Friday, November 22, 2013

Your weekend reading

The People Have Spoken!
My post on November 4, 2008. Why I still fight! ~Bob

Healthcare--My post on March 22, 2010. Things have gone much as I expected.
As I write this, it looks like they have the votes to, as Mark Steyn says, fundamentally change America into a nation of government dependents, demanding ever more from the dwindling supply of wealth producers in the private sector. We are about 20 years behind Greece, but closing, so even that canary in the mine may be too late to warn us. With this passed, no political group will have the will or courage to go back, so we will go forward to the eventual fiscal collapse and chaos. Given my age and health, I’ll miss most of it. Teach your kids to shoot. That’s a skill they will need in the coming dark ages. This bill is, of course, only the first step to complete government control. Have to credit the stress Democrats were under. Let’s see, if I hold out I might sell my vote for more, but if they get to 216, I’ll get nothing…. Oh, the challenge.

From my blog on March 30, 2010: The Most Important Feature of ObamaCare is Something No One is Talking About
The collapse is coming. Excerpt: How much time are people willing to spend calculating and arguing about the cost of something that cannot happen anyway? Apparently, quite a lot. On Capitol Hill at least, the most important issues in health reform seem to be budget issues: How much will ObamaCare cost? Will it add to the deficit? Or reduce it? Poll after poll has shown the public is not buying the official estimates. And as often happens, public opinion on this matter is more reliable than expert opinion. Here’s why. ObamaCare will require just about every nonelderly person in America to buy health insurance, the cost of which is going to rise at twice the rate of growth of their incomes.

Insurance brokers, agents also caught in technology woes
Excerpt: Brokers and agents say a host of technological problems is blocking their ability to help consumers sign up for coverage through the federal health insurance Web site. They say it is a particular problem for people with major health issues — those considered high-risk — because they are least able to weather a gap in coverage.

E-mails reveal chaos before health-care Web site launch
Excerpt: E-mails released late Thursday by House Republicans investigating the botched rollout of offer a snapshot of the chaos that unfolded behind the scenes within the Obama administration in the days and hours leading up to the troubled launch. The 17 pages of notes released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee show tense communications between officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and one of its contractors, with some worried that the system was not performing to expectations as the Oct. 1 launch date approached.

Excerpt: was unable to consistently handle 500 users at once in the testing, and tests failed with 2,000 users over a three-day period, according to a series of emails between members of the information technology team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. (Here's a fascinating lesson from the past year: President Obama isn't really that interested in Obamacare. Oh, he's invested his future in it, and he speaks about it as if it's important to him. But his behavior suggests otherwise -- particularly when you see a report like this. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

Internet Joke
WARNING: After a recent wave of identity thefts, the FBI estimates there are over 500 fake Obamacare websites set up for the sole purpose of stealing your personal information. So protect yourself and remember: the real one is the one that doesn't work.

They're Desperate Now: ObamaCare supporters crank up the racial rhetoric.
Excerpt: Predictably, Edsall goes on to blame opposition to ObamaCare on "a critical mass of white voters" who have not "moved past [their] resistance to programs shifting tax dollars and other resources from the middle class to poorer minorities." If you don't want the government to redistribute your wealth to somebody else, you must be racist.

ObamaCare Forced Mom Into Medicaid: My mother preferred to pay for her care rather than be on the government dole. Now she has no choice. By Nicole L. Hopkins
Excerpt: The post continued: "I just received a notice: 'In order to comply with the new healthcare law, your current health plan will be discontinued on December 31, 2013.' Currently my premium is $276 and it is a stretch for me to cover. The new plan . . . are you ready . . . projected new rate $415.20. Now I can't afford health insurance." (Pushing people into Medicaid is one of the unexpected effects of the program. Well.... unexpected by most of us, but apparently not a big surprise to some of the experts who were looking into all this many months ago. But the word never got all the way up the ladder to the Oval Office, or so it seems. --Del. This is not a bug. It's a feature. ~Bob.)

