Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ann Telnaes Joins Line of Cartoonists Who Like to Caricature Republicans as Monkeys

Ann Telnaes
Fifty-five year old political cartoonist Ann Telnaes is in the line of cartoonists who like to caricature Republicans as monkeys.

Among the first was a Richmond cartoonist (thought to be David Strother) who in 1863 published this cartoon of Abraham Lincoln.

Strother was a little classier than Telnaes as he pictured Lincoln himself as the monkey.

Modern cartoonist Telnaes slips lower in making the little five and seven year old daughters of Ted Cruz monkeys.

As far as I know no Civil War political cartoonist pictured Lincoln's children as monkeys--not even in the darkest days of the Confederacy. They had a dash of decency.

Friday, December 11, 2015

We Already Have a President Who Wants to Take Away Constitutional Rights; But No Media Outrage

From the Los Angeles Times:
It seems simple enough: If the federal government, based on intelligence or policing, puts a person on its watch list of suspected terrorists or decrees that he or she is too dangerous to be allowed on an airplane, then surely it would also be foolish to let that person buy a firearm in the United States. Makes sense, doesn't it?
That was the thrust of a proposed law by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that her Senate colleagues rejected last week amid much political furor. The idea was resuscitated by President Obama in his Oval Office address Sunday evening. "What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon?" the president asked.
When he puts it that way, it does sound pretty stupid. But, in fact, there are several strong arguments against the proposal.
One problem is that the people on the no-fly list (as well as the broader terror watch list from which it is drawn) have not been convicted of doing anything wrong. They are merely suspected of having terror connections. And the United States doesn't generally punish or penalize people unless and until they have been charged and convicted of a crime. In this case, the government would be infringing on a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — and yes, like it or not, the right to buy a gun is a constitutional right according to the U.S. Supreme Court. [emphasis added] 
The LA Times says that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms would be violated here. But, more than that Constitutional right would be taken away.

How about Fifth Amendment right to not "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"?

Or Sixth Amendment rights
1. to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed
2. to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
3. to be confronted with the witnesses against him
4. to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor
5. to have the assistance of counsel for his defense

If a person can lose Constitutional rights just by being put on a Federal list, without a trial or proof given or ability to confront their accusers, many Constitutional rights have already been taken away. No need for Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. The government assumes evidence. No need for Fifth Amendment protection from forced self-incrimination. The government assumes incrimination . Obviously no need for trial by jury or any of the process of defense that goes with it. Placement on the list is all that is needed.

The New York Sun has a great tongue-in-cheek editorial on taking one, two or many Bill of Rights protections away.
Fie on the Eighth Amendment. Fie on the Ninth and Tenth. Fie on the whole idea of the Bill of Rights. What good is it if the government can stick a person on a Watch List without a trial and then suspend their rights? If the President wants to suspend the Second Amendment, the logic is to suspend them all.


Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Marco Rubio Outsmarts Obama Administration; Oregon Health Insurers Face Heavy Losses

Update: Senator Rubio was not a major or even an important player in this. The real heroes are Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and then-Representative Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).
_______

Senator Marco Rubio added a provision to last year's spending law that requires all payments to overspending Obamacare health insurers come from money other health insurers pay in for not spending as much as they thought they would rather than from taxpayers.

The risk corridors program takes from health insurers who spend less than 97% of what they thought they would spend on "allowable costs" and gives that to health insurers who spend more than 103% of what they thought they would spend on "allowable costs".

The Obama administration assumed that insurers would make enough money with young, healthy people forced by law to pay for health care they previously did not buy to cover the influx of previously uninsured sick people. To assure this outcome they enrolled millions of people in "free" Medicaid plans funded by taking more than half a trillion dollars from Medicare.

That hasn't worked. At least the amount healthy people have paid in has not offset the amount insurers have had to pay out. In fact, the balance is so skewed that about 2/3rds of insurers are asking for $2.9 billion in help to make up for losses.

From the New York Times:
A little-noticed health care provision that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida slipped into a giant spending law last year has tangled up the Obama administration, sent tremors through health insurance markets and rattled confidence in the durability of President Obama’s signature health law.
. . .
Mr. Rubio’s efforts against the so-called risk corridor provision of the health law has hardly risen to the forefront of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, but his plan limiting how much the government can spend to protect insurance companies against financial losses has shown the effectiveness of quiet legislative sabotage. 
The risk corridors were intended to help some insurance companies if they ended up with too many new sick people on their rolls and too little cash from premiums to cover their medical bills in the first three years under the health law. But because of Mr. Rubio’s efforts, the administration says it will pay only 13 percent of what insurance companies were expecting to receive this year. The payments were supposed to help insurers cope with the risks they assumed when they decided to participate in the law’s new insurance marketplaces.
The Obama administration didn't try to stop Rubio's funding limitation because Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials believed its own promises. HHS really thought that lots more money would roll in from healthy people than would go out for sick people. Profits seemed especially likely considering the high co-pays, massive deductibles and big out-of-pocket payments Obamacare allowed. All those didn't make more than a 13%  ($362 million) dent in the $2.9 billion subsidy need. It just shows that what you believe to be true can blind you to the realities you are really facing.

Kind of funny is the complaint from an Oregon insurer forced out of business:
“Risk corridors have become a political football,” said Dawn H. Bonder, the president and chief executive of Health Republic of Oregon, an insurance co-op that announced in October it would close its doors after learning that it would receive only $995,000 of the $7.9 million it had expected from the government. “We were stable, had a growing membership and could have been successful if we had received those payments. We relied on the payments in pricing our plans, but the government reneged on its promise. I am disgusted.”
Funny, first of all because Health Republic of Oregon got a $59 million dollar interest free loan from the federal government for its start up. Guess that won't be paid back.

Second, before Ms. Bonder was disgusted with government reneging on its promise, millions of Americans were disgusted by President Obama not keeping his promise that "if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan", not to mention that each family would see a drop in health insurance premiums of up to $2,500 per year. Actually, Ms. Bonder was a part of reneging on those two promises to the American public. Her co-op didn't offer family plans $2,500 less than the previous average despite receiving $59 million in interest free dollars. Nor, of course, did Health Republic of Oregon offer plans that would allow people who liked their previous plans to buy a similar plan through Health Republic of Oregon.

