Here’s the sub-headline:
The president always had a tough time selling Obamacare. Now his weak assurances are making Republicans look wise beyond their years.
The evidence that Obamacare was sold by its namesake under utterly false pretenses is so overwhelming that even the press puppies can’t turn a blind eye to it.
During the public debate over health care in 2009 and 2010, no matter how tightly you may have shut your door, there was one piece of information it was impossible to avoid: the president’s promise that if you liked your doctor and your health care plan you would be able to keep it. So it was a surprise to many people to get a letter like the one Independence Blue Cross sent its customers weeks ago. It said that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, “your current plan will be discontinued effective January 1, 2014, and you will need to select a new plan by the end of December to avoid any interruption in coverage.”
That wasn’t what the president promised. But wait, the president can explain. It’s not what we think. People won’t have the same insurance—they will have better insurance, administration officials assure. That’s not the way some of the people receiving these letters see it. The president’s original promise was so ironclad and repeated so often that any explanation now sounds like dissembling.
This bout of buyer’s remorse will have some staying power but the Elders of the GOP Village need to pounce on this now. No over-thinking is required for this either.
“We told you so.”
While the press was distracting the electorate with oh-so-clever anecdotes about Romney’s out of touch binders and Big Bird quips, the more honest among us were trying to tell them that the hurt was on its way.
So let’s go after these people who are feeling stung the most at this moment and not be shy about doing so.
It may have taken more than a year, but there is some tepid media interest in what really happened in Benghazi. 60 Minutes aired an investigative report on Sunday night and even Chris Matthews tapped a little outrage over the subject that had been buried deep within him.
Obviously, questions and outrage would have been nice immediately after the tragedy (how does one take more than a year to get worked up about something like this?) and before the election last year, but we all know how this game is played.
This entire fiasco may not have wreaked havoc with President Obama’s election chances, but is there a possibility it will damage the one real hope the Democrats have for 2016?
According to the Rasmussen poll, over two fifths of Americans believe that the continuing fallout from Benghazi will hurt Clinton’s chances if she decides to make a run for the White House
Ever skeptical of political media motives, I can’t help but wonder if the timing of this sudden curiosity isn’t designed to help both Obama and Clinton.
It’s too late for any real immediate damage to the former and it may be too early for it to affect Herself much for the next election. In our short-attention-span world, it is a bit wishful to think that this story will be much more than a very muddy, distant memory to the average American voter three years from now.
With luck, the current scrutiny can be used to damage Team Hillary now so her inevitability takes a hit.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe now has a double-digit lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor’s race, according to the latest Washington Post/Abt SRBI poll.
The former Clinton fundraiser now tops the attorney general 51% to 39% among likely voters with a week left in the campaign. Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis received 8% of the vote. In the same poll taken last month, Mr. McAuliffe had an 8-point lead over Mr. Cuccinelli, 47% to 39%, with Mr. Sarvis receiving 10%.
Finally, some good news for embattled Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli, the candidate for governor running against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
A new poll by Quinnipiac University shows Mr. Cuccinelli lagging by only four points behind Mr. McAuliffe, 41 % to Mr. McAuliffe’s 45 %, among likely voters.
Just 24 hours ago, on Tuesday, a Washington Post/Abt SRBI poll showed Mr. McAuliffe with a 12-point lead, running 51% to 39% against Mr. Cuccinelli. That poll promptly provoked a spurt of negative opinion pieces by Republican columnists and commentators about the alleged drag on the GOP by hard-line conservative tea-party types.
That’s such a stark difference that one wonders if the respondents in both polls were still drunk from last weekend’s Halloween parties. Republicans should be extremely wary of any polls, especially after last year, but it’s better to see one moving in the right direction rather than the wrong, no matter how skeptical you are.
Personally, I have always maintained that any Republican lead of less than four percentage points on election day is vulnerable to the always superior get-out-the-vote effort by the Democrats, so a four-point deficit isn’t that moving.
