September 26, 2014

As HealthCare.gov Cost Surpasses the $2 Billion Mark, Press Mostly Yawns

It wasn’t that long ago that Obamacare defenders were ridiculing those of us who pointed out that the fully loaded cost of HealthCare.gov would surely top the $1 billion mark.

Well, we were wrong — to be so conservative. The real number is “about” $2.1 billion and counting, according to a Bloomberg report which is mostly being kept out of the non-business press.

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September 20, 2014

Positivity: Crisis pregnancy center film praised at UN Women’s Guild screening

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New York City:

Sep 19, 2014 / 12:39 am

A film based on the true story of hope offered to a young woman in a crisis pregnancy received positive reviews after its screening at the United Nations in New York on Sept. 11.

The screening of “Gimme Shelter” was sponsored by the U.N. Women’s Guild, whose mission is to help children in need throughout the world. U.N. Ambassadors and their wives were invited to attend the screening.

Long-standing member of the guild Kathy DiFiore is the founder of the Several Sources Shelters featured in the film.

“(The screening) was a great honor for me, for our Several Sources Shelters mothers and their babies, past, present and future as well as all other organizations in the United States and beyond who serve pregnant women in need,” DiFiore said.

“Gimme Shelter” focuses on Agnes “Apple” Bailey, portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens. Apple, whose character is based on a real person, is a pregnant 16-year-old who runs away from her abusive mother. She lives on the New Jersey streets, sleeping in unlocked cars and eating out of dumpsters.

After a car accident lands her in the hospital, a Catholic priest played by James Earl Jones visits Apple and challenges her to begin a new life. He directs her to find help at a local pregnancy shelter. Initially resistant, Apple agrees. At the Several Sources Shelter she finds hope, security, and sisterhood in preparing to become a mother.

The young woman whose story is the basis for the film, Darlisha Dozier, was present for the screening and answered questions afterwards.

“She explained that while it was very difficult because of her prior abuse she endured, eventually she began to trust us. Her story is a common one but through God’s grace with time and experience our young mothers learn to become a part of not only our Several Sources Family but God’s holy family,” DiFiore said.

Zoe Chang, who serves on the International Board of the Guild, helped organize the screening and told CNA it is “a project we’re very proud of.”

The film accurately portrayed the reality of many young women in crisis pregnancy situations who find help at these shelters, Chang said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 17, 2014

AP Falsely Claims This Year’s Reported Poverty Drop is ‘First Since 2006′

As been its habit since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the Associated Press has, whenever possible, considered the impact of news developments on the President and his party as far more important than what’s actually happening in the lives of real people.

The latest example is the wire service’s coverage of Tuesday’s Census Bureau report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the U.S. Nothing — not even fundamental accuracy, as will be seen shortly — was more important to reporter Jesse J. Holland, the AP’s “Race and Ethnicity writer,” than telling readers that a half-point fall in the poverty rate from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent, constituted “a bit of encouraging news about the nation’s economy as President Barack Obama and Congress gear up for midterm elections.” The fact that the Obama Era has brought us levels of poverty not seen in 20 years — this year’s figure matches 1994′s — apparently doesn’t matter.

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Will Media Report How Obama Now Sees America As Exceptional — Er, ‘Unique’?

President Obama cited American exceptionalism at least ten times in his speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa today.

Early in his administration, Obama went out of his way to downplay the nature of U.S. exceptionalism, claiming that it was really no different than how any other nation’s citizens saw their own country’s uniqueness. So his speechwriters knew better than to use that word. But Obama cited how America is “unique” (read: superior) six separate times, and told his audience — and the rest of the world — that “when the world needs help, it calls on America.” Time’s Zeke J. Miller is one of the first among many who are choosing to ignore this change in posture, choosing primarily to obsess over whether U.S. ground troops will be called upon to quash the ISIS/ISIL threat.

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September 9, 2014

Some ‘Compromise’: HHS Still Trying to Force Contraception Mandate on Little Sisters

On August 22 — a Friday, of course — the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a brand-new version of the Obamacare contraception mandate supposedly “accommodating” organizations with religious belief-based objections to providing such coverage.

