March 9, 2010

AP: House Dems’ ObamaCare Iteration to Penalize Businesses Using Part-Time Workers

Obama3Rush mentioned this on the air as his show opened.

It comes from the Associated Press, in a later paragraph of an Obama cheerleading item (“Obama pitches health plan in spirited appearance”; AP picture at right is from that story) by Julie Pace and David Espo.

The paragraph in question opens by giving readers the impression that either Pace, Espo, or another AP person has actually seen language in whatever iteration of ObamaCare happens to be floating around House chambers these days. But then it backs down and says it’s only “described by a Democratic aide,” meaning that the wire service is willingly serving as a trial-balloon enabler:

In a new change sought by House Democrats, the fix-it bill would require businesses to count part-time workers when calculating penalties for failing to provide health coverage for employees. Smaller businesses would be exempt. The Senate bill would count only full-time workers in applying the penalties, but under the change, described by a Democratic aide, two part-time workers would count as one full-time worker. Businesses say that’s unduly burdensome, but Democrats contend it would prevent businesses from avoiding penalties by hiring more workers part-time.

A graphic of the paragraph in question, in case it’s revised, is here.

This would serve to penalize businesses that rely almost entirely on part-time or seasonal help. Just a few examples: amusement parks, fast-food operations, much of retail, and call centers. These businesses would have to pay a tax for not offering health care coverage to employees who are not and never have been eligible for full-blown company-provided benefits.

This is beyond bizarre. It’s as if there’s something wrong with having employees who have of their own free will committed to not working 40 hours a week.

As to the expected business reaction of going to more part-timers in the absence of such a provision — My gut reaction is that this idea would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and and thousands of businesses and more than a few industries in one fell swoop, meaning that there would be few businesses of any kind to worry about, period. It’s almost as if they want to accomplish just that.

I’m sure commenters will have other insights based on their understanding of the circumstances of other businesses.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/node/37025/edit#ixzz0hkJ5tbSc

Lucid Links (030910, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:47 am

Eric Massa (HT QandO) let it rip on a radio show yesterday

“Never before in the history of the House of Representatives has a sitting leader of the Democratic Party discussed allegations of House investigations publicly, before findings of fact. Ever.”

“I was set up for this from the very, very beginning,” he added. “The leadership of the Democratic Party have become exactly what they said they were running against.”

That last assertion is a bit of an understatement. As bad as it was (see somewhat-related next item), what they were running against was never as bad as what the Democratic Party has become.

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Rasmussen’s report on the Ohio U.S. Senate race shows no change, with Rob Portman leading Fisher and Brunner by 5 and 6 pointzzzz … zzzz … zzzz …

… Oh, I’m sorry. You can tell I’m really not excited about the race.

I’m not excited for the same reason the Tea Partiers aren’t excited (HT Right Ohio):

For years, Rep. Roy Blunt and former Rep. Rob Portman touted their positions of influence in Republican leadership circles in Washington, D.C.

But now both are running for Senate seats and discovering their Washington résumés to be something of a liability at a time when the Tea Party and disaffected fiscal conservatives have new political power.

… While Blunt has reached out to Tea Party activists, Portman has kept them at arm’s length so far.

… Portman has been more aloof, according to Tea Party organizers in Ohio.

“He has not reached out to our group,” said Rob Scott, founder and president of the Dayton Tea Party.

There are few things that hack me off more than a politician, especially one with no track record for over two years (who’s been paying you, pal?), two mediocre one-year stints in government positions, and a mediocre record of fiscal responsibility as a congressperson, assuming that he or she has a presumptive lock on my vote, and that he doesn’t have to earn it.

Portman doesn’t understand that much of his record shows that he’s part of the problem, not part of solving it. To be sure (paraphrasing Glenn Beck), he’s not about riding the rocket ship to ruin, as the current administration is, but, again based on his track record and his associations, he doesn’t seem to mind if we get eventually get there on a slow train — especially if he ends up financially comfy as a side-effect.

Earth to Rob Portman: You haven’t made the sale. You don’t even seem like you’re trying to make the sale. You almost seem to think that you’ve already made the sale. I repeat: You haven’t. You’re saying, “Vote for me, vote for me, I’m an ‘R’ and not a ‘D.’” That doesn’t cut it, pal. You will not get my vote, or the votes of many of the folks in the Tea Party movement, until you get off your high horse, engage the electorate, and tell us what you’ll do to help return us to Constitution-based governance.

I should add that Portman’s implicit assumption that the sensible conservatives and center-righters who make up a large majority of Ohio’s potential electorate have nowhere else to go may be incorrect.

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Watch this video snip of Dan Rather with Chris Matthews captured on EyeBlast TV.

If you’re pressed for time or have trouble with the vid, here is what Rather said about our (in reality, not-white, not-black) president:

Listen he’s a nice person, he’s very articulate …. but he couldn’t sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic.

If you see the vid, note how Matthews tries to talk over Rather to save him from himself.

No Republican or conservative on earth could get away with saying this. It’s a safe prediction that the establishment media will ignore it.

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In a Wall Street Journal editorial (“Iraq’s Remarkable Election”) this morning:

It takes a cynical mind not to share in the achievement of Iraq’s national elections. Bombs and missiles, al Qaeda threats and war fatigue failed to deter millions of Iraqis of all sects and regions from exercising a right that is rare in the Arab world. Even the U.N.’s man in Baghdad called the vote “a triumph.”

… President Obama deserves credit for resisting his own calls in 2008 for a quick American withdrawal. U.S. forces are considered by all sides to be honest brokers and guarantors of stability. So it was unfortunate to hear Mr. Obama, with the polls barely closed and no votes counted, promptly declare the election makes it possible that “by the end of next year, all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq.”

… We heard for years that toppling Saddam Hussein was a mistake because it empowered Iran. Now that Iraq is emerging as a unified democracy, the government in Baghdad can be a counterweight to Iran without the brutality and threat to the region that Saddam represented. Even as the number of U.S. troops declines, a sustained U.S. commitment will serve Iraq, the larger Middle East and American strategic interests.

Obama would get more credit from me if he called Iraq what it is: a victory. After all, it’s been one for at least 15 months.

Positivity: Feedback from Oprah appearance ‘overwhelmingly positive’ for Dominican sisters

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:57 am

From Ann Arbor, Michigan:

Mar 9, 2010 / 06:51 am

In February, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Since then, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive the sister’s mission director told CNA/EWTN.

During their appearance, the sisters fielded questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. “I think the main excitement for the sisters comes from the fact that we are glad to have had the chance to tell our story in such a positive, balanced manner to such a large audience,” Sister Maria Guadalupe, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA/EWTN.

“One of the sisters here put it really well when she said that the focus of the show really seemed to about ‘who we are’ rather than ‘what we do,’” she added. “We are really pleased with this, because although it seems like a very small distinction, it’s really quite important.”

On the show, “many of the sisters spoke about experiencing a desire for something more, and I would say that it is our identity as religious (brides of Christ, which Oprah found so fascinating) that fulfills us more than our activity – again, the primacy of ‘being’ over ‘doing,’” Sister Maria Guadalupe explained.

Since the show aired, the sisters have received positive feedback from all sides. Sister Maria Guadalupe reported that while traveling by plane, a flight attendant asked her if she had seen the “nuns” on Oprah. The question presented an opportunity for a lengthy conversation which proved edifying for those around them as well. She said that other sisters have also been approached about the show in gas stations, grocery stores, or on campus. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Positivity: Chris Spielman at ORTL Sarah Palin Event

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

This past weekend, former Ohio State and retired professional football star Chris Spielman spoke at an Ohio Right to Life event that featured Sarah Palin.

Just watch (HT Right Ohio):