The backdoor route to federalizing police forces

Well, isn’t that special? The Department of Justice is going to “help” Cleveland’s police force

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland agreed to overhaul its police department under the supervision of a federal monitor in a settlement announced Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Justice over a pattern of excessive force and other abuses by officers.

The announcement comes three days after a white patrolman was acquitted of voluntary manslaughter charges in the shooting deaths of two unarmed black suspects in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire following a high-speed chase. The case helped prompt an 18-month investigation by the Justice Department.

In a report released in December, the department required the city to work with community leaders and other officials to devise a plan to reform the police department. A judge must approve the plan, and an independent monitor will oversee it.

The settlement calls for new use-of-force guidelines, a focus on community engagement, accountability reforms, training on bias-free policing and a mental health advisory committee.

Am I the only one that feels sick when I hear about changing use-of-force guidelines? Am I the only one that doubts these guidelines would actually help better train police? And what of “community engagement”? Sorry, I have no faith in a DOJ, run by Leftists, as ours currently is, doing anything positive to help here. And the big fear comes when I read about “bias-free policing”. Sounds like the feds would apply political correctness to police work. what could go wrong there, right?

Look for this trend to grow, we already know that Baltimore has “asked” for help, and the Ferguson Police Department has knuckled under as well. Which city, or county is next? this should concern everyone that cares about local police forces not being nationalized, which would be a disastrous route to take, can you imagine the red tape, and bureaucracy? The corruption, and worst of all, the centralization of powers? We know that everything the government touches is ruined, and that would be no different here.

Your Self-Defense Story of the Day

Thugs beware, home invasions can cause allergic reactions

PLEASANT GROVE — A homeowner shot and killed a man trying to break into his house Sunday morning, police said.

Officers responded to a report of a home invasion in the area of 1700 West and 60 South at 5:42 a.m. where they found Christian Chichia, 24, had been shot, according to Pleasant Grove police Lt. Britt Smith. He died after being taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

A preliminary investigation shows Chichia began pounding on the front door of the house, awakening and alarming the homeowners, Britt said. After he couldn’t get in the front door, he climbed to a second-story balcony and tried to get in a door.

Britt said the homeowner armed himself and went to the balcony door. He unlocked the door to talk to the man.

“Once the door was unlocked Chichia attempted to force his way into the residence, and was shot by the homeowner,” he said.

Had it been me, I would not have unlocked the door. Bob Owens offers some insight

This will probably be ruled a self-defense shooting, but the homeowner made a huge mistake in unlocking the balcony door to talk to the man outside, and may potentially blur the lines of his defense.

An anti-gun prosecutor could make the argument that the home invader, Chichia, had remained outside when attempting to access the main door on the first floor without attempting to break in, and may have remained outside without trying to force his way in if the homeowner had simply left the door locked. If Chichia had breached a locked door, the shooting would have been open-and-shut.

I don’t pretend to know Utah’s laws, but in some states Chichia’s family may be able to file a costly wrongful death lawsuit against the homeowner.

As I said, if this is me, I arm myself, but call 911, and unless the guy busts through the door, I let the police handle it

Federal Court Deals Blow To President Asshat’s Executive Amnesty Scheme

Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow To President Obama’s Amnesty – Washington Times

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A federal appeals court upheld an injunction against President Obama’s new deportation in a ruling Tuesday that marks the second major legal setback for an administration that had insisted its actions were legal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of Texas, which had sued to stop the amnesty, on all key points, finding that Mr. Obama’s amnesty likely broke the law governing how big policies are to be written.

“The public interest favors maintenance of the injunction,” the judges wrote in the majority opinion.

Mr. Obama had acted in November to try to grant tentative legal status and work permits to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants, saying he was tired of waiting for Congress to act.

The full amnesty, known as Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, or DAPA, had been scheduled to begin last week, while an earlier part had been slated to accept applications on Feb. 18. But just two days before that, Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued his injunction finding that Mr. Obama had broken the law.

Administration officials had criticized that ruling, and immigrant-rights advocates had called Judge Hanen an activist bent on punishing immigrants. But Tuesday’s ruling upholds his injunction, giving some vindication to the judge.

It also could mean Mr. Obama will have to appeal to the Supreme Court if he wants to implement his amnesty before the end of his term.

In the 2-1 decision, Judge Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Elrod ruled in favor of Texas, finding that the state would suffer an injury from having to deliver services to the illegal immigrants granted legal status, and ruling that it was a major enough policy that the president should have sent it through the usual rule-making process.

“DAPA modifies substantive rights and interests – conferring lawful presence on 500,000 illegal aliens in Texas forces the state to choose between spending millions of dollars to subsidize driver’s licenses and changing its law,” the judges wrote.

Judge Stephen A. Higginson dissented from Tuesday’s ruling, saying he would have left the fight over immigration policy to the White House and Congress, saying Mr. Obama should have broad discretion to decide who gets deported and how he goes about that.

Just Higginson also said the fight was a political battle, not a legal one

“The political nature of this dispute is clear from the names on the briefs: hundreds of mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs, attorneys general, governors, and state legislators – not to mention 185 members of Congress, 15 states and the District of Columbia on the one hand, and 113 members of Congress and 26 states on the other,” he wrote.

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Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? (David Catron)

Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? – David Catron

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In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83 percent of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President’s “signature domestic achievement” was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it’s obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why? “All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.”

Obamacare apologists suggest different causes, of course. Jonathan Cohn writes, “One reason could be the normal and predictable competition among insurance plans jostling for market share.” Cohn’s grasp of economics is so tenuous that he doesn’t know insurers compete for market share by reducing premiums. He also connects the increases to anxiety about that bête noire of Obamacarians everywhere, King v. Burwell: “If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs… millions will drop their coverage because they will no longer be able to afford it.” Cohn evidently thinks insurers will respond by making insurance even less affordable.

The real reason for the proposed increases is that insurers now have real data on real Obamacare enrollees rather than implausible projections from the Obama administration. And this new information makes it clear that they’ll lose their shirts if they sell coverage at anything resembling 2015 rates. Many young, healthy individuals have refused to buy pricy Obamacare coverage, leaving insurance carriers with sluggish premium streams out of which to pay the large dollar claims coming in from seriously ill patients willing to buy coverage regardless of cost. This dynamic has already caused a number of health insurers to incur huge losses.

Obviously, not even an evil insurance company can stay in business if it consistently loses large amounts of money. Earlier this month, Assurant Health announced that losses related to Obamacare are causing it to close its doors. Western Journalism reports, “The company and industry watchers blamed its losses directly on the impact of Obamacare… Assurant lost $63.7 million in 2014. The insurer raised its rates by 20 percent in 2015, in hopes of returning to profitability, but lost between $80 to $90 million during the first quarter of this year.” The company has been in business for 123 years and provides coverage for 1 million people.

Assurant is based in Wisconsin, but insurers all across the country are attempting to survive the same perverse incentives that finally undid that venerable company. The Journal lists proposed increases by companies offering plans through exchanges in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. And many of these companies are already losing huge amounts of money: “BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee… lost $141 million from exchange-sold plans, stemming largely from a small number of sick enrollees.” It is asking for a 36.3 percent rate increase.

All of which suggests that the “premium stabilization” safeguards ostensibly meant to prevent Obamacare from sending the health insurance industry into a death spiral aren’t working. The “reinsurance program,” as Philip Klein explains at the Washington Examiner, “slaps fees on insurance policies and uses the revenue to funnel payments to insurers to compensate them for taking on individuals with a high-risk profile.” “Risk corridors” are a corporate redistribution scheme whereby the government uses the profits of some insurers to offset the losses of others. But, as Klein points out, both programs will be gone after 2016.

If disasters like Assurant and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee are occurring while these programs remain in place, what will happen when they’re gone? Well, we’ll have more insurers proposing hair-raising rate increases in order to avoid the fate of Assurant. But, not to worry, says Charles Gaba at HealthInsurance.org, upon whom the erstwhile “Citizen Cohn” rather desperately relies upon as the voice of reason: “These requested rate changes are being submitted to the state insurance commissioner’s office… and in most states either the commissioner or some other regulatory body has to either approve the requests or deny them.”

In other words, some state bureaucrat may simply deny the insurance company’s rate request and impose a more “appropriate” premium. This means that, in New Mexico, Health Care Service Corp. may get a mere 25 percent increase rather than the 51 percent it has proposed. In Tennessee, Blue Cross may get only 20 percent rather than the requested 36.3 percent increase. In Maryland, the state bureaucrats may decide that, instead of a 30.4 percent increase, Blue Shield may only get 18 percent. All of these outcomes have one thing in common: The rate goes up by double digits. That means you pay a higher premium no matter how it turns out.

In other words, in the best case scenario, the your health insurance premiums are going up. And this is not simply because Obamacare has been unable to accomplish the main thing most Americans wanted from health reform in first place – more affordable medical care. Barack Obama’s “signature domestic achievement” is actually making health care less affordable. Good job, Mr. President. Please use the rest of your term perfecting your chip shot.

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Putrid Leftist Alan Grayson Tweets ‘F*** The Police’ Photo

Rep. Alan Grayson Tweets Photo With ‘F*** The Police’ Graffiti – Big Government

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Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) posted a tweet saying he opposes the militarization of police forces. His message contained a profanity. A photo attached to the tweet showed police officers wearing gas masks and holding weapons, standing next to a mailbox with graffiti that said, “F*** The Police.”

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As he considers a run for the U.S. Senate in 2016, Grayson is no stranger to controversy. He is currently engaged in battles with both the leadership of his party, who have thrown their support in the Senate race behind Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL), and with his estranged wife and mother of his five children, who he is seeking to cut off from his estimated $26 million fortune.

Earlier this month, Grayson launched a profanity-laden tirade at another Florida reporter, saying that his story was s “a whole ‘nother level of bullsh**” and asking him if he was “some kind of sh**ing robot” who went around “sh***ing on people.”

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