The new version is a facile variant of the subterfuge the Obama administration failed to slide by the Court in the recent Hobby Lobby case. It now says that organizations which oppose providing their employees abortifacient contraceptive coverage can notify the government of their objections; previously, objectors informed their insurers. The government will then tell the insurance companies to pay any claims involved. Anyone can see that nothing has substantively changed, and that affected employers are still associating themselves with practices they believe are abhorrent. Nevertheless, CNBC’s Dan (“Obama-who-cares“) Mangan described the administration’s move as a “compromise.”

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CNBC’s Mangan Spins Bad-News Obamacare Poll Into ‘Obama-Who-Cares’

CNBC’s Dan Mangan, last seen at NewsBusters claiming that the American people want politicians to just “shut up about Obamacare,” is out with a column today reacting to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest Affordable Care Act-related polling effort.

Sarah Ferris at the Hill also reviewed the poll, and has two primary messages for readers. First, “support for ObamaCare continues to fall.” Second, “Healthcare remains one of the most important issues in midterm elections, ranking only behind the economy and jobs as voters’ top issue.” To be clear “the economy and jobs” is considered one issue. So it’s really pathetic how Mangan twisted the same poll Ferris covered (bolds are mine):

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September 5, 2014

Positivity: Obama admin. drops appeals in three for-profit mandate cases

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

From Washington:

Sep 4, 2014 / 04:47 pm

Religious freedom advocates are voicing hope as the Obama administration drops its appeal in three lawsuits involving for-profit companies that object to the federal contraception mandate.

The Department of Justice has dropped its appeals in The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company v. Burwell, Armstrong v. Burwell, and Briscoe v. Burwell, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing numerous individuals and organizations that have sued over the mandate.

“The administration was right to abandon its fight against the family businesses involved in these particular cases in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in June,” said Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, in a Sept. 4 statement.

“In a free and diverse society, we respect the freedom to live out our convictions. For these families, that means not being forced to participate in distributing abortion drugs and devices.”

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the mandate as it was applied to two “closely held” for-profit businesses, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Services, saying that the owners of the companies were protected against the mandate by the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court said that the government had not shown that the mandate was the least restrictive means of achieving its goal of providing free contraceptives to employees. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

August 31, 2014

Restricting ‘Choice’: California Dictates That Its Employers Cannot Refuse to Cover Elective Abortions

This “choice” thing with abortion is really the narrowest of one-way streets.

Seven robed men decided in 1973 that a woman has a “privacy” right to “choose” to take the life of a pre-born baby she is carrying, the God-given right to life of the baby be damned. But the radicals in Jerry Brown’s government in the State of California have now mandated that all employers in that state, even those with religious affiliations, do not have a choice as to whether they will cover abortions in their health plans. It’s funny, but certainly not in a humorous sense, how certain states’ attempts to limit the practice routinely make national news, while this blatantly coercive dictate by California has barely been noticed.

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August 30, 2014

NYT: Here Come Those Government-Reimbursed ‘End-of-Life Talks’

In a Saturday evening story to appear on Page A1 in its Sunday print edition, Pam Belluck at the New York Times tells readers that “paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 50 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year.” This apparently blessed development is occurring “After Sarah Palin’s ‘death panel’ label killed efforts to include it in the Affordable Care Act in 2009.”

Belluck seems fairly pleased that “Bypassing the political process, private insurers have begun reimbursing doctors for these ‘advance care planning’ conversations as interest in them rises along with the number of aging Americans.” (But of course, “private insurers” have really become inside cronies in “the political process” since Obamacare’s passage; so their involvement may really prove that behind-the-scenes government pressure to reimburse those “services” is working.)

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August 28, 2014

AP Relays Left’s Charges That Health Insurace Cos. Still Discriminate in Coverage

The Golden Age of Obamacare has apparently not led to the Golden Age of access to medical care anywhere, any time its promoters promised. Thanks to non-payments, the true enrollment numbers aren’t what we’ve been told. The networks patients can access — approved by government regulators — are often highly restricted. Sky-high-deductibles are present in most Obamacare plans before any kind of reimbursed coverage kicks in. Finally, since this is for the time being a country where people usually can’t be forced to provide money-losing service, many doctors are refusing to see Obamacare-”covered” patients.

Since things aren’t working out as wonderfully as planned, the left and the Obama administration are on the prowl for scapegoats. The easiest targets are the insurance companies, some of whom foolishly thought that being on the Obamacare team would buy them immunity. According to a Wednesday Associated Press story by Tom Murphy, they’re being charged with chasing sick people away — even though it appears, from a sentence eight paragraphs into the dispatch, that it’s not financially advantageous for them to keep such patients out (bolds and numbered rage are mine):

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August 25, 2014

Remembering the Real Ted Kennedy, Five Years After His Death

This post is an annual BizzyBlog tradition.