Still, the specter of a reboot of a fully functioning Clinton sleaze machine should haunt all people who don’t want to see Hillary in the Oval Office, and a McAuliffe victory would only be the beginning of that frightening return.
It’s good (bad?) to know that “liberal” isn’t just a horrible misnomer on this side of the pond. The always fun to read Hannan is talking about British politics and media here but it is fairly simple to find the parallels. This one struck me the most:
None of this would matter if Mr Portes were not regularly trotted out, especially by the BBC, as representing some sort of neutral position. I’ve remarked before on how the most effective bias often comes in how studio guests are introduced: “Joining us now are Mr Blue, a Right-wing controversialist, and Mr Red, a distinguished academic…”
This is an ongoing problem in the MSM here as well. Conservatives are always described as such while liberals and progressives are just plain folk.
Democrats will let the president’s signature legislation die a painful death if Healthcare.gov isn’t fixed soon. Which is exactly why Obama is racing to fix this mess like Bush never did with his signature war.
Yes, the Affordable Care Act website rollout has been a fiasco. And, as always happens when political catastrophe strikes, the wave of bad analogies has rushed in its wake. One in particular is gaining ground: Healthcare.gov is for Barack Obama’s presidency what the invasion of Iraq was to George W. Bush’s administration, complete with outraged liberal reactions to it.
Here’s the funny thing: it’s a bad analogy, which could turn out to be accurate … but probably won’t.
To start with, the fact that people died in Iraq, as opposed to the inconvenience involved in a malfunctioning website, doesn’t make it a bad analogy. The analogy has to do with presidential decisions; it’s about process, not outcomes, and there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
No, what makes it a bad analogy is that Iraq War was misconceived from the start, and the actual events of the war, to a large extent, made obvious what some saw from the beginning.
With the exchanges, on the other hand, no one believes that they are inherently unworkable. Nor has the opening of the exchanges revealed anything fraudulent about the basic case Barack Obama made for passing the law in the first place.
It wasn’t “misconceived” yet The Idiot King is “racing to fix this mess”. Large undertakings that are well conceived generally include a proper plan of execution as part of said conception. But the author is a liberal, so he means “it feels good” rather than “it was well thought out”.
As for the nothing “fraudulent about the basic case Barack Obama made for passing the law in the first place” claim, we know how that’s turning out today.
Before the exchanges launched, the ACA supporters could live in a world of pure fantasy and pretend that all would be well just because that’s what their little toddler minds and hearts wanted. Now they have a few weeks or months of cover where they can pretend this is all about a website glitch. When that’s over another excuse will be in place.
Because the cult of personality around this president is so strong, the people who will be most disappointed by him aren’t going to keep delaying that until all about them is too catastrophic to ignore.
U.S. manufacturing output barely rose in September and contracts to buy previously owned homes recorded their largest drop in nearly 3-1/2 years, the latest signs the economy’s momentum ebbed as the third quarter ended.
The reports on Monday showed economic activity was on weak footing even before a 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government early in October that is expected to weigh on fourth quarter growth.
There is just so much new, awful stuff going on every day with Team Lightbringer that it is difficult to keep an eye on all of the wreckage. This consequence-laden second term isn’t going to have many bright spots for President Obama but you’re never going to be able to figure that out from the MSM. Don’t get too caught up in the fact that they are occasionally reporting on how awful the Obamacare roll out has been-they still think it’s just a website thing that can mostly be blamed on others. Once it is apparent even to the low-functioning two time Obama voter crowd they will go back to spinning. And they will spin until they are dead for this president.
A crappy economy and a feel-good bill that’s about to begin crippling the middle class. Good times…
On Friday, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) announced that a record number of students applied to American medical schools in 2013 and that a record number of first-year students has enrolled in medical schools this year. Experts say that’s an encouraging sign in the face of a primary care doctor shortage that will likely be exacerbated by an influx of newly insured Americans seeking medical treatment as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.
