The immortal Richard Pryor with a perfect description of what we’ve heard from The Idiot King and Company this week.
As the nation’s top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows.
That was my thought exactly earlier today. Maybe now that Dana Milbank agrees with me it is magically no longer a racist thought.
On and on Holder went: “I don’t know. I don’t know. . . . I would not want to reveal what I know. . . . I don’t know why that didn’t happen. . . . I know nothing, so I’m not in a position really to answer.”
Holder seemed to regard this ignorance as a shield protecting him and the Justice Department from all criticism of the Obama administration’s assault on press freedoms. But his claim that his “recusal” from the case exempted him from all discussion of the matter didn’t fly with Republicans or Democrats on the committee, who justifiably saw his recusal as more of an abdication.
“There doesn’t seem to be any acceptance of responsibility in the Justice Department for things that have gone wrong,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), after Holder placed the AP matter in the lap of his deputy. “We don’t know where the buck stops.”
In the interest of bipartisan outreach, can we put aside politics and just talk business here? This is a failure of management here, plain and simple. The person in charge is either a liar or grossly incompetent. Here in the real world, people lose their jobs for that.
So let’s force politics back into reality.
Having lived in the southwestern United States my whole life Cinco de Mayo has always been a party time but I hear rumors from the other end of the country that people treat it as a junior St. Patrick’s Day back there now. The world is going crazy and a bar holiday is falling on a weekend. Let’s take that as a hint and enjoy ourselves a little. Here are some guacamole and salsa recipes for those of you who want to get a little fancier. And if you have a favorite, feel free to share it with us in the comments. I may try every one I run across this weekend.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Tough love. But without the love.
There was one moment in President Obama’s world-weary press conference last Tuesday when he seemed genuinely interested and engaged. At the very end, when Obama had already begun to depart the podium, a reporter shouted a question about the previously obscure but now famously gay NBA center, Jason Collins. Obama returned to the podium and was animated as he expressed his pride in Collins: “I told him I couldn’t be prouder of him. . . . And I think America should be proud. . . . So I’m very proud of him.”
In the meantime, between his hoop-shooting and golf-playing expeditions and his expositions on the social significance of sports, the president does have a day job. At the press conference he implicitly acknowledged that his job performance on Syria hasn’t been all that great. “What’s happening in Syria,” he said, “is a blemish on the international community generally.” But Barack Obama claims to be nothing if not a leader of “the international community.” So a blemish on the international community is a blemish on the presidency of Barack Obama.
Indeed, when it comes to Syria, even Barack Obama couldn’t claim that there’s much to be proud of: After two years of posturing and vacillating, of big talk and no action, of portentous but unenforced warnings, 75,000 people have died, Bashar al-Assad has remained in power and used chemical weapons, turmoil has spread to neighboring countries and the region has become increasingly unstable and dangerous, and America’s credibility lies in tatters.
Kristol gets in a couple more sharp digs about Collins and basketball which serve to highlight that the president is good at looking cool and concerned to his mindless cult of personality but, over four years into this, remains hopelessly out of his league when it comes to foreign policy.
But Obama may still act. Despite the wavering red line he seems to have laid down, Obama still maintains his earlier position that the (appropriately verified and confirmed, chain-of-custody and all) use of chemical weapons “would be a game-changer,” a phrase he repeated three times at his press conference, and elaborated on once: “That is a game-changer because what that portends is potentially even more devastating attacks on civilians, and it raises the strong possibility that those chemical weapons can fall into the wrong hands and get disseminated in ways that would threaten U.S. security or the security of our allies.”
So what is to be done? The options are far worse than they were two years ago. But Barack Obama must know that in the rough world of Middle East politics, as in the rough world of NBA basketball with which he seems more familiar, a game-changer unresponded-to results in a changed game. It results in defeat.
President Obama’s “Just elect me and the world will love us” foreign policy pitch in 2008 (which got a generous assist from his press monkeys) has been the nightmare any sane person knew it would be. Don’t mention that to an attendee to the court of The Idiot King, however. He or she will begin screaming “He came down from Heaven and slew the wicked bin Laden with a lightning bolt!” over and over, conflating one coordinated military and intelligence operation that began under the Bush administration with foreign policy.
But, hey, empathy or something.
The White House budget office is recalculating how to apply automatic spending cuts for a handful of agencies, freeing up almost $4 billion for the Pentagon and another $1 billion or so for Homeland Security Department and NASA.
