Saturday, October 19, 2013
Talk about Paranoia: Former official: Admin refused to bring in outside help for ObamaCare website for fear GOP would subpoena them; Update: Ten-year-old technology? Update: No improvement in week two; Update: Wasn’t tested until days before launch
Very important to understand: Between this and the fact that HHS deliberately hid the price of insurance behind a reg wall on Healthcare.gov to reduce “rate shock,” the grand takeaway about the website’s failure is that O and his team made it much worse than it needed to be because they were terrified of transparency. And the reason they were terrified of transparency, both in the case of hiding the cost of the premiums from web users and hiding the site’s architectural problems from contractors who might be hauled before Congress, is because they know they’ve delivered a bad product....
I don’t know what’s more amazing, that they’d place their own political comfort above creating a smoother user experience for the uninsured or that they somehow didn’t realize that a botched rollout on October 1 would be far more embarrassing than contractors talking to Republicans under oath. Or … would it? What was HHS so worried that outside contractors would tell the GOP that they preferred to risk total chaos on the exchanges during launch month instead?
◼ Two weeks in, Obamacare website still broken - Kyle Cheney and Jason Millman and Jennifer Haberkorn/Politico
They aren’t blaming “glitches” and “traffic” anymore. In fact, they haven’t said much at all in the past few days, while a string of leaked emails, memos and reports describe deeper hardware and software malfunctions. Today, again, featured a “No comment” from the administration.
◼ Larf: Company Claims HealthCare.gov Violated Terms of Its Licensing Agreement; Plans to Pursue Legal Action - Ace Of Spades
Good God. It never ends. And the public will not know, because the media will not tell them.
Oh, yes, Politico notes this. And yes, we've seen, for example, a New York Times reporter call Obama's WH the "most paranoid, thin-skinned, control-freak Administration I've ever covered."
But there are a lot of dots here that could be usefully connected by a few very straight lines. This is what the media claims it does best -- put things into context. A very easy (and accurate) narrative could be written here about the Administration's paranoia and secrecy not only harming the American interest but its own interest as well.
◼ Tech at Night: Team Obama pirates software. Ted Cruz wants answers on FCC. - RedState
HuffPo, however, had the good sense to issue a Correction to the original post, with the proper context after it realized that the meme was wrong - details at Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
In the private sector, nobody in a leadership position who had any fingerprints whatsoever on this mess would still be employed. In government, not only do they get to keep their jobs, but they’re in charge of fixing the problems they created
Alternate headline: “Christmas coming early for identity thieves.”
Here are just 580,000 anecdotes of people having their coverage dropped. http://t.co/kaJC6TO4Ku— David Freddoso (@freddoso) October 20, 2013
◼ Thousands get health insurance cancellation notices - NBC News
...Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people – about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent....
◼ Jeanine Pirro: You And I Would Be Fired For Simple Sebelius’ Incompetence (Video) - Nice Deb
Pirro, a former prosecutor ObamaCare, expressed shock and dismay at the fact that the very navigators who are trusted to handle Social Security numbers, DOB, and personal identifiable information, don’t go through basic background or fingerprint checks.
“But it gets better”, she continued. “If those navigators have a prior conviction, it won’t disqualify them, anyway. An outstanding warrant? – no problem. In the midst of a bankruptcy? No problem……Has anyone in Washington every heard of identity theft?”
And she blasted the administration for the failure of the website launch. “They had three years to prepare and can’t even get the website off the ground,” she said. ”‘Simple Sebelius’ doesn’t know how many people have signed up, but she knows it’s getting better.”
◼ Is this the most sickening image of the war in Syria so far? Snipers 'target unborn children in chilling competition to win cigarettes' - Daily Mail
The unborn children of Syrian women are the targets of a sickening war game where a shooter who murders a foetus in its mother’s womb is awarded with cigarettes, a British surgeon has revealed.
...‘From the first patients that came in in the morning, you could almost tell what you would see for the rest of the day. It was a game,’ he told The Times.
‘One day it would be shots to the groin. The next, it would only be the left chest. The day after, we would see no chest wounds; they were all neck [wounds].’
Dr Nott told the newspaper that in his 20 years volunteering in war zones, this is the first time he had witnessed pregnant women being targeted.
He described the day two consecutive patients arrived at his clinic, heavily pregnant with their babies shot to death in their stomachs.
‘The women were all shot through the uterus, so that must have been where they were aiming for. I can’t even begin to tell you how awful it was.
'Usually, civilians are caught in the crossfire. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this. This was deliberate. It was hell beyond hell.’
A simple order was all it took to turn armed citizen against unarmed citizen. And people say it can't happen here...
An Ace Of Spades Sampler:
◼ Just doing their jobs! That is the defense bandied about by the left and the right. Yes. But what IS their job? When did the commitment to 'protect and serve' become so flimsy so as to collapse under a simple command to attack? Innocents, both foreign and domestic, were held captive, at gun point, for the simple crime of daring to visit a national park. We on the right have expressed our outrage over the incident but, other than bitching and moaning, what have we, can we, do to enact consequences to those actions?
Hollywood! Education! Media!
My head was spinning. With my eyes still barely able to focus but my mind racing like a cocaine-fueled NASCAR driver, I search for answers. How did we get here?
◼ So what are we left with? A burgeoning debt, and no effort on the horizon to get it under control. Obama’s “victory” couldn’t be much more hollow, as his policies continue to drive us toward financial catastrophe.
◼ "The Tea Party is the United States' Lifeline" [OregonMuse]
◼ An Ignorant Population is a Pliable Population
◼ Overnight Open Thread (19 Oct 2013) ObamaCare 'propaganda' on our favorite shows?
Enjoy. (Note language warning.)
In a move out of Orwell or the Soviet Union, television shows are being asked to include propaganda about ObamaCare
...An industry that loves to trumpet its fierce devotion to the First Amendment is putting itself at risk when it willingly becomes another tool of the DC power elite.
Once you’re taking dictation from Washington, it becomes harder to say no when the politicians start telling you what not to say.
Officials executed a warrant for the offices of Landmark Medical Management, whose president Kareem Ahmed gave the Obama affiliated Super PAC Priorities USA a $1 million donation. The president of a company in a complex industry, Ahmed claimed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as a personal friend
Your loyal TKC writer received this in an email today from #OFA (Organizing for Action), the supposedly non-affiliated-with-the-White-House non-profit created from the President's reelection organization "Obama for America"
Why does their output use the Obama logo?
Why is their website URL still "MyBarackObama.com?
IF WE HAD A JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, this kind of stuff just might be looked into.
IF WE HAD A NON-POLITICAL IRS, this kind of stuff might jeopardize their non-profit status.
