Roll Tide

One might be forgiven for thinking health insurers are cracking under the strain of Obamacare’s broken insurance exchanges. But don’t be fooled: it is the 10 million Obamacare enrollees who are in trouble, not the insurers.

To be sure, new nonprofit cooperative insurers, set up with special subsidies to compete in the exchanges, have had a terrible run. They deliberately underpriced their premiums to gain market share, expecting the federal government to bail out their losses. Once the Republicans took over the House of Representatives, then the Senate, this became unlikely. As a result, the administration announced in November that 12 of 23 nonprofit cooperative insurers were shutting down.

However, these nonprofit cooperative insurers, which did not exist before Obamacare, are not important overall. That is why UnitedHealth Group’s November 19 announcement that it is losing $500 million on the Obamacare exchanges and might withdraw from Obamacare in 2017 is a big deal. Just a few weeks earlier, UnitedHealth Group had announced it would expand into 11 new states’ Obamacare markets.

The insurer is also dialing back advertising and brokers’ commissions for 2016, even though it is too late to withdraw from the market literally. (We are in the middle of Obamacare’s third open season.) However, it is the threat of absolute withdrawal in 2017 that has shocked many. By 2017, the fourth year of Obamacare, the market is supposed to have shaken out. Both insurers and Obamacare’s political sponsors understood that insurers would not know how expensive claims would be from those who signed up during the first three years. That is why insurers were given temporary taxpayer subsidies, called reinsurance and risk corridors, for 2014 through 2016. Reinsurance is a direct handout of $25 billion from taxpayers to insurers. Risk corridors were more complicated and supposed to be budget-neutral. Insurers that made more money than expected would pay money to those that lost more money than expected.

 

When it became clear that the losers far outnumbered the winners, the administration tried to raid the kitty to make risk-corridor payments from the general fund. By this time a new Congress (in which the majority opposed Obamacare) actually read the bill that its predecessor had passed in 2010 and pointed out that the administration could not pay out that money. As a result, Obamacare insurers will only receive $362 million of $2.9 billion of risk-corridor payments requested.

However, even if Congress did cave in and pay the risk corridors in full, payments would finish in 2016. That is what makes UnitedHealth Group’s announcement about dropping out in 2017 so important: it is effectively an admission that three years are not enough to learn how to manage risks in Obamacare’s exchanges. Indeed, it suggests that risks are unmanageable, that the vicious circle of increasing premiums’ driving healthy subscribers away and leaving only sick ones on the books cannot be stopped under Obamacare.

The exchanges have fewer victims than initially expected. The economy has been strong enough that employer-based coverage has stood up to Obamacare. As a result, only 10 million people are caught in them, instead of the 21 million forecast when the law was passed. However, this is a mixed blessing. These 10 million are a politically weak constituency of working-class and lower middle-class citizens in middle age — the people whose needs politicians always talk about but seldom address because they are not politically active.

The only group politically powerful enough to renegotiate the exchanges are the insurers, and they show no more creativity than to lobby for their subsidies to be restored, which this Congress has promised not to do. On the other hand, simply quitting the exchanges is not very painful for large health insurers. UnitedHealth Group’s stock took a small hit when it admitted its struggles, but Obamacare exchanges are a tiny share of its business. As more insurers make the same decision to quit, 10 million Obamacare subscribers will be left high and dry in short order. (DC)

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Geller Apocolypse

Everything you need to know about the leftist bias in the media:

Pamela Geller says she has no regrets about Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in 2 deaths” (AP)

It was HER fault that two jihadists were killed by police after they drove a 1000 miles to kill her and anyone in her general vicinity.

The Fatwa was HER Fault.

The dead jihadists are the victims!!

OMG! How F*cked up is that!

So let’s trash her!

A master of rhetoric and clearly comfortable in the spotlight, the 56-year-old former media executive shifts easily from charming to combative. Her critics have called the cartoon contest needlessly provocative, practically an invitation for violence. But Geller argued that any blame should be focused on extremists who can’t be criticized or lampooned without resorting to violence.

“Cartoons are political critique. It’s a cartoon,” she said. “Is that what we want to outlaw? We want to outlaw humor? We want to outlaw comedy? If you want to know who rules over you, find out who you cannot criticize.”

