Monday, January 31, 2011

White House Calls Obamacare Ruling Judicial Overreach

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled today that Obamacare is unconstitutional.

The White House today said the Obamacare ruling by Judge Roger Vinson was a plain case of judicial overreach.
Forbes reported:

Earlier today Judge Roger Vinson ruled that the health reform legislation passed last year is unconstitutional. Not surprisingly this evoked a harsh reaction from the administration, which does not want to its main domestic accomplishment during the President’s first two years in office to be nullified by the courts.

On the White House’s blog, spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter writes: “Today’s ruling – issued by Judge Vinson in the Northern District of Florida – is a plain case of judicial overreaching.” She continues: “Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are actively making an economic decision that impacts all of us.”

What garbage.

Nice work, democrats… You blew a year on your nationalized health care plan and its unconstitutional.

More… Michelle Malkin reported: Sen. Jim DeMint tweets that all 47 GOP Senators are now on board as co-sponsors of his Obamacare repeal bill.

Obama Health Secretary Compares Obamacare Health Insurance Mandate To Buying A Television

If you don’t buy yourself a television you don’t have a right to demand that you get to see the Super Bowl says Obama’s Secretary of Health Katherine Sebelius. I agree with the metaphor as far as it goes, but in applying it to Obamacare’s health insurance mandate what Sebelius is suggesting is that the solution is to require that everyone buy a television.

( – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended the new health care law’s mandate requiring people to purchase insurance, comparing the buying of health insurance to buying televisions.

People access health care regardless of whether they have insurance, said Sebelius on Friday. “What they’re choosing not to do is actually pay for those services,” she said.

“[I]f I don’t have a 27-inch TV for the Super Bowl, I can’t demand on the day of the Super Bowl that somebody deliver that TV because I have a right to it. On the other hand, if I don’t have insurance, I come through the door of an emergency room and get treated and get cared for, and somebody else picks up the tab,” said Sebelius.

Union That Spent $673,309 Electing Barack Obama Gets 28 Obamacare Waivers

First they advocated for the law, and then they sought exemptions from having to follow the law. Or, as George Orwell put it, all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

( – The Obama administration has granted one-year waivers to 28 separate local chapters of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), exempting them from a requirement under the new health care law that bans annual limits on what insurance plans will pay for medical coverage.

The UFCW’s political action committee spent $673,309 in independent expenditures promoting the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

That PAC–the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union Active Ballot Club–also contributed $1.8 million to Democratic federal candidates in 2008 and $1.7 million to Democratic congressional candidates in 2010.

The HHS waivers to 28 separate UFCW health insurance plans affect 83,563 enrollees.

With not even the most ardent proponents of Obamacare wanting to actually have to follow the law, it’s little wonder Senate Democrats don’t want to have to vote in favor of the bill again.

Irony: School Obama Highlighted In State Of The Union Address Got Exemption From Union Rules

During his State of the Union address President Obama – who has opposed charter schools and school choice programs which allow parents, students and schools to get around the death grip teachers unions have on our education system – used the Bruce Randolf school in Denver as an example of how education is improving in America:

When President Barack Obama spotlighted a successful school in his State of the Union speech, he picked Bruce Randolph School in Denver.

“Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver,” the president said. “Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado. Last May, 97 percent of seniors received their diploma.”

So what sparked this school’s success? The answer is a bit of an inconvenient truth for Obama and his union allies:

Bruce Randolph was a middle school when it opened in 2002. In 2007, Denver Public Schools gave Bruce Randolph School permission to operate autonomously. It was the first school in the state to be granted autonomy from district and union rules.

Each teacher then had to reapply for his or her job. A published report said only six teachers remained.

It’s almost like teacher’s unions are bad for education or something.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obama Delivers Weekly Address From Green Energy Company That Lost $4.8 Million Last Year

Barack Obama – He Knows Business.
Today Barack Obama gave his Weekly Address from Manitowoc, Wisconsin at Orion Energy Systems.

Obama said he went to Orion because they are showing us the way forward.

Here is what Obama said about the Orion manufacturing plant.

I’m speaking to you today from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where I’m at an innovative company called Orion Energy Systems.

Just a few years ago, this was an empty warehouse. A major employer had shut down this factory, moved its operations abroad, and took a lot of jobs away from this town.

But today, as you can see behind me, this is a thriving enterprise once more. You are looking at a factory where 250 workers are building advanced clean energy systems – state-of-the-art technologies that use solar power and energy efficiency to save farms and businesses thousands of dollars on their utility bills.

