July 22, 2013

Size and Potential Problems of ObamaCare’s Army of ‘Navigators’ Going Largely Unnoticed


If the employment numbers seem better than one might have expected during the next few months, it may have nothing to do with private companies hiring people to provide goods and services people actually want. It may instead relate to the army of paper-pushers who are being hired to help individuals and families apply for ObamaCare subsidies starting on October 1.

If California’s situation is typical of what will be happening nationwide, the total number of “enrollment counselors,” also known as “navigators,” hired for this supposedly short-term task will be huge. In the tarnished Golden State alone, according to Judy Lin at the Associated Press, 21,000 counselors will be hired from among “an estimated 3,600 community organizations ranging from Native American tribes and chambers of commerce to labor unions and faith-based organizations that will be authorized to help people buy insurance.” Project that to the entire country, and we’re talking about roughly 175,000 counselors. We’re also talking about creating the mother of all soft identity-theft targets (HT Reason’s Hit and Run blog; bolds are mine):


AP’s Rugaber Fails to See Past Seasonally Adjusted Numbers, Misses Troubling 9% June Drop in Single-Family Permits

I was going to leave this alone because the original item involved goes back to last week. But Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press brought it up again in his report today on existing home sales, so it’s fair game again.

The final sentence of his dispatch refers to last week’s Census Bureau data in the new home market, and claims that “In June, they (builders) applied for permits to build single-family homes at the fastest pace in five years.” Not really — in fact, not at all — as will be seen after the jump.


Statists Never Sleep: Advice Is Obviously a Form of Free Speech Protected by the First Amendment

Filed under: Consumer Outrage,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:33 pm

They want to control what people can tell you — even advice columnists (HT Instapundit):

Newspaper Censorship in America: Is this Celebrated Advice Columnist a Criminal?

In case you wondered (you shouldn’t have), Jack Conway, the free speech censor discussed but not named in the video, who has been Kentucky Attorney General since 2008, is a Democrat.

Press Perpetuates ‘Iced Tea’ Myth in Coverage of Zimmerman Verdict and Trayvon Martin Demonstrations


Update, July 24: In audio found here, Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara, in a Tuesday discussion with New York talk show host Steve Malzberg, confirmed the accuracy of the “iced tea myth”-related details in this post and in Bill Whittle’s video.

Among the more outrageous aspects of the press’s negligent coverage of the circumstances surrounding the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman confrontation is its insistence on describing Martin as having bought “Skittles and iced tea” at a convenience store roughly 40 minutes before Zimmerman, as a neighborhood watch volunteer, spotted him.

The drink was not “iced tea.” It has been known that the drink wasn’t iced tea for well over a year. Yet at least seven press reports since the verdict, up to and including coverage of this past weekend’s demonstrations (examples here and here, at the Associated Press the day after the verdict; here; here; here; here; and here), identified “iced tea” as what Martin purchased. The actual identity of the non-caffeinated drink, AriZona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail — which appears not to contain a single drop of tea, and which the company has in its “juice drinks” category — is extremely significant, as will be explained after the jump.


Offensive Expectations

Since when is 6.5 percent unemployment two years from now a tolerable target?


This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Saturday.


Five years into the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy, our government’s lowered expectations, eagerly embraced and endorsed by its media apparatchiks, are arguably more offensive, intolerable and damaging than the failed government policies which have kept it in effect.

Those policies, best understood as the final proof of Keynesianism’s collapse, have begotten awful results. Supposedly designed to generate robust economic growth coming out of the recession, they have instead led to the weakest post-downturn expansion since World War II, with trillions of dollars in collateral damage.

Three decades ago, during the first four years after the economy emerged from an awful recession while facing a far worse economic landscape — 13 percent inflation, 20 percent-plus prime interest rates, and almost 11 percent unemployment — the economy grew by over 21 percent in real terms. Assuming it ekes out the 1.7 percent annualized growth analysts predict during this year’s second quarter, the POR economy’s four-year post-recession growth will only be 8.5 percent. If the economy would have replicated its Reagan-era performance during the past four years, growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would have been 2-1/2 times greater. That breathtaking difference works out to over $6,000 per person in today’s dollars, or over $24,000 for a family of four:

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (072213)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Continuing what I started Wednesday, I’m going to keep this open thread at the top during the day.

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

If you are on the front page, click “more” to see today’s items (updated sporadically).

Positivity: Faithful Service — The first Army chaplain casualty of the Korean War

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From ArmyLive:

JULY 16, 2013

Chap. Herman G. Felhoelter served with the 19th Infantry Regiment. On July 16, 1950, Felhoelter was north of Taejon helping a group carry 30 wounded Soldiers. They came under attack and when it became apparent they could not endure the enemy assault. Felhoelter convinced the medical officer to lead all able Soldiers to safety while he remained with the wounded and dying. They were soon attacked and killed. Felhoelter, who posthumously received the Distinguished Service Cross, was the first Chaplain Corps casualty in Korea.

The following includes quotes and information from the article Confidence in Battle, Inspiration in Peace, The United States Army Chaplaincy 1945-1975, Volume V, By Rodger R. Venzke:

“The Korean conflict already contained those physical and psychological elements of every war-deafening noise, rampant confusion, overwhelming fear and fatigue, and indescribable carnage. Intermingled with it also were those inexplicable acts of self-sacrifice by common men who sought no special recognition or personal honor,” Rodger R. Venzke wrote about the first few days of the Korean War.

On 16 July, 1950, 19th Infantry Regiment Chaplain Herman Felhoelter and 100 other men attempted to escape from advancing North Korean troops after a battle near Taejon while carrying nearly 30 wounded Soldiers. When evading the enemy with so many injured men proved impossible, the Catholic Chaplain stayed behind with the wounded while others escaped. From a distance, a sergeant looked back to see enemy troops overcome and murder the wounded, to include Chaplain Felhoelter, who was praying over them. Eleven days after American Soldiers had entered the fight, and on the day before his 37th birthday, the first Army chaplain casualty of the Korean conflict lay dead on the battlefield.

“I am not comfortable in Korea (that is impossible here) but I am happy in the thought that I can help some souls who need help,” Chaplain Felhoelter had written to his mother four days before his death.

Felhoelter was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his selfless service. During the Korean conflict, 13 chaplains were killed. Six died in the first month of the war. In 1953, 175 Army chaplains had received 218 decorations including 22 Silver Stars. More medals were awarded later, including to CH (CPT) Emil Kapaun, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on 12 April 2013. …

Go here for the rest of the story.