Where We are III

“You’re going to shut down the government if you can’t prevent millions of Americans from getting affordable care,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Well, isn’t that simplistic talking point for the ignorant. Which it is designed for.

A leader of the tea party Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, insisted the blame rests with Senate Democrats.

“The House has twice now voted to keep the government open. And if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the Senate comes back, Harry Reid says, `I refuse even to talk,'” said Cruz.

Harry ain’t talking. Harry won’t talk.

In the event lawmakers blow the Monday deadline, about 800,000 workers would be forced off the job without pay. Some critical services such as patrolling the borders, inspecting meat and controlling air traffic would continue.

So not much change there.

Social Security benefits would be sent, and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.

You mean it’s not a “shutdown” totally. Grandma won’t be thrown out in the street to starve and eat recycled dog food!

Consumers may have to dig a little deeper into their wallets to pay for health care in the Obamacare insurance exchanges, according to a new analysis by Avalere Health. The study of six states suggests that consumers could face steep cost-sharing requirements — like co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles — layered on top of their monthly premiums.

the administration quietly acknowledged another problem that will affect Spanish-speaking citizens. Que barbaridad:

In a potentially more significant delay that affects the law’s larger insurance market for individuals, the administration quietly told Hispanic groups on Wednesday that the Spanish-language version of the healthcare.gov website will not be ready to handle online enrollments for a few weeks. An estimated 10 million Latinos are eligible for coverage, and 4 million of them speak Spanish primarily.

The most popular question on http://www.healthcare.gov as of yesterday dealt with how to avoid the law:  How do I get an exemption??
The answer, of course, is to be a member of Congress. 🙂

If Democrats are going to try to blame Republicans for Obamacare’s shortcomings (problem: zero Republicans voted for the law), they’re going to have a tough time explaining the messes in Democrat-led Colorado, Oregon and Washington, DC.

But Democrats lie. It’s what they do best. Especially to the low information morons.


The SEIU in Ohio is leading a strike to protest benefits cuts triggered by….Obamacare.

And these are Obama’s Brownshirts….

 Obamacare is hurting low-income single mothers:

Michelle La Voie wants health insurance, but as a single mom making $38,000 a year and supporting two teenagers, she’s not sure she can afford it — even with a subsidy through the federal health law known as Obamacare. When enrollment in new online insurance markets begins next month, La Voie will likely qualify for a subsidy to buy private insurance, but would still have to pay $191 a month, or about 6 percent of her income toward the premium. She could also face as much as $2,000 in potential out-of-pocket costs for hospital care and prescription drugs, if she needs those things. “What’s the point of having [a policy] if I can’t afford to use it?” asks the 47-year-old librarian in upstate Franklinville, N.Y., referring to the co-pays and deductibles she might incur.

Again, if it’s so great why is Congress exempt and why is the Administration campaigning for it?

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 

Designed to Fail

Derek Hunter: While the media has been fixated on Republican infighting over how to deal with Obamacare, it has completely ignored the panic-induced irrational rhetoric coming from Democrats on the same subject.

No, they aren’t openly forming circular firing squads like Republicans do – progressives put their agenda above ego and public disagreement. But they are worried because, while Obamacare was built to fail, it wasn’t expected to fail so early. That failure puts at risk the progressive dream of single-payer health care in the United States.

We are moving past the “cost estimate” stage of Obamacare into reality of what Obamacare will mean to Americans’ pockets. As the state exchanges get ready to go live on Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services released the cost of insurance premiums for individuals in some states, and the numbers aren’t good.

Sure, progressive “journalists,” such as New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, took a thesaurus to White House press releases and published rewritten end zone dances, featuring lines like, “I grant that glitches and setbacks have occurred, mostly but not entirely because of fanatical Republican sabotage effort.”

While Chait was claiming premium “savings” and declaring, “I have yet to see a single conservative grapple with the positive developments,” serious analysts such as the Manhattan Institute’s Avik Roy brought some honesty to the table. He writes, “HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.”

In fact, Roy found that comparing apples to apples and not apples to Subarus, “Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent.”

When the comparison is an honest one it is not much of a “positive development.”

This fact has progressives worried. Obamacare was designed to fail, but it was designed to fail eventually, not quickly. Progressives, with the help of the media, would blame a failure a few years from now on the “free market.” But failure from the start will force the blame fall where is squarely belongs – on government control.

How, you may ask, could an exchange set up, governed and subsidized by a government bureaucracy be called a “free market”? It’s already happened.

When Walgreens announced it planned to drop the insurance it has been providing employees because of Obamacare, none other than the Washington Post hailed it as a great development for them. Those 160,000 employees would not be able to keep the plan they had if they liked it, as the president repeatedly promised. Instead, they would be “joining a growing list of large employers seeking to control costs by having employees shop for coverage in a private marketplace.” (emphasis added)

Of course, there’s nothing “private” about it. But that lie is out there, with the credibility of none other than the Washington Post behind it. Which was the point. People who don’t pay attention will now be exposed to it, and it will spread.

Developments of this sort are now commonplace. The list of companies dropping coverage or cutting hours to avoid Obamacare’s costs now number more than 300 and is growing every day.

With this growing pressure and increasing public realization of the failures of Obamacare, its proponents are getting desperate. The plan is in motion. The law is in place. No matter how much spin they put on it, this lemon seems ready to collapse at the starting line. This is leading to some unhinged behavior.

This week Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., called opponents of Obamacare “anarchists” for working within the normal functions of government to defund it. The president’s senior advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, said the White House is “not for negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” Ironically, he said this Thursday, the day before the president announced he’d spoken to the president of Iran, and while he is in the midst of negotiating with Syria over chemical weapons. No to talking with Republicans, yes to Iran and Syria.

Were the President a beer spokesman he might say, ‘I don’t always associate with terrorists, but when I do, I prefer they be real terrorists and have been responsible for murdering Americans.’ It’s appropriate, I suppose, because he is the “worst president in the world.”

The president himself is engaging in an ever-growing rhetorical meltdown. In his continued effort to sell Obamacare to the public, he’s been giving speeches about its virtues. Part of his rhetorical repertoire is the claim that “there’s no serious evidence that the law … is holding back economic growth.” The absurdity of this lie can be explained only by desperation or, as he has claimed in the cases of Fast & Furious and the IRS targeting of his political opponents, the president simply hasn’t read or seen any media stories about all the layoffs and cuts in hours.

As more of the train derails the rhetoric will become more desperate.

That’s why a one-year delay, the strategy being discussed now by Republicans, shouldn’t be pursued. A delay gives Obamacare time, and time is life. That’s why the president has delayed as many of the most egregious parts of the law. The further away from launch it collapses the more likely their plan to blame the private market is to work. Republicans should be doing what they can to speed up the inevitable collapse and suing to force the administration to have Obamacare implemented as it is written, as they wrote and passed it. After all, as they’ve been constantly reminding everyone, “It’s the law,” not “mostly the law.”

What Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, did this week was invaluable in that it forced the problems the government created to the top of the consciousness of the American public (though the media is trying to undo that damage). But the collective attention span of the American people is short. In a year or two it will be forgotten. The best chance to destroy Obamacare is to get out of its way and let nature take its course.

But then again, it was designed to fail.

Because, to a progressive, a government failre is just another opportunity for EVEN MORE government.

Now that’s unhinged.

 

137973 600 Obamacare Exchange cartoons


138101 600 Government Shutdown cartoons

Where We are II

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

On the Senate floor before 10 a.m. Friday, the senator gave a speech describing how American politics have reached the level at which “a small group of willful men and women who have a certain ideology”—read: the tea party and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas—have been able to take over the congressional budget debate in the last week. “Since they can’t get their way,” Harkin said, “they’re going to create this confusion and discourse and hope that the public will be so mixed up in who is to blame for this, that they’ll blame both sides.”

This isn’t just congressional business as usual, Harkin said. It’s much, much more dire:

It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous. I believe, Mr. President, we are at one of the most dangerous points in our history right now. Every bit as dangerous as the break-up of the Union before the Civil War.

Mind you, the Democrats can’t see themselves that way… 🙂

They are so far above you mere mortals that it must be your fault.

Heard this before?

“I will work with anyone who wants to have a serious conversation about our economic future,” Obama said. “But I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills it has already racked up. I don’t know how to be more clear about this: no one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions.”

Yes, you have. He will listen to anyone who wants to do it his way, or it’s the highway.

“The Affordable Care Act is one of the most important things we’ve done as a country in decades to strengthen economic security for the middle class and all who strive to join the middle class. And it is going to work.”
Well, with all the exemptions, waivers, and other give-aways the middle class is about the only people who are going to get stuck up their ass with this monstrosity.

And again, if it’s so great, why are the people who didn’t even read the damn thing before they passed it exempting themselves and their friends from it?

Give Democrats as much ObamaCare rope as they want, then sit back and watch them hang themselves. This advice from some pundits is the kind of thing that will make ObamaCare permanent.

After all, wasn’t there a  “elect Obama” and that will bring out another Reagan because he’s so bad that he’ll fail miserably and the people will rise up …

He failed miserably, but got re-elected anyhow.

Yesterday NBC announced it would be running a week of programming to help Obamacare get off its feet. So whether you like the bill or not (and let’s be honest, most Americans are not), NBC is going to hold the President’s hand and tell you all the great things about the new health care law.

The headline of the NBC press release reads:

NBC News Launches “Ready or Not, the New Healthcare Law,” a Multi-Screen Experience to Help Americans Get the Most Out of the Affordable Care Act

Dr. Nancy Snyderman Answers Most Pressing Questions Across Social and Via New Video Series #AskDrNancy

Interactive Tools and Resources Help Audience Navigate New Healthcare Benefits and Marketplaces

 

Starting Monday NBC News will “devote special coverage across all of its platforms to ‘Ready or Not, the New Healthcare Law,’ an extensive series aimed at explaining the complexities of the ACA and its impact on consumers”.

IBD: A group of nuns dedicated to caring for the elderly poor is suing to prevent an uncaring administration from shutting down their compassionate order over their refusal to obey the contraception mandate.

There is no clearer or sadder example of the Obama administration’s war on the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty than the demand by the Department of Health and Human Services to violate their religious consciences or pay heavy fines.

HHS has ruled that if the Sisters don’t offer insurance policies to their employees that include free coverage for sterilization procedures, artificial contraceptives and abortifacients, these vowed-to-poverty women will have to pay about $1 million in IRS fines, effectively making their work nearly impossible.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are a global Roman Catholic congregation of women, founded in 1839 by St. Jeanne Jugan. They operate homes in 31 countries, where they provide loving care for more than 13,000 needy elderly persons. Thirty homes are in the U.S.

Last Tuesday, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor. It questions the HHS ruling that, while houses of worship are exempt from the contraception mandate, the Little Sisters of the Poor are merely a social service organization that serves and hires non-Catholics, so it does not qualify for an exemption.

“The Little Sisters are driven by their religious faith to do what they do in terms of taking care of the elderly poor,” said Mark Rienzi, senior counsel for the Becket Fund. “The government should not be telling them they have to violate that faith to keep serving the poor.”

That objection has been raised by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, which argues that that religious institutions aren’t merely defined by church buildings open on Sunday but by the work they do and that the government needs to ensure the First Amendment isn’t gutted.

“We are not exempt from the (ObamaCare) mandate because we neither serve nor employ a predominantly Catholic population,” Sister Constance Carolyn Veit, the Little Sisters’ communications director, told the Daily Caller. “We hire employees and serve/house the elderly regardless of race and religion, so that makes us ineligible for the exemption being granted churches.”

“Like all of the Little Sisters, I have vowed to God and the Roman Catholic Church that I will treat all life as valuable, and I have dedicated my life to that work,” said Sister Loraine Marie, superior for one of the three U.S. provinces in the congregation. “We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government’s program to provide access to abortion-inducing drugs.”

