Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Lead But No Blood. Four Issues Worthy of Commentary. Who Is Jon Ossoff?

Hilarious Hillary parody:
One of my close friends and fellow memo readers called several nights ago expressing that Speaker Ryan is totally missing the boat when it comes to reforming Obamacare.  I agreed Ryan is a brilliant policy wonk but I also told my friend he reminds me of an economist who only has lead and no blood in his pencil. By this I mean, he may understand figures but he fails to comprehend the people element that creates them.

Then Bobby Jindal's op ed appeared yesterday and he gets what, I believe, Ryan and many Republicans are missing.. (See 1 below.)
Several things have happened in the last day or so that I want to comment on and the first has to do with Obama receiving $400,000 from The Wall Street Greed Crowd (his words) to have them listen to his blather. This is the height of hypocrisy but nothing new because Obama is the personification of a hypocrite.

The second relates to a ruling by a district judge that Trump has no constitutional authority to withhold funds from sanctuary cities. This ruling will be overturned, in my humble opinion, once it reaches the Supreme Court. (See 2 below.)

The third matter relates to terms of Obama's Iran Deal.  It has now been revealed the former president, in his zeal to circumvent The Senate and our constitution, traded/released far more dangerous Iranians along with his questionable cash/ransom pay off than first mentioned. These additional hostages were Iranians who were actively engaged in helping obtain nuclear material etc. and were deemed a dangerous threat to our country's security.

This latter issue raises something I have previously discussed.  When Obama ran for president he told voters he wanted to transform America and, after he was elected, he set about doing so by first making sure all government agencies were banned from using the phrase Islamist Terrorism. All negative references to radical Islam were written out of government manuals, documents etc.

Then he proceeded to peremptorily withdraw troops from Iraq, thereby, creating a vacuum which was filled by those who came to be known as ISIS, followed by declaring the exact date we would depart  Afghanistan. A series of other pacifying events took place like Bengahzi, Bowe Berdahl all ultimately followed by the Iran Deal, the announced terms of which, we now learn, were a total lie.

Along the way, he supported the election victory of The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, applauded the overthrow of Mubarak, dissed Netanyahu and downgraded our relationship with Israel and cowed to Russia and Syria.

I maintain, Obama knew what he was doing in every instance because, I believe,  his ultimate goal was to weaken America and strengthen Islamist Terrorism. Actions do not lie and only point the way to this conclusion.

Obama sights the assassination of bin Laden as his crowning anti-terrorist achievement but he also used drones to attack and kill Islamist terrorists which prevented our forces from obtaining valuable intelligence information. Furthermore, he opposed questionable interrogating methods such as waterboarding and aggressively released known terrorists from Guantanamo, many of whom returned to the battlefield.

Obama's eight years might not have reached the level of being characterized  a Trojan Horse but the evidence of his actions and their consequences leave no doubt, in my mind, that his desire to transform America did have, as a tributary purpose, the weakening of America at the expense of a rise in the strategic position of Iran.  Furthermore, his feckless response to Islamist Terrorism will circumscribe the freedom of choice of future presidents and puts the world at further risk of a nuclear confrontation. Also, I have yet to mention N Korea and Obama's passivity towards "fat boy." (See 2a below.)

The fourth and final issue is Trump's release of his tax overhaul proposal.

It will not be approved but it does set the tone and parameters of what he wants and accords with his campaign promise to grow the economy which, in turn, will re-employ those seeking work.

Growing the economy will enhance tax receipts as will lowering the rate on Capital Gains. This is a proven fact so those who claim it is not deficit neutral are working on static assumptions. (See 2b below.)
Who is Ossoff?  I submit he is a Caucasian Obama. He is slick, possesses a gifted tongue, his convictions are razor thin, and he is a hypocrite. This makes him totally qualified to run as a member of the new radicalized Democrat Party.  (See 3 below.)
1) Obama Care Repeal Needs a Direction

Focus on reducing the costs of health care, and more Americans will end up getting covered.

By  Bobby Jindal
Before you start a journey, it helps to know where you are going. That’s obvious advice—but instructive as Republicans consider next steps in the effort to repeal ObamaCare. Before getting lost in arcane Senate rules, technical modifications to the existing law, or Congressional Budget Office scores, conservatives must define for themselves and the American people what they are actually trying to accomplish.
Watching the recent debate, one could be forgiven for thinking that simply getting a deal done was the goal. The now-withdrawn American Health Care Act of 2017 was seemingly written by House leaders with the sole purpose of winning over the most recalcitrant Republican senator. The real goal must be something larger, more inspiring and more important than merely getting to a signing ceremony.
Republicans have historically offered creative proposals for tax reform, foreign policy and defense spending. The GOP’s health-care ideas, however, too often have been developed in opposition to Democratic proposals. Republicans want to spend less than Democrats do, but that approach only slows government expansion; it doesn’t change government’s direction. The GOP has now tried and failed to replace ObamaCare with its own, less expensive entitlement program. Rather than simply tweaking the previous failure, why not take a completely different approach?


Although I disagreed with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on policy, I respected him for always keeping his ultimate goal in mind and consistently working toward it. He took small steps toward the single-payer system he wanted when Republicans were in the majority, and larger steps when his party ruled. He helped create the State Children’s Health Insurance Program when Newt Gingrich was House speaker, and inspired the Affordable Care Act when Nancy Pelosi had the gavel.
Republicans must be similarly single-minded about taking control of the health-care system from bureaucrats and returning power to patients and doctors. In the current debate, Republicans must choose between two related goals—lowering costs and increasing coverage. Which will we prioritize?
Putting coverage expansion first, as President Obama did, leads to insurance plans with narrower provider networks, higher deductibles and stingier benefits. Consider the disabled Medicaid beneficiaries on waiting lists for community-based services, or the families on exchange plans who cannot see their children’s specialists. The cheapest way to ensure everyone has coverage is to ignore the adequacy of that coverage.
When Republicans debate which ObamaCare regulations to keep, they should remember they are dictating that the private market offer products whose pricing and benefits do not make financial sense. Many insurance companies are abandoning markets in which it is not sustainable for them to operate.
The next logical step—and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is already there—is for government to cut out the middleman and simply offer the coverage itself. The populist argument for expanding Medicare (or Medicaid) to all Americans is hard to resist, at least when coverage is the primary goal. But when everyone gets health insurance from the government, doctors will lose their autonomy and patients their choice. America’s health-care system will innovate less, and quality and efficiency will deteriorate—as they always do in a top-down, command-and-control system.
Under a single-payer system, special interests—such as large hospitals and medical technology providers—would use the political process to obtain favorable pricing and coverage decisions while keeping out competitors, and political elites would exempt themselves from the burdens they impose on the rest of us. Politicians would be loath to disrupt entrenched interests, harming instead the dynamism of the market and millions of individual decisions that speed up the development of life-saving cures. But, some will say, at least everyone is covered.
It does not have to be this way. The alternative is to focus on lowering costs, not merely covering them up through subsidies or wealth transfers. Instead of simply offering cheaper versions of Democratic proposals, Republicans should offer principled health-care reform that is bottom-up, not top-down.
A successful ObamaCare replacement should harness the power of choice and competition. Republicans should allow insurance companies to compete across state lines and allow patients to select the benefits and cost-sharing they want. The GOP should expand the use of health savings accounts, crack down on frivolous lawsuits, and encourage competition among providers by expanding the scope of what they are legally allowed to do and removing barriers to entry.
Republicans should rewrite the tax code to encourage health-care saving (not just spending), make health coverage portable, and create incentives for wellness programs. They should establish voluntary purchasing pools with legal and tax benefits while giving states much more flexibility over their Medicaid programs and grants to increase access for those with pre-existing conditions. They should put pricing and quality information online, speed up the FDA approval process, and crack down on industry abuses to increase generic drug competition.
The main problem with American health care before ObamaCare was cost. ObamaCare has made matters worse—both on the individual level, with dramatic premium increases, and the corporate level, by driving the country further into debt.
At first glance, the choice I am urging Congress to make between increasing coverage and lowering costs seems like a choice between motherhood and apple pie. Can’t health-care reform do both, just as the beer commercials once promised great taste and lower calories? Yes—but as we have seen, prioritizing coverage expansion results in higher costs and lower quality. Focusing on lowering costs is the way to increase coverage in a meaningful and sustainable way.
Mr. Jindal, a Republican, served as governor of Louisiana, 2008-16

Federal Judge William Orrick III, who on Tuesday blocked President Trump's order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, reportedly bundled hundreds of thousands of dollars for President Barack Obama.
Orrick, of the Northern District of California, issued an injunction against the Trump administration after the city of San Francisco and county of Santa Clara sued over the president's plan to withhold federal funds from municipalities that harbor illegal immigrants.
As reported: The ruling from U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco said that Trump's order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments, and that plaintiffs challenging the order were likely to succeed in proving it unconstitutional.
The decision will block the measure for now, while the federal lawsuit works its way through the courts. The news comes on the heels of the Department of Justice threatening on Friday to cut off funding to eight so-called “sanctuary cities,” unless they were able to provide proof to the federal government that they weren’t looking the other way when it came to undocumented immigrants. The same judge issued a restraining order in 2015 against the advocacy group responsible for undercover videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood employees plotting to sell baby organs.
At the time, The Federalist found that Orrick raised at least $200,000 for Obama and donated more than $30,000 to groups supporting him.


N KOREA READY FOR WAR: Shock images show Kim Jong-un’s missiles, jets and subs poised for battle 

Released photos show an entire beach on the east coast of the hermit state filled with fire and explosions as soldiers carry out drills.

Jets are shown taking off and landing while submarines emerge from the water off the port town of Wonsan.

Between 300 and 400 artillery units are thought to have been used in the drills and confirmed by South Korea.

A North Korea propaganda newspaper based in Pyongyang said: “There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturized nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.”
South Korea has also held joint drills with America in response, sending their own message to Pyongyang.
This 11-day exercise drills has begun in a similarly awe-inspiring manner, with hundreds of personnel involved in the explosive war games.
These joint exercises are known to enrage Kim, who believes they are preparation for an invasion of his rogue state.
The drills have been held as tension continues to escalate on the Korean peninsula – as well as in Japan.
Tokyo has ordered local government to carry out civilian evacuation practices, in preparation for a possible attack or invasion.

As well as this, Japanese companies have reported a surge in sales of bomb shelters and air filtration devices, products which cost tens of thousands of pounds.
Kim had promised to reduce Japan to “debris” in recent months, sending alarm bells ringing across the West.

2b) Mnuchin Promises 'Biggest Tax Cut and Largest Tax Reform in History'

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the plan for "the biggest tax cut" in U.S. history due to be released later on Wednesday by the White House would cut the business tax rate to 15 percent, including for small businesses.
"This is going to be the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country," Mnuchin said at a news forum in Washington.

The Treasury secretary did not set a specific goal for when he wants a tax bill to pass, but said "we want to move as fast as we can," CNBC reported.

He said the White House wants a "combined plan" with the House and Senate, which could potentially clash with the administration over some provisions.
"I think it's clear that the House, the Senate and the administration are all on the same page," Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin and White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn are expected to go into more detail about the plan — which appears to largely resemble President Donald Trump's campaign pledge — at a briefing later in the day.
Mnuchin had set a goal of passing the first tax reform since 1986 by August, but the White House has recently backed off that deadline, signaling it wants to pass a plan by the end of the year.
He said there was fundamental agreement between President Donald Trump's administration and the Congress on the goals of the tax reform, and the details would be worked out.
Separately, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said he had seen a "sneak preview" of the plan.
"We like it a lot, it puts us on the same page, we’re in agreement on 80 percent and on the 20 percent we’re in the same ballpark," Ryan said. 
(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).
3) Who Is Jon Ossoff?

By Dick Williams For The Crier
He’s the surprise election leader to replace Rep Price.
 Jon Ossoff sent shock waves through Republican Georgia last week when he won 48 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan special election to succeed Rep. Tom Price in the 6th Congressional District. The 30-year-old, backed by $8.4 million in campaign funds, has become a household name courtesy of an avalanche of direct mail, telephone calls and a seemingly unending stream of television commercials (And yes, they began anew Thursday, two days after the election).
But who is he? Ossoff turns out to be wise beyond his years and a child of privilege. As has been well documented, he doesn’t live in the district and 95 percent of his funds come from out of state (76 percent of former Rep. Price’s funds came from Georgia). What isn’t so well known is that Ossoff knows much of the district. Republicans and some Democrats owe him thanks for his work on the campaign of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-4th District) that quelled a comeback attempt by Rep. Cynthia McKinney. He grew up in DeKalb County and attended high school here at Paidea.

At 30, courtesy of an inheritance and a wealthy family, he shows a net worth of $1.7 million. That includes a town house on Capitol Hill in Washington purchased by his family. He is a good investor, favoring Apple and Warren Buffett. His family has a yacht and a Cessna, the latter purchased through a limited liability company using a relative’s address in New Hampshire, one of a handful of states that don’t charge sales taxes on airplane purchases. In Georgia it would have been a taxable event. One publication shows his family with multiple yachts. If Gov. Nathan Deal signs a bill passed this year, the family could have its boats repaired in Savannah. Ossoff researchers in Washington point to a family that uses multiple LLCs in many states to avoid taxes and shield personal assets.

Ossoff, even at such a young age, is a bundle of contradictions. In college at Georgetown he led a famous A Capella singing group and those associated with it sing his praises. But on television he is stern and earnest, with a writer for The New Yorker likening his speech patterns to those of President Obama. His girlfriend is a high-achieving medical resident at Emory near where they live. Even his television commercials indicate the contradictions of his residence, upbringing and the district he wants to represent. In his first for the runoff, Ossoff sounds a familiar theme for him: the need for high-paying tech jobs in the area. The commercial opens with the entrance to Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead in the 5th Congressional District. And never mind that the Georgia 400 corridor through the 6th CD has high-tech assets the envy of most American cities. Like Bill Clinton in 1992, Ossoff’s commercials and speeches avoid the issues that make up the great conservative-liberal divide. He talks about cutting waste and abuse, not tax reform. He began by defending Obamacare but has dropped the subject. He began by announcing himself as a Trump tormentor. The president is now hardly mentioned. In public, that is. In social media, the Daily Kos and the journals of the left, he is a veritable Bernie Sanders. In his commercials he is a journalistic film-maker, a slayer of tyrants and crooks.

The young people who do his canvassing and door knocking are another contradiction. Most are paid, with hundreds of staffers hired by his campaign and the national Democratic Party. They aren’t the same stuff as Jimmy Carter’s Peanut Brigades of Georgians in 1976. With four weeks until the June 20 runoff against a familiar Republican, Karen Handel, Ossoff’s challenge will be to campaign as a pal while raising money like a pol. Handel’s challenge will not be the air wars since full national Republican funds can be unleashed to help one candidate. Hers will be the ground game to match the youth brigades and mercenaries. For those 6th District voters who claim to hate politics, a cave might be the only hope until June 20.

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