Her activities have prompted the Southern Poverty Law Center to add her to its extremist files, calling her “the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead.”

In an editorial Thursday, The New York Times said Geller “has a long history of declarations and actions motivated purely by hatred for Muslims” and called the Garland event “an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom. … To pretend it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.”

Wow, no bias there!!

As head of an organization called the American Freedom Defense Initiative, she took in $960,000 in donations in 2013, paying herself a salary of $192,500, according to tax filings.

Donations pour in from the PayPal button on her website, Geller said, adding that she has “no idea” how much money she has raised.

Oh, and her main donor is a <<<evil music sting>> A CONSERVATIVE Foundation! OMG! THE Apocolypse is upon us all. She’s another Anti-Christ!

Yet, no one at the Liberal Media is even remotely worried about The Clinton Foundation and all that money. $500,000 per speech for Bill “gotta pay the bills”. Ha! Ha! That’s funny Bill.

Pam Geller makes money, that’s suspicious and evil.

The Clinton Foundation rakes in Millions to Billions, no one on the Left cares. They think it’s a good thing!

Hillary takes in money from dubious sources. No one cares. They let Bill have the pithy comebacks like “I just work here” and they laugh it off and  go on there merry way.

But Freedom Speech, naw, who gives a crap about that.

Hillary wants to buy the election with $2 BILLION  (3 times what Obama raised) and that’s a good thing.

The U.S. State Department will not review the breaches of the 2008 ethics agreement Hillary Clinton signed in order to become secretary of state after her family’s charities admitted in March that they had not complied, a spokesman said on Thursday.

“The State Department has not and does not intend to initiate a formal review or to make a retroactive judgment about items that were not submitted during Secretary Clinton’s tenure,” Rathke told reporters. (Reuters)

Muslim jihadist try to kill Americans on American soil, not only is it her fault but SHE’s THE BAD GUY for ‘upsetting’ them.

America, What a Country!

The daily threat is the Sharia-flavored assault on our liberties, the kind of pressure exerted by reasonable-sounding Islamists in communities across America, under the guise of fighting “Islamophobia.”

It was just such an event that attracted attention in January in the same convention center attacked by Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi on May 3. Dubbed “Stand With the Prophet,” it featured elements of earnest concern about Islam’s image in America. But it also featured moments of scurrilous slander against anyone who would speak boldly against the terrorist wing of the Islamic faith.

Employing the first rule of political correctness, the “Stand With the Prophet” event brimmed with the fascist sentiment that assertive words against radical Islam must be branded as hate speech.

Sadly, this is the same noxious logic the Southern Poverty Law Center uses in its reckless designation of Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative as an anti-Muslim hate group.

It is neither a hate group nor anti-Muslim. It is anti-free speech repression. Muslims willing to tolerate America’s heritage of free expression will taste no quarrel with Geller’s AFDI.

Her group mounted the cartoon contest not from a general distaste for Muslims, but as a ballsy response to Jihadist habits of suppressing expression that rattles their fragile sensibilities. The most extreme example of this thin skin is the recent tendency of some hard-liners to take up arms against those who have drawn images of the prophet Muhammad. The Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and the widespread riots protesting Danish cartoons a decade ago reveal a facet of Islam’s advance that poses a dire threat to all societies cherishing freedom of expression.

So, seeking to put a stick in the eye of such an affront, the Geller event sought to make a point that we will not be told what we can and cannot draw— or say, or write, for that matter.

By the time the day was over, another lesson had been delivered. Unlike the sitting ducks in the Paris office, in Texas, we shoot back. One hopes the growing ISIS fan base will be somewhat dampened each time its adherents are killed before they take out one infidel.

 

That lesson has been so popular that it has drawn many to approve of the whole cartoon-contest idea, fancying it as a method to smoke out the next wave of twisted souls seeking to spread the caliphate by challenging Americans engaged in free speech.

But here is where a line is drawn, between standing up for groups like AFDI as they hold such events, and actually advocating them.

That line is beyond the grasp of many. Soon after the January event in Garland had attempted to bully and berate anti-jihad speech, I heard of the plan for the Muhammad cartoon contest. I may have audibly groaned.

