For Freedom

Forget for a moment the ever-failing economy, the implosion of our foreign policy coherence, and our virtually unilateral withdrawal in the war on terror under Barack Obama’s presidency. If liberty lovers don’t start fighting back soon, we’ll forfeit our freedom of thought and religious expression under the assault of fascist leftist activists in our culture.

“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” – George Orwell

Let’s just look at two of the many recent events that should have us very concerned. As you may have guessed, they revolve around the controversial matter of same-sex marriage. At the outset, let me say that this issue is no longer about same-sex marriage or gay rights; it is about our basic liberties.

George Orwell — ‘He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.’

First, we read via The New York Times that “Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing ‘poor judgment.'”

What was Reisner’s sin for which he is now openly flaying himself in faux repentance? He and his business partner allowed Sen. Cruz to participate in a “fireside chat” for about a dozen people, which was not even a fundraiser. But as soon as word got out, gay activists apparently mobilized in force through social media outlets and phone calls calling for boycotts of Reisner’s properties.

An ostensibly shocked Reisner, in an effort to stanch the bleeding represented by more than 8,200 likes on a Facebook page calling for the boycott, apologized on Facebook. “I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake,” wrote Reisner.

Yes, he made the unforgivable “mistake” of hosting an event for a presidential candidate who has different views on social issues than the fascist boycott organizers have — and he has himself, for that matter, seeing as he’s a prominent figure in the gay rights community, according to the Times.

Supporters of same-sex marriage, as many used to predict would happen, are not content with their recent victories on the issue. They obviously want to punish anyone who dissents for any reason — including religious and conscience reasons — and also bludgeon those (such as Reisner) who even inadvertently assist those who dissent (such as Cruz).

Next, we should consider the horrendous ordeal of Aaron and Melissa Klein, who used to own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery they built from scratch in Sandy, Oregon, in 2013. When they respectfully declined, on religious grounds, the request of two women to bake a cake for their wedding, the happy couple filed a civil complaint against them for failing to provide them equal service in a place of public accommodation. You know, live and let live — the attitude the activists and their fellow liberal foxhole buddies told us they would have if they prevailed in their quest to legalize same-sex marriage.

A group of unspecified people — real or robotic constructs of social media legerdemain — went into battle. “They got together and harassed all of our vendors,” Melissa said. The vendors, according to The Daily Signal, folded and took Sweet Cakes off their referral lists, resulting in a 65 to 70 percent reduction in the Kleins’ annual income, forcing them to close the bakery. (The Kleins have five children, and Melissa is reduced to baking a few cakes a month at home. Aaron now has a job as a garbage collector.)

But that heartless result wasn’t enough for the victors. They pursued their legal action against the Kleins with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and last Friday, an administrative law judge with that agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for the damages caused to the happy — and now happily married — couple.

As a result – Aaron and Melissa Klein could lose everything they own — including their home in the name of “tolerance”.

When I first heard about this, my jaw literally dropped, and that takes quite a bit in this upside-down, crazy world we’ve grown to understand we now inhabit.

Aaron Klein said: “This country should be able to tolerate diverse opinions. I never once have said that my fight is (to) stop what they call equality.”

Sorry, Aaron, and I do mean I am profoundly sorry for the injustice that has been imposed on you, but these activists are not willing to tolerate diverse opinions. They don’t care that you are not proactively trying to oppose their march for whatever it is they’re marching for. It appears that the true quest of leftist gay activists — and not just gay activists but those of many other leftist causes in this country (e.g., “climate change”) — is to wholly shut down and censor opposing opinions, whether thought or expressed, whether publicly or privately.

“The past was dead, the future was unimaginable. What certainty had he that a single human creature now living was on his side? And what way of knowing that the dominion of the Party would not endure for ever? Like an answer, the three slogans on the white face of the Ministry of Truth came back to him:

WAR IS PEACE  (Even a “Culture” or “Social” War)

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH IS WATCHING YOU!

I repeat: The real fight on these types of issues in this nation is no longer about the underlying “rights” involved. It concerns the appalling mission of activists to marshal the coercive power of government and of commercial blackmail to compel other people to agree (and publicly say they agree) with their opinions on issues they deem important.

DO AS WE SAY, THINK AS WE SAY, OR ELSE!

