Monthly Archives: March 2014

Shark Jumping? ‘The View’ goes topless to make “point” about … well, we don’t know.

Has The View jumped the shark?

Two of the hosts of The View, Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd took off their tops to apparently make a point about another show–on cable–in which the female protagonist takes off her clothes. A lot.

I’d like to know what the FCC will do about this, seeing as how CBS, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake got raked over the coals about nudity when Jackson’s pasty was (intentionally) ripped off during the Super Bowl performance.

ObamaCare: BOOM. Failure to launch.

ObamaCare is unpopular, unaffordable and the roll out has been horrible. It’s a failure to launch.

The drop dead deadline to sign up for ObamaCare is/was/kinda/sorta today–until the Obama Administration moved it again, that is. This time the change–the 38th one since passage of the bill–is for an indefinite period of time. From the Wall Street Journal,

On Tuesday evening, the Health and Human Services Department announced that the six-month open enrollment period for ObamaCare insurance that began in October 2013 and was supposed to end on the last day of March would be extended indefinitely. As long as people self-attest and check a box that they had some difficulty signing up on with the 36 federal insurance exchanges, the deadline will no longer obtain.

If you  have no meaningful deadline there are no metrics by which the government is measured.  That’s why they keep moving the little suckers. The objective is to keep the program in a cloud of confusion till they either figure out how to fix it or you’re just so disgusted you demand the government  run the whole thing as a single payer system. 

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Galen Institute this is the 38th delay in the implementation of ObamaCare. I’ve included the list of delays below. Maybe Nancy Pelosi was talking about herself when  she said, “We have to pass the bill before you can find out what is, ah, in it.”

Sure, Mrs. Taft, we’ll build you a house but we can’t, ah, tell you what will look like until it is, ah, built. You’d trust somebody to do that, right?

Remember these–let’s see, what invective did the left hurl and the media mimic–‘crazy, racist, homophobic,Pelosi_victorious nutty people’ who implored, “Kill the bill!”?

They stood on the stairs leading to the capitol as Nancy Pelosi held her cartoonishly large gavel and, with house leadership, walked through the thousands of protesters. She mocked the people, laughing at them as she walked through. In fact, the photographer who took the photo nearby entitled it, “Pelosi Victorious.”

Those nutty people? Yeah, if they were so wrong why does the Obama Administration fall all over itself to hide the real deadlines and real fall out from the original bill?

See the Galen Institute’s list of ObamaCare changes (please see all their supporting documents at their website):

CHANGES BY ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

1. Medicare Advantage patch: The administration ordered an advance draw on funds from a Medicare bonus program in order to provide extra payments to Medicare Advantage plans, in an effort to temporarily forestall cuts in benefits and therefore delay early exodus of MA plans from the program. (April 19, 2011)

2. Employee reporting: The administration, contrary to the Obamacare legislation, instituted a one-year delay of the requirement that employers must report to their employees on their W-2 forms the full cost of their employer-provided health insurance. (January 1, 2012)

3. Subsidies may flow through federal exchanges: The IRS issued a rule that allows premium assistance tax credits to be available in federal exchanges although the law only specified that they would be available “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311.” (May 23, 2012)

4. Closing the high-risk pool: The administration decided to halt enrollment in transitional federal high-risk pools created by the law, blocking coverage for an estimated 40,000 new applicants, citing a lack of funds. The administration had money from a fund under Secretary Sebelius’s control to extend the pools, but instead used the money to pay for advertising for Obamacare enrollment and other purposes. (February 15, 2013)

5. Doubling allowed deductibles: Because some group health plans use more than one benefits administrator, plans are allowed to apply separate patient cost-sharing limits for one year to different services, such as doctor/hospital and prescription drugs, allowing maximum out-of-pocket costs to be twice as high as the law intended. (February 20, 2013)

6. Small businesses on hold: The administration has said that the federal exchanges for small businesses will not be ready by the 2014 statutory deadline, and instead delayed until 2015 the provision of SHOP (Small-Employer Health Option Program) that requires the exchanges to offer a choice of qualified health plans. (March 11, 2013)

7. Delaying a low-income plan: The administration delayed implementation of the Basic Health Program until 2015. It would have provided more-affordable health coverage for certain low-income individuals not eligible for Medicaid. (March 22, 2013)

8. Employer-mandate delay: By an administrative action that’s contrary to statutory language in the ACA, the reporting requirements for employers were delayed by one year. (July 2, 2013)

9. Self-attestation: Because of the difficulty of verifying income after the employer-reporting requirement was delayed, the administration decided it would allow “self-attestation” of income by applicants for health insurance in the exchanges. This was later partially retracted after congressional and public outcry over the likelihood of fraud. (July 15, 2013)

10. Delaying the online SHOP exchange: The administration first delayed for a month and later for a year until November 2014 the launch of the online insurance marketplace for small businesses. The exchange was originally scheduled to launch on October 1, 2013. (September 26, 2013) (November 27, 2013)

11. Congressional opt-out: The administration decided to offer employer contributions to members of Congress and their staffs when they purchase insurance on the exchanges created by the ACA, a subsidy the law doesn’t provide. (September 30, 2013)

12. Delaying the individual mandate: The administration changed the deadline for the individual mandate, by declaring that customers who have purchased insurance by March 31, 2014 will avoid the tax penalty. Previously, they would have had to purchase a plan by mid-February. (October 23, 2013)

13. Insurance companies may offer canceled plans: The administration announced that insurance companies may reoffer plans that previous regulations forced them to cancel. (November 14, 2013)

14. Exempting unions from reinsurance fee: The administration gave unions an exemption from the reinsurance fee (one of ObamaCare’s many new taxes). To make up for this exemption, non-exempt plans will have to pay a higher fee, which will likely be passed onto consumers in the form of higher premiums and deductibles. (December 2, 2013)

