Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

September 9, 2014

The ISIL/ISIS Crisis is Purely Political for Republicans

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — President Obama on Tuesday will begin laying out his case for an expanded military campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria when he faces congressional leaders who are averse to taking an election-year stand but are being pushed by lawmakers who want a say in matters of war.

“A lot of people would like to stay on the sideline and say, ‘Just bomb the place and tell us about it later,’ ” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia, who supports having an authorization vote. “It’s an election year. A lot of Democrats don’t know how it would play in their party, and Republicans don’t want to change anything. We like the path we’re on now. We can denounce it if it goes bad, and praise it if it goes well and ask what took him so long.”

Read more…

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September 8, 2014

Obama is the Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower

by Ben Hoffman

It’s enough to make even the most ardent Obama cynic scratch his head in confusion.

Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Who knew?

Check out the chart –

So, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole “Obama as big spender” narrative?

It might have something to do with the first year of the Obama presidency where the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9% —going from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. I’ll bet you think that this is the result of the Obama sponsored stimulus plan that is so frequently vilified by the conservatives…but you would be wrong.

The first year of any incoming president term is saddled—for better or for worse—with the budget set by the president whom immediately precedes the new occupant of the White House. Indeed, not only was the 2009 budget the property of George W. Bush—and passed by the 2008 Congress—it was in effect four months before Barack Obama took the oath of office.

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September 8, 2014

Scott Walker’s 2015-17 budget shortfall balloons to $1.8 billion

by Ben Hoffman

Madison — The expected shortfall for the next two-year state budget starting in July has risen to nearly $1.8 billion, or about half of what it was when Gov. Scott Walker took office in January 2011.

Meanwhile, the state’s projected gap in its current budget ending June has risen to $396 million — or about 1.2% of the spending planned for the 2013-’15 budget.

The Republican governor resolved a more than $3 billion budget shortfall in the months after taking office, but the latest projections show the state is running through the resulting surplus. The state is again facing a gap in the 2015-’17 budget because of tax cuts enacted by Walker and lawmakers and lagging growth in other state taxes in recent months.

Burke, a former Trek Bicycle executive, seized on the new projections.

“Governor Walker’s fiscally irresponsible approach and his failed stewardship of a lagging economy have resulted in a state budget picture that is a mess,” she said in a statement. “I have spent my career balancing budgets and insisting on accountability; setting priorities and getting the biggest bang for the buck. Gov. Walker has spent money we don’t have. In the business world, if a CEO created this big of a financial mess, he would be fired.”

<a href=”http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/wisconsin-state-budget-shortfall-projected-at-nearly-18-billion-b99345660z1-274364501.html”>Read more…</a>

September 6, 2014

Obamacare Premiums Set to Decrease in 2015

by Ben Hoffman

MENLO PARK, Calif. – An early look at the cost of health insurance in 16 major cities finds that average premiums for the benchmark silver plan – the one upon which federal financial help under the Affordable Care Act to consumers is based – will decrease slightly in 2015. The new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation analyzes premiums in the largest cities in 15 states and the District of Columbia where information from rate filings is available.

Premiums for the second-lowest cost silver plan for individuals will fall by an average of 0.8 percent from current levels in these cities when open enrollment begins on Nov. 15, according to the study. The analysis finds that the premium for the second-lowest-cost silver plan is decreasing in 7 of the 16 areas studied – but also that changes in average premiums will vary considerably across areas. They range from a decline of 15.6 percent in Denver, Colorado (to $211 per month), to an increase of 8.7 percent in Nashville, Tennessee (to $205 per month). In both cases premiums are for a 40-year-old nonsmoker, before taking into account any tax credit. It is important to note that rate changes may be different in different rating areas in these states.

“There is variation, but so far, premium increases in year two of the Affordable Care Act are generally modest,” said Drew Altman, Kaiser’s President and CEO. “Double digit premium increases in this market were not uncommon in the past,” Altman added.

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September 1, 2014

Journalist Arrested By Off Duty Cop For Filming Public Republican Event

by Ben Hoffman


Saturday afternoon Johnny and Kathy Burt, owners of Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville, hosted a meet and greet for Governor Deal and Republican candidates. In attendance were, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, Republican candidate for State School Superintendent Richard Woods, Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Attorney General Sam Olens, 9th District U.S. Congressman Doug Collins, Candidate for U.S. Senate David Perdue and Governor Nathan Deal.

[A] comment from Hudgens [about the Democratic candidate] noticeably changed the mood in the room about Tisdale recording the event, especially for Bearden. Hudgens introduced Richard Woods. While Woods was speaking Bearden went and sat next to Tisdale, and according to Tisdale he asked her to stop videoing or she would have to leave. Tisdale told him that she was invited and would not stop. When we asked Bearden for a comment he referred us to the authorities that arrested Tisdale for a comment.

As Woods continued to speak Bearden went to Deputy Wooten for assistance. I then watched Bearden go and speak to the property owners Johnny and Kathy Burt. By this time Labor Commissioner Mark Butler had started speaking. Bearden returned and said something to Wooten. At this time both Bearden and Wooten approached Tisdale. Wooten told her she had to turn the camera off. Tisdale refused and continued to video. Wooten started to try to remove the camera from Tisdale’s hands. When she refused and struggled to keep the camera running, Wooten started physically removing her from the event. Tisdale physically resisted being removed turning the camera on Wooten screaming, “identify yourself, who are you?”

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August 31, 2014

Conservative Mayor Violates Man’s 1st Amendment Rights

by Ben Hoffman

Winter Garden Mayor John Rees, a nonpartisan official leading an Orlando suburb of about 37,000, was caught on video demanding that an audience member stand for a prayer, which thanked God for “allowing us to live in a country where we’re free to believe, think, and pray.”

The audience member responded, “I don’t believe I have to do that, thank you.” After the prayer, Rees again instructed the constituent, identified by the Orlando Sentinel as Joseph Richardson, to stand for the pledge to the flag as “children have to in school.” Richardson again politely declined.

Read more, watch video…

August 30, 2014

Another Republican Law Ruled Unconstitutional

by Ben Hoffman

A federal judge in Austin, Tex., blocked a stringent new rule on Friday that would have forced more than half of the state’s remaining abortion clinics to close, the latest in a string of court decisions that have at least temporarily kept abortion clinics across the South from being shuttered.

The Texas rule, requiring all abortion clinics to meet the building, equipment and staffing standards of hospital-style surgery centers, had been set to take effect on Monday. But in his opinion, Judge Lee Yeakel of the United States District Court in Austin said the mandate placed unjustified obstacles on women’s access to abortion without providing significant medical benefits.

The rule “is unconstitutional because it imposes an undue burden on the right of women throughout Texas to seek a pre-viability abortion,” he wrote.

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June 22, 2011

High-Speed Rail Poised to Alter China; U.S. Left In The Dust

by Ben Hoffman

Just as building the interstate highway system a half-century ago made modern, national commerce more feasible in the United States, China’s ambitious rail rollout is helping integrate the economy of this sprawling, populous nation — though on a much faster construction timetable and at significantly higher travel speeds than anything envisioned by the Eisenhower administration.

Work crews of as many as 100,000 people per line have built about half of the 10,000-mile network in just six years, in many cases ahead of schedule — including the Beijing-to-Shanghai line that was not originally expected to open until next year. The entire system is on course to be completed by 2020. Read more…

America lags all other industrialized nations in high-speed rain transportation because conservatives don’t want to invest in our own country.

September 7, 2010

Republican Anti-American Activities: Obstructing Obama’s Judicial Nominations

by Ben Hoffman

Republicans are blocking every bill and every nomination just because they can. It’s bad for our country and time to get rid of the procedural filibuster. Get rid of Senate Rule 22.

(AP) A determined Republican stall campaign in the Senate has sidetracked so many of the men and women nominated by President Barack Obama for judgeships that he has put fewer people on the bench than any U.S. president since Richard Nixon at a similar point in his first term 40 years ago.

The delaying tactics have proved so successful, despite the Democrats’ substantial Senate majority, that fewer than half of Obama’s nominees have been confirmed and 102 out of 854 judgeships are vacant.

Forty-seven of those vacancies have been labeled emergencies by the judiciary because of heavy caseloads.

Even some Republican senators have complained. Sen. Lamar Alexander took to the Senate floor in July to plead with his own leaders for a vote on an appeals court judge supported by Alexander and fellow Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

With Congress returning Sept. 13 for a session shortened by members’ desire to campaign for re-election in November, there’s little time to reverse the trend. Some say there’s little chance of reversing it as polls show a rising chance the Republican Party will capture the Senate, which could stiffen Republican resistance to confirmation votes.

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April 25, 2009

Hello world!

by Ben Hoffman

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!