We are from the Government, we are here to help you!

 

Where We Are

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer used three vivid analogies to attack House Republicans’ laundry list of demands for raising the debt ceiling, comparing Republicans to arsonists, hostage-takers and suicide bombers.

Gee, the Democrats have never done that before… 🙂

“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest,” Pfeiffer said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Thursday afternoon. “We’re not going to do that.”

“Republicans are not asking for a negotiation,” he told CNN’s Tapper. “It’s a negotiation if I’m trying to sell you my house, and we are debating the price of it. It’s not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, ‘Give me everything inside or I’m going to burn it down.’

“Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands of things that were essentially the Romney agenda that voters rejected.”

But it’s the Republicans who are “obstructionists”. Do it our way or else! 🙂

advocates

If ObamaCare is so great why did Congress whine about it and then Obama Exempt them and offer to have the Taxpayers subsidize them. They make $174,000 a year. They can afford it. 🙂

Why does he need to campaign with “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” Bubba Clinton if it’s so good.

Why doesn’t he show up at a Union meeting instead of a Community College to tell people how great it is?

Because that was never the point of it and he only wants to be in front of morons and the ignorant. The ones to stupid to understand they are being screwed.

“Send us a clean CR, clean debt ceiling. That’s the path forward. There’s no need for conversations. We’ve spoken loudly and clearly, and we have the support of the president of the United States, and that’s pretty good,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

Notice he didn’t say anything about support of the American People because he knows he doesn’t have it, and he doesn’t care.

So do it our way or the highway. And it’s your fault for not doing it our way 100%.

But they aren’t “obstructing”….

No amount of White House spin will change the reality of the huge rate spikes millions of Americans will find in the ObamaCare exchanges. But as bad as this rate shock is, it’s just the beginning.

Days before ObamaCare goes into effect, the administration released information on premiums people can expect next year. Just $328 a month! And lower than expected!

The mainstream press largely went along with this spin. But you don’t have to look very hard to see that it’s totally misleading.

A table in that White House report, for example, shows the lowest-cost Bronze plan for a 27-year-old will average $163 a month in the 36 states with federally run exchanges. Among those making $25,000, the cost will be $93 a month, after subsidies.

Is that a bargain? Not when you compare it with the plans they can buy today. The average premium for the lowest-cost plan in these same states is $54 a month, according to data in a recent Government Accountability Report.

In other words, even with the taxpayer subsidies, ObamaCare will be more expensive than what’s available in the market today.

Other analyses came to the same conclusion.

The House Ways and Means Committee found the average Bronze plan for 27-year-old men will be 50% higher, and 12% higher for women. The Manhattan Institute found ObamaCare’s average premiums will be 99% higher for men and 62% higher for women.

Bad as this is, the rate shock will only get worse in ObamaCare’s second year.

First, the administration delayed the law’s caps on out-of-pocket costs. These were supposed to be $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families, starting in 2014. Now they won’t go into effect until 2015.

Obama officials claimed insurance companies needed more time to handle the new rule. Likelier, it was because they knew the caps would jack up rates even more this year.

Whatever the excuse, the fact is that when these out-of-pocket caps go into effect in 2015, they will boost premiums even further.

Second, there’s little hope the administration will convince enough young people to sign up for ObamaCare this year. Those under age 34 are already the least likely to have insurance, even though they are the likeliest to have access to cheap plans. Why would they be more inclined to pay ObamaCare’s inflated rates?

The problem is that if only sicker and older people sign up for coverage, the ObamaCare premiums that insurance companies are charging won’t be enough. So they’ll have to push for much higher rates next year.

Don’t expect any of this to change liberals’ minds about the law. If anything, they’ll use those skyrocketing premiums to call for still more government meddling in the market. (IBD)

After all, the solution to a problem created by Government is MORE government! 🙂

And that the way it is…

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

The more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So we have beans at every meal! 🙂

fish not proven obamaville

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

 

Some Things

“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”-Guess who 🙂

Obama on Obamacare: “We did raise taxes on some things.”

“Some things” means uninsured families, med devices,flex accounts, small businesses, people with high medical bills and even charitable hospitals.

During his Tuesday remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama admitted that his health care law raises taxes:  “So what we did — it’s paid for by a combination of things. We did raise taxes on some things.”

Health insurance under Obamacare will cost individuals at least $2,988 a year on average, a price that Republican opponents may target as out-of-reach for many Americans who don’t qualify for U.S. subsidies.

While the $249 monthly payment is intended to be discounted through tax credits, less than half of people now buying insurance on their own may get that help. The release of the data by the Obama administration comes just six days before the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges open for enrollment, and a day after Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, took the floor of the U.S. Senate to oppose the law.

The law’s long-term success “will depend on the changes that are made over the next couple of years to address the affordability issue,” said Brian Wright, an insurance analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. in New York. “If you have modifications that can help address those issues, then it will ultimately be successful. If not, then it’s an open question.”

So we’ll have to implement it in order to know what to fix…. 🙂

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect. Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

Get ready for 24/7/365 Lies, Damned Lies and (False, Misleading and self-serving) Statistics from The White House, Democrats and The Ministry of Truth.

If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth. 🙂

ALSO: The IRS is unable to account for $67 million spent from a slush fund established for Obamacare implementation, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report released today. 

The “Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund” (HIRIF) was tucked into Obamacare in order to give the IRS money to enforce the tax provisions of the healthcare law.  The fund, totaling some $1 billion of taxpayer money, was used to roll out enforcement mechanisms for the approximately 50 tax provisions of Obamacare. 

According to the report:  “Specifically, the IRS did not account for or attempt to quantify approximately $67 million [from the slush fund] of indirect ACA costs incurred for Fiscal Years 2010 through 2012.”

The report also found several other abuses of taxpayer funds, including:

Travel abuse:  The report states, “Specifically, we identified 38 IRS employees in two judgmentally selected business units whose travel was charged to the HIRIF in FY 2012, but no portion of their salary and related benefits was charged to the HIRIF.” In short, the IRS was not making sure that employee travel reimbursements had anything to do with the purpose of the fund. This is not the first time that IRS employee travel has created a scandal for the agency.

1,272 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents: The report estimates that total slush fund spending cost taxpayers the equivalent of 1,272 new full time IRS agents.

The IRS requested an additional 859 IRS Obamacare enforcement agents for Fiscal Year 2013: According to the report, “The IRS informed us that it requested $360 million and 859 FTEs for FY 2013 to continue implementation of the ACA. However, the IRS did not receive this requested amount for FY 2013.”

To add insult to injury, the IRS has told the Inspector General that it will comply with the recommendations made in the report; unfortunately, the slush fund has been fully spent, making that promise meaningless. (ATA)

Now, you want to trsut them with your Health Care records, Your Health and your Money. Why??

“Some things” is an understatement. Below is just a partial list of Obamacare’s new or higher taxes on Americans:

Starting in tax year 2013:

Oh, and Congress exempted themselves…

Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax: Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI.  Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income.

According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 – $400 per year. To learn more about this tax, click here. 

Obamacare Flexible Spending Account Tax:  The 30 – 35 million Americans who use a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) at work to pay for their family’s basic medical needs face a new Obamacare cap of $2,500. This will squeeze $13 billion of tax money from Americans over the next ten years. (Before Obamacare, the accounts were unlimited under federal law, though employers were allowed to set a cap.) Now, a parent looking to sock away extra money to pay for braces will find themselves quickly hitting this new cap, meaning they would have to pony up some or all of the cost with after-tax dollars. 

Needless to say, this tax will especially impact middle class families.

There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  Nationwide there are several million families with special needs children and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs education. This Obamacare tax provision will limit the options available to these families.

Obamacare Super Saver Surtax: A new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single). This tax hike results in the following top tax rates on investment income:

  Capital Gains Dividends Other*
2013+ 23.8% 23.8% 43.4%

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.

Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Increase:

  First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee
All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee
Pre-Obamacare 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
Obamacare 1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed
1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

Starting in tax year 2014:

Obamacare Individual Mandate Non-Compliance Tax:  Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services — must pay an income surtax to the IRS. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that six million American families will be liable for the tax, and as pointed out by the Associated Press:  “Most would be in the middle class.”

In addition, 100 percent of Americans filing a tax return (140 million filers) will be forced to submit paperwork to the IRS showing they either had “qualifying” health insurance for every month of the tax year or they obtained an exemption to the mandate.

Americans liable for the surtax will pay according to the following schedule:

  1 Adult 2 Adults 3+ Adults
2014 1% AGI/$95 1% AGI/$190 1% AGI/$285
2015 2% AGI/$325 2% AGI/$650 2% AGI/$975
2016 + 2.5% AGI/$695 2.5% AGI/$1390 2.5% AGI/$2085

(Delayed by Obama to 2015) Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax:  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2,000 for all full-time employees.  This provision applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3,000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer).

Obamacare Tax on Health Insurers:  Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  The tax phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully imposed on firms with $50 million in profits.

Starting in tax year 2018:

Obamacare Tax on Union Member and Early Retiree Health Insurance Plans:  Obamacare imposes

a new 40 percent excise tax on high cost or “Cadillac” health insurance plans, effective in 2018. This tax increase will most directly affect union families and early retirees, who are likely to be covered by such plans. This Obamacare tax will be levied on insurance policies whose premiums exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family.  Middle class union members tend to be covered by such plans in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions. CPI +1 percentage point indexed. (ATR)

Now that’s “fair”. 🙂

trust-me-i-know-what-i-m-doing-2

The Cost Curve

‘When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either,’ he said. ‘They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse. It is not working.’– Sen Ted Cruz.

Last night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finally began to provide some data on how Americans will fare on Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchanges. HHS’ press release is full of happy talk about how premiums will be “lower than originally expected.” But the reality is starkly different.

Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.

http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2013/what-will-obamacare-cost-you-map.html

“Premiums nationwide will also be around 16 percent lower than originally expected,” HHS cheerfully announces in its press release. But that’s a ruse. HHS compared what the Congressional Budget Office projected rates might look like—in 2016—to its own findings. Neither of those numbers tells you the stat that really matters: how much rates will go up next year, under Obamacare, relative to this year, prior to the law taking effect.

Former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin agrees. “There are literally no comparisons to current rates. That is, HHS has chosen to dodge the question of whose rates are going up, and how much. Instead they try to distract with a comparison to a hypothetical number that has nothing to do with the actual experience of real people.”

So the spin is full swing and if the sun rise in the west because the earth is spinning now in the opposite direction you’ll know why.

It’s Propaganda 24/7/365. The Premiums are low, they have always been low and always will be low. Anyone who disagrees will be shut down, investigate, harassed and destroyed.

There is nothing to see here.

HHS-27-yo-men HHS-27-yo-women

40-year-olds, surprisingly, will face a similar picture. The cheapest exchange plan for the average enrollee, compared to what a 40-year-old would pay today, will cost an average of 99 percent more for men, and 62 percent for women.

For this cohort, men fared worst in North Carolina, with rate increases of 305 percent. (They are a “red State” so who gives a rat’s asses-certainly not Democrats!)Women got hammered in Nebraska, where rates will increase by a national high of 237 percent. Again, Colorado and New Hampshire fared best, with 17 percent and 5-8 percent declines, respectively.

Remember that here, we aren’t conducting an exact comparison. Instead we’re comparing the lowest-cost bronze plan offered to the average participant in the exchanges, to the cheapest plan offered to 40-year-olds today. This approach artificially flatters Obamacare, because the median age of an exchange participant is, in most states, below the age of 40.

