Thursday, June 28, 2012

The American People must live with the Consequences of our Political Choices

“Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

Chief Justice John Roberts


Why Roberts did it

As usual Charles Krauthammer gets it right.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-why-roberts-did-it/2012/06/28/gJQA4X0g9V_story.html

50 (now 46) Reasons to Repeal ALL of Obamacare NOW

 50 (Now 46) Reasons to Repeal ALL of Obamacare NOWToday the Supreme Court struck down portions of Obamacare as unconstitutional – states cannot be "dragooned" into expanding their Medicaid programs according to the law’s dictates. However, a list of 50 particularly onerous or egregious provisions in Obamacare (with sections from the statute duly noted) reveals just how much of this bad law remains. By the most generous interpretation, the Court struck down only four of the 50 egregious policies, illustrating why Congress should immediately repeal the entire measure once and for all. Among many other bad policies, the law:
1. Imposes $800 billion in tax increases, including no fewer than 12 separate provisions breaking candidate Obama’s "firm pledge" during his campaign that he would not raise "any of your taxes" (Sections 9001-9016)
2. Forces Americans to purchase a product for the first time ever (Section 1501)
3. Creates a board of 15 unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to make binding rulings on how to reduce Medicare spending (Section 3403)
4. Pays over $800 billion in subsidies straight to health insurance companies (Sections 1401, 1402, and 1412)
5. Requires all individuals to buy government-approved health insurance plans, imposing new mandates that will raise individual insurance premiums by an average of $2,100 per family (Section 1302)
6. Forces seniors to lose their current health care, by enacting Medicare Advantage cuts that by 2017 will cut enrollment in half, and cut plan choices by two-thirds (Section 3201)
7. Imposes a 40 percent tax on health benefits, a direct contradiction of Barack Obama’s campaign promises (Section 9001)
8. Relies upon government bureaucrats to "issue guidance on best practices of plain language writing" (Section 1311(e)(3)(B))
9. Provides special benefits to residents of Libby, Montana – home of Max Baucus, the powerful Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who helped write the law even though he says he hasn’t read it (Section 10323)
10. Imposes what a Democrat Governor called the "mother of all unfunded mandates" – new, Washington-dictated requirements of at least $118 billion – at a time when states already face budget deficits totaling a collective $175 billion (Section 2001)   Thanks SCOTUS
11. Imposes reductions in Medicare spending that, according to the program’s non-partisan actuary, would cause 40 percent of all Medicare providers to become unprofitable, and could lead to their exit from the program (Section 3401)
12. Raises premiums on more than 17 million seniors participating in Medicare Part D, so that Big Pharma can benefit from its "rock-solid deal" struck behind closed doors with President Obama and Congressional Democrats (Section 3301)
13. Creates an institute to undertake research that, according to one draft Committee report prepared by Democrats, could mean that "more expensive [treatments] will no longer be prescribed" (Section 6301)
14. Creates a multi-billion dollar "slush fund" doled out solely by federal bureaucrats, which has already been used to fund things like bike paths (Section 4002)
15. Subjects states to myriad new lawsuits, by forcing them to assume legal liability for delivering services to Medicaid patients for the first time in that program’s history (Section 2304) Thanks SCOTUS
16. Permits taxpayer dollars to flow to health plans that fund abortion, in a sharp deviation from prior practice under Democrat and Republican Administrations (Section 1303)
17. Empowers bureaucrats on a board that has ruled against mammograms and against prostate cancer screenings to make binding determinations about what types of preventive services should be covered (Sections 2713 and 4104)
18. Precludes poor individuals from having a choice of health care plans by automatically dumping them in the Medicaid program (Section 1413(a))
19. Creates a new entitlement program that one Democrat called "a Ponzi scheme of the first order, the kind of thing that Bernie Madoff would have been proud of" – a scheme so unsustainable even the Administration was forced to admit it would not work (Section 8002)
20. Provides $5 billion in taxpayer dollars to a fund that has largely served to bail out unions and other organizations who made unsustainable health care promises to retirees that they cannot afford (Section 1102)
21. Creates a tax credit so convoluted it requires seven different worksheets to determine eligibility (Section 1421)