“At a time when the nation faces a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors by the end of the decade and millions are gaining access to health insurance, we are very glad that more students than ever want to become physicians,” said AAMC president Dr. Darrell G. Kirch in a press release.
Delusional Money Line Of The Year Winner: “shortage that will likely be exacerbated by an influx of newly insured Americans seeking medical treatment as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.”
It will more than likely be exacerbated by the number of doctors leaving the profession because of Obamacare. And how long will it be before this new crop wearies of their new overlords?
Drawing the connection that access to health insurance is not the same as access to health care was probably unintentional on the part of Think Progress as conflating the two for the low IQ lefties is one of the main tricks used to dupe people into supporting Obamacare.
Billionaire financier George Soros, a major Democratic donor, is backing an effort to persuade former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016, a spokesman said on Thursday.
Soros, 83, has pledged $25,000 to political action committee Ready For Hillary, the largest and best-funded independent group backing a potential Clinton candidacy. The wife of former President Bill Clinton would be widely viewed as the favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination if she decides to run.
“His support for Ready for Hillary is an extension of his long-held belief in the power of grassroots organizing,” said Soros spokesman Michael Vachon.
Soros’ pledge puts him on the PAC’s National Finance Council, along with several other major Democratic donors and officials, the group said.
Persuade her? Who the hell else are the Democrats going to run, Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep?
Also, it is beyond precious that the MSM is trying to say the involvement of the biggest astroturfer in politics has a strong belief in grassroots.
One last thing: these two may have been separated at birth.
Republicans and Democrats will use budget talks that start next week to try to minimize or reorder broad spending cuts that began in March, with both sides Thursday playing down the possibility of a “grand bargain” that would address the nation’s long-term fiscal problems.
In de-emphasizing the likelihood of a larger deal, both parties appeared to be looking for limited areas of agreement in order to bypass the next round of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester and buy time to deal with tax reform, entitlement cuts and other big-ticket items next year.
This is precisely why I practically needed to be restrained every time an establishment Republican blathered on about “living to fight another day” during the recent shutdown. Their game is to pretend that we just have to be weak this one last time and next time we will be super-serious about it.
There is no fight in this group. Their concern is their own immediate comfort and the fact that they are wilfully hastening the economic demise of the country they’ve sworn to serve is not only disingenuous, it’s dangerous.
Let us be clear about this: the Democrats will never come around and realize that the economics they favor are sending the country careening towards catastrophe. The only hope is real and vigorous pushback from the Republicans and that won’t happen until the perma-capitulation crowd in leadership is unceremoniously shown the door.
Okay, okay, we get it: Republicans (still) don’t like the health-care law. But can’t they talk about anything else? “We know what happened with the effort to defund Obamacare,” Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times pointed out. “Do you think you have a better environment to do something? And what is the specific legislative strategy at this point?”
Why yes, there is a better environment now to do something, because this thing gets exponentially worse by the day. The reason that the MSM is so desperate to have the Republicans look away (and why The Idiot King attempted to pivot to immigration today) is that they know that Obamacare is vulnerable to attack and will continue to be for a while.
Whether Republican leadership takes advantage of this opportunity or merely sticks to form and discusses the best way to look the gift horse in the mouth remains to be seen.
The monstrously ill-conceived law most definitely should remain the main topic of political conversation, however.
Gun owners groups said Thursday they are considering recall campaigns against five Democratic lawmakers in California, including Assembly Speaker John Perez, for supporting a variety of firearms bills this year.
The effort could be patterned on recall elections in September that unseated two Colorado legislators, including the state Senate president.
The successful Colorado recalls suggest that lawmakers also are vulnerable in California, Jennifer Kerns, who recently founded the group Free California, said at a Capitol news conference.
Some of the lawmakers are newly elected to their seats and have the support of independents who are more likely to oppose gun restrictions, she said.