President Obama Interview With The Bobs - Full, Uncut Version
Satire--very funny. ~Bob

Worth Reading: Why Obamacare is different 
Excerpt: On the other hand, between now and November 2014, I am willing to bet that the vast majority of the voting population will answer yes to questions 8 and 9. And that is why, in spite of the Left's desperate attempts to find some equivalents between the burgeoning Obamacare debacle and the sins of the Right (as they define them), it's really no contest.

Round 2 of ObamaCare enrollment to be delayed until after 2014 midterms
Excerpt: The Obama administration plans to delay the start of next year's ObamaCare enrollment period, a move pitched as a way to give consumers and insurance companies more time to study their options -- but which also conveniently pushes the second round of enrollment past the 2014 midterm elections. (Gee, Mr. President, I thought you said it was working well. Why the delay? ~Bob)

POTUS delays another aspect of Obamacare – trying to give Dems political cover. Here’s a good idea: how about delaying the whole thing?!

Obama is delaying 2015 Obamacare enrollment and its inevitable huge premium hikes until after the 2014 elections. Don’t be fooled.

Lying Liberal Liars. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The New York Times, which never hesitated to call George W. Bush a liar, switched up its euphemisms and began calling Obama’s lie an “incorrect promise”. NBC News called it a “promise they couldn’t keep.” The Associated Press called it an “inflated promise.”

White House braces for doctor dump
Excerpt: The president’s “if you like it” bait-and-switch on insurance is not the only pledge that will be broken under ObamaCare. Press Secretary Jay Carney appeared to step back from the second part of President Obama’s oft-repeated campaign promise: that Americans could keep their doctors if they like them. 

Small business owners to Congress: I liked my health care plan just fine — and now it’s gone
Excerpt: Individual consumers aren’t the only ones losing their health care plans as a result of new rules in the health care law. Small business owners have had their policies nixed, too. Some are not too pleased — and several of them made that crystal clear to their elected representatives on Wednesday.

When Congressmen have 20-member staffs, you get 2000-page bills that no one has ever read.

Poll: Obamacare Favorable Rating With Democrats Plummets To 55%
Excerpt: The poll's latest results hit some new records, and none of them are good news for the White House. Only 33% have a favorable view of the president's signature piece of legislation; that's a record low. Forty-nine percent have an unfavorable view, which is only two-points off the record. Most striking is that approval among Democrats has plummeted 15 points, from 70% to 55%. (Barack Obama: "And ultimately, if you’ve got a majority of folks who believe in something, then it should be able to pass." Like repeal of Obamacare? ~Bob)

Funny: DC staffers say they might have to find other jobs because of health insurance. Hilarious: the idea anyone else would hire them.

Texas Family With Two Children Suffering From Cancer Have Their Insurance Canceled
Well, according to Obama, they were junk plans anyway. ~Bob. Excerpt: The 7-year-old, who loves playing games on his iPad, is reportedly the youngest person to have his type of cancer. Hunter has Plexiform Hishocyne Neoplasm. ... “I called them and they said we were dropped October 31st,” Krista said. Krista says an insurance agent told her that Hunter’s information got lost when they made changes under the new Affordable Care Act.

Man’s Insurance Cancelled, He Applies Through State Exchange & Dog Gets Policy
Excerpt: Then there are the millions of people that supposedly tried to sign up for healthcare coverage and then gave up after hours of frustration. Those that do get through the system and get their quotes find that their exchange policies will cost them more than their monthly mortgage payment. But not this story. It will bring a smile to your face while at the same time adding another strike to the growing list of mistakes that have happened due to Obamacare.

Janet Yellen's Greatest Challenge
Excerpt: Less certain is what Yellen ultimately intends to do with Fed policy on quantitative easing (QE), now entering its 34th month. She is committed to maintaining QE for now, but does she have an exit strategy? The Fed needs one, because the economic stakes could not be higher, say Thomas Saving, a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis and professor of economics and the director of the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University, and Phil Gramm, a former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. If we listen to the Fed governors, the potentially explosive increase in the money supply inherent in the current $2.3 trillion of excess bank reserves won't be allowed to occur. At the first sign of a real economic recovery, the Fed will sell Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) to soak up excess bank reserves, or achieve the same result through repurchase agreements and paying banks to hold excess reserves. It sounds simple, but in a full-blown recovery the Fed will have to execute its exit strategy quickly enough to keep the inflation genie in the bottle without driving interest rates up to levels that would derail the recovery. And every month that the Fed's monetary expansion continues, its exit strategy becomes more difficult and dangerous.

