Saturday, July 27, 2013

Even the IRS Wants Out of Obamacare

The federal employees who will be responsible for administering Obamacare for the American people don't want it for themselves.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents workers at the Internal Revenue Service, is asking its members to write letters to Capitol Hill saying they are "very concerned" about legislative efforts requiring IRS and Treasury employees to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
"I am a federal employee and one of your constituents," one letter begins, Forbes blogger Avik Roy reported on Friday. "I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)."

Camp, the Michigan Republican referred to in the letter, is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, whose members oversee tax legislation in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Obamacare's insurance subsidies are technically tax credits, falling under the authority of the IRS.

Camp introduced legislation in April to put all federal employees on the healthcare exchanges in response to news reports that members of Congress and their staffs were seeking to be exempt from the Obamacare requirement that they enroll in the exchanges.

The effort by the Treasury Employees Union comes two weeks after representatives of three large labor unions fired off a strongly-worded letter to congressional Democrats, complaining that Obamacare would "shatter … our hard-earned health benefits" and create "nightmare scenarios" for their members.

The letter was signed by leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and UNITE HERE, which primarily represents hospitality industry workers.

"It is insulting to the American people that the IRS is desperately trying to avoid complying with the very law they will be enforcing on American taxpayers," a Camp spokeswoman told Newsmax on Friday. "Not surprising — another day, another example of unions trying to skirt a law they spent so much time and resources supporting just a few short years ago."

Overall, Obamacare has 47 separate provisions that involve the IRS. It is the second-largest agency, after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, charged with implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The IRS has to administer Obamacare's required purchase of health coverage, checking whether millions of Americans are in compliance.

However, "there is one legitimate issue regarding members of Congress and their staff enrolling in the exchanges," Forbes notes. "Today, federal employees are offered subsidies, or vouchers, which they can use to shop for insurance on the popular federal employees' exchange, called the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.

"Because Obamacare was drafted so hastily, it's not clear whether the law allows similar subsidies to flow to federal employees on the Obamacare exchanges," Forbes reports.
A ruling on the matter is forthcoming from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, according to Forbes.

"For inexplicable reasons," the Office of Personnel Management "has not clarified whether or not the government will be allowed to funnel subsidies through the Obamacare exchanges," Forbes notes.

"Nonetheless, it would be a very good thing for some federal employees to eat their own cooking, especially those who work for Congress, the IRS, and the Department of Health and Human Services," the Forbes report concludes. "They're the ones who are writing the Obamacare regulations; they're the ones who, in many cases, wrote the law itself.

"The IRS enforces Obamacare's individual mandate and eligibility for the exchange subsidies, among other provisions.

"They should be required to enroll in the same Obamacare exchanges that tens of millions of private citizens will have to," the report adds. "They should have to experience the same premium increases and limited flexibility that other Americans will endure there.

"Maybe then, we'll start to build a constituency for market-based reform."

Ya'll with me???


Ya'll with me ???

This  Guy Had The Guts To Put This On The Internet


YES, I'M A BAD  AMERICAN
I Am the Liberal-Progressives Worst Nightmare.

I am an American.

 I am a Master Mason and believe in God.
I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles and believe in American products.

 I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some Liberal governmental functionary be it Democratic or Republican!

 I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

 I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer, it makes you a smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything.

Get over it!

 I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, do it in English.

 I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson that makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.


I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

 I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.

 I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you!

 I want to know exactly where the churches are that Reverend Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al Sharpton preach, where they get their money, and why they are always part of the problem and never the solution.

Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are.

And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver’s license.


I think it's good.... And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money.

 I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents.

I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think.

I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !
If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

 If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know.

We want our country back!





















We NEED GOD BACK IN OUR COUNTRY!

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, ONLY BECAUSE OF THE  BRAVE!  



And if I send you a lot of political stuff it is because I love this Country and the Constitution and you. I don't like the way my Country is being run and neither should you. So I send it to give you the truth. If you don't like it ... sorry I'm sending it anyway.

