Gowdy Talks Government Accountability With Greta On The Record
Published on Dec 5, 2013
” Rep. Gowdy discusses the lack of accountability and trust in the institutions of government.”
Published on Dec 5, 2013
” Rep. Gowdy discusses the lack of accountability and trust in the institutions of government.”
” This is a rush transcript from “The Kelly File,” December 9, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
MEGYN KELLY, HOST: We are seeing new reports tonight about another possible consequence of the health care overhaul. While media outlets continue to dig into the issue of losing your plan or losing your doctor — you can see this cover here on the Cincinnati Enquirer — we are now hearing that you may also be losing your prescription drug coverage, or at least find to get much more expensive.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a practicing physician and former senior policy adviser to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Doctor, good to see you again. And so, why is this a concern about possibly loosing or seeing a sharp uptick in the costs under your prescription drug coverage?
DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB, PRACTICING PHYSICIAN: Well, there are two issues. One is the co-pays on the drugs are very high. So, on average there is about 40 percent you’re going to have to pay on branded drugs compared to about 25 percent in the private sector.
But the bigger issue is that the formula, the list of drugs or the plans cover in many cases aren’t very long. And if the drugs aren’t covered, then you’re on your own. You basically have to pay for it entirely out of pocket. And the money that you spend on those drugs doesn’t count against your out of pocket limits and it won’t count against your deductible. This could cost patients with special conditions, patients who need special drugs a lot of money. Literally tens of thousands of dollars a year.”
” Close to 100 legislators from 32 states met in Mount Vernon, Va., Saturday to discuss the possibility of adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states.
Such a convention, as outlined in article five of the Constitution, would allow state legislatures to vote on amendments to add.
No constitutional amendment has been added this way, but some say the Constitution specifically allows for states to use the convention as a means to push back against the federal government.
Two-thirds of the state legislatures, or 34, must approve an application for a convention to occur, according to the Constitution’s article five. State legislatures would then send delegates to the convention, each state getting one vote on proposed amendments. For an amendment to pass and become a part of the Constitution, it would have to be approved by three-fourths, or 38, of the state legislatures.”
” The COS Project seeks to urge and empower state legislators to call a convention of states. The delegates at such a convention would have the power to propose amendments to the Constitution that would curb the abuses of the federal government. Article V of the Constitution gives them this power; the COS Project will give them an avenue through which they can use it. “
” Parents often try to motivate their children with rewards, from stickers to ice cream to toys. Thousands of books and websites offer suggestions for how to get kids to do homework or clean up their rooms. But is it a mayor’s job to motivate you to drink less soda? Is it government’s job to urge you to sign up for health care by way of schools stealthily sending messages home through your children? Should bureaucrats find ways to change your mind about which washing machine you buy?
Whether you realize it or not, this so-called “nudging” of consumer choice, at the hand of government, is underway: Earlier this year, the White House revealed that it is establishing a task force dedicated to studying how to motivate you—just as parents do—to do what the government thinks is best for you. Maya Shankar, a senior adviser in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who is assembling the team, recently told the New York Times the task force will use “evidence-based policymaking” so that “government services are efficient, effective, and serve the needs of the American people.” To be clear, Congress did not pass legislation authorizing such activity; this is something dreamt up by bureaucracies to force their own preferences on citizens, whether by combatting obesity or discouraging procrastination when it comes to saving for retirement. “
Overview:A growing body of evidence suggests that insights from the social and behavioral sciences can be used to help design public policies that work better, cost less, and help people to achieve their goals. The practice of using behavioral insights to inform policy has seen success overseas. In 2010, UK PrimeMinister David Cameron commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), which through a process of rapid, iterative experimentation (“Test, Learn, Adapt”), has successfully identified and tested interventions that will further advance priorities of the British government, while saving the government at least £1 billion within the next five years (see previous Annual Reports 2010-11 and 2011-12).The federal government is currently creating a new team that will help build federal capacity to experiment with these approaches, and to scale behavioral interventions that have been rigorously evaluated, using, where possible, randomized controlled trials. The team will be staffed by 4-5 experts in behavioral science and experimental design and evaluation. It is likely that selected individuals will serve on a temporary detail under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act before returning to their home organization, which can be a university, non-profit, or state and local government. Our preference is for individuals who are willing to serve full time but we will also consider people who are only in a position to serve part-time. Moreover, several agencies are looking to recruit expert academics to sit directly within their agencies and to help inspire, design, and execute on specific policy projects, and so it is possible to serve in this capacity as well.If you are aware of individuals with strong analytic skills, experience designing, testing, and evaluating rigorous randomized control trials, and a strong research background in fields such as social psychology, cognitive psychology, or behavioral economics, please encourage them send a CV and contact information to email@example.com, which will be sent to the relevant parties for consideration.Job Responsibilities for Central Team:Build Capacity: Work with a broad range of federal agencies to identify new program areas that could benefit from the application of behavioral insights.Help to design, implement, and test the relevant interventions using rigorous experimental methods.Enhance Capacity: Provide conceptual and technical support to agencies with specific behavioral insights efforts already underway.Convene: Lead a multi-agency “community of practice” to identify and share promising practices and common challenges.Create and Provide Resources: Generate tutorials and other “how to” documents to help accelerate these efforts within agencies. Manage online library of relevant documents and media.Help inspire new ideas: Work with external partners to identify research findings that can inform policy and practice.We are already working with over a dozen federal departments and agencies on newly-designed behavioral insights projects, including the Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, Veterans Administration, Department of Treasury, Social SecurityAdministration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the United States Department ofAgriculture.Below are some examples of U.S. and international policy initiatives that have benefited from the implementation of behavioral insights:Increasing college enrollment and retention: Providing streamlined personal assistance on theFAFSA form (e.g., pre-populating forms using tax return data and following up with a personal call)to low or moderate income individuals resulted in a 29% greater likelihood of their attending college for two consecutive years.
Getting people back to work: Asking unemployed individuals to create a concrete plan for immediate implementation regarding how, when, and where they would pursue reemployment efforts led to a15-20% decrease in their likelihood of claiming unemployment benefits just 13 weeks later.Improving academic performance: Students taught to view their intelligence as a “muscle” that can grow with hard work and perseverance (as compared to a “fixed trait”, such as eye-color) experienced academic boosts of ½ a letter grade, with the largest effects often seen for low-performing students,students of color, or females in STEM-related courses.Increasing retirement savings: The Save More Tomorrow program 1) invites employees to pledge now to increase their savings rate later, since self-control is easier to exert for future events; 2) links planned increases in the savings rate to pay raises, in order to diminish loss aversion; and 3) leverages the power of inertia by keeping members enrolled until they reach a preset limit or elect to opt.Adoption of these auto-escalation plans has boosted annual savings by an estimated $7.4 billion.Increasing adoption of energy efficient measures: Offering an attic-clearance service (at full cost) to people led to a five-fold increase in their subsequent adoption of attic-insulation. Interestingly,providing additional government subsidies on attic insulation services had no such effect.Increasing tax compliance: Sending letters to late taxpayers that indicated a social norm –i.e., that “9 out of 10 people in Britain paid their taxes on time” – resulted in a 15 percent increase in response rates over a three-month period, rolling out to £30 million of extra annual revenue.”
Left unsaid throughout these discussions is what will be done to those that refuse to “modify their behavior” . Re-education camps is the way all of the other regimes have dealt the recalcitrant peons that refused to submit . Gulags perhaps ? Before you say “It can’t happen here” be aware that preparations are already under way .
In the final analysis it comes down to conformity which is or at least , always has been , anathema to the American spirit .
” Volunteer fire departments all across the U.S. could find themselves out of money and unable to operate unless Congress or the Obama Administration exempts them from the Affordable Care Act.
‘ I thought the kinks were worked out of Obamacare at the first of the month, Central Florida volunteer firefighter Carl Fabrizi told Sunshine State News. ’Man, oh, man, this could potentially destroy some real good companies in Florida.’
The U.S. Department of Labor takes the term ‘volunteer’ literally, but the IRS says volunteer firefighters are technically employees if they’re on the job more than 30 hours per week, making them subject to Obamacare’s employee-mandate rules.
Since the Obamacare law doesn’t specifically carve out an exemption for them, fire departments where 50 or more people work – either as volunteers or real employees – are expected to provide health insurance for every one of them.
In towns with more than one volunteer fire department, all the staffers will likely be lumped together for tax purposes, pushing many above the 50-worker threshold.
That could cost department of life-savers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Those that dump their volunteers into the federal insurance exchanges would still have to pay an annual $2,000 fine for each ‘employee’ after the first 30.”
