Senator Rand Paul
These are my links for March 6th through March 7th:
- Mr. Paul Goes To Washington To Protect Your Constitutional Rights – Rule Of Law: At press time Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul was holding forth on his filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan as head of the CIA. It’s good to know someone in Washington still cares about the Constitution.It started out as a simple question from Paul to Attorney General Eric Holder as to whether President Obama “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.”The plain, simple answer is no, since it clearly violates the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment due-process protection. But that wasn’t the answer that came back from Holder, compelling Paul to filibuster Brennan.
“It is possible, I suppose,” wrote Holder, “to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”
It’s unbelievable that the nation’s top law officer would answer in that way. And, with the explosion in the number of drones filling the nation’s skies, it’s more than an idle question or philosophical musing.
That’s why Paul is filibustering Brennan’s controversial nomination as CIA head. Paul knows he likely won’t succeed. But he’s making an important point.
- Obamacare requirements will drive up premiums – In 2007, candidate Barack Obama declared, “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” As president, he signed national health care legislation that is formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. But according to a new report from Congressional Republicans, the law will actually cause premiums to more than double for some Americans.The report, which is based on a compilation of independent studies on the effect of the law’s new regulations, finds that Obamacare could increase premiums by 40 percent on average and by as much as 202 percent for young adults living in Chicago.
- 2016 Democratic Field May Not Wait for Clinton – She is not an incumbent president — or even currently employed — but the deference fellow Democrats have afforded Hillary Clinton regarding a potential 2016 White House run has been something to behold.With the official start of the next presidential campaign still three years away, friends and potential Democratic foes alike have bent over backwards to praise Clinton and talk up her chances of finishing what she started in her 2008 campaign — and for good reason.
- Obama’s Rx: Maximize America’s pain – In an e-mail to an official of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (part of the Department of Agriculture), a North Carolina official was told he had no latitude in managing cuts: “You need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be,” came the word from Washington.The real reason behind the vise-tightening has nothing to do with money, though. It’s all political, the kickoff to the 2014 congressional elections.The GOP managed to hang on to its House majority last fall — and under the Constitution all spending bills must originate in the House. But the president told House Democrats last month that he means to make Nancy Pelosi the speaker yet again.
And he pointedly said of GOP spending-cut ideas versus his own tax-hike proposals, “If that’s an argument they want to have before the court of public opinion, that’s an argument I’m more than willing to engage in.”
- Holder does not rule out drone strike scenario in U.S. –
- Republicans emerge from Obama dinner optimistic about deficit deal – Senate Republicans are more optimistic about the prospect of a grand bargain on the deficit after an intimate dinner with President Obama Wednesday evening in downtown Washington.
- Republicans, Led by Rand Paul, Finally End Filibuster – A small group of Republicans, led by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, stalled the Senate on Wednesday by waging a nearly 13-hour old-school, speak-until-you-can-speak-no-more filibuster over the government’s use of lethal drone strikes — forcing the Senate to delay the expected confirmation of John O. Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.Mr. Paul, who opposes Mr. Brennan’s nomination, followed through on his plan to filibuster the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee after receiving a letter this month from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that refused to rule out the use of drone strikes within the United States in “extraordinary circumstances” like the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
- North Korea says it will launch nuclear attack on America – Missile Defense!
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-06 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-06 #tcot
- The Morning Flap: March 6, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – The Morning Flap: March 6, 2013 #tcot
- Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-05 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – Flap’s Blog @ Flap Twitter Daily Digest for 2013-03-05 #tcot
- Garcetti finishes first, then Greuel and James – runoffs ahead* – LA Observed – Garcetti finishes first, then Greuel and James – runoffs ahead* – LA Observed #tcot
- Destinations / Spacecraft Dragon at the International Space Station – Spacecraft Dragon at the International Space Station via @pinterest
- Decades later, 1972 Supreme Court decision overturning the death penalty has lasting impact | abc7news.com – Decades later, 1972 Supreme Court decision overturning the California death penalty has lasting impact
- Garcetti finishes first, then Greuel and James – runoffs ahead* – LA Observed – RT @LAObserved: Here are the lineups for LA city runoff elections, including three for city council.
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: The Morning Drill: March 4, 2013 – The Morning Drill: March 4, 2013
- Flap’s Dentistry Blog: Dentistry Wednesday Watch: March 6, 2013 – Dentistry Wednesday Watch: March 6, 2013
These are my news headlines for February 21st:
- Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us | TIME.com – 1. Routine Care, Unforgettable Bills
When Sean Recchi, a 42-year-old from Lancaster, Ohio, was told last March that he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his wife Stephanie knew she had to get him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Stephanie’s father had been treated there 10 years earlier, and she and her family credited the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson with extending his life by at least eight years.Because Stephanie and her husband had recently started their own small technology business, they were unable to buy comprehensive health insurance. For $469 a month, or about 20% of their income, they had been able to get only a policy that covered just $2,000 per day of any hospital costs. “We don’t take that kind of discount insurance,” said the woman at MD Anderson when Stephanie called to make an appointment for Sean.
- GOP Has Trouble Settling on Candidates Who Can Win – One of the interesting things about recent elections is that Republicans have tended to do better the farther you go down the ballot.They’ve lost the presidency twice in a row, and in four of the last six contests. They’ve failed to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, something they accomplished in five election cycles between 1994 and 2006.But they have won control of the House of Representatives in the last two elections, and in eight of the last 10 cycles.And they’ve been doing better in elections to state legislatures than at any time since the 1920s.
One reason for this is that, as I have written, Democratic voters are clustered in large metropolitan areas, which helps them in the Electoral College but hurts in legislatures with equal-population districts.
But there’s another reason, which has been particularly glaring in races for the U.S. Senate: candidate quality.
- The future of free-market healthcare – Over nearly a century, progressives have pressed for a national, single-payer healthcare system. When it comes to health reform, what have conservatives stood for?For far too long, conservatives have failed to coalesce around a long-term vision of what a free-market healthcare system should look like. Republican attention to healthcare, in turn, has only arisen sporadically, in response to Democratic initiatives.Obamacare is the logical byproduct of this conservative policy neglect. President Barack Obama’s re-election was a strategic victory for his signature healthcare law. Once the bulk of the program begins to be implemented in 2014 — especially its trillions of dollars in new health-insurance subsidies — it will become politically impossible to repeal. And as the baby boomers retire and Obamacare is fully operational, government health spending will reach unsustainable levels.The great irony of Obama’s triumph, however, is that it can pave the way for Republicans to adopt a comprehensive, market-oriented healthcare agenda. The market-oriented prescription drug program in Medicare has controlled the growth of government health spending. Similarly, conservatives can use Obamacare’s important concession to the private sector — its establishment of subsidized insurance marketplaces — as a vehicle for broader entitlement reforms.
- The Pro-Growth Sequester – The Obama administration is whipping up hysteria over the sequester budget cuts and their impact on the economy, the military, first providers, and so forth and so on. Armageddon. But if you climb into the Congressional Budget Office numbers for 2013, you see a much lighter and easier picture than all the worst-case scenarios being conjured up by the administration.For example, the $85 billion so-called spending cut is actually budget authority, not budget outlays. According to the CBO, budget outlays will come down by $44 billion, or one quarter of 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP is $15.8 trillion). What’s more, that $44 billion outlay reduction is only 1.25 percent of the $3.6 trillion government budget.
- Ted Cruz knocks Obama on immigration – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) says President Barack Obama wants to “scuttle” immigration reform by injecting a path to citizenship into the debate so Democrats can keep the issue alive for political gain.“The president has been focusing on amnesty — a path to citizenship that skips ahead of the line,” the freshman tea party senator said Wednesday at a speech in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News. “That, he knows, is a position not supported by a great many Americans and not a position that will achieve bipartisan cooperation. It’s designed to scuttle the bill.”
- Foreign Buyers Hop on Rental Trend – US Masters, a real-estate investment trust that has raised $276 million, primarily from Australian retirees, is one of a handful of foreign firms that are betting on the U.S. housing recovery by buying houses at discount prices.The business of buying-and-renting houses, long dominated by local mom-and-pop investors, has morphed over the past two years into one of the hottest investments on Wall Street. Dozens of pension investors and private-equity firms, such as Blackstone Group LP BX -2.19% and Colony Capital LLC, are clamoring to buy homes in beaten-up markets, sometimes using money from foreign co-investors.
- Majority of U.S. citizens say illegal immigrants should be deported – More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system.The online survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws despite the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.
- Missile Defense Tests Successful, but Future of Program in Doubt – The unanswered question is whether the Missile Defense Agency will be permitted to advance this space-based missile defense capability—whether through the STSS program or the PTSS program—to a deployed constellation at all. There should be little doubt that arms control advocates, both inside the Administration and out, are livid that this test took place at all, let alone that it was successful. This is because a space-based missile defense capability is incompatible with the Administration’s arms control agenda.
- Gov. Scott agrees to expand Florida Medicaid program – Gov. Rick Scott announced plans Wednesday to expand Medicaid coverage to roughly 900,000 more people under the federal health overhaul, a surprise decision from the vocal critic of President Barack Obama’s plan.Scott said he will ask the Legislature to expand the program under a bill that would expire in three years, after which it would require renewed legislative support. He’s the seventh Republican governor so far to propose expanding the taxpayer-funded health insurance program.
- Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach – Tea Party and Republican groups launch Hispanic outreach #tcot
- How former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Spent His Campaign Funds – Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) pleaded guilty today “to a conspiracy to siphon about $750,000 in federal campaign funds for their personal use,” the Chicago Tribune reports.”About 3,100 personal purchases were made on campaign credit cards, totaling $582,772.58… Prosecutors said $60,000 was spent on restaurants, nightclubs and lounges; $31,700 on personal airfare; $16,000 on sports clubs and lounges; $17,000 on tobacco shops; $5,800 on alcohol; $14,500 on dry cleaning; $8,000 on grocery stores and $6,000 at drug stores.””In one of the more exotic purchases, Jackson used campaign funds in the spring of 2011 to pay a taxidermist in Montana $7,058 for two mounted elk heads to be shipped to his office in Washington. This was the beginning of an FBI sting, according to court documents.”
- California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’ | The Weekly Standard – California Dept. of Transportation: ‘Be Sure to Black Out the ‘United States’ and [the] Motto’
- Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians – Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians #tcot
- The sequester blame game – Much depends on the timing of any economic turndown. If it occurs this year, but is followed by improvement in 2014, the political consequences are not likely to be significant. If the economy is in trouble in mid-2014, then all bets are off. For this reason, among others, Republicans should reject out of hand the president’s efforts to postpone the sequester for a year. In any event, the sequester would make the Republicans a full partner with Obama when it comes to the state of the economy.In the end, though, Republicans are committed, as they should be, to cutting government spending. This is never a politically risk-free proposition. But it’s better to get a head start now, when blame might well be shared, than to save all the work for when (if) Republicans gain control of the government and will absorb all of the blame.JOHN adds: My own view is that Republicans should happily take credit for the spending cuts represented by the sequester. They aren’t anywhere near enough, but they are the most substantial spending cuts, I believe, in my lifetime. I think 75% of the population will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Congress is actually capable of cutting spending.
- The GOP’s astonishingly bad message on sequester cuts – None of which addresses the Republican problem on the sequester. If the problem is one of substance — that is, if GOP leaders truly believe the cuts threaten national security but are nevertheless supporting them — then Republicans have put themselves into an untenable situation. If, as is more likely, the problem is one of message — that is, if Republicans believe the cuts are not only manageable without threatening national security but are also desirable as a first step toward controlling spending — then the Boehner article is sending all the wrong signals.
- Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty – Flap’s Blog – Video: John McCain Gets Testy With Arizona Voter Questioning Immigration Amnesty #tcot
- Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy | KQED News Fix – Mistake in First California Carbon Auction Raises Questions About Secrecy
- Second cap and trade auction needs big bucks | news10.net – Second cap and trade California auction needs big bucks
- We predicted there was no tax ‘windfall’ | CalWatchDog – We predicted there was no California tax ‘windfall’
- The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: February 20, 2013 #tcot
- A Mighty Wind by Ben Boychuk – City Journal – A Mighty Wind – California Flatulence Jokes
Screencap of video depicting a nuclear missile attack on the United States
Is there any wonder why President Reagan over three decades ago, pushed for national missile defense?
It begins benignly enough, with an image of a sleeping young North Korean man, and a genteel piano version of the US feel-good pop anthem We Are the World providing the musical backdrop.
But the YouTube video recently posted by Uriminzokkiri, North Korea‘s official website, quickly takes a more sinister turn as the man’s dream continues into the realms of Stalinist fantasy.
Within seconds he is aboard a space shuttle, launched into orbit by the same type of rocket the North successfully launched in December. The shuttle orbits Earth, at one point passing over a jubilant and reunified Korean peninsula, before the focus switches to an unidentified city draped in the Stars and Stripes.
What appear to be missiles rain down on the city, setting fire to high-rise buildings in scenes reminiscent of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York.
“Somewhere in the United States, black clouds of smoke are billowing,” the Korean-language caption says. “It seems that the nest of wickedness is ablaze.”
Here is the video (embedded below):
Of course, this is just plain B.S. and something for members of Congress to consider when they have to vote on whether to cut the crap out of the defense budget over the next few months
So much for President Obama’s reset of Russian foreign policy.
Russia’s most senior military officer said Thursday that Moscow would preemptively strike and destroy U.S.-led NATO missile defense sites in Eastern Europe if talks with Washington about the developing system continue to stall.
“A decision to use destructive force preemptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.
The threat comes as talks about the missile defense system, which the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at Iranian missiles, appear to have stalled.
“We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end,” Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.
Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense, insisted the talks about NATO plans for a missile defense system using ground-based interceptor missiles stationed in Poland, Romania and Turkey were not stalemated.
But she acknowledged Wednesday that the recent elections in Russia and the upcoming elections in the U.S. make it “pretty clear that this is a year in which we’re probably not going to achieve any sort of a breakthrough.”
She reiterated that the U.S.-built system, still in development, is being designed to shoot down Iranian intermediate-range missiles aimed at Europe, not Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
Yeah, Yeah, Russia is afraid of missile defense as they always have been since Reagan. And, President Obama and the Democrats in the Congress hate the program.
Just watch Obama capitulate and Romney to jump all over the President, especially since Obama made those flexibility remarks..