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

Faulty Towers

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s reliance on poorly-sited weather stations to calculate surface temperatures is inflating the warming trend of the U.S. and maybe even the rest of the world, according to a landmark study looking at three decades of data.

“The majority of weather stations used by NOAA to detect climate change temperature signal have been compromised by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt, and heat sources like air conditioner exhausts,” Anthony Watts, a seasoned meteorologist and lead author of the study, said in a statement Thursday.

These “compromised” weather stations run hotter than stations that are well-sited, and are used by NOAA as a benchmark to make upward adjustments for other weather stations that are part of the agency’s official temperature record.

Watts and his fellow researchers found only 410 “unperturbed” weather stations out of the 1,218 stations used by NOAA to determine U.S. climate trends. These “unperturbed” stations don’t need to be adjusted by NOAA because they had not been moved, had any equipment changes, or change in the time temperatures were observed.

 

Watts found well-sited stations show significantly less warming than poorly-sited stations from 1979 to 2008 — the time period was chosen in order to respond to NOAA papers from 2009 and 2010 justifying its weather station adjustments. Now, Watts has years of evidence showing NOAA is relying on shoddy weather stations to make its temperature adjustments.

“This study demonstrates conclusively that this issue affects temperature trend and that NOAA’s methods are not correcting for this problem, resulting in an inflated temperature trend. It suggests that the trend for U.S. temperature will need to be corrected.” Watts said.

Why would they? They have the data THEY WANT, not the data they got.

The Agenda is The Agenda. The Narrative is The Narrative.

Watts NOAA thermometers

What’s more troubling, is that similar siting problems have been observed at weather stations around the world, meaning the global warming present in the surface temperature record may be overblown. Watts’ study comes after NOAA published a June study making further adjustments to temperature data and purported to eliminate the “hiatus” in global warming.

Watts’ new paper casts more doubt on NOAA’s temperature adjustments — which always seem to increase the warming trend. Correcting for these poorly-sited stations could also bring surface warming trends more in line with observations from satellites, which show no statistically significant warming for about two decades.

“We believe the NOAA/NCDC homogenization adjustment causes well sited stations to be adjusted upwards to match the trends of poorly sited stations,” according to Watts’ study. “The data suggests that the divergence between well and poorly sited stations is gradual, not a result of spurious step change due to poor metadata.”

Watts says the warming trend at well-sited stations was “found to be collectively about 2/3 as large as U.S. trends estimated in the classes with greater expected artificial impact.” NOAA data adjustments greatly reduce those differences but produce trends that are more consistent with the stations with greater expected artificial impact.”

NOAA has come under fire in recent months for “homogenizing” the temperature data, a process used by scientists to correct for biases in the data. Scientists go in and either ratchet up or down temperatures from thermometers up or down based on things like changes in the time of day temperatures are observed, the equipment used to take readings, or changes in the actual locations of thermometers. NOAA has defended its data adjustments are necessary to get more accurate data.

But there’s a bigger question: why is NOAA relying on so many poorly-sited thermometers to collect temperature data?

“It’s one of the factors they did not consider,” Dr. John Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and co-author of the study, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Many of the thermometer sites have been contaminated,” Christy said, adding that poor siting “increases the warming rates.”

Christy and his colleague Dr. Roy Spencer created the first satellite datasets to observe global temperature trends in 1989, and have global data going back to 1979. Christy’s and Spencer’s satellite measurements, which collect temperature data from the lower atmosphere, show no statistically significant warming since 1994 — a period of 21 years.

“We prefer satellite data because it’s a measurement of the bulk atmosphere,” Christy said, adding this is where global warming should be most apparent. Satellites also don’t need to go through the level of adjustments surface thermometers do.

Watts’ study is likely to be challenged by the global warming “establishment” because it challenges data they believe supports the idea that greenhouse gases are pushing the world towards dangerous warming.

“If you want the truth about an issue, would you go to an agency with political appointees?” Christy said. “The government is not the final word on the truth.” (DC)

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

The Lion’s Den

Fascinating Video.

