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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for September 18th, 2010

Michael Barone: Gangster government stifles criticism of ObamaCare – UPDATED!

Posted by iusbvision on September 18, 2010

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OPPRESSION: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SAYS “SHUT UP” – THREATENS HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR POLITICAL FREE SPEECH!

THUGOCRACY – OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THREATENS INSURANCE COMPANIES TO KEEP QUIET ABOUT RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS DUE TO LEGISLATION….OR ELSE

 

Barone:

“There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases.”

That sounds like a stern headmistress dressing down some sophomores who have been misbehaving. But it’s actually from a letter sent Thursday from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans — the chief lobbyist for private health insurance companies.

Secretary Sebelius objects to claims by health insurers that they are raising premiums because of increased costs imposed by the Obamacare law passed by Congress last March.

She acknowledges that many of the law’s “key protections” take effect later this month and does not deny that these impose additional costs on insurers. But she says that “according to our analysis and those of some industry and academic experts, any potential premium impact . . . will be minimal.”

Well, that’s reassuring. Er, except that if that’s the conclusion of “some” industry and academic experts, it’s presumably not the conclusion of all industry and academic experts, or the secretary would have said so.

Sebelius also argues that “any premium increases will be moderated by out-of-pocket savings resulting from the law.” But she’s pretty vague about the numbers — “up to $1 billion in 2013.” Anyone who watches TV ads knows that “up to” can mean zero.

As Time magazine’s Karen Pickert points out, Sebelius ignores the fact that individual insurance plans cover different types of populations. So that government and “some” industry and academic experts think the new law will justify increases averaging 1 or 2 percent, they could justify much larger increases for certain plans.

Or as Ignagni, the recipient of the letter, says, “It’s a basic law of economics that additional benefits incur additional costs.”

But Sebelius has “zero tolerance” for that kind of thing. She promises to issue regulations to require “state or federal review of all potentially unreasonable rate increases” (which would presumably mean all rate increases).

And there’s a threat. “We will also keep track of insurers with a record of unjustified rate increases: Those plans may be excluded from health insurance Exchanges in 2014.”

That’s a significant date, the first year in which state insurance exchanges are slated to get a monopoly on the issuance of individual health insurance policies. Sebelius is threatening to put health insurers out of business in a substantial portion of the market if they state that Obamacare is boosting their costs.

“Congress shall make no law,” reads the First Amendment, “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Sebelius’ approach is different: “zero tolerance” for dissent.

The threat to use government regulation to destroy or harm someone’s business because they disagree with government officials is thuggery. Like the Obama administration’s transfer of money from Chrysler bondholders to its political allies in the United Auto Workers, it is a form of gangster government.

“The rule of law, or the rule of men (women)?” economist Tyler Cowen asks on his marginalrevolution.com blog. As he notes, “Nowhere is it stated that these rate hikes are against the law (even if you think they should be), nor can this ‘misinformation’ be against the law.”

According to Politico, not a single Democratic candidate for Congress has run an ad since last April that makes any positive reference to Obamacare. The First Amendment gives candidates the right to talk — or not talk — about any issue they want.

But that is not enough for Sebelius and the Obama administration. They want to stamp out negative speech about Obamacare. “Zero tolerance” means they are ready to use the powers of government to threaten economic harm on those who dissent.

The closing paragraph of Sebelius’ letter to AHIP’s Karen Ignagni gives the game away. “We worked hard to change the system to help consumers.” This is a reminder that the administration alternatively collaborated with and criticized Ignagni’s organization. We roughed you up a little but we eventually made a deal.

The secretary goes on: “It is my hope we can work together to stop misinformation and misleading marketing from the start.” In other words, shut your members up and play team ball — or my guys with the baseball bats and tommy guns are going to get busy. As Tyler Cowen puts it, “worse than I had been expecting.”

Michael Barone,The Examiner’s senior political analyst, can be contacted at mbarone@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears Wednesday and Sunday, and his stories and blog posts appear on ExaminerPolitics.com.

 

UPDATEBarone continues:

A few days before my Examiner column accusing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of thuggery and gangster government for her threats against health insurers who contradict the administration line on the costs of Obamacare, my friend John Hoff, who worked on health care policy in the Bush administration, published a piece on the Heritage website describing some of the things the administration might be able to do under Obamacare. Including de facto price controls without explicit authority. Sounds like a primer on gangster government—taking away people’s property without due process of law. All the more reason to repeal this appallingly bad legislation.

Posted in 2012, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Health Law, Leftist Hate in Action, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration, Violence | Leave a Comment »

John Adams, Ben Franklin and other Founders on the Quran

Posted by iusbvision on September 18, 2010

Politicite:

Akbar Ahmed, the chair of Islamic studies at American University, has advised many government officials, including General Petraeus, Richard Holbrooke, and George W. Bush. He speaks regularly on BBC and CNN, and has appeared on many U.S. shows, including Oprah and Nightline.

To oppose the “burn the Quran” event planned by Pastor Terry Jones, Ahmed wrote an editorial for CNN in which he stated:

Not only are the actions of Jones contrary to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, but they are also against the ideals of the American Founding Fathers.

The Founding Fathers read and honored the same Quran that Jones is now seeking to burn.

John Adams, [America’s second president] showed the utmost respect for Islam, naming the Prophet Mohammed as one of the greatest truth seekers in history.

 

These statements are utterly opposed by the facts.

John Adams said absolutely nothing of the kind. Correspondence from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on July 16, 1814, reveals John Adams’ true feelings about Islam: Adams states that Mohammed is “a military fanatic” who “denies that laws were made for him; he arrogates everything to himself by force of arms.”

John Adams did indeed own a Quran — the copy he owned contained the following in the preface:

This book is a long conference of God, the angels, and Mahomet, which that false prophet very grossly invented; sometimes he introduceth God, who speaketh to him, and teacheth him his law, then an angel, among the prophets, and frequently maketh God to speak in the plural. … Thou wilt wonder that such absurdities have infected the best part of the world, and wilt avouch, that the knowledge of what is contained in this book, will render that law contemptible …

Perhaps Akbar Ahmed misspoke, and was referring to John Adams’ son, John Quincy Adams? The sixth president, not the second?

No. Here is what John Quincy Adams wrote about the Islamic prophet Mohammed:

In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE. [emphasis in the original]

John Quincy Adams also described the Quran in one of his essays as follows:

The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.

Ahmed also claims in his editorial that “Benjamin Franklin called the Prophet Mohammed a model of compassion.” Ahmed made similar claims on The Daily Show:

I quote the Founding Fathers. … John Adams on the Prophet of Islam: He called him one of the greatest truth seekers in history. (Ben) Franklin called him a model of compassion. And Jefferson had the first Iftaar … and owned a copy of the Quran. … Those Americans who are attacking Islam simply as a terrorist religion or a religion of evil, really need to go back to their own Founding Fathers.

In a March 23, 1790, letter to the editor of the Federal Gazette, Ben Franklin wrote:

Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book [the Quran] forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.

Read the full story at  No, Professor Ahmed, the Founders Were Not So Fond of Islam.

Islam is a Religion of Peace, President Obama Told us so.  So It must be true

The Qur’an:

Qur’an (5:51)“O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War, Obama and Congress Post Inaugration | 1 Comment »