Health Republic of Oregon was one of seven Oregon health insurers to ask for a reimbursement. Only Providence, Bridgespan, Kaiser, and Trillium* paid less out than they thought and will have to pay for doing that. Oregon's stats: 10 health insurers, losing $107.5 million, with $1.1 million coming in from 5 insurers to cover that.
source: https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Premium-Stabilization-Programs/Downloads/RC-Issuer-level-Report.pdf
_____
*Community Care of Oregon has to pay $53,500 for its small group care plans, but that was dwarfed by its $1.5 million loss in individual plans.

H/T Byron YorkAmerican Thinker and Health Affairs Blog


Monday, December 07, 2015

Pearl Harbor and FDR

Some things bear repeating. Reposted from December 7, 2011.

photo from Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library
December 7, 1941, is a day that will live in infamy, and a large part of its living on in the American memory is due to the spectacular war time leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Though my parents changed early on from Democrat to conservative Republican, they still revere Franklin Roosevelt. Not for his domestic policies but for his ability to galvanize and lead the country in time of war.

My dad served in the Pacific theater in World War II. America lost over 400,000 men with another 600,000 wounded in World War II. My mom, on the home front, suffered not only the anxiety of her young husband going off to war but a stiff rationing program endured by the entire nation for more than four years.


Yet from December 7, 1941, to his death on April 12, 1945, President Roosevelt rallied the country to overcome economic and military obstacles in pursuit not only of military victory, but an "unconditional surrender" victory in a two front war in which military service was not for a fixed time period but for the duration plus six months.

The nation also peacefully accepted the "relocation" of nearly 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese to internment camps by executive order--with no civil or political rebellion. Though this proved an unnecessary precaution, it is a token of Roosevelt's ability to unite the nation to all out war at whatever cost.

The national unity and resolve that Roosevelt inspired is breathtaking in light of the civil and political opposition against every significant U.S. war since World War II, especially the war in Vietnam. This despite the fact that none of the succeeding wars have incurred anywhere near the losses in terms of military casualties and home front sacrifices of World War II.

Franklin Roosevelt, like Winston Churchill, was an extraordinary war time leader. Churchill gave the British spine to resist and fight when their homeland was daily under attack. Roosevelt gave Americans a resolve to fight, sacrifice and die in the hundreds of thousands even when their homeland was not under attack after Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor, a surprise attack American loss matched only by 9/11, stands as a monument to the greatness of the American people to turn an unprovoked attack into a complete military victory in African, European and Pacific theaters of war and as a monument to the outstanding war time leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Jake Tapper Mocks Politico

Politico has a 34(!) paragraph story about Senator Marco Rubio's "water thing"--needing water when he speaks. As if it's something newsworthy. Jake Tapper had the perfect tongue in cheek response:


Sunday, December 06, 2015

Republican Establishment the Party's Least Bright Wing?

Remember the handwringing when conservatives* didn't turn out to support Mitt Romney? What if, instead of just staying home, they had said they would vote for Barack Obama if Romney were nominated?

Well, Mike Fernandez, a billionaire Jeb Bush donor, has said he will vote for Hillary over Donald Trump.
"She's the lesser of two evils," Florida healthcare billionaire Mike Fernandez told the Miami Herald.
"If I have a choice — and you can put it in bold — if I have a choice between Trump and Hillary Clinton, I'm choosing Hillary," Fernanedez said. "You have no idea how furious I am with my friends in the Republican Party who have embraced this guy."
"My frustration is really with that sector of Republican voters that are so blinded by the demagoguery," he said.
Not too far behind is the Conservative Establishment. Bill Kristol, head man at the Weekly Standard, has said on ABC's This Week television show: "I have come to loathe Donald Trump."

If these aren't as good as enemies to the Republican party, they are certainly among it's least bright members**.

As Sarah Palin said about Chris Christie in 2012:
“I do care to take him to task — poor Chris. This was a rookie mistake. He played right into the media’s hands. Here’s a host that asked Chris, ‘Does Newt embarrass the party.’ I think he asked him twice, and there Chris played right into it and spewed that about Newt embarrassing the party. Sometimes if your candidate loses in just one step along this path, as was the case when Romney lost to Newt the other night and of course, Romney is Chris Christie’s guy, you kind of get your panties in a wad and you may say things that you regret later. And I think that that’s what Chris Christie did. His response to what the media was asking him was reflective of a lack of self-discipline. I’ve learned my lessons all along the way, too, and not responding, not playing into the media’s hands when they’re trying to get you to say something like is this candidate an embarrassment to your party?”
. . .
“He just produced an ad for the Democrats. If Newt is the nominee, he just handed them free this negative PR ad that they’re going to incorporate into their negative scenario against somebody who came out there against HillaryCare back in his day, who came out balancing budgets, working with a Democrat governor, who came out cutting taxes and trying to rein in government growth in order to put the country on the right track back then, and has intentions of doing that today.”
Mike Fernandez and Bill Kristol have just created a "free . . . negative PR ad" for the Democrats. Guys, that's not too bright.
____
*Some are now challenging that conservative voters stayed home in 2012. Maybe a better formulation is that Obama managed to get liberals to turn out in higher numbers in 2012 than turned out in 2008 or 2004 and Romney didn't get conservatives to turn out in equally higher numbers.

The "missing" conservative voters were actually the "not found" conservative voters.

Romney actually won Independent voters (50% to Obama's 45%) putting to rest the old canard that he who wins the independents will win the election. But Romney's conservative voters were only up 1% from 2008 (35% vs 34% in 2008), whereas Obama's liberal voters were up 3% (25% vs 22% in 2008). Not to mention that 86% of liberals voters voted for Obama while only 82% of conservative voters voted for Romney. Obama found and won more liberal voters than Romney found and won conservative voters.



**Along with Gov. John Kasich, who apparently thinks not affirming that he will keep his promises on presidential politics will inspire people to trust him on other issues.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Trump, Politics and Civility

The harumph over Donald Trump's mocking of a reporter's disability* has brought the issue of civility in politics to the fore.

Certainly every person with compassion disapproves of such mocking. The problem is that in current politics only one side is held to account for such mocking.

Jeffrey Lord points out that the Obama campaign mocked John McCain's disability of not being able to use a keyboard (because of his war time injuries). No outrage. Not even a sniffle from mainstream media.

I don't like Trump's kind of talk. But, when many politicians (especially Democrats) are doing kickboxing politics, it's a little late to faint when Republicans politicians don't follow Marquess of Queensberry rules.

Hillary Clinton has compared Republican presidential candidates to terrorists.

President Obama is allowed to say what he thinks about Republicans (they are like Iranian hardliners; they are not American).

