Emails released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests (and then lawsuits) from the Media Research Center and Judicial Watch have raised even more questions about how much then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was involved with the proposed ObamaCare legislation. At the time of now-Supreme Court Justice Kagan's Court confirmation hearings, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans asked if she had “ever been asked about [her] opinion” or “offered any view or comments” concerning “the underlying legal or constitutional issued related to any proposed health care legislation, including but not limited to Pub. L. No. 111-148 [ObamaCare], or the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to potential litigation resulting from such legislation.” Kagan's answer was an unqualified “no.”
The newly released emails, however, show that days before the House vote on the healthcare legislation, Kagan was indeed involved in preparing the Department of Justice response to a legal challenge of the bill. This challenge was anticipated by Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation if the bill was passed through a House procedural rule — which would have “deemed” the bill to have passed the House of Representatives, even if its members had never actually voted on its last version.
Responding to criticism of his “nay” vote on a supplemental appropriations bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Sen. John Kerry said in 2004, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” — a statement that came to define the Massachusetts Democrat, then running for President, as a flip-flopper with no convictions.
Eight years later another presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, finds himself in a similar gherkin. Gingrich, it seems, was for the ObamaCare individual mandate before he was against it; and his newfound opposition to the mandate appears to be less a matter of conviction than of political opportunism.
According to CNSNews.com, as far back as 1993 Gingrich was stumping for an individual mandate. Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press in October of that year, then-House Minority Whip Gingrich said: “I am for people, individuals — exactly like automobile insurance — individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.” In other words, if Gingrich had gotten his way, one of the central features of ObamaCare would have been enacted 18 years ago.
Recently, President Obama has come under fire for flip-flopping on the issue of the prosecution of the sale of medicinal marijuana. As a candidate for President in 2007, Senator Barack Obama made the following statements on his position on the use of marijuana in medical treatment and the protection of the right of states to pass laws permitting such use:
The Susan G. Komen Foundation — with B&H Publishing (a division of Lifeway Resources) — has published a theme Bible for cancer awareness. One dollar from the purchase of each Bible — entitled “Here’s Hope, Breast Cancer Awareness Bible” and paperbacked in Komen’s signature pink — will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the most widely known breast cancer organization in the United States. The Bible was released in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Pro-abortion groups expressed their anger over a decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to keep the abortion pill Plan B from being sold over the counter to individuals under 17 years of age. Sebelius’ decision overruled an earlier decision by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which was “preparing to let the pill be sold without a prescription or age limit,” reported the Associated Press. Currently the pill, which pro-life leaders say can cause an abortion in women who have conceived, is only available over-the-counter to women over 17.
Wendy Wright of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute explained that Plan B is really an abortion pill because it stops the implantation of a fertilized egg. “It changes the lining of the uterus so that an embryo can’t implant — or if an embryo is implanted, it can’t survive,” she explained. “So it really should be labeled an abortion drug.”
President Obama, who was behind the override, “said ... it was just common sense to keep girls under the age of 17 from being able to buy a morning-after contraceptive pill off a drugstore shelf,” reported AP. “Citing his own two daughters, Obama said: ‘I think most parents would probably feel the same way.’”
A recent poll reveals that approximately half of Americans are interested in seeing the Transportation Security Administration do away with X-ray body scanners. The survey, conducted by the media group ProPublica, shows that 46 percent of Americans do not believe that the risks associated with the machines outweigh the purported benefits of the machines.
Christmas time approaches, the season for giving, the season when people’s inclination toward charitable acts and other good works reaches its apogee. Preparations for the holiday are well under way, and at shopping centers and street corners everywhere, one sees those red kettles, a veritable symbol of the season, almost as ubiquitous as Christmas trees, holly, and colored lights. Christmas engenders a unique spirit in our hearts. As the great American author and essayist Washington Irving said, “Christmas is a season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.”
Americans are renown for their charitable giving. They support a vast network of charitable organizations, having given $290.89 billion in 2010. Additionally, 63.4 million Americans have practiced another form of charity by volunteering 8.1 billion hours of their time to help fellow Americans in need or improve their communities. It is estimated that the dollar value of that volunteer work is $169 billion. Americans are indeed a generous people. Moreover, Americans have been generous to those in need since the first settlers arrived on these shores.
Those English men and women who first arrived in the New World were confronted by difficulties few of them could have imagined when they left the country of their birth. In those early years, harshness of weather, crop failures, and outbreaks of disease often decimated the colonists, huddled in their tiny beachheads on the east coast of the strange new continent. They endured these rigors through extreme hard work and through close fellowship.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column titled "Free to Die" (9/15/2011), pointed out that back in 1980, his late fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman lent his voice to the nation's shift to the political right in his famous 10-part TV series, "Free To Choose." Nowadays, Krugman says, "'free to choose' has become 'free to die.'" He was referring to a GOP presidential debate in which Rep. Ron Paul was asked what should be done if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Paul correctly, but politically incorrectly, replied, "That's what freedom is all about — taking your own risks." CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer pressed his question further, asking whether "society should just let him die." The crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of "Yeah!", which led Krugman to conclude that "American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions." Professor Krugman is absolutely right; our nation is faced with a conflict of moral visions. Let's look at it.
If a person without health insurance finds himself in need of costly medical care, let's investigate just how might that care be provided.
Last month, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker angered his supporters by signing an emergency rule to implement ObamaCare in the state. After the harsh public outcry, however, Walker has now withdrawn the emergency rule.
Originally, the Governor sought to implement ObamaCare in his state by way of Assembly Bill 210, which was sponsored by a Republican and which was easily passed on October 18 by 57-39 in the Republican-controlled Assembly. Next, Senator Frank Lasee made the dramatic announcement on November 1 that he, as Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, was killing AB 210 by letting it die in his committee. In response, Walker then approved an emergency rule that bypassed the state legislature, accomplished the same purpose as AB 210, and thereby brought Wisconsin statutes into compliance with ObamaCare law.
Complicating this controversy over Walker's initial approval of an emergency rule is a second controversy over whether the governor should return $49 million in federal "Early Innovator" funds that were given to Wisconsin for the purpose of establishing a state healthcare exchange in accordance with ObamaCare law.
The New American’s Alex Newman observed that Scott Walker was the first Republican Governor in the United States to have “kept the ObamaCare funds.”
In a statement released on November 14, Senator Frank Lasee asserted,
My office reached out to Gov. Walker approximately two weeks ago in a sincere effort to discuss the many reasons for killing AB 210. 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.
Here’s a story that’ll tickle your McRibs. On December 1 a law seemingly banning McDonald’s Happy Meals went into effect in San Francisco. The “Healthy Meal Incentives Ordinance” prohibits restaurants from giving away toys with meals that do not meet with the city’s approval — namely, meals with too many calories, too much salt or fat, or insufficient fruits and vegetables. Just a few days before the ordinance took effect, SF Weekly reports, McDonald’s announced it had found a simple way around the statute: Charge customers extra for the toys.
Now in order to obtain a Happy Meal toy, parents will first have to buy the meal and then pay an additional 10 cents, which will be considered a donation to Ronald McDonald House charities. With Burger King’s announcement that it will implement a similar policy, the Happy Meal ban has thus effectively been neutralized.
However, for the nanny-state types who thought they were protecting children from dangerous fast food, there is even worse news. Prior to December 1, McDonald’s stores in San Francisco actually allowed patrons to purchase a Happy Meal toy by itself for $2.18 rather than having to buy the meal to obtain the toy. Now that the Golden Arches are going to charge extra for the toys, they are discontinuing the toy-only policy. Henceforth, any parent wishing to purchase a Happy Meal toy for a child will be forced to buy the meal, too. This, the Independent Institute’s Anthony Gregory points out, is “another unintended consequence of a bad law, since now, on the margin, customers will sometimes opt to buy the greasy food targeted by the law just so they can get the toy, when before they would have not bought the food.”