Tag Archives: politics

Planned Parenthood building secret new baby-killing centers under fake names

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Planned Parenthood is opening a huge new abortion business on the border of Illinois and Missouri after keeping it secret for a year.

CBS News reports the new mega-clinic is located in Fairview Heights, Illinois, just 13 miles away from St. Louis, Missouri. The abortion chain also hopes to sell abortions to women in Kentucky and Arkansas at the new facility.

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion business in the U.S. Last year, it reported a record $1.66 billion in revenue and more than 330,000 abortions, even as patient numbers fell.

Abortion is its main business, and Colleen McNicholas, the chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, said they hope to see 11,000 patients annually at the Fairview Heights facility.

She admitted that they worked hard to keep the new building a secret from the local community.

According to CBS: “Since August 2018, Planned Parenthood has used a shell company to construct the facility, leaving no public trace that the former medical office would become one of the largest abortion clinics in the country. CBS News first visited the site in August, while it was still being built.”

McNicholas tried to justify these deceptions by describing past experiences with building projects. She told CBS that some companies and contractors refuse to work with them after learning that they are an abortion business, and pro-life advocates in the communities protest their plans.

She said they built the new mega-abortion facility under the code name “Alaska.” It cost about $7 million to build, and it will begin seeing patients within the next few weeks.

It is not clear how far along abortions will be performed. Illinois allows unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth, and McNicholas has defended them. In August, she told the AP that “EVERY reason to have an abortion is a valid reason,” including for sex-selection and disabilities like Down syndrome.

Here’s more from the report:

With the opening of the mega-clinic nearby, they’ll be able to expand [abortion] services, said McNicholas, who added that Planned Parenthood was expanding its staffing in the region to handle both family planning and abortion services. The new facility will roughly double the existing clinic’s capacity, with the ability to serve up to 11,000 patients a year, said a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood.

Even though the new facility could absorb all of St. Louis’s patients if the clinic has to stop performing abortions, McNicholas said the new clinic doesn’t mean they’re giving up on Missouri.

Steven Aden, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Americans United for Life, told LifeNews.com he’s not surprised by the news.

“How appropriate that Planned Parenthood has built a secret ‘mega-center’ to go with its mega-sized status as America’s biggest abortion business – fully one-third of all U.S. abortions are done at a Planned Parenthood facility,” he said.

He added: “Planned Parenthood loudly complains that long distances inhibit access to abortion while building its business model on the truth that they will. Given that abortions are falling precipitously all over the country as women are learning what abortion really is and does to them and their babies, the main impact of this new mega-center might be to drive Planned Parenthood St. Louis – just across the river – out of business. In light of the fact that the St. Louis abortion center has sent 74 women directly to the hospital over the last ten years, that can only be a very good thing for women in both Missouri and Illinois.”

The St. Louis Planned Parenthood has a horrendous record of health and safety violations. Earlier this year, state health officials tried to revoke its license, but Planned Parenthood sued and a judge allowed it to remain open.

The state Department of Health found dozens of health and safety violations in St. Louis, and pro-life advocates have documented 72 occasions when ambulances were called to the abortion facility for women with abortion complications. CBS News failed to mention any of these concerns and implied that the state is just trying to close the abortion facility for political reasons.

Planned Parenthood has been secretive about new abortion clinics in the past. Last year, a Michigan community expressed outrage after the abortion chain used a different name on paperwork so that it could open a new abortion facility in secret.

In Kansas, pro-life advocates recently stopped Planned Parenthood from opening a new abortion facility right next to a high school in their community.

 

[This article published by LIFENEWS.com]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions covering up scandal that could “demolish” Democrats’ ridiculous Russia collusion story

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears to be helping the Democrats cover up a scandal that could “demolish” the Russia narrative. One reporter seems sure now that Imran Awan, the former tech guy for former DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is being given a reprieve.

Awan, regular readers might remember, was arrested at Washington Dulles Airport trying to fly back to his native Pakistan one day after smashed hard drives were recovered from his home by federal officials. He was charged, along with his wife, with bank fraud and conspiracy in the matter.

However, the case has been subject to repeated delays and seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the radar of practically anyone but investigative reporter Luke Rosiak with The Daily Caller. As a plea deal seems to be imminent, Rosiak has noted that Awan has been hiding assets and that his former business partner claims that data was given to the Pakistanis government by the Awan family, among other claims.

Rosiak claims that Awan may be behind a second data breech that hit the DNC before the election — something that could seriously damage the “Russia collusion” narrative for the Democrats.

“There was a second hack that occurred the same week that the DNC was breeched, the same week that WikiLeaks started putting up those DNC emails,” Rosiak said in an appearance on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business Network show Tuesday. “The House of Representatives inspector general briefed that there was this ongoing hack by Pakistanis who the Democrats have hired as IT guys.”

That, obviously, would be the Awan family. Now, Rosiak says Awan is being protected for political reasons.

“Obviously, they would have been arrested immediately,” Rosiak said. “But think back, that Russia narrative they just decided to start pitching that very week. You know how tenuous it is, how backed by nothing it is.

“You throw into the mix arrests of Pakistanis hired by Democrats and unvetted for a similar hack at the identical time, the narrative about Russia would have been impossible to secure. And that’s all they care about is the narrative.”

Dobbs was frustrated that we didn’t see the Trump administration DOJ taking more action on this. Instead, as Fox News had reported, Awan may be offered a plea deal from the looks of things.

“The parties are currently exploring a possible resolution of this matter,” prosecutors wrote in a June 3 filing before a district judge in Washington. “Therefore, the parties are requesting additional time in which to explore that resolution.”

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The Dobbs-Rosiak interview is HERE. (Rosiak’s “covering up” charge comes about the 5:10 mark.)

“Where is the Justice Department now? Why in the world aren’t we hearing about this from Jeff Sessions?” Dobbs asked.

“What it is, is that the handling of this case disproves the entire Russia narrative,” Rosiak responded. “They don’t care about hacking, they don’t care about foreign meddling. What they did in this case is knowingly allow the United States government to be hacked by Pakistanis for six months until right after the election so that they could peddle a phony narrative.”

Rosiak was even willing to go far enough to say that “what the Democrats did here is treason. They allowed the United States to continuously be hacked by the bad guys so that they could spin this Russia narrative.”

The Democrats have been willing to shield Awan nearly continuously, with Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat, going as far as to label speculation over Awan before his arrest “Islamophobia.”

In spite of the fact that the Awan family were suspects in this hacking, Rosiak reports they had access to the House of Representatives’ computer network until Feb. 2, 2017 — nearly two weeks after Donald Trump was inaugurated. He also reported that physical evidence in the case kept disappearing — except, of course, for the laptop with the user name “RepDWS” which was left in a phone booth in the House Rayburn by Awan. We also know that Awan had all the passwords to Debbie Wasserman Schutz’s devices, as proved by the emails posted by WikiLeaks.

This is something many of us might call “problematic.”

Yet, these are the guys that the Justice Department seems more or less willing to pursue a plea deal with. We’d like to believe that the DOJ knows a bit more than we do about Awan’s level of culpability in this matter, but Rosiak’s reporting seems to indicate this is a case they might want to pursue with all due urgency instead of just going for a plea deal.

And Rosiak isn’t mincing his words about what’s really going on:  “The DOJ, under Jeff Sessions, is covering up a scandal that exposes the entire Russia narrative as a hoax,” he told Dobbs. “It is within Jeff Sessions’ power to demolish this Russia narrative once and for all, charge the Pakistanis with hacking Congress, and expose the Democrats’ hypocrisy and negligence.  This case is open and shut, and Jeff Sessions is refusing to bring the charges.”

That is a disturbing accusation.

