The definitive account of the conspiracy to send George Zimmerman to prison for the self-defense shooting of Trayvon Martin is reaching bookstores today. Jack Cashill´s If I had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman is a must-read for anyone interested in race, justice and the corruption of the American mass media. You may think you know everything you need to know about the case, if you followed it as avidly as many American Thinker readers (and editors) did. But you would be wrong. This masterful and very readable narrative not only assembles and places into context
Weeks after the botched rollout of Obamacare’s exchanges, Democrats are desperately trying to reassure Americans that a not-ready-for-primetime website is unrelated to the benefits customers will experience when they can finally enroll. “Despite this initial bump in the road, we must remember the Affordable Care Act is more than a website,” wrote Congressman John Dingell, D-Dearborn, in a constituent email over the weekend. “It’s affordable, quality health insurance made available to everyone.” But that reassurance is no more credible than the fib that website crashes were due to high traffic volumes.
Once you’ve finished reading my Sunday column on what Obamacare will mean for health insurance if and when HealthCare.gov gets fixed, here are a couple of places to turn next. First, as a supplement to some of my points about the law’s impact on existing coverage, here’s the weekend’s much-discussed Los Angeles Times story on Californians who aren’t happy with their premium increases under the new system, which kicks off with the following case study: Fullerton resident Jennifer Harris thought she had a great deal, paying $98 a month for an individual plan through Health Net Inc. She got a rude
A plan to create the world´s largest single civilian computer system linking all parts of the National Health Service is to be abandoned by the Government after running up billions of pounds in bills. Ministers are expected to announce next month that they are scrapping a central part of the much-delayed and hugely controversial 10-year National Programme for IT. Instead, local health trusts and hospitals will be allowed to develop or buy individual computer systems to suit their needs – with a much smaller central server capable of "interrogating" them to provide centralised information on patient care.
When it comes to leadership and personal responsibility, President Barack Obama has made his stance very clear: "The buck stops with me." It´s a phrase he´s echoed countless times in the past. But now, he´s dealing with an accountability double-whammy -- fallout from the botched Obamacare website and global fury over the wiretapping of some allied leaders´ conversations. So what all did the President know, and when did he find out? Depends on who you ask. Some U.S. officials have said that Obama didn´t know about problems with the health care enrollment site before it launched and that he only recently learned about
There´s no doubt congressional investigators have their hands full probing allegations the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative non-profit groups. But now a different IRS scandal -- involving the chronic, ongoing, mind-bogglingly wasteful mismanagement of a popular tax credit program -- demands Congress´s attention because it has taken on new importance with the arrival of Obamacare. The program is the Earned Income Tax Credit, through which the federal government gives out between $60 billion and $70 billion to low-income working Americans each year. It´s known as a "refundable" tax credit, but it is basically a transfer payment, in which the IRS sends
Much ink was spilled earlier this month about the plight of federal workers who were furloughed due to the budget impasse. One federal employee union even bafflingly likened its members to “indentured servants.” But now, quietly, federal workers are receiving full pay for the shutdown period, whether they worked or not. In fact, some furloughed employees will receive special overtime and holiday premiums on top of their regular paychecks, just as long as they were scheduled to work overtime or on Columbus Day. Compensating the non-work of government employees is a poor use of public money not least because federal workers
Bob Tyrrell was right. The founder of The American Spectator penned — in 2011, two years ago — The Death of Liberalism. In which Tyrrell investigated “the decline and impending death of the American Liberal movement in the United States today.” And said of President Obama that he was a “Stealth Fascist” who was “the pallbearer for American Liberalism.” Notably, the last chapter of the book was titled: President Barack Obama, Liberalism’s Pallbearer. With considerable prescience, Mr. Tyrrell begins the chapter thusly:
At some point during the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, a substantial segment of the Democrat Party went nuts. Or maybe they were always nuts, but during the Bush years all these liberal kooks logged onto the Internet, and they have been plaguing America with their lunacy ever since. Roger Shuler runs a blog in Alabama called “Legal Schnauzer.” To be more accurate, Shuler was running that blog until he got arrested last week for violating a court order. As of Monday afternoon, Shuler was still being held without bail in the Shelby County Jail as inmate number 288928.
