Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Corurption and Hunger Games Mentality of the Political Class, Part 3: The Rich Specturm Of Political Class Corruption Throughout America

This is our third post in this series where we are looking at the twin and intertwining themes of political class corruption and the Hunger Games mentality of most American politicians. The Hunger Games’ books and films are centered around the concept that politicians in the capital city live lavish and opulent lifestyles while the people outside of the capital city suffer through tough times and tough lives even though they are the ones that make the political class life style possible.

As a guide for reviewing political class corruption, we have been relying on the multi-level definition of corruption that the Webster online dictionary provides:

a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity 
b : decay, decomposition 
c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery) 
d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct 

Keep these definition of corruption in mind as today we review a hodgepodge of corruption stories from different sectors of the political class. You will see examples of integrity and moral impairment, depravity, decay, unlawful inducement, etc., along with good old basic greed.

Political class greed and corruption at the state government level

The NBC news outlet in San Francisco, along with other local news sources, recently covered the story about California Senator Leland Yee. Apparently Senator Lee has long been a strong advocate for just about every gun-control law proposal that has arisen in his home state. Keeping that in mind, consider now that he been arrested by the FBI for public corruption charges and among potentially other infractions including taking bribes from suspected, and violent, street gangs in the San Francisco Bay Area.

How nice would it be for violent street gangs if politicians like Senator Lee were successful in taking away the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens? We know that any gun control law that Senator Lee and others propose would be totally ignored by the gangs, leaving citizens relatively helpless in the face of these street gangs. 

The corruption and bribery charges very serious, if it turns out that the Senator is guilty. AND if the bribes he received were intended to strip California citizens of their right to protect themselves and their families in favor of the street gangs, I cannot think of any higher form of corruption for any politician than that potential scenario.

Political class greed and corruption at the local government level

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently reported that the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office had caught at least four Philadelphia-area government politicians taking multiple bribes ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands in cash and Tiffany jewelry. These bribes were uncovered as the result of a sting operation. The bribes were taken by Philadelphia Democrats, reportedly in exchange for votes and contracts, including opposition to Pennsylvania’s proposed voter ID law.

The sting operation resulted in over 400 hours of video and audio recordings obtained over the course of a three-year investigation that started in 2010 under then-Attorney General Tom Corbett. Seems like the law enforcement folks and prosecutors had put together a pretty strong case. 

Corruption in the form of selling legislative votes for financial reward is bad enough. However, to add insult to injury, the current Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, dropped prosecuting the case altogether in 2013, allowing these elected officials to get away with corruption that attacks the core of representative government, the integrity of the voting process.

Kane, a Democratic, told the Inquirer that she was not going to go after the Democratic legislators who took the bribes because she claimed the investigation was, “poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism… [and] had targeted African Americans.” Just a coincidence that those who are accused of taking the bribes are Democrats and the one excusing their behavior is a Democrat? I doubt it.

The news reporting talked with people familiar with lead prosecutor Frank G. Fina and who dispute Kane’s claims. Fina is described by some as one of the top public-corruption prosecutor in Pennsylvania and he has been responsible for many past investigations that led to prosecutions of both Republicans and Democrats.

The lead agent in the case, Claud Thomas, is an African-American who now works for Democratic District Attorney Seth Williams in Philadelphia. Williams criticized Kane’s claim that Fina and Thomas had specifically targeted African-Americans in their investigation. And, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the investigation targeted both Republicans and Democrats. But no Republicans took any bribes from the undercover operative, while at least four Democrats—who happen to be black—accepted bribes of up to two thousand dollars. 

Thus, if you believe these stories, the only reason these four politicians are being prosecuted is because they took the bribes, not because they are African-American, that was just a byproduct of the situation. By the way, all of them voted against Pennsylvania’s voter ID law.

And still, Attorney General Kane is dropping the prosecution of legislators who were apparently caught taking bribes on audio recordings and videotape. What kind of message does that send to the citizens of Pennsylvania? You can take bribes and affect Pennsylvania law due to those bribes just because you are African-American? 

Looks like Ms. Kane and these allegedly bribed politicians have hit all of Webster’s definition angles: impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle, depravity, decay, inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery), and a departure from what is pure or correct.

Boozing it up in Washington corruption

The Washington Times reported on March 20, 2014 that Federal spending records show the government spends over a million dollars a year stocking its departments with wine, beer and liquor. In 2013, the Federal government spent almost $1.3 million on alcohol, more than quadruple the $315,000 spent in 2005. The Federal government spending level on liquor has increased over the years toward the $1 million mark, with 2013’s tab growing more than $400,000 over 2012.

I can think of very few reasons why the Federal government needs to spend any money on alcohol, never mind $1.3 million. Yes, maybe there are some state dinners at the White House where there is a need for wine and other forms of alcohol to entertain foreign dignitaries. But that is about it.

Even more discouraging than the overall total spent is the fact that the level of spending is accelerating substantially from where it was just a few years ago. Somebody in Washington is increasingly having a very good time. And those imbibing are probably either rich enough or earning a high enough government salary to pay for their own booze on government time.

This smacks so much of a Hunger Games mentality where those in the capital party on with alcohol that is being paid for by the American taxpayer. This insult smacks of the : depravity, decay, and decomposition aspects of corruption.

Political fund raising corruption

It is no secret to most Americans that excessive money in exchange for political and legislative favors has corrupted our entire political process. A recent Congressional election in Florida to fill a vacant seat, just for the next eight months, saw well over ten million dollars being spent on political advertising, mostly by special interest groups. Thus, the example of political class financial corruption below is used for illustrative purposes, it is probably just one in a seas of widespread corruption relative to political fund raising.

