Stories of the Weekend and Today
Per Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com: “It’s not breaking. It’s being consciously undermined.” “And now we are going back to sleep. “The tide of war is receding,” Obama says, without ever saying the word victory. He cut our military already, and proposes to cut it again, making it smaller than it was before World War II. But wars don’t end until one side wins, and this one isn’t over just because we want it to be. If 9/11 didn’t teach us that, we missed its most important lesson.” The American spirit is breaking
The Left will never learn. “The veterans’ hospital scandals now in the news in the United States show just how bad things can get when the pressure of patient demand and waiting lists affects bureaucratic behavior. As many as 40 veterans reportedly died at a Phoenix veterans’ facility because they couldn’t get the care they needed. VA administrators there and at other hospitals apparently covered it up by establishing secret waiting lists and falsifying reports. No one is suggesting that such scandals are widespread in the general health-care system. But they should serve as a warning sign of what could happen as the pressure to ration, inherent in all government-managed health care, is applied to the general population.” Lessons of the VA Scandal: Lengthy wait times, bureaucratic abuse, rationed care: par for the course in government-run health care.
Stop the takeover, please! “As the federal government takes over more and more of the healthcare system, there should be a lesson for us. Simply promising more healthcare does not mean delivering more healthcare. And government healthcare systems have a very poor record of delivering what they promise.” How VA hospitals are a government-run disaster
Rejoice! We’re in terrific hands. “Good news, citizens! All is well! The White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sat down with Major Garrett on CBS this morning to clarify once and for all that the recent termination at the VA was absolutely not, in any way shape or form, even in the slightest, to be construed as as a scapegoat who was about to retire anyway taking the hit for the VA scandals. [Snip] The President is madder than hell about something, but from the tone that McDonogh is taking, it sounds like it’s because he’s being distracted from
golfing his many other important duties. Still, they had to trot the Chief of Staff out for the Sunday rituals, so at least the situation seems to have his attention for now.” Video: White House solves VA problem. “No question” this was a termination
President Obama’s Hurricane Katrina? “In some ways, this scandal is more dangerous to the president than any other. There are documents, witnesses willing to tell their story, and both parties eager to get to the bottom of what happened. It’s safe to assume that more revelations of wrongdoing will be forthcoming. It probably won’t lead to impeachment, but it will severely damage Obama’s reputation. It plays into the narrative that Obama is incompetent and that people are suffering – and dying – because of it. That’s a powerful message to go into mid terms with.” Obama ‘madder than hell’ over VA scandal
The government doing what the government does best: not being accountable. “According to Mathews, he noticed that the doctors he oversaw who were responsible for seeing veterans with post-traumatic stress and other acute mental health issues were working just a few hours a day. They were seeing about half the patients they could, Mathews alleged in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year. Meanwhile, there were mounting suicides among veterans being treated at his facility — and officially, the St. Louis VA was reporting to its headquarters in Washington that its productivity was among the highest in the nation. “They all got bonuses — that’s the sad part. Because in reality we were not really doing a good job, but it shows up on paper as if we are,” Mathews told Fox News. When Mathews complained, he was removed from his job, assigned to an isolated office to oversee pensions and compensation. He was told not to contact the other doctors or patients.” More whistleblowers detail VA abuses, suffer retaliation
If this were to happen within a private corporation, you can be certain that heads would roll. “’It’s indeed time for fresh leadership at the VA, but Americans are demanding more than the hollow gesture of the resignation of an undersecretary who already announced his departure last year. It’s time for Secretary Shinseki to follow suit and resign as well,’ Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said. ‘His reticence to hold fellow bureaucrats at the VA accountable is exactly why we need new leadership that is willing to take swift action to ensure we are living up to our promises to our nations’ heroes.’” VA Official Who Takes the Fall Was Already Set to Retire This Year: “If what has been alleged is true, that would be an outrage,” Carney says while suggesting scandal confined to Phoenix.
