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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cruising the Web

Ah, the LA Times is catching up to what conservatives have been saying all along. Karen J. Greenberg writes there of just four of President Obama's broken promises. She's an amateur when it comes to tallying up such broken promises. Jim Geraghty had a very extensive list and that was just tallying them up in 2010. Peter Wehner had some additions last year. A Republican group examines his top 60 broken promises. PolitiFact has a score card for their Obameter and find that he has broken 22% of his campaign promises. Let's face it, whether you're on the left or right, keeping track of his broken promises is a growth industry.

Ed Morrissey tweets about one of the newest silly Doge healthcare.gov ad and mocks our "tax dollars at work." What goes through their minds when they come up with these foolish ways to advertise Obamacare?

Guy Benson and Allahpundit take on Harry Reid and other Democrats who are trying to claim that all stories about people suffering due to Obamacare are just bogus creations of the Koch brothers. And now one Democrat who voted for the bill is trying to get the FCC to stop devastating ads from being run against him.
Liberals are angry and distraught -- not over Boonstra's predicament and sense of betrayal, it would seem, but over how effective her message is. So they're hinting that broadcasters who run this ad might be jeopardizing their FCC license by doing so. This behavior would fall into the category of "gangster government," as coined by Michael Barone. Democrats and some media members are further insisting that Boonstra doesn't understand her own situation as well as they do. Obamacare actually improves her situation, they say. Stunned by the tactics and arrogance of her detractors, the cancer victim says she's outraged that Peters is trying to shut her up, and continues to assert that the law "is hurting me." She cites her dropped plan (a broken promise that in and of itself gives her standing to attack the law), as well as unpredictable costs as evidence of the damage she's suffered. The Washington Post's fact checker -- whose analysis is cited in the letter from Peters' attorneys -- concludes that because her new premiums are lower, Boonstra's overall costs "could well even out" over time thanks to Obamacare's coverage out-of-pocket costs caps (which have been delayed for a year).

First of all, "could" is not the same as "will." Will her premiums creep or jump higher in the future? That's not a bad bet. Also, while she is fortunate to have reduced premiums, millions of others are experiencing the opposite effect on that front. Secondly, Boonstra says her new plan's out-of-pocket costs are unaffordable in spite of the limits, and says the unpredictability of month-to-month expenses is a hardship. Finally, Obamacare advocates erected an impossible standard of no downsides or losers, to which they're rightly being held in the court of public opinion. Having heard the endless vows and slogans from Democrats, Boonstra assumed that she could keep her plan and doctor, and would also see her medical costs drop substantially. Instead, she lost the plan she liked, was forced to track down a new plan that would include her specialist, and doesn't know how she's going to cover high payments that will come directly out of her pocket.
But her perceptions don't matter in the face of the Democrats' need to fight back against those complaining about what their party has wrought. She should just shut up because the Democrats know better than she does what is good for her. In fact, as Noemie Emery points out, Democrats can't stand Republicans using their own favorite tactic against them of politics by damaging anecdotes.
Democrats don't always hate anecdotes -- they love them when used by Obama and Hillary Clinton -- but when used against them, they become the worst thing since the last time the truth was told about their egregious misjudgments. And so they are now in a war on women (with cancer), which no doubt will serve them quite well in the fall.

Bradley Smith, former chairman of the FEC, connects the dots between Democratic politicians and the IRS scandal. We don't need a smoking gun to make the connections. Pressure on bureaucrats can be done all out in the open. As he concludes,
In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.
James Taranto connects the dots between Obamacare and how public employers in government and schools are reducing hours of part-time employees in order to not have to provide health insurance for them. It's far from the fond portrayal in Portlandia.

Eric Holder is passionate on the idea that felons should have their right to vote restored. The fact that most of those felons are inclined to vote Democratic has nothing to do with his crusade. Of course not. But Kevin Williamson points to other rights that felons are denied that Holder has no interest in restoring.
For example, felons are barred in many places from serving as public-school teachers. While that may strike most of us as eminently sensible for certain classes of felons — sex offenders, the habitually violent — it generally covers all felons, including those convicted of nonviolent, non-sexual offenses such as credit fraud and tax evasion. In many cases, it includes felons who have been pardoned. Some public-sector jobs are denied to felons on obvious grounds — working as police officers, for example — but in some jurisdictions felons are categorically excluded from all government employment. Federal rules specifically prohibit felons from holding many government jobs. And many private-sector jobs are off-limits to felons as well. If justice demands that felons be restored all of their fundamental rights, then how can we justify employment discrimination against them? Under what consistent moral principle ought a felon be a full citizen so far as voting is concerned but an untouchable so far as a job as an elementary-school principal is concerned?

Eric Holder has not given any speeches about restoring felons’ rights to work in public schools.

In some (but not all) cases, felons are excluded from certain welfare benefits, with drug offenders being barred from residence in public housing in some jurisdictions. Again, this seems a prudent policy, but one that is inconsistent with the argument that it violates the principles of justice to extend sanctions against felons beyond their formal penal terms.

Discrimination against felons in government employment and in government housing runs directly contrary to progressives’ second argument about voting rights. Poor people with relatively few job prospects are precisely those most likely to be in need of government housing, and for many members of disadvantaged communities, government jobs are the most accessible means for achieving financial independence. From a practical point of view, it surely is the case that a good job and a decent place to live would be of far more benefit to a recently released felon than would be an opportunity to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
What about the right to buy a gun or all the other jobs in government that they're barred from holding?

If you don't think it's a problem when city governments go broke, just read this story about one Oregon town that is out of money.

So how do Hawaiians feel that their state spent $120 million on their Obamacare exchange and it has enrolled just 4,300 people?

I guess it's a sign that our society is too affluent if men are paying up to $8,500 in order to get facial hair transplants. They want more scruff and think it makes them look more rugged and manly. Somehow, I never paired the words rugged and beard transplants together in my mind before.

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