Witch’s Will For A Mourning in December
I will remain in “mourning” so long as Obama’s unworthy ass sits in the Oval Office.
Quote of the day:
The Jokes on us:
In a recent interview, President Obama said that Obamacare had a “rockier rollout” because no Republicans voted for the bill. Yes, blame the avalanche on the rocks that DIDN’T fall.
My Top Stories For Today:
Obamacare’s New Goal: Stay Alive Until 2015
by Megan McArdle
At the very least, we’ve moved from “is obviously making it impossible for people to sign up” to “people can get through the process of selecting a plan if they’re willing to make a reasonable try.” That’s huge progress.
And “here’s what’s indisputable,” writes Ezra Klein. “HealthCare.gov is improving, and fast. Or, to put it differently, HealthCare.gov will be fixed. In fact, for most people, it is probably fixed now, or will be fixed quite soon”:
The repair job is likely proceeding quickly enough to protect Obamacare from the most severe threat to its launch: Democrat-backed legislation unwinding the individual mandate or other crucial portions of the law. So long as people can actually purchase insurance through the federal exchanges, congressional Democrats are likely to support the basic architecture of the legislation they passed in 2010.
Now for the bad news: Although the administration says its repair team is working with “private sector velocity,” a private-sector website would still count this as a very bad performance. Any business person will tell you that every time a customer has a bad experience, you risk losing them. And the customers you lose are often the ones you most want to keep.
Further bad news: The administration has chosen to count not how many people have actually enrolled in a plan, but how many people have put a plan in their electronic shopping cart, whether they checked out or not. Some of those people will never actually enroll in any plan. Some further number will never pay, or they will stop paying after a short period of time.
Will they pay? We couldn’t tell even if we wanted to, because the part of the website that pays insurers still hasn’t been built yet. In fact, while the part that serves consumers is working much better, the part that sends the information to insurers is still having a lot of problems. So even if we knew how many consumers intended to actually enroll in, and pay for, a policy, we wouldn’t know how many of them would actually have an insurance policy come Jan. 1.
Which sums up all of our information about the site, broadly: We don’t know, because the administration doesn’t really have the information we want or any way to get it. It’s clearly choosing the most optimistic metrics possible while ignoring more obvious ones. But even the more obvious ones wouldn’t tell us what we really want to know, which is: Come Jan. 1, or April 1, how many people in the U.S. will have insurance?
by Mark Steyn
News from Santa’s Grotto:
Global warming hysterics at the BBC warned us in 2007 that by summer 2013, the Arctic would be ice-free. As with so many other doomsday predictions by warmists, the results turn out to be quite the opposite.
Meanwhile, down the other end at Santa’s summer vacation condo:
Antarctic sea ice has grown to a record large extent for a second straight year, baffling scientists seeking to understand why this ice is expanding rather than shrinking in a warming world.
Antarctic ice is now at a 35-year high. But scientists are “baffled” by the planet’s stubborn refusal to submit to their climate models. Maybe the problem with Nobel fantasist Michael Mann’s increasingly discredited hockey stick is that he’s holding it upside down.
Nonetheless, the famously settled science seems to be re-settling:
Scientists Increasingly Moving To Global Cooling Consensus
Global warming will kill us. Global cooling will kill us. And if it’s 54 and partly cloudy, you should probably flee for your life right now. Maybe scientists might usefully consider moving to being less hung up on “consensus” – a most unscientific and, in this context, profoundly corrupting concept.
Liberals are culture war aggressors
by Jonah Goldberg
Maybe someone can explain to me how, exactly, conservatives are the aggressors in the culture war? In the conventional narrative of American politics, conservatives are obsessed with social issues. They want to impose their values on everyone else. They want the government involved in your bedroom. Those mean right-wingers want to make “health care choices” for women.
Now consider last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider two cases stemming from Obamacare: Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores. Democratic politicians and their fans on social media went ballistic almost instantly. That’s hardly unusual these days. But what’s revealing is that the talking points are all wrong.
COLUMN: Obamacare attacks religion, but hurts women
Suddenly, the government is the hero for getting deeply involved in the reproductive choices of nearly every American, whether you want the government involved or not. The bad guy is now your boss who, according to an outraged Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., would be free to keep you from everything from HIV treatment to vaccinating your children if Hobby Lobby has its way. Murray and the White House insist that every business should be compelled by law to protect its employees’ “right” to “contraception” that is “free.”
Birth control not a right
I put all three words in quotation marks because these are deeply contentious claims. For starters, the right to free birth control — or health care generally — is not one you’ll find in the Constitution. And even if you think it should be a right, that is hardly a settled issue in American life.
