Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hate, Violence and the 1st Amendment

As a lawyer, I feel it is my duty to help people understand the law. It is clear to me that recent events around the country reveal that most people misunderstand what the 1st Amendment actually protects and what it doesn't. I'd like to provide clarity on this matter.

What The 1st Amendment Says 

The First Amendment reads as follows: 
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This means that you you can practice/not practice whatever religion/philosophy you want, say almost anything you want, including disagreeing with the government publicly without going to jail, publish or write almost anything you want, and you can can have a peaceful protest.

Hate Speech Is Protected Speech Under the 1st Amendment

First of all, hate speech is protected by the 1st Amendment. This fundamental and basic Constitutional principle was recently reaffirmed in the Supreme Court case, Matal v. Tam. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the following about offensive speech:
[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote separately, and agreed with the majority on the topic of offensive speech:
 A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.
 The 1st Amendment Protects All Unpopular Speech...Including Yours!

Believe it or not, the 1st Amendment is designed to protect most forms of speech with a few narrow exceptions where it is not protected. Hate speech or offensive speech is not one of the exceptions to the 1st Amendment.

The 1st Amendment has been used to protect the speech of a wide variety of people and organizations such as the KKK, Communists, students, minors, members of the press, civil rights leaders, individuals who burn the American flag, pornography, strippers, people and individuals who engage in commerce, political campain donations, and technology like the internet and television. That is just a brief list but it covers much more than what I have just listed.

As you can see, the 1st Amendment protects all of us because we are all have different views, opinons, and ideas that we are free to express without fear of government censorship or oppression. In other words, the 1st Amendment protects a wide variety of thought and speech. That includes speech we may not like or find harmful, offensive or distasteful.  The right to free speech isn't just to protect speech we do like but it is there to protect the speech we don't like. 

Which goes back to my original point that the 1st Amendment protects all of us since most people have an unpopular or controversial opinions, views or thoughts that we want to share with others or the public. Thus, 1st Amendment protects all of us when we want to say something that is unpopular or controversial. If we try to take speech away from others because we don't like what they say, that doesn't occur without diminishing our own right to speech. To take away speech from one group, is to take speech away from all groups. 

Kathrine Mangu Ward, writing for wrote about the potential consequnces of eliminating speech we don't like:
"But if fascists are to lose their free speech rights, someone must take them. And if you believe, as many of the counter-protesters do, that the white nationalists and their brethren were emboldened by the presence of a man in the White House who sees them as part of his coalition, then why on God's good green earth would you want to turn around and hand that very man the right to censor anyone whom he labels fascists? Because I can tell you right now, the list of folks that Trump and the restive-but-still-Republican Congress would like to silence sure won't look like the list those sign-wavers have in mind.

The people wielding "No Free Speech for Fascists" placards might as well be holding up signs saying "No Free Speech for Muslims." And in fact, many on the right have been making just that argument against the ACLU for years now, arguing that exceptions to our free speech principles should be made to curtail extreme speech by Muslim religious figures or activists in the name of security, or even (in the stupidest variant of the idea) that the ACLU is part of a radical Islamic conspiracy. But if the justification for restrictions on the speech of one man is violence committed by another, there can be no end to list of people who may be silenced in the name of order."
The 1st Amendment Was Used To Protect the KKK, Nazis and White Supremacists

When it comes to neo-Nazis, the right to promote their twisted thinking goes back to the 1977 case Nationalist Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie. These Nazis wanted to stage a march through a community that was predominantly Jewish. Naturally, the citizens of that community were angry, offended and outraged. However, the Supreme Court upheld the the Socialist's right to march through the community and that the community could not block this activity even if was offensive.

The 1st Amendment Doesn't Protect, Justify or Defend The Use of Violence Against Those Who Utter Hate Speech or Offensive Speech 

As an attorney, I am uncomfortable with the growing acceptance othat violence is ok towards people with views that other people may find objectionable. 