15. Extending Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan: The administration extended the federal high risk pool until January 31, 2014 and again until March 15, 2014 to prevent a coverage gap for the most vulnerable. The plans were scheduled to expire on December 31, but were extended because it has been impossible for some to sign up for new coverage on healthcare.gov. (December 12, 2013) (January 14, 2014)

16. Expanding hardship waiver to those with canceled plans: The administration expanded the hardship waiver, which excludes people from the individual mandate and allows some to purchase catastrophic health insurance, to people who have had their plans canceled because of ObamaCare regulations. The administration later extended this waiver until October 1, 2016. (December 19, 2013) (March 5, 2014)

17. Equal employer coverage delayed: Tax officials will not be enforcing in 2014 the mandate requiring employers to offer equal coverage to all their employees. This provision of the law was supposed to go into effect in 2010, but IRS officials have “yet to issue regulations for employers to follow.” (January 18, 2014)

18. Employer-mandate delayed again: The administration delayed for an additional year provisions of the employer mandate, postponing enforcement of the requirement for medium-size employers until 2016 and relaxing some requirements for larger employers. Businesses with 100 or more employees must offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015 and 95% in 2016 and beyond. (February 10, 2014)

19. Extending subsidies to non-exchange plans: The administration released a bulletin through CMS extending subsidies to individuals who purchased health insurance plans outside of the federal or state exchanges. The bulletin also requires retroactive coverage and subsidies for individuals from the date they applied on the marketplace rather than the date they actually enrolled in a plan. (February 27, 2014)

20. Non-compliant health plans get two year extension: The administration pushed back the deadline by two years that requires health insurers to cancel plans that are not compliant with ObamaCare’s mandates. These “illegal” plans may now be offered until 2017. This extension will prevent a wave cancellation notices from going out before the 2014 midterm elections. (March 5, 2014)

21. Delaying the sign-up deadline: The administration delayed until mid-April the March 31 deadline to sign up for insurance. Applicants simply need to check a box on their application to qualify for this extended sign-up period. (March 26, 2014)

CHANGES BY CONGRESS, SIGNED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA:

22. Military benefitsCongress clarified that plans provided by TRICARE, the military’s health-insurance program, constitutes minimal essential health-care coverage as required by the ACA; its benefits and plans wouldn’t normally meet ACA requirements. (April 26, 2010)

23. VA benefitsCongress also clarified that health care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs constitutes minimum essential health-care coverage as required by the ACA. (May 27, 2010)

24. Drug-price clarificationCongress modified the definition of average manufacturer price (AMP) to include inhalation, infusion, implanted, or injectable drugs that are not generally dispensed through a retail pharmacy. (August 10, 2010)

25. Doc-fix taxCongress modified the amount of premium tax credits that individuals would have to repay if they are over-allotted, an action designed to help offset the costs of the postponement of cuts in Medicare physician payments called for in the ACA. (December 15, 2010)

26. Extending the adoption creditCongress extended the nonrefundable adoption tax credit, which happened to be included in the ACA, through tax year 2012. (December 17, 2010)

27. TRICARE for adult childrenCongress extended TRICARE coverage to dependent adult children up to age 26 when it had previously only covered those up to the age of 21 — though beneficiaries still have to pay premiums for them. (January 7, 2011)

28. 1099 repealedCongress repealed the paperwork (“1099”) mandate that would have required businesses to report to the IRS all of their transactions with vendors totaling $600 or more in a year. (April 14, 2011)

29. No free-choice vouchersCongress repealed a program, supported by Senator Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) that would have allowed “free-choice vouchers,” that the Hill warned “could lead young, healthy workers to opt out” of their employer plans, “driving up costs for everybody else.” The same law barred additional funds for the IRS to hire new agents to enforce the health-care law. (April 15, 2011)

30. No Medicaid for well-to-do seniors: Congress saved taxpayers $13 billion by changing how the eligibility for certain programs is calculated under Obamacare. Without the change, a couple earning as much as much as $64,000 would still have been able to qualify for Medicaid. (November 21, 2011)

31. CO-OPs, IPAB, IRS defundedCongress made further cuts to agencies implementing Obamacare. It trimmed another $400 million off the CO-OP program, cut another $305 million from the IRS to hamper its ability to enforce the law’s tax hikes and mandates, and rescinded $10 million in funding for the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board. (December 23, 2011)

32. Slush-fund savingsCongress slashed another $11.6 billion from the Prevention and Public Health slush fund and $2.5 billion from Obamacare’s “Louisiana Purchase.” (February 22, 2012)

33. Less cash for Louisiana: One of the tricks used to get Obamacare through the Senate was the special “Louisiana Purchase” deal for the state’s Democratic senator, Mary Landrieu. Congress saved another $670 million by rescinding additional funds from this bargain. (July 6, 2012)

34. CLASS Act eliminated: Congress repealed the unsustainable CLASS (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports) program of government-subsidized long-term-care insurance, which even the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee dubbed a “Ponzi scheme of the first order.” (January 2, 2013)

35. Cutting CO-OPsCongress cut $2.2 billion from the “Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan” (CO-OP), which some saw as a stealth public option, blocking creation of government-subsidized co-op insurance programs in about half the states. Early reports showed many co-ops, which had received federal loans, had run into serious financial trouble. (January 2, 2013)

36. Trimming the Medicare trust-fund transferCongress rescinded $200 million of the $500 million scheduled to be taken from the Medicare Part A and Part B trust funds and sent to the Community-Based Care Transition Program established and funded by the ACA. (March 26, 2013)

CHANGES BY THE SUPREME COURT:

37. Medicaid expansion made voluntary: The court ruled it had to be voluntary, rather than mandatory, for states to expand Medicaid eligibility to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, by ruling that the federal government couldn’t halt funds for existing state Medicaid programs if they chose not to expand the program.

38. The individual mandate made a tax: The court determined that violating the mandate that Americans must purchase government-approved health insurance would only result in individuals’ paying a “tax,” making it, legally speaking, optional for people to comply.

This list was originally published HERE on Galen.org and has been published on National Review Online. It was updated to 29 changes on December 10, 2013.

