Obamacare: I guess we did need to pass the bill to find out what’s in it
The Democrats’ “historic achievement,” shocking as it seems, TURNS OUT TO BE AN EXPENSIVE, JOBS-CRIPPLING MONSTROSITY THAT IS FILLED WITH UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. Employers are likely to dump employees into highly subsidized exchanges. It’s not going to bend the cost curve. And today, the Associated Press reports:
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S HEALTH CARE LAW WOULD LET SEVERAL MILLION MIDDLE-CLASS PEOPLE GET NEARLY FREE INSURANCE MEANT FOR THE POOR, a twist government number crunchers say they discovered only after the complex bill was signed.
The change would affect early retirees: A married couple could have an annual income of about $64,000 and still get Medicaid, said officials who make long-range cost estimates for the Health and Human Services department.
UP TO 3 MILLION PEOPLE COULD QUALIFY FOR MEDICAID IN 2014 AS A RESULT OF THE ANOMALY. That’s because, in a major change from today, most of their Social Security benefits would no longer be counted as income for determining eligibility.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s communications director e-mailed me in response to this report, “Nearly every week we find a new reason to say ‘repeal and replace.’ ”…
Yet another mistake in a ill-advised bill.
Incumbents in trouble in 2012?
CALIFORNIA SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN'S POPULARITY HAS PLUNGED BY DOUBLE DIGITS FROM HER PREVIOUS RE-ELECTION RATINGS, according to a new Field Poll survey, demonstrating the toll that the anemic economy is taking on incumbent Democrats, including President Obama, heading into next year's elections.
Campaigning for a fourth full term, FEINSTEIN ENJOYS A FOUR-POINT EDGE, 43 TO 39 PERCENT, among registered California voters asked if they would vote for her - even as a strong majority, 46 to 31 percent, approves of the job she is doing. Eighteen percent of voters have no opinion on whether they'd vote for her, leaving a wide opening among swing voters for a potential challenger.
This is not good if you are among those who are incumbents and feel as if it is your god given right to be in office.
Reid: Huntsman over Romney in GOP field
Even though he won't be able to cast a vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) picked his favorite Mormon candidate in the GOP presidential field on Tuesday: Jon Huntsman.
Reid, a Mormon, was asked if the country is ready for a president of his faith because there are two in the Republican primary race. Huntsman, the former U.S. ambassador to China faces Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.
"CERTAINLY THEY'RE NOT READY FOR THE FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS. WHICH SAYS IN THAT RACE IF I HAD A CHOICE I WOULD FAVOR HUNTSMAN OVER ROMNEY," he told reporters at the Capitol.
Here’s another feather in Mitt Romney’s cap. If you are endorsed by Harry Reid, you might as well kiss your chances for the Republican nomination goodbye. Romney is obviously the tougher candidate.
Only 3 in 10 will definitely vote for Obama
Americans are growing increasingly more frustrated with President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and ONLY 3 IN 10 SAY THEY ARE CERTAIN THEY WILL VOTE TO RE-ELECT HIM IN 2012, a new poll finds.
JUST 23 PERCENT OF THOSE SURVEYED FOR A BLOOMBERG NEWS POLL RELEASED WEDNESDAY SAY THEY ARE HOPEFUL ABOUT THE ECONOMY because they see signs of improvement, while 25 percent say they are fearful things are getting worse and 51 percent are cautious because nothing seems to be happening.
Three in ten puts you pretty much just with just your base. Obama has lost the people who actually elected him in 2008. It’s the economy.
Superman and Jim Crow
Having experienced the psychological pain of Jim Crow laws first-hand, I won’t allow those who likely only read about Jim Crow in history books to trivialize it.
That’s why I’m outraged about a recent edition of TV One’s “Washington Watch” in which host ROLAND MARTIN AND REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL) COMPARED STATE-LEVEL VOTER IDENTIFICATION RULES TO JIM CROW.