Sometime last week, my friend Kevin Williamson and I were talking about oil — black gold, Texas tea. (You know that song, right?) There is a new book called The Frackers. And a phrase popped into my head: hackin’ and frackin’. What has given this nation its dynamism recently is hackin’ and frackin’, computer technology and oil (and natural gas). Do you realize that the United States has passed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the top producer of oil and natural gas in all the world? This is a greatly underreported fact. A hugely significant fact. Let me quote a bit
A Londoner who suffered female genital mutilation has warned that political correctness is hampering the fight to stamp it out after asking people to sign a fake petition in its favour. Leyla Hussein, 32, said many were scared to speak out against FGM because they were worried about criticising another culture. She decided to conduct an experiment to see “how crazy political correctness has become” but was left in tears by the end. Approaching shoppers with the petition supporting FGM, she told them she wanted to protect her “culture, traditions and rights”. In only 30 minutes 19 people signed it with some saying they
The Jewish people’s considerable rights to the land of Israel are founded upon several bases: Jews have been on the land for close to 4,000 years, most notably within eastern Jerusalem (where the Old City and the Temple Mount are located), and Judea and Samaria – all places where ancient Israelite heritage is marked. Jews, in fact, are the indigenous people of Israel, present not only historically, but with continuity over the centuries. In modern times there are legal precedents for establishing the Jewish claim to Israel: This is with reference to the San Remo Conference, the Mandate for a Jewish
Strike four? Regular readers of this space will know I have been chronicling the failures of the “4 ways to get marketplace coverage.” For example, in addition to the website (which is broken), we have documented that the 1-800 number doesn’t work – and that the “navigators” also can’t sign you up (without a working Healthcare.gov website). As you might have guessed, an investigation into the fourth option, mail, was in order. And to continue the sports metaphor, they’re now 0-for-4. Try filing out this application. Really. I’ll wait. You’re going to burn a lot of calories in the process. And here’s
Abortion-rights activists are celebrating this afternoon in the wake of the news that a federal court has struck down a provision of a controversial Texas law.(Snip)But the main parts of the legislation remain in place. Texas abortion clinics are still required to meet the health standards required of all ambulatory surgery centers. More importantly, the ban on abortions after 20 weeks—the point where modern medical science has largely rendered fetuses viable outside the womb—is also unchallenged. As such, the key issues involved in the debate about the Texas law are still on the table.
Where is Casey Stengel when we need him? In 1962, as the manager of the brand new and determinedly hapless New York Mets — 40 wins, 120 losses — he looked up and down his bench one dismal day and wondered, “Can’t anybody here play this game?” That phrase kept coming at me recently as I watched the impressively inept performance of the Obama administration in both foreign and domestic policy. On a given day, this administration makes the ’62 Mets look good. This is a surprise — at least to me. If Barack Obama has an image, it is
Pressure is growing on the White House to explain US intelligence gathering and why President Barack Obama appeared not to know the extent of operations. The intelligence agency head and other officials are to testify before the House of Representatives later. The chair of the Senate´s intelligence committee said there would be a "total review" of US spying programmes. The president has spoken publicly of his intent to probe spying activities amid claims of eavesdropping on allies. An EU delegate in Washington has described the row over intelligence gathering as "a breakdown of trust".
Where´d she go? The smiling young woman whose visage for more than three weeks greeted visitors to Healthcare.gov has vanished from the site. Gone with her are the middle-aged Asian women and other faces that frequent visitors to the site have come to know. All have been replaced by additional instructions and information designed to answer health-insurance shoppers´ questions and direct them to the three other ways they can begin the process of getting insurance other than the website they are looking at. The identity of the woman who became the face of Obamacare had become a subject of much speculation
Fox News´ Megyn Kelly hosted Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel on her show Friday night and called him an "interesting guy." Well that´s an "interesting" adjective to describe Obama´s former health policy adviser who thinks a government bureaucrat should dole out medical treatment based on the individual´s usefulness to society. At the heart of ObamaCare is Emanuel´s ´complete lives´ system proposal -- i.e. reduce costs by cutting health services to individuals who are prevented from "being or becoming participating citizens." According to the doctor, the Hippocratic Oath is way overrated. A utilitarian-minded government panel takes the place of the doctor-patient relationship and decides who´s
We are currently learning whether the United States really needs a president. Barack Obama has become a mere figurehead, who gives speeches few listen to any more, issues threats that scare fewer, and makes promises that almost no one believes he will keep. Yet America continues on, despite the fact that the foreign and domestic policies of Barack Obama are unraveling, in a manner unusual even for star-crossed presidential second terms. Abroad, American policy in the Middle East is leaderless and in shambles after the Arab Spring — we’ve had the Syrian fiasco and bloodbath, leading from behind in Libya all
The Nation emailed subscribers a note today asking for $120,272 in donations, a hefty chunk of change the journal will owe as a result of the “impending postal rate hike crisis,” as the note puts it. “Tea Party–backed conservatives helped force the US Postal Service into requesting an emergency rate hike — one that will cost The Nation an additional $120,272 every year. While corporate media can handle this kind of a bill, The Nation can´t foot it alone,” President Teresa Stack wrote to the nonprofit publication’s readers. The Nation isn’t the only magazine bracing for an emergency rate hike as the
Between half and three-quarters of Americans who buy their own health insurance on the open market will lose those plans in the next year as Obamacare is pushed into full implementation, according to a blockbuster report sure to give the White House a new round of health-care headaches. ´No matter how we reform health care,´ a newly minted President Barack Obama told a meeting of the American Medical Association in June 2009, ´we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will
The purpose of two structures floating in Portland and San Francisco harbors remains a mystery, but the anonymous owner has left clues to the projects’ high-tech ambitions: inside jokes that computer geeks might find hilarious.The strange-looking buildings floating on barges are made of shipping containers, welded together. Some experts have speculated that they will be floating data centers. The search engine giant Google received a patent five years ago for a proposed floating data center that uses the ocean to provide cooling.
It’s not just the Web site that’s broken — the ObamaCare marketplace itself is failing. Despite much talk about using competition, the ObamaCare law and the regulations that enable it are all but eliminating competition from the exchanges. In its zeal to micromanage every aspect of peoples’ health benefits and the profits that insurers can earn off these services, the administration guaranteed that few health insurers or care providers will show up to play. Let’s start with private insurers, who’ve been extremely selective in the regions where they’ve stood up health plans. ObamaCare largely outlaws charging less to younger or healthier people
There are few things that can shock former prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. We think we’ve seen and heard it all. Yet last Wednesday I was speechless when I learned that the conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel for the 1975 murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley was set aside and a new trial was granted. This momentous decision occurred in the most rare of circumstances, the last resort of a criminal defendant who had exhausted every remedy: a writ of habeas corpus alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. Connecticut Judge Thomas Bishop wrote a 136-page opinion excoriating the work of
This week’s Retro Report video tells the story of Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 — not the levee failures, FEMA’s infamous trailers or the legal battles with insurers, but the long process of rebuilding homes. The effort in Louisiana was called the Road Home, a program primarily designed by the state, run by private contractors and financed with grants from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.(Snip)In the weeks after Hurricane Sandy devastated my town of Long Beach, N.Y., I bumped into a woman whose daughter had played basketball with mine. “How’d you do?” she asked. “One
An almost unfathomable gap divides public attitudes on basic issues involving gender, race, religion and politics in America, fueled by dramatic ideological and partisan divisions that offer the prospect of more of the bitter political battles that played out in Washington this month. A new ABC News/Fusion poll, marking the launch of the Fusion television network, finds vast differences among groups in trust in government, immigration policy and beyond, including basic views on issues such as the role of religion and the value of diversity in politics, treatment of women in the workplace and the opportunities afforded to minorities in society