The right to own a gun is a far more settled issue constitutionally, politically and legally in this country, but not even the National Rifle Association would dream to argue that we have a right to free guns, provided by our employers. If your boss were required to give you a gun, your new employer-provided Glock still wouldn’t be free because non-cash compensation is still compensation. The costs to the employer are fungible, which means whether it’s a pistol or a pill, the cost is still coming out of your paycheck — and your coworkers’ paychecks.
Don’t that just say it all?
Sebelius’ Obamacare plea: Don’t give up on us
As more Obamacare enrollees start to visit HealthCare.gov, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has a piece of advice for them: be patient.
“To those Americans who have experienced difficulties online: Please do not give up,” Sebelius wrote in a USA Today op-ed published Sunday night.
Sebelius reiterated the administration’s claim that the “user experience” on HealthCare.gov, which serves as a portal to the new Obamacare marketplaces for 36 states, is dramatically better than it was when the site launched on Oct. 1. Still, she acknowledged the problems users may still face on the site, urging them to consider visiting it at off-peak hours and reiterating that help is available offline.
Now that’s just pathetic.
A Challenge to Our Beliefs
by Thomas Sowell
Depressing news about black students scoring far below white students on various mental tests has become so familiar that people in different parts of the ideological spectrum have long ago developed their different explanations for why this is so. But both may have to do some rethinking, in light of radically different news from England.
The November 9th-15th issue of the distinguished British magazine “The Economist” reports that, among children who are eligible for free meals in England’s schools, black children of immigrants from Africa meet the standards of school tests nearly 60 percent of the time — as do immigrant children from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Black children of immigrants from the Caribbean meet the standards less than 50 percent of the time.
At the bottom, among those children who are all from families with low enough incomes to receive free meals at school, are white English children, who meet the standards 30 percent of the time.
“The Economist” points out that, in one borough of London, white students scored lower than black students in any London borough.
These data might seem to be some kind of fluke, but they confirm the observations in a book titled “Life at the Bottom” by British physician Theodore Dalrymple. He said that, among the patients he treated in a hospital near a low-income housing project, he could not recall any white 16-year-old who could multiply nine by seven. Some could not even do three times seven.
What jolts us is not only that this phenomenon is so different from what we are used to seeing in the United States, but also that it fits neither the genetic nor the environmental explanation of black-white educational differences here.
These white students in England come from the same race that produced Shakespeare and the great scientist Sir Isaac Newton, among other world class intellects over the centuries. But today many young whites in England are barely literate, and have trouble with simple arithmetic. Nor are these white students the victims of racial discrimination, much less the descendants of slaves.
With the two main explanations for low performances on school tests obviously not applicable in England, there must be some other explanation. And once there is some other explanation in this case, we have to wonder if that other explanation — whatever it is — might also apply in the United States, to one degree or another.
In other words, maybe our own explanations need reexamination.
What do low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common? It cannot be simply low incomes, because children from other groups in the same low-income brackets outperform whites in England and outperform blacks in America.
What low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common is a generations-long indoctrination in victimhood. The political left in both countries has, for more than half a century, maintained a steady and loud drumbeat of claims that the deck is stacked against those at the bottom.
Townhall’s Guy Benson on the website
Liberal Journalist: Sorry, But Healthcare.gov is Still Horribly Broken
But Peter Doocy and Guy Benson work for Fox News, a notoriously biased right-wing outrage machine, Obamacare fans might complain. Fine. A correspondent for the lefty publication ProPublica offers this unsparing assessment:
After a glowing news conference yesterday citing “night and day” progress on HealthCare.gov, I decided to log in this morning and take the Web site for a test drive, as I’m sure many others are doing. Early reports had been promising. What I found was hardly encouraging — long delays loading pages, an endless circle of tasks (some already completed) and ultimately an error message. The load-time issues (sometimes more than a minute) reminded me of the problems users encountered in the very first days of the Web site, which handles health insurance enrollment for residents of 36 states. It also appears to contradict what Health and Human Services officials said had been fixed. “Response times are under 1 second. Error rates are down well under 1%. And the system is stable, with uptimes exceeding 90%,” HHS bragged in a blog post yesterday. Additionally, once I had completed and submitted my application and verified my identity, the site told me that I was missing information and had to review it again. Nothing was missing. Ultimately, I got an error message telling me to come back later. The Obama administration says the site can now handle 50,000 unique visitors at one time and 800,000 over the course of a day. But on Day One of the new-and-improved site, it doesn’t appear able to keep up with the load. No wonder HHS is encouraging users to come back at off-peak hours.
Are Americans really going to be happy with a website that is “better” than horrible? Seems a people who are used to the near flawless operation of Amazon or ebay aren’t not going to accept this. Except for obots that is. They’ve all ready shown they’ll fall for anything.
