April 24, 2014

The ‘We Do What We Want, Bleep You’ Administration

Brazen.

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This column went up at PJ Media Monday evening Pacific Time and was teased here at BizzyBlog Tuesday morning.

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In the late-1970s, after a Rolling Stone review skewered his band’s latest album, Paul Kantner of the rock band Jefferson Starship fired off a nastygram the magazine printed which read (profanity removed): “We do what we want. Bleeeeeep you.”

Although even then it was becoming obvious that a more generic version of Kantner’s attitude was systematically permeating the culture at an alarming rate, who could have guessed that 30 years later, his reaction would become the operating theme of a U.S. presidential administration?

No one can argue that even before his 2008 electoral victory, Barack Obama and his cadre of collectivists were bent on “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Obama said so himself. We now know that it was far more than a clever rhetorical flourish.

What remains unappreciated by far too many, particularly Republicans and conservatives in Washington who years ago should have recognized the need to more proactively and more aggressively resist, is that Obama, his White House and his regulatory leviathan intend to impose that transformation by any means necessary: constitutional or unconstitutional, legal or illegal, civil or hostile — and now, as seen last week in Nevada, nonviolent or violent. There are no rules, only constant tests of limits.

No aspect of this administration’s performance exemplifies its “bleep you” approach more than Obamacare.

Even in 2008, Team Obama instinctively knew that the American people would never accept the kind of state-dictated healthcare regime it wished to impose. Thus, the collection of guarantees they knew would not and could not be honored were born: “If you like your healthcare plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period.” False, false, false, and false — and delivered unilaterally with deductibles and out-of-pocket costs which would cause many workers in the public sector and at large private firms to begin planning their exit strategies. Too bad, so sad, suckers.

The administration took two important lessons away from the ferocious opposition which nearly derailed Obamacare’s passage in March 2010.

The first was that it would have to modify the law gradually and implement it invisibly. Thus, we have seen, as of earlier this month, 40 changes, almost all calibrated to minimize electoral damage while slowly strengthening the greedy hand’s grip on the nation’s medical delivery system. Collectively, these changes have fundamentally altered and even directly contradicted the law Congress passed, to the point where it is fundamentally deceiving to call today’s resulting contraption “The Affordable Care Act.” It’s Obamacare, meaning that it’s whatever Obama, the White House, the now-departed Kathleen Sebelius and her nominated successor Sylvia Burwell want it to be.

As to the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov, as I asserted in December, “nobody’s this stupid and incompetent.” Events in the subsequent four months have only confirmed that assessment. What has become clear in the interim is the botched execution’s immediate purpose: to make quantifiable accountability impossible (longer-term, it’s about foisting single-payer on a resistant populace). Thus, we’re forced to accept the absurd, made-up metric of 7.5 million Americans “enrolled.” But we can’t determine how many of those who signed up have actually paid their first premium (which buys them 90 days of coverage, even if they stiff the system after cutting just one check), or how many of them are newly insured. Now the Census Bureau tells us that, gosh, we really want to, but we won’t have reliable or consistent year-over-year comparisons of health insurance coverage until after this fall’s House and Senate elections. How obviously convenient.

Meanwhile, insurers are relying on government-estimated subsidy payments because HealthCare.gov’s back end has not been built. In some states, doctors and other providers are treating many who they can only hope are covered. Hospitals providing “specialty treatment” which have been arbitrarily shoved out of Obamacare plan networks are providing untold amounts of unsustainable free care to child and adult patients.

The second lesson the administration learned was that it must do everything it can to make opponents’ lives miserable. This is where the Internal Revenue Service comes in. The agency’s selective targeting of Tea Party, Republican, and certain conservative groups — some of it “coinciding” with visits from other regulatory and law enforcement agencies — was once thought to be solely about neutralizing their effectiveness during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. We now know that it was about a lot more than that, specifically “to make an example of at least one group” by subjecting their leaders to criminal prosecution. Given the laundry list of otherwise unaffiliated federal agencies involved in the targeting effort, as PJ Media’s Bryan Preston wrote on Wednesday:

… it takes an entity above all of those agencies to coordinate their actions. That entity can only be the White House.