Interesting: The Distribution of Tax and Spending Policies in the United States
Excerpt: Key Findings. The question of who benefits from government spending is just as important as the question of who pays taxes. In other words, how do tax and spending policies redistribute income? American’s lowest-income families receive $5.28 worth of government spending (federal, state, and local) for every $1 they pay in total taxes. Middle-income families receive $1.48 in total spending per tax dollar, while America’s highest-income families receive $0.25 cents in spending for every dollar of taxes paid. As a group, the bottom 60 percent of American families receive more back in total government spending than they pay in total taxes. Government tax and spending policies combine to redistribute more than $2 trillion from the top 40 percent of families to the bottom 60 percent. The total amount of redistribution has increased slightly over the past 12 years. Middle-income and working lower-income families were the biggest beneficiaries. Lawmakers can remove equity as an issue in tax reform by matching any loss in progressivity on the tax side with an equal increase in progressivity on the spending side.

Cash for Clunkers: An Evaluation of the Car Allowance Rebate System. By Ted Gayer and Emily Parker
Excerpt: There were two motivations for the CARS program. The first was to provide temporary stimulus to counter the economic contraction that was occurring at that time. The other was to improve the fuel efficiency of the existing stock of vehicles, in order to reduce emissions. Our evaluation of the evidence suggests that the $2.85 billion in vouchers provided by the program had a small and short-lived impact on gross domestic product, essentially shifting roughly a few billion dollars forward from the subsequent two quarters following the program. The implied cost per job created due to the program was much higher than what was estimated for alternative fiscal stimulus programs. This does not account for the decrease in the capital stock stemming from the program’s requirement that the traded in used cars be destroyed.

How Much Is That X-Ray? Still Hard To Say, Even In Massachusetts. By Martha Bebinger, WBUR
Excerpt: Finding out how much an X-ray costs sounds like a simple question. But it is actually very difficult to get an answer. In Massachusetts, a new state law requires insurers to be able to tell members how much a test, treatment or surgery will cost.

Nine reasons the filibuster change is a huge deal. By Ezra Klein
Excerpt: The filibuster now exists in what you might call an unstable equilibrium. It theoretically forces a 60-vote threshold on important legislation. But it can — and now, in part, has —been undone with 51 votes. Its only protection was the perceived norm against using the 51-vote option. Democrats just blew that norm apart. The moment one party or the other filibusters a consequential and popular bill, that's likely the end of the filibuster, permanently.

Supreme Court voids Act 10 contempt order
Excerpt: The state Supreme Court late Thursday threw out a contempt order issued last month by a Dane County judge that put union recertification elections on hold for school and municipal workers.

Picks wrong guy: Dangerous Games - "Point 'em Out, Knock 'em Out"
Excerpt: The victim was attacked by 17-year-old Marvell Weaver. But Weaver did more than try to knock his victim out, he tried to do it with a taser. Luckily for the victim, the taser didn’t work and he was able to protect himself with his concealed-carry .40 caliber pistol.

The History of ‘Knockout.’ Unprovoked attacks by youth looking to do nothing except inflict pain have become an urban tradition. By Alec Torres
Excerpt: At various times and places, the “game” has been called “Knockout,” “Knockout King,” “One-Hitter-Quitter,” “Pick ’Em Out and Knock ’Em Down,” “Knock ’Em and Drop ’Em,” and “Polar-Bear Hunting” (most likely in reference to whites). The attacks are unprovoked and often happen in broad daylight. They can be deadly. So far, six fatalities resulting from Knockout have been documented.

Media Blackout of the ‘Knockout Game.’ By David Paulin 
Excerpt: It’s an infuriating example of political correctness: Most of New York City’s media outlets have sanitized the nature of a spate of unprovoked attacks upon hapless pedestrians — all recent victims of the so-called “knockout game.” There have been injuries and several deaths among men, women, and youngsters, as they suffered walloping “sucker punches” by roving black youths in New York City and elsewhere. (let one white kid beat up a black and the media will give it the Full Trayvon. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: At least three of the dozens of NYC victims of the games have died in recent weeks. It is hard for any words to capture the true evil and violence of the crime, but the videos posted by those who celebrate it capture it well (viewer discretion is advised).

