Saturday, May 4, 2013

Japan Underpopulation So Bad Families Resort to “Rental Relatives”

Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM

 by Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. | Tokyo, Japan | | 5/4/12 9:59 AM

Tokyo, Japan (CFAM/LifeNews) — Is family breakdown the cause or the cure for the global crisis of population decline? Two new articles in top foreign policy journals raise the question.
“As the flight from marriage and the normalization of divorce has recast living arrangements in Japan, the cohort of married fertile adults has plummeted in size,” Nicholas Eberstadt says. “And marriage is the only real path to parenthood. Unwed motherhood remains, so to speak, inconceivable because of the enduring disgrace conferred by out-of-wedlock births. In effect, the Japanese have embraced voluntary mass childlessness.” Eberstadt is a demographer and political economist with the American Enterprise Institute. His essay appeared in the latest volume of the Wilson Quarterly.
The answer to population decline according to another expert is gender equality, managed immigration, and “the acceptance of non-traditional family structures, such as unmarried cohabitation. After all,” Steven Philip Kramer noted in the New York Times, “the countries most committed to the traditional family, such as Germany, Italy and Japan, have the lowest birthrates. Countries with high birthrates, in contrast, usually also have large numbers of children born out of wedlock.” Kramer teaches at the National Defense University in Washington, DC and his views were also published in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.
While Kramer’s recommendations for non-traditional families focus on the number of children born, other experts warn that children’s quality of life suffers, as does the national economy. “In Sweden, where cohabitation enjoys widespread acceptance and legal support, cohabiting families are less stable than married families,” a report from the Social Trends Institute says. Children born to cohabiting couples were 75% more likely than children born to married couples to see their parents break up by the age of 15, even while the percentage of single-parent households in Sweden nearly doubled from 11% in 1985 to 19% in 2008. Out-of-wedlock births are the “new normal” in much of the world where 40% of all children are born without married parents.
“Men who get and stay married work harder, smarter, and longer hours, and they earn between 10 and 24 percent more money,” the report says. “Children in the United States who are raised outside of an intact, married home are two to three times more likely to suffer from social and psychological problems, such as delinquency, depression, and dropping out of high school.”
Phillip Longman, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, is one of the report’s authors. Longman and Eberstadt both contributed to Population Decline and the Remaking of Great Power Politics, which shows why fertility decline is causing instability in world affairs.
In Japan, Eberstadt says, children without siblings could result in the “little emperor” syndrome now plaguing China. So sparse are siblings, aunts, and uncles that “rental relatives” are now readily available for brides and grooms lacking family to fill their wedding ceremonies. Japan’s demographic decline contributes to its high suicide rate, which is second only to Russia’s. Russia has the second oldest population after Japan.
As bad as things seem, they will probably get worse. Many children face a lonely old age, Eberstadt says. A 22 year-old Japanese woman today has a life expectancy of about 90 years, but has a 25% chance of never marrying, only a 50% chance of a lasting marriage due to rising rates of divorce, a 38% chance of ending up childless, and a better-than-even chance of living her whole life with no biological grandchildren.
What could turn things around? Eberstadt says a “national awakening” akin to a religious movement could reinvigorate childrearing. “But nothing like this has ever happened in an affluent open society with fertility levels as low as Japan’s.”
Russia sounded the religious note at the UN last week when, after lamenting the country’s scarcity of children, its delegate said, “Our aim is to insure the most favorable conditions for their further life; to bring up a generation of spiritually developed, well-educated and socially active people.” The Russians criticized UN Secretary General’s reports for their “one-sidedness” in promoting fertility decline as “the only accurate direction towards the achievement of economic development and social well-being of states.” Note: Susan Yoshihara writes for the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. This article originally appeared in its Friday Fax publication.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Al Jazeera Is Opening a Detroit Bureau, and Reportedly Planning a Bunch More

Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM / May 3, 2013

Al Jazeera Is Opening a Detroit Bureau, and Reportedly Planning a Bunch More
 Getty Images

Al Jazeera America is continuing its quick expansion onto the American media landscape, announcing Thursday that it’s opening a new bureau in Detroit, ahead of the channel’s official launch later this year.
“We want our reporters to be where the stories are and Detroit continues to be where American business stories and trends are happening,” Ehab Al Shihabi, Al Jazeera executive director of international operations, said in a statement Thursday. “Al Jazeera America knows that you have to have on-the-ground reporting from the Motor City to really cover America’s economic, financial and socially important news and we’re excited about being here.”
News of the Detroit bureau comes after the Qatar-owned news network announced earlier this week that it was also opening a Chicago bureau.
Al Jazeera America will be headquartered in New York City with additional offices throughout the U.S. According to Politico, 12 bureaus are planned: New York, Washington, Miami, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
Al Jazeera purchased Al Gore’s low-rated Current TV earlier this year.

