“student-athletes, and not athlete-students” as say Towey of Ave Maria | James Pat Guerréro

H. James Towey, after two months on the job, is laying off, reducing, firing, or volunteering coaching positions at Ave Maria University. Towey is the newly appointed President and CEO. Some positions affected are as follows:

  1. Human Resources reviewing coaching positions to be laid off
  2. Volleyball coach Chuck Amshoff to reduced pay
  3. Track and Cross Country coach Mike DeWitt was laid off and Track and Field team goes to a willing volunteer coach

Football coach is spared with some Towey advise.

“Ave Maria is not a Division I athletic program. It will always be a part of what we offer to students, but it’s not an entree. It’s a flavorful side dish.”

Read More: Ave Maria axes track and field program; some coaching positions reduced to part-time » Naples Daily News.


Mike Huckabee Is In? If So, He is the Frontrunner | RedState | Erick Erickson

It looks like I and many others who have been following this are very wrong and that Mike Huckabee is getting into the race.

Maybe not, but he sent out an email to his inner circle that reads like he is getting in. This will come as a surprise to many people. Frankly, at this point, I think it is awesome that Huck has been able to leave us all guessing.

The Wall Street Journal noted yesterday that Ed Rollins had been laying the ground work for 2012 on Huckabee’s behalf, but then hadn’t heard anything. Rollins speculated that Huckabee was out.

Ed Stelzer, a Republican from Georgia who spearheaded Huck’s Army in Georgia, also said yesterday Huckabee wasn’t running and added that Huck’s Iowa team had all gone elsewhere.

Wesley Donahue reported a few weeks ago in South Carolina that several of Huck’s guys there had been told they were free to go. Wes was widely attacked for being a Romney guy, but I and several others had heard this independent of Huck.

If he does get in, this is really a masterful job at throwing everyone off.

Yesterday, I posted my views on the horse race for 2012. If Mike Huckabee does decide to tell the world tonight that he is running, here’s how I think it impacts the race.

Herman Cain gets impacted in buzz. A lot of buzz has been going to Herman because, as I and others have said repeated, he stands out as the Huckabee of 2012. With Huckabee in the race, evangelicals in Iowa who want an outsider gravitate back to Huck.

Pawlenty is hurt by Huckabee entering. He’d be the “experience” candidate who also connects to evangelicals. Huckabee fills that void and it will leave Pawlenty scrambling.

Sarah Palin will be able to hold her on, but the establishment GOP that fears her will make peace with Huckabee quickly — very quickly. I think if Huckabee gets in there is no way Palin, should she get in, gets the nomination. In fact, I think Palin and Huckabee both in the race neutralizes them both.

Should Mike Huckabee get in, he will be the front runner. And to be honest, I hope he gets in. I have said for a few months now that while I disagree with Huckabee on much of his economic/fiscal record, he speaks in a way that resonates with the hearts of Americans. He would force every other candidate to rise to the occasion and bring their A game.

For that, we can all be grateful.

We’ll find out tonight.

via Mike Huckabee Is In? If So, He is the Frontrunner. | RedState.

The Independent Payment Advisory Board, a Death Panel in Waiting? | Health Reform Report

Rush Limbaugh has recently described the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) as a “death panel.” Another critic argues that IPAB’s “ultimate function will be to serve as a lever with which to pry the entire health care industry from private hands,” while another sees IPAB culminating in “the slippery slope to a Canadian-style health system.” Who would have thought a 15-member board, appointed by the President, would have such power?

The truth about IPAB depends on whether you believe what is written on paper or instead take into account the messy politics of entitlements as they have played out since the inception of Medicare and Medicaid. On paper, IPAB is restricted to making recommendations to Congress regarding how to help Medicare provide better care at lower cost. Since Medicare alone accounts for nearly one-quarter of personal health care spending, this is not a trivial degree of authority. But as the White House Blog correctly observes: “IPAB is specifically prohibited by law from recommending any policies that ration care, raise taxes, increase premiums or cost-sharing, restrict benefits or modify who is eligible for Medicare.” Indeed, IPAB’s paper powers are so weak that CBO predicts it will not be required to produce any cost savings between now and 2021.

What IPAB is most likely to do to control costs and do what Congress has neglected for decades: cut provider payments. This, in turn, will lead to reductions in access to care. Indeed today, seniors find it harder to find providers willing to take Medicare than 15 years ago and the IPAB has yet to even be appointed, much less issued its recommendations to Congress.