22. Imposes multiple penalties on those who marry, by reducing subsidies (and increasing taxes) for married couples when compared to two individuals cohabiting together (Sections 1401-02)
23. Extends the Medicare "payroll tax" to unearned income for the first time ever, including new taxes on the sale of some homes (Section 1402)
From the Office of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) www.demint.senate.gov Page 2 24. Impedes state flexibility by requiring Medicaid programs to offer a specific package of benefits, including benefits like family planning services (Sections 2001(a)(2), 2001(c), 1302(b), and 2303(c)) Thanks SCOTUS
25. Requires individuals to go to the doctor and get a prescription in order to spend their own Flexible Spending Account money on over-the-counter medicines (Section 9003)
26. Expands the definition of "low-income" to make 63 percent of non-elderly Americans eligible for "low-income" subsidized insurance (Section 1401)
27. Imposes a new tax on the makers of goods like pacemakers and hearing aids (Section 9009)
28. Creates an insurance reimbursement scheme that could result in the federal government obtaining Americans’ medical records (Section 1343)
29. Permits states to make individuals presumptively eligible for Medicaid for unlimited 60-day periods, thus allowing any individual to receive taxpayer-funded assistance
30. Allows individuals to purchase insurance on government exchanges – and to receive taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies – WITHOUT verifying their identity as American citizens (Section 1411)
31. Gives $300 million in higher Medicaid reimbursements to one state as part of the infamous "Louisiana Purchase" – described by ABC News as "what…it take[s] to get a wavering senator to vote for health care reform" (Section 2006)
32. Raises taxes on firms who cannot afford to buy coverage for their workers (Section 1513)
33. Forces younger Americans to pay double-digit premium increases so that older workers can pay slightly less (Section 1201)
34. Prohibits states from modifying their Medicaid programs to include things like modest anti-fraud protections (Section 2001)  Thanks SCOTUS
35. Includes a special provision increasing federal payments just for Tennessee (Section 1203(b))
36. Allows individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines – but only if politicians and bureaucrats agree to allow citizens this privilege (Section 1333)
37. Allows the HHS Secretary and federal bureaucrats to grant waivers exempting people from Obamacare’s onerous mandates, over half of which have gone to members of union plans (Section 1001)
38. Creates a pseudo-government-run plan overseen by the federal government (Section 1334)
39. Removes a demonstration project designed to force government-run Medicare to compete on a level playing field with private plans (Section 1102(f))
40. Gives the Secretary of HHS an UNLIMITED amount of federal funds to spend funding state insurance Exchanges (Section 1311(a))
41. Creates a grant program that could be used by liberal groups like ACORN or AARP to conduct "public education activities" surrounding Obamacare (Section 1311(i))
42. Applies new federal mandates to pre-Obamacare insurance policies, thus proving that you CAN’T keep the insurance plan you had – and liked – before the law passed (Sections 2301 and 10103)
43. Prohibits individuals harmed by federal bureaucrats from challenging those decisions, either in court or through regulatory processes (Sections 3001, 3003, 3007, 3008, 3021, 3022, 3025, 3133, 3403, 5501, 6001, and 6401)
44. Earmarks $100 million for "construction of a health care facility," a "sweetheart deal" inserted by a Democrat Senator trying to win re-election (Section 10502)
45. Puts yet another Medicaid unfunded mandate on states, by raising payments to primary care physicians, but only for two years, forcing states to come up with another method of funding this unsustainable promise when federal funding expires (Section 1202)
46. Imposes price controls that have had the effect of costing jobs in the short time since they were first implemented (Section 1001)
47. Prohibits individuals from spending federal insurance subsidies outside government-approved Exchanges (Section 1401(a))
48. Provides a special increase in federal hospital payments just for Hawaii (Section 10201(e)(1))
49. Imposes new reporting requirements that will cost businesses millions of dollars, and affect thousands of restaurants and other establishments across the country (Section 4205)
50. Codifies 159 new boards, bureaucracies, and programs
ad infinitum (Section 2303(b)) The Supreme Court may have struck some of these onerous provisions, but the only way to ensure that ALL these provisions are eliminated – and never return – is to repeal ALL of this unconstitutional law immediately.

