Monday Digest Holiday ObamaCare News Dump + More

Posted on Mon 12/02/2013 by

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The Patriot Post ~

THE FOUNDATION

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” –Thomas Jefferson

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Holiday ObamaCare News Dump

PP_Dumptruck_2013-12-02-aa2f1861As everyone was closing up shop last Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Obama administration was dumping more inconvenient news. Something tells us, however, that it wasn’t part of Obama’s suggested Thanksgiving table talking points.

The White House delayed for one year the online ObamaCare exchange for small businesses. (There goes our shopping list!) Perhaps Healthcare.gov – the individual exchange – has been such a handful that they haven’t even bothered to start building the site for small businesses. Since Oct. 1, small businesses have been able to use paper applications, but instead of the online option, HHS offers alternatives such as working with agents or brokers or buying directly through insurers. According to HHS, “We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP [Small Business Health Options Program] Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014.” It seems like something else happens in 2014 – what was that again?

Ah, the mid-term elections, that’s right. Also delayed beyond those elections is the open enrollment period for ObamaCare. Sign-ups for the 2015 plan year won’t begin Oct. 15, 2014 as previously scheduled, but will happen beginning Nov. 15. The only possible purpose for such a delay would be to postpone the inevitable premium sticker shock until after the mid-terms. Unfortunately for Democrats, employer-provided plan prices will skyrocket next year and those results will be known well before the election.

The self-inflicted bad news gets worse for Democrats. Next year will feature numerous plans booting your favorite doctor. If you like your doctor… Oh well. On top of that, some 50 million to 100 million insurance policies, mainly employer provided, could be cancelled next fallCartoonist Gary Varvel: Obamacare, promises and nervous Democrats

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ECONOMY, REGS & TAXES

Republicans’ Ethanol Addition

PP_Ethanol_2013-10-11-862241f4Iowa Republicans Gov. Terry Branstad, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Rep. Steve King are up in arms over the EPA’s decision to roll back ethanol-to-gas volumes because ethanol producers have reached a blending wall in production. The trio – who are ostensibly against government subsidies except in cases where it helps them – have threatened legal action against the EPA because they believe the agency doesn’t have the authority to arbitrarily reduce the amount of ethanol in gasoline. According to their logic, though, the EPA does have the authority to arbitrarily raise the amount.

These men who call themselves Republicans claim they are fighting for jobs in their state, but they have grown grossly overdependent on ethanol. Despite years of production, the product has never gained widespread use. Automobile manufacturers believe it may actually be harmful to engines, and recent studies have shown that it is wreaking havoc on the environment as well. Five million acres of land that has been set aside for conservation has been converted to grow corn to make ethanol, leading to the filling-in of wetlands and the dumping of billions of pounds of fertilizers that have seeped into drinking water. Corn prices have skyrocketed because so much of the crop is used for ethanol production, leading to an inflation of food prices as corn is used in the manufacturing of most processed foods. And ethanol has not led to a softening of gas prices in the U.S., which was another claim that producers used to popularize the additive.

Even with all these strikes against it, ethanol remains politically popular. No member of Congress with a farmer in their state dare speak out against it. And since Iowa is America’s ethanol capital, every single person who runs for president also supports it because Iowa is the state that always kicks off the race for the White House.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Warfront With Jihadistan: Karzai’s Kabuki

PP_PresidentHamidKarzai_2013-12-02-4ba3ade4Recent attempts to work out a security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan have hit some snags. Recall that the joint security pact has been evolving through negotiations since 2013 and sets a framework for the presence of American troops and their continued role in conjunction with Afghan security forces. The country’s Loya Jirga has accepted the agreement and wants it to be put in place immediately, but President Hamid Karzai has no intention of signing the agreement, claiming he believes it should be the authority of the next president to make the decision on whether to keep 15,000 soldiers in the country until 2024. He also wants a complete prohibition on American troops from entering homes under any circumstance – a constraint the U.S. rejects.

Elections aren’t until April, and the Taliban is certainly not going to wait for an agreement. Karzai seems to be concerned only with embarrassing the Obama administration, but if a security pact is not reached, U.S. forces will pull out next year – a procedure that would have dangerous ramifications. We saw what happened in Iraq after America’s military presence evaporated. Karzai himself might not even survive if such a thing happens in his country.

CULTURE, SCIENCE & FAITH

New Study: Not Such a Large Head Start

PP_HedStart_2013-12-02-c78e8cb0For decades the federal government has claimed that our youngest children, particularly those brought up poor, would be best served by getting an early jump on the formal educational process. This notion led to the Head Start program, which serves children in the year or two before the normal commencement of kindergarten.

Yet for years, studies have proved that the Head Start program and other similar efforts are a colossal waste of money because the early advantage given to these children is erased in the first few years of standard K-12 schooling. This argument has been borne out in another large, 3,000-child study, based on successful and unsuccessful applicants from 2009 to Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K program. Now that the children have been tracked and the the study’s results evaluated for performance through first grade, the authors found that, in most areas, the children who did not attend the Pre-K program were academically ahead of those who attended.

The study’s authors “found that the effects of [the program] … observed at the end of the pre-k year had greatly diminished by the end of the kindergarten year and the differences between participants and nonparticipants were no longer statistically significant.” Why is this important?

