What is the Obama administration exceptionally good at? Meddling and playing favorites.
Sure, there’s a long list of other things they have become known for, but they seem to actually enjoy those two. They especially enjoy playing favorites when it involves one of their special-interest darlings.
Too often, this administration has been caught using government resources, or agencies to reward their friends, and punish their enemies. Of course, this habit paints a lovely backdrop for the following:
There was an application for a building permit in Pittsfield Township, Michigan (Population, 35,000). In 2011, the elected officials weighed this against their Zoning master plan, and unanimously rejected the request. The land was zoned “Residential” and only small-scale schools were within the scope of the zoning plan. All of these reasons for denial were consistent with the will of the people who elected those officials.
So, they get the pressure groups involved. Michigan Islamic Academy (that was the school) goes to CAIR, who pledged to get the DOJ involved.
But wait… there’s more.
Earlier this month, the DOJ inserted itself into another municipal case. This one involved Des Plaines Illinois (a Chicago suburb). Here it was a request to convert an office building in a manufacturing district into a temple. The request was denied.
In both of those cases, the DOJ inserted itself to overturn the rulings of legally elected officials.
Duly-elected officials in a small town are responsible for – among other things – zoning decisions. They, rather than someone else, are elected to this specific purpose. They live in the area, are affected by decisions made there, and know the issues and people involved at a personal level.
The Federal Government was none of those things.
The DOJ frames this as advocating for religious rights of a group being violated.
(We’ve seen enough evidence of the this administration’s track record on Religious Freedom to call B.S. – the Romeike family; Hobby Lobby; and the Supreme Court unanimously ruling against their infringement of the Establishment Clause come to mind.)
No. CAIR swings a lot of weight in such cases. It portrays itself as a human rights group. But their practice seems to be that of bullies who, whenever rulings go against them, will initiate legal action as an end run to get the courts to do for them what elected officials will not. The strategy has even been given a name. It’s called “Lawfare Jihad”.
CAIR, while it hypes itself as a human-rights type organization, has a dubious history. (Something about its connections, including Hamas, are laid out here.)
Do we really want Federal Officials usurping local officials’ authority, invoking “compelling government interest”, just to appease special interest groups whose motivations are somewhat less than transparent, and probably not in the public interest?
If you have an aging parent or other elderly relative who is currently hospitalized with chronic heart or lung disease, the good news is he is coming home. The bad news is that he is likely coming home to die. That’s thanks to a strong disincentive for hospitals to readmit chronically ill Medicare patients under a provision of Obamacare.
Called the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (Section 3025 of the Affordable Care Act added section 1886(q)), the provision took effect on October 1, 2012 and penalizes hospitals for readmitting patients with one of several high-maintenance conditions – heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia – within 30 days of discharge. Two additional expensive-to-manage illnesses, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and follow-up treatment for coronary bypass surgery, are scheduled to be phased in this year.
In the view of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MPAC), readmission of Medicare patients with any of these illnesses is an admission – of failure on the part of doctors. The government believes that if the correct treatment were administered during an initial hospital stay, these patients wouldn’t need to return. As a corrective measure, the law imposes a hefty fine on hospitals that readmit chronically ill patients. MPAC estimates that the fines collected will ultimately restore $1 billion to Medicare’s depleted coffers.
Currently, one in five elderly patients is readmitted within the 30-day window. Many of the readmissions result from unanticipated changes in the patient’s condition or a planned follow-up treatment. But roughly 12% are caused by patient confusion over new drug regimens, inadequate follow-up with primary care physicians, or a family’s inability to deal with home care. These “avoidable readmissions,” the government insists, are the fault of hospital staffs for not doing a better job of educating patients and/or administering better preventive care.
There are two problems with the approach. One, spelled out in an article at the British medical journal The Lancet, is that some of these chronic diseases in the elderly are tricky to manage. “Frequent readmissions,” the authors note, “might simply reflect the nature of the patient population rather than poor health care.” They add:
A 30-day readmission rate might be a suitable measure of health-care delivery for some conditions or surgical procedures, but for patients with COPD a more sophisticated gauge of success that incorporates medical, social, functional, and economic elements is needed.
The other problem is how hospitals and doctors on staff respond to the penalty. The most likely scenario is that they will now become de facto agents for the law’s death panels, urging Medicare patients at their time of discharge to sign do-not-resuscitate orders and seek “comfort care” instead of future medical treatment.
Eric Antunes, a 29-year-old Florida man was jailed Tuesday after he allegedly downloaded child pornography and had sex with his girlfriend’s dog.
According to Clearwater Police, officers went to Antunes home after receiving a tip that he was in possession of child pornography.
During a search of his home, detectives found nine images of child pornography and one video downloaded to his computer.
While searching Antune’s mobile phone, detectives found additional images that showed him having sex with his girlfriend’s dog.
Antunes was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and charged with 10 counts of possessing child pornography. Animal cruelty charges have also been referred over to the Pasco-Pinellas State Attorney’s Office.
This makes me sick. Ron Paul again blames the US for the 9-11 Al-Qaeda massacre.
Two weeks away from the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul says that U.S. intervention in the Middle East is a main motivation behind terrorist hostilities toward America, and that Islam is not a threat to the nation.
At a campaign stop on Saturday in Winterset, one man asked Paul how terrorist groups would react if the U.S. removed its military presence in Middle Eastern nations, a move the candidate advocates.
“Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.
“If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.
“I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”
Regarding 9/11, Paul said that attacks against the U.S. from Middle Eastern groups at home and abroad can be traced to the foreign presence of U.S. troops, as well as America’s relationships with dictator regimes.
Let Freedom Ring has more on Paul’s outrageous claims.
Girls as young as one are being forced into sex change operations in India by parents desperate for a son.
Surgeons in the city of Indore are reported to be ‘converting’ hundreds of girls a year, who are subsequently pumped full of hormone drugs.
A report in the respected Hindustan Times newspaper said the ‘shocking, unprecedented trend, catering to the fetish for a son, is unfolding at Indore’s well-known clinics and hospitals on children who are one to five years old.
Operations: Doctors in the city of Indore, in India, are said to have carried out hundreds of procedures to turn girls into boys
‘The process being used to ‘produce’ a male child from a female is known as genitoplasty.’
Indian society places a strong value on producing a son and heir, with daughters often seen as an expensive burden to be married off.
Sex determination tests during pregnancy are illegal in India to try to prevent the common practice of women choosing to abort female foetuses.
In some states such as Punjab the ratio of women to men has dropped as low as seven to ten.
Wealthy parents from Delhi and Mumbai are reportedly flocking to Indore, a city in the centre of India, for the relatively low cost £2,000 treatment to surgically ‘correct’ their daughters.
News of rampant abuse of the surgery – normally used to correct genital abnormality in fully-grown patients – led to a furious backlash on Twitter and other social networking sites on Sunday.
The author and feminist Taslima Nasreen led the outrage, tweeting: ‘Shocking! Not only do people kill unborn girls, they turn girls into boys by genitoplasty.’
She added: ‘Doctors who practice illegal Female Foeticide & Genitoplasty should get life in prison.’
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights today announced it had asked the state government of Madhya Pradesh to investigate the doctors and the hospitals named in the report.
Parents have allegedly pressed for the surgeries despite being told by doctors that the ‘converted’ male would be infertile.
The procedure involves doctors ‘building’ a penis using tissue from female organs, with the child then being fed hormonal medicine.
Seven genitoplasty experts in Indore boasted each of them had turned 200 to 300 girls into ‘boys’ so far, with only one being older than 14, the legal age of consent to such an operation.
Doctors claimed the operations were performed on children whose internal organs do not match their external genitalia – most commonly, girls born with some internal male organs.India has no system to monitor that claim.
‘When the child grows up, he or she would be confused about the gender he or she belongs to. This surgery can stop the child from having sex-determination disorder and psychological problems,’ said Dr Milind Joshi, a paediatric surgeon who performs the procedure at a city hospital.
A parent whose child underwent such a surgery at the age of two told the Hindustan Times on the condition of anonymity: ‘I think my child would not be confused over his gender when he grows up and can live a normal life as he would not have any memories of the surgery.’
Another Indore paediatric surgeon performing the procedure, Dr Brijesh Lahoti, said, ‘In India, there is no problem in performing these surgeries as only the consent from parents and an affidavit is required.
These are reconstruction surgeries where sex of the child is determined based on its internal organs and not just on the basis of external genitalia.’
With no proper laws to protect rights of the child that young, the practice might have a larger social ramification, say medico-legal experts.
‘The surgery can have profound, long-term psychological effects on an individual, who might not accept the gender assigned by parents and doctors before age of consent,’ said Suchitra Inamdar, a counsellor from Mumbai.
Calling it a highly sensitive issue, Dr Joshi said people should be sensitised about these surgeries.
Asked about consent of the child, he said, ‘In India, consent is sought from parents till the child is 14.’ This raises a lot of questions about rights of these children, who might grow up to believe that they wanted to be the way they were born and not corrected surgically.
‘The Medical Council of India and the health ministry should look into the matter. There has to be some guideline or law on how a child who is barely old enough to talk can undergo a life-changing surgery at the parents’ will,’ said IMA secretary, Indore branch, Dr Anil Bhadori.
Abel Aguirre, 38, of Chelsea was convicted yesterday of animal cruelty for having sex with his roommate’s rabbit, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said. He faces up to 2 years in the House of Correction and a $2,500 fine at sentencing today.
Aguirre assaulted the rabbit June 1, 2008, district attorney spokesman Jake Wark said. Aguirre’s roommate told investigators she came home and found blood and clumps of rabbit fur on the bathroom floor and a claw belonging to the bunny. In Aguirre’s room, she found a used condom with rabbit fur on it. The rabbit was injured and bleeding.
“My jaw hit the floor,” one juror said about the disturbing testimony. The rabbit has died, but not of its injuries, Wark said.