Banner ad

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cruising the Web

So now President Obama is explicitly playing the race card. But, at least he acknowledges how race helps him. Perhaps, he realizes that a white man, with his exact same record would never have wrested the Democratic nomination away from Hillary Clinton. But doesn't he realize that most people dislike him because of his record and his policies. We'd dislike any politician who did the same things.

Why in the world would the media want to buy into all the hoopla for Michelle Obama's 50th birthday? ABC has a helpful list of 50 ways to celebrate the momentous occasion. They're all ways that we poor peasants can be more like Michelle. No wonder the White House wanted to restrict guests to make sure that no one took pictures of her birthday bash. Wouldn't want us peons to see her and her 500 closest celebrity friends eating cake, would they?

A decent question: Should Americans believe anything Barack Obama says?

Michelle Obama is looking forward to a post-White House life when she can travel more? Hello? She's not enjoying it enough when she gets to travel all over the world on the taxpayers' dime? Didn't she just come back from a trip to Hawaii. I don't think many people are going to sympathize about the limitations that being First Lady have put on her travel schedule.

Under Godwin's Law, the first person to mention Nazis loses the argument so I guess Mitch McConnell has already won reelection.

Campbell Brown chides teachers unions for opposing better background checks for teachers. Both the NEA and AFT are opposing a bill that passed unanimously in the House.
In 2010, the Government Accountability Office found "hundreds of potential cases of registered sex offenders working in schools" across the U.S. "Hundreds" is unacceptable. Even a small number of sex offenders can inflict damage far out of proportion to their numbers. The GAO cited studies in which 232 child molesters admitted to molesting 17,000 children. It also cited research sponsored by the Department of Education estimating that millions of students are subjected to sexual misconduct during their school career, though few ever report it.

In response to the GAO's findings, the House in October unanimously passed the bipartisan Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act. Introduced by California Democrat George Miller, the bill seeks to close the bureaucratic gaps that are often caused by inconsistent state hiring and disciplinary practices that allow sex offenders and violent criminals to get jobs in schools. It proposes a standard vetting process across all states that would apply to every teacher, as well as any school employee or contractor with unsupervised access to kids.

Ace thinks that this "should do the trick" of getting people to sign up for Obamacare. Just what people without health care need - Richard Simmons dancing with a contortionist and telling them to sign up for Obamacare.

Perhaps Richard Simmons and the contortionist pas de deux will be enough for people to ignore the warnings from a top security analyst about how open healthcare.gov is to cyber threats and is actually worse off now than before.
Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.

Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans.

The data, based on surveys of enrollees, are preliminary. But insurers say the tally of newly insured consumers is falling short of their expectations, a worrying trend for an industry looking to the law to expand the ranks of its customers.

If the purpose of Obamacare was to provide affordable health insurance to those who have no insurance, then it is failing in that task. The WSJ reports that the majority of people who have signed up through the end of 2013 were people who already had insurance.
Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces through Dec. 28 were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured.

Insurers, brokers and consultants estimate at least two-thirds of those consumers previously bought their own coverage or were enrolled in employer-backed plans.

The data, based on surveys of enrollees, are preliminary. But insurers say the tally of newly insured consumers is falling short of their expectations, a worrying trend for an industry looking to the law to expand the ranks of its customers....

Only 11% of consumers who bought new coverage under the law were previously uninsured, according to a McKinsey & Co. survey of consumers thought to be eligible for the health-law marketplaces. The result is based on a sampling of 4,563 consumers performed between November and January, of whom 389 had enrolled in new insurance.

One reason for people declining to purchase plans was affordability. That was cited by 52% of those who had shopped for a new plan but not purchased one in McKinsey's most recent sampling, performed in January. Another common problem was technical challenges in buying the plans, which 30% mentioned.

Governor Andrew Cuomo thinks that people who are pro-life are extremists and have no place in New York. Maybe the Catholic bishops should be the first to leave.

So President Obama has done all he could to figure out what was going on in the NSA surveillance plan and gave us the result of his efforts on Friday. The WSJ summarizes his conclusions,
Rhetorically Mr. Obama tried to satisfy all sides, meaning he fishtailed between irreconcilable positions. There's what the President knows to be the reality that these programs are valuable and haven't been abused. Then there are the critics that he is attempting to appease lest they succeed at turning Congress and the public against the programs.

Mr. Obama could rally enough support on Capitol Hill to retain the programs if he wanted, and such an appeal would include some of his Friday highlights: The world is more dangerous than ever due to "threats like terrorism, proliferation and cyber-attacks," and post-9/11 surveillance has "prevented multiple attacks and saved innocent lives, not just here but around the globe as well." Nothing suggests that "our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens." All of this is true.

But Mr. Obama then argues that the National Security Agency must be more constrained because of "the danger of government overreach." The most state-aggrandizing President since LBJ, and man who won't discipline the IRS for its abuses, also invoked America's "traditions of limited government." This is doubly ironic given that the White House widely leaked to reporters that Mr. Obama believes he can be trusted with the surveillance status quo but a future Republican can't.

Thus Mr. Obama announced that he will pursue or impose changes to NSA practice that he implicitly concedes are unnecessary. Rarely has national defense been so needlessly politicized.

Jim Geraghty points out that, at least one Obamacare-caused problem has been resolved: volunteer fire departments won't have to pay for health insurance for their volunteers.

So how many navigators for Obamacare have criminal backgrounds? The results from just New Mexico are not encouraging.

But hey, as Jammie notes, Obamacare's plan for small businesses involves higher premiums, less generous coverage, and more paperwork. "What's not to like" about all that?

2 comments:

John A said...

The ACA was supposed to offer insurance to those who could not afford it before. Most of whom were unemployed. How to accomplish this? Easy - if they still did not buy it, fine them $900/year or more. Brilliant. As was most of the rest of the "plan."

Rick Caird said...

And, John, the cost for ObamaCare insurance for those who are not subsidized is extremely high and the cheaper bronze plans come with huge co pays and deductibles.

Now that the country has actually seen ObamaCare, there is no way it could ever have passed if we had been informed.