All of the analyses I’ve discussed thus far involve changes in the underlying cost of health insurance for people who buy it for themselves. Many progressives object to this comparison, because it doesn’t take into account the impact of Obamacare’s subsidies on the net cost of insurance for low-income Americans.

I’ve long argued that it’s irresponsible to ignore the change in underlying premiums, because subsidies only protect some people. Middle-class Americans face the double-whammy of higher insurance premiums, and higher taxes to pay for other people’s subsidies. However, it is important to understand how subsidies will impact the decisions by Americans as to whether or not to participate in the exchanges.

Remember that nearly two-thirds of the uninsured are under the age of 40. And that young and healthy people are essential to Obamacare; unless these individuals are willing to pay more for health insurance to subsidize everyone else, the exchanges will not serve the goal of providing coverage to the uninsured.

And remember, “subsidies” mean Government artificially suppressing the price with TAXPAYER money. THAT’S YOU!!! 🙂

And once you are truly addicted to it, they can remove the subsidies and then you’re really screwed but your too addicted to complain by then.

Hook you first. Then tell you that “the other guy” wants to take away your drugs!! So vote for me to continue letting you shoot up even if it will kill you. What do I care, if you vote for me life is good.

The bottom line: Obamacare makes insurance less affordable

For months, we’ve heard about how Obamacare’s trillions in health care subsidies were going to save America from rate shock. It’s not true. If you shop for coverage on your own, you’re likely to see your rates go up, even after accounting for the impact of pre-existing conditions, even after accounting for the impact of subsidies.

The Obama administration knows this, which is why its 15-page report makes no mention of premiums for insurance available on today’s market. Silence, they say, speaks louder than words. HHS’ silence on the difference between Obamacare’s insurance premiums and those available today tell you everything you need to know. Rates are going higher. And if you’re healthy, or you’re young, the Obama administration expects you to do your duty and pay up. (Forbes)

It’s only “fair” and “we are in this together” after all…

 

 

The Push Begins

“We’re not going to bow to tea party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law. We will not bow to tea party anarchists who refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional,” Reid said in a blistering opening speech. “The simple fact remains: Obamacare is the law of the land and will remain the law of the land as long as Barack Obama is president of the United States and as long as I’m Senate majority leader.”

But he’s not “obstructing” or dictatorial. No, not at all…

“If Democrats don’t bow to every demand they have, they want to go right over the cliff. We are not going to go with them,” Reid said.

Yeah, you’re supposed to bow to EVERY demand that THEY have. 🙂

This is the Democrat Process (as opposed to Democratic Process).  🙂

Gallup: Six in 10 Americans (60%) believe the federal government has too much power, one percentage point above the previous high recorded in September 2010. At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power. 7-8% say it has too little (can you say the really really fringe left).

A Majority of Americans have opposed ObamaCare since Day One.

BUT THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!

The Holy Warriors must rally around their Holy Grail and defend it to YOUR death!

Wanna see a Divide by Party,Class and Race:

Obama Job ApprovalSep 9-15, 2013 – Updates Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET; reflects one-week change

National Adults 45%   +1
Ages 18 to 29   47%   -4
Ages 30 to 49   48%   +5
Ages 50 to 64   45%   +2
Ages 65+        37%
White           35%   +2
Nonwhite        68%   -1
Black           86%   +3
Hispanic        59%   -1
Democrat        79%   +1
Independent     38%   +2
Republican      12%   -1

44% of U.S. adults say that the Affordable Care Act will make the healthcare situation in the U.S. worse.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/24/one-man-obamacare-nightmare/

So it’s time for the campaign blitz…

President Barack Obama will turn to his unofficial “secretary of explaining stuff,” former President Bill Clinton, on Tuesday to help with a final push to extol the benefits of U.S. healthcare reform before new insurance exchanges go live on October 1.

Because after all, the other guys are extremist assholes! 🙂

Independence, Progressive Style

Economic Policy: We sing of America as the land of the free, but it’s no longer the home of a free economy. We now rank 17th in economic freedom — a shameful situation.

The U.S. should have the freest economy in the world and constantly be encouraging others to catch up.

But that’s not the case. In 2013, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius and Bahrain are judged to have freer economies. “The Economic Freedom of the World: 2013 Annual Report,” a joint effort of the Cato and Fraser institutes, even judges Chile, Jordan and Estonia to have freer economies.

It hasn’t always been this way.

As Cato scholar Ian Vasquez noted on the Cato-At-Liberty blog, America “has seen more than a decade of decline, having been ranked second in the index in 2000, eighth in 2005 and 17th in the current report.”

How can this be? Why the steep downward slide? The answer starts and ends with a government that can’t say “no” to its urge to expand its role forever.

Consequently, America’s ranking has fallen in all areas that the report measures. In size of government, it is ranked 59th out of 152 countries. Our legal system and security of property rights ranks 30th, while our freedom to trade internationally is 43rd.

Worse, the U.S. is a true regulatory state, ranking 121st in credit market regulation and 33rd in business regulations.

The trouble with less-free economies is their universal poor performance. The freer a country’s economy, the more prosperous its people. The less free, the more miserable.

Venezuela, Myanmar, Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Chad are the bottom five (least-free) nations, and it’s no accident that all are wretched places to live.

The life satisfaction that is closely tied to an economy’s openness and the benefits it confers is not widely found in these places. As the report says, “economic freedom … makes people richer, but it also makes them happier.”

Despite the clear advantages produced by a free economy, the U.S. is moving away in the wrong direction. It is a shift that will have severe consequences.

“Unless policies undermining economic freedom are reversed,” say the report’s authors, James Gwartney, Robert Lawson and Josh Hall, “the future annual growth of the U.S. economy will be half its historic average of 3%.”

Reversal is the key, but it won’t happen with the status quo in Washington. We have a White House and its Democratic allies in Congress that want greater government control over the economy.

For them, it’s the America of hope and change. For the rest of us, it’s an unnecessary decline into a second-rate existence. (IBD)

We have ObamaCare still because The Democrats in Washington want it. Not the People. That’s hardly “free”. Or even accurate apparently…

Four people familiar with the development of the software that determines how much people would pay for subsidized coverage on the federally run exchanges said it was still miscalculating prices. Tests on the calculator initially scheduled to begin months ago only started this week at some insurers, according to insurance executives and two people familiar with development efforts. “There’s a blanket acknowledgment that rates are being calculated incorrectly,” said one senior health-insurance executive who asked not to be named. “Our tech and operations people are very concerned about the problems they’re seeing and the potential of them to stick around.” Not surprisingly, instead of inserting a delay, the Obama administration is going to iron out the kinks as we go.

The Obama administration says open enrollment will begin Oct. 1 on schedule. “We may encounter some bumps when open enrollment begins but we’ll solve them,” said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, one of the main offices within Medicare charged with developing the exchanges, in congressional testimony on Thursday.

Let  the crippled airliner take off anyways and then fix it after takeoff in the air…Yeah, that’s a good plan!!!

Man, how do Congressional Democrats and Government Bureaucrats want this thing. 🙂

Mark Steyn: “This is the United States of America,” declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Missouri, on Friday. “We’re not some banana republic.”

He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, a glorious American tradition that seems to come round earlier every year. “This is not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama continued. “We don’t run out on our tab.”

True. But we don’t pay it off either. We just keep running it up, ever higher. And every time the bartender says, “Mebbe you’ve had enough, pal”, we protest, “Jush another couple trillion for the road. Set ’em up, Joe.” And he gives you that look that kinda says he wishes you’d run out on your tab back when it was $23.68.

“Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.”–Obama

SO we must be more Free under him than ever, right? 🙂

Oh, then there’s Energy “independence”…

The administration finally has released its rules for curbing CO2 emissions from U.S. power plants. Far from being a plan to clean up the environment, it is in fact a road map to de-industrialization and poverty.

The tough new rules that will limit carbon dioxide output from new power plants immediately drew protests from the power industry. No surprise. But if Americans really understood what Obama is doing, they’d be up in arms, too.

Far from being an economically sensible plan to reduce U.S. pollution, this proposal will sharply raise the cost of energy to all Americans, while doing little to improve our environment.

Last year, the Institute for Energy Research estimated that the administration’s “regulatory assault” on power plants would eliminate 35 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity — or 10% of all U.S. power.

The new EPA rules will make that even worse. If you wonder why Obama has the worst jobs record of any president in modern history, look no further.

“We know this is not just about melting glaciers,” said Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy in announcing the rules Friday. She linked climate change to a host of spurious public health threats.

Yet just one day earlier, appearing before a congressional committee, McCarthy admitted that even though the EPA already has extensive rules in place to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, she had no evidence that they had done anything to halt global warming.

This is a stunning admission that these regulations aren’t about climate change at all, but rather part of an ideologically driven fight to tear the capitalist heart out of western civilization — plentiful energy, source of our highest-ever standard of living.

Worse, lying about the public health benefits ignores the real costs that come with the new regulations. Many big companies, faced with soaring costs for energy, will simply relocate plants and high-paying jobs overseas.

As the Wall Street Journal reported last week, iconic U.S. aluminum company Alcoa Inc. is moving production and jobs to other countries, in large part due to growing regulations and sharply higher energy costs.

This will be increasingly common, as will energy shortages around the country.

“If the carbon dioxide emissions standard for power plants proposed by the EPA today is enacted, the United States will have built its final coal-fired power plant,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute said.

This isn’t hyperbole. The EPA says its actions won’t cost anything — but will in fact help the power industry grow. This is plainly absurd.

New coal-fired plants will be forced to use technology to trap carbon dioxide and bury it in the ground. Problem is, as the Associated Press notes, “No coal-fired power plant has done this yet, in large part because of the cost.” Nor, we might add, do we have the technology needed to pull it off.

The U.S. has hundreds of years worth of low-cost coal to supply our energy needs. Now it’ll be off limits, thanks to another federal edict that will cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars and millions of jobs.

But it will make the Left feel “good” and proud and smug about their superiority and their power to make it happen.

Now that’s freedom.

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

FREEDOM IS DEPENDENCE

FREEDOM IS REGULATION

FREEDOM IS CONTROL

🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Reading is Fundamental

Librarian Fired for Actually Getting Kid to Read

A library aide has been fired for successfully doing her most basic job — getting a kid to read more. And so, too, has the library’s director, who started the reading controversy in the first place.

Lita Casey was dismissed on Monday after working for 28 years at the Hudson Falls Free Library in upstate New York. Her offense? Defending a nine-year-old child whose voracious reading appetite and abundant (and free!) library books makes him read too much. So much, in fact, that Weaver dominates the library’s annual reading competition, having won his 5th straight reading title by absorbing 63 books in the 40 day competition.

That should be good news, right?

Not in the eyes of library director Marie Gandron, who said the soon-to-be fifth grader Tyler Weaver “hogs” the contest with his no-good-dirty-rotten-book-stealing reading habits. Gandron had hoped to change the structure of prizes awarded in the contest to encourage other kids to get involved in the reading contest, as “Other kids quit because they can’t keep up,” Gandron said. Instead, Gandron wanted to award prizes for the reading “contest” by picking names out of a hat. Why that would actually encourage reading, we can’t say. It’s not as if those prizes were the main reason Weaver — the self-described “the king of the reading club” — was picking up those books in the first place. All little Weaver has won in his five year reign is an atlas, a T-shirt, a water bottle and certificates of achievement. That’s nothing special.

Casey stood up for this injustice back in late August, calling the idea of changing the prizes “ridiculous.” Well, she has since paid the price for standing up for her beliefs. “I could not believe it, and I still cannot believe it,” she said after she heard she had been let go in a phone conversation. Gandron, too, has paid the same price herself, as she was also fired from her job last week after 41 years at the library.

