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Watchdog Vigilance provides information about how we as as a nation can be extra vigilant regarding those who might be emboldened to impose various types of government oppression. An online community is established where Americans work together to help control government oppression. This volunteer effort is non-party, non-connected, and non-profit.
Many can identify the result of the 2016 presidential election as an expression of necessary vigilance regarding a government that has become tyrannical in its disregard for what makes America great.However, the 2016 presidential election also forces us as a nation to be extra vigilant regarding those who might be newly emboldened to impose the following types of government oppression:
Vigorous ongoing national vigilance will be necessary as we perfect our union and continue to make America great. As Theodore Roosevelt said,"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ... who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
The Watchdog Indiana and Watchdog Lebanon blogs were founded by Aaron Smith on November 14, 2001 - this Watchdog Vigilance blog was established November 9, 2016. Aaron's resides in Lebanon Indiana, and his biographical information can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/aaron.htm.
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Immediate action needed!
08/03/2017: We need to support all 23 Senators on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee as they begin their bipartisan work to stabilize our American Health Care System!
We no longer have Obamacare, Ryancare, O’Connellcare, or Trumpcare. We now have an American Health Care System with bipartisan support. In addition to unanimous Democratic opposition, 20 Republicans in the U.S. House voted once this year – and up to 9 Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted three times this year – against “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act.
Further evidence of bipartisan ownership of our American Health Care System came August 1 when the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) released the following statement: “This committee will hold hearings beginning the week of September 4th on the actions Congress should take to stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market so that Americans will be able to buy insurance at affordable prices in the year 2018. We will hear from state insurance commissioners, patients, governors, health care experts and insurance companies. Committee staff will begin this week working with all of our committee members to prepare for these hearings and discussions.”
Senator Alexander made the additional comments listed next.
“The reason for these hearings is that unless Congress acts by September 27, when insurance companies must sign contracts with the federal government to sell insurance on the federal exchange next year, millions of Americans with government subsidies in up to half our states may find themselves with zero options for buying health insurance on the exchanges in 2018. Many others without government subsidies will find themselves unable to afford health insurance because of rising premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
“There are a number of issues with the American health care system, but if your house is on fire, you want to put out the fire, and the fire in this case is the individual health insurance market. Both Republicans and Democrats agree on this. Our committee had one hearing on February 1 on this subject, and we’ll work intensively between now and the end of September to finish our work in time to have an effect on the health insurance policies sold in 2018.
“I am consulting with Senator Murray to make these hearings bipartisan and to involve as many members of the committee as possible, all who want to can be involved. I’ll be consulting with Senator Hatch and Senator Wyden so that the Finance Committee is aware of any matters we discuss that might be within its jurisdiction.
“In these discussions, we are dealing with a small segment of the total health insurance market. Only about 6 percent of insured Americans buy their insurance in the individual market – only about 4 percent of insured Americans buy their insurance on the exchanges.
“But while these percentages are small, they represent large numbers of Americans including many of our most vulnerable Americans. We’re talking about the roughly 18 million Americans in the individual market – about 11 million of them who buy their insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. About 9 million of those 11 million Americans have Affordable Care Act subsidies, and unless we act, many of them may not have policies available to buy in 2018 because insurance companies will pull out of collapsing markets.
“Just as important, unless we act, costs could rise once again – even making health care unaffordable – for the additional 9 million Americans in the individual market who receive no government support – roughly 2 million of them who buy their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges but who don’t qualify for a government subsidy and roughly 7 million who buy their insurance outside of the exchanges – this means they have no government help paying for their premiums, co-pays and deductibles.
“As we prepare for these discussions,I have also urged the president to temporarily continue the cost-sharing reduction payments through September so that Congress can work on a short- term solution for stabilizing the individual market in 2018.
“Cost-sharing reduction subsidies reduce copays and deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs to help low income Americans who buy their health insurance on the exchanges (that would be those who make under 250 percent of Federal Poverty Level, roughly $30,000 for an individual or $60,000 for a family of four).
“Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions, Americans will be hurt. Up to half of the states will likely have bare counties with zero insurance providers offering insurance on the exchanges, and insurance premiums will increase by roughly 20%, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
“In my opinion, any solution that Congress passes for a 2018 stabilization package would need to be small, bipartisan and balanced. It should include funding for the cost-sharing reductions, but it also should also include greater flexibility for states in approving health insurance policies.
