Corruption By Any Other Name

By: Richard H. Frank

Politicians and the Washington spin doctors are very creative at turning a phrase to avoid calling a particular act by one of their associates exactly what it truly is. For instance the President never tells a lie. He may have misspoken or his words may have been taken out of context or twisted to achieve some particular agenda in support of his ideology. Corruption, High Crimes and Misdemeanors, bribery and outright graft are all ignored and classified under the heading of “crony capitalism” or “it’s the right thing to do” in the case of such perceived social injustices as illegal immigration, gay marriage and abortion. When something goes wrong or takes an unexpected turn for the worse as the result of Government action “unintended consequences are always to blame and not the ideology behind the action. Take Obamacare for example. The law was to provide health care for over thirty million uninsured Americans at reduced costs for every family. Instead after five years of confusion in the medical industry accounting for 1/6th of the economy we find premiums and deductibles have skyrocketed and real care diminished with over thirty million Americans still uninsured. Obama has ignored the provisions of the law and by fiat altered the language without congressional action to meet his political initiatives. All of his actions are in direct violation of the Constitution. The same is true for Obama’s executive actions with regard to immigration and if not for the action of one Federal Judge we would be on the verge of amnesty for every illegal immigrant presently in the United States and establishment of an open border policy for the country. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The nuclear negotiations underway with Iran for the past two and one-half years are the perfect example of this foregoing quotation. We have a President obsessed with creating his legacy having failed to do so in his Presidency for the past six years. His statement that “Iran would never possess a Nuclear weapon on his watch” did not include any provision against his providing them with the path to acquiring that weapon after he left office. When pressured by Congress to give them final approval of any agreement (treaty) reached during the negotiations the talks are suddenly characterized as being a non-binding agreement not subject to Congressional approval as required by the Constitution. Additionally, Obama seems to think he can unilaterally remove sanctions imposed by act of Congress without their legislating that action. Now we have Hillary Clinton’s in-your-face violation of State Department rules and law regarding disclosure of her emails while serving as Secretary of State. She arrogantly contends that she was entitled to use a non-governmental controlled server to archive her emails and she alone had the authority to determine which of those communications were private and those that belonged to “we the people”. She holds herself above the law and takes refuge behind the Clinton Foundation on matters having the appearance of corruption. The Justice Department turns a blind eye to her actions contending that others in prior administrations disregarded the rules and protocols in place and thus it is no big deal. The latest revelations about Hillary and the Clinton Foundation involved in influence peddling while she held the position of Secretary of State have all the earmarks of corruption and enhancing the financial rewards to the Foundation and of the Clintons personally. Coincidence, I think not but without any evidence to the contrary the Clinton’s will just hunker down and wait for this storm to pass just as they have before on other scandals. Unfortunately, corruption is not the sole provence of the Democrats in office but can be found on both sides of the aisle in Congress and in the massive Federal bureaucracy consisting of agencies within our government. As long as the electorate in America remains apathetic and does not insist that our laws are to be enforced we open ourselves and this country up to corruption for which we must bear the expense. An expense not only in the form of dollars but in the loss of our very liberty. Corruption by any other name still stinks.

Parasites and Politicians

By: Richard H. Frank

Just over one week remains until the American electorate goes to the polls to cast their votes in the 2014 midterm elections. For many of us that ascribe to the principles enumerated in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence this may be the last bastion for turning the tide of big government from the path of tyranny that has been pursued by the Obama administration over the past six years.

Over the past six years we have witnessed the Federal Government imposing the socialist Progressive ideology of Barack Obama and his abject followers. Congress, under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, used every parliamentary maneuver at its disposal to thwart the opposition to their policies by the conservatives in Congress including bribery and collusion with members of Congress to pass their agenda. When faced with the prospect of filibuster by the opposition to stop the relentless march toward establishing “statism” to replace our “Representative Republic” Harry Reid invoked the nuclear option in the Senate to move Obama’s agenda forward. That coupled with executive actions taken by the President has forced private institutions to seek status and bring legal action to thwart the unconstitutional grab for power by the Executive Branch of Government.

Given the lack of interest and apathetic nature of the electorate in America today, more interested in social media and satisfaction of their perceived entitlements, I fear the die may be cast for the eventual dissolution of this once great Republic. Should history prove to predict the outcome of the midterm elections less than 30% of the eligible legal voters determine the fate of the nation. The uninformed, uneducated voter will once again cast his vote simply by name recognition, party affiliation or the candidate that promises to deliver the biggest entitlement. Unfortunately, this amounts to parasites voting for parasites to suck the life blood from this country in the name of fairness.

Before you decide whether you need to go to the polls on November 4th take a few minutes and reflect upon what has occurred over the past six years in America. We have reelected a President that repeatedly and systematically lied to us about virtually every issue that has plagued the nation. When he has been caught in a lie he fanes surprise and shock with a promise to investigate and hold those responsible and accountable for their actions. Weather it is Obamacare, Benghazi, the IRS targeting scandal, the VA, Fast and Furious or the cooked numbers for jobs created and unemployment the message from Obama and the Democrats is always the same. Never admit they were wrong and never accept responsibility so long as they can blame George Bush for their having inherited the crisis in the first place.

Now is the time for real change. Not Hope and Change as promised by Barack Obama, but real change to return to limited central government of, by and for the people based upon free-market principles with limited regulation by the Washington bureaucrats. A government where the 10th amendment is held sacred and the States determine their own destiny and not the Federal Government. A government whose first responsibility is to protect its citizens from threats foreign and domestic and not to dominate and control the very existence if its people. And lastly a government having the maturity to impose term limits on its elected members to purge itself once and forever of the professional political parasites that make a career out of sustaining themselves by sucking on the teat of office in the pretense of service to the country.

So if you are among the 30% or less that will venture to the voting booth on November 4th ask yourself if you want to continue along the path to becoming a European Socialist Nation trapped in never-ending decline or returning to a vibrant America with a future of economic growth, prosperity and freedom for generations yet to come. The Choice is yours to make. Choose wisely.

50 Years After Smoking Warning – Where are We?

by Jayne D. Frank

50 Years after the Surgeon General’s report on the adverse effects of smoking we hear reports of how that report saved 8 million people from premature deaths who since have quit. These reports obscure and ignore the real facts and problems with smoking in 2014:

1) Because of population increase in the U.S., smokers have actually increased and the number of young people smoking has not decreased.

2) Only a handful of states actually have any “meaningful” laws protecting non-smokers from second-hand smoke in public places (workplace, restaurants, bars, etc.);

3) The propaganda on E-cigarettes is misleading inasmuch as they contain carcinogens which can lead to cancer, hardly an improvement over regular cigarettes;

4) Insurance companies do NOTHING to penalize smokers by way of higher premiums. Health care costs in this Country have spiraled out of control and one of the most prominent reasons is the cost of care for chronically ill people with sicknesses directly attributable to smoking has increased dramatically. You will hear arguments from smokers that the cost of treatment for non-smokers exceeds that of smokers, and the argument cannot be made truthfully. NON-SMOKERS JUST LIVE LONGER so they could require longer medical care! This smokescreen is most apparent when you look at what Obamacare does and doesn’t do with potential enrollees. The enrollment form asks you “whether” you smoke, but does nothing to increase smoker’s premiums, and in fact, many if not most smokers will be off the hook for paying anything and will be thrown in Medicaid or subsidized, both on the backs of others.

5) Entitlements in this country have soared over the last 50 years and especially during the Obama Administration and we taxpayers continue to “give” welfare checks and unemployment checks to smokers who run out and pay hundreds of dollars a month for cigarettes.

6) The cost of treating asthma in this Country is dramatically increasing every year, and how many of these asthma cases came about by children having to be around and live with people who smoked every day?

The rhetoric is all well and good about possibly saving 8 million people from premature deaths by having them quit, but nothing substantial has happened in this war on smoking over the past several years. Smokers have rights, but they have NO right to take taxpayer money for their habit, they have NO right to drain the healthcare system in this country, they have NO right to cause everyone’s insurance costs to go up because of them, and they still have NO right to interfere with my rights not to breathe this stuff.

This is not just an opinionated blog without any basis or knowledge. I personally went through years and years taking care of 2 parents whose diseases from smoking literally took their life’s breath away and deteriorated every organ in their body. Their quality of life during the last ten years was deplorable and the way their bodies were ravaged was ugly. I got really disgusted at having to endure the countless doctors showing me photos of my dad’s lung cancer as it progressed and x-rays of lungs that had no air sacs left to breathe. They were both on expensive continuous oxygen and couldn’t get around at the end without wheelchairs. My sister who was in the prime of her life but acquired the life-long habit of smoking 3 packs a day from my parents, died of an aneurysm and strokes, but only 5 years after being completely paralyzed from those events. I am deeply disappointed in the recent court decision that did not mandate that these graphic pictures be shown on cigarette packages. I guess “reality shows” are just relegated to the television now.

More importantly I saw the bills that came in from Medicare and my sister’s insurance companies for her long-term care. A typical 3-day hospital visit for one of my parents in 1997 ran over $80,000. Who paid for that? We all did.

The personal side of this for me is that I was subjected to second-hand smoke my entire life as a child and because both my son and I took care of my parents, we were subjected even further to the effects of being around my parents, and guess what? They continued to smoke up until their death because they said “we have rights.”

Obama Lies and Unconstitutional Acts to Become the Legacy of his Presidency

by Jayne D. Frank

For some Americans, President Obama’s approval ratings remain high and that is stunning! But take into consideration who this small minority is who approves of him. They are students in school, too preoccupied with trying to get ahead and enjoying their young lives that they don’t pay attention. These are people who benefit from one of the largest Federal welfare giveaways in this century-those people collecting food stamps, unemployment benefits, disability and free Medicaid health services. This segment of America is so dependent on their status quo that they won’t open their eyes to see what this man is doing to our Country because they “can’t” lose the money they are given.

Lies from the White House about Obamacare permeated 2013 and will explode in 2014, because Obama has no other choice. Obamacare is a failure and a disaster. Already with this health care law, we know what is not true:

1) President Obama says “If you like your plan you can keep it.” This Administration knew just 2 months after the bill was passed when Regulations were written, that some 10 million people were targeted to lose their health care plans because the plans did not cover services that people did not need. Contraceptives, maternity care and abortive services were certainly not desired by single men in this country. High deductibles and co-pays were not in most plans because middle class Americans just don’t have that kind of money. Many Americans also just chose NOT to carry insurance and as people in a supposedly free country that was their right. So, thus far, 5.9 million Americans have been told they have lost their plans.

2) Another lie: “If you like your doctor, you can keep him!” We learned after October that many plans offered by the healthcare exchanges will NOT include your current doctor or hospital in their network plans. If you have a serious chronic disease and have been receiving great care by your doctor or hospital, you will once again be faced with starting over and finding someone to treat you with the same care and medications. Many cancer patients whose only hope is to go to Sloan-Kettering, MD Anderson or other major hospitals for treatment and a possible cure, will be shut out of access to those hospitals.

3) We are finding out that many plans in the Government health care exchanges are not offering the kinds of medicines that have treated your illnesses with success. If you have struggled to get your asthma under control and have found “management” of the disease by some of the more expensive medications such as Advair, these medications will undoubtedly be replaced by less-effective cheaper medications. Women who count on expensive osteoporosis medications to stop or prevent the disease will find that those too will found to be too expensive. Cancer medications are already being talked about to be reduced under these plans.

4) We have heard that the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) which is the governing body that will decide what treatments you get as a patient, will consist of non-elected, mostly non medical people who will not be accountable to anyone for their decisions. It is no accident that the members of IPAB are not and will not be chosen until this law is well underway and is unchangeable. The example given above for decisions about cancer treatment is more than enough for a reasonable person to know what is coming. A better example would be treatments for prostate cancer in men being severely rationed. Statistics indicate that 30% of men over age 50 and 80% of men over age 70 will be diagnosed with the disease. PSA, coupled with other tests, are the only current early indicators of prostate cancer. Treatments include radical surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and “watchful waiting.” The documented most effective cures are the first two and are costly treatments for the disease. IPAB’s mission to reduce costs will surely include rationing of treatments for any male over age 65. This action could become an unnecessary death sentence for those males with the disease. This cost-reduction mission of IPAB is certainly applicable to all other diseases where there are multiple treatments available such as breast cancer. Proponents of this law will always say that IPAB cannot “ration,” but there is no other way to achieve cost savings than to limit tests and procedures that are the most expensive for early diagnosis.

5) Obama and his minions have continued to lie that Obamacare will not affect seniors. Seniors have already been told that their doctors no longer will accept Medicare Advantage, and seniors will be the #1 target for this new IPAB group as they selectively decide, based on your age, whether you qualify for expensive medical treatment. Many seniors have also been told by their doctors that their doctors are not going to practice anymore or that they will no longer accept Medicare patients. Throwing every senior into Medicaid isn’t the answer either as most doctors in high density senior areas of the country have already stopped accepting Medicaid patients.

6) The lie continues about greater access for all Americans to medical care. Taking into consideration the number of doctors that are dropping out of private practice and the millions of new enrollees to the Government health care system that this law envisions, there is no way you will be able to see your doctor or receive a medical procedure without waiting many weeks or months.

7) In a stagnant economy with no meaningful jobs on the horizon, the worst lie told by Obama is that Government-run health care will be cheaper, “saving families $2500 per year!” Over the past 2 months we have heard the horror stories of middle class people who have gone on the exchanges to find plans only to find out that their premiums can be increased sometimes by triple their current cost, but if they pick a lower cost plan, their deductibles and co-pays are exorbitant and UNAFFORDABLE. Add to this fact that the payment for the website alone has gone from $634 billion to $677 billion and consider the millions of Americans who either are getting substantial unqualified subsidies or who have been shifted from a “payor” to a Medicaid recipient. There is no way this Government-run system will be cheaper and will save taxpayers money.

If this President cared about this Country at all, he would admit the lies he tells and at least try to get Obamacare changed in the parts where it has been found to be failing. Instead, he illegally waives his hand and mandates that certain groups be exempted from the law, makes regulations that extend much of the more onerous portions until they figure it out, or he just plain “deems” certain sections of the law unnecessary or no longer in effect.

Americans, this is OUR country, not Barack Obama’s! We are going to find that 2014 and 2015 may become the worst years of our lives because many millions of people with corporate-sponsored plans will lose their coverage and many of the mandates in the law have yet to become effective. We can do better. America had the best health care system in the world, and instead of fixing the small areas that needed to be fixed such as the uninsured or the rising cost of healthcare, Obama just blew up our health care, for his own agenda. I firmly believe we haven’t done anything about Barack Obama’s illegal actions in the Congress because of the “racist” charges to anyone who disagrees with the Obama administration. We have one more chance to right the wrongs that we allowed to happen. That is the 2014 mid-term elections. If we do not put responsible people in the Senate and keep the House of Representatives, we will deserve what we get! Only with control of these two houses can responsible Republican members of Congress take actions to repeal and replace this disastrous law.

Obama’s Roadmap to a “Single-Payer System” for Healthcare in America!

by Richard H. Frank

There is an old adage that states “Oh what a web we weave, when at first we try to deceive!” Barack Obama has for over four years deceived and lied to the American people when he stated “If you like your healthcare insurance you can keep it – PERIOD; If you like your doctor you can keep him or her – PERIOD; No one can take your insurance away no matter what; existing plans are grandfathered in under the Affordable Care Act.”

What he failed to say was that the law mandated ten provisions that policies must include in order to qualify under the law. Further the law is explicit when it says that any changes in coverage or premiums would eliminate a policy from the grandfathered protection. Thus, as soon as any provider altered their coverage to comply with the law, they automatically voided the grandfather clause. The ACA law in essence forces insurers to cancel policies that exclude any of the mandatory provisions under the law which individuals may prefer and raise premiums on replacement policies or exit the market altogether. This is just one example of Obama’s “bait and switch” tactics used to sell the ACA to unsuspecting Americans.

Although the rollout of the Obamacare website and millions of people losing their coverage due to the law is consuming the news headlines the real story is being buried by all the political rhetoric. The real story not being talked about is how Obamacare has been designed to fail and force the nation to adopt a single-payer system across the nation.

The evidence was placed right before our eyes when in 2009 a Flow Diagram created by Kevin Brady was shown to the public depicting how Obamacare would function and integrate 159 different government agencies in administration of the law. Viewing this diagram is there any wonder that the Government website failed and crashed at its inception. This monstrosity was doomed to fail by design. In the interim, private insurance companies will be forced to raise premiums on businesses and individuals and eventually be forced out of business. The last alternative for Americans will be Medicaid which is the Government-administered single-payer system supported by Obama during his 2008 campaign for election.

Should the Affordable Care Act remain the law of the land, Obama will have achieved his stated goal to “fundamentally change America” and destroy the free enterprise system in America.

The only way for “We the People” to stop Obama’s relentless march towards socialism in America is to clean house in both Houses of Congress during the 2014 midterm election and put a halt to President Obama’s agenda to make America a third world nation.

Obamacare – The Definition of Insanity!

by Richard H. Frank

Barack Obama’s television address from the Rose Garden extolling the massive benefits of the “Affordable Care Act” was reminiscent of a carnival Barker selling the latest version of the Vegamatic. The Salesman-in-Chief was careful to avoid calling his signature legislative accomplishment “Obamacare” even though in previous speeches he wore the name as a badge of honor.

The focus of his remarks centered around the more popular aspects of the law and were orchestrated to avoid the reality of how and by whom these benefits would be paid for. There was a definite tone of panic in his voice as he attempted to “perfume this pig” of a law.

If the American people were ever skeptical about the Government’s ability to implement and administer 18% of our economy, the rollout over the past three weeks should convince them of the disaster yet to come.

Forty-eight years working in the free enterprise corporate world taught me to recognize that there is no such thing as a free lunch. When the President states, without reservation, that young people may stay on their parent’s plan until 26, that pre-existing conditions will be covered, that contraceptive services will be provided free and that millions will become edible to receive state-sponsored Medicaid, he fails to state at what cost and who picks up the tab for these freebies.

The biggest lie he told was that prices have come down and that 6 in 10 people will be able to purchase insurance for under $100/month. This statement conveniently omits any mention of increased deductibles and co-pays associated with those plans.

His “tech surge” is an even bigger joke considering he has spent hundreds of millions over the past three years to meet this October 1 rollout of the website exceeding the original cost by over 300%. The CEO and IT Managers of any corporation would be fired if their performance mirrored that in managing a new product introduction.

But not to worry; Obama promised today that the 19.5 million visitors to the website unable to complete a registration will be contacted individually with information on how they may proceed, nor does he acknowledge that millions of “visitors” to a site are just that – visitors.

President Obama made no mention of a delay in the individual mandate or fines for failing to register – only a laundry list of how and where you may go out of your way to apply.

I was stunned when he said that “prices will not change” when it has been documented that the program used to generate premiums was flawed and posting inaccurate prices.

The next six months will tell the truth concerning the “Affordable Care Act” as Americans working for large corporations see their company-sponsored plans cancelled, work schedules altered to under 30 hours to avoid having to provide insurance and premiums continuing to skyrocket due to the law.

Obamacare, much like a company in a death spiral failing to recognize and change what they are doing, is destined for collapse. Continuing to do the wrong thing and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. Only the Federal Government and the ideologues like Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi seem unable or unwilling to recognize the futile reality of the “Affordable Care Act” which if left to their devices will collapse under its own weight.