Click on over to see Obama’s 7 Step Plan for crisis management. “In most cases, I have come to realize that the Obama administration is easier to understand if you dispense with the notion that there is some sort of plan other than getting through each day by minimizing immediate political damage to the highest degree possible without regard to long-term goals. But while I’m not always confident there’s a plan for actual policy, there’s always a plan for avoiding questions and blame on scandals. On the VA scandal, that plan has been enacted.” Carney: Silly press corps, we have now entered the stop-asking-questions phase of the VA scandal
I love Capitalism just as much as the next Republican, but really? “After paying $24 admission for adults, $18 for seniors and students, and $15 for kids 7 to 17, visitors can shop till they drop. “To me, it’s the crassest, most insensitive thing to have a commercial enterprise at the place where my son died,” Diane Horning said. She and husband Kurt never recovered the remains of their son Matthew, 26, a database administrator for Marsh & McLennan and an aspiring guitarist.” The 9/11 museum’s absurd gift shop
“Machine guns, though? What the heck is that about? I must say, though, that I’m pretty much with Matt Welch on this one — if the GOP is genuinely interested in walking back some of the federal government’s police powers that the party largely granted, it’s time to get to drafting some legislation to reverse the 2002 amendment and presenting their money-saving and state-slimming case. I’d be interested to know how the Obama administration would receive such tidings.” So, why is the USDA requesting to buy submachine guns?
Lucky them. Unlucky the rest of us. “Who are America’s fastest-growing class of millionaires? They are police officers, firefighters, teachers and federal bureaucrats, who, unless things change drastically, will be paid something near their full salaries every year–until death–after retiring in their mid-50s. That is equivalent to a retirement sum worth millions of dollars. If you further ask how much salary it would take to live, save and build a $2 million stash over a 30-year career, the answer would be somewhere close to $75,000 more than the nominal salary, if you include all the tax bites associated with earning, saving and investing money. In other words, if a police officer, firefighter, teacher or federal bureaucrat is making $75,000 a year he or she is effectively making twice that amount. Implied in the annual pension payout is that the individual diligently saved half of his annual salary–after taxes–in order to save, invest and build (again, after taxes) the near $2 million pot.” The Millionaire Cop Next Door
“We might as well abolish the civil service. What we’ve got now is a one-directional Spoils System, with tenure.” “A series of emails disclosed this week indicate that officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) don’t particularly like conservative reporters and in at least one case told a scientist to lie in order to avoid answering questions. The Daily Caller discovered this after being subject to one of the federal agency’s “freeze-outs.” The right-wing website was skeptical of a CDC study that purported to show obesity rates in 2- to 5-year-olds dropping by 43 percent, and of subsequent claims that First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign played a role in the decline.” OUR PARTISAN BUREAUCRACY: Emails Reveal Federal Agency Ignored Conservative Media Inquiries.
Too little, too late. “California Sen. Dianne Feinstein blasted environmental groups standing in the way of legislation she wants passed that would help California farms deal with the severe drought in the state. Feinstein said environmentalists “have never been helpful to me in producing good water policy. You can’t have a water infrastructure for 16 million people and say, ‘Oh, it’s fine for 38 million people,’ when we’re losing the Sierra Nevada snowpack.'” When she was queried if the environmental groups would resent her proposed legislation, she said, “Well, that’s really too bad, isn’t it? I would be very happy to know what they propose… I have not had a single constructive view from environmentalists of how to provide water when there is no snowpack.” FEINSTEIN BLASTS ENVIRONMENTALISTS ON DROUGHT
Chasing away work one company at a time. “UCLA’s Anderson School of Business reported this year that Los Angeles had turned into “a poverty factory” that is worse than Detroit. It forecast a bleak future for the region, based on its high taxes, burdensome regulation and hostility to business. From 1993 to 2013, Los Angeles lost 3.1% of its jobs, ranking the city dead last in job growth among the top 32 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. And the L.A. City Council’s recent “L.A. 20-20 Report” reveals the municipality’s endemic poverty, a result of its sanctuary-city laws that bring in low-skilled workers who soak up city services and compete for jobs with existing low-skilled workers, driving wages down. When one considers what L.A. used to be — a beacon of aerospace, clothing, food and film production, with the world’s busiest ports — and what it is now, which is a major exporter of old clothes and scrap metal recycled by the Chinese, it’s a sad, sad picture. And now the disgraceful treatment of Huy Fong underscores the disaster, even as it’s covered up by the media and the region’s many far-left politicians.” California Wages Economic War With Sriracha Hot Sauce Factory
Dr. Ben Carson
We need more truth tellers like Dr. Ben Carson. “I could not have said it better myself. And, here’s Carson on the the IRS:
“Obviously, the IRS was used in inappropriate ways, or Lois Lerner would not have pleaded the Fifth Amendment. It is more than disturbing that the president of the United States and many in his party feigned outrage when the inappropriate actions of the IRS initially were exposed but now cannot lend support to a full and unfettered investigation of activities that threaten the very liberty of the American people.”
