LLR Pages

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Walter Reed Sycophants Urge "Fundamental Change" In Military Healthcare

The L.A. Times reports that the Beltway's insiders, in the form of a "commission" appointed by Bush and who are ever supportive of the putrid government-run, government-owned, and government-operated Walter Reed Hospital, Army Center, and Healthcare System, are urging "reforms" in the government's military healthcare system.

These ignoramuses will never accept the fact that the government healthcare system is shoddy and crappy while a true laissez-faire free market healthcare system is the cure-all for the wounded and maimed soldiers (who are dying more so in record numbers day after day after day in Iraq). What will it take for them to realize that they can't reform a system that will never work the way they want it to? What will it take for them to understand that Socialism is an inherent evil, is unworkable, and will collapse just like how Communism fell in the Soviet Union?

Congressional Republicans "Jihadists"?

National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez, who's normally a Big Government Neo-Con, must have been breathing fire when she blogged this tidbit on NR's server -- a report that was initially posted on the Congressional Quarterly's website:

Republicans are uttering a word that for 12 years has been utterly unspeakable.


It’s a word that can send shudders through those who saw the last one — actually, two — play out after Republicans took control of Congress in 1995. The Newt Gingrich-Bill Clinton standoff was so traumatic that since then, neither party has ventured anywhere in that direction.

This year’s appropriations tug-of-war between a new majority in Congress and a president of the opposing party does not appear to be headed for a government shutdown, but a rhetorical taboo was lifted when the word became part of the partisan message of the moment.

“The obvious plan of the Democrats is to not do appropriations bills but put everything together in a giant omnibus appropriations bill in a kind of legislative blackmail with all of the policy and increased spending, to in effect threaten the president to either sign the bill or be accused of shutting down the government,” Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the chairman of the Republican Conference, said Wednesday.

President Bush has threatened to veto seven appropriations bills because together they would exceed his discretionary spending limit by more than $20 billion.

Congressional veterans are certain the two sides are headed for a whopper of a fight over a catchall, omnibus appropriations bill.

BusinessWeek: "Minimum Wage Increase Means Tax Breaks"

BusinessWeek's John Tozzi, on the subject of the federal minimum wage hike, writes that the bipartisan minimum wage increase was accomplished with the promise of tax breaks given to small businesses.

Here's an excerpt of what he wrote:

Workers earning the federal minimum wage enjoyed a boost from $5.15 to $5.85 an hour on July 24, the first of three annual hikes that will bring the rate to $7.25 in 2009. But along with the raise, Congress passed a package of $4.8 billion in tax breaks for small businesses that go into effect this year. While employers in 30 states and the District of Columbia won't be hit directly in the first year of the raise because state laws already mandate wages higher than the new federal rate, those businesses can still take advantage of the new tax breaks.

The biggest boon for most small-business owners is an expanded deduction for new purchases. Any firm making purchases of pretty much anything from livestock to software, real estate excluded, can take advantage of this so-called Section 179 deduction. The new law allows business owners to deduct $125,000 in purchases, up from $112,000. Only businesses that spend less than $500,000 on eligible equipment—a ceiling that was raised from $450,000—can qualify. Spend above $500,000 and the size of the deduction starts to shrink.

Teenage Butt-Grabbing Case Ignites National and International Furor

The Paddleton Middle School butt-grabbing incident, which I have been covering for the last several days here and here, has sparked a national and internatinal outcry from online readers and the public at large.

Here's an excerpt of the piece that appeared today on the Oregonian's website:

Two McMinnville middle-schoolers facing sex abuse charges for spanking girls in the hallway probably will not do jail time or be required to register as sex offenders, the Yamhill County district attorney said Monday as the case against the boys grew into a media sensation.

The comments from Bradley Berry outraged the parents of the two 13-year-olds, Ryan Cornelison and Cory Mashburn, who with their lawyers were deluged with calls from ABC, CNN, Fox, Court TV and radio stations across the country a day after a story about the prosecution appeared in The Sunday Oregonian.

Until now, Berry has declined to discuss specifics of the case or explain why it merits criminal charges. After spending most of Monday fielding complaints, however, he elaborated for the first time.

"From our perspective and the perspective of the victims, this was not just horseplay," Berry told The Oregonian. "People may disagree, and I understand that."

Based on his experience in similar cases, Berry said it's unlikely the boys, if convicted, would be sentenced for the maximum jail time for each of the counts. "That type of sentence has never been imposed in my county or in any county that I know of for these types of offenses," he said.

Berry said he, too, was inundated with calls and e-mails from readers who complained that charging the boys with 10 counts of sex abuse and harassment was an overreaction, as their parents maintain. Lawyers for the boys say each count could bring a year in confinement and mandatory registration as sex offenders.

Berry said a judge could lift the registration requirement after it was imposed. "These youths can petition the court relatively quickly for relief from that," he said.

The boys' families said they were furious at what appeared to be backpedaling on Berry's part.

"It makes us angry that they can overcharge . . . and make us think this could happen," said Tracie Mashburn, Cory's mother. "Why would they do that and threaten us with that if they're not going to do it?"

"He's just doing damage control," added Joe Cornelison, Ryan's father. "I want to ask Brad Berry, what kind of due process is this?"

(Thanks goes to Radley Balko who cross-posted this on his blog and his Reason blog.)

The DEA's War on Medical Marijuana Tenant-Supporting Landlords

The Leviathan's vile Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has just launched its war on California's landlords who rent their property to medical marijuana activists. According to U.S. Today, the DEA raided 10 marijuana medical pot clinics in Los Angeles.

It's idiotic that marjuana, which is legal under California for medicinal use, is illegal under federal law for the same use. These evil, despicable statists who go after these activists just because they are violating federal law will surely, one way or another, get their comeuppance.

With the Drug War spilling into legal prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, this war has no end in sight. These government bureaucrats who think they are doing this for the activists' "own good" are just deluding themselves. As one medical pot activist correctly noted in the article:

"It's clearly not about compassion or care at this point," Pullen says. "It's about money."

Teenage "Pedophiles" May Be Sentenced to Jail, Including Sex Registry System

The two Oregon middle school boys, whom I blogged about last night, are now facing possible jail time for their purported role in slapping the posteriors of two teenage females, both of whom are 13 years old. According to ABC News's online website:

The local district attorney has since backed off -- the felony charges have been dropped and the district attorney said probation would be an appropriate punishment. The Mashburns' lawyer said prosecutors offered Cory a plea bargain that would not require him to register as a sex offender, which the family plans to reject.

But the boys, if convicted at an Aug. 20 trial, still face the possibility of some jail time or registering for life as sex offenders.

The incident, which took place last February and has garnered some attention from the mainstream "government" media, has led to the boys spending five days in a detention cell and then, according to AOL News, being charged "with several counts of felony sex abuse for what they and their parents said was merely inappropriate but not criminal behavior."

What's even interesting is that an poll was taken, in which it showed that an overwhelming 87 percent of the respondents said "No" to the question asking whether the boys should be charged with a sex crime. Only 8 percent of the respondents said "Yes."

The interesting aspect of this case is that two of the girls -- the alleged victims of the boys' antics -- have since retracted their charges. The problem is that, once a victim of a purported crime (especially when that "victim" happens to be an underage female) presses charges against her alleged perpetrator, it's too late to drop them. And the thing is, if the court determines that the victim lied to the local authorities about the charges (or even made false statements against the accused), she will most likely be charged with perjury and can face legal trouble as well.

In this case, the odds of that happening are pretty much nil, given the age of the "victims" and the accused and the politics of the sex registry system and the case in question.