Posted at Power Line blog:
Posted at Power Line blog:
On Monday, Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy posted an article about the recent agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Frank Gaffney is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy. He formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson. He is an expert on America’s national security.
Mr. Gaffney observes:
For starters, there is no reason to disbelieve the Iranian mullahs when they whip crowds into a frenzy with the phrase “Death to America.” To the contrary, there is plenty of evidence that they are intent on achieving their stated goal of “a world without America.”
Among the most alarming such evidence can be found in the series of steps the Iranian regime has taken to operationalize its capability to deliver without warning a devastating, strategic electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack upon this country. Tests involving the launching of missiles off of barges in the Caspian Sea confer an ability to fire them from vessels off America’s coasts. Other experiments included the simulated delivery of a warhead to the missile’s apogee – precisely the scenario a congressional commission warned could be used to unleash EMP from high above the United States, inflicting catastrophic damage on the highly vulnerable electric grid and society below.
We are told that all that is missing is a nuclear warhead to place atop such missiles. Far from pushing that ominous day into the future, let alone foreclosing it altogether, Mr. Obama’s deal with Iran can only make its arrival more certain, and probably more near-term.
The article points out that there is nothing in the agreement reached that requires Iran to declare all of its nuclear sites and their activities. The ‘temporary’ lifting of the sanctions will probably not be temporary–in order to reimpose those sanctions, we would have to have the agreement of both Russia and China–both of which think that Iran as a nuclear power will help them in dealing with the worldwide community of nations.
The article further points out:
The deal undermines our allies by abandoning those known to be in the mullahs’ crosshairs. Topping that list is Israel. That would be the country whose population the real power in Tehran, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini, vilified again just last week. He said the Jews “cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them” described their country as “the rabid dog of the region.” That’s a reminder, if any were actually needed, of why Israel and her friends have rejected Obama’s deal and are unmoved by his dubious promises Sunday of greater consultations as he engages Iran in the future.
The article concludes:
It is an axiom of negotiations that if you want it bad, you get it bad. President Obama’s deal with Iran is a case in point. Unfortunately, “getting it bad” in this case – like so much of the serial national security fraud being perpetrated pursuant to the Obama Doctrine – will translate into mortal peril for millions.
President Obama was desperate for some sort of political or diplomatic victory. He will claim this victory in the agreement reached with Iran. Unfortunately this agreement is not a victory for the American people and reinforces the idea that America under President Obama will not hesitate to desert her friends and strengthen her enemies for partisan political purposes.
On Thursday, Americans celebrated Thanksgiving. Other than declaring the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and watching football, the purpose of the holiday was to give thanks for the blessings we have received in the past year. The pilgrims were grateful to be alive when they celebrated their first Thanksgiving.
Now there is an archeological find in Jamestown, Virginia, that illustrates the Christian roots of America. CBN News posted a story today about the discovery of the original 1608 church building that was built at James Fort.This is the church where Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, married John Rolfe, the Virginia colony‘s first successful tobacco planter.
The article reports:
He described the find as a “goose bump” moment.
“This fort was supposed to have been lost to the river, to erosion,” Kelso told CBN News. “No one could find it. I came out here 18 years ago, and I thought, ‘Well, I want to give this a shot in this area because nobody looked that seriously here,'”
“And sure enough the whole fort’s been found — all the buildings, now the church,” he said.
The secretary of the Jamestown colony had recorded the church dimensions as 60-feet long by 24-feet wide.
The church was later replaced by another church which probably stood where a brick church currently stands to greet visitors today.
Today’s Washington Examiner is reporting that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved the practice of unions paying protesters to protest. The case involved union members being paid to protest against WalMart.
The article reports:
In a Nov. 15 memorandum from the NLRB’s general counsel office regarding the so-called “Black Friday” protests staged by United Food and Commercial Workers against the nonunion retailer last year, the NLRB lawyers determined that the UFCW’s offer of $50 gift cards to anyone who showed up to protest “was a non-excessive strike benefit.”
