Friday, March 21, 2014

Obamacare and other political news to ruin your weekend

As you can see, pulling a few political emails, but can't get to all of them due to the health issues. Lots on Obamacare again, grouped at the end. Have also read some good books, will try to get to doing reviews of them.

I see the blog has gone over 1.2M pages views since October of 2008, about 17,000 in the past month. This has slowed as my health challenges have cut the number of posts I can do, but as always I thank those who contribute and those who read the news here. Yu at least try to be informed citizens, and I hope I help with that. ~Bob

Latest on the slightly-used lung from Honest Fred's Body Parts & Bait Shop

Book recommendation: Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays. By Thomas Sowell
I was picking up a copy of Walter William's excellent Race and Economics in Half Price Books, and stumbled over this Sowell book, a twofer! This is a collection of Sowell's pre-2006 columns, which he felt had enduring relevance. they are organized by topic: cultural issues, political issues, economic issues, racial issues, etc. Everyone is worth reading for his insight and ability to communicate clearly. But, like Georg4 Orwell's barnyard communists, "some animals are more equal than others." You won't regret the time spent reading these gems.

College Courses, Alas Not A Joke
I received the message below from a friend who is a professor at a small college, which is about to be joined to a nearby university. The list of new subjects for possible new courses is truly impressive. If this had not come from someone I know, I would have thought it was made up by some conservative blogger as a joke. But it's real, and actually, it's not funny. As a symptom of where higher education has gone in this country, it's not funny at all, it's damn tragic. And scary. --Del. PS- in all honesty, I am not sure what some of these phrases actually mean.... ecofeminism? -- The names don't matter, Del. They all mean, "The Taxpayers need to be milked of more of the money they earned to pay to correct these perceived injustices." And, of course, to provide jobs for liberal professors teaching thing that make them feel good, but provide no education needed in the economy. And to provide dollars to the universities through loans that the students will have to pay off flipping burgers--but who cares about the students? ~Bob
Just for laughs, here are the new areas my department will be considering for our integration with ********* University:
1. Global Inequality
2. Civil Religion in America
3. Gender in Science and Technology
4. Gender and Women's Studies (note: this is not to be confused with the study of women, guys)
5. Gender in a Global Context
6. Transnational Feminisms
and my personal favorite...wait for it...
7. Ecofeminism

Transparency, Accountability and Openness. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Truth and honesty and principle and morals and ethics are expectations, if you will, assumptions, made (perhaps naively so) by truthful, honest, principled, morally-driven, and ethical people when thinking transparency, accountability and openness.

University Professor: Climate Change Deniers Should Be Jailed
Excerpt: Yes, you read that correctly. There is actually a professor at a university who is arguing that “climate change deniers” should be jailed. This is a perfect example of liberal philosophy gone too far. In fact, this is further proof of my belief that any liberal philosophy taken to its logical extension, and played out to its end, will demonstrate just how bafflingly frightening liberalism is.

While Obama & the Democrats are Seeking Gun Confiscation, State Republicans Are Squashing Gun Owner’s Rights
Excerpt: We have reported extensively on how the Obama administration and the Democrats in Washingtonalong with Republicans, have been pushing for an ultimate goal, which is gun confiscation. However, many people are under the impression that just because an elected official or candidate has an "R" behind his name, that person is all for gun owner's rights. Nothing could be further from the truth and here's the evidence.

Excerpt: The only way to avoid calamity is to adopt egalitarian methods of resource distribution if resource consumption is limited and distributed equally — eerily reminiscent of those who champion population control or communism. “Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a steady state at the maximum carrying capacity, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed equitably,” according to the report.

Technology and Wisdom: Tech advancements make it too easy to forget age-old realities. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Americans now have more computer power in their smart phones than did the Pentagon in all its computer banks just 30 years ago. We board a sophisticated jet and assume that the flight is no more dangerous than crossing the street. The downside of this complete reliance on computer gadgetry is a fundamental ignorance of what technology is. Smart machines are simply the pumps that deliver the water of knowledge — not knowledge itself.

Worth Reading: Moscow signals concern for Russians in Estonia
Excerpt: Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia's treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian. Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment. (I don't want to depress you. And I don't want to panic you. But I'm starting to think our guy in the Oval Office is getting seriously outmatched by the former KGB agent. Estonia is a member of NATO. Here's how Our Guy is spending Thursday: --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt.)