The details of this example include the following political and financial shenanigans:
  • Jeffrey Thompson, a wealthy major political donor of the DC area, recently pled guilty in Federal court to two felony charges of making illegal campaign contributions to local and Federal election campaigns. 
  • U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ron Machen, who prosecuted the case, stated Thompson made illegal donations to two Washington, D.C. mayoral elections and six city council elections worth nearly $2 million. 
  • Thompson’s illegal donations to one 2008 Democratic Presidential campaign exceeded $800,000.
  • That alleged 2008 illegal Presidential campaign donations is alleged to be the campaign of Hillary Clinton and involved donating a money for her campaign in the states of Texas, Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and in the territory of Puerto Rico.
  • The good news for democracy is that it looks like Thompson is going to get a light sentence in exchange for turning state witness against others involved in the illegal campaign financing. It looks like there’s more to come too. 
  • Thompson is getting a sweetheart deal. Possibly as little as six months in jail, so he can spruce up his tennis game, and it sounds like he’s singing a tune for the Feds.
  • Machen is quoted in news reports as saying that Thompson “admitted to bankrolling efforts to secretly inject millions of dollars into local and federal elections.” and that “DC campaigns have been compromised by covert corporate money for years….Jeffrey Thompson’s guilty plea pulls back the curtain to expose widespread corruption.”
Widespread corruption in Washington DC? Who knew? This example hits at least the impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral and inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery) aspects of the corruption definition.

This will do it for today. Tomorrow we will look at several other varied examples of Washington DC political class corruption, in all of its corruptible forms.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

The Corurption and Hunger Games Mentality of the Political Class, Part 1: The Many Facets of Obama Care Corruption

Since we have spent so much of the past week or so reviewing the many disasters and hardships coming out of the Obama Care legislation, we have neglected the latest non-Obama Care disasters, corruption, and idiocy that has been produced by the American political class. We will try to remedy that in the next several posts.

In the past we have done a number of series on political class corruption including the following well read posts:

These are just a sample of popular past corruption posts. Reviewing our Political Class insanity series at the beginning of every month is another rich source of political class corruption.

We have also done a unique series of political class corruption and decadence that uses the theme of the popular “Hunger Games” books and films to depict the pompousness and disgrace of the Washington political class and elite. The Hunger Games’ theme looks at a fictitious nation where the elite live in opulent life styles in the capital city where those citizens outside of the capital live in poverty, drudgery, and basically forced servitude to support the ruling class. 

We make the case that present day Washington is not too far away from the Hunger Games theme in a series of posts that began with the following post:

This week we will try to intertwine the themes of corruption and Hunger Games together to weave a tale of how poorly we are governed by a set of politicians whose only concerns are self enrichment, perpetual reelection, ego gratification, and control of Americans in so many different ways. This puts them totally out of touch with ordinary Americans who have to experience the consequences of their idiocy.

The overarching string connecting all of our posts will be the varying definitions of “corruption” as defined by the online Webster dictionary and how well the political class executes the different definitions of corruption in their daily lives. The Webster definitions of corruption that need to be kept in mind include the following facets:

a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity 
b : decay, decomposition 
c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery) 
d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct 

Today’s post on corruption will center on Obama Care and the frequent, illegal, and un-Constitutional delays that the Obama administration has unilaterally and arbitrarily imposed on the nation. These actions fall into line with the fourth variation of corruption, a departure from the original from what is pure and correct.

In this country, the pure and correct way to govern is to pass legislation that has been approved by two houses of Congress, representing the will and intentions of the voting public, and which was signed into law by the President. Any needed changes or unforeseen circumstances that the legislation invokes or causes need to be addressed by new legislation that has been approved by the two houses of Congress, representing the will and intentions of the voting public, and which is signed into law by the President. That is the correct and pure form, the non-corrupt form, of governing in this nation.

However, this Presidency violates the correct and pure form by unilaterally deciding what portions and dates within the Obama Care law it wishes to do without going back through Congress, which would act as representatives of the voters, to make the necessary changes in the proper way. This corrupts our concept of liberty and freedom in this country, turning us from a republic into an arbitrary dictatorship.

As an example of the long road map of corruption that the Obama administration has paved, consider some recent history analysis from the Heritage Foundation, based on work done by Bloomberg News. They produced a timeline of changes to Obama Care that were not done in a pure, correct and non-corrupt way but were done 1) in an un-Constitutional manner to suit the political needs of the President’s allies and cronies and 2) to cover up the ineptness and incompetence of the Federal bureaucracy and this administration to carry out its own program and forced legislation.

Whenever you are using the words cover up, cronies, un-Constitutional, ineptness, and incompetence to describe any process, you can be sure that process has been corrupted from its pure or correct form. Obama Care mismanagement has raised corruption to the high standards of the Webster dictionary, as the following proves.

According to the Heritage analysis: Obamacare is now four years old. But unlike most 4-year-olds, it still can’t walk on its own. It’s been tripping and falling over itself for years.

Just in the last year, the Obama administration has delayed or changed so many parts of the law—not to mention the technical “glitches”—it’s tough to keep up. Bloomberg Businessweek looked at the law’s recent track record…

And they found the following major illegal and un-Constitutional changes to the Obama Care legislation:

April 1, 2013: The White House announces the Obama Care marketplaces won’t be able to handle the menu of health plans originally promised and required by the legislation.

July 2, 2013: Obama Care’s employer mandate that requires all employers with 50 or more employees provide coverage to full-time workers gets delayed one year.

September 26, 2014: The Obama administration announces that small businesses won’t be able to buy coverage in the online small business marketplace until November. later than the date required by the legislation.