Isn’t it ironic that the people who are pushing for these rights always wave banners of tolerance, love, compassion and liberty? More than ironic, it’s outrageous. And fewer and fewer people of principle are standing up to this tyrannical bullying because, understandably, they don’t want to put themselves in the crosshairs of this gestapo. But history tells us the logical conclusion of this story. Some socially liberal Republicans naively believe that this is only about the social issues themselves, but it’s about liberty.

God help us. (David Limbaugh)

It’s Baltimore. It’s Ferguson.Stand around and let the crazies destroy and get it out of their system, they’ll take your freedom with them.

When they are done taking your freedom of religion and conscience from you, what will they take next??

To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone — to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone:
From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink — greetings !–George Orwell

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The Improving Cheese

“This is a disaster,” Mark Miller, the Wisconsin Senate Democratic leader, said in February after Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed a budget bill that would curtail the collective-bargaining powers of some public employees. Miller predicted catastrophe if the bill were to become law — a charge repeated thousands of times by his fellow Democrats, union officials and protesters in the streets.

Now the bill is law, and we have some early evidence of how it is working. And for one beleaguered Wisconsin school district, it’s a godsend, not a disaster.

The Kaukauna Area School District, in the Fox River Valley of Wisconsin near Appleton, has about 4,200 students and about 400 employees. It has struggled in recent times and this year faced a deficit of $400,000. But after the law went into effect at 12:01 a.m. June 29, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn that $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. And it’s all because of the very provisions that union leaders predicted would be disastrous.

In the past, teachers and other staff at Kaukauna were required to pay 10 percent of the cost of their health-insurance coverage and none of their pension costs. Now they’ll pay 12.6 percent of the cost of their coverage (still well below rates in much of the private sector) and contribute 5.8 percent of salary to their pensions. The changes will save the school board an estimated $1.2 million this year, according to board president Todd Arnoldussen.

Of course, Wisconsin unions had offered to make benefit concessions during the budget fight. Wouldn’t Kaukauna’s money problems have been solved if Walker had just accepted those concessions and not demanded cutbacks in collective-bargaining powers?

“The monetary part of it is not the entire issue,” says Arnoldussen, a political independent who won a spot on the board in a nonpartisan election. Indeed, some of the most important improvements in Kaukauna’s outlook are because of the new limits on collective bargaining.

In the past, Kaukauna’s agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health-insurance coverage from something called WEA Trust — a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. “It was in the collective-bargaining agreement that we could negotiate only with them,” says Arnoldussen. “Well, you know what happens when you can negotiate with only one vendor.” This year, WEA Trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums.

Now the collective-bargaining agreement is gone, and the school district is free to shop around for coverage. And all of a sudden, WEA Trust has changed its position. “With these changes, the schools could go out for bids, and, lo and behold, WEA Trust said, ‘We can match the lowest bid,'” says Republican state Rep. Jim Steineke, who represents the area and supports the Walker changes. At least for the moment, Kaukauna is staying with WEA Trust but saving substantial amounts of money.

Then there are work rules. “In the collective-bargaining agreement, high-school teachers had to teach only five periods a day out of seven,” says Arnoldussen. “Now they’re going to teach six.” In addition, the collective-bargaining agreement specified that teachers had to be in the school 37-1/2 hours a week. Now it will be 40 hours.

The changes mean Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes — from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the much-maligned changes in collective bargaining.

Teachers’ salaries will stay “relatively the same,” Arnoldussen says, except for higher pension and health care payments. (The top salary is about $80,000 per year, with about $35,000 in additional benefits, for 184 days of work per year — summers off.) Finally, the money saved will be used to hire a few more teachers and institute merit pay.

It is impossible to overstate how bitter and ugly the Wisconsin fight has been, and that bitterness and ugliness continues to this day with efforts to recall senators and an unseemly battle inside the state Supreme Court. But the new law is now a reality, and Gov. Walker recently told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the measure would gain acceptance “with every day, week and month that goes by that the world doesn’t fall apart.”

In the Kaukauna schools, the world is definitely not falling apart — it’s getting better. (Byron York)

But never forget the Unions will fight tool and nail to your death to have their exclusive members-only kiss-ass club back. They are too arrogant and “entitled” not to.

Much like most Democrats.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

The Future of ObamaCare?

The Nationalized Health Care of Canada has stuck again.

This is ongoing and started earlier this week but Wisconsin took up the time.

If this doesn’t outrage you, you must be dead, or a Liberal.

But it’s coming to an ObamaCare near you…

London, Ontario Free Press: Jane Sims The London Free Press Moe Maraachli keeps the snapshots of his dying baby boy in an envelope in his jacket pocket.