Capitol Hill aides familiar with the White House changes say the administration has identified almost $5 billion in cuts that can be restored under its reading of the arcane budget rules governing the across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration. The calculations would restore $5 billion of the scheduled $85 billion in automatic sequestration cuts.
So, not only was The Idiot King’s Sequester Scare Theater a complete critical and box office failure, it didn’t even work for them when they cut too much.
It’s also SUCH a comfort to know that there is no one handy who can properly read the rules when it’s time to make big decisions.
Four more years.
Dying Career #2: Reporter
They say a species must adapt or die, and with the trend of the Internet replacing print journalism (you are reading this on the computer, after all), media folks who don’t adjust might not survive too much longer. In short, many reporters could be going the way of their typewriters soon.
Projected Decline: Reporter and correspondent positions are expected to decline by 8 percent from 51,900 jobs in 2010 to 48,000 in 2020, for a total of nearly 4,000 jobs lost, says the U.S. Department of Labor
Why It’s Dying: The Department of Labor says that because of the trend of consolidation of media companies and the decline in readership of newspapers, reporters will find there are fewer available jobs.
So, if you have a hankering for writing, you might look into…
Alternative Career: Public Relations Specialist
What amused me while reading this is that the real reason reporters are a dying breed is that they’ve already turned into public relations specialists, especially the current MSM types regarding this president. They long ago abandoned the inquisitive nature that real reporters need and now write nothing but fawning high school girl journal entries about how wonderful The Idiot King is.
When this job goes the way of the village blacksmith they’ll have no place but the mirror to look when it’s time to dole out the blame.
Thanks to swelling demand for its F-Series pickups, Ford announced today it would add 900 jobs on a third shift at its Kansas City factory, and later in the year add an additional 1,100 jobs to launch production of the Ford Transit commercial van. Roughly half of the 2,000 new jobs will go to new hires — an impressive addition of workers by the Detroit automaker, which alone among its Michigan rivals does not import full-size pickups from Mexico.
But it didn’t happen without some tough bargaining — and some help from those who will work the line.
While the national economy has been growing in fits and starts, a revived demand for construction jobs and lower gas prices has made pickups the fastest-growing segment among U.S. shoppers this year. Ford’s F-Series sales have risen 19 percent through April, and Ford expects further gains for the remainder of the year.
By adding in the Transit van production, Ford estimates it and its local suppliers will spur a total of 18,000 jobs in the region. Missouri politicians and the UAW all hailed the move today; the jobs “serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation’s manufacturing sector,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department.
Even if the 18,000 residual jobs effect is high this is still certainly a boon to the region and almost otherworldly news in this economy.
Yes, some government assistance was provided here, but at the state level. States adjusting tax rates and regulations to compete for industry is a good thing because…competition. Ford deserves continued praise for not pulling out the hankies and crying for federal assistance when that was all the rage (yes, Lefties, I know it was a Bush thing first-didn’t like it then either).
Here’s an amusing little gem that, sadly, a few conservative sites were duped by today.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was denied a second slice of pizza today at an Italian eatery in Brooklyn.
The owners of Collegno’s Pizzeria say they refused to serve him more than one piece to protest Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban,which would limit the portions of soda sold in the city.
Bloomberg was having an informal working lunch with city comptroller John Liu at the time and was enraged by the embarrassing prohibition. The owners would not relent, however, and the pair were forced to decamp to another restaurant to finish their meal.
There were a couple of lessons to be learned here. The first is that, while you may hate Google, its search engine is still your friend. The Daily Currant tells you it’s a satire site in the Google results.
The second, which has been mentioned here more than once, is that our current crop of political overlords have become so absurd and our press so unquestioning that seems as if The Onion an its counterparts can’t be ridiculous enough to make it clear their stories are satire anymore.
The Supreme Court may have ruled ObamaCare is constitutional, but implementing the controversial federal law would become a crime in South Carolina if a bill passed by the state House becomes law.
The bill, approved Wednesday by a vote of 65-39, declares President Obama’s signature legislation “null and void.” Whereas the law that Obama pushed and Congress passed is known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, South Carolina’s law would be known as the Freedom of Health Care Protection Act.
It would prohibit state officials and employees from “enforcing or attempting to enforce such unconstitutional laws” and “establish criminal penalties and civil liability” for those who engage in activities that aid the implementation of ObamaCare.