15-Year-Old Arrested In Northeast Philadelphia ‘Knockout’ Attack
Excerpt: Police have arrested a 15-year-old and are searching for a second suspect in connection with a “knockout” attack in Northeast Philadelphia earlier this month.

St. Louis Woman Slugged in the Face in Latest ‘Knock-Out” Attack
Excerpt: One local teen told St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce in 2011 that he participated in over 300 “knockout game” attacks in St. Louis.

Bipartisan Branding Problem: Both Democrats and Republicans have overpromised and underdelivered. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: But such arguments are for professional political protagonists. For the normal American who doesn’t live and breathe politics, the simple fact is that Democrats and Republicans alike have failed to live up to their brands. (It's the central problem of a Democracy with increasingly low-information, unengaged voters, who tend to vote for whoever promises the most. So you over-promise or lose. When you over-promise, the voters come to hate you, thus the approval ranking of Congress. ~Bob.)

UK Child Brides Victims of "Cultural Sensitivity." By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Britain's Forced Marriage Unit took in 1,485 such cases in 2012. And that's just a drop in the proverbial bucket: Britain's Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal told the ABC, "There are probably between 8,000 to 10,000 forced marriages or threats of forced marriage in the UK every year." 

Fact, Democrats, and the JFK Legend. By Bruce Thornton 
Excerpt: In reality, Kennedy was not a liberal in today’s sense of the word, but a conservative Democrat, a Cold-War warrior and tax-cutter, as documented by Ira Stoll in JFK, Conservative. Far from the civil rights saint portrayed in the legend, his support for civil rights legislation was lukewarm, driven by the momentum for desegregation started before him by Truman’s desegregation of the armed forces, and codified by Eisenhower in the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights acts, the first civil rights legislation since 1875.

"President Kennedy Proposes Tax Cut" - Universal Newsreel (1962)

I keep expecting Obama to praise JFK for establishing "The Peace Corpse." ~Bob

‘Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria’ Ignored. By Raymond Ibrahim 
Excerpt: The worst Christian massacre—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).

Libya residents keep up pressure for Libya militias to go
Excerpt: matters came to a head on November 15, the deadliest day in Tripoli since Kadhafi's ouster. Gunmen from the Misrata militia opened fire on demonstrators demanding they leave the city, killing a number of them. In retaliation, members of another militia assaulted villas which the Misrata fighters were occupying , setting off clashes that lasted into the next day. (So, BO, how's your unauthorized, lead-from-behind was working out? ~Bob)

Yemen Arrests Suspected Female Al-Qaida Militants
Excerpt: Clashes between suspected al-Qaida militants, including women, and Yemeni troops left one officer, three soldiers, and at least two militants dead in the country's south, security officials said Wednesday. The raid ended with the arrest of a number of militants, including several women.

Women 'held as slaves for 30 years'
Excerpt: Three women have been "rescued" from a south London house as police investigate claims they were held as slaves for about 30 years. ... Police said the two people arrested were not British nationals and it was "very unlikely" that the alleged victims were related to the suspects because of their nationalities.

Excerpt: 11:15AM Pacific Time, 22 November, 1963...a Friday. We were in typing class, breathing easy...the rest of this school day was a breeze. Typing class, lunch, then Phys Ed, French II, then home for the weekend. Next week, a short week because of Thanksgiving. Then the squawk of loudspeaker and the sad and somber voice of our high school principal. Boys and Girls, we have just learned that President Kennedy has been shot in Dallas. You are to go home. For those of you who use the bus, we have ordered them up and are available curbside on the east side of the school. We all just sat there, no one moving to leave. ... Ironic, but the most revered President of our generation, a Democrat, he could never even win his party's nomination today. He believed in a strong military, was a war hero himself, believed in cutting taxes to spur economic growth, was deathly afraid of incurring a national debt, and believed in giving a hand up and not a hand out. (My senior year. I was in study hall when the loud speaker came on. Last period we had a pep rally for the football game on Saturday--which was cancelled. After the rally, the Principal, Mr. Lance, announced the President's death. The scene was very emotional. ~Bob)

The Man and the Myth: Why prudent politicians embrace the JFK legacy. By Fred Barnes
Excerpt: For subsequent presidents, getting along with the Kennedy family and political clique is fairly simple but requires discipline. Those who refer favorably to JFK in speeches, quote him often, and embrace his widow, children, and relatives—they fare quite well. Presidents who don’t, especially those who get in squabbles with the Kennedy tribe, suffer.

