Muslims are exempt from Obamacare’s insurance mandate.

Finding out what’s in it: Muslims are exempt from Obamacare’s insurance mandate.

ObamaCare uses the Social Security language of the Internal Revenue Code to determine who is eligible for “religious conscience” objection to the insurance mandate. Specifically, the law provides exemptions for adherents of “recognized religious sects” that are “conscientiously opposed” to accepting benefits from any insurance, public or private.

As a consequence of this provision, Muslims may claim a religious exemption that is denied Christians and Jews. Since Islam believes insurance is haraam (forbidden) and likens insurance to gambling, the religion is excluded from requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Others who fall into this category are the Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists. Although the U.S. Constitution grants all Americans equal protection of the law, some Americans are more equal than others.

Not only must this catastrophe of a law be repealed, we voters have got to remove as many as possible of the incompetent elected officials who wrote and voted for it.

The Great Spending Betrayal

The great spending betrayal.

Over Friday and Saturday, 61% of House Republicans and 34% of Senate Republicans voted for the omnibus megabus bill. In doing so, not only did they violate their pledge pertaining to bundled (1200-page) bills and the 72-hour layover rule and agree to fund Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Planned Parenthood, the EPA, the PLO and the UN; they actually agreed to spend almost $9 billion more than last year. Overall, budget authority will be $33 billion higher than the House budget, while appropriations for non-defense spending will be $45 billion more. One of the members who voted in the affirmative even agreed that he had voted for a “crap sandwich.”

One reason the budget is still growing is that two-thirds of the government is still controlled by the spendthrift Democratic Party. A second reason is that there are too many wimpy Republicans willing to compromise with these spendthrifts.

Which is why we have elections. 2012 should help fix this problem.

Gingrich’s presidential campaign has gotten him no endorsements from Republican lawmakers

Gingrich’s presidential campaign has gotten him no endorsements from Republican lawmakers.

Considering how incompetent these Republicans have been in getting the federal budget under control, and considering that the last time the budget was balanced was during Gingrich’s reign as speaker in the 1990s, I would consider their lack of support as the best endorsement Gingrich could get. We need real change in DC. The status quo has left us on the verge of economic collapse and bankruptcy.

Finally some substance in the Presidential campaign

Up until tonight I had not watched any of the Republican Presidential debates. To me, the game show formats of each debate were such that I had no expectation of seeing any substance. Quick one-liners and gotcha attacks — the only thing that generally comes from these formats — can’t tell me anything about the deeper philosophical underpinnings of each candidate. And without that knowledge I can have no idea whether or not the candidates will follow through with what they say they’ll do.

Tonight however I did watch the Herman Cain-Newt Gingrich debate, which CSPAN has made available to watch in its entirety. The format was basically Cain and Gingrich for an hour and a half, answering a variety of questions about the three big entitlement programs, Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Each man could essentially take as much time as he desired to say what he wanted.
» Read more

Democratic governor suggests the next Congressional election should be suspended

North Carolina Democratic governor Beverly Perdue suggested that the next Congressional election should be suspended.

I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover.

I wonder why she really suggests this? Could it be because the Democrats are unpopular and risk losing more seats in 2012 than they lost in 2010?

Obama: “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.”

Obama on Sunday at a fundraiser, attacking Rick Perry: “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.”

Here is another example of a politician making a fool of himself. The wildfires in Texas have nothing to do with climate change. And if Obama thinks they do, he immediately shows himself to be completely ignorant of the science behind the Earth’s climate.

Making hard choices

A new poll shows that the congressional special election to replace Anthony Weiner in the traditionally Democratic district in Queens/Brooklyn, New York is surprisingly competitive.

The poll found [Democrat] Weprin, a state assemblyman, leading [Republican] Turner, a retired broadcasting executive, 48 percent to 42 percent in the race for the Democratic-friendly Queens and Brooklyn-area seat.

Two thoughts: First, this poll fits with another that shows for the first time a majority of adults don’t want their own Congressman reelected. If so, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Democrat appears so weak in Brooklyn/Queens, a place I lived for most of my life and a place I found to be so knee-jerk Democrat that you couldn’t admit to being Republican without risking being blacklisted from all things.

Second, despite the mess the federal government is in as well as the disgraceful scandal that caused the previously elected Democratic Congressman to resign, it is also not surprising that 48 percent of the population still wants to vote Democrat in this district. This is my biggest fear: the continuing unwillingness of too many Americans to honestly face our government’s budget problems.
» Read more

2012 is gonna be nasty

2012 is gonna be nasty.