Yeah, it’s a long shot but any ensuing legal battles that may result would certainly slow the monster down a little. It also makes it easier for John Roberts to cross thins off of his “Potential Vacation Spots” list.
A New York City elementary school became the first public school in the nation to go completely vegetarian when it stopped serving meat in its cafeteria this year.
Flushing’s P.S. 244 consists of about 400 students between kindergarten and third grade. And the staff say that the school lunches — which include options like black bean quesadillas, brown rice, falafel, roasted red potatoes, and tofu — are a hit among those young kids, some of whom have started requesting similar foods at home
This isn’t about children’s health, it’s about indoctrination in a fringe lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with vegetarian options for children whose parents have chosen to raise them that way.
“Yay, the kids like it!” isn’t a reason to keep doing it if you’re a responsible adult. These are children who are only a year or so removed from eating whatever they could find in their noses. Kids that age like a lot of things that may not be the best for them. Kids this age are growing a lot and, guess what, they need some good protein sources in their diets.
This is a decision that is one for the parents to make, not for school administrators who seek to undermine the role of parents, which is what’s really going on here.
President Barack Obama sought on Thursday to tamp down a potential rift with Mexico over a dramatic shift in the cross-border fight against drug trafficking and organized crime, acceding that Mexicans had the right to determine how best to tackle the violence that has plagued their country.
Since taking office in December, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has moved to end the widespread access that U.S. security agencies have had in Mexico to tackle the violence that affects both sides of the border. It’s a departure from the strategy employed by his predecessor, Felipe Calderon, which was praised by the U.S. but reviled by many Mexicans.
Obama said the shifting security relationship would not hurt cooperation between the neighboring nations.
Of course is won’t hurt cooperation. The mutual hugfest between American (from either party) and Mexican presidents has been going on for so long that the two in charge at the time are always the power couple of porous border immigration problems. The arguments about which side should have access to what really boils down to who has the most hooked up clown car at that point. Leaving it up to Mexican security forces is about as comforting as trusting ICE to enforce the laws here.
Until the US demands that Mexico do something tangible and long term this will all remain just really bad theater.
Both houses of the Colorado legislature passed a major overhaul of state election law that would implement same-day registration and voting, automatically send mail-in ballots to every voter, and create a real-time statewide voter database to prevent fraud. Proponents view the bill, written by a bipartisan group of county clerks, as a national model for other states.
This was posted at Think Progress so it was written as if this news were a good thing. That’s probably because the phrase “create a database” seems to be all Progressives need to think legislation is worthwhile.
Quite simply, everything they want to make voting easier (and ostensibly improve turnout) also makes fraud easier. The real time database sounds just peachy if it works perfectly, has no security glitches and doesn’t get hit with any weather related power outages in some precincts. By the way, it snows about ten months out of the year in Colorado.
Same day registration may be a procrastinator’s delight but imagine where it will end up with the crowd who already screams “RACISM!” at the thought of showing ID to vote. Soon enough, it will be “RACIST!” to demand any kind of identification to register.
Mail-in ballots for all? A third grader could identify the potential security holes there. A slow third grader.
Make no mistake: the end game is an unmanageable election free-for-all that’s ripe for fraud and legislatively mandated and that any subsequent efforts to shore up will be framed as a “stripping away of rights”.
And they’re getting away with it.
The sharing of Americans’ health information is set to explode in coming years, with millions of patients’ medical records converted to electronic form and analyzed by health-care providers, insurers, regulators and researchers.
That has prompted concerns over privacy—and now, new federal rules that aim to give patients more control over their information are posing technical and administrative problems for the doctors and hospitals that have to implement them.
Information-technology experts say the challenges illustrate how difficult it may be to protect sensitive patient information as digitization of the health-care industry expands.
The least comforting part of this article is the fact that private information might be shared “inadvertently” whether you’ve paid cash and requested privacy or not. The unholy alliance between health care providers, the government and insurers opens up a Pandora’s box of privacy issues and your most private information could slip out merely because they’re all passing information back and forth. The formerly evil (they were the devil to the Left until they signed onto Obamacare) “Big Insurance” types can have overwhelming access to all of a health care provider’s records for “quality review” and “oversight”.
And if one “i” wasn’t dotted or “t” crossed, your supposedly secure information could slip into the hands of those from whom you’re trying to keep it.
Republican lawmakers in several states are blunting plans by GOP governors to reduce or eliminate income taxes, putting the legislators at odds with figures many in the party see as leading voices on reshaping government.
