Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has decided against creating a state-run health insurance exchange required to implement a key part of President Barack Obama’s federal health care law.
Brewer’s decision announced Wednesday means the federal government will set up an online marketplace for the state, offering subsidized private health coverage to the middle class.
Brewer, who reiterated her opposition to the health care overhaul, said there are too many costs and questions associated with a state-run exchange.
Federal requirements mean the state “would wield little actual authority over its ‘state’ exchange,” she said in a statement.
“The federal government would maintain oversight and control over virtually every aspect of our exchange, limiting our ability to meet the unique needs of Arizonans and the Arizona insurancemarket,” she said.
Brewer sent a federal official a one-page letter disclosing her decision.
Her announcement preceded a Dec. 14 deadline for states to declare whether they’d run their own exchanges.
A decision to create an exchange would have been subject to approval by the Republican-led state Legislature.
Though the Nov. 6 election results reduced the size of Republicans’ majorities in the state House and Senate, a Brewer push to create a state-run exchange would have faced a fight from GOP lawmakers who oppose the law.
An alliance of hospitals, insurance companies and business groups wanted Arizona to have a state-run exchange, arguing that it would increase coverage while giving the state flexibility in designing a program to its liking.
Conservative advocacy groups such as the Goldwater Institute stand in opposition. They say Arizona shouldn’t help implement a law that could foist new expenses on the state and raise health insuranceprices for residents.
Brewer’s administration spent two years planning for a possible exchange, accepting approximately $31 million of federal funding to pay for the advance work.
As part of that planning, Brewer in September selected a minimum benefits package for a state-run exchange based on current insurance coverage for state employees. She noted in a Sept. 28 letter to the Obama administration that the package she chose excludes abortion coverage.
While some Republican governors in such states as Texas and Maine have balked at creating state-run exchanges, others in Nevada and New Mexico have opted to proceed.
On another implementation issue with state versus federal considerations, Brewer has decided it was better to have the state run its own program to review health insurance rates, rather than leave that to the federal government. The state has formally approved rules for a rate-review program.
Brewer still must decide whether to expand eligibility for the state’s Medicaid program as called for by the law.
The Associated Press reports …
Radio talk show host Laura Ingraham is off the air – at least temporarily.
She said Tuesday that she’s leaving her distributor, Talk Radio Network, after more than nine years because her contract is up. Ingraham said she is in discussions with other distributors about her show, which currently airs on 325 stations nationally.
Talkers magazine says the conservative Ingraham is the most-listened to woman on radio, with an estimated 5.75 million listeners a week. Talkers said that ranks her among the top eight radio hosts overall.
In the meantime, she said she’ll keep her opinions flowing on her website, on Twitter and during Fox News Channel appearances.
Ingraham’s show has been airing in Phoenix weekdays on 1100 AM, KFNX.
John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
The fourth year of President Obama’s reign maintained his traditional omission of God from the Thanksgiving address to the nation. This break from his predecessors was vigorously defended by First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Why should God get the credit for blessings that He had no part in creating?” Michelle asked. “It’s federal farm programs that ensure a robust harvest each year. It’s the FDA that guarantees the food we put on our tables is safe to eat. And it’s the generous expansion of eligibility for Food Stamps that has enabled even the poorest among us the opportunity to enjoy an adequate diet.”
The First Lady contrasted government’s role with “the seeming indifference of God. There has been drought, floods, and storms to impede the process of feeding the hungry under God’s watch. We need to move beyond a superstitious awe for a mythical entity and show a greater appreciation for the beneficence that Barack has bestowed upon the common people of this nation.”
Not wishing to appear excessively closed-minded, Michelle did allow that “if people want to thank God for anything it should be for creating Barack. That such a person has arrived to lead this country at a pivotal point in our history is a miracle everyone should be grateful for.”
UN Official Demands Repression of State Marijuana Laws
The legalization of marijuana by voters in the states of Colorado and Washington has sparked consternation in other parts of the world. Raymond Yans, head of the United Nation’s International Narcotics Control Board, says the approvals send ‘‘a wrong message to the rest of the nation and it sends a wrong message abroad.’’
“What the voters in these states have overlooked is that marijuana is an important cash crop in many Third World countries,” Yans pointed out. “Legalization, if it catches on, will depress the prices that can be charged. This will negatively affect the farmers who grow it, the smugglers who transport it, the dealers who market it, and the police whose livelihoods depend upon expenditures aimed at suppressing it.”
Yans urged US Attorney General Eric Holder to‘‘take all the necessary measures to ensure that marijuana possession and use remains illegal throughout the U.S. Too much is riding on this for us to permit a misguided attachment to democracy in a few subdivisions of America to overrule more important concerns.”
Holder is reported to be amenable to Yans’ request. Despite recent research indicating the heavy use of marijuana has a stupefying effect on those who consume it, the ability of the federal government to assert its power over the states by over ruling local decisions is held likely to win out.
“While in the long run a more stupefied electorate is much to be preferred, at this time, the principle of national supremacy is probably a more significant step in the President’s promised transformation” Holder observed.