Making Putin pay. By Marco Rubio
Excerpt: Vladi­mir Putin’s annexation of Crimea is a direct challenge and long-term threat to the post-World War II international order for which the United States and our allies have made great sacrifices over the past seven decades. If Putin is allowed to take land from a neighboring nation through deceit and raw military force without serious consequences, the precedent could have global repercussions, including in Asia. Some have suggested that Crimea is not worth triggering tensions with Russia, given other interests that are more important. While it is best to avoid conflict whenever possible, history shows that illegitimate aggressions that go unchallenged are a virtual guarantee of even more dangerous conflict in the future.

Hillary Clinton says she is ‘personally skeptical’ about an Iran nuclear deal
Excerpt: Hillary Rodham Clinton cast doubt on the interim nuclear agreement with Iran, saying in a muscular policy speech here Wednesday night that she is “personally skeptical” that Iran’s leaders will follow through on a comprehensive agreement to end their march toward nuclear weapons. (Skeptical? About Obama's great diplomatic breakthrough? Perish the thought! ~Bob)

Obama's Facebook Strategy for Ukraine. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The left has confused the overlay, its commentaries and memes, for reality. It has come to believe that The Daily Show is real news, that Obama is a real leader and that a Twitter hashtag is real power. The Russian soldiers in Crimea are a reminder that, as Mao said, “Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” The Western left has forgotten the simple truth that no Eastern leftist has ever become decadent enough to forget.

What Hatewatchers Watch. By John Derbyshire
Excerpt: As a clue to what actually happens when black ‘n’ brown numbers rise to a majority, the Uncle Tims might want to check out the last dozen presidents of Mexico or Brazil, who don’t look anything like California lettuce-pickers or Carnavaleras

Obama Says Putin is Weak, Agrees to Let Him Conquer Ukraine. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: At this rate, why not just dismantle NATO and let Russia have its old empire back? 'Obama said Wednesdaythat the U.S. would not take military action in Ukraine against Russia. “We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine,” Obama said in an interview Wednesday with KNSD, the NBC affiliate in San Diego. “I think even the Ukrainians would acknowledge, for us to engage Russia militarily would not be appropriate and would not be good for Ukraine, either,” Obama added.' Yes, I’m sure they would absolutely hate to be saved from being conquered.

American Physical Society see the light. Will it be the first major scientific institution to reject the Global Warming Consensus. By James Delingpole
Excerpt: As Anthony Watts has noted, this is news guaranteed to make a Warmist's head explode. The reason it's so significant is that it comes only three years after one of the APS's most distinguished members - Professor Hal Lewis - resigned in disgust at its endorsement of what he called "the global warming scam." Disturbed by an "appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change" which "was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members", Lewis went public with his letter of resignation to the APS's then President Curtis G Callan Jr. (Callan's replacement Malcolm Beasley appears to be of a more skeptical bent...)

Excerpt: Sometime people in government have to keep secrets. So naturally, the “single working mother” in the White House gets a vacation in which reporters are not allowed to come along.

Oliver Stone Confronted for His Cozy Relationships with Dictators
Excerpt: Stone has amassed a huge fortune during his lifetime living in the presumably capitalist USA and yet criticizes our economic system as often as he can. One wonders if he could have become so wealthy living in the type of government he wishes we would be? (Probably not.) Other than his hypocrisy on capitalism he's also been hypocritical about the friends he's made - cozying up to murderous villains like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

FEMINIST DRIVEL: Here’s 5 Reasons Why This Young Lady Ain’t Buying It
Excerpt: I am a 22 year old female. I can vote. I can run for office. I can receive equal pay. I can get an equal education.

WAPO: Obama doesn't grasp Putin's Eurasian ambitions. By Rick Moran
Excerpt: An editorial in the Washington Post exposes the Obama administration as the naive claque they appear to be. "Western officials seem to be betting that Mr. Putin won’t dare to extend his aggression beyond Crimea. But then, just last week they were saying they did not expect Moscow to move quickly on Crimean annexation. The Obama administration and its European allies have been too slow to grasp that Mr. Putin is bent on upending the post-Cold War order in Europe and reversing Russia’s loss of dominion over Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia."