From the Office of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) www.demint.senate.gov Page 1

The big office move is over!


New Office

My Oregon Duck "stuff"

We are finally done moving our office after having been in the same building for the last 30 years. It was a long hard "slog" but we did it and "the troops will be home by July 4th!"

On to November 6, 2012!


It's a TAX !

You lied

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Don Grady of "My Three Sons" dies at 68


Don Grady in the middle back next to Fred McMurray
One of my favorite TV shows as a kid was "My Three Sons" and Don Grady was my favorite son. Earlier  he had been one of the Mouseketeers on the Micky Mouse Club

.http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-don-grady-dies-at-68-robbie-on-my-three-sons-20120627,0,6588842.story

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Day College Football Died!

It looks like we will have a NCAA playoff in college football. Too bad! I liked the old bowl system where multiple teams and their fans would end the season with a bowl win and feel good about it for the off season. Teams from the Pac 10 (now Pac 12) and the Big 10 dreamed about going to the Rose Bowl in sunny California. Folks in the South and East Coast looked to the Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl. Most of the games were on New Year’s Day and fans could travel to the games during the Christmas Holidays and have a mini vacation. With the NCAA playoff there will be few fans that can afford to travel across county to a “Championship Game” in mid January and pay Super Bowl prices for the privilege. The game will have all the “high rollers” who go to be entertained and the few true fans will be limited to a small area such as at the NCAA Basketball Championship Game. The ‘specialness” that makes college football different from the pro game will be less special. While I didn’t like it, I could live with the BCS Championship but not now! It will be just one more TV extravaganza on a work night. I will watch but it will not be the same and I will miss the old days. I am thankful my Oregon Ducks won the 2012 Rose Bowl in one of the last Rose Bowls that really meant something. I must be getting old!




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Separated at Birth

Robert Taylor of the new A & E  TV  series "Longmire"
Football player Brett Favre

Cowboy actor Joel McCrea

 Robert Taylor is an Australian actor who even  sounds like Joel McCrea.

According to IMDB  Longmire  is described as follows:

Walt Longmire is the dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, he is a man in psychic repair but buries his pain behind his brave face, unassuming grin and dry wit.

I give it a big thumbs up!

Link to IMDB


Friday, June 22, 2012

"Fat, Drunk,and Stupid"

I am reading the book "Fat, Drunk, and Stupid" by Matty Simmons the founder of National Lampoon about the inside story behind the making of the 1978 movie Animal House , filmed at the University of Oregon. He writes about the following scene cut from the script and it is worth the cost of the book.

My favorite scene that was taken out of the script before filming was when the Deltas go  on their road trip. they're speeding along in Flounder's brother's car when suddenly they pass a scraggly musician, guitar slung over his shoulder,cowboy hat on his head, and a weary look on his face, as the thumbs for a ride. The Delta car screeches to a halt, a door flies open and the traveler gets in.  We cut to the interior of the car and Otter starts a conversation with the young man.
"You're a musician?"
"Yep, singer, songwriter, musician."
"What's your name?"
"Zimmerman," says the musician in a recognizable twangy voice.
"Well, Zimmerman, play something for us."
We cut back to the outside of the car and we hear that familiar Bob Dylan nasal singing.  This goes on for a few beats, the car again comes to a screeching halt, the door flies open once more, and Zimmerman-- or Dylan, if you prefer-- is tossed out onto the road. 

That's a scene even my wife, who is not as enthusiastic about "Animal House" as I am, could appreciate !

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Local Pac-12 fans left in limbo during TV fight | MailTribune.com

Local Pac-12 fans left in limbo during TV fight | MailTribune.com\

"Charter is in active discussions with the Pac-12, but has not reached agreeable terms," said Kevin Allen, spokesman for Charter Communications

"It is a problem for the Southern Oregon region and it's a priority that it get worked on and remedied," said Dave Williford, executive assistant athletic director at the University of Oregon.......