To the contrary, requiring valid identification in exchange for something as sacred as a ballot is a pragmatic approach to governing. IT’S AN INSULT TO THE INTELLIGENCE AND INTEGRITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY BLACK AMERICANS, TO PLAY THE RACE CARD WHERE RACE IS NOT AN ISSUE.
Martin mused: “We talk about [voting being] the fundamental right [of] Americans, but to put roadblocks up to… for… voting makes no sense to me.” WASSERMAN SHULTZ REPLIED, “NOW YOU HAVE THE REPUBLICANS, WHO WANT TO LITERALLY DRAG US BACK TO JIM CROW LAWS AND LITERALLY — AND VERY TRANSPARENTLY — BLOCKED ACCESS TO THE POLLS.”
We are required to have a state-issued driver’s license for many daily activities. Besides specifically verifying a person can operate a motor vehicle, it’s used for everything from access to buildings to birthday discounts.
What I’m seeing here is a rerun of the old Superman TV episodes. In those episodes, the bad guys would shoot Superman until their gun was empty. They would then throw the gun at him, like the bullets didn’t hurt him, but the gun might??? This is the equivalent of throwing the gun at him.
More on Jim Crow
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post, Baghdad Bob of the liberal left, dutifully trots out the latest propaganda line. HE CLAIMS THAT "AN ATTACK ON THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS UNDERWAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY," through, among other things, antifraud measures requiring voters to present identification before casting a ballot:
Besides Texas, states that enacted voter ID laws this year include Kansas, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Tennessee. Indiana and Georgia already had such requirements. . . .
In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, by 6 to 3, upheld Indiana's voter ID statute. So seeking judicial relief may be difficult. Nonetheless, THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SHOULD VIGOROUSLY CHALLENGE THESE LAWS, PARTICULARLY IN STATES COVERED BY THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. And the court should be asked to review the issue again in light of new evidence that these laws have a real impact in restricting the rights of particular voter groups.
"THIS REQUIREMENT IS JUST A POLL TAX BY ANOTHER NAME," STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS declared when Texas was debating its ID law early this year. In the bad old days, poll taxes, now outlawed by the 24th Amendment, were used to keep African Americans from voting. EVEN IF THE SUPREME COURT DIDN'T SEE THINGS HER WAY, DAVIS IS RIGHT. THIS IS THE CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE OF OUR MOMENT.
In part because of a surge of voters who had not cast ballots before, the United States elected its first African American president in 2008. Are we now going to witness a subtle return of Jim Crow voting laws?
Here Dionne parrots an assertion by the unwieldy named Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who said earlier this month that Republicans "want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." (Literally? She's lucky there's no literacy test for members of Congress.) EVEN THE LEFT-LEANING SITE POLITIFACT.COM RATED THIS FALSE.
Notice how Dionne sites many quotes, but not a fact to back up what he is saying. It’s an example how the left views facts. Quotes they agree with are the equivalent of fact to them.
Media and Politics
Is Newspaper Coverage of Economic Events Politically Biased?
Accusations of political bias in the media are often made by members of both political parties, yet there have been few systematic studies of such bias to date. This paper develops an econometric technique to test for political bias in news reports that controls for the underlying character of the news reported. OUR RESULTS SUGGEST THAT AMERICAN NEWSPAPERS TEND TO GIVE MORE POSITIVE NEWS COVERAGE TO THE SAME ECONOMIC NEWS WHEN DEMOCRATS ARE IN THE PRESIDENCY THAN FOR REPUBLICANS. When all types of news are pooled into a single analysis, our results are highly significant. However, the results vary greatly depending upon which economic numbers are being reported. WHEN GDP GROWTH IS REPORTED, REPUBLICANS RECEIVED BETWEEN 16 AND 24 PERCENTAGE POINT FEWER POSITIVE STORIES FOR THE SAME ECONOMIC NUMBERS THAN DEMOCRATS. For durable goods for all newspapers, Republicans received between 15 and 25 percentage points fewer positive news stories than Democrats. For unemployment, the difference was between zero and 21 percentage points. Retail sales showed no difference. AMONG THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AND THE TOP 10 PAPERS, THE WASHINGTON POST, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, ASSOCIATED PRESS, AND NEW YORK TIMES TEND TO BE THE LEAST LIKELY TO REPORT POSITIVE NEWS DURING REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATIONS, while the Houston Chronicle slightly favors Republicans. Only one newspaper treated one Republican administration significantly more positively than the Clinton administration: the Los Angeles Times' headlines were most favorable to the Reagan administration, but it still favored Clinton over either Bush administration. We also find that the media coverage affects people's perceptions of the economy. Contrary to the typical impression that bad news sells, we find that good economic news generates more news coverage and that it is usually covered more prominently. We also present some evidence that media treats parties differently when they control both the presidency and the congress.