Consider that the Obama administration wants to make “high-quality preschool available to every single child in America,” and imagine the cost. You can also imagine the need for thousands of additional (unionized, of course) “educators” as well as the millions of children immersed in government-sponsored indoctrination at a very precocious age.

With this administration we’ve learned results don’t matter, but employing power and control does.

BRIEF OPINION

Re: The Left

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: “[M]ost Americans, including the LIVs [‘low information voters’], are inundated by information. What they actually pay attention to is the great separator. We live in an age where the public school system promotes the maintenance of self-esteem over genuine achievement, and trains younger generations of Americans to feel, rather than to think. And now that everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, the distinction between banality and greatness no longer applies. Everyone is ‘special,’ and there is little reason to dwell on anything that occurs outside one’s personal universe. By accident or design, the Obama administration and their media lapdogs have been masters at exploiting this phenomenon. No sooner does one scandal arise than another takes its place, followed by another and another, seemingly ad infinitum. Keeping track requires genuine effort in an age where effort has given way to the cruise control of self-absorption. Those who remain genuinely outraged are either dismissed as over-wrought, or denigrated with a label such as ‘misogynist,’ ‘homophobe,’ ‘nativist,’ or ‘teabagger,’ with the understanding that, once labeled, no further thought is required.”

Faith and Family

Radio talk show host Larry Elder: “The ‘knockout game’ – and the media underreporting of it – combines the breakdown of the family with the media’s condescending determination to serve as a public relations bureau for blacks. The ‘game’ is a dare in which a young man – all the perps appear to be male people of color, mostly blacks – tries to literally knock out an innocent bystander with one blow. Both National Public Radio and The New York Times say these reports of the ‘knockout game’ being widespread are overblown and do not represent a trend. Really? … From a distance, the media can spot some lone idiot holding up an offensive sign at a tea party rally. But when it comes to black perp/white victim crime, there is a very different attitude.”

The Gipper

“On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For, more than just a day, Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate. It is present when men of any creed bring love and understanding to the hearts of their fellow man. The feeling is seen in the wondrous faces of children and in the hopeful eyes of the aged. It overflows the hearts of cheerful givers and the souls of the caring. And it is reflected in the brilliant colors, joyful sounds, and beauty of the winter season. Let us resolve to honor this spirit of Christmas and strive to keep it throughout the year.”

For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Insight

President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963): “A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget…. As the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues. Prosperity is the real way to balance our budget. By lowering tax rates, by increasing jobs and income, we can expand tax revenues and finally bring our budget into balance.”

The Demo-gogues

Barack Obama: “We have accomplished as much, if not more, than any time in our history, saving an economy from a Great Depression; revitalizing an auto industry that is producing better cars and has come roaring back like nobody believed; doubling our exports; drastically reducing our dependence on foreign oil; doubling fuel-efficiency standards; doubling our production of clean energy; reducing the pace of our carbon emissions; ending the war in Iraq; about to end the war in Afghanistan; re-centering our fight against terrorism in a way that respects our values and our ideals; expanding access to college for children all across this country; ending ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’; making sure that we are vindicating the notion that everybody should have a fair shot regardless of their sexual orientation, as well as their race and their gender; pushing for equal pay for women; reinstituting research for stem cells.”

Belly Laugh of the Week

Barack Obama: “Kindness covers all of my political beliefs. And when I think about what I’m fighting for, what gets me up every single day, that captures it just about as much as anything. Kindness; empathy – that sense that I have a stake in your success.”

Dezinformatsia

“[P]olice officials in several cities where [‘Knockout’] attacks have been reported said that the ‘game’ amounted to little more than an urban myth, and that the attacks in question might be nothing more than the sort of random assaults that have always occurred. And in New York City, police officials are struggling to determine whether they should advise the public to take precautions against the Knockout Game – or whether in fact it existed.”

Braying Jackass

Rep. Charlie Rangel: “Everyone knew that 40 percent of the American people had no access to healthcare. Instead of talking about what happened with the rollout, we should be so happy that we do have a plan that Republicans and Democrats can perfect. And if you have to talk politics, let the facts speak for themselves. [Republicans] ran an election – it’s all about Obama. If he walked on water, they would say the president can’t swim.”

Non Compos Mentis

Howard Dean: “I don’t think a particular employer has a right to decide what kind of health care their employees are going to get. That’s now in the hands of the federal government, and that’s where it should be.”

The BIG Lie

Part I: Michelle Obama: “[Y]ou know, [Barack] keeps his promises.”

Part II: Rep. Keith Ellison: “[Obama] owned [the Healthcare.gov debacle]. He said, ‘Look man, if you misunderstood what I was trying to say, I’m sorry about that.’ I think that shows integrity. He didn’t do anything to self-promote.”

Village Idiots

Former Obama adviser David Plouffe: “I think it’s just a fact, and it may take until 2017 when this president leaves office, you’re going to see almost every state in this country running their own exchanges eventually and expanding Medicaid. And I think it’ll work really well, then. … I think people trust this president. There have been numbers all over the place. But I’m confident that in a few months from now, the trust numbers will come up, and his approval number will come up.”

Short Cuts

Comedian Jay Leno: “When President Obama was in Los Angeles, he visited the DreamWorks Studios. Now don’t confuse DreamWorks with Obamacare – that was a dream that didn’t work.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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