Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Liberal ruling class

Indeed, America now is much like monarchies of the past. The ruling class looks down on the peasants. Bitter clingers and such. It's not limited to Democrats either, I am afraid. Thankfully, Republicans tend not to want  control every move one makes in life the way the Democrats do.
Washington Examiner Editorial:        Original Article

Edwards was right that there are two Americas, but he missed it completely on who resides where and why. One America is that of the liberal political elite that currently controls the White House and solid majorities in Congress, and dominates the traditional media, academia, and public intellectual ranks. The other America is the rest of us who are expected to shut up and do as we are told by the first America.

Photos from the Denver, Colorado Tea Party Rally

These photos are from the March 31, 2010 Tea Party rally in Denver, Colorado. It was a nice sized gathering, but I have no idea how many were here. Hundreds for sure, thousands probably. I will wait for the media reports.

There were a few speeches, tributes to those serving our country, and some great singing. It was a very friendly gathering. Contrary to media reports about the Tea Party, this group was about as controversial a group of folks as those I encountered at my daughter's kindergarten graduation.

Update: Thank you Instapundit. Welcome Instapundit viewers.







Below are the only Obama/Democrat supporters I observed.

Obamacare: unintended consequences begin

There will be endless unintended consequences to follow.
FROM THE DENVER POST: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_14788028

"While most of the purported benefits of health-care insurance reform are years away, it took only a few days for a serious, unintended consequence to emerge."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Student loans officially out of the private sector

Student loans have officially been socialized. Obama signed the law today. The "middleman" banks have been taken out of the picture. Anyone working for a "for profit" business should take note of this. In the end, isn't the entire private sector just a middleman to the Democrats? The evil profit makers just get in the way of good Central Planning.

AP article via Yahoo Student loans officially socialized

Chamber of Commerce: $50 million to oppose health care takeover

This is good. It is nice to see that big business is not rolling over for the Dems. This, along with the recent announcements from AT&T, Caterpillar, and John Deere, are encouraging.

Wall Street Journal BY JANET ADAMY
Chamber Aims to Blunt Health Plan: "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce plans to spend $50 million this summer and fall to sway election outcomes around the health overhaul and plans to devote staff members to shaping new health regulations."

Random Picture

Monday, March 29, 2010

Difference between left and right activists

Pajamas Media has a photo essay showing the difference between left and right political gatherings. The difference is shocking. Check it out.

Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults

The Obama generation should have read the fine print.
By CARLA K. JOHNSON
AP Medical Writer                          Original article

Under the health care overhaul, young adults who buy their own insurance will carry a heavier burden of the medical costs of older Americans - a shift expected to raise insurance premiums for young people when the plan takes full effect.

Beginning in 2014, most Americans will be required to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. That's when premiums for young adults seeking coverage on the individual market would likely climb by 17 percent on average, or roughly $42 a month, according to an analysis of the plan conducted for The Associated Press. The analysis did not factor in tax credits to help offset the increase.

SEIU running ads for Betsy Markey in Colorado

SEIU (Service Employees International Union) funded television commercials supporting Democrat Rep. Betsy Markey's health care vote are airing in Colorado. Betsy is one of the Democrats who changed their "no" vote to "yes" on health care.

It would not seem that her constituents would appreciate the opinion of SEIU.

Obamas list of expired promises

A long list of expired (broken) promises and statements.

Via THE CAMPAIGN SPOT, by Jim Geraghty
Obamas expired promises

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marine general: Openly gay service members would get their own room

I am sure private rooms for certain members of a unit wouldn't cause problems with unit cohesion.
Marine general: Gays would get their own rooms (AP)
The Marine Corps' commandant said he won't force his troops to bunk with gays on base and would give them separate rooms if Congress votes to allow openly gay service.

Dems: "don't call it socialism"

Democrats don't like to hear the "S" word. Liberals need to hide their true intentions to get elected and push their agenda. The truth is not their friend. At least in Europe they proudly call themselves socialists. Today's American socialists say it is not socialism because the government does not own the means of production. GM aside, they no longer need to own the means of production. They just regulate the means of production to meet their ends. Either way it is socialism. If it walks like a duck....

The lies and obfuscation are why Americans are so angry about the health care legislation. The Democrats bribed, lied, and cheated to get it passed. Had it passed in a more traditional, less connived, way, the American people would accept it.
Las Vegas Review Jourbal, by JVIN SUPRYNOWICZ        Original Blog Article

We're told that for some reason we're not allowed to call the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda "socialism," "communism," "Marxism," "state socialism" "fascism," or anything else that might sound unpleasant.

Much as I hate to cite the tyrant Lincoln, if we call a dog's tail a leg, does it have five legs? Telling us we're not "allowed" to use an accurate label for something doesn't change what it is. (emphasis added)

Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reading Star Wars

Via Drudge
First off, kinda dorky. Second, imagine he was press secretary for a Republican administration, the MSM would be all over this. Next thing you  know, we'll find out Obama is a Trekkie.