I am as ready as anyone to take the battle to the terrorists, whether by bombing them into oblivion in the Middle East, or defending America against violence or ancient repressions here in America.

But the cartoon contest was problematic at several levels. It was clumsily broad and needlessly hurtful to countless people who are guilty of nothing.

Remember, the cartoon-fest was not just a show of defiance to the rioters and murderers who react violently to Muhammad on paper; it was a massive back of the hand to the entire Muslim world and its article of faith that says not to draw its prophet.

Some folks cared not one bit about collateral offense. “These people killed our countrymen on 9/11,” one radio caller told me. “I can’t get real worked up about getting them steamed about a stupid cartoon.”

Not an unprincipled view. But as we hopefully move toward a new era of rejoining the war our enemy has never stopped fighting, it is time to note the need to fight hard, but fight smart.

Our war effort should do two things: obliterate the enemy militarily, and make clear that we have no dispute with Muslims willing to peacefully coexist in free societies.

The Islamic rules against depicting Muhammad are no skin off anyone’s nose, and that belief deserved better than to be savaged by some righteously offended Americans looking to score points against radical views recommending violence to prevent such depictions.

Let us focus our energies not on flipping giant birds in the general direction of all Muslims, but rather a concerted effort to vanquish the portion of Islamic culture that gave birth to murderous overreactions to art.

There have been multiple lessons in recent days, groupable in a folder one might call Free Speech 101 in the Age of Islamic Repression. Its highlights:

— Strict Quranic interpretations are incompatible with American law in many ways. Few examples are more valuable than Sharia’s call to shut down offending speech by the sword.

— In America, some folks believe that free speech is supported only if the words are embraced and praised. I cannot be more clear: Ms. Geller has the right to hold a daily Muhammad cartoon contest if she wishes. But if that tactic is not my cup of tea, no one should suggest that my defense of her rights is somehow timid.

— Vast cross- sections of America need a refresher course on free expression. The First Amendment exists to protect precisely those types of speech that rankle some sensibilities. Safe, sanguine speech requires no protection. There are exceptions for fighting words and incitements to violence, but the Garland event exemplified neither. It was a private event that forced no unwitting souls to gaze upon the Prophet. As for incitements, they are actual invitations to do specific harm. The mere crafting of words or images that are infuriating to some are the problem of the offended party, not the artist.

Those knocked off-kilter by the free expression of others have the responsibility to learn a skill set: First, let it go like big boys and girls, realizing that freedom means occasionally running across things that can anger, provoke, even infuriate; Or second, engage in more free speech in return. Explain why you are offended, call for self-restraint in the creation of incendiary images, and then just walk away. Such entreaties may prevail, they may not. Such is life in a free society.

Every Muslim in America should know that a free society is what they have chosen to enter. Our incredibly tolerant and resilient nation mounted no national wave of retribution even after Islamic terrorists ripped our hearts out on 9/11.

But clear-eyed assessments of our war against radicals are not hate speech. And the occasional edgy stunt designed to highlight the jihadists’ hostility to American law and culture does not warrant an armed attack.

In today’s America, we cannot even know the name of a heroic police officer who mowed down the two Garland terrorists before they could kill a single Texan. The reason: too many concerns about his safety.

We will know we have rejoined the battle when ISIS is more worried about its safety than the brave Americans who occasionally mow down an ISIS operative.

Meanwhile, let us marshal any passion for more cartoon contests and channel it toward something genuinely constructive: the election of a President who is serious at all levels about fighting radical Islam, fending off both its terror tactics and repressive instincts. (Mark Davis)

The Sowell of Equality

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: “RICH BASTARDS.”

Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality — that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves.

That, of course, is not the only meaning of equality, but it is the predominant political meaning in practice, where economic “disparities” and “gaps” are automatically treated as “inequities.” If one racial or ethnic group has a lower income than another, that is automatically called “discrimination” by many people in politics, the media and academia.

It doesn’t matter how much evidence there is that some groups work harder in school, perform better and spend more postgraduate years studying to acquire valuable skills in medicine, science or engineering. If the economic end results are unequal, that is treated as a grievance against those with better outcomes, and a sign of an “unfair” society.

The rhetoric of clever people often confuses the undeniable fact that life is unfair with the claim that a given institution or society is unfair.