The lawyers said there was “no evidence to indicate that the gift card was meant to buy support for OUR Walmart” since the card was available not just to the retailer’s employees but to anyone who showed up at the unions’ protests.
The article incorrectly stated that OUR Walmart’s $50 gift cards were available to “to anyone who showed up to protest” implying that non-Walmart employees could get them. The NLRB document only states that the cards were available to “anyone who struck, not just members of OUR Walmart” indicating they were limited to Walmart employees.
The article also points out that very few of the people protesting WalMart actually work for WalMart. There is another interesting aspect of this story. Most people who shop at WalMart shop there because of the low prices. One of the reasons for those low prices is the fact that it is a non-union shop and the company does not have to negotiate with unions, cater to unions, and sometimes sacrifice good business practices to appease union leaders. Many union members are not particularly wealthy, and by unionizing WalMart, they will lose a good source of inexpensive food and other goods. If the union members support the unionization of WalMart, they are also supporting something that will make their own lives more difficult.
One of the distinctions that has not been clearly made in the discussion of ObamaCare is the difference between having a card that says you have medical insurance and actually being able to obtain medical care when you need it. Somehow that has been pretty much left out of the discussion. Well, as theory meets reality, access to care (regardless of whether or not you have insurance) will become an issue.
The article tells the story of one California doctor:
Dr. Ted Mazer is one of the few ear, nose and throat specialists in this region who treat low-income people on Medicaid, so many of his patients travel long distances to see him.
But now, as California’s Medicaid program is preparing for a major expansion under President Obama’s health care law, Dr. Mazer says he cannot accept additional patients under the government insurance program for a simple reason: It does not pay enough.
“It’s a bad situation that is likely to be made worse,” he said.
His view is shared by many doctors around the country. Medicaid for years has struggled with a shortage of doctors willing to accept its low reimbursement rates and red tape, forcing many patients to wait for care, particularly from specialists like Dr. Mazer.
In theory, ObamaCare was supposed to help people who were not able to afford health insurance to get medical care. In practice, ObamaCare will probably result in less care and more people with serious health issues not getting the care they need. The promise of “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” has been proven to be false, and now the promise of access to medical care for all Americans is also turning out to be false.
The article further reports:
In California, with the nation’s largest Medicaid population, many doctors say they are already overwhelmed and are unable to take on more low-income patients. Dr. Hector Flores, a primary care doctor in East Los Angeles whose practice has 26,000 patients, more than a third of whom are on Medicaid, said he could accommodate an additional 1,000 Medicaid patients at most.
“There could easily be 10,000 patients looking for us, and we’re just not going to be able to serve them,” said Dr. Flores, who is also the chairman of the family medicine department at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.
We need to repeal ObamaCare before it does any more damage and replace it with a private-sector-based plan that actually works. If we don’t stop this train wreck now, we may not be able to stop it later.
I guess I’m more than a little out of step here, but my definition of economic justice is helping more people increase their earnings and keep more of what they earn. Economic success should be available to everyone who is willing to work for it to the degree which they are willing to work. For example, a businessman starting a business will put in 60 hour weeks in the beginning of the venture in order to get things started. When his company grows and becomes more stable, he may be able to drop to 50 hours a week. If he becomes wealthy, it is because he has earned that wealth. That businessman should be held up as a positive example of what hard work can accomplish, and every American should be encouraged to follow that example. That is economic justice–you get what you work for and are allowed to keep a large portion of it. It is not economic justice to take money from someone who has earned it and give it to someone who has not.
Unfortunately, the definition of economic justice has been skewed in recent years to embrace the idea of taking money from people who earn it and giving it to those who have not earned it. ObamaCare is the epitome of that concept, and the mainstream media has finally awakened to that fact.
The article reports:
The paper reported that “economic justice” was Obama‘s real goal in taking over a sixth of the economy.
But to make his plan “palatable” to “middle-class voters,” he had to mislead them into thinking nothing would be taken from them. He had to assure them, in a “semantic sidestep,” that ObamaCare was a win-win for all Americans, when in fact it created “losers as well as winners” — tens of millions of losers, as it turns out.