Other “bleep you” examples abound, far too many to completely chronicle here. Just s few of them have included: Hillary Clinton’s “What difference does it make?” reaction to the avoidable deaths of American ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others in Benghazi on her watch; Attorney General Eric Holder statement that he he has a “vast amount” of discretion in deciding which laws his Justice Department will and won’t enforce; illegal-immigrant amnesty-light executive orders; and last but far from least, the stimulus-driven, state legislature-avoiding implementation of the Common Core curriculum.

The government’s “bleep you” brazenness was on full display in Nevada last week. But this time, hundreds of resisters essentially shouted “Bleep you back” to the wannabe tyrants at the Bureau of Land Management, which is on a single-minded mission to drive Cliven Bundy from his ranch — if not financially, then physically. The resistance was successful only because the Constitution has guaranteed citizens’ right to bear arms.

As I asked Saturday evening: “Does anyone still believe that the Constitution’s Second Amendment isn’t as much about citizens defending themselves against an out-of-control government as it is about the natural-law right of self-defense?”

Washington’s go-along Republican and conservative culture should take a lesson from Nevada. They don’t need guns. All they need is the will to defund any and all federal agencies which have overstepped their bounds.

April 23, 2014

So Much For ‘It Can’t Happen Here’; Fetal Waste Turned Into Energy in Oregon

A month ago, the UK Telegraph reported that “The remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as ‘clinical waste’ by hospitals in Britain with some used in ‘waste to energy’ plants.”

Prolife news sites and blogs as well as many other center-right outlets covered the story. The establishment press almost completely ignored it. Matt Balan of NewsBusters noted on March 26 that the story “got picked up by newspapers across much of the Anglosphere – including The Vancouver Sun and The Ottawa Citizen in Canada,” but that it did not “receive wide coverage in the United States.” More like barely any, with the only TV broadcast exception at the time being a segment on Fox News’s The Five. Perhaps the non-coverage excuse was “Well, that’s the UK. It could never happen here.” That excuse was lame anyway, and now it’s no longer operative (go to Page 3 at the B.C. Catholic link; story by Steve Weatherbe):

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April 22, 2014

Latest PJ Media Column (‘The ‘We Do What We Want, Bleep You’ Administration’) Is Up

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog Thursday morning (link won’t work until then) after blackout expires.

April 21, 2014

NBC’s Martha White: 39 Paragraphs on All-Time Record Number of Temps, Not a Word on Obamacare

If there’s a prize for most words spent in Obamacare avoidance, NBC News’s Martha C. White is definitely in the running.

White managed to burn through almost 40 paragraphs and nearly 1,600 words in a report carried at CNBC on the all-time record number of workers employed by temporary help services. But she somehow managed to completely avoid mentioning Obamacare, which used to be known as the Affordable Care Act until President Obama and his Health and Human Services regulators made 40 changes to the law originally passed by Congress, some of which directly contradict the original law’s language. The closest she came was noting that using temps “lets companies avoid the cost of providing benefits like health insurance” — which has always been the case, except that health insurance is and will continue to be a lot more expensive, giving companies even more incentive to avoid adding to their own payrolls. Excerpts follow the jump.

