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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March 28, 2014

CNN Email Touts 6 Million Obamacare Sign-ups As ‘Symbolic Victory’

Call it low-information voter outreach.

An email yesterday from CNNMoney touted how fantastic it was that Obamacare enrollment has reached the six million threshold, even describing it as a “symbolic victory.” Though the underlying article by Tami Luhby at least noted the problems with that 6 million figure, those problems should have been enough to negate that characterization. Instead, Luhby repeated it in her coverage (bolds are mine):

Obamacare tops 6 million signups

CNNocareEmail032714

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March 27, 2014

They Don’t Care: 50 States of Obamacare Victims

This post builds on Geoffrey Dickens’ post late this morning (“American Horror Story: Tales of ObamaCare Victims Untold by the Big Three Networks”) about the virtual lack of any kind of coverage of the real people affected by Obamacare.

Perhaps some readers believe that little coverage is occurring because there are few if any local situations worthy enough to rise to the level of national coverage. There are two responses to that. The first is that the national outlets must not be looking for them, because they are out there, and they could find them if they wanted to (the British press often does a better job covering Obamacare than stateside outlets). The second is that local TV broadcasts have carried plenty of Obamacare-related horror stories. While some of the situations cited in the video from the Washington Free Beacon following the jump (50 States of Obamacare Victims) are of politicians delivering speeches, all of the rest of 50 clips cite real people or groups of people with real problems caused by Obamacare:

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Bill Whittle Updates ‘A Modest Proposal’

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:00 pm

Devastating, and directed where it deserves to be:

The modern conceit of the left is that we are so much more tolerant and civilized now.

Horse manure.

Desperate Times, Desperate Dems

Their usual recourses.

___________________________

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

___________________________

Most political pundits believe that the November 2014 elections spell serious trouble for Democrats. Not so fast.

Despite their blustering for the benefit of their friends in the apparatchik press, the party appears to have conceded that it can’t regain a majority in the House of Representatives.

One might therefore think that Republicans have a chance of greatly expanding their current 33-seat House advantage. That doesn’t seem likely.

It’s difficult to overestimate how much harm supposedly helpful GOP gerrymandering in certain red states has done in the current situation. For example, in Ohio, the state’s GOP-dominated apportionment board “cleverly” carved out four heavy-majority Democrat districts for elections beginning in 2012. That year, the Democrats who even had opposition achieved victory margins averaging 46 percent. The fourth ran unopposed. The odds that a real or concocted scandal or controversy might cause an incumbent Buckeye State Republican to lose to a Democrat are far greater than the likelihood that a wave election could unseat an incumbent Democrat.

Perhaps opportunities exist in aggressively gerrymandered blue states. California, Illinois, and New York would seem to candidates to yield pickups in certain marginally Democratic districts. However, the challenges are formidable. Most obviously, there are the powers and advantages of incumbency. Additionally, local journalists appear on the whole to have become every bit as hostile to anyone who demonstrates a whiff of conservatism and its values as the establishment press in DC. A GOP establishment which either hasn’t figured out how to or doesn’t have the courage to consistently go over the media’s heads doesn’t help. Speaker John Boehner, himself an obstacle to conducting ideology-based House elections, would probably be (but shouldn’t be) thrilled with a net pickup of 15 seats, which would still leave the GOP miles away from a 290-seat veto-proof majority.

Washington’s Democratic campaign generals are likely to divert campaign resources towards defending their current 55-45 Senate caucus majority.

Of the 36 Senate seats up for grabs, including three special elections for unexpired terms, Democrats currently hold 21. All 15 GOP-held seats are currently consensus polling as holds. The same polls, all of which tend to oversample Democrats, especially in non-presidential elections, identify eight currently Democrat-held seats as clearly vulnerable, and only six as supposedly safe.

To achieve an old-fashioned filibuster-proof majority of 60 which reflects how the Senate was run until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid changed the rules last year, Republicans would have to win all 15 non-safe Democrat-held Senate seats while losing none of their own. A miraculous run of the entire table would still leave them one vote shy of a 67-seat veto-proof majority.