“Hiding in plain sight behind that pledge — visible to health policy experts but not the general public — was the redistribution required to extend health coverage to those who had been either locked out or priced out of the market,” the Times said. “Now some of that redistribution has come clearly into view.”
Of course, it was visible to Times correspondents as well. But they’re just now getting around to informing voters, after flooding them with pro-ObamaCare stories during the 2012 campaign.
Right now the media is not the friend of the American voter, but we as voters have to take some responsibility for what we are willing to believe. During the 2012 election campaign, the information about ObamaCare was available to anyone who chose to look past the mainstream media. The death panels were talked about, the taking money out of Medicare was discussed, and the problems with keeping your current health plans was discussed–not often in the mainstream media–but those ideas were discussed.
The lesson to all of us is simple–the media is telling us what they want us to know when they want us to know it. If we want to be informed citizens, all of us need to learn to do research on our own. There is an election next year–it’s time to get busy.
Commentary Magazine posted an article today about the latest challenge to ObamaCare that is headed to the Supreme Court. The article examines the approach that the political left and those that support ObamaCare will probably take in arguing the case.
The article states:
Indeed, while liberal activists will repeatedly try to cast this in the mold of the fictional “war on women,” their own arguments reveal just how far-reaching a definitive ruling on this would be for American religious and political practice.
…So this is much more than a fight over birth control, or even health insurance. It’s about two fundamentally different views on American constitutional freedoms. Conservatives want those freedoms to be expansive and protected, as the Founders did. Liberals want those freedoms to be curtailed lest the citizenry get greedy or the democratic process imperil the state’s coercive powers.
The Founders saw religious freedom as elemental to personal liberty in America. But they were not alone in thinking that unimpeded religious worship was a guard against an overly ambitious or arrogant national government.
If we lose our spiritual foundation as a country, we will also be in danger of losing our freedom.
The article reports:
Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), made the critical weapons announcement just days after Iran and the West signed a deal aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear activities.
“Many countries may have access to cruise missiles technology, but when it comes to ballistic missiles, I am confident that only the U.S. and the [former] Soviet Union could master this technology, and now we can announce that we own this technology as well,” Salami told Fars.
Obviously this may or may not be true, but how much are will willing to bet on the truthfulness of his claim.
The article quotes Michael Rubin on the situation:
“Perhaps, [Secretary of State] John Kerry believes that Iran only wants ballistic missiles for peaceful purposes,” said Rubin, author of Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes.
“The fact of the matter is that Kerry and crew left both ballistic missiles and the nuclear warhead trigger experimentation at Parchin [military site] off-the-table” during talks in Geneva, Rubin said. “It’s the diplomatic equivalent of installing a burglar alarm system in your house but leaving the keys in the door.”
Most of us would like to see peace come to the Middle East. Somehow I don’t think the path we are currently traveling as a country is leading in that direction.
Something to ?laugh? about on Thanksgiving. BuzzFeed asked some Brits to label a map of the United States to celebrate Thanksgiving. Please follow the link above to see the results–they are hilarious.
Here is one example:
One of my favorite people has been honored by the University of Denver for her dedication to her country and her dedication to academic pursuits.
This is Ky Hunter.
I met Ky shortly after she returned from a year as a combat pilot in Iraq. She is currently doing research on women and revolutions.
The University of Denver Magazine reports:
As a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, she was one of the first female attack pilots and later served as the corps’ liaison officer to the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, she’s a Sié Fellow at the Josef Korbel School, where her career experiences shape the work she does in and out of the classroom.
Hunter is a master’s candidate in international security who earned her BA from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. After graduating from Georgetown, she spent more than a decade as an officer in the Marine Corps, serving as an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot on multiple deployments in support of Operation Iraqi and Operation Enduring Freedom. “I was an attack pilot. I was the first woman on the east coast,” she says. “It was a trailblazer-type experience. Definitely an experience being the first in something, which is never easy. It’s something that takes grit and determination.”
