THE LAPDOGS BEGIN TO BARK: White House press corps slams Jay Carney on access to Obama.
You want to punish ‘em, White House Press Corps? Just cover him the way you’d cover a Republican president. . . .
THE LAPDOGS BEGIN TO BARK: White House press corps slams Jay Carney on access to Obama.
You want to punish ‘em, White House Press Corps? Just cover him the way you’d cover a Republican president. . . .
LUGGAGEBLOGGING: Andrew Morriss writes:
So I’ve bought the excellent suit bag you recommended and the truly awesome laptop bag, which is The Best Laptop Bag Ever (and I have tried many). How about your thoughts on a rolling, under the seat/overhead in regional jet bag that can hold a change of clothes and laptop? My wife is looking for one and your recommendations have been so much better than our alternative sources of information. And we’ll buy it via your Amazon link!
Hmm. Well, if it weren’t for the laptop requirement, I’d recommend this without hesitation, as it’s just a smaller version of the suit bag above. Helen has this Hartmann carryon, which has wheels and a laptop pocket. We’ve fit it in overheads on smaller jets, but since it’s hard-sided it may not work on all of them. So I’m going to open this up to the Insta-Readership for suggestions. Suggest away!
IN A BIG WIN FOR BOEHNER, House Passes Budget Deal. You can defend this deal, but Boehner’s gratuitous Tea Party-bashing won’t help the GOP win next year. A lot of Tea Party folks stayed home in 2012 because the GOP establishment made clear it didn’t like them. That makes all this talk about the need to win elections ring a bit hollow.
I’M SURE THE POLITICAL CLASS IS OKAY WITH THAT: Who Owns the Code of Life? Washington control of genetic data would send us down the road to medical serfdom.
INSTAVISION: I talk to Brian Kilmeade about his new book, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution.
After visiting dozens of doctors and suffering for nearly five years from pelvic pain so severe that he could not work, Daniel Davidson, 57, a dentist in Dalton Gardens, Idaho, finally found a specialist in Phoenix who had an outstanding reputation for treating men like him.
Dr. Davidson, whose pain followed an injury, waited five months for an appointment and even rented an apartment in Phoenix, assuming he would need surgery and time to recover.
Six days before the appointment, it was canceled. The doctor, Michael Hibner, an obstetrician-gynecologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, had learned that members of his specialty were not allowed to treat men and that if he did so, he could lose his board certification — something that doctors need in order to work.
The rule had come from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. On Sept. 12, it posted on its website a newly stringent and explicit statement of what its members could and could not do. Except for a few conditions, gynecologists were prohibited from treating men. Pelvic pain was not among the exceptions.
Dr. Davidson went home, close to despair. His condition has left him largely bedridden. The pain makes it unbearable for him to sit, and he can stand for only limited periods before he needs to lie down.
I KEEP TELLING YOU PEOPLE THAT THE OXFORD COMMA IS ESSENTIAL: Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro ‘marriage.’
JAMES MORROW VS. THE NANNY-STATERS: Leave us alone to enjoy our simple pleasures – and sins.
The worst form of lust is the lust to control others. For it is never sated.
A four-hour drive from the nearest cellular coverage in the remote highlands of Papua, Indonesia, a new kind of guerilla telecom network is operating, albeit outside the law, using a cheap base station roped into a treetop.
The technology could provide a new model for self-managed “last mile” mobile coverage in the world’s hardest-to-reach areas, where traditional top-down telecommunications business models don’t work.
The project was set up by a team from the University of California, Berkeley. The resulting network is now operated by a tiny stand-alone telecommunications company run by a local NGO, with a laptop for local billing and a satellite connection to the rest of the world. The network relies on Swedish phone numbers because no local telecommunications company would provide them.
“It’s a telco-in-a-box that we put in a tree,” says Kurtis Heimerl, a developer at Range Networks and grad student at UC Berkeley who led the project. “It’s a demonstration that these populations can profitably and sustainably manage their own networks. We don’t need telcos to do this; these communities can do this by themselves.”
I imagine the telcos will be willing to do a lot to quash this sort of thing. They might even go so far as to provide service themselves . . . .
A PROBLEM BEYOND ANY CURRENT DISASTER-PREPAREDNESS: Collapse of the universe is closer than ever before.