Political Correctness Gone Amuck

BOHEMIA, NY, July 26 – Police would be unable to provide eyewitness descriptions of perpetrators under a proposed New York City law that seeks to limit profiling of suspects.  “It’s an overreach that would give criminals the edge and put innocent citizens at risk, all in the name of Political Correctness,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.

The law would allow the cops to describe the clothes the suspect might have worn in the commission of a crime, but that’s about it.  It would leave them open to lawsuits if they say whether the individual was male or female, estimate how old he or she is, indicate whether the individual is white, African-American or Hispanic or point out any physical disability such as a limp, Weber explained.

“It’s Political Correctness gone amok, pure and simple,” he stated.  “Whether the proposal is enacted or not, the mere fact that it is being proposed indicates the extreme measures modern day social engineers are willing to go to turn our world upside down.”

He said that what he called “liberal ideologues” have as their ultimate goal the creation of a utopian society in which they can dictate what is right and what is wrong.  “They use political correctness as a tactic for achieving their objective, tapping our sense of fair play to justify their ends.”

Big gulp soft drink bans, requiring distillers to provide nutritional information on bottles of scotch, vodka or Rye and using the term “a person of interest” instead of saying the word “suspect” in a criminal investigation are just a few of the ways PC activists get their foot in the door, Weber explained.

“The proposed profiling law in New York City is among their ‘next steps.’  As is the case of Army Major Nidal Hassan, who is charged with murdering 13 innocent GIs and severely wounding 32 others in Fort Hood, Texas in 2009.  Eyewitnesses said that Hassan shouted a Muslim clarion call while indiscriminately firing his weapon.  His co-workers had warned his superiors that he was ‘a ticking time bomb’ long before the tragic event, but they didn’t do anything about it.  Among the reasons cited: fear that they might be accused of profiling him as a potentially dangerous extremist.”
The authorities even sought to describe the event as “workplace violence” instead of an act of terror, Weber noted.  “The incident reveals the ugly consequences of mincing words for the sake of political correctness,” he said.


The AMAC chief cited a recent Washington Times opinion article that pointed out that: “New values have emerged and political correctness is simply the means by which these values are propagated and enforced. Political correctness sifts and shapes what and how we think about those values, forming a new morality that is transmitted to our children through public education, Hollywood and the media. The goal of political correctness is rigid conformity in thought and deed. It is as if the reins of culture have been turned over to zealots who are now bullying society down the chute toward ideological purity. They are the new moralizers, and while they don’t wear clerical garb, they behave like a secular Taliban in how they condemn, mock, ridicule and shame all who challenge their orthodoxy.”

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Roses and Thorns

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses.
Allophones Karr

Legally Married same sex couples are taxed in the same manner as same sex couples ... or are they?

You should be very cautious on how you handle same sex couples tax returns in 2013 and prior years. The Supreme Court case was a case involving ESTATE taxes not INCOME taxes. How will the Justice Department, The Tresaury Department and the Internal Revenue Service come out on this issue? You should read what Kat Jennings, of TaxConnections, Inc., has to say on the subject. You can find it at ... Kat Jennings' Blog

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Gun Control

President Barack Obama has vowed to keep pushing for new gun control measures and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the failed gun vote in the Senate was “just the beginning.” However, the latest Reason-Rupe national poll finds just 33 percent of Americans feel the “Senate should debate and vote on gun control legislation again,” while 62 percent want the Senate to “move on to other issues.”

Monday, July 8, 2013

BILL HAS GONE AND DONE IT AGAIN...

They're standing on the corner and they can't speak English.
I can't even talk the way these people talk:
Why you ain't,
Where you is,
What he drive,
Where he stay,
Where he work,
Who you be...
And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk.
And then I heard the father talk.
Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.
In fact you will never get any kind of job making a decent living.

People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an Education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around.
The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.
These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids.
$500 sneakers for what?
And they won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.
Where were you when he was 2?
Where were you when he was 12?
Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol?
And where is the father? Or who is his father?
People putting their clothes on backward:
Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?
People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something?

Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
What part of Africa did this come from??
We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans; they don't know a thing about Africa .....

