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  • One Ticked Chick 2:20 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Big Brother’s Heavy Hand 

    What happens when the economic realities of ObamaCare collide with the government’s false projections of lower health insurance costs?  Big Brother’s heavy hand is used yet again to intimidate Corporate America.

    Companies including AT&T, John Deere, Caterpillar, and AK Steel filed a restatement of earnings this week in compliance with SEC accounting rules.  Those filings reflect the higher cost of health care-related liabilities and corporate taxes – ranging from $20 million to $1 billion dollars – due to the enactment of health care reform.

    Incensed that Corporate America isn’t propagating the party line, House Democrats are calling the CEO’s of these corporations before a congressional committee to get their thinking straight.

    From today’s Wall Street Journal:

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

    Perhaps that explains why the Administration is now so touchy…Henry Waxman and House Democrats announced yesterday that they will haul these companies in for an April 21 hearing because their judgment “appears to conflict with independent analyses, which show that the new law will expand coverage and bring down costs.”

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

    Unlike all the closed door hearings surrounding the passage of ObamaCare, what do you want to bet that these hearings will be broadcast for everyone to watch?

     
    • Quite Rightly 2:40 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Oh what a tangled web. The Feds need to broadcast that the SEC will be looking the other way (wink, wink) when it comes time to declare ObamaCare expenses. The ship of state is going down by the bow.

      • One Ticked Chick 4:09 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

        Good point. I wonder if the SEC has already received orders to re-write the accounting rules as they pertain to ObamaCare? Hmm…..

    • fuzislippers 3:38 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yep. This sets the stage for the see? the government HAS to take over health care completely argument. Good times.

      • One Ticked Chick 4:06 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

        And who will be left out in the cold when the government takeover commences? The retirees who will no longer receive those counted-upon, health-related, retirement benefits from their former employers. Once they go into the government pool, their medical care will be subject to government review and approval.

        • fuzislippers 4:14 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

          Yep. They’ll actually be forced into MediCare. Keep in mind their goal: at some point, MediCare, Medicaid, Veteran’s care, etc. will all be merged into one single-payer nightmare. Well, that’s the plan. We’re going to stop it. ;)

    • Jill 5:25 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Waxman is a thug

      http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZjU2Mzc0NTEwZTk2NGEyMzVjZmQ1M2VkODNkM2JhMWI=

      Andy McCarthy, excerpted: “If we are now under a system where disclosure gets you a public whipping and other threats by the Powers That Be while nondisclosure promises the ruinous expenses of defending against criminal investigations and civil enforcement, this is no longer anything but a thugocracy.”

      • One Ticked Chick 5:50 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

        I call it congressional piñata. Bring ’em in and give ’em a good whacking. Waxman, I’m afraid, is one of far too many thugs in Congress and the White House.

    • nicedeb 5:56 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

      We saw shades of this when during the 08 election when team Obama threatened lawsuits and siccing the DOJ in radio and t.v stations when they aired ads they didn’t like. And remember the “MO truth Squad”? We knew this was coming.

      Yes, it’s thugocracy –or something even worse.

  • One Ticked Chick 4:54 PM on 03/26/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Is There An Upside to ObamaCare? 

    I’m trying to remain optimistic following the passage of ObamaCare.  Daryl Luna at the Tenth Amendment Center gives us 5 reasons to look at the upside.

    We know who our enemies are. For many, Bart Stupak and other “pro-life” Democrats were key allies in the battle to protect the rights of the unborn…his vote Sunday let any doubters know where he and his comrades stand on the issue of life.

    This already has and will continue to drive the GOP toward a more conservative direction. If Lindsey Graham is opposed to government-run healthcare, it is not because he is philosophically committed to conservative governance. Rather, he opposed the bill because of public pressure and the frustration of being in the minority. That being said, I don’t care why as long as he opposes it when it comes time to act.

