In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning, Mark Bertolini, the Chairman and CEO of Aetna…
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Aetna CEO: ObamaCare "really not an affordable product"

In an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning, Mark Bertolini, the Chairman and CEO of Aetna, explained that ObamaCare is "really not an affordable product for a lot of people." He goes on to say that we "have to have a more affordable system."…[more]

July 30, 2014 • 03:07 pm

Liberty Update

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Notable Quotes
 
On Immigration and the Obama Presidency:
 
 

"Immigration has emerged as perhaps President Obama's worst issue -- definitely for today, and maybe of his entire presidency -- when it comes to public perception.

A new poll from AP-GfK shows more than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) disapprove of Obama's handling of the immigration issue in general. Just 31 percent approve -- down from 38 percent two months ago.

When you separate those most passionate about the issue, the difference is even more stark, with 57 percent opposed and just 18 percent in favor. That's more than three-to-one."

 
 
— Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
— Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
Posted July 31, 2014 • 08:05 am
 
 
On the House Republican Border Bill:
 
 

"The Obama Administration has openly declared its plan to implement a unilateral executive amnesty for 5–6 million more illegal immigrants. This unlawful amnesty — urged on by congressional Democrats — would include work permits, taking jobs directly from millions of struggling American citizens.

"Any action Congress might consider to address the current border crisis would be futile should the President go forward with these lawless actions. Congress must speak out and fight against them. It must use its spending power to stop the President’s executive amnesty.

"That the House leaders’ border package includes no language on executive actions is surrender to a lawless President. And it is a submission to the subordination of congressional power.

"After years of falling wages and rising joblessness, American workers are pleading for someone to hear them. How can it be that our President is brazenly advertising that he will nullify and strip away American workers’ immigration protections, and their own elected leaders will not rise to their defense? Or to the defense of our laws and our Constitutional order?

"There are other grave concerns with the Granger package as well: because it does not fix our asylum rules and loopholes, the end result of the additional judges and hearings will be more illegal immigrants gaining asylum and access to U.S. welfare. It is a plan for expedited asylum, not expedited removal.

"Nor will this package make our rogue President actively enforce anything, coming nowhere close to the kinds of reasonable enforcement activities needed to restore the interior application of our immigration laws.

"And finally, a package that is silent on blocking amnesty creates an opportunity for Senate Democrats to add elements of their party’s open borders and mass immigration agenda.

"This legislation is unworthy of support."

 
 
— Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
— Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Posted July 29, 2014 • 19:44 pm
 
 
On President Obama's Unilateral Immigration Policy Decisions:
 
 

"The White House is reportedly weighing two options for executive action similar in kind to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that was implemented — also by executive fiat, via memorandum — in 2012. One option would grant temporary legal status to illegal-immigrant parents of U.S. citizens, authorizing them to remain in the country and to work here. The second option would do the same for illegal-immigrant parents of DACA recipients. These actions could affect anywhere from 3 to 6 million people. 

"Although the specifics are unknown, any unilateral action of this magnitude and type would be unprecedented. ... 

"Is Congress — and, through it, the electorate — responsible for the laws governing America’s borders? Or does one man get to decide who may enter and work in the United States? The assumption by the president of the ability to unilaterally welcome or reject migrants is a rank violation of the separation of powers. The president would no longer be enforcing existing law; he would be writing it anew at will on a scale heretofore unimagined."

 
 
— The Editors, National Review Online
— The Editors, National Review Online
Posted July 29, 2014 • 07:47 am
 
 
On Congress, Immigration, and Presidential Executive Orders:
 
 

"Congress can overturn an executive order. It can overturn parts of an executive order. If the executive order is based on a statute, Congress can change the statute, thereby nullifying the order. Congress can also refuse to fund activities stemming from all or part of the executive order. ... 

"In addition, a targeted move to overturn an executive order on immigration -- an order which could, according to some reports, involve the president unilaterally granting legal status to a large portion of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally -- would put some red-state Democrats in a tough position with the November midterms approaching. Lawmakers who would find it easy to reject the extreme option of impeaching the president might have a more difficult time defending an executive order that many of their constituents oppose. 

"Obama is, by many accounts, preparing to 'go big' on immigration. If so, his actions will clearly encroach on Congress' constitutional authority. With Democrats sitting on the sidelines, Republicans have to be ready to respond -- without going around the bend on impeachment."

 
 
— Byron York, The Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
— Byron York, The Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
Posted July 28, 2014 • 07:52 am
 
 
On President Obama's Detachment:
 
 

"'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice' is one of Obama’s favorite sayings. Ultimately, injustice and aggression don’t pay. ... 

"The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green. The arc of history may indeed bend toward justice, Mr. President. But, as you say, the arc is long. The job of a leader is to shorten it, to intervene on behalf of 'the fierce urgency of now.' Otherwise, why do we need a president? And why did you seek to become ours?"