There are many who justify violence against people who traffic in hate or offensive speech because they are allegedly engaging  in what they call “verbal violence,” and therefore argue that physical violence is sometimes justified in order to stop such verbal violence. In other words, words you don’t like deserve to be fought physically.

Under the 1st Amendment, the only effective counter to free speech - hateful or not - is more speech. This concept has been affirmed by our Founding Fathers, politicians and Surpreme Court cases. Otherwise, any attempt to use violence to supress speech that some people find objectionable is always met with more violence; and nothing meets and defeats violence but more violence. 

Once society accepts violence as a method of curbing speech people find offensive, where do you draw the line on which groups of people is ok to hit and which groups of people are not ok to hit based on their beliefs or speech?

Additionally, people will come up with their own justifications for violence against others. They will argue that "if X can engage in violence against Y becuase X finds their Y's offensive, why can't C hit D because C finds D's language hateful?" This line of thinking will lead to more violence, not less. This line of thinking is dangerous for all of us, especially minorities.

Moreover, who will decide which speech is not offensive and which ones are offensive? Will it be the party currently in power? What happens if the positions of power changes from one party to another? Will the new ruling power dictate new "speech" codes and use it as a club to hammer their opponents?

Violence and Free Speech In Charlottesville

What happened in Charlottesville was terrible. Horrible. And Predictable. 

Predictable because of the growing accceptbility over the false idea that offensive speech opens the door for people to take a swing at the speaker who uttered bad speech. 

Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that I am not defending these Nazis or what they said. I am not defending what Antifa did or said. I just personally and professionally (as a lawyer) don't like the idea that it is ok to punch people because they have unpopular views. However, what I will defend is people's right to utter bad speech...even if I find it 100% intolerable.

I find that both sides were wrong engaging in violence towards one another. I know that I am not in the minority on this. I think there is a significant segment of America who are 100% against the Nazis and White Supremacists but who are also not thrilled with Antifa and BLM either. I think that is a valid, fair and reasonable position to hold.

Recently Trump held a press conference and during the Q and A portion of the press conference, Trump said both the Nazis and Antifa were at fault for the violence but then tried to defend the Nazi protesters. Trump was both right AND wrong here. He's right that both groups are to blame for the violence. But he was absolutely, completely, utterly WRONG for defending the Nazi protesters at that press conference. If Trump's press conference yesterday wasn't cause for outrage and action, I don't know what would be. White supremacy, Nazism, racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hatred should not be defended or rationalized by ANY US American president. It was not ok for Trump to defend the "Alt Right."

But Trump was right in the sense that both the Nazis and Antifa were wrong to engage in violence against one another. 

Blaire White has stated the following on Twitter:
Many people are furious because they argue that Trump and others are engaging in a false moral equivalency between Nazis and Antifa. They demand that people only condemn the Nazis and not Antifa.

In the Charlottesville situation, it isn't about moral equivalency. It's about holding people accountable. You cannot praise one form of violence and denounce another.

If you think one side is more culpable than the other, let me remind you that both the Charlottesville Chief of Police and the Virginia ACLU have openly said that both (Nazis & Antifa) group were both there to brawl and both are to blame. The people who live in Charlottesville felt that both sides were to blame and they didn't want either side coming into their town.

Currently, there is no room for discussion, nuance or thought on the discussion of violence between the Nazis and Antifa. Many people demand that you must either choose to oppose the Nazis or not and people will pressume that you support them. Based on those demands, we have a "either you are against us or for us" mentality and that no other opinion will be tolerated. It is not possible in this current climate to openly say you think both sides suck.

We should all be asking ourselves: Is there any room in our national discourse for those group of people who don't like either side and feel that both are bad for very different reasons?

