Friday, April 25, 2014
by Jeffrey Dorfman
April 5, 2014
We have finally (almost, sort of) reached the end of Obamacare signups. The White House is claiming over seven million people have signed up with several million more now on the Medicaid rolls. Democrats are desperate to find a success somewhere in the Obamacare narrative, so reaching seven million is the story of the moment. However, as bad as the open enrollment period and its infamous healthcare.gov website was, the real problems are about to begin. Now people are going to try to use their new insurance.
The problems that will create the next headlines will come in three main flavors: lack of access to doctors, failures of the system to verify coverage and pay claims, and the incredibly high deductibles and copays on many of the exchange insurance policies.
Insurance companies believed that people shopping for health insurance on the government exchanges were very price sensitive so that low prices were needed to attract buyers. Thus, the insurers only signed up doctors and hospitals willing to agree to low reimbursement rates to their exchange-offered plans. That means that many of the plans, especially the silver and bronze ones, come with much more limited networks than Americans are used to. The newly insured are likely to find that, similar to Medicaid patients, it will be hard to find doctors who accept their new insurance. Having health insurance does not mean you can get care; you actually need a doctor for that, and a lot of people are in for a nasty surprise when they realize how limited their choices of providers are. U.S. Senator Tom Coburn finding out his cancer doctors were not part of his new Obamacare plan is just one famous example of this access issue.
Similarly, it was hard for people on Medicaid to find providers who accepted Medicaid before. Now there are several million more people competing for space in the same number of doctors’ waiting rooms. Obviously, the problem of accessing care with your Medicaid coverage just got worse.
While the infamous healthcare.gov website eventually worked well enough to get seven million people enrolled, the back end to the system apparently still is more fictitious than functioning. That means that insurance companies are not sure who they are supposedly covering. Figuring out who has or has not paid their first premium and therefore actually has insurance is complicated. Doctor’s offices are having a hard time determining which patients they can see and then get paid for. As these newly insured people try to use their health insurance we are already getting stories about nightmares attempting to verify coverage. Again, if the provider cannot verify your coverage, you are not really going to have access to care.
Finally, there is the enormous problem of deductibles and co-pays. Depending on the level of coverage selected and the amount of subsidy a family is receiving, the out-of-pocket expenses can vary significantly. Still, many people are going to find that they have a deductible as high as $6,000 and are expected to pay 40 percent of the cost of their treatment as a co-pay. According to Scott Gottlieb, families qualifying for the largest subsidies face limits that can still be as high as $4,500 in total out-of-pocket spending for a family. If you did not previously have insurance because you could not afford it, why would policy makers think that you can now suddenly come up with several thousand dollars to cover such large deductibles and co-pays?
In reality, many people have surely signed up for coverage through the exchanges because they are receiving a subsidy and the monthly premium cost to them is a figure they can afford (thanks to taxpayers and young people for covering the rest of the true cost). When these people first use their new coverage and a health care provider explains they owe a deductible and co-pay there is going to be a sudden and steep learning curve. Many doctor offices request immediate payment of these monies and many newly insured patients are going to be unable to make such payments. If they could afford a $6,000 deductible and 40 percent co-pays, they would have already had insurance.
In the past there have been protests over proposals to raise Medicaid co-pays by even a few dollars. In Georgia, many state employees are facing higher out-of-pocket costs due to a change in their health care plan, and the protests are underway. These are people with pretty good jobs, but facing thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses is not what they expect from their health insurance. Yet, increased deductibles and co-pays are one of the few features appearing in the health insurance market that might bend the cost curve downward.
The reality is, if you bought insurance through a new health care exchange, providers will be limited, the administrative, back-end stuff will not work for a while, and people will not be able to pay their deductibles and co-pays. Thus, as Obamacare moves from sign ups to actual usage it will all start to fall apart. Given the push for health care to be a right and to be more equally and universally provided, calls will arise to force providers into networks and for lower cost to patients. Now that health care is a “right,” people will want it to be better, more available, and cheaper (to them).
Thus, expect calls to change the plans so that deductibles and co-pays must be lower. Failure of Obamacare will be seen not as a failure of government involvement in health care but as failure to go far enough. Single payer will return to the policy arena as the “obvious solution” to these problems.
That’s right; my prediction is that an epic government failure will spur calls for more government involvement to fix the problems caused by government involvement. The question is with Republicans poised to add Senate control to their current House majority will a Republican Congress and a Democrat, lame-duck president whose name is synonymous with the law in question agree on anything that fixes the problem?
Given Washington’s track record, I doubt it. Therefore, expect Obamacare nightmares to continue for a while. As far as problems with this law, we are still in the early days.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Jon Stewart 'Weakest Lincoln' Panel of "Experts" Were All Lying About Lincoln Never Enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act
The proof? How about the writings of Lincoln's own bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon [pictured above], who also happened to be one of Lincoln's appointed U.S. Marshals whose job it was to enforce it
by Larry Simons
March 25, 2014
When Jon Stewart had Judge Andrew Napolitano on his program The Daily Show on March 11 to discuss Abraham Lincoln, Stewart created a mock game show titled 'The Weakest Lincoln', in which three so-called "experts" would rule on weather Napolitano was telling the truth in his responses to Stewart's questions about Lincoln or the Civil War.
The three "experts" were professors Eric Foner, Manisha Sinha and Jim Oakes. After a segment where Stewart, Napolitano and Prof. Sinha were discussing the slave trade, Napolitano says, "The President used federal marshals to chase down slaves that had escaped and returned them to the South during the Civil War!"
All three exclaimed, "That's not true! That's not true!", almost in perfect synchronization. Stewart then asked his "expert" panel, "How is that not true?" All three at once stated, "It didn't happen" or "It's not true".
watch this segment [at 6:36 into the clip]
Lamon himself stated in his own book Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 1847–1865 (A.C. McClurg and Company, 1895), "After the law was passed emancipating the slaves in the District of Columbia, that territory was made, or sought to be made, the asylum for the unemancipated slaves of the States of Maryland and Virginia. Mr. Lincoln was not yet ready to issue his general emancipation proclamation; the Fugitive Slave law was still in force and was sought to be enforced".
Click to enlarge
Notice how Lamon states this fugitive slave enforcement was "after the law passed emancipating the slaves in the District of Columbia". He is referring to the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, which ended slavery in Washington D.C., which Lincoln signed into law on April 16, 1862, a full year into Lincoln's presidency. Proof that Napolitano was absolutely 100% correct.
