I’ve been out of town for a few days (exploring the great state of Texas, and wandering the halls of the George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush libraries!), hence the lack of news postings. I am back at it, beginning today.
Stories of the Day
Unreal. “Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings were told they have to “register” with the Ukrainians who are trying to make the city become part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media. Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet News, Israel’s largest news website.” Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine
Why aren’t we all marching on Washington to demand an end to all that is going on in our country? “Good work by lefty Mother Jones, which has must-read background on why this was likely a deliberate snub and not a logistical snafu. As it turns out, there may be reasons beyond simple political correctness that explain why the Pentagon insists on treating Nidal Hasan’s jihadist rampage as “workplace violence.” Imagine having taken a bullet to the head from Hasan’s gun and being told that the president doesn’t have time to meet with you but does have time for a fundraiser at a rich liberal’s house nearby.” White House rejects meeting between survivors of 2009 Fort Hood massacre and Obama
Obama gets an A++++ in rules and regs. “All of this is the fruit of ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and the manifold other expansions of government that have marked the Obama years. By far their greatest and most tragic cost has been slower economic growth, which has meant fewer jobs, lower incomes and diminished economic possibilities for tens of millions of Americans.” Regulator Without Peer: By at least one measure, Obama surpasses all of his predecessors.
A Leftist calls out her tribe for their hypocrisy. “In reviewing her book, Nomad, Nicholas Kristof lamented that, “Hirsi Ali denounces Islam with a ferocity that I find strident. … Her memoir suggests that she never quite outgrew her rebellious teenager phase.” Yes, if only she would be more demure in describing her own oppression. Guardian columnist Emma Brockes complained that in criticizing Islam, Hirsi Ali “is startlingly direct” and is “deliberately, almost narcissistically provocative.” Yet, when author Anne Rice announced she had “quit Christianity” because it was anti-gay, anti-feminist and anti-science, Brockes only wanted to know “what took her so long?” Speaking of “startlingly direct,” Rice said, “(I) began to really study (Catholicism) and I found that it was not an honorable religion, that it was not honest.” So, condemning the Catholic Church and Christianity broad-brush is heroic. But a woman who breaks with and criticizes Islam is a mouthy, immature narcissist who must be silenced. Got it.” Powers: Liberals attack female fighting misogyny
Another Lefty calls out the hypocrisy. “Bob Beckel just went on a rant against CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, on Fox’s The Five. Beckel accused CAIR of lacking “guts” in not standing up for Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s rights after Brandeis University shamefully rescinded an honorary degree that it had planned to give her. Brandeis made that decision under pressure from Muslim students, and ultimately CAIR itself, after those groups accused Ali of being anti-Muslim.” CAIR Attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali Because They are Islamic Supremacists with Links to Terrorists
“The issue at stake here goes beyond the vilification of one courageous woman. The refusal of the West to confront the truth about Islamism is the crux of this debate. It may be easy to pretend that Islamists are only a small minority of global Islam in the United States where even radicals like CAIR like to pretend to be liberals. But throughout the world it is increasingly clear that the radicals—“military Islam” as Hirsi Ali calls them—are on the march and have become the voice of mainstream Muslims rather than only a radical fringe.” Brandeis and the Real War on Women
The Left has no shame. “If Condoleezza Rice were as self-pitying and politically crass as Attorney General Eric Holder, she would be wondering aloud what it is about her race and gender that accounts for the hostility to her. Rice’s speaking gigs on college campuses and her ascension to the board of the Internet company Dropbox have sparked protests calling for her to be disinvited, cashiered and generally isolated and shamed. Condi Rice is not a natural lightning rod. She’s such a disreputable figure that she’s on the board of the Kennedy Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She’s such a lightweight that she’s a Stanford University professor. She’s such a yahoo that she once accompanied Yo Yo Ma on the piano.” The Stupid Hounding of Condi Rice
We’re truly about to reach a tipping point. “How much more can the 86,429,000 endure? As more baby boomers retire, and as Obamacare comes fully online — with its expanded Medicaid rolls and federally subsidized health insurance for anyone earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level — the number of takers will inevitably expand. And the number of full-time private-sector workers might also contract.