Moreover, no one is saying that the Nazis and Antifa were equally bad at Charlottesville. Just because one group is bad, it doesn't mean there can't be more than one group that is bad. They can be bad for different reasons and not on the same level or equivalency. Thus, one can say that both groups are bad. But they are not equally bad. Nazis are evil. Supporting Nazism or racism is just straight up evil. Antifa are thugs. The worst Antifa has done is engage in vandalism, arson, assault & battery on cops, reporters & racists. 

The tactics of both the Nazis and Antifa are equivalent since they both brought weapons into Charlottesville to do battle against one another. What is NOT equivalent is the idealogies of Antifa and the Nazis. They clearly have a difference of opinon on the issue of race in America.

Again, what is important here is that we are holding the people who engage in violence accountable. You cannot praise one form of violence and denounce another.

Let me be clear: The Nazi and White Supremacists are EVIL. There is no dispute about that. But let's not kid ourselves into believing that Antifa are angels.  Before Antifa,  Leftist violence has been happening for a long time ever since the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. They were principally opposed to Capitalism but with the concept of intersectionality, they're also in support of Leftist/Marxist issues. That was on full display with Occupy Wall Street. All of this occured before Trump came into office. Some people would describe them as the "Alt Left."

With the election of Donald Trump, Antifa was born allegedly to fight facism and racism by using facist tactics and goals. On the day of Trump's inaguration, they rioted, looted, damaged property, broke windows and torched cars. They have also suppressed the speech of conservative speakers and authors by egaging in the same behavior of rioting, looting, vandalism, arson, assault & battery against those who defended the 1st Amendment right of these speakers to share their views on college campuses across the nation. They have also been protesting against the police and physically assualting them with sticks, rocks, water balloons filled with paint and defacing police cars.

Just because many people are not supportive or impressed with Antifa folks, doesn't mean people should stop fighitng the Nazis. The fight against these racists must go on within the boundaries of the Constitution and federal, state and local laws. Oppose them by all legal means. But assaulting them is not one of them and not justified. These Nazis have a right to speech. But they can't choose the consequences of such speech.

At the same time, we can't let Antifa's violence off the hook just because we don't agree with the racism and bigotry from the other side. 

The police in Charlottesville did a poor job of managing the situation between the Nazis and Antifa. It is up to the police to defend free speech by providing security and they failed to do that. The police claimed that they were outgunned but that later turned out to be false. The police claimed that the situation was too dangerous for them to get in the middle of. That claim is false because what are the taxpayer's paying for when tax dollars are being given to the police if not to fight crime and get into dangerous situations!? Later, it was discovered that a standown order had been given and that is why the police didn't jump in. 

That is why the argument that violence is justified against harmful speech is dangerous. We are a nation of laws, not a nation of anarchy. The police allowed anarchy to rear its ugly head for a brief moment before they finally jumped in and started arresting people. As a lawyer, I simply ask: do people really want to live in a society without law and order? We saw what society could look like without police, law and order....and it was scary.

If society is to improve and get better, we need to allow people who can stand up be open in their opinions even if it s different, contrary, or controversial. We need to get back to the idea that people are free to say things that we don't like or is offensive.

If you want to curb prejudice, racism, bigotry, sexism, punching people won't do it. But speech will. You will have to talk to them and engage with them, serve them, feed them and hopefully they will turn from their bigoted views. 

We also need to wean ourselves off our addiction to outrage and return back to sanity. People are too easily offended, angry, or put off these days and it doesn't help bring people together and reduce negative feelings and violence. 

Also, we need to return to civic education and teach people about the Constitution because too many people are misguided on how the 1st Amendment works and what speech and behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable under the Constitution. 

Finally, Ben Shapiro is right. We need to be firm in condemning violence. He offers his solution to the violence that happened in Charlottesville:
Here's the moral solution, as always: Condemn violence and evil wherever it occurs. The racist philosophy of the alt-right is evil. The violence of the alt-right is evil. The communist philosophy of Antifa is evil. So is the violence of Antifa. If we are to survive as a republic, we must call out Nazis but not punch them; we must stop providing cover to anarchists and communists who seek to hide behind self-proclaimed righteousness to participate in violence. Otherwise, we won't be an honest or a free society.