With two of the library’s six employees gone over a dumb controversy, it’s hard to find much of a winner in this story. That is, except for our friend Weaver. If only these librarians had put down the books and watched some of The Wire, they would have known a good life lesson: You come at the (reading) king, you best not miss. (Atlantic Wire)

“I could not believe it, and I still cannot believe it,” Casey said Tuesday.

She said she was called by board member Michael Mercure, who is a lawyer and the Washington County public defender.

“I asked why I was being terminated, and I was told the board would not give a reason. I asked if I could come down and talk to the board. He went away for a minute, came back and said no.

Yeah, don’t ask a high and mighty government official, your Lord & Master, to explain themselves! That’s tantamount to insurrection!

Just Ask Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Eric Holder…

So naturally, when the whole tempest in a teapot explodes in the Liberals face it’s time to “put it behind us and move on” response.

After all, “What difference does it make??”

Let’s not dwell on our mistakes (we obsessed on other peoples).

The Good News from Hudson Falls Free Library: Kids Are Reading!

Let’s Turn the Page on Unfortunate Controversy

Statement from:

Michael Herman

President

Hudson Falls Free Library Board of Trustees

August 21, 2013

For more than four decades, the goal of Hudson Falls Free Library’s summer reading program has been to encourage and inspire children toward a lifelong love of reading — and we have been immensely successful.

This year, 30 children read 10 or more books over their summer vacation. That’s the good story we should be sharing and celebrating, and we’re sorry that some unfortunate comments have overshadowed the accomplishments of Tyler Weaver and all of the participants in our program.

Tyler has achieved an impressive record of reading the most books in our program for five years in a row, and deserves our applause for that. In an era where technology too often keeps children’s noses pointed at text messages and video games, Tyler and the other “Dig into Reading” kids have embraced the wonderful world of books, and for that they should all be proud.

Looking forward, the Library Board and staff will be reviewing the way in which our program works to ensure that it continues to meet its goal of encouraging as many children as possible to spend time reading over the summer.

We thank Tyler and all of our young friends of Hudson Falls Free Library for sharing their love of reading with us, and we look forward to reading and learning with them for many years to come.

I was “unfortunate” and let’s put on a happy face and just move on. Nothing to see here.

Like Liberal Government incompetence.

Just like Benghazi.

And after that response I think my saccharine intake for to next 10 years has been filled.

Comment field by “common man”:

What a perfect example of a failed effort to promote meritocracy over excellence. Much like not keeping score for youth sports and giving everyone a trophy, efforts to level the playing field to avoid hurting the feelings of those less talented or uncompetitive only teaches our children that life should be “fair”. To create an atmosphere where what is utmost important feeling good about yourself regardless of one’s efforts to achieve excellence only sets up a child for a life of disappointment. Life is not “fair”, not everyone has the same ability to be the best. Hard work is rewarded and laziness will only get you the bottom slot in life.
“Heroes rise above the mediocrity that surrounds them”

BRAVO.

But if this were the Obama Administration we just have to wait 8 months and the Library Manager will have a new job as the assistant/advisor to the head of Board, just like Susan Rice. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

The Unhinged

Remember one very important fact about ObamaCare…

The Democrats, Progressive Liberals, and the in-the-tank mindless Liberals want it.

They don’t care on any level if the American People don’t want it.

THEY want it.

And they are going to force you to want it.

They will fight to YOUR death to keep it.

Period.

“May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases.”-Allan Brauer, the communications chair of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, wished death on the children of a Ted Cruz speechwriter (Amanda Carpenter)today.

Ted Cruz, of course, a leading voice against ObamaCare.

You’ll pry Obamacare out of YOUR dead fingers!

“Busy blocking the tapeworms that have slithered out of hellspawn @amandacarpenter‘s asshole. How’s your day so far?”

Ask yourself, how many liberals are cheering right now?

I’m being attacked on Twitter for wishing one of Ted Cruz’s pubic lice to experience the pain her boss is inflicting on Americans.

How many Liberals agree with him?

Yes, your party takes bread from the mouths of starving children and medicine from the sick, and I’m the problem. Got it.

Can you reason with this?

“And then the entire universe of hateful, child-starving, health-care deniers determines that I’m what’s wrong with America.”

How many think this guy will get a promotion in Democrat circles for standing up the force of Evil and talking back to Satan?

Then comes the inevitable political ass saving meaningless never mean it a million years but mom do I have to mea culpa (you can tell by the “fringe characters” line) And the fact that it was 5 hours later!

Ted Cruz is beneath her contempt but she’s being forced to say it, so she chokes it out:

“The problem with this kind of rhetoric is that it lets fringe characters—those who are actively trying to shut down the government—like Ted Cruz, off the hook. It’s never acceptable to wish physical harm against political opponents, regardless of how objectionable their policy priorities are.”

(Courtesy of NRO)
One commenter:

The most dangerous place on Earth?

Between a liberal societal mooch and other people’s money.

🙂

Never get between a Liberal and their Holy Grail, they will want to kill YOU for it.

“This is playing with fire,” Pelosi said. “Legislative arsonists are at work when they start using the debt limit for their own personal agenda.”

Negotiate with that, I dare you?

Mind you, the Democrats ARE using Obamacare for  their own Personal Agenda and don’t care what you think!!

But they are the Holy Warriors and ObamaCare is Their Holy Grail and they will defend it to the very last drop of YOUR blood!

But they aren’t hyper-partisans out for a personal agenda… 🙂

YOU are, for opposing them!

“Either you don’t know what you are doing or this is one of the most intentional acts of brutality that you have cooked up with stiff competition for that honor. It cuts billions of dollars again I say, from the National Institutes of Health, delaying important research and denying medical breakthroughs for future generations,” Pelosi said

Extreme Leftist, Eugene Robinson:

Republicans in the House are like a bunch of 3-year-olds playing with matches. Their hapless leaders don’t have the sense to scold them and send them to their rooms — which means President Obama has to be the disciplinarian in this dysfunctional family.

Mature adults in the GOP should have explained reality to these tantrum-throwing tykes long ago:

It simply is not within their constitutional power to make ObamaCare go away.

Yet I don’t see any Republicans wishing the death of other people’s children! 🙂

Even if ObamaCare were tremendously flawed, however, it would be wrong to let a bunch of extremist ideologues hold the country hostage in this manner.

The fact that extreme ideologues on the LEFT are doing exactly that, escapes the author of this piece. A Majority of the American people have been against this thing since day one but the sanctimonious, pious and ideologically rigid Left is the one forcing the issue. Funny how that goes… 🙂

“Obama is by nature a reasonable and flexible man, but this time he must not yield.”

ROTFL….

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

 

 

Doublespeak

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.

What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program. –Edward Herman

President Obama suggests raising the debt ceiling won’t add a penny to a U.S. debt already spiraling out of control. What planet does he live on?

In a speech to the Business Roundtable this week covered by CNSnews.com, Obama added this gem to the budget debate: “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy.”

prof·li·gate (pr f l -g t, -g t ). adj. 1. Given over to dissipation; dissolute. 2. Recklessly wasteful; wildly extravagant.

Use a $2 word when you want to hide what you’re lying about.

Orwell’s description of political speech is extremely similar to the contemporary definition of doublespeak; In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, …like profligacy. 🙂

What? This kind of gibberish is a big reason voters have so little faith in their public officials these days.

But still vote for them anyhow. Either out of Party loyalty, agenda,ignorance or lack of interest.

Suffice it to say that if the debt ceiling has been raised “over a hundred times” and each time the debt went higher, one would have to conclude there’s a very high — indeed, perfect — correlation between a higher debt ceiling and higher debt.

Yet, Obama goes on to say how tough a vote it will be because “the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt.”

It does mean that, but this politics, where lying is an art form and a necessity.

Again, the president must think he’s talking only to the low-information voters who returned him to office. He’s the one who’s running up the debt, both in relative and absolute terms. This is fact, not opinion.

But HE is only talking to the low-information moron. And the media that feeds them info is right there with him feeding the bovine fecal matter to them by the shovel full.

After all, anyone who disagrees with must be a “racist”, or a “partisan” and they must lying anyhow to protect their own agenda. The second one being particularly comical, but that’s doublespeak for you because of it’s correlate, Doublethink-The ability to hold contradictory ideas and believe both are true.

Obama and the Democrats aren’t the Partisans, it’s the Republicans and the “Anti-Obama crowd” who are. 🙂

Striking a tone of disgust, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ridicules the GOP as obsessed with its loathing of President Obama and hell-bent on hurting him politically, regardless the cost.

But the other way around is not possible. And the Democrats didn’t do the same thing to George W Bush now did they… 🙂

When Obama assumed the presidency in 2009, total U.S. debt, after subtracting what the government owes to itself, stood at 52% of GDP. That, economists say, is elevated but manageable. Today it’s 73% of GDP, a dangerous level.

And according to new data from the Congressional Budget Committee, based on the added spending the president has put into place — from misbegotten health reform to failed stimulus to uncontrolled entitlements — the debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 100% by 2038. The CBO rightly calls this “unsustainable.”

Yeah, but reports like that make the low information vote tune you out and watch X-Factor…

As for claiming that raising the debt ceiling doesn’t “promote profligacy,” please. Runaway spending is the source of our budget problem. The nonpartisan CBO’s own estimates say spending will rise from a 40-year average of about 20% of GDP to 26% by 2038 — a 30% jump in government’s share of U.S. output.

So why is Obama saying things that are patently false? With a showdown looming later this month over raising the debt ceiling, he hopes to shut down the government and blame the GOP for it. That would weaken the GOP before next year’s elections, while letting Obama continue his spending spree — a win-win.

Republicans would be wise to call Obama on his fiscal blackmail and hold out for a deal that slows spending, reforms taxes, cuts entitlement outlays in the future and defunds ObamaCare (one of the main drivers of future spending growth, according to the CBO).

But I doubt “Jar Jar” Boehner has the balls for that.

The last five years have been the most fiscally irresponsible in this nation’s history, a period that will have Americans decades from now scratching their heads.

Already it’s costing investments, jobs and economic growth. Unless we act now to reverse the madness, our children and grandchildren will be justified in asking: How could we have stood by and let things get so bad? (IBD)

“Vote for Me, The other guy’s an Asshole” 🙂

Simple, but elegant.

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

 

Pain First

Just when you think Washington politics couldn’t get dirtier, Congress finds a new low.

To hold onto their illegal ObamaCare subsidy that no other American earning $174,000 could get, members of Congress are trying to silence the subsidy’s chief critic, Sen. David Vitter, by dredging up a 2007 unproven accusation that Vitter patronized a prostitute before being elected to the Senate.

Shockingly, the cabal also proposes that any member of Congress who votes for Vitter’s proposal would be ineligible for the subsidy if Vitter fails and the subsidy stays. Has anyone in Congress read the Constitution? You can’t make a lawmaker’s future remuneration dependent on how he votes.

At the center of this tawdry cabal are none other than the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Here are the facts behind the stench:

The Affordable Care Act Sect. 1312(d) requires that members of Congress and their staffs enroll in the health plans offered on the exchanges. The thinking behind that provision is that what’s good enough for the public ought to be good enough for Congress.

It sounded good in 2010, when the law was enacted, but now politicians are getting cold feet.

Until now, members of Congress received a 75% subsidy funded by taxpayers to enroll in the Federal Health Benefits Program. Signing up for ObamaCare will cost them thousands of dollars because the law does not entitle anyone earning $174,000 (base salary for Congress) to get a subsidy.

Yikes! Congress doesn’t think the Affordable Care Act is affordable for them.

Just before Congress’ August recess, Republican and Democratic leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Reid, pressed President Obama to do something. Ignoring the fact that the president has no constitutional authority to change the law and arrange for a subsidy that will cost taxpayers at least $55 million a year, members of Congress put their self-interest first.

The president complied and weaseled an illegal arrangement with the Office of Personnel Management to award members of Congress and their staff a 75% subsidy to pay for their own ObamaCare health plans. It’s in a new official OPM ruling.

Whistleblower

But surprise, surprise: There’s still a handful of lawmakers with scruples. Vitter of Louisiana, along with fellow Republican Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Mike Lee of Utah, held up a Senate vote last week on an unrelated energy bill by trying to attach an amendment eliminating Congress’ ObamaCare subsidy. In the House, Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida offered the same measure. (IBD)

Like the president said, “of you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” Well, unless you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who can’t. Including, it turns out, lots of Walgreens employees (via Ed Morrissey):

Walgreen Co. (WAG), the biggest U.S. drugstore chain, will move its workers into a private health insurance exchange to buy company-subsidized coverage, the latest sign of how the debate over Obamacare is accelerating a historic shift in corporate health-care coverage. Walgreen’s decision affects about 160,000 current employees and follows similar action this year by Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) and Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) As an alternative to administering a traditional health plan, all three will send their employees to an exchange run by Aon Plc.

 

IBM and GE recently announced similar changes in their retirees plans, which are not to be confused with UPS’ decision to drop spousal coverage.

As the CBS correspondent points out, Walgreens made this move to insulate itself from anticipated rising healthcare costs, which Obamacare was ostensibly going to reverse. Based on CBO projections published yesterday, health costs will continue their inexorable climb, approximately doubling within the next 25 years.

But has to remember the goal here. The goal is to get everyone dependent on Government -Only Health Care.

The very last thing on their minds is actual Health Care reform.

They want the whole thing to collapse so that you’ll go running to them and beg for your Lord and Masters graces.

And above all, that it was not their fault!

It was evil Corporate America.

This is a long game. They have been waiting for this for nearly a 100 years, they can wait another decade or so.

They want what they want, and they’ll happily destroy you to get it.

Confronted with this $2 trillion law’s undeniable failures, its cheerleaders are already making the pivot to their next bad idea, Single Payer Government Control of everything, but they want you to demand it first.

Pain first. Demand later.

That’s how it’s done in “compassionate”, “caring”, “Morally superior” Liberal Land!

137633 600 Obamacare Fine Print cartoons

137298 600 Congressional Malpractice cartoons

 

The Madness

Minimum wage madness

Political crusades for raising the minimum wage are back again. Advocates of minimum wage laws often give themselves credit for being more “compassionate” towards “the poor.” But they seldom bother to check what are the actual consequences of such laws.

Because they don’t care. They are self-righteous, ego maniacal and have enough narcissism to rival the Gods themselves and anyone who would dare to challenge them must be a very evil Devil.

And since they have the all the “compassion” and it “feels so good” that anything else must be bad.

Like the Truth.

One of the simplest and most fundamental economic principles is that people tend to buy more when the price is lower and less when the price is higher. Yet advocates of minimum wage laws seem to think that the government can raise the price of labor without reducing the amount of labor that will be hired.

Or race the price of labor and not expect the price of the goods to go up because after all that just “Corporate Greed” and “profiteering”. 🙂

When you turn from economic principles to hard facts, the case against minimum wage laws is even stronger. Countries with minimum wage laws almost invariably have higher rates of unemployment than countries without minimum wage laws.

Norway has a 3% unemployment and no minimum wage, by the way.

Most nations today have minimum wage laws, but they have not always had them. Unemployment rates have been very much lower in places and times when there were no minimum wage laws.

Switzerland is one of the few modern nations without a minimum wage law. In 2003, “The Economist” magazine reported: “Switzerland’s unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9 percent in February.” In February of this year, Switzerland’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent. A recent issue of “The Economist” showed Switzerland’s unemployment rate as 2.1 percent.

Most Americans today have never seen unemployment rates that low. However, there was a time when there was no federal minimum wage law in the United States.

For a good portion of it there was no welfare either.

The last time was during the Coolidge administration, when the annual unemployment rate got as low as 1.8 percent. When Hong Kong was a British colony, it had no minimum wage law. In 1991 its unemployment rate was under 2 percent.

As for being “compassionate” toward “the poor,” this assumes that there is some enduring class of Americans who are poor in some meaningful sense, and that there is something compassionate about reducing their chances of getting a job.

Well, Liberal doe need dependents and the fearfully ignorant to vote for them. “Vote for Me, the other guys Rich” doesn’t quite work otherwise.

Most Americans living below the government-set poverty line have a washer and/or a dryer, as well as a computer. More than 80 percent have air conditioning. More than 80 percent also have both a landline and a cell phone. Nearly all have television and a refrigerator. Most Americans living below the official poverty line also own a motor vehicle and have more living space than the average European — not Europeans in poverty, the average European.

In a worldwide sense Americans are 1%ers. How evil are we. 🙂

Why then are they called “poor”? Because government bureaucrats create the official definition of poverty, and they do so in ways that provide a political rationale for the welfare state — and, not incidentally, for the bureaucrats’ own jobs.

Most people in the lower income brackets are not an enduring class. Most working people in the bottom 20 percent in income at a given time do not stay there over time. More of them end up in the top 20 percent than remain behind in the bottom 20 percent.

There is nothing mysterious about the fact that most people start off in entry level jobs that pay much less than they will earn after they get some work experience. But, when minimum wage levels are set without regard to their initial productivity, young people are disproportionately unemployed — priced out of jobs.

$15/hr flipping burgers at McDonalds will only make less jobs. And would make that “Value Meal” $5 instead of 1 or 2. 🙂

In European welfare states where minimum wages, and mandated job benefits to be paid for by employers, are more generous than in the United States, unemployment rates for younger workers are often 20 percent or higher, even when there is no recession.

Unemployed young people lose not only the pay they could have earned but, at least equally important, the work experience that would enable them to earn higher rates of pay later on.

Minorities, like young people, can also be priced out of jobs. In the United States, the last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate — 1930 — was also the last year when there was no federal minimum wage law. Inflation in the 1940s raised the pay of even unskilled workers above the minimum wage set in 1938. Economically, it was the same as if there were no minimum wage law by the late 1940s.

Relative to inflation the minimum wage in 1963 is the same as it is now.

In 1948 the unemployment rate of black 16-year-old and 17-year-old males was 9.4 percent. This was a fraction of what it would become in even the most prosperous years from 1958 on, as the minimum wage was raised repeatedly to keep up with inflation.

Some “compassion” for “the poor”!

A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers. Inexperience is often the problem. Only about 2 percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage.

Advocates of minimum wage laws usually base their support of such laws on their estimate of how much a worker “needs” in order to have “a living wage” — or on some other criterion that pays little or no attention to the worker’s skill level, experience or general productivity. So it is hardly surprising that minimum wage laws set wages that price many a young worker out of a job.

Because it’s all about “feelings” and not reality. Emotion, not logic. And a base of sticking it to “corporate greed” and the liberal genetic necessity, Class Warfare.

What is surprising is that, despite an accumulation of evidence over the years of the devastating effects of minimum wage laws on black teenage unemployment rates, members of the Congressional Black Caucus continue to vote for such laws.

Because it’s about THEM, not the people they are “advocating for” and they stay where they are by “advocating”.

Once, years ago, during a confidential discussion with a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, I asked how they could possibly vote for minimum wage laws.

The answer I got was that members of the Black Caucus were part of a political coalition and, as such, they were expected to vote for things that other members of that coalition wanted, such as minimum wage laws, in order that other members of the coalition would vote for things that the Black Caucus wanted.

Quid Pro Quo! 🙂

You grease my skids I’ll grease yours!

When I asked what could the black members of Congress possibly get in return for supporting minimum wage laws that would be worth sacrificing whole generations of young blacks to huge rates of unemployment, the discussion quickly ended. I may have been vehement when I asked that question.

They got POWER.

The same question could be asked of black public officials in general, including Barack Obama, who have taken the side of the teachers’ unions, who oppose vouchers or charter schools that allow black parents (among others) to take their children out of failing public schools.

Minimum wage laws can even affect the level of racial discrimination. In an earlier era, when racial discrimination was both legally and socially accepted, minimum wage laws were often used openly to price minorities out of the job market.

In 1925, a minimum wage law was passed in the Canadian province of British Columbia, with the intent and effect of pricing Japanese immigrants out of jobs in the lumbering industry.

A well regarded Harvard professor of that era referred approvingly to Australia’s minimum wage law as a means to “protect the white Australian’s standard of living from the invidious competition of the colored races, particularly of the Chinese” who were willing to work for less.

In South Africa during the era of apartheid, white labor unions urged that a minimum wage law be applied to all races, to keep black workers from taking jobs away from white unionized workers by working for less than the union pay scale.

Some supporters of the first federal minimum wage law in the United States — the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 — used exactly the same rationale, citing the fact that Southern construction companies, using non-union black workers, were able to come north and under-bid construction companies using unionized white labor.

These supporters of minimum wage laws understood long ago something that today’s supporters of such laws seem not to have bothered to think through. People whose wages are raised by law do not necessarily benefit, because they are often less likely to be hired at the imposed minimum wage rate.

Labor unions have been supporters of minimum wage laws in countries around the world, since these laws price non-union workers out of jobs, leaving more jobs for union members.

People who are content to advocate policies that sound good, whether for political reasons or just to feel good about themselves, often do not bother to think through the consequences beforehand or to check the results afterwards.

Why would they, it either feels good and gives them a sense of moral superiority or it gives them power. Why bother with worrying about consequences. That’s someone’s fault.

If they thought things through, how could they have imagined that having large numbers of idle teenage boys hanging out on the streets together would be good for any community — especially in places where most of these youngsters were raised by single mothers, another unintended consequence, in this case, of well-meaning welfare policies?

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Because of Narcissism.

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne
Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Recovery Summer IV Results

Economy: After his embarrassing failure on the foreign policy front, President Obama decided to tout his success managing the U.S. economy — just as the historically weak recovery shows fresh signs of weakening further.

In a speech marking the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Bros. collapse, Obama ticked off a laundry list of alleged accomplishments since taking office: I stopped another Great Depression, saved the auto industry, put people to work, etc.

“We cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis,” he said, “and we’ve begun to lay a new foundation for economic growth and prosperity.”

Unfortunately, it’s a foundation built on quicksand.

Just last week we learned that retail sales have softened, consumer sentiment hit a five-month low, job growth in August was still tepid and the number of job losers posted its biggest jump since 2010.

All are signs the economy isn’t going to live up to expectations in the final months of the year.

This comes after 50 months of sluggish growth that has left 4.3 million out of work long-term, helped drive 10 million out of the job market, pushed the labor participation rate to 35-year lows, boosted food stamp rolls by 14 million and pushed nearly 3 million into poverty.

Just 13 states have employment rates above their pre-recession peaks (all but four of them, by the way, voted against Obama in 2008).

Thanks to Obama’s sluggish growth, real median household income remains 4.4% below where it was when his “recovery” started.

The day Obama gave his remarks, the AP reported that the unemployment rate among low-income families is at Great Depression levels of 21%, but among upper-income households it’s 3.2%. That, AP’s analysis found, is the widest gap on record.

AP also found that middle-income workers are increasingly ending up with lower-wage jobs, forcing lower-skilled workers out of the job market.

Meanwhile, a survey out of the University of Chicago finds that a record 8.4% of Americans consider themselves “lower class.”

Here’s another way to look at it: Had Obama’s recovery merely been average, there would be 7.4 million more people gainfully employed today, and the economy would be $1.3 trillion bigger.

Even the left is noticing that, despite Obama’s endless blather about building prosperity from the ground up, his recovery has had the opposite effect — concentrating whatever gains there have been at the top.

The Huffington Post called it “the most uneven recovery in at least several decades” — which would include the Reagan, Clinton and Bush recoveries.

Among the evidence presented: Workers in the bottom 20% have seen their real average hourly wages decline steadily under Obama, compared with gains at the very top. And while 60% of the jobs lost in the recession paid mid-wages, only 22% of the jobs gained in Obama’s recovery did so.

Incredibly, amid all this, Obama claims to see “progress across the board.”  Then again, Obama thinks his foreign policy adventures have been a success, too. (IBD)

“Are some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they’re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can’t get their way on this issue?” Obama said in a speech at the White House. “Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points?” (Townhall)

WELL, we know HE IS. He’s been doing it for 5 years now! 🙂

Obama conceded the problems. “As any middle class family will tell you or anybody who’s striving to get in the middle class, we are not yet where we need to be,” he said.

And never will be, with Progressives in charge because they depend on making people poor and dependent on them and making rich people less rich and demonic to keep them them there.

“After all the progress that we’ve made over these last four and a half years, the idea of reversing that progress because of an unwillingness to compromise or because of some ideological agenda is the height of irresponsibility,” Obama said.

Which is why he won’t compromise on anything that has been done or will be done. But he’s not ideologically rigid… 🙂

After all, it’s “Congress” (Read: Republicans) Fault!

He’s not partisan. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

 

New Witch Hunt

Bankers warn the administration’s new “disparate impact” home-lending regulation will wreak havoc in credit markets, replacing merit standards with political correctness.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued the controversial new anti-discrimination rule earlier this year. Now enforced by every federal regulator dealing with banks, it has the effect of criminalizing credit standards used to qualify borrowers for home loans.

Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Independent Community Bankers of America jointly filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that under the new HUD rule:

“Virtually every lender in the United States could be sued for using non-discriminatory credit standards simply because variations in economic and credit characteristics produce different credit outcomes among racial and ethnic groups.”

In their 33-page brief, filed in support of a landmark housing case pending before the court, they complain that HUD recently launched 22 separate investigations against lenders alleging that their policies of requiring minimum credit scores “had a disparate impact on minorities in violation of the Fair Housing Act.”

Dozens of similar actions have been brought against lenders by Attorney General Eric Holder. He is basing claims of bias on statistics showing differences in loan outcomes by race while ignoring racially neutral credit-risk factors that explain those differences.

Under disparate impact’s low standard of proof, the government doesn’t have to show lenders intentionally discriminated against borrowers.

For the first time in history, businesses are being ordered to justify the necessity of a certain level of return on investment given the racial impact resulting from the use of credit-score thresholds.

The mortgage trade groups argue the formalized disparate-impact rule also effectively criminalizes other legitimate business practices, including minimum down-payment requirements, sliding loan rates and the charging of brokers’ fees.

Banks today face increased litigation risk simply by complying with sensible lending standards for hedging against risk. So what? Who cares? Banks are greedy and probably deserve to be investigated.

Actually, we should all care, because we’ll all end up eating the legal and compliance costs banks will have to front under this race-baiting witch hunt.

The social engineers and race demagogues in this administration are trying to enforce a balance in financial outcomes that risks another collapse of the housing market. The Supreme Court must put an end to a scheme so reckless, unfair and unconstitutional.

But , of so Agenda driven and “fair”.

Ever notice how unfair “fair” is??

When is job security a bad thing? Right now.

Believe it or not, for all the scare-mongering about downsizing, outsourcing and Walmartizing, job security has never been stronger. But all it really indicates is that the U.S. labor market is the least dynamic it’s ever been.

To be sure, it’s counterintuitive that job security is so strong when 11.3 million Americans are still officially unemployed — 3.7 million more than at the peak of the last business cycle expansion in 2007. But it’s true.

Today an employed person faces only a 2% probability of losing his job in a given month, according to data from the Department of Labor. That probability has never been lower.

But job security for the employed doesn’t help the unemployed.

Today an unemployed person enjoys only a 26% probability of becoming employed in a given month. That’s some improvement over the horrifying 19% probability the jobless faced at the worst of the Great Recession. But it’s now more than four years since that recession officially ended.

At this stage in the previous two expansions, an unemployed person had at least a 40% chance of getting work. In earlier expansions it was even better.

The labor market is frozen now, with joblessness just as secure as employment. Yes, today you are less likely to lose your job than at any time since records started being kept in 1948. But if you don’t have a job, you’re very unlikely to get one.

In one sense it’s a vicious circle. When it is so difficult to find a job, no one will risk leaving the job he has. And with no one willing to leave his job, there are fewer openings to accommodate the unemployed.

A healthy labor market is one in which there is a dynamic interplay of employment and unemployment, where human capital rapidly transfers itself to where it is most valuable in a classic process of creative destruction.

But this is a vicious circle we can break any time we wish. All we have to do is reverse the policy errors that exacerbate and prolong it by destroying supply-side incentives — for those who supply their labor, and for those who supply the jobs.

On the labor-supply side, of the 11.3 million unemployed, 1.5 million are receiving special extended unemployment benefits. While surely not princely, these benefits defer from months to years the crunch-time that forces recipients to seek taxable work rather than enjoy tax-free leisure.

But that’s the Companies/Republicans fault, not Obama and Co… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Piling On

All that being said, I’m almost at the point where I feel sorry for Obamacare supporters. There’s been a growing avalanche of bad news about government-run healthcare and they somehow have to justify this festering pile of you-know-what.

For instance, it must not be fun having to explain to people that their private financial and medical information will now be in the hands of some of the least competent people in America. Which means we’re sure to see more stories like this.

A MNsure employee accidentally sent an e-mail file to an Apple Valley insurance broker’s office on Thursday that contained Social Security numbers, names, business addresses and other identifying information on more than 2,400 insurance agents. An official at MNsure, the state’s new online health insurance exchange, acknowledged it had mishandled private data. A MNsure security manager called the broker, Jim Koester, and walked him and his assistant through a process of deleting the file from their computer hard drives. Koester said he willingly complied, but was unnerved. “The more I thought about it, the more troubled I was,” he said. “What if this had fallen into the wrong hands? It’s scary. If this is happening now, how can clients of MNsure be confident their data is safe?”

Or imagine what it must be like when some of your biggest allies start complaining about the law. Such as union bosses.

Top labor leaders left the White House on Friday after an hour-long meeting with President Barack Obama, still looking for a way to address concerns that “Obamacare” will hurt their members’ healthcare plans. The dispute with unions – traditional allies of Democrats – as the Obama administration begins to roll out Obama’s signature healthcare reforms is providing political ammunition for Republicans who want to defund or repeal the law. …Earlier this week, AFL-CIO members passed a resolution calling for significant changes to the healthcare law, stopping short of asking for its repeal, but exposing the rift between the labor movement and the Obama administration.

Or government bureaucrats.

A new survey of 2,500 federal employees and retirees found that 92.3 percent believe federal workers should keep their current health insurance and not be forced into ObamaCare.  Only 2.9 percent say they should become part of the new health insurance exchanges.

And what about stories about cost overruns.

According to data published by the Department of Health and Human Services, the cost of the computer cloud that stores cost, coverage, and performance data for insurance plans sold under the Affordable Care Act (also called the ACA or Obamacare) has more than tripled since the contract was originally awarded in 2011. Press reports indicate that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a $10.8 million contract to Terremark – a subsidiary of Verizon – early in 2011. The contract called for the company to design a system to help consumers find an insurance plan and transfer it to CMS’ computer cloud, among other duties. This week CMS announced the contract is now for $35.5 million – more than triple the original amount.

And how about all the bad news about limited choice in the infamous Obamacare exchanges.

Only one company will participate in West Virginia’s new individual health insurance marketplace. Media outlets report that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Carelink/Coventry applied and were accepted to participate in the individual marketplace. But Carelink/Coventry has withdrawn. …The health insurance marketplace is part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment begins Oct. 1. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2014.

Or rising insurance costs.

For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act. Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage from their employers. But that’s only if employers continue to offer that coverage–something that’s looking increasingly uncertain. Already, UPS, for example, cited Obamacare as its reason for nixing spousal coverage.

So let’s add all this up. Our privacy will be compromised, our choices will be limited, our costs will increase, and the government will squander more of our money. All for a law that even left-wing groups are learning to despise.

That’s why I almost feel sorry for the President and his media flunkies.

But notice I said “almost.” In reality, I feel zero empathy for those who undermine our freedom with statism.

Indeed, I want to add to their misery with some satire. So let’s close this post with a few new Obamacare cartoons, starting with this gem from Steven Breen.

Gary Varvel adds his insight.

And here’s a clever cartoon from Lisa Benson, though let’s hope and pray something saves us from single-payer.

Last but not least, Bob Gorrell shows the overall impact of this costly new entitlement on the economy.

I have plenty of additional Obamacare cartoons here, here, and here, all of which help mock a bad law.

But let’s remember a very serious point. As suggested by the Benson cartoon, the left sees Obamacare as a stepping stone to single-payer. And it you think Obamacare’s a mess, I invite you to peruse the horror stories about the U.K. system linked at the bottom of this post.

Putting Democrats on the defense about why the law creates perverse incentives that Congress gets to bypass, while the rest of America has no choice but to endure, has the potential to be both politically illuminating as well as immensely entertaining. For instance, via the Daily Caller:

Responding to the hoopla surrounding the health insurance policies on Capitol Hill, the Nevada Democrat flatly stated Thursday, “That’s what the law says, and we’ll be part of that.”

Reid said the Republicans and critics are just using the issue as a “diversion” to “try and embarrass the president.”

“Let’s stop these really juvenile political games,” Reid said. “The one dealing with healthcare for Senators and House members and our staff. We are going to be part of exchanges.” …

“We’ll be treated like the rest of the federal employees,” he said Thursday. “It’s nothing unique that employers help pay for health care. Ford Motor Company, Sears, doesn’t matter.”

“That’s what the law says.” …Yes, it is rather convenient that the White House can thusly placate Congress just by suddenly deciding to make changes and additions to the law through obfuscating and questionable legal channels whenever it likes, isn’t it?

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!!

Anyhow, Politico reported on Wednesday that even our esteemed members of Congress might have to deal with the administration’s frazzled rollout of the health care law. Their exemption might not quite be ready by the official start date, the poor dears:

The Office of Personnel Management may not issue final rules about how members of Congress and their staff can get insurance coverage through exchanges until after enrollment opens on Oct. 1, Chief Administrative Officer of the House Dan Strodel wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday. Without the final rule, Hill staff won’t be able to view their plan options, costs, benefits or final details on who must enter the exchange, he wrote.

“Members and staff are advised that although state and federal healthcare exchanges created under the ACA [Affordable Care Act] will open for enrollment on October 1, it will not be possible to confirm plan options, costs, benefits, or which House staff will be affected until OPM issues final regulations, which could very well be after the exchanges have already opened,” the memo says. ..

“However, please be assured that from the day the OPM final rule is issued until the open enrollment period closes, our benefits counselors will work tirelessly to ensure there is no gap in coverage for those no longer eligible to participate in FEHBP,” the memo continues. (Hot air)

When Trader Joe’s announced it was dropping health benefits for part-time workers, it reassured them that they’d be no worse off as a result.

“We believe that with the $500 from Trader Joe’s and the tax credits available under the (Affordable Care Act), many of you should be able to obtain health care coverage at very little if any net cost to you,” noted CEO Dan Bane in a memo to employees revealed this week.

In other words, Trader Joe’s — like some other companies — has decided to shift its health care costs onto federal taxpayers via the subsidized ObamaCare insurance exchanges.

The specialty grocer’s move adds further evidence that ObamaCare will cost far more than the $1.4 trillion currently forecast, as businesses and governments find ways to transfer their employee health costs onto the federal government, and as millions of other workers find they can get a better deal in the taxpayer-subsidized exchanges.

A Moving Target

Earlier this year, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that 7 million workers will lose their employer-based coverage as a result of ObamaCare, forcing them into the exchanges. That was nearly double the CBO’s previous forecast.

But recent evidence suggests the CBO’s projection is still far too low. That would mean its cost forecasts also are far too low.

A survey by the National Business Group on Health found that 30% of large companies are considering dumping workers into ObamaCare exchanges after next year. Other surveys have found similar results.

Employers are also looking to drop early retiree coverage and spousal benefits to save costs. More than 60% said they’re considering this for retirees so they can “take advantage of the law,” an Aon Hewitt survey found.

Local governments, too, have been eyeing ObamaCare as a way to reduce their bloated pension costs. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled plans in May to push 30,000 city retirees into the ObamaCare exchanges, saving the city $108 million a year.

Others are likely to follow suit, since doing so “offers a very high-quality, potentially very affordable way to get people into health care without the burden falling back onto the city and town,” Neil Bomberg of the National League of Cities told the New York Times.

Should these governments do so, ObamaCare’s price tag will climb even higher.

Meanwhile, a study published this week in the journal Health Affairs finds that 37 million workers could decide to quit their employer plans on their own because they can get a better deal through ObamaCare’s taxpayer-subsidized exchanges.

Cheaper For Workers?

If all those workers did so, ObamaCare’s costs would shoot up by $132 billion a year. And if companies boost their annual employee contribution levels by just $100, another 2.25 million workers could jump ship, adding nearly $7 billion more to ObamaCare’s annual price tag.

Several other factors suggest ObamaCare costs will far exceed what the government promises.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration loosened the verification requirements that the exchanges must use to decide eligibility for insurance subsidies, increasing the potential for fraud.

“It has been estimated that as much as $250 billion of hard-earned American taxpayer dollars could be given out in fraudulent ObamaCare subsidy claims,” said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. Black championed a bill that would block ObamaCare subsidies until strict verification procedures are in place.

Subsidy Forecasts Surge

Projected subsidy costs have climbed. The CBO now figures ObamaCare subsidies for each eligible person will average $5,290 in 2014. That’s 33% higher than the initial CBO forecast.

Also, to make ObamaCare look less costly on paper, Democrats who drafted the law employed gimmicks that won’t likely last.

For example, ObamaCare caps overall subsidy costs at 0.5% of GDP starting in 2019. But staying under that cap would require steep cuts in ObamaCare subsidies for enrollees, which, as CBO director Doug Elmendorf said, “may be difficult to sustain.”

Should Congress abandon that cap, actual ObamaCare costs will far exceed official forecasts. (IBD)

And No Government program ever does that! 🙂

Let’s Review

Health Care: The administration has amended or delayed ObamaCare 19 times. Unions are screaming about the harm it will cause. The exchanges are in disarray. Yet it’s Republicans who are out of touch for wanting to stop it?

After all, the solution to many Democrats is Single Payer, even MORE government intervention.

Recently, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., accused the GOP of having “a fetish about trying to kill ObamaCare.” Guess he has a point. After all, just look at some of the terrible things Republicans have been saying about it in recent weeks:

• It will “destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

• It will “end up forcing millions out of multi-employer plans.”

• It “creates unstoppable incentives for employers to reduce weekly hours for workers.”

• Its “perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios.”

• “In its rush to achieve its passage, many of the act’s provisions were not fully conceived.”

• And, repealing ObamaCare would “protect our employers, our industry and our most important asset: our members and their families.”

Oh, wait! It wasn’t Republicans saying those things. Every one of those complaints was lodged by top union officials who, despite backing the law, now see its dark side.

Democrats such as Van Hollen also conveniently overlook the fact that Obama has already signed 14 bills into law that changed or killed parts of ObamaCare and delayed another five key pieces that proved unworkable, according to a new Congressional Research Service report.

The CRS also found that the administration missed half of the deadlines set in the law. And an inspector general report found it well behind schedule ensuring the ObamaCare data hub is secure.

Then there’s the fact that, just weeks before the exchanges are supposed to open, “not a single state appears to be completely ready.” That’s what Leavitt Partners’ W. Brett Graham told a congressional panel this week, adding that many states have “only recently begun to test their systems” to verify eligibility and subsidy requests.

So, let’s review.

We have a law that unions say will seriously harm middle-class families, that’s already required multiple fixes and delays, that relies on exchanges that won’t be ready, and that poses serious privacy risks.

Seems to us the real question that needs asking isn’t why the GOP is so obsessed with stopping ObamaCare, but why Democrats are so determined to let this disaster roll down the tracks.

THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!!! They aren’t going to be denied now!

If you think the Obama health law is only for the uninsured and you won’t be affected, you’re in for a surprise next time you go to the doctor. Be prepared for questions unrelated to why you are seeking medical help — questions that you don’t want to answer.

Whether you’re at the dermatologist or the cardiologist, you’ll likely be asked: “Are you sexually active? If so, with one partner, multiple partners or same-sex partners?”

Doctors are being turned into government agents, pressured financially to ask questions they consider inappropriate and unnecessary, and to violate their Hippocratic Oath to keep patients’ records confidential.

Going to the doctor can be embarrassing. But for your own good, you confide things to a doctor you wouldn’t tell anyone else. What is happening here is different.

“This is nasty business,” says Dr. Adam Budzikowski, a New York cardiologist, who called the sex question “insensitive, stupid, and very intrusive.” He could not think of an occasion when a cardiologist would need such information.

Doctors and hospitals that don’t comply with the federal government’s electronic health records requirements forgo incentive payments now and face financial penalties from Medicare and Medicaid starting in 2015. The Department of Health and Human Services has already paid out over $12.7 billion in incentives to doctors and hospitals.

Dr. Richard Amerling, a nephrologist and Albert Einstein Medical College associate professor of medicine, explains that medical record should be “a story created by you and your doctor solely for your treatment and benefit.” But the administration’s electronic record requirements are turning it “into an interrogation, and the data will not be confidential.”

Lack of confidentiality is what concerned the New York Civil Liberties Union in a 2012 report. Electronic medical records have enormous benefits, but with one click of a mouse every piece of information in a patient’s record, including social history, is transmitted, disclosing too much.

The social history questions also include whether you’ve ever used drugs, including intravenous drugs. As the NYCLU cautioned, revealing a patient’s past drug problem, even if it was a decade ago, risks stigma.

On the other end of the political spectrum is the Goldwater Institute, a free-market think tank. It argues that by requiring everyone to have health insurance and then imposing penalties on insurers, doctors, hospitals who don’t use the one-click electronic system, you are violating Americans’ medical privacy.

Protests from these privacy advocates are largely ignored. On Jan. 17, HHS announced that if patients want to keep something out of their electronic record, they should pay cash. That’s impractical for most people.

In 2010, when Congress was drafting ObamaCare, the National Rifle Association demanded a protection that became Section 2716 of the final law. It bars the federal government from compelling doctors and hospitals to ask you if you own a firearm. That’s the only question they can’t be told to ask you.

Where are the women’s rights groups that went to the barricades in the 1980s and 1990s to prevent the federal government from accessing a woman’s health records? Hypocritically, they are silent now.

Patients need to defend their privacy by refusing to answer the intrusive “social history” questions. If you need to confide something relating to your treatment, ask your doctor about keeping two sets of books so that your secrets stay in the office. Doctors take their oath seriously and won’t be offended.

Are such precautions paranoid? Hardly. We’re only starting to see the data collection ambitions of the executive branch.

On Sept. 6, the New York Times reported that Edward Snowden’s revelations show that the National Security Agency has “broadly compromised the guarantees that Internet companies have given consumers to reassure them that their communications, on line bank and medical records, would be undecipherable to criminals or governments.”

Be cautious about sharing your medical secrets with Uncle Sam. (IBD)

He wants to know everything about you…and so do the hackers.

And drink more water, Mama Government, Michelle Obama Said so…

“I really care about your health like I care about my kids’ health,” she told the crowd. “That’s why I’ve devoted so much of my energy into making sure that your generation is as healthy as you can be.  We’ve been talking about how you got to move and keep active and eat right.

“But as we were thinking about this, we were thinking, what is the one thing that we can have you guys do that ensures good health? And it’s really pretty simple. It’s drink more water. Just drink up. Because truly — as I’ve said before — water is the first and best energy drink.” (IBD)

The Bear Trap

“One does not sharpen the axes after the right time; after the time they are needed.” — Russian Proverb

The late Ukrainian violinist Mischa Elman is considered one of the greatest of all time, but he has nothing on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has played the Obama administration better than any musician. (Cal Thomas)

A murderous enemy of democratic freedom such as Vladimir Putin gets a New York Times platform to lecture Americans. Why not? He just proved he has more international clout than our own president.

After all:

Ed Asner didn’t mince words when he told the Hollywood Reporter that celebrities won’t be mobilizing against any Obama wars: “A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama.” People in Tinseltown watch a little too much MSNBC.

Asner sounded very cynical. “It will be a done deal before Hollywood is mobilized. This country will either bomb the hell out of Syria or not before Hollywood gets off its ass.” He doesn’t even think clogging the town square in protest accomplishes anything any more: “We had a million people in the streets, for Christ’s sake, protesting Iraq, which was about as illegal as you could find. Did it matter? Is George Bush being tried in the high courts of justice?”

Even hard core kiss-ass Liberals aren’t happy with the Amateur hour displayed by Mr. Lead from Behind Community Organizer:

I Think Vladimir Took It, Barack
I Think Vladimir Took It, Barack

While many in the media are actually crediting Barack Obama for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposed Syrian chemical weapons “solution,” TIME magazine’s Joe Klein isn’t one of them.

Far from it, Klein penned a scathing rebuke of Obama’s handling of Syria Wednesday calling it “one of the more stunning and inexplicable displays of presidential incompetence that I’ve ever witnessed…The consequences of Obama’s amateur display ripple out across the world.”

“He willingly jumped into a bear trap of his own creation. In the process, he has damaged his presidency and weakened the nation’s standing in the world,” Klein wrote.

“As it stands,” he continued, “no one will be surprised if [Putin’s] offer is a ruse, but the Administration is now trapped into seeing it through and gambling that it will be easier to get a congressional vote if it fails.”

Klein addressed changes in the Middle East that will continue to occur in the coming decades including “the formation of new countries, like Kurdistan, along ethnic and sectarian lines, and the process will undoubtedly be bloody.”

But our involvement in such matters in the recent past has proven unsuccessful in Klein’s view, and Obama’s buggling has left America in a weaker position to have any positive impact on world events.

“He has now damaged his ability to get his way with the Chinese, the Iranians and even the Israelis.”

“The question now is whether Obama’s inability to make his military threat in Syria real—and the American people’s clear distaste for more military action—will empower the hard-liners in the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards Corps to give no quarter in the negotiations,” Klein wrote.

“The Chinese, who have been covetous of the South China Sea oil fields, may not be as restrained as they have been in the past,” he continued. “The Japanese may feel the need to revive their military, or even go nuclear, now that the promise of American protection seems less reliable. The consequences of Obama’s amateur display ripple out across the world.”

But Obama’s incompetence doesn’t just have an international impact in Klein’s view. There are domestic consequences as well.

“[A]fter Syria,” Klein warned, “it will be difficult for any member of Congress to believe that this President will stick to his guns or provide protection.”

I’m not sure Syria was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Republicans, but if a liberal such as Klein has these kinds of concerns, that certainly might be the case for Democrats. (NB)

By my count he used the words “I,” “me” and “my” 30 times in his 15-minute address. He personalizes everything, but delivers little, except uncertainty in his foreign policy. The world is becoming increasingly dangerous because we have a president who either does not know how to lead, or doesn’t want to lead in foreign affairs.

That House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would credit the president with a diplomatic triumph because of a pledge from two men whose promises aren’t worth the paper on which they have yet to be written, is funnier than the monologues of late-night comedians.

Shortly after Putin’s “diplomatic triumph,” which might have been expected given Syria’s puppet status with Russia, ABC News Online reported that Putin plans to meet Friday with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani to renew Russia’s offer of S-300 air defense missiles to Iran. Putin knows how to stir the pot to America’s detriment.

Iran, with or without its proxy war in Syria and its arming of Hezbollah, remains the major threat in the region. President Obama, who once said he would consider negotiating with Iran because America had become too “arrogant,” shows that, too, was a meaningless policy proposal. You can’t negotiate with evil. Evil must be defeated.

By assuming the role of a bad character on the world stage, Russia is a threat to peace.

During last year’s presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe; they fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors.”

Who sounds more presidential: a tentative Barack Obama, who speaks loudly and too often, but carries a small stick, or Mitt Romney, who clearly understood that for threats to be diminished or deterred a president must have credibility? (Cal Thomas)

Oh, right, I’m just an ignorant “bagger” and I can’t possibly be critical of The Annoited One who’s so far above me in everything that I am but a knat… 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Benghazi: One Year Later

So what have we learned in the last year?

That Obama Lies. Hillary Lies. Susan Rice Lies. The State Department Lies.

Everyone in the Administration lies about it.

Then the Ministry of Truth buries it.

And you get scorn and ridicule if you even bring it up to The Left.

“What Difference Does it Make?”

It’s deliberate. It’s Calculated. And it’s 1000% political.

That’s what we’ve learned in the last year.

The list of mea culpas by Obama administration officials involved in the Benghazi response and aftermath include: standing down the counterterrorism Foreign Emergency Support Team, failing to convene the Counterterrorism Security Group, failing to release the disputed Benghazi “talking points” when Congress asked for them, and using the word “spontaneous” while avoiding the word “terrorism.”

And blaming a You Tube video that had been out there 3 months prior and had had no effect in the region. But the Administration arrested it’s maker. It’s the only arrest they’ve made to date.

And that  arrest wasn’t for making the video, which is a legal, constitutionally-protected exercise of free speech. It was for violating his probation in an earlier bank fraud case dating back to 2010.

Twelve months ago, the Christopher Stevens became the first US ambassador assassinated in the line of duty in more than three decades.  He was murdered along with three other Americans during a chaotic, hours-long terrorist raid on two US compounds in Benghazi, Libya.  Since that day, none of the terrorists responsible have been captured or killed, even though our intelligence services know where they are.  Not a single government official has been fired over the historic security failures.  And more than a dozen US diplomatic missions in “high risk” zones remain under-protected to this day.  Nine months ago, I posed twelve unanswered questions about the Benghazi massacre; as of this writing, ten of them have yet to be adequately answered.  The responses to the others reveal US incompetence and a politically-motivated cover up.  Chris Stephen, the left-wing UK Guardian’s Libya-based correspondent, has meticulously reviewed the record of what really happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12, and contrasted it with the Obama administration’s “official” story.  Here is the introduction from Stephen’s lengthy report:

The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was striking for a number of reasons: the date, 11 September, the toll – four diplomats killed, including an ambassador – and the knock-on effects on the careers of senior American politicians. But what is perhaps most striking is the inconsistencies: the US version of events compared with those of witnesses and the facts on the ground. The two do not tally. And so, a year later, there remain pressing questions about what happened that night – and what the Americans say happened

Read the whole thing ( http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/09/us-consulate-benghazi-attack-challenge).  It’s a harrowing account of terror and confusion, an indictment of the administration’s reckless ineptitude in the weeks leading up to the bloodshed, and an expose of the government’s numerous attempts at revisionism.  Meanwhile, why haven’t any of the perpetrators been brought to justice?  Part of the equation is the Obama administration’s dangerous obsession with treating these terrorists as common criminals.  They want to build legal cases against the attackers, then try them in civilian court.  Madness. But another element of the delay is the Libyan government’s ongoing efforts at obstruction, and the White House’s lack of urgency (via the New York Times):

A year after the attacks in Benghazi that killed the United States ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, the Justice Department has indicted suspects. Intelligence officials have a general idea of where they are hiding. And the military has a contingency plan to snatch them if that becomes necessary.  But the fledgling Libyan government, which has little to no control over significant parts of the country, like Benghazi and eastern Libya, has rebuffed the Obama administration’s efforts to arrest the suspects…Some military and law enforcement officials have grown frustrated with what they believe is the White House’s unwillingness to pressure the Libyan government to make the arrests or allow American forces to do so, according to current and former senior government officials. Mr. Obama acknowledged last month at a news conference that the suspects had been charged but were still on the loose.  “Whether he likes it or not, he is going to have to deal with this issue,” said a former senior American official, referring to Mr. Comey. “There’s a huge frustration on the issue among the agents about why nothing has happened to these guys who have killed Americans.”

In fairness to the Libyan government, they can barely keep themselves safe, and wield virtually no sovereign control over much of their nation.  They live in constant fear of Islamist reprisals.  It’s also possible that the Libyans may still harbor a grudge over the public humiliation they suffered at the hands of the Obama administration in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.  You may recall that Susan Rice’s false talking points directly contradicted the assessment of Libya’s president, prompting the Libyans to delay the arrival of US investigative teams at the attack site.  Most gallingly, American officials on the ground are venting frustration over their assessment that regardless of the Libyans’ posture, The White House isn’t applying much pressure or leadership to resolve the situation.  365 days have passed since four Americans were murdered by a gang of radical Islamists, and that outrage has gone unanswered.  No arrests, no military strikes, few (if any) lessons learned, no accountability — even of the token variety — and no justice.  Appalling.  I’ll leave you with two video clips.  The first features Hillary Clinton standing next to the Benghazi victims’ flag-draped coffins and blaming the attacks on an “awful internet video,” followed by President Obama vowing justice for the fallen.  The second clip is of Amb. Susan Rice disseminating information that the administration knew to be false, days after the raid.  She has since been promoted.  Both spectacles speak for themselves: (townhall)

And it took almost a year to get Susan Rice her payback for her bold faced lies.

She the National Security Advisor.

Finally, someone who is nearly as good an example of the Peter Principle as Janet Napolitano.

The State Department, under the direction of Secretary of State John Kerry, is still refusing to provide requested Benghazi eyewitnesses to the House Oversight Committee for interviews about what happened one year ago today.

Yesterday, Chairman Darrell Issa sent a letter to Kerry stressing the only people who can provide a full picture of the 9/11 terror attack are witnesses who survived.

“The survivors of the attacks are the only people who can give testimony to the Committee about what happened on the ground in Benghazi,” Issa wrote in the letter. “Details provided by the survivors will not only help the Committee determine what took place during the attack, but will also help the Committee and other interested parties determine ways to prevent future tragedies.”

A request was made by the Oversight Committee on August 14, 2013 for transcribed interviews with Benghazi survivors. The State Department responded on August 23 by saying it was “not prepared to provide witnesses for those interviews.” The Accountability Review Board [ARB] has interviewed Benghazi witnesses Issa is requesting. 

“The ARB considered the surviving eyewitnesses to the attack to be part of a ‘core group’ of witnesses,” Issa said. “Furthermore, the ARB recommended that the Department establish a panel of outside independent experts to identify best practices and evaluate security issues at diplomatic posts around the world. That panel, chaired by former U.S. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, enjoyed the Department’s full support, with unfettered access to documents and personnel. The panel met with over 200 people, including at least one individual whom the Department is now refusing to make available to the Committee.”

It is suspected the State Department has allowed witnesses to speak to the media for interviews. Issa’s letter cites a recent article in Vanity Fair in which great details are described regarding the Benghazi attack, including “details that only persons who survived the attack could possibly know.” Fox News has also been able to get in contact with some of the witnesses.

“The State Department has further restricted the Committee’s access to these witnesses, claiming that they must be insulated from congressional investigators as they ‘would very likely be witnesses in any criminal proceedings relating to the Benghazi attacks,'” Issa said. “The Department’s claims that it needs to ‘insulate’ witnesses ‘from any perception of political accountability in fulfilling their responsibilities’ actually creates the impression that the Department is exerting its own political influence to prevent survivors from speaking to Congress.”

President Obama pledged to cooperate with Congress after the attack as did Secretary Kerry.

“The State Department has not lived up to these unequivocal commitments to ‘provide answers.’ Instead, the Department has attempted to limit the Committee’s access to important documents and information, including witnesses such as the Benghazi survivors.”

Issa is demanding Kerry provide interviews with witnesses by September 24 or be issued subpoenas. (Katie Pavlich)

“We made mistakes, but without malice”–One Administration official was said to have decried.

The Justice Department says it’s “using every tool and resource available…to ensure that anyone who played any part in that attack will face justice, no matter how long it takes and no matter how far we must go to find them.” (Meanwhile, he’s suing Texas over Voter ID laws).

Well, that’s ok then, no problem…After all, “What Difference does it make?”

So the lesson to be learned here is , that if lie to cover up your bosses mistakes you will get a promotion and you get to ridicule and stonewall anyone who dares to challenge your lies.

Now, that’s Government you can trust. 🙂

 

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Never Forget

Never Forget!

Boston Herald: For those who lost their dearest loved ones on Sept. 11, 2001, the grief never really subsides — for some the pain never leaves their consciousness.

For most Americans, though, 12 years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it isn’t until the anniversary comes around and official observances take place that they pause to remember the horror of that day.

Sadly, Americans now have another reason to pause on 9/11 — to remember that this nation’s security is never certain, that our enemies never cease plotting against us.

Today marks an even fresher anniversary — one year since the launch of a coordinated terrorist attack on the United States diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the murder of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens — as well as a native son of Massachusetts, a Winchester kid, former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty.

Amid the 9/11 observances and the swirl of events in Syria I suspect this anniversary will be overlooked by many Americans, and there are those in positions of authority who may be just fine with that. The Benghazi attack was both a tragedy and a security debacle — but the aftermath in Washington was a preventable, political disaster.

And Obama’s vow to find and punish who did it will be in line behind O.J. looking for “the real killer” on the golf course and in jail.

But we are secure in the knowledge that, at least in the Benghazi case, that the Political Left which has buried the story as best they could still want you to believe in their “internet video” lies.

Media Matters: In a desperate attempt to revive the manufactured Benghazi “scandal” in advance of its one-year anniversary on Wednesday….

Substitute “plans” for Benghazi investigation in this homage to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy:

“But Mr Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

“Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them, had you? I mean, like actually telling anybody or anything.”

“But the plans were on display …”

“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

Boston Herald continued…

But as we mark this one-year anniversary of the beginning of that two-day assault not a single person has been prosecuted for the murder of those four Americans in Libya. Some criminal charges were announced in August, but it appears no one is going to great lengths to track down the accused.

But Eric Holder is going after Voter ID laws though! Yeehaw!! 🙂

One year after the attack a review panel has just now concluded that the State Department must draw clearer lines of authority and place a higher priority on oversight of security at U.S. diplomatic posts, according to a recent internal review reported by The New York Times.

And as recently as July, President Obama was scolding his Republican critics for trying to distract Americans by harping on “phony scandals” — one of which, his spokesman confirmed, was the controversy over the attack in Benghazi. It was a true low point for the president.

Today, as we pause to honor the memories of the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, we keep our promise to their families — and to ourselves as Americans — to “never forget.”

We owe nothing less to the victims of Sept. 11, 2012.

But we shall live up to that commitment because of politics, I know.

Or put in the vernacular of what to do with Vogan Poetry (Hitchhikers again):

They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders – signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.

After all, “What Difference does it make?” 🙂

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail