At 11:30 that same Tuesday (tomorrow), Rally Force is holding a protest against tyranny (pick your tyranny and bring a sign) at 11:30 in front of Sen. Cornyn’s office on Spring Valley at the Tollway (west side). Tea Party Patriots is also directing people there now, and the location is less of a drive and offers more shelter in case of rain.
Just like the Obamacare disaster, it looks like this topic will need a running link posting. (BTW: our organization at the outset decided to function ONLY as a state-level PAC and NOT go for 501c status. As a result, we were QUITE effective in 2012 while others struggled with this Gestapo-style interrogations. We wish we were simply brilliant, but we never had a thought that this level of intimidation was even possible, no matter HOW you organized.)
- Cincinnati IRS office becomes a police state; armed guards escorting reporters.
- White House Chief of Staff planned ‘response’ to Treasury IG IRS report BEFORE its release.
- A Smoking gun: Obama met with IRS Union leader day before Tea Party targeting began.
- No ‘Confusion’ here; a ‘manager’ directed workers to target Tea Parties; who told the manager?
- The full timeline of the IRS harassment
- The IRS ‘accidental’ disclosure was staged- an part of the control plan.
- And used a LOBBYIST for the staging; now even Democrats want her resignation
- IRS criminally lied about the existence of Tea Party documents to avoid a filed FOI request
- IRS Manager who apologized for targeting is married to Obama voting hack
- Why Obama being ‘shocked, SHOCKED that intimidation is going on here’ is bogus.
- The effort to intimidate True the Vote & King Street Patriots was multi-agency- and thorough!
- More revelations- 471 groups targeted, NOT the 75 originally estimated by IRS. (Do we get to estimate our taxes that way??)
- Highly selective ‘incompetence’: liberal groups approved without delay or big questionnaires
- IRS workers claim “they simply did what their bosses ordered.”
- Was the IRS responding to direction from Democrat Senators? Is THAT what’s been redacted?
- Only a single worker was charged with reviewing HUNDREDS of Tea Party applications.
- So much for the ‘low-level argument’ These are high-level people, who DON’T undertake things without higher direction.
- Now we find out, Tea Parties have been targeted since 2010, and senior officials knew about it in 2011. Seems like delaying this revelations only occurred until we go through 2012, and certain people may be coming forward , not want to serve TOO much time in jail for this lame duck president.
- And now it comes out that the IRS office released confidential information of the Tea Party applications to ProPublica, a public interest group that made much of that information public.
- Many other conservative groups had their private info leaked.
- At first, they admitted specific targeting by the IRS, but claimed it was only ‘low-level’ officials involved.
- No punishment is forthcoming (for the moment)
- Does this look like some questions a ‘low-level official’ would put together? (As usual, it takes FOREIGN press to get the whole story- 55 questions).
- The Washington Post reveals the the Washington IRS offices and others were involved; what a surprise! (NOT!)
UPDATE: Here is the LEAKED version of Treasury Inspector General’s IRS report. This was selectively leaked to left-wing sources like Huffington Post. It is the REDACTIONS that are most telling about this document. Just search for *** and you’ll see EVERY TRIGGERING EVENT that set into motion the discriminatory review of Tea Parties and related groups has been redacted out. What were these events; more importantly WHO WAS THERE TO TRIGGER THIS HARASSMENT?
WE WARNED YOU!
It is time to start maintaining a running list of just how many ways Obamacare is going to damage healthcare, the economy and your families as it attempts implementation at the end of this year. This will be cataclysmic- and a shock to the vast majority who have NOT been paying attention, so hold on, folks! This will be updated regularly, so keep checking back.
- Another union realizes it’s screwed with Obamacare (Hey, you helped PASS it!)
- Ready for employer insurance that does NOT cover hospitalization? Obamacare allows it.
- CBO: Estimated Obamacare cost doubles for the decade- $1.8 trillion
- FAR WORSE THAN ORIGINALLY FEARED! Insurance rates up 50-400%!
- Out-of-pocket drug costs will skyrocket, based on state decisions on Obamacare
- Exchanges will work fine- 2 years after they are to be used; but have FAITH!
