Mission Accomplished – or Not + More – Wednesday Digest

Posted on Wed 12/04/2013 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it.” –James Madison

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Mission Accomplished – or Not

PP_AndThenIToldThem_2013-12-04-6042b1cfThe 2008 presidential campaign never really ended for Barack Obama – everything he does and says is a political calculation or stump speech, and this week is no different. He began the week by declaring “mission accomplished” with the re-relaunch of Healthcare.gov and traveling around to tout the amazing awesomeness of his wondrous plan. He vowed, “We’re not going back,” and insisted that repeal won’t happen “as long as I’m president.” But we already knew he’s far too narcissistic to admit defeat, so he’ll just plant the victory flag in the wreckage and press on.

And wreckage it is. After the Dec. 1 “fixed it” announcement, security experts warned that the site might be more vulnerable now than it was before. The White House boasted of 400 bug fixes and improvements, but as David Kennedy, CEO of the online security firm TrustedSec, put it, “When you recode the application to fix these 400 bugs – they were rushing this out of the door to get the site at least so it can work a little bit – you’re introducing more security flaws as you go along with it because you don’t even check that code.”

Insurers objected as well, saying that, no, actually Healthcare.gov still doesn’t work. The back end of the website, where insurers are notified of and paid for the product sold, isn’t fully functional. That’s right – insurers are not always being notified that consumers signed up for coverage, and they’re also not being paid for the policies. Not to worry though; insurers will almost surely receive a bailout for Obama’s “fixing” of policy cancellations, as well as payment for an estimate of what’s owed for policies sold. That’s on top of $1 trillion in subsidies over the next decade.

As far as consumers and coverage, the 126,000 Americans who supposedly managed to navigate Healthcare.gov to obtain insurance may not have actually succeeded. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says “there’s a joint effort to reach out to those who have enrolled to make sure that every step is being – that they know they need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that that coverage kicks in.” In other words, if you thought you signed up, you might want to double check that you actually signed up. Healthcare.gov is still generating errors with applications, duplicate applications and other assorted technical “glitches” that are preventing coverage from being secured for roughly one-third of applicants. If you like your plan you can’t keep it, and you may not even be able to replace it.

When a reporter asked Carney if it was time to declare “mission accomplished,” Carney replied, “Using that phrase is not one I would employ.” This just in! And all it took was $1 billion – before the fixes.

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Did You Know?

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ECONOMY, REGS & TAXES

Judge Okays Detroit Bankruptcy

PP_Detroit_2013-12-04-d3b4df6aAs Mark Alexander wrote in July, if Barack Obama had a city, it would look like Detroit. Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to work through the city’s finances. Under Orr’s direction, the Motor City filed for bankruptcy in July in a last-ditch effort to address its $18 billion in long-term liabilities, but public unions sued to stop the proceedings in their own effort to protect their gravy train. This week, however, Judge Steven Rhodes allowed the bankruptcy to proceed, saying, “This once proud and prosperous city can’t pay its debts. It’s insolvent. It’s eligible for bankruptcy. At the same time, it also has an opportunity for a fresh start.”

According to The Heritage Foundation, “Of Detroit’s $18.3 billion in debt, more than half is unfunded retirement benefits for public employees: $3.5 billion in pension liabilities and $5.7 billion in other post-employment benefits.” Meanwhile, the city’s population has plummeted over decades-long Democrat rule, meaning the taxpaying base is shrinking as costs explode. Public unions will never willingly agree to truly reasonable terms, but Rhodes’ ruling does mean they have to share the burden of the city’s financial trouble.

Smaller bankruptcies in the California cities of Stockton and Vallejo left alone public employee pension funds because of the clout of California’s union. So as The Wall Street Journal writes, “Detroit is the first Chapter 9 case in which the supremacy of federal bankruptcy law over state pension protections has been decisively challenged and resolved. … Judge Rhodes’s wise ruling is a warning to unions and their political bodyguards that Chapter 9 is not a pension safe harbor.” It will indeed be a good development if unions are forced to live in reality.