Congratulations, Ky, for the well-deserved recognition.
Before I go into any of this, I want to make one thing clear. I am not in favor of going to war with Iran. Despite the fact that American troops have been fighting Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than ten years now, I have no desire at all to attack Iran. Any American attack on Iran would result in an Iranian attack on Israel (probably chemical or nuclear in nature) and totally end any semblance of stability in the Middle East. However, I am totally opposed to the recent agreement reached between America and Iran in regard to Iran becoming a nuclear power (Iran says that in the recent agreement, the world community gave Iran permission to become a nuclear power; the world community says it did not give that permission).
I am not the only one concerned about the agreement. Yesterday Bret Stephens posted an article at the Wall Street Journal regarding the recent agreement reached with Iran.
Mr. Stephens cites two recent peace agreements that were questionable at best–Munich and the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973. Both agreements seemingly brought peace and both lead the way to horrible atrocities–the attempted Nazi takeover of Europe and the killing fields of Cambodia.
Mr. Stephens points out that although the agreement signed in Geneva on Sunday brings temporary peace as did Munich and Paris, it has no redeeming qualities.
The article points out:
And each deal was a prelude to worse. After Munich came the conquest of Czechoslovakia, the Nazi-Soviet pact and World War II. After Paris came the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh and the humiliating exit from the embassy rooftop. After Geneva there will come a new, chaotic Mideast reality in which the United States will lose leverage over enemies and friends alike.
What will that look like? Iran will gradually shake free of sanctions and glide into a zone of nuclear ambiguity that will keep its adversaries guessing until it opts to make its capabilities known. Saudi Arabia will move swiftly to acquire a nuclear deterrent from its clients in Islamabad; Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal made that clear to the Journal last week when he indiscreetly discussed “the arrangement with Pakistan.” Egypt is beginning to ponder a nuclear option of its own while drawing closer to a security alliance with Russia.
The economic sanctions on Iran were working–the Iranian economy was rapidly shrinking. That is why Iran was willing to negotiate. Had the economy continued to shrink, we might have seen the end of the tyrannical rule of the Ayatollahs. Instead, we will see an end to the sanctions and a strengthening of the hold the Islamic fanatics have on the country of Iran.
Unfortunately, we have messed this up royally, and we will be the ones to pay the price.
Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Can you image the outrage if an organization supporting President Bush had put out this letter? Do these people ever stop campaigning? Do you really want a political group giving you talking points for the family holiday dinner table?
A website called TheFederalist gives the correct response if someone in your family took the above memorandum seriously:
Here’s a sample response you might use. “That would be great. Except that I’m going to be washing dishes and cleaning up for a bit. How about you go into the guest room and use the computer in there to sign me up. As soon as you’re done, you can have some pie.”
The key is to get them to make a commitment not to come out until they’ve finished signing you up. Remember their conversation tip — Ask them to make a plan, and commit to it. Ask them to commit to finishing the sign-up before they come out of the room.
Since nobody can actually sign up for Obamacare, they’ll be busily trying to operate the web site for the duration of your visit. And the beauty of the disaster zone that is the Obamacare website is that whether you plan to visit for hours or days, the crazy family member will be out of your hair. For added giggles with the sane portion of the family, be sure to follow the last tip — Don’t forget to follow up: “Have you signed up yet?”
Every time you pass the room, knock on the door loudly and ask them that exact question. Once your crazy uncle is holed-up with a laptop in the guest bedroom, you and your more tolerable relatives can enjoy the rest of the holiday in peace.
What an amazingly creative solution!
This is a picture of a Chevy Camaro. According to the Heritage Foundation, Chevy Camaros from 2013 and 2014 are being recalled for violating Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208—Occupant Crash Protection. The recall affects 18,941 cars.
The article reports:
The recall decision was made by the Executive Field Action Decision Committee, following a review by the Field Performance Evaluation Review Committee. So, pursuant to 49 CFR §573.6, the automaker submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) its determination of noncompliance for the requirement that the visor label be “permanently affixed.”
