Archive for mars, 2010

New post at the Daily Bayonet

31 mars, 2010

Medieval Warming period – Part 2

Previous posts:

Medieval Warming period – Part 1

422 700 years of temperature data

Obama Care – Rejected by Mad and Endorsed by Fidel Castro

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Annonser

Obama Care 28

31 mars, 2010

 

We didn’t know what was in it, and we didn’t read it – But we rammed it through at all costs against the will of the people.

Obama Care in a nutshell.

And these people want to take over and control more off our society and economy.

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/didn-t-understand-what-was-in-it-89495367.html

Mar. 30, 2010

EDITORIAL: Didn’t understand what was in it

Ramifications of health care bill already surfacing

Since the passage of ObamaCare, several major U.S. companies — so far, they include AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M — have announced that they expect the law to cost them billions of dollars in higher health care expenses.

This has prompted an angry Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and one of many Democrats who swore up and down that the measure would actually cut costs, to summon some of the executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment.

Rep. Waxman is also demanding that the executives give lawmakers internal company documents related to health care finances, a move one committee Republican describes to Byron York of the Washington Examiner as ”an attempt to intimidate and silence opponents” of ObamaCare.

Perhaps these Democrats really are surprised ­– perhaps (as Republicans consistently warned) they never actually read and comprehended what was in their nearly 3,000-page social engineering experiment.

”Most of these people (in the administration) have never had a real job in their lives,” a senior lobbyist for one of the firms told the American Spectator over the weekend. ”They don’t understand a thing about business, and that includes the president. My CEO sat with the president over lunch with two other CEOs, and each of them tried to explain to the president what this bill would do to our companies and the economy in general. First the president didn’t understand what they were talking about. Then he basically told my boss he was lying.”

Nor is this just coming from Republicans. One Democratic staffer affiliated with the Waxman committee told the magazine that neither Rep. Waxman nor Rep. Bart Stupak, chairman of the Oversight and Investigations panel, had anything more than a cursory understanding of how the many sections of the bill would impact business or even individuals before they voted on the legislation.

We had memos on these issues, but none of our people, we think, looked at them,” says the staffer. ”When they saw the stories last week about the charges some of the companies were taking, they were genuinely surprised and assumed that the companies were just doing this to embarrass them. … They just didn’t understand what they were voting on.”

And it’s only just begun.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304370304575151760348759360.html

The ObamaCare Writedowns—II

Democrats blame a vast CEO conspiracy.

So the wave of corporate writedowns—led by AT&T’s $1 billion—isn’t caused by ObamaCare after all. The White House claims CEOs are reducing the value of their companies and returns for shareholders merely out of political pique.

A White House staffer told the American Spectator that ”These are Republican CEOs who are trying to embarrass the President and Democrats in general. Where do you hear about this stuff? The Wall Street Journal editorial page and conservative Web sites. No one else picked up on this but you guys. It’s BS.” (We called the White House for elaboration but got no response.)

In other words, CEOs who must abide by U.S. accounting laws under pain of SEC sanction, and who warned about such writedowns for months, are merely trying to ruin President Obama’s moment of glory. Sure.

Presumably the White House is familiar with the Financial Standard Accounting Board’s 1990 statement No. 106, which requires businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of their expected future retiree health liabilities. AT&T, Deere & Co., AK Steel, Prudential and Caterpillar, among others, are simply reporting the corporate costs of the Democratic decision to raise taxes on retiree drug benefits to finance ObamaCare.

When the Medicare prescription drug plan was debated in 2003, many feared that companies already offering such coverage would cash out and dump the costs on government. So Congress created a modest subsidy, equal to 28% of the cost of these plans for seniors who would otherwise enroll in Medicare. This subsidy is tax-free, and companies used to be allowed to deduct the full cost of the benefit from their corporate income taxes (beyond the 72% employer portion).

Democrats chose to eliminate the full exclusion and said they were closing a loophole. But whatever it’s called, eliminating it ”will be highly destabilizing for retirees who rely upon employer sponsored drug coverage” and ”will impose a dramatic and immediate impact on company financial statements.”

That’s how the AFL-CIO put it in a December 10 letter. The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers—also known as the AT&T and Verizon workforce—were opposed too. So much for White House claims that reporting these facts is partisan.

As for whether this change is better tax policy, the new health-care bill creates a similar $5 billion fund that will subsidize health costs for early retirees between the ages of 55 and 64. These payments won’t be subject to taxation, and companies will likely be able to deduct the full cost of such coverage. (The language is vague and some experts disagree.) The Democrats now feigning tax outrage—but who are really outraged by political appearances—didn’t think twice about writing the same loophole back into the tax code. This new reinsurance program was a priority of the United Auto Workers.

The deeper concern—apart from imposing senseless business losses in a still-uncertain economy—is that companies will start terminating private retiree coverage, which in turn will boost government costs. The Employee Benefit Research Institute calculates that the 28% subsidy on average will run taxpayers $665 in 2011 and that the tax dispensation is worth $233. The same plan in Medicare costs $1,209.

Given that Congress has already committed the original sin of creating a drug entitlement that crowds out private coverage, $233 in corporate tax breaks to avoid spending $1,209 seems like a deal. If one out of four retirees is now moved into Medicare, the public fisc will take on huge new liabilities.

Meanwhile, Democrats have responded to these writedowns not by rethinking their policy blunder but by hauling the CEOs before Congress on April 21 for an intimidation session. The letter demanding their attendance from House barons Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak declared that ”The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.”

Perhaps Mr. Waxman should move his hearing to the Syracuse Carrier Dome. The Towers Watson consulting firm estimates that the total writeoffs will be as much as $14 billion, and the 3,500 businesses that offer retiree drug benefits are by law required to report and expense their losses this quarter or next. But ‘twas a famous victory, ObamaCare.

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Obama Care 27

30 mars, 2010

The Obama administration – the new American nomenklatura a la Soviet style. One rule for the “masses” another for the “elite”.

President Obama declared that the new health care law ”is going to be affecting every American family.” Except his own, of course. I mean there are limits to democracy and the rule of law. Do you REALLY have to follow the rules and laws that you yourself enacted?

I mean come on – we are “liberals” and on your side. Isn’t that enough?

Meanwhile, we are still awaiting  Mr. Obama’s explanation why if his ”historic” health care law is so great for America, it’s not good enough for him and his family.

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=528809

America‘s New Nomenklatura

Posted 03/29/2010 06:51 PM ET

Government: With the passage of health care reform and the ongoing boom in federal hiring, it’s becoming increasingly clear that America is now run by a new, privileged class of bureaucrats.

For those who remember the old Soviet Union, it was a grim place — at least for average citizens. But not so for those in government. Contrary to the official ideals of equality and a classless society that the ruling communist regime espoused, the USSR created a privileged class of party members inside government — the nomenklatura.

This semipermanent bureaucracy earned higher incomes, got better health care, ate better food and had greater job security than average Russians, the much-despised proletarians. Today, our bloated federal government seems, in significant ways, to be creating this same dynamic.

Take the just-passed health care bill that carefully excluded the White House, congressional leaders and their staffs from having to live under the reforms’ restrictions.

President Obama will not have to live under the Obama health care reforms, and neither will the congressional staff who helped to write the overhaul,” said Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. ”The message to the people at the grass roots is that it’s good enough for you, but not for us.”

The hypocrisy of these officials and the contempt they show for average Americans is bad enough. But Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public can also go to jail or be fined up to $250,000 for not buying insurance. And the government is spending $10 billion to hire 16,500 new IRS agents to make sure they don’t escape the new system.

Under current budget plans, this won’t end soon. With $45 trillion in new government spending planned over the next decade, this new privileged governing class can only grow.

Today, as we witness a massive shift of resources from the private to the public sector, the only place adding jobs is government. Since the start of last year, the federal government has added 81,000 jobs. By contrast, private-sector payrolls have shed 4.71 million.

Big government is the place to be these days. Federal workers are some of the country’s best-paid, earning far in excess of their counterparts in the private sector. A recent report in Politico.com, for example, noted that 2,000 congressional staffers now have incomes in excess of $100,000, and that 43 make the $172,500 maximum.

But the bureaucrats — that silent, permanent government that now exceeds 2.8 million in number — make out just as well. USA Today recently looked at federal pay vs. private pay in 2008 for specific occupations ranging from airline pilot and cook to computer manager and registered nurse. What they found was more than a little disquieting for those in the private sector.

The average federal worker that year took home on average $67,691 in salary, compared with $60,046 in the private sector — a difference of $7,645. Not that much, you say? Well, that was before benefits are factored.

The average government worker gets a whopping $40,785 a year in health care, pension and other benefits compared to $9,882 for a private worker. The difference in total compensation widens to $38,548 a yearfor the same job with the same duties.

Anyone who has visited the slow-moving Post Office, talked to the surly and often hostile IRS agent or even gone to the local DMV to spend time in waiting-room hell can tell you that pay gap doesn’t represent productivity, training or ability.

What it does represent is the new Nomenklatura — the privileged apparatchiks who now run our government and with it, sadly, much of our lives. This is very much a result of years of ”progressive” thinking that has pushed the Democratic Party sharply leftward across the political spectrum.

Since the Civil War, the so-called Progressive Movement’s dream has been to exalt bureaucratic expertise and control over free-market efficiency. With the new administration, their dream has become our nightmare.

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Obama Care 26

28 mars, 2010

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/27/the-obamacare-bait-and-switch/

EDITORIAL: The Obamacare bait-and-switch

March 27, 2010

Campaign health plan promises fail reality test

The health care bill that President Obama signed last week bears little resemblance to the reform package he once touted from the campaign trail.

With the final legislative product in hand, it’s worth evaluating how it compares to the promises Mr. Obama made to voters regarding the plan’s cost, its features and the reform process itself. The difference between then and now couldn’t be more stark.

Candidate Obama repeatedly assured the public that his health care plan would cost between $500 billion and $650 billion. This modest amount was to be covered entirety by discontinuing the George W. Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year.

Today, we know that Obamacare will cost at least double that amount. The basic price tag is $940 billion over 10 years, to which one must add the $208 billion ”doc fix.” This adjustment to the reimbursement doctors receive under Medicare was separated out from the main package to hide Obamacare’s true cost.

Obviously, eliminating the Bush tax cuts isn’t what’s going to cover these enormous sums. Obamacare must cut Medicare and raise taxes on high-quality health insurance, medical devices, drugs and insurance companies. These increases will hit anyone who gets sick or buys insurance, regardless of income. So much for the promised ”middle-class tax cut.”

Mr. Obama is still trying to hide the extent of the bait-and-switch. During the campaign he said, ”If you like your plan and you like your doctor, you won’t have to do a thing…. You keep your plan; you keep your doctor.” While he repeated this claim in a speech in Iowa last week, he also reluctantly admitted when questioned more closely that, yes, people may well lose their plan or their doctor.

Even aspects of reform that candidate Obama sharply criticized in a 2008 primary debate with then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have become law. Mr. Obama claimed he was offended by the idea that every American should be forced to buy a government-approved health policy or face a fine. ”When Clinton says mandate, it’s not a mandate on government – it’s a mandate on individuals,” he said. ”… In some cases, people are paying fines, which means they can’t afford premiums, which means they don’t have coverage. … Both of us seek to get to universal health care. I have a substantive difference … on how to get there.”

The ”differences” between Sen. Clinton’s and Sen. Obama’s health care plans have disappeared. Households without a government-approved health care plan face a fine of $2,085. The promised transparency in the legislative drafting process also has disappeared despite the pledge, ”These negotiations will be on C-SPAN.” A one-day presidential infomercial hardly counts.

President Obama’s deals were cut behind closed doors without input from the public or even congressional Republicans – and for good reason. Lawmakers rushed through a plan that bears no resemblance to what voters once were promised.

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Obama Care 25

28 mars, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704100604575146002445136066.html

MARCH 27, 2010

The ObamaCare Writedowns

The corporate damage rolls in, and Democrats are shocked!

It’s been a banner week for Democrats: ObamaCare passed Congress in its final form on Thursday night, and the returns are already rolling in. Yesterday AT&T announced that it will be forced to make a $1 billion writedown due solely to the health bill, in what has become a wave of such corporate losses.

This wholesale destruction of wealth and capital came with more than ample warning. Turning over every couch cushion to make their new entitlement look affordable under Beltway accounting rules, Democrats decided to raise taxes on companies that do the public service of offering prescription drug benefits to their retirees instead of dumping them into Medicare. We and others warned this would lead to AT&T-like results, but like so many other ObamaCare objections Democrats waved them off as self-serving or ”political.”

Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke took to the White House blog to write that while ObamaCare is great for business, ”In the last few days, though, we have seen a couple of companies imply that reform will raise costs for them.” In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Mr. Locke said ”for them to come out, I think is premature and irresponsible.”

Meanwhile, Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment ”appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”

In other words, shoot the messenger. Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don’t like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.

On top of AT&T’s $1 billion, the writedown wave so far includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million. Verizon has also warned its employees about its new higher health-care costs, and there will be many more in the coming days and weeks.

As Joe Biden might put it, this is a big, er, deal for shareholders and the economy. The consulting firm Towers Watson estimates that the total hit this year will reach nearly $14 billion, unless corporations cut retiree drug benefits when their labor contracts let them.

Meanwhile, John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader reported this week that ObamaCare could cost the Granite State‘s major ski resorts as much as $1 million in fines, because they hire large numbers of seasonal workers without offering health benefits. ”The choices are pretty clear, either increase prices or cut costs, which could mean hiring fewer workers next winter,” he wrote.

The Democratic political calculation with ObamaCare is the proverbial boiling frog: Gradually introduce a health-care entitlement by hiding the true costs, hook the middle class on new subsidies until they become unrepealable, but try to delay the adverse consequences and major new tax hikes so voters don’t make the connection between their policy and the economic wreckage. But their bill was such a shoddy, jerry-rigged piece of work that the damage is coming sooner than even some critics expected.

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Obama Care 24

26 mars, 2010

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/03/the_last_line_of_defense_betwe.html

March 26, 2010

The Last Line of Defense between ObamaCare and Kansans

By Milton R. Wolf, MD

I am Milton Wolf. After this last week, you probably know me as the doctor who is Barack Obama’s cousin.  

Like millions of other Americans, I watched with bafflement and frustration as Congress wrestled with the onerous task of reforming our health care system. After studying both the House and Senate’s health care plans, and a lot of sleepless nights, I knew I had to take a stand for my patients, my profession, my state, and my country. I made the decision to ”go public” with my opposition to ”ObamaCare.” 

I wish my cousin well, but my oath is to my patients.   

What began as a humble blog led to a Washington Times op-ed. Then a massive media storm erupted. Morning news with a visit to the Curvy Couch, radio interviews, ruffled feathers at Media Matters & Democratic Underground, another op-ed, an army of Davids carrying my questions to their representatives in Congress, Hannity, more FOX & Friends, radio, and more print and internet opinions than I could ever read. Last Saturday, it all culminated in an address to thirty thousand patriots who set their lives aside long enough to rush to the Capitol and try one more time to be heard by their elected leaders in Washington.

My message is simple: Patients will suffer under ObamaCare.

This plan goes ”all in” on the government failures that have already had a tremendously detrimental effect on medicine. It’s not that health care rationing might happen under the plan; it’s that it will. In fact, it’s already written into the plan.  

Section 3403 of the Senate bill creates the Medicare Advisory Board, the express purpose of which is to reduce funding for Medicare. These unelected, unaccountable officials are required to make recommendations for Medicare cuts. These recommendations will have the effect of law, even if the Congress does not act on them.

We are given a preview of what this rationing board will try in section 3007 of the Senate bill. This portion of the health care bill addresses a scheme that actually penalizes your primary care doctor for providing the care he has determined that your family needs. The top ten percent of doctors who refer patients to specialists, no matter how valid the reason, will be penalized. This ignores the expertise of the family care physician. It does not care if your daughter hurt her arm and needs an orthopedic surgeon. It does not care if your mother is short of breath and needs a pulmonologist. It matters to them only how many of your doctor’s patients are sick enough to need a specialist. 

There’s no other way to say it: ”ObamaCare” penalizes your doctor for providing medical care. This is rationing. It will get worse as costs continue their upward climb and more doctors opt out of Medicare and medicine altogether.

