Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cruising the Web

Eliana Johnson got a leak of a Michelle Nunn campaign strategic memo. Nunn is the Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia and probably the best hope that the Democrats have of a pick-up this Fall. There is nothing really new or even surprising in the memo. It just confirms how the Democrats regard their various constituent groups. They look to gays, Asians, and Jews as fundraising sources. So there is a warning to Nunn that she doesn't yet have a position on Israel yet her position will "largely determine the level of support here." As of the memo, her position on Israel was labeled "TBD." So if she wants the Jews to fundraise for her, she better figure out the correct position to take. And, as for African Americans and Hispanics, the campaign needs to get them to the polls and so they should focus on the black clergy. This get-out-the-vote effort will be especially important since she can't depend on getting the support of white voters. In fact, all they're aiming for is 30% support from the white community.

Nunn's main claim to fame, besides being Sam Nunn's daughter, is that she has been the CEO of the Points of Light Foundation handing out charity to various nonprofits. However, even that could be a problem since, under her leadership, they've given money to an organization with links to Hamas.

And, as must be typical with all Democratic candidates, the campaign isn't worried about the media. They know that the media are in their back pocket.
Her strategists are optimistic that the media won’t prove much of an obstacle. They write that at some point her opponent, who at the time the document was written had yet to be determined, will be “shoveling research” against her. But they say they anticipate they will often have “fair warning” about negative news stories and can work to “kill or muddy” them.
Yup, just about what one might expect from a Democratic strategy memo. I wonder how the media feel about being taken for granted like that. And I'm sure that fundraising targets in the gay, Asian, and Jewish community are totally used to being regarded as piggy banks for Democratic candidates. Situation normal.

Ed Morrissey links to this story about the difficulties people might have with the supposedly automatic renewal of Obamacare.

Isn't it nice of Valerie Jarrett to personally guarantee health insurance companies that the federal government would bail them out through risk corridor payments so that they won't have to hike up premiums which might annoy consumers? And who cares that that wasn't what the risk corridors were designed to do or that Obama didn't have authority to use the money that way?
The risk corridor program was intended to pool payments from insurers and redistribute the funding to the companies that attracted the sickest and most costly influx of patients — leaving the companies that signed up the more profitable customers with the bill.

Jarrett initially protested that the administration had already promised insurers 80 percent of what they wanted in the first place, but eventually conceded that HHS’s “policy team is aggressively pursuing options.”

The next month, the Obama administration issued rules that would permit taxpayer funding to be doled out to insurers through the risk corridor program, which was originally supposed to be budget neutral.

The Obama administration’s assurances have gone far with insurance companies. Out of 15 companies surveyed by the committee, 12 expect to receive payouts from the risk corridor program. Just one expects to pay into the fund — the other two expect no net change.

Just including the 15 companies the Oversight Committee interviewed, taxpayers could be on the hook for $725 million in 2014. The report concluded that the changes to the program could cost taxpayers $1 billion by the end of the year.

Insurance companies have the Obama administration in a tight spot over the program. Without guarantees of a taxpayer bailout, insurers like Burrell were left with drastic premium hikes as their only remaining way of making up their losses.
A few hundred million dollars here and a few million dollars there. All being promised by this president without any funding authority from Congress.

This is how oblivious Nancy Pelosi is to reality in the Middle East. Even though everyone who knows anything about the current conflict in Gaza knows that Qatar is funding Hamas, Pelosi looks to Qatar for information on the true nature of Hamas.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the United States must look to Qatar, an ally of the terrorist group Hamas, for advice in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

"And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization," she told CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley.
Yeah, that's a good source of analysis. And then she argues that Obama has exercised strong leadership concerning Putin and Russia. Neither "strong" nor "leadership" are two words to be used in the same sentence concerning Obama and his policies towards Russia and Putin. Heck. Even the New York Times is exposing Obama's weak reactions to the shooting down of MH17.

But what really annoys Nancy Pelosi is that she wasn't given time in her CNN interview to bash Republicans. That is what truly concerns her.

I'm sure it's hard to limit this list to 18, but here it goes for "The Most Cringe-Worthy Phrases Ever Spoken By a Politician.

Susan Page writes in USA Today that Obama has become a lame duck before his time and give him some advice about how to recover his mojo in the final two years of his presidency. One of her pieces of advice is to look to foreign affairs. Yeah, that doesn't seem to be fertile ground for Obama.

So, in the NC Senate race, who's the real facilitator of crony capitalism?

And this is why Obama has to go to so many fundraisers.

If you've ever played the board game of Diplomacy, you'll enjoy this retrospective on the game.