I’m not really sure how the Colorado recalls “suggest” anything about California but I do like the idea of going after Perez. At first glance this might seem like this is a monumentally difficult task but it’s important to remember that some of these bills were sponsored by progressive groups and so far left that Gov. Moonbeam vetoed six of them just a couple of weeks ago.
No, I’m not making light of mental health problems. I am lamenting the fact that this idiot is a heartbeat away from the presidency.
As the White House struggles to fix the problem-plagued rollout of its healthcare reform law, President Barack Obama on Thursday will try to focus attention on another policy priority – immigration reform – with a call for congressional action.
The president, who listed immigration as one of three priorities for this year after the 16-day government shutdown concluded, will make a statement at 10:35 a.m. (1435 GMT) at the White House urging lawmakers to finish work on measures to strengthen U.S. borders and provide a pathway toward citizenship for millions of people who are in the United States illegally.
Gotta hand it to this guy, he doesn’t let one spectacular failure after another slow him down. His successes to date are winning a few elections and having the good fortune of being in office when bin Laden was found (an operation that he inherited from the previous administration).
Oh, and his “signature legislation”.
You know, the one with all the waivers, delays and crappy website.
That isn’t going to do any of what it proposed it would do.
But Ted Cruz or something.
(h/t Kudlow Report producer Jake Novak, who tweeted this earlier)
Making useful, easy-to-use information available online is a priority for this Administration. And putting power back into the hands of Americans is a primary focus for the President. HealthCare.gov accomplishes both. So, take a moment and check it out.
I’m probably going to create a stealth email account to email this to every Democrat I know.
Because I’m a people person or something.
A former University of California-Davis police officer made famous after being filmed pepper-spraying seated activists during a Nov. 2011 protest has been awarded a $38,059 workers’ compensation settlement, The Guardian reports.
John Pike, a 40-year-old former lieutenant on the university police force, claimed he suffered from depression and anxiety after receiving death threats following the incident.
A judge approved the settlement between Pike and the university on Oct. 16, according to KCRA.
The Guardian has more:
Pike was placed on paid administrative leave after the incident and was fired eight months later in July 2012 – although an internal investigation actually found he had acted appropriately.
In the goody bag of things cops can do to you if you resist an order to move, pepper spray is the closest thing to a polite nudge. It should probably be used a lot more.
The fact that he was even placed on leave shows what a grip the media still has on the country. All over America, the Occupy crowd did nothing but break laws. It never was a political movement, despite constantly being referred to by the MSM as such. The press and the Democrats pretty much spent six months covering for a bunch of violent criminals and a good chunk of the public believed them.
Bear in mind that even Talking Points Memo and Think Progress are covering the chatter about the Democrats and Obamacare delay today. Here’s what is on the Media Matters home page right now (click to enlarge):
Several stories about conservative Benghazi outrage being a hoax and something about the Baltimore Ravens.
You know, the stories of the day.
Although I prefer not to link to these commies, it’s OK to do it once in a while to make a point.
The entire post is a master class in denial.
They’re sticking fiercely to the “it’s just the website that’s glitchy” talking point and then they get right to the in-house government projections and a Soros-funded organization’s fantasy about the hopeful projections leading to savings.
In classic “We know our audience is remarkably stupid” MMFA fashion, the article posits that costs have gone down and then backs that up with…projections. Anyone with above fourth grade reading skills knows that history of government projections to back up a government program isn’t one filled with accuracy.
Of course, the fantastical “might happen” spin being offered here is precisely what the low-info Obama fans will lap up.
A top Senate Democrat said that a leading House Republican told President Obama that they could not ‘even stand to look at you’ during negotiations over the government shutdown.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a Facebook post that the alleged confrontation happened during a meeting between Republicans and the president.
“Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans,” Durbin said. “But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you.’”
“What are the chances of an honest conversation with someone who has just said something so disrespectful?” the Illinois Democrat added.
An aide to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he had “no idea what [Durbin's] talking about.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Durbin did not say when the alleged confrontation occurred, and whether the exchange happened in the period preceding or during the shutdown that shuttered government for 16 days earlier this month.
So, one of the more obnoxious and embarrassing Democrats makes up a story on Facebook smearing Republicans and it gets reported.
This would be a story if it were true. But there is a high degree of probability that it’s not, especially given the thin-skinned nature of our current Chief Executive. Had this actually happened President Whiny McMomjeans would have been simpering about it to his dutiful lapdogs in the press.
As it stands, this is just a baseless accusation that makes Republicans look bad.
A federal judge’s decision to allow a case to go forward that challenges the constitutionality of ObamaCare’s tax penalties could signal trouble for the President’s signature law, Jay Sekulow, chief legal counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice and the attorney at the center of the case, told Megyn Kelly Tuesday.
“What’s at stake is the IRS taking on a broader scope of what it’s allowed to regulate or impose,” Sekulow said on “The Kelly File.”
One also has to wonder what the makeup of the court will be in the near future. I don’t know about you, but I am already a little sleepless worrying about the ages of the conservative justices and the fact that Janet Napolitano is in a job she may grow sick of in a hurry.
He was irritating enough when he would merely suck up to the more mainstream leftmedia like the networks or the New York Times. Ever since his two weeks of Ted Cruz bashing (which I am now convinced is the only strategy the GOP has going forward) the more progressive blogs haven’t had anything bad to say about Lindsey Graham’s antiquing partner.
At least be honest and do it as a Democrat.
Unfortunately, their idiot mouthpieces like HuffPo are lapping it up.
The White House said on Tuesday there was no evidence President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare program is driving up the number of part-time workers, challenging the view of many business owners in the country.
As we have noted here, it really is already happening, even if not on a scale that’s impacting the overall jobs numbers.
The employer mandate delay gave small companies a chance to breathe for a while and, more than likely, hope beyond hope that the Republicans would somehow make this monstrosity go away.
So this is a case of the White House saying, “You don’t have to respond to this right now because it’s a nightmare that needs fixing,” then turning around and saying, “Look, they’re not responding to it so it proves that it’s not a nightmare that needs fixing!”
Thanks, John Roberts!
Friday night, the Aledo Bearcats jackstomped the Western Hills Cougars in a 91-0 blowout. The Bearcats were no strangers to one-sided slobber-knockers, this year alone beating teams by an average of 58 points.
One Western Hills parent was so shaken by the final score that he filed an official bullying report with the school district. Texas law requires Aledo’s principal to launch a full investigation and submit a written report.
Bearcats coach Tim Buchanan is no Genghis Khan of the gridiron: he has told several media outlets that he’s somewhat embarrassed by his team’s serial shellacking. “I don’t like it,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I sit there the whole third and fourth quarter and try to think how I can keep us from scoring.”
The opposing coach doesn’t blame Buchanan either. “I think the game was handled fine,” Western Hills’ John Naylor said. “They’re No. 1 for a reason, and I know coach Buchanan… We just ran into a buzzsaw.”
The parent who filed the bullying charge should be visited by Child Protective Services. He is raising a psychological invertebrate who will be dangerously unprepared for adult life.
There’s an entire chapter in my new ebook on the ridiculous current definition of “bullying”. While school administrators are dealing with hurt feelings from a lost football game, real bullies are actually given cover to be worse.
At least the paste-eaters are acknowledging that it’s a thing now. This is the same site that spent almost all of August saying that this was made-up. When they couldn’t say that anymore, they pretended that progressive groups were being targeted just as much, which turned out to be bunk. Now they’re going with, “Well, the president didn’t know anything.”
Hey, after the Obamacare rollout nightmare saying Obama doesn’t know anything is a pretty easy sell to a lot of Americans. (click to enlarge)
First, there was this.
We’re now negative 14 days until the Affordable Care Act and most people still can’t purchase insurance. The magnitude of this failure is stunning. Yes, the federal health-care law is a complicated project, government IT rules are a mess, and the scrutiny has been overwhelming. But the Obama administration knew all that going in. They should’ve been able to build an online portal that works.
Early on, President Obama like to compare the launch of the Affordable Care Act to Apple launching a new product. Can you imagine how many people Steve Jobs would’ve fired by now if he’d launched a new product like this?
The problem here isn’t just technological. It’s managerial. The White House’s senior staff — up to and including the president — was blindsided. Staffers deep in the process knew that HealthCare.gov wasn’t ready for primetime. But those frustrations were hidden from top-level managers. Somewhere along the chain the information was spun, softened, or just plain buried.
The result was that the White House didn’t know the truth about its own top initiative — and so they were unprepared for the disastrous launch. They didn’t even know they needed to be lowering expectations. In any normal corporation, heads would roll over a managerial failure of such magnitude and consequence.
Actually, Klein is getting close to several clues (like the inherently bumbling nature of bureaucracy and how this one blew the easiest part). No serious person, however, believes any of them will become apparent to him in a lasting way.
What is highlighted by the two passages most is this: Team Lightbringer knew this was a big, complicated and important deal.
So they left it up to the yes-men “staffers”.
The Obama media has been telling us for quite some time that ACA is his “signature legislative achievement”, so why not any oversight by the SMARTEST POTUS EVER?
New layers of bureaucracy are always awful, bloated and inefficient. Creating one in a sycophantic cult of personality environment exacerbates those negative characteristics a thousandfold.
It is impossible to identify and eliminate problems when the ethos of those in charge doesn’t allow for every admitting that anything negative is happening.
Oregon is moving ahead with a controversial plan to tax motorists based on the number of miles they drive as opposed to the amount of fuel they consume, raising myriad concerns about cost and privacy.
The program, springing out of a recently signed bill, is expected to launch in 2015 on a volunteer basis. But it’s charting relatively new territory, and other states aching for additional tax revenue are sure to be watching closely to see whether to imitate the model.
The problem for lawmakers is that the existing per-gallon gas tax has hit a point of diminishing returns, as Americans drive less and vehicles become more fuel efficient. The federal Highway Trust Fund, which gives money to states for highway construction and repairs, for example, has needed a congressional bailout four times since 2009, in part the result of no federal gas tax increase in the past 20 years.
However, economists and civil libertarians are concerned about the Oregon pilot project in large part because some mileage meters can track and record residents’ every vehicular move.
I have never been one to believe that government moves like this are really about the specific program aims but always about another big scale way of keeping an eye on the populace. Gun registration isn’t really about safety and ACA isn’t really about health care, they are both new justifications for having databases that track Americans for different things. The more issue-specific data bases, the easier it is to one day target groups for all the wrong reasons.
Up until recently, most people thought I was really paranoid.
Contractors working on a new National Security Agency data center in Utah are fighting over the causes and responsibility for electrical failures that have caused construction delays costing up to $50 million, project officials say.
The NSA’s Utah Data Center, which has become a symbol of the agency’s potent surveillance power, has been hobbled by the electrical failures, which have resulted in a series of fiery explosions, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.
OK, we’re footing the bill for $50 million in delays but if ever there were a government project the average American wasn’t in a hurry to see completed, this would be it.
Now back to wishing Obamacare could just catch on fire…
This morning’s tent revival/snake oil sales event by The Idiot King basically consisted of him telling the faithful that everything is going to be all right BECAUSE SAID SO, followed by the fake healer staple of an audience member fainting.
Rational people know that this isn’t going to get any better in a hurry, which means an almost endless diet of “Let me be clear…” opportunities from our clueless leader in the coming months. Here’s a preview of some excuses and talking points we can expect to soothe to the low IQ voters.
“Have you tried rebooting your computer?”
“Many of the people who are saying they can’t sign up are Republicans so…Bush.”
“The dog ate the new website designer. Then I ate the dog.”
“We wouldn’t have trouble finding competent web designers if we just spent more on education. Also plus infrastructure.”
“Ted Cruz is holding the Internet hostage.”
“Ted Cruz is holding the insurance companies hostage.”
“Ted Cruz is holding your doctor hostage.”
“Website partially fixed-it will now tell you exactly who or what Ted Cruz is holding hostage that day.”
“What I meant by ‘If you like your plan you can keep it,’ depends on what your definition of ‘like’ is. And ‘your’. And ‘keep’. And…English is racist.”
“I just haven’t adequately explained how paying more is less.”
“Have you tried rebooting your suspension of disbelief?”
“I’ve proposed legislation to do away with the unfair, bullying concept of “more” in mathematics.”
ObamaCare’s impact on jobs is hotly debated by politicians and economists. Critics say the Affordable Care Act, with its employer mandate to provide health insurance, gives businesses an incentive to cut workers’ hours. This year, report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week — the point where the mandate kicks in. Data also point to a record low workweek in low-wage industries.
In the interest of an informed debate, we’ve compiled a list of job actions with strong proof that ObamaCare’s employer mandate is behind cuts to work hours or staffing levels. As of Oct. 17, our ObamaCare scorecard included 351 employers.
Here is what’s happening in the post-reality America, however. This evidence keeps piling up but when the White House says, “Nah, that’s not real,” half of the country unquestioningly believes them.
The reason that Team Lightbringer keeps delaying portions of the law isn’t really because they aren’t ready to implement today, it’s that they are trying to lessen the the horror by meting it out piecemeal. They know it will be awful and they know the blowback won’t be pretty.
Consensus may be hard to find in Washington these days, but many corporate executives and economists seem to agree on one point: the biggest risk to the world’s largest economy may be its own elected representatives.
There is an emerging school of thought among many activists that I know which posits that the real battle is no longer party based at all. What we are dealing with is a “DC vs The Rest Of Us” scenario.
While the rest of the country has suffered from an economy that Washington is forever promising to fix, income and wealth are surging among the federal government types in and around the Beltway. How? They just get to make things up for themselves that the rest of us have to pay for.
While I am not wholly dismissive of the idea of framing the debate this way as a sound strategic move, I do feel it has some problems.
First, it gives the free spenders somewhat of a pass. As the narrative is currently constructed, “They’re all the same!” means that the people who are constantly working for higher taxes are the same as those who fight to rein in spending (few as they may be). It’s the spending problem that led to the revenue problem, not vice-versa.
Second, it shifts some blame away from the electorate. After all, the idiots in Washington we’re all mad at were sent there by “The Rest Of Us”.
Ultimately the fix is, as always, in the US Constitution: vote the bastards out.
No, it’s not easy but necessary undertakings often aren’t.
But is he a Negative or a Positive? The Positive presidents relished the job and the grand necessity to move events by persuading, cajoling, bargaining with and perhaps occasionally threatening other players in the political arena. The great Active-Positive presidents all had fun in the job. They showed a zest and enthusiasm that was infectious, not just with the American people but, more significantly, with members of Congress.
We sure don’t see any of that with Obama. Edward Klein, a former New York Times Magazine editor and author of a book on Obama called The Amateur, has written that Obama “doesn’t learn from his mistakes, but repeats policies that make our economy less robust and our nation less safe.” That’s a classic Active-Negative trait, according to Barber. Indeed, as Barber predicted in 1969, shortly after Richard Nixon’s election, “The danger is that Nixon will commit himself irrevocably to some disastrous course of action. This is precisely the possibility against which he could defend himself by a stylistic adjustment in his relations with his White House friends.”
That is another knock on Obama—that he surrounds himself with like-minded and sometimes sycophantic underlings who reinforce his actions rather than testing his thinking against those who may harbor differing thoughts and perceptions. Vernon Jordan, the big-time Washington lawyer (and a solid Democrat), tells the story of a golf game in which Obama was partnered with New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also is in a very select group of true experts on the financial markets. Afterward, Bloomberg remarked that, through four hours of riding the cart with the mayor, Obama asked his golf partner not a single question about anything.
Yeah, no one who is awake and sober knows a lot of what is being said here but it is occasionally easier just to toss something like this at one of the Obama fawns rather than waste breath.
Four (almost) more years.
The group of Democrats and Republicans from the Senate and House of Representatives is expected to start working in coming days and would have to report recommendations by December 13.
While there are no prescribed consequences if the committee fails to agree on recommendations, government funding runs out again on January 15, and the threat of another federal shutdown will put pressure on lawmakers for a deal.
What pressure? The formula is well known now: posture, punt and preen.
It’s not like there’s going to be a big turnover in personnel on the Hill between now and January 15th of next year. These weak (non)representatives didn’t work so hard to kick the can just to kick it to themselves. They will punt again and then congratulate themselves for having save the country.
The only way a budget deal will be reached is if the GOP allows the Democrats to continue their financial jihad against successful people Americans but bleeding more taxes from the rich as a trade for some spending reductions that are sure to be almost meaningless.
Even the Democrats know that the general public doesn’t like their lusty quest for taxes, which is why they’ve been employing the euphemism “revenues” in recent years.
But they cannot and will not give up their penchant for spending our money as if they were drunken Kennedys in Tijuana.
And that is the real problem.
Be quiet Washington, the adults are speaking now. (italics mine)
Kicking the proverbial can down the street does not address the long-term fiscal imbalances. The twin decisions of a taper timing push out and the discord in Washington being swept under the rug until January and February roll in could keep P/E multiples more compressed as equity risk premiums stay elevated. Investors typically do not like uncertainty and it is hard to determine how these recent almost non-decisions can be seen as reinvigorating confidence aside from some relief that an imminent likely disaster has been avoided. Nonetheless, one cannot respectably believe that things truly have turned for the better as opposed to averting the worst. The long-term growth of non-discretionary government spending can still prove to be an overwhelming liability and it has not been the primary focus for legislators.
The twenty four hour news cycle, social media and the underwhelming intellectual ability of our current crop of legislators all put the focus on procedure, perception and emotion. Substantive conversation about what is really going on and where this is all headed doesn’t get more than the briefest lip-service during each of these debt ceiling showdowns. One day the entire stinky mess will hit the fan and there will be a very good reason to be emotional.
Because that’s all that will be left to do.
“In fact, there are things that we know will help strengthen our economy that we could get done before this year is out,” said Obama from the White House briefing room. “We still need to pass a law to fix our broken immigration system. We still need to pass a farm bill. And with the shutdown behind us and budget committees forming, we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget that is responsible, that is fair, and that helps hard working people all across this country. And we could get all these things done even this year, if everybody comes together in a spirit of how-are-we-going-to-move-this-country forward and put the last three weeks behind us.”
Yes, I laughed until my ribs hurt at the “sensible budget that is responisble” line too.
Anyone familiar with Obamaspeak knows that the above paragraph is the political version of a kid in a candy store. Because we are so far through the looking glass that the majority of the political class is celebrating (useful idiot Peter King actually called this a victory for the American people) a chance to exacerbate our soon-to-be-catastrophic debt problems, Obama knows he can hit the spending accelerator again.
Aided by centrist Republicans who are more interested in DC social status than the future of the republic, Obama and the Democrats are now encouraged to continue profligate spending habits. And thanks to the John McCain/Pete King wing of the GOP, they can do it virtually unchecked.
Blood-Soaked Mayor Bloomberg Announces Homelessness No Longer A Problem In New York City