Some healthcare premiums set to triple because of Obamacare
If you ever want to know what destruction looks like, you need to look no further than Obamacare. According to a new report, some insurance companies are set to triple their rates due to the burden placed on them by Obamacare. Super.
From The Hill:
Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration.
The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015.
The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector. She told lawmakers rates would increase in 2015 but grow more slowly than in the past.
“The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,” the secretary said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee.
Her comment baffled insurance officials, who said it runs counter to the industry’s consensus about next year.
“It’s pretty shortsighted because I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out … is going to lead to higher costs,” said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity.
The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.
Read the Rest (H/T: JWF)
I suppose Ellen hadn’t read this article before she told Obama that she thinks Americans are really thankful for Obamacare. I wonder if she’d be willing to interview any of these people on her show. Doubtful.
As Obamacare continues to destroy the economy and make it nearly impossible for millions of Americans to be responsible citizens and pay for their own health insurance, remember, it is working exactly as planned. The goal was never to help the poor, it was to give the government more power. That’s what politicians do. They usurp as much authority as they possibly can.
11:46 pm • 20 March 2014 • View comments
White House pastry chef quits over Michelle Obama’s “demonizing cream, butter, sugar and eggs”
Michelle Obama’s war on food has annoyed Americans all over the country. Now, the White House’s own pastry chef is hanging up his apron over the First Lady’s micromanagement of delicious food.
from the DC:
White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses is resigning after First Lady Michelle Obama fundamentally changed his job duties to focus on healthier food.
Yosses is leaving the White House in June to work on a new project focusing on “food literacy” and The New York Times says Michelle is “partly to blame.” The openly gay chef was hired by Laura Bush in 2007 to make his trademark cookie plates and sugar sculptures. Mrs. Obama took over in 2009 and ordered Yosses to make healthier plates in smaller portions.
Yosses began replacing butter with fruit puree and sugar with honey and agave. But Yosses was never fully committed to the new policy.
“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses said, noting that his departure from the White House is a “bittersweet decision.”
Michelle Obama said in a statement that she is “incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go.”
read the rest
Here’s an idea that Michelle Obama has probably never heard of: food choices are about personal responsibility. Raising awareness about healthy diet and exercise habits but nobody likes a nagging, bossy media blitz.
Now, please excuse me while I go enjoy some bread pudding…
5:05 pm • 18 March 2014 • View comments
Obama’s weakness in Ukraine proves what Israel knew: he can’t be trusted to stop Iran’s nukes
Russia is moving forward with their takeover of the Crimean region of Ukraine, a country who sovereignty the US promised to recognize and protect when they freely gave up their nuclear arsenal in 1994. Thus Ukraine gave up their best defense against a hostile Russia for the promise that their new ally in the West would recognize the independence.
The parallels between Ukraine and Israel are pretty remarkable, with one key difference: Israel has not given up the means to defend herself. Now, with Obama projecting nothing but weakness, Israel is realizing that if trouble comes with Iran’s nuclear program, they might have to go it alone.
In a wide-ranging discussion reported in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israel’s plain-speaking defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday that Tehran has the upper hand in nuclear negotiations, and dismissed the idea of Israeli dependence on the United States to lead an action against Iran’s nuclear program, saying that Israel can only rely on itself.
“We had thought the ones who should lead the campaign against Iran [would be] the United States,” said Ya’alon, speaking during an event at Tel Aviv University. “But at some stage the United States entered into negotiations with them, and unhappily, when it comes to negotiating at a Persian bazaar, the Iranians were better.”
If Israel had ever expected the United States to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons capability, that is not about to happen, Ya’alon said: “Therefore, on this matter, we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves.”
Ya’alon issued a sharp critique of Washington’s attitude toward Iran, suggesting President Barack Obama would prefer to delay any confrontation until it could be passed on to his successor. “People know that Iran cheats,” Ya’alon said. “But comfortable Westerners prefer to put off confrontation – if possible, to next year, or the next president. But in the end, it will blow up.”
read the rest
A strong defense of our allies is not about starting wars or playing “world police.” Principled libertarians should be able to understand that a strong defense of our allies is the right course of action precisely because it helps avoid war.