 
 
— Charles Krauthammer, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Charles Krauthammer, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted July 25, 2014 • 07:51 am
 
 
On President Obama and Global Terrorism:
 
 

"This week the original 9/11 Commission put out an update on global terrorism. The report says the 'complacency' that led to 9/11 'is happening again.'

"How, then, to explain someone who claims he can run the country and a troubled world out of his back pocket while he flies from fundraiser to fundraiser? Barack Obama is the most provincial U.S. president in at least a century. The progressive Democrats who displaced the Clinton machine in 2008 and came to power with Mr. Obama have no interest beyond consolidating political and electoral power inside the U.S. Not even the White House of Lyndon Johnson, the ultimate pol, was so purely politicized.

"The fundraising is a frantic effort to protect this new Democratic voter machine. The world doesn't vote, so the world doesn't matter. Unless, of course, the American people in November decide that a world defined by events like Flight 17 does matter."

 
 
— Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal
— Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal
Posted July 24, 2014 • 08:10 am
 
 
On the VA Debacle:
 
 

"The breadth of problems at the VA has proven continually surprising, even as the torrent of unrelated bad news knocks new revelations about VA corruption off the front pages. The Office of Special Counsel investigating the VA is looking into 67 whistleblower complaints -- 25 of which have been initiated since June 1. ...  

"There’s no question that the extent and urgency of the problems at the VA demand swift and comprehensive action. Further, this scandal is easier to address, as it is harder to politicize, than some of its rivals. The problems at the VA also serve to highlight issues underlying other Obama administration scandals. When it’s proven that corrupt and incompetent employees exist throughout the VA, it will be harder for Democrats to defend keeping such people entrenched at the IRS. And shining a light on the VA’s version of government-run health care -- our very own single-payer system for millions of veterans -- would further accelerate public demand to repeal Obamacare. ... 

America’s vets have never given up when the odds were against them. The least we owe our veterans is to be as dogged in protecting them as they were protecting us."

 
 
— Mark Hemingway, The Weekly Standard
— Mark Hemingway, The Weekly Standard
Posted July 23, 2014 • 08:03 am
 
 
On the Possiblility of Recovering Some of Lois Lerner's "Lost" Emails:
 
 

"A top IRS official is now uncertain about whether backup tapes of the lost Lois Lerner emails may exist, according to testimony released by Republicans -- a potentially significant plot twist in the controversy that has shaken the IRS in recent weeks. 

"IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane, who oversees the tax-collecting agency’s document production to Congress, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in private testimony that he’s now unsure whether all the backup tapes with correspondence from the ex-IRS official were recycled. ... 

"The IRS official suggested new information has come to light since the IRS revealed in a June 13 letter to Congress that two years of Lerner emails were lost in a 2011 computer crash. Lerner was the head of the tax-exempt division that singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny and since has become a lightning rod for Republicans probing the matter."

 
 
— Rachael Bade, Politico Pro Tax Reporter
— Rachael Bade, Politico Pro Tax Reporter
Posted July 22, 2014 • 07:59 am
 
 
On Spike in Family Units Illegally Crossing U.S. Border:
 
 

"New data shows the White House has painted a false picture of the Central American migration by hiding a huge spike in 'family units' who are illegally crossing the Texas border. 

"The data, which was dumped by the U.S. border patrol late Friday afternoon, shows that inflow of youths and children traveling without parents has doubled since 2013, to 57,525 in the nine months up to July 2014. 

"But the number of migrants who cross the border in so-called 'family units' has spiked five-fold to 55,420, according to the border patrol’s data, which came out amid a storm of news about the shoot-down of a Malaysian aircraft in Ukraine, delays in failed U.S. nuke talks with Iran, and on Hamas’ continued war against Israel. ... 

"The much-faster growth in 'family units' has been hidden by White House and agency officials, who have tried to portray the influx as a wave of children fleeing abuse and violence."

 
 
— Neil Munro, The Daily Caller White House Correspondent
— Neil Munro, The Daily Caller White House Correspondent
Posted July 21, 2014 • 08:22 am
 
 
On Israel's Moral Clarity in Gaza:
 
 

"To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense. 

"In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, the depravity of Hamas begins to make sense. ... 

"It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear."

 
 
— Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist
— Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist
Posted July 18, 2014 • 08:02 am
 
Question of the Week   
Which of the following merged to form the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Immigration has emerged as perhaps President Obama's worst issue -- definitely for today, and maybe of his entire presidency -- when it comes to public perception.A new poll from AP-GfK shows more than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) disapprove of Obama's handling of the immigration issue in general. Just 31 percent approve -- down from 38 percent two months ago.When you separate those most…[more]
 
 
—Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
— Aaron Blake, The Washington Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Is significant, proven plagiarism sufficient to disqualify, in the minds of voters, any candidate for public office?