The law of unintended consequences is the only consistent expectation one should have of any State policy . Due to the pols desire to always be passing some law or other and being seen as doing something no law is ever well thought out enough that it doesn’t end up generating more problems than it solves .
” Nationally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reports that volunteer fire departments make up 71 per cent of America’s 1 million firehouses. Another 16 per cent are ‘mostly volunteer…’ “
Here's The Video From The Original Report
” Over at Cato’s Police Misconduct Reporting Project, we have named the worst case for the month of November. It was the repeated, forced cavity search of two young men—in separate incidents—in New Mexico.
The first victim, David Eckert, was pulled over by police for failing to make a complete stop at a stop sign. After a police K-9 who was uncertified for drug searches indicated the presence of marijuana, the officers told a judge that the victim appeared to be “clenching his buttocks” and requested a body cavity search warrant, which the judge granted. The officers took Eckert to a local hospital and requested that doctors perform the search, but the hospital doctors refused. The cops then took Eckert to a second hospital, in a neighboring county that was not covered by the warrant, where they found doctors willing to perform the search.”
” Ukrainian authorities closed in on protesters in Kiev and raided the offices of a leading opposition party on Monday, in their first tentative attempt to exert control over the city centre which has been occupied by anti-government protesters for a week.
Riot police removed barricades around a key government building and stood face to face with lines of protesters as temperatures dropped and a blizzard swirled through Kiev. As of early evening there had been no attempt to regain control of Independence Square or the city hall, but police edged their lines closer during the day.”
Activists from Fatherland, the political party of the jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, said their offices had been stormed by armed men. Ostap Semerak, an MP, told the Guardian that heavily armed operatives from the SBU secret services arrived at the party headquarters and entered through the windows “like pirates or terrorists”, before taking away computer servers.”
” This is a building where several MPs have their offices and the act was completely illegal,” he said. “If there was a court order then they should have shown it, but this kind of behaviour is outrageous.”
A week of protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision not to sign an integration pact with the EU culminated in the biggest demonstration since the 2004 Orange Revolution on Sunday when hundreds of thousands of people flooded central Kiev. Protesters toppled a statue of Lenin and attacked it with hammers.”
” The California health exchange says it’s been giving the names of tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage.
The consumers in question had gone online to research insurance options but didn’t ask to be contacted, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday .
Officials with Covered California, the exchange set up in response to the federal health law, said they began providing names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses if available this week in a pilot program. They said they thought it would help people meet a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance in place by Jan. 1.
The state doesn’t know exactly how many people are affected by the information sharing. Social Security numbers, income and other information were not provided to the agents, exchange officials said. “
” If you thought the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) couldn’t stoop any lower, you’d be wrong. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the agency responsible for setting off the events that led to Waco and were at the center of the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal are using mentally disabled teenagers to advertise businesses that are actually fronts for ATF sting operations.
Earlier this year, when the Journal Sentinel reported on an ATF sting operation in Milwaukee involving a “low IQ” informant, authorities wrote it off as an isolated act of rogue agents. The Journal Sentinel documents at least half-a-dozen stings from around the country that use the same “rogue” tactics of creating fake storefronts and using low IQ people to set stings in cities such as Pensacola, Florida, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Wichita, Kansas.”
” Police in Perth Amboy, New Jersey said they were responding to a call about an emotionally disturbed person yesterday afternoon when they shot and killed 31 or 32-year-old Dixon Rodriguez on the street. Police say they found a knife on Rodriguez after shooting him. The officers who shot Rodriguez say he attacked them with the knife. Neither was seriously injured according to the local prosecutor, who is investigating the incident. Family and neighbors doubt the official story. Via the Star Ledger:
People who live in the neighborhood and at least one family friend were skeptical of the prosecutor’s account.
“ We don’t believe Dixon had a knife,” said Joel Perez, who lives nearby on Kearney Avenue. “(Dixon) was someone who had the mind of a six-year-old. It wasn’t in him to do something like this.”
Passerby Brenda Munoz told ABC-TV news she witnessed the shooting and heard an officer say, “I thought he had something.”
Munoz told the station she did not see a knife.
At least one surveillance camera apparently caught the incident on video. Prosecutors have seized that video but it has not been released. “
” President Obama’s approval rating has taken the steepest dive with Hispanics since his reelection last year, according to a Gallup analysis.
Obama’s approval rating recorded a 23-percentage-point drop among Hispanics since last year, compared to an average drop among all Americans of 12 percent.
Fifty-two percent of Hispanics still approve of Obama, but that’s a drop from 75 percent in December 2012.
Other voting groups that make up Obama’s base also have seen 15-point plus drop offs — including people making less than $24,000 a year, nonwhites and young voters. “
” An article yesterday in the Washington Post disclosed the NSA’s massive cell phone location program. The program, codenamed CO-TRAVELER, is designed to track who meets with whom and covers everyone who carries a cell phone, all around the world.
With neither public debate nor court authorization, CO-TRAVELER collects billions of records daily of cell phone user location information. It maps the relationships of cell phone users across global mobile network cables, gathering data about who you are physically with and how often your movements intersect with other cell phone users. The program even tracks when your phone is turned on or off.”
” The trillions of collected records, which add up to twice the amount of data in the Library of Congress’ print collection, are saved and stored in the NSA’s mammoth database called FASCIA. While allegedly aimed at foreigners and mobile phones overseas, the NSA admits that it has “incidentally” collected location information on U.S. persons.
CO-TRAVELER ignores fundamental values in the Constitution the NSA has sworn to uphold, including the right against unreasonable search and seizure as well as freedom of association. Thinking globally, the program disregards international human rights law, which is currently in the process of being reaffirmed in a draft resolution by the UN General Assembly.”
2 + 2 = 5
” In September, New York Police officers responded to an emotionally disturbed man causing a ruckus at a Times Square bus terminal by opening fire on him while they were surrounded by crowds and traffic. They missed him and hit two innocent bystanders (one of whom was in a walker). Police said at the time they thought the man, Glenn Broadnax, was reaching for a gun, but he turned out to be unarmed.
Even though Broadnax was not armed, an indictment unsealed Wednesday is charging him with assault for the injuries caused by police gunfire. From the New York Times:
Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan district attorney’s office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr. Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”
” One of the women shot by the police is absolutely not having it:
Mariann Wang, a lawyer representing Sahar Khoshakhlagh, one of the women who was wounded, said the district attorney should be pursuing charges against the two officers who fired their weapons in a crowd, not against Mr. Broadnax. “It’s an incredibly unfortunate use of prosecutorial discretion to be prosecuting a man who didn’t even injure my client,” she said. “It’s the police who injured my client.”
” Serial hacker Samy Kamkar has released all the hardware and software specifications that hobbyists need to build an aerial drone that seeks out other drones in the air, hacks them, and turns them into a conscripted army of unmanned vehicles under the attacker’s control.
Dubbed SkyJack, the contraption uses a radio-controlled Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter carrying a Raspberry Pi circuit board, a small battery, and two wireless transmitters. The devices run a combination of custom software and off-the-shelf applications that seek out wireless signals of nearby Parrot drones, hijack the wireless connections used to control them, and commandeer the victims’ flight-control and camera systems. SkyJack will also run on land-based Linux devices and hack drones within radio range. At least 500,000 Parrot drones have been sold since the model was introduced in 2010.”
This is a stroke of genius . Technology is a double-edged sword that is now creating a high tech arms race between freedom lovers and the State . Skyjack is a great step towards citizen self-defense . Kudos to Mr Kamkar . We anxiously await the government response .
” While today’s municipal bankruptcy news focuses on Detroit, where a judge has just ruled the city can proceed with its bankruptcy filing, tonight a small California city holds a council meeting to try to avoid the same fate.
Desert Hot Springs isn’t on the national radar, but its situation is hardly unique. With only 27,000 residents and only 55 full-time city employees, Desert Hot Springs lacks the financial heft that allows larger cities – think Los Angeles – to put off their day of reckoning.”
” The average full-time employee working for the city of Desert Hot Springs earned direct pay plus employer paid benefits during 2011 of $144,329. The average public safety employee working for Desert Hot Springs earned direct pay plus employer paid benefits during 2011 of $164,621.
Public sector union spokespersons often complain that “politicians are trying to balance the budget on the backs of working people.” Set aside for a moment the fact that “working people” means “unionized government employees” who, in the case of Desert Hot Springs, are making more per year than the average home costs in that city. Can Desert Hot Springs balance their budget if their “councilmen also eye pay, benefits,” and could actually do anything about it?”
” The Obama thrill is gone among America’s millennials aged 18-29 just a year after they helped the president win a second term.
A new and shocking poll from Harvard University’s Institute of Politics released Wednesday found that younger Americans are so disgusted with President Obama, Congress and the troubled Obamacare system that 47 percent support recalling the president and just 29 percent are planning to sign up for health insurance.
How bad is it? Obama’s approval rating among millennials, many with big college loans and no job, is just 41 percent. Even young blacks are tiring of the president, with his approval rating among African-Americans dropping from 84 percent seven months ago to 75 percent today. “
” Connecticut State Police feel compelled to remind citizens that it is their duty under the state’s draconian new citizen control laws to register their most effective self-defense firearms and standard capacity magazines for more efficient future government confiscation:
The state police have sent a reminder for gun owners that an important deadline is looming for two key parts of this year’s gun control law.
Owners of guns classified as assault weapons must get assault weapon certificates by Dec. 31. They must submit an application for a certificate by that date along with proof that they bought the weapon before the law took effect April 4.
Owners of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds face the same Dec. 31 deadline. They too must submit an application form along with proof they owned the magazine before the law took effect. Note, even though the law allows people to keep their already-owned large-capacity magazines if they register them, it forbids loading them with more than 10 rounds at a time except in their homes or at a shooting range.
Reason suggests that the state has sent out this “reminder” because the supermajority of citizens are ignoring the blatantly unconstitutional registration law, just as Americans have historically chosen to ignore previous registration laws. American citizens have apparently never complied by registering more than 25% of those firearms that were required to be registered by law (Illinois handgun registration in the 1970s was the dubious high-point), and at least 90-percent of Americans in other states ignore these more blatant citizen control laws designed to do little more than weaken citizens before the power of the government.”
” I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not so desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.”
Henry David Thoreau
” Since 1938, The state Constitution has required a proposed bill to age for three days before a vote. It says:
§14. No bill shall be passed or become a law unless it shall have been printed and upon the desks of the members, in its final form, at least three calendar legislative days prior to its final passage….
Unless the government says so:
…unless the governor, or the acting governor, shall have certified, under his or her hand and the seal of the state, the facts which in his or her opinion necessitate an immediate vote thereon,…
” Facing low approval ratings after a historically unproductive 112th session and a series of last-minute showdowns over fiscal matters, Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, the rock band Nickelback, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and Brussel sprouts.
When asked if they have a higher opinion of either Congress or a series of unpleasant or disliked things, voters said they had a higher opinion of root canals (32 for Congress and 56 for the dental procedure), NFL replacement refs (29-56), head lice (19-67), the rock band Nickelback (32-39), colonoscopies (31-58), Washington DC political pundits (34-37), carnies (31-39), traffic jams (34-56), cockroaches (43-45), Donald Trump (42-44), France (37-46), Genghis Khan (37-41), used-car salesmen (32-57), and Brussels sprouts (23-69) than Congress.
” House Speaker John Boehner’s new staffer in charge of immigration policy has significant experience in drafting immigration legislation and pushing for reform. She wouldn’t be coming to Boehner’s office if House Republicans weren’t serious about doing something on the issue. What that is remains to be seen.
Rebecca Tallent, former chief of staff to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will be coming to the speaker’s office from the Bipartisan Policy Center, where she has served as director of immigration policy. Her move “is affirmation of [Boehner's] strong desire to move legislation in 2014,” BPC’s immigration task force cochairman, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, said in a statement.
Tallent is a veteran of immigration fights and a big believer in reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. One of her early endeavors in negotiating legislation was 10 years ago, when she worked as a staffer for former Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz. Tallent helped draft a major immigration bill sponsored by Kolbe, McCain, and former Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., now a senator and member of the “Gang of Eight” who created the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the Senate in June.
” The speaker remains hopeful that we can enact step-by-step, common-sense immigration reforms—the kind of reforms the American people understand and support,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said. “Becky Tallent, a well-known expert in this field of public policy, is a great addition to our team and that effort.”
The GOP establishment in the House is getting ready to sell the country down the river for a few pieces of silver from the corporate lobbyists and the Hope that their pander will Change the way Hispanics vote , and Boehner is just the man that can make it happen .
Illustration by Gary Varvel