October 1, 2013: launches with major glitches, and Americans and Congressional investigators face a wall of silence from bureaucrats when looking for explanations. The ability to do online enrollment in Obama Care is essentially delayed indefinitely beyond the date required by the legislation.

October 23, 2013: The deadline to buy Obama Care coverage without a penalty gets pushed to March 31. Way beyond the date required b y the legislation.

November 14, 2013: The President presents a “fix” for the millions of Americans who received insurance cancellation notices because of Obama Care. His solution would allow 2013 insurance plans “to be grandfathered in,” an option not allowed by the legislation.

November 27, 2013: Obama Care’s online small business exchange is delayed another year, way beyond the date required by the legislation.

December 1, 2013: is re-launched and “fixed,” two months beyond the date it was required to b e operational by the legislation.

December 12, 2013: The White House extends the deadline to December 23 to get coverage that begins January 1. It also announces requiring insurers to accept payments until December 31, in clear violation of the dates set in the legislation.

December 23, 2013: The White House moves the deadline to enroll for January 1 coverage again—to the next day, December 24, in violaiton of the legislation.

December 24, 2013: Consumers who encountered technical difficulties and could not complete their applications on by December 24 are given more time, in violation of the legislation.

February 10, 2014; The Obama administration announces that businesses with at least 50 full-time employees (but fewer than 100 full-time employees) won’t be subject to the employer mandate until 2016 if they meet certain conditions, beyond the date required by the legislation.

March 5, 2014: The millions of Americans who lost their individual insurance because their health plans didn’t meet requirements in Obama Care can keep their old plans (if they’re still available) as late as October 2016—avoiding a new round of cancellations during the 2014 election season, beyond the date required by the legislation.

These were the major changes, there were other, less far reaching changes to the legislation’s requirements that were just as blatant and just as corrupt. These multitude of changes has corrupted much of the original, properly passed legislation into a highly corrupt form, a severe departure from the original or from what is pure or correct. 

But over the early weeks of March, 291r4, at least the administration repeatedly assured the nation that the major deadline of Obama Care, the fact that the legislation clearly requires EVERY American to have purchased health insurance by March 31, 2014, is sacrosanct and will not be changed from its original form:

"We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don't actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014." — Health and Human Services (HHS) official Julie Bataille, March 11, 2014.

“Once that 2014 open enrollment period has been set, they are set permanently.” – HHS official Michael Hash, March 11. 2014.

"March 31st is the deadline for enrollment. You’ve heard us make that clear." – Press Secretary Jay Carney, March 21, 2014.

“There is no delay beyond March 31.” – HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, March 12, 2014

There was to be no delay, it was a hard deadline…until there was a delay and there was no longer a hard deadline. The Washington Post reported this past week that March 31, 2014 is not, in fact, the final day to have health insurance. 

To get more time, you are now on the honor system and able to tell the Federal government that you haven’t been able to sign up yet, in clear violation of the legislation:

Under the new rules, people will be able to qualify for an extension by checking a blue box on to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. This method will rely on an honor system; the government will not try to determine whether the person is telling the truth.

How corrupt and out of integrity is this administration when for months they unilaterally and illegally change the passed legislation until it resembles nothing like the original? How corrupt and out of integrity is this administration when the head honor of the whole Obama Care operation, Kathleen Sebelius goes public to say “There is no delay beyond March 31” but in less than two weeks implmetns a delay in the deadline” Pathetic and corruptible.

The Heritage Foundation had a nice and accurate summary of this corruption: 

So the administration’s word means nothing, but officials expect the rest of America to operate on the honor system. After years of Obamacare delays and changes, the administration has lost all credibility.

Americans deserve better. You deserve patient-centered health reform that is true to its purpose: giving you more choices and better value. You deserve to control your own health care—and not to have to worry what the whims of government bureaucrats will be tomorrow.

When we are governed by whims the potential for corruption skyrockets and effectiveness of planning and legislation is minimized by the lack of leadership and integrity of those in office.

More corruption to follow, you will see over the next week or so that corruption has infested just about every aspect of American political life, making us no better than most other secondary countries around the world.

If you want to do something to combat the rampant corruption we will be discussing in the political class this week, consider joining our effort to enforce term limits on all Washington politicians because really, how much worse could it get if we got rid of every politicians today and replaced them with new people who corruption level probably could not be any worse:

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

March, 2014 The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care, Bonus Post 2: Real Americans Facing Real Obama Care Crises, Oregon Obama Care Implodes, and More

This will definitely, positively, absolutely be our last post this month on Obama Care. Not because we covered everything but because it is getting too depressing spending so much time on such a fiasco. We will pick up the disaster train again next month since I am sure that the unfolding disasters from this horrid piece of legislation will continue to destroy the economy, families’ health, and liberties in this nation.

The first post in this month’s series can be accessed at:

The previous month’s posts on the Obama Care disaster can be accessed via the menu on the right side of this page.

1) If any state was going to be a success relative to Obama Care it was going to be Oregon. They were going to have a state of the art website for their health exchange, courtesy of the American taxpayer. They had an enthusiastic supporter of Obama Care in their current governor, John Kitzhaber, a doctor who left the emergency room for politics, and who made health care his main issue. The state legislature was controlled by Democrats. They are a liberal leaning state who supported Obama’s election bids. Yes, Oregon was going to show the country how to do Obama Care right. 

