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Saturday, March 10, 2012

If Obama Get Re-Elected, Palestinians Will Have Willing Ear In Washington

We continue to be amazed by the politically expedient actions of the White House in regard to the Palestinian issue.  They tell them to wait until Obama is re-elected.  What does that mean?  Only one thing, the flood doors will open to benefit the Palestinians probably to the detriment of Israel.  And where are the Israeli supporters?  They are sitting around thinking that "Obama has Israel's back."  Dumb, stupid and uninformed is the only way to characterize them.

Should we experience a disaster, also known as an Obama victory, Israel will be forced to accept 1967 borders or lose all financial and military support.  Palestinians will be allowed military personnel and equipment "to safeguard their country against aggressors."  Foreign aid from the US will be significantly increased maybe up to 5 times what they already receive and that will not include the military arms support that we give them.

Regardless of what we see in the future, there will be those Democratic supporters of Israel who will vote for Obama and continue to believe his lies and deceit.  When the shoe falls, they will explain "that no one could have seen what he would be doing."  Again they are dumb, stupid and uninformed.

Conservative Tom

U.S. Asks Palestinians to Sit Tight -- Until Obama Is Re-Elected

By , Associated Press
March 9, 2012
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian foreign minister says the Obama administration told Palestinian leaders to expect little help with their statehood bid during the U.S.
CORRECTION Mideast Israel Palestinians
CORRECTS PHOTOGRAPHER'S BYLINE Palestinians gather during the funeral of Zakariya Abu Eram in the West Bank town of Yatta, near Hebron, Friday, March 9, 2012. According to the Israeli military, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier in the neck during a raid in the town of Yatta, seriously wounding him. The soldier opened fire, wounding the assailant and killing Eram who was not involved in the attack, witnesses said. The Israeli military claim he was the attacker's accomplice. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Obama administration has told Palestinian leaders to expect little help with their statehood bid during the U.S. presidential campaign, the Palestinian foreign minister said Friday.
However, the Americans also held out the promise of vigorous U.S. mediation in the Mideast conflict if President Barack Obama is re-elected, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in an interview.
Palestinians are aware of the constraints of domestic U.S. politics and will act responsibly, Malki said, suggesting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would not take steps in the coming months that might damage his ties with Washington.
Even so, Malki said the Palestinians are keeping all options open, including some opposed by the U.S., such as reviving a bid to win U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine without waiting for renewed peace talks with Israel.
Abbas plans to send a letter to Benjamin Netanyahu holding the Israeli prime minister responsible for the failure to relaunch serious negotiations, Malki said. Copies of the letter will be sent to foreign leaders and Mideast mediators, Malki said.
The Palestinians hope the letter will help keep international attention focused on the conflict, Malki said.
Negotiations between Abbas and Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert, broke off in 2008 after Israel's last offer was not accepted. Obama's efforts to revive the talks have failed.
Abbas says he will negotiate only if Israel freezes settlement building on occupied West Bank lands the Palestinians want for their state and recognizes the pre-1967 war lines as the starting point for talks on the borders of a future Palestine. In that war, Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, the territories the Palestinians want for their state.
Netanyahu has rejected both demands, saying all disputes can be addressed in negotiations, including settlements.
Abbas says he needs firm ground rules for talks because the gaps between him and the hard-line Netanyahu are far wider than with the Israeli leader's predecessors.
Even before the U.S. election campaign heated up, Palestinian leaders had lost hope that Obama could, in his first term, exert the kind of pressure on Israel they believe is needed to resume serious peace talks.
With the campaign in full swing, the Palestinians have further lowered their expectations.
"Everybody was telling us, including the Americans, 'don't expect that much from us during the election year because the president will be focusing on how to be re-elected, and in order to do so, he should really shift his attention ... to other issues,'" Malki said. He did not say how those messages were delivered. Obama administration officials are frequent visitors at Abbas' headquarters.
This shift away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was highlighted during Netanyahu's White House meeting this week, which was dominated by discussion between the two allies on how best to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Asked whether Abbas hopes Obama — freed from some domestic political constraints if re-elected — would push hard for a resumption of serious negotiations with Israel, Malki said: "They (the Americans) told us so." He said the Obama administration asked Abbas to be patient until then.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Finally A Health Care Suggestion That Makes Sense

In the following article, Paul Hsieh, provides a rational suggestion for health care after discussing the issues related to ObamaCare.  It is an article worth reading.

Conservative Tom

Free Market Lessons from Contraception Fight

Once again, liberty provides the answer.
March 8, 2012 - 12:00 am
The Obama administration’s decision to require religious-based employers to include birth control coverage in their employee health plans has spawned a heated debate. Catholic employers object to being compelled to cover medical services they consider immoral. This has resulted in acrimonious debates over religious freedom, reproductive freedom, and even Rush Limbaugh’s bad language.
The controversy has also made apparent three lessons about America’s current health care system and why we need free-market health care reforms.
1) Health insurance should be uncoupled from employment.
The contraceptive coverage problem arises because most people with private health insurance receive it as a job benefit. Most Americans now take this for granted. But consider how odd it would be to receive, say, auto or homeowner insurance from our workplace.
The current system of employer-based health insurance is an artifact of federal tax rules from World War II. When the U.S. government imposed wartime wage and price controls, employers could no longer compete for workers by offering higher salaries. Instead, they competed to offer more generous fringe benefits such as health insurance. In 1943, the IRS ruled that employees did not have to pay taxes on health insurance paid for by employers, and the IRS made this permanent in 1954.
This law permanently distorted the health insurance market in favor of employer-based plans. If an employer pays $100 for health insurance with pre-tax dollars, the employee enjoys the full benefit. But if the employer pays that $100 as salary, the worker will only be able to purchase $50-70 of insurance after federal, state, and Social Security taxes. Over time, this tax disparity allowed employer-based health insurance to dominate the private insurance market. In 2008, over 90% of non-elderly Americans with private insurance received it through their workplace.
Hence, most workers don’t own their own health insurance in the same way that they own their auto or homeowners insurance. Employers generally decide which health plans their workers receive. When workers change jobs, they must almost always also change health plans. U.S. tax law thus artificially injects employers into decisions about employees’ health benefits. In contrast, note how employers need not become involved with their workers’ choices of auto or homeowner insurance.
2) Mandated benefits will become political footballs.
The current controversy arose from the government mandating coverage of contraceptives. But this problem is not isolated to contraceptives. Rather, any mandated health insurance benefit could ignite a similar political firestorm.
For instance, Massachusetts requires insurers to cover in vitro fertilization, a procedure recently condemned by the pope. Should Massachusetts Catholics be compelled to pay for others’ in vitro fertilizations despite their religious objections?
Under any system of mandatory insurance (such as in Massachusetts), the government must necessarily specify what constitutes an acceptable policy. This creates a giant magnet for special interest groups seeking to include their own favorite benefits in the mandatory package.
As Michael Cannon noted in 2009:
In the three years since Massachusetts enacted its individual mandate, providers successfully lobbied to require 16 specific types of coverage under the mandate. … The Massachusetts Legislature is considering more than 70 additional requirements.
Under ObamaCare, this special-interest feeding frenzy will expand nationwide. At a 2011 Dept. of Health and Human Services “listening session” to help determine the mandated “essential benefits” package, special interest groups openly lobbied for numerous benefits, including:
* Expanded services for autism and phenylketonuria
* Coverage for “eating coaches”
* Expanded coverage for HIV testing
* Coverage for medical nutrition therapy, especially for the African-American population
Mandatory benefits thus allow those with sufficient political influence to compel others to subsidize their favored medical expenses. Yes, it’s wrong to compel Catholics to pay for others’ birth control. But it’s equally wrong to compel women to pay for prostate cancer checks, or teetotalers to pay for alcoholism treatments they do not wish for and will never use.
3) We must fight for freedom as a principle.
As George Will noted:
The Catholic Bishops, it serves them right. They’re the ones who were really hot for Obamacare, with a few exceptions. But they were all in favor of this. And this is what it looks like when the government decides it’s going to make your health care choices for you.
If the Catholic bishops had previously opposed ObamaCare and supported free market health care reforms on principle, they would now have the moral high ground to argue for religious freedom. But having made their earlier deal with the devil to support ObamaCare, they’re now paying the price.
And their current attempts to seek their own ObamaCare exemption merely turns them into just another special interest group lobbying for a waiver, such as labor unions or the politically connected friends of Nancy Pelosi.
The Catholic bishops can recapture the moral high ground by not merely seeking a narrow exemption for themselves, but rather by supporting broader free market health care reforms, including:
A) Eliminating the tax disparity between employer-provided health insurance and individually-purchased health insurance. This would uncouple health insurance from employment and restore a level playing field to the individual insurance market. Individuals could then purchase policies that they kept even when they changed jobs (just as they already do with their car and homeowners insurance). Employers would no longer be responsible for coverage choices made by their employees.
B) Eliminating all mandated benefits — not just contraceptives, but the dozens of others such as orthotics, autism therapy, in vitro fertilization, etc. Insurers should be free to offer to willing consumers inexpensive policies covering only catastrophic accidents and illnesses. Insurers would remain free to offer richer policies that covered varying levels of elective procedures (but cost correspondingly more). Customers could purchase whatever levels of coverage they wished from willing insurers based on their own individual needs and circumstances.
These free market reforms would lower insurance costs for many consumers, allow individuals to keep their insurance when they changed jobs, and free employers from having to pay for medical services that violated their religious principles.
In summary, the root cause of the current controversy is government interference in the marketplace for health insurance. And the only proper solution is to repeal those government controls and move towards a fully free market in health insurance.
Paul Hsieh, MD, is a member of the Colorado chapter of Docs4PatientCare ( and co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Moment of Sick Humor

We are sorry for the loss of life on the Italian cruise line but humor is the salve for our pain.

