The Obama administration has declared many times that ObamaCare will not institute death panels. Rationing panels may be another story. President Obama’s healthcare law authorizes an independent panel, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, to control excessive Medicare costs. The Blaze notes, “IPAB has the power to force Medicare cuts if costs go up beyond certain levels and Congress fails to act. Although Medicare’s long-term finances are troubled, it’s unclear if short-run costs will rise enough over the next decade to trigger the board’s intervention.” Currently, the law explicitly prohibits the IPAB from rationing care, or shifting costs, or limiting benefits, but Republicans have voiced concerns that such a panel may very well turn into a rationing panel.
At last Friday’s press conference, President Obama reviewed the status of talks with Republicans over the debt ceiling and reiterated his determination to “get our fiscal house in order.” He added: "We have a unique opportunity to do something big. We have a chance to stabilize America’s finances for a decade, for 15 years, or 20 years, if we’re willing to seize the moment." "Now, what that would require would be some shared sacrifice and a balanced approach that says we’re going to make significant cuts in domestic spending. And I have already said I am willing to take down domestic spending to the lowest percentage of our overall economy since Dwight Eisenhower.”(emphasis added)
With President Barack Obama having issued an executive order banning secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta having stated that “CIA no longer operates detention facilities or black sites,” one might think a credible report that the CIA is still operating such a prison would make the front page of every newspaper in the country and be covered on all major television news programs. Alas, in 21st-century America, where the news media are the handmaidens of the state, the story has largely been ignored; and those outlets that have deemed it worthy of coverage have done so in such a way as to play down its revelations and play up the government’s denials. On July 12 The Nation published a lengthy article by Jeremy Scahill exposing a secret CIA prison in Mogadishu, Somalia. Scahill’s report was based on an in-person investigation of the allegations, undertaken at great personal risk.
A Nevada man is suing the Department of Motor Vehicles after it denied his request for vanity license plates reading "GOPALIN," alleging that the plates violate the standard against "vulgarity." James Linlor, who requested the plates, is bringing the case for what he asserts to be political bias at the DMV. Requests for vanity plates are measured against a standard that indicates those plates cannot include a message that may be deemed to be “contempt, ridicule, or superiority of … political affiliation.” According to the Nevada DMV, “GOPALIN” is “vulgar” and “inappropriate.” Linlor requested the same plates in 2009 and 2010, but both applications were denied, for the same reason. Later in 2010, Linlor requested a variation on the plates: either “Palin,” “Palin12,” or “Palin16.”
As New York prepares to usher in legalized homosexual marriage, a new twist has developed over whether town clerks in New York State will be required to facilitate same-sex couples coming to them for licenses and ceremonies. As reported by The New American, Laura Fotusky, clerk in the central New York town of Barker, submitted her resignation on July 11, explaining that her Christian beliefs would prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples. On July 15 Rosemary Centi, clerk for the town of Guilderland in Albany County, offered her own resignation of sorts, informing her town supervisor that she would no longer be serving as the community’s official marriage officer, explaining that her Catholic faith would prevent her from officiating at marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples.
Life has many good things. The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We all recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this simple, common sense fact is routinely ignored. In politics, there are not simply good things but some special Good Things — with a capital G and capital T — which are considered always better to have more of. Many of the things advocated by environmental extremists, for example, are things that most of us might think of as good things. But, in politics, they become Good Things whose repercussions and costs are brushed aside as unworthy considerations.
The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFR) has filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry in an attempt to halt the planned day of fasting and prayer he has called for on August 6th at Reliant Stadium in Houston. In a press release, the group said that it was joining five of its members in “asking the federal court to declare unconstitutional Perry’s initiation, organization, promotion, and participation in the Aug. 6 prayer event.” The group said that it planned to file a restraining order to block “Perry’s continuing involvement in the prayer rally….” As reported by The New American, Perry has invited government officials, as well as individuals from around the country, to the event, called The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis. Noting that America has been “besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters,” Perry advised that as a nation “we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.”
Totalitarians cannot tolerate the free exercise of religion. As so many disillusioned communists in the last century observed, communism, to its disciples, is a religion and a god. One well known book, a collection of the writings of a number of former communists, is called simply The God That Failed. Anyone who has attempted to discuss a subject intelligently with a communist quickly grasps that he is talking to a follower of a secular religion. Sometimes communism has entered into a truce with faith or has loosened the chains on religious people for tactical reasons. During the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, for example, the churches opened again and allowed people to worship without duress. That limited freedom disappeared after the Nazis were defeated. The Soviets also pretended to respect the rights of Jews to worship, although in actual practice Judaism was suppressed (Hebrew, for example, was forbidden while Yiddish, a secular language, was encouraged).  
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the largest labor unions in the country, is reported to have released a 70-page manual, the "Contract Campaign Manual" on "Pressuring the Employer," which encourages union members to use coercion and scare tactics to intimidate managers and corporate authority figures in the private sector. According to Vincent Vernuccio of the Washington Times, the manual explains how "outside pressure can involve jeopardizing relationships between the employer and lenders, investors, stockholders, customers, clients, patients, tenants, politicians, or others on whom the employer depends for funds." Further, the manual blatantly encourages members to engage in unlawful activities, as it suggests, "Union members sometimes [should] act in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King and Mohatma Gandhi and disobey laws which are used to enforce injustice against working people."
Long-time Washington commentator and columnist Tony Blankley delivered an uncharacteristically flawed analysis of America’s political prospects in a July 12 commentary for the Washington Times. He foresees a likely reversal of the United States' current statist course and a restoration of constitutionally limited government. Blankley didn’t say precisely when this about-face would occur, but if not in the coming 2012 election, then probably around 2024. That is the year, Blankley predicts, by which it will become abysmally clear to voters that Obama’s math-challenged $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan (combining “$1.3 trillion in taxes and $2.7 trillion in spending cuts”) didn’t even make a dent in America’s economic collapse.
JBS Facebook JBS Twitter JBS YouTube JBS RSS Feed