Oops, maybe not. According to a recent New York Times article, things are not going that well in Oregon relative to Obama Care:
  • Only about 50,000 Oregon residents have signed up for an Obama Care insurance plan through the state health exchange, well below the state’s goal.
  • Almost all of those people enrolled using paper applications or with help from an insurance professional because the website has been so unreliable despite spending millions and millions of dollars to build it.
  • The governor recently released a new report, commissioned by the state with a private company, that found fault not only with the website developers at Oracle, the software company which built the site, but also with the state executives who overlooked or minimized repeated warnings that the system they had asked Oracle to build was too complex. 
  • Things are so bad that the governor is pleading with the Federal government to reduce Obama Care penalties for Oregon residents who did not sign up for insurance, citing the horrid job his state government did in preparing for the legislation.
  • He is also looking into junking the state’s exchange website and processes and forcing Oregon residents on to the national Obama Care Federal exchange website or latching on to use another state’s website. abandoning Oregon’s system entirely and using the Federal website, or another state’s Obama Care website. 
  • The governor also recently accepted the resignation of the acting executive director of the Oregon health exchange and said that legal action was being considered to recover some of the tens of millions of dollars already paid to Oracle. This resignation is in addition to two other executives who left late last year.
  • The state has one of the nation’s lowest rates of enrollment under the health care law among young people, tied for last place West Virginia, with only 18% of eligible 18- to 34-year-olds.
  • And the troubles are not confined to within the state since the General Accountability Office of the Federal government has plans for an investigation of how Federal money was spent and possibly abused, in building the exchange in. 
  • Within the state, a former state employee, who oversaw the state’s health care exchange construction, has filed a notice with the state of her intent to sue for wrongful discharge, defamation and other damages in what her lawyer said was a “cover-up” of the insurance exchange’s troubles.
If the political class cannot make Obama Care work in Oregon where it had everything going for it, what chance does it have elsewhere? Answer: it is not working elsewhere AND it is not working in Oregon.

2) If Obama Care is so great and such a good deal, why is it not hitting its numbers and why does the Federal government need to spend about $17 million a MONTH advertising for it? Yes, $17 million a month, as reported by the New York Times. 

The Times reports that from January until the end of March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the Affordable Care Act, will have spent $52 million on paid media advertising. The Times article reporting the expenses opens with a paragraph that actually has a streak of sarcasm running through it, a first for a paper that has constantly downplayed Obama administration failures:

Russian troops were rolling through Crimea when Denis R. McDonough, the White House chief of staff and a foreign policy expert, was deployed on a mission to do media outreach. But the focus of Mr. McDonough’s calls to local talk radio stations was not geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe, it was health care. 

Mr. McDonough chatted with Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps, hosts of a popular sports talk radio program on WKRK-FM (92.3) in Cleveland, about the coming N.F.L. draft, basketball at the White House and his days playing college football in Minnesota. Mr. McDonough then pitched a new website featuring games, videos and superstar athletes explaining the benefits of health insurance.

Yes, a highly paid administration executive whose expertise is in foreign policy is doing local sports talk shows to talk about health care insurance, strictly a domestic Cleveland. Again, how bad is Obama Care if we have stooped to having foreign affairs experts worrying more about Obama Care the potential reigniting of the Cold War? 

Pretty pathetic when you consider that the administration has had four years to get the nation on board but now has to rely on a Cleveland sports talk show less than two weeks before the sign up deadline.

3) As a statistician by training, I prefer to look at the total picture of facts and numbers to understand reality. For instance, we know that:
  • Probably over five million Americans have already lost their current and preferred health care insurance, and access to their preferred doctors and hospitals, because of Obama Care.
  • While the administration claims that over four million people have signed up for Obama Care, it has no clue how many have actually paid for it.
  • Surveys from reputable polling firms indicate that likely less than have of those that have chose an Obama Care plan have actually paid for it.
  • The mix of young, healthier people singing up for Obama Care is far below the percentage need to subsidize older, sicker people signing up for Obama Care, destroying ther Obama Care financial model integrity.
  • The Congressional Budget Office estimates that tens years don the road, millions, possibly tens of millions of Americans, will still not have health insurance coverage, despite Obama Care.
  • Most industry experts expect the cost of Obama Care premiums to skyrocket within the next year for a variety of reasons including lower than expected enrollments and a bad mix of healthy vs. sick customers.
  • The cost of Obama Care is now expected to be at least double or tripe what was initially touted, ending up in the $2 TRILLION to $3 TRILLION cost range.
These are the big numbers, the realities of Obama Care. TRILLIONS of dollars, millions of people. All very sad and certainly a disaster for the country as a whole.

But what about the personal stories, the individual stories of how Obama Care is causing havoc on Americans’ lives? Obama likes to roll out individual Americans as props whenever he makes a public relations pitch so I have few no qualms about using individuals to support the overall statistics and realities. If he can do it, I can do it, in addition to looking at the global, total impacts of the legislation.

Consider the Facebook post of Angela Portillo below. She is the negative face of the legislation. Whenever Obama parades out an individual and how Obama Care helped them, remember Angela’s story, the opposite of whoever Obama points to as a success. Remember how Obama Care did not help her reduce health care costs, the purported objective of the legislation, it actually substantially in creased the costs.

You have to look at the total positives AND the negatives to grade Obama Care. And even if the positives equal the negatives, we still have not made a progress.

She nails the disaster right on the head. Why did her family’s life, and millions of American lives like hers, get so upset for something that is not working and was unnecessary? 

Consider a small sample of other reactions to Obama Care, actually pulled form the Facebook page supporting Obama Care. These reactions are a sub-sample of Facebook comments pulled by the Independent Journal. 