Eventually, there will be too few carrying too many, and America will break.” 86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M Benefit Takers
“’Well, first of all the interest payments are abnormally low,” Will said. “When as surely it must the cost of government borrowing goes back to the post war norm of 5.5 percent as essentially zero interest rates now. That will double and quintuple. The biggest addition to the debt will be the debt itself that is the interest rates. But I don’t think this is a day for the American people to feel sorry for themselves. They should feel ashamed of themselves for the decadence of our democracy. We used to borrow money for the future. We fought wars for the future. We built dams, highways for the future. Now we are borrowing from the future from the unconsenting because unborn future generations in order to fund our own current consumption of goods and services. The American people are paying a lot of taxes but they are not paying nearly enough taxes to fund their appetite for goods and services.’” GEORGE WILL: AMERICANS ‘SHOULD FEEL ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES FOR THE DECADENCE OF OUR DEMOCRACY’
“If Bloomberg thinks he can bully gun owners, he’s got another think coming. His arrogance really does know no bounds, and his Democratic allies had better rethink their relationship to him before political lightning strikes too close to them … or some other kind of lightning.” Bloomberg to spend $50 million to “outmuscle” the NRA
“Suddenly, though, NBC has nothing but warm fuzzies for multi-billionaires pouring money into electoral politics.” NBC: Isn’t it great to have a multi-billionaire pour money into politics?
Coming to a city near you. “Relying on the excellent work of Katherine Kersten, we’ve written before about the left’s big plans for the Twin Cities. The Metropolitan Council, an unelected body, wants to steer new jobs, homes, and economic development to areas within one half mile of major transportation stops. These stops will mostly be in the urban core and inner-ring suburbs. In these favored areas, tax dollars will be lavished on high-density housing, bike and pedestrian amenities, and subsidized retail shops. The money thus lavished will come from people who live elsewhere. The transportation needs of the rest of the metropolitan area will take a back seat. Money to improve highways and bridges will shrink. Congestion will grow and traffic safety will suffer. Residents will be pushed into “stack and pack” high-density housing.” WHY THE LEFT’S DREAM IS THE TWIN CITIES’ NIGHTMARE
“That said, Bundy’s truculence has created one positive outcome. It has focused the wider public’s attention on a fact that few in America’s urban centers have to grapple with: that in most of the largest states of the union, an enormous amount of land is publicly owned, and under the control of an alphabet soup of federal agencies.” Bundy’s Lessons: He’s an unapologetic freeloader, but the BLM and the feds are appallingly bad landlords.
Entitled. “Corruption: The standoff in the Nevada desert wasn’t about a desert tortoise or a rancher’s failure to pay grazing fees. It was about the state’s senior senator again enriching himself and his family at public expense.” Harry Reid: The Desert Fox Of Corruption
Be afraid, very afraid. “Under the administration of President Obama, as never before in my lifetime, there is reason to be a bit afraid of the federal government.” Obama’s politicized, lawless executive branch
“It’s been obvious for quite some time that the Obama administration has no respect for how our system works or for the representatives of the people. President Obama has himself noted, sadly, that the system the Founders designed restrains him from doing what he would like to. Yet watching this unfold live on C-SPAN, I was shocked to see how blatant Mr. Holder was in his arrogance and lack of respect. Here he is, testifying in front of the House, behaving as though doing so is an insult to him, while treating a member of the House as gum stuck to the bottom of his shoe.” BRUCE: Eric Holder’s contempt for the American people: Wherever Team Obama is taking the nation, ‘you don’t want to go there’
As I wrote earlier, we should ALL be marching on Washington. “While those who cherish what’s left of our freedoms are rightly concerned about the sacking and the blacklisting of Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, Democrats’ media-coordinated lying about and demonization of the Koch brothers, and other visible evidence of unfettered intolerance, the regulatory tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”) which has become the default modus operandi of Barack Obama’s administration continues unabated. Three examples of the quiet despotic work being carried out by Dear Leader’s government come from the Department of Labor, where Tom Perez succeeded the scandal-plagued Hilda Solis last year.” Regulatory Tyranny Flies Under the Radar
“The census is changing the way they ask a question about being insured. The old way, they say, tended to overstate how many people were uninsured. (But note Obama was willing to rely on that overstated figure in making his case for the urgency of destroying the health care system.) The new way is supposedly “more accurate” — but will result in fewer people saying they’re uninsured. [Snip] Megan McArdle, to whom, as a economist/analyst, data are precious as diamonds, is shocked that Obama would decided todestroy any possibility of using census data to get an accurateanalysis of the impact of Obamacare, but perhaps she shouldn’t be all that shocked at all. Indeed, she suspects as much:
But why, dear God, oh, why, would you change it in the one year in the entire history of the republic that it is most important for policy makers, researchers and voters to be able to compare the number of uninsured to those in prior years? The answers would seem to range from “total incompetence on the part of every level of this administration” to something worse.” Megan McArdle on Obama’s New Books-Cooking Census Insurance Question: “I ’m speechless. Shocked. Stunned. Horrified. Befuddled. Aghast, appalled, thunderstruck, perplexed, baffled, bewildered and dumbfounded.”
