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In March of 2011 my wife and I quit or jobs, cashed in our chips and left the big city behind to move to our farm hidden away in northeast Georgia. These are our observations on the news of the day and our adventures in homesteading, becoming self reliant, prepping and living a simpler, more fulfilling life.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Report on the Nation

Unhealthy Healthcare Overhaul

      If the federal government can force it's citizens to buy health insurance with the threat of penalties and fines, what next will they force on us. Experts are lining up on the side of this mandate being unconstitutional, I hope they are right. The American people have always been a kind and caring people.... to a fault it would seem. Most would support and help pay for a program to provide healthcare for those who can't pay for it themselves. If the government could run such a program fairly, effectively and efficiently most would support it and would be willing to help pay for it. Not much chance of the government, in it's current state being up to the task, they do so little well now. Obamacare creates 1968 individual  grants of power, most to HHS. It also creates 159 new government entities to administer it. Nope... can't see anything going wrong here.- JP

HHS admitted Obamacare was “recipe For disaster” According to newly released documents, President Barack Obama's underlings -- including his Vice President -- and Democrat leaders in both houses of Congress knew that Obamacare would become a fiscally unsustainable entitlement program, but they pushed for it's passage anyway. In yet another scandal brewing within the Washington Beltway, a new federal probe reveals the administration withheld crucial information from Congress about a new health care entitlement program that was destined for fiscal trouble. 

Obama and the Democrats said just about anything to Americans to attempt to gain their support for Obamacare. When that didn't work, they pushed the legislation through and told Americans they wanted it. CLASS is supposed to provide long-term care insurance, including nursing home payments and in-home nursing care. Benefits are supposed to be funded with contributors’ premiums and not taxpayer money. However, under the current structure, it would need more enrollees (234 million) than the entire American workforce. Internal communications released this week indicate CLASS would essentially require federal subsidies or a mandate forcing all workers to pay into the government’s new program. Read more... obamacare-was-recipe-for-disaster

INSIDE WASHINGTON: 'Zombie' program cuts deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — They're calling it the zombie in the budget.
It's a long-term care plan the Obama administration has put on hold, fearing it could go bust if actually implemented. Yet while the program exists on paper, monthly premiums the government may never collect count as reducing federal deficits.
Real or not, that's $80 billion over the next 10 years
"It's a gimmick that produces phantom savings," said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates deficit control..
The program was created under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, and arguably provided much of the 10-year, $143 billion in savings claimed under the law. But now some Capitol Hill aides have dubbed CLASS a "budget zombie." Read more...inside-washington-zombie-

 Bending Obamacare’s honesty curve downward

Growing list of health care lies plagues president’s overhaul

Illustration: Hell in a handbasket by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times  

The Obamacare house of cards is crumbling before our eyes. The Obama administration’s signature piece of legislation brings a sixth of the U.S. economy under federal control, and the writing is on the wall: Obamacare will collapse under the weight of its own false promises. The only mystery left is whether we will allow America to go down with it.
Remember when President Obama claimed over and over again that his health care plan would “bend the cost curve downward”? He even declared resolutely that he would not otherwise sign the bill. Well, add that to the growing list of Obamacare lies.

Calling a lie a lie is difficult for some people, but I cannot apologize for being blunt when America’s future is at stake on such a serious matter. At best, the only alternative is what “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno recently said of the president: “I can’t figure out if he’s the kind of guy who makes infomercials or the kind of guy who falls for infomercials.” Read more... bending obamacares honesty curve downward

Judicialwatch Obtains Obamacare Documents from HHS
If you need evidence of the turmoil created by Barack Obama’s socialist health care overhaul, you could certainly look at the myriad of legal challenges currently working their way through the courts. (A date with the Supreme Court is a certainty.) Or you could look at the massive influx of applications from unions and companies scrambling to get out from under the law’s oppressive requirements by obtaining waivers from the Obama administration.
The Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced an arbitrary September 2011 cutoff for waiver applications, but right up to this deadline these exemptions continue to proliferate. According to The Hill, 106 new waivers were granted in July, bringing the total to 1,472 unions and companies that have been granted exemptions from Obamacare. And yet, the Obama administration continues to be super secretive regarding just how these waiver applications are evaluated.

The documents include a list of all of the labor union leaders who attended a meeting with President Obama, along with brief biographical information on each participant. The list included: Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO; Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union; and Jim Hoffa, President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, among other Big Labor leaders.
What assurances did the Obama administration give to labor leaders in exchange for their support of the plan? The documents we previously uncovered suggest that the key provisions of the Obamacare law were written solely to address the concerns of union interests. (And now we see Big Labor getting 50% of the waiver haul.) Read more... http://www.judicialwatch

 Democrats resist another Obama stimulus

Even liberals aren’t in favor of tax hikes to pay for a ‘jobs’ bill

U.S. billionaire investor Warren BuffettIt’s not just the American people who are abandoning President Obama in droves. Polls show “The One” has become “Number Two” when matched up against Mr. Generic Republican. Now even Mr. Obama’s best friends are growing similarly uneasy with his policy proposals.
From the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, investor Warren Buffett abandoned the Obama administration’s storyline on the “Buffett Rule.” Mr. Obama had cited the Nebraska billionaire’s bogus tale about paying a higher tax rate than his personal secretary as an excuse to hike taxes on those earning as little as $200,000 a year. Read more... democrats resist another obama stimulus

For the better part of a month the President has traveled the country (he has averaged  1 re-election fundraiser every 3 days since April) pounding his fists on his podium, scolding Republicans for putting party before country, blaming them for all this countries problems and demanding that for the good of the nation they pass in full his Jobs Plan. For most of that time Congress had yet to receive it. On October 5th Senator Mitch Mcconnell (R)offered (with bill in hand) to (as the President has repeatedly demanded) bring the bill to a vote, then and there. Senator Harry Reid (D) stopped the vote. The Presidents own party won't support his bill. He won't say a word about that though.- JP
UPDATE: OCT 7th- Last night in the Senate, Harry Reid and 50 Democrats voted to change Senate rules permitting amendments to bills called to the floor for a vote. Apparently McConnell had attached an amendment to an energy bill that the Democrats didn't want to vote on.....
The amendment called for a vote on the AMERICA WORKS ACT....aka Obama's "jobs bill".
That's right....Harry Reid not only prevented a vote on Obama's jobs bill....he changed the rules of the Senate in order to prevent the vote... And yet Obama continues to pound the podium.... blaming Republicans for holding his jobs bill and the economy  hostage. -JP

Durbin says Democrats don’t currently have the votes for Obama jobs bill

Obama on jobs bill: ‘I’m ready to sign it’

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said, at the moment, Democrats in Congress dont have the votes to pass President Obamas jobs bill, but Durbin added that that situation would change.  
Not at the moment, I don’t think we do, but, uh, we can work on it, Durbin said, according to Chicago radio station WLS.  
There are some senators who are up for election who say I’m never gonna vote for a tax increase while I’m up for election, even on the wealthiest people. So, we’re not gonna have 100 percent of Democratic senators. That’s why it needs to be bipartisan and I hope we can find some Republicans who will join us to make it happen.Read more...democrats don't have the votes

Obama’s 'jobs' plan pushes class warfare, tax hikes

Some might say President Barack Obama is arrogant. His administration is mired in investigations over financing Fast and Furious, a government operation that funded placing weaponry in the hands of drug cartels. Obama funneled half a billion dollars to Solyndra; US taxpayers’ money evaporated when the solar energy company failed. Solyndra is a story that continues to unfold, raising serious questions about ethics in the Obama administration.

In a recent speech when he unveiled his plans for boosting the economy, Obama stridently called for Congress to “pass the bill.” Those repeated calls were a side splitter. At that point Congress hadn’t a clue what would be contained in an unwritten bill.
Of course, that didn’t stop Democrats before—they passed a healthcare bill without even reading it. Read more...class warfare

Dems Want Law To Keep Obama Records Secret

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid succeeded in passing a health care law that the majority of Americans opposed.

In an obvious effort to protect President Barack Obama, a group of congressional Democrats has introduced legislation to create an official process that will allow the commander-in-chief to keep presidential records secret after he leaves office.
Ironically, Obama revoked a similar George W. Bush order in one of his first official acts as president. In 2001 Bush penned an executive order severely limiting public access to his presidential records. Shortly after swearing in, Obama killed it as part of his much-ballyhooed commitment to government transparency. At the time, the new president claimed that he was giving the American people greater access to “historic documents.”  Read more... judicialwatch records-secret

APNewsBreak: Dems mum on Obama proposal on debt collectors pursuing money owed government

WASHINGTON — To the dismay of consumer groups and the discomfort of Democrats, President Barack Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cellphones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the federal government.

"Enabling robo-calls (to cellphones) is just going to lead to more harassment and abuse, and it's not going to help the government collect more money," said Lauren Saunders of the Boston-based National Consumer Law Center. "People aren't paying their student loans because they can't find a job." Read more... Obama Debt Collectors

       I have been accused more then once of being closed minded, of being unwilling to listen to the other side, to weigh the opposing view. A charge I reject in it's entirety. A lifetime of political involvement and study of our nations history has led me to this: Our founders left us an amazing gift. They gave us a form of democracy, a Republic that though by no means perfect, it is the envy of the world. . Although our system of government may now seem broken and our Republic malfunctioning. And in some respects the people serving in it make it appear somehow perverse and manipulated, mankind has yet to find a system that better serves and protects it's citizens interests. Our system still works, still functions as it has for most of it's existence. 
        I have written in the past about a choice we as a nation will soon make. It is not just the upcoming election or which party we favor or who we elect as our next president, although those are an important part. The choice we make will be in the philosophy we decide as a nation to follow. We have, throughout history struggled to pick between two very different visions for America. We have split along these visions. For the last 230+ years we have pulled and pushed, tugged and shoved and yes, even fought over which vision would win out. One vision- vision A) believes that the governments job is to guarantee some form of economic justice, to insure that everyone does well, or as well as possibly can be done. The other vision- vision B) believes in economic opportunity. This vision believes it's not the governments job to guarantee outcome, but to insure an environment that allows people the opportunity to pursue  their hopes and ambitions. Neither has moral authority, neither owns the rights to patriotism. It is not good vs. evil or right vs. wrong. It is in fact... just a choice.... a choice that we need to make, and one that needs to be made soon.

     I fear too many in this country do not appreciate the important's  and the magnitude of this decision. The solutions to our countries fiscal and social problems will come from the vision we choose. Group A) believes we need to raise revenue thru higher taxes, they believe in something they call a fair playing field. They believe in using regulation and government programs to manipulate things in our culture until these things match their determination of fair. They believe that government programs are the key to stimulating economic growth. Vision B) believes that personal responsibility, choice and competition will allow it's citizens to reach and achieve higher goals. They believe the revenue our government needs should come in part, not from higher taxes but from a growing tax base. More workers employed, more businesses started, more economic growth. Growth driven by the private sector, not the government.

Vision A) Believes employee pay and benefits are best regulated by government regulation and union inclusion. Vision B) believes that ultra low unemployment is the key to raising workers standards of living and their benefits. More employers competing for employees forces higher pay and better benefits.
      Both groups believe in safety net programs. Group A's programs have been in operation in various forms for 40+ years, you can decide for yourself if it works as you believe it should. Group B) believes in helping those who through no fault of their own need help. And they believe in helping those who try to help themselves. They believe we cannot continue programs that turn us into life long wards of the state.

     I have of course simplified somewhat, a general outline is all I can offer in one sitting, but the points... none the less are valid, and the issues real. Regardless of the direction we choose, austerity measures are coming. We are in to deep to get out without some pain and some shared sacrifice. Well, shared by some anyway. Fedgov spends about 300 billion each month, of that 120 billion is borrowed. This month, next month and month after month Fedgov will borrow. Our dept grows and so does the interest on that dept. Month after month the interest we must pay takes a larger percentage of our spending.. We now borrow to pay interest on money we already borrowed. According to the GAO (Government Accountability Office) if these trends continue, by 2021 Social Security, Medicare and the interest on the dept will take up 98% of our yearly budget... What a stinking shit pile we are in. This is not hyperbole, this is not propaganda from some conservative strategy session. It is mathematical certainty. It is fundamental economic reality that we simply cannot continue without a re-think of our direction.

     It doesn't matter who you are, where your from, your background, your income level or anything else, borrowing 120 billion a month is more than to much, it is insulting and absurd and a razor blade to the wrist of every american.

     So... it is up to you, which vision will you choose? You have some time to decide, but not much. It will take several elections to commit the nation to change, but we need to start soon. I believe we will need to choose one or the other... A or B. We can no longer afford for them to co-exist. The middle ground only ensures failure. Take some time, think carefully and choose wisely.- JP



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