Personally, I've always thought conservatives were cooler than liberals. Just compare Alan Alda to John Wayne- no contest.

Democrats to investigate business claims of health costs rising

I posted on this earlier, but the more I read about the Democrat response to reports the new health care law will cost businesses billions, the more nefarious it sounds.
The following excerpt from Gateway Pundit covers it well. Read the whole post.
Gateway Pundit, by Jim Hoft          Original Blog Post

Late last week several US corporations leaked how the democrat’s health care bill will kill their businesses. The radicals in Congress were not pleased that these corporations would go public with this devastating information. In response, democrats threatened to call for Congressional show trials to publicly humiliate these corporations.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Paul Krugman says US long term debt will be fine

This just in from Bizarro World:
Paul Krugman says US long term debt will be fine unless Republicans are cowed by the Tea Party. Particularly now that socialized health care is in place. In other news, the sun now rises in the west.
PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES WRITES:

The only reason to doubt our ability to get things under control a decade from now is politics: if we’re still deadlocked, if sane Republicans are cowed by the Tea Party, then sure, we can have a fiscal crisis. And longer term, we’ll be in a mess unless we get health care costs under control — which is exactly what we’re trying to do, in the face of cries about death panels.
Read the whole thing here.

Health care reform a boon to Hispanic-Americans

Hadn't heard this before.
ROBERT PEAR and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN OF THE NEW YORK TIMES WRITE:

But Cecilia Muñoz, director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House, said the law would be a boon to Hispanic-Americans.

Of the 32 million uninsured people expected to gain coverage under the law, Ms. Munoz said, 9 million are Latinos. About 14 million Latinos are now uninsured, she said, and more than 60 percent of them will gain access to coverage.
Read the whole thing here.

Waxman to investigate effects of health care bill on big business

When the Democrats said their 2700 page monstrosity would bring down the cost of health care, I assumed they were either stupid or lying. Judging by Mr. Waxman's comment below, apparently, at least in his case, it was the former not the latter.
ROBERT PEAR and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN OF THE NEW YORK TIMES WRITE:

Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, said he would hold a hearing next month to investigate the effects of the law on big companies. He asked the chief executives of Caterpillar, Deere & Company and Verizon for financial data to document the projected impact of the law on their companies, and he asked them to explain their accounting methods.

“The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs,” Mr. Waxman said, adding that he would be concerned if it drove up costs.
Read the whole thing here.

Update: More on this at Powerline, includes copies of the letters Waxmen sent to the executives. Very interesting.

Did Obama and the Democrats win on health care?

No.
LAURI REGAN WRITES:

Yet, Obama did not win anything. One cannot be a winner when they cheat their way to the finish line, bully their opponents into submission, and break the rules of the game. Accomplishments notwithstanding, “winners never cheat and cheaters never win.”

Obama is no different than any other individual found cheating his way to the top in business, on the playing field, or in politics.
Full article here

Obama administration to cut loan balances of delinquent borrowers

Maybe I'll become a delinquent. Politicians cause the problem then seek praise for returning to the scene of the crime to offer aid.

Renae Merle and dina elboghdady of the Washington Post write:

"The administration's newest push also seek to more aggressively help borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, by encouraging lenders to cut the loan balances of millions of these distressed homeowners and possibly refinance into loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration."
Full article here

update:
another article from AP:
Gov't to unveil plan to shrink some home loans

update 2:
KEITH HENNESSEY WRITES:

Imagine twin brothers, each with $180K of annual income. One rents, and the other has a $700,000 mortgage on a home that declined from $800,000 in value to $600,000 in value. Both brothers lose their jobs. Why should the renter pay higher taxes to subsidize his brother’s mortgage payments?
Read the whole thing here.

White men shun Democrats

Race aside, I think pols ignore folks in the middle/upper-middle. I think this is where the Tea Party comes from.

DAVID PAUL KUHN WRITES:

Think about the average working man. He has already seen financial bailouts for the rich folks above him. Now he sees a health care bailout for the poor folks below him. Big government represents lots of costs and little gain.
Read the whole thing here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Anger at passage of health reform bill

Hell yes we're angry.

Political violence in the United States is wrong. I am not equivocating, but I understand the anger out there due the health care bill. The Democrats bribed, connived, and cheated to get the bill passed. Regular folks may feel as though they are helpless against a corrupt government. The normal avenues of political debate proved useless. The majority of Americans opposed the bill and won the debate. Without the Democrats' corruption the bill would have died. The Democrats turned respect for rules into a literal farce. Had the Democrats followed the rules the bill would not have become law. The Democrats' lawlessness may be begetting more lawlessness.