When a food fight is already going on, it's ridiculous to single out some people for participating when other people have been given the green light for a long time.
-----
*The Washington Post also says Trump boasted of having one of the "all-time great memories" and yet denied personally knowing the reporter. Hmm. I don't remember the Washington Post implying anything personally negative about President Obama's memory or claims to be at least up to average intelligence when Obama wrote 2008 as the year of his 2011 visit to Westminster Abbey in their guestbook. It was just a "goof". And they didn't even report on President Obama thanking himself in 2009 in a teleprompter "goof".  And then there's Obama's 57 (U.S.) states error only commented on by the New York Times three years after it was made--couldn't find a Washington Post story on that. Some people get called to account for faulty memories. Others--not so much.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

FDR's Thanksgiving Day Prayer

THANKSGIVING DAY - 1940

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - A PROCLAMATION

I, FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, the twenty-first day of November 1940, to be observed nationally as a day of thanksgiving.

In a year which has seen calamity and sorrow fall upon many peoples elsewhere in the world may we give thanks for our preservation.

On the same day, in the same hour, let us pray:

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; Amen.

 From: Pilgrim Hall Museum

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Christianity Today Asks and Answers Unhelpful Questions

Just came across a promo from Christianity Today to read (partially) this article:  How 1,000 Women Who Aborted Feel About the Local Church.

One surmises* that the gist of the article is that most women don't consult their local church about getting an abortion because they expect a negative response.  Duh.

How many who divorce, smoke pot or cigarettes, don't give much to charity, gossip, overeat or swear consult their local church about the practice or expect a positive response from their local church?

Should the church show a more caring face for all bad habits/sins? Probably Christianity Today would say no. One thinks rape, murder, child molestation and on the lighter side probably cigarette smoking, anti-vaccination, littering and causing global warming would receive a clear negative response.

But, there are some habits/sins that are viewed as culturally difficult by Christianity Today so they get a pass, or at least some writers Christianity Today publishes believe leeway should be given.

The real issue is how to separate one's response to the sin from one's response to the sinner. That's always an important question. Response to one particular sin as opposed to all sins says more about personal or cultural preference rather than about what is eternally true, right and good.

This is another reason why we stopped subscribing to Christianity Today decades ago.
____

*I say "surmises" because the article is behind a pay wall and not worth paying for to resolve doubts.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Obamacare in Trouble: Can Only Reimburse Insurers for 12.6% of Losses; Only 35% of Eligibles for Subsidies Signing Up

The Washington Examiner has two good articles today on crucial problems for Obamacare.

The first relates to health insurance companies pulling out of the Obamacare market. The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth Group announced yesterday that it may be leaving the "public exchange markets" (i.e., Obamacare). Not only is UnitedHealth Group impacted adversely but other insurers are also only being reimbursed 12.6 cents on the dollar for losses.
Now that insurers have been able to look at medical claims, what they've found is that enrollees in Obamacare are disproportionately sicker, and losses are piling up. For the 2014 benefit year, insurers losing more than expected asked for $2.87 billion in government payments through the risk corridors program, but HHS only collected $362 million from insurers performing better than expected. Thus, the funds available to the federal government only amounts to 12.6 percent of what insurers argue that they're owed.
The second relates to way too few people (including only about 35% of those eligible for subsidies) signing up for Obamacare. It's just too expensive even with subsidies.
A study published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in October found that about 24 million Americans are eligible for tax credits — subsidies — to buy insurance through Obamacare. This year, about 10 million of them selected plans, with about 8.6 million actually paying the money and enrolling.
That's an enrollment rate of about 35 percent of those eligible for subsidies. Think about it: Only one in three people is signing up for Obamacare even if the government gives them money to help pay for it. It's a rate below what is necessary for Obamacare to survive in the long run.
Remember that Obamacare's authors stressed it wasn't just a program for the poor, that subsidies would be provided for families with yearly incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level — that is, up to $47,080 for an individual or $97,000 for a family of four.
It's not working out that way. The Johnson Foundation found that while a lot of people with incomes below 200 percent of poverty — that is, an individual below $23,540 a year or a family of four below $48,500 — selected a subsidized Obamacare plan, very few people with incomes above that did. 
http://healthpolicyandmarket.blogspot.com/2015/11/unitedhealth-group-losing-big-money-and.html
MaxRedline has been keeping up on this. Here's a link to just one of his posts.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Oregonian 2015 Circulation Continues Drop

Oregonian Paid Daily Circulation for September
from Statement of Ownership reports
Update: 2016 circulation news here.

On October 1, 2013, the Oregonian went to a four day a week delivery of its print newspaper. It has not worked out well for paid circulation.

By September of 2014 its paid daily circulation had dropped to 163,635 almost 18% off its 2013 pre-four day delivery paid daily circulation of 203,051.

That pattern has continued into 2015. The September 2015 report published Friday on page A4 of the Oregonian shows that paid daily circulation has dropped another 19% in a year to 121,573.

That's almost a 45% loss in paid daily (Friday) print circulation in just three years from September 2012 to September 2015.

The Oregonian already was in a slide. From 2012 to 2013, the newspaper lost 7.7% in paid daily print circulation going from 219,997 to 203,051. But, the decrease has accelerated with four day delivery.

These figures do not include digital paid daily circulation, but up to the time the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) stopped giving circulation figures, the Oregonian was not doing well on digital circulation. The September 2012 digital circulation figure was 17,323 out of a total AAM circulation figure of 228,599. (The AAM figure is almost 9,000 higher than the Statement of Ownership report cited above for 2012 because it used different metrics than Statement of Ownership information required by Federal law for any publication that uses the U.S. Postal Service special rates.)

Here are the September Statement of Ownership reports for the Oregonian from 2012 to 2015:

Friday print paid circulation:
2012 - 219,997
2013 - 203,051
2014 - 163,635
2015 - 121,573

Sunday print paid circulation:
2014 - 203,031
2015 - 167,458

Using AAM metrics here are Oregonian September daily circulation figures:
2000 - 348,468
2005 - 333,515
2010 - 239,071

President George W. Bush Won't Criticize Obama, But Disses Cruz; Cruz Stays Classy


Sen. Ted Cruz - Nov. 2015
Pres. George W. Bush - Nov. 2014
If reports are true (and President Bush's spokesman did not deny that disparaging remarks were made), President George W. Bush claimed he doesn't "like" presidential candidate Ted Cruz. 
Former President George W. Bush reportedly ripped into Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at a weekend gathering of donors to his brother's presidential campaign, according to a published report Monday.
Politico reported that Bush said of Cruz, "I just don't like the guy," at the event, which was held Sunday night in Denver. 
According to the report, which cited at least six donors who were at the event, Bush said he did not like Cruz's de facto alliance with Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who has notably spared Cruz from the criticism he has ladled onto other members of the 15-candidate Republican field. 
"He said he found it 'opportunistic' that Cruz was sucking up to Trump and just expecting all of his support to come to him in the end," one donor told Politico when asked to describe Bush's remarks about Cruz. The report added that the former president had been engaging with amiable discussions about the state of the GOP race when Cruz's name came up.
This is the same President who has not said a negative word about President Barack Obama since Obama's election in 2008 out of a sense of what's best for the presidency and the country. But, one of the top five candidates for his own party's presidential nomination is fair game for criticism on such a trivial issue (not publicly clashing with another Republican candidate) in such a petty way (I don't like him)? Sad.

How politically unusual such a negative comment was can be gauged by the reaction of one of the donors present at the meeting.
"I was like, 'Holy s---, did he just say that?'" the donor told Politico. "I remember looking around and seeing that other people were also looking around surprised."
To his credit, Ted Cruz showed real class in responding that he "will always be grateful" to President Bush.
Cruz, in a written statement put out by the campaign on Tuesday, said he would not be "reciprocating" after the comments.

"I have great respect for George W. Bush, and was proud to work on his 2000 campaign and in his administration," he said in the statement. "It's no surprise that President Bush is supporting his brother and attacking the candidates he believes pose a threat to his campaign. I have no intention of reciprocating. I met my wife Heidi working on his campaign, and so I will always be grateful to him."
Poor President Bush. He strains at a gnat* in not wanting to appear to criticize President Obama on Iran and ISIS policy just last April and swallows a camel in criticizing Cruz for being "opportunistic" in not clashing with Donald Trump.
_____
*Matthew 23:24

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Ideas that Need More Thought: Support the Republican Speaker Nominee or Be "Ostracized"

Apparently some Republicans in the House think it would help Republican unity to "ostracize" all Republicans who don't vote for the majority candidate for Speaker (and other positions?). From Pete Kasperowicz
House Republicans are considering a change to House rules that would force GOP lawmakers to either vote for the new House speaker nominee, or be "ostracized" from the Republican Party and lose all committee assignments. 
Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., said on C-SPAN that the idea behind this possible rule change is to force Republicans to unite around one leader, and end the squabbling that has divided the party for the last few years. 
"There may also be a rule change proposed that says if you don't support the nominee of the conference on the floor of the House, that you will be ostracized, or otherwise removed from the conference, and your committee assignments may be taken away," he said.
The fear is that there will not be 218 votes to elect a Speaker.

Hmm. The Republicans now have 247 members in their caucus. They are afraid of losing 30 in the vote for Speaker. That same 30 means the difference between controlling the House or not.  If you need 30 for a majority, how smart is it to antagonize them? And push them out of your conference?

And what does it do to committee assignments? Do Republicans just give up their members on some committees so they no longer have the majority. Not smart. Or dole out the assignments of the 30 among the 217? As though the current committees are getting necessary work done.

Rep. Ross argues for open process in presenting bills in the House. But he seems not to have the same open process view as regards leadership positions. Sounds like his position needs some fine tuning to be consistent.

See the CSPAN video of the interview with Rep. Ross. About the 27:00 mark is where he talks about the possible rule changes.

H/T Byron York

Monday, October 05, 2015

How You Can Tell Real Conservatives in the Senate

On September 30th the Senate voted to continue funding the federal government at current levels through December 11th. The vote was 78 to 20 with 2 not voting.

Here are the list of Republican Senators currently running for president:

Ted Cruz
Lindsey Graham
Rand Paul
Marco Rubio

Only two senators did not vote. Interestingly they were both Republicans and both running for president: Senators Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio. Hmm.

The other two Republican senators running for president voted against current funding levels: Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. They backed up their current campaign pledges to cut the federal budget with this vote.

A lot of supposedly conservative Senators not running for president voted for the current budget to be continued. (see list below)

Of course the bill has a title that would lead you to believe it has nothing to do with the budget: H.R. 719 (TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act of 2015), A bill to require the Transportation Security Administration to conform to existing Federal law and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions, and for other purposes. So much for Congress hiding their votes.

Here are the 20 Republican senators who voted against the bill:

Blunt, Mo.; Boozman, Ark.; Burr, N.C.; Coats, Ind.; Cotton, Ark.; Crapo, Idaho; Cruz, Texas; Heller, Nev.; Inhofe, Okla.; Lankford, Okla.; Lee, Utah; Moran, Kan.; Paul, Ky.; Risch, Idaho; Sasse, Neb.; Scott, S.C.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Toomey, Pa.; Vitter, La.

Here are the 32 Republican senators who voted for current funding to be continued:

Alexander, Tenn.; Ayotte, N.H.; Barrasso, Wyo.; Capito, W.V.; Cassidy, La.; Cochran, Miss.; Collins, Maine; Corker, Tenn.; Cornyn, Texas; Daines, Mont.; Enzi, Wyo.; Ernst, Iowa; Fischer, Neb.; Flake, Ariz.; Gardner, Colo.; Grassley, Iowa; Hatch, Utah; Hoeven, N.D.; Isakson, Ga.; Johnson, Wis.; Kirk, Ill.; McCain, Ariz.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski, Alaska; Perdue, Ga.; Portman, Ohio; Roberts, Kan.; Rounds, S.D.; Sullivan, Alaska; Thune, S.D.; Tillis, N.C.; Wicker, Miss.

So, of 54 Republicans in the U.S. Senate, 32 voted to continue budget spending as is, 20 voted against the current budget, and 2 didn't vote.

These 32 Republican senators are the same people who in their election campaigns rail against current federal spending that grows the national debt by $1.9 billion per day. So, this vote is a nice little cheat sheet for who stands behind their campaign pledges and votes for fiscal sanity.

When I got an email or regular mail solicitation from one of these asking for my support for their "conservative" agenda, I plan to bring up this vote as my response.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Senate and House Pass Change to Obamacare

From Caitlin Owens of The National Journal:
The Sen­ate quietly passed a bill that would over­turn the Af­ford­able Care Act’s ex­pan­sion of the small-group in­sur­ance mar­ket on Thursday—and it did so with sur­pris­ingly little fan­fare.
The le­gis­la­tion, passed by voice vote, gets rid of the ACA’s re­quire­ment that states in­crease the defin­i­tion of their small-group mar­ket from em­ploy­ers with 50 or few­er em­ploy­ees to 100 or few­er by Jan. 1, 2016. The change would have sub­jec­ted many small and mid­sized busi­nesses to dif­fer­ent rules. Among those was the re­quire­ment for cer­tain es­sen­tial health be­ne­fits to be covered, which is not re­quired in the large-group mar­ket.
The House passed the bill by a voice vote on Monday.
A little common sense from Congress. Let's hope President Obama has enough sense to agree. Bets on whether this will be ignored by the press and not commented on by the President?

H/T Byron York

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Germany Struggling with Prospect of 800,000 Refugees This Year

From the Washington Post:
BERLIN — Bracing for at least 800,000 asylum seekers this year — more than any other nation in Europe — Germany is rolling out one of the region’s largest emergency responses since World War II. Yet as it scrambles to shelter the refugees in tent cities, at sports centers and even on the grounds of a former Nazi labor camp, a nation known for its efficiency is struggling to absorb them.
Outside the main refugee processing center in Berlin, for instance, asylum seekers are caught in a bureaucratic hell. Dozens are camping out on cold sidewalks — some for weeks — as they wait for their numbers to flash on a screen inside to secure temporary housing. But each day, it’s a crapshoot. At closing time on a recent afternoon, hundreds of asylum seekers were left empty-handed, including Ahmed Hamadich, 27, who walked toward his blanket for another night outdoors.
. . .
The national and local governments are racing to hire thousands of new police officers and bureaucrats to manage refugees. Schools, meanwhile, are desperately looking for new teachers to help with an estimated 300,000 new students. Irina Wissmann, principal at Berlin’s An der Bäke Elementary School, said none of the 300 qualified instructors provided to her in a list by city officials were available to work. She said that with 20 new refugee students already and double that number expected by year’s end, she is afraid of surging class sizes as well as issues with traumatized children.


Some ironies here. Germany hasn't helped a whit with problems festering in the Middle East. It has been content to depend on the U.S. paying for its defense*. So, taking responsibility for helping refugees sounds pretty fair.

As for schools, Germany has imprisoned homeschoolerstaken away their children, and is making them refugees. So, refugees and public schools seem to go together for Germany. A few hundred thousand refugee children should test their public schooling mettle.

The stated reason for not allowing homeschooling is to prevent "parallel societies" and "ensure that children learn to live tolerantly with each other."

The 800,000 refugees should be a good trial for their no parallel societies goal--not to mention living tolerantly with each other. And maybe Germany will learn a thing or two about the necessity of getting involved in stopping a crisis before it results in the sort of misery that causes a million refugees. But, that's probably wishing for too much.
-----
*This year Germany is set to spend only 1.16% of its GDP on defense (less than 60% of what NATO asks its member nations to spend). To put that in perspective, in 2007 the U.S. spent 5.2% of its GDP versus Germany's 1.5% of its GDP on military spending. Even for NATO the US provides about 23% of the military funding, Germany less than 17%, Canada only 5%.

H/T Byron York

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Super Moon Eclipse

A super moon. God's super show. I'm thankful I was in the audience (with my new Canon superzoom).


Here's some video. This is the earliest I could get any real image. Before this point in the eclipse (about 8:30 pm) the camera optics couldn't sense an image to video.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thank You, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman

John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman (NY Daily News)
This is our third year with MLB.TV. Because the Seattle games are blacked out for TV, we came to know about John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman who do the radio broadcast for the Yankees.

Nothing against the TV broadcasters, but half the fun now is spending time with John and Suzyn. And with baseball that's three to four hours.

They enjoy the game even when the Yankees are playing poorly. Meaning they bring their happiness with them and share it with the listener. I especially like John's chuckles and asides and Suzyn's special interest stories.

There are apparently people out there who don't like John and Suzyn. Each to his own. Some don't like it that John sometimes starts his home run call and then when the ball is foul or is caught he has to correct the call. Or that he amends a double play call. They prefer that he wait and make the call only after it is done. Bosh. When I'm watching baseball, the excitement comes in seeing a ball hit hard and anticipating that it might be a home run or a double play. I don't sit without excitement until after a play is over. And no one in the stadium does either. That's why roars go up at the crack of the bat irrespective of if the ball is caught.

Before the newest version of the MLB media player, I would open up two windows. One with the TV feed and one with the radio feed and turn down the TV feed audio to spend the time with John and Suzyn. The only down side was that the radio feed was anywhere from 10 to 40 seconds ahead of the TV feed. So, I knew what was going to happen before it happened on screen. Thanks to the newest MLB media player one can click the audio feed as an overlay, and they sync it to the video feed. So, I'm even happier.

It's one reason why I keep signing up with MLB.TV.  A hundred and sixty two (3 to 4 hour) games can become a little boring (even though we don't watch them all or the whole game of the ones we do watch). Not with John and Suzyn. They help make the MLB.TV season plan ($129.99) worth every cent of the subscription price.

Other than spending time with my dad at a game, my second favorites are John and Suzyn. They are very nice people who have a talent for making the game fun (even when the Yankees are losing). Thank you, John and Suzyn!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ben Carson Apologizes to Donald Trump; Trump Doesn't Concur

UPDATE: I think Donald Trump apologized in his own way last night to Carly Fiorina when he said "I think she's got a beautiful face and I think she's a beautiful woman." That showed some character.

Good for Ben Carson for apologizing.
“I said something that sounded like I was questioning his faith. I really wasn’t, I was really talking more about mine,” the former physician told The Wall Street Journal Monday. “But it was said in an inappropriate way, which I recognized and I apologized for that. It’s never my intention to impugn other people.”
However, Donald Trump didn't seem to accept the apology.
Trump on Saturday continued to slam Carson on the faith issue a day after the other candidate had apologized.
"In all fairness, Ben hit me on my faith, and you don’t hit a person on his faith," Trump said. "I don’t know him, he knows nothing about me."
[emphasis added]
Appears like Donald Trump is hitting himself on his faith. Forgiveness is a hard issue for Mr. Trump.
Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions.
"I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so," he said. "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
Trump said that while he hasn't asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion.
"When I drink my little wine -- which is about the only wine I drink -- and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed," he said. "I think in terms of 'let's go on and let's make it right.'"
Maybe his church isn't very good at teaching the basics of Christianity or Mr. Trump isn't good at listening. In any case, Trump seems never to have said the Lord's prayer or understood the words in it if he has said it. It includes: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Matthew 6:12)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Yale's Priscilla Smith: Being Torn Limb from Limb Is a Humane Way to Die

Yale's Priscilla Smith thinks being torn limb from limb is a humane death.



