News and Commentary for December 17

The most despicable part of this is that Federal employee pensions will be left untouched. “The Ryan-Murray deal pushes active-duty and veterans into a new pension plan that lowers their yearly cost-of-living adjustment. Instead of keep pace with inflation, the new yearly adjustment would be equal to inflation minus 1%. Once the veteran turns 62, the yearly adjustment would fully account for inflation going forward.” Military Families Host ‘Twitter Town Hall’ Against Budget Deal

Just in time for the 2014 elections. “The White House may be breathing a little easier lately on ObamaCare, having weathered the initial storms of a still-dysfunctional website and the cancellation of millions of individual policies.  The latter won Barack Obama the Lie of the Year at Politifact (after Politifact had argued for more than two years that Obama hadn’t lied at all in the “you can keep your plan” promise) and the 2013 Mr. Pinocchio Award at the Washington Post. The outrage on all of these probably won’t sustain itself over the Christmas holidays, and if nothing else transpires, the media will begin looking for new stories. Or will they? Politico reminds everyone that there are still some big shoes left to drop.” Next up for ObamaCare market disruption: small businesses

How much more of this are we going to take? “Before the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, there weren’t that many people in Medicaid who had much in the way of assets for seizing. But now that Medicaid enrollment requirements have been relaxed, more people with assets but low income are joining the program or being forced into it. For instance, a couple in their 50s who, say, retired early after losing jobs in the bad economy may have assets but show a very low income. Under Obamacare, if their income is low enough to qualify for Medicaid, they must enroll in Medicaid unless they want to buy totally unsubsidized coverage in the now-inflated individual market. As the Times notes, this is no small difference.” Fine print: State can seize your assets to pay for care after you’re forced into Medicaid by Obamacare

Banana Republic. “In the current issue of the Weekly Standard Christopher DeMuth describes what is happening: “Obamacare is introducing a new form of government​—​improvisational government, characterized by continuous ad hoc revisions of statutory law by executive decree. This is a reversion to a primitive form that long antedates our Constitution and rule-of-law traditions. Transported to the modern world, it leaves the private sector in a state of constant uncertainty and subjection.” What is to be done?

From the comments: “And these are the same people expected to keep our medical and financial information private?” “Duffy knew she came across something that should not be online and tried reaching out to the federal government informing them of this. Nothing happened.” Confidential Obamacare Navigator training manual uploaded online

Pop! “What happens if trillions of dollars of private investment capital suddenly disappears from banks, lending institutions and investment markets in this already fragile economy?” The Looming ObamaCare Market Crash

The product stinks and the people know it. “So postponing parts of ObamaCare to give the reform time to hit its stride was always a better option even for congressional Democrats than a broad Republican victory that would have wasted the Democrats’ early sacrifices on behalf of ObamaCare. This gave them a fighting chance. The problem for Democrats is that Obama’s second term seems focused on piling even more unpopular rulemaking–which congressional Democrats cannot stop or water down–on top of the ObamaCare mess. Obama got his second term on credit, but congressional Democrats are now on the hook for it.” The Democrats’ Bad Credit

The same thing is going to happen here too. “A new academic study of recent moves by the government discovered that 40 percent of the nation’s elderly have been left to fend for themselves. Services that a decade ago would have helped elderly patients with basic tasks such as eating healthy meals, washing and dressing themselves have been cut to save money.” Obamacare’s Future: Britain Rejected Treatment for 450k Elderly, Disabled

Common sense. “But most importantly, if new workers are to be hired, they must bring a value of $9 per hour to the firm or they won’t be hired.  Before, the “hurdle” was only $7 per hour in value.  The higher the minimum wage, the higher the hurdle a new or unskilled worker must get over to get their (first) job.  So, raising the minimum wages reduces job opportunities for the young and skilled in the year it is raised and forever after.  This is not the way to develop our labor force.” Minimum Wage, Maximum Insanity

Democrats ARE the party of big business. “I doubt that there is any conservative organization that can boast a remotely comparable list of corporate supporters. CAP’s disclosure is a timely reminder that large corporations are not, in general, supporters of free enterprise. Many of them love to partner with government to suppress innovation and competition. Koch Industries stands alone, as far as I know, as a relatively large company that actually supports free enterprise as a matter of principle. Which is why corporatist America, through disreputable organizations like the Center for American Progress, has waged unremitting warfare against Koch.” Who Funds the Far Left? You’ll Be Surprised

A companion piece to the one above. “Unfortunately, we often overlook the crucial difference between being free-market and pro-business. Being free-market means creating favorable conditions for better and faster economic growth for all. Being pro-business, however, means creating favorable conditions for specific business interests, often at the expense of their consumers or competitors. This distinction is unfortunately often lost on Republicans who really should know better.” Sometimes, Being ‘Pro-Business’ and ‘Free Market’ Are Opposed

But Obama told us they’re on the run! “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula doesn’t get the kind of publicity that al-Qaeda central, based in Pakistan, receives but it has emerged as one of the deadliest terrorist groups on the planet–and one that is a direct threat to the United States.” AQAP’s Global Threat

Ted Cruz for president! “When asked who they thought was the most influential figure in the world, 23% of Americans said Pope Francis. Obama came in second with 21% and Cruz third with 11%.” Rasmussen: Ted Cruz Third Most Influential Person in World

We really are in the best of hands. “In an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz, the Secretary of State appears unaware that North Korea has repeatedly proven itself to have nuclear weapons with three tests of its devices.” Kerry: If North Korea has a nuke, why, that would be a problem

Yes! “Today Noelle Nguyen is a highly educated self-starting dynamo with a dream: rebuilding the American manufacturing base so that American workers are competing for every job in the global economy. It’s an ambitious goal to be sure, but spend a few minutes talking with her and you’ll believe that it’s possible. To someone who has been through everything, nothing is out of reach.” From Saigon with Love: How Noelle Nguyen Hopes to Rebuild the American Dream

Reality. “Note well, Democrats: These complaints are unrelated to Obamacare’s failed roll-out, and are being driven by the vast majority of Americans covered on the employer-based market — whom the White House has falsely claimed will not be affected by the law’s changes.” Poll: Americans Blame Obamacare for Inferior Coverage, Higher Costs

Disaster headed our way. “For years, liberal commentators have accused conservatives of living in an intellectual “bubble” of their own creation, impervious to reality. But through official intent and intellectual laziness, Democrats have created a bubble of deception surrounding ObamaCare that will affect millions of Americans for years to come. A lie this ignoble should stain the credibility of everyone who perpetuated it.” The Death of Obama’s “Noble Lie”

Incompetence from start to finish. “In advance of another of the ObamaCare-related field hearings that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been holding around the country throughout the past few weeks — this time on the thousands of “navigators” designated to help people sign up — the committee released a report detailing their concerns about the episodes of inefficiency, mismanagement, and possible fraud stemming from the program.” White House: These GOP attacks on navigators are just another effort to sabotage ObamaCare, you know

I love my country—but it’s our out-of-control government that scares me. “There is clear reason for Americans turning so adamantly against the Obama administration and Congress in the past few months. If anything is shocking, it is that it took a government shutdown to convince Americans that the current state of our government is cumbersome and dangerously large. Every other problem on the list save for “moral/ethical decline,” “lack of respect for each other,” and “threat of war” are either directly caused or exacerbated by the government.” Gallup: For Americans, Government Is the Biggest Problem

He’s been an empty suit all along. “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a false messiah fall from his pedestal into the hands of the mob, so long that we’ve forgotten exactly how it occurs.  But we’re going to find out.  I, for one, am looking forward to it.” Obama’s Fall from Grace

A bridge too far. “Democratic opposition research organization American Bridge apologized on Monday for sending someone to follow New Hampshire Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte at a funeral this weekend, after a reporter and the New Hampshire Republican party attacked them for the move.” Despicable: Dem group sends gotcha tracker to funeral

Betrayal. “History will see Obama, not as the Messiah of the Age of Aquarius, but as the last doomed Empress of the West, performing her ritual dance to the warm applause of the Imperial court while outside the walls grinning legions of barbarians are preparing to strike down the whole Empire.” How Obama ran down the nuclear doomsday clock

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