It's not unusual that this would go down to the 11th hour," said Williford of the television negotiations. "When the Big Ten started (the Big Ten Network) they had no carriers up until about a week before the season started.
"We're hoping something gets done very soon. The Southern Oregon region is very important to us."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

PAC-12 Networks channel may not be available to some UO, OSU fans in Oregon

PAC-12 Networks channel may not be available to some UO, OSU fans in Oregon

FLAG DAY, JUNE 14, 2012


Old Glory was adopted as the flag of the United States 235 years ago today on June 14, 1777 by a resolution  of the Second Continental Congress. As George M. Cohan wrote:

You're a grand old flag,


You're a high flying flag

And forever in peace may you wave.

You're the emblem of

The land I love.

The home of the free and the brave.

Ev'ry heart beats true

'neath the Red, White and Blue,

Where there's never a boast or brag.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

Keep your eye on the grand old flag

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pac 12 Network Starts August 15

Sure hope Charter Cable picks it up.

We need a Special Prosecutor.....NOW!


Obama National Security Advisor Tom Donilon
President George W Bush on leaks of classified information on Sept 30, 2003:

Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch. There's just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.


And so I welcome the investigation. I -- I'm absolutely confident that the Justice Department will do a very good job. There's a special division of career Justice Department officials who are tasked with doing this kind of work; they have done this kind of work before in Washington this year. I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative.

I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.


President Barack Obama on leaks of classified information on June 8.2012:

The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong, and, you know, people, I think, need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office. And we're dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families, or our military personnel, or our allies. And so we don't play with that.

Sensitive American classified information  has been leaked, on the war against terrorism, since the killing of Osama bin laden, which  has been very damaging to the United State and our allies and it has been done for political reasons. This is much more serious than the "outing" of Valerie Plame" as a CIA employee. Our allies are afraid to share information with the United State for fear it will end up in the New York Times . It has to stop! Republicans and Democrats in Congress have spoken out on this outrage.

 Democrat political operative Pat Caddell who has worked with Obama National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon, in a number of Democrat political campaigns,  believes it is Donilon himself who is leaking classified information to help the Obama campaign  make  President Obama look strong on National Security. Caddell who knows Donilion very well, points out that Donilon’s expertise is that of a political advisor more than that of a foreign policy advisor and finds it strange that he would even be in that job. I think it says a lot about President Obama that he would be more interested in having a political operative in that job over someone with foreign policy expertise's.

After the leaks about the operation to kill bin laden then Obama Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told national security adviser Tom Donilon to "shut the f--- up."

Now it may be legal for a President to authorize the release of classified information harmful to the United States to further his own political ambitions; but if so, the American people deserve to know it when the go to the polls to elect a President.



I predicted this problem on this blog on October 9, 2010 when I posted this on this blog:

Things became a lot scarier for our national security yesterday when President Obama appointed Tom Donilon as his new National Security Advisor replacing General Jones. To prove my point all you have to do is read Bob Woodward's new book "Obama's Wars" The Republican National Committee did and this is their report:..............

http://jimwickre.blogspot.com/2010/10/obamas-disastrous-choice-of-tom-donilon.html