Opposing view point on the Census story. “The Census Bureau’s decision to change the way it asks about health-insurance coverage in a key annual survey just as Obamacare is being rolled out is an interesting and important story, but it is not as interesting and important as some people today are suggesting. I think the administration made the wrong decision in allowing the Census to proceed with the change, but I don’t think the move involved a malicious attempt to cook the books. This looks like one of those many instances in which White House officials confront a no-win situation. If the story in Tuesday’s New York Times had been that the Census Bureau asked the White House for permission to change those health-care questions to make them more accurate and had been denied permission, rather than, as did happen, that the permission was granted, the White House would have been coming under basically the same sort of criticism it is now receiving.” The Census and the Uninsured
The Left is winning. “In 1970, 83 percent of women ages 30 to 34 were married. By 2010, that number had fallen to 57 percent. For almost every demographic group, whether broken down by age, education, or race and ethnicity, marriage rates have declined nearly continuously since 1970. Marriage rates for 20- to 24-year-olds, for instance, fell from 61 percent to 16 percent, a decline of almost 75 percent in four decades. The rate for 35- to 39-year-olds declined by 25 percent, from 83 percent to 62 percent. (The only exception to the pattern of decline was for women with a college degree or more. After a modest decline of about 11 percent between 1970 and 1990, the marriage rate for college-educated women stopped declining and even increased by about 1 percent between 1990 and 2010.) “Something That Was Not Imaginable 40 years Ago Has Happened”
Anyone ready to march on Washington yet? “The CBO’s new budget projections contain an eerie warning that we are on path from today’s already unfathomable $17.7 trillion in gross federal government debt to more than $27 trillion in 2024. This in spite of finger-crossing projections of tax revenue over the next decade exceeding its 40-year average as a share of GDP. Debt will reach 78% of GDP by 2024, CBO warns, which is double the 39% average of the past 40 years. The consequences will include big hikes in spending on interest payments on the debt when interest rates go back up. That, in turn, would increase the cost of investment and “the capital stock would be smaller, and productivity and wages lower, than if federal borrowing was more limited,” the CBO warns.” CBO Dire Debt Warnings Show Nation’s Democrat Future
U-N- S-U-S-T-A-I-N-A-B-L-E. “On this most joyous of April 15ths, Krauthammer reminds us, we’re just putting off the consequences of refusing to address entitlement reform for another day — but that billwill come due eventually.” Krauthammer: Can we all remember that we have added $7 trillion to the debt in 5 years, please?
Rallying the tribes. “Democrats hope to retain control of the Senate and recapture the House by driving every possible favored bloc to the polls and coffers — union members, single women, blacks, Jews, green energy advocates, and wealthy environmentalists. What is ignored is that a shred of opposition can take advantage of the far left sweep of the party to exploit serious differences between these voting blocs.” Democrat Center Folds
If they took some to get to know a Republican or two or three or four, they’d know we’re not rotten. “This is why conservatives lose. They lose because while they proclaim that Obama’s signature legislation fails on the merits, raising costs and lowering access to vital services, the left surges forth with a different message: Conservatives are rotten to the core.” Why Conservatives Win Elections and Lose the War
Pray. “Even Politico, an influential leftist website, acknowledges that coming days will reveal whether 2014 will turn out to be “simply a good year for the GOP or a rout.” There is no question that the public is angry and disgusted with “politics as usual” and there is deep disappointment with President Obama, even among those who did not vote for him but hoped that the first black president would do well. As Politico points out, this summer will be pivotal. The Supreme Court will issue its decision on the contraception mandate and religious liberty, probably in June. That decision will be a rallying cry for both the left and right in the days leading up to the 2014 elections. As Politico put it: “Upholding the mandate would incense social conservatives” and “striking it down would give Democrats an issue to galvanize women’s groups.” Can Election 2014 Put the Nation Back on Track?
