Arizona Selected 2013 Pro-Life All-Star

PHOENIX – Governor Jan Brewer today celebrated the news that Americans United for Life (AUL) has named Arizona its “2013 Pro-Life All Star.” AUL also ranked Arizona the nation’s 5th most pro-life state, based on regulations in place here that protect women and the unborn.

“As a proud and passionate champion of pro-life legislation, I am truly elated and honored by this announcement,” said Governor Brewer. “I thank AUL for this recognition, and I vow to continue to support policies that safeguard Arizona women, families and, of course, our most
vulnerable population – the unborn.”

AUL is a pro-life organization dedicated to the passage of life-affirming legislation. Every year, the group awards each state a ranking based on its efforts to endorse and enact measures that protect the unborn, women and families. This year, AUL selected Arizona as the Nation’s Top “All Star” for its significant pro-life successes in 2012. These successes are the reason Arizona climbed 9 spots in AUL’s rankings between 2011 and 2012.

Last year, Arizona enacted the Mother’s Health and Safety Act – legislation that bars abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy due to increased risks to the mother and the likelihood the unborn will feel pain. The State also passed a measure to ensure women considering an abortion receive critical information about their decision – including the opportunity to view an ultrasound and listen to their child’s heartbeat. Finally, in May, Governor Brewer signed into law the Whole Woman’s Health Priority Act to ensure taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortion providers, whether directly or indirectly.

Rep. Schweikert: Disaster Relief Bill Packed with Pork

Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ) released the following statement Wednesday after his vote against H.R. 152, The Disaster Relief Appropriations Act 2013:

“Sadly, as happens so often in Washington, the debate surrounding Sandy disaster relief funding was misleading at best and rhetorically false at worst.

“This $50.7 billion bill was packed with pork and pet projects unrelated to disaster spending without the foresight necessary to determine how we could begin to pay for this new spending.

“Nearly 80 percent of the final spending total will not be used for years.

“Helping our fellow citizens in need is important, but that must be coupled with, as President Obama says, ‘shared sacrifice.’ When we spend money to assist with disasters, as we should, we must find money elsewhere in our budget to pay for it.

“There must be a much more responsible path forward for disaster relief funding that does not add billions more to our debt and compound our problems.

“Unfortunately, Washington did not take that path.”

Rep. Gosar Says Obama Relentless in Gun Grab

Today, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) ripped into President Obama over his gun control plans, suggesting that Obama was intent on violating the Second Amendment. “I will actively fight any attempt by this Administration to undermine our Constitution and infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Gosar. “With the attack on personal gun-ownership, the Second Amendment, and our God-given rights, the Obama-Biden Administration has been relentless in their pursuit of taking guns away from law-abiding Americans.”

Gosar did add that Obama’s policies would not work in any case, and would actually increase violent crime by disarming law-abiding citizens:

There is no easy answer to the problem of violence we face in our country, but inhibiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights is nothing more than window dressing.  One needs to look no further than the states with the toughest restrictions on firearms to see that they are the ones consistently ranking the highest in violent crime.  When you limit an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase or carry firearms you are allowing only those with the intent to break the law to have weapons.

We must focus on reducing violent crime and keeping our families safe by encouraging our local communities to work with law enforcement and prioritize school safety. We should also devote resources to improving mental health services so that we can intervene early and curb violent behavior. These are constructive and constitutionally sound ways of dealing with this serious issue

President Obama has suggested no serious plan to deal with the problem of the mentally ill obtaining firearms. He has also refused to consider any suggesting regarding armed guards in schools.

 

Rep. Franks Criticizes Obama’s Attack on Constitution

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks warns President Obama our government is not a dictatorship:

“It is rather telling that the day after Republican Members read the U.S. Constitution on the House floor — a bid to encourage the whole body to recommit to the principles we’re sworn to defend — the President of the United States is today holding a press conference detailing his plans to attempt to weaken the 2nd Amendment — a foundational provision of that very same foundational document. Moreover, he seeks to implement his policies without so much as consulting Congress or American voters.

“Much to Mr. Obama’s chagrin, ours is not a government run by fiat. The American people have shown quite clearly that they will not simply roll over while this Administration seeks to undercut our founding principles in pursuit of its preferred European model of government.”