Napolitano told the three "experts" the fugitive slave law was enforced "during the Civil War". April 16, 1862 was a full year and four days after the war began and Lamon clearly stated the slave law was still in force during this time.
Also, in Ward Hill Lamon's book The Life of Abraham Lincoln as President, a book that was written in the 1880's but published in 2011 by editor and author Bob O'Connor, Lamon once again confirms that the Fugitive Slave Act was in full force. Lamon writes:
"The Fugitive Slave Act was yet in force. The District of Columbia Emancipation Law had gone into effect, and Maryland and Virginia slaves were constantly seeking a refuge of safety from slavery. The District of Columbia was a depot for them but was not an asylum under the law in existence. The effect of the passage of the law without the concomitant protection and relief made it most embarrassing and complicated for all the local judicial, ministerial and executive officers. Slavery was abolished in the territory. The law was plain enough on that subject. The fugitive slave law was still in force. The federal law and Maryland statutes were also in force in the District. Virginia and Maryland slaves soon flocked to the District."Lamon continues:
"Before and after the compensated abolition of slavery the execution of the fugitive slave law in the District of Columbia became a question much discussed by Congress and was a frightful scandal to radical members. The District had become the asylum of runaway slaves from the border states, particularly from the rebel state of Virginia and the quasi-loyal state of Maryland. The fugitive slave law remained in force and no attempt was made by Congress to repeal it or provide for the protection of the executive officers whose duty it was to enforce it."It is clear from the words of Lincoln's own personal bodyguard and U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon, that the Fugitive Slave Act was fully enforced by Lincoln all through the war.
Napolitano is correct. Stewart's panel of Lincoln "experts" are bald-faced liars.
Creationist Ken Ham Calls Bill Maher A "God-hater" for Simply Telling the Truth About the Noah Story
Not only does Ham ignore why Maher made the "God-hating" statements, but as usual, responds to them [as he did in his debate with Bill Nye] with a barrage of Bible verses
by Larry Simons
March 25, 2014
It is official. Creationist Ken Ham simply does not possess true debating skills without relying 100% on the usage of Bible verses alone. Remove the Bible verses from Ken Ham's debates and attempted refutations, and all you would hear is conjunctions [but, nor, for, and, etc..].
Ham published an article on his website Sunday titled, "Bill Maher Is Going to Pass On" [what an astoundingly profound deduction, that a human being will die one day, wow], in which he condemns comments made by Maher during his "new rules" segment of his HBO program Real Time with Bill Maher, in which Maher correctly referred to God as a "psychotic mass murderer".
Maher was simply reminding his studio and home audiences just how ridiculous the whole Noah/Noah's Ark story really is. Maher said:
"New rule: No one can blame me when I say, 'This is a stupid country when 60% of the adults in it think the Noah's Ark story is literally true'. Which is why I'm already sick of seeing the ads for this floating piece of giraffe crap [the movie poster for the film "Noah" appears in background]. Although, the movie has been condemned by both Christians and Muslims so it must be doing something right.
I don't know about the elephants on Noah's Ark, but the elephant in the room in 2014 is that we are now a full 4 centuries removed from the scientific revolution. Four centuries after Copernicus. After the time that humans realized that through science, we can actually get a real answer to almost every question about our world...
(And) when he (Noah) was 600, he and his three 100 year-old sons built a boat onto which in one day, they loaded over 3 million animals, all of which were apparently indigenous to within 5 miles of the boat. But get this, what the Christians who are now protesting this movie are upset about, is that it doesn't take the biblical story literally enough. They're mad because this made up story doesn't stay true to their made up story".
These words bother Ham and his ilk for one reason and one reason only: It is an independent thought coming from a person that does not bow to the status quo when it comes to religion. Maher speaks his mind about religion, one of the very few celebrities that actually do. Christians routinely get angry at those whose behavior does not fall in line with biblical teaching [like gay people] or those who make comments that are not "christian-like" but aren't necessarily unleashing a verbal assault on the religion itself.
Maher does just that. He addresses the actual belief behind the religion, and that is what gets Christians like Ken Ham outraged. Maher says out loud what most are afraid to say, that most of the stories in the Bible are 100% complete bullshit.
In Ham's article, he does not actually address the specifics of what Maher said on his show. Ham doesn't dispute that God murdered thousands/millions of babies in the flood. Know why? Because he simply can't refute it....it's true. Ham doesn't dispute the ridiculousness of 3 million animals all being in close proximity to the ark. Know why? Because it is ridiculous.
Instead, Ham just spits out Bible verse after Bible verse as if scripture alone is a refutation. Ham fails to realize that if one does not accept the Bible as fact, which Maher clearly does not, then a Bible verse will hardly be of any value or consolation. Bible verses are the only ammunition Ham can resort to, because common sense is not an option.
Ironically, the website and ministry Ken Ham created entitled Answers in Genesis is an odd title since the book of Genesis actually creates more questions than it answers. There are so many problems with the Noah story alone, these problems could be the subject of an entire book.
Maher continued to say on his show:
"But the thing that’s really disturbing about Noah isn’t the silly, it’s that it’s immoral. It’s about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it, and his name is God. Genesis says God was so angry with himself for screwing up when he made mankind so flawed, rrrrrr, that he sent the flood to kill everyone, everyone, men, women, children, babies. What kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he’s mad at? I mean, besides Chris Christie.
Hey God, you know you’re kind of a dick when you’re in a movie with Russell Crowe and you’re the one with anger issues. You know, conservatives are always going on about how Americans are losing their values and their morality, well maybe it’s because you worship a guy who drowns babies. And then God's genius plan, after he kills everyone, is to re-populate the world with a new crop of the same assholes that pissed him off the first time. With predictable results, he kills millions more.
Why are we getting our morals out of this book? Why do people follow any of it?"
"So why does God allow Bill Maher to continue his increasing God-hating comments? He really is tempting God. It’s as if he’s saying, “Come on God, I’m saying more and more outrageous things about You—come on—come and get me!”
Ham is delusional. Maher is doing no such thing. Maher is at the very least an agnostic. I would even bet that Maher is an all out atheist. There is no doubt that Maher is an atheist when it comes to Christianity in particular. That's clear. So, why would an atheist be mocking or tempting a god he believes is not there?
What kind of god would care about Maher speaking these words, but yet turn a blind eye to some of the most catastrophic events of the past 80 years [the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, 9/11]? For a god to do absolutely nothing to either prevent or bring justice to the ones responsible for these horrific events in our history, and yet give attention to or intervene on something as petty as one man criticizing the Bible, that god would have to be exactly what Maher says he is, psychotic.