Egyptian President Assumes Dictatorial Powers
The so-called “Arab Spring” took a decidedly ugly turn in Egypt this week when President Mohammed Mursi issued a decree barring any challenges to his decisions.
Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed El Baradei denounced Mursi’s action calling it “a major blow to the revolution. What good does it do us if we get rid of the dictator Mubarak only to replace him with a dictator Mursi? Isn’t sharing of power and open debate the whole point of democracy?”
Mursi denied he was trampling democracy. “Debate is fine, but there must be limits,” Mursi maintained. “The laws I decree must be enforced. There must be respect for my authority. Words or deeds that would serve to undermine either of these critical objectives cannot be tolerated.”
Whether Mursi’s expansion of his own authority will be tolerated is an open question. Many of the same protesters who rallied against Mubarak are back in the streets demonstrating against this latest development.
Clashes are expected as Mursi described these protests as “unwarranted interferences.” “Mubarak was a fraudulently elected tyrant,” Mursi pointed out. “In contrast, I, like recently reelected US President Obama, have a legitimate mandate from the voters. Mubarak was also sick and weak. I am not.” The Egyptian President warned opponents that “attempts to obstruct my rule will result in dire consequences for those who go too far.”
The US State Department said it was taking a “wait and see” attitude toward this seemingly antidemocratic shift. “They’re still working on their constitution, so it’s possible that what appears to be an unjustified usurpation may yet be endorsed by those drafting the document,” cautioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “Then, too, Mursi was just recently elected. So we can’t rule out the argument that he, in fact, has a mandate of sorts. As we are wont to say, elections have consequences.”
As for Mursi’s declaration that actions taken by the courts or legislature in contravention to his wishes are void, Clinton expressed sympathy. “Sometimes a president may have to bypass other bodies in order to carry out his mandate,” she said. “Maybe we shouldn’t be so critical. For all we know, President Obama may find himself in a similar bind in the not too distant future.”
In related news, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s order blocking the Iranian Parliament from investigating President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s mismanagement of the economy was called “intriguing” by the US Secretary of State. “Khamenei’s point that such an investigation could weaken the regime seems well taken,” Clinton observed. “Congressional investigations of Fast and Furious and Benghazi are damaging to our country. Making them disappear might eliminate a great deal of the negative impressions these inquiries are causing.”
Local Governments Pilot Testing Tyranny
Local governments on opposite sides of the nation are exploring new ground in the never ending battle against individual freedom in this country.
In New York City, inspectors from the Department of Health cracked down on unauthorized distribution of food to survivors of Hurricane Sandy. The serving of meals to people whose homes were destroyed by the storm was found to be “non-compliant with existing restaurant standards” by Health Inspector Constance Medler.
“The meals are being served outdoors,” Medler complained. “The cooking is done by uncertified cooks on uninspected stoves. The food is served on paper plates and eaten with plastic utensils. There has been a complete disregard for our regulations.”
Medler said that “the argument that this is just a temporary response to an emergency is no excuse for flouting our standards. Just because some people are voluntarily providing food to those willing to eat it doesn’t negate our responsibility to protect the public from consuming substandard comestibles.”
In San Diego, Regional Water Quality Control Board officials are working on new regulations that would impose stiff penalties (fines up to $100,000 per day and jail terms of up to six years) on home owners whose lawn sprinklers dampen the sidewalks. Washing cars in driveways and neglecting to pick up dog waste in your own backyard would also be similarly penalized. In addition, a “hot line” will be set up for persons to report on neighbors who violate the new regulations.
“Just because you pay a mortgage or have a deed doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want on that property,” Board spokesperson Christine Waters explained. “The harsh penalties are necessary to show that we are serious about enforcing these rules. If a neighbor is forced out of his home by crushing fines or is sent to prison others will be much more careful about obeying these laws.”
Undelivered D-Day Message Prolonged War, Prof Says
A university professor says the recent discovery of a carrier pigeon’s corpse in a chimney in Normandy, France has shed new light on events of the last year of World War II in the European theater.
Harvard professor of European History Albee Leftkowitz believes that the failure of the pigeon’s mission may have hampered the advance of American forces on the Western Front and forced President Roosevelt to accede to Soviet domination of Eastern Europe at the Yalta Conference in February 1945.
“Right-wing critics of President Roosevelt have made much of what they call FDR’s misplaced trust in ‘Uncle Joe’ Stalin,” said Leftkowitz. “But this latest development proves that he had no choice. Denied the benefit of this carrier’s message, FDR, as Commander-in-Chief of the Western Allied Forces, had no alternative but to grant the Soviet Union dominion over Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia.”
Leftkowitz discounted the possible influence of Soviet spies within the Roosevelt Administration as a factor. “Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, and the others had no direct impact on the fighting,” the Professor contended. “They didn’t command any troops and they certainly didn’t cause this pigeon to get trapped in that chimney.”
The fact that the lost message is in code and has yet to be translated didn’t faze Leftkowitz. “Whatever the message might have said has got to be more important than the leftist philosophies or political connections of some of Roosevelt’s advisers,” he argued. “In fact, its very existence serves to vindicate these maligned men.”
A Satirical Look at Recent News
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Encouraged by the defeat of marriage in four liberal states this month, a politicial action committee has formed in Arizona to repeal Arizona’s constitutional marriage amendment. Arizona law and the state Constitution define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. National polling and voters in 33 states have defined marriage that way.
But now a radical leftist, Tanner Pritts, has formed the PAC “Arizona Advocates for Marriage Equality” to redefine marriage. He is already raising money for a 2014 ballot initiative to redefine marriage here.
We must fight this. Where same-sex “marriage” is legal, very few homosexuals have actually gotten married. Many of those people are already divorced. The real agenda is to destroy the traditional concept of family and radically overturn the social order.
Children raised in homosexual homes fare much worse than in homes with their biological parents. And with divorce and fatherlessness already damaging the social development of children, the last thing we need is same-sex “marriage.”
Combined with “hate” crime laws and attacks on free speech and religious liberty, same-sex “marriage” will result in the criminalization of people who believe homosexuality is sinful. Religious freedom and the demands of the Left for “sexual liberty” cannot co-exist; religious freedom will be destroyed. The result will be tyranny. In fact, radical homosexual activists are already engaging in fascim — death threats, vandalism, and extreme political and social pressure to silence and demonize their opponents.
Stay tuned here because we will have much more to say about this in the future. We cannot let these radicals undermine the Arizona family and damage society with this extremist effort.
By Peter Heck, Conservative Talk Radio Host
Monday, 19 November 2012
I’m so excited to see many mainstream conservatives that I have looked up to and appreciated for so long really starting to hammer what I’ve said and seen for quite some time regarding our cultural struggle: we can’t and we won’t win this at the ballot box alone. In fact, the ballot box is a mere reflection of the status of the culture more than it is a determiner of the fate of the culture.
Politics is an outworking or consequence of the worldview embraced by our people. And that worldview isn’t developed in election years. It is developed in school rooms, in church pews, in living rooms with television sets, on movie screens, in magazines, in newspapers and on the radio.
That is where conservatism must focus because that is where we have lost for a generation – and are continuing to lose dramatically in our battle against the delusion and self-loathing left.
That’s why when I saw that Rush Limbaugh had said that conservatives had to take over the public school system, and when I saw that Glenn Beck had said that conservatives needed to lead a movement to overtake and overwhelm the mainstream media, I was ecstatic. That’s exactly what I talked about in my book, 78: How Christians Can Save America.
Granted, neither one of them mentioned what I see as the first step to actually saving our culture: reforming the church back to Biblical Christianity. But I am nevertheless thrilled and heartened that men with far more influence and appeal than me are starting to openly discuss a new strategy beyond just winning elections and writing laws.
Though our ideas are vastly better than the left’s ideas, the left has been the far more shrewd and effective at advancing their cause. It’s like conservatives have stuck to an old-school European model of warfare – lining our men up straight across an open field – all while the liberals have taken to the hills and have surreptitiously turned our children and homes against us, engaging in the deadliest of guerilla warfare tactics. We can’t keep fighting through conventional means.
Part of that means understanding exactly what I remember saying multiple times at multiple tea party meetings these last few years. This is not a cause that will be finished in many of our lifetimes. This is a generational shift that we must attempt to enact. And that means discouragement at the loss of one election or two cannot overwhelm us. We must be more focused on winning control of states, schools, communities and pulpits. And then we must use them effectively to turn the Titanic around.
We can’t win the war for our culture when we’re constantly aiding and abetting the enemy.
It’s time to turn off the trash, set ourselves apart and re-develop our culture.
A tall task? Absolutely. But as I enjoy the blessings of liberty that those before me preserved, how could I possibly be unwilling to make every effort to see that my children and grandchildren enjoy the same. To arms, conservatives.
By Liberty Institute
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we should examine the little known fact that the Pilgrims established a short-lived form of agricultural communism.
The land was owned in common; everyone worked for each other and each received an equal allotment of food no matter how hard they worked. This system quickly failed. The women described the communal chores as a form of slavery, men rapidly lost motivation, and the able-bodied feigned illness to avoid work.
As Governor William Bradford described in Of Plymouth Plantation, “[The] taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth…was found to breed much confusion & discontent, and retard much employment…” The crops dwindled to only providing several kernels of corn per meal. It was so bleak that some Pilgrims sold themselves as workers to the Indians for a few cups of food. Others tried to forage for food, but many died of starvation.
After much debate and prayer, Bradford established a free market system by assigning each family a portion of land and giving them rights to what it produced. He was amazed at the results and credited it with creating the bountiful harvest and the reason the Pilgrims were able to celebrate what we think of as the “First Thanksgiving.”
Think of how happy the Pilgrims were to know that they would not face starvation that winter. This is a poignant lesson as some Americans again look at rewarding laziness with welfare and taking from those who work hard and providing it to those who have worked less, or not at all. Let’s be grateful and learn from the Pilgrims, and not repeat their mistake.