Archive from November, 2013
26 Nov
2013
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The Vitter Amendment: An Obvious Place to Start Cleaning Up the Obamacare Mess

The Obamacare rollout is a disaster – is anyone really surprised – but, what are next steps? Dismantling this calamity is not going to be easy and we have already seen the acrimony that has bubbled up just within the Republican Party as we debate strategies for repealing and replacing the ACA. There is no Black Arrow in our quiver that will pierce Smaug’s scales. Instead, the ultimate solution will require many small victories, both through legislation and at the ballot box, to slay this destructive beast.

However, there is one obvious place for the process to start: the Vitter Amendment. When Obamacare passed, requirements were included in the new law that would move members of Congress and their staff to the insurance exchanges – the same exchanges being set-up for the rest of the nation. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), however, issued new regulations this summer that allowed members of Congress and their staff to keep the employer subsidies that they currently enjoy under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which amount to nearly 75% of the cost of their premiums. Individual Americans enrolling in the exchanges would, of course, not have similar subsidies available to them.

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana is now pushing bills through the Senate that rectify this incongruity. His bills require that members of Congress and their staff live by the same rules as every other American who is being forced to join the insurance exchanges. It is a simple idea that is easily digestible for voters and one that appeals across political philosophies: fairness. In addition to being a solid first step in the fight against Obamacare, it is also an idea that is ready for voters to move on now. You can help spread the word and show your support for the bill by signing the petition at LiveByYourLaws.com. We have a long way to go, but this idea can help align our message and motivate the voting public as we begin our journey to repeal Obamacare.

18 Nov
2013

Restoring Trust?

“And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

That was President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009 during his first inaugural address. So many Americans believed him at the time, right? He was the transformational figure that was going to fundamentally change America forever. He was bringing change that we could believe in. He was the one that we’ve been waiting for after all.

But, the campaigner-in-chief, who excelled at making bold promises about the way things could be, never took the time to understand the full ramifications of what he was promising. Forget the details; we have the House. Don’t worry about the implementation; we have the Senate. We have to ram it through. Now.

Think about the passage of Obamacare and its implementation, and then read Obama’s quote again. It is stunning how far from his own promises this President has operated. His elixir-like rhetoric hypnotized a larger portion of America into believing it could all be better if we just closed our eyes and hoped as hard as we could. If only we trusted him, his administration, and his party they would fix what ailed us.

He asked for our trust and then told us not to worry because it was different this time. Washington would operate in the light of day and be held to account. Barack Obama has been anything but accountable, but the Obamacare mess and his reaction to the rollout have taken his credibility to new lows.

“If you like your health insurance you will be able to keep your health insurance. Period.”

But that doesn’t ring true, now, does it? Fox News Insider has the number of Americans who have lost their health insurance at 4.2 million and counting. Forbes says 4.8 million. A November 12th New York Times article entitled “Obama in Bind Trying to Keep Health Law Vow” makes no attempt to tally the number. Our trust is broken, right there in the light of day. You would think the President would do the right thing and apologize.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me.”

Yup, that’s right, he is sorry that 4.whatever million Americans are “finding themselves in this situation.” That’s accountability. That’s doing business in the light of day. Now that’s restoring trust.

7 Nov
2013
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Moving backwards NYC

This year election was a landslide for democrats especially for progressive liberals. The 49 points victory for Bill de Blasio was one of the worst defeat for the GOP after a 20 year mayoral control.
The landslide in part was led by 96% of the 30% black population. Capturing more votes then the first elected black mayor David Dinkins in 1989.
Many voters believed his charismatic personality, pledging to help the poor and the working class with a progressive change. His biracial family helped affect voters decision during the primary and a landslide in the general, using his children in commercials and bring his wife in every campaign event. By using his family it helped showed a connection between a relationship of blacks and whites. They believe it will help model a better relationship of connections.
This victory is said to help bring a black voice to city hall after a feeling of neglected for almost 2 decades. They want a change in the stop question and frisk program in terms of ending it and de Blasio has made a promise to end this program. During the primary, de Blasio ran an ad using his son on this issue of stop and frisk by bashing it as a racial profiling. His frequent voice of this program on black men helped receive an electric reception throughout the campaign trail. The message helped make an impact winning majority of black votes with a win in the tough primary battle after polling with only 10% in June.
Many blacks feel optimistic of the future. A continuation of all the good that has happened in 20 years might not continue under de Blasio since he stated he will change many of Mayor Bloomberg policy such as public safety, education and zoning.
Instead of thoroughly explaining how de Blasio will implement his progressive reform in city hall, in which its not in details and the short notes is scary unrealistic, his campaign strategy was based on relationship with diverse voters based on shared experience and values which helped bring a record of turn out numbers. Being vague on his progressive populist view will come out once in office and how he works with city council, unions and Albany to get what he stated in his campaign platform. His main campaign platform was raising tax on an income of over $500,000 to sponsor universal pre-k programs in NYC. In regards to public safety, he wants community policing but to end the stop and frisk program, which help bring crime down to a record low. Retro active pay in unions was a big deal in this election where de Blasio has been vague on how to deal and negotiate with unions contracts. It will cost the city $7 billion, 10% of the city budget in which the city can’t afford can bankrupt the city or cause major budget cuts in schools, public safety and programs the city funds yearly. Will de Blasio turn NYC as another Detroit or keep the fiscal spending reasonable? Will crime rise after a 12 year drop? Will de Blasio become another Dinkins 2.0?

4 Nov
2013
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Daily News Tale of Negative Endorsement

The daily news endorsed Bill de Blasio for mayor with less than 24 hours left before the polls open. The endorsement doesn’t come as a shocker since the daily news is a liberal newspaper catering to democrats and union leaders. De Blasio a candidate with 20 years of political service but no managerial experience is expected to run a $70 billion budget –but how?!
The daily news endorsement editorial if read by readers in details will show a great disservice to this election. Quotes from daily news show how this endorsement was like a back room deal to help his mayoral campaign with its final push. Quotes shows it’s double standard such as “The silly season of Bill de Blasio vowing to exile carriage horses as a first order of business is over. De Blasio must soon face reality — and tackle tough issues.” There is no progressive way to help bring this city booming. It can only bring it backwards.
The article continues with de Blasio strong campaign that bashes the twenty years of booming capital and safer city that he believes will continue with his stances differ than what is in use. His tale of two cities campaign platform of wishful thinking will come to an end once it comes time to be a manager by balancing the city budget especially with union endorsements siding with de Blasio in hopes for a new contract and retroactive pay. A budget with no room to for retroactive pay will only happen if there is a trigger in tax increase on the middle class.
Using his family to help with his campaign strategy as a coy to cover his resume to run this city by imploding an unrealistic vision of progressive platform. Naive voters are taking them for granted by bring nothing to the table then empty promises and dead end issues due to his ideology.  If elected mayor, de Blasio is going to have to rethink his views and come to reality when issues that many New Yorkers change such as public safety and education.
De Blasio issue on public safety is disgusting to even hear. The centerpiece of his campaign was a full on attack on the department’s program of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people suspected of criminality. An anti police candidate with no respect to the 34,000 New York finest, flipped flopped during the debate against republican candidate Joe Lhota. On one debate he attacked the finest for doing their jobs but the last debate he praised the officers for doing their job and keeping New Yorkers safe. After the federal judge was overthrown for believing stop and frisk was unconstitutional, de Blasio lashed out after praising officers the day before, by promising to occupy the police department continuing the fight to end stop and frisk. He also promised to remove Ray Kelly as police commissioner, whose record of strategically anti-crime that helped drastically reduce crime.
On education, de Blasio promised to increase universally Pre-K by taxing the wealthy. This main campaign slogan will be dead in Albany by governor Cuomo who seeks re-election in 2014. If it does go through Albany, this promise might take years or as de Blasio stated 5 years. Sounds like Lenin right?
De Blasio is not in favor of charter schools due to being in the pockets of the UFT and wants to charge rent on charter schools. His few ideas of helping schools achieve is to get parental involvement and retain new teachers to help with the new academic Common Core standards. He opposed Bloomberg education reform and wants to reform and replace them with better insinuation even though it has helped many kids grades improve.
Lacking managerial skills to run this city unlike his opponent Joe Lhota, he is known to flip flop on issues and make promises as an elected official he can’t keep. De Blasio is “willing to reverse course to suit political needs”. A typical political democratic candidate willing to say anything to get elected. As public advocate, he promised to create low income housing near Barclay center as a deal to create this arena. The center is there but no housing has been built. Joining the fight to save the Long Island hospital was the heart of his primary campaign when he was lagging behind. As public advocate he did nothing to get the attention to save the hospital or helped with getting governor Cuomo help on this issue.
A negative endorsement and not a vote of confidants is what the daily news is suggesting. Vote for de Blasio and you are on your own is basically what they are implying. Vote for Joe Lhota. Be safe not sorry