"Bill Maher is blaming God for death because he does not want to accept that he is a sinner in need of salvation."
Yep, that's exactly what Maher is doing.
"He [Maher] wants to be his own god—he shakes his fist at the God who created man and also provides the gift of salvation for those who will receive it."
Wants to be his own god? Manson, Koresh and Jim Jones wanted to be gods. Maher condemns religion as a constant assault on intellect, science and human reason. This is "wanting to be a god"?
"Yes, God is longsuffering toward Bill Maher. But it is appointed unto Mr. Maher that he will die—and then God has the last say. One day Bill Maher will give an account to God for all these statements he has made: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36)."
One of the biggest issues I have with Christians or any follower of their particular religion is the fact that they describe what will happen to others who do not accept what they believe as if it is irrefutable fact. Ham says, "One day Bill Maher will give an account to God for all these statements he has made". Really? That's fact? You know this, Ken Ham? Or do you just believe it?
Christians pass off things that they simply believe will happen as things they know will happen. They do not even know God exists let alone if Jesus existed, or if any of the teachings were actually spoken from Jesus himself. Yet, this does not prevent them from equating biblical teachings to things they do know for certain [their skin color will be the same the next day and every other day, they will be the same sex tomorrow, the sun will rise in the morning and set in the evening, etc].
To Christians, there is no distinction between things they witness on a daily basis and teachings/concepts written in the Bible. If Jesus says he will return in the Bible, then a Christian will claim they know that to be true. They will make no distinction between Jesus' promises and knowing their feet will get wet once they step into a swimming pool.
Maher doesn't live in this delusional dimension, where things are miraculously known to be 100% fact without ever having witnessed it before. The principle of faith is not unreasonable and it is a concept that is found in the Bible repeatedly. But Christians do not stop at just having faith, or telling others that it is faith that motivates them. They tell others that biblical teaching is 100% bona fide fact. This is Ken Ham's world: knowing something to be fact without there being a precedent for it.
People like Bill Maher and myself, we choose to live in reality, not fantasy.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Jon Stewart Pulls A 'FOX News' by Putting FIVE Lincoln Apologists Against Judge Napolitano, the Sole Lincoln Myth Debunker
Stewart himself, his news correspondent Jessica Williams and three other Lincoln "scholars" gang up on and attempt to debunk Napolitano. It doesn't work
by Larry Simons
March 15, 2014
On Tuesday's telecast of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart invited back to his program FOX News' senior judicial analyst [and one the most educated libertarians in the country] Judge Andrew Napolitano to discuss comments Napolitano made about Lincoln on a FOX Business channel program called The Independents [from February 15]. These comments were criticized by Stewart on his own show on February 25.
Part 1 of the Stewart/Napolitano interview
One major topic that arose during this interview was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which was a law signed by President Millard Fillmore as a part of the Compromise of 1850. The law required federal marshals and law enforcement officials to capture escaped slaves on nothing more than the sworn testimony of a slave owner. This new slave act, which strengthened the previous Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, penalized any law enforcement official [state or federal] who did not arrest the escaped slave. Marshals could get hit with a $1,000 [the equivalent to over $28,000 today] fine for not arresting the alleged slave, and they were awarded bonuses for capturing fugitive slaves.
Lincoln enforced the Fugitive Slave Act during his entire presidency. Lincoln even promised to enforce it in his first inaugural address when he said:
"I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause—as cheerfully to one section as to another.
There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:
No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."In other words Lincoln is saying, "The Constitution [fugitive slave clause] says that fugitive slaves must be returned to their owners, and I will enforce the Constitution."
One huge piece of evidence that slavery was dying off prior to the Civil War [more specifically, prior to 1850] is that roughly 100 slaves a year were escaping to the North in the 1840's. If this had continued, slavery would have eventually disappeared on its own because there was no consequence for escaped slaves since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was being ignored on a monumental scale.
The Supreme Court even ruled in 1842 that states were no longer required to offer aid in the recapturing of runaway slaves. This ruling all but nullified the 1793 Slave Act. The 1850 Slave Act made the law stronger by fining federal marshals for not arresting or capturing fugitive slaves. One may ask, "How is this Lincoln's fault? He didn't sign the Act, Fillmore did."
During Lincoln's entire presidency he trashed the Constitution on almost a daily basis. If he was going to ignore the Constitution anyway, why did he not ignore its only flaw, the Fugitive Slave clause? The answer can be found in his first inaugural. He didn't care about slavery...at all. Lincoln states:
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
His own words. He simply didn't care about it. But one thing he did care about: He did not want one black person [slave or free] coming to the North, hence his strong support for the Fugitive Slave Act. Had Lincoln ignored this Act, slavery would have died off, as Napolitano assured Stewart during the interview.
In Part 2 of the interview, Stewart says this:
"There is very little in our country's history that is morally clear as Abraham Lincoln fighting at great personal cost to preserve the Union and abolish slavery from the American continent forever".
As the idiotic crowd gives a thunderous applause after Stewart spouts off this nonsense, Napolitano fires back and states, "That was not Lincoln's purpose". Stewart responds, "To preserve the Union?" Napolitano answers, "To abolish slavery". Napolitano continues, "His purpose was to preserve the Union so he could collect tariffs from Southern ports". Stewart responds, "That's just silly. That's just silly".
Really Jon? There is one person who can set Stewart straight on this. Lincoln himself. In his first inaugural, Lincoln states the reason for preserving the Union:
"I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.
In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere".
To "collect the duties and imposts". In other words, tariffs. This was his one and only reason for wanting the Union preserved. In reality, it wasn't even to "save the Union". It was to eviscerate States' rights and to employ his new "American system", the program of internal improvements, protective tariffs and centralized banking.
Stewart then says, "The idea that you would place tariffs above slavery, to me is mind blowing". No, Jon, Lincoln placed tariffs above slavery, in his first inaugural address, as I have shown above. Stewart desperately needs to understand one important fact: Secession is NOT war. Slavery may have been an elemental factor is the South's secession, but the main reason for the secession was state's rights. Slavery just happened to be one of the reasons the South wanted their rights protected.
War was never anticipated in the South. It wasn't until Lincoln sent two armed warships into the Charleston harbor to "deliver provisions" despite the fact that federal troops were not going hungry [because the Confederates supplied them with food] that the Confederates fired. It was indisputably provoked.