IF, you have a strong stomach for B.S. you can peruse the "Frequently Asked Questions" over at OFA here: http://www.barackobama.com/faq/?source=footer-nav
Of all the bitter fruit of the Barack Obama disaster, the most bitter may be the sense of hopelessness that has descended on Americans, especially the young. Has there ever been anything like it in our history?
...Fast forward to today, after nearly five years of the Obama administration. How are Americans feeling about the future?
31% of Likely U.S. Voters think America’s best days are still to come… Just over half (52%) think the nation’s best days are in the past.
So the Age of Obama has brought the percentage who think America’s best days are still ahead down from 45% to 31%, while the number who think our best days are gone has risen from 37% to 52%. Great work, Barry. This is your true legacy: hopelessness.
◼ The George Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF) is organizing a “fly-in” of what it calls conservatives from across the country aimed at lobbying House Republicans for an amnesty bill. - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart
According to USA Today’s immigration beat writer Alan Gomez, NIF is planning to organize the fly in with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Partnership for a New American Economy.
“The fly-in is being organized not by conservative groups, but organizations that have focused on legalizing millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally and changing the legal immigration system to bring in more foreign workers,” Gomez wrote on Monday. He noted that the 300 activists for an immigration grand bargain were looking to make what he described as a “conservative pitch” for amnesty.
Gomez noted NIF’s Executive Director, Ali Noorani, who “has advocated for changes in immigration law to help legal and undocumented immigrants for three decades," claimed "the broad collection coming to Washington represents 'the conservative base of the Republican Party.'"...
If the green is the U.S. government’s revenue, and yellow is the deficit, then it takes a Sesame Street-level of understanding to grasp that the red part is bad – very bad. This is beyond party bickering; both Republicans and Democrats need to get serious about this brewing fiscal disaster.
Huh, I just tested http://t.co/IV0cLrFUr3 for the first time and I was able to set up an account with no trouble.— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 17, 2013
Two White House staffers retweeted Lizza’s “no trouble” tweet from their official White House accounts.... Press secretary Jay Carney... And senior communications adviser Tara McGuinness (who also promoted the false success story of fake Obamacare buyer Chad Henderson)...
A little problem there, guys. Less than 40 minutes after tweeting about his successful account creation, Lizza was defeated by HealthCare.gov. Fancy that! Carney and McGuinness didn’t bother retweeting these tweets.... As of Friday night, Lizza reports that he is still unable to enroll or view eligibility results.
Tried healthcare dot gov again. Still broken. Can set up an account and get identity verified, but can't view eligibility results or enroll.— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 19, 2013
This is what it looks like when you hit "View Eligibility Results" pic.twitter.com/Dw5bNiqyzs— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 19, 2013
The link to register to vote does work, though: pic.twitter.com/XY5zi46yaa— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
The Democrats are keeping their foot on the gas pedal, full speed ahead. The Republican establishment thinks we may need to slow down — at least a little. The bus, however, will still go off the cliff. Only the Tea Party is saying — in fact, yelling — to hit the brakes. They’re right, and they will be vindicated. The only question is this: Will Americans wake up before it’s too late?
...The legislative deal simply does one thing: kick the can down the road. Yet the same, enduring problems remain — the very problems identified by Mr. Cruz and Tea Party Republicans. America is sitting on a ticking debt bomb, Obamacare — the most destructive law in modern memory — is a disaster, and our ruling elites are incapable of reining in out-of-control public spending....
◼ Congress is trying to get Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – who in any sane government would be “former HHS secretary” by now – to testify about the disastrous ObamaCare rollout. She is reportedly resisting these demands, which again should be grounds for dismissal. In the Obama era, top officials have become entirely too comfortable with refusing to testify, invoking the Fifth Amendment, and committing perjury. - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
...Now, you might be thinking that if ObamaCare can’t rope in enough young suckers, the government will just print up some more funny money to cover the difference, and then in a few months Obama will be telling us how we absolutely must raise taxes and/or the debt ceiling to pay the bills Congress has already incurred, or we’ll be like a deadbeat diner trying to skip out on his supper tab. But that’s not strictly true. It’s not the government that will lose money from a shortage of youthful sheep toddling into the program. It’s insurance companies. They still exist under government control, just as certain countries noted for the authoritarian style of their governments still had private industry in the early decades of the previous century. (Ask your Grandpa how that worked out for them, kids!)
And those insurance companies can’t survive if the agonizingly slow pace of Obama enrollment keeps up. Three weeks in, there are still states reporting zero ObamaCare purchases, while others show only dozens or hundreds. There’s a grimly accurate joke going around the Internet that more people have signed up for a proposed one-way mission to Mars than have signed up for ObamaCare....
Update: The Heritage Foundation makes a convincing case that, based on the current pace of enrollment, ObamaCare could actually cause a net loss of insurance coverage in the individual market… and that’s not even counting the employer-provided insurance plans that have been dropped because of the Affordable Care Act and its mandates. That’s a pretty steep death spiral.
◼ The Tea Party’s coming vindication - Jeffrey T. Kuhner/Washington Times
The conventional wisdom is wrong. The mainstream media — and their parrots in the Republican establishment — are claiming that President Obama decisively won the government shutdown battle. In fact, the narrative being peddled is that the GOP brand has been badly damaged, paving the way for a possible Democratic Party takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. This is puerile nonsense. Tea Party Republicans, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, may have lost the battle, but they are poised for a major victory in the larger Obamacare war.
◼ Meltdown Now In Plain Sight - Investor's Business Daily Editorial
Now that former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is on the west coast fulfilling her new duties as the president of the University of California, President Obama has nominated major campaign donor Jeh Johnson to take her place.
Federal campaign finance records show that over the past decade, Johnson has contributed more than $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.Like most of Obama's nominees, Johnson comes with controversy. In a statement Friday morning, Texas Senator John Cornyn slammed Johnson as someone who has little experience when it comes to border security and framed the nomination as a payback for fundraising to get Obama elected.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, Johnson donated more than $33,000 to Obama's campaign, federal records show. Obama's campaign website listed Johnson as a member of the then-candidate's national finance committee and an adviser to Obama's foreign policy team during the 2008 election.
◼ Obama said Johnson had “demonstrated again and again ... a deep understanding of the threats facing the United States,” during the Rose Garden event, where he made the announcement. - Washington Examiner
...Johnson can expect to face tough questions at his confirmation hearings over his role approving the use of drone strikes to target individuals abroad, including American citizens.
An administration official on Thursday, announcing Obama’s decision to tap Johnson, said that the former Pentagon lawyer was “responsible for the prior legal review and approval of every military operation approved by the President and Secretary of Defense.”
