When President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, he surely did not foresee the resistance with which his new law would be met. States have lined up to sue the federal government over the law. Some have introduced legislation nullifying ObamaCare or have refused federal grants for setting up its mandated insurance exchanges. One might expect such resistance in more conservative states such as Oklahoma and Florida — but in New York, a state that went nearly two-to-one for Obama in 2008 and has a popular Democratic Governor? It’s true. According to the New York Times, Republicans in Albany are doing their level best to see to it that the Empire State does not accept federal grants to establish an insurance exchange — despite the fact that failure to set up an exchange could precipitate federal intervention to create one and deprive the state of federal dollars to get it started. The Newspaper of Record recaps the situation thus:
Former FBI agent Ali H. Soufan remembers being at the American embassy in Yemen on September 11, 2001 when, a few hours after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a CIA official finally produced material, including photographs of two of the hijackers, that the FBI had requested months before. "For about a minute I stared at the pictures and the report, not quite believing what I had in my hands," Soufan has written in his just-released memoir, The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda. "My whole body was shaking." Had the material, documenting an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, been combined with information from the investigation in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole that same year, he believes, the suicide mission to hijack airplanes in the United States and fly them like missiles into key commercial and government buildings might have been discovered and thwarted.
Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along? Are we to continue doing the same kinds of things that have failed again and again, just because Obama delivers clever words with style and energy? Once we get past the glowing rhetoric, what is the president proposing? More spending! Only the words have changed — from "stimulus" to "jobs" and from "shovel-ready projects" to "jobs for construction workers." If government spending were the answer, we would by now have a booming economy with plenty of jobs, after all the record trillions of dollars that have been poured down a bottomless pit. Are we to keep on doing the same things, just because those things have been repackaged in different words?
It is now possible to see why it has taken so long to restore the area where the two giant World Trade Center towers stood. Because there were so many factors to consider in rebuilding the area, decision-making became incredibly complex. But once decisions were made, the rebuilding projects could proceed. Architects, designers, and contractors got to work. The building originally called Freedom Tower (now renamed One World Trade Center) will be the tallest building in America at 1,776 feet. Two smaller towers are also being built. The memorials for the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered on September 11, 2001 have been completed. The museum, beneath the memorials, is in the process of being built as well as the transportation center at the site. In other words, this site will become the chief visitor attraction in the nation, second only to Washington, D.C. It will enshrine everything that took place on that fateful day when so many lives were taken, so much property destroyed, so many responders scarred with lung problems, having breathed in the incinerated dust as they tried to rescue whomever they could rescue. 343 firefighters and 37 police officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were killed that day by the collapsing towers.
A few weeks ago, I had what seemed to me a small medical problem, so I phoned my primary physician. However, after we discussed the problem, he directed me to a specialist. After the specialist examined me, he directed me to a different specialist elsewhere. When I was examined and tested in the second specialist's office, he immediately phoned a hospital, asking to have an operating room available in an hour. No more than 5 hours elapsed between my seeing the first specialist and the time when I was on an operating table. This was quite a contrast with what happens in countries with government-run medical systems. In such countries, it is not uncommon to have to wait days to see a physician, weeks to see a specialist and months before you can have an operation. It is very doubtful whether I would have lasted that long.
According to a new behavioral study, Spongebob SquarePants may cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year olds. The study indicates that watching a mere nine minutes of the program can have such an effect. Fox News reports: The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch SpongeBob, or the slower-paced PBS cartoon Caillou or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched SpongeBob did measurably worse than the others. Those who watched SpongeBob SquarePants scored an average of 12 points lower than the other groups. The children who watched Calliou and drew pictures scored nearly the exact same. Another test administered to the three groups was how long the children were able to wait before eating snacks presented to them when the researcher left the room. Those who watched Calliou or drew illustrations waited approximately four minutes, as opposed to those children who watched Spongebob, who waited just two and a half minutes on average.
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers is calling for a reversal of the Obama administration’s “autocratic” policy designed to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants without so much as approval from Congress, saying the President has shown "contempt" for the Constitution and the laws he is sworn to uphold. NAFBPO Chairman and former Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Kent Lundgren went even further. In an exclusive interview with Liberty News Network national correspondent Andy Ramirez, Lundgren said lawlessness from Obama and the Department of Homeland Security needed to be urgently stopped. “We have got to get the American people to look at this administration, rein it in, and say: ‘Hey, there are laws out there, you didn’t make them, you may not like them, but the Constitution says that you shall take care to see that they are executed, and you are not doing that. And listen up, we’re going to change things if you don’t,’” Lundgren said.
On August 31, with job creation grinding to a complete halt, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was asked this question: “Why do you think there have been so many jobs created in the last decade in Texas?” She laughed and said, “Come again.” The questioner rephrased his query, adding a citation: ”The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas estimates about half of the jobs created in the U.S. in the last decade have been created in Texas. Why do you think that is?” Replied Solis, “I haven’t done a lot of research in terms of the economic growth in Texas.” It appears that Labor Secretary Solis had no interest in looking at how a state with 8 percent of the nation’s population had created nearly half of the nation’s new jobs over the past 10 years.
Under the authority of the Department of Justice (DOJ), over the past two years or so the Obama Administration has aggressively targeted pro-life activists and counselors who try to persuade women arriving at abortion clinics from killing their unborn babies. National Public Radio (NPR) reported that under the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), signed into law by President Clinton, “the Justice Department’s civil rights division has filed eight civil cases since the start of the Obama administration. That’s a big increase over the George W. Bush years, when one case was filed in eight years.” Subtly connecting the efforts of peaceful pro-lifers with the violent murder of late-term Wichita abortionist George Tiller by a lone gunman, NPR cited the claims of the National Abortion Federation that major violence against abortionists (which has never risen above isolated incidents — all of them condemned by legitimate pro-life groups) has plummeted over the past two years, thanks, in part, to DOJ diligence in pursuing “anti-abortion” activists.
The debate among Republican presidential candidates at the Reagan Library on Wednesday, Sept. 7th, provided a good deal of political theater. Every word spoken by the candidates, every facial expression, even their body language, enlivened the event. Brian Williams of NBC News and his cohort, John F. Harris, from Politico asked questions calculated to put each candidate on the spot. They especially wanted to pit Mitt Romney against Texas Governor Rick Perry. The result was quite a spirited combat that revealed the differences between the two candidates. Mitt Romney came across to this writer as a moderate Republican offering a good economic plan but not much else. He did not talk of repealing Obamacare, only issuing waivers. Hardly good enough for Tea Partiers. Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul pledged to repeal Obamacare. Perry, however, got hung up on the Social Security issue. Romney pledged to save Social Security and make it better, which is what moderate Republicans always do with liberal programs. Perry called Social Security “a Ponzi scheme,” which sent Williams and Harris into convulsions of disbelief. A Ponzi scheme? It sounded off the wall but was nevertheless true.