For that special evening on an Italian Cruise Ship             

Isn't This What Got Us In Trouble In The First Place?

Sometimes, people just do not learn! So goes it with the new FHA (Federal Housing Administration) program that removes an verification of income, value or employment from the application.  Isn't that the same as on the "no doc" mortgages?  The only difference, under this new program, the mortgage must be current ( we wonder if you can borrow to make it current?) 

Of course, there is another reason that this program should be shelved, it was not approved by Congress.  Isn't that great! This is the latest in attempts by "Barack The First" to circumvent the Congress. What will it take to make these "representatives" decide they are tired of the President going around them and instituting programs?

Read about this new program, in the following article and let us know what  you think.

Conservative Tom

Obama Will Make Taxpayers Guarantee Mortgages Without Checking Borrowers' Incomes or Employment

President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
( – With no authorization from Congress, President Barack Obama has announced that his administration--through the Federal Housing Administration--will insure refinanced mortgages for 2 to 3 million borrowers without verifying their income or even if they hold a job, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Obama announced his latest mortgage program at a White House news conference on Tuesday.

Any American with a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) endorsed on or before May 31, 2009 and who is current with their mortgage payments would qualify, according to HUD.
No additional underwriting, or examining the verification of income, employment status or creditworthiness, will be done.
“Basically that’s because they already have an FHA loan and that’s just refinancing the same loan,” HUD spokesman Lemar C. Wooley told
Wooley further explained in an e-mail, “Even if their circumstances have changed, they are still managing to be current on the original higher priced mortgage, so that’s the proof to the FHA that they can handle the lower payments.”
“The streamline refinance process is only available for FHA-insured mortgages that are performing – the borrower is paying the mortgage,” Wooley said. He added, “By not requiring verification of income and other underwriting requirements, FHA reduces the cost of the transaction, as well as the time it takes – all to the mutual advantage of the borrower, the lender and FHA.”
(AP Photo)
Underwriting is generally done for both initial mortgages and refinancing, said Reed Piano, managing director of the National Association of Mortgage Underwriters. He said the normal mortgage underwriting process checks “employment verification, income verification, analysis or thorough examination of a borrower’s creditworthiness based on a lender’s requirements, any federal or state requirements.”
When an institution does the underwriting for a mortgage, it is "validating the entire process. They are validating the appraisal, the title, the credit, income verification, pretty much everything from A-to-Z and they’re seeing if the file is good and meets the requirements,” Piano told
The White House estimates 2 million to 3 million FHA borrowers are eligible. “While it is always difficult to estimate participation in these programs, this will result in significant monthly savings for hundreds of thousands of families,” a White House news release said.
“Today we’re taking it a step further--we are cutting by more than half the refinancing fees that families pay for loans ensured by the Federal Housing Administration,” Obama said at the press conference on Tuesday. “That’s going to save the typical family in that situation an extra $1,000 a year, on top of the savings that they’d also receive from refinancing. That would make refinancing even more attractive to more families. It’s like another tax cut that will put more money in people’s pockets. We’re going to do this on our own. We don’t need congressional authorization to do it.”
Banks issuing loans to borrowers who could not afford them led to the housing crisis in 2008.
Asked if a lack of underwriting requirements for this refinance program could create similar problems, Piano, with the National Association of Mortgage Underwriters, said it was too early to know.
“There’s always a possibility that it could create problems. Lenders need to be always cautiously optimistic,” Piano said.
“It’s a little too new to know what the president’s plan is going to entail,” Piano said. “From an underwriter’s perspective, they’re kind of the last person in the process. They’re going to determine ultimately if the loan is going to get approved. As long as the underwriter is doing their job, that’s going to help in the process. But again, they’re following whatever regulations and requirements are already set forth. If requirements are low, one has to be reasonably cautiously optimistic that it doesn’t present problems in the future.”
The FHA fees will be cut to encourage more people to refinance while interests, now, are very low. The FHA currently charges an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 1 percent of the balance each year, which will be lowered to .01 percent, according to the White House. Further, there is an annual fee of 1.15 percent for each year of the refinancing, which will be cut to 0.55 percent.
HUD estimates the program will save the FHA-insured borrower about $3,000 per year -- ($1000 of which will come from the lower refinancing fees mentioned by President Obama) -- or $250 per mont

Do You Live In A Food Desert?

The newest Administration catch word is "food desert" which means that someone lives more than a mile away from a grocery and therefore cannot get healthy foods.  It seems that they feel that if a citizen lives that far from a store, he or she cannot walk more than a mile to get good food and ends up going to the nearest fast food restaurant.

This is the most idiotic, nanny society idea we have ever heard. It does not even make sense.  We wonder how they plan to solve this disaster.  Maybe put government stores every mile or government trucks to deliver fresh food to every house.  Hey, we could privatize the mail service and turn the mailmen into delivery drivers for the new food delivery service! That would be a double winner. Mail would be delivered quicker and at less cost and unemployment would go down!  Sometimes we are so brilliant (said with tongue deeply embedded in our cheek!)

We grew up in eastern Colorado, 11 miles away from the nearest store and our parents made sure that we ate healthily. In fact, most of the time we drove to Colorado Springs (over 35 miles away) to get our groceries.  If you want to do the right thing you can.

Now, we live in the suburbs of Detroit and  we do have a store a mile and a half away. So we must live in a food desert! However, there are many areas in the 'burbs that are three or four miles away from a store.  Wow, we did not know that we lived in such a poor area.

To think that the government could make  healthy food available for all its citizens, might be a noble goal if one lived in a third world country without infrastructure, roads, and transportation. However, we live in the United States and even in the worst areas of this country, our citizens live better than most people in the world.  When you compare our living standards with those of people in China, India, and even some places in Europe, our poorest of the poor, live much better.  Try going to Mexico and compare living conditions, there is no comparison.

If someone wants healthy food for themselves and their family, they will find a way to get it.  However, the issue is not the availability of the food, it is the desire to eat it. A lot of people would not eat fresh vegetables or fruit, even if it was given to them.  They would rather go to the fast food down the street ( probably over a mile) and eat there.  Isn't choosing to eat food that is not good for you, a personal choice?  Are we everyone's mother? Should we not let everyone live their own lives and suffer the results of bad decisions?

The idea of providing "healthy foods" to people who make other choices is a ridiculous and    will fail just like all other programs like the "Great Society" whose was to eliminate poverty, which it has not!  Or the "No Child Left Behind" which continues to leave thousands behind. Idealism is great, but it rarely works in reality.

Sebelius should spend time on things that have some practical outcomes and if she cannot find any, maybe it is time to close down this department also!

Conservative Tom

Sebelius: Living a Mile from a Grocery 'May Be Too Far to Get Healthier Food'

Kathleen Sebelius testifies
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a House hearing on March 6, 2012 that families having to walk a mile to a grocery store might not be able to get healthy foods. ( Starr)
( – The administration’s definition of a “food desert” – an urban area where a significant share of the population lives more than one mile from a grocery store – came under the microscope during a Health and Human Services appropriations hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Questioning HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Republican lawmaker said it was likely most of those present at the hearing lived a mile from their nearest grocery store.
“Do you think that definition should be revisited, because one of the things is, if you are in an urban area a mile away from a grocery store you’re in a food desert – which I would think in so many cases is ridiculous,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). “Have you thought of – have you looked at their definition?”
“Ah, we have sir,” Sebelius responded.
“And you think it’s a good one?” Kingston asked.
“Well, I think it’s very difficult for a family buying groceries – if they have to walk a mile with bags of groceries, it may be too far to get healthier food,” Sebelius said.
“You really think that?” Kingston asked.
“I do,” she replied.
Sebelius agreed to take another look at the definition after Kingston pointed out that the definition is silent on how people must travel the one mile to a grocery store – whether on foot, by car or by some other means of transportation.
“Because I suspect in this room most of us might live a mile away from a grocery store,” Kingston said.
“And you walk a mile to get to the grocery store?” asked Sebelius.
“Well, I don’t think the walking part is in the definition,” Kingston responded.
“Well, I’m just suggesting to you sir – “ Sebelius said.
“But it’s not in the definition so, you know, it would also be bad if, you know, you didn’t have a driver’s license, but that’s not in the definition so that’s not relevant,” Kingston said.
“We’d be happy to look at the definition,” Sebelius replied.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last May announced the effort to locate food deserts, which were defined as a “low-income census tract where either a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery store.”
“Tracts qualify as ‘low access’ tracts if at least 500 persons or 33 percent of their population live more than a mile from a supermarket or large grocery store (for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles),” stated apress release announcing the campaign.
Vilsack said that the effort, and an associated online interactive “food desert locator” map, was in keeping with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which aims to reduce childhood obesity by increasing access to food deemed healthy and increasing exercise.
“This new Food Desert Locator will help policy makers, community planners, researchers, and other professionals identify communities where public-private intervention can help make fresh, healthy, and affordable food more readily available to residents,” Vilsack said at the time.
Tuesday’s hearing of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education considered President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget request for $940.9 billion for HHS. The subcommittee is responsible for approving $69.6 billion of that funding.