Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cruising the Web

Okay, this isn't a fair fight - Rosie O'Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg take on Charles Krauthammer. They don't understand what he said and O'Donnell complains that she's never heard of him. That's one problem of some liberals - they are in such a bubble that they don't even recognize the name of one of the foremost conservative writers in the country. I guess O'Donnell never picks up the Washington Post which runs Krauthammer's Pulitzer-Prize winning column. I wonder if she has ever read a conservative writer beyond edited clips run on liberal sites. She should get out more.

Republicans need to stop getting ahead of themselves about retaking the Senate. Things are looking better for the Democrats.

Look to hear this story repeated around the country.
The largest insurer with the lowest premium rates on Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange is dropping out because the government health-exchange is unsustainable, the company announced Tuesday.

PreferredOne Health Insurance told MNsure, the state-run exchange, Tuesday morning that it would not continue to offer its popular insurance plans on the marketplace in 2015. It’s “purely a business decision,” spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV. The company is losing money on administrative costs for plans offered on the bureaucratic and glitchy government exchange.

Part of the problem, according to PreferredOne, is that MNsure hasn’t even been able to verify its customers’ information. PreferredOne said that some of its customers have turned out not to even live in Minnesota.

Insurers are required to accept customers who’ve been approved by the exchange for coverage, but states and the federal government have been struggling for months to determine which applicants are actually eligible for the benefits.
If it's happening in Minnesota, it's happening elsewhere.

This is what media bias looks like:
It’s no secret that television news has long been addicted to public opinion polls; decades ago, all three broadcast networks decided to partner with an influential newspaper (ABC News with the Washington Post; CBS News with the New York Times; and NBC News with the Wall Street Journal) to sponsor their own regular surveys for use in their political coverage.

That’s why it’s so extraordinary that polling news has practically vanished from the Big Three evening newscasts in 2014 as President Obama’s approval ratings have tumbled and the public opposes defining administration policies like ObamaCare. Just last Thursday, for example, Gallup found Obama’s approval rating at a record low of 38 percent, yet none of the three broadcast networks bothered to mention this on their evening or morning newscasts.

Such coverage is in stunning contrast to how those same newscasts relentlessly emphasized polls showing bad news for George W. Bush during the same phase of his presidency. Media Research Center analysts reviewed every reference on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts to public opinion polls from January 1 through August 31, 2014, and from the same time period in 2006. Eight years ago, the networks aired 124 evening news reports which cited public opinion polls about either President Bush’s overall approval rating or his handling of specific policies. In 2014, those same broadcasts produced only nine reports which mentioned public opinion surveys related to President Obama.
124 stories to 9. Yup, that's the expected ratio of coverage for a Republican president versus a Democratic president. They're so invested in Obama that they don't report their own dang polls!

Robert Rector reflects on the War on Poverty which has spent $22 trillion on welfare programs since it began and almost the same percent of Americans are still considered poor. Of course, part of the problem is how the government defines poverty by just looking at income and not looking at income transfers from welfare payments.
We can be grateful that the living standards of all Americans, including the poor, have risen in the past half century, but the War on Poverty has not succeeded according to Johnson’s original goal. Johnson’s aim was not to prop up living standards by making more and more people dependent on an ever larger welfare state. Instead, Johnson sought to increase self-sufficiency, the ability of a family to support itself out of poverty without dependence on welfare aid. Johnson asserted that the War on Poverty would actually shrink the welfare rolls and transform the poor from “taxeaters” into “taxpayers.”

Judged by that standard, the War on Poverty has been a colossal flop. The welfare state has undermined self-sufficiency by discouraging work and penalizing marriage. When the War on Poverty began seven percent of children were born outside marriage. Today, 42 percent of children are. By eroding marriage, the welfare state has made many Americans less capable of self-support than they were when the War on Poverty began.

President Obama plans to spend $13 trillion dollars on means-tested welfare over the next decade. Most of this spending will flow through traditional welfare programs that discourage the keys to self-sufficiency: work and marriage.

Rather than doubling down on the mistakes of the past, we should restructure the welfare state around Johnson’s original goal: increasing Americans capacity for self-support. Welfare should no longer be a one way hand out; able-bodied recipients of cash, food and housing should be required to work or prepare for work as condition of receiving aid. Welfare’s penalties against marriage should be reduced. By returning to the original vision of aiding the poor to aid themselves, we can begin, in Johnson’s words, to “replace their despair with opportunity.”

As we gear up to fight against ISIS, you might be surprised what the Chairman of the Joint Cheefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey thinks is the most important task is.
According to a senior military official, Dempsey said at a recent meeting: "The Department of Defense's number one priority is combating Ebola."
Ah, the one sort of task Obama is willing to order boots on the ground. I'm not at all against massive efforts to fight ebola. I just don't consider that our highest defense priority.

Jeff Bergner analyzes the pattern of Democrats' approach to public policy.
It takes no talent to cherry-pick examples of ignorance from either Republicans or Democrats. More worthwhile is a systematic look at some major fault lines between the two political parties. Let’s consider four significant domestic policy areas where Democrats and Republicans differ—the economy, energy, global warming, and abortion—and see which party can fairly lay claim to being the party of reason.

We will see a pattern. In each case, Democratic thinking will unfold in three stages: (1) Policy is predicated on reality as one wishes it to be, not as it is. (2) That policy fails. And (3) its advocates explain the failure by demonizing their opponents. The demonization of political opponents to cover policy failures is an all too reliable indicator that the policies rest on unsound, anti-scientific, irrational foundations.
Read the rest. It's quite apt.