The best part of the interview is when Napolitano asks Stewart, "Did Lincoln free the slaves?" Stewart responds by saying Lincoln freed only the ones in the Confederacy. Really Jon? Really? So, Lincoln, who had NO authority in the South whatsoever had the authority to free their slaves [despite slavery being constitutional]? Lincoln had always insisted that he was fighting to "save the Union". By even uttering the words "save the Union" he was essentially admitting that the Southern states had taken part in a legitimate secession from the Union, or else there would be nothing to "save".
Lincoln had never publicly given legitimacy to the South's secession, and if he never gave it legitimacy it stands to reason that he still considered it part of the Union [United States]. Since this is the case, this means Lincoln committed treason according to Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution, which states:
"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."
My point is, if Lincoln still considered the seceded states part of the Union, he was committing treason by levying war against them. If Lincoln gave legitimacy to the seceded states, then he had no authority, for it was a separate nation. The Emancipation Proclamation only applied to Southern states and did not apply in the North or Union-controlled areas of the South. Why would Lincoln "free" slaves where he had no authority but do nothing about slavery in the areas where had had total control? The answer is simple: The Emancipation Proclamation was not about ending slavery. It was a war measure designed to do everything but end slavery, everything from attempting to cause slave rebellions in the South to deporting all the "freed" slaves out of the country. It had nothing to do with anything humanitarian.
Napoiltano was absolutely correct in stating that the 13th Amendment abolished slavery [not anything Lincoln did]. For if the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery, there would be no need for a 13th Amendment two years later. The fact is, Lincoln never supported our current 13th amendment. But he did support the original 13th amendment, the Corwin amendment.
The Corwin amendment was a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would have made slavery a permanent fixture in the Constitution and would make it impossible for the federal government to ever interfere with slavery. The amendment stated:
"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions [slavery] thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State."
Lincoln expressed his support for this proposed amendment in his first inaugural address by stating:
"I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service....holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable."
After Napolitano points out to Stewart that the Emancipation Proclamation actually preserved slavery in the border states and parts of Louisiana, Stewart says, "He didn't want the border states to join the Confederacy". So, in other words, Stewart is saying that Lincoln was so opposed to more states seceding, that he allowed those states to keep their slaves. Odd move for a man who "supposedly" despised slavery. And it is equally odd that Stewart would think that Lincoln fought the war over slavery when Stewart basically just acknowledged that Lincoln allowed some states to keep their slaves in hopes that they remained in the Union, but he was against the South having slaves because he [Lincoln] hated slavery so much, he would go to war over it.
Just a minute earlier in the interview, Stewart justified the North's complete destruction of the South, the burning of their cities, raping of their women and murdering innocent civilians because "war is hell" and because "the South clung to the abhorrent institution of slavery", then literally a minute later he justified Lincoln's allowing the border states to keep the institution of slavery in hopes they would stay in the Union.
Translation of Stewart's words: Slavery is OK as long as you live in a state that is loyal to the Federal government. But if you stand up to the Federal government and rightfully secede as the Constitution permits and you want to keep your slaves as the Constitution permits, it is completely justified if federal armies invade you, destroy and bomb your cities, rob your banks, blow up your court houses, rape your women and murder your children.
Then came the segment where Stewart gangs up on Napolitano and has five, yes FIVE Lincoln apologists against Napolitano, the only one in the segment defending the truth against revisionist bullshit. It was a game show format and Stewart called it The Weakest Lincoln.
The five people are: Stewart himself, his news correspondent Jessica Williams, and three Lincoln "scholars", Prof. Eric Foner, Prof. Manisha Sinha and Prof. Jim Oakes.
Stewart would ask a question about Lincoln or the Civil War. Either the Judge or Williams [dressed as Lincoln] would ring in and answer. Stewart would then go to the "experts" for the final word.
When Stewart asked Oakes about the tariff issue, Oakes replied, "Nobody was thinking about the tariff at that time". Then Oakes tried to save face and add, "They failed to mention it when they seceded from the Union". Stewart says, "Nobody likes a good tariff". Oakes then flat out lies and says, "There was no tariff".
Napolitano chimes in and reminds Oakes that the tariff was at 32%. Actually the good Judge is wrong here. The tariff went to 37.5%, more than doubling it from 15%. It is true that the actual tariff was not passed and signed into law until March 2, 1861, long after seven states had already seceded. But the Morrill tariff had already passed the House in 1860 by a vote of 105-64. Only 15 of the 64 "nay" votes came from the North. In other words, the tariff was highly opposed in the South.
When the bill was passed to the Senate for a vote, it was held up until the second session of the 36th Congress. It was expected to be voted on in March 1861, but in late 1860 and early 1861, seven states seceded and 11 pro-Confederate Senators withdrew their seats in the Senate. It passed 25-14. Ironically, had the Southern Senators remained in the Senate and voted, the bill may not have passed. But then again, if the tariff was going to pass [and it was], the Senators may have just been expelled anyway.
The federal treasury was in a financial crisis, with only $500,000 on hand. The government needed revenue desperately. Everyone knew the Morrill tariff would pass. After the first seven states seceded, Lincoln may have already been planning how he would invade the Southern states.
It was known as early as March 4, 1861, two days after the bill was passed, that Lincoln did not care about Southern slavery but yet demanded "duties and imposts" from the seceding states as he mentioned it in his first inaugural address.
Oakes is flat out lying that "nobody was talking about the tariff". The tariff was the main platform of the new Republican party. Lincoln was very pro-tariff, and he was a staunch protectionist. As economist Thomas DiLorenzo writes in The Real Lincoln, "[Lincoln] was one of the most ardent protectionists in American politics during the first half of the nineteenth century and had established a long record of supporting protectionism and protectionist candidates in the Whig Party".
It may be true that only Georgia mentions the tariff in their Declaration of Secession, but several Southern states discussed tariffs in their conventions. It was a huge issue of the seceding states. Maybe one major reason the Southern states referenced slavery and not the tariff in the secession declarations is because Southern slavery not only benefited the economy in the South but Northern interests as well. They were simply attempting to plead their case that slavery benefited both portions of the country and to make any attempt to abolish it, would also affect Northern interests.
The seceding states felt no need to mention tariffs at great length in the declarations simply because once their states seceded, they were no longer obligated to pay it since they were establishing a new government. They knew that Congress had the constitutional authority to raise tariffs, so their separation from the Union was not over a constitutional issue per se, but an economic one. In their minds, the Federal government not only wanted to disrupt slavery, but also hit them with a 37% tariff [up from 15%], which would have decimated the economy in the South.
