The Pork Sleighs Me

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Some Christmas Pork over the Crony Barrel:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s $60.4 billion request for Hurricane Sandy relief has morphed into a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska, The Post has learned.

The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.

An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms.

Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”

Matt Mayer of the conservative Heritage Foundation slammed the request as an “enormous Christmas gift worth of stuff.”

“The funding here should be focused on helping the community and the people, not replacing federal assets or federal items,” he said.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste! 🙂

Mark Steyn:

A few years ago, my small local hospital asked a Senate staffer if she could assist them in obtaining federal money for a new building. So she did, expediting the process by which that particular corner of northern New Hampshire was deemed to be “under-served” and thus eligible for the fed gravy. At the ribbon-cutting, she was an honored guest, and they were abundant in their praise. Alas, in the fullness of time, the political pendulum swung, her senator departed the scene, and she was obliged to take a job out of state.

Last summer, she returned to the old neighborhood and thought she’d look for a doctor. The sweet old guy with the tweed jacket in the neatly painted cape on Main Street had taken down his shingle and retired. Most towns in the North Country now have fewer doctors than they did in the 19th century, and the smaller towns have none. The Yellow Pages lists more health insurers than physicians, which would not seem to be an obvious business model. So she wound up going to the health center she’d endowed so lavishly with your tax dollars just a few years earlier.

They gave her the usual form to fill in, full of perceptive inquiries on her medical condition: Do you wear a seat belt? Do you own a gun? How many bisexual men are you now having sex with? These would be interesting questions if one were signing up for eHarmony.com and looking to date gun-owning bisexuals who don’t wear seat belts, but they were not immediately relevant to her medical needs. Nevertheless, she complied with the diktats of the Bureau of Compliance, and had her medical records transferred, and waited . . . and waited. That was August. She has now been informed that she has an appointment with a nurse-practitioner at the end of January. My friend pays $15,000 a year for health insurance. In northern New Hampshire, that and meeting the minimum-entry requirement of bisexual sex partners will get you an appointment with a nurse-practitioner in six months’ time.

Why is it taking so long? Well, because everything in America now takes long, and longer still. But beyond that malign trend are more specific innovations, such as the “Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology,” which slipped through all but unnoticed in Subtitle A Part One Section 3001 of the 2009 Obama stimulus bill. Under the Supreme National Coordinator, the United States government is setting up a national database for everybody’s medical records, so that if a Texan hiker falls off Mount Katahdin after walking the Appalachian Trail, Maine’s first responders will be able to know exactly how many bisexual gun-owners she’s slept with, and afford her the necessary care.

This great medical advance is supposed to be fully implemented by 2014, so the federal government is providing incentives for doctors to comply. Under the EHR Incentive Program, if a physician makes “meaningful use” of electronic health records, he’s eligible for “bonuses” from the feds — a mere $44,000 from Medicare, for example, but up to $63,750 from Medicaid. If you have a practice at 27 Elm Street and you’re treating the elderly widow from 22 Elm Street, she’s unlikely to meet the federally mandated bi-guy requirement, but you can still qualify for bonuses by filing her smoking status with Washington. For medical facilities in upscale suburbs, EHR is costly and time-consuming, and, along with a multitude of other Obamacare regulatory burdens, helping drive doctors to opt out entirely: My comrade Michelle Malkin noted the other day that her own general practitioner has now switched over to “concierge care,” under which all third parties (whether private insurers or government) are dumped and a patient contracts with his doctor solely through his checkbook. Some concierge docs will even make house calls: Everything old is new again! (For as long as the new federal commissars permit it.)

But in the broken-down rural hinterlands, EHR and other novelties make it more lucrative for surviving medical centers to prioritize federal paperwork over patient care. For example, there’s a lot of prescription-drug abuse in this country, and so the feds award “meaningful use” bonuses for providing records that will assist them in determining whether a guy with a prescription for painkillers in New Hampshire also has a prescription for painkillers with another doctor over the Connecticut River in Vermont. So in practice every new patient in this part of the world now undergoes a background check before getting anywhere near a doctor. It doesn’t do much for your health, but it does wonders for an ever more sclerotic bureaucracy.

Hence the decay of so many “medical” appointments into robot-voiced box-checking. At the doctor’s a couple of months back, the nurse was out to lunch, and so the receptionist-practitioner rattled through the form. In the waiting room. “Are you sexually active?” she asked. “You first,” I replied. I hope I didn’t cost her the federal bonus.

But don’t worry, it’s totally secure. Carl Smith Jr. was the first physician in Harlan County, Kentucky to introduce EHR. “Because of this technology,” Dr. Smith says, “we can send the patient’s prescription electronically by secure e-mail to pharmacies.” Wow! “Secure e-mail”: What a concept! It’s a good thing the e-mail is secure at American pharmacies because nothing else is. Last Christmas, while guest-hosting at Fox News in New York, I had a spot of ill health and went to pick up a prescription at Duane Reade on Sixth Avenue. The woman ahead of me was having some difficulties. She was a stylish lady d’un certain age, and she caught my wandering eye. After prolonged consultation with the computer, the “pharmacist” informed her (and the rest of us within earshot) that her insurer had approved her Ortho but denied her Valtrex. I was thinking of asking her for cocktails at the Plaza, when I noticed the other women in line tittering. It seems that Ortho is a birth-control pill, and Valtrex is a herpes medication.