It’s no wonder the White House wanted Carson to apologize after his speechat the National Prayer Breakfast; he spoke the truth, and the truth is offensive to Obama.Whether he runs for president or not, one thing is clear: Carson isn’t afraid to speak truth to power. And that’s what most Americans want – a representative with integrity who wants to take the power back from the government and return it to the people…Right?” In New Editorial, Dr. Ben Carson Slashes Obama’s Presidency With Facts, Reason And Common Sense
Common sense. “Kentucky Senator and likely presidential hopeful Rand Paul recently had to walk back some of his previous assertions about the GOP annoying people over voter ID laws. In light of yet another round of national polling, he may want to tip toe a few more steps to the rear. While it may be true that voter ID laws are annoying some folks, it looks like it’s really only about 30% of them.
Seven in 10 registered voters are in favor of identification laws in order to root out fraud at the ballot box, according to a Fox News poll released this week.
The survey found majority support in every major demographic, including black voters and Democrats.”Shocker: seven in ten favor voter ID laws
Dream on Democrats. “Democrats think they are the party of the future. After a last hurrah for Republicans in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats will have a commanding majority at the polls as far as the eye can see. A rising tide of minority, young, female, and affluent liberal voters assures them of this. And perhaps it will. But Democrats aren’t acting like a political party on the brink of taking over the country. They’re unnerved and unhappy. Their chief motivation these days is to make Republicans look bad. Ideological fissures are dividing them on health care, energy, and charter schools. President Obama’s second term keeps getting worse. He’s lost interest in bipartisan compromise. His agenda is largely rhetorical. [Snip] ” Some Juggernaut: Democrats look awfully frantic for a party with history on its side.
Let the shellacking commence! “Democrats looking to hold onto the Senate got bad news from an unusual source this morning. A new Politico poll shows Republicans holding a significant lead in generic Congressional balloting, 41/34, and 43/36 specific to the Senate races. Barack Obama’s approval numbers show him nearly 20 points underwater at 40/59, perhaps his worst ever showing in any major national poll:
President Barack Obama’s job approval slump and voters’ entrenched wariness of his health care law are dogging Democrats ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, and Republicans have captured a lead in the areas home to the year’s most competitive races, according to a new POLITICO poll.” Obama approval 40/59, GOP up 41/34 on generic ballot in Politico battleground-states poll
If she was against it, she’d say so. “After months on the campaign trail, this is the best Nunn can do? It seems Nunn didn’t get the DNC memo that it’s totally cool to run on ObamaCare. Why not just offer a “yes” or “no”? If she wants to win in Georgia, it had better be the latter, and if she expects support from the national party, it’d better be the former. The fact that she’s not willing to set her feet in either option tells Georgia voters that the answer is “yes,” but that she doesn’t want to be held accountable for that view.” Nunn refuses to answer whether she would have voted for ObamaCare
Read the whole tasty morsel. “Democrats think they are the party of the future. After a last hurrah for Republicans in this year’s midterm elections, Democrats will have a commanding majority at the polls as far as the eye can see. A rising tide of minority, young, female, and affluent liberal voters assures them of this. And perhaps it will. But Democrats aren’t acting like a political party on the brink of taking over the country. They’re unnerved and unhappy. Their chief motivation these days is to make Republicans look bad. Ideological fissures are dividing them on health care, energy, and charter schools. President Obama’s second term keeps getting worse. He’s lost interest in bipartisan compromise. His agenda is largely rhetorical. If you think Obama and Democrats in Congress are getting along well at the moment, forget it. Meanwhile, the wheels are beginning to come off the bandwagon to boost Hillary Clinton as the next president. Senate majority leader Harry Reid is obsessed with the Koch brothers. He fears they’ll hasten a Republican takeover of the Senate by outspending even his Senate Majority PAC. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi is befuddled on how to handle the special committee investigating the Benghazi affair. Democrats are increasingly living in a fantasy world. They believe Obamacare, following a rocky debut, is now headed for smooth sailing and the chance of repeal is dead. Wrong on both counts. There’s big trouble ahead once delayed mandates are operative and millions lose their employer-paid health insurance, face higher premiums, and confront limits on their access to first-rate health professionals. All that’s required for repeal is a Republican president and Congress—a possibility in 2016.” Some Juggernaut: Democrats look awfully frantic for a party with history on its side.
