Monday, March 10, 2014
The multiple retreats of an amazingly bad law
The Donks had two years and 2,000 pages to get Obamacare right. You would think that would mean a well-thought out piece of legislation. But it is so poorly thought out that more and more of it cannot be enforced. Was it ever intended to be about healthcare or was it just a vehicle for getting a Leftist wish-list onto the statute books? It is certainly testimony to how little Leftists understand about the world around them. Michelle Malkin lists below many of the failed bits
At the end of 2013, Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had some nasty words for yours truly. Irked that I used my Twitter feed to criticize her Obamacare propaganda efforts, Wasserman Schultz snarked back at me:
"Thanks for spreading the word! You'll be eating them next year. #GetCovered."
Classy as always. And completely wrong-headed as usual. Less than three months into 2014, how's dutiful Debbie and her Dear Leader's pet government takeover program doing? The most recent retreat measures -- call it the Obamacare Endangered 2014 Midterm Democrats' Rescue Plan -- include:
--Allowing insurers for two extra years to continue selling plans that otherwise would have been banned by Obamacare. Last fall, Americans across the country and from all parts of the political spectrum raised an uproar in the wake of millions of Obamacare-induced cancellation notices on their individual market health plans. President Obama trotted out a "keep your plan" Band-Aid effective through this year. Now, the "transitional period" will extend through October 2016 and cover policyholders until the following September, after Obama is safely out of office.
--Extending the open enrollment period for 2015 from November 2014 to February 2015, a month longer than originally scheduled. (It will no doubt be extended again as the midterm elections get closer.)
--Relaxing eligibility requirements for insurers to qualify for financial help under a three-year program intended to cushion insurers' costs of complying with Obamacare mandates.
--Exempting labor unions, universities and other self-insured employers from paying a fee that creates the above-noted fund.
In addition, the White House last month allowed medium-sized employers an extra year to comply with the Obamacare mandate to offer insurance to all full-time workers and reduced the percentage of workers that large companies are required to cover. These latest regulatory walk-backs by administrative fiat all come on the heels of dozens of administrative delays and rollbacks.
While Democrats complain about Republican Obamacare repeal efforts, we may be nearing a special inflection point at which the White House will have reneged on more Obamacare regulations than it's actually enforcing!
Remember: In November 2010, the White House began issuing thousands of waivers to unions, cronies, businesses and organizations that offered affordable health insurance or prescription drug coverage with limited benefits outlawed by Obamacare. The federalized health care architects had sought to eliminate those low-cost plans under the guise of controlling insurer spending on executive salaries and marketing. Despite the waivers, the mandate has led to untold disruptions in the marketplace and has prompted businesses to cancel the beneficial plans altogether and/or slash wages and work hours.
In April 2011, Obama signed a bipartisan-backed law repealing his own onerous $22 billion Obamacare 1099 tax-compliance mandate that would have destroyed small businesses inundated with pointless paperwork.
Last March, with the support of several key Democrats, the Senate voted to repeal the Obamacare medical device tax. But the vote has not been enforced. Device makers have cut back on research and development. And according to the medical device manufacturers industry group AdvaMed, the punitive tax has forced companies to lay off or avoid hiring at least 33,000 workers over the past year.
In December and January, when Wasserman Schultz was busy acting like a 2-year-old in response to Obamacare critics, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was busy:
--Delaying premium payment deadlines.
--Delaying high-risk insurance pool cancellations.
--Delaying equal coverage mandates that force companies to drop health benefits rewards for top executives.
--Delaying onerous "meaningful use" mandates on health providers grappling with Obamacare's disastrous top-down electronic medical records rules.
While Wasserman Schultz defiantly claims all Democrats will proudly run on health care in 2014 and 2016, endangered Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina was caught on camera just last week literally running away from a journalist who dared to ask her about the 24 times she falsely promised that if you liked your plan, you could keep it under Obama.
It's not just Hagan; every vulnerable Senate Democrat who rammed Obamacare down America's throat is now running for the hills. When the White House now talks about the "Get Covered" campaign, it's not about ordinary Americans getting health care. It's about covering the backsides of the Obama water-carriers who may very well lose their jobs. They're not just eating their words. They're choking on Obamacare's massive, inevitable, job-killing, life-threatening failures.
I'd like to tell bratty Wasserman Schultz that Obamacare critics will have the last laugh. But we're too busy weeping at the senseless government-induced wreckage around us.
Ann Coulter knows her history:
It's pointless to pay attention to foreign policy when a Democrat is president, unless you enjoy having your stomach in a knot. As long as a Democrat sits in the White House, America will be repeatedly humiliated, the world will become a much more dangerous place – and there's absolutely nothing anybody can do about it. (Though this information might come in handy when voting for president, America!)
The following stroll down memory lane is but the briefest of summaries. For a full accounting of Democratic national security disasters, please read my book, “Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War to the War on Terrorism.”
– JFK: John F. Kennedy was in the White House for less than three years and, if you think he screwed a lot of hookers, just look what he did to our foreign policy.
Six months after becoming president, JFK had his calamitous meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna – a meeting The New York Times described as “one of the more self-destructive American actions of the Cold War, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.” (The Times admitted that a half-century later. At the time, the Newspaper of Record lied about the meeting.)
For two days, Khrushchev batted Kennedy around, leaving the president's own advisers white-faced and shaken. Kennedy's Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze called the meeting “just a disaster.”
Khrushchev was delighted to discover that the U.S. president was so “weak.” A Russian aide said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.”
Seeing he was dealing with a naif, Khrushchev promptly sent missiles to Cuba. The Kennedy Myth Machine has somehow turned JFK's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis into a brilliant foreign policy coup. The truth is: (1) Russia would never have dared move missiles to Cuba had Khrushchev not realized that JFK was a nincompoop; and (2) it wasn't a victory.
In exchange for Russia's laughably empty threats about Cuba, JFK removed our missiles from Turkey – a major retreat. As Khrushchev put it in his memoirs: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba – for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. We ended up getting exactly what we'd wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro's regime and American missiles removed from Turkey.”
– LBJ: Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, famously escalated the war in Vietnam simply to prove that the Democrats could be trusted with national security.
As historian David Halberstam describes it, LBJ “would talk to his closest political aides about the McCarthy days, of how Truman lost China and then the Congress and the White House and how, by God, Johnson was not going to be the president who lost Vietnam and then the Congress and the White House.”
LBJ's incompetent handling of that war allowed liberals to spend the next half-century denouncing every use of American military force as “another Vietnam.”
– CARTER: Jimmy Carter warned Americans about their “inordinate fear of communism” and claimed to have been attacked by a giant swimming rabbit.
His most inspired strategic move was to abandon the Shah of Iran, a loyal U.S. ally, which gave rise to the global Islamofascist movement we're still dealing with today. By allowing the Shah to be overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1979, Carter handed Islamic crazies their first state.
Before the end of the year, the Islamic lunatics had taken 52 Americans hostage in Tehran, where they remained for 444 days.
The hostages were released only minutes after Ronald Reagan's inauguration for reasons succinctly captured in a Jeff MacNelly cartoon. It shows Khomeini reading a telegram aloud: “It's from Ronald Reagan. It must be about one of the Americans in the Den of Spies, but I don't recognize the name. It says 'Remember Hiroshima.'”
– CLINTON: Bill Clinton's masterful handling of foreign policy was such a catastrophe that he had to deploy his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, to steal classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 to avoid their discovery by the 9/11 commission.
Twice, when Clinton was president, Sudan had offered to turn over bin Laden to the U.S. But, unfortunately, these offers came in early 1996 when Clinton was busy ejaculating on White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton rebuffed Sudan's offers.
According to Michael Scheuer, who ran the bin Laden unit at the CIA for many years, Clinton was given eight to 10 chances to kill or capture bin Laden but refused to act, despite bin Laden's having murdered hundreds of Americans in terrorist attacks around the world. Would that one of those opportunities had arisen on the day of Clinton's scheduled impeachment! Instead of pointlessly bombing Iraq, he might have finally taken out bin Laden.
– OBAMA: When Obama took office, al Qaida had been routed in Iraq – from Fallujah, Sadr City and Basra. Muqtada al-Sadr – the Dr. Phil of Islamofascist radicalism – had waddled off in retreat to Iran. The Iraqis had a democracy, a miracle on the order of flush toilets in Afghanistan.
By Bush's last year in office, monthly casualties in Iraq were coming in slightly below a weekend with Justin Bieber. In 2008, there were more than three times as many homicides in Chicago as U.S. troop deaths in the Iraq War. (Chicago: 509; Iraq: 155).
On May 30, The Washington Post reported: “CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays (al-Qaida) as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world …” Even hysterics at The New York Times admitted that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups had nearly disappeared from Southeast Asia by 2008.
A few short years into Obama's presidency – and al-Qaida is back! For purely political reasons, as soon as he became president, Obama removed every last troop from Iraq, despite there being Americans troops deployed in dozens of countries around the world.
In 2004, nearly 100 soldiers, mostly Marines, died in the battle to take Fallujah from al-Qaida. Today, al-Qaida's black flag flies above Fallujah.
Bush won the war, and Obama gave it back.
Obama couldn't be bothered with preserving America's victory in Iraq. He was busy helping to topple a strong American ally in Egypt and a slavish American minion in Libya – in order to install the Muslim Brotherhood in those countries instead. (That didn't work out so well for U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans murdered in Benghazi.)
So now, another Russian leader is playing cat-and-mouse with an American president – and guess who's the mouse? Putin has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria and with Edward Snowden. By now, Obama has become such an object for Putin's amusement that the fastest way to get the Russians out of Crimea would be for Obama to call on Putin to invade Ukraine.
Backdown? IRS to give up, release all Lerner e-mails, documents
Except for what they have deleted, of course
The powerful House Ways and Means Committee will get everything from disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner’s email account since a few weeks before Barack Obama became president.
And Republican committee members are hoping they’ll find a smoking gun tying the Obama administration to the years-long scheme to play political favorites with nonprofit groups’ tax-exemption applications.
After eight months of back-and-forth stonewalling, the IRS has agreed to turn over the complete contents of Lerner’s email account, along with other documents that two congressional committees have been demanding.
They’ve had eight months to sit on all of this data and come up with a battle plan, circle the wagons and get ready for this. In the bad old days, one assumes they would just have a vodka soaked party around the burn barrel and any damning documents could literally go up in smoke. But is it really that much harder in the digital era?
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Posted by JR at 1:38 AM