Children born into families that raise them with love and with care to see that they acquire knowledge, values and discipline that will make them valuable members of society have far more chances of economic and other success in adulthood than children raised in families that lack these qualities.

Studies show that children whose parents have professional careers speak nearly twice as many words per hour to them as children with working class parents — and several times as many words per hour as children in families on welfare. There is no way that children from these different backgrounds are going to have equal chances of economic or other success in adulthood.

The fatal fallacy, however, is in collecting statistics on employees at a particular business or other institution, and treating differences in the hiring, pay or promotion of people from different groups as showing that their employer has been discriminating.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics! 🙂

Too many gullible people buy the implicit assumption that the unfairness originated where the statistics were collected, which would be an incredible coincidence if it were true.

Worse yet, some people buy the idea that politicians can correct the unfairness of life by cracking down on employers. But, by the time children raised in very different ways reach an employer, the damage has already been done.

What is a problem for children raised in families and communities that do not prepare them for productive lives can be a bonanza for politicians, lawyers and assorted social messiahs who are ready to lead fierce crusades, if the price is right.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia are all too ready to go along, in the name of seeking equality. But equality of what?

Equality before the law is a fundamental value in a decent society. But equality of treatment in no way guarantees equality of outcomes.

On the contrary, equality of treatment makes equality of outcomes unlikely, since virtually nobody is equal to somebody else in the whole range of skills and capabilities required in real life. When it comes to performance, the same man may not even be equal to himself on different days, much less at different periods of his life.

What may be a spontaneous confusion among the public at large about the very different meanings of the word “equality” can be a carefully cultivated confusion by politicians, lawyers and others skilled in rhetoric, who can exploit that confusion for their own benefit.

Regardless of the actual causes of different capabilities and rewards in different individuals and groups, political crusades require a villain to attack — a villain far removed from the voter or the voter’s family or community. Lawyers must likewise have a villain to sue. The media and the intelligentsia are also attracted to crusades against the forces of evil.

But whether as a crusade or a racket, a confused conception of equality is a formula for never-ending strife that can tear a whole society apart — and has already done so in many countries. (Thomas Sowell)

Thank you, Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, and King Obama. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Less is More

Hilariously disingenuous Quote of 2013 so far, Our Dear Leader:

“We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate,” Obama said from atop the Capitol steps overlooking the National Mall.

Remind of the Tucson “Civility” Speech a year ago:

“But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -– at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do -– it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

Too Bad he doesn’t mean a word of it and his minions will not heed these word for even a microsecond and he knows that. This stuff is for the consumption of the stupid, ill-informed, I-don’t-wanna-know voter and for the Liberal media for fawn over.

In short, it’s for the stupid and uniformed “peasant” masses and your King is just giving a lofty speech of  Sound and Fury signifying nothing!

And The Ministry of Truth is doing it’s job and be a sycophant and fawn all over his gloriousness.

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” the president said.

But the threat posed by his over-the-top spending. Let’s not be to be too hasty. Let’s go slow. Let’s do next to nothing.

It’s not on the Agenda so it really doesn’t matter.

He said America must not rest until “all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.”

Santa Claus is coming to town and the distractions are looking good for him.

We are from the Government and we are here to help you… 🙂

Officially, some 23 million people don’t have regular work. While official unemployment has dipped below 8%, the real unemployment rate — the one that counts discouraged workers and those who’d like full-time jobs but can’t find one — is 14.4%. (Which is actually higher than 4 years ago!!)

Yes, we know, this is a tired litany. And yet, have we become as a people so inured to Obama’s failure that we no longer take note of it?

After all, if you complain about it your just a hateful, divisive, ne’er-do-well who just wants everything to fail. You have no hope. Obama is your only hope!

FEAR IS HOPE!

Worse, do we just do nothing, letting Obama’s ruinous Keynesian experiments take their course?

The Liberal Media will bash into the ground worse than The Incredible Hulk jumping up and down on your carcass if you don’t play along.

During Obama’s first weeks in office in early 2009, hopes were high. At the time, he promised that, if Congress passed his $830 billion stimulus right away, by December of 2012 unemployment would be 5.2%.

Well, guess what: it’s 7.8%. (and that’s what it was 4 years ago at this time!)

That’s failure enough. But it’s far worse than even that. Today, we are still 4 million jobs below the pre-recession peak of employment. Just 460,000 jobs total have been created during Obama’s tenure.

But the Liberal will tell you it’s millions because of their fuzzy, dishonest partisan Math “skills”. But how do you create millions of jobs but still have the same unemployment rate (U3) but a higher U6??

They won’t answer that. You’re not supposed to ask that.

At the current rate of 151,000 new jobs a month with about 120,000 new entrants into the workforce each month, it would take, oh, until about 2024 just to get back to the our pre-recession peak in employment.

Today, the average time spent unemployed by those who lose jobs is 39.7 weeks — near its highest since the Great Depression. Some 4.8 million Americans are long-term unemployed, a national disgrace. Meanwhile, unemployment rates for youths and minorities are stuck at double-digit levels.

Beneath all these depressing statistics is a hard fact: The Obama economy has horribly underperformed.

But you’ll never here that from the Ministry of Truth or Obama’s Minions. They have done an ‘outstanding’ job against the odds considering how much evil they have had to fight because of George W. Bush! And those evil “obstructionist” Republicans who just want to kiss the rich and kill the poor. And let’s not even talk about the violent domestic terrorists, The Tea Party!! Pure abominations they all are.

Just have to give them more time. GWB’s evil is ever present and ever-growing to them.

The long-term GDP growth average for the U.S. is about 2.5% annually. Under Obama, growth has averaged about 1.6%. All told, therefore, our our GDP today is 9% less, or $1.4 trillion less, than it should be. That’s what the Obama economy has cost you.

And the service on the debt now is $1.4 Trillion a year. That’s one hell of a minimum credit card payment!

Obama has spent four years not passing budgets, running up trillion-dollar deficits, piling on $6 trillion in debt, spending $800 billion on phony “stimulus,” while hitting businesses large and small with an estimated $518 billion in new regulations.

And that doesn’t include the coming hit from new taxes contained in the fiscal cliff deal and ObamaCare that will start hitting entrepreneurs and small businesses this year. In short, don’t expect boom times. (IBD)

Expect Less. He’ll meet your expectations and everyone will be happy.
Now that’s an America every one can get behind.
Sounds Great. Less Results!
Don’t look to the Sky, Look at your Feet!
Strive for Less and you’ll succeed!!
Now that’s America 2013! Be Loud and Proud! 🙂
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

 Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

It was Bush’s Fault! Damn Republicans…

Food For the Sowell Chapter III

With all the talk about taxing the rich, we hear very little talk about taxing the poor. Yet the marginal tax rate on someone living in poverty can sometimes be higher than the marginal tax rate on millionaires.

While it is true that nearly half the households in the country pay no income tax at all, the apparently simple word “tax” has many complications that can be a challenge for even professional economists to untangle.

If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

Hyperinflation can take virtually your entire life’s savings, without the government having to bother raising the official tax rate at all. The Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s had thousands of printing presses turning out vast amounts of money, which the government could then spend to pay for whatever it wanted to pay for.

Of course, prices skyrocketed with vastly more money in circulation. Many people’s life savings would not buy a loaf of bread. For all practical purposes, they had been robbed, big time.

A rising demagogue coined the phrase “starving billionaires,” because even a billion Deutschmarks was not enough to feed your family. That demagogue was Adolf Hitler, and the public’s loss of faith in their irresponsible government may well have contributed toward his Nazi movement’s growth.

Most inflation does not reach that level, but the government can quietly steal a lot of your wealth with much lower rates of inflation. For example a $100 bill at the end of the 20th century would buy less than a $20 bill would buy in 1960.

If you put $1,000 in your piggy bank in 1960 and took it out to spend in 2000, you would discover that your money had, over time, lost 80 percent of its value.

Despite all the political rhetoric today about how nobody’s taxes will be raised, except for “the rich,” inflation transfers a percentage of everybody’s wealth to a government that expands the money supply. Moreover, inflation takes the same percentage from the poorest person in the country as it does from the richest.

That’s not all. Income taxes only transfer money from your current income to the government, but it does not touch whatever money you may have saved over the years. With inflation, the government takes the same cut out of both.

It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it.

