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Category Archives: Corruption

That Doesn’t Cover It

Have you gone online and enrolled for your Cover Oregon health plan yet? You know, the plan with the catchy commercials that cost $10 million [1]? You know, the plan with the website that we spent $160 million to develop[1]?  What’s that you say? No? You haven’t gone online to enroll? Oh well, don’t be too discouraged, because nobody else has either.

The fact of the matter is that even though Oregon received a $48 million “early innovator grant” for showing the country how to be a model Obamacare participant, our fine state has completely failed to deliver on its promise that we’d all be healthy, insured, and singing folk songs together by today. And this is in spite of receiving $305 million dollars in federal grants to get it done. Governor Kitzhaber must have misspoke when he assured us that we were “in really good shape” and that we’d “come through this very well,” even after consultants warned him ahead of time that the system was doomed [2].

This embarrassing failure, which has been described as “massive” [1] and “spectacular” [2], did not prevent the good folks at Cover Oregon from enrolling 4,000 illegal immigrants with full coverage after hiring several hundred people to process paper applications [1]. This could be due to the fact that the Cover Oregon employees were told to push through enrollments even if they lacked a social security number [1]. But even with all the illegal immigrants and shady practices to help, they’ve only enrolled about 64,000 people in health plans. Considering how much they’ve spent, that’s a cost of over $4,700 per person just to enroll them.

So what’s next for the state of health care in the State of Oregon? It looks like we’re going to return to the loving fold of the federal insurance marketplace. Won’t that be nice?

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Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Corruption, Government

 

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Patience Smatience

If you’re a busy President whose nominees keep getting blocked by the Senate, what are you to do? I mean, your staffers did a lot of hard work coming up with that list of names and those jerks over in Congress keep shooting them down. You can’t be making a new list every time the legislators think your nominees are unsuitable because that starts to seriously eat into your golfing schedule, so in the interest of saving time, you just skip the step of finding candidates that are acceptable to all parties and just appoint who you want. Sounds, reasonable, right?

Well, that’s just what our dear leader did. The Senate wouldn’t allow votes on his nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, so he used the constitutional power of making recess appointments to fill the vacancies. The only problem with that is that the Senate wasn’t in recess when he did it. Recess appointments are a means to temporarily fill a position when the Senate is in recess, not to side step the system of checks and balances that allows the legislative branch some control over the executive branch’s nominees.

But our current chief executive doesn’t really think that that dusty old constitution applies to him. If Congress doesn’t like his nominees, he’ll just put them in himself. If Congress won’t play ball, then by golly, he’s got his pen ready to sign all the executive orders he could possibly need to push his agenda through, or as he puts it, “move the ball forward” [1]. There will be no “waiting for legislation” [1] for this president.

But this time, it looks like even his loyal supporters in the Supreme Court can’t justify his abuse of power in making recess appointments when there is no recess. When Justice Kagan won’t back him up, that’s when you know that he’s really crossed the line. All I can say it that it’s about time.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Corruption, Government

 

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Say Uncle!

Sometimes the Obama administration feels like a merry-go-round. On every rotation we get the same pattern. First comes a scandal that’s explained away with a lie. Next comes the exposure of the lie, followed by an explanation of how the lie is in no way connected to the President, and then everyone gets to work forgetting that it ever happened and calling anyone who dares bring it up again a racist. Round and around we go! Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA, spying on the AP, “If you like it you can keep it”, and the ride continues.

The scandal this go around is Obama’s illegal alien uncle. The scandal is that Obama’s uncle was arrested for drunk driving and turned out to have outstanding orders for deportation. The lie was that the President had never met his uncle, and the lie was revealed when it came to light that Obama had lived with his uncle while attending college. The explainer-in-chief Jay Carney says that nobody had ever actually asked the President if he knew his uncle, so ergo he was never dishonest, we should all just forget about it, and Republicans are all bigots for bringing it up.

Now, I couldn’t care less if Obama lived with his entire extended family during college, and I don’t think the President is accountable for the actions of his uncle. However, this latest incident, like the others, is evidence of at least one of two things; either a fundamental lack of integrity, or a fundamental lack of administrative skills. Either the President is a liar, or he is unable to capably run his administration.

Either way, this constant spinning is making me nauseated. If this merry-go-round we’re on is due to administrative incompetence, then the President needs to clean house, and if it’s due to dishonesty, it’s time for Americans to stop looking the other way. Let’s get off this ride.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Corruption

 

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Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire – Part 2

Does anyone remember when back in August of 2012, the Chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, deliberately misquoted the LA Times to support a lie about Republicans in a fund-raising letter? When called out about her dishonesty by Anderson Cooper, her response to him was to declare “it doesn’t matter. [1]

Fast forward to the present day, and she’s back to her old tricks. By now, everyone must be familiar with Obama’s spectacularly failed promise that everyone who wanted to keep their existing health plan would be able to do so. So what’s an administration with such a problem to do? Call the liar-in-chief, of course.

And call her they did. Out trotted Ms. Wasserman Shultz on MSNBC, like the dutiful trained pony that she is, where she claimed, “There was nothing about what President Obama or that I or any other Democrat supporting the Affordable Care Act said that was not true. [2]” Really, Ms. Wasserman Shultz? Really?

Perhaps her goal with such a statement was to shock her opponents into a stunned silence with sheer brazen dishonesty. I’m at a loss as to what else could have prompted such an announcement, because she surely knows that the President’s own rule-writers estimated that huge percentages of people would lose their grandfathered plans at the time he made his famous “You Can Keep It” speech [3].

She also stated that only 3% of Americans would lose their existing health plans, when the real experts think that the number will be closer to 68% by the end of 2014 [4]. But not to worry, because according to her, “At the end of the day, most of those people who are having their plans transitioned will have better benefits for lower costs [2].” I guess what was implied was, “Don’t worry about all those families whose premiums and deductibles have gone up as their coverage has gone down [5].”

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2013 in Corruption, Entitlement, Politicking

 

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The Parable of the Mid-Life Crisis

Our government has become like a household in which the children are governed by the dictates of parents who have become increasingly hostile to one another. The children who agree with the rules of one parent are verbally abused by the other, and the household is in dire financial straits, with both parties refusing to cut any of their expenditures.

One day, the father gets his heart set on a new Ferrari (because all the other dads have one) and goes out and buys one without the approval of the mother. Predictably, she’s upset and demands that he take it back because they can’t afford it. They can’t agree on the subject and shut down the household, and to show how serious they are, they refuse to let the children enter their own rooms because the heat may have been turned off.

This dysfunctional home is our country. The parties who should be running our country have chosen petty bickering over doing their job. And because one party decided to shove a bloated and ineffective health care bill on people who never wanted it, the other has decided to stop paying for anything until it’s taken back to the dealership.

Government shutdowns are not anything new; this is the eighteenth since 1976. But the level of petty partisanship is unprecedented. Neither side is providing any information on what’s happening, and negotiations with the President didn’t even start until we were 10 days into the shutdown. Perhaps the administration was too busy giving Charlie Sheen-esque quotes about winning, kicking people out of their homes, and barricading open-air war memorials.

In a dysfunctional home, it’s the children who suffer from the poor behavior of the parents, and in our country, it is the citizens who are suffering from the childishness of our politicians. It’s time for the kids to tell mom and dad to grow up.

 

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Big Brother Is Watching

When news of the government’s collection of phone and internet data first came out, the people and agencies responsible tried to assure everyone that it was only general data that was being collected and that it was all for our own good. Senator Feinstein told us that she knows “people are trying to get to us” and that wholesale data collection is “called protecting America” [1]. Senator Graham was all for “Verizon turning over records to the government,[1]” as long as it’s to catch terrorists.

But last week, freelance writer Michele Catalano wrote about an unannounced visit from 6 armed men that belies the claims that only general data is being collected and that only terrorists are being targeted. Several weeks ago, this writer’s family made various internet searches. She, the wife, researched pressure cookers [2]. Her husband googled backpacks, and after the Boston bombings, her son read news stories about how the bombers found bomb-making instructions on the internet.

Several weeks later, 6 armed men in plain clothes pulled up to her house in 3 black SUVs while her husband was at home. Two came to the front door, while the other 4 surrounded the house. Her husband was a really good sport, and let them into the home, where they performed a cursory search, and asked questions about their alleged ownership of pressure cookers. In the course of discovering that the family was not a terrorist cell, they told the husband that they perform about 100 such visits per week.

Does this sound like general meta-data gathering to anyone? To me, it sounds like the government is gathering very specific and very individualized data about what we are doing on the internet without probable cause. The 4th Amendment gives citizens the right to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,[3]” and that right is clearly being violated.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in Corruption

 

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Guilty Even When Proven Innocent

The Zimmerman trial came to a conclusion this week with a very predictable verdict of not guilty. To anyone that had taken the time to look at the case objectively, this could not have come as a big surprise. The facts of the case undeniably showed that Zimmerman did not commit second degree murder, and the prosecution never had a shot of proving that he did.

So, if the facts show Zimmerman to be innocent of the charges, why is the government still trying to find some way to re-try him on trumped up charges? The Department of Justice has gone so far as to set up an e-mail account to solicit “tips” from the public on ways to bring Zimmerman up on civil rights charges [1]. Not only are they trying to skirt the Double Jeopardy clause in the constitution, they are also using the Zimmerman trial to go after stand your ground laws, which weren’t even a part of the case. Our illustrious Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech to the NAACP stating that people who are being threatened have a “duty to retreat” [2], which means he thinks the only option for people being robbed or attacked should be to run away and hope for the best.

Just what is going on here? Does anyone really want to live in a country where the government can just keep retrying you until they get the verdict they’re looking for? Do you want to live in a city were a mugger can press charges against you if you defend yourself?  Does anyone actually believe that a home invader will wait nicely while you call the police to protect you and your property? Of course, the answer to all these questions is no.

Whether or not you believe Zimmerman to be a criminal, don’t let our leaders use this case to trick you into giving up your safety.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Corruption, Government

 

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