Watch the Leftist indoctrinator/puppet mistress in the Left corner of the screen for extra credit.

FYI: Amherst says it is charging students $60,400 in tuition, fees, room and board. By comparison, it charged $43,300 in 2000-01, in inflation-adjusted dollars. So even after Amherst’s prices have been adjusted for economywide inflation, the cost has jumped 34 percent in only 14 years.

For perspective: Arizona State $21,000 in state, $35,000 out of state.

Now that’s White Privilege. 🙂

Dinesh D’Souza is a brave man and a very good speaker, but did the Leftists learn anything?

Of course not.

That, dear Citizens, would be a Thought Crime. Not to mention they are far to narcissistic for that.

If you enjoyed the viral clip of Dinesh destroying a self-satisfied campus leftist at Amherst earlier this year, check out this full-length video of the entire discussion on America’s role in the world.

Love this guy. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Meesa No Think So…

Messa called Jar-Jar Boehner. Messa your humble servant.

That’s our Johnny, Boehner that is!

Hmmm… yousa point is well seen, Mr President.

It’s a longo taleo buta small part of it would be mesa… clumsy
Jar-Jar Boehner.

“There are a lot of options on the table,” said Boehner in response to a question from THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “I’m not going to get into hypotheticals of what we could or couldn’t do. But I do know this. Come January, we’ll have a Republican House and a Republican Senate, and we’ll be in a stronger position to take actions.”

Boehner and House Republican leaders are pushing to pass a short-term funding package before the end of the current budget resolution next week. The package would allow Congress to revisit the funding for DHS, which is implementing the order, early next year. The Ohio Republican emphasized the current plan to address the immigration executive order in the next Congress gives the GOP the best chance for “keeping our leverage.” But, Boehner said, “we have limited options in how we can deal with this.” 

A senior White House official says the implementation of President Obama’s executive order on immigration is “well underway” and that the administration would “proceed” regardless of congressional efforts to block the order.

Translation: Fuck you Jar Jar!  The Agenda is The Agenda!

The official added that the DHS implementation would be “based on what they learned on the successful implementation of DACA,” the acronym for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The department has already secured office space in Arlington, Virginia, and plans on hiring 1,000 employees and contractors to process the qualifying illegal immigrants.

Administration officials also pushed back against the passage in the House of Representatives of a bill to roll back the executive order. “The United States House of Representatives is voting to prioritize of breaking up families,” said an official. The White House issued a veto threat on the bill earlier Thursday.

And asked about efforts by Republicans to block or strip funding from the executive order’s provisions, the White House insisted, “We are going to proceed with implementation.”

Republicans hate families AND are Racists!

“I haven’t seen the details of a plan to confront this unprecedented power grab,” <Senator Jeff> Sessions said in a phone interview Thursday evening. He added that while plenty of his Republican colleagues have released “tough” statements following Obama’s announcement, he hasn’t seen the party coalesce around a plan.  (Weekly Standard)

So the Republicans are picking at their but and checking out their shoes while the Democrats are sharpening their axes and getting the trebuche’ out. The Media is sharpening their knives, the Republicans are dulling theirs.

That’s out Jonnie, bringing Hot chocolate and s’mores to a Nuke Fight.

Maybe Boehner is just Hydra, after all. Hmmm…

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

The Agenda of Local News

Last year, Philadelphia abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell stood trial in Philadelphia for the deaths of one woman and seven babies who had their throats slit, but national reporters didn’t want to cover it. It’s a “local crime story,” they said.

Ferguson, Mo., is merely the latest proof that a “local crime story” can be elevated to national news — when it’s the liberal media’s favorite kind of “agenda-driven stuff.”

The white kid killed by a black cop in Utah is not newsworthy.

A local story about a white cop fatally shooting an unarmed young black man in one St. Louis suburb has dominated the national news, to the point that the networks interrupted primetime TV for an announcement on whether the policeman would be indicted.