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April 18, 2014

Politico’s Nather: Obama Can ‘Spike the Football’ Because Obamacare ‘Is Beating Expectations’

David Nather at the Politico apparently wanted to make sure that those who don’t follow the news closely see a triumphant headline (“Obama Spikes the Football”) and a congratulatory opening paragraph at their computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Sure, the Politico reporter gradually threw in all kinds of qualifications after that, but his mission is largely accomplished: Cause those who don’t click through to believe that Obamacare is functioning as intended, and — especially in the headline — communicate the message that the debate about the statist health regime’s existence is really over. He can say that he did his job while at the same time keeping most people away from the more complicated reality. In that sense, Nather is right there with reporters at ABC and CBS who claim without verifiable evidence, as Rich Noyes at NewsBusters noted earlier this afternoon, that the program has achieved “a major milestone.” Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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April 16, 2014

NYT Relays News of Census Bureau’s Health Coverage Survey Changes, Buries Lack of Disclosure Before Elections

In a Tuesday story which appears to have been handed to it on a silver platter, and which the rest of the establishment press seems uninterested in spreading (given that searches at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Associated Press and at Politico returned nothing relevant), the New York Times has reported that the Census Bureau “is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.”

It took Times reporter Robert Pear 15 paragraphs to tell readers that measurement and reporting under the new survey design will be so supposedly difficult that “the agency was not planning to release coverage data from early this year in its next report.” That statement indicates that the government will not disclose anything about how the rollout of Obamacare really affected the number of uninsured Americans — even under the new methodology — before this fall’s elections. Everyone together now, say “How convenient.”

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April 11, 2014

Thrown Overboard

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:46 am

Goodbye, Kathleen Sebelius.

April 10, 2014

Positivity: More young women choosing health over birth control

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Rome:

Apr 8, 2014 / 02:01 am

Brianna Heldt was 20 years-old when she first started taking the birth control pill. As an Evangelical Protestant, she believed in saving sex for marriage, but the young college student was planning her wedding and wanted to delay having children for a few years.

Like many young women, Heldt visited her college’s campus health clinic and got a prescription.

What followed was an unexpected and “horribly difficult” time for Heldt and her husband.

“From the time I began taking it I had severe headaches,” she recounted. “I was constantly bloated and hungry, and worst of all, I became an emotional wreck. Things that would never have bothered me before made me cry uncontrollably. Kevin (my husband) and I had always gotten along so well but we began arguing, and I was perpetually frustrated with him.”

“Intercourse was painful,” she added. “I even saw an OB/GYN about this problem who never once connected those dots for me, and just tried to tell me that it was some sort of psychological problem. But it was not.”

It turns out that Heldt’s experience was not unique. This January, 90s talk show host Ricki Lake opted to make a documentary exploring the dangers of hormonal contraceptives.

Based on Holly Grigg-Spall’s book, “Sweetening The Pill: or How We Became Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control,” the full-length film will consider the dangers of the birth control pill, as well as other contraceptives such as Yaz and Nuvaring.

“In the 50 years since its release, the pill has become synonymous with women’s liberation and has been thought of as some sort of miracle drug,” said Lake and her co-producer, Abby Epstein. “But now it’s making women sick and so our goal with this film is to wake women up to the unexposed side effects of these powerful medications and the unforeseen consequences of repressing women’s natural cycles.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 5, 2014

NYT Gives Print Op-ed Space to Venezuela’s Maduro, Consigns Responses to Web, Ignores Growing Repression

On April 1 for its April 2 print edition, the New York Times allowed Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro to hold forth in an op-ed about how wondrously the country has been ruled since 1998, mostly by the late Bolivarian thug Hugo Chavez and during the past year by himself.

Maduro’s piece made the Times’s print edition. The Times posted letters objecting to Maduro’s characterizations of his country from Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, an opposition leader, and Congressman Edward R. Royce, but appears not to have printed them. I say that because there is no indication at the letters themselves that they were printed, and because certain other letters on unrelated matters are (examples here and here; scroll to the bottom in each instance). The Times did post and print a letter from Florida Senator Marco Rubio on Friday for Saturday’s print edition. The Times, to likely no one’s surprise, has been lax in reporting ongoing developments in that deeply troubled country.