After my experience in Washington, D.C., I understand that the reality is that the only ones who can save Kansas are Kansans

Washington, D.C. may be satisfied with government taking over the health care system, but Kansans have a choice. The Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment was supposed to be the final firewall to protect the citizens of Kansas from being forced into a government-run health care system that would rob them of their freedom to make their own health care decisions. The Kansas House defeated the amendment, but the Kansas State Senate has yet to act. Any Kansas legislator who opposed this amendment will be held directly answerable for foisting ”ObamaCare” upon Kansans. We should hold them just as responsible as Barack Obama himself.

Milton R. Wolf, M.D., is a practicing diagnostic radiologist and second cousin to President Barack Obama. He has spoken and written publicly against ObamaCare. He operates the website TheWolfFiles.com.

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Obama Care 23

26 mars, 2010

As I wrote in an earlier post (Obama Care 15):

No Obamacare for Obama

Democrats exempt themselves from socialist medicine

President Obama declared that the new health care law ”is going to be affecting every American family.” Except his own, of course.

The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well.

Meanwhile, we await Mr. Obama’s explanation why if his ”historic” health care law is so great for America, it’s not good enough for him and his family.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704094104575143993972959932.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

MARCH 25, 2010, 2:57 P.M. ET.

The Beltway Loophole

Staffers who wrote the health-care bill exempted themselves from the requirement to join the state-run insurance exchanges.

By ALLYSIA FINLEY

Congressional leaders apparently not only made quid pro quos with congressmen who voted for ObamaCare, but also with congressional staff who crafted the legislation.

A key loophole is how the bill defines ”congressional staff” as ”employees employed by the official office of a member of Congress, whether in the district office or in Washington.” That phrase has been interpreted by the Congressional Research Service to exclude various professional staff and those working for leadership offices — the very staffers who wrote the bill.

In the name of solidarity with the voting public, legislators required themselves and their office staffs to join the bill’s newly created state insurance exchanges. But the loophole exempts high-level leadership and committee staffers. For example, staffers who work in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada Senate office would be required to join. Those who work under him as Senate Majority Leader would not. In their own cases at least, key staffers obviously were prepared to make sure President Obama kept his promise that those happy with their current coverage can keep it.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who has led the charge in publicizing what he calls a double standard, says: ”The message to grassroots America is that it’s good enough for you, but not for us.”

Democrats call the loophole unintentional, but both Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and Mr. Grassley say they tried to close it last year but were stymied by Mr. Reid. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz told Politico.com: ”Obviously staffers are anxious about it. The whole bill is full of loopholes, it’s such a mess.”

And what does it say about ObamaCare that the warriors on the frontline in writing and passing it wanted no part of it?

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Obama Care 22

26 mars, 2010

Poor Obama, what a double whammer.

First he is abandoned by Alfred E Neuman (i.e. MAD). And since his motto is “”What, me worry?” we should REALLY be worried when Alfred E Neuman is worried.

Then the kiss of death – an endorsement from Cuban marxist dictator Fidel Castro.

“Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform ”a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago. “

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032501309.html

With friends like these who need enemies?

Obama Care – Abandoned by MAD and Endorsed by Fidel Castro!

What an excellent political summary of Obama Care

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Obama Care 21

26 mars, 2010

And more on the “example” of the Massachusetts Model from its state treasurer. This program was the precursor to Obama Care.

So let’s take what happened during it’s 4 years in practice, AND THEN MULTIPLY THE RESULTS WITH 50 TO GET A ROUGH FIGURE FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

See my post Obama Care 8

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704094104575144372942933394.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADSecond

MARCH 25, 2010, 7:45 P.M. ET.

Massachusetts Is Our Future

Massachusetts‘s pilot program has been a fiscal train wreck.

By TIMOTHY P. CAHILL

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod hailed the Massachusetts health-care program as ”the template” for the national health-care reform legislation the president signed into law earlier this week. That should be cause for serious concern about this law’s ability to improve our health-care system at an affordable cost.

As state treasurer, I can speak with authority about the Massachusetts pilot program. It has been a fiscal train wreck.

The universal insurance coverage we adopted in 2006 was projected to cost taxpayers $88 million a year. However, since this program was adopted in 2006, our health-care costs have in total exceeded $4 billion. The cost of Massachusetts’ plan has blown a hole in the Commonwealth’s budget. Just last Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick’s office announced a $294 million shortfall related to health-care costs.

If not for federal Medicaid reimbursements and commitments from Washington to prop up this plan, Massachusetts would be broke. The only reason MassCare has survived is that we have been repeatedly bailed out by the federal government. But that raises the question: Who will bail America out if we implement a similar program?

While everyone should have access to affordable health care, our experience in Massachusetts tells us that the new federal entitlement will burden future taxpayers with unfunded liabilities they cannot afford. Health-care inflation will continue. Mandates will increase insurance premiums. And the deficit will reach frightening levels as the law’s costs greatly exceed the projections of its advocates.

As lawmakers push for changes in the bill, they should start by being honest about its costs and focus on making health care more affordable without bankrupting the country.

Mr. Cahill is the state treasurer of Massachusetts. He is currently running as an independent for governor.

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Obama Care 20

25 mars, 2010

 

As I wrote in an earlier post:

No Obamacare for Obama

Democrats exempt themselves from socialist medicine

President Obama declared that the new health care law ”is going to be affecting every American family.” Except his own, of course.

The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well.

Meanwhile, we await Mr. Obama’s explanation why if his ”historic” health care law is so great for America, it’s not good enough for him and his family.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/24/obamacares-federal-police-force/

EDITORIAL: Obamacare’s federal police force

March 24, 2010

A new army of IRS agents will enforce medical mandates

President Obama’s nationalization of health care is bad enough on its own, but the plan’s implementation will require drastic measures that are just as troubling to those who value freedom. Of particular concern is the bill’s expansion of the Internal Revenue Service.

A report released last week by House Ways and Means Committee Republicans estimated that the dreaded agency’s ranks would swell by 16,500. The newly sworn agents would be charged with ensuring the public’s obedience to Mr. Obama’s health care directives. The IRS also would enjoy the enhanced powers and budgetary authority required for monitoring the health care status of 300 million Americans on a month-to-month basis. The total cost of the effort is likely to exceed $10 billion.

The investigations will gradually ramp up until 2016, when the individual mandate tax kicks in fully. After that, if the O Force wins a second term, the unprecedented levy will fall upon citizens who fail to purchase health care coverage acceptable to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. IRS agents would conduct the audits and impose a fine of either $2,085 or 2.5 percent of income – whichever is greater – on disobedient households. According to Congressional Budget Office figures, this tax will generate $17 billion by 2019.

Of course, not everyone will pay. The Democrats carved out exemptions for two of its favorite constituencies: illegal aliens and imprisoned criminals. Only law-abiding citizens will face the wrath of the IRS – a wrath that can be substantial.

Consider the case of Aaron Zeff, owner of Harv’s Metro Car Wash in Sacramento, Calif. Mr. Zeff paid his taxes on time and did everything he was supposed to do. Nonetheless, a team of IRS agents descended on his business earlier this month. ”They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending,” Mr. Zeff said in describing the incident to the Sacramento Bee. His crime? Mr. Zeff reportedly owed 4 cents on his taxes in 2006.

(The story here: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/13/2604902/irs-agents-storm-sacramento-car.html)

That’s the type of overzealous enforcement and lousy customer service we can look forward to as IRS agents are handed more power to terrorize law-abiding Americans. The president’s plan moves us in the wrong direction. We need to dismantle, not expand, the most hated agency of the federal government. Fundamental tax reform and repeal of Obamacare would go a long way toward restoring American freedoms.

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Obama Care 19

25 mars, 2010

Just one ”small” example from a very Obama friendly state.  With a legislature known for it’s ever expanding local government and more taxes.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/politics/la-me-cap25-2010mar25,0,2242224,full.column

California could take big hit from healthcare overhaul

The landmark federal reforms could cost the state $2 billion to $3 billion annually. State officials say there needs to be more of a partnership with the U.S. government.

George Skelton,  Capitol Journal

5:04 PM PDT, March 24, 2010

From Sacramento

Figure $2 billion to $3 billion. That’s the state of California’s rough estimate of what national healthcare expansion ultimately will cost it each year.

Forget the Washington gobbledygook about it saving the federal treasury money over the next 10 or 20 years. Nobody seems to be able to predict federal spending over a two-month period, let alone two decades.

But if the feds do realize a net gain, as backers of the legislation predict, it will be at the states’ expense.

While Democrats in Washington have been rejoicing in victory and Republicans have been predicting Armageddon, California officials have been quietly pondering the numbers.

And it isn’t necessarily contradictory to both support a national healthcare overhaul and acknowledge that it’s likely to be another hit on California’s bleeding budget. That’s just intellectually honest.

As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put it after the U.S. House passed the legislation Sunday night:

”I have always supported the need for comprehensive health reform. However, for healthcare reform to succeed, states must either have the flexibility to live within the revenues that are available to them or the federal resources to fully fund its mandates.”

On Wednesday the governor told reporters that Washington has ”shifted the funding from the federal government and said, ‘Hey, you state, we want to cut down on our deficit. So you pick up the difference. . . .’ And it will cost us $3 billion more.”

Schwarzenegger has been trying to tread lightly, expressing dissatisfaction with Congress’ final product, but not criticizing President Obama, whose goal of reform he strongly supports.

The governor struck out taking a big swing at passing his own healthcare reform for California in 2007, partly because legislators concluded the state couldn’t afford it as the economy began tumbling.

Now the burden of implementing the federal healthcare expansion will fall on the states through their various Medicaid programs. In California, it’s called Medi-Cal.

States are in such deep financial straits that not only have we already made [Medicaid] cuts, but we’re looking to make even deeper cuts,” says Kim Belshe, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

”Now we’re being asked to begin planning for the biggest implementation of a social program since Medicaid was created. . . . Medicaid is crumbling. It makes no sense to be building on a house that’s falling apart. . . .

”This needs to be a partnership with the federal government. If Medicaid is going to be the foundation for broad healthcare expansion — and right now it’s very fragile — we need changes in program flexibility and equitable financing,” Belshe says.

The Schwarzenegger administration has been seeking flexibility from Washington to pare back certain benefits, such as In-Home Supportive Services, and to tighten eligibility requirements for such programs as Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.

The $2-billion to $3-billion rough estimate of net state costs for the federal program comes from Belshe’s shop. It’s $1 billion less than the price tag calculated in December for a Senate-passed bill.

In a letter then to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Schwarzenegger warned that ”this crushing new burden will be added to a [state] safety net that is already shredding under billions of dollars in unfunded federal mandates.”

The House gave states more money than the Senate did for Medicaid expansion, which will begin in 2014.

Under the final version, the feds will pay 100% of the cost for new Medi-Cal enrollees for two years, reduce it to 95%, then permanently kick in 90% starting in 2020. That’s a good deal, but not the whole story. The largesse will cover only those new recipients who qualify under the overhaul’s looser eligibility rules.

The feds won’t be nearly as generous for another group of new enrollees, providing only 50% of the cost. These are the people who currently are eligible for Medi-Cal and for whatever reason — perhaps stigma — haven’t signed up. But under the new law, they’ll be forced to obtain insurance. And it’s estimated that half will go into Medi-Cal.

Actually, as part of the federal economic stimulus, the feds now are paying 60% of Medi-Cal costs, rather than 50%. But that’s only temporary.

Nobody in Sacramento pretends to thoroughly understand the complex new legislation or its potential impact on the state budget. Only that it will be a drain.

The federal government will fund higher reimbursements for primary care physicians who treat Medi-Cal recipients, but only for two years. Who pays after that?

There’ll be start-up costs of many millions in an administration strapped by civil service furloughs, vacancies and layoffs — while the front-running Republican candidate for governor, Meg Whitman, vows to eliminate 40,000 more jobs.

”Fundamentally, we all know that the state budget situation is dire and financing for Medi-Cal is precarious,” says Marian Mulkey, senior program officer for the California Healthcare Foundation.

”On balance, if the reform is fully realized, a huge number of Californians will get better care.

But at the same time, the state cost issues are very real. It’s hard to imagine this being implemented as envisioned unless we get on a more secure state fiscal footing.”

Anthony Wright, executive secretary of Health Access California, calls the overhaul ”a boon rather than a burden.”

”I don’t disagree with the fact that this may cost something,” Wright adds, ”but the benefit is so much greater.”

Yes, this may be a terrific and historic program, but it is going to cost the state money. We shouldn’t kid ourselves.

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Obama Care 18

25 mars, 2010

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/24/obamacare-fails-firedoglake/

EDITORIAL: Obamacare fails Firedoglake

March 24, 2010

Liberals, too, were appalled by the fiasco

It wasn’t the Tea Partiers and conservative radio hosts who had the harshest things to say about Obamacare. Left-wing bloggers offered some of the sharpest attacks – and some of them made lots of sense.

From the beginning of the debate a year ago, Jane Hamsher of the influential blog Firedoglake insisted that no ”reform” without a public option would be acceptable. Her fetish for a public option was misguided, but some of her reasoning was solid.

The day after the bill passed, for instance, Ms. Hamsher wrote: ”This bill fundamentally shifts the relationships of governance in order to achieve its objectives.We have empowered another quasi-governmental, ‘too big to fail’ industry with alarming nonchalance.”

On March 17, four days before the vote, Ms. Hamsher was even harsher:

The claims made by the administration about the virtues of the health care bill are outright fabrications. As Marcy Wheeler has documented in her post entitled ‘Health Care and the Road to Neofeudalism,’ it does not control either insurance premiums or health care costs. Forcing 31 million people to buy a product they don’t want and can’t afford to use does not constitute health care reform.”

She’s right, of course. The ”individual mandate” that forces every American to purchase health insurance is an assault on liberty and clearly unconstitutional. It must be repealed.

The next sentences from Firedoglake get even tougher: ”Once again, the poor get used as human shields so corporations can be the beneficiaries of massive government bailout. Rather than actually helping the poor, this bill is a dangerous and unprecedented step on the road to domination of government by private corporate players who use it to suppress competition and secure their profits – the textbook definition of fascism.”

Ms. Hamsher helpfully provided an online link to the very definition of fascism in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics: ”Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the ‘national interest’ – that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it.”

One need not sling around labels or endorse such a loaded term as fascism to understand that Obamacare is anathema to the American system of free enterprise and limited government. Also anathema were the bait-and-switch, strong-arm, kneecapping tactics used to ram this bill into law against the wishes of an overwhelming public majority. Again, here is Firedoglake: ”Members of Congress are dealing their seats away, planning to retire after the vote is cast in exchange for appointments or other sinecures from the administration.” And ”the corruption, lies and lack of affordability that were the hallmarks of the bill” helped demonstrate ”the bad faith with which the president engaged in the health care debate.”

From right, left and center, almost anybody could see how bad a bill and distasteful a process this government takeover of health care was. It must not stand.

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Obama Care 17

25 mars, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703312504575141642402986422.html

MARCH 25, 2010.ObamaCare Day One

Companies are already warning about higher health-care costs..

Democrats dragged themselves over the health-care finish line in part by repeating that voters would like the plan once it passed. Let’s see what they think when they learn their insurance costs will jump right away.

Even before President Obama signed the bill on Tuesday, Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone. Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers. Now Verizon joins the roll of businesses staring at adverse consequences.

In an email titled ”President Obama Signs Health Care Legislation” sent to all employees Tuesday night, the telecom giant warned that ”we expect that Verizon’s costs will increase in the short term.” While executive vice president for human resources Marc Reed wrote that ”it is difficult at this point to gauge the precise impact of this legislation,” and that ObamaCare does reflect some of the company’s policy priorities, the message to workers was clear: Expect changes for the worse to your health benefits as the direct result of this bill, and maybe as soon as this year.

Mr. Reed specifically cited a change in the tax treatment of retiree health benefits. When Congress created the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003, it included a modest tax subsidy to encourage employers to keep drug plans for retirees, rather than dumping them on the government. The Employee Benefit Research Institute says this exclusion—equal to 28% of the cost of a drug plan—will run taxpayers $665 per person next year, while the same Medicare coverage would cost $1,209.

In a $5.4 billion revenue grab, Democrats decided that this $665 fillip should be subject to the ordinary corporate income tax of 35%. Most consulting firms and independent analysts say the higher costs will induce some companies to drop drug coverage, which could affect about five million retirees and 3,500 businesses. Verizon and other large corporations warned about this outcome.

U.S. accounting laws also require businesses to immediately restate their earnings in light of the higher tax burden on their long-term retiree health liabilities. This will have a big effect on their 2010 earnings.

