You know the story: While the provinces starve, the Capital City lives it up, its wheeler-dealer bigshots growing fat on the tribute extracted from the rest of the country. We don´t live in The Hunger Games yet, but I´m not the first to notice that Washington, D.C., is doing a lot better than the rest of the country. Even in upscale parts of L.A. or New York, you see boarded up storefronts and other signs that the economy isn´t what it used to be. But not so much in the Washington area, where housing prices are going up,
Haven´t seen "The Hunger Games"--but I have seen "Apocalypto", where the decadent leaders and their sycophant hangers-on were extracting the literal blood from the denizens of the surrounding countryside in order to secure their own prosperity. Sounds familiar to me...
Been looking to get out of CA when hubby retires soon. Just got back from Utah. Very clean. Excellent roads. Smart and kind young people. Virtually no empty store fronts. Lower cost of living. In the whole state I only saw 4 street beggars (and they looked like they might be doing a school project).
Where I live now: FILTHY. Homeless people living in tents under EVERY bridge and freeway overpass. (Doing their bathroom duty everywhere!) Every road and street needs work, some with really deep 3 foot across holes. Nobody is friendly and most are proud of their stupidity. One empty store front after another everywhere. Prices are too high for what you get.
No, things didn´t *start* to go wrong with the New Deal. They started to go wrong more than a decade earlier, with the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution ratified in 1913 and the freezing of the House at 435 member in 1911.
The 16th made it easy for the government to go after weath creation for taxation and the 17th eliminated the representation that state governments had at the federal level, both changing parts of the Constitution deliberately placed there by the Founders to prevent exactly what´s been happening.
Finally, by freezing the House at 435 members (by legislation), each Representative now represents over a half-million people, which makes it incredibly easy to gerrymander "safe" districts that protect incumbants. It is no mistake that the one issue that George Washington spoke out about at the Constitutional Constitutional convention concerned not raising the minimum size of a House district from 30,000 to 40,000 yet each House seat is now represents more than 15 times the number of people that Washington thought too high.
So put the blame where it belongs, in the hands of the first batch of "progressives" than broke the delicate balance created by the Founders before WW1.
Well, this week I learned my doctor & affiliated hospital no longer participate in my health plan... AND the plan will cost me $80 more per month in 2013.... to see one of the Puerto Rican docs that are still approved by the plan. I´m sure the medical practices in PR are just the same as here....
Henry Waxman made a plea at the end of Wednesday’s House hearing grilling of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The California Democrat and liberal lion asked Republicans to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats to improve Obamacare. Yes, Henry Waxman, who has made a career of ideological witch hunts and smash-mouth partisanship, wants a cease-fire over Obamacare, or so he says. Waxman was picking up a common liberal theme: It’s not fair that Republicans continue to oppose the president’s eponymous health care law and pick at its failures, deceits and irrationalities.
In Dante’s Inferno, the Eighth Circle of Hell is reserved for people who deliberately commit fraud. It isn’t surprising, then, that the poet populated this province of Perdition with politicians and their advisors. Interestingly, the latter were rendered especially uncomfortable. Whereas the politicians merely bathed in boiling pitch, their corrupt counselors were condemned to spend eternity in the actual flames. If the expression on her face was any guide, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius felt that she had entered the Eighth Circle of Obamacare as she endured the questions of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
The Obama administration is beginning to resemble a damaged car windshield: A small ding from an unexpected flying pebble turns into a spider web of cracks, leaving the windshield difficult to see through and dangerously unstable. Given the years of failure of both domestic and foreign policy, and the many real scandals born of this administration’s incompetence and corruption, it is a measure of the stubborn refusal of the mainstream media to behave as journalists that the first cracks have been caused by the rollout of the Obama administration’s proudest “achievement,” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
WASHINGTON -- In thermodynamics, entropy is a measure of the energy unavailable for useful work. It is (and, yes, I had to look it up) both a reflection of disorder and a trend line; an isolated system proceeds in the direction of maximum entropy. The description feels disconcertingly apt for the chaotic reality of the Obama administration´s second term. That part I didn´t have to look up. It´s swirling all around. Let me start by conceding the exception to the entropic rule: the president´s steady handling of the debt ceiling/shutdown. The chaos there was confined to the other side.
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
The most surprising thing about the botched launch of Obamacare’s “online insurance marketplace” is that the failure surprised anyone. From the moment, during the 2008 presidential campaign, that Barack Obama began promising to reform our medical delivery system, conservatives have repeatedly warned the public that his view of the issue was distorted by tired statist shibboleths. We pointed out that Obama’s closest friends and most influential mentors were communists and that, for him, “reform” was a euphemism for “federal take-over.” Based on these realities, we predicted that Obama’s brave new health care system would be a government-dominated, command-and-control disaster.
AFTER A TIME, ruts appear in the intellectual landscape, engraved through repetition of the same words, the same notions and incantations. “City of Hate” would be one of those; another, “right-wing hysteria”; also “paranoia,” “kooks,” “extremists,” “deranged,” “out of control.” The image of Dallas, Texas, the city where President Kennedy was slain in 1963, has the familiarity of a television commercial played so many times that reflex takes the place of reasoned assessment. Why analyze or appraise? Dallas, if it didn’t gun down the president, certainly furnished the stage and props for a creep like Lee Harvey Oswald.
So the government shutdown continues. Although promises to make furloughed federal workers whole with back pay raises the question when is a “furlough” just another taxpayer-paid vacation? But as long as the panda-cam at the National Zoo is shut down and parking lots are roped off at national parks, we’ll accept for the sake of argument that the shutdown is real. But the president really did promise that nothing would stop Obamacare from being implemented — not Tea Partiers in the U.S. House or government shutdowns, NOTHING.
Negotiating with Republicans has never been in Obama’s playbook. Three days after his inauguration in 2009, President Barack Obama silenced Republican lawmakers who voiced concerned about the enormity of spending in his stimulus bill by uttering two brash words, “I won.” That was his governing philosophy, as he rammed through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. But in the fall of 2010. Republicans swept into control of the House of Representatives, and since then Obama’s agenda has been stalled. With little prospect of gaining control of the House in 2014, Obama is resorting to discrediting
For the first week that the federal health-care exchanges were running … well, crawling … the Obama administration claimed that no one could get through because of overwhelming pent-up demand. Essentially it spent a week arguing that no one could have predicted that, in a country of 300 million people, 2.4 percent of those people might stop by sometime in the first seven days to check out the administration’s signature legislative achievement. We can now dismiss that theory, because the administration has: “Six days into the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the new health-care law, the federal government acknowledged for
President Obama was once a high-profile first-term senator, but he doesn´t think the current crop -- including Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio -- is serving the country well as they seek out controversy. "I recognize that in today´s media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base, whether it´s left or right, is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention and raise money," he said in an interview with the Associated Press released Saturday. "But it´s not good for government."
I´m reading a terribly sad book these days. It´s a book that I thought would uplift me during the doldrums of second-year medical school, and renew in me a sense of hope. It´s called "The Audacity to Win," and it´s a memoir of Barack Obama´s 2008 presidential campaign. When I´m finished with my patient write-ups at night and get into bed, the book returns me to a time when politics inspired millions and speeches could take your breath away. The election turned out to be a landslide, and news anchors paused to reflect on the historic nature of the hour. My classmates
The firestorm over President Obama´s "you can keep your plan" lie now threatens to singe vulnerable Democrats next year, so they´re springing into action to try to force the administration to keep its word. Louisiana´s Mary Landrieu -- an ardent Obamacare supporter -- is scrambling to undo one of the obvious consequences of a law she´s voted to pass, fund, and retain: Sen. Mary Landrieu said Wednesday she would propose legislation to ensure all Americans could keep their existing insurance coverage under Obamacare, a fresh sign of the political problems the law’s rollout has created for congressional Democrats. Landrieu, a Democrat
We are only three and a quarter years away from transforming the United States of America. We may never get back to where we once were, but we can sure roll back much of the mess Barack Obama has created through his misguided policies and serial incompetence. With ObamaCare´s ascendancy and impending crash, America will be on the cusp of transformational action. The misery the ACA will bring to almost every American cannot be overestimated in its ability to incite anger -- and, anger has consequences and repercussions. The failure of the ACA has the potential to make 2014 a wave
President Obama used his executive powers on Friday to create a ´Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.´ Obama´s plan would be put in place through executive order, bypassing Congress, which has stalemated over climate legislation in recent years. A year after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, the President signed the order which is designed to make it easier for states and local governments to respond to weather disasters. The executive order establishes a task force of state and local officials to advise the administration on how to respond to severe storms, wildfires, droughts and other potential impacts of
The latest NBC/WSJ poll finds that more Americans would vote for a third party candidate for Congress than a Republican. 35% of voters prefer a Democrat, which has been steady for three years. Republicans, however, have experienced an 8-point swing against them since they took control of the House. Today, just 28% of voters say they would vote for a Republican for Congress, while 30% would opt for a third party. The GOP Establishment, engaged in open war against the Tea Party and conservatives, is simply committing political suicide. Listening to the consultant and pundit class who inhabit the "Acela line"
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that “If you like your health-care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period.” The cancellations lay bare three pillars of Obamacare: (a) mendacity, (b) paternalism and (c) subterfuge. (a) Those letters are irrefutable evidence that President Obama’s repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim
In one of the few political jokes attributed to a physicist, Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.” With a change of pronoun, he could have been describing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who ignored internal warnings about flaws in HealthCare.gov, botched its rollout, minimized her involvement and blamed her contractors. Now, in congressional testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of accountability or the demonstration of competence. Administration incompetence is not the final word on Obamacare, but it is the initial impression.
CNN´s senior legal analyst thinks that any further investigation into Benghazi is looking at a "non-story" since "there is nothing there, in terms of a scandal." On Thursday´s AC360 Later, Jeffrey Toobin scoffed at Republican efforts to gain access to more Benghazi witnesses and CIA operatives. "This is a non-story. Benghazi was a tragedy. It´s not a scandal. Republicans are going to investigate this until the end of the Obama administration. They will find nothing, because there´s nothing to be found there," he insisted. [Video below the break. Audio here.]"We don´t know all the facts about the Civil War. If
As one of the surviving members of the staff of the Warren Commission, which investigated and issued a report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I am not looking forward to the coming weeks: Nov. 22 will mark the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, and that means a new round of demonizing the Warren Commission and celebrating fallacious conspiracy theories. After Chief Justice Earl Warren hired me to work for the commission, he told me that “truth was our only client.” Throughout the inquiry, that phrase remained our guiding principle. The evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald killed the
Food stamp benefits will be cut to more than 47 million Americans starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without a new budget from a deadlocked Congress to replace it. Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four who get $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by $36. SNAP, which benefits 1 in 7 Americans, is administered by the department of Agriculture and is authorized in a five-year omnibus farm bill covering all agricultural programs. Vulnerable populations will be hardest hit by
A former top general and current executive at the Family Research Council says members of the military have considered staging a coup d´état against President, but will not because of civilian control of the military. "People I´ve spoken to would like to see the military ´fulfill their constitutional duty and take out the president,´ " retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin told World Net Daily, a website best known for pushing Obama "birther" conspiracy theories. "Our Constitution puts a civilian in charge of the military and as a result a coup would not be constitutional. You´re not going to see a
When Liz Cheney, the daughter of the former vice president, decided to run against a sitting Republican senator in Wyoming, her target, Mike Enzi, pleaded, “I thought we were friends.” But if Enzi thought his long relationship with the Cheneys might ensure a gentle, collegial contest of ideas, it’s increasingly clear he thought wrong. The Cheney clan has undertaken a scorched-earth campaign against the well-liked, low-key conservative and his allies, demonstrating a seemingly limitless appetite for conflict—and leaving innocent bystanders as stunned casualties in their wake. Dick Cheney, who has been giving media interviews to promote his new memoir, spent part of