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Belmont Club

Can’t Stop the Music

May 17th, 2014 - 4:50 pm

Administrations absolutely swamped by scandal have a defense unavailable to more competent administrations: dense pack.  ”Dense pack” is a term used to describe a strategy proposed during the Cold War to deploy American ICBMs so close together that Soviet missiles trying to target them would run into each other in a process called ‘fratricide’.  The Obama administration’s primary defense against any scandal taking root is that it must inevitably be displaced next week by a new one. So nothing lasts. All anyone can do is Move On.

The Financial Times actually believes that a Veteran’s Administration scandal may taint president Obama in a way that Benghazi, IRS, the AP wiretapping scandal, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Libya, NSA, Ukraine and Obamacare could not. In an article filled with outrage the writer thinks, this time it sticks.  Why should it?  Dense pack is alive and well.

For example, most people have lost track of Obamacare. Last word from the Media is that the debate over the program “is over”. Only crazy people talk about it now, like Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times who complains that unless Republicans save them the adminstration will be crushed over the uproar over employer mandates.

Already, many employers are cutting healthcare benefits and blaming Obamacare, even though the provisions that affect them won’t be activated for another year or more. Removing a provision that limits this impulse may be risky for employee health.

These effects would be proper topics for legislative study and careful action. We don’t live in a world where that takes place. If only the critics of Obamacare could shed their wild-eyed claims about the law and turn to fixing what needs to be fixed. If only.

That’s Hiltzik’s way of saying “save us from ourselves”. But the plea is delivered with a tone of confidence, as if by helping the Democrats kill the employer mandate which is rushing at them like a freight train, you will be doing yourself a favor.  Obamacare is a cemetery littered with skeletons. There was the brouhaha over whether you can keep your doctor. You want a doctor? California is considering a bill that would allow illegal aliens to practice medicine.

Now if you don’t want to be treated by an illegal alien doctor, there’s always the “physician assistant”. Forbes writes:

Though a physician shortage appears inevitable as more Americans get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, new research indicates new primary care models using nurse practitioners and physician assistants could “eliminate” the scarcity of primary-care doctors.

Like the president said, “the debate is over”.

It’s official now. Your Obamacare premium is going to go up by about 9% this year. Ezra Klein admits it and, unable to deny it, gives six pitiful reasons why the program that calls itself the “Affordable Care Act” and promised to “bend the cost curve” is raising prices.

  1. Insurance premiums went up every year before Obamacare. They’re likely to go up afterwards, too.
  2. Some rates will go up a little. Some will go up a lot. A handful might go down.
  3. Every state will be different
  4. What matters the most: who insurers expected to sign up in 2014
  5. The rates for 2015 involve a lot of guesswork
  6. These are only opening bids

Eight million new enrollees are in, 75% of whom had insurance to begin with and are buying to replace the plan which if they liked they couldn’t keep. Only 80% have paid their bills. Four state healthcare exchanges have given up the ghost having utterly collapsed and are turning over everything to Healthcare.gov, but only after burning through half a billion dollars in Federal grants. Incoming HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell says she wants the money back.

She wants it back probably because she’ll need the money herself. The Federal Exchange has not built its backend yet. In fact Amy Goldstein and Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post say it’s handing out money uncontrollably, like a broken ATM machine.

The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors, according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation.

The problem means that potentially hundreds of thousands of people are receiving bigger subsidies than they deserve. They are part of a large group of Americans who listed incomes on their insurance applications that differ significantly — either too low or too high — from those on file with the Internal Revenue Service, documents show. …

the federal computer system at the heart of the insurance marketplace cannot match this proof with the application because that capability has yet to be built, according to the three individuals.

Like a cash machine that has no idea how much a customer actually has in its account, the Federal government is handing out tax money in subsidies to people who declared a lower income on their Obamacare application than on their tax return.  And the Obamacare site is powerless to detect it.

