Monday, January 26, 2015
Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report
If the U.S. Supreme Court rules in June that health insurance subsidies for millions of Americans are illegal, Republicans better not be caught flat-footed, because President Obama will be ready to pounce, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told the Washington Examiner in an interview.
“As the president said to me in the White House [earlier this month], he said, ‘There are five million people [who receive subsidies through the federal exchange] — and I know who they are.’ He spoke like a community organizer who was going to try to use those people that he has actually caused significant damage to by not applying the law,” Barrasso said from his senate office.
The Wyoming senator has of late been something of a Paul Revere of the Republican Senate majority, shouting, “King vs. Burwell is coming! King vs. Burwell is coming!”
...If justices invalidate the IRS rule, then it would mean that millions of Americans in up to 37 states that did not set up their own exchanges would lose their insurance subsidies and be exposed to the full sticker price of Obamacare plans. On the flip side, taxpayers could stand to save hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidy money that would no longer have to be paid out.
A ruling would also have broader ramifications for the healthcare law. For instance, Obamacare’s fines against employers that do not offer health insurance coverage are triggered when a worker claims government subsidies to purchase insurance on an exchange — but in states where workers can no longer legally receive those subsidies, then there are no fines. The employer mandate, thus, is effectively dead in those states.
“In this case, the thing Warren was against — adding another Wall Street anti-regulatory guy — wasn’t even remotely true”
Elizabeth Warren, sometimes disregarded by the White House as a largely irrelevant nuisance, could no longer be ignored. Bolstered by grass roots groups eager for any anti-Wall Street crusade and a vibrant progressive media that hung on her every word, Warren succeeded in knocking out Weiss’ nomination....
It was not a total victory. Weiss will still join Treasury as an unconfirmed counselor to Secretary Jack Lew. But in terms of symbolism, the Washington power game and the ideological direction of the Democratic Party, Warren won big. And the moderate, Wall Street- and business-friendly wing of the party — in past years happily occupied by Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton — got punched in the mouth.
“They will have to be more careful now and you won’t see any bankers nominated for high-level positions,” said a person close to the campaign against Weiss, who said the episode could also influence the way Clinton staffs and runs her campaign.
On the other side, the despair among Wall Street’s Democratic elite is growing acute. As is the belief that Weiss himself never mattered in this fight.
“In this case, the thing Warren was against — adding another Wall Street anti-regulatory guy — wasn’t even remotely true,” said one senior Wall Street Democrat who has worked in government but, like many interviewed for this article, declined to be identified by name to avoid Warren’s wrath. “There is no one in government right now who has any market or finance experience. It’s not like there are ‘too many.’”
...“Warren successfully put together this incredible coalition of activist groups and liberal media organizations that sprang into action without her really having to do much of anything,” said a Wall Street executive who tried to help steer Weiss through the process. “These people can now stop pretty much anyone they want and the White House can’t do much about it.”
Others view Warren’s power as somewhat more limited. She succeeded in derailing Weiss in part because Obama could not count on Republicans — who typically like nominees with business experience — to put Weiss over the top.
This teacher is speaking out about Common Core as a "conscientious objector." You will want to read her statement before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
...Lee joins other teachers in New York City who object to “market-based education reform” and are refusing to administer high stakes tests as an “act of conscience.” There is also a growing opt-out movement throughout the country that encourages parents to refuse to allow their children to take Common Core and other high stakes tests. Parents and teachers object to the testing for a wide variety of reasons. Nearly everyone thinks too much classroom time is devoted to testing and test preparation. And while parents are concerned about data collection related to the tests and the testing anxiety their children experience, teachers often object to having the tests tied to their performance evaluations as well as the corporate influence in test development and in the adoption of the Common Core standards.
You can read Lee’s written testimony here.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
◼ A surprise star in Iowa's presidential sweepstakes. - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork
..the former Hewlett Packard CEO and failed California Senate candidate who's now considering the longest-of-longshot runs for the White House.
Even though Fiorina, on behalf of her political action committee, Unlocking Potential PAC, visited Iowa to support winning Senate candidate Joni Ernst last year, it's safe to say most people in the crowd Saturday had never heard her say a word. What they got was a perspective that stood apart, a candidate who used her business career to approach popular topics in new and appealing ways....