Monday, November 21, 2016

ObamaCare Is The Reason Why Clinton Lost in 2016

One of the major reasons why Clinton lost the 2016 election was because of ObamaCare. 

There were two October surprises that rocked the Clinton Campaign. 

The first October surprise was the letter from the Director of the FBI stating that they found additional emails that required further review. 

The second October surprise came on October 24th, 2016 when the federal government informed Americans all over the country that they would be whacked with double-digit Obamacare premium increases. Americans woke up to news headlines like “Obamacare Premiums to Soar 22%.

Although the FBI announcement rocked the Clinton Campaign badly, it didn't have a direct affect on people's lives. Director Comey's letter confirmed what people already knew about Hillary Clinton as a dishonest, corrupt, unethical politician. The government's announcement on increases in ObamaCare premiums did affect the daily lives of the voters because it hit them right in the wallet. 

Trump won states that traditionally lean Democratic in presidential elections because of the Obamacare premium increase. Take a look at the premium increases in these states. 

Minnesota: 59%
Wisconsin: 16%
Pennsylvania: 33%
Michigan: 16.7%

Naturally, the voters were outraged by the  skyrocketing costs of ObamaCare.

To make matters worse for Hillary Clinton, she took credit for ObamaCare by claiming she was the inspiration for ObamaCare as seen in this tweet put out by the Clinton Campaign. 

Surprisingly, Hillary Clinton was actually telling the truth to the American voter. The inspiration for ObamaCare came from Hillary Rodham Clinton and not Mitt Romney. She was the inspiration for ObamaCare.

When Obama created his health care plan back in 2008, Democratic Barack Obama took it directly from Hillary Clinton. The only difference between Hillary Clinton's plan and Barack Obama's Health Care plan was that her plan included a mandate and his didn't. Later, Obama would end up incorporating Clinton's mandate into ObamaCare. This means that 100% of ObamaCare came from Hillary Clinton.

Back in 2013, I predicted that ObamaCare would be a huge liability for Hilary Clinton's 2016 campaign. I was right because she could never distance herself from ObamaCare if she wanted to because Obama's health care plan was her plan in its entirety. In the end, her own health care plan cost her the Presidency.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Did Mitt Romney Recently File Documents To Run In 2016?

People have long suspected that Mitt Romney wanted to run in 2016. It appears that the inevitable has happened. See the document below. 
On second appears that Mitt didn't file any documents to run in 2016. 

If you look at the document, This could be just an update of his address, not a filing for candidacy. Mitt's organization still exists and if his address is changed, he is required to notify the FEC. The other thing that is a bit strange is the dates on the form. One date reads 10/26/2015 while further down on the form says 01/30/2016. The date seems odd for someone who is deciding to run for President. Finally, the address appears to be bogus. 

Mitt Romney has repeatedly said he won't run for President in 2016. But he has said that he's willing to accept the GOP nomination if a brokered convention happens Republican National Convention later this year. On the other hand, Mitt has said that he will eventually endorse Rubio, Cruz or Kasich sometime in the future. Mitt might be tipping his hand on who he's endorsing by doing robocalls on behalf of Rubio in Florida.

Mitt might be laying the ground work for himself in the event that there is a brokered convention and become the GOP or he might not be doing that at all and simply endorse a candidate. The point is that Mitt Romney is keeping people confused and guessing so that people aren't sure exactly what he's up to.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Did Mitt Romney just admit that RomneyCare was the inspiration for ObamaCare?

