September 19, 2014
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Will contributions distance Fung, Block from Republicans?
My take on the news
Lonnie Barham

WHO NEEDS DEMOCRATS? After reading about donations and support given to Democrats by the two announced Republican candidates for governor in Rhode Island, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Moderate Party founder Ken Block, many Republicans must be asking, “With Republicans like Fung and Block, who needs Democrat enemies?”

The Providence Journal reported this week that Fung has donated money to several prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Gordon Fox and – believe it or not, Democrat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Block has supported Democrat candidates, to include having voted for President Obama in 2012.

Perhaps most damaging to Block among Republicans is his reported statement justifying his Obama vote: “I don’t want to see the balance of power in the Supreme Court shift any further right than it is.” Many Republicans will respond, “A court that supported Obamacare is hardly right-wing.” Block further stated that he voted for Republican Don Carcieri twice for governor but now regrets both votes.

Fung’s donations to Rhode Island Democrats can perhaps be forgiven since in local politics actors have to “go along to get along,” but Fung’s donation to Harry Reid may be a bridge too far for Rhode Island Republicans. On the other hand, Block’s disdain for a former Republican governor and his embrace of President Obama will probably overshadow any Republican reservations about Fung.

WHAT’S PROVIDENCE HIDING ABOUT SPEAKER FOX?  Having already admitted it violated her free speech rights when it forced her away from her sidewalk leaflet distribution in 2010, the City of Providence is now denying activist Judith Reilly access to public information about how much the city’s Providence Economic Development Partnership paid to House Speaker Gordon Fox for real estate closures between 2005 and 2010. The Providence agency claims it has no records of what was paid to Fox and that the contracting attorney also has no records of payments. That makes no sense whatsoever! It is a clear violation of the Access to Public Records Act and the Attorney General’s office should take immediate action to remedy the situation. The whole thing begs the question: What’s Providence hiding about its financial relationship with Speaker Fox?

BUREAUCRATS RETREAT ON LIMOUSINE RATES: The Rhode Island Division of Public Utilities and Carriers (DPUC) has apparently learned from the Health Department’s mistake.

We all remember how the medical company that operates in 28 states and that wanted to provide home-delivered pain medication for Rhode Island patients with pumps was abjectly rejected by our health department. Unable to wade through the unnecessary red tape, the company pulled out of Rhode Island, costing us jobs and costing patients pain relief.

The transportation regulating body recently set a minimum charge for “public motor vehicles” at $40 per trip. Operators of livery cabs and limousines objected strongly to the move they saw as an obvious protection regulation for the taxicab industry that would limit, possibly destroy, their businesses in our state. Four private car companies filed suit. However, the biggest outcry came from Uber, the highly successful private car company that operates in 50 major cities without the kind of excessive, socialist-inspired, minimum rate structure mandated in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island startup company said the new rate would effectively force it out of business in our state, costing jobs and unfairly penalizing customers who use such services.

Fast forward to this week. The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers has decided to reconsider the minimum rate. It has put the matter back on its docket for a hearing.

It was a stupid decision by the DPUC to start with. The body of bureaucrats set a rule without thinking of its consequences on business and customer service in Rhode Island. It was following the lead of the Health Department by making it difficult or impossible for new companies to operate in the Ocean State. Thank goodness, it learned quickly from its mistake and is reconsidering. The problem is that many of our regulating bodies think the same, anti-business way. Until we change that mindset, our economy will remain in the pits.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL’S RIDICULOUS CARTOON: Further evidence of the Providence Journal’s anti-Second Amendment agenda appeared in Monday’s paper. The paper published a cartoon depicting a fat, redneck character objecting to the banning of trans-fats from our diets. With an assault rifle lying nearby, the flag-waving “hick” had a pistol tucked in his waistband and was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned “NRA.” Certainly, anyone looking at the cartoon would think it was the National Rifle Association that was being ridiculed for supporting trans-fats. The cartoon mentioned it nowhere, but guess what; the “NRA” that objects to eliminating trans-fats is the National Restaurant Association, not the National Rifle Association.

It’s bad enough when a supposedly “objective” newspaper constantly runs anti-Second Amendment articles and cartoons while giving scant attention to pro-freedom viewpoints. But the paper has taken its bias to a new level by publishing a trans-fat cartoon disguised to falsely discredit the National Rifle Association. Shame on the Providence Journal for its malicious, misleading cartoon!

OBAMACARE INCREASES NUMBER OF UNINSURED: After lying to the American people about their ability to keep their health insurance if they liked it under Obamacare and then seeing millions of affordable policies cancelled, President Obama changed course and said government would delay for one year the requirement that insurance companies cancel plans not consistent with Obamacare. It’s too little too late! The damage has been done. Approximately 4.2 million policies have already been cancelled and most will not be reissued for just one year. These millions of people have just lost their health insurance. And how many have signed up for new policies under Obamacare? A measly 106,000! That’s a 4 million net increase in the number of uninsured in our country. Wasn’t the objective of Obamacare to decrease the number of uninsured? Well, Mr. Obama, your plan’s not working!

RHODE ISLAND WON’T HELP OBAMA WITH FIX: Rhode Island, along with many other states, has rightfully told President Obama it will not go along with his “fix” of the Obamacare requirement that caused millions of Americans to lose their affordable health insurance policies. Why? Because it’s not a fix! It is a very costly, temporary delay designed to cover the butts of Democrats who may likely lose their seats in 2014 over Obama’s lies about Americans being able to keep their policies if they liked them.

State insurance commissioners and insurance company CEOs all agree that it will be virtually impossible to reverse three years of planning and revisions in the 30 days before policies have to be finalized. Further, they argue insurance costs would skyrocket because mostly healthy people would be kept out of Obamacare for another year, while unhealthy (costly) people would enter – thus, skewing the risk pool. Lastly, insurance companies are reluctant to reverse three years of plans only to have to reverse them again in just one year.

This is just another example of Obama’s inability to function successfully as a chief executive. He is a great orator, though most of his speeches are condescending and lean toward the didactic, and he is a good man. A leader or manager he is not! Oh, for the days of Johnson, Reagan and Clinton – leaders who could manage, inspire and accomplish!

ANOTHER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NON-APOLOGY: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has obviously taken a cue from President Obama on how to apologize without apologizing. Only days after introducing race and class into the Common Core State Standards’ argument by making a caustic remark about “white suburban moms,” Duncan “apologized” in the fashion of his boss, Barrack Obama, who has perfected the apologetic non-apology. Duncan’s “apology” consisted of: “A few days ago…I used some clumsy phrasing that I regret…” Just like Obama, who refused to admit he lied as he said “I’m sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation…” to those whose affordable health insurance policies were cancelled, Duncan refused to admit he had improperly introduced race and class into the education argument with his racist and class warfare comment about white suburban moms. It seems no one in the Obama administration is capable of outright honesty when they admit a mistake.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Speaking of President Obama’s news conference when he announced a delay in forcing insurance companies to cancel affordable health care policies, Representative Steve Scalise of California said Obama’s performance at the news conference “...was like a person who burned down your house, later showing up with an empty bucket and talking about how inadequate your house was before the fire.”


Comments
1 comment on this item

I didn't know we had an Attorney General. I think I saw his picture on a milk carton.

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