Unless Awan can somehow provide the United States some evidence about the hack that leads to bigger things (preferably back in Pakistan or with the initials DWS) , this is a very big fish to simply let swim back into the lake with a mere plea deal.

 

[From an article published by WESTERN JOURNAL’S Conservative Tribune]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

 

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Time for the Secret Swamp Boys to come clean…

With word that the Obama administration imbedded one, and possibly two, spies within the Trump campaign arrives a semi-new appellation for a government scandal: Spygate.

The press has adored its “hyphen-gates” since 1973.  Reporters are finding this gate much less pleasant.

There is a wide band of gentle and wise Americans who recognize that almost every word James Clapper and John Brennan say is an obfuscating lie.  They know that Comey is in on the lie and that Mueller is trying to perpetuate the lie.  Our absurd press dives into the muddle by claiming that the plant was put in place to protect Trump.  That is a lie barren of logic and rationality – the axiomatic whopper.

Some protection.  Trump has been the target of investigations from the moment he took office.

Boys, do you really think intelligent Americans are buying this shipment of hooey? 

It’s time to get it all off your chest.  Americans know you abused your power in an effort to destroy a legally elected president of the United States.  You turned your back on all permissible precedent.  You abandoned any sense of morality and decency as you ran roughshod over the American people.  You might not like it, but our votes count, and we will be heard.

At this moment, the forgiving nature of the American people will probably allow them to walk away with a slap on the wrist.  We know that the Democratic Party still carries enough clout to keep these lads out of prison, and we know that the gargantuan monster of government bureaucracy is always reluctant to punish insiders who abuse their power.  The preferred option is an overgenerous retirement package.  Lois Lerner is a good example of how government swindlers are punished.

But that train is leaving the station.  There are limits to how much corruption Americans will accept.  Playing with our votes in a more outrageous manner than the Russians ever could is way beyond the point of toleration.  Conservative America has been scorned and subject to a growing level of accepted hate since 1973; we have achieved total saturation with elites who claim the moral high ground and then covertly stoop to despicable use of our institutions.

Regular ol’ conservative Americans are not the bad guys; they never were.

Boys, somewhere along your ostensible route of “public service,” you became the bad guys.  You are the black hats who shoot up the rights of others to steal an election, to steal away a president, and to steal democratic principles from a nation.  You are the enemies of freedom and liberty…and that makes you the enemies of America.

You should step out of the way now and let our chosen president be our president.  Soon there will be a massive demand for sentencing instead of retirement.  

Coming clean is the best option.  You should grab it while the grabbing is good.

 
[From an article by AMERICAN THINKER.com]

 

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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USA was designed by geniuses, but….

Designed by geniuses, but...

The following list has been attributed to comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Snopes says Foxworthy is not the author. The original compiler is a man named Fritz Edmunds.

 

1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally, you live in a country run by idiots.

2. If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion, you live in a country run by idiots.

3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor or check out a library book, but not to vote on who runs the government, you live in a country run by idiots.

4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy leaders in Egypt, you live in a country run by idiots.

5. If, in the largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat, you live in a country run by idiots.

6. If an 80-year-old woman can be strip- searched by the TSA but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched, you live in a country run by idiots.

7. If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more, you live in a country run by idiots.
8. If a seven year old boy can be thrown out of grade school for saying his teacher’s “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable, you live in a country run by idiots.

9. If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government intrusion, while not working is rewarded with EBT cards, WIC checks, Medicaid, subsidized housing and free cell phones, you live in a country run by idiots.

 

10. If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to incentivize NOT working, with 99 weeks of unemployment checks and no requirement to prove they applied but can’t find work, you live in a country run by idiots.

11. If being stripped of the ability to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government, you live in a country run by idiots.

