In this series I’ve been trying to follow news and columns and editorials that report the unfolding Obamacare disaster. The disaster is just beginning, and the federal Obamacare exchange is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Today’s Wall Street Journal carries a reported editorial documenting the omertà operative inside the Obama administration with respect to the technical issues bedeviling Healthcare.gov. Kathleen Seblelius and others have clammed up. President Obama characterized the technical issues as “a glitch” and likened Healthcare.gov to the new Apple iPhone operating system. For the record, this is what he said: Consider that just a couple
Hello, I’m Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Today, our nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia face tremendous challenges. Citizens are seeking leaders who are willing to speak out and stand up for our first principles and take on a federal government that is out of control, eating away our liberty and crushing opportunity. This gross government overreach is best exemplified in the so-called Affordable Care Act. ObamaCare represents one of the largest and most reckless expansions of government in the more than 200-year history of our nation.
In considering the Republican retreat that ended the partial government shutdown, funded Obamacare, and unconditionally extended more credit on Uncle Sam’s tapped-out credit card, my friend Jonah Goldberg argues that we should be more understanding of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s predicament. Politics, Jonah aptly observes, is the art of the possible, and McConnell had “no good options” when he led the GOP cave-in to all of President Obama’s demands — a decision that, McConnell insists, was not in any way influenced by the tidy $3 billion earmark thrown in for one of his pet Kentucky boondoggles. I agree that
Hi everybody. This week, because Democrats and responsible Republicans came together, the government was reopened, and the threat of default was removed from our economy. There’s been a lot of discussion lately of the politics of this shutdown. But the truth is, there were no winners in this. At a time when our economy needs more growth and more jobs, the manufactured crises of these last few weeks actually harmed jobs and growth. And it’s understandable that your frustration with what goes on in Washington has never been higher.
Schools in New York, the biggest city in the U.S., might be about to implement shutdowns on certain Muslim holy days, as both mayoral candidates running for City Hall have said they support such a move. A report in the New York Daily News says that Bill de Blasio, the Democrat, and Joe Lhota, his Republican opponent, believe both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha should be added to the holiday calendar along with other major religious observations, including Christmas, Good Friday and Rosh Hashanah. De Blasio, who was speaking in Brooklyn at a campaign event, said the closings should be
JACKSON, Miss.— Grambling´s proud football program descended into further chaos Friday when the school canceled Saturday´s game against Jackson State after disgruntled players refused to travel to Jackson. Jackson State officials announced the cancellation Friday night. Athletic department spokesman Wesley Peterson told The Associated Press that Grambling officials contacted Jackson State to inform them of the decision. Grambling spokesman Will Sutton said late Friday that the Southwestern Athletic Conference has labeled the game as a "no contest" and that university officials would have no further comment. He said players will not be available for interviews. Grambling officials met throughout a chaotic Friday,
WASHINGTON- The U.S. has quietly decided to release more than $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan that was suspended when relations between the two countries disintegrated over the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden and deadly U.S. airstrikes against Pakistani soldiers. Officials and congressional aides said ties have improved enough to allow the money to flow again. American and NATO supply routes to Afghanistan are open. Controversial U.S. drone strikes are down. The U.S. and Pakistan recently announced the restart of their "strategic dialogue" after a long pause. Pakistan´s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is traveling
Judging from the speech Obama gave following the deal to end the government shutdown, Republicans better get wise to the president’s next fiscal gambit when the three-month stop-gap budget and debt measures come due. As was the case with his hard-line defense of Obamacare, the president likely will be inflexible on ending sequestration budget caps, pushing for massive tax hikes, and permitting only the most inconsequential entitlement reforms. Obama is interested in busting the GOP in 2014. He’s not interested in true budget restraint or other economic-growth measures. Example: This week, instead of a conciliatory work-together message for the negotiations