No wonder the Federal Reserve uses fancy words like “quantitative easing,” instead of saying in plain English that they are essentially just printing more money.

The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits– food stamps, housing subsidies and the like– if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent– far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

Why? Because we are too easily impressed by lofty political rhetoric and too little interested in the reality behind the words.

AMEN!

Vote for me, the other guy’s an asshole! 🙂

Vote Me, I will grab “free” stuff for you from evil rich bastards! 🙂

John Stossel: Politicians claim they make our lives better by passing laws. But laws rarely improve life. They go wrong. Unintended consequences are inevitable.

I wonder how unintended they are, really…But that’s me I’m much more cynical. 🙂

Most voters don’t pay enough attention to notice. They read headlines. They watch the Rose Garden signing ceremonies and hear the pundits declare that progress was made. Bipartisanship! Something got done. We assume a problem was solved.

Intuition tells us that government is in the problem-solving business, and so the more laws passed, the better off we are. The possibility that fewer laws could leave us better off is hard to grasp. Kids visiting Washington don’t ask their congressmen, “What laws did you repeal?” It’s always, “What did you pass?”

And so they pass and pass — a thousand pages of proposed new rules each week — and for every rule, there’s an unintended consequence, or several.

It’s one reason America has been unusually slow to recover from the Great Recession. After previous recessions, employers quickly resumed hiring. Not this time. The unemployment rate is still near 8 percent. It only fell last month because people stopped looking for jobs.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute understands what’s happening.

“Add up all the regulations and red tape, all the government spending, all the tax increases we’re about to get — you can understand why entrepreneurs think: “Maybe I don’t want to hire people. … I want to keep my company small. I don’t want to give health insurance, because then I’m stuck with all the Obamacare mandates.” We can see our future in Europe — unless we change. Ann Jolis, who covers European labor issues for The Wall Street Journal, watches how government-imposed work rules sabotage economies.

“The minimum guaranteed annual vacation in Europe is 20 days paid vacation a year. … In France, it starts at 25 guaranteed days off. … This summer, the European Court of Justice … gave workers the right to a vacation do-over. … You spend the last eight days of your vacation laid up with a sprained ankle … eight days automatically go into your sick leave. … You get a vacation do-over.”

It’s only “fair”, right? 🙂

Such benefits appeal to workers, who don’t realize that the goodies come out of their wages. The unemployed don’t realize that such rules deter employers from hiring them in the first place.

And the media sure as hell isn’t going to tell them. Those Evil Capitalist bastards!

In Italy, some work rules kick in once a company has more than 10 employees, so companies have an incentive not to hire an 11th employee. Businesses stay small. People stay unemployed.

“European workers have the right … to gainful unemployment,” says Jolis.

Both European central planners and liberal politicians in America are clueless about what really helps workers: a free economy.

Because they want everything to be “fair” which ends up being very authoritarian. The very opposite of free.

Funny how that worked out… 🙂

The record is clear. Central planners failed, in the Soviet Union, in Cuba, at the U.S. Postal Service and in America’s public schools, and now they stifle growth in Europe and America. Central planning stops innovation.

Yet for all that failure, whenever another crisis (real or imagined) hits, the natural instinct is to say, “Politicians must do something.”

In my town, unions and civil rights groups demand a higher minimum wage. That sounds good to people. Everyone will get a raise!

The problem is in what is not seen. I can interview the guy who got a raise. I can’t interview workers who are never offered jobs because the minimum wage or high union pay scales “protected” those jobs out of existence.

The benefit of government (SET ITAL) leaving us alone (END ITAL) is rarely intuitive.

Because companies just want to make a buck, it’s logical to assume that only government rules assure workers’ safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets safety standards for factories, and OSHA officials proudly point out that workplace deaths have dropped since it opened its doors.

Thank goodness for government, right? Well, not so fast. Go back a few years before OSHA, and we find that workplace deaths were dropping just as fast.

Workers are safer today because we are richer, and richer societies care more about safety. Even greedy employers take safety precautions if only because it’s expensive to replace workers who are hurt!

Government is like the person who gets in front of a parade and pretends to lead it.

In a free society, things get better on their own — if government will only allow it.