Priscilla Smith
Now we know why being drawn and quartered was a popular punishment with some from the 1200's to the 1800's.

See also LifeNews.com.

H/T Patterico's Pontifications

Now for a mature, loving woman's response:

Sunday, September 06, 2015

More on the Kim Davis Case; Kentucky Attorney General Allowed a Conscience Exemption for Not Carrying out His Duties as Regards Same Sex Marriage

County Clerk Kim Davis
Lots of interesting things about the Kim Davis case are coming out. Things you can easily get from legal documents she filed, but no one in the media is reporting on.

Davis is not asking that same sex couples not be issued marriage licenses. Only that her name not be required on the licenses. This is a remedy provided for regarding other Kentucky licenses.
Importantly, Davis is not claiming a substantial burden on her religious freedom or free speech rights if someone else authorizes and approves a SSM license devoid of her name. Davis is also not claiming that her religious freedom or free speech rights are substantially burdened if she must complete an opt-out form to be exempted from issuing SSM licenses, as Kentucky law already permits for other licensing schemes. (p. 18)
Davis suggests a whole list of easy fixes. (pp. 30-31)

There's a whole lot of not inventing the wheel going on here. What she asks for has already been granted on the same sex marriage issue to another high Kentucky official.

Governor Steve Beshear
Apparently only Kim Davis is not allowed a religious/conscience exemption from fulfilling her duties regarding same sex marriages. Kentucky Governor Steven L. Beshear not only accepted Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's refusal to carry out his legal duties in 2014, but actually paid over $200,000 to hire other people to do those duties. And the issue was the same as in Kim Davis' case, same sex marriage. However, Conway's conscience was on the other side. He didn't believe he could in good conscience support "discrimination" against same sex couples.
Notably, Gov. Beshear did not provide the same ultimatum to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (“Atty. Gen. Conway”) when he refused to defend the Kentucky Constitution and democratically-enacted marriage law. VC, ¶¶ 15, 34. According to Atty. Gen. Conway in his tearful and prayer-induced proclamation at the time, “There are those who believe it’s my mandatory duty, regardless of my personal opinion, to continue to defend this case…I can only say that I am doing what I think is right. In the final analysis, I had to make a decision that I could be proud of – for me now, and my daughters’ judgment in the future.” VC, ¶ 14 (emphasis added). Gov. Beshear did not force Atty. Gen. Conway to abandon his “inescapable” conscience and instead hired outside counsel to represent Kentucky in defending its own Constitution and
democratically-enacted laws—which cost the Commonwealth upwards of $200,000. VC, ¶¶ 14-15, 34-36. (p. 7, footnote 6)
Attorney General Jack Conway
Attorney General Jack Conway, who himself claimed a conscience exemption and refused to do his duties, is threatening to prosecute any county clerks who do not obey the same sex marriage licensing requirements.
In addition to his unmitigated “approve or resign” rule, Gov. Beshear has ominously
declared that “the courts” will deal with county clerks who do not comply with his SSM Mandate. See VTC, ¶ 35. Moreover, immediately after issuance of the SSM Mandate, Atty. Gen. Conway even threatened possible legal action against county clerks who did not comply with the SSM Mandate, even seemingly inviting this very lawsuit against Davis: “Any clerk that refuses to issue marriage licenses is opening himself or herself to potential legal liability and sanctions. Any couple or person denied a license may seek remedy in federal court, but should consult with a private attorney about their particular situation.” See, e.g., Several county clerks defy same-sex marriage ruling, refuse to issue marriage licenses, Lexington Herald-Leader, June 29, 2015, available at http://www.kentucky.com/2015/06/29/3923157_some-kentucky-county-clerksrefusing.html?rh=1 (last accessed August 28, 2015); Steve Beshear and Jack Conway: On refusing marriage licenses, WTVQ.com, June 30, 2015, available at
http://www.wtvq.com/story/d/story/steve-beshear-and-jack-conway-on-refusingmarriage/39801/_4cM2DBkQ0aBolGpMeZz_A (last accessed August 28, 2015). (pp. 27-28, footnote 18)
Actually, according to the New York Times, seven Democratic state Attorney Generals declined to do their duty. But, the Times did not call for their resignation or jailing.
Mr. Conway became the seventh state attorney general — all Democrats — to refuse to defend laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, generating criticism by Republicans that they were ignoring their duties and thwarting the will of voters who had enacted the bans.
This resulted in "criticism" not a call for jailing or resignation. Who are the hypocrites here (beside the media which is fine with public officials refusing to fulfill their sworn duties as long as the media also opposes the same issue)?

H/T MaxRedline

Friday, September 04, 2015

Kim Davis in Jail; Other Elected Federal Law Breakers Not

UPDATE: MaxRedline has pointed to a great resource on this issue: Law professor Eugene Volokh's analysis in the Washington Post. Read the whole thing. It is very illuminating. But cutting to the chase, here is his conclusion:
So if Kim Davis does indeed go through the state courts, and ask for a modest exemption under the state RFRA — simply to allow her to issue marriage licenses (opposite-sex or same-sex) without her name on them — she might indeed prevail. Rightly or wrongly, under the logic of Title VII’s religious accommodation regime and the RFRA religious accommodation regime, she probably should prevail.
There’s a lot of appeal to the “you take the job, you follow the rules — if you have a religious objection to the rules, quit the job” approach may be. But it’s not the approach that modern American federal employment law has taken, or the approach that the state religious exemption law in Kentucky and many other states has taken.
- - - - - - -

Kim Davis
Sean Davis over at the Federalist points out how many federal law breakers in office are still there with no repercussions, while Kim Davis, a Democrat clerk in Kentucky, is in jail. Regarding federal drug laws, immigration laws, and security laws, the Federal government and Federal courts wink at those who defy them.

Colorado, Washington and Oregon elected officials don't have to abide by federal drug laws on marijuana.

Then there are lots and lots of city officials who don't enforce federal immigration laws.

But not a one of these officials have been fined, let alone jailed, by a Federal judge. And they even get federal funds.

Officials who refuse to comply with federal law just because they or their constituents don't want to are okay. But, let a local official refuse to do something for religious convictions on an action that is not even codified in federal legislation (at this point it's just a Supreme Court generic ruling) with no clear requirements or penalties and all hell breaks loose.

The New York Sun editors point out that the U.S. Constitution forbids a religious test for any public office.
Yet the right to the marriage contract is not the only right vouchsafed in the Constitution. There is also the right — just to pick one that is being pressed in this case — to be free of religious tests for public office.
That is the most emphatic statement in the entire American parchment. “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” the Constitution says in Article IV. “No . . . ever . . . any.” It’s hard to imagine it being put any clearer. Yet Ms. Davis has been clapped into prison when her claim to protection under the religious tests clause has been heard on but a preliminary basis. Why can’t Rowan County manage to get marriage licenses to all who seek them without forcing the religious county clerk, Kim Davis, to attach her name to them?
We do not suggest this case is easy. But Ms. Davis has been cast into prison despite a law that requires that the government use the least restrictive means whenever it burdens the free exercise of religion. More broadly, wouldn’t all sides feel better were an accommodation to be found? Isn’t it possible for the state of Kentucky to be allowed to find a way to get same sex couples in Rowan and other counties marriage licenses in a speedy and dignified fashion while accommodating a religious clerk? 
As the Sun says, the Supreme Court has required that there be an accommodation for religious belief/practice by requiring a least restrictive means standard (as in the recent Hobby Lobby decision). The import of that is the Federal government must show "that it lacks other means of achieving its desired goal without imposing a substantial burden on the exercise of religion." (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., pp. 40-45)

The Federal courts have not yet found that all ministers performing state recognized marriages have to perform same sex marriages. In effect those who perform state recognized marriages act as representatives of the state in performing those marriages since the marriages are officially registered with the state. So, they are not much different than a county clerk. There is a least restrictive means out there for a religious exemption. And, of course, not only for people with clear religious beliefs. Most anyone can get ordained in order to perform weddings.

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning has taken it upon himself to write laws and penalties contrary to the U.S. Constitution which explicitly gives the power of federal legislation only to the U.S. Congress and contrary to U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Though it looks like the dissenters in the Obergefell v. Hodges same sex marriage case (not to mention the majority in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case) are not fast tracking what they wrote since none of the justices approved hearing her emergency appeal (an emergency stay requires five justices). But, we'll see what happens when the case is actually presented to the Supreme Court on appeal.

Among the Republican presidential candidates I've leaned toward, Carly Fiorina is backing the jailing of Davis. Strike one. Ben Carson is silent. Ted Cruz is clearly saying jailing Davis is wrong. Good for him.

So, you see, certain local officials who break laws are OK. But, others go directly to jail; do not pass Go; do not collect $200. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others if they agree with the opinions of those in power.

Other information on the case here.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Palin Interviews Cruz, Trump, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush

I always like to hear Governor Sarah Palin's take on current political issues. Last week she was guest hosting for the One America News Network’s “On Point” show.

Among her interviews:

Senator Ted Cruz

 

Presidential candidate Donald Trump

 

Senator Rand Paul

 

Governor Jeb Bush

 

and just for fun Mary Matalin and James Carville



Hmm. Wonder how long it will take for Fox to try to renew their contract with Palin?

Palin and Fox parted ways "amicably" in June. Funny how Mediaite's headline "Fox News Parts Ways with Sarah Palin" (a variation of Politico's "Fox drops contract with Sarah Palin") implies that it was more Fox's decision than Palin's even though the story (and the original in Politico) has not a shred of evidence to back that up. Typical media arrogance "making stuff up". Last time Fox supposedly let Palin go (January, 2013), it wooed her back only five months later.
"Palin began her first contributor deal after her gubernatorial resignation in 2009, but was let go in January 2013 after her appearances dwindled and she publicly complained about how the network “cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight” in August 2012. But then five months later, she re-upped with the network — a deal which lasted until this month."
Mediatite spins it that five months later Palin "re-upped".  Get it. Fox doesn't want Palin, but she apparently has the power to get them to bring her back. Good luck on that. Ask Glenn Beck. Actually, that kind of thing happens when the star walks away from the network and then decides to walk back to an eager network. Not when a disinclined network lets a star go and then suddenly reverses its position for no apparent reason.

In 2013 Mediaite (and Politico) got the story right (though again not the headline--those pesky headlines and the need for them to reflect the actual story!) in 2013 relying on Real Clear Politics (which wrote the headline the right way: Sarah Palin Parts Ways With FOX News), but not this time. Maybe Mediaite and Politico should both check with Real Clear Politics before writing their stories and especially their headlines.

What the Government Can Learn from Restaurants and Disney

The New York Sun has a great column by Ira Stoll comparing his wait at Disney World (or even local restaurants) to his wait in TSA lines. Disneyland has wait times posted and updated and fun activities along the wait line. Restaurants have vibrating pagers so you can do something else while you wait other than hover around the seating point. TSA has none of that.
On a family vacation in Florida last week, I waited in a 30 minute line to board a roller coaster called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The time flew by.
The ride’s designers had taken a series of steps to make the wait less onerous than it otherwise might be. There was a sign at the beginning of the line telling me how long a wait to expect. The time listed on the sign was accurate — maybe even a few minutes high, so that by the end I was pleased that the line had moved more quickly than I expected. There were activities along the line — video games to play, kaleidoscope-projecting, gem-filled barrels to turn — to occupy impatient children and adults during the wait.
. . .
The airport was a totally different story. The wait at the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint seemed designed to impose frustration rather than ease it. There was no sign telling us how long the wait was. Instead, I was handed a sheet of paper with the handwritten time I arrived, and I was told to turn the paper in when I finally reached the metal detector so that the government could find out how long the wait is. Disney knows how long its wait is and tells customers what to expect. The government has no idea how long its wait is and asks customers to help it find out.
In the government’s airport security line, there were no fun activities to entertain or distract those waiting.
. . .
You don’t have to be Disney to get lines right. Even restaurant chains like Cheesecake Factory and Shake Shack give customers vibrating pagers to make waits more palatable. Imagine if the TSA gave you a pager so you could shop or eat in the airport until it was your turn to make it through the metal detector.
Stoll points out that politicians seem uninterested in the troubles of waiting passengers because they often avoid the stress because they can (and do) take private flights where there is not long waiting line.
Perhaps one reason the politicians don’t get it is that they themselves often avoid commercial air travel. It’s not just Air Force One or Donald Trump’s private jet. Military or private jet travel extends to officials like the FBI director and the attorney general. The FBI has not one but two Gulfstream V jets. Even Congress gets a special deal. As a senator, Hillary Clinton reportedly took more than 200 privately chartered flights. The rules allow her senate office or her campaign to pay the much lower commercial rate. When John Boehner took over as speaker of the House, he made a big show of not taking military aircraft the way Nancy Pelosi used to. But a New York Times account reported, “There was no waiting for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the identification-checking agents, the metal detectors and the body scanners, and whisked directly to the gate.”
As with global warming, the big cheeses who speak for limitations and cutbacks like Prince Charles, Pesident Obama and Al Gore, never seem to cut back their travel or lifestyles to live in the deprived fashion want average people to live. At least Jimmy Carter wore a sweater and turned the heat down in the White House when he asked Americans to cut back their heating for energy conservation. President Obama, by contrast, turned the White House heat up. For modern liberals the masses are supposed to sacrifice, not the leaders.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ben Carson for President

Guess I'm becoming too politically correct. Heh.

I'm now giving to a black presidential candidate (Ben Carson) as well as a Hispanic presidential candidate (Ted Cruz).

And, of course, I continue to support Sarah Palin.

The Republicans have an embarrassment of riches in their presidential candidates. The Democrats not so much. Where are their black and Hispanic candidates? Apparently Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have sucked all the air out of the room for their "rising" identity group stars.

What's the world coming to when a conservative is supporting political people from all the best identity groups?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

40 Companies That Fund Planned Parenthood and Selling Harvested Body Parts

UPDATE 2: Lots of these listed companies denied giving to Planned Parenthood and strongly requested that their name be removed. Sooo, the whole list has been removed from the Planned Parenthood site. Tweets, emails, letters, phone calls all helped to turn this around. Thanks to MaxRedline for posting on this!

UPDATE: The number of companies is now 39. Ford is not a contributor.  Melissa Quinn of the Daily Signal reports:
"Also, a Ford Motor Co. representative contacted The Daily Signal claiming they had been erroneously listed on Planned Parenthood’s website, and have contacted Planned Parenthood to be removed."
The Daily Signal has a list of 40 companies that directly fund Planned Parenthood.
. . . it’s not only the government that fills Planned Parenthood’s coffers. According to 2nd Vote, a website and app that tracks the flow of money from consumers to political causes, more than 25 percent of Planned Parenthood’s $1.3-billion annual revenue comes from private donations, which includes corporate contributions.
2nd Vote researched the corporations and organizations to find which supported Planned Parenthood and found that more than three dozen donated to the group. Some companies donated directly, while others matched employee gifts.
Forty-one corporations and organizations directly contribute to the group.
Planned Parenthood has come under heavy fire following the release of videos from the Center for Medical Progress.
The first video, released last week, showed Planned Parenthood senior executive Dr. Deborah Nucatola meeting with actors portraying buyers from a “human biologics company.” The “buyers” discussed the sale of fetal body parts with Nucatola over lunch.
In the second video, released today, Dr. Mary Gatter, president of Planned Parenthood’s medical directors council, is seen negotiating the price of aborted fetal body parts.
Here are the 40 companies that have directly funded Planned Parenthood.
1. Adobe
2. American Cancer Society
3. American Express
4. AT&T
5. Avon
6. Bank of America
7. Bath & Body Works
8. Ben & Jerry’s
9. Clorox
10. Coca-Cola
11. Converse
12. Deutsche Bank
13. Dockers
14. Energizer
15. Expedia
16. ExxonMobil
17. Fannie Mae
18. Ford
19. Groupon
20. Intuit
21. Johnson & Johnson
22. La Senza
23. Levi Strauss
24. Liberty Mutual
25. Macy’s
26. March of Dimes
27. Microsoft
28. Morgan Stanley
29. Nike
30. Oracle
31. PepsiCo
32. Pfizer
33. Progressive
34. Starbucks
35. Susan G. Komen
36. Tostitos
37. Unilever
38. United Way
39. Verizon
40. Wells Fargo
I'll be writing to some of these asking how they feel about selling harvested body parts. I'll let them know that I find it abhorrent and disgusting and will avoid doing business with them if they are in favor of it.

H/T Byron York

Update: The original list had 41 companies. One was removed in an updated version of the story.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

How Rich Are You in Global Terms?

Pew Research Center has a calculator that can put your income in a global perspective.

For a four person household if you live on:

less than $2,920 per year, you are poor (15% of the world's population)

$2,920 and $14,600 per year, you are low income (56%)

$14,600 to $29,200 per year, you are middle income (13%)

$29,200 and $73,000 per year, you are upper-middle income (9%)

$73,000 and up per year, you are high income (7%)

Here's what it works out to comparing U.S. incomes:

1.6% of people in the U.S. are poor

3.4% of people in the U.S. are low income

7.4% of people in the U.S. are middle income

31.9% of people in the U.S. are upper-middle income

55.7% of people in the U.S. are high income

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. 
(Luke 12:48b)

Judge Hanen Gets Obama Administration to Follow Injunction on Unlawful Work Permits

Judge Andrew Hanen
Secretary Jeh Johnson
At National Review, Hans A. von Spakovsky reports that Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has finally issued an order that work permits unlawfully given to 2,500 illegal immigrants will be "terminated" as of July 31.

Federal District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued an  injunction February 16 blocking the Obama administration plan to give up to 5 million illegal immigrants "three-year reprieves from deportation and work permits". Johnson's termination order applies to the 2,500 work permits issued after the injunction.

Up against a July 7 order to either fix the problems before July 31 or personally appear before Judge Hanen and face a contempt of court citation for misleading the court and violating Hanen's February 16 court order, Johnson chose to retract the 2,500 work permits given in direct contravention of Hanen's injunction.

Von Spakovsky writes:
Yesterday, the Justice Department submitted to the court copies of two new “directives” from Johnson to Leon Rodriguez, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (Rodriguez is one of the officials named in Hanen’s July 7 order.) The first directive, dated July 10, three days after Hanen’s appearance order, directs Rodriguez to mail a “Notice of Intent to Terminate” to the original 2,000 recipients of these unlawful work permits. The notice would inform the aliens that, if they don’t return their permits by July 30, DHS will terminate their “deferred action status and associated employment authorization” as of July 31 — the day DHS is required to give Hanen a status report on what they’ve done to fix the problem.
. . .
The second directive, dated July 14, basically sets out the same plan of action to take care of the additional 500 illegal aliens who unlawfully received three-year EADs.
These "terminated" work permits still do not deal with the 108,000 work permits given between November, 2014, and Hanen's February 16, 2015 injunction. Federal attorneys arguing before Hanen failed to inform him that the government was already issuing these permits leading him to believe that there was no reason to apply his injunction before February 16th.

At this point the only issue decided is that Federal officials under the Obama administration will grudgingly obey actual Federal court injunctions if threatened with contempt of court citations.

As for honestly giving information to Federal judges . . . that's still to be decided.