A comment I like and thus showcase:
    • TomFerrari Posted on May 3, 2013 at 6:20am
    •    I’m making my very best shocked face I can muster.
      This was kind of expected, I’d say. Dearborn, MI has been overrun with muslims, and Detroit is a big lib lefty union town (what’s left of it.) Land/housing is dirt cheap. Would make a great city for, oh, say, millions upon millions of lunatic extremist muslims to move to and set up their global caliphate.

      God warned Israel to keep their land pure, and now we see what disobedience does. God knew what he was talkin’ about – He’s omniscient, ya know. He knew Israel was/would be surrounded by murderous lunatics driven by hate and envy. Makes you wonder WHY God chose THAT land for Israel? (I’ll add it to my list of questions for Him.)
      Lord forgive us and help us triumph over evil… or come back soon!


Thursday, May 2, 2013


Wilmington political writer walking now after 
bone cancer onset which is now in remission.

By Verne Strickland

Some truly remarkable things have been happening in my life. You could call them miraculous.

The bone cancer which almost crippled me is in remission. The timing is fortuitous, because at 76 I have a big bull's eye on my back. Obamacare, which will arrive in all its fury in 2014, will drain away all the chemotherapy drugs I would ordinarily need for survival.

That's not my concern anymore, because the Lord has healed me. And the way I see it, Obama has been outfoxed by Almighty God. With cancer no longer a threat, I will not require the precious chemotherapy which tacked extra months, and years, on my life when they were all I had left.

Obama has deserted America's old people. It is criminal. He is monumentally sinful to hold the destructive power of Obamacare over our elderly and infirm -- casually shutting off the remarkable drugs which have beaten cancer for many a survivor. With the stroke of a pen he is wiping out the golden years that awaited many of America's precious senior citizens. They will pass away before their time. These will miss chances to see their children and grandchildren grow up. It will be a brutal, bleak and needless harvest.
And the president worries about his legacy? This will be a large part of it. He considered American seniors to be expendable, and turned that belief into a death sentence. It is an accomplishment that would have made Hitler proud.

There is another glimmer of hope that astounds me. Through my son Martin, we have learned about a condition, Hydrocephalus, for which I am being tested now at Duke Medical Center/Raleigh.

Normal Pressure Hycrocephalus (NPH) develops most often in children and the elderly. It affects as many as 375,000 older Americans. Without appropriate diagnostic testing, NPH is often midsiagnosed as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

NPH in some cases can result from head trauma or other injury to the brain. Signals that it is present include gait disturbances (imbalance and walking difficulties), cognitive decline, and impaired bladder control. Boy do I have them!

At Duke Med/Raleigh, I  am a  candidate for "shunt implantation" by which excess spinal fluid is drained away, normalizing pressure in the brain. I will be checked out in a second visit next week for evaluation. If I am accepted, I plan to undergo the operation, which has delivered remarkable results to many -- immediately -- dramatically enhanced brain function, restoration of normal gait, and (finally) mastery of bathroom habits!

It's not minor surgery by any stretch of the imagination, but the upside is the improvement in one's life that can result.

"You've give me my life back," one patient said after the shunt surgery -- because they can now travel, and socilize, and enjoy their families in ways they couldn't before the operation.

For so many major dividends, the risk seems worth it. I'll keep you posted. This could be a wonderful step forward in the life of an old man who, two years ago, looked and behaved like a man in deep trouble and on the way out.

My family is praying on this, I am praying on it, and I ask for your intercessory prayer as well. It's a happy time, friends and neighbors. It's a blessing. Thank God for his love and mercy. Your pal and fan, Verne.