Americans for Prosperity Refutes Governor’s Call for Medicaid Expansion

(Americans For Prosperity-Arizona comments in bold italics.)

Gov. Jan Brewer: Of course, I’m speaking about Arizona’s Medicaid program and expanded coverage in accordance with the Affordable Care Act [aka ObamaCare].

Like many of you, I oppose the President’s health care plan.

That’s why, after weighing the pros and cons of the ObamaCare health exchange, I opted against Arizona’s participation.

We applaud Gov. Brewer for her wise decision to reject the ACA/ObamaCare insurance exchange, and for her willingness to stand up to heavily-funded lobbying from hospitals, insurance companies and other interest groups. More here: http://tinyurl.com/brewgrat

I also led Arizona in joining a coalition of states that sought to block the program in court, and I’ve taken every opportunity to argue for health reform with less bureaucracy, more patient choice and fewer costs.

We are grateful to Gov. Brewer for joining the court challenge. Unfortunately, Gov. Brewer vetoed the 2011 bill that would have expanded patient choices and lowered insurance costs by allowing Arizona health insurance consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines. More here:
http://tinyurl.com/2011sb1593

Try as we might, the law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The President was re-elected, and his party controls the U.S. Senate. In short, the Affordable Care Act isn’t going anywhere – at least not for the time being.

In its 2012 decision in NFIB v. Sebelius, the same court challenge that Brewer proudly joined, a 7-2 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not withhold Medicaid funds from States that did not participate in the Medicaid expansion under ACA/ObamaCare. The expansion is entirely voluntary for States. If Arizona makes the mistake of voluntarily opting into the Medicaid expansion under ACA/ObamaCare, we will have only Arizona politicians to blame.

Gov. Brewer: By agreeing to expand our Medicaid program just slightly…

Expanding from 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 138 percent of FPL is not “just slightly” — full participation in the Medicaid expansion would add 250,000 Arizonans to Medicaid/AHCCCS. More important than the fiscal cost to federal and state taxpayers is the human cost of railroading tens or hundreds of thousands of Arizonans into a low-quality, government-managed health insurance system. As the Manhattan Institute’s Avik Roy explains, “Studies consistently show that patients on Medicaid have the worst health outcomes of any group in America—far worse than those with private insurance and, in some cases, worse than those with no insurance at all.” Please read more about this crucial point here: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/ir_8.htm and here: http://tinyurl.com/gottliebwsj

…beyond what Arizona voters have twice mandated,

Arizona voters also voted for the Health Care Freedom Act in 2010. In the spirit of that reform, Arizona should avoid railroading people into a government-managed health system.

…we will: • Protect rural and safety-net hospitals from being pushed to the brink by their growing costs in caring for the uninsured;

Uncompensated care results in negligible cost shifting to the rest of us who purchase health insurance. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, and the liberal (but reputable) think tank Urban Institute both agree that uncompensated care accounts for 2.8 percent of all health care spending, and AT MOST raises private insurance premiums by 1.7 percent. For more on this point, go here: http://tinyurl.com/singeruncomp

• Take advantage of the enormous economic benefits – inject 2 Billion dollars into our economy – save and create thousands of jobs; and,

It is odd that Gov. Brewer chose to include President Obama’s famous “save/create jobs” meme in her speech, especially given the track record of job creation in the past four years: http://tinyurl.com/savecreate In any case, it should be obvious that taxing $2 billion from federal taxpayers (many of whom are in Arizona) or borrowing $2 billion from future taxpayers (again, many of them in Arizona) and dumping that money into Arizona’s hospital industry will not save or create jobs. That’s like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a swimming pool, dumping it in the shallow end, and expecting the level of the pool to rise.

• Provide health care to hundreds of thousands of low-income Arizonans.

Gov. Brewer seems to be borrowing liberally from the speechwriters for President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. A key premise behind the arguments for ACA/ObamaCare is that “health insurance” equals “health care,” and further, that “government-controlled health insurance” equals “health care.” That is manifestly untrue. As the Hoover Institution’s Scott Atlas explains, despite claims of “universal coverage,” national health care systems fall far short of actually providing timely access to life-saving and life-improving treatments and drugs: http://tinyurl.com/accessatlas

Gov. Brewer: Saying ‘no’ to this plan would not save these federal dollars from being spent or direct them to deficit reduction.