So good luck retaining any meaningful doctor-patient confidentiality in a system in which more people — insurers, employers, government commissars, TSA Obergropinführers, federal incentive-program auditors — will be able to access your medical records than in any other nation on earth.

No foreigner can even understand the American “health care” debate, which seems to any tourist casually surfing the news channels to involve everything but health care. Since the Second World War, government medical systems have taken hold in almost every developed nation, but only in America does the introduction of governmentalized health care impact small-business hiring practices and religious liberty, and require 16,500 new IRS agents and federal bonuses for contributing to a national database of seat-belt wearers. Thus, Big Government American-style: Byzantine, legalistic, whimsical, coercive, heavy on the paperwork, and lacking the one consolation of statism — the great clarifying simplicity of universal mediocrity.

As I wrote a couple weeks ago, Obamacare governmentalizes one-sixth of the U.S. economy — or the equivalent of the entire French economy. No one has ever attempted that before, not even the French. In parts of rural America it will quickly achieve a Platonic perfection: There will be untold legions of regulators, administrators, and IRS collection agents, but not a doctor or nurse in sight.

Michelle Malkin: Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is “vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet” the program’s quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy “has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited,” the IG concluded.

Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they’ve already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.

But not doing it, or doing it more rationally of course, is, you guessed it “racist” “sexist” “bigotry” and “trying to kill grandma.”

America in the 21st Century, what a Kingdom of Bureaucracy. The Bureaucrat is King and you’re just a smelly, nasty, demanding little serf who just wants to annoy them.

Congrats. It’s what you voted for Amerika. 🙂

 

 

 

 

The Agenda Lives on

Hilary says she will testify on Benghazi next week.

They start talking about her running in 2016.

Suddenly, she’s not able to testify.

Fascinating how that happened.

And who is the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that was going to hold the hearing. Former Democratic Presidential Candidate, John Kerry.

Kerry is seen as the frontrunner to replace Clinton following U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s withdrawal (due to “racism”) from contention Dec. 13.

And, yes, the Ministry of Truth not only counts on your being that stupid it knows you are that stupid.

And Just so you know…Just like in Benghazi….

Before Connecticut tragedy, administration eliminated emergency preparedness program,let school violence prevention programs lapse.

The “school funding” President everyone. Of course, the funding is most concerned with is the Teacher’s Unions because they are one of the biggest contributors to the Democrats. 🙂

Remember “Race to the Top” (aka Grab the money):  2009- President Obama today announced the steps states must take to compete for their cut of an unprecedented $4.35 billion in discretionary federal stimulus funding for education.

Secreatary of Education Arne Duncan: “We have as a country, I think, have lost our way educationally. We have to educate our way to a better economy. To me, education is the civil rights issue of our generation,” he said.

This is a fight for social justice,” he added, “and we want to work with those states that are literally going to lead the country where we need to go.”

“It’s $5 billion, which sounds like a whole lot of money,” the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Smarick said. “There’s about $100 billion in the whole stimulus plan for education. This is just a small chunk, so we really have to manage our expectations about what it’s going to be able to accomplish.”(ABC)

But yet, quietly, they cut security in schools…Hmmm…

Beneath the expressions of grief, sorrow and disbelief over the Connecticut school massacre lies an uneasy truth in Washington: over the last few years the Obama administration and Congress quietly let federal funding for several key school security programs lapse in the name of budget savings.

Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren’t renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier.

Meanwhile, the administration eliminated funding in 2011-12 for a separate Education Department program that gave money to schools to prepare for mass tragedies, the officials said.

A nationally recognized school security expert said those funds had been critical for years in helping schools continue to enhance protections against growing threats of violence. But they simply dried up with little notice as the Columbine and Virginia Tech school shooting tragedies faded from memory and many Americans and political leaders had their attentions diverted to elections, a weak economy and overseas dramas.

“Our hearts are broken today,” President Barack Obama said, wiping a tear from his eyes as he reacted to the tragedy. “As a country we have been through this too many times.

“These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics,” the president added.

But last year, his administration took a less muted tone as it submitted its 2012 Education Department budget to Congress that eliminated the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) funding, which for years provided between $20 million and $30 million in annual grants to help schools create emergency and crisis preparation and prevention plans for tragedies just like the one that unfolded Friday.

The Education Department’s Web site says it last made REMS grants in 2011.

The funding was cut off even though the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, warned in 2007 that many “many school district officials said that they experience challenges in planning for emergencies due to a lack of equipment, training for staff, and expertise and some school districts face difficulties in communicating and coordinating with first responders and parents.”

Likewise, the Justice Department over the last 12 years distributed nearly $1 billion in funding to help schools hire police resource officers, install metal detectors and take other countermeasures to prevent tragedies like the Columbine massacre.

The town of Newtown, Conn., in fact, took advantage of one of these programs in 2000 when it got $125,000 in funds from the COPS in Schools program, Justice Department records show.

But Justice Department officials said the key programs that provided money directly to schools in the aftermath of Columbine have been phased out as of 2012, the last after the 2011 budget year.

For instance, the Secure Our Schools program provided more than $110 million in funding to law enforcement agencies to partner with schools for the purchase of crime prevention equipment, staff and student training between 2002 and 2011, officials said. It was ended this year.

