Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system…
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Citing Costs, Vermont Shelves Single Payer Health System

Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system in 2017, reports the Daily Caller.

Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin made the announcement on Wednesday, citing several factors.

Among the most important were changes in financing assumptions. Vermont had been counting on infusions of federal funding to buoy the program, but confirmed that it overshot its estimates by a whopping $311 million. Without the expected seed money of federal tax dollars there’s not enough start-up capital needed to get the project going.

The other blow to Vermont’s single payer scheme – to be called Green Mountain Care – is its lack of financial sustainability. In order to make the enterprise successful, Vermont would need to levy tax hikes like an…[more]

December 18, 2014 • 11:06 am

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“Operation Fast and Furious” – Obama Administration Endorses Guns for Mexican Drug Runners, But Not Lawful Americans Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, June 16 2011
So on the one hand, the sitting President of the United States denigrates law-abiding American citizens who “cling” to guns that he would prefer to outlaw. Meanwhile, his administration recklessly allowed smugglers serving murderous Mexican drug cartels to obtain firearms at will.


Professor John Lott, economic scholar and foremost authority on the deadly real-world consequences of gun “control” laws across the globe, labeled Barack Obama “undoubtedly the most anti-gun candidate ever nominated by a major party for President.” 

Well, that apparently depends on who possesses the gun. 

If you’re a law-abiding American citizen, the Obama Administration would prefer that you remain defenseless.  That’s particularly true if you live in one of America’s high-crime urban hellholes where restaurants refuse to deliver, police are overwhelmed, firearms are outlawed and self-defense in your own home constitutes a crime. 

But if you’re a potential gun trafficker with connections to Mexican drug cartels?  Then you’re in luck. 

That discrepancy became clear this week, as America witnessed the tragic spectacle of the Obama Justice Department’s “Operation Fast and Furious.” 

According to documents and testimony before Representative Darrell Issa (R – California) and the House Oversight Committee that he leads, leading officials within the Justice Department and its subsidiary Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives approved an ill-conceived operation to allow arms purchases by gun traffickers.  Officials planned to monitor those purchases and eventually construct a legal case against Mexican drug cartels. 

Like many Obama Administration schemes, however, things went awry.  The government didn’t possess sufficient ability to trace the firearms in question, so the operation quickly unraveled. 

According to the testimony of federal law enforcement agents, they received explicit orders to refrain from arresting suspects and allow the activities to proceed.  Sadly, two weapons purchased during the operation were later discovered in Arizona at the site where U.S. border agent Brian Terry was killed.  The testimony of Agent Terry’s mother and cousin was particularly wrenching, as they described the late-night telephone call informing them that he was murdered just ten days before Christmas, and how his gifts arrived by mail even after his death. 

During the same round of testimony, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Ronald Weich smugly refused to answer Rep. Issa’s direct questions, including who authorized the operation itself. 

But don’t worry.  Mr. Weich assured us that Attorney General Holder “has said that he wants to get to the bottom of this.” 

Contrast the Obama Administration’s cavalier approach in Operation Fast and Furious with its extremist opposition to guns in the hands of law-abiding American citizens. 

Take the late Washington, D.C. gun ban, which effectively prohibited firearm possession even for self-defense in that high-crime capital.  As a candidate, the Obama campaign unambiguously stated to the Chicago Tribune that he, “believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.”  Obama repeated his support when questioned by local ABC News reporter Leon Harris.  If Obama supported the D.C. law, which was perhaps the strictest in the nation, it’s difficult to conceive of a prohibition that he would not support.  After the United States Supreme Court overturned that law in the famous 2008 Heller decision, of course, Obama conveniently changed his tune and bizarrely claimed to support that ruling. 

Also consider the city of Chicago, Obama’s own adopted hometown. 

Like Washington, D.C., Chicago effectively prohibited firearm possession even for self-defense in one’s own home.  Here is how the Associated Press described Obama’s position on guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens following a vote when he was an Illinois legislator:  “He also opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes.  The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation.” 

Obama also supported a complete handgun ban in a 1996 candidate questionnaire, and embraced a 1998 proposal to ban all sales of semi-automatic weapons, which constitute the overwhelming majority of firearms sold in America.  He also supported a prohibition of firearm sales within five miles of any school or park, which effectively covers all gun sales.  After all, how many people live in an area that doesn’t have a school or park within five miles? 

When the Chicago gun ban came before the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2010 case McDonald v. City of Chicago, moreover, the Obama Administration defied tradition and refused to even file a brief.  So much for his alleged support of the individual right to keep and bear arms that he professed after the Heller decision in 2008. 

So on the one hand, the sitting President of the United States denigrates law-abiding American citizens who “cling” to guns that he would prefer to outlaw.  Meanwhile, his administration recklessly allowed smugglers serving murderous Mexican drug cartels to obtain firearms at will. 

It all makes for a  grotesque, tragic inconsistency.

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following Americans was the first to successfully fly a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"In recent months, the outlook for the Castro regime in Cuba was growing steadily darker. The modest reforms it adopted in recent years to improve abysmal economic conditions had stalled, due to the regime'€™s refusal to allow Cubans greater freedoms. Worse, the accelerating economic collapse of Venezuela meant that the huge subsidies that have kept the Castros afloat for the past decade were in…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, The Washington Post
— The Editors, The Washington Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you approve or disapprove of the so-called “Cromnibus” bill that funds most of the federal government through September 2015, but only funds the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration, through February 2015.