It must be done. “But with a promising vision that elevates the needs of average Americans above the demands of global markets, and a commitment to delivering tangibles to an anxious electorate, social conservatives could help restore the Eisenhower/Nixon/Reagan magic. And Jeffrey Bell might find more Americans siding with his social-conservative underdogs, not with powerful elites, in the ongoing struggle to define the meaning of America.” Regaining Middle America: Republicans must stop putting moneyed interests ahead of the American family.
Stop the lies. “People will elect a candidate who stands for something they care about. But even a strong conservative candidate can lose if voters don’t actually get to hear their message. A candidate can fail if he or she doesn’t know how to combat the inevitable lies and smears by Democrats. Conservatives still harbor the quaint belief that making the best case will get votes. Democrats aggressively pursue a strategy that the most skillful liar will win the election.” GOP Must Re-Learn Campaign Techniques
For the Left, only the “right kind” of speech is tolerated. “I heard a lot of that kind of talk during my battles with the Canadian ‘human rights’ commissions a few years ago: of course, we all believe in free speech, but it’s a question of how you ‘strike the balance’, where you ‘draw the line’… which all sounds terribly reasonable and Canadian, and apparently Australian, too. But in reality the point of free speech is for the stuff that’s over the line, and strikingly unbalanced. If free speech is only for polite persons of mild temperament within government-policed parameters, it isn’t free at all. So screw that.” The slow death of free speech: How the Left, here and abroad, is trying to shut down debate — from Islam and Israel to global warming and gay marriage
Washington insiders getting rich on our dime. “The documents, which you can read below, did not become available to the rest of us until yesterday. They tell stories not only of a May–December romance gone sour but of how obscene wealth can be amassed through rent-seeking and influence-peddling in Washington, D.C., and of the hoary means by which the princelings of the capital and their consorts maintain and grow that wealth. They tell stories not only of an ugly divorce but of the power of lobbying, of how one family maneuvered to the center of the nation’s dominant political party, of the transactional relationships, gargantuan self-regard, and empty posturing that insulate, asbestos-like, the D.C. bubble.” Washington’s Rotten Core: The Podestas’ breakup offers a window onto a political culture of pettiness and greed.
Power. “Try this thought experiment. Imagine that someone grows up in poverty, works his way through law school by holding the night shift as a Capitol Hill policeman, and spends all but two years of his career as a public servant. Now imagine that this person’s current salary — and he’s at the top of his game — is $193,400. You probably wouldn’t expect him to have millions in stocks, bonds, and real estate. But, surprise, he does, if he’s our Senate majority leader, whose net worth is between 3 and 10 million dollars, according to OpenSecrets.org. When Harry Reid entered the Nevada legislature in 1982, his net worth was listed as between $1 million and $1.5 million “or more,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. So, since inquiring minds inquire, let’s try to figure out how Reid’s career in public service ended up being so lucrative. He hasn’t released his tax returns, which makes this an imperfect science, but looking at a few of his investments helps to show how he amassed his wealth.” How Did Harry Reid Get Rich? His career in public service has ended up being remarkably lucrative.