Friday, June 08, 2012

Summer & Law Office Move

Summer is almost here. Today is the last day of school here in Medford, Oregon. Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and we are only waiting on June 20th for the official start of summer. I always love this time of year because it is a time of transition. Kids are out of school, graduations and family vacations. This year we are moving our office from a five story brick office building to a one story building with free off street parking for my clients. I don’t often write about my office on this blog for obvious reasons but I will today. My law practice has been in this same building for 30 years. When we moved in it was the place to have a law office in Medford. In the late 1970's  A local attorney  put a lot of money in updating the building that had been built in 1907. It was the early 1980’s  when we first moved in and the building was almost entirely attorneys. At Christmas time all the attorneys on our third floor would have a hall Christmas party and invite all the attorneys in Medford to attend. We had a live band and it was great time. Now most of the law firms have moved elsewhere and it is time for us to move as well. Moving after thirty years is a bittersweet adventure. I feel like I did when I cleaned out my parents home after they were gone……. only I am still here. Going through files and drawers bring back lots of memories . Moving is a good way to downsize and get rid of all those things you don’t need any more. Obsolete law books or law books for areas of law I no longer practice in such as criminal law or divorces. My office is full of Oregon Duck memorabilia that was put away in a drawer or cabinet when the latest new “Duck items” came along and just had to be displayed. Family pictures, old paid bills, bank records and all those files of old cases that have to be sorted to decide what to keep and what to shred. On the other hand moving can be exciting like moving out of your dorm room at the end of the school year. It’s also a lot of hard work. I am getting too old to move desks and cabinets so we have hired movers but there is still a lot of work. Moving telephones, computers, Internet connections, fax lines, credit card machines all take planning. For the next two weekends we will be down here packing to get things ready for the movers on the big day. I feel like I am preparing for “D-Day.” We hope to be done and have the “troop’s home for July 4th.”

This is one of those summers that come along every four years. This summer both the Republicans and the Democrats will have their political conventions which are always exciting for this political junkie. In addition, there will be the Summer Olympic Games from London. In our family there will be an all important birthday too! One thing is sure it will not be a boring summer. Then in the fall comes Oregon Duck football and the fall presidential election. The "fun" never stops!

Link to photo of new office.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

His House of Cards

Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal:

President Obama's problem now isn't what Wisconsin did, it's how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn't go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker's place, where the money is.


There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.

********

 And where is the president in all this? On his way to Anna Wintour's house. He's busy. He's running for president.


But why? He could be president now if he wanted to be.

**********

Bill Clinton is showing all the signs of someone who is, let us say, essentially unimpressed by the incumbent. He defended Mitt Romney as a businessman—"a sterling record"—said he doesn't like personal attacks in politics, then fulsomely supported the president, and then said that the Bush tax cuts should be extended

***********

But maybe Bubba's looking at the president and seeing what far more than half of Washington sees: a man who is limited, who thinks himself clever, and who doesn't know that clever right now won't cut it.




Click here to read her entire column



Wednesday, June 06, 2012

D-Day June 6, 1944 "Bloody Omaha"

Five years ago, this summer, I had an opportunity to travel to Omaha Beach. It was an experience I shall never forget to see where it all happened 68 years ago today.

This picture depicts Omaha Beach on the day of Operation Overlord (D-Day), June 6, 1944. Located in Normandy, France, Omaha Beach was one of the five beaches invaded by the Allies and the most difficult. After the first three waves of landings the American solders were pinned on the beach by German fire and were hugging the sea wall most of the morning as they were unable to move off of the beach.


Since there was no more room on the beach follow up waves of troops were halted. The plan had been to move up the ravines to the top of the bluffs over looking Omaha Beach but they were blocked by German cement pill boxes. Eventually small units of American troops scaled the bluffs directly and cleared out the ravines from behind to take "Bloody Omaha" The situation that morning was so precarious the American command considered pulling the troop off the beach.  Allied Commander General Eisenhower, a true leader, had already prepared a press release taking all the blame for the landings failure.

One unknown officer in his famous words best describes the brutality of the battle, "Two kinds of people are staying on this beach. The dead, and those about to die."

The United States and Britain liberated Europe and all we ask the French for was a little land to bury our dead. The white on the grass above are the crosses of the dead at the American cemetery at Omaha at the top of the bluffs we paid so much for  in American blood to scale.

Freedom is not free!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Stand with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker!

If the public employee unions get away with the recall in Wisconsin on Tuesday there will be no stopping then. No political leader will take a chance in incurring their wrath for 50 years and  government will take over more and more of the  American  economy.  We will become more and more an entitlement society. There will be no return from the road to serfdom. The drive of the individual will be suffocated and the thing that makes Americans different will be gone. The Walker supporters in Wisconsin  will be holding the line for all of us...... stand tall and be counted!