The media is buzzing over Mitt Romney's recent statement about RomneyCare and ObamaCare. This is what he said
Romney also credited Mr. Stemberg with persuading him to push for health care reform in Massachusetts when he was governor.
Romney recalled that shortly after he was elected, Mr. Stemberg asked him why he ran for governor. Romney said he wanted to help people, and Mr. Stemberg replied that if he really wanted to help, he should give everyone access to health care, which Romney said he hadn’t really considered before.
“Without Tom pushing it, I don’t think we would have had Romneycare,” Romney said. “Without Romneycare, I don’t think we would have Obamacare. So without Tom, a lot of people wouldn’t have health insurance.”
What Mitt Romney said was that Tom Stemberg was the guy that got the ball rolling on the issue of improving access to health insurance. Mitt Romney didn't say that his plan was the source for Obama's plan. He simply mean Tom was the guy who got the snowball rolling down the hill and it grew from a state issue to a national issue.

Mitt Romney should have thought carefully when he spoke because it didn't come out the way he intended for it to come out.  As a result, everyone is now claiming that Mitt Romney is now admitting that RomneyCare was the inspiration for ObamaCare. 
The truth is Mitt Romney's health care plan was not the inspiration for ObamaCare. The idea was cribbed from Hillary Clinton
For one thing, Obama adopted Hillary's plan to the extent that ObamaCare should probably be called HillaryCare. There were similarities, because again, Obama and Hillary had no ideas of their own, they were vomiting up the dregs of liberal think tanks handfed to them by staffers.

Liberals actually blasted the Obama plan because it was looser, it didn't come with mandates or compel people to buy health insurance.

Here, let Paul Krugman tell it like it was: "The Obama campaign has demonized the idea of mandates — most recently in a scare-tactics mailer sent to voters that bears a striking resemblance to the “Harry and Louise” ads run by the insurance lobby in 1993, ads that helped undermine our last chance at getting universal health care."

And then Obama turned around and adopted mandates. HillaryCare became ObamaCare.

At a primary debate, Hillary complained that "Senator Obama has consistently said that I would force people to have health care whether they could afford it or not."

And Obama countered, "I have consistently said that Senator Clinton's got a good health care plan. I think I have a good health care plan. I think mine is better. But I have said that 95 percent of our health care plan is similar." (Source.)

The truth is this:

1) RomneyCare and ObamaCare are NOT the same.

2) Obama did NOT use RomneyCare as a template for his health care plan.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Achilles Heel for 2016

Hillary Clinton has announced her candidacy today via social media. Her decision to jump in the 2016 race has never been a secret ever since she lost the 2008 election and when she agreed to join the Obama Administration. In fact, people were talking about her running ever since Bill Clinton left the White House back in 2001. 

I don't know why Hillary Clinton is running. I don't think most Americans know why either. Why would someone who has had a long history of corruption, scandal, lies, and unethical behavior be running? Even if you discount her past, she is currently mired in a few scandals and foreign policy blunders from her time working as Secretary of State under President Obama. Whenever she announces her candidacy today, she will be starting off under a huge cloud of suspicion. 

Now that she's running, she will have to convince voters to TRUST her. That is a huge hurdle for her to overcome. In fact, it will be the main weakness of her candidacy for which she may never overcome despite the millions in campaign donations she will raise, the vast army of campaign advisors and a team of slick marketing staff. 

Her weakness is of her own making and she's been developing it for years. She has never cultivated trust from the American voter. Nor does he seem interested in doing so. The prime example is her work in the State Department when she was doing official State Department business using private email addresses and had all these emails hosted on a private server. Her server did not even have the minimum protections against hackers, foreign governments and criminals. Her actions were in violation of State Department policy and US federal law. Not only were her actions illegal and unethical, her actions placed America's security in jeopardy when she failed to place security measures on her servers to prevent spies and criminals from hacking into her server and reading her emails.

Isn't it just a coincidence that someone or some organization successfully hacked the White House due to a weak link at the State Department. Now, who could that weak link be? In fact, it is reported that the Russians have had access to the State Department computers for years.The White House and the State Department are being intentionally vague on how the White House was hacked and how the Russians have had full reign over State Department computers for years.

There is also speculation that Hillary Clinton conducted her private emails outside the review of Congress so that she could conduct communications regarding Benghazi and other potential governmental diplomatic and military actions. For me, I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary's emails showed that she joined in on the discussions regarding the targeting of conservative organizations and individuals by the IRS. But that's just speculation on my part.

However, it is possible that we will never know the content of her private emails because Hillary wiped her server CLEAN so that no one will ever know who she talked with as Secretary of State. She wiped it clean so that the media, non-profit watchdog organizations and Congressional oversight would never be able to review her emails. Again, how can the public TRUST her? 

Hillary Clinton got caught (more likely she was outed) engaging in illegal and dishonest behavior never worked on repairing that breach of trust with the American people. She doesn't seem sorry or remorseful about what she did. She has made no attempt to cooperate with Congress or be upfront with the oress. She has been trying to spin and manage her way out of this problem. To me, it doesn't seem like she doesn't care that her integrity is now under question. Otherwise, she wouldn't be jumping in for 2016. 

To me, it seems pretty brazen for someone like Hillary Clinton to want to run in 2016 when there are numerous examples of breaches of public trust, corruption and criminality. It is like having Walter White or Al Capone decide he's running for President in 2016. Do you think that if Hillary Clinton successfully wins the 2016 general election and becomes the next president, that she will all of a sudden be an honest, ethical and transparent President? No. 

Everything that people hate about politicians and government can be found in Hillary Clinton. She is very much a Washington D.C. insider. She is an incompetent, dishonest, corrupt and secretive politician. She supports a government that is bigger, more intrusive and less transparent. She pretends that she is a regular person that faces every day troubles yet she is a wealthy woman who obtained her wealth by questionable means. She has no success that she can point to as Senator of New York or as Secretary of State. Her record in government is one of one failure after another. Every Democratic and Republican 2016 candidate will focus on her record and accomplishments. However, her real weakness lies is her own character.

The most important issue of 2016 may boil down to one simple question: can we trust Hillary Clinton to be President?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Johnathan Guber Also Lying About RomneyCare

Last week, a video of Jonathan Gruber was uncovered showing him talking about "ripping off" the Federal government to the tune of $400 million a year to finance RomneyCare. Watch the clip below:

Whenever someone comes out with a video clip that purports to show something scandalous, its better to see the entire clip. Watch Gruber's entire lecture below: 