He pulls out the photos of the son he’s about to lose, trying to  understand how a hospital, an Ontario health-related board assigned to  judge consent issues, and a London court could say he and his wife can’t  take Baby Joseph home to Windsor to die.

“I do my best for my baby. I do my best,” he said Thursday outside the London courthouse, tears in his eyes.

“This is killing, this is criminal . . . I’m sure this is murder.”

This Monday, on Family Day in Ontario, Joseph Maraachli, who’s in a  vegetative state from a neurodegenerative disease, will die after his  breathing tube is removed from his tiny body at a London hospital,  ending an ethical and legal dilemma that tried to balance unwanted  suffering with the needs of a child and his family.

“I lose my baby,” his father, 37, who came to Canada from Lebanon 11 years ago, said. “They take him from me.”

“I don’t lose my baby like God take him. They take him. They want to take him.”

“It was basically our family’s word versus the medical system’s  world,” said his aunt, Samar Nader, who’s sure she saw Joseph respond to  her this week when she touched his head.

“I think in medicine, they’re just looking at the world from a black and white point of view.”

“The family understands the child and for us to witness his death on Monday . . . I don’t know,” she said.

An emotional Superior Court Justice Helen Rady, who called it  “heartbreaking” and “such a sad and difficult case”, decided Thursday  not to allow the family’s appeal of a decision last month by Ontario’s  Consent and Capacity Board to have the child’s breathing tube removed  and put in place a do-not-resuscitate order and palliative care.

The baby’s father and mother, Sana Nader, 35, wanted the same  treatment for Joseph as was given to their daughter before she died,  eight years ago at 18 months – give Joseph a tracheotomy and  ventilation, and allow them to take him home to die what they would be a  peaceful death.

But Joseph’s doctors say while a tracheotomy – an incision is made in  a patient’s airway, to help breathing – may prolong the baby’s life,  it’s futile in this case and would likely cause much discomfort. It  would certainly also increase the risk of infection and pneumonia, they  argue.

“The medical officials would not want this little boy to suffer,” Rady said.

When born in January 2010, Joseph, now 13 months, was a beautiful, normal baby.

But five months later he started having seizures like his sister. By June, he couldn’t swallow.

In October, he stopped breathing while travelling with his parents.  He was taken to an Ingersoll hospital, then rushed to the London Health  Sciences Centre’s pediatric critical care unit where he’s been ever  since.

His father has stayed in London to be with his son.

His mother is in London every weekend and returns to Windsor to look after the couple’s other son, Ali.

Joseph’s on a ventilator and fed through a tube. He’s in what the  doctors call “a persistent vegetative state.” The doctors say he’s blind  and deaf.

He’s missing all five brain stem reflexes considered necessary for  life – gag, cough, eye movement, pupil and cornea responses. His brain  deterioration is irreversible.

A team of doctors, including a world-renowned pediatric expert from  Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, has examined Joseph and agrees  he’s dying of the same progressive neurodegenerative disease that  claimed his sister.

Joseph’s doctor told the adjudication board that doctors  “reluctantly” gave the couple’s daughter a tracheotomy. Since then,  doctors have learned “substantially” more about the procedure and  determined it isn’t right for Joseph.

The board agreed with Joseph’s attending doctor that the baby has “no hope or chance of ever recovering.”

“While we feel a great deal of empathy for the parents, we held that  their view was not in any way realistic,” the board said, adding  Joseph’s parents “were blinded by their obvious love” for their child.

The State Board knows better!!!  Sound ObamaCare-ish? Yes!

Obamacare establishes the Independent Payment Advisory Board, whose stated responsibility is to develop proposals to reduce the growth of Medicare spending.
His parents fear Joseph will choke to death once the tube is removed.  They say he responds to their touch and wanted the board to see him in  hospital before deciding.

Rady said it’s unclear what the board would have seen had its members  agreed. And she noted that while Joseph’s head and body have grown, it  doesn’t mean the medical assessments are wrong.

The case digs deeply into the delicate balance of life versus. suffering.

Ethicist Margaret Somerville, of McGill University’s Centre for  Medicine, Ethics and Law, said the case is “a judgment where the parents  are giving priority to the prolongation of life and the doctor is  giving priority to the quality of that life.”

“I’m sure there’s no doubt in this case that this child has a very  poor quality of life, but we do know that health care professionals  judge quality of life much lower than people themselves do.”

Somerville said such quality-of-life decisions are delicate and often  at odds. What needs to be examined is why the family doesn’t agree with  the decision and if their reasons are acceptable, she said.

The board had ordered Joseph’s breathing tube be removed Friday, but Rady said that wasn’t sensitive to the family’s need.

Instead, she ordered they comply by Monday – a statutory holiday in  Ontario, to celebrate family – “to afford the whole family adequate time  to say their good-byes.”

Rady’s voice broke when she addressed the family. “I hope that in time you’ll find peace,” she said.

Joseph’s father wasn’t satisfied. “It’s not help,” he said later.

His lawyer, Geoff Snow, said he understands Rady’s decision but  added, “the loss of a child in any circumstances is tragic and it’s  unfortunate that there’s not more than could have been done.”

Lawyer Julie Zamprogna Balles, who acted for the doctor, said Rady’s decision was “well-reasoned and compassionate.”

While the case had “very sad and unfortunate circumstances,” everyone  involved, she said, have “focused on Little Joseph’s best interests.”

But a grieving Moe Maraachli said there’s “no humanity” in Canada. He expressed a desire to die himself.

“I stay with him until the last moments and hopefully I go with him,” he said.

THE ETHICAL ISSUE

Whether to provide medical intervention to prolong the life of a dying child who’s in a persistent vegetative state.

THE LEGAL ISSUE

Whether to allow an appeal of a decision by an Ontario health-based  board that adjudicates consent issues, to take the child off life  support.

****

LONDON, Ont. – A father who has been battling to stop a London, Ont.,  hospital from removing his terminally ill son from a ventilator stood  his ground Monday and defied a court order requiring him to give  consent.

Moe Maraachli says he and his wife Sana Nader are happy  the breathing tube keeping their 13-month old son Joseph alive has not  yet been removed.

But their fight to get the boy a tracheotomy so they can take him home to die isn’t over.

“I’m  very excited because my son doesn’t remove his tube today,” said  Maraachli, who has been sleeping at the hospital since Friday.

“All my family is happy. We are happy. We feel it’s really Family Day today.”

The Windsor, Ont., couple has been fighting for months against doctors at Victoria Hospital in London  who say their son should be removed from life support because he will  not recover from the rare neurological condition that has left him in a  vegetative state.

The family fears Joseph will suffer a painful  death if the ventilator is removed, and prefers that a tracheotomy be  performed so they can take him home to live his remaining days  surrounded by people who love him.

The couple’s 18-month-old  daughter died almost nine years ago from a similar medical condition.  She had a tracheotomy and lived at home for six months before she died,  said Maraachli.

But, last Thursday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Helen Rady ordered the couple to agree to take Joseph off the ventilator by 10 a.m. Monday.

The judge was upholding a decision already made by Ontario’s Consent and Capacity Board.

Because  the London hospital could not get consent to remove the breathing tube  from Joseph’s parents or other family members, it has the right to seek  consent from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, said Mark  Handelman, Maraachli’s lawyer.

But Maraachli is hoping his son Joseph will be transferred to Michigan’s Children’s Hospital in Detroit.

Joseph  has been treated there before under the Ontario Provincial Health  Insurance Plan and the family feels they would have another chance at  persuading doctors to perform a tracheotomy if he returns there.

The couple’s friends recently contacted the U.S. hospital about a transfer and the London Health Sciences Centre, which Victoria Hospital falls under, was asked to send Joseph’s medical records there on Sunday.

The London hospital sent Joseph’s medical chart by courier to Detroit on Monday, said spokeswoman Laurie Gould.

“At this point in time we have not received any request for transfer,” said Gould.

If a transfer request is made, Gould said her hospital would contact the public guardian and “wait for their direction.”

The London hospital would not need permission from the public guardian to transfer Joseph to Michigan, said Handelman.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, called the baby Joseph case sad and tragic.

Schadenberg questioned why doctors, not parents, should have the final say over their baby’s care.

“Is it right that the doctor has now so much power?” asked Schadenberg.

“I think the balance of power has shifted in Ontario too far, and I’m getting very concerned about who has the right to decide.”

Gould said the case is certainly “emotionally charged.”

The  hospital has received calls and emails from the public, some offering  prayers for the baby, who’s been at the hospital since October, she  said.

As cars honked their horns, a couple of dozen people holding  signs and photos of the baby held a vigil outside the hospital Monday  morning, an hour before the baby was to be removed from the ventilator.

Maraachli’s  sister-in-law Samar Nader said the family is “relieved and thankful”  for all the support they’ve received from the public.

“It’s true  that miracles do happen and I would never have expected for my nephew to  live past 10 o’clock without the people’s help,” she said.

****

(CNN) — A Canadian family fighting to keep their 13-month-old son on a breathing tube says they have been denied a request to have him transferred to a hospital in Michigan.

Moe and Sana Maraachli refused to sign consent when Canadian health officials determined their son Joseph, who suffers from a progressive degenerative neurological disease and was in a persistent vegetative state, should be removed from life support. Joseph is being treated at the London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario.

The Maraachlis reached out to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit in hopes of having their son transferred there for continued care.

Family spokesperson Sam Sansalone said the hospital initially agreed to accept the transfer. He said he has since received an email indicating the request has been denied.

Sansalone forwarded an email from the Detroit hospital that he said explains that after a review of Joseph’s records by neurological and intensive care physicians, “we cannot offer Joseph anything that he has not been provided already during his current admission by his current clinical care team … transfer to our facility will not provide him or the family any benefit.”

Vickie Winn, a spokesperson from the Children’s Hospital, confirmed Joseph is not a patient at the hospital but could not offer further comment, citing patient privacy laws.

Sansalone said the family is pursuing at least three other hospitals in other states.

The family says the hospital has it wrong and that their son is not in a persistent vegetative state. Sansalone said they have noted experiences where the baby has responded to being tickled and has jolted when he felt discomfort with examinations or the feeding tubes. They say these are signs he might still have brain function.

However, Canadian health officials disagree. On February 17, they decided Joseph should be removed from life support. The family was given until February 21 to say their goodbyes and sign the consent, but they have yet to do so.

The Maraachlis are seeking a second opinion from what they consider to be an objective source that can review the more than 1,000 pages of Joseph’s medical records and provide a better assessment of their son’s treatment options.

If he is beyond hope, they want him to be able to receive a tracheotomy, where he can be transferred home and die in the care of family instead of in a hospital.

Experts say even if the family is granted this request, caring for a child in this condition is an arduous task.

Dr. David Casarett, director of research and evaluation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wissahickon Hospice, says patients at home with tracheotomies need monitoring to make sure the airway is clear of secretions, the skin is clean and dry and someone can make sure the incision at the tracheotomy site does not get infected.

“A child’s care would be much more complex if a home ventilator is required, since the parents would need to manage the ventilator with the help of a nurse and respiratory therapist,” he said.

Suzanne Vitadamo, spokesperson for the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and Terri’s sister, issued the following statement:

“It is unacceptable for Canadian Health Allocation Officials and/or the Canadian Government to make decisions for Joseph that will end his life and deny the wishes of his loving parents.

“Every patient, regardless of age, has a right to proper and dignified health care. It is frightening to once again see government usurp the God-given rights of parents to love and care for their child at home, especially when the child is dying.”

We are from the Government and we are here to help you, control you, and make decisions for you.

Rejoice!

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

The Fight for 2012 Begins Today

To those who say that the House Vote to repeal ObamaCare is a waste I say, a journey of a 1000 days starts with but a single step.

But ultimately, the best chance is the US Supreme Court.

ObamaCare is Unconstitutional. It’s just that the Democrats  and the Liberal Media don’t care.

And why do I say the campaign starts now.

Because the “grandma will be homeless” “children starving in the streets” “you’ll be eating dog food” kinda of liberal hysteria has ratcheted up again.

Polls are being released AGAIN, showing how much people love ObamaCare and don’t want it repealed. 😦

Perhaps it’s no surprise that on the same day Obama announced his Executive Order — and the day before the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a repeal of Obamacare (except for the Tucson shooting delay) — the Department of Health and Human Services released a study subtitled “129 million people could be denied affordable coverage” without Obamacare because of pre-existing conditions. (American Spectator)

So someone wind up Andy Griffith!!

If the Democrats weren’t worried they wouldn’t be trotting out the usual time-tested “fear” campaigns.

And yes, the fight is going to be long and hard and depends on Obama not being re-elected so you can bet the Democrats and their Liberal Media Ministry of Truth will have the full on 24/7 FEAR and MANIPULATION campaign going from now until 2 years from now.

So buckle up. The Socialists aren’t giving up without a major trench warfare. And just like last time they will fight till your last breath to save their Golden Goose of Utopia.

And it won’t be “civil”. 🙂

Political Cartoon

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UNIONS, THE CHICAGO WAY  OR ELSE!

Labor unions give more money to the Democratic Party than any other source, and critics have long accused President Barack Obama’s administration of doing their bidding.  Now there is evidence that the White House has indeed put its thumb on the scale on behalf of unions. After saying that “union jobs are, by and large, good jobs,” the Department of Labor’s “strategic plan” for the next five years says: “many of the Department’s outcome goals are furthered by high rates of union membership.”

Don Todd, Americans for Limited Government’s head of research and a former DOL agency head under George W. Bush, told The Daily Caller that the Obama administration wants to “shame” companies into unionizing.

“In a worst-case scenario, your union organizer comes to you, offers you a deal to unionize, you say, ‘no,’ and, the next thing you know, OSHA’s [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] at your door,” Todd said in a phone interview. “Then, Wage and Hour show up, and they want to publicize it. They always find something wrong – it’s like with bed-checks in boot camp in the army.”

Todd said some companies will fight the DOL’s intimidation tactics, but many will give in to unionizing forces.

“It makes it the path of least resistance,” Todd said.

The current Solicitor of Labor, Patricia Smith, specialized in that kind of corporate intimidation when she served in a similar position in New York’s Department of Labor. Senate Republicans strongly opposed Smith’s appointment to her current post for that reason. In New York, Smith set up a neighborhood watch-style system for monitoring and investigating wage and hour violations by companies.

Former union executives and confidants are leading almost every agency within the DOL, including, but not limited to, John Lund, who has deep ties to the AFL-CIO, Craig Becker, who has worked with the AFL-CIO and the SEIU, and Joe Main, who had worked for the United Mine Workers of America.

Smith and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis recently released the DOL’s “Strategic Plan” for 2011 through 2016, in which they link the recent economic recession and the recently high unemployment numbers with the decline in private sector union membership. (This being the same dingbat that wanted Illegal Aliens to call her if they were being oppressed by their boss!!)

Holis has made the case publicly that unionization is a good thing as it is the only way workers get “higher wages,” “good jobs” and “flexibility and benefits like paid leave, childcare and education assistance.”

“It’s not enough to have fair wages and a safe workplace — workers also need a voice on the job! Some people say that, given the state of the economy, we can’t afford unions right now,” Holis said in a September 2009 speech to the AFL-CIO. “They’ve got it backwards. Today unions are more important than ever. Workers are facing unprecedented challenges, and they need the voice on the job that unions provide.”

DOL is pushing unionization by turning the fraud investigation arms of the Department of Labor into intimidation tools. Todd said DOL’s enforcement arms repeatedly audit and investigate businesses that refuse to unionize. They demand records of everything from Wage and Hour compliance to health and safety regulations, and won’t stop until the business they’re targeting unionizes.

Another way the Obama administration helps unions is by overloading the arms of the DOL that normally fight union fraud. The Obama administration, for instance, doubled the duties of the Office of Labor and Management Standards (OLMS). OLMS historically has been used primarily for investigating labor union fraud, but since Obama took office, OLMS is also charged with dealing with “whistleblower” complaints, or complaints from employees all over the country about companies that aren’t following safety requirements. That used to be handled by OSHA.

Another thing the DOL is doing in what appears to be an effort to weaken union investigations is shifting many career employees out of OLMS and into other, non-investigative agencies that pose no immediate threat to union survival. Todd said that’s the only explanation for shifting the employees he and previous administrations spent years training to different jobs.

“They’re moving people out of OLMS over to places like Wage and Hour, which is a waste of all the training they received in prosecuting and investigating union misconduct,” Todd said in a phone interview. “In the time that I was there, we convicted close to 1,000 union officers and employees. That was not for unfair practices – that was for stealing from members.”

Todd said he thinks it’s more likely that union leadership would rather “suffer from the thefts than from the bad publicity they’d get from investigations and convictions” of union members and leaders.

“The Obama Department of Labor is being organized to push a pro-union agenda without regard to the welfare of the worker,” Rick Manning, a spokesman for Americans for Limited Government, told TheDC. (The Daily Caller)

More Unions. More Democratic Party Money. More money for underfunded lavish pensions estimated to be short $2 Trillion dollars.

Political Cartoon

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RICHMOND, Va. – A power struggle is unfolding in Virginia over climate change research.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has been taking the University of Virginia to court to get information on a climate change researcher who once worked at the school.