President Barack Obama, whose performance is for all practical purposes the one and only reason for the vulnerability of the senators on his team, is already whining that off-year elections aren’t “representative cross-section of America.” No, they’re a better representation of the will of informed people who care about the future direction of the country, and in this case the continued existence of its Constitution-based government.

What will Democrats do about it? They’ll aggressively employ their three primary smears to increase turnout among those who consider it a virtual crime to vote for the other candidate. Those smears are their three R’s: religion, race, and the rich. They have worked well enough in the past to prevent critical, lasting damage. They will again if not effectively countered.

They will trot the oft-cited “war on women” charge against any GOP candidate with any kind of personal or legislative record indicating adherence to Christian values. The left and the press both fervently believe that anyone with such a record is “anti-woman.” They have been all too successful in convincing their base that anyone who believes that a baby in the womb has a right to live as an extremist, even though a recent CNN poll showed that 58 percent of Americans oppose abortion in most or all cases. Sadly, the “war on women” appeal seems to have a near hypnotic effect on many single women under 35.

Republican candidates need to visibly turn this argument around to what will get the vast non-hypnotized majority of women to the polls. Now that they’ve seen a bit of how it works, women’s opposition to Obamacare has skyrocketed. Each and every Democrat who has ever supported Obama, regardless of their current distancing attempts, owns his failing scheme. Beyond that, the six-year Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy has done greater harm to women than to men.  It also wouldn’t hurt to point out that the White House itself is a pack of hypocrites on “equal pay.”

Of the three smears, “racism” is the most tired, but still potentially effective. Just ask Paul Ryan. Even making valid observations about the tragedy of inner-city crime, failed urban public schools, and broken families exposes you to being called a racist. Heaven help you if you propose coherent, workable solutions like charter schools and education vouchers.

The best riposte to the racism charge is also economic. The GOP needs to hammer home the fact that in the four decades until Obamanomics came along, black household income had been catching up with the national average — not satisfactorily, to be sure, but at least moving in the right direction. All of those gains have disappeared, and brutally, while Barack Obama has occupied the Oval Office. It’s also a near certainty that Obamacare will disproportionately harm blacks’ and Hispanics’ jobs prospects by adding huge amounts to the cost of taking on relatively low-skilled employees. If you doubt me, ask casino workers in Vegas.

When all else fails, Democrats will try to tie their opponents to the rich, the 1 percent, and, in Alinksyite fashion, to the evil omnipotent, intimidating Koch brothers. Please. The Koch campaign apparatus ranked 77th overall among political donors in the 2012 election cycle, well behind over a dozen unions and scores of leftist outfits and corporations.

So obsessed is the left that it even trotted out its Koch critique in the recent Florida-13 special congressional election won by a Republican in an upset. There’s only one problem: The Koch brothers spent no money there.

Whether or not the Koch brothers or their affiliated groups give them money, after what will be six years of statist failure, Republican candidates should make no apologies for free-market principles — and they should commit to repealing the statists’ worst disaster to date: Obamacare.

AP’s Alonso-Zaldivar Claims Millions ‘Could’ Get Extra Sign-up Time. COULD?

Tuesday evening, in covering a White House announcement, the Washington Post reported (“Obama administration will allow more time to enroll in health care on federal marketplace”) that “all consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension.” The operative word is “will”

Given that well-known news, I had to check the time stamp on Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar’s report Wednesday afternoon at the Associated Press. Yep, it really says March 26 at 5:21 p.m., roughly 20 hours after the White House’s announcement. So why is his story’s headline “Millions could get extra time for health sign-ups”? And why is his first sentence “Millions of Americans could get extra time to enroll for taxpayer-subsidized coverage this year under President Barack Obama’s health care law”? The extension is an announced deal, good buddy, and million of people are affected. More follows the jump:
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