NATIONAL SECURITY

North Korea Detains U.S. Citizen

Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un

An 85-year-old Korean War veteran is currently being detained by North Korea. Two military officers pulled Merrill Newman off his plane on Oct. 26, and have been holding him in custody ever since without contact. His wife calls the detention a huge “misunderstanding,” but it would appear that it’s more nefarious. Newman is the seventh American detained since 2009, and in every other case so far, the North Koreans get something from the U.S. in return – including highly publicized visits by Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter in 2010.

Newman is also the second American currently being detained. Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary and tour operator, was arrested in November 2012 and charged with “hostile acts,” which are believed to be photographing hungry children. In May, he was sentenced to 15 years hard labor after the Obama administration refused any concessions to North Korea. Perhaps Newman is dictator Kim Jong Un’s attempt to ratchet up the pressure. Kim is the third generation of his dynasty, and so far has proved every bit as unhinged as his father and grandfather. He and his rule are still young, which means he’s trying to prove himself to his people. Forcing the U.S. to come crawling would solidify his hold on power.

The U.S. must take measures to prevent what are essentially state kidnappings. In 2008, President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the State Department’s list of terror-sponsoring states in an effort to save a disarmament agreement. The move was ill-advised and should be corrected, among other possible measures. North Korea will continue to be a thorn in our side until they face consequences for their rogue behavior.

CULTURE, SCIENCE & FAITH

Another Study Links Abortion and Breast Cancer

PP_Breastcancer_2013-12-04-632ba047Confirming the findings of a previous study, a new study has found that the risk of breast cancer spikes among women who have had at least one abortion and skyrockets among women who have had two or more. The study, which examined results of several other studies and was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Causes and Control, found that women who had at least one induced abortion increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 44%. Women who had two abortions increased their risk by 76%, and women who had three abortions saw an 89% increase in risk. According to the study’s authors, these results “were consistent with a previously published systematic review,” which found the risk of breast cancer increased by 30% among women who had at least one induced abortion.

Ironically, even after the original study was released, Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer charity and research organization worldwide, continued to fund Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the nation’s largest abortion provider. Last year, Komen briefly halted its PPFA funding but quickly caved to political pressure from the pro-abortion camp and restored funding to the abortion mill. Given this latest study further confirming the abortion-breast cancer link, we urge Komen to live up to its stated mission and stop funding Planned Parenthood for good. And we urge all those who claim to be pro-women to start warning women of the true risks of abortion.

BRIEF OPINION

Re: The Left

SCOTUS Obamacare Decision Makes Individual Man...

SCOTUS Obamacare Decision Makes Individual Mandate A Fact & Universal Healthcare Coverage A Fiction (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

Columnist Jeannie DeAngelis: “Does requiring a two-year-old to have their own health insurance policy sound like a joke? Well it’s no joke, because that’s exactly what happened to self-employed title insurance business owner Cornelius Kelly and his pediatrician wife Jennifer. … Cornelius, with hesitant but hopeful anticipation, ventured forth onto the New York State of Health Web site. … Cornelius heard that none of the plans would include the youngest member of his family who, according to a representative, until her second birthday would have to have a separate insurance policy of her own. He, his wife and their three oldest children, ages three, five, and six, could all be together on one policy ranging in price from $810.84 to $2,554.71 a month. The baby, because she was not yet two, required a separate plan whose options ranged in price from $117.21 to $369.31. So, as liberal logic would have it, children can stay on their parents insurance until they’re 26-years-old, but if a child is not yet two-years-old, they’re on their own.”