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April 3, 2014

In ‘Honor’ of Ann Coulter …

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:55 pm

… who has opined that Mitt Romney would be a pretty good presidential candidate in 2016, I give you the Guess Who performing the 1969 classic describing Coulter’s state of mind — “(She’s Come) Undun” (that’s how the band spelled it):

Seriously, Ann: “Don’t Feed Us This Mitt Again”

Update, April 5: More here, if you can stand it. Main delusion: “I think [Romney] was a fantastic candidate.” Lord have mercy.

Politico’s Nather Thinks Obamacare’s Enrollment ‘Achievement’ Hurts ‘Government Doesn’t Work’ Argument

Though he didn’t quite get to the “Shut up, he said” threshold, Politico’s David Nather, in a Tuesday tome, argued that HealthCare.gov allegedly crossing the 7 million enrollment threshold leaves opponents blubbering, and supports the argument “that government can still solve big social problems” and is “a wake-up call for Republicans and conservatives.”

It’s as if Nather believes — and maybe he does, in which case he’s woefully ignorant — that not achieving the enrollment target is about the only potential problem with HealthCare.gov. Uh, not exactly. Just off the top of my head, there’s the lack of site security, the absence of back-office interaction with insurance carriers, miscalculations of subsidies, the system’s outrageous cost, and the complete inability of enrollees to add, change or delete elements of what they submitted to correct inadvertent errors or reflect changes in their life circumstances. I’m sure that only scratches the surface. Excerpts from Nather’s nattering follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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March 31, 2014

Some ‘Stumble’: On (Not Really) Last Day For Signing Up at HC.gov, Users Without Accounts Can’t Create Them

The Associated Press has a breaking news update: If you want to apply for Obamacare at HealthCare.gov today and you’ve never set up an account, forget about doing so for the time being.

The update is is running under this morning’s old headline (“HEALTH CARE WEBSITE STUMBLES ON LAST DAY”), begging the question as to when a “stumble” turns into “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” (HT to several tweeters):

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AP’s Word For Today’s System Crash at HealthCare.gov: ‘Stumble’

The Obamacare-loving press spares no effort in excusing and minimizing the scheme’s operational, systemic, and law-based failures.

Six months after launch, HealthCare.gov still isn’t functioning as intended. In fact, as of 8:47 a.m. this morning, the time stamp on an Associated Press report (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) by chief wire service Obamacare defender Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, the web site wasn’t functioning at all. Did the AP reporter tell readers the system had crashed, or was down? Oh heck no (bolds are mine):

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March 30, 2014

SNL Mocks President’s Obamacare Promo Efforts

Filed under: Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:31 pm

One (among many) of the more stunning elements of Obamacare’s six-month run thus far has been the administration’s increasingly desperate ploys to get “millennials” to sign up as the sort-of enrollment deadline looms. One of the more appalling of those involved President Obama himself appearing on comedian Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns” show and directing scripted insults at the host. Almost no one in the establishment press has commented on how stunts such as these diminish the dignity which used to be associated with the highest office in the land.

Building on that personal involvement, Saturday Night Live’s opening skit last night showed several other made-up (I hope) attempts to make “Get Covered” go viral, including presidential photo ops with Kim Kardashian and the Pope. The final effort possibly included spreading viruses, as it required Obama to kiss Justin Bieber … on the lips. Video of that skit (obvious warning to those who don’t would rather not see the final act: stop the tape) follows the jump (HT the Blaze):

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AP Ignores Why Vegas Culinary Workers Have Authorized Strike: Obamacare

The headline and first paragraph at an Associated Press item on a union strike authorization vote in Las Vegas are both far more vague than they could or should be.

Though the rest of Ken Ritter’s coverage at least identifies the union involved, it completely fails to get to the heart of the matter, which is that Obamacare is causing huge increases in their employers’ cost of providing health care coverage. Culinary Union Local 226 wants their casino company employers to, well, eat those costs, and the companies are resisting. Ritter’s coverage, which to those who understand the full background reads like an exercise in stall-ball, never even specifically says that health benefits are this potential strike’s key issue (bolds are mine throughout this post):

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