If you are offended by this article,  you probably voted for the idiots who are running our country into the ground.
[from an article published by GODFATHER POLITICS]
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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
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Haven’t we heard “What difference does it make,” or something similar, a few too many times by now? The people who are saying that were elected to MAKE A DIFFERENCE, not to ignore the need for it…

Hillary Clinton

 

Harry Reid

 

Nancy Pelosi

 

Joe Biden

 

 

Obama

 

 

Democracy is for Democrats...

 

As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

 

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How would you grade HEALTHCARE.GOV at this point in time?

I was challenged by people who commented on my last post to opine on the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance exchange HealthCare.gov, and I will oblige.

The best place to start is President Obama’s remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday.

Shortly before the president’s appearance, White House officials let it be known that the “president will directly address the technical problems with HealthCare.gov – troubles he and his team find unacceptable.” But in that Rose Garden appearance, the president did not explain what the technical problems with HealthCare.gov were, though he did acknowledge their existence and stated “there is no excuse” for them.

He then promised that in a techno-surge he would recruit the best information technology talent in the country to come to the rescue and fix the problems. It made me wonder why the A-team, as the White House now calls it, was not enlisted in the first place.

President Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. How would he have graded a student’s performance on, say, a term paper or test that the professor viewed as “unacceptable,” especially when there was “no excuse” for the paper’s deficiencies?

One would hope that the grade would have been F, even under modern grade inflation. I certainly would affix that grade to such inexcusably deficient work.

But who exactly should be assigned the F for the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov?

At the Rose Garden ceremony, President Obama noted, “There’s no sugar coating it, the Web site has been too slow, people are getting stuck during the application process, and I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am.”

That makes it sound as if the president was surprised and then angered by the poor performance of HealthCare.gov. Indeed, in a television interviewTuesday with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN, the secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius, appears to suggest as much, even though HealthCare.gov is reported to have crashed days before the start on Oct. 1 when only 100 people tried to register simultaneously.

As someone who has lectured on corporate governance and served on corporate boards, I find Secretary Sebelius’s statement astounding. Is this how the project was managed? They knew the Web site was not working and yet decided to go ahead with it anyway, without the president’s personal O.K. for so strategic and risky a decision?

Once elected, a president becomes chief executive of a giant federal enterprise. Anyone familiar with corporate management would have thought that for as ambitious and technically a complex project as the initial rollout of HealthCare.gov – so important to many uninsured Americans and so politically important to the White House – the chief executive would have remained in very close touch with the management team overseeing the project and thus would have been briefed daily or at least weekly on the progress of the project and especially on any problems with it.

Woe to the members of the management team in a corporation if problems with a project are hidden from the chief executive when they become known, exposing the chief executive to embarrassing public relations surprises. Heads would roll. The board, however, would assign the blame for such problems not primarily to the management team and instead to the chief executive himself or herself. He hired and supervised the team.

From that perspective, the blame for the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov goes to its entire management team, to be sure, but primarily to the chief executive on top of that project. In my view, not only the proverbial buck stops on the chief executive’s desk, but, for the management of this particular project, the grade of F goes there as well.

It is worth reminding readers, however, that grades on midterm papers or tests do not constitute the overall grade in a course. Students receiving an F on a midterm paper or test often end up with a respectable overall course grade, spurred on in part by that very failure.

Similarly, with enormous effort and, one hopes, constant future supervision by the chief executive, there is hope that the technical problems encountered so far can be fixed in time, with the celebrated A-team of software experts now on the scene.

Finally, it bears emphasizing that the ill-fated rollout of HealthCare.gov should not be taken as a commentary on the concept of health insurance exchanges in general, nor on the Affordable Care Act.

The idea to use means-tested public subsidies to assist low-income Americans to purchase competitively offered private health insurance sold through health-insurance exchanges has been popular among policy analysts and policy makers of both political parties since the 1970s. Any such exchange will have to have roughly the same kind of architecture and tasks as those required for HealthCare.gov, as is shown in the sketch below.

HEALTHCARE.GOV structure needed...

Particular versions of this general construct were built into the Clinton health plan in the 1990s and the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (Part D of Medicare). It was also part of the health reform plan proposed by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, during the presidential campaign of 2008 and of the Patients’ Choice Act proposed by Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma, in 2009.

Indeed, it has been the foundation of every health reform proposal in the United States other than the single-payer Medicare for All idea since the 1970s. And it would be the core of the defined contribution plan now being proposed by Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, for the Medicare program.

Now, it may be argued that private electronic health insurance exchanges – for example, eHealthInsurance.com – have long been available to Americans in the market for individually purchased private health insurance, obviating the need for a new HealthCare.gov. That would imply an unfair comparison.

EHealthInsurance.com is a purely passive exchange that merely lists the policies and estimates of their premiums for sundry health insurers listing on the exchange. It does not grant subsidies toward the purchase of health insurance and establish eligibility for those subsidies, nor does it guarantee prices. It simply refers interested individuals to insurers to purchase policies, which are not community rated but actuarially priced. Such an exchange can be quite simple.

If one wants to couple means-tested federal or state government contributions toward private coverage – as the health-reform plans proposed by both parties do – then by necessity the insurance exchange must ping and interact with numerous other Web sites, each with its own software language of various vintages.

The sketch below illustrates that construct, but only for the most important linkages that must be pinged. HealthCare.gov probably has to ping still other sites. Such an exchange is incomparably more difficult to establish and prone to computer glitches than is, say, eHealthInsurance.com.

Alternative structure...

 

But several states did manage to establish on time such complex health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, with only minor rollout glitches of the sort one would expect. Somehow they managed.

With proper management and more energetic work earlier on, and untainted by the political desiderata reported to have affected the architecture of HealthCare.gov, that Web site’s management team should have been able to achieve the same success. It did not, hence the midterm grade F.

[by Uwe E. Reinhardt, an economics professor at Princeton. He wrote this piece for the New York Times]

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NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
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Another exciting episode about US Department of Endless Bureaucratic Transactions (US DEBT)…

Endless self-centered bungling...what a great system!

 

 

New episode...CLICK HERE!                                   CLICK ABOVE for this exciting episode…

 

 

This week on “The Government,” Will and his coworkers come face-to-face with an Inspector General, and he isn’t happy about how the Department of Every Bureaucratic Transaction (DEBT) has failed to rein in irresponsible spending. From lavish conferences to botched uniform designs, bureaucrats haven’t exactly been good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Below are the real-life examples of wasteful spending that the Inspector General finds so egregious.

  • IRS Spent $11K On A “Happiness Expert” To Lead A 90 Minute Workshop. “The IRS hired 15 speakers to present at the conference in Anaheim, Calif., including $11,430 for positive psychology guru Shawn Achor — referred to as a ‘happiness expert’ by the sources — to lead a 90-minute workshop” (Kelly O’Donnell and Andrew Rafferty, “2010 IRS Conference Featured ‘Happiness Expert,’ $17K Art Session,” CNBC, 6/4/13)
  • IRS Credit Cards Used For Wine, Romance Novels, Diet Pills And Pornography. (Stephen Ohlemacher,”IRS Credit Cards Used For Wine, Pornography,” The Associated Press, 6/25/13)
  • IRS Spent $119 On Nerf Footballs That Were Never Used. “The Internal Revenue Service lacks sufficient oversight of agency credit cards issued to employees, leading to purchases such as $119 in Nerf footballs sitting unused in a filing cabinet, according to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.” (Richard Rubin, “Audit Finds $119 of Unused Nerf Footballs in IRS Cabinet, Bloomberg, 6/25/13)
  • The U.S. Army Wasted $5 Billion In Camouflage Development. (Eloise Lee and Robert Johnson, “After Wasting $5 Billion Dollars, The Army Is Eyeing These New Camouflage Patterns,” Business Insider, 9/25/12)
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normal@usa1usa.com
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The US debt ceiling cash crunch: Millions will not get paid…

Coming US cash crunch...

Practical nightmares. Legal disputes. Ethical dilemmas every which way till Sunday.

That’s what the Treasury Department will face — possibly as early as mid-October — if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling in the next couple of weeks.

Barring an increase in the nation’s borrowing limit, Treasury won’t have enough cash on hand plus revenue to pay all the country’s bills in full and on time.

Some Republicans say that in that situation Treasury should prioritize who gets paid first.

Their proposal: Pay bondholders and Social Security recipients first. Some GOP lawmakers add active-duty military to the list. If Treasury doesn’t have enough money on hand to pay any of those three things on a given day, some proposals would give Treasury limited authority to borrow just enough to make up the difference.

Treasury, by contrast, has repeatedly rejected such proposals.

“Any plan to prioritize some payments over others is simply default by another name,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

One thing is certain: Failure to raise the debt ceiling on time will cause a cash crunch — and a cascade of problems.

Related: How will a government shutdown affect you?

Automated payment systems would have to be overhauled: The Treasury pays millions of bills every day. It pays interest to bond investors from one computer system and makes all other payments from another.

So technically it may be possible to at least prioritize interest payments since they’re processed separately. But it would be much harder to prioritize everything else.

“Treasury’s systems are not designed to allow picking and choosing. Payments are automatically made as they come due,” former Congressional Budget Director Donald Marron told Congress last week.

Indeed, analysts at the Bipartisan Policy Center think a massive reprogramming of Treasury’s payment operations may be impossible.

Late payments would pile up: Even if it could reprogram its systems to allow for prioritization, Treasury still won’t have enough cash on hand.

Between Oct. 18 and Nov. 15, Treasury is likely to run about $106 billion short of what’s owed, according to a Bipartisan Policy Center analysis. Translation: It wouldn’t be able to make a third of all payments due.

Related: Never-ending charade of debt ceiling fights

So Treasury will have two main options, both awful: It could either pay some bills in full and delay others; or it could delay all payments due on a given day until it has enough money on hand to pay them all.

Senior Treasury officials indicated in an inspector general’s report that the second option would be the most likely and least harmful of the two. But it’s hardly painless.

Depending on how long the debt ceiling standoff lasts, delays could quickly grow from a day or two to several weeks.

“Either approach would damage the economy. Federal employees, contractors, program beneficiaries, businesses and state and local governments would find themselves suddenly short of expected cash, causing a ripple effect through the economy,” said Marron, who is now director of economic policy initiatives at the Urban Institute.

Deciding who gets paid and who gets stiffed is a perilous game: Who deserves to be paid more? Senior citizens, disabled veterans, families who rely on food stamps or small business owners whose federal contracts provide a large chunk of revenue?

Every bill and benefit that Treasury pays represents a legal obligation that the United States has incurred.

Favoring some over others could create a minefield of lawsuits, penalties and other assorted messes.

It would also mean Treasury would be subject to accusations of politically choosing winners over losers.

To say nothing of the fact that paying some but not all of what the federal government owes would harm the economy and likely upend markets.

“If the confidence in the reliability of [U.S.] payments were cast into doubt, then the consequences for the budget, for the U.S. economy, for the U.S. and global financial systems could be large and lasting and very damaging,” Douglas Elmendorf, the current CBO director, told Congress Thursday.

It would also do great damage to America’s reputation. It will be very hard to justify to anyone why the world’s largest economy and richest country is willfully choosing not to pay what it owes.

“As every other nation understands, if you need to borrow you can only hurt yourself by scaring your creditors,” Marron said.

Even worse, he added, “[it] contributes to the perception that the United States does not know how to govern itself.”

[from CNN Money, New York]

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normal@usa1usa.com
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New bill in US House seeks to protect religious freedom for those who affirm traditional marriage…

Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) is sponsoring a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would guarantee that no person or group could lose their tax exempt status for affirming traditional marriage, or opposing the redefinition of marriage.