The inability to make certain the government is paying correct subsidies is a legacy of computer troubles that crippled last fall’s launch of HealthCare.gov and the initial months of the first sign-up period for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Federal officials and contractors raced to correct most of the technical problems hindering consumers’ ability to choose a health plan. But behind the scenes, important aspects of the Web site remain defective — or simply unfinished.

All those broken State Health sites running for shelter to Healthcare.gov are going to migrate that data into a bucket without a bottom. But if you’ve never heard of these problems, don’t blame yourself, since there isn’t time after reading up on the Veteran’s Administration scandal, Benghazi, IRS, the AP wiretapping scandal, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Libya, NSA, Ukraine to even care about the Obamacare backend.

You’re swamped, the victim of information fratricide. There isn’t time in the day to keep up with the disasters, glitches, ommissions that pile on like a blizzard. Beaucoup harm and Boko Haram are merging into the same dizzying word. While the Veteran’s Scandal reveals an almost unbelievable heartlessness, corruption and incompetence in the heart of the administration.  the FT is wrong in thinking it will have legs. Nothing has legs because the only question is, what outrage comes next?

You can’t stop the music, nobody can stop the music.
Take the heat from flame, try not feeling pain,
Though you try in vain it’s much easier.
No, you can’t stop the music, nobody can stop the music.
Change the master plan, take the hope from man
’cause that’s easier to do.


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Top Rated Comments   
But you know the answers why the IRS scandal in not attended by outrage:

1) half the country hates the Tea Party and is happy to see them targeted
2) half the country pays no income taxes and therefore faces has no risk
3) half the country knows that the IRS is an appendage of their political party and, again, poses no risk to them

What IS astonishing is that the GOP didn't establish a select committee on this scandal immediately. It is far and away the most pernicious scandal of the Obama years.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have always thought that the IRS scandal far outweighed Benghazi, and have been irked that the congressional GOP does not seem to act that way.

ALL due respect to the lost and their families, but for ugly things to happen in a revolutionary cauldron in the Arab world is understandable. The truest fault is with the Islamo-fascists. And I think people get that, in a way that will not do the GOP well to get stuck on. (I do not intend to argue fault vs. not on the specific Benghazi events further, thanks.) The truest political outrage was the despicably mendacious willingness to lie up down and sideways about it to get re-elected.

But how it is even possible that the IRS issue does not fill every American's heart with horror is beyond me. Wasn't this one of the worst things that Nixon was accused of? The staggering totalitarian implications of that agency being used against political enemies should cause a run on torches and pitchforks coast to coast, and it staggers me that that does not appear to be happening. Had this been W. Bush??............. please.

If the "dense pack" theory of scandal is correct, the GOP might be harping on the wrong one for breakout potential.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Truth doesn't matter

All that matters to most is the ReThuglicans are evil, racist, jew-puppets, that hate gays, and will outlaw abortions.

Any failures of the system and the economy are obviously the fault of these ReThuglicans (or as the Germans in the 30s would call them "Die Juden").

What fails is never the fault of the good pure of heart and well intentioned Democrats.

.

I can't stand living in this state's (and now country's) Culture of Mendacity and the Democrats Ideology of Hate and Identity Politics.
.
WHAT you do (or don't) is no longer the basis of right & wrong.
what matters instead is WHO you are and where CLAIM to you fall in the Marxist oppressor/oppressed dynamic.



13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (61)
All Comments   (61)
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Dense pack?

But Wikipedia shows just a handful of minor scandals in the Obama presidency, nothing like that stupid warmongering evil genius G. W. Bush.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_scandals_in_the_United_States

Nothing to see here, move along...
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good to know.

I find all the unsubstantiated rumors posted here unpleasant and unsettling.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
No bottom for these folks:

UPDATE: U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran's campaign is questioning how Chris McDaniel's campaign manager, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner, apparently knew about Clayton Kelly's arrest before news of him allegedly sneaking into Rose Cochran's nursing home room and taking photos broke.

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/local/2014/05/17/cochran-wife-nursing-home-arrest/9211639/

---

And a "Conservative Blogger" did it, according to ABC:

"Authorities say a conservative Mississippi blogger went into a nursing home, photographed the bedridden wife of Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran without permission and posted an image online as part of a video."

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/man-accused-exploiting-sen-cochrans-ill-wife-23763614
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
For fascists, lies are so precious, they must be surrounded by a vanguard of truth.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
'For fascists, lies are so precious, they must be surrounded by a vanguard of truthiness™.'

FTFY
;^)
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://video.foxnews.com/v/3572043441001/inside-the-terror-of-boko-haram/?playlist_id=930909813001#sp=show-clips&v=3572043441001

This is six minutes from Hannity's show a day or two ago. Hannity is not the reason to watch this video --watch it for his interview of a Nigerian lawyer named Emmanuel Ogebe --listen to what Ogebe says about his efforts to get through to the state dept over the last couple years (esp the 75 page brief he sent to Hillary in 2012 --and got 'not even an acknowledgement of reception'). Listen to what he says about his effort to engage the US congress, which he says has stopped worrying about BH because it has bought the commercial story, that the girls were stolen for sale at $12/apiece, "...which is all of $3,600".

Jeeeeez.

Still thinking about that 300 comment bombshell post wretchard did a few days ago, about AQ and the Obama admin, about how difficult it is to comprehend a paradigm shift of such magnitude, when along comes Mr. Ogebe, with information from the front.

So, back to today's post, if we're trying to figure out which is the worst thing this bunch has done/is doing, at least some consideration has to be given to an AQ alliance as #1, since it was AQ who did, well, the WTC attack on 9/11/01.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS,

http://nyyrc.com/blog/2013/09/is-cia-director-john-brennan-a-muslim-brother/

--found this blog in Belmont comments awhile back --it's well written and very concise. This is old news on Brennan but very well presented here. Brennan, the sanitizer of Obama's state dept records --that's not mentioned in the article but it ought to be.

===

So, me, i'll probably still be sitting here trying to figure out whether it's the commies or the jihadis coming after me, when the communist jihadis show up with the jihadi communists right here in River City.

Yipee! Targets!


13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Africa maps of the main info categories, well-ordered:

PPS,

http://maps-africa.blogspot.com/2012/05/map-of-africa-political-pictures.html

Nigeria has the largest and fastest-growing economy in the sub-Sahara, said David Rice, in Hannity's discussion group at the top link. Rice lives in Lagos, which he says is a safe, dynamic, wonderful city full of opportunity and enterprise. Here's his blog:

http://davidriceadventures.blogspot.com/

...but, he says, "I don't travel to the north".

===

So it begins to come clear what's going on here --duh --it's the first thought, and the last thought: another takeover in progress --by who the hell ever it is --
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
FWIW my anti-virus program alerted to this link.

Er, the map link.... then BC post comment wouldn't work.

Not sure what I got a hit on now.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Apologies, AM --i thought the site looked good --i'll be more keerful from now on --
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
PPPS,

--when the Emmanuel Ogebe's of the third world finally completely lose faith in the free world --they have to be wondering why fab wealthy NATO couldn't send a couple of airborne brigades to liquidate Boko Haram once and for all --they will appeal to RussiaChinaIran for help to save their villagers from massacre. It's as certain as day follows night. And guess what? RussiaChinaIran will send a couple of airborne brigades to liquidate Boko Haram once and for all.

And that will be that. Earth history, 2014: Slave World 1, Free World 0 --and game over.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
http://www.bing.com/search?q=jill+abramson+quote+administration+secrecy&form=IE8SRC&src=IE-SearchBox

Wanna scoop the MSM and Sunday Morning talk shows? Here's why JA was fired --and why you won't hear much from the NYT about the upcoming Putin state visit to China.

The lag time between her Obama crit and her sacking was what passes for genius these days --as in "let's wait a month or two --then nobody will connect it".

Why am i so sure of the connection? Because, considering her original complaint, her firing drives the irony pressure gauge to the the pop-off zone --and thus is of a piece with the entire thematic concept of the ongoing opera of destruction.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
When the Dems are not in power they keep up a drumbeat of outrages that eventually convince at least some people that the Repubs are rotten.