Likewise, the School Safety Initiative provided more than $53 million between 1998 and 2010 in grants to help state and local agencies with delinquency prevention, community planning and development, and school safety resources – all aimed at preventing violence. The program ended in 2011.

Justice Department spokesman Corey Ray said Friday night that the SSI and SOS programs had been funded primarily by congressional earmarks for the last decade and the administration did not seek additional funding to continue the efforts after lawmakers essentially banned most earmarks in 2010.

“They were funded through congressionally designated funding (earmarks). They ended in 2010 or 2011 when that process of funding ceased,” he said.

The biggest funding program for school violence was the COPS in Schools program, which Ray said provided $811 millions to communities to hire resource officers who worked inside the schools. The targeted funding for schools was ended in 2005 but police are still allowed to apply for broader police hiring money from the general COPS program and then use it to hire school resource officers if they want, Ray said.

“As the economy changed, we had agencies asking for all types of positions including school resource officers,” Ray explained. “So we gave our main hiring program the flexibility to include SROs and other positions. So no COPS In Schools, but still some options to hire for those positions.”

Some liberal groups have increasingly voiced concerns about the increased spending on police and security at schools. For instance, the Justice Policy Institute, a think tank, wrote a report in 2011 entitled “Education Under Arrest” that concluded that “schools do not need school resource officers to be safe.”

White House officials did not return repeated calls and emails Friday night seeking comment on the administration’s rationale for letting the programs lapse.

With funding for K-12 schools and law enforcement agencies evaporating, police and schools have partnered in an effort to ensure safety by creating makeshift programs that target at-risk schools.

Programs like SOS and DARE are “nice to have,” but aren’t necessarily a “need to have.” (Washington guardian)

So the teacher’s union got there infusion of cash from the Stimulus and the fake-out “race to the to” but Security was sacrificed for politics and it was very “transparent”.

Gee, that doesn’t sound like Benghazi at all.

Duncan did not offer clear specifics on how the Department of Education would monitor how the money was being spent, but promised “unparalleled transparency.”

And we all know what that means with Obama. Secrets, and lots of them.

This being one.

And what did he spend the money on, Likely “Green Energy” bankruptcies and borrowing $5 Billion dollars a day from China mostly.

A man has to have his priorities after all….

Derek Hunter: I’ve said before how progressives will exploit anyone and anything to advance their agenda, but I’d always thought there was a line, somewhere, of decency they wouldn’t cross. I was wrong.

He may have thought there was a line, but as I have stated many times I know there isn’t one they won’t cross and this just proves I’m right, saddly. 😦

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who represents portions of New York City, said he was encouraged by Mr. Obama’s statement on Friday afternoon that the mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 young children, requires “meaningful action” by Congress, but hopes those words turn into concrete legislation.

“These incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents … are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen more and more frequently until someone with the bully pulpit, and that means the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress,” Mr. Nadler said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz.

Mr. Nadler was asked whether the Newtown tragedy could be the turning point in many Democrats’ longstanding struggle to enact stronger gun laws.

I think we will be there if the president exploits it, and otherwise we’ll go on to the next” incident, Mr. Nadler said.

To stop an action like that which we witnessed yesterday you would have to eliminate the existence of guns, and we’ve all seen the figures on how well that works. (Townhall)

Yeah, 20 Schoolchildren were hurt when a crazed Chinese man broke into their school room with a knife. China bans private ownership of guns.

Liberals who hear this say, “well, they aren’t dead” now are they are.

Completely missing the point.

No motive was given for the stabbings, which echo a string of similar assaults against schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50. The most recent such attack took place in August, when a knife-wielding man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.

Most of the attackers have been mentally disturbed men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system’s ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.

In one of the worst incidents, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship. (ABC)

That’s right, KILLED.

But the Agenda is the The Agenda….

With the blood of the victims still wet, progressives began their call for gun control. They had no idea if the guns were purchased legally (they were, and stolen from the first murder victim, the killer’s mother), what kind of guns they were (they were pistols, not “assault weapons,” though a semi-automatic rifle was found, unused, in the killer’s car), or even if the killer was in custody or dead (there were stories of a hunt for a second shooter) before they succumbed to the siren call of their agenda.

Michael Moore, noted tragedy profiteer, took to Twitter with “Only minutes away from pundits & politicians say, “This isn’t the time to talk about gun control.” Really? When is that moment?”

A short time later he followed up with “The NRA hates freedom. They don’t want you to have the freedom to send your children to school & expect them to come home alive.”

No fiction writer could do the sickness of that man justice.

But Moore wasn’t alone, David Frum was his usual self and joined a chorus of his fellow progressives that included Piers Morgan, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and nearly the entire homepage of The Huffington Post in calling for more gun control.

Actress Rashida Jones tweeted, “Gun control is our only road to freedom. Freedom from the fear of senselessly losing children. I’m so saddened. WE NEED LAWS NOW.”

The stupidity of these people is self-evident. States with the most freedom to own and carry guns have the lowest crime rates. Meanwhile, cities such as Chicago, where it’s illegal to own a gun, have the most gun violence.

But although the side of liberty has the statistics, progressives play on emotion. Facts don’t matter in a world of crying children, and progressives know it. A complicated issue is offered a simple solution that appeals to the feeling of helplessness and promises to alleviate it. It’s a tactic used by despots throughout history.