Many conservatives see the short clip and think this is evidence that RomneyCare is just as slimy as ObamaCare. However, John Gibson of Fox News says that the short clip doesn't reveal the full story:
"...Gruber has also solved one mystery and and at the same moment created another. The first mystery: why exactly Obamacare is NOT a copy of Romneycare. Second mystery: why couldn’t Romney explain this simple difference when Obama claimed in the debate that his plan was just a national version of Romney’s.
Here’s what Gruber revealed: Romneycare was based on the fact the state of Massachusetts, courtesy the late Senator Teddy Kennedy, had a huge slush fund of federal money for the healthcare of the uninsured in that state, which Romney saw as an opportunity to use more efficiently funding universal coverage in Massachusetts. No other state had that advantage, no other state had a federal pot of money which in Massachusetts was $400,000,000, almost half a billion dollars.
Obamacare didn’t have that slush fund, either. Multiplied by the scale of 49 other states, Obamacare had to come up with trillions of dollars and that’s where the endless taxes on your health care comes in. That’s why your premiums and deductibles are so high. That’s why you are paying an onerous tax on a health plan the Obamacare designers, including especially Jonathan Gruber, consider too good, the so called Cadillac plans. That’s why Obamacare taxes your insurance company, which then passes on the cost to you.
Gruber glosses over this fact of the Massachusetts slush fund…mostly."
The truth is that Governor Mitt Romney did not rip the Federal Government off. The $400 million was money that was already provided to the state long before Mitt Romney entered into office. Not once did the Federal Government ever object to what Mitt Romney did because there was no problem here. The federal government was aware of it and apparently gave its blessing to do this. In fact, the Washington Post demolishes Gruber's claim that the Federal government was ripped off and verifies that the government gave its blessing to the money to fund RomneyCare:
"He's [Gruber] talking about the deal from the federal government that helped Massachusetts set up its 2006 coverage expansion, which later became the basis for the Affordable Care Act. It's hardly a secret. And Bush re-authorized the deal in 2008.
The short story is basically this: Massachusetts, since the late 1990s, had been receiving special Medicaid funds through a waiver to fund care for populations the program traditionally didn't cover. In 2005, President George W. Bush wanted to end that funding, worth about $350 million. But Kennedy, working with Romney, put together a deal to keep the funds and then some by expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies to help low-income people purchase private insurance. The Bush administration signed off on that deal, giving us Romneycare, which then gave us Obamacare.That state Medicaid waiver has been renegotiated three times since then, including earlier this month."
 In other words, the late Senator Ted Kennedy was able to convince the Federal government to  provide this money for the purposes of assisting the uninsured in Massachusetts long before Mitt Romney became Governor. What Mitt did was that he lawfully diverted that money into funding RomneyCare to assist those who did not have insurance. The money was already there. Mitt Romney just found a more cost effective and efficient way to use that money for the same purpose. If the $400 million was being provided to the state to help uninsured people, why not use that money in a much more efficient way to help those without insurance?

Mitt Romney explained the entire process of how he developed his health care plan for the state of Massachusetts in his book, "No Apology: Believe in America." This is where John Gibson (and the rest of the media) gets it wrong. Mitt Romney did explain this difference. But people didn't want to listen or they weren't paying attention. Especially many conservatives. Many of them bought the lie that RomneyCare is the same as ObamaCare. This lie was enough to turn them off to Romney. They haven't done the research or the fact checking to see that RomneyCare is not even remotely the same as ObamaCare. And these conservatives don't want to take the time to learn the facts.

In fact, the funding scheme for RomneyCare is one of the central reasons why Mitt Romney said his health care plan for Massachusetts could not work at the national level. Johnathan Gruber makes this point for Mitt Romney without realizing it:
"The problem is there is no way to say that," Gruber said. "Because they're the same f[******] bill. He just can't have his cake and eat it too. Basically, you know, it's the same bill. He can try to draw distinctions and stuff, but he's just lying. The only big difference is he didn't have to pay for his. Because the federal government paid for it. Where at the federal level, we have to pay for it, so we have to raise taxes."
There you have it folks. The reason why RomneyCare cannot be done at the federal level is because of the unique funding scheme for Mitt's health care plan. In fact, Massachusetts was the only state in the nation to receive the special Medicaid funds for the purposes of helping uninsured citizens. Which is why RomneyCare could not be replicated in other states or at the federal level. It was a unique case. Had Massachusetts not been receiving this money since the 1990s, Mitt Romney would not have created RomneyCare. The funding from the federal government makes RomneyCare possible and unique.

The fact that RomneyCare was paid for by funds that were already being provided by the federal government is not a trivial difference. It is a major one. In fact, it is a crucial difference. Johnathan Gruber knows that. And he should have known that's why RomneyCare cannot be done at the federal level unless additional taxes are involved. Instead, the Obama Administration and Johnathan Gruber had to continuously lie and deny that ObamaCare was a tax. Implementing taxes are necessary to make ObamaCare a reality.  Had Obama been honest about this to the American people, ObamaCare would have died immediately.

That is why Obama and Gruber continually lie that RomneyCare and ObamaCare are the same. They are not the same on so many levels and for so many reasons. But the major and significant difference between ObamaCare and RomneyCare is the funding scheme.