That statement, unfortunately, is true — it’s true of all federal spending. But please read the next sentence carefully.

No, Arizona’s tax dollars would simply be passed to another state –

That statement is patently untrue. Under ACA/ObamaCare, if Arizona does not spend Medicaid expansion monies, those funds are NOT transferred to other States. Under the legislation, the mandate in other States continues to be 138 percent of the federal poverty level, regardless of what Arizona does. Under the legislation, the FMAP (federal medical assistance percentage) in other States does NOT adjust according to how many States do or do not participate in the Medicaid expansion. It is hard to believe that Gov. Brewer thought that the statement would survive even the most superficial fact-checking exercise.

…generating jobs and providing health care for citizens in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico or any other expansion state.

Again, “generating jobs” is the bucket-and-swimming-pool fallacy, while the “providing health care” phrase repeats the deceptive Obama-Reid-Pelosi equation of “health insurance” with “health care.”

Remember: Arizona citizens have voted TWICE to expand Medicaid coverage.

Again, Arizona citizens voted for the Health Care Freedom Act in 2010. In the spirit of that reform, Arizona should avoid limiting people’s health care options by railroading them into a government-managed health system, even if the arrangement is technically voluntary.

With this move, we will secure a federal revenue stream [again, paid for by current and/or future federal taxpayers, many of them living in Arizona] to cover the costs of the uninsured who already show up in our doctor’s offices and emergency rooms. [Note that health providers also receive some compensation for the uninsured through “dispro share” funds.]

Under the current system, these costs are passed along to Arizona families. Health care premiums are raised year after year to account for expenses incurred by our hospitals as they provide care to the uninsured.

Again, uncompensated care results in negligible cost shifting to the rest of us who purchase health insurance. See note above, or go here:
http://tinyurl.com/singeruncomp

This amounts to a HIDDEN TAX estimated at nearly 2 Thousand dollars per family, per year.

The “hidden health care tax” argument is a fraud that was created by a far-left organization, Families USA, in order to sell ACA/ObamaCare to the country. As noted above, the CBO and the liberal (but reputable) Urban Institute have thoroughly debunked that claim.

Here is a challenge for the hospital and insurance industry lobbyists swarming around the Brewer Administration: If uncompensated care truly results in a “hidden tax” of $2,000 per family per year, then lobbyists should be willing to go on record guaranteeing that if Arizona participates in the Medicaid expansion, Arizonans will see a real decrease in hospital charges and costs, and Arizona families will see a $2,000 per year cut in their insurance premiums.

Of course, that’s not going to happen. When Prop 204 went into place, and the number of uninsured Arizonans decreased, there was no drop in our health insurance rates, or in hospital costs. When the precursor to ObamaCare — RomneyCare — passed in Massachusetts, the increased coverage did not result in significant price reductions at hospitals, or premium reductions in insurance. For more about the “hidden tax,” go here: http://tinyurl.com/novacktax

Gov. Brewer: As I weighed this decision, I was troubled by the possibility that a future President and Congress may take steps to reduce federal matching rates, leaving states with a greater and greater share of health costs over time. And I worried that any expansion of Medicaid – no matter the federal subsidies – could result in costs the State cannot afford.

Gov. Brewer has very good reason to be concerned. President Obama himself has twice suggested (in the context of the 2011 debt ceiling fight and the FY 2013 budget) cutting the FMAP for States because of the huge cost to the federal government ($800 billion from 2013 to 2022). As with so many other federal promises, this one is very likely to be broken.