Faith and Family

Columnist Cal Thomas: “People and nations must be ruled by something, or there is anarchy. Either it is God, or secular laws that control our lower nature. Today, we are out of control as we pursue happiness through prosperity in the false hope money and things will satisfy. The problem with prosperity is that one is never satisfied. … If things satisfied, wouldn’t Americans be the most satisfied people on Earth? … Previous generations had less and yet seemed to have more of what matters: more character; more virtue; more contentment, all of it reinforced by parents, clergy and, for the most part, culture. In our day, materialism has become a false god we worship in the vain hope it will bring peace. In our conspicuous consumption we are self-immolating and the fuel is materialism. … Israel’s King David warned, ‘The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.’ (Psalm 12:8). Can’t say we haven’t been warned.”

Editorial Exegesis

The Wall Street Journal: “The Justice Department campaign against Louisiana school vouchers gets curiouser and curiouser. Attorney General Eric Holder’s troops are now trying to prevent black parents from joining the case by amending their original lawsuit to block the vouchers in 22 districts. Some Republicans in Washington, D.C., interpreted this motion as Justice dropping its lawsuit, but no one should be fooled. Justice now wants federal courts to establish what would essentially be a preclearance process letting DOJ approve every voucher. … The goal here is to put the federal bureaucracy in charge. Justice wants to review data on all voucher applicants including their race, public school district, whether and why they are granted a voucher and the private school to which they were assigned. And it wants that info at least 45 days before parents are notified that their kids will get a voucher. Why? Because the feds don’t want parents to know if the feds knock their kids from the voucher list. DOJ is also claiming federal jurisdiction over the entire state, not merely the 22 districts under desegregation orders. … Translation: DOJ is threatening to audit private schools that admit voucher students. Shaking down private schools is another way to stunt the program.”

For more, visit The Right Opinion.

CHRONICLE QUOTES

Upright

Columnist John Ransom: “Today all you have to do is repeat a thing often enough and it becomes true. … Winston Churchill once said that Hitler was possible because his country stopped being able to recognize evil. I believe that Obamanomics, Euronomics and Abenomics is possible only because people can no longer recognize even their own lies. They can’t distinguish between what is true and the fantasy that exists only in their imagination. And if you applied that definition to a single individual, there’s only one word you can use to describe it: psychosis. Hopefully in 2014 over 50% of American voters can find help.”

Demo-gogues

Barack Obama: “I’ve gone up and down [in the polls] pretty much consistently throughout. But the good thing about when you’re down is that usually you got nowhere to go but up.”

Belly Laugh of the Week

ObamaCare architect Ezekiel Emanuel: “Clearly, just like Google and Facebook and all the internet sites [that] are constantly tweaking their sites, [and] constantly improving them, [Healthcare.gov] still has a ways to go. But it is certainly working reasonably well. I think, actually, we are going in the right direction, and for the first time, most importantly, we actually have effective management overseeing.”

Village Idiots

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “[Americans] don’t want an effective website. They want health insurance. They want affordable, quality coverage. And that’s what we’re working to achieve.”

Braying Jackass

ESPN columnist and CNN pundit LZ Granderson: “[Obama] should have been more forthright with how the Affordable Care Act was going to impact the country. But with that being said, all Americans know politicians lie. The question is, which lies can you live with? And, time and time again, Americans have said we can deal with the lies that President Obama tells us because we believe in his heart, he has the best interest for the American people.”

Dezinformatsia

The Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn: “To put it mildly, our forbearers would be appalled by how right-wing conservatives are trying to use government to force their religious views on all of us. Make no mistake, this is what Hobby Lobby wants to do – use government to push a conservative religious agenda. … This is, plain and simple, a corporation trying to contort government to impose the religious views of some onto many. This is precisely what our nation was founded against.”

From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File

“Reverend” Jesse Jackson: “If we had a living wage there would be no need for Black Friday fights. Everyone would be prosperous.”

Short Cuts

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Oprah Winfrey caused a storm when she told the BBC she thinks the Obama Administration gets no respect due to racism in America. Actually there’s very little left of that. If nothing else, Joe Biden has destroyed the myth of white supremacy once and for all.”

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

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