Saturday, November 22, 2014

Obama fundraises off immigration speech, seeks $1,000 contributions



President Obama is fundraising off his controversial immigration decision Thursday night, dispatching an email that steers readers to a "Donate Today" page that seek contributions up to $1,000.
That page reads, "Thanks — now, we need to fight back. President Obama is taking action. The other side wants nothing more than to tear this progress down. Help fight back — make a donation today."
What's more, in his email from his Organizing for Action, he claims that he is just like every other president in taking action on issues where Congress failed to act.
His email:
I want to tell you why I'm taking action on immigration.
There's no disagreement in Washington that our system is badly broken. That's why a bipartisan majority in the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform. That was more than 500 days ago, but we're still waiting for the House to hold a vote.
Every day we delay, our country and our economy suffer. Millions of families go on living in the shadows, without a chance to pay their taxes or do what's necessary to get on the right side of the law.
So, just like every president in the last 70 years — Republican and Democrat — I'm taking steps in my power to help fix this broken immigration system.
If you agree that we can't wait any longer for meaningful action on immigration, join Americans across the country, including supporters of OFA, who are standing up to fight for reform.
Some voices in this debate want to make this issue about me, so I want to be clear about this:
The actions I'm taking today are no substitute for comprehensive reform. Only Congress can finish the job.
But I'm not just going to wait for that day to come. The American people expect solutions from the people they send to Washington. Today, I'm doing what I can to take common-sense steps forward.
Add your name if you're ready to fight for reform:
Thank you,
Barack Obama.


HHS proposes shifting people into cheaper ObamaCare plans


The Obama administration might allow states to shift ObamaCare enrollees into cheaper plans in 2016 if consumers do not take action to enroll themselves in new coverage.

The proposal was released Friday as part of a 324-page regulation outlining how the marketplaces will operate in 2016.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it was weighing the change because consumers tend to favor cheaper plans.

Enrollees would be able to choose the option to be automatically enrolled in cheaper coverage when they first enter the exchange, the CMS said.

"This alternative enrollment hierarchy could be triggered if the enrollee's current plan's premium increased from the prior year, or increased relative to the premium of other similar plans by more than a threshold amount," the regulation stated.

"As is the case under the existing approach, a consumer would retain the option to take action to enroll in a different plan during open enrollment if he or she wished to do so."

The potential shift in policy comes as the administration strongly encourages enrollees to comparison shop for health plans to avoid price increases in 2015.

Most people who obtained coverage on the marketplaces last year are not expected to come back, however, and it's likely some will be surprised by cost increases.

The idea of automatically changing consumers' coverage could trigger problems as people find themselves in plans with new benefits, cost-sharing and provider networks.

The CMS acknowledged the potential pitfalls.

"We seek comment on such an approach, including with respect to how to ensure that consumers understand the risk of being default re-enrolled in a [new] plan."   


Obama Puts The Republic Out Of Its Misery: All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress – unless the President says otherwise