Friction over tax policy within the GOP has flared in states such as Louisiana, Nebraska, Kansas and Ohio, as Republican lawmakers raise concerns over projected revenue losses from income-tax cuts. Three of those states shelved big income-tax cuts that would be paid for by broadening the sales tax, and in Kansas, legislators will return next week to a continuing debate over the size and speed of proposed cuts.
This is an income tax vs. consumption tax fight, with legislators being leery of raising sales taxes to offset income tax cuts. There are loopholes that can be closed too in order to achieve some balance in most states. Personally, I feel that people should be able to keep more of what they earn, which gives them the freedom to spend it or not spend it as they see fit. Incremental increases in income taxes generally make consumers skittish to spend at all, while incremental increases in sales taxes tend to irritate them, but not cause panic. The slight hit people got in their take home pay as a result of the deal made by Congress and the president at the beginning of the year has been bogging down the economy even further for four months now.
There are those who would argue that a reduction in income tax is never a bad thing. I’m so old I remember when most Republicans would fit that description.
I was wrong.
One year ago I left the internet. I thought it was making me unproductive. I thought it lacked meaning. I thought it was “corrupting my soul.”
It’s a been a year now since I “surfed the web” or “checked my email” or “liked” anything with a figurative rather than literal thumbs up. I’ve managed to stay disconnected, just like I planned. I’m internet free.
And now I’m supposed to tell you how it solved all my problems. I’m supposed to be enlightened. I’m supposed to be more “real,” now. More perfect.
But instead it’s 8PM and I just woke up. I slept all day, woke with eight voicemails on my phone from friends and coworkers. I went to my coffee shop to consume dinner, the Knicks game, my two newspapers, and a copy of The New Yorker. And now I’m watching Toy Story while I glance occasionally at the blinking cursor in this text document, willing it to write itself, willing it to generate the epiphanies my life has failed to produce.
I didn’t want to meet this Paul at the tail end of my yearlong journey.
Honestly, there are times when unplugging from everything sounds like a dream. But then I realize how invaluable it has become for everything I’ve been doing for a living for years. Comedians were early adopters to the online life. It was a way to promote ourselves without hiring a publicist and email was an early favorite as a way to help us stay connected with friends and family while being on the road so much. Five of us were doing a tour for the US troops in the South Pacific a few years ago and found ourselves without Internet or reliable phone service for days and it was quite refreshing at first (this was exceptionally weird because we were surrounded by some serious military technology). We all got a little itchy after a time, however.
The story this guy tells of his experiment is worth a read whether you’re convinced you never want to be disconnected or if you are looking for inspiration to check out for a while. I’m kind of in the mood to take a brief Internet vacation.
And then blog about it.
Quite simply, this is a problem that was identified long ago and still remains a problem. Adequate tracking of those here on visas is something that needs to be addressed now all on its own and doesn’t need to be part of a larger comprehensive immigration law. The Department of Homeland Security was created for just such a thing and has proven only that adding a massive layer of bureaucracy rarely solves the problem.
The fact that one provision of a bill might be functional isn’t a case for passing the entire thing. There’s also a presumption by those advocating for new laws and regulations that everything will be properly implemented and functional. When it comes to immigration, there’s a long history of the government not availing itself of existing laws that could address the problem.
This is the kind of thing people who aren’t thinking about politics 24/7 come up with.
Ezra Klein: Van Halen’s ‘No Brown M&Ms’ Rider Is Why Gov’t Should Pay For Shrimp On A Treadmill Or Something
Right there on Page 40, in the “Munchies” section, nestled between “pretzels” and “twelve (12) Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups,” is a parenthetical alert so adamant you can’t miss it: “M&M’s,” the text reads, “(WARNING: ABSOLUTELY NO BROWN ONES).”
This is the famed rider to Van Halen’s 1982 concert contract. In a sentence fragment that would define rock-star excess forevermore, the band demanded a bowl of M&M’s with the brown ones laboriously excluded. It was such a ridiculous, over- the-top demand, such an extreme example of superstar narcissism, that the rider passed almost instantly into rock lore.
It also wasn’t true.
I don’t mean that the M&M language didn’t appear in the contract, which really did call for a bowl of M&M’s — “NO BROWN ONES.” But the color of the candy was entirely beside the point.
“Van Halen was the first to take 850 par lamp lights — huge lights — around the country,” explained singer David Lee Roth. “At the time, it was the biggest production ever.” Many venues weren’t ready for this. Worse, they didn’t read the contract explaining how to manage it. The band’s trucks would roll up to the concert site, and the delays, mistakes and costs would begin piling up.
So Van Halen established the M&M test. “If I came backstage and I saw brown M&M’s on the catering table, it guaranteed the promoter had not read the contract rider, and we had to do a serious line check,” Roth explained.
In a similar vein, members of Congress love picking through federal grants to find dubious-sounding research funded by the National Institutes of Health or other agencies. In a report titled “The National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope,” Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma promised to identify “over $3 billion in mismanagement at NSF.” Mostly, the report just mocks research that, superficially, sounds amusing.
Coburn takes gleeful aim at scientists who’ve been running shrimp on treadmills. According to the scientists, the treadmills cost about $1,000 out of a half-million-dollar grant. The point is to determine whether ocean bacteria are weakening shrimp populations, a development that would tip the entire food chain into chaos. Coburn’s attack is particularly dangerous, because it encourages government researchers to conduct science that sounds good rather than science that does good.
It would be nice if the government’s mistakes were typically a product of stupidity, venality or bureaucracy. Then we would need only to remove the idiots, fire the villains and cut the red tape. More often, the outrageous stories we hear are cases of decent people trying to solve tough problems under difficult constraints that we simply haven’t taken the time to understand. That isn’t to suggest that people in government don’t get it wrong. They do, repeatedly. But if we want to get it right, we need to work harder to understand why they decided to remove the brown M&M’s in the first place.
What Klein doesn’t understand is that stupidity and venality are the cornerstones of a bloated bureaucracy. And what leftists really don’t get is that a bloated bureaucracy is only interested perpetuating and bloating itself further. It’s not a mystery and it isn’t at all ridiculous to presume that, nine times out of ten, money is being wasted.
But to leftists the government is something benevolent that is to be trusted. Oh, how they must disappoint the radicals from the 1960s who spawned them.
Arizona is returning to its gold rush roots with a bill that would make precious metals legal currency.
The GOP-led Senate gave final approval Tuesday to the bill that could make Arizona the second state in the nation to recognize gold and silver as legal tender. If signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer, the measure would take effect in 2014.
The state Department of Revenue opposed the measure. It passed in the House only after an amendment was added to exempt the department from having to accept gold or silver as tax payments.
The measure reflects a growing distrust of government-backed money amid the declining value of the dollar, according to proponents. Republican Rep. David Livingston of Peoria, a financial adviser who ushered the legislation through the House, said his clients were eager to tap into their gold and silver reserves.
But Democrats, who voted against the measure in the Senate and House, said it sends a false message to constituents that gold and silver are safer than traditional currency.
Government type generally don’t like any kind of legal tender currency they can’t merely print more of as needed.
One thing I love about my native state is the never ending unease so many residents have about all things federal and how they’re more willing to act on that than any other state (yes, even you Texas). From the Equal Rights Amendment (which it killed) to the 55 MPH speed limit (which it killed) to immigration law (which it took into its own hands) and now this, the last continental state to join the union often acts as if it regrets doing so.
And that’s not really a bad thing.
At a two-day meeting that wraps up on Wednesday, the Fed is widely expected to maintain its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds to support an economic recovery that is nearly four years old but still too weak for the job market to truly heal.
With the central bank’s favored inflation gauge slipping and employment growth faltering, Fed officials could again find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to shift from talk of curbing stimulus to the possibility of doing more.
Currently, analysts see the Fed buying a total $1 trillion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities during the ongoing third round of quantitative easing, known as QE3. Until recently, analysts had believed the Fed would start taking the foot off the accelerator in the second half of the year.
Now, things are looking a bit more shaky.
So, not only are they not ready to back off, things are “a bit more shaky”?
Imagine going to a doctor who talked you into an unpopular course of treatment for a chronic disease that was ruining your enjoyment of life and finding out after several months that you weren’t any better. In fact, at times you seemed to be suffering even more.
Now imagine this doctor then telling you the best course of action was to keep up the treatment, even though he had no guarantees it would work.
Now imagine wanting to punch the doctor.
It’s ok…it’s ok…
What I’d point out, in terms of how ridiculous this is, is that Republicans don’t have a tax reform bill for anyone to agree with. Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp is “vowing to draft complete legislation by the end of the year.” Not pass a bill in the House; not even pass a bill through committee — sure, in the party-run House, it’s possible that those will follow once a bill is ready, but there are no guarantees. Remember, the debt limit showdown is coming this summer. So what this means is that Republicans apparently are ready to insist on Dems agreeing to their this fictional legislation in exchange for the debt limit hike, but months before that legislation sees the light of day. This is not just a rhetorical demand: Republicans are asking for this in exchange for not destroying the economy.
The plain truth here is pretty obvious: Republicans love the idea of extorting concessions in exchange for agreeing to a debt limit hike, and are determined to do it even when they don’t actually have any real policy demands. It’s just extortion for extortion’s sake.
What I’d point out is that the next debt limit “OMG…CRISIS!” isn’t going to roll around until October, which gives even the slow kids in the GOP leadership time to come up with something more concrete to demand. This is pure narrative pre-gaming, nothing more. They have to get the “Republicans are big bad meanies!” bunk out into the low-information voters’ consciousness more than ever because the administration has made nothing but missteps so far during “Team Lightbringer-The Sequel”.
And, bless their hearts, WaPo can’t even pretend they aren’t a full time propaganda agency for Obama.
In twenty five years on the road I’ve never tried to influence legislation or send people to war, so my answer is no.
The politician-as-comedian is the hardest trick to pull off. Whatever you think of him as a president, there is no denying that with a script in front of him, Barack Obama can deliver a joke with timing and poise. Others – notably Boris Johnson – can be genuinely funny off the cuff. But most politicians are neither natural actors nor naturally witty: a large number of people who go into politics are dry, humourless policy wonks. Watching them deliver a joke – or, worse, come up with one themselves – is like watching the ape-men around the obelisk at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey: they know it’s important, but its workings are a mystery.
In recent weeks, there have been increasing expressions of concern from surprising quarters about the implementation of ObamaCare. Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, called it a “train wreck.” A Democratic colleague, West Virginia’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller, described the massive Affordable Care Act as “beyond comprehension.” Henry Chao, the government’s chief technical officer in charge of putting in place the insurance exchanges mandated by the law, was quoted in the Congressional Quarterly as saying “I’m pretty nervous . . . Let’s just make sure it’s not a third-world experience.”
These individuals are worried for good reason. The unpopular health-care law’s rollout is going to be rough. It will also administer several price (and other) shocks to tens of millions of Americans.
Start with people who have individual and small-group health insurance. These policies are most affected by ObamaCare’s community-rating regulations, which require insurers to accept everyone but limit or ban them from varying premiums based on age or health. The law also mandates “essential” benefits that are far more generous than those currently offered.
According to consultants from Oliver Wyman (who wrote on the issue in the January issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries), around six million of the 19 million people with individual health policies are going to have to pay more—and this even after accounting for the government subsidies offered under the law. For example, single adults age 21-29 earning 300% to 400% of the federal poverty level will be hit with an increase of 46% even after premium assistance from tax credits.
This country went through the looking glass in January 2009 and is now so far on the other side of it that we are bracing for “price shocks” from the Affordable Care Act. In this economy.
Here’s some news from the “you can keep your doctor” front:
Higher premiums are just the beginning, because virtually all existing policies in the individual market and the vast majority in the small-group market do not cover all of the “essential” benefits mandated by the law. Policies without premium increases will have to change, probably by shifting to more restrictive networks of doctors and hospitals. Even if only one third of these policies are affected, this amounts to more than five million people.
Some of these shocks are supposed to be offset by government subsidies, as if those are grown on the magic money tree. All that remains to be seen now is if the people who bought the emotional arguments for this awful law will realize they were lied to or if The Idiot King’s ability to deflect blame and keep his blind followers worshiping him is never ending.
President Obama, according to his own telling, would have passed a gun control bill supported by nearly every American, but the National Rifle Association drove in trucks full of money and lobbyists, buying off senators.
Obama’s story isn’t true. The NRA doesn’t work like the lobbies Obama is coziest with. And the NRA also wasn’t the tip of the spear in the gun-rights fight this month. Here is the way things really went down:
The gun-rights resistance on Capitol Hill began in late March with two first-term Tea Party senators declaring they would filibuster consideration of the gun-control bill. Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid explaining they would oppose invoking cloture on the “motion to proceed” to the bill. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., soon joined them.
That rump of three senators expanded to a platoon of 18 who eventually signed onto the letter. In the end, 29 Republicans and two Democrats opposed proceeding to the bill — well short of the 41 needed for a filibuster. Many allies criticized this failed filibuster, but its leaders argue it was crucial to eventual victory.
Remember kids, this is a movement that according to the Left and the status quo mongers in the GOP would have you believe it’s dead, What it is, however, is an actual movement. That means it has progressed from its big rally roots to the political activism phase and, fortunately, some of those elected as Tea Party candidates are behaving as such. Yes, the NRA did help but the Obama story about it being this all-powerful lobby that makes Republican members of Congress dance like puppets on a string simply isn’t true.
And we should all be used to that from him now.
Consumer spending unexpectedly rose in March, temporarily boosted by demand for utilities due to colder weather, according to data on Monday that did little to alter a picture of a cooling in the economy.
The Commerce Department said consumer spending advanced 0.2 percent last month after a 0.7 percent rise in February.
The increase, which beat economists expectations for a flat reading, was driven by higher spending on services as outlays on utilities posted a second straight month of hefty gains. Spending on goods, a key measure of underlying demand, fell.
This is how swimmingly things are going for this economy-when there is what should be perceived as some unexpected good news it’s because it’s tied to some bad news. Key indicators are still down and most of the beginning of the year has been absolutely dismal. Look for the next remotely positive news to be trumpeted with as much fanfare as a cure for cancer.
Then settle in for the inevitable bad news to follow.
Four more years.
Fox News host Megyn Kelly and frequent contributor Jay Sekulow attacked Attorney General Eric Holder for a speech he gave highlighting the work of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in combatting threats against Muslims, a timely topic given the anti-Muslim backlash seen in right-wing media following the Boston Marathon bombings.
On April 29, Holder spoke at the centennial summit of the ADL and commended the organization for its long history fighting anti-Semitism, stating the organization would continue to “find a committed and active ally in this Attorney General.” Holder closed his remarks by noting that it was two weeks to the day of the Boston bombings and praised ADL for its additional work fighting anti-Muslim bigotry, a commitment Holder assured the audience the Department of Justice shares. As explained by Holder, “just as we will pursue relentlessly anyone who would target our people or attempt to terrorize our cities – the Justice Department is firmly committed to protecting innocent people against misguided acts of retaliation.”
In a “Fox News Alert” segment on America Live, Kelly attacked this speech by asking, “Has there been backlash against Muslims in the wake of Boston? And is this a time for the attorney general to be effectively scolding Americans, not to be bigoted and not to be ignorant?”
The post goes on to cite a couple of media hiccups as evidence of a “backlash against Muslims”. Context has never been something the Soros monkeys pay any attention to so there was no reason to let it enter into this discussion. The effort by the Left to discount the all-too-predictable Muslim angle for the Boston bombing dwarfs the “backlash” MMFA thinks is happening.
One of the easiest things to do with the current administration is question the actions of its Attorney General who on his best days is incompetent and on his worst a party to the murder of an American law enforcement officer.
This pretty much describes 99% of the Progressive trolls I get on Twitter. Oddly enough, I picture every one of them (they never use their real pictures) looking exactly like this.
In other words, this isn’t a big deal. Still, it feeds into ongoing anxiety over the Affordable Care Act and its implementation. As the New York Times reports, several House and Senate Democrats are worried they will pay a political price if mistakes are made and voters begin to see new costs. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire notes that small businesses in her state are unsure of how to comply with the law, while Tom Harkin of Iowa is upset with the decision to direct funds away from public health prevention programs and toward efforts to promote the law.
If the Affordable Care Act had buy-in from Congress as a whole — and not just Democrats — this wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone would worry about the politics of implementation, and to avoid problems, everyone would work to ensure a smooth transition. As it stands, however, Republicans are still looking for ways to undermine and derail the law, hence the failed attempt this week to direct $4 billion from implementation to fund high-risk insurance program that even Republicans admit isn’t particularly good.
The GOP’s idea is that Democrats will take the blame for any hiccups in Obamacare, even if they’re the result of Republicans’ policy choices. It’s a sound plan: Voters aren’t concerned with the details of process, they just want to know that something works.
That’s the gist of this little trip into insanity-the only problems with Obamacare are ones of perception that may show up because of an improper rollout. There are already real American dollar values associated with this legislative monstrosity but, hey, let’s ignore those and pretend they wouldn’t be real if we just got to the part where they hit in a more graceful fashion.
The champions of this law are emotionally invested in it and pay no attention to the fact that most of the guarantees made by the president during the nonexistent, but often cited, “debate” leading up to its passage have already been proven to be garbage.
Unfortunately, while these statist propagandists have the press on their side they can keep blaming the Republicans for everything, no matter how absurd.
One of the most disgusting serial killers in American history is standing trial in Philadelphia at the moment – and, since it’s happening in the US, where reporting restrictions are light, the media are free to discuss his case.
Only they haven’t – at least, not until recently, and even when the crimes are reported, they haven’t merited many headlines. Which is horrifying, when you consider what the killer is accused of. I’m going to leave out the nastiest details – but, seriously, if you don’t want to feel sick to your stomach, look away now.
The article rehashes much of what conservative bloggers have been saying for weeks but it’s worth reading if only for the refreshing experience of seeing a journalist do his job. The insidious relationship the MSM has with progressive ideology (and this president in particular) becomes dangerous when threats to the innocent (Gosnell) or the public at large (Islamic terrorism) are ignored because they don’t fit the agenda. Of course, the mere fact that the modern press has a clear agenda means they’re not really journalists anymore, they’re professional propagandists awaiting orders like a zillion-headed Joseph Goebbels.
The United States might not hit the statutory limit on its debt until October, a policy research group said on Friday, giving Republican lawmakers more time to extract spending cuts from the Obama administration in return for extending the borrowing cap.
After giving into Democratic demands in December to raise taxes and later working with them to avoid a government shutdown, Republicans have been gearing up to use the debt limit as leverage to seek fresh budget cuts and changes to the tax code.
This gives both the president and GOP leadership extra time to take some acting classes before providing us with more insufferable posturing and hyperbole which inevitably leads to the same conclusion: a rousing kicking of the can down the road.
The beginning of the year apocalypse rhetoric from Washington is still affecting consumers and it would be nice to think that our elected representatives have learned something from that, but we’ve been Charlie Brown to their Lucy for far too long.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers are proposing to step up sanctions against North Korea by punishing companies, banks and governments that do prohibited business with it.
The bill crafted by leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is modeled on sanctions in force against Iran.
Congressional staffers say it’s intended not only to improve enforcement of existing sanctions, but also expand them.
See, these new sanctions are totally going to make the old sanctions work. And if that doesn’t do the trick, WE SHALL SANCTION THEM AGAIN!
Monty Python broke up decades ago but their spirit lives on in US diplomacy.
Obviously, they don’t drug test at MSNBC. Tingles obviously has a very different cable subscription than the rest of us as all he ever sees on TV is Americans killing Arabs.
Video of his tantrum du jour at the link.
Here’s a little linkfest tour of some of the day’s reactions to the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library from the tolerant Left.
Media Matters took a break from whining about Fox News to weigh in.
The none-too-intelligent Jonathan Chait wants you to know that Bush isn’t a smart man.
Think Progress says W killed the planet.
Without the slightest hint of irony, Salon calls Bush’s tenure a “mess of a presidency“.
More from Salon-the execrable Joan Walsh did double duty, complaining about both W and Jeb.
Worry not, tomorrow they will all be busy pretending that there is no Islamic connection to Islamic terrorism.
George W. Bush was good as his word. He visited the Gulf states 17 times; went 13 times to New Orleans. Laura Bush made 24 trips. Bush saw that $126 billion in aid was sent to the Gulf’s residents, as some members of his own party in Congress balked.
Bush put a special emphasis on rebuilding schools and universities. He didn’t forget African-Americans: Bush provided $400 million to the historically black colleges, now integrated, that remain a pride, and magnet for African-American students. Laura Bush, a librarian, saw to it that thousands of books ruined by the floods were replaced. To this day, there are many local libraries with tributes devoted to her efforts.
It was a team effort. I’m glad to report the commission I served on went out-of-business in 2010. I’m also grateful and proud to report that President Bush was one of the leaders, and a very important member, of that team. Our recovery can be credited to the civility and tireless efforts of President Bush and other Americans, who united and worked together to help rebuild the Gulf and the place of my birth, New Orleans.
Breaking from the Hive Mind narrative is always met with revulsion among the Democrats, but countering the Bush-Cheney Weather Machine Katrina fairy tale is a mortal sin. And Bush Derangement Syndrome is still a brain rotting disease for which no cure, or even treatment for the symptoms, has been found. Check out this post and the ensuing comments from Democratic Underground.
Resistance is futile…