Andy Yates on George W. Bush; also Yates on new RED DOME GROUP consulting

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
George W. Bush flashed a “W” symbol during the dedication of his presidential library and museum on Thursday at Southern Methodist University near Dallas. More Photos »

Andy Yates of Charlotte, co-founder of political consulting firm Red Dome Group, was on hand for the Bush extravaganza in Texas. Verne Strickland interviewed Andy by  telephone phone hook-up on USA DOT COM.


It was an incredible day to be there to  honor the man George W. Bush, and see that people are just beginning to appreciate his contributions in service to America as our 43rd President.
I think he is rightly going to be regarded with a high place in history. He thinks his legacy will endure over time, and I think he’s absolutely right. Anytime all living former Presidents are together, that was very special to see – regardless of party – the bond and appreciation for each other that they have. You could tell that they all truly do hold each other in high regard. I think  the high stress level of the job contributes to the respect they hold for one another.  The four former president, and President Obama,  did a great job in honoring George W. Bush. They were very sincere and humble in the way they did it, and it seemed a wonderful moment for him hear the only  living people who have gone through the test of actually being president to sing your praises as he  did. They were very intent on keeping him first on his special day, and was very magnanimous I thought.
It was particularly gratifying to note the solid bond that has developed between President George W. Bush and his family and President Bill Clinton. They have come through very bruising elections, and to become friends, and to work together for the  betterment of mankind, whether it  was  Haiti or Katrina or 9/11, it was very neat to see the cross-partisan support for each other, and  the genuine  admiration that  was evident. Just a great All-American occasion in honor of George W. Bush.
To me, the most memorable moment of the day was to hear George W. Bush talk about his family – his father and mother, his wife, his two children, his new granddaughter – to see him weep  as he talked about the close-knit family, and to see his daughter Jenna also moved to tears, it was incredible to see what a great family that is,  and to hear him speak from his heart about such  blessings.
I sensed that it was God’s timing that this happened so close to the birth of his granddaughter. It was if God had just planned it all. So all the special family ties that seemed to knit this event together showed everyone what a warm and passionate man President George W. Bush is.


About Us

 Partners Todd Poole (left) and Andy Yates of RED DOME GROUP

Red Dome Group offers clients a broad range of services including issue advocacy, political campaign, consulting, grassroots mobilization, strategic communications and direct mail campaigns. We understand that successful political and issue campaigns hinge on the ability to communicate a clear message to the right targets.
With more than 25-years of combined experience in government and politics.  We have worked on campaigns at every level from municipal races to Congress to Presidential campaigns. Our experience and fresh contacts in government along with our hands on approach set us apart from other competitors in the marketplace.

Meet Our Partners

Todd Poole, the former Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, and Andy Yates, Lead Political Consultant with Capitol Strategies Consulting, announce the formation of the Red Dome Group, a public affairs, issue advocacy and political consulting firm based in North Carolina and operating across the South. [Read Our Press Release]

Our Philosophy

The Partners at Red Dome Group have been involved in political campaigns at every level.  We have over 25 years of combined experience in every aspect of politics from strategy to media to grassroots to fundraising. We know what it takes to win.  Let us put our experience and winning record to work for you.

View Our Services

The Red Dome Group is proud to offer high quality hands on services to all of its clients.  Whatever your public affairs or consulting needs we will provide the best services to meet you needs.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Breaking: Pentagon Confirms It May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith

Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM / May 2, 2013

Is this truly America? Are our men and women in uniform defending their country -- which, by the way, was founded on Judeo-Christian principles? Then the rabid anti-Christian zealot who is perpetuating this twisted hoax should find some other way to amuse himself -- AND JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!


1 May 2014

The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense...Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis...”. 

The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith.
(From our earlier report: Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and says Christians--including chaplains--sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the military are guilty of “treason,” and of committing an act of “spiritual rape” as serious a crime as “sexual assault.” He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are “enemies of the Constitution.”)
Being convicted in a court martial means that a soldier has committed a crime under federal military law. Punishment for a court martial can include imprisonment and being dishonorably discharged from the military.
So President Barack Obama’s civilian appointees who lead the Pentagon are confirming that the military will make it a crime--possibly resulting in imprisonment--for those in uniform to share their faith. This would include chaplains—military officers who are ordained clergymen of their faith (mostly Christian pastors or priests, or Jewish rabbis)--whose duty since the founding of the U.S. military under George Washington is to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction, or comfort.
This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.
In response to the Pentagon’s plans, retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, who is now executive vice president of the Family Research Council (FRC), said on Fox & Friends Wednesday morning:
It’s a matter of what do they mean by "proselytizing." ...I think they’ve got their defintions a little confused. If you’re talking about coercion that’s one thing, but if you’re talking about the free exercise of our faith as individual soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, especially for the chaplains, they I think the worst thing we can do is stop the ability for a soldier to be able to exercise his faith.”
FRC has launched a petition here which has already collected over 30,000 signatures, calling on Secretary Hagel is stop working with Weinstein and his anti-Christian organization to develop military policy regarding religious faith.