“This is how democracy works,” Barack Obama lectured the country before giving everyone the specifics of his expansive one-man executive overreach on immigration. If you enjoy platitudinous straw men but are turned off by open debate and constitutional order, this speech was for you.
Modern Democrats aren’t the first political party to abuse power – far from it. Obama isn’t the first president to abuse executive power – not by a longshot. But he has to be the first president in American history to overtly and consistently argue that he’s empowered to legislate if Congress doesn’t pass the laws he favors. It’s an argument that’s been mainstreamed by partisans and cheered on by those in media desperate to find a morsel of triumph in this presidency.
Obama acknowledges his overreach openly every time he argues that he intends to do the job of an obstinate Republican congress. In his speech, Obama scolded those who question whether he has the authority to change the legal status of millions of people, offering this: “I have one answer: Pass a bill.”
Pass a bill?
1) Congress has no obligation to pass a bill. Ever. Who knows? Maybe immigration ranks 50th on the GOP’s to-do list. Maybe the GOP is dysfunctional and incapable of pulling together comprehensive legislation. Maybe the Republicans are nothing more than irrational nativists. And maybe all of that threatens the GOP’s future. That’s why we have elections for presidents to ignore.
2) If Congress passed a bill, Obama would veto it, anyway. So what Obama meant to say was, “I have one answer: Pass a bill I like.”  No bill will pass, especially after this cynical ploy to prod clumsy GOPers into reactions that might benefit him politically.
The president’s entire argument is predicated on the idea that a “broken” immigration system gives him dispensation from engaging in the process. Authoritarians, great and minor, always claim more powers to fixsome unprecedented emergency. He’s not the first around these parts to do it. The thing is, our education system is also broken. Our foreign policy is broken. Our welfare system is broken, too.
I basically support most of Obama’s fixes– conceptually, at least. But what amazed me about the speech wasn’t just the hubris, or even how he shoehorned every cliché about immigration known to mankind into half an hour speech. It was that even after making it clear he answers to no one, Obama still couldn’t be honest about his intentions:
I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it’s not. Amnesty is the immigration system we have today — millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.
There is a difference between indifference and amnesty. From the Oxford dictionary: Amnesty: “An undertaking by the authorities to take no action against specified offenses or offenders during a fixed period.” Nowhere in the description does it add, “well, it’s not amnesty if the offenders pay back taxes” or “if the offenders go through vigorous background checks, aren’t felons and are really sorry.” Amnesty is precisely what Obama is talking about.
And let’s concede that all this will be found legal. It’s difficult to believe any honest person believes that using prosecutorial discretion to exempt five million people from law (probably in perpetuity) is the sort of job the Founders had in mind for the president.
To a progressive Democrat, permitting immigrants to come “out of the shadows” trumps constitutional stability.
It’s true that The Annenberg Public Policy Center found that only 36 percent of Americans could actually name the three branches of government, anyway. And now we’ll be adding a few million immigrants who believe that “democracy” is the same as a presidential edict. But of the 36 percent that understand checks and balances, most probably aren’t particularly idealistic about procedure. We’re idealistic about issues. To a progressive Democrat, permitting immigrants to come “out of the shadows” trumps constitutional stability. A shame. Because process is basically the only constant in American politics. It’s the one thing Americans should be inflexible about.
Needless to say, many in the media took time to sneer about these sorts of concerns on Twitter and TV. After all the griping about King George, it’s the George part that was the real problem of the last administration.
It was when Democrats passed one of the broadest reforms in American history, which included an unprecedented provision coercing every citizen to participate in a private marketplace, via a one-party vote. It’s been implemented piecemeal in whatever timeframe pleases Obama most. And when Dems failed to pass cap-and-trade, Obama deputized the EPA to implement it instead. When they failed to push through immigration reform, Obama led. When Democrats couldn’t pass new gun restrictions, Obama signed 23 executive orders. No recess appointments? Watch. Not crazy about Clinton-era welfare reforms? Obama’s got your back. Libya? Obama takes care of business. Syria? Why not use a decade-old war power?  Everything rationalized. All of it fine.
No, the president didn’t kill the process all by himself. Bush did it! Reagan did it! True or not, twenty years from now, the minions of some Republican Napoleon will be screaming ‘Obama did it!’ And they’ll have a sad story or a chilling warning that will justify why it’s ok.  Because all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States – unless the president says it’s super important. Then anything goes.


Congressman: Obama’s Immigration Move Could Prompt Impeachment, Prison Time


U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) thinks the president might be about to commit a felony.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Conservatives hate everything about the president’s imminent immigration move, starting with its timing, and one House member is hinting that the executive action could result in impeachment, and maybe even prison time.
President Obama is expected to announce his executive action on immigration—a move which could defer deportations for as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants—on Thursday.
Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, one of the lower chamber’s most energetic critics of comprehensive immigration reform, suggested that the president’s move could potentially be grounds for impeachment, or even prison time.
Brooks said there is a federal statute (“I don’t have the citation for it at the tip of my tongue”) making it a felony to aid, abet, or entice a foreigner to illegally enter the U.S.
“At some point, you have to evaluate whether the president’s conduct aids or abets, encourages, or entices foreigners to unlawfully cross into the United States of America,” he continued. “That has a five-year in-jail penalty associated with it.”
Brooks isn’t sure on what grounds impeachment proceedings might be justified because he hasn’t seen the outlines of the president’s actions yet.
“If the president is simply not obeying a statute that is noncriminal in nature, that does not necessarily rise to a high crime or a misdemeanor,” Brooks said.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do yet,” he continued. “Until we see what he’s going to do, it is difficult to say whether he is violating a civil statute or violating a criminal statute.”
The president isn’t going to be impeached, or be sent to jail for five years. But he is definitely going to upset a lot of Republicans.
After Thursday’s announcement, Obama will travel to Las Vegas on Friday to try to build support for the move.
“It’s political and it is cynical, but it’s how he governs,” said Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert. “And how appropriate! Go out where he can be at Caesar’s Palace if he’s gonna play Caesar.”
Congress’s Thanksgiving recess is set to begin a few hours before the president’s statement. His decision to hold off on announcing the action until most members leave town has left some Republicans feeling rankled.
Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar said his timing is part of a pattern.
“It’s a cheap way to go,” Gosar said. “He’s trying to throw a Hail Mary right now.”
Gosar added that the White House also dumped documents on the Benghazi and “Fast and Furious” controversies on Fridays.
And outgoing Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said the timing is “completely cynical.”
“It shows the cowardice of the president,” she said.
“We’re here to protect the best interests of natural-born Americans,” she continued, “and the president wants to bring a new voting bloc as an insurance policy for the 2016 elections.”
Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming also said the move’s timing was “bad form.”