It’s no different than an individual’s decision to own a gun. I don’t carry a gun so that I can go out and shoot people. I carry a gun because I want to have the ability to defend myself (and my family) should a fight come to us.
Sadly, Obama has shown himself unwilling to defend the US’s allies (including those we have long promised to protect). This weakness doesn’t help the US avoid war. It draws us and our allies closer to it.
10:57 am • 18 March 2014 • View comments
College professor calls on those who disagree with him on global warming to be imprisoned
Above is a photo of the snow-covered campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, where professor Lawrence Torcello is employed. Last week he published a 900-word essay (Don’t click it) calling on those who disagree with him on “climate change” to be imprisoned. Ain’t that America?
From the DC:
An assistant philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology wants to send people who disagree with him about global warming to jail.
The professor is Lawrence Torcello. Last week, he published a 900-word-plus essay at an academic website called The Conversation.
His main complaint is his belief that certain nefarious, unidentified individuals have organized a “campaign funding misinformation.” Such a campaign, he argues, “ought to be considered criminally negligent.”
Torcello, who has a Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo, explains that there are times when criminal negligence and “science misinformation” must be linked. The threat of climate change, he says, is one of those times.
Read the Rest
This is scary stuff, folks. Gone are the days when you can have an expressed opinion about something without someone calling for you to be put in jail because of it.
Furthermore, are we to ignore the undeniable fact that the Earth hasn’t heated in more than 17 years? Or the fact that scientists are scrambling to find excuses for why their predictions were dead wrong? Or the fact that many scientists (yes, actual scientists) don’t share his view? Or the fact that many scientists are worried about global cooling? Or the fact that extreme weather has gone down in spite of claims by alarmists? Or the fact that both the Arctic and Antarctic still have plenty of ice despite claims of the alarmists? Or the fact that it’s an obvious political game?
Yep. Let’s ignore all of these things and start throwing people in jail. Good call.
10:15 am • 18 March 2014 • View comments
March Sadness: Obama to use NCAA bracket to advertise for failed health care law; UPDATE: Obamacare bracket hyperlink doesn’t work — wow
Everything is political to progressives. Everything.
First it was Thanksgiving, then it was Christmas, now it’s March Madness. It seems as if our narcissist-in-chief just can’t let Americans enjoy anything without reminding them of his biggest failure yet: Obamacare. That’s right. The White House is giving us the “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered” along with his bracket. Can someone say “Desperation”?
From an approving Politico:
With the arrival of college basketball’s March Madness, the White House is looking to capitalize on the annual tournament to encourage Americans to enroll in Obamacare.
The promotional effort will include athletes and coaches as well as administration officials, according to a White House official, and will begin on Monday. Sunday was “Selection Sunday,” the day the teams in the tournament are announced and the schedule and bracket are released.
The White House plans to release its own bracket Monday as part of the effort, “16 Sweetest Reasons to Get Covered,” timed with the annual release of President Barack Obama’s bracket this week, and the president and high-ranking administration officials will conduct interviews on a variety of outlets coordinated with the push, which will also include social media.
Also Monday, a video featuring “two of the most-recognized coaches in college basketball,” according to the official, will help launch the bracket. Other athletes and coaches will be involved in PSAs and an ad starring Miami Heat star LeBron James will air across several sports channels and ABC.
Read the Rest (but don’t, actually. I mean, come on, it’s Politico.)
One of those “most-recognized coaches” better not be Billy Donovan.
One of the most awful characteristics about progressives (and there are so many from which to choose), is that they feel compelled to impose their way of life on you at every possible opportunity. There is no escape. Everything is political. I can’t even watch March Madness, the greatest sporting event in the world, without having pro-Obamacare propaganda shoved down my throat.