The FRC petition has now exceeded more than 40,000 signatures at the time of this update.
Breitbart News legal columnist Ken Klukowski is senior fellow for religious liberty with the Family Research Council and on faculty at Liberty University School of Law.  

AARA News Service Poll: Only 35% Have Favorable View Of Obamacare

Verne Strickland USA DOT COM May 1, 2013

Max Baucus (D-MT): “I just see a huge train wreck coming down” 

Posted by Bill Smith AARA News Service

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Asked at President Obama's news conference about Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) saying “I just see a huge train wreck coming down” on the implementation of Obamacare, President Obama didn’t give a very convincing defense of his unpopular health care law. “Well, I think that any time you’re implementing something big there’s gonna be people who are nervous, anxious about is it gonna get done until it’s actually done,” he said. The president added, “For the average American out there, for the 85 and 90 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, this thing’s already happened. And their only impact is that their insurance is stronger, better and more secure than it was before. Full stop. That’s it. They don’t have to worry about anything else."

That’s hard to believe for numerous reasons, starting with a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, which finds that only 35% of Americans have a favorable view of Obamacare. Politico writes that “just 35 percent of Americans view Obamacare ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ favorably, down 8 points since Election Day. Only once since the law passed has support run lower, when 34 percent took a favorable view of the law in October 2011.” Indeed, “Obamacare’s popularity has plunged steadily since November, according to monthly polling released this morning by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In fact, it’s statistically tied with its lowest level of support since it passed in March 2010.”

Meanwhile, more and more problems with the law continue to be reported on. Reuter
s reports today, “State and local governments can expect ever-widening budget gaps through 2060, as rising healthcare costs for both citizens and public employees surpass recent improvements in their revenue, the Government Accountability Office said on Monday. . . . [R]ising medical costs will consume more of states’ dollars, through the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor and public employees and retirees, GAO said. . . . The office has warned before that rising medical costs will bust state and local budgets, but this year it noted that the healthcare reform law known as Obamacare - which includes extra funds for Medicaid - has primarily created uncertainty for the state and local fiscal outlook.”

At The Washington Examiner, Philip Klein notes, “After receiving an avalanche of criticism for the complexity of its original 21-page application for individuals to purchase health insurance on new exchanges, the Department of Health and Human Services has released a new, simplified, three page form. HHS has also streamlined the family application, which is now between seven and 11 pages (depending on the specific situation of the applicant).”

In an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal today, the Hoover Institution’s Daniel Kessler explains the price shocks many Americans can expect due to the mandates and regulations in Obamacare. He writes, “Start with people who have individual and small-group health insurance. These policies are most affected by ObamaCare’s community-rating regulations, which require insurers to accept everyone but limit or ban them from varying premiums based on age or health. The law also mandates ‘essential’ benefits that are far more generous than those currently offered. According to consultants from Oliver Wyman (who wrote on the issue in the January issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries), around six million of the 19 million people with individual health policies are going to have to pay more—and this even after accounting for the government subsidies offered under the law. . . . In addition, according to Congressional Budget Office projections in July and September 2012, three million people will lose their insurance altogether in 2014 due to the law, and six million will have to pay the individual-mandate tax penalty in 2016 because they don’t want or won’t be able to afford coverage, even with the subsidies. None of this counts the people whose employment opportunities will suffer because of disincentives under ObamaCare. Some, whose employers have to pay a tax penalty because their policies do not carry sufficiently generous insurance, will see their wages fall. Others will lose their jobs or see their hours reduced.”

Tags: Poll, Obamacare, news To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Hanover County Republican Party Chairwoman Amoroso to be sworn in as member of State Board of Elections on May 1.

Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM / May 1, 2013 

Rhonda Amoroso: "I hope to make a positive impact in my new role on a statewide basis.  I’m ready to get to work!” 

Wilmington, N.C. – New Hanover County Republican Party Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso was recently appointed by Governor Pat McCrory to the State Board of Elections.   State Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby will officially swear in Mrs. Amoroso and fellow board members on May 1, 2013 at the State Board of Elections in Raleigh. 

Mrs. Amoroso is required by statute to step down as County Party Chairman.  She served as Chairman from 2011-2013 and was recently re-elected by the delegates at the New Hanover County Republican Party Convention in Wilmington.  Prior to becoming Chair, Mrs. Amoroso was Vice Chair of the Party in charge of Election Operations.  She has worked with the State GOP and state and local candidates running for office.  She served on the Governor’s Transition Team, the Energy Advisory Team, and served on the Executive Committees for both Congressional Districts 7 and 3. 

Mrs. Amoroso graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law.  She practiced law for many years with a major law firm and was in-house counsel for a large public utility.  In 1997, she was appointed by the Governor of New York State as an administrative law judge, a position she held for a decade.

“Governor McCrory has bestowed this incredible honor on me to serve our state in this capacity.  I will focus on insuring fair and honest elections in our state, making sure that every eligible vote counts.   Election integrity and confidence of the electorate are crucial to the vitality of our Republic, “she said.   “It is a bittersweet time for me.  I will miss the wonderful people that I have been privileged to work with as Party Chair; at the same time, I am anxious to help North Carolina address the challenges surrounding voting in the 21st century.  I leave my post confident that our current Board will step up and continue our mission here to elect qualified conservative Republicans to office in New Hanover County.” 

Mrs. Amoroso said she would help to transition the new Party Chairman who will be selected at the next Executive Committee meeting.  “I have worked with, and met, so many dedicated and thoughtful people in our community and I will remain involved.   I hope to make a positive impact in my new role on a statewide basis.  I’m ready to get to work!” she remarked.

                                                            # # #

Frank Luntz and Focus Groups are Destroying the GOP Message!

 Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM / April 30, 2013


'Frank Luntz has become a prisoner of his own results over the years.'

By C. Edmund Wright


Frank Luntz may smugly believe that Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and other right wing talk radio hosts are "responsible for the stark polarization within the nation's political discourse" and therefore "problematic" for the Republican Party.

I submit the problem is that Luntz, and a misguided over-reliance on focus groups, has neutered and thus destroyed any semblance of courage in the GOP's message.  Luntz is conflating, as many wonks and number crunchers do, cause and effect with regard to the bigger realities and polarization. The country is polarized because, well, we are polarized.  Rush and "the great one" didn't make it so simply by speaking the truth.  And pretending to believe the same absurdities the lo-info crowd believes won't make us any less polarized either.  Logic dictates that as long as we run low information campaigns, we'll suffer at the hands of the low information voter.

Meanwhile, it is becoming obvious that Luntz has become a prisoner of his own results over the years, and as such, has become obsessed with what misinformation voters already believe. He seems to have lost interest in the value of persuading voters to believe the truth.  To Luntz, and to Karl Rove, and in fact most to Republican consultants, a poll or a focus group is not the starting point for voter education, it is the end point for candidate capitulation. This explains the constant surrender in the arena of ideas by candidates and spokes persons who are ostensibly on "our side." 

Rove admitted as much to the big money donors when he was forced to explain why the message -- from the Romney Campaign and from Rove's Crossroads organizations -- was so tepid.   With Haley Barbour at his side, and with a straight face, he told the donors that he had "uncovered an acute understanding of the voters" as a result of focus groups.  That entire notion, when you think about it, is preposterous.  Instead of simply observing the entire country experiencing the devastation caused by Obama and other liberal policies for four years, Rove and his hired wizards pulled a few soccer moms into a lab for a couple hours to get their "acute understanding."  What could go wrong with that?  

"If you say he's a socialist, they'll go to defend him" said Rove, adding "if you call him a far out left winger, they'll say no, he's not."  Which may be true, as far as it goes, but Rove's conclusions ignore the fact that it was just the kind of frightened messaging he and Luntz prefer that allowed people to believe that Obama is a nice guy, who is more or less a centrist, in the first place.  Moreover, a two hour focus group is totally unable to measure is the impact of a bold campaign over time.  

In other words, the consultant class is convinced that if Americans believe Bush and free enterprise caused the economy to crash, we must agree with them.  If they think Palin is a dolt, beat them to the punch.  If Obama is thought to be the mastermind of Seal Team Six' operation that got bin Laden, congratulate him and lavish him with praise.  The focus group says so!

History, not to mention common sense, says otherwise.  When Ronald Reagan ran for President, his messages were fearless, partisan and conservative, and while he met with severe push back initially, he stuck with the truth and won big over time.  The same can be said of the 1994 mid term blitz orchestrated by Newt Gingrich, where the initially maligned "Contract With America" carried the day and blew away 54 Democrats in the House and 8 in the Senate.  In 2010, the oft-ridiculed Tea Party was going to end the Republican Party's relevance, right up until they ended the Democrat's majority by winning 63 House seats, over 700 other state legislative seats, and a bunch of state houses.   

Reagan would never escape a focus group.  Neither would the Contract with America, and certainly not the Tea Party.  Truth and conservatism are intellectual pursuits, and as such, cannot be explained or even properly contemplated within the confines of a single focus group or poll result.  And yet Rove, the so-called "architect," cannot grasp this rather pedestrian understanding. 

And apparently, neither can Luntz, and neither can the establishment consultant class.  They would rather craft careful and non-confrontational campaigns that make the undecided voters get the warm and fuzzies in the focus group, than communicating the truth.  Thus ,we get campaigns that are more geared towards not offending soccer moms in Southern Ohio than they are towards saving the American experiment in liberty and self governance.   

Rush and Levin are not geared that way, and reality can sometimes be offensive and polarizing - yet it is still real.  If the GOP doesn't figure this dynamic out, we're going to have a lot of un-offended soccer moms - living in a third world country.  Wonder what Frank's cute little dials have to say about that?

C. Edmund Wright is the author of the newly released WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost...Again, in which he further examines the focus group issue.  His pithy twitter feed is @CEdmundWright and his Facebook page is CEdmundWrightAuthor

Here is what Ilario Pantano said about this article and this issue:

"Leading-by-poll is not leading, it's following a whim generated by the MSM at best. Best line: Truth and conservatism are intellectual pursuits, and as such, cannot be explained or even properly contemplated within the confines of a single focus group or poll result."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Coming Soon: Conservative political strategist Andy Yates at George W. Bush event in Dallas. Watch for Verne Strickland's exclusive report on USA DOT COM


Republican political consultant Andy Yates (right) co-founder of RED DOME GROUP, visits with U.S. Rep. Ted Cruz of Texas at George Bush Library Dedication in Dallas. RED DOME GROUP is a full-service public affairs and political consulting firm headquartered in Charlotte and operating across the South.

Verne Strickland of  USA DOT COM interviewed Yates via telephone hook-up during the event, and will present the exclusive wide-ranging political discussion this week.

We will post advance notices of the schedule to make certain followers of Strickland's reports can enjoy Andy Yates' comments on key political and governmental issues of the day.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Verne Strickland / USA DOT COM / April 28, 2013

Well, you see, this whole business is a personal thing with me. I am 76, have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma (bone cancer), am dealing with diagnosed early onset Alzheimer's, and can't walk a straight due to a good dose of peripheral neuropathy. Oh, and I have terminal dandruff.

To make a short story short, I am in a world of hurt -- if, when everyone celebrates NEW YEAR 2014 -- all my chemotherapy drugs are refused due to Obama's "Affordable Health Care" program.

I'm not being singled out. The "plan" treats everyone the same -- except for President Obama and his family, members of the Cabinet and their families, and all members of Congress and their families. Doesn't seem fair, does it? I think, when it comes to really tacky, selfish, oafish tendencies, the President has outdone himself.

But let's take a look at where this medical horror really stands. Will it send common Americans seniors to an early grave while Obama and privileged members of the ruling class live free to a ripe old age? Or will the monstrosity collapse under its own weight and insane design?

This revealing essay from the files of Breitbart gives us the inside story:

 04-26-2013 12:44 am - Becket Adams - The Blaze

Members of Congress are supposedly engaged in “high-level” discussions about exempting themselves and their aides from participating in the Affordable Care Act (i.e. “Obamacare”), according to POLITICO.