These are the same networks that refused to air President Obama’s speech the week before on his immigration end-around. The entire nation couldn’t wait two hours for the local news, or turn to cable news? It seems like an attempt to create an episode for the history books — making Ferguson a destination in black history like Selma, Ala., or Sanford, Fla., where Trayvon Martin was shot.

Why is this story so much more portentous in meaning than others? It fits a narrative that America — and its justice “system” — is racist.

Well, after all, there are only 3 black cops in Ferguson and 49 White Cops so it’s not “representative” of the population. Which means 2 things (but I bet the Liberal won’t go there)- a) Quotas. b) Segregation. Only White Cops can arrest or interact with white people and only Black cops…You get the picture. True, it is absurd, but that’s the Left for you. 🙂

As with George Zimmerman, it seems not to matter what the actual evidence is. No rioter put down a rock or a Molotov cocktail to read the grand jury report. When the prosecutor’s speech aired on a split screen with a “riot cam” on the Ferguson streets, the networks were not expecting calm. They were too eager to chronicle a riot and squeeze ratings from the mayhem.

Mayhem= Money! And if it also suits The Agenda, then so much the richer for them.

For those who argue that Ferguson isn’t an “agenda” story, let’s consider some other recent stories that the media won’t touch.

In Milwaukee, Antoine Devon Pettis, a 20-year-old black male, was charged with raping a 101-year-old woman after the crime scene DNA matched a paternity test sample. Pettis smiled broadly in his mug shot, and later in the courtroom, when he told the media, “Y’all gonna make me a celebrity.”

Making this story national for even a minute would apparently be too racist, just like the Gosnell story, though the victim’s race is less than relevant considering the horror of the crime.

In Akron, Ohio, white police officer Justin Winebrenner — off-duty and unarmed — was shot by a black man, Kenan Ivery, at Papa Don’s Pub, where he was seated with other cops. Ivery had pulled a gun and the pub staff looked to Winebrenner, a regular customer, to try and calm Ivery. Winebrenner was shot in the torso and died. Four others, including another off-duty cop, were wounded.

So far in 2014, 45 police officers have been fatally shot (and 111 overall have died). None got a fraction of the attention or sympathy that America has offered to Michael Brown’s family.

The “wealth” of national publicity on local crimes is distributed with remarkable inequality. The exercise of “news judgment” is performed with extreme prejudice, and there will be no attempts at redistribution. (IBD)

The White House says the president will also meet with young civil rights leaders to discuss the challenges posed by “mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.” He’ll then meet with government and law enforcement officials, as well as other community leaders, to discuss how to strengthen neighborhoods. (Townhall)

I wonder if he meet with the business owners who were looted and burned down by the “protestors”. Naw, this is a photo-op. Then, it’s back to Golf.

The Agenda is The Agenda. And you’re a Racist! That’s just it. Welcome to Obama’s “Post Racial” Society. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

I Told You So

I could say “I told you so”, but I have to wait until he destroys America first. 🙂

The White House intended to remain silent about its plans for immigration. Revealing a scheme to open the floodgates of amnesty would be disastrous on the eve of the critical midterm elections. But this is the gang that can’t shoot straight.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Friday threw open the door to as many as 100,000 Haitians, who will now move into the United States without a visa. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, rightly and accurately denounced enabling Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits as “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”

That was just the beginning. The immigration agency earlier this month had solicited a printer able to handle a “surge” of 9 million green cards “to support possible future immigration-reform initiative requirements.” In an ordinary year, about 1 million green cards are issued, and over the life of this contract the company is expected to produce up to 34 million cards, a figure representing an increase of the population of the United States by 10 percent.

The cards do not come with automatic voter registration, but that’s obviously what the scheme portends. President Obama’s promised “executive actions” to bring about this enormous wave of amnesty constitute a transparent and cynical ploy to expand the Democratic voter base, creating a permanent majority. Republicans running for the House and Senate should demand that Mr. Obama lay his green cards on the table now, before — and not after — the Nov. 4 elections. No other campaign issue carries as much of an impact on the future of the nation.