And this government most certainly won’t. But that’s what the American people wanted, so let them lie down in that bed of mediocrity and socialist utopias.

Maybe all the bed bugs will finally shock them, but I doubt it.

Unenlightened Narcissism has a way of blind the stupid to reality and that is surely the main focus these days.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Ponying Up

VP Biden: “Look at what they [Republicans] value, and look at their budget. And look what they’re proposing. [Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street,” Biden said a rally in Danville, Va. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” (Politico)

No hyperbole here… 🙂

Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul claims that “President Obama’s campaign keeps sinking lower.” What was the offense? Vice President Biden said the word “chains.”(WP)

No big deal.

Then Biden “clarified” his comments. And the “journalists” are ok with that.

No big deal.

But Ryan wants to kill your grandma! 🙂

I’m sad to report today a death of a good friend to all of us…..Journalism, the once esteemed 4th estate of our nation and the protector of our freedoms and a watchdog of our rights has passed away after a long struggle with a crippling and debilitating disease of acute dishonesty aggravated by advanced laziness and the loss of brain function.–Gov Huckabee

Biden’s Best though: “First mainstream African American who is articulate, bright, clean”

“Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago,” Romney said while campaigning in Ohio.

I’m sure that’s “racist” from a hateful, angry, rich white guy! 🙂

Sirius XM radio host Dave Rubin called Romney-Ryan “the whitest ticket since the KKK voted for their box social chairperson.” 🙂

Liberals have taken Chicago politics to a whole new level this campaign cycle with baseless accusations suggesting their opponents are unsympathetic, money-grubbing extremists who will feed your grandmother cat food and steal her Medicare benefits and Social Security check before they push her backwards off a cliff without a blindfold.

 

There’s a certain truth to the old nursery rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” but in the game of politics, names are like mud, and mud sticks. The Democratic Party is replete with lazy cowards who choose to sling mud rather than debate issues. Why waste one’s energy hurling sticks and stones when slander will do the job without lifting a finger?

 

The Obama administration has nothing to run on, save a campaign of character destruction, given its deplorable record of supersized governmental policies leading to high unemployment and an economy teetering on the brink of insolvency. As juvenile as it is, mudslinging is the only hand desperate liberals have left to play. They’ve got nothing.

 

According to Politico, Obama’s plan is to “destroy Romney” utilizing the same methods he’s used in previous races. Former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton said the campaign will focus on attacking Romney’s character to “portray him as “inauthentic, unprincipled and weird.” Here is weird: to date, liberals have painted presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as a liar, a miser, a felon, a tax evader, an accomplice to a woman’s cancer death – without a shred of evidence.

 

Circumstances are no different for Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Prior to being chosen as Romney’s running mate, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan was already a source of liberals’ angst and a target of their attacks simply because he is a freethinking financial genius who embraces the free market.

 

Liberals are already hollering Ryan doesn’t have enough private sector experience to be qualified to be Vice President. Prior to his public service, Ryan was employed at a variety of jobs, including a stint driving the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, making him better qualified than our president was in 2008. And then we have as next in line, Vice President Biden. Biden has his mindless blundering, and Ryan has his arithmetic. You do the math.

Some label Ryan as a flip-flopper for his support of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and auto company bailouts Ryan justified as a way to halt the raging economic firestorm. Responding to the Daily Caller, Ryan said he believed the economy was “on the cusp of a deflationary spiral which would have created a Depression” and had that happened, we would have had “a big government agenda sweeping through this country so fast that we wouldn’t have recovered from it.”

With time ticking closer to the November elections, frantic and radical liberals will ramp up their attacks to paint a proven job creator and a budget hawk in the most unattractive light possible in hopes voters will be distracted from the real issues surrounding a failed and visionless presidency. (Susan Brown)

But you’re a pathetic racist for criticizing it.

 Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

 Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

The Vain Hope of Change

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Thomas Sowell: It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots, but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, so that he no longer has to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

But he still has him to use as the catch-all for everything anyhow. And it, after all, all about HIM. You little people only matter if you are going to a) give him money or b) vote for him regardless of anything he says or does.

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous — something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

And his surrogates in the Liberal Media also writes do pieces to back him up.

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

And thus they also ignore his very Orwellian moves, words, and actions.

Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.

-George Orwell

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg’s great book Liberal Fascism cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the Left, and of the Left’s embrace of the fascists during the 1920s.

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the Left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W. E. B. Du Bois, as a man of the Left.

It was in the 1930s, when ugly internal and international actions by Hitler and Mussolini repelled the world, that the Left distanced itself from fascism and its Nazi offshoot — and verbally transferred these totalitarian dictatorships to the Right, saddling their opponents with these pariahs.

What socialism, fascism, and other ideologies of the Left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, i.e., the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

Like the immigration fiat just handed down and high handed and high minded way they think of themselves for doing it.

‘This is Not Amnesty’: Pres. Obama Defends New Immigration Policy in White House Speech

Yes, it is. It’s nothing but, but he has to play his games with words and let his minions pound you with them and your “racism” because you disagree with The First Black President!

President Barack Obama says his plan to stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children will make the system ‘more fair, more efficient and more just.’ (The Blaze)

The vision of those of the Left is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We, the People . . . ”

That is why the Left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution’s limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges’ new interpretations, based on notions of “a living Constitution” that will take decisions out of the hands of “We, the People,” and transfer those decisions to our betters.

The self-flattery of the vision of the Left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider — regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the Left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.

Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom. (NRO)

AMEN.

The U.S. has never before had a President who thinks so little of the American people that he imagines he can win re-election running on the opposite of reality. But that is the reality of President Obama today.

Waving a planted press commentary, Obama recently claimed on the campaign stump, “federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years.”

Peggy Noonan: “There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.  It became apparent some weeks ago when the President talked on the stump – where else? – about an essay by a fellow who said spending growth [under Obama] is actually lower than that of previous Presidents.  This was startling to a lot of people, who looked into it and found the man had left out most spending from 2009, the first year of Mr. Obama’s Presidency.  People sneered: The President was deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture!  But you know, why would he go out there waiving an article that could immediately be debunked?  Maybe because he thought it was true.  That’s more alarming, isn’t it, the idea that he knows so little about the effects of his own economic program that he thinks he really is a low spender.”

Or more like someone who is so Orwellian that he wants you to believe a complete falsehood as the truth. And many liberals do buy into it because this an ideological falsehood not a factual falsehood. As Mr. Sowell pointed out and I have pointed out on many occasions Liberals do not response favorable to ACTUAL facts.

What this shows most importantly is that the recognition is starting to break through to the general public regarding the President’s rhetorical strategy that I’ve have been calling Calculated Deception.  The latter is deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture.  That has been a central Obama practice not only throughout his entire presidency, but also as the foundation of his 2008 campaign strategy, and actually throughout his whole career.

Rest assured, Ms. Noonan, that the President is not as nuts as he may seem at times.  He knows very well that he is not a careful spender.  His whole mission is to transform the U.S. not into a Big Government country, but a Huge Government country, because only a country run by a Huge Government can be satisfactorily controlled by superior, all wise and beneficent individuals like himself. 

The analysis by Internet commentator Rex Nutting on which Obama based his claim begins by telling us “What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress.”  Not exactly.

The previous administration, or President, proposes a budget.  The previous Congress approves a budget.  And what Congress approves can be radically different from what the President proposes. (Forbes)

The Democrat controlled Congress passed the budget in 2008 for 2009 and has refused to pass another budget since 2009. The Republicans pass one and the Democrats ignore it, or demonize it or both.

That’s is called “obstructionist” by the Liberals. Because you are obstructing their attempts to take over every facet of your life! And that’s the Republican’s Fault! The Teap Party’s Fault! ,The “rich”!, “The right wing”,”Greedy” Corporate America’s Fault!

The President has put a budget for the last two years that was mere showpiece and it has been shot down twice in a row with zero votes for it because it wasn’t a serious proposal and was never designed to be one. But  you have to keep up the facade of it’s the Republicans fault for not passing the President’s budget that is the problem, not that the Democrats not passing the Republican’s (or even negotiating) is the problem.

It’s all in how they want you to look at it.

Reality is just a game. A political game. A game to be played to win.

“Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal.”
― George Orwell, 1984

Uncle Obama - Don't Interrupt Me While I'm        Circumventing Congress

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Brian Farrington