 

Rees Lloyd: Cesar Chavez, AMERICAN hero.

March 31 marks what would have been the 87th birthday of an American hero, the late Cesar Estrada Chavez, founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW).

Cesar Chavez Rees Lloyd
Cesar Chavez and author Rees Lloyd

Twenty-one years after his death on April 23, 1993, a new generation of Americans is learning about the life of Cesar Chavez. A number of states, including California, will observe a Cesar Chavez holiday; there is a call for a national holiday. His headquarters, an abandoned former TB sanitarium in the Tehachapi Mountains, which Chavez later acquired and renamed “La Paz,” is now a national memorial that includes his burial grounds. A movie is being released celebrating his life, a life of selfless service for others.

Indeed, while he was alive, Cesar refused to sign away the movie rights to his life, though offered millions. He also refused offers to publish an autobiography or an “authorized” biography. He refused because he never sought personal recognition. It was not about him, he insisted. It was about La Causa, the cause of justice for farm workers. Thus, no movie was made until now, and the only authorized book was the “Autobiography of La Causa,” by Jaques Levy, who didn’t pay for it; he earned it by working for La Causa.cesar chavez la paz

Although Cesar Chavez eschewed personal celebrity, he nonetheless became nationally and internationally renown for his work for others. But during his life, and to and beyond his death, even to this day, Cesar was defamed and burdened, and his cause impeded, by being branded falsely as a “Communist.” This defamatory cruelty was done by persons who should have known better, as most of those who self-righteously repeated that utterly false calumny defined themselves as Christians and patriots.

It pains me to this day that that good man, Christian to his core, should have been, and should continue to be, vilified as a “Communist” by people who have been misled by that lie.

For one instance, I was invited to address an annual gathering of activists convened by the late Rev. Dr. D. James Kennedy at his Coral Ridge Ministries, along with patriot author William J. Federer and others. Former Gov. Mike Huckabee keynoted the annual dinner. In the large Coral Ridge Chapel, Bill Federer received a rousing standing ovation after his speech from an enthusiastic crowd of at least a thousand Christian patriots, as I did after him. At the break following my speech, Federer and I walked out to the foyer where several hundred waited with questions. The very first question to me was: “That was a great speech. But how could you represent that Communist Cesar Chavez?” He had been dead for years, but the lie was still alive, even among otherwise well-informed Christian patriots.

cesar chavez b 2The answer to the lie was easy, however, because Cesar Chavez was no Communist. He was a Christian. A devoted Catholic Christian who did what he did as a follower of Jesus Christ, living his Christian faith daily, hourly, existentially not rhetorically. It was his Christian faith, his humility before God, that made Cesar Chavez what he was, and made him both good and great.

Although it is little known by those from the secular left who celebrate him as a civil rights leader as well as those who condemned him from the religious right as a Communist, in the Adult Catechism of the Catholic Church approved by Pope John Paul the Great, the section on “Life In Christ” includes as exemplifying a life in Christ: Cesar Chavez.

It should not need to be said that if anti-Communist Pope John Paul II believed that Cesar Chavez was not a “Communist” but a Christian of such proven faith that he should be the example of living a life in Christ in the Adult Catholic Catechism, that should be good enough proof for any doubter that Cesar Chavez was in fact a Christian, and profoundly so, and not the “Communist” his detractors maliciously claimed.

Indeed, Cesar Chavez, living his Christian faith, was the moral heart of the American labor movement, and there are lessons to be learned from his well-lived life.

My own life has been enriched beyond measure by working with him for some 20 years, from 1973, when he mentored me as a leader of the Truckers for Justice in a nationwide truckers shutdown during the so-called Arab oil embargo; through the many years I served as one of his attorneys until the day of his death on April 23, 1993, during an epic court battle in Arizona.

I was but one of thousands who worked with Cesar Chavez through the years. Others did so much more to help him, his cause and the UFW. I write these words not to celebrate my association with him, but to celebrate Cesar Chavez and the life he lived. Cesar Chavez, by his humble service and sacrifice for others, was not only a great man, but also a good man.

Cesar Chavez was born in 1927 on the small ranch near Yuma, Ariz., that his grandfather purchased in the 1880s. The Chavez family worked the ranch until 1937, when the bank foreclosed and the giant Bruce Church lettuce corporation took it over. The family went from being American landowners to “Mexican” migrant workers, living and working in appalling conditions.

Cesar Chavez SailorIn 1944, as World War II raged, Chavez, at the age of 17, joined the U.S. Navy. When he came home on a three-day leave, he engaged in his first nonviolent civil disobedience by sitting in the “white” section of a segregated movie theater in Delano, Calif., with his date, Helen, who would later become his wife. He was arrested and taken to jail, but they couldn’t figure out what to charge this U.S. sailor with in wartime. So, they cut him loose with threatening warnings that he should know his “place.” Chavez went back to war in the South Pacific for the duration.

Ironically, Chavez’s life ended where it began, in Yuma, in a fight for justice against the same Bruce Church Corporation that had taken the Chavez family ranch during the Depression. Bruce Church sued Chavez and the UFW in Arizona courts in Yuma for millions of dollars in damages allegedly caused by a lettuce boycott Chavez had led in California, not Arizona.cesar chavez funeral

Bruce Church’s lawyers called Chavez as a witness. When his examination by Bruce Church’s lawyers was complete, Chavez went to the home of a UFW member where he was staying. Cesar Chavez died peacefully in his sleep that night, April 23, 1993.

Those who entered the room in the morning when he did not respond to their knock said his shoes were off, but he was still dressed, as if having dozed off while reading. They said there was no evidence that he had suffered any pain or distress. Indeed, the book he was reading still rested on his chest undisturbed. Further, they said it appeared that Chavez had a small, serene smile on his face. “God came and took him,” an elderly campesino told me.

More than 50,000 people attended Chavez’s funeral in Delano, Calif., where he had gone in 1962 with his wife, Helen, and eight children to organize what would ultimately become the United Farm Workers of America.

When the trial resumed in Arizona. I was honored to be one of the attorneys defending the UFW and Chavez. Even though Chavez died before he had a chance to tell his side of the story, the judge refused to grant a mistrial. As expected, the jury found for Bruce Church, the biggest employer in the Yuma area. Bruce Church was awarded $3.5 million, enough to bankrupt the UFW.Cesar Chavez Rees Lloyd

But, following Cesar’s example, his son-in-law and successor as UFW president, Art Rodriguez, didn’t quit. After years of litigation, the UFW won the case on appeal. The judgment was thrown out by higher courts, primarily on a ground we had insisted on from the beginning: Arizona had no jurisdiction over a boycott in California.

Chavez’s son, Paul, once said to me of his father’s persistence in the face of adversity: “Did you have one of those little cars when you were a kid that you wind up and it takes off, and when it hits a wall it bounces off then hits the wall again, and again, and again? Well, my dad reminds me of that little car. It won’t quit. But the difference is, with my dad, the wall falls down.”

Cesar Chavez lived with constant death threats. Five UFW workers were killed in UFW’s struggle – shot, stabbed, beaten and, in one instance, run down by a truck while on a picket line.

Through it all, Cesar never wavered from his adherence to non-violence. His small office was full of books on non-violence in general and Ghandi in particular. Cesar was to become in America what Gandhi was to become in India: a “Mahatma” – a “great soul.”

I have never forgotten the lesson on non-violence he taught me back in 1973, when I was a long-haul trucker involved in the nationwide truckers’ shutdown protesting the escalation in diesel fuel prices by the “Seven Sister” oil companies during the so-called Arab Oil Embargo. Thousands of owner-operator truckers were driven out of business by the fuel price gouging. Congress later investigated and found the oil companies guilty of illegal “windfall profits” in the so-called embargo.

I had called on Cesar to have his lawyers help us in the strike. He did and mentored me in daily phone calls. There was violence in many parts of the country. After two weeks on strike with over 250 truckers shut down in the Triple T Truckstop in Tucson, I told Cesar that I didn’t know if I was going to be able to control violence.

Chavez admonished me so loudly and emphatically regarding violence that I had to hold the phone away from my ear: “Rees, if there is violence, it is your fault: It is a failure of creative intelligence; a failure of creative intelligence.”

At the time, I said to myself: “What does he know? I’m the one here, I’m the one with the problems.” But later that day I picked up the newspaper and spotted a story saying the Tucson blood bank had run out of blood and needed help. I called a meeting, pointed out that we were getting lambasted by the media over our strike, and if we gave blood to the people of Tucson, maybe we would be seen in a different light. The truckers voted to give blood, and I called the media.

The next day, we loaded up the trailers of two 18-wheelers with strikers and drove to the blood bank. With television cameras running, out of the trailers came the truckers, cowboy-hatted and cowboy-booted, John Wayne-patriots, big, tall and proud, to give their blood to the people of Tucson.

The entire atmosphere changed. The media began telling our story, and the people of Tucson began taking truckers into their homes for the duration of the strike. The threat of violence evaporated – thanks to Cesar Chavez.

We created an Alliance of the United Farm Workers and the Truckers for Justice in the aftermath of that strike. It caused a real commotion – Deep South truckers (I was the only “Yankee”) joining with Cesar Chavez, a Mexican-American union leader whom they had been propagandized to believe was a “Communist.” However, Cesar won them over very quickly with straight-forward common sense when we negotiated the UFW-TFJ Alliance at his headquarters.

The late A.S. “Pappy Phifer,” who sounded just like Yosemite Sam and was built like a bowling ball with feet, and was just as hard, was our TFJ president. He had begun trucking as a member of Jimmy Hoffa Sr.’s Teamster Local in Detroit before moving back home to Georgia and buying his own truck. He came right to the point: “Mr. Chavez, they tell us back home that you are one of them Communists?”

Cesar Chavez looked around the room linking eyes with every trucker in the room, all of whom towered over him, before quietly saying: “I’m a Christian. How could I be a Communist?”

That simple truth made sense to every trucker on the negotiating team. Each one was a Christian and knew Cesar couldn’t be a Communist. Confidence was struck, and so was a deal when the details were worked out.

The news media splashed the story of Southern truckers agreeing not to haul “scab” non-UFW lettuce and grapes and Cesar Chavez agreeing to help truckers in round two of strike activity over the fuel prices. Within 24 hours we were receiving death threats in the TFJ and being denounced for joining forces with “that Communist Cesar Chavez.” “Pappy” Phifer never backed down because of the death threats. We never again hauled a “scab” grape or head of lettuce and, never retreated from the alliance with Cesar Chavez. “Pappy” Phifer, in the heart of KKK country, Christian and anti-Communist to his bones, remained publicly and defiantly proud of his association and friendship with “Mr. Chavez,” to the day of Pappy’s death.

After the second strike was broken, Cesar told me that I needed to go to law school so I could better serve. It was his recommendation that opened the doors of law school to me. After graduation and passing the Bar in 1979, I became one of the volunteer attorneys for the UFW and Chavez.

I have devoted my entire legal career defending civil rights, workers rights and veterans rights. I am guided to this day by the lessons taught me by Cesar Chavez: Never surrender in the cause of justice, act with audacity, but always remember that “violence is a failure of creative intelligence.”

I am infinitely grateful to Cesar Chavez for these lessons, and most of all for the lesson and example of his life. I will always walk in his shadow.

Rees Lloyd originally wrote this piece for World Net Daily which can be found here. He has written several pieces about Cesar Chavez for VictoriaTaft.com for which he is a contributor. He coined the term “Blogforce.” Now you know why.

Rees Lloyd: Tribute to an American hero: Jeremiah Denton, R.I.P.

America has lost one of its greatest native sons, Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton, who epitomized all that is good and great in the American patriotic character as a warrior, statesman and humanitarian. 

jeremiah denton plaque

He was an  extraordinary American patriot  who lived his life in service to God and Country.

Adm. Denton, one of America’s greatest military heroes, died on March 28, 2014. But his example of undaunted courage in combat  and in almost  eight torture-filled years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, will live through the ages as a testament to what can be accomplished  through love of family, love of country, and unconquerable faith in God.

It was his faith in God that Adm. Denton attested enabled him to survive the unspeakable torture he and other American POW’s endured for resisting demands of their communist captors to denounce and repudiate their country.

JEREMIAH DENTON POWThat the communists were in fact torturing American POW’s in violation of the Geneva Accords was first definitively exposed and confirmed by POW Jeremiah Denton in a now famous act that almost cost him his life.  In May, 1966, when the communists attempted to use him for propaganda purposes through a Japanese television documentary intended to show communist benevolence to the POW’s, Denton blinked repeatedly as if the bright light bothered his eyes. In fact, he was blinking “T-O-R-T-U-R-E in Morse Code.  After the broadcast, when the communists realized that Denton Jeremiah-Denton-Blinking-Morse-Codehad duped them, he was tortured so horrendously that he was near death—and actually wished to die to end it.

He  powerfully exposed war crime torture by the communists in the now classic book he authored, entitled:  When Hell Was In Session. It is a book  which ought to be read in  every American schoolroom, and every American home. (A new edition, with an epilogue containing Adm. Denton’s thoughts  on the current American condition, has been published by WND Books.)

It was Adm. Denton’s service in defense of American freedom in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, including  during his long captivity as a POW from July 18, 1965, to Feb. 13, 1975, some four (4) years of which was in solitary confinement due to his leadership of resisting POW’s, which led him to be universally respected by his fellow POW’s, and to be hailed by former President Ronald Reagan as “a great hero.” 

jeremiah denton when hell was in sessionWhat Adm. Denton  did as a warrior, and how he was respected as a leader by POW’s who resisted their communist torturers,  is confirmed and  illuminated by author Alvin Townley in his just published epic account of POW’s courage and sacrifice: “DEFIANT: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison, The Women Who Fought For Them, And The One Who Never Returned.

When finally released on Feb. 13, 1975, Denton was chosen to speak for his fellow POW’s when they stepped off the plane at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. The heartfelt simplicity of Denton’s words are a reflection of his modesty, his essential goodness, his soul:  “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our county under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our commander in chief and to our nation for this day,” Denton said, then added with emotion: “God bless America.”

Under difficult circumstances? Never has there been a greater understatement. To begin to appreciate how excruciatingly “difficult” the circumstances of our POW’s were under the communists, read Denton’s “When Hell Was In Session,” first published in 1975; or Alvin Townley’s “DEFIANT,” published in 2014, confirming Denton’s account and detailing just how “difficult,” how horrendous, were those “difficult circumstances,” for American POW’s, and for their families back home.

Those families, including Denton’s beloved wife Jane, (who predeceased him several years ago) and  their seven children, did not know for years even if their loved ones were alive or dead. The so-called “Best And Brightest” Ivy League liberals of Lyndon Johnson’s Democrat regime urged them not to protest against treatment of the POW’s so as not to provoke the communists to even more atrocities. Meanwhile,  the media ignored the issue of the treatment of the POW’s  and printed and broadcast endless reports of Jane Fonda, John Kerry, and other progressive liberals  praising the communists and denouncing  the U.S. and American warriors as “war criminals.” (Alvin Townley  in “DEFIANT” tells the story of  the rebellion of the wives and families against the “gag order” and their creation of a successful  campaign to awaken the world to the torture of American Pow’s.) 

Jeremiah Denton contends that it was love of family, country, and most importantly, his faith in God that saved his life, and sanity, as a POW.  While he was an heroic American warrior, he was, after his release and return to freedom,  also a statesman of vision. He was the first Republican to be elected to the U.S. Senate from the State of Alabama. He was a humanitarian to the end of his days through his Admiral Denton Legacy Initiatives (formerly, the Admiral Jeremiah Denton Foundation) whose good works will continue even with his passing. (See, www.AdmiralDenton.org,).

JEREMIAH+DENTONThese aspects of Adm. Denton’s life as an exemplary warrior, statesman, and humanitarian are reported in more detail in a very moving personal tribute to Adm. Denton by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND.com, and in WND’s detailed obituary byArt Moore. (See [Farah] (http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/jeremiah-denton-my-friend-my-hero/) and [Moore] http://www.wnd.com/2014/03/war-hero-former-sen-jeremiah-denton-dies-at-89/)

I consider it one of the blessings of my life to have had the honor to have been able to work with Adm. Denton, in a small way, considering the multitude of good works in which he was involved. But it had a very large impact on me. Jeremiah Denton was not only a great man, but a good one, and history has shown that it is more rare than common that great  men are also good men. 

In 2006, I had the honor of working with Adm. Denton and another great and good man, Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, USA (ret.), Medal of Honor (Vietnam). I was the “go-between” in the drafting and crafting of what went to Congress as the Joint Statement Of Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton (USN, ret.) and Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret), In Support Of Passage Of The Veterans Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals And Other Public Expressions Of Religion Act (“PERA”).

PERA was sponsored by former-Congressman John Hostettler of Indiana (8th Dis.), and The American Legion as  citizen sponsor. PERA would rescind the authority of judges to award taxpayer-paid attorney fees to the ACLU, or anyone else, in Establishment of Religion Clause litigation attacks on public expression of religion or symbols with a religious aspect, most often the Cross. That would allow defendant public bodies not to surrender to the ACLU’s secular-cleansing demands to destroy Crosses or ban the Ten Commandments or other public expressions of religion for fear of precious taxpayer funds being diverted to pay ACLU fees, often in the hundreds of thousands of dollars by which ACLU profits at tax-payer expense

The American Legion hand-delivered the Joint Statement of Adm. Denton and Gen. Brady to every member of the House and Senate the day before the House vote. To the shock of many, PERA passed the House overwhelmingly. Many credited Adm. Denton and Gen. Brady for persuading Representatives to  vote for the PERA Bill. Unfortunately, however, Arlen Specter, then-Republican Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman (later Democrat candidate for the Senate),  blocked PERA from being voted on before the November 2006 elections. The Democrats took control of Congress and have refused since then to bring PERA up for a hearing or vote.

After that work in 2006, I had the opportunity to work with Adm. Denton, who was also chair of the advisory board of The Thomas More Law Center [www.thomasmore.org]. These efforts included the fight against the ACLU to save the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross (ACLU surrendered in 2012 after ten years of litigation) and to save the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Cross (now in the 24th year of litigation by the secular extremists of the ACLU). thomas more law center

What I am most thankful for is having been able to initiate and participate in the establishment by The American Legion Department of California, and Thomas More Law Center,  of a plaque in honor of Adm. Denton at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial on National POW/MIA Day 2008.

jeremiah denton plaqueThis granite plaque erected by his comrade wartime veterans of The American Legion to honor Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton, Jr., shall stand for generations, beneath the Cross honoring veterans at Mt. Soledad, allowing future  Americans to learn of his exemplary life lived in service to God   and Country, a life to be emulated if we are to remainfree, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

four chaplains plaque mt soledad
The plaque to commemorate The Four Chaplains before it was placed at Mt. Soledad. Photo by Victoria Taft

  “The Four Chaplains proved their faith with ultimate sacrifice – not in a flash of combatant action – but with peaceful discernment, humble devotion and extraordinary valor. They lived this life knowing God’s real presence and eternal promise.  Blessed with men of this caliber, our nation must do the same.”

I first read Adm. Denton’s  “When Hell Was In Session” back in 1997. The horrors of the torture  he endured, how he fought back despite  those horrible tortures, often wishing for death to end the pain, and how, somehow, he remained human through it all, was and is awe inspiring.  But, what struck me most of all was  the love this man expressed for our country, and for us, in the gentle words of the dedication of his book. From that day to this, those words of Jeremiah A. Denton have been taped to my desk, as they say so much about who and what Jeremiah Denton was, heroic yet humble, great yet good, a warrior, statesman, and humanitarian, who, after enduring as a POW the worst inhumanity of which humans are capable, would dedicate his book in these words:

“To those who strive make this one nation under God, who are willing to protect her,who thank God for such great beauty as she has developed and who patiently tolerate her imperfections.”

Those words of Jeremiah A. Denton, from his heart, touched mine. He was, indeed, a great man who is also good man. I thank God for him, and for the opportunity to have known him.

May the God Jeremiah A. Denton, warrior, statesman, and humanitarian,  so faithfully served in war and in peace, bless and keep him; and may the nation he so faithfully served, and whose freedom he preserved, never forget him.

(Rees Lloyd is a longtime California civil rights attorney, a veterans activist, and a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)

Obama officials take “selfies” to respond to Ukraine situation

Decorum anyone?

Decorum anyone? These people think they understand social media but they don’t understand political gravity. They fall to earth in unseriousness. Good grief. 
Even Fox News Brit Hume retweeted this one because it was so unserious.
The joke hashtag? #TweetWithOverwhelmingForce
We’re a laughing stock.

The sheeple respond:

The adults respond:

 

Piers Morgan exits CNN

I wish no ill on any man. Here’s the “but”: Piers was a disaster at CNN and needed to go. Now, instead of riding the anti gun hobby horse to a ratings bonanza, CNN is hoping the Malaysian Air disaster will do the same. Good luck.
piers morgan goodbye
And reaction?


Yeah, like he says,


But, good news, he’s got a job offer,


As he said goodbye, his twitter feed played a parade of images of Piers’ ‘gets,’ including Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton. Huh, didn’t see Ben Shapiro’s visage there. Well, here it is for your listening enjoyment,

Some advice to San Diego strippers

Photo by the Union Tribune
Photo by the Union Tribune

San Diego Police do stripper shaming while conducting “inspections.” Here’s my advice to the girls.

San Diego police are in charge of inspecting the sometimes murky and underworldly (yes, new word) nature of the stripper biz. Before you hit the pole tonight,  I want you to take seriously what I’m about to tell you.

For those of you unfamiliar with this story, here’s a bit of a recap. Recently, the cops busted into the Cheetahs strip club in Kearny Mesa, lined ‘the girls’ up against the wall, took pictures of their tattoos whereever they existed and checked their ‘paper work’ (permits). I wrote about this  here. The police said this was a routine inspection.

Now I’m back with advice. It’s advice I’ve shared before here. 

In short, the advice is this: you are not obligated to talk to a cop and you are not obligated to stay in a place against your will under color of a cop’s authority unless you have been arrested. If this ever happens again, you may, without disrespect or flippancy, ask  if you’re under arrest. If the cop’s answer is ‘no’ you are free to go. Double check with your boss or attorney if he wants you to do this, but, in the end, it’s your freedom we’re talking about, after all. 

See, I love the cops. I’ve always had their backs, but sometimes they don’t have your best interests at heart. Sometimes their job doesn’t align with your interests and rights. And that’s why you must watch the video here and learn about them. Carve out an hour of time to watch this.

I’m not a big stripper fan, but I’m a liberty lover. I am outraged by the cops’ treatment of you and yours at Cheetahs a few weeks ago. That was not an inspection, that was an invasion. This regulatory, perfunctory inspection looked like a SWAT action. You were treated like lawbreakers. It was horrible.

I heard you’re suing.

Good.

 

 

 

Did you miss Rep Trey Gowdy’s dressing down of IRS Commish?

As my friend said, “We need this guy as our Attorney General”

This exchange between Rep Trey Gowdy and the IRS Commissioner was highlighted in The Blaze here. My friend sent this to me to make sure YOU saw it. 

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) gave Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen a serious grilling on Wednesday, demanding that he provide disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails in a reasonable amount of time.

“How long will it take you to produce Lois Lerner’s emails, that don’t involve 6103 material, from January of 2010?” Gowdy asked. “Can we have it by Friday?”

“Absolutely not,” Koskinen replied. “There’s no way physically we can.”

At a different point in the hearing, the official argued it could take “years” to produce the emails.

 

Cover Oregon to spend another $1 mil to advertise program that doesn’t work

After the disastrous roll out, they didn't spend money advertising the disastrous product.
After the disastrous roll out of this product, they didn’t spend money to advertise it.

 *This post has been changed to reflect a change in  the person previously mentioned was a “friend.” That person has asked me to change the information so that they are not targeted because they’re friends with a conservative.  I’ve changed the reference to protect them.*

The OrBamaCare–Cover Oregon–website doesn’t work, but state spends another million to advertise extended deadline and tout success. Alas, ‘success’ doesn’t describe friend’s experience.

Cover Oregon’s executives have been summarily fired or “let go” because the OrBamaCare program and its website don’t work. At all. But that isn’t stopping the state from spending another $1 million to advertise extra time to sign up for a program that doesn’t work. That’s $9.3 million in all for the ad budget (that we know of). I’m sure the taxpayers couldn’t have found a higher and better use for that money had they been allowed to keep it in the first place.

I’ve never heard of Ben Gay Aspirin. Nobody has. It sucked, that’s why. The Ben Gay people didn’t say in the marketing meeting, ‘Hey, well, it’s an utter disaster, so let’s spend more money to tout what a disaster it is.’ Whatever happened to WebTV, anyway Microsoft? Seen any advertising for that lately? New Coke was a disaster. When it died Coke didn’t spend more money advertising how Bic underweardisastrous it was. Bic underwear? Bic underwear? 

But disastrous product rollouts be damned when it comes to government spending other peoples’ money!  The new web, TV and online campaign tells of the successes of OrBamaCare recipients and how, the program is such a success they’re giving you more time to sign up! The success stories of “Ron”, “Gilberto”, “Judy”, “Amy”, “Katrina”, “Cory and Doris”, “Bayo” and “Andrea” seem to contrast with hundreds of thousands of other Oregonians who haven’t been able to sign up–including my acquaintance, who will remain unnamed.

The unnamed woman emailed me to tell me her story. In short it goes something like this:

She tried to sign up for OrBamaCare online.

She thought it worked.

She was told she had insurance.

The state screwed up her info.

It didn’t work.

She kept trying by herself.

It didn’t work.

Then she called and got a “community agent” or “navigator” to get signed up online. 

She was told she had insurance.

It didn’t work.

She called again.

She was told she had insurance.

Now she doesn’t believe them.

Apparently, this is success worth advertising.

Because the website is a disaster and doesn’t work, Cover Oregon says the only way you can sign up for OrBamaCare is to go online and find a “community agent” who has the double-secret-probation-prime-directive-password. Cover Oregon helpfully suggested a place to go online to get said “community agent.” This is what I got.

Cover Oregon website oops

It’s not funny, Chief Justice Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts shares a laugh with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
Chief Justice John Roberts shares a laugh with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick at a recent event

It’s not a penalty, it’s a tax. It’s not a tax, it’s a penalty. John Roberts’ ObamaCare decision draws laughs in the US Supreme Court on Monday. Hint: it’s not funny.

We all remember the 2012 ObamaCare decision in which Chief Justice John Roberts pulled a dipsy doodle and saved ObamaCare by rewriting the law to say the individual mandate was a tax. “Such legislation is within Congress’ power to tax.”

Roberts made sure the issue of the ObamaCare individual mandate penalties was argued as a tax even though the Obama Administration argued it was not. After initially believing the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional as it was written, Roberts contrived to turn it into a tax and –voila!–part of the president’s cornerstone program was upheld.

On the upside, the Chief Justice limited the Congress’ ability to abuse the Commerce Clause in the future, but Constitutional originalists may never forgive him for allowing ObamaCare’s forced insurance purchase to be viewed as a tax instead of penalty.

The subject came up in the oral arguments of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities on Monday. ObamaCare covers abortion drugs. These companies did not want to have anything to do with them. The issue is should companies owned by sincerely religious people be forced to denounce their religious beliefs to accommodate a government program? Hobby Lobby’s insurance pays for all kinds of birth control but wanted nothing to do with abortion drugs.

On pages 23-24 of the oral arguments Hobby Lobby’s attorney, Paul Clement, was asked by the liberal (and female) faction of the court about why the company doesn’t just drop insurance altogether and pay the penalty! Isn’t that nice of them? They’re just looking out for the financial well being of Hobby Lobby and by simply paying the extortion, they get to retain their religious rights!

Some choice. Heads: the government wins, tails: the companies lose. 

11  JUSTICE KAGAN:  No, I don’t think that 
12 that’s the same thing, Mr. Clement.  There’s one penalty
13 that is if the employer continues to provide health
14 insurance without this part of the coverage, but Hobby
15 Lobby could choose not to provide health insurance at
16 all.  And in that case Hobby Lobby would pay $2,000 per
17 employee, which is less than Hobby Lobby probably pays
18 to provide insurance to its employees.
19  So there is a choice here.  It’s not even a
20 penalty by ­­ in the language of the statute.  It’s a
21 payment or a tax.  There’s a choice.  And so the
22 question is, why is there a substantial burden at all?
23  MR. CLEMENT:  Well, just to be clear, we
24 were talking about the same thing.  So the option, the
25 choice, is between paying a $475 million a year penalty
Alderson Reporting Company 23
Official ­ Subject to Final Review
1 and a $26 million a year penalty.  That’s what Hobby
2 Lobby faces.  So $2,000 per person ­­
3  JUSTICE KAGAN:  No, between paying $2,000
4 per employee per year if Hobby Lobby does not provide ­­
5  MR. CLEMENT:  That’s $26 million.
6  JUSTICE KAGAN:  You know, Hobby Lobby is
7 paying something right now for the ­­ for the coverage.
8 It’s less than what Hobby Lobby is paying for the
9 coverage.  There are employers all over the United
10 States that are doing this voluntarily because they
11 think that it’s less.
12  CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS:  I thought ­­ I
13 thought that part of the religious commitment of the
14 owners was to provide health care for its employees.
15  MR. CLEMENT:  That is true, Mr. Chief
16 Justice.  It is also true that this ­­
17  JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR:  Well, if they want to do
18 that, they can just pay a greater salary and let the
19 employees go in on the exchange.
20  MR. CLEMENT:  Exactly, which is, by the way,
21 why comparing the $2,000 penalty to the cost of the
22 health care is a false ­­ it’s a false comparison.
23  JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR:  It’s not called a
24 penalty.  It’s called a tax.  And it’s calibrated ­­ and
25 it’s calibrated ­­
Alderson Reporting Company 24
Official ­ Subject to Final Review
1  CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS:  She’s right about
2 that.
3  (Laughter.)
4  MR. CLEMENT:  And it has been treated for
5 some purposes as a penalty.  And I think for this
6 purposes, it certainly feels punitive.

It certainly does feel punitive. And that’s not funny.

Busted California Democrat Yee offered to connect informant with terrorist group

yeeDemocrat State Senator Yee is not a garden variety California Corruptocrat.The FBI says Yee offered to broker a deal between an informant and a “Muslim separatist” group in Philippines.

A California Democrat Senator was busted Wednesday and his offices scrubbed by FBI looking for clues into his alleged nefarious dealings with gun dealers, corruptocrats and a Chinatown felon. 

yee2The biggest part of the story isn’t that Yee is the third California Democrat recently to be indicted, nor that he portrays himself as a tough on guns lawmaker and was gun dealing, or even that he hangs out with some genuine bad actors with membership in the Chinese Triad.

No, for my money, when the Democrat candidate for California Secretary of State offers to hook up an FBI informant with rifles and missile launchers from a renegade Muslim separatist group –a terrorist organization–you’ve got some big problems in little China. From the Union Tribune:

Investigators said Yee discussed helping the agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired missiles, and explained the entire process of acquiring them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bringing them to the U.S., according to an affidavit by FBI agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

The FBI says group with which Yee claimed to have contact is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front–MILF (really)–which has been warring with the government of the Philippines for decades. The group is known for beheadings, assassinations and kidnappings. 

According to the FBI document, Yee actually offered some insight into the group’s recent peace treaty with the government of the Philippines. Yee claimed the ‘peace’ was a blind by the government to hide its corruption. 

Here’s the 137 page affidavit supporting an indictment of Yee and several others. 

Needless to say, Yee’s campaign for California’s Secretary of State might–just might–have been set back a bit.

Rees Lloyd: Medal of Honor Day–March 25, 2014

The little known Medal of Honor Day should be on the nation’s radar

Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer
Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer

By Act of Congress, March 25 is to be observed as “Medal Of Honor Day” to honor all those Americans who by their sacrifice and courage above and beyond the call of duty, have received the nation’s highest medal for valor in combat, the Medal of Honor.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society has information concerning the 3,487 Americans who have received the Medal of Honor, 19 of whom are “double recipients.” Today, there are only seventy-seven (77) living Medal of Honor recipients. 

Each Medal of Honor recipient,   while uniformly modest about their own acts of valor — generally stating that the real heroes are those who served in war and never came home — is, in fact, a national treasure, an icon representing the epitome of American courage and sacrifice for American freedom.

  

medal of honor reqThrough the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the Medal of Honor recipients continue to serve America in a variety of meaningful ways. Interestingly, among themselves, they share a common saying and common belief: “It was easier to receive the Medal of Honor, than to live as a wearer of it.”  For more on these true heroes of America, what they did to receive the Medal of Honor, and what they continue to do in service to America as wearers of it, see the Congressional Medal of Honor Society website, www.cmohs.org.

 Fittingly, WND.com publishes on this Medal of Honor Day 2014 the column of Medal of Honor recipient (Vietnam) and past president of the Medal of Honor Society, Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret.)  on: “Teaching Our Children True Patriotism.” 

 Radio talk show host Chuck Wilder (USN, Vietnam), salutes all Medal of Honor recipients on his Original Talkback Show” today, 12-2p.m., heard nationwide online at www.CRNTalk.com, along with special guest, Capt. Joseph R. John (USN, ret.), combat veteran and founder of Combat Veterans For Congress (www.combatveteransforcongress.org). [For re-broadcast times of the Chuck Wilder Show, see www.CRNTalk.com/chuckwilder). ;

 Also, patriotic talk-show host and blogger Victoria Taft will also recognize Medal of Honor Day, 

medal of honor day posterincluding on her blog (www.VictoriaTaft.com).

 But, if you haven’t read about Medal of Honor Day  in your newspaper, heard it on radio, or seen it on television news, don’t be surprised: Most of the liberal-dominated media, although enjoying their “freedom of the press” and “freedom of speech” due to the service and sacrifice of veterans, will be AWOL regarding informing  Americans about Medal of Honor Day and the American heroes who have received, and wear today, that highest medal of valor in defense of American freedom.

 May God bless them all; and may the nation they served and whose freedom they preserved, always remember and honor them.

(Rees Lloyd, longtime California civil rights attorney and veterans activist, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce.)

*UPDATED* SCOTUS Hobby Lobby: How the media get their narratives

The Hobby Lobby case in the Supreme Court sends advocates to Twitter to tout narratives. Who picks them up?

How do media narratives get set? Good questions. Here’s just one way I saw via Twitter. Reporters and advocates for all sides send out their micro messages on the 140 character social site. But who picks up the talking points?

I was scanning Twitter about the Hobby Lobby case before the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) while waiting for the next batch of not so live blog updates come in. Here’s what I saw:
Planned Parenthood sets the tone:


And then ABC picks up the hint:


Originally there were four tweets I saw in this theme but, sadly, they got lost in the ether. Won’t happen again. 
Here’s a new one you should be watching out for: