Sunday, October 20, 2013

op ed review 10/20


THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Rassmussen:  Only 13% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

The launch of federal government´s Obamacare insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov, has been plagued with delays, errors, and poor website design, even prompting USA Today to call it an "inexcusable mess" and a "nightmare". Now comes another example of why the website´s reputation is in tatters. Buried in the source code of Healthcare.gov is this sentence that could prove embarrassing: "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system."

“The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act´s October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success. But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable. This isn´t some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department´s usual incompetence. The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling.”
A New York Times investigative article reveals that the catastrophic $500 million Obamacare rollout "has deeply embarrassed the White House" and has the technology companies involved "publicly distancing themselves" from the Obamacare fiasco. "These are not glitches. The extent of the problems is pretty enormous," an insurance executive who participated in Obamacare conference calls told the Times. "At the end of our calls, people say, ´It´s awful, just awful.´"
“If Apple launched a major new product that functioned as badly as ObamaCare’s online insurance marketplace, the tech world would be calling for [CEO] Tim Cook’s head.” That searing indictment of Obamacare didn’t come from a conservative. Those were the words of the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein — yes, liberal Ezra Klein —and Evan Soltas in a blog post on Oct. 4, just three days after the online Obamacare marketplace opened. They were right. Now, two full weeks since its launch, the website healthcare.gov still isn’t functioning.”

Something very strange is going on behind Healthcare.gov

The Obamacare exchange website does more than merely register you for an insurance program. According to a report from the MacIver Institute, once you complete the process, you are then immediately asked to register to vote – a propagandistic strategy designed to make government beneficiaries into lifetime Democratic voters.

Another ObamaCare ‘Glitch’: $30B blown on non-operational medical record system

Bureaucracies in the Obama Administration have thus far published approximately 11,588,500 words of final Obamacare regulations, while there are only 381,517 words in the Obamacare law itself. That means unelected federal officials have now written 30 words of regulations for each word in the law.

Colorado Governor Democrat John Hickenlooper, still stinging from a recall vote that saw his party lose seats in the state senate last month after members of his party followed him off the cliff with radical gun control measures, is advising anti-2nd amendment activists to stay out of Colorado politics.

American Crossroads, a Republican super PAC, commissioned polls of four red states where Republicans can pick up Senate seats in 2014, and more than a year away from the race and before the real campaign’s even begun, the situation is looking good for GOP candidates in all four states.

Four upstart clergymen have invited more than 100 churches to knock Rev. Al Sharpton off his Harlem political throne.

The American Indian leader spearheading the campaign to change the name of the Washington Redskins is not a legitimate member of the tribe he leads, according to a New York State Assemblywoman, but rather an Obama crony who is raking in casino money and paying back only small stipends to his tribe members.

France´s mainstream political parties were Monday scratching their heads over what to do about a surge by the Front National (FN) after a breakthrough by-election win for the far-right party. The ruling Socialist party and the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) face humiliating reverses in municipal and European elections next year if the FN can sustain its current standing in the eyes of an electorate thoroughly fed-up with record unemployment, rising taxes and a perceived increase in crime and insecurity.

Former President Ronald Reagan is about to weigh in and offer a path to improving the nation based on the successes he helped create. Starting with military policy and then moving to economic and domestic issues, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library is embarking on a legacy building project that is also aimed at offering a model for today’s leaders.

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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Jeff Kuhner  10/18

The debt deal simply hastens the day of reckoning

The conventional wisdom is wrong. The mainstream media — and their parrots in the Republican establishment — are claiming that President Obama decisively won the government shutdown battle. In fact, the narrative being peddled is that the GOP brand has been badly damaged, paving the way for a possible Democratic Party takeover of the House of Representatives in the 2014 elections. This is puerile nonsense. Tea Party Republicans, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, may have lost the battle, but they are poised for a major victory in the larger Obamacare war.