The administration official called Johnson “one the most highly qualified and respected national security leaders,” adding that he was “known for his sound judgment and counsel.”...
Republicans, though, said the nomination should bring scrutiny to problems at the department.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in a statement Thursday said that Johnson's nomination "should focus the attention of the Congress and the country on the open refusal of DHS political appointees to impartially execute their law enforcement mission."
Sessions said that under Napolitano, violent criminals were released from custody and immigration officers were "blocked from doing their jobs."
"These people are making plain how they think,
and what they'd do if they had the power to....
take it seriously, because they do."
MoveOn.org wants Republican leaders arrested for "seditious conspiracy" against the U.S. The initiative, of course, won't get anywhere, but it does provide a peek into how some among us respond to disagreement.
Signers of MoveOn.org's online petition are asking the Justice Department "to arrest Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Speaker of the House John Boehner and other decision-making House Republican leaders" for shutting down the government and threatening the economy with default in "an attempt to extort the United States government into altering or abolishing the Affordable Care Act."
...Anyone who thinks Reynolds is exaggerating needs to look at the comments some of signers have made. One deep thinker from Long Beach, Calif., complained the Republicans "won't stop hurting America until we give them a disincentive. Jail should do it."
Another from Nashville, Tenn., says the GOP "'leaders' are a sorry, irresponsible and sincerely DANGEROUS group. They should be immediately prosecuted and jailed upon conviction."
Yet another from Springfield, Ohio, demands the Republicans be hanged "on the capital lawn" because treason "is punishable by death.
And we thought that hate was confined to the right side of the political spectrum. At least that's what we've been told. But as we can see, some on the left are not only capable of hate but also want to imprison those who disagree with them. Dissent must be crushed.
The $328 billion increase shattered the previous high of $238 billion set two years ago.
The giant jump comes because the government was replenishing its stock of “extraordinary measures” — the federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.
...Usually Congress sets a borrowing limit, or debt ceiling, that caps the total amount the government can be in the red.
But under the terms of this week’s deal, Congress set a deadline instead of a dollar cap. That means debt will rise by as much as the government spends between now and the Feb. 7 deadline.
Another Deadly Scandal Hits The ATF/Eric Holder/Obama-"Deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexico police linked to "grenade-walking" scandal"
Central planners in Washington have been caught off-guard by the grassroots revolt against the national standards/testing/curriculum juggernaut. Real input from the hoi polloi was never a part of the grand implementation process. So when parents and educators in dozens of states started challenging the privacy intrusions posed by and the constitutionality, cost, quality and validity of Common Core, its architects went on the attack.
And now, the education control freaks are freaking out.
Former GOP Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accused moms and dads who've vigilantly fought dumbed-down curricula firsthand of foisting "mediocrity" on their own kids.
Bush, Mike Huckabee, Chamber of Commerce types and Gates Foundation promoters routinely have insulted Glenn Beck and his listeners as conspiracy-mongers for raising red flags about Common Core's data-mining agenda.
A Fordham Institute "expert" arrogantly suggested that actively involved parents like me were somehow confused about which materials have been "aligned" to Common Core, even though we're the ones sitting down with our kids to help with incomprehensible homework and error-riddled texts every night in our own homes....
Thursday, October 17, 2013
◼ Brit Hume Has About One of the Best Takes on the Tea Party Out There - IJ Review
“Veteran political observers on both the left and right are still trying to figure out what the House Tea Party caucus and its Senate pied piper Ted Cruz were thinking when they insisted on using the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare.
“It was a hopeless strategy that has not only failed in its stated goal, but helped send the Republican Party to its lowest favorability ratings ever.
“In conventional terms, it seems inexplicable, but Senator Cruz and his adherents do not view things in conventional terms. They look back over the past half-century, including the supposedly golden era of Ronald Reagan, and see the uninterrupted forward march of the American left. Entitlement spending never stopped growing. The regulatory state continued to expand. The national debt grew and grew and finally in the Obama years, exploded. They see an American population becoming unrecognizable from the free and self-reliant people they thought they knew. And they see the Republican Party as having utterly failed to stop the drift toward an unfree nation supervised by an overweening and bloated bureaucracy. They are not interested in Republican policies that merely slow the growth of this leviathan. They want to stop it and reverse it. And they want to show their supporters they’ll try anything to bring that about.
“And if some of those things turn out to be reckless and doomed, well so be it.”
Yale law professor Dan Kahan posted on his blog this week that he analyzed the responses of more than 2,000 American adults recruited for another study and found that, on average, people who leaned liberal were more science literate than those who leaned conservative.
However, those who identified as part of the tea party movement were actually better versed in science than those who didn’t, Kahan found. The findings met the conventional threshold of statistical significance, the professor said.
Kahan wrote that not only did the findings surprise him, they embarrassed him....
◼ Ayers' Fire-Bombing Victim Responds To Ayers' "Moral" Advice in New "Teaching & Parenting" Book - Townhall
John Murtagh was just 9-years-old when Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground buds planted a bomb on his father's car and another inside their house. John's father was a sitting judge on a case prosecuting Black Panthers for (ironically) fire-bomb attacks.
◼ Deconstructing Bill Ayers - Jack Cashill/American Thinker
...Although Ayers likes to think of himself as a dissident -- the book's subtitle claims he is one -- Dr. Spock tended to Baby Chesa. Robert Redford nodded to Ayers at the Sundance Film Festival. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins shared a "group hug" with him on the red carpet before the Oscars. Academic superstars Edward Said and Stanley Fish palled around with him. Famed conductor Zubin Mehta hung out with him occasionally. Barbara Walters and ABC's Robin Roberts chatted him up. And, my favorite, the president of the McArthur Foundation just happened to stop by on September 11 when he and his Weather bride were having dinner with their best pals, the Rashid Khalidis. Dissident, my ass....
What do you say to someone who lets Occupy protestors break laws for 100 days, but won't let vets see their own memorial? Trey Gowdy exposes hypocrisy of National Park Service Director over memorial closures…
◼ THIS IS HOW YOU PROVE A POINT... - IJ Review via Conservative Daily
Per BuzzFeed, Teal Media was founded by a former Obama campaign staffer and serves lots of Democratic clients. This isn’t just a random business walking away from a car crash, in other words. This is his own team.
◼ Humiliation: Design firm yanks Healthcare.gov credit from its website - HotAir
Visit the website of Michigan-based design firm Teal Media today and you’d never know designers there helped create HealthCare.gov, the troubled online portal for Obamacare.◼ Per BuzzFeed, Teal Media was founded by a former Obama campaign staffer and serves lots of Democratic clients. This isn’t just a random business walking away from a car crash, in other words. This is his own team....
Just a few days ago, the site looked very different. Teal Media’s homepage featured its work on Obamacare prominently, placing a link to the firm’s work on one of the most well-known websites in America front and center. Now that link, as well as the page devoted to Teal’s work on HealthCare.gov, have been removed....
◼ Is Healthcare.gov Designed To Register Dem Voters? - IBD
Corruption: The crash-prone government health-care site asks applicants if they want to register to vote as they try to sign up for ObamaCare. By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters.
Call it Motor Voter on steroids — the piggybacking of voter registration to an otherwise unrelated government function.
Those trying to navigate Healthcare.gov, a website that looks and functions as if designed by the department of motor vehicles, are being asked if they want to register to vote just in time for crucial 2014 midterm elections that are likely to be a referendum on ObamaCare.
Even leading liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas agreed. Obama decided to go full-blown partisan and missed his opportunity for real leadership.
Media vapors! MT @SalenaZitoTrib: Obama misread his "win" Decided to go full-blown partisan in his speech Opportunity for leadership missed— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) October 17, 2013
On his radio show recently, Glenn Beck urged his listeners to “defund the GOP.” Sarah Palin has threatened to leave the Republican Party; Rush Limbaugh calls it “irrelevant.” The Senate Conservatives Fund has targeted mainly incumbent Republican senators for defeat. Erick Erickson, one of the right’s most prominent commentators, wonders if what's coming is “a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.”
Conservatives have declared war on the GOP.
Tired of feeling taken for granted by a party that alternately panders to them and sells them down the river, in their view, Tea Partiers and others on the right are in revolt. The Republican Party itself is increasingly the focus of their anger, particularly after Wednesday's deal to reopen the government, which many on the right opposed. Now, many are threatening to take their business elsewhere.
“Conservatives are either going to split [from the GOP] or stay home,” Erickson, the influential editor of RedState.com and a Fox News contributor, told me. “They’ll first expend energy in primaries, but if unsuccessful, they’ll bolt.”
...In the Tea Partiers’ view, the clueless establishment hasn’t yet internalized the seriousness of the threat to its supremacy. The grassroots has taken control, and it will have its way or secede. “This is where the wind is blowing,” Deace said. “I don’t think you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. People like me are not just taking marching orders anymore—they actually want something in return for a vote.”
It will not be possible, Deace predicted, for the two factions to coexist. “This is going to end in divorce,” he said. “One side is going to win control, one side is going to lose, and the losing side will go do something else. There will not be a reunification.”
...Nobody wants to be the one left standing when blame is passed around. More important, a lot of people are just really pissed off and really worried about not just the party but the country. When emotions run that high, lashing out is only natural. What happens next matters a lot; what just happened may matter as a historical question. But as for the political question of who is to blame, maybe the best course would be to repeat after me, “It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter.”
The president has accused the House GOP majority of refusing to pay bills Congress has already racked up, not doing its job, and defying the outcome of the 2012 election.
The $17 trillion outstanding national debt funded past spending, and raising the debt ceiling is all about the government spending more than it taxes going forward. The Constitution requires that revenue bills originate in the House, not the president's desk. If Obama wants to spend more than the country can afford, it requires him to negotiate with the House — that's where the framers put the money....
The president's victory will be accomplished through deception and demagoguery, by violating the will of voters expressed in the 2012 congressional elections and the Constitution, and damaging U.S. global standing. Those are mighty high prices to pay for a president's refusal to negotiate changes to a healthcare law voters clearly want changed and reducing budget deficits voters want slashed.
BOMBSHELL: WHITE HOUSE PLANNED SHUTDOWN 'Republicans walked into a trap set up by Valerie Jarrett, Obama'
◼ The shutdown was deliberately orchestrated by the White House, according to the former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine - Garth Kant/WND
Why would the White House intentionally cause such pain and havoc across the country?
It is a ploy to win votes, concluded author Ed Klein.
He told the New York Post that President Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, developed a strategy to force a showdown with Republicans over Obamcare.
Jarrett recommended shutting down government because, Klein said, she believed voters would pin the blame on Republicans.
And that would give Democrats the opportunity to win control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections.
"The fundamental situation that the debt growth rate significantly outpaces that of fiscal income and gross domestic product remains unchanged," Dagong said in the statement, adding Washington's solvency was vulnerable as old debts were still repaid through raising new debts.
The announcement came after the US Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed a bill that extends the nation's borrowing authority and ends a two-week government shutdown....
Dagong made headlines in August 2011 when it lowered its main rating for US sovereign debt after Congress passed an earlier bill to raise Washington's debt ceiling.
◼ Stocks open lower as euphoria fizzles... - CNBC
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed Executive Order 83 at 8:50a this morning in order to address growing concern among Iowan over the Common Core State Standards.
...Yes, it’s grim, but we can look upon ObamaCare as a gift. If it is as bad as we think it is, it should be relatively easy to expose.
It will be an albatross around the neck of the Democratic Party, an albatross that could be lethal in 2014.
We must be sure though to publicize that. A campaign of ridicule should be non-stop and begin now. Every misstep must be trumpeted, if possible with humor. Mockery can change minds.
The defunding campaign may have failed, but the path to a full repeal is clear And that is electoral victory in 2014 and 2016.
Toward that end, time for the right to learn a skill they have long neglected — public relations.
◼ The Rise of the Libertarians
Libertarianism is spreading on our college campuses. An unusually large number of politically-minded, frustrated students, who refer to themselves as the "liberty movement," believe themselves to be part of a rising tide that will restore the country to greatness.
Much of the recent growth in libertarian activism emerged after Ron Paul's 2008 failed presidential bid, when Jeff Frazee, Paul's national youth coordinator, founded Young Americans for Liberty (YAL)....
Another issue driving libertarian activism is disenchantment with middle class entitlements. Programs like Social Security are beginning to run deficits, and demographic projections suggest that receiving a substantial payout upon retirement may not be an option for those just entering the program. In surveys, many millennials say they don't think the program will exist by the time they're supposed to receive benefits.
Young people are getting a "raw deal" from politicians' deceptive promises, Deerson said.
So there are more college libertarians nowadays, but where are they coming from? The UCLA survey mentioned above suggests that it is primarily conservatives who are losing ground to libertarians, but some anecdotal evidence suggests a greater diversity of backgrounds. In an informal survey of members of the YAL chapter at UNC, Deerson said that about 40 percent of students had been raised Democrat, about 40 percent had been raised Republican, and about 20 percent said they had always been libertarian...
"Unfortunately, once again, it appears the Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people," he said.
◼ Says Republicans self-sabotaging... - The Right Scoop
Where this went off track is when it came to the Senate and Senate Republicans didn’t stand united alongside House Republicans. Senate Republicans, instead, divided in half and began going on television, going on radio, going everywhere and blasting the House Republicans saying ‘we cannot win’, ‘this will fail’, ‘theres no way to win’ and when you’ve got half the Senate Republican caucus firing their cannons at the House Republicans, it sabotages the effort.
Senate votes 81-18 to pass bill to end government shutdown thru Jan 15 and suspend Debt Limit till Feb 7. Measure now goes to House.
THIS COUNTRY IS ALREADY IN A STATE OF TOTAL DYSFUNCTION, AND HAS BEEN FOR YEARS.
A state of dysfunction, mind you, brought to you by the “reasonable” people who have been striking deals for years that have created $17 trillion in debt and a possibly irreversible degree of Socialism that is lobotomizing our tradition of independent thinking and creativity, crippling free enterprise, and carving the soul out of the moral, God-fearing ethic that has made this nation the greatest on earth....
The Tea Party, with its willingness to demand a stop to this freak show by shuttering the government and halting debt payments, is revolutionary, but not radical. Because sometimes revolutionary action is the reasonable course. The Tea Party is no more radical than were our Founding Fathers, who also staged a revolution when there was no other choice.
...New rules under Medicare and Tricare required that a case manager be assigned to her. Jane was no longer a patient with feelings, humanity, personality, but a “case.” Think of her case manager as someone whose sole purpose was to provide as little care as possible to an elderly American in dire need.
Flailing in pain, crying for help, and scared, Jane was tied to her bed to “calm her down” in spite of the fact that she has severe inflammatory arthritis in her hands. Her dentures and glasses were given to a nurse for safekeeping and she promptly lost them. It would be another 24 hours before they were found....
The family was advised to look for a nursing home to move Jane into as soon as possible since she had dementia and the hospital was unable to help her. Discharge papers were filled out. With teary eyes, her husband Rob was struggling to concentrate in order to complete the stack of papers unceremoniously shoved in front of him.
Several hours later, the infectious disease specialist reappeared during rounds to check on his patient, Jane, to make sure the spinal tap was done. To his surprise, his order had been cancelled by the doctor on duty and the case manager was busy with discharge paperwork. He reinstated the spinal tap order and invalidated the illegal release from the hospital which he had not signed nor ordered.
Infuriated, two family members filed complaints the next morning against the admission doctor and the case manager. As everyone was crying from stress, relief, and hope that perhaps Jane’s symptoms were due to meningitis or encephalitis, treatable illnesses, the case manager walked in and demanded to know in very harsh tones why the family had neglected her instructions the previous day to choose a nursing home from the list provided. She also threatened them with payment liability for the hospital bill if she stayed beyond the discharge date. She said, “We may just have to make the nursing home decision for you.” Although nobody gave this woman power of attorney over Jane, the family was bullied into submission and obeyed. They picked the closest nursing home, 5 minutes away from Jane’s home....
...So, here's your one-sentence guide to Washington today: Republicans are opposing big-business tax cuts and trying to enforce Obamacare.
◼ The Deal, and beyond: Few Americans have reason to celebrate a return to the status quo. - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
...There’s the whole problem with the Republican establishment, distilled into a single sound bite. Why should we want to put urgent issues behind us? Shouldn’t we be throwing ourselves into the debate over urgent issues with creativity and passion?
How many House Dems are going to vote for spending caps plus a failed Obamacare?— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) October 16, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio:"“I cannot support this deal because it postpones any significant action on....spending reforms," or limiting Obamacare.— Susan Ferrechio (@susanferrechio) October 16, 2013
◼ Boehner: 'Fight Will Continue. But Blocking' Deal Not an Option - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
Senate Debt Deal Includes Provision Lessening Congress' Power On Debt Ceiling...
At 11th Hour, Republicans Blink in Standoff...
'Obama won. His prize is lame duck presidency'...
Bloomberg: 'Kicking Can Down Road'...
McConnell-Reid Deal Includes $2 Billion Earmark for Kentucky Project...
◼ Armageddon is averted: Boehner and Cruz CAVE IN to allow Democrat debt ceiling bill to speed through Congress before default deadline can cause global chaos - Daily Mail
Top lawmakers announced a compromise on the Senate floor at noon Wednesday, and it's all over but the voting
Senator Ted Cruz, a tea party hardliner who has been making hardline demands over the deadlock, has said he will not block the vote
Both houses of Congress must now race against time to beat the ticking clock – a midnight deadline is when U.S. risks defaulting on its debts
Crashing through the debt ceiling could bring a crushing default if the U.S. doesn't have enough cash to pay interest to its creditors
The Dow Jones spiked 200 points on news of possible deal this morning
Billionaire Warren Buffet said it would be a 'pure act of idiocy' if the U.S. defaulted on its debts
Fitch put U.S. debt on 'ratings negative watch' over the 'political brinkmanship' that risks the strength of the dollar as the 'preeminent global reserve currency'
◼ US default deal: America is the certain loser
Short-term deal on averting default and reopening government after shutdown is a sign of how far Washington's politics has fallen - Peter Foster, Washington/The Telegraph
...it is yet another depressing illustration of how Washington's broken politics continues to undermine confidence in the US economic recovery and raise questions about the long-term viability of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
◼ Ted Cruz is Doing the Right Thing - Erick Erickson/RedState
While you and I and he and everyone else knows the debt ceiling issue will not actually throw us into default, we must remember low information voters and the media. The media will report that Ted Cruz has single handedly thrown the nation into default. Senate Republicans have been positively giddy at the prospects of Cruz filibustering the debt ceiling increase because they want nothing more than to blame him for everything and ignore their own capitulation.
Cruz rightly has pointed out that the Senate Republicans refused to stand shoulder to shoulder with House Republicans. The Senate GOP made it its mission to undermine conservatives every step of the way. For the past two weeks, the Senate GOP has leaked as much as possible to damage Cruz, Mike Lee, and conservatives. They have planted stories about outside groups, treated conservative scornfully, and in closed door meetings berated Cruz, Lee, and others for daring to fight.
The debt ceiling will be raised whether Cruz filibusters or not.
But that's not what happened with Healthcare.gov. Officials with both the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of the Canadian IT firm that won the $93 million contract, are instead acting like they've got something to hide.
◼ Editorial: Why Obamacare is a mess - Chicago Tribune
◼ Editorial: Federal government shuts down as Obamacare starts up
At its moment of supreme dysfunction, Washington tries to launch a massive new program - Chicago Tribune
The Republicans argue that Obamacare's mandates are so unpopular that Americans will understand a shutdown. We think they instead should be focusing their attack on the unsustainability of all major entitlement programs. Obamacare, which stands to become a huge and profligate federal spending spree, is but one of those entitlements: If too few young, healthy people sign up for insurance, the program will likely become even more expensive for taxpayers.◼ This law is harmful and damaging for reasons far beyond the shocking incompetence of its launch - Guy Benson/Townhall
...(3) Hospitals are shedding staff, and insurers are still pulling out of markets, both phenomena will exacerbate consumers' "access shock" in places like California and New Hampshire.◼ KOS DIARIST GETS OBAMACARE BILL: 'WHAT THE HELL KIND OF REFORM IS THIS?' - John Nolte/Breitbart
(4) In Massachusetts -- the state-level laboratory for Obamacare -- an acute doctor shortage is becoming more severe, raising access concerns. Obamacare expands this issue on a national scale....
◼ Obamacare will double my monthly premium (according to Kaiser) - Tirge Caps/Daily KOS
Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife's rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284.◼ The Kos Kids Learn About Obamacare - John Hinderaker/Power Line
I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?
Oh, ok, if we qualify, we can get some government assistance. Great. So now I have to jump through another hoop to just chisel some of this off. And we don't qualify, anyway, so what's the point?
I never felt too good about how this was passed and what it entailed, but I figured if it saved Americans money, I could go along with it.
I don't know what to think now. This appears, in my experience, to not be a reform for the people.
Well, the games in Washington continue. There is much talk going on in Washington with much of it seeming to be in code. Initials are used for everything. I wonder how many people know what this all means.
CR - Continuing Resolution: This is a type of appropriations legislation used by Congress to fund government agencies if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed into law by the end of the Congressional fiscal year. A continuing resolution must be passed by both Houses of Congress and the President or passed with a majority large enough to override a Presidential veto.
Debt Ceiling: This is the upper limit set on the amount of money that the government may borrow.
Debt Ceiling Suspension: A suspension means that the current debt limit is maintained and the government continues to borrow. When the end date of the suspension is reached, the money the government borrowed during the suspension is added to the debt limit and that is the new debt ceiling figure. Raising the debt ceiling by a dollar amount may curb potential spending because if that happens everyone will know by what exact amount the borrowing authority of the Treasury has been raised as opposed to a guessing game.
On his radio show, Mark Levin gave his opinion of why there is such a difficult time to get an agreement in Washington. He stated that President Obama is aiming to seize the power of the purse from Congress and take away their ability to control funding in the government. He describes it as a coup by the Executive to limit the power of all other branches so there are no checks and balances. Obama will set spending levels and veto any bills that fall short of his demands as he threatens to single handedly push the nation into a default.
It would be a great thing, in my opinion, if the Republicans in Congress, openly challenged the President and the Democrats on what they are really doing. More importantly, the Republicans need to get this information out to the general public. President Obama has not given an inch.
I have learned that many Democrats are calling our Republican office holders and pushing the President's and Senate Democrat’s agenda. My suggestion is that Republican Women call Senate Democrat offices a nd push an agenda of passing legislation that funds the various parts of the government as Congressional Republicans have done.
Barbara Boxer CA (202) 224-3553 Fax (202) 224-0454
Diane Feinstein CA (202) 224-3841 Fax (202) 228-3954
Harry Reid NV (202) 224-3542 Fax (202) 224-7327
Charles Schumer NY (202) 224-6542 Fax (202) 228-3027
Patty Murray WA (202) 224-2621 Fax (202) 224-0238
Richard Durbin IL (202) 224-2152 Fax (202) 228-0400
Of course, call Republicans to offer support in urging them to stay strong.
Thank you for all your work,
Legislative Issues Chair
CFRW - Northern Division
They were going to keep the government open, but asked that Obamacare be delayed. Yes, even Planned Parenthood would get their annual funding from the government. Senate Democrats under Harry Reid said no. Here are the eleven times the House GOP voted to reopen the government – but were blocked by Senate Democrats and the president....
1. Roll Call 478 on H.J. Res. 59 (September 20, 2013)
Earlier in September, House Republicans voted to fund the government at current spending levels while strengthening our economy and protecting millions of American families by defunding ObamaCare.2. Roll Call 497/498 on H.J. Res 59 (September 28, 2013)
House Republicans voted to keep the government open at current spending levels while protecting our economy by delayingthe glitch-filled ObamaCare for one year and repealing the tax on medical devices like pacemakers and children’s hearing aides.3. Roll Call 504 on H.J. Res 59 (September 30, 2013)
4. Roll Call 505 on H.J. Res 59 (September 30, 2013)
5. Voice Vote on Provide Local Funding for the District of Columbia Act (October 2, 2013)
6. Roll Call 513 on Open Our Nation’s Parks and Museums Act (October 2, 2013)
To help reopen parts of the government while Democrats refused to come to the table and work out differences, the House GOP voted to restore funding for the nation’s parks and museums – including the World War Two Memorial in Washington that has been closed to visiting veterans.7. Roll Call 514 on Research for Lifesaving Cures Act (October 2, 2013)
8. Roll Call 516 on Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act (October 3, 2013)
9. Roll Call 518 Making continuing appropriations for veterans benefits for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes (Keep Our promise to America’s Veterans Act) (October 3, 2013)
10. Roll Call 522 on National Emergency and Disaster Recovery Act (October 4, 2013)
11. Roll Call 524 on Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act (October 4, 2013)
...the House GOP, along with the Democrats, voted to reopen the government – and Obama said no.
...according to Ed Klein, author of “The Amateur,” the true architect of the shutdown strategy was top Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. From the New York Post:
Klein, who is conducting a research for a new Obama tome scheduled for next spring, called Jarrett the “architect” of Obama’s take-no- prisoners approach when it comes to his signature domestic policy initiative.Golly, that all sounds like exactly the sort of “hostage taking” these Democrats love to accuse Republicans of. A deliberate strategy to provoke public misery and anger for political gain? These people look down their noses at their countrymen and see nothing but pawns to be shoved and sacrificed in an endless power game.
It was Jarrett who advised Obama that voters would mostly blame Republicans if the federal government ground to a halt, providing a golden opportunity to swing back control of the House to Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections, according to Klein.
A Democratic House would give Obama an opportunity to pass immigration and other legislation blocked by the current Republican majority.
According to Klein, Jarrett is the one who “came up with the idea of using the words ‘hostage’ and ‘ransom’ and ‘terrorists’ against the Republicans.” The same media that spent months after the Tucson shootings having a nervous breakdown about incendiary rhetoric and a “Climate of Hate” yawns and picks some dust from its eyelashes.
The Hill report says Obama’s political team was planning for this crisis for months, which may rattle some of the people who still buy into their “Republican shutdown” mythology. (On the other hand, and to their cost, it seems like the Republicans didn’t prepare for any of this at all.) Maybe Valerie Jarrett isn’t the best person to have on speed dial when actual terrorists are lobbing mortar shells at Americans on foreign soil, but she sure knows how to demonize the hell out of domestic political opponents, and they’re the real enemy, right?
◼ How Harry Reid Caused the Debt Limit Crisis - Conn Carroll/Townhall
◼ After Democrats Blow Up Budget Deal, NBC's Guthrie Insists GOP Get Blame for Shutdown - MRC
◼ THE SEQUESTER: THE HAMMER REPUBLICANS HOLD - George Will/Human Events
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
The last big fight over the debt ceiling occurred in 2011, resulting in the passage of the Budget Control Act (BCA). BCA raised the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion to $16.4 trillion, in exchange for 2.5% cuts in spending over the next decade, called the sequester. (The idea for the sequester originated in the Obama White House as motivation for the super committee to devise a plan with other spending cuts, which was not successful).
The debt ceiling, having been raised by $2.1 trillion in 2011, was reached at the beginning of this year, resulting in a suspension of the debt ceiling limit of $16.394 trillion until May 19, 2013, when Obama signed the No Budget, No Pay Act into law on February 4, 2013.
What's the difference between a debt ceiling suspension and raising the debt ceiling by a dollar amount? According to Romina Boccia at the Heritage Foundation, a debt ceiling suspension means that the current debt limit is maintained, and the government continues to borrow. When the end date of the suspension is reached, the money that the government borrowed during the period of suspension is added to the debt limit and that is the new debt ceiling figure. Using numbers from the U.S. Office of Managment and Budget and the U.S. Treasury Department, the federal government borrowed $300 billion from in the debt limit suspension period from February 4 through May 19.
While raising the debt ceiling at all means adding to the national debt, one can argue that raising the debt ceiling by a dollar amount may curb potential spending rather than settling for a suspension--if those are the only two options and Republicans stand firm and insist on serious cuts in mandatory spending as a condition for raising the debt ceiling by a dollar amount. If that happens, then everyone will know by what exact amount the borrowing authority of the Treasury has been raised, instead of a guessing game.
The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a Freedom of Information Act request last week claiming that former Treasury deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy Gilbert Metcalf used his Tufts university email account to conduct government business.
Metcalf, a professor of economics at Tufts, was appointed to the Treasury Department in 2011. He left the department in 2012 and returned to the university.
“As it has with numerous other senior administration officials, CEI has established Mr. Metcalf’s use of such an account for Treasury-related correspondence, specifically an account he maintained on the system of his employer prior to joining Treasury, Tufts University,” CEI wrote in the FOIA request. “It also appears that Treasury was not in fact maintaining and preserving these records as required by law and regulation, and similarly that Mr. Metcalf was not providing copies to Treasury.”
Federal record laws require government employees to use their official email accounts to conduct business. If they use a private email account, employees must copy the email to their government account for preservation.
CEI’s FOIA request is part of a larger investigation by the organization into the administration’s interest in establishing a carbon tax. CEI is requesting all Treasury-related emails from Metcalf’s non-official accounts....
◼ Each student was asked to tally his or her score and determine where on the scale between the two extremes they landed. And finally, the request for parents to take the survey too. This was enough for the mom, who wrote her response... - Stand Up For The Truth
Here is the transcript of the letter to the school:
I am appalled by the “Righty or Lefty” poll. First of all it is nobody’s business what mine or my 12-year-old son’s political views are. Secondly, my own son does not even know what half of these issues mean until after discussing them with him. His answers vary greatly during discussion. His views will always change as he grows and as new issues arise and he learns that these things have an effect on his life.We are attempting to contact the district for further comment as to whether this is part of the Common Core curriculum, or simply a teacher who thought this survey might be a good idea. (Much more at the link)
As I am reading these topics, I have noticed the entire thing is pro-Liberal and con-Conservative, being completely skewed towards “Lefty-nicey/meany conservatives” ideology, which I do not approve of. The entire thing is unbalanced and an unfair and inaccurate representation. My family is NEITHER and I do not appreciate you or the school trying to pawn this assignment off on students who are too young to have valuable opinions on these subjects!
I do not know what importance this has as being an assigned worksheet for a “major grade” (has he has informed me). I do not want to hear about it being for a government assignment! Learning about government is one thing – but it is none of your business to try and pry personal information out of a child on extremely private information. I am excusing my son from this assignment and expect this NOT to be counted against his grade. Sincerely, _____.
Barack Obama, once again, lied to America. This time there will be hell to pay. And on this count, the Tea Party has it right. Forcing people to pay high prices for crappy socialist medicine is not an American value.
America is on the brink of a genuine health care disaster. Whatever good intentions may have motivated Barack Obama and his crew in pushing forward the ironically named, Affordable Care Act, the chickens are coming home to roost and the vast majority of voting Americans are going to be pissed. This is at the heart of the battle being waged by the Tea Party and they are right to do so.
I found it! Live from OFA anti-Tea party shutdown protest at Capitol Hill pic.twitter.com/IDGOlSoO9A— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 15, 2013
◼ At 30 minutes into @OFA protest - 16 people counted on Capitol steps - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner
◼ President Obama's secret-money group OFA said they would stage a rally on the Capitol steps today. Less than two dozen people showed up. - Washington Free Beacon
◼ Is the old Obama campaign slideshow “Life of Julia” anywhere to be found on the web? - Althouse
Back in May 2012, everyone was talking about that graphic depiction of the benefits of various government programs. Remember?
Barack Obama has a new composite girlfriend, and her name is Julia. Her story is told in an interactive feature titled “The Life of Julia” on the Obama campaign website. Julia, who has no face, is depicted at various ages from 3 through 67, enjoying the benefits of various Obama-backed welfare-state programs."The Life of Julia" has come to be cited — somewhat humorously — for the proposition that the government has lured women away from men, into a dependent relationship with the government, and this has had various ill effects. But I want to take a new look at why the graphic used a female character. Using a female screened out the reality that males rely on government programs too.
◼ Julia Has Become an Unperson - Ed Driscoll/PJMedia
UPDATE: “Julia was the one who designed the Obamacare website.” Which would explain why she’s been “disappeared” — she’s either been vanquished to Room 101, or she’s been invited to join the Inner Party, depending upon what you think its failure implies for the future of socialized medicine in Oceania.
◼ THE LIFE OF JULIA, the Obama/Biden version saved via The Wayback Machine
◼ http://thelifeofjulia.com/ - SPOOF TEAM
Citizens are reopening their inns and restaurants, delivering Barrycades to the White House, and protesting the closure of monuments and memorials. And they’re placing the blame where it belongs: with President Petulant whose shutdown shenanigans are preventing weddings from taking place in national parks.
Yes we stopped to protest bc my stepom could not get married in the park Damn gov shutdown! pic.twitter.com/6wa98lKJuV— Lorrie Parker (@Lorrie__Parker) October 12, 2013
◼ Man who cut grass at memorial blocked from using mower; American ingenuity kicks in! [pic]
So awesome. Twitchy reported on the citizen who defied the petulance in chief’s shutdown snit fit orders and mowed the lawn at the Barrycaded Lincoln Memorial....Chris Cox was then told that lawn mowers and chainsaws are prohibited. Can’t have that! So, what did he do?
now at WWII mem: man who cut grass at Lincoln mem. Says mowers+chainsaws prohibited. So he's got a blower pic.twitter.com/k1I1680dUe— Peter Doocy (@pdoocy) October 13, 2013
The fraud and misrepresentation recognized years ago by Joe Sixpack and his buddies is writ so large now that even an egghead can see it
The intellectual romance with the clever Barack Obama continues. Having invested so much in candy and flowers, they must ignore all the evidence of being dumped.
His cultivated demeanor and carefully applied patina of synthetic sophistication, fraudulent as it may be, is what attracted the adoration of intellectuals from across the political spectrum in 2008, says Charles Murray, the social scientist and an intellectual with impressive books, studies and learned papers. He admits that he’s a dumpee.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it,” he tells an interviewer for the website Daily Caller, “but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.
“It’s his whole way of presentation of self … of a little self-deprecation in the argument and picking out a nuance here, which is all the ways that we overeducated people have been socialized in the same way. It’s the way we carry on discourse. Along with [seeing] what was a very engaging personality, I kind of ignored things which … a lot of working-class people glommed onto right away.”
With the latter provision, it is easy to see how, during a real estate market upswing, a property’s market value can greatly exceed its taxable value over the span of just a few years.
This difference between a property’s actual value and its taxable value disappears when the property changes hands because then county assessors reassess the property to market value. Thus, recent purchasers derive no immediate benefit from the limitation on annual increases in taxable value.
So is Proposition 13 fair, even to recent property owners? Yes. It treats equally those who purchase property of similar value at the same time. Unlike any other tax system in the country, it provides absolute certainty to homeowners and businesses as to what their tax bills will be in all future years. It prevents property owners’ tax liability from being determined by the vagaries of the real estate market -- something over which they have no control. Instead, the amount of property tax liability will depend almost exclusively on the voluntary act of purchase.
The California Supreme Court recognized Proposition 13’s inherent fairness shortly after its adoption by the voters in saying “an acquisition value system … may operate on a fairer basis than a current value approach.”
Critics might concede that Proposition 13 provides absolute tax certainty and yet still assert that the system is flawed because owners of similar property may be paying different tax amounts. (We call this the “nosy neighbor” complaint). The response to this is that it should be no concern whatsoever to a new resident what his neighbor’s tax is as long as his or her own tax is reasonable. The absolute cap of 1% imposed by Proposition 13 makes everyone’s tax reasonable.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Americans who want to honor and reflect upon the memory of the crew and passengers who perished aboard United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001 will find that the federal government has blocked the road four miles down from the open-air memorial near Shanksville, Pa.
CNSNews.com photographed the spot of the road closure this past weekend. The steel barrier blocking vehicles from passing says: “Because of the federal government shutdown, this National Park Service facility is closed.”
Someone is not impressed that the Flight 93 Memorial is closed. pic.twitter.com/u6GJVpVPrl— Jeremy Hiler (@jjhiler) October 10, 2013
People have attempted to go around the road barriers and walk up to the memorial, but they’re being stopped and sent back. No doubt this manufactured effort requires more staff than is usually necessary to work the entire area when the government is fully up and running.
-- A $12,600 deductible. CNNMoney reported that one family “found a bronze-level plan for roughly $357 a month, after their subsidy, which they could swing. But it comes with a $12,600 family deductible.”
-- Enormous rate increases. A research group found that a 30-year-old male nonsmoker “will see his lowest cost insurance option increase 260 percent.”
-- Some who already buy their own insurance are receiving cancellation notices -- and offers for expensive new policies. The Christian Science Monitor reported on a North Carolina family who had been buying Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance for $380-a-month. “BCBS is offering them a new plan for three times the cost, $1,124.50 a month, still with an $11,000 deductible,” reports the paper.
-- A California couple said that the Obamacare policy suggested to them included a 40 percent increase in their doctor's office co-pay. “Our co-pay skyrocketed from 0 percent to 40 percent and the maximum out-of-pocket increased an additional $2,300,” according to a letter in the Fresno Bee.
-- Kaiser Health News found a lack of competition in some pockets of the country. “Eighteen percent of counties have only one insurer offering plans and 33 percent of counties have only two insurers competing....”
◼ If you think the ObamaCare exchanges and premiums were bad - HotAir
Bear in mind that Democrats claimed that the ObamaCare exchanges would make insurers treat individuals better in relation to group insurance plans. Instead, they’ve made the markets for individuals even worse than before, thanks to the deluge of costly mandates imposed on insurers, who must pass the cost of risk pools to the consumers.
...Plus, we’ve now made it a crime for consumers to refuse health insurance, although many will make that choice anyway:
Millions of Americans may be wrestling with computer glitches to try to sign up for Obamacare — but many people eligible just won’t bother and will pay a price for it.If you have to pay the first $4000 out of your own pocket on insurance premiums that have doubled, why bother at all?
Some will flout the mandate to buy coverage on ideological grounds, a health insurance version of civil disobedience.
Some will opt for the penalty because it’s cheaper than paying for insurance, even with subsidies — as long as they don’t get sick and have to pay their own medical bills.
And some are so confused about the president’s health care law that they may not even realize they have to pay a penalty — or a tax, as the Supreme Court called it — until they get slapped with the fine when they file their 2014 tax returns. And sign-up rates may be affected, too, if the technical problems on the exchange websites persist.
◼ Obamacare's Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn't Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are - Avik Roy/Forbes
A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.
HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs
“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)
◼ HHS Spent $1.5M in FY2012 on TV Studio Used to Promote Obamacare - Washington Free Beacon