Since we have a media that functions as the ground troops for the progressive movement, that they would line up to offer their megaphone surprised no one. A manufactured protest of anti-Second Amendment progressive activists that attracted only a couple-dozen people (there were more reporrters there than protesters) received more coverage from the Democratic Media Complex than all the huge Tea Party protests. The event came together as if it were an Ikea desk sitting in the corner just waiting for the opportunity to be assembled.

All three major networks ran hour-long specials Friday night reiterating the limited information they had and featuring literal guesses as to what must’ve happened. Facts don’t matter when trying to scare people.

The most despicable part of the media coverage was the interviews. Children as young as these vultures could find had cameras in their faces seeking any sound bite they could milk for ratings. But those children wouldn’t be there were their parents not feet away giving permission and granting their own interviews about their person relief.

No one can blame a parent for an immeasurable sense of relief over finding their child unharmed, but they can be blamed for sticking themselves and their child in front of television cameras to spread that relief to a grieving community. Has the allure of “fame,” no matter how fleeting, overruled our sense of decency?

The president was reserved and presidential in his remarks, and the White House said this is not the time to press an agenda (we’ll see how long that lasts). But their allies would have none of it. Progressive activists and their fellow travellers in the media have a storied history of dancing on graves to advance their agenda, but rarely have they danced so gleefully on such tiny graves yet to be dug. Time will tell which argument wins the day, but I have my suspicions. As President Obama’s former chief of staff once famously said, “You never want a serious crisis go to waste.”

And finale to this, from the Huffington Post Comment section:

What do all these mass murderers have in common? They are White Ignorant Conservative Uneducated Redneck Republican Hicks

So what line won’t they cross for their agenda…None.

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

The Train of The Left

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

The Liberals are getting desperate: “Never underestimate the will of someone when their back is against the wall,” he said. Democratic Rep. Terese Berceau took the threat a step further, “I think tonight we had a Gabrielle Giffords moment. I don’t know if you heard that outside, but it shook me up.” The Washington Post’s Chuck Lane started the Giffords’ name-dropping trend when he wrote, “If the brave Gabrielle Giffords could speak normally, what would she say about these events? I hope she would agree with me: This is a sad moment for liberalism, for the Democratic Party, and, really, for the whole country.” Keep it classy, folks! (DC)

And that’s your “civil” Liberals. Mind you when the Tea Party protests Liberals they are “violent”. 🙂

But a desperate Liberal will say and do anything to try and control you and win to prove they are the “superior intellect”.

************************

CONCORD, N.H. — Lawmakers and residents engaged in heated debate Tuesday over a bill that would make random airport security pat-downs and body scans criminal in New Hampshire.The bill (HB628-FN) “makes the touching or viewing with a technological device of a person’s breasts or genitals by a government security agent without probable cause a sexual assault,” according to the introductory text of the bill.”Let’s put their name on the sex offender registry, and maybe that will tell them New Hampshire means business,” said bill co-sponsor Rep. Andrew Manuse, R-Derry.

“We have to understand that if things need to be changed, they have to be done at the federal level, not the state level,” said Rep. Laura Pantelakos, D-Portsmouth. (WMUR-TV)

Gee, that rationale sounds familiar…where have I heard it before from Liberals?

Oh yeah, THE BORDER and ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!

Fascinating. 🙂

Oh, and the TSA doesn’t leave it there, by the way.

Coming to a Street Corner near you…VIPR

According to a first-hand video account from a train station in Savannah, Georgia the Transportation Security Administration is now performing security pat downs and bag searches AFTER passengers disembark from their trips.

There were about 14 agents pulling people inside the building and corralling everyone in a roped area AFTER you got OFF THE TRAIN! (and the TSA will claim later that you weren’t required to enter their domain– but also the sweep was supposed to be over by this time-Oops!) This made no sense!!! Poor family in front of us! 9 year old getting patted down and wanded. They groped our people too and were very unprofessional. I am all about security, but when have you ever been harassed and felt up getting OFF a plane? Shouldn’t they be doing that getting ON??? And they wonder why so many people are mad at them.

“They sent us all into a roped-off holding area and said ‘Y’all are going to be searched,’” Brian Gamble (who was there) says. “We were getting off the train. This didn’t make sense.”

When the firefighter started to complain he was told by a TSA supervisor, “calm down. This is for your own security“.

Yeah you might want to commit a terrorist act on the train! Wait, you just got OFF the train. I know, you wanted to commit on in the station!! But it was the last train of the night! Ummm…I Know, you wanted to asassinate Paula Deen! Yeah that’s the ticket!!! 🙂

After Gamble’s video clip of the incident went viral on You Tube, the TSA was forced to resort to its usual tactic of wheeling out “Blogger Bob” on the TSA website in an effort to explain away the controversy.

From TSA blog: The screening shown in the video was done in conjunction with a VIPR operation. During VIPR operations, any person entering the impacted area has to be screened. In this case, the Amtrak station was the subject of the VIPR operation so people entering the station were being screened for items on the Amtrak prohibited items list (see below).

It should be noted that disembarking passengers did not need to enter the station to claim luggage or get to their car.
(Was some conceirge going to deliver it to them?? Or were you hoping they’d just say “screw it we don’t need them!” that way TSA agents don’t have to steal them!!)
Signs such as the one shown here are posted at the entrance to the impacted area. 

Gropping Zone Ahead! Prepare to be Assaulted!

However, after looking into it further, we learned that this particular VIPR operation should have ended by the time these folks were coming through the station since no more trains were leaving the station. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused for those passengers.
We’re sorry we groped you. 😦
Gee, don’t you feel so much better now!
A VIPR team is a bunch of goons who swarm an area looking for “terrorists”. Mind you, this the TSA were talking about….
In case you were wondering what those prohibited items are:

The following kinds of items are prohibited as both checked and carry-on baggage:

  • Any type of gun, firearm, ammunition, explosives, or weapon.
  • Incendiaries, including flammable gases, liquids and fuels.
  • Large, sharp objects such as axes, ice picks and swords.
  • Corrosive or dangerous chemicals or materials, such as liquid bleach, tear gas, mace, radioactive and harmful bacteriological materials.
  • Batteries with acid that can spill or leak (except those batteries used in motorized wheelchairs or similar devices for mobility-impaired passengers).
  • Club-like items, such as billy clubs and nightsticks.
  • Fragile and/or valuable items (including but not limited to electronic equipment).
  • Animals (except service animals).
  • Oversized and/or overweight items.
Anyone see the inherit flaws in this list? 🙂
And so that leads to the Left’s favourite control freak issue, ObamaCare:
The first step in allowing the state to pass judgment over thoughts (as opposed to actions) was arguably hate-crime laws, which more harshly penalize criminals who “hate” their victims’ skin color, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. The next step was laid out this week by U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler, who, in upholding Obamacare’s abuse of the Commerce Clause, argued that “making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.” Writes the WSJ’s John Fund: “This sort of strained legal reasoning by activist judges has led to all manner of state intrusions on economic and personal activities. It’s no wonder so many members of Congress thought that passing ObamaCare was a routine act. Here’s hoping that the Supreme Court provides some adult supervision.” Indeed! (DC)

So whether you make a choice or make a choice not to make a choice you’ve made a choice and the Government will be right their to crush you for it.

Much like that bag from the Train …

Your Papers Please!

P.s. “George Soros is launching a new investment fund that plans to profit off of the ‘green energy’ boom, which is entirely dependent on government subsidies supported by the groups Soros funds,” writes the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney. And not only is Soros starting a business to profit off policies lobbied for and written by the Center for American Progress–which Soros himself bankrolls!–but he’s also hired Cathy Zoi, Barack Obama’s “Acting Under Secretary for Energy and Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,” to run it.

But there’s no corruption in Obama’s “green” Ideology… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Your Safety is Our Primary Concern

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” — attributed to Benjamin Franklin.

Political Cartoon by Gary McCoy

You knew the Department of Homeland Security was broken under Janet Napolitano. She won’t secure the border. She can’t bring herself to name the religion that breeds an incessant flow of suicidal extremists. And now she may allow Muslim women wearing hijabs (full body coverings) to pass through security without the intrusive scanning process that the rest of the citizenry must endure.

CAIR, the islamic pressure group link to the terrorist group HAMAS says “jump” and she and most liberals say “how high?”.

When asked, Janet said “Look, we have, like I said before, we are doing what we need to do to protect the traveling public and adjustments will be made where they need to be made,” Napolitano responded. “With respect to that particular issue, I think there will be more to come…”

So no need to recruit westerners to be radicals anymore. Just get CAIR to cry foul and Janet and the Liberals will jump and do as they say. So the terrorist can just come as they are.

Meanwhile, grandma and  screaming 3 year olds will get felt up like they were at a strip club.

And heaven forbid a bomber hides something up their ass, we’ll all have mandatory enemas!

http://townhall.com/video/oreilly-ann-coulter-debate-tsa-security-measures

Yeah, that’s effective. 😦

It’s okay for the TSA to grope nuns, but Muslim women are exempt (nothing beyond the head and neck). We cannot profile potential terrorists, but it’s okay to molest three-year olds (except we won’t call it molest because it’s the government doing it). Muslim men won’t go through body imaging machines, but it’s okay to grope non-Muslims’ genitals.

And, just to be clear, when one guy expresses his displeasure about his “junk” being touched, the TSA wants to make an example out of him by retaliating and launching an investigation into the guy who resisted the TSA’s overtures.

The Transportation Security Administration has opened an investigation targeting John Tyner, the Oceanside man who left Lindbergh Field under duress on Saturday morning after refusing to undertake a full body scan.

[snip]

Michael J. Aguilar, chief of the TSA office in San Diego, called a news conference at the airport Monday afternoon to announce the probe. He said the investigation could lead to prosecution and civil penalties of up to $11,000.

TSA agents had told Tyner on Saturday that he could be fined up to $10,000.

“That’s the old fine,” Aguilar said. “It has been increased.”

So what we need is everyone dress in Muslim grab and pretend to be a Muslim. That will overload Janet’s brain to the point where we may actually cause her brain to crash and we can get someone competent in there (but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that though).

If Liberals jump at whatever Muslim pressure groups say, then obviously we need to all be Muslims.

Because the TSA assumes you are a terrorist right from the get-go, unless you’re a muslim that is.

So what if virtually every terrorist attack in the 45 years has been committed by Muslims. Who cares.

Certainly not the TSA.

We don’t want to PROFILE!

Everyone is guilty until proven innocent, except Muslims.

Sigh…And it doesn’t end there.

Just being normal Americans also who voted to crush the Democrats in the last election didn’t even phase the ideologically mind locked nutters.

The Democrats, and the predicted Lame Duck Poison has arrived.

Facing the largest Tax Increase (there are no “cuts”) in American History, something that is guaranteed to crush a bad economy the Democrats are all fired up about Illegal Immigration, Net Neutrality, and Treaties to hand over military superiority to the Russians.

They learned nothing on Nov 2. As predicted. They are far to full of their own hubris to understand. The Agenda is The Agenda!

And they still are. They are, after all, vastly superior to us mere mortals.

After the election, it seemed like the White House might have gotten the message. Obama said “the overwhelming message that I hear from the voters is that we…want you to work harder to arrive at consensus. We want you to focus completely on jobs and the economy…” White House officials were reported to be “deeply concerned about winning back political independents”. The FCC also seemed to get it. Chairman Genachowski said “At the FCC, our primary focus is simple: the economy and jobs.”

Message received, right?

Apparently not.

Now, in an astounding act of political and economic deafness, FCC Chairman Genachowski has apparently “touted net-neutrality regulations as one of the most important policies the country can adopt to improve its broadband deployment efforts”, and The Politico reports that they are “putting together a net neutrality proposal” which would apply net neutrality rules to wireless. And they may may try to jam it through in December.

Why now? “Lawmakers will already be gone for the Thanksgiving holiday, giving the FCC a small window to release a controversial order without immediate harsh reactions from Capitol Hill Republicans.”

I’m not sure why the administration thinks Congressional Republicans will let this happen. There may not be an Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman yet, but there isn’t much daylight between the candidates on this issue. If the FCC goes too far on this issue, they can expect a Congressional examination that would make the TSA blush.

Regulations that decrease investment and will lead to a loss of investment are no laughing matter in this bad economy. Americans will look to Congress to ask some tough questions on why the FCC and White House didn’t get the message after the midterms.

The question now is whether it was the FCC or the White House itself that didn’t get the message in the midterms. If they want to jam through these regulations, there is plenty more where the mid-terms came from. (Redstate.com)

The Senate has voted to take up consideration of S.510, the so-called Food Safety Modernization Act, which would grant the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) more control over our diets. The supposed intention behind the legislation is to protect consumers from food-borne illnesses. But will it really?

If passed, the misnamed Food Safety and Modernization Act would authorize the FDA to tell farmers how to grow their crops. Federal bureaucrats who likely know little to nothing about farming will set the guidelines on appropriate temperatures, what soil to use, how much water to use and what animals are allowed to be on certain fields.

A study by Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) office states “on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer)”

President John Tate states: “Don’t fall for their rhetoric about a few provisions that supposedly address concerns of small-scale farmers; the FDA still has all the power it needs to shut down family farms on a whim. In other words, it will be up to bureaucrats to decide whether or not local food production is decimated by federal regulations or shut down.”

The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that this overreaching bill would cost $1.4 billion between 2011 and 2015. To carry out these new rules, the federal government will hire over 17,000 new bureaucrats. Food producers will likely spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually complying with these unnecessary government regulations. This cost will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher food prices. Big agriculture is one of the largest proponents of the bill since it will likely destroy their competitors who cannot afford the high cost of these regulations.(red state.com)

But you’ll be “safer”. 🙂

Now doesn’t that make you feel better…

And the Democrats have listened to the the people cry on the economy, by not doing anything so far about the tax increases, but they do want give amnesty to illegals and crush the internet and farmers under their boots.

Message received loud and clear.

But did you listen?

Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson

 

The Lawsuit Lottery

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Overlawyered: Fearing lawsuits over injuries, a West Virginia county is removing swing sets from elementary schools. A minor, local issue? No. America’s litigious society has changed the way kids play.

Roughly a year after a child broke his arm jumping off a swing like Superman and his parents are settling a lawsuit for $20,000, Cabell County, W.V., schools are yanking swing sets from school playgrounds. The lawsuit was one of two filed in the last year against Cabell County schools over swing set injuries, the West Virginia Record reported Thursday. School safety manager Tim Stewart, who is overseeing the removal, said he sees “a high potential when it comes to swings and lawsuits.”

What’s happening in Cabell County is not an isolated case. Local governments, fearful of lawsuits, have been for years closing pools, stripping playgrounds of equipment and banning outdoor games.

A Massachusetts elementary school has told students they can’t play tag. One Boston school forbids handstands while another in Needham, Mass., doesn’t allow students to hang upside down from the monkey bars. A pool in Hazleton, Pa., closed some years ago after a swimmer sued for $100,000 because he cut his foot running and jumping into the pool, though he’d been warned not to.

“There is nothing left in playgrounds that would attract the interest of a child over the age of four,” Philip K. Howard, lawyer and author, wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2008.

“Exercise in schools is carefully programmed, when it exists at all. … Broward County, Fla., banned running at recess. .. . Little Leagues forbid sliding into base. Some towns ban sledding. High diving boards are history, and it’s only a matter of time before all diving boards disappear.”

Olga Jarrett, a Georgia State University professor who prepares students to teach, told the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform: “Many schools don’t have playgrounds at all, they don’t have recess. They’ve been built without playgrounds with the idea that this is not something we do at school.”