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Chappaquiddick_Kennedy_Car_25First, excerpts from Doug Patton’s barn-burner of a column in 2009, followed by a telling remembrance relayed by a close friend of Kennedy’s (the remembrance is that he liked to hear jokes about Chappaquiddick):

Let Us Not Confuse Longevity with Statesmanship
September 2, 2009

It was almost nauseating to watch the media fawning over Ted Kennedy’s corpse as though he were the last brother of King Arthur, and his passing was signaling the end of a real place called Camelot. In fact, there’s an argument to be made that Chris Matthews and company actually believe in that mythical kingdom.

… Even one of my formerly favorite columnists, Cal Thomas, had glowing, gooey things to say about his “old friend Ted Kennedy,” the most laughable of which was that Kennedy never personalized his politics. Tell that to Robert Bork. Remember Kennedy’s ridiculous speech on the floor of the United States Senate, wherein he hyperventilated that “Robert Bork’s America is one in which women will be forced into back-alley abortions and blacks will be sitting at segregated lunch counters”?

… what we have witnessed in his passing is the near-deification of a man merely because he came from a rich, powerful family, because he lived a long time and because he managed to bamboozle his gullible state into re-electing him simply because his name was Kennedy. What has been sorely missing in all this is a sense of perspective. This was more than just a flawed man. This was a man who cheated, lied and undermined his family, his friends, even his own country.

Perhaps Ted Kennedy’s most contemptible moment — many consider it treasonous — came in 1983. President Ronald Reagan was in the process of bringing the Soviet Union to its knees. In one of the hotter moments of the Cold War, Kennedy sent word to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov through an old friend and former senator offering Kennedy’s help in undermining the Reagan administration in its dealings with its old arch enemy in exchange for Andropov’s help in defeating Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. Think of that. A United States Senator offers to help our sworn enemy in exchange for political propaganda to win an American election.

This country is not better off because Edward Moore Kennedy sat in the United States Senate for 46 years. He was unqualified when he was first elected. He disgraced himself, his family and our nation throughout his long, tedious career. But the event for which Ted Kennedy will be remembered by most Americans — and by historians, if they are honest — is Chappaquiddick. Forty years ago this summer, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne died in the drunken senator’s Oldsmobile when he drove off a bridge and left her to drown.

You or I would have gone to prison for the negligence he displayed that night. Kennedy went on to become “the lion of the senate.” He lived a life of power and luxury, and was even arrogant enough in 1980 to think this country would elect him president.

Ted Kennedy served a very long time in the U.S. Senate, but let us not confuse longevity with statesmanship. He died a death none of us would wish on anyone — a brain tumor at age 77 — but I’m guessing Mary Jo Kopechne would have preferred to die at age 77 of almost anything.

Now to a 2009 remembrance of Ted Kennedy ‘s alleged sense of humor. I’ll never forget it, and I intend to make sure readers here don’t either.

It came in an interview between Katty Kay of NPR and former Newsweek editor Ed Klein shortly after Kennedy’s death:

Former Newsweek Foreign Editor: Chappaquiddick One of Ted’s ‘Favorite Topics of Humor’

… Klein: Well y’know, he, I don’t know if you know this or not but, one of his favorite topics of humor was indeed Chappaquiddick itself. And he would ask people, “have you heard any new jokes about Chappaquiddick?”

I mean, that is just the most amazing thing. It’s not that he didn’t feel remorse about the death of Mary Jo Kopechne (background music begins building), but that he still always saw, um, the other side of everything and the ridiculous side of things, too.

Kay: Ed Klein, former foreign editor of Newsweek, and author of a new book on Ted Kennedy.

Audio of the full interview is in the YouTube that follows (direct link):

What a guy.

Too bad Mary Jo Kopechne was never available to join in the laughter.

It is mildly comforting to know that what the Democrats called “Ted Kennedy’s seat” really wasn’t.

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UPDATE, August 31, 2010: An example of the type of pathetic attempts at historical revisivionism we’ll probably be seeing for the next hundred years –

Rewriting History on Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick Accident

… Now, a year after Kennedy died, his lifelong biographer Burton Hersh, armed with fresh interviews with Kennedy’s mistress at the time, tells Whispers that the whole July 1969 episode should have been handled as a simple crash, leaving the senator’s legacy untainted. “It was a car accident,” he says. “Ted was a terrible driver. He never paid much attention to where he was going.”

“He took a tremendous blow on the head,” says Hersh. In interviews following the crash, Kennedy displayed confusion and amnesia, he says.

“If the thing had been handled properly, the first thing they would have done is put him in a hospital. Then they would have said he was a victim of an auto accident and didn’t know what he was doing and couldn’t be held responsible for anything that happened really after that, which would have been a fair explanation,” says author-journalist Hersh, who knew Kennedy since they were classmates at Harvard. “But instead, he felt terribly guilty about the whole thing … tried to take responsibility and … just confused the issue.”

Horse manure.

August 20, 2014

As Cincinnati Clinic Finally Ends Surgical Abortions, Local Station Gives Its Spokesperson an Open Mic to Rip Governor

A Cincinnati-area abortion facility will finally stop doing surgical abortions on Friday. Many of us, including yours truly, thought this would happen back in January, but the operators of the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, aka Women’s Med, persisted in frivolous appeals which only delayed the inevitable. Finally, they have decided to give up their challenge to the State of Ohio’s refusal to renew its license to operate because it does not have a legally required transfer agreement with a local hospital to treat post-abortive patients who experience complications.

Since January, I have received several emails from pro-life groups reporting on the status of Women’s Med’s appeals. Their identities are well-known: Ohio Right to Life, Operation Rescue, and others. They’re easy to find and easy to reach. There’s no indication that reporter Ben Petracco at local TV stations WLWT attempted to contact any of them. He instead gave the sore losers an open mic to criticize Buckeye State Governor John Kasich as if he personally oversaw the entire effort (report saved here in case it’s update; bolds are mine):

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August 18, 2014

Not National News: Mass. Obamacare Exchange Requires Everyone to Re-enroll, Again May Not Work in Time

Recent news about Obamacare hasn’t exactly been good, but the press has been pretty effective in keeping it quiet.

To name just a few items, enrollment is shrinking, because perhaps as many as 20 percent of enrollees aren’t keeping up with their premiums. Rising costs have moved insurers to beg for bailouts, which appear to be forthcoming. Just last week in Massachusetts, where the state-run health insurance got its start under Republican Governor Mitt Romney eight years ago, the state’s exchange announced that everyone currently enrolled in 2014 or who should have enrolled and didn’t is going to have to apply for 2015 coverage this fall. Oh, and the system it plans to employe may not even be working by mid-November.

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August 12, 2014

Louisiana’s Abortion Law Gets Light Attention, Perhaps Due to Its ‘Overwhelming’ Democratic Support

So what’s more newsworthy: A white, privileged, female lawyer wearing pink shoes whose filibuster failed to stop abortion restrictions from taking effect in Texas, or a an African-American female state representative who sponsored and helped successfully shepherd a similar law through Louisiana’s legislature — with overwhelming support from Democratic legislators? If you think it should be the latter, you obviously don’t understand the priorities of the nation’s establishment press.

The events in Texas have led to the gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat filibuster leader and media darling Wendy Davis. In June of this year, the legislature in next-door Louisiana passed a similar measure. Katrina Jackson’s outspoken sponsorship and Democrats’ majority support of the law has gotten nowhere near the attention Wendy Davis’s shenanigans have received.

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August 8, 2014

Kevin Drum Doubts That ‘Anti-Abortion Activists Really Think Abortion Is Murder’

The left constantly and falsely characterizes the right, particularly those sympathetic to Tea Party-related causes, for their alleged incivility, racism, bigotry, nativism, blah-blah-blah.

This stereotype apparently drives Kevin Drum’s contention, expressed at at Mother Jones, that Americans who say the believe that abortion is murder really don’t feel that abortion is murder. After all, even the most passionate of abortion opponents generally engage in orderly protests, counsel guilt-ridden women who have had abortions, and work calmly and persistently to change abortion law and promote a culture of life. To Drum, the fact that they don’t go ballistic upon learning of each and every abortion must somehow mean they don’t really care that much, and — get this — that their opposition to abortion is really the product of sexual prudishness (bolds are mine):

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