Oops: Congress Won’t Even Be Able to Keep the Plans They Have Under Obamacare

The Weekly Standard

“Significant unintended consequences.” Who woulda thunk it?

In a new report, the Congressional Research Service says the law may have significant unintended consequences for the “personal health insurance coverage” of senators, representatives and their staff members.

For example, it says, the law may “remove members of Congress and Congressional staff” from their current coverage, in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, before any alternatives are available.

The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?

Good to see the New York Times is now curious about that question, after the bill has passed. Priorities. You can’t let landmark legislation and the Obama legacy suffer just because a bunch of right-wingers are fearmongering with their obvious questions and legitimate concerns, people.

But don’t worry. They’ll take care of it, because it affects them. You? Let’s face it. You’re probably on your own:

Congress must now decide what steps, if any, it can take to deal with the problem. It could try for a legislative fix, or it could adopt internal policies to minimize any disruptions.

And, the kicker— even the Congressional Research Service can’t figure this bill out:

“This omission, whether intentional or inadvertent, raises questions regarding interpretation and implementation that cannot be definitively resolved by the Congressional Research Service,” the report says. “The statute does not appear to be self-executing, but rather seems to require an administrating or implementing authority that is not specifically provided for by the statutory text.”

I’m assuming you don’t have a research service dedicated to figuring out how this bill will affect you. Yeah, me neither. I don’t know whether to feel worse or better about the fact that it probably wouldn’t help if I did

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Argentina seizes pension funds to pay debts.

The Telegraph.co.uk

Here is a warning to us all. The Argentine state is taking control of the country’s privately-managed pension funds in a drastic move to raise cash.


Should we worry about our pensions?

It is a foretaste of what may happen across the world as governments discover that tax revenue, and discover that the bond markets are unwilling to plug the gap. The G7 states are already acquiring an unhealthy taste for the arbitrary seizure of private property, I notice.

Here is a link from La Nacion and another from El Pais for Spanish speakers:

So, over $29bn of Argentine civic savings are to be used as a funding kitty for the populist antics of President Cristina Kirchner. This has been dressed up as an anti-corruption and efficiency move. Aren’t they always?

Argentine sovereign debt was trading at 29 cents on the dollar today, pushing the yield to 25pc. Tempted?

Credit Default Swaps on Argentine bonds reached 2,900. Do we have a Latin Iceland on our hands, but with 100 times the population? Or several, Pakistan, Ukraine, Hungary? …… Switzerland? Australia? Britain?

The funds being targeted are known as AFJPs or retirement accounts, but how long will it now be before Mrs Kirchner cracks down on the entire $97bn pool of private pensions? There are a lot of much-needed hard currency assets in those portfolios.

“A state takeover of pensions creates all kinds of doubts and throws into relief the extreme financing needs of the government next year,” said Jorge Alberti, from ElAccionista.com

Needless to say, the Kirchner government (part II) is unable to raise any money on the global markets at a tolerable price.

Investors have already been burned by her stealth default on Argentina’s index linked bonds. This was achieved by sacking the head of the statistics office and rigging the inflation data (by 20pc annually, or so.)

Frankly, I am a little surprised that Argentina’s 2001 default – the biggest in history – was not a severe enough burning in itself for investors. But political risk seems to be a blind spot for some asset managers. And then there was the great agro-boom of 2005-2007 so all was forgiven, until commodities went into free-fall in May.

President Kirchner has been eyeing the pension pool for some time. Last year she pushed through new rules forcing them to invest more money inside the country – always a warning signal.
My fear is that governments in the US, Britain, and Europe will display similar reflexes. Indeed, they have already done so. The forced-feeding of banks with fresh capital – whether they want it or not – and the seizure of the Fannie/Freddie mortgage giants before they were in fact in trouble (in order to prevent a Chinese buying strike of US bonds and prevent a spike in US mortgage rates), shows that private property can be co-opted – or eliminated – with little due process if that is required to serve the collective welfare. This is a slippery slope. I hope Paulson, Darling, and Lagarde tread with great care. I do not expect Steinbruck to tread with any care

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The Revolt of the States

Canada Free Press

President Obama, his weird circle of advisors (czars), and the ideologues within the Democrat Party led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid only have a few months left to completely destroy the separation of powers between the States and the federal government.