This is the reality at the individual American family level, a reality totally foreign to out of touch Washington politicians who insist that Obama Care is still a success despite all of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

As promised, that will do it for this month regarding the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care. However, I can guarantee you that next month we will go thorugh another grueling series of posts since Obama Care is the fiasco that keep on giving.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Term Limits Now:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March, 2013 The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care, Bonus Post 1: Religious Freedom Going Down, Costs Going Up, and Pelosi Ducks An Inspector General Function

I know I promised that yesterday would be the final update on the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care. But since we finished writing yesterday’s post, more disasters have risen to the surface. Thus, we decided to take not one more day but two more days, call them bonus posts, to finish up what a mess Obama Care continues to create just over the past 30 days. 

This will definitely be the last posts for this month on the subject. Not because we covered everything but because it is too depressing to linger on the worst piece of Washington legislation ever passed by the most inept set of Washington politicians ever to hold office.

1) One of the truly dangerous parts of Obama Care is that it destroys the religious freedom of individuals and institutions whose religious tenets prohibit them from supporting certain or all kinds of abortion and contraceptive methods. Once a government can destroy certain rights and liberties of certain groups of citizens it will have no trepidations of destroying the rights and liberties of all citizens when the destruction suits its needs.

That is why an upcoming Supreme Court case is so important from a freedom of religion perspective. One of Obama Care’s requirements is that employers who provide health coverage to their employees must pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and contraception. And for many Americans, paying for those drugs violates their personal and religious consciences. The government is saying, “We are going to force you to do something that is against your moral principles,” says Wayne Hepler, owner of Seneca Hardwood Lumber in Pennsylvania.

Hepler and his family want to continue providing health insurance for their employees without being forced to violate their consciences. With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, they’re challenging the government’s freedom destroying mandate. And it’s not just champions of religious liberty who should be worried.

As we stated above, a government gone wild on a certain set of individuals is sure to go wild on others, a position also taken by Carrie Kilesar, Mr. Hepler‘s daughter and part owner of the company: “Any time that you see someone else’s rights being violated, that should be a concern. You know, if religious freedom isn’t particularly important to an individual, they could still see that if you could violate one right, what’s to keep another right from being violated?”

A Federal judge ruled in favor of Seneca Hardwood Lumber last year, giving the family temporary relief from the mandate for now. They, along with more than 300 plaintiffs across the country who are also challenging the mandate, are waiting to see what the Supreme Court does after it hears oral arguments in two similar cases on Tuesday. 

We wish them luck since destroying parts of the Constitution and destroying the religious freedom of law abiding, hard working citizens for a lousy piece of legislation that has no chance of being successful is the epitome of insanity.

2) This past week we have previously discussed the real possibility that Obama Care policy holders will see a major jump in their insurance costs in the near future as Obama Care fails to do what it promised: reduce health care insurance costs for millions of Americans. 

This likelihood was reemphasized by a Reuters news article that recently appeared on the NewsMax website on March 22, 2014, whose highlights included the following:
  • Consumers holding Obama Care health plans could see double-digit price hikes next year in states that fail to attract enough younger, healthier enrollees for 2014, according to insurance industry experts. 
  • WellPoint sells plans on 14 Obama Care exchanges and expects health insurance rates nationwide to be higher: “Looking at the rate increases on a year-over-year basis on our exchanges, and it will vary by carrier, but all of them will probably be double digit plus," said Ken Goulet, president of WellPoint's commercial business, recently speaking in front of investors in New York.
  • Premium increases for the Obama Care policies are expected to outpace those in the employer-sponsored market, which serves about 170 million people.
  • Industry officials and independent analysts say the lack of hard data will mean huge variations in premiums, with increases ranging from the high single-digit percentages in some states to as much as 30% in others.
  • Lower than expected Obama Care enrollment is a leading indicator of big price hikes in over a dozen states, where younger and healthier residents are not signing up as fast as expected. This is critical since Obama Care prevents insurers from charging sick people higher premiums and thus, the legislation’s financial model requires the participation of healthy young people to offset the cost of covering policyholders with preexisting conditions. 
  • As we have discussed many times, government data estimates only 25% of new Obama Care enrollees are in the younger demographic of adults aged 18 to 34, well below the White House's 38% target that is required for fiscal sanity.
  • Larry Levitt, a policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, tracks healthcare trends and he predicts that most states will see premium increases of 7% to 10% in 2015.
  • In 16 states, Obama Care sign-ups represent less than 10% of the potential marketplace population, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study of enrollment data released by the administration on March 1. Analysts say those markets could skew toward older, sicker members, which raises the likelihood of high rate increases.
  • Which brings us back to another broken promise/lie of the President and Obama Care. This legislation was supposed to REDUCE the cost of health care in this country, not raise it by double digit increases. The President himself promised that Obama Care would reduce the annual health insurance costs of an average American family by $2,500 a year, not increase it. 
  • Even Kathleen Sebelius, the HHS secretary and main manager of the whole disaster, recently said that health insurance costs will go up in 2015. 
Viewed just on this reality, no one can really claim that Obama Care is anything but a failure when measured against its own benchmark of reducing health care costs for every American.

3) According to a Washington Examiner article from March 7, 2014, 73 Federal government inspector generals are supposed to root out waste, fraud and inefficiency in the executive branch of the Federal government. Using thousands of auditors and inspectors, the IGs issue hundreds of investigative and audit reports a year that have sent crooks to jail while at the same time saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars over the years. They are the unsung heroes among a Federal government that wastes hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

Thus, given the disaster that is Obama Care and its busted information systems, high probability of identity theft, and billions of dollars wasted for no results, it's particularly disappointing and bewildering to see House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi playing politics with the tremendously reasonable proposal of Congressman Peter Roskam to create an inspector general for Obama Care. 