While the drug tax subsidy is for retirees, companies consider their benefit costs as a total package. The new bill might cause some to drop retiree coverage altogether. Others may be bound by labor contracts to retirees, but then they will find other ways to cut costs. This means raising costs or reducing coverage for other employees. So much for Mr. Obama’s claim that if you like your coverage, you can keep it—even at Fortune 500 companies.

In its employee note, Verizon also warned about the 40% tax on high-end health plans, though that won’t take effect until 2018. ”Many of the plans that Verizon offers to employees and retirees are projected to have costs above the threshold in the legislation and will be subject to the 40 percent excise tax.” These costs will start to show up soon, and, as we repeatedly argued, the tax is unlikely to drive down costs. The tax burden will simply be spread to all workers—the result of the White House’s too-clever decision to tax insurers, rather than individuals.

A Verizon spokesman said the company is merely addressing employee questions about ObamaCare, not making a political statement. But these and many other changes were enabled by the support of the Business Roundtable that counts Verizon as a member. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s health-reform ideas are 180 degrees from Mr. Obama’s, but Verizon’s shareholders and 900,000 employees and retirees will still pay the price.

Businesses around the country are making the same calculations as Verizon and no doubt sending out similar messages. It’s only a small measure of the destruction that will be churned out by the rewrite of health, tax, labor and welfare laws that is ObamaCare, and only the vanguard of much worse to come.

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Obama Care 16

24 mars, 2010

As I wrote in my previous post:

No Obamacare for Obama

Democrats exempt themselves from socialist medicine

President Obama declared that the new health care law ”is going to be affecting every American family.” Except his own, of course.

The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well.

Meanwhile, we await Mr. Obama’s explanation why if his ”historic” health care law is so great for America, it’s not good enough for him and his family.

Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI): “So This Is What Change Looks Like

“So this is what change looks like. If he were here, Mr. Speaker, in this time of momentous national distress, I would remind the President of the United States that he is not the leader of a party or an ideology; he is the leader of our country—one founded, not to emulate others, but to inspire the world.

As families lose their jobs, their homes, and their dreams for their children; as our troops fight and sacrifice in foreign fields for our liberty and security, President Obama’s obsessive-compulsive pursuit of an abominable government takeover of health care has defied the public’s objections, despoiled this, “The People’s House,” and further alienated Americans from their representative government.

As President Obama’s campaign mantra of “hope and change” has degenerated into “tax and hate,” reputable surveys prior to this vote report: the public overwhelmingly thinks that the U.S. Government is broken. Only 21 percent of the public thinks it is being governed with its consent. Only 26 percent of the public trusts the Federal Government most of the time or always; 56 percent of Americans think the Federal Government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedom of ordinary citizens; 70 percent believe the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors; and 71 percent of Americans think the Federal Government is a special interest.

In the wake of this health care debate’s despicable, dysfunctional process and product, it is clear: The most dangerous special interest is Big Government and President Obama is its lobbyist.

In contrast to Americans’ faith in themselves, every major piece of legislation proffered by the President and his Democratic Congress expands and empowers Big Government at the expense of the people.  Possessed of a smug, cynical, patronizing view of Americans as dependents desiring State benefits, this arrogant administration and its enablers have defied the American people and bi-partisan opposition in Congress to unilaterally jam through a trillion-dollar government takeover of health care.

Why? For so many Americans, the answer is that this President and his Democratic Congress think they are smarter than you; want to run your life; and want to make government your ruler, not your servant.

Such hubris threatens not only our health care system but it tears the social fabric and political contract of our Nation. Instead of working for a more perfect Union, the President’s ideological obstinacy exacerbated the disorder and divisions within our Nation, and wrought a crisis of consent—one that puts America’s exceptional experiment in human freedom and self-government on the precipice of implosion.

To do so the President has the power, but not the right. Thus he has merely scored a Pyrrhic victory over the American people. Ultimately, his government-run medicine scheme will be repealed and replaced with free- market, patient-centered wellness, because America’s strength and salvation remains her free people, not a person.

And this November, America’s sovereign citizens will remind the President and his Democratic Congress that We the People do not work for government; the government works for us.

No, the President and his Democratic Congress will not break us beneath Big Government. Devoted to our freedom and a more perfect Union, we will keep the faith, trust the public, calm the times, and heal our country.”

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Obama Care 15

24 mars, 2010

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/23/obamacare-for-everyone-but-obama/

No Obamacare for Obama

Democrats exempt themselves from socialist medicine

March 23, 2010

President Obama declared that the new health care law ”is going to be affecting every American family.” Except his own, of course.

The new health care law exempts the president from having to participate in it. Leadership and committee staffers in the House and Senate who wrote the bill are exempted as well. A weasel-worded definition of ”staff” includes only the members’ personal staff in the new system; the committee staff that drafted the legislation opted themselves out. Because they were more familiar with the contents of the law than anyone in the country, it says a lot that they carved out their own special loophole. Anyway, the law is intended to affect ”ordinary Americans,” according to Vice President Joe Biden (who – being a heartbeat away from the presidency – also is not covered), not Washington insiders.

Mr. Obama frequently tossed around the talking point that the new law gave people the same type of coverage as Congress enjoyed. In his March 20 health care pep talk to wavering Democrats on Capitol Hill, the president said one of the advantages of the health care legislation was that ”people will have choice and competition just like members of Congress have choice and competition.” At yesterday’s signing ceremony, Mr. Obama said Americans will be ”part of a big pool, just like federal employees are part of a big pool. They’ll have the same choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves.” But the American people will have a public pool; the executive branch and congressional staffers kept their country-club pool private.

Last year, Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, spearheaded efforts to have all Americans included in the plan, but he ran into heavy opposition from unions representing federal workers – the same unions that were pro-Obamacare stalwarts. In September, the Senate approved a scaled-down amendment that covered members of Congress and their staff. When this provision later emerged from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office, the leadership and committee staff loophole had appeared. A move in December by Mr. Grassley and Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, to close this loophole and to extend the law to senior members of the executive branch – including the president, vice president and Cabinet members – was blocked by Senate Democratic leaders.

Mr. Grassley has introduced an amendment to the Senate health care reconciliation bill that also will apply the law to the upper tier of the executive branch and all Capitol Hill staffers, but it remains to be seen whether Democrats will let this measure move forward.

The special exemptions slipped into the health care law are another example of how those statists who rule consider themselves a privileged class, imposing burdens on the country that they will not accept themselves. Candidates for office in 2010 should pledge to close these and other loopholes in the law that impose unequal burdens and create exclusive privileged classes in America. Meanwhile, we await Mr. Obama’s explanation why if his ”historic” health care law is so great for America, it’s not good enough for him and his family.

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Obama Care 14

23 mars, 2010

Now it’s personal

America’s coming for you, Congress!

Vote Liberals out in 2010!

We the people…

This billboard is on I-75 just south of Lake City, Florida. Paid for by the local people ($6,500).

And there is this one in Grand Junction, CO.

Anyone who thinks Americans are going to lie down and roll over for the liberals/socialists in the White House and Congress is seriously mistaken.

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Obama Care 13

23 mars, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=528103

Abuses Stir A Constitutional Awakening

By WALTER WILLIAMS

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

If there is anything good to say about Democrat control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives, it’s that their extraordinarily brazen, heavy-handed acts have aroused a level of constitutional interest among the American people that has been dormant for far too long.

Part of this heightened interest is seen in the strength of the Tea Party movement around the nation. Another is the angry reception that many congressmen received at their district town hall meetings.

Yet another is seen by the exchanges on the nation’s most popular radio talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others. Then there’s the rising popularity of conservative/libertarian television shows such as Glenn Beck, John Stossel and Fox News.

Cost Of Office

While the odds-on favorite is that the Republicans will do well in the fall elections, Americans who want constitutional government should not see Republican control as a solution to what our founders would have called ”a long train of abuses and usurpations.”

Solutions to our nation’s problems require correct diagnostics and answers to questions like: Why did 2008 presidential and congressional candidates spend over $5 billion campaigning for office? Why did special interests pay Washington lobbyists over $3 billion that same year? What are reasons why corporations, unions and other interest groups fork over these billions of dollars to lobbyists and into the campaign coffers of politicians?

Don’t Believe It

One might say that these groups are simply extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep and abiding interest in elected officials living up to their oath of office to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Another response is that these politicians, and the people who spend billions of dollars on them, just love participating in the political process.

If you believe either of these explanations, you’re probably a candidate for some medicine, a straitjacket and a padded cell.

A far better explanation for the billions going to the campaign coffers of Washington politicians and lobbyists lies in the awesome government power and control over business, property, employment and other areas of our lives. Having such power, Washington politicians are in the position to grant favors and commit acts that if committed by a private person would land him in jail.

Here’s one among thousands of examples: Incandescent light bulbs are far more convenient and less expensive than the compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) that General Electric now produces. So how can General Electric sell its costly CFLs? They know that Congress has the power to outlaw incandescent light bulbs.

General Electric was the prominent lobbyist for outlawing incandescent light bulbs and in 2008 had a $20 million lobbying budget. Also, it should come as no surprise that General Electric is a contributor to global warmers who helped convince Congress that incandescent bulbs were destroying the planet.

The greater Congress’ ability to grant favors and take one American’s earnings to give to another American, the greater the value of influencing congressional decision-making. There’s no better influence than money. The generic favor sought is to get Congress, under one ruse or another, to grant a privilege or right to one group of Americans that will be denied another group of Americans.

On The Edge

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, covering up for a corrupt Ways and Means Committee chairman, Charles Rangel, said that his behavior was ”a violation of the rules of the House” but it ”was not something that jeopardized our country in any way.” Pelosi is right in minimizing Rangel’s corruption. It pales in comparison, in terms of harm to our nation, to the legalized corruption that’s a part of Washington’s daily dealing.

Hopefully, our nation’s constitutional reawakening will begin to deliver us from the precipice. There is no constitutional authority for two-thirds to three-quarters of what Congress does.

Our Constitution’s father, James Madison, explained: ”The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined … (to be) exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce.”

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Obama Care 12

23 mars, 2010

 

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=528098

Madam Pelosi’s House Of Ill Repute

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

The Vote: Conned by the promise of an ephemeral executive order, the last holdouts cave and ObamaCare advances. It doesn’t add a single doctor or hospital room, but needs 17,000 new IRS agents to enforce it.

Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., spent months spelling out in minute detail how the Senate version of the health care overhaul permitted federal funding of abortion through its failure to expressly prohibit it.

In the end, he cashed in his principles for an unenforceable executive order that is trumped by the Senate bill he voted to pass.

An executive order is not the law of the land. Neither can you amend a law via executive order. The Senate version of socialized medicine will be the law of the land. It trumps any executive order, a ruling every court will make every time. As Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., reminded Stupak before the vote, this executive order can also be erased by another executive order at any time. It has the strength of gelatin and the life expectancy of a fruit fly.

Stupak was had. So was a bare party-line majority of the House of Representatives, in the face of bipartisan opposition, which proved the adage about everyone having a price, whether it be increased water rations for California’s San Joaquin Valley or a bank in Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s North Dakota that’s now the only one in the country that can still issue student loans.

Such bribes were necessary because the Democrats’ ”reform” doesn’t improve care, expand coverage or reduce costs. As GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin recently stated, ”If you take all the double counting out of the bill, which the (Congressional Budget Office) can’t do because that’s the way it’s put in front of them, this thing has a $460 billion deficit in the first 10 years, a $1.4 trillion deficit in the second 10 years.”

With accounting tricks that would make Bernie Madoff blush, revenue and savings from the feds taking over student loans is counted as medical savings. A $250 billion dollar ”doctor fix” to compensate for $500 billion in Medicare cuts is not counted as an increased cost.

This legislation will cause doctors to flee in droves. The New England Journal of Medicine just released a survey, confirming our own polling, finding that 46% of primary care physicians would consider quitting medicine under this bill.

House Subcommittee on Oversight ranking member Charles Boustany, R-La., said the Internal Revenue Service provision in the bill ”dangerously expands, in an ominous way the tentacles of the IRS and its reach into every American family.”

The IRS now can make sure everyone buys health insurance acceptable to the federal government and collect the fines of up to $2,250 per family or 2% of income if it doesn’t.

The CBO expects the IRS will need roughly $10 billion over the next 10 years and nearly 17,000 new employees to meet its new responsibilities under socialized medicine. The American people will be faced with fines, even possible imprisonment, if they don’t comply with this unique federal mandate. Now an IRS agent will come between you and your doctor.

These IRS agents will have the job of enforcing a new and unconstitutional mandate. The Constitution specifically enumerates the powers given to each branch of government and says that any power not mentioned revert to the states and to the people. Nowhere does it say the feds can compel you to buy health insurance.

A swarm of state attorneys general is ready to march into federal court to defend the Constitution and the 10th Amendment in particular from this assault on democracy and freedom. The law officials have behind them the support of an American electorate overwhelmingly opposed to this expansion of government power being rammed down their throats.

They will remember in November.

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Obama Care 11

23 mars, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=528102

Kill It In Court

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

Constitution: Republicans vow to repeal health care reform. But no social entitlement, once signed into law, has ever been overturned. The way to stop this federal overreach is through the courts.

Fox pundit Bill Kristol predicts that Republicans will repeal the law in 2013. Rep. Jim DeMint and other GOP leaders have already pledged to do so.

But that assumes a lot. Republicans must first regain control of both houses of Congress, which will require sustaining the current level of public outrage for six months after the fact.

That won’t be easy. While additional negative details about the 2,074-page bill will come out over the coming months, the worst parts won’t go into effect for years. And the White House is already reselling the few positives, such as covering pre-existing conditions, which go into effect right away.

Yes, Republicans won Congress for the first time in 50 years after Clinton tried to socialize medicine. And yes, this bill is arguably worse, with 732 more pages, 109 more bureaucracies and just as many new taxes.

But HillaryCare failed, and was cast as a major Democrat defeat. ObamaCare, on the other hand, will be hailed as a big Democrat win. Even in the off chance that they do take back Congress, Republicans seeking repeal will have to fend off all the lobbyists who will cement around new health care rules, programs and benefits.

Then they’ll have to override President Obama’s veto.

The nation’s best chance to kill this monstrosity before it can ruin the best health care system in the world is to get the courts to declare it unconstitutional.

The ”individual mandate” is a violation of the 9th and 14th amendments. The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate the health care industry on issues of interstate trade. It does not give it the authority to force individuals to buy a service from private industry. This is unheard of. Even in World War II, the feds did not make citizens buy war bonds, for instance.

Already Virginia, Florida and South Carolina are preparing constitutional challenges.

The high court — which thankfully (for now) is led by strict constructionists — will not let stand this violence against the Constitution, which the framers designed to limit federal powers.

If the bench were to uphold mandated universal participation in a federal health system, it would give Congress license to do anything it wants under the Commerce Clause. Nothing would be out of bounds.

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Obama Care 10

23 mars, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=528099

Enacting A Lie

Posted 03/22/2010 06:53 PM ET

Health Overhaul: Sunday’s vote exposed the ugly truth that ObamaCare is not really about health care at all. It’s all about who pays for it and who controls it — in effect a massive wealth-redistribution scheme.

Those who believe this will lead to some medical nirvana will likely be disappointed. Fact is, this poorly designed monstrosity will lead to lower-quality care, higher costs, fewer practicing physicians, higher taxes and fewer jobs.

We’ve done more than 150 editorials in the past year or so documenting these problems. Democrats surely understand them. Yet, despite a recent CNN poll showing that 59% of Americans oppose ObamaCare, Congress approved it anyway.

Why? Because it’s not really about health care. It’s the largest wealth grab in American history, masquerading as health care ”reform,” another step in the socialization of Americans’ income in the name of ”fairness” and ”spread(ing) the wealth around,” as Obama himself has put it.

That’s why we call the program a lie.

The idea behind all this, simply put, is control. This is a vast expansion of government that will require as much as $3 trillion in added spending over a decade. All claims of deficit neutrality are a joke.

This is socialization through the tax code. That $3 trillion has to be paid for. As we showed last week, the health care bill levies $569.2 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years alone.

At the same time, as noted by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, it will increase U.S. budget deficits by $562 billion.

Who’ll pay all these taxes? Those deemed ”rich” by Democrats, and businesses. Specifically, the bulk of the money comes from a special 3.8% Medicare tax on 5 million people earning more than $200,000 a year. That tax is imposed on capital gains, dividends, rents, royalties and interest — that is, investment income.

