Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a Tax

I guess Queen Pelosi was right, we had to pass it to see what was in it. And to see what it actually is, a new tax. When are people going to wake up and realize that all the Hope and Change is based on lies?

I hope that the states fighting this monstrosity continue to fight it, even if they win on calling it a “tax” now that it is law.

From The New York Times:

When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

Under the legislation signed by President Obama in March, most Americans will have to maintain “minimum essential coverage” starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.

In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is “a valid exercise” of Congress’s power to impose taxes.

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Activists blast Mexico’s immigration law

The Mexican president has been here in the US criticizing the Arizona immigration law (which basically does what the unenforced federal law is supposed to do), yet finally someone is pointing out that Mexican immigration law is pretty similar to the Arizona law, and is abused in many ways. Maybe President Calderon should rethink Mexico’s laws first, before telling us what to do here.

From USAToday:

TULTITLN, Mexico — Arizona’s new law forcing local police to take a greater role in enforcing immigration law has caused a lot of criticism from Mexico, the largest single source of illegal immigrants in the United States.But in Mexico, illegal immigrants receive terrible treatment from corrupt Mexican authorities, say people involved in the system.

 And Mexico has a law that is no different from Arizona’s that empowers local police to check the immigration documents of people suspected of not being in the country legally.

 “There (in the United States), they’ll deport you,” Hector Vázquez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, said as he rested in a makeshift camp with other migrants under a highway bridge in Tultitlán. “In Mexico they’ll probably let you go, but they’ll beat you up and steal everything you’ve got first.”

 Mexican authorities have harshly criticized Arizona’s SB1070, a law that requires local police to check the status of persons suspected of being illegal immigrants. The law provides that a check be done in connection with another law enforcement event, such as a traffic stop, and also permits Arizona citizens to file lawsuits against local authorities for not fully enforcing immigration laws.

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Oil inspectors let companies fill in own audits, while one admitted getting high on meth, report says

<sarcasm> Well, we obviously need new laws, since they obviously aren’t enforcing the ones already on the books. </sarcasm>

From RawStory:

The agency in charge of overseeing the United States’ oil reserves was plagued with gross mismanagement that in at least one case allowed the companies being inspected to fill in their own audit reports, an Inspector General’s report will reportedly reveal this week.

Regulators overseeing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico reportedly allowed oil company officials to fill in their own inspection reports. According to the internal probe being released this week, oil officials sketched out their answers in pencil and turned them over to federal oversight officials, who then traced their answers in pen.

And as if that wasn’t enough, a Louisiana inspector from the Minerals Management Service purportedly admitted to investigators that he’d used crystal methamphetamine, and may have been high on the illegal stimulant during a drilling inspection.

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Texas cops mistake actual weed for marijuana, spend hours doing yard work

It’s a good thing this was in a park and not someone’s yard; they probably would have gone to jail for a while until the cops realized their mistake.

From Raw Story:

Like the old song goes, one of these things is not like the other…

However, remind a police officer in Corpus Christi, Texas of those famed Cookie Monster lyrics and they’re likely to give you an annoyed look.

That’s because a recently discovered cache of plants, initially pegged by officials speaking to local news as “one of the largest marijuana plant seizures in the police department’s history,” turned out to be a relatively common prairie flower of little significance.

Texas officers ultimately spent hours laboring to tag and remove up to 400 plants from a city park, discovering only after a battery of tests that they had been sweating over mere Horse Mint, a member of the mint family — effectively turning their ambitious drug bust into mere yard work.

The plants, which bear very few aesthetic similarities to cannabis, were reported by an unnamed youth who came across them while riding a bike in the park around 8 p.m. on Thursday. Upon visual inspection, police apparently agreed that the inoffensive plants had to go.

//

Ultimately, officers were reduced to conducting chemical tests to learn their “weed” was really just that: an actual weed.

marijuana Texas cops mistake actual weed for marijuana, spend hours doing yard work“That shows exactly the caliber of police work that is done in Corpus christi, Tx,” commenter Derick Sillers opined in a local NBC affiliate’s comments section.

“The resident of corpus and nueces county should seriously be concerned with how their tax dollars are spent,” he continued. “[This] is the same police department that serves, protects and investigates you…. does it really take that long to find out you don’t have marijuana.”

“Officers did not explain how their big ‘drug haul’ will be disposed of, now that they’ve spent untold hours and plenty of taxpayer money clearing weeds of the the city park,” writer Steve Elliott summarized for News Junkie Post.

The tale is, at very least, a compelling argument for accurate, non-fear-based drug education in public schools, which advocacy groups say is sorely lacking.

This video is from NBC affiliate KRIS News 6, published May 21, 2010.

U.S. Coast Guard Threatens CBS Reporters With Arrest For Filming BP Oil Spill

I can’t figure out how to embed video from anyone but YouTube, so here is the link:

From CBSNews.com:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6496749n&tag=related;photovideo

Leaked Doc Proves Spain’s Green Policies an Economic Disaster

The Obama Administration doesn’t care how much of a disaster this has been for the Spanish economy. He’ll ram the same thing down our throats regardless of the consequences. They’re already doing damage control trying to find ways to spin this news, and as with most things, this will never be covered by the MSM.

From WattsUpWithThat:

Christopher Horner reports that Pajamas Media has received a leaked internal document confirming Spain realizes its green failures, just as Obama pushes the American Power Act based on Spain’s program.

Pajamas Media has received a leaked internal assessment produced by Spain’s Zapatero administration. The assessment confirms the key charges previously made by non-governmental Spanish experts in a damning report exposing the catastrophic economic failure of Spain’s “green economy” initiatives.

On eight separate occasions, President Barack Obama has referred to the “green economy” policies enacted by Spain as being the model for what he envisioned for America.

Later came the revelation that Obama administration senior Energy Department official Cathy Zoi — someone with serious publicized conflict of interest issues — demanded an urgent U.S. response to the damaging report from the non-governmental Spanish experts so as to protect the Obama administration’s plans.

Most recently, U.S. senators have introduced the vehicle for replicating Spain’s unfolding economic meltdown here, in the form of the “American Power Act.”

But today’s leaked document reveals that even the socialist Spanish government now acknowledges the ruinous effects of green economic policy.

Full story here:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/breaking-leaked-doc-proves-spains-green-policies-%E2%80%94-the-basis-for-obamas-%E2%80%94-an-economic-disaster-pjm-exclusive/

Proposal Would Delay Hearings in Terror Cases

Keep in mind there is going to be no real difference between someone disagreeing with the government (now to be called “domestic terrorism”) and “real” terrorists like al CIA-duh. The only people who this won’t apply to the real terrorists, which are those in charge.

From The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s legal advisers are considering asking Congress to allow the government to detain terrorism suspects longer after their arrests before presenting them to a judge for an initial hearing, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.

If approved, the idea to delay hearings would be attached to broader legislation to allow interrogators to withhold Miranda warnings from terrorism suspects for lengthy periods, as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. proposed last week.

The goal of both measures would be to open a window of time after an arrest in which interrogators could question a terrorism suspect without an interruption that might cause the prisoner to stop talking. It is not clear how long of a delay the administration is considering seeking.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the proposal is still being developed, cautioned that it was not clear what the final proposal would include. Several aides to leading Democratic members of Congress said the administration had not approached their offices for detailed discussions of the matter, and the administration declined to comment on the internal deliberations.

Benjamin Wittes, a terrorism policy specialist at the Brookings Institution, said the issue of the timing of a Miranda warning was generating much more political attention because people were familiar with Miranda rights from television shows. But, he said, the need for an early “presentment” hearing is even more likely to disrupt an interrogation because it involves transporting a suspect to a courtroom for a formal proceeding.

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