STANDING UP TO BIG WIND: “One admirable exception to the Wind Belt political rule is Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, who keeps reminding fellow Republicans that they claim to oppose corporate welfare. Last month he collected 52 House signatures on a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, noting that the tax credit undermines GOP efforts to reform the tax code and should be allowed to expire.”
THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Chief Judge For 9th Circuit Cites “Epidemic” Of Prosecutor Misconduct.
I’ve had some thoughts on the subject myself.
IN THE MAIL: From Brian Kilmeade & Don Yaeger, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution.
PEELING THE ONION OF FAIL (CONT’D): ObamaCare “enrollees” don’t seem to be actually paying for their insurance.
UPDATE: Another layer: Obamacare forcing 14 percent cut in Medicare’s home health care program.
MICKEY KAUS: “The Obama Administration continues to blaze new paths to corporatism (the cozy alliance of government with a few big businesses in each industry to the exclusion of smaller players).” All in the name of helping the little guy, of course. But wait, there’s a downside:
Obama’s second, FDA-style form of corporatism might ironically pose a serious threat to the Washington economy. After all, if all regulations are hashed out informally around a table between regulators, a few oligopolists and industry trade associations**-well, will we need so many lawyers to litigate rules in formal, quasi-judicial agency proceedings, and then to sue to get them overturned in court? Covington & Burling could lay off half its partners.
MEGAN MCARDLE: Republicans Get The Better End Of The Budget Deal.
Yesterday, Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray announced a mini budget deal. Two interesting things to note: It is a better deal for Republicans than Democrats. And at the moment, Republicans seem more upset about it than Democrats are.
They’re upset because the deal provides temporary relief from some sequestration cuts — about half of the scheduled cuts in 2014, and less than that in 2015. Last night, I heard a powerful conservative activist argue that all in all, this is a good deal for Republicans: The cuts it locks in are matters of law, not discretionary, so Republicans won’t get rolled in the 2016 appropriation process the way that Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush did. Nonetheless, rumor has it that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t vote for it.
Sequestration was a major tactical error by Democrats, who thought that they were safe in agreeing to domestic discretionary spending cuts as long as those cuts were paired with defense cuts; eventually, everyone would go back to the negotiating table and undo both. It turns out that Republicans aren’t as attached to huge military spending as they used to be, which seemed obvious to me even at the time that deal was made. Republicans are very happy to see defense cuts if they also guarantee cuts in other parts of government. That gave them a strong hand in the negotiations, and that’s why they came out with more than Democrats did: some relief on the cuts, but no new taxes or spending increases such as further extending unemployment benefits.
But if they do nothing at all, many reason, they get all the sequestration cuts. Why trade them away?
To avoid another showdown. Though I, too, would like government to shrink, I think this is the right policy trade-off; shutdowns are making it harder and harder to talk about rational budget policy in this town. And tactically, I think this is a clear win for the Republican Party. The last thing they need right now is to take the focus off the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and revive Obama’s flagging poll numbers with an ill-timed budget battle. Their best shot at a budget they really like is, after all, to retake the Senate in 2014.
I think that’s right. I think the problem is that a lot of the grassroots don’t trust the GOP leadership to do that. The leadership might want to think about what it can do to build such trust.
CATHY YOUNG: “Rape Culture” And Free Speech. Like “mansplaining,” the term “rape culture” is now just a functional synonym for “anything a woman disagrees with.” It need be taken no more seriously. Particularly as American/Western culture is among the least-rapey in the world, or in history.
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PEELING THE ONION OF FAIL (CONT’D): Hacker Says ObamaCare Website Security Still Not Fixed.
MICHAEL BARONE: Obamacare’s rocky rollout improves Republicans’ 2014 outlook. But don’t get cocky, kids.
Hunter Yelton of Cañon City, Colo., is accused of sexual harassment. Hunter Yelton is 6 years old and in the first grade. “He has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back,” reports Colorado Springs’ KRDO-TV. “It may sound innocent enough,” the station intones. But in Barack Obama’s America, even a small boy can become a sexual suspect.
“It was during class yeah,” Hunter tells the station. “We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That’s what happened.” His mother continues explaining:
“[The girl] was fine with it, they are ‘boyfriend and girlfriend.’ The other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said ‘sexual harassment.’ This is taking it to an extreme that doesn’t need to be met with a six year old. Now my son is asking questions . . . what is sex mommy? That should not ever be said, sex. Not in a sentence with a six year old,” said Hunters’ [sic] mom, Jennifer Saunders.