The Marriage and Religious Freedom Act has, at the time of this publication, 75 co-sponsors. Most of them are Republican, but at least two Democrats, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), are also co-sponsoring the bill.

If enacted, no individual or institution could lose tax-exempt status for believing or advocating that marriage should only be between one man and one woman. Many religious institutions in the United States are non-profits and have a tax-exempt status under the U.S. tax code.

In explaining his reasons for the bill, Labrador cited the words of President Barack Obama, from when Obama announced he changed his position on same-sex marriage.

“Regardless of your ideology, we can all agree about the importance of religious liberty in America,” Labrador said Thursday. “Our bill will protect freedom of conscience for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. As President Obama said, ‘Americans hold a wide range of views’ on marriage and ‘maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom’ is ‘vital.’ We agree.”

Due to recent events, there has been growing concern among religious freedom advocates along with the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples in some states. Those who provide wedding services, for instance, have been denied the right to decline working at same-sex weddings, and some religious groups have been denied the right to prefer families with both a husband and a wife for adoption services.

There have also been growing concerns about the abuse of federal power within the Internal Revenue Service, the agency responsible for granting tax-exempt status. In a scandal still under investigation, the IRS reportedly targeted Tea Party, pro-life and conservative religious groups for additional scrutiny and harassment.

Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, mentioned the IRS scandal as one reason for his support of the bill.

“I commend Congressman Raúl Labrador for bringing forth this bill and leading on this important issue. As we’ve seen with the IRS scandals, nonprofit organizations and those who support them may be targeted and punished for their beliefs and principles,” Scalise said. “Furthermore, the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage may embolden those in government who want to impose their views of marriage on faith-based organizations. We need this strong legislation to protect freedom of conscience for those who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Raúl’s bill does exactly that, ensuring respect and tolerance for those who affirm traditional marriage.”

The bill also has the support of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Organization for Marriage, Heritage Action, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Concerned Women for America.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions regarding same-sex marriage. In one of those, Windsor vs. United States, the Court struck down a part of the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as between one man and one woman for the purposes of federal law. David Christensen, vice president of government affairs for FRC, argued that the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act is consistent with the Windsor decision.

“This bill affirms that a person’s religious belief in the importance of natural marriage should be treated with tolerance and respect by the federal government,” he said. “The Windsor Court’s ruling urges respect for federalism and the sovereignty of state decisions on marriage law, including laws that define marriage between a man and a woman. This bill merely states that the federal government cannot target or harm a person for their religious views in support of natural marriage.”

[by Napp Nazworth, writing for The Christian Post]

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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by

NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

 

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Obama may raise debt ceiling all by himself, and worry about the legal consequences later…

In the summer of 2011, some Democrats urged President Obama to simply raise the debt ceiling himself if Republicans were decidedly against passing legislation.

There was the “trillion dollar coin” idea, whereby the government mints itself out of trouble via an arcane bullion law.

Then there was the 14th Amendment option. Here, the government would have to take a modern interpretation on the Civil War-era amendment about the “validity of the public debt of the United States,” and surely face legal action.

Mr. ObummerNow as the two parties gear up for another debt ceiling bout, Greg Valliere at Potomac Research thinks Obama may be coming around to the idea of acting on his own. Valliere writes to clients:

Obama is not shy about using executive authority, and he surely has heard from Constitutional scholars who believe he has the authority to raise the debt ceiling on his own. (Bill Clinton urged Obama to take this approach in the summer of 2011.) Fearless forecast: if Treasury is out of money in early November and a default looks possible, Obama will simply raise the debt ceiling. He’ll face instant litigation, but that wouldn’t be resolved for months.

It seems the president is not willing to negotiate at all for a raise in the debt ceiling, as he made clear to Speaker John Boehner in a phone call last week. We’ll see what happens.

[by Steven Perlberg, writing for Business Insider]
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As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis
normal@usa1usa.com
612.239.0970

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