Newspapers are bias toward democrats? Now that’s a non-story.
Nets Ignore Emissions Decision, Politico Carries EPA's Water
The Supreme Court on Monday unequivocally rejected the notion that courts should force power companies to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, but NONE OF THE MAJOR BROADCAST NETWORKS COVERED THE UNANIMOUS DECISION ON THEIR EVENING NEWSCASTS OR MORNING SHOWS.
The New York Times teased the ruling on the front page of Tuesday's paper, directing readers to a thorough analysis of the 8-0 decision, but ABC's "Good Morning America" and "World News," CBS's "Early Show" and "Evening News," and NBC's "Today" and "Nightly News" all skipped a decision that prevents environmentalists from using the courts to impose greenhouse gas regulations on electric utilities.
So the networks failed to note this? Again what else is new? Jon Stewarts opinion of Fox News looks more and more partisan and more and more stupid.
Media Recast THE Crisis Villains
SUBPRIME SCANDAL: With the housing market crashing again, the truth is finally dawning on some media elite that Washington played a bigger role in the mortgage mess than first told.
A NEW BOOK, "RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT," ZEROES IN ON THE CORRUPT PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN FANNIE MAE AND BELTWAY INSIDERS — who used the federally chartered firm as a giant slush fund to enrich themselves while pushing liberal housing scheme….
….Refreshingly, the lead villain in Gretchen Morgenson's book isn't Lloyd Blankfein or some other "fat cat" banker. It's ex-Fannie chairman Jim Johnson, one of many Clinton cronies who helped set the stage for the financial disaster back in the 1990s.
SHE BLAMES JOHNSON AND FANNIE FOR FANNING THE EASY CREDIT FLAMES BY UNDERWRITING HOME LOANS FOR LOW-INCOME MINORITIES. But this is still only half the story.
The Clinton White House and Democrat Congress were obsessed with closing the racial mortgage gap, and they enlisted Fannie and its brother, Freddie Mac, in their reckless social crusade.
FANNIE AND FREDDIE DIDN'T CO-OPT REGULATORS, AS THE BOOK ARGUES. IT WAS THE OTHER WAY AROUND. THEIR CHIEF REGULATOR — HUD — PRESSURED THEM TO TARGET CREDIT-POOR BLACKS AND HISPANICS WITH SUBPRIME LOANS. If they didn't meet HUD's increasing quotas, they were threatened with fines and stiffer oversight.
And Johnson's successor, FRANKLIN RAINES, DID FAR MORE DAMAGE AT FANNIE'S HELM. Unlike Johnson, RAINES PUSHED FOR ZERO DOWN PAYMENTS. He also begged mortgage bankers to originate more subprime loans so Fannie could buy them and fuel even more risky lending.
Under Raines, a Clinton appointee, FANNIE LOADED UP ON SUBPRIME SECURITIES WHILE GUTTING THE UNDERWRITING STANDARDS IT SET FOR THE ENTIRE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY. It was under his leadership — 1999-2005 — that the bubble of making loans to people who would have a tough time paying them off got supersized.
"We have to push products and opportunities to people who have lesser credit quality," Raines exhorted mortgage bankers gathered in San Francisco in 2004.
As Clinton's old budget director, as well as an African-American, Raines agreed with his goal of putting more blacks in homes through subprime mortgages. Home ownership was "unevenly distributed in society," Raines complained, and he was fully on board government efforts to redistribute housing credit through private lenders.
Fannie and Freddie appear to be the Typhoid Mary’s of the Economic crisis. This viewpoint is vigorously denied by the left (it spoils their blaming the Republicans, deregulation, and the Wall Street fat cats) but facts are facts. HUD, Fannie and Freddie, and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are prime suspects in what is going on in America today. All the others are people who took advantage of the policies these groups foisted on the American Financial System.
Issa Lays Down the Law to DOJ: "We Are Investigating You"
The following video is from the House Oversight Committee hearing last week about Operation Fast and Furious and is worth watching.
The hearing opened up a slew of questions about Operation Fast and Furious and Issa is just getting started in his gathering of information about the lethal project, however, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich couldn't answer one simply question: Who in Washington authorized Operation Fast and Furious?
In his opening statement, Weich said that the Justice Department had complied and cooperated with the Oversight Committee, adding the DOJ had provided information requested through subpoenas from Issa in his investigation. As you will see, Issa strongly disagreed, making it clear there has been no cooperation from the Obama Justice Department in this case.
This is something the democrats didn’t have to worry about when they controlled the congress. Expect to see a lot more of this and a slew of Democrat scandals and unseemly actions.
Mean while Rand Paul strikes a chord for basic common sense
Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul told the Transportation Security Administration today that IT SHOULD END WHAT HE CALLED THE “UNIVERSALITY OF INSULT” OF RANDOM PAT-DOWNS OF PASSENGERS.
In a meeting of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Paul grilled TSA Administrator John Pistole over the recent pat-down of a six-year-old Kentucky girl, a video of which went viral over the Internet.
“IT MAKES ME THINK YOU’RE CLUELESS, IF YOU THINK SHE’S GOING TO ATTACK OUR COUNTRY AND YOU’RE NOT DOING YOUR RESEARCH ON THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ATTACK OUR COUNTRY,” Paul said. “It absolutely must involve a risk assessment of those who are traveling. And the fact that she’s being patted down and I don’t feel comfortable really with your response that we are no longer doing random pat-downs. I think you ought to get rid of the random pat-downs. The American public is unhappy with them, they’re unhappy with the invasiveness of them. The Internet is full of jokes about the invasiveness of the pat-down searches and we ought to just consider, is this what we’re willing to do.”
Random pat downs are worthless for making us safer. We have limited resources at airports and we should be behaviorally profiling individuals and using these resources on people who are the most likely ones to be terrorists. This is just common sense, but the problem we have with Homeland Security is that common sense is not very common.
Olson and Elwood on Wal-Mart v. Dukes
Walter Olson comments on the implications of Wal-Mart v. Dukes in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here’s his conclusion:
This week’s decision will make it harder, though not impossible, to apply class actions to employment-discrimination cases in which cash damages are the main point. (As the court noted, though, class treatment is still more liberally available for injunctive relief, such as in a suit asking that a company be ordered to change a discriminatory personnel policy.)
That does not mean, as one veteran Supreme Court reporter wrote this week, that future aggrieved employees will all have to “file their own lawsuits,” or that large companies can operate with impunity. The court did not rule out lawsuits on behalf of groups of employees affected by the actions of some identifiable corporate policy, for example, or by particular managers or supervisors or offices. And even suits by individual employees against big companies regularly demand, and sometimes get, million-dollar damages.
The message of this ruling is simple: Employees have to prove that they have been legally wronged, not just cash in because somebody else was.
Volokh is always interesting. You can read this and be sure to read the comments if you want to understand more about what this means. What the Court said was that with 8000+ stores worldwide, the actions of a few managers, contrary to written policy of the company is not grounds for a class action by every women in every location in the company.
10 cases of Liberal Hypocrisy
Hypocrisy: Carbon Footprint the Size of…Some Really Big Thing—Al Gore
Hypocrisy: No Guns For You, But My Guy Packs Heat—Rosie O’Donnell
Hypocrisy: War Investments, Non-Union Labor, Calling for the End of the American Dream While Living It -- Michael Moore
Hypocrisy: Getting Married After Condemning Marriage As Pointless –Gloria Steinem
Hypocrisy: Accepting Union Awards But Not Using Union Labor—Nancy Pelosi
Hypocrisy: Coastline Protection Lawsuit—Barbara Streisand
Hypocrisy: Opposing Wind Power While Proposing Alternative Fuels Elsewhere—Ted Kennedy
Hypocrisy: Counseling on Adultery While Committing Adultery—Jesse Jackson
Hypocrisy: Protesting Animal Testing While Benefiting from Animal Testing—Mary Beth Sweetland
Hypocrisy: Using Non-Union Labor to Strike for Higher Union Wages—US Labor Unions
Some of these are really hypocrisy while others are simply being human (look at Gloria Steinem, and Mary Beth Sweetland.
Here’s an 11th
Things got a little testy this weekend when a Republican online conference and conservative online publisher Andrew Breitbart showed up in Minneapolis at the same time as Netroots Nation, a gathering of liberal operatives, bloggers and activists.
So in an effort to prevent similar blogger battles next year WHEN NETROOTS HEADS TO PROVIDENCE, R.I., NEXT JUNE, EVENT ORGANIZERS ARE TRYING TO BAN OTHER GATHERINGS FROM USING THE CITY’S CONVENTION CENTER AND TWO OF ITS HOTELS DURING NETROOTS WEEKEND. IT IS INSISTING ON A NONCOMPETE CLAUSE IN EVERY CONTRACT AT THE RHODE ISLAND CONVENTION CENTER AS WELL AS THE WESTIN PROVIDENCE AND PROVIDENCE BILTMORE HOTELS, Raven Brooks, Netroots executive director, told Washington Wire. A convention center official said he was not immediately aware of the arrangement.
The conservative conference, RIGHTONLINE, HAS FOLLOWED NETROOTS AROUND THE U.S. SINCE 2008, SEEKING TO ACT AS A COUNTER-EVENT. This year, a shouting match broke out when Mr. Breitbart tried to enter Netroots, camera crew in tow. Mr. Brooks alleged other cases of harassment at the Hilton Minneapolis, which was used by both events, and at downtown bars.
There are, of course, other hotels, in downtown Providence.
“The folks at RightOnline are free to hold differing political views,” Mr. Brooks said in an email. “THEY ARE NOT FREE TO HARASS OUR PEOPLE AND CREATE A POOR SOCIAL EXPERIENCE AT OUR HOTELS.”
The last sentence is the money quote. Netroots is looking for an echo chamber experience. This is typical of the left and is one of the reasons their arguments are so pathetic. They don’t test their ideas with others with a different perspective.
Freshman Congresswoman Kristi Noem busted the liberal "republicans hate women" myth tonight on the House floor, stressing the importance of having people in Congress with real world experience, regardless of gender.
"I didn't run because I was a woman and I didn't expect people to vote for me because I was a woman."
Feminism is being redefined and the liberals hate it. A color blind, gender blind society is much more what the Republicans represent rather than the quota embracing Democrats support.
Stupidity reigns on Current TV
Keith Olbermann is back and here is the stupidest thing he opined right at the beginning of his show:
“This is to be a newscast of contextualization and it is to be presented with a viewpoint that the weakest citizen of this country is more important than the strongest corporation.”
So basically passing a bill that would help the weakest citizen of this country but hurt the strongest corporation even if 10,000 people would lose their jobs as a result, it not simply a fair tradeoff to Mr. Olbermann, but it seems morally right. Olbermann is like a weed in an intellectual garden. He may be green, but he adds nothing of value to the rest of the garden.