no longer have enough food to eat — let alone money for schooling. 
Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under mandates established by ObamaCare, awarded $10 million dollars to “129 organizations across the country that would like to become community health centers. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, support organizations’ development as a future health center.” Nearly 10 percent of the total sum doled out was sent to the state of Florida. The Sunshine State received nearly $880,000.  This largesse was not surprising given that Florida reportedly has one of the highest rates of people without insurance in the country. According to a story published recently in the Florida Independent: Recent information released from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Florida had the third highest percentage of residents without insurance in 2010.   According to 2010 Census information (.xls), in a three-year average from 2008 to 2010, Florida’s percentage of uninsured people was 20.7 percent.
The Texas Miracle of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is little more than a Texas-sized myth.  That’s the upshot of reports across the political spectrum, Right to Left, that have evaluated Perry’s claims.  Chief among the tall tales is that Texas has become a jobs machine. That’s true, but Texans aren’t getting the jobs. Immigrants are. More than 80 percent of the new jobs in Texas went to foreigners, the Center for Immigration Studies reported last week, and 40 percent of those jobs went to illegal aliens. That is no surprise, given that Perry is an open-borders, leftist Republican, but in any event, other reports show that most of the job growth in Texas came in one sector: government. Border Jumpers Get the Jobs Perry’s claim to fame is this:
The announcement by Kaspar Villiger, Board Chairman of UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland), that CEO Oswald Grübel had resigned on Saturday caught many by surprise, partly because just the day before he had said he had the board’s complete support. According to Villiger, “The Board regrets Oswald Grübel’s decision. Oswald Grübel feels that it is his duty to assume responsibility for the recent unauthorized trading incident.” He added: The Board is deeply disappointed by the recent loss arising from unauthorized trading. It will fully support the independent investigation and will ensure that mitigating measures are implemented to prevent such an incident from recurring.  This wasn’t supposed to happen. On Wednesday, Villiger told reporters that the board was planning on having a “normal meeting,” despite severe criticism by the bank’s largest shareholder, the Government of Singapore, and the stock market’s negative reaction which drove the bank’s stock price to half what it was back in April. Instead, the meeting ran for two full days and continued via conference calls when several of the board members had to leave Friday afternoon.
The Michigan legislature facilitated a huge pro-life victory September 21 when the state Senate voted 29-8 to ban late-term, “partial-birth” abortions. That vote followed an earlier 75-33 vote in the state House to approve the measure, which now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Rick Snyder for his expected signature. A partial-birth abortion entails having an abortionist partially deliver a viable baby, and then kill the child before he or she completely emerges from the womb — making the procedure, by legal reasoning, an abortion rather than a homicide. The ban would make the procedure a felony punishable by a two-year prison term and a $50,000 fine. Republican Senator Arlan Meekhof, one of the bill’s sponsors, called partial-birth abortion “a barbaric act that we need to stop. I’m proud to sponsor this measure because I believe every life is precious.
Thanks to an unnoticed provision legislators slipped into state law 20 years ago, almost two dozen union leaders in Chicago stand to walk off with a cool $56 million in pension money, the Chicago Tribune reported last week.  But only if the Illinois legislature does not repeal the provision, detailed in a lengthy report the Tribune conducted with WGN-TV.  Three of the union leaders may earn as much as $5 million. Legalized Theft No one seems to know, the Tribune reported, who tweaked state pension law to permit the looting. Or at least no one will accept responsibility.  
An honors student at a Fort Worth, Texas, high school was sent to the principal’s office after he told a fellow student that he thought homosexuality is wrong. Fourteen-year-old Dakota Ary was in his German class “when the conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany,” reported Fox News. “At some point during the conversation, he turned to a friend and said that he was a Christian and ‘being a homosexual is wrong.’” A short time later Dakota’s mother, Holly Pope, received a call from an assistant principal at Fort Worth’s Western Hills High School informing her that her son would be serving an “in-school suspension,” along with a two-day full suspension, for his offense. “Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old,” Pope told Fox News, adding that her son is not only an honors student, but plays on the school’s football team and is involved in his church’s youth group. “He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes,” she added.
With the U.S. debt having surpassed 100 percent of gross domestic product August 3, to $14.58 trillion, it’s crudely entertaining to see how multimillionaire lawmakers in Congress and administrations both past and present find “compassionate” ways to spend ever-more of taxpayers’ money. The following is just the most recent example of a “compassionate” expenditure taxpayers don’t need. On September 10, one day before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a piece was published that set out conditions under which the U.S. should (and should not) provide humanitarian aid at taxpayers’ expense, humanitarian projects being by their nature philanthropic. Just three days later, the Washington Times (one among several other newspapers), ran a story describing how a compassionate George W. Bush was using his namesake institution to jumpstart an initiative combating women’s cancers (cervical and breast) in developing countries, primarily Africa, Vietnam, and Haiti, where such diseases are more rampant than usual due to the high levels of AIDS/HIV. The project is part of the “Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon,” program, the goal of which is to “expand the services of clinics created under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” while the cancers are presumably still treatable.  
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