◼ Carly Fiorina is a powerful speaker. - Daily Signal
This year’s Republican presidential campaign is unique, not only in how wide open the race is but also because of the wealth of choices for voters from the party’s different wings or factions.
◼ GOP presidential candidates face delicate balancing act
Establishment Republicans, who long have been dominant in the nomination process, may be able to pick from Romney, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The most conservative party activists, who believe it is time for the GOP to nominate someone who is a true believer, could have even more choices. That group includes the two most recent winners of the Iowa caucuses — former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee — as well as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and doctor Ben Carson.
Add in four others who could fit somewhere in between — Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Texas governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — plus other dark-horse candidates struggling to gain some attention and the jockeying is likely to become ferocious, raising the stakes on finding ways to stand out in the crowd....
The Iowa Freedom Summit, co-sponsored by Citizens United, drew nearly two dozen speakers — more than half a dozen of them now thinking seriously about running for the nomination — and a huge throng from the media, with an estimated 200 requesting credentials. Missing, however, were Bush, Romney, Rubio, Paul and Jindal.
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Ted Cruz
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Rick Perry
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Scott Walker
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Chris Christie
◼ Ben Carson
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Carly Fiorina
◼ Mike Huckabee
◼ Rick Santorum
◼ Sarah Palin
◼ Donald Trump
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Newt Gingrich
◼ #iafreedomsummit: Jim DeMint
◼ Steve King
The Iowa contingent: Both of Iowa's U.S. senators, 34-year veteran Chuck Grassley and newly sworn-in Joni Ernst, will speak, as will Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Rod Blum, the newly elected congressman in the 1st District, in eastern Iowa.
◼ Prominent speakers at the Iowa Freedom Summit - Des Moines Register
The free event (was) at capacity, and a waiting list for admission topped 800 names. Event organizers said all 23 speakers (were allotted) equal time to speak: 20 minutes. The order ...determined by the speakers' schedules and when they'll be arriving and departing Des Moines.
The zones themselves are mapped out on a French government web site - all 750 of them.
Something unusual happened in Congress this week: Senators voted — not just once or twice, but more than 20 times, right up until midnight Thursday.
In contrast to the recent years of gridlock and paralysis, senators took vote after politically tough vote as they worked their way through amendments to a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
It was part of the so-called regular order that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to deliver after Republicans took control of the chamber earlier this month. The Kentucky Republican promised to restore a more open process that many senators hungered for after Democrats ran the place with a tight grip during the previous eight years.... KEEP READING
Iowa Freedom Summit: Kickoff and wrap-up http://t.co/HkTNcX03Oo— Jazz Shaw (@JazzShaw) January 25, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
SPECIAL REPORT Realizing he only has two years left in office Obama is spending more time focusing on his legacy... pic.twitter.com/9ZnaWQ4YmC— Walter Cronkite (@CronkiteSays) January 25, 2015
◼ Rob Lowe can't believe that Obama won't meet with Netanyahu, but will meet with YouTube star. - Jerusalem Post
Lowe mocked Obama, for a live streamed meeting he held Thursday with three YouTube stars on Thursday, GloZell Green, Hank Green and Bethany Mota.
In a publicly move that targeted younger Americans, the three YouTube stars interviewed Obama.
A GloZell's video that garnered 9.7 million hits on YouTube, showed her eating fruit loops in a milk filled bathtub for what she called the cereal challenge.
Her interview with Obama occurred the same day that the White House announced that the US President would not meet with Netanyahu in early March, when he visits Washington.
◼ Incredibly, Obama to Give Interviews to These 3 YouTube Stars - Daily Signal
For those who aren't up to speed, here is the woman who had an official meeting with POTUS yesterday. pic.twitter.com/whq2ZvAdDc— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) January 23, 2015
Christie was solid. Hit his marks about being an anti-abortion Gov. from a "blue state," recalled fights vs. unions, hrs after Walker.— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 24, 2015
Christie introducing Iowa voters to the story of his mother. A powerful story that many people in Iowa haven’t heard yet.— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) January 24, 2015