Obama already has proposed boosting these taxes in his budget. So the top tax take on dividends and cap gains will rise to 23.8% from 15%, an increase of nearly 59%, while top rates on interest and rents will soar from 15% to nearly 44%, a 193% jump.

About 50% of this higher-taxed group reports small business or partnership income. So don’t be fooled: These aren’t taxes on the ”rich,” but on small businesses and jobs.

In ObamaCare, the taxes will be ruinous. Unlike real insurance, where individuals pay to cover their risks, this program covers everyone — including 32 million uninsured — and pays for it by a ”mandate” ( read: ”tax” ) and by taking money from other people to subsidize those who can’t pay. And this just scratches the surface of the new taxes — we literally don’t have room to list them here.

Hmm. Taking money from one group, and giving it to another. That’s called welfare — or, perhaps, health-fare. It’s not insurance.

Once the new program is finished wrecking what remains of the private health insurance industry — as it ultimately will — we’ll be stuck with the government declaring that ”the market doesn’t work” and forcing all of us into a single-payer government plan.

That’s what those Democrats who back ”Medicare for all” want — to kill what’s left of the private market for health care, which has created the best medical system on earth, and use ”reform” to expand an already-bankrupt Medicare system.

The math behind this is ugly. Medicare’s long-term liabilities now total $89 trillion, according to the Government Accountability Office. Based on projected deficits, the just-passed health reform will take that to $136 trillion.

It will take a lot more than the ”rich,” as defined today, to make up such unfathomable tax shortfalls. That’s when they’ll come for the rest of us — poor, middle-class and rich alike — and we all will be paying vastly higher taxes for vastly inferior medical care.

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Obama Care 9

23 mars, 2010

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-goldberg23-2010mar23,0,6611246.column

The reality of Obamacare

Obama and the Democratic leadership have nationalized healthcare by proxy.

By Jonah Goldberg

March 23, 2010

First: Congratulations to President Obama and the Democratic leadership. You won dirty against bipartisan opposition from both Congress and the majority of Americans. You’ve definitely polarized the country even more, and quite possibly bankrupted us too. But hey, you won. Bubbly for everyone.

Simply, you have nationalized healthcare by proxy. Insurance companies are now heavily regulated government contractors. Way to get big business out of Washington! They will clear a small, government-approved profit on top of their government-approved fees. Then, when healthcare costs rise — and they will — Democrats will insist, yet again, that the profit motive is to blame and out from this Obamacare Trojan horse will pour another army of liberals demanding a more honest version of single-payer.

The Obama administration has turned the insurance industry into the Blackwater of socialized medicine.

That’s always what Obama had in mind. During the now-legendary healthcare summit, Obama, who loves to talk about ”risk pools,” ”competition,” ”consumer choice” and the like, let it slip that he actually doesn’t believe in insurance as commonly understood. The notion that Americans should buy the healthcare ”equivalent of Acme Insurance that I had for my car” seemed preposterous to him. ”I’m buying that to protect me from some catastrophic situation,” he explained. ”Otherwise, I’m just paying out of pocket. I don’t go to the doctor. I don’t get preventive care. There are a whole bunch of things I just do without. But if I get hit by a truck, maybe I don’t go bankrupt.” Apparently, people are just too stupid to go to the doctor — or maintain their homes — if they have to pay much of anything out of pocket.

The endgame was to get the young and healthy to buy more expensive insurance than they need or want. ”Expanding the risk pool” and ”spreading out the risk” by mandating — i.e., forcing — young people to buy insurance is just market-based spin for socialist ends. A risk pool is an actuarial device where a lot of people pay a small sum to cover themselves against a ”rainy day” problem that will affect only a few people. Such ”peace of mind” health insurance is gone. What we have now is health assurance. With health assurance, there are no ”risk pools” really, only payment plans.

Under the new law, all the exits from the system are blocked. You can’t opt out or buy cheap, high-deductible Acme Car-type insurance, even if that’s what you need. Ultimately, even that coercion won’t be enough to make the whole thing work because the ”cost curve” will not be bending.

Profit-hungry insurance companies were never the problem. (according to American Enterprise Institute economist Andrew Biggs, industry profit margins are around 3% and the entire industry recorded profits of just $13 billion last year, close to a rounding error in Medicare fraud estimates.) Rather, healthcare costs have been skyrocketing because consumers treat health insurance like an expense account. Putting almost everyone into one ”risk pool” doesn’t change that dynamic; it universalizes it. And eventually, the only way to cut costs will be to ration care.

In September, Obama got into a semantic argument with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, who noted that requiring all Americans to pay premiums for a government-guaranteed service sounds an awful lot like a tax. ”No. That’s not true, George,” Obama said. ”For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it’s saying is . . . that we’re not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you.” Stephanopoulos invoked a dictionary definition of a tax: ”a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes.” Obama laughed off the idea that a dictionary might outrank him as the final arbiter of a word’s meaning.

”George, the fact that you looked up . . . the definition of tax increase indicates to me that you’re stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.”

OK, put aside your dictionaries. The legislation allocates $10 billion to pay for 16,500 IRS agents who will collect and enforce mandatory ”premiums.” Does that sound like the private sector at work to you?

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Obama Care 8

22 mars, 2010

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

— C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)

“If you bound the arms and legs of gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps, weighed him down with chains, threw him in a pool and he sank, you wouldn’t call it a ‘failure of swimming’. So, when markets have been weighted down by inept and excessive regulation, why call this a ‘failure of capitalism’?”

George Mason University professor Peter Boettke,

“America was founded on the principle of individual rights, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The first round of the political battle over health care has gone to those who would violate those rights. But this is still our country. If Americans commit to fighting for their lives and their freedom, then the final victory can still be ours.”

Paul Hsieh, MD, practices in the south Denver metro area. He is co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (MD).

And of course there is the “example” of Massachusetts Model which was the precursor to Obama Care. So let’s see what happened during it’s 4 years in practice, AND THEN MULTIPLY THE RESULTS WITH 50 TO GET A ROUGH FIGURE FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRY:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9EGC7E00.htm

“The Massachusetts treasurer said Tuesday that Congress will ”threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years” if it adopts a health care overhaul modeled after the Bay State’s.

Treasurer Timothy Cahill — a former Democrat running as an independent for governor — said the 2006 law has succeeded only because of huge subsidies and favorable regulatory changes from the federal government.

”Who, exactly, is going to bail out the federal government if this plan goes national?” He asked.”

”If President (Barack) Obama and the Democrats repeat the mistake of the health insurance reform adopted here in Massachusetts on a national level, they will threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years,” the treasurer said.

Cahill’s comments came as the Patrick administration launched three days of hearings on rising health care costs. Insurance premiums in Massachusetts rose more than 12 percent over a two-year period.

At the hearing, Attorney General Martha Coakley released a study that found prices paid by health insurers to hospitals vary widely within the same geographic area and cannot be explained by the quality of care.

Massachusetts Miracle or Massachusetts Miserable

What the Failure of the “Massachusetts Model” Tells Us about Health Care Reform

http://www.cato.org/pubs/bp/bp112.pdf

These are the 34 Democrats who voted no yesterday on the Senate-passed health-care bill:

Adler (NJ), Altmire (PA),  Arcuri (NY), Barrow (GA),  Berry (AR), Boren (OK), Boucher (VA),  Bright (AL),  Chandler (KY), Childers (MS), Davis (AL), Davis (TN), Edwards (TX),  Herseth Sandlin (SD),  Holden (PA), Kissell (NC), Kratovil (MD), Lipinski (IL), Lynch (MA), Marshall (GA),  Matheson (UT), McIntyre (NC),  McMahon (NY), Melancon (LA), Minnick (ID),  Nye (VA), Peterson (MN), Ross (AR),  Shuler (NC), Skelton (MO), Space (OH), Tanner (TN), Taylor (MS), Teague (NM)

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Obama Care 7

22 mars, 2010

All these kickbacks and bribes to get this legislation through AT ALL COSTS.

A STUPAK PAYOFF “U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced three airports in northern Michigan have received grants totaling $726,409 for airport maintenance and improvements. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.”

Just a coincidence wouldn’t you say?

STUPAK ANNOUNCES $726,409 FOR AIRPORTS IN ALPENA, DELTA AND CHIPPEWA COUNTIES

http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/mi01_stupak/morenews/20100319faagrant.html

Give Rep. Bart Stupak, D-MI, credit, the guy knows how to act. He kept up the charade of opposing Obamacare on principle – no abortion funding with tax dollars – right to the end, then switched once he was satisfied he’d found a sufficient fig leaf to be able to work the issue both ways.

This is classic political hypocrisy. But it’s not like Stupak didn’t tell us that’s what he would do before. Speaking in a constituent meeting in Cheboygan Oct. 24, 2009, Stupak laid out a scenario that is eerily like what just transpired in the nation’s capitol. Substitute ”Executive Order” for ”Amendment” in Stupak’s description, and you’ve got it.

Here are some of the earlier kickbacks:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/21/AR2009122102861.html

“First there was the ”Louisiana Purchase,” $100 million in extra Medicaid money for the Bayou State, requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

Then came the ”Cornhusker Kickback,” another $100 million in extra Medicaid money, this ti me for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

This was followed by word that Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) had written into the legislation $100 million meant for a medical center in his state. This one was quickly dubbed the ”U Con.”

Earlier, when GOP staff member mistakenly thought the medical center was destined for Indiana rather than Connecticut, they named it the ”Bayh Off” for Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).

For Democratic leaders, this created an appearance problem. Fortunately, they had removed from the bill the tax on cosmetic procedures (the ”Botax”) and replaced it with a tax on tanning (which would primarily impact House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio).

”I don’t know if there is a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that was important to them,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) reasoned when asked at a news conference Monday about the cash-for-cloture accusation. ”And if they don’t have something in it important to them, then it doesn’t speak well of them.”

Indeed, the proliferation of deals has outpaced the ability of Capitol Hill cynics to name them.

Gator Aid: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) inserted a grandfather clause that would allow Floridians to preserve their pricey Medicare Advantage program.

Handout Montana: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) secured Medicare coverage for anybody exposed to asbestos — as long as they worked in a mine in Libby, Mont.

Iowa Pork and Omaha Prime Cuts: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won more Medicare money for low-volume hospitals of the sort commonly found in Iowa, while Nebraska’s Nelson won a ”carve out” provision that would reduce fees for Mutual of Omaha and other Nebraska insurers.

Meanwhile, Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, both North Dakota Democrats, would enjoy a provision bringing higher Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in ”frontier counties” of states such as — let’s see here — North Dakota!

Hawaii, with two Democratic senators, would get richer payments to hospitals that treat many uninsured people. Michigan, home of two other Democrats, would earn higher Medicare payments and some reduced fees for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) held out for larger Medicaid payments for his state (neighboring Massachusetts would get some, too).

As news of the agreements proliferated, Republican senators went to the floor to protest. ”This will not stand the test of the Constitution, I hope, because the deals that have been made to get votes from specific states’ senators cannot be considered equal protection under the law,” argued Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.).

Her Texas colleague, Sen. John Cornyn, took issue with White House strategist David Axelrod‘s claim that such deals are ”the way it will always be.” Said the Texan: ”Maybe in Chicago, but not in my state, and not in the heartland.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) even disavowed Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback. ”Nebraskans are frustrated and angry that our beloved state has been thrust into the same pot with all of the other special deals that get cut here,” he reported. “

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Obama Care 6

22 mars, 2010

“Top prosecutors in South Carolina and Florida said Friday they are ready to sue if health care reform legislation passes this weekend as expected.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster said he and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum will file a federal lawsuit challenging the bill’s constitutionality.

”We are ready to kill it,” McMaster said. ”When the national government and Congress start going wild, it’s up to the states to rein them in.”

“On Thursday, McMaster said he and McCollum had a conference call with those other attorneys general, whom they expect to sign onto the lawsuit next week.

”It’s essentially a direct tax on the people for which there is no authority,” McMaster said. ”It’s the national government requiring a citizen to buy something that he may or may not want to buy. There’s no authority in the Constitution that allows the Congress to do that.”

McCollum’s office confirmed Friday their participation in the legal action.

”Like all of these people, I swore an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and the constitution of South Carolina,” McMaster said. ”It is difficult to understand how the president and the Congress can believe that this is constitutional. It is harmful, and that’s why we’re going to kill it.”

http://www.thestate.com/2010/03/19/1207843/mcmaster-set-to-sue-on-hrc.html#ixzz0iuR0Db9y

Article V of the constitution

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031901470.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Is health-care reform constitutional?

By Randy E. Barnett
Sunday, March 21, 2010; B02

With the House set to vote on health-care legislation, the congressional debate on the issue seems to be nearing its conclusion. But if the bill does become law, the battle over federal control of health care will inevitably shift to the courts. Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II, has said he will file a legal challenge to the bill, arguing in a column this month that reform legislation ”violate[s] the plain text of both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.” On Friday, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced that they will file a federal lawsuit if health-care reform legislation passes.

Will these cases get anywhere? Here is a guide to the possible legal challenges to a comprehensive health-care bill.

The individual mandate.

Can Congress really require that every person purchase health insurance from a private company or face a penalty? The answer lies in the commerce clause of the Constitution, which grants Congress the power ”to regulate commerce . . . among the several states.” Historically, insurance contracts were not considered commerce, which referred to trade and carriage of merchandise. That’s why insurance has traditionally been regulated by states. But the Supreme Court has long allowed Congress to regulate and prohibit all sorts of ”economic” activities that are not, strictly speaking, commerce. The key is that those activities substantially affect interstate commerce, and that’s how the court would probably view the regulation of health insurance.

But the individual mandate extends the commerce clause’s power beyond economic activity, to economic inactivity. That is unprecedented. While Congress has used its taxing power to fund Social Security and Medicare, never before has it used its commerce power to mandate that an individual person engage in an economic transaction with a private company. Regulating the auto industry or paying ”cash for clunkers” is one thing; making everyone buy a Chevy is quite another. Even during World War II, the federal government did not mandate that individual citizens purchase war bonds.

If you choose to drive a car, then maybe you can be made to buy insurance against the possibility of inflicting harm on others. But making you buy insurance merely because you are alive is a claim of power from which many Americans instinctively shrink. Senate Republicans made this objection, and it was defeated on a party-line vote, but it will return.

The Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, Gator Aid and other deals.

Some states are threatening lawsuits to block the special deals brokered by individual senators in exchange for their votes. Unless the reconciliation bill passes the Senate, such deals could remain in place. Article I of the Constitution allows Congress to tax and spend to ”provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” Normally, this is no barrier to legislation benefiting a particular state or city. Congress can always argue that, say, an Air Force base in Nebraska benefits the United States as a whole. But the deals in the Senate bill are different. It is really hard to identify a benefit to all the states from exempting one state from an increase in Medicare costs or allowing only the citizens of Florida to get Medicare Advantage.

The Slaughter House rule.

A far graver threat to the bill would have been to declare it unconstitutional because it was never formally voted on by the House and therefore never became law. Article I requires that every bill ”shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate” to become law, and that ”the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered in the journal of each House respectively.”

The whole purpose of the ”deem and pass” procedure — which was advocated by Rules Committee Chairman Louise Slaughter — was to avoid a separate vote on the Senate bill, which many House members find objectionable, and instead vote on the reconciliation bill and simultaneously ”deem” the Senate measure passed. Although Democrats cited prior examples of deem and pass, ”the Republicans did it” is not a recognized constitutional argument — especially if the public and the justices have never heard of such a thing. This constitutional objection seems to have succeeded, as House leaders decided on Saturday to take a separate vote on the Senate version, rather than ”deeming” it passed.

State sovereignty provisions.

Several states are considering measures attempting to exempt their residents from an individual health insurance mandate. While such provisions may have a political impact, none is likely to have any effect on the legislation’s constitutionality. Under the 10th Amendment, if Congress enacts a law pursuant to one of the ”powers . . . delegated to the United States by the Constitution,” then that law is supreme, and nothing a state can do changes this. Any state power to ”nullify” unconstitutional federal laws has long been rejected.

Constitutional amendments.

Of course, there is one additional way for states to win a fight about the constitutionality of health-care legislation: Make it unconstitutional. Article V of the Constitution gives state legislatures the power to require Congress to convene a convention to propose an amendment to the Constitution. If two-thirds of state legislatures demand an amendment barring the federal regulation of health insurance or an individual mandate, Congress would be constitutionally bound to hold a convention. Something like this happened in 1933 when Congress proposed and two-thirds of the states ratified the 21st Amendment, removing from the Constitution the federal power to prohibit the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol. But the very threat of an amendment convention would probably induce Congress to repeal the bill.

Ultimately, there are three ways to think about whether a law is constitutional: Does it conflict with what the Constitution says? Does it conflict with what the Supreme Court has said? Will five justices accept a particular argument? Although the first three of the potential constitutional challenges to health-care reform have a sound basis in the text of the Constitution, and no Supreme Court precedents clearly bar their success, the smart money says there won’t be five votes to thwart the popular will to enact comprehensive health insurance reform.

But what if five justices think the legislation was carried bleeding across the finish line on a party-line vote over widespread bipartisan opposition? What if control of one or both houses of Congress flips parties while lawsuits are pending? Then there might just be five votes against regulating inactivity by compelling citizens to enter into a contract with a private company. This legislation won’t go into effect tomorrow. In the interim, it is far more vulnerable than if some citizens had already started to rely upon its benefits.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider another recent case in which the smart money doubted there were five votes to intervene in a politicized controversy involving technical procedures. A case in which five justices may have perceived that long-established rules were being gamed for purely partisan advantage.

You might have heard of it: Bush v. Gore.

Randy E. Barnett teaches constitutional law at Georgetown University. He is the author of ”Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty.”

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Obama Care 5

22 mars, 2010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703775504575135881813148208.html

The Doctors of the House

A landmark of liberal governance whose price will be very steep.

MARCH 21, 2010

House Democrats last night passed President Obama’s federal takeover of the U.S. health-care system, and the ticker tape media parade is already underway. So this hour of liberal political victory is a good time to adapt the ”Pottery Barn” rule that Colin Powell once invoked on Iraq: You break it, you own it.

This week’s votes don’t end our health-care debates. By making medical care a subsidiary of Washington, they guarantee such debates will never end. And by ramming the vote through Congress on a narrow partisan majority, and against so much popular opposition, Democrats have taken responsibility for what comes next—to insurance premiums, government spending, doctor shortages and the quality of care. They are now the rulers of American medicine.

Mr. Obama and the Democrats have sold this takeover by promising that multiple benefits will follow: huge new subsidies for the middle class; lower insurance premiums for consumers, especially those in the individual market; vast reductions in the federal budget deficit and in overall health-care spending; a more competitive U.S. economy as business health-care costs decline; no reductions in Medicare benefits; and above all, in Mr. Obama’s words, that ”if you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan.”

We think all of this except the subsidies will turn out to be illusory, as most of the American public seems intuitively to understand. As recently as Friday, Caterpillar Inc. announced that ObamaCare will increase its health-care costs by $100 million in the first year alone, due to a stray provision about the tax treatment of retiree benefits. This will not be the only such unhappy surprise.

While the subsidies don’t start until 2014, many of the new taxes and insurance mandates will take effect within six months. The first result will be turmoil in the insurance industry, as small insurers in particular find it impossible to make money under the new rules. A wave of consolidation is likely, and so are higher premiums as insurers absorb the cost of new benefits and the mandate to take all comers.

Liberals will try to blame insurers once again, but the public shouldn’t be fooled. WellPoint, Aetna and the rest are from now on going to be public utilities, essentially creatures of Congress and the Health and Human Services Department. When prices rise and quality and choice suffer, the fault will lie with ObamaCare.

While liberal Democrats are fulfilling their dream of a cradle-to-grave entitlement, their swing-district colleagues will pay the electoral price. Those on the fence fell in line out of party loyalty or in response to some bribe, and to show the party could govern. But even then Speaker Nancy Pelosi could only get 85% of her caucus and had to make promises that are sure to prove ephemeral.

Most prominently, she won over Michigan’s Bart Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats with an executive order from Mr. Obama that will supposedly prevent public funds from subsidizing abortions. The wording of the order seems to do nothing more than the language of the Senate bill that Mr. Stupak had previously said he couldn’t support, and of course such an order can be revoked whenever it is politically convenient to do so.

We have never understood why pro-lifers consider abortion funding more morally significant than the rationing of care for cancer patients or at the end of life that will inevitably result from this bill. But in any case Democratic pro-lifers sold themselves for a song, as they usually do.

Then there are the self-styled ”deficit hawks” like Jim Cooper of Tennessee. These alleged scourges of government debt faced the most important fiscal vote of their careers and chose to endorse a new multitrillion-dollar entitlement. They did so knowing that the White House has already promised to restore some $250 billion in reimbursement cuts for doctors that were included in yesterday’s bill to make the deficit numbers look good. Watch for these Democrats to pivot immediately and again demand ”tough choices” on spending—and especially tax increases—but this vote has squandered whatever credibility they had left.

Mrs. Pelosi did at least abandon, albeit under pressure, the ”deem and pass” strategy that would have passed the legislation without a vote on the actual Senate language. We and many others criticized that ruse early last week, and the House decision to drop it exposes the likes of Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and other analysts who are always willing to defend the indefensible when Democrats are doing it.

All of this means the Senate’s Christmas Eve bill is ready for Mr. Obama’s signature, though only because rank-and-file House Members also passed a bill of amendments that will now go back to the Senate under ”reconciliation” rules that require only 50 votes. Those amendments almost certainly contravene the plain rules of reconciliation, and the goal for Senate Republicans should be to defeat this second ”fix-it” bill. It’s notable that Democrats didn’t show yesterday for a meeting with the Senate parliamentarian to consider GOP challenges, no doubt because they fear some of them might be upheld.

Though it’s hard to believe, the original Senate bill is marginally less harmful than the ”fixed” version, not least because the middle-class insurance subsidies are less costly and it would avert the giant new payroll tax. That’s the White House increase in the Medicare portion of the payroll tax to 3.8% that Democrats cooked up at the last minute and would apply to the investment income of taxpayers making more than $200,000.

If the reconciliation bill goes down, Big Labor and its Democratic clients would be forced to swallow a larger excise tax on high-cost insurance plans, and it would also forestall the private student-loan takeover that Democrats included as a sweetener. In other words, they’d be forced to eat the sausage they themselves made as they have abused Congressional procedure to push ObamaCare into law.

We also can’t mark this day without noting that it couldn’t have happened without the complicity of America‘s biggest health-care lobbies, including Big Pharma, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the Business Roundtable and such individual companies as Wal-Mart. They hope to get more customers, or to reduce their own costs, but in the end they have merely made themselves more vulnerable to the gilded clutches of the political class.

While the passage of Obama Care marks a liberal triumph, its impact will play out over many years. We fought this bill so vigorously because we have studied government health care in other countries, and the results include much higher taxes, slower economic growth and worse medical care. As for the politics, the first verdict arrives in November.

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Obama Care 4

22 mars, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=527934

Health Overhaul’s Assault On Business

Posted 03/19/2010 07:07 PM ET

Taxes: If ObamaCare becomes permanent, no one will suffer more than U.S. businesses. They’ll face higher taxes, more regulations and a higher cost of capital. But don’t take our word for it. Go ask Caterpillar.

The heavy-equipment giant reckons its insurance costs will go up 20%, or $100 million, the first year after the health care system is overhauled, and may go even higher. Multiply that by literally tens of thousands of companies nationwide, large and small, and you can see how costs will soar.

We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors,” said Greg Folley, a Caterpillar vice president. ”We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we’ve raised throughout the year.”

If you don’t care how this affects businesses, you should. Some 15 million people in this country don’t have jobs — and another 12 million work part-time but want full-time positions.

If America‘s major employers are hit with huge, government-mandated cost increases during an economic downturn, do you really think they’ll hire more when the economy starts growing on its own again? Of course not.

Despite this, the White House predicts its plan will ”cut costs” for businesses. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi even makes the bizarre prediction that passage of health reform will lead to 400,000 new jobs ”immediately,” and millions more down the road.

Such claims don’t hold water because health reform includes $569.2 billion in new taxes, at last count 160 new bureaucracies and regulations, and 16,500 new IRS agents to collect all those taxes. Tax hits on businesses and industries include:

$52 billion on companies that do not provide what the government deems ”acceptable” or ”affordable” insurance for workers.

$60.1 billion on health insurers.

$27 billion on drugmakers and importers.

$20 billion on makers and importers of medical devices.

$2.7 billion on the tanning industry.

And of course the companies themselves don’t pay. You do — both as a consumer, through higher prices, and as an employee, through lower wages.

As the Tax Policy Center, a center-liberal think tank, noted recently, ”Economists generally believe that the burden of payroll taxes is borne by workers in the form of lower wages, regardless of whether the tax is levied on the employer or employee.”

But that’s not the end of it.

A new Medicare tax on capital gains, dividends and other investment income has been raised from 2.9% to 3.8%. Supposedly, this is a tax on the ”wealthy,” those with $200,000 or more in income. It’s really a tax on small business, entrepreneurs and investors.

This provision will push the top cap-gains rate from 15% to almost 24%, while the dividend rate will rise from 35% to 43.4%.

This amounts a big new tax on the very people who are most likely to own or start a new business and hire workers. Health reform will tax large numbers of job creators out of business — and no one in the White House seems to know, or even care.

But it will have an enormous impact. As a result of the Obama-Care taxes on successful individuals and companies, investment in new companies will slow, and old companies will face a higher cost of capital. New jobs will be created offshore in places such India and China.

Economist Steve Entin of the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation estimated the Medicare tax would reduce GDP by 1.3%, capital formation by 3.4% and after-tax incomes of those who don’t pay the tax directly by 1.2%.

And those estimates came when the tax was ”only” 2.9% — not the 3.8% it is in the current bill. So the economic losses would in fact be even larger than Entin estimated.

Because of these taxes and other faults in the plan, a group of 130 economists last Thursday sent President Obama a letter imploring him not to sign the bill, saying that it would be a job-killer.

”In our view,” the economists wrote, ”the health care bill contains a number of provisions that will eliminate jobs, reduce hours and wages, and limit future job creation.”

Health reform’s taxes and huge new costs will lead to semi-permanent stagnation in the U.S. economy, marked by higher unemployment and lower standards of living.

Is this how Americans see their future? Based on the Tea Party movement and growing anger at the government for seizing control of the economy’s high ground, we doubt it.

The only real question is, are the White House and Congress listening?

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Obama Care 3

22 mars, 2010

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=527930

Truth Is A Casualty Of The Final Push

Posted 03/19/2010 07:07 PM ET

Health Reform: Not since the heyday of Bill Clinton have we had a leader play so fast and loose with the facts as President Obama. And as the health care debate reaches a crescendo, he’s been especially reckless.

Tired of waiting for the major media to take note, here’s a small sampling of whoppers we took from the president’s speeches last week in Ohio and Virginia, plus his interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier:

• ”We have incorporated the best ideas from Democrats and from Republicans.” Far from it. Some of the biggest omissions include tort reform, health savings accounts, portable insurance, expanding consumer access to plans across state lines and posting provider prices for services so patients can shop around.

Republicans were almost completely shut out from the process and at the early stages last summer, were not even permitted to read the bill. In an atmosphere like this, it’s little wonder the bill isn’t drawing a single vote of support from Republicans of either house. It’s fully a creature of the Democratic Party.

• (”This is not a) government takeover of health care.” How is it that government can dictate to private insurance companies what they can offer, to whom, under what circumstances and at what prices, and yet still not own it? Every basic business decision a private company can make has effectively been expropriated.

Even as Obama denied his health care plan was a government takeover, his vice president, Joe Biden, laid out the real deal: ”You know we’re going to control the insurance companies.” We’ll take him at his word.

• ”If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” That’s if your doctor chooses to remain in the profession. Unfortunately, our own IBD/TIPP Poll found that up to 45% would consider quitting if they’re going to be dictated to by unaccountable bureaucrats who couldn’t get into medical school.

Price controls will slash doctor salaries and raise workloads, mandating that doctors make up for losses with volume. Bureaucrats will crack the whip on costs by lowering payments and penalizing doctors who refer patients to specialists. All this, and zero tort reform relief, will drive many doctors out of the profession just as 32 million new patients enter the market.

• ”Our proposal is paid for … our cost-cutting measures would reduce most people’s premiums and bring down our deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades.” Government programs always cost more than projected. Medicare, which has $86 trillion in unfunded liabilities, was supposed to cost $10 billion within 25 years of its implementation. It actually cost $107 billion.

The real cost of the Democrats’ reform plan, according to the Cato Institute, which isn’t handcuffed in its estimates like the Congressional Budget Office, is $2.5 trillion over the first decade.

• ”If this vote fails, then insurance companies will continue to run amok.” They’re not exactly wildcatting as it is. Health plan providers boast a profit margin of 3.4% — placing them 88th of 215 industries in Morningstar rankings. More than 2,000 state mandates dictate what coverages they provide.

• ”By the time the vote has taken place … you’ll know what’s in it because it’s going to be posted and everybody’s going to be able to evaluate it on the merits.” The final bill wouldn’t available to the public until Saturday morning, the day before the vote, congressional sources told us Friday. So in fact, nobody would have time to digest the 2,500-page leviathan.

• ”We’re not transforming one-sixth of the economy in one fell swoop.” Yes, Obama wants to take over the health care sector, but in pieces. In 2007, he said that ”economically it is better for us to start getting a system in place, a universal health care system, signed into law by the end of my first term as president.” Canada, he noted, ”did not start off immediately with a single-payer system, they had a similar transition step.” He’s been on record since at least 2003 as a ”proponent of single-payer, universal health care.”

• ”(This will be) the largest middle-class tax cut in the history of the country.” Tax cut? New taxes on prescription drug sales, medical devices, tanning services and an annual tax on health insurers for being health insurers will all end up on middle-class shoulders.

Then for families earning $250,000 there are taxes of 0.9% for hospital insurance, 2.9% on ”unearned income,” plus a tax on high-premium policies. The ”middle-class tax cut,” in the president’s misleading words, amounts to ”tax credits to help you afford” the more expensive insurance of the new (also misleadingly named) ”competitive marketplace.”

• ”$3,000 your employer doesn’t have to pay … maybe she can afford to give you a raise.” Premiums will not go down, but way, way up. The Associated Press last week found that $3,000 to misrepresent a Business Roundtable analysis last year that ”didn’t consider specific legislation.”

Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation told the AP ”it would be miraculous” if premiums went down under the legislation set to be passed. Using the HIS/Global Insight U.S. Macroeconomic model, a Heritage Foundation analysis found that with the new government-regulated exchanges ”crowding out the employer-sponsored market,” there will be ”an overall increase in the absolute amount of health spending on premiums.”

• ”Small business owners … can purchase more affordable coverage in a competitive marketplace.” In fact, small businesses will be slapped with new taxes — including a penalty if they don’t provide the level of health coverage Washington dictates. As owners of modest-sized firms cope with the new burdens, their employees may find themselves with substantially reduced coverage — or with pink slips.

As to the promised financial assistance for new employer mandates, it remains unknown what ”small business” will mean under ObamaCare. Will the definition apply only to micro-businesses of a couple dozen workers?

• (The reform legislation is) ”about the character of our country.” Let’s hope not. Never in American history have politicians sunk to lower depths than in the push to thrust this massive expansion of government down an unwilling America‘s throat.

From the unconstitutional ”Slaughter solution” that would pass it without a vote of the people’s representatives, to the taxpayer-funded bribery of the ”Cornhusker kickback” and ”Louisiana Purchase,” to the pretense of passing it as a budget item bypassing Senate filibusters, Democratic leaders have shown they will stop at nothing to set us on the road to European socialized medicine.

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Obama Care 2

22 mars, 2010

And this was before the health care vote

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/21/editorial-democrats-death-suicide/

EDITORIAL: Democrats’ death by suicide

Obamacare is an historic moment – like the Black Plague

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The government takeover of health care will go down in history as the worst piece of legislation to emerge from a Congress held in general disdain by the American people. The only bipartisanship on the health bill was in the opposition.

Usually autopsies are reserved for after the patient has died, but in this case it is useful to get ahead of the matter. The malformed health legislation is not the only reason Democrats are facing political extinction in November, but it is one of the most dramatic. The legislative process in this country has never been so unseemly. Arm twisting, backroom deals, special privileges and potentially criminal ”government jobs for votes” agreements became a normal way of doing business. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fixated on the mantra that the Democrats’ health plan is ”historic,” but so was the Black Plague.

President Obama went to Capitol Hill on Saturday to give a final pep talk to Democrats, where he absurdly called his socialist health care measure ”one of the biggest deficit reduction measures in history.” This contradicts the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who says his staff currently has no idea what the impact of the plan is ”due to the complexity of the legislation.” Democrats have been hoodwinked into believing they won’t pay a political price for their actions, but they will soon discover they miscalculated.

The new system will suffer a tsunami of bad publicity when states sue the federal government over unfunded mandates, when the IRS begins enforcing the aspects of the bill that voters never knew existed, when small businesses start firing employees because they cannot afford the higher costs of the new system, when new and unforeseen costs blow out the already record federal budget deficit, and when seniors begin to feel the impact of Medicare cuts. All of this is what Mr. Obama euphemistically calls ”bending the curve” but which seniors will find out is better termed ”denial of care.” Whether the formal ”death panels” will convene before the November elections is still to be determined.

Many members of Congress probably don’t know exactly what is in the bill. The 2,300 pages of ”fixes” to the Senate bill presented last week were only a draft, and no member can be certain what has been slipped in. A frantic Democratic Party memo sent out Thursday instructed members — twice, in italics — not to ”get into a discussion of details of the [Congressional Budget Office] scores and the textual narrative” with the bill’s opponents. But the devil was in those details. Mrs. Pelosi’s offhand statement that members would learn what was in the bill after it was passed should have been a warning.

The majority party was even having problems over the weekend determining if they could vote to amend a law before it was signed by the president. It is a sad day for America when senior members of Congress either dont understand the Constitution or no longer think it applies.

Democrats in Congress refuse to believe the contempt with which the American people hold them. Gallup shows congressional approval ratings in the teens and headed downward. Gallup also found that ”more Americans believe the new legislation will make things worse rather than better for the U.S. as a whole, as well as for them personally.”

Democrats are in much worse shape than in 1994 when they lost power, and the opposition is far more energized. Once voters have a chance to tell the most irresponsible government in American history that enough is enough, the Democrats’ brief reign will expire, and be deemed death by suicide.

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Obama Care

21 mars, 2010

The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, was ratified on December 15, 1791.

 Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

The CBO spending and revenue figures here:

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/113xx/doc11355/hr4872.pdf

Key Democrat and impeached judge Rep. Alcee Hastings said this during a House Rules Meeting today (March 20) in defense of the Democrats’ health care approach:

“I wish that I had been there when Thomas Edison made the remark that I think applies here: ”There ain’t no rules around here, we’re trying to accomplish something.” And therefore, when the deal goes down, all this talk about rules, we make them up as we go along.

It should be noted that in 1981, Hastings was charged with accepting a $150,000 bribe in exchange for a lenient sentence. Hastings was impeached for bribery and perjury becoming only the sixth federal judge in the history of the United States to be removed from office by the Senate.

Michael Ramirez (Click on the cartoons and they get bigger):

                                Health Care Roulette

                        

                                 Obama Care Suicide Bomber

 

                              Health Care Sacrifices

                         

                                        The Mad Hatter

 

                                        Got Health Care?

                  Running Health Care Like The Postal Service

                                Obama Care Mirror

                        

                        The Translator – What it really means

                               

                                  The Slaughter “Rules”

 

                                     Thumbing His Nose

                    

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 355

21 mars, 2010

“…oceanographer Dr. Robert Stephenson of the U.S. Office of Naval Research and NASA to say, Even when exposed, the IPCC leaders claimed it was their “right” to change scientific conclusions so that political leaders could better understand the report.” “To the world’s geophysical community, these unethical practices and total lack of integrity by the leadership of the IPCC have been enough to reveal that their collective claims were – and are – fraudulent.

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/21134

Environmentalists Are Killing Environmentalism

By Dr. Tim Ball  Friday, March 19, 2010

Aesop (620-564 BC) the Greek writer famous for his fables told of the boy who falsely cried wolf. Environmentalists have falsely cried wolf and effectively undermine environmentalism the need to live within the confines of a finite planet. They misled, exaggerated and made a multitude of false predictions to the detriment of the environment and people’s willingness to be aware and concerned. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was a major starting point that blamed DDT for many things including thinner eggshells none of which proved correct.

Indeed, as Paul Driessen identified in Eco-imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, banning DDT led to millions of unnecessary deaths from malaria that exceed deaths from AIDS in Africa.

A myriad of false stories made headlines over the last 40 years. All are conditional that is they’re prefaced by words like, ‘could’ and ‘maybe’, but the public generally remembers the terse and unconditional headlines.  Ultimately almost all the stories were subsequently proved incorrect, but that never makes the headlines. Remember such stories as sheep and rabbits going blind in Chile because of thinning ozone.

Well as scientists at Johns Hopkins showed it was due to a local infection

We heard of frogs born deformed and humans were blamed because of pollution. Biologist Stan Sessions showed it was due to a natural parasite.

Each week some natural phenomenon is presented as unnatural and by implication due to human activity. A book is needed to list all the claims and threats made that have not occurred, have proved false or are unfounded

Global warming  and latterly climate change, became the major plank of environmentalist’s religious campaign. They used it to dictate and control how everyone else should live and behave, as a survey of the web pages of Greenpeace, the Sierra Club or Friends of the Earth show. The level of commitment is a real problem. It’s exaggerated by the declining economy and people experience the economic impacts of their tactics and extremism. 

Leaked emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) disclosed what several scientists had suspected for a long time about the corruption of climate science. Subsequent exposure of the problems with the IPCC Reports led distinguished oceanographer Dr. Robert Stephenson of the U.S. Office of Naval Research and NASA to say, Even when exposed, the IPCC leaders claimed it was their “right” to change scientific conclusions so that political leaders could better understand the report.” “To the world’s geophysical community, these unethical practices and total lack of integrity by the leadership of the IPCC have been enough to reveal that their collective claims were – and are – fraudulent.” But Bruce Cox, the executive director of Greenpeace “blamed the hacked emails to being politically motivated.”

John Bennett, executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, made the same argument, saying: “Mann and his colleagues were simply speaking in their own high-level code, and a number of things were taken out of context.

His remarks underscore lack of understanding of climate science, the serious limitations of the IPCC Reports and what the emails actually disclose. It is not surprising because on March 10 UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said,  “Let me be clear: the threat posed by climate change is real. Nothing that has been alleged or revealed in the media recently alters the fundamental scientific consensus on climate change. Nor does it diminish the unique importance of the IPCC’s work.”

Environmentalism was what academics call a paradigm shift. Thomas Kuhn defined them as “a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.” Some attribute the composite photo of the Earth, taken by astronauts in Apollo 8 as the symbolic start of the new paradigm of environmentalism.

Environmental groups grabbed the concept and quickly took the moral high ground preaching that only they cared about the Earth. They went to extremes putting any plant or animal ahead of any human activity or need. Extreme environmentalists profess an anti-humanity, and anti-evolution philosophy. Humans are an aberration according to Ron Arnold, Executive Vice-President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Environmentalism intends to transform government, economy, and society in order to liberate nature from human exploitation.” David Graber, a research biologist with the National Park Service claims Darwin’s evolution theory doesn’t apply to humans. Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line – at about a billion years ago – we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth. It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”

Climate scientists at the CRU used the IPCC, a political vehicle established by the UN, to provide the false scientific basis for all energy and environmental policies. They created what Essex and McKitrick called the Doctrine of Certainty in their book Taken by Storm. They define this as, “The basic not-to-be-questioned assertions of the Doctrine are:  

  1. The Earth is warming.
  2. Warming has already been observed.
  3. Humans are causing it.
  4. All but a handful of scientists on the fringe believe it.
  5. Warming is bad.
  6. Action is required immediately.
  7. Any action is better than none.
  8. Claims of uncertainty only cover the ulterior motives of individuals aiming to stop needed action.
  9. Those who defend uncertainty are bad people.

They conclude, “The Doctrine is not true. Each assertion is either manifestly false or the claim to know it is false.Remember this was written before disclosure of the emails and the many IPCC errors.

But the most devastating proof of the scientific inadequacies of the IPCC Reports is the complete failure of every prediction they have made. They were as wrong on every issue as the Club of Rome Limits to Growth predictions. Ability to predict weather  accurately is difficult in 24 hours and virtually impossible beyond 72 hours. AGW proponents claimed weather was different than climate and predictable with a degree of certainty. This is false because climate is an average of the weather. If their claim was correct forecasts in the brief 20 years since their first Report in 1990 would be correct. Every one is wrong. They tried to avoid the problem by switching to a range of scenarios but even the lowest wrong. These are facts Ban Ki Moon and environmental groups can understand. By ignoring them and crying wolf when the wolf is already in the flock undermines the logical and reasonable adoption of environmentalism.

Environmentalists took over environmentalism and preached to everyone how they knew best and only they cared. How dare they? We are all environmentalists. With blind faith they, deceived, misdirected, threatened, destroyed jobs, careers, opportunities and development. Now those who paid the price will be less willing to listen or support genuine environmental concerns. 

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 354

15 mars, 2010

They are SOOO “scientific” are they not?

And these charlatans are spending billions and trillions of our tax  money.

“In response to Wigley’s warning, Jones now counselled him to suppress and conceal his concerns and acted as an advocate for Wang’s defence despite the “valid” evidence against his claims. In an email, Jones appealed to Wigley to “keep quiet” about his apparent backing for Keenan’s concern. In order to obviate any further critique or action by Wigley, Jones speciously told him that SUNY was about to take action against Keenan: “Just for interest! Keep quiet about both issues. In touch with Wei-Chyung Wang. Just agreed with him that I will send a brief response to Peiser. The allegation by Keenan has gone to SUNY. Keenan’s about to be told by SUNY that submitting this has violated a confidentiality agreement he entered into with SUNY when he sent the complaint. WCW has nothing to worry about, but it still unsettling!””

“The following day, (Sept. 11), Michael Mann responded to the new development. In an email to Jones, he suggested that Wang should threaten E&E with a libel suit: “Wei Chyung needs to sue them, or at the least threaten a lawsuit. If he doesn’t, this will set a dangerous new precedent. I could put him in touch w/ anleading (sic) attorney who would do this pro bono. Of course, this has to be done quickly. The threat of a lawsuit alone my (sic) prevent them from publishing this paper, so time is of the essence. Please feel free to mention this directly to Wei Chyung, in particular that I think he needs to pursue a legal course her independent of whatever his university is doing. He cannot wait for Stony Brook to complete its internal investigations! If he does so, it will be too late to stop this.”

“The concerted efforts by a group of eminent climate scientists to prevent the publication of the Keenan paper had been unsuccessful. However, this was mainly due to the fact that I was prepared to resist peer pressure and to be open-minded regarding Keenan’s evidence and argumentation. I doubt that mainstream science editors would have dared to reject the opposition by leading climate scientists who had targeted an amateur researcher. As Phil Jones fittingly put it to me in an email: “How would any journal ever contemplate publishing such a paper?”

“On Feb. 1, 2010, The Guardian reported that Doug Keenan’s E&E paper “may yet result in a significant revision of a scientific paper that is still cited by the UN’s top climate science body. […] The [CRU] emails suggest that [Phil Jones] helped to cover up flaws in temperature data from China that underpinned his research on the strength of recent global warming. The Guardian has learned that crucial data obtained by American scientists from Chinese collaborators cannot be verified because documents containing them no longer exist. And what data is available suggests that the findings are fundamentally flawed.”

“At no time since Keenan and Wigley raised significant doubts about the reliability of Chinese climate data has Jones taken public steps to clear up the discrepancies regarding Wang’s claims and data. It is unacceptable that the scientist who disseminates a data product on which international treaties are based, as well as IPCC reports and countless government policies, should actively seek to suppress information that calls the quality of the data into question, especially after one [of] his colleagues and a leading authority has advised him that Keenan’s evidence about the data appeared to be legitimate. Comparable behaviour in the private sector would be subject to severe sanction.

The revelations exposed by the CRU emails require the full disclosure of all documents and correspondence in this alleged fraud case. Until the whole affair is fully and publicly investigated, the reputation and integrity of leading climate scientists will remain to appear tainted and discredited.”

http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2010/03/12/benny-peiser-climate-libel-chill.aspx

Benny Peiser: Climate libel chill

Posted: March 12, 2010, 7:29 PM by NP Editor

When asked for the data behind one study ‘proving’ global warming, CRU scientists instead planned to sue. Following the release of the Climategate emails from East Anglia University`s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the U.K.’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee decided to investigate its implications “for the integrity of scientific research.” Benny Peiser of the Faculty of Science at Liverpool John Moores University submitted a memorandum, which appears below in edited form.

By Benny Peiser

I am the editor of CCNet and the co-editor of the journal Energy & Environment (E&E).

I will outline the chronology of the CRU-Keenan affair as documented in the published CRU emails and according to unpublished email correspondence between me and Dr. Jones. [at CRU].

On Aug. 29, 2007, I received an email from Doug Keenan with his paper titled “The Fraud Allegations against Wei-Chyung Wang.” In this paper, Keenan accused Wei-Chyung Wang (State University of Albany, SUNY, New York) of scientific fraud. In his paper, Keenan documented evidence that Wang had fabricated information about Chinese meteorological weather stations. His allegations concern two publications, one by Jones et al (1990) that has been a cornerstone in multiple IPCC reports about the allegedly minimal role of the effect of urban heat islands on the global temperature record. One of the key papers to underpin this conclusion is the study by Jones et al. To refute Keenan’s claims of scientific fraud would have only required the release of documentary information about the Chinese weather stations in question which Wang has long claimed to possess.

In the afternoon of the same day (Aug. 29) I sent Phil Jones [then-director of the CRU] an email with a copy of Keenan’s paper attached. In my email, I asked Jones whether he would be prepared to comment on the content and factual accuracy of the Keenan paper.

Later that day, Jones circulated the paper to Dr. Wei-Chyung Wang and Dr. Tom Wigley (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research), informing both his colleagues that he “won’t be responding” to my request, but that he would be prepared to do so if his colleagues thought he should.

The next day, Aug. 30, Wang emailed Jones to say that Jones needed to respond “by providing E&E with a simple answer of ‘false’ to Keenan’s write-up, based on the communication with me.[…] We are facing a tricky person and group, and the only way to do it is to follow the procedure to drive them crazy. […] We are not going to let Keenan doing things his way. […] We should be thinking, after the whole odeal (sic) is over, to take legal (or other) actions against Keenan. […]”

In his response to Wang on the same day, Jones wrote: “Libel is quite easy to prove in the U.K. as you’re not a public figure. Perhaps when you’re back you ought to consider taking some legal advice from SUNY. Assuming the paper is published that is. […].”

Later the same day, Jones emailed Wang and Wigley to inform them that he would not respond to my request “until the SUNY process has run its course.”

Later still, Dr. Michael E. Mann (Pennsylvania State University) contacted Jones: “With respect to Peiser’s guest editing of E&E and your review, we think there are two key points. First, if there are factual errors (other than the fraud allegation) it is very important that you point them out now. If not, Keenan could later allege that he made the claims in good faith, as he provided you an opportunity to respond and you did now. Secondly, we think you need to also focus on the legal implications. In particular, you should mention that the publisher of a libel is also liable for damages — that might make Sonja B-C be a little wary. Of course, if it does get published, maybe the resulting settlement would shut down E&E and Benny and Sonja all together! We can only hope, anyway. So maybe in an odd way its (sic) actually win-win for us, not them. Lets (sic) see how this plays out…”

On Aug. 31, Tom Wigley (a former CRU director) emailed Jones to notify him that he believed Keenan’s paper raised a valid issue: “Seems to me that Keenan has a valid point. The statements in the papers that he quotes seem to be incorrect statements, and that someone (WCW at the very least) must have known at the time that they were incorrect. Whether or not this makes a difference is not the issue here.” Jones was now in possession of authoritative information that undermined his claims about the integrity of CRU data products for which he is responsible. Confronted with the evidence from Keenan, and, most importantly, Wigley’s advice that Keenan appeared to have a point, Jones should have been insistent on getting the data and facts out rather than keeping them secret.

In response to Wigley’s warning, Jones now counselled him to suppress and conceal his concerns and acted as an advocate for Wang’s defence despite the “valid” evidence against his claims. In an email, Jones appealed to Wigley to “keep quiet” about his apparent backing for Keenan’s concern. In order to obviate any further critique or action by Wigley, Jones speciously told him that SUNY was about to take action against Keenan: “Just for interest! Keep quiet about both issues. In touch with Wei-Chyung Wang. Just agreed with him that I will send a brief response to Peiser. The allegation by Keenan has gone to SUNY. Keenan’s about to be told by SUNY that submitting this has violated a confidentiality agreement he entered into with SUNY when he sent the complaint. WCW has nothing to worry about, but it still unsettling!”