Liberal pundits and Republican moderates, such as Sen. John McCain of Arizona, are blaming one person for the partial government shutdown: Mr. Cruz. They argue that for all their attempts to defund or delay Obamacare, Mr. Cruz and his conservative allies accomplished nothing. The final deal reopens the federal government until Jan. 15 and lifts the debt ceiling into early February. In exchange, no significant reforms or revisions were made to Mr. Obama’s signature health law. As for the repeal of the medical devices tax, a one-year delay in the individual mandate and an end to the exemption given to Congress and its staff, none of these proposals were accepted by the Democrats. Hence, the political and media class are convinced Mr. Cruz’s obstructionist tactics backfired, fostering the public perception that “right-wing extremists” have hijacked the GOP. Mr. Obama now openly refers to the Tea Party as a “dangerous faction.”

This is myth and propaganda masquerading as analysis. The legislative deal simply does one thing: kick the can down the road. Yet the same, enduring problems remain — the very problems identified by Mr. Cruz and Tea Party Republicans. America is sitting on a ticking debt bomb, Obamacare — the most destructive law in modern memory — is a disaster, and our ruling elites are incapable of reining in out-of-control public spending.

America is increasingly dominated by one seminal reality: We are the most indebted nation in history. The national debt is approaching $17 trillion. By 2016, the debt is expected to hit $20 trillion. That will be Greece-like levels, a debt load so crippling that Washington will have trouble simply paying the interest on the debt payments. Our creditors will realize we are sliding toward the United States of Argentina — a fiscal basket case unable to live within our means. The value of the dollar will plunge. Interest rates will soar. Taxes will have to be increased. The social safety net will be shredded. Unless Congress immediately confronts the reckless spending and near-record trillion-dollar deficits, the United States will go bankrupt. The question is no longer if, but when.

Mr. Obama’s massive health care overhaul is precipitating the impending economic collapse. Nearly every aspect of Obamacare has turned out to be a lie. The real price tag is not less than a $1 trillion; rather, it is a multitrillion-dollar entitlement program that America cannot afford. Rather than lowering premium costs for the average family, it dramatically raises them — sometimes by thousands of dollars a year. Millions of citizens have lost their health benefits or are unable to keep their doctor. People seeking to enroll in Obamacare’s marketplace exchanges are stunned at the high costs of the health insurance plans. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office acknowledges that the law will not achieve its stated goal: universal coverage. Instead, about 30 million Americans will still not have health care. Hence, one-sixth of the U.S. economy will have been revolutionized essentially to put only 17 million new recipients on the Obamacare rolls. The complex law also undermines economic growth and job creation, compelling employers to either slash employees’ hours or not hire new workers. In short, Obamacare is a cancer, slowly devouring our economic dynamism, individual liberties and medical care.

As the law is implemented, its devastating effects will be increasingly felt. By next year, the government shutdown will be a fading memory. What the public will remember, though, is that a band of Tea Party patriots sought to thwart the oncoming disaster. Mr. Cruz, along with Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, represent the future. The question is no longer ideological — small government versus big government, free-market-based health care versus nationalized health care, or capitalism versus socialism. Rather, it is about something more simple — and profound: basic arithmetic.

The United States is a giant bus that is rushing toward an economic precipice. A few more years of Mr. Obama’s borrow-and-spend policies and America will crash upon the rocks of fiscal reality and national insolvency. The Democrats are keeping their foot on the gas pedal, full speed ahead. The Republican establishment thinks we may need to slow down — at least a little. The bus, however, will still go off the cliff. Only the Tea Party is saying — in fact, yelling — to hit the brakes. They’re right, and they will be vindicated. The only question is this: Will Americans wake up before it’s too late?


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“Since the 80s, there has been a 300 percent increase in disability claims for hard-to-prove illnesses like back pain, stress and other ‘non-exertional restrictions.’ Over the past two decades, the number of people receiving Social Security disability benefits grew from 4 million to 11 million. … We all want to help the genuinely disabled, but a wide range of subjective ailments are affected by attitude. Labeling people victims, telling them they need help, teaches some to think like victims. Social scientists call that ‘learned helplessness.’ Private charities are pretty good at separating real victims from malingerers. But government is not. Its one-size-fits-all rules encourage people to act like victims. Whether people have real physical ailments or just see the economic deck stacked against them, the most damaging thing say to them is: Give up. You can’t make it on your own. Wait for help. Pessimism changes what we think is possible. It shrinks our horizons. … America is full of success stories. But if we obsess over stories about victimhood, that is what we’ll get.”
                         -John Stossel
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GLOBALONEY
’2013 ranks as one of the least extreme U.S. weather years ever’….bad weather events at ‘historically low levels’

Al Gore didn’t get the memo.   “fingerprints of man-made climate change are now increasingly visible in extreme weather events.”
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LEFTIST WATCH
Soros-Funded Group Plans 'Fly-In' to Push House Republicans on Amnesty

Monday, after MSNBC´s "Morning Joe" spent two about hours blasting the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and Ted Cruz as bubbled, dangerous, and stupid -- in other words, a typical Monday on "Morning Joe" -- the show hosted Bill Ayers, the unrepentant domestic terrorist. To no one´s surprise, hosts Mika Brzezinski and Time´s Mark Halperin treated the co-founder of the Weather Underground and friend of Barack Obama with extraordinary deference as he hawked a new book. The "Morning Joe" crew was even allowed Ayers to describe his terrorism as "extreme tactics," as opposed to what it really was: a bombing.
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ARTICLES
Jonah:  Perhaps raising awareness about Obamacare alone was worth it. I certainly think the prognostications of GOP doom are almost as overblown as the Beltway hysteria over the government shutdown was in the first place. So maybe hammering home the message that the GOP is foursquare against Obamacare — and that Obamacare is a disaster — is a sufficiently valuable long-term message that it was worth going through all of this.

Heritage Action President Michael Needham:  “any large scale repeal of Obamacare will have to wait until the GOP has recaptured the Senate and the White House three and a half years from now”

While the defund/delay strategy pushed by Senator Ted Cruz and others ultimately failed, the alternative approach, embraced by the GOP establishment, will also fail. “To repeal Obamacare on the establishment plan, the GOP needs sudden and sustained electoral success — despite the high hurdle of media bias…... it is repeatedly said that the crusade to defund Obamacare was delusional, that it never had a chance. That is an overstatement. Hail Mary passes are tried because they occasionally work. A lot of things have to go right, and the success rate is low. But a Hail Mary is a ray of hope when the clock nears zero, when something has to be done, and when you are out of better options. So, were we out of better options? I think so. To my mind, if the defund plan was delusional, the GOP establishment’s “repeal Obamacare by winning elections” alternative is delusional squared…….To buy it, you first have to believe that the GOP is suddenly going to become an electoral juggernaut…..”

The man who could have saved us from Obama now regrets his punt.

The Republican establishment despises Ted Cruz. And that’s great news for the senator from Texas: It’s the most prominent sign that he’s the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination. Conservatives are deeply frustrated with the party’s presidential politics. In their telling—and it’s a story they tell a lot—the establishment has blown it the last two elections by demanding the party accept moderate squishes as their nominees.

Pruden:  “No other American president in anyone’s imagination would instruct the National Park Service to evict veterans of World War II, many arriving in wheelchairs or moving with unsteady gait on walkers and walking canes to see the long-awaited memorial to the celebration and sacrifice of their unselfish generation. The veterans had run afoul of the instructions to the Park Service rangers to “make life as difficult for people as we can.” Then, only days later, thousands of illegal aliens were invited to rally for privilege and amnesty on the very soil where the veterans, American citizens all, were forcibly told they were not welcome.”

Obamacare is imploding. But thanks to the government shutdown, everyone is talking about the implosion of the GOP instead.

Dr. Ben Carson: Obamacare is the "worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery."
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WISE WORDS
“The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments. It has been determined by all the ‘little’ choices of years past – by all those times when the voice of conscience was at war with the voice of temptation, [which was] whispering the lie that ‘it really doesn’t matter.’ It has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away – the decision that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness; habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity – or dishonor and shame.”
                    -Ronald Reagan
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LAST LAUGH
“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me for five years, I’m an Obama voter.”
             -Charlie Martin

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