Thursday's HOT MIC
More liberal self-congratulatory celebrations because millions signed up for Obamacare. The number ended up being 8.8 million signups, down slightly from last year's 9.2 million.
There are two ways to look at the numbers: On the one hand, in a thriving marketplace, you would expect enrollment to grow every year. On the other hand, given the deep cuts that the Trump administration made to Obamacare advertising and the decision to have the sign-up window, the law has proven pretty resilient.
"We expect enrollment to grow every year, not to shrink. This market is likely to shrink," Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at Avalere, an independent consulting firm, told merecently, before open enrollment had ended. "It is a big deal, for a market that's already too small and unstable."
See? Toldja. Obamacare is popular and its working!
Obviously, there are more than two ways to look at the numbers. The realistic way to view them is that Americans are law-abiding and it's the law that you buy insurance. Duh.
Far more significant are the 25 million people who refuse to buy insurance or still can't afford it. If you're looking for a political statement about Obamacare, that's a far more telling number than people obeying a law to prevent the IRS from getting involved in their lives.
Even with generous federal subsidies that would lower premiums for most people to below $100 a month, 25 million people refuse the government's (and your) generosity.
If you're going to make a big deal out of 9 million people forced to buy insurance, why not the 25 million who don't? I'm sure it has something to do with the narrative or something.
The ever-leftward shift of the Democratic party to appease the progressive wing isn't going to do anything to help them recapture voters they lost in middle America in 2016. It will only further marginalize them as a coastal niche party.
Speaking of Nikki Haley, I'm way ahead of you lads and lassies -- posted this on Dec. 19:
While there was something for Trump-hating liberals to celebrate today, not all is good news for them:
A federal court today dismissed a lawsuit brought against Donald Trump which accused the president of violating the constitutional prohibition on certain foreign emoluments.
That case, CREW v. Trump, was brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (“CREW”), a non-profit and non-partisan government corruption watchdog.
In his opinion, Judge George B. Daniels with the Second District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the lawsuit largely on grounds of standing. He then opined on several other issues brought to the court’s attention and determined that the issue was not ripe and implicated the “political question” doctrine as well.
I'm sure that The New York Times and WaPo will be getting right on in-depth analysis of this. Also, I am fairly certain that even a minimum amount of digging would find that CREW is anything but "non-partisan".
Great news for liberals who are looking for a legal way to riot against the Trump administration.
A jury found six defendants not guilty of all charges stemming from violence that erupted on Trump's Inauguration Day.
Hooray! A blow struck for mob rule!
The verdict is a victory not only for the six defendants and their lawyers, but for other defense attorneys, anti-Trump activists, and free speech advocates who had criticized the mass arrests and prosecution as examples of government overreach and who worried the case signaled a new era of criminalizing political dissent.
"The jury thoughtfully distinguished First Amendment rights from criminal conduct," Steven McCool, one of the defense lawyers, told BuzzFeed News in an email. "They vindicated the constitutional rights of these defendants and all of us.
Asked about the verdict, one of the defendants, Alexei Wood, told BuzzFeed News in a text message: "Fuk them so hard."
A wonderful example of "political dissent."
Meanwhile, the prosecution had a slightly different view, although they sound almost as pleased with the acquittals as defense attorneys:
"The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia believes that the evidence shows that a riot occurred on January 20, 2017, during which numerous public and private properties were damaged or destroyed. This destruction impacted many who live and work in the District of Columbia, and created a danger for all who were nearby," per the statement. "The criminal justice process ensures that every defendant is judged based on his or her personal conduct and intent. We appreciate the jury’s close examination of the individual conduct and intent of each defendant during this trial and respect its verdict. In the remaining pending cases, we look forward to the same rigorous review for each defendant."
I suppose it's very difficult to positively identify individuals who throw rocks through windows or overturn cars during a riot and the prosecution couldn't do it. Their theory of the case was that people were there to support anti-Trump protesters, including the rioters. The jury didn't buy it — even though it's probably true.
But if this is the kind of country the jurors want to live in, who are we to tell them otherwise?