During the "Weakest Lincoln" segment, Prof. Manisha Sinha is very disingenuous when she tells Stewart that the Morrill tariff was not raised until after the states seceded. The bill was passed after the states seceded. The Democrat and Republican proposals for the tariff were submitted between 1857 and 1859, two full years before the bill actually passed. This means that the seceding states knew what the tariff increases were long before secession. Stewart then gloats that he was actually "correct" earlier during the interview with Napolitano. Stewart wasn't right and either was Sinha. They are both liars.
Commenting on Napolitano's statement during the interview that slavery was on its way out [a comment that has always been misrepresented by the way. Napolitano only means it was on its way out as a whole, because 11 other countries around the world between 1813 and 1854 had abolished slavery. It stood to reason that the U.S. was not far behind], Foner says:
"Slavery was not only viable, it was growing. There were more slaves in the United States in 1860 than there ever had been before. This idea that it was dying out, it was going to die out, is ridiculous. It was thriving and growing....".
Even if this is true, it was because of one thing only, the enforcement and lack of abolishment of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. If slavery was abhorrent to Lincoln, why did he never make any attempt to abolish it?
Near the end, Napolitano says, "..the President used federal marshals to chase down slaves that had escaped and returned them to the South during the Civil War!"
All three "experts" immediately interject, "That's not true", which many left wing blogs have characterized as "debunking" Napolitano. In fact, it is very true. I have already spoken at great length about this at the beginning of the article. In addition to that evidence, author and scholar Stanley Campbell writes in his 1970 book The Slave Catchers:
"In the meantime  the Fugitive Slave Law remained in force and was executed by the federal marshals in the border states".
"In October 1861 the Louisville Journal was pleased to report that a resident of Louisville had recovered his fugitive slave from the state of Indiana by due process of law. The federal marshal had acted promptly, and the fugitive slave tribunal performed efficiently in remanding the slave to his owner".
"In May 1862, the Superior Court in the District of Columbia ruled that the Fugitive Slave Law was as applicable to the District of Columbia as it was to any of the states. The docket of the court for 1862 listed the claims of twenty-eight different slave owners for 101 runaway slaves. In the two months following the court's decision, twenty-six fugitive slaves were returned to their owners from the fugitive slave tribunal in the nation's capital".
"As late as June 1863, six months after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, fugitive slaves were still being returned to their masters in the loyal states. On June 12, for example, three women and four children were arrested as fugitive slaves and taken before United States Commissioner Walter S. Coxe, in Washington. After a hearing they were remanded to the claimant from Prince George's County, Maryland, and on June 28, Commissioner Coxe remanded two fugitive slaves to claimants from the same county in Maryland".
For Foner to suggest that Lincoln did not carry out the Fugitive Slave Law would be suggesting that his Lord and Savior did not enforce a federal law. Foner cannot have it both ways. He cannot claim Lincoln did not have his marshals arrest and return slaves while at the same time claim that Lincoln was the law-abiding, Constitutional champion that himself and the rest of his fellow Lincoln cultists insists he was.
For any thinking and rational human being who has enough intelligence to distinguish revisionist history from cold hard fact, they would not have been fooled by this entire charade Stewart put on, and they would conclude that Napolitano, not Stewart, is on the right side of history.
"Weakest Lincoln" segment
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Jon Stewart Attempts to Humiliate Judge Napolitano On Basic Civil War Facts, Like Compensated Emancipation and What Caused the War Itself
Turns out, it is Stewart that humiliates himself by admitting on live TV that Lincoln tried to end the war by emancipating slaves in border states. Note to Jon Stewart: Border states were not part of the seceding South, hence not in rebellion with the Union
by Larry Simons
February 27, 2012
On Tuesday night's telecast of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart began a segment in which he examined things that Americans accept as gospel truth. One of them is the deification of Abraham Lincoln. He then played a segment from Fox Business Channel's program The Independents [from Feb. 15] where Judge Andrew Napolitano was a guest.
The clip shows Napolitano telling hosts Kennedy and Kmele Foster that he bemoans the fact that Lincoln has been mythologized over the past 150+ years. Stewart then wonders why Napolitano would bemoan a president that everyone likes. Stewart goes back to the clip where Napolitano says this:
"At the time that he [Lincoln] was the President, slavery was dying a natural death all over the western world. Instead of allowing it to die, or helping it to die, or even purchasing the slaves and then freeing them, which would have cost a lot less money than the Civil War cost, Lincoln set about on the most murderous war in American history."
Stewart then attempts to humiliate Napolitano by sarcastically trying to refute his facts. Stewart says:
"Ohh right. Compensated emancipation. Why didn't Lincoln think of that?"
Then Stewart, as he frequently does, pretends to be receiving information via an ear piece, says:
"What's that? Oh he did think of that. He spent most of 1862 trying to convince the border states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia to free their slaves in exchange for money and everybody said 'fuck off', OK."
In that one sentence Stewart humiliates himself by admitting the states Lincoln attempted to emancipate by buying slaves off were border states [states that permitted slavery but did not declare secession from the Union]. This begs the question: If Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri and West Virginia were not in rebellion against the Union, how would freeing slaves in these states end the war? Answer: It wouldn't.
As if this was not embarrassing enough for Stewart, he includes West Virginia in the five states that Lincoln offered compensated emancipation to. Nevermind that West Virginia wasn't a state until the following year . Stewart should fire every single one of his "fact-checkers" and then publicly apologize on the air for taking them at their word.
One might argue that Stewart is not attempting to argue the point of what Lincoln could have done to end the war itself, but what he was doing to end the institution of slavery. This would be erroneous, since this is the point Judge Napolitano was arguing in the segment.
Another interesting point to consider is why then, if these four border states were still loyal to the Union and Lincoln offered to emancipate their slaves by paying off slave owners, why didn't Lincoln invade these states as he did the eleven seceded states?
After all, we have been told repeatedly by Lincoln apologists that slavery was the cause of the war and that the North was fighting the South to end slavery. If this is the case, what stopped Lincoln from sending his Union armies to these border states to free these slaves [even after these four states did the worst thing imaginable: telling their own president "no" after he offered to purchase them]?
The act of these four slave states refusing Lincoln's offer of compensated emancipation begs several questions [assuming, of course, that Lincoln cheerleaders are correct about slavery being the cause of the war]:
1. After being turned down, why did Lincoln simply allow it and not invade them [as he was doing to the South]?
2. Why did Lincoln do nothing about slavery in these four border states even after offering to buy the slaves [and being told "no"], but invaded the eleven seceding Southern states when he made no such similar offer to purchase their slaves as he did with the border states?
