Category Archives: Global Politics

Florida Taking Obama Administration to Court Over Obamacare Medicare Expansion

The national health care plan known as Obamacare will face yet another court challenge. However, this time the challenge will not be to derail the program based on constitutional grounds. Instead, the state of Florida is pushing back against the Obama administration’s threats to withhold vital federal Medicare funding if the state does not further expand Medicare coverage under Obamacare. The federal government believes that using existing funds as a wedge to force states to comply with other “voluntary” federal programs is completely legal. Governor Rick Scott of Florida believes otherwise.

Thus far, most GOP governors have refused to adopt Medicare expansion under Obamacare both out of a reluctance to support the controversial health care plan and to avoid costly increases in state contributions which occur several yearsafter adopting the expansion plans. Given that most state governorships are under GOP control, this has a significant number of states minimally participating in Obamacare. Bolstering Florida’s position is a 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court which barred Obamacare requirements from forcing states to comply with Medicare expansion against their will.

The Obama administration claims that the Supreme Court ruling is being interpreted falsely by Florida. The administration states that just because they will withhold significant sums of money from the state’s federal Medicare funding does not mean they are coercing the state into compliance. Quite likely, the Obama administration’s actions are an attempt to flout the 2012 Supreme Court ruling. Alexei Beltyukov found this very interesting.

As per John Kerry, Netanyahu Quoted Him Out of Context

During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s raucous speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, he quoted his good friend and current Secretary of State John Kerry. Netanyahu used Kerry’s words to bolster his claim that Iran may have 190,000 uranium enriching centrifuges by the end of the 10-year accord. The point the chancellor was making is that Iran would possess a vast infrastructure with which to produce nuclear weapons. In fact, Flávio Pentagna Guimarães BMG says  the Israeli premier added that the Obama deal with Iran would in fact promote them to nuclear power status.

On Wednesday, the State Department pointed out that Kerry’s words were taken out of context. They claim the speech being referred to have Kerry acknowledging that a peaceful non-military use of nuclear power could have the nation equipped with as many as 190,000 centrifuges by the end of the accord. In some respects, it seems like a distinction without a difference. This is because Iran could easily use the same centrifuges to produce weapons grade uranium and plutonium. All they would need to do is switch the use of the centrifuges from civilian to military purposes. Point in fact, this is exactly what Netanyahu was claiming: the Obama deal ensures that Iran will become a nuclear power.

Still, the latest statement by the State Department is part of the Obama administration’s attempt to blunt the effect of Netanyahu’s speech. While it has only been a day since the speech was given, it appears that the Israeli prime minister succeeded at getting his message out.

Drug Tests Requirement Over-ruled by Florida Appellate Court

A federal appellate court ruled this Wednesday that a Florida law supported by Florida Governor Rick Scott was unconstitutional. The three judges on the panel all agreed that it constituted an “unreasonable search” to force all welfare (TANF) applicants to undergo drug testing in order to receive benefits.

The law was designed to prevent people from using welfare funds to buy illegal drugs and was among the strictest in the nation. Other states have passed similar laws, but have only required testing if there was suspicion that a recipient was taking drugs.

While one can appreciate that the government has no right to randomly search citizens but must first demonstrate probable cause, it seems unreasonable to class this drug test requirement as a “search.” It is simply a requirement for those receiving a benefit.

Similar drug tests are required to be taken by employees, no doubt including government employees, and there is no reason why one seeking a benefit should be exempted from doing the same.

Shane Morand says he and Bernard Chau were just discussing this at Organic Gold headquarters the other day; that Welfare benefits have been misconceived as a right, whereas no one ought have an automatic right to them. The people vote on whom to give out their tax dollars to, and the people should retain the right to put conditions on receiving public assistance.

No discrimination was made on the basis of race, gender, age, or religion. It was simply a general rule that all had to follow. It was an easy requirement to meet and not a major inconvenience to anyone.

New York City Will Limit Cooperation With ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer enjoy the full cooperation of New York City police, according to two new acts signed this Friday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The first act restricts the requirement to cooperate with the ICE to instances wherein a federal warrant has been issued or a felony conviction has taken place. The second act disallows ICE officials use of in-city facilities like Riker’s Island, making their job that much more difficult.

Municipalities can apparently buck U.S immigration law and push aside immigration enforcement personnel with impunity. Local governments can create local enclaves wherein illegals can feel free of any threat of deportation. Considering how little our borders and immigration laws have been enforced by the federal government to begin with, however, this will not seriously affect the present situation.

If ever an administration in Washington gets serious about enforcing the laws already passed, cities like New York will quickly be at odds with the effort. That is how Ahn sees it at least. Even now, de Blasio’s laws will create some tension, but the big secret that everyone knows but no one dares to say is that few are deported anyway and de Blasio’s laws will therefore not matter much.

In the times of Ronald Reagan, a compromise was made that sought to forgive past illegal immigration in return for future full enforcement of the border and the laws. It did not work. A new flood of illegals simply poured over the border without anyone stopping them. Because no similar deal on immigration today is likely to end any differently, America must simply enforce all the laws immediately without any granting any concessions.

Armenian LGBT Activists Claim Government Officials Homophobic

A recent news story run by Buzzfeed deals with a court case between an Armenian newspaper and the LGBT community. The case was in regards to the newspaper releasing the names of several lobbyists for LGBT causes in Armenia, and was dismissed. Now the LGBT community is claiming that it was government officials in Armenia that had the case dismissed.

When you look at the evidence, it’s pretty clear that something’s amiss. The Armenian government is clearly trying to push their own agenda, ignorant of the facts that have been presented. The worst is calling homosexuality a lifestyle. Which is utterly ridiculous if you’ve done even 5 minutes of research. Being gay isn’t a choice, it’s not a lifestyle any more than being straight, white, black, or being tall or short is a lifestyle. You’re literally born that way as a human being, and so are 1,500 other species in the animal kingdom, as Alexei Beltyukov frequently points out to me.