She blames “a fear of lawsuits that makes some school systems and cities design playgrounds that are completely uninteresting to kids.”

Howard, who wrote “The Death Of Common Sense” and “Life Without Lawyers,” has been warning the country for years that our fear of litigation is changing American culture.

He has preached the importance of placing reasonable limits on lawsuits and restoring reliability and justice to our legal system.

While we’ve seen enough progress to be hopeful, we don’t expect civil law reform to move as fast as it should as long as so many of our policymakers are owned by the plaintiffs’ attorneys lobby.(IBD)

Then consider all the Lawyer adds on TV. You can’t have a commercial break without one…or two…or three…

Or the whacko who sued McDonalds because her hot coffee was too hot!

Or the fact that Tort Reform (aka Trial Lawyers) were explicitly ignored by ObamaCare. Why, Trial Lawyers are one of the Democrats main source of cash!!

You have 43 warnings on a Step ladder, like do not stand on top of this ladder!

Duh!

For example, does a Superman costume really need a warning label to tell people that it doesn’t cause super-strength or the ability to fly?

Really? No Kidding. Does that mean I sell my kryptonite on E-Bay then? 🙂

A teenage boy was hit by a runaway bat . His family sued the maker of the bat and got $850,000 in a products liability suit because the company failed to adequately warn about the dangers that the product can pose.

So now, baseball bats are required to post warning labels? What should the labels say?

“Caution: Getting hit in the head by this product might cause death.” (findlaw.com)

The family of Brandon Patch argued that aluminum baseball bats are dangerous because they cause the baseball to travel at a greater speed. They contended that their 18-year-old son did not have enough time to react to the ball being struck before it hit him in the head while he was pitching in an American Legion baseball game in Helena in 2003. (USA Today)

There was a mother who wants to sue Sea World because her precious 10 year old was at the performance where the whale drowned the trainer. That was Sea World’s fault! And she wants the cash!!

I see one more “Mesothelioma” ad I think I will chuck something at my TV!!

And the Congress is made up predominately of Lawyers. The President is a Lawyer.

See: http://overlawyered.com/

I want also shed some light on the state of California’s up-to-$4,000-a-violation bounty system for freelancers who identify ADA violations in Main Street businesses, and the case for at least requiring complainants to give business owners notice and an opportunity to fix an ADA violation before suing. (The disabled-rights lobby has managed to stifle that proposal in Congress for years.)

So it’s the adult version of I-Spy, only you get $4,000 for hunting them down and killing them. Sounds more lucative than my day job.

Become a Professional ADA Violation Spotter and become rich! 😦

You own a business, maybe a restaurant. You’ve got a lot to worry about. You have to make sure the food is safe and tastes good, that the place is clean and appealing, that workers are friendly and paid according to a hundred Labor Department and IRS rules. (and soon ObamaCare, Cap & Trade,and Tax Increases!)

On top of that, there are rules you might have no idea about.

The bathroom sinks must be a specified height. So must the doorknobs and mirrors. You must have rails. And if these things aren’t right — say, if your mirror is just one inch too high — you could be sued for thousands of dollars.

And be careful. If you fail to let a customer bring a large snake, which he calls his “service animal,” into your restaurant, you could be in trouble.

The ADA was supposed to help more disabled people find jobs. But did it?

Strangely, no. An MIT study found that employment of disabled men ages 21 to 58 declined after the ADA went into effect. Same for women ages 21 to 39.

How could employment among the disabled have declined?

Because the law turns “protected” people into potential lawsuits. Most ADA litigation occurs when an employee is fired, so the safest way to avoid those costs is not to hire the disabled in the first place.

Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of the blog, Overlawyered.com, says that the law was unnecessary. Many “hire the handicapped” programs existed before the ADA passed. Sadly, now most have been quietly discontinued, probably because of the threat of legal consequences if an employee doesn’t work out.

Under the ADA, Olson notes, fairness does not mean treating disabled people the same as non-disabled people. Rather it means accommodating them. In other words, the law requires that people be treated unequally.

The law has also unleashed a landslide of lawsuits by “professional litigants” who file a hundred suits at a time. Disabled people visit businesses to look for violations, but instead of simply asking that a violation be corrected, they partner with lawyers who (legally) extort settlement money from the businesses.

Some disabled people have benefited from changes effected by the ADA, but the costs are rarely accounted for. If a small business has to lay off an employee to afford the added expense of accommodating the disabled, is that a good thing — especially if, say, customers in wheelchairs are rare? Extra-wide bathroom stalls that reduce the overall number of toilets are only some of the unaccounted-for costs of the ADA. And since ADA modification requirements are triggered by renovation, the law could actually discourage businesses from making needed renovations as a way of avoiding the expense.

A few disabled people speak up against the law. Greg Perry, author of “Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government’s Protection of the Handicapped,” says that because the disabled now represent an added expense to businesses, many resent them.

Finally, the ADA has led to some truly bizarre results. Exxon gave ship captain Joseph Hazelwood a job after he completed alcohol rehab.

Hazelwood then drank too much and let the Exxon Valdez run aground in Alaska. Exxon was sued for allowing it to happen. So Exxon prohibited employees who have had a drug or drinking problem from holding safety-sensitive jobs. The result? You guessed it — employees with a history of alcohol abuse sued under the ADA, demanding their “right” to those jobs. The federal government (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) supported the employees. Courts are still trying to sort it out.