Remember the outing of Valerie Plame, the crime that turned out not to be a crime in the first place but that nonetheless sent someone even not involved, Scooter Libby, to jail?

Remember the 7 fired US Attorneys, which Hillary! said that Bush could have fired them all for no reason but could not fire 7 of them for cause?

Remember Saddam’s WMDs, which was not why we invaded Iraq in the first place?

Remember the vicious Bush Admin racist attacks against Franklin Raines, who turned out to be so responsible for the Great Recession?

This nonsense is done not just to make the Repubs look bad but because the Dems know darn well that no one will have to generate a hollow drumbeat when they get into office; they’ll do their own real parade of scandals just in the normal course of business.

But this time the Dems have outstripped themselves. They’ll have to prove that the next Repub Admin not only masterminded the kidnapping of the Nigerian schoolgirls but injected all of them with HIV.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's not forget the "outrage" of GWB firing a few U S attorneys when Obama subsequently fired them all.

Or the "outrage" that the veracity of James Hansen at NASA was questioned during Climategate.

The Dems use a "first strike" strategy. The Republicans ought to use a "launch on warning" massive counterforce strategy. Destroy the Dems with FACTS.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's consistent - the Feds demanding back moneys spent on a thing that they forced the states to enact in the first place.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
#somebodypleasebringbacksomebodyschildrensomewhere
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
What they are doing is to make a solution that functions well enough. Cost no longer has any factor. This is the danger zone, because when hundreds of billions (which I believe will be the eventual fudge factor) are hanging in the wind, a few billion to swing an election is a rounding error. There will be payouts to the insurance companies which will cover the kickbacks, and that will be the channel. The funding of the rollout promotion was a proof of concept.

It is ironic that the same people who protested the military industrial complex have no problem with the medical industrial complex.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Newsweek may be hurting but it's playing like the dickens to stay in the game.

And it sure knows on which side its bread is buttered:
http://blog.camera.org/archives/2014/05/post_130.html
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
--yes, this makes sense, that the US is abandoning Israel because Israel has too much influence over the US.

This ain't man-bites-dog, this is man-bites-own-teeth --
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
At least illegals will make the ACA Affordable for Californians!

Hawaii Obamacare Cost Tops Nation -- $23K Per Enrollee

Cost-per-enrollee in each state’s Exchange

...There was a very large variation in cost-per-enrollee among the Exchanges. Of the 15 state-run Exchanges, the state with the lowest cost-per-enrollee was California, at $758, while the state with the highest cost-per-enrollee was Hawaii, at $23,899. Excluding Hawaii and the District of Columbia, which were outliers, the state Exchange with the highest cost-per-enrollee was Massachusetts, at $5,681.

Hawaii’s cost-per-enrollee was 32 times California’s, while Massachusetts’s was 7 times California’s. ...

The five states with the lowest cost-per-enrollee are all states whose governors and/or legislatures have resisted the ACA, and whose Attorneys-General challenged the constitutionality of the ACA. They are as follows:

---

by Jay Angoff, FindJustice.com, May 7, 2014 (excerpts)

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/12583/Hawaii-Obamacare-Cost-Tops-Nation--23K-Per-Enrollee.aspx?utm_source=May+11%2C+2014+News+from+Hawaii+Free+Press&utm_campaign=May+11%2C+2014+Email&utm_medium=email
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The common denominator among these five jurisdictions is that they are very small--all with populations of less than 1.4 million--and thus must spread the fixed costs of the Exchange over a very small base.

Nevertheless, Hawaii and DC, which run their own Exchanges, had costs-per-enrollee that were far higher than those in any of the federally-run small states--almost twice as high in DC, and more than three times as high in Hawaii...."

---

I read that this morning and thought it might make sense after my coffee kicked in.

When it did, I realized I no longer have any idea what an "exchange" is, nor do I want to know.
13 weeks ago
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13 weeks ago
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