In fact, given how massive, ineffective, and inefficient Obama Care is, it is very surprising that it did not come out of the gate with its own inspector general function to begin with. However, as soon as the Illinois Republican made his proposal, Pelosi made clear her opposition to it. 

When asked about the Roskam proposal at her daily news conference, Pelosi said: “No. Each of the committees of jurisdiction has oversight, so the Congressional oversight is something that I support. Each of the agencies of government that are implementing the law, the Affordable Care Act, have their own inspectors general. I think that the system has enough appropriate oversight. I don't see any reason to go to that point.”

The Examiner article correctly points out that there are indeed oversight committees of Congress for all 73 of the departments and agencies that presently have IGs. However, none of those entities control one-sixth of the U.S. economy or trillions of dollars in Federal spending, making Pelosi’s opposition strange and baffling.

This is especially baffling since Pelosi had previously supported creation of new and special IGs for the U.S. war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well for the Toxic Asset Recovery Program (TARP), the Federal relief effort to victims of Hurricane Katrina and the intelligence community. In all of these cases, the varying Federal agencies involved all at their own IGs but Pelosi still wanting an overarching IG appointed to look at the entire effort.

Pelosi was speaker of the House when Congress approved the $700 billion Wall Street bailout in 2008 which included a Special Inspector General for the program. As Congressman Roskam pointed out, that IG effort has “identified $5.3 billion in restitution and savings, including $533 million in direct taxpayer savings. In comparison, the healthcare law is estimated to cost $1.8 trillion when fully implemented, dwarfing TARP's cost to taxpayers.”

Is it just a coincidence that every one of those IG proposals Pelosi pushed for came when a Republican President was in the White House? Why is it only for this massive effort, when a Democrat works in the Oval Office and is responsible for the biggest Federal entitlement program ever created, that Pelosi thinks an IG is unnecessary?

Give that Pelosi, who famously said of Obama Care that “we have to pass it so you can see what’s in it” implying she had no clue what was going on, and given that Obama Care was written behind the closed doors of Pelosi’s office in cahoots with health care industry lobbyists, could it be there’s something in Obama Care that she fears an Obama Care IG will expose? 

It has been my experience that whatever Nancy Pelosi says, just the opposite is true or likely to happen. Meaning that the need for an Obama Care Inspector General must be of the utmost priority and importance.

So let’s review: 1) religious and Constitution rights still under fire and attack by Obama Care, 2) more proof that Obama Care insurance policy costs will likely rise dramatically in cost within the next year, and 3) what is Nancy Pelosi hiding by opposing an Inspector General function for Obama Care? Just another day of unfolding disasters for the law.

Tomorrow is guaranteed to be the last update this month, a writer and nation can only take so much bad news at once.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March, 2014 The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Crae, Part 7: Losing Access To The Best Hospitals, Prostate Cancer For Women, Is Harry Reid Now Lying?

This is our seventh and hopefully last, update this month regarding the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care. It is not that we have covered all of the latest disasters, we are just getting too depressed talking about how this piece of horrid legislation is affecting the financial and economic health, along with the freedom, of just about every American. Even if we finish up today, you can be sure that this time next month we will be going through a new round of fiascos and insanity being spawned from Obama Care.

1) A March 18, 2014 Associated Press article had some very depressing news for current and potential cancer patients who have enrolled in Obama Care health insurance policies:
  • Some Obama Care insurance policy holders may not be able to access to some of the nation’s top cancer hospitals since those facilities are not on their insurer’s approved list of options, according to a survey of nineteen cancer centers throughout the country.
  • For example, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is not included by five out of eight insurers in Washington state's insurance exchange. 
  • The MD Anderson Cancer Center says it is included in less than half of the Obama Care plans in the Houston area.
  • World famous Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included in just two of nine Obama Care insurers in New York City.
  • Only four of 19 of the cancer centers that responded to the AP survey claim patients have access through all the Obama Care insurance companies in their state exchanges.
  • The article points out that up until recently, all insurance companies would have wanted to give their customers access to the best cancer hospitals in their states but now, Obama Care has shifted the focus from medical care to cost containment and many of these best cancer centers are more expensive.
  • "This is a marked deterioration of access to the premier cancer centers for people who are signing up for these plans," said Dan Mendelson, CEO of the market research firm Avalere Health, since the focus is on costs.
  • Distressing for cancer patients is that many of these patients may not be able get access to the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications.
  • Adding insult to injury, according to the article, it is not easy for consumers shopping online in the Obama Care new insurance markets to tell whether the best cancer medical institutions are included in an Obama Care insurance plan.
  • To really add insult to injury, the article also points out that the government-subsidized private plans on the exchanges typically offer less choice than Medicare or employer plans.
Thus, there is some good news about cancer from Obama Care. Previously, a cancer diagnosis could make a person uninsurable. Now, insurers can't turn away sick people with health problems or charge them more. Lifetime dollar limits on insurance policies, once a death sentence, especially for cancer patients, are also banned.

But, as we have pointed out previously in our Obama Care reviews, the good news is that you have health care insurance, the bad news is that you cannot health care treatment. By never resolving and attacking the root causes of our escalating health care costs, the Obama Care legislation allowed the accounting industry to take over the health care industry. And costs and profits now drive the health care process rather than doctors and patients driving the health care process. 

To keep insurance premiums low, insurers have designed narrow, and less expensive, networks of hospitals and doctors. And as a result, the same design process has also narrowed the range and depth of potential treatment scenarios for cancer patients. By not including a top cancer center an insurer can cut costs even if it sub optimizes treatment.

The AP article also points out a more insidious insurance company aim. By excluding the top cancer treatment options out of its hospital list, the insurance company may also protect itself from risk, slyly implying to cancer survivors or people with a strong family history of the disease that they should look elsewhere for the best treatment, minimizing the insurance company’s list of high potential and high cost cancer patients.

This is what happens when you to not fix the real cause of a problem, in any walk of life. The problem persists and you have to look for other ways, other short cuts to minimize the ongoing issues with the true root causes. And that is all Obama Care is, a Rube Goldberg short cut process that resolves nothing, it just moves around the risk and costs without reducing either.

2) It is often very scary when politicians speak and you realize that great swaths of your life and well being are dependent on them being intelligent, informed, and not ignorant of the issues. Unfortunately, as it often happens, this was not the case relative to a North Carolina state government politician, Verla Insko. In public and during a televised hearing of a state Senate proceeding regarding Obama Care, Ms. Insko proved to be possessing none of these attributes.

During the state Senate legislative hearings on Obama Care, she asked about the percentage of prostate cancer patients that were women: "What percent of the prostate cancer patients are women?" She asked this question of Duke University research scholar Chris Conover during the hearing in Raleigh.

"I have no idea," Conover replied, as people in the room began laughing.

"I would guess zero," he added. "But I don't know that for sure."

Ms. Insko, probably decision maker on health care matters in the state of North Carolina, did not now that prostate cancer is strictly a male problem. And she is in a position of power to decide the health care needs of residents in that state. Insane.

3) We have asserted any number of times in this blog that Obama Care and its ineptness could end up killing Americans who otherwise would have had longer lives in the absence of Obama Care. A recent investigative article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper was summarized in a March 18, 2014 on the Bankrupting America website:
  • Larry Basich said he began trying to enroll into an Obama Care health insurance policy in Nevada on Oct. 1, 2013, the day the exchange website went live. 
  • Like most Americans trying to use the Obama Care health exchange websites, he had to overcome technical flaws during multiple sign-up attempts. 
  • Finally, in mid-November, six weeks or so after he started the sing up process, he finally got through the morass and chose his plan: UnitedHealthcare’s MyHPNSilver1.
  • His description of the process: “It was like reaching the third level of Doom.” 
  • Basich paid his first premium on Nov. 21, 2013 and within days, the Obama Care health exchange withdrew the $160.77 monthly premium payment from his money-market savings account. 
  • According to the Journal-Review, because Basich paid a month before the Dec. 23 deadline, his Obama Care insurance coverage was to commence on Jan. 1, 2014.
  • However, as the weeks ticked by in late 2013, Basich received nothing to confirm he actually had health insurance except for the fact that someone had taken his money.
  • Nevada Health Link, the state Obama Care exchange, kept telling him he was enrolled, but UnitedHealthcare said he wasn’t in their system and thus, they were not covering him.
  • Unfortunately, Basich’s predicament went critical on Dec. 31, when he had a heart attack.
  • His post heart attack treatment, which included a triple bypass on January 3, 2014 resulted in $407,000 in medical bills in January and February that no insurer is covering and for which he is constantly getting sent bills to pay.
  • In the meantime, the Obama Care exchange has billed and collected premium payments from his account for the months of January and February even though the insurance company still says he is not covered.
  • This whole mess has resulted in everybody getting involved, from the insurance company to the people operating the health exchange to his insurance agent to representatives from Nevada Senator Harry Reid’s office, with nothing being resolved. [Note: this is the same Harry Reid who in late Febraury claimed that ALL Obama Care horror stories were untrue. I think this qualifies as a horror story in the Senator’s home state.]
  • The only thing Baisch knows is that everyone agrees that his Obama Care health insurance coverage will begin in April, almost four months after he started making Obama Care payments, and which he continued to make, for insurance he expected to have started nearly three months ago, coverage that was promised to him by the exchange.
What a mess and stress to put on an American who is trying to remain stress free and recover from a serious heart problem. But apparently he is not the only American or Nevadan suffering through similar trials and tribulations. 

The Bankrupting America website piece, which excerpted information from the newspaper article, refers to a Ms. Burch who apparently owns or works for an insurance brokerage firm called Branch Benefits Consultants. She asserts that Mr. Basich is not unique:
  • Burch estimates that of nearly 200 Branch Benefits Consultants client sign ups via Nevada Health Link for Obama Care polices, only 5% have gone through problem-free.
  • More than 20 of her customers experienced the same plan-selection issue as Basich. 
  • One client chose an effective coverage date of March 1. Her insurance card showed an effective date of Jan. 1. Burch said that when she called to fix the issue, a customer-service rep told her the system showed a start date of April 1.
  • With the March 31 enrollment deadline looming, Burch states that she still sees other widespread enrollment problems, including frequent website error messages, incorrect Federal government subsidy calculations, payments missing within the Obama Care data systems despite clients’ canceled checks, and incorrect effective coverage dates. 
What a mess and an unfolding disaster for every American. We are going to cap this month’s string of disaster reviews at seven days. However, rest assured, at this time next month there will be another string of disasters from the worst piece of Washington legislation ever written.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

March, 2014, The Unfolding Disaster That Is Obama Care, Part 5: Missing Every Target Imaginable, The First Insurer Bailout Is On Record and More

This is the fifth post this month relative to the unfolding disaster that is Obama Care, as we slog our way through the never ending nightmares that this legislation spawns. The first in this month’s update can be accessed at:

Today’s disasters start now:

1) Theoretically, if you do not have health insurance coverage by the end of this month, you are supposed to pay a fine for being so negligent of Obama Care’s tenets and PR campaign. As we discussed earlier this week, this is really a shadow/faux deadline since the President recently, unilaterally, and un-Constitutionally decided that if you have any kind of self-determined “hardship” you can exempt yourself from this requirement. 

This is a new concept in government, self exempting yourself from a Federal law without proof. When we first reviewed this idiotic action by the President, we fantazied of exempting ourselves from other Federal laws, specifically the law that requires me to pay Federal income tax. I doubt the President would allow me to flaunt that law even though he is flaunting his own pet piece of legislation and the tenets it laid down.

However, the penalty is still on the books and the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that from 2015 to 2024, the mandate penalty, which the Supreme Court ruled is essentially a tax, could cost Americans upwards of $51 billion. The irony and hypocrisy here is another broken promise/lie that came directly from the President’s mouth: the Obama Care legislation promised not to raise taxes on the middle class. Another promise broken because you can bet that the vast majority of people that end up paying this penalty, or tax, will come from the middle class and lower class.

Adding insult to injury, this administration thinks we are too stupid to realize this is another Federal tax. In pure Orwellian, and “1984” misspeak, the administration does not call this a tax, they call it the “shared responsibility payment.” If it smells like a tax, the Supreme Court calls it a tax, if it hurts to pay it like a tax, it is still a tax. 

2) How many times over the past three years did the President utter these words or similar words:

“No matter how we reform healthcare, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.”

This turned out to be one of the President’s biggest lies or deceptions. Millions of Americans have lost access to their current and preferred health insurance policies, their preferred doctors, and their preferred hospitals, all as a result of Obama Care. White House and other government documents prove that this administration and the writers of the legislation knew that tens of millions of Americans would lose access to their current health insurance and medical situations years ago but said nothing. Or even worse, lied about the reality.

But in the second example of showing how stupid this administration thinks we are, one of their favorite press representatives, Dan Pfeiffer, was recently on Meet the Press where he insisted that Obama Care was not causing millions of Americans to lose access to their doctors. It was the health insurance companies that were causing the lost access. 

Come oneMr. Pfeiffer, never in the history of the country have millions of Americans lost access to their preferred doctors in such a short time. Is it just a coincidence that the first time happened as Obama Care rolled out and that Obama Care had nothing to do with it? 

Please, do not insult our intelligence with such idiocy. If you are going to lie, at least make it believable whether it is lying about lost doctor access or telling us a tax is not a tax. Your lack of creativity in you PR deceptions are boring and insulting to us. 

3) On March 13, 2014, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the House of Representatives Ways and Means committee that nobody knows how many Obama Care enrollees have actually paid their Obama Care health insurance premium bills. Yes, in another epic screw up by the people that put the information systems specs together for Obama Care, no one seemed to think that actually counting the number of people that actually sign up for and pay forObama Care policies was important.

But as always, Kathleen Sebelius, the point person in this administration on operationalizing Obama Care had a lame excuse: “People are buying a product in the private market. As soon as we have accurate information, we will give it to you. But we do not currently have information about how many people have paid.”

Unbelievable that they do not have any way to count how successful or unsuccessful they are. As we discussed previously, can you imagine the Chairman of Amazon going to his Board of Directors and telling them that he knows how many people put products in their Amazon virtual shopping cart but he has no idea how many of those items in the shopping cart were actually paid for. He would be fired on the spot for incompetence.

The administration does think it knows that 4.2 million Americans have signed up for Obama Care insurance policies through the health insurance exchanges. But they do not know 1) how many of them were previously uninsured, 2) how many of them were younger and healthier, a requirement for the Obama Care financial model to work, and 3) we now know they have no clue how many have actually paid for their Obama Care policies. These are basic data collection processes that should have been primary specs in the website development. 

The bad news for the administration and the legislation is that a recent Mckinsey survey found out three things:
  1. The percentage of people signing up for Obama Care policies that are younger and likely healthier (27%) is substantially below the threshold (40%) the administration says it needs for the legislation to be financially viable = bad news.
  2. Of people signing up for Obama Care policies in the survey, only 27% of them were previously uninsured which implies that Obama Care is doing a bad job of hitting its target market (the previously uninsured) = bad news
  3. The percentage of people in the survey who said they signed up for Obama Care policies AND were previously uninsured (27%) AND have paid for those policies was 13%, implying that less than half of those that signed up for Obama Care insurance policies actually followed through and actually paid for them = bad news.
If these survey estimates are valid, and given the high quality reputation of McKinsey as a consulting and marketing firm they probably are close to reality, this says that quite possibly less than half of the 4.2 million people that have signed up for Obama Care policies have actually followed through and purchased those policies. 

This puts the real number of Obama Care insured Americans not at 4.2 million or so but closer to about 2 million or so, far short of their 7 million goal by March 31, 2014.

5) And the McKinsey estimates might indeed be true, based on some early real life experiences of a major health care insurer. Kentucky base Humana insurance has indicated that it will ask for a payment of $450 million out of the Obama Care insurer back up fund to cover losses it anticipates on Obama Care policy holders.

It seems that Humana is already realizing that the Obama Care effort is severely missing its target mix of customers, not providing enough younger, healthier customers to offset the higher percentage of generally older and sicker customers coming across from the Obama Care health exchanges. 

Thus, it looks like McKinsey is right on this point and if they are right on the other points, Obama Care is not hitting its target market, its target enrollment estimate, and its target mix. In baseball that’s three strikes….and you’re out.

And we are out for today. More disasters to review, at least through tomorrow.

Our book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom And Destroying The American Political Class" is now available at:

It is also available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please pass our message of freedom onward. Let your friends and family know about our websites and blogs, ask your library to carry the book, and respect freedom for both yourselves and others everyday.

Please visit the following sites for freedom:

Term Limits Now: