Obamacare Chaos: President Obama has once again unilaterally changed his signature health care law without Congress. From CNSNews.com: “President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department issued a new regulation today that for the second time directly violates the plain and unambiguous text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by allowing some businesses to avoid the law’s Dec. 31, 2013 deadline to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.” U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says Obama is interested in exempting corporations, but not families. Charles Krauthammer says, “This is the kind of stuff you do in a banana republic…” Despite what appears like election-minded panic on Obama’s part, progressives at ThinkProgress say the business mandate only affects a very, very small percentage of employers.
Water under the bridge: New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie, despite dealing with the George Washington Bridge closure controversy, has broken a GOP fundraising record from his position as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association. In January alone, the RGA raised $6 million, according to RGA spokeswoman Gail Gitcho. This is good news for fans of Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage, as the RGA has shown an early willingness to help a Republican win Maine’s gubernatorial race. Word on the street: The RGA’s Maine point man will be in town this week performing some reconnaissance.
Iranian Rumblings: The defense minister for the Islamic Republic of Iran said Monday the country has test-fired new homemade long-range ballistic missiles. “Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said one of them was a long-range ballistic missile with radar-evading capabilities,” according to Reuters. A U.S. negotiator told a Senate hearing last week that Iran’s ballistic missile program will be addressed as part of broader negotiations over the nation’s nuclear program. Meanwhile, Iran’s nuclear chief recently unveiled powerful new centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
Prison Inmates Living Well: An Investigator General report is blaming a lack of oversight for federally funded Medicare payments that went to incarcerated criminals. The IG says inmates are “generally not eligible for federal health care benefits,” according to the Washington Times report. But disorganization at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid somehow allowed $11.7 million in federally funded drug benefits to go to inmates from 2006 to 2010. The Times writes, “Getting an exact amount of how much is being wasted annually from Medicare payment mistakes is difficult, but some estimates place the number as high as $50 billion.”
Fantasyland: House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland predicts Democrats are well-positioned to win back the House of Representatives in 2014. Democrats would need to pick up 17 seats in order to achieve a majority in the House. They would also have to hold on to Maine’s Second Congressional seat, which was recently vacated by Democratic Rep. Michael Michaud.
Vote Demcorat. Because, Russia: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent on an email blast over the weekend with an intriguing angle: Give us your email, because that somehow equals a denunciation of Russia’s inhumane anti-LGBT laws. How empowered young Democrats must feel! Apparently Russia’s utter lack of freedom — both politically and economically — is a problem for the left-of-center crowd only when it threatens the life-style of foreign athletes.
The Poverty Industry: Rep. Amy Volk (R-Scarborough) hits the nail on the head with a column in The Forecaster on Medicaid expansion: “Democratic politicians and their political allies who stand to profit from an expansion of Maine’s medical welfare program under the ObamaCare law are advocating a new, record expansion of the program to at least 70,000 able-bodied young adults.” Despite the obvious profit motive for backers of Medicaid expansion, Maine’s liberal newspapers remain remarkable unwilling to report on Maine’s poverty industry. Exhibit A: House Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick), director of business development for Sweetser. With Eves’ help, Sweetser, a major Medicaid beneficiary, last year landed no-bid contracts worth $2.5 million. The non-profit social services agency stands to see its taxpayer-funded revenue stream increase by tens of millions of dollars if the Sweetser Speaker’s expansion proposal prevails.
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The Daily Catch is a new daily post at The Maine Wire. It will feature a blend of local and national news stories of interest to conservatives. If you have a story you would like included in the Daily Catch, please send an email to Editor Steve Robinson at email@example.com.