ObamaCare – Florida Governor, Rick Scott, insists he still won't "implement these exchanges that will increase the cost of health and make Medicaid worse." The Supreme Court ruled that states can opt out of ObamaCare Medicaid expansion and still keep its prior funding levels. In other news, Pelosi calls the mandate a penalty that comes under the tax code. Oh really? Also, healthcare giant GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to an unprecedented $3 billion settlement with the U.S. government over allegations that the company advertised drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and then used lavish gifts to convince doctors to prescribe the drugs. Remember, big Pharma and its lobbyists yielded no concessions in the ObamaCare legislation.
Fast and Furious - According to a letter, an eye witness account, ATF Chief of Public Affairs Scott Thomasson was none too pleased allegations of gun walking during Operation Fast and Furious had gone public in the spring of 2011. He allegedly stated, "All of these whistleblowers have axes to grind. ATF needs to f--k these guys," and "we need to get whatever dirt we can on these guys and take them down". In other news, the Secret Service shutdown a student-protest calling for the firing of Attorney General Eric Holder saying they were acting on concerns over a 'a suspicious package' apparently left by a tourist on White House grounds. There were no follow up reports to clarify if the package existed and or to identify its contents.
Arizona - A hiker in the Madera Canyon area (I have hiked here before) found three assault rifles in a black trash bag one mile north of Old Baldy Trail.
Church – Speaking at a Black church, Michelle Obama says that there is no better place to talk about politics but at church.
Energy Plan – Obama released his 5 year energy plan and Republicans pounced on the President for his administration’s failure to include Virginia in the final five-year plan for offshore oil and gas drilling. But it wasn’t just Republicans complaining. Sen. Jim Webb (D) joined the bipartisan dissent.
EuroZone – The unemployment rate for the Eurozone reached a record 11.1% in June.
Romney Campaign – Romney will visit Israel this summer as he tries to bridge the gap in the Jewish vote. This move will accomplishes something Obama has yet to do – visit the nation.
California - In yet another example of a bureaucratic waste of taxpayer dollars, the Department of Homeland Security decided to reward the University of California Berkeley Police Department (UCPD) with a $200,000 grant that was used to purchase an “Armored Response Counter Attack Truck.”
Government Waste - Hundreds of millions of your taxpayer dollars are being spent to hold onto vacant and unused buildings around the country.
Unions – According the USA Today: The National Education Association (NEA) has lost more than 100,000 members since 2010. By 2014, union projections show, it could lose a cumulative total of about 308,000 full-time teachers and other workers, a 16% drop from 2010. Lost dues will shrink NEA's budget an estimated $65 million, or 18%.
Parents - California State Sen. Mark Leno (D) introduced a bill that would permit a child to legally have more than two parents. Non-traditional relationships including surrogate mothers and same-sex parents complicate the definition of a family.
Global Warming – The alarmist are back fear mongering after over 2,000 heat records were broken across the country during the nationwide heat wave this past week. Violent storms and high temperatures have resulted in the deaths of 18 people.
Pakistan - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement today that the U.S. is sorry for the losses the Pakistan military suffered during the Nov. 26 incident last year in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by U.S. military aircraft during a border incident. I do not understand apologizing to the nation that harbored Bin Laden for 10 years.