I’m here because this business and others like it are showing us the way forward.
And in the coming days, I’ll be shining a spotlight on innovators across America who are relying on new technologies to create new jobs and opportunities in new industries.

That’s what companies like Orion are doing. And that’s how America will win the future – by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our competitors. We’ll win the future by being the best place on Earth to do business. That is what we are called to do at this moment. And in my state of the union, I talked about how we get there.

But, unfortunately, just like we’ve seen so many times before, there’s much more to the story.
MacIver Institute reported the rest of the story on Orion.

Despite millions in government grants and subsidies, the Manitowoc company President Barack Obama called a glimpse of the future lost $4.2 million last year and cannot promise shareholders it will be profitable in the foreseeable future.

Even Orion Energy Systems admits there are a lot of risks and uncertainties in the green energy industry.

“Many technologies do not become commercially profitable products, applications or services despite extensive development and commercialization efforts,”the company stated in its most recent 10-K SEC filing on June 14, 2010.

The last five years have been a rollercoaster for Orion. It lost a total of $3.9 million in 2005 and 2006, made $4.3 million in the next three years, and then finally lost $4.2 million in the 2010 fiscal year.

“We may continue to incur further net losses and there can be no assurance that we will be able to increase our revenue, expand our customer base or be profitable,” the report indicates.

Investors have responded to the company’s volatility, and Orion stock has plummeted in the past four years. It closed 2007 at $18.82 a share. By the end of 2010 it was $3.34.

Regardless, President Obama is putting his, and the U.S. taxpayers’, money on companies like Orion.

You’d think that we’d have at least one honest news network in the country that would have reported this, but sadly that is not the case.
Once again the former community organizer gets a complete pass from the state-run media.

Waivers for Favors: Big Labor’s Obamacare escape hatch

My syndicated column today takes another thwack at Obamacare waiver-mania, with more analysis of the 182 union beneficiaries who’ve obtained safe harbor from the costly mandate pushed by their Big Labor bosses.

Related: Unions make up 40 percent of employees exempted from Obamacare


Waivers for Favors: Big Labor’s Obamacare escape hatch
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2011

President Obama’s story-tellers recently launched a White House blog series called “Voices of Health Reform,” where “readers can meet average Americans already benefiting from the health reform law.” I propose a new White House series: “Voices of Health Reform Waivers,” where taxpayers can meet all the politically-connected unions benefiting from exclusive get-out-of-Obamacare passes — after squandering millions of their workers’ dues to lobby for the
job-killing, private insurance-sabotaging law from which they are now exempt.

At the end of last year, the Department of Health and Human Services had granted some 222 temporary waivers to businesses small and large, insurers, labor, and other organizations that offer affordable health insurance or prescription drug coverage with limited benefits. On Wednesday, the agency quietly updated its online list, which now reveals a whopping total of 729 Obamacare escapees – in addition to four states Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee – who collectively cover 2.1 million enrollees.

At least one eyebrow-raising waiver recipient – the left-leaning, nationalized health care-promoting Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – has direct ties to the White House. Obama health care czar Nancy DeParle sits on the foundation’s board of trustees.

Most noteworthy: One-fourth of all the waivers (182) have gone to Big Labor groups across the country so far.

The Teamsters Union, which hailed Obama last March for “enacting historic health care reform, providing health insurance to millions of Americans who don’t have it and controlling costs for millions more who do,” obtained waivers for 17 different locals.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which celebrated the passage of Obamacare as “an achievement that will
rank among the highest in our national experience,” secured waivers for 28 different affiliates.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers — which exulted after the health care law’s passage that “finally, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage will be available for millions of working Americans” — saw 8 of its affiliates win shelter from the Obamacare wrecking ball.

The Communications Workers of America, which sent its workers to lobby for Obamacare on Capitol Hill as part of the left-wing billionaire George Soros-funded Health Care for America Now front group, snagged a waiver that will spare a hefty 19,000 of its members from the onerous federal mandate.

And the Service Employees International Union, which poured $60 million into Democrat/Obama coffers in 2008 and millions more into the Astroturf campaign for the federal health care takeover, added four new affiliates to the waiver list:

- SEIU Local 2000 Health and Welfare Fund, representing 161 enrollees
- SEIU 32BJ North Health Benefit Fund, representing 7,020 enrollees
- SEIU Local 300, Civil Service Forum Employees Welfare Fund, representing 2,000 enrollees
- SEIU Health & Welfare Fund representing 1,620

That’s in addition to three other previous SEIU waiver winners: Local 25 SEIU in Chicago with 31,000 enrollees; Local 1199 SEIU Greater New York Benefit Fund with 4,544 enrollees; and SEIU Local 1 Cleveland Welfare Fund with 520 enrollees — which brings the total number of Obamacare-promoting SEIU Obamacare refugees to an estimated 45,000 workers represented by seven SEIU locals.