But even the deal that is currently promised under ACA/ObamaCare is a bad one. If Arizona does the Medicaid expansion, it will be taking “easy” short-term federal dollars (leveraged by a hospital bed tax on Arizona patients) at a serious cost to our long-term fiscal solvency. In 2014-2016 the feds will pay 100 percent for the newly eligible group of individuals, but that is cut down to 90 percent by 2020 (stair steps down). It is pointless to talk about how “little” the expansion will cost the state in FY2015, while ignoring longer-term costs. A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the left-liberal Urban Institute estimates Medicaid expansion costs for Arizona for the next ten years (2013-2022) to be $467 million. (Note: that does not include involuntary aspects of ACA/ObamaCare’s Medicaid regulations or the “woodwork” effect of already-eligible persons getting onto Medicaid. KFF and Urban estimate the total cost to Arizona of the ACA/ObamaCare changes to be $3.1 billion over ten years. See Tables ES-1 and ES-2 at this link: http://www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/8384_ES.pdf

Together with my team, I’ve crafted a plan to address both of these concerns and safeguard Arizona. First, any expansion of our Medicaid program will include a circuit-breaker that AUTOMATICALLY rolls back enrollment if federal reimbursement rates decrease.

Gov. Brewer’s idea of eliminating the expansion if the FMAP falls below 80 percent is a good effort to make the best of a bad deal. But nothing in politics is ever truly “automatic” — an “automatic” provision can always be set aside by future legislative majorities and Governors.

While we trust that Gov. Brewer herself has the resolve to cut back on enrollment (she has demonstrated that resolve during the past four years), she will probably not be governor after 2014. As they become politically addicted to federal matching funds to provide health insurance to ever-increasing numbers of Arizonans, future Governors and Legislatures will find it very difficult to cut back on enrollment, even if the federal government reduces the FMAP.

Gov. Brewer: I won’t allow ObamaCare to become a bait-and-switch.

A federal subsidy is always a bait-and-switch arrangement. That’s the nature of the game.

Second, we will allow hospitals and health providers to assess a fee upon themselves – using that revenue to leverage federal assistance.

Even if all Arizona hospitals and health providers wanted to voluntarily contribute funds to AHCCCS to leverage federal Medicaid dollars, AFP-Arizona would still oppose that arrangement, because current and/or future federal taxpayers (including those in Arizona) would still be gouged to the tune of $10 billion over ten years. But the reality is that not all Arizona hospitals or health providers want to participate in the scheme. Hospitals with low populations of Medicaid patients have nothing to gain from the Medicaid expansion — but they would still have to pay the bed tax.

This is already done in 47 states. It’s also ongoing in the City of Phoenix and under consideration in other cities across Arizona.

AFP-Arizona opposes city or county adoption of hospital bed taxes for the Medicaid expansion, because health care consumers would be forced to pay those taxes, and federal taxpayers would be forced to provide the matching money. But under a city/county opt-in model, some Arizona hospitals and health providers (and their patients) would be able to escape from the bed tax.

With the federal revenue this hospital assessment generates, we can assure that our State General Fund bears NO COST in expanding Medicaid.

Please read the fine print here. The State General Fund would bear no cost (until the FMAP is reduced at some point in the future…). But hospital patients in Arizona would still be forced to pay bed taxes, and federal taxpayers would still be forced to provide the matching money.

This doesn’t mean it’s free money, of course. We know there is no such thing. I’m as much of a federal deficit hawk as anyone in this chamber.

We respect Gov. Brewer’s dedication to the principles of fiscal conservatism. But a deficit hawk should not argue for a bankrupt federal government to spend $10 billion more dollars it doesn’t have.

Gov. Brewer: But Arizona’s Medicaid program – AHCCCS – is not the problem. It is, in fact, part of the solution as the nationally-recognized gold standard for cost-effective, managed care in this country.

Being the tallest guy in the pygmy tribe doesn’t make you tall. AHCCCS may be a relatively cost-effective Medicaid program, but it is still a government program — a government-supervised managed care program. While some states are looking to Medicaid managed care programs as an alternative, other states have recently abolished Medicaid managed care plans. The relative success of AHCCCS at cost containment may be due to the fact that the “legacy costs” of AHCCCS are lower, because Arizona did not start Medicaid until 1982, a full 17 years after the federal program was created.

While AHCCCS costs have soared upward (though perhaps not as rapidly as in other Medicaid programs), patients on AHCCCS, just like Medicaid patients in other States, still have less access to primary care doctors and to medical specialists. Putting more Arizonans on AHCCCS will in many cases (ironically, given the name of the program) condemn them to having decreased access to health care.

