Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 5, 2012

Norquist: Obamacare is Obamatax
from Washington Times, LLC
July 5, 2012

It’s official: Obamacare is Obamatax. The Supreme Court saved Obamacare but at the expense of exposing it as simply a massive collection of taxes - 20 taxes at least. Obamacare was supposed to reduce the cost of health insurance but it has six taxes on Americans who already have health insurance. Your insurance will cost more to pay Mr. Obama’s tax hikes.

Obamacare was supposed to “bend the cost curve down” but it has a tax on medical devices. What medical devices? Braces for your kids. A stent for your heart. A wheelchair. All the cool stuff you see in hospitals will now cost more in order to pay Mr. Obama’s tax on medical devices.

Obamacare has a tax on lifesaving drugs. Great - now our drugs will cost more. Obamacare raises taxes on making new drugs by $2.3 billion a year. And you will pay it.

Obamacare promised that you would be able to keep your insurance. Not if you have a Health Savings Account - that is hit with new tax penalties. Just try and buy over-the-counter nonprescription drugs pre-tax with your HSA - not anymore. Your Flexible Spending Account is now going to be taxed so that parents who use these insurance accounts to take care of special-needs children will find part of their own life savings taxed away to Washington. And if you have insurance that Washington bureaucrats have decided on your behalf is too good, then you pay part of the $32 billion Mr. Obama is adding in new taxes on those with “too much, too good” health insurance.

Obamacare even has a tax on charitable hospitals.

Seven of the Obamacare taxes directly hit middle-income Americans. So much for Mr. Obama’s promise to never raise “any form” of tax on anyone earning less than $250,000.

Read more: Norquist: Obamacare Is Obama Tax

GPS Hyjacking: Team of U.S. Faculty and Students Take Control of Drone
July 5, 2012

Faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin have proven that a sophisticated surveillance drone can be hacked mid-flight via its GPS. The same could be done with virtually any type of drone, or even with a commercial airliner.

Drones, or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), are used both domestically — particularly along our southern border — and by the military and the CIA abroad, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere. Last week, a small team of faculty and students was able to take control of a Department of Homeland Security drone by “spoofing” its GPS. They did what the Iranians appear to have done last December when they gained control over a U.S. Air Force RQ-170 stealth UAV and landed it in Kashmar, Iran. The Iranians then put the RQ-170 aircraft, with a damaged underside and repaired wing, on display. It seems that the Iranian pilot/operators were less than familiar with the airplane’s flight envelope and landing procedures than the UTA group, but still they managed to take control of it and to get it down on the ground relatively intact.

Can Cruz Pull It Off?
By Katrina Trinko
July 5, 2012

If Ted Cruz is going to win the runoff for the Republican nomination for Texas’s open Senate seat, he needs a low turnout — or a way to change the momentum in the race.

Among Lone Star politicos, the consensus is that it will be hard for Cruz, the underdog in popular support and funds, to beat Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. In the primary election, Cruz succeeded in forcing Dewhurst into a runoff — but he also trailed Dewhurst by eleven points.

So far, the pace of the runoff race has proved sluggish. A June 22 debate offered a chance for the first true sparks to fly. But thanks partially to the debate’s timing (Friday night), it had little impact. The next — and likely last — debate will be held on Tuesday, July 17.

“Pretty much the status quo has been maintained, which I think is a good thing for Dewhurst,” says Mark P. Jones, a political-science professor at Rice University. “Cruz hasn’t been able to do anything to weaken support for Dewhurst.” Also, Dewhurst is still running ads — albeit not as many as he ran right before the election — while Cruz is almost “absent from paid media,” Jones comments.

Furthermore, supporters of the primary’s third-place finisher, former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert, who garnered 13 percent of the vote, are considered likely to either not vote or back Dewhurst. A poll by Public Policy Polling in late May found that “Leppert voters prefer Dewhurst over Cruz by a 77–13 margin.” On the other hand, Matt Mackowiak, a Texas Republican strategist who supports Cruz, speculates that unless Leppert endorses Dewhurst — which he hasn’t done so far, perhaps because of the attacks the Dewhurst campaign made on him toward the end of the primary — his supporters may be more inclined to tune out than to pull the lever for Dewhurst.

The Cruz campaign remains optimistic, citing the enthusiasm for Cruz at the Texas GOP convention in June. Rick Perry was booed by some in the audience when he praised Dewhurst, whom he has endorsed.

Cruz’s endorsements, too, could help make his case to conservative voters: They include heavyweights ranging from Jim DeMint to Pat Toomey to Rand Paul. “And those are the guys who are fighting tooth and nail every day to limit the size of government, and to stop the bailouts and the debt-ceiling increases and the earmarks and the spending gimmicks,” says Cruz campaign manager John Drogin. “Ted’s going to go up there and fight with those guys. Dewhurst is going to go along to get along, and compromise.”

Furthermore, the final eleven-point gap between Cruz and Dewhurst doesn’t tell the full story. In the early voting, Cruz lagged by 18 points, but enthusiasm in the late stages allowed him to catch up. By the time the votes were counted, Dewhurst’s percentage of support was four points lower than it had been during early voting.

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