Now several members of the State Assembly say they’ve had enough and have introduced legislation to rein in Cuccinelli’s investigation.

Cuccinelli, a global warming skeptic, is looking into whether UVA professor Michael Mann manipulated data to show that there has been a rapid, recent rise in the Earth’s temperature.

Democratic Sens. Donald McEachin of Henrico and Chap Petersen of Fairfax County say their bills won’t give blanket immunity to colleges to defraud the state, but they would curb politically motivated probes.

McEachin and Petersen, both lawyers, said Cuccinelli had abused the authority the office obtained under a 2002 law.

Their legislation would force Cuccinelli to sue and obtain subpoenas as is required of other civil litigation. This would afford defendants the right to defend themselves.

So the global warming frauds want to hide their deception. Gee, no one saw that coming.

So if the Democrats were in power to run “politically motivated” investigations would they be so concerned??

No.

Just like the Democrats using the Tucson tragedy for their own political purposes (and deriding anyone who says they are) . Last week, using the non-radio-inspired Tucson massacre as fuel, the National Hispanic Media Coalition called on the FCC to gather evidence for the left’s preconceived conclusion that conservative talk radio “hate speech” causes violence. It’s Red Queen science — sentence first, research validation later.

The movement “is grounded in the belief that social and economic justice will not be realized without the equitable redistribution and control of media and communication technologies.” But, hey, we better just ignore these communications control freaks lest we be accused of suffering a “persecution complex.” (Michelle Malkin)

So just like Global warming, it’s political goals first, actual science, compassion or civility, later.

Much, Much Later!

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Obama also puts on his newly acquired pro-capitalism mask when talking about the sheer burden of regulation:

We’re also getting rid of absurd and unnecessary paperwork requirements that waste time and money. We’re looking at the system as a whole to make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent and redundant regulation. And finally, today I am directing federal agencies to do more to account for — and reduce — the burdens regulations may place on small businesses. Small firms drive growth and create most new jobs in this country. We need to make sure nothing stands in their way.

Unfortunately, despite the laudable sentiment contained in the president’s words, it’s difficult to take Obama 2.0 seriously. In particular, is the American public, especially our entrepreneurs, supposed to sing the praises of Obama’s claimed conversion from class warfare redistributionist to proto-capitalist while his signature “accomplishment,” commonly known as Obamacare, is the single biggest small-business-killing piece of legislation in generations? (American Spectator)

I would say Obama and the Democrats words are hollow, cynical, and manipulative.

There actions needs speak louder than their words.

And right now all I see is a guy trying to get re-elected.

Nothing else.

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

Political Cartoon

The Law with Unintended Consequences

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

“It is unclear whether members of Congress and Congressional staff who are currently participating in F.E.H.B.P. may be able to retain this coverage,” the CRS wrote in a 8,100-word memorandum, the Times reports.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available. . . .

The law apparently bars members of Congress from the federal employees health program, on the assumption that lawmakers should join many of their constituents in getting coverage through new state-based markets known as insurance exchanges.

But the research service found that this provision was written in an imprecise, confusing way, so it is not clear when it takes effect.

The new exchanges do not have to be in operation until 2014. But because of a possible “drafting error,” the report says, Congress did not specify an effective date for the section excluding lawmakers from the existing program.

Under well-established canons of statutory interpretation, the report said, “a law takes effect on the date of its enactment” unless Congress clearly specifies otherwise. And Congress did not specify any other effective date for this part of the health care law. The law was enacted when President Obama signed it three weeks ago.

That means that congressmen and their staffers may be afoul of the law right now.

ObamaCare is proving to be even more of a shambles than critics had expected. Is this because the Democrats who currently run Congress are unusually incompetent? Tempting as it is to say yes, probably not. Put it down, instead, to hubris and haste. In their mad rush to outrun public opinion and impose “universal health care” on their unwilling constituents, Harry Pelosi, Nancy Reid & Co. simply didn’t bother paying attention to the details.

If CRS is right and congressmen and their staffers are now forbidden to be insured as federal employees, this may turn out to be ObamaCare’s fatal flaw. The Times observes that Congress “could try for a legislative fix,” and it quotes Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, as urging just that: “After the committee completed its work, the coverage provision was redrafted by others, and that’s where mistakes were made. Congress can and should act to correct the mistakes.”