“Lois Lerner intended to use her position atop the IRS’ tax exempt approval office to coordinate the prosecution of political speech. The Department of Justice under Attorney General Eric Holder had at least tentatively bought into that. The Federal Elections Commission was being roped in as well. Lerner’s emails prove that beyond doubt.” The Terrifying Implications of the IRS Abuse-DOJ Connection
Republicans must get to the bottom of this. “Bob Woodward is a lot of things – not all of them good. But when the veteran investigative reporter says that “there’s obviosuly something there’ in the IRSscandal, perhaps the rest of the media could take a hint and start looking into the caper seriously.” Bob Woodward thinks ‘There’s obviously something there’ in IRS scandal
“BOB WOODWARD, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, there is obviously something here. And the question is does this committee know how to investigate? And they’re worried about this one person who has invoked her Fifth Amendment rights not to answer questions and you have congressmen on the committee going on and saying we have evidence she’s involved in criminal activity. I don’t think you should cross that line. The second thing is there’s always one person who’s not going to talk. And when you conduct an investigation like this, I have not gone into the details, you need to find people who will talk. And there are always people who will do this. And, you know, we should dig into it. There should be answers. It’s quite correct. And for the president to take that position is very, very unusual and say there is not a smidgeon of evidence here. I mean George has got a good list — I think, actually, there’s more. And there’s a question and you’re right, the IRS particularly this week as we know will file our tax returns has a big place in everyone’s life. And they have immense power. And the power of the federal government to come and say we’re auditing you or we’re going to do something to you, I mean it’s a ten ton truck coming at you. And it’s the sort of thing that the leadership and the White House should take a position. Look, we will not tolerate this.” Woodward: There’s obviously something wrong at the IRS
Educate yourselves folks! “’According to an editorial in Investors Business Daily, “Islamofascism: With an eye toward the 2016 election, the radical Muslim Brotherhood has built the framework for a political party in America that seeks to turn Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc. “Muslim voters have the potential to be swing voters in 2016,” said Nihad Awad in launching the benign-sounding U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), whose membership reads like a Who’s Who of Brotherhood front groups. We are aiming to bring more participation from the Muslim community.’” Third US political party? How about the Muslim Brotherhood? Hat tip: Gayla Coletto
Playing with fire. “Candidate Bill de Blasio was “deeply troubled” by NYPD surveillance of mosques, and now his police commissioner is dropping the program. Matt Apuzzo and Joseph Goldstein report ion the New York Times:
The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said.
[Snip] De Blasio is making a wager with the lives of New Yorkers, betting on the peaceful intentions of Muslims. He should read Suras 9-14 of the Koran.” NYPD drops surveillance of mosques
“If you live in flyover country, lay in a supply of popcorn and get ready to watch a continuing comedy drama being staged for your amusement by the progressives of San Francisco. The driving force is the classic dirty little secret of progressivism, greed and envy, and these deadly sins are amply on display in Baghdad-by-the-Bay these days.” More prog-on-prog class warfare in San Francisco
Those on the Left can get away with anything, because they are of the correct ideology. “How do you ensure that you won’t be ostracized, denounced, or fired if you are a media celebrity, captain of industry, or high public official? For some, sexist banter is certainly no problem. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c–t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around “sweetie” as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women. It is not just that sloppy speech can, with the right ideological insurance, become irrelevant. Inconvenient truths can be insured against too. Barack Obama’s female staffers make far less than do their male counterparts, at least by the quirky sort of standards that the president himself applies to others to win petty victories in his vaunted war against the war against women. Bill Clinton had sexual relations with a young staffer, in what feminists would call a classic exploitative situation of disparate power. Most such bosses would be fired for hitting on their young assistants. If Woody Allen were not insured as a left-wing filmmaker, he would have been ostracized out of Hollywood.” Progressive Insurance: The right ideological credentials mean never having to say you’re sorry
“Whether or not the impulse runs back to the French Revolution, or to the Marxist tropism of left liberalism, the tendency is totalitarian. It is not just dissent that must be stifled, it is “incorrect” thought, for incorrect thought may lead to incorrect speech and incorrect speech may lead to incorrect action. The book on the roots of totalitarian liberalism that remains to be written would be an important book. The Progressive faith of the modern American left is devoted to rule by experts, to unlimited government, to repeal of the distinction between public and private. Thus the constant erosion of the structures intended to protect us from the manipulation and control of the state. Government without end, Amen. It is, dear readers, un-American. Kevin Williamson usefully assimilates the Mozilla moment into a larger pattern in “The Liberal Gulag.” Williamson doesn’t address Mozilla’s statement explaining itself. It is an important document in its own right, for it supports Williamson’s thesis, suggesting that we are entering the world that George Orwell wrote about in 1984, i.e., the world of the Gulag.” ROOTS OF TOTALITARIAN LIBERALISM
Speaking the truth. “”Our law enforcement system is in a state of collapse, and it’s a deliberate plan by the president of the United States, and it’s wrong. And, people need to be aware of it and need to stand up to it and I believe the American people are beginning to do so.’” Sen. Sessions: ‘Deliberate Plan by President’ to Collapse U.S. Law Enforcement System
Ends justifying the means. “Many leftists have contempt for the electoral process because they don’t believe in the electoral system as it is constituted in capitalist America. To them, elections are already a fraud – an instrument of the rich, or as Saul Alinsky prefers to call them, the Haves. If the electoral system doesn’t serve “the people,” but is only an instrument of the Haves, then election fraud is justified as the path to a future that will serve the Have-Nots, as David Horowitz has explained. This belief helps Democrats and the rest of the left rationalize their habitual efforts to suppress and cancel out lawfully cast votes. It helps to explain the strenuous efforts of leftists like former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), now federal prisoner number 32451-016, to assure the public that voter registration fraud is no big deal and that fraudulent registrations almost never turn into fraudulent votes.” Voter Fraud: The Left’s Tool For Social Justice
“Obama claimed Friday that 7.5 million people have enrolled in exchange coverage. In fact, perhaps 20 percent haven’t paid their first premium and therefore aren’t covered, according to estimates by RAND Corp. and Goldman Sachs. The bigger question is how many will keep paying premiums. That’s got the American Medical Association, a chief ObamaCare booster, so worried that it’s sending warnings to its members. Why the concern? First-time insurance purchasers, especially those living paycheck to paycheck, will be shocked by ObamaCare’s high deductibles, about $3,000 for the silver plan (the most commonly selected) and $5,000 for the bronze plan (the most affordable).” The next ObamaCare disasters
Hope. “What the Obama White House is hoping is that, with the help of the press, which is tired of writing about the failures of ObamaCare, they can not only reframe events but reinvent reality. I’m rather doubtful it will work. The debate over the ACA has gone from an abstract one to a real one, one negatively affecting the lives of millions upon of Americans. And when you have a facts-on-the-ground problem, as the president and his party do, spin and invoking banal talking points are ultimately of little use. The president can postpone implementation of various parts of his law. But what he can’t postpone indefinitely is his and his party’s day of reckoning.” ObamaCare’s Day of Reckoning Can’t Be Postponed
“But there’s more to Sebelius’s legacy than incompetence. By refusing to tell the truth about how many of those being counted as enrollees (including the 20 percent of those who signed up on the website but never paid for their coverage) and by delaying much of the more unpopular aspects of the rollout until after this year’s midterm elections, Sebelius not only deepened the cynicism about the law but further undermined the credibility of the government. President Obama claimed today that the “final score speaks for itself” in terms of what Sebelius accomplished, but the real pain inflicted by this program and the massive dislocation in the health-care system as well as job losses and skyrocketing insurance costs that will be felt in the years to come will always be associated with Sebelius.” Sebelius’s Dangerous Legacy of Incompetence and Deception
“’There are specific states with exorbitant increases,” Gottlieb said. “Delaware had 100 percent increase, Florida had a 37 percent increase, Pennsylvania 28 percent increase, California had a 53 percent increase in their premiums.’ Rates vary widely, often depending on the state and how highly regulated it was to begin with. Analysts, however, say the main reasons for the higher costs are not medical inflation, but rather the requirements of ObamaCare itself. “There are certain regulations and certain requirements that had to be in there. And because of that it’s driven up the costs of these benefits,” said John DiVito of the Flexible Benefit Service Corporation, which represents hundreds of agents.Rate hikes include ten essential health benefits along with more than 20,000 pages or regulations.” Survey shows ObamaCare sending premiums rising at fastest clip in decades
“But the CBO’s latest report on ObamaCare simply defies reality. It says, for example, that ObamaCare will cost $104 billion less over the next 10 years than it thought just two months ago. That drop rests almost entirely on the CBO’s belief that premiums will remain virtually flat next year, which then lowers the insurance subsidy costs. But the CBO somehow missed the fact that the industry is already warning of double-digit rate increases across the country next year. Right now, in fact, it’s pushing for changes to minimize the rate shock. A sharp spike in premiums will drive ObamaCare’s costs up far beyond the CBO’s current estimate.” The CBO Gets It Very Wrong on ObamaCare
“In a nutshell, the CBO initially made its projections under the assumption that the plans offered through the exchange would be largely similar in terms of benefits to the sorts of plans being offered by employers — but that definitely isn’t going to be the case. The narrowed networks that insurers are using to keep costs down and the lower reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals are things that neither consumers nor providers tend to like in the long run — which will likely mean more strain on the system and higher costs further down the road.” CBO: ObamaCare premiums and healthcare spending will rise by less than expected, because…
Meet the Sebelius replacement. “The ABC story does tell us that Burwell is “really smart.” It should have said, “willing to do anything the boss asks.” NBC News, in a story that somehow slipped past the editors,reports the following: “A single person shut down the entire U.S. government.… Not a congressman, but an unelected woman named Sylvia Burwell who … sent the email that initiated the process that has closed national parks.” This eventually led to the refusal by park rangers to allow WWII veterans into their own memorial, a travesty that clearlydemonstrated how the White House was deliberately inflicting as much pain as possible on the public in order to gain political points.” MEET SYLVIA BURWELL, THE TITANIC’S NEW CAPTAIN: She’ll have a tough time keeping Obamacare afloat.
“A new report from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a group that advocates tax cuts to restore economic growth, says that President Obama has so far pushed for 442 tax hikes — many of them aimed squarely at the struggling middle class whom Obama has vowed repeatedly to protect.” Obama’s Economy-Killing Tax-Hike Frenzy Knows No End
Unstoppable. “Alas the consequences of Western pusillanimity will be felt far outside Ukraine’s borders. Letting Ukraine be dismembered, even after the U.S., UK and Russia had guaranteed its territorial integrity, will send a signal to Putin that he can repeat the same stunt elsewhere. First Sevastopol, now Donetsk, next Tallinn? Likewise it will send a message to China’s leaders that they can act in similar fashion. If Putin can get away with aggression in Ukraine, why can’t China do the same in the South China Sea and East China Sea where it is locked in numerous territorial disputes with its neighbors? With every fresh act of aggression by Russia which is met by Western confusion, hesitation, and weakness, the world becomes a more dangerous and unstable place.” The West Is Emboldening Putin
More “the end justifies the means” stuff from the Left. “No matter how many times the “77-cents-on-the-dollar” canard is refuted by the economically literate—most recently by my pals Mark Perry and Andrew Biggs yesterday in the Wall Street Journal—it refuses to die. But in addition to lying, it is now apparent the Democrats pushing this line have no shame either. Jennifer Rubin, using figures unearthed by the NRSC, points out:
Mark Udall pays women 85 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
Mary Landrieu pays women 88 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
Mark Begich pays women 82 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
Mark Warner pays women 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
Gary Peters pays women 67 cents for every dollar that a man makes.” DEMS’ WAGE-GAP HYPOCRISY
The War on Women
I watched this interview while in Dallas, and if I wasn’t in a hotel room, I would have yelled at the television. “Indeed Kelly all but genuflected in front of this woman. Kept her on thru more than one segment and just let her crank. And when Megyn did push Sandberg about the feminist’s relevance in today’s world; e.g. the blithe acceptance of the wilding of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, and other conservative females or the alienation of many women by gratuitous displays like Gloria Steinem posing in an “I Had An Abortion” tee shirt and she ducked the questions, Kelly let her slide right back into her comfort zone. “Men have run this country for far too long”, “we have to find a way to come together”, “different messages for women start early”, people “expect men to be leaders and women help others”, “…women second shift and men don’t…”, ‘as men get more successful, they are liked more. As women get more successful, they are liked less.’” Megyn Kelly and the Sandberg Head Shaker
The Left playing the victim card. “Megan McArdle, a woman who was having none of this, actually took the initiative to solve this terrible discriminatory, difficult to explain, puzzle.
There’s a very simple explanation, which the president or his speechwriter could easily have discovered, if they had, y’know, asked the dry cleaners.
As Homer (Simpson) would say, “Duuuh!” McArdle then linked to a reply from the female Executive Director of the National Cleaners Association who clearly explained:
As an industry, dry cleaners do not charge more for a woman’s shirt than a man’s shirt, they charge more for a hand ironed shirt than they do a machine pressed shirt. If you check your own dry cleaning bill, you’ll find that YOU pay more for the laundering and finishing of your hand ironed tuxedo shirt, than you do for the automated processing of your everyday traditional dress shirt! The price is in the math as calculated by the labor required not the gender of the client!” Why it costs more to clean and iron Michelle’s blouse than Barack’s shirt
“For many people, negotiating is not fun. It’s scary, it’s uncomfortable. And yes, it might be fraught with more peril for an assertive woman than an assertive man, depending on one’s boss. But getting a negotiating coach, daring to ask, being frank about what your time and talents are worth— these are skills we should encourage women to hone. I do every time I speak with female interns. The rewards aren’t just financial. When the White House leaves out all nuance in discussing equal pay to pitch yet another tired legislative solution, it leaves out the best part— the part where women have power and can learn to become more powerful.” Obama’s hacky take on equal pay misses the part where women have power