Medicaid programs face the dilemma typical of all government health insurance schemes: unlike producers of goods and services in free private markets, they are not able to simultaneously reduce costs and improve quality for consumers. When Medicaid programs do try to control costs, progressively decreasing reimbursements to providers mean that fewer doctors take Medicaid patients, and more Medicaid patients have to wait for urgently-needed health services. In other cases, Medicaid-imposed restrictions on treatment options lead to lower-quality care and adverse medical outcomes (i.e., disability and death).

Remember, having Medicaid coverage is not the same thing as getting health care. Studies (including university studies and studies in peer-reviewed journals) show that people on Medicaid have significantly poorer health outcomes than persons with no insurance at alleven when the studies control for wealth, culture and co-morbidity factors. For a quick summary of some of those studies, go here: http://tinyurl.com/gottliebwsj

I’ll be releasing more details about my Medicaid plan in the days ahead. Weigh the evidence and do the math.

And we respectfully ask you to do the same, Governor.

With the realities facing us, taking advantage of this federal assistance is the strategic way to reduce Medicaid pressure on the State budget. We can prevent health care expenses from eroding core services such as education and public safety, and improve Arizona’s ability to compete in the years ahead.

This “federal assistance” will be short-lived. In 2014-2016 the feds will pay 100 percent for the newly eligible group of individuals, but that is cut down to 90 percent by 2020. Again, KFF/Urban estimate Medicaid expansion costs for Arizona for the next ten years (2013-2022) to be $467 million. See Table ES-2:
http://www.kff.org/medicaid/upload/8384_ES.pdf

Obama Hides Behind Other People’s Children to Call for Gun Grab

Fox News

The National Rifle Association is pushing its proposal for an armed officer in every school in the country with a new ad that calls President Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for his daughters’ security detail.

The 35-second ad, released Tuesday on the NRA’s Website, criticizes Obama for saying he is “skeptical” that armed security is the solution to school violence.

“Are the president’s kids more important than yours?” the ad asks.

NRA chief Wayne LaPierre introduced the gun rights group’s proposal to add armed officers to schools in his high-profile news conference in the wake of the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 first-graders dead. Stricter gun laws aren’t the answer, LaPierre said.

Lawmakers initially seemed willing to consider new gun control legislation, though the prospect for passing such measures in Congress has since diminished.

Even so, Obama plans to announce a range of options Wednesday, including new gun regulations through legislation and executive actions that the White House says are available without congressional approval.

White House mouthpiece Jay Carney called the NRA ad “cowardly” and criticized mention of the president’s children. Yet it was perfectly okay with the president to USE other people’s children, if not hide behind them, in today’s gun grab press conference.

Efforts Underway to Repeal Marijuana Law

Keep AZ Drug Free News Release:

Keep AZ Drug Free announces its enthusiastic support for HCR 2003, a bill introduced by State Representative John Kavanagh to refer Arizona’s “medical” marijuana law back to the 2014 ballot. Voters deserve the chance to repeal a bad law, which was deceptively promoted by out-of-state interests.

In 2010, Keep AZ Drug Free was the official ballot opposition committee registered with the Secretary of State to oppose Proposition 203, the so-called “medical” marijuana initiative. The initiative was written and financed by the Marijuana Policy Project, a national pro-drug organization out of Washington, D.C. that advocates for the legalization of marijuana. The 2010 initiative very narrowly passed, with a mere 50.1 percent of the vote.

“The marijuana lobby wanted us to believe the law was about compassion for sick people, but the data shows that the pot goes almost entirely to recreational use,” said Ed Gogek, MD, an addiction psychiatrist and board member of Keep AZ Drug Free.

Of the approximately 34,000 patients, fewer than four percent get their marijuana for cancer, while 90 percent of Arizona’s marijuana patients get their marijuana for “pain.” And, three-fourths of the marijuana patients are male, which matches exactly the demographics of adults diagnosed with marijuana abuse.

A recent Associated Press report stated that, in Arizona, 24 doctors have written three-fourths of the marijuana recommendations.