Obamacare is About to Bankrupt a Whole Bunch of Small Businesses


The crushing costs of compliance with the regulatory burdens of Obamacare have already been well documented, especially as they pertain to small businesses. But as small businesses prepare their corporate tax returns next year, many accountants are warning that, based on Department of Labor guidelines issued after the election, countless small businesses are about to be hit with a huge tax penalty that they simply cannot afford.
The issue here is somewhat complex, and is exactly the sort of issue that most small business owners trust to professionals to handle for them. When these businesses were notified that the health plans they offered their employees were not compliant with Obamacare, many of them sought to avoid dumping their employees on the exchanges. At the time, insurance vendors, based on a colorable reading of the law, encouraged many small businesses to work with them to either provide so-called section 105 plans where the employer would reimburse a broker for the cost of coverage bought by the employees, or to encourage their employees to buy their health insurance directly from brokers and to reimburse them for the purchase of this healthcare coverage. All year long, the Department of Labor allowed this practice to continue, only to declare at the 11th hour that this arrangement would be treated as noncompliant with Obamacare and thus subject employers to a penalty. The reasons for this decision are obvious and disgustingly political: the Obama administration wants to boast of larger numbers of people enrolled in the exchanges for political reasons:
This answer is very clear that ANY reimbursement of health insurance payments by an employer for an employee is subject to the ACA rules and therefore are subject to possible penalties under Section 4980D of the Code.  These penalties can be substantial (up to $100 per day per employee).  Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that any payment of premiums for employees is as a direct result of payments withheld from an employee’s paycheck and then directly transmitted to the health insurance provider.  Any gross of up wages directly related to payment of premiums may be problematic. 
Additionally based on this Q & A, it is probably better for the employer not to pay any health insurance premiums (unless a qualified group plan or for only one employee employers).  It appears that the DOL and the Administration is pushing all non-qualified premiums onto the exchange and those premiums are usually paid directly by the employee (and may not be reimbursed).  This will increase the number of persons covered by the exchange which is the primary goal of the administration (this last part is strictly my opinion).
If you can do basic math, you can probably figure out that many small businesses are about to get hit with a penalty of $36,500 per employee through no fault of their own. If you have any familiarity with small businesses, you know that the overwhelming majority of them are simply not going to be able to pay an unforeseen penalty of $36,500 per employee and are going to be forced to simply shut their doors. As a result, who knows how many employees are about to have no health coverage at all or be forced onto the subsidies (provided that they aren’t eliminated in most states via King v. Burwell). It’s yet another example of the twisted incentive created by Obamacare where the government would actually prefer that taxpayers be on the hook for these people’s health insurance than their own employer, just because they oppose the specific payment mechanism for political reasons.
And the saddest thing of all is that many small businesses are going to get caught in the crossfire of this political fight and snuffed out. The monstrosity that is Obamacare must be repealed, and fast, no matter the political cost, or the damage it wreaks on our economy might well be permanent.


Friday, November 21, 2014



The United Kingdom Independence Party won the special election yesterday for the parliamentary seat of Rochester and Strood with the media saying that "immigration" was the top issue.

The UK has been flooded with Eastern European workers allowed to emigrate there by the rules of the European Union. This has cheapened the labor market hurting working people and small business.

UKIP has made Britain's exit from the EU the centerpiece of its platform.
Its a clear distinction from the UK's version of the Republican Party.

The ruling Conservatives of Prime Minister David Cameron claim they are trying to cut a better deal with the EU on immigration and fighting for a better deal with the EU in general and will even allow a referendum on EU membership IF they are re-elected.

Voters aren't buying that pitch with two-thirds of Conservative voters in the special election voting for UKIP joined by 40 percent of Labour Party voters who gave candidate Mark Reckless a comfortable margin of nearly eight percent.

What the Conservatives did to make the vote that close was to paint UKIP as a loony way out party to scare supporters of the UK's traditional third party, the Liberal Democrats, into fearfully voting for the Tories.

Heck, that's the same game Republicans play with grassroots conservatives in this country. They paint the Dems as so way out you have to support the GOP, even though you may not like them.

There are 650 seats in the House of Commons and the Rochester and Strood seat wss rated 271st most likely to support UKIP. With UKIP's nearly eight percent margin in a seat considered to be less friendly to them, it seems likely that UKIP will do very well indeed in the General Election set for May 7, 2015.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has said recently that his party will concentrate on holding the balance of power between Labour and the Conservatives in the election.

UKIP has reminded its supporters that the two big parties are both elitist and out of touch with the people and their concerns while Conservative Party supporters claim that voting for UKIP means that Labour Party leader "Red Ed" Miliband will win the election.

If UKIP indeed holds the balance of power next year with neither big party able to govern, the rich pro-EU elites that want all the cheap labor in the UK will no doubt marry them together to form a government.

This will prove conclusively to the British electorate that the two big parties are indeed a Uniparty (one party cartel) and set the stage for UKIP's further advance in the UK's political system.

I wonder when the American electorate will wake up to the fact that such a system exists here too and act accordingly like Britons are.


AP FACT CHECK: Obama's claims on illegal immigration


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama made some notable omissions Thursday night in his remarks about the unilateral actions he's taking on immigration.

A look at his statements and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: "It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive - only Congress can do that. All we're saying is we're not going to deport you."

THE FACTS: He's saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.
OBAMA: "Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it's been in nearly two years."

THE FACTS: The numbers certainly surged this year, but it was more than a "brief spike." The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border has been on the rise since the 2011 budget year. That year about 16,000 children were found crossing the border alone. In 2012, the Border Patrol reported more than 24,000 children, followed by more than 38,800 in 2013. In the last budget year, more than 68,361 children were apprehended.
OBAMA: "Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts."

THE FACTS: Indeed, in the 2014 budget year the Border Patrol made 486,651 arrests of border crossers, among the fewest since the early 1970s. But border arrests have been on the rise since 2011.

The decline in crossings is not purely, or perhaps even primarily, due to the Obama administration. The deep economic recession early in his presidency and the shaky aftermath made the U.S. a less attractive place to come for work. The increase in arrests since 2011 also can be traced in part to the economy — as the recovery improved, more people came in search of opportunity.
OBAMA: "When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system. And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders."

THE FACTS: He overlooked the fact that he promised as a candidate for president in 2008 to have an immigration bill during his first year in office and move forward on it quickly. He never kept that promise to the Latino community.
Associated Press writers Calvin Woodward and Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story


‘I want a refund of all my legal fees’ plus years of interest: Legal immigrants ask for money back


Legal immigrants — remember hearing about them? You might know one, or even be one. They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. Many of their kids are American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours.

Tonight, though, following President Obama’s announcement of executive amnesty, many of them are feeling ripped off.

But now the system has been made more fair to everyone. Isn’t that worth it?
Do you get a refund? Is executive amnesty constitutional?


The Truth About Obama's "Temporary" Ebola Amnesty


When it rains, it pours. Just before unveiling his colossal administrative amnesty for millions of "undocumented" aliens and foreign tech workers on Thursday, President Obama separately ordered up to 8,000 more executive pardons and special work passes for Liberians, Sierra Leoneans and Guineans illegally in this country.

Strange, isn't it? The same administration that refused to enact travel bans from Ebola-plagued West African nations to protect Americans is now granting "temporary protected status" (TPS) to West Africans on American soil so they don't have to go back.

It's not really about public health, of course. It's about political pandering and electoral engineering.

Here's the dirty open secret: There's nothing "temporary" about TPS benefits. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, the program has become an endless, interminable residency plan for unlawful border-crossers, visa overstayers and deportation evaders from around the world.

TPS golden ticket holders live here, work here, travel freely and are immune from detention or deportation. They are eligible to apply for an "adjustment of status," which puts them on the path to green cards and eventual citizenship.

In theory, TPS is a short-term humanitarian program built on good intentions. The secretary of homeland security "may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately." Those conditions include hurricanes, environmental catastrophes, civil war, epidemics and other "extraordinary and temporary conditions."

In October, the White House extended TPS status and employment permits for an estimated 90,000 illegal alien Hondurans and Nicaraguans "for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016." Who are these TPS winners? Well, they've been here since 1998 -- when Hurricane Mitch hit their homeland. That was 16 years ago. Their "temporary" status has been renewed a dozen times since the Clinton administration first bestowed it.

Last October, the Obama administration extended TPS to an estimated 3,000 Syrian illegal aliens; the status will be up for renewal next March. At least 3,700 Liberians who have been here since 1991 on TPS won deferred deportations in September before securing renewed TPS status this week.

And several hundred Somalis remain in the country with TPS first granted in 1991, along with some 700 Sudanese who first secured TPS benefits in 1997.

TPS for both the Sudanese and Somalis was extended in September and lasts until May 2016.


Delusions of Grandeur direct from The King


Obama a mad man beyond saving if you run with an ad depicting a crown graphic on the very next day after you sunk the Good Ship America

Delusions of Grandeur direct from The King

It’s no longer everyone else’s imagination but purely his own:  Obama, and not cash, is king.

Surrealistic as it may be, isn’t that a tiny crown graphic at the bottom of Barack Obama’s picture in the ‘Stand for Action on Immigration’ ad sent out by Organizing for Action at 10 o’clock last night?

The email message,  subject line of which is “President Obama, just now”:

has arrived in millions of email accounts this morning, which should forever more be known as “the morning after Obama announced he will be shielding some 5-million illegal aliens in America from deportation”.

Ooh-Wee what a hero—at least in his own imperial mind!

Obama’s latest email message proves beyond any doubt that by the time the lie has already gone halfway around the world, the truth is just trying to put its pants on.

Make Way for the King, the one that would sink his own country by overrunning it with people born elsewhere.

Kingly, in the sense of a King George III,  Obama, who hasn’t graced the inside of a church in lo these many years, had the audacity to use scripture in last night’s televised address:

“During his address, Obama quoted the Book of Exodus, saying:
“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger — we were strangers once, too. My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants.
We were strangers once, too.” (Matthew Vadum).
But the ‘Ego King’ was much less than kingly when he portrayed millions of Latinos he is saving from deportation with a wave of his magic wand as those who “pick our fruit and make our beds”.

Surely it is racist to portray all Latinos as the downstairs in the ‘Upstairs Downstairs’  caricature range.

There surely must be many waiting for overnight legitimacy who double the brain power of elected senators.

What Obama really did with his latest fiat was to pounce on the Good Ship America, adrift for six long years on the open sea,  to scuttle it.

Americans, whom he was elected to represent, are now figuratively swimming in a shark-infested sea without life jackets looking for any kind of driftwood to keep from perishing.

But above all,  defiantly Marxist in English-tranlated-to-Spanish speech,Obama, who no less than 22 times said it would not be within his constitutional power to deliver Executive Amnesty, is denying that what he delivered last night was really Amnesty:
“Amnesty is the immigration system we have today. Millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time. That’s the real amnesty, leaving this broken system the way it is. Mass amnesty would be unfair.”
“Nor is the immigration system broken, at least not in the way Obama means. (Vadum)
“When progressives say the system is broken, they mean it is functioning in a less than optimal manner, failing to capture every single prospective illegal alien available to wade across the Rio Grande or walk across the nation’s largely undefended border with Mexico. To them, immigration policy is a taxpayer-subsidized get-out-the-vote scheme for Democrats and the best reform they could imagine would be to abolish America’s borders altogether.
Obama’s new amnesty plan is a step in this direction.
“It is also a profoundly cynical move that rewards lawbreaking and begets future immigration amnesties. It will spell electoral death for the Republican Party in coming years because “Latinos, who are believed to comprise the bulk of the illegals, have traditionally shown a strong preference for the Democratic Party and its left-of-center public policies. The amnesty for 5 million illegals is likely just the beginning. The government recently issued a procurement order seeking a contractor to make as many as 34 million immigration documents over the coming five years.”
For the survival searchers on the big morning after: Don’t, whatever you do,  count on the jellyfish-spined Boehners and McConnell’s tripping over their own pant legs insisting to be ‘the pants-on truthers’ trying to catch up with the lie now out there going breakneck-speed around the upside-down world.

All dumped into the sea last night: grab onto any piece of driftwood within your reach.

The enemy is not the five million illegals to be granted Amnesty-that’s-not-Amnesty by the wand of a newly crowned king: Check out that tiny graphic on Obama’s latest ad where you will understand that you would have to be a mad man beyond saving if you run with an ad depicting a crown graphic on the very next day after you sunk the Good Ship America.