Without the HHS-approved exemptions, these health providers would have been forced to drop low-cost coverage for seasonal, part-time, and low-wage workers due to skyrocketing premiums. The only way they are keeping their health care is by successfully begging the feds to spare them from Obamacare. The Democrats’ law seeks to eliminate the low-cost plans (known as “mini-med” plans) under the guise of controlling insurer spending on executive salaries and marketing. The ultimate goal, as I’ve reported before: forcing a massive shift from private to public insurance designed by government-knows-best

House and Senate Republicans plan separate investigations of the Obamacare waiver process. Who got when and why? Who knew whom? Who didn’t? HHS acknowledged Thursday that some 50 sanctuary seekers had their waiver applications denied, but would not say more. Perhaps the White House story-tellers, so eager to profile the “Voices of Health Reform,” can enlighten us.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Obama: If The Bears Win I’m Going To The Super Bowl

A reason to root for the Packers, I think, and that’s not just partisanship talking.

ARLINGTON — If it’s possible, security for Super Bowl XLV just got tighter.

During a photo opportunity with the president of China on Wednesday, President Obama said that if his hometown Chicago Bears win the NFC championship game this weekend, he will be coming to the big game at Cowboys Stadium.

“Oh, we’re going,” the president said. “If the Bears are in the Super Bowl, we’re going — no doubt.”

The President even hinting at going to the big game is already putting a strain on the Secret Service as well as local law enforcement, not to mention creating big headaches for fans who are also attending:

That puts local law enforcement agencies on alert. No sitting president has ever been to a Super Bowl.

Agencies from the Secret Service to the FBI and Arlington Police all have to come up with a plan — just in case President Obama wants a ticket to the game.
The FBI told News 8 that a presidential visit changes everything.

First of all, the Secret Service will want final say on just about all aspects of game day, including:

The timing of the arrival of Air Force One, the presidential jumbo jet
The handling of the motorcade to get President Obama to the game
Air and ground traffic around the stadium

It could also mean more screening for fans who will be streaming in to Cowboys Stadium on February 6.

The cost to the taxpayers of Obama’s attendance is going to be enormous, at a time when our government can hardly afford it, and is it really fair for the President to spoil the day for football fans by adding hours of screening to the day?

Maybe the President should sacrifice for the greater good and just watch the game on television.

Unreal… Obama Adminstration Lobbying Honduras to Let Thug Zelaya Back In

The Obama Administration knew that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was an anti-democratic anti-Semitic pig whose goal was to become ruler for life like his buddy Hugo Chavez. Team Obama decided to support him for the greater good of Latin American relations anyway. Barack Obama even cut off aid to Honduras in order to appease Marxist tyrant Hugo Chavez at the expense of the Honduran people.

Birds of a feather…

(Michael Ramirez)
The news that President Obama cut off aid to American ally Honduras did not make many headlines. Barack Obama openly sided with Marxists Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega in punishing the government of Honduras.

Last month, “thanks” to a leaked Wikileaks cable, we found out that the Obama Administration knew that Zelaya was a dangerous leftist thug who could not be trusted. But, the Obama Administration sided with the wannabe tyrant anyway at the expense of the Honduran people. He did this to appease Chavez.

But that’s not all.
Now the Obama Administration is lobbying Honduras to drop charges against the far left thug and allow him to reenter the country.
Alberto de la Cruz at Pajamas Media reported:

On the last day of December last year, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya, the deposed Honduran president and self-described victim of high-frequency radiation attacks by Israeli mercenaries, vowed to the press that he would return to Honduras. Few outside of Honduras have paid much attention to Zelaya’s MacArthur-esque prediction, but it has become apparent there is more behind his declaration than his usual hyperbole and bombastic absurdities.

Behind the scenes in the Obama administration there appears to be a concerted effort to pressure the democratically elected government of President Porfirio Lobo to dismiss charges of misappropriation of government funds and falsifying documents that are pending against Zelaya. This would open the door for his return to the country, and would be certain to undermine the delicate process of reestablishing democracy and order that is currently taking place in this poor and beleaguered nation.