Putin’s Crimean History Lesson. By John Cassidy
Excerpt: President Vladimir Putin’s defiant speech in Moscow on Tuesday, which he followed up by signing a draft treaty to make the Crimea part of Russia, can be interpreted in two ways. The optimistic reading is that the Russian leader’s revanchism, and his railing against the West, is, essentially, an acknowledgement of his country’s weakness, and of the reduced circumstances in which it finds itself two decades after the collapse of Communism. The pessimistic view is that the effective annexation of Crimea marks the beginning of something new and ominous: not another Cold War but, rather, a revival of a chauvinistic and expansive Russian nationalism that goes back to the tsars. (Nice analysis from a Liberal source. --Del)

The Paradox of Pacifism: Seven Things the Anti-Interventionists Forgot to Tell Putin. By Robert Tracinski
Excerpt: Over the past few weeks, the foreign policy anti-interventionists—a coalition of cynical establishment "realists," blame-America-first leftists, and libertarian millennials disillusioned by the Iraq War—have given us a lot of excellent advice about the potential costs of getting involved in the conflict over Ukraine, about the dangers of escalation, about the virtue of caution. Somehow they forgot to tell any of this to Vladimir Putin, who has spent his time assembling a massive buildup of Russian troops, tanks, and helicopters on the Ukrainian border. (I think this article comes under the heading of disguised sarcasm. But it's nicely done. --Del)

Say It Ain't So, Joe! From The Patriot Post
You knew it was coming. While visiting Poland this week to "reassure our allies" in Eastern Europe that everything will be all right, Joe Biden dug once again into his repertoire of profound gaffes by blithering about another faux achievement. "Fifteen years ago, I was honored, as the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, to lead the fight for Poland's admission into NATO," he bragged. Only problem is, he wasn't chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee: "Former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) had been chairman of the committee at the time Poland campaigned to join NATO," reports The Hill. "Helms initiated the floor debate over whether Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary should join NATO." Sending Biden to address our allies was bad enough; giving them even more reason to fear strongman Vladimir Putin is hardly reassuring.

Young girl from New Orleans University talks about Israel

‘This Is the Last Territorial Demand I Have to Make in Europe.’ By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Vladimir Putin all but said the above yesterday, after annexing the Crimea — and promising to let alone the rest of the Ukraine. If we just insert Ukraine and Russia for Czechoslovakia and Germany, the following speech could easily be Putin’s:

Younger, Educated and Affluent – The UK's Terror Sympathizers
Excerpt: A British research study of Muslim radicalization is challenging some key conventional wisdom. It identifies "youth, wealth, and being in full-time education" as potential risk factors
Less than 3 percent of the 600 British Muslims surveyed by London's Queen Mary University were sympathetic with terrorism, while another 6 percent "remained neutral."
But those with the highest sympathy were respondents born in the United Kingdom, under age 20 and full time students. 

We Can't Pay for All This. From The Patriot Post
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf is no stranger to adding up the cost of congressional schemes. In February, the CBO outlined some of the costs imposed on the nation by ObamaCare, which turns four on Sunday. Less work and more federal spending about sums it up. Elmendorf had fresh warnings this week, saying we just can't pay for all this massive government expansion: "So we have a choice as a society to either scale back those programs relative to what is promised under current law; or to raise tax revenue above its historical average to pay for the expansion of those programs; or to cut back on all other spending even more sharply than we already are." The challenge isn't so much annual deficits, he said, as "the very high level of debt" over the long term. Call it what we've been calling it all along: A debt bomb.

The Invasion Will be Catered. By Charles Krauthammer 
Excerpt: Early in the Ukraine crisis, when the Europeans were working on bringing Ukraine into the EU system and Vladimir Putin was countering with threats and bribes, one British analyst lamented that “we went to a knife fight with a baguette.” That was three months ago. Life overtakes parody. During the Ukrainian prime minister's visit to Washington last week, his government urgently requested military assistance. The Pentagon refused. It offered instead military ration kits. (Give them C-rat Ham and Limas--it'll make them fighting mad! ~Bob)

Nine killed in Kabul hotel gun attack
Excerpt: Two children and four foreign nationals were among the dead, the official said.
Special forces shot the gunmen. The Taliban said it was behind the assault.

Kenyan polygamy law: Female MPs storm out of parliament
Excerpt: The law is intended to bring civil law, where a man is only allowed one wife, into line with customary law, where some cultures allow multiple partners. But male MPs voted to amend the new marriage bill to allow men to take as many wives as they like without consulting existing spouses. (The real War on Women, supported by Progressives because "All Cultures are equally valid." Except of course, ours. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: What the Post-American World Will Look Like. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: The United States, Russia and China are post-ideological states. Russia and China have abandoned Communism. The United States is even abandoning nationalism; to say nothing of capitalism, democracy or freedom. Its rulers cling to scraps of global leftist ideology that isolate them from their own people. Russia, China and the United States are all demographically unstable. Russia and the United States are both on track to majority-minority status. China’s demographic disaster will be the outcome of its one child policies, gendercide and its war on the countryside.

Wisconsin Gov’t Workers Spend Thousands on Netflix: Four bureacracies spend taxpayer money on streaming entertainment
Excerpt: Wisconsin taxpayers are footing the bill for thousands of dollars in state government subscriptions to Four sprawling state bureaucracies combined spent $4,819.36 in fiscal year 2013 on Netflix subscriptions. Those agencies are the Department of Corrections, the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Health Services and the Department of Transportation. The Department of Corrections spent more than any other agency.

Obama Hijacks Symbol of Liberty and Independence to Sell Tyranny
Excerpt: Despite the reality of Obamacare, especially it being government imposed tyranny with a fine, or tax, on the people for non-compliance, Barack Obama has decided to attempt to hijack the symbol used in the fight for liberty and independence, dating back to when Christopher Gadsden designed It during the American Revolution, to push his massive government intrusion into the lives of every American. Of course, who else would help push such propaganda than Nancy Pelosi’s daughter.

Liberals Want Us To Run Jeb Bush In 2016
Excerpt: The Republican Party never seems to learn. More specifically, it seems as though Republican voters never seem to learn. How many times can we get fleeced because the media tells us that a certain candidate is the right one? It has happened time and time again. This tradition goes back quite a ways, but the most egregious example of the Left hijacking our Party is from 2008.

A Single Mom's (Not So) Thank You Letter to Obama
Excerpt: When an economy goes south, the people who are hurt the most are the ones at the lowest levels of the economic ladder. Over the last 8 years of Democrat control of Congress, the last 6 with Obama in the White House, our economy has stagnated at the lowest levels since the Great Depression. In fact, Democrat policies have only made things even more difficult for the poorest in our nation, and the ideas they continue to push promise even more hardship in the future…

Israel Uncovers "Advanced" Hamas Tunnel
Excerpt: Israeli military officials say they uncovered a Hamas tunnel that might be the largest yet discovered. It runs hundreds of meters into Israel from Gaza and posed "a direct link and threat to Israeli territory, and enable Hamas terrorists to reach and harm Israeli civilians." Similar tunnels have been built with the intent of launching terrorist attacks and trying to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

Obamacare Articles

Poll: Latinos souring on Obamacare
Excerpt: A new poll shows Latinos -- a fast-growing and key demographic in American elections -- aren't as fond of Obamacare as they once were. The Pew Research Center poll showed Hispanics are split on whether they approve of President Obama's health-care law, with 47 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving.

Coming in 2015: Obamacare Premiums to 'Double in Some Parts of the Country.' By Guy Benson
Excerpt: Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged in Congressional testimony last week that Obamacare premiums will rise in 2015, retreating to the sad spin that the rate increases would be lower than they might have in a hypothetical universe. Setting aside the fact that all Americans were promised substantially lower rates, Sebelius' hedging is belied by a report in The Hill entitled, "O-Care premiums to skyrocket:" (Safely after the midterm elections--breath easy, democrats. ~Bob)

Hilarious: Notorious Democratic Underground Blogger Tries Obamacare. By Thomas Lifson
Excerpt: An Obama dupe has had his eyes opened by the experience of trying to sign up for Obamacare, and the results are hilarious for conservatives to read. P. J. Gladnick of Newsbusters chronicles the tale of Will Pitt, the guy who soared to fame with the 2006 “scoop” that Karl Rove would be indicted and frog marched out of the White House. Yes, that obnoxious jerk. Well, he has learned that his guy Obama is not quite as cool as he thought, and as Gladnick puts it, “Harry Reid is going to have a hard time portraying Will Pitt as a Koch brothers shill...”