November is coming! And the Democrats should be very, very scare. “Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving – to Republicans. Politico today publishes its first 2014 election poll and finds “mounting danger for Dems,” owing to health care issues. Alexander Burns writes:
President Barack Obama’s jobapproval slump and voters’ entrenched wariness of his healthcare law are dogging Democrats ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, and Republicans have captured a lead in the areas home to the year’s most competitive races, according to a new POLITICO poll.
In the  congressional districts and  states where the 2014 elections will actually be decided, likely voters said they would prefer to vote for a Republican over a Democrat by 7 points, 41 percent to 34 percent. A quarter of voters said they were unsure of their preference.
Among these critical voters, Obama’s job approval is a perilous 40 percent, and nearly half say they favor outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Sixty percent say they believe the debate over the law is not over, compared with 39 percent who echo the president’s position and say the ACA debate has effectively concluded.” Politico Poll: ‘Mounting danger for Dems’
Young folks not that into the hope and change anymore. “As this graph illustrates, less than a third of Obama’s 2012 Millennial voters say they’ll “definitely” vote for Democrats this fall. Almost as many have abandoned the party label completely, either by shifting to independent status or by supporting Republicans. When this Democratic pollster tabulates the data, he finds that only half of all the young Obama voters surveyed will definitely, probably, or maybe vote for Democrats in the midterms. The rest plan to sit at home, or to back other candidates. In 2010, Millennial turnout dropped significantly compared to 2008, and the gap between the two parties among those who did vote narrowed considerably. The strategist’s advice to Democrats, therefore, is to “heavily invest” in turning out “progressive Millennials,” pronto. If the party heeds his counsel, expect to hear a lot about gay marriage and birth control over the next six months.” Dem poll: Half of young Obama voters don’t plan to vote blue in November
“On the other hand, President Obama is responsible for inspiring a bunch of young people in 2008 with utter nonsense and phrases like “we are the change that we’ve been waiting for.” Too many expected a President Obama to walk on water. Sadly, they’ve learned that he can’t swim. Politically, this is a challenge for the Democrats in 2014 because they need a turnout. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the GOP to gain some support with sound economic proposals that focus on growth.” The State of our Young People in Year 6 of “hope and change”
Count me as one of them that has partially given up on seeing any sort of meaningful change. “While analysts will make the point that this is the inevitable result of a six-year presidential cycle for the incumbent party, the poll belies the current D.C. wisdom that Republicans will sweep to victory in November. As inside-the-Beltway Republicans work to push corporate cronyism and outright pandering likeimmigration reform, many of their core voters back home have given up hope that the system can change. They have seen the same people who enthusiastically embraced limited government in rallies just four years ago vote for the same big government programs that they vowed to eliminate. They have grown wise to the every-two-years platitudes of support for cutting the size and scope of government, and have matched the rhetoric to the disappointing actual results.” Voters are giving up on fixing Washington
India turning. “In an outright rejection of the corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, dynastic politics, and welfare-state promises of the now formerly ruling Congress Party, Indians turned out in record numbers over the past five weeks to vote in parliamentary elections that propelled the pro-business Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister-Elect Narendra Modi to not merely the expected victory, but a total landslide. India has been struggling beneath an economic crisis of high inflation and too little job growth to keep up with the booming population, while Modi has been the governor of the relatively prosperous and growth-oriented Gujarat state for over a decade (Texas is a very rough but probably the closest U.S. comparison we could use) — and Indians are ready to embrace the economic model on which he focused his campaign:
Narendra Modi thundered to victory on Friday in India’s election, trouncing the ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in a seismic political shift that gives the Hindu nationalist and his party a mandate for sweeping economic reform.
Modi’s landslide, the most resounding election victory India has seen in 30 years, was welcomed with a blistering rally on India’s stock markets and raucous celebrations at offices across the country of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), where supporters danced, let off fireworks and handed out sweets.” The pro-business party wins by a landslide in India’s national elections
I don’t know who’s worse, President Obama, or Secretary Kerry… “We have now reached the farcical stage in the Obama presidency. Does Secretary Kerry understand how much of a joke it is for him to threaten “consequences” if evidence of new chemical weapons by the Assad regime turns out to be true? Given the Obama administration’s track record on Syria–with “red lines” drawn and erased, with its refusal to arm opposition groups early on, with agreeing to negotiations that have empowered the Syrian regime–it is better that Mr. Kerry keep his mouth shut than to speak and provoke ridicule. The president and his secretary of state’s words long ago were emptied of meaning. So please, for your sake and ours, give up on the bluster. It only makes a shameful situation worse.” The Obama Presidency Descends Into Farce
We must stop her. “Conservatives – and I am one with a large libertarian streak as well – are prone to see doom around every corner. But the present state of the nation is such that one cannot over-exaggerate the peril America now finds itself in – for on the horizon looms the now odds-on favorite to be our next president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The possible election of the female partner of the Bonnie and Clyde duo of Bill and Hillary Clinton would usher in the death knell of the United States of America. Having fought the Clintons tooth and nail during the 1990s, and having pursued them for their commission of a host of crimes, ranging from Whitewater, to China-gate, to Travel-gate, and Monica Lewinsky-gate to name just a few of the 40 or so of their misdeeds, I speak from experience.” Hillary would make Nixon look like a saint: Exclusive: Larry Klayman envisions end of republic should Clinton return to White House
“Frightening times, indeed. “The IRS has become a vehicle of repression — one that Democrats have further empowered through Obamacare. Its budget should be slashed, and we should figure out better ways to raise revenue. In addition, government officials have engaged in conduct that, at a minimum, grossly disregarded the constitutional rights our government exists to safeguard. Whether such serious misbehavior is attributable to incompetence or corruption, the officials who engaged in it should be defrocked. Most of us couldn’t care less whether they are sent to jail or successfully sued, but we should all insist that they no longer wield power. The most ominous development in the IRS scandal is the confederation of executive and congressional authority in opposition to our fundamental rights. The accumulation of all government powers in the same hands, Madison warned, “may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” In a free society, powers must be separated. The Framers thus gave us a Constitution that heeded the wisdom of Montesquieu:
When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner.
The IRS scandal presents a textbook case of tyrannical execution. It is fraught with peril. We are dealing not merely with a single president, who presumes to rule by decree; nor just with his congressional partisans, who presume to pull the executive bureaucracy’s coercive levers. Enormous power is cumulating in an ideological movement that is hostile to free expression, one that views its political opposition not as fellow citizens with a different point of view but as enemies to be silenced and destroyed. Frightening times.” The Internal Repression Service: The revenue agency has become a tool for suppressing speech.
A “massive scandal” that the press refuses to cover. “As we’ve already told you, Levin wasn’t the only Democrat senator calling on the IRS to harass Tea Party groups. He was just one of the most shameless. The mainstream media still shows very little interest in this story, but those determined to get to the truth need to keep the pressure on. The IRS has frighteningly expansive power to harass citizens, and it’s clear that Democrats in Washington know that and see it as a huge opportunity for them to cripple their political opponents. How this is not seen as a massive political scandal is beyond me.” White House spin on IRS scandal collapsing quickly
Emphasis mine. “After the full House of Representatives cited former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois G. Lerner for contempt of Congress on Wednesday, the Washington Times fittingly made it the lead story. Over at the Washington Post, however, print readers had to go 19 pages deep to “The Fed Page,” a union-style newsletter for federal employees. If the Post had buried the story any deeper, it would have been wedged into the classifieds or crumpled up in a backyard mulch barrel. Here’s how the New York Times handled the story: “The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to hold Lois Lerner, a former Internal Revenue Service official accused by Republicans of abusing power, in contempt, laying bare the bitter divide over which much of the midterm elections will be fought.” When Republicans do something, it’s political. When Democrats do something, it’s to save the planet.”The IRS’s Media Firewall
“Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: “We’re in favor of a lot of things and we’re against mighty few.” This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier. Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, “but that is just the beginning.” It would “rebuild the entire urban United States” while fending off “boredom and restlessness,” slaking “the hunger for community,” and enhancing “the meaning of our lives” — all by assembling “the best thought and the broadest knowledge.” In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing “just about always or most of the time”; today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so. [Snip] Eberstadt asks: Is it “simply a coincidence” that male flight from work and family breakdown have coincided with Great Society policies, and that dependence on government is more widespread and perhaps more habitual than ever? Goldwater’s insistent 1964 question is increasingly pertinent: “What’s happening to this country of ours?” What LBJ Wrought: After 50 years of his anti-poverty policy, a “tangle of pathologies” has spread dramatically.
“…multiculturalism essentially guarantees that immigrants maintain historical grievances and loyalties to a home nation other than America. These historical grievances, especially the notion that America stole the southwest from Mexico, have frozen the melting pot. “To summarize, we currently have a growing “disadvantaged” immigrant population, assimilation is passé, and radical multiculturalism reigns. Any form of legalization will guarantee that the GOP never gets ahead with Latinos, because GOP gains will be quickly offset by a constant influx of “disadvantaged” immigrants. The admission of large numbers of poorly educated, low-income immigrants will increase racial inequalities, fanning the flames of resentment toward “white privilege” and the people who supposedly benefit from it. Historic ethnic grievances will be fostered, along with ethnic chauvinism. American society will be powerless to reverse these trends, because there is no counter to the left’s appeal to racial loyalties, class interests, and raw resentment. For many Americans, following Justice Sotomayor’s perspective, racial inequalities will be proof of America’s never-ending shame. The outcome is a crisis. The only viable alternative is to stop purposefully admitting “disadvantaged” immigrants.” America’s Never-Ending Shame: Importing Inequality
Money in Politics
“Seems like Democrats don’t have much trouble finding billionaires and mansions for fundraising events. Reporters shouldn’t act like it’s an unusual event.” Democrats and Mansions
Read the whole thing, and memorize the facts so that you can share them with your low information friends. “It has been the Democrats’ pitch to the uninformed that they — the recipients of millions of dollars worth of free puffery and support from America’s almost uniformly left-wing press, unions and big foundations, academic and fat cat dollars — want to keep corporate money out of politics. In fact, the record of this administration and the Democrats in Wisconsin show what they really mean is they want to keep their opponents broke and unable to advance their political message. In Reason, Elizabeth Nolan Brown informs readers who might have missed it that the democrats are rolling in corporate funds.” Corporate Money in Politics: Who’s Complaining?
More on the above story. “Obviously, corporate-funded Democrat activists are nothing new. And I guess you could say this highlights the influence of corporations on the political process, but that’s a point already pretty well illuminated. So, mostly, I just find this news delightful because the recent push from Democrats to paint the Republicans as somehow uniquely influenced by secret corporate money is so sickeningly disingenuous.” The NewDEAL: Dark Money, Democrat Style
Wait, I thought the Democrats were all about choice… “As we behold the continued wonders of ObamaCare, we receive another reminder of the president’s empty promise, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” The New York Times, late to the party as usual,observed this week, “No matter what kind of health plan consumers choose, they will find fewer doctors and hospitals in their network – or pay much more for the privilege of going to any provider they want.” What a surprise – stop the presses!” Out of Network, Out of Luck
Note to Democrats and the media: The debate IS NOT OVER. “The Washington Post has learned that more than a million Americans who signed up for Obamacare insurance policies are being paid too much or too little in taxpayer funded subsidies. Bad enough, right? It gets worse. The process by which the government informs these taxpayers that they are receiving an incorrect subsidy has broken down, or is not even in place yet. In their unholy rush to sign people up and “prove” Obamacare “works,” the administration has created a monstrously confusing situation that won’t be resolved any time soon. It’s possible that a taxpayer will go an entire year paying an incorrect amount. only to find out later that they have to repay the government the difference. [Snip] It’s incredible that the back end of the website still isn’t working because much of it hasn’t been built yet. It’s unconscionable that they would spend a billion dollars to push these policies and subsidies on Americans knowing full well that there was no way to verify income and get the correct amount of subsidy. And it’s ridiculous that sometime in the future, hundreds of thousands of Americans are going to be shocked that they owe the IRS hundreds and maybe thousands of dollars. Yes – but the debate over Obamacare is over right?” More than a million insured by Obamacare are getting too much or too little subsidies
More on the above story. “The original report has all the details, and the part of this story that is both frightening and aggravating is that this is apparently yet another problem which they knew about all along, but never bothered to mention. And it has a very direct impact on hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of Americans. In the best case scenario, the subscriber may be receiving too little in subsidies. This makes life a bit harder in the short term, but if they manage to come up with the cash to keep their policy, then after the discrepancy is noted and resolved, they’ll get the money back. But for the rest of the users who have been incorrectly assigned, they may think they’re getting a really good deal on their insurance. Then, when tax time comes around next year, they’ll be slammed with a bill for the “overpayment” they’ve been receiving without even knowing it.” Your ObamaCare subsidies are probably wrong, but don’t worry. We’ll bill you later.
The REAL argument AGAINST expanding Medicaid. “Those who oppose Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion should think long and hard about the argument they’re leading with. The danger of emphasizing the fiscal pressure that the expansion creates is twofold: First, advocates of this position sound like misers who would choose budgetary savings over expanding access to health care; and second, people may not be inclined to believe them anyway since Obamacare requires the federal government to pick up so much of the tab for the expansion. Those who would emphasize the argument about the substandard care provided through Medicaid are also swimming upstream because, regardless of the compelling data that argues otherwise, people are inclined to believe that some health coverage is better than none at all.That’s why opponents of a Medicaid expansion need to take a serious look at this recently released paper. There is already something intuitive about the notion that robust public assistance destroys the incentive to work and hinders upward mobility. This research provides strong evidence for the contention that enrolling in Medicaid traps people in poverty and makes it harder for them to make their way into the middle class. Furthermore, it links the Medicaid expansion to the weakening of our nation’s economy. And it makes the case that rather than increasing economic opportunity, Obamacare — and its Medicaid expansion more specifically — actually may kill it.”Best Argument Yet Against Medicaid Expansion
President Know Nothing. “For the VA scandal, Obama and his team couldn’t even bestir themselves to come up with a new excuse. They just trotted out the “he learned about it from watching the news” line that they have used and abused in past scandals. Associated Press: Obama Learned Of IRS Targeting From News Reports: Aide;Real Clear Politics: Carney: Obama Didn’t Know About Fast & Furious Until He Saw It In Media; · USA Today: NSA Denies Obama Knew Of Spying On German Leader’’; CNN: HHS Chief: President Didn’t Know Of Obamacare Website Woes Beforehand; Business Insider: The White House Says It Had No Idea The DOJ Seized The AP’s Phone Records. What does Barack Obama do with himself all day?” Barack Obama Seems to Learn a Lot from News Reports. Except, How to Be President.
“So, when our top-level politicians claim to be supremely angry about their own departments and minions victimizing Americans, are we supposed to give a crap? They obviously don’t, which is why they think it’ll be good enough to simply express their outrage while continuing run roughshod over rights.” FIVE TIMES OBAMA OFFICIALS EXPRESSED OUTRAGE AT THEIR OWN INCOMPETENCE
You MUST click on over to see the photo. “Barack Obama shimmied across the Shake Shack counter following lunch with Joe Biden on Friday. Whitehouse.gov posted an officialpicture of the impromptu show on its website. Check out his adoring fans in the front row.” Adolescent president shows his stuff
Are there not more serious ways to raise awareness? “Imagine, if you can, the abjectly juvenile state of mind necessary to contemplate the hundreds of Nigerian girls taken into slavery by a fanatical Muslim anti-education militia — whose characteristic activity beyond slave-taking is setting fire to children— and, in the face of all that horror, concluding: “You know what this situation really calls for? A cutesy picture of . . . me!” Bad enough when your cousin Caitlin at Bryn Mawr does that — but senators? State Department officials? These are men and (disproportionately, I think) women of power and influence, who have the ability to engage with the world and change it. But they are enchanted by the unique witchcraft of the age of social media, the totemic power of the digital expression of the self. It is not accidental that the only good selfie in the history of world leaders came well before the invention of Twitter from a man with an ego sufficiently robust not to require the constant reinforcement that is the psychic lifeblood of Millennials (and Washingtonians well old enough to know better), without which they find themselves paralyzed.” The Narcissistic Creed: When preening replaces thinking, our ability to engage in responsible self-government is diminished.
Selected outrage. “I’m stealing that question from Ace, as it deserves amplification. What are the criteria for“hashtag activism”? If the bleeding edge of U.S. diplomacy now involves moral posturing on Twitter in lieu of doing anything constructive, let’s at least be consistent about it. As with Boko Haram and the Nigerian schoolgirls, you have here a Christian female — pregnant, no less — being potentially brutalized and murdered by Islamist savages. Her husband is a U.S. citizen; his son is a U.S. citizen. Punishing her for her faith is as clear-cut a human-rights violation as exists. And yet, nothing on social media from State or the White House, which has been only too happy to showcase their well-meaning impotence for a good cause over the past few months. Ed noted yesterday that U.S. options in Sudan are severely limited; true, but the #BringBackOurGirls campaign created international pressure to act. If State took the lead on promoting awareness of Ibrahim’s ordeal, it would twist arms at the UN and among NGOs with more reach than we have to negotiate for her release. Instead, crickets.” Has our State Department started a hashtag yet for the soon-to-be-murdered Sudanese Christian mom?
Pay attention because for now, the move towards Totalitarianism is working. “Totalitarianism depends on making minds small and ignorant. Psychodynamically, totalitarianism inculcates in “the masses” the defense mechanisms of splitting and rationalization. Defense mechanisms are unconscious processes that manipulate, distort, or deny reality to protect the mind from experiencing negative emotions such as anxiety, guilt, or shame when it ought to. In the service of the Velikaya Revolutsiya, the population is split into noble groups and ignoble groups of counter-revolutionaries. Nazism splits good racial and ethnic groups from evil ones; communism splits good classes from evil ones. American totalitarianism splits society along anti-American, anti-Christian narratives. Black people, feminists, Hispanics (especially illegal aliens), native Americans, “gays,” gender micro-minorities, and Islamics are held up as noble groups. The contras are impenitent white people, gun owners, the evil wealthy, heterosexual men, Christians, Jews, military service people, veterans, and the unborn impedimenta.” Zek Sterling and American Totalitarianism
Conservatives letting their voices be heard. “After an uproar from conservative customers, SunTrust Banks announced Friday afternoon that the decision to end its relationship with real estate entrepreneurs David and Jason Benham had been reversed. Earlier Friday, The Daily Caller reported that SunTrust Banks had pulled all of its listed properties with the Benham brothers’ bank-owned property business. The move came just a week after HGTV announced it was canceling a planned home renovation show hosted by the Benhams because of their conservative views on abortion and gay marriage. By Friday afternoon, SunTrust released a statement saying the decision had been reversed. The bank didn’t go into detail about why they originally cut ties with the Benham brothers, though SunTrust said the decision was made by a third party vendor. TheDC reported earlier Friday that the vendor had told a Benham Brothers franchisee that the bank itself made the decision.” SunTrust Reverses Decision On Conservative Benham Brothers
“So we are left with a mystery. Who made the decision to sever ties with the Benhams? Was it a rogue employee of a vendor or the bank? In any event, it is clear that many Americans are fed up with the effort to punish people who believe in traditional marriage, a group which includes roughly half of the population. Attempting to ruin the business of people who disagree with you on social policy is intolerant, and further attempts to impose this gay marriage jihad on Americans will be resisted. Strongly.” Sun Trust Banks quickly reverses decision to cut ties with Benham Brothers