John F. Kennedy: Conservative? By Elise Cooper
Excerpt: While examining some of his administration's fiscal and foreign policies, it becomes apparent that President Kennedy leaned towards conservatism -- and that he might even have been labeled a conservative had he lived in the present day.

A vastly changed Middle East. By Caroline B. Glick
Excerpt: Transformation is occurring on a regional and indeed global level, as the full significance of the Obama administration's withdrawal of US power from the region becomes better understood.

Rasmussen Poll: 27% Say the U.S. Is Heading in the Right Direction. Meanwhile, the other 73% understand #Economics 101.

Hamas PM’s granddaughter admitted for treatment in Israel
Excerpt: The granddaughter of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was evacuated to an Israeli hospital in critical condition Sunday afternoon, but was returned to her family in Gaza Monday after her condition was deemed incurable, an Israeli military spokesman said Monday.

Why are the people who *claim* to want a colorblind society obsessed with people's race?

Student, 14, 'used tree branch to rape teacher in school bathroom before slitting her throat and leaving a note saying "I hate you all" next to her staged body'
Excerpt: Philip Chism left a folded piece of paper with the words 'I hate you all' next to the corpse of Colleen Ritzer after he slit her throat in a bathroom and left her body in a 'sexually staged' position at Danvers High School in Massachusetts, according to court papers. (Be big news if he was white an she was black, but not the way it was. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Many of these same media organizations helped carry Obama into office on their backs like pack mules, and now they’re upset that their ability to take pictures has been severely restricted by the most transparent administration in history

Jury finds former Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum guilty of second-degree murder
Excerpt: Mangum stabbed boyfriend Reginald Daye with a kitchen knife during an argument in April 2011. Daye died at the hospital 10 days later from complications related to the stabbing. (This was the woman the Duke Faculty, the media led by the NYT and other leftists declared a sainted victim when conducting a media lynching of the players. ~Bob)

Earned Success. By Arthur Brooks
Excerpt: When our Founders promised the “pursuit of happiness,” what they were really promising was the ability to earn our own success—to create value with their lives, and create value in the lives of others.

Good Column: Well Now, Isn’t That Odd? By Fritz Pfister 
Excerpt: Odd that pending sales of homes declining in September were followed by a decline in closed home sales in October? Odd how 7 of 8 jobs created have been part time since the 30 hour mandate in Obamacare was announced? Odd how the economy hasn’t recovered?

Stupid Stuff My President Says. By John Ransom
Excerpt: “A few of us saw a backbencher from the Illinois state legislature,” wrote long-time Obama watcher, John Kass of the Chicago Tribune, “a guy who took orders, then rode to the White House on a personality cult, finally exposed.”

Dashcam Video Released Of Vet’s Viral Arrest For ‘Rudely Displaying’ Rifle On Hike With Son – And It Reveals The Context Everyone’s Been Waiting For
Excerpt: Officials in Bell County, Texas, have released the dashcam footage of a police officer in Temple, Texas, disarming and arresting decorated veteran C.J. Grisham while he was on a hike with his son in March. The officer is seen grabbing the dad’s gun and then seemingly attempting to unlatch it from the man’s sling without telling him why or asking for permission.

The Politicization of Everything: In the Obama era, the government’s hunt for victims and their oppressors has become ceaseless. By Victor Davis Hanson 

Excerpt: What, then, is the Obama legacy? An insidious politicization of almost everything. Obamism has become a holistic concept of “fundamentally transforming America” that, like all ideologies, cannot be assessed solely by concrete laws and policies, but rather through a change in the mentality and spirit of Americans and those who govern them. 

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