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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bombing A Syrian Air Base

The news today includes a story that an air force base in Syria was attacked by missiles coming from the sea.  The Assad forces blame the Israelis for the attack although the Israelis have said nothing to indicate that they were the attacking party.  There were no injuries during the attack, but three or four buildings were destroyed together with all that was in them.  There is speculation that the buildings may have housed anti-aircraft missiles, weapons that the Israelis want to keep from the hands of Hezbollah.  No one knows for sure, though.

This is another of those mysteries that pop up in the Middle East from time to time.  It may be that there was no involvement by Israel in this attack.  Indeed, it may be that there really was no such attack.

At least the NSA can tell president Obama what the other world leaders think about this.

Wow -- Even Joan Walsh Has Nothing To Say

Joan Walsh is the propagandist in chief -- excuse me, the editor in chief at, a very liberal pro-Obama website.  No matter what happens, Walsh is always sure that problems are the fault of right wing Republicans and everything good stems from a government controlled by the Democrats.  Today, she addresses the "pernicious myth" of president Obama's incompetence.  Her column is very telling.

First of all, Walsh spends paragraph after paragraph slamming people who have described recent events as revelations of incompetence by Obama.  Interestingly, Walsh starts with the GOP, but she gets so far as to slam Bob Shrum, a long time leftist national Democrat figure for daring to call Obama incompetent.

More important than the usual nastiness spewing from Walsh, however, is what she does not say.  In her entire article, she never explains why it is that she thinks Obama is competent.  For all we know, Walsh thinks that Obama was intentionally lying when he told folks for years that if they liked their policies they could keep them.  Maybe Walsh thinks that Obama is a competent liar, so that charges of incompetence are overblown.  Or, maybe Walsh thinks that Obama told the truth when he claims not to know about the NSA spying on allies, the IRS attacking conservative groups and individuals, the Justice Department harassing reporters like the AP and Fox News, the Justice Department arranging to supply 2000 assault weapons to the Mexican Drug cartels, the State Department and White House staff deciding to leave the Benghazi consulate essentially unguarded despite the threat of imminent terrorist attack, and all the rest.  Walsh may believe that Obama just does not care about government and ignores what is happening around him, thereby making charges of incompetence unfair.

The truth is that Obama has demonstrated that neither he nor his advisors have much competence when it comes to anything other than making speeches.  The problem, of course, is that to make a great speech, people need to believe what is being said.  With Obama, there is no way anyone could believe that he means what he says.  We have all just seen too much.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If The Could Stack the Lies On Top of Each Other ...............

Have you ever seen one of those ads where they tell us that if they could stack up the item up it would reach to the moon and back?  Well it's time to stack up the lies being told about Obamacare and see how far we can get.  Another really big lies was pushed today by President Obama in his speech in Boston.  Today, for the first time, we heard from Obama that the millions of insurance policies being cancelled due to Obamacare were always intended to be targeted because Obamacare was designed to get rid of "bad apple" insurance companies that did not provide enough coverage.

Think about that.  This is the man who said, "if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it; period!"  Apparently, he actually meant to say "if the bureaucrats in Washington like your plan, you can keep it, at least until we change our minds again and take it away, period!"  Obama lied repeatedly about keeping the plans we all had.  Now he is at it again.

Then there is the other "lie of the day".  This is the one pushed by Kathleen Sebelius in front of Congress.  Sebelius said that all the plans in existence as of the passage of Obamacare were grandfathered; only plans that were modified after the passage of the act had to be cancelled if they did not meet the terms of the law.  Sebelius then blamed the insurance companies for making changes in the policies being cancelled; it's their fault not the government's according to her.  Sebelius, of course, left out the critical fact that makes everything she said a lie.  Obamacare requires that as of January 1, 2014, all policies issued in the USA have to include a long list of coverages and other provisions.  In other words, the Obamacare law itself forced the insurance companies to change their policies to meet all the requirements in the law.  First Obamacare requires the policies be changed, and then Obamacare requires that those that were changed which do not meet all of the Obamacare requirements have to be cancelled.  Going back to Obama's original promise, he should have said this:  "if you like the policy you have and if that policy already meets every one of the long list of new requirements we have included in Obamacare, then you can keep it, period!"


But They Like Them

After listening to a few more days of Obamacare back and forth, I am starting to wonder if there is soon going to be an explosion.  I hear the questions.  I hear the outrage.  I hear the answers.  And I wonder whether president Obama and his people think that all Americans are total idiots.  It sure seems that way.

My current focus is on the millions upon millions of folks whose policies are getting cancelled because of Obamacare.  As you know, these are people who have policies that do not have all the requirements that Obamacare has now made mandatory for every insurance policy.  Estimates of the number of individual policies that will have to be cancelled range from about 7 million to 15 million.  If you figure that there are nearly two people covered by each of these policies on average, that means about 13 to 28 million people who are losing their insurance to Obamacare.  To be clear, that is 13 to 28 million people who were perfectly satisfied with their health insurance who are now going to have to find alternate policies that will cost substantially more.

The key here is that the folks losing their current policies LIKED THOSE POLICIES.  There was no need to force this change.  There was no need for the people covered by this insurance to pay more for things that they did not want or do not need.  Indeed, since the only place to replace the policies is on the healthcare exchange which still does not work, there is a major question whether millions of people will lose health insurance altogether due to Obamacare.

As the anger of these folks has risen due to their receipt of unexpected cancellation notices which contradict Obama's oft-repeated promise that they would be able to keep their policies, the administration and its flacks have provided their "answers" on the issue.  One such "answer" came today in a piece by that say-anything-to-support-Obama lefty Sally Kohn.  She wrote a piece for the CNN website called "A Cancelled Health Plan Is A Good Thing".  No, really, that's the actual title of her article.  We just spent five years listening to Democrats telling us that they want to get health insurance coverage for more Americans, and here is this hack telling us that a cancelled health plan is a "good" thing.  Amazing! 

And what is the reason that Kohn gives for just how wonderful it is to cancel health insurance for millions of folks?  Simple, according to Kohn, the affected people will get better plans that may cost less.  In other words, Kohn resorts to telling lies in an effort to protect Obama and his people from the anger of the public.  Why does Kohn think that she knows what a "better" plan is.  Suppose that I want a plan that provides coverage to pay for a health catastrophe, but the rest of the time I pay for health costs myself.  Prior to Obamacare, a plan like that was readily available.  If it is what I wanted, then it was the best plan for me.  Now, I have to take a plan that has all the bells and whistles that the Democrats decided must be included in every plan.  These are things that I may not want or need. 

Then there is the question of what the plan costs.  There is no way that folks are getting less expensive coverage.  The premiums for similar plans are rising on average by more than 50% across the country.  For some folks, subsidies may reduce the impact of that rise.  But then there are the increases in deductibles.  For example, right now I have a plan that has no deductible for in-network medical visits.  I just pay the co-pay.  The only plans available on the exchange in my state, however, have high deductibles.  What good is the supposedly "better" coverage provided by a new plan, if I have to pay the first $5000 of costs just to cover the deductible.  That deductible is a cost increase too, and it hits everyone.

The truth is that Obamacare has managed to screw up the health insurance of millions upon millions of Americans. 

No One Would Believe This

Kathleen Sebelius testified today in front of Congress.  Among other things the Secretary of Health and Human Services said that the Obamacare exchange website had never crashed.  Meanwhile, as if to emphasize just how idiotic Sebelius' claim is, the Obamacare exchange website crashed again about twenty minutes before the testimony began and remains down as I write this.

If someone had predicted this mess just a month ago, no one in Washington would have believed it.  Remember, at that time the Republicans were asking for a one year delay in Obamacare as part of a deal to fund the government, and the Democrats were adamantly opposing that request.  Clearly, neither president Obama or the Democrats believed that the website would fail like this, or they would have taken the deal offered by the Republicans as a way to avoid this incredible embarrassment.  That makes the testimony from the contractor that it warned both HHS and the White House that there would be serious problems with the web site even stranger.  How can these people be so incompetent and still be running the country?

Thank God It's Not Federal Land

It's worth taking a look at just where the production of natural gas is at the moment in the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus, of course, is the strata of shale rock that underlies much of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York.  Drilling in the area has hit moved into big time production only in the last five years.  Even now, New York does not allow drilling at all.  The other three states, however, have promoted the natural gas industry and have gotten dividends in the form of hundreds of thousands of new jobs and large tax revenues as a result.  Here is a quote from Forbes:

The Marcellus Shale region is producing the equivalent of 2 million barrels of oil a day, which exceeds the oil production of in many OPEC countries. The energy agency, meanwhile, says that 2,203 trillion cubic feet of shale gas here is technically recoverable — enough to last 92 years.

Perhaps the most important thing to note about the production from the Marcellus is that none of the energy being produced is coming from federal lands.  As we all know, president Obama has taken steps which have reduced production from those federal lands by almost 20% since taking office. 

Another way to put the Marcellus production into proper perspective is this:  if America were importing 2 million barrels of oil per day instead of relying on Marcellus production, we would be sending about 75 billion dollars per year to place like Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.  It would lower our GDP by half a percent, a figure that is quite large for an economy that is only growing at something like 1.5% per year.  Huge numbers of jobs would evaporate.

All I can say is this:  thank God that the Marcellus is not on federal land.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Talking Points for the Brain Dead

It has been very interesting to hear the response from the White House and its allies to the news that not only have millions of Americans been forced to lose their insurance policies by Obamacare, but also that president Obama has known for many years that this would be the result.

The first talking point in response has been truly lame.  The Obamacrats are all busy with the claim that the policies which were lost were not "real" health insurance anyway.  These policies did not have all the minimums now set by Obamacare for all insurance.  If you hear the words "faux insurance", you know that you are just listening to someone regurgitate a talking point.

So does this make sense?  No way!  Some folks had insurance that did not include maternity coverage.  Others did not have substance abuse coverage or mental health coverage.  Why is that inadequate for a sixty year old single woman who does not drink or use drugs and who has never had any mental problems?  Why must that woman get "real" insurance that includes all these unneeded benefits but which costs $150 more each month?  Why can't that woman keep the policy that she is perfectly happy to have?

The second talking point in response is that Obamacare did not cancel these policies, but the insurance companies did.  Picture Valerie Jarrett telling reporters that Americans could have kept their policies if those evil insurance companies had not changed the terms, a move which forced cancellation of the policies in question.  This talking point is even worse than the first.  Think about it.  The changes to policies are made by the insurance companies because they are required by law to make them.  And what law requires changes to the insurance policies?  The answer is Obamacare.

I can't wait to hear the third talking point.  It ought to be a doozy.