“Now if the president were to approve continuation of cost-sharing subsidies for August and September, and if Congress in September passed a stabilization plan that includes cost-sharing for one year, it is reasonable to expect that the insurance companies would then lower their rates. They have told us, in fact Oliver Wyman an independent observer of health care, has told us that lack of funding for the cost-sharing reductions would add 11 to 20 percent to premiums in 2018.
“So, if the president over the next two months and Congress over the next year take steps to provide certainty that there will be cost-sharing subsidies, that should allow insurance companies to lower the premiums that they have projected. In fact, many insurance companies have priced their rates in 2018 at two different levels. One with cost-sharing and one without cost-sharing. So it’s important not only that the president approve temporary cost-sharing for August and September, but that we in a bipartisan way find a way to approve it at least for one year so we can keep premiums down.
“Now this is only step one in what we may want to do about health insurance and the larger question of health care costs. So we will proceed step-by-step. A subsequent step would be to try to find a way to create a long-term more robust individual insurance market, but for the short-term, our proposal is that by mid-September we will see if we can agree on a way to stabilize the individual insurance market to keep premiums down and make affordable insurance available to all Americans.”
Did You Know?
01/15/2018: Everyone is urged to be vigilant regarding those who might be emboldened to impose various types of government oppression. Some pertinent U.S. laws and regulations requiring vigilance are summarized in the following public policy categories:
Military Use Public Policies
1. Iran Nuclear Deal
2. U.S. Israel Embassy Location
3. Syria Civil War
4. North Korea
Immigration Public Policies
1. United States Immigration History 1820-2005
2. Essential Immigration Facts
6. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
7. "Sanctuary City" Communities
8. Mexico Border Security
9. Joe Arpaio Pardon
Business Regulations Public Policies
1. Congressional Review Act
2. Overtime Pay Salary Threshold
3. Oil & Miming Extraction Disclosure Rule
4. Border-Adjustment Tax
5. Supply-Side Economics Reality
Environmental Public Policies
1. Congressional Review Act
2. Commercial Trucks and Buses Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3. Power Plant Carbon Emissions
International Trade Public Policies
1. American Manufacturing Changes
2. China Trade
Safe Family Planning Public Policies
1. U.S. Abortion Rate
2. Planned Parenthood Medicaid Funding
Health Care Public Policies
1. American Health Care Act (Trumpcare #1)
1.A. Advocacy Group Position Statements
1.B. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
1.C. Consequences of Significantly Lower Medicaid Enrollment
2. Better Care Reconciliation Act (Trumpcare #2)
2.A. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate
2.B. Well-To-Do Welfare
2.C. ACT NOW: Oppose BCRA
3. ACT NOW: Oppose Graham-Cassidy Bill
4. Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
4.B. Health Care Improvements
4.C. ACT NOW: Oppose ACA Repeal
5. Insurance Coverage Mandate
6. Preventive Care
7. Contraceptive Options
8. Essential Health Benefits
9. Medicaid Coverage
10. Self-Insured Coverage
11. Pertinent Historical Data
11.A. National Health Expenditures
11.B. Federal Government Health Programs Spending
11.C. National Debt History
12. Employee Health Benefits
13. Medicare Expansion (ME) single-payer health care proposal
Presidential Capacity Oversight Commission
Some folks earnestly believe that Donald Trump is “unhinged” and lacks sufficient capacity to properly execute the powers and duties of the office of United States President.
In an effort to more precisely specify the concerns that have been expressed regarding President Trump, a Mental Disorders Recognition Checklist has been prepared with 245 symptoms that everyday citizens can use to help recognize the possible existence of 20 commonly diagnosed mental disorders. It is believed that President Trump publicly exhibits 19 symptoms that appear to be associated with personality, bipolar, adult attention, depressive, and psychotic disorders. See http://www.finplaneducation.net/mental_disorders_checklist.htm.
The following letter was sent September 5, 2017, to a U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators:
“Please work to secure the passage of H.R. 1987.
“H.R. 1987 establishes a permanent Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity that would serve as the Congressional body to carry out Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Section 4 of the 25th Constitutional Amendment allows the U.S. Vice President to serve as Acting President if the U.S. President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.
“The Presidential Capacity Oversight Commission would have 11 members that are selected in a bipartisan manner by Congressional leadership. At least 8 of the Commission members must be a doctor of medicine licensed to practice medicine, surgery, or osteopathy in a State. At least 4 of the Commission members would have to be a doctor with a specialty in psychiatry.
“A concurrent resolution would have to be passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to direct the Presidential Capacity Oversight Commission to promptly conduct a medical examination of the President. The examination would determine whether the President is temporarily or permanently impaired by physical illness or disability, mental illness, mental deficiency, or alcohol or drug use to the extent that the person lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to execute the powers and duties of the office of President. The Commission would promptly submit a report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate describing the findings and conclusions of the examination.
“According to Section 4 of the 25th Constitutional Amendment, if the Vice President agrees with a Presidential Capacity Oversight Commission report that the President in incapacitated, the Vice President would immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. If the President declares that no incapacity exists, them it would take a two-thirds vote of both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the Vice President to become Acting President.
“The necessity of establishing a permanent Presidential Capacity
Oversight Commission is alarmingly demonstrated by the following personality
disorder, bipolar disorder, adult attention disorder, depressive disorder, and
psychotic disorder symptoms that appear to be exhibited by President Donald
1. Be unable to get along with others or to form and maintain relationships
2. Tend to blame others, luck, or circumstances for whatever goes wrong
3. Repeatedly lie, try to manipulate others, or violate the law or social norms, with no remorse or guilt
4. Crave constant attention and be extremely emotional and concerned with their appearance
“Please, for the good of the nation, work to secure the passage of H.R. 1987 to establish a permanent Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.”
The text of the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act proposed by H.R.1987 can be found online at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1987/text.
The content of Section 4 of Amendment XXV to the United States Constitution is analyzed online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/constitutional_amendment_xxv.htm.
Russian Government 2016 Presidential Election Interference
The January 6, 2017, report titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment. The report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and National Security Agency (NSA), and covers the motivation and scope of the Russian government’s intentions regarding U.S. elections and the use of cyber tools and media campaigns to influence U.S. public opinion. The assessment focuses on activities aimed at our 2016 U.S. presidential election and draws on an understanding of previous Russian influence operations. The report (which can be found online at https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf) does not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of our 2016 presidential election, but it does include the noteworthy conclusions listed next.
(1) Russian efforts to influence our 2016 U.S. presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.
(2) Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at our U.S. presidential election.
(3) Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in our U.S. democratic process, denigrate Hillary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.
(4) The Russian Government developed a clear preference for Donald Trump.
(5) The Russian Government aspired to help Donald Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Hillary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.
(6) Russia’s influence campaign followed a messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations – such as cyber activity – with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.”
(7) The types of systems Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.
On May 17, 2017, the U.S. Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” as well as other matters that “may arise directly from the investigation.” Similar ongoing investigations are also being conducted by the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
The Russian government interference in our 2016 presidential election is NOT
“politics as usual.” Those who proclaim that the ongoing election
interference investigations are politically motivated “witch hunts” –
instead of necessary nonpartisan efforts to protect the integrity of our
election process – not only are showing disdain for the motives of our
intelligence community, but are willfully ignoring the updated FACTUAL timelines
of key events in the various investigations from the following sources:
FactCheck.org at http://www.factcheck.org/2017/06/timeline-russia-investigation/,
Moyers & Company at http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/,
Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections, and
Committee to Investigate Russia at https://investigaterussia.org/.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is authorized to prosecute federal crimes
arising from the Russian election interference investigation. Because I
adamantly believe that efforts by foreign enemies to interfere with our
elections are war-like attacks on our government, I also believe that anyone
colluding with the foreign enemies are giving them aid and comfort and
committing treason as defined by the following:
Constitution of the United States
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained.
The penalties for treason are the following:
Title 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
Part I – CRIMES
Chapter 115 – TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES
Paragraph 2381 – Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Paragraph 2382 – Misprision of treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both.
At this time, no conclusive evidence of election interference collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign has been made public. I have decided to rely on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to determine the extent of any such collusion. I will also accept the decisions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller regarding any prosecutions arising from the Russian election interference investigation – even if the prosecutions against any identified colluders fall short of the treason charges that I believe to be deserved.
Listed below are several ways you can help exercise vigilance to help control various types of government oppression.
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Register to vote.
Submit questions to federal, state, and local candidates to determine their qualifications to be your public servants to help control various types of government oppression.
Establish ongoing contacts with your federal, state, and local elected public servants to encourage them to help control various types of government oppression.
Submit to the Editor of your local newspaper a letter or opinion article regarding those who might be emboldened to impose various types of government oppression.
Watchdog Vigilance summarizes my efforts be extra vigilant regarding those who might be emboldened to impose various types of government oppression. Understanding the Fundamental Watchdog Beliefs will help you understand the approach taken in this website. Please send an E-mail telling what you think about Watchdog Vigilance or anything else that comes to mind. Your comments, suggestions, problems, complaints, praise, and opinions are welcome.
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This page was last updated on 01/24/18.