Or are they?

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein says this isn’t the case. But let’s look at both sides of this story.

Here’s what POLITICO reported:

Congressional leaders in both parties are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.

The talks — which involve Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Obama administration and other top lawmakers — are extraordinarily sensitive, with both sides acutely aware of the potential for political fallout from giving carve-outs from the hugely controversial law to 535 lawmakers and thousands of their aides. Discussions have stretched out for months, sources said.

There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it.

One source told POLITICO: “Everyone has to hold hands on this and jump, or nothing is going to get done.”

The reaction to the report has been unpleasant (to say the least).

“If the Republican Party leadership in Congress goes along with this ride, there will need to be a new third party that challenges both the GOP and Democrats,” writes Red State’s Erick Erickson.

“There’s a word for this in the English language: ‘Corruption,’” National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke said in a tweet.

“If congress exempts itself from Obamacare it must give every American the right to have the same exemption. Anything less is an outrage,” Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted.

“And now Washington truly becomes a satiric novel,” NRO’s Jonah Goldberg chimed in.

Enter Ezra Klein.

“There’s no effort to ‘exempt’ Congress from Obamacare. No matter how this shakes out, Congress will have to follow the law, just like everyone else does,” he writes. “Based on conversations I’ve had with a number of the staffs involved in these talks, the actual issue here is far less interesting, and far less explosive, than an exemption.”

See, according to Klein, all this Congressional exemption talk stems from an amendment proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) during the 2010 “Obamacare” debates. The amendment, supposedly designed to back Democrats into an uncomfortable corner, forces members of Congress and their aides into the exchanges. However, instead of balking at the proposal, Democrats lovingly embraced it and it ended up in the final law.

Here’s the amendment as it appears in the health care bill:

The only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are — (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

Klein says this is highly unusual.

“Large employers — defined in the law as employers with more than 100 employees — aren’t allowed onto the insurance exchanges until 2017,” he notes, “and only then if a state makes an affirmative decision to let them in.”

“But the federal government is the largest employer in the country. So Grassley’s amendment means that the largest employer in the country is required to put some of its employees — the ones working for Congress — on the exchanges,” he adds. “But the exchanges don’t have any procedures for handling premium contributions for large employers.”

And this, according to the WaPo’s wonk, is where we run into problems. The amendment was never supposed to pass and was instead supposed to force Democrats into an awkward position. Instead they said, “Okay,” it passed, and now no one knows what to do with it.

“It’s not clear that the federal government has the authority to pay for congressional staffers on the exchanges, the way it pays for them now in the federal benefits program,” he writes.

“The reason is that the Office of Personnel Management — which is the agency that actually manages the federal government’s benefits — hasn’t ruled on their interpretation of the law,” he adds.

In short, the report’s author swears, “no one is discussing ‘exempting’ congressional staffers from Obamacare.”

Rather, he continues, they are “discussing creating some method through which the federal government can keep making its current contribution to the health insurance of congressional staffers.”

But business journalist Megan McArdle says the Klein analysis misses the mark.

“First, this is, in fact, about exempting themselves from Obamacare,” she writes. “This is a provision of Obamacare. It is in the bill. You may think that it shouldn’t be in the bill, or that it shouldn’t be in the bill in the way that it’s written.”

“But — assuming that these discussions are actually happening — Congress is considering exempting itself from the one provision of the bill that actually directly affects Congress,” she adds. “As far as they’re concerned, this is exempting themselves from Obamacare; the rest of the bill affects Hill staffers only indirectly.”

So who’s in right? Well, at this point, it’s unclear. It’s Klein’s sources versus POLITICO’s sources.

Of course, there’s this from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio):

"We're not sneaking any language into bills to solve Dems' HCR problem. The solution to this & other ObamaCare nightmares is FULL REPEAL>"

And there’s this from the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein:

Reid aide: "There are not now, have never been, nor will there ever be any discussions about exempting members" or aides from Obamacare."

Still, regardless of who is telling the truth, this episode is just another reminder that the health care law is a complex, headache-inducing labyrinth of unintelligible legalese that even Congress can’t figure out.

Who’s ready for full implementation in 2014?


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter