Over 40 percent of all the money the administration claimed it would save by enacting ObamaCare just vanished when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius cancelled the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program on Friday, October 14.
The program, which would have paid at least $50 a day for long-term in-home care for enrolled persons, was clearly in trouble when the Obama administration closed the CLASS office and requested that its budget be eliminated. Although the administration denied that CLASS was in danger, it stated: “A CLASS program will only be implemented if it is fiscally solvent, self-sustaining and consistent with the statute.”
The statute requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to certify that CLASS will be actuarially solvent for 75 years before initiating the program. Sebelius found that she could not do so, writing in a letter to Congress: “Despite our best analytical efforts, I do not see a viable path forward for CLASS implementation at this time.”
The problem is that an enrollee has to pay (relatively low) premiums for only five years before becoming eligible for full benefits, but the benefits themselves have no time limit.
A Christian school in suburban Chicago was vandalized on the morning of October 15, just hours before it hosted an event sponsored by the pro-family group Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH). According to one local news report, when administrators for Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights arrived at the facility, “they discovered a number of broken windows and door panes on the east side of the building, which were shattered by bricks, Arlington Heights Police Capt. Nicholas Pecora said.”
While it is not clear exactly who was responsible for the vandalism, the report continued, a note was attached to one of the bricks “which referenced speakers scheduled for a Saturday night banquet at the school, said the Rev. Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty. The note read, ‘This is just a sample of what we will do if you don’t shut down Scott Lively and AFTAH,’ Lindstrom said.”
The banquet, which was not canceled, featured noted Christian speaker and author Erwin Lutzer, pastor of Chicago’s famed Moody Church, along with Scott Lively of Defending the Family International, who was honored by Americans for Truth with its annual “American Truthteller” award.
In an effort to "better accommodate transgender students," the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) is flirting with a new campus experiment to accept co-ed dorm room assignments from students who would prefer to live with members of the opposite sex. If approved, the "gender-inclusive housing" policy could go into effect as early as next year, allowing students to request co-ed roommates for the 2012 academic year.
Last year, the Undergraduate Students Association Council proposed the policy change to the school’s On Campus Housing Council, and the OCHC happily advised Housing Services to research the idea. Housing Services answered willingly and approved one request this year as a pilot for the student council’s request.
Patrick Malkoun, a homosexual student at UCLA, has been a vigilant supporter of the policy change, suggesting that it would alleviate stress for gay students by allowing them to room with female students — which, he claims, would avoid the impending potential for "homophobia." "Living with someone that isn’t gay can be like living with a hot pink elephant in the room," he said. Malkoun’s roommate was evicted last year, so he had to find someone else to live with. He asked a close friend, a female Design/Media Arts major, also gay, to move in with him. Malkoun and his friend submitted their appeal to Housing Services but their request was denied a few days later, as Housing Services notified them that UCLA’s policy allows only single-sex housing.
A New Jersey school teacher has found herself in hot water for using her Facebook page to express her moral outrage over the normalization of homosexuality. As reported by the New York Times, Viki Knox, a special education teacher at Union High School in Union Township, used Facebook to complain about a school display recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History month, writing that “homosexuality is a perverted spirit that has existed from the beginning of creation.”
The Times reported that, after telling a friend that she was “pitching a fit” about the display, which included photos of such famed individuals as author Virginia Woolf, former San Francisco politician Harvey Milk, and actor Neil Patrick Harris, Knox “defended her views in lengthy exchanges with other Facebook users, referring at times to God and her Christian beliefs.” Knox’s Facebook page has since been removed from public view.
According to the Times, “Knox wrote that while she had friends and loved ones who were gay, she believed that the way they lived was ‘against the nature and character of God’ and that the high school was ‘not the setting to promote, encourage, support and foster homosexuality.’”
When a Union Township resident challenged Knox’s Facebook comments, the teacher responded:
The U.S. government's Operation Fast and Furious was a plot to subvert gun rights in America, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre charged October 14 in an interview with Newsmax.TV. “It’s the only thing that makes any sense,” LaPierre said of the gunrunning "sting" operation that resulted in thousands of U.S.-purchased firearms ending up in the hands of violent Mexican drug traffickers. LaPierre noted that "over a period of two or three years they were running thousands and thousands of guns to the most evil people on earth,” while government officials were claiming that 90 percent of the guns used by the Mexican cartels were coming from the United States. However, said LaPierre:
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and ActionAid USA decided to mark World Food Day on Sunday, October 16, by submitting (three days earlier) a formal complaint against Obama's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The organizations blame EPA's ethanol and biofuel programs for driving up global food prices by diverting important grains from food supplies, thereby exacerbating hunger and starvation worldwide.
CEI and ActionAid filed their complaint under the federal Data Quality Act, claiming that EPA glossed over the negative human and economic impacts of its recent biofuel regulations. In fact, the complaint points out that EPA's published analysis of its ethanol mandates does not even mention resulting hunger and starvation. Moreover, the claimants attest the analysis erroneously minimizes the mandates' economic impacts.
For example, EPA predicted a decrease in world food consumption of only 0.04 percent and "a relatively modest increase in annual household food costs associated with the higher prices commanded by corn and soybeans." Yet the complaint cites a peer-reviewed study published earlier this year that found EPA's biofuel mandates have severely aggravated chronic hunger and poverty in poor areas.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is no stranger to controversy. The protests have drawn extremists and radicals of various stripes, from labor union members, to far-left Democrats, and members of various communist and socialist movements. As reported earlier by The New American, the movement has even been home to several high-profile anti-Semites, who, like their statist intellectual heroes Marx, Keynes, and Proudhon, blame their woes on perceived Jewish involvement in free-market capitalism. However, an analysis of the movement also reveals deep-seated connections between its Marxist members and radical Islamist groups, a classical example of the Islamo-Communist connection identified on many occasions as fueling the “Arab Spring” protests.
The organizers of the protests are the first to admit that they are directly inspired by the protests raging across the Arab world, which began last winter in Cairo, Egypt’s Tahrir Square, and are informed by the “revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends.” Protesters are told to “Stand, Walk, and Unite like Egyptians,” and are told to wait for their “Tahrir moment.” Just as the protests in Egypt and elsewhere across the Middle East are orchestrated by the collusion of various Leninist, Trotskyite, and socialist parties with the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, their American incarnation also involves the radical left collaborating with various Islamist subversives.
Talk about Big Nanny government running amok! All across the country, children are being told that their lemonade stands are against the law. And not just lemonade stands, but sales of Girl Scout cookies and Japanese green tea have also been declared enemies of the State.
I kid you not. In community after community, these budding entrepreneurs are being told to pack it up and scoot before they’re charged with various violations. In some instances, in fact, fines have been levied.
I’m beholden to the Freedom Center of Missouri, a relatively new public policy group in the Show Me state, for documenting the following list of outrages. Please note that all of these occurred this year. Such crackdowns are becoming more and more common.
Aug. 6: Massachusetts State police shut down the stand of a 12-year-old refugee from Fukushima, Japan, who was selling green tea he brought with him when he and his family evacuated after the tsunami.
Aug. 1: Police officers in Coralville, Iowa, ordered at least three sets of children to quit selling lemonade during the "Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa" unless they first got a vendor’s permit and a health inspection. This is the first known example of a coordinated set of shutdowns at a single time.