Here’s a question for conservatives and Republicans: Going into the 2012 Election Day, or even in the last few days before Election Day, did you think Mitt Romney was going to win? A couple of months ago, did you think the strategy of threatening to shut down the government or prevent raising the debt ceiling, to force the outright repeal or defunding of Obamacare, would really work? Romney lost by 4,967,508 votes, 126 Electoral College votes, and 3.85 percentage points. That’s not very close. Obamacare isn’t going to be repealed this year, and it’s not going to be defunded. So the
The unborn children of Syrian women are the targets of a sickening war game where a shooter who murders a foetus in its mother’s womb is awarded with cigarettes, a British surgeon has revealed. Dr David Nott witnessed evidence of fighters using civilians as target practice and on several occasions shooting pregnant women in the stomach, killing their unborn babies. Dr Nott, recently returned from volunteering at a Syrian hospital, said there are local rumours the snipers are sell swords, working for the Assad regime, awarded when they ‘hit the correct targets’. Dr Nott, a vascular surgeon at Chelsea and
Amid all the tussling over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling, a couple of bombshells went off that may prove of more enduring importance. They suggest that there is a nontrivial possibility that ObamaCare may implode. The first bombshell went off on Tuesday, from Ezra Klein of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.Klein was one of the writers who formed JournoList a few years ago so that like-minded Obama fans could coordinate their lines of argument. It was like one of those college sophomore clubs, not really necessary in an age of ready contact through e-mail, but it shows him as
PITTSBURGH — Former city police Chief Nathan Harper pleaded guilty to federal charges that he conspired to steal police funds deposited into unauthorized credit union accounts and willfully failed to file income tax returns. Harper, 60, will be sentenced Feb. 25. He has since filed belated tax returns from 2008 to 2011, when prosecutors say much of the money was stolen, and paid much of the $22,000 the government was owed for those years. Harper’s plea punctuated a remarkable fall from grace for a man his attorneys, Robert Leight and Robert DelGreco, called a “sweetheart” who simply succumbed to the “irresistible
Ted Cruz has recently…well you know what he’s been up to recently. Former Massachusetts. Governor and Republican establishment stalwart John Sununu, on the other hand, has recently been busy on Capitol Hill lobbying on behalf of the business interests of Castro’s Cuba, an official “State-Sponsor of Terrorism.” So which Republican is taking all the heat—and from the Republican establishment? You know good and well who. Worse still, one Republican is taking heat from the other: “It’s time for someone to act like a grown-up in this process,” quipped John Sununu two weeks ago regarding the shutdown. According to the AP
When New York’s Obamacare website opened for business on Oct. 1, officials announced that it was flooded with 10 million hits — which was seen as a harbinger of massive demand.Two-and-half weeks later, a more sobering picture emerges from a fog of secrecy. As of Friday, zero people were fully enrolled in a health plan through the site.Here’s the breakdown on the operation: Of the millions who have visited NYStateofHealth.ny.gov, 134,000 have finished identity, income and citizenship verifications, learned what tax credits they qualify for and begun to shop. A smaller number of those 134,000 registrants have picked a plan and
WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies are sending notices of cancellation to hundreds of thousands of people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more expensive policies. Insurers say the cancellations are necessary because the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are canceling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions. By all accounts, new policies to replace the canceled ones offer consumers better coverage, in some
The liberal view of health care is easy to describe: health care is too complex and complicated for individuals to make good choices on their own. Therefore they need bureaucracies — employers, insurance companies or government — to make decisions for them. (See, for example, Austin Frakt) What this view overlooks is that the primary reason why the system is complex is because the bureaucracies are meddling with it in the first place. In health care, we pit bureaucratic payers against bureaucratic providers of care. At least that´s the way we used to describe it. Now it´s software against software.
Nate Silver, the statistician who recently joined ESPN from The New York Times, previewed his new website on Friday and dished out some criticisms of the current journalism environment, much of it directed at POLITICO.Delivering the keynote address at this year´s Online News Association conference in Atlanta, Silver said the new fivethirtyeight.com will be free and will launch "very early next year." "The idea is that it’s a web product, first and foremost. I’m sure we’ll build out podcasts and video coverage over time, but really the core challenge is in identifying writers and journalists who have the right critical thinking
Not That Bad: A trio of dudes recorded themselves knocking over a rock in Utah´s Goblin Valley State Park. "We have now modified Goblin Valley," one of them proudly proclaims. A Bit Worse: The rock was part of a 20-million-year-old rock formation — one of the special "goblins" that give the park its name. Wow, Terrible: The dudes are all Boy Scout leaders. One of the men "said that at the time he thought he was doing a ´civic service´ by taking down a loose rock," according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "However, as he walked back to his car, he began
A couple years ago, I interviewed James Piereson about his book Camelot and the Cultural Revolution. He essentially argued that the intentional misinterpretation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination was to blame for the radicalization that took place in the 1960s. Now, Peter Savodnik is out with a new book titled: The Interloper. As the subtitle betrays, it’s about “Lee Harvey Oswald Inside the Soviet Union.” And it occurs to me that this might be shocking — that many Americans probably still have no idea that the man who assassinated Kennedy was also a Communist defector. During a recent discussion, I asked Savodnik
A journalism degree can cost nearly $100,000 for graduate students, but for many it´s a waste of money because they are leaving school without the skills needed in the new age of digital reporting and publishing, according to a sweeping new survey of the industry. The highly-regarded Poynter Institute, an international strategy center and leader in journalism education, found in their 2013 “Future of Journalism” study that only one quarter of journalism school students showed up on the job ready for work. Asked to judge “the last person their organization hired,” just 26 percent of media professionals said “the person had ‘most’
Over at Conservative Intel, David Freddoso has some vital numbers: Yesterday, The Washington Post suggested that at least 185,000 people have signed up for Obamacare:. That sounds promising for the program even if it’s still well short of the pace needed to meet the goals. And then Oregon has just reported 56,000 enrollments. So isn’t everything going just fine? In fact, no. When you see state enrollment numbers, you have to ask yourself this question: How many of those people are actually becoming Obamacare private insurance exchange customers, as opposed to people who (1) were always eligible but are just signing up
America is often painted as divided — be it by politics, economics, or word pronunciation. But according to a new study from researchers from the University of Cambridge, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Helsinki, America may also be split up by three different psychological profiles. The paper, which was recently published the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, looked at 1.5 million responses gathered from five different online surveys and assessed respondents across five key personality traits: Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. They then clustered the traits together to see which areas have the highest — and lowest
For various reasons, the killing of innocent civilians in drone strikes has become a domestic American concern as well as a volatile international issue. The logic in both areas seems at the very least to lack consistency. The impetus given the subject by political motivations, such as in the case of sanguinary Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, tends to weaken the argument. Within the West there has always has been an antipathy toward innocent civilian deaths during war. Nevertheless, this has not kept warring Western nations from killing civilians indiscriminately and sometimes with intent to induce fear as a weapon in itself.
Although Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) is known as the first pilot to cross the Atlantic solo in 1927 piloting the Spirit of St. Louis, his Nazi sympathies are often downplayed, and few know that he was an extreme environmentalist. Strangely enough, the very man who helped kick-start the space age became less interested in aviation late in life. In fact, he came to believe that technology and machines were the enemies and destroyers of the natural world. The man who became a notorious recluse due to the political firestorm he created by becoming a national spokesman for an isolationist organization with Nazi
An unnamed Obama administration official claimed that the White House feared GOP subpoenas would slow their work on the Obamacare website, leading to keeping its design in-house with "trusted campaign tech experts" that seemed to have spectacularly failed at creating a successful commerce website. In a Politico article lamenting the second week of failed performance of Healthcare.gov, the Obamacare insurance website, the unnamed official attempts to explain why the whole thing has been such a dismal failure: it´s the Republican´s fault. "Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans," Politico wrote, "the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment
Thousands of furloughed federal workers who received unemployment checks during the 16-day shutdown will have to begin paying the government back. Roughly 50,000 employees filed for unemployment in and around Washington, D.C., while the government was closed. Nearly 34,000 workers filed claims within the shutdown’s first weekOver 16,000 government workers sought unemployment over the duration of the shutdown in the nation’s capital, according to Najla A. Haywood, public information officer for the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES). “DOES dispersed payment for 1,700 of these claims via debit card or direct deposit,” Haywood said. “Claimants are currently receiving notification from