On Sept. 5, Jones emailed me a list of objections to the Keenan paper. Ignoring the expert advice he had received from Wigley, Jones called on me to reject the paper: “My view is that the claims are unsubstantiated.”

I informed Jones that I would forward his objections to Keenan and stressed: “I know this is a very sensitive matter and I will not rush any decision. I will keep you updated and informed.”

On Sept. 10, I received Keenan’s response which I forwarded to Jones on the same day. I emailed Jones: “As far as I can see, his [Keenan’s] basic accusation seems unaffected by your criticism. Unless there is any compelling evidence that Keenan’s main claim is unjustified or unsubstantiated, I intend to publish his paper in the forthcoming issue of E&E. Please let me know by the end of the week if you have any additional arguments that may sway me in my decision.”

On the same day, Jones forwarded my email to Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt, concluding: “It seems as though E&E will likely publish this paper.”

The following day, (Sept. 11), Michael Mann responded to the new development. In an email to Jones, he suggested that Wang should threaten E&E with a libel suit: “Wei Chyung needs to sue them, or at the least threaten a lawsuit. If he doesn’t, this will set a dangerous new precedent. I could put him in touch w/ anleading (sic) attorney who would do this pro bono. Of course, this has to be done quickly. The threat of a lawsuit alone my (sic) prevent them from publishing this paper, so time is of the essence. Please feel free to mention this directly to Wei Chyung, in particular that I think he needs to pursue a legal course her independent of whatever his university is doing. He cannot wait for Stony Brook to complete its internal investigations! If he does so, it will be too late to stop this.”

Later that day, I received three emails by Phil Jones with additional references and objections to the Keenan paper. Jones put additional pressure on by stressing: I don’t see how any journal would ever contemplate publishing such a paper. I hope you’ll reconsider.”

After minor revisions of the paper following peer review, I informed Keenan on Oct. 8 that I had accepted his paper for publication with the modified title “The Fraud Allegation Against Some Climatic Research of Wei-Chyung Wang.” It was published in E&E volume 18, number 7-8, pp. 985-995 in December, 2007.

The concerted efforts by a group of eminent climate scientists to prevent the publication of the Keenan paper had been unsuccessful. However, this was mainly due to the fact that I was prepared to resist peer pressure and to be open-minded regarding Keenan’s evidence and argumentation. I doubt that mainstream science editors would have dared to reject the opposition by leading climate scientists who had targeted an amateur researcher. As Phil Jones fittingly put it to me in an email: “How would any journal ever contemplate publishing such a paper?”

On Feb. 1, 2010, The Guardian reported that Doug Keenan’s E&E paper “may yet result in a significant revision of a scientific paper that is still cited by the UN’s top climate science body. […] The [CRU] emails suggest that [Phil Jones] helped to cover up flaws in temperature data from China that underpinned his research on the strength of recent global warming. The Guardian has learned that crucial data obtained by American scientists from Chinese collaborators cannot be verified because documents containing them no longer exist. And what data is available suggests that the findings are fundamentally flawed.”

At no time since Keenan and Wigley raised significant doubts about the reliability of Chinese climate data has Jones taken public steps to clear up the discrepancies regarding Wang’s claims and data. It is unacceptable that the scientist who disseminates a data product on which international treaties are based, as well as IPCC reports and countless government policies, should actively seek to suppress information that calls the quality of the data into question, especially after one [of] his colleagues and a leading authority has advised him that Keenan’s evidence about the data appeared to be legitimate. Comparable behaviour in the private sector would be subject to severe sanction.

The revelations exposed by the CRU emails require the full disclosure of all documents and correspondence in this alleged fraud case. Until the whole affair is fully and publicly investigated, the reputation and integrity of leading climate scientists will remain to appear tainted and discredited.

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 353

11 mars, 2010

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-three-of-the-four-temperature-datasets-now-irrevocably-tainted/

Climategate: Three of the Four Temperature Datasets Now Irrevocably Tainted

With today’s revelation on Pajamas Media, only the Japan Meteorological Agency is left to save the warmists. Don’t bet on it. (Click here to see Horner discuss this article on PJTV.)

March 11, 2010 – by Christopher Horner

The warmist response to Climategate — the discovery of the thoroughly corrupt practices of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) — was that the tainted CRU dataset was just one of four independent data sets. You know. So really there’s no big deal.

Thanks to a FOIA request, the document production of which I am presently plowing through — and before that, thanks to the great work of Steve McIntyre, and particularly in their recent, comprehensive work, Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Wattswe know that NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) passed no one’s test for credibility.

Not even NASA’s.

In fact, CRU’s former head, Phil Jones, even told his buddies that while people may think his dataset — which required all of those “fudge factors” (their words) — is troubled, “GISS is inferior” to CRU.

Really.

NASA’s temperature data is so woeful that James Hansen’s colleague Reto Ruedy told the USA Today weather editor:

“My recommendation to you is to continue using … CRU data for the global mean [temperatures]. … “What we do is accurate enough” — left unspoken: for government work“[but] we have no intention to compete with either of the other two organizations in what they do best.

To reiterate, NASA’s temperature data is worse than the Climategate temperature data. According to NASA.

And apparently, although these points were never stressed publicly before, NASA GISS is just “basically a modeling group forced into rudimentary analysis of global observed data.” But now, however, NASA GISS “happily [combines the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) data] and Hadley Center’s data” for the purpose of evaluating NASA’s models.

So — Climategate’s CRU was just “one of four organizations worldwide that have independently compiled thermometer measurements of local temperatures from around the world to reconstruct the history of average global surface temperature.”

But one of the three remaining sets is not credible either, and definitely not independent.

Two down, two to go.

Reto Ruedy refers his inquiring (ok, credulous) reporter to NCDC — the third of the four data sets — as being the gold standard for U.S. temperatures.

But NCDC has been thoroughly debunked elsewhere — Joseph D’Aleo and Anthony Watts have found NCDC completely incredible, having made a practice out of not including cooler temperature stations over time, exaggerating the warming illusion.

Three out of the four temperature datasets stink, with corroboration from the alarmists. Second-sourced, no less.

Anyone know if Japan has a FOIA?

Christopher Horner is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 352

11 mars, 2010

The emails here:

http://pajamasmedia.com/files/2010/03/GISS-says-CRU-Better0001.pdf

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/climategate-stunner-nasa-heads-knew-nasa-data-was-poor-then-used-data-from-cru/?singlepage=true

Climategate Stunner: NASA Heads Knew NASA Data Was Poor, Then Used Data from CRU

New emails from James Hansen and Reto Ruedy (download PDF here) show that NASA’s temperature data was doubted within NASA itself, and was not independent of CRU’s embattled data, as has been claimed.

March 10, 2010 – by Charlie Martin

Email messages obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the climate dataset of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) was considered — by the top climate scientists within NASA itself — to be inferior to the data maintained by the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (CRU).

The NASA scientists also felt that NASA GISS data was inferior to the National Climate Data Center Global Historical Climate Network (NCDC GHCN) database.

These emails, obtained by Christopher Horner, also show that the NASA GISS dataset was not independent of CRU data.

Further, all of this information regarding the accuracy and independence of NASA GISS data was directly communicated to a reporter from USA Today in August 2007.

The reporter never published it.

—————————————

There are only four climate datasets available. All global warming study, such as the reports from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), must be based on these four.

They are: the NASA GISS dataset, the NCDC GHCN dataset, the CRU dataset, and the Japan Meteorological Agency dataset.

Following Climategate, when it became known that raw temperature data for CRU’s “HADCRU3″ climate dataset had been destroyed, Phil Jones, CRU’s former director, said the data loss was not important — because there were other independent climate datasets available.

But the emails reveal that at least three of the four datasets were not independent, that NASA GISS was not considered to be accurate, and that these quality issues were known to both top climate scientists and to the mainstream press.

In a response to reporter Doyle Rice of USA Today, Dr. Reto Ruedy — a senior scientist at NASA — recommended the following:

Continue using NCDC’s data for the U.S. means and Phil Jones’ [HADCRU3] data for the global means. …

We are basically a modeling group and were forced into rudimentary analysis of global observed data in the 70s and early 80s. …

Now we happily combine NCDC’s and Hadley Center data to … evaluate our model results.

This response was extended later the same day by Dr. James Hansen — the head of NASA GISS:

[For] example, we extrapolate station measurements as much as 1200 km. This allows us to include results for the full Arctic. In 2005 this turned out to be important, as the Arctic had a large positive temperature anomaly. We thus found 2005 to be the warmest year in the record, while the British did not and initially NOAA also did not. …

It should be noted that the different groups have cooperated in a very friendly way to try to understand different conclusions when they arise.

Two implications of these emails: The data to which Phil Jones referred to as “independent” was not — it was being “corrected” and reused among various climate science groups, and the independence of the results was no longer assured; and the NASA GISS data was of lower quality than Jones’ embattled CRU data.

The NCDC GHCN dataset mentioned in the Ruedy email has also been called into question by Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts. D’Aleo and Watts showed in a January 2010 report that changes in available measurement sites and the selection criteria involved in “homogenizing” the GHCN climate data raised serious questions about the usefulness of that dataset as well.

These three datasets — from NASA GISS, NCDC GHCN, and CRU — are the basis of essentially all climate study supporting anthropogenic global warming.

Charlie Martin is a Colorado computer scientist and freelance writer. He holds an MS in Computer Science from Duke University, where he spent six years with the National Biomedical Simulation Resource, Duke University Medical Center. Find him at http://chasrmartin.com, and on his blog at http://explorations.chasrmartin.com.

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 351

11 mars, 2010

“We are being asked, commanded, to change the basic ways that we produce and use energy. The reason for this change is also different from what you might think.

The environmental movement uses a speculative opinion about carbon dioxide to arm its fight against you. When they say they are “fighting global warming,” what they really mean is they are fighting your prosperity. Your prosperity is directly related to the production of affordable energy with fossil fuels. China understands this. India understands this. The environmental movement understands it as well, but does not care.”

“What you must always keep in mind is that the only goal of the environmental movement is to save nature from you. There is no other reason for its existence. The environmental movement does not care what happens to your job, your family, your future, the future of your children, this country, any country.

Another subtle mission of the “go green” slogan is to have you participate in their war without you knowing it. In a very real sense “go green” is the war cry of the environmental movement  — vilifying a gas we can’t live without to arm their anti-civilization war machine.”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-true-meaning-of-go-green/?singlepage=true

The True Meaning of ‘Go Green’

Despite the sales pitch, ”going green” is not remotely about you or your children’s future.

Posted By Art Horn On March 10, 2010

It’s omnipresent now, appearing in every form of media, in grocery stores, on any sort of product. Smiles and earth tone images greet us as we are told over and over again to “go green,” it’s the right thing to do. Don’t be left out, everyone’s doing it! Green is in, save the earth. It’s in all the schools — green is good, kind, and moral. Green is our future. Without it there will be no future.

To “go green” is a metaphor for a cause, but the cause is not the one you might think it is. Green is not about saving energy. It is not about conservation or living more efficiently by recycling. It’s not about electric cars or hydrogen power or solar panels.

Green is not about you. Green is about saving nature. From you.

We are told that going green is the way to create a more eco-friendly and responsible world, but the real meaning is more subtle and sinister. To go green means to change what we are doing, and implies that if we don’t change what we are doing we will inflict terrible harm on the planet and future generations. So what are we to change from, and to what?

We are being asked, commanded, to change the basic ways that we produce and use energy. The reason for this change is also different from what you might think.

The environmental movement uses a speculative opinion about carbon dioxide to arm its fight against you. When they say they are “fighting global warming,” what they really mean is they are fighting your prosperity. Your prosperity is directly related to the production of affordable energy with fossil fuels. China understands this. India understands this. The environmental movement understands it as well, but does not care.

Roughly 87 percent of everything we make energy from produces carbon dioxide gas. “Go green” looks to reduce the output of that gas. The problem is there is nothing “green” on any scale remotely near what is needed to replace fossil fuels in the foreseeable future. They know that there will never be enough windmills or solar panels to power even a tiny fraction of the world we know today, much less the future. The leaders of the environmental movement know this.

The phrase “go green” seems harmless enough — what’s so wrong with being more efficient and looking for new ways of producing energy? It’s true, there’s nothing wrong with looking for new energy sources. But going green has been promoted as the answer to all of our energy needs, the idea being that if we “go green” we can save the earth and still produce plenty of energy and create new jobs. This is part of the lie.

What you must always keep in mind is that the only goal of the environmental movement is to save nature from you. There is no other reason for its existence. The environmental movement does not care what happens to your job, your family, your future, the future of your children, this country, any country.

Another subtle mission of the “go green” slogan is to have you participate in their war without you knowing it. In a very real sense “go green” is the war cry of the environmental movement  — vilifying a gas we can’t live without to arm their anti-civilization war machine.

The opportunities of “going green” have not been lost on corporate America. Corporations have joined in a strange alliance of sorts with the environmental groups. Some very large companies are promoting “go green” in their ad campaigns — you can’t watch a commercial from General Electric without seeing a windmill. Insurance companies promote “going green” as a responsible and eco-sensitive way to insure your car or house. Solar panels are ubiquitous in advertising, lighting our way to a brighter future. Yet corporations could care less about the environmentalist goal of “going green” — the phrase is, again, meant to sucker, to make the consumer feel good about buying the product from the company. It’s no different than the use of words like “new,” “improved,” or “natural.” “Green” is just another marketing tool, and the act of “going green” in the corporate world is the same as it has always been, even if the color of money is not always green anymore.

“Go green” stands for reduced economic activity. The idea is to change the world — scale down the world’s economies to save the climate and the world from prosperity seeking humans. Why else would all these eco-groups demand we meet the now defunct Kyoto Protocol carbon emission reductions? Why else would they demand we reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050? Because they know the only way to meet those carbon reductions is to radically change everything. The environmentalists fully intend to beat down the economies of developed nations and to stamp out any hopes of the third world.

The next time you see or hear or read “go green” remember it means “go back” — to a time when people lived half as long as today. To a time when humans were at the mercy of nature.

Don’t fall for it.

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 350

10 mars, 2010

“Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Obama Department of Energy is using the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) — the lobbying arm of “Big Wind” in the U.S. — to coordinate political responses with two strongly ideological activist groups: the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and the George Soros funded Center for American Progress (CAP).”

“The emails expose active coordination between the Obama administration, the DoE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the AWEA. These emails show the Obama DoE using the AWEA as a conduit to both the CAP and the UCS, and taking steps to ensure that aspects of its coordination were not committed to paper (or email) because the emails might be revealed later.”

Thye FOIA request and emails here:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/breaking-released-emails-show-wind-lobby-soros-group-helped-with-white-house-pr-pjm-exclusive-%E2%80%94-read-the-emails-here/

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/examining-the-greenjobsgate-emails-obama-administration-takes-direction-from-wind-lobby-soros-group/?singlepage=true

Examining the GreenJobsGate Emails: Obama Administration Takes Direction from Wind Lobby, Soros Group

The Department of Energy’s scientific conclusions were instigated — even dictated — by Big Wind’s lobbyists and leftists. Read here for the timeline and the key figures involved.

March 9, 2010 – by Christopher Horner

Emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Obama Department of Energy is using the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) — the lobbying arm of “Big Wind” in the U.S. — to coordinate political responses with two strongly ideological activist groups: the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), and the George Soros funded Center for American Progress (CAP).

This is further proof that Obama has betrayed his promise to ban lobbyists. Further, this incident suggests yet another questionable appointment — Cathy Zoi, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the DoE, injected politics into public policy. Cathy Zoi also happens to be the former CEO of Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.

This incident began when an economic paper published by a Spanish university concluded that Spain’s “green jobs” program has cost the country about $800,000 and 2.2 jobs per each job created. Spain’s program had been cited eight times by the Obama administration as being the model for its vision of a U.S. “green jobs” program.

The emails privately describe the Spanish paper as “damaging.”

The emails expose active coordination between the Obama administration, the DoE and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and the AWEA. These emails show the Obama DoE using the AWEA as a conduit to both the CAP and the UCS, and taking steps to ensure that aspects of its coordination were not committed to paper (or email) because the emails might be revealed later.

The emails reveal three principal issues in the 900 pages received so far. (“So far,” because the Competitive Enterprise Institute is appealing NREL’s withholding of many more pages, and reviewing the DoE’s recent production to see if those withholdings should be challenged.)