A decade ago, Congress failed to adopt a 30 percent reduction in physician fees codified in a statutory payment formula more. Due to politics, it kept kicking the can down the road (they refused to follow their own law). Yet this is exactly what IPAB was designed to achieve: to use experts to force Congress to do what it could not do politically.

So what would happen if IPAB succeeded where Congress could not?  First, even the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) — the panel of experts that currently advises Congress with voluntary recommendations –concedes that “fee cuts of that magnitude would be detrimental to beneficiary access to care.”  But we don’t need to speculate on this score. Just this week, the Massachusetts Medical Society released its latest survey showing that less than half of family medicine doctors now accept new patients (compared to 70 percent in 2007 just before “Romneycare” was adopted). More worrisome is the vast difference between acceptance of Medicare and various flavors of Romneycare. Whereas 87 percent of family practitioners in Massachusetts currently accept Medicare, only 62 percent accept Medicaid, 56 percent accept Commonwealth Care (the heavily subsidized plan offered through the Connector to low-and middle-income individuals without insured and only 44 percent accept Commonwealth Choice(the unsubsidized plan provided through the Connector to uninsured adults above 300 percent of poverty).

President Obama himself acknowledged the similarity between his plan and Massachusetts’ new healthcare law. Yet access to care for those obtaining coverage from a Connector that is nearly identical to a program in Obamacare is not only far worse than Medicare, but even worse than Medicaid.

Once IPAB is done with its cost-cutting why should anyone believe that access to Medicare will be any better than Massachusetts citizens have to Romneycare? Given that high-level White House officials have explicitly expressed interest in IPAB being extended to all health care while another key federal healthcare official has expressed a great fondness for NICE (the British version of IPAB which does have the power of a “death panel”) what does that bode for the rest of us?

Conover is a research scholar at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.

via The Independent Payment Advisory Board, a Death Panel in Waiting? | Health Reform Report.

Promises Made, Promises Kept | Gov. Rick Scott

Dear James,
I promised to get Florida back to work and turn our state around by cutting taxes, holding government accountable, reducing spending and expanding educational opportunities. Today with the help of the Legislature, I am proud to say that we are on our way to creating 700,000 new jobs for Florida.

Under my leadership, we closed a more than $3 billion deficit and balanced the budget, while slashing overall spending by over $2 billion.


We began reducing government spending by requiring government workers to contribute directly towards their own retirement, saving taxpayers over $1 billion. We will continue to reorganize government functions, reform the regulatory and rule-making processes, and optimize state agencies to focus on job growth and economic development.

In addition, we expanded educational opportunities with passage of virtual education legislation and the expansion of charter schools. There will be more school choices for parents than ever before. I also signed the Student Success Act which rewards the best teachers through a merit pay system while eliminating tenure, allowing under-performing teachers to be more easily replaced.

Most important, I kept my promise to reduce property taxes. With the Legislature’s help, we will reduce the property tax burden on Florida taxpayers by $210 million.

And we began phasing out the business income tax. Almost half of Florida’s small businesses will no longer be burdened with this tax.

It is through these reforms we are holding the government accountable to the most important person in the state, the taxpayer. With your continued support I will fight to make government more efficient and ensure a brighter future for Florida. Be sure to share our accomplishments here in Florida with your friends and family by encouraging them to check out my website or by sharing my page on Facebook.


Governor Rick Scott

P.S. Take the time today to show your support for these accomplishments and spread the word that we kept our promise to get Florida back to work!

Sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida. Not paid for at taxpayer expense.

New Gingrich on Fox News: I’m a Proven Debt Buster – HUMAN EVENTS | Tony Lee

Newt Gingrich gave his first interview since formally announcing his candidacy for President to “Fox News” last night.

In his interview with Sean Hannity, Gingrich was asked why he wanted to be President, and he responded by citing his past accomplishments and how he could use that experience to move the country forward.

“As speaker of the House, I worked to reform welfare, to balance the budget, to control spending, to cut taxes, to create economic growth. Unemployment came down from 5.6% to under 4. And for four years, we balanced the budget and paid off $405 billion in debt. We’ve done it before. We can do it again,” Gingrich said.

He said his campaign was “not about one person in the Oval Office. This is about millions of Americans deciding that together we can win the future with the right policies leading to the right outcomes.”

Gingrich discussed how he was ahead of the curve on the now ubiquitous social media network Twitter and talked about how the mainstream media landscape is still biased.

“If you’re a conservative, you have to start with the assumption that you’re not gonna get an even break from the elite media,” Gingrich said. But, he noted, “A lot has changed. And for the country, there are a lot of principles that haven’t changed.”

Gingrich also focused on what may be a principal issue in his campaign—the idea of what it means to be an American, and Gingrich has positioned himself well to be at the fore of this argument and campaign.