The Jokes on us:
Senate Democrats stated Friday that ending the filibuster would help them complete their agenda. So true. If you’re a gay Mexican marijuana grower who snuck across the border for a free hernia operation so you can join the Navy, this is the best year of your life.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo Throws Angry E-mail Fit Over Conflict of Interviewing His Brother the Governor
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo must surely know there is no easier way to avoid a conflict of interest than letting one of his “New Day” co-anchors interview his brother, New York Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Andrew Cuomo. But acting like a CNN bigfoot after just months at the network, Cuomo insists on interviewing Cuomo (repeatedly).
On Monday, he had an e-mail fit with Lloyd Grove of The Daily Beast after he interviewed Gov. Cuomo about the train derailment in New York. That’s six days after he interviewed his brother for being named “Sexiest Fifty-something” by People magazine.
“Obviously I did the intv because it was non political, and frankly, I invite the criticism—because it exposes the hollowness of a lot of what is out there,” he began.
“Critics say my intv was no diff than any other and then criticize anyway,” he continued. “Think about that. I get the obvious suspicion, but the media has to do better than simply cater to the obvious…and pawn off negativity as a proxy for insight.” He added in his huff: “I am good at my job…And believe it or not, i go at everyone the same way.”
But critics didn’t all say it was no different than any other. Erik Wemple of The Washington Post declared Cuomo was easier on his brother than Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC and there’s no such thing as a “nonpolitical” interview (add that 2016 echo on top):
There’s no such thing as a non-political interview with a sitting politician. It’s just impossible. Politicians often are defined by the way they address their constituents in times of crisis, whether it’s a train derailment, a hurricane or something even more horrible. Such events are more political than a campaign kickoff or sponsorship of a piece of legislation. Everyone at CNN knows that, too.
As a matter of fact, a politician’s response to tragedy is often more politically charged than many other topics addressed by a cable-news network. So let’s just throw out that defense before trudging any further.
Yes, the segment wouldn’t have generated any discussion if the last names hadn’t matched up. At the same time, it’s not hard to find spots where Chris Cuomo appears to place his thumb on the scale just a touch. In the first minute, Chris Cuomo observes how his brother “hurried down to the scene.” In the fifth minute, he repeated that pro-governor point: “When you went to the scene — you got there very quickly yesterday — what was it like?”
In signing off, Chris Cuomo said, “It is no small irony that just in August, you were training with the National Guard for these types of situations. Who knew that just three months later, the training would have to be put into practice.”
To see how an interview with Gov. Cuomo might proceed at the hands of a non-family member, try this one by Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski. She doesn’t note that the governor made it to the scene quickly and pushes him about the trains’ maintenance (video below).
Chris Cuomo doesn’t host “New Day” all by himself. Is there any reason that co-host Kate Bolduan couldn’t have handled this interview? The Erik Wemple Blog posed that question to CNN and got this response from a network source: “Chris and the [executive producer] chose to do the interview. They wanted to do the interview”.
Worth a Read:
Roubini: Beware a Global Housing Market ‘Train Wreck’
Fire Your Team, Mr. President
A White House shake-up can’t stop with a sacrificial lamb. Obama needs to change the people around him to change how he governs.
A New Wave of Challenges to Health Law
Last But Not Least:
Feinstein: Jihadists Will Stop Hating the West Only When They Achieve Shariah Law
Yesterday was a red letter day–or perhaps it should be called an Islamic green letter one–for U.S. intelligence. For the first time I can recall, the top legislator on a congressional oversight committee actually made clear what motivates our enemies in what used to be called euphemistically the “War on Terror,” and what Team Obama now dubs even more opaquely as the effort to “counter violent extremism.”
This breakthrough came in the course of a joint appearance on CNN’s State of the Union by the chairpersons of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), respectively. The media seized on the ostensibly big news from their remarks: bipartisan agreement that the United States is at greater risk of terrorist attack today than two years ago.
But important, ominous, and accurate as that assessment is, it was not the most important point made by these two respected lawmakers. Instead, it was Sen. Feinstein’s observation in response to a question about what causes the “hatred” that makes our situation more perilous:
There is a real displaced aggression in this very fundamentalist jihadist Islamic community, and that is that the West is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that the only thing that’s going to solve this is Islamic shariah law.
What makes this incontrovertible statement so noteworthy? It is the fact that the intelligence community is not allowed to say it. Under Obama administration guidelines, for intelligence officers–and for that matter, law enforcement, Homeland Security and military personnel–to talk about Islamic jihadism and shariah as the motivation for terrorism can be a career-ending offense.