Jonathan Gruber arrogantly lied by omitting the fact the $400 million was money that the Federal Government had already given to Massachusetts. RomneyCare didn't rip off the federal government.

ObamaCare program did rip off the American people. People are now paying more in health care costs and in taxes. And Obama and Gruber lied to you about the true funding and costs of the program.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and The American Flag of Independence

Recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied s request for an en banc hearing in the controversial case where school administrators at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif. told four students in to go home for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo back in May of 2010. At each stage of the case, various courts have sided with the school in refusing to allow students to wear shirts with an American Flag on a day when Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain. The case will probably go to the United States Supreme Court.

Interestingly enough, Miley Cyrus might be going to jail for when she had one of her dancers whip her prosthetic butt with a Mexican flag during her concert in Mexico. Amazingly, her concert was on Mexican Independence Day. The penalty for disrespecting the Mexican flag isn't that harsh:
"Apparently Mexican officials are super sensitive about disrespecting national symbols so the congress of the state of Nuevo Leon wants her prosecuted. The crime of desecration carries a $1,200 fine and a 36 hour jail sentence."
If Miley Cyrus had done a concert in the US with someone whipping her butt with an American flag, people would be praising her as her act as being artistic and brave. In fact, people have a constitutional right to desecrate the American flag. The United States Supreme Court decided in Texas v. Johnson that flag burning as a protest constituted free speech that was protected by the Constitution. But in Mexico, it appears that there is no such right to desecrate the Mexican flag. 

It is strange that Americans have a right to burn our own flag but we cannot proudly display the United States flag in many places. Americans have to go to court to establish their right to display their U.S. flag. American citizens shouldn't have to fight for this basic right. To me, it seems as though the judicial and educational system is sending a message to the American people that it is good to disrespect our flat but bad to be proud of it. In other words, we are encouraged to scorn the US flag and to not be proud of it. I find that to be a troubling message that our government is telling its own people. It is no wonder that there growing number of Americans who do not respect our flag and view it in a negative way.

Most nations have some kind of law against desecrating the national flag. I support Mexico in opening a criminal investigation on Miley Cyrus. (I also support people desecrating the flag of any known terrorist organization such as ISIS.) Whether she had a right or artistic license to do what she did is up for debate. However, Mexico has every right to expect people, especially non-Mexican citizens, to respect their flag in their country. If only Mexicans living in the United Sates would respect the American flag.

The judicial system erred in holding the four students should not have been removed from school for wearing the US flag. I have no problem with people from other countries displaying their flag here in the America. They have a constitutional right as a matter of free speech to do that. But when a non-citizen is guest in another country, or is living in that country or trying to obtain citizenship in that country, the national flag trumps the flag of their homeland and that national flag deserves respect. Thus, Mexico has every right to be offended by her actions of disrespecting their flag and to hold her accountable by their laws.

If only the judicial system would understand that the national flag of the United States trumps the flag of Mexico. I understand they want to celebrate Mexican Independence Day in America and that have every right to do so. However, they don't have a right to be offended when American students want to wear the American flag on Mexican Independence Day. American citizens should not have the right to wear their own flag be curtailed because that speech might cause non U.S. citizens to react violently to it. 

Mexico has every right to expect Americans to be respectful to their flag. The United States have every right to expect Mexicans to respect our flag, even when Americans are displaying it on Mexican Independence Day. After all, it was the American Revolution that the inspiration to other nations in the Americas, including Mexico, to seek independence from European rule. In fact, the American revolution prompted many Latin American countries to borrow concepts from the U.S. Constitution once they obtained independence. Thus, Mexicans should not be upset with Americans wearing the US flag on Mexican Independence Day. Instead, they should be happy with it since America inspired their quest for independence. 

Americans and Mexicans should not forget that we have a common history of successfully rebelling against European rule. We should have mutual respect for each other's flag of independence. After all, the Mexican and United States are both American flags of independence.