- Retail work hours falling rapidly due to Obamacare
- States stuck with uninsureables due to Obamacare cost overruns- just the first
- Projected Medicaid expansion costs in Texas, if approved – $4 billion
- Arizona’s earlier Medicaid expansion actual costs 4 times projections
- Medicaid does NOTHING to improve medical outcomes- classic Oregon study (VERY thorough analysis of the Oregon study)
- Government’s actuary estimates 15% of current doctors will stop taking Medicaid
- Summary – Full Society of Actuaries report: 34% Texas cost increase (page 8)
- Business contract benefits spending in preparation for Obamacare
- Another Obamacare deadline missed; the ‘cost containment’ board has NO members
- Congress shocked at Obamacare incompetency- and uncertain of the impact on its staff
- The loss of Medicare Advantage by about half of the Seniors on it will cost them.
- The Ultimate Hypocrisy: Congress tries to exempt itself from Obamacare due to cost
- Even an Obamacare author sees a train wreck coming - AND announces his retirement!
- Late to the Party: Roofer Union wants repeal of the Obamacare they supported
- Largest movie theater company cut hours SPECIFICALLY due to Obamacare
- Estimated cost of exchanges skyrocketing- BEFORE they start.
- Obamacare costs get real in Texas; Parker County
- Anticipation of Obamacare continuing to kill jobs
- Small business to have only ONE choice in the exchanges; take it (higher costs) or leave it (uninsured employees); no competition.
- Over half of those who Obamacare was DESIGNED for- want NO part of it.
- A second study indicating a 30% increase in premiums- in California. (probably low)
- Little hope for millions to be priced out of employer insurance by ‘Affordable Care’ Act
- The Society of Actuaries- mathematicians, NOT politicians- conclude Obamacare will raise claims costs 32%
- Even the Washington Post is admitting to the impact- in the growth of interest in TEMPORARY workers.
- First of Many: Five Guys franchisee says Obamacare will cost him the entire profit of one of his eight stores- will have to raise prices to cover.
- It Begins: the Federal Exchange developer head hinting they won’t be ready and is developing ‘Contingency plans’ . “Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”
- One third of the jobs- 3.2 million- in the franchise business at risk because of Obamacare
- Orrin Hatch finally figures out that Obamacare was design to fail and force us into a single-payer system; full government monopoly.
- Per Arizona’s experience, Medicaid expansion will be a financial disaster from the states dumb enough to take it. And Arizona only did 100% of the poverty line; Obamacare demands 133%, sticking the states with the bill after 3 years.
- Small business frozen in their tracks with uncertainty – and it will get far worse when the DO get the answers that are coming!
- Obamacare is rapidly eliminating independent doctors. Turn a doctor from an independent professional whose income is based on productivity and quality into an employee cog and- shockingly- he ACTS like an employee cog. Who would have thought that! Less productivity and lower healthcare quality is guaranteed.
- The health insurers are starting to issue the warnings we knew would come years ago. DOUBLING of premiums in some cases; HUGE increases for the young! (The HHS spokesman in the linked article sounds like Baghdad Bob during the Iraq War.)
- Here is the draft application for insurance under the exchanges – 21 pages. LOTS of financial questions- and an entire extra page for Native Americans. The actual DEVELOPERS of these exchanges in major insurance companies are saying there is NO WAY they can have their pieces up and running properly before 2015. The HAVE to be by January 1, 2014. Will 10s of millions of people even KNOW if they have insurance or not in January, 2014?
- Spouse coverage- being optional- will likely be dropped for some. Devastating impact for people this happens to.
- Medium-sized restauranteurs and stores will be going nuts trying to determine the calorie count on EVERYTHING they sell. Three years after the law passed, the FDA has no clue on how to BEGIN to implement this. It will be expensive and will encourage these places to limit choices.
- Increased costs for pet care. The 2.3% medical device tax hits here, too.
- Naturally, there’s the aspect of eliminating growth in anything but part-time employment, since part-timers don’t count for fines are required to have insurance. Most entities are figuring this out quickly enough (not just ‘evil corporations’).