Sickness

Great post on spleeville.com. Says a lot about what health care will be and what soft minds hope it will be.

Make sure to follow the link in the body of the spleenville post. Read the comments too.

Sickness

Timeline of Major Provisions in the Democrats’ Health Care Package

PDF timeline prepared by Ways & Means Republicans.

Timeline PDF

Update: below is an html version:

2009
• 2-year tax credit (total cap of $1B) for new chronic disease therapy investments
• Medicare cuts to hospitals begin (long-term care (7/1/09) and inpatient and rehabilitation facilities (FY10))
2010
• States and Federal officials review premium increases
• FDA authorized to approve "follow-on" biologics
• Increase brand name pharmaceutical Medicaid rebate (from 15.1% to 23.1%)
• Medicare payments to physicians in primarily rural areas increase (2 years)
• Deny "black liquor" eligibility for cellulosic biofuel producers credit
• Tax credits provided to certain small employers for health care-related expenses
• Increase adoption tax incentives for 2 years
• Codify economic substance doctrine and impose penalties for underpayments (transactions on/after 3/23/10)
• Provide income exclusion for specified Indian tribe health benefits provided after 3/23/10
• Temporary high-risk pool and high-cost union retiree reinsurance ($5 B each for 3.5 years) (6/23/10)
• Impose 10% tax on indoor UV tanning (7/1/10)
• Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals (7/1/10)
• Prohibits lifetime and annual benefit spending limits (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Prohibits non-group plans from canceling coverage (rescissions) (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Requires plans to cover, at no charge, most preventive care (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Allows dependents to stay on parents’ policies through age 26 (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Provides limited protections to children with pre-existing conditions (plan years beginning 9/23/10)
• Hospitals in "Frontier States" (ND, MT, WY, SD, UT ) receive higher Medicare payments (FY11)
• Hospitals in “low-cost” areas receive higher Medicare payments for 2 yrs ($400 million, FY11)
2011
• Medicare Advantage cuts begin
• No longer allowed to use FSA, HSA, HRA, Archer MSA distributions for over-the-counter medicines
• Medicare cuts to home health begin
• Wealthier seniors ($85k/$170k) begin paying higher Part D premiums (not indexed for inflation in Parts B/D)
• Medicare reimbursement cuts when seniors use diagnostic imaging like MRIs, CT scans, etc.
• Medicare cuts begin to ambulance services, ASCs, diagnostic labs, and durable medical equipment
• Impose new annual tax on brand name pharmaceutical companies
• Americans begin paying premiums for federal long-term care insurance (CLASS Act)
• Health plans required to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical claims
• Physicians in "Frontier States" (ND, MT, WY, SD, UT ) receive higher Medicare payments
• Prohibition on Medicare payments to new physician-owned hospitals
• Penalties for non-qualified HSA and Archer MSA distributions double (to 20%)
• Seniors prohibited from purchasing power wheelchairs unless they first rent for 13 months
• Brand name drug companies begin providing 50% discount in the Part D “donut hole”
• 10% Medicare bonus payment for primary care and general surgery (5 years)
• Employers required to report value of health benefits on W-2
• Steps towards health insurance administrative simplification (reduced paperwork, etc) begins (5 yr process)
• Additional funding for community health centers (5 years)
• Seniors who hit Part D “donut hole "in 2010 receive $250 check (3/15/11)
• New Medicare cuts to long-term care hospitals begin (7/1/11)
• Additional Medicare cuts to hospitals and cuts to nursing homes and inpatient rehab facilities begin (FY12)
• New tax on all private health insurance policies to pay for comp. eff. research (plan years beginning FY12)
2012
• Medicare cuts to dialysis treatment begins
• Require information reporting on payments to corporations
• Medicare to reduce spending by using an HMO-like coordinated care model (Accountable Care Organizations)
• Medicare Advantage plans with a 4 or 5 star rating receive a quality bonus payment
• New Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals (7/1/12)
• Hospital pay-for-quality program begins (FY13)
• Medicare cuts to hospitals with high readmission rates begin (FY13)
• Medicare cuts to hospice begin (FY13)
2013
• Impose $2,500 annual cap on FSA contributions (indexed to CPI)
• Increase Medicare wage tax by 0.9% and impose a new 3.8% tax on unearned , non-active business income for those earning over $200k/$250k (not indexed to inflation)
• Generally increases (7.5% to 10%) threshold at which medical expenses, as a % of income, can be deductible
• Eliminate deduction for Part D retiree drug subsidy employers receive
• Impose 2.3% excise tax on medical devices
• Medicare cuts to hospitals who treat low-income seniors begin
• Post-acute pay for quality reporting begins
• CO-OP Program: Secretary awards loans and grants for establishing nonprofit health insurers
• $500,000 deduction cap on compensation paid to insurance company employees and officers
• Part D “donut hole” reduction begins, reaching a 25% reduction by 2020
2014
• Individuals without gov't-approved coverage are subject to a tax of the greater of $695 or 2.5% of income
• Employers who fail to offer "affordable" coverage would pay a $3,000 penalty for every employee that receives a subsidy through the Exchange
• Employers who do not offer insurance must pay a tax penalty of $2,000 for every full-time employee
• More Medicare cuts to home health begin
• States must have established Exchanges
• Employers with more than 200 employees can auto-enroll employees in health coverage, with opt-out
• All non-grandfathered and Exchange health plans required to meet federally-mandated levels of coverage
• States must cover parents /childless adults up to 138% of poverty on Medicaid, receive increased FMAP
• Tax credits available for Exchange-based coverage, amount varies by income up to 400% of poverty
• Insurers cannot impose any coverage restrictions on pre-existing conditions (guaranteed issue/renewability)
• Modified community rating: individual or family coverage; geography; 3:1 ratio for age; 1.5 :1 for smoking
• Insurers must offer coverage to anyone wanting a policy and every policy has to be renewed
• Limits out-of-pocket cost-sharing (tied to limits in HSAs, currently $5,950/$11,900 indexed to COLA)
• Insurance plans must include government-defined "essential benefits " and coverage levels
• OPM must offer at least two multi-state plans in every state
• Employers can offer some employees free choice vouchers for health insurance in the Exchange
• Government board (IPAB) begins submitting proposals to cut Medicare
• Impose tax on nearly all private health insurance plans
• Medicare payment cuts for hospital-acquired infections begin (FY15)
2015
• More Medicare cuts to home health begin
2016
• States can form interstate insurance compacts if the coverage with HHS approval (2016)
2017
• Physician pay-for-quality program begins for all physicians
• States may allow large employers and multi-employer health plans to purchase coverage in the Exchange.
• States may apply to the Secretary for a limited waiver from certain federal requirements
2018
• Impose "Cadillac tax on “high cost” plans, 40% tax on the benefit value above a certain threshold: ($10,200 individual coverage, $27,500 family or self-only union multi-employer coverage)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Max Baucus admits health reform a wealth spreading mechanism