“Callista and I had to really sort of sit down and look at citizenship. … All my life I’ve preached citizenship—the duty to go do things,” Gingrich said.

On Obama, Gingrich said, “First of all, he’s gonna say whatever he needs to to win. Second, he’s gonna have all the advantages of the mainstream media. He’s gonna have all the advantages of left-wing bills like George Soros. He’s gonna have all the advantages of the Hollywood crowd. And they’re gonna go out and—all the advantages of the union — and so they’re gonna try to raise a billion dollars, for a very practical reason: He can’t afford to run in a fair election.”

Gingrich contrasted himself with Obama by saying, “I know how to get the whole country to resemble Texas. President Obama knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit.”

When asked who his toughest competitor would be in the primary, Gingrich said it would be Obama, and that he has honed his focus on the President.

When asked what a debate between him and Obama would be like, Gingrich seemed to relish the opportunity.

There is no question that a face-to-face between Gingrich and Obama would be a dynamic contest and contrast of ideas that Gingrich would exploit to his advantage.  The question is whether Gingrich will ever get that opportunity.

Much of that will depend on how he and his team can make this campaign and the narrative that is written about it more about his resume and positive ideas.

via New Gingrich on Fox News: I’m a Proven Debt Buster – HUMAN EVENTS.

House Passes Measure to Speed Oil Drilling – HUMAN EVENTS | Audrey Hudson

House Republicans on Wednesday voted to cut bureaucratic red tape they say has slowed oil production in the Gulf to a trickle and is contributing to the high price of gasoline at the pumps.

HR 1229 requires the Interior Department to act on oil drilling permits in a matter of weeks. It passed 263 to 163, with 28 Democrats siding with Republicans who voted unanimously for the measure.

Last week the House approved a bill to accelerate offshore lease sales, and Thursday it is expected to pass another measure that lifts a moratorium on drilling in some parts of the Gulf.

The Obama administration halted most offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon disaster last year. Only 10 of 50 projects have since been allowed to continue, Republicans say.

“We can’t allow the administration to keep stonewalling the permitting process,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn (R.-Colo.).

The Democrats’ strategy is to shift the focus of the debate to tax credits designed for oil companies, a policy they say “subsidizes” the industry. “Republicans want to cut medical care for grandma, but won’t touch the profits for oil companies,” said Rep. Edward Markey (D.-Mass). “It’s oil above all, that’s what it’s really all about,” Markey said.

Rep. Jeff Landry (R.-La.) said that if Democrats want to hurt oil company profits, they should help the supply meet the demand.

“If they want to bring the profits down, they should vote for this bill because we will drive the profits down when we drive the price down,” Landry said.

Citing a report by the Congressional Research Service issued in March, Landry said that eliminating tax breaks would make gas prices more expensive for consumers and likely increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

“We are here today to bring relief to Americans at the pump and put the Gulf of Mexico back to work,” Landry said. Lamborn added, “I still haven’t heard how $4 billion in additional taxes for oil companies will translate to lower prices at the pump.”

The Democrats will move their plan forward in the Senate beginning with a hearing Thursday before the Finance Committee.

Specifically, Democrats want to eliminate a tax credit for domestic manufacturing, which they say will raise nearly $16 billion, and an exemption for payments made to foreign governments they say could raise nearly $10 billion in 10 years.

Additionally, Democrats seek to raise nearly $12 billion by collecting taxes on royalty-free leases granted in the 1990s.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) called the strategy Carteresque.

“They need to end an approach that hasn’t changed since the days of Jimmy Carter,” McConnell said in a floor speech Monday.  “Just like Carter before them, today’s Democrats are using the crisis of the moment as an excuse to push their own vision of the future, with a windfall-profits tax on energy companies.  And just like Carter before them, they have rightly been accused of bringing BB guns to a war,” McConnell said.

Brian Johnson, senior tax adviser for the American Petroleum Institute, said at a press briefing Monday that raising taxes would only further raise gas prices.

“They would not affect the global economics underpinning oil supply and demand, which explain today’s gasoline prices,” Johnson said.

The oil industry is one of the highest taxed in the U.S., paying more than $86 million to the federal treasury in taxes and production fees every day.

“The President was recently in Brazil promoting that country’s offshore oil development, and called on Saudi Arabia to increase oil production.  While we support energy production everywhere, we cannot ignore what we can do in America,” Johnson said.  “We need to keep American companies investing in American workers and our economy.”

via House Passes Measure to Speed Oil Drilling – HUMAN EVENTS.