The Stack of Obamacare regulations (minus the latest 885 pages)
Strong words, but the budgeting ideas coming from the Texas State Senate- with UNANIMOUS consent is a case of legislative groupthink that- if it wins out- will introduce Texas to the path of fiscal insanity that California has followed.
Realize that in the last 2 year cycle, the state had $72 billion in revenue to work with, this session they have $94 billion – a 33% increase.. The oil and gas boom has been good to Texas. But there is ALWAYS pressure to spend more- and the pressure was great this time with the lean times of the last session. But they are STILL held to the spending cap that prevents deficit spending (unless they get a two-thirds vote, normally difficult to do). The problem is, everyone seems to wants to break that cap. Incredibly, even Gov. Perry went to the House to demand that they break the cap! (so much for the fiscal conservative in the Presidential primary!)
The way to break the cap is not via deficit spending but by tapping a large reserve the State maintains; a fund that is often called the Rainy Day Fund, but it’s important to know is ACTUAL name because it tells one its true function; the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF). It is to stabilize the economy, in HARSH times, not FLUSH times.
The Texas House tried to pass a bill that would have drawn $2 billion from the ESF for a water project fund. Conservatives opposed it because, upon analysis of the model for its use, less than $200 million in the first budget cycle, and no more than $500 million in a decade (this fund only is to be used to lower the cost of borrowing for water projects). Democrats refused to support the effort in the House, because, once the ‘tap was open, they demanded more for eduction, even if this is a one-time fund. The bill failed to gain the needed 2/3rds vote. It was a somewhat foolish attempt to commit a long-term amount to water projects; with that mucn money available, beyond the immediate need, the board in charge of utilizing it to fund projects would be tempted to fund the equivalent of ‘sub-prime’ water projects. But it was fairly honest foolishness.
However, the Senate’s proposed budget is less honest, borders on political and fiscal cowardice, and sets an extremely dangerous precedent. They budgeted the entire available revenue to OTHER purposes and then put together Senate Joint Resolution – 1 . This beast proposes spending $2 billion on water projects, $2.9 billion on transportation project, and also a $800 million education afterthought (to gain factional support) from the ESF. But, rather than actually try to get a 2/3rds to support this fiscal madness directly, they put it in as a Constitutional Amendment, to be voted on.. As such, they can say they didn’t break the budget cap; they expect the voters- to get foundational infrastructural money.
What this does is to bring Texas into the same kind of fiscal ‘pure democracy’ that has led California to the brink of insolvency through initiative and referendum. Constitutional amendments should NEVER be used for budgetary expenditures! By allowing people to vote DIRECTLY for spending, the spenders ALWAYS win (“You CAN’T vote against WATER, TRANSPORTATION and EDUCATION! Can you??” Note, things like The Enterprise fund, the Arts fund, and anything that doesn’t sound the least bit non-essential is not included.) Simply put, by putting perceived essentials (even when they represent over-commitment to TRUE essentials) up for a popular vote and putting non-essentials in the normal budget, the net effect is that they get to spend like Washington Democrats while claiming to be fiscal conservatives.
The GOP free-spending ‘Powers that Be’ are not letting a crisis go to waste; that crisis is the drought. But money cannot stop a drought, nor actually CREATE water. Any long-term operational water development plan is best covered under general revenue, as is transportation. One-time infusions fix little, as we saw with the government ‘stimulus’ package. But it DOES allow politicians to claim to be ‘doing something’- even when water development takes at least a decade to come online.
A rare Saturday session in the State Capitol, nicknamed as ‘Gun Day’ for the consolidation of all the Second Amendment related bills (the ones that got out of committee) grouped for this one day, along with a number of unrelated quick ‘third readings’ bills (‘second readings’ are where the action is, debate and discussion and a feel for the House receptiveness; ‘third readings’ are the recorded votes and everyone pretty well knows if they are passing or not).
The results: Campus Carry (HB 972) passed second reading. This bill is a VERY watered-down version; any campus president can simply opt out after ‘consulting with faculty, staff, and students’. But it’s a start (and, if a woman with a CHL is one of the 20% that is estimated undergoes some sort of sexual assault on campus, suing the campus president PERSONALLY for that decision would be an eye-opener.) The Democrats fought even this watered down bill vehemently, raising 5 different points of order to try to kill it. We have to give House Speaker Straus kudos for swatting these efforts down and letting the vote proceed. (He’d earned even bigger kudos if he’d permitted Open Carry to come out for a vote; that would likely have died in the Senate, but everyone would have to have gone on RECORD about it.)
Actually, more significant bills followed: HB1314 and HB1076 These bill essentially precludes the enforcement of federal gun restrictions that are not specifically matched by Texas laws; as close to nullification as one might get. This one REALLY upset the Democrats and a few of them went into speech-making mode, mainly lambasting AG Abbott for his support of such and willingness to sue the federal government for its over-reach (newsflash to the Dems; That’s not a bug in out AG; that’s a feature!) . They passed anyway. It will definitely keeps state and city officials from enforcing federal gun restrictions. A possible example: if Washington passed a magazine capacity limit, can you imagine the DPS officers in the State Capitol asking each CHL Licensee for their weapon to check that the magazine meets those requirements? Half the Reps with CHLs wouldn’t have passed that day; neither would this author.
A school marshal was passed (HB1009), where school employees can be given two weeks of training and be allowed access to weapons stored securely onsite. (NOT concealed carry; would NOT have stopped the Connecticut shooter in time; but it’s a start.)
With all of these victories (watered down as they were) there was one small defeat. Van Taylor’s bill HB2665, which would have allowed a CHL to be used as an alternate ID in some instances. A point of order was brought up- and sustained by the Speaker. This was more about direct personal retribution from Rep. McClendon for the fact that Van had effectively argued against her poorly written bill on needle exchanges the day before. the Chair upheld the point of order to grant the Dems a small victory and to allow personal retribution, taking some from the kudos for killing the other points of order. Van paid a small price for standing against poor legislation on principle; we wouldn’t have him do anything different.
Bottom line: a good day for Second Amendment, but could have been far better if the campus Carry had not been so watered down- and Open Carry allowed a vote it surely would have passed.
This will come as quite a shock to many of Sam’s constituents. Sam Johnson has been secretly working for ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ with some very liberal Democrats- and has been for some time. VERY disappointing to many of us; not only the effort, but the lack of transparency.
The main goal of ANY viable immigration reform is to stop the oft-repeated cycle of quasi-amnesty, followed by another, LARGER wave of illegal immigrants (and yes, that IS the term; not pleasant, but that’s what they are, especially to LEGAL immigrants. It doesn’t make them any less human, nor is reflective of any specific ethnicity; it is a LEGAL status,)
Two major issues exist that will assure a repeat; with NO acceptable solutions seriously proposed by anyone in authority.
The first is that NO ONE has proposed serious legislation (as opposed to legislation to be proposed- and voted down) to significantly reduce the DRAW for these immigrants- jobs that essentially have a requirement that the holder of the job BE ILLEGAL. Avoiding insurance, taxes, safety and labor regulations that add substantially to the cost of an employee. The employee ALSO benefits, with ‘underground income’ not being taxed nor recorded (allowing family members to qualify for government benefits due to lack of income). Every plan to legalize current illegal immigrants will very likely cost these many of these newly legalized residents their jobs, because they no longer fit the basic requirement. Any attempt to impede these jobs instantly brings vehement opposition from very powerful interests in agricultural and construction businesses; semi-slave labor keeps things cheap.
The second major issue is unresolvable with putting a big crimp in the first. That second issue is real, INDEPENDENTLY VERIFIABLE, MEASURABLE border security. No border is absolutely secure (even the old Berlin wall, with all the lethality they maintained). But every proposed measurement of improved border security is to be measured AND determined by people who are completely biased in their motivation; no ‘independence’ involved. For example, the Rubio plan has a 90% of the seen are captured by the Border Patrol; the administration could simply have them not look!
Without these two aspects firmly in place, there is no solution; just another cycle.
Foolishness, hypocrisy, Texas State House; a lot of redundancy there, we know. Still, this last Tuesday saw such a glaring display of it, it could not pass without comment- and listing the hypocrites involved. A vote was taken on sunset legislation necessary to renew the Lottery Commission (HB2197), while Joe Straus wasn’t present and they had Linda-Harper Brown on the gavel. There are people who oppose the lottery in general as the state should not be in the gambling business (especially one whose payout is far worse than any casino)- generally social conservatives. Others- mainly liberal Democrats- object to it because the poor are the main payors of this voluntary tax and don’t like the drain on the community. But all of those are generally defeated by those pragmatists in the middle who buy and sell votes less ‘burdened’ by principle, the vast majority of the house.
This time though, some of that vast middle decided they needed to show the folks they are ‘anti-gambling’. Obviously in preparation for the casino joint resolution that will come up later- and these folks likely will support to ‘give people a say’; in the presence of 10s of million in campaign money from casino interests. Unfortunately, too many of the ‘vast middle’ decided they needed this ‘show vote’ and they actually managed to dissolve the Lottery Commission by a vote of 65-81!
Mind you, in doing so, not only would end up dissolving the lottery and it’s billion dollar income to education, it would dissolve the charity bingo in every VFW hall in the state! Yeah, THAT would be popular! Of course, Linda-Harper Brown was stunned and the leadership of the House started scrambling around to arrange a ‘reconsideration. The house went ‘at ease and they turned off the public microphone as the bullwhips cracked and salty language undoubtedly flew. In the interim, David Simpson pulled a brilliant piece of theater by proposing to reduce the school year three days to make up for the lottery loss; pointing out how little of education it actually pays for! Simpson’s proposal actually got 90 votes! (but needed 4/5ths to pass, as everyone knew.) After that, they got a ‘reconsideration’ vote cast with Bonnen replacing Linda-Harper Brown at the podium. With the vote originally 54 STILL in opposed (but later ‘corrected’ in the record as 110 in favor and 37 opposed) and the lottery commission passed in ‘reconsideration’.
But this debacle DID uncover a block of hypocrites (or overly- ignorant or inattentive) who switched their votes there on the floor. The ones who voted consistently in opposition or in favor are to be commended for their consistency and attentiveness on a bill completely unchanged from one vote to the next; whether you agree with their position or not. But the block of ‘switchers’ deserve a certain level of publicity and derision (and this block is based on the ORIGINAL vote, not how it was later recorded in the journal to give cover to some of them.) The switchers include the following (with a few locals in bold):
Aycock; Bohac; Branch; Burnam; Callegari; Cook; Craddick; Crownover; Dale; Darby; Davis, J.; Davis, S.; Farney; Gonzales; Huberty; Kacal; King, S.; Kleinschmidt; Kolkhorst; Larson; Patrick; Sheffield, J.; Villalba; Villarreal; Vo; Walle;
Hardly the most devastating piece of legislative buffoonery in Texas history, but still one instructive in the sausage-making that is going on in the pink building in Austin.
Well, this weekend Organizing for Action (Obama’s campaign organization) attempted to protest at Ted Cruz’s office about his opposition to the Democrat’s version of gun control. The effort turned into an embarrassment as they were out-numbered 3 to 1 from counter-protestors from various Tea Parties and conservative groups. This was accomplished without even making a general ‘call-to arms’ to the conservative email lists; if that had been done, it could have been 10 to 1. The story of this protest got picked up by Breitbart and Instapundit to assure the embarrassment was better known.
It’s sad the liberals learned few lessons from their repeated humiliation in the Dallas area during the Obamacare debate days a few years back. They repeatedly tried to demonstrate ‘grassroots support’ (guided by paid organizers) at various offices and town hall meetings, only to get repeatedly swamped by all-volunteer counter-protestors, outnumbering them often 3 to 1 or far more (examples, here, here, here, and here). Out of 15 attempts, only twice did they muster numbers in excess to counter-protestors.
Bottom line: the Left in the DFW area is far worse at protesting than the conservatives are at counter-protesting them. As stubborn as the MoveOn group was, they finally learned this lesson and gave up the effort. The question is,: how long will it take the OFA (containing some of the same people as the MoveOn group) to learn the same lesson? It will only get worse for them, as the how thoroughly the Democrat’s ‘Affordable Care’ Act will turn into a healthcare holocaust comes to light- as we predicted 4 years ago.