Hunter spent Monday at home, under suspension from school. The school-district superintendent says, in KRDO’s paraphrase, that “Hunters’ [sic] actions fit the school policy description of ‘sexual harassment.’ . . . The school district also says Hunters’ [sic] parents may believe that kissing the girl at school is overall acceptable–but that’s where the school disagrees.”
Clearly buffoons are in charge of the school and the district, but what does that have to do with Obama? The answer is that these buffoons are following orders from Washington.
And the buffoon-in-chief. Another reason to look at alternatives to public schools. Taranto concludes:
As amusing as the story of Hunter Yelton is, however, it is an example of a dire and widespread problem. “Sexual harassment” rules are ostensibly sex-neutral, but in practice they are used primarily to police male behavior. Feminists like Hanna Rosin note with triumph that girls and women do better in school than their male counterparts. One reason is that normal female behavior is seldom stigmatized or punished in the name of “civil rights.”
And while college “justice” is often downright oppressive, the excesses of contemporary feminism know no age limits. As the story of Hunter Yelton demonstrates, the war on men is also a war on little boys.
Well, little boys are cute, but they grow up to become those nasty men, you know. Nits make lice, as they say.
Related: Criminalizing Heterosexuality.
ROLL CALL: Budget Deal Is Better Than Nothing for Weakened Obama. “This isn’t the budget deal President Barack Obama has been seeking for the past three years. It’s certainly not the deal he might have been able to conjure a year ago, when he had Republicans desperate to extend the expiring Bush tax cuts. But for a weakened president under water in the polls and facing the prospect of endless stalemate in Congress, it appears to be better than nothing.”
JOHN STOSSEL TAKES ON CELEBRITY HYPOCRITES:
I’m annoyed that so many Hollywood celebrities hate the system that made them rich.
Actor/comedian Russell Brand told the BBC he wants “a socialist, egalitarian system based on the massive redistribution of wealth.”
Director George Lucas got rich not just from movies but also by selling Star Wars merchandise. Yet he says he believes in democracy but “not capitalist democracy.”
Actor Martin Sheen says, “That’s where the problem lies … It’s corporate America.”
And so on.
On my TV show, actor/author Kevin Sorbo pointed out that such sentiments make little sense coming from entertainers. “It’s a very entrepreneurial business. You have to work very hard to get lucky, mixed with any kind of talent to get a break in this business. I told Clooney, George, you’re worth $100 million — of course you can afford to be a socialist!”
It’s bad enough that celebrities trash the only economic system that makes poor people’s lives better.
What’s worse is that many are hypocrites.
Celebrities who support big-government politicians routinely take advantage of tax breaks, which reduce the amount they contribute to that government.
It’s nice that Obama supporter Bon Jovi has a foundation that builds houses for poor people, but at tax time, the musician labels himself a “farmer.” He pays only $100 in state property tax. And his tax dodge gimmick: raising honeybees.
Bruce Springsteen sings about factories closing down but pays little tax on the hundreds of acres of land he owns. His dodge: An organic farmer works his land.
Hollywood’s campaign to “save the earth” brings out the most hypocrisy. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio recently announced, “I will fly around the world doing good for the environment.” Really? Flying around the world? I’m amazed they’re not embarrassed by what they say.
NOT THE BOTTLED WATER: Robert McManus: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Dasani?
“Invisible Child,” the New York Times’s 29,000-word account of the tragically chaotic life of a rootless 11-year-old girl, is a remarkable piece of work. It is a vivid portrait, unfolding over five days, of a wholly dysfunctional family hard-pressed to cope with the city’s social-services system, to say nothing of life itself. The reporter, Andrea Elliott, has a finely tuned instinct for detail and a rare ability to understate obviously sincere outrage. She’s an accomplished muckraker, and that’s not a bad thing. Her reporting commands attention, and this series of articles deserves the respect it is getting. Still, an agenda shows through: not for nothing did the Times spend 15 months on “Invisible Child”— an undertaking riddled with the same misunderstanding of New York City’s economy that animated Bill de Blasio’s “tale of two New Yorks” mayoral campaign.
The series lacks critical perspective. Yes, poverty and wealth exist side-by-side in New York City, sometimes on the same block. But they always have, and Elliott’s account essentially amounts to an update. Though clearly intended as a call for dramatic action of some sort, “Invisible Child” is pretty much devoid of prescriptions—and of hope, which was abandoned long ago by the drug-addled parents of Dasani (yes, she was named for a bottled-water brand). Elliott is honest enough to characterize Dasani’s circumstances as “largely” of her parents’ making—the hell-hole homeless shelter that the child and her seven siblings must endure; the intermittent hunger; the shame shelter kids feel during the school day. Indignity is the product of profound parental dysfunction, and it defines Dasani’s life. Absent massive municipal intervention, the series implies, the child will be walking the same path as her parents soon enough.
But can city government save Dasani? As Elliott never hesitates to remind readers, Dasani is not unique. There are 22,000 homeless children in New York City. It is, she writes, “the highest number since the Great Depression,” though one never learns whether this is a disproportionately large number relative to other major cities. This is a critical omission for a newspaper series that clearly means to lay ultimate responsibility for Dasani’s circumstances on the steps of City Hall. “With the economy growing in 2004, the Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant,” Elliott writes. “But the opposite happened. As rents steadily rose and low-income wages stagnated, chronically poor families like Dasani’s found themselves stuck in a shelter system with fewer exits.”
Who could imagined such a result, despite vast government expenditures?
INDEED IT DOES: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system.
I’ve had some thoughts on that very subject myself.
HELPFUL ADVICE FROM MY GOVERNMENT: Don’t flush shoes down toilet, Tennessee water resources head advises staff. Well, if you don’t flush them down the toilet, where do you flush them?
JOHN BOEHNER: Conservative Groups’ Reaction to Budget Deal Is ‘Ridiculous.’ Well, John, the problem is they don’t trust you.
IT ONLY TOOK SEVERAL MONTHS: Black Supremacist Who Claimed ‘We Are Going to Have to Kill a Lot of Whites’ No Longer Employed by DHS.
PEELING THE ONION OF FAIL: Oregon signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million. So, roughly $7 million per signup.
YEAH, I’VE READ FOOTFALL, AND I DON’T LIKE THIS: Cassini Spies Mysterious Object Named ‘Peggy’ at Edge of Saturn’s Rings. But then, we’ve been reading the signs and portents for a while. Wake up, sheeple!
MAGGIE MCNEILL: Treating Sex Work As Work.
The common belief in criminalization and legalization regimes is that sex work is unique among all forms of work; this view is solidly rooted in an archaic and sexist view of women as particularly fragile and vulnerable, and the “Swedish model” posits that paying for sex is a form of male violence against women. This is why only the act of payment is de jure prohibited: the woman is legally defined as being unable to give valid consent, just as an adolescent girl is in the crime of statutory rape. The man is thus defined as morally superior to the woman; he is criminally culpable for his decisions, but she is not. In one case, a 17-year-old boy (a legal minor in Sweden) was convicted under the law, thus establishing that in the area of sex, adult women are less competent than male children.
One would expect that feminists would be vehemently opposed to a law that so thoroughly infantilizes women, but it was first enacted in 1999 under pressure from state feminists; its radical feminist supporters in Sweden and other countries seem wholly oblivious to its insulting and demeaning assumptions about women’s agency. Nor is the damage caused by this remarkably bad legislation limited to dangerous precedent; despite unsupported claims by the Swedish government to the contrary, the law has been demonstrated to increase both violence and stigma against sex workers, to make it more difficult for public health workers to contact them, to subject them to increased police harassment and surveillance, to shut them out of the country’s much-vaunted social welfare system, and to dramatically decrease the number of clients willing to report suspected exploitation to the police (due to informants’ justified fear of prosecution). Furthermore, these laws don’t even do what they were supposed to do; neither the incidence of sex work (voluntary or coerced) nor the attitude of the public toward it has changed measurably in any country (Sweden, Norway and Iceland) where they have been enacted.
Yet despite this complete failure, Swedish-style rhetoric has been heavily marketed to other countries.
This comes as no great surprise. Lefties deny everyone agency, one way or another.
AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Russian Meteor, from Birth to Fiery Death: An Asteroid’s Story.
Scientists have pieced together the history of the space rock that slammed into the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15, creating a shock wave that injured 1,200 people. It’s a long, convoluted tale that picks up just after the solar system started coming together 4.56 billion years ago. . . .
Work published just a few months ago indicates that the Chelyabinsk asteroid was exposed to space just 1.2 million years ago, suggesting that yet another impact occurred around that time, Kring added.
This collision perhaps finalized the size of the space rock, which is thought to have measured about 65 feet (20 meters) wide when it entered Earth’s atmosphere.
“And finally, of course, we have one more collisional event, on Feb. 15, 2013,” Kring said.
While the Chelyabinsk asteroid met its end that day, other fragments of the LL chondrite still exist out in the depths of space. One such chunk is the 1,770-foot-long (540 m) asteroid Itokawa, which Japan’s Hayabusa spacecraft visited in 2005, gathering samples that were returned to Earth five years later.
Good thing that that fragment wasn’t the one that hit.
A SAD STORY WITH A HAPPY ENDING: A mother-of-two has finally achieved a ‘mind-blowing’ orgasm with her husband of 13 years after years of rejecting him.
SPEAKING AS AN ASPLENIC-AMERICAN, I feel that Harvard is mocking my disability. Where do I file a complaint?
I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING. AND GEORGE W. BUSH! As More People Live Longer Why Are Rates of Dementia Falling? “A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine points out that something unexpected has happened to confound the gloomy prognostications of epidemiologists and demographers. As the percentage of people surviving into old age increases, so the proportion of them who suffer from dementia decreases. People are not only living longer, but living better. This is a phenomenon that has happened across the western world.”
I bought a case of Rippetoe’s book Starting Strength and give them away to my friends. I really think his strength training saved my life when I had a heart attack. I have no detectable damage. Highly recommended.
Well, I dunno about heart attacks, but it couldn’t hurt.
POTEMKIN VILLAGES ALL THE WAY DOWN: ‘Fake’ sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela memorial provokes anger.
Plus: WSJ: Poll: Health Law Hurts President Politically; Disapproval Rate Obama’s Job Performance Rises to All-Time High of 54%, Even as Americans Upbeat on Economy. “The federal health-care law is becoming a heavier political burden for President Barack Obama and his party, despite increased confidence in the economy and the public’s own generally upbeat sense of well-being, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll suggests.”
DAN MITCHELL: Ryan-Murray Budget Deal Replaces Real Spending Restraint of Sequester with Budget Gimmicks and Back-Door Tax Hikes. To be fair, the Dems wanted to gin up a government shutdown to distract from the ObamaCare debacle, and this prevents that. And the GOP can always push for spending cuts at the next debt-limit vote, in a context that’s politically much safer.
I PREFER MY “PEELING AN ONION OF FAIL” METAPHOR, BUT “FAIL FRACTAL” HAS A NICE RING TO IT, TOO: ACA Fail Fractal: The Deeper You Get, The More Dysfunction You See.
Higher deductibles can, in certain contexts, be useful for introducing some price sensitivity into the system. But that depends on how people go about dealing with them. There are two deep-rooted problems with what remains in many ways an excellent health care system overall: it is too expensive, and not enough people have enough access to it. The cheaper health care becomes, the easier it is to expand access. In a cheaper system, fewer people need subsidies and the subsidies they do need are smaller. Without fixing costs, on the other hand, more and more people, not to mention the government, struggle to pay for our system, and the resources for expanding access shrink as the cost of do so grows.
Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act puts most of its effort on the wrong end of the problem: access rather than price. That’s one reason the rollout has been going so poorly and in some respects will get worse. Because not much effort was put into cost control, many insurers have taken the one easy step available to them to limit rate shock: restricting provider networks. As a result, people are unexpectedly losing access to doctors they have seen for years.
COMING NEXT, CLAUDE RAINS ORDERS AN INVESTIGATION INTO GAMBLING AT MONSIEUR RICK’S: Hilarious: Clueless Sebelius Demands Investigation Into Screwed-Up ObamaCare Website.
WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE WITH THIS KIND OF ONE-SIDED PRO-GOVERNMENT COVERAGE? MSNBC? China state media under fire for arguing benefits of smog. No, because other state media are actually criticizing them: “While both pieces have since been deleted from their websites, Chinese newspapers lost little time in denouncing their point of view, in an unusual case of state media criticizing other state media, showing the scale of the anger.”
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HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: ABA Proposes Annual Audits of Law School Placement Data.
On Friday we analyzed a fatuous article in which the Washington Post’s Ryan Cooper tried to reassure his left-liberal readers that they needn’t worry about the next phase of the ObamaCare disaster–that is, the third phase, known as “adverse selection.” Adverse selection will occur when young, healthy adults fail to purchase insurance at inflated prices, which ObamaCare needs them to do to sustain the artificially low premiums of the middle-aged and those with pre-existing conditions.
Well, you’ll never guess who’s terrified of adverse selection. “Only 29% of uninsured young people now say they plan to sign up for Obamacare,” warns an email we received today from one Mark Crain:
This could become a gigantic problem, because the only way we can afford to cover all the people with pre-existing conditions is if younger, healthier people enroll as well. If only sick people sign up, our entire health insurance system falls apart.
And who is this Mark Crain? He’s with MoveOn.org, that chronic affliction on the American body politic since 1998. Laughably, Crain blames adverse selection on “one-sided press coverage.”
Well, he’s kinda right — if it weren’t for one-sided press coverage, ObamaCare never would have passed. Heck, Obama never would have been elected.
YEAH, WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING? Byron York: Euphoria of Obamacare becomes nightmare of higher premiums and deductibles.
From a distance of three and a half years, the events of March 23, 2010, the day President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, seem like something from another world.
On that day, the Democrats who gathered in the East Room of the White House for the signing ceremony could barely contain their joy. They cheered, they laughed, they shouted, they pumped their fists, they wouldn’t sit down. They chanted “Fired up — ready to go!” as they had at Obama campaign rallies. When the president recognized Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the House, the chant turned to “Nancy! Nancy! Nancy!”. . . .
After an effusive introduction from Vice President Biden, Obama turned almost immediately to the task ahead. “It will take four years to implement fully many of these reforms,” he said, “because we need to implement them responsibly. We need to get this right.”
At the time, no one had any idea just how ill-prepared Obama and his administration were to actually do the job they set for themselves. Three years later, approaching an Oct. 1, 2013, deadline for the establishment of the Obamacare exchanges, the administration was still scrambling to finish even the most basic tasks. What followed was disaster.
But on signing day 2010, it was all cheering. As the audience applauded, Obama promised the new law would “lower costs for families and for businesses.” He cited the case of Natoma Canfield, an Ohio woman whose story he often told during the health care fight. Canfield, divorced and 50 years old, had had cancer but was still able to find what she called “costly, but affordable” coverage on the individual market. Then her insurance company abruptly raised her premium.
“Natoma had to give up her health coverage after her rates were jacked up by more than 40 percent,” Obama said.
Now, because of Obamacare, millions of Americans in the individual market, most of whom have not had a major health crisis, are facing abrupt increases of more than 40 percent in their health insurance premiums. On top of that, they are finding deductibles rising far beyond those that troubled Canfield. (In a 2009 letter to the president, Canfield complained of having a $2,500 deductible; on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that under Obamacare “the average individual deductible for what is called a bronze plan on the exchange — the lowest-priced coverage — is $5,081 a year.”)
Even the president’s personal observations on signing day were not what they appeared. “I’m signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother,” Obama told the audience, “who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days.” Obama often cited his mother’s story, suggesting that she had to fight to have her treatment covered. But a year after the signing ceremony, a 2011 biography of Stanley Ann Dunham revealed she had health coverage that covered the costs of her cancer treatment. Her argument was over a disability policy, which she wanted to pay her living — not medical — expenses. Obama never said that.
It’s lies and incompetence all the way down.
While the House ties up some legislative loose ends this week before adjourning for the year, there is one suspension bill the public — and House Republicans — might be surprised to find many Democrats opposing: a measure aimed at boosting pediatric medical research at the National Institutes of Health.
The “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act,” named after a 10-year-old girl who died in October following an 11-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor, would end $12.5 million in funding for party nominating conventions and authorize the money for pediatric research grants instead. It’s the latest iteration of a proposal House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., unveiled in April and is sponsored by Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss.
“They’re politicizing the death of a child by naming the bill after her,” a Democratic leadership aide told CQ Roll Call on Tuesday. “That’s pretty disingenuous and callous to use a tragedy like hers to advance something partisan.”
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Yeah, the Democrats in Congress would never stoop to something like that . . . .
MALKIN TAKES THE BOEING — AGAIN: Salem Communications to acquire Twitchy. Meanwhile, I just keep plodding along, unbought.
A RESURGENCE OF “LIBERATION THEOLOGY?” Long march through the institutions continues.
GONZALO LIRA: Why Are You Speculating Instead Of Investing? “These people chasing returns aren’t greedy or evil. But they realize that, as they grow older, they won’t be able to count on Social Security to get them through their old age. They’ll need a nest egg that will produce enough income to get them through the thirty years after the end of their working life.” The system as currently run is designed to encourage you to do this, by punishing people for traditionally prudent saving.
A RIPPETOE CHRISTMAS: Reader Stephen Staff writes:
Glenn – was at the gym this morning and observed someone doing a barbell squat with perfect form. A quick question confirmed what I had suspected – Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength strikes again! It’s not the first time I’ve asked the question after observing someone with great form (which is all too often NOT the case) and heard them sing Rippetoe’s praises. I thought it might be a great idea to remind readers that the book would make a great Christmas gift to anyone who is a lifter – novice or pro. Might come in handy for those New Year’s resolutions as well! Thanks.
IN BRITAIN, AN IMMIGRATION GAP BETWEEN POLITICIANS AND VOTERS: Ed Miliband accused of contempt for voters after his polling guru said their anti-immigration views made him ‘depressed.’ Well, the whole point of Britain’s immigration policy over the past couple of decades was to replace the existing voters with newer, more tractable ones. . . .
HMM: Budget Deal Is Sealed. “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a budget deal Tuesday evening that would call for about $1 trillion in federal spending in 2014 while replacing some sequestration cuts. The deal replaces $63 billion in sequester cuts over two years and trims an additional $23 billion in long-term deficits. The agreement falls far short of the grand budget bargain Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama once envisioned. But if passed, it will bring a measure of fiscal peace to the capital for the first time since Republicans took control of the House in 2010.”
I dunno. It may be more politically advantageous than another shutdown, but I think the sequester was doing a better job of restraining spending.
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: All My Exes Live in Texts: Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up. “There’s the ex who ‘likes’ everything you post. The ex who appears in automated birthday reminders. The ex who appears in your OkCupid matches. The ex whose musical taste you heed on Spotify. The ex whose new girlfriend sent a friend request. . . . There was also a time, I am told, when staying in touch was difficult. Exes were characters from a foreclosed past, symbols from former and forgone lives. Now they are part of the permanent present.” Well, I dunno. I always tended to stay in touch with ex-girlfriends. Helen and I probably would never have dated if it weren’t for one of them who put us together.
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REMEMBER, THE REASON THERE ARE SO FEW MALE TEACHERS IS THAT PEOPLE THINK OF MEN AS PREDATORS: Former Hillsborough teacher sentenced to 38 years for sex with student.
Calling her “a parent’s worst nightmare,” a judge sentenced former Hillsborough County schoolteacher Ethel Anderson to 38 years in prison Monday for performing oral sex and other lewd acts on a 12-year-old boy she tutored on weekends.
Circuit Judge Chet Tharpe’s severe punishment of Anderson seemed designed to send a message in a county that has attracted disproportionate attention for sex scandals involving female educators. The most notorious of them, Debra Lafave, managed to avoid incarceration completely after pleading guilty to sex with a 14-year-old boy.
“There are those that believe that nothing’s wrong if the defendant is a woman and the victim is a male,” Tharpe said Monday. “This court does not recognize gender. If it’s proven, as an adult, that you had sex with a child, you can expect to go to prison.”
Read the whole thing.
BRAVE TALK FROM A MAN WHO STILL USES A BLACKBERRY: Obama Says Everyone Should Learn How to Hack.
The endeavor is reminiscent of the “Year of Code” campaign promoted in 2012 by programming tutorial company Codecademy, which culminated in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tweeting that his New Year’s resolution was to learn to code. The campaign earned criticism from some programmers who think technical skills are being overemphasized.
“I would no more urge everyone to learn programming than I would urge everyone to learn plumbing,” Discourse co-founder and CTO Jeff Atwood wrote.
None the less, the code literacy movement has continued apace. Several companies are taking part the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week. Apple is hosting Hour of Code tutorials at its Apple Store retail locations, and Codecademy today launched an iPhone app for learning code on the go.
But the big question on everyone’s minds? Whether will Obama take his own advice and complete a programming tutorial today.
No. Next question?
AS PETER O’TOOLE SAID IN THE STUNT MAN, “If God could do the things we can do, he’d be a happy man.” 5 Behind the Scenes Details That Change How You See Movies. This probably also explains why Hollywood types have such a peculiar view of politics.