GM also issued a stop delivery order to dealers, and instructed them to inspect the label on each sun visor (“using a finger nail, plastic card, or similar” to determine proper adhesion). In the event a label is prone to peel, the entire sun visor must be scrapped and replaced.
There are a few questions here. How is this recall going to impact GM financially? Would you bring you car in to the dealer if your recall notice told you the recall was about a label on the sun visor? Is this another example of the government overstepping its bounds and having a negative impact on the American economy?
We have done a lot in recent years to improve the safety of the American automobile. This is not an example of that.
The article reports:
Although there were a number of exemptions to the one-child policy, Chinese population growth was cut by 200 million as the birthrate dropped from 4.77 children per female in the 1970s to just 1.58 in 2012. But the strategy also resulted in massive female infanticide and now a ticking time bomb from millions of unwedded young men threatens to ignite revolutionary violence.
When parents began killing female babies, the population of male babies increased disproportionally, and the ability of many young men to find wives decreased markedly. The article reports that for the young in China, the ratio is 117 men for every 100 women.
The article further reports:
Unfortunately, China has a bad history when it comes to lack of eligible wives. Two horrendous floods and a subsequent famine devastated northeastern China in the mid-19th century. According to political scientists Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer, female infanticide was so rampant during the famine that about 25% of young men in the region were “bare branches” as the Chinese call it — unlikely to ever bear fruit in the form of children. With no hope of families, the bare branches rebelled and formed into huge bands of young male outlaws known as “nien” that wreaked havoc on the Chinese economy. The Nien Rebellion contributed to civil war and the end of the Qing Dynasty.
Obviously the current rulers of China do not want anything even remotely like this to happen again.
The article concludes:
Relaxing the one-child policy may ultimately assist in rebalancing the Chinese economy towards domestic consumption, since younger people tend to spend a higher share of their income than older people. But benefits from the change in the one-child policy will take decades to have much impact on China’s demographics. During the interim, the millions of “bare branches” are going to grow in number, and also grow in anger.
On Thursday the Senate voted to end the filibuster for most presidential nominees.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
The vote was a landmark moment for the Senate, a tradition-bound institution that is slow to change and prides itself on giving power to the minority party. Dozens of senators were seated at their desks as the day’s proceedings began, a rarity.
The article at Power Line reminds us:
At a fundraiser earlier this month, he told liberal donors that he is “remaking the courts.”
Recognizing that the filibuster stood in the way of a full radical makeover, Obama personally lobbied three Democratic Senators who were undecided about whether to eliminate it. Obama reportedly told them “how important this was to him and our ability to get anything done for the rest of the term.”
The White House stressed the need to confirm three new judges for the D.C. Circuit, which rules on a wide swath of regulatory issues. Stymied by Congress, Obama plans to push his left-wing agenda through regulatory overreach. He needs liberal judges to prevent the resulting rules from being overturned.
Paul Mirengoff explains in the article that the value of the decision by the Democrats in the Senate to change the rules about filibusters is that is confirms that fact that our courts have become political entities. He celebrates the fact that the passage of this law exposes the fact that our courts have become political. As Americans, we can now go about the business of electing people who will begin to undo the damage that has been done to our government by politicizing our courts. Every Senator who opposed this measure during the Bush Administration and supported it now should be voted out of office just on the basis of being a hypocrite.
Just a side note on this article. I went to my usual site of Thomas.gov to look for more information on the filibuster change. Thomas.gov has been altered considerably and is no longer as user-friendly as it used to be. I am hoping that this is a step in the direction of improvement of the site and not an attempt to make it more difficult for people like me to find out what is going on in Congress.
Remember when 5 percent unemployment under George W. Bush meant that we were in horrible economic straits? Remember when gas prices hit $3.00 a gallon under George W. Bush and it was the end of the American economy as we knew it? Anyone else long for those days?
We are being told that the unemployment rate is currently hovering around 7 percent. We are also watching the labor participation rate fall to 62.8 percent (Investor’s Business Daily). This puts the true unemployment rate at about 11.8 percent.
Investor’s Business Daily reports:
When the economy fell into recession in December 2007, the jobless rate was 5% and the labor force participation rate was 66%. As job losses surged, unemployment doubled to 10% in October 2009, a few months after the recession officially ended. The jobless rate slowly began to edge down, but held at 9% or above for nearly two years, and above 8% for nearly three years.
But the drop largely reflected job market weakness rather than strength. During this time, labor force participation steadily fell. In October 2009, when official unemployment peaked, participation was 65%. A year later it was 64.4%. Now, more than four years into the expansion, it’s 62.8%, the lowest in 35 years.
But wait–there’s more. The New York Post reported yesterday that Congress will begin an investigation on how unemployment numbers have been calculated and released particularly during the run-up to the 2012 election.
The article at the New York Post reports:
Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.
On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election.
In 2009, before the 2010 census was taken, the White House changed the rules on how the census would be reported. The Census Bureau would report to senior White House aides. I will admit that at the time I thought this would result in some population statistics being altered to increase the number of votes in blue states and decrease the number of votes in red states. It didn’t occur to me at the time that these numbers could also be used to skew unemployment data.
The New York Post continues:
Back in 2010, I started getting reports that the Census Bureau had some very unusual hiring practices. Census takers and supervisors — at risk of heavy fines — were reporting to me that large numbers of people were being hired only to be fired shortly afterward. And then rehired.
I theorized at the time that Census was trying to make the job-creation totals look better nationwide in those bleak months leading up to the midterm congressional elections.
This employment policy seemed too coordinated. The regional higher-ups at Census couldn’t be doing this on their own; there had to be a grander plan.
I still don’t know what was going on.
But then I heard about the falsification in Philly. This time, however, it wasn’t the employment numbers that were being doodled with. This time it was the unemployment data, which are gathered at the Census Bureau and handed over raw to the Labor Department.
Please follow the link and read the entire story. Unfortunately most of the media is unaware of this or ignoring it. As voters, all of us need to be aware of what is taking place here.
This story is from a website called truthseekerdaily.com. It is what happened when the children Sir Nicholas Winton had saved from the Nazi death camps in Czechoslovakia had a chance many years later to pay tribute to Sir Winton. Sir Nicholas Winton rescued approximately 669 children.
This is the YouTube video:
This was posted on YouTube:
This is an article about ObamaCare. It is based on two articles–one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical article was posted today at National Review. It was written by Andrew McCarthy. The practical article was posted at Power Line on Thursday. It was written by Paul Mirengoff and illustrates how Andrew McCarthy’s theory looks in the real world.
Andrew McCarthy describes ObamaCare as follows:
It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and “exchanges” run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the “private” insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style “free” system — formerly unthinkable for the United States — becomes the inexorable solution.
Andrew McCarthy reminds us of President Obama’s statement to a 2007 SEIU health-care forum. The President stated, “There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years or 20 years out.” The transition he is referring to is the transition out of employee-based health into a government one-payer system. It was assumed that the individual healthcare insurance market could be phased out much more quickly. We are seeing that already in the number of individual health insurance policies that are being cancelled every day due to ObamaCare. This brings me to the article showing how ObamaCare works in practical terms.
Paul Mirengoff reports:
Covered California, that state’s insurance exchange, has rejected President Obama’s request that people be allowed to remain in non-compliant health insurance plans for another year. This decision is highly significant because California has experienced by far the most insurance policy cancellations of any state, reportedly around 900,000 of them.
Eliana Johnson points out that a number of Blue States — New York, Minnesota, Washington, and Rhode Island — have previously said no to Obama’s fix. So far, less liberal states — e.g., Florida, Tennesse, Alabama, and South Carolina — seem more receptive to the president.
The irony is only superficial. Blue State leaders are saying no because, as liberals, they dislike private plans and, more importantly, want to offer no escape from Obamacare for the young and the healthy whose participation in exchanges is needed to subsidize the middle-aged and the sick.
President Obama’s healthcare fix is political theater. It provides cover for him and (in his mind) for other Democrats. ObamaCare has cost the Democrat party dearly in the polls, and there is an election next year. There is one school of thought that says that because President Obama is in his second term he is more interested in changing America than being popular, but there is a problem with that. President Obama needs a cooperative Congress to keep ObamaCare in place. If the American people decide to vote out of office those politicians who supported ObamaCare, it is very possible that the next Congress could throw the entire program out and start over (we can only hope). So there is a fine line to be walked between changing ObamaCare enough to make it palatable to the American public without sacrificing the goal of eventual reaching a single-payer system and winning the next election. Get out the popcorn–this is going to be fun to watch!
Global warming is not proven science. There are actually a very few things that are proven science. Almost every time one man declares that something is proven science, another man comes along with a different theory that also works. About the only thing we can actually count on as proven science is gravity. After that it gets a little sketchy.
The article reports:
The G77 and China bloc led 132 poor countries in a walk out during talks about “loss and damage” compensation for the consequences of global warming that countries cannot adapt to, like Typhoon Haiyan. The countries that left claim to have the support of other coalitions of poor nations, including the Least Developed Countries, the Alliance of Small Island States and the Africa Group.
We need to remember that poor nations are not poor because of global warming. When you look at the profiles of poor nations and rich nations, generally speaking richer nations embrace such things are private property rights, free enterprise, and a tax system that allows individuals to prosper. Many of the poorer countries that are demanding money in this deal are dictatorships where the money will simply line the pockets and improve the lifestyles of the leaders, but will never reach the people of the country.
Blackmailing successful countries in no way helps the average citizens of poorer countries–it only increases the power and wealth of their tyrannical leaders.
The article further reports:
“The carbon tax is bad for the economy and it doesn’t do any good for the environment,” (Australian) Prime Minister Tony Abbott told The Washington Post. “Despite a carbon tax of $37 a ton by 2020, Australia’s domestic emissions were going up, not down. The carbon tax was basically socialism masquerading as environmentalism, and that’s why it’s going to get abolished.”
Making richer countries poorer does not make poorer countries richer–it just empowers people who do not promote freedom.
The article reports:
…On Thursday, it (Treasury Department) announced it sold 70.2 million shares of General Motors (GM) stock and intends to sell its remaining 31.1 million shares by Dec. 31.
Once the final sale is complete, however, US taxpayers will have lost nearly $10 billion of the $49.5 billion the federal government used to prevent the auto giant from collapsing in 2008, Treasury officials say. The loss offsets a greater calamity that would have occurred – the disappearance of 1 million jobs – if the federal government had not intervened, says Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Tim Bowler.
I guess the question I have at the end of this is how did Ford Motor Company continue without the government bailout, and could General Motors have done the same thing? The taxpayers lost nearly $10 billion in this transaction. What would have been the result of simply dividing that amount of money between those Americans who pay taxes? I think in the long run, it would have had a more positive long term effect on the economy.
Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported that Vance McAllister won a special election for Louisiana‘s 5th District seat yesterday. Representative-elect McAllister is new to politics–he has never even visited Washington, D.C. However, Representative-elect McAllister is a friend of the patriarch of TV’s “Duck Dynasty,” Phil Robertson, who endorsed his congressional bid.
The article reports:
Vance McAllister beat establishment candidate Neil Riser, a state senator, in Saturday’s runoff election created when former Rep. Rodney Alexander resigned on Sept. 26 to become secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs under Republican Governor Bobby Jindal.
…A handful of Washington GOP operatives tried to get one of the members of the Duck Dynasty family to run for the seat, but failed.
But the race showed just how powerful the Duck Dynasty trademark is in the area, said an election observer.
Wow. Just wow.
This wasn’t a war started on a lie about weapons of mass destruction the way Iraq was for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Affordable health care for all Americans was Barack Obama’s war, one started with noble intent, the way so many big ideas all the way back to Social Security have started.
The opening sentence of that paragraph is amazing. First of all, America’s intelligence organizations showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Britain’s intelligence organizations showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and Israel’s intelligence showed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There is also a book called Saddam’s Secrets which details Saddam Hussein’s wmd program. The book was written by one of Saddam Hussein’s top generals and details the program and the exportation of those weapons during the run-up to the war. Regardless of whether or not you believe the weapons existed, the President did not lie. He spoke based on the information he had at the time.
ObamaCare is a very different situation. As reported on rightwinggranny yesterday, four years ago it was obvious to many people that people would lose their health insurance under ObamaCare. Christina Romer did an amazing job of avoiding that very question in her testimony before a House Education and Labor Committee hearing of June 23, 2009. You could make the argument that President Obama was not told that people would lose their insurance, but that would lead to the question of his basic competence.
The article at the Daily News points out that many Democrats are already supporting Hillary Clinton for President in an effort to distance themselves from the debacle of ObamaCare. The Democrats are also very anxious to change the subject.
The comparison of the ObamaCare roll-out to President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina does not work either–President Bush did not create Hurricane Katrina–President Obama did create ObamaCare (or at least he allowed Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy to create it).
The article continues, smashing Republicans as it goes, but the bias is obvious. The rewriting of history is inexcusable, but until voters learn to do their own research, history will remain rewritten. Welcome to 1984.
Yesterday, Byron York posted a story at the Washington Examiner about the shock many people are experiencing when their health insurance policies are cancelled. Byron York posted the transcript of a conversation between Christina Romer, then chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Representative Tom Price, who is also a doctor, at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing of June 23, 2009.
This is part of the transcript:
REP. PRICE: I’m asking about if an individual likes their current plan and maybe they don’t get it through their employer and maybe in fact their plan doesn’t comply with every parameter of the current draft bill, how are they going to be able to keep that?
MS. ROMER: So the president is fundamentally talking about maintaining what’s good about the system that we have. And —
REP. PRICE: That’s not my question.
MS. ROMER: One of the things that he has been saying is, for example, you may like your plan and one of the things we may do is slow the growth rate of the cost of your plan, right? So that’s something that is not only —
REP. PRICE: The question is whether or not patients are going to be able to keep their plan if they like it. What if, for example, there’s an employer out there — and you’ve said that if the employers that already provide health insurance, health coverage for their employees, that they’ll be just fine, right? What if the policy that those employees and that employer like and provide for their employees doesn’t comply with the specifics of the bill? Will they be able to keep that one?
MS. ROMER: So certainly my understanding — and I won’t pretend to be an expert in the bill — but certainly I think what’s being planned is, for example, for plans in the exchange to have a minimum level of benefits.
REP. PRICE: So if I were to tell you that in the bill it says that if a plan doesn’t comply with the specifics that are outlined in the bill that that employer’s going to have to move to the — to a different plan within five years — would you — would that be unusual, or would that seem outrageous to you?
MS. ROMER: I think the crucial thing is, what kind of changes are we talking about? The president was saying he wanted the American people to know that fundamentally if you like what you have it will still be there.
REP. PRICE: What if you like what you have, Dr. Romer, though, and it doesn’t fit with the definition in the bill? My reading of the bill is that you can’t keep that.
MS. ROMER: I think the crucial thing — the bill is talking about setting a minimum standard of what can count —
REP. PRICE: So it’s possible that you may like what you have, but you may not be able to keep it? Right?
MS. ROMER: We’d have — I’d have to look at the specifics.
That testimony took place more than four years ago. The mainstream media ignored the testimony, and the American voters were in the dark about what ObamaCare would mean to them. Because of the way the law has been written, Congress can keep their healthcare coverage, the President will keep his healthcare coverage, and most Congressional staffers will keep their healthcare coverage. When did we reach a point in America where there was one set of standards for the average American and another set of standards for the people who write our laws? Keep in mind that one reason a health insurance plan could be cancelled under ObamaCare would be that it did not provide pediatric dental coverage for a single man of twenty-five or a married couple in their sixties. I need someone to explain to me why a plan for those people without that coverage would be considered inadequate.