I say this all of the time. It would be like white people saying they are European-American. That is totally stupid.
I was born here, and so were my parents and grand parents and, very likely my great grandparents. I don't have any connection to Africa, no more than white Americans have to Germany , Scotland , England , Ireland , or the Netherlands . The same applies to 99 percent of all the black Americans as regards to Africa . So stop, already! ! !
With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap ......... And all of them are in jail.

Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem.
We have got to take the neighborhood back.
People used to be ashamed. Today a woman has eight children with eight different 'husbands' -- or men or whatever you call them now.
We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job.
Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.
We have to start holding each other to a higher standard..
We cannot blame the white people any longer.'

~Dr.. William Henry 'Bill' Cosby, Jr., Ed..D. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Obama - Pays for Voter ID in Kenya - Bans it in US

Ever since Obama stole the 2008 election with rampant voter fraud, Republicans have been trying to pass laws that require a photo ID in order to vote.  President Obama, and his puppet, Attorney General Eric Holder have fought against every one of those voter ID laws.  They claim that they discriminate against poor black voters that are not able to obtain a valid identification card, even though they are able to obtain enough ID to get welfare and food stamps.

In August 2012, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney supported Obama’s stance against voter ID when he said:
"And on the voter ID case, I can tell you that, as you know, this administration believes it should be easier for eligible citizens to vote - to register and vote. We should not be imposing unnecessary obstacles or barriers to voter participation."
In a typical case of Obama hypocrisy, we learn that the US government gave the Kenyan government $53 million to help fund a program called ‘My ID My Life.’  The program assists the younger generation to obtain National identification cards.  Kenyan law requires that all citizens have the national ID cards before they are allowed to register to vote.  Supposedly, the program helped to get over 500,000 people registered to vote prior the Kenyan elections held in March of this year.

So how does Obama and his cronies justify paying millions of dollars, that we don’t have, to help Kenyans get ID cards that are necessary for voter registration while at the same time legally challenging similar programs and laws here in the US?

Journalist and Senior Fellow with the American Civil Rights Union, Robert Knight is asking the same question when he told OneNewsNow:
"The irony is that the president is using taxpayer dollars to promote something in Africa that he is actively suppressing in the United States, and calling people names who are promoting that very thing."
"This is an administration, you understand, whose Justice Department struck down voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas just before the 2012 elections and has said over and over that states that are trying to require photo ID are motivated solely by political bias."
Obama will not allow voter ID in the US because he and many of his fellow democrats rely on voter fraud in order to win their elections.  Voter IDs may have changed the entire outcome in the 2010 and 2012 elections and that scares Obama.  But when it comes to his birthplace, Kenya, it’s an entirely different story.  Not only does Obama endorse their National ID card being required to register to vote, but he spends OUR money to make it happen.


Time and again Barack Obama has demonstrated that he does not want to live under the same rules that he imposes on others.  This is typical for a dictator of any nation.  He feels that he is above the law and that allows him to so whatever he wants to whomever he wants without consequence to himself.

Posted by Dave Jolly 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Russian Troops to help in Disasters on American Soil?

We’ve known that Russian troops have been in America for some time, allegedly being trained by American troops. Now it appears that FEMA has entered into an agreement with the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry. The reason is ostensibly to “provide security at mass events in the United States.”

Remember all those articles on the Obama Administration questioning whether or not military commanders would be willing to use live ammunition to fire on American citizens on American soil? You also probably remember the articles about Sheriffs throughout the United States who have publicly stated that they would not support any laws they believe are unconstitutional, especially where the 2ndAmendment is concerned. This places them in direct opposition to the federal government.
What we are now hearing about may well be the Obama Administration’s response to these issues. It is to use Russian troops instead of American law enforcement personnel. Russians have no loyalty to Americans or America. If used, their job would be to simply follow orders without questioning them, just like paid mercenaries. Because of this, they would be able to remain aloof to things like the U.S. Constitution (and specifically to those pesky 2nd and 4th Amendments.)

The Russian press release states: “The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and the USA Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are going to exchange experts during joint rescue operations in major disasters. This is provided by a protocol of the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Working Group on Emergency Situations and seventeenth meeting of Joint U.S.-Russia Cooperation Committee on Emergency Situations, which took place in Washington on 25 June.” Note that the verbiage states that the experts will be used in joint rescue operations during major disasters.

