Monday, September 16, 2013

Cruising the Web

Don't worry about Obama's sagging poll numbers - he's got the surefire solution. He is playing more golf with Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon of "Pardon the Interruption." That'll do it. And it will give Wilbon more opportunities to name-drop about all the famous people he hangs with.

Ah, now we know how much the Democrats oppose any effort to block treating members of Congress and their staffs from having to undergo Obamacare. Senator Vitter has been proposing a bill to mandate that members of Congress and their employees should not get subsidies on their health care. The Democrats' response is to add in an amendment that would deny subsidies to any lawmakers for whom there is "probably cause" that they solicited prostitutes. They are hoping that this will so embarrass David Vitter with his scandal from 2007 when his phone number turned up in a DC prostitution ring scandal. Classy. Vitter should stick to his guns. He's already survived one reelection vote since the scandal. His wife stood by him in one of those classic press conferences with the betrayed wife having to stand in the spotlight. I bet forcing congressmen to endure what the rest of the nation has to endure under Obamacare will be a much more popular stand than any fallout from reminding Louisiana voters of Vitter's sleazy sex scandal. And the fact that the Democrats would go there in there efforts to exempt themselves and their staffs from the bill they pushed through is a very telling portrait of their own sleaziness.

Chalk up another group that supported Obama that would like to not have to join the new health insurance exchanges - federal employees.

David Catron reminds us of those whom he calls "Obamacare's Useful Idiots," who fought for getting Obamacare passed and now are trying to get out of it. There are the AFL-CIO and now doctors in the AMA plus the American Hospital Association and Big Pharma plus the Catholic Health Association.
The “leaders” of the CHA, Big Pharma, the AMA and the AFL-CIO constitute but a sample of the useful idiots exploited by the President and his congressional accomplices in order to foist Obamacare on the American public. The list of dupes goes on and on. They got presidential pens and photos of themselves grinning at the man who took them in. If they have any capacity for introspection, they also feel shame. Some have publicly repented of their support for Obamacare. Most still pretend they did the right thing. It may be an insult to the intellectually impaired to elevate such people to the level of “idiot.”

For all those who are desiring a single-payer system, perhaps these statistics from Britain's National Health Service. Patients in their NHS hospitals are 45% more likely to die than those in American hospitals.

Clarice Feldman reminds us of Hillary Clinton's record of nonachievement and suspicious scandals. I'd forgotten some of these stories. And this is the great heroine of the left?

Obama's policies on Syria have achieved a trifecta.
First, they have given New York Times op-ed contributor Vladimir Putin everything he wanted and obtained precisely nothing in return. Second, they have smoke screened public attention from the fact that the whole crisis on Syrian chemical weapons was manufactured from Obama’s cavalier comment that created the so-called “red line.” They’re now praying that people forget that the new agreement removes the threat of American use of military force against Assad and replaces it with the prospect of more UN resolutions placing sanctions on Syria. Third, they have left America’s diplomacy in complete shambles to a degree unseen since the Iranians held American embassy personnel hostage in 1979-80.
But hey. We bowed to the Russians to craft a meaningless agreement about Syria having to turn over all its chemical weapons or we'll administer the ultimate fear-producing consequence - another return to the UN Security Council where Russia can veto any real consequences. Meanwhile Assad can hide his chemical weapons and know that there is no way to have any sort of real search for them or efforts to destroy them in the middle of a civil war.

Time Magazine comes through to avoid embarrassing Barack Obama. Compare their cover stories in the U.S. versus the editions for the rest of the world.

The Los Angeles Times explores another problem that critics of Obamacare have long warned about.
The doctor can't see you now.

Consumers may hear that a lot more often after getting health insurance under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

To hold down premiums, major insurers in California have sharply limited the number of doctors and hospitals available to patients in the state's new health insurance market opening Oct. 1.

New data reveal the extent of those cuts in California, a crucial test bed for the federal healthcare law.

These diminished medical networks are fueling growing concerns that many patients will still struggle to get care despite the nation's biggest healthcare expansion in half a century.

Consumers could see long wait times, a scarcity of specialists and loss of a longtime doctor.
Remember Obama's promise about how everyone could keep their plans and their doctors? Every day we see another item of proof of how dishonest that promise was.

How come Congress can see what happens with raising the minimum wage when it comes to the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa and not for the 50 states? Congress just voted 415 - 0 to delay mandated increases in the minimum wages because they recognized that these increases would increase unemployment.
That's because the minimum-wage hikes have slammed local economies, which were already reporting years of declining GDP when the increases began. Government Accountability Office studies have shown that wage floors tend to do precisely the opposite of what their supporters purport. Employment in CNMI fell by 35% between 2006 and 2009, while average inflation-adjusted earnings remained largely unchanged. In American Samoa, employment dropped 19% from 2008 to 2009 after just one increase. The GAO said employers took "cost-cutting actions," including "laying off workers and freezing hiring."

Congress upheld the GAO's findings—at least for now. Conspicuously absent from Tuesday's debate were the usual defenders of minimum-wage laws. Rep. George Miller (D., Calif.), who sponsored the 2007 federal increase, voted yes to giving the islands a break. So did Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.), who voiced his concern for island territories in a 2010 remark that Guam might capsize. The bill flew through Harry Reid's Senate by unanimous consent, an odd contrast with the vicious Congressional fight over raising the minimum wage in 2007.

Congress's little experiment in the South Pacific has gone poorly, and it would do well to call the whole thing off instead of just delaying more damage. But that might put members of Congress in the awkward position of explaining why some struggling American cities and towns don't deserve similar consideration.
If you want to know why Detroit is bankrupt, look back to the city's history for over 60 years.
Detroit is broke, but it didn’t have to be. An in-depth Free Press analysis of the city’s financial history back to the 1950s shows that its elected officials and others charged with managing its finances repeatedly failed — or refused — to make the tough economic and political decisions that might have saved the city from financial ruin.

Instead, amid a huge exodus of residents, plummeting tax revenues and skyrocketing home abandonment, Detroit’s leaders engaged in a billion-dollar borrowing binge, created new taxes and failed to cut expenses when they needed to. Simultaneously, they gifted workers and retirees with generous bonuses. And under pressure from unions and, sometimes, arbitrators, they failed to cut health care benefits — saddling the city with staggering costs that today threaten the safety and quality of life of people who live here.