3. Why did Lincoln never make an offer to the eleven seceding states to purchase their slaves?
4. If the war was fought over slavery, why then did Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation not apply to these four border states [and additionally did not apply to Tennessee or the counties in Virginia that would soon become the state of West Virginia]?
Stewart then plays another clip from the same telecast of The Independents. It shows Napolitano telling the hosts that it has never been clear that slavery was the cause of the war, but the impetus for secession was tariffs. Stewart then says, "Unless he's talking about a slave named "tariff", he's talking out his ass because in their own declarations of secession, South Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi all clearly put slavery as the number one issue for wanting to secede."
Stewart then proceeds to read an excerpt from Mississippi's declaration stating, "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world." The word "slavery" is mentioned 38 times in all three of these secession declarations combined, but Stewart fails to understand what most people misunderstand about the Civil War: slavery being the cause of secession is not synonymous with slavery being the cause of the war.
The South only wanted to separate from the Union, not go to war with it. Many will argue that the South fired the first shot. True, but many people have been lied to about the Battle of Fort Sumter. No history book tells how Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard allowed Union Major Robert Anderson and his troops to purchase food in Charleston up until April 5. The Union troops at Fort Sumter were by no means starving. Lincoln wanted to "reprovision" the fort, despite objections from his entire cabinet, the attorney general, the secretaries of war, navy, state and the interior. Even Yankee General Winfield Scott advised Lincoln to abandon the fort. Lincoln refused and sent a provisions supply ship to Fort Sumter accompanied by armed warships. Seeing the heavily armed warships coming into Charleston Harbor, the Confederates bombed the island for 36 hours, killing no one. Lincoln got what he wanted, his aggressors and an excuse to invade.
The three declarations of secessions might mention the word "slavery" 38 times, but nowhere is any mention of slavery linked to having a war over it. In fact, the word "war" is found in these three declarations 11 times, and interestingly, the only time the word is used in the context of any of the two factions [North and South] fighting each other, it is mentioned in reference to the Republican party [reference to the North only, since Lincoln's name was not on the ballot in ten Southern states] wanting to wage war against slavery [it is unknown whether that means literal war].
Napolitano was only partially correct about slavery dying out. The number of slaves were decreasing in a few border states, and would have decreased more if Lincoln had not been a supporter of the Fugitive Slave Law [an act of Congress in 1850 that declared all runaway slaves be returned to their masters upon capture] and had done something to get it repealed. The South did not want the federal government interfering with the institution of slavery. They wanted to emancipate slavery on their own free will and on their timing since a large part of the Southern economy depended on slave labor [unlike in the North].
If anything, the declarations of secession were trying to secure for the South the timing in which they would end slavery, rather than for protecting the institution itself. Less than 5% of all Southerners owned slaves. No Southerner cared that much about slavery to die for it.
Lincoln even stated in his first inaugural address he had no intention of interfering with slavery in the South. Lincoln stated:
"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."
Lincoln also supported the Corwin Amendment, which stated:
"No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State".
"Domestic institutions" and "persons held to labor or service" were terms that referred to slavery. Lincoln supported this amendment. In his first inaugural address, Lincoln said:
"I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service....holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable".
In fact, Lincoln stated many times during the course of the war the reason for going to war: saving the Union. Of course, this was the reason he would state publicly in order to justify his invasion of the South. Covertly, his real agenda was eliminating states rights and turning a decentralized federal government with sovereign states into a centralized government where states would now be mere subsidiaries of the federal government.
Also in Lincoln's first inaugural, he admitted that an invasion of the South could take place if the collection of duties and imposts [tariffs, as Napolitano correctly stated] from Southerners were not implemented. Lincoln said this in his first inaugural:
"In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere."
Later in the excerpt, one of Stewart's correspondents, Larry Wilmore says it would not have been practical if Lincoln bought the slaves because human beings should never be bought [as if they are property], when just a minute earlier Stewart was defending Lincoln for attempting to buy slaves from the border states.
So, in other words, is Wilmore suggesting that since slaves should not be purchased because they are not property, they should have been left alone, to remain slaves?
Another clip is played of Napolitano from his show Freedom Watch where he explains that federal taxation is theft because our money is our property. Wilmore makes a good point that libertarians like Judge Napolitano cry foul when our money/property is taken away from us by the federal government, but say nothing about slaves being treated as property.
But Wilmore's criticism of Napolitano is misplaced. Napolitano, nor any other libertarian [like myself], have ever suggested that slavery was not inhumane. We have only made the point that it was legal. That has always been the government's fault. Had slavery never been a part of our way of life from day one, slavery would not have been an issue in 1860 either.
Wilmore, being a black man should know better. He should know the real facts about Lincoln: that he was always a racist and never did one thing for the equality of the white and black races his entire life. Lincoln also believed in colonizing blacks and sending them to Liberia. He was a member of the American Colonization Society in which his hero, Henry Clay, became president of before he died. Instead, Wilmore would rather point the finger at civil libertarians who actually tell the truth about a man [Lincoln] who said these words in 1857, when he commented on the Dred Scott decision:
"There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people, to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races".
Thursday, February 20, 2014
By Andrew P. Napolitano
February 20, 2014
The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established the three branches of government, and it delegated “all legislative powers” to Congress. American law rarely uses the word “all.” Yet the Framers chose that word precisely to confine law writing to Congress and to prevent a president from altering federal law by the selective manner of his enforcement of it and thereby effectively rewriting it.
The same Framers sought to guard against the same evils by compelling the president to swear at the commencement of his terms in office that he will “faithfully” enforce the laws. The use of the word “faithfully,” like the use of the word “all,” is intended to assure voters that they can count on a president who will do the job they hired him to do by enforcing federal laws, not evading them, and by enforcing them as Congress has written them, not as the president might wish them to be.
To be fair, many presidents, from the sainted Thomas Jefferson to the tyrannical FDR, put their own spin on federal law. Jefferson pardoned all those convicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts because he hated a statute that punished free speech and he boasted that he would not enforce that part of the acts (they expired under his watch). And FDR when barely two weeks in office issued an executive order criminalizing the possession of gold because he foolishly thought it would stabilize the banks, until an adviser reminded him that only Congress can write criminal laws (which he then persuaded Congress to do). Yet in President Obama we have a president whose personal interferences in the enforcement of federal laws reveal his view that he can rewrite them and even nullify them.
Presidential law writing violates the presidential oath of office, steals power from Congress, disrespects an equal branch of the government and, when unchecked, accumulates such power in the executive branch that it effectively transforms the president into a menacing tyrant who rejects his constitutional obligations and limitations.