Who knows what the truth is here? The Russian press release only states that “experts” will be used during major disasters. Yet, others claim that the use of these troops will occur during protests (and even security for things like the Half-Time Superbowl Show.) A number of these reports also reference State Department publication 7277, “which is a blueprint for the harmonization of US and Russian forces under a framework of United Nations-led global government.”

Numerous people have talked about this particular State Department document, including Daniel Estulin in his book The True Story of the Bilderberg Group. Estulin notes that since 1940, the State Department has been staffed by people who belonged to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a group that is under the auspices of the Bilderbergers, the main cabal of the Global Elite. Estulin also notes that the beginnings of CFR actually date back to 1921 with Edward Mandell House, President Woodrow Wilson’s chief advisor. House was also known to be a Marxist and used numerous ideas from Karl Marx (like the graduated income tax, which was built into the 16th Amendment). Folks, are we beginning to see how deep the rabbit hole goes? None of this started yesterday.

People also point to Posse Comitatus, which became law in June of 1878 and was intended to “limit the powers of Federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce the State laws.” The term “posse comitatus” literally means, “an armed body of men at the disposal of the King for the purposes of keeping the peace.” The issue is whether or not the military or foreign troops can legally be used against Americans on American soil.

Unfortunately for American citizens, when Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) into law on December 31, 2011, it gave the federal government the right to use military personnel to arrest and keep American citizens in “indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history.” The NDAA is at odds with the Posse Comitatus Act and, in essence, overrules it. Even though the ACLU and other groups are very concerned of the NDAA’s ramifications, that doesn’t amount to much when American citizens can be held without charge or trial.
Is it illegal to have military troops on the ground in America dealing with American citizens? Not according to the NDAA. And we saw this during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing when troops, along with SWAT and other law enforcement personnel, went door to door, illegally searching persons and homes for the two Chechen suspects. How did people react? Most weren’t the slightest bit bothered if “it keeps them safe.”
If military personnel can now be utilized by the feds because of the NDAA, there is no reason why Russian troops (or other foreign military personnel) cannot be used. It seems as though this will ultimately become reality.
One of the main objectives of the Global Elite is to disarm all national armies in favor of one giant army under the auspices of the United Nations. Russian troops on the ground in America dealing with American citizens may be the first big step in that direction. Time will tell, but things appear to be ramping up very quickly. I hope you’re prepared.


Friday, July 5, 2013

It is the Soldier

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Watch THIS and this

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Want Full Immunity - Lois Lerner (Former Head of the Exempt Section of the IRS)

Lois Lerner, the former head of the exempt section of the IRS that targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, took the fifth at her previous appearance before the committee right after she declared her innocence. Republicans on the committee say that her statement of innocence meant that she waived her fifth amendment right to self incrimination and she should testify willingly.
The comments reflect the hard-line approach Lerner, the former head of the IRS division that scrutinized conservative groups, and her legal team are taking in defending her role in the agency's scandal.

Taylor, a founding partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, is even shrugging off the possibility that the full House might vote to hold Lerner in contempt.
"None of this matters," he said. "I mean, nobody likes to be held in contempt of Congress, of course, but the real question is one that we're fairly confident about, and I don't think any district judge in the country would hold that she waived."
The oversight panel voted along party lines last week that Lerner waived her Fifth Amendment rights at a May 22 hearing when she boldly declared her innocence in the IRS scandal and said she violated no laws - then invoked her constitutional protections to ward off self-incriminating questions from lawmakers.
 Republicans immediately argued that Lerner forfeited her Fifth Amendment right by speaking and they should be allowed to question her opening statement.
 Legal experts disagree about whether she actually did.
 But in the eyes of the committee, Lerner - who was placed on administrative leave after refusing the new IRS leader's request to resign - is obligated to now answer questions related to her earlier statement.

"The committee is entitled to Ms. Lerner's full and truthful testimony without further conditions," said panel spokesman Frederick Hill in a statement to POLITICO. "If, however, Ms. Lerner's attorney is interested in discussing limited immunity, the committee will listen."

If her attorneys want full immunity for her, do they think that she participated in something that requires protection from prosecution? But what? I've read a lot of lawerly posts that speculate on what laws were broken, but there is little agreement what statute was violated - if any. Perhaps it says something profound about the IRS that they can harrass and target political groups without fear because there's no law to prevent them from doing so. Aaron Blake at WaPo speculated that there were three possible violations that would result in criminal charges:

1) Civil rights laws that protect people from being discriminated against by the government 2) The Hatch Act, which prevents civil servants from engaging in partisan political activity 3) Perjury laws, which prevent people from lying to Congress

Of the three, the best case would appear to be a violation of people's civil rights. And a couple of IRS officials may have left themselves open to charges of perjury in their congressional testimony. Both charges are hard to prove, however, and a prosecutor may not think the effort worth it.

I doubt whether Lerner has any blockbuster revelations. Her lawyer would have traded on that already. But her testimony could very well increase our understanding of what happened at the IRS and lead the investigation to areas that so far have gone unreported.



Restore the Fourth Amendment -- NSA Demonstrations



(Massachusetts protest photo: Dustin M. Slaughter)
Americans outraged by the federal government’s spying programs took to the streets on Independence Day for “Restore the Fourth” protests in an estimated 100 American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Memphis and Miami, plus international cities such as London and Munich.
The “Restore the Fourth” national protest was named after the Fourth Amendment, which was intended to protect Americans against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
Iowa "Restore the Fourth" protest (Photo: The Daily Iowan)
The NSA’s PRISM online surveillance program was exposed by Edward Snowden only weeks ago. Americans soon learned that at least nine Internet companies reportedly submitted to government surveillance of their servers: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple.

Restore the Fourth,” initially organized on Reddit, describes itself as “a non-partisan, unaffiliated group of concerned citizens who seek to strengthen the Fourth Amendment with respect to digital surveillance by the U.S. government.”

Philadelphia, Pa., "Restore the Fourth" rally (Photo: Jeff Kolakowski)
“The July 4th demonstrations seek to demand an end to the unconstitutional surveillance methods employed by the U.S. government and to ensure that all future government surveillance is constitutional, limited, and clearly defined,” the group explained.
“Restore the Fourth aims to ensure that the will of the people is reflected in the government of the United States of America. This movement intends to bring an end to twelve years of Fourth Amendment abuses, and demonstrate the need for a return to the Constitution. All Americans should stand with them in this cause to protect the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
"Restore the Fourth" rally locations
The group is calling for Congress to:
1) Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
2) Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
3) Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

The Internet Defense League – a coalition of thousands of websites that sound the alarm whenever there is a major threat to the free and open Internet – organized a major online protest to amplify the efforts of the Restore the Fourth protesters.

Americans are being directed to CallForFreedom.org, a web page where they can share Fourth Amendment themed images, call Congress to demand investigations into NSA programs and donate to help fund television ads about NSA surveillance.
“The U.S. Government has been systematically spying on people all over the globe, violating their human rights,” Fight for the Future co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng said in a statement. “The NSA programs that have been exposed are blatantly unconstitutional, and have a detrimental effect on free speech and freedom of press worldwide. … You can’t disregard people’s privacy, invade their personal lives on a daily basis, and not expect them to fight back.”
"Restore the Fourth" rally in New York City (Photo: Nicky Ocean)
The groups encourage Americans to call 1-STOP-323-NSA and urge members of Congress to demand a full investigation into NSA spying.
They’re also asking Americans to electronically sign a letter to Congress that states, “Stop watching us. The revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.”

Union Square, New York City


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Key Obamacare Provision Postponed

The requirement that businesses provide their workers with health insurance or face fines – a key provision contained in President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law – will be delayed by one year, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

The postponement came after business owners expressed concerns about the complexity of the law’s reporting requirements, the agency said in its announcement. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses employing 50 or more full-time workers that don't provide them health insurance will be penalized.

"We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so. We have listened to your feedback. And we are taking action," Mark J. Mazur, assistant secretary for tax policy, wrote in a post on the website of the Treasury Department, which is tasked with implementing the employer mandate.

Mazur said the extra year before the requirement goes into effect will allow the government time to assess ways to simplify the reporting process for businesses. Penalties for firms not providing health coverage to employees will now begin in 2015 – after next year’s congressional elections.

The new delay will not affect other aspects of the health law, including the establishment of exchanges in states for low-income Americans to obtain health insurance.

Supporters of the employer mandate note that most firms already provide health insurance to full time workers, and downplay the effect the requirement would have on small businesses, citing figures showing the vast majority of small businesses employ fewer than 50 workers.

But opponents claim the employer mandate is a potential job killer, saying businesses near the 50-worker cutoff will be unlikely to ramp up hiring if it means they're required to provide employees health insurance.
“The administration has finally recognized the obvious – employers need more time and clarification of the rules of the road before implementing the employer mandate,” said Randy Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business group.

Obama's administration has previously expressed openness to making the health care law easier to implement, and acted to shorten applications for health insurance on government-run exchanges from 21 pages to three.

On Tuesday, Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett – who acts as the White House’s liaison to big business – wrote the new delay was indicative of the administration’s determination to implement the health care law effectively and fairly, and that it wouldn’t affect other aspects of Obamacare.

“While major portions of the law have yet to be implemented, it’s already a little more affordable for businesses to offer quality health coverage to their employees,” Jarrett wrote, adding later: “As we implement this law, we have and will continue to make changes as needed. In our ongoing discussions with businesses we have heard that you need the time to get this right.”

Yet many Republicans – and even some Democrats - have continued to express serious concerns about the roll-out of Obamacare. On Tuesday, GOP lawmakers said the delay of the employer mandate didn’t go far enough.

“This announcement means even the Obama administration knows the 'train wreck' will only get worse,” House Speaker John Boehner wrote.

"Obamacare costs too much and it isn’t working the way the administration promised,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, wrote in response to the decision, adding: “The fact remains that Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms that actually lower costs for Americans."

Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, was more succinct. "The best delay for ObamaCare is a permanent one," he wrote on Twitter.

Many allies of Obama, including major labor unions, did not immediately weigh in on the delay. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in response to the decision, "Flexibility is a good thing."

"Both the administration and Senate Democrats have shown – and continue to show – a willingness to be flexible and work with all interested parties to make sure that implementation of the Affordable Care Act is as beneficial as possible to all involved. It is better to do this right than fast," Adam Jentleson continued.

Yet even some Democrats have voiced concern about the roll-out of the health law – Sen. Max Baucus, a key Democrat who helped craft the legislation, expressed serious anxiety in April about its implementation.

"The administration's public information campaign on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act deserves a failing grade. You need to fix this," Baucus told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing.


"I just see a huge train wreck coming down," he added later.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Justice Department White Wash


WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Monday formally told House Republicans that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s testimony before a Congressional committee last month was “accurate and consistent” with the facts. 

The answers provided by one of the department’s top deputies are likely to do little, however, to resolve the dispute over whether Mr. Holder misled Congress by denying that the Justice Department had considered prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act.

In testimony on May 15, Mr. Holder dismissed the notion that reporters writing about national security secrets should be indicted under the Espionage Act, saying: 
“With regard to the potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, that is not something that I've ever been involved in, heard of or would think would be a wise policy.”

But since then the department confirmed that Mr. Holder had approved a request for a search warrant in 2010 for the private correspondence of James Rosen, a Fox News reporter who disclosed a North Korean nuclear test that had not been made public.

An affidavit filed in the investigation seeking Mr. Rosen’s e-mails said there was probable cause to believe Mr. Rosen had violated the Espionage Act, arguing that he qualified for an exception to a law that generally bars search warrants for reporters’ work unless the reporter is suspected of committing a crime.

The Justice Department letter, signed by Peter J. Kadzik, principal deputy assistant attorney general, noted that while a grand jury did charge a government employee with the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, Mr. Rosen has not been charged with anything. “At no time during the pendency of this matter — before or after seeking the search warrant — have prosecutors sought approval to bring criminal charges against the reporter,” Mr. Kadzik wrote