More money for the parasites. (John Stossel)

Stossel: http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/

Lawyers do have their place, but how much of this is too much and how much of this is the cart before the horse (trough)??

Lawsuits Make Us Less Safe

By John Stossel

Imagine if an evil business routinely deprived us of products that would help us live longer with less pain and more comfort. We’d be outraged, and lawyers would line up to sue. Yet something similar happens today, thanks to lawsuit abuse. Makers of all kinds of products are afraid to sell them to us because one lawsuit could ruin them.

Personal-injury lawyers claim they make America safer, but that’s a myth. It’s easy to see who benefits from those big damage awards we read about. Less obvious — but just as real — are the things we’d all like to have but never will get because of this climate of fear. Here are a few examples.

Monsanto once developed a substitute for asbestos — a new fire-resistant form of insulation that might save thousands of lives. But Monsanto decided not to sell it for fear of liability. Richard F. Mahoney, the CEO at the time, said, “There may well have been a safe, effective asbestos replacement on the market, and now there isn’t.”

//

Why do we have to worry about shortages of flu vaccine? Because only a handful of companies still make it. And why is that? Because when you vaccinate millions of people, some get sick and sue. Between 1980 and 1986, personal-injury lawyers demanded billions of dollars from vaccine manufacturers. That scared many American drug companies out of the business.

In 1986, Congress stepped in. To help curb the lawsuits that discouraged vaccine production, the government established a fund called the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It would pay victims’ families directly so they wouldn’t have to hire lawyers and suffer the delays of litigation. This was supposed to entice vaccine makers back into production, but drug companies were still leery, fearing that plaintiffs’ lawyers would sue them anyway.

They were right to worry. Eli Lilly developed a mercury-based preservative called Thimerosal that was used in many children’s vaccines. Plaintiffs’ lawyers jumped on scaremongers’ claims that mercury causes autism in children. Although a government-issued review found no such link, more than 100 autism lawsuits have been filed against vaccine makers since the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act passed. No wonder most drug manufacturers still steer clear of vaccine research.

Even when new vaccines are discovered, drug companies are sometimes afraid to sell them. The FDA has approved a vaccine against Lyme disease. Want some? Forget about it. No company wants to take the risk.

Fear of being sued reduced the number of American companies researching contraceptives from 13 to two.

After scientifically groundless lawsuits against breast-implant makers bankrupted Dow Corning, Japanese silicone makers stopped producing a pain-reducing silicone coating for hypodermic needles. A company director said, “We’re sure our product is safe, but we don’t want to risk a lawsuit.”

Union Carbide has invented a small portable kidney dialysis machine. It would make life much easier for people with kidney disease, but Union Carbide won’t sell it. With legal sharks circling, the risk of expensive lawsuits outweighs the possible profit.

Are you pregnant and nauseous? Bendectin would probably cure your morning sickness. For 27 years doctors prescribed the drug to 33 million women because it was so good at stopping nausea and vomiting. But you can’t buy Bendectin today because lawyers kept suing the manufacturer, Merrell Dow, claiming the drug caused birth defects.

Studies did not show that Bendectin caused birth defects, and Merrell Dow won most of the lawsuits. But after spending $100 million in legal fees and awards, the company gave up selling the drug. Bendectin has never been effectively replaced, and morning sickness is now a major contributor to dehydration during pregnancy.

Dr. Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, says, “Within two years of discontinuing Bendectin, the incidence of hospitalization for dehydration during early pregnancy doubled; the incidence of birth defects was unchanged.”

Those are just some of the life-enhancing products we know we must do without because America’s peculiar legal system makes it profitable for trial lawyers to pursue extortion — like litigation. What wonderful products will we never even hear about because the lawyers have created a climate of fear?

You can’t even look cross-eyed at a kid if you’re a teacher and you can never ever be alone with one under any circumstance whatsoever.

Why?

Because if you are, you could be on the sex-offender registry and working at McDonald’s being sued for your coffee being to hot in a nanosecond.

Thanks to Lawyers and the Lawsuit Lottery.

This lottery is similar to the regular one, you gamble that your ticket (the lawsuit) will pay you mega-millions and set you up for life. And the nice Lawyer who gets as much as 40% of it is right there to cheer you on. For there own benefit, of course.

Everyone wins, Everybody else loses. 😦

http://www.forbes.com/2010/01/29/safety-caution-product-liability-entrepreneurs-law-warning-labels_slide.html

http://www.amazon.com/Remove-Child-Before-Folding-Stupidest/dp/0446696560

The author of the above book: “Predatory lawyers know they can file ridiculous lawsuits against innocent product makers and blackmail them into cash settlements — even in cases in which a user has ignored common sense,” said Dorigo Jones. “The real issue is not the obvious warning labels, but the billions of dollars in litigation costs passed on to consumers — a kind of a “lawsuit tax” we all pay. That is why M-LAW (http://www.mlaw.org/index.html) urges judges and policy makers to support civil justice reform.”

But don’t you feel better. You’ve taken responsibilities for the risks of being alive secure in the knowledge that if you do something stupid there’s always a lawyer there to make you the potential millionaire “victim”. Meanwhile, actual cases that are very legitimate could be overlooked because there isn’t enough will or money for anyone to care.

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite! 🙂

And if they do, I’m sure we can find someone to sue! 🙂