Good luck with that, guys. Are congressmen really going to pass legislation to rectify the harm ObamaCare did to them,Yuval Levin points out: “If you had your own research service to help you figure out what the law will do to your insurance, the answer would likely be just as confusing and discouraging.” The CRS’s findings are a powerful reminder that ObamaCare likely holds horrible surprises for everyone. while continuing to subject everyone else to this awful, hated law? Leaving the law in place isn’t a politically attractive option either, for the reason National Review’s Yuval Levin points out: “If you had your own research service to help you figure out what the law will do to your insurance, the answer would likely be just as confusing and discouraging.” The CRS’s findings are a powerful reminder that ObamaCare likely holds horrible surprises for everyone.

The logic of the situation inexorably points toward repeal–though we expect President Obama and this Congress will defy logic as firmly and for as long as they can. (WSJ)

While ObamaCare is an abomination that will hurt future generations it would be fitting if Congress was hoist on their own petard.

But I suspect that once they determine if they are screwed or not rather than revisit the bill in an overhaul and draw lots of unwanted attention they’ll just sneak it into a bill later on in the dead of night.

That would be the modis operandi of this Congress. Do it in secret, in a back room, without anyone knowing until it was too late to doanything about what you cooked up.

And if they do find out, Lie, Obfuscate, and attack.

I’m sure we have years and years of surprise and new horrors ahead of us.

This from the Toronto Star is just Curious:

Proof of medical coverage will become mandatory for all visitors to Cuba starting May 1.

The Cuba Tourist Bureau in Canada notified tour operators recently, and promises a general announcement with more details shortly.

So how long before ObamaCare follows suit, after all Cuba has a great medical system according to the Far Left who are in love with it. See “Sicko” by Michael “I by My own press” Moore.

At current exchange rates, Cubalinda will charge $2.70. a day for up to $7,558 of medical emergency insurance, plus assorted other types of coverage. It will charge about $3.24 a day for $27,000 of medical coverage and $7,558 for transportation of deceased, injured or sick persons.

That compares with as little as $1.81 a day or a minimum of $16 a week for a young Canadian to get $5 million of medical coverage from a Canadian insurer, says Aguirre. Meanwhile, a reasonably healthy senior, age 70 to 74, would pay $6.36 a day for a short trip to a non-U.S. destination, says Cappon.

Aguirre’s company’s president, Robin Ingle, concedes the skimpy Cuban policies would provide enough coverage for the vast majority of illnesses or injuries travelers might experience in Cuba.

“The Cubalinda.com website says ‘the insurer will not assume payment for treatment of pre-existing medical condition (sic), known or unknown to the insured person’.”

You could pay the modest premium and discover later you have no coverage when you need it.

So proceed with caution. Don’t leave home without adequate coverage.

Where’s Karl Malden when you need him??

And a Preview of Things to Come

A Massachusetts court Monday ruled against health insurance providers seeking to raise their premiums 8 to 32 percent in a closely watched case.

Massachusetts enacted a universal health care plan in 2006 that includes politically controversial measures such as the individual mandate requiring all adults to purchase insurance. With opponents of the national health care legislation passed weeks ago promising legal action, the Massachusetts case was seen a foretaste of what could lie ahead.

In this instance, the court affirmed that, for now at least, the state has the authority to oversee the industry.

The challenge arose from a bid by health insurance providers in Massachusetts several weeks ago to raise their premiums. Massachusetts Insurance commissioner Joseph Murphy called the increases “excessive,” noting that the medical consumer price index – an indicator of how much medical goods and services cost – projected a necessary increase of only 5 percent. Mr. Murphy rejected 235 of 274 proposed rate hikes.

Six insurance companies sued, arguing the state does not have the regulatory authority to cap premiums. They said they would lose $100 million without the premium increase, plus even more in the administrative costs of having to redesign their plans.

In addition to the suit, the insurance companies filed a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from regulating their premium increases until the case is decided. They also asked for an expedited trial.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Stephen Neel denied the request to expedite the trial and the injunction. He said that until the health insurance companies exhausted all available administrative remedies within the state Department of Insurance, the court had no jurisdiction. Only then could the insurance companies move through the normal legal process, he said.

He added that he wanted to avoid “stepping in the [insurance] commissioner’s shoes” and revising the regulations temporarily until the later court date.

Furthermore, the regulations did not cause “irreparable harm” because lost profits could later be recouped, Judge Neel said.

Recouped how?

Don’t worry, the Government is here to save you from evil capitalists! 😦