The three principle issues:

1. The Obama DoE’s relationship with the Big Wind lobby and left-wing ideological activists. What role did those groups play in producing an official administration response to the Spanish “green jobs” study?

2. Apparently misleading — or false — statements made to Congress by the DoE. Particularly the statements made by Assistant Secretary of Energy Cathy Zoi. What was her role in developing the response to the Spanish report?

3. Career DoE staffers’ and scientists’ confusion, then concern, then scrambling, and finally dissembling regarding how the response was initiated and at whose request. Was the report — which cost taxpayers around $5000 to prepare — instigated and directed by an industry lobby?

The difficulty in reconciling the internal discussions revealed by the emails with statements made to congressional committees — by DoE’s legislative affairs staff, and by Ms. Zoi specifically — raise questions that should interest those congressional committees. It seems inescapable from these emails that the AWEA actually instigated the DoE report. It is also clear that AWEA played a role in crafting it, along with the far-left UCS. This is important, because DoE and NREL are both on record saying it was the other guy’s idea.

More troubling, DoE followed up with a specific letter from Ms. Zoi to Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) that failed to answer his inquires, though the emails demonstrate that Ms. Zoi’s staff had the information Congressman Sensenbrenner was seeking. In fact, the emails show great consternation regarding what to say about this question, and a reluctance to put in writing who the “unnamed sponsor” was. The email trail I received concludes with a September 22, 2009, email, calling for a huddle in the office of Zoi’s Chief Operating Officer Steven Chalk to get things straight.

The DoE emails show the following sequence of events:

1. The AWEA was unnerved by the Spanish report.

2. AWEA went to DoE’s NREL with its anxieties, asking what the Obama administration would do to respond.

3. NREL began putting together an internal “talking points” memo on the paper, working with AWEA.

4. AWEA’s chief lobbyist told Cathy Zoi that NREL was producing the internal memo with AWEA.

5. Upset by a George Will column citing the Spanish paper, and now aware that AWEA was crafting the memo with NREL, Zoi contacted NREL. She asked if the memo could be published as an official Obama administration response, rather than an NREL response.

6. NREL and DoE staff showed worry, because the paper was never intended to be — and does not meet DoE requirements to be — an external report. It was only suited to be an internal memo, as it reflected no actual research.

7. The paper was completed and sent to AWEA, with a request that AWEA send it to the Center for American Progress and the Union of Concerned Scientists. This was done at the request of DoE officials, who wanted the two leftist groups to offer comments on the paper prior to its release.

8. At this time, internal DoE and NREL discussion ensued about toning down the partisan nature of the paper. Oddly, this discussion had been accompanied by a request for CAP involvement.

9. Zoi’s office made sure the paper was issued with its status upgraded to be a more formal document than regulations indicate is proper. Emails reveal NREL and DoE staff worrying about pressure from Zoi to make this exception.

The emails fall into three categories, each raising interesting questions:

1. Emails discussing how to spin the Spanish report: how to respond to this challenge to one of the Obama administration’s cherished programs?

2. Emails telling of pressure being put on DoE staffers by Cathy Zoi.

3. Emails describing the DoE’s relationship with Big Wind, the Soros-funded CAP, and the leftist UCS.

You might expect this to be a story of great interest to the mainstream media.

But I have excellent information pointing to at least one national newspaper being given these same emails by DoE, upon request, only to have its editors spike the story. In addition to being a case-study in Obama-style governance, this incident reaffirms the role and the importance of new media (such as PJM).

As of today, the NREL and DoE are still withholding the comments from CAP and AWEA, and apparently are also withholding other communications that should have been provided following the appeal of other AWEA communications withheld.

Even so, the documents produced so far tell us much about the Obama administration and its dealings with favored lobbyists and ideological activists. As the investigation continues, we expect to discover much more of what the American people deserve to know regarding the current administration’s manner of governance.

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 349

9 mars, 2010

The South African president’s office yesterday announced the nomination of its tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk for the United Nations’ top climate post. As head of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Seems like the right guy for this UN ”scientific” job.  He worked as a student spy for the apartheid government. And he sold out his own political party for a junior cabinet seat in ANC. After that he started helping ANC to smear its democratic opposition and to encourage opposition politicians to defect.

Jepp, here we have another perfect example of a Global Warming Hysteric. And an excellent school book example of people that get appointed at high positions at UN.

This is the kind of people they, the Global Warming Hysterics, want to PUT IN CHARGE OF A WORLD GOVERNMENT. Or the embellishment they use “Global governance”.  (See also my previous post)

Nice people, wouldn’t you say. With the interest of the common people first in mind

Here is what Patrick Bond of South Africa’s Centre for Civil Society has to say about this charming guy:

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?art_id=vn20100309122626496C879941

“Director of the Centre for Civil Society Professor Patrick Bond questioned Van Schalkwyk’s ”integrity”, saying quality was required to head the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

”The UNFCC post must be headed by someone of integrity, and that’s not a characteristic associated with Van Schalkwyk, thanks to his chequered career as an apartheid student spy and a man who sold out his political party for a junior cabinet seat,” said Bond.

He added the nomination ”doesn’t make sense, because if Van Schalkwyk was a world-class climate diplomat, why did (President Jacob) Zuma demote him by removing his environment duties last year?”

“Spokesman for Earthlife Africa Tristen Taylor said Van Schalkwyk did not have a good record in cutting carbon emissions while environmental affairs minister.”

The nomination here:

South African Government nominates Minister van Schalkwyk for top UN post

http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/show.asp?include=president/pr/2010/pr03081248.htm&ID=2005&type=pr

Marthinus nominated for top UN job

http://www.southafrica.info/news/international/climate-090310.htm

Marthinus van Schalkwyk nominated for UN climate change post – The Presidency

http://www.politicsweb.co.za/politicsweb/view/politicsweb/en/page71654?oid=164521&sn=Detail

Van Schalkwyk tipped for top UN job

http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-03-05-van-schalkwyk-tipped-for-top-un-job

South African tourism minister nominated for top UN climate job

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/08/marthinus-van-schalkwyk-un-climate

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 348

9 mars, 2010

“Climategate, named after Watergate by James Delingpole, refers to emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that exposed the corruption of climate science. Many, including scientists and politicians who liked the message that humans were destroying the planet, supported them. Watergate’s downfall was the cover up not the original actions, although they were illegal and outrageous. The cover up is now occurring in Climategate as those involved and benefiting financially and politically attempt to minimize the damage.

People directly involved in the CRU corruption are acting as they did all along, brazenly staring down the world with an arrogance evidenced on the propaganda web page, Realclimate, set up to protect and perpetuate their fraud.”

“The 1974 Club of Rome report titled, Mankind at the Turning Point says, “The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”  Their solution was dramatic reduction in population and a complete change in the socio-economic system through total government control. They chose global warming as “a new enemy to unite us.” A major architect of these ideas was Paul Ehrlich author of the Population Bomb (1968). He continues to predict apocalypse but consider some previous predictions.

1968 – The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines… hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death.

1969 –  I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.

1969 – By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people.

1969 – By 1980 the United States would see its life expectancy drop to 42 because of pesticides, and by 1999 its population would drop to 22.6 million.”

For more on the Club of Rome and the persisten drive from these people for a world government see my posts:

EU: s foreign minster performance so far – lacklustre and a pushover 3

EU: s foreign minster performance so far – lacklustre and a pushover 2,

The HUGE difference between EU and USA in response to Haiti.

EU: s foreign minster performance so far – lacklustre and a pushover

The New EU foreign minister – An undemocratic appointment to an undemocratic post created by an undemocratic treaty

Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 76

Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 39

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST CREED – Anti human, anti scientific, anti technology!

ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL COOLING – This increase in CO2 emissions over the past 63 years has resulted in over 40 years of global cooling

Global Warming Hysterics – Get out of Africa Now! Or The curse of environmentalism

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/20782

Political Agendas Continue to Drive Climate Fiasco

 By Dr. Tim Ball  Monday, March 8, 2010

The greatest scandal connected to global warming is not exaggeration, fraud or destruction of data to conceal the weakness of the argument. It is those who are personally profiting from promoting this fantasy at the expense of the rest of us.

The comment is absolutely wrong because by far the greatest scandal is the continued political exploitation, fraud and destruction of the economy.

Exploitation of global warming underscores a fundamental difference between left wing ideology from communism through socialism, and free market capitalism.

The former pursue political agendas regardless of failures and cost. Obama pursues green jobs or cap and trade that have failed elsewhere. The latter, if not too shackled by government, flexes, adapts, innovates, invents and advances the human condition and improves the environment (check pollution levels in communist countries). The left who used global warming as their Trojan Horse continue despite complete exposure of the fraudulent means used to build the horse.

The Cover Up Tells the Tale

Climategate, named after Watergate by James Delingpole, refers to emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that exposed the corruption of climate science. Many, including scientists and politicians who liked the message that humans were destroying the planet, supported them. Watergate’s downfall was the cover up not the original actions, although they were illegal and outrageous. The cover up is now occurring in Climategate as those involved and benefiting financially and politically attempt to minimize the damage.

People directly involved in the CRU corruption are acting as they did all along, brazenly staring down the world with an arrogance evidenced on the propaganda web page, Realclimate, set up to protect and perpetuate their fraud.

Others claim they’re victims, but both vow to fight back. Benjamin Santer was caught changing the wording in Chapter 8 of the 1995 Report, and claimed he was suffering a nervous breakdown. Phil Jones, deposed Director of the CRU said he was suicidal for a while after the news leaked.

Governments and universities are covering up. The University of East Anglia appointed a committee under Muir Russell to investigate. Russell’s own impartiality is under question, but additionally because two people chosen to assist him have serious conflicts of interest.

One, Philip Campbell, editor of Nature magazine was part of the corruption of peer review, selective publications and editorials supporting the CRU. He was forced to withdraw after his conflict was disclosed.

Another member, Geoffrey Boulton, was appointed because of his “expertise” and independence required to meet Russells’ claim that, “None have any links to the Climatic Research Unit, or the United Nations’ Independent Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”  One newspaper explains Boulton’s prejudice. “The Scotsman can reveal that only a few months ago, Prof Boulton, from the University of Edinburgh, was among a number of scientists who, in the wake of the climategate scandal, signed a petition to show their confidence that global warming was caused by humans. And for at least five years, he has made clear his strong views on global warming. He has given interviews and written articles – including in The Scotsman – that have spelled out his firmly held beliefs.” Muir is retaining Boulton despite his duplicity.

In the US a similar whitewashed inquiry occurred at Penn State with Michael Mann’s activities. And nobody else connected with CRU is being called to account. 

Consistently and Horrendously Wrong

The 1974 Club of Rome report titled, Mankind at the Turning Point says, “The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”  Their solution was dramatic reduction in population and a complete change in the socio-economic system through total government control. They chose global warming as “a new enemy to unite us.” A major architect of these ideas was Paul Ehrlich author of the Population Bomb (1968). He continues to predict apocalypse but consider some previous predictions.

1968 – The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines… hundreds of millions of people (including Americans) are going to starve to death.

1969 –  I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.

1969 – By 1985 enough millions will have died to reduce the earth’s population to some acceptable level, like 1.5 billion people.

1969 – By 1980 the United States would see its life expectancy drop to 42 because of pesticides, and by 1999 its population would drop to 22.6 million.

Now he, Steven Schneider and Paul Falkowski claim they’re the persecuted as their support of the falsified of climate science is undermined. Like the CRU gang, it is emails that expose them. The Washington Times obtained emails between scientists associated with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

It, as well as other National Academies, were used politically to ‘prove’ consensus. Now the world is aware of their use of environmentalism and climate change. Schneider defends their actions, “This was an outpouring of angry frustration on the part of normally very staid scientists who said, ‘God, can’t we have a civil dialogue here and discuss the truth without spinning everything,” It’s typical hypocrisy from a man who says spinning the truth is acceptable to achieve the goal.  Consider his 1998 Discover magazine comment. “On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but, which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts.  On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well.  And like most people, we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change.  To do that we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination.  That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage.  So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.  This double ethical bind, which we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula.  Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.” It is not an ethical bind; there is no choice between “being effective’ and “honest”. The statement describes exactly what they’ve done, the complete lack of ethics while the leaked emails provide the method.

Climate scientist Judith A. Curry, of the Georgia Institute of Technology says, “Sounds like this group wants to step up the warfare, continue to circle the wagons, continue to appeal to their own authority, etc. Surprising, since these strategies haven’t worked well for them at all so far.” Curry should add they continue to attack people who sought the facts. James Inhofe, Oklahoman Republican, was consistent in his opposition despite ridicule and persecution. Now he is a bigger threat as he seeks answers and accountability. Schneider takes on the task by making the distasteful comment that Inhofe is showing “McCarthyesque” behavior.

Pursue the goal of total government control

Paul Ehrlich pursues the victim theme, “Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,”

The problem is this statement applies more to the members of the Club of Rome and those who support and pursue its goal of total government control.

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 347

8 mars, 2010

And the cooling continues. Sorry – I mean that Global Warming is an imminent treat to humankind.

For the January figures see my post:

Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 287

For the December figures see my post:

Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 207

February 2010 departure from normal temperature

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/cag3.html

 

February temperature 1895-2010

February 2010 the 29 coolest since 1895

“The average temperature in February 2010 was 32.41 F. This was -2.24 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 29th coolest February in 116 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.

This year, the February temperature is -3.74 F cooler than for example 1898. And if we compare this year’s February with 1896 it is -3.55 F cooler.

If we compare with 1930 this year’s February is -8.51 F cooler.  And if we compare with the warmest February (1954) it is -9.85 F cooler

That’s what I call WARMING!

http://climvis.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/cag3/state-map-display.pl

                 Click on the graphs and they get bigger.

 

And the recent 12 Month period (Mar-Feb) 1895-2010

This year, 2009 /2010 (Mar-Feb), the temperature is EXACTLY THE SAME AS IN 1898! AND 1902.  The difference is ah HUGE 0.02 F. One fiftieth of a degree in 112 years.

Puh, that what I call an eminent treat to humankind!

1/50 of a degree in 112 years.

 

And the recent 3 Month period (Dec-Feb) 1895-2010.

This year, 2009/2010 (Dec-Feb), was the 18th coolest December-February in 116 years.

This year, the Dec-Feb temperature is -2.41 F cooler than for example 1896. And if we compare this years Dec-Feb temperature with 1907 it is -3.26 F cooler.

Another glorious example of the catastrophic warming in the last 114 years!

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Climate Gate – All the manipulations and lies revealed 346

8 mars, 2010

More on the Himalayan glaciers from someone who knows what he is talking about, Dr A K Dubey. But it is all voodoo science according to Pachauri, head of IPCC.

http://www.wihg.res.in/institute.htm

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/northindia/Global-Warming-has-no-impact-on-Himalayas-claims-Wadia-Director/Article1-515763.aspx

Global Warming has no impact on Himalayas claims Wadia Director

Ashwani Maindola, Hindustan Times

Dehradun, March 06, 2010

First Published: 12:08 IST(6/3/2010),Last Updated: 12:09 IST(6/3/2010) 

Senior scientists at the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WITG) has rejected the Global Warming Theory and told that the Himalayas are quite safer zone on earth, where Global Warming has no role in controlling the conditions.

In an exclusive chat with HT, Director WIHG Dr AK Dubey has said that the conditions of Himalayas are controlled by the winter snowfall rather than external factors like much hyped Global Warming. He told that for a concrete result, at least 30 years of continuous research with steady outcome is needed to confirm the actual impact.

”According to a data for over 140 years available with a British weather observatory situated in Mukteswar (2311m) in Almora has actually revealed that temperature in that region witnessed a dip of .4 degrees,” he said.

Since 1991, the institute is monitoring the Himalayas extensively with focusing the glacial studies and last twenty year data has never witnessed a continual retreat. Sometimes, the recession rates have gone up but on an average the rate is very much safer, he added.

Whatever predictions about Himalayas are being made are based on short-term studies conducted on glaciers, which have no comparison with Himalayan Glaciers, he told. ”Our glaciers are giant high altitude glaciers above 4000m altitude with a permanent temperature below 20 degrees Celsius. And has no comparison with the Alps Glaciers or Alaskan Glacier which are at sea level,” he said.

Dr. DP Dobhal, eminent glaciologist added that however there is a change in climate in terms of shrinking of winter period but still a lot is dependent upon the snowfall occurs. Currently the rate of recession is in between 16-20 meters a year for glacial retreat in Himalayas, whereas 30 percent of the glaciers are more than 10km in length, he said.

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