Archive for June 17, 2013

WASHINGTON –  The Supreme Court ruled  Monday that states cannot on their own require would-be voters to prove they are  U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make  signing up easier.The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona’s voter-approved requirement that  prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a  registration form produced under the federal “Motor Voter” voter registration  law.Federal law “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to  submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” Justice Antonia  Scalia wrote for the court’s majority.The court was considering the legality of Arizona’s requirement that  prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a  registration form produced under the federal “motor voter” registration law. The  9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the National Voter Registration Act  of 1993, which doesn’t require such documentation, trumps Arizona’s Proposition  200 passed in 2004.

Arizona appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

“Today’s decision sends a strong message that states cannot block their  citizens from registering to vote by superimposing burdensome paperwork  requirements on top of federal law,” said Nina Perales, vice president of  litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and lead  counsel for the voters who challenged Proposition 200.

“The Supreme Court has affirmed that all U.S. citizens have the right to  register to vote using the national postcard, regardless of the state in which  they live,” she said.

The case focuses on Arizona, which has tangled frequently with the federal  government over immigration issues involving the Mexican border. But it has  broader implications because four other states — Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and  Tennessee — have similar requirements, and 12 other states are contemplating  such legislation.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented from the court’s  ruling.

The Constitution “authorizes states to determine the qualifications of voters  in federal elections, which necessarily includes the related power to determine  whether those qualifications are satisfied,” Thomas said in his dissent.

Opponents of Arizona’s law see it as an attack on vulnerable voter groups  such as minorities, immigrants and the elderly. They say they’ve counted more  than 31,000 potentially legal voters in Arizona who easily could have registered  before Proposition 200 but were blocked initially by the law in the 20 months  after it passed in 2004. They say about 20 percent of those thwarted were  Latino.

Barbara Arnwine, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee  for Civil Rights Under Law, called the decision a victory. “The court has  reaffirmed the essential American right to register to vote for federal election  without the burdens of state voter suppression measures,” she said.

But Arizona officials say they should be able to pass laws to stop illegal  immigrants and other noncitizens from getting on their voting rolls. The Arizona  voting law was part of a package that also denied some government benefits to  illegal immigrants and required Arizonans to show identification before  voting.

The federal “motor voter” law, enacted in 1993 to expand voter registration,  requires states to offer voter registration when a resident applies for a  driver’s license or certain benefits. Another provision of that law — the one  at issue before the court — requires states to allow would-be voters to fill  out mail-in registration cards and swear they are citizens under penalty of  perjury, but it doesn’t require them to show proof. Under Proposition 200,  Arizona officials require an Arizona driver’s license issued after 1996, a U.S.  birth certificate, a passport or other similar document, or the state will  reject the federal registration application form.

While the court was clear in stating that states cannot add additional  identification requirements to the federal forms on their own, it was also clear  that the same actions can be taken by state governments if they get the approval  of the federal government and the federal courts.

Arizona can ask the federal government to include the extra documents as a  state-specific requirement, Scalia said, and take any decision made by the  government on that request back to court.  Other states have already done  so, Scalia said.

The Election Assistance Commission “recently approved a state-specific  instruction for Louisiana requiring applicants who lack a Louisiana driver’s  license, ID card or Social Security number to attach additional documentation to  the completed federal form,” Scalia said.

The case is 12-71, Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona,  Inc.

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Hero or Traitor?

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

First came the good news from the West Coast about how Obamacare will be lowering premiums for individuals shopping in the new state exchanges. Never mind that in California the official folks at the exchange, who are supporters of health reform, mixed apples and oranges to reach their conclusion that rate shock had not materialized. Now come the official folks in Ohio, who, by the way, are not big Obamacare supporters, warning Buckeye State consumers that “insurers expect the cost to cover healthcare expenses for consumers will significantly increase.” Never mind that their predictions are based on what insurers have told them their “costs” will be—not on the actual premiums they plan to charge.