When Zelaya was removed from office in July of 2009, the Obama administration at first joined with leftist dictators Fidel Castro of Cuba, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua in calling for his reinstatement. The Obama White House seemed oblivious to the Honduran constitution, as well as the threat Zelaya posed to the stability of the country and the region. When the courageous Honduran people held firm to their democratic constitution and refused to yield to the pressure exerted by the U.S., the Obama administration found no way of saving face other than reversing course and backing the democratic presidential elections called for by their constitution.

After their amateurish and myopic miscalculation, which exposed the Obama State Department’s lack of experience and incompetence, one could imagine the White House would want to avoid the subject of Honduras and Zelaya altogether. That, however, does not seem to be the case, as we learn from the new chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).

According to Ros-Lehtinen, she has received reports that the State Department is applying considerable pressure on members of the Honduran government to absolve Zelaya of his alleged crimes.

More at Pajamas Media.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Obama’s Regulation Reforms Won’t Impact Most Of The Regulations He Enacted

Obama’s pledge to reform the federal government’s regulations, identifying outdated and needlessly burdensome laws for elimination, published in the pages of the Wall Street Journal brought a smile to the face of a lot of proponents of limited government. But as with most promises from Obama, it comes with an expiration date.

Today we learn that pledge pretty much won’t involve anything the Obama administration itself has passed into law.

The review focuses on old, outdated regulations so new ones written as part of the health-care and financial overhaul likely won’t be affected, an official at the White House Office of Management and Budget said. Mr. Obama wants agencies to take a fresh look at old regulations to determine whether they are outdated or unnecessary. “New regulations will not be priorities for the lookback,” the official said. …

The move was welcomed by some Republicans and the business community. U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Thomas J. Donohue in a statement praised the executive order as a positive first step. Still, he said, the U.S. regulatory system is broken. He added, “No major rule or regulation should be exempted from the review, including the recently enacted health care and financial reform laws.”

To be fair, even just reviewing old regulations is important. But it’s a little jarring to see an administration that has, in its first two years, enacted new regulations on our nation’s private sector with an extremely heavy hand say that old regulations hurt our economy.

The cognitive dissonance is rather stunning. If they can admit that old regulations are hurting us, why can’t they realize that the new regulations they’re imposing have a good deal to do with our stagnating economy too?

Sacrifice Is For the Little People… Obama White House Serves $199 Bottles of Wine at State Dinner


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raises her glass for a toast during a State Dinner in honor of China’s President Hu Jintao at the White House in Washington, January 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Jim Young POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Via Sondrak

Sacrifice is for the little people.
It may be the worst recession since the Great Depression but that doesn’t mean everyone is suffering.
The Obama Administration went all out last night at their State Dinner for Communist China.
Here’s the menu:

White House State Dinner Menu For President Hu Jintao (full menu)

D’Anjou Pear with Farmstead Goat Cheese
Fennel, Black Walnuts, and White Balsamic

Poached Maine Lobster
Orange Glaze Carrots and Black Trumpet Mushrooms

Wine: DuMol Chardonnay “Russian River” 2008 (California)

Lemon Sorbet
Dry Aged Rib Eye with Buttermilk Crisp Onions
Double Stuffed Potatoes and Creamed Spinach

Wine: Quilceda Creek Cabernet “Columbia Valley” 2005 (Washington State)

That wasn’t Mad Dog 20/20 they were serving.
The Quilceda Creek Cabernet goes for $199 a bottle.
Hat Tip Taqiyyotomist

Sacrifice is for the little people.

UK Prime Minister Gave Obama $16,500 Gift In Exchange for 25 DVDs

Former British Prime Minister gave Barack Obama a a pen and holder made from the wood of an anti-slavery ship, along with two biographies of Winston Churchill, valued at $16,500. In exchange the Obamas gave Gordon Brown a set of DVDs. Gordon Brown is is blind in his left eye and was recently said to be having problems with his right.

It looks like somebody got played.
The Telegraph

The value of Mr Brown’s gifts, a pen and holder made from the wood of an anti-slavery ship, along with two biographies of Winston Churchill, was disclosed by the US State Department on Tuesday. Mr Obama, by comparison, gave him a boxset of 25 classic US films such as Citizen Kane and ET.

Gordon Brown gave Barack Obama $16,500 (£10,000) worth of gifts during a US visit, in return for a selection of DVDs.