Pelosi: It's 'Affordable,' I Tell You! From The Patriot Post
This Sunday marks four long years since the passage of the monstrosity known as ObamaCare. Only don't call it that around Nancy Pelosi. She recently bawled out a reporter for referring to it that way -- even though the president himself has said, "I actually like the name." "[B]y the way, it's called the Affordable Care Act," she scolded. "I know you didn't intend ... anything derogatory, but it's called the Affordable Care Act. I tell [Obama] the same thing I told you. Affordable, affordable -- there's a reason. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable. Affordable." We'd say calling it "affordable" is derogatory, but to each her own we suppose. In any case, Pelosi still insists that Democrats will run successfully on ObamaCare this fall, because, she says, "I believe it's a winner." Evidently, she still hasn't found out what's in it.

Excerpt: On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi held a news conference to celebrate the approximate 4th anniversary of Obamacare. Pelosi said that the issue is a winner for swing district Dems in November’s elections, though swing district Dems might beg to differ. (If it's so affordable, we could save big by requiring al Federal Employees, including members of Congress, to get their insurance from Taxpayers pay for a Silver Plan for them, anything else is affordable on their own dime. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Nearly half of callers to California's health insurance exchange in February and March couldn't get through and abandoned their call, state figures show. Those service woes could worsen as more people try to beat the March 31 deadline to get Obamacare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Health Care Exchange in Oregon Not Meeting High Hopes
Excerpt: As the federal health care overhaul was rolled out over the last few years, Oregon was invariably the eager overachiever in the first row, waving a hand to volunteer. ... Fellow Democrats controlling the Legislature went along, embracing ambitious plans to extend insurance coverage and Medicaid to low-income residents. Yet for all that, by some measures Oregon has among the most dysfunctional online insurance exchanges in the nation. 

Nevada Health Link approves 60-day extension
Excerpt: Anyone who attempted to sign up for health insurance with Nevada's failed insurance exchange will have another 60 days to complete the process. The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Board action on Thursday leaves the door open for tens if not hundreds of thousands of people to reapply after open enrollment ends March 31.

Obamacare Limits Choices Under Some Plans
Excerpt: Ben Rosenthal was treated for prostate cancer four years ago and had gallbladder surgery the year before that. A former manager at a market-research firm in Los Angeles, Rosenthal, 57, paid for his own health insurance. Last fall, when his plan was discontinued because it didn’t meet standards set by the Affordable Care Act, Rosenthal bought the best insurance coverage he could find, a top-tier “platinum” policy from Blue Shield of California that costs $792 a month. He figured it would provide access to top hospitals. Then in February he learned the plan wouldn’t cover the hospitals where he was used to being treated. (Dear Ben, It's AFFORDABLE, AFFORDABLE, AFFORDABLE! Your friend, Nancy Pelosi. PS: Hope you don't die--unless you vote Republican.)

Desperate Times for ObamaCare. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: The air of desperation surrounding ObamaCare gets thicker and thicker with each passing day. And no matter how dishonest President Obama, his administration officials, Democrats and their media allies, are in their attempt to fool the public, painful truths about this disaster can no longer be obscured. 

Refundable Tax Credits in ObamaCare
Excerpt: Refundable tax credits are projected to double due to subsidies in ObamaCare, says Alan Cole, an economist at the Tax Foundation. Tax credits allow taxpayers to reduce their tax liabilities. Refundable tax credits, however, allow refunds beyond the amount of taxes paid in. Basically, they can result in a transfer of funds from the government to the taxpayer. What are these refundable credits? The most well-known are the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Additional Child Tax Credit, each available only to taxpayers with incomes below a certain threshold. In 2009, the amount of refundable tax credits peaked at more than $120 billion. In 2011, the IRS paid $99.1 billion in refundable credits. That is more than the Department of Education spends each year ($71.2 billion). The EITC pays out $65 billion per year, and the Additional Child Tax Credit pays out slightly less than half of that amount -- $30 billion per year. The ObamaCare subsidies for low-income purchasers of insurance are the newest form of transfer payment. Due to these subsidies, the dollar amount of refundable credits is going to skyrocket.

Poll: Four Years After Passage, Obamacare As Unpopular as Ever. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: In spite of their now-infamous promises, the bill Democrats passed was unpopular with the American people at the time, and remains so to this day. Pew Research: (gee, if only we lived in a democracy where the people's views mattered. ~Bob)

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