The Ohio Department of Insurance explained its thinking in a press release:

“While those costs do not specifically track with the premiums insurers charge individual customers, it is expected that these increases in costs will also translate to significant premium increases for many Ohioans.”

Question: If the state isn’t exactly sure what these “increases in costs” mean in terms of dollars and cents in premiums, why did it issue a press release and hold a news call with reporters? The answer, according to the press release, was to “help health insurance consumers continue to prepare for the expected price increases.” But the Department’s real message seemed to be that insurers have no choice but to simply pass on some unidentified and unspecified costs.

A question the press might have explored: What costs? As I’ve explained recently, insurers consider lots of factors in determining premiums. These include the cost of medical services, how much more they can charge older people than younger ones, where policyholders live, how tough a state regulates them, what the competition looks like, their expenses in selling the policies—and the profits they’d like to earn. When actuaries mix these elements together, they arrive at a price, or a premium, that they hope will be low enough to entice shoppers to buy their products.

The Associated Press and The Columbus Dispatch picked up on the “analysis,” and the AP’s piece effort got a lot of pickup. Neither story was a model of clarity. It’s fair to ask what Ohioans got from this reporting. Probably not much, except maybe another helping of confusion.

The AP story started with the department’s thesis—that insurers’ costs of covering Ohioans in the insurance shopping exchange (which will be run by the feds in Ohio, since the state opted out of running its own exchange) would be “significantly higher.” The second graph continued:

“That means individuals should also brace for potentially higher costs when purchasing coverage through the new insurance marketplace created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, state officials said.”

The third graph told readers that the state did not look at actual premiums, however. The fourth reported that Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a Republican who is also the director of the insurance department, noted that specific premiums will vary and could change when the state reviews them, but that “premiums will track very closely with the cost.”

Taylor also said that benefits required by the law are “much richer” than the benefits previously available to Ohio consumers. What the heck did that mean to readers? And was that the reason for these higher costs? The AP didn’t really explain, but did throw out some numbers, telling readers that “projected costs to the companies for providing the required health benefits under the law ranged from roughly $283 to $577 for individual plans.” But for which plans—the bronze, the cheapest type offered in the exchanges; the silver plan; the gold plan; or the most expensive platinum plan, where coverage is top-notch. And who do these “costs” apply to—20 year olds? Or, 30, 40, or 60-year-olds? Numbers tossed out like confetti mean nothing without specifics.

At the end of the piece, the AP repeated what has become almost a standard graph in these kinds of stories:  Young, healthy people will get rate increases, but older people will see rates decrease, leaving readers to think 60-year-olds will pay lower premiums than 25-year-olds. They won’t. Older consumers will pay more—sometimes much more in absolute dollars.

Original article at cjr.org

The American Resolution Newsblog

Thomas-Jefferson-9353715-1-402“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

For many years now schools across the nation have not been teaching our children how to think, but teaching the what to think.  There is no shortage of evidence of this in the Texas school system.

Back in march of 2013, the Texas Board of Education announced that they would be removing Thomas Jefferson from world history classes devoted to great political thinkers.

Thomas Jefferson is not only highly regarded today as one of the greatest figures in American history, but he was also a revolutionary leader in the events leading up to 1776.

Read more here

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MichaelRamirez

The predictable hits just keep on coming as the Obamacare clock ticks down toward full implementation.  Liberals have shifted gears from arguing the law will lower costs and reduce premiums for everyone — which is how the unpopular overhaul was dishonestly marketed — to shrugging that hey, at least many uninsured and lower-income citizens will get affordable coverage.  But even that’s not universally true, as many American workers are about to painfully discover.  Behold, the “Affordable” Care Act in action (via the Associated Press):

It’s called the Affordable Care Act, but President Barack Obama’s health care law may turn out to be unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels. That might seem strange since the law requires medium-sized and large employers to offer “affordable” coverage or face fines. But what’s reasonable? Because of a wrinkle in the law, companies can meet their legal obligations by offering policies that would be too expensive for many low-wage workers. For the employee, it’s like a mirage — attractive but out of reach. The company can get off the hook, say corporate consultants and policy experts, but the employee could still face a federal requirement to get health insurance.  Many are expected to remain uninsured, possibly risking fines. That’s due to another provision: the law says workers with an offer of “affordable” workplace coverage aren’t entitled to new tax credits for private insurance, which could be a better deal for those on the lower rungs of the middle class.  Some supporters of the law are disappointed. It smacks of today’s Catch-22 insurance rules.

