Been a little hectic around WAMK World HQ lately. We had out-of-towners last week for Ali's service, have partially moved Geno in, and have finished up with Thanksgiving. Plus, had a big project for work, that kept me pretty occupied up until today. Speaking of work, you did buy a few shares of PINC, right? At Market close on Tuesday, we saw some strong gains, and saw more upward movement today.
So things have calmed down a bit; Geno is getting settled in, the fetching Mrs. P has moved her office downstairs next to mine, and I shouldn't have too much travel for the rest of the year.
That means you'll see more regular posts. I've been able to keep abreast of things on Twitter somewhat, but acknowledge the blogging has been sparse. Not to worry, dear reader. We'll get it straightened rigth out!
Benghazi, Fast and Furious, NSA spying, IRS, the list of scandals surrounding this Administration go on and on. While each is damaging and disgusting on its own accord, they don't "stick" with the average American for one reason-they don't affect the average American.
They are "merely" stories in the paper or online, ones that upset people, but to quote the Democrat 2016 frontrunner, "what difference does it make"? Most of us were unlikely to be touched by the scandals mentioned (beyond disgust, that is), so what politically fallout exists? Maybe a few demonstrations that get minimal media coverage, but it's mainly preaching to the choir.
The difference with Obamacare? It's affecting millions of folks, Republican, Democrat, and Independant. It's also affecting folks in the Media, who can't ignorethe ramifications of the implementation of this poorly written law:
Dean Griffin liked the health insurance he purchased for himself and his wife three years ago and thought he'd be able to keep the plan even after the federal Affordable Care Act took effect. But the 64-year-old recently received a letter notifying him the plan was being canceled because it didn't cover certain benefits required under the law.
The Griffins, who live near Philadelphia on the Delaware border, pay $770 monthly for their soon-to-be-terminated health care plan with a $2,500 deductible. The cheapest plan they found on their state insurance exchange was a so-called bronze plan charging a $1,275 monthly premium with deductibles totaling $12,700. It covers only providers in Pennsylvania, so the couple wouldn't be able to see the doctors in Delaware whom they've used for more than a decade.
"We're buying insurance that we will never use and can't possibly ever benefit from. We're basically passing on a benefit to other people who are not otherwise able to buy basic insurance," said Griffin, who is retired from running an information technology company.
As much as Obama and his friends try and spin "if you like it, you can keep it" into "of course some policies will have to be scrapped, but only a small amount", the average American recalls what he saw and heard Obama proclaiming over and over on the campaign trail. It's likely a substantial reason many voted for Obama in the first place.
With the other scandals, they don't really "hit home". A cancellation notice sent to your mailbox, telling you your policy is going away specifically because of Obamacare does.
It started with the letter from his health-insurance company informing him it was canceling his plan and offering him a new one that’s nearly twice as expensive. Then the 60-year-old retiree from Mount Vernon heard about more people like himself with canceled plans and soaring premiums. Finally, he spent hours on the phone and computer trying — and failing — to find a new option that he likes.
“This whole experience has converted a lifelong Democrat into a foot soldier for the Republican Party,” Fullner said.
He’s not alone in his frustration.
In Washington, most of the 290,000 people covered by insurance plans they purchased on the individual market received letters this fall telling them that their plans are going away.
In the months before the launch almost every senior member of the Obama administration had a little calendar board tacked up in a prominent spot in their office. "75 days until Obamacare" it would say. The next morning they would tear off the page. "74 days until Obamacare" it would say. The message -- to them and to their visitors -- was clear: This was the White House's top priority.
We're now negative 14 days until the Affordable Care Act and most people still can't purchase insurance. The magnitude of this failure is stunning. Yes, the federal health-care law is a complicated project, government IT rules are a mess, and the scrutiny has been overwhelming. But the Obama administration knew all that going in. They should've been able to build an online portal that works.
Early on, President Obama like to compare the launch of the Affordable Care Act to Apple launching a new product. Can you imagine how many people Steve Jobs would've fired by now if he'd launched a new product like this?
So is anybody going to be held accountable? Is anybody going to be fired? Will anyone new be brought in to run the cleanup effort? Does the Obama administration know what went wrong, and are therr real plans to find out?
What's abundantly clear to anyone who reported on the run-up to the federal health-care law's launch is that the White House had no idea how badly the Web site would perform. They expected problems. But the full extent of the disaster was either obscured or ignored. Heads should roll for that. Changes should be made because of that.
Of course, no heads have rolled, and likely none will. How many people lost their jobs over the Benghazi mistakes? IRS scandal? Fast and Furious?
I have to admit I'm a little rusty on the target range, as it has been quite a while since I last put a few rounds downrange. Took some time yesterday to break in my new acquisition, with results better than I had expected:
I did most of my shooting between 7 and 10 yards. Even those shots that didn't find their way into black, still would have been "stopping" shots.
Obama can do this not because the Constitution or law authorize it. Most definitely they actually prohibit it. He is getting away with it because there is no one who can stop him and almost no one who wants to stop him. No one, and I mean absolutely no one, in the Democrat party is in the slightest interested in reining in Obama's expansion of executive diktat because they know what few of the rest of us are awakening to: the Democrats are never going to lose that executive authority again. Let me be clear, with a promise to elucidate another day: there is never going to be another Republican president. Ever.
The media will not examine Obama's imperialist manner because they do not want to. They agree with it. The courts are literally unable to enforce their rulings contra this administration; Obama ignores them at will and without consequence. The Republicans are dominated by the Political Class and lack the numbers, influence, collective will and ideological conviction to rein in the administration even if they had the ability to do so, which they don't.
...after Congress had unequivocally rejected another piece of immigration reform, the so-called DREAM Act, that the president had supported, he simply instituted it unilaterally, as though he had the authority to declare an amnesty himself. He then did away with criminal-background checks for those to be amnestied, also on his own authority.
This is a president who knows that he does not need to make anyone "happy," that there in fact is no political base that must be appeased or pleased - where else will the base go? The president of the United States is now quite literally a dictate-er: he orders what he wishes and implements what he chooses.
There is no check or balance any longer, not even the Congress's power to control the federal purse. There is no federal purse to control. There are only years-long series of continuing resolutions and special appropriations, all funded with trillions of dollars of borrowed fiat money that no creditor anywhere in the world expects will be repaid. President Obama has a government credit card with no debt limit. The power to spend is the power to control, and that is what he is doing.
Twenty-three days before his news conference, the House voted 264 to 161, with 35 Democrats in the majority, for the rule of law — for, that is, the Authority for Mandate Delay Act. It would have done lawfully what Obama did by ukase. He threatened to veto this use of legislation to alter a law. The White House called it “unnecessary,” presumably because he has an uncircumscribed “executive authority” to alter laws.
In a 1977 interview with Richard Nixon, David Frost asked: “Would you say that there are certain situations . . . where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation . . . and do something illegal?”
Nixon: “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”
Frost: “By definition.”
Nixon: “Exactly, exactly.”
Nixon’s claim, although constitutionally grotesque, was less so than the claim implicit in Obama’s actions regarding the ACA. Nixon’s claim was confined to matters of national security or (he said to Frost) “a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude.” Obama’s audacity is more spacious; it encompasses a right to disregard any portion of any law pertaining to any subject at any time when the political “environment” is difficult.
Obama should be embarrassed that, by ignoring the legal requirement concerning the employer mandate, he has validated critics who say the ACA cannot be implemented as written. What does notembarrass him is his complicity in effectively rewriting the ACA for the financial advantage of self-dealing members of Congress and their staffs.
The ACA says members of Congress (annual salaries: $174,000) and their staffs (thousands making more than $100,000) must participate in the law’s insurance exchanges. It does not say that when this change goes into effect, the current federal subsidy for this affluent cohort — up to 75 percent of the premium’s cost, perhaps $10,000 for families — should be unchanged.
When Congress awakened to what it enacted, it panicked: This could cause a flight of talent, making Congress less wonderful. So Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management, which has no power to do this, to authorize for the political class special subsidies unavailable for less privileged and less affluent citizens.
If the president does it, it’s legal? “Exactly, exactly.”
Look, I get it that certain hard-core, blue-to-the-bone career Democrats will follow the President in lockstep. That's a given. Same goes for certain Republicans in D.C. if there was a REpublican in the White House.
What I don't understand is how so many other guy-next-door Democrats sit idly by, and let this President do whatever he chooses to do, Constitution be damned.
Obama's approval ratings continue to drop, yet nothing changes in how he governs. When will those that are paying attention, regardless of Party affiliation begin to make some noise?
George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.
Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four -- two parents and two children -- trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route Route 46, police said. The crash site is less than a mile from where Zimmerman shot Martin.
By the time police arrived, two people - including Zimmerman - had already helped the family get out of the overturned car, the sheriff's office said. No one was reported to be injured.
Zimmerman was not a witness to the crash and left after speaking with the deputy, police said.
It's the first known sighting of Zimmerman since he left the courtroom following his acquittal last week on murder charges for the death of Martin.