Chief Executive magazine's annual ranking, based on a survey of 650 chief executives on taxation, regulation, workforce quality and living environment, again places California dead last, 50th of 50 -- for the eighth year in a row.
The Golfer in Chief probably thinks that's an improvement, since before he thought it was about 56th out of 56 or so.
Laws almost always create unanticipated consequences. This is certainly likely to be the case when politicians bend over backwards to accommodate the currents of political correctness.
ObamaCare uses the Social Security language of the Internal Revenue Code to determine who is eligible for "religious conscience" objection to the insurance mandate. Specifically, the law provides exemptions for adherents of "recognized religious sects" that are "conscientiously opposed" to accepting benefits from any insurance, public or private.
As a consequence of this provision, Muslims may claim a religious exemption that is denied Christians and Jews. Since Islam believes insurance is haraam (forbidden) and likens insurance to gambling, the religion is excluded from requirements, mandates, or penalties set forth in the bill. Others who fall into this category are the Amish, American Indians, and Christian Scientists. Although the U.S. Constitution grants all Americans equal protection of the law, some Americans are more equal than others.
ObamaCare is specifically written not to apply equally to everyone. It is in most respects a law intended to discriminate -- what some might call an extended Jim Crow law. If this seems exaggerated, consider: Jim Crow laws were based on racial discrimination, while ObamaCare is predicated on religious discrimination. Government acted based on a preconceived and arbitrary understanding of what is right.
For example, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus indicated that the purpose of ObamaCare is as much about redistributing income as it is about reforming health care. This is an application of government's iron fist, putting income distribution and religious discrimination in the hands of Washington bureaucrats.
By any reasonable standard, ObamaCare (and the Congress that enacted it) is completely unfettered from the Constitution. If logic -- Washington logic -- accommodates Sharia's prohibition against gambling and hence insurance, Christians and Jews should claim that the state's ability to expropriate property under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, thereby legitimating an exemption for these groups as well.
Muslims are given exemptions from law everyone else must follow. What has actually been enacted is a wedge between Muslims and Christians and Jews. Americans are pitted against Americans, Christian against Muslim, the Torah against the Koran.
In a curious way the privilege granted Muslims and denied to most others translates into what Muslims call "dhimmitude," or the taxing of non-Muslims in exchange for the acceptance of their presence. Intentionally or not, ObamaCare allows for the establishment of this practice and Sharia dictates in the United States. Conversely, if a Christian refuses to pay for required health care insurance, liens can be placed against assets and hard prison time could accompany noncompliance. Non-Muslims are, in effect, paying a tax to subsidize Muslims.
The clause was inserted, persumably, for the Amish.
With respect to Moslems, probably 60-80% of them have health insurance now, notwithstanding whether it is considered haram. The authority to declare Moslems (or for that matter Amish) as exempt from the insurance mandate rests with the Sec of HHS.
Posted by: Lord Garth ||
Remember the World War II slogan, "Loose lips sink ships"? Perhaps those posters should be reprinted and spread around the most classified departments of the U.S. government because our soldiers and spooks just can't seem to keep their lips sealed--at least not when they have a triumph to brag about.
The first case in point was of course Operation Neptune Spear, which killed Osama bin Laden. Details of how it was done, and of the resulting intelligence cache, were soon spread all over the news, notwithstanding an agreement among senior administration officials to keep the operation secret. More details have been gushing out in recent days--with still more to come--as President Obama uses this Special Operations Command triumph to bolster his reelection chances, never mind the palpable unease in Special Operations circles about the damage being done from the revelation of their "TTPs" (tactics, techniques, and procedures).
Now something similar is occurring with all the publicity resulting from an Associated Press leak about the double-agent who blew up the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula plot to blow up a U.S. airliner with a more sophisticated form of "underwear bomb." No doubt Saudi intelligence officials who ran the double agent and provided information to the CIA are aghast to see the details splashed across front pages.
In fairness, there is a case to be made that having al-Qaeda fear penetration by double agents could actually be beneficial. It could lead to terrorist paranoia and fratricide that could prove harmful to its ability to carry out operations. But in general, secrecy is always to be preferred in the covert world of counter-terrorism. Without it, covert techniques are blown and foreign intelligence agencies, whose cooperation is vital to the U.S., become more reluctant to extend cooperation. Yet for some reason, those with top-level TS/SCI security clearances (top secret/sensitive compartmented information) can't resist bragging about their exploits to the news media.
One hopes the administration will make every attempt to uncover and prosecute the leakers rather than looking the other way because these leaks are so politically convenient for the president.
At the DoD level, you can appropriately pin the Operational Security (OPSEC) failure rose on SECDEF Leon Penetta and the fella who appointed him. OPSEC is not rocket science and numerous regulations at various levels across the intelligence community cover security procedures quite well. Problems arise when, like nearly everything else, you fail to enforce the standards.
Someone(s) need to go to jail, that is for sure, because I'm sure MI6 and CIA didn't officially release this for public consumption.
As far as actual damage is concerned, I don't think it's much. I'm sure Al-Qaeda figured out that they'd been had five minutes after the guy didn't show up for his martyr video. I doubt any TTP beyond what AlQ could figure out for themselves regarding the penetration have been revealed.
The thing that bugs me the most is that they can't keep a secret. What if it were something bigger?
Were any TTPs revealed that would be harmful to our side? Like how we observed them, held off on airstrikes, etc.?