A major battle is looming over the Tenth Amendment which declares 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.”

Almost everywhere one looks today, the States are in rebellion to the overreaching of the federal government. The process involved is called nullification, a legal theory that a U.S. State has the right to nullify, i.e., invalidate, any federal law deemed unconstitutional. Since the Supreme Court moves at a glacial pace, the States through their legislatures have taken the lead in many cases.

Nullification is not secession as in the case of the Civil War, but there is a history of nullification that includes the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions against the Alien and Sedition Acts. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison both argued that the States are the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution, arguing that the States could “interpose” themselves to protect their citizens from unconstitutional national laws.

Much of the discord in the nation today has its roots in the vital difference between a conservative attachment to traditional values and a liberal ideology that would impose a One World Government on our sovereign nation.

The great philosopher of American conservatism, Russell Kirk, wrote “True conservatism is the antithesis of ideology. It is the negation of ideology. For conservative is grounded in the past. Its principles are derived from the Constitution, experience, history, tradition, custom, and the wisdom of those who have gone before us—‘the best that has been thought and said.’ It does not purport to know the future. It is about preserving the true, the good, the beautiful. Conservatism views all ideologies with skepticism, and the more zealous and fanatic with hostility.”

A case in point is the way that State after State has lined up to oppose through the courts and by individual legal action the imposition of the president’s healthcare legislation, passed on strict party lines by the Democrat Party and only after the most vile revelations of bribery and backroom deals. It is a bill whose content Speaker Pelosi said Americans should supinely consider only after it was passed.

There has been a rapidly growing awareness and rejection of the assertion that the federal government can “own” General Motors or that the government should be in the business of buying and selling mortgages.

Pending financial reform legislation would permit the federal take over any company to install its own board of directors and thus control the economy. The failure to exercise existing regulation of the financial sector hardly calls for more regulation. It calls for stronger enforcement of existing laws.

The increasing awareness and rejection of the false “theory of global warming” is being rejected on the basis of the widely perceived cooling of the earth during this decade and the wild projections of warming 25, 50, a hundred or more years into the unknown future. More and more Americans now know it is based on feeble and deliberately false “computer models”.

That is why the Cap-and-Trade bill, a huge tax on energy use, awaiting action in the Senate, even if imposed in the same fashion as the healthcare bill, will be rejected by the States. There is no need to regulate carbon dioxide, a natural gas that has nothing to do with “warming”, but a rogue government agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, is set to assert this falsehood through massive regulation that will destroy the nation’s economic base.

With increasing pace, the States are demanding that the Second Amendment protecting the right to own and bear arms be respected and asserting their right to pass laws permitting gun ownership, including the right to carry concealed arms for self defense. States that have enacted such laws have seen a dramatic decrease in crime.

The assertion of unconstitutional federal powers lies at the heart of the State’s rejection of these efforts. Unfunded federal mandates are bankrupting the States and they want an end to them. The rapacious taking of State lands is crippling theirs and the nation’s ability to access our natural resources.

A growing spectrum of federal laws intruding upon the sovereignty of individual States is being challenged and this is a good thing. We should all take heart from these challenges as well as the spontaneous occurrence of the Tea Party movement that is a dramatic demonstration that the spirit of individual liberty and of States rights is alive and well in America.

A new generation of Americans is learning that the Constitution was designed to ensure a small and limited federal government and that the States, like the Union, are individual republics.

The battle has been joined.

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New Obama Bio Strengthens Case for Dreams Fraud

Western Journalism

It surprised me to learn that David Remnick had dedicated three pages of his comprehensive new Obama biography, The Bridge, to my thesis that Bill Ayers helped Barack Obama write Obama’s 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father.

a new bio unwittingly expose Obama as a fraud

It will surprise Remnick even more to learn that he has unwittingly reinforced a thesis that he set out to discredit.

I stumbled on the reference to yours truly rather by accident. I was searching the index to see what Remnick had to say about Bill Ayers and found the first mention on page 253 in this intriguing context, “The true author of Obama’s book, Jack Cashill suggested, was likely Bill Ayers.”

The reference to me, I quickly discovered, is not a kind one. In the way of credentials, Remnick allows me no discernible Ph.D. in American studies, no Fulbright, no articles in Fortune or the Wall Street Journal, no well-received book on intellectual fraud, no books at all.

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