Other gifts received by Mr Obama in 2009 included hundreds of thousands worth of dollars in art, jewellery and rare books. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia gave him nearly $190,000 in luxury baubles, a ruby and diamond jewellery set for Michelle Obama, worth $132,000, and a pearl necklace worth $14,200.

By law, all the presents must go to the US National Archives.

Silvio Berlusconi meanwhile presented a haul of silk ties, a gold watch, a crystal table and candlesticks worth nearly $33,000.

The Queen, meanwhile presented Mr Obama with a more modest gift – framed portraits of herself and her husband, worth $775.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Half Of All States Now Suing Over Obamacare

Before the elections, 21 states were suing the federal government either on their own or as part of a multi-state case over the implementation of Obamacare. In Maine, Oklahoma, Ohio and Wisconsin new governors were elected, and those governors have decided to add their states to litigious ranks as well.

…the newly elected governors of Ohio, Oklahoma, Maine, and Wisconsin have all decided to sue the Obama administration in hopes of stopping Obamacare. Specifically, Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has announced that the Sooner State will pursue its own case against the law, while Govs. John Kasich (R) and Scott Walker (R) (of Ohio and Wisconsin respectively) will add their states to Florida’s multi-state suit. And yesterday, newly sworn-in state Attorney General William Schneider announced Maine would also join the the Florida litigation. That brings the number of states on the Florida suit to 23 and the total number of states suing to stop Obamacare (which includes Virginia and Oklahoma) to 25.

Poll after poll has shown majority opposition to Obamacare, and now we’re near a simple majority of state government’s that are opposed to the federal legislation as well.

At what point can we just admit that the people do not want Obamacare? Or does the will of the people truly not matter any more?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Obamateurism of the Day

Sometimes, further commentary is unnecessary, except to say … can you imagine the laughter if George Bush was photographed walking with his family dressed like this?

Republicans Introduce Bill To Fire Obama’s 39 Czars

This bill was introduced in the Democrat-controlled House and was pushed aside, but with Republicans now in the House majority it’s seeing the light of day again, though with Demcorats controlling the Senate and Obama still in the White House the bill is unlikely to get much further than the House.

Though that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea.

A group of House Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday to rein in the various “czars” in the Obama administration.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and 28 other House Republicans introduced legislation to do away with the informal, paid advisers President Obama has employed over the past two years.

The legislation, which was introduced in the last Congress but was not allowed to advance under Democratic control, would do away with the 39 czars Obama has employed during his administration.

The bill defines a czar as “a head of any task force, council, policy office within the Executive Office of the President, or similar office established by or at the direction of the President” who is appointed to a position that would otherwise require Senate confirmation.

This is akin to Senator Jim DeMint’s REINS Act in the Senate which would require that any new rule-making by a federal regulatory agency be voted on by Congress and signed into law by the President. We have far too many unelected bureaucrats pushing regulations onto the citizens and businesses of this country, that we must follow under the force of law, without those regulations being crafted and voted on by our elected representation.

We have a bureaucratic regime at the federal level that not only abuses its power, but is unaccountable to the public. Obama’s czars are part of that regime, and it’s high time these bureaucrats were reeled in.

We elect Presidents and Senators and Representatives to make laws, not to delegate that authority to czars and bureaucrats so that they can avoid accountability for tough decisions.

Obama’s Island Getaway an Illegal Rental

President Barack Obama’s two-week stay at his Hawaii Winter White House was illegal under a long-standing Honolulu ban on short-term rentals.

Obama did not break the law by staying at the house, but the property owner who rented his house to the Obamas does not have the permit that would allow a stay of fewer than 30 days.

You’d think someone with as much juice as the President could have somebody find out and comply with a few simple real estate ordinances! Since he’s been vacationing there since 2008, and although his vacations are frequent, they haven’t been 30 days long (yet), the other rentals must have been illegal, too?

Maybe the landlord can finagle a presidential pardon?

What a… Surprise: Obama to Make Third Super Bowl Appearance

The president who doesn’t crave the spotlight will soon appear on his third Super Bowl telecast:

The pro football playoffs begin this weekend, but Fox Sports is already making sure there’ll be solid television ratings no matter what teams makes it to the Super Bowl on Feb. 6.

That’s because conservative Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly will be interviewing President Obama during the pre-game show, the White House confirmed yesterday.

When it broadcast the games in Obama’s first two years in office, NBC had hosts Matt Lauer (2009) and Katie Couric (2010) do the pre-game chats.

If the Fox people were serious about cranking up pre-game show ratings, they’d have Michelle M. do the interview.

Doug Powers -