In economic terms, importing millions of unskilled workers creates competition for the diminishing number of available jobs. Combine a flooded job market with the Democratic proposals for a doubling of the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and millions more American citizens will be without a job. Those who do have jobs will pay to provide federal freebies, from Obamaphones to Obamacare, to the formerly illegal aliens now with a green card.

As the recent influx of minor children over the southern border demonstrates, word of amnesty on the way travels fast. Handing green cards to those who cheated the system and entered the country illegally creates an incentive to millions more to follow in their path, collecting as many benefits as possible along the way. It’s a disaster in the making — indeed already here — for public health and national security, straining the welfare state to its limit.

Most Americans want no part of this. A Gallup survey finds that 74 percent of Americans want the level of immigration to stay where it is, or reduce it. Mr. Obama has no support for his amnesty scheme except from those who want to transform America into a nation that no one would recognize. Voters can get to work on stopping the transformation on Nov. 4.

But the Agenda is The Agenda!

It’s not like he gives a crap what you think. After all, you’re just a bunch of “racists” who hate poor people and want them to starve an die….:)

Ebola Czar

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Hold(er)ing Action

So Eric Holder, Obama’s chief Ideological butt-buddy and Chief Lawless Enforcer of Extreme Left Wing Social Justice is resigning, eventually. They have to nominate someone who is even crazier first, say before the election. 🙂 After all, making Republicans look mean and nasty and “partisan” is what Obama loves to do when he’s being even worse.

And the Leftist Media I’m sure is in mourning. Their national Hero, champion of Social Justice, “informal workers” (aka illegal aliens),the gay mafia, defender of the(ir) one true faith.

Who cares about The Black Panthers suppressing votes, it’s the voting rights of illegal aliens, “minorities” and “the poor” that matters (especially if you’re all 3 and NOT white). So what if you need more ID to rent a Video than vote in his eyes, he was their Ideological hardline champion of the cause.

“Fast & Furious”, fah, who cares about that silly old thing.

National Security on the Border, who gives a crap. And if YOU try to enforce it we’ll sue your ass and crush you like the insignificant bug you are compared to the might of the All-Powerful Federal Government!

If we want to ignore the problem you can’t do anything about it!  <sticking tongue out>

He was a warrior of the Leftist faith. The Defender of The Federal Supremacy Clause!

He was their strong man. The “Justice is Blind” and impartial was completely destroyed, but since it was to enforce with an iron first the Leftist Ideology, he was a Demi-God to the Left.

Justice was Blind Partisanship and “Fair” only to those of Faith. The infidels needed to be crushed.

I wonder if he’ll be Sainted or just get 72 virgins?

And if you didn’t like it, you were a RACIST! 🙂

As a longtime, current employee of the Justice Department told us, Mr. Holder and his subordinates have “racialized and radicalized” the department “to the point of corruption.” They have “embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. (why does this sound like that new “hit” show ‘How to get away with Murder? 🙂 ) Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics, and even moderate Democrats have left the department, because they were treated as enemies by administration officials and their lackeys. Another black employee who has worked for the Justice Department for decades said to me, ‘There is no justice left in Justice under this administration.’”

Mr. Holder is an ideologue who considers himself part of Mr. Obama’s political team first and the attorney general a very distant second. His first loyalty has been to helping the president break, bend, ignore or fail to enforce the law, doing untold damage to our constitutional system and the rule of law.

As former Justice Department prosecutor Andy McCarthy has said, the Justice Department under Mr. Holder has become “a sort of full-employment program for progressive activists, race-obsessed bean counters and lawyers who volunteered their services during the Bush years to help al Qaeda operatives file lawsuits against the United States.”

Well said.

Meanwhile, the Left is mourning. But at least they have all those Hydra Agents in The “Justice” Department to carry on Their God’s work and Obama will find another ideologue to replace him.

After all, THE AGENDA IS THE AGENDA!

Hail Hydra!

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen