"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Pro Marijuana Group Plans Informational Meeting in Nixa

April 9th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

Mark Pedersen will be discussing the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act in Nixa, Mo. on Friday, April 17th from 6-8 pm. Pederson will discuss many of the patients that cannabis has purportedly helped and saved.

Organizers say this is an opportunity to learn how important the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act is. They will also have the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act petition there to sign. The Nixa Meeting Center is at 160 and South Street and there is a sign directing you there.


Media Ignores Nixon’s Horrible Jobs Numbers, Instead Focuses on Son’s Marijuana Citation

Lacy Clay & Ron Paul Co-Sponsor Marijuana Legalization Bill

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Iranian Leaders Demand Immediate Sanctions Relief In Nuclear Deal, In Sharp Contrast To Obama Administration Statements

April 9th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

USA Today reports, “Tehran will not sign a final nuclear deal unless world powers simultaneously lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran, the nation’s president said Thursday. . . .

“In a televised address Thursday at a ceremony marking Iran’s nuclear technology day, President Hassan Rouhani appeared to rule out a gradual removal of the sanctions, which have hit the nation’s energy and financial sectors hard — and devastated its economy.

“‘We will not sign any agreement, unless all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the first day of the implementation of the deal,’ he said. ‘We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks.’ ‘The Iranian nation has been and will be the victor in the negotiations,’ he added.”

This is in contrast to what President Obama has been saying about the agreement, as USA Today notes. “‘It has never been our position that all of the sanctions against Iran should be removed from Day One,’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday.”

But it’s not just Rouhani saying this. According to Reuters, “Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday demanded that all sanctions on Iran be lifted at the same time as any final agreement with world powers on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program is concluded.

“Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s most powerful figure and who has the last say on all state matters, was making his first comments on the interim deal reached between Iran and the powers last week in the Swiss city of Lausanne. . . .

“His stand on the lifting of sanctions matched earlier comments by Rouhani, who said Iran would only sign a final nuclear accord if all measures imposed over its disputed atomic work are lifted on the same day. These include nuclear-related United Nations resolutions as well as U.S. and EU nuclear-related economic sanctions. ‘All sanctions should be removed when the deal is signed. If the sanctions removal depends on other processes, then why did we start the negotiations?’ Khamenei said.”

As The Washington Post editors said earlier this week, the gap between what the Obama administration about lifting sanctions and what the Iranian leaders are saying is a significant problem. “Worryingly, the fact sheets issued by the U.S. and Iranian governments differ sharply on this point: While the U.S. version says that “sanctions will be suspended after” the International Atomic Energy Agency ‘has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps,’ Tehran’s account is that ‘at the same time as the start of Iran’s nuclear-related implementation work, all of the sanctions will be automatically annulled on a single specified day.’

“The gulf between those two scenarios is extremely important. Unless sanctions relief is conditioned on Iranian performance, the United States and its partners will lose their leverage.”


AP: “Former Guantanamo Detainees Are Back In The Middle East And Returning To Terrorist Organizations”‏

Video: Peaceful Iranian Freedom Rally in St. Louis

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Cleaver: Traffic Tickets Discourages Ferguson Residents From Voting

April 6th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

What a sad commentary from Mr. “Satan Sandwich” himself. Many of these folks’ ancestors were literally “beaten down” in order for them to have a chance to vote and participate in the Democratic process, so just because they’ve gotten traffic citations from their local police department, this will discourage them from voting?

“Cleaver said one of the biggest challenges in getting out the vote is convincing people that the political process can effect change. “If you live in a community (like Ferguson) where you’ve had taxation by citation or strobe-light lynching, then you’re going to be less likely to want to vote,” Cleaver said. “I mean, you’ve been beaten down.” Read more…


Rep. Emanuel Cleaver: GOP Must ‘Repent’ From Criticizing Obama

Cleaver’s “Green Bus Stops” Boondoggle Could Have Paid for Police Body Cameras

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LA Times: “Time For The Senate To Break The Impasse Over Human Trafficking

April 6th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

Another major liberal newspaper editorial page has come out today to call for Senate passage of Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

The Los Angeles Times writes, “If ever there were a piece of legislation that should be able to sail through the fractious, politically polarized Congress, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act would seem to be it. Introduced by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the bill has 33 co-sponsors, 12 of them Democrats, including California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Who could be against the bill’s hallmark feature, the creation of a fund to benefit victims of domestic trafficking, financed by assessments on the traffickers themselves?

“But no. The bill got stopped in its tracks when Senate Democrats belatedly noticed that the victims’ fund would be covered by the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal money for abortions.”

Senate Democrats then filibustered this bipartisan bill no less than five times.

In an admission that reveals quite a bit about the Los Angeles Times, the editors note, “This page has never approved of the Hyde Amendment, and we have no desire to see its restrictions imposed on this bill or any other, for that matter.” However, even they say that “the Hyde Amendment has been the law for many years. A fight over whether a fraction of the projected millions of dollars in aid to victims of trafficking and hunters of traffickers can be used on abortion services seems fruitless, and the bill should not be derailed by such a fight.”

No one put it better than Eleanor Gaetan of The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, who told the Dallas Morning News last month, “Senate Democrats are choosing a phantom problem over real victims.”

Other editorial pages have admonished, “Democrats, swallow your pride. Vote to move forward with the human trafficking bill,” as the Chicago Tribune did. And another editorial board that apparently dislikes the Hyde Amendment, that of The Baltimore Sun, said, “Senate Democrats can’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said, “It’s hard to even keep straight anymore why Democrats would filibuster this human-rights bill. The bill Democrats now oppose was introduced months ago by a Democrat and a Republican. The bill Democrats now oppose was originally cosponsored by 13 Democrats. The bill Democrats now oppose was approved by every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. And the bill Democrats now oppose was brought to the floor . . . after Democrats agreed unanimously to do so.”

He also pointed out, “Nearly 70% of Americans support the kind of bipartisan provisions Democrats now claim they object to. And many Democrats have voted for similar bipartisan Hyde language many times before, in both appropriations and authorizing legislation. So our Democratic colleagues obviously lack a rationale for this continued filibustering of anti-slavery legislation.”

Democrats need to stop listening to left-wing lobbyists and listen to sensible voices across the ideological spectrum who say, as the LA Times does, “the bill should not be derailed.”

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Jeff Roe on Cruz Campaign: “Building a Campaign with Data as the Central Point of Our Decision Making”

April 6th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

Apparently Mr. Roe is moving forward after the Tom Schweich tragedy…


“The last thing I would say is we are building a campaign not with data as a resource, but with data as the central point of our decision making,” Roe said, noting that Team Cruz isn’t going about data the way normal campaigns do. “We’re baking data into everything we do, into how we are going to engage each individual donor and voter in the process to see how they’re going to be able to get the message of our campaign,” Roe said.

Roe noted that the campaign is taking messages of what voters want to hear about right to their doorsteps, using issue ID to figure out what it is they care about most then convincing them that Cruz has the best solution to their needs. It’s very business-like, almost like a sales pitch, aimed at engaging voters to find a way to sell them on how Cruz is the best product in the 2016 field. They are working to define the largely-undefined Cruz to primary and general election voters in a way that they expect will help them see that Cruz is the best available decision they can make. Essentially, if someone wants to discuss Obamacare instead of tax cuts, Roe said, then Cruz’s team will talk to them about Obamacare. That doesn’t mean Cruz isn’t strong on tax cuts, too, but talking to voters about what they are interested in hearing about makes convincing them to eventually vote for him when the time comes much easier. “So the engagement of those voters is how we’re approaching this—not just talking at them with what we want to say, but communicate with them about what they want to talk about,” Roe said. Read more…

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Tax Season Compounds Obamacare Problems & Screwups; AP: “As Cover Oregon Dissolves, It Leaves Behind Costly Legacy”

March 9th, 2015 by Mark Truman ·

With tax season in full swing, Americans are beginning to see many new frustrations thanks to Democrats’ unpopular health care law.

The AP wrote last week, “It’s not uncommon to feel some trepidation around tax-filing season. But there’s an added hassle this year for nearly a million consumers who got financial help with health insurance premiums under President Barack Obama’s law. The government sent consumers erroneous information on forms that they need to complete their 2014 tax returns. . . .

“‘It’s been a comedy of errors from the start,’ said K.C. Crafts, a freelance financial writer from South Berwick, Maine. The mistake the government made affected 800,000 customers receiving subsidized health coverage through the federal insurance market. Some states running their own insurance exchanges also have had tax-form troubles. In the federal case, 2015 premiums were substituted for what should have been 2014 numbers on new tax forms called 1095-As. Those forms are like W-2s for people who got subsidized health insurance – building blocks for filing an accurate tax return. . . .

“Crafts said her form has another error as well, potentially more serious. The coverage dates are wrong, and the result makes it appear as if she and her husband got much more in subsidies than they actually received. . . . ‘This is not just an aggravation, it’s a financial issue, because I could end up paying for a clerical error,’ she said. . . .