The editorial board of The Arizona Republic recently said, “Voters were misled in 2010 when they passed the medical marijuana initiative. Medicine is prescribed by doctors and picked up at pharmacies. It doesn’t come through pot docs operating out of glammed-up head shops.” http://arizonarepublic.az.newsmemory.com/?token=7c0ad5575ad4621c48d6f45497328491&cnum=134552&fod=1111111

“Any benefits to the few participants in the marijuana program who are seriously ill are overwhelmingly outweighed by the harms to our kids and communities. It is in the best interests of all Arizonans to repeal this law,” said Carolyn Short, chairman of Keep AZ Drug Free.

 

Veep Suggests Platinum Solution to Gun Control

John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Folder2 104In what he called a “stroke of genius,” Vice-President Joe Biden suggested that President Obama could bypass both Congress and the Constitution by using an Executive Order to solve the gun violence crisis.

“It was when I heard people talking about minting trillion dollar platinum coins to solve the debt ceiling thing that I got the idea of using platinum to get around 2nd Amendment objections to gun control,” Biden boasted. “If the President were to simply require that platinum be the only metal permitted in bullets we could effectively eliminate privately held guns without actually banning them.”

The Vice-President argued that “as Commander-in-Chief, the President has the Constitutional authority to prescribe the types of weapons and ammunition that the 2nd Amendment says a ‘well regulated militia’ should have. The simplicity of my proposal is that we wouldn’t be infringing on the right to bear arms. People would still have this Constitutionally protected right, but very, very few could afford the cost of ammunition.”

Biden added that “there would also be significant gains from eliminating the accumulation of lead in our environment from spent rounds hitting trees and dirt when hunters miss their targets. So, in a way it’s kind of a bipolar inspiration I had.”

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif) heralded Biden’s idea as “a breakthrough of enormous magnitude. The only thing I would add is a proviso that the platinum requirement would only apply to ammunition used by private gun owners. Government law enforcement would need to be exempt for budgetary reasons.”

Feinstein suggested that “existing stocks of lead bullets in private hands could be retrieved via some sort of mandatory ‘buy back’ program. This would effectively criminalize all possession of leaded ammunition as well as give the government an overwhelming advantage in firepower against any opposition.”

DC Mayor Demands Football Team Change Name

Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray is demanding that the City’s NFL franchise currently know as the “Redskins” change its name.

“The current name is demeaning to Native Americans,” Gray said. “Since the City has made major financial contributions in support of this franchise I am asserting our right to insist on a new monicker for the team.”

Wags we quick to come out with a few risible possibilities.

“I think ‘Crackheads’ would be a good name for the team,” said long time resident Joe Blough. “It would more accurately fit the culture of the city and could be seen as a tribute to former Mayor Marion Barry.”

“’Vampires’ definitely,” offered fan, Alan Ball. “Aside from the fact that vampires are all the current rage among young people these days, it’s a name that would symbolize the fearsome power of our city. Vampires suck people’s blood. They’re stronger than mere humans. They’re virtually immortal. Aren’t these all traits that that Washington has come to represent in America?”

“I like ‘Red-Tapers,’” said out-of-towner William Kidd. “It would allow them to keep the same team colors and be in tune with how DC is seen by the rest of the country.”

For his part, Gray expressed the hope that “the team could be renamed the ‘Dogs.’ I think a lot of the fans already kind of use this nickname. So the transition to a new name would be smoother. We could also keep the same colors since the Irish Setter is a red dog and would make a good mascot.”

IRS Threatens Employers on Obamacare

The Internal Revenue Service warned employers in a new regulatory edict that “scrupulous adherence to the rules will not be tolerated if the intent is merely to minimize costs.” The IRS issued the edict amidst reports that many business owners were limiting employee hours or hiring temps in order to avoid Obamacare’s health insurance mandates.

“While the law may say that only full time employees must be covered, the President’s intent is to see that everyone has health insurance,” the IRS wrote. “Replacing full-time employees with part-timers or outsourcing jobs to temp agencies as a means of lowering costs will not be allowed.”

The IRS promised to “make whatever statistical adjustments we deem necessary to thwart efforts to evade the President’s objective. Those wishing to challenge our rulings can take us to court.”

Taking the government to court over its Obamacare rulings may be financially risky. Hobby Lobby is facing daily fines in excess of one million dollars for each day if fails to comply with a ruling that it must provide coverage for birth control and abortions in the insurance it offers to its employees.

“The IRS doesn’t have the resources to closely monitor every action taken by every business or person subject to its authority,” complained Commissioner Steven Miller. “Fear of the potential consequences of noncompliance—whether that be financial ruin or imprisonment—is our first line of defense for protecting the government’s interests against recalcitrant and disobedient members of society.”

Website Receives  Anonymous Note from Grateful Thief

The publication of the names of all licensed gun owners in New York City by the Gawker website may have angered civil libertarians and gun rights advocates, but it did garner a note of praise from one reader.

“While your regret that you could not also publish the addresses is one I share, having access to the names is still an important step forward in reducing the risk to those in my profession,” the unsigned letter stated. “Breaking into homes and reallocating the excess wealth of the residents is how I put food on the table for my family. Getting shot by a homeowner is a risk I’d rather avoid. Doing a little advance research with the names you’ve provided will help me lower the risk of making my children orphans.”

“You should be proud of what you have done to advance the cause of eliminating guns from our society,” the letter continued. “I fully support your broader effort to disarm those who would use firearms to injure or kill another person. If we can achieve this objective I, for one, will breathe easier.”

Clinton Named “Father of the Year”

The National Father’s Day Council announced that on June 16th this year it will be giving former President Bill Clinton its annual “Father of the Year” award.

Dan Orwig, chairman of the National Father’s Day Committee, said that “President Clinton’s exemplary behavior over the last decade has set an example for reprobates everywhere that reform is truly attainable.”

“Consider, despite the temptations faced by a person of his stature, there is no evidence of scandal since he left office,” Orwig recounted. “No young women have come forward to allege improper sexual conduct. No shady real estate schemes have come to light. He has not been forced to perjure himself. For this he merits our acknowledgment and praise.”

Asked whether out of the millions of fathers in America there might have been a more worthy recipient, Orwig defended his organization’s choice saying that “there is strong precedent for promulgating the redemptive message of the return of the prodigal son. It is our hope that fathers out there who have been abusing positions of trust, as President Clinton has so obviously done himself, will be inspired by his story of reform and choose to follow his example.”

Reid Defends Storm Damage Remarks

Stung by being called an “idiot” by Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) for his claim that victims of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy suffered more than victims of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) attempted to explain his way out the scathing characterization.

“My colleague’s focus on quantitative data overlooks qualitative differences between the two events,” Reid argued. “First, New Jersey and New York are states where many important people live. Many of the homes that were destroyed were million dollar properties. The same could be said for the businesses.”

“Most of the properties destroyed by Katrina were more like broken down shacks than decent homes,” the Senator contended. “Having them washed away saved the expense of having to pay for them to be demolished.”

“Second, New Jersey and New York are reliable ‘blue states,’” Reid went on. “Seeing these loyal Americans harmed and distracted on the eve of the election threatened the incumbency of the President. Louisiana and Alabama are both red states and Katrina hit in 2005—not even an election year.”

The statistics from the National Hurricane Center cited by Senator Vitter showed that Katrina caused 1,833 deaths and $108 billion in damage. In comparison, Sandy caused 131 deaths and $65 billion in damage.

Abolition of Presidential Term Limits Proposed

Representative Jose Serrano (D-NY) reintroduced House Resolution 15. The resolution would repeal the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution. The 22nd Amendment limits a person to two terms as president.

Serrano says “the need for this change is more critical now than ever. President Obama is the greatest man to hold the office since FDR, maybe ever. He should not be barred from being reelected out of some exaggerated fear that an open-ended tenure in office might be a threat to liberty.”

Not all the President’s supports are persuaded that amending the Constitution is urgent, though. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) suggested that “the election of Michelle Obama in 2016 and 2020 would be a way for us to essentially extend President Obama’s term in everything but name. For the longer run, though, we may want to consider whether an amendment might be necessary, assuming, of course, that some other method for achieving the objective hasn’t been found first.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

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