There’s no doubt that we’re in for a high level of personal nastiness and invective. This election is not going to be about some minor adjustment to spending, or some trifling adjustment of tax rates, or some nibbling at the edges of the regulatory state. What is at stake in the 2012 election is the continuation of a world-view; a political philosophy that sees ever-larger government as the cure to whatever ails us. This next election is the first big battle for the survival of that worldview as the majority view of the political class, or the survival of the insurgent TEA party idea that government has become to large, too intrusive, and too expensive, so therefore must be radically reduced. There is little room to compromise between these two visions of government. Indeed, in most ways, they are worldviews that are mutually exclusive. Over the next decade or so, we are going to learn which of these two views will prevail, and if the US, as presently composed, will remain a united polity.

Why Obama should be re-elected

Why Obama should be re-elected.

The guy has done absolutely everything he’s promised… that’s mattered. Like remember how he said he was going to pass a big stimulus and keep unemployment from being 8%? Well, he passed his stimulus, and now unemployment… is not 8%. It’s an entirely different number than that. If you really didn’t want 8% unemployment, well guess what: You’re not dealing with that level of unemployment. Promise kept. And look at all the work he did for it: He spent $666 billion to bypass 8% unemployment. Could you spend that much money? No way. If I sat you down in front of a computer, logged you in to Amazon, and said, “Spend $666 billion,” it would be futile. You’d be clicking “Buy Now” until your mouse broke. But Obama did it; the man’s got hustle.

Read the whole thing. It will surely change your mind about Obama.

A hint that the Republicans might be wimping out again

It’s stories like this that fill me with dispair: House Majority Leader-designate Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) says that Republicans will keep some provisions of Obama’s healthcare law intact. Key quote:

Provisions that Republicans will seek to retain include the barring of insurance companies from refusing coverage to patients with a pre-existing condition and allowing young people to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

You would think the numerous demonstrations, the loud townhall protests, and finally, the election results themselves would have given Cantor a hint of what the public really wants: total and complete repeal of this stinker of a bill.

Cantor’s desire to keep the pre-existing condition clause will only make the entire insurance business unprofitable. When I lived in New York and the state legislative passed a similar bill, more than half of all insurance companies immediately abandoned the state, as they understood that no one had any reason to buy health insurance, until they actually got sick. And without the premiums from healthy people, the companies knew they would have no resources left to pay the expenses of those who were sick. (See my 1994 article on this subject for the magazine The Freeman.)

As for the clause allowing young people to stay on their parents’ plan until 26, all this will do is force insurance companies to drop all coverage for children, as this union did in New York.

Either way, what gives Eric Cantor and the Republicans (or the Democrats before them) the lordly wisdom to determine how this particular business (or any) should be run? Freedom demands that these business transactions should be left to the market, the insurance companies, and their customers, not to the whims of politicians.

The space program is dead, long live the space industry!

The news following the midterm election results have not sounded good for NASA. Two stories on Monday alone signaled the bad news:

Earlier stories last week were no more encouraging:

While Republicans have, since the 1970s, generally been more enthusiastic than Democrats about NASA and manned space exploration, the new Republican Congress has a tone that seems decidedly different from past years. Above all, it appears the public is finally becoming aware of the recent explosion in the federal debt, as illustrated by the graph below. (hat tip to Gateway Pundit and The Captain’s Comments.)

Federal deficit

The public’s growing concern about these numbers was clearly reflected in the election results. First, there was the success of many tea party candidates advocating fiscal responsibility and a radical shrinking of government. Even in cases where conservatives lost, the closeness of the election in districts or states where liberals have rarely in the past been challenged suggests the mood of the electorate is decidedly shifting in a direction against federal spending.

Second, the electorate seemed surprisingly hostile to pork, expressing little interest in being brought off with baubles for their home districts. Thus, candidates who ran against pork seemed to get far more enthusiastic attention and positive publicity than those elected officials famous for “bringing home the bacon.”

In such an atmosphere, the priorities of Congress will be forced to change. The outlook therefore does not look good for the type of pork funding represented by the NASA authorization bill passed on September 29, with its billions of subsidies for the aerospace industry.

We can see an indication of this new tone by some of the initial plans announced by the Republican leadership. As a first step, the Republicans have proposed cutting the federal budget back 2008 levels. This change alone would reduce NASA’s annual budget by about $2 billion, or 10%.

This solution, however, will not close the budget gap, only shrink it slightly. The Republicans will still be faced with massive amounts of red ink and a public demanding that they deal with it. To prove they mean what they say, the new House leadership will be forced to propose some additional draconian cuts.

Unfortunately, the circumstances at this moment has made NASA a prime budget-cutting target. » Read more

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