“Asked for an explanation at a recent House hearing, HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan put it this way: ‘It appears there was an unfavorable interaction between two pieces of software code.’ Translation: The administration still is technologically challenged by health insurance programs.”

Another way to translate that might be, “A law reordering 1/6th of the American economy to align with a massive new government program is unsurprisingly running into the bureaucratic screw-ups and snafus that are the predictable hallmarks of a large government undertaking.”

Meanwhile, The Hill reports, “A majority of ObamaCare customers, 52 percent, are being forced to pay back some of their subsidies during this year’s tax season, according to new data from H&R Block. Customers are paying back an average of $530, which has caused a 17 percent drop in the average return so far this spring, according to the analysis by the tax services giant. The Obama administration had warned that people could end up paying back some of their subsidies because many were relying on previous years’ income when applying for the tax breaks. H&R Block has predicted that ‘most filers’ would owe some of their subsidies back to the federal government because they were relying on 2012 income.”

And then there are the frequently troubled state health care exchanges, the worst of which have come from states dominated by Democrats who rushed to embrace Obamacare. According to a report in last week’s Seattle Times, “About 13,000 people with accounts in the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange were sent emails . . . that indicated a payment of their monthly health insurance premium had been made automatically. There was one problem. In many cases, many of them saw three times the correct amount deducted from their bank accounts. To make matters worse, some consumers who tried to log in to their Healthplanfinder accounts to check on the payment could not get in. And those who tried to call the exchange’s call center had to endure hold times as long as 79 minutes. . . . According to Bethany Frey, spokeswoman for the exchange, this latest glitch was caused by a coding error that affected accounts in which a change or correction had been made in the amount to be invoiced.”

When it comes to problems with the state health care exchanges, though, one can reliably find the bottom of the barrel in Oregon’s latest struggles. The AP writes, “A bill dissolving the independent corporation that runs Cover Oregon is on its way to the Gov. Kate Brown. But even when it is gone, Cover Oregon will leave a legacy of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a health exchange that failed — with even more millions in legal fees and other expenses still to come. Cover Oregon spent $300 million in federal funds, much of it to have Oracle America Inc. build an exchange for Oregonians to buy health insurance. The health exchange web portal failed to launch in October 2013.The state spent at least $26 million of its own money on Cover Oregon-related projects. Last spring, Oregon scrapped the web portal and switched to HealthCare.Gov, a federally run website.”

The AP then tallies all the money that the failure of Cover Orgeon cost both federal taxpayers and Oregonians from Bend to Eugene to Portland:

  • “$240 million — amount Oregon paid to Oracle for developing both the exchange for individuals and small businesses and for public assistance modernization projects. This was funded in part by a $300 million federal grant. The remainder of the federal grant went for salaries, marketing, communications, community grants and other administrative costs.
  • $23 million — additional state money spent on the failed modernization technology project.
  • $9.1 million — spent through the end of 2014 to hire hundreds of temporary workers to manually process paper applications.
  • $6.6 million — amount Cover Oregon paid Deloitte to assess glitch-filled exchange and provide future options for the state, as well as to transition the state to HealthCare.gov.
  • $1 million — amount paid for independent assessment of Cover Oregon project by First Data, and for services of turnaround expert Clyde Hamstreet and his team who took over Cover Oregon’s reigns at the height of its failure last spring.
  • $1.9 million — attorney’s fees for legal fight against Oracle and federal criminal investigation into exchange failure.”

But that’s not all, the AP notes, because Oregon will still have to pay $30 million to adapt another state’s Medicaid system, though “[t]he federal government has promised to pay 90 percent of it,” which translates to taxpayers in other states picking up the tab. And then there are all the yet to be determined costs, such as the “amount Oregon will pay Oracle to host the Medicaid system until December 2015,” the “amount it will cost Oregon to build a website for small businesses to obtain health coverage for employees, the “amount it will cost Oregon to modernize the state’s legacy social services computer systems,” and of course, the “additional legal fees for Oregon-Oracle lawsuits and criminal investigation.”

When Democrats insist in the face of all this evidence that “the law is working,” it’s clear they haven’t paid attention to any of the news reports about people losing coverage, unable to see doctors, struggling with higher premiums and skyrocketing deductibles, and it’s obvious they haven’t talked to anyone tussling with tax forms or Oregonians paying for that state’s disastrous health care exchange.


CBS: “Insured Through Obamacare? Prepare For A Tax Headache”

IG Report: IRS Rehired Hundreds Of Ex-Employees With Troubled Records‏

“If You Like Your Obamacare Plan, It’ll Cost You”, “Doctors Weigh Whether To Accept Obamacare Plans”‏

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