Max Baucus admits in a speech on the senate floor that the purpose of health care reform is to spread the wealth. Their not socialists though, really.

hughhewitt.com- Audio

Fellow Travelers agree - US health care reform is swell

Please tell me. Why do we want to emulate communists and socialists? Didn't we fight wars to avoid becoming communists and socialists?

Cuban leader applauds US health-care reform bill
To Europeans, U.S. Universal Health Care Is Long Overdue

Hope and Change

Personal Income Drops Across the Country WSJ

Half of bailed out mortgage borrowers in default again after 9 months

Bloomberg.com -
Half of U.S. Home Loan Modifications Default Again

Think blanket allowing pre-existing conditions is a good idea?

This seems so obvious.
Patrick McIlheran of JSOnline writes:

"Or take the cost of insurance. It's likely to rise far and fast, at least for individual policies, now that insurers must take all comers. Coughing up blood? You weigh 450? You're in, and insurers can't charge you extra for it - but they can raise rates generally."
Read the whole thing here:

The real Democrat health care motive

Good article by:

KEVIN O'BRIEN, Cleveland Plain Dealer Columnist:

"Here's the other half: Once their bureaucratic, financially unsustainable, lower-quality, lower-access parody of today's excellent health care system structure is fully in place, the Democrats can add a new threat: "Do as you're told, or we'll take away your health care."

That's what happens when you give government power over your life. The state giveth and the state taketh away. Buy insurance or we put you in jail.

The Democrats think you're too stupid to catch on, too incompetent to get organized and too weak to fight back."
Read the whole thing-

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Democrat Rep. Dingell Says ObamaCare Will Eventually ‘Control the People’

 No kidding, I never would have guessed.- At Breitbart

Bank of America to lower mortgage principal balances

Great. Miss two mortgage payments and get your principal balance reduced up to 30 percent. Surely there are people who need help, but this seems like a bad incentive to offer.- BofA to start reducing mortgage principal

    Sunday, March 21, 2010

    Safety hammock is complete - Socialized medicine passed

    Remember, this is just the beginning. Some will say it it is not a government takeover, but the law is 2700 pages long, it can be whatever they want it to be. Sadly, as a new found "right", it will grow from here.

    Think of health care as a pie. Those with coverage now, have a piece of the pie. Obama will "spread the wealth" and cut the pie into smaller pieces so everyone can have one. You'll get a smaller piece and have the privilege of paying more for it.

    Just about everything a human being could need is now guaranteed by government. Food, housing, and now socialized health care. What will happen when we run out of  "others" to tax? Life is good for slackers.

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