Here’s something I wrote a little over a year ago regarding this very subject:
I love sports. Those that know me would probably call it an addiction. But you know the reason I love it so much? It’s 2 or 3 hours of my life that I don’t have to think about real life. It’s an escape. It’s a time where I don’t have to worry about my family problems or the ridiculousness going on in Washington.
About an hour after my grandmother passed away, I was given the responsibility of driving my grandfather home from the hospital. It was just me and him. We were both obviously devastated at the loss we had just suffered, especially him. What was I supposed to talk about in that car ride? How would I console him? There’s really no platitude that works when someone has just lost their spouse. You know what we ended up talking about? Sports. We talked college basketball. It got us home. It was a few minutes that we didn’t have to think about our problems. We were happy just talking sports.
While this is a true story, it’s only one of dozens of times when sports has allowed me to be happily distracted, albeit briefly, from unwanted stresses like politics. But, to progressives, this is unacceptable. Nothing is off limits. Everything is a means to a political end.
UPDATE: Unbelievable. Obama’s “health care bracketology” link doesn’t work. Reminder: they’re now in charge of your health care.
2:16 pm • 17 March 2014 • View comments
PA attorney general halts corruption sting after snares only catch fellow Democrats
This one will make your head explode. Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane (a Democrat) is halting a corruption investigation that ensnared 4 Democrat politicians accepting bribe offers.
Her reasoning? Well, catching Democrats red handed is racist…of course.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city’s state House delegation, on tape accepting money, The Inquirer has learned.
Yet no one was charged with a crime.
Prosecutors began the sting in 2010 when Republican Tom Corbett was attorney general. After Democrat Kathleen G. Kane took office in 2013, she shut it down.
In a statement to The Inquirer on Friday, Kane called the investigation poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans.
Those who favored the sting believe Kane killed a solid investigation, led by experienced prosecutor Frank G. Fina, that had ensnared several public officials and had the potential to capture more. They said they were outraged at Kane’s allegation that race had played a role in the case.
Before Kane ended the investigation, sources familiar with the inquiry said, prosecutors amassed 400 hours of audio and videotape that documented at least four city Democrats taking payments in cash or money orders, and in one case a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet.
Typically, the payments made at any one time were relatively modest - ranging from $500 to $2,000 - but most of those involved accepted multiple payments, people familiar with the investigation said. In some cases, the payments were offered in exchange for votes or contracts, they said.
Sources with knowledge of the sting said the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments.
read the rest
The idea that this was a “racially targeted” is ridiculous. It’s not that they didn’t target Republicans or white officials. It’s that only black Democrats accepted the bribe offers!
So now, instead of justice, these corrupt members of PA’s government get a free pass…because of the color of their skin. This is the polar opposite of Martin Luther King’s dream.
11:11 am • 17 March 2014 • View comments
Russian chess champion, democracy activist slams Obama: “Carter looks like Churchill by comparison”
Garry Kasparov is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin’s iron fisted rule over Russia. He used to look to the US for support in Russia’s ongoing struggle to free itself from the vestiges of totalitarianism.
However, his hopeful gaze at the USA is less hopeful with every decision that President Obama makes:
Take it from a man who grew up under Soviet totalitarianism. Hillary Clinton is not a place we should look to for the future. In fact, she just might be worse than Obama.
10:54 am • 17 March 2014 • View comments
AP: Obama administration growing even LESS transparent
If you still think the Obama administration is the “most transparent administration ever,” I don’t know what leprechaun hole you’ve been living in. The problem isn’t getting better either.
More often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, cited more legal exceptions it said justified withholding materials and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.
Most agencies also took longer to answer records requests.
The government’s own figures from 99 federal agencies covering six years show that halfway through its second term, the administration has made few meaningful improvements in the way it releases records. In category after category - except for reducing numbers of old requests and a slight increase in how often it waived copying fees - the government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.
In a year of intense public interest over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times - a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama’s first year, when it cited that reason 3,658 times. The Defense Department, including the NSA, and the CIA accounted for nearly all those. The Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Agency cited national security six times, the Environmental Protection Agency did twice and the National Park Service once.
