Indiana governor: New law ‘not about discrimination’

Thousands of opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally against that legislation Saturday, March 28, 2015. Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill Thursday prohibiting state laws that “substantially burden” a person\’s ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

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Liberal Activist: ‘Thousands of People Will Die Every Year’ Under Obamacare

Elizabeth Harrington
CNS News
August 1, 2013

“Thousands of people will die every year” and “costs will continue to go out of control” under Obamacare, says Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.

The only solution is to nationalize health care through a single-payer system, Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Public Citizen argued outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.

“Is this realistic after the passage of the Affordable Care Act?” asked Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “This is what we know is going to happen after the Affordable Care Act is implemented.

“However well it goes, whatever hiccups it has, two things are sure to happen,” he said. “One, millions of people are going to remain uncovered. And the best-case scenario, millions of people will remain uncovered, which means thousands of people will die every year from a lack of health insurance coverage.

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Bill Gates Bashes Capitalism

But He’s Not The First Tech Billionaire To Do It

Image representing Bill Gates as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Bill Gates is renewing his criticism of capitalism, joining a long line of anti-capitalist billionaires.

Speaking at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Global Grand Challenges Summit on Wednesday, Gates lambasted capitalism, saying it “means male baldness research gets more funding than malaria,” Wired Magazine reports.

Gate’s claim came in the context of a speech about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, his $36.4 billion philanthropic effort that aims to focus technology and innovation initiatives on the needs of the poor worldwide.

Gates, who is currently the richest man in America, is far from the first tech billionaire to speak out against capitalism. Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Media Empire, famously said “capitalism has lost its way” in the forward of his 2011 book, Screw Business As Usual. At the book’s press launch, Branson said, “The short-term focus on profit has driven most businesses to forget about the important long-term role they have in taking care of people and the planet.”

Billionaire investors Warren Buffet and George Soros have also criticized American capitalism, as has billionaire filmmaker George Lucas. But many call these moguls hypocritical — even if they start foundations or pledge much of their own wealth to charitable causes, they still made billions and now seek to devalue others who want to do the same, critics say. “Not by accident did the expression ‘limousine liberal’ enter the American political lexicon years ago (in the late 1960s) as a pejorative term to ridicule the hypocrisy of left-wing anti-capitalists living the high life made possible by capitalism,” Richard M. Salsman wrote in Forbes, reacting to Buffet’s critique of capitalism.

Poor Bill Gates. He may be part of an elite coalition of anti-capitalist billionaires, but he still can’t be the cool kid.


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Top Democrats tell Obama to ignore Congress on debt limit

 Senate Democrats on Friday urged President Obama to do an end-run around Congress and claim the power to borrow more money on the credit of the U.S.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. walks out of the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 4, 2013, following the counting of Electoral College votes. (Associated Press) Photo by: Susan Walsh  –  By Stephen Dinan

The move, should Mr. Obama follow their advice, would likely force another constitutional battle between the executive branch and congressional Republicans. But the Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid, said Mr. Obama should turn to the strategy as a way of circumventing the GOP on the debt limit.

“We believe you must be willing to take any lawful steps to ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis — without Congressional approval, if necessary,” the four top Democrats in the Senate wrote in a letter to Mr. Obama.

But Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the chamber, said abdicating their authority to the White House amounted to “the Democratic leadership hiding under their desks.”

“Democrats in Washington are falling all over themselves in an effort to do anything they can to get around the law — and to avoid taking any responsibility for Washington’s out-of-control spending,” said Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

Several high-profile Senate Republicans have said the GOP should brace for a partial government shutdown as a way of forcing Mr. Obama to negotiate spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit past the current $16.4 trillion statutory cap.

But Democrats have balked at that arrangement, which they agreed to in 2011, and said Mr. Obama needs to try to gain the upper hand by making clear he won’t negotiate over the debt ceiling increase.

For decades, Congress has set a cap on the total debt burden the federal government can carry.

Some constitutional scholars say the Constitution’s 14th Amendment empowers the government to cover all of its bills when it reads: “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned.”

During that 2011 fight, Mr. Obama rejected calls to bypass Congress, with the White House disputing that he had that power.

Democrats say the debt limit doesn’t authorize new spending, but allows the government to pay for obligations it already agreed to when it passed the annual spending bills or when it set up entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Republicans, though, counter that when the government runs out of borrowing space, it signals a need to take action on the spending side.