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Texas delegates planning mutiny over rule change that would allow Romney to replace any delegate he dislikes

Texas delegates planning floor mutiny over RNC rules changes | The Ticket - Yahoo! News
TAMPA--On Monday morning, at a meeting of more than 100 Texan delegates and alternates at the Saddlebrook Resort 20 miles north of Tampa, one topic got the crowd more fired up than any other. Delegate Melinda Fredricks read aloud a letter condemning recent changes to the national Republican party's rules that would allow the GOP presidential candidate to veto and replace state delegates. "Our delegates are in shock that such an amendment even would be presented before the Rules Committee much less passed into rule," Fredricks said. "Please know from the Texas delegation standpoint that the only way a floor fight can be avoided is for this rule to be stricken." At that point, the entire Texas delegation stood up and applauded. Texans don't necessarily want to have an ugly floor fight on the same day the party officially nominates Mitt Romney. But they're willing to do it if their concerns about the rule aren't satisfied. The changes, which Mitt Romney's top lawyer put forward last week and Gov. Haley Barbour along with some other Romney supporters have embraced, are seen by opponents as intended to significantly weaken the power of grassroots politics and insurgent candidates such as Ron Paul. Many against the move worry that it would give national candidates the power to replace delegates--often grassroots party faithfuls--with big-time donors or friends. "We truly consider that an infringement on our rights," Fredricks, a member of the rules committee, told Yahoo News of the changes. Today, states generally choose their delegates at state conventions, and then those individuals travel to the national convention to cast their vote for a candidate based on the share the candidate won of the primary or caucus vote of each state. But, the changes could allow a candidate such as Mitt Romney to boot out any delegates who are assigned to vote for him and replace them.

U.S. soldiers charged with plotting to assassinate President Obama

Their plans included: blowing up a fountain, killing the president, seizing an ammo factory, bombing a dam, and poisoning the appe crop of Washington state. They also are wanted for killing a soldier and his girlfriend. Prosecutors: U.S. Soldiers Plotted to Kill President Obama - National - The Atlantic Wire
More details are surfacing about the four soldiers accused of stockpiling assault weapons and bomb components and plotting to assassinate the president. According to the AP's Russ Bynum, the group calls itself F.E.A.R., which stands for Forever Enduring Always Ready. While authorities don't know how many members are in the group, they did accuse it of plotting some ambitious domestic terrorist plots: The prosecutor said the militia group had big plans. It plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah, she said. In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state’s apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia’s goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president. All are charged by state authorities with malice murder, felony murder, criminal gang activity, aggravated assault and using a firearm while committing a felony. A hearing for the three soldiers was scheduled Thursday.

The Republican Party plans to replace MediCare with CouponCare

Instead of paying for your healthcare, your nursing home, your cancer treatments, your severely ill children, the Republicans wants to give you an annual gift certificate for a fixed amount to buy health care on the private markets. And if that amount doesn't cover your bills--and it won't if you have anything remotely serious happen to you--well, you better hope you have $60,000 stored away to spend on medication and chemo and gall bladder surgery. Do you like arguing with insurance companies on the phone? How does your 90-year-old grandma feel about it? The Republican Platform’s Big Medicare Reveal | TPMDC
The text details the privatization policy that GOP lawmakers have supported for years, and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are selling as necessary to “save” Medicare. But in an unusual twist, it addresses the specific aspect of the proposal that makes it a departure from what Americans know as “Medicare.” “The first step is to move the two programs [Medicare and Medicaid] away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model,” the draft platform reads. “While retaining the option of traditional Medicare in competition with private plans, we call for a transition to a premium-support model for Medicare, with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice. This model will include private health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection, to ensure the continuation of doctor-patient relationships.” The esoteric language gets to the heart of the change that ends the basic structure of Medicare. Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has been a government-run insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly per their needs (i.e. “defined benefit”). Republicans want to turn it into a partially privatized system that pays seniors a fixed amount to buy their own health insurance (i.e. “defined contribution”). “Under the defined contribution approach envisaged by the Rivlin-Ryan plan [a proposal that’s remarkably similar to Romney’s], most of the risk of future health-care cost increases would be shifted onto the shoulders of Medicare beneficiaries,” Uwe Reinhardt, a health policy expert at Princeton University, said last year. “This feature makes the proposal radical.” . . .