And five years after Obama directed agencies to less frequently invoke a “deliberative process” exception to withhold materials describing decision-making behind the scenes, the government did it anyway, a record 81,752 times.
read the rest
Meanwhile, the government’s access to your personal information is greater than ever.
10:43 am • 17 March 2014 • View comments
Wyoming family faces $75,000 per day fines from EPA for building pond on their own land
The Johnson family did everything the right way when they decided to build a stocked fishing pond on their 8-acre land plot. They went the through the appropriate channels with the Wyoming state government and got permission to build the pond.
But the EPA says none of this matters, and they’re fining the Johnson family $75,000 per day until they fill in their pond.
All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children.
But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine.
“I have not paid them a dime nor will I,” a defiant Johnson told FoxNews.com. “I will go bankrupt if I have to fighting it. My wife and I built [the pond] together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream.”
But Johnson may be in for a rude awakening.
The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond — a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife — which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.
The property owner says he followed the state rules for a stock pond when he built it in 2012 and has an April 4-dated letter from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office to prove it.
“Said permit is in good standing and is entitled to be exercised exactly as permitted,” the state agency letter to Johnson said.
But the EPA isn’t backing down and argues they have final say over the issue. They also say Johnson needs to restore the land or face the fines.
Johnson plans to fight. “This goes a lot further than a pond,” he said. “It’s about a person’s rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land. I followed the rules.”
Johnson says he was “bombarded by hopelessness” when he first received the administrative order from the EPA. He then turned to state lawmakers who fast-tracked his pleas to Wyoming’s two U.S. senators, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter.
The Republican lawmakers sent a March 12 letter to Nancy Stoner, the EPA’s acting assistant administration for water, saying they were “troubled” by Johnson’s case and demanding the EPA withdraw the compliance order.
“Rather than a sober administration of the Clean Water Act, the Compliance Order reads like a draconian edict of a heavy-handed bureaucracy,” the letter states.
read the rest
I am thankful that there are people like Mr. Johnson out there who are not willing to roll over to the demands of the regulation state. We wish him and his family Godspeed in their fight against the EPA and many great fishing stories from their pond.
8:52 pm • 15 March 2014 • View comments
Breaking: ATF defies court order, raids gun store in search of CUSTOMER info
The above image came from the COO of Ares Armor, a store in California that sells individual gun parts. They have been in an ongoing battle with ATF over keeping private their customer information.
Here’s backstory (via Weasel Zippers):
An Oceanside store that sells various gun parts to build a rifle from scratch warded off a federal raid Wednesday by filing a restraining order.
Dimitrios Karras, owner of Ares Armor, said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were investigating their business, not for what they sell, but for the people who purchase their products.
Karras said the ATF threatened to shutter their business if they didn’t hand over the names of 5,000 customers who have purchased an 80 percent lower receiver (the base) for building an AR-15.
It is legal to build a rifle from scratch without serial numbers only if the base is manufactured to ATF specifications. The base is not considered a firearm if it’s sold separately.
read the rest
Here’s video from the raid:
This gun store has been abiding by the law, but the law isn’t enough for the anti-gun officials in the Obama administration. Rest assured, they will be pursuing Ares Armor’s customers next.
7:22 pm • 15 March 2014 • View comments
'It is conclusive': Investigator says missing plane was hijacked
This is shocking. According to the latest reports, some investigators are no longer just suspecting that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked, they’re convinced of it.
From NY Daily News:
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked in midair, one official said Friday.
“It is conclusive,” the Malaysian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official, who is involved in the investigation, said no motive has been established, and it is not yet clear where the plane was taken, according to a report from The Associated Press. The Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew have been missing for a week.
He said investigators have concluded one of the pilots or someone else with flying experience hijacked the jet.
Later Friday, Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein was less definite, acknowledging at a press conference only that authorities are not discounting the possibility of a hijacking.
Read the Rest
Honestly, I didn’t see this one coming. The anonymous official even insinuates that the plane might be in tact somewhere at an unknown location. Obviously, this would be the best case scenario because, presumably, the passengers might still be alive. But I do find it somewhat hard to believe — not because it couldn’t happen per se, but because no one has found the plane yet.
Furthermore, not all investigators are willing to make that assessment just yet. Some are still leaning toward it being a pilot suicide.
2:05 am • 15 March 2014 • View comments
Wednesday Night News Dump: The 400-year-old Constitution edition
We don’t do this very often, but sometimes there’s just too much news to cover. So, without further ado, let’s click some links.
Apparently Sheila Jackson Lee thinks the Constitution is 400 years old. Look, it’s fruitless (and cheap) to harp on someone’s innocent gaffe or faux pas. I get it. But this wasn’t a gaffe from a misspoken word. This was in a speech. Ostensibly a somewhat prepared speech. Remember, this is the same woman who thinks that hurricanes should be given “black-sounding” names and that Americans landed on Mars in 1969 etc.
It looks like we found some plane debris.
Massive explosion in Harlem caused by gas leak.
Dianne Feinstein is really angry about CIA surveillance…now that she’s the one being spied on.
Speaking of the CIA: President Obama has been withholding thousands of documents from a Senate Committee investigating the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. Now, why would he do that? Hmm…
You’re probably going to pay way more than $95 for not signing up for Obamacare says…NPR?
About those two men who used stolen passports on the missing Malaysian Plane…
House releases report on Lois Lerner's role in IRS scandal.
Representative Tim Ryan wants to raise the minimum wage to $14 an hour. Why not $1,000?
11:56 pm • 12 March 2014 • View comments
US experiencing its coldest 6-month period since 1912
I know, I know. Weather not climate…except when it’s hot.
But seriously, I find it so strange that even though we have report after report after report that, you know, suggests that perhaps the whole AGW thing has been exaggerated a bit (which is being reflected in public opinion), lawmakers are engaging in all-night talk-a-thons in an attempt to take the alarmism up a notch. It’s almost as if there’s another agenda at play or something.
H/T: Steven Goddard
3:31 pm • 12 March 2014 • View comments
Irony: Obama threatens to veto bill requiring executive branch to obey the law
Lawless Obama. Too important to obey the law. Too arrogant to even pretend he’s obeying the law.
from Daily Caller:
President Barack Obama would veto a GOP-drafted bill that would allow legislators to take agency officials to court if they don’t enforce laws, according to a White House statement.
The GOP is pushing the bill through the House because Obama has repeatedly declined to enforce laws he doesn’t like, say GOP legislators.
“President Obama has refused to enforce those parts of our nation’s immigration laws that are not to his political liking, has waived portions of our welfare laws, has stretched our environmental laws to accommodate his policy objectives, and has waived testing accountability provisions required under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ education law,” according to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.
For example, in June 2012, Obama created a temporary mini-amnesty for at least 500,000 younger illegal immigrants. The act boosted his election-day support among Hispanics, but made it more difficult for young Americans to find jobs.
“Political appointees at the Justice Department have announced that rather than work with Congress to amend the federal criminal code, they will simply stop prosecuting low-level drug offenders under mandatory minimum sentencing laws,” said Goodlatte in a Fox News op-ed.
“And now that his signature health care law has not been working and revealed his empty promises, President Obama has changed that law unilaterally over 20 times,” Goodlatte added.
The House bill is titled “the Faithful Execution of the Law Act.”
The House is expected to pass the bill Wednesday, along with a companion bill, titled “ENFORCE the Law Act.”
The bills are expected to be blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate.
read the rest
I’m honestly surprised that he doesn’t just sign this law and then disobey it too. It’s not like there’s anybody stopping him…
1:29 pm • 12 March 2014 • View comments
Hilarious! Chelsea Handler rips “terrible interviewer” Piers Morgan on live TV
Obviously there are more important news stories out there, but this one made me smile.
Here’s the video:
If you’re getting ripped to your face by Chelsea Handler, you’re not doing something right…
Favorite line from all of this from Handler:
"Well maybe that’s why your job is coming to an end."
1:24 pm • 12 March 2014 • View comments