Obama bombed Libya without a declaration of war from Congress. This arguably brought down the Gadhafi government, which led to the current state of lawlessness there, which produced the environment in which our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi in 2012 and established a dangerous precedent because Congress remained officially silent.
He has told the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here and subject to deportation that if they comply with a new set of rules they will not be deported. The constitutional problem is that the president wrote those rules. Only Congress can craft such rules, and by the president’s doing so, he has schooled immigrants in how to avoid compliance with federal law.
The president has used drones to kill Americans, but claims he has done so lawfully because he complied with secret rules that he crafted. Under the Constitution, if the president wants someone dead, he must afford the person due process or ask Congress to declare war on the country housing the person. No worries, he says — he has followed the secret rules that he wrote to govern himself when deciding whom to kill.
The president’s agents now acknowledge that they spy on all of us all the time, including members of the judiciary and Congress. This, too, was done pursuant to a secret presidential directive, secretly approved by judges acting as clerks and not under the Constitution, and by a dozen members of Congress sworn to secrecy. No law authorized this, and the president won’t discuss it meaningfully, except to condemn its revelation.
And in a series of salvos that hit home, the president has modified the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) 29 times, by changing its various dates of effectiveness for some but not for others, by changing the meanings of terms for some but not for others, and even by diluting the signature obligation we all have to obtain the platinum insurance policies it commands for some and not for others. He has done all of this on his own, with no input from Congress. He has even threatened to veto any congressional effort to enact into law the very changes he alone has made.
His latest assault on the Constitution consists of a plan by the Department of Homeland Security, revealed earlier this week, effectively to follow us as we drive on public roads by photographing the license plate of all motor vehicles. This, too, was formulated without congressional approval or constitutional authority.
And while all of this is going on, Congress largely sits as a potted plant. In the Senate, Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have complained long and loud, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not permit legislation to address presidential lawlessness to reach the Senate floor. A few dozen Republicans in the House have complained, but Speaker John Boehner will not permit the House to address corrective legislation. Institutionally and officially, Congress is sleeping.
Can you imagine how a Democratic Congress would have reacted if Ronald Reagan had instructed the IRS to cease collecting capital gains taxes so as to spur economic activity; or how a Republican Congress would have reacted if Bill Clinton had instructed the IRS to add a 1-percent rate increase to the tax bills of billionaires so as to close a budget gap?
These are dangerous times because this is a lawless presidency and a pliant Congress. The president’s willingness to violate the Constitution publicly calls into question his fitness for office. And that deafening silence from Capitol Hill manifests a spineless refusal to preserve constitutional government.
The whole purpose of dividing and separating governmental powers is the preservation of personal liberty by preventing the accumulation of too much power in one branch or, heaven forbid, in one person. Whoever permits this to take place lacks fidelity to the Constitution, is unworthy of holding governmental power in a free society and should be removed from office.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
If Obama Supporters Are In Such Favor of the Affordable Care Act, Why Do They Support Obama Continually Changing the Law?
The ACA has now been changed 18 times by Executive Order, and Obama supporters still defend the health care law. Why?
by Larry Simons
February 18, 2014
Eight days ago, on February 10, the Affordable Care Act law was changed for the 18th time by executive order [35th change overall], meaning that just by Obama's spoken word, the law was changed. Not only is the entire ACA law unconstitutional [regulating healthcare is not one of Congress' 18 enumerated powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, and the 10th Amendment states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."], but it is undeniably unconstitutional for the President to change/delay a written law.
In fact, the Constitution states in the "take care clause" found in Article 2, Section 3, Clause 5, "he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed". Obama supporters on a few blogs I have posted comments on have insisted that the Constitution clearly allows the President "broad powers" to execute laws. In fact, they claim it states this within Article 2, the same section I just quoted from that states the President must execute laws faithfully. Here, see for yourself that nowhere in Article 2 of the Constitution does it state the President has any kind of "broad powers" when it comes to executing laws.
One comment, from the site Mediaite, states that the President "has broad powers to determine how, and when, he executes the law". Of course, nowhere in the Constitution does it say this, and when I asked the person who posted the aforementioned comment where in the Constitution does it grant the President free reign to "determine how and when he executes the law", he gave no answer.
The one question that has me completely puzzled is this: Why do Obama supporters keep defending Obama's changes to the ACA when they have supported the ACA since it became law? Stands to reason if you defend a law as written and someone keeps changing it, you will either begin to have hostility toward the individual who is changing a law you support, or you can never claim you ever supported that law.
Of course, we all know the bottom line is this: Obama supporters have no clue what was in the Affordable Care Act in 2010, or what it says now. Their allegiance is to Obama and Obama alone, and anything he does or says will not be put under scrutiny. Obama is their Messiah, their Savior and anything he says or does is admired, respected, believed and trusted on the same level Christians worship Jesus Christ.
Let the record stand on this issue once and for all: The President has absolutely no power to unilaterally change or delay written law. PERIOD. It is his Constitutional duty to faithfully execute laws, not change them when he sees fit. To do so is grounds for impeachment. The fact that Congress is sitting on their asses and not pursuing impeachment charges does not remove illegality from the President's actions. It means Congress are a bunch of lazy, spineless, complicit pussies who should all be voted out of office.
Here is a list of the 18 changes/delays to the ACA law that have been made unilaterally by King Obama's spoken word.
April 19, 2011
1. Medicare Advantage patch: The administration ordered an advance draw on funds from a Medicare bonus program in order to provide extra payments to Medicare Advantage plans, in an effort to temporarily forestall cuts in benefits and therefore delay early exodus of MA plans from the program.
January 1, 2012
2. Employee reporting: The administration, contrary to the Obamacare legislation, instituted a one-year delay of the requirement that employers must report to their employees on their W-2 forms the full cost of their employer-provided health insurance.
May 23, 2012
3. Subsidies may flow through federal exchanges: The IRS issued a rule that allows premium assistance tax credits to be available in federal exchanges although the law only specified that they would be available “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311.”
February 15, 2013
4. Closing the high-risk pool: The administration decided to halt enrollment in transitional federal high-risk pools created by the law, blocking coverage for an estimated 40,000 new applicants, citing a lack of funds. The administration had money from a fund under Secretary Sebelius’s control to extend the pools, but instead used the money to pay for advertising for Obamacare enrollment and other purposes.
