Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cruising the Web

James Taranto explains why even the uninsured don't like Obamacare.

The dream of a California bullet train keeps disintegrating. A state judge has ruled that the state government isn't complying with the ballot measure that had authorized the project. But Democrats don't need to follow no stinking law.

Those who get their insurance through their employers shouldn't assume that they're immune from Obamacare. Politico is also warning about how small businesses are going to either drop their health care coverage or have to raise premiums. Politico can't even call Obamacare the Affordable Care Act without smirking.

Peggy Noonan is starting to wonder about the basic competence of the Obama administration. What took her so long?
“They mistook the White House for the government,” said an experienced old friend, a journalist and Democratic sympathizer. We were having holiday dinner and the talk turned to White House management. His thesis was that Obama and his staffers thought they could run the government from there, from the White House campus, and make big decisions that would be executed. They thought the White House was the government, but the government is a vast web of executive agencies that have to be run under close scrutiny, and within their campuses, to produce even minimally competent work.

I have come to see this as “West Wing” Disease. Young staffers grew up watching that show and getting a very romantic and specific sense of how government works. “The West Wing” was White House-centric. It never took place at the Agriculture Department. But government takes place at the Agriculture Department....

People who run big businesses learn these facts of executive leadership early on. So do leaders of small businesses and great nonprofit organizations, and local political leaders in charge of local agencies whose success or failure can be charted.

Most of the Obama people just don’t have a background in executing. They have a background in communicating, not doing. That’s where their talent is—it’s where their boss’s talent is—and it’s a good talent, but not one that will in itself force a government to work well.
Chris Cillizza looks at the "ad every Democrat should be scared of in 2014." You betcha. Look for variants of those ads being run in every race against a Democrat next year.

Megan McArdle explains why Obamacare is not an improvement over what we had prior to the law. After all, we could face a situation in January where more people have lost insurance than have been insured through Obamacare.
But you can’t just keep making down payments on the future forever; at some point, you have to close the sale. If the administration can’t deliver a substantial net enrollment expansion by winter’s end, Democrats are going to have a very hard sell with voters come next fall. And that, in turn, is going to make it harder for Democrats to actually build Obamacare into the coverage-expanding, cost-lowering, voter-pleasing program they thought they passed in 2013.

The efforts by Obama supporters to ruin your family get-togethers continue. Organizing for America has a video on how to talk about health care with your relatives over the holidays. Once again, it's time to have "the talk."

Jonah Goldberg wonders when the insurance companies will revolt.
Articulating my sympathy for the insurance companies is difficult without the accompaniment of the world’s smallest violin. But, still, I have to wonder, do those running these firms have no backbone whatsoever? I understand that the insurance companies have been consolidating into de facto utilities for decades. But they at least once mustered some passion for defending their status as private enterprises. Sure, they have obligations to shareholders, but their obligations do not end there. Can’t one of them resign on principle and speak up? Or are their mouths so stuffed with gold that they couldn’t get the words out even if they tried?

The federal judge who struck down the contraception mandate this week used the total ineffectiveness of the law as one his reasons for striking down. He also cites the fact that so many people are exempt from the mandate that it is impossible to say that the mandate is a compelling interest. And he also ridicules the administration's defense that they had to impose the mandate as they did because Congress didn't give them any choice in how the law was written. As if that has stopped them in how they have been implementing the bill. As Conn Carroll writes,
Considering how often Obama has justified his expansion of executive power on Congress' failure to do his bidding, yesterday's ruling was not only a huge victory for religious liberty, but a huge win for limited government in all spheres as well.

Cathy Young details how the federal government is encouraging kangaroo courts on campuses.

Every year Senator Tom Coburn releases his Wastebook listing billions of dollars that are spent on silly projects big and small. William Proximire used to do this with his Golden Fleece Awards. This year's book finds almost $30 billion in stupid spending. It always amazes me that we don't see a president make big political hay by going through such lists and cut such projects. Some of these are regularly small potatoes, but after we just had to cut pensions for military veterans, wouldn't it be nice to have the government announce that they have gone through the federal budget and found enough waste to pay for those military pensions?

What happens when social scientists get non-politically-correct results from their research? You got it. They must be attacked and delegitimized.