    It has forced us to consider the issue of health care reform on a national stage once again. Healthcare reform is something that needs to be discussed. We need to head towards a no-government, market-based solution.

    This could prove a valuable political tool in the midterm elections. I am hoping for true liberty candidates to have a shot at office (or at least be able to shake things up) because of the neglect of freedom carried out by our current representatives – now truly displayed by the healthcare reform debacle.

    There will be a renewed emphasis on nullification and states’ rights. Our government has been out of control for well over a century. Rights have been trampled and the Constitution has been completely disregarded for far too long. States should resist this legislation, and nullification is the constitutional and proper answer.

    As Luna notes, “the fight for freedom must be waged in both success – and failure.”  With the public united in its opposition to ObamaCare, I’m optimistic that we’ll win the bigger prizes this November and in 2012.

     
    • fuzislippers 4:14 AM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

      This is an interesting perspective, and I would love to be enthusiastic about it. But there is a lot of time between now and January 2011 (when this Congress changes over to Republican hands) and still longer before we have decent president in January 2013. They can do a lot of damage between now and then (both thens), and they will. So much that I fear they don’t expect to lose control at either point. That said, we can thank our lucky stars (and our God, if we are so inclined) that ObamaCare didn’t get passed early last year or last summer. We’d already have amnesty and Cap and Tax in place by now (or be working on Cap and Tax). Both are job and economy killers.

      The healthcare/amnesty/Cap and Tax trifecta will lead to cuts in our defense and military, just as it has in Europe. The trouble is that Europe is ONLY safe because of us, what happens when we have no resources to protect them … or ourselves? The self-serving myopia of these solipsistic socialists is mind-boggling.

    • One Ticked Chick 2:41 PM on 03/27/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Good points as usual, Fuzzi. Everything you say is true. We’re living in dangerous and troubling times that could depress even the most cockeyed optimists. However, optimistic is what I intend to remain and I hope most people will do so as well. I’m not going to allow the the passage of ObamaCare, or any of the other debilitating legislation Congress has in store for us, depress me or throw me off track. I’m focused on the solution and that begins with the midterm elections.

  • One Ticked Chick 6:46 AM on 03/03/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Legislators Cash In on Cash Advances 

    While we’re pinching pennies, some members of Congress are pinching our nickels and dimes. According to the Wall Street Journal, legislators traveling overseas on government business are often pocketing money meant to cover incidental expenses.

    Lawmakers are provided with a cash advance of up to $250 per diem for meals and ancillary costs, such as local transportation and tips.  House and Senate rules specify that these cash advances can be used only for legitimate expenses and any unspent monies are to be returned.  Some legislators however, use the money to offset their spouse’s travel expenses or purchase artwork and gifts.  Others simply pocket the cash.

    Former Rep. Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican, said lawmakers often used leftover money “for shopping or to buy souvenirs to bring back to constituents. That’s fairly standard.”

    Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) said he once bought marble goblets in the Kabul airport as gifts for constituents. Rep. Mark Souder (R., Ind.) said he dipped into his funds to buy a $200 painting of an estuary in Turkey, which hung in his office for a while and was now in his house.

    Unlike most business travelers, lawmakers aren’t required to obtain receipts or submit expense reports.  Many of the legislators the Wall Street Journal interviewed, think any unused money is small potatoes and theirs to keep.

    “I won’t deny that sometimes I have a little left, but it’s not much – maybe 80, 90, or 100 dollars,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.).

    “You are all concerned about nickels and dimes, and I’m not,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.). “You know, in a taxicab in Kazakhstan, I don’t have time to get a receipt – I don’t speak Kazakh.”

    Judging by Rep. Hastings’ comment, those nickels and dimes are evidently chump change to legislators – in both parties.  Shouldn’t our elected representatives be held accountable for the expenses they incur when traveling on government business?  If not, then we’re the chumps for letting them keep our change.