February 20, 2013
5. Doubling allowed deductibles: Because some group health plans use more than one benefits administrator, plans are allowed to apply separate patient cost-sharing limits to different services, such as doctor/hospital and prescription drugs, allowing maximum out-of-pocket costs to be twice as high as the law intended.
March 11, 2013
6. Small businesses on hold: The administration has said that the federal exchanges for small businesses will not be ready by the 2014 statutory deadline, and instead delayed until 2015 the provision of SHOP (Small-Employer Health Option Program) that requires the exchanges to offer a choice of qualified health plans.
March 22, 2013
7. Delaying a low-income plan: The administration delayed implementation of the Basic Health Program until 2015. It would have provided more-affordable health coverage for certain low-income individuals not eligible for Medicaid.
July 2, 2013
8. Employer-mandate delay: By an administrative action that’s contrary to statutory language in the ACA, the reporting requirements for employers were delayed by one year.
July 15, 2013
9. Self-attestation: Because of the difficulty of verifying income after the employer-reporting requirement was delayed, the administration decided it would allow “self-attestation” of income by applicants for health insurance in the exchanges. This was later partially retracted after congressional and public outcry over the likelihood of fraud.
September 26, 2013/November 27, 2013
10. Delaying the online SHOP exchange: The administration first delayed for a month and later for a year until November 2014 the launch of the online insurance marketplace for small businesses. The exchange was originally scheduled to launch on October 1, 2013.
September 30, 2013
11. Congressional opt-out: The administration decided to offer employer contributions to members of Congress and their staffs when they purchase insurance on the exchanges created by the ACA, a subsidy the law doesn’t provide.
October 23, 2013
12. Delaying the individual mandate: The administration changed the deadline for the individual mandate, by declaring that customers who have purchased insurance by March 31, 2014 will avoid the tax penalty. Previously, they would have had to purchase a plan by mid-February.
November 14, 2013
13. Insurance companies may offer canceled plans: The administration announced that insurance companies may re-offer plans that previous regulations forced them to cancel.
December 2, 2013
14. Exempting unions from reinsurance fee: The administration gave unions an exemption from the reinsurance fee (one of ObamaCare’s many new taxes). To make up for this exemption, non-exempt plans will have to pay a higher fee, which will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums and deductibles.
December 12, 2013/January 14, 2014
15. Extending Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan: The administration extended the federal high risk pool until January 31, 2014 and again until March 15, 2014 to prevent a coverage gap for the most vulnerable. The plans were scheduled to expire on December 31, but were extended because it has been impossible for some to sign up for new coverage on healthcare.gov.
December 19, 2013
16. Expanding catastrophic hardship waiver to those with canceled plans: The administration expanded the hardship waiver, which allows some people to purchase catastrophic health insurance, to people who have had their plans canceled because of ObamaCare regulations. This is only a temporary fix so these plans will again be illegal in 2015, conveniently after the November 2014 elections.
January 18, 2014
17. Equal employer coverage delayed: Tax officials will not be enforcing in 2014 the mandate requiring employers to offer equal coverage to all their employees. This provision of the law was supposed to go into effect in 2010, but IRS officials have “yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.”
February 10, 2014
18. Employer-mandate delayed again: The administration delayed for an additional year provisions of the employer mandate, postponing enforcement of the requirement for medium-size employers until 2016 and relaxing some requirements for larger employers. Businesses with 100 or more employees must offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95% in 2016 and beyond.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Another pastor dies from a snake bite. Adds to the long list of religious loons that have no clue that poisonous snakes are just that....poisonous
by Larry Simons
February 17, 2014
Snake-handler, Kentucky Pastor and all-around nut Jamie Coots has become the latest victim of a snake bite inflicted upon him during a church service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church of Middlesboro, Kentucky. He was featured along with fellow snake-handler Andrew Hamblin on the NatGeo reality show Snake Salvation.
Coots believed in several Bible passages that taught that poisonous snake bites would not harm those who are anointed by God. One of those versus, found in Mark 16:17-18 states:
"And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Another, found in Luke 10:19, states:
"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
Not only did this jackass play with poisonous snakes that he believed would not hurt him, but after he was bitten, he refused to be treated. I cannot begin to imagine the level of incredible stupidity it must require to be a willing participant to the sequence of events in Coots' life, up until being bit and refusing to be treated.
The reality sinks in. These people really believe the complete bullshit found within the pages of this archaic book written before there was any major advancement in medicine and science. It has been proven false again and again and again, and yet people still partake in these insane and deadly rituals.
Do these people really believe that even though snakes have bitten others and killed others, that the snakes they handle won't kill them? It is absolutely astonishing that human beings, living in the 21st century, in the days of modern science and medicine actually believe that poisonous snakes will not and cannot kill them, just because a book written twenty centuries ago said they won't. Pure insanity.
In this video clip [below], Coots' wife says this:
"When you handle serpents, it's one of the best feelings I've ever felt in my life. It's like a peace and a calm and a happiness. It's such a happiness and a joy. You can just feel the joy in your soul that you just don't feel all the time everyday."
Yep, she's right. It's a peace. The same peace that her husband now rests in. Yep, it's a joy that you "just don't feel all the time everyday". She didn't have a dead husband everyday...now she will. Enjoy that "peace" and "joy". Warning: Watching her talk is difficult. You may feel your own I.Q. drop as she's talking. You were warned.
Let me tell you how stupid these people really are. In the clip above it states that Coots was actually bitten once before, 14 years ago. The picture below shows that Coots' right middle finger was bitten by a snake and had rotted and broke off. He didn't seek medical attention for this either.
Question: If he was bitten previously and lost a finger, why would he still believe in the Mark passage that states people anointed by God cannot be harmed by snakes? He has to know that religious people in the past have died from snake bites while in the very act of snake-handling. Why continue to believe the Mark passage is true?
This is why religion is very, very dangerous. These idiots are so completely brainwashed into believing something is true, even when they have evidence it's not. If the passages from Mark and Luke were true, no one would have ever died from snake bites in the act of snake-handling and Coots himself would have never been bitten and lost his finger. But they continue to believe. This is how destructive religion is. They know Bible passages are false, and they still believe.
Why am I being so "insensitive" and harsh when a human being has died, you may ask? Because these people are degenerates whose combined I.Q.'s wouldn't surpass any one of the snakes they play with. Why should I feel any sympathy for these mindless buffoons when their own families do not even care enough to keep them away from deadly, poisonous snakes?
Watch the video below [if you have the stomach for it]. It shows Coots, Hamblin [doing the preaching] and other church members dancing around holding snakes like the absent-minded douchebags they are.