They’re “disappointed,” and are already mobilizing to pin their own mess on insurance companies.  Their solution, of course, will be to forge ahead to a fully government-run single payer system — which has been the objective from word one.  They’ll ask Americans to forgive them for producing a disastrous, unworkable federal power-grab, insisting that it can only be fixed by even bigger government.  No thanks.  The AP story above shines the spotlight on a gaping loophole in Obamacare.  Basically, major employers of low-wage workers can technically satisfy the law’s requirement that they offer “affordable” coverage to full-time employees, even if the new rates aren’t actually affordable in reality.  Unable to pay the premiums being offered by their employers, and ineligible for taxpayer subsidies to obtain coverage on their own (because they’re “choosing” not to accept their “affordable” employer options), many of these workers will determine they have no choice but to remain uninsured — and will pay the anti-middle classObamacare mandate tax for the privilege of doing so.  What a deal.  Guess who’s heading for the exits as this monstrosity looms?  Ta-da:

Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting. The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive…If the issue isn’t resolved, and massive numbers of lawmakers and aides bolt, many on Capitol Hill fear it could lead to a brain drain just as Congress tackles a slew of weighty issues — like fights over the Tax Code and immigration reform. The problem is far more acute in the House, where lawmakers and aides are generally younger and less wealthy. Sources said several aides have already given lawmakers notice that they’ll be leaving over concerns about Obamacare. Republican and Democratic lawmakers said the chatter about retiring now, to remain on the current health care plan, is constant.

Read more at TownHall.com

Hey, Dad. If you’re going to send your kid to a public school or a state run university, then you’ve got to teach your child not to just sit there in class, like a nice boy, and take whatever propaganda the “progressives” shove down their pie hole.

The Conservative/traditionalist is the rebel of our day. “The Man” and “The Machine” on campus to rage against is not stodgy traditionalism, but rank socialism and its moral and political vacuity. Meet the new boss — it’s not the same as the old boss.

For Dads who want their kids to make a dent on their campus for God and country, not only for their sake but for the following generations, I have seven things your charge must take on if they want to screw with the asinine screwballs at their school. To be an effective agent of rebellion have them do the following:

1. Get a sense of humor. Most of the liberal teachers and student activists are a screeching, nerve-grating, nasally bunch of emotional basket cases.

Therefore, conservative student, when you queue up to address your crowd, be pleasant, poke fun at yourself, remove the whine from your voice and use honed humor to humiliate the Left. Getting folks to laugh at your opponents and not being rabid about taking yourself so seriously helps get your point across.

2. Get creative. God bless technology. Conservative rebels, you have at your technological fingertips the wherewithal to go creatively crazy with the real possibility of a stack of people seeing and hearing you take on the Left’s propaganda peddlers via social media.

3. Get tough. One thing that drives me nuts about some wussies on the right is their bemoaning how they get attacked when they go public in the classroom with their sentiments. What did you think the Leftists were going to do, clap? Buy you candy? Look, not-so-sharp holder of traditional values, we’re in a very real culture war. The crap will hit the fan when you counter the liberal crud in the classroom. Embrace it. Suck it up. Get tough.

4. Get prayerful. Most folks on the ludicrous left who embrace what 21st century Democrats currently spew are admitted atheists. Seeing that they don’t believe in the God who is, I’m a guessin’ they are probably not down with the discipline of prayer. The traditionalist (usually) believes in the God of Scripture . . . the God who’s got a will and way that He’d like to see implemented on the planet. Therefore, start praying with faith and oomph for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (this includes your campus).

5. Get informed. Conservative contrarians, you’ve got to get the following books and read them:

Read more at TownHall.com

Check this out!!

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

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