     
    • Jill 8:40 AM on 03/03/2010 Permalink | Reply

      “Unlike most business travelers, lawmakers aren’t required to obtain receipts or submit expense reports.”
      That says it all, doesn’t it? They write the rules, and they’ve made sure that they’re unaccountable.

    • Soloman 10:39 PM on 03/03/2010 Permalink | Reply

      There is no reason the taxpayer-paid expenses of Congress critters can’t be put online. I could do it in an excel spreadsheet, for Heaven’s sake.

      This government audacity has become beyond outrageous.

      • fuzislippers 2:29 AM on 03/04/2010 Permalink | Reply

        Apparently, they are only interested in multi-billion dollar “transparency” websites that publish outright lies and fantasies.

        But yeah, tracking expenses is easy enough, you’d think, considering every business in America manages it quite well. It would actually make a good high school project.

  • One Ticked Chick 4:02 PM on 02/21/2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Here We Go Again: 1,000,000 Voices to Pass Healthcare Reform 

    Beginning tomorrow, a coalition of progressive advocacy groups — including MoveOn.org, Progressive Congress, SEIU, Health Care for America Now, and Democracy For America — are mobilizing members to bombard Congress with emails, calls, faxes, tweets, etc., to support passage of Health Care reform legislation. D-Day is this Wednesday, the day before the televised so-called, bi-partisan health care summit.

    From the Daily Kos:

    On February 24th, the day before the Presidential Healthcare Summit, we will deliver to Washington D.C. a scream they will never, ever forget.

    1,000,000 VOICES FOR HEALTHCARE REFORM: A VIRTUAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON

    We’ll do this via calls, faxes, Tweets, Facebook, emails, telegrams, balloon drops and carrier pigeons. Whatever. It. Takes.

    On the MoveOn 1,000,000 Voices Virtual March on Washington web site, which will go live early in the morning of February 24th, you’ll be able to use their incredible tools to contact Congress and the Senate and to take the action of your choice–call, email, fax or write.

    Some of you have asked about what message to deliver. The overall message is very, very simple. PASS HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    The call-in effort will be to ask for these items below in the reconciliation fix, and directing these calls at the House and the Senate.

    • Inclusion of the public option
    • The Medicare buy-in
    • Fixing the excise tax
    • Getting rid of the Nebraska Cornhusker Kickback deal
    • National exchange
    • Drug re-importation
    • Drug price negotiation in Medicare part D
    • Increasing subsidies

    While I think Congress has grown immune to these campaigns, especially since most minds are made up on this issue, it can’t possibly hurt to get those phones, emails and faxes fired up again to push back against this initiative.

     
    • fuzislippers 7:29 PM on 02/21/2010 Permalink | Reply

      I saw this and tweeted it yesterday. The thing that strikes me is that they’re calling it a “million,” but it’s VIRTUAL, no way to actually know how many (or few) are involved. Good grief. They can see pictures and video of American patriots all over the mall in DC, and call it “a handful,” and this they’re calling a million?

      That said, we definitely need to push back. Now more than ever. They think that we’re burned out or that we’ve given up, and that’s one reason HCR, including the PUBLIC OPTION, is back on the table. What we really need to do is fire up phones, emails, twitter, etc., yes, but think about another visit to DC. They can’t be allowed to get away with reconciliation on something like this. Period.

      • One Ticked Chick 7:35 PM on 02/21/2010 Permalink | Reply

        I need to Tweet. Problem is, it’s yet another thing to do =) Only so many hours in the day you know. Regarding this campaign, my sense is that this is all about reconciliation and voicing support for it.

        • fuzislippers 7:38 PM on 02/21/2010 Permalink | Reply

          I’m not that great on Twitter, to be honest, it’s time consuming to try to keep up with it all. I got very into it leading up to the Brown election, but have been on only off and on. If I see something like this, I’ll retweet it or post it to Twitter. Now, I guess, this is a better forum for passing on good tidbits.

    • Quite Rightly 9:03 PM on 02/21/2010 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the heads up. I guess this means that my Democrat Senators and Reps will be answering their phones. Guess I’ll be able to get through this time!

      • One Ticked Chick 12:53 AM on 02/22/2010 Permalink | Reply

        I was thinking along the same lines. They may be quite happy to have someone pick up the phones if they think the calls will be supportive of their positions.

  • One Ticked Chick 10:06 PM on 02/19/2010 Permalink | Reply
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    Whoops! DHS Loses Hundreds of Firearms 

    How’s this for a devastating assessment – the Department of Homeland Security did not adequately safeguard and control its firearms during FYs 2006 through 2008 reporting 289 firearms as lost. While some of the reported losses were beyond the officers’ control, most occurred because officers did not properly secure firearms.

    Big oops!

    An audit conducted by the DHS Office of Inspector General determined the department’s management and oversight of safeguards and controls over firearms were not effective.

    Gee, no kidding!

    From the report:

    Personnel did not always sufficiently safeguard their firearms and, as a result, lost a significant number of firearms between FY 2006 and FY 2008. The lost firearms created unnecessary risk to the public and law enforcement personnel; in some cases state and local law enforcement officials recovered lost DHS firearms from felons and gang members.

    The following examples…demonstrate the inappropriate practices some officers used to store firearms in vehicles and residences:

    A Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer left a firearm unsecured in an idling vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. The vehicle and firearm were stolen while the officer was inside the store. A local law enforcement officer later recovered the firearm from a suspected gang member and drug smuggler.

    A CBP officer left a firearm on a toolbox in the bed of a truck, and the firearm fell off when the officer drove home. Law enforcement officials later recovered the firearm from an individual who resisted arrest and assaulted the arresting officer.

    An ICE officer left an M-4 rifle and a shotgun unsecured in a closet in his home; subsequently, both firearms were stolen during a burglary. State and federal law enforcement officers later recovered these firearms from a felon.

    An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer left a firearm on the bumper of a vehicle, which fell off as the officer left his place of employment. A civilian found the firearm and turned it over to the local police.

    Other CBP and ICE officers left firearms in places such as a fast food restaurant parking lot, a bowling alley, and a clothing store. Although our review focused on CBP and ICE, other components described similar incidents. For example, a TSA officer left a firearm in a lunch box on the front seat of an unlocked vehicle; the officer realized the firearm was stolen when he returned to the vehicle 2 days later. Officers may have prevented many of these losses had they exercised reasonable care when storing their firearms.

    Some things need no comment from me. Bureaucratic incompetence, speaks for itself.

     
    • Vegas Art Guy 10:29 PM on 02/19/2010 Permalink | Reply

      And yet they want to control healthcare? Thanks but no. And I added you to my blogroll…

      • One Ticked Chick 10:33 PM on 02/19/2010 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Vegas. I believe you’re our first visitor. I wish we had a prize to hand out….

        • backyardconservative 11:22 PM on 02/19/2010 Permalink | Reply

          Lock your car. Take your keys. Maybe a PSA. NOT. Ha.

          • One Ticked Chick 10:22 AM on 02/20/2010 Permalink | Reply

            How can one agency, DHS, manage to consistently garner so much negative attention? In addition to basic firearms safety, they could benefit from learning how not to shoot themselves in the foot.

            • vegas art guy 11:16 AM on 02/20/2010 Permalink | Reply

              Start with the leadership and work your way down. Need I say more? And no prize needed… lol

              • One Ticked Chick 2:05 PM on 02/20/2010 Permalink | Reply

                You’re right about that Vegas. This audit covers the years that Chertoff was DHS director. I didn’t think much of Chertoff, and Napolitano is a step in the wrong direction. With all of the security specialists in this country, why can’t they find the right person to lead this agency?

    • trainwife1962 8:07 PM on 02/20/2010 Permalink | Reply

      This ain’t nothing!!!! I worked for the fomer INS and weapons went missing all the time, and LOTS od them did.

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